Amato Family Lifestyle Session

Walking into their living room sunlight was pouring in (every photographer’s dream) and Miranda and Anthony were smiling ear to ear. It was so great to see Miranda again. We had met at a military spouse play date a few months prior. It was for the kiddos but who are we kidding, us mamas needed it too! Rose was a newborn and I had the pleasure of holding her while Miranda and I chatted over brunch. I just adored her from the get-go; she is the sweetest!

Fast forward to our session last Saturday, I got the opportunity to meet Anthony. I was so glad he was able to be there so I could photograph the connection they have a as a family, which leaps off the photograph - take a look!

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Rose had woken up from a nap just before I arrived and had eaten, so the timing couldn’t have been better. I asked where the name Rose came from because it was so befitting for this precious doll. Miranda had a great Aunt Rose whom she admired. Somehow that made it all the more sweet when you thought it was impossible to get sweeter.

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Miranda said she hopes Rose inherits Anthony’s dependability. Miranda loves his strength in character and eagerness to help those in need.

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Anthony sees his wife’s determination in their sweet girl. That one day Rose will achieve whatever she puts her mind to just like Miranda.

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After spending time with this family, I definitely saw how much love and support they pour into one another. This is love through and through.

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Anthony + Miranda,
Thank you so much for inviting me into your home and for the honor of photographing your beautiful family!
love, Araka

Samantha's portrait session at Savannah Rapids

I’m so proud to share this blog with you all because I’m so proud of this girl right here. The spot light is on the birthday girl, Samantha! This session was not my first time with this family, as I photographed her youngest sister’s smash cake session, but it was my first time meeting Sam. It was such a delight to see her in her role as big sister. These baby girls sure do love their big sis Sam, I tell you what! She managed to wrangle two toddlers and keep the fun going, even if one was wielding a stick lol!

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Stepping away from the Magnolia Pavilion we headed toward the water where the Spanish moss grew abundantly. It was beautiful to watch it swaying in the golden hour sun light. Sam adored it as her mother and I adored HER. This young lady is full of light and just radiates joy.

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The fall foliage is in its prime here in Augusta and the fiery leaves provided the perfect backdrop for Sam. She was coming out of her shell and I could tell she really appreciated all the beauty that nature has to offer. I remember one of the first things her mother, Nicole, ever told me was how proud she was of her three girls, especially how involved her oldest was - a member of nature club even!

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After a short stroll across the bridge then down to the dock, we took photos as the sun set. It was in these photos on the lake that it became so obvious to me that, like the cool river, this young lady is refreshing and bubbling. Her talents are seemingly endless and her blue eyes sparkle like the water!

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I had the honor of attending her Girl Scouts meeting recently to speak on photography and help them earn their photography badge. I got to witness first hand her leadership skills and love for learning!

Samantha,
I wish you the happiest of birthdays and pray that this year you’ll continue to love learning, crafting, and growing into the beautiful young woman that you are!

Nicole, after meeting your whole family, I see why you’re so proud. They are truly wonderful and you keep on “bragging” mama, because honestly every word was true <3

Love,
Araka

Rivera Gals Lifestyle Session

When you enter the Rivera house, you’re not quite sure if you've stepped directly into a magical bakery or Joanna Gaines’ kitchen, maybe a mixture of both because I for one haven’t visited the Silos. But that’s the kind of eye Breana has, it’s inspiring to say the least! It’s not always easy being a military family, when your husband answers duty’s call and can’t be there to help with the kids. When the oven clock is going off for your client’s cake and two little girls need you at the same time. But Breana sees to it, to feed her creative soul and love on those two little ones like no one else can. And boy, do they love their mama!

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I was delighted to be welcomed into their home, to take photos of the three lovely ladies, and to sip some delicious coffee. I left there with my heart full and my caffeine levels through the roof.

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I had asked Breana’s oldest daughter, Eloisa, to make some animal noises so her little sister Eliana would giggle. “How about a turtle?” she asked. Curious to see just what a turtle would actually say, “Sure!” I replied. She starts punching the air and making karate fighting noises. “TURTLES FIGHT! I LOVE NINJA TURTLES!” That’s when I realized I had one of the coolest little girls in the entire world standing right there in front of me.

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I know the days might be long, Breana, but the years are short. You got this. I honestly can’t say enough about your courage, your big heart, the enormous talent you have, and what a wonderful mother and friend you are.

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Breana, Eloisa, & Eliana,

Thank you for inviting me into your beautiful home, singing Greatest Showman at the top of our lungs, and dancing until I thought I was gonna pass out. I love you girls ~ Araka

PS - Reshoot when Gabe’s back <3

A much needed Mommy & Me date!

Usually when I say “life happened” it’s not a good thing, but today life happened and it ended up being fantastic! A group of moms in the area had been planning a field trip to Sunny Day Farm and we’ve been looking forward to it! It was about an hour drive (okay so i’m including a Starbucks trip) when we arrived at 9. About 10 minutes later and no sign of anyone, I messaged my friend who planned it, asking where everyone was. So apparently… I was so excited that I had the day wrong. Classic case of mom brain.  Thankfully the staff at the farm was so kind and let us check it out, saying “I’m not going to make you drive all the back to Augusta!” It ended up being such a fantastic day; I loved documenting our time together.

Most of the pictures are of the back of my child’s head, it’s hard to keep up and take pictures!

Most of the pictures are of the back of my child’s head, it’s hard to keep up and take pictures!

So much fun petting the goats, pigs, and looking at all their cute livestock!

So much fun petting the goats, pigs, and looking at all their cute livestock!

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To be honest, we hadn’t taken the time to do much fall activities yet... as I’m saying on HALLOWEEN day haha. So, this was an absolute blessing in disguise. We headed downtown to the Home Fresh Bistro to grab a bite to eat. Although we arrived before they began serving lunch, they let us order a BLT and pasta salad, so thankful for that because we were getting hangry and it was delicious! I’m ready to go back for seconds, truly.

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After lunch, it was time to call it a day. Noelle led the way back to the car… slowly. Stopping to smell the petunia growing in the sidewalk cracks, checking out mailboxes, and really everything I would’ve passed by without noticing. Looking at the world through her eyes was a reminder that hit me like a ton of bricks, to slow down and appreciate the small things and this little girl more :)


Noelle, I love you!

“Mom -EEE!”

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Cutest Pumpkin in the Patch - Amelia's 1!

When Nicole first reached out to me, she was on a mission - her daughter was turning 1 and pumpkins just had to be involved! When she told me Julie of Petite Cherie Photography had taken Amelia’s newborn picture with pumpkins I couldn’t wait to dive in. How adorable to be able to view a side by side photo of how much Amelia has grown!

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We met at Tom Watsons Mansion in Thomson, GA. If you haven’t been to their sprawling historical estate, you’re missing out! We found a little haven representative of fall in the fallen leaves under the magnolia trees just as the sun was beginning to dip below the horizon. Amelia was full of laughs as her mama tickled her cheeks :)

Since Nicole was amazingly communicative of what she had in mind, I was able to tie in some product photography assignments in as well. A small business was in need of their pumpkin party decor photographed so I jumped at the opportunity! Melissa from We Love A Party created this fantastic banner to display a photo from each month, newborn to twelve months, and I was elated when Nicole told me she could print some photos for our session!

Amelia looks awfully proud of how much she’s grown!

Amelia looks awfully proud of how much she’s grown!

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To celebrate this milestone we ordered a cake from The Maker and the Baker, a local baker in Grovetown, GA with enormous talent. When sent the design of the custom dress Nicole had ordered Amelia, Breana from the Maker and the Baker took inspiration from the floral fabric and created a beautiful cake!

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The smash cake session was perfection for this Autumn princess. Amelia took off after the petals first!

