Brad and Brittany--Fairweather Farms

I remember Brittany when she was a little girl with a curly ponytail coming to her sister’s school events. I went to middle and high school with her older sisters, Dori and April. So, when she got engaged and her family asked me to photograph her wedding, I was thrilled!! (Although, I still can’t believe she’s old enough to get married!!)

Brad and Brittany’s story began when Brad was hired by April, Brittany’s oldest sister. According to April, at their lunch interview, Brad was polite, a complete gentleman, and told her no matter what, he was thankful and blessed for the opportunity. That struck a chord with April, and Brad was hired. Brittany was also working for the company at the time, so they became co-workers. Before Brad came into the picture, Brittany’s family was rocked by tragedy when her brother-in-law, Stephen, who was married to her sister Dori, was killed in a car accident. I remember that day and even where I was…my husband and I were driving to an event when a mutual friend sent me a message. I was stunned. Dori and Stephen were high school sweethearts, and Dori was left with their baby daughter to raise. This tragedy greatly impacted Brittany, and for a while, she closed off her heart—she never wanted to have to walk the road her precious sister had. Meeting and spending time with Brad changed that outlook, and Brad was the one who taught Brittany that it was okay to love someone deeply.

When I hung out with them at their engagement session, I was struck by how attentive and sweet Brad was to Brittany. He was everything April described—a soft-spoken, sweet gentleman who was quite smitten with his lively, vivacious fiancee.

Their wedding day took place on November 3 at Fairweather Farms in Monroe. It was a gorgeous, cool fall day when I arrived, and as always, I set to work on the details. Brittany’s colors were beautiful and perfectly blended with the fall colors outside the three story lodge where the bridal party was dressing. There was a wall of windows overlooking an ancient oak, and beyond that was the lake.

After bridal party photos, it was time for the daddy-daughter first look. Brittany was the youngest Banks girl, and when her sweet daddy turned to take in the sight of his baby girl dressed in her wedding gown, he immediately slipped on sunglasses to hide his tears.

Their ceremony took place under the curved branches of the oak. Brad was all smiles as Brittany was escorted by her father down the aisle, and after putting together a rustic cross to represent God in their union, they sealed their vows with a kiss.

We were in a rush to get photos before the sun set, and after the family and bridal party photos, Andrea, the property manager, had her SUV running and waiting to drive us to the top of the property for photos. We shot some gorgeous photos by the oak tree and when we were on the way back, we all smelled a strong smell…and then watched as a skunk ambled out of the tall grass! I have to say, that was a first for me when shooting a wedding!

The reception was a cozy gathering of close family and friends…a fire lit up the center of the room and vintage lights were strung all around the room. Brittany and Brad shared their first dance as husband and wife, and then Mr. Banks cut in for the father daughter dance. Brad danced with his mother and the guests spent the rest of the evening chatting, eating, and hanging out at the milkshake bar. A sparkler send off concluded the beautiful day, and Brad and Brittany began their happily ever after! I am so honored to have been able to be a part of Brittany’s special day…it truly meant so much to me to be the one who got to capture these images for her! Brad and Brittany—I wish you a blessing-filled marriage! Congratulations!

Photographer: Audrey Herron Photography

Second Photographer: Trish Meadows

Venue: Fairweather Farms, Monroe

Hair/Make-up: Bombshell Creations

Travis and Emily--9 Oaks Farm

Working with Travis and Emily over the past year reinforces why I love what I do. We shot their engagement session out at Vines Park in Loganville in the spring, and as we were walking, I placed them under a cherry tree because the lighting was beautiful. As I was directing them in how to pose, the wind blew, and petals began too flutter down from the tree limbs. I quickly called out to Travis to pull Emily in for a kiss, and without a second thought he acted and we got an amazing shot that has been one of my favorite engagement photos to date. As I got to know them, I found out we shared a lot of similarities! My pastor, and his wife are named Travis and Emily. Travis’s sister’s name was Emmie, which is my daughter’s name, and Emily’s niece, who was the flower girl, was named Audrey! As Travis said—it was just meant to be that we ended up working together! This couple has been down to earth, genuine and just makes you feel at ease when you are around them.

The weather finally cooled down for their October 21, 2018 wedding. I don’t think they could have dreamed of a better day! The sun was shining, the temperature was cool, and the tase of fall was in the air! (Finally!!)

Emily and her girls were getting ready in the bridal suite, and after saying hello, I started photographing her details. Her bouquet was absolutely breathtaking—the colors were vibrant and the design was exquisite—On, the owner of 9 Oaks who designs the florals, has never ceased to amaze me with her eye for detail, and her floral designs are really a work of art. When I was almost finished, Jacki, their wedding coordinator was decorating their favors table with the cutest white pumpkins trimmed with lace and burlap and tags. I ended up using one for some of the detail shots.

When the guys arrived, I pulled Travis out so he could read his letter from Emily, and then worked with the guys and Travis and his immediate family for their photos. Once I finished with them, I hurried back over to capture a few more photos of Emily getting ready, and then took the girls out in front of the White House on the property to get some photos of them in their monogrammed flannel shirts. Emily’s mother zipped her into her elegant gown, and we headed outside for a first look with her bridesmaids. The lighting outside was just beautiful, and Emily truly looked angelic as we worked to shoot her bridal portraits.

The ceremony took place at the bridge, which was adorned with a gorgeous arch of flowers, magnolia leaves and eucalyptus. It was just gorgeous…the curve of the bridge and the flowers provided a beautiful frame for the ceremony photos. Their ceremony was God-centered and sweet, and when they sealed their vows with a kiss and started down the aisle, Travis dipped Emily for another kiss.

We worked with the family and bridal party, and then with Travis and Emily. They were so easy to work with—their smiles were genuine, bright, and infectious. When they were introduced at the reception, they went right into their first dance. It was so sweet to watch them quietly sing to to one another as they swayed to the music. Emily’s father gave an emotional welcome, and the couple and their guests enjoyed a barbecue dinner followed by gourmet cupcakes. After the father-daughter and mother-son dances, Emily and Travis played the shoe game, in which Emily’s shoes were raised quite a bit more than Travis’s were. She tossed the bouquet and he threw the garter, and they enjoyed a last song surrounded by their family and friends. They exited to a tunnel of sparklers where Travis dipped Emily (twice) and helped her into their car. It was a beautiful day filled with love, laughter, and the sweetness of two lives becoming one. Travis and Emily, it was truly an honor to be a part of your love story, and a blessing to work with you both. I wish you a lifetime of love, laughter, happiness, and may God always bless you in your future together.

Lawton and Chandler--The Villa Christina Hyatt Regency, Atlanta

Saturday was a beautiful day in Atlanta for Lawton and Chandler’s wedding. I knew Chandler’s mom, Kim, from my days when I was teaching at Norcross High. In fact, Chandler was a student in my husband’s math class when she attended Norcross, so it was an absolute joy for me to be able to capture their wedding!

When I arrived at the Villa Christina, Chandler and her attendants were busy getting ready! Her details were just gorgeous—her earrings reminded me of angel wings when I put them together on her bouquet to photograph, and her shoes were the most vibrant color blue and adorned with sparkling jewels. Her stunning veil had belonged to her mother—what an amazing heirloom and sweet tribute to her amazing mom!

Chandler had chosen Julian, one of her good friends, as her “bride man” and he was so much fun to be around! (And, the girls found him quite convenient to have around with all the pockets he had to store their items) Meanwhile, Lawton was hanging out with his groomsmen while watching football and snacking (with Georgia plates of course)

Lawton and Chandler opted for a first look and decided to get all the photos in prior to the ceremony so they could relax and celebrate after they said their vows. The clouds were building in the afternoon, and after shooting Lawton with his groomsmen and Chandler with her attendants, Chandler went in to cool off before her first look with Lawton. It may have been the first weekend in October, but this is Georgia—and ya’ll locals know how fall goes down here in the south—this “fall” weekend, the high was 90!

We placed Lawton, and brought Chandler out when she was ready. After a few sweet moments, we moved on to their portraits, making sure to use Chandler’s stunning veil in several shots! We followed their portrait time with family photos, and Chandler’s maid of honor, Alexa, was amazing at pulling family members in and out of the combinations for an incredibly efficient family portrait time!

Their ceremony took place outside, and as guests filed in they picked up ribbon streamers. White pumpkins spilling over with flowers paired with navy pumpkins lined the aisle, and two beautiful flower arrangements marked the alter. Chandler walked down the aisle with her father and before she reached Lawton, she stopped and embraced her mother. Lawton wiped away a few tears and they stood together and exchanged their vows.

Once they were pronounced man and wife, they joyfully came down the aisle and Lawton dipped Chandler for a kiss amid a sea of waving ribbon streamers. They made their way to the portico where Chandler’s bridesmaids bustled her gown and they had some refreshments. Following that, we went out to the front of the hotel for some shots and then headed to the reception.

The ballroom was beautifully decorated with floral centerpieces, gold chargers, and navy napkins. A wall of donuts on pegs greeted guests as they filed into the ballroom. The bridal party was introduced, followed by the first dances, and then dinner was served. After dinner, the live band began playing and they were amazing! The guests danced and celebrated this sweet couple. A few hours into the celebration, Chandler and Lawton pulled out all the Georgia grads and we got a group shot with their UGA flag. (Go Dawgs!)

The bouquet was tossed, the garter was found to the music from Top Gun, and the bride and groom even got up on stage to sing with the band. It was a perfect, joy-filled day and celebration of Lawton and Chandler. I’m so thankful I was able to be a part of their beautiful wedding—Chandler and Lawton, I wish you an amazing marriage filled with joy, laughter and blessings.

Vendor List:

Venue: The Villa Christina Hyatt Regency, Atlanta

Photographer: Audrey Herron Photography

Second Photographers: Kristal Whitley and Trish Meadows

Wedding Planner/Coordinator: Robbie Dickherber, Dickherber Designs

Hair and Make-up: Bombshell Creations

Florist: Flowers From Us

Band: Shimmer

Bakery: Ike and Jane Cafe & Bakery

Chris and Haley--9 Oaks Farm, Monroe, Georgia

It was a beautiful morning out at 9 Oaks Farm when I arrived to work with Haley and Chris on their wedding day! Haley and her girls were hanging out and dressing in the gorgeous “White House” on the property. She had picked beautiful colors that complemented the surroundings—lush greens, soft blues and greens. Her sweet bridesmaids were wrapped in silky sage green robes trimmed with lace, and Haley was enjoying a mimosa dressed in a white robe.

Her details were just breathtaking—especially her stunning bouquet! White roses and succulents were nestled into the bouquet amid blue accent flowers and surrounded by cascading seeded eucalyptus—definitely one of the most gorgeous bouquets I’ve seen!

After shooting her details, I hung out with Chris and his groomsmen for their portraits on the backside of the property. As we walked down a gravel path, the guys spied a swing. They jokingly suggested we should get some photos of them swinging Chris, and I was down for anything! This group of guys was so much fun to work with and we had a great time hanging out.


Haley’s mother-in-law and mother were so sweet—they both had a few private moments with her to give her gifts. Chris’s mother gave her diamond earrings from Chris, and Haley’s mother gifted her with a beautiful diamond necklace. They were such sweet moments to capture! Following the gifts, the girls shared some laughs in their gorgeous robes outside in the sunlight, and then Haley’s mom helped her into her stunning gown.



Haley had a first look with her dad, after which they shared a good old-fashioned bottle of coke—and before shooting her bridal portraits we found a ladybug on her gown! (Definitely good luck!) The sweet flower girl took her job of helping Haley hold her dress up very seriously, and these gorgeous girls were just so sweet and awesome to work with!


As Haley walked down the aisle, one of my favorite images was the photo I snapped of her smiling at her husband-to-be while her father gazed lovingly at her. It was just such a real, genuine image and I’m pretty sure this will always be one of my favorite ceremony images. The ceremony itself was beautiful and God-centered with an offering for everyone attending the wedding to partake in communion. Chris and Haley officially became Mr. and Mrs. and on the way down the aisle, Chris dipped his gorgeous bride for a kiss! We shot family formals in front of the red bridge, and traipsed down to an open field for bridal party shots. A few minutes into shooting Haley and Chris’s portraits, we got a 15 minute warning so we had to work fast to get everything in for both the photos and the videographer who was there. Haley and Chris were incredibly sweet and it was so evident they were crazy about one another. They both have such calm, sweet personalities and were an absolute joy to work with.

