If you are looking to plan a romantic getaway, honeymoon, anniversary trip, anything really… I highly recommend Venice! It is such a  unique city, with great art, amazing food and waterfront views everywhere you turn!

In addition to Venice, we also visted Cinque Terre, Florence and Rome. I’ll be sharing about the other cities in future blog posts. With so many pictures and tips, I thought it would be best to break it down by city.

Tip 1. If you can, upgrade to business class, it makes such a  huge difference on the long flights! And you get access to the business class lounge, which is a lifesaver if you have a long layover, like we did in London. Nine hours goes by much faster with free food, drinks and a complimentary massage (Thanks Elemis salon)!! Worth every point spent to upgrade!

Tip 2. Try not to land in Venice late at night. Being a city surrounded by water, your options for travel, especially late at night are more limited, and of course more expensive. If you are like us and that is your only option, you can book a water taxi at the desk in the airport when you land. The upside was we got a really cool introduction to the city driving in at night. I put my ISO on my Nikon D750 to the test, since it was after midnight, and pitch dark outside of the lights on the buildings. It was so magical to see the city all lit up at night!

Venice at night by Bre Sessions Photography  2107 Art Biennale in Venice

Tip 3. Be prepared to pay cover charges, while in the US cover charges only happen at nightclubs, in most of Italy they are quite common. At some restaurants, if you refuse the bread you might get away with not paying it, but we found even when we did, that they often charged us. You can avoid this by getting a sandwich and standing, or taking it to go, but mostly you just suck it up and pay the small fee (which is just 2 or 3 euro per person at most places). We did get hit with a hefty “music charge” at the cafe on St. Mark’s Square, but the people watching and view was worth it! St.Marks Square in Venice Italy

Tip 4. When booking a room, check to see if any hotels you have status with are in the area, especially in cities like Venice where rooms can be on the pricier side. We used SPG points to  stay at the beautiful Westin Europa and Regina, and loved it. The hotel is right on the water  (the pics below are the view out the front door of the waterfront entrance).Canals in Venice italy by Bre Sessions Photography

Tip 5. Take time to explore the arts and culture of the area. We loved the Accademia museum, it’s not too big so you can see it all in a few hours. Saint Mark’s Basilica was also beautiful, but I highly recommend making an appointment, so you don’t have to stand in line. If you don’t get an appointment, look for a tour guide offering tours in English outside, we payed 20 euro, and it got us in with no wait, and we learned a lot more than we would have if we just strolled through on our own. There is so much rich history that you miss out on without the guide. If you are visiting the churches, be prepared you do have to have your shoulders covered up, I way over packed after reading this, but it turns out they do sell a covering type thing for 1 euro inside, if you forget or don’t want to be that covered up in the hot summer months. They didn’t seem as concerned about your knees being covered, which some of the books mentioned you needed as well.

Tip 6. See what local events are happening while you are in town. I would love to go during Carnivale, but that will have to wait for another trip. The Biennale art festival was there while we were visiting, so we got to  check out some of the exhibits. The art displays are all over the city and free to enjoy. The picture at the top with the hands grabbing the building were a part of the exhibit as well the work pictured below.  The below images are from an entire house that had been converted into an art piece called “Objection”. It was really interesting, and fun to photograph!

Tip 7. Go with the flow! I had to laugh at the sign below, as it is clear, the people here have a very laid back vibe! Wander, explore, and don’t be afraid to get a little lost, which you likely will! We did take the public boat transportation, and while it was crowded, it made it easy to cover more ground, in the two days we were there. Just be sure if you take boat to get your ticket stamped BEFORE you get on, or you might get hit with a serious fine, like the people standing next to us did! They seem to target tourist’s who don’t know better! The boat is also a great way to get pictures out on the water if you don’t want to splurge on the gondola ride.

Tip 8. If you do a gondola ride, I suggest going in the evening at sunset when the water ways are less crowded and it’s not as hot. If you don’t want to spring for a gondola ride (They can run about 100 euro, you can also take a water taxi, and get the same views for about half the price).

Our Favorite restaurants in the area was: Tratttoria Vini Da “Arturo” – It’s mostly locals, but the server did speak English well enough to help us order. They are known for their anti pastas, the pastas were also delicious, and the pork chop my husband and I shared, was huge and enough to feed an entire family! They have great stories about the celebrities to have dined there, as well as fun picture albums. It is a super small place, so it’s best to call ahead and make a reservation.

We ate at another good restaurant that I can’t remember the name of, but it was near the museum, and you have to be careful in those areas, because the food while good, was way over priced, especially in Venice! We did have some excellent fish being so close to the water.

Overall, we loved our time in Venice. We felt like two nights was good, a third night probably would have been a little better, so we weren’t so rushed, but you can see all the tops attractions and get a good feel for the are in two days.

I’ll be sharing about the rest of our trip in the coming weeks! Thanks for checking out the blog! If you have any questions, or want to share your favorite tips about Venice, feel free to comment below!

 

 

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I am always excited when Spring wedding season rolls around. The weather is perfect, flowers are in bloom, and love is definitely in the air! All of this was certainly true of Kaitlin and Matt’s beautiful wedding at The Manors Golf and Country Club this past weekend. The blue skies provided an amazing backdrop, for Kaitlin and Matt’s intimate outdoor ceremony.

Hearing Kaitlin’s dad’s toast at the reception, made it clear he set the bar high for his girl’s and the future men they would marry. He wanted only the best for his daughter’s, and it’s clear by the way Matt looks at Kaitlin, that he is ready to be all of that and more! Here are a few of my favorite highlights from the day.

      

To see the full gallery of images when they become available, sign up here.

Kaitlin and Matt- It was great getting to be a part of your beautiful day! I know the planning was a bit of a whirlwind, but you guys pulled it off effortlessly! I’m so happy for you both, you are clearly a match made in Smoothie King heaven (sorry couldn’t resist)! I wish you guys all the best as you start this next chapter in your lives together!

Special thanks to all of the talented vendors who helped make the day possible!

Ceremony and Reception Location: The Manors Country Club/ Bride’s Hair and Make Up: Brushworx/ Wedding Dress shop: The White Magnolia / Cake: Darcy’s / DJ: Matt with Marquee Events / Floral Design: Alpharetta Flower Market         Limo: Action Worldwide/ Linens: Cover Ups

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  1. Lee Anne Adamson said:
    Please send me the link for all of Kaitlyn's wedding photos. Thank you.
    August 21, 2017  9:51 pm
    Reply

Their love story began back at the University of Alabama, five years later he nervously sat in Barcelona Wine Bar waiting to propose, shortly thereafter he got his YES, she got a stunning new ring, and the wedding planning began! Chelsea and Ray are not the type to want to ham it up for the camera, so our goal was to relax, have fun, and enjoy the amazing Spring weather, while walking around a few favorite spots downtown near Inman Park. Of course the engagement session wouldn’t have been complete, without a drink at Barcelona Wine Bar to celebrate the occasion! Here are a few of my favorites from their shoot!  

Chelsea, Ray (and Maggie)- I had such a good time hanging out with you guys last weekend! I can’t wait to photograph the wedding in the Fall! Cheers to you both! XOXO, Bre

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I have heard it said that this will be the most photographed, but least documented generation. It’s funny to think about, since we all have camera phones with in arms reach of us, at all hours of the day and night.  We snap photos of just about everything, and yet most of them stay trapped on a device, and never get seen, enjoyed, or preserved. You’ll never value a picture as much on the day you take it, as you will  ten, twenty, or fifty years from now. Even after we are gone, our photographs transcend time by giving a visual history of who we were, to share with future generations we will never meet.

It’s easy to take photography for granted when it is everywhere, and people are always snapping away, but are you creating anything tangible to leave behind? What about when the phone dies, or the computer crashes, are your images safe? (For more tips on backing up and organizing photos, check out this past blog post, here). As a photographer, a mother, a friend, I want to encourage you to do something with all those photos you’ve taken. Maybe not ALL of them, but the special ones, the ones that capture who you are, and the love you share. Whether it is professional images, i phone shots, or anything in between, the ones that matter, let them be seen and enjoyed! Here are some tips, for ideas of what to do with all those images.

Come up with a print schedule

Once every other month, or once a quarter, even if it’s just once or twice a year, make a point of setting aside time to order prints of your digital files. Then have a few frames you switch out prints on every time you place an order.

Quick and easy options

Subscription services like Chatbooks are great because they automate the printing process. For every 60 photos you upload to your Instagram feed, a book is printed, and shipped to you. For just $8 a book, which includes shipping. You can now also add images from your phone that you don’t have on social media, which is big bonus for me, since I limit what personal pics I put on Instagram. You can also order special addition books, based on hashtags, so if you do a family trip or have a wedding and everyone uses the same hashtag, you can print an book of just those photos. There are other services that do similar things, but this is the one I use, and love the simplicity of it! You can get your first book free with this by going here, and using the code “9YLQEJKG” If you want a peek at what’s in mine you can follow me on Instagram @BreSessionsPhoto. (The image below shows what the chatbook volumes look like)

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Highlight your favorites For special photos, your highlights from the year, or pics from special events, or trips make an a special book or album. If you want something high quality that you can do yourself, I love Artifact Uprising. They offer beautiful book options, that are pretty simple to create. They also make great square prints, that are cute to frame or put out on a stand to show off individual shots. (Below is a book I was given from Artifact Uprising, with beautiful photos by Scobey Photography.)

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Create unique gifts– Calendars, framed pics, puzzles, magnets, holiday ornaments, there are lots of cool things you can do with photos now. For those hard to shop for people that already have everything, photo based gifts can be something unique and personal. For my parents, and in laws I love making Birthday or holiday gifts out of photos. Mac has a great built in Photo program that you can use to easily create Calendars, books and other gift items. If you don’t have a Mac, search the web for other options. These personal gifts are always treasured, and one of a kind, so next time you are stomped on what to buy, go through your old photos and order something unique for that hard to shop for family member!

Get help from a professional- Professional Photographers have the ability to make some really beautiful archival quality items. Next time you have photos taken,  rather than just asking for digital files, talk to your photographer and ask them what products they offer, or how they would suggest displaying your images. They may have access to products you don’t see on the market, they can also help you design galleries, and custom artwork for your home. I recently ordered a 24×36 canvas of my daughters and I laughing in the park, that my very talented photographer friend took, and it is now the center piece in my new office, I love it, and it brings me so much joy seeing it every time I walk in the door! If you feel stuck on where to put your pictures, or what size to order them, just ask your photographer! I love when clients bring me pictures of a blank wall, or spot in their home, that they want to help create a gallery of images from their shoot, or multiple photo shoots we have done over the years. As a side note, even though you can make prints yourself, there are benefits to using a professional. Many local store printers and online places use machines that are not calibrated. When a printer isn’t calibrated, the colors can often end up distorted. To ensure all the time and money you spent hiring a talented photographer to shoot, and edit your photos isn’t ruined by bad printing, poor cropping, or cheaply made products, let your photographer finish the job they started. This is especially important for items like wedding albums, or any heirloom pieces you want to pass down to the next generation. (Below is a leather bound, custom album, with a metal print insert on the cover, it’s a new option my album company just came out with, and I love it)

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I hope this inspires you, or gives you the little push you need to devote some time to doing something with all those photos you haven’t looked at in months, or years! If you found this helpful, or want to share your favorite way to print and enjoy your photos, please leave a comment below!

Until next time….

Bre

 

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