baby lk. family photos. birmingham, alabama.

such a privilege to welcome this little one to the bright and beautiful world! little l, your precious parents have created a too-cool nursery for you to call home and filled it to the brim with the warmth of love. you’ll be surrounded by it wherever you go.

LISTEN: “here comes the sun” by the beatles
VISIT: any new parents you know – take a dish or let them nap

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p and c. wedding photos. athens, georgia.

they began as fellow conference attendees years ago, became fast friends who grew closer over the years, and are now husband and wife. it’s not surprising when you know how their values in life and hopes for the world align. and, i will not be surprised when this couple has a profound effect on those they serve in the journey ahead.

to celebrate the beginning of that journey and document the start of their married life was so much fun. it was a family affair, welcoming and hospitable in every way, and i am so grateful for the invitation to experience the environment and the day.

i am indebted to my friend lauren kelly of something blue events in memphis, tn for connecting me to this sweet couple and their family and friends.

LISTEN: “the sweetest thing” by jj grey and mofro
VISIT: athens, ga (by way of atlanta’s ikea, trader joe’s, south city kitchen, and highland bakery)

prom 2011. friend photos. birmingham, alabama.

dear prom,

i love that you give us an occasion to see students dressed to the nines and ready to dance the night away. it makes me wish we did so more often. besides, i’m a glutton for traditions, and you are certainly one of them. for all the fun and excitement and corsages, do try not to let things get out of hand what with the inflated expectations and potential reckless decisions. remind them that prom is fun, but not the apex of life. the imperfect will one day make a pretty great story, and this night too shall pass be it the best or the worst. most importantly, tell them they are beautiful and life is worth celebrating.

…oh and that their pictures can be fun!

thanks,
amy

LISTEN: “don’t stop believin’” by journey (because it has to have been played at most proms for over 30 years and you should brush up on the lyrics so you can sing along.)
VISIT: birmingham botanical gardens

a and n. wedding preparations. birmingham, alabama.

a year ago, my friends made a covenant with one another. i caught myself replaying memories like a favorite movie as i browsed the photographs of the weekend activities. though my role that day was bridesmaid, i couldn’t help but have my camera at hand when the bridal party and friends made ourselves at home in the salon.

LISTEN: “the way you make me feel” by michael jackson
VISIT: your friends

 

happy anniversary friends!

community in the chaos. personal thoughts. birmingham, alabama.

This is what I know from my 30 years here. Thunderstorms and heat waves, cold snaps and dry seasons are to be expected. So are immaculate fall days when light and color play in the treetops and vivid springs dappled with azalea and honeysuckle and dogwoods. Around here, each season lasts just long enough to celebrate its company and wish it well as the next arrives.

Occasionally, these seasons get a little deranged. It’s not uncommon to hear someone utter, “if you don’t like the weather, just wait a couple days.” It’s not a joke. Hours ago it was below 10 degrees Fahrenheit, and in a matter of days will be approaching 70. Our biggest snow was in March and our latest in April, when any other given year, people are packing their cars for lake homes and gulf beaches. This is why I do not put away a summer or winter wardrobe for any length of time.

Severe weather is a test we often pass. April of 2011 was a nightmare of one kind – we were warned, too few heeded, and we saw unforgettable devastation. This week was another kind of nightmare – less warning, more panic, and thankfully, for many, a much better resolution.

No doubt, more of us could winterize our vehicles, have chains in our trunks, and keep emergency supplies of medications. Of course, improvements can be made in our readiness. All of that comes when teacher Experience shares this kind of lesson. But also holding class was Reminder, proving over and over that people are caring for one another.

Every neighbor who picked up a child from school on behalf of a worried parent, every teacher that led a “lock-in,” every resident who opened their home to a friend, coworker, or stranger, and every first responder, road warrior, and media guru who worked tirelessly – you all reminded the citizens of this area that we have enough when we consider others.

My personal journey these last few days has been rather uneventful. I was able to shelter in place and stay off the roads for 50 hours. I was so glad to finally arrive at home, but I really wanted for nothing. I’m most grateful to UAB Commons, an unnamed Jimmy John’s delivery guy, Lindsey at Jim N Nicks, and the whole crew at Al’s for keeping me (among many others) fed while somewhat sequestered. From my workplace I watched – out the window and online – the city erupt with helpfulness.

The act of community is more beautiful that any 72-degree and sunny forecast, spring or fall. People providing for one another is one of the many ways I see God’s hand at work in toughness or tragedy. You can question and doubt all you want. I certainly understand that many will, and will again, because if a sovereign God would allow a storm like this, why wouldn’t he just stop it. He can handle your questions, so ask them. But let me offer you this perspective: it may not feel like rescue when you are hiking ten miles in the snow and ice to get home, but it is redemption. We can give our good God glory when one of his children aids another out of the love He has first given us.

So, keep giving and considering others. Keep opening your doors. Remain patient and kind. Avoid blame, bitterness, and resentment. Give hugs and warmth in the days to come for this is a Magic City where we heal in ways beyond what we can imagine.

the send off. favorite moments. wedding photos.

over the years of attending weddings – as a guest, bridal party member, or photographer – i find myself looking intently forward to certain moments. they are often my favorite to capture. and this is one of my very favorites. i find myself empathizing with the bride and groom, feeling the rush of celebration. i think of their relief in being married, the event concluded, and the excitement of the next chapter. what a moment to wish them good and love and joy and peace and, of course, much needed rest.

LISTEN: “come away with me” by norah jones
VISIT: your favorite place of rest

n and t. engagement photos. birmingham, alabama.

these two are opposites in some of the best and completely complementary ways, but they do both have a great appreciation for art. april rains moved this shoot from the outdoor magic city art connection into the beautiful indoor art display at the birmingham museum of art. then, we ended up in the rain anyway, and it was joyful, another characteristic these two have in common.

LISTEN: “ho hey” by the lumineers or covered by lennon and maisy
VISIT: birmingham museum of art