Atlanta Photographer | The Messina Family

So Much to Love

At times, it can be easy to get wrapped up in a routine of paid shoots, editing, blogging, keeping track of social media outlets, marketing, and publication submissions that we sometimes lose site of the fact that our “product” is so much more than just a photograph. I’m ashamed to admit that there are instances when it feels as though an invisible lock is over my camera, and the only key to open it must be accompanied with an account name and routing number. Upon my return from California, I began feeling a need to try and use my photography in a way that serves a greater purpose than just another paycheck. This all sounded fantastic, however I had absolutely no idea what it really meant or where to start…

I have known Beth for quite sometime. We attended school together, and like most of our past schoolmates, we go our separate ways in the world and keep track of one-another through news-feeds and Facebook status updates. I remember seeing a particular post from Beth that immediately caught my attention. She had been diagnosed with breast cancer, and was about to begin the grueling journey of chemotherapy. With every progress update I found myself longing to help out, but how much can we really do?

It wasn’t until Beth posted a picture of herself smiling ear-to-ear while sporting her new hair due that an idea finally came to mind. I was so moved by the happiness, strength, and courage that shined like a beam of light from the image. I couldn’t get over how confident and strong she looked; it was if she was telling the world, “Don’t worry guys, I’ve totally got this”.

I immediately contacted her asking if she would be willing to allow me to take some portraits of her, not to necessarily document the battle she was fighting, but instead give her and her family a way to always remember how a family’s love, combined with faith and inner-strength, can help someone conquer anything within their path. I was a bit nervous as I had no idea what her response would be, however I was insanely pleased to hear that she thought it was a great idea, and wanted to include her family in the shoot as well!  I also learned that one of her most cherished photos of her Mother was taken while she was going through chemo, and she loved the idea of her daughters having the same; I’m not going to lie, so did I…

We seriously couldn’t have asked for a more beautiful evening to do the shoot; we were truly blessed with great light and smiling faces. It was such a pleasure getting to meet Beth’s fiancee, Dylan and their two beautiful daughters. I think Becca and I talked for days about how much we enjoyed our evening together; we had an absolute blast!

I’m so in love with how these images turned out and I will always cherish them; I can only hope that they’ll serve an even bigger purpose for Beth and her family. I firmly believe that as photographers, we need to continuously reflect on the power of a captured memory, and we should never stop striving to find new ways to share this gift as often as possible.

Thanks again Beth for being such an inspiration to all of us, and for allowing Becca and I to spend the evening with you, Dylan, and your two beautiful little ones. We send all of our love and support your way and look forward to hearing more good news throughout your journey.

Cheers-

Joe.

Audio:  ”The Truest Faith” – Korallreven

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Noi - Joe,
What a beautiful thing to do for the family! The session brings tears to my eyes remember what my aunt had to go through early 2012 from breast cancer. We don’t have professional photos of her and I wish we did. Thank you for your heart behind it all!!!

beth messina - I will always treasure not only the pictures but the evening we spent taking them, it was so fun, and a joy to meet becca, the girls loved her. We will have fond memories for years to come, you are so very talented i am glad i got to experience your growth<3

Joelle Fennell - Beth is beautiful, inside and out! Even though we were acquaintances in high school, I admire her strength and courage. I will pray for her! Thank you Joe for sharing these :)

Terri - What a beautiful story and pictures. Her strength in her journey shows in the pictures. I will keep her and her family in my prayers. Will look forward to seeing another photo session when she is healed of her cancer.

nirav - This is beautiful brother.

Ohio Wedding Photographer | Jason + Sarah [ wedding ]

J + S

I feel so blessed to capture moments such as these; to share the joys of life is by far the best way to live.

Destination weddings are always fantastic, however this one truly sticks out to me; an awesome couple, amazing friends and family, and a generosity that made me feel right at home.  Thank you so much for inviting me into your memories, and for creating lasting ones for me as well.  Here’s to the many years to come!

Cheers-

Joe.

Audio: Weightless – Washed Out

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Noi Tran - L O V E ! ! !

Sarah Urbano - LOVE!LOVE!LOVE! You did such an amazing job with all of it, Joe! We are so thankful you came and celebrated with us! :-) The blog post is beautiful!

Becca - AMAZING!! Such a moving set! Bellissimo! XX

Atlanta Wedding Photographer | Mbeja + Sandra [ engagement session ]

A Walk on the Beltline

I have been dying to share these…

Mbeja and Sandra’s engagement session was one of my first shoots upon returning home from my adventure out west; on top of that, it was my first time exploring Atlanta’s Beltline.  These two were not only awesome to work with, but also great companions for my first time exploring this location.  Lucky for us, we were blessed with one incredible sunset and some of the best light a guy could ask for!

I wish you both the absolute best in the years to come, and I hope we have the opportunity to take an afternoon stroll again soon! Enjoy.

Cheers-

Joe.

Audio  |   “Verse” – by Rhye

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Courtney Ward - You’re so good. Like… seriously good. That last shot is killer, not to mention.

Elicia Bryan - Joe! Always love seeing your beautiful work in my newsfeed. How sweet is this couple? Cheers!

Atlanta Wedding Photographer | [ My Day with Nirav Patel - 2013 ]

A great photograph is one that fully expresses what one feels, in the deepest sense, about what is being photographed.” – Ansel Adams

 

It has been quite an amazing ride since opening my very first camera 10 years ago; since then, I have probably rummaged through practically every “how-to” book and online workshop that’s available.  Although my journey as a photographer has been both exciting and rewarding, I’ve realized a void within my work—one I’ve yet to fill from any “how-to” book currently on the market.

A few months ago, I contacted Nirav Patel [Nirav Patel Photography] to explore the possibility of attending a mentor session with him; I’ve been a big fan of his work for years.  My intent was to learn more about how to find success in this business and hopefully stumble upon the last “piece” of the puzzle.

I learned so much from Nirav that has already begun to reshape my thought process on technique, client relations, post production, and photography’s place within me.  It wasn’t until I took the last photo of the day that I began to realize I had been searching for the wrong kind of answer this entire time.  The answers will never be found in an instructional book or online tutorial; it’s time I begin searching within myself and start asking the question “why,” rather than “how.”

I’m not sure I’ve ever seen a beauty that compares to the Pacific West Coast; I hope these pics do it some justice…bike cruising along the Hermosa Coast, a sunset with amazing friends, getting to know Nirav, and strolling through San Francisco made this trip an unforgettable experience for me.

Huge thanks to Casey & Andy in Hermosa, and Ryan & Katy In San Francisco for being such awesome friends and generous hosts!  I also want to  thank my wife, Becca for all of her love and support as I try to figure all this out.  And of course, a big thanks goes out to all of you who have consistently followed, supported, and allowed me the pleasure of sharing my passion with you.

To Nirav, thanks so much dude, seriously…I truly hope we cross paths again soon! Until then, keep doing what you do.

Be sure to click the “play” button below for some tunes while scrolling the reel.

 Cheers & tons of love to you all-

Joe.

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[nirav]

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nirav - Dude, this is awesome! I’m stoked for you and am looking forward to seeing what you do next. Keep it up brother!

Tonhya Kae - so so good.

Theary Meak - Your images makes me feel as if I took the vacation myself. Awesome work!

Noi - These are awesome and breathtaking. Thanks for sharing the ride and giving us a chance as if we were there too!

AJ - Phenomenal

Paige Jones - awesome! love all of these…and I’m jealous you got to meet Nirav ;-)

Elicia Bryan - Great post! I have come back to it once or twice since you posted it. Super jealous that you got to meet Nirav!

South Carolina Photographer | Aubrey [ one-year session ]

When I started O’Studios I seriously avoided baby sessions…I’m not sure if it was my fear of working with kids, or the fact that I felt my style had no place in the realm of “child” photography.  I’ve done a few of these sessions now and I’m really starting to love them.  My concept and approach is simple and a mirror image of my approach to all other shoots.  I love photographing people…big or small, and I’ve found that youngsters provide so much personality on their own that there’s really never a need for posing them.  So there you have it, if you contact me for a newborn, one-year, or family session this is what you can expect.  If you’re looking for lemonade stands or props you’ve come to the wrong place.;-) What I can promise however, are images that capture memories and the personality of your beautiful creation; I will photograph my own wee ones in the same way one day!

I made my way to Lexington, South Carolina to meet Aubrey early one Saturday morning a couple months ago with the expectation of getting some early evening light.  Naturally, I wanted to make sure we had ample time to get as many “money” shots as possible; Atlanta traffic had a completely different approach, which ended up being a saving grace for this shoot.:) I was greeted in South Carolina with amazing hospitality from Nicole and Ryan, and perfect timing to catch some true “golden hour” lighting.  I had such a fun time with this family.  We literally put Aubrey on the ground and let her do her thing and the rest is history.  I love the natural essence of these photos and the memories attached to them.  There’s nothing I enjoy more than knowing I helped create something that will be cherished for a lifetime.  Thank you guys so much for believing in my photographic vision and for letting me share a great evening with the three of you!

Be sure to show Aubrey some love;-)

Cheers-

Joe

Amelia - Absolutely stunning, as per usual. This takes my breath away!

Nicole Regal - Thank you so very much for doing this for us Joe! You are amazing at what you do! I couldn’t have asked for anything more when it came to capturing Noodle being Noodle. I can’t wait to watch her grow through your lens!

Nik

GiGi - The pictures are breath taking! I cried just looking at each and everyone. I have to say that you did a outstanding job in each and every shot. Aubrey is my grand daughter and am glad you decided to take a chance and do the shoot. Again the oictures are beautiful, and most of all its Aubrey being Aubrey.

Sonal - Nice work, Joe. Aubrey has such beautiful, expressive eyes. I especially like the shots with the bokeh and bright green background–they compliment her outfit and complexion very well.

Ray Hoth - Nice job Joe!I can’t wait for you to meet my daughter someday!;-)
I think every family with kids should have “memories” like these taken for their children ;-)