We were fortunate that we scheduled this engagement session when we did, because the next day the rain and freezing temps came barreling back through Atlanta. Thankfully we got to enjoy the warmer temps and first signs of Spring popping up in Piedmont Park for our shoot. I had fun getting to know Lauren and Logan better, and laughing with them as we tried to keep up with their sweet pup Kennedy! Special thanks to Logan’s mom and sister for tagging along to help entertain her while we were taking a few pictures without her.
Lauren and Logan, Thanks for giving me an excuse to get outside and shoot before the storms hit. Can’t wait for your wedding this Fall! It will be here before we know it! All the best, Bre

    • Bre Sessions said:
      Thank you so much for taking the time to check out my blog!
      March 26, 2018  2:20 pm
      Reply

 

When you own a business that is based on your skill and talent, it’s a vulnerable place to be, because when you meet with a client you’re not just selling a product that they do or don’t want, you are selling yourself. And while for some people that might be easy, it has never been my strong suit. As a photographer and business owner, I am much more comfortable behind a camera or computer screen, than I am putting myself front and center. If I am being honest, I don’t have an entrepreneurial spirit, I hate sales and numbers, and spreadsheets and growth don’t really excite me. So you might be thinking why in the world did you start a business, and that would be a valid question. A question I was asking myself earlier today, after not booking a client I was really hoping to work with, and it got me thinking about Why do I do, what I do.

I started my photography business because I love photography, and quite honestly I didn’t think much about the business side of it would entail. I have been passionate about documenting moments since I was handed my first 110 camera as a kid, and from that point on all of my friends and family knew I was the one who would be taking pictures, wherever we went (which was a lot more involved back then, because it involved bringing an actual camera, and buying and then later paying to develop the film). I fell in love with the ability the camera gave me to preserve a moment in time. It was so fun to be able to visually retell the history my life, through the images I created. And it gave me so much joy to print the photos, and put them in scrapbooks, that I still enjoy flipping through today. I realized what I enjoyed doing for myself, I could do for others, and that inspired me to take the leap of faith and start my FT business over seven years ago.

What makes my business unique?

A little background about me. I got bit by the acting bug, when I went to a middle school high school for the performing arts. Doing character studies, and figuring out who these people I was portraying were, and what drove them, was fascinating to me. And it taught me to stay in the moment, and focus on the other actor in the scene. It turns out this skill is invaluable as a wedding and event  photographer. I notice details, I study people, and I see their connections, and anticipate the meaningful moments before they happen, so I can capture them when they do. These little moments often become some of my clients favorites from the day, and are always my favorite to deliver.

When I was restarting my business after moving back from out of state two years ago, and questioning if I was really up for the challenge. I took a Myers Brigg Style personality test and I figured out that I am a “ISTJ”. And let’s just say I am not in any of the recommended fields for this personality type. But one thing that stood out in the test, was that it labeled me as a “Caretaker”. Not the first thing that normally comes to mind when you think of a photographer, but as a independent business owner, it’s quite invaluable. Taking care of clients is of the utmost importance to me. I want everyone I photograph to feel comfortable so they can let their guard down, and can actually be seen in the photographs I capture. I care about the people I am photographing, this is not just a transactional job for me. I show up early, stay late, and I work hard because I want my clients to love their images, and I want them to come back and keep coming back so I can document other stages of their life. I have some kids I have been photographing since birth, that are now entering middle school, and I have couples who I photographed their weddings, their maternity pictures, and now their family photographs with their kids. Watching these relationships, family and kids grow up, is one of the coolest parts of my job!

At the end of the day my goal with my clients is to create timeless images they will treasure now, and that will become family heirlooms for the next generation. As someone who has lost a child, I understand better than most, that images are never truly appreciated as much in the moment they are taken, as they are when they are all that remain of a loved one. I am so grateful for each and every picture I have of my daughter, they are priceless gifts that I am so grateful to have. And while it might have seemed expensive and inconvenient to set up family portraits at the time, and just being real, I am not a fan of being in front of the camera. I now realize you can’t wait, because you never get that time back, and if there is anything worth splurging on, it’s documenting time spent with the people you love most in this world. When I show up to wedding or portrait session, there is a sense of responsibility I feel to preserve a piece of my clients family history. It may not seem that significant at the moment, but with time I believe it will be. I look back at photos of my own wedding 14 years ago, and I see my grandparents, and my husbands grandfather, and our friends Spencer and Andy who Cancer took to soon, and my heart is deeply grateful to Sissi, my photographer who documented it all for me.

