• Welcome to the blogsite of award winning photographer, Samantha Alday. Samantha is also a boutique-style photographer commissioning a limited number of wedding and portrait events each year delivering the most in personal customer service, detail and the specific needs of each client. Her work has been featured in ALABAMA WEDDINGS Magazine, The Knot online Real Weddings and has been awarded by the Wedding Photojournalist Association.

Announcement!

And it’s big!!!

I’m so excited I’m about to bust!

But you’re going to have to wait!

I have a huge announcement coming soon…and I don’t want you to miss it!

Subscribe by email to get in on the secret before it’s actually published.

It has something to do with this.

My Favorite Posts of 2010

As I read back over all of 2010 posts, these made me smile.

I hope it makes you smile, too.

Thanks for sharing my year with me.

Happy New Year Friends!

When Did My Baby Become a Babysitter Posted 12/30/10

Not long ago, my baby was babysitting for a young mom in the community.

It was so surreal to watch her…independently…care for this child.

As I watched her, my mind took me back to when she was a baby.

I remembered her first Halloween when we dressed her up as a Dalmatian puppy.

I remembered getting my first camera and making her pose with her big brother.

I remembered when she cut her own hair that resulted in an emergency trip to the beauty shop.

I remembered her waving goodbye to me on her first day of Kindergarten.

I remembered her making new friends.  Friends that would become her very best friends.  Hannah on the far right can be seen singing with Shelby at the school Christmas Program this year.

I remembered the day she had new braces put on her ever-so-crooked teeth.

I remembered how beautiful and grown-up she looked at her first Middle School Prom.

…and then at her Middle School Pageant with those same best friends.

I thought about her participation in the Church Youth Group and the leader she has become and the young woman she is becoming.

I remembered the day she recently had those braces removed and how beautifully she smiled.

And now….

…when baby Elizabeth wouldn’t sleep any other way than Shelby rocking her, what did Shelby do?

She rocked.

And she sang.

And Baby Elizabeth slept.

And I cried.

It’s Merry Christmas, Not Merry Xmas Posted 12/21/10

Our topic in church this week was truly remembering the Reason for the Season.  Yes, it’s cliche and we’ve probably all heard it spoken or even it said it so much, we really don’t even hear that phrase anymore.

But it’s the truth.  One area that was focused on was how?  How do we slow down?  How to we take the time to reflect and appreciate Christ’s gift to us?  Even when we are intentional about physically taking a moment to pray, meditate, read Scripture or listen to music, our mind still continues to spin so rapidly out of control.

I’m the first to admit that it’s hard to turn my brain off.  Even with the special Christmas and Lord’s Supper Service that literally lasted less than an hour, I found myself constantly pulling myself back to the room…back to where we were during the service.  And that’s just it: the music was beautiful, experiencing the Lord’s Supper was humbling and I really, really enjoyed it, but even still, my brain kept taking me elsewhere.

Then during the Sunday School lesson as we talked about staying focused, my mind was not 100% focused.

Here is a sampling of my thoughts during that hour of Sunday School.  The italics reflects when my mind was actually participating in the class.

I totally agree.  How do we stay focused.  I’m glad it’s not just me.

That’s a really cute basket she has; I wonder what color I would monogram it?

I should blog about this.

What would I blog.

I also enjoyed the service.

I wonder if anyone else heard that person poot?

“But Mary was treasuring up all these things in her heart and meditating on them.”

Treasure.  That’s what Beth Moore talked about.

I should make a list of my distractions.

No! I can’t sit here during class and make a list of my distractions!

How do we stay excited about Christmas?

We don’t have a true appreciation of who Christ is.

I wonder how many Christmas cards we’ll get this year.

I love seeing everyone’s picture.

Why didn’t I take our Christmas picture?  Again.

I could have done a collage from the year’s event.

I could have used Nana’s graduation, Shelby getting her braces off…

Mary understood her position.

The word understand.  This is exactly what Beth Moore spoke about.

Mary understood who her Son was and his plan.

The world has forgotten that Christmas is because of Christ.

I need to go to Walmart.

Why don’t we share Christ more?

People need to know.

We need to be excited about Christmas!

So there you go, my internet friends.  Pa-lease tell me I’m not alone here.  I think that’s why I was anxious to blog about it, because I can’t be the only person who’s mind wanders more often than it is focused.

Make me feel better People!

I’d really like to hear you thoughts.

I nee-eed to hear your thoughts.

How do you stay excited at Christmas?

How do you turn off your brain from the distractions of life?

Do you have any specifics that force you to reflect on the Reason for the Season?

Shelby and Hannah Sing O Holy Night Posted 12/2/10

A Boy and His Boat Posted 8/24

I love this picture of Joseph working on his boat in the late hours of the night.

40 in 40 Posted 8/24/10

The way I see it, I hope to have at least 40 more years of my life to complete these 40 life goals.  🙂

1.  write a book

2.  speak to a large audience of women

4.  learn to speak Spanish

5.  parachute from an airplane

6.  read my Bible daily, consistently *update-getting better

7.  open a boutique photography studio

8.  invent something

9.  see all 50 states

10.  mentor a teenage girl

11.  win a contest

12.  exercise on a daily, okay regular, basis *update-done

13.  inspire someone

14.  visit NYC at Christmas

15.  photograph a celebrity (portrait or wedding)

16.  photograph an international destination wedding

17.  be less critical *update-getting better

18.  improve my business savvy

19.  organize better *update-getting better

20.  get published in a high end wedding magazine

21.  remodel my kitchen

22.  attend a photography workshop

23.  invest in the stock market

24.  create a promotion video for my business

25.  flip a house

26.  master crazy lighting skills especially during full sun

27.  increase the daily visits to my website *update-doing that now

28.  buy a mac computer

29.  get sponsored

30.  go on a mission trip with my family

31.  work at Yellowstone National Park for one Summer

32.  photograph a woman battling cancer

33.  replace the bedroom carpet with hardwood

34.  complete my branding and marketing materials for each of my markets *update-done

35.  actually commit to and complete the 365 project *update-maybe next year

36.  go projection with my portraits and senior work

37.  organize all of my personal photos

38.  travel to Alaska

39.  become debt free

40.  accomplish something great

Joseph and Friend, Chet Posted 6/27/10

I wish I could have been there when they forgot to plug the boat (a.k.a. The Golden Knight) and it filled up with water.

I wish I could have been there to see Chet neck deep trying to lift the sunken boat out of the water.

I wish I could have been there when Chet could barely speak when he saw the ginormous snake swimming towards Joseph.

Don’t you miss being a teenager?  😉

Double Rainbow Posted 6/5/10

And God said, “This is the sign of the covenant I am making between me and you and every living creature with you, a covenant for all generations to come.  I have set my rainbow in the clouds, and it will be the sign of the covenant between me and the earth.”  Genesis 9:13-14

There’s a Snake in My Kitchen Posted 6/4/10

The following is the exact text message Shelby sent to me while I was at work:

dear mother dearest, you will probably see me in the er in a few minutes because i had a heart attack i was cooking my breakfast and i needed a fork so what do i do i open the fork drawer put my hand in pull out the fork and a snake wrapped around my hand looking me strait in the eye i throw the fork and scream at the ludest note possible joseph comes running and we chase the snake in the cabinet joseph finally gets the snake brings in out plays with it a little bit and takes it outside and chops its head off zack hank and annie bell are now going crazy

She then sent me this:

It’s a good thing I was sitting on the toilet when I received her message.

Nana Graduates from College Posted 5/8/10

Congratulations Graduate!

Vacation Week Posted 4/12/10

Shelby and Bailey feed the seagulls. If you’re really careful with it, they’ll eat from your hand.

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Sweet Bailey.