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Tiny details of Amelia’s sweet baby nature just grab at my heart: her little fingers gripping at pieces of cake, icing covering her cheeks, and the concentration it takes to pick off the petals one by one. And how much more fun is cake when it’s shared - big sis was invited to join the fun!

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Amelia’s a girl on the move with a heart for adventure; it didn’t take long before she took off ready to go explore! She grabbed mom and dad by the hand and there was sparkle in her eye- she knows how loved she is. Her extremely doting and loving family there by her side all evening and gearing up for the birthday party ahead.

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Thank you all so much for making the trip out to Thomson with me and spending your Friday evening together! It was absolutely beautiful and your daughters are so sweet! Happy Birthday, Amelia!!!

Love,

Araka

Baby Caroline - North Augusta, SC Newborn Lifestyle Session

I still remember the phone call as I stood outside my hotel, a peacock to my right and the beach on my left. In 2014 I had a summer stint in California for some training and Stephanie had called to catch me up on the things I was missing back home in Augusta. The biggest news of all? She was madly in love with Caleb whom she had began dating just before I left town. I remember the delight in her voice, the kind where you know she’s smiling as she is talking a mile a minute—and I was loving every second of it. This is the woman who ushered in a sort of golden era in my life. She became one of my very first friends here in Augusta, introduced me to our bible study group that was integral in my life (not to mention where I met my husband!), led us in becoming closer and stronger in the Lord, and headed up volunteer opportunities in our community, all while working full time as a nurse. This girl was nothing short of amazing and she had found the love of her life. “I know it’s fast but I’m falling for him hard and I think… I’m going to marry him!” And indeed that autumn she did. And like the whirlwind that romance can be, the army called and Caleb whisked her off to Hawaii. So who knew.. who knew that the next time I would see her would be to celebrate the birth of their beautiful daughter! Let me introduce you to sweet sweet Caroline Mae ~

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It is absolutely surreal to have them back in the area. I’m left wondering how in the world they managed to do it. As she was nearing the end of her third trimester, he was still a full time Army officer (and we all know it’s not unheard of to work long hours in the military) while she was still an RN at the hospital AND going to grad school [PREGNANT!]. They then managed to pack up and move across the ocean and country to come back to the east coast just in time to give birth. Soo.. they’re ninjas— that’s the only explanation I can think of!

Kicking off their lifestyle session I saw a moses basket off in the corner. “THIS! We should use this!” Gifted to them & paired with Stephanie’s own blanket from her childhood, we nestled Caroline atop and she was purely angelic. I’m absolutely obsessed!

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I’m a sucker for baby yawns!!

I’m a sucker for baby yawns!!

Snuggling in together and holding their precious little one, Stephanie and Caleb have obviously grown even more in love since I had seen them years ago. Nothing makes me happier than to see such wonderful people have this pure joy and happiness.

And then Caroline gave me a wink to make sure we knew she had them wrapped around her finger ;)

And then Caroline gave me a wink to make sure we knew she had them wrapped around her finger ;)

So Caroline, I pray that you have their talents in leadership, their tremendously kind heart for others, and above all else your parents’ and their parents’ love for the Lord. I know you will go on to do great things and this world is blessed in having the Morris family grow.

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It’s Stephanie’s birthday and I hope that it’s filled with love, joy, and much celebration because that girl, I tell you what, has accomplished so much this year along side Caleb, it’s crazy. Congratulations Stephanie on your beautiful daughter, a new degree, and making it back home safe and sound, you ninja you!

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And just when you thought this blog had reached maximum cuteness capacity, I leave you with this photo. I can literally feel my heart squeezing from all her cuteness!

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Caleb & Stephanie,

Thank you for you inviting me into your home and letting me adore your little girl!

Love,

Araka

Evans Georgia Newborn Lifestyle Session - Baby Aiden

Scrolling down my Facebook feed I paused when I saw the most precious little face laying on his mama's chest - Hailey's baby boy had arrived!!! And a cutie to boot! So you know I squealed when Hailey messaged asking if she could book a newborn lifestyle session - OF COURSE! I just couldn't wait to get those newborn snuggles with baby Aiden. 

