2017 Shoot & Share Contest Results! {Cumming GA Professional Photographer}

Cumming GA Professional Photographer

Cumming GA professional Photographer

Last year was quite a year for our family! Many big changes happened, including an ankle injury for me that prevented me from doing any on-location portrait sessions, moving from the southside of Atlanta to the northside in Cumming, GA, and the birth of our fourth son! That being said, 2016 was a low key year for me for sessions as I opted to take on very little as we prepared for the changes ahead for our family.

I always love the annual Shoot & Share Contest, which is an international competition with over 300,000 submissions this year from professional photographers! I selected quite a few of my personal family photos for submission, along with a handful of favorite captures from the weddings I photographed last year. Its always interesting to see which images perform the best; oftentimes it even surprises me! I'm thrilled to share the results, where I had 7 images receive recognition in the competition!

The top image was just on the verge of making it into the top 3% for the newborn competition, which had over 18,000 baby photos alone! This is my sweet baby boy, Jace, who was adorably in mid-yawn.

Cumming GA professional Photographer

Winter break was full over lazy days in PJs and superhero capes! Here, my 3 year old was preparing to leap from a giant building as he fought off some bad guys. Documenting my boys through lifestyle photography kindles my creativity!

Cumming GA professional Photographer

From my hospital bed, just minutes after delivering my fourth baby boy, I grabbed this baby photo of my husband meeting our newest addition. I love the details of my newborn's tiny fingers wrapped around my husband's index finger.

Cumming GA professional Photographer

An emotional kiss shared by newly pronounced husband and wife as they exit their wedding ceremony.

Cumming GA professional Photographer

Pre wedding photos are one of my favorite aspects of photographing a wedding day as a professional photographer! Here, the bride is getting the final details taken care of-- her shoes are a perfect shade of "something blue".

Cumming GA professional Photographer
Cumming GA professional Photographer

If you're looking for a Cumming GA professional photographer, I'd love to meet with you and plan out your perfect family photo session.

Baby Hudson {Cumming GA Newborn Professional Pictures}

Cumming GA Newborn Professional Pictures

My husband and I never waited until our babies were born to find out their gender. I had a feeling with each pregnancy that I was having a boy (and intuition was right!), but we always took advantage of that mid-term ultrasound to find out for sure.

Lately, I've noticed so many parents opting for the gender to remain a surprise to be revealed at the delivery! I find that an impressive display of patience! Well, sweet little Hudson here is his parents' firstborn and they decided to go that route (I like to call it "team green"). What fun it was to receive his Mama's email announcing his arrival and preparing for his professional pictures!

We scheduled his in-home newborn session at their home in Cumming, GA when he was 12 days old, which was perfect timing since the best time to photograph a newborn is before the baby is 2 weeks old. I found a little space at the top of their stairwell with some beautiful natural light filling the space to set up all my equipment. Like all my newborn sessions, it was not rushed. Little Hudson took some time getting settled into his session, but before long he was lulled to sleep by the white noise, a full belly, and the snug & warm room.

Newborn professional pictures

I love to pull things together that parents have on hand, whether it's a box from their home decor, a family heirloom, or a special gift for the baby. His Daddy had brought home a neat wooden pallet and Hudson's grandmother had given them an old blueberry crate. I brought some props for a baby boy, so I had a fuzzy blue stuffer and a sweet little blue bonnet that was perfect! I adore the newborn professional pictures that were created with those items!

Andrea + Jody {Cumming GA Wedding Photography}

Cumming GA Wedding Photography

Wedding photography at Flat Creek Country Club in Peachtree City GA

Andrea and Jody had a gorgeous early summer wedding! Although my photo studio is located in Cumming, GA, I was honored to work alongside Sabrina Louise Photography during their big day, which took place just south of Atlanta in Peachtree City, GA. Flat Creek Country Club had a lovely little room for the bride and her bridesmaids to get ready in and the morning kicked off with some mimosas and light snacks of fresh fruit and cheese. The details Andrea pulled together for her summer wedding were gorgeous; I absolutely loved her bridesmaids' colorful bouquets.

The bride and groom opted to do a first look prior to the ceremony, which provided a great opportunity to capture their excitement and emotion in pre wedding photos! I love the anticipation on Jody's and Andrea's faces as the moment approached, which you can see in the series of images below. Andrea and her bridesmaids were so vibrant throughout the day and a lot of fun to work with. The Flat Creek Country Club grounds made a beautiful backdrop for the wedding party portraits with an outdoor gazebo covered in vines and the rolling hills of the golf course behind them. It was so windy as we were photographing them, but Andrea's incredible veil caught the wind in such a romantic way. 

The wedding ceremony was held at Holy Trinity Catholic Church and I was able to capture a passionate kiss they shared as they made their way back down the aisle after their vows. That image placed in the Top 20% in the 2017 Shoot & Share Photo Contest in the wedding photography Emotion & Excitement category, which had over 9,000 images!

The wedding reception at Flat Creek Country Club was beautiful as well and the father of the bride was a hilarious host. The celebration went until after midnight and just as they were preparing to leave, the skies opened up and there was a downpour! It made their exit quite an event!

Award winning Atlanta photographer

Jace, welcome to the BOYS' club! {Cumming GA Best Newborn Photographers}

Cumming GA Best Newborn Photographer

Cumming GA best newborn photographers

Throughout my 4th pregnancy, it felt there was one question (or at least some variation of it) *every* stranger was compelled to ask :

"Are you finally having a girl?"

A strained chuckle would typically follow along with "You certainly have your hands full!" But you know what? It never really bothered me. There is a genuine curiosity there and an easy conversation to strike up with a woman whose belly "popped" at 10 weeks along and can barely hear over the airplane noises coming from one toddler and cries for cheese samples at the deli counter from the others. And of course, since precious little boy number 4's arrival the comments still come. Yes indeed, we have struck the boy lottery and I wouldn't change it for the world. I know God has a plan and a purpose for each one of these little boys who will grow, by God's grace, into noble men who positively influence the world around them. I feel blessed, honored, and, quite honestly, a little intimidated at times by the weight that responsibility carries.

I mustered up some energy when Jace was 11 days old to capture his newborn portraits. It only took me another 3 weeks to get around to editing! Ha! I always feel its hardest to photograph my own kids, especially as newborns. Jace was actually the easiest of the four! He slept soundly and allowed me to pose him as I wished. I, of course, had my little space heater going to ensure he was warm enough and it was probably at least 85 degrees in that room! It was my first chance to pull out all my wraps and props since our move up to Cumming, GA, just north of Atlanta. I'm excited to be joining all the best newborn photographers in Cumming!

I managed to get, what I feel, is an incredible portrait of all 4 of my boys together. With 4 boys ages 5 and under, it was certainly no easy task. I worked all the best newborn Photographers magic I had to get it. The moment I saw the image for the first time, I was in tears. In one frame and moment, each little soul was captured in their individual personalities and expressions. I cannot wait to place a beautiful print of that image in my home, to feel the joy and emotion every time I pass it like I did the first time I saw it.

Cumming GA best newborn photographers

That, right there, is what I strive to capture for my clients. I want their hearts to sing when they see it displayed on quality, heirloom art. I devote so much time and energy into learning how to draw out emotive expressions, capture those moments with skill, professionally edit and enhance the image to highlight those emotions, and preparing the image properly for print based on the size and medium of the art. Images come to life in print in a way they just can't on a screen. I want my client to fully enjoy their investment and am thrilled to offer services and tools to assist them from the planning stages to delivery of their custom art.

He's arrived! {North Atlanta Fresh 48 Photojournalism}

North Atlanta Fresh 48 Photojournalism

My family and I have been through quite a bit of changes through 2016. With the anticipation of our 4th baby boy arriving this Fall, relocating our family to North Atlanta in Cumming GA, and numerous travels through the summer, I decided to take it easy with my photography business and wait to pursue work until things slowed down in my personal life when I could focus on building up my business here.

That being said, I'd like to proudly introduce the newest member of my boys' club: Jace Nathanael! He arrived on October 4th and is an absolute blessing and joy! My labor with him was over 17 hours, which was significantly longer than the other 3. I was thrilled to have finally make it through a birth without an epidural! His big brothers are smitten. Of course, it was important to me to document our baby boy's arrival through a hospital session, which is commonly referred to as a Fresh 48 photojournalism session. My husband grabbed the shot of me holding Jace for the first time, but I felt well enough to be up and walking around to document his first bath, having his measurements taken, and sweet pictures of my husband holding him as well!

These are such precious memories for me to have. These images hold so much emotion, so many firsts, and so much pride during those first two days in the hospital after his arrival. My 22-month-old was skeptical. My 3-year-old just couldn't get enough of him (just look at that proud big brother face!). A Fresh 48 session is an incredible way to document those first few hours after your little one's arrival that are shrouded in the grogginess from lack of sleep and exhaustion after delivery! I'd love to provide photojournalism coverage of your baby's hospital stay.

North Atlanta Fresh 48 photojournalism
Fresh 48 Session Northside Forsyth North Atlanta Photographer

Baby Josie, 16 days old {Cumming GA Newborn Professional Pictures}

Newborn Professional Pictures

Newborn professional pictures of a baby girl.

I got to love on and snuggle this teeny little lady when she was 16 days old! She spent a good bit of time awake, so I was happy to get a sweet little frame of her looking into my camera. Once she settled in, she slept like a dream. Look at those little lips!

Jason + Emily {North Atlanta Wedding Photographer}

Emily & Jason had a beautiful, classy wedding that took place in Cleveland, Ohio! I was so honored to travel up to photograph their big day. The day began getting ready at the Hyatt Arcade in downtown Cleveland. The venue would also serve as the location of their reception later that evening and it is an incredible historic setting.

They didn't do a first look prior to the ceremony, so we had a lot of fun with the blindfolds and sneaking them around to avoid seeing each other too soon! It was sweet to see them exchange gifts and notes ahead of time, though!

The ceremony was held at Emily's childhood church and since they met at the Air Force Academy, they had the proper military sendoff with the arch of swords! We had about 5 minutes for some formal outdoor portraits in the town square en route back to The Arcade in downtown Cleveland.

The hall was decorated with colors of bright yellow and blue and Emily tied in a bird theme to give a nod to their Air Force history. I loved all the personal and detailed touches on the dessert table, at the bar, and sprinkled throughout the banquet hall!

What I'm most excited about is the gorgeous album I was able to design for them! I'm thrilled that they have their day encapsulated in a unique, heirloom album that is a work of art! I will certainly make a separate post highlighting their wedding album along with the additional beautiful pieces they ordered.

I also wanted to give a shout out to my second shooter, Desttany Groesser, for her help with photographing the guys getting ready and other angles throughout the day to help provide a fuller story of their wedding!

Wedding bride getting ready at Hyatt Arcade in downtown Cleveland, OH. Wedding dress displayed in Arcade and father's first look.
Hyatt Arcade formal portraits on grand stairwell and bride and groom exchange gifts before the ceremony.
Bride with bridesmaids on party bus. Church wedding ceremony in Cleveland, Ohio.
USAFA wedding through arch by Atlanta Photographer
Formal wedding portrait by Atlanta photographer Jeannine Hodges
Hyatt Arcade in Cleveland, OH by Atlanta wedding photographer Jeannine Hodges
Bride and Groom portraits at Hyatt Arcade in Cleveland, OH by Atlanta wedding photographer
Wedding reception at Hyatt Arcade in Cleveland, OH by Atlanta wedding photographer Jeannine Hodges

Melody + Will {Clemson, SC Wedding Photographer}

I was blessed with the opportunity to work with Christi of Kings Bridge Photography as an assistant photographer at a beautifully sweet wedding in Clemson, SC. My parents live in the Clemson area, so it gave me a perfect excuse to visit them over the Memorial Day weekend!

Hiring a second photographer frees up your lead photographer to take more time to be creative and not miss other details and events they would otherwise have to skip! This helps tell the complete story of your wedding day within your carefully crafted and designed heirloom album.

While Christi was photographing the bride and her girls getting ready, I captured the laughter exchanged among a nervous groom and his closest friends. I posed and photographed his formal portraits, which may have gotten overlooked in a pressured timeline. As a second photographer, I relayed rings, grabbed accessories, communicated messages, and captured another perspective of everything their special day entailed. While she swept the bride and groom away for their creative couple portraits, I ran ahead to grab images of all the little details the family invested so much time into creating before the reception hall flooded with celebrating friends and family. I hope all my brides see the importance of hiring an assistant photographer to have full coverage of their wedding day!

I have so much fun witnessing all the love and joy at a wedding, and Melody & Will had a beautiful and heartfelt ceremony.

Bridal party portraits by Atlanta wedding Photographer Jeannine Hodges
wedding ceremony at Clemson Presbyterian by Atlanta wedding Photographer Jeannine Hodges
Wedding reception at Clemson Presbyterian church by Atlanta wedding photographer Jeannine Hodges

Spring Family Session {North Atlanta Family Photographer}

This sweet family drove all the way down from the north suburbs of Atlanta for their family session at Line Creek Nature Area here in Peachtree City! I always love photographing families at Line Creek because there are just so many little beautiful nooks and the water glistening over the shoals is gorgeous.

Little Ethan is 17 months old and they realized it was about time to have their first professional family portraits taken of their little family! As any 17 month old is, Ethan wasn't still for long! He was so excited about all the rocks, sticks, water and anything else he could spot (and name!). My favorite images tend to be the ones of families playing together and Ethan was all about splashing in the creek. With it being early April, the creek definitely didn't feel warm, but he loved it.

Family portrait session at Line Creek in Peachtree City Fayette County GA by Forsyth County photographer Jeannine Hodges

2016 Shoot & Share Contest Awards {Cumming Family Photographer}

With this being my second year entering the Shoot & Share Contest, let me just say how much FUN it is! The entire contest is quite a process, as it runs over the course of a month and this year had 10 rounds of voting, each round eliminating the bottom percentage of images from each of the 25 categories. Unlike most photo contests, it is completely anonymous and voted on by professional photographers and photo admirers around the world, open to anyone who wishes to jump in and see some incredible work. This year, at least 50,000 unique voters from over 130 countries participated!

The most impressive thing about the contest, I found, was that there were more than DOUBLE the number of images submitted this year over the number in the contest last year. In 2015, there were about 110,000 images. I was blessed, honored and thrilled to receive recognition that 5 of my images placed in the top 30% and I even had one make it to the final round as a FINALIST (top 7%). This year, in 2016, over 225,000 images were submitted! With the pool being SO large, I wasn't counting on making it as far as I did last year.

As the voting rounds pushed on and the pool was culled to so many stellar images, I'd anxiously wait for my little "favorites" indicator to go up just to know I had at least ONE photo left in the contest. This little feature allows other voters to "save" images that they love so they can go back later to see the camera, settings, and see more of that photographer's work. I knew I had one photo make it to Round 8, but once they released the final results, I was floored!

No, I didn't make it to the Finalist round that I did last year. However, I had a total of 19 images that received the honor of making it to the top 30% or better of the images submitted!

Top 10%: 5 images

Top 20%: 5 images

Top 30%: 9 images

I know I've grown immensely in my art over the past year and it is so reassuring to see others perceive that growth as well. So a big THANK YOU to my beautiful clients who have allowed me the privilege to capture your memories and transform them into art.

And now, I'd like to proudly display the images that received recognition!

Toddler/Preschoolers: Top 7% of 18,329 images submitted

Toddler/Preschoolers: Top 7% of 18,329 images submitted

Toddler/Preschoolers: Top 7% of 18,329 images submitted

Toddler/Preschoolers: Top 7% of 18,329 images submitted

Newborn: Top 10% of 12,302 images submitted

Newborn: Top 10% of 12,302 images submitted

Toddler/Preschoolers: Top 10% of 18,329 images submitted

Toddler/Preschoolers: Top 10% of 18,329 images submitted

Toddler/Preschoolers: Top 7% of 18,329 images submitted

Toddler/Preschoolers: Top 7% of 18,329 images submitted

Peachtree City Family Photographer
Peachtree City Family Photographer

Cake Smash Celebration! {Forsyth County GA Family Photographer}

This girl arrived for her one year session and brought a bag full of smiles with her! Mila has an adorable little crinkled-nose smile when she decides to really crank the cuteness up a notch and it totally works for her. We began the session with some sweet family photos and then headed inside for her cake smash session.

Forsyth County GA Family Photographer

Her mama had told me that she would be wearing a gold and black shirt, so I pulled together some cute gold pom poms on a white backdrop for something simple, yet fun. I introduced some over sized gold confetti and she just thought it was the best stuff to chew on! Quick outfit change and we moved onto the cake & smashing part of the session. Her mama picked this gorgeous teal cake up from Publix and I was so tempted to eat it because they make the BEST cakes. Mila stuck her finger in it but wasn't sure what to do with it until her mama tore a little chunk off to give her a sample. After that, Mila dug in and managed to get her fists in her mouth, enjoying it immensely! She has so much personality and her little icing covered hands and face are just priceless.

Forsyth County GA Cake Smash Photographer

Sugar & Spice {Forsyth County GA Newborn Photographer}

I was honored when this sweet baby girl's mother reached out to me in the months ahead of her arrival to schedule a newborn session. Her mother and I have known each other since middle school and it is always such a blessing to see the transformation of my peers into parents.

I adore this little lace bonnet I purchased for her session, as well as the textured purple blanket. I found a lovely spot in their home to set up my backdrop that had lots of gorgeous light filtering in through the windows. I really should have gotten a pull back for some behind the scenes of what all goes into creating these beautiful shots. Packing up all my equipment, throws, props, etc. isn't easy, but I do love going to the homes of new parents to make the entire process easier on them.

The rolls, the little toes, the mouth-open slumber...I just love it all!

Johns Creek Newborn Photographer

Jason & Emily Engaged! {Forsyth County GA Engagement Photographer}

Jason & Emily have been together for years and are finally tying the knot in July! We squeezed in a quick engagement session on an empty lot in the neighborhood, which ended up making a stellar last minute location! They are a relaxed and fun couple, which you can totally tell from their session! They're planning a July wedding in her home state of Ohio and I'm so looking forward to celebrating with them and photographing their special day! 

Forsyth County GA Engagement Photographer

Reid Turns ONE! {North Atlanta Children's Photographer}

Pinwheels & balloons...happy 1st birthday to this sweet little guy! Reid was slow to start the actual smash portion of his portrait session, but he eventually got the hang of it! For most of my cake smash sessions, this is the first real opportunity they've had to dig into this much sugar and I guess its intimidating!

Messy face, fingers, toes, & floor adds up to a successful cake smashing.

Forsyth County GA Cake Smash Photographer

Intimate Winter Wedding {North Atlanta Wedding Photographer}

Mandy and Jeff had a beautiful intimate winter wedding that was held in her parent's back yard. They incorporated fresh pine garlands and Christmas lights to create an elegant candlelit atmosphere. Since the ceremony was held outdoors on the back patio, they provided blankets for their guests to bundle up in, which I thought was a clever touch!

The ceremony was officiated by a close friend of the groom and they were surrounded by their closest family and friends. Mandy was an absolutely stunning bride and it was such a joy to witness their love and the beginning of their journey through life together!

North Atlanta Wedding Photographer
Cumming Wedding Photographer

Shady Oaks Farm in the Fall {Forsyth County Family Photographer}

We had a gorgeous fall evening yesterday for the Williamson family's photo session. God was gracious to have the tornado warning and heavy storm pass through the day before. Their littles were so full of energy and are just too cute. The kids' first language is German (Mama is from Germany!) and they were kind to put up with my silly remarks that are probably barely even slightly funny in English. Haha! Many thanks to the folks of Shady Oaks farm, who Linda is friends with, for allowing us to enjoy the Autumn evening on their gorgeous property spoiling their horses with apples and carrots! One of my favorite family sessions to date!

North Atlanta Family Photographer

Big Top 1st Birthday {Johns Creek Family Photographer}

I'd like to share a personal story with you.

This boy. Oh goodness. He belongs to me and is the sweetest, most content little guy. But after an entire Fall of rainfall, gloomy weather, and coming down with a stubborn cold (resulting in an ear infection) while cutting 3 molars at once, he just wasn't bringing his best to this intricately designed styled birthday shoot I planned for him!

After waiting for over a month for the skies to clear, ground to dry, and this guy to get better, I had run out of opportunities to squeeze in my birthday boy's session before his big Circus birthday party just days out.

So, I packed up my three little boys and headed to an open field to capture what was sure to be an adorable setup. I had a plan, since I was wrangling all three solo (Daddy was at work). I gave my big boys jobs. My 4 year old was to video record his baby brother during the session (lots of airplanes in the sky, people walking by, and grass covered shoes) and my 2 year old was to click the shutter remote trigger for my backup camera mounted to a tripod (the tripod didn't stay put). And my 1 year old was supposed to strike his handsome smile, growl with the stuffed lions, and just rock his photo shoot.

Well. This is how it went:

Johns Creek Child Photographer

Everything how I had envisioned it. Except that precious boy was nothing but tears. So, the session didn't go as planned. But I still adore these images of him. These images capture my memories of everything that transpired to create this. Years from now, I'll be able to recall all those little details that likely would have slipped my mind because I created moments and captured them.

And, as a side note, the evening was highlighted on our way home when a deer leaped out in front of our van, which ended up being a total loss! 

Grant's first birthday party was a lot of fun! I'd like to share a few snapshots from the day! I spent hours making this Month by Month Ferris Wheel out of hula hoops and wooden dowels along with tons of other fun details.

Peachtree City Event Photographer

Something to Celebrate! {North Atlanta Event Photographer}

Ethan just turned one! He is just 8 days older than my baby boy (I photographed his newborn session just days before my little man arrived!), and it's hard to believe that a year has already passed. This little guy already has his Mom & Dad chasing him on foot! He's been walking exclusively for well over a month and had the cutest little "cowboy" walk you ever did see. He loves cars (can you tell?) and food and I think might be *more* laid back and easy going than his parents (is that even possible?!). 

Ethan, it's been a treasure watching you grow over the past year, even if it's been at a bit of a distance! <3

South Atlanta First Birthday Photographer

Home on the Range {Forsyth County, GA Family Photographer}

I had the pleasure to meet the Paul family at their farm, which made a  beautiful backdrop for their family portraits. It was a bit of a drive south from my home base in Peachtree City, but was totally worth it! There was discussion of what to do if the weather didn't hold out for us Friday evening. Fortunately, there was a 6 hour break in the rain showers that just so happened to fall within the time frame of our session. We couldn't have asked for a prettier Fall evening. This seems to be a common theme for my sessions lately--God is good!

We started off in the back yard with the pups, who didn't really seem interested in a photo shoot at all. I utilized my Photoshop skills and pieced together several photos for the perfect shot---I even caught a smile from one of the dogs! ;)

Their sweet little 5 month old daughter loves tickles from her Mama and Mr. Owl. Our session wrapped up pretty close to her bed time (Daylight Savings isn't easy on any of us!), but I captured so many little smiles & expressions out of her before she decided to call it a night! I just love how the sunlight filtered through the trees that over looked the cow pastures. The Paul family & scenery was just picture perfect.

Dressing Up the Family! {Forsyth County Photographer}

Just wanted to share a personal post to highlight one of my family's favorite things: dressing up for Halloween! My husband is *slightly* excited about the upcoming release of the newest Star Wars, so we decided to do a Star Wars themed  family costumes. I always have fun creating and making the costumes. Much to my husband's dismay, sometimes it involves construction paper.

This year, I managed to pull most of our costumes together from Better Way Bargains, a local thrift store that benefits a local ministry. The day I shopped (it *may* have been the week before Halloween!) all clothing happened to be $1, which was an awesome deal! Construction paper wasn't involved this year, but tinfoil and foam sheets were! I made my baby boy's hat out of a trick-or-treat bag that was a frog head...just turned it inside out and cut out some Yoda-shaped ears! 

Often times, a photographer struggles to find time and energy to capture moments in their own life. I really challenge myself to keep up with all the memories we make together with our boys and have my camera in tow, but also try to make sure I am a part of the moment. Most of the time, Mama doesn't make it into the frame except for a snap or two. I look through pictures from when my oldest was toddling around and can actually visualize clicking the shutter. The images really do bring back those memories, which is what motivated me to grow and learn as a photographer in the first place!

Peachtree City Photographer