The Creative's Prayer

The Creative's Prayer

It had been overcast all day; I began praying that the clouds would clear and give us a great golden hour for our sunset engagement shoot. I got to the venue we were going to shoot at early so I could scout out some good locations. Long story short, but we had a venue mix up and so we drove another 45 minutes to the correct location and needless to say, it was not what we expected. The sun was beginning to set on us and I'm not going to lie, my anxiety was starting to kick in a bit. We had about 30 minutes left of daylight, in a woodsy field, to make beauty shine and that we did!

For anyone who has ever had to perform or deliver, those lingering nerves are always there and sometimes they are pretty hard to shake. I say this prayer before spending time with my sweet newly engaged couples, and a very similar prayer before any shoot really, and God always shows up in immeasurable more ways, like He did for this engagement shoot! 

God I pray that you will calm my anxious heart, that you will remind me that you gifted me with this art of capturing the love stories you created, that I get to glorify you by serving my couples and remind them of the sweet, precious moment that they fell in love. God I pray you bring us natural moments of laughter and genuine joy and bless this sweet season of engagement! Amen.

Cannot wait for these two friends of mine to get hitched in a few months! 

Jordan + Michael

Jordan + Michael

On Saturday, we got to witness the sweetest love story tie the knot at a church that plays a very special role in their lives! Jordan and Michael went on their first date in March of 2011 and got to witness their love to each other in front of God and close family and friends!

The day started off with the bridesmaids getting ready on the church grounds (Chick Fil-A included, of course) and the guys got ready in the chapel. Michael and Jordan shared a first look, but without seeing each other! They wanted to keep it traditional and not see each other until Jordan walked down the aisle, and the first look we pulled off was perfect for their request! They both opened letters and gifts from each other and you could feel the excited nerves and emotions!

When the two got engaged back in December of 2016, Jordan mentioned that she possibly would want to use her grandpa's old mustang for her grand exit. Well starting that day, the mustang was worked on every day with a full engine rebuild and her wish came true!

Congratulations to the new Manicone's! Y'all are surrounded by so much love and we pray that your love for each other continues to grow with each day and moment!

Kim + Tyler

Kim + Tyler

Today we are introducing to you the new Mr. and Mrs. Botter's! I knew when Kim first reached out to me that she was going to be a dream bride to work with and she didn't prove me wrong! Y'all the love that surrounded Kim and Tyler's whole wedding day was something that I want to capture in a bottle and sprinkle around me every day. It was THAT amazing!

The big day took place in Warm Springs, Georgia at a beautiful lodge. I met the girls at their inn, while they were getting ready and Kim immediately started getting teary eyed, especially when I talked through the first look details! 

On the drive in from Atlanta to Mountain Top Inn, I wasn't really sure what to expect since I don't get to explore that part of Georgia too often, but once we hit the cute town of Warm Springs, the excitement began. I was chatting away with my second shooter, Keira, when we both looked out the window at the stunning views from the overlook on the side of the road and I knew we had to come back to this spot for our first look! 

I packed Kim in my car and we told Tyler to meet us at the overlook.

On our drive back to go tuck Kim away before the ceremony, I got to spend a little time with her. There aren't many moments on the big day where I can have meaningful, intentional conversations with the bride to be, but those moments that I do are so treasured.

Kim told me hers and Tyler's story and how he was always the older, cuter guy that was a close family friend, but nothing more, until she finally decided to send him a Facebook message! Thank goodness for messenger right?! She shared how she just knew he was different and quickly knew she wanted to spend the rest of her life with him and made the leap of faith to move to Louisiana with him with 100% support from her family. I love this "when you know, you know" moment.

We had a beautiful, SUNNY day for the ceremony overlooking the Georgia mountains. Intimate weddings with those you love the most are my favorite and this ceremony was exactly that. The pure love that Kim and Tyler share is so pure and shined so bright all day! Congratulations y'all!

Mandi + Erik

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Mandi + Erik

This weekend we got to celebrate the marriage of Mandi and Erik in Dahlonega, Georgia! Mandi and I met through a mutual friend, since we are both flight attendants and right when she asked me about photographing her wedding I knew it was going to be a fun time!

Starting off the fun was the cabin where all the bridesmaids got ready for the big day together with the cutest bridesmaids running around and of course Mandi's pup, Scout, was a part of all the festivities.

 

Once everyone finished getting ready, Mandi got in her dress with the help of her mom. Mandi had one more finishing touch, a tennis bracelet, that she had asked her dad to put on for her. We had a first look with the two of them on the front porch of the cabin and y'all the tears were flowing!!

Now that her first love, her dad, got to share their first special moment of the day, it was Erik's turn for their first look! We snagged a few photos with the bridesmaids as we waited for Erik and the groomsmen to arrive!

 

I forgot to add, we had a quick second to get some solo bridal portraits of Mandi beforehand, also! Mandi is pretty always, even when we run into each other in the airport with absolutely no make up on and we are exhausted, but when I say she was one of the most beautiful brides I've seen, I'm not making it up! 

Okayyy, now I'll really get back to the first look with Mandi and Erik; I got a little carried away with the bridal party photos! Everyone looked stunning!

With a bridal party of 18 bridesmaids and groomsmen, the party was already starting! We headed to the altar and got these two married right as the sun was peeking perfectly through the trees, where they said I do in front of all their friends and family. The reception was full of so many fun surprises, like her sister's custom cake she made for the newlyweds and Mandi thinking her sisters got her a "dawg", but really brought UGA to the party! I think it's safe to say everyone enjoyed the Willanzheimer's wedding!! Congrats you two!

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Community Over Competition

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Community Over Competition

Take time to invest in yourself. This has been the year of education for me. 

For my fellow creative friends out there, it really is true that community over competition exists! All my thanks go to the Rising Tide Society and to Natalie Franke, founder of this amazing community. This year I really got plugged in and decided if I wanted to make the plunge into trying to ever go full- time in photography, then I needed to step up my game and learn as much as I can about the ever-changing business before I fall too behind.

I’m normally a go-getter type of person, but comparison is the thief of joy and confidence and in this industry there are a flood of talented artists out there. Once I started to reach out to other creatives, I could not believe how inviting everyone was! Guys, get involved in all the Facebook groups you can! If you currently have a full- time job and you are trying to balance your creative business, also, and you don’t have time to go have a million coffee dates to build new relationships, turn to Facebook and start building community there.

This year, my biggest challenge yet was to try film photography. I’m a bit of a nerd when it comes to learning and I really wanted to teach a new trick of the trade. Well I reached out on one of my favorite Facebook groups, Rick + Anna: Shoot for Profit Community , and one of my now good friends offered to lend me her film camera for a styled shoot we were doing! Y’all who does that! I’m telling you look up local workshops, get plugged into your local Tuesday's Together with the Rising Tide Society, second shoot as much as you can, and stalk these Facebook groups so you can learn everything your heart desires!

Here are a few photos that I am so excited to share from my first developed roll of film!

 

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Shades of Love Styled Shoot

Shades of Love Styled Shoot

The design behind this photoshoot is to demonstrate how couples (and vendors) can create a sophisticated, luxury wedding aesthetic with a single-color palette: shades of blush. Summerour’s European feel and natural, neutral backdrop will allow us all to showcase gradients of pink throughout the design – from florals to place settings, invitations to cake – against a set of dark wood, ivory, and gold. - Melissa Schmidt of eMBee events

This shoot my goal was to challenge myself, so I shot film for the first time! I'm still waiting for the scans to arrive and I can't wait to see how they turned out!

A special thanks to EMBee eventsSummerour StudioAnna GordonRick Gordon and the amazing vendors to make this styled shoot possible! 

Planners - EMBee events
Principal Photographers - Rick+Anna Photography
Florist - Ginger Rose
Venue - Summerour Studio
Stationer - Alee & Press
Gown - @thesentamentalistatl
Menswear - The Modern Gent
Hair and makeup - @margaretsniderartistry
Cake - @peche_petite_boutique_bakery
Jewelry - Worthmore Jewelers

Shauna  Barrett + Baby Cameron

Shauna Barrett + Baby Cameron

Shauna and Barrett have such a fun story and I have had the opportunity to witness so much of its goodness! The two met on Match.com and quickly after their first date, they knew they were meant to be together. Barrett proposed to Shauna on a flight her and I were working together and it was probably the sweetest thing I've ever witnessed. They had a dreamy wedding last year and now the two are expecting their first, future co-pilot.

Can we just talk about how cute these two (oops, three) are!

 

Jessica & Tyler

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Jessica & Tyler

When Jessica reached out to me about wanting some fun photos of her boyfriend and herself, I couldn't have said yes fast enough. Jessica and I went to college together and we have seen our share of ups and downs with dating, but she told me she finally found a good one and I couldn't have been happier for her!

We had a casual morning in Virginia Highlands, full of laughing at each other and pit stop for a coffee break. In this time, I had the chance to learn a little about Jessica and Tyler's story, and learned that he is leaving for a deployment soon. These photos are meant to remind them of the happy times, even when the distance gets tough.

I'm rooting for you two! Y'all make a beautiful couple and praying for a safe return home for Tyler.

You can view their full gallery by clicking here.

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Erik & Mandi

Erik & Mandi

Today I had the opportunity to get into the Christmas spirit by shooting an engagement shoot at the cutest Christmas tree farm in South Atlanta. Mandi, who also is a flight attendant with me, wanted to use her save the dates as her Christmas cards and this couldn't have been more of a perfect setting for that. I can't wait to shoot these two on their wedding day this summer!

View their full gallery by clicking here.

Ronald & Brook

Ronald & Brook

Ronald emailed me several months ago and told me he planned on proposing to his girlfriend when they were in town visiting Atlanta from Virginia. I could hear in his voice the nerves, but also the excitement leading up to this big day.

Before our photo shoot, Ronald took then girlfriend Brook, to the Georgia Aquarium where he proposed and she said YES! I loved hearing the two tell their story, especially since Brook had no clue of all the pre planning that Ronald pulled off!

Ronald and Brook, good luck with all the wedding planning and enjoy this season of engagement!

View their full gallery by clicking here.