Over the years, David and I have snapped a ton of photos of each other working. In particular we have a lot from weddings, maybe because the work day is so long. We no longer photograph weddings, having decided to focus on portraits and headshots, but love looking back on those times.
David and I tend to get in some weird positions and locations, in order to get the perfect shot. Here are some “behind the scenes” shots of us, sacrificing our dignity and clean clothes in the pursuit of great photography.
Now on to David’s flower shots! Let me give you the quick story on their origins. When David and I were photographing a wedding, and got to the time for photos of the bride and groom, I would end up carrying the bouquet for the bride. She was normally holding up the train of her dress, with help from the groom, while walking to the location. Once we arrived and got the couple into their first pose, I would walk over to adjust the bride’s dress. That’s when I would hand her flowers to David. Once the couple was settled, I would turn around and see my handsome husband with the bouquet. A photo was snapped every time.
We love to do our job well and have fun doing it! Let’s be honest, most people don’t like having their photo taken, so loosening up our clients is of great benefit. David and I are blessed to be in this line of work and are excited to work with all our new Atlanta portrait and headshot clients.
What exactly is the power of photography? We all have seen timeless images that take you to a different place and raw images that stir abandoned emotions. Those may not be the reactions you feel while looking at family photos, but there is something even stronger at work.
David and I were going through and organizing old files on our external hard drives. We came across a lot of photos from 2006 and decided to stop and look at them. Now keep in mind that the year 2006 had no particular connotation in our heads. Scrolling through cute photos of the kids, we came across two events. The first was Grant’s (our son) hospital stay after an almost fatal illness.
In 2006, all four of us had battled a terrible cold, but Grant just wasn’t getting better. He became extremely lethargic, incoherent, and could not follow simple commands. We rushed him to the emergency room and after a many bewildered nurses and doctors tried to figure out what was going on, one doctor walked in and knew immediately. Grant had meningitis, we found out about an hour later that it was bacterial meningitis. The prognosis was IF he survived, he would likely have brain damage and at the very least severe hearing damage.
Grant woke up the next morning with nothing more than a lingering headache. It would take a while for his energy and alertness to return, but it did. We thank the Lord and that wonderful doctor, who diagnosed Grant and started him on antibiotics right away… but he also stayed up the whole night praying for our son. The next two and a half weeks would be spent in the hospital, as they pumped medicine through an IV right into Grant’s heart.
My memories of this event had always centered around the fear and sadness that I felt before he was well, but coming across these photos has changed that. Yes, I know he was healed and that is a joyous and miraculous thing. Now I have these vivid images replanted into my memory, reminding me of all the good. That silly boy, who LOVED all the food he got to eat while in the hospital. He must have buzzed the nurses for Jello four times a day. Playing board games and doing his homeschool work without any complaint. That smile.
The second event was our children’s baptism. Grant and Alexis both had accepted Jesus as their Lord and Savior within the same year. Our church did regular baptisms at Pensacola Beach, so they decided to be baptized on the same day.
The weather was absolutely perfect and we were surrounded by many of our dear friends. David and I were so proud of them and excited for what the future held. I remember, even though I was the one taking photos, that I soaked in every single moment…. or so I thought.
Then I came across two images. One was my grandmother at the edge of the water in a bright pink dress. The other was my grandfather in his straw hat, sitting in a beach chair, camcorder in hand. I had completely forgotten that they were at the baptism and the images brought tears to my eyes. My grandmother has since passed away and my grandfather is nearing the end of his days. The thought of them watching their grandchildren being baptized in that emerald green water brings joy to my heart.
These two events do not change because of the photographs, but my thought is enhanced, fulfilled, and turned back towards the love and joy in life. The power of a photograph can be subtle and yet profound. I am so thankful for my life and thankful for these images that are embers on the fire of my memory.
Picture the ultimate hipster, magazine cover cool, wearing mostly black. They sit in the corner of a local coffee shop with their MacBook Pro, editing and drinking some Yerba Mate tea. The hipster photographer checks their phone and then packs up, grabbing their $500 designer backpack filled with only the best/newest camera gear. You watch them walk out, imagining what a rock star they will look like during the shoot… forget the ordinary people they will be photographing.
Now picture a woman at home, in her pajamas, with her hair pulled up and remnants of yesterday’s eyeliner still on her face. She is curled up on her couch, laptop in hand, fervently editing while simultaneously binge watching The Office on Netflix. A cup of coffee sits next to her that should have been reheated 2 hours ago. This woman will get cleaned up and dress professionally for the next shoot, but she will by no means look like the one who should be modeling.
Both of these people probably exist, I just know there a lot more of the ones editing in their pajamas. The truth about photography is much like all other self-employment… it’s never as glamorous and carefree as it seems. There are endless hours of editing, emails, invoices, and contracts. Some shoots (weddings) can be physically exhausting, while other shoots (families with multiple toddlers/teens) can test your patience. Every one of those shoots is worth it, if you love photography.
Our love of photography has led us to shoot hundreds of weddings and countless family portrait sessions. We have also done a lot of engagement photography, commercial work, and even some birth photography. The photos below are unique work shots of us. Left - David was shooting a family session, when a downpour started mid-session. We tucked the family in a cute gazebo area and David braved the rain to get a great shot. Right - I was photographing my good friend’s home birth. She had some health issues and ended up needing a c-section. The doctor gave me the go ahead, so I suited-up and got the photos that my friend wanted!
Sometimes it’s dirty, exhausting and there are unexpected circumstances that keep you on your toes. Photography, specifically being a self-employed photographer, is hard work but always rewarding. The ultimate reward is seeing a client’s face light up when they see THE image. The image that was just a creative thought and made real by capturing an exact moment of light, framing, and emotion. Love of photography starts at that point, then it is nurtured and grown by the drive to please every single photography client.
Oh, Atlanta! My hometown, the place where David and I got married and had our two kids. We are so excited to be living here again, after almost 15 years in Pensacola. The city has changed significantly, but there are still memories embedded in corners and landmarks that will never change. Friday nights at the Stone Mountain Park laser show with our glow-in-the-dark necklaces. The gas station on Memorial Drive, where I first set eyes on the gorgeous man who would later become my husband. (If you want to hear the silly, unromantic story, just ask in person…. or maybe I will blog it!)
We had talked about moving back to Atlanta for years, but when our kids finally became adults it seemed like the perfect time. Florida was a great place for our photography business, in particular weddings because of the amazing beaches. Now that we want to focus on headshots and family portraits, being in a big city like Atlanta will be ideal. The excitement of rediscovering this area and having a huge variety of locations for photo shoots is just what we need at this new chapter in our lives!
Can I just say how blessed we are? If you are reading this, you know us, are a past client, or you’re searching for a photographer and have wandered around our site so much that you ended up here. The people we have met along the journey of running our photography business have been our greatest joy. Don’t get me wrong, we love getting THE shot… the most genuine smile, along with lovely light and and the beauty of creation as a perfect frame. It’s just that the connections we’ve made have an eternal value and delivering our clients amazing photos is icing on the cake.
Let’s get photoshootin’, Atlanta!