After all the photos were taken, Haley and Chris had a few private moments in the bridal suite to grab a quick bite while her guests finished cocktail hour, and then the bridal party was introduced, the guests ate an amazing dinner, and the couple danced the night away. Ya’ll—one of my favorite parts of the reception was when Chris’s grandmother, who just turned 92, was coaxed out on the dance floor! What an amazing woman! She was grinning the entire time—it was so fun to watch! Their send off, sparklers with a brilliant firework show, was the perfect closing of an amazing day. I am so excited for this sweet couple as they begin their lives together—congratulations Chris and Haley, and may God bless your marriage!

Riley and Hannah--John Oliver Michael House, Statham

When I first met Hannah, we instantly bonded over our shared love of Jane Austen, music, and everything classic! Hannah is a classically trained pianist and her now husband, Riley, proudly serves our country and is currently stationed at Fort Hood.

When I met Hannah for her walk-through at the venue, she expressed to me that she wanted her wedding to reflect more “classic English garden” than “rustic”, and I was pretty excited because that was right up my alley!

I surprised her with a beautiful copy of Sense and Sensibility, one of her favorite Jane Austen novels, after I used it for a few secret detail photos. (Ya’ll—I even brought an English tea cup from home, and a silver English spoon that Hannah didn’t know about…I was excited to get creative…I took the Jane Austen idea and ran with it!) Hannah dressed upstairs in the white farmhouse, and her dress was just classically beautiful—the perfect dress for Hannah.

From the first day I met with Riley and Hannah, Riley answered everything I asked with “yes ma’am”. That hadn’t changed, and he was an absolute gentlemen during his pictures.

After a sweet first look with Riley, we photographed Hannah. After capturing her outdoors in the gorgeous light, we shot a few inside the farmhouse. In the dining room there was a picture of a woman playing the piano…so it was quite fitting that we snapped a photo of Hannah there to reflect her passion.

Hannah’s ceremony was God-centered, classic, and beautiful. She and Riley lit a unity candle, and Hannah’s piano teacher sang a beautiful prayer to bless the couple. After the joyful couple sealed their vows with a kiss, we whisked them off to an adjoining field for some golden hour shots!

Hannah was a trooper walking into the tall grass—and the sun setting across the field reminded me of some of the scenes from Pride and Prejudice…so we had Riley walk across the field to give Hannah a “Mr. Darcy” shot! You know that one ladies….the one where Mr. Darcy (Matthew MacFayden) walks across a misty morning field and professes his love for Elizabeth… “You have bewitched me body and soul..” but I digress.

After their golden hour photos, we headed back for the reception where Hannah and Riley had their first dance, and Hannah and her father surprised everyone with a fast swing dance to Glenn Miller’s In the Mood…which happened to be the exact same song I danced to my father with at our wedding! (I told you Hannah and I connected!!)

All in all, Hannah and Riley’s day was just perfect, and will always be a memorable wedding for me. I had so much fun incorporating things I am passionate about into Hannah’s and Riley’s day. This couple was just so special and sweet…I am beyond thrilled I was able to capture these memories for them. Riley and Hannah—thank you for your service, and may the Lord bless you and keep you all the days of your lives.

Venue: John Oliver Michael House

Second Photographer: Kristal Whitley

Videography: Silver Drum Productions

Florist: Bud and Bloom, Athens

Cayla and Evan—Wolf Mountain Vineyards, Dahlonega Georgia

When  I  met  Cayla,  we  connected—maybe  it  was  because  she  was  a  teacher  (just  as  I  had  been)  or  because  we  had  similar  paths,  or  because  she  teared  up  when  telling  me  the  story  of  how  she  met  Evan....but  I  just  knew  she  was  a  beautiful  soul  and  I  was  so  excited  to  be  able  to  work  with  her.      

Her  wedding  took  place  at  Wolf  Mountain  Vineyards—a  Vineyard  and  restaurant  nestled  among  the  North  Georgia  Mountains  in  the  historic  town  of  Dahlonega.  When  I  arrived,  I  met  with  her  beautiful  bridesmaids  and  got  to  work  photographing  her  details.    

