Little Maddox

We had the opportunity to spend the afternoon with Maddox and his mother Amanda. We've known Amanda and Chad for years, but this was the first time we were able to meet Maddox. He was great, such a ham for the camera. Here are just a couple of the pics that I pulled out quickly. He was having a blast playing on his great aunt's guest bed with her beautiful Louis Vuitton blanket.

Thanks for letting Joy and Graycen and me spend the afternoon with you!


Brandy and Sticky in Savannah

We returned late last night (this morning) from the most "grand-slammin-ist" wedding in Savannah. Our friends Brandy and Sticky, photographers in Ohio, were married at the beautiful Mansion on Forsythe Park. Their closest friends and family made it a nice intimate ceremony and everything about their day was perfect.

We love the creative portrait session, and fortunately Brandy and Sticky do too. More on their wedding later, but for now, here are a few pics.


Bison Burger, anyone?

Photo taken by Andrew and we took this from their blog.

On our way to Charleston to drop off Graycen at her grandparents' home while we photograph an awesome wedding in Savannah, we met with our awesome photographer friends Rachel, Andrew, and Erin of LaCour for a fun dinner in Atlanta. Its always a treat getting together, especially laughing about fun entrepreneurial ideas and just having a great time. We love Ted's Bison Burgers! Actually, we're sooooo sorry we didn't get to taste any! :) We are truly blessed with your friendship and glad that we can hang out more often. Next time Mark!

Lunch with Melody :)

Tuesday, we had lunch with our awesome photographer friend, Melody Hood in Chattanooga...at a Mexican restaurant, (guess whose post this is? LOL). It was soo fun to just spend time and share insights. Melody is so wonderful to get to know and I really love her real personality and how we can talk about everything and anything. Can't wait to do it again! Thanks for taking this fun picture of all of us...took it from her blog :)


Maria's Baby Shower

Joy's Post: Sunday was a beautiful day for Maria's baby shower. It was held at Heather and Tabor's new home and close to 25 of her closest friends and family came. I had so much fun seeing Maria light up with the presents she was opening and the food was delicious! Its so wonderful to be one of the hosts of a party with someone so special and with a wonderful group to plan it with, (thanks Heather, Caryn, and Karen!) In between being a hostess, mom, and photographer, I had so much fun visiting as well with so many people I haven't seen in awhile.
Maria is having a boy and they are naming him Brandon Mitchell, (he will go by Mitchell). She is due on April 25 and we are soooo excited for her and Brandon!
  • Here is your slideshow :)

  • The balloons and it was a beautiful day...

    The party with 25 guests...

    Maria's reaction to the gifts from the hostesses...

    The hostesses with Maria, (Caryn Magers, Heather Nudd, Maria Nudd, Joy Nudd, and Karen Bandel)

    The haute sister in laws: Maria, Heather, and Joy :)


    A regular Joe

    Joe photographing a couple kids in the back of the church.

    Joe photographing the bride and groom's dog, Bubba Chuck, as he hopped in the bag and got ready to go.

    Joe and Megan and Matt during the reception.

    Over the years I’ve been blessed with many good breaks. Most recently, throughout the past couple years there are a few that really stand out.

    The first was when Joy joined me in the business. She brings an organizational calmness to an incredibly hectic and fast-paced life. She does so much to keep things running that I can’t imagine where we’d be if she was still working as a nurse. And her compositional eye is outstanding. The second break is being blessed with supportive family and friends. The third is getting to know Joe Buissink.

    The photographers who follow our blog know Joe, but some of our other blog readers who aren’t in the industry may not be so familiar with him. Joe is a wedding photographer, based in Beverly Hills. He’s good…really good. So good that last week American Photo magazine named him as one of the top 10 wedding photographers in the world. And absolutely no one was surprised. Over the past year I’ve had the opportunity to hear him speak a handful of times, including a three-day intensive seminar in Vermont last fall. And each time, whether there’s 10 in the audience or 1,000 I feel like he’s speaking directly to me.

    I’d been talking to Joe about shooting with him for over a year, and we finally had an open date that worked. So I flew to Phoenix and joined him and his assistant John for an absolutely fabulous wedding.

    Megan and Matt were the bride and groom and they were a pure delight. Their families were wonderful and their friends were fantastic. The wedding was held at the Trinity Cathedral and the reception was at Royal Palms. It was beautiful!

    But even more exciting than a fantastic wedding was the opportunity to shoot with and watch Joe. Joe has an amazing ability to capture moments, and he does it better than anyone I’ve seen. When you watch him shoot it’s almost as if he’s firing two cameras in two different directions at the same time. He so fast it’s crazy.

    But beyond his ability as an outstanding photographer is his uncanny ability to connect with people—anyone. Joy and I have been thinking and reflecting a lot about personality lately and Joe certainly has it. Everyone at the wedding opens up to him and lets him into their life, not only for the day, but forever.

    Joe walked down the side aisle of the church just before the ceremony and someone called his name. He stopped, looked, smiled and suddenly a big hug. Then back to work. Minutes later a child with a toy helicopter started approaching him—not one ounce of bashfulness as he offered Joe the toy. All the while Joe’s snapping shots with his wide angle and talking with the little boy.

    All afternoon and evening I watched him, laughing, chatting, and visiting with guests. You’d think he was at his high-school reunion, yet before the wedding he didn’t know a single person there, other than Megan and Matt. He’d grab a shot and then run up and show the person the image in the back of his camera. Their reaction: sometimes a smile, sometimes laughter, always a new friend. Simply amazing.

    What does it take to connect with people? Obviously when a photographer connects with their subjects the result is better images. But it has to go beyond a desire for better images. The ability to connect roots itself in a passion for life and a love of people. Every person has a soul and it’s up to us to reach in and open it up.

    Joe does it. At PPA last month in San Antonio I stood with the GraphiStudio folks after his presentation and watched nearly 100 photographers swarm him after the conclusion of his talk. He stood behind for over an hour, talking, visiting, laughing and connecting. Five days ago he concluded his 11-city tour with Marcus Bell. Shooting from the heart, that was the focus. I think back to the time I spent with him in Vermont last fall, what it did for me as a photographer. Not technically, but emotionally. That’s shooting from the heart.

    Many photographers call themselves artists, and occasionally, I suppose, it’s an appropriate classification. But what I realized is that Joe IS an artist—an artist of relationships. And his photography is simply the bi-product.

    Thanks Joe, for everything. And thanks Joy and Graycen, for letting me give up a rare open weekend.

    Kristina and Bobby's e-session

    Last week we had a great time hanging out with Kristina and Bobby for their e-session. I met Kristina a couple years ago at a photo shoot, and when she and Bobby became engaged last fall (IN PARIS!), she contacted us to see if we were available for their wedding in October.

    Kristina and Bobby are a blast! They live in a really cool house in Tampa, and they have so many fun toys, like Kristina's "Tonka Truck" below...

    And they also have Tiger Woods golf, on the PlayStation, which we had fun with for a few minutes, and also a really nice pool in the back yard with surround sound reaching out to the patio. I told them we were definately coming back.

    But perhaps the coolest thing at their house was the fountain on the wall in the foyer. I kept checking it out and so Bobby suggested that we take a picture in front of it (see below). Of course it's my fave shot of the day.

    Thanks to our friend and Tampa photographer Amy DeYoung for coming along. She grabbed this shot of Bobby and me in front of the fountain.


    While Daddy is in Arizona....

    Playing with Photobooth on our Mac and on the phone trying to have a video chat with daddy! (See Graycen's first haircut).

    We will be hanging out with Aunts and Uncles this weekend....especially Aunt Maria's baby shower Sunday :)

    Have fun with Joe :)

    It's warm

    It's warm in Phoenix. Yesterday I woke up at 2:15 am (after a very disappointing night with Grey's Anatomy), got ready, and left to catch the 3:30 shuttle to Nashville. What was I thinking?!?!?!?!?

    From Nashville I flew to Atlanta and then to Phoenix. My Nashville flight departed at 6 am (which is really 7 am Chattanooga time) and my Atlanta flight departed at 8:15 am (which is 9:15 am Nashville time). You might have to chart that out to follow along. But as I was sitting in Atlanta waiting to board, I couldn't help but think of how much easier it would've been if I could have just skipped the Nashville portion of the flight and gone straight to Atlanta. It's closer to our house, and I probably could've had 2-3 extra hours of sleep. That would have been nice.

    Oh, well, it's worth it.

    So once I arrived in Phoenix, local photographer Bruce Steffine picked me up from the airport and took me to a really cool Mexican restaurant. What else is there to eat in Phoenix? I love this place! Then we headed over to a neat coffee shop called Gold Bar to get online and do a little work. Local rockstar and Pictage forum junkie Jefferson Todd met up with us at the coffee shop.

    I had a great time spending the afternoon with Bruce and JT. I'm excited for both of them as their businesses are going really well and they each have big plans for the future.

    Thanks guys, for spending time with me. We look forward to seeing you in Vegas and you'd better make it to Liana's Biz Bootcamp in Chattannoga in July!



    Tonya and Caleb

    Their E Session back in November(above), and their wedding a few days ago (below) :-)

    We kicked off our wedding season last weekend with a beautiful wedding in Orlando. Tonya and Caleb were married at Annunciation Church in Altamonte and then had their reception at the beautiful Country Club of Orlando. It was such a fun wedding, with lots of guests, a great bridal party, and wonderful families on both sides of the asile.

    Congratulations Tonya and Celeb. May God bless you as you begin your new life together.


    Our new Website with liveBooks...coming soon!

    We are in FL right now enjoying the weather and gearing up for Tonya and Caleb's wedding tomorrow! Also, we have been working on a big project almost round the clock lately and it is for our our new website! We have been wanting to update our website, (since last summer) which has served us really well for 2 years now and have had 3 custom sites since our business launched thanks to our friend, Paul Martin. Came across liveBooks and when we talked to one of their representatives, Corey Miller last November, we were hooked and chose the Pro package. Corey also told us that Jay Sandifer, (who used to be our rep from Pictage) is also with liveBooks now. Their design manager, Dayle Hendrickson, is awesome to work with and sent us the design in a matter of days! They really have a great team! So we are hoping to launch our new website within the next couple of weeks :) Lots of new content that we are very excited about!

