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 Photographer Becomes A Bride | A Personal Post

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On the most beautiful Saturday in April, I married my best friend. I sat down my camera & picked up a bride's bouquet. Instead of wearing black & running around behind the scenes, I wore white & the loveliest lace veil.

As someone who is in the wedding industry, I thought I knew a good bit. Wrong. I was wrong. There was so much that I didn't know. For example, how much food it takes to feed 150 people or how many options there are for table linens. And now I know why it takes a bride a few days to respond to emails, we've got a lot of things going on. Meeting with other vendors, working a full-time job, trying to sweat for the dress & make time for your fiance. I understand so much more now.

So, today, I wanted to share with you my experience as a bride & provide a few takeaways that might help a future bride in the process too. Below you will find 10 tips that will hopefully help you in planning your big day!


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TEN TIPS from a Photographer who became a Bride

1. Hire a wedding professional planner and/or coordinator. I get it, you've got Pinterest & you know what you want to do; but trust me a professional will guarantee that your vision will come true. As a photographer, it pains me to see someone asking the bride logistical questions the day of or the mom on her phone trying to find out where the flowers are when her daughter slips on her dress. She's missing that moment! Trust me hiring a professional is worth it, even if it's just for the day of.

2. Make it your own, not a Pinterest board. Goodness, I sound like I hate Pinterest. I promise I do not. I used it as a launch pad. For instance, what colors should I use? Oh this is a beautiful gown, let me save this image for inspiration. Or cute ways to ask my nephews to be 'ring bearers'. Ways we made 04/28/18 our own? We allowed everyone from our bridal party to purchase their own attire. Each tie was different & every dress flattered each girl.

Our families are both big reasons why we are here today & so we wanted to highlight them in a special way. So being the wedding photographer that I am, we took photos from their wedding days & displayed them. I also knew that I wanted to honor my dad who passed away eight years ago in happy ways not sad ones. I wrapped my bouquet with the collar of my dad's shirt so that he'd be there holding my hand every step down the aisle & at the reception shared a dance to the Temptations' "My Girl" with all the dads/daughters in attendance. Little touches that make your wedding day unique to you & no one else.

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3. An Engagement Session is key. I am a photographer for a reason, I prefer to be behind the camera. And when you do get me in front of it, it's like I forget what to do with my hands or to smile naturally. I always encourage my clients to do an engagement session because it allows them to become comfortable in front of the camera before their wedding day. Ya'll, it's so true. My husband, Richard, even said so, too. "I was actually able to enjoy the moment versus focusing on whether I was doing the pose correctly.”

4. No rules, it’s your day. If you want three cakes, have three cakes. If you don't want to toss the bouquet or garter, don't.

Confession: I always thought I wanted to elope or at least have some sort of destination wedding. But, the more I thought about our "perfect" wedding day, the more I wanted to celebrate my marriage to Richard in our city. He grew up in Mobile & I have lived here for 10 years. Mobile is home. So we decided to have a small intimate ceremony with just our immediate families & bridal party a few hours before hosting a large reception at The Pillars of Mobile, Alabama. Again, no set rules my friend.

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5. Be flexible. I am not the most adaptable person, but when things don't go as planned you just have to go with the flow & make it work a different way. Rain might change your ceremony from outside to inside. Hair & makeup may take longer than anticipated. So my best advice: remain calm, trust your photographer who added that buffer of time into your portrait timeline & be okay with taking bridal party portraits after the ceremony.

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6. Eat! I always tell my brides to eat because no one likes a hangry bride & then I turned into one! (*Let this be my formal apology to Elizabeth, Allyson, Cheree & Bryan.). Being the Chick-fil-A addict that I am, I had breakfast catered for my girls & I as we got our hair done that morning. Then for lunch ordered sandwich trays from Publix for us & the groomsmen. Unfortunately, I didn't have time to grab a sandwich before stepping into my dress...not my best moment. By the time the ceremony was over & we were taking pictures, I started to get hangry. Our original plan was to eat before being announced at our reception but we were a little late due to pictures. (Y'all, golden hour was just too pretty to miss; so happy we got those gorgeous portraits in Washington Square. They are some of my favorite from the entire day!) So as soon as we got to our reception venue we were announced, shared our first dance & then went into a private area to eat while our guests enjoyed brunch for dinner as well. Ten minutes of sitting down to eat allowed us a moment to ourselves before interacting with our guests & gave us fuel for all the dancing!

7. Make time for a Mother/Daughter Date. Girls, your sweet momma has probably dreamed of this day since she first held you in her arms. During the week of my wedding, my mom & I checked into the Battlehouse Spa for an afternoon. And it was just what the both of us needed. Time to relax & not worry about running errands. Time to chat & soak up the big life changes that were taking place soon. Because as soon as your bridesmaids roll into town, you hit the ground running. So set aside some time the week of your wedding for your mom, whether that is a spa day or a coffee date.

8. Remember your vendors. I am not saying this because I am one. But now that I've been on the other side of camera, I know how hard they work to make your day the absolute best. Sure tips are appreciated but a simple "thank you so much for everything" can make their day too. I consider myself the luckiest bride because I surrounded myself with my dream team. They truly went above & beyond & am a forever grateful.

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9. Pick your best friends to stand by your side. I cannot tell you the number of times I have heard "well I was in hers, so I have to ask her to be in mine too". No, absolutely not. You should always choose those who have supported you & will continue to throughout your marriage. Sure you were best of friends 10 years ago but did you call her when you knew you went on your last first date?? You need to surround yourself with friends who make you laugh, keep you calm & hold your ballgown when you have to potty! #weddingdayreality LOL

And most importantly...

10. On the day of, your only job is to get married. That’s it. I am a planner to my core & was a little stressed the week of my wedding. I just wanted everything to come together perfectly. And the reality is that months of planning are gone in simply 24 hours. So I knew when I woke up on April 28th that no matter what happened that day my only task was to get down that aisle to Richard. It was a day to soak in every moment & enjoy celebrating our love with all of those closest to us.

I can, in fact, say that it was the best day ever.


Shout out to all the vendors who made my wedding day the best!

Planner | Heather Pfefferkorn, Classic Events – The Pillars of Mobile

Getting Ready & Reception Venue | The Pillars of Mobile

Ceremony Location | Washington Square Park

Photographer | Elizabeth Gelineau - Check out her blog about our wedding!

Second Photographer | Jacob Bennett

Photographer’s Assistant | Allyson DeMouy

Videography | Lifehouse Films - Check out our video sneak peek!

Caterer | Chef Rob Stephens

Florist | Sarah Beth’s Florist

Cakes | Cakes by Judi

Hair Stylist | Mallory Gleason, Root 43 Salon

Makeup Artist | Courtney Matthews

DJ | Jason Skelton, DJs by the Bay

Rental Company | SOHO Events & Rentals

Bride’s Gown | Bella’s Bridal & Formal, Birmingham

Groom’s Suit | Samuelsohn, Oak Hall, Memphis

Jeweler | Lou’s Jewelry

Custom Painting | Melissa Munger

The Mattoxes | Bragg-Mitchell Mansion Mobile Alabama Spring Wedding

Christy & Tyler Bragg Mitchell Mansion Mobile Alabama Spring Wedding

I know I am not supposed to have my favorites BUT this was my favorite wedding on May 19th, 2018. (Royal wedding, I'm looking at you!) It was a magical day here across the pond in Mobile, Alabama. From the first look on the porch of an antebellum home to the family portraits nestled in between azalea bushes to dancing the night away, oh man it was a wonderful celebration for Christy & Tyler.  

We started the day with their first look which allowed us plenty of time for portraits at the Bragg-Mitchell Mansion followed by lots of laughter with their bridal party. It wasn't long before Christy made her way down the aisle to her groom at St. Mary Parish Catholic Church. And then back over to the Bragg-Mitchell Mansion for food & dancing. It was one of the most fun wedding day celebrations that I have been a part of. Congrats to the Mattoxes & thank you for allowing me to capture your first day as husband & wife!


Christy and Tyler Bragg-Mitchell Mansion Mobile, Alabama May Wedding
Christy and Tyler Bragg-Mitchell Mansion Mobile, Alabama May Wedding
Bragg-Mitchell Mansion Mobile Alabama Wedding Deborah Michelle Photography
Christy and Tyler Bragg-Mitchell Mansion Mobile, Alabama Wedding
Bragg-Mitchell Mansion Mobile, Alabama Wedding Spring 2018 Christy & Tyler
Christy and Tyler Bragg-Mitchell Mansion Mobile, Alabama May Wedding
Christy and Tyler Bragg-Mitchell Mansion Mobile, Alabama May Wedding

I loved the soft purple that the bride chose for her maids. Looked fabulous on all of them!

Christy and Tyler Bragg-Mitchell Mansion Mobile, Alabama May Wedding
Bragg-Mitchell Mansion Mobile Alabama Wedding Bridesmaids Deborah Michelle Photography
Christy and Tyler Bragg-Mitchell Mansion Mobile, Alabama May Wedding
Christy and Tyler Bragg-Mitchell Mansion Mobile, Alabama May Wedding
Christy and Tyler Bragg-Mitchell Mansion Mobile, Alabama May Wedding
Christy and Tyler Bragg-Mitchell Mansion Mobile, Alabama May Wedding
Christy and Tyler Bragg-Mitchell Mansion Mobile, Alabama May Wedding
Christy and Tyler Bragg-Mitchell Mansion Mobile, Alabama May Wedding

Ah! So much joy! And one of my most favorite moments of the day is finally here.... It’s that moment immediately following the ceremony when the bride & groom look at each other with the biggest smiles of the day. Their eyes lock & they realize that they are married at last & it’s the sweetest moment to capture. So don’t mind me, the crazy photographer chasing after the couple. The result is worth it. Every time.

Christy and Tyler Mobile, Alabama May Wedding St. Mary's Catholic Church
Christy and Tyler Mobile, Alabama May Wedding St. Mary's Catholic Church

Once the I Do's were said & the rings exchanged, it was time to head back to the Bragg-Mitchell for a night of great food & dancing.

Christy and Tyler Bragg-Mitchell Mansion Mobile, Alabama May Wedding
Bragg-Mitchell Mansion Mobile, Alabama Wedding
Bragg-Mitchell Mansion Mobile, Alabama Wedding
Bragg-Mitchell Mansion Mobile, Alabama Wedding

Garth Brooks' "Calling Baton Rouge" was the perfect song for this Louisiana bride & her maids. 

Bragg-Mitchell Mansion Mobile, Alabama Wedding
Bragg-Mitchell Mansion Mobile Alabama Deborah Michelle Photography Christy & Tyler Wedding

Congrats again you two!

Here's a look at all who made Christy & Tyler's day of celebration so much fun: 

Photographer's Assistant: Toni Goodie
Ceremony: St. Mary Parish, Mobile AL
Reception Venue: Bragg-Mitchell Mansion
Florist: Kristy Berry
Band: Family Jewels, Veet's Bar
Cake: Pollman's Bake Shops
Hair & Makeup: Beth Glover Wilkerson
Transportation: Royal Limousine, LLC.

Catering: Naomi's Catering

Lauren | Spring Hill College Avenue of Oaks Bridal Portraits

Lauren | Avenue of Oaks Springhill College Bridal Portraits

Did you know that bridal portrait sessions date back to WWII? You see it was rare to have a photographer at your wedding back then, so the bride would go into the photographer's studio a few weeks before her wedding for a portrait in her wedding gown. And those portraits would become family keepsakes adorning the hallway of the bride's home for all to see. *Read more about this tradition over on Southern Weddings!

I have no doubt that Lauren's granddaughters will one day see these portraits of her & gasp at how beautiful of a bride she was. So elegant & timeless in her ballgown dress, yet young & romantic with her hair up & long veil drifting about in the breeze.

Do you ever think of the legacy you will leave behind? The memories that you will create with your family that will be shared with generations to come. The laughter. The joy. My prayer is that the portraits I capture for my brides will remind them of this special season in their lives. And with their hair all grey & laugh lines surrounding their face, they will tell stories to those gathered around her rocking chair of how she once fell in love in the most magical way.

Lauren | Avenue of Oaks Springhill College Bridal Portraits

Lauren is one of my most joyful brides. I absolutely loved spending time with her & her mother at the Avenue of Oaks on Springhill College's campus one Sunday afternoon. Overcast no doubt but made radiant by the bride's smile. I had way too many favorites from this bridal portrait session, so enjoy a few of them!

Lauren | Avenue of Oaks Springhill College Bridal Portraits
Lauren | Avenue of Oaks Springhill College Bridal Portraits
Lauren | Avenue of Oaks Springhill College Bridal Portraits
Lauren | Avenue of Oaks Springhill College Bridal Portraits
Lauren | Avenue of Oaks Springhill College Bridal Portraits

I cannot wait to share Lauren & Justin's wedding day with you soon! Stay tuned!


Bride's Gown & Veil: Bliss Bride Fairhope, Alabama

Venue: Spring Hill College Avenue of Oaks Mobile, Alabama

Hair & Makeup: Mallory Gleason Root 43 Salon

Florals: Trayce Mathis

Ring: Lou's Jewelry

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.

The Reichs | Citronelle Community Center Alabama Spring Wedding

Reich April Alabama Wedding Citronelle Community Center

Do you like to travel? I have a feeling that that was one of the questions these two asked each other on their first date. And when they both said, yes. Well that's when the real adventure began.

Nestled in quiet North Mobile County is the Citronelle Community Center which provided the gorgeous backdrop for Stephanie & Ryan's spring wedding day. The day began as most do, hair & makeup with the bride & her girls. But one of my favorite parts of the day was when Ryan saw his bride for the first time. *I had a sneak peak because of Stephanie's bridal portraits & I knew he'd be speechless when he laid eyes on her. The ceremony was short & sweet & their bridal party was so much fun. There was much joy & merriment throughout the evening as these two newlyweds were celebrated.

Congrats Stephanie & Ryan! I cannot wait to see what new places & adventures y'all embark on next as husband & wife!


Citronelle Community Center April Wedding
Adventure Wedding Mobile Alabama

As a nod to their love of traveling, Stephanie hand-painted this globe to hold all of their postcards in. How adorable?!

Bride and Mother of the Bride Southern Wedding Mobile Alabama
Bride getting ready Citronelle Community Center

AHHH! My favorite. He couldn't take his eyes off of his bride!

Stephanie and Ryan April Wedding Citronelle Alabama
April Wedding Bridal Party Alabama Weddings Deborah Michelle Photography

Seriously - this bridal party was so much fun to work with!

April Bridal Party Mobile Alabama Wedding Deborah Michelle Photography

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Just Married April Wedding Citronelle Community Center
Reich Wedding Deborah Michelle Photography Mobile Alabama
Reich Wedding April Mobile Alabama
Just Married Mobile Alabama April Wedding Deborah Michelle Photography

Pollman's Wedding Cake Citronelle Community Center April Wedding
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Reception Dancing Citronelle Community Center
Bubble Reception Exit Mobile Alabama Wedding Deborah Michelle Photography

Vendors:

Photographer: Deborah Michelle Photography

Second Photographer: Joanna Lee

Venue: Citronelle Community Center - Citronelle, Alabama

Bride's Dress: Bliss Bridal - Fairhope, Alabama

Bridesmaids Dresses - David's Bridal

Groom & Groomsmen Attire: Randall's Tuxedos - Mobile, Alabama

Cake: Pollman's Bakery - Mobile, Alabama

Caterer: Bruce Holmes

DJ: Southern Aire DJ's

Rings: Blue Nile

The Towerys | 11.11.17

Jordan and Callie November Wedding Ethel, Lousiana

Faithful You have been and faithful You will be
You pledge yourself to me and it's why I sing
Your praise will ever be on my lips, ever be on my lips

These words were sung out as an anthem at the beginning of Callie & Jordan's wedding ceremony on November 4th, 2017. The Lake at Oakhill in Ethel, Louisiana provided the most perfect backdrop for this sweet fall wedding.

From the moment I met Callie I knew we'd become friends. We shared a bond that only a few understand. And as we discussed her wedding day, she shared with me one special detail. A few years ago her father passed away & her grandmother had saved some of the roses & dried them. And she was going to have the flower girls drop those precious petals down the aisle. So this daddy's girl would still be walked down the aisle by her sweet dad.

The entire day was an act of worship. From the moment Jordan saw his bride standing in white at their first look to the ceremony performed by the bride's grandfather to the sweet fellowship of family & friends around fire pits at the reception making smores.

This love story was certainly a delight to capture. And I am reminded that I truly have been blessed with the best clients who trust me with their special memories. Enjoy a look back on Callie & Jordan's first day as husband & wife!

Jordan and Callie The Lake at Oakhill Ethel Lousiana November Wedding

Jordan and Callie The Lake at Oakhill Ethel Lousiana November Wedding
Jordan and Callie The Lake at Oakhill Ethel Lousiana November Wedding
Jordan and Callie The Lake at Oakhill Ethel Lousiana November Wedding
Jordan and Callie The Lake at Oakhill Ethel Lousiana November Wedding
Jordan and Callie The Lake at Oakhill Ethel Lousiana November Wedding

This. This is one moment of the wedding day that I treasure. Most of the time you’re rushed from hair to makeup & your mind races with all the things that must come together. But this is a time where it’s just you & your momma. You are the bride in white & all of the planning is done. Take a deep breath sweet girl, you are about to see your groom.


Jordan and Callie The Lake at Oakhill Ethel Lousiana November Wedding
Jordan and Callie The Lake at Oakhill Ethel Lousiana November Wedding First Look
Jordan and Callie November Wedding Day The Lake at Oakhill Louisiana
Jordan and Callie The Lake at Oakhill Ethel Lousiana November Wedding
Jordan and Callie The Lake at Oakhill Ethel Lousiana November Wedding

Their venue, The Lake at Oakhill, was the most perfect backdrop for their wedding day. I was slightly obsessed with this wall of windows. Keep scrolling for one of my favorite night photographs.


Jordan and Callie The Lake at Oakhill Ethel Lousiana November Wedding
Jordan and Callie The Lake at Oakhill Ethel Lousiana November Wedding Bridesmaids
Jordan and Callie The Lake at Oakhill Ethel Lousiana November Wedding
Jordan and Callie The Lake at Oakhill Ethel Lousiana November Wedding
Jordan and Callie The Lake at Oakhill Ethel Lousiana November Wedding
Jordan and Callie The Lake at Oakhill Ethel Lousiana November Wedding
Jordan and Callie The Lake at Oakhill Ethel Lousiana November Wedding
Jordan and Callie The Lake at Oakhill Ethel Lousiana November Wedding
Jordan and Callie The Lake at Oakhill Ethel Lousiana November Wedding

When you plan your ceremony around golden hour & get that perfect glow for just married portraits. AH! Love, love, LOVE!

Jordan and Callie The Lake at Oakhill Ethel Lousiana November Wedding
Jordan and Callie The Lake at Oakhill Ethel Lousiana November Wedding

Yall, they had a doughnut cake. Need I say more???

Jordan and Callie The Lake at Oakhill Ethel Lousiana November Wedding Doughnut Cake
Jordan and Callie The Lake at Oakhill Ethel Lousiana November Wedding
Jordan and Callie The Lake at Oakhill Ethel Lousiana November Wedding
Ethel Louisiana The Lake at Oakhill November Wedding Smores
Jordan and Callie The Lake at Oakhill Ethel Lousiana November Wedding

Congrats Mr. & Mrs. Towery!

Thanks for asking me to capture your love story & be a part of your wedding day.

Shout out to all the awesome vendors who made this day happen!

Venue: The Lake at Oakhill - Ethel, Louisiana

Bride's Dress: Bliss Bridal - Fairhope, Alabama

Wedding Coordinator: Maggie Tenhundfeld with Moss & Lace Weddings & Events

Videographer: Wildfire Cinematography

Groom & Groomsmen Attire: Men's Wearhouse


Can't get over how ridiculously precious Callie & Jordan are?

Have no fear - click here to see their engagement session!

Lauren & Justin | Engaged

Lauren and Justin Mobile Alabama Engagement

One of the sweetest things about being a photographer is becoming a part of people's stories. Sometimes even becoming a part of the family. As a photographer you are entrusted with some of the most exciting seasons in one's life. From marriage to babies, I've seen it all behind the lens.

A few summers ago I met Lauren at her brother's wedding & now here we are planning hers. Lauren met her beau, Justin, at church & never dreamed of the adventure that the following years would entail. "I know for a fact that God sent him to our church so that we could meet. He is my best friend, makes me laugh constantly & is the most caring guy that I know."

Justin would later propose to Lauren in that same church. As they walked into the sanctuary with rose petals and candles set up on the stage, she instantly knew the question he was about to ask. All the years of prayers led to this moment & they both stood trusting in God's perfect plan. "It was the sweetest proposal and I couldn't have asked for it to be any better than it was," Lauren commented.

Lauren and Justin Mobile Alabama Fall Engagement
Lauren and Justin Mobile Alabama Fall Engagement Lou's Jewelry

Lou's Jewelry in Mobile, Alabama did it again! They crafted the perfect ring for Lauren.

