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4848 Highway 11
Pelham, AL 35124
United States


Arden Ward Upton, known for her keen eye and southern style. Has curated gifts  for wedding, lifestyle and original art. Arden has worked as a photographer for over a decade photographing some of the South's most exclusive weddings as well as weddings all over the world. During her time as a photographer she has developed a distinctive look and style that is shared on this site and with her customers throughout the years. Arden is also known for her fine art photography available in limited signed editions.


Filtering by Tag: #beautyexpert

Ellen Hunter NYC

Arden Ward Upton

Ellen Hunter, designer and creator of Ellen Hunter NYC, specializes in unique one-of-a-kind hair accessories. Reminiscent of ancient Greece, the flexible wreathes, combs, and headbands have become celebrity and fashionista favorites across the globe. Beyoncé, Carrie Underwood, Nicole Richie, and Nicky Hilton have all been spotted featuring pieces from the collection. Several of our brides here at Arden Photography have displayed the designs as they walked down the aisle.

Ellen Hunter got her start close to our home here, at the University of Alabama where she studied apparel design. She began creating the pieces in her dorm room for friends and family. Upon graduating, Ellen moved to Manhattan to work in the fashion and wedding industry at Nicole Miller. “While I loved what I was doing there, I still felt the need to create,” comments Hunter. She struck out on her own, and Ellen Hunter NYC was born.

Her company has since expanded, and will be offering new products in 2015 featuring jewelry, beaded sashes, and belts. Ellen’s passion of working with clients to create unique and meaningful pieces is on going. She can be spotted at the prestigious retailers where her product is launched in stores like Bergdorf Goodman, Kleinfeld Bridal, and Gus Mayer where we caught up with her to try on the exclusive pieces for ourselves. 

Ellen gave us a one-on-one demonstration and tutorial on how to style her Mollie combs, personal favorites of ours! 

After seeing all the quick and easy ways to style these combs, I had to get them!

Be sure to check out her website - they make for beautiful Christmas gifts or as an addition to your New Year's party dress!

Expert Advice: The Scent of a Woman

Arden Ward Upton

My mother used to say that a real woman needs a signature scent, something she can always be recognized by, a fragrance that will remind people of her, even if someone else is wearing the scent. 

I love this ideology. It is so reminiscent of Old Hollywood, when women never left the house without a good shade of lipstick, their heels, and a beautiful fabric hat. This was the dawning of the era of the celebrity fragrance endorsement. 

No one can forget the infamous words of the iconic Marilyn Monroe when after being asked what she wore to bed, giggled, smiled demurely and whispered in her breathy voice, "Why, only Chanel No. 5 of course!" No doubt that was the chart topping Christmas gift that year. The unforgettable Elizabeth Taylor created the fragrance White Diamonds though it is rumored that her personal signature scent was actually Bal A Versailles by Jean Desprez. 

A few of my favorite scents are Un Jardin en Mediterranée by HermèsCleopatra by Tocca and Vintage Gardenia by Jo Malone (click the links to find out more information)

Tips to Leave Your Scent Lingering: 

Spray your scent on your bed pillows, or your man's so he is reminded of you and will drift to sleep with sweet dreams of the two of you. Spritz any cards, letters, or invites you are sending out. Your friends and family will begin to relate the scent to you without even realizing it! Spray the perfume in your hair when you are getting ready in the morning. The scent will stay with you all day, and will linger in your wake as you walk away! 

Need some help discovering what your signature scent should be? Try this quiz to find out which fragrance tones suit you best:

Arden Ward Upton's Expert Advice: Fall Bridal Makeup

Arden Ward Upton

There is something about the deep hues of fall that compliment a woman so beautifully – just look at what happens to Mother Nature this time of year! The rust colored leaves, the golden sunlit rays, the red, ripe berries and apples; it is easy to see how this inspires makeup trends.

For your fall wedding, envision wine-stained lips, classic reds, magenta shadow-swept eyes, and hints of metallic gold and silver. If you aren’t accustomed to wearing a lot of color, incorporate it subtly. Apply just a pop of metallic gold shadow on the inner corner of your lids. You could opt for a bolder burgundy lip color and go for the bare minimum everywhere else. Remember to keep your favorite product on hand for touch-ups, and after quick stolen kisses with the groom ;) 

Check out a few of my brides who opted for a splash of color other than in their floral decor!

I am in love with these beautiful bridal makeup looks! Perfect for the fall bride!

Top left image:; Top right image: Chris Nicholls; Bottom image:

Top left image:; Top right image: Chris Nicholls; Bottom image:

If you are a bolder bride who loves trying different makeup trends, be brave, and opt for one of these jaw-dropping palettes! 

Top image:; Bottom left image:; Bottom right image:

Top image:; Bottom left image:; Bottom right image:

A few of my favorite fall products are courtesy of Smashbox cosmetics. This makeup line was engineered by photographers - of course I love it! Work a few of these products into your fall beauty regimen and you'll battle Mother Nature for the prettiest colors this season! 

Limitless 15 Hour Wear Cream Shadow in Riches (click for link)

Limitless 15 Hour Wear Cream Shadow in Riches (click for link)

Always Sharp 3D Liner in Gunmetal (click for link)

Always Sharp 3D Liner in Gunmetal (click for link)

Be Legendary Long-wear Lip Lacquer in After Dark (click for link)

Be Legendary Long-wear Lip Lacquer in After Dark (click for link)

No matter what color your lips or eyes are, nothing will be able to compare to that beautiful bridal glow you'll have on the day of your wedding. Now if only we could get someone to bottle that up! 

Arden Ward Upton's Expert Advice: Face It

Arden Ward Upton

Love is more than just a pretty face, but let’s be honest - on your wedding day, we all want that picture-perfect smile! Seems easy enough, right? Then suddenly, you are flipping through your photos, and *gasp* there it is – that dreaded double chin! Now, you could spend an entire week binge watching Tyra Banks on America’s Next Top Model give girls coaching on how to thrust that chin forward, or you could read on below and save that time for addressing your wedding invitations!

Secret #1: Pull your shoulders back, push your chest out slightly, and gently extend your head forward. This is a great way to avoid that double chin. It may feel a bit awkward and weird, but Tyra says that makes for the prettiest pictures anyway. It also helps to accentuate your collarbone, allowing your shoulders and neck to look thinner.

Secret #2: Angle your face. Try to avoid direct head-on shots as these can sometimes result in an absence of shadows, and this can make your face appear wider. Instead, turn your head just slightly to the right or left, tilt your chin outwards and downwards and look at something just above your natural line of sight. This has the added bonus of emanating a soft and demure pose.

Secret #3: This one may also seem a little strange at first, but you’ll swear by its results! Press your tongue to the roof of your mouth while smiling. This draws very subtle tension into your jawline – an effective way to avoid the double chin, and also aids to elongate your neck.

Bonus Tip: “Look Away Trick” – this one takes practice, but is easy enough to do in the privacy of your own house (something I suggest since it could look a bit strange to anyone who might be watching – trust me). Instead of freezing your smile in place for a hundred photos, try looking away from the camera and look back with a big smile just before the snap of the shutter. Your smile will be more genuine and fresh, lighting up your eyes, and making for a gorgeous shot!

Tyra’s Bonus Tip: “The Smize” – Tyra loves this word, a mash-up of her most-used phrase on ANTM, “Smile with your eyes.” If you don’t like to show off those pearly whites, this is a great tip for you. Take a second to relax your face, open your mouth just slightly, and allow your lower lip to match the curve of your upper teeth. Tilt your chin just barely down, look up at the camera with your eyes, and faintly lower your lids – be sure to channel all the happiness of your big day to shine through!

Image Credit: FanPop

Image Credit: FanPop

So let’s face it, maybe you didn’t lose that last five pounds before lacing up your gown, but who’s going to notice when you’ve got a face like Tyra Banks? 



Arden Ward Upton's Expert Advice: How to Pose for Photos

Arden Ward Upton

Okay, so we all do it. We see photos of celebrities on the red carpet with their super high heels, lean legs, and flat stomachs and then we look at photos of ourselves. One bad photo of yourself is enough to make you delete Instagram and swear off social events all together. But you can’t miss your best friend’s wedding next week, and there will be pictures – lots of them. So here’s some advice on how to pose for photos and turn that wedding aisle into a glamorous catwalk.

Secret #1: Turn partially sideways to the camera and plant one foot in front of the other. Point your toe and place your weight on your back leg. This works best to minimize the size of your waist and accentuate your legs – a great way to show off all those hamstring reps you’ve been doing.

Secret #2:  Try to avoid facing the camera head on, but rather, stand at an angle. Drop one shoulder so it is comfortably lower than the other. Celebrities use this trick to make their body appear smaller and draw attention to their face.

Secret #3: If you have to be photographed straightforward, try a tip from the fashion bloggers around the world: cross your ankles. This works well in long and short dresses, makes your hips look slimmer, legs look longer, and gives off a more casual vibe.

Bonus Tip: Celebs love using props. I mean, come on Scarlett Johansson, we all know you’re pregnant – those strategic baggy overalls aren’t fooling anyone. Instead, hold a small clutch or purse, or try wearing a stylish jacket to hide unflattering parts a la Gwyneth Paltrow – now there’s a woman who knows how to stylishly and strategically hide a baby bump.

Image Credit: Richard Young                                                    Image Credit: ETOnline

Image Credit: Richard Young                                                    Image Credit: ETOnline

Then there’s the good old fashion fallbacks – a good pair of Spanx Hosiery, and you’ve got that tight, flat stomach without ever entering the gym. Spray tans also help to accentuate muscle toning and give a thinner appearance, plus you have the added bonus of looking like you just got back from a beach vacay.

Practice these advice tips in front of your mirror at home, wear your dress to get a good idea of which poses work, and if all else fails, just claim you were trying to look your worst, so that the bride could be the true celebrity star of the day!