Replicating Awesome

With a background in education and teacher development, I get pretty pumped every time we get to partner with cool organizations to feature incredible teachers and schools.  (See our work with CarolinaCAN, KIPP ENCOxford Prep, Maureen Joy Charter School to see what I’m talking about.)

So this year, right at the start of the school year, we partnered with several organizations and lots of teachers across the state of North Carolina to create these videos.  We know that standardized testing is controversial.  We know that lots of people have lots of different opinions about how often we should use them, what the tests should look like, and how to best hold teachers and students accountable throughout the year.  But we also know that teachers individually don’t have a lot of control over these big political questions on the day to day, but are still responsible for creating positive classroom cultures where expectations are high and students are always learning.

So in this collection of videos we chose to focus less on the big picture and more on the individual teachers doing awesome things amidst this controversial testing climate.  What are they doing on the day-to-day to ensure their students success?  How do they message these tests to students, and how do they use assessments and date to have the largest impact on student success?  We’re excited to share these with you, and encourage you to share with any educators in your life!*

*And a HUGE thank you to all these educators for not only doing what they do every day for students, but for being willing to sit down with us and share some insight on their classrooms.

Khanh & Hai

Khanh & Hai 14

We love wedding traditions.  And in a time where many couples are putting their own spins on weddings, we still see many traditions present at almost every wedding we shoot.  There’s something wonderful about doing some of the same things your parents and grandparents did at their weddings, and hopefully the same things your children might do at their’s.

When Khanh & Hai first told us about the traditional Vietnamese ceremonies they would be having, we were pumped to learn more.   In their film you’ll see some things you recognize, and some you don’t, but most are traditions passed down from their families.

They started the day with an Engagement Ceremony, where Hai’s family and friends present gifts to Khanh’s family and friends.  There they see each other for the first time, pray with their families, and pay respect to their ancestors.  They then feast on tons of delicious Vietnamese food that brought by Hai’s mother all the way from Florida.  Brad and I loved learning what everything was, and Brad especially liked trying a little bit of everything :)

They then went to St. Michael’s Catholic Church for a traditional Catholic wedding ceremony, where Hai sees Khan in her wedding dress for the first time.  After that they headed to the NC Museum of Art for a perfect reception to finish the day.  We hope you enjoy watching this as much as we enjoyed being a part of it!


Dream Team

Wedding Planner: Morgan Greer of the NC Museum of Artgoo

Hair Stylist: Liz Perniciaro of Wedding Hair by Liz

Makeup: Julie Robbins

Dress: Aire Barcelona

Photographer: Richard Barlow (a Big Dog Little Bed favorite :)

Cake: Jennifer Stevens of Ambrosia Cake Creations

Catering: Iris Cafe

DJ: Kevin Esprella of No Regret Productions

Did Someone Say GIVEAWAY?!?

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Who doesn’t love free stuff???  Check out all the details below, and then get started!

The Prize…

Our very first ‘Love Story’ film!  What is a ‘Love Story’ film you ask?  See below…

A FREE lifestyle photo session with our friends over at Radian Photography.  Just in time for fall and Christmas cards :)

We’re also going to throw in two ‘just for fun’ prizes  for those who earn the most points :)  Stay tuned for what they will be!

LOVE STORY FILMS. Here’s an overview, but we’re happy to figure out how this concept might work best for you :)

  • 2 hours of filming with you and your loved one (girlfriend/boyfriend, fiancee, partner, husband/wife).
  • A quick interview with each of you alone, and then an interview together.  (We can also adjust this in whatever way is most comfortable for you!)
  • Then we’ll shoot the two of you together, doing whatever it is you love best.  Being outside, playing with your pup (we heart dog lovers :), cooking, spending quality time with your little ones.  Whatever you want, and we’re happy to help you brainstorm ideas :)  We’re also happy to bring along our drone and get really creative…
  • Final product= 3-5 minute film telling your story, whatever shape that might take.  This film can be just for the two of you.  Or to share with your family.  It can be used for a Save the Date, your wedding website, or even to show on your wedding day.  The possibilities are endless, but we’re excited to see one of these bad boys come to life!


Rules of the Giveaway…

Contest ends October 14.  That gives you THREE WEEKS to rack up as many points as possible!  Each point is worth 1 entry into the raffle where we’ll pull winners on October 14 (and the whole thing will be filmed, so no chance of contest rigging here!).

How to Earn Points…

+1: ‘Like’ our Facebook Page.  Leave a comment on why you’d love to win :)

+1: ‘Like the Radian Photography Facebook Page.  Leave them a comment on why you’d love a fall photo session.

+1: Follow us on Instagram (@bigdoglittlebedproductions).  Leave us a comment letting us know you’re entering the Fall Fun Giveaway (we get new follows every day, so need to know who’s actually entering)

+1: Follow Radian Photography on Instagram (@radianphotography).  Leave a comment letting them know you’re entering the content.

+1: For each of our films you share on Facebook.  You can find them all on our Vimeo Channel, and you have three weeks to share so you don’t have to worry about bombarding your friends :)

+3: Share our Fall Fun Giveaway post on Facebook (you can find it on our page :), letting others know about the Giveaway and encouraging your friends to participate.  (We know that sharing any contest with others means that more people might enter, which is great for us and not as great for you.  So we give you triple the points for this one :)

Longwood Gardens: Careers in Horticulture

Ever considered a career in horticulture?  Yup, neither had we.  Until filming this incredible short film about why you might want to consider it.  (Don’t worry, Big Dog Little Bed isn’t going anywhere, but I will admit by the end of the shoot I was wanting to work outside every day like these guys.)

We first worked with Longwood Gardens last year, traveling up to the beautiful location outside Philadelphia, PA to film some behind-the-scenes work their team does in the world of horticulture.  While Longwood Gardens is certainly a beautiful place for people to visit, picnic and learn a bit about the incredible plants they grow there, this is definitely not the extent of what they do.  Behind the beautiful exterior is a huge team of incredibly skilled people all bringing their education and experience together to create what you see.

This year we got to return in order to feature those folks behind the scenes.  Longwood does a lot of outreach with local schools, and kids of all ages, and their goal this time was to expose students to careers in horticulture, something that is  not discussed often in schools.  We spent the day interviewing some members of the dream team, filming them in action, and of course capturing some of the beautiful scenery :)

Emily & Tyler: A Downtown Raleigh Wedding

We’ve seen the giant globe at the Museum of Natural Science many times as we drove through downtown Raleigh, but until last month we’d never been inside.  What an incredible place to celebrate a wedding!  Emily & Tyler made the most of their wedding day, start to finish, and we were so pumped to be able to capture it.  Surprise choreographed Backstreet Boys dance and all!

The Dream Team…

Ceremony Venue: Greenwood Forest Baptist Church

Reception Venue: North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences

Hair & Makeup: Crystal Godfrey

Photographer: Little White Dress Visuals (Jeffery and Christina Minnish)

Cake: Blue Moon Bakery & Cafe

Catering: Rocky Top Catering

DJ: Cole Ammons

Cory & Anna: A Bar Harbor Wedding

It’s hard to write about a wedding so close to your heart, which is often the case when trusted to capture a wedding in the family.  Cory is my little cousin (though as you will soon see, not so little anymore…) and we grew up spending some of each summer together at our family ‘Camp’ on Sebec Lake in Maine.  We first met Anna 6 (?) years ago, and loved her immediately.  Hard not to :)  So perhaps the greatest gift of this wedding season was being able to travel to Bar Harbor, shoot some pretty incredible scenery, and most importantly capture the story of Cory & Anna.  So excited to finally share with y’all!

The Dream Team…

Ceremony Venue: Ellsworth Congregational Church

Reception Venue: Atlantic Oceanside Hotel and Event Center

Photographer: Danielle Isherwood (Zi Photography)

Wedding Planner: Lauren Annaldo

Hair & Makeup: Amy’s Salon & Spa

Catering: Atlantic Oceanside Hotel & Event Center

DJ: The Music Man DJ Service

Reason #: Dos Perros

Dear Durham,

There are few restaurants in the United States that actively think about vegans.  Thank goodness you have a disproportionate number of them, including Dos Perros which features a 3-course vegan dinner every Tuesday (!!!).  Did we mention that it’s a DIFFERENT 3-course menu each week?

On top of that, their food is DE.LIC.IOUS. and friendly to vegans and meat-eaters alike.  So to get to sit down with the owner to learn a bit more, and have an excuse to grab dinner in order to film, we must admit this might be our favorite Reason # yet.

Durham, we love you more than all the guacamole and vegan cheese we consume every Tuesday night at Dos Perros (though we love those a lot too),

Your biggest fan


And last, but not least, is our third #bdlb intern: Kaity Coyle!

Kaity Coyle

Kaity is brand new to the Durham area, though not unfamiliar with North Carolina.  Originally from Chicago, and a recent graphic design graduate from Robert Morris University, she has been visiting family in the Raleigh area for much of her life.  Durham, however, she has less exposure to so we are more than excited to have her working on all of our Reason # videos, and learning exactly what it is we love so much about this area.  (Have you seen her Reason #… Durham Bulls edit featured over on the Clarion Content last week?  If not, go there now.)

Kaity has been involved in photography most of her life, even learning to develop her own pictures in her grandfather’s dark room in the backyard.  Now she’s venturing over to the world of video, and we couldn’t be more excited to have her here at Big Dog Little Bed.

Fun Fact: Kaity is also an avid lacrosse player and coach, and her college team won the NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP her senior year of college.  So we pretty much have celebrities working here now.  #justsaying

P.P.S. Kaity has just decided to adopt a dog of her own.  Have any rescue organizations you’d recommend?  Send ’em our way!