Tag Archives: family photography

Backyard Camping

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Over Labor Day weekend, we decided to camp in our backyard.  We were all excited for it.  It would be fun, they said. I don’t think we’ll do that ever again.

Not the backyard camping thing – we’ve actually done that a lot.  Takes a whole lot of risk out of the whole camping thing altogether.  I admit I’ve snuck into the house a couple times.

We really did have fun that evening, there was a lot of badminton played and I LOVE badminton.  I’ll have you know that my senior year in high school, for PE class, I was the badminton champion.  Undefeated.  I kinda think I should have pursued it because I bet I could have made the olympic team.  No joke.  But instead, I went with volleyball, which was oversaturated and I didn’t have a chance at the Olympics.

I love tennis and volleyball and badminton is a fun mix of both.  Easier than both, too.

We had burgers and smores, it was a great time.  LIttle drama, which is always good.

Went to bed without incident when the sun went down, maybe around 9pm.  I feel fast asleep, as I usually do.  I had a little wine too, so that helps.  The kids were tired out, so they fell asleep too (thank God.)

But then I woke up.  Tossed and turned.  Took in all the sounds.  There was still quite a bit of traffic noise, far off in the distance.  We’re actually not near a major road at all, but a busy thoroughfare is maybe a half mile away and on the Sunday night before Labor Day, you could hear motorcycles and cars driving way too fast.  Sirens.  I could tell it was still, well, night time.

I thought about a lot of things, basically figured out everything and determined to remember it all in the morning.  I never do.

Then it got quieter.  Mostly crickets with the occasional train horn blast (which I actually love.  I have always heard the trains living here in Atlanta, no matter where I lived, Midtown, Buckhead, wherever.  I always hear the trains and I love them.)

I’d hear a branch crack, and get all intensely focused.  Is there a serial killer in our midst?  Did it fall from that gigantic tree just above us and does that mean it’s about to fall and kill us all?

Then I heard what sounded like high-pitched little girl giggling, in animal form.  Coyotes.  I had heard that there’ve been many sitings around here lately.  They’ve basically clear-cut hundreds of acres of forest area just outside our subdivision to put up yet another grocery store.  We have PLENTY within a 5 mile radius.  But anyway, there was speculation that the coyotes were displaced from their homes there.

I heard the blast from what I believed was the 5am train.  The 5am train always blasts its horn way louder than necessary and I picture the engineer just laughing like a madman, knowing that he’s waking up all the babies within a 20 mile radius and making people’s lives miserable.  It’s loud y’all.  And we don’t even live that close to the tracks – maybe a mile away? It was especially jarring without a window pane to protect me.

Soon after, Kevin gets up.  “Where ya going?” “To pee.”  YES!!!  I’m ecstatic.  All I can think is that I NEED MUST HAVE coffee as soon as possible, and I’m relieved that it’s nearly 6am.  Kevin gets up at around 6am most mornings and so I think his body clock and bladder alarm is going off.  I also have to pee, probably have had to for a couple hours, but I’m terrified to wake up the kids and then have a real disaster on our hands.

He comes back into the tent.  The kids are still sleeping, which is miraculous.  “What time is it?”  Coffee time.  Coffee time.  Coffee time.  “3am.”  In horror, I (way too loudly) gasp “WHAT?!?!”  I’d been tossing and turning for HOURS.  HOURS.  I must have coffee.  This is so uncool.  So unfair. Life is unfair!

I’d had it.  I’m outta here.  I go in the house.  Consider a 3am coffee.  But know that I’ll be a miersable piece of you know what if I do that.  I chug some water, pee and go upstairs and turn on Dateline.  Because that’s how I always fall asleep easily.  Murder puts me right to sleep.

Not long after, maybe 30-45 minutes. I hear EVERYONE come in the house downstairs.  Oh crap.  I’ve woken them all up and now Kevin’s gonna be mad at me.  The kids will be over tired and miserable.  I wonder about what happened in the tent just moments earlier to cause them ALL to come in?  A mass pee break?  Someone peed in their sleeping bag, crying ensues?  That’s most probable.

They all trek upstairs, I get out of bed, but I don’t want to, but I’m convinced I’m in trouble, so I try to make an effort.

“What happened?”  “Coyotes.”  Whoa.  Ok.  I told him I heard them too.  But apparently they picked up my winey scent as I walked through the backyard and into the house.  Kevin said he heard them running around in the yards just next to us and more cackling – that weird high-pitched kind.  He weighed his risks and options.  He had no weapon to defend the kids if a coyote got hungry.  So, he got them all awake and ran them all in the house together as fast as he could.

We put the kids to bed.  I finally fell asleep maybe around 5:30ish.  He let me sleep in til maybe 8am.

Not getting any sleep right before a busy week (AJ would be going to back to school this week and I’m always more busy than I can handle) is not a good idea.

