Monthly Archives: January 2014

Grayson is ONE!

We met this family through a mutual friend quite some time ago, but this was our first time working together.  They decided to have some family photos taken to celebrate their little guy turning one.  We had a terribly hot summer, and this day was no different.  They were troopers though the entire time, so you’d never know it was in the 90’s and we were all covered in sweat!  You can see, in some of the photos, just how hazy it was.

We decided to meet at the Park of Roses.  The bad thing about this park is the lack of shade on such a hot day, but it is a beautiful choice for photo sessions.  We were tempted to jump into that fountain to cool off!

The boys did awesome during the session!  Grayson was smiley the whole time and Tristan was my little assistant!  It’s always so nice when it’s obvious that families are enjoying their photo session.  Especially, since many of them admit they weren’t looking forward to having their photos taken 🙂

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Kamden {6 months}

This was my first time working with this cutie!  We met over the summer at Homestead Park for a mini session to capture his six month milestone.  If you’ve never taken advantage of my mini sessions, they are the perfect amount of time for kiddos.  I do limit the locations for these sessions, so contact me for more info.

Kamden was so easy to work with!  I used some of my vintage props for this session just to give him a little extra support when sitting.  Occasionally, a six month old can sit safely, but typically they are a tad wobbly still.  I love the photos of him sitting in the grass with the tie on!  He would pull out as much grass as his little hand could hold then try to shove it directly into his mouth.  Boys will be boys!

Posted in Kiddos Tagged , , , , , , , , , |

Amelie & Lindy

This was my first time working with this family, but I had met mama while she was pregnant.  She works for the Dr’s office that I often photograph for.  Usually, I’m doing personal family photos with the staff of this Dr’s office, but on this particular day, I was taking their staff head shots.

Thankfully, it was summer when we met for these photos.  If you’ve ever worked with me and you have a toddler, I’m sure you’ve heard me say that I don’t really love using backdrops with them.  It can be very hard to get a toddler to stay in one area and get a natural smile and pose out of them.  Big sister, Miss Amelie, was not a big fan of the camera that day.  I tried to capture some shots of her playing inside the house, but I was struggling.  Finally, we decided to go in their backyard and that’s when I got the best shots!  I was having her show me her favorite flowers in the backyard and talking to her about her upcoming birthday, which was really close to mine.  Once she was engaged with me in conversation I got some great shots of her.  Then, we decided to have her fingerpaint in the backyard, and those ended up being super cute photos of her.  I was able to capture a really natural side of her while she was painting.

Little sister, Miss Lindy, wanted to stay awake for her entire newborn session!  Her big blue eyes are wide open for a lot of the photos.  We took several nursing breaks, and while I played outside with big sister, she finally fell asleep.  She stayed sound asleep all the way through the end of the session where I got some sweet photos of the two sisters on the couch together.  Amelie was a proud big sister, and for the first time, didn’t mind at all to look at the camera with a smile 🙂

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Happy Birthday Tzina!!!!

Today is the birthday of one of my longtime friends, Tzina!  Her and I met in the 9th grade.  We were chair partners in orchestra, twirled on the flag corps, and shared the honor of being on Homecoming court together.  Those were just a few of our memorable times together! Since we grew up during the ancient times of film photography, most of the photos I have to share from back then aren’t good quality, but they are still so precious to me.  I also had a hard time finding our high school photos since they are scattered between photo albums and scrapbooks.  Here’s some of my favorites though…

Unfortunately for me, Tzina has moved back to Greece where she is originally from.  We are actually terrible at catching up with each other via Skype, but when we do find the time to chat it’s like we’ve never missed a beat with each other.  Thank goodness for Facebook though, because it always keeps us updated with each other’s lives.

This past summer, Shannon and I were so fortunate to be able to travel over to Greece for Tzina’s wedding!  I don’t think any vacation we ever take will top that one!  Not only was Greece amazing, but we were able to reconnect with several high school friends, and watch our first traditional Greek wedding.  I knew by seeing photos of Tzina, that she looked and felt amazing to be back in Greece, but when I physically got there with her, she radiated happiness!  I mean, of course she was ecstatic that she was getting married and so many old friends had travelled from all over the world to share her special day.  Even though I miss her terribly, I would never want her to move back to the US  after seeing how complete her life is now in Greece.

I wanted to share some of her amazing wedding stories and photos!  First of all, we were warned that it would be a long day!  The girls and I started our day around 9:00.  We had breakfast and headed to the hair salon.  Tzina’s wedding hair was the most intricate masterpiece I’ve ever seen!  After everyone finished at the salon, we put on summer dresses and headed to Tzina’s parents home for the start of the ceremonies.  Tzina lives in a village called Florina.  It was quite a rural drive to get to the house, which sat high up on a hill.  When we arrived, the wedding photographers immediately wanted some fun shots of all us girls together.  I had no idea we would be asked to be in photos like that!  It was so fun!  There was a fully catered meal and also a live band, so we enjoyed that for a while.  I’ve been watching Tzina, and our other Greek friend, Christina, do traditional Greek dances since I’ve known them, but watching her with her family on her wedding day was so awesome.  The music and food continued for the guests, but all of us girls had to go inside and not only get our wedding clothes on, but also help Tzina get into hers.  Once she was dressed, she was escorted and presented to her father.  More dancing occurred and then we made the trip down the hill to the church.  The church was absolutely beautiful!  It was also very significant to Tzina, because her parents and grandparents had been married there too.  This part of the ceremony was my favorite!  Talk about being a show stopper on your wedding day!  The street is shut down and lined with people.  Some of these people are wedding guests, but most of the ones on the street are just bystanders taking in the beauty of yet another wedding.  There was a band in front of Tzina and anyone who wanted to, could walk behind her through the street and up the stairs to the church where the handsome groom was awaiting her arrival.  At this point, Tzina asked me to help carry her veil behind her as she walked and I was so honored to do this!  Definitely my most memorable part of the ceremony!  Once inside of the church the ceremony lasted about an hour.  Even though we couldn’t understand much of what was spoken, just watching all of the rituals was so neat and beautiful.

Now, let’s talk about the reception!  Those Greeks really know how to party!  I believe there were between 500-600 guests at the reception!  We had another deliciously catered meal and watched more traditional Greek dancing.  Some of the dances can easily be picked up if anyone ever wanted to jump in and join the fun.  Shannon and I choose to sit back, relax, and just take it all in.  I think Shannon and I threw the towel in around 2:00 AM and headed back to the hotel.  The party was still going strong though!  Tzina said they finally left around 4:00 AM.  I guess it’s typical for a Greek reception to last until 6:00 AM.  I told you they know how to party!  My favorite memory from the reception was Tzina and her hubby dancing in a pan of beer!

The day after the wedding was so great, because we spent the entire day with Tzina.  We met for lunch, which lasted hours, because we finally had time to catch up on everything.  Then, Tzina walked us through the village, which was so pretty.  There were so many cute shops, but they were all closed since it was Sunday.  We got to see their new flat, which was beautiful.  It just was so great to spend quality time together!

Saying goodbye to Tzina that night was so hard!  Those three days we spent in Florina will always be some of my most treasured memories.  I remember I kept telling Shannon how amazing it felt to be with people that really know you.  People that have been a part of your life for more than a decade.  You’ve grown from children to women together, seen the good, bad,and ugly, and yet still love each other.

Tzina will be welcoming her own little Greek Goddess into the world in March!  She has been dreaming of being a mother since we were teenagers in orchestra class together, so I couldn’t be happier for her!  She will make an amazing mother, and I can’t even fathom how beautiful this little girl is going to be.

Happy birthday Tzina!  I love and miss you!  Can’t wait for all the excitement this year holds for you!  xoxo

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Welcome to the 30 club!

What better way to welcome my sis-in-law into the 30 club than sharing all of her secrets and posting really embarrassing photos!  I’m totally kidding!  She keeps her secrets in her hair, so I could never find all of them any way 😉

I was 14 when I first met Ashley.  My first memory of her is standing in their living room with a red-headed child thrown on her hip.  Ashley probably weighed 90 pounds, and so did that child haha!  She was babysitting for their neighbors.  Nothing significant happened between the two of us on that day, but that will always be how I remember meeting her.  Here’s some of our first photos together…

Shannon and I were Seniors and Ashley was a Sophomore.  This was during spirit week and we were suppose to dress up in a blast from the past outfit.  Shannon looks hilarious!  He’ll probably kill me for this haha!  It’s funny how styles come back around, because I think I could wear my outfit in that photo now!

This next one is from my senior prom.  I think Ashley says it best, “we must be like fine wine!”

Now, I wouldn’t say Ashley and I hated each other, because that’s a very strong word.  Lets just say, we definitely were not scheduling two hour phone dates and running off to Vegas together for a girls weekend.  This lasted for a good 10 years!  I know that sounds crazy to not get along with someone for a whole decade, but it’s true!  We never had any big fights or anything crazy during those 10 years.  We were just young, catty, jealous girls.  We were so much alike back then.  In our individual family units we stood out and held our own, but together, we couldn’t find a room big enough to hold the both of us!  We often would show up to family events dressed alike.  I am an only child, and was also the girl in school that would lie to you when you asked where my outfit came from, because I didn’t want anyone to have the same clothes as me.  Having said that, you can understand how mad I would be when we showed up looking like twins!  The photo below is the best!  This was Christmas, and trust me, we had not discussed clothing together!

Here’s some other great photos of us dressed very similar to each other…it looks like we only did this with the color scheme of red, black, and white, but that’s just because I could only find these photos!  The photo directly below was at my 24th birthday/wedding engagement party.  Ashley’s holding the card I made asking her to be a bridesmaid in our wedding.  I kinda look like Minnie Mouse lol!

This next photo was taken at our annual Christmas cocktail party.  The ironic part of this photo is that the dress Ashley is wearing, I had the exact same one in black.  Thankfully, I hadn’t chosen to wear that one, but we still looked very similar.

I know you’re probably saying, but you girls look so happy together in all those photos.  Remember, I said that we didn’t hate each other.  We just didn’t make an effort to become friends outside of family events.  That’s why there aren’t a ton of photos of us together back then.

This next photo was the turning point in our relationship.  It’s not that it’s a great photo, because it definitely is not!  That night though, was significant to the relationship we have now.  From then on, we saw each other several times a week and for the first time we actually opened up to each other.  We spent many, many hours that summer talking about those 10 ugly years.  We’ve been very honest about it to each other and anyone who asks, which is why I feel ok to write this blog now.  We had an absolute blast together that summer!  In the end, we realized that clothing was a petty thing to argue about, among other things.  We left that summer not only as friends, but as sisters.

Now that I am a photographer, I see more in the photo below.  Look at how close our heads are together.  I always tell my clients the closer your bodies are the more connected you’ll look in the photo.  As you look at the photos further down, you’ll see just how connected we get.  Practically attached at the hip!

Here’s more of my favorite photos of us together from that awesome summer…

Please note we showed up this night wearing the same color dress, but thought it was “so freakin cuuuuute” instead of being annoyed by it!

Amy G!!!  She makes everyone happy, so I had to throw this one in!

We’ve now spent 7 good years together!  I’m beyond thankful that we repaired our relationship before she moved to Atlanta.  Life has dealt both of us several bad hands, but ultimately those low times are what drew us closer together.  We also believe that conflict is good.  I once listened to a pastor talk about conflict.  He said you absolutely can not avoid conflict in relationships.  There are no short cuts around it no matter how hard you try to avoid it.  He said, it’s what happens during that conflict that shapes the relationship.  It’s the people that ask questions of each other and really work through it, that in the end, up with a deeper more connected relationship.  That pastor is the cousin of Ashley’s fiancé.  Small world 🙂

I’m not proud of the person I’ve been in the past, but I am proud of the person sitting here writing this blog.  I’m also proud of Ashley.  I feel like I should insert the Drake song here lol!  Seriously, I am blessed to call her my friend and sister.  I also really love her fiancé, Doug!  I’m excited and honored to be a part of their future and make more happy memories together.  Although, we do welcome the hard memories too.  After all, those are what got us to this point.

I’m going to overload you with more photos now.  I’m a photographer, I can’t help it!

This photo was at Put In Bay during my bachelorette party.  Ashley made me the veil I’m wearing.  Maybe that was the start of Renee May Couture??

If you know us at all, you’ve heard us call each other Pussywillow (ash) and Poppycock (me).  That began as a joke while we were shopping for flowers for my wedding.  Below, she’s wearing the pussywillow halo I made her for to wear at our wedding rehearsal dinner.  Please note, our dresses are the same color!

Now, she’s holding her birthday present wrapped in pussywillow paper.

My personal fav is the pussywillow sweater she got me for Christmas!

In the photo below, I’m wearing a one-of-a-kind Renee May Couture original piece!

Us on my wedding day.

In the photo above, you can see Ashley’s holding a parasol.  That’s what I had my girls carry instead of bouquets.  That theme continued with the song we chose to walk into the reception to, Rihanna’s song Umbrella.  Now, anytime that song comes on you’ll hear a loud “AWE!” and everyone surrounds me and makes an umbrella with their hands.  See below!

The next photos were Ashely’s 28th birthday.  It was her first birthday in Atlanta away from family, so we all surprised her!  I think she looks surprised!

We are both wearing lace tops with similar colored skirt/shorts 🙂

This photo was a very special moment for all the sissies!  Ashley presented each of us with cards asking all of us to be her Matrons/Maid of Honor at her wedding! We were so excited we celebrated with cheerleading moves!

In November 2012, Ashley and I shared our first visit to Disney together!

Hanging with some Minions at Universal Studios!

Working on our Heisman pose!

Some of my fav photos of the two of us from our visit to Atlanta…

I want to end with family photos.  I love being a part of this family!  I’m sure you can see why 🙂


Poppycock + Pussywillow 4-EVA

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The Worsham Family

I’m fortunate to call this family my friends first, then clients!  These are my favorite photos so far of them!  We met last summer at the Franklin Park Conservatory for their annual family photos.  I usually use my 35mm portrait lens for all photo sessions unless it’s a large group, but I changed things up this time.  I used my 70-300mm for the family photos of them between the trees, and I love how they came out!  I was able to give them a lot of space by using that lens, and I think that was the key for the kiddos.  Having someone right in your face with a big camera can be very uncomfortable, so I plan on utilizing that 70-300mm lens more often with families in the future.

You should check out this blog I posted about this family last year right after I met with them for these photos  You’ll learn a lot more about this wonderful family and why these photos may always be the most cherished!

This photo says it all… it’s really hot out and we’re tired of pictures!!


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The Lay Family

The winter months are always slow for me in the photography world, because I don’t have a studio.  I’ll mostly be working my Physical Therapy job and photographing newborns only until Spring arrives.  The plus side is that maybe I can get my blog caught up!

Meet the Lay family.  I photographed them for the first time when their son was 18 months old.  Now, they have a little girl, so we meet again to capture family photos at her 18 month milestone.

We met at the Franklin Park Conservatory for the photo session.  Prior to the session, mom had told me that her little girl loved shoes.  I was so excited about this!  I have a purple high heel shoe chair that I knew would be perfect for this session!  We did all of the family photos first, then ended with the shoe chair.  I also brought a couple pairs of my shoes for her to play with.  We didn’t get very many smiles with the shoes, because she was so focused on trying them on.  Father’s Day was right around the corner when we met for photos, so I took a special sign for a father-daughter photo.  It turned out super cute!

I love how the photos show each child’s individual personality.  Their son is a jokester, which you can really see in his spiderman photos!  While their daughter is more on the serious side.  I always really like serious photos of children, so I love all of her photos.

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Ashlee {Maternity}

Per my typical style, I have fallen way behind on my blog!  I think this post is a great way to start out the new year though!

My neighbor, Ashlee, contacted me to have maternity photos taken as a surprise Christmas gift for her hubby, Kyle.  The day we met was miserably cold and windy, but she was a trooper!  We ended the session with the only photo she had specifically requested.  She had forgot to bring an example to show me, so we just went from her memory.  She told me Kyle really liked a maternity photo of his own mother and she would like to re-create it.  Ashlee said she just needed to stand in front of a tree and look down at her belly to simulate her mother-in-law’s photo.  Since I had nothing to compare the photo too, I would snap a few then show Ashlee the back of the camera so she could make adjustments to the pose.

Christmas came and went and I anxiously waited to hear how the surprise had went.  Of course, Kyle loved the photos!  What I learned after the fact, about that last photo we took, touched my soul.

Kyle’s mother is deceased, and that’s why this photo was so meaningful to re-create.  The original photo was taken the day before she delivered Kyle, in front of a tree in the front yard of the house they lived in at that time.  Ashlee put the original photo and the one I took of her in a frame and presented it to Kyle on Christmas.  She then told me the plan is to hang that frame over the baby’s bed in the nursery, so Grandma can always watch over their little girl.  I am typing this with blurred vision as I hold back the tears!  What an amazing wife and mommy Ashlee is and will be!

I obviously always want my clients to be happy with their photos, but after learning the full story behind this particular photo, I was terrified I hadn’t done full justice to the original since I had never seen it.  Ashlee sent me a photo of the frame she had made, and we definitely have the distance off from the tree to her body.  I obsessed over that flaw for a minute, then I realized, it didn’t matter.  Even though I wasn’t present when Kyle opened this gift, I know the first thing that entered his mind was not the error in distance.

A huge thanks to Ashlee for allowing me to capture such a precious time in her life!  Also, a huge congrats to Ashlee and Kyle as they welcomed their little girl into the world last week!  She is quite the beauty, like Grandma was, I’m sure.

The photo below is the one this post is about…

These are some of my favorites from the session…

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