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The Decisive Moment Wedding Photojournalism – Atlanta Wedding Photography bio picture
  • How Will You Tell YOUR Story?

    The Decisive Moment is a family of documentary photojournalists and artists with creative, unique and skilled approaches to wedding photography. Our passion is storytelling through images and capturing your unique story in it's very best light. At The Decisive Moment, we document your day as it happens. Our unobtrusive approach captures real events and genuine emotions of your wedding day, reflecting the spirit, spontaneity and interaction that is uniquely yours.
    Our photographers are Adam Linke, Jessica McGowan, Jean Shifrin, and Jason Seagle. We hope you will take some time to read more about each of them and view their work on their individual pages.

I LOVE working with a team of passionate people.  Our passion drives everything we do, every decision we make and every aspect of our business!  I also love getting a glimpse of where that passion stems from and how it has shaped our artists’ lives and work!  We have the honor of working with the indelible Melissa Bugg every day.  I am so thankful for her desire to share not only the root of her love of documenting moments but also the reason behind her dedication to beautifully preserving those moments!  Bugg is both a brilliant photographer and also our album designer guru here at The Decisive Moment.  Her dedication to beautifully and artistically preserving each story is evident in the stunning albums our clients treasure.  Here is a glimpse of why…

Melissa Bugg

Melissa Bugg | Atlanta Wedding Photojournalist

I am the granddaughter of a World War II Veteran. A man who loved being out in his yard, building model cars and genealogy. He was an amateur photographer, an organist and a historian. He served his country, his church, his community and his family. I never saw him without a smile on his face. He was one of the biggest loves of my life.

I was holding him when he took his last breath two years ago.  His death forever changed me. And it further strengthened my perspective on my photography and why it is that I do what I do.

After his passing, we were left with the daunting task of cleaning out his house. So many things to go through.  So many decisions to make about what to do with everything. I don’t know the exact moment, but as we were boxing and wrapping and setting things aside, I realized that we weren’t just going through his belongings, but instead his life story. His old organ he used to play at family gatherings. The chair he always sat in. The dining room table where we shared so many holiday meals. They all held so many memories. I stumbled upon shelves full of photo albums that I had never seen before. It took my breath away. I flipped through pages upon pages of carefully placed photos in scrapbooks. Photographs from his time serving during the war. From his marriage to a grandmother I never knew. To photos of my mom as a child. These photos were his way of recording history. His history. My family’s history. Now his legacy.

He must have known on some level that he was not just saving these photos for himself but that he was saving them for me and my family. That he was taking pictures not because he could, but because he *should*. That they would one day tell the story of a life well lived. He has left us a priceless gift.

Like my grandfather, I am a historian in my own way. I am a photographer not just to show what I see and who I see, but *how* I see. I understand the gravity of documenting special occasions and fleeting moments – it is such an honor for me. Because I know somewhere down the line, there will be a granddaughter who opens her grandfather’s wedding album after he’s gone and says with a smile, “Thank you, Granddaddy. This is the best gift you ever could have given me.”  

Granddaddy Wedding

Shaylee + Naveen | A Traditional Indian Wedding by The Decisive Moment

Shalee+ Naveen | Ritz-Carlton-Amelia Island

Shalee+ Naveen | Ritz-Carlton-Amelia Island

Infectious – that is my word to describe Shaylee and Naveen as a couple.  Here is an experiment, take a look through the images below and see what happens…. I’m pretty sure you will have a smile on your face too.  This fabulous couple is infectious from the moment you meet them, from their smiles to their positive spirit and their upbeat energy about life.  Needless to say, it was awesome to document this celebration and easy to see why they have such a devoted group of friends and family that just couldn’t help but celebrate these two! “I envision a very festive, party-like environment with lots of laughter and beautiful smiles,” the bride said, imagining what her beachside celebration would feel like. What we captured, showed that guests received an unmatched experience, steeped in culture and complete with a beautifully romantic story.

The lovely Jessica McGowan and our photo ninja Jason Seagle, made the trip to the beautiful  Ritz Carlton Amelia Island. The ceremony was a traditional hindu ceremony, complete with breathtaking, knock-out colors and intricate details.
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“The couple had invited guests from all over the country, and the world.” Jes said. “Though they expected to have a beach view ceremony, the weather forced us inside. Not a chance it dampened this couple’s spirit though! There was a break in the rain and Naveen was able to drive and dance his way into the ceremony during the baraat. Thankfully, the weather was nice enough to get some images of Shaylee & Naveen down by the beach. It really shows their playful side as a couple.”
“I think Shaylee + Naveen’s favorite moment was during the rice ceremony,” Jes added. “I have never seen two people have so much fun dumping rice on each other!  Surely they were just ensuring a blessed and prosperous married life!”;)
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“Our favorite part (recounted later by Jes) was the surprise choreographed dance by all of their friends. None of these 20+ group even live in the same place, but it proved how much you can learn on the internet.”
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“That dance was just the start of an evening full of amazing food, dancing and celebration,” Jes said. “It was an awesome celebration to be a part of and an honor to document the love between these two genuine souls.”
“I appreciate candid photography tremendously,” Shaylee said, when we asked why she wanted us to shoot her big day. “I was struck by the amazing candid poses that you caught during one of my best friend’s weddings. I also appreciate an element of photojournalism, especially with all the rituals during a traditional hindu ceremony.”
We’ve gathered our own favorites from the day – Enjoy a sneak peek below!
Photography: The Decisive Moment’s Jessica McGowan and Jason Seagle

Auburn, Alabama Wedding Photographed by: Jessica McGowan and Melissa Bugg

We are so excited to share this gorgeous Auburn, Alabama wedding today!  There are SO many things I could write about this wedding from the stunning couple, the heart melting father - daughter moments, and an awesome champagne sabering ceremony to the gorgeous setting, the moonshine and a great band under twinkly lights. Alas, I will defer to the bride, because Hayley’s words say what truly needs to be said and highlight why we love what we do!
Words can hardly describe the emotions we felt while we viewed our wedding photos for the first time! They are absolutely stunning and you captured the emotions of the entire day and night so beautifully!!  Jes and Melissa did such an amazing job and I can’t thank you enough!  Thank you for allowing us to relive this day through these beautiful photographs. We will cherish these for the rest of our lives!
Thank you Hayley and Matt!  We loved capturing every moment and your comments make it all the richer!

Planner: Julie Bunkley | Invision Events  |  www.invevents.com

Photographer: Jes McGowan | The Decisive Moment

Florist: Stanley Sistrunk  | The Flower Store | www.stanleysistrunk.com

Transportation: A Touch Of Class  |  http://www.atouchofclasslimousines.com/

Cakes: Tania Cobine  |  Cakes by Tania | www.cakesbytania.com

Rentals: Dennis Campbell  |  American Rental and Tent Company | https://www.facebook.com/pages/American-Rental-Tent-Company/105331814495

Music Reception: Black Jacket (Music Garden)  | http://www.musicgardenbands.com/

Music Ceremony: Auburn Quartet | http://www.auburnquartet.com/

Printing: Paces Papers | www.pacespapers.com

Calligraphy: Avivi Behel | The Refined Pen | www.therefinedpen.com

Lounge furniture: Jessica Morris | PropHouse | http://www.prophousebirmingham.com/index2.php#/home/

Dress: Winnie Couture | http://www.winniecouture.com/

Savannah Wedding Photography by Adam Linke of The Decisive Moment Wedding Photojournalism

Savannah Wedding Photography
How do you know you spend a lot of time together?  I guess when you all start acting alike and hanging in the same circles.  WE have a hairdresser…. yep I said WE.  A whole big bunch of us adore Emma at Grow Salon and she keeps us looking our best!  So, when Emma’s best friend was planning her I Dos, she recommended us! Emma said she could “just tell we’d be amazing at our work because we were all so passionate about it.” Well, we were thrilled to meet her bestie Andrea and after chatting, we were absolutely on board to make the trek to Savannah!
The couple tied the knot at the Trustees Garden Morris Center in Savannah. The ceremony was set beneath the Spanish moss in Greens Square and was breathtaking. The casual, outdoor, natural feel fit this couple’s style to a tee. The bride didn’t wear shoes. None of the groomsmen wore suits. It was laid back, comfortable and felt like an evening hanging out with these guys and their friends, in their element.
They were very laid back, but it was a very spiritual wedding too” Adam said. “The best thing from my point of view as a photographer was the honest love and respect Andrea and Owen have for each other and how it was so visible in their interactions.” Those interaction included a lot of happenings on the dance floor. This couple proved that comfortable is classy, and good times are timeless. The result was some of our favorite moments captured on film. “The main point of our day is getting to be together,” the bride said. “We aren’t the type to fuss if every detail isn’t totally right. However, our photography was something we agreed on was our most important aspect. We definitely want to be able to relive that day again and again and capture one of the best days of our lives!”
Venue: Trustees Garden Morris Center in Savannah

Coordination: We Tie The Knots

Flowers: A to Zinnias

 

black and white wedding images

Melissa Roth – Director of Production + Photoshop Goddess

For close to a decade, here at The Decisive Moment, we’ve photographed stellar weddings, created timeless memories and been able to document hundreds of couples as they begin their unique love story. We can certainly thank our talented team of photojournalists for that (thanks!), but it’s what lies beneath (or behind, in this case) that seamlessly rounds out the experience of choosing The Decisive Moment as your wedding photographer. And that is our secret weapon, our photoshop goddess extraordinaire, our music sampling queen and the black-and-white-obsessed – Melissa Roth.

Jenn Linke calls her ” the MVP on our team of all stars,” and continues to brag on “her amazing eye for seeing something that sometimes the photographers don’t even recognize in their own work.”

Melissa is the mastermind that handles all things editing, photoshopping and developing our final product.  She has a keen eye for detail, a passion for organization and an innate ability to take our prized images to the next level.  As if that were not enough, she then uses those gems to weave together a story that will take your breath away and become forever ingrained as your wedding memory… no small responsibility.

We couldn’t help but show off some of her favorites …

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“I have a slight obsession with black and white photos,” Melissa admits. “After all, I am a darkroom gal!”

Mel started in the film days (which some of you may not even know of), where true dark room skills were painfully learned – not taught via trial-and-error-and-try-again on a computer. “Technology has come along way though,” she says. “Those honed skills are now what help me “develop” the black and white images you see at The Decisive Moment.”

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Because we’re a team of shooters, our photographers inevitably carry slightly different styles within our brand. Melissa is that controller, the mastermind who gives us incredible consistency from wedding to wedding, moment to moment. In short, she’s an artist – especially when it comes to slideshows (our clients are obsessed) and black and white images.

Photographer Adam Linke, who often speaks all over the country, was asked at a photography conference  how he could possibly let someone else tone his work. “I laughed,” he says. “Because Mel does so much more with my images than I could or would on my own.  We are truly a team working together to create the best for our clients.”

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“When I’ve turned an image to black and white, it is because I feel that the image and that moment speaks for itself,” Melissa explains. “The purity of black and white helps convey that message of simplicity.”
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“Black and white images are timeless to me,” she adds. “Especially when toned to an absolute perfect contrasty monochromatic masterpiece.”
…We think so too.
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