While visiting my sister in Maui, I looked at the pictures on her walls and loved the beautiful vistas she had shot and edited personally. Her family could be seen in the distance. It seemed more like a visceral memory than portrait or a landscape. I strove to mimic that the next time I went to the beach. It happened to be with my other sister –who was visiting from Utah with her son and my mom. It was the end of the day, but the kids were loving the water, especially my nephew. It was his first time to see the ocean, and his laughter could be heard wafting over the white surf. I hope these pictures have a certain feeling – different from my other pictures. Perhaps it’s just a quiet moment in time in a place that is important to me.
Trees have the magic ability to turn children into monkeys, so we decided to go to Treaty Oak Park – a small patch of land in between busy streets and office buildings in downtown Jacksonville. The tree has huge branches that shade a boardwalk and stretch to the ground. It was the perfect place to capture the happy antics of Lizzy’s young children – shady, quiet, and fun. Most of the time I felt like I was chasing them with the camera, like paparazzi. But I’m glad that in the end, we had some sweet and completely unplanned moments.
I’m glad I get to explore beautiful areas around me and focus on capturing these precious human connections.
A few months back, I had the unique opportunity to see my friend in the hospital just hours after her baby was born. Needless to say, she and her husband were both exhausted, but glowing and as happy as could be. After two beautiful, energetic boys, they finally had their little girl. These are just a few quiet images of their new family:
Right before Christmas, I had scheduled a shoot with Machell and her family. On the day of the shoot, it was uncharacteristically windy – with gusts of wind at 25 mph.
“Should we change to another location?” Machell asked me, worried the wind would cause a problem in the flat, open fields at Camp Milton. I pictured hair being blown in faces, and people squinting. I also pictured the beautiful fall colors and yellow grass of the fields – something that you can only find a couple months out of the year in Florida. “Let’s risk it!” I said, and with heavily cloudy sky and chilly wind, I headed out to location.
I’m so glad we did! The cloudy sky gave beautiful even light. The wind pushed everyone’s hair back – in perfect model fashion. Machell’s family even brought their dog, who was so picture perfect and made everyone else smile. I’m glad for the little unplanned surprises that make a photoshoot better than planned.
The first time I handled a newborn session, I was hesitant to touch or position the baby. Even after handling two babies of my own, other people’s babies seem so fragile, they could break. This session was so great for me, because the mother – and my good friend – trusted me completely and gave me full creative control. I did a lot of rocking and soothing and swaddling (quite messily I might add), but it all paid off in the end because this newborn’s perfection was able to shine through.
My friend has a bright loft in her house that was perfect for a quick family portrait.
It was a joy working with Hunter and Sola – 2 high school seniors and best friends. They decided to share a session together which turned out to be a wonderful idea. As I would do a set up with one, the other could watch and get ideas for her turn. Then when they switched, the other would cheer and make the other laugh. So glad I could spend an afternoon with these two lively, beautiful girls.
Thanks for making me laugh! They have bright futures ahead of them.
Among the spanish moss-covered trees, I had the privilege of photographing two beautiful families. I had props and music to make an festive atmosphere, but the thing that brought the most fun was climbing on the trees!
Glad to herald in the season by helping these families remember what is most important to them. Can’t wait to do this again next year!
All the family were in tears at this intimate ceremony in a Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints Chapel in the Arlington area of Jacksonville. Without words, it was felt that this day was long awaited and there was such joy they could be together. I felt lucky to be apart of it all and witness the family’s playfulness, Holli’s liveliness, Josh’s adoration for his new wife.
After the ceremony and family pictures, we went to American Legion Post 283, just down the road from the church. There, a more carefree reception unfolded. One of my favorite pictures of the night was an unprompted kiss captured from across the room. In the midst of guests and revelry, they only had eyes for each other.
Balis Park is a little oasis in a quaint yet hopping part of San Marco area in Jacksonville. As I met up with Lizzy’s little girl, I saw her peeking out from behind her mom’s legs. At 18 months, kids are full of movement and personality, but they also are beginning to get more nervous around people. Cue the dog statue! Cue the fascinating water fountain! Cue many rounds of peek-a-boo! Cue tickling. After a tag-team effort between Lizzy and I, we saw many gap-toothed smiles and mischievous looks. It was such a loosely-structured, carefree session, I thought, “I wish I could do this all the time!”
I was lucky to photograph and video this intimate ceremony for Phillip and Shantelle. Our day started in a seaside hotel room, with those nervous but happy moments of getting ready. We got delayed when the zipper on Shantelle’s dress broke off! Shantelle was totally calm, and her easy going attitude set the mood for the whole day.
We walked out of the room to see clear blue skies and a sparkling beach. I can see why people love to get married by the ocean. Then every time they go to the beach, they can associate it with the most beautiful day of their life.
From the moment that Phillip first sees Shantelle in her dress to the moment their family cheers for them when they are officially married, this day is full of stunning moments. Watch the video (below) for the full experience!