Kaileigh & Blake | Hermitage-Rippy Estate Mobile, Alabama Engagement Session

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Two high school sweethearts are beginning their forever this Saturday with a Mobile, Alabama Wedding day. It’s wedding week for Kaileigh & Blake & I am thrilled to be their Alabama Wedding photographer.

A couple of weeks ago, I met up with the two of them for their engagement session at the same spot they will say I Do! They chose the Hermitage-Rippy Estate in Mobile, Alabama because of it’s Southern charm & its gracious hosts. And I consider the Hermitage-Rippy one of Mobile’s hidden gems. The extravagant white columns invite you in, while the oak trees encourage you to stay awhile.

I love engagement sessions because they give me the opportunity to get to know my couples before their big day. For this Alabama girl & a tall farm boy from Idaho, it all begin in one Math class at Baker High School. Blake recalled, “it’s the only bad grade” that he had in high school…perhaps because he was a little distracted by the pretty brunette next to him. It didn’t take long before they began dating, followed by a Bellingrath Gardens & Home proposal two Christmas’ ago.

Her favorite thing about him is that he keeps her laughing & how he cares deeply. And he loves that their souls feel connected way beyond their years. They share the same morals & values & will vow to keep them as they build their very own family.

Gulf Coast Alabama Wedding Photographer Deborah Michelle Photography
Hermitage-Rippy Estate Mobile Alabama Wedding Photographer Deborah Michelle Photography
Kaileigh & Blake Engagement Session Deborah Michelle Photography
Kaileigh & Blake Engagement Session Hermitage Rippy Estate Deborah Michelle Photography
Kaileigh & Blake Engagement Session Hermitage Rippy Estate Deborah Michelle Photography
Kaileigh & Blake Engagement Session Hermitage Rippy Estate Deborah Michelle Photography
Kaileigh & Blake Engagement Session Hermitage Rippy Estate Deborah Michelle Photography

See ya’ll in just a few days! Kaileigh, you’ll be the one in white. Blake will be waiting for you at the end of the aisle. And I’ll be the lucky one capturing your day one as husband & wife!

Venue: Hermitage-Rippy Estate

Shelby & Bryan | Springhill College Mobile Alabama Engagement Session

Springhill College Engagement Session Mobile Alabama Shelby and Bryan

The love story of two athletes was revealed to an audience of one Alabama Wedding Photographer and several of Mobile’s grand oak trees that line a drive on Springhill College’s campus in south Alabama. Shelby a softball player. Bryan a baseball player. These two met in high school and Bryan recalls the moment he first saw Shelby, “She was the prettiest girl I’d ever seen.” To which she now smirks and holds his hand a little tighter. He would later sneak a kiss in the hallway and take her to a school dance.

A couple years later, Bryan planned the perfect proposal with two diamonds in mind. One made of dirt and grass and the other sparkled. That’s right, he proposed to Shelby before one of her softball games that she helped coach. He completely surprised her by involving players and former teammates. Talk about the perfect proposal for these two! Getting to know them throughout their session, I can tell they balance each other out well. She holds the quiet, nurturing spirit while he is the most outgoing gent who brings a smile to anyone who will look his way.

I am delighted that they chose me to capture their love story that is four years in the making and look forward to having a front row seat at their June wedding day.

Avenue of Oaks Engagement Session Mobile Alabama Shelby and Bryan
Springhill College Engagement Session Mobile Alabama Shelby and Bryan Avenue of Oaks

Ah! Forehead kisses are my favorite. So gentle, so kind.

Springhill College Engagement Session Mobile Alabama Shelby and Bryan
Springhill College Engagement Session Mobile Alabama Shelby and Bryan Deborah Michelle Photography

Bryan picked out the prettiest ring for his girl. Wouldn’t you agree?!

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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!

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  • 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

The Huggins | Fairhope Alabama Wedding

Tori and Trey Huggins Fairhope Alabama Wedding Deborah Michelle Photography

Oh where do I even begin?! Tori and Trey’s wedding day was such a delight to be a part of. First of all, it brought me back to the Gulf Coast which I holds a special place in my heart AND I got to catch up with so many of my friends, too!

