About a week and a half after Carly's Fresh 48 I went to the family's home for her newborn session. Newborn sessions include posing and props, in addition to family portraits. Here are a few of my favorites.
A "Fresh 48" session is an in hospital session done within a day or two (48 hours) of baby's birth. Eric and Eden wanted to capture the moment their son Jack met his new baby sister Carly for the first time, and their first day as a family of 4. When I arrived, baby Carly was in this adorable swaddle and headband, ready for her debut! I'm not sure Jack knew what to think of it all, since he's too young to really understand. It certainly was adorable when he started pointing out baby's nose, eyes, and mouth. I also was able to capture some sweet moments between Carly and her parents.
I've been working so hard at building a new web site that I've gotten way behind in blogging - this is the last post from Paula & Ray's wedding reception at Cherokee.
I've photographed hundreds of weddings, so it's extra fun when I see something I've never seen at a wedding before. Paula and Ray are avid rollerbladers, so their friends brought their blades along and everyone skated on the dance floor!!
And, of course, there was more dancing!
Paula and Ray's Reception was held at The Cherokee Town Club in Atlanta. It's a gorgeous ballroom that was the perfect setting, with a classic decor. When I first talked to Paula about her wedding she told me that the two most important things to her were the ceremony and the dancing. She did not disappoint, Paula and Ray and their friends and family sure did know how to dance! In addition to the traditional first dance, father daughter dance, and mother son dance, Paula danced with her son and it was so sweet!
I took photos of trick-or-treaters in my old neighborhood and was just blown away at the great costumes I saw. I had such a great time I'm sure I'll be there again next year!
After the beautiful ceremony, Paula and Ray signed the certificate of marriage. I love that Paula's son is looking over Ray's shoulder as he signs his name. We also took a few family portraits. Next post - the reception!
The Cathedral of Christ The King in Atlanta is a beautiful backdrop for a wedding ceremony. Paula was a stunning bride wearing a dress that couldn't have been more flattering. The floral arrangements were absolutely elegant. But all of that beauty faded into the background compared to Paula's joyful smile throughout the entire ceremony. It was clear to me, as well as to their friends and family, that she and Ray share a special connection and are truly happy in love.
Abby and Lizz had the perfect end to their wedding - friends and family all went to DePalma's East Side for a nice dinner. There were a few toasts to the new couple, and lots of great food and laughter!
These are my favorite photos from the rest of the ceremony. (Click here for the first half.) Abby and Lizz got married at their church, Covenant Presbyterian Church in Athens, GA. I feel like these photos really speak for themselves. Look at how incredibly happy they both are. Lizz practically danced down the aisle! And check out the ice cream cones - those are the bubbles for the departure!
Abby and Lizz got married at their church, Covenant Presbyterian Church in Athens, GA. I loved the way they personalized the ceremony. First, Abby was walked in by Lizz's aunt and one of their best friends about 10 minutes before the beginning of the ceremony, and sat in the front pew. After about 10 minutes, the pastor and wedding party entered, followed by Lizz and her mother. (By the way, check out her mom's nail polish, how cool!) Abby and Lizz had a unity candle, but put their own spin on it by having their friends, their chosen family, light the individual candles. I'll post the rest of the ceremony next!
Abby and Lizz are two of the happiest people I've had the pleasure of photographing. There was so much joking and laughing, joy and beautiful smiles. It was clear to me that these two not only loved each other, but really liked each other too! Abby told me there was this spot she drove by in Athens that she had always loved, so she decided it would be the perfect spot for their first look. Now every time she passes it, it will bring an even bigger smile to her face.This is my favorite photo from the day!!
I'm so excited to have just received my new style of custom flash drives for my wedding photo packages! I've been using flash drives for years, and I figured it's time for a style change. Now don't get me wrong, I love the traditional look of my old flash drives, but I wanted something fun and new.
These flash drives are made out of bamboo, which is not only eco-friendly, but also so beautiful. I've always gone for a very natural photography style, so these gorgeous flash drives are perfect for me. I also can't get over how elegant the drives look. My laser engraved logo has a naturally varied look that I can't get enough of.
These flash drives are an excellent addition to my wedding packages. I can't wait for my clients to get their hands on them.
Special thanks to USB Memory Direct for helping me out and making the flash drives for me!
Sabrina's amazing friends threw her the most stunning baby shower at the St Regis. The theme was children's books, and they really went all out! Crush Event Design did an amazing job setting up the room, so it was both elegant and comfortable.I was so impressed with the florist, Ginger Rose. There were gorgeous floral arrangements everywhere!The favor table was absolutely incredible. To begin with, each guest had their own bag with their name printed on it. Then each favor had a baby theme and/or a book to go along with it. I had to include individual photos of each item so you can truly appreciate the thought that went into each item.The little girls loved the mirrors, custom painted by Everlong Creative. At the top is Winnie the Pooh and the quote "We will be friends until forever, just you wait and see." At the bottom is Goodnight Moon and the quote "Goodnight stars, goodnight air, goodnight noises everywhere."Of course they loved the sweets table too! Look at that smile! She certainly approved of the delicious (and photogenic) sweets from Gingerspice Bakery.The drink station was just as beautiful as the rest of the room, with fresh fruit, sage, and even popsicles to put in the drinks!Sabrina was clearly thrilled with all the work her friends put into her shower. We should all be so lucky!Contact me to photograph your next event!
When you are invited to a baby shower there is always the difficult decision to make regarding what to get the new parents to be. You can get an adorable outfit that the parents will love, but that the baby will only maybe wear once - assuming it fits them during the right season. You can get something very useful and boring from the register, which is sweet and helpful, but not as much fun for you or the parents. Or, you can be totally creative and get them something not on the registry that they will cherish for a lifetime - a newborn session gift certificate from Courtney Goldman Photography! That's what Benjamin's mom's friend did for her - and just look at these beautiful images they'll have of their handsome baby forever. It's the perfect gift for any new parents to be.
If you're like me, when spring finally hits Atlanta you're already planning out all the fun things to do outside before the summer heat creeps in. Hoping that the pollen count behaves, your spring bucket list is most likely filling up with many outdoor activities around Atlanta.Will you visit different parks with your family? Stroll new trails with your pups? Coordinate spring portraits with the ones you love?You name it, your spring bucket list is filling up and deciding where to have each adventure is the next to-do. That's where my awesome location list comes in handy!Whether you're scouting places to have your next family portrait or your upcoming engagement session, or looking for a location to occupy your Saturday with the added bonus of cute Instagram opportunities, here are the top photo-worthy spots you need to visit around Atlanta:
PARKS AND TRAILS
There are endless opportunities for outdoor activities and photo backdrops on all four segments of the Atlanta Beltline. Their website is super helpful in breaking down the locations of different parks and restaurants, as well as events happening at each segment. Take a peek here.
You’d never expect to find this 120-acre nature preserve sitting in the middle of urban Southwest Atlanta! It’s a great site for engagement sessions or family photos - if you are up for a 2-mile round trip hike, there’s a gorgeous tranquil waterfall, need I say more? Cascade Springs is a worthy prize if you’re hiking it with family, friends and your doggies.
Known for its fun and energetic vibe, Centennial Olympic Park is fun to just walk around and enjoy, or you can visit restaurants, attend events or ride the SkyView Ferris wheel. Kids love the fountains, which make for wonderful “in the moment” photos. As an added bonus, the pretty spring landscape is a great backdrop for some added color.
Just southeast of Atlanta, there’s a lot of history rooted in the trails, granite and rivers that occupy the national heritage area. If you only have an hour, an afternoon or a weekend to plan something fun with the family, their website gives you fantastic ideas to make your time worthwhile. My favorite photography spot is on Mountain Top Trail.
If greenery is the goal for your photo backdrop, the Dunwoody nature scene is a favorite for portrait sessions. The swings, gardens, creek and a park piano are just a few of the many neat things found here. Additionally, the Dunwoody Nature Center hosts summer camps for kids and has an events calendar filled out each month so you can easily choose your outdoor plans for the next weekend.
Though it’s a recent addition to the Atlanta community, don’t let this new kid on the block fool you - it’s impressive. If you want an Urban appeal in photos as well as the option of some greenery, this park is perfect. It’s nestled off the beltline and has a lot to offer with its modern designed pond, foliage and structures. For playtime, there’s a splash pad and playground for the kids.
I have a thing for cool doors in photos, and this historic city has many! Its hometown appeal is attractive for family and engagement photos or for spending an afternoon during one of the many awesome events this city holds each season. The square’s signature statement is a middle courtyard/park home to a chic fountain and gazebo.
Piedmont Park is a classic Atlanta park at the heart of the city! It’s a favorite for a reason because there’s always something to do. There is a giant dog park, multiple playground areas, a public pool, a running/walking trail and a huge lawn for relaxing or for activities. In addition, wherever you are on the grounds there’s always an awesome view for photos.
For all my OTP family and friends or those who want a quick escape outside the city, this Cobb County hidden gem is quaint and picturesque. With over 3,000 species of plants, multiple outdoor sculptures and the historic Hiram Butler House, there is plenty to see. You can even have a picnic while you’re there.
If you can’t venture OTP for a dose of nature, Atlanta Botanical Gardens is your local fix. From visiting as a guest, going to a concert in the gardens to attending a wedding, the 30-acre garden is definitely a must see. For photography guidelines, visit here.
Whether you’re a history buff or not, Kennesaw Mountain is worth a visit. See the location of the Civil War battleground of the Atlanta Campaign, or enjoy over 18 miles of trails in this 2,965 acre National Park. Family photos work great here if you’re looking for an open space, nature-filled background.
It’s one of the most popular bridges because of its perfect Atlanta skyline view. You might also recognize it from the TV series “The Walking Dead.” When I drive over this bridge, there’s almost always people taking photos on it. I find it’s very popular for couple photo sessions and engagement sessions.
Water Tower at Old Decatur Water Works - Decatur, GA
(Aka “The Ruins” in Mason Mill Park)
If you’re interested in cool street art, raised boardwalks and greenery to enhance your photos, these popular ruins have you covered. This waterwork facility was abandoned back in the 1940s and is situated in Mason Mill Park. So in other words, it’s really, really neat! And last but not least...
YOUR OWN HOME
A client’s home is one of my favorite spots to photograph them because of the built-in relaxed atmosphere. Cliche or not, home is where the heart is. It’s also an ideal location to enjoy a gorgeous day outside!
As a professional photographer for more than 10 years, I can affirm that "What should we wear?" is a question everyone has when planning their family portrait session. It’s a fair question because style and color trends are constantly changing (seasonally and yearly) and you want to look your very best. Aside from advising my clients to just be themselves - which is truly the best outfit there is - I also talk to them about how color and style can play a huge role in the final product. Wardrobe choice is such a large part of portrait session planning for families that I'm dedicating two blog posts that will separately focus on the two main prep essentials: color and style.For part 1 of my "What to Wear" post, I'm going to show you how to enhance your Spring family portrait session with colors and what resources you can use when choosing the best hues for you and your family. 1. Wear Your Feel-Good ColorsMy first color tip is to choose your feel-good colors. For both parents and kids, looking most natural in photos requires being comfortable! That's why it's crucial to choose colors you and your family feel great about when planning your portrait session wardrobe. If you don't favor yellow in your everyday life, then by no means choose a bold yellow.On the other hand, if you feel best when wearing a trendy color, then you might want to check out the most popular colors of the year from Pantone.com. Each year, Pantone debuts seasonal color palettes of about 12 trendy colors. It's a great resource for sifting through the latest hues to find some that match your style. The top colors for Spring 2018 include Meadowlark yellow, Arcadia green, Pink Lavender, and more!2. Choose Complementary ColorsPhotos tend to look the best when families "go together" by wearing complementary colors rather than matching outfits that are all the exact same color. For instance, try to stay away from everyone in your family only wearing pastel blue and white. Instead, incorporate various colors that pair well with pastel blue into each family member’s outfit. You can create your own color palette on Coolors.co or find some on my Pinterest board. One way to win at the complementary color game is by incorporating the corresponding colors by adding layers or accessory pieces.3. Add-in Accent ColorsAs mentioned above, accessories and layers are a great way to mix in complementary colors, but they can also enhance a wardrobe. If you're leaning more toward a neutral palette, a great way to include a splash of color is through accents. You can accent your outfits by blending in colorful accessories like jewelry, scarves, bows, ties, or shoes. If families are trying to find a way to add color to their photos, I often suggest that they switch things up with colorful accessories during the last half of their session. This way, families who don’t want to compromise their neutral theme can still try out accent colors. 4. Match Colors with Final ProductPrior to a photo shoot, many families already know exactly where they want their family photos to go in their house. For instance, if a family wants to display a wall portrait in their living room, then they might avoid wearing colors in their photo shoot that would clash in their living room. So if you’re uncertain about which colors to wear for your upcoming family photoshoot try visualizing where you want to place your final products around your home. With 4 color tips under your belt, here are my favorite color resources:Coolors.coThis site is so awesome - and it’s also available as an app. It’s a super fast color schemes generator. It's the quickest way I’ve found to easily visualize complementary colors! You start off with some suggested palettes, and with just a few clicks, you can choose your favorite colors to generate a color palette of your own! Generate your color scheme here and instantly organize your next portrait session wardrobe.PinterestOf course, the obvious resource for tips and inspiration is Pinterest. I suggest creating a board and pinning various color themes and style ideas for your portrait shoot wardrobe. This way, it's easy for you to visualize all of your favorite ideas and to begin narrowing them down to the ones that fit your family the best. You can start your inspiration over on my "What to Wear: Color & Style Pinterest Board" for a variety of color palettes, accent mix inspiration and complementary color ideas. Check it out here!Pantone.comFrom home decorating, painting, photography and even fashion, Pantone is a go-to guide and inspiration for all things color. This resource's popularity has grown with its handy Color of the Year charts and seasonal color palette guides. Want to wear trendy colors in your next family photo shoot? Start researching here! While taking in all the photo and color inspiration out there, just remember to keep your families most natural quality of just "being you" at the forefront of your portrait session wardrobe planning.
It was freezing cold on the afternoon of Maggie and Hubert's engagement session at Marietta Square. It was so cold that Hubert's sister who had came along for the session decided after only 2 or 3 minutes that she'd rather just sit in the car! Luckily, Maggie and Hubert were great sports about the cold - especially after I told them it was a great excuse to get close and cuddly. Their photos turned out beautifully, you'd never know I had them sitting on freezing cold stairs or leaning up against a frozen marble wall. We did take a few opportunities to go inside and warm up, including at Rocket Fizz, which turned out to be super colorful and great for some fun photos!Do you need engagement photos? Contact me now!
Saylor turned 1 in January and celebrated it with a Beauty and the Beast themed smash cake session. I had the honor to "be her guest" and document this cutie. See what I did there - do you have the song "Be Our Guest" in your head now? I do! Here are some of my favorite photos from the session.Would you like to have a cake smash session for your little one? It's easy - no studio needed. I will come to your house and bring this white cake-proof backdrop. You provide the adorable child, decorations, and the cake. And let the smashing begin! Contact me now to schedule your session.
Let’s be honest: Your treasured memories deserve the best, and high quality framed prints are a great way to go. They’re a favorite with many of my clients, and also one of my own. We all know why we want to hang framed family photos - because, they look gorgeous of course. But why do we need built-to-last high quality framed photos in our homes? I can think of at least 3 great reasons and I’m sharing them below!
In-Home TherapyI believe fine art family photos are like built-in therapists. From wall to wall, your memories have the power to save your life. Okay, that might be a bit dramatic, but you know what I mean. When you see a gorgeous photo of your kids’ smiling faces, you can’t help but feel happy - no matter what mood you’re in. They also serve as a great reminder of how adorable and wonderful your kids can be, even when they are currently running around the house creating chaos. Can your essential oil diffuser do that?
Home Decor BalancePersonal accents such as photos of your children’s milestone moments, love story memories, or fun family adventures complement any decor style. Traditional décor such as candles on the coffee table or mirrors on the wall is nice, but when you add personal portrait artwork into your space, you’re adding much more than just beauty, you’re also adding joy - and some might even say, you’re making your house into even more of a home.
Nostalgia NightcapsNostalgia before bed can boost relaxation - or at least that’s what I believe. There’s nothing worse than getting in bed and not being able to shake off the frustrations of the day. It’s peaceful and relaxing to have warm recollections of family and loved ones, and where better than surrounding you in the oasis of your bedroom? There’s no better way to drift off into your dreams than with sweet memories of your family’s happy times.
In ConclusionQuality framed photos gift you with so much more than just their presence. They become your reliable in-home therapists, handy decor solutions, and nostalgia nightcaps you can count on.
I grew up next door to Crawford, so he's basically my big brother - which also means he's the worst possible client! (Sorry Crawford, but you know it's true!) Crawford's never been shy about complaining about 'boring fall foliage' portrait sessions. This year, we were determined to find a location that would be fun and photogenic. We thought about shooting at a store, but that didn't seem very fun. We thought about using his father's office building, putting the kids in little suits, and doing silly scenes in the board room and on the escalator, but his wife Amy didn't think that was the best idea. When she called to set up their session I just picked a park that was nearby and suggested they bring their dogs to include them in the session, and that was that. Or so I thought - I got a call from Crawford and he said he was not going to do a session at the park, and what did I think about bowling. What a fantastic idea!! I said as long as Amy approved, I was most definitely in! So we met at Midtown Bowl on Saturday morning, and it was perfect. We all bowled, and each time it was my turn, before I'd bowl I'd suggest a photo to take. My bowling game may not have been the best, but the photos turned out to be so fun and cute! Enjoy.