Archive for December, 2009

Today, we were so excited to find out from one of our favorite couples, Beth & Mark, that their wedding photo was included in the latest issue of Jacksonville Magazine! Check it out:

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The photo credit had a typo in my name (trust me, I realized in kindergarten how tough my name was to spell!) but they spelled the bride & groom’s names right, and that’s the important thing!

Beth & Mark had a very unique, beautiful wedding at the Jacksonville Zoo and we like to call them our “most photographed couple.” Check out their four, yes FOUR, photo sessions with us:

Engagement Photos at the Jacksonville Zoo

Engagement Photos in Destin

Wedding at the Jacksonville Zoo

Jacksonville Trash The Dress Photos

And just because they live in Italy now doesn’t mean there won’t be a fifth one. We’ve already looked into airfare!

It’s been an exciting year for Beth & Mark and we are so happy for them that it ends on such a high note! We are anxious to see what 2010 brings for this amazing couple! Hugs from home! : )

Wedding at the Jacksonville Zoo

Wedding at the Jacksonville Zoo

Thank You For A Great Year!

December 18, 2009

As this year comes to a close, it’s only natural to reflect over the previous 12 months – the highs and the lows (hopefully more highs than lows), people you’ve met along the way, experiences that moved you, what you’ve learned, and moments that you will never forget. All this week, Matt & I have reflected on each of the engagements and weddings that we captured in 2009. We relived all of the laughs that we shared with our amazing couples and remembered the tears of joy that we’ve shed on the most important day of their lives. This year has been nothing short of amazing and we thought it would be fun to put together a collection of our favorite moments to share with all of you.

I imagine that the way we feel when we watch this video is much like the feeling our couples get when they watch the wedding slideshows that we create for them. With each frame, we are taken back to that particular moment in time. Is there anything more powerful? In fact, when Matt first sat down to watch the video I put together of all these memories, he got a little teary eyed. I have to admit that I do, too, when I watch this video.

We love sharing these memories with you, as so many of you have become our friends. From the bottom of our hearts, we thank you for your friendship and for allowing us to be such an importrant part of your lives. Here’s a glimpse of how each of you has helped make 2009 so very special for us:

Congratulations again to all of our 2009 wedding couples:

Alisa & Ivan | January 3rd
Karolina & Ted | January 10th
Christina & Brian | February 20th
Lyndsey & Todd | February 24th
Yazmin & Marvin | March 21st
Kara & Shaun | April 4th
Stephanie & Doug | April 4th
Jennifer & TJ | April 11th
Kirstin & Philip | April 26th
Amanda & Chris | May 16th
Kuri & George | May 23rd
Beth & Mark | May 24th
Denelle & Tony | May 30th
Janessa & Johnny | June 6th
Nichole & Daniel | June 6th
Deby & Michael | June 13th
Mika & Jonathan | June 21st
Dani & Rob | June 26th
Shannon & Todd | July 18th
Yolanda & Chris | August 29th
Sheba & Nolan | September 6th
Erin & Aaron | September 13th
Samantha & Dave | September 14th
Cathy & Shawn | September 15th
Christina & Shane | September 19th
Jamie & Bill | October 1st
Lisa & Seth | October 10th
Jackie & Zac | October 11th
Jessica & Mark | November 7th
Kiran & Rishi | November 21st
Toni & Cedric | November 28th

We wish you all continued love and happiness in 2010!

And to our 2010 couples, we’re really looking forward to capturing your stories! Can you believe it? This time next year, we’ll be bragging about all of YOU!

All the best to you and your families this holiday season!

: ) Gwen & Matt

We Heart MagnetStreet!

December 17, 2009

This evening, as Matt & I were cooking dinner, we were surprised with a sweet holiday gift from Heidi at MagnetStreet! She sent us an awesome coffee gift set from I Have A Bean (awesome company, check out their website and read their story!).

You know I had to get some pics so I can show you how cool Heidi is and how much we love the gift:

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Heidi is the blogging genius behind the uber popular Truly Engaging wedding blog, an awesome resource for wedding inspiration! The blog is always filled with delicious details and creative ideas for personalizing your wedding day. She also features photos from awesome photographers (like us!) and our friend Corinna Hoffman. We were honored to have Maria & Peter’s Key West Trash The Dress session featured on her blog!

