Auntie Debs + The Faught Family | A Personal Post

Deborah Michelle Photography Family Portraits

Alabama Wedding Photographer, Pure Barre Instructor and Chick-fil-A Team Member are just some of the titles that I have held in my lifetime, but out of all my titles Auntie Debs is certainly one of my favorites. (*Wife recently taking the lead! Love you husband!)

I grew up with a camera in my face, thanks Dad, so I feel it’s only natural to do the same to my brother and his family. Randle gave me the title of Auntie Debs almost six years ago and I never knew how I could love a brown eyed boy so much. He keeps me laughing and my knowledge of all things Thomas the Train has never been greater. Ryan is the second brown eyed boy to steal my heart. He is one of the sweetest baby boys, yet keeps everyone on their toes. I love spending summers with this beach babe and his older brother.

Thankful to have a job that allows me to visit them and spoil them as an aunt should. Family portraits have become a yearly tradition for the Faught Family with Deborah Michelle Photography - tickle fights included. Today I am blogging a few of my favorites from their latest Mississippi family portrait session, while also looking back at some of my favorite moments with them over the years.

Deborah Michelle Photography Family Portraits
Deborah Michelle Photography Family Photographer
Deborah Michelle Photography Family Portraits
Deborah Michelle Photography Family Photographer Birmingham, Alabama

Alabama Family Photographer Deborah Michelle Photography

Randle and Ryan, I have loved every minute of watching you grow up. Thanks for the endless belly laughter and I cannot wait to see the young men that you will become. I just hope you’re never too cool to hang out with your Auntie Debs!

Looking for a family portrait photographer? I’d love to connect with you and your family. Contact me!

Natalie | Springhill College Mobile Alabama Maternity Portraits

Natalie Spring Hill College Avenue of Oaks Mobile Alabama Family Portrait Session Deborah Michelle Photography

Watching a Deborah Michelle Bride take on the role of motherhood with much grace is one of my most favorite things about being a Gulf Coast photographer. Not only do I get to watch them marry their best friend, but a few years later I witness them kiss boo-boos and create belly laughter with their little ones.

If you read my last blog you know last year was sprinkled with doubts. Am I even supposed to be a photographer? Well those lies were silenced by numerous clients turned friends, including Natalie.

I met Natalie two years ago when she asked me to be her wedding photographer for her October day. Now she’s a mommy and has given the sweet opportunity to capture her first and now second maternity session. Plus I met her first born, Justin. And he is absolutely precious. I loved catching up with a past DMP Bride and look forward to meeting Baby #2!


Natalie Mobile Alabama Family Photographer Deborah Michelle Avenue of Oaks Springhill College

I am telling you - this little boy is full of personality! And loves exploring new places, Stewartfield at Springhill College included.

Natalie Mobile Alabama Family Photographer Deborah Michelle Avenue of Oaks Springhill College
Deborah Michelle Photography Alabama Family Photographer Mobile Alabama Springhill College
Natalie Mobile Alabama Family Photographer Deborah Michelle Springhill College
Natalie Mobile Alabama Family Photographer Deborah Michelle Springhill College

#tbt to Natalie’s wedding day | Apalachicola, Florida. 

AND #tbt to Natalie’s first maternity session as she awaited her first baby boy!

*Thanks for asking me to be a part of your different seasons of life; I have enjoyed cheering you on!


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

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

New Town Newlywed | A Personal Post

Deborah Michelle Photography Auburn Alabama Alabama Wedding Photographer

Hey Auburn, Hey Auburn, there's a new girl in town...

Never in a million years would I have imagined that this Bama girl would be living in that other town. You see I grew up just south of Tuscaloosa & my t-shirts are crimson & white. But God sure does have a sense of humor because I fell in love with an Auburn boy.

Moving in general is a huge undertaking but moving a small business can be hard. For years you've worked to established yourself in an area & eventually became friends with the wedding professionals that you've worked alongside & now it's like the first day of kindergarten all over again. But if there's one thing I have learned, it's that you have to seek out community. And that's my number one goal as I move into my new town.

Meet my little family. Richard is my HUSBAND. *Goodness I like the sound of that. :) He is the kindest, gentlest soul that I've ever known & often teaches me to live in the moment. He is finishing up his PhD at Auburn University & I am so proud of him. I'll never forget the first conversation we had. I asked him where he lived & when he said Auburn I responded with "Oh I'm sorry!" Ha! Jokes on me because the loveliest village on the plains is now my new home as a newlywed. 

And our family wouldn't be complete without our four legged son, Elliot. He loves any adventure that we bring him along, especially if it ends in an ice cream cone from Sonic.

So far I am blown away by the hospitality shown by this town & have had the best time exploring new places. I have discovered all the coffee shops (of course) & love weekends spent with brunch at The Hound followed by a trip to Kiesel Park with Elliot.


Hey thanks for reading this little personal post & following me along on this exciting new season of life as a newlywed.

If you are a fellow photographer or creative in the Auburn, Opelika, Columbus areas, let's grab coffee ASAP! (And maybe do a head-shot swap so my sweet husband doesn't have to next time. Bless it, he did so well didn't he?!) Seriously, I cannot wait to get to know you & work alongside you.

xoxo,

Debby Cullum

*Mobile, I am still your girl. I will forever travel to your Gulf Coast to capture your wedding days. So don't think I have abandoned you. My car knows I65 South real well.


Our wedding was shot by the wonderful Elizabeth Gelineau - check out our blog here which was also recently featured on Southern Weddings! AHHH!

Collage pictures were shot with an iPhone X.

Cassie & Logan | Engaged

Cassie and Logan Engagement Session Springhill College Mobile Alabama

She walked into their home to find a jewelry box covered in the living room. Still in her work clothes & messy bun, he asked her to be his forever.

Often times you read of extravagant proposals but my favorite are those that take place in the simplicity of everyday life. That could be going for a walk together after brunch on a Sunday or sitting at the table in the coffee shop where you had your first date. It's your story & that should be celebrated. 

Cassie & Logan love for one another shows in every touch & every smile. Cassie's son, Ethan, even joined in on their Springhill College engagement session.

Cassie and Logan Engagement Session Springhill College Mobile Alabama
Cassie and Logan Engagement Session Springhill College Mobile Alabama
Cassie and Logan Engagement Session Springhill College Mobile Alabama

Congrats you two! I cannot wait to celebrate yall this weekend!

A Year in Review | 2017

DSC_7121.jpg

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

Lex&Aaron-Wedding-9635-2.jpg
  • 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!

DSC_8745.jpg
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!

Natalie | Awaiting Baby

Natalie | Awaiting Baby Oakleigh Garden District Mobile Alabama

Last year Natalie & Ryan embarked on life as newlyweds. And this year they will welcome their first child, a sweet baby boy. Ah! I remember the moment I saw their announcement. It felt just like a family member telling me such exciting news. I adore all of my clients & Natalie was one of the sweetest & most carefree brides. So I was delighted when she reached out again & asked me to capture a few portraits of her to remember this sweet season of waiting.

Justin Blake, you are already so loved.

Natalie, you are going to be the best mommy to your sweet baby boy. I loved reconnecting with you for this session & thanks for enduring an afternoon in South Alabama during June at almost eight months pregnant. You look absolutely beautiful. I cannot wait to encourage you & Ryan along in this new adventure!


Interested in seeing how far the Galloways have come???

See Natalie & Ryan's wedding photos from last October here!

Catharine & Ansley | Senior Portraits

I believe in movie nights spent on the couch with popcorn watching old home videos. Laughing over your youngest sibling's terrible bowl cut from third grade & recalling the smell of cinnamon rolls fresh out of the oven while presents are opened on Christmas morning.

I grew up with a brother, so having a sister is foreign to me. But I imagine the sister bond is strong - once you get past the stage of stealing each others' clothes. Ha! Who am I kidding, that probably never stops.

I can only imagine the memories these two sisters have shared throughout the years. This year is a special one, though, because they are both seniors for the class of 2017 - Catharine, a college graduate, & Ansley, a high school graduate.


I simply loved adventuring around downtown Mobile with these two sisters. A random parking garage & Bienville Square made for the perfect backdrops for Catharine & Ansley.

Congrats girls! So thankful you allowed me to capture such an exciting season for you two & your family.

Meagan | Senior Portraits

Be fearless in the pursuit of what sets your soul on fire.

Mobile, Alabama has three major universities - University of Mobile (my alma mater), Springhill College (UMobile's crosstown rival) & University of South Alabama (Go Jags). So one afternoon I ventured across town for another senior session for a college grad.

But not just any senior - her name is Meagan. She is a sweet as that smile on her face. And very driven in the pursuit of following her passions.

I met up with this sweet gal & her mom on a very windy afternoon. But they were troopers. Meagan's long curly blonde hair & style is oh so fabulous - trust me when I say you're going to want to keep scrolling to see with her second outfit. Hint: romper with ruffles! Ah. I could never pull that off but her long legs sure can!

Meagan | Senior-16.jpg

Congrats Meagan! And remember to be fearless as you embark on this new journey.

Kris & Paige | Senior Portraits

I believe in cheering you on throughout life's journey.

Standing up & cheering as you walk across that stage to receive your diploma. Drawing closer to your chest as we sway in our kitchen after a long day of work. And putting aside our computer screens for an evening stroll while we dream about growing old together.

These two are some of my favorites & I am truly blessed to call them dear friends. I've known them since we were all freshmen starting at the University of Mobile in the fall of 2008. Kris was head-over-heels in love with Paige since day 1, but it took a little convincing before she was on the same page. Kris knew he wanted Paige as his bride & he wasn't going to take 'no'. I love his persistence in their story. And I'm so glad she gave him a chance because their marriage is one I look up to. They laugh & cry together all while accomplishing their dreams hand-in-hand.

This spring the McAuley's graduated with their Masters' Degrees - Business for Kris & Nursing for Paige. And Kris' youngest sibling, Abbie, also graduated from the University of Mobile with her Bachelor's degree in Communication, so we just had to get a few photos in of the 3 McAuley graduates. *There's a fun surprise at the end of this blog post, so keep reading. Promise it's worth it!

"Babe, you look good in graduation attire." Paige commented & I completely agree.


I believe in squeezing your hand so tightly as we hear our baby's heartbeat for the first time.

*That's right - Baby McAuley is on the way!!! YAY YAY YAY!

Paige is one of my friends who lift-tone-burns with me at Pure Barre Mobile. And I will never forget the day I questioned her, "Are you pregnant?" *Elliot head tilt included.* She blushed & said "yes." Which resulted in a few excited screams. Ah! We had already discussed this senior portrait session prior to this news, so when she approached me with a pregnancy announcement I was all in!

Baby McAuley - you are already so loved. And have the funniest, kindest & Christ-like parents. I cannot wait to meet you.

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.

Mother's Day 2017 | A Personal Post

Dear Mom,

You once prayed for a little girl that'd be just like you. Well the Man upstairs certainly granted you that wish & then some. There's not a single day that goes by that I am not thankful for you.

You were there since day one. You are my biggest cheerleader (including my recent crazy tendencies - #running13.1milesforfun) & my support system when it seems like everything is falling a part. You are my secret business partner & constant sounding board. Sure we argue (hello we're too much a like). But I know I wouldn't survive a day without my best friend.

Let's be honest - I'd never find a thing in Walmart if it weren't for you or know how to make poppyseed chicken casserole. You are in fact right about everything. And thank you for spoiling your granddog, Elliot, too.

One day to celebrate you simply isn't enough.

I love you.


As a family photographer, I've been lucky to witness the interaction & love between a mother & her child. From the first cry to the first steps to the first booboo to graduation day - she's there.

One thing I treasure is the ability to watch some of my dearest friends take on the role of motherhood with such grace. You ladies inspire me daily.


As a wedding photographer, one of my favorite moments to capture is the moment when a mother helps her daughter into her wedding dress. I myself am not a mother but can only imagine this being a moment that mom has dreamed about since the moment she heard "it's a girl"!

*It is actually a rule of mine on wedding day - to not get into your dress without me present. It's that important to me!


Boy moms - I haven't forgotten about you! You've spent years washing dirt stains out of baseball pants followed by many nervous nights after he turned 16 & got that first truck. You've spent many days praying for that young man in your life. And momma, you did good. Your baby boy is now a man who will leave home to start his own home with his beautiful bride (whom you've been praying diligently for too). Be proud.


And I will not ignore the fact that this day is hard for many. You may have lost your mom this year. Or you may have had a miscarriage & struggling to hold it together today. But do know that I am praying for you. You are so loved & your worth is far more than rubies.


Happy Mother's Day to all the strong, selfless & ever inspiring mothers. Thank you to all the moms, grandmas, birth moms, adoptive moms, & fur moms. To be a mother is to be love. Thank you & forever grateful for all that you do. | Aenny Chung

Parr Family | Spring Mini Session

Believe it or not, I once cheered alongside Ashley in high school - many moons ago. And now I get the chance to watch her in another role - that being mommy to a sweet baby boy. It's also been fun to watch Johnny transition into the title of husband/dad, too.

*Tip when photographing a two year old have the following things on standby:

  • Bubbles
  • A Football
  • And a Random Puppy

Normally I try to grab a photo of just the parents...this time we had someone creating the geninue laughter.


Holden definitely kept us on our toes as any two year old would. Cheers to year TWO!

Sherrer + Neel Families | Spring Mini Session

If you follow my work, you will find that I adore this entire family. Over the years the Sherrer family has invited me into some of the sweetest moments of their lives. And for that I am forever grateful.

This spring mini session was no exception. Kate is now 15 months old & kept us on our toes wondering about Stewartfield on Springhill's campus.

Four years ago Megan trusted me to capture one of the biggest days in her life - her wedding day. And since that sweet day, she's asked me to document her family as it grows. Oh what a delight that has been for me!

But the picture above is by far one of my favorite pictures that I've ever captured for her.


Kate's relationship with her 'CiCi' is the sweetest. And you can tell that Mrs. Cindy loves being this little girl's grandmother.