We decided to be spontaneous for Spring Break last week and took a last minute trip to the Smokey Mountains with some good friends. The week got even more spontaneous when a cold air mass and lots of snow settled in for our trip. We had to actually abandon our original cabin on the side of a mountain in Wears Valley and move to a new location closer to Pigeon Forge where the roads were guaranteed to be salted so we didn’t get trapped in our cabin. Even though it didn’t feel much like Spring, we knew that having the opportunity to visit places like Cades Cove and Wears Valley with snow falling was an opportunity that couldn’t be ignored. It was a good excuse for Wes to add some more beautiful memories to his landscape photography portfolio while giving the kids a chance to see something we don’t get to see in Florida (snow). It was a great way to spend the week as a family and we had a blast.
Wears Valley was our first stop when the snow started and it was just wintery beautiful. I think we want to spend Christmas here one year.
Cades Cove was just breathtaking. You eye is probably drawn to the horse first in this photo, but notice what’s happening at the top of the mountain in the center of the photo. It’s like a snow tornado. It was incredible to see.
One great thing about the late Spring snow was the mix of color that went with it…
These last two were taken in the Smokey Mountain National Park the day before the snow started…
December 2011 turned into quite the eventful month for us this year for several reasons. The first big event at the beginning of the month was the 1st birthday of our twins, Maggie and Saylor. Just as we did with their older sister, we saved their Christening and dedication for the end of their first year.
Following their Christening was their 1st birthday party. The theme was winter “one”derland and while Rae made that fantastic cake, we got some great help from our friend Betty Weber on that great snowmen cake topper. Betty is such a doll!
The tongue was ready to go… cake is what it wanted!
The middle of December was another great experience and a major undertaking. It was an honor to photograph Nikki and Maury’s 3 day, 900 guests wedding in Point Clear/Fairhope, AL. It was made possible only with the help of the people you see below. From left to right we have Luker Smith, Patsy Brown, Michael Newman, Rae & Wes, and Jessica & David Marshall. At the end of the 3rd day, we had a total of 16,700 images. I can only give you a very small sneak peek of this wedding for now because of publication reasons, but our friends and videographers, Joanna & Rob Morgan of Diva Productions will have a cinematic teaser trailer coming along soon that we’ll be sure to pass along.
This chapel was constructed solely for the wedding, and it was a sight to behold.
Diamond Rio took to the stage for over an hour to provide an unforgettable private concert. Of course we had to “share” the stage with them a couple of times to be able to get some good shots of the wedding 🙂 These guys were super nice and a class act!
The 17 layer cake was a big hit as well…..
If you missed our Christmas card this year, these photos were graciously taken by the talented Michael Newman!
Christmas turned out to be quite a warm one this year. All of those new clothes that were bought for the holidays didn’t make it out of the closet much because it wasn’t cold enough to wear them. Our girls got a wooden swing set as their main gift this year to help occupy them during our travels in the busy seasons, so the weather was perfect for testing that puppy out. Our nephew Dylan came over to help us with that….
We decided to take the traditional Christmas Eve fire outside this year so we didn’t bake in the house. It was fun sitting around the fire pit while the kids had a good time playing. Wesley’s grandmother had some laughs too… She is just one of the three “Margarets” in the family that our baby Maggie is named after.
Saylor and Dylan are quite the kissing cousins…. He loves babies!
Maggie is our little billy goat and usually happy as long as she can put something in her mouth. Even an empty coke bottle will do.
No Transformers or remote controlled cars in our house with all girls. Dolls and tea sets are the most prized possessions.
Jewelry is pretty welcomed too…
Maggie got an awesome keyboard from Grandpa, but it couldn’t fit in her mouth like the drumstick…
Avery is quite the fashion diva and loves her ballet too…
Chasing balls from the popper is hard work y’all….
Luckily Santa brought some bean bags to rest…
and a remote too… maybe this will keep daddy’s remote off the radar? Nah, probably not. Even a large cardboard house waiting to be colored can be a lot of fun!
We hope your holidays we just as blessed and merry as ours….
We hope you had a wonderful Christmas. I cannot believe how long t has been since this blog was updated. Shameful! We have been a little busy though. Not only did we just have our busiest Fall season ever, the week before Christmas was the birth of our new twin girls, Saylor Elizabeth & Maggie Grace. Hopefully their cuteness below will cause you to forgive our temporary absence. We promise lots of updates soon to go along with some awesome 2010 weddings still waiting to be blogged. We owe a huge thanks to all of you for your kindness and support!