Cayla  had  chosen  a  stunning  mermaid  style  gown  that  flared  out  into  a  champagne  colored  lace  train...and  was  just  gorgeous!  She  and  her  girls  looked  stunning  in  their  floral  printed  robes,  and  then  later  in  their  rose-gold  gowns.  I  loved  that  Cayla  had  picked  different  styles  for  each  of  her  girls,  but  the  gowns  all  went  together  beautifully.  One  thing  that  stood  out  to  me  about  Cayla  was  that  she  had  taken  the  time  to  write  each  of  her  girls  a  personal  letter—it  again  was  a  testament  to  her  sweet  and  thoughtful  nature.  There  were  lots  of  tears  shed  while  the  girls  read  their  letters...it  was  really  a  touching  moment!  Trish  and  I  met  the  guys  in  the  wine  cellar—and  they  were  only  too  excited  to  take  their  photos  in  the  cool,  temperature-controlled  room.  We  got  some  great  shots  of  them  with  the  wine  barrels  in  the  background,  and  once  we  finished  with  that  we  were  on  a  tight  timeline  the  rest  of  the  day!    

The  ceremony  was  God-centered  and  Cayla’s  walk  down  the  aisle  was  emotional.  She  and  Evan  put  together  a  cross  sculpture  to  display  in  their  home,  and  ya’ll—when  the  officiant  told  Evan  to  kiss  the  bride,  Cayla’s  huge  grin  and  shoulder  shimmy  made  everyone  laugh!  Her  joy  was  just  infectious.    We  hung  out  in  the  Vineyards  for  their  bride/groom  portraits,  and  although  we  didn’t  have  as  much  time  as  usual,  we  dipped  back  outside  after  the  cake  was  cut  to  grab  some  beautiful  images  of  Cayla  and  Evan  with  the  sun  setting  behind  the  rolling  mountains  in  the  distance.    

Cayla  danced  with  her  grandfather  to  Strawberry  Wine,  tossed  the  bouquet  to  her  sweet  aunt,  and  with  a  bubble  send-off  Evan  helped  her  step  into  his  black  truck  and  they  rode  away  to  their  happily  ever  after.    I’m  so  thankful  I  was  able  to  be  a  part  of  their  beautiful  vineyard  wedding—may  God  bless  your  marriage  and  I’m  so  glad  you’ve  found  your  happily  ever  after!    

Kelvin and Terina

When I first met Terina and Kelvin, it was obvious that they were smitten with one another.  They just exuded a sincerity and sweetness that was absolutely charming and infectious. They met through Terina's sister, and got engaged at Sims Lake Park--the place they chose for their engagement session as well as their wedding.  

 

At their engagement session, it was windy, and when I had trouble folding up my reflector, Kelvin immediately came to my assistance.  He was an absolute gentleman.  He held Terina's hand and helped her down some grassy slopes during the shoot. I just adored them. 

 

The day of their wedding, rain was in the forecast, and although we escaped the rain for bridal portraits and groom's portraits, we got caught in it before the ceremony and camped out in a wooded curve under some umbrellas taking turns holding my giant reflector over Terina so she would stay dry! Once the rain let up, the ceremony was on, and ya'll--the way Kelvin looked at his bride is the way every bride dreams her groom will react.  After the sweet ceremony, and lots of happy tears, we were getting ready to shoot bride and groom portraits.  I suggested an open field if Terina could get across a stream of water flowing through a ditch--and ya'll--Kelvin scooped up his bride and carried her across that ditch and field to keep her shoes dry!! What a guy...and what a couple. I just can't even express how special they are and how excited I was to be a part of their beautiful day. I have absolutely no doubt they will have a joy-filled marriage...their genuine sweetness and love for one another is inspiring. Congratulations to Terina and Kelvin!  

 

Photographer: Audrey Herron Photography

Second Shooter:  Diana Bello, Diana Bello Studios

Florist: Jars of Fowers

Venue: Sims Lake Park and The Cottage on Main

Dress: BHLDN Atlanta 

Videographers: Ben Self Films 

Guitarist: Greg Shivers 

Rings: Tiffany and Co

Susanna--A Classy Cowgirl

I taught high school seniors for ten years. Ya'll--it's rare that you come across a girl as classy, genuine, and kind-hearted as Susanna is! I first met Susanna out at the Dabney Farm. She was one of the instructors. She always had a smile on her face and a kind word to offer any time you passed her in the barn. A few months later, my daughter tried out for the pre-jv drill team at Dabney Riding Academy...and made it. Susanna was her coach.

