Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween

Wow--October has just flown by!

I hope everyone has a safe and happy Halloween. This time of year always reminds me of elementary school and scratch and sniff stickers (with scents like pumpkin!).

If you haven't come in for your costume photos, there is still time! Have some fun and commemorate that great costume! BOOK NOW!

I've been on a shoe and leg kick the last couple of months. Pun possibly intended, lol!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008


Christy, a hairstylist from Bella la Vita Salon in Mandarin, came in recently and got photographed in an awesome Superwoman costume.

Staci, from Makeup Expressions by Staci, did her makeup--matched perfectly!
I love the flowing cape!

Had to get a hardcore fan to get her cape and hair a flying. But it suits the outfit perfectly!

And here's an ad I created for it from a recent session she did with me, contact her for your own hair needs!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Indiana Jones in studio!

Ethan came in last week to get photos in his awesome little Indiana Jones costume. Mom found him a hat and jacket online and she even had a little whip for him.

A threat of daddy coming to get him, got a snicker on that face!

The hat grabbing pose just seemed to be so perfectly Indiana! Not to mention easy for kids to do.
I would ask Ethan to do something and he would say "I'm autistic." His mom said he takes things quiet literally when you give him direction. I've photographed other special needs kids and to me, all kids are the same.
Some will smile the whole shoot long and the next shoot be stubborn while their little brother smiles! I think special needs kids are the same way, and their is no use getting frustrated with kids in studio--it's not going to make them smile. I try to make my shoots easy for kids and find at least one thing they can do that is somewhat fun. For Ethan, I let him go to town cracking that whip!
Couldn't get him to look at me while he was doing it, but I still thought this one was an awesome action shot. I put a specialty filter on it, which to me kind of gives it a vintage grungy feel.

After Ethan's formal pics, he wanted some pics with his dog. Mom wasn't too keen on the idea, since Indiana doesn't have a dog. But, (seeing as how my labrador is in the studio working with me today) I figure every great action hero has a great dog--either helping to save the day or to warm some toes at night.

My beautiful intern

Ciara, has been interning with me for the last couple of weeks. She is a very bright 17 year old whom I met while photographing her sister's engagement and trash the dress session.

At the time she was just shooting really creative shots on her cell phone and her mom asked me what kind of camera to buy her. I gave her some recommendations. Her mom wanted her to see what kind of jobs are out there for photographers, so I took her with me on a Times Union story.

She is a super sweet girl who takes direction very well. So I didn't mind taking her on as an intern at all. I quickly realized she had the most dynamic green eyes. Her family has been trying to get her to go into modeling, so she came in for a modeling session. (Her photo is currently being used at the top of my blog.)

I currently have two wedding dresses I use as props and she fit the first one I gave her like a glove! Her mom came in and saw her in it and got teary eyed.

I love the background in this shot (We have a couple of scenic backdrops in studio). The only thing I don't like about it is that her head is almost centered and all the space on the right.
This one I put a two tone coloring to it. Kind of gives it a magazine feel.

I bought this clothing manequin at a yard sale (I often have to alter my clothes) and finally found a good use for it! I love the vintage hats. I've had the one on the left in the studio for months, but the one on the right I found in 5 Points the weekend Peta was here.
I put a vintage polaroid look on this one. The background is an area near our studio.
Ciara's mom loves this next one.

Hair by Christy, of Bella La Vita Salon, book her by calling 292-4546.
Makeup provided by Makeup Expressions by Staci, book her by calling 383-8090.
(Christy can do your hair in studio or at the salon. Staci can come to your home or to the studio to do your makeup.)

Sunday, October 26, 2008


Petey came in a couple of weeks ago and did a session with his girl T. She had been begging him for pictures so he finally set something up with me.

Even being an aspiring photographer himself he said he was glad I was there to tell him how to pose, otherwise "we would have been here for hours!" LOL.

Seems like I've been getting quite a few photographers lately wanting to intern. I don't mind the extra hands around the studio, but I'm kind of picky about who I'll let intern. Petey's a good guy though.

