You guys. When I say i'm obsessed with the vibe of these photos, I mean I'm obsessed! Kristi and Billy traveled from south Georgia to do their engagement session right outside of Atlanta, in a town to the west of the city. Excitedly, they agreed to a sunrise session. This time of day is my absolute favorite for portraits and you'll soon understand why.
Kristi and Billy met in July of 2013 through mutual friends. At that time they were both interested in other people and as time went on, they became pretty fond of one another. By September of 2013, they were officially a couple.
It's no doubt these two are head over heels for one another...
Billy starting falling for Kristi when he saw just how big her heart was, how much she cared for others and went out of her way to put everyone's needs above her own. But the key to his heart was watching her laugh... at her own jokes, even when no one else thought what she said was funny. Seriously!? Storybook romance over here!!!!
For Kristi, it was the way he kept making her laugh that swept her off her feet. Their mutual respect for humor drew them closer as friends and as a couple. The way he continues to encourage her to chase after whatever she wishes to do in this life is one thing she loves most about Billy.
Although they reside in south Georgia, the heart of this fun-loving couple lives in Florida, a place they frequent for scuba diving adventures. They love finding cute shacks on the beach to share a meal before heading off to spend the evening with their family that lives nearby.
Billy proposed to Kristi in a way that meant so much to her. Being the animal lover that she is, he enlisted the help of their dogs, Benelli and Layla.
It was a Friday evening and Kristi had gone to meet a friend to get their nails done after work. On her way home, she and Billy chatted on the phone about their day and ended up staying on the phone until she pulled into the driveway. When she walked into their home, she was greeted by their two adorable pups, Benelli and Layla, which is Kristi's favorite greeting in the world. When she knelt to greet them, she noticed a piece of paper that was rolled up, hanging from Benelli's collar. Confused, she slowly unrolled the paper. When she realized it said, "Mom, will you marry Dad?", she lowered the note to see Billy on one knee.
She doesn't remember much after that, other than glimpses of saying "yes!" and watching him slide the ring onto her finger. It was like a dream.
Thank you, Kristi and Billy, for sharing your sweet story of love with me! I am so excited to be photographing your wedding this fall!!! To see more from Kristi and Billy's engagement session, click here!
Silas is the youngest son of our best friends, Lauren and Grant Mickle. Recently Silas celebrated his first birthday and we were excited to capture some fun, sweet moments with him and his older brother, Jack Henry.
Silas Mickle, although young, has started a list of his favorite things. One of his current favorite things is unplugging any and everything. That one keeps his parents on their toes. Silas, like most of us, loves to eat. His parents, Lauren and Grant, say, "he can out eat us all and he has the thighs to prove it!"
In his spare time, Silas enjoys unloading the dishwasher and emptying every cabinet.
And because Silas loves music, you can bet that if there's a song playing, he's dropping it like it's hot.
Silas does have a favorite song. From the Trolls movie, Whatcha Workin' With? by Gwen Stefani and Justin Timberlake is his go-to jam!
Among Silas's favorite things is his big brother Jack Henry.
"I got a little worried when JH didn't acknowledge Silas for the first 6 months. But JH still had quite a bit of growing up to do himself. One day it just clicked that this baby was here to stay. Some days they bicker back and forth, yes, even though Silas can't talk yet. 😂 But the sweetest thing is when JH asks where Silas is in the mornings and absolutely will NOT walk out the door without him." - Lauren
Silas loves his big brother and is so proud that he can walk now so he can match him step for step!
The second half of our session was filled with laughter as we watched Silas tear apart his smash cake. There was an occasional fist full of dirt mixed in with the cake, but he didn't seem to mind it.
"Although hectic, this season of our lives is one I know I will miss tremendously."
"Grant has worked tirelessly to ensure that I am able to stay home with them as to not miss any moments. The times where all 4 of us are on the floor laughing and cutting up is what I will treasure forever."
