Every once in a while, you can get a little glimpse of what can be come of good friendships. A friend of Shannon who I work with wanted to give a special gift to Shannon and Bryan, a secret photo shoot on the day of their wedding. While the overall wedding plans were being kept low key, Shannon's friend knew Shannon had always dreamed of getting married on a beach. In the initial planning of the secret shoot, we did not know how it would all play out... its not usually a good idea to suprise a bride on her wedding, with unplanned events and as it worked out the secret had to be shared just before the wedding day. With a now planned short excursion to the beach Just before the wedding, I was able to capture some magic.
Well Here we are at the end of another year, and it sure has been a bit interesting. I started the year with anticipation looking forward to a new job with H&R Block as a Tax Associate. I still planned on keeping up with my photography business, and I had a lot of fun with both this year. While the first 4 months of 2015 found me concentrating on taxes, as soon as tax season ended, I started photographing graduations for the next 2 months. And 2016 is setting up to be the same, although my role with H&R Block is a bit different. After just one tax season with H&R Block I was asked to take over as Office Manager of the Edgewater, FL H&R Block where I had been a tax associate. So this year I will be doing taxes, and running the Office with a staff of about 14 employees. Once Spring Graduation season ended, I was able to take part in the Florida School (Now called Florida Professional Photography workshops), which has been sue of the first in person photography education I have had since high school. That also led to my attending the Florida Professional Photographers annual conference in Orlando, FL. I used techniques learned at both and from a workshop led by my good friends and fellow wedding/portrait/graduation/marathon race photographers Ryan & Kylene. I quickly implemented newly learned techniques with several portrait sessions and weddings. Of course the first of the weddings was for one of my friends from college. This wedding was in New Jersey in September, and I have to say it was a much appreciated break from the Summer heat in FL. It was a great trip and even though it was a working trip I made sure to have time to have fun with some of my friends who I hadn't seen since the last wedding that our group had. Also, for the first time since I left NY I had real pizza! After returning to FL, I then had my first beach wedding of the year, a small intimate wedding with a really fun family. The family rented a beach house, had the wedding on the sand, and the reception on the deck. Between photo shoots and weddings, I was busy studying taxes, and training for my new role as Office Manager with H&R Block. As the year was coming to a close, I met my nephew for the first time. While the situation is more that a bit complicated and would require it's own novel, my little brother's son was born in early December and we were finally able to meet the little guy on the day after Christmas. As I post this in the last hours of 2015, I'm really looking forward to 2016, and all that it has to offer. The shots that I selected below are some of my personal favorite shots that I created in 2015. Of Course the first ones are of my new nephew, and my mom holding her first grandson.
Have a great New Year,
New Smyrna Beach Wedding
The weather was just about perfect on the first weekend of October in New Smyrna Beach, FL for Ashley and Alex's wedding on the beach. The ceremony setup on the sand in front of the private beach house at the South end of New Smyrna Beach. A reception and celebration of the newlyweds would stretch late into the night on the deck overlooking the ocean, lit by tiki torches and and with the lights of shrimp boats out in the ocean
I first met JP my Freshmen year at Catawba College in NC. Somehow I was talked into joining the Rugby team, which JP was also on. Playing on the Rugby team is also how I met Tank (the Best-Man) and Ken (one of the Groomsmen). Kristen (the Grooms-maid) was a fellow Political Science major with me in college. Fast forward about 10 years, and JP tells the rest of us that he was getting married and we were all going to have to travel to NJ to help him celebrate. JP first introduced me to Erin when I was in NJ for another friend's wedding last year. They met while both working at Macy's. While all of us that are friends with JP might have joked around a lot pretending not to know how anyone could tolerate much less find a connection with JP, it was pretty clear that these two have truly found happiness with each other. As always it's an honor when anyone asks me to photograph their wedding, but it's even more of an honor when friends ask me to capture their wedding day.
Congratulations Erin and JP!
This past monday, I met up with the Guillow family at their condo on the beach in New Smyrna Beach where they were staying for vacation. I took several full group portraits then started shooting smaller family groupings. We started at the pool deck area of the condo to get a controlled family portrait with my 2 light flash setup then went down onto the sand to get a variety of images with different looks and backgrounds. Eventually we finished up with reflection portraits on the wet sand just on the edge of the Atlantic Ocean waves. By the end of the shoot, when my contact had asked me where I was from and I gave the story, suddenly we realized an interesting connection. My client's mother, who was part of the family portrait session was also a Catawba College Alum. So much for me saying I went to a small college that you probably haven't even heard of. Below are a few pre-views of the portrait session, some of my favorite images from the shoot.
I realize that 2015 is already well underway… and this post is long overdue. In the last part of 2014 I had decided I needed a bit of a break from photography. Every once in a while it's always good to take a step back, and evaluate what you have been doing, and give your brain a chance to take a break. I had an opportunity to take a course on income taxes offered by H&R Block and seize it as a chance to let my mind take a break from running my business for a while. Well, the course soon lead to a job offer with H&R Block preparing taxes, and became a much bigger part of my life that I had originally anticipated, and before I knew it it was already April 15th, 2015. Tax season is now over, and I'm back. Family Portrait sessions have already started, a wedding is on the calendar for September, and Graduation Photography season is about to start and will keep me busy for the next month of so. In 2014 my photography work lead me around the southeast and included stops in Florida as well as St. Simon's Island, GA. The photos below are a few of my favorite images from the family portrait sessions that I shot throughout the year.
A couple weeks ago I had the opportunity to travel up the coast to photograph some family portraits in St. Simons Island, GA. The weather was typical for the southeastern US, with scattered thunderstorms and rain peering the map all the way along the 2 and a half hour drive. When I got to St. Simons I checked the radar one last time and saw more storms moving in, but it looked like we might have a small window of an opportunity to make the shoot happen. I met up with the family at their vacation home, and we made a game plan to head down to the beach close to their house, and shoot until the weather made us stop.
I met up with the Sczesny family at the New Smyrna Beach Sugarmill Ruins park for a family portrait session to make some updated family portraits with a different feel then the family portraits on the beach I shot for them last year. I have been wanting to take a family to the Sugarmill Ruins for some time, and this time it worked out great. The remains of the old Spanish style sugar mill date back to before the Seminole Indian wars, where much of the mill was destroyed and abandoned, but it has since been turned into a county park, and is open to the public.
I met the Burch family at the family's beachside condo where they were vacationing on the sands of New Smyrna Beach, FL. I first met the Burchs a couple years ago when I first photographed them, but a few years had passed, and a few new little ones had been added to the family. The family is always a fun group, and was evidenced with the jumping group photos.
The Grimaldo family wanted to create some great portraits of all the grand kids together for their grandmother's birthday. I met them at Smyrna Dunes Park in New Smyrna Beach and we walked through the boardwalk and sand dunes to the area commonly known as the dog beach, as the late afternoon sun gave everything a warm feel.