Friday morning arrived and I couldn't get over there quick enough, I was so excited! A super quiet knock on her front door juuust in case the baby was sleeping. 'Hmm.. too quiet' A bit more of a rap on the front door- ah! "Girl Hi! Yes come on in!!" Hailey greeted me at the front door. Any expectations I had of needing to whisper, out the door - literally. "I didn't want to wake Aiden so I was sure to be quiet" I explained. Laughing, she told me that Aiden was a sound sleeper and the utmost chill baby I'd meet. Sure enough, there he was sleeping soundly in his crib, unphased by my entrance and looking even cuter in person- I didn't even think it was possible!

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Alright, definite baby fever creeping in! His nursery was adorned in animal prints and baby boy goodness all around. He stirred a bit and mama knew he was hungry. Ryan made his way into the nursery, eager to help out with feeding the baby. These two make a great team! 

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We caught up on all things baby and parenthood, and what great resources grandmas are (like insisting on crib mobiles!). 

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This little man was so happy snuggling with Mama then content as could be when it was Dad's turn :)

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I looked into Aiden eyes and smiled ear to ear as I began to think of his future;  although he's just few weeks old I feel like I know the kind of young man he'll grow up to be. When you know his parents, you can't help but realize Aiden will have the same kind & generous soul, with a bit of Texas heat for passion.

His baby yawns brought me back to the present and I soaked in his adorable newborn-ness. I mean, how cute is he!

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It was easy to see that these two have fallen even more in love and easily slipped into their new roles as parents so naturally. I'm beyond excited for Hailey + Ryan and to watch their baby boy grow up. But not too fast, Aiden! Thank you so much for spending your Friday morning with me and letting me love on your little one. 

Love, Araka

 

 

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Blakeman Family Portraits - Grovetown, Georgia - Euchee Creek Trail

As I left my neighborhood Saturday evening, I gasped when I saw the clouds. Do you remember the sky that evening? The light was reaching down in beams. As I caught the highway, I prayed repeatedly ,"Oh please let it still be visible for our portrait session, that would be absolutely beautiful."  I drove in awe, smiling as I tried to remember what I had heard the phenomena called.. was it ladder to heaven? It was the perfect message from God as I drove towards Euchee Creek Trail to spend time with the Blakemans. They always radiate God's goodness and love. It seemed as I kept driving along I-20 I was actually moving in on the sun beams. I was practically dancing in the drivers seat! It hid once I took the Grovetown exit but when I took a turn onto the street for the park, I couldn't believe my eyes. It was directly above where our session was taking place!! I quickly messaged Keturah "God's showing off for you!" 

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I couldn't help but reflect on the moment when Keturah told me she was expecting. She had come over for a playdate in the spring, gracefully shepherding her four boys into my backyard while my baby napped. We sat under my blooming jasmine, taking in the heavenly scent, when she handed me the spring issue of the Magnolia Journal.  "Did you hear Joanna is pregnant again?!" she asked. "Yes isn't it wonderful!" I replied. I didn't find the topic out of the ordinary since we often bonded over the beautiful things in life: Jesus, marriage, motherhood, calligraphy, and Joanna Gaines. "Well, we have another one on the way..." She looked at my slyly. I'm pretty sure my jaw dropped to the ground. She was beaming as she looked over at her four boys playing ball. 

 

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It wasn't long after that she and Mark hosted a gender reveal. She had waited until almost second trimester to even spill the beans! You can imagine the excitement that filled their living room. Was it going to be a 5th boy? Or their very first girl!? My heart was pounding, I was so invested in the anticipation that was building. That pink balloon popped up I started SCREAMING! I'm not even that crazy I swear, but I couldn't help myself! ...then a second pink balloon popped up... "WHAT?!?!" I shouted "TWINS?!?!" Never in my wildest dreams would I have guessed that they'd be expecting twin girls. Never ever! I got goosebumps. I started sobbing. What had come over me?! I just knew from the bottom of my heart God had something big in store for this family and these two baby girls. 

 

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I get butterflies just thinking about that moment, even still. These boys are going to be the most doting big brothers; I cannot wait to witness it. And Mark! Embrace yourself for so much pink and frills - it's coming!

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Such a loving, caring, Christ centered family that God is blessing in leaps and bounds. It shows in the way they love one another and love others around them. Add a dash of silliness and you've got it on the nose. Speaking of which, the boys want to show you how they dab - 

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I don't know what God has in store for these two little girls but I do know it's going to be nothing short of inspiring and absolute beauty, just like rest of the crew. 

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Mark, Keturah, Justice, Jasher, Ezra, and Eli- you are all so amazing! Thank you for spending your Saturday evening with me facing the Georgia heat and braving ginormous puddles :) 

Love, Araka

Augusta, Georgia Photographer: Birdie Lane & Co by Araka Walker

What an exciting day! Eight months ago I was still in the Air Force and began my first photography course.  My job was very rewarding, but to be honest, it was emotionally taxing. By God's grace I'm happy to have made that transition to being invited into the lives of others on their happiest days and capturing their joyous moments. With each genuine laugh I photograph I can feel my spirit heal a little more. I absolutely love it and I'm honored, just floored that this is my job now! 

Hi my name is Araka and I like to pretend this how I sit on park benches. Photo by Lin Rae Photography, Pittsburgh PA. If you are located up that way check her out! She's the sweetest!&nbsp;

Hi my name is Araka and I like to pretend this how I sit on park benches. Photo by Lin Rae Photography, Pittsburgh PA. If you are located up that way check her out! She's the sweetest! 

 

I am originally from the Pittsburgh, PA region and like to travel home often; if you're from those parts, don't hesitate reach out! So naturally I'm a Steelers fan and I'm pleased to find many from Steeler's Nation here in the South! But hey, I'm not here to make enemies. We are a divided house, my husband is a Broncos fan, so all NFL teams welcome here in Birdie Lane & Co family.

My other loves include: 

- Starbucks. All my close friends know my gold card is already good through like 2025. I might sound proud of that, but I can assure you... my husband is NOT . Soy latte at kid temp (because I'm impatient when it comes to drinking my lattes) or iced coffee - weather depending! 

-Blush/Peach Pink. Literally the only color I know to buy. I don't know whether I need help or I'm just fine as I am because it's very easy to match this way. Mmm.. I think I'll just stay in denial.

-Traveling. I used to have a severe case of wanderlust. I traveled to Spain, France, Greece, and Turkey before joining the military. I joined thinking I could travel the world! But alas, I got stationed in Georgia my entire career. God had bigger better plans for that season in my life! 

-Stationary. This leads to the other side of Birdie Lane & Co, calligraphy! (launching this Fall) But stationary goods make my heart pitter patter and all the heart eye emojis. Technology is great, but there's something irreplaceable about putting pen to paper and sending it to a loved one.

My Cultivate What Matters goal journal, accessory by Madyson &amp; Marie, and Paper Mate Flair markers&nbsp;

My Cultivate What Matters goal journal, accessory by Madyson & Marie, and Paper Mate Flair markers 

My biggest loves are my faith, my family, and my friends.  All the love in the world and my heart goes out to them. God is so good. My husband Nathaniel is so incredible, sweet, & supportive. How I landed a guy like that only God knows! #marriedup  My baby girl Noelle, she is always smiling and laughing. She's the biggest extrovert you'll ever met. Noelle loves everyone and "longs to be where the people are". How do two introverts raise an extrovert? Seriously if you have advice send it my way! 

My ray of sunshine I was telling you about :)&nbsp;

My ray of sunshine I was telling you about :) 

Thank you for reading my VERY FIRST blog post and being a part of this journey with me!