About Us - wgaphotos

Our Story

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Our personal story:

It all started around 2006. Karen had aspired to be a photographer for years for two simple reasons: one being  the obvious reason- our time here is fleeting and there are so many faces and moments that can fade from our memory. Photos remember for you. Secondly, she always had surreal images in her mind that she wanted to be able to create in a photograph using lighting and imagination. It started out simple enough, a small studio in the backyard and an entry level camera with some cheap little lights from ebay. SHP began as a simple portrait studio where you could sit in front of a backdrop and say "cheese". The trouble was that although she had a deep desire to be a photographer, she was no techie. There's so much more to being a photographer than just buying the stuff. There are modes and settings and f stops and iso and metering and the list goes on and on. It's more than a little frustrating when you have a burning desire to create an image and you just can't seem to figure out where you're going wrong. So Karen worked with what she knew and rocked that little setup and went as far as she could for several years. There are moments in your life that are so profound and you may not even know it at the time, but eventually you can look back at that moment and know that it was a defining moment in your life. For us, it was a moment of huge significance- a dividing time of "before this" and "after this". That moment was when Karen drug her husband Lonnie kicking and screaming to a 3 day photo conference in Atlanta. She didn't want to be there alone so being the nice considerate guy he is, he only really rolled his eyes a little and breathed really hard a few times. And here's where Lonnie's story begins.


Having never had an interest in photography whatsoever, Lonnie attended the conference classes with his wife and endured lots of photo talk. When she wanted to attend a class on maternity he decided to bow out and go to another class on lighting. He came out of that room a changed man. Something had flipped a switch and he somehow had learned things that take most photographers years. Karen was jealous, and no she's not over it yet either. Long story short, Lonnie became the man who could not only make Karen's heart flutter but could also bring all of her visions to life. SHP was no longer confined to a "say cheese in front of the backdrop" studio . Nope. SHP was outside, using lighting and equipment in ways that created the image exactly as Karen had seen it in her mind. Lonnie is now the lead photographer for SHP and Karen is the creative, the pose lady, and the nit picker. Lonnie eventually left his full time job and is now a full time photographer with his wife Karen. People often ask, "how do you guys stand being around each other ALL THE TIME?" Well, the answer is simple. "We are best friends, and we always have been. Yeah we fight, and it's usually in the middle of a wedding reception when we have opposing views on what picture we think is best, but at the end of the day there's no other place we'd rather be than with each other. "Lonnie and Karen live in Bremen Ga. and have two daughters, Gracie and Claire. In their free time they enjoy -guess what?- spending more time together :)


Our style:

We love dramatic lighting and beautiful scenery. If you're looking for a natural light or journalistic style then that's not us. (we can point you  to someone who can do that though!) We are traditional with a dramatic flair. We love pushing the limits of our gear and getting images that the average photo enthusiast can't. For us, nothing is better than taking a photo and looking at the back of that camera and thinking, "holy crap that's awesome!"