There is just something about springtime in Florida. The temperature has not quite reached its hottest, most humid potential, the sky is crisp, breezes are light and the smell of blooming florals permeate the air. It’s the perfect time to get married here. A Florida Spring Wedding is one of my favorites, and Bre and Alex’s day perfectly exemplified what I mean. Bre and Alex were married in March on Bre’s parents property in Largo, Florida. Tucked away from the hustle and bustle of the beach, this beautiful home sits on acres of mature oak trees. Bre’s mom has quite the green thumb so the backyard is absolutely breath taking when you see it. It’s an oasis where Bre and Alex retreat to almost every weekend with their pup. Bre’s mom grew all of the succulents which were the party favors for all the guests. A tent was setup, chairs brought in, a deck was built, and while this sounds like quite the production, the feeling of the wedding remained intimate and comfortable. The florals were white peonies with green garland table runners. And with the amazing guidance of  Cindy, from Stonehouse Events, Bre and Alex pulled off the most beautiful wedding of the Spring. I have so many favorite images to share from this day. But first I just want to say thank you to Bre and Alex for allowing me to be a part of your amazing Florida spring wedding.

Bride and Groom First Look in Flower FieldWedding Invitation from Minted2017-01-03_0006Personalized Champagne Flutes For Bridesmaids2017-01-03_00072017-01-03_0039Bride Getting Her Hair and Makeup done by Femme Akoi2017-01-03_0010Bridesmaids Wearing Jim Helm Helping Bride into her Miss Hayley Paige Gown2017-01-03_00402017-01-03_00112017-01-03_0012Dad and Daughter First Look on Front Steps of Childhood Home2017-01-03_00162017-01-03_0015Bride and Groom Do First Look in front of Parents Home in Largo Florida2017-01-03_0017Bridesmaids in BHLDN dresses create an organic natural lookNatural White and Cream Florals by Redman Steele2017-01-03_0021Peonies are my favorite florals for bridal bouquetsGroomsmen wearing Happy Socks for a fun pop of colorCandid Moments of a bridal partyFlorida Spring Wedding is the best time to get married Bridal Portrait out front of her childhood homeBride wears babys Breath Florals in her hair and a Miss Hayley Paige dress2017-01-03_00382017-01-03_0049Live Oak Trees in Largo Florida Save our shrubs2017-01-03_0051Father Giving Daughter away to groom in a backyard wedding in Largo floridaThe Parkers Married in the Spring of 2016 in Florida2017-01-03_0027Wedding Ceremony in Parents Backyard in Largo Florida2017-01-03_00282017-01-03_0029Florida Spring Wedding in Largo Florida2017-01-03_0056Sperry Tent in backyard Largo Florida with Stonehouse Events coordinating 2017-01-03_00592017-01-03_00612017-01-03_0060Fun Bridal Party Poses for your weddingNatural Bride and Groom Portraits in a tropical forrest of Largo Florida Bride and Groom holding hands wearing Jos A Banks and Miss Hayley PaigeTender Moment between bride and groom in Florida 2017-01-03_0033Succulents used for guest favors at wedding in FloridaOrganic Table scape for backyard wedding in FloridaSimple White Wedding Cake designed by Hands on sweetsSweetheart table adorned with candles and white flowers Sperry Tent Wedding Reception in Florida2017-01-03_00052017-01-03_00642017-01-03_00652017-01-03_00672017-01-03_00682017-01-03_00692017-01-03_0070

Wedding Ceremony and Location :: Brides Parents Home Wedding Planning :: Stonehouse Events Dress Designer :: Miss Hayley Paige Wedding Dress Shop :: White Magnolia Bridal  Hair and Makeup :: Femme Akoi Florals:: Redman Steele Men’s Attire :: Jos A Banks Socks :: Happy Socks Linens :: Linens by the Sea Lighting :: Tampa Lights Catering :: Lynn’s Catering Cake :: Hands on Sweets DJ :: Grant Hemond and Associates Videographer :: Brogen Productions

I definitely consider myself a St Petersburg Wedding Photographer. I’ve lived on St Pete Beach for 10 years and I am a 12 minute commute from downtown St Pete. I guess its safe to say I love it here. And being a photographer, I totally appreciate the various settings and backdrops that can be used while on location downtown. With so many parks, museums, and art all within a few blocks of one another its relatively easy to switch up the setting while shooting in downtown St Pete. That’s what I did with Karen and Scott. They really enjoy the vibe of St Pete and came down from Tampa for their engagement session. We started around the Dali Museum and then gravitated towards the Mahaffey Theater. From there we finished up the session along the water and Albert Whittead airport. It was a great evening full of laughs, love and lots of locations. I am SO excited for their wedding at one of my favorite places, the Oxford Exchange. Here are some of my favorites from their downtown St Pete engagement session.

couple poses for an engagement photo in front of the Dali Museuma blue maxi dress and button down blue shirt is a great engagement session outfit idea couple smiles for the camera outside of the Mahaffey TheaterA great engagement session location in downtown St Petersburg is the Mahaffey theater2016-11-10_00012016-11-10_0006Bride wears gold bangle bracelet for her engagement session in downtown St PeteGreat Save The Date Pose for a weddingWaterfront picture near Albert Whittead airport in downtown St Pete

I had the privilege of second shooting for the ever talented Jordan Weiland Photography this past January. The couple getting married was John and Scott, partners for 10 years, best friends for longer. They met doing community theatre together at Lake Mirror Theatre. I was ecstatic to be able to capture this wedding along side of Jordan. To me, it isn’t about race, culture, gender, sexual preference, or age, it is truly about capturing the love between two people, and their friends and family.  If you are fortunate enough to find someone {girl or guy} who is willing to love you through the good, bad, and indifferent in all of life’s up and down and support you every step of the way, then I’d say you’re lucky enough 🙂 The ceremony took place where the couple first met, Lake Mirror Theatre. There wasn’t a dry eye in attendance and the couple received a standing ovation at the end. It was truly magical! The reception was held afterwards for family and friends at The Magnolia Building. Tears, laughter, hugs, and a feeling of victory that they could legally celebrate this day with the ones they treasured most resonated throughout the evening. It was such an amazing celebration to be a part of. The energy was so positive and happy, it radiated throughout downtown Lakeland. Here are some of my favorite moments from their wedding.

Lakeland LGBT couple gets married in January2016-02-03_00012016-11-03_00012016-11-03_0002Groom helping apply the bowtie for LGBT wedding2016-02-03_0002first look with groom and groom near waterfront in lakelandfirst look reaction of groom seeing groom for the first time2016-11-03_0005first look reaction of gay couple in lakeland wearing gray suitstender embrace between groom and groom in lakeland2016-02-03_0006LGBT friendly bridal party wearing gray in downtown lakelandcandid moments between the LGBT bridal party in FloridaThis bridal party is LGBT friendly 2016-02-03_0011mom helping groom with boutonniere2016-11-03_0011prayer before the ceremony at Lake Mirror Theatre Center2016-11-03_0013interior of lake mirror theater 2016-02-03_00152016-02-03_00182016-02-03_0019LGBT friendly wedding ceremony at Lake Mirror Theatre gay couple marries at Lake Mirror Theatre center in Lakeland Florida2016-02-03_00222016-02-03_0023standing ovation for gay couple at their wedding in Lakeland2016-02-03_0012Gay couple poses for bridal portraits after their wedding ceremony in Florida2016-02-03_0026LGBT couple ties the knot in January in Florida2016-02-03_00282016-02-03_0030Wedding Reception at the Magnolia building in downtown LakelandBaby2016-02-03_00342016-02-03_0035first dance as husband and husband at the Magnolia building in downtown lakeland2016-02-03_00372016-02-03_00362016-02-03_0038sparkler exit for newly married gay couple in Florida

I was recently approached by light.co to write on “capturing the moment”.  In wedding photography there are so many components happening all at once. To an outsider it can seem like a daunting task to be able to capture it all, while making it look natural. And I have to admit, my first year in business, I was a little intimidated by all that happened in those few hours of a wedding. I can remember sitting down after one wedding in particular and looking back on all the photos. I realized that I had captured everything, but not in a genuine setting. They stood and smiled at the camera for most of the images. I kept thinking “this wasn’t how the day went”, “there was much more to it” ” I remember laughter, and tears and hugs” “Why didn’t I capture that?”. From that moment on I decided to fully commit to being in the moment with my clients and genuinely capturing their story as it unfolded rather then staging the day.

Similar to my stance, Light is a new camera technology company that uses folded optics through many small apertures rather then one single aperture that your DSLR camera has. In other words, instead of a big camera with a massive lens, their new camera is about the size of an iPhone.  Usually the perception is, the bigger the camera, the less comfortable clients are around you.  They hope that with a smaller sized camera but similar capabilities as a larger one they will be able to capture the moments as they are happening. While I’ve never shot on the Light camera I am definitely curious about the capabilities. But today, I’m going to share 4 tips that I use daily on how to better capture the moment with your clients.

The first tip is Making the client feel comfortable. This is probably the most important out of all my suggestions. Let’s face it, it’s not normal to have someone follow you and your bae around and photograph you. That’s not a typical day so of course it might feel a little awkward and they might not be completely relaxed. It’s super important to get to know your clients and be able to talk with them, laugh with them, and all around make them feel at east. I usually do this by finding things we have in common. Ask them questions, what do they like to do, do they have a favorite sports team, what kind of pets do they have. I usually hit it off with clients who have dogs or cats as I am a mommy to two shih tzus. They are my world and I could talk for hours about their cuteness, their quirks, and their awesomeness. Find something common and then just go from there.

Going along with making the client feel comfortable, it’s also pretty clutch to find the right location to shoot. Usually I ask the client where would they go if they had the day off. If they say a park or downtown I will try and find a location that is similar to what they would enjoy. During the first few minutes of the shoot I will also try and pick a location that is more private. Like I said before, having someone follow you around with a camera can be awkward, so add a bunch of strangers walking around staring at you while getting your picture taken is going to make  it worse. Find a place that is quiet, peaceful and ease them into the photoshoot.

In finding the right location it is also super important to have your camera settings correct. Sure, you could shoot in automatic and fix it later in photoshop, but for me, it’s easier to take 3 test shots and have the settings in the camera exactly to where I want them so that I am totally ready for any moment that happens. You  never know when the couple may say something to each other and burst out in laughter but you want to be ready at a moments notice.

This kind of brings me to my last and final point which is anticipating the next move. By having your settings ready to go you can be more focused on what is happening in front of you. If a bride just put on her wedding dress and is turning around, be ready to photograph the bridesmaids reaction when they see her. If a bride is getting ready to see her dad for the first time, anticipate that there might be some tears and hugs, so just stay focused on the two of them. If the minister is saying his closing prayer you know that its time to get ready for their first kiss. Always have one finger on the trigger and one eye on the subjects.

Moments are what I live for, as it tells your day much better then any staged photo could ever do. I’d like to thank Light for asking me to write about this subject. I hope these tips help you in your journey to capture genuine emotion. Below are a few photos of some of my favorite moments from my 2016 wedding season.

 

2016-10-28_00042016-10-28_00092016-10-28_00132016-10-28_00162016-10-28_00212016-10-28_00192016-10-28_00202016-10-28_00112016-10-28_00142016-10-28_00082016-10-28_00022016-10-28_00122016-10-28_00072016-10-28_00102016-10-28_00182015-12-20_000822015-12-20_00272016-10-28_00012016-10-28_000512016-10-28_00222016-10-28_0023

 

 

  • Mariss Triick - Tons of great memories for the Triick’s!! We love you Stephanie, thanks for capturing such special moments for us!!

There is just something about a Don Cesar wedding. Perhaps it’s its sheer magnitude. A pink palace on the beach will always stand out. Or perhaps its the unparalleled service and attention to detail that the staff and wedding department have for their guests. Or, it could be that my commute is less then 5 minutes 🙂 Regardless, The Don Cesar hotel on St Pete Beach is one of my favorite places to photograph a wedding. I was beyond thrilled when Adrienne and Kerry booked me for their wedding. If you don’t know Adrienne, you are missing out. She is an amazing news anchor who was with WFLA News Channel 8 for years. I’m not going to lie, I never really watched the news as it’s usually sad stories they have to report on {why can’t life just be puppies, ocean animals and giggling kids?} I have to admit though, I started watching Adrienne with her News Channel 8 crew and really enjoyed their broadcasts, especially when they went live on Facebook before the news segment aired. And then she got a puppy named Kensington and I was just hooked. LOL. But back to her wedding. Adrienne and Kerry treasure their friends and family. They wanted to make sure everyone felt welcomed and loved. When creating a timeline for their day, we made sure to allow plenty of time for family photos, bridal party, and their guests. One other special moment they requested was a first hand hold and prayer together before their ceremony. They did not want to do a first look but did want to at least talk and pray with one another. I truly love when couples carve out time in their day for each other. Cheers Events along side of FH weddings did an amazing job decorating the King Charles Ballroom. Pops of gold and light pink shimmered on the tables. Heartfelt speeches and dances were had. Good food and  friendly banter back and forth between the competing News anchors made for an amazing evening. Adrienne and Kerry, thank you so much for trusting me to be a part of your day. I wish you still lived in Tampa {Adrienne, puppy parties every weekend !! :)}  Here are some of my favorites from their day including all the amazing vendors who made the day possible.

Front View of the Don Cesar Loews HotelBride Putting on her wedding veil at the Don Cesar2016-08-25_0003Back of the dress image while bride looks into the mirrorFirst Look with Dad at a wedding at the Don Cesar hotel2016-08-25_00062016-08-25_00072016-08-25_00102016-08-25_00112016-08-25_00172016-08-25_0013Bridal Portraits with a Sophia Tolli Wedding Dress2016-08-25_0008Spring Floral Bouquets by FH WeddingsBridesmaids Photo in the courtyard at the Loews Don Cesar hotelThe Pink Palace is the perfect place to get married2016-08-25_00202016-08-25_00212016-08-25_00232016-08-25_00242016-08-25_00222016-08-25_0026A bride and groom pray before their wedding ceremony2016-08-25_0030Wedding Ceremony at the Passagrille Community ChurchA GroomThe Sanctuary of Pass-a-grille Community Church2016-08-25_0035Wedding Ceremony at a church on St Pete Beach2016-08-25_0036A bride and groom Just Married2016-08-25_00382016-08-25_00392016-08-25_0040Wedding Reception in the King Charles BallroomGold Sequined Table Runners For wedding ReceptionWedding Reception Uplighting at the Don Cesar hotelTrust Me, you can Dance VodkaGold Chivari Chairs at a wedding at the Don Cesar2016-08-25_0062Cocktail Hour on the South Terrace of the Don Cesar hotel2016-08-25_00452016-08-25_0049Bridal Party Portraits on St Pete BeachGrooms Men Posing Outside of Don Cesar hotelBridesmaids with Kate Spade Clutches2016-08-25_00532016-08-25_0044Bride and Groom Beach Portraits on St Pete Beach FloridaThe bride wearing a Sophia Tolli dress poses at the Don Cesar hotel2016-08-25_0055Sunset portraits of bride and groom at Loews Don Cesar hotel2016-08-25_0054Couple has their first dance in the King Charles Ballroom2016-08-25_00662016-08-25_00672016-08-25_00692016-08-25_00702016-08-25_00722016-08-25_00732016-08-25_00712016-08-25_00752016-08-25_0074The Don Cesar hotel has the best food on St Pete Beach2016-08-25_00782016-08-25_00802016-08-25_0079Wedding Rings photographed on top of a Kate Spade sparkle clutchWedding Ceremony :: Pass-a-grille Community Church Wedding Venue :: Loews Don Cesar Hotel  Hair and Makeup :: Spa Oceana Wedding Dress :: Sophia Tolli Bridal Boutique :: CC’s Boutique  Bridesmaids Dresses :: David’s Bridal Men’s Attire :: Men’s Warehouse Wedding Decor :: Cheers Events Wedding Planning :: Beth Clarke with Cheers Events Floral Designer :: FH Weddings Wedding Cake :: The Cake Zone Band :: DeLeon Entertainment Transportation :: Jolley Trolley Videographer :: Brogen Productions Second Shooter :: Bara Miller