Renee and Joseph are ENGAGED!

The first time I met Renee and Joseph face to face was about five minutes before we started shooting. We met at the pier parking lot in Deerfield Beach, Florida. I recognized them right away from the way they held themselves together as two people in love. Renee has a beautiful son that I just fell in love with too. They recently moved from Alaska. Yes, ALASKA. That day at the beach was un commonly cold for me of course, but not for them! Lol. We had been in touch via email prior to meeting and I was looking forward to spending time with them and getting to know their love story while I was photographing them.

6:30 in the morning is not ideal for me since I am a night owl. But if anyone knows me, knows how much I LOVE photographing sunrises. What is really cool is you never know what colors God may bring that morning. Sometimes they are purples and pinks and other times they are blues and yellows. That day it was a gorgeous fire red, yellows and oranges. It looked spectacular and of course I was in awe. Congratulations Renee and Joseph! Can’t wait to see what the future will hold for you both as well as your son!

Sunflowers and a country wedding with a whole 'lotta LOVE!

I was bursting with excitement Saturday morning as I was driving from the East Coast to photograph Corey and Kasey’s wedding that was located near Fort Myers. After a week or two of cold spells and rain, it was such surprise to finally have sunshine and a beautiful breeze through out the day. Their wedding and reception was held at the Buckingham Community Center. If you ever have the chance to look up the history of this place, please do so. First and foremost, the building itself is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and has been in existence since 1895. It was first used as a school house all the way until 1945. When you walk in to the house itself, you can easily see how it was used as a school house. The wood floors and the beautiful details of the building was pretty cool to see.

Corey and Kasey have been together for almost ten years and they were s o excited to get married in the sight of this historic building along with their family and friends. The groomsmen were funny and you can tell that they were all really good friends with one another. What I thought was really sweet was his Dad was one of his Groomsmen. I can see why too. They were really close and considered to be each other’s best friend. They all wore a gorgeous blue vests and yellow ties and helping one another get dressed by adjusting and putting on their ties and adjusting their boutonniere’s. The flower girls I absolutely fell in with! Each of them looked adorable in their yellow dresses adorned with lace and sunflowers. Kasey looked so beautiful in her wedding dress and her bridesmaids coordinated so well in blue just like their groomsmen. Look at the pictures. You’ll see why I loved this wedding so much. From the historic building of the Buckingham Center to the sunflowers lovingly match with everything….it was a day with filled love, laughter and happiness!

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Billy Joel, Our Nation's Capital and the Machado Family...

Well in keeping my promise to share with you my "Northern Adventures" I had this past summer, I wanted to share with you my trip to Washington, D.C.  Before I do though, I must first apologize for taking a little too long in between blog posts.  Yes, it's been that busy in my business, but that isn't the reason. I have been guilty of mixing business with some fun.  The acronym, 'YOLO' comes into mind.  You Only Live Once.  Let me explain.  When someone approaches me with amazement about my traveling adventures, I humbly let them know that it's not all what it is cracked up to be.  Don't get me wrong, I am having the time of my life going to different places and carrying my camera by my side.  However when your job has you travel, it's not the same as if you are traveling on a vacation.  The majority of the time you wake up, get your gear ready, PRAY that you arrive safe and go do your thing.  There is barely anytime to sightsee, get a spa treatment or even enjoy some local cuisine (MY version of a vacation). I'm lucky if I get a chance to people watch, my heating pad is my spa treatment and my version of local cuisine involves fast-food and a drive thru.  My mindset changed though when I was planning my trip to Washington, D.C. for one reason and one reason only; Billy Joel.  He was performing the same time frame I was going to be there and I was compelled to break my "business trip" frame of mind. Hubby joined me for the trip, I upgraded the hotel and away we went!

