Festive and Fresh Holiday Decorating Inspiration [Published Birmingham Magazine, December 2017]

Entertaining for the holidays? Find some beautiful, fresh, colorful inspiration and tips to decorate your home in the current issue of Birmingham Magazine, on newsstands now.







Photography: Heather Durham | Floral Design: Thorne & Thistle | Vintage China and Flatware: Tea and Old Roses | Cake Artist: A. Joy Cakes & Co. | Paper & Calligraphy: Gracefully Made Art

Megan & Andrew’s Rehearsal Dinner at The Haven, Birmingham AL

Megan & Andrew’s Rehearsal Dinner at Haven was beautifully designed by Hothouse Design Studio & Prophouse Birmingham. It was a wonderful celebration of time-tested, lifelong friendships and the adoration of close knit families. I was blessed and inspired by the kind words I heard spoken about Megan and Andrew. They are wonderful examples of true friendship. It was a lovely evening.





















Alexandra & Justin’s Birmingham Botanical Gardens & Grand Bohemian Hotel Wedding

Alexandra and Justin’s wedding, planned by Handley Breaux Designs, was such a pleasure to shoot and the vendor team did an outstanding job at delivering her dream day. The bride and groom, their families and wedding party incredibly sweet and so much fun! We were blessed with mild, breezy weather (unusual for May in Alabama) for their outdoor ceremony at Birmingham Botanical Gardens, and it couldn’t have been more gorgeous! I was thrilled to be a part of this beautiful wedding. Here are some of my favorite images from Alexandra and Justin’s storybook day.

























Photographer: Heather Durham Photography | 2nd Shooter: Emily Walker Kicklighter | Planner: Handley Breaux Designs | Wedding Gown: Kelly Faetanini from Carriage House Weddings | Hair & Make Up: Leslie Corts and Carol Grubbs | Bridesmaids Dresses: Joanna August from Bella Bridesmaids (Birmingham, AL) | Floral Design: Lagniappe Designs | Cake Artists: Magic Muffins and Pastry Art Bake Shoppe | Invitation Suite: Annabelle’s


Sarah Corrine & David’s Vestavia Hills, AL Wedding [Avon Theater Reception]

David’s Mom, Cindi ,and I have known each other for years. She owns a pilates and cycle studio in Birmingham where I used to teach. So, I was so excited when I was asked to photograph her son, David’s wedding. It was such a lovely wedding in shades of white with powder blue bridesmaids dresses by Amsale. Sarah Corrine’s custom wedding gown by Birmingham’s own Heidi Elnora, was classic and timeless, created to give Sarah Corrine two slightly different looks for the wedding ceremony and the reception.

It was obvious that Sarah Corrine and David adore each other! I wish them all the best for a lifetime together of health and happiness.




Photography: Heather Durham Photography | Assistant Photographer: Emily Kicklighter | Floral Design: Susan G. Huff | Wedding Gown: Heidi Elnora | Bridesmaids Dresses: Amsale from Bella Bridesmaids | Tuxes: Joseph A Bank | Caterer: Cafe Iz | Cake Artist: Pastry Art | Invitation Suite: William Arthur-Crane & Co. | Videographer: Four 10 Films, Evans Smith | Ceremony Venue: Vestavia Hills Methodist Church | Reception Venue: Avon Theater | Entertainment: Creativity Band

Best of 2016 Real Weddings

It’s that time again…time to reflect on a year of Weddings. And what a fabulous year it was! I’m so grateful for my sweet and wonderful brides who have chosen and trusted me to capture their blissful moments, and for the vendors who have helped to make their dream day come true! I’m not focusing on the styled portraits in this post, because well I have way too many favorites and that just really needs to be a separate post for another time. This post is more about the moments and the details. A glimpse into the wedding day itself and what made each one so special. I loved pulling this post together and reliving every single one of your weddings! So here it goes…(drum roll, please) my BEST OF 2016 LIST! Cheers and bring on 2017!

Best Invitation Suite: Sarah & Bubba
Planner: Invision Events
Invitation Design: Empress Stationary
Perfect…The muted tones, the custom initials and the calligraphy. Empress Stationary earned a feather in her cap for this one!


Best Getting Ready Robe or Gown: Angel & Jared
She ordered it from London and it was stunning on her! So sophisticated.

Best Getting Ready Venue: Amanda & Jacob
Venue: The Oaks, Centreville AL
The light was perfect, soft and dreamy, streaming in all of the windows. And bonus! The decor perfectly fit the style of this beautiful, classic wedding! I always choose my favorite getting ready venues by their quality of flattering natural light.
hdp-beardenblake-25hdp-beardenblake-143hdp-beardenblake-162hdp-beardenblake-169hdp-beardenblake-271-2hdp-beardenblake-327Best Getting Ready Moment: It’s a tie. I can’t help it! 

Katie & Matt
Planner: Handley Breaux Designs
A bride’s prayer before walking down the aisle. I think I heard angel’s singing.

Angel & Jared
I love a good shot of the bride putting on her shoes. Especially when you have this many windows and dreamy light.

Best Wedding Gown: Caroline & Daniel
Planner: AK Brides
Gown: Augusta Jones
Bridal Shop: Carriage House Weddings
Floral Design: Lillie’s
It fit her to a T. And that lace! Swoon! Pure elegance.
hdp-daniel-30015-hdp-daniel-194_-web018-hdp-daniel-210_-web048-hdp-daniel-581_-webhdp-daniel-414-2091-hdp-daniel-476_-webBest Veil: Leah & Eric
I adored that it was Eric’s request for her to have a cathedral length veil. He wanted it long and mysterious. He got his wish, and it was handmade.

Best Bouquets: Cat & Chris
Planner: M. Elizabeth Events
Floral Design: Laurel Green
I loved the gorgeous merlot color in the gathered mix of florals for this December wedding. And, the florals just seemed to perfectly complement her ginger locks!

Best Ceremony Venue: Angel & Jared
Venue: Private Estate, Mountain Brook AL
Tent Rentals: Event Rentals Unlimited
An amazing pool and magnificent pool house, with expansive views of Birmingham and Vulcan for your nuptials? Yes, please!


Best Reception Venue: Sarah & Bubba
Planner: Invision Events
Venue: Swann Lake Stables, Birmingham AL
This venue feels as if you are at a destination wedding, not in the heart of Birmingham, Alabama. It’s dreamy, with so much room to roam!  My favorite time of night has always been twilight. That cobalt blue sky gets me grabbing my tripod every time.


Best Reception Design: Katie & Matt
Planner: Handley Breaux Designs
Venue: Vestavia Country Club, Birmingham AL
Floral Design: Lagniappe Designs
Cake: The Cakerie Birmingham
A hanging cake?! I mean that just takes the cake!

Best Hair & Makeup: Amanda & Jacob
MUAH: Emily Summerville
Loved the updo, relaxed curls and natural makeup Emily created for Amanda and her bridesmaids. So soft and feminine.

Best Use of Something Old: Cat & Chris
Planner: M. Elizabeth Events
Cat’s family jewels and Mother’s Veil
I loved the estate jewels Cat chose for her day. Just enough sparkle, with a touch of color against her creamy fair skin.

Best Father of the Bride Moment: Niki & David
Planner: Two Hearts Weddings
Venue: Renaissance Ross Bridge Resort
From his first look with her, to their first dance with twirls and spins, then tears of joy. It was touching. Everyone knew they have a special relationship.


Best Mother of the Bride Moment: Caroline & Daniel
Planner: AK Brides
Caroline’s Mom seeing her in her gown and beaming with joy and pride for her only daughter. There was so much love in that room.


Best Mother of the Groom Moment: Niki & David
Planner: Two Hearts Weddings
Such a tender moment between mother and son.

Best Bridesmaids Dresses: Katie & Matt
Planner: Handley Breaux Designs
Carefully curated dresses in shades of merlot  were absolutely stunning for this December wedding. Not one was the same and each style suited its  bridesmaid’s personality and personal style so well. Hands down my favorite look! These bridesmaids dresses will definitely be worn again for a night on the town.

Best Moment with Bridesmaids: Caroline & Daniel
Planner: AK Brides
Caroline’s bridesmaids seeing her in dress for the first time was the sweetest, most endearing moment between a bride and her bridesmaids that I’ve ever seen. Pure excitement and adoration for their BFF.

Best Moment with Groomsmen or the Guys: Katie & Matt
Handley Breaux Designs
He’s got his girl and it’s time to celebrate!

Best Groom & Groomsmen Attire: Caroline & Daniel
Invision Events
Tuxes: Mr. Burch Formal Wear
I’ve always loved a white dinner jacket. Maybe it’s because my Dad wore one for my parents’ wedding. It’s a timeless look and a little bit Frank Sinatra. Winning.

hdp-mcdurmont-w-577Best First Look: Sarah & Bubba
Invision Events
 Just add water. First look along the bank of the Cahaba River, standing on a huge boulder. Romantic? Incredibly so!

Best Ceremony Exit: Amanda and Jacob
Pure joy! The only way to describe it.hdp-beardenblake-833hdp-beardenblake-838-2

Best Funny Moment: These are a tie! Couldn’t decide! Too hard!

Angel & Jared
The jewish tradition of breaking the glass happened a little too soon! Oops! It was such a cute moment and a perfect part of the wedding day story for this fun couple.

Sarah & Bubba
Planner: Invision Events
A random turkey decoy was lying around on property at Swann Lake Stables. The groom, an avid turkey hunter, decided to have a little fun with it.

Melissa & Paulk
Planner: Invision Events
Rebellious little southern girls in their heirloom dresses. This made me giggle…and hurry over there with my camera.

Best Reception Entrance: Caroline & Daniel
Planner: AK Brides
If that’s not a proud groom, I don’t know what is…beaming with his girl on his arm walking to take their first dance as husband and wife.

Best Bride’s Cake: Melissa & Paulk
Planner: Invision Events
Venue: Moore’s Mill Club, Auburn AL
I love simple cakes with simple florals. This one was so pretty and tasted so good.

Best Groom’s Cake: Sarah & Bubba
Planner: Invision Events
Completely edible…every single feather.

Best Reception Dancing: Katie & Matt
Handley Breaux Designs
When the bride is a former University of Alabama Crimsonette, you have to step up your reception dancing game! Okay, hang on. I know this is a lot of images, but you really have to see this! (And Roll Tide!)

Best Reception Entertainment: Jared & Angel
Michael Jackson & Prince Impersonators
I mean, it was fun, y’all! Super entertaining. A real thriller!


Best Sendoff: Katie & Matt
Planner: Handley Breaux Designs
Let it snow, Let it snow, Let it snow! December wedding and honeymoon in Banff. Oh! And the snow was biodegradable. Way to be environmentally friendly Handley Breaux Designs!


Best Transportation Moment: This one is a total tie. I love all of these so so much that there’s no way I could just decide on just one!

Leah & Eric
Private classic car collection
Timeless. Romantic.

Melissa & Paulk
Planner: Invision Events
Private classic car collection
I love a convertible, with the veil blowing in the breeze and all of the town smiling and waving to the bride and groom as they drive by.
076-hdp-starr-w-844_-web077-hdp-starr-w-842_-webhdp_8001133-hdp-starr-w-1043_-web138-hdp-starr-w-1057-2_-webKatie & Matt
Planner: Handley Breaux Designs
This crowd was ready to have a good time at the reception! And they did!

Caroline & Daniel
Planner: AK Brides
Rare Transportation Trolley & Coats Classic Cars
The dip and the getaway wave goodbye.



And that’s a wrap of 2016 Weddings! See you next year 2017 Brides, with camera in hand and a big smile on my face! I love my job!

Shooting & Touring the French Countryside with Author, Larry Taunton & Fixed Point Tours

I’m excited to finally blog about my trip to the South of France last summer, shooting for author, Larry Taunton. In case you missed my last post about Larry and our trip to NYC, I’ll include his bio again. Larry is an American author, columnist and cultural commentator. A frequent television and radio guest, he has appeared on CNN, CNN International, Fox News, Al Jazeera America, and BBC. You can find his columns on issues of faith and culture in The AtlanticUSA Today, CNN.com, and The Blaze. Mr. Taunton has been quoted by Rush Limbaugh, The New York TimesThe Chicago Tribune, TIME, Vanity Fair, and NPR, among others. He is the author of The Grace Effect and The Faith of Christopher Hitchens.

Mr. Taunton is also the founder and executive director of the Fixed Point Foundation. In that role he has debated such high profile atheists as Christopher Hitchens, Daniel Dennett, and Michael Shermer as well as Muslim cleric Zaid Shakir. He has organized or chaired debates on science, religion, and ethics at Trinity College, Oxford University; The Edinburgh International Festival; the Melbourne Town Hall in Melbourne, Australia; Princeton University; and the Oxford Museum of Natural History. He currently divides his time between the United States and Europe.

Larry and I met because of some work I had shot for his friends Rick and Sherri Burgess. He was in the process of rebranding and revising his website and needed P.R. images of his work in Birmingham and Southern France. I jumped at the opportunity. Not only would I get to see France through my camera lens, but I would also see the work of Larry’s ministry there and benefit from being with the best tour guide, who has a vast knowledge of European history.

I brought along my good friend and fellow photographer, Emily Kicklighter, as my assistant and travel companion. Can’t think of anyone else I’d rather do work travel with. She so much fun and keeps me laughing all the time!

Larry, his family, staff and The Fixed Point Institute students were the perfect hosts at the grand French estate, which was once owned by one of Napolean’s generals, Jean-de-Dieu Saoult, who later became a Prime Minister of France. Guests are quite comfortable in the well appointed rooms, furnished with Country French antiques. The gardens are a wonderful place to lounge, read or take a nap in the hammock. We enjoyed the gorgeous scenery, excursions to nearby villages, historical tours, delicious food and interesting conversation…all in the name of work! Have camera…will [gladly] travel! And, you can experience this amazing experience in the French Countryside as well! Find out how at the end of this post.

001-hdp-frtaunton-838_-web002-hdp-frtaunton-117_-web003-hdp-frtaunton-16_-web006-hdp-frtaunton-3_-web014-hdp-frtaunton-126_-web004-hdp-frtaunton-125_-web013-hdp-frtaunton-54_-web009-hdp-frtaunton-129_-web007-hdp-frtaunton-29_-web010-hdp-frtaunton-342_-web011-hdp-frtaunton-203_-web012-hdp-frtaunton-206_-web008-hdp-frtaunton-118_-web015-hdp-frtaunton-62_-web016-hdp-frtaunton-76_-web017-hdp-frtaunton73_-web019-hdp-frtaunton-70_-web018-hdp-frtaunton-72_-web020-hdp-frtaunton-64_-web021-hdp-frtaunton-210_-web022-hdp-frtaunton-95_-web023-hdp-frtaunton-97_-web024-hdp-frtaunton-140_-web025-hdp-frtaunton_-web026-hdp-frtaunton-82_-web027-hdp-frtaunton-85_-web028-hdp-frtaunton-91_-web029-hdp-frtaunton-93_-webFresh french roses, hydrangeas and lavender, all on property, are clipped and used in vases as centerpieces for long and relaxing dinners al fresco.