Some of you may not know this about me, but before I made the big move to San Francisco, I actually grew up in Georgia. It’s always fun to make a trip home to visit, but those trips are made even sweeter when I get the opportunity to photograph a childhood friend. This time, I got to catch up with a friend from high school, Helena, and her fiancé, Sunny, during our Avalon engagement session in Alpharetta, Georgia. I had the pleasure of photographing Helena’s older brother’s New York wedding last year, and I am thrilled to be working with this family once again.

Ten years ago, Sunny messaged Helena on Facebook, and now they are planning their November wedding. It is so obvious in their joy and in the love they have for one another that these two have a relationship built on a deep, supportive, long-lasting friendship. Despite the Georgia heat, they kept the morning light and breezy with their constant jokes and teasing, and you would never guess from the photos that we were MELTING under the summer sun. Georgia summers are no joke!!

One of the unique treats of this Avalon engagement session was the inclusion of the third member of their little family-to-be: Apollo the dog! Apollo, who’s named after Rocky’s Apollo Creed, was an essential element of their engagement shoot, because he was directly tied to Sunny’s two-days-before-Christmas proposal! As if a marriage proposal under the holiday lights at Centennial Olympic Park wasn’t surprise enough, Sunny bringing out puppy-Apollo certainly sweetened the deal!

The Avalon, a retail and residential neighborhood that only opened a few years ago, was the picture-perfect location for this laughter and puppy kisses-filled photo shoot. The boldly colored storefronts set against the brilliant white of the buildings made for a perfect urban setting, while the abundance of trees provided beautiful pops of green.

I can’t wait to make a return trip to Georgia in November to photograph Helena and Sunny’s wedding, but until then, check out a few of my favorite photos from their engagement session below!

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"And when you appear all the rivers sound in my body, bells shake the sky, and a hymn fills the world."