So while I may not be much of a “business person”, I have to remind myself of what I AM… a storyteller, a legacy keeper, and a detail oriented observer, who cares deeply about my clients! This is Me, it’s what I have to offer, and this is why I do what I do. It’s not just my business, it’s piece of my heart. Photography is my attempt at using the talents I have been given, to serve others in a meaningful way that I hope will live on long after I am gone. If you have entrusted me with doing this, THANK YOU, and if this is what you are looking for in a photographer, I would love to work with you!

Thank you for visiting my blog and taking the time to learn a little more about me and my approach to photography. What do you think makes a good business owner? I would love to hear what you value and look for in the businesses you choose to work with, so feel free to share below.

Photo above my dear friend, and frequent second shooter Angelica Yim.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Emilie’s passion for travel and teaching has taken her all over the world, but she had to come all the way back home to Georgia, to meet the love of her life! And while it may have taken awhile to find him, it’s very clear it was worth the wait! The love these two have for one another is fairy tale worthy, and it was such a joy getting to be the one to photograph, and tell the story of their wedding day. Emilie and AJ were like two kids on Christmas morning, both so excited and eagerly anticipating every moment of the day! They were married at Grace Community church in Marietta, where beautiful songs filled the air as they were surrounded by so many who love them dearly (which even included a few kindergartners from Emilie’s class)! The reception was held at the Whitlock Inn, which was all made up for the holidays, making it the perfect back drop for a festive winter wedding. Before I take my Christmas break, I had to share some of my favorite images from the day!

Emilie and AJ- I adore you guys! It was so great getting to spend the day documenting your love and laughter.  Your love for God, and for all those he has put in your life, is a beautiful example of the joy that we are meant to be celebrating this time of year. Thanks for inviting me into your world, and allowing me to capture such precious moments of your big day! I wish you guys all the best as your start this next chapter of your lives together! And if you need someone to document your honeymoon travels in the South of France this Spring, just let me know! All the best, Bre

Getting Ready and First Look Location: Hilton Marietta Conference Center/ Ceremony: Grace Community Church/ Reception Location: The Whitlock Inn/ Catering: Carriage House/ Wedding Planner: Kayla Whaley/ Bride’s Dress: White Magnolia Bridal Shop/ / Bride’s Make Up and Hair: / Cake: Legendary Events/ DJ: DJ Pep/ Floral Design: Backyard Blessings/ Photo Booth: Shutterbooth

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When I started planning our Anniversary trip to Italy, we intended on making our second stop in Milan. A friend who was also planning a trip to the area, just a few weeks after me, said you should look up Cinque Terre. After a two second google image search, I was sold!! The colorful buildings, and small town feeling you get in these five waterside towns is unlike any place else I have ever been. It’s a little off the beaten path, but if you have 2-3 days to spare, it’s worth the detour to this enchanting coastal region!

1. Be prepared to be on your feet a lotThere is very limited access to cars here, so you are mainly limited to getting around on the local train (which was very easy to use to take from one village to the next) and walking/hiking. The towns are built on the side of the mountain, so be prepared for some very steep hills, and beware if you have  a lot of baggage, getting it to where you are staying may turn into an intense workout from the train station! I should have gotten pics of the steep stairways that we had to take to get to our room, but I was too busy huffing and puffing with all my stuff to stop for a picture.

2. Eating and drinking- Overall, the food here is not nearly as good as it is in other areas of Italy, but being so close to the water, be sure to try the fish! We had a great lobster dinner our first night in Manarola. I also recommend getting one of the local seafood cones they sell, it’s kind of like seafood to go, fish and chips style, with different types of fried fish. The area is also known for it’s pesto, so try that if you get the chance! They also make a great local white wine in Cinque Terre, that is very inexpensive, but a really nice refreshing white wine. I wished I had bought a few bottles to take with me since I couldn’t find it anywhere else in Italy.

3. Don’t overheat- If you go in the summer, check ahead of time to see if the hotel or airbnb you are renting has air conditioning, ours didn’t. I thought I checked that ahead of time, but turns out I dropped the ball there. My husband forgave me, but we had to sleep with the windows open, which made it pretty noisy, and very bright once the sun came up! We did have an amazing view from our room. We were in one of the rooms just below were you see the moon, in the picture below.