I love these pictures, these are the Before pictures.  But man oh man…I’m not sure I’ll sign up anytime soon for backyard camping again.  It took me a solid week to get over it and I still feel tired.

Thanks for listening to me ramble about it…

photographers in gwinnett countyAmanda Myers is a photographer in Gwinnett County, GA that specializes in family photography including maternity, newborn, children and high school seniors.  You’ve stumbled across her random blog, but to see more of her professional work, you can visit her business website: Family Photography in Gwinnett County.  She’s also an Instagram expert and offers a service to other photographers that provides them with daily updates for all of the Instagram hub themes and hashtags, called HubHack.  You can visit her on Instagram for personal work, client work, and all things Instagram and Photography-related.

A few favorites from Zsa Zsa’s | Atlanta Documentary-Style Family Photographer

My kids LOVE love LOVE going to Zsa Zsa’s house.  They cry when they have to come home.  They get homesick…for HER house.  I don’t blame them.  My mom has a way of spoiling them to pieces.  And of course her home has a million super fun things to do.  They live on Lake Lanier, and so every visit is sure to include a trip on the boat, a lot of swimming, riding around the neighborhood on golf carts, and much more.

Here’s a few favorites from the last time I was up there too.
atlanta children's photographers

Shooting in full sun can be a struggle but I love this one of my oldest.  atlanta lifestyle family photographer

I just love that my dad and my son have a special relationship – I honestly couldn’t ask for anything to more to warm my heart.  My dad had five daughters – yup, five.  Two wives.  His whole life, surrounded by women.  Crazy women.  He does have two grandsons and now even a great grandson!  There’s just nothing that makes me happier than seeing those two being able to spend time together.  atlanta children's photographers lake lanier boating

Love this one of my fishy-girl.  She was made for the water!  atlanta documentary-style family photographyOur day ended with a boat ride out to Pelican Pete’s for dinner, splashing in the fountains, and at last, ice cream!  My boy is still getting the hang of eating it with a spoon (instead of his fingers!)  It took him a while to even want to eat ice cream, as the cold really freaked him out, but now he’s willing to risk the cold for this sweet delight.


Hey, I’m Amanda, a Duluth, GA based documentary-style family photographer.  Thank you for stopping by my blog. This is my random little cyber-home, but feel free to visit my main business website and blog too.     My favorite thing to shoot is documentary-style family photography.  I love capturing your family in an authentic way- no posing, no cheese, no bribes… I just want to tell your story in an honest, but beautiful way.  I offer in-home or on-location family story-telling sessions, you may have heard these called “Day in the Life” sessions.  For posterity’s sake, we usually do spend about 10-15 minutes to get the posed portraits that Grandma would like, but the rest of the time, I am looking for emotion, connection and movement to tell your story at this moment.  One of my very favorite parts of a family’s journey to document is welcoming a new family member.  Birth photography or Fresh 48 hospital newborn photography is something I just live for!  I also adore Newborn Homecoming sessions.  No props, no set-ups, no contorting your sweet baby into all sorts of weird uncomfortable positions.  Look, you’re exhausted.  These days will be a blur.  I would love to document these precious sweet moments in your family’s life.  Drop me a line and let’s chat – 404-838-8997, feel free to text.  Or email me at amanda@cranecreekphotography.com.  Thanks for stopping by~


family lifestyle photography

I recently made the decision to step back from offering client sessions to focus on my own family.  (You can read about it on my business page: Atlanta Family Photographer.)

Since that decision, I’ve had to decline several inquiries and that’s been hard – just one more?  Just this one?  It’s a great opportunity?  But no, those emails and phone calls have been rough on me and have me second-guessing my decision all the time.

But…the last few weeks have been….amazing.  Very low stress, as I finish editing my “last” family session (which I did last night.)  And I’ve been shooting my kids a lot.  I’m trying very hard to capture true moments in a creative way, as I develop the area of photography that I want to focus on: family photojournalism.  It’s actually, to me, much harder than posed portraits.  I have to position myself just right.  I need to be concerned with the background, with the lines, the horizon, the light, etc.  I can’t direct my subjects the way I’m accustomed to.  But it’s great practice.

I would read, on Facebook photography groups, that people encouraged daily shooting for practice.  But I was so bogged down with editing sessions that I honestly didn’t have time to shoot and knew that if I did, I’d never get around to the images anyway.  Or my memory cards were already full with sessions that were still in the process of backing up.  But it’s true- practicing daily and in all sorts of lighting environments has already stretched me and made me a better photographer, for sure.

Maybe quitting photography was the best thing I’ve ever done for my photography.

Here’s a favorite from my oldest’s birthday party.  I don’t do big Pinterest parties.  Maybe I’ll start, with all my newfound free time 😉 but for our kids’ birthdays we spend the day as a family doing something fun (in this case, we visited Zoo Atlanta – stay tuned for photos of that – so fun!), and then have close family over in the evening for a “party.”

