Wednesday, March 31, 2010

New Friends, New Community

Last night I had the great pleasure of attending my first ever Atlanta PUG meeting. PUG stands for Pictage User Group; Pictage being the online photo lab/forum/community/arena-of-awesomeness that I am a member of. I've been a member of Pictage for a while now, but am just now discovering all of the fantastic things that it enables me to do! There is a whole community out there, and I am learning so it from the forums, or from meetings like last night. 

The Atlanta PUG meets once a month, and last night was our 'April' meeting (technically). I was beyond nervous to show up to a group of people that have way more knowledge and expertise than I do...and are a whole lot better looking, too. Photographers are hot! As I sat through the meeting, I won't lie...I was a little overwhelmed with all that I had around me! Seriously...GENIUSES were in the room. Today I'm taking the time out to think and to thank... thinking about where I would like to go in this industry, and thanking those that helped me and will help me get there.

Our speaker last night was the amazingly talented and super compassionate, Dane Sanders. He wrote a book (product plug!) for photographers that has been beyond helpful to me, but really it would be great for any creative person who is looking for some clarity in who they are. Here are a few shots from last night, because it would have been rude to not take pictures in the middle of the event. 

Here is Shari Zellers, an Atlanta wedding photographer, and also the Atlanta PUG leader. She is so warm and energetic, I was happy to finally meet her after soaking in all of her wisdom on Pictage forums. I can't wait to stalk her more :)

And here is Dane Sanders, preachin' the wisdom to all of us!

If any of you are ever in the Atl area next time we have a PUG meeting, please come check us out!

p.s. The winning theme from yesterday is "Stars"... (please insert some cheesy line about fate being in the stars)

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Reader's Choice and Giveaway!

Every now and then I like to give myself assignments to see how creative I can get, and to help open my eyes to the things around me. I'll usually give myself a theme, or an object and then photograph around that theme for the next week. It's fun and frustrating, as sometimes you never can quite find what you're looking for (but that's where the learning comes in!)

I thought that this time, instead of choosing my own theme, I'd ask my amazingly creative blog readers what you think it should be! What do you think should be my next photo-obsession? At the end of a week of exploring this theme, I will also be giving away a print from the series!!! How's that for getting what ya want!?

Drumroll please (bc I know you are alll so anxious)...the themes to choose from are:

1. Bicycles

2. Food

3.  Stars

Leave a comment below to let me know why you think I should choose one of these!

Monday, March 29, 2010

Weekend Recap

As I sit down and get to work this morning, it occurs to me that somehow in the last 48 hours I have aged a little (or about 40 years).   On both Friday and Saturday I had a bedtime of about 11:30. During the week this is normal...but on the weekend? Just call me the fun-sucker. And though you would think that this would allow me to get up earlier to perhaps enjoy a nice brunch, I was actually loathing the clock as it read 10:00am. I've concluded that I a) need some rest and it was finally getting to me or b) I'm a 60yr old in a 23 yr-old's body.

During the 6 hours of the day that I WAS awake... I had a great weekend! As the days continue to get warmer in Atlanta, people continue to freak out and grill-out in obscure places and have crazy themed parties. Here we go!

Weekend Recap!

1) I am looking to buy a car, so my mom and I checked out the International Auto Show this weekend that boasts a show-room of every auto-maker. The was the perfect place to car shop since we didn't have to jump from lot to lot, we just had to walk 10ft over to the next vehicle. They had some vintage rides also that were so cute!


2. Saturday we took a walk through Virginia Highlands, the neighborhood I live in that is known for amazing boutiques, restaurants, and bars. You never know what will be going on and that afternoon we found an open-air market, blooming trees, and a Hogwarts Party. 



3. Two of my greatest friends were baptized Sunday at Buckhead church, where we regularly attend. It was an amazing thing to be able to watch them share their stories of where they've been and where they've come. We took up 3 rows in order to have everyone sit together! Here is a picture of my small group and the girls in front. I'm in the back with the shiny face... ugh. Next weekend I'll buy some matte powder. 


How was your weekend?!

Friday, March 26, 2010

Friday time Wasters

Happy Friday! Happy weekend! Happy -day-that-no-work-gets-done-because-we-are-already-checked-out-for-Saturday day!

This will be the first full weekend of spring! Lets hope it's good... and to all of you who are kind of just waiting for this day to end... here are some fantastic time-wasters (read: things to do with your time that may or may not be productive).


1. Free
     Seriously I can spend hours on this because I want to try to beat my high score, or and I also TOTALLY know the definition to the word cajole...just let me try again! It's a great way to improve your vocabulary (and you can do it in another french has improved. C'est tres facile)
Also.. every 100grains of rice you win goes to feed someone dying of hunger! Life-Saving time-wasters!!!

2. Falling Sand
 Just click your mouse to make your own creative digital-sand-art masterpiece. I'm trying to justify this in some way, but really... it's just fun.

3. People of Walmart
 Going to school in the North Georgia Mountains introduced me to a lot of things. Walmart fashion was definitely one of them. This site highlights the best (read:worst) possibly fashion decisions that Wal-Mart patrons around the globe have made. I secretly think that they are all actually from Dahlonega.

I leave you with this picture, from the website

onward, weekend.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

The Playground Sessions- Baylee

On Tuesday I had the opportunity to shoot the first of what I hope will be a new staple here over at Sarah Esther. These new sessions will allow the children to run around to their heart's delight all over jungle gyms, slides, and sand-boxes while having their pictures taken. I know how hard it is to photograph children, and it often leaves the parents seriously contemplating a straight-jacket for little Bobby and Sue. These new sessions will allow for some seriously fun pictures of kids having a BLAST and actually smiling during a portrait session (it's possible!). I've appropriately titled them 'The Playground Sessions' and I can't wait to do more!

The first session introduces us to Baylee, the big sister of Breezy from this post. I took her to the playground at E. Rivers Elementary in Atlanta and she had a blast. Here are some of my favorites! Enjoy.


Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Wednesday Wish List

Woo hoo it's the middle of the week!

Time for another installment of my Wednesday Wish-List.
Please don't consider me unhappy with my current state of life... really these are just things that I wouldn't refuse if someone just-so-happened to send them to me :)... or that I wouldn't refuse to buy if I just-so-happened to be in a fit of impulse when i encounter them. That being said... on with it!

1. I can just see myself having friends over for coffee and pancakes as it continues to get warmer... and I would LOVE these Anthropologie coffee spoons. Of course, I can also see them being used when it's just me, myself, and I. 

2. The confidence and sass to walk out of the house dressed like ANY one of the folks on LookBook. I mean... really. I'd love to get away with throwing on every item I loved from my closet and look fabulous doing it. This yellow scarf and the mesh-dotted tights are amazing. ATTN PHOTOGS: Great inspiration on this site...really.

3. This mixer. Need I say more? I mean, I seriously believe that my cooking skills would increase three-fold if I had this. You get it right? Kind of in the same way as when we were younger and the right purse  would increase our cool-factor a major percentage. Same logic. 

Flea Market Style: A Little Teaser...

How cute are these little Orange basket/vases? I think they would be perfect accessories for an outdoor wedding/party/dinner...

The folks over at Flea Market Style really know what they're doing and I can't wait to see the rest of what they've come up with for this.

Flea Market Style: A Little Teaser...

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Eye Candy- Babies!

Today I'd like to introduce you to some eye candy... you, know... something that makes you go 'AWWW' or 'OMG' or 'GASP' or any other verbal sound that isn't actually a word :) I LOVE me some eye candy simply because I think it really does put you in a better place! Pretty things make us happier, I think. I'm sure there is a Psychology Today article that can back me up, but just take my word for it if you don't have time to do the research hahah.

I've had the pleasure of taking care of some of the neighborhood kids recently, and they are a blast to hang out with. The mom that I help has 4 kids (FOUR!!!!) all of them are pretty close in age...and the oldest ones are boys. You can imagine that her days is probably full of 'Hey, don't light that on fire' and 'No, Clay, we don't eat dryer sheets..'. I bring my camera over sometimes (most of the time) to practice shooting around, and because her kids are so gorgeous that they fit snuggly into the 'eye candy' category.

Here is her youngest, Breezy. She has the BIGGEST eyes, and never stops smiling. Happy eye candy, everyone!

Baby Portraits,infant,Big eyes

Baby Portraits,Big eyes,Atlanta

Of course I had to get one with her and the Canon lens cap...

Baby Portraits,Canon,Big eyes

Have you stumbled upon any eye candy lately?
Share it with me!
Also, check out my blog roll link at the top for blogs with some serious eye candy.

Yay I won!

So excited because I was just informed that I won some of BridalHood's soy candles from her recent giveaway!

Check out her blog-link here to see the candles... and make sure to read up on all that she has going on. She has a great eye for wedding-fashion and trends, and it helps that she's in the midst of it all as she is planning her very own wedding!

Thanks so much BridalHood!

Monday, March 22, 2010

Weekend Recap

I don't have a problem with Monday's because they have a distinct quality about them...they're consistent. Monday's show up, and they pretty much all carry the same air about them... you always know what to expect...and I think that helps alleviate some of the 'ugh Monday'-ness. And seriously, if you are able to read this right now, can't we just acknowledge the 10+ things we have to be thankful for that make that possible?

weekends, however, are unpredictable to most of us... and I feel like that's why we get all lethargic when it comes to Fri-Sunday and then proceed to yearn for the unpredictable adventures (or laziness, I'm not above that!) for the rest of the week.

...excuse me while I dismount from my soap box...

For me, this weekend was one of those that leaves ya yearnin' for the next...

1. Visited an old friend for a night of cards, beer, and Wendy's...and woke up to a Jamie Durie-esque porch complete with cinnabons, coffee, and back-issues of Better Homes & Gardens. We also suddenly realized that this birthday definitely marked a new stage of life for us (note our excitement about the porch and magazines...)
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Here's a picture of one of Rome's down-town churches.

2. Sunday morning was the ING half and full marathon here in Atlanta and I have some pretty insane -I mean determined- friends that decided to run them. So we were up at 7 cheering them on. 
Here is my beautiful friend Ruthie right after she finished.

These guys made my day..the crossed the line with two tall-boys of Miller High Life. Class.

3. Saturday night we went into Lowe's to buy a rug and came out with this:

Hahah jk. But seriously. We left with an out-door fireplace, 3 chairs, and some wood. I'll put up real images later.

How was your weekend?!!

Friday, March 19, 2010

Lets be thankful!

"Gratitude preserves old friendships, and procures new."

Yesterday I had the pleasure of welcoming a couple into my home to talk about their wedding. They booked me way back in September, and I have greatly enjoyed getting to know them. We shared some laughs, caught up on life, and set out a plan of attack for their August wedding. 

We could have met elsewhere, or I could have emailed them...a phone call would have worked, too. But I chose to host them because as I'm settling into our home, I'm beginning to realize that an invitation into someone else's life is a sincere form of gratitude. And so I invited them in... to see my ruffled pillows and awkward TV nook... to drink my wine and eat my crackers. I did this because they're clients, and they're friends; and I'm grateful. 

here are some snapshots of the setup. 

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Who can you show gratitude towards today?

Thursday, March 18, 2010


Well last night was a night for the books. We saw John Mayer at Philips Arena...a concert we have been waiting months for, and that we knew would be great because of the record time in which it sold out.

8 girls. Wearing green. Fun Holiday. Great music. No loyalties.

Say what you want about Mr. Mayer (or should I say... 'say what you need to say...') but he puts on a great show. His covers of Bob Dylan and Bob Seger were great.

Since our tickets specifically said 'no professional camera equipment allowed' I couldn't really play dumb and try to bring in my monster of a camera. I did however bring in my blackberry, and took a picture for tha' camera fone!


alright... i'm out. I have a mountain of sleep and nutrition to catch up on.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

French Roast, French Kiss


The most recent French Roasts go to:
1. Time changes
I mean, really? it takes at least a day or four to get back into the swing of things after we freakishly lose an hour. I can't help but be late to everything for the next week after a time change. Especially one as demanding as spring forward. Sheesh.

