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Piedmont Park Engagement Photos: Rick+Anna Photography

We spent early Sunday afternoon before we met up with Becky+Jason scouting out parking garage roofs downtown, searching out the perfect spot for some night shots with these two architects to incorporate the Atlanta skyline into their photos – and by the time we met up with them the evening light couldn’t have been more beautiful for a stroll around Piedmont Park!  With spring in full bloom, we had so much fun exploring new parts of our city with these two (we already knew we were going to get along great when they asked to incorporate their love for craft beer into their engagement photos)!  Becky+Jason LOVE Atlanta, but neither of them are Atlanta natives, so they really wanted to give their families and friends a glimpse into their city life here through their engagement session…and as we strolled the streets with them we realized that although Seattle will always have the biggest piece of our heart we’re falling more and more in love with this town every day.  And as the sun began to fall behind the buildings and we all shared a growler of beer on the empty roof of our selected parking garage, everything just felt right – being here in this city, working with awesome couples like Becky+Jason, and having this opportunity to pursue our passion together…

Becky+Jason, we can’t thank you enough for a FUN day…thanks for making us feel like old friends, for being so fun in front of our cameras, and for giving us the opportunity to photograph your love!  Love, R+A

 

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Carrollton GA Photographer: Rick+Anna Photography

This is SO overdue, but today we’re giving you a little peek into our Carrollton, GA studio space!  This studio has been a total labor of love – we’ve spent countless hours painting, decorating, making IKEA trips, and arranging and rearranging furniture…and we’ve had plenty of doubts about taking on such much overhead…but every time we walk into our space it just feels right.  It feels comfortable.  It feels like this is where we’re supposed to be.  And as the weather continues to warm up we can’t wait to show our space off to more clients here in the local community.  Every detail of this space has been a dream in our heads for so long, and it’s so incredible to see it all come to life!

Today we’re only sharing a couple of rooms with you, because we’re still working on morphing the actual shooting rooms into something really special, but we’re excited about the progress we’ve made and the experience that we’ll be able to provide for our clients here!

Come on in…

Studio Tour-18Studio Tour-11Studio Tour-16

Welcome to our main office/meeting space…

Studio Tour-14

Studio Tour-7Studio Tour-21Studio Tour-8Studio Tour-19Studio Tour-15

This is our hair/makeup and dressing room for our senior girls, and we can’t wait to get some more girls in here as we move into senior portrait season!  All of our high school senior girls have professional hair and airbrush makeup included in their experience, and as soon as we saw this room we knew it was the perfect space for pampering…

Studio Tour-1Studio Tour-5Studio Tour-2Studio Tour-28Studio Tour-24Studio Tour-25Studio Tour-27

So that’s it for today!  A little peek into our studio and we can’t wait to share the other rooms as we continue to get everything setup and mold this historic building into our dream space…  Love, R+A

  • March 31, 2015 - 12:50 pm

    Joe Diko - Wow Anna and Rick! Looks awesome. Congrats!ReplyCancel

  • March 31, 2015 - 3:39 pm

    Lisa Hernandez - It’s beautiful! I absolutely love it!ReplyCancel

  • March 31, 2015 - 4:23 pm

    Tammy Yasi Cannon - Looks awesome!ReplyCancel

  • March 31, 2015 - 11:12 pm

    Maris Events - Such a sweet space!!! Great work you two!ReplyCancel

  • April 1, 2015 - 1:47 am

    Joy Eastlack - Gorgeous! I am so happy for you guys:)ReplyCancel

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As our lives have grown busier and busier lately between shooting, managing the new studio space, renovating our home, traveling, making new connections…and at some point trying to make more time for each other and our babies, I feel like today I need to take a moment and reel it all in.  Bring it back to why.  Why are we on this crazy ride?  Where do we want it to take us?  Almost every day I feel like I’m failing at something.  Failing as a blogger because I didn’t get 5 posts up last week, failing as a mother because I only saw the boys for 30 minutes before bedtime the other night, failing as a friend because I haven’t called my best buds in months…it seems like no matter what priorities I choose to put first each day I’m leaving others in the dust.  This isn’t new for me – and I can admit that placing myself just on the verge of being overwhelmed is my happy place.  It’s how I know that I’m really doing something, that I’m really making things happen.  And this past weekend, as we made the drive up to North Georgia to shoot, we started taking and really diving into our why.  We started sorting through all of the fluff and getting into the nitty gritty of why we recently chose to pack our entire life in a U-Haul and drive 2,672 miles across the country to pursue this dream full time.

In my mind I want to live a life of intention, but in reality it’s really hard.  All I want to do is sprint, full speed, towards our dreams and goals – to throw every second and every bit of effort into this business and this blog and our clients and our family…and it is really really hard for me to slow down.

In light of that, we’ve been spending a lot of time lately thinking about what’s important to us and what our priorities are, so that we can put those priorities first in our lives and our business, and this past weekend that conversation kept circling back to our why.  Why do we do what we do?  Why is photography our passion?  Why is blogging important to me and for our business?  Why is shooting weddings important to us?

As Buddha has said “The trouble is, you think you have time.”  And it’s true.  We all think we have time.  We think that we’ll do what matters most next month, or next year…or that if we can just get through this next hurdle or around this next corner we’ll be where we want to be or do what we want to do – I know that we’ve fallen into that trap many times.  But the truth is that none of us know how much time we have.  And we all want to do something that matters.  And what Rick and I believe in and know, more than anything, is that telling stories through photography is our thing.  Our why.  Our passion.  Our reason for everything else.

Why weddings?……

We believe in marriage.  In love.  In what we have in our own marriage.  In promising your best friend that you’re going to stand by their side no matter what life throws at you.  We believe in tears shed with your father just before you walk down the aisle, in the look on your face when you first see yourself in the mirror all dressed up, in your grandmother’s shaking hands as she runs her fingers over the lace of your veil that came from her own wedding gown.  We believe in that moment when your best man’s voice cracks as he begins his toast and he can’t get the words out.  We believe in the comfortable way that your groom holds your hands during your portraits, knowing that those same hands will hold you for the rest of your lives.  We believe in mornings of mimosas in the girl’s suite and beers in the guy’s suite, in the love and laughter that will fill the rooms as you prepare for your day.  We believe in first dances, because we know that your song will forever transport you right back to that moment – and years from now you’ll still remember how it felt to have your foreheads pressed together and his hand on the small of your back.  We believe in classic and timeless.  We believe in romance.  We believe in all of the moments that are going to happen on your wedding day that you won’t even know about until you see your photos.  In the happy tears that will be shed, the glances exchanged, the connections  made, in the care that your ushers will take as they escort your guests to their seats, in the way your flower girl will dump the entire basket of flowers on the ground at the beginning of the aisle, in the way that your father will pull your mother close to him as they listen to you recite your vows, in the way your partner will look at you as you promise them forever.  We believe in the moment that you’ll giggle together the first time you call each other “husband” and “wife” after your ceremony, and we believe in all of the little imperfect moments along the way.  And most of all, we believe in preserving your day not only for you, but for all of the generations to come.  We believe in the tangible in today’s electronic world – in dusty wedding albums discovered in attics 100 years from now.  We believe in your love story, and we want to tell every precious piece and part of it.

What’s your why?  Whatever it is that’s taking up the most space in your life right now, I hope that on this Monday morning you can take a few minutes to think about your why, refocus, and remember what it’s all about.  If you’re thick in the forest of wedding planning, remember that your marriage is what matters, and it’s going to be beautiful.  If you’re building your own business, pursuing that next job, that next promotion, that next thing, bring it back to why.  Your why is where your heart lies, where you’ll find your passion, and where your time will matter most – and where it takes you just might be better than any plans you could have made…  Love, A

 

Liza+Jordan-186

  • March 30, 2015 - 6:24 pm

    Cindy Schmidt - Why? Simply because there is nothing more beautiful than love!ReplyCancel

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Today I’m writing to you.  Yes, you.  Because I have so much that I need to tell you on this cool and quiet Friday morning.

