Kelly & Keith | Davis Island Garden Club Wedding

2018-9-15-Davis-Island-Wedding-Photographer-1402Where do I even begin?  These two were the most beautiful couple…OBVIOUSLY…but their family was just as amazing.  The father of the bride and I share the same mentor, and I was through the roof excited when he asked me to photograph his baby girl’s wedding.  I think the best part is that prior to her own wedding, Kelly had never been to one!  How special is that?!

Kelly and her sweet Maid of Honor, Taylor, got ready at the Sheraton River Walk Hotel in downtown Tampa.  Taylor drove all the way down from Tennessee to be there.  They were so calm and laid back while they got ready.  Kelley shared a beautiful first look with her Dad right before we headed over to The University of Tampa for her bridal portraits.

I would be lying if I said it wasn’t hot and we all weren’t drenched in sweat during these portraits.  It is Florida, after all.  But gosh….is she not BEAUTIFUL?!   Her flower crown and bouquets by Alta Fleura were simply elegant, and smelled amazing.  After we were done with portraits and ready to get out of the heat, we headed over to the wedding venue for Kelly’s first look with Keith.

Keith and his Best Man got ready at the Garden Club, so by the time we arrived, he was super anxious to see his bride.  The water facing downtown was the perfect backdrop for their first look.  After a few quick moments to themselves, it was time for the ceremony.

Kelly’s mom, Amy, did an amazing job making the ceremony decor, and Elena Nash with Paradise Artwork & Events did an incredible job putting everything together.  It was such a sweet ceremony among family and friends.

We decided to take newlywed photos closer to sunset so that Kelly and Keith could enjoy their cocktail hour.  So after some drinks, appetizers, announcements, first dances and a good dinner, we snuck over to the marina for some intimate photos.  After returning to the reception, Kelly and Keith cut their cake, tossed the bouquet, and had an epic sparkler send off.  It was a truly incredible evening, and I am so thankful to have been a part of it.

2nd Photographer: Jeremy Scott Photography

Event Planner: Elena Nash, Paradise Artwork & Events

Venue: Davis Island Garden Club

DJ: Breezin’ Entertainment

Catering: 4 Rivers Smokehouse

Cake/Cupcakes: Gigi’s Cupcakes

Florist: Alta Fleura

Makeup: Judy Kopaska

Hair Stylist: Emily Kyle

Video: Chase Cushen

Wedding Dress: Truly Forever Bridal

A Night at Studio 54

It’s not every day that your husband turns 40.  Combine that, with the fact that we don’t throw many parties now that we have two kids, and BOOM…the Studio 54 40th birthday disco party was born!

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I found an awesome little event space in downtown Tampa, booked it, and called our wedding planner, Tammy Waterman of Special Moments Event Planning to put the event together.  If you don’t know her….you should!  She is incredible and over the past 8 years since my wedding, has become a great friend.  Invitations went out, friends and family were invited, vintage clothing stores were rummaged through, and there was nothing left for us to do but show up and dance our butts off.  And we did.

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Every photo from that night was amazing.  If you notice that curly-haired gal in the gold jumpsuit dancing with her camera…that’s me.  I actually got to not only photograph my own event, but also drink, dance and party with everyone else.  How you ask?  Because of an amazing friend, Jeremy Scott with Jeremy Scott Photography, who was invited to party as a guest, but brought his camera to be my 2nd shooter for the evening.  You da man J.

Thanks again to everyone involved in putting this epic night together for my husband.  We love and appreciate every one of you!

Venue: Araliya

Event Planner: Special Moments Event Planning

2nd Shooter and Master of the Photographic Arts: Jeremy Scott Photography

Catering: Delectables Fine Catering

DJ: Nature Coast Entertainment

Photo Booth: Tampa Event Photo Booth

Rentals/Decor: A Chair Affair

Hair: Sheila Cruz

Makeup: Laura Smith-Cruz

{Sahara} | LIFTS Living From the Source | Sarasota Portrait Session

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I met this beautiful spirit through a mutual friend about 7 years ago while I was pregnant with my first child.  It was not long after, that I recieved a very vague, yet somewhat complicated, medical diagnosis, and I was looking for a more natural way of healing during pregnancy.  I first attended one of her guided meditation classes with my husband (which was probably not the best idea since he is THE WORST at siting still or focusing…I digress), and I wasn’t sure exactly what to expect since it was the first time either of us had done something like that.

 

I walked out of that class that day and felt the most overwhelming sense of calm.  She filled that room with such glowing, positive energy, and there was NO WAY I wasn’t going to make this holistic approach to life part of my daily routine.  I started taking full advantage of all of her services and now, despite the insane schedule I have with my two kids, make it a point to see her regularly for reiki and massage.  Somehow, and I don’t know how, she is able to keep me together.  As most moms know, it is super easy to allow  yourself to be overworked, overstressed, sleep deprived…even your nutrition suffers.  I leave my sessions with  Sahara re-centered, re-focused, present and at peace.

 

I was so thrilled when she asked me to take her portraits.  We had so much fun hanging at the beach and witnessing one of the most beautiful sunsets I have seen in a while.  She truly is such a beautiful light.

 

If you are interested in learning more about her services, check her out on facebook LIFTS Living From The Source with Sahara.  Trust me, she’s amazing!

{Matt & Brian} | Powel Crosley Estate Wedding Production | Sarasota Wedding Photography

In my entire career as a wedding photographer, I have never photographed a wedding quite like Matt and Brian’s.  From the performers to the wardrobe changes, this beautiful wedding was nothing less than a production.

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I mean, what wedding party looks this good?!  My jaw hit the floor when I saw these ladies getting into these stunning nude illusion gowns after hair and makeup.  Every single one of these gorgeous girls was shining from head to to…from the crystal crowns to the gold sequence.  It was amazing.  As was every other little detail.

As if the venue, the hair, the make up and the wardrobe wasn’t stunning enough, Matt and Brian’s boutonnieres really made a statement.  As Brian works with the Manatee Center for Performing Arts, the sheet music flowers were the perfect personalized touch.

I’m not an emotional person AT ALL.  In fact, my husband and I often joke that I was born without tear ducts…but I would be lying if I said I didn’t shed happy tears during this ceremony.  I have never been surrounded by such a sincere, deep, overwhelming love like I was that day.  There wasn’t a dry eye in the house.  Matt and Brian are two of the most beautiful, caring people I have ever met, and the vows they wrote and read during their ceremony were the most heartfelt words I have ever heard spoken. I’m sure everyone in attendance that day would agree.

As if the attire for the ceremony wasn’t beautiful enough, the newlyweds and wedding party ran upstairs for a wardrobe change after a few photos.  Friends and family enjoyed cocktails before making their way to the great room for dinner and introductions.  With Beneva Fruitville as the emcee, their entrances to the reception were definitely epic.

The toasts, dinner, speeches and dancing were amazing.  I feel so privileged that I was asked to be part of this amazing day, and I am so thankful for the opportunity to document their story.  Mr. and Mr. Craft, you two are such a beautiful inspiration and I am so thankful that I met you.  I wish you an eternity of love and laughter, congratulations to you both.

2nd Photographer: Kelly Haymes with Momma Got Soul Photography

Makeup: Lindsey Does Makeup

Hair: Caryn Rose & Katie McCaskill

Draping: Palacios Events

Lighting: Jasmine Deal

Wardrobe: ASOS

Florals: Bella Luna’s Flowers

Planner: Sarah Fulton

DJ: Goodley Entertainment Group

Catering/Cake: Fete Catering

Furniture: So Staged Event Design & Rentals

The Raw Truth Behind 2nd Shooting

When I started my photography career, I specifically told myself, “I will never shoot a wedding.”  I was serious about it.  Not because I didn’t like weddings, but because I was afraid of them.  To a new photographer, wedding photographers are the “elite” group of individuals who make the money, get the killer shots, and can most likely say they have been through everything.  I envied those people.  I looked up to them and strived one day to be able to take a portrait half as good as they could.

Fast forward a few years to the day I took the leap and decided I would attend a wedding workshop.  I was going to conquer this fear one way or another.  For those that know me, it is common knowledge that I refuse to fail…EVER.  I left the workshop that day completely overwhelmed.  I didn’t have the gear, I didn’t understand the lingo, there were so many people there who had wedding experience.  I didn’t even know where to start.  But everyone has to start somewhere.  For me, I started as an assistant…and wow what a rush that was!

2017 was the year I decided to focus my business on wedding photography.  Me, the girl who said she would never shoot a wedding.  Its funny how those things work.  As a gal fairly new to the industry, the best way for me to get out there, shoot, fine tune my craft, and have the time of my life, was to be a 2nd shooter at every opportunity I got.  Lucky for me, I got a lot of opportunities.  This blog is for you, fellow photogs, who may be thinking of taking the plunge into the world of weddings.  Fear not!  After the stress, anxiety, dry heaving, panic, and every other adverse reaction you may have, weddings are incredible…and here is why, step by step, I love being a 2nd shooter. From the beginning of the day, until the end:

Establishment: