Brandy and Sticky's holiday session

One of the most rewarding aspects of being a photographer is the opportunity to form life-long friendships with many of our clients. Such is the case with Brandy and Sticky, who we first met a couple years ago when they asked us to photograph their wedding in Savannah. We immediately clicked and over the past couple years we've been fortunate enough to photograph them for their holiday greetings.

A few weeks ago they came to Chattanooga for this season's session and we had a blast!

What a fun session!

Thanks guys, for traveling all the way from Ohio. It's always a blast to hang out. We can't wait to see what we come up with for next year!

(will post more from their session of us shortly...)


A real princess

I've had these images on the computer for a while now, but somehow I forgot about them. Argh!!!! A couple months ago when we were in Orlando for a wedding, we stopped into Solutions Bridal to say hi to the girls. When we walked in and Graycen saw all the dresses she went crazy!

Needless to say, the activities that ensued were quite interesting. Graycen disappeared into a fitting room with Jennifer, one of the bridal consultants. A few minutes later she reappeared wearing a dress and veil and carrying a bouquet. It was a proud moment for her, no doubt. Joy and I stood by and just shook our heads.

Unfortunately we didn't have our real cameras with us, but the little point and shoot allowed us to capture some of it.

Graycen browsing, looking for the perfect dress. I think this is a Rivini, but I'm not positive. Whatever the case, good taste, don't you think?

Getting ready to head off to the fitting room with her bridal consultant

Here she comes

Oh, this is painful!

Then she asked if we could dance, can you believe it?!?!?!

Princess didn't really want to leave, but Monique and Jennifer gave her a tiara and necklace to ease the pain.

Thanks, ladies, for the visit. It's always a pleasure and we'll certainly be back. You guys are the best!


So this is Christmas....2008

“Look at that horse, mommy!” Graycen said. “And look at those people riding behind it. It’s just like Cinderella’s coach!”

How simple the world is through the eyes of a three-and-a-half-year-old.

“I’d like to ride behind the horse like Cinderella, daddy.”

Joy and I have been coming to Charleston together for Christmas for the past 11 years. And it’s been about 10 since we last took a carriage ride around the city.

Really, what better to do on a balmy 71-degree Christmas Eve in one of the most historic and romantic cities in the country? Two boarding passes and a quick snack at the world-famous Kaminsky’s later, we found ourselves waiting to board our “coach.”

Five minutes later: “Mommy, what’s that smell?”

“It’s the horses, Graycen.”

“Mommy, I don’t think I like those horses anymore.”

Despite her distaste for the less than pleasant fragrance wafting through the air, we rode anyhow and had a delightful time. This evening and tomorrow morning we’ll celebrate Christmas with Joy’s family in Charleston and then tomorrow afternoon we’ll head back to Tennessee to spend Christmas with Garrett’s family. Indeed, it’s the best of both worlds.

Speaking of ‘both worlds’, at the end of each year we pause and reflect on how blessed we are to be involved in a business and industry that allows us to invest so personally in the lives of our clients. Truly there is nothing we’d rather do.

This year has brought about lots of adventure, which we’ve done our best to chronicle throughout the blog. In January we went to DWF and Imaging USA conventions. We were excited to see Stephanie and Ted’s wedding featured in The Knot Florida.

In February, we photographed Brittany and Sam’s wedding in Orlando. We also had the opportunity to be one of the featured speakers at the ProPhotogs convention. It was an outstanding group of photographers and one of the most passionate groups of people we’ve ever encountered.

In March, we were featured in Professional Photographer magazine in an article about destination weddings. We photographed Angela and Scott Paul’s wedding in Chattanooga. Then, Garrett attended WPPI for the first time without Joy, as she stayed behind with Graycen. The day after Garrett returned home, we left to visit our dear friends in Van Wert, Ohio, Brandy and Sticky. Then we headed together with them to Indianapolis, where we spoke for the annual OSP Indy gathering of photographers. Afterwards we drove to Chicago to spend a few days with my brother and his family. Shopping on Michigan Ave in the snow is totally charming.

In April we had the opportunity to photograph Lauren and Mike’s wedding at 5-star Cap Juluca resort on the beautiful island of Anguilla. ‘Paradise on Earth’ doesn’t exactly do it justice, but there’s really no other way to describe it. We also photographed Rick and Jacqueline’s wedding in Savannah, Georgia as well as Jason and Natasha’s wedding at Isleworth, in Orlando. Silje and Crispin’s Norwegian wedding was featured in Destination Weddings and Honeymoons magazine. Toward the end of the month we hosted our third multi-day intensive workshop for photographers. This time we were thrilled to host the workshop in Denver.

In May, Graycen celebrated her third birthday with a small celebration in Charleston and then another celebration in Tennessee. Both birthday parties were special, but our time in Charleston proved extra special because Joy’s grandparents came from the Philippines and it was the first time they had seen each other in 20 years! Gray’s cousin Owen was born and his birthday is just a day after hers. We photographed Heather and Todd’s wedding in Atlanta. Garrett’s mother retired after being an elementary school teacher for 22 years. We photographed Marissa and Matt’s wedding in Princeton, New Jersey, then visited Lauren and Mike in New York and were thrilled to be on hand for the release of Lauren’s third novel, “Chasing Harry Winston.” Garrett was again published in Professional Photographer magazine.

Also in May, after months of searching, we finally settled on a location for our new Cobblestone Rue studio gallery in Chattanooga. It’s a downtown storefront location in a historically restored area on Main Street. We spent the summer renovating the space and moving in and we were overwhelmed by the love and support of more than 160 friends and clients who showed up for our grand opening in September.

In June we photographed ChiChi and Jonathan’s wedding in Southern California. We were also thrilled by the opportunity to photograph a small intimate wedding of Tracey and Pete in Interlaken, Switzerland. Because it was only the bride and groom and us, we were honored to sit beside them during their wedding ceremony and sign as witnesses to their union. Unfortunately our schedule didn’t allow us much time for sightseeing, but it was an exciting getaway followed by a wonderful day in Zurich. Each time we travel overseas we are amazed at how large the world is and how small we really are. It truly is humbling. It was also exciting to see Brandy and Sticky’s wedding featured in The Knot Georgia and some of our work published in The Knot Best of Weddings. In June we also photographed Christina and Albert’s wedding and Jessica and Aaron’s wedding both in Chattanooga at the same venue and on the same weekend!

July also found us in back in Colorado for an amazing wedding and bridal fashion show at new Ritz Carlton Denver. Coordinated by Lisa Konecny of E-events, the show featured the latest Kenneth Pool collection designed by Austen Scarlett, of Bravo’s Project Runway. It was a fabulous experience for everyone involved. Garrett also spoke for Graphistudio at their new education center in Minneapolis. July is when we celebrated our 8th wedding anniversary and also when Graycen announced she was going to be a big sister! Watch the video in the archives! (Links coming soon and we’ll try to do as much as we can).

In August, there was lots of progress on the new storefront studio. Gray's cousin, Blythe was born! We were excited to speak for the Florida Professional Photographers Convention. Garrett first attended FPP several years ago right after we moved to Florida and he remembers how inspired he was after every convention. It was an honor to be one of the platform speakers for the group that meant so much to my photographic growth.

We left the convention and headed a couple miles down the road to spend a few days at Disney World. We’re pretty sure it was the most amazing experience of little Graycen’s life. She got to meet Cinderella, Ariel, Jasmine, Snow White, Sleeping Beauty and lots of other Disney characters. Each night she peacefully fell asleep on our way back to the car, providing us with confirmation that the preceding hours in the sweltering Florida heat had been a success. She had an absolute blast and we did too. Next time we visit Disney it won’t be in August. We photographed Amy and Jason’s wedding in Atlanta as well as Logan and Daniel’s wedding in Asheville, North Carolina.

In September we attended the ONE conference, in Washington, Illinois. Our friends Jeffrey and Julia Woods hosted the conference for husbands and wives who work together in the photography industry. About 50 people attended and we forged friendships and bonds that will last a lifetime. It was the most rejuvenating and rewarding experiences we’ve ever been a part of. The couples cooking class was especially fun and the dinner we all prepared was out of this world! We HIGHLY recommend the ONE conference and we’re crossing our fingers that it becomes an annual event. We already mentioned our studio grand opening in September, and to be more specific: complete with a “photobooth”, prizes, and lots of fun. We were excited to photograph Erika and Tim’s wedding in Daytona Shores, and then to be published in Professional Photographer featuring our feet series holiday cards. We also found out we are having a baby girl!

In early October we photographed Lisa and Mitch’s wedding in Daytona Shores. Then we hosted another open house especially for photographers and another multi-day intensive workshop, elevate4. This time the workshop took place at our new studio gallery in Chattanooga. We had a super-fun group and we spent a lot of time sharing and learning together. We also photographed Amber and James’ wedding in Cleveland, Tennessee as well as Corey and Will’s wedding in Chattanooga.

As the holidays approached, November was filled with countless portrait sessions for cobblestone rue in both Chattanooga and Orlando. We photographed Erin and Mike’s wedding in Orlando, Rachel and Curt’s wedding in Washington DC, and Jade and Rob’s wedding again in Orlando. We were published in Rangefinder for GraphiStudio’s annual project, A Day in the Life of WPPI, and then again in Destination Weddings and Honeymoons, in a brief feature on Tracey and Pete’s wedding in Switzerland. We spent Thanksgiving at home in Tennessee with Garrett’s family and enjoyed a delicious meal shared with 30-plus people!

December came and went faster than we can remember and that brings us to today, Christmas Eve in Charleston, South Carolina.

As 2008 winds to a close we are eternally grateful for family and friends more amazing than we deserve. There’s no telling what 2009 will bring. If all goes according to plan, Graycen will be joined by a little sister in about 5 weeks. She thinks her name is going to be Ariel, but we keep trying to tell her otherwise. Whatever the case, I’m sure she will adjust. She has no choice.

To our wedding clients, thank you for trusting us and letting us invest emotionally in your lives. To our portrait clients, thank you for opening up yourselves and sharing a little slice of life with us. And to the hundreds of photographers that we’ve been fortunate to interact with through workshops, seminars and conventions this year, our lives are sweeter because of you.

Thanks for the memories and here’s to a peaceful and prosperous 2009!

(Annual holiday portrait by Brandy J and Sticky Rammel)


Magazines Galore #3, Rangefinder

Each year the amazing folks at GraphiStudio select 3-4 photographers for a exclusive project called "A day in the life of WPPI." Last March I was thrilled to be invited to participate, along with superstar photographers Terrell Lloyd and Brook & Alisha Todd. It was quite an experience.

I was exciting last month to see Rangefinder publish a multi-page spread featuring our work. And GraphiStudio also published a special book, which will be on display at the GraphiStudio booth at ImagingUSA in Phoenix in January and at their booth at WPPI in Vegas in February.


Every time I see this picture....

Every time I see this picture I laugh. We love Jill and Bex and Ruby and their parents. You've seen them on our blog before. Well, maybe not Ruby. She was just days old when they came in for their Holiday card session.

Anyhow, to me this photograph, an obvious "out-take", tells a story. Several stories, in fact. I'm thrilled that it was their favorite image from the session. It was my favorite too.

Hayden and Dylan

When I first got out of school almost 10 years ago, I worked at Southern with Hayden and Dylan's grandmother. Of course at the time she wasn't a grandmother, but now she is and from what I hear, she LOVES it!

She sent Hayden and Dylan and their parents to the studio for a quick session last week. It was so nice to meet Pam's family.

As an older brother myself, I can think of all kinds of smart comments to say about this photograph, but we'll just say I'm glad I got it now. ;-)

I think Hayden had more fun with the cyc wall/box than any of us expected. At one point he was leaping from the edge and laughing like there was no tomorrow.

What fun!

Cole and Brilyn

Speaking of family, we enjoy being close-by to my cousin Aaron and his family. Last week we had the opportunity to photograph Cole and little Brilyn at the studio. I love shooting against the cyc wall for good clean portraits, especially since we've had so much rain.

Look at these two. A perfectly innocent, never mischievous brother and sister. How could you not love these two faces?!?!?!

Tabor and Heather and Owen

It's nice to have family nearby and as my middle brother and his family have finally settled down in Chicago, we're realizing now more than ever how much fun it is to get together. My youngest brother (below) and his family live about 8 minutes away. That's convenient. Tabor and Heather are enjoying being parents and little Owen recently passed the 6-month mark. Last week we made some portraits at their house.

Oh, the adventures of sticking EVERYTHING...even toes...in your mouth!


Mag. Galore #2: Destination Weddings & Honeymoon Magazine

Tracey and Pete were married in beautiful Interlaken, Switzerland on June 9, 2008. We were so honored to be a part of their intimate wedding and we just love them! We are so excited to see their wedding featured in the Winter Issue of Destination Weddings and Honeymoon Magazine

You can find the magazine in stores nationwide, read their story and Tracey's helpful destination wedding tips. She is also a wedding photographer based in NY so check out her fabulous work: www.traceybuyce.com

Congratulations Tracey and Pete and can't wait to see you again!


Magazines galore #1

Occasionally Joy and I disagree. I love magazines. She loves books. I think magazines rock because they are new and fresh and always evolving/changing. I was a magazine editor for three years, and when I moved on, I think I left a little piece of my heart with the magazine.

Books are cool (shout-out, Lauren W!), that's for sure. And I've read plenty of them. But that's more Joy's thing. And fortunately for us, Graycen seems to have followed her mother's footsteps. She always has a book in her hand.

Anyhow, one thing we do agree on is that whenever we have the chance, we enjoy submitting our work to magazines. After one arrived in the mail the other day, I realized that we've been fortunate to land in quite a few lately, so we're trying to keep that going.

We were thrilled to be included in another article in Professional Photographer that focused on the significance of photographers sending out holiday greetings. The article featured three studios, and our portion talked about how for the past three years we've done the foot-shots, cutting off our upper bodies and leaving only our feet and Graycen's whole body. It's a fun theme that we've enjoyed continuing ever since she was born.

Photo credit for our holiday card pictured above: Paul Martin...the one in Orlando, not the Paul Martin who is Prime Minister of Canada.

Stay tuned for this year's holiday card....coming soon!

Little Kaben

Kaben's mother called us a month or so before Kaben was born to schedule his session. I went to their home and spent a while that evening playing with little Kaben. He was such a great sport. Especially when we laid him on the black and white floor. What a trooper!

Thanks, Tara and Kaben, for sharing a little piece of life with me.


Brandon and Maria's holiday session

Over Thanksgiving, my brother and his family were visiting from Chicago, so we did their holiday session at the studio. It was so much fun.

Little Blythe

Mitchell is always going somewhere

Brandon and Maria, looking better than than they did five years ago when they got married.

More holiday sessions coming soon...