You don't often see Susanna without Waylon, her Great Pyrenees at her heels. Waylon has become the barn mascot and even rode in the Christmas parade with some of the girls on the Diamond D Cowgirl float (complete with a Christmas bow). I asked Susanna how she had come up with his name. She told me she loved Waylon Jennings and his music, so she named her dog after him. If Waylon can't be found hanging with Susanna, you can probably find him napping in one of the empty horse stalls in the barn, or if he's lucky, in the air-conditioned office.

Susanna just radiates happiness--you can't be around her without smiling. Not only is she an instructor and coach at Dabney Riding Academy, but she is also on their Professional Drill team--The Diamond D Cowgirls--and she often travels with them performing across the country. This classy cowgirl loves her teammates, her family, and Jesus. She's very involved in her church, and she lives her beliefs. Her faith is an integral part of who she is, and I am beyond thrilled that she is teaching my daughters...I want my girls to grow up to be strong, classy, faithful women who aren't afraid of hard work...and Susanna is a perfect example for not only my girls, but the many other girls who ride at Dabney Riding Academy.

A Winter Wedding

It's hard to believe my brother-in-law is now married!  When I first started dating my husband, Chad was in the 8th grade playing the trombone in the marching band...and now he's an Engineer with Mercedes Benz and a husband!

 

I'm really blessed to have such a sweet brother-in-law...and Amanda was a very welcome addition to the family!  I've watched their relationship grow, and always admired how they've kept their relationship grounded and centered with Christ. Amanda is a pre-school teacher so she's definitely on the top ten favorite people list with my girls. She gets down on the floor and plays with them, reads them books and helps them with puzzles.  Over the time they've dated, my girls have inherited lots of Amanda's old toys and books and they just adore her.  Even Uncle Chad is known to get down on the deck at the beach and play ponies with his nieces. 

 

Their winter wedding took place at Tannehill State Park in Alabama, and was just perfect for them!  They were married in a tiny, rustic church with Gothic windows and their reception was in a turn-of-the-century school house reminiscent of Little House on the Prairie. We shot their pictures at 1:00 in the afternoon...which most photographers would tell you is one of the worst lighting situations to shoot in...but ya'll...I found this spot with filtered light and WOW!! Who says you can't shoot at high noon or early afternoon?? These two were stunning!  Amanda's love for Disney was incorporated with tiny crystal Mickey beads on her veil and cake, and a red rose under a glass dome reflecting one of her favorite movies--Beauty and the Beast.  Such a sweet, fun wedding and I was so honored to be a part of it!  

Chateau Elan Proposal

Tanner and Laura Beth are two people dear to my heart. I've known Tanner for years--my husband coaches for Tanner's father at Norcross High School, so I've known Tanner since I started dating my husband in 2004. It seems like just yesterday that Tanner was in middle school, and running the ball out to the referees at the Norcross High games. A few years passed, and Tanner was a junior sitting in my British Literature class. He was always fun-loving, full of smiles, and polite. He was as a teenager, and still is, the epitome of a gentleman. He played football for Norcross in high school, and I went from watching him run the ball out as a child to playing on the team. Now, he coaches at Norcross with his dad, brother and my husband.
I first met Laura Beth at a Christmas party when she was helping with the children. Her mother was my daughter's pre-school teacher. Natalie, my daughter, would tell me when Miss Laura Beth would visit her class, and she was excited when she got to play with Laura Beth at the party. Laura Beth is the epitome of a southern lady--just like her mother. She is always extremely sweet and polite, and has a smile that will light up a room.
Tanner and Laura Beth's story began when they were only children. They are only a few weeks apart in age, and were raised in the same church. They grew up together, went to school together, and have known one another essentially their entire lives. When Tanner called me to ask if I would take pictures of their proposal, I was thrilled. He arranged everything, and I met his friend (and another former student) Hamp, at Chateau Elan while Tanner and Laura Beth were eating lunch. We went to Tanner's truck, found the box of rose petals, and arranged them in a row of the vineyards. Hamp went to go meet them inside while I hung out and waited. A few minutes later, I got the heads up text from Hamp, and pretty soon they were rounding the corner of the vineyard. It took Laura Beth a minute to realize what was happening, and then she was in disbelief as Tanner got down on one knee to propose. After the initial shock, the first thing she said (I told you she was a perfect southern lady!) was "Did you ask my parents?" In a world where tradition seems to have gone by the wayside, it was refreshing to hear her say that. Of course, Tanner did--(these two were raised right ya'll!) and there were lots of hugs and tears that followed.
I have been blessed to be a part of quite a few special memories as I've gravitated toward being a full-time wedding photographer, but I have to say this particular memory I was able to capture will always be one of my all-time favorites. These two sweet, southern souls have come full circle from childhood friends to soon-to-be husband and wife, and I couldn't be more excited for them! Congratulations Tanner and Laura Beth! May God bless your engagement, marriage, and lives together--thank you for allowing me the privilege of capturing this special moment for you!

