Jun 19, 2014

Dahlonega - Family-Friendly Day Trips from Atlanta

A note from Marchet: Not ready to hit the beach or head out for a long trip? Want to do something fun in the area, but want to get out of Atlanta? Check out these awesome Dahlonega day-trip ideas from Melinda

One of my favorite places to take my kids for a day trip is Dahlonega, Georgia.  Dahlonega is about 50 minutes north of Alpharetta and filled with fun family activities.  Here are some of our favorite things to do in Dahlonega:

Gold Panning/Gem Mining:  Dahlonega is famous for its gold rush history.  The kids will love visiting a working gold mine and panning for gold or gems (my kids prefer the gems).  There are a couple of different mines in the area, but we like Crisson Gold Mine.

Yahoola Creek Reservoir:  If you are leaving Crisson Gold mine, you can’t miss the parking area for Yahoola Creek Reservoir.  It is just a few minutes down the road towards downtown Dahlonega.  Besides being incredibly beautiful, there are great picnic tables and lots of big rocks for my kids to climb. There are also a lot of ducks and geese here, if you want to bring bread.  We usually don’t and the kids enjoy seeing the ducks without the geese being too intimidating looking for more bread!

Waterfalls:  There are so many amazing waterfalls within easy driving distance of Dahlonega.  All of the waterfalls listed on this page have hikes suitable for kids—I have been to all of these waterfalls and love them!  Tip:  Some of the waterfalls listed are actually closer to Helen than Dahlonega.  While in Dahlonega, we love DeSoto Falls and Dicks Creek Falls.  Dicks Creek is one suitable wading and playing in the water.  So be sure to bring a change of clothes for later!

Historic Downtown:  We love going in the shops that are in the Historic Town Square right in downtown Dahlonega.  There are so many fun shops, but my kids love the General Store the best.  We always end the day with a visit to Connie’s Ice Cream Parlor & Sandwich Shop for some giant ice cream cones.

Tip:  If you are looking for an old fashioned 4th of July, consider visiting Dahlonega.  Their 4th of July celebration is filled with fun, family friendly, activities! 

Jun 17, 2014

Author Headshots | Alpharetta GA Headshot Photographer

Are you the kind of person who hates having their picture taken? You aren't the only one. Lots of people are nervous about being in front of the camera and here's why: The camera lies. That's right. It lies.

Just think about it. When you take a picture, you are converting a three-dimensional person with all their movement and physical depth and compressing it into a flat, two-dimensional image. So all the foreground, middle ground, and background are squished together while the super mega-pixel cameras of today make every wrinkle and blemish crystal clear. That means they look heavier, older, and, (in many cases) uncomfortable in pictures because they think it isn't going to turn out well.

So many of my clients are camera wary for exactly these reason. And I don't blame them!

As a professional photographer, I specialize in creating images that actually look like the person I'm shooting. Basically, I'm creating the illusion of three dimensions. I use lighting, long lenses, flattering clothing choices, post-processing, and (on request) professional hair and makeup to create a portrait of you that you will both like and be proud to show off to others.

These images are from a headshot session I did with Young Adult author Gina Ciocca. Her debut novel, Last Year's Mistake, is due out next summer and she needed professional headshots for her author bio. She was nervous about having her picture taken--yes, even gorgeous people get nervous! Here's what she wrote to me after seeing the initial proofs:
"Wow, these came out great, considering how much I usually hate having my picture taken! . . . I can't wait to see one of them on the back cover of my book! :)"
Gina had a great idea to have people vote on which image she should use on the book jacket. I've put up a poll on my Facebook page here: Go vote!

And, for all those readers out there, check out Gina's blog. She interviews other authors, writes about her inspiration, and tells it how it really is to be both an author and a mom of a new kiddo.

Are you a writer, author, or speaker in need of a headshot? Let's talk!

Jun 14, 2014

Happy Father's Day | The Worth of a Photograph

Some photographs mean more than others. This one is especially important to me: it's me and my dad. (Thank you, Jacob Butler for taking it!)

I think I'm probably my dad's "mini me." We are both artists and entrepreneurs. We are passionate about imagery, design, personal and client relationships, and teaching. We have similar senses of humor, views on politics, and a love of all things pickled :). My dad has been my mentor, supporter, and my biggest fan throughout the years, and I would not be the same person without him.

This photograph means so much to me now, just a year after it was taken. Just think how much more it will mean through the years. If you don't have a portrait with your dad or other special family member in your life, please contact me. I would love to make that happen for you.

Happy Father's Day to all the wonderful men out there that have cared for and inspired kids of all ages!

Oh, and because this is a blog about my work, here's the headshot portrait I took of my dad that day:

Jun 7, 2014

I Heart Families | Atlanta GA Family and Child Photographer

Most professional photographers here in Atlanta specialize in a certain type of photography: weddings, maternity, babies, etc. My specialty is families. I love the challenge of wrangling everyone into a suitable pose, getting all the kids to look at the camera and smile at the right time, and creating a fun experience for everyone during the shoot. Plus, I know I'm offering a service that most people can't do for themselves! 

I strive to create a series of beautiful portraits that you can hang on your walls and love for the rest of your family's life -- and then pass down to your kids -- like these portraits here. 

Do you have a current picture of your family hanging in your home? Give me a shout. Let's make something beautiful for you!