4. For best Photos– Try and get a little distance away from the towns, to get the best shots. If you can hike up a little towards the next village, you can look back and get the best pictures at sunset. Manarola (where we stayed) was my favorite to photograph!

Below is the view out the window of our airbnb at night! The view definitely helped make up for the heat!

5. Hiking Tip- Research them before you go! Sometimes certain paths are closed due to falling rocks. Most of the villages have pretty short paths between them, but the one from Vernazza to Monterossa is quite challenging, and not for the faint of heart! If you do it, be prepared for it to take about 2 hrs, it’s only 3-4 miles long, but very rocky, narrow, and steep terrain. If you like an adventure and a bit of challenge it’s worth doing for the views, but I would start in Vernazza, and hike to Monterossa, not the other way around like we did:) Bring extra water with you , wear sunscreen, and have shoes with some traction. The beach below is where we started, the following pictures show you the path and the incredible views we had, for a long time we couldn’t see the city we were hiking to, which made us a little nervous until the end was in sight, and we knew drinks and food were in our future!

Where exactly is this taking us???

Finally the end was in sight!!

Have you been to Cinque Terre? If so I would love to hear what you thought? If you are planning a trip and have any questions, let me know below! If you’ll be traveling to Venice during your time in Italy, you can check on my previous blog post with details on that part of our adventure. For additional travel sites I found helpful, you can check out my Travel Pinterest board here.

Thanks for taking time to check out my blog! xoxo, Bre

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There was so much love and thought that went into every detail of Chelsea and Ray’s beautiful wedding day. From the personalized hangers,and custom jewelry she gifted her bridesmaids, to the choreographed family dance at the reception, along with a surprise performance by the bride’s brother during the father daughter dance, plus special remembrances throughout the day in honor of loved ones who had passed, it was so special and completely unique to who they were as a couple. The wedding was not just a celebration of Chelsea and Ray, but of the love they have for their family, their friends, and God. It’s rare to see two people so calm and relaxed on their wedding day, but these two were so excited and confident in their love for one another, that they weren’t stressed about the details, they knew all that mattered is that they were together, and they were surrounded by the people they loved most!

The day started getting ready at Chelsea’s parents home in Cumming, then we headed to St. Benedict’s church in Johns Creek for their ceremony, followed by an awesome reception at The Estate in Atlanta, all pulled together flawlessly by a stellar team of vendors headed up by Sarah by SAS Weddings (links to everyone involved at the bottom of the post). Here is peek at some of my favorite photographs from the day!

Chelsea and Ray- It’s been such a joy getting to know you both! Thank you so much for entrusting me to document your wedding day! I hope  after seeing how stunning you guys look in your photographs, that you can now laugh at how concerned you once we’re that you would be awkward in all of the pictures:) I wish you guys a lifetime of love and happiness! All the best, Bre

Ceremony: St. Benedicts Catholic Church/ Reception Location: The Estate/ Wedding Planner: Sarah Day with SAS Weddings/ Bride’s Dress: White Magnolia Bridal Shop/ Bride’s Getaway Dress: Liora Yadin in Israel/ Bride’s Shoes: Betsy Johnson/ Bride’s Make Up: Mary Sue with MAC/ Bride’s Hair: Chantal Burger at Ovo Salon/ Invitations and paper products: Decomarj/ Cake: Legendary Events/ Band:  Emerald Empire Band / Videographer: Scott Belanger Films/ Floral Design: The Charles Lane/Bridal Party Custom Jewelry: Velina Jewelry/

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  1. Lori Chmura said:
    Stunning Bre! You captured it all beautifully! Thank you! Of note: " getaway dress" is Liora Yadin/Israel
    September 24, 2017  8:43 am
    Reply
    • Bre Sessions said:
      Thank you so much Lori! I am so glad our paths crossed on the plane, and that I got to be the one to document Chelsea and Ray's big day! It was such a joy to work with them and get to know your whole family!
      I will add the extra vendor details, that getaway dress was fabulous!!
      September 24, 2017  1:58 pm
      Reply
  2. Lori chmura said:
    Also hair by Chantal Burger at Ovo Salon
    September 24, 2017  8:44 am
    Reply
  3. Lori chmura said:
    " getaway dress" by Liora yadin, Israel. Beautiful Bre! You captured it all flawlessly!
    September 24, 2017  1:49 pm
    Reply