I’ve actually been meaning to blog about MagnetStreet because I got so excited when one of our 2010 couples, Melissa & Alex, gave us one of their Save The Dates and we saw that it was from MagnetStreet.com! They have such cute designs and you can create your own gorgeous Save The Date designs right on the website! Plus you can coordinate them with your invitations, thank you cards, and more! Here’s the one we received from Melissa & Alex (which is on our refrigerator):

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I had to block out the wedding website because I’m sure that Melissa & Alex don’t want any wedding crashers (especially since their wedding is going to be off-the-chain insanely awesome!). I love magnet Save The Dates! We even have some on our fridge from friends whose weddings have already happened just because they are so fun to look at! You can’t get rid of something that cool (so send us your Save The Dates and you’ll be immortalized on our Fridge of Fame, too!). : )

Heidi, thank you so much for being the awesome, positive person you are and for keeping me caffeinated! ; ) We really appreciate your thoughtfulness and look forward to more great things from MagnetStreet and the Truly Engaging Blog in 2010! Happy holidays to you and the MagnetStreet family!

Whoever said first impressions are everything LIED!

The first time we met Sharonda & Javian, they were so shy and quiet. However, we got to see the real side of them at their Jacksonville engagement photo session! They are silly, fun, outgoing, and so in love! There is never a dull moment with them because they enjoy each other’s company so much.

Seeing how perfect they are together, it’s surprising to find out that it wasn’t love at first sight for them! They met in the Navy and over time their professional relationship developed into friendship, and that friendship turned into love. That basis of friendship is apparent in the way they laugh together, and in their laughter they are saying, “This is my best friend – the one who makes every moment worth living for.”

And thank goodness that they ended up falling in love, because they look so great together! Due to crazy Jacksonville weather (sometimes we get all 4 seasons in just one week here!), we weren’t sure if the engagement session would be able to happen, but we ended up being blessed with a cloudy day that was perfect for photos! So glad that we were able to get to know Sharonda & Javian better and to capture their engagement before Javian goes out on deployment. We can’t wait for their wedding next year! I don’t want to give anything away, but it’s going to be very elegant and unique. Our friends at Alpha & Omega Event Consultants are helping to plan and coordinate the wedding so you know it will be amazing!

And now… their Jacksonville engagement photos!

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Jacksonville Engagement Photos | Sharonda & Javian

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We are so excited to bring you our final wedding of 2009! It’s so bittersweet that this wedding season has come to a close, but what a way to end the season! Toni & Cedric had a beautiful wedding at Club Continental on the St. Johns River. We knew this was going to be a beautiful wedding after their totally HOT engagement photos in downtown Jacksonville! They definitely know how to pose for the camera and are so gorgeous together!

The getting ready shots were so fun. Toni has every woman’s dream bathroom! It’s so spacious and has gorgeous light, and as soon as I saw it I started getting ideas for different shots! This is where most of the action took place, including the bridal makeup by makeup artist Haley Bolen. I always enjoy time with the girls and all of the pre-wedding excitement!

The wedding ceremony was so lovely! The weather was perfect for a wedding overlooking the river and Toni & Cedric shared the day with their closest friends and family. It was such an emotional day, and there is no denying how much they love one another. As I edited the photos, I noticed that Cedric had tears in his eyes! How sweet is that?! He just looked at Toni so adoringly and in her smile was a response that showed how much she adored him, too!

The ceremony and reception were coordinated by Alpha & Omega Event Consultants and though it was an elegant affair, the party was definitely ON at the reception! Everyone was dancing away to the sounds of DJ Smooth T, who took us back with some old school! Almost every songs was like “Oh my God! I haven’t heard that in so long!” I love when that happens!

The party continued on at the “after party.” You know, because you never want the wedding day to end! We were so exhausted by the end of the day, which means we had fun! I can’t think of a better way to end 2009 than with a beautiful wedding like this! It definitely ended the wedding season on a high note for us!

Toni & Cedric are honeymooning in Mexico right now (sooooo jealous!) and should be back any day. We wanted to wait until they returned to share these so they get to see them when everyone else does! I know everyone has been anxious to see these, so without further delay…

Love this shot of Toni just before leaving for the ceremony!

This is possibly my favorite shot of the day. I love the smile on Ced’s face as he looks at his beautiful bride!

Wedding at Club Continental | Jacksonville Wedding Photographers

We recently traveled to New Jersey to photograph Kiranmayi & Rishiraj’s beautiful wedding. Their wedding ceremony was a blend of a traditional South Indian and North Indian wedding traditions and it was AMAZING! On Friday night, we attended Rishi’s bridegroom making ceremony and were introduced to most of the family members. We had so much fun and after the ceremony we ate some delicious samosas (the biggest ones I have ever seen). They were soooooo yummy!

On Saturday, we began our day very early to capture the bride and groom getting ready for the big day (which is always my favorite part of the wedding day). The bridal preparations are always so much fun because of all the excitement and anticipation of the wedding ceremony. When I first arrived at Kiran’s hotel, I met makeup artist Melissa D’Aloia. After hair and makeup, Kiran was dressed in her sari and we began the journey to the temple for the wedding celebration!

While I was with Kiran, Matt attended Rishi for his wedding day preparations. Matt sent me a text with a photo of what Rishi was wearing that day because it was so ornate and gorgeous! The groom and his family arrived at the temple and were greeted by Kiran’s family and honored through various traditions. It was one of the most heartwarming parts of the day, and throughout the ceremony it was so evident of the emphasis on family. I thought that was such a beautiful element of this wedding!

Though the day was filled with prayer, it was also a very social event! After the bride and groom saw each other, everyone gathered close to take part in the rest of the wedding traditions. It was unlike anything we have ever seen before, and we LOVED it! Everything happened so fast and we had to be ready every moment for what might happen next. I think our favorite part had to be when Kiran and Rishi poured rice and other things on each other’s heads. As you can see from the photos below, they really went crazy with it! Everyone was filled with happiness and laughter and it was such a joyous event!

After the wedding festivities were complete and we finished with photos, we went downstairs from the temple to enjoy an amazing lunch! Throughout all of the wedding activities, everyone treated us like we were close friends or part of the family. They were always asking if we were comfortable or needed anything and ALWAYS wanted to make sure we were very well fed! Even after eating two plates of food someone would insist that we eat more. And trust me, if there was any possible way to eat more we would have because we LOVE Indian food! But we really appreciate how much Kiran and Rishi and all their friends and family made us feel welcome from the very beginning. We enjoyed being part of the wedding day and hope that they enjoy the photos and memories of that day! And trust me… there are a TON of photos!

The pictures tell the story much better than we can! I just wanted to tell a little about the wedding day because it was so different from any other wedding we have shot before! We are so happy that Kiran and Rishi are finally married because she was living all the way in San Fran and he was in Ohio! No more long days of travel to see each other!

Congratulations Kiran and Rishi, and thank you so much for letting us be part of your wedding day! : )

One of the highlights of this year’s PartnerCon was the addition of some shooting workshops with some of the top photographers in the country. I knew immediately that I HAD to be in the Sara France workshop because it was totally my cup of tea. At first, I ended up on the waiting list, but I remained hopeful that my name would come up on the final list. We were in St. Augustine on our way to an engagement session when I received the news that I got in, and you would have thought I won the lottery! I squealed and did a little happy dance right there in the passenger seat!

The photo shoot did NOT disappoint! First of all, Sara France was just really cool. I wasn’t sure what to expect, but she was really down to Earth. Second, the model (Dawn) was so gorgeous and really made everyone’s job so easy! She’s been modeling since she was a teen and made sure to give all 25 of us attention so we could get a shot!

We walked through the streets of New Orleans and Sara would stop when she saw a great location. She talked us through her thought process of using the light, background, what gear she would use and why, and how to talk to the model. It was a lot of fun and even though the shoot was supposed to be 2 hours Sara kept us out for an extra hour! I could barely walk by the end of it but it was so worth it! It was a great experience and the images are just killer! I can’t wait until next year’s PartnerCon, which is going to be in New Orleans again!!!! Yay!!

Thanks so much to Pictage for adding this amazing experience to the conference, to Sara France for leading this particular workshop, to the stylist and model for giving us an amazing visual to work with, and to the other photographers that I met in the group! I can’t wait to see everyone’s images! Here are a few of my favorites: