I couldn’t think of a better day to blog this… the big fluffy snow flakes falling outside my window remind me so much of the most magical pillow fight that ever existed.. which happened right here in my home.. in the room next to my office where I sit now.. and where a 2″ deep layer of feathers are still piled over the span of the entire floor, a week post-pillow-war, because I haven’t quite figured out the best way to clean them up.

Luckily it’s just the guest room and it’s not being used on a regular basis so the feathers are fairly contained, but somehow remnants of what took place that day are making their way around my entire house as little floating, feathery reminders of the most epic pillow fight…. ever.

I’ve had this vision of a pillow fight photo shoot in my head for a long time: beautiful little girls, all dressed in their PJ’s, having a sweet little pillow fight in an empty white room, with happy little feathers floating all around!

I knew someday I’d bring this vision to fruition but up until recently I felt that with my daughter being 2 and 3ish years old, there would be a good chance she and her friends wouldn’t understand the point and would totally not want to play in this gigantic, itchy mess.

But this year my baby girl turned 4 on January 1, and although there was certainly still a chance that she would either totally get into it, or totally not get into it, I decided I was going to give it a try!  If it was a flop this year, well, I’ll try again when she turns 5 :-)

It was totally. not. a flop.

I invited all her closest little gal pals over for a birthday party and asked everyone to wear PJ’s… and expect feathers..  I just had no clue how much feathers.  Jerry found me two bed sized feather pillows at the Ollie’s in Elizabeth city and I sewed them into thirds and cut them down into 6 small feather filled pillows.

Did you know that the contents of two.. JUST TWO.. bed size feather pillows would leave a pile of feathers 2″ deep across an entire floor of a 11×12 bedroom?  I had no idea..

Well it did.  My vision came to life last Tuesday with Evie and her friends Bebe, Darci, Stella, Little Stella, Baby Hudson, and two big Sis’s that were HUGE helps in keeping the feathers flying: Sophia and Kayleigh.

OH did we have so much fun!  We were itching and coughing up feathers by the end of it but these girls had a blast!  I am so glad I was able to document this for them so they’ll always remember it and grow up to be little Mommas themselves and get to clean up a room full of feathers for their little girls too!

This experience totally wrecked my house.. but it was so immensely worth it!  I would clean this mess a thousand times over to see the smiles on these girls faces over and over!

But I reckon before I talk about future messes, I should get this one cleaned up first…


Biggest shout-out EVER to my fiance Jerry for supporting this messy endeavor and buying pillows for our girls (and helping clean up this mess!)
and to my friends Summer, Katie, Christina and Tina for donating little girls in PJ’s

..and to the drug store for selling Benadryl for some really itchy girls.


























 You can tell most of our littles had had their fill of feathers by this last photo.. all except Darci, in the front!

Feather Award of the year goes to Darci for holding strong and playing hard the whole time!!


Pillow Fight Photo Shoot

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January 19, 2015 – I love engagement sessions.. especially engagement sessions with such a happy couple .. and with such gorgeous hair!  I so can’t wait to get my camera in front of Kathryn’s fabulous red hair again at their April wedding!

I’m excited to introduce Kathryn + Chris as one of my happy 2015 couples!  We photographed their sweet Engagement session in one of my favorite spots in Hertford NC:

















Eastern NC Wedding Photographers


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January 17, 2014 – Michelle + Aaron celebrated their wedding day at the fabulous Signature at West Neck in Virginia Beach, VA on September 13th. This couple made me so proud :-)  Little did any of us know that we’d be faced with a monsoon at ceremony time that day and that I would be facing my rainiest ceremony ever!  The weather had been overcast but no rain all day.. until about 15 minutes before ceremony time… and then the bottom. fell. out.

The radar map on all our cell phones showed the rain over us as one teeny tiny storm cell that was passing over.  After that one passed, it looked as though we’d have about a 30 or 40 minute window before the next one moved through.. perfect time for a quick, dry ceremony!

So everyone waited patiently, with their towels in hand for the rain to stop and as soon as it did we headed out! Guests wiped their seats as quickly as they could and Michelle made her debut.. just in time for the rain to start falling AGAIN!  Not 10 minutes after it had ended.. At this point, we were all outside anyway so there was nothing to do except get married in the rain!

Yall.  I had to kick my shoes off and shoot the ceremony barefoot so I could walk through 3″ puddles of rain on the outskirts of the ceremony!  It was raining buckets..  

But we did it!  Aaron and Michelle said their vows in the rain but they sure didn’t let it rain on their parade :-)  They kept a smile on their face and mother nature was kind enough to keep the skies dry throughout our portrait time afterwards.

You know why they say it’s good luck to have rain on your wedding day?  Because wet knots are harder to untie than dry knots.  Well, Aaron and Michelle have one wet knot and I know their love for each other will stay tied up for eternity!

Rainy or not, I’m so happy to have been a part of Michelle and Aaron’s wedding day :-)























































Signature at West Neck Wedding

Wedding Planner: Staci Jelley, Signature at West Neck

Catering: Signature at West Neck

Cake Designer: Sweet Temptations

DJ: Bobby of, Hey DJ

Dress shop: Maya Couture

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January 17, 2014 – The Flynn Family.  Just as gorgeous the second time around!  My all time favorite in-home-newborn session was of baby Elise in The Flynn’s new Chesapeake home in 2013.  That session also landed a feature on Lemonade and Lenses!

A year later in summer of 2014, I met with the Flynn’s again as they vacationed at the Outer Banks to photograph Baby Elise, celebrating her 1st birthday.  Amazing how time flies!












 Outer Banks NC Photographers

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January 17, 2015 - I’m going back in time today because after Janie + Marshall’s wedding day in August, fall.. happened.. and it happens the same every year.  Weddings and portraits start coming at me so fast that there’s no time for anything outside of shooting and delivering images… blogging always takes a back-burner.  And then winter comes and I get to relax a little on the shooting and get to catch up on blogging some of my favorite events from fall!  So here we are in January and I’m picking up where my blogging left off with Janie + Marshall’s August 16th wedding:

There is always something amazing that sticks out to me at every wedding that leaves me saying at the end of the day “that was the best (fill in the blank) I’ve ever seen at a wedding!”  And I remember exactly what that amazing thing was for Janie + Marshall’s wedding – Their vows.  Their vows were the sweetest, most laughable, most cryable, most sincere self written vows I’ve ever heard.  It was so refreshing to witness two people vowing themselves to one another with such honest words.. I’m so glad I was a part of witnessing that love!

Janie + Marhsall not only had the most sincere vows I’ve ever heard but they incorporated some of the most unique elements into their day as well. From the location of there ceremony under a gazebo at the end of a nature walk in Camden NC (same place I photographed their Elizabeth City NC Engagement Session! And while you’re at it, check out Janie’s Virginia Beach Bridal Session that ends with a swim in the ocean!) to their sun and moon wedding rings custom made by Paul Michael Design, to the books Janie had lining the walkway to their ceremony sharing hers and Marshall’s life and love stories, to both their Grandmothers taking the roll of Flower Ladies (instead of flower girls!) and so many other sweet elements in between!  The day was all. about. them.

I’m happy to share with you a little taste into Janie + Marshall’s beautiful wedding day!:














































Eastern NC Wedding Photographers: Melissa Stallings and Jerry

Custom Wedding Rings: Paul Michael Designs

Bouquets and Boutonnieres: Jeffrey’s Florist, Elizabeth City

Hair and Makeup: Kitty Lahart of Rock Paper Scissors Salon, Elizabeth City, NC

Caterer: Montero’s of Elizabeth City

Dress Shop: David’s Bridal

Singers, Jordan Winborne of “Upstart Gentlemen” and Mindy Cunningham of “Fourth and Twenty

Decor: DIY and Friends and Family

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Meet the new Mrs. Mann!  Joanna and her hubby, Eddie were such a blessing to work with this year!  Their Manteo Wedding was just to die for, and we had so much fun frolicking together one afternoon this summer for her Bridal Portraits.  I love Joanna’s relaxed, elegant spirit!  Eddie is one lucky guy :)








 Outer Banks NC Wedding Photographers

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November 5, 2014 - I’m so thrilled to be able to announce that my home on the internet just got a complete remodel, created by the amazing Samantha at Point of Vue Design.  This has been a long project in the making! Because of her ridiculously amazing talent, when I booked in January of this year I was given a start date of August because that’s how booked she was…  The suspense all year has been killing me! But finally, here we are… and I’m in love!

Samantha hit the nail on the head with everything I wanted.  Simple.  Easy to navigate.  Simple to navigate.  And my biggest wish was for folks to be immediately presented with a storyboard of images as soon as they hit the front page… you don’t have to click anything to see a full representation of the style of my photography in the blog roll when you hit my home page.  It’s exactly what I had envisioned!

The light and airy look and feel of the brand refresh is magical.  She hand-drew my pretty new logo and made the super sweet flower to finish it off.  The colors are dreamy!

So now on to my big announcement.. you ready for it!?

2014 has been a life changing year for me.     I fell in love with a man who loves me in return like I never knew I could be loved.  I never knew what it was like to feel like I was created so perfectly… that even my biggest flaws were intentionally created.. perfectly.. for someone who would love them all.

I never knew that feeling until I fell in love with Jerry.

Jerry and I had a year full of emotion..  Incredibly lovey-dovey emotion as we got to know each other’s souls in and out!!! That kind of ewy-gooey love you haven’t felt since high school when you thought there just weren’t enough minutes in the day to account for all the time you wanted to spend together!

And this year Jerry and I also felt the worst kind of emotion.  Raw, debilitating sadness as we said goodbye to his two children 6 weeks apart as they lost their battle with Batten’s disease.

It’s been the best and worst year, all wrapped up in one.

But through the pain of the experiences of this year, Jerry and I grew even more inseparable.  Even past that ushy-gushy kind of ‘inseparable’ from high school, and into a type of ‘inseparable’ in way that we knew we needed each other.  That we relied on each other and needed the strength of the other to get through each day.

Last month, Jerry decided that he wanted to solidify that inseparable-ness and he asked me to marry him!

We’re Engaged!!!

So there it is!!  I’m going to be Melissa Mimlitsch in spring of 2015!  I’m so honored to be loved by him every day and to be strengthened by his faith in God’s ultimate plan and inspired by his strong character as he continues living and loving life through all it’s obstacles.

So I know a lot of you are like, “Duh.. I knew that.. OLD NEWS!!”  Because I sort of made a Pinterest board after he proposed that I later found out alerted many of my Pinterest followers that I was planning a wedding.. OOPS.

But maybe the PART II of my big announcement that you didn’t know is that Jerry has been second shooting with me all of 2014 and he LOVES it.  and he ROCKS at it.  Not even kidding.  That boy is sexy AND he can shoot!  How bout that for a husband!?

Jerry and I are (going to be) officially a Hubby and Wifey Wedding Shooting team!  YAYY!!!!

I know you’re all like “hold up.  Didn’t you JUST finish a brand refresh with a last name that you’re not going to have in 6 months?”

I KNOW, RIGHT!?!  But that’s the thing about love.. and life.. when you book something in January, you have no idea what August will bring :-)  And when I booked my refresh in January, I totally did not know I’d be engaged a month after finishing the project!  But Jerry and I reached that threshold in our relationship this year… you know the one I’m talking about.. the “when you know, you know.” one..  and we know that it’s time to make this life together official.. brand new logo refresh or not.

So now I’ve got to start brainstorming ANOTHER new refresh for a year or so from now with a new name! But I’m going to live with this beautifully designed Melissa Stallings Photography while I research my next moves on a business name change over the next year or two.. whew, that’s a BIG project.

We want to celebrate our engagement with some gifts for a bride.. or 3!


Jerry and I want to give a huge 15% off the total wedding package price to the first bride who books her 2015 wedding with us after this launch!


You guys.. That’s $450 off $3000! That’s pretty sweet if you ask me!

“Booking” means contract signed and deposit made so if you are interested in nabbing this offer, contact me immediately to check out prices and I’ll email you over a paypal invoice for the deposit along with an electronic contract to sign!


We also want to give away one FREE Wedding Album (10×10, 40 page album!) to the next 2015 bride who books after the 15% off offer has been used!


And THEN, we want to give away one FREE Engagement or Bridal Session to the third 2015 bride who books after the above gifts have been claimed!


In order to qualify for the gifts be sure to tell me in your email or phone call that you saw this brand spankin’ new website of mine and that Sam at Point of Vue Design is so crazy talented and did a fabulous job!

And now, since no blog post is complete without a photograph.. here’s my gorgeous ring!!! It’s a Montana Sapphire.. so natural and unique and beautiful.. just like our love…

(I know… We are total SAPS! We don’t deny it!!)

Eastern NC Wedding Photographers

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  • November 5, 2014 - 3:28 pm

    Chelsea Brown - Congrats Melissa! What a beautiful site and what wonderful news of your engagement! I know you guys have had a rough time lately, but I see God working in your lives and pray that you reap a big harvest in the coming year as you grow together in your business, marriage, and towards God!! Much love!


November 4, 2014 - Joanna and Eddie.. where to begin!? I had an inkling from the time I first spoke with Joanna that her wedding was going to be pretty incredible.  I didn’t know right away that it would be one of the most exquisitely detailed events I’ve ever photographed, but I knew immediately that it was going to be spectacular in some way.. because Joanna was spectacular!

The day began with Eddie and the guys getting ready at the local Reynolds Barber shop in downtown Manteo.  Classic.  And when it was time for the guys to arrive to the ceremony at Eddie’s Grandmother’s home in Manteo, they arrived by boat.. Classic..    Joanna’s color pallet of Ivory’s, gold, and navy blue, accented with lace, rustic woods and distressed paint was enough to send me to heaven!  They sent me to heaven again after the ceremony when we took a boat ride together for our bride and groom portraits in downtown Manteo.  Officially my favorite bride and groom photos of all time!  What a unique and personal touch on making their wedding day a refection of them.

Joanna topped the night off when she changed into her gold sequined Badgley Mischka reception dress to light up the dance floor.  She looked like a movie star!

I’m so honored to know this couple and to have been a part of celebrating with them.  They were such a Joy to work with and I’m thankful to have gained a new friend through my experience with them!  Happiest of Blessings to Mr. & Mrs. Mann!





Outer Banks NC Wedding Photographers – Melissa Stallings & Jerry

Event Planner: William Casper, Casper Events

Flower bouquets: Flower Girls OBX

Corsages, Boutonnieres, Table Flowers and Decor: Amy Hinnant of Just a Little Something by Amy along with friends and family

Hair: Katelyn Sexton Hoggard of Oasis Day Spa and Salon

Cake: Allison Phelps of VanillaBean BakeShoppe

Catering: Tom Thumb Cookouts

Rentals: Grande Rental Station, Washington NC

Wedding Dress Shop: Maya Couture

Dress Designer: Essence of Australia 

Bridesmaids Dresses (all purchased on their own at different locations)

Tuxes purchased at Belks

Wedding Champagne Flutes: Sammy Jo Hinant of Glass of Jo

DJ: Butch Oliver of DownEast Entertainment

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September 24, 2014 ~ I’ve been holding onto Michelle’s First Landing State Park bridal photos for a couple months now just itching to share them!! We had the most fabulous day at the First Landing State Park in Virginia Beach photographing her bridal portraits.  Now that Michelle and Aaron (be sure to reminisce their fall Hertford NC Engagement session too!!) have tied the knot I can share this beauty in all her bridal gorgeousness :-)  I LOVE how much flow and movement her dress has! Just look at those twirls… you go girl ;-)














 First Landing State Park Virginia Beach Bridal Photos

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I was so disappointed when Janie’s bridal session got rained out a month before her wedding… and then when our rescheduled date 2 weeks before her wedding got rained out AGAIN, I was SO super bummed..  But all bummy feelings went out the door when our post-wedding bridal session date arrived and THIS happened.  Folks, it was so awesome shooting Janie’s bridals after her wedding because we didn’t have to be so dog-on careful with the dress!  We could do stuff like climb trees and go swimming it it… literally!!  Janie was absolutely fearless in her bridal portraits and took every advantage in the book of having to do her portraits after the big day.  This chick ROCKS!

We photographed at First Landing State Park in Virginia Beach Virginia on the most beautiful day EVER. I mean, just look how that light flows through those Live Oaks!!  What a beautiful location!

Stay tuned for Janie + Marshalls wedding blog soon!!! In the meantime definitely check out their Camden NC Engagement Session :-D




























 First Landing State Park Virginia Beach Bridal Photos

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I LOVE when a couple chooses a location or theme to their engagement session that reflects them to a tee…  Like how Ashley and Derek wanted to incorporate a little fishing in their session since they were fishing when Derek preposed!!  So sweet!!  They chose the Bodie Island Light house at the Outer Banks of NC for the location of their session and we ended the evening by going across to the Ocean for some fun on the sand.  Mollie Gregory of Glimmer Hair and Makeup of the Outer Banks did a stunning job of getting Ashley  all dolled up for our shoot and I could not be more tickled with the striped maxi Ashley chose… I mean, how rockin’ does it look next to the Bodie lighthouse!?!

I had so much fun with this couple from start to finish and I’m SO excited about their May 16 wedding next year!! Stay tuned!

























Outer Banks NC Engagement Photos



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This navy, pink and gold wedding had my jaw on the ground from the moment I arrived! From the bridesmaids wearing sweet dresses from Target and cowgirl boots, to the coolest sign to use in a ring photo, ever,  to the stunning ceremony and reception decor curated by the amazing (did I say AMAZING?!) ladies over at Celebrations of EC, to Katie’s killer veil (I mean… that veil, though!!), all the way to their dramatic exit that has become my all-time favorite exit photo.. EVER.. (it’s the black and white one, at the end!)  This Elizabeth City NC Backyard Farm Wedding has taken its’s seat as one of my most favorite weddings I’ve had the privilege of documenting….. Ever….

My fabulous friend Katie of Katie Myrick Photography second shot this wedding with me and I’m thrilled to have had her talent assisting me behind the lens on June 28th, 2014.  Thanks so much, girl!

And biggest congrats to Katie and Brandon!  Thank you for trusting me to document this incredibly beautiful day for you!


















































































Assistant Photographer – Katie Myrick Photography

Florals and Design – Celebrations, of Elizabeth City

Bridal Gown – Inspired Bride, of Williamsburg

Bridesmaids Dresses – Target!

Groomsmen Attire – Lousa’s Bridal

DJ – Outerbanks 2000

Melissa Stallings (that’s me!) is an Elizabeth City NC Wedding Photographer serving all of the Outer Banks, Eastern NC and Virgina Beach areas.

Shoot me an email, I’d love to hear from you!


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