Tori is one of the most laid back brides that I have been blessed by lately and I am oh so thankful. She understand how crazy my life had been since getting married myself and moving and extended me grace after late night emails. So when I walked into her hotel room on the morning of her wedding day, I was greeted with excitement from her and her squad.

One of my favorite moments from their day took place during their ceremony when they chose to wash each other’s feet just as Jesus did with the disciples. What a humbling way to start off your marriage - a promise to love, serve & submit to one another. And of course my second favorite part of the day was their time spent along the Eastern Shore after their ceremony for some ‘Just Married’ portraits! *Keep scrolling to see what I am talking about.

Tori and Trey, what an honor is was to be a part of your day one. Thank you for sharing in this season with me and my prayer is that these photographs captured on your wedding day will be treasured for generations to come.

Tori and Trey Huggins Fairhope Alabama Wedding Deborah Michelle Photography St Francis at the Point Church
Tori and Trey Huggins Wedding Fairhope, Alabama

Oh sweet momma! I love these moments shared between the bride and her mom especially when I personally know the two.

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I must confess, I cried during Tori & Trey’s first look. All the feels! So, so sweet!

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Ok fine, I am predictable BUT I just love it when couples are game for a round of ‘Just Married’ portraits around sunset. It. Is. So. Worth. It!

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Vendors who made Tori & Trey’s Wedding day the best day ever

Photography: Deborah Michelle Photography

Photographer's Assistant: Toni Goodie

Dress: Bliss Bridal Fairhope, Alabama

Florist: Belle Bouquet

Rings: Lou's Jewelry

Ceremony Venue: St. Francis at the Point Fairhope, Alabama

Reception Venue: Rock Creek Golf Club Fairhope, Alabama

DJ: Southern Aire DJ's

Videographer: Ash Tree Studios

Cake: Darrell Jennings

Catering: Rock Creek Golf Club

Bridesmaids Dresses: David’s Bridal

Groom & Groomsmen Attire: Men’s Wearhouse

Hair & Makeup: Mallory with Root 43 Salon

Ceremony Music: Christian and Courtney Hilley

Reception Lighting: C&A Event Rental LLC

Tracy & Jonathan | Dauphin Island Portraits

Tracy & Jonathan Maternity Session Dauphin Island Alabama

Funny story: this sweet girl right here was once my bride & is now my sister-in-law. I doubt she meant to be a matchmaker at her own wedding but she was. Now I’m excited to watch her become a mommy & welcome a niece into the family.

Tracy & Jonathan’s maternity session took place at one of my favorite Gulf Coast locations, Dauphin Island. From the mighty oaks in Cadillac Square to the seashore near Fort Gaines, this little island creates a magical place for portrait sessions.

Tracy & Jonathan Maternity Session Dauphin Island Alabama
Tracy & Jonathan Maternity Session Dauphin Island Alabama
Tracy & Jonathan Maternity Session Dauphin Island Alabama
Tracy & Jonathan Maternity Session Dauphin Island Alabama
Tracy & Jonathan Maternity Session Dauphin Island Alabama
Tracy & Jonathan Maternity Session Dauphin Island Alabama

Congrats to this DMP couple! I cannot wait to cheer you on in this new little adventure of yours!

Tracy & Jonathan Maternity Session Dauphin Island Alabama

Goodie Family | Daphne Alabama Family Portraits

Daphne Alabama Family Photographer

As a photographer it's often hard to find the time for you to get in front of the camera. I am so glad that the rain held off this afternoon for this sweet family session. This awesome girl boss is a wife, a mommy to two & a photographer.

And at every family session I try to be intentional about stealing the parents aside for a couple of images. Because let’s be honest, the last time they got professional pictures taken was probably at their wedding.

The Goodie family portrait time ended in a round of hide & go seek which will probably be how I end all family photos from here on out.

