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{A Fear of New Places} My Photography Office

Confession: I’m afraid of new places. Ridiculous. I know. But it’s true. When Nathan and I are out at a new place and I need to use the restroom, I send Nathan on ahead of me so he can give me the scoop on where it is.

And I know I’m not the only one. I know if I were invited to someone’s home office I would want to have an idea of what the place was like where I would be going. Is it comfortable? Is it clean? Will I need to bring anything? Will there be a space for my things and guests I would like to bring? See? Those are the kinds of questions that go through my head every time I need to go somewhere new.

And since those are my questions that keep me reserved about going somewhere new, I wanted to give you a sneak peek into our quaint little dining-room-turned-home-office. We were blessed with beautiful wall color and bfor the room, and I have this thing about white. (I think I would be very happy living in a white house with white walls and a white floor and a white couch with a white doggie.) So, our room is bright and airy and white and blue. It’s just perfect.

This is the view when you walk in the door. Please pardon the diet coke bottle and the wires everywhere. I try to keep them tucked away, but they have a tendency to have a mind of their own.

This is our homemade bookshelf. Just a few months ago it was brown and ugly looking. Now it has a fresh coat 30 fresh coats of paint and is quite glorious.

A close up of my sweet little bookshelf. I love that it’s so white and shiny. ­čśÇ

*sigh* I love the blue color in there. It’s so glowy. When you come to hang out with me, we’ll put away that big black monitor (or move it to the desk if we’re reviewing photos for an album), and you can sit in the cute pink chairs (in photo #1) with the little white table (seen here under the monitor). Depending on when you get here, we usually have snacks or a light breakfast, too! I pull out the little Lenox teacups or my great grandma’s china for that. It’s a lot of fun!

My desk. It faces the wall: kinda boring. But the window to the left is fairly entertaining in the afternoons. And maybe one day I can find something big and beautiful to go on my wall. And maybe even some more cute shelves, too!

This is my little journal. I write some of my blog posts and my business planning in it. Love the silver gilding on the edges.

The orchid my mom gave me. It’s not real but it still makes me happy. And my little white bird.:)Isn’t he cute? And my mirror box. It has treasures in it.

This is the rest of the office. Our little Dottie snuck in for this one. This side holds the bags and printing things. We have a ton of bags to carry all our gear, including the little grey one to the left. It’s our Patch.com bag (for photojournalism events) and Nathan’s wedding day bag. It stays out all the time so I can pick it up on my way out to cover a Patch event.

The┬ácandelabra┬áwas a gift from my┬ácorporate┬ádays. I secretly loved it for a year before my boss gave it to me when she moved on to do her own thing. It’s so shiny and sparkly. Just like the rest of my office. And the telephone table it’s sitting on has been around all the days I can remember. I painted it when I was in high school and think I claimed it then. It’s got a cute little shelf below to hold a telephone book. Cool, huh?

This was my grandmother’s camera. It’s got some dirt and rusty screws, but I love it! How can you pass up the sage color and the bright red shutter release button?! Plus it looks awesome on my bookshelf.:)

Hope you enjoyed the tour of my little home office. I love it. I hope instead of having jitters (like I would) get to come hang out me here, you’ll be exited, comfortable, and ready for a fun time. Maybe we’ll have the windows open and cookies baking when you get here!:)

xoxo

Natosha

Mandy S - August 22, 2011 - 1:17 pm

Your office is too stinkin’ cute! It is a total reflection of you and your style! Love it.

natosha - August 22, 2011 - 1:38 pm

Thanks! :) I love it, too! Now if only the rest of our house was so cute. . . .

{Pet + Lifestyle} Mandy + Conner + Brinkley, A Douglasville Pet Session » Natosha Ledbetter Photography - April 26, 2012 - 7:39 pm

[…] 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 […]

Be What You Love

A few weeks ago, I tweeted this

Wore my cowboy boots to the landfill and talked to an old guy about trucks. I’m such a country girl. ­čśÇ

And somewhere in that experience was a life lesson I am learning: To just be who I want to be and stop wishing I was someone else.┬áNow, don’t get me wrong, I am 125% for being genuine and authentic–which I believe I am. But somehow in my being “me” I lost who I really want to be. “Surround yourself with the things you love” was the slogan for one of my favorite companies, SoftSurroundings. I love their style. It’s part hippie, part country cottage, part luxury and all comfortable. (If you ever get a chance to buy their sheets…DO IT! It’s so worth it!) Anyway, their slogan has had an impact on me from the day I read it 15ish years ago….Surround yourself with what you love, with beauty. You’re going to surround yourself with things anyway, why not love them and enjoy using them. Save up to splurge on the things that matter to you (like gorgeous photography! ­čśë ).

So, I get the concept about buying things you love…totally get it. But what about being the person you want to be? Let me tell you a little about who God made me to be….

I love the country and hanging my clothes on the line. I drink sweet tea like it’s all there is. I grew up playing and working in pastures and hayfields. I think vintage travel trailers are *singing* AWESOME! Sometimes I wished I was a boy so I could be in the Good Ole Boy Network. My heart longs for a place and time like Cades Cove. I clean with baking soda and make my own laundry detergent. I have a garden that {partially} feeds my family. Windchimes make one of my favorite sounds. Country Living is my favorite magazine. I wish I had a peony plant and a house full of peony cuttings. I want an old clothes line like my grandmother has. I like driving the truck and wearing my cowboy boots. I love my pink bedspread that looks like Grandma’s. I think beehives are cool.

But I also love my boy from the suburbs…and my house in the suburbs…and my friends in the city (I can’t wait to shoot the Alanta skyline at night for Mandy and Conner in a few weeks!). I love walkable towns and cities. As much as I like cool, smoky bbq places, I don’t think I could totally give up Carabba’s or O’ Garden. Some of my favorite memories are of going to see the Stone Mountain Laser Show, Braves games, and movies on the plaza. I am a recovering shopaholic and still need my stores sometimes. And while I think growing my own green beans is cool, I’m kinda partial to Green Giant’s “variety.” I truly appreciate the beautiful ease of life right here in Douglasville, in the ‘burbs of Atlanta.

But my heart longs for a simpler place. Where things are pure, and you know where your food came from. Where you hang your clothes on the line every afternoon (instead of hiding your sheets drying outside from the Homeowners Association). And it’s okay to sit out on the porch and chat with the neighbors. And kids don’t think you’re a stranger, but call you “ma’am” instead. To sum it all up, I want to slow our life down a few paces. To light our house with sunshine. To clean our house with lemon and vinegar. To know everyone in town. And get a little dirt under my fingernails building a heritage my kids can be proud of, as long as I can wash them in a claw-foot bathtub. ­čśë

So, all that was just a round-about way of saying that I am so thankful for the mercies God has on our family, but He instilled in us an urge to move on and settle down to a life we always wanted but never dreamed could be realistic.

And I realized after I left the landfill that day that I can go ahead and be that simple country girl right now. I can have a comforter that looks like Grandma’s today, and I can wave and say “Hi!” to my neighbors right here in my Douglasville subdivision. I don’t have to wait until I live on a farm road to wave or have a country bed.

“Be the change you wish to see in the world.” -Mahatma Gandhi

Sounds cool, but have you ever really tried it? I started waving to my neighbors. They haven’t caught on yet, but at least I’ll be all practiced up for when I move to the country. I want to be a quaint (but cool, hip, and educated) country girl so bad, but maybe I realized that I can start today. I can move my little heart right out in the middle of my wildflower field, even if I still live in this subdivision. So, starting with this season in my life, I am going to make a few changes around here. I started when I began waving to the neighbors. And my next step is to fill my house with things I truly love. No more buying sleek, black furniture for me. No sir. It’s just not in my heart. I’m more of a french┬áprovincial┬ákind of girl. Maybe next I’ll get some peony flowers and plant them in my yard to go with my new attitude.

Maybe there is something you want to be: a fashion diva, a greened-out hippie, an┬áathletic┬árunner, a web designer, a ┬ápolitical advocate, an outspoken Christian, a glasses-wearing nerd, a sales success. Whatever it is, I am giving you permission to just be it. There is a reason you like what you do. It’s on purpose. And today is as good a day as any to start being who you want to be. Do things that your dream-self type-of-person does, even if it means putting on your cowboy boots, going to the landfill all by yourself, and not being afraid to talk to an old man about trucks.

xoxo

Natosha

Beps Legg - August 10, 2011 - 12:37 am

Natosha! I just found your website. I love your stuff! You have such a beautiful style. Looking forward to future postings :)

natosha - August 11, 2011 - 12:43 pm

Hey girl! I’m glad you found me! You’re very sweet. There are more postings on the way soon! Don’t forget to head over to facebook so we can keep in touch even better! ­čśÇ

{Atlanta Baby Photographer} Izzy » Nathan and Natosha | Atlanta Wedding Photographers, - October 3, 2012 - 5:45 pm

[…] vibrant colors. But we have been making every effort to be authentically “us” since this blog post. Sometimes the “be what you love” concept takes some time to get going. But since […]

{Wedding} Tara+Travis, A Barnesville Farm Wedding

I have a confession to make. I wish our wedding was in Georgia. We got married at the beach, but I am just such a down-home-country-girl-who-likes-fried-okra kind of girl that I dream of weddings with mason jars. And wooden crates. And hydrangeas. And cowboy boots, but that’s for another day.

So, what’s the next best thing to having the wedding of your dreams? Going to someone else’s wedding who is having the wedding of your dreams (and her dreams too, of course!). We had the privilege of attending such a wedding. It began as a super foggy morning; we knew we were driving through the country, but couldn’t see a thing. As the fog was starting to clear, we drove up to Tara’s house, a gorgeous white plantation house. Tara was getting ready for the first look that was going to happen in just a few small hours.

They had hand-made signs pointing us in the right direction. It’s a good thing because it was so foggy that morning!

Tara had some gorgeous antique furniture in her room that was her grandparents, like the dresser I used as a prop for her ring photograph. If I’m not mistaken, I think her grandfather actually made some of it. Really cool.

Tara and Travis wanted to do a first look (good choice!), so we found this awesome old tree with a swing in it for the secret spot.

After they had their moment together, we had a few minutes to let Tara and Travis show off their wedding day duds. Quite a handsome couple, if you ask me!

It was already hot early that morning, so we let them cool off and catch some breeze on the swing.

Timeless.

Ditto.

Tara got to sneak back inside for some AC where I snatched this while she was hanging out with Travis and the family before the ceremony.

That’s Tara’s dad. He did a fabulous job walking her down the aisle.

Do you not love their house? It’s the perfect location for a wedding.

We had lots of laughs during the ceremony.

I just love it when boys adore girls.

I don’t typically get a chance to stand in front of the bride and groom, but I did sneak up on Tara’s porch. The sun was so glowy up there. It was just beautiful.

After the happy couple was married, they snuck around to the back of the house and reappeared with a sweet tea and a lemonade, both in mason jars with ice.

It looked like this:……Are you thirsty yet?

This is one of Nathan’s photographs. I love the angle he sees life from.

See the groom’s cake below? It’s a Mac laptop (including a full keyboard and the apple on the outside) with a photograph from their engagement session on the screen. I have secretly convinced myself that they loved their engagement session so much, they designed their groom’s cake around the photograph.

I spy a bouquet.

After the festivities, the bridal party headed down to the water for some fun time with their awesome photographer. ­čśë Tara rode there in style…piggyback style, that is.

The water was a nice soft backdrop for some group photographs of the ladies.

The boys got to stand on cool boulders for their main photograph, but I just had to show you this one instead. The guys got to hold a bouquet for each girl (while they climbed back up the hill from the waterside). ­čśÇ Guys holding flowers cracks me up every time.

Where else do you get to head out to a field like this except on a farm?! It was awesome!

Not only did they have gorgeous trees, a tree swing, boulders, a pond, and a field, but they had an airstrip. A-w-e-s-o-m-e!!!!

If you look in the background, they are all pretending to be airplanes on the airstrip.

We had to be serious for at least one photograph.

While everyone got into their places, Travis dipped Tara. For like the 5th time that day. He definitely kept us on our toes.

Bubbles!

If you look just to the right of Travis, you can see Stew (in the same outfit as Travis) totally cheering them on. ­čśÇ Love it when people are happy for other people.

Confession #2. I left out a ton of awesome photographs that told the story of their day way better than the 20-something shown here. If I were you, I would watch the slideshow.

I hope you enjoyed them as much as we enjoyed being there!

Until next time,

xoxo

Natosha

 

 

There is a plan.

Imagine this.

It’s your wedding day. You’re wearing that gorgeous dress you picked out 8 months ago (and worked out for the last 8 months to fit into!). Your hair is perfect and your makeup is flawless. You’ve just married the love of your life and this is the day of your dreams. Your family has had all their group photos taken care of and now it’s just you, your new hubs, and your two photographers.

If I’m your photographer, I’m probably telling you to just relax and ignore me for a few minutes while you enjoy being married. I might be standing at arm’s length from you, shooting your ring hand resting on his shoulder, or I might be laying on the ground shooting up between you during a sweet kiss between you and your sweetheart. Or I might even be walking away from you, heading to some awesome vantage point to get your setting on a gorgeous day. I know some of the times you are probably thinking “Why is she standing on that bench?” or “How long do we need to kiss until she gets finished?” Sometimes it takes a few seconds and I’ll tell you why.

I usually work through my shots deliberately, building layer on layer of color and texture, with a strong focus on composition. If I drew out everything that I think about in an instant before I click the shutter, it would probably look like a total mess.

I didn’t draw it out myself, but I did find where someone else took some time to map it all out for us (with MindMeister). I wanted to share and give you a little peek into our minds on shooting days.

So the next time you are wondering why I am holding my camera two feet above my head shooting, rest assured there is a plan.

xoxo
Natosha

Dan - May 12, 2011 - 9:03 am

Outstanding example, and great usage of our embedding feature! Hats off to you!

natosha - June 20, 2011 - 11:34 pm

Thanks, Dan! It wasn’t my original creation, but I do love the mind map. Thanks so much for commenting!

Inspirational Recyclables

Inspiration. Sometimes you just need a little bit of it. That’s why I get magazines. Tons of magazines. I can think of 10 I always have sitting on the bar, right off the top of my head. To be honest, I don’t always have time to read them all. I actually rarely have time to go through an entire publication. That means a ton of heavy boxes (full of magazines) go to the recycle bin every year from me, but just think of all the awesome tips, tricks, and ideas I get from them!

Actually, some days, magazines make my world go round. Like the other day we were throwing our recycles out. I noticed a Town&Country Weddings from Spring/Summer 2011. I hadn’t gotten a chance to read through it yet, so I stopped everything to flip through and make sure there weren’t any jewels of inspiration in there. I am so glad I did! ┬áI found this:

Glorious, isn’t it? I mean, really, how can you resist such a gorgeous,┬áfeminine┬ácake?!? It’s called Rose Frill from Maggie Austin Cake, and it’s details like this that make me want to throw a Sunday afternoon tea party just so I can have an excuse to have a cake this gorgeous in my house. And because I realize that one is a bit frilly and girly, how about this one from Sweet & Saucy Shop:

Still beautiful, but not so dainty. And if you need more inspiration, check out the galleries and portfolios on their websites. Wedding cake makers are artists in every way, and it is a pleasure to browse their artwork.  (And not only that, but you get to eat it, too!)

See, now. The next time I am supposed to be taking out the recycles and I take a minute to┬áperuse┬áthe magazines, I shouldn’t feel bad at all. I could have missed these incredible wedding cakes to brighten our day.

I hope they were just the dose of beautiful spring freshness you were needing.

xoxo

Natosha

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