Lauren and Justin Mobile Alabama Fall Engagement
Lauren and Justin Mobile Alabama Fall Engagement

You'll be seeing more of Lauren & Justin soon as they prepare for their June 2018 wedding!

Tori & Trey | Engaged

DMP Favs | Tori & Trey-6.jpg

I believe in finding someone who makes you laugh. From the blushing giggles on the first date to the abs-on-fire laughter after a long day of unpacking boxes in your new home. A wise man once said, "Your only goal in life is to keep her laughing. If you can do that, you're good."

I have no doubt that Trey will keep Tori laughing for the rest of their lives. Her smile can light up any room & I'm sure Trey doesn't mind bringing that smile to her face on a daily basis.  Their engagement session was my first to photograph as an engaged photographer! Ah! It's so fun to celebrate alongside my couples & share in the excitement of this season.

Tori & Trey are absolutely adorable & basically rocked their entire portrait time. Congrats you two!

Tori & Trey Mobile Alabama Engagement
Tori & Trey Mobile Alabama Engagement
Tori & Trey Mobile Alabama Engagement
Tori & Trey Mobile Alabama Engagement
Tori & Trey Mobile Alabama Engagement
Tori & Trey Mobile Alabama Engagement

I simply adore these two.

Tori & Trey Mobile Alabama Engagement

Lou's Jewelry in Mobile, Alabama is the best. They made Tori her dream ring. Isn't it stunning?!

Tori & Trey Mobile Alabama Fall Engagement

So very excited to capture their wedding day this August!

The Odoms | 10.14.17

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Often times you hear of two high school sweethearts falling in love & getting married. And I am lucky enough to have witnessed one of those sweet stories with my own eyes. It was the most perfect October day when these two began their journey as husband & wife.

The bride dreamed of being like Cinderella on her wedding day, after all their proposal happened at Disney! Her vision came to life that day as she tiptoed to her prince charming for the first time & then later as he twirled her around the dance floor.

Catherine & Ocean couldn't stop smiling the entire day & neither could I! What a treat it was to celebrate their wedding day with family & friends.

Catherine & Ocean Robertsdale Alabama October Wedding
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I believe in traditions. Keeping them & making new ones too. Each one brings forth memories much like a sixpence carried by your mother & grandmother on their wedding days. Now it's your turn to carry on the sweet tradition. I loved incoorparting these family heirlooms into Catherine's bridal details.

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Catherine & Ocean Robertsdale Alabama October Wedding

Robertsdale Alabama October Wedding
Robertsdale Alabama October Wedding

Robertsdale Alabama October Wedding
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I have said it before but I will say it again. Make time, even if it's just 15 minutes, for "Just Married" portraits. They always turn out to be some of my favorites portraits of the entire wedding day.

Catherine and Ocean October Wedding Robertsdale Alabama
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All the wonderful vendors who made Catherine & Ocean's wedding dreams come true:

Bride's Dress: Bliss Bridal - Fairhope, Alabama

Ceremony & Reception: Baldwin County Coliseum & Fairgrounds

Cake: Cakes by Vickie

Catering: Guido's

DJ: DJ Que Events

Florist: Hub City Florist

Catharine & Kevin | Engaged

Catharine & Kevin Springhill Mobile Alabama Engagement Session

Early morning sessions normally aren't my thing but between these two & that light, I might schedule them more often.

Catharine & Kevin met in college during an anatomy class & have been dating for nearly 3 years. Now they are planning a small & intimate Spring wedding. I have photographed them both individually but never together. And what a treat that was to finally have that opportunity.

We met up for their engagement session at Springhill College & walked along the avenue of grand oaks with their precious pup, Ava. Enjoy a few of my favorites from their session!

Catharine & Kevin Springhill Mobile Alabama Engagement Session
Catharine & Kevin | Springhill Mobile Alabama Engagement Session
Catharine & Kevin Springhill Mobile Alabama Engagement Session

Catharine & Kevin Springhill Mobile Alabama Engagement Session
Catharine & Kevin Springhill Mobile Alabama Engagement Session
Catharine & Kevin Springhill Mobile Alabama Engagement Session
Catharine & Kevin Springhill Mobile Alabama Engagement Session

A Year in Review | 2017

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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

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  • 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!

Dauphin Island Engagement session
  • 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!

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


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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.