Archive for March, 2009

Last night, David Ziser kicked off his 58-city tour in Jacksonville to a packed house. I met up at the workshop with some other photographers I know and we basically took over an entire row. After the workshop we met up with Mr. Ziser for a quick photo:

Photo by Matt Tundermann, who insists on getting credit for the image… lol)

The workshop was very informative and primarily focused on Mr. Ziser’s use of light to create dramatic images. He showed us what kind of lighting he used, how he positioned it, and how he adjusted for different effects. He also went through Lightroom (my favorite editing tool) and showed how you can make adjustments that will enhance the image.

It was A LOT of information packed into one workshop. The great thing is that it started in the evening, so pretty much anyone could attend. The bad part was that everyone was so tired by the end of the night!

If anyone has a chance to go to the workshop, I highly recommend it. You can get a $20 discount by using the Camera Dojo promo code: ZKGDWC09. Only $59 for the workshop, and you won’t believe some of the things he’s giving away in addition to all the valuable information!

To register, visit the Digital Wake Up Call Tour website and find the city nearest you!

Christina & Shane enjoy life and one another’s company. Maybe it’s just an evening at home, cooking dinner together, drinking wine and listening to Frank Sinatra. Or perhaps it’s a weekend trip together to Georgia or other parts of Florida. No matter where they go, they have a great time because they are one another’s best friend.

We met up with Christina & Shane at the Florida Yacht Club for their engagement session. It’s easy to see why they are members of this beautiful location and why they chose it as the site of their wedding reception! It’s elegant and beautiful, but also very serene. Guests will be able to enjoy the breezes from the river out on the balcony overlooking the downtown skyline or sit by candlelight inside the beautiful ballroom. Christina & Shane have planned out the evening so that all of their guests will have a wonderful time, and it’s certain to be an evening to remember!

Thank you guys for being so patient yesterday, even if the wind wouldn’t cooperate with us! That was so thoughtful of you to give us a gift and fuel our Starbucks addiction! You two are so sweet!

I just want to say how much I love this last shot. It’s so sweet how Christina just melts into Shane’s arms, like it’s exactly where she belongs. The content look on her face makes me feel all lovey!

When I found out that Symphony and Julio were gamers, I thought it would be fun to do some engagement photos at Dave & Buster’s. It’s fun and colorful, but it also gave us a chance just to hang out and learn more about this fun couple. They are so adorable and so into each other! I can’t recall how many times that Symphony commented to me about how cute Julio is! It was just too sweet (and yes, he is a cutie!).

Here are a few shots from their shoot. After learning more about them, I have one more location I’d like to try out with them, so hopefully we’ll have more to come!

It’s so fitting that our first engagement session of Spring was with Christine and Ben. They are so funny and flirty and full of life! This cute couple met in college at Iowa State and moved to Jacksonville for Ben to go to law school. We met up with them in St. Augustine on a windy Sunday. It was chilly, but the skies were a gorgeous bright blue!

After learning that we would be facing 30mph winds for our shoot, Christine suggested that we use the Lightner Museum and Casa Monica. We arrived early enough to beat all the crowds, so there was no one around to turn us in for breaking the law (inside joke). We also used Flagler College and the streets of historic downtown as our backdrop.

It was really hard to pick photos to post on the blog because they are so hot that each one turned out well! They have no idea how easy they made our job! They would just be themselves and we were like “Perfect, that is exactly what we’re looking for!” Photos are best when the couple is just being natural. The way they look at each other as if no one else is watching… that’s the kind of look that makes a photo! They also got silly for us and turned out some fun shots that I am sure I’ll never take again!

Thank you guys for being so easy to hang out with! We hope you guys had as much fun as we did! We’ll have to do sushi or Casbah sometime! : )


The first Saturday of Spring was windy and chilly, but it was a beautiful day for a wedding. Deep red and soft white roses helped set the mood for a classic, elegant wedding at the historic Club Continental. The bride and groom both wore white, looking like a couple straight out of a fairytale. With the St. John’s River as a backdrop, Yazmin & Marvin were married underneath a canopy of live oaks in front of friends and family.

