I am literally months behind in posting about the incredible pink and gray dessert table that Natalie of Chic Sweets made for little Chloe’s 2nd birthday party. It didn’t matter that all of Chloe’s friends attending the party were boys haha we just had to go with the pink and gray theme and Natalie blew me away with her attention to detail and the sweet touches that she added! I met and worked with Natalie a few months ago on a commercial shoot that I did with Lauren of Every Last Detail Blog. For that colorful ribbon inspired editorial shoot Natalie had designed an unbelievably yummy dessert table to be photographed for our mock wedding reception. She was sweet enough to do a little trade with me for Chloe’s party and all I can say is that it was way beyond what I was expecting. She is amazing! The pink, red and gray horizontal backdrop was custom made and provided by her in addition to the custom treat name cards, ribbons and pink gerber daisies pulling the whole look together! All of the candy and desserts were, of course, various shades of pink! The assortment of chocolate and red velvet cake pops, also custom made by Natalie, were the hit of the party for sure. They literally melted in your mouth! I could go for one right now actually. haha. But I am always a sucker for chocolate covered pretzels and strawberry shortcake jelly beans which were also in abundance at the party. Needless to say, I think it was the best day of Chloe life. haha. You should have seen her little face when she woke up from her nap to find the colorful dessert table set up in our kitchen. Most importantly it was just so fun to treat our friends to such a yummy assortment of goodies to enjoy and take home as favors. Natalie, both you and your work are amazing and it really was a blessing to our family and friends to get to enjoy your yummy artistry! You MUST call Natalie at Chic Sweets if you are looking to add a beautiful, fun and delicious element to your party, event or wedding reception!
Since what feels like a million years ago I have been meaning to show you guys my newest 10×10 wedding album studio sample! If you missed the gorgeous leather 10x1o album with the awesome metal comeo image strip that I did for Abby and Josh last year after their beautiful Clearwater wedding you have to check it out. This one, done for Lindsey and Daniel’s Sarasota wedding at the stunning Powel Crosely Estate shows off some of the fun features that my couple’s enjoy! Ok, admittedly, these are not the most exciting pictures hahaha – I was short on time and had to shoot quickly!
**For those of you photographers out there looking for an incredible album company Forbeyon is absolutely the way to go for contemporary wedding album. I have been floored by their work every time. When you order your first album from them tell them that I sent you!! For more on my album creation process and why I love Forbeyon check out this FAQ video.
Daniel and Lindsey’s album is a 10×10 Flushmount Panoramic album. The cover features genuine imported leather which is available in a ton of great colors (this fun cover color in “Autumn” – sadly discontinued this year). Other non-leather covers are available as well – in fact, they have the most gorgeous new eco materials. I also offer an 8×8 parent duplicate albums for mom and dad! Couples can choose between a cameo cover featuring one of their images or the contemporary imprinting on the spine of the album…or of course both!
The inside features UV coated photographic prints that are mounted right on to thick pages with panoramic binding so that images can spread seamlessly across the full spread. GORGEOUS! I work with a fabulously talented graphic designer Ashlee Proffitt who does all of my album layout and design. The feel of the design layout is contemporary and minimalist with a focus on the images. You won’t find weird overlays of images, just beautiful white space with meticulously placed images laid out in a way that tells the story of the wedding day. Sigh.
In addition to doing these gorgeous albums for my couples I am can also create them for weddings and events shot by other photographers. So its not too late for you to get a fabulous (how many times have I used that word already?) album of your own!! Its no secrect that albums like this one aren’t cheap but there are options and alternatives at almost every price point. Just shoot me an e-mail and I am happy to help:)
It is no secret that there are literally hundreds of incredible photographers here in Tampa. I know many of them personally and I would say that there are many many quality options at every price point. With all of these awesome options I am sure that couples are often just lining up rate sheets and figuring out where they can get the most bang for their budgeted buck. I think it has become increasingly important for photographers to figure out and communicate what it is that sets them apart, not jut for the sake of earning the couple’s business but also so that the fully educated couple knows exactly what they will be receiving. The same is true whether you are looking for a wedding photographer or someone to photograph your son’s 3 yr portraits. I have been thinking about this a lot lately and want to answer this question but first, I would like to rephrase the question into the more fun version of itself… “if your photography business were a clothing store which would it be?” haha.
I think of it this way…You walk into H&M or Forever 21 (cue the dance music – umpt umpt umpt umpt) and you find trend, quantity and the controlled caos of disposable clothing. Fun at the time but 10 years from now you will wonder what you were thinking when you put that on. Right? While I do love a good trip to XXI for an accessory or two (or five), I am not the Forever 21 of photography. I do not put out a high yield of assembly line weddings with trendy but disposable images. I am not shooting weddings every weekend or creating images based on the current photographic trends of certain lenses, or editing techniques like vintage textures or super saturated colors.
Now walk into Bananna Republic, Anthropologie or J Crew (ahhhhh – the smell of grapefruit and gardenia). Cue the fun-but-not-annoying music. An adorably dressed store employee comes to greet you and compliment you on your fabulous wedges. Heaven. You are surrounded by classic pieces that will turn heads now and 20 years from now. My low quantity, high quality approach allows me to give my couples my full attention while maintaining a fresh perspective and super fast turnaround time with their images. My image style focuses the beauty of which is both chic and timeless while layering in those trendy pieces (or fun “artsy” images) that capture a couples personality. I love simplicity and symmetry with a little drama to accessorize:)
While there are parts of the wedding day that I take a more photojournalistic approach (i.e I will not stop you to get “the shot” while you are walking down the aisle or doing your first dance), I am not by definition a true photojournalist. It is no secret that my favorite part of the wedding day is the time set aside for the couples portraits and what I love and shoot for are those drop dead gorgeous images that will hang on your living room wall…heck, sometimes I want to hang your images on MY living room wall I love them so much! So, while some others may opt to shoot you and your groom from that crazy (never flattering) angle with lots of “artsy negative space,” I am shooting for that perfect image that you will love now and when you are celebrating your 50th wedding anniversary. One that is you and is about love and is just simply beautiful. With that said here are a few of my recent favs.
Ok so maybe this one (above) is a little more fun and trendy at the couple’s request:)
Photogs – what are your thoughts on balancing photography trends with images that will be loved forever, not just for right now?
There are couples who hire a photographer because they know that it’s their wedding day and “there should probably be someone there taking pictures”…ugh…and then there are couples who hire a photographer because they are actually incredibly excited to see the artistic rendering of their big day. I heart these couples. I knew that John and Holly were going to be one of these couples when we had our first phone consultation in which they both asked a ton of great questions and were clearly excited to share their style as a couple and their vision for their wedding images. So, not only did I instantly love John and Holly because they valued photography enough to fly me to VA to shoot their Richmond wedding…but I also love them because they are from my alma matter JMU (Go Dukes!!!) and those of us from JMU know that there is just something special about the bond of going to the greatest school ever. haha.
It was an absolutely gorgeous day to have a wedding…so much so that the Governor’s daughter was having her wedding the same day at the the state Capitol which was literally across the street from the hotel where Holly and John were getting ready! Everything about the locations that the couple chose were just perfect. Before the ceremony we were able to walk across the street and get so many fabulous shots in front of the Capitol building overlooking downtown. Then the trolly whisked them away to the equally gorgeous ceremony location at Main Street Station (which I hear has a waiting list as a wedding venue!) where both the ceremony and reception were held in the most beautiful two story historic train station – a station that still has passenger trains that come through!
The first time that John met Holly he remembers thinking to himself that she had a light-footed, glowy, down to earth aura about her. I have to agree that Holly is one of the most calm brides that I have ever met – nothing seems to phase her. They bonded over their love for music and pop culture. Holly loved his smile, his thoughtfulness and how everyone seems to love being around John. I love what Holly told me about her favorite memory from their first date, “…John said I was stunning. I feel like any guy can call you pretty, beautiful, or sexy, and it can sound cliche. But when he called me stunning, I knew he really meant it.” Little did she know that John would one day bring her back to that spot to ask her to be his wife.
Which brings us to today…
Holly is a self described shoe person…she bought four pairs of wedding shoes before she decided on these. (And you returned the rest right Holly? hehe)
Her favorite part of her wedding dress was the back. The sash gave way to a gorgeous gently pleated train – simple elegance.
Holly’s red lips, dark hair, red nails and black jewelry made her wedding day style the perfect vintage-hollywood-glam meets modern-elegance.
Her maids arrived dressed and so excited to celebrate with Holly. Each rocked their own fabulous little black dress of choice and individual brightly colored shoes to match their bouquet (more on this fabulous idea later!).
Thank you Holly for picking a hotel in such an incredibly gorgeous location for pictures! Ahh! Love it!
This shoe and bouquet shot is possibly one of my favorites of all time. Brides – this is such a fun idea! A modern use of your wedding color palette. Ok, maybe this is just cheesy but I totally feel like the colors and shoes chosen end up fitting the bridesmaids’ individual personalities…crazy? Anyway, this was so fun. Love. Love. Love.
I actually have the pleasure of knowing John from college where we were both psychology majors. John is the consummate extrovert. He loves people, loves being with people, loves to make people laugh. Maybe the only thing he loves more is music. Funny story…my husband (now an audio engineer) also loves music and was a part of the JMU music scene in his own band back in the day. Well, John used to come over for jam sessions with Graham’s housemate and the three of them would bond over music and recording. I have even heard a song or two recorded by John back in the day.
John and his groomsmen were all handsomely dressed in classic black and his guys made sure that John stayed relaxed and had fun amidst the craziness that can be the wedding day.
Finally the moment arrived. Main Street Station with its cathedral ceilings, marble pillars and wall of windows overlooking the city was packed with friends and family all excited to celebrate with the couple. Before the wedding Holly had sent me one picture photocopied out of a magazine that had stuck with her during her wedding planning. It was the one picture that Holly knew that she wanted me to try to get – her and her father walking down the aisle, the beautiful back of her dress, her groom at the front waiting in anticipation…because I had to be up at the front of the room to capture the expressions and emotions of this moment, I hired an incredible assistant from VA, Kate Magee Joyce, who I could trust to get the shot that was so important to Holly! Kate you are fabulous! Thank you!
I mean is this location gorgeous or what!?
After a few casual group shots we eventually were able to steal away for a few moments to get some really beautiful images of the couple. Weddings rarely go according to plan but when the day is over and the hickups of the day fade, you are left with images that can represent your wedding as beautifully as you intended for it to be full of what matters most. Love.
As was fitting for the music loving couple – their reception was full of incredible music and lots and lots of dancing. The best moment had to be when John surprised Holly by having Max Bemis, the lead singer of one of their favorite bands, Say Anything, write and record a song specifically for Holly and their first dance. It was the only recording of the song, “a true one of a kind, just like Holly.” as John puts it. Sigh…
I have been to a lot of receptions and I have to say that this one had some of the best music ever. Each song was hand picked by the couple themselves with everything from the Beatles to Cartel. And can I tell you a secret that I learned…Holly can dance. I didnt even realize until after the wedding that she used to be a dancer but she just looked so classy and cute out on the dance floor! Eventually, the party had to come to an end and the couple made their grand exit to adoring friends and family with sparkers in hand wishing them a beautiful life together.
The clock struck 11:00 and off they went into the night. Guests lingered on the steps of the beautiful train station, not wanting the party to end and enjoying the warm summer night.
Holly and John, I wish you a lifetime of love together. Thank you for flying me all the way from Tampa to photograph your wedding. I really am honored.
A big thank you to Kate Magee Joyce for doing such a fabulous job as my second shooter to Collen Cook of CCS Events for her fabulous game-time expertise and to Casey Templeton for 1) teaching me everything that I know about photography 2) letting me steal your Richmond wedding clients 3) for letting me borrow your light poles…again 4) and for letting me borrow said fabulous second shooter Kate from you.
Amidst the billions of things that I am working on this week (when will the madness stop!), I am hoping to get a post up soon from last weekends wedding at Main Street Station in Richmond, VA. Holly and John flew me up to VA and I am just in love with everything about this wedding from the brides black jewlery and red lipstick combo to the individually colored bright monochromatic bouquets that each of the bridesmaids carried! For now, here is just a little peak at one fun image from their day – John and Holly specifically wanted an anthropology/vintage feel to their images and they loved this pic!