Jen & Stanley | Rotary Trail in the Magic City Engagement Session

Downtown Birmingham Engagement Session Deborah Michelle Photography

Momma always said you’ll “just know” when you meet the right person. And if I’ve learned anything in my 29 years of life, momma is always right.

Jen met Stanley almost two years ago at a local gym in Birmingham, Alabama. It was after their first date at IHOP (brunch dates are the best!) that she just knew. He makes her laugh & takes care of her. After a year of dating, Jen became paralyzed. Stanley never left her side & became her main source of support. It is because of him that she will be able to walk down the aisle on their wedding day.

And girls just remember, listen to your sweet Southern momma. She knows best.

Downtown Birmingham Engagement Session Deborah Michelle Photography
Rotary Trail Downtown Birmingham Engagement Session Deborah Michelle Photography

Love this black & white portrait of these two!

Downtown Birmingham Engagement Session Jen & Stanley

Jen & Stanley both love their universities & love sports, all of them. So for the second half of their engagement session, we decided to highlight those two passions. I love how playful these portraits turned out at a local football stadium. Should make for an interesting football season in the soon-to-be Crawford household.

Jen & Stanley Birmingham Engagement Session
Jen & Stanley Birmingham Engagement Session Auburn Football
Jen & Stanley Birmingham Engagement Session Auburn Football Deborah Michelle Photography

A Year in Review | 2018

Deborah Michelle Photography 2018

So you know how everyone is doing their Top 9 right now? Well of course I did mine and it was all pictures of me and none of my work. And honestly that hurt as an artist. Did no one like my work? Did no one see all the portraits I captured this year? Lies. All lies. You, my friend, spent the past year celebrating with me as a person. Sure you loved my work but you were invested in my personal highlights even more so. 2018 was a big year for just that. I got the chance to be the bride for once and wear the white dress. I walked down the aisle and exchanged vows with my best friend.

Even though this past year was a great year personally it was not my favorite professionally. Moving my small business was hard, but luckily I have a team here to help me. If I could put a title on 2018 for my business it would be, ‘Growing Pains’. Stepping back and reevaluating everything is not easy. You are a failure. You are not good enough to make it. Lies. More lies. As I type this I hear my best friend say, “Not today Satan, not today!” Y’all it’s hard. And it’s taken me awhile to realize it’s ok to admit that. One of the many reasons I adore established photographers like Katelyn James and Jenna Kutcher is because they are so open and honest about their struggles both personally and professionally.

Often times I question why I am a photographer, but then I am quickly reminded why. I have a faithful few clients who I photograph year after year. One I have photographed for 10 years and three children later! They are the reason why. They believed in this girl with a camera and continue to support me.

One photographer I follow posted this the other day on Instagram and I completely agree. “If 2018 taught me anything it’s to feel the moment - the hurt, the disappointment - forgive (yourself or others) and MOVE ON. Stop living in a permanent state of punishment for a temporary choice. You’re allowed to fail. Hell. You NEED to fail. Failure teaches us grist and purpose more than success ever will.” (@alisha_crossley_photography)

Goodbye 2018, this girl is eager and expectant of good things to come in the new year. Some might even say magical (*hint to where DMP is relocating to).

Deborah Michelle Photography 2018 Fairhope Alabama Wedding
Deborah Michelle Photography 2018 Citronelle Community Center Mobile Alabama Wedding

Highlights of 2018

  • Created laughter between a bride and her best friends.

Deborah Michelle Photography 2018 Bragg Mitchell Mansion Mobile Alabama Wedding Bridesmaids
  • Captured 12 families during this season of life. A few brought me to the sea shore where I could wiggle my toes in the sand, another allowed me to announce their families’ big news, and all brought about tickle fights and mighty laughter.

  • Played dress up with three of my Deborah Michelle Brides as we awaited their wedding days.

Deborah Michelle Photography 2018 Bridal Session Bella Sera Gardens Alabama
  • Shared quite a few tears. Moments shared between a bride and her mom get me every time; first looks too!

  • Fueled my love of floral design by assisting Lisa of Thorne and Thistle for a couple of weddings in Auburn, Alabama. Upon arriving to a new city, I reached out to several local vendors to try to connect. Lisa took me in and showed me a different side to weddings. It was a treat to work with such a talented floral designer. I could not help myself but to take a few iPhone pictures here and there.

  • Celebrated two college seniors from opposing universities.

  • Consumed a lot of coffee and several slices of wedding cake. After all that’s the REAL reason why I shoot weddings. Ha!

  • Photographed the most dapper of men.

Deborah Michelle Photography 2018 Groomsmen Watson Farms Mobile, Alabama Wedding
  • Reconnected with DMP brides as they take on the role of mommy!

Deborah Michelle Photography 2018 Maternity Portrait Session
Deborah Michelle Photography 2018 Mobile Alabama Maternity Portrait Session
  • Worked with some of the best in the business. Shout out to Toni Goodie, Joanna Lee, Ashley Mason and Sara Grace McClain for helping me out this year.

Not only did Ashley assist me this fall during wedding season, but she gave me the honor of photographing her fifth anniversary with Weston. They are the cutest!

Deborah Michelle Photography 2018 Auburn Alabama Photographer
  • Encouraged as many puppy kisses as possible - after all the canines are part of the family too!

Deborah Michelle Photography 2018 Opelika Alabama Family Photographer
  • Cut many rugs on the dance floor!

  • Shared this season of wedding planning with several couples and discovered what they love most about their partner.

Deborah Michelle Photography 2018 Greensboro Alabama Engagement Portrait Session
Deborah Michelle Photography 2018 Springhill College Mobile Alabama Engagement Portrait Session
  • Was invited to be a part of the most intimate moments in one’s life. And I will forever treasure those opportunities to capture their beginning as husband and wife.

Deborah Michelle Photography 2018 Mobile Alabama Wedding Photographer
Deborah Michelle Photography 2018 Mobile Alabama Wedding Photographer

Deborah Michelle Photography 2018 Bragg Mitchell Mansion Wedding Mobile Alabama

2018 will be a year to remember. A year full of hard lessons mixed sweet memories. A year where I learned I cannot do it on my own and lean heavily on my greatest team member, my business savvy husband.

Babe, thank you. Thank you for letting me soak your t-shirts in tears split over my business. Thank you for driving me to my sessions and reminding me of my talent. Thank you for pushing me to keep going when I was ready to quit. I know it has not been easy but I would not be the photographer I am today with your love and support.

To my clients, thank you. I started my business because I wanted to share my talents with people. I wanted to capture moments that you would treasure for a lifetime. For several years, I have poured out my passions to you over coffee and you invited me into your season of life. I will forever find joy serving you and walking alongside you in this journey called life.

*Oh and I bet you are dying to know where DMP is going next……

HELLO BIRMINGHAM! Alert the presses, DMP is in the Magic City. My husband and I are super excited about moving as newlyweds, establishing some roots and making this Alabama city our home.

Cheers to a New Year and a new city!

Deborah Michelle Photography 2018 Birmingham Alabama Photographer

A Year in Review | 2017


As 2017 draws to a close, I will remember this one as a building year & one where things got personal. Two years ago this little photography business was officially formed & I decided to dive head first into the world of weddings. I set a goal to become more intentional with my couples. And just this spring I walked into the bridal suite & the bride exclaimed, "Debby is here! It's really real. Today is my wedding day!" That simple statement meant the world to me. In that moment, all the hard work, all the hours spent behind the computer & camera, & all the struggles as a small business owner became worth it.

You see because I believe in cheering you on throughout your journey. Not just the day my brides step into their dress of white.

So today I celebrate another year of being able to pursue my passion. Another year where I was invited to capture over a dozen love stories. Another year of tickle fights & puppy kisses. Another year of heart to hearts shared over cups of coffee. And y'all that is a reason to celebrate.

Towery Wedding-234.jpg

Highlights of 2017

  • Discovered 17hats & began a workflow sequence that saves me from hours of bookkeeping. #notabusinessmajor

  • RISING TIDES SOCIETY - One of my goals this year was to network with other vendors & other creatives in the area. And what an answer to prayer this group was. Once a month we gather on Tuesdays to discuss a topic as small business owners. We encourage one another & support each others' dreams.

"We believe that when creatives rise, the world is changed for the better. Together, we are empowering the creative economy to pursue their passion with the support of a community."

Tuesdays Together 2.jpg
  • Shot my first editorial magazine cover for ACCESS magazine's Swim & Fitness Issue. Discover more & see some behind the scenes here on the blog. And then joined up with the ACCESS team again later on this year to photograph a group of Mobile's outstanding teens.

  • Started 12 tickle fights between parents & children that induced good ol' belly laughter.

Premier Wedding Mobile Bay Deborah Michelle Photography
  • Played dress up with five of my Deborah Michelle Brides as we awaited their wedding days.

Ariel Bridals Bellingrath Gardens Mobile Alabama
Catharine Bridals The Pillars Mobile Alabama
  • Traveled nearly 9,000 miles all while consuming more than 400 cups of coffee & many Chickfila cookies.

  • Celebrated 10 seniors. Some with confetti, one with a proposal & another with a baby announcement!

  • Reconnected with DMP couples as they embarked on a new adventure known as parenthood!

Natalie Maternity Session Washington Square Park
  • Enjoyed many puppy kisses. *Pups are always welcomed as long as I am a photographer!

Dauphin Island Engagement session
  • Smiled so much my cheeks hurt after meeting new couples who will get married in the new year!