Tawona also came back for a mini session on her own. Makeup Expressions by Staci did her hair and Christy at the Bella La Vita Salon in Mandarin did her hair.

Friday, October 24, 2008


I know what you're thinking---"another chicken post!" LOL. Yes, another chicken post. I have had several customers ask about our chickens so I figured I'd keep posting as events occur.

This is what they look like in the incubator hatching. If you look at the top egg, you can see the beak in the hole. The chicks are inside a little sac inside the egg, they pip (or break through) the air sac and then pip through the shell. Then they turn and crack it all the way around before pushing themselves out.

This next shot was from yesterday morning when we only had 4 babies. I have this felt kid's hat and the chicks just seem to love it as a surrogate mommy.

We ordered two dozen eggs online of show girl chicks. They are silkies but they have a gene that makes them have no feathers on their neck. We have 12 babies, 11 of them are considered bow tied, which means they have some feathers on the front bottom of their neck and one completely showgirl, naked neck.

We are REALLY wanting a white one and I think one is def. going to be a white one, and we have a couple of light yellows that have a chance, maybe of being white or a gorgeous buff/red color. We also have 3 dark ones. One is the blackest I have ever seen, we are calling her Shadow. Then there is one with medium darkness and another one with TONS of silver fluff.

I took this shot last night.

And this is our only non bowtied showgirl. My husband says we should call her helmet since it looks like she is wearing a helmet. There's a singer named "Helmut" so I told him if it was a girl her name will be that if it's a rooster it'll be "Helmet."

My husband came home last night and asked me if I had seen the adults of these birds. I had. I could tell in his tone that he thought they were horribly ugly. When I first started seeing them, I did too, but they slowly grew on me. It's like that saying "so ugly their cute."
When they are adults they'll look like little Vegas show girls, with poofy hats and a boa body!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

News in Australia

Thursday morning as I was getting ready to run some errands and hit the studio to do tons of editing when I get a phone call from a very well known news organization asking me if I could shoot some editorial work that day and possibly the next.

One of their newspapers, The Daily Telegraph, was covering the naughty going ons by one of Australia's most well known Rugby player. They had a journalist flying in from Los Angeles and they needed a photographer to assist and potentially take photographs of the rugby player.

Apparantally, the guy had broken a glass over his girlfriend's face, and she nearly lost her eye. Her parents live here in town and it was said that she had come back here for a bit. Australia has a restraining order against him, stating he isn't to be anywhere near the girl. But rumor had it that he was here in town, despite the court order.

The paper was coming to track him down and to see if this were true. They had heard he had flown in on Sunday. The reporter, Peta (female version of Peter), flew in on Thursday. I told her that while I would love to photograph him and make the cover of their newspaper, any 24 year old with money wasn't going to stick around Jacksonville for 5 days.

Not that there is anything wrong with Jacksonville, I don't mind it at all, but it is a somewhat quiet town--especially if you are used to living the high life!

I was so afraid they were going to send me some stuffy reporter and I was going to have a miserable time, but Peta and I hit it off immediately. She loves flea markets, yard sales and antique stores--why wouldn't we hit it off!

We had a good time searching for the rugby player while talking relationships (her boyfriend is the producer for "Sheer Genius," as well as the new show "Peter Perfect") and crazy stories.

We ate at Cafe Carmon in San Marco twice. If you've never been, it is fantastic! They don't serve breakfast but cooked us up some eggs anyways. And for dinner they have some great chicken egg roll type things and an asian chicken meal with noodles that was fantastic. And the wait staff and manager were fantastic and super friendly!

Here's a photo of Peta and I. My husband, Andy, took the photo after a nice dinner at Five Guys in Oakleaf.

It's funny how when you are around people of other cultures, your mind wants to take on their accent, and I found myself saying things with a more Australian accent and take on the lingo. No worries!

Saturday, October 18, 2008


A girl friend told me that their was a fair going on, and so my husband and I scrambled to get ready to go. We could care less about the rides, we just love looking at all the animals, watching the shows and eating tons of fried food!