"My prayer every night is to be a littler better, for them, than I was yesterday. If I could tell my younger self anything, it would be to slow down. Be slow to anger and slow to speak. Be more patient and get down on the floor. Just PLAY! Cherish every second." - Lauren
To see more of our evening with Silas and Jack Henry, click here.
Morgan and Tanner had their wedding in early June at a beautiful spot in Sylvester, Georgia. Southern Woods Plantation was the place Morgan always said she'd get married, even as a little girl. She'd been going there with her dad all of her life. In October of 2016, Tanner asked Morgan to be his wife, right there at Southern Woods Plantation.
The morning of their wedding, Tanner and his guys went to play golf while Morgan and her girls got an early start on hair, makeup, and of course, a mimosa bar. No bridal suite is complete without a trusty mimosa bar ;)
"For most of the morning I wasn't nervous. Since me and my groomsmen went and played golf, that took my mind off the wedding. However, once we finished playing golf and sat down for lunch it was like everything hit me at once! My face turned ghost white and I couldn't sit still. All of my groomsmen were laughing at me." Tanner
"As the time got closer to walk down the aisle I actually began to calm down. I was talking to some of our guests and that seemed to settle me down. The one thing that made me so nervous was wondering if I could keep it together to say our vows! I knew that when the time came to see Morgan for the first time, I was going to lose it."
Morgan was truly a stunning bride...
It was finally time. Time for Morgan and Tanner to walk down the aisle, to see one another, to say their vows, to celebrate their love...
As I was standing there waiting I was trying my best not to break down in tears before she even walked out. When she first walked out of the house I only saw her for a split second. From where I was standing she was lined up perfectly with a pine tree so I couldn't see her. I leaned over to my dad (my best man) and said, "dad I can't see her". He whispered back, "well hold on because you're fixing to get a pretty good look".
"He definitely wasn't lying. As she began walking down into my line of sight I lost it. My lips were quivering and tears were steadily rolling down my face. She looked effortlessly beautiful. I was thinking about how lucky I was to have this amazing girl walking down the aisle to marry me. It was the best moment of my life."
There wasn't a dry eye to be found...
Immediately following the ceremony, guests made their way to the reception site where the cocktail hour was beginning!
During the cocktail hour, we jumped right into wedding party photos, family photos and finished up with photos of Morgan and Tanner as husband and wife...
To see more family photos and wedding party photos, be sure to check out the link provided at the end of the blog post! :)
As the sun was setting, Morgan, Tanner and I headed to the reception site where the newlyweds were introduced, along with the ladies and gents that made up their wedding party.
After the fun introductions, Morgan and Tanner shared their first dance as husband and wife...
Morgan and Tanner each danced with their parents, sharing some sweet, sweet moments...
Morgan's father welcomed the guests and thanked everyone for being there to celebrate with them. Morgan's younger sister said the blessing before dinner began...
And of course, what's a wedding without some cake and dancing?
Their cake was the tallest-tiered, naked cake I'd ever seen! Gorgeous flowers placed here and there, a cursive monogram topper, and OMG it smelled amazing!!!!
My night with the newly married Mr. and Mrs. Stone came to a close with the sparkler send off. A fun way to end the night!
To Morgan and Tanner, thank you for welcoming me into your lives to capture your special day! You two are the sweetest couple and I wish you nothing but love and joy as you begin this new journey in your lives! xoxo
If you're looking for more of Mr. and Mrs. Stone's wedding day photos, click here!
On June 3rd, Chase and I photographed Tanner and Morgan Stone's wedding at Southern Woods Plantation in south Georgia. Austin, age seven, was the ring bearer in their wedding. He's also the son of Morgan's older sister, Wendy.
As I was going through the photos of the day, I realized I had multiple shots of Austin that were far too cute not to share. I decided to put together a blog post dedicated to what it means to be an awesome member of a wedding party! Here are the 6 times Austin raised the bar as a ring bearer and got the "job" right.
During the time of groom and groomsmen photos, it was hot and the gnats were abundant. However, Austin made sure to keep everyone laughing and good in spirits with his happy and silly disposition.
As Morgan was coming down the aisle, Tanner's face was lit with joy, love, and happy tears. And standing right beside him was Austin. The expression on Austin's face is worth a thousand words. When I came to this photo, my heart melted!!!!! How stinkin' precious is he?!
Immediately following the ceremony, Morgan, Tanner and their wedding party walked to a secluded area for photos while the guests made their way to the cocktail hour and reception. I was reviewing a photo on my camera when I looked up and noticed Austin walking behind Morgan, carrying her dress for her. Such a little gentleman!
When Morgan took her photo with the groomsmen, we wanted to get at least one playful shot of the group. As soon as I mentioned the word "funny" this was the shot that happened... Austin and Morgan took full advantage of the situation. hehe
Each member of the wedding party was individually introduced at the reception before the bride and groom, including Austin and his sister Allie, a junior bridesmaid. When these two cuties walked onto the dance floor, Austin escorted her like a true southern gentleman.
Morgan and Tanner decided on a sparkler exit for the end of the evening. Austin made sure he was near the end of the line where they would stop for a kiss before getting in their getaway car. ;)
Of course every ring bearer brings something unique and fun to every wedding, but Austin seemed to have it all figured out that day. ;)
To Austin and Allie, you two are awesome!
To see more sneak peeks from Tanner and Morgan's wedding, make sure you are following on Facebook and Instagram by using the icons below... The full wedding blog post is coming soon!
Growing up, Logan never really dreamed of a classic fairytale wedding. All she knew was that she wanted a pretty white dress and the man she loved.
Thomas and Logan knew of each other long before they even spoke a word to each other. Growing up in the small town of Leesburg, Georgia, they had lots of mutual friends. They even rode the same bus to school when Thomas and his family moved 6 houses down from Logan and her family. But their first conversation came years later at Thomas's older brother's 21st birthday party. Having those close mutual friends, it was easy for them to break the ice. Logan was 17 and Thomas was 16. After that day, they talked non-stop on Myspace... and the rest is history!
"The morning of the wedding, I remember waking up, kissing Thomas, and telling him, 'I'll see you at the altar,' before our day got started." Logan
Logan started her morning at the salon with her mother, sister, and bridesmaids. Someone brought coffee, breakfast and of course, mimosas! As she sat in the chair getting her hair done, she kept thinking to herself, "is this real?" The fact that it was finally her wedding day hadn't hit her yet.
Logan and Thomas each spent the day with their closest friends and family as they prepared for the ceremony. Logan remembers the excitement and anticipation that built as it got closer and closer to the time she and Thomas would see one another.
Logan and Thomas decided on doing a first look before the ceremony. For them, the first look was the most nerve-racking part of the day, that was until she found out Thomas and all six groomsmen had been watching Logan take her bridal portraits from inside the clubhouse. The thought of her fiancé secretly watching as she posed for photos made her laugh and Logan instantly felt the nervousness ease. The first look was the most nerve-racking, yet memorable part of their wedding day.
"As soon as he turned around, I remember thinking, 'This is real.'" - Logan
For Logan and Thomas, it was being surrounded by their incredible family and friends that made this day so special to them.
Their ceremony was beautiful and heartfelt, officiated by Davis Thurman.
How gorgeous is she?!?! *sigh*
The sun set just behind the pond, which created a romantic mood for their photos as husband and wife.
"Our advice to any future bride or groom out there is this: Do not stress over little things. Everything will go the way it is supposed to. Enjoy everything you plan together. Do not have high expectations. Most importantly, always love each other and make beautiful memories. It will be one of the best days of your lives together." - Logan and Thomas
To Logan and Thomas, I can't thank you enough for sharing your story with me, welcoming me into your lives, and trusting me as your photographer! Can't wait to see you guys again in the future! xoxo
I love Chase and I love cake but I also love not spending more money than my budget allowed when it came to specifics that weren't our top financial priorities while wedding planning. This was the main reason we decided on having Chase's groom cake on Friday night instead of Saturday...
