Isn't Bethany a knockout!? Not only is she a beautifully talented actress, but one of my closest friends, which made it SO fun to shoot with her! We have a very similar Free People / bohemian / flower child style, so styling a shoot for her was kind of like doing one for myself. Years ago, during a day of exploring in North Georgia, I came across what I like to call the Buggy Graveyard. I did a photo session up there way back then but had always wanted to go back and Bethany was the perfect subject for that location.
Most people want to break out of prison. Patrick and I, we break in. Ok, so maybe it's not an functioning prison anymore, but it was once.
I've wanted to shoot at the Atlanta Prison Farm for quite some time and Patrick Logan, a super talented actor friend of mine, was the perfect person to bring for the occasion. Not only is he big and could protect me if some crazy person came out from behind a set of rusty prison bars, but his look and vibe lend perfectly to the atmosphere there. This historic East Atlanta location was in operation from 1945 to 1995, but now sits burnt and defunct, overgrown with kudzu and splattered with graffiti.
A really cool thing about shooting with Patrick was that I got to play around with some shots that aren't my typical style, but that I think turned out pretty great. I love the dark, tough, gritty nature of these.
**Though this abandoned place is surely calling to all urban explorers, be warned that you are at risk when going here. We were lucky enough to wrap up our shoot just as some SWAT guys showed up to kick us out... and very, very lucky not to get in more trouble than just a stern talking to. I recommend getting permission before entering.
About three years ago, my dear friend, Lidia, made a big decision for her family. She and her husband moved from New York to Illinois in search of a simpler life for their sweet twins, who at the time were a year old. Though she and I have been able to see each other and work together several times over those three years, it was never in her new home, so I finally set aside a long weekend to head up there to visit them... and their little new addition! They added another boy to their family, Christian Henry, a month ago! We didn't do a traditional family photo session, rather, we took photos here and there throughout the weekend-- at home, at a farm, in a cornfield. Between one cloudy day that made the skies so interesting and another perfect fall day with that golden light every photographer loves to play with, we snapped quite a few photos. Here are a handful of them!
I just love when babies make this "whatchu talkin bout" face! (above)
Guys! It's been almost a year since I last posted a blog-- sorry!! Life gets crazy, but I assure you, it's been adventure-filled. Now that the weather is cooling down and I'll be spending a little more time indoors, I'll be updating the blog more. I've found that I'll hold onto a set of photos because I want to edit them, but then when it comes down to it, they are pretty cool all on their own. Nearly all of my other urban exploration photos are unedited, so this set is the same. I've played with a couple of them, but otherwise, they're untouched.
This set of photos is from early spring 2015. My friend, Kelsie (www.SalvationPhotography.com) and I went on an adventure out to Madison, Georgia. We heard that there were some abandoned plantation houses worth checking out, so we decided to make a day of it. Our main goal was one house in particular (pictured below), but we made a few stops along the way.
Thanks for being such an awesome model and adventure partner, Kelsie!!
I am so blessed to be surrounded by many talented friends and artists, and this shoot is the perfect example of artistic collaboration. I had originally dreamed up the idea to do a bridal shoot a couple years ago, styling it in a way that expresses my personal style-- bohemian, sun-kissed and dreamy. Over time, I discovered many people in my life who would also benefit from such a shoot.
First off, you'll notice the girls are wearing several different headpieces, which have all been designed by my good friend, Suzy, owner of Blue Dew Design. The headpieces and boutonnières shown here, as well as many more, can be purchased on her Etsy store here: Blue Dew Design
Next, the majestic horse, Spirit, was brought on board by my friend, Anne. Anne has been wanting to get Spirit involved in more weddings. They are located at Dovetail Farms in Marietta, GA and are available for bookings! To have Spirit at your wedding or event, click here: Bridal Horse Dreams
After that, another friend of mine, Clairetia, volunteered to do makeup for the shoot. Clairetia has quickly become my go-to makeup artist who most of my clients use on shoots with me. She does beautiful work and is so easy to work with. To book Clairetia for your next shoot, email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Modeling, we had the handsome Josh Henry as our groom, the gorgeous Emily Eplan as our bride and the adorable Kristina Adler as her bridesmaid.
Additionally, Brock Hanson and Elliot Liss of Jump Cut Collective came out to do some videography of the morning's shoot. The work these guys do never fails to tell a breathtaking story. Can't wait to share their footage... that may be a different blog in the near future.
Jamie Miles rocked it as my right hand man, assisting with anything and everything that came up... thank you, Jamie!!
Thank you so much to all involved! You guys are amazing XO
Doesn't Ari belong in a Free People ad??
These portfolio-building shoots for young models are quickly becoming my favorite kind of shoot to do. Not only do I get to be a little more creative with them, but it's pretty exciting to help someone figure out their path, find their voice and teach them how to express themselves in a photo. I look forward to seeing what Ari and all my other models do down the road.
Model: Ari / MUA: Clairetia Dave / PA: Jamie Miles / Photographer: Nicole Kovacs
Model: Mary Ann / MUA: Clairetia Dave / PA: Bethany Tiller / Photographer: Nicole Kovacs
Recently, I was asked to photograph the many delicious dishes offered at Sufi's, the premiere Persian restaurant in the Buckhead neighborhood of Atlanta. I've gotten to know the owner, Mohsen, over the years, as well as his wonderful family, so it was a great pleasure to be able to document and tell the community about his restaurant. Though there may be Persian restaurants in neighboring suburbs, Sufi's is the only one in Atlanta proper, conveniently located on Peachtree Street NE. Below is a gallery of just a few of the dishes I sampled and photographed during my visit.
Sufi's will be participating in Taste of Atlanta for the second time this year! Taste of Atlanta will be held this weekend, October 24-26th, and the restaurant will have a booth on the 25th & 26th, where visitors can stop by and have a preview of the aromatic, flavorful Persian dishes offered in the restaurant.
I sat down with Mohsen to ask him a few questions about Sufi's and his experience navigating the competitive Atlanta restaurant scene.
Nicole: Mohsen, tell me about your background. When did you
come to the United States?
Mohsen: I came here [from Shiraz, Iran] in July of 1977. We were supposed to finish
school and then go back home, but then of course, the war
happened and the revolution; that was in 1979. So we
couldn't even go back anymore because of the situation. After
seventeen years, I went back there for the first time. In the
end, we just stayed here and this became home.
Nicole: Wow. Now that you're here and have a new life, you've
started a restaurant with your family. What do you love
most about having this business with your family?
Mohsen: I think, overall, it's much better to run the business as a
family because we take extra care of it, we can trust each
other and be together.
Nicole: What would you say sets Sufi's apart from other Persian
restaurants in the area? What makes Sufi's special?
Mohsen: Atlanta has a lot of restaurants and people have so many
choices, but our food is really new to people, so when people
try it and they like it, they become our customers. We
concentrate on food. Of course, atmosphere and service too,
but my concentration is on the food. I worked with eight chefs
to get my recipes; we've put a lot of time into perfecting the
quality of our product. We always have the freshest, best
products and we're always consistent. I would say we're the
best when it comes to the food
Nicole: I have to agree. What would you say is the most traditional
Mohsen: Traditional Persian food is the gormeh sabzi, gemeh
bademjoon, fesenjoon. Those are our traditional Persian dishes.
Nicole: So, the stews.
Mohsen: Yes, kabobs really come after that. Stews, back home, when
your mom would cook, she would make a lot of the different
stews. Kabobs, you wouldn't cook at home, those, you go to
restaurants and weddings, they bring the kabobs.
Nicole: Ah, so the stews are the home-cooked feel.
Mohsen: Not everyone knows how to make the kabob, the kabob is
very special. There are many different marinations and the
grilling... the grilling is an art.
I can't give a higher recommendation for Sufi's. Everything I've tasted and experienced, from the mind-blowing hummus (you'll never be able to eat store bought again), to the refreshing cucumber cooler martini that paired perfectly with my food, to the succulent salmon, served with a flavorful baghala polo (dill and fava bean rice) and finally, the baklava and Persian ice cream (you absolutely must try both), I was in food heaven. Psst-- everything I just mentioned, except for the cucumber cooler, is photographed in the slideshow above.
Swing by the restaurant and relax on their beautiful Mediterranean inspired patio sometime soon! They're located at 1814 Peachtree Street NE, Atlanta. Make sure to stop by their Taste of Atlanta booth this weekend as well! Hope to see you there!
Right: The wood stone oven used to bake all of the pita bread fresh to order... I've gotta say, it's irresistible. They serve it with a sabzi plate, which includes fresh mint leaves, tarragon and basil, along with feta cheese, kalamata olives and all kinds of other goodies!
Follow Sufi's on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SufisAtlanta
I love how every wedding I have the opportunity to shoot is so different, always representing the couple in a special way. The wedding of Tania and Paul was so "them". Tania has a chic, simple, timeless style and the wedding was just that. Instead of lots of formal photos as most couples choose, Tania and Paul wanted to keep the photos very photojournalistic, telling the story of their day with lots of candid black and white photos.
Their nuptials were an intimate event, with only 20 to 25 guests in the beautiful Bistro VG in Roswell, Georgia. The bistro's clean white decor, natural textures and huge windows, allowing light to pour in, were a perfect fit for Tania and Paul... and made me very happy as a photographer!
And on to the delicious dinner, filled with music performed by various family members!
To see Tania and Paul's engagement photos, click HERE.
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