For us, when we can find a small town fair, it's like the best date night ever. Holding hands, smiling, laughing at the animals and good food!

With becoming new chicken owners, we were hoping to see some awesome looking Silkie chickens there and maybe pick up some breeder names--but nope, not a single one!

So we ate some fair food, and shoved the sugary mass of funnel cake into our mouths as the white sugar got all over our clothes.

I've always wanted to take my camera to the fair, just always decide against it. But this time I stopped and had a bit of fun.

Here are a couple of my faves!

I love colors and shapes. Ferris wheels appeal to me for this reason.
And the fair had two ferris wheels. But let me clarify my love for ferris wheels. I love them from afar. I will get in them, but I'm not fond of heights. Yes I know, I've flown in helicopters with no doors, etc. but there is something different about rides and ferris wheels. Maybe it's the lack of a seat belt. I would much rather photograph them from the ground than be in them.
I caught this next shot as this thing came down. It's one of those rides where it brings people up and then just drops them.

One week old

My momma silkie hatched out 4 babies last weekend. Today, I laid down in the coop and caught a couple of pics of the little ones. They are sooo adorable.

They follow momma (Henrietta) everywhere. And she makes sweet clucking sounds to tell them what to eat and they run and get it from her. She wipes her mouth on the ground and they mimic her, it's cute!

This one, it looks like she's saying "Momma, what? I'm right here!"
I'll call this one "Peek a Boo."

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Trae Cheesecakes & More!

Next door to the new studio is Trae Cheesecakes & More. They are open Tues-Sat until 5pm. I have been several times to get lunch and they hand batter their chicken fingers--YUM!

I have fabulous in laws and decided to order some cheesecake to take home to my father in law, Felix, who is always building things for me, moving things or helping me with stuff (like installing my new background stand at the studio). But before I took it home, I figured I would take a couple of photos...

Don't those strawberries look oh so good? After dinner I split a slice with the hubby and they WERE oh so good. Some cheesecake kind of gets stuck in your mouth, but not these, they were decadent. Very moist, very delicious!

And they have ALL kinds of cheesecake and cakes, oh and cookies. They even had Key Lime Pie CAKE. Might have to have a piece of that tommorow.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Nancy + John

The last weekend in September I went down to St. Augustine to shoot Nancy & John's wedding at the San Sebastian Winery. It was an intimate ceremony inside the wine cellar and then the reception upstairs. (Gorgeous reception site and the balcony made a perfect spot for group photos.)
You might remember this couple from a past post. I got to know them while doing their formal bridal session and engagement session. They were a sweet couple and a true joy to work with.

I have this shot both with the couple in focus and the cups out of focus and this version. The glass has the San Sebastian Winery logo on it.
I caught this shot during the ceremony. John's daughter just sweetly watched on. Look at that expression!
What a beautiful smile Nancy has.
Another smile shot, but this time with Nancy and her daughter. This was at the reception and I just love the profile of the two of them together. This was a timed exposure of the dance floor.
The DJ's were First Coast DJ's and Omega DJ's. Sweet ladies who sometimes help each other out on gigs. I've seen some bad DJs at weddings, but Tracie, who owns Omega, is NOT one of them. She's a true blessing to any bride!

I love a great toast shot, heck and a great toast!
They had Cortesse's Bistro cater the reception. If you have never been, their restaurant is located across from the carousel on A1A in St. Augustine. They have a quiet dining area and also another section for listening to live jazz music. At the wedding, they served the most tender beef I've EVER had--fantastic. And the owner was there to help, he was very friendly and attentive.

Speaking of live music, John Shaffer used to play at Cortesse's, I don't know if he still does. He is an awesome musician (used to teach music at Forrest HS), an ordained minister (he performed my wedding, my mother's wedding and my step brother's wedding!) as well as an awesome guy. If you ever get to see him play in person, go listen, he's played with some big names.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Wedding, Wedding, Chicken

I try to be a good blogger and post once a week or more, but I'm the kind of person that if I have photos to edit I feel guilty doing anything else! Especially, wedding photos, as when I got married I wanted to see my photos as soon as possible.

