Documentary Photography / Atlanta, GA / Brittany Knapik Photography / Lee & Ashley - Engaged

Getting engaged is easily one of the most exciting times in a couple’s life. For about 24 hours and then other people find out, questions start rolling in and reality hits you… HARD!

 “Have you set a date?” Ummm, no.

 “Have you started working on your guest list?” Well we will be there, and I guess you?

“What’s your budget” What do you think I could get for one pretty good kidney?

 “Venue?” I was think Father of the Bride style, pre-Franck.

“Band or DJ” Don’t know.

“Open bar?” I guess?

“It better be open bar!” Great! Feel free make the check out to me or cash is fine too!

Planning a wedding is crazy and stressful. Yes, it’s true, planning comes in waves but when a wave hits all bets are off. It becomes easy to be consumed by all things wedding and when all you can think of are color schemes, timelines, and pre-ceremony cocktails (the answer is yes, you should always have pre-ceremony cocktails!) it’s easy to forget that your engagement isn’t just a time to be spent planning. It’s a time to be enjoyed!

For most couples, in the grand scheme of things, the time you are engaged is relatively short. You date for a while, maybe even a few years, are engaged for maybe a year, and then you are married for hopefully forever! No backsies! You remember all of the fun little details about dating and you’ll have a lifetime of memories together once you are married but there should be more to remember about who you were as a betrothed couple than just your pre-wedding haze.

Lee and Ashley are our across the street neighbors and We. Love.Them. They are an incredible couple and have been together for two years, got engaged this past July and will tie the knot during a small family only beach ceremony on April 30th with a “big boozy fun reception” the following month, Lee’s exact words! So, dating two years, engaged 9 months (plus one more of planning) and a lifetime of forever!

Part of why I chose to shoot the way I do is to tell the stories of everyday, to remember the small things that make up our everyday lives in a beautiful way. Sure they could have gotten dressed to the nines, spent the morning at Dry Bar, driven two hours to a Christmas tree farm, posed like they were going to be on the cover of Vogue and had the engagement session to end all engagement sessions. But that’s not really them. At that moment in their lives, on a cold December morning, Lee and Ashley weren’t prepping for an epic editorial photo shoot to capture their love. At this moment in their lives, on this particular cold December morning, they were just enjoying each other and the things they do every day; the everyday beautiful moments of when they were engaged, walking their dogs hand in hand, getting ready for their ugly Christmas sweater party (Meowy Christmas, y'all!), and enjoying their moments already overflowing with love... enjoying their engagement. 

Family Documentary Photography / Atlanta, GA / Brittany Knapik Photography / Brouillard Family

I am lucky. Lucky to be doing what I love and lucky to have incredible clients who make doing what I love so easy. I am lucky to have friends who allow me into their everyday real lives, with their houses not 100% perfect, their kids who love to run around screaming and dancing, neighbors popping by, husbands coming home from work, cookie dough for dinner with a side of noodles and hot dogs, you know real life. I am lucky to have clients and friends who trust me enough to show me their honest day to day happenings AND let me bring my camera to document all of the beautiful moments that happen during the mess. (I love the mess!) I am lucky to have friends and clients as awesome as the Brouillard Family.

Seriously one of my favorite family sessions to date, Jess, Brian and their kiddos Sydney and Jack were so much fun! Normally I try to melt into the background when shooting story telling sessions; it is easier for everyone to go about their normal craziness once they forget I am there. With the Brouillards that was never an option! Between sweet hugs and kisses from Jackie Moon, Syd showing off her b.e.a.utiful princess dresses, Jess watching Coulter spit his hotdog on the cookie sheet at one point (yes I had to bring my kiddo for a play date beforehand because he LOVES this crew too), and joining in on not one but TWO pretty epic dance parties once Brian got home, there was just too much fun going on to sit in the background!

These sessions, these families, this kind of everyday beautiful is why I love doing what I do! 

Every day is beautiful.