Archive for the Bridals Category

Alicia’s Bridal Session

Posted in Bridals, Personal, Weddings on September 1, 2009 by sharizellers


I am so excited to show off this bridal session for my girl, Alicia!  All of our hard work and location scouting paid off!  The weather was perfect – not TOOO hot anyways, and all of the things we wanted to do went off without a hitch.


A few weeks before her session, we headed over to the campus of her alma mater, Agnes Scott, to have a look around for some nice locations.  I’ve been to the campus before but not with permission to shoot just about any where we wanted.  So on this scouting trip, we were just finding so many great looks and locations – without going too far! We also went next door to downtown Decatur since Alicia also spent plenty of nostalgic times there and wanted to do something with the mural at Johnny’s Pizza.

Since she needed to get into her dress in Agnes Scott Hall, we decided to start right there in one of the rooms off the main hallway.  There was a terrific red couch and we used a little off camera flash to create a butterfly spot effect.  She looks so glamorous here, like a Hollywood starlet!


There is also a great little gazebo and  this is one of my favorite close ups of the day.  Love her laughing here!  What was so funny?  I dunno but this is perfection to me…bensonbridal_0018

We headed over to Presser Hall next and used this amazing foyer with a gorgeous chandelier.  I had Alicia’s MOH, Lindsay, hold the off camera flash for some really dramatic lighting for this classic portrait.


As we wandered towards the front lawn, the sun was peeking through the trees perfectly illuminating the branches.  We stopped for some landscape images with this ethereal light and this was the image Alicia chose for display at the reception.  Perfect for a “Midsummer Night’s Dream” theme!


Now, for MY favorite shot of the day.  It’s amazing what little nooks and crannies you can find in the architecture.  This double staircase was sort of hidden behind the library.  I was immediately drawn to the marble and chrome as a backdrop for something vogue.  When we arrived that day, it was receiving some rather harsh sunlight but the effect didn’t bother me at all!  I LOVE this image.  It’s my absolute favorite of the entire session…and that’s saying a lot since I love so many!


Leaving Agnes Scott behind, we headed over to Decatur for a quick change of scenery…and a quick change of attitude!  Alicia saved her purple crinoline for this part of the session and exchanged her veil for a fabulous feather fascinator.  Way to rock it, girlie!  Gotta give Gene some love here…Man!  Can you say purple perfection?!


Last, but certainly not least is our John Lennon tribute.  Looking sorta pensive but loving the color infrared with Strawberry Fields.


I am like a proud big sister of Alicia!  She really rocked this bridal session and we had so much fun!  Please be assured, this was BEFORE her wedding and no wedding dresses were harmed in this photo shoot.  You can really do a lot of fun things with planning and patience and never have to worry about your dress.  We’ll take care of you!

To see Alicia’s Bridal Session slideshow, click HERE!


Fall/Winter 2009 Special Packages!

Posted in Bridals, Engagements, News, Special Events, Weddings on June 30, 2009 by sharizellers

That’s right folks!  If you’ve been lurking, now’s the time to book us for your wedding!  I’ve just created some AWESOME packages that are packed with goodies at a great price.  Have you been dreaming of having a photobooth at your wedding?  Well, now you can have it included for FREE with any package!  We’ve also got some deals on albums – save even more on parents’ albums if you buy two.

These specials can be booked from now until December 31st however, your wedding can be any date.

REMEMBER:  There is a  BRIDAL REGISTRY for any products we offer!  This means your family and guests can purchase credits towards the wedding album of your dreams!  Register for canvas and print packages, too.

Click HERE for a downloadable PDF file of these offers.

And hurry! We only shoot ONE wedding per day so don’t lose your date.

Renee’s Bridal Session @ the Swan House

Posted in Bridals, Weddings with tags , , on March 14, 2009 by sharizellers


Amazing – just truly amazing!  I was so completely honored when Renee wanted to me to be her wedding photographer.  This woman is just the picture of beauty and grace and the sun just seems to follow her where ever she goes!  When she told me that she was planning her wedding for March 7th on the lawn of the Swan House – uh, just one of my favorite ALL time locations in Atlanta or ANY WHERE – I was a bit skeptical, I’ll admit it.  March can be such a volatile month for weather.  We’ve had blizzards and tornadoes in Atlanta in the month that comes in like a lion and it worried me a lot!


What I didn’t know is that the good fortune that Renee seems to have. When I went to Raleigh to shoot the engagement session for her and Milton last fall, it was the epitome of a gorgeous fall day.  We had a great time walking the grounds of a beautiful park and a glamorous hotel while I also got to know the two of them better.  When we discussed when to schedule her bridal session, I was so nervous about the timing with bridals usually needing to be a month or so before – that would put it right in the heart of winter.  We scheduled her bridal session for February 7th and I crossed my fingers and said a little prayer…


And oh, what an amazing day it turned out to be.  Perfectly warm, slight breeze and just gorgeous sunlight.  The whole day was just beautiful and just right for a bridal session.  Renee is stunning and it takes very little effort on my part to make her look glamorous.  One of the things I wanted to play with a little is off-camera flash so when Marlene arrived, we messed around for a few minutes trying out different settings where the flash would be triggered by remote controls called Pocket Wizards. They worked wonderfully that day so I’m really loving some of the dramatic lighting I was able to achieve with Marlene holding the flash off to the side, just out of the frame.


The great lighting was also helpful in getting my all-time favorites – B&W Infrareds.  With infrared, it’s really effective with good sunlight coming from the side and foliage,  like this shot.  See the regular b&w in the close up and you can see how dramatic the infrared looks.


Well, Renee & Milton’s wedding day last Saturday was just as gorgeous as it could be. Just the right temperature again and plenty of sun!  It’s amazing when you consider that just six days before we had several inches of snow here in Atlanta and today, once again, it’s rainy and cold a week later!  Ah, the luck of the gods!  I can’t wait to post their wedding images, too.  It was OTt as we like to say – Over The Top!


Marlene Hawthrone Thomas for Shari Zellers Photography

My favorite shot that Marlene took that day – gorgeous! (I’m so jealous of her back ;o)

To see more of Renee’s images and her whole slideshow, click HERE.

Dean’s Bridal Session At Cator-Woolford Gardens

Posted in Bridals, Weddings with tags , on December 17, 2008 by sharizellers


I love doing bridal sessions!  And I wish all of my brides would do them.  Alas, I get to do a few each year and it’s always so much fun taking a bride out and doing a glamour session with them.

Dean and Phil were planning their wedding festivities to take place in their hometown of LaGrange, GA and with little time to go, we scheduled Dean’s bridal session for a more local area, Cator-Woolford Gardens.  Seems like we got this one in just under the wire as we had lovely weather, just enough sunlight and a few golden leaves left on the trees!


No bridal session at Cator-Woolford would be complete without a full-length feature on the grand staircase!  This always is a favorite and has just enough light and shade for a perfect portrait spot.  On this day, I really loved how the sun peeked through the leaves just above the top of the stairs and gave a nice natural hair light for Dean.



Surrounded by lush greenery, this staircase looks good in color or black and white for a dramatic look that really shows off the textures.


We headed to the vine covered arbor that usually serves as the altar for ceremonies at CWG.  I’ve shot during a ceremony from this angle before but until today, I hadn’t used it for a bridal session.  Not only did I like the vines on the column, but the trees were much more colorful behind Dean from this veiw as well.


This is one of my favorite close ups of Dean that day!  She is just glowing!


Dean had her bridal gown custom made for her by a designer out of Alabama.  As soon as I find out her name, I’ll post her info here!  I just adored the little bows going up the back of her dress!


My favorite tree, the Gingko, was in full golden glory that day so I had to use that for a backdrop here.



Finally, we wrapped up her session at the Pavillion.  It’s a small white building with columns that is usually used for the bridal party suite at CWG.  Dean’s mom and I cleared away the fall leaves to clean up the area for this shot!  The arched doorway is a perfect frame for a beautiful bride…



A classic window shot makes a simple but graceful look in black and white. 


You can see more of Dean’s bridal session in her slideshow by clicking HERE.

End of a busy, busy summer!

Posted in Bridals, Engagements, Trash the Dress, Weddings with tags , on September 3, 2008 by sharizellers

So, for quite a few weeks – too many to count right now – I had a lot of trouble accessing my blog.  It’s been a little too low on my priority list since I had so many wonderful engagement sessions, trash the dress session, and weddings to work on and deliver to my anxious clients.  I just decided that when I could address the problem, I would get to blog again.  Now, the amount of work has caught up and I’m happy to say that I can access my blog again! 

What I’ve decided to do is rather than write a long post about each event, (which would take me weeks to finish) I’ll do a mini-blog about each!  I definitely want to honor my amazing clients this summer and we’ve had so many beautiful weddings that I would be sad if I didn’t get to share them with folks.

Paula & Chad, May 24, 2008

We left off with me trying to blog about Paula & Chad’s wedding.  Paula & Chad were married at their church, Grayson United Methodist, and hosted their reception at the Gwinnett Historic Courthouse – both new venues for me!  My two favorite things about their wedding:  Paula’s gorgeous coral shoes and the beautiful streaming sunlight in the courthouse during their first dance.    You can watch their slideshow here:  Paula & Chad 

Shira & David, May 25th, 2008

I felt as if I’d waited so long for this wedding.  I first met Shira & Dave last summer in New York to shoot their engagment session – and now their spectacular wedding was set in the awesome Georgia Aquarium.  I had never shot a wedding in the aquarium so I was nervous but so excited, too.  It was even more incredible than I’d imagined.  Shira and Dave were just as beautiful as when I met them last year of course, and we had the most fun.  I really loved the entire atmosphere and there simply isn’t a bad angle in the whole place!  See their beautiful wedding day here:  Shira & Dave

Julie & Jon’s Engagement Session

Julie & Jon’s wedding is actually coming up this weekend!!!!  I’m super happy to be going back to Callanwolde again.  We started their e-sesh in Virginia Highlands where they had their first date at Hand in Hand.  Wandering around the VAHI, I had fun finding little areas to shoot them and my favorite has to be the Coca-Cola sign on the side of the building.  Hmmm, Coca-Cola is what built Callanwolde!  Since they loved the architecture of their wedding venue, we headed over there to finish up their session in and around the historic grounds.  Enjoy their slideshow here:  Julie & Jon


Elizabeth & George, June 6, 2008

Elizabeth & George exchanged their vows at St. Thomas Moore Catholic Church in downtown Decatur. Another first time for me!  I immediately fell in love with the stained glass at this church and made a point to feature it in several of their images.  After the traditional ceremony, we headed to the park next door for some romantics – and it was HOT – literally!  Whew – but they really held up in the heat well. ;o)  Their reception was at the Marriott at Century Center on Clairmont.  The hardest part of this day for me?  My car died when trying to get from the hotel to the church.  Luckily Sam was able to drive us around the rest of the day (yay for second shooters!).  However, when we could not get the car to start at all after the reception, I called AAA and they did not show up with a tow truck until 4:00 am!  YES!  4 A.M. in the morning…and guess what????  I had to be to another wedding then next day at noon…

Brittany & Gladin, June 7, 2008

but, that’s the kinda thing you do!  Yes, I had to be at Brittany’s church, John’s Creek Baptist Church, the next day at noon!  It was family to the rescue as I borrowed my mom’s car and Steven fixed my car for me.  Brittany & Gladin’s wedding and reception were both held in their church.  This was my first Christian Indian wedding.  I discovered that less than 2% of the Indian population is Christian.  It was a very moving ceremony and the reception was so fun with hilarious games played by the wedding party.   A lot of warm family moments were shared with a moving slideshow, too.

Lisa’s Trash the Dress Session!

Yes!  I was so happy when my assistant/photographer Alicia told me her friend, Lisa, was looking to have a trash the dress session.  Lisa wanted to do this session as a present to her husband who was deployed to Iraq shortly after their wedding.  The plan was to start at GA Tech where Scott attended school, go to Centennial Park next, and then finish up at my favorite rustic location, Sope Creek Park.  I’d been so hoping to go back to Sope Creek for a TTD session and now I had my chance!  The only downside to our session is that almost every fountain was not running that day due to the drought conditions we’ve been experiencing here in Georgia.  Oh well!  We still found plenty of water – even if it was shallow…and uckily warm.  Click here to see Lisa’s Trash the Dress!

Haley & Cameron, June 21, 2008

After three years, I finally got to go back to Villa Christina to shoot a wedding – twice in one week!  Though Haley & Cameron exchanged vows at their church, First United Methodist of Marietta, they had their reception at Villa Christina.  This venue is one of my all-time favorites with it’s amazing landscaped grounds – there are so many places to take gorgeous photos.  I’m SO glad that Haley and Cameron loved taking photos so much!  They were definitely tops on my list of great subjects to work with.  Be sure to watch their slideshow here:  Haley & Cameron

Deborah & Tony’s Engagement Session

Wanna see some fun?  This was one of the most creative engagement sessions I ever had. Well, I’m biased, see, Deborah and Tony met in Little Five Points – a place really dear to my heart.  I used to hang out there a lot in my high school and college days -being an  artist and all…SO, when they suggested doing their e-session there, I was very, very down with that!  After all, there are so many cool nooks and crannies, painted walls, grundgy, edgy backdrops.  And of course, this also meant that the music had to be cool, too (Tony is an amazing drummer)!  Their wedding was just this past weekend at the Fox so I will post a blog about that later!  See their Little Five Love here: Deborah & Tony

Michelle & Scott, June 28, 2008

Back to Villa Christina again!  However, this time, Michelle & Scott had their ceremony there, too.  I love this family – I get to shoot for them twice this summer!  Michelle’s sister, Wendy, is also getting married this summer (uh, now she IS married- just this last Saturday!) and this is round one for the Stone family.  To date, I have counted six families that I’ve shot two siblings weddings for. Four sets were sisters, one set of brothers, and one brother/sister!  I really love working for a family and seeing everyone again – it’s like a reunion for me, too!  Michelle and Scott had a beautiful day and a gorgeous sunset ceremony in the back pavillion of the Villa.  The most touching thing was the Father/Daughter dance that Michelle and her dad, David, recreated from a dance they performed together when Michelle was a little girl.  Magic!  Watch their whole day here:  Michelle & Scott 

Brittany & Chuck’s Engagement Session

Another fabulous couple – despite the fact that they are camera shy, they are so beautiful together it makes my eyes hurt sometimes!  Brittany is a dead-ringer for Christie Brinkley – don’tcha think???  Brittany attended a wedding I shot last year, friends of hers, Melissa & David Peterson.  Now that she and Chuck are tying the knot, she called me to photograph her outdoor wedding on a hillside overlooking Lake Rabun in north Georgia.  The couple wanted to have their e-session up at the lake, too and we got to go out on Chuck’s dad’s antique boat – a Chris Craft.  I love the vintage feel of the images and it was a perfect summer day.  Next year, we’ve gotta go see the fireworks on the 4th at Lake Rabun!  Have fun watching their slideshow here:  Brittany & Chuck

So that’s the wrap up!  I have several more weddings being processed right now and also I wanna share some new albums with you, too.  Check back – I promise it won’t be months now!

Danielle’s Bridal Session

Posted in Bridals, Weddings with tags , , on May 16, 2008 by sharizellers

Here are the results of Danielle’s studio bridal portraits! It’s been a while since I’ve done bridals inside and we used the red background last March for Isabella’s new wedding dress line. It’s one of my favorite backgrounds for bridals – just different to me so I always gotta pull it out!

Normally, I do bridals on location but since Danielle and Jonathan were getting married on St.Thomas, we opted to avoid nasty March weather and do a studio version of her bridal session. I want to give a shout-out THANK YOU! to Spectrum Entertainment for letting me use their studio space. That’s the biggest thing I miss about my old location – 3,000 sq ft. of studio space!

I was in awe of how well Danielle did during this session. She really knows how to hold herself in front of the camera! Of course, I help all my subjects to position themselves however, I did have to ask if she’s ever modeled before as she really did so well. Her posture, expressions, and gestures made my job so easy. She is stunning, isn’t she!

We went for several different looks on black, white, and the red backgrounds. I also draped the white with some charcoal cloth to have a retro fashion look but ended up not really doing as much with this look.

And she brought her own bouquet which really came in handy – my new bouquets from Edge Designs hadn’t arrived yet and Danielle’s was perfect for the red background.

I also want to congratulate Danielle & Jonathan since they are married now! 😉

If you would like to see more of Danielle’s Bridal Session, click HERE for her slideshow.

Lauren’s Bridal Session

Posted in Bridals, Weddings with tags , , on April 7, 2008 by sharizellers

In a word, “WOW”…and honestly, I can’t even begin to express how amazing this whole photo session and day went for me.  I’m still kinda in awe by Lauren, her friends Jo & Karen, and the incredible experience we all had together shooting Lauren’s bridal session.

Since Lauren & Dragos’ engagement session on the previous Saturday was under the worst weather conditions I’ve ever shot, I was really anxious about this shoot going well.  Alicia and I even spent an afternoon in late February trying to scout out locations in Stone Mountain Park for potential shots.  We were able to discover some really unusual places to do funky bridal images however, the ONE place we could not get to that day was to the top of Stone Mountain.  Ever since Lauren opted to do her bridal session, I’ve been fantasizing about shooting her on top of the mountain.  At the time we were scouting, the Skyride was not operational for the winter season and maintanence so we could not go up there that day.

The Sunday before her session, I went to the park but it was an hour wait to get to the ride!  So, I opted to come back the following morning – the day BEFORE her session (!) – to check out the top of the mountain and hopefully see what my options were for some very different bridal images.  Of course I wanted to give her some traditional “pretty” images with flowers or architecture, too.  But what I had in mind was something that would really be dramatic and awesome…On Monday morning, I got to the Skyride and it was pretty quiet so it only took one ticket and a few minutes and I was on my way to the top.  When I got up there though, it was SOOOOOO cold and windy!  I ran around for about 20 minutes and my hands were hurting pretty badly after just a few minutes of exposure…I got worried about what it would be like the following day and decided we would bring a faux fur coat just in case it was too cold for her to go without a wrap of some sort.


The following day, the morning of her session was very overcast again and it worried me.  It wasn’t supposed to rain but I was really looking for SOME sun of some sort!  UGH! Yet, when she got into her dress, it was like magic…we headed outside and voila!  The clouds started to break up and the sun came peeking in and out – PERFECT!  My mom was assisting me that day along with Lauren’s two friends and we were all as giddy as we could be.  I took them to this putting green with a view of the mountain on the other side of the lake and got some great shots with the mountain behind her.  Then we took off for a little grassy area with flowering trees and knarly oaks…Then off to my “secret” spot – a large extension of granite that was as the base of the mountain and had an other-wordly feel to it.  Lauren was doing so well and really pulling out the great expressions and was wonderful with my direction to her poses.  She is truly stunning!

Then I was ready to take her to the top of the mountain – oh so ready!  We brought the coat but we didn’t need it!  It was warm enough to be comfortable and breezy enough to create some great motion in her dress.  I even shot some vogue images of her riding the Skyride cable car – fabulous! The one thing I didn’t really take into consideration was the time – the last ride down the mountain leaves at 5:30…and we made it to the top just minutes before 5:00!!!  The park personnel were concerned that we would not have enought time and told us that they try to look for us before it got too late.  Thank Goodness I had done all that scouting the day before!!!!  I told everyone that I work very quickly and started them in the direction of our first location on top – I had four spots chosen for photos and saved the best for last. 

First was a fun, flirty, retro look with the coin-operated viewers.  We even had Karen hold out Lauren’s train and let it go flying for a couple of action shots.   Then we went to the tree seen in the shots below for some very different looking images.  I kept hearing Carlos Baez in my head…he is an amazing fashion/art/wedding photographer in Miami and I love his work.  I met him last year at the Pictage conference in LA and he has inspired me to take my brides to another level of bridal photography…Thanks Carlos – LOVE YA!

Then finally, to the last spot – a little rise with a tiny pond in the crater of the surface and the skyline of Atlanta barely visable in the far distance.  When we got to this last area, I was in complete LOVE with the clouds at this point.  The sun was streaming through and I swear, I heard angels singing ;)….My two favorite shots are the header at the top of this post and this one below.  We just had an amazing photo session with Lauren (did I say amazing enough times yet?) and I feel so blessed and lucky to do what I love:  taking these beautiful images of real people!  Much love to Jo, Karen & Lauren – one of the coolest brides ever!

See Lauren’s Bridal Session slideshow by clicking HERE.