Dotson Studios bio picture


We are Grant & Sara Dotson. As a husband and wife team, we bring a unique perspective to photography, one influenced by life experiences as well as comprehensive art and design training. Our cameras are an extension of not only our eyes, but our minds and hearts, instantly capturing moments and emotions just as they occur. We enjoy getting to know our clients on a personal level and helping them feel that they're a part of a partnership. Every client is different, and our photographs seek to reflect each individual personality for truly unforgettable memories.


Photo of Grant: Courtesy of Jamie Weiss. Thanks Jamie!


Megan & Mike’s Engagement

I had a really great time photographing Megan and Mike. I met up with this couple down in Athens, GA and we headed over to the UGA campus and then over to The State Botanical Garden of Georgia for pictures. It was a perfect location since that’s where they dated and spent a lot of time together, as well as where Mike proposed. They were naturals in front of the camera and time just flew as we shot so many fantastic pictures. I loved walking around with them, getting to know them and observing this special friendship that has bound them together. They are clearly meant for each other!

We’re looking forward to this wedding…thanks for asking us to be a part of your day!

How did you meet?

In June of 2008, I [Mike] departed St. Louis and headed off to Washington D.C. for a summer of working on staff at the Global Young Leaders Conference (GYLC). It was going to be a crucial summer for me. I was one year out of college, and I still was not sure what I wanted to do with my life, personally or professionally. As my plane touched down at Ronald Reagan International, I silently hoped and prayed that this summer and this city would provide me with some answers. I did not know it at the time, but I wouldn’t have to wait long for my little prayer to be answered.

The next day was the first day of training for GYLC. I held my breath and walked into a conference room at the Sheraton National Hotel. I nervously looked around the room.  My eyes scanned for a seat with my name placard, but my heart took note of some of the softer smiling faces around the room. Over on the other side of the room, I saw a gorgeous head of blonde hair. As the blonde hair twirled in my direction, I caught my first glimpse of Megan and the “million dollar smile” that had turned so many heads in D.C. the previous summer. “I’ll need to find an excuse to talk to her,” I thought to myself.

During the first break of the morning, I shyly made my way over to Megan who was talking with a group of people. As I neared the conversation, I heard everyone talking about how they were from the South. I hesitated on the periphery of the conversation. Should I, a northerner with a degree in English, enter a conversation in which the term “y’all” was used so freely? Before I could make my decision for myself, I was disarmed by that enchanting smile and blonde hair. A gentle and friendly voice accompanied these features, and Megan and the others invited me into the conversation. I could sense a special kind of warmth and joy in Megan from the very beginning.

Anything special you’d like to share about dating?

One month after meeting Megan, I [Mike] decided that I was going to move to Georgia in the fall so that I could be with her. I informed my parents of this admittedly crazy decision, and they were surprisingly supportive. I think that they must have sensed a positive change in me. I also tried to convey to them the special connection that I had formed with Megan, and I think they could feel it too.

At the end of the summer, GYLC ended. I brought Megan to St. Louis and then immediately to a wedding in Wisconsin so that she could meet all the family at once. She survived that group, and that meant she might stick around. She then brought me back to Georgia. In Dalton, I met her family and friends. It was an affable group that really made me feel welcome. In Megan’s family I saw the same kind of joy that I had seen in her all summer.

Megan then brought me to Athens, and I helped her move to her new apartment. On that trip I also scouted out Athens, a town that I was planning on moving to. I happened to be there during sorority rush in August. So as I drove down Milledge Avenue and saw thousands of girls in sundresses walking from house to house, I thought to myself “I could see myself living here.”

At the end of August, I was driving back to St. Louis and I was not sure how I was going to make it in Georgia. I didn’t have a job or any real connections in Athens besides Megan, (although I would later discover that Megan knows everyone in that town). However, serendipity came calling while I was driving through Paducah, KY. The University of Georgia Performing Arts Center called me about a job that I had applied for. My prayers were answered.

Describe your proposal.

Mike’s proposal was absolutely perfect. Last May after I finished spring finals, I was happily hanging around Athens an extra week waiting for Mike to finish up work. At the beginning of the week, he mentioned that he had to work a wedding rehearsal at the UGA Chapel Friday night and suggested that I meet him there afterwards to walk downtown and get a nice dinner. Needless to say, I immediately agreed.

That day I got all dressed up for our date and headed to the Chapel to find Mike. When I opened the front door, I stopped in my tracks. In front of me was a table covered with flower petals, candles, and a single folded note telling me to find my special seat inside the chapel. I immediately knew. Mike had left a path of flower petals for me to follow. It led me to a chair in the center aisle and a bouquet of flowers. As soon as I sat down, I looked up and a video started playing on the big screen above the Chapel’s stage. Mike had taken pictures, video clips, and some of our favorite music from the past 2 years and put them together to create an incredibly meaningful and touching video. I laughed and cried and could barely contain my excitement to see Mike. Finally, as the video ended with “The… Beginning,” he emerged from the Chapel’s curtains, walked onstage, and asked me to join him. There he said many sweet things about our love for each other and proposed. I said yes, and we kissed and hugged and had never been happier. But the story didn’t end there.

I noticed that Mike had quickly pulled out his phone, dialed a number and hung up. Almost immediately after, the Chapel bell started ringing (It’s tradition at UGA to ring this bell when good things happen i.e. winning football games, getting good grades, engagements…). I was so confused and had no idea who could be ringing it. Mike pulled me outside and around the building where I was completely shocked to see my parents ringing the bell and twenty of my closest friends behind them smiling and yelling congratulations. We spent the night celebrating at a hotel suite that Mike had stocked with dinner, drinks, and dessert and later continued the party downtown. It was an absolutely amazing night that I will never forget. I can easily say it was the happiest day of my life.

What is your ring like?

My ring is beautiful! The center stone is round cut and surrounded by a halo of little diamonds. The band is thin and has little diamonds lining both sides. It is perfect.

How would you describe the way you feel about each other?

There is so much love and happiness in our relationship. We are big on spending “quality time” together. Whether we’re going grocery shopping or to a concert, we have so much fun just being with each other.

Also, we find strength in the support and constant love of the other. This year we will see each other through the completion of a first year of teaching, graduating from law school, a long-distance relationship, and running multiple half-marathons. I know we will accomplish many more of our goals together. I can’t wait to see what the future holds for us.

Do you have any special plans for your wedding that you’d like to share?

We are getting married August 13, 2011 in Dalton Georgia. The ceremony will be at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church and the reception is at the Dalton Golf and Country Club. We have wonderful wedding party of 16, and our colors are yellow and gray. We can’t wait to be married and share the big day with our family and friends!

April 26, 2011 - 4:55 pm Betty Dotson - Wow, what beautiful pictures and what a love story! The University Campus is perfect place to make pictures!

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