Birmingham, AL wedding & portrait photographer Kelly Cummings


New Blog Domain!

Hi there! I’ve finally started posting on the domain attached to my website’s, so please update your bookmarks and subscriptions to:

Baby Love :: Noah :: One Year

First of all, I was overwhelmed with how many people liked and commented on the above photo when I added it to my facebook page with the caption “babies think I’m hilarious.” Truthfully I think babies know that they are hilarious, but my willingness to make funny faces and stick my tongue out at them when their parents aren’t looking does help. [I love doing that in public with strangers babies, toddlers look at me in disbelief since they know they aren't supposed to stick their tongues out and here I am doing it to them. One of the few perks of being an adult.]

I can’t believe Noah is a whole year old now. I’ve known his wonderful parents since I met them a few months before they were married, but we’ve definitely gotten close throughout the process of an anniversary/maternity session and documenting Noah’s first year. He is a happy baby as long as you don’t take away the things he wants (aren’t we all that way?) and I love that he’s already a percussionist. My biggest regret is letting my sister persuade me to pursue clarinet instead of drums in band.

Anywho, I love sweet babies who love the little things like leaves and grass and the click of a camera and I’m so glad to have babies to photograph now and then to stave off the baby fever. Thank you to Shea and Jeremy for the medicine.

Rebecca Mill :: The Indie Image :: Photography Playdate

I met Rebecca during one of my first (possibly my very first?) second shooting gig in North Carolina, in early 2008. We were both second shooting with Amanda from Studio 310 (who graciously let me come second shoot with her those first few months I was getting started, most of the photographers in my home county were completely and explicitly opposed to helping a newcomer out at the time). Rebecca was already a rockstar and fellow Nikon shooter, and I moved to Birmingham later that year so our friendship was extremely limited to the limited closeness that a facebook friendship allows.

As fate would have it, Rebecca has family in Birmingham and comes down to visit at least once a year, so this summer we got together for coffee to dish on all that comes with the glamorous life of photography (and by that I mean all of the drama, stresses, marketing, gear lust, and the good stuff as well). When I came home to do My & Nathan’s Chapel Hill wedding this past November Rebecca came along and killed it!

Rebecca came to visit her grandparents again this past December and we made an adventure out of it. I’ve become good friends with the girls at Molly Green (an eco-conscious boutique) and we stopped by to pick out a wardrobe and then frolicked over at Sloss. I’ve got to make more time for this sort of thing. Photographing friends and being photographed by friends are some of the greatest joys in my life. I don’t belong behind my computer! I should chant this over and over and make a huge mural for my wall.

Anywho, enjoy these photos of Rebecca and try not to get too jealous of her gorgeous smile and ridiculously cute hairstyle. View Rebecca’s work over at The Indie Image!

HUGE thank you to Becca for coming to hang out in Bham and getting me out of the office! I need a Raleigh playdate next time I’m home…


NOLA and Two Francophiles with Cameras

Last week I headed to New Orleans for a wedding with Morgan in tow to assist, and we got there a day early to settle in, which really translated to having a whole day to frolic around in the city. Morgan had never been to New Orleans and I’d been a few years back for the Sugar Bowl but hadn’t had much time to wander. My best friend Stacy lives in New Orleans and I could kick myself for not getting any shots of or with her while we were there, but I couldn’t convince her to take the rest of the day off for a big floppy hat photoshoot, so I’ll just have to go back. As with all of my travels and wedding trips this year it still feels so surreal, walking around New Orleans pretending it is somehow equivalent to Paris (hence the stripes, eating at a place called Cafe Amelie, the French Market, and shopping at French Connection). Morgan and I are so rarely the subject of photographs being photographers ourselves that we both understand the need for such vanities and also so desperately want someone to be our models when we are in someplace lovely. So, here are a lot of photos of Morgan, and if you visit her blog, you’ll find a lot of photos of me. Looking like the most stereotypical French wanna-bes ever. Much more wedding to come, and hopefully a lot more personal soon, but for now, enjoy the French Quarter with me.

I love that Cafe du Monde only serves coffee and beignets. It reminds me of Garrett reminiscing about how Dreamland used to only serve ribs, white bread, and Mountain Dew. I also love that beignets taste exactly like funnel cake only more of a big pouf of it, and equally if not more messy. Since we were there on a weekday (during Hurricane season which is probably not the busiest season for NOLA), a lot of the staff would just hang around talking with their paper hats, waiting for more tourists (I love the woman with the fan in the black and white shot a few up).

The one on the left (above) was shot through my sunhat, which I kind of want to take with me on all shoots to get that diffused light and texture.

I tried to get Morgan to buy her own hat but she wouldn’t, even though she looks adorable in this one. Also, I photographed every aqua and red thing I could find, since New Orleans is full of them, and they are my self proclaimed business colors.

This car on the side of the street covered in pin-up tattoo style graphics for Sailor Jerry’s rum was amazing. I’m planning to never ever even consider a tattoo, but if I did or if someone I knew was going to, I would definitely support a pin-up style (preferably by Kat Von D) above all else.

Merci beaucoup!

Pretty in Pink :: Meagan & Andrew :: Selma, Alabama

I met Meagan last May, when she served the lovely Ann Huskey as maid of honor. I received the inquiry for her wedding via Kerri Kelley (a fabulous planner I’d been itching to work with ever since I heard her name), and didn’t know who the bride was until Kerri sent me a client info sheet. I was beyond excited to meet with them both, Meagan is a BEAUTIFUL sweetheart and Kerri’s view on weddings, brides, and business really align with mine. I have to laugh now remembering Kerri telling me about the wedding before we’d met, the keyword was ‘pink’.

During photos later on in the day I heard Andrew say “apparently the theme of the day is pink?”, and yes, he is the only one that did not get the memo. But I love the pink, I think it was executed in an ever so Meagan way, and she gave her girls dresses with pockets, so does it get any better than that? My best friend and I had a very long pink phase in our childhoods, that eventually shifted through shades of blues and purples but I think I’ll always have a soft spot for pink.

The day itself was easy, minus the threat of sprinkles and the summer heat of Alabama, everything was beyond perfect. Meagan told one of the members of the band that once she got onto the dance floor she was there for good, no more talking, just dancing. Everyone had an amazing time, and one of the groomsmen might’ve been iced…

Most of all I’m impressed with all of the people who came together to bring this wedding to life, all of the lighting, flowers, unbelievable cake, the band… and of course Morgan & Nancy, who came along to shoot (and who always keep me hydrated and fed despite my tendency to never sit down or to pop up as soon as something new catches my eye. also, Sonic might be the best wedding day stop ). Thank you to all of the amazing vendors that turned Selma pink for Meagan and Andrew, and to Meagan and Andrew for having us there!

Below, this was how my interaction with Andrew’s groomsmen began, around oh, 1:45 pm. It only got better from here. They were one of the most lively set of groomsmen I’ve ever dealt with for sure.

Planner/Coordinator: Kerri Kelley Weddings
Ceremony Venue: First United Methodist Church (Selma, Alabama)
Reception Venue: Selma Country Club
Photography: Kelly Cummings, Spindle Photography
Florals: Andy Hopper, KG Designs
Cake: Olexa’s
Lighting: Andy Tolar, Design Productions LLC
Dress: Ivory and White
Stationery: Sonia Davis
Music: Creativity Band

One :: Burtoft Family

We lost one

Senior Portraits :: Haley

Haley. The funny thing with portraits is that often I won’t meet someone until the day of the session, and I never know exactly what to expect. Haley is jaw-dropping gorgeous, and I’m so lucky she sought me out for her (high school!) senior portraits. I loved her style right away, she’s polite and sweet, and her bangs are perfect.

Haley, best wishes for your upcoming graduation and thank you so much for coming out to Birmingham to do a session with me!

Morgan Trinker

Meet Morgan.

In November of last year I got an email from a girl who had recently moved here (to Birmingham, AL) from Salt Lake City, and was restarting her photography business from scratch in a new place, much like I started just a year before. I haven’t always had luck with other photographers I’ve met (which is true of anyone you meet really), and friendships are a huge emotional investment, a time commitment, and a risk. But after a few emails and our first lunch at Cafe de Paris, it was clear that we had a lot of the same goals and interests, and we’ve been lucky enough to find ways to work together since then!

Our biggest adventure began with the Hi-Fi Weddings Fest in Huntsville this January, which is where I took the following photos (you can see the images Morgan took of me here). Afterwards we decided to take on the project of a local wedding resource for Birmingham girls, called Bham Bride (near and dear to my heart as an internet addict who planned a wedding here just after moving from NC and finding that everything was much more offline and word of mouth).

I’m sure there will be much more to say in the future about Morgan, and mostly she’s an amazing friend and the only reason I didn’t kill myself over my open house last week. She’s very DIY crafty, loves the colors aqua and lime green (if you ever come across her or any of her possessions you will be made aware), she loves Kate Spade, and she has a sparkling personality. We live very similar lives but mine is a little less color coordinated. Our husbands have become friends and we’ve replaced our dreams of husband and wife photography teams with a girl friend team aspiration. I hope you enjoy these images, and if you haven’t checked her work out already, please do, she’s awesome, and I’m lucky to know her!

Ashley & Patrick :: 4th Anniversary

I’m going to try out more pictures and less talking as a blogging method, since I spend so much time as a voice on twitter, Dash Pinch Smidgen (though less often now) and now Bham Bride (which I could NOT be more excited about). You just want to look at the pretty photos anyway, and I just want to show them to you.

I can’t tell you more about the couples I photograph than their faces do, so all I’ll say about this session is:

1. This is my second couple of the year named Ashley and Patrick.

2. Patrick flies planes.

3. Ashley and Patrick celebrated their 4 year anniversary in January and she still fits in her dress. Not only still fits, still looks amazing. She’s hording secrets.

4. This session, an anniversary session/chance to take a few more photos in their wedding attire, took me to Mississippi which is somehow only 2 hours from Birmingham. Magical. And, it’s the state I fell in love with my husband in, so even hearing about Mississippi warms my heart (especially when I spell it like elementary school kids do with double-s or crooked letter crooked letter and such).

5. The last photo is my favorite because the reflection of the tree on the window makes me think of double exposures on film and I love that they are only visible because of the shadow made by my head as I took the photo.

6. I’ve said more than I think I usually do but lists comfort me more than paragraphs.


This session took place in Columbus, Mississippi at the Old Waverly Golf Club.

Noah :: Newborn Session

A few months ago I did this one year anniversary session with Shea and Jeremy that doubled as a maternity session. Noah arrived about a week and a half ago and it was so great to be a part of his newborn session!

I can’t get over how tiny babies are, especially their little fingers and toes. And, after going to my cousin’s baby shower in South Carolina this past weekend I feel like I’m catching baby fever!

Congratulations Shea & Jeremy! Noah is beautiful and I am so looking forward to seeing him grow!

Scheduling for sun :: Wedding Planning

I’m including an image from Jessica’s bridal session, (the wedding and more bridal goodness to come soon!), because posts without images bore me and I spent the hours leading up to this shot waiting for the glorious falling sunlight.

Daylight Savings Time is the worst. I grew up in the Eastern time zone and now that I live just over the central line I’ve had to readjust to earlier sunrises and sunsets. November rolls around and exchanges 5 pm for dark’o’clock and a 4pm ceremony becomes a dance with the dark.

So many thoughts went into my head when I was planning my own wedding last year. I wanted an evening reception but opted for buffet style heavy horsdoeuvres instead of a seated dinner. I wanted alcohol and dancing and I was afraid a morning/early afternoon wedding would impede those desires.

We ended up with a 6:30 blessing in early October (we got married in San Francisco prior to our Birmingham celebration) and it was oh so dark by the time it ended. We had a “day after session” to get some more daylight photos of the two of us, so they only real sacrifice were the family photos. We didn’t have a great deal of light and our families were eager to be on time to the reception, and that made it a lot harder to get a great shot.

With all of the future brides out there in mind, here are some good things to keep in mind when selecting a time for your ceremony and when scheduling the photography:

Find out what time sunset will be on your date. Also, consider when the light will be directly overhead (the time that the sun in your eyes makes you feel like a vampire). You’ll want to avoid having the bulk of your outdoor photos scheduled during this time (especially in the summer) unless there will be a lot of shade available.

Will you see each other before the wedding? If not, try to allow for some light (and time!) after the ceremony ends for photos of just the two of you. These are honestly the most important photos of the day for me, because they are so personal and emotionally charged.

• Having at least 2.5 to 3 hours before the wedding for photos is optimal. I usually start with the bride getting ready and try to finish up with everything posed by an hour to 30 minutes before so that the bride and groom can relax.

