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Kendama USA Headquarters Are In Atlanta?! What!

My son has been fascinated with kendamas for the last four years. If you're unfamiliar with this Japanese toy, check out the Wikipedia entry on kendamas. In short, they are a test of your hand/eye...
My son has been fascinated with kendamas for the last four years. If you're unfamiliar with this Japanese toy, check out the Wikipedia entry on kendamas. In short, they are a test of your hand/eye coordination. As well as your sanity and inner determination.

Earlier this year, kendamas were banned at my son's middle school. But that didn't stop him from practicing non-stop at home, on the bus, on his way home from the bus, at tennis matches when he wasn't on the court. Pretty much all. the. time. It used to be that I would hear the tennis ball being pounded against the side of the house or garage. Now I hear the clicking of the tama (the ball hanging on the string) in the wooden cups of the kendama. And the occasional thud as it hits the floor.

My boy really wanted to host a kendama tournament at field day at his school. He drew up an outline that covered how tickets would be sold, who would keep the entry fees safe, how the brackets would be organized, winners determined, where the money would be donated (St. Jude's), and the prizes he was purchasing for the winners. He pitched it to one of the vice principals, who in turn took it to the school principal. She approved it, with one request. That the money be donated to Relay for Life in honor of one of their teachers who has been fighting cancer this year.

This was a major victory for my boy in seeing that he can create change.

He needed a new kendama for the tournament to match the same one his friends would be using and we were having no luck finding it online. He begged me to take him to Kendama USA. Their headquarters is twenty five minutes south of us. What?! They close at five on weekdays, so it would be tight getting there before closing because. Atlanta traffic. And my boy doesn't get off the bus until 4:30pm.

But I called earlier in the day and they promised they would stay open late for us. And they did.

Who does that?! Kendama USA does that. They have fantastic customer service!

And by fantastic customer service, I mean they stayed an hour and forty five minutes past closing time talking to my boy. To show him around their property. To give tips on how to better master different tricks. To try out the kendamas and pills (another wooden toy designed for tossing and catching tricks similar to the kendama). To sign the special visitor wall in the back.

While I hear the angels singing when I walk through the doors of well-stocked camera shops, I'm pretty certain my boy heard the angels singing at Kendama USA. Jewbacca, the magnificent employee who shared so much time and enthusiasm with my boy, was THE best at giving his time, attention, and excitement over sharing a love for the kendama. I could not have asked for a better experience for my son. The smile that stayed on his face the rest of the week confirmed it was truly one of his best days ever.

Kendama USA also donated multiple posters, decals, and even a jumbo kendama for the tournament. They support kendama clubs at schools and promote local groups with kendama meet ups. They provide phenomenal customer service with high quality products that are. not. screens. and truly challenge the minds and coordination of our youth. Thank you Jewbacca, the wonderfully hairy Jew with a love for Stars Wars, who made my son's month just by sharing your enthusiasm for kendamas.

If you're in the Atlanta area, I highly recommend visiting Kendama USA. Their employees and products are THE best. They'll likely give you a full tour and share many wonderful tips on kendama handling and mastery that leave your mind reeling. Their office building is less than five minutes off of I-75 and Delk Road in Marietta. They didn't pay me to write any of this and don't know me, other than the mom of a fourteen year old who visited a week ago. I'm just that thrilled with their products, service, and encouragement of non-screen related activities.

Enjoy a few photographs I made during our visit to their headquarters.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Thank you again, Kendama USA. I know we will be visiting more over the upcoming summer months!

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Professional Headshots In Canton, GA - Kelley Wenzel With Pear Tree Photography Atlanta

There is a reason why I choose to hold the camera. I don't like being in front of it. I was reminded of this last week. I thought I was calm and collected as I waited for Moshe Zusman to make m...
There is a reason why I choose to hold the camera. I don't like being in front of it.

I was reminded of this last week. I thought I was calm and collected as I waited for Moshe Zusman to make my headshot. But when I stepped in front of his camera, a shot of the nerves kicked in. I was looking for the exits. I couldn't stand in place without losing my balance. My palms started sweating and my mouth started doing weird, twitchy things. Seriously, I was fear personified and that's the last thing anyone wants exposed in a headshot.

I don't know if being a bit of a fan girl of Moshe's made things worse, but this is my typical fight or flight response that goes into action when I'm the one who has hired another photographer to make images of myself or my family. My heart rate is rising as I type this. It's not a good feeling and is why I work hard to put others at ease in front of my camera. We're in this together to make great images that you can use to represent yourself (or your business) online.

Professionally. Confidently.

It didn't take long for Moshe to put me at ease. We went through a round of headshots and then I viewed them on his ipad. I wasn't happy with some because there was still too much action in my neck that I didn't care for and I asked if we could try again. There was no shaming, just enthusiasm to get me back in front of the camera. Once I shared with him what I didn't like, Moshe was able to adjust my posing and help me stretch out that extra skin under my chin. He was able to help me do what I couldn't see. And I was so thankful that he let me jump back in front of his lens.

Now I have a current headshot that represents me just as I am. Not with a haircut from five years ago.
There are more lines around my eyes and I'm okay with that. I've earned them.

If you're still sporting a headshot that was made five years ago, reach out to me and let's talk. You can click here to start the conversation.
And if you're not okay with the lines around your eyes, I have a little kindness I can sprinkle on them so they're not as noticeable.

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Ballground, GA Wedding At Greystone Estate - Rosie + Brandon Got Married!

It's always a little nerve wracking watching the forecast in the days leading up to a wedding. Especially when storms are on the horizon. Even on the morning of Rosie + Brandon's wedding, the ...
It's always a little nerve wracking watching the forecast in the days leading up to a wedding. Especially when storms are on the horizon. Even on the morning of Rosie + Brandon's wedding, the skies were filled with storm clouds. Ponchos and umbrellas were packed in my car. My second shooter Tammy had brought along rain gear for her camera equipment and serious rain voodoo. The rain clouds kept their distance while giving us sunshine and dramatic skies throughout the day.

The excitement levels were through the roof. The entire day long. There were tears of joy. All. Day. Long. I even fogged up my camera with tears in the bridal getting ready room when Rosie hugged her Grandma and said, "Grandma. I'm so glad you're here." The feelings of love, appreciation, celebration, and all around gratefulness to be present at the start of a marriage are overwhelming.

Overwhelmingly good. Powerful. Soul satisfying. Down-to-your bones fulfilling.
In a way that every time you think about it, a smile involuntarily spreads across your face as you remember different moments of this wonderful celebration that unfolded at the beautiful Greystone Estate in Ballground, GA.
 
Greystone Estate bride
Bride getting ready with her bridesmaids
Bride with Grandma on her wedding day
Groom rehearsing the mother/son dance.
Groom getting ready with groomsmen
Bride having fun with bridesmaids at Greystone Estate.
Groom playing pool with his groomsmen at Greystone Estate.
Bride taking selfie with her bridesmaids
Groom reacting as he sees his bride for the first time walking down aisle at Greyston Estate
Rosie + Brandon's wedding ceremony at Greystone Estate.
Greystone Estate outdoor wedding ceremony.
Rosie + Brandon after being pronounced husband and wife at Greystone Estate wedding.
Bride and groom on hill with dramatic skies.
Bride and groom running through Greystone Estate field
Bride and groom embracing.
Bride and groom first dance at Greystone Estate.
Bride and groom listening to toasts of best man and matron of honor at Greystone Estate.
Greystone Estate wedding and cakes
Bride and groom cutting the wedding cake at Greystone Estate.
Celebratory dancing at Greystone Estate wedding.
Groom throwing the garter at Greystone Estate wedding.
Bride tossing bouquet at Greystone Estate wedding
Wedding dancing at Greystone Estate.
Dance line at Greystone Estate wedding.
Dancing at Greystone Estate wedding.
Bride carrying and swinging groom at Greystone Estate wedding.
Bride and groom dancing together at Greystone Estate wedding
Bride and groom leaving Greystone Estate wedding under rose petals being thrown.
I loved documenting your wedding day, Rosie + Brandon!

I love how you value people.
Family. Friends. Each other.
It was more than evident on your wedding day how important your people are to you.

Wishing you all the best in your adventures together as married people.
Whatever comes your way, I know you will make the best of it.
That you'll make it fun.

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Engagement Session At The Chattahoochee River And Piedmont Park - Morgan And John!

Timing is everything. Events don't always unfold the way in which we expect or hope and pray for. And if one little thing had been done a little sooner, these two wouldn't have met. This fe...
Timing is everything. Events don't always unfold the way in which we expect or hope and pray for. And if one little thing had been done a little sooner, these two wouldn't have met.

This feels a little like a Hollywood plot line.

They both attended Ole Miss (Hotty Toddy!), although John is a little older than Morgan. They were both in Oxford at the same time, but didn't meet there. Morgan was frustrated with dating and getting ready to delete the app when a request came in to go hiking.

She said yes.

They found that life was better when they were together. John used to be a chef and still loves to cook fancy meals. Morgan loves to eat fancy meals. They love time at the beach together and on the ocean. And in the middle of winter, John asked Morgan's Dad for her hand in marriage without her knowing. John surprised her in the middle of a hike on the shores of the Chattahoochee River when she was least expecting it...the obvious dates had come and gone AND her Mom had told her that John hadn't asked permission yet. (Mom was in on the surprise proposal!)

He handed her a letter to read that was filled with all the things every woman wants to hear from her partner. When she turned around, John was on his knee with a ring.

Again. She said yes.
 
Engaged couple smiling at each other in the woods with yellow lab next to them

Engaged couple standing on logs in Chattahoochee River while yellow lab watches them
 
Yellow lab smiling into camera while his people stand behind him
 
Engaged couple dancing on old Chattahoochee River bridge
 
Engaged couple dancing on old Chattahoochee River bridge
 
Engaged couple kissing on the shoals of the Chattahoochee River
 
Engaged couple kissing on the shoals of the Chattahoochee River
 
Engaged couple crossing the shoals of the Chattahoochee River
 
Woman in hot pink dress leaping across Chattahoochee River shoals
 
Engaged couple laughing in front of Atlanta Botanical Gardens gate
 
Engaged couple kissing in Atlanta skyline
 
Engaged couple about to kiss next to rock wall
 
Engaged couple kissing in Atlanta skyline at Piedmont Park
 
Engaged couple holding each other in Piedmont Park gazebo
 
Engaged couple leaning into each other in the dark of Atlanta
 
Engaged couple kissing at night in front of Atlanta skyline
 
Engaged couple holding each close in the night
 
Man kissing fiance's forehead at dusk
 
Man hugging fiance in the night

Morgan + John.

I am wishing you all the best as you cross off all the To Do items on your wedding planning checklist.

And even better of the best as you start your lives together as married people!


If you liked these photographs from Morgan + John's engagement session, follow along on facebook to see more fabulous people and the love they share documented authentically. And if you're interested in seeing photographs everyday of yourself with the person you love most, contact Kelley at Pear Tree Photography Atlanta to start a conversation.

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Professional Headshots In Canton, GA - Glen Moffatt Plumbing In Woodstock, GA

Is it time to update your headshot? Let's take a quick quiz. 1. Is your headshot more than five years old? 2. Is your headshot a selfie or made with a selfie stick? 3. Is your head...

Is it time to update your headshot?



Let's take a quick quiz.

1. Is your headshot more than five years old?

2. Is your headshot a selfie or made with a selfie stick?

3. Is your headshot cropping out adult beverages?


If you answered yes to any of the above questions, then it is time to update your headshot.

Many people think about having a headshot made being as exciting as going to the dentist. Personally, I love going to the dentist and getting my teeth cleaned. But I've been told I'm not exactly normal.

I digress.

The purpose of a headshot is to instill trust + confidence in potential clients, patients, or vendors.

To be seen.

To present yourself as professional.

Part of being a professional is being open and honest. Sharing a current image of who you are now.

It builds trust.
 

On another note, if you are in need of a plumber in the Woodstock or Cherokee County area.


Call Glen Moffatt of Glen Moffatt Plumbing.

He is professional. Honest. Reliable.

I speak from personal experience of having him change out exterior faucets, install an emergency shut off to an exterior faucet, and replace another part that was important, but the only technical name coming to my mind is a handle thingy. Good thing plumbing is Glen's specialty and not mine.
 

If you know it's time to update your headshot, contact Kelley at Pear Tree Photography Atlanta to start a conversation. It will be easier than you think.

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