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Fun times doing nothing. 😉

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Sunset.

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Fishing from the newly rebuilt Gulf State Park Pier; destroyed by Hurricane Ivan in 2004, it’s now the longest pier on the Gulf of Mexico.

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This Sunfish, weighing in at probably 500 pounds, rolled to the surface and put on a show for several minutes. This was a first for all of us and it was way cool!

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Sad but true, this shows the good, the bad and the ugly of Summer beach time. 😉

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My Grandma and Aunt Posted 4/1/10

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Joseph Goes to the Prom Posted 3/19/10

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Never Leave Home Without a Full Tank of Gas and an Extra Pair of Earrings Posted 3/15/10

By the looks of it, it seems that all three of us must have had a similar Monday. Shelby was the smarter of the four of us and had already gone to bed.

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My day started off like a pretty usual day. Clock alarmed at 4 am (although it totally felt like it was 3—but really at that time of the morning, it all feels the same).

Left a few minutes early to have time to stop and get gas. Not a big deal right?

Pulled into the gas station, started pumping the gas, knew I needed a full tank, so set the nozzle on auto and got back into my car….it was a bit chilly.

Car is still running.

Radio blaring.

Texting.

It was important. I was updating my Twitter and Facebook Status.

I really wasn’t in my car long, when I hear some banging and bumping going on at the back of my car.

I looked back to see a man holding the gas nozzle in his hand. My gas nozzle.

I opened my car door to find that my car was nearly floating in a lake of gas. It was everywhere.

Guess what I did next?

Turned the car off. At Guinness Record speed.

I know that man thought I was a total goof ball, but I can only the imagine the look I had on my face as I just sat there. Car door open. I haven’t moved at this point. I just sat there staring at him, staring at all the gas on the ground. Completely puzzled as to what had happened.

“Whhhaaatttt happened?” Seriously? Really did I ask him that? Like he knew?

“All I know ma’am is that I heard a sound like gushing water running everywhere and I ran over and turned off the pump.”

He was just as puzzled as I was.

I then attempted to get out of my car, but literally had to stand up on the car frame and jump over the pool of gas that was flowing all up under my car. The nozzle obviously didn’t shut off like it was supposed to and just kept on running. What normally costs about $30 to fill up the car was at a little over $41 when that nice man stopped the pump.

He was also kind enough to ask me, “would you like me to push your car out of the gas before you crank it?”

And with that, I opened my mouth again with the dumbest of dumbest replies, “do you think I need to?” Again I thought to myself, did I just say that out loud.

He looked at me with that same look he had earlier and answered, “it only takes a spark.”

“Well by all means brother, start pushin'”. And he did.

That was a really nice man.

I never did ask the gas station attendant for a $10 credit; I thought I’d just leave that alone.

From there, I actually still make it to work on time…feeling somewhat flustered, but I did make it. I only had a few gas fumes still lingering in my head, but all was well.

Until.

About 30 minutes into my work, another employee asked me, “do you know you’re only wearing one earring?”

What?!! Really people??!!! One earring!!?? I have short hair, I have to have earrings!!

Breathe. It’s going to be okay I tell myself and calmly remove the lone earring from the one ear and go on about my morning.

A short while later, I come to realize that there is a jewelry sale going on upstairs in the Atrium. It’s at that moment, the clouds parted and I could feel the heat of the sunshine shining down upon me.

I’ll be right back, I told my supervisor. And in just a few minutes I returned smiling with a new, shiny, $5 pair of earrings.

One for each ear.

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Zack Hates Hank Really he does.  Posted 3/9/10

I walked out on my front porch this morning thinking about my picture for the day. Nothing fancy really, just how the rain was falling on my front porch steps.

Then as I turn to go inside, I find Zack taking his usual post at the front door watching the rain…never…ever…to actually go out in the rain…

He’s much too regal for that.

This is also his normal response to me calling his name.

He must have woke up on the wrong side of the hood of the car this morning.

