Atlanta Wedding Photographer- Hiring A Professional

The difference between your friend and a trained professional.

The difference between your friend and a trained professional.

Who needs a professional wedding photographer? “After all, I have a friend with a great camera and she takes pretty good pictures.” I can’t tell you how many times we have heard that. Well…. lets take that logic and go with it. Let’s say you are learning how to play the piano and you have a small little keyboard. Well if you go to the music store and purchase a baby grand piano than you will certainly sound like a concert pianist, right? WRONG! It takes training and education and practice, practice, practice, oh and more practice. So unless you want your wedding to be “practice” for your friend in training, than hire a professional. When it gets down to it, there is no redo or re-shoot for your wedding day so hire a professional photographer that is certified as a certified professional photographer through the Professional Photographer’s of America or even better, a certified professional Master Photographer.

Story #1

We had a bride bring us a CD of images she had a “friend” make from her wedding. She asked for our help in creating a custom album like the ones she saw in our studio. I gave her a quote for the color correcting and retouching and album design. (Things any professional studio would provide as part of their wedding services) Well as I began to look through the CD of images it quickly became apparent that the quality was so poor such as out of focus images, composition, and general quality that I could not create an album of the caliber she had seen on our table. I did my best and gave her a very amateur album as far as the content was concerned. Bride went away telling me she should have hired us. I honestly felt bad for her because she could not go back and fix the mistake.

Story #2

We had a bride that came to us and booked a wedding coverage with us. It became clear after a few moments in a consultation with her that the memories of her wedding day were already going to be very important to her. She had made some changes in her wedding budget to make sure she had exactly the wedding album and coverage she wanted and made sure to book a professional Atlanta wedding photographer. She also made the comment that some things will be forgotten quickly but the pictures is all she will have after that day. When she came to get her finished album she was very happy with what we did and told us she was so happy with her pictures. That is what we live to hear our clients say!

Don’t waste your time being practice for a friend. Call and book your wedding today!
















































Katie and Michael’s Wedding l Ashton Gardens l Weddings in Gwinnett

This was Katie and Michael’s wedding. Their wedding was on December 28. I have just delivered the finished wedding album .These are a few of my favorite images from the wedding. The wedding was a Ashton Gardens. Ashton Gardens is new to the Atlanta area although they are not new to the business. They also have locations in Texas in the Houston and Dallas/Ft. Worth area. The wedding day turned out to be a pretty day even though we had rain. The rain did not move in until after the wedding was over. (Yeah!)

Katie and Michael are a very sweet couple. A funny thing I learned about Michael is that he kept seeing two women at his work place he thought were cute and he did not realize it was Katie both times working in two different jobs. It was not until a little later he realized he just kept seeing Katie!

Ashton Gardens chapel

Ashton Gardens chapel

weddings in Atlanta

weddings in Atlanta

Ashton Gardens Michael & Katie

Ashton Gardens Michael & Katie

bridal portrait

bridal portrait

classic bridal portrait

classic bridal portrait

Beautiful Katie

Beautiful Katie

Wedding Photographers in Highlands, North Carolina | Old Edwards Inn & Farm

This image is an image from a wedding I did in Highlands, North Carolina at the Old Edwards Farm and Inn. What I love about it is how romantic and scenic it is at the same time. It was one of my favorite images from the day. Weddings at the Old Edwards Farm and Inn are very elegant, intimate, and simply gorgeous. It is exactly why people make the drive to Highlands for their destination wedding. It is one of those towns that has a population that swells each weekend because it is a great quick getaway for those of us in the Atlanta, Georgia area. If your schedule permits a weekday visit is great and because you are not fighting with the weekend visitors you can have that “all to yourself” feeling when you visit. Wedding photographers in Highlands, North Carolina love photographing at this location. It does not matter if it is spring, summer or fall, it simply gives a beautiful backdrop for wedding photography.

Highlands wedding photography

Highlands wedding photography

Also, Highlands has at least 8 churches in the immediate vacinity. I have done several weddings at the Episcopal Church of the Incarnation which is a pretty little white frame church in pristine condition. Another popular church is the First Presbyterian Church of Highland. Many weddings that I have done here have there reception next door at the Old Edwards rooftop. A great location for a reception. It sits above the Inn giving you a great view of the town.

Planning your wedding for 2014 and beyond? Give theses places a visit. You will be glad you did!


Wedding photography in Atlanta – Reflecting on the past and ready for a new year in weddings

Well it has been a little while since my last post. This past year has been so busy that you would think I would have posted more images. Well…. that is part of the problem. I have been so busy creating new images that I have not had the time.With a wonderful husband and 4 teenagers, -and let me be honest here, my favorite channel for relaxing, HGTV ( I love home repair shows- simply addicted to them) I have not spent the time I should on my blogs.

Nash-Jones_0190 email
















So I have decided to go back and pull some great moments from 2013 weddings.  As wedding photography in Atlanta has grown, I will showcase some of those stories and images. I promise I will try harder but I think this year is actually going to be even busier! I know some photographers that will get someone to write for them and maintain their blogs and I had a staff member that has helped me with that in the past, but to be honest, I am so picky I really do not want to do that. I want to make sure what you are reading is my thoughts and viewpoint in photography. That is not to say I will not occasionally have a guest writers article from time to time.There are certainly contributing writers in the world of weddings that I feel could have some great information for you, but as a whole I will try to be the primary source for information. Well I have to get to work on another wedding at the moment, ( I am getting new images ready to change out on my wedding site) so until next time, take care.


Katie & Michael / Engagement Portraits in Dacula / Ashton Gardens Atlanta Wedding

Here is a sweet couple we photographed last week. Here are some of their images. They are planning a December wedding which I am excited to be photographing. Katie and Michael are getting married at the new and beautiful Ashton Gardens. Ashton Gardens just opened this year and this will be our second wedding there. Based on these engagement images I can’t wait to show you the wedding day images. It will be around Christmas time and I know the wedding chapel will be decorated beautifully. Congratulations Katie & Michael!
2013-10-25_0002.jpgThe location they have chosen for their wedding is new to the Atlanta area. It is located about three miles west of the Mall of Georgia on Peachtree Industrial Road. Ashton GArdens has a successfull record of providing elegant weddings in the Houston and Dallas/Fort Worth areas of Texas. They are an all inclusive wedding facility. They have a chapel that is all glass and rustic timber construction. Just next door they have two very beautiful and elegant ball rooms that can host a great reception complete with food, entertainment and dancing. If you have a very large wedding the reception hall can easily double in size because what looks like the permant wall is removable for a very large center dance floor and food tables.

Dissipating Wedding Photography Nerves on an Engagement Shoot


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Pruett Engagement

Pruett Engagement

Engagement shoots aren’t just a great opportunity to relax a couple’s nerves ahead of the big day – they’re a chance to ease your own!

No matter how many years of photography experience you have under your belt or which school of photography you attended, it’s just a bi-product of human nature to be nervous when working with new people. As photographers however, we get enough practice at handling these inevitable nerves – after all, just about every day involves working with new people.

But how best to relax the couple, who are entrusting you with a massive responsibility and have probably only met you once or twice?

Projecting Confidence

Naturally, keeping your own nerves in check is vital; not necessarily by ignoring them altogether, which is often impossible, but by learning how to put on that ‘professional mask’ that suggests to the couple “Hey, you’re in good company. We’ll get through this and have fun doing so!”

Remember exactly what the engagement shoot is for: a chance to connect with your clients in an informal setting. It’s not supposed to feel like an intense examination, so don’t let it (and make sure couple is aware that everyone is together to play around, have fun and get to know one another).

More importantly still, don’t forget that your clients have already chosen you because they already like you and your work. That’s half the battle already over before you begin.

Now Where Did that ND Filter Get To…

It might sound somewhat obvious, but it’s vitally important to know exactly where your lenses and equipment are packed for both your primary and secondary camera. Leaving for a shoot in a hurry and throwing everything in a case haphazardly will only have you scrambling around trying to find things during the shoot itself; being flustered is rarely a good look.

Similarly, make sure you do have a secondary camera. Packing

enough equipment to supply a whole documentary crew isn’t necessary but taking a spare is always a good idea to avoid awkwardness if and when cameras and lenses go wrong.

Unfamiliar Lovebirds

Chances are you’ll notice a very common occurrence when beginning a shoot: the couple will act like they’re complete and utter strangers.

Nine times out of ten they’ll loosen up without any kind of encouragement, and if you think about it, the initial hesitancy is entirely natural; unless your clients make their living as professional models, they’re not likely to be very comfortable in front of camera the best of times, least of all when being commanded to ‘act naturally’. Remember that to the couple, someone wielding a Canon 6D can look as intimidating as an armed TSA agent!

A very quick way of quickly dissipating this discomfort is simply to call out the elephant in the room. Point to the gap between the posing couple and jokingly suggest you could drive a station wagon through it – there will be a lot of uncomfortable giggling to start with (which is fine) but you’ll all relax into it very quickly with some mild cajoling.

Take a look at the images above from Atlanta wedding photographer, Lynn Brown. They are a good example of a couple that is having a good time during their engagement session.

Guiding, Not Posing

You’ll tend to find that couples don’t need a lot of heavy posing once they’ve loosened up a bit. Do let them (and encourage them where necessary) to talk, cuddle up, the odd peck on the cheek… it all helps lighten the mood, and quite often you’ll get some fantastic natural shots which you wouldn’t have been able to pose yourself. Just be on hand to offer gentle guidance when uncertainty

Don’t Force the Romance

If it’s a nice day, invite the couple to sit or recline on the grass next to each other, or even throw leaves around; always look for opportunities to break from the script and use the unique environment around you.

Lastly, one neat trick is to take a few shots of each partner individually. This will give you the opportunity to have the other one join you at your side, then vice-versa – psychologically, it breaks down any subconscious ‘photographer’ and ‘us’ boundary that might exist.

Article: compliments of
New York Film Academy

Ashton Gardens A Great New Wedding Venue for Atlanta


Ashton Gardens Chapel

Ashton Gardens Chapel

About two weeks ago we had the privilege of working at a new venucalled Ashton Gardens. This venue has only been open for about 6 weeks and it is already getting lots of brides and grooms and planners taking notice. It has a beautiful glass chapel complete with the feel of a small chapel in the woods yet big enough to accommodate a large group of guests. Just adjacent to it is a wonderful reception hall with the same similar glass walls overlooking the wooded area it is nestled in. The reception hall is not a good description, it is more like a ballroom with a beautiful staircase that the bride and groom make their entrance from as the DJ or band announces their arrival. It is arrayed with elegant chandeliers that photograph very warm and beautiful. The ball room has a duplicate room that mirrors it on the other side of the wall which can be removed which is perfect if your wedding is very large. This is the third location for Ashton Gardens and it is quite obvious that these folks understand how to plan a beautiful event for today’s bride. As many brides today either do not have a church home, or perhaps attend churches that are not ideal for the dream wedding like the locations of some of our mega churches  or churches that meet in non-traditional settings Ashton Gardens is a perfect solution. Take a look at the images for yourself. This sweet couple is Danielle & Kerrick Osburn.

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A Photo Booth For Your Wedding / Atlanta Weddings / Atlanta Wedding Photographer

I know many of you have seen the popular photo booths at some weddings in Atlanta. I think it appeals to our sense of nostalgia and a wish to go back in time to a simple era of being a kid at a dime-store or local mall to get a cute candid image of oneself and a friend. Sometimes a group of friends all cram into the photo together, making an instant candid keepsake. Recently we have begun offering the photo booth option for our wedding packages. It has been interesting to see how people interact with the fun props, hats, pretend mustache or red lips on a stick. This is an image from a recent wedding at my church. What I find fun and interesting is that often times it is the 40+ crowd that has the most fun with this. It takes very otherwise serious middle aged adults and transforms them into little kids again having fun. If you have not thought about adding a photo booth coverage to your wedding, think again. It will keep your crowd around, engaged and having fun. Your wedding will become one of those memories where people say “remember how much fun we had at so and so’s wedding” comments.IMG_9725 for blog

Bridal Portraits at 550 Trackside / Wedding Photography in Lawrenceville, Georgia

550 Trackside


This bridal portrait above will probably go down in my book as one of my favorite bridal portraits ever. There are so many elements that I love about this portrait. We had a great small area to work with over by the side doors of this local wedding venue. They had these majestic looking doors and I had the privilege of working with a beautiful bride named Kristen. I just loved the back of Kristen’s dress. The extra long veil really added to the dress nicely. I had Kristen turn her head and arms slightly to the left and we opened the doors behind her so that the closed doors did not give you that “post coming out of the head” look. This way the slight opening of the doors draws the viewer eyes directly to the subject. The lighting was close to middle of the day and brightness of that time helped to reflect a lot of light on the surrounding objects like the table and the sofa. Simply a wonderful keepsake. A great day for wedding photography in Lawrenceville.

Thanks Kristen!