Happy Wedding Anniversary to Lauren & Graham | Arden Photography

Happy EARLY one-year anniversary to Lauren and Graham! Arden Photography was beyond over-joyed to be included in your wedding celebration on April 28 2018, especially at our special place we call home, Windwood Equestrian. I loved being able to relive this beautiful day looking through your photos. You guys are truly a beautiful couple, inside and out, and I wish you so much love for the future.


Wedding Day: Beauty Essentials Checklist | Arden Photography

It is REALLY easy to get wrapped up in how the big picture of your wedding day is going to look like. We’ve all been in that position of last-minute, impulse packing, and when you arrive at your destination, you realize you have forgotten the tiniest detail that makes all of the difference. So, here’s to you! I made a quick and easy list, beauty edition, for you to check off on your wedding day. Say bye-bye to having to turn that car around or sprinting through a Walgreens, and say hello to a relaxing, stress-free pampering sesh!

  • Lipstick color of choice

    • If you have a h&mu team, they’ll most likely have lip colors to use, but it’s always nice to have one of your own to touch up throughout the day and keep your lip color intact and fresh.

  • Hairspray

    • A LOT of things can occur right before that special moment of walking down the aisle, especially with your mane. Having a travel-sized hairspray handy can keep those fly-aways out of your face and secure any undesired loose business.

  • Bobby pins/Hair elastics

    • As previously stated, hair can be very unpredictable. Having a couple of bobby pins/hair elastics laying around can be useful if hair goes array.

  • Lash glue

    • If you wear fake lashes, lash glue is a must! Emotions will be flowing, or at least your allergies might, and watery eyes can lead to lashes falling right off. Lash glue on hand is perfect for fixing up any teary-eyed issues.

  • Makeup brush

    • Taking pictures before your ceremony can quickly make anyone get an undesired, “oily” glow. A makeup brush that you’ve used with your personal powder, or even one with no product on it, can blot the oiliness right off of your face.

  • Teasing comb

    • Fix fly-aways or add some volume to your locks. Most teasing combs are small in stature, so they’re easy to tote around.

  • Waterproof mascara

    • Keep those lashes locked into place and free from worry about happy tears.

  • Tweezers

    • Tweezers are never not useful and can be used for a variety of actions like: plucking eyebrows, putting on lashes, fixing jewelry, etc.

  • Nail polish

    • Ever have one of those “why do bad things happen to good people” moments? At least that’s my exact thoughts when I chip a nail. Stowing away your nail color will prevent that thought from even starting to run across your mind (and keep the mani fresh for those up-close ring shots).

  • Water

    • As funny as it may sound, forgetting to stay hydrated is really easy when you’re getting ready for that smooch of a lifetime. Not only does it keep you from being parched, but drinking a lot of water several weeks before your wedding can help clear up skin and your digestive tract.

What to Consider... Bridal Hair Tips from Hair Stylist Amanda Sturgis | Arden Photography

Amanda Sturgis is a cosmetologist with a specialization in hair cut & color based in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. She works at Salon Studios in Northport, Alabama.

With over 25 years under her belt, Amanda has seen it all in the cosmetology world. Bleach fails, the “I thought it was going to turn out this color” plea, & bad cuts galore have yet to deter her from this passion. Rather, she welcomes it with open arms to help get her client’s back to their most comfortable & confident state. Amanda makes it her goal to have her clients not only happy, but also educated so that they know why she may recommend something different from their original hair excursion. Healthy hair is a priority when you sit down in her salon chair.

Primarily a salon hair stylist with a devoted clientele, weddings are far & few between, but that doesn’t mean she hasn’t had her fair share of preparing lovely brides on their wedding.

Below are a few tips & considerations to make when thinking about YOUR big day’s locks:

  • Enhance what you’ve been naturally given.

    • You want to look & feel like the best version of yourself on your wedding day.

  • The hair style you choose should be dependent on your dress style and the time of day, time of year, & theme of your wedding.

    • To make everything look cohesive & to feel the most comfortable, you’ll want to be aware of your wedding-day decisions prior to setting your mind onto a hair style.

  • Soft, natural curls & updos are on trend right now.

    • Be unique & do what makes you happy. If that’s following trends because you like the style & the way it makes you feel, then go for it. If not, talk it out with your hair stylist to create a style that enhances your beauty the most and makes you feel unique during your celebration.

  • If styling your hair with elastics and/or bobby pins, make sure they match your hair color or are translucent.

    • Pesky hair ties/bobby pins can distract from your hair style in pictures and in person. Have your stylist hide them within the hair style or use something similar to your hair color so that they will blend right in.

  • When using hair spray, make sure it doesn’t leave a film over your hair and that your hair still has movement.

    • Too many a times people feel that for a hair style to stay, they have to spray a TON of hairspray into their hair, yet if you have a quality hairspray your hair style should stay intact all day long without leaving it looking and feeling crunchy.

Photo by: Kali Sturgis

Photo by: Kali Sturgis

Makeup Tips from Birmingham H&MU Artist Madeline Hulsey | Arden Photography

Madeline Hulsey is a professional hair & make-up artist based in Birmingham, Alabama. She works at Wildflower Hair and Nail Studio in Mountain Brook, Alabama. Madeline, better known as Maddie, specializes in hair cutting & coloring, & she has been doing hair & makeup as a career since she was 16 years old.

Maddie never meets a stranger. Her kind-hearted, bubbly personality always leaves her customers feeling enlightened & joyous by her radiant character.

Working in the beauty community for several years now, Maddie knows a thing or two when it comes to preparing her brides & bridal parties, albeit she would never admit that herself.

Here are a few quick & easy tips Maddie swears by to leave your wedding day, at least the hair & makeup aspect, a little more stress-free:

  • Sometimes… less is more. On your wedding day, ensure to enhance your beauty instead of reinventing an entirely new look.

    • You want people to appreciate the beauty you already have shining within you.


    • Water keeps your skin replenished and gives it that top-notch bridal glow.

  • Get plenty of rest. You would be surprised with how much a few extra hours of sleep helps on your big day.

    • More sleep = clear skin, reduced stress, less fatigue, & less bloating.

  • Skincare is KEY for a refreshed look. Start a stable skincare routine a few months out from your wedding.

    • By giving yourself enough time in between finding out what skin products work for you & your big celebration, your skin will be thanking you for giving it that little extra attention & time, & you will be feeling unstoppable.

  • Make sure your in love with your trial run.

    • If you’re not feeling something during your trial, you most likely won’t be feeling it on your wedding day either. Ask questions or suggest something you want to do. It is YOUR big day after all, we just want to make you feel comfortable & special.

  • Get a lip color you adore & take it to your trial.

    • This allows you not to have to worry about pesky touch-ups after the hair & make-up team head out. Some artists give you a complimentary lip color, but that isn’t the case all of the time.

  • Make sure your hair is freshly colored and shiny for your big day.

    • Of course, only if you want to. Fresh color and conditioning treatments just give your hair that extra luster you’ll be appreciating looking back at photographs.

  • Lashes are a MUST!

    • They make your eyes appear more wide awake & bright, & they pull together the final touches of any makeup look.

    • You can also get them customized with individual lashes so that you can control the lash intensity, volume, & length.

Photo by: Arden Upton

Photo by: Arden Upton

Photo by: Arden Upton

Photo by: Arden Upton

Photo by: Arden Upton

Photo by: Arden Upton

Thank You Kimberly and Olivia!

Olivia’s mother, Kimberly, emailed me not too long ago to inquire about my Equus collection prints. She told me that her 11-year-old daughter is part of the hippotherapy program, Horse Ability, in New York where they live. Olivia is special needs with a rare genetic deletion that requires special attention and daily forms of therapy. She loves horses. Kimberly told me that Olivia is so happy when she is riding.  As a board member of Special Equestrians, it is these stories that truly touch my heart.

I hope you love the print of L’ami Noir – it is one of my favorites! Thank you for reaching out and sharing your story with me. Keep riding, Olivia!

If you have any questions about hippotherapy, please click the link to learn more. Programs like Special Equestrians are unique in their aim to provide therapy for persons with special needs. 

11-year-old Olivia. Thank you for the photos, Kimberly!

11-year-old Olivia. Thank you for the photos, Kimberly!

Arden Ward Upton: Alabama's Finest "Artist of the Year"

Gadsden Museum of Art has chosen Arden Ward Upton as the 2014 Artist of the Year. Her Equus collection will debut December 7, 2014 and will hang in the museum until January 20, 2015. In the gallery collection will be a few new editions to her ever-growing Equus fine art including the release of the Italy "Snow Polo" images. Please be sure to click the link to visit the Gadsden Museum of Art website for any additional information. The grand opening of the Equus gallery will be Dec. 7, 2014 from 2-4pm. 

Sex and the Southern City

Sex and the City – we have all watched it, we have all identified with one of the characters, we have probably even taken an online quiz to tell us which character we “are” (but really – who is ever completely honest about their answers on those anyway?).  We have definitely had conversations with our friends naming everyone of the group a Carrie, Charlotte, Miranda or Samantha – probably while drinking cosmos and dishing on the latest gossip.

Recently, Jersey Belle was proclaimed to be the next Sex and the City – but of the south. Jaime Sullivan designated each of the girls to be one of the original four of SATC. So then, is Arden Ward really the Miranda Hobbs of Jersey Belle? Or is she more like Carrie Bradshaw?

Click photo to read original article on @E!online 

Click photo to read original article on @E!online 

Miranda is determined, hardworking, brutally honest, and fiercely loyal. But she is also seen as cynical, self-loathing, and incredibly guarded. Arden is without a doubt professionally driven and hardworking and like Jaime said, she is a voice of reason much like Miranda is for Carrie.

Carrie has an affinity for stylish clothes and expensive shoes, she dates all the wrong guys, and is on the holy grail of quests – that of true love. She has her drawbacks as well: she is anxious and a bit unsure of herself, repeatedly changing her mind whether it be about which shoes to wear or whether or not to dump Mr. Big this week. If you know Arden at all then you know that she too has been searching for her “happily ever after” as well. Like Carrie, she juggles the weight of a career, life, and love.

Interestingly enough, in the show, Miranda and Carrie are the closest out of the group. They are a good balance to each other: one, the warrior and the other, the dreamer. Arden is not one of these characters, but a blended mix of both. She has had her share dating the wrong guys, finally finding true love just like Carrie and Miranda. And while she is a hard working go-getter, she is ultimately a romantic – an idealist: a warrior with big dreams.

Arden's  SATC  quiz results 

Arden's SATC quiz results 

So who watched "Jersey Belle" on Bravo TV?

I believe America is going to love Jersey Belle. The premier was surreal. Watching with friends and family was a great experience, and I look forward to seeing the next 7 episodes. I appreciate that the show represents the South in a beautiful way and shows the great personalities of all involved. I also appreciate this opportunity and cherish the bonds this experience has brought into my life. 

If you haven't tuned in already Jersey Belle airs on Monday nights 10/9c on Bravo TV

Haley Young, Luci Beavers, Leigh Anne Oakley, Arden Ward Upton, Scarlett Simmons, Danielle Yancey, Jaime Primak Sullivan photo:Skip Bolen for Bravo

Haley Young, Luci Beavers, Leigh Anne Oakley, Arden Ward Upton, Scarlett Simmons, Danielle Yancey, Jaime Primak Sullivan photo:Skip Bolen for Bravo

Leigh Anne Oakley, Arden Ward Upton, Scarlett Simmons, Jaime Primak Sullivanm Luci Beavers, Haley Young, Danielle Yancey

Leigh Anne Oakley, Arden Ward Upton, Scarlett Simmons, Jaime Primak Sullivanm Luci Beavers, Haley Young, Danielle Yancey

Arden Ward Upton and Jaime Primak Sullivan, Jersey Belle

Arden Ward Upton and Jaime Primak Sullivan, Jersey Belle

Arden and William Upton Jaime - Michael and Jaime Sullivan - Jersey Belle

Arden and William Upton Jaime - Michael and Jaime Sullivan - Jersey Belle


During the presidential elections we received an amazing phone call from the Democratic party to photograph Barack Obama while he was in Birmingham. At the time we took these shots it was so exciting but now that he is our nation’s 44TH president and we had the opportunity to photograph him on his way to the White House it seems surreal. It is funny how when you are in the middle of history in the making it can just go so fast. I am glad to have a time to reflect on the personal experience I had with photographing President Obama. Take a look at the images!

Thank you

People are always asking me…Why do you photograph weddings? Aren’t you so stressed out? All the pressure how do you handle it?

Well this note from Fleming’s mom came in the mail yesterday and this is exactly why I love to shoot wedding!

“You captured so many moments that day so memorable to all of us.” In reference to the book- “Looking at it is really reliving the day.”

Although the wedding days can be a little stressful from time to time and we really have 1 chance for perfection, it is when I get notes like this that I know I am doing what I love and what was meant for me.

Photogirl Retreat 2008

I am in Nag’s Head this week on a photogirl retreat working on new photo Ideas for weddings, senior portraits, and family photography. We are having an awesome time. Check out some of the images.


Martie Knows Parties

Picture%201.pngMartie Knows Parties is live on MSN featuring Arden Photography images! Check it out! Martie Knows Parties

I am so excited to see this up! Some of the images were from the Kid One Mardi Gras Ball as well as other images so check and see if you know someone! It is awesome that Birmingham locals are making it to the www.MSN.com website and lifestyles section. I know this will be a big hit!

Someone else with a camera

It isn’t very often that someone else is around with a camera. I am usually the one taking images so I was very excited to get a few snaps while we were on our trip to Cancun. Thanks Jessica and Brad you guys have taken some cute shots! I think ya’ll like the camera as much as I do!CIMG0126.jpgCIMG0131.jpgCIMG0145.jpgCIMG0154.jpg