kauai sunset session

Wow, this might be one of my favorite photography stories to date. Little did I know that my husband, Stevie, and I would be stuffed into a doors-off helicopter with a sweet couple about our age, only to discover they lived just a few miles away from us in Atlanta.

We met two great Georgia friends nearly 5,000 miles away from our hometown. Macy and Andrew asked if I’d do a sunset session with them the day after we met, and we gladly piled into their Jeep and set off for one of the most remote beaches on the island of Kauai. Polihale Beach feels a bit like you’ve reached the end of the world, or perhaps that you’ve left it altogether. I think heaven might meet earth in those few fleeting moments as the sun slips behind that oceanic expanse. But maybe that’s just me.

Thankful for this adventurous friendship that began half a world away and continues to grow back in our little corner of the South.

Macy and Andrew, where should we go next?!

the drum family

I remember the day that Mike and Mary announced that they were pregnant. It was a teary, joyful, overwhelming scene at our newlywed small group that night to put it mildly! It's amazing that they're a flourishing family of three now, and that little Abby is a total heartbreaker already, am I right? 

Loved strolling through the park with you on a Saturday morning, Drum family!

the sharkeys

Aren't Jaimi and Mike just the cutest pair of soon-to-be-parents? 

Baby Sharkey is on his way, and we snuck away to Tanyard Creek in Atlanta to capture a few frames of this new season of parenthood. (Side note: Leave it to the good ol' Southern sun to give us such beautiful blooms in FEBRUARY.)

Can't wait to meet the newest addition to the "Shark Tank!" 

stephanie and nic at home

My sweet newlywed friends Steph and Nic just bought a house, and I spent an afternoon lounging around their new home as they sipped coffee in cozy sweaters.

I'm so honored to call these two friends, and I know their light-filled Atlanta home will be a blessing to all who enter its doors. I cannot wait to hear of all the memories that will be experienced under the roof of this place they've chosen to call home!

southern orchards wedding inspiration

A beautiful Georgia farm, summer storm clouds rolling in the distance, a stunning couple and a "something blue" wedding dress. Who could ask for more? 

My heart is full after spending a rainy afternoon at the Inn at Serenbe participating in my very first styled shoot. Cassie and Natalie curated the most gorgeous day, from mismatched china to ethereal calligraphy to pecan pies as sweet as the South itself. 

I met some creative souls as we sat on the porch waiting for the storm to pass. It was such a gift to partake in this day, and I'm so happy with the images that came from it! And you Atlanta beauties planning a wedding? Be sure to check out the full vendor list below! 

Planning/Direction: Cassie Xie & Natalie JacksonModels: Hannah Sadler & Tyson Wilder, Ursula Weidmann ModelsRentals: Crush Event RentalsTablescape: Vintage English Teacup | Calligraphy: Rachel Anne Brewer & Kaci Bowman | Jewelry: Trumpet & HornBaked Goods: Buttermilk Sky Pie Shop & Mae's BakeryHair & Makeup: Vigilante CosmeticsVow & Guest Books: Claire MagnoliaFlorals: Amanda Jewel Floral & DesignDress: Chantel Lauren | Suit: Suit Supply

a weekend adventure in portland

Fashion trends that you thought died long ago are alive and well in Portland. That terrible middle school trend that you thought was the hottest thing back in the day? Someone is rockin' that look on the streets of Portland. Right. Now. I guarantee it.

But Portland is a total gem. People do their own thing, and the city is more colorful and vibrant because of it.

Stevie and I took off for a weekend adventure with our friends Creigh and Jessy without much of an agenda. On Friday afternoon, we packed our bags and meandered down evergreen-lined byways and crystal clear lakes from Seattle to PDX. We rented the cutest tiny house on Airbnb. It was nestled in the backyard of a Portland transplant, and the nearby chicken coop really rounded things out. Straight outta Portlandia. 

Day 1

Division Neighborhood

We dropped our bags on our lofted beds (Yes, this tiny house sleeps 4 grown humans!) before heading to the Division neighborhood to explore and grab dinner. We wandered through local shops, ordered an ambitious Thai meal at the James Beard Award winner Pok Pok, and finished the evening with a sugar rush courtesy of Salt & Straw. The ice creamery is packed with both tourists and exotic flavor combinations—like Stumptown coffee and Burnside bourbon or pear and blue cheese—but despite the line, our cones packed with lactose perfection were worth the wait.

Day 2

Blue Star Donuts & Multnomah Falls

I don't know if I'm proud or embarrassed about this fact, but we hit up THREE donut shops in one weekend. Yep, that's right. Priorities. 

If flavors like pina colada, blueberry bourbon basil and lemon poppyseed don't get you in the door, I don't know what will. We grabbed our coffee and donuts to go and set out about 30 minutes outside PDX to the picturesque Multnomah Falls. I've seen this stunning waterfall grace my Instagram feed for years, but seeing it in person changed the game. The pacific northwest is breathtaking in every way. 

Pearl District

After soaking in Oregon's natural wonders, we ventured back to the concrete jungle for good food, miles of books, and spontaneous coffee breaks. We wandered the Portland Saturday Market until we worked up an appetite for lunch. It's easy to find a meal that can please everyone at one of the many "pods" of food carts scattered throughout the city. Who knew that Portland has 500 food carts available any time of day? From Ethiopian street food to organic smoothies to grilled cheese specialists, these neighborhood eateries on wheels can curb just about any craving.

I think Stevie's lunch wins best name. Meet "the Baby Cheesus." 

Powell's books & The ace hotel

We spent much of our afternoon browsing the endless rows at Powell's City of Books, which takes up a whole city block and houses more than one million books. Be still my English major heart! If you stumble upon this literary paradise, be sure to get a free pass to access the rare book room. Incredible first editions. Worth exploring if just to see the price tags on these beauties. A book worth more than my annual salary? Oh yes.

From there, we stopped for a caffeine boost at the iconic Ace Hotel across the street. We kicked back on an emerald green sofa and sipped Stumptown lattes while a vinyl record purred in the background. 

Rose Test Garden

Ok, Portland wins at public parks.

Case in point: the Rose Test Garden, which bursts with 7,000 rose bushes and is completely freeeeee. Say what? We meandered down petal-lined pathways and snapped photos of each other as the sun set over the city.

Day 3

Voodoo Doughnuts

On Sunday morning, it was back to Seattle. But before skirting the city limits, we had to see what Voodoo Doughnuts was all about. Given the rumors of Nyquil-filled doughnuts and shotgun weddings, I prepped myself for the worst. Voodoo is definitely more shock than substance, but my "Homer Simpson" doughnut was simple and satisfying. 

So here's my shorthand PDX doughnut guide:

  • Blue Star if you're looking for unique, gourmet flavored delicacies.

  • Annie's if you're on the hunt for a great old fashioned doughnut without the frills.

  • Voodoo if you want a good story and don't mind elbowing some tourists to claim your Cap'n Crunch covered doughnut.

Real talk: I fell in love with Portland in just a few short days. The quirk, the eclectic neighborhoods, the amazing local shops and restaurants, and the beautiful stretches of greenery, lakes and waterfalls that sit waiting just beyond the city limits come together in a stunning combination. 

But, of course, the best part of it all is seeing new parts of the world with old friends. So thankful to cross paths with sweet souls like Creigh and Jessy. Hold tightly to the people that lift you up and cheer you on to write a better story with your life. Those relationships are rare and worth the fight! 

the bessingers

Ah, I can't believe this sweet couple has already become a family of three! (Well, four if you count their cuddly pup, Riley.) Precious little Hayden Kathryn made her debut in the world a couple weeks ago, and I couldn't be happier for her parents!

We wandered along the Chattahoochee River during golden hour several weeks ago to document this memorable time in their lives. Despite the Southern summer heat, these two remained flawless and unfazed. I'm so glad they decided to capture this special season, and I'm honored that they entrusted me with the opportunity to photograph them. 

Congratulations to the Bessingers on their new addition. Haddie is a lucky girl! 

hit harder

I've been loving some of my recent collaborations! My friend Matt (who is a stellar boxer and founder of Brawl for a Cause) introduced me to some other great athletes in the area, and we spent an evening chasing storms, flexing (them, not me) and supporting each other in our pursuits. 

Shooting athletes doesn't fit into my typical wheelhouse, but it was an impactful challenge to find my voice and style in an arena that's so outside of my usual experience. So here are my new friends, accomplishing great things and lookin' good doing it! Bailey is a national champion high jumper, and Umama is a walking transformation story who comes alongside others to help them become their best (and most fit!) selves. 

Check them out and explore their stories. I'll just be over here doing an ab set...