Archive for November, 2008

When Matt and I decided to go to Orlando for Thanksgiving, I thought it would be fun to take advantage of our time off and our location to meet up with Christina and Brian, who are getting married this February in Sarasota. They chose Marina Jack as the setting for their engagement session not only because it is a gorgeous location, but it is the place where Brian proposed AND where they are getting married! There is certainly no place like it in Jacksonville and the sunset is nothing like what we have here either! Gotta love the west coast!

We snapped a few cute shots of Brian and Christina throughout the park, including beneath the gorgeous trees where they plan to share their vows. They brought their matching Jack Daniels jackets, which I soooooooooo want one of now! It was too cute. The moment we were waiting for, though, was that perfect sunset. We definitely took advantage of it by doing several silouhette shots.

Christina and Brian are so cute together and I can’t wait for their wedding. I’m thinking we need to do something fun with that hot Corvette of Brian’s…


They say the couple that LAUGHS together LASTS together, and anyone who has seen Kaci and Dustin knows that this is true. Talk about a couple who is so spirited and full of life! Just editing their photos puts a smile on my face, from the guys doing their “Captain Morgan” pose to everyone doing the chicken dance to Kaci smashing cake in Dustin’s face!

This joyous celebration took place at the very elegant and charming Club Continental in Orange Park. This was my first time shooting a wedding at this venue and it was so breathtaking! I was also assisted in capturing this very special occasion by the fabulous duo Beth and Stephanie, who are always such a blast to shoot with! Thank you ladies sooooooooooo much for helping out on this one. I’m so glad we were able to give this amazing couple a way to remember every moment of this important day!

Kaci and Dustin, I wish you both the very best of luck in your marriage! I hope in your 80s you are still laughing with each other as you do today. : )


That time of year again!

November 17, 2008

Time to torture my pets by dressing them up in cute outfits for the holidays! I love this time of year!

But before fun pics of puppies dressed like elves and eskimos, I want to talk about something that has been on my mind. Actually, Matt said he has been thinking about this as well, so we are going to get into action! We haven’t volunteered much since the wedding. Life got a little crazy but now that the wedding planning is over and I’m almost finished with school we are going to look for worthwhile causes to get involved with!

We were looking for a place to volunteer on Thanksgiving Day, but so far we are not having luck finding anything in Jacksonville or Orlando. I don’t know if organizations have enough volunteers or they just aren’t maintaining their websites, but we will try calling places. The best Thanksgiving I ever spent was serving food at a Salvation Army event in Orlando. It wasn’t that I felt good about myself because I had done a good deed, because I volunteered all the time. I was very moved by the realization that there were hundreds of complete strangers coming together on that day and I didn’t feel like we were all strangers. It was an amazing experience talking to people I had never met before, sharing a day that is usually reserved for close friends and family, and talking to them like we were already acquainted. What a powerful thing!

Yesterday in church Pastor Stovall talked about how much our members have given to the church and in essence to the community and the world. Honestly, it was hard for me not to cry because his message spoke to something that has been on my heart recently. After the service I shared a thought I had with Matt (more about that in a minute) and he agreed that it was a great idea. Then today on my drive home I heard a message on NPR about a website called redefinechristmas.org. I’m so glad they are creating awareness for this, because when Matt and I started making our holiday travel plans we agreed — no gifts! We are not buying gifts and we do not want to receive gifts. This holiday is going to be about spending time with family and giving to others.

That being said, we had still planned to send out holiday cards to everyone… until yesterday. I proposed that instead of sending out cards this year we take that money and donate it (most likely to an Adopt An Angel program). Sorry to ruin the surprise for the few people who read this blog and are on my Christmas card list, but I wanted to put the idea out there early so that other people could consider it for themselves. Our plan is to create a photo holiday card (which we were going to do anyway) and email it out to everyone with a holiday message about what we are doing and why. And as a bonus, this idea is eco-friendly! Hooray green Christmas!

Now comes the fun part… the photo for our holiday card. A couple years ago we took a family photo with our (then) two cats and one dog. It took us 100 tries before we got one where the cats kinda sorta looked at the camera. So this year… no cats. Sorry! Last year when we got Peanut we bought matching little red jackets trimmed with white “fur” for our Christmas photo, but our delay in taking Peanut home caused us to miss out on the photo opp… until NOW! As usual, Peanut LOVED posing for the camera. He really knows how to work it like a supermodel! Taz was reluctant, but he gave his best Bah Humbug! to the camera anyway. We are probably going to email both pics out with our holiday greeting. : )

With all the cold weather we are getting right now and all the “signs” about giving, I thought this was an appropriate time to start spreading messages of love for the holidays. In case I don’t blog again before Thanksgiving (final paper due and oral exam next week) I wish everyone a happy and safe holiday full of reasons to be truly thankful!

On November 8th I helped the fabulous Stephanie shoot a wedding down in St. Augustine. It was such a fun time because another fabulous photographer from our church, Beth, was also there to back up Stephanie. Being with the two of them was so much fun, and I’m so eager to see all of their shots!

Since this wasn’t one of my weddings I am just gonna post a couple of pics that don’t reveal who the bride and groom are. It was such a gorgeous wedding! The weather was just perfect with bright blue skies and very mild temperatures. What a blessed day! They had a gorgeous reception at the historic Columbia restaurant in downtown St. Augustine and all of the details were just so elegant and creative, even down to the name cards for each guest. They did a fabulous job planning their special day and I wish them lots of love in their marriage!

Indian Flavor

November 17, 2008

Last night we went out to dinner with our friends Christie and Shawn. We love going out to dinner with them because they share our interest in trying new and exciting restaurants. They had been talking about going to Flavors, and Indian restaurant on Baymeadows (one of several on that road). As usual, they made a great choice. The food was definitely full of flavor, and we were not disappointed! Flavors also has a small grocery store, so we looked around. Even though I love Indian food, I don’t think I’m adventurous enough to attempt making it! They had a great selection of items in the store, though.

It was so nice just to have a night out hanging out with friends. We’ve been on such a tight budget, with most of our “extra” money going into photography supplies. We had a pretty relaxing weekend, doing a lot of house work and just hanging out. It was such a nice change!

At the end of the day…

November 10, 2008

I had a serious case of the Mondays today, but that all changed shortly after I got home. I came in the house and didn’t even have my shoes off when Matt took my bags and put them down for me and rushed me upstairs to show me the surprise he had for me. He put candles all over the bathroom and had a bubble bath and a glass of wine waiting for me! It was too sweet. So while I soaked my stress away he made a delicious dinner. With me working so much lately he has become quite the cook! I could really get used to it. : )

He also went out and picked up a movie for us to watch, and even though I have papers to write I told him I would take the night off to hang out with him. He just ran out to get dessert and let me check my emails. I have such a great husband!

We are starting to make plans for our first anniversary. It’s a few months away still, but it looks like we are finally going to go wine tasting in North Georgia. We’ve been wanting to go up there and stay in a cabin, so we are finally going to do it! We are long overdue to go visit our friends and family in the area, so we will visit with them on the weekend. Plus I am hoping to do some photo sessions while we are up there, including an engagement session for a couple that just booked with me for their June wedding! I can’t wait to meet them!

So I just wanted to blog, because on this typical Monday it feels like a Friday thanks to my hubby understanding my needs! He’s too good to me. : ) Also, I’ve been wanting to post these pics I took over the weekend. We bought some studio lighting and backdrops for a business shoot I have tomorrow, so I used Matt and the puppies as my test models. Thank you, boys, for being so cooperative and such gorgeous subjects!! Next time I hope Taz will feel more comfortable. He didn’t like the stool I put him on. : p

We had such a great time witnessing our friends Blair and Brian share their vows along the Rice Mill Pond at Middleton Place in Charleston, SC. The setting was so beautiful and there were so many details that made the wedding special. Her mother made a gorgeous aisle runner that was covered with rose petals (I’m sure Matt will probably post a pic of it on his blog). The ceremony was very sweet and Blair was so beautiful that I couldn’t help but get a little teary. : )

It was fun to be a guest at the wedding, but you know I had to sneak in some pictures! Theirs was definitely a wedding to remember and we wish them both much happiness in their life together!

Historic Fort Sumter

November 6, 2008

During our trip to Charleston, we took some time on Saturday morning to visit Fort Sumter. The weather was GORGEOUS with bright blue skies and crisp cool air. I love it when it actually FEELS like fall! We took the ferry over to the island and explored around. It is a very unusual fort, missing about two stories of its original structure. Not quite as imposing and intimidating as I’m sure it once looked, but still worth the visit. Inside, half of the fort looks out of place as the brick is all painted black. Here’s the Wiki account of the out of place structure:

“The start of the Spanish-American War prompted renewed interest in its military use and reconstruction commenced on the facilities that had further eroded over time. A new massive concrete blockhouse-style installation was built in 1898 inside the original walls. Named “Battery Huger” in honor of Revolutionary War General Isaac Huger, it never saw combat.”

The 30 minute ferry ride each way gave us a mini history lesson, adding to the experience. I am glad that we finally got to visit. Here are a few pics of the fort and the USS Yorktown located at Patriot’s Point (where we caught our ferry).

Charleston, SC

November 2, 2008

Matt and I had such a great time this past weekend in Charleston! It was a short weekend, but so much fun. Even though we only had a day and a half in town, we managed to fit in a trip to a lighthouse, a night on the town for Halloween, a ferry ride and tour of Fort Sumter, and Blair & Brian’s beautiful wedding at the historic Middleton Place Plantation.

Just a couple of quick pics of our first stop in Charleston, the Morris Island Lighthouse. I had to grab a picture of Matt on the rocks taking photos. I’m sure he will have a lot to post on his blog this week as well! I’ll try to post photos from the rest of our trip throughout the week. : )