Archive for June, 2009

Happy Birthday To Bebe!!

June 26, 2009

Today is Matt’s birthday! He is… _ _ years old. Still younger than me, but he’s starting to get old! : p

And do you know how awesome my hubby is?? He’s working on his birthday. What better way to celebrate than at a wedding? There’s music, cake, and fun people! We are usually pretty low key when it comes to celebrating birthdays and holidays (usually cooking dinner together at home, drinking some wine and enjoying a movie). We have a small get-together planned for tomorrow. It was just going to be a double date with one of our May couples to see Transformers but it has turned into a quadruple date (at last count) with everyone coming over for dinner and dessert at our place before the movie. Yeah, you might have guessed that the movie was birthday boy’s pick. I will sit through it for him (and for a bag of popcorn)! : )

I’m so lucky to have Matt. He always makes me laugh and is so supportive of the photography business. Tonight (and before every shoot) he cleaned all the lenses, charged all our batteries, and packed up the bags. He always checks to see which lenses I want in my bag. He probably doesn’t know this, but I think it’s really cute that he does all of that! I’m soooo glad that he is interested and photography (and so naturally good at it). Before I would think about him and miss him at every wedding and now I can’t imagine shooting one without him!

We’re heading to California for a week, so finally we’ll have some time to ourselves to just enjoy life. June was a VERY BUSY month, so we really need some time to kick back, do some wine tasting, grub on some killer Mexican food like only the West Coast can offer, and take in those beautiful sunsets on the rocky California coastline!

Can’t wait to start celebrating my bebe’s birthday! I love you!!! : x

Janessa & Johnny’s sunrise wedding at One Ocean Resort was definitely one of the most unique weddings we have shot to date. If you can get a groom to get up that early to get married, it must be love! It was an early day, but the beach was so peaceful that morning. It certainly would have been the opposite had they planned a sunset wedding! As they shared their vows the sun peeked out over the horizon, as if honoring their union with its warm rays. Such a beautiful idea for a wedding!

Here’s the original post about their wedding. Now see the rest of the story in their slideshow! The beach and the beautiful tropical wedding colors Janessa & Johnny used made me think of “Crazy Love” by Maxi Priest. It’s slightly uptempo but the lyrics are all about being in love and how every little thing about the one you love can be so mesmorizing!

I just finished putting together Kirstin & Philip’s slideshow last night and it made me smile. It’s so much fun re-living a wedding day and slideshows really bring the story together. We always create them for our couples, but we haven’t really shared them online… until now!

I’ve been thinking for a while now about uploading the slideshows to the blog, but the program I use most often doesn’t have an option for embedding the video. However, the program I use when I fuse video and still images together DOES have that option. It’s a slower program to use and *sometimes* it will freeze up on me, but when it does work I really like the result. Since we are trying to include more video in our wedding day coverage, I’m sure I’ll be using this program more often in the future (which is good because it means more slideshows for you!).

Here’s a look at Kirstin & Philip from “I will!” to “I do!”:

Engagement Photos in New York City

Wedding at the Jacksonville Garden Club

*Don’t forget to pause the music player at the bottom of the blog!*

Random Petting Zoo!

June 24, 2009

On our way home from shooting Mika & Jonathan’s Atlanta wedding, we stopped to get gas off I-16. I’m not even sure what town we were in but when we pulled into the gas station we saw that there was an adjacent farm. I guess not so random when you’re in rural Georgia, but what was random about it was that it was set up so that visitors could feed the animals! Rock on!!

We inquired inside about feeding the animals, bought a bag of food, and fed the animals – a bull, a cow, a llama, some goats, a donkey, and lots of geese! We had such a blast in the 30 minutes we spent there!

Here’s a few shots of the adorable animals and of us feeding them. Matt really loved it when I freaked out as I fed them. I was so certain the animals (especially the bull) would bite off my hand, but they were very sweet! Still, my reaction is pretty hilarious!

The baby goat was so stinkin’ cute!!!!!

My hubby is so much braver than I am!

I fed the little cow straight out of the bag. Not so bad, so I built up my courage…

… and fed the bull from my hand! Ick! Bleh! Ew! He completely slobbered all over my hand. Fortunately, though, he did not bite my hand off as I feared!

And finally, the llama. Why is the llama last? Perhaps because it is my favorite? Nope. Perhaps because my hubby’s parents have an alpaca farm and llamas and alpacas look so much alike? Nope, not that one, either! I put it last because no picture of a llama is complete without…

… A FINALE TO INCLUDE THE LLAMA SONG!! Oh yes! It’s so addictive. Seriously, how many times are you going to listen to it trying to memorize the words so you can sing along?! Come on! The orange slayed the rake?? LOL! Don’t forget to pause the music player at the bottom of the blog before playing the video. Hope this brightens your day! : )

We just got home 7 hours ago from shooting Mika & Jonathan’s beautiful Atlanta wedding! After meeting up with them for their engagement session at Clark Atlanta University we have been so anxious for their wedding day to arrive! You can’t be in their presence and NOT smile because they are just so warm and friendly! All of their wedding guests were also wonderful! It was such a happy, intimate occasion with everyone showing their support and love for them!

The Emory Conference Center hotel is a great venue for a wedding because there are so many options. Mika & Jonathan’s ceremony was held in the Garden Overlook room, which is a gorgeous room with windows from the ground to the ceiling. Matt & I saw it and I think we drooled. It was just stunning, especially with the view of the garden! The reception was full of laughter and love. Great music and lots of dancing = lots of fun photos! But what I will remember most is how Jonathan said that 11am could not come soon enough because he could not wait to marry Mika! Aw!!! They are so in love. It’s just undeniable!! And we love couples in love! : )

The event was coordinated by Cheryl of Exquisite Events Atlanta and we might just have to kidnap her because she was such a pleasure to work with!

There’s so many more images I would love to blog, but it’s after 6am and time for bed! Congratulations Mika & Jonathan! Matt & I hope that you will always be as much in love as you are today! Have a wonderful time in Puerto Rico!


I’ve been so anxious to blog more about this, but wanted to wait until I had the whole story. Now I am just bursting with so much excitement that I don’t know where to begin!! Okay, be cool… breathe…

Back in February I learned that Shoot Q was hosting auction featuring the top photographers in the industry to benefit Thirst Relief International. Each of them offered different mentoring packages and various other prizes. I mean, ALL the big names were involved. I can’t even spout off a couple of them because I’d have to list them all. You’d know them all, too, if you are in the photo community. All amazingly talented and phenomenal people! But there was only one auction that caught my attention, and it happened to be for the two photographers I admire most: Justin & Mary Marantz!

Not only do Justin & Mary have some of the most gorgeous photos I have ever seen (each new post on their blog makes me melt!) but they are also very giving. They are the founders of Portrait House, an organization that brings together a community of photographers to donate a portion of their session fees to Habitat For Humanity! I know, you love them too now, don’t you?!

They are also very involved in the Pictage community and love to share their passion for photography with other photographers. The great thing about Pictage members is that we aren’t competitive with one another (except maybe some friendly competition here and there). So Justin & Mary have shared some of their marketing tips and how they build strong client relationships. They even hold a workshop called “Spread The Love” to help photogs (and really anyone who owns a business) to learn about balancing business and life. Just ask my hubby and he will tell you the balance is not always even. And people think photographers have such a cake job! LOL!

I was in Orlando when the auction came to a close. We had a wedding in Sarasota, so I wasn’t able to check on the auction status (this was before I had my iPhone). When I got back to Orlando I immediately checked the auction results and found out I had won! I bet as much as I could afford and just hoped for the best. And if it wasn’t enough, then that was a good thing anyway because it meant that more money went to the charity. But it was enough and I finally got to meet up with Justin & Mary last month in New Haven, CT. Since I wasn’t at WPPI this year they were kind enough to allow me to schedule the mentor session when I came up to CT.

Waiting for them at this charming little bookstore/cafe called Atticus, I felt like I was waiting for a first date. Yeah, that anxious and nervous. Isn’t that silly?! But they were so warm and welcoming that all of the anxiety immediately melted away. Also, I have to say that Mary is even more gorgeous in person, if you can believe it! She carries herself with the dignity of a First Lady or royalty and has a smile like a movie star. Sooo dang pretty!!! I know I’m caught up in girlie awe, but I have to say Justin is a cutie, too! They are just the most adorable, charming couple… they hold hands like they are still courting… it’s too cute!

We had a delicious brunch (must take Matt to Atticus next time) and then headed over to the Yale campus for a photo shoot. It was my first visit to Yale and I fell in love with the architecture! It was soooo strange being on the “other” side of the camera, but Justin & Mary have a way of making you feel beautiful and glamorous. One thing I really took note of was how Justin & Mary took turns being the lead photographer. As Matt gets more comfortable as a photographer, I hope we can do the same!

So today when I was checking my blog reader I saw that Justin & Mary posted the photos from our shoot at Yale! Yay!!! Totally made my day! They had such sweet things to say about me and I really just want to get out my chair and just do a little giddy happy excited dance (think Laura Linney in Love Actually when she brings home the hot guy from work!). Eeeeee!! I freaking got to hang out with Justin & Mary AND have myself immortalized with their amazing photography! Way cool! And look how gorgeous they made me look:

That’s just one of my favorites. There are a bunch of other awesome shots on their blog. Everyone, if you don’t follow Justin & Mary’s blog then you definitely need to add it to your blog roll. Each new post will take your breath away, especially with the beautifully composed story that goes with each entry!

Thank you, thank you, thank you Justin & Mary for… well, everything! Thank you for continually inspiring me and other photographers and for all that you do to give back through charitable work. I can’t think of a better mentor to have and truly enjoyed our mentor session! Also, I am so thrilled about the headshots! They turned out beautiful!!!! One day you’ll have to meet the other half that makes me whole. Hope to see you both at Partner Con!! : )

We knew Deby & Michael’s wedding was going to be awesome, but we had no idea just how fun and crazy things were going to be!

But before the craziness, I want to say it was a beautiful wedding!! We were so happy that the rain held off for the ceremony. There was a light sprinkle during parts of the ceremony, but nothing like the storms we saw in the early afternoon. The sky gave us beautiful lighting to work with and once again the raindrops made all the colors of the grass and trees so vibrant and lovely!

Even though the rain held off, the bride and groom still ended up getting soaked! Toward the end of the evening, Michael picked up Deby and carried her away. Matt & I looked at each other wondering what was going on and then learned he was going to throw her in the pool! I’m pretty sure she agreed to it or else he would have been in serious trouble! It was AWESOME!! We took advantage of the opportunity to snap some pics, though it was a quick Trash The Dress session since kids were splashing and the water caused Deby’s dress to weigh like 75 pounds!

It was a really fun time, which I’m sure you’ll see below. Deby & Michael’s family and friends were such a great bunch of people and the newlyweds definitely seemed like they had a wonderful time!

Congrats, Deby & Michael! We hope your wedding day was everything you had hoped for! Here’s a preview of your photos (LOTS more to come!):

In 15 hours, Matt & I will be heading out to shoot Deby & Michael’s wedding. But before we bring you photos of their BIG DAY, we wanted to share their engagement/family session from last weekend!

We were racing against the clock to capture these photos. The rain was moving closer and closer and I think we only got 30 minutes of actual shooting before the rain finally arrived. Matt took the kids for some cute photos while Mom & Dad got to have a few minutes of personal time for their own photos. We would have loved to spend more time shooting because they have such a beautiful family, but we will get a TON of gorgeous photos at the wedding tomorrow! Knowing Deby & Michael and hearing what they have to say about their wedding it is going to be one big PARTY!

Last Saturday, Matt & I were blessed to shoot not one, but TWO beautiful weddings! Rainy weather required a last-minute move inside for Nichole & Daniel’s wedding, but fortunately we had an opportunity to capture some photos on the beach after the ceremony. The post-rain sky was filled with soft light and the moisture on the grass allowed the color to bounce around, giving off a brilliant green that I have fallen in love with over the past few rainy weeks.

Nichole & Daniel were so cute together! They weren’t shy at all in front of the camera and in between smooches they gave each other cute little eskimo kisses! Daniel was hilarious as he would strike a pose in an instant (he does a mean Blue Steel). We found ourselves laughing the whole evening!

We wish for Nichole & Daniel many days of sunshine and happiness as they begin their new life together! Here’s a preview of the images from their big day:

One of the highlights of the evening was the bouquet/garter toss. A little boy caught the garter and had everyone cracking up when he placed it on the leg of the bridesmaid who caught the bouquet! Isn’t that adorable?!!

Every sunrise is something unique and unexpected. On the morning of June 6th, the dawn began with a bold, electrifying blue, then softened into a cool, aqua blue and slowly transformed into orange rays of sunlight pushing its way beyond the horizon. In Florida, we do A LOT of sunset weddings. Sunset is romantic, but on the East Coast of Florida it’s the sun rising over the horizon at the beach that is the most beautiful time of the day. After Saturday’s beautiful wedding ceremony at sunrise I’m really hoping that more couples will choose this setting. It was absolutely stunning and so peaceful and intimate!

Janessa & Johnny held their wedding at One Ocean Resort in Atlantic Beach. One Ocean is the former Sea Turtle Inn, completely remodeled with a very swanky, contemporary look. Following the ceremony, Janessa & Johnny joined their guests on the verandina for their brunch reception. It was a heartfelt celebration full of laughter and tears. Watching them dance together, everyone can see how much in love they are with one another. I wasn’t able to fight off the tears during their first dance when Janessa wiped both her and Johnny’s tears away. The morning ended with everyone packing the dance floor and it was hard to resist jumping in there and dancing, too (especially when they played my favorite workout jam, “Get Me Bodied” by Beyonce, TWICE).

We wish Janessa & Johnny all the best! There is no doubt they will have a strong marriage with a foundation of faith and love!

We had fun using this tunnel for some photos. First we played with some off-camera lighting, but being the naturalist that I am I decided to then just use ambient light with a little backlighting.