Family Photography / Atlanta, GA / Brittany Knapik Photography / Welge Family

Attending the births of my clients is a privilege like none other. I am humbled every time a family invites me into their world to help them tell the story of their growing family and am equally excited when I get to catch up with them every few months to continue telling the story of their new life.

In February I was lucky enough to be there when Charlee and Maddie met their baby sister, Ellie, for the first time. I was there when the Welge family grew from four to five, when the girls flew into their mom's hospital room with their "Big Sister" shirts on and fell in love with the new baby that finally completed their family. 

A few weeks ago I met up with the Welge crew at their beautiful home to document what life is like for them a short 4 months later. There were no matching shirts but the whirlwind of little girls was still the same and the infatuation with baby Eleanor has only intensified! Smiles, belly laughs and baby rolls for days. I love watching these little ladies grow!

Birth Photography / Atlanta, GA / Brittany Knapik Photography / Ellie May

I first talked with the Welge family a little more than a week before their daughter’s due date. They had a scheduled cesarean delivery and while they wanted the story of their third daughter’s birth told, what they really wanted was to capture their two older daughters meeting their sister for the first time. They wanted the story of the day they became a family of five to be beautifully captured forever. So that’s exactly what we did!

I met them at the hospital two days after their sweet miss Ellie was born and waited for the Charlee and Maddie whirlwind to arrive! These girls are amazing. Charlee is the perfect big sister, so loving and sweet, calm and steady. Maddie, their free spirit, is equally loving but a little more, ok a lot more, wild. And Ellie, the baby, the quiet observer, two days old and already settled into her spot in the family.

We didn’t tell the story of just Ellie’s birthday. We took a step back and told the story from a little farther away. The story of them finding the third little girl who made their family complete. 

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.