The reception immediately shifted to a huge party celebrating their marriage! Everyone was dancing and having a great time. I was even tempted to jump out there and join everyone for the Cuban Shuffle! The highlight of the night, though, had to have been the cake cutting. Only two people who REALLY love each other can get away with what Yazmin & Marvin did! Yes, this is true love

Yazmin & Marvin, we wish you both all the best in your new life together! Congratulations! : )


This past weekend, Matt and I took a break from our weekend of office redecorating to visit the new Asian Gardens exhibit at the Jacksonville Zoo. After all of the work he did on my office, I couldn’t deny him his one request to go see the komodo dragons. Even though we got there toward the end of the day there were still a lot of people just arriving at the zoo! It was insanely busy, but we made our way past all the groups of people all the way to the back corner where the new part of the zoo was. It’s still in development, but the komodo dragons and the bamboo garden were beautiful! I especially loved the koi pond. Matt and I have a koi tapestry in the living that we found out in California, and I may have to add some of our photo artwork below to the wall!

I really can’t wait until Beth & Mark’s wedding at the zoo this May. We are definitely going to take advantage of the bright green bridge in the Asian Gardens for their wedding photos. Okay, I know some of my friends might have an idea to go use it now for their photos, but I said it first here!! Hahaha! : )

Here are a few shots that I snapped while we were there:


My Creative Haven!

March 17, 2009

Over the weekend, my wonderful husband and business partner helped me redecorate my office (and by “helped” I mean practically did it all himself). I’ve had it in my mind for a couple months now that I wanted to have my office reflect my blog. The idea was there, but like most things I let the idea incubate until it was ready to come to fruition. And, like most things, waiting turned out to be for a good reason. As it turned out, another photographer I know had a very similar color scheme to my blog (black and white damask with Tiffany blue). We discovered this when I commented on her camera bag, which had a damask design in black and white. I mentioned that I had been interested in the same bag because it matched my branding, and from there we discovered our very similar tastes! I wasn’t full committed to the branding yet, so again I let everything incubate until the answer became clear to me.

The thought that kept coming to mind was pink. I love pink, but am I really a pink kind of girl? There really was no other color that better suited the look I wanted, and after I found the right shade of pink I suddenly discovered that there was a bold part of me that screamed to have a touch of bright pink in my classic, elegant black and white damask design. And thus the brand developed!

I purchased the wallpaper a couple weeks ago, but recovering from my surgery was not an ideal time for the exhausting task of redecorating. So we waited until this weekend and began our project. I honestly didn’t think it would take the entire weekend to complete, but as it turns out wallpaper is a real pain in the butt!! The result is beautiful, though, and I think my hubby is very pleased with the result. Every time he comes into the room he comments on how great it looks (a source of pride, I’m sure, since he did so much of the work). If the wallpaper wasn’t challenging enough, I just HAD to have a chandelier in my room! We finally finished putting the chandelier in just before midnight on Sunday, including a late night run to Walmart because Matt was NOT going to let it go without seeing the thing light up!

I now have a space that I just LOVE. To be creative, you really need to have a space that is yours and allows your creativity energy to flow. This room, as Matt pointed out, is decidedly ME!!! : )

When I read about the Social Media Intensive workshop hosted by the ladies at Southern Weddings Magazine, I knew I had to attend. Even though I was already utilizing social media in my daily life, I wasn’t sure if I was using it effectively. I sent an email to a handful of other local photographers that I thought might be interested in attending and ended up finding two wonderful companions for the trip! Thanks so much Corinna and Ginger for being adventurous enough to go on the road trip! I really enjoyed your company and our great conversation during the long drive. : )

The workshop was presented by Lara Casey, Editor-In-Chief along with her fabulous colleagues and partners Kirstin Hawley, Assistant Editor and Art Director, and Laura Eastes, Managing Editor. We all gathered at Jackson’s restauarant in beautiful downtown Pensacola. At first, I thought we might be crazy for driving 11 hours round trip for a 2 hour workshop, but I think Cory and Ginger would agree that it was well worth the drive. It was incredibly informative and we met so many other people who are passionate about weddings! It really has changed how I view and how I use social media!

Check out the photo of the Jax photogs with the women of Southern Weddings!

(From Left: Me, Laura, Ginger, Corinna, Lara, Kirstin – thank you Corinna for letting me borrow the pic)

Thank you ladies for sharing your knowledge and bringing this workshop to Florida! I enjoyed meeting all of you!

