Callanwolde Fine Arts Center | Atlanta Wedding Photographer

Last fall, I was able to photograph this lovely wedding at Callanwolde in Atlanta.  While, for specific reasons, I cannot tell you a ton about this couple, I do want to share with you some of the amazing details from their big day!

Venue | Callanwolde Fine Arts Center

Planner | Brianne McMullan for Stella Harper Events*

Second Shooter | Caroline Grenier

Florals | Amberly Odom of Wrennwood Design

Dress | Bridals by Lori

DJ | Lou Guzzo with Spectrum Entertainment

Videography | LiveView Motion Pictures

Catering | Endive

*Side note: I couldn't remember some of the vendor names and didn't have them on file.  When I asked Brianne, she spat them off immediately!  If that isn't a sign of a true professional wedding planner, I don't know what is.

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I absolutely loved these florals and this greenery staircase by Wrennwood Designs!  It was so elegant and I hope to see more installments like this in the future.

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Class of 2017 | Senior Portraits | Georgia + Illinois

Being a Senior, whether in high school or college, is such an exciting time in a person's life.  I was able to photograph a few of my favorite seniors this year and now it's graduation time!

Congratulations to all of you out there who have studied and worked hard and now get to walk and now finally get to celebrate this great achievement! 

First up on the list is sweet Camille!  This lady is not only beautiful but also incredibly intelligent.  She'll be graduating at the end of the month from Union Grove High School, my alma mater. Go Wolverines!  For her session, we wandered around the McDonough Square and then went to over to the church (also where I grew up) where she's spent so much of her time learning about the Lord.  I love that she wanted to incorporate that into her session as it holds such a special place in her heart.

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mcdonough senior session
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mcdonough senior session
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mcdonough senior session

Next up, Chase!  I have some extended family in Illinois that I went to visit last fall.  One of the reasons was so that I could take some senior portraits for my cousin's children!  It was harvest time and they live in a farming community so I got to learn lots about farming corn and meet all of their animals, plus some other fun stuff.  I think they definitely had fun showing this city girl about farm life. Chase also does work with the fire department and he got dressed in his uniform so we could take some photos.  I also may or may not have made him pretend to save a kitten from a tree.

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illinois senior photographer
illinois senior photographer
illinois senior portraits

Last, but certainly not least, Makayla!  This lady is certainly a busy one.  She is also super smart, but also a talented volleyball player and I happened to come on tournament weekend which meant snagging photos whenever we had a spare moment.  Makayla loves her horse so we also got a few of her riding around their property!

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illinois senior photographer

Congratulations Class of 2017!

Anna + Tim | Midtown Atlanta Engagement Session

For Anna and Tim's engagement session we started off at Anna and Tim's perfect midtown condo right by Piedmont Park and then walked around their neighborhood.  I love that they wanted to incorporate this sweet in home portion of their session.  It was personal with added details like reading books and drinking tea, which they enjoy together.  When thinking about your own engagement session, I encourage you to think about locations or activities that are special to you and your love or even something that you would do on a date.  

I can't wait for their intimate ceremony at the Atlanta Botanical Gardens this month!

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midtown atlanta engagement session
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midtown atlanta engagement session
midtown atlanta engagement session
midtown atlanta engagement session
midtown atlanta engagement session
midtown atlanta engagement session
midtown atlanta engagement session
midtown atlanta engagement session
midtown atlanta engagement session
midtown atlanta engagement session
midtown atlanta engagement session
midtown atlanta engagement session
midtown atlanta engagement session

Creative Conversations | Meet an Atlanta Wedding Planner | Taylor Dawn

I met Taylor when I reached out to a local group of wedding professionals about doing a styled shoot.  She was the perfect person to our Coast Wedding Inspiration shoot with and from then we've gotten to know each other and even work on other projects as well!  I'm so excited to know this lady and you should too, which is why I did a little interview with her!  

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Tell us a little bit about yourself!

My name is Taylor and I am a Wedding Planner here in Atlanta! Although most of my time is spent in the city, I also double-time as a coaches’ wife. My sweet husband is a high school football and baseball coach, so many Friday nights after rehearsals are spent on a ball field! I absolutely love my job and am so thankful to be able to work for myself full time! Making brides’ dreams come to fruition is my passion. I love seeing brides enjoy a stress free and beautiful wedding day with the people they love most!

 

How did you get into wedding planning?

I got in to wedding planning from my sweet friend, Molly McKinley! I met Molly while I was in college, and it was such a God thing. His direction in my life came at the most perfect time when I had NO idea what I wanted to “be when I grew up.” After working for Molly, and with my husband’s encouragement, I was able to start my own little business!

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What are your current favorite color combinations or trends?

Well! As I am currently going through rebranding, I have really been stretching myself to include more “color” into my life, and not just sticking to neutrals, which is totally my MO! I’m a neutral gal! I am loving soft mauves and darker pink and blue hues marrying neutrals. SO dreamy. 

 

Any advice for couples getting married?

Of course, my number one planning advice is to have a planner! (Shameless plug!) Really, having a great vendor team and someone to be the point of contact can really create a seamless day. I always tell my brides (and their moms!), you don’t want the caterer calling you while you’re getting your makeup done asking where a table should be placed. Also, and most importantly, remember that at the end of the day, the most important thing is that you are GETTING MARREID! Don’t sweat the small stuff. Have a mimosa, kick back, and let your team take care of business!

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From our most recent shoot - CLICK HERE to see more.

From our most recent shoot - CLICK HERE to see more.

 

Any advice for new wedding planners just getting started?

There is no better way to learn than working at weddings! I would say to assist anyone and everyone. I have learned almost all that I know simply from doing weddings! Working with someone who is a bit further in her career than you should not be intimidating, you should soak it in! Learn from them! (Even if they’re doing the exact job you are!) It’s the best way! This business is made up of the best girl bosses!

 

Favorite Atlanta venue(s)?

My favorite venue has got to be Summerour. I absolutely love working with the staff there and it’s simple aesthetic just speaks to me! (Also, it takes me back to Italy, where we spent our honeymoon and I would be more than happy to move to tomorrow! Any takers?!) 

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What is something about wedding planners that many people may not know?

My favorite question I get asked, which can probably be echoed by most entrepreneurs, is “So what do you DO all day?” The answer is, my days are all different! However, being a wedding planner is really mixed with equal right and left-brain activities. Everything from making timelines, layouts, reviewing budgets, and catering proposals to meeting with brides, picking out flowers, scourging for the perfect invitation, and visiting venues!

 

What are your hobbies/ non wedding related activities?

As I mentioned before, with my hubby being a high school coach, you can usually find me at a baseball or football field any night of the week being a coach’s wife! I love these moments! Getting to know high schoolers and going through life with them is such a great experience. Also, you can probably find me out to eat with my sister, who is definitely my BFF, as often as possible (probably with a margarita in hand)!  Going out to eat is a hobby, right?!

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After planning your own wedding, was there anything you wish you did differently knowing what you know now as a professional?

Hmm, I would say that just not caring what other people think! The most important thing about getting married is your marriage! I love how truly the Lord’s love for us is displayed in marriage. Maybe also having a rain plan would have been a good idea from a professional point of view (oops, don’t tell my mother!)! 

atlanta wedding planner

Minimalist Modern Wedding Inspiration

I had the pleasure of photographing the Maybe to Yes Workshop hosted by Pop and Fizz earlier this year with some of my favorite creatives.  The workshop was geared towards educating wedding planners newer to the industry.  To show them how a styled shoot can show off your style and best work, this stunning shoot was created and is featured on Ruffled!  

Host and Planning | Pop and Fizz

Photography | Holly Von Lanken Photography

Style + Design | Taylor Dawn

Venue | 433 Bishop

Floral Design | Jacki of Stylish Stems

Paper | Mallory Overton

Dress | Kelly's Closet

Cake | Classic City Confections

Model | Sara Gerber

Hair and Makeup | Angelika Marie

Jewelry | Kendra Scott

Shoes | ALDO

Linens | I Do Linens

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Elegant Peach and Green Styled Shoot | Foxhall Resort and Sporting Club Wedding

This past February I had the pleasure of working a tremendous team of vendors to photograph this styled shoot!  The shoot came together because of the workshop for brides that Simply Catering hosted called Simply Foxhall Workshop.  Brides were able to meet vendors, taste yummy food, and hear from different speakers.  Before the event began, we styled a shoot because if you've ever been to Foxhall, you know exactly why.  

Published on Every Last Detail

Host | Simply Catering

Photography | Holly Von Lanken Photography

Florals and Design | Amberly Odom of Wrennwood Design

Dress | Atlanta Street Bridal Co

Invitation Suite | Mel Made Designs

Hair and Makeup | Vigilante Cosmetics

Cake | Pastry Shells

Groom's Suit | The Modern Gent

Venue | Foxhall Stables

Vintage Rentals | Vintage Rental Co and Weddings for You Too

Videography | J&W Photo Video

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Heather + John | Ponce City Market Engagement Session

Heather and John are actually from the northeast, but are traveling to the south for their wedding at Chateau Elan next month!  On one of their planning trips, we were able to meet up for their engagement session!  They wanted to do something more "Atlanta" so we went to Ponce City Market!  It was so fun and I can't wait for their winery wedding at Chateau Elan!

ponce city market engagement session
ponce city market engagement session
ponce city market engagement session
ponce city market engagement session
ponce city market engagement session
ponce city market engagement session
ponce city market engagement session
ponce city market engagement session

How/ Where did you two meet?

John and I met through Match.com. A friend of mine created my online profile as a joke because she wanted me to get out and date more. After a few weeks, there was some interest from some guys, but John's profile caught my attention. Thankfully he sent me a message. We planned our first date to be a sort of "happy hour" meeting. We met for drinks at World of Beer in Stamford, Connecticut. It started at 5:30 and we finally decided to leave around 9:30. Probably the longest first date I've ever been on. :-)

old fourth ward park engagement session
old fourth ward park engagement session
old fourth wark park engagement session
ponce city market engagement session
ponce city market engagement session
ponce city market engagement session

How did he propose?

He proposed in the rose garden of the Bronx Botanical Gardens on June 4th 2016. It was all a surprise and after a long trek across the gardens. It was the perfect setting.

ponce city market engagement session
ponce city market engagement session
ponce city market engagement session
ponce city market engagement session
ponce city market engagement session

What has been the hardest part about wedding planning?

Doing everything long distance, John starting a new job as a surgeon, and pretty much 75% of the wedding being DIY. :-) We will survive this though.

ponce city market engagement session

Coastal Wedding Inspiration | Beaufort, SC | Anchorage 1770

This shoot really was a dream come true.  I'd wanted to plan my own styled shoot for awhile and when I decided go to Shanna Skidmore's Blueprint Retreat that took place in Beaufort, SC, the wheels started turning.  I mean, we were already going to be in this beautiful little seaside town.  Why not stay an extra day and try to pull together a shoot to do while I was there?  

Taylor Doehrman of Taylor Dawn Design quickly came on board and the two of us started planning and recruiting.  Some amazing vendors pulled out all the stops for us to make this happen.  

Photography | Holly Von Lanken Photography

Style + Design | Taylor Doehrman/ Taylor Dawn Design

Venue | Anchorage 1770

Dress | Sarah Seven 

Bridal Shop | Fabulous Frocks of Atlanta

Florals | Karin Jeffcoat / Cote Designs 

Calligraphy + Paper Goods | Mallory Overton 

Vow Books | Michelle McMurray de Luces/ Wedding Story Writer 

Model | Anna Schuler

Copy | Brooke Meaders

Film | Kodak Portra 400

Film Presets for Digital Images | Mastin Labs

Film Developing | The Find Lab

Featured on Dear Gray Magazine

The warm, comforting air of the neighboring sea embraced the bride on her wedding day. Her dreamy wedding dress was quite at home in this ethereal coastal setting. Light and sweet, the bride’s graceful gown matched her gentle and kind spirit. The delicate lace in a modern silhouette demonstrated the romantic and eager love shared by the couple. As the bride wandered around the opulent Anchorage 1770, her sentimental gown was raptured in the sea breeze. Her deep blush, velvet heels helped complete her perfectly classic yet modern look. The perfect marriage of the pastels and deep plum flowers in her floral arrangement held together by the strong, slate, floor-length ribbons were wonderfully symbolic of the couples apparent love for one another: flattering sweet yet absolute. The bride and grooms wedding vows are safely housed in elegant vow books, each differing in style yet exquisitely coupled together.


  The bride and groom's patient and comforting love was evident in each of the intricate details of their wedding. The whimsy of the antique calligraphy of their invitation suite well prepared guests for their idyllic reception. The perfectly set tables held white linen table cloths, tall candlesticks, and an Arcadian vase overflowing with a soft, light bouquet. The bride strolls barefoot for a moment alone on the docks to read her beloved’s final words as a single man. The boats eagerly awaiting voyage, at the brides back, were a lovey reminder of her own impending adventure. The bride strolls back, under the Spanish moss, to be united forever with her husband. - Words by Brooke Meaders

Ribbon | Silk and Willow

Linen | Nuage Designs

Shoes | ALDO

Bridal Earrings | Kate Spade

Plates | Target

Glass | Crate + Barrel

Napkins + Rings | Pottery Barn

Mr. + Mrs. Foster | Pink and Navy Backyard Wedding

HChelse and Ryne did not originally plan to have a backyard wedding.  They had booked a venue, paid their deposit, and then any bride's nightmare happened - the venue was sold and the new owners would not honor their agreement.  However, Chelsey and Ryne thought through their options and decided on Chelsey's Grandmother's property!  I wasn't sure what to expect when I arrived for their wedding last September, but it turned out beautifully! The outdoor space with it's twinkling lights and sentimentality was the perfect touch.  Their day was full of joy and fun and dancing and I'm thankful to have been a part of it!

Venue | Private Property

Dress | Bel Fiore

Cake + Catering | Keith Hand of Bridge Catering

Florist | Nancy Jacskon

Hair + Makeup | Amber Kimball

DJ | Wes Brawner

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Atlanta Wedding Photographer

 

How/ Where did you two meet?

We met through a mutual friend/ Groomsman (Jeremy) in the wedding. I went to school in Milledgeville and he came down to celebrate my birthday weekend. He brought Ryne with him, and the rest is history!

How did he propose?

We had closed on our first home that week, and my sister and brother-in-law had planned a dinner to take us out to celebrate. When we got to the restaurant, all of my closest friends and family were there, and Ryne got down on one knee right at the door and proposed. I was tricked because it wasn't a celebratory dinner after all, but an engagement dinner that I had no clue about!

Describe your fiance in 3 words

Thoughtful, Dependable, and Charming

Creative Conversations | Meet an Interior Designer | Anna Farmer

Meet Anna!  I've gotten to know this lady through friends and church and have gotten to photograph some of the spaces she and her team at Rose Hall have designed and created.  Check out our interview and some of her work below.

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Tell us a little bit about yourself.

Growing up just south of Atlanta, the city held an appeal for me and I'm glad to call it home now. Atlanta gets so much sun, and so I like to walk the neighborhoods, parks, or belt line to take advantage of it. I like sugar, like most people, but am more of a vanilla and candy person than a chocolate and heavy desserts person. 

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How did you get into interior design?

Skyscrapers in big cities have a presence that energize and excite me. Older, historical structures with extricate details enthrall me. I love wandering for hours in museums and through art shows. I have always aesthetically critiqued my surroundings. I even edit fashion and finishes in my head, not just spaces. It wasn't until college, when I had a wealth of information, resources, and opportunity in art that I decided I wanted to make design my career and not just a side hobby. 

atlanta interiors and architecture photographer rose hall kitchen
atlanta interiors photorapher rose hall kitchen

What have been some of your favorite projects?

One master bath project started as only a new vanity and by the end we designed the entire en suite. Some of the challenges in this project included remodeling a remodel, space being long and narrow, an awkward step in the middle of the space, a tiny corner shower, and a 1970s hot tub with mood lighting. Our clients wanted to open the space up, bring elements of the trees and river from outside, while maintaining an overall clean, contemporary look. Every faucet finish, paint color, light fixture shape carried high import as the restrictions in the design highlighted those elements. Our clients were thrilled and I'm satisfied we created a "contemporary, but still feels like nature" space.

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What and/or who are some of your design inspirations?

My contemporaries provide my biggest inspiration right now. Artists that I know from the art community, from school, and from the Atlanta area. I know I take color combinations from painters, spatial relationships from photographers, shapes from sculptors, etc.  I regularly check out work by Jake Gee and Laura Leslie (photographers), Myra Cargo, Augusta Wilson, and Kate Roebuck (painters), William Downs (artist), and Olivia Terrell (metalsmith/jeweler). 

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atlanta interiors photographer master bath rose hall

What trends do you foresee in interior design and architecture?

For the past 100 years the biggest influence on the built environment has been technology. As technological innovations continue at such a high rate, there has been somewhat of a reaction valuing quality, tradition, or permanence. Much of what I see termed as new design is from specific (previously established) design paradigms incorporating new technology.

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atlanta interiors photographer master bath rose hall

What is something about interior design or designers that many people might not know?

 I enter into people's homes and transform the space in which they live their private lives. This concept is paramount for me. A stylish home is by no means essential to life. However, the potential for the space surrounding you to influence your light reception, color relationships, spatial awareness, mental performance, and even mood means your surroundings can greatly influence your quality of life. So are throw pillows and matching curtains important? In the grand scheme of things, no. But they sure will make you feel better spending time in that room.

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Want to get in touch with Anna?  Shoot her an email at rosehall.af@gmail.com

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Creative Conversations | Basic Invite | Wedding Stationery

I got to do some product photography recently, which is always fun for me, for Basic Invite.  I even got to play around on the site and customize a couple of invitations and truly everything is customizable.  There are so many options!  Shout out to my girl, Taylor of Taylor Dawn Design for coming to style these invitations with me!

What is different about Basic Invite from other stationery companies?

Basic Invite is one of the few websites that allows customers almost unlimited color options with instant previews online. Once you select a design you can change the color of each element on the card to over 180 different color options. So, you can make sure the card is exactly how you want it - down to the littlest detail. This is what we feel sets us apart from almost any other online stationery company and is what we feel is our biggest draw.

Do I have to commit before actually seeing the invitations in person?

 Basic Invite is one of the few websites that allows customers the ability to order a printed sample of their actual invitation so they can see exactly how it will print as well as the paper quality before they ever have to place their final order.

What else can I customize?

Basic Invite is just as colorful with our envelopes as we are with our invitations. Customers can choose from over 40 different colors when it comes to their envelopes so that they can make their invitation stand out even before it is opened. All of our envelopes are peel and seal so the envelopes can be quickly and securely closed.

What else do I need to know about wedding stationery?

Each of our wedding invitations is part of a set. You can find everything from save the dates to wedding invitations and enclosure cards, wedding menus, wedding programs and even matching thank you cards!

What other services do you offer?

Use our free address collection service to request your addresses with just three simple steps. Share a link, collect addresses, and get free envelope printing.  

We also offer Bridal Shower Cards.

Ribbons | Silk and Willow +  La Pomme et La Pipe

Ring Box | The Family Joolz

Perfume | Tocca

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Brittany + Matt | Roswell Mill Engagement Session

Brittany and Matt met me in Roswell for their engagement session last fall while the leaves were still pretty shades of yellow and orange and I loved getting to know them and hear their story.  Matt is a youth minister and Brittany works for an adoption agency towns apart.  These two have the kindest hearts that are full of love and I can't wait to be there to see them say "I do."

How did you two meet?

Matt and I were introduced by two of our friends who are also in our wedding party, Kyle and Haley. I have been good friends with Haley for many years and was in the same youth group as Kyle and Haley when we were in high school. Kyle works with Matt at Royal Cup Coffee. Kyle and Haley started telling us about each other and eventually got us in contact with each other. We talked on the phone for a week before we met, which was great to really get to know each other and ask all the important questions. Matt drove almost two hours to pick me up for our first date to take me to Atlanta for dinner and a Braves game.

How did he propose?

Our 6 month anniversary of dating was October 14, 2016, and Matt took me to a nice dinner on the square in Carrollton to celebrate on October 15, 2016. We then went to the Greenbelt to "look at stars" on the dock. As we walked down the trail to the dock, he stopped me under the gazebo which was decorated for the proposal and asked me to marry him (in Portuguese- which was a sweet surprise since he knows my love for Brazil).

Describe your fiance in 3 words

Caring, giving, patient

What are you looking forward to most about being married?

I am most excited about having someone by my side to glorify the Lord with and seek Him with. I am excited to see where the Lord takes us in our lives together. I also cannot wait to live in the same city-same home- as Matt and get to spend every day together.

 

10 Days in the Life of a Wedding Photographer

"You’re a photographer, right?  So, like, what do you do all day when you're not shooting?"

I get this question often.  It’s not that people are trying to discredit my profession or think that I just sit at home watching Netflix all day.  They are just genuinely curious.  It’s not a typical 9-5 job.  There is the flexibility that I can do laundry while I’m working or take a personal day if I need to, but many people don’t realize that running a photography business is actually less time shooting and much more time actually running a business.

To show people what I do, I decided to keep a record of everything I did for 10 days.  Each week could look different, but this may give you a good idea as to what a photographer does behind the scenes and what the day-to-day might look like.

DAY 1: Sunday, February 19th

10:30am - Church

12:30-5:00pm - Simply Foxhall Workshop - Hosted by Simply Cater.  I photographed the styled shoot element, shot some behind the scenes of the event, and spoke.

Side Note: I don’t typically work on Sundays, but an opportunity came up for me to speak and photograph at this event.  Last week I was talking on the phone with organizers, emailing, and preparing my talk - “How to draft your perfect photo timeline.”

BTS of Amberly, of Wrennwood Design, lighting the table at the Simply Foxhall Workshop

DAY 2: Monday, February 20th - President’s Day

Some of my friends with 9-5 jobs had this day as a holiday, some didn't.  I decided to go "halfsies".  Also seeing as I worked the day before, I felt no guilt about taking a half day.

AM- uploaded, culled, and began editing photos from Sunday

PM - took off to spend time with friends, rest, and read

DAY 3: Tuesday, February 21st

AM - Did some styled and BTS photos for Maybe to Yes Workshop at 433 Bishop

Then, had to leave for a little bit to go meet my clients for their engagement session in Cabbagetown.

PM - Returned for the afternoon portion of Maybe to Yes for more BTS shots.

At home “after hours” - uploaded engagement photos and day one of maybe to yes and culled images, Sent headshots to a friendor. 

BTS of Taylor, of Taylor Dawn Design, at the Maybe to Yes Workshop

DAY 4: Wednesday, February 22nd

AM + PM - At Maybe to Yes all day - headshots, styled shoot, and BTS photos

"After hours" Started drafting blog post for Brianne McMullan Events

DAY 5: Thursday, February 23rd

AM - uploaded and culled Maybe to Yes workshop and styled shoot photos from day 2, Returned emails, Booked an engagement session, Called ga doe about log in info

Went to the Atlanta Youth Academy (AYA) to hang out with my mentee, Precious.*

*Yes, this is one of the perks to making my own schedule.  I can volunteer in the middle of the day!

Returned groom’s suit from Sunday’s workshop

PM - Finished editing Simply Foxhall Workshop photos, Uploaded to online gallery, Returned more emails

Some goodies from Grice Grove that were at her pop up shop at Simply Foxhall Workshop

DAY 6: Friday, February 24th

AM - Chapel at AYA and 2nd graders were leading. (When I went the day before, Precious and her teacher asked if I was coming and who could say no to that sweet child so I went two days in row.)

Posted blog post and promoted on social media

PM - Uploading the rest of SFW photos to online gallery, Reviewed a portfolio/ website for a newer photographer, Met her for lunch, Sent Simply Foxhall Workshop photos to the organizers of the event, Edited MTY headshots

Our new Tuesdays Together Atlanta leaders and speakers at Maybe to Yes - Kristen Green and Sarah Chancey

DAY 7: Saturday, February 25th

8am - Engagement Session at O4W park - again I don't normally do portrait sessions on Saturdays that I don't have weddings, but she was flying in from Nebraska and thus, I broke my own rule again... must get better at that.

No more work this weekend! 

DAY 8: Sunday, February 26th

Church

Sabbath aka no work or emails for me today!

Taylor taught attendees about styling and they got to play with pretty paper, ribbon and jewelry

DAY 9: Monday, February 27th

AM - Emails - following up with brides, discussing engagement sessions, with my CPA to file my taxes, Submitting shoots to publications, Signed up for webinars, Editing -worked on MTY, finished editing an engagement session, Planning/ dreaming for future fun things like workshops, mentoring sessions and a summer intern. Be on the look out for all these fun things potentially happening in the future!

PM - Exported engagement sesh and uploaded to online gallery, Posting to social media, Blog post planning

DAY 10: Tuesday, February 28th

AM - Respond to emails, Finish blog post, Post blog post, Cull images for styled shoot submission

PM - Went on a run (again with the work perks - I give myself freedom to run in the middle of the day), Submit to publication, Research engagement shoot locations, Listen to Ashlyn Writes Webinar, Start editing MTY Workshop day 2

 

So there ya have it - 10 days in my life and what I did.  Like I said before, every week, every day could look different depending on what is necessary to accomplish that day.  Some days look more exciting with workshops and photo sessions while others tend to be a bit less exciting like doing taxes and talking to people on the phone at various government agencies.  Through it all, I'm happy to get to run my own company for as long as the Lord wills it.

Peace up, A-Town down,

Holly

 

Tori + Will | Engagement Session

This one is long over due, but I'm happy to finally share some images from Tori and Will's engagement session!  They decided that they wanted to go to Will's Grandmother's property where they got engaged, which made for the perfect backdrop for their photos while also holding some sentimental values.

Tori and Will were high school sweethearts and have been dating since forever.  Now they even get to work together as teachers at the same school.  When I first sat down and met with them, Will referred to their relationship as their friendship, which just made me smile.  They obviously love each other a lot, but the fact that they really are best friends and have known one another for so long makes it extra sweet that I get to be there when they finally say "I do."

How To Draft Your Perfect Photo Timeline

A couple weeks ago I had the pleasure of photographing and speaking at the Simply Foxhall Workshop hosted by Simply Catering.  My short talk was about creating a wedding day photo timeline.  If you are newer to the wedding industry or if you are a bride trying to envision how your big day will unfold, this may be a good read for you.

If you are a bride, hopefully your photographer or wedding planner will help you draft your timeline, but sometimes it's nice to think ahead - especially if you're a detailed person like me.

Details to think about:

How long do you have your photographer?

The standard is about 8 hours.  Some photographers may have packages that are more or less depending on your budget - especially if you value their quality of photography, but maybe can't spend the money on a full day of coverage.  It's all about making decisions based on what aspects of your day are most important to you.

Are you doing a first look?

This will definitely affect when you take photos during the day.  There are pros and cons to both.  

Pros - You're able to get to your reception quicker, you are first priority and get your couple portraits done first right after your hair and make up is finished, and you can get most of your photos done before the ceremony.

Cons - It goes against tradition if you want to see each other for the first time walking down the aisle.  You may have to start getting ready earlier in the day.

What time is your ceremony?

There's an old wives tale that says you should get married when the minute hand is ascending aka at the half hour or later for good luck, but most millennials that I've talked to had never heard of this and most people wisely base it off of sunset time.  Keep in mind that if you are getting married at 5:30pm and the sun sets at 6:00pm all of your photos afterwards will either be in the dark or inside.

How long is your ceremony?

A typical ceremony length is about 30 minutes.  If it is a traditional religious ceremony such as Greek Orthodox, your ceremony may last much longer.

What time is sunset?

This is an easy thing to google, but to give you an idea:

In April the sun sets about 8pm.  In June it sets around 8:30pm and in October it sets around 7pm.

Do you have travel between your venues?

How many family portraits/ combinations are you taking? How many in your bridal party? 

All these factors contribute to how long photos may last.  I suggest leaving a little cushion just in case.

You should be tucked away about about an hour before your ceremony as out of town guests tend to arrive early and you should be hidden.  This also gives you a chance to eat something, drink some water, and gives your photographer time to get detail shots of your venue or any other details there may not have been time for previously.

My Example Timeline

As we've talked about, a timeline can vary based on many different factors, but below is an example timeline based on 8 hours of photography coverage in October with a first look and no travel between venues.

1:30pm - getting ready, details shots, and putting dress on

2:15pm - First Look and Couple Portraits

3:00pm - Bride; Bride with each Bridesmaid; and Bridesmaids group

3:30pm - Groom; Groom with each Groomsman; and Groomsmen group

4:00pm - Full Bridal Party

4:30pm - Tucked Away

5:30pm- Ceremony

6:00pm - Family Portraits

6:30pm - additional couple portraits during golden hour

6:45pm - announced into reception

Party!

9:30pm - Grand Exit

I hope this helps as you draft your perfect photo timeline!

Happy Planning!

Holly

Creative Conversations| Meet an Atlanta Filmmaker - Marc Sugrue | Intro 2 Music Video

I met Marc a few years ago when we both helped out with The Greenroom, a summer camp through Re:imagine ATL.  Since then, it's been fun to catch up with Marc every now and then and see how his filmmaking career grows in Atlanta.  

A few months ago, I had the pleasure of following the guys around on set capturing some behind the scenes moments for a music video Marc was directing. You'll be able to see the completed project at the end of the post and it's a must see! It's so good!

How did you get into filmmaking?

Well, I started off as any creative really. Confused. I loved making things, drawing, and making skits with home made puppets. My mom once said that she wanted to put me in acting school as a child. But due to a family member discouraging me I put off my creative instincts and focused on the academic. The problem with that was my grades never got above an 80 and it was super discouraging. I was trying to find my worth in grades, and I failing. It felt like not only did I put my worth into grades but the public school system only really commemorated for your diligence to academic studies and that never included the arts. Despite this I always pursued art in some way. Whether it was doodling on my notes, taking graphic design classes, photography classes, fine arts and finally in my last year of high school video production. Walking into video production was a breath of fresh air, where anything I created was right as long as it was created. My teacher Mr. Farranto of CNS high school was super encouraging and if it wasn’t for him I certainly wouldn't have found the satisfying career that I have today.  

*Side Note: You can actually read more about this on Marc's Blog - HERE.

What's been your favorite project to date?

The hard thing about art is starting off. I can’t say I have a most favorite video/film to date yet, but I will say I am most pleased with how my most recent personal project, "Intro 2"  that I released recently. That video took me months to create. We were not filming or editing for months but because it was an unofficial video, aka: not paid for by the musical artist/label, we needed to raise money by doing other corporate work and finding time to produce, scout, and film, etc. If anything I appreciate it the most because it took a lot out of me. It was diligent work, but I am pretty happy with how it turned out.

What kind of stories are your favorite to tell

I think to find your style of story to tell, you need to always be learning yourself deeper and deeper. Making films revolving around real characters in real stories means you have to pull from the real things around you. Your experiences - Your feelings are part of the story you're telling. For instance, when growing up I was told I shouldn’t be an artist, I spent years denying myself the pleasure of committing to the artistic side of myself. I denied and rejected apart of me. Through that, other friendship and community rejections I have gained insight on the world of forgiveness, regret, rejection and denial. I can pull from these experiences and feels to hopefully connect with the audience because I have really felt them. So the stories I have really felt and recognized in myself are the stories I want to tell.

What's your favorite role on set?

My favorite role on set is a even split between Director and Director of Photography. However, I would say DP. 

What's your favorite movie? ( I know this is probably a difficult one.)

My favorite movie, at the moment, is the 1980’s Elephant Man by David Lynch staring John Hurt and Anthony Hopkins. This movie shows what society values and what God’s real values are in humans. It's a movie that really focuses on Man vs. Inner man.  It's amazing I could write a whole blog post on it, maybe I will- HA!

Who are some of your favorite people to collaborate with?

There are a lot of talented people I like to work with. But the one person who is always there and is one of the best people I have ever had the privilege to work with is Chris Carey. The man is an amazing producer/AD I can name quite a few sets he alone has saved. 

Any advice for anyone looking into getting into filmmaking?

1. Unsolicited negative advice isn’t critiquing it is discouragement.

2. Find your purpose in why you want to create, not just creation for the sake of creation.

3. Forgive yourself for not liking your own work, it means you have gotten better for making it and you have better taste now.

As my blog is about helping filmmakers find there way through the jungle of the business world and creative aspects of filming and full time artistry in general, I have a lot to say and too little space. 

...and yes we rode in the trunk of this car with the hatch open to get the in motion motorcycle shots...

Music Video Credits:

Producer: Marc Sugrue
Co-Producer: Stefan Bekker

Director: Marc Sugrue
Director of Photography: Marc Sugrue
Assistant Director: Chris Carey

2nd Unit:
Director of Photography/Camera Operator: David Nobles
Assistant Camera: Jonathan Gabriel

3rd Unit:
Camera Operator: Bleu Hayes

Drone Pilot: Joesph Peed

Cast: (In order of appearance)
Adult One: Mark Mellete
Adult Two: Daniel Bass

Creative Conversations | Meet a Wedding Planner | Brianne McMullan Events

If you've been following along for a little while, you've seen this lady's face before.  I met Brianne a couple years ago when we met at a bridal consultation.  One of her bride's was meeting with me about potentially shooting her wedding and even though Brianne and I didn't get to work together on that wedding we became friends and have gotten to work together since!  

Recently, she decided to branch out on her own after having planned for a few years with another planner.  I loved getting to shoot some branding photography for Brianne and am excited to share some images from our session!  

Read below for some words from Brianne, of Brianne McMullan Events, herself!

Tell us a little bit about yourself!

I am the owner and heart behind Brianne McMullan Events, and we specialize in planning unique weddings for sentimental and sophisticated couples here in Atlanta and all over the Southeast. I am also a wife to an amazing husband, a cat mom, a margarita/chips & queso lover, and a Netflix connoisseur. I love creating & designing, and even though I am extremely introverted, I love working with people and supporting others. 

How did you get into wedding planning?

I grew up passionately pursuing a career in elementary education and was thrilled to land an amazing teaching job when I graduated, but realized fairly quickly that the burnout I was experiencing day-after-day and year-after-year wasn't sustainable. I had a wedding of my own and realized throughout the process that planning weddings combined many of the qualities in a career that I value the most: working with people, serving and supporting others, creating beautiful designs and aesthetics, and logistics. I reached out to wedding planners here in Atlanta and was lucky enough to find a perfect position as a part-time associate coordinator for an established company. I worked with them for a couple of years, learning the ropes and gaining ample experience planning and designing weddings, as well as marketing myself and selling my services. Afterwards, I launched Brianne McMullan Events!

What are your current favorite color combinations or trends?

I am so excited to say that I think bold, crisp colors are becoming more popular! I love designing weddings that infuse deep jewel tones - think emerald, sapphire blue, or ruby - or that have bright and fresh color palettes! We were in a phase for a while where many brides were requesting neutrals and blush tones, which I think will always be in style, but I am excited for the challenge of incorporating bright hues into tasteful and sophisticated designs in the coming seasons. 

Are there any trends that you'd like to see left behind?

While I think that burlap and mason jars have finally gotten the message, I'd like to put the final nail in the coffin. I also think that brides look at popular trends and feel like they have to jump on the bandwagon, but I would encourage every couple to pay more attention to incorporating personal details that speak to their story.

Any advice for couples getting married?

Stay focused on your marriage throughout your planning. Planning a wedding is so exciting and it will be an amazing day, but trust me when I say the best is yet to come! Keep your marriage at the heart of all of your decision making, be sure to talk about your marriage often (and attend premarital counseling if you desire), and continue dating each other throughout the process!

Any advice for new wedding planners just getting started?

The best advice I have is to put yourself out there. This could mean reaching out to other vendors to connect, blogging, attending networking events, or asking planners who are a few steps ahead of you for opportunities to gain experience. Oh--and don't be afraid to invest wisely in yourself. Workshops and trainings can be scary to invest in when you aren't making a huge profit, but the knowledge you gain can be invaluable. 

Favorite Atlanta venue(s)?

I love venues in Atlanta that have pretty outdoor and indoor space, providing various settings for each moment in the event. Some of my favorites are the Atlanta History Center, The Estate, and Summerour. I also really love the sleek, modern look of Ventanas, and if you are looking for views of the Atlanta skyline, it is a hard one to beat! To be honest, there are so many great venues in Atlanta that it is hard to narrow it down!

What is something about wedding planners that many people may not know?

Wedding planners spend an average of 200+ hours planning your wedding. We are so dedicated to our clients, and are committed to saving them time, keeping them on budget, and eliminating as much stress as possible. Hiring a planner is an investment in your wedding, but in many cases planners can keep you more on track with your budget than you can do on your own because of our expertise and knowledge of industry standards. I also think couples feel that if they hire a planner, they won't have as much control over the wedding, but I think the opposite is true! In fact, I believe hiring a wedding planner who is able to completely grasp the vision for the wedding enables the couple to make educated decisions about their design and their vendors that will precisely deliver the look, feel, and experience that they were hoping for (and more!). 

What are your hobbies/ non wedding related activities?

When I am not planning, I can be found spending time with my family and friends, trying new restaurants or visiting tried and true favorites, attempting to cook (we use Blue Apron), attending a barre or spin class, or enjoying a latte at a local coffee shop. 

After planning your own wedding, was there anything you wish you did differently knowing what you know now as a professional?

I definitely would have done a first look! I was pretty stubborn about that one, but I would have wanted more of a relaxed timeline immediately following the ceremony instead of trying to cram in all of my family portraits and couple photos. Of course, my style has evolved now, so I would probably design a different aesthetic. I also forgot to get in my photo booth, so I would do that. But really, it was a perfect day and there is not much I would change! It was so much better than I had imagined it. 

The Big Fake Wedding - Atlanta, GA | Three Taverns Brewery - Decatur, GA

In January, I had the pleasure of teaming up with several other amazing vendors to be a part of The Big Fake Wedding!  This event is a bridal show in the form of a fake wedding where a real married couple has a vow renewal ceremony and reception and the guests/ brides-to-be get to experience the vendors in real life!

You can see the feature over on Ruffled Blog, You've Been Noted, and The Big Fake Wedding Blog!

We had so much fun and I can't thank enough my wonderful assistants that day - Danielle Hulsey and Taylor Doehrman of Taylor Dawn Design.

The incredible vendors, whose products and services you'll see below are top notch and you should check them out!  The theme for this event was Parisian Twilight.  All photography by yours truly.

Venue - Three Taverns Brewery in Decatur, Ga.  You may have been to this establishment for a pint, but did you know they do events too?

This beautiful registration table at the entrance to the brewery was designed by Kara Nash Designs.

There were four beautiful invitations designed by stationers for the event.  This first hand-painted suite with the Bridesmaids cards were designed by Sweet Art Paperie.

This illustrated, whimsical and romantic suite was designed by Lisa Clow Studio.

Above: Vivid and Romantic suite by Lizzie Peach Designs.

Below: Modern, Navy and Gold foiled suite by Robbin's Nest Design Studio.

The bouquets and boutonnieres were designed by Bloom with Jenna.

Hair and make up were provided by the Davao Hair Studio team.

Our Big Fake Wedding couple was Sara and Jared.  These two along with their 'groomsmen' own a new coffee company in Atlanta called East Pole Coffee.  You should check it out!

Bouquets by Bloom with Jenna and Bride and Bridesmaids dresses from Bride Beautiful.

Each of the tables in the reception space was designed by different vendors.  I loved seeing everyone's take on Parisian Twilight!  This table was designed by  Sometheme To Talk About.

Rentals were from Miss Milly's Event Rental and Design.

The table below was designed by La Soiree Chic Events.  Calligraphy for menu and placecards by JBell Calligraphy.

The tables above and below were both designed by Kara Nash Designs.

Table three below is getting me excited for the new Beauty and the Beast movie! This table by Sometheme To Talk About.

Above: These delicious cupcakes were created by Liquor Infused Confections (L.I.C.)

Below: Stunning Cake by Pastry Shells.

Table 9 above was designed by La Soiree Chic Events.

Table 1 below was designed by Bloom with Jenna.

Sometheme To Talk About also designed the ceremony backdrop.

The head table was designed by Lionhearted Events.

Table 6 was also designed by Bloom with Jenna.

My table with calligraphy by Taylor Dawn.

Above: Cookie Bar by Tasty Prayer...The Cookie Box and Ice Cream Bar by Frozen Functions.

Above: Landrum Sitten, the Atlanta Production Manager for the Big Fake Wedding.

The ceremony was coordinated by La Soiree Chic Events.

Entertainment and Music was provided by Emerald Empire Band.

Other vendors included Catered Southern Events, Forester's Financial, The Boyer Agency - Farmers Insurance, Share Your Photos App, Shutterbooth, Laura Wick Photography, Photography by Zelda, Simplified it Products, Eco Love Apothecary, Paper and Posies, Piper and Leaf Tea Co, and Epperly Travel.

Videography by Rivet Events.

Emily + Ethan | Arabia Mountain Engagement Session

First, can I just say that Emily and Ethan are troopers?  We went out to Arabia Mountain one day right before Thanksgiving when it was super cold.  They got up for sunrise and even hiked a mountain.  I was so impressed.  They are two of the kindest people and I cannot wait for their wedding coming up in March!  

How did you two meet?

We met in the youth group at Newton Baptist Church when we were both young teenagers. We are blessed to be able to say we are high school sweethearts!

How did he propose?

Ethan put a lot of time into planning the perfect night that I will never forget! Every October my grandparents host a hayride and bonfire for the youth at our church and every year Ethan and I go to help. Ethan was helping with the "haunted" part of the hayride and I was riding in the truck with some of my family. Before going back to the house my grandaddy turned down a dirt road. Off in the distance it looked like some people were standing on the road but I could not see what they were doing. As we got closer, one by one they began to flip signs that read "Emily", "Will You", and "Marry". When we got to the end Ethan was standing off to the side. When I got out of the truck he dropped down on one knee and asked me to marry him. Of course I said yes! I was the perfect night!

HVL Travels | The Wizarding World of Harry Potter | Universal Studios | Orlando, Florida

Alright friends, this post is long overdue...and also long.  My mom and I took our mother-daughter trip to Orlando last June.  I have asked many times about going - part joking because I knew she probably wouldn't care to go, but mostly serious because I love Harry Potter.  So I was surprised and pumped when she brought it up that that should be our destination and it was awesome!

Going to a theme park as an adult without children seemed like a silly idea at first, but once we got there, I realized we were definitely not the only ones - especially the millennials - and once we got back, I started seeing my facebook feed show up with tons of other people and their photos to the Orlando theme parks.  Alas, here is my post about The Wizarding World of Harry Potter and our tips and insights from our trip.  Most of the photos here were shot on iphone because sometimes that's the best camera option in your pocket.

First up, Cabana Bay.  We stayed at the Cabana Bay Beach Resort.  It's one of the few resorts within walking distance to the park and we loved staying there for multiple reasons.  First, we got a package deal that included our accommodations and park tickets which just made everything easier.  We did the 3 day pass, which was great because we didn't feel rushed or that we had to stay at the park all day long to get our money's worth.  There are multiple ways to get to the park.  We got a lot of use out of the walking trail, but when we were too tired from the hot sun, we could take the shuttle or even rickshaw (yep).  You valet your car and since it's so close to attractions there's no need to really use your vehicle unless you want to venture out, which also means you don't have to pay for expensive parking at the parks.  

The resort itself is full of retro flair, which I am a huge fan of! If you wanted to just have a hotel day, there would be plenty to keep you busy with a lazy river, movies by the pool, a bowling alley, food court etc.  For the lazy river, you can purchase floats from the resort, but we just brought our own from home.

Because we got the package deal, it came with early entry into Hogsmeade at Islands of Adventure.  On the second day we figured out our rhythm.  After you get into the park, you make your first pit stop at the Starbucks that's in the "Port of Entry" section of the park.  Then you follow everyone back to Hogsmeade and get in line for something.  Then, you can sip while you wait - because you will still have to wait even if you got in early - just not as long. 

For those of you that know me, you know I'm a pretty frugal traveller.  As you also know, almost everything inside a theme park is way over priced.  What we did, was packed snacks and *empty* water bottles to bring into the park.  Once you're inside, you can fill them up at the water fountain.  *They check bags at the entrance to City Walk - no liquids.

A few other vacation food tips - share meals.  You're probably not going to have a place on you to store your left overs (and are you really going to eat them later?) and they always give you so much food in restaurants, but sharing is cheaper and more efficient and may possibly leave you with room for a treat later. ;)

As far as Universal Studios specific meals - if you're going to eat lunch inside the park, we would suggest the little french style cafe near the entrance of Universal Studios.  There was room inside to actually sit at a table, it wasn't too ridiculous in price, and was one of the few non greasy/ heavy food options.

Another suggestion if you just want to take a break and sit inside, is to go to the Three Broomsticks.  You have to order something if you go so we got fruit cups and Butterbeer! The butterbeer was yummy, but super sweet and I drank maybe half of it - probably should have shared that too.

I bought a KAVU backpack and it worked great.  It was big enough to hold everything (phone, keys, tickets, money, snacks, etc) but small enough to fit in the lockers.  

Most rides won't let you carry your belonging with you so you have to leave them in the free lockers outside each ride, which identify you by your fingerprint (whoa).  You just have to remember which locker you used. 

Now, I thought I was a pretty big fan, but apparently not judging by the other patrons at the park.  I didn't dress up or have a wand, but if I had a child and took them to Universal, I would definitely take them to Ollivander's to buy them an interactive wand.  They're about $50, but going in the shop and watching the "wand choose the wizard" is entertainment in itself.  

We had a park-to-park pass which allowed us to go to and from each park and ride the Hogwarts Express.  I really liked the Hogwarts Express.  It transports you to the other park, but it's also a ride and it's different each way.

As a person whose body can't handle roller coasters anymore, I would say that if you can only do one park, pick Universal.  The rides are more show like and built indoors, which means you get to stand in line in air conditioning.  Although, in the Harry Potter parts of the parks, standing in line can be part of the experience.  For example, at Hogwarts, you go through different parts of the castle before you ever get to the ride. Also at Universal, there are also street shows, which I was a fan of.

A couple other insights we noticed is that the single rider lane moved pretty fast and if you're ok with potentially not sitting next to your friend, it might be worth it.  Also, there were a ton of Europeans in Orlando - mostly British, but I'm pretty sure I heard every European language and more during our trip.  

I really wish the Jimmy Fallon ride was open! Not till this spring.

We didn't feel the pressure to only stay at the park so we did venture out a little and explored some other parts of Orlando.  The Rifle Paper flagship store is located nearby in Winter Park so we ventured over there one day and explored the town.  We also saw a movie over at the City Walk movie theater one night.  

If you've made it this far in the post, I congratulate you.  Keep on exploring whether close to home or far away!