the cookout 2018 – atlanta


2018 Cookout Archives

Sunday, September 16- Tuesday, September 18, 2018 

Atlanta, Georgia

Our Speakers | Wakanda’s finest



Tim Riddick


I am more than just my photographs. I am a husband, I am a father and I am a friend. I am from Hawaii but I am based out of Washington DC and I have traveled all over the world for assignments.


Reg & Kahran


Regis and Kahran are a husband and wife duo and the imaginative forces behind CreativeSoul Photography. With over 9 years of working with hundreds of children, families and brands, they specialize in lifestyle photography and authentic, visual storytelling. Their holistic approach to capturing one-of-a-kind moments has allowed their work to be featured in Teen Vogue, CNN, Glamour magazine, Vogue Italia, Black Enterprise,, on The Real daytime talk show, on the OWN network, and more. You can connect with them online at and on your favorite social media channels: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest.


Jide Alakija

Jide Alakija is an internationally renowned photographer with over 10 years’ experience in shooting multicultural weddings, documentaries and editorial campaigns. Alakija’s assignments have taken him across Africa, Europe, the Middle East, Asia and the U.S.

Regularly piquing the interest of international icons and A-list celebrities through his captivating eye, Alakija’s recent clients include Nobel Laureate, Wole Soyinka; hip hop artist and producer, J.Cole; acclaimed novelist, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie; and Didier Drogba, former Chelsea F.C. soccer player.

Art collectors and galleries around the world currently showcase Alakija’s work. Most recently, the Smithsonian Institute shortlisted ‘Invisible Cities No. 1’ for inclusion in the Smithsonian Institute Collection. His highly coveted ‘Normal Lies’ piece, depicting two young children sneakily covering their eyes in a slum in Lagos, Nigeria was purchased by international soccer legend, Sol Campbell for an undisclosed fee.

Keen to share his extensive expertise with the next generation, Alakija hosts photography workshops around the world and runs various mentoring programs in West Africa for underprivileged photography students.

Passionate about African modern art, Alakija is the co-owner of TAFETA, a private art dealership specializing in 20th century and contemporary African art. Based in London, the gallery regularly showcases at some of the word’s premier art events including Art Basel, The Hamptons Art Fair and Frieze London Art Fair; and represents renowned names like Yinka Shonibare, MBE on the African continent.

Alakija cites the work of legendary photographers, Sebastião Salgado and Steve McCurry, known for capturing stories in black and white and color respectably, as his biggest inspirations.

He holds an undergraduate and master’s degree in Engineering from Imperial College, London, England. Alakija resides in Brooklyn, New York.


Kesha Lambert

Kesha Lambert is an international wedding photographer, New York lawyer, wife, mother of sons, light chaser, lover of color, wild imagination owner and deep thinker. Based in NY, Kesha along with her husband Neal, document weddings, events and inspiring people worldwide.




Lynsey is a commercial, portrait and editorial photographer based in both Atlanta and Birmingham. She is adept at using both film and digital technologies. Her client base is the person next door, the startup still in incubation, the established brand or business, and media.

Capturing heritage is important to her and evident in such personal projects as portraits of former members of the Negro Baseball League, Ronnie the shoe repairman, the Gullah Geechee culture of the Sea Islands, and Birmingham’s historic Ensley neighborhood. Her editorial tear sheet includes the Sierra Club’s Sierra magazine, ESPN, ESPN-owned sports and pop culture website The Undefeated, The Bitter Southerner, and Birmingham’s B-Metro magazine as well as a number of trade publications. Commercial projects include Cox Communications, Coca-Cola, McDonald’s, Google, Blue Cross Blue Shield Alabama, and Wells Fargo.

As a portraitist, Lynsey can see where people sitting for her have come from, and where they are going.

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Leslie Kershaw lives in Washington, DC with her husband, Aaron and three sons, Zollie, Kingston and Kit. When she’s not chasing after her boys, she works full-time as a web content strategist and documents families part-time at Leslie Kershaw Photography. Leslie’s philosophy and shooting style come from a special place in her heart for celebrating individuality. She loves people and is inspired by everyday moments, it’s her absolute favorite thing to document. Where some might see a boring mundane occurrence, she sees an opportunity to freeze time. Leslie loves that photography allows her find the beauty in everyday. She aims to capture the human condition in all its glory; laughter, tears, scabbed knees — these are all a part of life.




I am a mother of three beautiful crazy kids currently living just outside of Atlanta GA. I originally grew up in Ohio in a few different cities and decided to move away from my home town to escape the cold weather (snow is beautiful but I really hate to shovel it).

I enjoy capturing life’s greatest moments!




Latoya D. Smith is a branding and lifestyle commercial photographer based in Greenville, SC.

She has been widely featured in publications including The Huffington Post, Black Southern Belle, and Borrowed & Blue.

Along with photographing crazy-in-love couples who are mindful in their journeys together, Latoya finds her passion in educating and leading The Queen Photographers — a national community of black women photographers aiming to equip each other in business and foster a supportive Sisterhood.




When you first meet Teshorn Jackson, you can have multiple reactions ……
If you catch him strapped up with his holdfast and cameras at a wedding, with his
intense gaze and concentration, you are instantly curious about who this guy is and
what is his story. How does he command their attention? Why is he laying on the
floor? He sure has a lot of swag; he really must know what he is doing.
If you meet him in his native country of Antigua & Barbuda where he frequently
commutes to shoot and of course relax a little, you would absolutely love his laid
back demeanor, love for the beach and charisma.
If you meet him in a business setting and ask him about sales, finance or business
structure, then you will see one of the most passionate individuals you will ever
meet. Keep in mind you may not always want to hear what he has to say, because
above all things he will be completely honest and direct with you. Then he will give
you the tools to get your desired results and check in with you to make sure you are
doing it.
Teshorn Jackson is quite the multifaceted individual, a husband, international
wedding photographer, businessman, toastmaster and occasional beach bum, don’t
quite begin to describe him…but it’s a start.




Hope Ballenger is a published wedding and portrait photographer who
specializes in both natural and studio lighting. She resides in Atlanta, GA with
her husband and two kids. She keeps herself busy doing the things she loves,
which ALWAYS involve creativity. That creativity includes planning different
themed styled wedding shoots.

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Hi, my name is Michelle. I am a passionate wedding photographer focused on creating a unique experience for each of my diverse clients. I also help aspiring and experienced photographers gain skills that will propel them to become leaders in the field of wedding photography through my wedding photography education course. My story begins and ends with the remarkable people that I have the honor of collaborating with during their extraordinary life moments.

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Daniel T. Davis

Houston native and lighting master. Daniel T. Davis brings his expertise to The Cookout.


Chip Dizard

Chip is an serial entrepreneur with a passion for all things technology and media. He is the founder and lead cinematographer of Chip Dizárd Weddings, a wedding photography & videography firm that captures couples’ love stories internationally. He specializes in Facebook marketing, Facebook/Instagram Ads for wedding professionals, and now 75% of his business comes from his online marketing efforts. When he’s not working, shooting or teaching he loves going to movies, and analyzing the shots. He also enjoys playing golf, and of course, spending time with his three daughters who are learning to be creatives in their own right.


Drea Nicole

The multi-talented Drea Nicole is a cutting-edge beauty and fashion photographer from Newport News, Virginia, and the founder and CEO of Rebel Lifestyle and Rebel Kids magazines. From her brand photography to her high-fashion snaps, her work is distinctive and mesmerizing for its striking concepts, artistic style and fashion-forward touches. With every click of the shutter, Drea strives to produce clean, high-quality images that capture beauty and inspire emotion.

Her pursuit of world-renowned success includes capturing moving beauty and hair campaigns for companies, securing major corporate contracts, working on major movie and television sets, and snapping headline making images that will appear in top magazines. Drea is a college graduate receiving her Masters Degree in Management, and also a proud mother of a 4-year-old son and 7-year-old daughter.


Kanayo Adibe

Kanayo Adibe is a Washington DC area and destination wedding and lifestyle photographer. His approach to photography is extremely artistic, photojournalistic and arguably cinematic. With every shot he takes he’s constantly thinking of new ways to creatively tell your story using unconventional techniques and interesting angles, while creating that captivating feeling of presence when viewing his photos. His goal is to preserve special moments by creating romantic, yet visually striking imagery to be enjoyed for years to come.

The photographs he creates are very environmental in the sense that he incorporates the natural lines, textures, patterns and light in the environment to help shape his compositions. Beyond his commissioned work (weddings, portraiture and events), He is also a published street photographer with work featured in publications like the Baltimore Sun and The Bureau of Arts and Culture.


Benjamin Davis

Benjamin Davis is the founder and creative director for Yamean Studios Films. He has been working in the industry for the past 7 years in various size projects ranging from commercial to weddings. With Ben at the helm, Yamean Studios Films has been awarded several notable distinctions including winning Best Wedding, Best Event and Best Editing at the NY/NJ Tri State Film Festival as well as the studio being named one of the top 10 African American Owned Wedding Cinematography Studios Worldwide. He has completed productions with companies all over the globe including Brown University, YMCA, City of Pittsburgh, State of NJ, and Macys. Ben is also an educator and founder of the Envysion Wedding Cinema Workshop along with mentoring for the Best Buy Teen Tech Center.


Tiarra “Sacred ” Amos

I have found my calling in photography, specializing in personal branding, commercial and high school senior photography. The two don’t seem connected, at first. However, the transition from teenager to adult is similar to realizing that you have an idea that you want to share with the world and then realizing that you have no clue where to begin creating an identity, a visual conversation for that business.

What I enjoy most is helping clients, teenager or business owner, find their voice, their identity and communicating their story through the camera.

important DETAILS 



Tree House Studio 642 North Avenue NW Suite A & B, Atlanta, GA 30318


Crown Plaza Hotel
590 West Peachtree Street NW
Atlanta GA 30308


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Sunday, September 16, 2018

  • The Cookout- 2pm- 3pm at Pernoshal Park 4575 North Shallowford Rd. Dunwoody, GA 30338

  • Street Portraits Photo Walk in Downtown Atlanta with Kanayo Adibe from 6:15PM-7:30PM

  • Maternity Family Portrait Session with Hope Ballenger & Ashley Strickland 6:15PM-7:30PM

Monday, September 17, 2018 

Registration from 8:00AM-8:45 AM 

9AM Welcome from Tomayia Colvin 

10AM Social Media Marketing with Chip Dizard 

11AM Wedding Contract Do’s & Don’ts with Kesha Lambert 

Noon-2PM Vendor Showcase and optional Lunch & Learn on In Person Sales with Britney Smith & Tomayia Colvin

2 PM  Studio Lighting with Drea Nicole

3:30 PM Afternoon Photo Walks & Website, Social Media, and Brand Critiques

  • Leslie Kershaw -Documenting Families

  • High School Senior Photowalk- Sacred Amos

  • Off Camera Flash Daniel T Davis

7PM 90’s Welcome Party at Studio 249 located at 249 Peters St. SW, Ste. B, Atlanta, GA 30313.

Tuesday, September 18, 2018 

7:45 AM Photographer Headshot Swap 

9AM Storytelling through Portraiture with Jide Alakija 

10 AM Breaking into Commercial Photography with Lynsey Weatherspoon 

11 AM Standing Out in a Saturated Market with Reg & Kahran Bethencourt of Creative Soul Photography 

12PM Vendor Showcase and Community Table Talks 

1PM Business Panel with Teshorn Jackson, Lajoy Cox, & Latoya Dixon Smith 

2PM Closing Keynote Tim Riddick 

3:30 Fusing Video into your Portrait Sessions with Benjamin Davis 

3:30 Wedding Style Shoot with Hope Ballenger and Posing with Michelle Harris 



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