A gin and tonic, with Hendricks

Sometimes, you meet somebody and you just know you’re going to get along.

Dan and I met up for his session and immediately dove into a pantheon of bad dating stories. After lots of shooting, posing, and laughing, we needed a little something to cool off, so we popped into a bar for a quick drink.

“Gin and tonic. With Hendrick’s, if you’ve got it.”

If the voice hadn’t been deep and obviously male, I would have wondered if I’d just been thinking out loud. Nope! Dan and I share the same favorite drink. You could say also that we share our opinion over what the best drink is. The drink that is better than all other drinks, more refreshing than all other drinks, and generally superior to whatever you’re holding as you read this.

(Sorry, I really like G&Ts.)

All of this is just to say that Dan and I had a great time — and I’ve never seen someone look so unbelievably suave while holding their G&T.

 

Dan, I wish you all the best in your dating adventures!

The most important reason to hire a photographer (even if you’re single)

Sometimes I hear clients say, I need to wait to have my photos taken because:

I’m losing weight.

I don’t have the right clothes.

I’m not photogenic.

I don’t feel great about myself right now. I’m single, and I want to wait to spend my money once I’m engaged. PISH. POSH. I take your excuse and I reject it. (Lovingly, gently, after promising you it will be ok.)

Don’t kid yourself: you’ve made the same excuses. I’m here to say: stop waiting!

Stop waiting to overhaul your online dating profiles. Stop waiting to have new photos taken for your dating apps. Stop waiting to make a change. Stop waiting to have great photos of yourself right. now.

This isn’t only about finding “the one.” It’s not only about beating the competition on dating sites with professional photos.

Here’s a better reason to hire a photographer: it’s about honoring who you are. Remembering who you are. Documenting who you are.

You look great NOW. You are great NOW. Yes, I promise: you are photogenic. Everyone is nervous in front of the camera, including me! You just need to find the right person to stand behind the camera.

Document yourself now. Document this time.

That scar. That hairline. Those thighs. Your smile. Your beauty. Your best, authentic self.

The one your friends and family see every day and LOVE.

New headshots for a new gig

If you’ve been perusing my website, wondering how you can book a photoshoot with me for the low, low price of free — this next sentence will either thrill or crush you:

I give away one photoshoot a year. (And you still have to pay for it.)

Every fall, I donate a session to a silent auction that raises funds for VOX Teen Communications — an incredible nonprofit that helps Atlanta teens share their uncensored stories and voices. I’ve met some really brilliant folks and teens involved with VOX — and some of my favorite people have been champions, volunteers, and board members for VOX.

Susan is celebrating becoming the newest executive director of VOX! She wanted to get some new headshots to mark her new job, so we met up on a very blustery day to get some creative and fun headshots (and also celebrated her milestone, talked about how much we love Atlanta, etc).

If you’re celebrating a new job or position and need some new headshots that aren’t stuffy or too serious, shoot me a note! I’d love to help you update your professional brand.

Every person is a world

“Every person is a world.”

I read that quote years ago, when I was beginning to explore opening a photography business. A Spanish chef said it — and it has lingered with me ever since.

My clients bring such a force of joy, love, loyalty, hopefulness, vulnerability, and humor to my life. Especially my clients looking for online dating photography. Honestly? It’s kind of scary to admit when you need help with dating. I have been there myself, and you often need a friend to gently shake you and say, “These profile photos aren’t cutting it anymore.” I’m so thrilled and humbled by the amazing men and women who come to me, ready to try something new.

So I suppose I just want to say thanks: thanks for sharing your individual worlds with me. You’re all incredible humans who deserve great partners. Thanks for taking a few scary risks along the way — and for letting someone like me help you get there.

 

Sleeping in, drinking coffee, being free

Years ago, Nancy and I woke up, a little hungover. I’d crashed at her house after a fun night with a group of our girlfriends. Nancy made a pot of coffee. We wrapped ourselves in blankets, sprawled across her cozy living room, and let ourselves slowly wake up.

I’d been feeling really sad about being single. One of those tough seasons where I just felt a little lonely. I had recently broken up with a long-term boyfriend who I had truly thought I would marry and have kids with. But it didn’t work out, and that was okay. For the better, I told myself. I didn’t yet believe it, but one day I would.

Nancy piped up. “Isn’t this amazing? We have no where to be.”

I nodded. It was actually pretty nice just slowly waking up.

“Can you imagine if we had children?” Nancy said. “We definitely would not be doing this. We would not be doing this for several more decades.”

I sipped my coffee. “Can you imagine having a hangover and a baby? That sounds horrible.”

We both laughed. Yes, it did sound horrible. And in that moment, we both agreed — being single in our late 20s/early 30s was kind of amazing. We had so much freedom. We could spend our money how we liked, we could make decisions without consulting anyone, and we could drink our damn coffee in peace. It’s a little hard to fathom, but that was maybe the first time I realized the freedom I had as a single person. And how awesome it actually was being single.

Fast forward a lot of years. This is my friend Nancy, and this is her insanely cool apartment (where we’ve gingerly sipped many a cup of coffee). Nancy is embarking on an amazing adventure — a badass job in a new city. Because she has loved and nurtured and designed every inch of this amazing apartment, Nancy asked me to come document it so she can always remember her first home.

As I moved around her apartment, I asked if she remembered that conversation we had so many years ago. She did.

We talked about our friends struggling to be new parents, trying to figure things out. And we both expressed gratitude that we’d had these incredible years to explore and grow.

To travel, solo and with friends.

To develop a sense of style, in our homes and in our wardrobes.

To treat ourselves.

To grow our careers and have work opportunities.

To drink coffee and sleep in, to get full nights of rest. To love our friends’ kids, but to go home to our own beautiful homes not yet covered in burp rags and sticky handprints.

I’m so, so grateful for that. I’m grateful for friendships I nurtured and grew throughout my 20s, and the inspiring men and women I’ve met as a single person. I will miss my inspiring friend Nancy so much, but I’m thrilled to watch all my friends — single and coupled — to grow and succeed. Here’s to the next chapter, the next apartment.

Fire and Ice

Remember that ice storm we got in January? Do you remember how grateful you were that you didn’t have anywhere to be the next day?

Well, imagine if you’d planned to get married that day. That’s what happened to Ally and Lee, and their Payne-Corley House wedding was going to happen no matter what! We shoved hand warmers anywhere they’d fit, and we trekked out to shoot this beautiful day.

And what we learned was the very obvious wedding lesson: that warmth and sweetness comes not from the weather, but from the joy and love you’re surrounded by on the wedding day. Fire and ice, if you will. But a little more romantic, a little less Game of Thrones. 🙂

      

I was able to second shoot this wedding with the talented Jill Doty Photography. You can check out her original blog post for this wedding here.

Woman crush Wednesday (#WCW)

Have you ever met someone and instantly realized you were meant all along to know them?

Y’all. I met this gorgeous gal a few months ago, and we started hatching ideas. Within just a few minutes of meeting her, something inside me was like: yes. YES! YOU!

This is the stunning, elegant, feisty, brilliant Lillian Gray Charles. I initially reached out to her about providing wardrobe styling for my online dating profile clients — and we ended up gabbing so long that the parking meters ran out. I’ve got more details hitting the blog soon on how she and I are teaming up — but just know for now that she knows her sh*t, y’all. I worked with her on my own wardrobe — and yesterday, a colleague told me I looked like a supermodel. Worth. Every. Penny.

I love her fresh style and tone, so we headed out a few weeks ago to capture some of her latest looks.

Lillian’s style totally stands out in the sea of Atlanta fashion bloggers and Atlanta wardrobe stylists — I love it!

(My kingdom for those Vince sneakies!)

Lillian, my love, my #wcw. You’re amazing.

West Village vibes

I was recently in New York City and opened up a few spots on my schedule for sessions. This lovely lady Anne (Great name, right?) snapped one up right away! We spent a chilly, gusty evening in the West Village in New York City, getting some fresh, modern dating portraits for her online profiles. I’m still swooning over her incredible dress… and being amazed at how she was able to not look cold. My fingers were icicles after our session!

Are you looking for some new pictures for your online dating profiles? In need of some modern, fresh headshots? Want photos for both? Reach out today to see when I’ll be visiting your area! I’ve always got my camera, and I’ll quite literally be hitting the four corners of our country this year, so let’s get you on the schedule!

Just because

I worked with Annie and Jesse to create a custom session that fit all the things they were looking for — and we had a lot of fun! Including almost making our hip hop video debut… Almost.

It all started with an inquiry (which of course I loved) that said, in short: “We’re not getting married or engaged but wanted to see if maybe we could still do a photo session. :)”  My answer? OF COURSE!

Why would we ever need a special occasion to have photos taken of ourselves? Or to just take photos of ourselves?

Today: I challenge you to grab somebody you like who’s having a good hair day (or even a bad hair day), and take their photograph. Just because.

You don’t need a fancy camera. You just need to document this moment, today. That you were here. That you were here with this person, who means something to you. I’ll do it, too.

Thanks Annie and Jesse, for reminding me and challenging me to make a few photos of my own. Just because.