    For more info, visit: http://www.livebooks.com and check out Dane Sanders' video called: Getting Inside liveBooks! in Simple Photo Life for Photographers.


    Steve Jobs Thoughts on Music and Our SuperBowl Experience

    Steve Jobs
    February 6, 2007

    With the stunning global success of Apple’s iPod music player and iTunes online music store, some have called for Apple to “open” the digital rights management (DRM) system that Apple uses to protect its music against theft, so that music purchased from iTunes can be played on digital devices purchased from other companies, and protected music purchased from other online music stores can play on iPods. Let’s examine the current situation and how we got here, then look at three possible alternatives for the future.

    Read the complete article below:

    Interesting. What do you think?

    Oh and before I (Joy) forget to blog this...we went to Nolan and Konika's house Sunday for an AWESOME super bowl party that we projected and all 15 of us watched on their wall...good food...good company...good game...GO COLTS! :) No pictures cause we were too cold to go out to the car and get the camera!


    The Marcus and Joe Show

    Friday was great. Joy and I attended the Joe Buissink and Marcus Bell tour in Atlanta, sponsored by GraphiStudio. And what a great show it was!

    The trip to Atlanta started off with us spending the night at Mark and Erin Adams' home. Unfortunately they were out of town for a last-minute wedding in Laguna Beach. So we photographed their wedding photo to make it feel like they were there. We wish you could see the actual photograph to appreciate how nice it is...their recent wedding was photographed by our good friends Eric and Jen from Light of Day in Orlando.

    Anyone who’s a faithful reader of our blog knows what big Joe B. fans we are. So we knew his portion would be great. And Marcus was simply an added bonus, right.

    I first met Marcus a couple weeks ago in San Antonio at PPA. He was peddling his products in the back of Curt’s Littlecott’s presentation and I figured I’d better give him a hand. So there I was, side by side with one of the best wedding shooters in the world, trying to help him sell his products, and I wasn’t even exactly sure what they were…I just knew they were outstanding.

    At any rate, on Friday Marcus and Joe covered the gamut—everything from shooting to marketing to building clients for life. But the part that struck home the most was the portion on shooting from the heart. It’s easy to get caught up in the fact that we’re running a business. And that’s necessary for the livelihood and sustainability of our family. But even though it’s a business, the heart of what we do is capturing and preserving something that will be around long after we’re gone—a smile, a tear, a laugh, a hug, an innocent child, a dancing bride, a nervous groom, a proud father, an emotional mother.

    They spoke a great deal about how as photographers we put a little piece of ourselves into each image. This is something I’ve been thinking about a great deal lately.

    Marcus relayed a personal story about losing his father to cancer when he was 16 years old. It forced him to grow up very quickly. And over time, as he’s had a family of his own, he realizes again how significant the parent/child relationships are.

    He showed a wedding image of a proud father hugging his son, the groom—both of them beaming, the story is plain and clear.

    Then he spoke of his father and said, “I’ll never be able to feel this with my father, but because of my experience I can imagine how important this moment will be for this father and son. Cherished forever.”

    That image means so much to Marcus because of his personal experience and his need was revealed and somewhat met through this photograph…a moment captured in an instant, but preserved forever. Beautiful.

    We were also reminded how blessed we are to be a part of such a fantastically amazing industry. Of course GraphiStudio was on hand and we spent a bit of time at the booth helping Michelle field questions from all of the attendees. On display were several books from Graphi photographers. For the first portion of the tour, they had one of our books on display, until at one of the stops they were forced to set up in the atrium of the hotel, which had birds flying around indoors up by the ceiling. Apparently one of the birds had something disagreeable for lunch and it dropped its drips right on our book! Unreal! LOL. I’m kind of suspicious, but that’s the story they’re telling me. Hahaha. Actually, here’s a shot of Melissa, Jim Cook's wife, with one of our books at the Cincinnati stop.

    We were blessed to finally meet Joe’s better two-thirds, Marilyn and Sebastian. What a beautiful family.

    Rachel LaCour Niesen, Charles Bordner and Carla Swinney.

    Rachel LaCour Niesen, Adam Linke and Charles Bordner.

    Katie and Chris Torres, of 6 of Four Creations are such a sweet couple, and they’re so full of talent and drive. We’re really excited for everything that they’ve got going on. In the back, Adam Linke, our new Pictage rep looks like Kirk Cameron (so the girls say). He does have a nice smile.

    Charles Bordner and Carla Swinney taking a photo of themselves.
    (**We are sad that we don't have a picture with Michelle Kersten from Graphi, and also other photographers we know, talked to, and have met who attended: David Smith, Jeff Breedlove, John Bamber, Kandice Ledford...and Denis Reggie).

    Here with our new friend Marcus Bell. Marcus has a heart of gold and it shows in everything he does.

    We’re so happy for Marcus and Joe's success on this tour. All the best, fellas, as you continue to inspire.


    It's cold.

    "Ummmm, remind me why we're not in Florida?"
    Next week, sweetheart.