Well, I’ve fallen behind on blogging again (quelle surprise), but I’m very excited to bring you a wedding I photographed last month! This is Kelley and Linda.

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Their celebrity name is KelLin, by the way.

 

They’ve been together for 9 years, and on April 25th, they finally tied the knot! The setting for their ceremony was beautiful Anderson Park in Tarpon Springs, FL. There was a little concern about the weather as we headed into the weekend, but the storms held off till Sunday.

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They did a great job with all the decorations and details! I love the colors they chose.

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One of my favorite nuances of same-sex weddings is that the couple getting married seems to know not to take their ability to do so for granted. People across the state and across the country have fought hard, and continue to do so, for all loving couples to be able to make a lasting commitment to each other in the eyes of the law. Kelley and Linda recognized those pioneers in their vows, and await the Supreme Court ruling in the hopes that other couples can soon marry in their own respective states.

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Do you know someone in need of a photographer? Getting in touch with me is just a click away! And be sure to leave a comment below for the happy couple!

Yesterday morning, I and a few of my friends and family gathered together in Clermont for one singular purpose:

to get muddy.

That’s right, boys and girls, it was the Warrior Dash! There was running, climbing, swimming, and sliding. And of course, mud.

 

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It was a somewhat chilly morning, but by the time we got moving, we were good to go. Although, I could’ve done without the slide into the icy water near the end of the course. But we had fun, and walked away with only minor bumps and bruises. Would I do it again? Absolutely. How often do you get to play in the mud?

 

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Thanks for reading!

This Sunday, I got to meet 5-days-new, sweet little Miss N. I photographed her brother, Mr. W, about a year and a half ago for his first birthday cake smash.

Her momma, Jodie, warned me that Miss N didn’t seem to like sleeping much. But she didn’t seem to mind too much being photographed, anyway.

 

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She even practiced her Jedi mind tricks to get her momma to feed her.

 

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Starting them off on the right path. That’s a parenting win! We eventually got the young Padawan to sleep.

 

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Love those cheeks!

 

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We even got big brother into some pictures.

 

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They were so sweet. Congrats to Bryan and Jodie for their beautiful family. Thanks for letting me hang out with you guys!

 

Have you recently welcomed your own Jedi-in-training? Do you know someone in need of a photographer? Drop me a line.

You may remember the newborn pictures of this little guy:

 

Baby in Jayne Hat

 

Well, he’s already 3 months (and some change) old! Which means it was time for the next session in his Grow With Me plan.

He was very alert again, and let me tell you…this kid is expressive!

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And he’s not afraid to show his skepticism, either.

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But he eventually seemed resigned to the fact that, yes, this photo shoot was really happening.

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But that didn’t mean that he wouldn’t be a little mischievous.

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Thanks to Mr. B’s mom, grandpa, and grandma for letting me hang out with him! He was cracking me up when I was going through some of these.

 

Do you know someone in need of a baby or maternity photographer? Packages are available to cover pregnancy all through to your little one’s first birthday, and we can set up payment plans (psst…they make great baby shower gifts)! Contact me today for more information, or to schedule your session!

 

And hey, thanks!

Jen

 

 

So, it’s been awhile, friends. Hope you all had a great holiday and are starting off your new year right! I know I’m trying to!

In that vein, I’m finally posting about a wedding that I photographed in *gulp* October.

I first met with Katie in March to talk about me possibly photographing her wedding. As soon as I heard that it was at the St. Petersburg Museum of Fine Arts, I knew it just had to be me! What a neat wedding it would be! So I was very excited when I met back up with her and Jeff, her fiancé, a couple weeks later to book.

St. Petersburg Museum of Fine Art wedding

This venue was seriously gorgeous. Almost as gorgeous as the bride! Bride

A new trend that’s becoming more and more popular at weddings is the first look. Instead of waiting until the ceremony to see each other for the first time on the wedding day, couples plan a place to meet before the ceremony begins, sometimes hours before. I’ve found that planning to have your first look at a planned time before the ceremony helps to calm nerves. It also gives you the bonus of getting some of your portraits done before the real craziness of the day begins! Katie and Jeff opted for the first look for these reasons, and it was fantastic!

First Look First Look First Look

One of the things Katie and Jeff really wanted was to get some photos in front of the Banyan trees in the park next to the museum.

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And of course, there was that fabulous museum front.

Wedding Party

After the ceremony was cocktail hour, which meant we had some more time for portraits (yay!).

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Gallery

Jeff helped bustle Katie’s dress, then they had an impromptu first dance practice.

Bustle and first dance practice

Then it was time for the real thing.

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The reception was fun, as they usually are. Everyone was having a good time enjoying the music and dancing! The evening finished off with a sparkling send-off.

Sparkler Exit

Thanks so much to Katie and Jeff for letting me be a part of your beautiful day! You guys rocked!

Know someone looking for a wedding photographer in the Tampa Bay or surrounding areas? I’d love to hear from you! I happily cover same-sex weddings, as well! Contact me today and tell me about your event!

Thanks,

Jen

 

This past Monday, I had the pleasure of photographing an engagement session inside Universal Studios and Universal’s Islands of Adventure theme parks in Orlando, Florida. LeAnna, the bride-to-be, is a huge Harry Potter fan (probably a bigger fan than I am), and she’s gotten her fiancé, Azrael, into the series through the Jim Dale audiobooks.

When I met with them, they told me they were torn between doing a Harry Potter-themed engagement session, and a 1940’s-themed one. My suggestion: “Why not both?” Universal Orlando offers some New York City backdrops, perfect for photos set in the 40’s, and of course Hogsmeade and the newly-opened Diagon Alley for the Harry Potter photos. Done!

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We decided to wait a couple months for the crowds to die down a bit, and the weather to get a little more bearable. The day we went, it was nicely overcast in the morning, which allowed me to capture these long-exposure shots down busy Diagon Alley.

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We also took a turn down the infamous Knockturn Alley, which was so dark that I had no choice but to break out the flash. A little creative placement and colored gel, and I think we’ve captured the sinister mood of the place.

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And we did board the train to head to Hogsmeade, so we could get that famous castle in the backdrop. Unfortunately, the sun had come out fully, and it was hot for this lovely couple all dressed in black. So we made it a short visit. 109

 

We hopped back on the Hogwarts Express and made our way once more to Universal Studios, and walked over towards the New York City sets, where we found a secluded alley sheltered from the hot sun, and perfect for some gritty 1940’s shots.

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Would you believe it was close to lunch time when we took these?

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Finally, we found an excellent prop to round out our 1940’s segment of the engagement shoot. We waited for the clouds to cover the sun, and grabbed a few quick shots with this sweet ride.

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Thanks to LeAnna and Azrael for braving the Florida weather for this most magical of engagement sessions! You guys ROCKED it!

Know anybody who just got engaged? Need engagement photos yourself? Contact me to reserve your session. You know how much I love the geeky ones!

And hey…thanks!

 

A month ago, I took maternity photos for Carie and Travis at the beach. This week, I got to meet and photograph their newborn baby girl.

Newborn photos work best when they’re done within the first 14 days after baby is born, as they are more likely to sleep longer, and more willing to be swaddled and gently posed than when they gain stronger motor functions. As you can see by those little toes sticking out in this photo, that’s not necessarily a guarantee that they still won’t break free from their wrappings. She’s a kicker.

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And at only 4 days new, she sure was an alert little bear cub! Bear Cub

But we managed to get her snoozing (and smiling!) a bit, too.

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And you can just tell that mom and dad are so in love with their baby girl!

 

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She was such a sweet little subject! Thanks so much to Carie and Travis for inviting me into their home to capture the kiddo who’s captured their hearts!

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Know someone waiting on their own little bundle of joy to arrive? Have them drop me a line to schedule maternity and newborn photos!

Hello, friends! I come to you this Saturday morning with a preview of last night’s maternity session. Carie and Travis are first-time parents-to-be! They’re expecting a baby girl at the end of this month (eek!). Carie and I talked on the phone, and decided that Redington Long Pier in (duh) Redington Beach would be a great spot for some of the shots she wanted. And of course, we had to go in the evening so we could catch one of Florida’s trademark gorgeous sunsets (I’m pretty sure they’re trademarked).

The weather even cooperated by not dumping rain on us! We had a lovely breeze off the water that meant Jen (that’s me, hello!) was not dripping sweat from carrying around an entire portrait studio over her shoulder. It also created some lovely movement in the white maxi skirt that Carie hunted for desperately for this shoot.

But you don’t care about any of that, do you? You just want the pictures. Very well.

It was lovely under the pier, so that’s where we started. maternity Then we headed to the shade thrown by the pier to get some nice solo shots of Carie, and soon enough the sun started to set and the sky started to show its colors. 1002 maternity That sunset was pretty magical. Thanks to Carie and Travis for letting me capture this wonderful time in their lives. I can’t wait to meet the little miss!

As you may or may not know, I’m enrolled in the New York Institute of Photography’s (NYIP) “Complete Course in Professional Photography.” I signed up for it, because I’m a firm believer in always trying to better oneself. I knew that my technical skills were solid, but that there are always things to learn. What I really hoped to gain is a stronger business foundation. I enrolled about a year and a half ago, and hadn’t done much with it. Thankfully, it’s a study-at-your-own-pace course (as long as you complete it in 3 years). So, halfway in, I’ve started to get back to it in earnest. I have decided, dear followers, to hold myself accountable by posting about my progress. So, here goes!

I will post progress when I’ve completed each unit, which means after I’ve submitted and received feedback on my photo projects.

Unit 1, for me, was largely a refresher on the basics of what makes a proper exposure and a good photo. The first lesson lays out the guidelines for what makes a good photograph:
1. A good photograph has a clear subject.
2. A good photograph focuses attention on the subject.
3. A good photograph simplifies.

These are all important things to remember when composing a photo.

Lesson 2 taught me a little about different kinds of cameras, and lesson 3 went over various types of lenses, and how they work. Lesson 4 got into the basics of how to use your camera with shutter speed, aperture, and ISO, and how to use these to achieve the 3 guidelines of getting a good photograph.

So that was unit 1, in a nutshell. I got an A on the quiz, so, hooray! Now for the photo projects. For this unit, I had to submit 3 different photos.

Photograph #1: Using shutter speed to express a sense of motion or speed. Unit 1-1
Now, I already knew before I submitted it that the framing was off. But of all the photos I took, this one showed the best motion without blurring the pages past recognition. For this shot, I set my camera on a tabletop tripod on the desk, the book on the other end of the desk, and then set the self-timer mode to a 5-second delay to eliminate camera shake by me pressing the shutter button. I set the focus to manual once the book was locked into focus (it wasn’t going anywhere), then reached over and pressed the shutter. When the light flashed indicating that the camera was about to take the picture, I blew on the pages to make them turn.

Feedback: The feedback I got on this photo was great. I should back up a moment to say that, once you submit your first photo project, you’re assigned a student advisor who will critique your photos and send you an audio recording of feedback on what you did right, and what could have been better. Anyway. My advisor said that, in the 36 years he’s been advising students, mine is the first of this particular kind of photo to come across his desk. So, that’s pretty cool! He did mention that my framing could have been better (i.e., not cut off the other corner of the book), which I said I noticed before.

Photograph #2: Using selective focus to make the subject stand out. Unit 1-2 This one is pretty straightforward. I set my aperture at its widest setting, focused in on the never-interested Pepper, and the result was nice sharp cat eyes and a creamy, blurred background.

Feedback: His one suggestion was to take it down on the headroom. Otherwise, well-executed technique.

Photograph #3: Creating a feeling of distance by using great depth of field. Unit 1-3 For this one, I used a shot I took last summer in Hawaii. I do mostly plan on taking new photos for each assignment, but I decided, just this once, I would submit one that followed the assignment guidelines.

Feedback: He liked the photo, and said that maybe next time, I could use an even wider lens, or show an even greater depth of field by having a clearly defined foreground, middle ground, and background. Fair enough.

So that was unit 1. Stay tuned as I go over each unit and photo project as they’re completed. I’ve still got some shooting to do for project 2, so expect a couple weeks on that.

Charlotte drove up from Sarasota this morning to get some nice professional headshots for her resumé, business cards, and social networking. It was a bit windy, but at least yesterday’s rain was nowhere in sight! DSC_4925-Edit-2 She has such an easy, natural smile. And she takes direction like a pro (you know how I like to tell people what to do)! DSC_4950-Edit Thanks for hanging out with me today, Charlotte! I hope your headshots serve you well.

Jen