Archive for the Weddings Category

Alicia’s Bridal Session

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

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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!

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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!

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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?!

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

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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!

TA DA!!!!!!!!!! Alicia & Al’s Wedding Day Spectacular!

Posted in Special Events, Weddings with tags , , , , , on August 11, 2009 by sharizellers

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Oh, I am pleased as punch to FINALLY be able to bring you images from my assistant’s wedding – Alicia and Al!!!  Or AL2 (Al Squared) as we refer to it around here.  Let me start by saying that they had a beautiful wedding – I mean just fabulous and well planned.  Alicia and I met two years ago when she was just in the early stages of planning her wedding and to see it all come together was nothing short of magical and inspiring.  It was quite an experience for me being sorta “in” on the planning and then seeing the results that day.  I was blown away!  Working for a photographer and me being able to pretty much tell my client/employee what I wanted was a dream come true for both of us.  Needless to say, we created a very ambitious photo itinerary unlike nothing I’ve ever attempted before. ;o)

Look at how gorgeous she is, checkin’ out her hair in the mirror!  I love her expression here.

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Her crystal choker was cool – cool to the touch and uber cool to wear!

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Their festivities were headquartered at the Emory Conference Center & Hotel.  This is where the day began and would end with the reception later in the evening. I was helped by Angel Taylor to capture shots of the girls getting ready while Sam Napper covered the guys for me. I love this shot that Sam snapped of Al  waiting for his “first look” with Alicia.

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After Al presented Alicia with her beautiful silk bouquet (Al is allergic to most flowers so they used Georgia Griffin of A Wedding In Silk), we used the ECC courtyard for a few romantics and individual portraits of them.

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Alicia and I spent one evening scouting out locations to shoot and literally drawing a breadcrumb trail map of where to go the day of the wedding so we could get a lot done efficiently in a short time.  These Japanese maple trees were even more gorgeous the day of the wedding.  Their shade was quite welcome, too! Whew!  It was HOT.

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After running around with Al2, we brought out the wedding party and families for some fun shots.  Any Beatles fans?  This shot is totally unstaged -really.  Just looked up and saw the guys watching Al2 in the courtyard and SNAP!

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The girls on the other hand, were wonderful divas!

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Next, it was off to the Shrine of the Immaculate Conception and marry off these two love birds.  One of my favorite moments – in any Catholic service – the presentation to the Mother Mary.

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Al graduated from Georgia Tech so when they left the church, their friends were there to cheer them on with gold and white pom poms!!!!

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The ECC is perfect for their theme which was loosely based on A Midsummer Night’s Dream – a very organic, woodsy location, the ECC Silver Bell Pavilion is surrounded by trees and has an open feel as it’s surrounded on three sides by glass.  It was also perfect for the handfasting ceremony they held right outside in a ring of beautiful evergreen trees.  Alison Day performed the sacred rituals while their families gathered in the round.

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The couple was introduced (running through the pom poms again!) and performed their first dance.  It was beautiful and Angel helped me snag this shot with some off camera flash (we’re playing around with it a lot still) giving their dance a spot light effect!

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No GA Tech wedding would be complete without a Tech cake!  We’ve seen different versions but this is probably the best “Ramblin’ Wreck” cake I’ve ever seen!  Celso’s Cakes did a great job on the Alicia’s cake, too!

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I’ve told Al that this garter pull shot WILL be on the new web site debuting this fall.  This is my all-time favorite garter pull image ever. Don’t ask me how the bunny ears made it, but they do.  The Elvis snarl is classic.  This is Al.  I love this shot.

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Band of Gold really kept the crowd hopping all night. This was the first time I worked with them and they are fabulous!

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At the end of the night, they decided to have a last dance like many couples do.  However, they wanted to be completely alone.  So, while the guests were lining up outside for their departure, we captured one last spotlight image of their “last dance”.

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And now, one more piece of my influence.  We used these streamers (like a million years ago!) in 2002 for a big televised wedding here in Atlanta.  I loved them and always wanted to shoot another exit with them.  I convinced Alicia to order some and so here is the result.  I didn’t tell her how tangled up they would get!!!!! 😉  I love the effect – virtually trapping the bride and groom and making them fight their way out!  Love the expressions – they had no idea.  How can little tiny paper streamers be so strong?

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Congratulations guys – I love you both.  See Al2’s entire slideshow extravaganza HERE.

Sweet Home Alabama: Kristen & Randell

Posted in Weddings with tags , , on August 5, 2009 by sharizellers

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Back in mid May, we had the pleasure of traveling to Opelika and Auburn Alabama for Kristen & Randell’s wedding!  Now, I’m not sure why but almost all of my trips to Alabama involve sticky, hot weather. This weekend was noooooo exception!  Oh my goodness, a torential downpour when we pulled in Friday night and then again on Saturday as Kristen & Randell were getting ready.

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The bizarre stormy weather didn’t keep our spirits down.  Alicia and I had fun playing with off camera flash again.  Trying to get some cool effects as usual with my dress shot.  Here we spot lit Kristen’s dress in a darkened room for a dramatic look.

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Havin’ fun with her shoes, too!

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And just as Kristen finished getting dressed, magically the sun came out and well, didn’t quite dry up ALL the rain.  It was kinda steamy but we were able to get just a few shots outside later in the evening.  So, we stuck mostly to inside shots before the ceremony. The church was nice enough to give us access to this lovely parlor room that had been locked so we could take some beautiful traditional portraits of Kristen.

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This couple really liked taking photos and back when I did their engagement session, I got to tour their church and reception venue.  I knew I wanted to shoot with this stained glass window as a silhouette.  Then we headed over to the Auburn Marriott Opelika Hotel & Conference Center At Grand National and wandered behind the hotel grounds to this fountain.

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Just as we finished up, it threatened to rain again and these amazing clouds swept in over the hotel.102meadows051609_1132

On of my favorite features of the ballrooms were the large glowing bowl-chandeliers.132meadows051609_0842

Here is Kristen’s mighty bouquet toss.  This was like a sporting event for this crowd!  141meadows051609_0988

And da boys were no less eager.  I love this shot Alicia got – I’m reminded of a statue war memorial!  In the heat of battle, the men strove for the prize!

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Now the party really gets started and keeps on going.  Those Auburn folks can party.  I think they played “Sweet Home Alabama” three times.  REally! 😉

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Then when they absolutely had to stop, the Kristen and Randell were sent running through the petals!159meadows051609_1075

What a great day despite the kooky weather!  See their whole slideshow 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.

April Weddings!

Posted in Weddings with tags , , , , , , , on June 25, 2009 by sharizellers

Once again, I find myself behind on blogging so we’re just going to update by combining several posts into one!

A Work of ART:  Sonia & Jan

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Sonia & Jan,  my uber-cool couple of the year were referred to me by my uber-cool couple of last year, the rockin’ Debra & Tony!  Sonia was Deborah’s maid of honor and even caught the bouquet at her wedding!  So when this gorgeous twosome contacted me about their wedding photography, I was honored and excited.  Not only was this going to be a Hindu wedding ceremony but Jan is from Denmark so they were also planning to incorporate some of his native traditions, too.  I was going to have such a great time with this multi-cultural celebration!

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I honestly don’t know how to show you just a few of my favorites.  You see, I’m fascinated by Hindu weddings.  I love the culture and the beautification rituals that proceed the wedding day.  I even got a Mendhi tattoo on my hand at Sonia’s Mendhi party.

Here at Sonia’s Pithi Ceremony, she is smeared by her best friends Deborah & Dow during a beautification ritual.

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Sonia began her wedding day getting dressed and made up at the Four Seasons.  Not only does it take an expert to wrap her wedding day sari but to help her be adorned by all the jewelry.  Her sister helps her with the many bangle bracelets.

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It was my first time visiting the Mason Murer Art Gallery and of course, my first wedding there, too. The gallery a perfect location for the wedding of these two art lovers.  After all, our engagement session for them took place in the art gallery district of Castleberry Hill!  It was also a wonderful space with some truly beautiful modern art pieces.  I think Mandi, Marlene and I each had one we wanted to take home!

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After some romantics and family shots around the gallery, we gathered for the ceremony.  This was one of the most unique mandaps I’ve ever seen – filmy and magical.  I happen to be partial to turquoise blue – it’s my favorite! – and it was the primary color of Sonia & Jan’s theme.

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My favorite “cool” shot of the day is this angle where Sonia’s mother is performing a blessing ritual on the car they will drive away in after the Vidaai.  I saw that the car was very reflective and chose to compose the image almost entirely of pure reflection.

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Sonia and Jan chose to have cupcakes instead of a traditional wedding cake!

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For my first Danish wedding tradition, I was told that their first dance would start to a traditional Danish waltz, then the couple would be surrounded by friends and family until the circle got tighter and tighter. Suddenly, the groom’s friends lifted him into the air and cut off the toes of his socks!   I wanted to do some research on this bizarre tradition and found this quote from a blog called “The Moron’s Almanac”:

“There is some dispute about the origins of this tradition. Some say it has to do with checking to be sure the groom hasn’t been sneaking around at night—if his socks smell like rye, he’s a cad. Others say it’s intended to force the bride to prove her sewing skills. Both interpretations seem strained to me—after all, it’s a little late to find out whether the groom is a cheating dog or the bride is a lousy homemaker. Even if the experiment were undertaken with an eye toward annulment, you’d hardly need to take a physical sample of the groom’s sock—you could just smell his feet—and the bride could be handed an old napkin, a spool of thread, and a needle if her sewing skills were really in question. So I’m guessing people just like cutting the groom’s socks.”

Sounds good to me! 😉

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This was an amazing day and ended with the couple being applauded as the departed the gallery. Please be sure to watch their slideshow HERE.

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Saturday In The Park:  Katie & Matt

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We didn’t start Katie & Matt’s wedding day in the park but at the Marriott on 14th for every one to get ready for the big event.  The atmosphere was so festive and the girls and guys were having a great time!  I found a great location in Katie’s hotel room to shoot my dress photo.  I try to take time at every wedding to give the bride a dress shot that really is uniqe (not just the standard dress-in-the-window shot..).

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That kinda goes for the rings, too!  The hotel’s TV was on this super glossy black credenza so I just stacked the bling and got a great reflection.

Next we headed over to my favorite church to photograph in Atlanta, The Shrine!

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This church is always easy to work in, has great light and we just love Father Henry (and he loves us!).

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Beautiful bouquets by  Tamela of Southern Bouquets!

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Some of Katie’s “Vogue” bridals – always love the arches of this church’s doorways.

reid042509_0364reid042509_0403What I did not know about with their wedding is that Katie’s mom had arranged for a childrens’ choir, The Gwinnett Youth Singers, to perform during the ceremony.  I gotta say, that was a really wonderful moment. Their angelic voices gave me goosebumps!  It really made for a magical atmosphere and it felt like we were in a movie!

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Oh, my favorite shot during the ceremony.  The sweet little flower girl was not too sure about going down that long aisle by herself until she finally saw mommy and RAN.

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After the ceremony, we were off to Piedmont Park and Park Tavern for the reception.  I was on clooooouuud NINE when Katie & Matt agreed to spend so much time with us in the park! They seemed so content to just have as many photos taken as I wanted – what more could any photographer ask!  We are always telling couples to make time to do this -you will NOT regret this part of your wedding day years later.  Spending those extra 15-20 minutes is all I ever ask for my couples to give – and Katie & Matt were up for a bit more! Just look at the results – relaxed, genuine expressions.  Love them!

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Leah Bilz of The Whole Shebang did her usual “bang up job” on the reception details – right down to the blue signature drink.  An orange football helmet cake matched the orange flowers perfectly!

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We love a good dance party for the reception and Katie & Matt’s family and friends sure did oblige. These folks had so much fun, I was laughing the whole night!

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Finally a fun departure mixture of bubbles and flower petals sent Katie and Matt on their new adventure as husband and wife!

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See all the fun of their wedding day captured in their slideshow HERE.

March Weddings Combloggeration!

Posted in Weddings on May 28, 2009 by sharizellers

Abby & Michael

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We’re going to play a little catch-up here with some past weddings all combined into one post.  Our spring was so busy with all sorts of sessions that blogging these weddings went way down on the priority list.  Now, I really cannot let these weddings go without blogging them because we had so much fun with these couples and March was a blast thanks to each of them!

When we first met, my most distinct memory of Abby & Michael was the emphasis they put on “not wanting to be hot” on their wedding day.  They had PLENTY of insurance by first of all scheduling their wedding for March 1st – almost guaranteeing a cold day in Atlanta.

And wouldn’t you know it?  March 1st gave us a random Atlanta snowstorm!  Their ceremony and reception were held at the Biltmore in downtown Atlanta.  We weren’t sure they would be up for it but they were so excited to go out in the snow for their “first look”.  We were excited, too – our first “snow wedding” ever!  Well, as many of you found out, the snow that day was actually pretty messy and wet but we all braved the conditions (basically rain once it hit ANYTHING) with umbrellas and smiles and got some wonderful romantics in the falling snow.

We also found some amazing light downstairs in the bridal room to do some very dramatic bridal portraits.  Abby brought out her inner diva for some old Hollywood glamour.

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After we’d all gotten enough of the wet, heavy snow, we headed inside for more romantics and formals.

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A tender emotional moment with her grandmother during the Ketubah signing.

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Abby’s grand entrance with her parents for the ceremony. This is always a favorite shot for ceremonies at the Biltmore.

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We had the most fun ever during their Horah dance.  I have always enjoyed this tradition at Jewish weddings but never have I gotten such amazing shots and expressions!  Abby just looks like she is having so much fun – no fear at all!

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Their glam transportation for the departure – a swank silver Rolls Royce!

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To see Abby & Michael’s magical snowy wedding, click HERE.

Renee & Milton

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First of all, let me say that this is not only one amazingly glamorous couple but also amazingly LUCKY!  I was pretty nervous about the plans to have an outdoor wedding on the lawn of the Swan House in the first week in March.  Heck!  We just had SNOW six days earlier, right?!  But lucky they were and we had a gorgeous, perfect spring day ready to go in less than a week.  That’s Atlanta for you!

Besides the beautiful weather, these two are blessed with being beautiful themselves.  Both are natural models, I swear.  I’ve seldom had a groom like Milton that could pose so well – he could be THE ad for this tux, eh?

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I LOVE the Swan House, ok?  And even more, I love the Swan House in infrared…  I’ve been shooting on the grounds of the Atlanta History Center since my early college days and it’s such a magical setting.

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The veiw from the top of the Swan House lawn during their ceremony was amazing!  This incredible shot was taken by Mandi Singer for us!

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The magic continued to amaze us throughout the day and as we entered the ballroom, I was once again blown away by the decor and design.  Carla Duncan of On Occasions of Atlanta gave us lucious floral arrangements.  The lighting and design are always incredible with A Legendary Event – it’s LEGENDARY! Look at this out-of-this-world cake set up! Each layer was separated by a glass vase filled with orchids and LED lights!  WOW!

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It’s also really classy to have a Gobo with your names on the dance floor during your first dance.  I love this, too.  I want one!

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Ah, perfect shot of them!

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Renee & Milton each had an opportunity to be serenaded by their fraternity and sororities.  This was my favorite shot of Renee and her sisters – you can just feel how happy and proud everyone is!

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In an ongoing challenge, I’ve been trying to get more and more creative with my ring shots.  I used their place card holders, these adorable pewter chairs, to balance their rings.  It took two chairs to hold Renee’s ring! 😉

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Another ongoing challenge is to incorporate more and more off-camera flash techniques.  Here we set up a flash in the back of the limo (HA!  same limo Abby & Michael used the weekend before!) to give their departure kiss an ethereal illumination.

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Check out the rest of Renee & Milton’s wedding in their slideshow HERE.

Kelley & Jamie

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For Kelley & Jamie’s wedding, we were lucky to get to go back to another favorite venue again – Callanwolde Fine Arts Center.  This time, I arrived early to the venue to really look around with a fresh set of eyes.  Having shot there so much in the last few years, I wanted to get some totally different shots for these two.

Still love hanging the dress from the chandelier, though! 😉

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And of course, every bride wants a photo on the stair case.  I love this view where you can see part of the ceiling above – a peek of the architectural elements of this historical home.

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However, here was a room I’d never used before.  The crest in the stained glass window just feels so masculine so it immediately came to mind for a groom’s portrait of Jamie.

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Kelley and Jamie chose to see each other before their ceremony and get all the photos out of the way early.  Their first look and other romantics were taken all over the grounds of the estate.  This time, I chose to do something different and chose some views that didn’t necessarily reflect the home.

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The staircase silhouette at Callanwolde is another classic!

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Kelley entered the ceremony with her father from the top of the staircase – very brave every time a bride chooses to do this!

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Here are some of the yummy desserts provided by Bold American for their reception.

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What a gorgeous cake!  The challenge here is always with getting the brushed aluminum monogram to show up light enough.  We used a reflector angled just right at it.

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Another experiment with off-camera flash. Here we created a spotlight for their first dance!

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Thanks guys for wrapping up an incredible March!

To see Kelley & Jamie’s slideshow, click HERE.

Sonia & Jan in the rain….

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

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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.

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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)

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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.

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

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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!

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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.

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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.

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

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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.

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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!