I’m so proud to share this blog with you all because I’m so proud of this girl right here. The spot light is on the birthday girl, Samantha! This session was not my first time with this family, as I photographed her youngest sister’s smash cake session, but it was my first time meeting Sam. It was such a delight to see her in her role as big sister. These baby girls sure do love their big sis Sam, I tell you what! She managed to wrangle two toddlers and keep the fun going, even if one was wielding a stick lol!

Stepping away from the Magnolia Pavilion we headed toward the water where the Spanish moss grew abundantly. It was beautiful to watch it swaying in the golden hour sun light. Sam adored it as her mother and I adored HER. This young lady is full of light and just radiates joy.

The fall foliage is in its prime here in Augusta and the fiery leaves provided the perfect backdrop for Sam. She was coming out of her shell and I could tell she really appreciated all the beauty that nature has to offer. I remember one of the first things her mother, Nicole, ever told me was how proud she was of her three girls, especially how involved her oldest was – a member of nature club even!

After a short stroll across the bridge then down to the dock, we took photos as the sun set. It was in these photos on the lake that it became so obvious to me that, like the cool river, this young lady is refreshing and bubbling. Her talents are seemingly endless and her blue eyes sparkle like the water!

I had the honor of attending her Girl Scouts meeting recently to speak on photography and help them earn their photography badge. I got to witness first hand her leadership skills and love for learning!

I wish you the happiest of birthdays and pray that this year you’ll continue to love learning, crafting, and growing into the beautiful young woman that you are!

Nicole, after meeting your whole family, I see why you’re so proud. They are truly wonderful and you keep on “bragging” mama, because honestly every word was true <3


Samantha’s portrait session at Savannah Rapids


 "I can say with most certainty that she was the best decision we have made for our special day!"

Alyssa and Aaron

"It feels as if you’ve been friends forever. Not only do you get the most breath taking photos ever, but you also get an experience that you cherish forever."


"She is extremely personable and so talented. I highly recommend Araka Walker for her beautiful work and personality!"

Alison and Brandon