Stephanie & Ryan | Engaged -30.jpg

Deborah Michelle Photography Behind the Scenes

To everyone who had a part in making 2017 memorable, thank you. You taught me more about myself & how to be a successful girl boss. You encouraged me & challenged me. You brought my heart much joy when you asked me to capture this season of life for you & your family. I will treasure all the friendships made & the lessons learned.

2018 has some big shoes to fill, but I have a feeling it will be extra special for this photographer who will now become a bride!

The Taylors | 07.15.17

Sydni and Colton Birmingham Alabama Wedding June 2017

Sydni became Colton's wife in the church where he grew up. These two met in college & on this very warm day in July they decided to embark on a new journey as husband & wife. Family & friends traveled to a small town on the outskirts of Birmingham to share in the joy of their wedding day.

Sydni and Colton July Wedding Birmingham Alabama
Taylor Wedding-38.jpg

Goodness - I LOVE a first look with the girls. One of my favorite moments from the day!

Taylor Wedding-222.jpg
Taylor Wedding-392.jpg

Taylor Wedding-577.jpg
Taylor Wedding-686.jpg

Sydni & Taylor agreed to travel to downtown Jasper after leaving their reception for a few "Just Married" bride & groom portraits. And yall taking these few moments to let the events of the day soak in were something special.

Many don't realize the number of people that work behind the scenes to make a wedding day, here are a few of the unsung heroes from the Taylor Wedding.

Bride's Dress: David's Bridal

Ceremony & Reception: Parrish First Baptist Church

Cake: Deb Deason

Catering: Michelle's Bakery

Invitations: Shutterfly

The Mynards | 04.29.17

Chandler & Nathan Birmingham Alabama April Wedding

Clouds rolled in as the music began & everyone took their places on top of a bluff overlooking a part of Alabama I never knew existed. The moment Nathan's bride would make her journey down the aisle to become his wife. Big inhale, huge exhale as that moment covered in prayers is finally here.

One look at you; my whole life falls in line.
I prayed for you; before I called you mine.
I can’t believe it’s true, sometimes.
I can’t believe it’s true.

I get to love you, it’s the best thing that I’ll ever do.
I get to love you, it’s a promise I’m making to you.
Whatever may come; your heart I will choose.
Forever I’m yours, forever I do.
I get to love you, I get to love you.

The way you love, it changes who I am.
I am undone and I thank God once again.
I can’t believe it’s true, sometimes. | I Get To Love You, Ruelle

*Hands down my favorite wedding song to date. But I'm getting ahead of myself, let's journey back to the beginning of the day & then we will get to more of the ceremony pictures! Ok fine, here's a sneak...

"I want my wedding day to be filled with laughter and love with all of our amazing family and friends. Low on stress and high on memories," remarked Mrs. Mynard a few months prior to her April wedding date.

And I can confirm that it was all of those things mentioned above.

Chandler spent the morning getting ready with her best girls by her side. Katie Hodges helped bring forth the girls' natural beauty (seriously she's the best, check her out). And Nathan calmed his nerves by playing ping-pong with his guys.

Chandler & Nathan Birmingham Alabama April Wedding

Chandler & Nathan's bridal party was so much fun as you can probably tell. They kept me laughing & were there to lend a hand if needed.

Y'all, their first look was breath-taking.

I believe in marriages that reflect the church. Love built upon the truth that Christ died for us, so that we may have ever lasting life. For better or for worse. In sickness & in health. A union of two selfish people, choosing to seek God first above themselves & one another.

Chandler & Nathan's ceremony was performed by one of his spiritual leaders. Surrounded by God's beauty, they stood hand in hand & exchanged their vows.

Chandler & Nathan Birmingham Alabama April Wedding

Ephesians Farm was the perfect venue from the large getting ready lofts to the stunning bluff to the intimate barn for a night full of dancing. It was just the right fit for Chandler & Nathan's wedding day.

Chandler & Nathan Birmingham Alabama April Wedding Ephesians Farm
Chandler & Nathan Birmingham Alabama April Wedding Ephesians Farm

All the wonderful vendors who made this an absolute dream for the bride & groom:

Hair & Makeup: Katie Hodges

Bride's Dress: Bella's Bridal

Bridesmaid Dresses: Bill Levkoff, Bella's Bridal

Groom & Groomsmen Attire: Men's Wearhouse

Band: Z and the Party Faktory

Coordinator, Caterer & Florist: Sherri Shaw, Ephesians Farm

*Ah! I've got one more surprise for ya. After their bridal party portraits & family formal time, we had a little break before the ceremony & I asked Chandler & Nathan if they'd be up for an adventure. Much to my surprise they agreed & ventured out on top of a rock in the middle of a creek bed for these awesome bride & groom portraits.