Atlanta Event Photography »

It was a special night at the circus for special needs kids. Gas South teamed up with local mayors, government officials and Feld Entertainment–producer of the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circusto provide free admission and a unique, kid-centered pre-show.

The fun began with a Magical Journey, a private pre-show designed just for the kids, with hands-on activities and the lights and sounds of the circus, plus sign language interpreters and wheelchair accessibility.

The kids and their families got to spend one-on-one time with Ringling Bros. circus clowns, jugglers and other amazing performers. The wardrobe station gave the kids a real feel for what it’s like to don a clown costume, nose and all.

For the animal lovers in the crowd, the amazing performers didn’t disappoint. This show had it all: Beautiful horses in the ring, a fabulous tiger and some very playful elephants.

The elephant’s game of choice was kick ball; to the kids’ delight, the ball quickly soared into the the crowd! 

If they hadn’t already stolen the show, the elephants were determined to make a lasting impression with artistry. One elephant-turned-Picasso grabbed a brush and began painting a real picture! I can’t imagine that anyone in that audience–including me–will ever see elephants the same again. Amazing!

The AEP team and I want to extend a heartfelt thanks to Gas South for including us, and to their community partners–the Metropolitan Atlanta Mayors Association, the Georgia Municipal Association and Feld Entertainment–for creating such a magical experience for the kids.

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AEP found plenty to shoot, from formal ceremony to enthusiastic male bonding, at the recent fraternity event we covered: Tau Kappa Epsilon’s Regional Leadership Conference, held at the Sheraton Atlanta hotel downtown. At the start of every Spring semester, TKE members (a.k.a. Tekes) gather across North America to attend educational sessions and network. Atlanta was selected for 2014, along with San Francisco, Oklahoma City, NYC and Chicago.

It was all business–most of the time–during the educational workshops. The sessions gave attendees the opportunity to gain skills and learn from other members’ successes.

The highlight of Saturday night was an awards banquet where multiple winners proudly took the stage.

Bob Barr, TKE’s Grand Prytanis, was the keynote speaker. Bob hails from the Beta-Sigma chapter at the University of South Carolina and has been a member of the Grand Council since 2008.

The banquet was catered by the Sheraton Atlanta hotel–a chocolate-lovers’ delight!

In addition to meeting Grand Council members, Board Members and other TKE VIPs, attendees enjoyed the chance to meet the winner of the 2013 TKE International Sweetheart Scholarship, Miss Maria Willett. Maria is a representative from the Upsilon-Xi chapter at Oakland University and a member of Gamma Phi Beta.

We were literally surrounded by TKE members reconnecting, as nearly 300 attendees filled the Sheraton. Amazingly, this regional group was just a fraction of the overall organization, which has initiated more than 257,000 men since its founding in 1899 at Illinois Wesleyan University. Today there are more than 291 chapters and colonies across North America.

The TKE gang was really a lot of fun. Thanks to Alex Baker and Donnie Aldrich for working with the AEP team on this event! We hope to join you again for the 2015 festivities.

 

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When I worked on the September/October issue of the AJC‘s Living Intown magazine I had the chance to photograph some very cool Atlanta landmarks and venues in Inman Park and the Old Fourth Ward through the eyes of a newcomer.  It’s amazing the beautiful details we can miss about the sights we regularly pass in our daily rush. Inman Park, Atlanta’s “first suburb”, is one of those nuanced areas in-town. It’s such a unique combination of historic buildings, hip shops and restaurants and diverse people.

One of Inman Park’s  earliest attractions was proximity to downtown. Well-heeled residents could get there in just a trolley ride. The trolley barn still stands intact.

My walking tour spanned historical landmarks, trendy shops, artisan restaurants and great hang out spots. It struck me that Inman Park is a great example of community preservation in a truly active sense–not for the sole sake of admiring historical artifacts, but for the good of the people who live in and love the community today.  The fabulous Victorian may be the most striking of architectural styles that you see in Inman Park, but Colonial Revival,  Jacobean Revival, bungalow and Shingle style buildings proudly flank Atlanta’s painted ladies throughout the neighborhood. What a feast for my camera!

These welcoming front porches are some of the many where neighbors and families have chatted and sipped coffee for well over a century.

Speaking of coffee, I got to visit some neighborhood eateries like Juliannna’s Coffee & Crepes. Julianna’s combines a vintage setting with yummy crepes made from local ingredients like Georgia jams. A reviewer on Yelp summed it up perfectly for me: “It’s like a tavern-y joint carved out of a market carved out of a creperie in the heart of Inman. Sweet awesomeness.”

Another great spot combining the historic and the hip is PARISH. It’s located in the one structure still standing from an old pipe factory built in 1890. Good food at mid-tier prices and a rustic design make this a place I’d like to spend some time.  I can say the same for The Albert, which is definitely on the list for a future brew and a game.

I can’t end my ravings about Inman Park without a nod to the shopping. A good way to find an afternoon of shopping bliss is at City Issue Atlanta (technically in the Old Fourth Ward). The shop is a treasure trove of mid-century style furnishings and accessories.

My exploration of the many things “Living Intown” can mean isn’t ending anytime soon, and I look forward to sharing what I find on my adventures! Thanks to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the shop owners and everyone in Inman Park who opened their doors to me.

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The archives are still overflowing with great shots from 2013 that we couldn’t fit into “Part I” of AEP’s “Best of 2013” collection. So, we’ve pulled another batch of photos to share with you in “Part II” of our tribute to the amazing sights and experiences last year brought us.

Fox Sports South

We were thrilled when Fox Sports South engaged us last year. They have the kinds of events most anyone would want to attend; plus, we quickly learned that their on-air and behind the scenes teams are a ton of fun. Just take a look at these shots from our work with The NEW College Football Show and South Girls.

Fox’s “Tribute to the Troops” event at Turner Field also reminded us that they bring sports to Atlanta with a healthy dose of heart. From the crowd’s standing ovation to warm greetings from Atlanta Braves players, the selfless men and women who serve our country experienced a really big and much deserved “thank you.”

fox sports tributetothetroops4

Cox Enterprises and CMG

If you’re a fan of the Zac Brown Band like all of us at AEP you would have loved the dinner Cox Media Group (CMG) hosted during their 2013 President’s Circle conference in Orlando. CMG is a subsidiary of Cox Enterprises focusing on broadcasting, publishing, direct marketing and digital media.

I’d like to wrap this up with a look back at our coverage of the Bike MS event for Cox Enterprises, the title sponsor. The fundraiser is held annually at Callaway Gardens in Pine Mountain to support the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. It’s a beautiful setting and a worthwhile cause–and there’s still time to get involved in the 2014 event, scheduled for September 20-21.

Thanks again to all of the organizations that made 2013 an amazing year for AEP. Can’t wait to see what 2014 brings in front of our lenses!

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For me an important part of turning the corner into a new year is always reflecting on the past year — accomplishments, disappointments, joys, lessons learned — and 2013 offered plenty to chew on!  I’ve been thinking about the wonderful events and people AEP covered on behalf of many outstanding Atlanta organizations, like Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, Cox Enterprises. We were also really excited to start working with Fox Sports South and to expand our reach beyond Atlanta’s borders to work with hugely influential companies like WebMD, headquartered in NYC. I want to share with you some of the best of the pictures we had the pleasure to take in 2013 and the organizations that made those pictures possible. For me that means photographs with staying power – with the ability to move us, whether bringing us to tears or gently brightening our day with their beauty. Enjoy!

WebMD Personal Stories

Last summer WebMD started following four people as they explored the new health insurance marketplaces.  They have been updating their stories as they made their choices. AEP was engaged to photograph two of the Atlanta-area women they have been following. Ines is the first lovely lady we had the pleasure of meeting. She is a breast cancer survivor. To say her journey has been challenging is an understatement. In her words (straight from the WebMD article): “I’ve been in shock with the cancer,” she says. “I don’t know how Obamacare will affect me. I’m lost.” This lady’s smile could warm any winter chill, nonetheless. Ines, you are one of our heroes!

Her full story is well worth reading and you can find it at http://www.webmd.com/health-insurance/insurance-costs/personal-profile-ines

Laureen is the second woman we had the pleasure to photograph. What she has endured is chilling and heartbreaking. She lost her health insurance when her company shuttered. While she was still looking for another job, her sister suffered a debilitating stroke and needed Laureen’s care. At 60, Laureen found herself without health insurance. She faced a serious quandary:  She was too young to apply for Medicare, yet not eligible for Medicaid. I think you’ll agree that nothing could dull this amazing lady’s sparkle or spunk. You go, girl!

You can find Laureen’s whole story at http://www.webmd.com/health-insurance/insurance-marketplace/personal-profile-laureen.

Aflac Cancer Center of Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta Braves Night

We were thrilled to be at Turner Field on May 30 to cover Braves Night, held by Aflac Cancer Center of Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. What we loved most was that the main focus of the event was clearly on the precious patients of Aflac Cancer Center and their families. The Atlanta Braves players could not have been warmer or more wonderful with the kids. Director of the Aflac Cancer Center, Dr. William G. Woods, attended the event along with Dan and Kathleen Amos (Aflac Foundation President and Aflac CEO, respectively).

Thanks to Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, WebMDAflac and the Aflac Cancer Center for the opportunity to capture the beautiful spirits of so many wonderful people in 2013! I’ve gathered many other photos from the past year that I can’t wait to share with you, so stay tuned!

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