We got SO lucky for this session! Right before sunset it was about to storm but the water and sky was this cool shade of aqua blue! Jonathan told me Elizabeth is basically a mermaid because they have so much mermaid decor in their house (that’s a girl after my own heart!). Elizabeth and Jonathan live in Louisiana but Elizabeth is from Winter Haven originally. They have a love for the sea and fell in love with the Florida Aquarium for their wedding. 11.23.19 we are so excited to be right there by their side!!!
Bethany and Brad are getting married next May at the Florida Aquarium! Bethany is from Florida and Brad is from Wisconsin so they wanted to do really cool Florida location to set the tone for their save the dates and I love this little hidden gem right on the water close to downtown Tampa. It had rained earlier in the day which settled the water and the sky to be a similar calm tone with a hint of pink, it was so pretty and fun!
Downtown Tampa’s got swag in so many different places. Sometimes I just like to meet somewhere I know is cool but just see what we see while walking around. Jessica and John were up for whatever and right down by the Rialto Theater there’s blue doors, beautiful light and we even found a cat mural:-)
Ivanna and CJ are getting married at Stonebridge this coming November and it’s such a gorgeous property they decided to do their engagement session there as well! I mean, literally so many beautiful spots, we’ve photographed lots of weddings and events over the years there and there’s endless prettiness there. As you can see we had a blast just hanging out and having fun. Their outfit choices and colors were totally on point and looked amazing!! So fun working with you guys!!
Michelle and Ryan are getting married 2.1.20 at Covington Farm! When we were were talking engagement sesh locations she mentioned her parents are building a home in Tierra Verde. The views are stunning and bright coastal look was perfect. It’s not quite finished but how special to have these sweet moments there. Ryan is a Hillsborough County Fire Fighter so we incorporated his gear in some as well. So fun working with you guys!!
Probably my favorite thing people say when they see their photos is “that’s so us”! Really that’s why I love photography, it’s capturing the essence and personality of something you can’t necessarily “see” and making it visible. Anyway, I say that because that’s what Nicole and Rob said about their session:-) Rob’s kids, Avery, and Maddox joined them for some really pretty family photos as well. They are getting married at The Orlo this June and since it’s such a stunning location it was perfect for their engagement session as well!
We’re so lucky here in Florida to have so much outdoor beauty. When we were planning location with Alex and Lauren, they hadn’t been to Philippe Park before but fell in love with the tree canopy when I showed them some of the other sessions we’ve done there. The 2 photos are the top are my personal favorites because it honestly wouldn’t matter what the location it’s all about the authentic moments and who they are as a couple. Lauren had found some super cute signs from Hobby Lobby she might use for the wedding and added an extra special little detail to their session. I can’t wait until we get to photograph their wedding 4.13.19!!!
Jenna and Kevin live in Maryland but where down here to celebrate the holidays in Florida and I got to see them for their engagement session. They wanted their session and their save the dates to be in perfect Tampa style and there’s no better place for that the UT. We just walked around all the pretty spots and chatted and had so much fun. They will be Mr. & Mrs. Madden and if you know me you know I love a good wedding hashtag and theirs is #maddenlyinlove coming this December!!
Valerie & Bob were winners of a fun little engagement session contest we did this fall. The goal was to do some different and creative engagement sessions that are totally these couples. They told me one of their favorite things to do is watch Netflix and hang out with their sweet pup Patty so that’s what we did! They jumped in their PJs and flipped on the Office. Bob said the screenshot of Pam is perfect because he always says Valerie is his Pam. Patty is so cute and very photogenic as you will see…..
Valerie and Bob love to hang out at Ballast Point which is super close to where they live so we headed there close to dusk and the light was perfect, you can even see downtown Tampa in the background. When I saw them yesterday for their unveiling session I found out that we had done Bob’s sister’s wedding (Robin and Armen) 4 years ago, how fun is that?
We did a little engagement session contest in October and Becca and Pete were one of our couples who one! It was all about doing something different and fun and we totally did! Becca picked some of the cool art murals in St. Pete, although some of them were not the same as on the map but all turned out really cool:-) Pete is a musician who rarely wears shoes and Becca taught him how to longboard. While we we walking around Pete noticed a giant mural of bunnies and they happen to have pet bunnies so it was perfect! Once the sunset we had a little fun with the citrus mural and even caught the moon in a few!
Jen and Daniel and so funny and sweet, I loved photographing their engagement session! An extra cool fun fact is that we photographed Daniel's sister, Rachel's wedding 7 years ago:-) Jen made AMAZING outfit choices the gray and blue looked gorgeous with the brick and architecture at UT. The gray railings even matched perfectly.
There's a dock the rowers use right on the Hillsborough river and it is such a fantastic view of the city, similar to the views they had when they lived downtown.
After dusk we headed over to the front steps of the Le Meridien which was the historic courthouse built in 1905. Daniel is an attorney so totally his stomping ground. You can't get any more Tampa than the Tampa Theater. So that was our last stop doing some fun artsy lighting.
Julie and Charlie met while working for a small cruise line both of them in training to be cruise directors, how fun is that? Charlie loves all things Chicago, especially the Bears and Julie loves UF football! They are obsessed with their adorable pup, Cooper, and so we of course had to include him in their engagement session. Their wedding colors are navy and mint, and after some fun ones in their favorite jerseys, Julie changed into a flowy navy dress and Charlie a mint shirt and navy pants which looked so amazing with the sailboats and all the greenery ending with a gorgeous sunset! We can't wait until 8.4.18 when they say "I do"!!!
Marlaina and Tyler are getting married at the beautiful Bakers Ranch next February. They wanted to have their sweet puppy Tigger in some photos with them for their save the date on the property so their guests would already have an idea of the location. It had literally just poured a little while before their session but the rain really makes the greenery pop. It was a little before dusk so we still have the pretty natural light but you can see the market lights in the background. I'll have to blog their save the date as well it turned out so cute!
Violet and Geoffrey are just so natural and sweet, clearly meant to be with each other! They both went to USF for undergrad but never ran into each other while they were there. They met online and instantly became inseparable. I love their engagement story!! Violet had no idea that Geoffrey had been planning his proposal for weeks on a vacation they would be taking to St. Augustine. Geoffrey and Violet were walking around St Augustine near the Castillo de San Marcos. While they were walking along the fort and near the water, Geoffrey asked Violet where she sees herself in 10 years. Violet knew she wanted to spend her life with Geoffrey and mentioned she saw herself married to him. At that exact moment, Geoffrey said "I don't know about 10 years", then he got on one knee and asked Violet "how about 10 seconds? Will you marry me?" We can't wait until their Tampa Club Wedding 10.27.18!!!!
Jan and Mark are getting married next month! They wanted their engagement session to include their girls Jessica and Kd, Jessica's boyfriend Kyle, and of course all their pets! Jan had just gotten this sweet new Jeep which we had to use. I love this session because it's totally them at home with their family. Their dogs loved being in the photos, their cats not so much so they got their own portraits:-) We are SO looking forward to their wedding on June 9th!!!
This happens to be one of the most fun engagement sessions ever! When I met with Christine, she happened to tell me that her and Matt have a 1950's vintage tandem bicycle they are restoring together. It was pretty easy to decide what to do for their engagement session after that! We may have wreaked a little havoc on Bayshore but it was so much fun:-) They are going to have some bicycle accent details at their wedding and all their favs from this session are going to be designed into a custom sign in book. We can't wait to photograph their wedding 4.25.18!!
We always ask couples what they are most excited about getting married and I love that Holly said "Everything"! Holly is a Floridian, from Dunedin, and Rob is from Long Island. They choose the beautiful Philippe Park for their engagement session because they never tire of the beautiful views of Tampa Bay, those amazing huge mossy trees, and of course the Florida Sunshine. We are so excited and honored to photography their wedding 12.1.18 at Carlouel Yacht Club!!
Hair & Makeup | Femme Akoi
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.