Monday, February 29, 2016

The Last Juke Joint

Chances are... if you are from around the Birmingham and it's surrounding areas then you probably have heard of the name Gip before.  Henry 'Gip' Gipson is by far, a permanent fixture of the Birmingham night life scene.  He has been hosting parties at his residence in Bessemer well before my time.  If I had a good hour to myself to spend with Gip, I assure you that the stories would be entertaining.

The music scene as well as politics and technology are just to name a few things that have changed the past 60 years since what we now know as Gip's Place.  The witness of new youth and music coming and going throughout the years is a sure way to see the changes but one thing remains the same at Gips.  That is his smiling face and the sound of life.  Music has brought people together at Gips for many decades.  It doesn't matter where you come from or where you are going when visiting, all that matters is that you appreciate and enjoy good music and a good time.

This truly is the last juke joint I can honestly think of and it is considered one of the city's greatest treasures you will experience. Gips is one of a kind, hard to find and off the beaten path of a good time!

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Baby Susanna

Over the years I have enjoyed being part of life's little journeys with individuals who I have grown up with from childhood, who have traded with my family's business for many years and who have established friendships with those who reside and live in my own hometown.

Well.. check mark on all of these when it comes to this beautiful family!  I can't say that there has ever been a time that I did not know the Nation family and for me to experience a photo session with their first child was more than an honor.

Kelly and Josh are absolutely, hands down the nicest, most hospitable and generous couple I have been honored to know.  These guys I consider friends and I can remember the first time I met Kelly. I instantly bonded with her after learning of her love and adoration for horses and other furry and feathered creatures big and small.

So now, a handful of years later, after having been their wedding photographer, I sat in their living room on a rainy Tuesday morning.. ready to take on their next chapter in life.. It was really great being able to spend a little time with the new mom and dad and capture some of those adoring glances they kept giving their new baby daughter!

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Natchez Ventures


I have just returned from Natchez.  My husband's band was playing a couple of gigs there so I thought it would be a nice road trip to venture on.  I can't say I have explored Natchez, Mississippi before and was very impressed with the charm and character this historic southern town has.

It was such a quick trip to and from Birmingham but I felt it was well worth the five and a half hour drive.  I was able to meet some awesome locals and everyone was so welcoming!  Matt Willis one of the guitarist has family in Natchez and we were all invited to a crawfish broil the following day.

The family was all so welcoming and knew how to make us feel right at home! They had the perfect spot for entertaining guest and I was thankful for it!

The guys played at Smoot's Grocery and Under the Hill Saloon.  Both venues were awesome and I do hope that they will have the opportunity to return soon. I could easily spend a few days there exploring!

I later learned that Under the Hill is the oldest establishment along the Mississippi River.  It was established in the 1700's.  It was amazing to think of all the years of life in one little building that have passed through.  If walls could talk!

Party of Four

Clients that value their memories with their growing family is very rewarding to take part in.  I never would have realized that these guys would be a huge part of my photographic journey over the years. After photographing their wedding and then later on capturing the first year of their first born, I was then asked to photograph Alison's maternity session this past weekend.

The Rogers are expecting a precious baby girl in a couple of months so we wanted to grab a handful of key shots to help these guys remember this time in their life and add to the collection of moments from recent years.

Carter is now preparing and learning about being a big brother and I anxiously wait to hear how he reacts when he meets Amelia for the first time.  It's going to be precious!

Alison always looks gorgeous and I know that her baby girl is going to be just as beautiful! I couldn't be more excited about these guys having a baby girl to join in on this fun adventure called life!

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Alliance Real Estate

The past couple of months I have been busy with corporate sessions, meeting with local professionals who are changing the world with big ideas!

Earlier this morning I was fortunate enough to meet with a group from Alliance Real Estate. These guys were a lot of fun and it took no time to have their professional head shots up and ready.  I really do enjoy taking part with new business ventures and meeting new faces.

They not only were very welcoming but were personable and easy to speak with.  I know that they are going to do well with whatever they set their mind to and I was very happy to see they kept me in mind.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016


The past few months I have primarily focused in on newborn lifestyle sessions.  I love having the opportunity to capture the newness of it all.. The baby, the parents, the routine.. everything is brand new and being able to capture a newborn with this in mind just confirms why I think lifestyle newborn sessions are the way to go in the comfort of the baby's first home.

This session is already rewarding enough to ohhh and ahhhh over beautiful baby Dawson but it makes it all the more fun that it just so happens to be Johnny and Anna!  I literally have lost count with how often I have had their smiling faces in front of my camera throughout the years, so for them to call on me first thing after the birth of their second son was a true honor!

I love seeing what we are able to capture with each session we have.. and this go around was just as fun to take part in as every session we've had.  Seeing Anna and Johnny's family transform from party of two to four has been an amazing experience to capture over the years and I am seriously thankful for their continued support with my work.

Tuesday, February 9, 2016


Time seems to stand still until you realize that children grow up so fast! The last time I saw Koby for his photo session he was six months and barely sitting up on his own.  Well.. he is a year now and I must say has an opinion of his own!

He made his mom and me work for a handful of smiles and I found that the secret to photographing this little guy was to photograph from across the room.  He can be a tad shy and unsure of strangers so after a little bit of coaxing, he settled down.

Koby is precious, smiles or no smiles and I really have enjoyed having been a part of his first year from newborn, six month to his one year.

Monday, February 8, 2016


If you haven't noticed by now.. I love moody photos rather it be with the style, concept or post processing. I like to blame it on all those years I spent in the dark room processing black and white film.  I guess that era of photography has really never left me.

Black and White images always draw me in and make me want to look a little longer.  They have a way of simplifying the image, minimizing clutter and helping you notice the moment of the image more so than the colors and surroundings.

Vivian's session is a great example because during our photo session this past weekend we grabbed a handful of bright, colorful, smiling photos but for some reason I feel that these three images represent my work and my vision best.. so this is why I chose to share with you my very own personal favorites.

Vivian has a timeless look about her that I love to see in black and white images.  She did such a great job in front of the camera that I am anxious to see how her upcoming pageant goes!  I loved a handful of the head shots we captured and can't wait to see which one she will end up using for her pageant.

Best of luck Vivian!

Wednesday, February 3, 2016


Although my main objective while in Memphis was to focus on the music, I found myself just as intrigued by the chaos and the life that is found outside from the music venues. Street photography has always been an invigorating assignment that I enjoy participating in.

I must say that I feel it is definitely one of the more challenging aspects of photography because you aren't paid by one person to focus in on and the main objective of street photography is to capture as though you are invisible.  You don't change a thing about the photo.. you just observe and wait to you see something that moves you or makes you think.

It's a fast paced style of photography that always gets my adrenaline flowing and it teaches me to shoot on intuition.  When dealing with moments, there is no time to second guess yourself or think of composing the photo with perfect lighting and sharp focusing. You just do it and what makes it all the more fun for me is you don't know what you are getting half the time!

Life isn't perfect and I certainly don't expect my images to be..but that is the allure of it all. This is why street photography has always been one of my muses. Street photography sharpens my ability to act on impulse and photograph by intuition. It teaches me not to overthink and it also shows me how to predict a moment and be ready for it.

 It is life as it is, unaltered and untouched.

Monday, February 1, 2016

Walkin in Memphis

From time to time, when able, I enjoy a good road trip with the band.  Of course, at times, it can be challenging rooming the next few days with five grown men, two bedrooms and one bathroom..

It is during these times I am reminded that being high maintenance would not be in my favor, so I prepare the next handful of days to limit the times that I shower and getting ready for the evening must be done in a record speed of time.

I like to say it is all about the experience .. from the old roll out mattress, the ramen noodles, the small rooms with no curtains, the guys and their music gear that is stored all over the floors and of course not to mention the late nights and always being the first to wake up just to tip toe around grown snoring men.

Now that I have returned from Memphis, I am enjoying catching up with my sleep, my daily work outs to the gym as well as eating my fresh veggies and grilled fish. It did not take long for me to realize that if you want to eat healthy in Memphis, you have to do a little bit of digging before you can find more than Barbecue, burgers and Fried Chicken.

The Elijah Butler Band went to the International Blues Challenge this past week to compete against Blues Bands from all over the world.  It was a lot of fun as we got to listen to and meet several talented musicians.

I would personally like to thank Maddie at EverFest for hooking me up with an all access pass that allowed me to go in and photograph all of the talent that could be heard up and down Beal Street. As my week unfolds and I am able to sort through more of the images, I will surely post some of the different musicians I got to listen to and photograph along the way!