A little smitten with black coffee and a lot obsessed with my white lab. In this black and white world, I'm a lover of the grey.
When I first got into photography I was an atheist.
Being born and raised in a world full of drugs and rock and roll meant going to school was an option for me. I learned the world had winners and losers and I wasn't sure where my family fell.
I spent my entire life running from Jesus, annoyed with "Bible Thumpers"; there was no way God would allow the things that happened to us happen.
And then 2014 happened.
I'd just graduated college and was marrying the man of my dreams.
While tying up the loose ends of wedding planning, I made a pit stop by my tailor's house for some dress measurements before I left town for my bachelorette weekend.
Before I left my tailor's house, she asked to have coffee with me, and randomly asked, "Have you ever accepted God as your savior?"
Oh, great. A stupid Bible thumper... Cringe.
"No. And I don't plan on it." :)
"Oh, that's okay. This is really pulling on me. Just have a seat and repeat after me..."
I refused many times, but eventually, quite irritatedly, I sat down, and repeated after her. Even told her that her little spell wasn't going to work because I was mad and didn't believe in any of it. She only smiled.
Suddenly, something happened. I felt it. Something. A warm, gold-like glowing fullness washed into my feet and swept up my body. I opened my eyes, and the day was vibrant. I heard birds. My senses were turned up. I thought she spiked my coffee.
I was terrified.
And It was time for my bachelorette weekend.
On my last morning with my girls, I woke up early to enjoy coffee on the balcony and finish a book. I finished the last page and closed the book. Wanting more coffee, I opened the sliding glass door and there was a bird sitting inside! On our stove... Looking at me...
I walked over to him slowly, hoping he wouldn't fly away, and he didnt'. I put my finger out, *hoping* he would (for some reason) climb on my finger. And he did,
Then instantly: that warm- vibrant, gold-like feeling swept through my body. Again.
That was the moment I realized she didn't spike my coffee, and my life began to change.
Once I figured out the feeling I felt was God, everything began transforming.
I spent most of my life running from Him, trying to define myself as a free individual, only to turn up more chained down. As my relationship with Jesus matures, I've learned that it's He who breaks chains, and if you knew my story you'd see the significance.
When I found Him, I found my passions, and the permission to follow them. I quit my job and started my business.
Spending my weekends photographing weddings and baptisms is pretty much the coolest thing in the entire world...
And this brings me to photography: the crux of how I fell in love with people.
What started as a job has transformed into a soul-shifting purposeful passion I would have never anticipated.
After having photographed so many weddings, I understand the importance of my role.
I've learned that helping my couples plan their wedding day means the difference of them enjoying their day versus remembering the day feeling stressed, posed, and rushed.
It's my burning passion for you to feel comfortable and at ease on your wedding day because I know how important it is for good moments to wash over you.
I've developed a system so that my couples can relax... When you're with me, you lean into each other on your wedding day instead of worrying, because you know your memories are safe. It's handled.
I want your wedding day to show you the importance of slowing down to experience your memories in the making.
Feeling comfortable. At ease. Natural.
This process has taught me to see the world differently.
The small, fleeting moments that God gifts us with are so important, and capturing those moments that cannot be recreated is my passion and promise to you.
"So apparently we're freaking professional models!!! Holy crap, these are freaking amazing!!!"
I believe that every person deserves to be known because every story can impact the world. I love weddings because I believe in the power of two people coming together. Call me crazy, but I pray over my cameras and what they capture because I believe His power in my couples' stories is what changes everything. Those little moments on your wedding day are precious.
Our world has never been quite this way. Technology has given us so much, but it's also taken so much. As I sit and type this, I am giggling at Rachel and Brandon's wedding party's "antiquated" cell phones piled in my utility belt in 2020. (That was basically *decades" ago in the world of technology.)
As the world shifts and changes around you, it's easy to get caught up in the whirlwind and forget what matters.
10 years from now, when you have all the tiny photos locked away in an app on your phone, I want you to snuggle up with your spouse and relive the magic of your wedding day in your album. I want you to reminisce... laugh with your friends, cry during your ceremony, cherish your grandmother in those family portraits, and tear up as you remember your First Dance.
THAT is why I pray over my couples. That's why I pray over my cameras, and the moments they capture. That's why we're obsessed with wedding albums.
I was the first photographer in the Atlanta area to find this lab, and they don't accept every photographer. Run by a dude who's passionate about quality and Giving Back to His Community, you won't find another album like these. I'm obsessed with quality, and These are true heirlooms.
Every other album lab uses compressed paper for their pages. Not ours. Our albums are carefully hand crafted using PVC so your pages don't absorb moisture and oils. I want you to relive the story of your wedding day for ever; share it with your children and grandchildren... Enjoy your legacy.
This stuff matters so much to me. Why? Because my story was quite different. I sometimes wonder what would have happened if my mom and dad stayed married. If she would have had the wherewithal to seek help when he hit her, or if he would have had the confidence to accept help for himself... Or for her when she had troubles. Maybe, I wonder, had they found a way to help each other, would my mom have struggled with addiction until it took her life? Would my dad still be trapped in what I know he desires so deeply to change? I'll never know.
I watched my mother allow men into our home so that she could afford to feed us, and her addiction. I watched my dad struggle in his own difficulties... completely unable to help me because, for whatever reason, he didn't have the ability. I have a curiosity about who I would be and where I would have landed if my parents would have been healthy and supported each other. I don't wonder because I would change anything that happened; it's led me to a life of abundance that I love so much... But...
This is why I'm passionate about marriage.
When two people come together, stories collide, and a legacy starts.
My clients, ultimately -- when you think about it, are the very people who will be raising our next generation.
This is why I'm intentional and passionate about how I run my business.
When we weren't at the lake in GA, we were at the beach in FL. I spent every waking moment in the water as a kid.
That's my dad! I was really close with him when I was little... He owned his own HVAC repair business, and I remember riding in his old blue work van with him to jobs. It didn't have seatbelts (or seats) in the back! I'd spend the day exploring his clients' properties while he worked... We spent a lot of time together, and it was a blast.
My parents divorced when I was around 2, and my mom and I left family in Georgia and went Clearwater, Florida. She made a living as a waitress on the beach, and met all kinds of famous folks. One time Mel Gibson tried to get her to pull his hair to prove it was real. (She didn't...)
I also went to work with her a lot, and walked the beach or sat in the hotel. I don't remember as much about those days, other than the glorious sunshine & hot sand on my feet.
Our home was constantly FULL of them. Always. My mother took them in - nonstop. (She had a huge heart)
I don't think there was a time in my childhood when we had less than 8 cats and dogs running around; I thought it was awesome! One time she even stole a monkey from a zoo (it's a long story). This cougar here has a pretty cool story too.
Anyway... My mom instilled a love for furry creatures in my heart, and I always thought I'd grow up to be a veterinarian.
But I did not become a veterinarian; I became a teacher!
...Ironic because I hardly attended school as a child.
My mom was more of a friend than she was a parent so I really got to do whatever I wanted! I dropped out of 11th grade (with As and Bs!) and a short time later found myself graduating from college with a dual degree in B.S.ED and K-12 Special Ed.
Teaching was an adventure, and my kids meant so much to me!!
My kids in my classroom were my WORLD. We did Yoga together, learned through games instead of worksheets, and best of all: there was meaning behind what they learned. (Instead of it all being about test scores)
I poured into my kids and they poured into each other. It was an incredible journey, but I didn't have the freedom to teach in the ways I knew they needed. Once I learned there was nothing I could to change the system, I met with my principal, and we both shed tears as I resigned. It was one of the best decisions of my life.
Around this time, I married the coolest, smartest, funniest, weirdest, most loyal person I'll ever meet.
We met in 2006, and have been together since 2010.
My husband is pretty much the complete opposite of me. A DIY'er- who knows how to fix absolutely anything and is his happiest when tinkering.
He is the brains behind ALL the behind-the-scenes-computer workings of my business.
I hope I always get to do life with him.
After our wedding we left the country for Tango Mar in Costa Rica and It. Was. AWESOME. If we weren't galavanting around the sketchy outskirts of our resort, we were enjoying drinks poolside. I laugh now because I remember saving all the fruit from my drinks for the lizards, and eventually they learned to follow me around...
We traveled on horseback, zip lined, had an ATV adventure, and saw so much stuff.
It was incredible, and we want to go back with our kids now!!
We're a pretty busy bunch! My husband runs a retail store and is currently thinking about going into business with me... I run my team here, and also a Photo Booth business. Together we homeschool our kids. Week days are full of homeschooling, shuttling kids to classes and events, and office work for my business. The rare weekends we get together are reserved for family time.
In our leisure, we're hiking, racing at K1 Speed, playing mini golf, or finding another way to ignore our endless DIY projects at home...
Perhaps we need a more professional gif, but this is us at the end of a long wedding day, having fun at our Photo Booth... And we don't believe in taking life super seriously.
Rocheal Photography has grown into a team of two lead photographers and a handful of amazing second shooters. Stephen and I are the head photographers here, and we have a blast when we get to work weddings together, though those days are fewer as he takes more and more weddings on his own. We're having a great time doing business together and are so grateful to our amazing couples.
Think you're awkward?? Bring it... So does everyone else.
Got a headache thinking about your timeline? That's why I customize those for every single client.
Worried your mom will take over your wedding day?
After your wedding, we'll pop open some cold ones and enjoy snacks at your Gallery Reveal Party. You'll snuggle up next to your spouse and cry a little while you relive your wedding day through a gorgeous customized Album Design. We'll tweak the design to your fancy and order wall art for your home, all before most couples receive their digital files. (And yes, you'll get those too)
Let's talk real for a second: the divorce rate is too high.
It is my mission to fill my clients' homes full of artwork from their wedding day.
Artwork will remind you of who you love, how you felt on your wedding day, and why you love your spouse.
Artwork that brings back real, tangible memories of how it felt to be present on your wedding day - not worrying about a thing.
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