Daphne Alabama Family Photographer
Daphne Alabama Family Photographer
Daphne Alabama Family Photographer Bayfront Park
Daphne Alabama Family Portraits

Toni has worked alongside me this wedding season & it's been so much fun. I love her eagerness to lend a hand & seeing the awesome images that she captures.

Check out this Gulf Coast photographer's work - Toni Goodie Photography

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.

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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."

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  • 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!

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

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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!

Callie & Jordan | Engaged

Callie & Jordan Foley Alabama Engagement Session Swift-Cole Historic Home

I believe in forehead kisses that take you back to the moment you first fell in love. Full of sweetness, surrender & respect. Recalling that time when you almost gave up on finding love until he came along & swept you off your feet. Feeling the flutter of butterflies when he calls you "babe" & reaches for your hand on his parents' back porch. Grab hold & don't let go, adventures await.

These two may look familiar to you because this spring I captured Callie's senior session that ended in a proposal! Ah! (*Check it out here!)

Callie, like me, adores all things Southern. And nothing shouts "Southern" quiet like a white house complete with a wrap-around porch & large oak trees drenched in Spanish moss. Insert the The Swift-Coles Historic Home as the perfect backdrop for their session. Super excited to capture Callie & Jordan's wedding day this fall! Enjoy a few of my favorites from their engagement session.

Callie & Jordan Engaged Foley Alabama Swift Cole Historic Home

I believe in growing old with the one you love. Living each day by putting each other's needs above your own. Striving to make Christ known in your marriage & holding on tight through the hills & valleys. 

Mary & Adrian | Engaged

Mary & Adrian Dauphin Island Engagement Session

What does a software engineer & a pre-veterinarian have in common? Their love for music, Auburn, pups & much more!

Mary & Adrian have been together for three years & enjoy being around one another whether that be a spontaneous trip to the beach or simply hanging out at home with family & friends. "I like to think we bring out the best in each other and in others around us," Mary remarked & I would agree after spending one afternoon with them.

Everyone, correction, *every girl* loves a good proposal story & theirs is one out of a fairy tale. Literally. Mary & Adrian were on a trip to Disney World last December. Adrian had a story book made that included so many of their memories together & right in front of Cinderella's Castle in Magic Kingdom is where he got down on one knee. "You've always been my once upon a time, will you be my happily ever after?" OH MY GOODNESS. If your heart isn't fluttering you should probably get that checked out, girlfriend.  Oh - she said YES! Which leads us to today, planning a wedding of a princess & her prince charming.

These two grew up along the Gulf Coast in Mobile, Alabama & love all that this area provides - one being Dauphin Island. Perfect! It's one of my loves as well. I had an absolute blast roaming around in the salty air (humidity included) with Mary & Adrian.

Enjoy a few of my favorites from their engagement session spent on this lovely little island. They brought along the best of props, so trust me, you'll want to keep scrolling.

Ya'll - Mary & Adrian brought along their pups! Oh my gosh. In love.

Mary & Adrian Dauphin Island Engagement Session

Mary & Adrian Dauphin Island Engagement Session
Mary & Adrian Dauphin Island Engagement Session
Mary & Adrian Dauphin Island Engagement Session
Mary & Adrian Dauphin Island Engagement Session

Ahhhh! I am so, so excited for their wedding this December.

Greening + Kelley Families | Spring 2017

I wish you could experience the laughter that we shared on this Saturday morning in Fairhope, Alabama. (Seriously my cheeks were genuinely sore afterwards.) However that should've come as no surprise. You see I've known Meredyth, the youngest Greening daughter, for about a year. And when we are together, we laugh. A ton.

I've heard so many stories about this sweet family & so to finally meet my best friend's family was a real treat. Enjoy a few of my favorites from their family session.

This little guy cracked me up. Don't worry by the end of the session, I was the coolest & received a high-five.

Forty-two years of marriage later, these two have three incredible daughters who have brought them much laughter. The Greenings have experienced many highs & lows but have remained faithful & trusted in the Lord's path. And I love that.