2. Our dishwasher.
We're on our second one in 5 months. And this one seems to have the same complex as the first one.... dishes it cannot wash, but leak on the floor it can. This is when I need Kelly Ripa to head over here and work some magic on my appliances. 

3. Taxes.
Really no explanation is needed and I think you would all just groan with me at the mention of this word. I just finished mine ::insert groan:: and will be investing in a personal accountant next year. thank-you-very-much.


I wanna french kiss these things all over!

1. Time changes (the forward kind)
I know I know I know I just dissed them... but really they redeem themselves with the blessed gift of an hour of more sunlight per-day! My complexion is improving and I'm pretty sure I float when I walk now. 

2. Canon
I love my canon equipment, and I love my canon customer service. They fix it all super fast and with a super-nice attitude. I feel like the woman in the Progresso commerical every time I talk to them because they enamor me so much. 

3. Ruffled pillows.
We just bought some from Pier 1 and our living room's chic-ness just jumped up about 180 notches. They are adorable and there is something so tasty about little ruffles . They add lots of depth an may not even need a couch to put them on. kidding.'

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

I'm looking for a car

I am in the process of designing a shoot to take place in mid-April, and this weekend my mind exploded with creativity for it. I started looking through some of my favorites archived shots from past weddings, shoots, magazines (yes you, September 2005 Vogue...) and made a list of everything I need to make this into a reality. Surely you have been here? it's as if everywhere you look you suddenly are overcome with a major case of the 'new-uses-for-old-things' fever!!

Well I've got most of what I need... but the big thing on my list is a car. I dream small, don't I? :)

Not just any car...preferably one with....character (read: cooky and old)

Are there resources out there that can aid me in my search? Do you know of an Atlanta resident lookin' to show off their ride? I would love to hear from you!

I've been fortunate enough to have been a part of shooting some weddings with awesome cars, and here are a few of my favorite shots from them!

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photos taken by Sarah Esther for Joy Wilson

Monday, March 15, 2010

Weekend Recap

Well hello Monday. SO nice to see you again. Really! I'm excited that you are here because this week will be awesome. If not because of anything I do, then because I just declared it so.

I hope you all had a great weekend!!! I had a fun one, full of cancelled plans and new and shopping. Oh yeah... and then there was that time change.

I took a few photos (naturally) to share with you all. And so... drumroll please.... here is my Weekend Recap!

1) That cooking class I went to last week, yep I went again. This week we tackled cookies. 
Stay tuned for pictures of my kitchen pre and post-cookie inspiration.
Our instructor, Jason, making shortbread  & the shortbread rolled in pecans that we thought looked like pork tenderloin 

A little basket weave detail being added to the sugar cookies & THE BEST choco cookies ever.
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Me and my friend Ginnie & a batch of Royal Icing with stiff peaks :)
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2) The rains came down and the floods came up and so my Saturday style-shoot was cancelled. However, we quickly busied ourselves with Scott's antique market (naturally I forgot my camera battery. Mobile uploads will have to suffice) and rearranging our living room that needs help (still).

Cute rusted copper hanging hearts & some gorgeous chairs
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We thought about getting this for our dining room, too. It's perfect, right??? :)


3) Speaking of Saturday..we hit up our favorite dive bar for some authentic blues, jazz, and cheap beer. Here's what we jammed to. It was totally worth having to shower in the morning.

3) I received all of my subscriptions in the mail on Friday. So I snuggled up with this yesterday afternoon.


How was your weekend? Life changing? Life sustaining? Either way, welcome to Monday!


My photo
Hello! I'm Sarah Esther and I am a portrait and wedding photographer in Atlanta, GA. I absolutely love being able to witness moments worthy of capturing. Photography allows me to capture truly beautiful moments, and for me is a form of worship. Capturing pictures of those things that God has created invites me to love him more. For More of my work, please view my website: