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Windy + Romantic Newnan Square Engagement Photography Session - Alex + Jacob

I love hearing about how people meet. How love is found, kindled, and grown. For Alex and Jacob, they were matched in the Bumble app. And they knew right away that this was it. Right away. Love ...
I love hearing about how people meet. How love is found, kindled, and grown. For Alex and Jacob, they were matched in the Bumble app. And they knew right away that this was it.

Right away.

Love at first sight.
Couple in formal dress walking through Newnan Square

Sometimes, there are fairy tales in real life.
Couple almost kissing in front of Newnan Alamo Theatre

In a world where there is such divisiveness and hostility, it restores my soul to work with couples like these two. They are my people.
Couple smiling and holding each other while reflected in shop windows

Love first. Everything else is second.
Couple nuzzling close while reflected in Newnan storefront windows

Isn't that how it should be? All things in love?
Couple smiling and holding hands while walking through Newnan Square

With love, we can find and create kindness. Compassion. Understanding. Curiosity. A burning desire to make things work.
Even in the For Worse situations that we so often include in our marriage vows.
Romantic engaged couple walking through Newnan Square

Alex found me after seeing Charlotte's courthouse wedding on social media. They went to Life University together. Alex loved Charlotte's wedding images. She loved the photographs we made in the Marietta Square walking around with buildings and cars in the backgrounds.
Beautiful woman holding onto her fiance's arm and looking up at him

I love these small world connections.
Romantic engaged couple holding each other in front of blossoming cherry tree

Storms were looming on this Friday afternoon as I was driving down to Newnan to meet these two. I wasn't sure that the rain would hold off. But it did. We were fortunate.
A romantic couple embracing and almost kissing. Her engagement ring is clearly seen on her hand wrapped around his back

Instead, we were treated to blasts of wind that did lovely things with Alexandra's hair. And dramatic skies for the end of our time together.
A man's hands wrapped around his fiance's back underneath her long, curly hair

We left the Newnan Square and drove a few blocks away to a little park that had the most beautiful cherry tree that was in blossom.
A gorgeous engaged couple sitting on a park bench almost kissing

Aren't these two the sweetest? I adore their peaceful, yet almost fierce love for each other. It felt like there was this bubble surrounding them. Keeping them safe from the world. Protecting their relationship.
An engaged couple holding each other close

Perhaps that is the military aspect. It runs deep. Jacob comes from a line of Navy men. He's in the Air Force. Whenever I'm with military couples, there is a different kind of quiet that surrounds them that is difficult to explain. It's a safe zone that feels like no one else can intrude.
Engaged couple embracing under archway in Newnan park with dramatic stormy skies in background

Alexandra + Jacob. Thank you for asking me to make your engagement photographs and to stop time for you in this part of your journey together. I'm wishing you all the best in married life!

Engagements can be short or long. They can arrive swiftly and unexpectedly, or be years in the making. But they are an unparalleled time of excitement in dreaming and planning of the next phase in life as married people. If you would like to stop time and create photographs of your love together to enjoy for a lifetime and likely show off to generations to come, contact Kelley at Pear Tree Photography Atlanta to start a conversation. We can make your engagement photographs anywhere you want that's special to you!

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Dream Wed-Cation In The Dominican Republic - Leah + DJ Married!

My people. They are not ordinary. They do things their own way. They're practical and kind. And they know how to have fun. These two got married the first time in Minnesota at the start of t...
My people.

They are not ordinary. They do things their own way. They're practical and kind. And they know how to have fun.

These two got married the first time in Minnesota at the start of the year, even though their destination wedding (hereon wed-cation!) in the Dominican Republic was already planned. While their marriage in the DR would have been completely legal and recognized, the hassle and cost of obtaining copies of the marriage license in the future were a bit much. Leah and DJ held a small ceremony, made photographs in the snow and their dogs, and were grateful that family members unable to travel to the Dominican for their wed-cation could see them exchange vows and become officially married. For the first time.

And for their second official wedding, a handful over forty people fled the latest Minnesota snow storm and met them in Bayahibe at the Dreams La Romana resort. They enjoyed the all inclusive resort with different kinds of food, drinks with umbrellas, the views, and of course the temperatures that took them from below freezing to well above and comfortable in one layer of clothing. Many flew down over the weekend prior. I flew in Tuesday and had the pleasure of joining this crew partying on a catamaran on Wednesday, the day before their beach wedding. And mid-Thursday morning, I joined Leah with her Mom, sister, and two dear friends in the spa while they got their hair and make up done. It kicked off a relaxed day filled with love and laughter. And true enjoyment of the company shared by everyone involved.

Leah and DJ did a first look on this wedding day and said they felt completely relaxed. Perhaps it was because they were already married and had done this once before that the normal wedding day jitters stayed at bay. And perhaps it was because these two are incredibly laid back people. The skies opened up a few times throughout the day and there were discussions about pulling the ceremony indoors. But then the skies cleared up, chairs were wiped down, and the ceremony took place in the gazebo on the beach as originally planned.
Dominican Republic mountains beyond a farming field
The Dominican Republic has gorgeous mountains that can be seen when flying into Punta Cana and then driving an hour west to the coast and Bayahibe.
Sunset in Bayahibe, Dominican Republic with man and palm trees in silhouette
The gorgeous Dominican sunset that graced the island on Tuesday night but not again the rest of the week.
Mom laughing with daughter in Domican spa waiting room
Women walking through a spa breezeway
Bride getting hair and makeup done in Dreams La Romana bridal salon
Succulent hair comb in a bride's hair
Bride and sister leaving Dreams La Romana bridal salon
Bride holding onto special handkerchief
This was Leah's Grandma Arlene's handkerchief. They were fortunate enough to have Arlene attend their Minnesota wedding before she unexpectedly passed. Hug your Grandmas, people. They're never around long enough.
Bride smiling while necklace is clasped behind her back
Bride walking up to her groom for the first look

It's always awesome to get unrushed time for portraits and to work out the nerves a bit before a ceremony. Of course, Leah and DJ didn't have any nerves so all they had was fun together!
Wedding couple kissing in a Dominican gazebo and the sea behind them
Bride and groom in silhouette in Dominican Republic gazebo on the beach
Bride and groom walking hand in hand between palm trees on Bayahibe beach in the Dominican Republic
Father walking his daughter and bride to the ceremony
Bride looking and smiling at her dad as they walk to her her wedding ceremony
Mom exiting wedding gazebo and trying to be quiet
Wedding ceremony in a gazebo surrounded by palm trees in the Dominican Republic
Family laughing in front row during wedding ceremony
Wedding couple laughing during ceremony while holding hands
Bride and groom kissing after wedding ceremony
Bride and groom kissing while surrounded by cheering family and friends
Red head wedding guest kneeling while drinking a Smirnoff Ice in one go
Bride and groom goofing around on Dominican beach with sail boats in the background
Leah is so much like her Mom. They have THE best facial expressions!
Bride and groom getting massively splashed while standing on Dominican Republic beach rocks

I told you my people aren't ordinary. These two went searching for crabs in the middle of making portraits. And that was totally okay. (There had been dozens of crabs on that fallen tree when we first walked up!)
Bride and groom looking for crabs on Dominican beach
LED lit dance floor on the beach in front of Dominican wedding tent
Bride and groom giving a speech to guests during the reception
Bride and groom dancing on beach dance floor
Wedding guests flamboyantly dancing with arms out reached

Leah's Mom Sherry made the most incredible bejeweled L for the top of their wedding cake! I loved the outline of all the beads from behind.
L wedding cake topper at back of tent
Groom standing over laughing bride in the hot seat
Bride pinching her husband's nipples through his wedding shirt
Wedding guests on dance floor surrounded by bubbles
Groom singing with a friend while holding drinks at wedding reception
Groom dancing and hip bumping with friend on wedding dance floor
Wedding guests dancing and crying

Such a fun display of photographs of Leah and DJ!
Wedding reception display of photographs of the bride and groom while dating and engaged
Women dancing and celebrating with drinks raised while singing at wedding reception
Laughing wedding guest dancing in Dominican Republic
Groom dancing and singing with wedding guest friend
Bride dancing in middle of crazy dance floor

Sherry is a dancing machine. If you didn't see Leah and DJ's day on the catamaran and all the dancing, you should check it out now.
Mom of bride dancing crazy at wedding reception
Bride dancing and singing with friends
Wedding guests dancing and raising hands in the air

Leah and DJ.

Your wed-cation was phenomenally and wonderfully incredible.

It still feels like a dream in an alternate reality.

Thank you for inviting me to join you and document such a fabulous week with you and your friends + family.
The relationships you have created show nothing less than the love and caring I wish everyone could have the good fortune to experience.

May these images from your wed-cation and the memory of that fun + love fill you with warmth when you close your eyes and remember when you started your marriage for the second time on a gorgeous beach in the Dominican Republic.


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Professional Headshots In Woodstock, GA - Genella Dewrell With J Ray CPA

Is it time to update your headshot? Have you been getting by for a little too long now with that old cell phone selfie you took? You like it because it was made in poor lighting so it doesn't sho...
Is it time to update your headshot? Have you been getting by for a little too long now with that old cell phone selfie you took?
You like it because it was made in poor lighting so it doesn't show all of the signs of aging you'd like to ignore and your smile is awesome and relaxed, right?
And because you hate stepping in front of a camera that anyone else is holding.

I understand and I feel your pain.

But there are some things we must do as adults that are necessary evils. Annual check ups. Bi-annual dentist appointments.

So let's talk about this process and make it feel less daunting, shall we?

I'll be open and tell you up front I don't like being in front of the camera. At all. There's a reason why I'm the one behind it.

Like last year when I had a photographer make my headshot and I was ready to bolt out of the room. I had the cold sweats as I was planning my escape. So many of my clients tell me they feel naked in front of the camera. It's a vulnerable place to be, standing in front of the camera without clothes. While I won't be doing that again any time soon, I can tell you that you're not alone in wanting to avoid updating your headshot.

What I've found, in my own life, and with others is that if you know you're not alone, tasks suddenly become easier to bear. We can do hard things together or knowing we have the support of others who have worn the same shoes.

We'll talk about how you plan on using your headshot and decide whether it will be best to have a plain studio backdrop or create an environmental headshot in your office or outdoors. Sometimes your industry will dictate the type of background needed and sometimes the purpose of the headshot will. A headshot for a speaker in a seminar may need to appear much more professional than a laid back image sitting outside in a park would be fitting for an author's spot on a book cover.

We'll talk about what clothing and/or jewelry and makeup will look best. Getting your hair cut or going to the tanning bed the day before is probably not the best idea...schedule that for a week prior so things have time to settle if they go awry.

We'll talk about the editing that goes on after the images are made and how you'll see it in person so you're making an informed choice before you purchase any files. And that feels good, because you want to know you'll be happy with the end result. And it's important to me to know that you'll be proud to use the headshot we made together to represent yourself and your business.

If you're looking for a CPA in Woodstock, please consider contacting Jim Ray at J Ray CPA. Genella is one of his excellent support members on his team helping provide fantastic service.

Contact Kelley at Pear Tree Photography Atlanta to start the conversation about how updating your headshot doesn't need to be a dreaded event.

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Dominican Republic Destination Wedding/Wedcation - Part 1 With Leah + DJ

When winter starts in the late fall, January is still far from spring. For the 40+ people flying down to the Dominican Republic from Minnesota to celebrate Leah + DJ's destination wedding/wedcatio...
When winter starts in the late fall, January is still far from spring. For the 40+ people flying down to the Dominican Republic from Minnesota to celebrate Leah + DJ's destination wedding/wedcation, it was a welcome reprieve from winter. Especially with another snowstorm that wrecked havoc on some of the flights leaving Minneapolis for the DR. This was a lovely change from temps well below freezing to comfortably wearing swim suits and swimming in the Caribbean Sea by day and having bare arms and legs in the evenings at the Dreams La Romana resort in Bayahibe.

This wasn't your normal destination wedding. But then Leah and DJ aren't your normal couple. They are great outdoorsman who enjoy fishing and hunting together. In fact, the only meat they eat is what they have caught themselves. When I returned their wedding day to them earlier this month, they made a delicious dinner that included pheasant they had shot. A first for me and I thought it tasted just like chicken.

These two value people and it showed clearly with the people who surrounded them in the Dominican Republic to celebrate with them during this wedcation. So when normal is thrown to the wind, you do things your own way. You skip the rehearsal groom's dinner and have a day on the catamaran, thanks to DJ's parents Dale + Char. A day of soaking in sunshine, gorgeous seas, a fun Scuba Caribe crew, music, dancing, and plenty of tasty beverages. We met on the beach early Wednesday morning and boarded the catamaran after many had been fitted for flippers and grabbed snorkels with masks. I highly recommend if you go to the Dominican Republic, you bring your own sunblock. It's totally necessary with the tropical sunshine and reflection on the water and sand. And if you wait to buy it there, like I did, you'll pay thirty bucks for a 6oz bottle.

After plenty of swimming, dancing, and celebrating, the catamaran returned us to the resort mid-afternoon. Completely exhausted with many ready for naps and wanting aloe for sunburns.
Dreams La Romana Resort beach with palm trees, tiki huts, and lounge chairs
People waiting on beach to board catamaran in the Dominican Republic
Scuba Caribe crew standing on top of catamaran in Dominican Republic
People snorkeling around catamaran in the Dominican Republic
Woman jumping off catamaran ladder into Caribbean Sea
Man making a funny face while putting on snorkel and mask in Caribbean Sea
Looking down through catamaran netting to see man hanging onto rope in the water

This guy was my constant photobomber throughout the day. He was fun. :)
Scuba Caribe crew pouring drinks for catamaran guests and photobombing the camera

The wind did wonderful things with Erin's hair while we were on the catamaran. Little did I know at this point that she would be my most awesome lighting assistant the next evening after Leah + DJ's wedding ceremony.
Wind is making a woman's hair fly crazy on a catamaran

Leah's mom Sherry was a dance machine on the catamaran trip. DJ was twirling her good here.
Woman dancing on catamaran with drink in hand

I love seeing fathers and daughters who are so close and enjoy each other.
Father and daughter standing close while looking out on a catamaran.
People line dancing with drinks in hand on a catamaran

This Scuba Caribe crew member had her hair in a crocheted hat for most of the trip. When she let it down, the wind whipped it around fabulously while she danced and got more folks on the dance floor.
Wind whipping a woman's long hair around dancers on a catamaran
People dancing and laughing on a catamaran
People getting down low while dancing on a catamaran
Catamaran crew pouring beers for folks in the Caribbean Sea

These grandparents brought along two Flat Stanley drawings to photograph and send back to their grandkids on the mainland.
A woman photographing Flat Stanley in the Caribbean Sea from the top of a catamaran
Crew dancing on a catamaran and wedding guests dancing in the Caribbean Sea
People dancing the YMCA in the Caribbean Sea off of a catamaran in the Dominican Republic

At the last stop off shore, the crew brought out a limbo bar for people to duck under. Some kept their drinks securely in their teeth as they went under the bar and water while others adeptly transferred it by hand over the bar while their heads were under water.
People doing the limbo under water in the Dominican Republic
Man with a beer in hand and water pouring off his face in the Caribbean Sea

I found a trouble maker lurking under the catamaran who was splashing the people above.
Man flicking water up on people sitting on top of catamaran
People dancing in the Caribbean Sea with hands over their heads
Woman laughing as her best friend whispers in her ear
Woman dancing with hands up while shouting and happy onlookers on the catamaran
Women hugging and laughing on a catamaran while a drink spills
Catamaran sail over a deck filled with people dancing on the Caribbean Sea
Happy people smiling on a catamaran
Woman dancing in between two men on a catamaran

Come back next Monday to see photographs of Leah + DJ's destination wedding in the Dominican Republic!

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The Coolest Wedding Box And USB - Bruce + Margaret's Wedding Day Remembered

I love returning wedding days to my couples. These meet ups are always so fun. All of the stress of wedding planning has passed. As my couples watch their slideshow, there is laughter and smiling and ...
I love returning wedding days to my couples. These meet ups are always so fun. All of the stress of wedding planning has passed. As my couples watch their slideshow, there is laughter and smiling and nodding and comments from "I didn't know YOU (fiance, now husband or wife) were doing THAT!" to a sigh followed by, "I love that YOU (Kelley) caught that!"

Sometimes there are squeals. Sometimes there are tears.

My people are so different. Sometimes they're incredibly emotional and others aren't so outwardly open in their reactions.

But there is always laughter. And a few sighs.

And it's so incredibly rewarding. To return a wedding day to my people.

To see them love the images I created.
That their trust in me and how I see the world to tell the story of their wedding day was fulfilled.
And loved.

While wedding days may be anywhere from eight to twelve hours of photography coverage, there are dozens more hours that go into the handling of the images. The culling down from the thousands of images to hundreds of the best ones. And then the fine tuning of each image to ensure the exposure is correct. The colors are vibrant. The emotion is coming through.

These are the hours when I'm listening to my couple's music on repeat as I relive their day. Numerous hours each day, every day, for weeks.

When I go to bed at night, their music is playing in my head as I think about what I accomplished in editing their images from that day and what I will work on the next day. What I can't wait to share with them. The anticipation is killer.

Truly. My excitement is painful as I think about making screenshots to share in sneaky text messages of "OHMYGOSH! WAIT UNTIL YOU SEE THIS!!!"

And I refrain. Because seeing the in-person reactions to the slideshow and then opening up the package with a carefully wrapped box filled with photographs to immediately hold....that's too good to ruin.

This is Margaret + Bruce's image box and USB. I love how the photographs fit perfectly inside. That they immediately had images to hold. Not just a USB with the digitals and an online gallery. Although an online gallery is nice to view and share wedding memories. But the photographs to pull out of the box and hold? There's a different feeling that courses through your body and pulls you back into the moment when you can physically hold it.
Bride and groom in front of Villa Christina on wedding image box

Hundreds of photographs fill this wedding image box. Squee! So many memories!
Hundreds of wedding photographs filling the inside of a wedding image box

I love that I can customize these wedding boxes with my couple's names and wedding details!
Custom wedding image box with bride + groom names and details
Bride leading her groom on Villa Christina pathway on wedding image box

Click here to see Margaret + Bruce's Villa Christina wedding highlights.

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