Now at… Lauren Carnes Photography

Hi everyone!

So glad you’ve found me here on Mason Jar Moments! I actually recently have launched my wedding, lifestyle and editorial photography business, so if you’d like to follow along on all things I’m up to, you can find me at Lauren Carnes Photography

I’ll be blogging there and would love to serve you if you need anything photography related! Plus, I’m always up for great collaborations, so if anyone needs anything, feel free to contact me. Can’t wait to hear from you and see you over there!

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Whitney & Donnie Are Engaged | Alpharetta, GA Engagement Photographer

On Sunday I had the chance to photograph a long-time dear friend of mine and her fiancé. Whitney is the kindest soul in the world, and Donnie reflects that perfectly. I’ve known both of them for years, as we grew up in middle school and high school together. They simply adore each other. From the minute our time together began until the very end, they were completely focused on each other and the love they shared. Now I’m thrilled to share a few of my favorite photos from our session with you.

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Whitney and Donnie, I can’t wait to celebrate your wedding in August and to see all that is in store for you two! Thankful our cities are close to each other!

Happy New Year!

Let’s be honest, this year’s Christmas card went out so late it was almost humorous. It was just a busy season, truth be told. And while we were vacationing in NYC, Christmas cards were the last things on my mind. I was too busy searching for the next restaurant we’d eat at or store where we’d window shop. I convinced myself that since they were belated it was like a special “post-Christmas-surprise” for everyone who thought snail mail wouldn’t be showing up for about 11 more months.

However, I did find a way to hopefully make up for my slacking in the Christmas card department. Instead, I created simple cards for both families this year to mail out on time… for the New Year. And seriously y’all, it’s a New Year’s miracle that we got a family photo on both sides! Check them out:

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So with those printed and heading in the mail: Happy New Year from our families to yours! God has immeasurably more than we can imagine in store for 2014!

 

The Carcioppolo Family: Sneak Peek

This afternoon I had the chance to photograph a sweet family of three – the Carcioppolos! I have known Erin & Frank for quite some time, as they are cousins with the family I babysat for when I was younger. Their sweet girl, Sophia, is 2.5 years old and such a cute one. Here are a few of my favorite photos from our shoot today:

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Can’t wait to share more of their shoot!

 

It’s great to be a Georgia Bulldog!

Fall is here, which means football in Athens! Gameday Saturdays are some of my favorites for so many reasons. Friends in town, lots of red and black, and to top it off, the chance for a bulldog win!

Yesterday seriously did not disappoint one bit. The Dawgs beat USC (finally!), three of our best couple friends stayed with us, and we got to end the night grilling out with friends at the fabulous Britt Bass Turner‘s house.

To kick-off the day, we reenacted our annual couples gameday photo from 2012. You may remember this from my Instagram:

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And now from 2013… much more “post-grad” looking:

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UGA Me and Chip

For my mother-in-law’s 50th birthday, her only request was that we get one family photo on the first gameday. A pretty simple birthday gift!

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UGA Chip & Lori

They say men marry women like their mothers. If I can be even half the woman Chip’s mom is, then I’ll be thankful.

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It was a great, great day! Ain’t nothin’ finer in the land.

And just for good measure… the self timer tester blooper. Way to be ready, Beth:

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“Swanderson” Wedding Weekend at the Duke Chapel

This past weekend was quite the celebration. I don’t take two days off of work for just anybody, but if you knew Katie and Scott, you’d understand why their wedding was touching, a blast, and full of lots and lots of dancing. They sure do know how to throw a party.

Katie is one of my best friends from high school and is a “forever” friend. Much to our dismay, I had never visited Duke University (where they went to school) before, but now I think I’d like to go back. It was pretty great. Not to mention the Washington Duke Inn, Duke Chapel and The Cotton Room were absolutely amaze. Here’s a little recap and some photos from the long weekend away!

My trip began with a walk from the WaDuke to grab lunch. I think I’ve realized I don’t mind eating alone at restaurants. It’s kind of nice sometimes, actually. And certainly allows for some great people watching. While it was a little bit farther of a walk than I expected, it was well worth it and quite pretty.

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My destination was NOSH. And boy did I seriously nosh. When I saw online that its tagline was “Eclectic Foodstuffs,” I was sold. It had a precious little NOSH “bike-cart” out front.

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And little did I know I had actually chosen out of the blue one of Katie’s favorite Durham meals. A portabella burger and curried couscous. And I found Waldo. What could be better?

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We bacheloretted and rehearsed. And I saw the Duke Chapel for the first time. Y’all, this thing looks like it should be in Europe. It’s phenomenal.

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Swails rehearsalAnd the “bowquet” I created from gifts at Katie’s brunch bridal shower made its grand appearance.

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Later, people said lots of nice things about Katie and Scott as we chowed down on some North Carolina BBQ at the rehearsal dinner. It was held at the Durham Arts Council, which was a seriously cool venue.

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On the morning of the wedding, I explored the property at the WaDuke before anyone else was awake. It is amazing – and huge!

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And last but certainly not least, we celebrated the marriage of two insanely kind-hearted and loving people!

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Katie and Scott, it was such an honor to be a part of your wedding weekend. Thank you so much for including me in all of the festivities! So excited to come back for a visit to Duke in the hopefully near future!

Five Truths…

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My current state of mind is relaxed and joyful. This “chilling out” thing is glorious and needs to happen more often. Vacations are beautiful and perfect and wonderful. Weeks like this always remind me that I need to take a break here and there, even if I think I can be superwoman. Here’s the truth… I can’t be (not all the time, anyway!).

Speaking of truths: a bit back, sweet Marilisa of Young Love in Normaltown offered up her Five Truths and challenged me to do the same. After a bit of thought, here they are, in no particular order:

truth one: I’m a closet craft hoarder. Whenever friends needed something from the craft store in college, they’d always check my stash first. I’ve gone through many craft phases and stock pile from each of them. Knitting, jewelry making, painting, scrapbooking, you name it, I’ve likely got it. I also tend to snag and store anything that I think could possibly be redone or given new life. I can always find something to do with it, right? My mom, a professional organizer, could just about croak when she sees everything I’ve got. Sorry, mom, but this DIYing isn’t going away.

truth two: It takes me way too long to wake up in the mornings… and I’m talking waaay too long. I typically can go through about 5 alarms before actually getting out of bed. Bless Chip’s heart. I’m actually a morning person once I’m out of the covers, but you’d better believe the whole house is awake at that point. In elementary school I had to create a mock-up of an invention. It was an alarm clock that had an arm on a spring that would tap you until you got out of bed. Maybe I should have followed through on that idea.

truth three: I’m terrible at decisions. I think it comes with the anxiety of the “what ifs.” For me, every major decision comes with a serious pro/con list. But it’s not just major decisions. The minor ones are not the easiest either. Chip and I most commonly get in arguments over what we will eat that night for dinner. We usually end up with a frozen meal, The Grit or Siri Thai, truth be told. However, I’m learning that most decisions have a lot less weight than I formerly believed. Lately I’ve been loving this great reminder: “There are far, far better things ahead than any we leave behind.” ― C.S. Lewis. With lots up in the air regarding our future with medical school, etc., I’m now anxiously awaiting those things ahead, even if they mean big decisions must be made.

truth four: I have a love affair with frozen yogurt. I rarely go a week without asking Chip for a trip to Yoforia or scooping spoonfuls straight from the container in the freezer. Much to my dismay, my sweet hubby is not one for desserts, so my froyo intake is on the lower end since we’ve been married. However, it’s likely a blessing in disguise. No longer do I forgo a real dinner for a big bowl of the deliciousness (Ferrero Rocher, Banana and Peanut Butter froyo topped with Oreos, raspberries and almond slices, please). Let’s just hope that wherever Chip’s residency takes us has a darn good frozen yogurt shop around the corner.

truth five: I always seem to have multiple side-jobs. In college, I won the senior superlative of “Most likely to have 3 jobs at once… in college.” That still rings true, as I love to be able to serve at the communications agency I work at, but also find joy in creating customized bridal hangers/crafts, shooting engagement photos, and helping out with wedding photography and planning on the side. What’s awesome is that I get to see the in’s and out’s of various industries that bring me passion. I have always said that I would love to work part-time at Whole Foods, Fresh Market or Trader Joe’s. Delicious places… and maybe I’d get a discount on the food! Hopefully one day I can add that to the long list of roles I’ve served!

Speaking of grocery stores, I’ll let you in on one extra “truth” that I spilled on a while back. Check it out here.

Well, folks, that concludes my Five Truths for today, plus a little extra one for your reading pleasure. Thanks to Marilisa for the challenge.

Now, I’d love to invite a few friends to join in the fun! Geales, Kaitlyn, Morgan, Chelsea, and Morgan, your turn!

Grace

Lately, I’ve been inspired by lovely phrases, fancy fonts and beautiful prints on Pinterest.

This morning, I gave it a go on creating the first of many. I fully believe handmade gifts are the best kind of gifts, so in honor of my sweet friend’s (and co-worker’s) birthday…

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Such a perfect reminder of grace, rather than perfection, each day. And so therapeutic… I see many more print-making and watercoloring in the future.

Leaving on a jet plane… to ski!

It’s official! We’ve made plans for spring break! It was certainly a tough decision, as we had to compare this trip to our last spring break (aka our honeymoon!), but we think we chose wisely!

We’re officially going skiing in Beaver Creek with friends and can’t wait! Chip grew up skiing every year with his family, but my first experience was only a couple years ago with them in Deer Valley.

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It was gorgeous, a blast… and the food was incredible. Deer Valley Turkey Chili is maybe one of my favorite foods ever. The funny thing is that I bought the mix while we were there, and it is still sitting in our pantry. I think it’s about time to whip that out in honor of our upcoming adventure!

Our trip to Deer Valley is still to this day one of the best vacations I’ve ever been on, so I have high hopes for Spring Break out in Colorado! Can’t wait to share it with you guys.

So, what is your favorite vacation ever? I’d love to add it to our travel bucket list!