Merry Christmas from Blue Bear Portraits!

This year, we have our CLASSIC Christmas and MODERN Christmas scenes. We've made a few adjustments to our classic scene and I LOVE IT this year!!! Dress your little ones in their Christmas best for an adorable portrait you'll treasure! For our modern scene, we suggest colorful, playful Christmas clothes or even cuddly Christmas pajamas! Check out our AMAZING Christmas Specials!!! You are going to LOVE these! We are super excited to photograph your little ones all decked out for the holidays! :)

Christmas Portraits at Blue Bear

We hope everyone is having a Safe and Happy Thanksgiving! Our Christmas Specials at Blue Bear start tomorrow (Black Friday). Check out the amazing deals we created for you to SAVE Money & Get BETTER Photos (not to mention check a few names off your list)! The studio is decorated and we are super excited about photographing everyone's Christmas Portraits!!!

Please come downtown tomorrow and support our local businesses. Our Downtown Light Up the Season Celebration is 4 PM at Bear Plaza. Santa will ride into town on a horse-drawn carriage to greet everyone! You definitely want to bring your kids out for this!!! For more info click here. We can't wait to see all the children's excited faces. While you are nearby, please stop in Blue Bear Portraits, see our Christmas scenes for this year, and pick up our specials and pricing guide. You will be thrilled with the money you can save on your Christmas portraits (and the ease of coming to a family run business versus a corporate studio).

See you all soon!!! Enjoy this wonderful holiday season!

Brandy, John, Caroline & Mia

It's TIME to GIVE Back!!!

For many of us, Hurricane Irene is over. Once our electricity was restored, schools opened back up, we went to work and life returned to normal.

In Pamlico County, one of, if not the hardest hit area, there are many who lost everything, including their homes, during the hurricane. For them, life has not returned to normal, and may not for a long, long time. I strongly feel that we need to help our neighbors!

To help our neighbors get the items they need the most, we are offering a 10 minute Blue Bear Portraits mini-session and disc with your 2 best images to all who bring a donation! PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE pitch in and help out!!! Come by our downtown New Bern studio at 228 Middle Street with your donation next Monday, September 12 - Thursday, September 15 between 10 AM and 6 PM. We will photograph you and provide you with a printable disc of your top two photos on the spot, no appointments necessary! There will be no sale session following your photo session, you will simply receive the disc so you can print your portraits yourself! This is a wonderful way to receive amazing portraits and help out those in need! Items to bring by for your donation are listed below.

Please bring only new items or be sure your used appliances and beds are clean and in perfect working condition! Here are some of the items needed most:

*mattresses (even air mattresses)
*small appliances (microwaves, stoves, refrigerators, coffee makers, anything so people can cook for themselves)
non-perishable food items (please bring several)
toiletries, all types (please bring several)

THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR HELPING OUT!!! For more information on how you can volunteer call Bayboro Baptist Church at 252-745-4106.

"Never worry about numbers. Help one person at a time and always start with the person nearest you." --Mother Teresa

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The famed "FIRST LOOK" :)

I heard about "first look" photographs several years ago, but it wasn't until I attended a wedding photography class this year that I became intrigued with them. For the past few years, John and I have been running into the same problem with many of our weddings... lack of time to photograph everything the bride and her mother (and we) want. We pride ourselves in being quick with the posed family portraits after the ceremony, typically 30 minutes maximum. However, that simply is not enough time to get the AMAZING, BEAUTIFUL, and CREATIVE portraits we would like to capture of the bride and groom. It is only enough time to capture the family portraits, wedding party and a few quick shots of the bride and groom in the end, time permitting. We could take more time (many photographers use a full hour of reception time), but we feel like the newly weds should attend as much of their reception as possible. Most of our brides actually want it this way and are perfectly happy with only a few portraits of them with their new groom. I feel that this is a great disservice though, and am just dying to find a bride willing to do a "first look". So if you too are intrigued, keep reading!

Your wedding day is all about you (not in a bridezilla way, but in a memorable, romantic way)! So, why not make yourselves a priority in the photography? Repeat after me, "we're number one, we're number one!"

Reasons to do it:

  1. Instead of being in a packed room for the first look, the bride and groom get to share an intimate moment with each other in a secluded setting. She can sneak out behind him, tap him on the shoulder and see his reaction to "the first look" up close and personal. When the first look occurs as you walk down the isle, you can't hug or kiss your groom when you reach him. You have to try to sneak glances and suppress all that giddiness as you stare at the priest.
  2. Ten minutes alone! After all it is your day and throughout the whole wedding this will be the only time you get to spend alone together. After we photograph the first look (from a distance), we will leave you all alone to connect emotionally, really talk to each other and savor the moment.
  3. More time to take intimate, beautiful photographs of the bride and groom on their day! After ceremony portraits are rushed with all of the obligatory family portraits. We have found that most brides sacrifice portraits of them alone with their groom in an effort to please the family and still get to their reception in a timely manner.
  4. The bride and groom CAN attend their cocktail hour! Who knew? If we photograph your first look pre-ceremony as well as your wedding party, we only have family portraits left post-ceremony. We can photography all of your required family portraits in 30 minutes or less! Get ready to mingle and relax!
  5. Nix those nerves! Most brides and grooms are really nervous with all of the pressure of seeing each other for the "first time" at the ceremony in front of all their friends and family. Having some personal time before the ceremony to see enjoy and reassure each other will calm even the worst nerves.

Reasons not to do it:
  1. The tradition of walking toward your groom in a room full of family and friends.
  2. Your guests will not see your first look. Chances are good that you might cry when walking down the aisle and seeing each other for the first time (…resulting in, you guessed it: the ugly cry).
To see what brides on The Knot forum have to say, click HERE! Please comment below and let me know what YOU think!

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Meresa & Matthew XOXO

I would LOVE to say these are my (or even our) images of Matthew and Meresa, but they are John's alone. Unfortunately I was unable to go to this engagement session and meet this amazing couple. Once I saw the images, I was so jealous! Just from their portraits, I can tell I would have really enjoyed meeting and photographing such a fun and loving couple!

John, Matthew and Meresa met at our new location on Middle Street and photographed all around downtown New Bern. They decided to go in the "Pepsi Store", better know as the birthplace of Pepsi Cola and share a fountain pepsi. John mentioned that they both commented that it was the best pepsi they had ever had (and how could it not be?)!

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Laura & Kory

We had the pleasure of photographing Laura & Kory a few weeks ago! Laura was working for The Hilton in New Bern at the time, so we had previously worked together to cross-promote for weddings. (Side note: for brides still searching for a venue, check out Ashley & Stephen's Wedding post to see The Hilton, New Bern) Like every groom-to-be, Kory was not thrilled about a portrait session, but we quickly turned that around and all had fun together!

Photography as ART!

John and I have discussed on numerous occasions why it is that photography, especially portrait photography, is barely (if at all) recognized as art. For me, photography is my art form; it is how I express my views of the world. Whether I am photographing a scenic landscape, abstract images, or portraits, I use photography to convey my thoughts on the subject. How the subject is captured can completely change the mood of the image. If you too, love photography as art and want to learn more, John will be teaching photography classes later this summer in our downtown New Bern studio (more on this to come).

A portrait of a days-old newborn peacefully sleeping can most definitely classify as art and be framed and hung in a prominent location in one's home. Why is it, that most people I come in contact with would prefer to hang impersonal, mass-produced pieces on their home walls as opposed to custom, personal photographic art? I think of portrait art as "art with meaning." I've also noticed a preference of purchasing more traditional posed portraits out of a feeling of obligation (to what or whom I don't know) while all the fun, original portraits are the favorites. Why not choose your favorites for the wall? I may never understand, but I will continue to create artistic photographs and portraits nonetheless and hope that one day they too will be classified as art.

I'd like to recognize Alfred Stieglitz for his photographic work and struggle to have photography recognized as art, before many of us were even born. He is one of the greats! Check out a quick bio here:

See the Difference.

I was so excited to find this video online! It discusses some of the reasons why it is so important to hire a professional photographer for your wedding. So many brides try to cut their budgets by hiring a family member or friend to photograph without realizing that the photographs will be the only tangible part of their wedding left after that day. A professional photographer is the only photographer you will find with the skills necessary to capture every moment of your special day beautifully and preserve those priceless photos forever. The link,, also has a lot of helpful information for you such as questions to ask the photographers you interview and what to look for in a professional photographer. I hope this helps those of you still searching. ...and if you are still searching, give John a call at 633-3755 to discuss your wedding photography! He will answer all of your questions and concerns and provide a custom quote. HAPPY WEDDING PLANNING!

Blue Bear 2011 Special Event Calendar!

We have some fantastic special events for Blue Bear throughout the coming year! We are excited to start photographing your little one(s) with our many new scenes and props (not cheesy, think a nice mix of modern and vintage)! See you soon!!!

Finally Downtown!

When we opened our location on Glenburnie, four years ago, we wanted to be be downtown! Now we finally are!!! Please come see us anytime you are in the area: 228 Middle Street. We are so, so, so HAPPY with our new location and can't wait to see you here!

The portrait was taken by our good friends Julie and Kendra at Elizabeth Kay Photography!

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What is Blue Bear?

Blue Bear Portraits is a division of Portraits by Angelo. It is founded on the idea that EVERYONE should have access to unique, high quality, affordable portrait photography. Our goal is to provide families a local alternative to corporate portrait studios. We offer outstanding studio photography of newborns, babies, children and families.

So... you may be thinking "Why would I choose Blue Bear Portraits?"
Here's Why!

  • Authentic PROFESSIONAL Photographers. We hold degrees in photography and are members of Professional Photographers of America & Professional Photographers of North Carolina.
  • We offer Fun, CREATIVE, and Fast Sessions!
  • Same Day Viewing & Purchasing!
  • Your child will be more comfortable always coming to the same photographer, so you will get BETTER portraits.
  • Receive your order FAST, within 4 business days.
  • High-QUALITY Photography!
  • Personal One-on-One Service.
  • A child-safe, FRIENDLY and peaceful studio. We are a family-run business.
  • Your own appointment time... you will NEVER have to wait!
  • Completely Customizable Packages!
  • We CARE about your and preserving your family memories!
  • Portrait Packages starting at only $20!
  • 100% No-Hassle, No Nonsense, ALL Your Money Back Guarantee! We are VERY Proud of our track record!
Your First Session is On Us! Try us out, no purchase necessary, no hassles!

Mention you saw this post and RECEIVE ONE FREE SESSION and ONE FREE UNIT (A $35 Value!) CALL 633-3755 TODAY to Schedule Your Free Session!

Stay in touch via our blog, facebook or both! We will have some AWESOME specials throughout the year, limited edition scenes as well as holiday scenes! Coming up soon... Ties & Tutu's (your little one will look adorable in Dad's tie or a pretty tutu on our unique scene). Also coming soon... Easter Portraits! More details to be posted later.

We are so excited about Blue Bear!!! I just can't tell you how excited we are to finally be able to provide fast and affordable portraits to New Bern and surrounding areas! We know parents have wanted this for a long time and are just beyond thrilled to be able to provide it to you! We can't wait to see you!

Morgan {hearts} Jason

We had a wonderful time with Morgan and Jason at their November wedding! Morgan was so calm and collected, no stress at all (we love a chill bride)! They were married at Centenary United Methodist Church on Middle St. in New Bern and had they reception at The Chelsea. The upstairs reception area was decorated with fall flowers and dried fall leaves; very simple and beautiful!

If any brides are looking for a reception site or caterer, please check out The Chelsea... seriously you cannot go wrong!

NC Aquarium at Pine Knoll Shores Wedding!

We have had so many inquiries lately about wedding photography at the NC Aquarium at Pine Knoll Shores ( so... I created a short video to show an aquarium wedding from last year. If you have been looking around for a photographer for your aquarium wedding, you have probably noticed that most of the photos you see have bright foregrounds with dark or dingy backgrounds. What sets us apart is that John (I would say "we" but it would be a total lie) lights the whole area with strobes. This provides an even, flattering light in both the foreground and background of your photographs. If you have any questions, feel free to comment and I'll do my best to answer. Happy Wedding Planning!

A Look Back at 2010: Jennifer & Oz!

Jennifer & Oz are such a great couple! They were referred to us by their close friends, whose wedding we photographed a few years ago. We photographed their engagement, Jennifer's bridal and their wedding! It is so wonderful to have the chance to really get to know a couple at their engagement session and then feel like old friends at their wedding. Keep checking back on our blog; I'll be posting a few more weddings, bridals and engagement sessions to look back on from last year!

On a different note, CONGRATULATIONS to all the brides we met at The Wedding Show in Raleigh and the Crystal Coast Wedding Salon in Atlantic Beach! Planning a wedding is such a huge undertaking. We wish you all the best for your upcoming weddings and would love to be of service to you any way we can. I'll be doing several posts looking back on our favorite moments of 2010! To find more engagement, bridal portraits or weddings, check our blog labels.

You can find our work on our website at
Our blog (here of course),
Facebook at
and our You Tube at

You can call us at 252-633-3755 or email us at Our email at is on the fritz, so please use the earthlink account for any inquiries!

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