KATELYNN | CLASS OF 2018

This year has flown by without warning and before we have been able to catch our breath, it is already time for the Class of 2018!  Our first 2018 senior to be photographed is Katelynn, a rising senior from Buford High School.  We have had the pleasure of knowing Katelynn and her family for the last three years, and the fact that she is about to be a senior is blowing our minds.

Katelynn is the type of young woman you want to know.  She is super intelligent, funny, talented, and absolutely gorgeous.  When it came to photographing her portraits, she could not have made it easier.  She was quick to smile and laugh, open and agreeable to all ideas, and she even came prepared with a bag of supplies just in she needed it! 

We started our session at Atlanta's Piedmont Park.  It was a beautiful morning, with soft golden sunlight and slight breeze.  After talking to Katelynn about how much she loves being in downtown Atlanta, we finished our session at the infamous Jackson Street bridge.  Katelynn remained easy-going and enthusiastic throughout the session - a real dream for any photographer. 

 

REMEMBERING FLORIDA IN JANUARY & REVIEWING SLEEKLENS WORKFLOWS

As artists and photographers, we are constantly grappling with the balance of photographic integrity and the endless editing options that technology offers.  Each photographer approaches this tug of war with their own methodology and perspective - and this position often evolves over the course of their career.  

Before I ever picked up a camera, I was an editor.  While some may assume that this means that I take every opportunity of Photoshop the crap out of my images, I prefer most often to use Photoshop to simply tweak what I cannot achieve in the camera.  I also offer alternative edits of images when the mood strikes me - usually only applying effects that evoke certain feelings (i.e. film or matte overlays) or enhance the timeless nature of a photograph (i.e. black and white conversion).  My goal is to never let that extra something get in the way of the message that the image is supposed to deliver.

As technology has advanced, there are many options for photographers and graphic artists to perfect images or to add additional elements to a photograph.  The intention of these workflow systems is to make the editing process easier, more efficient, and accessible to artists of all levels.  I have found that as my editing process has evolved, I try to achieve my end result in the fewest steps possible - and workflow systems can certainly help.

Today, I got the opportunity to work with a new workflow system: The Landscape Adventure Collection by Sleeklens.  While I am not a landscape photographer, this collection proved flexible enough to use in environmental portraits as well.  To demonstrate, I revisited our personal vacation to Jupiter, Florida in January of last year.

Our vacation was prompted by the wedding of one of our family members and we were ready to get out of the gloomy, cold weather in Georgia and head toward the sun.  My husband David grew up in Jupiter, so it was a trip down memory lane as well.  The first image I edited using the Sleeklens system was taken at a park where where David used to play as a child. 

Any photographer will tell you that shooting during "the golden hour" can result in some beautiful, dreamy images that are difficult to replicate otherwise.  What they don't tell you is how much tweaking that can be involved in the editing process.  I found that the layering multiple actions in this workflow system was simple and easy to customize.  Ultimately, I was able to retain the dreamy, golden color and enhance some the elements that tend to get hazy in those conditions.

During our time in Florida, we stayed only a short walk away from an inlet that overlooked The Jupiter Inlet Lighthouse.  Taking our son to look at the lighthouse was a tender moment between David and Hudson, as David has many memories that include that lighthouse somewhere in the background.  

This workflow system had a excellent mix of subtle adjustments and full actions to utilize.  This gives you full flexibility to keep your image looking natural or more artistic.

One of the sweetest memories of our trip was taking Hudson to the beach for the first time.  He was hesitant at first, but eventually warmed up to the sand.  We never did get him near the water though!

Overall, I thought the the Sleeklens workflow system was versatile and easy to use.  Each adjustment and action is simply labeled and includes prompts that guide you to the best application.  My only criticism of this workflow system is the black and white actions do not allow for enough manipulation of the black and white conversion.  However, the specific workflow collection that I was working with was created for landscapes and not portraiture, which could explain why this was set up the way that it was.  At the end of the day, I was able to quickly edit some images that helped me remember was warm weather feels like and also fawn over our sweet and little our son was only a year ago.  

Check out Sleeklens' Landscape Adventure Collection, as well as their editing service and the many other workflow solutions they are offering photographers and graphic artists!

LISA + JOHN

One of the many perks of being a photographer is being present for the biggest milestones in a person's life.  The fact that our clients trust us to capture moments that are so pivotal and so personal is something that we cherish.  Our role in these moments is to find the beauty, find the details, find the connections, and preserve them all - and to do this requires an ability to simultaneously be in the moment with your client and also remove yourself enough to consistently execute your objective.  Every once in a while, we find ourselves experiencing a moment with our client that touches us in a personal way and this happened with the marriage of Lisa and John. 

Lisa and John commissioned us to photograph their wedding just before the new year, which I have always thought is a wonderful time to be married.  Their wedding took place in their living room, among their closest family and friends.  This connected with me, as David and I were also married in our living room in front our parents and a few other special people.  Being invited into someone's home to witness the union between two people is possibly one of the most intimate invitations you can get. 

The ceremony was packed with sweet, tender moments: music performed by the groom's children, a dear friend acted as officiant, vows that truly read more like love letters than a social contract (they could barely getting through them without kissing - so sweet).  But the part that struck a cord with me was how they incorporated and honored their children.  Both Lisa and John have children from their respective prior marriages and they issued an additional set of vows for their children.  As a child of divorced parents, this was a poignant moment for me.  Many times, the new beginnings of your parents is difficult to navigate.  The commitment that both Lisa and John made to their children to support each of them and love them unconditionally was a unifying gesture that I wish all newly blended families would make.  It was an intentional, heartfelt gesture and it touched my heart.

AMANDA + BILL

As artists, we are constantly looking for inspiration and new approaches to our craft to keep our perspective fresh.  Sometimes that feels like work.  Other times, it comes together so easily and naturally that it feels like it was meant to be.  As soon as Amanda and Bill asked us to photograph their wedding, we knew that it would be epic.  It did not disappoint.  

Amanda and Bill's wedding was possibly the most unique and romantic wedding we have had the pleasure of photographing.  Taking place at the super-hip King Plow Arts Center, this wedding was the perfect combination of an exclusive gallery opening,  an intimate loft party with your best friends, and that date with your significant other that made you know that they were the one.  It was authentic, relaxed, and sweet beyond words.  Am I gushing about this enough?  Let's get to the evidence.

The details of this wedding were so important.  Each decision made when conceptualizing the look of this event made so much sense.  It felt effortless, as if this is exactly how it was supposed to happen and it could not have happened in any other fashion.  Amanda wore an breathaking and atypical wedding dress that I personally will never forget.  The bridal party had so much intrinsic style that they could have walked out of a magazine.  Al Dellinger of 2000 A.D. Inc., Concepts In Floral Art delivered some truly inspired floral pieces that captured the personality of the bride and groom so perfectly.  The main decoration of the event was the art present in the gallery and the weathered texture of the space itself, and these floral works of art added both softness and drama.  Truly unforgettable.  

The ceremony was brief, but so heartfelt.  The lighting was dim, with accents of warm light coming from candles, a dramatic projection on the wall behind them, and flickers of ambient light from the skylights above.  Love just poured out from each moment.

Once the reception started, you really never wanted it to end.  It was as if the space were transformed into a coolest party in town: it was dark, the best and most diverse mix of music was thumping, people of all ages were having a great time.  The joy that everyone felt about Amanda and Bill's union permeated the room.

Oh, and let's not forget the food, which was easily the most delicious meal we have had at a wedding.  Bold American Events provided an awesome spread of both small bites and rib-sticking goodness.  Pastry Shells created a stunning gold painted cake that looked almost too good to touch (but don't worry - we got pictures before it was devoured).  Food this rich and delicious never looked so good.  

And listen, a stunning event like this simply cannot happen without someone holding the pieces together.  Kecia Wilson with Three Little Birds Weddings was an ever-present guiding hand that made sure every fleck of detail was perfect and in place.  Her kind and calm demeanor was a breath of fresh air to us, especially having photographed many wedding and events without such a steady voice to keep things progressing.  She truly cares and her exceptional work shows from start to finish.

When the night was over, a beautiful sparkler exit was the most fitting way to send off this rock star couple.  After a big sigh, we looked at each other and knew that this was the most beautiful, tender, fun, unique, badass wedding that we have ever seen.  A million thank yous to Amanda and Bill and their families for allowing us to be part of this most special of days.  We cherish this experience.  

KIMBERLY + MICHAEL

This year, we partnered with Cold Creek Farm as part of their exclusive vendors offered to their couples.  We have been so excited to shoot at such this picturesque, intimate venue and our first wedding did not disappoint! 

Kimberly and Michael's wedding day started with rain, which would normally stress couples out as their prepared for their big debut.  However, I was met by a laid-back, happy couple that was just blissfully awaiting their union.  Just in time, the rain cleared and we were met with beautiful afternoon light.  Kimberly glowed (both with her love for Michael but also with anticipation for the birth of their daughter), and Michael's smile only got bigger as the day went on. 

It was an absolute pleasure to document this sweet wedding.  Congratulations. you lovebirds!