If you haven’t read Southern Weddings Magazine, you have to pick up a copy! It really is a beautiful and inspiring look into weddings in the South. The great thing about this magazine is that you don’t have to wait for the next issue. Southern Weddings also has a phenomenal blog that is frequently updated with photos and great information to help you plan for your wedding!

You know us photographers couldn’t head out to a workshop and not take some time for a fun mini photo shoot! We arrived a bit early, so before the workshop we walked and took some photos of each other. : )

At the end of the day… showing off the cute Southern Weddings tote that they gave us. It was filled with goodies, including the TO-DIE-FOR brownie pops from www.browniepops.com. If you are looking for wedding favors that will leave an impression, these may be what you are looking for! They are the most delicious brownie I’ve ever had!

Such a long day, but so worth it! I really hope the Southern Weddings ladies put together another workshop soon!

Cabin Sweet Cabin

March 11, 2009

Since all I could do during my tonsillectomy recovery was sit around and be lazy, Matt and I decided to take off to North Georgia to stay in a cabin for a relaxing weekend. As it turned out it was better to use my vacation for my surgery, so we turned it into an actual vacation!

We had been talking about renting a cabin in the Blue Ridge mountains for, I don’t know… at least a year? We have even made reservations but had to cancel them for different reasons. Several cabin rental companies had special deals for a free night with the purchase of two, so we jumped on it and had one of the best vacations ever!

Our sweet little cabin sat on top of a mountain in Ellijay, GA (about an hour from Atlanta). Even though the area had plenty of convenient shopping, we felt so far away from it all in our little cabin. We enjoyed just hanging out with our puppies, sitting in the hot tub, cooking dinner, and watching Food Network all night. It was such a laid back time!

On Friday, we went to do a little exploring. We made our way over to Amicalola Falls, just one of the many falls in the area (and the tallest East of the Mississippi, so we are told).

I thought this log was cool because it looked like it had a whole in the shape of a heart in it. Matt disagrees. What do you think?

After viewing the falls, we ventured onward to do some wine tasting. Our first (and final) stop was Montaluce Winery & Estates. We were so impressed with their wine selection that we didn’t go anywhere else! I wasn’t sure what to expect from a winery in Georgia, but Montaluce has a large selection of beautiful Italian and other European wines. They are building an entire community around this gorgeous winery and all the homes look like villas in Tuscany. It’s absolutely precious! We definitely plan to go back whenever we are in the area (about an hour or less from Atlanta).

On Saturday we had a bit of drama with a flat tire. : ( After struggling to find a place that was OPEN and sold tires, we finally found a place just before they closed. Once we had our new tire on, we hit a local BBQ place and grabbed some ribs and went back to the cabin. I am not a big fan of ribs, but we watched Food Network the night before and they were showcasing BBQ joints throughout the country, so we had to have some. These ribs were DELICIOUS!! They had a nice pepper rub on them and had a kick!

We look forward to heading back up to the mountains again soon! If anyone is curious, we went through Sliding Rock Cabins for our rental. They were very accomodating and didn’t charge anything additional for pets. I’m hoping to get a group of people together to go back up there, perhaps next fall!

Under The Sea

March 10, 2009

Last week as I was recovering from my tonsillectomy, Matt and I decided to take a trip to North Georgia. I didn’t have a lot of energy, so a relaxing mountain getaway was perfect! Before going to our sweet little cabin overlooking the Blue Ridge mountains (more on that later), we spent the night in Atlanta and went to the Georgia Aquarium. Overall, I was a bit disappointed. A lot of the exhibits were under construction, and I was really disappointed that the penguins weren’t around. However, we got a behind the scenes tour to see the penguins, so I was happy.

The things that make the aquarium worth the trip are the beluga whales (check out my cute picture of Niko below) and the huge glass window displaying hundreds of sea creatures. I probably could have sat there for an hour watching, but I just didn’t have the energy. I also loved all the stingrays. Ever since we swam with the stingrays in Grand Cayman during our weddingmoon I have an affinity for them! Matt bought me a sweet little sting ray necklace that is now one of my favorites!

But I did snap quite a few pics of my new aquatic friends and Matt helped me get some pics of the penguins (from which I got my nickname… Pen-Gwen… get it?!). I also caught some quick video. I wasn’t sure if I was allowed to record, so I just took a quick one. I’m soooo not one to break the rules! : )