Archive for the Engagements Category

Garden of Eden: Tiffany & Jonathan

Posted in Engagements with tags , , on August 7, 2009 by sharizellers


Tiffany and Jonathan actually got married last weekend – I’m a little late posting their engagment session!  They booked us pretty quick for their wedding, too and I met them AT their engagement session!  I was so amazed by the two of them that day.  AND amazed at my luck to get to photograph these lovebirds.


They really made my job too easy:  first of all, we met at Vines in Lithonia.  Vines used to be one of my all-time favorite venues and shooting locations.  They’ve had some troubles over the years so unfortunately, I don’t get any weddings there anymore.  But this day was just for shooting an engagement session so the property is easy to access for just walking around.benedetti061509_0038

Every thing was in bloom and even though it was hot (I always bring a cooler filled with cold bottled water for me and my clients on days like this), it doesn’t show in the photos- just the beauty of the gardens and my subjects!  Tiffany and Jonathan are so sweet together – obviously in love and very tender in their gestures.  Perfect to me!

We wandered the grounds and eventually made our way to the Oriental Gardens.  This is my favorite shot of the day AND I knew it when I took it.  I was so excited about the red pergola bench and the light pouring in the trees behind them.  It gave me goosebumps it was so perfect.


For me, the entire session was perfect.  From the location to the couple – ok, without the heat, but we are in the South!  I want my couples to have fun on their sessions and I think they did. ;o)benedetti061509_0166

To see more of their fun session, clicke HERE for the slideshow!


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.

Alicia & Al – an Engagement Session in Two Parts!

Posted in Engagements, News with tags , , , on May 19, 2009 by sharizellers


Alicia and Al are two very special clients of mine.  So special that they got two engagement sessions!

Also, this blog post will be in two parts – fun, eh?!  Well, the reason why is there is a story behind me meeting this couple and ultimately my new partner-in-crime, Ms. Alicia Benson (soon to be Mrs. Przygocki).

A long time ago, at a bridal show not too far away (Cator-Woolford Gardens), I met a young bride looking for vendors for her 2009 wedding.  This was spring of ’07!  And since I NEVER ever turn away booking a date that’s far out, we set up a consultation meeting to talk about her wedding photography.  We met and it was like we were old friends.  We had so much in common and hit it off -stretching an initial consultation meeting into almost three hours!  At some point, Alicia made the comment that she wished she could do what I was doing and said, “Come and let me show you how.  I need help since my mother needs to retire – soon.”  And I’d like to say the rest is history but every day we are creating more history together.  She began learning to second shoot with me that summer and worked several dozen weddings over two seasons with me.  She was essential to helping us win the 2008 Allie Award for Anna & John’s wedding, too!

As of April 6, 2009, Alicia officially joined SZP full-time.  SO, I’d like to also introduce the second half of the company now! :o)  We are the dynamic duo that is Shari Zellers Photography!

Ahem, as an employee benefit, Alicia and Al get a lot of cool coverage for their wedding.  He he he….  But as a benefit to ME, I get a lot of input on their wedding photography!  LOL!  She basically has to do whatever I say for their photography – well, almost anything.  You get the picture?!  I’m so pysched!!!!!


Alicia & Al’s first session took place last fall (yah, I know, I never blogged about it!) and we went to a favorite “fall session” location of mine, Emory’s Lullwater Park.  It’s gorgeous in the fall with lots of color and rolling hills of luscious landscape.


Al is a Georgia Tech alumni so they brought some important props for fall. ;o)  These are taken on a new suspension bridge in the park!  I was so surprised the first time I saw this bridge as I’ve been shooting here for almost 10 years and this was brand new! Great location for some fun stuff!


The new bridge also enables us to cross the creek a LOT easier than ever before. That means we can get to this cool ruins on the creek, too.


My fun idea that I was so happy to do is the leaves!  I wanted to do a multi-frame shot of them throwing leaves in the air and then kissing as they came down all around them.  It took several takes but I LOVED the results!  You get more of the full effect in their slideshow you can watch by clicking HERE.


Here is their save-the-date magnet I designed for them from this session.  I LOVE it!  I offer custom Save-the-Date designs to any couples that wish to order them from me!


Alicia & Al – Part Two!!  CARNIV-AL!


OK, maybe a little cheezy but it was a fun session after all?!  Steven joined us for this session and the four of us had so much freakin’ fun acting like little kids.  Ironically, the carnival we ended up at was made up entirely of “kiddie sized” rides – NOT made for adults!  Frankly, this generally just encouraged us to all be a little more immature…



I think the hardest part of this session (aside from the size of the rides;o)) was deciding where to shoot.  Oh, and shooting and posing on moving objects like the Shake Shack below!


I almost got a black eye trying to shoot them behind me on the roller coaster!  I quickly learned to just go wide and blind and hope for the best.  They turned out pretty dang good


For me, my absolute favorites were on the carousel.  I had so much fun shooting this part since every time around was a new opportunity to get a different look – both from Alicia & Al and in the image capture.  A little shutter drag and you’ve got some great motion.  A couple of clowns thrown in and you’ve got an amazing engagement session at the carnival!


We’ve just uploaded their carnival slideshow today so “STEP RIGHT UP” and watch it by clicking HERE!

Sonia & Jan in the rain….

Posted in Engagements, Weddings with tags , , on April 7, 2009 by sharizellers


Frankly, I was really dreading this engagement session….due to none other than the fact that we could not reschedule and it was raining – tons of raining for days!  I was totally looking forward to spending time with Sonia & Jan who I met at Debora & Tony’s wedding last year.  No, it’s just that I’ve never ever had to shoot an entire engagement session in rain or indoors!  So, this was a challenge to me.


Luckily for me, Sonia & Jan are suuuuuuper cooooooool.  I mean, so many other people would have been whiny and sulky with a rainy engagement session that offered no really good indoor options but they were super troopers.  I ran to Target really quick and picked up a clear domed umbrella – ah, flashbacks to my youth in the 70’s where these umbrellas were “cool”.  This offered some nice opportunities for us to still venture outside but to cover the cute couple. And it was fun shooting through the umbrella, too.  A little built in action for screening a discreet kiss? ;o)


We started at a favorite restaurant, No Mas.  Incredible!  Not only was the decor amazing but we had the most delish smokey chipolte salsa – I MUST go back with Steven.  He will LOVE this salsa!  Any way, we used a lot of the unique decor of this two story restuarant.  Even a cozy curtained booth for cuddling.



So a nice shout out to the manager on duty that day who let us basically shoot where ever we wanted. Thanks!


No Mas is located in their favorite part of town in Castleberry Hill. The CH is an artsy area with lots of galleries and a once a month “4th Friday Art Stroll” where all the galleries are open and the public comes together to stroll and view art. My kind of evening!  Well, we weren’t able to schedule their session for the Art Stroll but wanted to walk around the neighborhood and maybe?  get lucky to go into a gallery.  After all, their wedding is taking place in a gallery – Mason Muerer – this weekend!


On our own little stroll, we happened upon a gallery that while closed, was preparing for an event to show off the neighborhood. When Laurel, one of the event organizers asked if we were seeking shelter for photos, she offered up a warehouse space where some people were cooking food for the event.  She pointed us in the direction of an indoor space and told us to tell the guys at the door to let us in!  Awesome!  Whatever was there, I was determined to do something cool with it.


Some of my favorites – there were ladders – tall ladders – up against one wall.  They weren’t going to be moved anywhere by us but they formed a nice niche for some fun shots!  Next up, was a yellow cart that was just begging to be used as a prop.


Tug o’ war anyone?  Ah the essential power struggle between men and women!  Peace?


Ah, women end up on top any ways!!!! But of course with the help of our men….I just love how cool they look here.



As we finished up in the warehouse, it stopped raining very briefly. Very. Briefly.  I snapped a few on the red brick wall and as soon as we went out the gallery door to the parking lot, it started back up again!  They found a teeny bit of cover under the banana palm but we were pretty much done!

For a fun rainy day engagement session, you gotta check out their whole slideshow here!

Katie & Matt At Centennial Park

Posted in Engagements with tags , on December 12, 2008 by sharizellers


For Katie & Matt’s engagement session, we  didn’t have a lot of sun- but we sure had a lotta fun!  Katie told me that they wanted a location that reflected “Atlanta” and Centennial Park is a great location for lots of different looks.  You’ve got several backgrounds that say a lot about being in our city and tons of architectural elements and features.  Although, it’s been quite a while since all the gorgeous fountains have been running on full due to the drought, we managed to find a bit of water in the rocky pools for a reflection of this kiss…


There are also a lot of statues in and around the park.  They can make great “props” for interaction shots.



Not much of a statue to include in an engagement shot but I just love the silly look on Matt’s face here.  Katie was sitting up on the platform of the de Coubertin statue and just wrapped her arms around Matt.  It’s fun to capture a couple’s personalities and see how they interact with each other.  I want our couples to feel relaxed and have a good time during any of our sessions!


Running into the Rings fountain is so much fun but also quite a challenge.  I really like the low depth of field shots with the water dancing up and down in the foreground.  They were trapped here for a few minutes!


Earlier this spring, I had scoped out the lawn area near the Georgia Dome and found some interesting landscapes.  For a while this area was unapproachable due to the damage that the “downtown tornado” had caused to the area. Now it was reopened to the public so we headed over to the Dome where there is another statue, this time a HUGE gymnast and some bright yellow-painted walls of the lower parking deck looked like they might be fun to use   After climing up onto the statue and just cuddling, I challenged them to a sort of “twister” game of making their own “statue”!



Atlanta doesn’t really have a whole lotta colorful walls so I’ve really had to search for them.  Here is the long stretch of yellow wall near the stairs descending to the parking decks.


To see more of Katie & Matt’s fun and creative engagement shoot, click HERE!

Alissa & Chris – Day to Night!

Posted in Engagements with tags , on December 12, 2008 by sharizellers


Yah, it’s been a feeeew days….sorry Santa!  But these winter bugs can pull the rug out from under you…

Here’s something different for an engagement session!  With Alissa and Chris, I really wanted to try some night time shots and with today’s fast ISO cameras, shooting at night with available light and a bit ‘o flash definitely opens up the possibilities.  So, I suggested  we do a Day to Night session where we do shots during the late day, have some dinner, have them change clothes, and head out to do some stuff at night, too.


Alissa & Chris had their first date at a coffee shop in Virginia Highlands where we started their “day” session.  I often suggest going to a couple’s first date location to start off our session.  Just remembering the first moments you spent together, feeling all that jitteriness and excitement can bring a nostalgic smile or grin to your face.  They got pretty giggly during this walk and I loved how they kept nuzzling and dancing arm in arm.  Alissa has the most beauuuuutiful big brown eyes that would make any guy melt – sure works on Chris!



I also liked their colorful and casual attire that really pops in these images.  Brights are just fine as long as both of you are wearing something visually “strong” to balance each other.


After a stroll down memory lane, we headed over to Atlantic Station where we wandered around and “shopped” for cool nooks n’ crannies.



It’s been almost two years since I last shot an engagement session around Atlantic Station and their security stopped us back then – and again this time!  Just a note, they do not allow “professional” photography on the property in and around Atlantic Station!  I was given a card to call  and go through the “proper channels”…Oh well!  We still kept shooting…;o)

We went to dinner to wait for the sun to go down and the lights to come up…and they changed into sometin’ a little snazzier. Earlier, I had envisioned the shot at the top with the lights crossing the alley and the blue sky and we got to do it just in the nick of time before we lost that pretty twilight.

I then had them sneak into an alley for some shots completely alone…


My other point of interest was to go over to the 17th Street bridge to get a final kiss with the shiny Atlanta skyline!  I would like to get one with more blue in the sky but I think this looks great, too!


You can check out Alissa & Chris’ whole slideshow by clicking HERE.

Victoria & James in Historic Duluth

Posted in Engagements with tags , on October 14, 2008 by sharizellers

So seriously, how long should it take me between blogs to get back in the habit?  Hmmm, like brushing one’s teeth I suppose – it’s a healthy habit to have of course and I LOVE sharing my most recent sessions with everyone.  It’s just I haven’t made time each day!  Gosh, and I’ve got a lot to catch up on again…three engagement sessions and a wedding in just the last week!

As many of you know by now, I really enjoy going to shoot at new locations.  Hey, I’m a traveler at heart!  There is a lovely comfort in shooting at a familiar location, however what really gets my creative juices flowing is a new venue or a new park, town, site at which I get to explore and come up with some shots never seen before.  Not that I want to necessarily do outrageous shots – just DIFFERENT!  Ya know?!

Victoria and James told me in our conversations that they love to eat at this little restuarant in downtown historic Duluth -the Park Cafe.  What a cute and quaint place for us to start their session!  Since they also enjoy a glass of wine there, why not include that in their session?  Also helps to relax, too, eh? ;o)  Wine is ordered, and photos taken!  Great beginnings!

Nice background for a shot of the bling…golden white wine!  Since I arrived early to the location, I wandered around the park and square of this adorable downtown historic district.  I really quickly fell in love with all the abundant options for backgrounds and vignettes!  The fountain, the newly built city hall…and a lush green terraced lawnWe wandered the square and the light was amazing this time of day – perfect fall weather, too!

The new city hall was apparently finished in 2007 – the same year Victoria and James met  – so I thought it would be cute to feature that date behind them with this groundlevel angle.

Just goofing around and having fun with each other makes for some natural, candid images.  You kinda have to get the ball started by just realizing how much fun it is to just enjoy each other with no other distractions…oh, except that photographer that’s following you around!  (“who is she?!”) ;o)

At the end of the day though, for me it’s all about the romance. That two people that were meant to be together found each other…and then I get this incredible opportunity to capture their love and adventure!

Check out their entire engagement slideshow by clicking HERE.