Gladys & Darrek [An Engagement Session]


Darrek and Gladys drove to Atlanta for an engagement session one beautiful evening in spring.

I met Darrek while photographing two of his cousins’ weddings earlier

last year at his hometown in Oregon.  (View them here and here)

It’s such an honor to be referred by previous brides,

and I love the connections formed at weddings.

He was one of those guys who is likable and you find yourself wishing good things for him

even if you don’t really know him.  Also, he’s really funny.

Gladys lives only a couple hours

from Atlanta, so the two of them drove up for their engagement session while

Darrek was in Georgia visiting his bride-to-be. .


They are so happy together.

Gladys is sweet and full of  grace. Her eyes sparkle with life.

Before we met up, I was chatting with Gladys about the engagement session,

and found out they love hanging out at coffee shops.  She and Darrek

were excited about doing part of their engagement session in a coffee shop environment,

and the staff at San Francisco Roasting Co. were super hospitable.


(Also, their coffee is delicious!!)

 I have seriously dreamed of photographing a session at a coffee shop

for several years, and this was finally the session that blended in perfectly!

When I visited Oregon last year I noticed that they seem to have a coffeeshop on every corner–no wonder

with all that rain they get.  Tee-hee.  Anyway, I have a feeling coffee shops

will continue being written into this couple’s story.

Coffee shops are just such a perfect spot when you need to get away for a little to relax and catch up again.



Their closeness and camaraderie effortlessly lended themselves to

easy conversations and laughter–

a beautiful closeness.

I wasn’t able to photograph their wedding because of having previously

booked weddings.  They hired a fantastic wedding photographer,

and I’m looking forward to seeing their wedding images soon.

Mmmm, all these coffee shop pictures are making me wish for a date night.  =)  Are you

planning something fun for your weekend?   

Leanne & Darin [A Beautiful Wedding]

This post has been looooooong overdue. A wedding this gorgeous can’t be kept waiting forever.

In June I had photographed Laura and Seth’s wedding in Oregon.  The trip out to the west was such

a fun adventure and I adored Laura’s family.  I was beyond excited when Leanne, Laura’s sister and maid of honor,

called to ask me if I would photograph her wedding later that summer. These girls know how to plan

an event.  Every detail was planned and so pretty, but best of all they were so free to fully enjoy the day themselves.

The bride and groom were a delight to work with–so much fun and so happy together.

I was so smitten by the bride’s amazing bouquet!!  The combinations of

colors and flowers is outstanding.



Wedding location: Halsey, Oregon

Wedding photography: C. Smucker Photography [assisted by Jolene Siegrist Photography]

Florist: Glanette Smucker

Cake: Sweet Spot Bakery


A Visit to the Atlanta Library


Our family loves books, so naturally the library is a favorite place of ours.

We read books every day in school.  We read for learning.

We read for the joy of story

We read because we love reading.

The Atlanta library system (AFPLS) has been so good to us. The Atlanta library system

includes more than thirty libraries.  The five branches we have visited so far

are fairly small, but we can always find a great place to hang out

and lots of books to take home with us.

The best part is that we can order books from any of those 30+ branches

and have the books delivered to our closest library location which is only a little over a mile from our home.

Because it is so easy to order books online our time at the library

is often only long enough to check out the tall stack of books the librarians have waiting for us.

A few weeks ago we had a day with extra time for reading, so we enjoyed an unhurried visit

to the East Atlanta Library branch.  It’s one of my favorites so far.   In the kids’ section there are three

amazing windows with deep window seats perfect to crawl onto and read.

The boys never have a problem finding lots of books to read.

They sit and read while I filter through their stacks of books to decide

which we should take home with us.  They can choose a pile in no time at all, and I always

do my own searching as well. I try to choose books that I know we will enjoy

reading and re-reading to take home with us.

This time it was fun to take time to sit and read with the boys.  Little boys are so active,

but thankfully they are more than happy to cuddle up for a long while

if there are stories to read.

We have read to the boys since they were several months old.

We still read a book before nap time and bedtime almost every day

and we read books in between when we can.

We have always dreamed of having a family of readers.

Some people have asked:

Q: Do you allow your children to pull books from the shelves at libraries? 

A: Libraries are so neat and organized that it can feel as though your children are making a mess.  Libraries were created to be places for people to read and enjoy books. In my experience librarians have been very welcoming and friendly to children at the library.  I allow them to choose big piles of books to look through.  We try to be respectful as we would anywhere, so I wouldn’t allow a toddler to pull books by the handful. The boys often pull a book, read through it, then finding another.  If I know exactly where a book belongs I may put it back, but librarians prefer guests to leave books out on tables to be shelved later than for the books to be put in a spot where they do not belong.    

Q: I get overwhelmed at the library because there are so many books.  How can I find good books? 

A: There have been days I found myself staring at shelf after shelf loaded with books wondering where to start.  There are soooo many good books to read, but there are also mediocre books or books on subjects that don’t interest us much. I’ve found a little system that has worked for me the past few years.  I simply start with one shelf and scan through the books choosing the titles I think look best.  I never make it even half way through one side of an aisle.  The next time we visit the library I start scanning books where I stopped the last time. It’s a pretty simple procedure, really; and it helps give direction.


I’m often drawn to older books and classic stories. Those are books I pull as well as any books with titles

that draw my attention and books written by an author whose name I recognize.

Books that have  been awarded the Newbery Medal (distinguished contributions to American children’s literature)

or the Caldecott Medal (distinguished American picture books for children)

often find their way to our library bag as well.


The best part about visiting the library is leaving with a bag

stuffed with lots of books to read at home.

Well, most times the boys can’t wait until we get home to start reading.






Joye & Phil [An Engagement Session]

Sometimes two people fall in love slowly.

After years of togetherness love opens eyes and the marriage of two hearts begins.

Other times love sweeps in with a rush and grips hearts

with such sincerity and strength.


This is the story of two people who were living life fully,

who were engaged serving God with their time and gifts,

who, after meeting each other once–only once,

found their lives changed forever.

This is a woman who brings joy and energy to everyone around her.

This is a man who is strong and kind and who lives sacrificially.

Together they will be world changers.

They make each other happy.

Like really, really happy.



[Ummm, stunning much?!]

This is a beautiful romance.



Baby Sabrina I Atlanta Baby Photography

Sabrina and her family came to visit us, and her mommy asked if we could take some pictures of her. We took the train into Midtown one evening and walked to Piedmont Park. Sabrina took a snooze as we traveled then woke up so happy and full of smiles.  The world around her was busy, but she had eyes only for her mommy and daddy who clearly adore their sweet baby.  What can we say?  Who wouldn’t fall for this lump of sugar?


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