Merry Christmas!!!

Since I'm a photographer, I feel the pressure (self inflicted of course) to have an amazingly creative Christmas card.  The past 2 years have been pretty good because I did one of our property before there was a house, and then one in our real living room.  But, I have may topped those, not with creativity but at least with humor.  I thought, why not do ugly Christmas sweaters with the dogs and everything! Well, my husband David, took it to a whole notha level.  Yes, he picked this outfit out all by himself.  Thomas Kinkaid-esk sweater, "jorts", white socks/Reeboks, and a Christmas cowboy hat.  Hopefully this brings you a little joy and laughter:-)  I'm not sure if she wants photo credit lol, but my very good friend Andi Diamond took these amazinly stylish photos in her studio!  We hope you have a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!!! 2013 is going to be the best year yet!!! 

It's Election Time!

This is totally un-photography related but cool non the less:-)  When you live in Florida, especially Hillsborough county which has apparently been right except for the election in 1980. So that's why we get to have all the annoying commercials, mailers, and candidates here all the time!  The Tampa Chamber sent out an email last week saying one of the nation news affiliates wanted to do a panel of undecided votes which I thought was perfect since David and I are both undecided.  So I emailed back and next think I knew the producer from NBC called us and pre-screened us.  They ended up thinking we were interesting as a couple so decided to have Lester Holt interview us at our house.  I love the Today Show and NBC nightly news so it was so much fun!  Here's a pic of the 3 of us and the video clip!

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Luv My Porch!

 It always amazes me the talents and eye people have for different things!  I know I do NOT have an eye for decorating my outdoor spaces or for holidays, in fact I hate trying to come up with something!  It is so important though for me because since I have a custom studio in my home I need the front porch to be cute and inviting for my clients.  Thankfully, my friend Tammy has the eye and is AMAZING at transforming boringness (that's probably not a word but I like it:-) to warm and welcoming.  Below here's a before picture, that's the best I could do, I know it's very boring!

Look at it now!  Tammy used the main elements I already had which were the shabby chic table/chairs and pot of succulents.  She created a little sitting space for my clients with a cute rug, mums, pumpkins, and pillows, and all incorporating our shabby chic style with fall decor.  She also added mums and little gords and pumpkins to the pot of succulants and really just created 3 little different spaces that all come together to look awesome!!  Since I have double wrap around porches we're going to do some more things with the side and upstairs outdoor living space as well.  Luv My Porch! That's what Tammy does and it's so amazing!

A little help for all you curly haired girls and chance to win something too:-)

I actually like my curly hair but it is a challenge especially in Florida with it being so super humid!  That's why I never straighten in because I'm a wash it and go kind of girl, even though I do like it straight sometimes because it gives a whole new look!  Just under a month ago, Keratherapy allowed me to test out their Advanced Renewal System Keratin treatment at Salon Mirage in Tampa.  

The Advanced Renewal System was a three step process. First, my stylist Jennifer took me over to the sink to rinse my hair with the “activate,” which prepared my hair for the treatment by purifying and detoxifying.

Step two involved the smoothing system.  I know some straightening treatments have a lot of chemicals and one of the main reasons I even tried Keratherpy is beacuse it's 100% formaldehyde free and are also free of harsh chemicals. Jennifer carefully pieced my hair and applied the smoothing system, combing it through from root to tip. Since my hair is curly, she set the timer for 30 minutes to let it rest.  Throughout the process, Jennifer would comb my hair every few minutes. She informed me that the treatment is actually a memory system, so reinforcing the straight/smooth style is constant through the process. The Advanced Renewal System will actually remove 75% or more of the curl or wave pattern in your hair.

After the 30 minutes were complete, Jennifer blow dried my hair and then ran a flat iron through it; again, to reinforce the straight/smooth texture. Then, it was time for the final step of the system: the seal. I was escorted back to the sink again, where Jennifer rinsed my hair and applied the seal, which locks in the nourishing benefits of the Advanced Renewal System. At that point, the process was complete, and Jennifer blow dried my hair so I could see the results. 

Since I don't straighten my hair very often and still wanted to wear it curly, these first 2 pics are from yesterday so you can see it's not quite as curly as it normally is and a lot less frizzy.

All I used was a flat iron since I like to straighten my hair when it's already dry, and you only have to go over it once and it straightens really easily.  

!The reason I never straighten my hair is becuase even with it being short it still took about 45 minutes to get it really straight and un-crazy.  I timed it with my trusty iphone and it took 14 minutes! 

Here's what the final straight hair looks like, I just ran some of the Keratin Infused Argin Oil.  I re-setup the same picture I had done a few weeks before with my pre-Keratherapy hair so you can see the difference in looks.  I actually like both!

 If you would like to win free Keratherapy products follow the instructions below and you could win:  Keratherapy after care gift set $100 value- keratin infused shampoo, keratin infused conditioner, keratin infused deep conditioning masque, keratin infused argan oil and keratin infused leave-in conditioner.

Here is how to enter (feel free to leave one comment with all entries if you want, but you must be CLEAR and tell me which methods you have completed):

1. Leave a comment on this post: have you had a keratin treatment before? If not: why would you want one?

2. “Like” Keratherapy and Carrie Wildes Photography on Facebook

3. Follow me (CarrieWildes) on Twitter and Keratherapy on Twitter: leave me your Twitter username!

4. Tweet the following phrase, and link me to it: Do you want smooth hair? @CarrieWildes has a #giveaway for @Keratherapy keratin-infused products! Enter now!

The giveaway will run through 11:59PM EST on Tuesday, October 20th. At that point, I will select three winners at random and notify via email.

***Disclosure: I was first introduced to Keratherapy at the Blogger Brilliance convention earlier this month. They provided me with the after care products and the Advanced Renewal System treatment (as well as the sets to give away). Opinions and experience are 100% my own.***

Foto Friday: Is it or isn't it??

So I was on beautiful Reddington Beach doing Dana and Brad's e-session and we happened to look over and see this guy with a blonde mustache and yellow bandana just hanging out on the beach.  He looked so familiar and was happy to take a picture with Dana and Brad but the question is, is this Hulk Hogan or isn't this Hulk Hogan?


48 Hour Film Project

We are excited to be one of the sponsors for the 48 Hour Film Project!  We will be photographing the events not participating in the video part:-)  It's a pretty cool event that happens around the US where teams make a movie—write, shoot, edit and score it—in just 48 hours!  Monica Varner from Elan Event Studio and Bryan Coward from Tampa Wonderworks are the producers of this event.  This was just the initial kickoff meet and greet.  The big event is July 29-31st and you can find out more info at their website here!

Valentine's Day Feature on One Stylish Bride!

Creative, over the top, and fun, why not?  That’s what we were going for to really spark our creative minds with this Valentine’s Day themed session with David and Brandy.  We are SOOOO excited that is is also featured today on the One Stylish Bride Blog!! The gown and beautiful red sash were created by Anglo CoutureEvents in Bloom created a very unique floral effect with a red heard shaped umbrella enveloped by flowers and also a heard shaped cascade bouquet.  Hair and makeup, old Hollywood style by Collective Creations.  Red galoshes and a sweet picnic with candy, heart shaped donuts, and champagne were the perfect touches.  

Warrior Dash Craziness

This past weekend we went over to Lake Wales so David and some guys could do the Warrior Dash. I brought my camera just because I figured it would be a little crazy and boy is that an understatement! Basically everyone dresses up crazy and does this 5k obstacle course through mud bogs, barbed wire, and fire.  The likes of Borat, William Wallace, Leprechauns, Tiger Woods, super heros, ninja turtles, and much more randomness definitely were there. The best part was I got this amazing picture for Foto Friday so you'll have to wait until then but this at least gives you an idea of what it was like:-)

Adventures in San Francisco

It was nice to take a little break and go visit some amazing friends to celebrate our 5 year wedding anniversary of July 4th weekend!  On vacation I still bring my camera but don't even think just try to recharge my creativity.  So, wanted to share a few images and stories from our trip.......

Our first stop was downtown San Fran!  I love the cable cars, they are pretty much timeless and in black and white could be from years ago or current times.

The streets of China Town have amazing colors and sounds everywhere you go.  We even got to have lunch there with one of our wonderful couples!

Walking the streets this happened to be a "live" exhibit at a little art gallery.

Here's people's reaction to Ghanna losing in the World Cup.

I love the hills, it really brings out the character and you can see so much more than you can in Florida:-)  This pink moving truck kept popping up as well.

Visiting the Crooked St is a must. I wonder how many accidents happen here? 

Pier 39 another must.  I could watch the Sea Lions all day long. There were tons of them, but my favorite one was this little guy all by himself.

Golden Gate!

One of the most beautiful drives I have been on was in the Monterrey/Carmel area.  17 Mile drive and Pebble beach. 

This is a famous lookout point which a huge single tree growing on the rock.

Our friend Jason took this one of us, nice work!!  The wetsuit was purely for the pics for me, it was freezing no way was I getting in that water!

The boys did some body surfing.......

Jason and Barbara's dog Scooter was worried about Jason being in the water so he was so happy:-)


One of our stops was Livermore, for wine tastings.  I liked it even better than Napa because the character and ambiance was laid back the the people were so nice. Much less touristy.  One we visited had this sign inside....

Concannon Winery, it was my fav!  The nicest people and amazing wines!

The Phantom


Ambassador Limousines recently purchased a brand new 2009 Phantom Rolls Royce to add to their entourage. We had the pleasure of photographing it at two of Tampa's most beautiful venues, the Don Cesar and the Renaissance Vinoy. It definitely adds the height of luxury to any event. Here's a few words from the owner Ken Lucci:

"The Rolls Royce Phantom is the pinnacle of luxury and style for the bride who wishes to travel surrounded by elegance on her wedding day. The Phantom is finished in cotillion white with light tan interior. The passenger compartment features a Silver Champagne Service with crystal glasses and individual mahogany tables to rest your champagne flute. The Phantom creates a unique impression and million dollar photos that will don your memory and mantles for years to come."

A special thanks to Collective Creations for Hair and Makeup and Cindy, our gorgeous bride!


Remembering Heather

There's those moments in life that really make us look at what we have and what really matters. We had one of those moments this week when we found out that one of our friends from the midwest tragically died in a car accident. Heather was one of the most caring and sweet people that I know. She was a daughter, wife, and mother of 2 children. Charlie, who is 2 and a half and Brennan who is five months old. She was one of those people who you talk to and you can feel that she truly cares about you. She loved her husband and little boys so much. I can't even imagine what it is like losing your mother at such a young age. I am not a "crier" but it brings tears to my eyes just writing this. I had a couple of snap shots of her and Dustin from several years ago. You can see the joy and happiness she had. I especially like the first one where my goofy husband is interrupting their dancing:-) Her funeral is today. Heather will be truly missed but I know we will see her again someday. They have setup a trust fund to support the boys so if you know them and would like to send some love here's the info:

Heather Mattern Memorial Fund in care of Thompson-Lengacher & Yoder Funeral Home, PO Box 206 Nappanee, IN 46550



Blogging in the airport!

This week I have the privilege of being in Haiti and doing some true photojournalism:-) One of the reasons I got into photography is to allow people to feel the spirit and emotion of people and places that they couldn't experience themselves. I'm sitting in the airport in Port Au Prince right now and already met two great people on the flight over. Random, but there was a mix up in the flight bookings so I actually got here before the rest of our group so I'm bored and they have wifi here which is awesome!! Jean-Philippe was sitting on my right and on his way home from visiting his friends in Kingston. He is from Port Au Prince and helped me get my bags and figure out where to wait for the rest of the crew. Michele, who was on my left who is also from here has been a Catholic priest for 21 years and now lives in rural Illinois but here to officiate a wedding and see his family. It was very interesting to hear his perspective on social issues here and the government which fits in well with what we'll be doing. We will be working with Project 81 to do a photo/video documentary in an orphanage, prison, and hospital to give people a sense of what the need here is and capture the hearts of these beautiful people! Hopefully I'll be able to post a few pics each day so you can see what we're up to!