The first thing that I want you to know is that I love to write.  I’ve always loved to write.  There’s something magic about putting thoughts down on paper and knowing that there’s a chance that they might touch someone – that they might change someone’s life even.  I feel the same about photography.  The way an image can tell a story, can transport you back to a certain day, a certain moment, a certain feeling.  But with writing, it’s a little different for me.  I was the girl who would get in trouble when I was young because my parents would catch me reading way past bedtime, like a small explorer with a flashlight under my blankets, letting the words on the page carry me around the world and back again.  I was the girl who would hole up in the back of the library during college, sitting on the floor in the quiet, and devour an entire book in one day….and the way that simple letters on a page can can make you see something, smell something, feel something, is nothing short of amazing to me.

I’ve always dreamed about being able to run a blog, putting myself out there everyday, encouraging people and sharing our story, and when we took the plunge to go full time I was so excited to be able to spend some time each day writing, and to quench this thirst that’s inside of me.  But that was 4 months ago.  And every day of those 4 months I have sat down in front of my computer screen, with my tidy list of blog topics all perfectly organized on the calendar in advance, and I have found myself at a loss.  I watch the little curser blink blink blink.  I turn music on.  I turn music off.  I surf Facebook.  I read other blogs, but the inspiration doesn’t come.  I try to come back to it later.  And finally, as the clock ticks towards quitting time, I force myself to write, and it’s painful.  And it’s not fun.  And it’s frustrating.  And even after hours of discussion with Rick about this I’ve felt lost, and as hard as we’ve tried to solve this mystery together the answers have eluded us.  “Just do it,” he says, “just start writing – you love to write.”  And while I know that to be true, my heart hasn’t followed suit.

Last night we had the chance to hear an extraordinary woman speak, Hannah Brencher, founder of The World Needs More Love Letters, published author of “If You Find This Letter,” and amazing speaker (check out her TED talk here)…if you don’t know her story you simply are missing out – because this girl has literally changed the world.  She spoke about a topic that I’ve seen thrown around a lot lately on the interwebs:  Authenticity.  And she spoke a lot about blogging, and she told me exactly what I needed to hear.  She told me that I need to be consistent for my readers –  I need to show up every single day for you, and that I need to be who I am – and not who I think you want me to be.

Here’s who, all along, I’ve been thinking you want me to be:

-A upbeat, personable, bubbly, outgoing half of a 100% in love and perfect husband wife team with perfect kids and the perfect life.

-A photographer first, and a mother and wife second – because what brides/grooms or portrait clients want to read about motherhood?

-Perfect all the time.  As in nothing bad ever happens, we never make any mistakes in our business, and every day is a happy day.

-Knowledgeable in everything.  Able to answer any question, to tackle any goal.

-A good dresser, who wears artsy outfits and interesting accessories.

And here’s who I am:

View More: http://justinandmary.pass.us/seattle-headshots

Photo by Justin & Mary.

-I am an introvert.  I HATE talking on the phone and would rather spend my evening curled up with Rick on the couch than out meeting new people.

-I know deep down that I’m a wife and mother before I’m a photographer/businesswoman – but I struggle every single day with finding the right balance.

-I’m a perfectionist to a fault, but I’m definitely not perfect.  We make mistakes, but we never share them with you.  While most of our days our happy, we also struggle.

-I don’t know it all.  I haven’t been a photographer all my life, I don’t have all the answers – but I damn sure want to.

-I have no sense of style.  I just recently bought my first pair of skinny jeans.  I don’t know how to pair accessories and I only own 4 pairs of shoes, one of which is the pair of slippers I accidentally wore to the studio this morning.

-I never fail.  Yep, it’s true.  I’m the person who’s always had to make up an answer to that question during job interviews because I literally can’t think of a time where I didn’t do something I put my mind to – and with Rick by my side we’ve grown our business from 2 weddings three years ago, to 26 weddings the next year, to 28 weddings the next year, to being full time with 35 weddings this year.

-I’m self conscious about how fast we’ve grown our business because I want you to believe that we’ve been doing this forever and ever so that you’ll trust us, but I’m also proud of what we’ve accomplished in such a short time and sometimes I just want to shout it from the rooftops.

-I am a girl who is passionate about helping others light a fire in themselves and pursue their dreams, because it’s something that I didn’t do for myself for so long.  If I could, I would sit down with you in person today and spend the next 4 hours learning who you are, laughing and crying with you, hashing out your longterm goals, talking about where you are and where you want to be, and pushing you to get there.

-I’m still figuring it all out.  I graduated with a degree in physics and nuclear engineering.  I have a masters in aeronautics.  I was a helicopter pilot for 7 years.  I managed the maintenance at an ice cream manufacturing plant.  I’ve traveled to 29 different countries.  And for the first time in my life I finally feel like I’m exactly where I’m supposed to be, doing exactly what I’m supposed to do…and I can’t believe it.  Although I’ve been putting on a happy face for you guys for years, for the first time in as long as I can remember I feel truly happy and fulfilled – working with Rick, being a photographer, and running our own business.

Yep, that’s me!  And what I realized last night as I was listening to Hannah speak, is that I’ve been trying to use this blog to give you want I think you want.  To tell you what I think you want to hear.  To be like the other photographer bloggers that I love to follow.  To talk weddings all the time, to write as many posts as possible with tips for photographers.  To keep it fun and upbeat and positive and kind of fake.  And that’s why I haven’t been able to write.  Because I’ve been scared.  I’m scared that I’m not qualified to have an amazing blog.  That you won’t find my words interesting.  That I have nothing special to share.  But deep down I know that’s probably not true.  And I know that the reason it scares me so much to just write, to just share my heart with you guys, goes back to me being a perfectionist and never failing – because it means breaking down guards and getting real with you and jumping into something completely exposing and unexpected with a real fear of failure.

I’ve written before about our journey for fulfillment in life.  And I’m tired of trying to write about the topics that I see other successful photographers writing about, simply because I think that it will also lead us to success.  We have our own unique journey to share.  Our own authentic struggles and triumphs and lessons learned.

I want to change your life.  I want to make a difference with our photography and with my words.  I want to share our love story and tell yours.

So, my commitment to you today is that I am going to be here for you five days a week.  And I’m going to show up in my old comfy jeans and my slippers, just me, not some version of who I think you want me to be.  I’m going to laugh with you.  I’m going to cry with you.  I’m going to tell our story authentically.  I’m going to write to you, not for you.  And I can’t wait to see where it takes us.  See you Monday!  Love, A

  • March 27, 2015 - 9:10 am

    Laura diko - You have always been and are a great writer! Looking forward to your writing journey and know you are up to the challenge!ReplyCancel

  • March 27, 2015 - 2:29 pm

    Joe Diko - Tears in my eyes now. Every parent wants his children to be happy in their lives. So happy for you Anna Lynn. Love you and miss you so much.ReplyCancel

  • March 27, 2015 - 2:39 pm

    Michelle Schwager Hanks - Wow! Great start to what will most likely be a real and very heartfelt story. I look forward to reading more and thanks for being so vulnerable.ReplyCancel

  • March 27, 2015 - 4:23 pm

    Jennifer Vanderwal Albrecht - Goosebumps and tears! I am SO thankful that on that fateful day over a year ago, we googled Snohomish Photographers and your name came up. :) I aspire to have your passion and commitment. Hugs Anna!ReplyCancel

  • March 27, 2015 - 6:13 pm

    Ashley Speaks - I’ve been following your blog/facebook for about 6 months now. Within just these last 6 months you and your inspiring words have helped me realize that opening up my own studio at some point in my life is possible. I’m currently a photo assistant in Reno, NV but I’m originally from Seattle. I’ve taken a countless number of photography classes in college, but I never thought I could possibly pursue a career in something so wonderful. I don’t think I’ve ever met two other photographers that genuinely want to help other photographers. I truly appreciate everything that you post and can’t thank you enough for allowing me to see that just like you and Rick, I can give up my old life and start something incredible. A million thank you’s are in order.ReplyCancel

  • March 27, 2015 - 8:54 pm

    Mary T. Collins - Thanks for sharing you. We’re glad we found you and Rick and look forward to more blogs and getting to know you better.ReplyCancel

  • March 28, 2015 - 4:55 am

    Maris Events - Love you guys so much. Your authenticity is what makes you so lovable and fabulous! Can’t wait for our summer together!ReplyCancel

  • March 28, 2015 - 6:31 pm

    Ashley Berryessa - This is amazing, thank you for writing it. I can testify that you do love to help others realize their potential as you have done this for me.I so appreciate you and love you just the way you are!ReplyCancel

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Last week we took some time to share the details of exactly what’s in my bag, and today we’re diving into Rick’s bag!  As we mentioned last week, I’m a prime girl – I shoot just about exclusively with prime lenses, while Rick prefers zoom lenses.  And as a team, I think that our gear makes the perfect combination…the lenses in Rick’s bag are the perfect compliment to my setup – and are especially great as a second shooter kit.

Rick prefers zoom lenses because he is a master at catching candid moments – it’s what he loves most as a photographer, and he’s got an amazing eye for it – and using a longer zoom lens allows him to shoot from the periphery of a scene and take photos without people even knowing he’s there.  We lovingly refer to this tactic as “the stalker in the bushes,” and it allows him to capture real and intimate moments that I may not be able to get when I’m closer to the action.

So, here’s a snapshot of everything I found in Rick’s bag today…

 

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And here’s a rundown of each item:

Kelly Moore Bag: Thirst Relief Bag:  We love this bag so much that I often steal it and use it for my own gear!  It’s been put through the ringer over the past couple of seasons and we’ve never had a single issue with it.  It’s functional, it looks great, and it securely holds everything that Rick needs both when we’re traveling and on a wedding day (and then some!).  Rick’s favorite features are the  metal clasps on the front that are easy to quickly open and close with one hand, and the zippered pocket on the side that has slots for his memory cards.

Canon 5D Mark II:  This camera model is the first DSLR that both of us learned on, and Rick’s been using it ever since!  It’s such a workhorse, it performs well in low light, and he loves it.  Eventually he will probably upgrade to the 5D Mark III, but this camera is awesome.  He also uses a battery pack that holds two batteries so that neither of us need to worry about battery life during a wedding day – and the weight of the battery pack helps to counter the weight of his heaviest lens and make it more comfortable to shoot with.

Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8 IS II USM:  This is, hands down, Rick’s favorite lens.  He uses this lens probably 90% of the time – and I often will steal it to shoot with during receptions as well.  Other than the fact that it’s quite heavy (over 3 pounds!), there’s nothing that we don’t love about this lens.  It’s super sharp, fast, and the lens compression that happens at 200mm is sooooo gorgeous.  As a wedding photographer, I would say that although it’s pricey this lens is a “must have” item, and it’s especially great for a second shooter to keep this in their arsenal because they are often shooting from a further distance away than the primary.  Rick shoots almost everything with this lens, and we also regularly use it for detail shots and reception shots.  The one thing to consider with this lens is that when you’re zoomed in you have to keep your shutter speed fairly high (Rick tries to stay at 1/200 or above) to avoid motion blur, which can mean a high ISO setting in darker conditions.

Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8 USM:  This is truly an excellent lens, and Rick uses it whenever he needs to get a wider angle on a wedding day, such as during the ceremony or for wider reception shots – or if he wants to get a portrait that incorporates more of the landscape.  It’s super light and versatile, it just doesn’t leave his bag as often because he loves his 70-200 so much!  I love that he can cover the wider and longer extremes with his two lenses (because my focal lengths range from 35mm – 100mm), and together we can handle any room or situation with the combination of our gear.

ScanDisk Extreme Pro Compact Flash Cards:  We’ve been using this brand of cards for years and we have never ever had an issue with them, so we’ve stayed loyal!  Rick typically uses 2 16GB cards on a wedding day.  You can read more about how we organize our memory cards on this past blog post.

And that’s it!  Rick’s gear is so simple, but it’s so incredibly essential to our style of photography and our approach on a wedding day!

Stay tuned next week when we share what’s in our flash and lighting gear bag!  Love, A

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