Monday, November 29, 2010

STuFF - Sara's Totally Fantastic Finds, Episode 19: Small Business Rewards

You may have heard over the weekend about American Express's Small Business Saturday. In an effort to support small business across the country, AMEX gave a $25 credit to all registered card members when they spent $25 or more at local stores on Saturday. Because the event received such a huge response, they've extended the promotion until the end of the year.

We are a participating small business in this promotion so be sure you register your card to receive the credit.

The credit is given for purchases made at our studio only (online sales are not included). Happy shopping!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

Wishing you and your family a wonderful holiday.


What do you do now with all those leftovers? Reinvent! Take the turkey leftovers and make something with completely different flavors. With only 7 ingredients, you won't feel like you're stuck in the kitchen for another day. Let me know how it turns out if you decide to try it!

Turkey Enchiladas

Yield: Makes 6 servings

3 cups shredded skinned cooked turkey
2 cups sour cream
About 2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese (8 oz.)
1 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup vegetable oil
12 corn tortillas
1 jar (16 oz.) medium-hot salsa

1. In a bowl, mix turkey, sour cream, 2 cups shredded cheese, and the salt.

2. Heat oil in an 8- to 10-inch frying pan over low heat. Dip the tortillas, one at a time, in the hot oil just until limp, about 5 seconds.

3. Fill tortillas equally with turkey mixture, roll up, and arrange side by side, seam down, in a 9- by 13-inch baking dish. Pour salsa evenly over the top.

4. Bake in a 350° oven until heated through, about 20 minutes. If desired, sprinkle more shredded cheese over hot enchiladas before serving.

CALORIES 677 (60% from fat); FAT 45g (sat 21g); CHOLESTEROL 128mg; CARBOHYDRATE 32g; SODIUM 1308mg; PROTEIN 35g; FIBER 2.6g

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Help-Portrait: Gift Certificate Sale

Founded by Celebrity Photographer Jeremy Cowart, Help-Portrait is a community of photographers, coming together across the world to use their photography skills to give back to their local community.

On 04 December, photographers around the world will be grabbing their cameras, finding people in need and taking their picture. When the prints are ready, the photographs get delivered.

Who needs pictures? Anyone who wouldn’t normally have access to or be able to afford professional photography.

  • the homeless
  • orphans
  • single moms (and their kids)
  • single dads (and their kids)
  • sick children
  • sick parents
  • the elderly
  • army vets
  • underprivileged families
  • your neighbor
I am participating at the Midtown Atlanta location and we need donations to make this work. Everyone is volunteering and all the camera and computer equipment is donated, but we need donations to pay for printing and framing the pictures. Can you spare $1, $10, $50? 100% of all donations go to support the event.

To make donating even sweeter, we're having a Cyber-Monday Sale on Gift Certificates. All Day Monday, November 29th (with a "preview days" Saturday and Sunday, just like Macy's!) all $100 Gift Certificates will receive a
$25 bonus, AND $10 of each sale will support Help-Portrait.

Sound confusing? Let's break it down....

You purchase $200 in Gift Certificates, you receive $50 bonus in Gift Certificates and $20 will be donated to Help-Portrait. Gift Certificates are good for one year and can be used for any product or service we offer.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Picture of the Day - Photoventuring at the Krog Street Tunnel

Before I opened Sara Speert Photography, when photography was simply a hobby and I was creating fine art photography for local galleries, neighborhood art festivals and underground art exhibits, I used to drive around Atlanta aimlessly looking for interesting things to photograph. I did it on a pretty regular basis, learned a lot and it kept my creativity evolving. But as I got busier photographing my clients, when it came to my day off, I rarely want to pick up a camera.

But armed with an amazing camera and lens that I rented this weekend, I felt inspired to get out and have some fun. So o
n Sunday, Nick and I headed out to take pictures (and video) around Atlanta. These are from the infamous Krog Street tunnel in Cabbagetown. I love not knowing exactly what I'm going to get with night-time photography. Waiting for cars to drive through the tunnel, pressing the shutter button and seeing the image on the back of the camera was exhilarating. Back when I used to do this, I was shooting film so the development took days instead of milliseconds. Recharging my creativity is awesome. Hope you enjoy!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Surprise Marriage Proposal - Atlanta Photographer

Last week Bill decided to propose to Tammy after 2 1/2 years of dating. While planning all the details like the ring, dinner reservations and the "story" he could tell Tammy about their plans for the night, he took it one step further by contacting me to photograph the entire thing so they both could relive the moment again and again. He actually said, "I'm doing this for her so she can see the pictures" but we all know the truth, it's for him too! Who wouldn't want to relive this magical moment.

I struggled with finding THE picture to post as a sneak-peek for Bill and Tammy and their families, and a window-inside to all of you who are Facebook fans and knew about the secret proposal before Tammy. So I decided the best way to do it was to recount the details of the night.

Last week, I scouted out the gazebo on Decatur square so I could tell Bill where to go. I needed him to sit in a spot that was picturesque and visible from a good distance away. If I hoped to photograph the whole thing unseen, I needed to stay pretty far away and to stay in one position to avoid rustling any leaves. Picked the spot, spoke to Bill on Thursday, and we were all set.

Friday, November 19th
6:00pm Dinner reservations for Bill and Tammy at Iberian Pig

6:15 At home, I am dressed in dark clothes, and wearing a hat and gloves to keep warm. I am definitely feeling like a spy/paparazzi photographer.

6:29 I leave my studio to get to the square and get everything set up.

6:31 I receive a text message from Bill saying that they've been delayed and have just sat down for dinner.

6:32 I return to my studio to hang out for a little while.

6:55 Take Two - I leave the studio again and head to the square. Unsure if I'll find a parking spot close-by, I want to leave extra time even though I don't expect them to leave the restaurant until 7:30.

7:04 I find a parking space close-by and arrive at the square. The place is buzzing with people. A group of teenagers skateboarding by the statue, couples walking to and from dinner, friends walking to the bars nearby. And the entire square is decorated for Christmas - string lights, red bows and even a saxophone-player.

7:15 I set up my gear on a picnic table which is strategically nestled next to a tree. The perfect spot to shoot from where I won't be seen. The excitement is building and I'm hoping not to draw any attention from all the people walking around although I'm not sure that's possible.

7:45 Text message from Bill says "Hey Sara. I am paying the bill now. We should be coming out soon." This is it!

7:50 I spot them walking up the steps from the restaurant and start shooting away. I see Bill look for me and as soon as he's sees me, they start their walk toward the gazebo. Despite Tammy having no idea what is going on, it's clear this night is already a romantic one. She stops along the path and kisses him underneath the neon sign for "Good Times" store. Perfect!

They walk up the steps of the gazebo and sit. Bill is sitting one step below her (just as we planned) so I can be sure to see her face clearly from the trees.

7:59 I'm busy shooting away, when a couple walks past me and the man says "No paparazzi here!" It made me laugh because I had been thinking the same thing the whole time, but I couldn't respond for fear that Tammy would hear or see me.

8:00 They are talking for a bit and I am waiting for some kind of sign that he is proposing. It couldn't have been more clear at the moment. As soon as Tammy realizes what is going on, she sits up straight in an Oh-my-gosh!--This-is-happening! kind of way. So cute.

I'll let the photos speak for the rest of that magical moment. (Click the image below.)

After they've had a few minutes together, Bill waves me over. I introduce myself and Tammy is just numb, I think. They are both so happy but it may have been my get-up that really took her by surprise. :) I suggest we take some pictures around the square and find out that this place has a lot of meaning for them. They have come here on many dates. Tammy tells me that on a few occasions Bill has driven one hour in each direction just to spend a half an hour with Tammy at Java Monkey. So, taking some pictures there is the obvious next location for us. (I'll post some of them soon.)

It was a magical, emotional and fun evening, and I am so honored to have documented it for them. If you or anyone you know is planning a proposal, please contact the studio. I would LOVE to photograph more of these in the future. Our memories of moments like this are invaluable, but having an album or picture hanging in your home of that moment is priceless.

Congratulations Tammy and Bill!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

STuFF - Sara's Totally Fantastic Finds, Episode 18: Atlanta Children's Clothing Store Closing

The Little Shop, an Atlanta institution that's been open for almost 40 years, is sadly closing their doors. They specialize in traditional clothing for children including Bailey Boys, Florence Eiseman, Auraluz, US Angels, Little Giraffe, Rosalina, Royal Child, Will'Beth, Kidorable, Pockets of Learning.

Save 30% or more during their going-out-of-business sale. Support the store by helping them clear out inventory and get some great clothing for the holidays in the process.

The Little Shop
Shops Around Lenox
3400 Around Lenox Drive
Atlanta, GA 30326

Tell Mildred I sent you - she'd love to help you find the perfect item for your child.

Friday, November 05, 2010

Picture of the Day - Atlanta Holiday Family Portrait

Today's Picture of the Day is of one beautiful family. Jen and Adam have graced the banner of our blog for a while now. (Their picture is the one on the far right.) Their wedding vow renewal ceremony was a moving and memorable day that I'll never forget. Last year, I joined them to photograph a family portrait session at their beautiful home. And this year, Adam's brother and sister-in-law, David and Carolyn, and their two boys joined us for a really fun fall session.

How cute are these boys! Seriously!

The holidays are a wonderful time to photograph your extended family and capture the kids as they are now. In a year or even just a month, these boys will look different and taking some time to photograph the entire family is a great way to honor this special time together. (And it's great for grandparents gifts!)

If you are interested in scheduling a holiday portrait session for your family during Thanksgiving, Hannukah, Kwanzaa or Christmas, please contact the studio at 404-nine66-7two7two. We will be closed on New Year's Eve and New Year's Day to celebrate the holiday (and my birthday!)

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Picture of the Day - Decatur & Atlanta Kids Portraits

Today's Picture of the Day is brought to you by the letter "C" because
Carter loves Cars.

He also loves that my camera makes a clicking sound. Everytime I took a picture he said, "She keeps clicking!" It was such a funny moment, he had me and his parents laughing hysterically.
I love it when my little clients' personalities are so evident in our sessions. From babies to toddlers and then kids, I just love watching them grow up.

Here he is at his first portrait at 7 months old.
His next session was at 13 months.
And last year's session at 2 years old.
Now he is 3 years old and is so fun to be around.
I could have spent all day there!