I have been doing back to back weddings lately, with a couple portraits thrown in for good measure. So I've been really, really, busy. I know, I know, excuses, excuses.

I was invited to the Comedy Zone this week, which I haven't been to in a long time, and the comedian was talking about the difference between jobs and careers.

He was saying that jobs are the things you hate, you don't want to be there and you can't wait until 5pm. Whereas, careers you love and you don't mind working late on. Oh how true that is. I worked in a pro photo lab, as a substitute teacher and even in a corporate office doing customer service and I hated it. I have always known what I wanted to do. I am a creative type, I have closets filled with crafts, a sewing machine and even a hot glue gun scar, lol.

I have always wanted to own my own business and be creative. I have a degree in writing/print journalism. I have done work for many newspapers and magazines, including Woman's World (or Day, I forget) and many assignments required photography. Growing up I loved taking pictures, but I never thought of it as a career, until a newspaper editor told me I should take some photography classes to improve my skills. So about 9 years ago I did and I haven't turned back since! Because of this I keep busy doing newspaper writing and photography, plus all the photography I do for you lovely people! It's awesome I love my job.

Earlier this year the Times Union asked me if I would come on full time, but I turned them down. My editor was dissapointed and he still makes hints from time to time. But I love sleeping in, feeding the chickens, shooting you lovely people, eating lunch with my husband, editing your lovely pics and then coming home. Oh and then feeding the chickens all over again, lol. My husband says to tell people we are "chicken hobbists" it sounds better, lol.

(Two recent TU stories, in case you are interested Church Organs, and the light aircraft story I mentioned in another blog.)

But not to ramble, but here's a few photo clippets of some of the stuff I've been working on lately and going on in my life! (And a sneak peak at some blogs I really need to post!)

Photographed a beautiful wedding at the San Sebastian Winery.
Photographed a one year old's birthday photo session with ooey gooey cupcakes! It's very hard to not eat them yourself, with how sugary sweet they smell! Don't ya just love this little princess.
A couple's portrait session of a fellow photographer and his girl.
A wedding at NAS JAX. Caught this shot in that moment the couples walk back down the aisle and are usually taking a minute to talk. I just loved how the plants framed them. This is a vintage coloring, in case you are wondering why it looks desaturated.
And this is a photo I took earlier this week. We bought this show winning guy to be the roo for our flock of girls but yesterday morning I went out to the coop to find him dead. Apparantally a opossum thought he would be a good meal. So, the chickens are sleeping in the bathtub until their new, stronger coop gets finished. I felt like a horrible chicken parent. In one way it's the food chain at work in another way, he was my little chicken and was just starting to come to me when I called! Poor guy, wasn't he beautiful!
(If you haven't read my past post about it, I'm raising Chinese Silkie Chickens, they look like half rabbits because their feathers have no barbs so it feels like soft fur. They are much calmer and sweeter than standard chickens. And smaller, they weigh about 2 lbs when full grown. We hope to eventually show some at a fair, for fun. If you want any, we occasionally have some for sale, just ask or watch for pics of new babies!)

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Jessica & Stephen

Jessica and Stephen got married last month at Queen's Harbor. They are a cute couple who love to just have fun!

I think there's an older blog entry with their engagement session which was done at Treaty Oak Park.

Jessica getting into her dress. (A vintagy/memory lane coloring to it.)
The girls before the ceremony.
Everyone loves to take pictures, I love how this one turned out!
I LOVE how the sun hit her and back lit them and just made an amazing scene!
Under a canopy of trees.
One of the group photos. Boys will be boys--I love it!
I'm not much for the rings on the hand over the flowers pic, I would rather steal the rings and get something a little more unique and artsy. Jessica and Stephen did a sand ceremony and I thought what better way to show off the sand AND their rings.
The groom was in dancing with his mother when I looked over to find Jessica touching up her makeup outside. I thought it was too cute to pass up.
There are friends and then there are BEST friends.
My friend Rachel came with me to the wedding and she caught this one of me working.

Congrats to the new married couple!