Way back in April or May I decided I was going to surprise my girls with Justin Beiber concert tickets. I went online and started searching concert locations and started calling family members I thought might be willing to go with us. I certainly didn't want to go by myself and well, I really thought it would be more enjoyable for the for the girls if they went with some cousins. Aunt Ashley thought her kids would enjoy going and our plans were set into motion. My girls were surprised with their tickets on Christmas morning and have been in the midst of a long countdown ever since. Tomorrow is the big day and everyone is super duper excited. We have supplies to make posters to take with us and the outfits have been well planned out. Of course, Aunt Ashely has to live in Charlotte, North Carolina, which is an 8 hour drive from Valdosta. Well, if I'm going to drive 8 hours I'm going to make a trip out of it. So the girls and I loaded into the car Saturday afternoon and hit the road. Since Grandma and Grandaddy Williams live just 2-3 hours away as does Aunt Kara and Uncle Doug they all decided to come down and visit. Here I am in NC hangin' with my in-laws (yes, I have cool in-laws) waiting for the big concert.
Since I was here I figured I'ld do a little work. Just 'cause I live in GA doesn't mean I can't take photos in other states! I had a blast photographing in Texas a couple of months ago when I was there for Thanksgiving. I arrived in NC with camera, batteries, and memory cards in hand. I forgot my reflector, which would have been handy to have as the sun was out and we shot in the middle of the afternoon. Shadows are not pretty and a reflector would have really helped fill in and as such eliminating the shadows. I had two quick photo sessions while I was in North Carolina. The first family was a bit more challenging than most. I had been warned by Kara, the mom, Ashley, the aunt, and well everyone else that the boys were going to be tough. I thought I got this, I can get at least a smirk from even the most hard core anti-smilers. So we arrive at our location and bring the boys over and yuppers, they were not happy. I tried everything-every trick I had up my sleeve and well ended up with one slight grin and a bit of a glare. As I sat and looked at the images I had to laugh a little as I saw not even mom and dad smiled all that much. I decided it was genetics :-) Right after the first session I had my second session. We moved down the sidewalk to a little different spot and dived right in. The kiddos with family two were much looser and more willing to smile and cut loose. Of course they were also two girls (one little guy) and not yet at that teen stage in life.
We all return to Aunt Ashley's house and get settled in for the night. I start the sorting and editing process and we start chatting photos and at some point wedding photography comes up. I've shot only one wedding and after that I decided that really good wedding photographers are worth every penny you pay for them. The amount of work that goes into shooting a wedding is indescribable. I shot a short and intimate wedding and after 5 hours was completely beat, tired, and sore! All you brides out there, save your money and invest in a good wedding photographer! Spend money on that as when the wedding is over you will have nothing but the photos. The cake will be eaten, the center pieces part of a yard sale, flowers dead, and food well gone. My sister-in-law pulled out her wedding album. First, when I say album I mean a photo book that was probably $5 at the photographers local discount store. Then we started looking at pictures and it went down hill. Every image was crooked, seriously. When I say crooked I mean crooked and not in an artistic sort of way but in a "my 4 year old was taking pictures" sort of way. They were blurry, blurry, blurry, dark, and well several people were unrecognizable! The pictures just didn't seem right as they reminded me of images from the 70's-the color was bad and they were faded and yellowing. This made me think that maybe the prints weren't not from a professional lab. I took one, flipped it over, and would you believe me if I said Piggly WIggly! Holy Crap, they were developed at the Piggly WIggly and looked like it. If that is not bad enough some of the prints were done on HP paper from his home computer. I cannot emphasize this enough, there is a difference between a professional lab and a retail lab. The moral of the story is this; there is a reason you buy Nike's over Spaulding!!
Okay, so here are some images from the two photo sessions. Thanks guys for letting me take your families photos!