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From the Desk of Dixie

Dixie Photographer: Mary Catherine Brownfield

Please join us in welcoming our newest contributing photographer, Mary Catherine Brownfield to the Dixie family! Some of Mary Catherine's beautiful work is showcased throughout our holiday card collection. Read on to learn more about Mary Catherine's creative background as well what inspires her while photographing.

Hi, I’m Mary Catherine (but everyone calls me MC!) I live in Atlanta with my husband, five-month-old baby girl and Goldendoodle.  I grew up in Birmingham and studied Apparel Design at The University of Alabama.  Throughout my fashion studies and career, I found what most excited me were the photoshoots post design.  I lived for this part of the process!

I’ve been photographing bloggers and fashion brands, families, children and portraits for eight years now.  There is nothing better than seeing the joy and beauty of a special moment captured through the lens.  I love creating forever keepsakes for clients (most of whom have become dear friends).

Dream destination: Positano

Most magical destination: Aspen

Ideal dinner date: Karl Lagerfeld

Recommended film: I love fashion documentaries like The First Monday in May

Favorite foods: Literally everything. But probably fries most of all.

Power color: Black

Inspiration: Right now, Instagram inspires me… I love finding new accounts and admiring beautiful photography! Social media has really helped grow my business and also as me a creative.

One should never: Doubt themselves! Just go for it :-)

Go-to hostess gift: Jo Malone candles or an orchid from Lush Life

Childhood dream: Fashion designer

Tool of the trade: Canon 85mm f/1.2 lens

 

Holland Williams Photography

Meet Holland Williams!  She is one of our amazing contributing photographers.  If you see an image you love on one of our new birth announcements or on our Easter cards, it's likely Holland's.  She has mastered the art of photographing babies, children and families and we are HUGE fans of her work.  And even more exciting for our local Dixie friends, Holland and her family are moving to Birmingham this summer!  So, follow her on Instagram/Facebook and make sure you book her right away when you have photography needs (her spots fill up quickly!).  Read on to learn about this fun and talented lady and what inspires and interests her:

I'm Holland - mom to Chappell (8), Collier (5) and Margaret Reed (2). Wife to my best friend (on most days), Reed. I'm addicted to coffee and never wear anything but work out clothes (ignore the photo, it's fake). I love running with my friends and haven't watched a TV show in probably ten years. I don't like sand, but the beach is my happy place!

I've been a photographer for over eight years now and I specialize in unique portraits of newborns, babies, children, families and limited (boutique) wedding coverage. In 2008, I quit my job to stay home with my first child, however, I soon found myself in a new city with a colicky baby and needing something else to focus on. I became all but obsessed. I didn't want to owe my husband or parents anything if this venture tanked, so I sold some jewelry to a pawn shop to buy my first version of Photoshop. And I was truly petrified the whole time I was in there!

Hands down, what I love most about my job is spending time with my clients. I have an absolutely wonderful clientele and their enthusiasm and gratitude for my work makes my job extremely satisfying. They are the reason I enjoy my work so much. Numerous clients have become dear friends and I treasure the relationships I have with them. I'm side by side with my clients for some of life's most sacred moments (weddings, births, engagements & all those special milestones) and I do not take that lightly. I truly feel blessed beyond measure to be able to do what I love for a living.

Dream destination: Australia

Most magical destination: The Alps are pretty magical

Ideal dinner date: Oprah! Life-long fan, here. I’m slightly embarrassed to say this, but I waited outside a restaurant for her when she visited Montgomery! She was SO sweet and spoke to us when she left.

Listening to: I listen to a pretty strange variety of music. Anything from Christian rock to rap. Depends on the day.

Recommended read: All I do is edit photos!

Recommended film: Unfortunately, see above!

Favorite foods: Sushi (of any kind), seared tuna and… raw oysters. I’m a Florida girl, and love seafood!

Power color: Green

Inspiration: As far as photography is concerned, I am inspired by my subject. A photographer friend once told me that she prayed before each session - to be able to capture each subject as beautifully as God sees them.

Prized possession: Photos and paintings of my children… their artwork…newborn hospital bracelets…snippets from first haircuts…

One should never: I still have a hard time wearing white before Easter, even though I know that rule has been thrown out the window.

Go-to hostess gift: You can’t go wrong with a good bottle of wine!

Hidden talent: You’ve never seen someone type so fast.

Perfect cup of joe: Two Splendas and cream. Recently, my 8 year old learned how to use our Keurig - she now brings me coffee in bed! I thought this day would never come.

Childhood dream: A dermatologist

Tool of the trade: I’m a Canon girl. Couldn’t live without my 50 mm 1.2 lens.

 

Dixie Photographer: Mary-Keeley McAllister Smith

 

We are very thankful for all the talented photographers who let us use their beautiful images in our Christmas cards. We are excited to first introduce you to Mary-Keeley McAllister Smith:

I’m married to my best friend, Cole, and we currently reside in Homewood, Alabama with our fur baby, Buddy, the bichon frise.  Raised in Tuscaloosa, it's no coincidence I have a passion for creative arts - my mother was an elementary school librarian and folk-artist and my father has been a photographer for over 40 years. In 2009, I graduated with a degree in visual journalism from the University of Alabama and, in 2011, I started my full time portrait photography business. My approach to photography is a unique blend of photojournalism and classic family portraiture, which I find lends itself well to capturing the swift season of childhood. While I do enjoy photographing the occasional wedding, the majority of my business is family portraiture.











Dream Vacation: Tuscany, Italy

Magical Place: Camp McDowell in Nauvoo, Alabama.

Dinner Date: Oprah - and we’d bring back “Oprah’s Favorite Things!”

Listening to: Ryan Adams “Gold” + Vince Gauraldi Trio “A Charlie Brown Christmas”

Good Read: The Art of Cooking by Julia Child…I realize this is a cookbook but I read it like a novel. It sparked my interest in cooking and was a gift from my sister, inspired by my late mother who was a Julia fanatic.

Last great film you saw? The Bridges of Madison County

Favorite Foods: Tacos, pasta, wine

Favorite color: Blue

Beach or mountains? Beach

What inspires you most? Relationships

Prized Possesion: My engagement ring with my grandmother’s diamond.

Preferred sign-off: Warmly

Go-to hostess gift: Wine

Hidden Talent: I have a nose like a fox hound - I can identify a scent from a mile away.

Coffee: Almond creamer and extra hot

What did you dream of being when you were a kid? A fashion photographer 

What fuels your creativity? Music

What is your number one tool of the trade? Patience

Mandy Busby Creative

Dixie Design Collective is privileged to work with our talented company photographer, Mandy Busby.  Mandy is a Southern girl who, after some time working in stationary and paper in Texas, moved back to Birmingham with her husband, Joel, where they currently live with their two little boys. Mandy shoots a wide range of subjects: weddings, lifestyle, editorial, and commercial–but she is passionate about creating and capturing beauty on film in every project. Apart from her work behind the lens, Mandy is a floral designer (visit mandybusbycreative.com) who relishes the joy that a beautiful arrangement can bring to others, and the feeling of making something with her hands. From wedding shoots to family portraits, Mandy has a remarkable skill of creating natural, effortless moments and capturing beautiful details no one else sees.

Dream trip: Italy

Most magical vacation: Paris, with my husband Joel

Favorite foods: Dessert, dessert, and dessert

Beach or mountains: Mountains in summer, beach in the fall

Creative fuel: Family time, and great conversations with my husband

Personal treasure: Photographs and 8mm videos of my family

Childhood dream: Famous singer

Take a look at some of Mandy's stunning floral work:


Photo credit:  Rylee Hitchner


Photo credit:  Stacy Richardson

Jana Sobel • 205 Photography

We are thrilled to introduce you to another one of our favorite photographers - Jana Sobel of 205 Photography. Jana grew up in Birmingham and attended the University of Alabama at Birmingham, first earning a degree in mechanical engineering and then a Master of Business Administration. How does an engineer get her start in photography? A thoughtful gift from her husband, a Canon Rebel T1i, took Jana’s interest in photography to the next level. The rest is history, as they say. Her first photography instructor’s passion inspired her and she still takes workshops to this day, always eager to learn more. In addition to photographing weddings, engagements and birthdays Jana enjoys capturing those everyday moments in people’s lives that might otherwise go undocumented. When she’s not behind the camera, Jana loves getting matching manicures with her two girls, curling up with her golden retriever, Barkley, and taking trips to the beach.

Dream trip: Santorini

Ideal dinner date: Amelia Earhart

Listening to: Thriller

Favorite foods: Barbecue, pizza, and gelato

Power color: Peacock blue

One should always: Greet people with a firm handshake

Perfect cup of coffee: Black

Childhood dream: To be a detective

Creative fuel: My children inspire me every day

Hidden talent: I manage rental properties and flip homes. I love a fixer-upper!

 

Heather Durham Photography

We are so excited to introduce you to some of our favorite photographers who have helped make the Dixie 2015 Holiday Collection happen. First up is Birmingham based photographer, Heather Durham. Heather has always been visually-oriented. From an early desire to be a fashion designer, to helping her friends choose paint colors for their homes, Heather’s great eye and attention to detail are what make her photos soulful and unique. Heather graduated from the University of Alabama with a degree in fashion merchandising and marketing. During her career in the fashion industry, and then later as a magazine art director, Heather was inspired to pursue her love of photography as a career. She loves the human element in photos, which is part of what makes her portrait work so compelling and rich. Her photos have been featured in publications such as The Huffington Post, Birmingham Magazine, B-Metro Magazine, Weddings Unveiled and she has an impressive roster of clients, including the PGA Tour, Lily Pulitzer, Calypso St. Barth and the Children’s Hospital of Alabama. Heather finds inspiration in traveling–she loves the golden light of a beautiful afternoon country drive–in fashion and in collaborating with other creatives in the community. She lives in Birmingham, Alabama, with her husband, son and daughter.

Special place: The beaches of 30A

Ideal dinner date: Getting dressed up, sitting outside by candlelight on a perfect starlit 75 degree night, eating fresh, finely prepared food and drinking wine over interesting and diverse conversation.

Listening to: Changes often, but lately Josh Abbott Band. And Taylor Swift because we're on the road right now taking my daughter to her Atlanta show.

Favorite foods: Mexican, avocado, grilled salmon salads, and Olexa’s warm white wedding cake

Power color: Turquoise

One should always: Say thank you. It’s so important!

Road trip game: We’re not really a game family. We love listening to music on the road.

Perfect cup of joe: Skinny vanilla latte from Octane

Hidden talent: I’m a certified fitness instructor and teach both cycle classes and Pilates.

Go-to Hostess Gift: A great smelling, pretty packaged candle or a good bottle of wine.