An Epic Gender Reveal Celebration I love surprises! They are so much fun to photograph. When my friend Julia Greer Fobes asked me to photograph a surprise gender reveal party, I immediately said yes. Then she told me about all the details they were planning! I was pinching myself when she said that an airplane […]
I love surprises! They are so much fun to photograph. When my friend Julia Greer Fobes asked me to photograph a surprise gender reveal party, I immediately said yes. Then she told me about all the details they were planning! I was pinching myself when she said that an airplane would reveal the BIG NEWS to the expecting parents, Ben and Brittany. The airplane was a total surprise to Ben, Brittany and all the guests at the party. Brittany’s sweet aunt who hosted the party was the only family member in on the surprise. How fun is that?!
Since Julia was doing both the planning and the florals for this summer soiree, I knew that it would be beautiful. I told Julia that she is the “flower whisperer” and I really think that’s the perfect nickname for her. I love that her floral designs always have a touch of whimsy and are cheerful! I simply could not get enough of the dahlias and roses that she used in the arrangements. They were breathtaking!
Ben and Brittany didn’t even know there would be a photographer at the party, so I was sort of part of the surprise too! I think they were a bit blown away when they arrived. “There’s a photographer?!” were some of the first words out of Brittany’s mouth when they walked into the house. I could tell she was surprised! We squeezed in a few family portraits ahead of the guests arriving and then wrapped up the party with a few maternity portraits once the big news had been revealed.
Of course the actual reveal was really my favorite part of the day! We were all outside playing a “game” just before the airplane arrived. Everyone caught on to the real reason for the game as soon as they heard the hum of the airplane’s engine. I watched Brittany and Ben shield their eyes from the sun and then, BOOM, there were cheers, tears and excitement all around!
Ben and Brittany had the BEST reaction to the big news and I couldn’t be happier for them! Moments like these are ones to treasure for years to come. I’m so happy and honored that I got to document this amazing surprise for this sweet family.
I am still obsessed with this cake by The Little Cake Shop! Julia’s flowers added the perfect touch!
This little family of three is about to be a family of four! Sadie Grace is going to be a wonderful big sister!
The delicious food was prepared by Georgia Roussos Catering!
BEST. REACTION. EVER!!!
I’m so glad the plane flew by a few times so we could take some portraits with it in the background!
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Wedding Cake Inspiration At the end of a long day of photographing a wedding I look forward to enjoying a slice of wedding cake. That sugar rush always seems to carry me through the last hour of the reception. The wedding cake is often the stand out detail of the wedding reception. Whether you go […]
At the end of a long day of photographing a wedding I look forward to enjoying a slice of wedding cake. That sugar rush always seems to carry me through the last hour of the reception. The wedding cake is often the stand out detail of the wedding reception. Whether you go for a traditional look (layered with buttercream icing), or a modern trend (naked cakes with creative fillings), you can’t get it wrong as long as it tastes good. Some couples skip the wedding cake in favor of a dessert table. Since I love all things classic and timeless, layer cakes still have my heart, but I also adore these newer trends!
I have seen some amazingly gorgeous cakes and some awesome dessert tables at weddings I’ve photographed. The cake is one of my FAVORITE details to photograph on wedding days. I like to think of it as taking a portrait of the cake. Sometimes I only have a couple of minutes to get the light right and grab my shot. I try to photograph reception details before guests enter the room, ensuring the scene is untouched. This allows the bride and groom to see something that they would otherwise miss since they are typically the last people to enter into the reception. Many times they barely get a good look at the cake before they cut into it!
Since I have a major love of wedding cakes and food photography, I was thrilled when I was given the opportunity to photograph some cakes for Mobile Bay Bride Magazine’s 2018 issue. The cakes that were part of the shoots I did were absolutely stunning! Today, I’m sharing those amazing cakes, plus some of my favorites from weddings I’ve photographed. I can’t imagine how my brides decide on a cake flavor and design because I love them all!
1. The all-white cake
The all-white wedding cake still reigns supreme! White is definitely a classic choice, but it does not have to be a boring one. I love seeing textured frosting, eye-catching florals and elaborate piping take an all-white cake from plain to fabulous! This cake is one that I photographed for Mobile Bay Bride Magazine and I absolutely loved the greenery that wrapped around each layer. Lemons and berries lend a summery feel to this simple design by Cakes by Judi.
Katie and Trent’s wedding cake is one of my all-time favorites! The gold accents and the texture of the pale flowers brought just the right amount of detail to this statuesque cake. The elegant floral arrangements framed up this area so beautifully. It really made the cake the focal point detail at the reception. To say I am still obsessed with this cake is an understatement! Couture Cakes really outdid themselves with this beautiful creation! Their cakes are also some of the most delicious you’ll ever taste!
I love, love, love texture on a cake and this cake certainly had texture! This cake by J.A.M. Cakery was from one of the first few weddings I second shot with my friend Jennie Tewell, but it remains an all-time favorite. It is also one of the best tasting cakes I’ve ever eaten. Even though I only got to take one bite before we had to rush out and photograph the exit, I still remember how delicious this cake was over three years later! J.A.M. Cakery is now based in Opelika.
I love a cake that makes a statement and Jillian and Collin’s cake did just that! This cake by Pollman’s Bake Shop was huge! I loved how the folding screen and floral garland created such a lovely backdrop for this cake portrait. The Edison lights that were strung above brought the perfect modern touch to this classic Mobile Bay wedding. The pastel roses added the perfect amount of color. I could have photographed this cake all day.
Katie and Patrick’s wedding was full of Southern classics and their wedding cake was no exception! I love this style of cake. The choice of flowers can really change up the look for this timeless design (scroll down to see what I mean!). Cakes by Judi works magic with buttercream frosting!
Different flowers create a different look! I love the color pop of hot pink flowers on this cake that Sally’s Piece-A-Cake created for the Mobile Bay Bride shoot. The design is very similar to Katie and Patrick’s cake shown above, but switching up the choice of flowers gives it a completely different feel! Both options are perfect for spring weddings!
2. Naked Cakes
I was the kid that never wanted the slice of cake with the big rosette made of frosting. I have a sweet tooth, but don’t like overly sweetened desserts, so it’s no surprise that I love the naked cake trend! Naked cakes exemplify the art of simplicity. These cakes can be made to fit in with almost any wedding style and I consider them less of indulgence since each slice only has a small amount of frosting. Does that mean I can have two slices and not feel guilty about it? Just kidding!
I was obsessed with this cake by EllenJay Events that was part of the cake shoot I photographed for Mobile Bay Bride. Fall is my favorite season of the year, so it’s not a surprise that this cake had me all heart-eyes when they brought it in for me to photograph. I love that it’s a sweet potato cake and captures all the warmth of autumn!
I took this next cake photo while second shooting with my friend Jennie. It is still a favorite cake photo all these years later!
3. Cakes that Sparkle
For brides that love their bling, cakes with metallic elements are a huge hit. I love a little sparkle on a wedding cake! Whether you want just a hint of gold or you want to go all out, this is another one of my favorite trends. I love how this cake by The Little Cake Shop had both a bit of sparkle and great texture.
This amazing six-tier cake was absolutely stunning! I love that it’s traditional with a modern flair! The cascade of flowers brought just the right amount of softness to this cake. I still can’t get over this intricate lace detail! Perfection!
4. Why Have One Cake When You Can Have Three?
My friend Debby joked that she was having three cakes at her wedding because one was not enough. I love the multiple cake trend! Brides that go this route usually skip having a large tiered cake and select two or three smaller cakes in varying flavors. Some couples opt for the mini cakes in place of a groom’s cake and select an array of flavors, such as strawberry, lemon, chocolate and coconut. The possibilities are endless! Debby and Richard chose Cakes by Judi for their wedding cakes and I can happily say that I tasted two out of the three and they were fabulous!
Debby loves frosting and Richard doesn’t, so they decided to have one cake with traditional wedding cake and buttercream frosting and two smaller naked cakes (strawberry & chocolate), giving them each a delicious option to enjoy on their wedding day! How cute are these little cakes?!
Cupcakes are also still a popular option for smaller weddings and for couples that want to have more than one flavor option for guests. I absolutely adored this cupcake tree at Karen and Zach’s Mobile Botanical Gardens wedding. A friend of theirs made these delicious cupcakes as a wedding present. Both Karen and Zach work in longleaf pine forest conservation, so the addition of pine cone cake toppers was an adorable touch!
5. Marbled Cakes
I don’t remember exactly when I noticed marbled cakes showing up in my Instagram feed, but I do remember that I instantly loved the look. If you’re a fan of fondant cakes, this is a trend for you! I’m actually not even sure if marbled is the correct term for these cakes. Maybe watercolor would be a better description? Either way, I’m a fan. Both of these cakes were photographed for two different shoots I did for Mobile Bay Bride and both were created by Tara of Couture Cakes. Tara is an amazing cake artist. I’m always in awe of how her cakes look amazing AND taste amazing every single time!
6. Dessert Tables
Dessert tables are my FAVORITE! Who doesn’t love seeing a whole spread of sweet treats at a reception! Try one, or try them all!!! Some couples include a traditional bride’s cake and groom’s cake along with an array of desserts ranging from cake pops to mini cheese cakes, while others skip the traditional cakes completely in lieu of pies, tarts, decorated cookies, brownies and chocolate covered pretzels. This is where couples can get creative and have fun with their dessert selections. Like kids in a candy store, guests swarm the dessert table, eager to try out a little bit of everything. Best of all, there’s sure to be something on the table that will appeal to every guest. I’ve even seen gluten-free desserts represented!
This dessert table spread was created for a shoot I did for Mobile Bay Bride’s 2017 issue. Isn’t this watercolor technique beautiful?! EllenJay Events always puts together amazing dessert tables. They are truly a feast for the eyes! I am not so secretly obsessed with their decorated cookies (just ask my brides!)! It is so hard to stop by their midtown shop without buying one (or two, or three). Whenever I see their decorated cookies donning a dessert table, I know they won’t last long because they are just that good!
Dessert tables are also a great option for weddings that are smaller, or won’t include a meal at the reception!
7. The Groom’s Cake
Did you know the tradition of a groom’s cake originated in Victorian England? I’ve always thought of the groom’s cake as a Southern tradition ever since I was at a wedding where a guest from up north asked me why there were two cakes at the reception. They had never heard of a groom’s cake. I had never met someone who hadn’t heard of a groom’s cake. We were both fascinated. Fast forward a few years and I’ve discovered that it is indeed mostly us Southerners that continue the groom’s cake tradition, but thanks to Google I now know where the idea of the groom’s cake came from. I’m just glad we dropped the tradition of the groom’s cake being made out of fruitcake.
Groom’s cakes are such a fun tradition! I love seeing the groom’s personality shine through them. It’s also fun when you know the groom’s cake is a surprise from the bride. Sometimes I’m photographing the groom’s cake at the rehearsal dinner and sometimes both are at the wedding reception. I’ve seen my share of creative groom’s cakes, but you can never go wrong if you incorporate your SEC football team. These are some of my favorites!
Star Wars is also a frequent groom’s cake theme! I keep wondering if I’m ever going to see a Harry Potter groom’s cake. I’ll probably totally geek out if I ever do!
Are you craving cake yet? I am! Don’t be afraid to have fun with your cake design. Remember, it’s most important that it tastes fabulous and that it’s something you love!
Want more wedding inspiration? Tell me in the comments below what you’d like to see in my next wedding day inspiration post!
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A Grand Hotel Wedding Album The wedding album is the perfect way to preserve the story of your wedding day. While it can’t hold all the photos that are delivered in your online gallery, it can highlight all the important moments. It truly tells the story of the wedding day from beginning to end. When […]
The wedding album is the perfect way to preserve the story of your wedding day. While it can’t hold all the photos that are delivered in your online gallery, it can highlight all the important moments. It truly tells the story of the wedding day from beginning to end. When the albums arrive from the printer, I photograph them. I know that I’ll likely never see the printed book again once I ship it to my clients, so photographing it allows me to remember how the final design turned out.
I bring a sample album to all my bridal consultations. It is my favorite way to walk through a wedding day with a bride-to-be. I’m a visual person, so I think it’s helpful to see what the day can look like via the album. It’s always fun for me to pull that album out of the box. I’m only sad that I can’t have a sample of every album! Now that would be such a dream!
The day that Katie and Trent’s album arrived, I was like a kid getting a birthday present! I could not wait to unwrap it and flip through the pages. I knew I was going to photograph the album, but a recent rediscovery of my middle-school stamp collection (who knew that they would one day end up so useful!) led to me doing some styled flatlays featuring this gorgeous linen album. I loved the color Katie chose for the cover. It went so perfectly with their wedding day colors! I also loved that it just so happened to match my brand colors!
I was particularly excited about the custom cover embossing, a new feature for my 2018 albums! Plus, I am obsessed with this script font! Check out this beautiful album, designed by Andrea with Align Album Design.
One of my favorite spreads in this album!
I absolutely LOVE an all black and white spread!
The most gorgeous details all in one spread! Jenna Laine Weddings did such an amazing job on this wedding!
The gold embossing combined with the light grey linen cover was such a beautiful selection!
I photograph the albums primarily for documentation purposes, but it was fun to do a few styled shots too! When I was in middle school I collected stamps. My grandmother and all her friends would save stamps for me. I never imagined they’d do more than sit in a binder. Now I’m glad that I saved them because they are perfect for styling flatlays!
Check out Katie and Trent’s wedding post here!
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A Washington Square Portrait Session Spring wedding season has come to an end. I think it went by faster than ever this year! Photographing weddings is such a joy, but after a season of shooting eight weekends in a row I am happy for a little break. I might be on a short hiatus from […]
Spring wedding season has come to an end. I think it went by faster than ever this year! Photographing weddings is such a joy, but after a season of shooting eight weekends in a row I am happy for a little break. I might be on a short hiatus from weddings for a few weeks, but things are definitely still busy. I’ve been doing some fun commercial projects and magazine shoots that I can’t wait to share more about soon. I’ve also been spending some time in the kitchen. Cooking for fun while I have a less demanding shooting schedule is one of my favorite things to do. I also completely decluttered my desk, which had turned into a mountain of paperwork, wedding huggers (yes, I collect them from weddings I photograph), and sample prints (because I’m a bit OCD about color checking for correct calibration). I spent the whole morning getting my desk back into ship shape and I feel so refreshed!
Today I’m sharing the sweetest family session with y’all! Chelsea’s mom contacted me to arrange gifting this session to her daughter for her birthday. Photographs are seriously the BEST gifts that you can give because they are something that will always be treasured. It’s even more special to give the gift of having professional portraits taken. I loved being in on the birthday surprise!
Chelsea and Brandon have the most adorable and well-behaved children. Gus, who is a little over a year old, started waving at me right as I walked up to meet them in the park. I could tell right away that he was not going to be shy of the camera. Chelsea taught Mary Helen, who is only two, to say my name before the session. She said they practiced saying “Elizabeth” when they would talk about getting photos taken. I was so touched when I heard her little voice saying my name. Elizabeth is not an easy name for little kids!
This session was just pure fun! I can’t look at these images without smiling! Despite the warm weather and the crazy gnats that were swarming in the park, these little ones were happy throughout our entire shoot. Mary Helen loved playing with the sticks and Gus loved watching neighbors walking their dogs. He was also intrigued by the random bird that was visiting the park that afternoon. I love when kids are this age how they are a bit aware of the camera, but they still let their personalities shine without reservation. Enjoy my favorites from this sweet summer time session!
Chelsea is not only a sweet momma of two adorable kiddos and wife to her husband, Brandon. She is also the co-host of Today’s Homeowner with Danny Lipford and host of her own web series Checkin’ In with Chelsea! Both shows are full of home improvement tips and DIY projects. I’m always amazed at how they can take jobs that seem intimidating and make them approachable for the average person. You can follow Chelsea on Facebook here!
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A Bragg-Mitchell Mansion Portrait Session So many Mobilians have photos of themselves as children with Azalea Trail Maids. I know there are several of me from when I was a child in our old family photo albums. When I was a little girl, I thought they were princesses. They always wore the most gorgeous gowns […]
So many Mobilians have photos of themselves as children with Azalea Trail Maids. I know there are several of me from when I was a child in our old family photo albums. When I was a little girl, I thought they were princesses. They always wore the most gorgeous gowns and had the sweetest personalities. Nearly every little girl from this corner of the south grows up dreaming of one day wearing one of these custom dresses as an ambassador for our fair city. However, it is a very select few young ladies who will be chosen.
Each year, 50 young ladies who are entering their senior year of high school are selected for the Azalea Trail court. As Azalea Trail Maids, they serve as official ambassadors for the City of Mobile. If you’re not from Mobile, you may have seen them in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. In their colorful, custom-made, antebellum gowns, they definitely stand out. The dresses are designed to look like flowers. Mobile is the Azalea City afterall. They look uniform from a distance, but a closer look reveals that each dress is a unique design. I have always loved these dresses and have wanted to do an Azalea Trail Maid portrait session for years!
Ramsey is the younger sister of one of my senior portrait clients from a few years ago. I was so excited for her when I found out she’d made the 2018-2019 Azalea Trail Court. I was even more excited when her mom asked me about doing this portrait session. When we decided to do the session at The Bragg-Mitchell Mansion, I knew I was going to be in heaven on this shoot. Ramsey is just the sweetest young lady and I loved taking these portraits of her. Plus, lavender is one of my favorite colors, so it was all just perfection!!!
I also got to meet Ramsey’s dress designer, Heidi Harrington! She is friends with Ramsey and her mom, so she and her daughter joined us for the shoot. Can you believe that she made four other Azalea Trail Maid dresses in addition to Ramsey’s?! Mind. Blown.
We ended up timing this session perfectly with hydrangea season!!!
The Azalea Trail Maids wear pantaloons under their dresses. Each maid gets to customize the pockets (which is where they stash car keys and cell phones) however she wants. Their shoes are even died to match the color of the dress exactly!
I just had to make one of these black and white!!!
Congratulations, Ramsey, on making the 2018-2018 Azalea Trail Court! I know you’ll do our city proud!
Ramsey is representing Mary G. Montgomery high school as an Azalea Trail Maid.
Dress Design by: Heidi Harrington
Now is the time to schedule summer and fall portrait sessions! Contact me for rates and availability!