I've done quite a few maternity sessions and pregnancy announcement photos in my day:-) There's a unique story behind everyone's journey to become parents that I love hearing, and in a way become a little bit a part of. For some, it's unexpected, or, it's a long awaited dream, or even for others, it's through adoption or becoming foster parents. For all, I LOVE the nerves and anticipation and hope for what comes next and the love that will be experienced. For Kelly and Pedro it was a 6 year journey. On Christmas eve Kelly took a pregnancy test and it said "Pregnant"! I knew these two as they were awaiting this gift to happen and can't wait to see them as a family of 3 in September!!! xoxoxo
Scott, Jeff, and their sweet puppies decided to leave the Virginia winter for sunshine in Florida this year. They wanted a beach session but something kind of off the beaten path. The locals in Sarasota call in Beer Can Island, and it is a little bit of a hike but has lots of really cool rooted trees sticking out of the water and really pretty sunset. On the way back I got to play with the light and behind all the tall skinny trees, the sand is so white it almost looks like snow. So fun working with you all, here's just a few of my favs!
You might recognize the bride in this one, Haley has been one of our own team members for 6 years now and I can't even describe how happy I am to see her this happy! She and Mitchell have definitely found their person. They wanted an intimate but beautiful location and Haley told me when she walked into Fancy Free she knew it was perfect. It is such a cool spot and the best part is since it's a plant nursery by day it's covered in greenery and so pretty! Haley got ready in a the little room that is actually the front of where the ceremony was. It was draped in greenery and had the perfect window light. Her best friend Ginger was by her side to make sure everything was perfect. While she was getting ready we were talking about wedding #s and Haley said they didn't have one so #gettinmitched popped into my head and then one of her friends added 224 so it was #gettinmitched224 for the perfect hashtag! Haley is an amazing mom to her two boys, Kyson and Taylor and they were so excited to see her in that gown. I made them wait until she was totally ready so they could do a little first look:-) Kyson happened to find the boxes of Mini Doughnuts and snuck a little peek! When Mitchell arrived, his brother Ben, and Kyson helped him finish getting ready. He looked so handsome in that navy suit and burgundy tie. The ceremony was set in the foyer with white garden chairs. Haley entered towards the front and met Kyson and Taylor to hand her off to Mitchell. The shared their own vows with each other and my favorite moment was when Mitchell promised to love the boys as his own and that they were now officially a family! There's SO many amazing spots for photos at Fancy Free and just around the corner with the brick buildings and rows of street lights. On the wall of the Rialto there are different things written on the bricks and one of them said "I don't believe in Magic" and under it said "You will when you see her". They had a low key reception with amazing food from their favorite local spots under the lights on the out door patio. They had a little surprise for everyone that I was super excited about! Haley has a little baby bump and is due in July. They had told everyone that they weren't going to find out the gender, but decided to turn their cake cutting into a gender reveal! Only me and one other person knew that so I had Kandice use my phone to video it and I posted that at the very bottom so you can watch too! Their mom's reactions were the absolute best. I thought it was a girl, Haley has said the entire time it is a boy and she was right!! When they cut into the cake the frosting was blue. Best surprise ever!!!! There's a little spot I had been dying to shoot at about a block away. It's a lighted art piece on top of a building that says "Can you stand perfectly still and hold this moment open?" The perfect ending to the evening! Congrats Haley & Mitchell it was amazing. So excited for your sweet family and Colton Grady on the way! xoxoxo
Venue & Florals | Fancy Free Nursery | Doughnuts | Mini Doughnut Factory | Officiant | Suzanna Johnson | Gown | CC's Bridal | Hair | Brianna Alessandra Beauty | Makeup | Jess Waldrop | Catering | Gold Ring | Cake | Goldie's Goodies
This little guy got to have TWO newborn sessions! His first session was while he was still spending time in the hospital growing and getting strong so he could come home. It was so awesome to get to see how much he's grown and Meghann, David and Daxton settled in at home. He is so handsome and those bright blue eyes!! His mom and dad like different sports teams so he's already a Yankees, Braves, and FSU fan:-) How fabulous is that Chief Osceola head dress? Such a little cutie!
When Kristin first filled out our little get to know you questionnaire she put on there "not doing a bouquet toss, there will be penguins involved, and really excited about the big day" I knew I would love this girl! Curtis proposed to her at the Clearwater marine aquarium and so the Florida Aquarium was the perfect wedding location for them. Kristin's 2 sisters were her maids of honor and were in a light mauve dresses that looked amazing with the guys in gray and the white with navy accents. Curtis had a really unique wedding band that was black woven with red and all the guys had different shark socks on! Kristin's mom, Carolyn, gave her a really sweet handkerchief and sign for their home with the lyrics to My Wish. Right before we headed over to the Aquarium we had the Jolley Trolley park in the perfect spot to do their first look and it was perfect! I love when we get to do photos in the wetlands when the sun is still high, the light in there is just so pretty and their adorable little ring bearer and flower girl joined us too. Kristin's step dad, Jack, officiated their ceremony in the coral reef room with the turtles and sharks as the backdrop. They had a couple little surprise "late arriving guests" of the penguin kind. I always love seeing the guests reactions:-) Just before their kiss the bubble curtain took over and they were officially Mr. and Mrs. Campogni! Their reception was in the Mosaic Center which is the Aquarium's new space, it's a really clean modern, space with the ceiling being huge nautical looking turbines. It was draped in white with gray chivaris with white florals and thistles, Kristin's mom Carolyn really put so much work into planning and making their dream reception come true, it looked amazing! They had several really fun surprises that I was totally looking forward to during the reception. A surprise for Kristin and Curtis was cake toppers that were custom bobble heads of them along with their 2 dogs Carl and Watson. After Kristin danced with her dad and Curtis danced with his mom, Kristin started dancing with her step dad, Jack, and then they put on rock lobster sunglasses and pinchers and did the rock lobster dance. The dance floor was packed and just at the right moment, Jack came out in a full penguin costume! It was pretty freaking awesome, and entertaining! Cheers to #findingcampogni congrats Kristin and Curtis we could not be happier for you guys and so honored to be a part of it!! xoxoxo
Venue | The Florida Aquarium | Hotel | Westin Tampa Waterside | Coordination | Days Remembered by ND | Cake | The Artistic Whisk | DJ | DJ by CJ | Gown | White Magnolia | Designer | Mikealla by Paloma Blanca | Wedding Planning Services | Burlap to Lace | Videographer | J & S Media | Florist | Hoover-Fisher Florist | Ceremony Music | John Demas | Hair & Makeup | Michele Renee the Studio | Transportation | Jolley Trolley
4 years ago in September we had the honor of photographing Heather and Adam's wedding, this summer they are going to become of family of 3! Nothing makes me happier than when our couples come back for us to document them becoming parents. It's not even just getting to photograph them, but hearing and getting to be a part of their life story. We had a last minute location change that was random but totally ended up being even better than our original location. Heather and Adam, so excited for you guys and looking forward to meeting miss Analeigh!!!
Getting engaged is such an exciting time in everyone’s lives and before you know it, and the time leading up to the wedding can be a complete whirlwind. From engagement parties to showers and rehearsals, there are many events that will have brides, grooms and wedding guests staring into their closets wondering, what do I wear? Some of the most difficult outfit decisions happen when events involve photos, because we all want to look good in pictures that will be seen for years to come! So, how can we tackle this clothing conundrum and make sure we’re putting together the most picture-worthy ensembles?
Key clothing tips!
- Comfort. You never know how long events can last, and how much time you’re going to be standing and repositioning for photographs. Make sure you’re wearing something that’s comfortable, because no matter how hard you try to fake a smile, discomfort will show.
- Is it photo-worthy? Patterns can be fun, but you don’t want a striped or zig-zagged pattern shirt that will take away from the other individuals in your shot. Step in front of the mirror or even take a selfie and get a preview of what you’ll look like behind the lens. It might seem obvious, but triple check for stains and wrinkles. (A to-go bottle of wrinkle releaser can really be a life saver!)
- Does it coordinate? If you’re a bride and groom, does your outfit coordinate with your partner? Does it coordinate with the bridal party or others in your photos? Make sure you both are on the same page with how dressed up you are, and make sure you’ve communicated the dress code to others, so they know what to wear and can meet your expectations.
Keeping those points in mind, let’s dive into some of the actual events that couples often get photographed and figure out some photo-worthy outfit options.
- Things to consider: comfort and personality. Popping the question can be nerve-wracking so wear something comfortable. Also make sure your outfit suits your personality - especially if it’s a surprise proposal. Your soon-to-be-fiancé might know something is up if you’re stepping out of jeans and t-shirt and into a tuxedo for a simple walk through the park.
- Men’s outfit idea: You can never go wrong with a colored or patterned dress shirt. Find comfortable dress shirts with a variety of color and pattern options so you can find one that speaks to you, then pair it with a pair of chinos (for a dressy look) or slim-fit jeans (for something a bit more casual). Don’t be afraid to use Pinterest to check out color and pattern combos!
- Women’s outfit idea: Dark wash jeans can be extremely flattering, not to mention how they can be dressed up or dressed down. A bell-sleeved blouse is an adorable top option, or if it’s nice out consider a sundress that will coordinate with a sunny backdrop.
- Added tip: Consider booking a photographer (we LOVE photographing surprise proposals) to capturing that moment as you ask the big question! These photos will be a beautiful keepsake to remember the moment and definitely extra bonus points:-)
Engagement Party/Engagement Photos
- Brides-to-be: Dress codes for the engagement party and your engagement photoshoot usually go hand in hand. Wear something that looks natural for you two, but something that’s also classy. Think “timeless” since these photos are going to last a lifetime. This isn’t the time to test out bold trends - opt for the black dress and flats. Here's a really cool site we share all the time for color palette's in clothing: Design Seeds.
- Grooms-to-be: Dress shirts are the perfect option for engagement photos. You can find a color or pattern option that coordinates with your partner and pair them with dark chinos are dark jeans, depending on what you’re most comfortable with.
- Guests: Guests don’t have to be as dressed up as the soon-to-be bride and groom, but should still be presentable. Opt for dark-washed jeans and a button-up for the men, and a fun cocktail dress for the women.
- Added tip: Don't forget to as us photographers if you need advice on colors, lighting, or time of day we are always happy to help!
- Things to consider: Location, theme and time of day are key. What’s the weather going to be like and are you starting out early in the day when it’s hot or staying out late when the temperature is going to drop? Dress accordingly, so you’re not too hot or too cold.
- Follow the dress code: The save-the-date, wedding website or wedding invitation should give you some details on the wedding dress code. If it doesn’t, reach out to the bride and groom and ask what they’re picturing their big day looking like. If they ask for black tie, invest in the tie and cufflinks. If they say semi-formal, that doesn’t mean it’s time to break out the jeans. Following the dress code is key to making sure you don’t stand out like a sore thumb in wedding day photos, especially if you’re a mother/father of the bride/groom.
- Indoors or outdoors: If a wedding is outdoors, plan accordingly. Bring sunglasses so you can see the couple say “I do,” and layer so you can peel off a cardigan if it gets too hot, but can throw on an extra later as it chills in the evening. If you’re indoors, you can be a little more decisive on your outfit since the temperature will be regulated.
The perfect outfit is going to be different for every person, and every occasion. The most important thing you can do is make sure you’re picking something that you’re comfortable in, so that you look and feel at ease. You also want to make sure you’re communicating and coordinating with others involved to make sure you’re all on the same page with what look you’re going for. At the end of the day, the main focus is going to be the smiles on your faces, since from engagement to “I do” it’s a celebration worth remembering.
Kim and Shane's wedding was one for the books for sure! Kim has been a fellow event industry friendor for almost 10 years now so it was such an honor to photograph her and Shane's gorgeous wedding and we couldn't be happier for them. Being a planner herself, there was SO MANY gorgeous details. The girls had so much fun getting ready and sipping mimosas! They got ready at the Hilton right across the street that is newly redone and has a really cool modern vibe. They have huge art walls and furniture vignette's in the lobby perfect for their first look and inside photos. Their ceremony and reception was on the lawn in-between the Dali and Mahaffey right on the waterfront. Amanda and her team at MMD Events turned Kim's vision into even more than she could have imagined. The lawn was transformed into their ceremony with alternating rows of ghost chairs and white chairs with a white draped arch and sparkly chandalier. Kim's mom walked her down the aisle and she looked stunning and so happy. I love that Pastor Rich had asked them things they love about each other that he shared in the ceremony. The reception was set under market lights with gray linens and really unique and modern florals in gray and mirrored containers. They had a "Comfort Station" with flip flips and our very favorite detail was the doughnut wall that made their cake look like it was floating in front of sparkly doughnuts! Kim's sister was her Maid of Honor and her toast was to how much she loves her sister and how happy they all are to have Shane officially becoming a part of their family. Michael Planas, who is a long time friend of Kim's and works for Grant Hemond rocked the party. Congrats you guys it was such an honor to be part of!!!
Venue | The Mahaffey Theater Lawn | Hotel | Hilton St Petersburg Bayfront | Design, Florals, Decor, Lighting, & Doughnut Wall | MMD Events | Band | Colt Clark | Bridal Boutique | CC's Bridal Boutique | Cake | Alessi's Bakery | Photobooth | Boone's Professional Events | Chairs/Rentals | Elite Events and Rentals | Coffee Cart | Cafe Ala Carte | Catering | Catering by the Family | DJ | Michael Planas - Grant Hemond | Officiant | Pastor Rich Tiemann - Sensational Ceremonies
What a beautiful day for Ana & Jason's wedding! The girls drank rose while helping Ana get in that gorgeous gown and red sparkly heels. Their color palette was red, black, and white and everything down to their black diamond wedding bands and Ana's perfume coordinated. Ana gave the girls fabulous black necklaces and earrings to match their gowns. Jason and the boys were in black tuxes with red bow ties and converse. His tuxedo socks were awesome! Jason definitely shed a tear as Ana walked down the aisle to meet him. They shared their super sweet vows on the waterfront at the Davis Island Garden Club and we had the prettiest light at dusk for photos of the 2 of them. The reception was styled with damask linens and the same exact matching pattern on the cake. Their guest sign in was a wood and glass frame with everyone signing little wooden hearts to but in it. They enjoyed every second of the party and then we snuck the out for a few night photos in the gazebo. Congratulations Ana & Jason you have such a beautiful and fun family and we so enjoyed being a part of it!!! xoxox
Venue | Davis Island Garden Club | Event Coordinator | Days Remembered by ND | DJ | Michael Anthony Productions | Cake Artist | Let Them Eat Cake | Officiant | A Personal Wedding Officiant | Makeup | Camposecco Artistry | Photo Booth | Snapshot Photo Booth | Mixologist | Mobile Mixology
Jackie and Chris wanted to do a super fun outdoorsy, winter engagement session with marshmallow roasting! My neighborhood happens to have all of the above so they came over to my house! As we walked closer to the lake, we had a large reptilian visitor that we did not get close to! The leaves and tall grass had the perfect fall colors that looked so amazing with their navy and burgundy color palette. These 2 are super fun and just so natural together, there was not a single person on the playground so we took on the swings and merry go round! As the sun was setting we got the fire pit and marshmallow roasting going! Love you guys and can't wait until 10.20.18!!!
The Tampa Club hosted a really fun bridal open house a few weeks ago to show off how amazing a wedding can be there! It also turned into a styled shoot that was officially "Great Gatsby Inspired" but it some of the elements of fancy mardi gras as well. The details on this one were super eye candy!! It really is all about the little things and this has SO many little things from the strings of pearls on each gold chivari to the yards and yards of sequined linens. My favorite little detail was the sign behind the couple and the favor that said "A little party never killed nobody". Amanda and James were our fabulous models and newly weds as they just got married last fall. Amanda's first look was super elegant lace with a sheer skirt and back. The second look was a little more sexy flapper-esque for the reception. The team below created this stunning look and it was so awesome to work with everyone!
Venue | The Tampa Club | Event Coordinator | Confetti Events | Event Design and Floral | Decoratively Speaking Events | DJ/Lighting | Grant Hemond | Live Music | Breezin Entertainment | Hair/Makeup | Femme Akoi | Linens | Custom Linens | Cake | Hands on Sweets | Gown | Isabel O'Neil Bridal | Models | Amanda and James Anderson
Ghaly, Natasha, and their 3 beautiful girls are from the Bahamas! Natasha and the girls are living here in Tampa just while she is getting her PhD in literacy at USF and Ghaly travels back and forth between Nassau and Tampa. Ghaly told me he wanted to capture the love and kindness of his family in a natural and stylish way. What a great description of who they are, I think we nailed it!! These 3 girls reminded me of my 2 sisters and I growing up:-) Such little beauties and so full of life and fun. Here's just a few of my favs!!
The brand new issue of Tampa Bay Wedding Magazine is out and we couldn't be happier that the styled shoot we did at Bakers Ranch is featured!!! The entire team of professionals that made this happen worked so hard and there's nothing better than seeing it in print and online!!! Thank you Steve and Ronda for featuring this!!! You can see the entire online magazine HERE.
This gorgeous girl is graduating from high school this spring. She lives in IL but always wanted to do her senior pics on the beach. She was here visiting her Aunt Karen (who's a good friend of mine:-) and I'm so happy that I got to be the one to capture these beautiful moments. Hannah is just a fun loving, natural beauty. At the end she was all about doing some of her cheer moves in the water! This is my new off the beaten path location for the beach, but also a field and really cool trees right in Tampa. I had such a hard time choosing, but here's just a few of my personal favs!!
Yesterday I posted the session we did for Dr. Pedro and Kelly's team at 100% Chiropractic. After the business part we did a really fun and laid back session with just the 2 of them and their gorgeous dog (who even went to the doggie salon to get all pretty for his photos:-). Here's some of my personal favs. they are just too cute!
One of my favorite type of portrait sessions is helping companies showcase their personality. A website is really the gateway to people contacting you further and I think seeing warm personality helps people connect before they even meet you. Dr. Rosado and his team at 100% Chiropractic love what they do and are committed to helping their patients achieve their best wellness. Definitely check out their website and their awesome Westchase location!
Calling all engaged couples! Monday January 22nd 6:00-9:00pm The Tampa Club is hosting a Great Gatsby inpsired Wedding Open House. You can take a tour of this really unique location while sipping champagne and eating some delicious hors D'Oeuvres plus we'll be there along with their team of preferred wedding professionals. You can RSVP by clicking on the image below or HERE!
Madison is usually zipping around the Tampa Club making sure all the details of their couple's weddings are going smoothly, but this time it was her turn to be the bride!! It's always so special to photograph our friendors on their best day ever!! Since these 2 bleed garnet and gold it was pretty fitting for their wintery Florida wedding details and those colors look especially amazing at the Tampa Club. Madison looked gorgeous in that simple but so elegant gown. Her heels were encrusted with pearls and the guys had ties that coordinated perfectly with the bridesmaids garnet flowy dresses. The Tampa Club was draped in white with mahogany chivaris and gold with pink and white florals. That moment when Matt saw Madison walking towards her, uh still gets us every time. Their wedding hashtag was #downstheaisle!!!! I LOVE shooting on the grand staircase and the wine room. The view of the sunset from the top of Tampa is pretty amazing as well. Everything in the reception was accented in gold and garnet with a little bit of sparkle and gold mercury glass. Let me tell you, this group knows how to party, we had such an amazing time and could not be happier for the brand new Mr. & Mrs. Downs!!!! xoxoxox
Venue | The Tampa Club | Wedding Coordinator | Confetti Events | Florist | Northside Florist | DJ | Grant Hemond | Gown | CC's Bridal Boutique | Gown Designer | Maggie Sottero | Makeup Artist | Allure Artistry
This juniper green with sangria and pink accents was perfect Melanie and Terrance's December wedding. The flowers blooming at Pepin even matched! I LOVE that juniper color on these ladies, it looks fabulous with the guys in black tuxes. Terrance and the guys were ready in time for a game of pool and for him to write Melanie a super sweet card. They got married in front of the fountains with the sunlight shining behind them at Pepin. Everything was beyond happy to see them become Mr. & Mrs. Anderson! I love the brick covered Ivy and those fountains! We had a blast with this group, so pretty, and the guys, hilarious. The reception had pink and white florals with holly berries and patterned linens. The 4 tiered cake had gold crystal and a matching cake topper. It's always so crazy even for us, how fast the reception just flies by. We snuck them out for some night time photos by the fiery fountain. Everyone left with a little love cookie favor right after their bubble exit! Congrats Melanie & Terrance, what a perfect way to end our 2017 weddings!!! xoxoxo
Venue | T Pepin Hospitality Centre | Catering | Puff n Stuff | Wedding Planner | Pure Elegant Creations | Cake | Publix | Florist | Eve's Florist