Logan chose her outfit, and Kinsley followed suit – a Patriotic theme, which worked out great for Memorial Day (week.)  And AJ already had on a braves tee, so it actually looked like I planned it this way.  My mom knows how much the girls adore cards that play music, and this one was the best yet – it yelled “LOGAN!” when she opened it, and the sings Happy Birthday.  Hilarious.  They could sit and do that for hours…well, it’s good for at least three minutes, which I’ll take.

It’s not a technically perfect picture, but it has great light, emotion, captured a fun part of the day, and the presents on the right set the scene a little too.  And wrapping paper at Kins’ feet.

Hope you enjoy, and I hope to share more from Logan’s 5th birthday.

suwanee ga family photographer


Amanda Myers of Crane Creek Photography is a family photographer, and also specializes in maternity, babies, children, high school senior photography; serving North Gwinnett County, including Suwanee, Duluth, Buford, Johns Creek, and Lawrenceville.

For questions or to book your session, email me at amanda@cranecreekphotography.com or call/text at 404-838-8997.



Fall Family Photo Sessions | Duluth + Suwanee Family Photographer

Fall Family Photos for Christmas Cards in Suwanee GA

Make your life easier around the holidays this year by receiving all of your Christmas cards before Thanksgiving!    I’m offering Fall Family mini-photo sessions on October 25th at beautiful Sims Lake Park in Suwanee, GA.  Space is limited, as I chose that date because I already had three commitments, so don’t delay!  Email me for more details and to schedule your session.  If the 25th doesn’t work with your schedule, let’s compare calendars and find a date that works for your family.

I’m offering two packages – one is all-inclusive and you’ll receive custom designed photo Christmas cards on premium cotton photo paper from Millers professional lab.  Envelopes are included and return address may be added for a small charge.   You choose your favorite photo, then you choose your favorite design and you’re DONE.  Easy peasy lemon squeezy.

For families that wish to design their own card, you can opt for the DiY Digital package, where you’ll get to select your favorite image for a .jpg file download.

Can’t ever figure out what to buy for Aunt Sally?  Is your mother-in-law bugging you for more photos of the kids?   No worries, we’ve gotcha covered.   Gift prints are available – add a cute frame, and voila – check Grandma off your list.   New this year:  Beautiful keepsake metal photo ornaments are available, and save money when you order in sets of three.  One for you, one for each of the grandparents!  Done.


Amanda Myers of Crane Creek Photography is a family photographer based out of Suwanee, GA.   She may also travel to locations including Duluth, Lawrenceville, Johns Creek, Norcross and surrounding areas around Gwinnett County, GA.

Check out my Facebook page for recent work.

Click here to visit my main website.

First Day of School | documentary style family photography

WARNING:   If you suffer from OCD or have a severe aversion to massive amounts of clutter, just move on by.   You don’t want to see this….

A few weeks ago I posted about how I’m trying to set aside my insecurities and *really* photograph my children and my life.   I found that it is much harder than I thought.  But instead of wishing that I had an assortment of great lenses, I’m just trying to work with what I have and improve at documentary-style family photography.

Here’s my girls first day of preschool.  Hope you enjoy them!

(disclaimer #2:  these were shot in very low light with an exorbitantly high ISO and a lens that doesn’t go below 4.5 for an aperture.  so please forgive the grainy, not-super-sharp photos.  I’m saving up for some new glass!)

family photography

good morning! bright light!

family photography

a daily ritual: waving bubye to daddy. (I’m usually included, holding baby boy.)

waking up

waking up

family photography

fast and easy? frozen mini-pancakes. Thanks Aunt J.

craziness in the girls' room

craziness in the girls’ room

he's still new to walking, so he's doing that mummy/frankenstein shuffle mostly

he’s still new to walking, so he’s doing that mummy/frankenstein shuffle mostly

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family photography

silliness in the nursery

a sweet shot

a sweet shot

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family photography

the last two years we’ve done photos in front of that ugly door, so why stop now?



and goofier... yup, not a single shot where they looked right at the camera and smiled perfectly.

and goofier… yup, not a single shot where they looked right at the camera and smiled perfectly.

in step

in step

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family photography

is it illegal to drive and take photos at the same time? (disclaimer: we were at a red light.)

family photography

prayers before school

aaaaaannnd a couple more posies for posterity

aaaaaannnd a couple more posies for posterity

family photography

family photography

she shouldn’t be allowed to give me this look for at least 5 more years, right?

family photography

greeted daily by the school director.

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family photography


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getting to know Ms. D (camera right)

getting to know Ms. D (camera right)

family photography

last shot – she found the babies and the kitchen. she’s all set.


Amanda Myers is a portrait photographer in Duluth, GA.  She specializes in maternity, newborn and baby photography, family photography, and high school senior portraits.