#ThrowbackThursday – Augusta, GA & Columbia, SC Wedding & Newborn Photographer

Then and Now

Prepare yourself for a lengthy, slightly sappy, mostly postitive post! 🙂 Due to a major blonde moment yesterday, I accidentally deleted ALL photos from my website and blog! What genius move for a photographer, right?!?!? However, WordPress quickly came to my rescue and in less than 24 hours had all my photos restored to their rightful places! On the bright side, it gave me the opportunity to look back at all my photos from my very first paid gig in 2011 until my most recent ones! While I’m still quite proud of those first images, considering what I knew at the time, I am very pleased with how far I’ve come!!! I have had the privilege of shadowing, second shooting for and learning from some of the best in the business! 2016 will bring even more advancement! I got an amazing opportunity to participate in a group mentoring session with the über incredible DFinney Photography!!! I am too psyched! In addition, I have been offered and/or asked for (never hurts to ask) a shot at second shooting for some more fantastic wedding photogs in the coming year! My brain is open and my camera is ready! Let’s go, #PDP2016!!!

I’ve Learned…

Since 2011 I’ve gained a voice! If I could tell my 2011 self one thing it would be: Don’t second guess your ability! I have learned how important it is to take control of my JOB and direct folks because it is for their own good in the long run! My friends tend to say I have no problem voicing my opinion, at times a little too much! 😉 What’s funny is that it was the opposite with photography! I would rapidly crumble under the pressures of time or grumbling participants.”Oh, you don’t want to do that? Okay. Oh, you didn’t give yourself enough time to get ready? Okay. Moving on…” Now, I know what I was hired to capture and I know that can only be done if I stick to my guns, all but ignoring the posing directions of 3rd auntie twice removed who is a “photographer” or the requests of great-grandma to hold a pose while she figures out how to turn her brand new tablet on or my personal favorite: “Can you just come over here and take a photo of my family for our xmas card?“- Some random relative… Yes, that really happened! No, I’m not trying to be snarky! Here’s the deal: you hired me because you liked my work. Now, let me work! 🙂 We typically we have limited time to capture all the poses that the BRIDE has hired us to photograph! It may not seem like it in the moment, but I still try to be nice about it! 😉

Then and now bride

Or in the case of newborn sessions: I give specific instructions to the new mommy well in advance of the session and now, don’t waiver. Yes, I know we’re all sweating! Yes, I know its uncomfortable. However, do you see how soundly little Jane is snoozing? It’s because I spoke up about what I needed to be able to achieve the poses we’re both hoping for! You’re welcome! 😉
And on that note, I have to give credit where credit is due! A Creative Live course by Kelly Brown changed. my. life! Any aspiring newborn photographers, stop what you’re doing and purchase that course! Then, watch it… multiple times!

Then and now Newborn

Then, there’s the equipment! My, oh my, how far I’ve come! I’m pretty sure I shot my first few sessions on “full-auto” and jpeg only! Did I mention I was terrified of Lightroom? Oh, and that flash I so adored! Only because I thought that was my only option in med-low light, even with a newborn! Goodness gracious, bless my heart!

Ah… Nostalgia…

I really appreciate each GORGEOUS client who believed in me enough to give me a chance to learn and grown while photographing you and your families! While part of me wishes I could have done a better job for you all along the way, I couldn’t have become the photographer I am today without you! So, thank you! Stay tuned for 2016 and all the awesomesauce things to come! I already have two weddings booked and meeting my 3rd bride on Sunday to sign the contract! Also, I’ve had a number of inquires for dates throughout the year! Interested? Don’t delay! I have limited dates available (since I still have to work a “day job” too ;-))! I can’t even explain how grateful I am for these opportunities! Let’s keep it rolling in 2016! Contact me to book your wedding, maternity or newborn photography! Even if you live outside SC or GA, let’s talk!

then and now 2

Ashlyn & Tyler – Augusta, GA Wedding Photographer

OH. EM. GEE! #thatmomentwhen… a photographer whose work you’ve been admiring (read: internet stalking) for a while asks you to second shoot – First, after recovering from your *minor* fainting spell, you say YES! Next, you ask what the date is, lol!

When the Ah-Mah-Zing Courtney of Sugar Peach Productions offered me the chance to second shoot, I jumped on the opportunity! As I’m working my way back into the industry, I REALLY appreciate the privilege to work with such an amazing team and I learned SO much!

Fast forward to a warm October evening and the sun was setting so perfectly in this gorgeous country setting!

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But first, this couple was so sweet! From the “first look” with her father to the groom instinctively grabbing her gown to make sure it didn’t drag when they started walking, every moment was sweet! I. Love. My. Job! Thanks again, Courtney (Sugar Peach Productions) for letting me take part in capturing all the love swirling around that day! Can’t wait to team up with SPP again! 😉

 

This impulse reaction from the groom… every bride would pay to get her hubbs to do that, lol! But you saw her! Can you blame him???

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And then there’s this cutie who tried to steal the show! He stole my attention, that’s for sure!!! 🙂

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Now that’s what I call a getaway car!

Remind yourself to breathe… you’ll need that reminder as you scroll the next photo of these two beautiful people! A girl couldn’t ask for a more gorgeous bride and groom… or a more gorgeous back-light!

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Last, but not least, CAKE! Can you feel the joy screaming at you in this photo??? If you can’t, then you’re not human! lol

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I had such a blast shooting this wedding perfectly planned by Hankal Events
Lead Photographer/Videographer: Sugar Peach Productions
Flowers: Flowers On Broad
Hair & Makup: Studio 285
Gown: The House of the Bride

C&C – Augusta, GA Wedding Photographer

When I first got a referral from a fellow photographer to photograph a “housewarming party”, I thought it was a little… unique. I was open so I thought “why not?” Little did I know I was walking into one of the sweetest moments of my career as a photographer!!! When I got a response from, who turned out to be the BRIDE, she told me it was actually very small, intimate family wedding with about 15 people in attendance! I asked if she would be up for some couples shots and she agreed. I couldn’t be happier that she did! We met at Starbucks to make things official and I discovered she was not only drop-dead gorgeous, but also sweeter than Pattie’s Pies! 🙂  I mean, look at her!!!

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Whenever I arrive at an event, but especially at a wedding, emotions are elevated. Things can be a little intense! In the case of C & C’s wedding, I walked into the house not knowing a single soul (other than the bride) and instantly felt… LOVE! I was overwhelmed by how seamlessly everyone got along! The fact that the groom gives the bride a run for her money in the “chill” department and is equally gorgeous… *ahem* I mean, handsome, made my job a total breeze! I can’t wait to join them on their “big” wedding day in April! Its going to be EPIC!

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Is it just me or should these two be in a magazine?!?!?DSC00204 Edit WMDSC00169 WMDSC00103 WM

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Raegan – Lexington, SC Newborn Photographer

This tiny little beauty and her gorgeous family invited me into her world for a day and it was such a pleasure! I have mentioned it before, but I love me some sweet baby newness! Raegan & Crew were no exception! Thanks for letting me capture your brand new cuteness!

Myers Family – Aiken, SC Family, Senior & Sports Photographer

These two siblings are really on their way to the top!

Owen, South Aiken High senior and College of Charleston bound on a soccer scholarship.

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Audrey Grace, slamming down wins for South Aiken High Tennis!

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I’ve gotten the privilege of getting to know this beauty and handsome guy over the last 5 years and watch them grow into outstanding young adults! Can’t wait to see where their paths take them!

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I just LOVE how little bro Leo was watching his big sis’ every move and cheering her on! Doesn’t get much cuter than that!

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Charli – SC Newborn Photographer

“You are you and that is true, there’s no one in the world who’s you-er than you.”
― Dr. Seuss

Petite though you may be, we’re so pleased you are you! With your beautiful face and sweet dimples you, Charli, made our world complete! Never have I seen so many grown men turn to mush in an instant! Although I’m still technically on a “hiatus” from photography,  the birth of my cousin and built-in-best-friend’s baby girl brought me and my camera out of hiding and reminded me just how much I love babies, photographing them and seeing the reaction of the families when they see the photos!
*Sigh*

You won’t enjoy looking at this photos as much as I enjoyed capturing them, but I’m confident you’ll come close because this face is just too lovely to not adore!

PDP Charli 5

PDP Charli 4

PDP Charli 2

PDP Charli 1

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See all the breathtaking photos here: http://polkadotpics.zenfolio.com/charli

SC Newborn Photographer, Photographer, Photos, Baby, Babies, Cute, Photograph, blog, GA, SC GA Photographer, Polka Dot Productions, PDP Photography, Polka Dot Productions Photography, Newborn Baby

Johnson Family – Augusta, GA & Aiken, SC Family Photographer

Talk about going out with a “bang’! Although I’m very sad to no longer be pursuing photography, I’m SO happy that the gorgeous Johnson family made for a stellar last session! I literally could not have planned a more perfect shoot if I tried! Not only are this beautiful mom and dad so in love (after 10+ years of marriage and 3 kiddos) but these high school sweethearts are doing such an amazing job raising their lovely young ladies. In some of these shots, the love between them just radiates though the image! I don’t think I’ve ever met a couple so wonderfully comfortable in their own skin and with each other! It was a delight to witness! They just naturally fell into loving “poses” that we usually have to coach our clients to achieve. I could go on for days about how much I enjoyed working with them!

Thanks, Lieshia and Aaron, for making my last session my favorite!
Augsuta GA Aiken SC Family Couple Love Children Engagement Wedding Photographer Photography Polka Dot Productions
Augsuta GA Aiken SC Family Couple Love Children Engagement Wedding Photographer Photography Polka Dot Productions Augsuta GA Aiken SC Family Couple Love Children Engagement Wedding Photographer Photography Polka Dot Productions Augsuta GA Aiken SC Family Couple Love Children Engagement Wedding Photographer Photography Polka Dot Productions Augsuta GA Aiken SC Family Couple Love Children Engagement Wedding Photographer Photography Polka Dot Productions Augsuta GA Aiken SC Family Couple Love Children Engagement Wedding Photographer Photography Polka Dot Productions Augsuta GA Aiken SC Family Couple Love Children Engagement Wedding Photographer Photography Polka Dot Productions Augsuta GA Aiken SC Family Couple Love Children Engagement Wedding Photographer Photography Polka Dot Productions Augsuta GA Aiken SC Family Couple Love Children Engagement Wedding Photographer Photography Polka Dot Productions Augsuta GA Aiken SC Family Couple Love Children Engagement Wedding Photographer Photography Polka Dot Productions Augsuta GA Aiken SC Family Couple Love Children Engagement Wedding Photographer Photography Polka Dot Productions  Augsuta GA Aiken SC Family Couple Love Children Engagement Wedding Photographer Photography Polka Dot Productions Augsuta GA Aiken SC Family Couple Love Children Engagement Wedding Photographer Photography Polka Dot Productions Augsuta GA Aiken SC Family Couple Love Children Engagement Wedding Photographer Photography Polka Dot Productions Augsuta GA Aiken SC Family Couple Love Children Engagement Wedding Photographer Photography Polka Dot Productions Augsuta GA Aiken SC Family Couple Love Children Engagement Wedding Photographer Photography Polka Dot Productions Augsuta GA Aiken SC Family Couple Love Children Engagement Wedding Photographer Photography Polka Dot Productions Augsuta GA Aiken SC Family Couple Love Children Engagement Wedding Photographer Photography Polka Dot Productions Augsuta GA Aiken SC Family Couple Love Children Engagement Wedding Photographer Photography Polka Dot Productions Augsuta GA Aiken SC Family Couple Love Children Engagement Wedding Photographer Photography Polka Dot Productions

Bearer of Bad News…

It is with a very heavy heart I must inform you that Polka Dot Productions Photography is taking a little hiatus.
This is not a a happy announcement for me and I REALLY hope it will be very brief! Thank you each for your loyal support as you’ve helped us grow over the last few years! I can not express just how privileged I feel to have been invited to capture your family’s most precious memories!
For my recent clients: your sessions are almost ready for delivery so I’ll be in touch this week to meet up for your purchase sessions.
Again, thank you all SO very much and I sincerely hope I can soon make an announcement that I am back behind the lens for good!
Until then, I feel confident sending you to one of the following outstanding photographers in the area:
Thomas Photographers
h + d photography
Cardell Photography
Michelle Brooks Photography: Weddings and Family Portraits Belton SC

Introducing: Local Lunching

Hey Y’all (spoken in my best DEEP south accent)!
I don’t intend for this to be a regular feature of the blog, but I enjoyed myself so much (and was SO pleased with the photos) I just had to share the most recent installment of  “Local Lunching w. PDP“. Local Lunching is an idea that struck me recently to combine my love of 1) Locally Owned Businesses 2) FOOD! and 3) PHOTOS!!! in a unique and interactive way. Once per week, I visit a locally owned restaurant (predominantly for lunch) and snap a few photos to tell the story of my visit and describe the food. My intent is for each post to shed a positive light on the restaurant. So, even if the experience was less than spectacular, I find the positive to highlight. If, and I hope this never happens, the visit was just downright terrible, I’ll either skip that week or choose an alternate option. Since most of my choices are based on recommendations, I don’t see that being a problem. That being said, PLEASE suggest places and if you know a restaurant that would like to be featured, please put us in contact…
This week was Edgar’s Grille – Enjoy!
For those who haven’t already heard, Edgar’s Grille is a great LOCAL spot to support! Not only is a vast majority of the food sourced locally (within 100 miles), but a large portion of each dollar they bring in goes directly back to the Goodwill to sponsor job training and other benefits to the local community. But, let’s talk FOOD! FYI: As with many of my Local Lunching eats, I chose to NOT choose… I entrusted my entire meal to the capable hands of my server and he did an excellent job of surprising me with greatness!

If you have not done so already, please also support my Polka Dot Productions Photography Facebook Page

Really love the atmosphere!!! They even have a closed circuit TV over the bar linked to the cooking school where folks are trained and gain experience needed to get a job immediately when the complete school!
Really love the atmosphere!!! They even have a closed circuit TV over the bar linked to the cooking school where folks are trained and gain experience needed to get a job immediately when the complete school!
Potato, BACON (yes, again... its like they knew I was coming! lol) & Leek Soup. Two Words: Hecks YES! Rich and creamy with a great balance of bacon and just enough crispy leeks.
Potato, BACON (yes, again… its like they knew I was coming! lol) & Leek Soup. Two Words: Hecks YES!
Rich and creamy with a great balance of bacon and just enough crispy leeks to add texture and dimension!
Chef's Jacket Salad - Edgar's Grille's Take on the "Green Jacket Salad". Red leaf lettuce, SWEET heirloom tomatoes, house-made croutons (just barely sweet) and grilled leeks topped with just enough of the delicious house-made vinaigrette
Chef’s Jacket Salad – Edgar’s Grille’s Take on the “Green Jacket Salad”. Red leaf lettuce, SWEET heirloom tomatoes, house-made croutons (just barely sweet) and grilled leeks topped with just enough of the delicious house-made vinaigrette
Portuguese Corn Boule Bread - Complimented by sweet whipped butter and a just-spicy-enough pimento cheese (also house-made)
Portuguese Corn Boule Bread – Complimented by sweet whipped butter and a just-spicy-enough pimento cheese (also house-made)
Turkey and Tomato on Focaccia bread with a succulent parmesan, spinach & artichoke topping
Turkey and Tomato on Focaccia bread with a succulent parmesan, spinach & artichoke topping
You had me a house-cut fries!!! And a side of "spiced tomato sauce" aka Ketchup lol
You had me a house-cut fries!!! And a side of “spiced tomato sauce” aka Ketchup lol
*drum roll* This. will. change. your. life. period. Apple Pie Ice Cream adorned with Chantilly Whipped Cream and completed by a cinnamon & sugar pie crust cookie! MUST TRY!
*drum roll* This. will. change. your. life. period.
Apple Pie Ice Cream adorned with Chantilly Whipped Cream and completed by a cinnamon & sugar pie crust cookie! MUST TRY!
Can't leave without a photo of my AWESOMESAUCE server, Evan Reed! Thanks for making my Local Lunch complete!!!
Can’t leave without a photo of my AWESOMESAUCE server, Evan Reed! Thanks for making my Local Lunch complete!!!

Chaos in California

Some folks are family because this thing called DNA connects you. Its beyond your control. It just… is.
Others are family because some unspoken, indescribable “thing” connects you. It, too, is beyond your control. It just… is. These folks are members of the last group. We met while sweating bullets together for nearly two years doing volunteer construction and a bond was formed that can never be broken. They really do “Get My Weird” and I wouldn’t trade them for the world!

 & Beautiful Faces
Beautiful Faces…
Beautiful Places...
… & Beautiful Places