Schedule your hair and makeup appointments (especially any off-site appointments) so that you have plenty of time to get to the ceremony venue.

• Plan to have photos with older relatives at a time that is most convenient for them. Often scheduling these photos just before or just after the ceremony is helpful so that they have less time to sit around and wait. If they’d rather come early in the day and leave to rest until the ceremony that’s fine too, just let the photographer know!

• Along those lines, if you have any kids in your wedding party or in any of the photos, you may want to check with their parents for scheduling the photos with them in them to minimize melt-downs.

•  Often my couples opt to knock out as much as they can before the ceremony. Even if you aren’t seeing each other before you can get a lot out of the way (photos with parents and siblings, photos with bridesmaids/groomsmen, individual portraits, etc.).

Most churches will request that photography within the sanctuary is finished by 1 hour prior, and guests usually begin arriving 30 minutes beforehand.

If you have a wedding planner or coordinator that will be there the day of, make sure they are looking at the same schedule as the photographer. When we are aligned, bird sing.

Don’t be afraid to use trickery if your family members are always late or you want to be on the safe side.

Asking a notoriously late groomsman to arrive 15 or 20 minutes earlier than the schedule calls for is no big deal. Sometimes family members get frustrated if they arrive on time and other family members aren’t there yet or if they’ve been waiting around for 30 minutes, so it’s best not to abuse your power.

I tend to add in a little bit of wiggle room and shift things around if we are missing anyone, and it’s always good to have a cushion of extra time, especially at the beginning, just incase.

Don’t exhaust yourselves! A full day of posing for wedding photos leads to jaw pain and glaring. Try to keep your groom, bridal party, and family members in mind when making the schedule and have some time to just enjoy the day!

• If you know you’d love to have more time for photos of the two of you or if you don’t want to see each other before and are worried about light, ask your photographer about scheduling a day after session. They aren’t always the very next day, depending on your schedule and the photographer’s, but either way they allow for more time and locations for

Does anyone have any questions or tips to add? I’d be glad to feature more wedding planning tips from a photographer (and fairly recent bride) if there are any topics you are curious about!

Mallory & Connor

Mallory & Connor’s mom is a fabulous letterpress printer here in Birmingham, Alabama, and I jumped at the chance to help her out with a shoot for her Christmas cards this year. I can’t wait to see the finished product!

This one trips me out, but in a really good way. I really that diptychs and triptychs can have the ability of being so much more than either photo alone.

Mallory and Connor also have the coolest parents ever, because when a torrential downpour sent us running for shelter, the shoot transitioned into jumping on their bed.

As soon as I got home I begged Garrett to throw me on the bed kid-style. Growing up is for the birds. I think we need a trampoline.

Mallory enjoys Club Penguin and her stuffed animals.

Mallory’s mom has a photo from when she was around Mallory’s age covered with her stuffed animals and we decided to recreate a la YoungMeNowMe. I love it.

Connor enjoys his cars and lining them all up.

And I enjoy child photoshoots where the kids do what they like!

If you are craving a less traditional (and more fun) snapshot of your kids for Christmas this year please do contact me: .

If you wish to order cards (or photos for already printed cards) from me you can receive them within 1 week!


happy gif

I’m not sure how to make the gif move on its own in wordpress, but if you click it should open a new window and you can watch.

Trey & Tiffany :: Married !

When my husband and I came back to UNC the semester after our archaeological field school in Natchez, Mississippi, Garrett ended up moving into an apartment with three other guys. Their fourth roommate was studying abroad in Australia, and it was a little strange to move into a new apartment with 3 best friends. I’ll sum up the experience by saying that Smash Brothers brought them together. Getting to know Trey, Travis, and Brian, and Trey’s then-girlfriend, Tiffany, was a highlight of my UNC experience. We kept in touch after the semester ended, and when I got to Alabama I called Tiffany to tell her I was engaged(!) and a few months later I got the same call from Tiffany. I was ecstatic when Trey deemed me worthy to do their wedding photography, and the entire weekend was amazing. We met the roommate who had been in Australia, too.

I don’t expect you to get the full effect of their wedding from the photos, but I do hope that they bring the people who were there back. I have an enormous heart for Trey and Tiffany and their guests, and I am so grateful to have been there, much less these to show for it.

You know I can’t resist photographing food. Being a photographer is really just an excuse to pile this much food onto my plate without being judged for stealing the last of anything :)

The wedding took place in the North Carolina Mountains.

Venue: Castle Ladyhawke

Band: The Great Imponderables

Florist: Personal Touch Decorating Service

Planner: In-Bloom Events

Holiday Gift Idea :: Photo Sessions!

One of my brides recently bought a photo session as a Christmas gift so I wanted to show off the finished gift certificate. Jenny Barry of Press Charming (here in Birmingham) helped me out with some packaging recently, and the text is inkjet printed on a heavyweight card with a letterpressed logo. I have a few more of these cards available, so if you are interested in gifting a session for Christmas this year, feel free to leave your contact info or email me for details! (

Spindle Photography Gift Session

Lauren :: Portrait Session

Lauren is a super fun eleven year old that I had the pleasure of photographing this summer. Before the session, Lauren’s mom had told me that she really wanted to capture all the different looks she has at this age, she’s still a fun-loving kid in some ways but you can also get a glimpse of her as a woman. I’m so grateful that Lauren and her mom made the drive to Birmingham for the session, I absolutely love the way these images turned out!  I’m certainly not a traditional child photographer and I’m so glad they sought me out because of it!

Quoted in SW V3!

I received my copy of Southern Weddings V3 today after a very exciting email last night… The SW ladies polled readers about their favorite details of southern weddings, and my response made it into the list! In case you don’t have a copy yet, here’s a photo of the cover and the spread (images and content courtesy of Southern Weddings):

New Proofing Site!

I’m really excited to have a new proofing site! The new site makes it easier to select favorites for clients and their friends and family. You can then share favorites with a url that preserves your choices for 1 month. You can also leave comments if you wish to persuade visitors of your favorites or hint at which prints you’d love to receive at Christmas. And, since I’m a blogger at heart, I love comments anyway.

I’d love to hear what you think and would love to have you all as guinea pigs as well! The site makes it easy to order prints securely, and from the site you can all edited images from events and sessions. If you have any trouble feel free to contact me at

Lucy Halcomb:: Graphic Designer from Birmingham, AL

Lucy Halcomb is a graphic designer from Birmingham, AL, and I’ve had the pleasure of photographing her portfolio for her website and resume over the past few months. She’ll be headed to NY in May, but I’m glad that Bham is home, and she’ll surely come back to visit. 
I really love the look on the cards on all of these different textures and colors. I might like the one on the wood floor (mine) the best, though the four of them together really make me happy. The backs of the cards spell out “Lucy”, which leaves each possessor of the card with a large bit of the type, I think the deconstruction is nice. 
Lucy designed a series of book covers for books with Alabama authors, and the edges line up, which guarantees you must have them all. 
Lucy designed this decal for Google Chrome, the circle is composed of the same shaped leaves as the apple’s, and the red, green, and yellow correspond with Chrome’s standard logo. It’s a pretty awesome interpretation on the logo, and I love that it’s for mac. They photograph really well and it almost makes me want to take up product photography full time. If you are into design and logos, there’s an interesting chart here with supposed inspirations for the actual chrome logo (my favorite is pokeball).
Lucy made this accordion children’s book about a boy who loses a button on his pea coat. The colors are lovely and so are the illustrations. Everyone needs a peacoat plant.
Thanks to Lucy, for the project and permission to print these lovely works. All images are copyright, Lucy Halcomb. (For Lucy’s website, go here.)

Mallory & Eric: An engaging story

Shameless Plug

Vote for this image from Spindle Photography on the Wedding Chicks! (Click the link and post a comment)! Thanks!

Dance of the Russian Bear

Since I also have a personal blog, I tend to leave out life details for the sake of professionalism. I’m not so sure that’s the way to go about it, so we’re taking a break.

Snow today in the BHMpire

Featured Image: The Wedding Blog in Australia!

Erica should be so proud of all the work she did for her November wedding! Not only was it picked up by the wedding chicks, but one of the images was picked up by The Wedding Blog in Australia for a color palette of “cloud and cream”. I can’t take credit for the awesome color scheme, but I am super excited to see that other people are loving her wedding as much as I did. Thanks again, Erica! And thank you, The Wedding Blog!


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