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We were thrilled that Tau Kappa Epsilon asked AEP to cover their regional leadership conference in Atlanta again this year. The TKE fraternity was started in the 1800s and has now grown to more 280 active chapters and colonies throughout North America. We love this organization because its mission and initiatives–aimed at making the world a better place–set a positive standard for fraternities. The leadership conference was a prime example of how they invest in developing leaders who will improve society.150131TKELRM-165

Attendees got to choose from a big lineup of skill-building sessions, and they took the educational opportunities seriously. This year’s case study approach took concepts leaders in business are using to solve problems while applying them to the TKE experience.150131TKELRM-135150131TKELRM-129

One highlight of the regional banquet was keynote speaker Bob Barr, TKE’s Grand Prytanis, who originally joined the organization’s Beta-Sigma chapter at the University of South Carolina.150131TKELRM-474150131TKELRM-425150131TKELRM-378

This year’s attendees were joined by TKE’s 2014 International Sweetheart, Heather Flynn, who represents the Xi-Omega Chapter at Virginia Polytechnic Institute. International Sweetheart nominees are chosen based on GPA, honors and awards, extracurricular activities, community service and involvement with their local TKE chapter. Each of the 59 winners to date has received a $500 academic scholarship from the TKE Educational Foundation.150131TKELRM-520150131TKELRM-447

Attendees enjoyed lots of networking time, including a new general session aimed to foster connection and a vendor fair.150131TKELRM-442150131TKELRM-114150131TKELRM-113150131TKELRM-328150131TKELRM-340

Kudos to the TKE staff and to the team at Hyatt Regency Atlanta on a professional, well-organized event. Special thanks to Alex Baker for including us again!

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It’s that time again! Valentine’s Day is right around the corner. Once you’ve lined up a great date, the challenge is figuring out how to spend that special evening. It can be tough to think of something to top what you did last year, or to see beyond dinner at the usual place and a movie. That’s where I’m hoping I can lend a hand. I’m lucky as a photographer for AJC‘s Living Intown because I get to shoot many of the fun, quaint and quirky spots that make Atlanta unique. I’ve taken photographs highlighting some of the best places and sights in just about every metro neighborhood. One thing they all have in common: They’re amazing date destinations!131125LIajc010514datecouples-KwanzaHallLRO-0034

If you want to go the traditional route with a nice dinner for two, you don’t have to settle for boring. Check out Two Urban Licks, a warehouse turned funky restaurant with a sky high wine wall and floating chandeliers. The vibe gets sultry on Saturday nights with live blues. Or, what could be more romantic than sharing a superb meal and a breathtaking view? The Westin Sun Dial, a restaurant on top of the Westin Peachtree Plaza, actually revolves with an observatory level where you get a 360 degree view of the skyline.131120LIajc010514dates-SundialLRO-0033140322LIajc050414ward-twourbanlicksLRO-0015

Maybe a nice meal sounds great but you’d like to keep things a bit more casual. I recommend the Brick Store, a neighborhood pub in Decatur. The menu offers standard pub fare like burgers but also goes well beyond (like pan-seared rainbow trout with roasted butternut squash). Another gem is Chai Pani in Decatur, serving innovative but affordable Indian street food.  131107LIajc010514decaturguide-brickstoreLRO-0021

Chai Pani Indian restaurant is located at 406 W Ponce De Leon Ave, Decatur. This is part of the Decatur guide for LivingIntown

Chai Pani Indian restaurant is located at 406 W Ponce De Leon Ave, Decatur.
This is part of the Decatur guide for LivingIntown’s Jan/Feb issue.

After dinner, there are many options to take you and your date beyond the ordinary. The beauty of the Atlanta Botanical Garden is always a date magnet. At their “Valentines in the Garden” event you can stroll through tropical conservatories (orchid time!), dance to live music and enjoy cocktails and desserts from Atlanta caterers. Another option is Paris on Ponce‘s Luscious Love Valentine’s Weekend Event with vaudeville, cabaret dancing and circus entertainment. Or, if you’d rather keep things light, check out the Laughing Skull Lounge‘s show featuring comedy writer Emo Philips.131119CHOACircleOfCareLRM-0002131120LIajc010514comedyclubsLRO-0013131120LIajc010514comedyclubsLRO-0028

Atlanta also has plenty to offer if you want to step out of the ordinary with your sweetheart to experience some fine art, culture or history. There’s the Michael C. Carlos Museum at Emory, which is also having a special Valentine’s event with The Farmhouse at Serenbe. At the Atlanta History Center in Buckhead you can explore two historic homes, the huge Goizuetta Gardens and the Margaret Mitchell House (birthplace of one of the great romances of all time, Gone with the Wind). Let’s also not forget the High Museum for inspiring art and architecture, and the fabulous Fox Theatre, featuring a Pre-Valentine Weekend Celebration with Eric Benet on the 8th and the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater on Valentine’s Day.Best Date140904LIajc110214museumtreasures-highLRO-0007

If you’d like to make a full day of it, or a weekend getaway, try a treatment or two at Bliss at the new W Atlanta-Midtown before turning in at Urban Oasis B&B.130918LIajc110313destress-blissLRO-0011131105LIajc010514B&B

Even if these destinations don’t make it into your date night itinerary, be sure to add them to your list for 2015, as they’re some of the best Atlanta has to offer. Wishing you much love and happiness this Valentine’s season!

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As photographers we’re consumed by every event and wrapped up in every moment we have the good fortune of documenting for our clients. Closing the calendar on a year is a rare opportunity to take a moment to look back and relive all of the wonderful events we’ve shot and the fascinating people we’ve connected with along the way. Please join us in a review of 2014 the AEP way — in pictures, of course.140201TKEEventLRM-0211

We are grateful for the incredible variety of experiences this year afforded us. We dined for a difference in support of Families First, watched special needs kids light up at the circus, and admired tired cyclists who pushed on to finish the Bike MS: Cox Atlanta Ride. Our hearts were warmed by the community-building efforts of corporate leaders like Cox Enterprises and by the good work of CHOA.EDITB140207MagicalJourneyGasSouthLRM-0043140620SanDiegoAnimalChannelLRM-0114140916CHOACircleOfCareLRM-0126140319diningforadifferencelrm-0099140920CoxMS150LRM-0174

We saw people hard at work, celebrating the fruits of their dedication as well as the friendships and camaraderie that formed in the process. And we were thrilled to help celebrate and honor some of the hardest workers in our community–the public servants and military personnel who fearlessly protect us.140326day4a-m-part2lrm-00511140517StrayerCommencementLRM-0133140517StrayerCommencementLRM-0128

fox-sports-tributetothetroops311140320aisofireangellrm-20Our encounters with the design community, including Vern Yip, the Traditional Home team and a host of talented design bloggers, were a feast for our eyes and camera lenses.140712LiveInVern140302TraditionalHomeBloggerConferenceLRM-0029140302TraditionalHomeBloggerConferenceLRM-0049

This wouldn’t be complete without mentioning the sheer fun and excitement of photographing talented musicians like Sheryl Crow, Rascal Flatts and Darius Rucker. On more than a few occasions we had stars in our eyes–but managed not to miss the great shots.140327SherylCrowPREditB&WLwrLro-0004140327EditBSherylCrowLwrB&WLRO-0013140325RascalFlattsLRM-0092

Thank you to all of our clients for helping make 2014 a successful year for Atlanta Event Photography. And if you haven’t yet worked with us, we’d welcome the opportunity to help you capture the most meaningful moments at your organization’s events in the coming year. I’m looking forward to exploring all that 2015 has in store with our amazing, talented team–Lyndsey Wright, Jason Hales, Sara Edelstein, Brandon Andrews, Kevin Liles and Brandon Perry. Happy New Year!140416EarthShareBreakfastJHaLRM-0073140424earthshareauctionjhalrm-3225123384-o

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On November 19, we covered an uplifting event held at WSB-TV’s studios, where Channel 2’s own Jovita Moore and Craig Lucie named Bob Scott Atlanta’s 2014 Cox Conserves Hero.141118CoxConservesHeroesLRM-0022

The Cox Conserves Heroes program was created by Cox Enterprises in partnership with The Trust for Public Land to recognize local environmental volunteers. The program honors these heroes by making donations to the local nonprofits that matter most to them. Scott’s nonprofit of choice, South Fork Conservancy, will receive $10,000. His goal is to build an urban refuge in metro Atlanta and to encourage outdoor activity.141118CoxConservesHeroesLRM-0051

Joy Carter and Barry Henson were also lauded as finalists. Carter’s selected nonprofit, the Atlanta Audubon Society, will receive $2,500. Henson supports Go Outdoors USA, which will also receive a $2,500 donation from Cox Conserves Heroes.141118CoxConservesHeroesLRM-0023PREDIT141118CoxConservesHerosLRO-0028

The applause was big and genuine for Scott and the two finalists from an audience comprised of WSB-TV leaders, previous Cox Conserves Heroes and finalists, teams from local environmental nonprofits and leaders from The Trust for Public Land and Cox Enterprises. Channel 2 WSB-TV did their part by drawing public attention to the award and sharing the winners’ inspirational stories, all in the hope that viewers will realize everyone can make a difference and get involved like Bob, Joy and Barry.141118CoxConservesHeroesLRM-0047141118CoxConservesHeroesLRM-0018The Cox Conserves Heroes program was made possible by the efforts of Cox Chairman Jim Kennedy, who launched the Cox Conserves national sustainability program in 2007. Cox Conserves focuses on reducing waste and energy consumption, as well as conserving water. The impact of the Cox Conserves Heroes program alone has been tremendous, with nearly $500,000 donated to environmental nonprofits since its inception. In addition to selecting Atlanta winners, the program has national reach and has awarded heroes in Arizona, Louisiana, San Diego, Orange County, Virginia, Santa Barbara and Western Washington.PREDIT141118CoxConservesHerosLRO-0013PREDIT141118CoxConservesHerosLRO-0005141118CoxConservesHeroesLRM-0031

One of the unique features of the program is that it engages and inspires the public in nominating and voting for volunteers. After the initial nominations, a panel of local environmental leaders selects finalists and videos are made about each of them and their efforts. The public then watches the videos and votes for their favorite. If you know someone who does amazing sustainability work–like park refurbishment, water conservation, public beautification, advocacy or community outreach–bookmark the Cox Conserves Heroes website ( Starting in mid-July, you can go online and nominate someone — or yourself!  

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One of our most memorable experiences of 2014 was covering Cox Enterprise‘s Movember kick-off event. During Movember, the month formerly known as November, men and women work together to raise awareness and funds to fight prostate cancer.141021CoxMovemberJGiLRM-0164For 30 days men grow a Mo–that’s Aussie slang for moustache–and women support that growth. Mo Bros and Mo Sistas ask family and friends to donate to their efforts.

Cox’s Movember campaign kick-off was a powerful way to raise awareness in our own community and get people involved. The event attracted about 2,000 people and raised more than $2,500–an incredible level of participation that single-handedly crashed the site!141021CoxMovemberJGiLRM-0140

The massive turnout on the C-Tech lawn hints at how personal this cause is for the Cox community. Many have been touched by prostate cancer, including Jamie Kennedy’s father.141021CoxMovemberLWrLRM-0106141021CoxMovemberJGiLRM-0148

One of the coolest things about this campaign is that it combines doing good with having fun. The Cox team made it clear that wearing a ‘stache is really a blast! Lyndsey and I were thrilled to see so much support for Movember taking root at the kick-off.

Cox’s efforts are part of a movement that now spans more than 21 countries and five continents. Funds raised in the US go toward programs run by the Movember Foundation, often in partnership with the Prostate Cancer Foundation, the LIVESTRONG Foundation and other organizations. Since the kick-off event we’ve learned just how incredible Cox’s contribution really was: Team Cox ultimately raised the most money in the world this year! The company matched employee contributions, donating nearly $1,600,000 to the cause.

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