But then I wondered if something frightened poor kitty.

Or it could’ve been he caught first glimpse of my morning hair.

But soon realized he probably heard Hank walking up behind him.

And because Zack hates Hank. Why?   Probably because he’s just…well, because he’s just Hank…Zack wanted no more part of his post at the door.

And with that, Hank proud-fully, if only for a minute, enjoyed having his turn at the post.

Sharing My Day with You Posted 2/28/10

*Up at 7 or so this morning to get ready for church; we were still late getting there despite the early efforts.

*Left Joseph at home sick this morning…on the toilet (is that too much information)?

*Went to Church Service then called home to check on Joseph before going to Sunday School. He’s still on the toilet.

*Home from church and immediately start stripping down into more comfy clothes. (I’m thinking that may be a little TMI too, but you all know you do it, too).

*Made Broccoli Soup for lunch…super easy and quick…yell at me and I’ll send ya the recipe.

*Put a load of laundry in the washing machine.

*I can’t eat the soup because of the dairy, so I cook my own separate lunch of chicken breast, sauteed veggies and couscous (I’ve been watching too much Food Network). Make a double portion for my lunch tomorrow.

*Pack my lunch for tomorrow.

*Eat my lunch while reading the Sunday paper. Clark’s asleep on one end of the couch and Joseph’s on the other (he’s off the toilet now). Shelby’s cleaning her room (again) so the quietness around the house is nice, along with the sunshine peaking in the kitchen window.

*Clark gets up to eat lunch. I take his place on the couch.

*Watch a few episodes of “Into the Pride” about a man who goes to Africa for six months to live with the lions. Now I want to go to Africa.

*Doze off to sleep for about an hour and dream of going to Africa one day.

*Drink my afternoon coffee.

*Put a second load of laundry in the wash.

*Wash the lunch dishes. By hand. I wish I had a dishwasher…never owned one. Ever. Excuse for a minute while I wallow in my “I wish I had a dishwasher” moment.

*Shelby’s still in her room. I wonder if she’s really cleaning it or just hanging out in there? Teenage girls do that ya know…just hang out like that. Alone.

*Cook lunch for Joseph. No, he doesn’t want the Broccoli Soup (he’s afraid it’ll make him sick again). I cook eggs and couscous for him. I secretly try to hide the couscous under the eggs, but it didn’t work. He fussed and said that I tried to feed him deer corn. My family just doesn’t appreciate the taste I have for gourmet food.

*Wash dishes again. By hand.

*Shelby emerges from her room only to ask, “When is it going to warm up?” to which I reply, “probably July”, to which she replies, “well, that’s stupid” and disappears to her room again.

*Start cooking supper: Spaghetti and Meatballs (I’ve got the recipe for that one, too…aka Prego or Bertolli’s or whatever you prefer). I don’t normally cook on Sunday night, but I like leaving food cooked for my fam to eat while I’m at work and it also gives me lunch options for the next couple of days.

*Fold first load of laundry.

*Shelby emerges again.

Shelby: “what are you cooking?”

Me: “Spaghetti and Meatballs”

Shelby: “it looks like the meatballs are burning”

Me: “no, I want them crispy like that on the outside”

Shelby: “well, I think you’re achieving that”

Shelby: “can I throw a spaghetti noodle on the ceiling?”

*Fold the second load of laundry.

*Finish up supper and wash dishes again, hopefully for the final time tonight.

*Set the coffee pot for 4:55 a.m. and as I turn out the lights for the night, I realize that life’s not all about having dishwashers.

It’s been a good day.

Joseph’s First Home Run as a Leroy Bear Posted 2/23/10

Homeeeee Ruuuuunnnnnnn!!!!!!!!

Shelby’s Birthday Posted 2/21/10

To celebrate Shelby’s birthday (which was yesterday, 2/20) we ate dinner at Felix’s Fish Camp.

And because I’ve seen the Food Network stars cook Fish Taco’s several times lately, I had to give them a try today. Lemme tell ya! Super Fine! Made with White Fish (not sure what kind of fish that is), cilantro mayo, black beans, and shredded cabbage. One taco is already missing from my plate and it wasn’t long before the plate was empty!

Shelby was honored with a key lime pie for her birthday dessert.

Shelby is crazy about horses and dreams of owning her own farm one day, so we treated her to a tour of a friend’s Thoroughbred Horse Farm (Thanks Tuck!).

Snow Day Posted 2/12/10

A slideshow of how we spent our day.

One Sunday Afternoon Posted 1/31/10

While Clark and I were out walking today (with camera in hand of course), I took several pictures and wanted to share more than just a picture with you. Today I’d rather share the story of our walk…kinda like having you there with us. Who made up the rules anyway? 😉

Blackbirds by the hundreds. I wish you could hear them. Imagine the sound of a helicopter taking off above your head. It’s the craziest thing though: they take off and they land, they take off and they land…over and over again, and usually only a few feet at at time.

They finally grew tired of me following them and perched in the trees.

Now Hank wonders where they went.

And then came Luke: a long distance neighbor (long distance meaning across the pasture neighbor).

Whatcha up to Luke?

I’m waitin’ on my PawPaw, he’s gonna to do some work with the tractor.

Is that a new Gator you got there?

No it’s my PawPaw’s, but he lets me drive it.

I gotta see if this works.

Well I gotta go, I hear my PawPaw coming.

And just like the blackbirds, he was gone.

We then headed around to the pond.

Wait, my shoe’s untied.

The end.

Do I Really Need More? Posted on 1/6/10.

So I get this promo card in the mail yesterday advertising a free year’s subscription to MORE Magazine: The magazine for women over 40. How in the heck did they know I was over 40? (I’ve only been over 40 for 6 months; it’s probably another government thing, just like the weather), but anyway, that’s another post… Another thing is in big letters written across the front of this card is, “The Prime of your life…is the time of your life!”. Huh? Prime? Me? Hahahah!! This is when I drop the card, lose control and begin laughing hysterically! Do they mean I’m in my prime season of hot flashes? Or it must mean that I’m in my prime because I’m now having to pluck hairs from areas on my body where there should be no hair! Or it must mean that for the first time in my life I’m the proud owner of a Remington Facial Hair Trimmer just for women. Pause…going to clean up the dog’s puke. I’m back. Or is it this: I’m in my prime because I’ve only gone through 1,182 bras in the last year trying to find one to fit my ever-changing body!? Pause…Clark is screaming from the back of the house to come there. Back again. I’d really like to know their meaning of “prime” because I’m definitely thinking their idea and mine are much different. They’re talking about

“hitting the re-start button, and “dreaming big” and “savoring each moment”…while I’m savoring all right, it’s just not the moment. It’s each piece of chocolate I can get my hands on to satisfy my sweet tooth…(which will make my skin break out worse, my mood swings swing harder, and my hips fatter, because you know women my age have lower estrogen levels causing more weight gain!)

Before you know it, I’ll be getting a card in the mail wanting me to subscribe to “Mature Living” and I’ll have grandkids giving me peppermint for Christmas. (You know you have all given your grandparents those soft peppermint sticks for Christmas at some time or another). But for now, while enjoying being in my “prime” of course, I’m going to finish my cup of coffee, pluck the new hairs I’ve discovered this morning and get this subscription card ready for the mail.

Alabama Wedding Photographer | Hilary & Josh Part 3

Yay!  This is my favorite Part of Hilary and Josh’s Wedding Event!  While they chose not to see each other before the ceremony, they allowed plenty of time before the Reception began for their couple time together.  I’m so glad they did, because it gave us lots time to get these great shots of them!

My view.

Clark’s view.My view.Clark’s view.Don’t forget to come back later as I’ll post their finale slideshow that includes more of their story and reception images!