California Girl Marrys Her a Southern Boy at Historic Oakton House and Gardens-Marietta, Georgia

Mikaela and Will are such a precious couple. Getting married in the south is always special but to be married at a home like Oakton, is the cherry on top. On a cool late Novemeber evening in Marietta, the sweetest vows were exchanged before family and friends. Reception on the lush lawns and among the lavish gardens were nothing short of spectacular. 

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ARTISTIC RELEASE

I, like many, see photography as art. I enjoy the satisfaction of designing the shoot,  composing a shot and producing awesome images. However, having a friend ask if I could paint a mural on her fence, was a challenge that I was willing to take. It has been a few years since I took on a mural job but this friend was dealing with some struggles and just wanted to see something beautiful when she looked out her window and I wanted to be there for my friend. 

I am thrilled, as she was, with the outcome. 

I give you….Poppies

Army Photographer?? Come Again?

A story of passion and Gods grace.

My father was in the Army in Korea in the early 1960’s and never really spoke of anything about his time there except the time spent with friends and weekend time. He had an album of black and whites I was fascinated by as a child.

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For years we looked through the album, and he shared stories. I wish I had written more of them down.

As many years pass, he doesn’t mention the album or the stories and after a flood in my teens, I was convinced the album was a goner.
In 2012 my dad was diagnosed with terminal cancer and COPD. A death sentence really. ( Miracles ensue not long after but that’s another story entirely)
While he was recovering from a surgery, I grabbed my laptop and climbed onto his bed to edit as we sat watching westerns, like we had done since I was a little girl.
He looked at me and said, ” I hope I am well enough at some point to go with you on a shoot.” I prayed so hard that day. I would love nothing more than for him to see what I do. The conversation didn’t end there. He proceeded to tell me of his days as an Army photographer in Korea and reminded of that album and the old B/W’s I use to tirelessly thumb through. My mouth fell open in amazement!!!! I NEVER REALIZED that HE was the photographer!!!! My mind was blown!!! All of those photos now had new meaning!!! To see through my daddy’s eyes as he would have, while framing the shot, choosing the best composition, capturing the moment. What had happened to that album?????
All of the details he shared of dragging his tripod all over Korea and developing the film in an ammunition bunker, MANY stories of his best buddy Daigrepont and how he wished he could relocate him, were just some of the stories I had never heard before. It made me happy and sad at the same time because I would have loved to have sat in that bed, now a professional photog and discuss my passion with my daddy.
The day never came the he would go with me on a shoot. He passed away Sept. 2, 2014. A huge piece of my heart will forever be ripped away!

While Spring cleaning, I found a box that contained my brothers scrapbook I made  of newspaper articles from Desert Storm. He and his wife served proudly. As I reminisced through levels of my brothers momentos I get to the bottom of the box and EUREKA!!!!!!!! My dads Army Album on the bottom of this box. By the grace of God alone, at some point, my brother had gotten the album and it was saved from the flood. I cried and cried as I clutched it close to my heart. Almost afraid on some level to even open it. I gathered myself and proceeded to flip through the album. Looking now with a new perspective at the talent I never knew my father had. I knew he was very creative in other areas but this blew me away.
As I looked through them I couldn’t believe how many shots had his buddy Daigrepont in them!!!
I was emboldened to not only restore these memories but to find his pal Daigrepont. I took a chance and searched his name on Facebook and got a single hit of his name in a post someone else had loaded. I HAD FOUND HIM!!! I found a nephew on Facebook and began the continuation of  wonderful story.
I was able to contact his wife and was afraid of what she would say when I asked how he was doing. She said, “Considering he has struggled with PTSD from tours in Vietnam, hearing loss and now COPD from years of smoking, he is fairly well.” I cried with tears of relief to find he was still living!!! I was able to share the photos with him!!! He told his wife of stories and fond memories of his time as my dads best Army buddy!!! My heart is so filled with joy that I was able to fulfill part of my dads dream of finding him. Just so sad he wasn’t here to be a part of it.
Thanks for reading the story and remember, MAKE TIME NOW!!!! We aren’t promised tomorrow. PRINT THOSE PHOTOS AND HANG THEM ON THE WALLS!!

How Can Thank You Ever Be Enough For Your Service?

When we decided to show our appreciation for the selfless service of those who serve our country in the military this past Veterans Day, we never imagined the response in nominations for the two sessions we gifted , as a thank you. We were pleased to announce this wonderful couple from Monroe, Georgia was the recipient of one of them.

Meet Harry and Patricia Malcom. Parents to old high school friends of mine and, as the session progressed,  I was enlightened that we were FAMILY! (This is the second time this has happened since October-Found out at an October wedding that I was related the the bride when I recognized distant family members in the wedding party)  I just love when God lays these kinds of plans in motion. Family means everything to me.

Once realizing that I was photographing and thanking a wonderful veteran for his service, who happened to be family, it brought the session to a whole different level and meaning. Being friends with the daughters of this couple was enough but to realize that we were related through our fathers families, made me so proud that they were chosen.

Their daughter Julie was instrumental in the shoot taking place and helped me coordinate the time, place and history to share with you. It was such fun to hear the stories and witness her excitement about this opportunity to capture photos of them. Especially since Ms. Patricia “Doesn’t like havin’ her pickcha made.” (Oh, how I love a southern woman’s accent)

Patricia was a freshman in high school when she met Harry. Not being the one for dating, after having  gone out on a double date and  realizing that the boy was an “octopus” she said… She swore off dating. She and some girlfriends were doing as all girls, playing “What If” and she was asked, “If she could pick one person to go out with who would it be… She pointed directly to Harry. On a Friday night, not long after that, she went to one of the schools basketball games. She and her girlfriend, that she had attended the game with, were in the car leaving when Harry walked up  and knocked on the window. She rolled down the window to the smiling face that she had pointed to as the ONE she would go out with over any other.  He promptly asked her out for Saturday night. (She couldn’t remember where they went. Harry said they went to a basketball game.)

After dating for 2 years through high school, the excitement of his graduation approached only to have Harry leave a few days later for Marine boot camp in Paris Island, SC.  So in love and broken to be apart, Harry was determined to not let distance stand in the way of their relationship. He resigned himself to get there somehow and without hesitation hitch hiked constantly back and forth to Monroe for the weekends just to see Patricia.

Still only a junior in high school (fall of 1960) Harry made the trip home one weekend and planned a trip to Athens to go the local carnival. At some point during the evening after the Ferris wheel, Tilt-A-Whirl, bumper cars, snow-cones and games to win her something special, he turned to her and said, “I got ya something….. Look in the pocket of my jacket”… It was an engagement ring. They were married the following summer. June of 1961.

Married now for 54 years, they still live on the same property he grew up on and raised his family of  4 daughters. They now share the memories of this land and their family history with their 14 grandchildren and 2 great-grandchildren!

It just warmed my heart to be there when some of his grandchildren arrived for a planned evening of flying motorized airplanes on the back property where we did the shoot. As Harry and I were enthralled in conversation his grandson, Aaron, so politely said, “Excuse me please, I know I shouldn’t interrupt, but we are runnin’ outta daylight.” As I ended the conversation with Harry, his grandson turned to say it was nice to meet you. I said, “You too cousin.”

Thank You Harry for your dedication to this country and to your family. You are a blessing.