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{Life} Get photo ready skin!

I know you want to be as gorgeous as possible for your wedding day photos. That’s why Nathan said I should share my new favorite tricks for having (mostly) gorgeous skin. I am kinda hesitant to divulge all these details; everyone doesn’t want to hear all about my skin problems!!! But, it just might help someone, so I’ll take one for the team. 😉 Let me start with the beginning of the story.

College was stressful. And it came with some really angry skin. I had bumps all over the place and they were big, red and itchy. I went to the doctor and he diagnosed me with Rosacea (or as my red-cheeked grandfather called it, rosie-olis). I got some medicine to clear up the red itchy part, but the bumps never went away. I dealt with it until a few years ago, and I headed to the dermatologist. They gave me $150 of medicine every couple of months and little changed. I still had breakouts like a high school girl, and my skin tone was still really uneven. So I stopped throwing our money away and tried a few other things until I landed on a new skin care regimen. It was On a Clear Day by philosophy. It was great, but came in at around $65 a month, and I was still having at least one angry bump on my face at all times. All. the. stinkin. time. That’s when I started looking again.

I recently found a company dedicated to helping people get clear skin. It’s acne.org and it’s amazing. Because of my Rosacea, I could never use the proactiv skin care system (their products were too harsh for my sensitive skin). And acne.org doesn’t claim to help Rosacea breakouts. But I gave it a try anyway. The system is a bit different than the others. The cleanser and moisturizer are just basic, and remind me of cetaphil (recommended by the dermatologist). But the star of the show is what they call the “Treatment.” It’s Benzyl Peroxide, and made to be used in massive amounts (they recommend building up to two finger-lengths of product a day!!). But IT WORKS! By the second day, almost all of my bumps had dried up. Yup. Gone. Just a little redness left, but the sore was gone. And in the 3 months I’ve used it, I’ve only had 2 small bumps that lasted a day or so. Yup. And I don’t even use that much of it, either. After years of having to wear really thick makeup, I am now happy to say that this summer I am mostly going makeup commando!

And not only that, but the company is great. They have open forums where you can discuss acne and skin solutions, even if you don’t use their products. The owner has a great story and I would encourage you to read a little bit of his background. He is committed to helping others find an affordable solution to their acne. He even made a video to show how to get every last drop of product out of the package and mentioned he selected bottles that would allow all the product to slide out of it. What a dramatic difference to all the other skin care systems/companies I’ve tried that only give you a few drops that you can’t even get out of the bottle! And it’s only about $40 for the regimen (it looks like I can get at least 3 months out of the $40!).

So, if you’re getting ready for your engagement session or wedding and are worried about having to ask your makeup artist to cake on the makeup, give acne.org products a try. Give it a month before your photos, because other have experienced a purging process that lasts a couple of weeks (I didn’t, though). And by the time your session or wedding time rolls around, you’ll probably have clear glowy skin like you’ve always wanted.

 

Piedmont Park Engagement Session | Wanjiku & Kleb

We met this adorable couple a few months ago and were so excited to be working with them. They bring a genuine joy and real personality to life. Kleb works with computers (something way more advanced than I can describe!) and Wanjiku (Shiku for short) is a nurse and studying to be a nurse anesthetist (I hope I got that right!). They win the “Clients with the Coolest Names” award for sure! Kleb is from Haiti, and Shiku is from Kenya. Their wedding is going to be a blast!

For their engagement session, we met at Piedmont Park on a busy Saturday afternoon. We overheard Shiku say something about getting 3 hours of sleep the night before. Yes! She was looking this stinkin’ amazing with only 3 hours of sleep. I am pretty sure I would have cancelled, but she is a trooper and enduring nursing school like a champ. (Okay, so…I don’t normally say “champ” but I couldn’t think of any cooler words….maybe I need some sleep too?)

Here is a fun sample of our afternoon at Piedmont Park before we get into the entire collection.:)

Aren’t they just the cutest couple?!! They were so sweet and happy together the entire engagement session. And you haven’t seen anything yet!

We found this really cool pavilion over the water and thought the ceiling would make a cool photo from below.

These two were just naturals. They totally knew what they were doing and pretty much needed no direction from us.

I love their smiles.:)

This photo was taken near the end of the session, as it was getting dark out side. Those street lamps just make such a romantic ambiance.

Piedmont Park is an awesome Atlanta park. Every walkway is gorgeous.

You can’t have sunset with the Atlanta skyline showing and not take advantage of it!

This couple was so much fun! I love their expressions and the personality that shows through in their photographs.

Kleb likes soccer. As a matter of fact; that’s his favorite video game. And he could play the same video game for years and not get bored. Shiku even said that he plays the same teams against each other.

So Kleb has his soccer goal and his lady. What more could a guy ask for!

This wasn’t the planned pose, but I love how it turned out!!

This one was pretty cute, too.

Shiku looks so peaceful and happy here. I am pretty sure Shiku was taking a mini-nap.

Dude! She is gorgeous and he looks so manly.

Yup. I bet Shiku was napping again, but she just looks so gorgeous like that.:)

During engagement sessions, we try to let the couple have some alone time. Life gets busy with wedding planning added in on top of all the things you have to do. So we try to make engagement sessions to feel like a break from all the hassle. And this is what happens.:)

We found these really cool (really tall!!!) stairs at the edge of the open fields. As usual, they rocked the stairs!

When a girl wants a kiss…

She gets a kiss!

And he might get one, too…

Don’t they look so happy and snuggled up!!

Easily one of my favorites of the day. I love it when boys adore girls.

Our engagement session was full of laughs and a great time! We love our job because it means hanging out with great people!

All of the happiness!!

Shiku has some super cool purple glasses. Not just anyone can rock purple glasses like this girl can!

I love love LOVE this one. Really. LOVE. IT.

 Kleb and Shiku will be getting married later this summer at Bear’s Best Golf Course in Suwanee, Georgia. We can’t wait to share in the happy day for this adorable couple!

xoxo

Nathan and Natosha

 

 

Shiru - June 19, 2012 - 8:40 pm

The two look sooo good together!! I have some favorite ones. The pictures are awesome. They will last a lifetime :)

Sister and MOH
Shiru

A First Presbyterian Church of Atlanta Wedding, Atlanta Georgia | Lauren & Keishaun

 

We were anxiously sitting in traffic on a Saturday afternoon in Downtown Atlanta. We were already planning on being a bit early, but our “earliness” was quickly shrinking. We got to the church and only found a few cars in the parking lot; a good sign. We  beat almost everyone to the church, even Lauren! When we walked down the gorgeous stone hallways of the First Presbyterian Church of Atlanta and opened the Gothic wooden door to the bridal room, we knew it was going to be a gorgeous day.

And what an amazing day it was. An amazingly beautiful ceremony was followed by a fun filled night on the dance floor just a few miles away at the Marriott Marquis in Downtown Atlanta. Lauren and Keishaun shared some fun stories of their day with us, and I can’t wait to share them with you, too. Here we go!

 Everything Lauren was wearing had some sparkle, even her shoes.

These two have some amazing rings. I’ve been in love with Lauren’s ring since their engagement session! This really cool door handle was found on one of the doors in the church.

Keishaun was rocking his grey suit and white vest & tie.

See? I told you.

But we got a smile out of him anyway.:)

First Presbyterian Church of Atlanta was a gorgeous church with beautiful details everywhere, including this stained glass and wood paneled wall in the reception room.

Lauren’s dress was amazing.

Lauren’s mom helped her with all the finishing touches, including the dress.

I loved Lauren’s expression here.

The bridal suite at the church was gorgeous. They thought of everything, including a floor length mirror across from the main mirror so you can see how great you’re looking from everywhere.

All these girls were just gorgeous!

Lauren was getting to relax with a few laughs before walking down the aisle.

We don’t post many photos of just architecture, but these lights were so cool against the arches in the background, I just had to post this one.

Keishaun’s boutonniere was simple and elegant.

Lauren showed off that gorgeous dress and her homemade veil (made by her grandmother).

This photo was taken as all the bridesmaids were walking out the door on the way to the ceremony. I love how Lauren was calmly gazing out the window.

Lauren and her dad had a quiet moment before walking down the aisle.

Like other churches, we were not allowed inside the church on the ground floor during the ceremony, but we did sneak a few photos as they were closing the doors.

The church is amazing on the outside, and the weather was perfect for Lauren and Keishaun’s wedding.

The church is so beautiful we couldn’t resist including it as part of their wedding day story.

The happy couple shared a funny story with us. Ordinarily, Lauren turns the cup around if she is drinking after someone so she can drink on a fresh area of the cup. As part of the ceremony, they took communion. Well, Keishaun got to drink first, and when he handed the cup to Lauren, without thinking, she turned the cup around.:)We thought it was awesome that their real life was reflected in the ceremony.:)Adorable!

The kiss.

Hooray! Married!

We got a few minutes to catch a few details before the first dance. We loved the classic design of their cake.

Despite the wrong first dance song, the happy couple had a great time dancing and chatting about life.

They looked stunning and so happy.

Another fun story: Lauren’s dad wasn’t too happy about the fact that no one asked him what father/daughter song they would be dancing to. He was pleasantly surprised when the room went dark and his 3 daughters broke out the flashlights when his favorite song came on.

I’ve said before that I really like some photos with some blur. It adds atmosphere, movement and emotion. Don’t you’ just feel like you’re there on the dance floor looking at this photo?

The next few are just a fun sampling of all the fun the bridal party was having out on the dance floor.

Bubbles!!!

Oops! They were having so much fun dancing they almost forgot to cut the cake! We got the standard cut-the-cake photos, but thought this one was especially cool because it’s telling all kinds of stories.

We’ve seen a lot of things happen when a bouquet flies through the air: overthrows, underthrows, complete misses, fights for the flowers, and even “I-really-didn’t-want-to-catch-this-bouquet” hand-offs. But this time, Lauren’s sister caught the bouquet. When Lauren’s mom saw what happened, she pulled some mom-strings and said that they had enough weddings for a while.:)So Lauren’s sister had to sit out and Lauren threw the bouquet again.

Lauren and Keishaun, Thank you for letting us share in your special day and for sharing your fun stories with us! If you’re friends and family of Lauren and Keishaun, feel free to leave them some comment love and we’ll share it with the happy couple.:)

xoxo

Nathan and Natosha

 

Julie - June 19, 2012 - 12:15 am

This wedding was so wonderfully photographed, I felt like I was there. I love the photographer’s personal touches by adding stories and little notes as to why you like blurry pictures and other things. I love it all and the couple does not look staged. I love how this ceremony looks very casual and it looks like an actual wedding. Congratulations to the happy couple.

natosha - June 19, 2012 - 12:43 am

Hi Julie! Were so glad you enjoyed the photos of Lauren and Keishaun’s wedding! We think it’s important to share the story of wedding day photography complete with stories from the day. Not only does it help to share the day with friends and family that couldn’t make it, but it adds value to their wedding day collection. Thanks so much for your comments! We’ll pass your congratulations on to the happy couple!

Asberry P. Watts - June 20, 2012 - 6:31 pm

I enjoyed the wedding,It was so memorable and sweet.

{Awesome Life} The First Look

Okay, this is going to be a short one (because of all the photo editing going on this week!), but I just had to share…

I got to sneak in a few minutes of Pinterest this evening (if you don’t know about Pinterest yet, definitely contact me via the contact form and I will send you an invitation. It’s necessary for wedding planning!!), when I came across this amazing little story hidden in a stream of comments. The commentor was Dianne Beall and she was discussing this pin about the first look. She got so many responses to her tidbit of a comment that she shared her first look story. It’s amazingly precious. (And she did a first look 34 years ago. That had to take some guts back then before first looks were as popular as they are today!!) I wanted to share. She said:

Thanks, everyone, for the nice comments. As I said, walking down the aisle towards my future husband (34 years ago next week!) was magical. The church was decorated, the organist had finished her final rehearsal, and he stood at the altar and watched me walk slowly down a very long aisle towards him. We were totally alone and shared a very private and beautiful several moments, totally absorbed in each other, soaking in the tenderness of the day and not pre-occupied with family, guests, photographers, florists, coordinators, etc. We were the only 2 people in the entire world during those moments. It was a beautiful, private way to start a marriage and life together. We gave each other our gifts and my husband walked around me and absorbed me in my beautiful dress (with the 13 ft. veil!!). We shared a kiss or two and then the next time I looked into his eyes was when I walked down the aisle on the arm of my beloved father. Priceless!!

Doesn’t that just touch your heart!? I wish I could do it again and have a first look so Nathan and I could have shared a moment like that.

And if you’re wanting to read the article linked in the pin, you can read it here.

In a few short days we’ll be posting Lauren and Keishaun’s wedding! Hooray! So check back soon!

Dianne Beall - June 7, 2012 - 5:36 am

Natosha,
What an honor to be “featured” in your blog! Yes, it was adventuresome to have a first look way back in 1978…but I would not have traded those few moments for anything in the world. It was probably one of the few moments during our entire wedding weekend that our focus was solely on each other…without any distractions whatsoever. Now, as the mother of three beautiful daughters, I hope that at least one of them will choose to share a “first look” moment on their wedding day!
Thanks again for sharing my love story!
Dianne

natosha - June 7, 2012 - 11:35 am

Thank you for sharing with us, Dianne! And for visiting!

{Pet + Lifestyle} Mandy + Conner + Brinkley, A Douglasville Pet Session

We had the opportunity to hang out with some of our new friends recently. We love what we do and we love it even more when our photography clients become true friends. We’ve had lots of opportunities to hang out with Mandy and Conner for the past two or three years, but this time was extra special. We were hanging out as friends as much as anything, and just threw in a bit of family photography as the cherry on top. We had a blast!

Not only did we have a great time hanging out, but we got to meet the newest addition to the Volpe family, Brinkley (also known as Brinkles and Sprinkles). He’s such a low key puppy and has the most adorable howl. Our little Dottie (you can see her here) didn’t quite know what to think about his howling, but by the end of the night they were having a blast.:)

We started off in a gorgeous gazebo in our neighborhood in Douglasville with this really cool spiral staircase.

Mandy and Conner came prepared (in typical Mandy and Conner fashion 😉 ) with toys and noisemakers. I think Brinkley had an awesome time!

What a good looking family!!!

A few months ago we promised to pull out some cool new tricks we’ve been learning for our sessions. This photo is the result of one of those cool new tricks. We love making skies really blue!

Brinkley was so well behaved! He’s only 6 months old and knows all kinds of commands. He was totally showing off his “sit” and “stay” tricks for us!

This tree was just gorgeous and Nathan did an awesome job at getting the sunlight just perfect to make our sweet couple look even more glowy and gorgeous than they already were!

Okay, so photography nerd moment here. Photography is all about light and how it moves. Do you see the light bending around the leaf in the foreground (on the left) and all those swirls it makes to the backgorund?!! Crazy. But even more crazy than that is how awesome Mandy and Conner rocked their session. It’s like they practice this stuff or something!

Wait for it……..

Bam! Transition! I totally didn’t do this on purpose when posting their session, it just happened. And I just happened to notice.

In case you can’t tell we headed to the adorable but quiet Downtown Douglasville for a few photos at sunset. Mandy and Conner were fascinated by the store on the right. I am pretty sure Conner would have been shopping if we were in the middle of their session!

:)Awww….

{Again}:)Awww….

We had been doing a lot of walking around that afternoon so we let the sweet family take a little break on a bench.

I’m loving this one and how Brinkley totally matches the background. He did so great modeling for us!

He was being so well behaved. It looks like Nathan had a giant steak off-camera, but I promise he didn’t.

I looove the feel of this photo. It’s timeless and has so much texture and contrast to look at. But it’s still simple enough that you look at our sweet family.

How adorable is this?!!!

And it’s even more adorable that he looked away when they kissed! This guy already has it figured out!

We try to keep other random people out of our photos, but sometimes it just adds to the moment. As if time sometimes just stands still and the rest of the world goes on around you.

By the end of the afternoon, Brinkley was already cool and relaxed as a cucumber.

We found this awesome old brick wall and just had to use it. And the sunlight was so soft and gorgeous at this time of day.

Mandy and Conner are such naturals, they look like they don’t even know we were there.:)Those are my favorite times, when couples just settle in and enjoy time together.

We brought Brinkley back in for a few more family photos before we headed home to eat some amazing dessert Mandy brought over!!!


 

We had an awesome time hanging out Mandy and Conner and can’t wait to do it again soon! We are thankful for your friendship!

xoxo

Nathan and Natosha

Family Photo Shoot | Conner and Mandy Volpe's Blog - July 2, 2012 - 12:26 pm

[…] few months ago we had dinner with our friends, aka the best wedding photographers ever, and they took some pictures of our little family. Conner and I were so excited since we wanted some photos of the little fur […]

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