One of the sessions was with John Machado and his beautiful family.  He is an attorney in D.C. and his posts about his days in court are sometimes sad, always heartfelt, but most times are hilarious!  He is truly passionate about his job but he is even more passionate about his family.  That was the first thing I noticed when we met. We met between the Thomas Jefferson and the Lincoln Memorial to capture some great moments between him, Nancy his wife and their two kids.  His oldest Katie was a spitfire and I had so much fun watching her that I was compelled to pull her aside and photograph her on her own.  I admired her boldness for life (a quality I didn't have at that age.) and her humor.  I can remember being her age struggling with the phase from, "girl" to "teenager".  For her though, she showed confidence and a happiness for life.  For sweet Nicholas he announced , "I don't like taking pictures." That statement didn't scare me.  I have boys of my own that would proclaim that very same sentiment every time I break out the camera.  Overall, it was nice to observe such a loving family coming together laughing and enjoying each other's company.  The icing of the cake was when Nicholas approached me afterwards and said he had fun.  That made me happy.  In between takes, John told me some fascinating facts about D.C. and him and his wife recommended some great places to visit. After all, here we were in a great city.  It would of been a crime had we not stop and take in the sites.

Sooooo, where does Billy Joel come into play?  John and his wife were gracious enough in where we did a little bartering that involved a photo session and a Billy concert.  Lol.  I'm sure you get the gist.  For those who don't know me, Billy Joel is my all time favorite performer.  

By the end of this trip I looked back and realized that, yes, I should incorporate a little bit of fun into my travel.  After all, we only live once and what is the point of life if you don't once in awhile stop and smell the roses.  Thank you to John, Nancy and the kids for a great afternoon that day.  You two are truly blessed with such a beautiful family.  Hope you enjoyed the photos as much as I loved watching you all as a family.


Tere, Stephen and the twins....

Living in South Florida has it's ups and downs when it comes to being a Photographer.  We have the unique opportunity to enjoy great weather all year long.  The last time it snowed around here was in 1978 when I was 8 years old (oh boy, I am showing my age!).  Because of the lack of weather changes here, you can pretty much photograph anything all year long.  However, the summer is usually slow here because it is too damn HOT to get married.  I'm gets HOT here in South Florida.  Though there is still business here, there are more opportunities to go up north since it's a big deal that the weather there is great.  That's the thing about us Floridians; we take for granted that we don't have to deal with the snow.  I personally know of a lot of Wedding Vendors who take extended vacations during this time.  Nothing wrong with that.  For me though, I like to keep busy.  This is where I started to explore the idea of doing year round work.  First and foremost, I LOVE to travel and I LOVE to photograph.  When you put these two things together, you end (at least I do) flying up north to photograph weddings, family sessions and such.  As much as I love the beach and fun in the sun, it is so nice to photograph in areas that are new.  For the next few posts, I will be sharing with you my adventures up north.  Here is my first one of those trips.  Tere and Stephen live in Boston with their two beautiful girls.  They invited me to spend a weekend with them to photograph their family and enjoy the sights of the New England area. We not only took some great pictures in Boston, but we also went to Rhode Island for a day.  Here are some photographs of their family along with a summer picnic I tagged along to as well.  I hope you enjoy!   

A second chance at love....

For people that I know me, I say this often....Facebook is an amazing thing.  To think that 20 years ago, you were lucky enough every once in awhile to bump into someone from high school at random.  That is the way we saw people from our past.  Not anymore, with the creation of Facebook you can connect with family, old friends and strangers alike.  It truly is an amazing thing!

Anyway, I'm rambling....on with today's  

I had to REALLY sit back and try to remember when I first met Eddie.  It was the night before our session that I realized I've known him since the 3rd grade.  How crazy is that?  When we first reconnected on Facebook, it took me a while to remember who he was (sorry, Eddy!).  Not because I couldn't remember him, he had totally transformed to a handsome man.  Before that, I knew him in class as the guy who always told jokes and made everyone laugh.  Now when I see him....totally different guy!  No more baby face and no more curly hair.  Okay, I'll stop.  Maybe this is too much information to share (again, sorry Eddy!).

He reached out to me saying that him and his fiancee were getting married.  It was a second time for the both of them and they didn't want all the 'hoopla' like the first time around.  They did want to remember this special day by taking photos, that my friends was music to my ears.  

This wasn't only  to photograph this great moment, it was because I related to finding love the second time around.  Love is a precious, precious gift and it is not to be taken lightly.  When it is presented to you twice in your life, you hang on to it, learn from your mistakes and treat it as the gift it is.  I don't know what happened to Eddie the first time around and frankly I don't care to know.  All I know is, like myself, he had the chance to love again. We all grow up and change from our past.  More importantly if we can learn from it, then we can appreciate all aspects from our lives.  As people, I think we are deserve a second chance at things and for Eddie I am so happy that he found such a beautiful woman both inside and out.  

We met at Colee Hammock Park in Fort Lauderdale and took some amazing photographs.  You can truly see the love for each other and I felt honored that I was there to capture it.  Hope you enjoy....I certainly enjoyed documenting the love between this awesome couple!  

Family Time At The Beach....

What a wonderful gift Mrs. Rose gave to herself by wanting to do a family session for her birthday! All her grown kids were invited, along with their spouses and who can't forget the precious grandkids! A day at the beach is still a classic thing to do in South Florida. The weather was beautiful and it was so nice to see the whole family interact with one another. Thank you to the Rose Family for allowing me capture your beautiful family. When it was over and we all proceeded to leave, everyone stood in line to wash off their feet. Mr. Rose sat there next to the faucet and rinsed everyones feet. Every time, he was done with a family member, he would yell, "Next!" As I stood there in line, I wasn't expecting him to help me out as well. So when the last family member was done, I kind of stood back and waited for him to get up. That's when he looked up at me and said, "Come on! You too!" When he was done, I couldn't help but say, "Thanks, Dad!" LOL. Hope you enjoy looking through these photos. The family was such a joy to work with. Happy Birthday, Mrs. Rose! What a wonderful gift it is than to have your family together and take photographs!

The Unexpected Boudoir Session....

Caitlyn was nothing but excited to finally plan her wedding.  After all, she had been engaged for more than five years.  When I presented to her that collections that I offer that include an engagement session, she had no interest in doing one.  I was a little shocked at this.  Engagement sessions are fun.  It gives the opportunity for the Bride and Groom to dress up, go somewhere special and pose for some great photographs.  As for the Photographer, it allows me to see how comfortable they are in front of the camera.  To me, I think it's important to have an engagement session.  When I asked why, her reply was priceless.  "Ugh, no!  I'm so over being engaged.  Is there anything else we can do in place of an engagement?"  As I thought and pondered, her eyes perked up when I suggest a boudoir session; that's where we ended up.  

Granted I can't show you the REAL stuff...but I can share with you the g-rated version.  She was wonderful to work with and at the end of the day, her photos were stunning!

A Day of Pool

It's was so nice to have an event free weekend.  Normally I would take this time to catch up on edits and such.  I was tempted to decline this invitation when my sister in law called, but I didn't.  My brother and his wife recently purchased a house and the Hubby and I (along with the rest of my family) were invited for a day of splashing in the pool and then afterwards play a game of pool inside.  

It's funny that we all view parents as beings that only started to exist when they married and had kids.  If you take the time to dig deeper, parents had a life before marrying and having children.  After everyone went inside from getting SPLASHED from the kids at the pool, I went to the front of the house and saw my dad playing know... the one with the eight ball...a stick and a big table with felt on.  Anyway, I was impressed with my dad and his ability to play a decent game.  Two of my nieces decided to join in and there came a competition of the classic game of pool.  That is where I began to think about my father as a "person" rather than a "dad".  

He never mentioned before that he knew how to play or that he was actually good at it, but nevertheless his "before" life came together with his "afterlife" that afternoon.  It was a good family time being spent.  I was glad at the end of the day that I didn't decline.  Though I am behind in edits, I was able to spend tim with my family.  After all, that is what is important, right?  

Hope you enjoy these photos as much as I enjoyed taking was nice to hold a camera and not worry about who it was for or whatnot.  That's where I started a long time ago; just a gal who loved to take pictures!