Chase and I recently got married on May 6, 2017 in Norcross, Ga. The evening before the big day we rehearsed at our venue and later celebrated with some of the most important people in our lives. Our rehearsal dinner was at a fun restaurant, Portico Global Cuisine in Atlanta, hosted by Chase's mom, Patty. It was one of the best nights we've had with our families and friends all together.
I learned so much while wedding planning and feel like I have a fresh perspective on them as a wedding photographer. I'm able to understand the needs of my brides and grooms better than I could before our wedding, and that's an exciting thing!
I am eager to share my experiences with you, starting with this blog post about Chase's groom's cake and why we decided on Friday and not Saturday. Keep reading to find out why it could be the right choice for you, too!
On my quest to figure out ways to save extra cash while wedding planning, I came to the realization that adding on a groom's cake to the wedding menu would cost us $500.- $1,000., depending on the design we picked. (By the way, I had no clue what wedding cakes costed until going through this process. Holy cow!!!) Being fully transparent, our actual wedding cake was $840. serving about 100 people. Adding a grooms cake on top of an $840. wedding cake would have been cray cray! (for us)
I'm happy to share this info with you because before I got engaged, I had no idea the specific costs that are involved with weddings which made planning a more stressful process for me. Of course, not every cake is going to cost the same. Some will be much more affordable and some will likely be much more expensive than ours.
We weren't required to have our wedding cakes made by the venue we got married at but if we were to bring in a cake from outside the venue, there would be a set up fee of $125. and an additional $1.25 per slice to be hand passed to our guests. That fee would be on top of the cost of the cake. As you can see, these things really start to add up.
In the midst of researching and phone calls with our venue and outside cake makers, I read an article about extra ways to save money on your wedding. One suggestion in the article was to have the wedding cake at the rehearsal dinner. Well, we weren't interested in doing the wedding cake on Friday but it sparked the idea of doing the grooms cake on Friday. We talked about it, ran the numbers, slept on it and decided that doing it this way would be an awesome and easy way to save a few hundred dollars.
On top of avoiding the additional fees we'd have to pay our venue for the grooms cake, we'd also be paying for it to serve about 3/4 of our guest list. Well, the bigger the cake, the more it costs of course. Serving it at our rehearsal dinner would only need to serve about 30 people. The way wedding cake creators tend to lay out their pricing is per slice. Therefore, if Kelly charged a base price of $3. per slice, our starting point would be $90. for the cake to serve our 30 rehearsal dinner guests. However, if the cake needed to serve our wedding guests, then our base price for the grooms cake would be $300.
Once we made our choice, Chase asked me if I would want to design his cake and keep it a secret until the weekend of the wedding. I can't turn down a good secret so I happily took on the responsibility of designing his cake!
Going with this option gave us something extra to look forward to on Friday evening. Because I had been working with Kelly on the design for months, it was exciting to finally see the end result. I appreciated having his surprise cake in a more intimate setting where I could absorb his excitement he walked into the restaurant and saw it. This decision kept us inside of our budget for the grooms cake and if we could go back and do it all again, we would not change a thing.
Married for five years, together for ten, Blake and Summer felt something was missing from their family and decided to bring life into the world. Canton Blake Stokes, due April 15, 2017. This baby boy has two incredible parents who can't wait to meet him in a just a matter of weeks.
Seriously, Summer GLOWS!!!
Is this a photo of Miranda Lambert or Summer Stokes? ;D They could be sisters, I swear! Gorgeous!
Summer and Blake found out the sex of their baby at a small gender reveal party. Blake hit a golf ball and it exploded blue! He screamed with excitement and then came the happy tears. Summer cried, Blake cried, the whole family was in tears. What a special time!
"I'm ready to watch Canton grow and mold the world as his own, to share my time with him, to teach him respect, to provide him with endless opportunities, but most of all to love him as my first born...my son." - Blake
"I'm beyond ready to experience that overwhelming feeling of love that I'll have for my child, a child that Blake and I created together and the Lord has blessed us to be the parents of, to watch him grow and see a little piece of Blake and a little piece of me in him every day." - Summer
"As a mother to be, you don't always feel attractive or sexy. However, to nurture and develop a child is one of the most extraordinary things that a woman's body can do and it should be embraced and captured. It was nice to get dressed up and have a whole set of photos that show the anticipation and love we have for our little boy already and the pure beauty of pregnancy." - Summer
Summer and Blake, thank you so much for asking me to capture this sweet time in your lives! You two are going to be amazing parents and I can not WAIT to meet Canton!!! xoxo
To see more of Summer and Blake's maternity session, click here!
When Rebecca and Zach contacted me about a portrait session at an airport, I was all in! They asked me to meet them at McCollum International Airport in Kennesaw, Georgia, where Zach had completed the last half of his flight training.
For the past year, Zach has been active in learning to fly. As pilots say, "he caught the bug" when he was age 21, during a discovery flight, while in college. Being in love with flying since childhood, Zach was motivated to begin flight training once he completed his time in the Marine Corps.
We came here to this airport to capture an exciting time for both Zach and Rebecca, as Zach completes his flight training. This accomplishment is something that means so much to the couple. Rebecca too shares a love of flying, telling me she traveled the globe twice before her first birthday! Wow!!!
This plane was the same plane Zach spent the second half of his training with. To him, it holds some sentimental value.
Rebecca grew up a missionary kid in the south pacific on a tiny island Malaita in the Solomon Islands. If you didn't travel by boat, you had to come and go by plane. Traveling internationally from the time she was 8 years old, she has many fond memories of different pilots and flight attendants she's met throughout her life. She says it was fate that brought she and Zach together three years ago. Sharing the same love of flying, it has only brought them closer together as a couple.
To Zach and Rebecca, thank you SO much for inviting me in on part of your adventure! I can't wait to see all the places you guys explore together. xoxo
To see more from Rebecca and Zach's session, click here!
At 4:52 a.m. on January 26, 2016, you were born. 30 weeks. 3 and half pounds. The moment you arrived, a team of doctors and nurses whisked you away before I could even see you. In the flurry of it all, someone called out to ask if you had a name. Daddy and I looked at each other from across the room with eyebrows raised.... we hadn't decided yet!
But almost as instantly as they’d asked, we both already knew… “His name is Nolan. It means champion.” And, oh sweetheart, ARE YOU EVER!
We remember when we rejoiced that you took 1 ounce of milk off the feeding tube; and now we almost laugh as you eat overflowing platefuls of anything and everything we cook up for you. We remember when you literally fit in the palm of daddy’s hand; now strangers ask us if you were “just as big” when you were born. 😊 We remember when our biggest milestone was “only stopped breathing once last night”; and now you clumsily run around in circles laughing all the way while we try to keep up. We remember when we were so scared to change that gigantic preemie diaper covering your way-too tiny body; and now we basically have to tag-team wrestle you to the floor as you aggressively fight back against the tyranny of a diaper change! 😂
And we remember when we thought we thought we knew how much we could love you; and now you are here… and now we realize we never had a clue. Nothing and no one but you could ever prepare us for how much or how deeply our hearts were actually capable of loving you, son. Now a piece of our hearts lives outside our own bodies, in you, and we wonder how a day ever existed without you by our side?
You truly amaze us every second of every day, sweet boy. You are our greatest gift! From the moment you arrived in this world, you have been strong and independent and determined. You seek out adventure in any way possible! You are fearless. You are full of life and energy, and look at the world with eyes that genuinely burst with soulfulness, curiosity and wonder.
This was you on the day you were born, this is you today, and, if we had to bet – this will be you for always. Because no matter where life takes you, Nolan, we’re pretty sure you’ll always be exactly who you have always been: a champion.
We are so incredibly thankful that we get to be the ones to know you, to raise you, to care for you, to teach you and to love you. We are so thankful to be the ones who feel your laughter in the depths of our souls and the ones who get to share every single day with such a remarkable little man.
I’m certain the days and years ahead will bring countless adventures, surprises, and even challenges…
But one thing is certain, your mommy and daddy will ALWAYS be right by your side, loving you more than you'll ever know, and cheering you on every single step of the way!
Happy first birthday, sweet boy!!
Mommy & Daddy
Happy first birthday, sweet boy!!
Mommy & Daddy
To Alysia, Tyler and Nolan... thank you for welcoming me into your home to capture these special moments with you, your friends and family. I'm truly grateful to know you guys and can't wait to see you again soon.
To see more photos from Nolan's party, click here!
In the beginning of our planning process, Chase and I wanted to get married on New Year's Eve. It was the day we got back together, at the end of 2013, and it was the day he proposed to me in 2015. Coincidentally, NYE fell on a Saturday in 2016. It seemed right at the time. However, after contacting venues we were interested in, we realized that not only would it cost more to have a wedding on a holiday, but logistically it would be more challenging and expensive for our family and friends who would be traveling to be there.
We decided on a May wedding. 5/6/17 to be exact. Mhm, I in fact did do that so it'd be easier to remember the date.
Since we had a long engagement, 17 months to be exact, I was able to spend time on our save-the-dates and come up with something fun to do. Keeping with the NYE celebration theme of our relationship, we thought it'd be cool to get dressed up and go to the place where he'd asked me to marry him on NYE, Piedmont Park in Atlanta.
Chase and I didn't want to take a bottle of champagne to the park and potentially get in trouble. I'm not really sure what the laws are regarding that, so ginger ale was, happily, our beverage of the day.
I ordered a couple of affordable confetti poppers from a shop on online to use. I had never used any before but they looked really playful and that's right up our alley. Since I wasn't sure how the poppers would go, I made sure to bring some extra confetti. I know there are tons of confetti overlay options floating about in the world, but I wanted it all up in my businass. ;)
Getting the perfect shot took a lot of preparation and behind-the-scenes work that we couldn't have done without the help of my sister, Hillary, and her husband, Ryan. The day we spent taking these photos was incredibly special to us and I love the way it was captured, even the photos that we didn't end up using for our save-the-date. I waited so long to do this blog post and share these photos because I wanted to wait until after we sent the save-the-dates, which were delivered to our guests on New Year's Eve. ;)
These shots were taken consecutively as Ryan popped the first confetti popper. Chase's expressions in these are the BEST when he feels the confetti only popped on his arm and didn't do what we thought it would --- at all.
After the first popper delicately twinkled down Chase's arm, we tried again with the second but used a slightly different approach from a new angle, and well... keep scrolling and you'll see what happened...
Sometimes I wonder, who's more dramatic...me or him??? ;P
It worked out that we brought extra, loose confetti to use in the event the poppers didn't work out. Ryan was an A-class confetti sprinkler for us... what a great addition to add to his Linkedin.
And finally, the photo we used for our save-the-dates that we absolutely adore...
A shot of my ring amongst the confetti...
I'm fortunate to have a sister who is a great photographer and a brother-in-law who is awesome. They graciously agreed to help us bring our idea to life for our save-the-dates.
I put together our outfits based on a styled session I had seen online once. By the grace of God, I somehow found a similar dress on Rent the Runway and immediately reserved the gown. Ladies, if you've never used Rent the Runway, *gasp!* have a seat and prepare to be excited! To check it out, click here!
In conclusion, what I say to anyone who is interested in shooting with confetti is go for it. It's exciting, you feel like a kid and it's an easy way to get more natural reactions in a photograph. It requires patience on everyone's part, several tries, but if you're committed and stick with it, you'll be surprised at some of the cool shots you end up with. Confetti poppers can be rather pricey so unless you're just rolling in dough and wanna splurge, I'd say your best bet is to use loose confetti.
I am so excited to be sharing my wedding planning process with you guys, FINALLY! <3
Documenter of love
Wedding photographer. Writer. Empath. Ice cream connoisseur. Feels naked without nail polish.