It all Started in Atlanta

When Stephanie told me the story of how she and Joe met, I had to laugh. We were about halfway through their engagement shoot at McDaniel Farm Park, and I was enjoying listening to their stories and watching them interact with one another. I had no problem picturing what Stephanie described: after spending the evening trying to catch Joe's eye, she finally walked right up to him and let him know that she had been attempting to get his attention all evening.
Although Stephanie and Joe live in Cincinnati, they wanted their engagement pictures here in Atlanta since this is the town where they met. Both went to business school at Emory, and we went back and forth about a good location that would reflect their personality and the town where they met.
When I first met them in the parking lot, Stephanie promptly informed me that they were not very photogenic. Five minutes into the shoot and she and Joe were all smiles. They were genuinely a fun couple to be around, and their chemistry was evident as they walked, laughed, and flirted during their session. I hardly gave any direction--they made my job easy--I just had to follow them around and capture their natural interaction with one another! We got some amazing pictures, and they will be fun memories for them to look back on one day. In June, Stephanie and Joe will marry in New York. I wish them the very best as they begin this next chapter in their lives. May your marriage be filled with blessings and laughter! I am grateful I was able to capture some sweet memories for you!

Bryan and Kristin

It was an absolute honor for me to get to photograph my brother's wedding. Sure, growing up we didn't like each other most of the time...we fought and drove our parents nuts...you know--the typical "She's looking at me....he's on my side...."etc...but as most siblings do, we eventually grew out of that phase. I think one of my favorite years was when we were in high school together--I was senior, and the drum major for the band--Bryan was a freshman and a drummer. Know what that meant? That I got to tell him what to do--and he actually had to do it! (That's not why it was my favorite year...okay, maybe a little...) but I woke him up every morning and drove him to school. I drove us home from band practice every day. I'm pretty sure he missed me (a little) when I went away to college at Newberry. We had fun times...once, when we were home alone because our mom was having surgery, and Dad was staying with her at the hospital, he even blew up the grill when we attempted to cook dinner for ourselves...and it jumped a foot off the deck and singed his eyebrows. One year, not too long after I was married, my husband was away for Valentine's Day. Bryan was single. He called and asked what I was doing, and followed it with "This stinks let's go out." And my brother took me out to dinner on Valentine's Day. He's cut trees for me in the yard, and cut my grass a few times when my husband was swamped with football season. He makes me laugh every time I talk to him, and I love him more than he probably knows.
I also have to say that Bryan is one of the hardest working guys I know. He started working at Top Turf in Lawrenceville, Georgia when he was 15 years old. When he graduated from Loganville High School, he went to work with the landscaping crew for the county, and to this day, he still is working both jobs. It's at the Top Turf job that he met his bride, Kristin. They've known each other for years, but their paths never exactly connected at the right time. Kristin worked in marketing in North Carolina, and then eventually came back to work at her dad's company where she reconnected with Bryan.
I remember the first time I met Kristin--I was doing some fall photos of my daughters and my niece, Bryan's little girl. Kristin came to the park and she was incredibly laid back and sweet. She seemed very genuine, and we chatted as I finished up pictures. I offered to take one of her with Bryan. Kristin was just dressed in some comfortable work out clothes--she hadn't come prepared for a picture--but she shrugged and said "Sure!" It struck me that most girls who were super self-conscious wouldn't be caught dead in a photo with yoga pants and no make-up, and but her response reflected Kristin--she is who she is and she's comfortable and confident in her own skin. I liked that.
Bryan and Kristin share a love for running--they often train and run races, including the Peachtree Road Race every year. They are casual and fun to be around, and Bryan can have you laughing in minutes.
My brother went through some challenges and difficult times--and those challenges helped shape him and make him who he is today. He just kept walking forward, and in walking he crossed paths with Kristin. I'm grateful he found someone who he can run with, bike with, and work out with. I'm grateful he found someone who he can cook with, (because he's a master on the grill ya'll!) laugh with, and joke with. I'm grateful he found someone who makes him happy...and makes him smile. He doesn't know this, but when I was up front ready to shoot the ceremony, I watched him for several minutes. His head was bowed, his eyes were closed, his hands neatly folded in front of him as he waited for his bride. I know what was going through his head because I know my brother...and I know he was reflecting on all that has passed and brought him to this point in his life. Watching him made me tear up...but they were happy tears...because I know he's finally found someone special to share his life with, and I couldn't have been prouder as I watched his smile (through the camera lens) when his best man tapped him and told him to look up and see his beautiful bride.
Kristin, thank you for making my brother happier than I think I've ever seen him. I'm thrilled to have a sister (I always wanted one...and probably would have eagerly traded Bryan for one when I was a little girl) but I'm thrilled things worked out as they have. Welcome to our crazy, loving family--and may God bless your marriage and your beautiful life together. I love you both!

Roanin--from Rescue to Rescuer

In July of 2013, Kristen accompanied Leslie, the owner of Jacob's Ladder Therapeutic Riding program to check out a little roan pony. There was nothing spectacular about him that day--he tried out well, but the next day Kristen just couldn't get him out of her head. After agreeing that he was a good fit for the program, the decision was made to bring Roanin to live at Jacob's Ladder. After a few weeks, it was evident he was a different horse than Kristen and Leslie had previously observed. He became shy and difficult to catch. There was just something about the pony that tugged at Kristen's heartstrings, and she volunteered to work with him. She would stand for sometimes an hour in the south Georgia heat just waiting to lead him in. She faced challenges with Roanin that forced her to grow as a horsewoman and learn about natural horsemanship. Kristen learned Roanin could not be rushed. He could read a person and their energy before they even got close to him. After a brief trial and appearance in the program, it was decided Roanin was not a good fit and his temperament just wasn't a good match for children. Knowing the bond they had developed, Leslie offered him to Kristen. She had dreamed of owning her own horse since she was a little girl, and he finally came home to live with her in the spring of 2016.
In August, I remember Kristen calling to tell me Roanin had developed a severe condition called Laminitis. This is a condition in which the tissues in the hoof that bond the hoof wall to a bone become inflamed. It causes severe pain and is incredibly debilitating. In Roanin's case, after lying down, he could barely stand. He was unable to walk and would stand still in the pasture shifting his weight. He was given a 10% chance of recovery because of the severity of his condition. Kristen refused to give up on him. 10% was enough for her to pray, fight and do everything she could to save the little roan pony who had stolen her heart. She had piles of sand brought in for him to stand on, and gave him round the clock care and medication. One dark day, Kristen told Roanin that if he was done, to let her know and she would let him go. She desperately wanted him to live to see her wedding day, because, in Kristen's words,
"God brought him to me at a unique time in my life. It was three months before I left my ex-husband. Roanin helped me find who I was again. He showed me love and together we learned how to trust someone again. God used him to help me see who I was in the Father's eyes. He gave me a safe place to run when part of my life was in shambles. When we are connected, we speak a language that exists without words. He helped me find my confidence and self-worth."
As Kristen's best friend, I can attest to God's use of this horse to help her through one of the darkest times of her life. I knew how special they were to one another. After lots of prayers, Roanin began to improve. It gave her a reason to hope. Her prayers were being answered.
I was prepared to receive a phone call from her, and make a four hour trip to Valdosta just to take some special photos of them together. One day she called--but it was to tell me he had improved. Instead of a somber drive, I made an excited drive--a trip to capture her bridal portraits and include this special little horse who had defied all odds. This picture says it all--you can tell how much they love one another, and it was my favorite from the shoot.
Today, Roanin is healthy and is even able to be lightly ridden! Kristen said one of her favorite things about the bridal portrait shoot was watching Roanin interact with me. I was pretty surprised after knowing his history that he walked right up to me to check out my camera. He stood still while I stroked his nose and scratched him behind the ear--and he even nuzzled my hands looking for a treat. It was an all-around special trip, and he is a special horse! Kristen may have rescued Roanin and given him unconditional love and a forever home--but I know he rescued her in a time that she needed unconditional love, and for that, I'll always be grateful to him.
You can check out the Jacob's Ladder Program in Valdosta, or donate to this non-profit organization at this link: