Tuesday, August 26, 2008

It's official--we're moving!

Freelance 4 Hire's studios are moving!

September 15th we will officially be open at:
1523 Chaffee Rd.

If you are coming from I-10, you get off on Chaffee and head South. The new studios are in the new strip mall next to the new Chaffee library.

It's a great location, which will be MUCH easier for clients to find, and a shorter commute for me!

If you are in Oakleaf or Argyle--this new studio will be much easier and quicker for you to get too!

We will have pictures and specials up soon. Packages are also being revamped for the new office space.

If you have an order you want to place or need to pick up, you can pick up orders at the Riverside location up until about Sept 7th. If you would prefer to pick your orders up at the Chaffee location, this can be arranged after Sept. 1st.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Fort Clinch Wedding

Lesli & Patrick are from Illinois and came down for a family vacation/reunion of sorts. Since they had all their family with them they decided to get married as well. So they had a beautiful Wed. night wedding at Fort Clinch in Fernandina.

If you've never been, the fort is right on the waterway and often has reenactments. You can also get campsites near the fort.

Lesli had the most beautiful dress and gorgeous purple flowers in her hair.

Michael, who runs Jaxnotary.com officiated over the wedding. I like vendors with personality--if you want a good party, hire a DJ who nows how to keep the party going. If you don't want a stiff ceremony, hire someone like Michael. Nothing beats someone who can make a joke and make you feel comfortable on YOUR wedding day.

The Marriage contract getting officially stamped.

A fun group photo in a vintage coloring.
At the end of the ceremony, everyone took a stone from the flower girl and threw it into the water to make a wish for the bride and groom.

The bride, with those beautiful green eyes!

Nothing makes me happier than making photos that are art work. This is especially true of wedding and trash the dress sessions.

I love taking a couple and making gorgeous photos that could be displayed on any wall and be appreciated, but having the couple be apart of that photograph, to me just makes the photo awesome. Those are the kind of photos I loved from my own wedding.

And Lesli and Patrick wanted nothing more than to make some awesome photos of the two of them. I just love it when I get couples who just want to make great pieces of art they can cherish for years to come!

This photo has a gold tone to it with a softened look.
Another one with the vintage coloring.
The groom's one request was a photo of them looking at the sunset. I gave them several, but I personally like this one.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

A Heroe's Wedding

I met Carolyn and her parents and the groom's parents earlier this year and we hit it off right away. The groom was serving in Iraq, so we waited to book their engagement session until we knew he woud be home.

Carolyn came in a couple of months after our initial meeting and got her formal bridal photos done. The thing that amazed me about all of the bride & groom's sessions was the participation by both sets of parents. Most parents don't mind the other set but don't go out of their way to participate in the wedding process or go to these meetings or shoots. But at the engagement session and formal bridal both moms and occasionally a father or brother were there as well to add a joke or encourage the couple. It was really nice to see.

When Carolyn had her formal bridals done she requested they be password protected because if the groom knew how to get to them, Carolyn just knew he would go look!

When David finally made it back, the cute couple came it in for their engagement session. They were a blast and we really hit it off. Usually grooms hate photos and don't mind telling you, but David took it with a grain of salt and laughed and had fun with the session.

When their wedding weekend finally arrived I showed up for the rehearsal dinner and everyone was running late--which is typical for weddings but not as much so for rehearsals.

Carolyn & David had gone to pick up her father the day before and found her father on the floor--David had to revive him! They rushed him to the hospital where he remained through the wedding. Carolyn's brother had to step in to walk her down the aisle.

Truly an amazing story, but what an amazing and nice couple!

(Last I heard from Carolyn, her father was doing better.) These are some of the photos from this amazing couple's wedding day.

The mother of the groom and the grandmother attaching a piece of lace from a family wedding dress to Carolyn's dress (something old).

The wedding was held at the Ribbault Club. And while the chairs were being set up outside the rain just came down. She had to decided whether to wait it out or bring the wedding indoors. Whenever Carolyn would get to thinking she would nibble at her finger or her nail.

Carolyn didn't want to muddy her dress so in a hurry the wedding was brought indoors.

But the rain dried up long enough for some shots of the two.

The first dance.
The cakes, by Edgewood Bakery.
Isn't this the coolest groom's cake!
The rings, on the groom's cake!
The guys with their bestman gifts, partying down with the groom.
BTW, the couple were restationed in Maryland and were supposed to be reporting for duty on the day of their wedding! So the week before their wedding, not only were they dealing with family issues, but they drove to Maryland to look for a house!

I wish them all the best in their new life together and their new home.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Clarke Family Session

Ashley did a shoot with me about a month or so ago where she posed with a couple of cars (the mustang shots were in a different blog entry). She's friends with my makeup artist Staci and told Staci she had a "photo crush on me" lol. So she finally came in this week and got her family session done.

I love the expressions in this black & white!
This next shot wasn't posed. Kayla, like most kids, were getting a little tired and grumpy and was having a moment with momma. But I love shots that are a little different and still have meaning.
I love the details on this next shot. The detail in her skin, you can just see all the baby features in her face. (Headband is from Sweet Pickles Boutique.)
When Kayla got grumpy, momma Ashley broke out some hair curlers. Apparantally, this makes Kayla very happy. I love her eyes and expression in this shot!

Monday, August 11, 2008

When life gives you chicken poop...

Or duck poop for that matter, you take a REALLY good shower and wash everything (clothes, countertops, etc!) !

When I was a little girl my grandparents had a farm. I've been wanting some chickens and things for awhile now, so this weekend we put my wish into effect.

I know you are probably double checking where I am now, and that's right, I'm in Jacksonville! LOL.

My friend Rachel's daughter came over Sat. night and is going home today. When she heard we were getting chickens and ducks she could hardly wait. She loves some PS3 game called Rub a Dub Dub where you save ducks, and she has wanted one for years. "Since I was little," she says.

Yesterday morning when we woke up, Calista immediately asked, "can we go get the chickens now!"

We made a temporary coop and went and wrangled 5 adult ducks for my inlaws and the lady gave Calista a baby duck of her choice. Once back to my house the duck immediately got a bath and then wrapped in a towel. Calista and "Peepers Poopers" immediately watched TV together before we got the call that our chickens were ready for pickup!

We weren't sure which kind to get, but after a little research, we ended up with Chinese Silkie chickens, which are like the Poodles of the chicken world. And they are the most pet like. They have very fluffy feathers and people used to think they were a cross between a chicken and a rabbit. We got 3 babies. I picked out a black one and named it "Kentucky," my husband named is grey one "Chino," (means Chinese in Spanish) and Calista named her 2 day old black baby chick "Nugget."

I had a photo shoot this morning and in a bribe to get Calista out of bed in a hurry, I agreed she could bathe with Peepers. He immediately crapped twice. Soo, she got a second bath without Peepers!

Peepers and Calista went to the studio and were very quiet and well behaved during the family shoot I had this morning. I caught a couple of her and Peepers afterwards. Don't get many ducks in studio!

I prefer to call this next one, "I got my eyes on you!"
Back at the house, Calista and Nugget watched some TV. Well Caslista watched TV, Nugget just wanted to sleep in her warm hands.
If you want to see what Chinese Silkies look like full grown, go to Youtube.com and search them. Calista and I watched MANY youtube videos of them while waiting to pick them up.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Andy shoots a wedding

I usually think it's weird when when people try to push their family members off on a client as a vendor. I just feel like it's a bit of favortism. I'm a photographer and my husband is the computer tech. He makes sure my photos are backed up to several locations and that my computers are running correctly.

My husband one day approached me saying he'd like to learn photography. He had been to many shoots with me (he knows how to set up my lighting equipment and he keeps things organized for me) so I figured ok. I took classes when I started getting heavily into photography, so we enrolled him into classes. This may seem weird to some people--why would I enroll him into classes instead of teaching him myself? 1-When it comes to family, sometimes teaching them can be a touchy subject, and may feel like you are talking down to them. 2-Like most family members, they are more likely to listen if it comes from someone else's mouth. 3-Another perspective. I feel that my career is constantly changing and that I can never know everything about photography, I'm constantly learning. I felt like if he learned from an actual teacher, not only would he take him seriously and listen whole heartedly, but maybe he'd learn some additional things that I didn't know or couldn't teach him.

He came home his first class so happy, he said that all the terms I was saying before that point suddenly clicked and made sense to him and that he knew more than any of the other students! (At this point I'm thinking "YEAH, my husband listens to me! LOL.) So he took several months of classes and I helped him and encouraged him and showed him some additional techniques and explained additional things to him. He enjoyed the classes and is planning on taking another this Fall.

About 3 weeks ago I had a really large wedding out at the Ribault Club and I needed him to assist me as he often does, but I wanted him to second me as well and take photos too.

To say the least, I was amazed. I felt like a proud parent, he went off on his own, paid attention to details and got all the important things I would have gotten, plus some.

And I think what made all the difference to me was that he, on his own accord registered for classes and went out and started training. He just didn't decide one day he is a photographer everyone should start paying him. I think there's something to be said for someone who realizes that just because they know how to run a camera, doesn't make them a photographer and went out and actively seeked training. I think if someone is going to refer a family member on to clients, they should know what they are doing! And I'm so glad and proud of him for taking classes and actually listening and taking advice from his wife!

BTW, if you like to take photos and are thinking of becoming a photographer, be careful of who you pay to teach you--make sure they have taken classes themselves and have been doing it for several years. Don't waste your money on amateurs with lucky shots!

Here are some of his shots:

The groom with his groomsmen goofing off while getting ready.
The wedding was changed from an outside location to inside at the last moment and he caught this before everyone came rushing in.
I was super suprised by his dancing photos. He did a fantastic job catching emotions and keeping the backgrounds as uncluttered as possible. Not to mention trying new angles!
One of many great cake shots he took.
One of his ring shots, with a vintage glow I put on it.
Sorry, had to gush. I feel so proud! :>
It'll be awhile if ever before he shoots on his own, but I'm amazed at how much he is absorbing and how well he is doing!

Wednesday, August 6, 2008


One of the reasons I like taking pictures is that sometimes those photos may be one of the few remnants someone has to the memory of a life.

I have had some very close family members pass away and it's hard to find any really good photos of them. I have started taking pictures of all family members I visit. Mine and my husbands. I'll post a follow up story soon, in the meantime, my husband's grandfather and cousin were in town from Puerto Rico and I took some photos.

With timing issues and my little Spanish and their little English, we ended up shooting in my frontroom instead of taking them to the studio.

This is Emmanuel. He is 11 and a sweet little boy. He'd wash the dishes every day while my mother in law was at work and then come next door to my house to play Wii.
If you have small children or want something very personal, a photo shoot in your home, like these, can be the best way to go.
This shot below was one of his favorites.
My mother in law and her father. I love my inlaws, they are really nice people and I feel bad for people who don't get great inlaws. I think it would make a marriage extremely difficult.
My husband's grandfather.
What I love about this photo is his hands. They show a history of a man who has worked the land. And when he is here, he can't sit still, he's out planting or mowing. There is a history in people's hands.

I love this one. You don't get many photos of children with their grandparents at this age. This is one I think they'll cherish for a long time.
The next photo isn't of my husband's family but of my own. I am the eldest of five. The youngest are twin girls. I don't really talk to my brothers much, but my sisters I see and we do lunch occasionally. Today we had lunch and then I helped my sister with her school project (she needed pictures!) and I took this shot of the girls together.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

My hair never looks good with a headset on!

Taken about 10:20am.
I love my job. Not only do I meet interesting and fun people who want me to photograph them but my newspaper and magazine work also puts me in interesting situations. This morning I was up in a new lightweight aircraft.

Brendon, my pilot, was super nice and I might be going back tommorow if it's not too hazy, like it was today!

Of course I had to ask him the ultimate 80s question, "When you were a kid and playing Nintendo, on the game Top Gun, did you land the aircraft on the flight carrier or did you always die tragically, like me?"

Brendon laughed. He always landed the plane. And land we did! Thankfully, lol!

Monday, August 4, 2008


If you have a Myspace page, add me:

I post specials and information that you may not find on my website or on this blog! Including first look at new photos. Also, all of my Myspace friends receive photos from their photo sessions to use on their Myspace page at NO additional charge!

New posts and photos coming soon.