That’s right. Our good friends Genya & Wesleyann of Vue photography were kind enough to offer us one last photo shoot before the Leytham 3 become the Leytham 5. It’s been a while since we had family photos taken, and we are so blessed to have colleagues like them to capture this important time for us. Thank you ladies for taking care of us!
Atlanta brides, the time is almost near for the Supertastic Inspired Bride event at StudioWed Atlanta. Come meet us and some of Atlanta’s finest vendors on Sunday September 12. We’re very excited about this show and looking forward to seeing you!
Just two short years ago, we sent a very happy child off to 1K preschool. 4 hrs a day was great for her and us! It’s hard to believe that she just started 3K this week. Where has the time gone? The fact that she is going to seem so grown when we bring the twins home soon is even harder. There will never be another like her for sure. She is her own person and she is very good at it!
Here is the first day of 1K in 2008
and here is her first day this week….
One of the hardest things to blog for us is anything that might be construed as bragging. With that being said, Wesley entered the Emerge photo competition for wedding photographers recently in May. This was an international competition created to bring up and coming mostly unnoticed talent into the spotlight to be recognized in the international wedding industry. It was sponsored and judged by some of the leading wedding industry professionals such as Rebecca Crumley from The Knot Magazine, and world-renowned wedding photographer Joe Buissink. There were 5 categories to enter, and 3 winners were chosen from each category for a total of 15 winners out of well over 1000 entries. We were quite honored and shocked to get the notification that Wesley had finished 2nd place in the “details” category with 10 images he took at Ginny & Brad’s Carillon wedding in January of 2010. He won some great new photography toys and equipment, as well as being profiled in the international photography magazine “Rangefinder” in an upcoming issue. We are very proud of him! We are also thankful to Carillon Weddings and Christina at Nouveau for providing those amazing details!
Greetings everyone! We are just returning from a destination wedding in Key Largo, FL. I promise that July is going to be blog month! We have about 5 sneak peeks from the last 2 weeks coming up, and then we’re going into warp speed for the blogging of some beautiful May weddings. We are also launching our new website which is going to be a major achievment and possibly allow Wes to grow some of his hair back. So… put your seatbelts on, prep yourself with a tropical drink, and for now enjoy these two photos Wes snapped at the Key Largo Hilton last week as a storm rolled in.
A year and a half ago, 2 special people made an appearance in our lives. Heather became a teacher at Avery’s preschool while her husband Jason was in the flight training program at NAS whiting field. A relationship between us emerged, and before we knew it they were keeping Avery for us in times of need and taking care of her as if she were theirs. It was always a comfort for us to know she was in good hands while we were away for the night or just the afternoon. Jason graduated from flight school last week, and the Coast Guard is sending them back to their home state of Michigan for a while where he will be flying helicopters and rescuing those in need of his help. They also are expecting triplets this Fall. Yes, triplets 🙂 They are going to be wonderful parents and we cannot wait to photograph all five of them hopefully next year. They have been a blessing and a God send in our lives. This post is dedicated to them……
We’ll start with Jason’s winging ceremony last week….
There was no way we were going to let them leave town without a few belly photos… Of course Avery loves them as well…. From the dressy occasions…..To the afternoons on the river….(yes, even the broken down boat) We’ll miss you guys….. Hope to see you soon and meet all 3 babies!
Rae and I spent last week in the beautiful city of Las Vegas, NV at the annual WPPI (Wedding & Portrait Photographers International) conference & trade show. This was out third time attending this event in the last 4 years, and we always look forward to seeing all the new gadgets the photography industry has to offer while attending seminars from other motivational photographers. We had two prints in the international print competition this year that scored high enough to win awards of excellence which you will see below. We had a really great time as usual and cannot wait to implement some of the new equipment we purchased and some new techniques we learned. Here’s a little photo tour:
First off, let me verify that I am a big nerd and I always book the plane seat with the Grand Canyon view when flying to Vegas (yes, I actually know the flight path to Vegas). Here’s a shot of Lake Mead I thought was pretty cool…
and here is part of the Grand Canyon from 35,000 feet. You can see snow in the higher elevations towards the top. I really loved this too. Puffy little clouds were covering the Arizona desert. This is why I am always willing to fight for a window seat 🙂 This is just one of the two trade shows at WPPI. Lots of stuff to play with and purchase at discount! This is the wall where our winning prints were displayed. Baby Natalie on the bottom left (Rae-Portrait Division) and our lovely bride Sarah from 2009 on the top right (Wes-Photojournalism Division) as she was relaxing before walking down the aisle with her dad. Here are the actual photos: We also spent some time at night as we always have touring the Streets of Vegas looking for photo opportunities….There’s always a volcano erupting or a water show somewhere!
This is the newest development you may have seen commercials about for the Las Vegas City Center with the Aria Hotel. This was just started on our first visit 4 years ago and it is MASSIVE. I always love the Caesar’s Palace Hotel lobby as well…. No comment necessary on this one…..I think her words were “Look, I’m a picture”. We did however manage a cute head shot from our friend Mrs. Patsy Brown.
So the first two weeks of February have been quite adventurous for us. In addition to our Atlanta trip and some out of town meetings, we have been on the road a lot! We did manage to squeeze in a little holiday fun though with some milestones to go with it. The wedding season is fast approaching which makes a few adventures even more special before it gets crazy in our household for 4 months!
Avery got her first haircut thanks to Ms. Amber, one of our upcoming 2010 brides….
Then we got some Florida snow. I know, it’s not super impressive, but it’s FL, and snow……….Baxter dog wasn’t sure what to think about it as you can see it on his fur.
A little clearer view against the shed….
What parent wouldn’t grab the kid and thrust them into freezing weather for a photo op right? She’ll appreciate it when she’s older! Then we had lovely Valentine’s Day…. This is my favorite valentine!
And last but not least was Mardi Gras! We managed to make the Mobile, AL parades a couple of nights(top), but Avery’s school had their own little parade too. Who can pass up pre-schoolers throwing beads and candy?
We made a quick trip to Atlanta last weekend and attended the Get Married Soiree’ with some of the South’s finest wedding vendors. It was really great fun, and I think we laughed more that night than we have in a long time. Our Labor of Love was in the house and brought their famous Smile Booth for lots of fun too. Here are a few images from the evening!
Rae and I have been across this great country from south to east to west, from NYC to Key West – from Los Angeles to Hawaii. I’m not sure why we’ve never been to Chicago, but I do know we absolutely fell in love. When we found out we were going to fly into Chicago for Shannon & Rob’s Notre Dame wedding, we were super stoked to have 22 hours to make the best of it. That we did! Now, those who know me know that my priority was to visit as many restaurants as I could that have been featured on the Food Network. So I really enjoyed our lunch at Giordano’s Pizza followed by a late dinner at The Weber Grill Restaurant. Rae, well…… Rae just wanted to make a snowman. I think we both accomplished our goals! Here’s my little 22 hr tribute to Chicago and what I hope is a new traveling relationship between us! Wes
This is Cloud Gate, or “the bean” as most people refer to it. It’s hard not to stare isn’t it? Look at those sexy curves!
What do you do while visiting such a magnificent piece of art? Why stupid things of course!
Who’s got some air?
Here’s a view of downtown… That building on the middle right is our hotel with Trump Tower being the highest on left side.
Lots of ice in the Chicago River…. brrrrrrr
Rae got to build her snowman….. with a leaf head topper no less
She was very grateful for me taking her to the park!
And this was the view from our room that night overlooking the Chicago River. What an experience!
To all of our friends and especially our clients, we hope you have a wonderful holiday season and a magical 2010! This was the official Leytham Christmas card this year I wanted to post for you to see if you didn’t receive one by mail.
Avery sends you love as well!
Ok, I think the question we get the most when we show up at a wedding is “Where’s that baby of yours today?” Sooooo….. here’s a little Avery update for you all. She is getting so big now! Potty training is almost a complete success, and so is this tricycle Aunt Sara bought her for her birthday. She is finally getting strong enough to pedal. She is soooo sweet that sometimes Rae and I look at each other and wonder if she really belongs to us. Then we get the temper tantrums and blame it on the other one’s genes. Needless to say, we’re gonna keep her for a little while longer. Until the teenage years anyway. This is a little series of her trike riding yesterday. She was just starting to get the hang of it, so I grabbed the camera and snapped a few. There is no photoshop trick here with the sun beams. That was all natural light filtering down brilliantly from the sky. It was beautiful!
What a great night! The Covenant Hospice teamed up with local celebrities and the dancers from the popular show Dancing with the Stars for an all out gala here in Pensacola. Leah Harrison with Covenant called us a couple of weeks ago to ask if we would photograph the event for them, to which we quickly replied YES. What a great opportunity and adventure being backstage with these fabulous guys and gals for a three hour performance. We’re working with Covenant on the details, but we will be offering these photos for sale on our proofing site soon with proceeds going to the Covenent Hospice. You missed a fantastic show for a great cause if you were not there!
For privacy purposes of our stars, I am requesting that these photos not be removed from this site unless you are in them or with Covenant Hospice. I have the ability to track these if they are posted somewhere else, and you will be asked to remove them without permission!
My favorite shot of the evening…. Rae made fun of my little fat head poking out from behind the curtain for this one.
Mrs. Sue Straughn from Channel 3 news was beautiful, and a very good dancer too.
This is Mr. Ballinger of Ballinger Publishing. His company printed a great little magazine some of you may have heard of called Southern Weddings……
Roy Jones Jr. was quite the dancer as well…..
The VIP party at Jackson’s Restaurant afterward was full of great food and cocktails….. This was shot at 4000 ISO with the 5DMKII for my fellow nerds.
Yep, nine years ago today we took the big leap. We were worried that everyone would be filling out their taxes during the wedding, but it turned out pretty well hehe. Our thanks to Jason and Tammy Odom at Renaissance Portrait Artists for providing us with many fantastic wedding images! What are we doing today? A bridal session of course!
We received a couple of e-mails this week that I wanted to share. This is what we strive for with our business. It’s not just about showing up for a shoot and making photographs. It’s about the relationships we make, and the comfort we are able to give couples knowing they have chosen us for their photography. We’re always available to our clients to discuss the details of their wedding and guide them with locations and timing on the big day. We are so lucky to have the best couples anyone could ask for!
Thank you so much. We had a great time meeting with you yesterday. I think we have settled on a date and it will be March 13, 2010. After looking through about a dozen or so potographers websites and personally meeting with 5 of them, XXXX and I continue to find ourself always coming back to your website. You have fantastic personality that we believe would blend in well with our family and friends. We both thought that finding a photographer would be our biggest challenge, but after meeting with you all of our expectations were met and we are excited that we have chosen you guys to be part of our big day! We will be in touch next week to talk about sending a down payment, and I’m sure we’ll be in contact over the next year to talk details. I think I’m most excited about you being there for the rehearsal dinner to capture lots of laughs and good cajun food so bring an appetite! Thanks so much for making this an easy decision.
This is XXXXX again. We had discussed a few months back having you as
our wedding photographer and we had to put our plans on hold for awhile.
We have checked with the Ezell House in Mobile and have pretty much decided
on May 1st, 2010 and I’m so hoping you’re available but we will look into
April if we need to.
I also wanted you to know that if I’m having a stressful day with school and
work, all I have to do is go browse your website and I’m instantly in a good
mood. You really are so good at what you do and your work has become one of
the most important aspects of our special day. I really mean that.
Ahhhh…. man week. What is man week? It’s an annual ritual with my best friend Scott that involves no women, no kids, and doing something new and adventurous. It can range from 3 days up to a week depending on timing. In past years it has consisted of everything from manatee diving off the Florida coast to hiking in the Appalachians. This year it involved pooling airlines miles, hotel and Amex points for an ultimate adventure. We flew into Las Vegas for a couple of days in Sin City with 5 days to visit Utah in the middle. Our goal was 4 National Parks and possibly up to Salt Lake City if time was kind to us. While we did not make it to Salt Lake, it has been a great trip. I will definitely bring Rae here in the near future!
We asked for an SUV and received the keys to this Pathfinder with 6 miles on it. SWEET. Unfortunately, Nevada does not put temporary tags on the back, just a piece of paper taped to the front window (dumb). So guess who got pulled over out in the middle of nowhere? Yep. Nice cop though… the handcuffs were only on for 15 minutes j/k. I should have asked him for a photo to go on my blog, but I was just happy to move along. This was our second day in Utah at Bryce Canyon.
That photo of Scott was his last in Utah. He came down with a nasty bug the next day and did his sightseeing from the hotel the rest of the trip. That left me on my own for a couple of days, so I grabbed my gear and made the best of it. These next few photos are from Canyonlands National Park near Moab, Utah. They call it the island in the sky and for good reason. This is basically a 17 mile strip of land with 2000′ cliffs on three sides. In most of these photos, I was 5 steps from instant death which was just insane. Add a good breeze to that, and you can imagine the adrenaline I had making these images.
The next day I headed out to Arches National Park. This involved plenty of walking throughout the day which gave me lots of time to meditate so to speak. This is the off season around here, so I had the parks mostly to myself. The quiet was almost deafening.