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Mo + Jo | Wedding | Marietta

A winter wedding in Marietta, Georgia is usually lacking in the wintry aspects. Georgia can have a few cold winter weeks, and sporadic ice, but it’s equally interspersed with short-sleeves and sunshine. As Moriah and Josiah’s January day drew closer, the forecast became increasingly ominous, in spite of temperatures hovering near 70 the entire week before the event. Very few words can incite the terror, panic, thrill and excitement like “snow” in Atlanta. While the rest of the country chuckles, most Atlantans take it rather seriously since thousands of motorists were stranded on the interstates in January of 2014. The fear of running out of french toast and freezing to death without flashlight batteries or water sends Georgians to the grocery in droves. When most of the state was at the grocery store, I drove to Atlanta in the rain during Friday rush-hour traffic with the best second-shooter ever, a minivan full of camera gear, waterproof boots, and hoards of snacks. No milk and bread for me- beef jerkey, goat cheese, crackers, and chocolate are what I consider survival foods. We were uncertain, but we were prepared and excited.

Friday night before Mo + Jo’s big day, hunkered down at a hotel two miles from the church, I consistently flipped from the TV weather forecast, to the window, and through multiple weather apps and blogs like a rolodex.

Snow began to fall. Ice began to form. And there was nothing to do but wait, hope, wonder, and wait some more.

Saturday morning at 6 AM, we awoke to a minimal amount of snow, plenty of ice, and temperatures around 10 degrees. The sun was shining and the wedding would go on with a few schedule changes. After donning copious layers of socks and leggings, walking to Waffle House, photo schedule shuffling, car scraping, and slow driving, we loved photographing every chilly moment of Moriah and Josiah’s beautifully magical winter day in Marietta.

The Whitlock Inn was stately and a beautiful backdrop for photos. I was thrilled that Moriah & Josiah decided to do a First Look on the lovely staircase of the Inn; you can feel the difference in the photographs.

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Wedding Details:

Ceremony: Community Bible Church
Reception: The Whitlock Inn
Wedding Coordinator: Betty Ann Horne
Florist: Deborah Parker
DJ: Rivet Events – Joshua Whitehead
Catering & Cake: Carriage House Catering
Bride’s and Bridesmaids Dresses: David’s Bridal
Groomsmen Attire: Men’s Warehouse

I cannot say enough about The Whitlock Inn- their dedication to providing a safe, beautiful location during icy conditions was impressive. They truly went above and beyond during less than ideal weather.

Thank you Moriah & Josiah for sharing your beautiful wintry day with us. It was an adventurous weekend, and I was thrilled to be a part of the fun.

September Trip to Orange Beach

The 3.5 children and I took our annual trip to Orange Beach at the beginning of September. It wasn’t exactly a vacation, and perhaps traveling as the solo parent while pregnant was a little bit ambitious. All four of us got sick while we were there (ear infections and bad coughs), and I barely slept at all between the three sick little ones waking me up. I missed David’s help at bedtime, and at 5:30 AM when the little ones start to stir. But after having a few weeks to recoup and actually sleep more than 2 hours without disturbance, I am feeling more grateful for our time together. Most importantly, Dmitri, Damon, and Eleanor loved the beach. The sand, the ocean, the pool, going on adventures, seeing family- they loved all of it. And I know they hold tight to those memories. At the end of it all, Damon said, “Mama, you are the best mom ever because you took us to the beach.” For that, I am thankful. It was a lovely, albeit exhausting, way to celebrate the end of summer, and now we are fully embracing fall.

And maybe one day my idea of a beach vacation will happen, and I will be sad and missing these busy little ones!

A note about being a photographer and a parent at the same time: I have a little rule about traveling with my camera – I generally choose one day to bring the camera with me. I get the photos that I want to document our trip. And then I enjoy being present, hands-free and able to experience life with my arms wide-open with my three favorites, and the camera stays in the bag the rest of the time. I’ve done this on several trips, and it has worked really well. For shorter day trips and outings, I set a time limit on how long I will take photos, and then I put the camera away. I never want my family to feel like I am too busy being a photographer to be a parent. And that means, for me and my family, having boundaries. We are all much happier for it.

The photo of me is my first pregnancy photo with baby # 4. You know it’s your fourth baby when you wait until 21 weeks to actually get a photo. Baby bump continues to grow, and I’m feeling pretty pregnant these days. I am excited about meeting this baby! Less than four months to go!

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Summer’s End

Summer is winding down, and while the warm temperatures will stay for a while longer, my mind is shifting to the changing season. I have loved the sunshine and all of the water play with my water babies. Summertime is a laid-back kind of busy for me-the days are full, but fun. I enjoy the freedom of going here and there, playing with friends, and ignoring the to-do list a bit. But after a while, I need a more steady pace, a routine,  a rhythm. I feel tired, and a little out of control. It’s time for a new schedule, for starting the homeschool year with my kindergartner (!) and for fall weddings and family photo sessions!

I wanted to get a few recent photos of my own three little ones, specifically to capture my newly five year old before the start of school year. My three littles are not especially cooperative when it comes to being photographed and it’s a bit of challenge to play the role of parent and photographer simultaneously. But nonetheless, I think this session really captures Dmitri, Damon, and Eleanor and their respective personalities. And we had fun. At the very least, peanut butter cup cookies were involved.

A photographer’s note: I shot this entire session with my 85 mm f/1.4, which was new for me. I usually shoot children with my 50 mm f/1.4. I challenged myself to try something new, and I really love the results. I think I’ll be doing this more!

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Molly & Nick | 6.20.14 |Married

Molly & Nick got married at the State Botanical Gardens of Georgia in Athens with a lovely, locally-inspired wedding. Their day consisted of their favorite things and people they loved; I don’t think anyone could ask for a more perfect wedding day. Molly & Nick did a “first look” before the wedding ceremony, which is a special time to connect and let off a little steam (not to mention, a wonderful photo opportunity). But a unique touch that Molly added was to do a “first look” with her dad before going to see Nick. Molly’s mom gave her the bouquet at this time as well, which is a special tradition of Moonflower Designs.

Oh, and those donuts? I have been dreaming of them ever since. I will be driving to Decatur just to get one.

A beautiful couple, a gorgeous day, filled with special, meaningful moments- I am thankful for the privilege of being their photographer and sharing it with them.

Wedding Venue: State Botanical Gardens of Georgia Day Chapel and Reception Hall
Flowers: Moonflower Designs (a florist who specializes in locally grown flowers)
Catering: Home.Made
Cake: Cecilia’s
Donuts: Revolution Doughnuts
Band: Grassland String Band

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Graydon | Newborn

I had a relaxed, lifestyle session with baby Graydon and his lovely family. I loved the little interactions between Graydon and his proud, big brother, Birch. There is just something about brothers that pulls at my heart. I think Graydon and Birch are going to be buddies, and it reminded me a lot of my own two boys who are the best of friends now at 3 and (almost) 5.

This session really exemplifies what a lifestyle newborn session is about – photographing a family and capturing their life, beautifully, but also keeping it real. I love photographing all of the little awkward faces and poses that newborns assume on their own, the rambunctious toddler who wants to finish his work in the sandbox, and all of the love that is wrapped up in the simple moments. There is a place for photography studios, poses and props, but what really moves me and what I am passionate about is this right here:

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