Our family was blessed with a new addition this Christmas. My brother, Chris and his family welcomed baby Gabriel Ian Jones on Thursday, December 21st. Making the celebration much more special.

Here is the first picture of GI Jones with his father. This picture was taken by my mother at the hospital. Chris is adapting well to his role as a father of a newborn!

More photos will follow when we get back to our house and process the many we took over the weekend.

Congratulations to Chris & Robin and to the new big sisters Casey & Ashley.

Last Saturday was the start of Atlanta's annual Festival of Trees, a week-long major fundraising event to benefit Childrens Health Care of Atlanta. This show is comprised of mainly Christmas trees of all sizes and descriptions, which are decorated and donated for auction to help raise funds for different programs. Along with the many hundreds of trees, are Christmas ornaments and other goodies for sale, a gingerbread house showcase, arts and crafts, shows, concerts, carousel, a build-a-bear workshop, and a few other kid activities.

Our youngest daughter was dancing in one of the Christmas dance shows comprised of different dance companies from the area. We spent the morning taking in the sights of all the beautiful and innovative tree decorations, as this was our first time at the event. Emma was on stage at Noon, so we wandered over to watch some of the other dancers before it was her time. Emma always dances with "attitude", and we really enjoyed watching her dance since we have not seen the routine they had been working on the last month. Below are a few pictures from our morning out.

Here are a couple of the cool trees for auction.

Cat took this portrait of Emma and her bear "Vanilla Creme" reflecting in the Christmas ornament! How cool!

One of Emma's dance instructors and her friend. We will be shooting a portrait series for her in the near future.

One of the showcase gingerbread houses. I liked this one since I went to GA Tech when I started college.

(more to follow)
There were hundreds, if not thousands of trees for auction.

Emma dances with attitude on the main stage!

Vanilla Creme comes to life in the build-a-bear workshop.

The kids really enjoyed the carousel. I liked this shot the best.

To get to the World Congress Center we go through the CNN center. Photo opportunity in the big CNN logo outside. Inside the front entrance is this huge picture wall of CNN images. Really cool!

The weather is cooling off, shoppers jam the stores, and the hustle and bustle of the Christmas season has arrived. And along with the holiday festivities, Santa has made his appearance!

Thursday evening was the Baker Elementary Holiday PTA fundraiser, and Catherine and I were there to shoot "Pictures with Santa" as a way to help raise funding for new playground equipment. We spent a few days prior to the event putting together a faux window backdrop and Christmas tree setup for the shoot. We put together a package that includes a 5x7 and 4 wallet pictures that the parents are sure to enjoy! We will also be producing a slideshow that they can link from the PTA website. Proceeds from the shoot go to the PTA fund.

We would like to thank Baker PTA (and Santa) for including us in their fundraiser, and hope that next year we can get even more kids to have their pictures made! Santa was awesome! The kids had a blast talking with Santa and telling him their Christmas wishes. We had a great time hearing some of their requests! And of course, there were plenty of big smiles for those getting their picture made! Here are a few of them!

Due to techinical difficulties it took us a bit longer to get Kai & Aaron's engagement session slide show completed. (Thanks David J for help with the Showit problem)

It can be found on our website and features a song that Kai recorded.

Click Here to View The Show

We had such a good time with Kai & Aaron and wish them well with their wedding on December 9th!

Kai & Aaron

On Saturday afternoon we shot an engagement session for my friend Kai and her fiance Aaron. They will be getting married on December 9th in Cancun and we wish them well.

They were such fun to be with and we got some fantastic pictures. Here are a few of my favorites from the afternoon (I have too many to post here!) We plan to have Mike's pictures and the the slideshow up tomorrow.



Sometimes you get amazing ideas from your children! Our daughter Emma is 8 years old and every Thursday she brings home a folder full of school work from the past week. We always go through it and admittedly most of it hits the circular file (how many spelling and math tests do we need to save?!) Today though a piece caught my eye, here's what was on the piece of notebook paper...


“If you keep on doing what you have always done, you are going to keep getting what you have always gotten.”
- John Maxwell

My opinion is that he has always got something expensive.
Another is that he will always get recess.
That he will always get his way.
The last one is that he will always get friends

I talked with her after I read it and her thought process made sense, he always had everything he needed so therefore in her opinion he would always get the same.

She has a child's faith and has seen God provide (well except for the week that we made the kids eat what ever we had on hand in the house, no food wasting, eating out or trips to the grocery - they hated it! I know she thought prayers went unanswered, though they were as we had enough to sustain us till payday and the fridge was cleaned out!)

The quote is a powerful one and fits so well with the place Mike & I are at right now. We are going full steam with photography as a business. We have to be brave enough to change what we are doing and try something different, to step out on the edge or even jump off. Otherwise we will never move forward, we'll always be good photographers thinking of making a career of it.

What "rut" are we in that we need to get out of so that we can get more? For me it is time to make that "want to do" list count and see what happens.


Our Website Is Up

Our new website design is up! I have been working on it all afternoon. This has been a challenge to put together. There are still some items to add, but it is up and running for potential clients to see!

You can visit it at www.mcwarrenphoto.com


Amanda And Nate

Last week while in Chattanooga, we did some photo shoots late Monday afternoon. Nate and Amanda, a young couple very much in love, gave us the opportunity to shoot a "We Did" session just as the day was ending. The "We Did" session is a lot like an engagement session, but for married couples. These shoots are generally a little more "hot" image-wise, as they celebrate the new and passionate love of newlyweds. Nate and Amanda definitely lived up to and surpassed our expectations! This was really a fun shoot for us as Amanda and Nate are awesome photographers themselves! Check out their work at Turtle Pond Photography. Below are a few images from the shoot that we liked, but Amanda and Nate's Slideshow is the one we really like! Enjoy your slideshow, we had a blast putting it together for you!

Mike and Catherine

What do you call 100 awesome photographers in one place at one time? Well, we are not sure, but I can tell you that its more excitement and opportunity for growth than we can describe! Last week we attended the OSP South gathering of wedding photographers in Chattanooga, TN. Photographers came from all around, not just from the south, but from the northeast, the midwest, the southwest, and the west coast.

OSP, a professional photographer forum created by the incredible David Jay, is a community where photographers share their thoughts, experiences, and knowledge in an effort to help others build their businesses. We were treated to learning sessions, exciting impromptu photoshoots, delicious meals, and most importantly the building of heartfelt friendships! There were so many great and talented people there that we met that it would be impossible to name them all here! We enjoyed meeting all of you and exchanging ideas and good times!

We would like to thank our hosts Amber and Nathan Holritz and Joy and Garrett Nudd, a couple of husband and wife teams from Chattanooga, that opened their homes and studios and put in some major work to make sure everyone had a good time. We would also like to thank Mark, Erin, Andrew, and Rachel of LaCour who made a special trip to teach us some key points about visual storytelling. Thank you, thank you all, for this special time!

Baby Ballerinas

I had the opportunity to photograph some adorable 3 & 4 year olds during their dance class at the church where they attend preschool. They got to dress up in costumes and had a ball!

These are the four of my favorites so far from the photo shoot.

Wearing my other 'Hat"

Well we did not shoot a wedding today, but we were an important part of one. My parents have a catering company and catered a wedding this afternoon. Mike took some shots of the wedding cake I made.

Here I am adding the sugar butterflies that decorated the layers and cake table.

Two views of the cake and table, the bride chose to have the figurine on the table not on the cake.

A close-up of a butterfly

Ever think about being married long enough to reach your golden anniversary? We recently photographed the 50th anniversary of a couple that did just that, and they are so blessed to still be going strong! What a wonderful celebration of marriage, raising children, and dealing with the every day stresses of life.

The celebration party for Hudon and Carolene was attended by over 200 family and friends in the glow of a beautiful Saturday evening at their farm. They used to have a catering business and made wedding cakes, so the food was absolutely outstanding. There was grilled pork, black-eyed peas, green beans, cole slaw, fried okra, jalapeno corn muffins, and plenty of other goodies! Some of their good friends performed gospel songs from the sheltered entertainment area down under the big oak trees. The evening ended with a wonderful slideshow of pictures collected over the years. Beginning with the couples childhood pictures, progressing through their marriage and child raising years, and continuing on through today, we enjoyed seeing the many celebrations and blessings of the years gone by.

We would like to thank Hudon and Carolene for including us in their celebration and we wish them many more years of happiness! A few pictures are posted below or click here to see our slideshow of their celebration evening.