Browsing Tag


Hunter & Misti’s Wedding Preview by +Raven

Well, it’s my last official wedding post for From now on, you’ll have to get your Raven fix from

But anyway, I have a ton of stuff coming up for you, including “glamoir” shoots, singer/songwriter portraits, Renaissance paintings come to life, and as always, weddings.  Weddings from all over the US, including Florida, Connecticut, New York, California, Tennessee, and South Carolina.

Hunter & Misti’s wedding, however, was in GA.  It was simple, elegant, and incredibly sweet. They were married at Red Top Mountain State Park, right by the edge of the water, on a gorgeous day.
They had tons of bits they made themselves, even the cupcakes, which were made by the bride herself!

Thanks, Hunter & Misti. You guys. Are. Awesome.

It’s a Trap! by +Raven

I follow a lot of people on my various social networks. Between Facebook, Twitter, and now – gods help me, my newest addiction – Pinterest, I probably follow about 1 billion photographers. Well, maybe one million. And that’s not to mention all everyone whom THEY follow.

Basically, I’m constantly inundated in photography. Which, most of the time, is FANTASTIC. I eat, breathe, and live photography. And I’m always thinking about some facet of it.

Lately, I’ve noticed a trend in photography that I don’t much like. It’s STUFF. So many people are wrapped up in the STUFF that they MISS the actual PHOTOGRAPHY. Here, let me explain: I love details. I love styling shoots. I love planning and organizing. But at the end of the day, those shoots are still about the PEOPLE IN THE PICTURES. They’re not about the trappings that people seem to be getting so wrapped up in. And it sure as HELL isn’t about the post-processing or editing.

I don’t ever want to look at my photos and think, “Hmm, look at that editing” or “Hmm, look at that STUFF.” It detracts from the feelings, the emotion, the REAL REASON WE TOOK THOSE PICTURES: you.

Yes, take pictures of the details. They need to be paid attention to and remembered. Yes, shoot the things that the clients brought. Those things are important. Yes, have styled props. Have bits and bobs. Have an entire living room suite out in a field somewhere. But USE them. Don’t let them take over the shoot.

This is Chris & Sabrina, a couple of really awesome people. Since Chris is a Jack Sparrow impersonator {which he’s amazing at} and all-around huge fan of Johnny Depp, we decided to do a fun Benny & Joon-inspired couples shoot before Sabrina left for college across the country.

It was, to say the least, A BLAST.

Chris, Sabrina, and Intern Krista: You. Are. Awesome.

Custom Cupcakes: The Sugar Dolls

La Coco Rouge by +Raven

Accessories by La Coco Rouge. Make-up by Athena Hodges.

I met Stephanie, of La Coco Rouge, almost a year ago at The Clockwork Carnival, a steampunk event put on by The Artifice Club. She was a performer with The Hot Toddies, a flaming cabaret group who were just FANTASTIC.

She and I have collaborated a couple of times for her line of accessories, and I REALLY love working with her. Shooting products isn’t like shooting anything else. The models have the task of being models, showing their best sides, giving you what you’re asking for, while still highlighting the products first and foremost. And the photographer is charged with highlighting the product in a natural way, while directing the model to look her best, also naturally.

One of the reasons that I – and the whole of the family, really – shoot EVERYTHING, is because it’s so challenging. Every type of photography requires something different. Product photography without models is a different bird entirely from shooting with models. Shooting families is different than just shooting the kids. Shooting weddings is different than just shooting an event.

BUT EVERYTHING OVERLAPS. And everything you do at one shoot will help you TREMENDOUSLY with all of your other shoots. It’s like learning to skateboard when you’re a kid, and then picking up wakeboarding or skiing when you’re an adult. Though they’re completely different, there are enough similar pieces to make it somewhat familiar. You’re better prepared for having done different things.

And, perhaps most importantly, it allows you to think outside of the box. It’s so easy for people to pick just one thing that they do and keep doing it in that same way. Again, and again, and again. But you can’t. You can’t stop. You can’t stagnate.

It’s why companies and people who started their businesses – in photography or otherwise, heck, it happened in Mad Men – a while ago fall into the cookie-cutter of their way of doing things. They just stamp out a product with no thought. Not paying attention to what’s going on today in music. In films. In clothing. In fashion.

You have to be constantly evolving. Constantly challenging yourself.

Constantly. MOVING. You. Are. Awesome.

Styled Shoot | by +Raven

This shoot was an amazing experience.  I’d never been so blessed to work with such a large group of amazingly talented people all working toward a common goal.  Thank you, thank you, thank you all.

WUOG Photobooth by +Raven

Current Intern Jo and I spent some quality time together on Saturday in Athens after our Great Space Western shoot that morning.  {Yeah, you read that right.  It was epic.  More to come soon.}

She and I were there running a photobooth for WUOG, the radio station of UGA, during their carnival fundraiser for Nuci’s Space, a center in Athens that supports local artists and musicians.

We saw a puppet show and had MAGIC DRINKS THAT TOLD THE FUTURE.

In case you didn’t know? does photobooths.  And not like anyone else does, either.  Ask anyone who has been in ours.  Ours is awesome.  Just like you.

Click here to see the photobooth pictures.

Thursday by +Raven | Dawn & Andy’s Wedding Preview

I met Dawn & Andy a while back, when I was still first getting started.  And I kind of loved them from the very beginning.

Not only are they super laidback, which is ALWAYS nice, when I asked them what they didn’t like about themselves in pictures, they responded “Nothing.”  Which, coincidentally is the exact right answer.  And that makes me happy.

Everything about this wedding was a blast.  Normally, after shooting for 11 hours, my second shooters and I would be completely exhausted and ready to head home, but not at this wedding.  I was disappointed to see the night come to an end; we’d been having so much freakin’ fun.

Also, their cake was three different flavors.  THREE.  For the win.

It was really nice to be on “home turf,” as well.  I had no idea going into this, but the venue was actually LITERALLY right behind our studio!  There’s a whole community back there that  I didn’t know about until now.

Everyone was superbly gorgeous, knew how to have an awesome time, were super fun, and really, REALLY nice.  THANK YOU, DAWN & ANDY.

Thursday by +Raven | You Don’t Have to Get Married

You don’t have to get married. Right now, or ever, if you don’t want to.

I know. Sounds like blasphemy coming from a wedding photographer. But it’s true.

There is no ticking clock, counting down until your expiration date. The time when you become unlovable, a spinster, destined to spend your life alone and lonely. That doesn’t exist.

It’s about to get real personal up in here.

I never thought I was the type of girl to get married. Maybe it was the low self-esteem growing up, or maybe it just seemed so “in the future” that it was hard to think about. But either way, I never really pictured the wedding or the dress or anything when I was younger. Since becoming completely and utterly saturated in wedding-ness since becoming a wedding photographer, I’ve become a little obsessed.

Not with the getting married part per-say, mostly just the part where you get to plan an AMAZING party for your closest 150. The part where my love of design and budgeting and planning all culminates in one big day. So, needless to say, I’ve gotten a little wedding crazy.

And then I had kind of a rude awakening. My partner and I are not ready to get married. At all. He has his reasons and I have mine, but basically, it’s not time for us. It may never be, I don’t know. But it doesn’t matter, because we need to learn how to live in the present. Stop worrying about what’s going to happen tomorrow and just BE. BE with each other. BE who we want to


There’s definitely an amount of pressure from outside parties, wondering when, not if, he {the last in his family to be married} and I {the oldest of my siblings} will be engaged. Because apparently, I’m reaching my expiration date.

I’m not going to lie to you, a few weeks ago, I agreed with that sentiment. Everyone I know is either getting married or having babies, my clock was ticking, and looking at all of that with recently-turned 27 year old eyes was scary. Something just clicked inside me and I realized: I’m 3 years away from 30. That’s, like, OLD.

It was stupid, but I tried to put a time limit on myself and our relationship. I said I had to be married by 30, HAD TO. Or what? He asked. Or . . . I don’t know, I responded.

And I didn’t know. I have NO IDEA why I thought I had to be married by 30. 30 IS JUST A NUMBER. Just like 20 or 25 or 35 or 40 or 45 or 150! And getting married doesn’t magically change things. And wanting to get married simply because you’re starting to feel the pressure from other people is not a valid reason for marriage. Ever.

Girls {and boys, too, to a certain extent} are oh-so-subtly taught from VERY early on that marriage means someone loves you. That you’re loveable because this person picked you. That there’s not many other socially acceptable ways to publicly show your love and dedication to one another. But you know what? This isn’t the 1800’s. There is no such thing as a spinster, and even if there was, WHO CARES?!

You do what is right for you: in every single part of your life, in everything that you choose to do, including your decision to get married or not get married. There are tons of stories about people who simply do better in their relationship when it’s undefined, or laidback, without labels.

If you want to get married, please do. I love weddings, and I think they’re AWESOME. But more than that, I love happy couples.

If you don’t want to get married, yet or ever, you don’t have to. Ignore what other people are saying and do what speaks to you and your partner. And this applies even to the wedding planning itself, about making it your own, but that’s another post for another day. If you do decide that marriage just isn’t for you, YOU CAN STILL HAVE AN AWESOME PARTY!

Celebrate your love. Celebrate your choice together. Celebrate your life and each other. Celebrate your “you-ness.” Celebrate the fact that the people around you love and support you NO. MATTER. WHAT.

Because you’re awesome.

Crystal + Gabriel | Wedding Preview by +Raven

– Posted by +Raven

Crys & Gabe have a dog named Isis.  They hike.  They camp.  They live within walking distance of the beach.  They have the biggest hearts of almost anyone I’ve met.  They’re goofy, they’re fun, they’re sweet.

I was really nervous when we had our phone consultation.  I wanted them to like me SO MUCH.

I hadn’t ever been further west than Colorado before a week ago.

I hadn’t ever met Crystal  or Gabriel in person until the day Alumni Intern Jessica and I flew in to San Diego.

Within five minutes of meeting, Gabriel had already invited us to stay at their house for the duration of our stay.  Needless to say, they’re awesome.

This was my first official travel wedding.  And certainly won’t be the last.  The event coordinator said they’ve never had anyone come from as far as Atlanta before.  Bad-ass.

The bridesmaids gifts were these beautiful retro robes with burnished velvet designs.

The ceremony was decorated with crystals {haha}, curly willow branches, baby’s breath.  The bouquets were unbelievable.

A lot of the wedding was DIY, because Crystal’s hardcore like that.  Most of the decor came straight from their home.  It was a blending of a lot of traditions, new and old, with some vintage and desert feelings mixed in.  We even got to take home a potted succulent. {His name is Hank, and he’s sitting in my kitchen window.}

Instead of passing out slices of cake, Crystal & Gabriel called in Coolhaus, the gourmet ice cream sandwich truck.  That’s right.  Gourmet.  Ice.  Cream.  Sandwiches.  Add gourmet to anything dessert, and I’m there.  They had all kinds of awesome flavors, like Dirty Mint Chip, Nutella Toasted Almond, and Horchata, not to mention the awesome cookie flavors {like red velvet FOR THE WIN}.

People DANCED at this wedding, which made for some happy photographers.

We had a blast at this wedding.  Thank you, Crystal & Gabriel.

Hair: Kara O’Neil of Eden Hair Salon

Make-up: J.H. Artistry

Venue & Catering: Vista Valley Country Club

Ice Cream Truck: Coolhaus

Decor : Aunt Rosalva Michel
Florist: Nina Kincaid
Robes: Shiba Designs
Dress: San Patrick Design from The Dresser
Shoes: “Fifi Caged Sandal” by Steve Madden
Succulents: Hernandez Greenhouses in San Marcos
Misc Decor & Favors: Hobo’s Vintage

Maru + Michael | Wedding Preview by +Raven

Instead of closing with a thank you to the bride and groom, I’m going to open with one. Because I want it to be the first thing that they see and that everyone else sees for this wedding.

THANK YOU, Maru & Michael. Thank you for being SO awesome, and thank you for inviting us to your wedding.

Maru was recommended to me from one of my brides from last year {who has recently started a journey into wedding photography herself, so let that speak on how much she likes me}. She and I bonded almost instantly.

We started the day at Phipps Plaza, at Carter Barnes, possibly the swankiest salon I’ve ever been walked into. They’re not hair stylists. They’re HAIR ARTISANS. And they live up to the hype. Because Maru is very into swimming, she picked out a wedding dress reminiscent of a 1940’s bathing suit {I know, right?!}, and a hairstyle to match, complete with finger waves along her hairline.

We found a make-up artist at Trisha McEvoy, after walking through tons of make-up and perfume counters, and let me just tell you. Before entering this mall, I was blissfully unaware that Prada, Dooney & Bourke, and a billion other too-expensive-to-look-at designers even had stores, much less stores that I could walk into. Not that they’d want me, and not that I’m hugely interested—HOWEVER, it’s there if I ever change my mind. Had no idea they actually had physical stores. Thought it was a secret clubhouse or something. </end interesting tidbit>

After grabbing lunch, Alumni Intern Jessica, {then current} Intern Tricia, and I headed over to the Georgia Tech Alumni House, where the ceremony and reception were to take place.

Maru & Michael’s unity ceremony? They each sewed a stitch on a quilt she has been working on. He’s the only other person she’s ever let work on the quilt.

Can you handle the awesomeness?

Oh, and after their first kiss, the couple exited under a saber arch, Maru was swatted on the butt with a saber {surprise!} and welcomed to the corps.

I hadn’t gotten a chance to meet the groom until that day, and happily I discovered that he was equally as fantastic as Maru.  The two led me on a mini-tour of the Tech campus – another new place for me! – and we took pictures of Maru shoving Michael into the library return box, both of them humping the steam engine, and incredibly cheesy “Oh darling, look at that!” shots.

There was tons of dancing, awesome food and décor by A Divine Event, speeches, and cups of cake. Not a whole cake, not cupcakes, but CUPS OF CAKE. Angel food with whipped crème and berries, might I add.

Yeah, it was awesome. They are awesome. And yes, the elderly lady who caught the bouquet and held it above her head like a prize fighter with the championship belt was also awesome.