Matt & Beth Are Engaged! ~ Jacksonville Wedding Photographer

Beth discovered this great little park with such personality, and just knew she had to get their engagement portraits done there. And I'm so glad we did! Isn't everything about this place just beautiful?? Not to mention, a great looking couple, and you can't go wrong! See for yourself:

Tuesdays Tips! ~ Jacksonville Wedding Photographer

Weddings are stressful. Even the most relaxed and laid back weddings have their stress, to ensure everything goes smoothly and on time. Before the ceremony, the bride and her ladies are all occupied with the bazillion tasks that need to be completed before the ceremony starts, and making sure nothing gets forgotten. However, 9 out of 10 times, something very important does get left behind:
Because of the level of stress, no one notices how they haven't been hungry enough to eat more than the bare minimum all morning. Not until about 10 minutes after the ceremony is over. At that point, everyone's stomachs can be heard a mile away! And it's at that point that we're asking them to stand around for 45 minutes while we get all the formal portraits done. I don't know about you, but that prospect doesn't induce me to smile for any photographer, if I were in the bridal party.
You know the saying, that the way to a man's heart is through his stomach; But when it comes to happy subjects in photographs, it applies to everyone! If we are taking the bulk of the photographs at the reception site, it's great to have some of the staff bring the hors d'ouvres out to where you are. Or, if you are looking to stay at the ceremony location, make sure to have some finger foods readily available. A tray of small sandwiches from Publix works great. Or you can get some Clif bars, or various protein bars, to help keep you going! Whatever you choose to do, a little bit of sustenance, not only for you, but those in your bridal party and family, can go a long way when asking people to smile for the camera, and making a great day go even smoother!

And because every post looks 1000x better with a photograph, here's a sneak peek at the wedding we did last weekend! Isn't this such a hot shot!?!? Wow, that couple is working it! Yowzas, I think this might be one of my new favorites!!

Groom Family ~ Jacksonville Family Photographer

The Groom family are long time family friends of my hubby and his family, and it's been great getting to know them myself! They are quite a quirky and fun group, always ready to laugh, and never in short supply of jokes, especially towards those they love. =P We got together last weekend to take a few minutes and update their family album, and I absolutely Love the images we captured! Take a looksie for yourself:

Images like this are very typical with engagement shoots, but I love how they still look so content and happy 26 years later!

They dubbed this one their new band cover =)

Travel To I Do ~ Destination Wedding Photographer

Are you considering a destination wedding? Did you know that I love traveling?? Wouldn't it be so wonderful if you took me with you to photograph your awesome destination wedding?? Seriously. Please take me with you. My passport has been empty for too long! Please?

Either way, if your thinking about getting lost on a beach far far away, or anywhere, for that matter, you should check out Travel To I Do. It's a great blog with all things inspirational for all your destination needs! So what are you waiting for, go check out Travel To I Do!

Tuesday's Tips! ~ Jacksonville Wedding Photographer

This poor blog has been so neglected. I'm horrible at blogging on a regular basis. So sad. However, in an effort to try to help fix the deplorable state of my blog ( at least a teensy bit ), I've decided to start a 'Tuesday's Tips!' post. I would be lying if I said I thought I could actually post something useful every Tuesday, but maybe every other? Realistically, we're probably looking at once a month, but hey! Practice makes perfect! And maybe one day I'll actually get good enough to live up the the weekly tip that the title implies. =) We've learned alot from the weddings we've been at. We aren't just there to take pictures of the day, but help make things run more smoothly. Seamlessly. I always have, in my photo bag, an 'Emergency Kit', which includes the following:
Bandaids, A sewing kit with scissors, breath mints, Tide On The Go Stain remover, Crest one use brushes, First Aid Kit, safety pins, bobby pins, and a lint roller.
It has come in handy a number of times!
Your day is going to be amazing! And I'm one of the people you are going to hire to make it so! ;)
So without further ado, I'd like to kick off my first Tuesday's Tips!

How to Get the Best Pre-Ceremony Photos

All of our packages include time to meet up with the bride as she and her girls are getting ready. There are a few things to keep in mind when planning where you would like to be. Wherever you choose, make sure there are plenty of windows! Window light is the most natural, and the most flattering. Makeup Artists prefer natural light, and it's better for all the girls when applying makeup. Some hotels or rooms only have minimal lighting, and this can be a problem for girls trying to see properly to put on the best eye shadow!
It also helps when you have a large room, with plenty of space for everyone to move freely in. We always take as many portraits as possible before the ceremony, and it's nice to be able to have plenty of room to fluff out the dress. Many times, you are stuck in this room until the ceremony starts, so make the most of it! And this point goes hand in hand with my next:
If there are more than one rooms, perhaps we can put most of the bags in the smaller room? There is alot of stuff that has to be brought along on the day of the wedding, and most of those large bags are left in open areas. Makes it easy to access, but sometimes the pictures can look better in a more clutter free area. Or at least, keeping it out of a nicer area where you will be putting on your dress and doing more portraits.
Obviously, the emotions and moments are the most important things when it comes to the portraits, and it doesn't matter what the room looks like when you capture an amazing moment. But it is something to think about (among the bajillion other things that come with weddings), and a little thought can go a long way. And of course, since every post is so much better with pictures, here are a few favorites of mine, all pre-Ceremony, where the bride was getting ready: