Stylish Fall Engagement | Mountain Laurel

stylish fall engagement session cocktail dress mountain laurelStylish Fall Engagement

It was a beautiful fall day. The air was cold, crisp, and the light was absolutely perfect.  Shannon and Kyle met us at one of our favorite portrait locations in Mountain Laurel. The leaves were showing off their fall colors with deep rich reds, yellows, and browns which always leaves me feeling like I walked onto the set of the Gilmore Girls.  Shannon stepped out of her car wearing a stunning black dress and a pair of Louboutin shoes, which for this shoe loving girl, made me do a happy dance!

College Rivalry

Shannon attended the University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) while Kyle went to the University of Auburn in Alabama. Although, they attended college in different states they would both eventually ended up meeting one another through work. Both work in publications for local neighborhoods and are fellow entrepreneurs who met while Shannon was working in another state. They finally started to date and eventually knew they were the perfect match for each other. Kyle asked Shannon’s dad for his permission and she moved to Alabama to be with him in early March.

We can honestly say, Shannon and Kyle are one of the cutest and sweetest couples we have worked with this year. Their authentic genuine love for one another can truly be seen throughout their photographs and the time we spent with them.  We can’t wait for their wedding in March at Aldridge Gardens.

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Bringing Pets to Your Engagement Session

Including pets in your engagement sessionBringing Pets to Your Engagement Session

Our pets grow to be a part of our families. Our dog , Maverick, has been with us for 12 years and is considered our third child. To want to include them in your engagement session is only natural. We want to celebrate the relationship between the couple and their pets. Sometimes, though, pets can be a huge distraction during the session if some important steps are not taken. Here are some of our top tips for including your fur-babies in your portrait sessions.

Let Your Photographer Know

Some photographers have a very strict no pet policy. This means they will not take pictures of couples with pets under any circumstances. To see if yours does, make sure to ask or read your contract. Other photographers (like us) love including pictures with pets but only if they are disclosed before the session. This ensures the photographer brings the proper equipment and supplies. 

Accessories for Your Pets

We never thought of this before, but we just had a shoot with a beautiful couple and their two awesome dogs. They were beautifully coordinated and even their dogs leashes matched their outfits. This little touch made their session even more special and didn’t distract with garish mismatched colors.

Bring a Wrangler

Pets usually don’t stay for the whole session. We have found that pets last for about 20 minutes before they start to get bored. During this time, a pet wrangler can be invaluable. They will help to ensure the pets stay put and keep them distracted during the session. At the end of it, you can hand off your pets to the wrangler to take them home. 

Bring Treats

This is another benefit to disclosing pets before the session. We can find out what is your pets favorite treats and bring some along. This helps to ensure your pets have something to look forward to for being good at the session. In addition, treats allow the photographer to build a relationship with the pets so they can respond better, in turn providing you better photographs.

With just some practical steps, bringing your pets to a photo session can be a great experience and add a lot of personality to your photographs. To see how you can incorporate your pets into your wedding read this Blog Post and subscribe to our newsletter. Including pets in your engagement sessionIncluding pets in your engagement sessionIncluding pets in your engagement session

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I hope you have enjoyed this post. If you have, please subscribe to our newsletter to receive the latest updated content and sign up for our Facebook page for special live content. If you’re a bride who wants more tips for a stress free day or you’re a photographer who wants to give a great client experience, subscribe to our YouTube channel for band new videos each week. 

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Thanksgiving Recipes | From Our Family to Yours

Family recipes for thanksgivingThanksgiving Recipes for the Holidays

I feel like we blinked and the holiday season is upon us.  This is my favorite time of year but I am still left asking myself how we are already a week away from Thanksgiving and there is SNOW on the ground . . crazy right.  As foodies, J and I love this time of year.  We get to try out new holiday recipes and of course bring out our old favorites as well.  In our house it has become a tradition to make a pumpkin roll, something my mother-in-law passed down to me and buttery yeast rolls from our time living in the midwest.  But this year, we have a few new favorites including a whiskey sour recipe from my friend Claire.

Whiskey Sour

In our house we love a good whiskey drink, either neat or mixed in as a classic cocktail

2 ounces bourbon
3/4 ounce simple syrup
3/4 ounces lemon juice
Egg white
Shake without ice vigorously for about 12-15 seconds. Add ice and shake again. Strain well into a chilled coupe glass. Garnish with drops of bitters and use a toothpick to swirl them into a design.  While this drink is delicious  . . . we would be remiss without leaving you with something delicious to make to go along side it.

Football Dip

This is the proverbial guilty pleasure for the football game on Thanksgiving Day.  Just don’t tell your guests what’s in it because . . calories don’t count during the holidays . . am I right!

8 oz cream cheese

1 cup grated swiss cheese

.5 cup of ritz crackers

.5 cup of mayo

8 slices of cooked bacon

Mix softened cream cheese, swiss cheese, and mayo well.  Place in an 8×8 pan. Top with crumbled bacon and crackers.  Bake at 350 for 20 minutes.  Serve with frito or tortilla chips.  I would recommend if you have a large party, make extra.

Thanksgiving Roll Recipe

Lastly no Thanksgiving or holiday meal is complete without a good homemade roll . . and according to J . . they are for making sandwiches as leftovers.  For real, that man could make a sandwich out of anything, probably even a flip flop.

1 cup of very warm water

2 packages active dry yeast

.5 cup of melted butter

.5 cup sugar

3 eggs

1 tsp salt

4 -5 cups flour

Additional melted butter

Combine the warm water and yeast in a large bowl.  Let stand until yeast is foamy, about 5 minutes.  Stir in butter, sugar, eggs, and salt.  Beat in flour, 1 cup at a time, until dough is too stiff to mix (some flour may not be needed).  Cover and refrigerate 2 hours or up to 4 days.  To bake, grease a 9×13 pan.  Turn the chilled dough onto a lightly floured board.  Divide dough into 24 equal pieces.  Roll each piece into smooth round ball:  place balls in even rows in the prepared pan.  Cover and let rise until doubled in volume, about an hour.  Preheat the oven to 375.  Bake 15 – 20 minutes or until rolls are golden brown.  Brush with melted butter and break apart to serve.

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Med School Sweethearts | Downtown Birmingham

Med School Sweethearts Birmingham Engagement SessionMed School Sweethearts

These two med school sweethearts got in front of our cameras earlier this month and even brought their sweet pups along for the ride.  We just adored getting to know Colleen and Michael as they shared their excitement news that he had just accepted a fellowship back in their home state of Illinois.  Both Michael and Colleen met at UAB while she was completing her NP and he was a finishing up his residency.

We always love sharing a bit of “He Said, She Said” about our couples.  When we asked Michael about one thing he loved about Colleen he said, “It’s a random thing but I love listening to her watch tv or listen to a podcast. She laughs so loud and heartily and responds to what she hears or sees. It’s the most genuine joy I have ever seen or heard.”

Colleen said, “It’s hard to pick a favorite thing about Michael. One of my favorite things about him is how caring he is, whether that’s me, his family, our dogs, or his patients, he truly cares. He is also very funny and loves making jokes.”

A Birmingham Engagement

Michael proposed to Colleen on a low key summer day.  They went for a walk, played tennis, and then were just hanging out at home. Michael all of a sudden made an excuse to go upstairs. Colleen had recently lost a ring of hers. Michael came back downstairs with a ring box in his hands which he said contained a replacement for the ring she had lost. Colleen opened it to find a far nicer engagement ring! Michael explained that their house they had built together was his favorite place and he didn’t want to wait any longer to propose.  We are honored to capture their wedding next year as they prepare for their next adventure together in Chicago with their darling dogs in tow.Med School Sweethearts Birmingham Engagement Session

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College Sweethearts get Engaged | The Preserve

College Sweetheart at the PreserveCollege Sweethearts

There is always something so special about college sweethearts.  I think it gives you the time to mature together as you date and move out into the adventures of post-college.  While Margaret and Parker have known each other since they were three, they didn’t start dating until they were in their freshman year at Auburn.  Five years later he proposed at the Statue of Liberty in Liberty Park where he took Margaret to “show her” where his name had just been engraved as an Eagle Scout on the wall there.

A Preserve Engagement Session

While they are self – prescribed casual folks who love baseball and breweries (who doesn’t), Margaret came to their engagement session in the most gorgeous powder blue lace dress . . absolutely stunning.  We were blessed with the most perfect weather after having to reschedule due to a heat advisory earlier in the year.  They only difficult part about the whole session was smelling the delicious tacos coming from Moss Rock down the street!  These two laughed, danced, and even did the dip like PROS.  We can’t wait for your summer 2019 wedding.

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