Sonia & LJ’s Downtown Tampa Anniversary session was the perfect way to welcome fall and the start of the holiday season! Next week they will officially celebrate one year of marriage and I’m so honored they asked me back in July to document these photos. The weather was perfectly fall (a gift here in Florida!) and I loved how the Spanish Moss draped around them. We ended with an anniversary picnic, complete with champagne & the top of their real wedding cake. L.J. thought it tasted ok (it was red velvet!) but Sonia said “mmmmm… nope!” haha!
I’m wishing these two the happiest anniversary and at least 50 more years to celebrate!
Happy, happy 1 year Sonia & L.J.!
Earlier this month Gary & Vanda scraped their European wedding plans for a Ringling Museum Elopement. After several years together, Gary proposed last fall and they planned to get married in Europe, where Vanda is from. But soon they realized they really just wanted their children to surround them. And the idea to get married on the incredible Ca’d Zan grounds (just steps from their home!) started to come to life!
Julius, Vanda’s son, is one of my groom’s (I had the privilege of shooting his proposal to Caroline this summer!). He and Caroline sweetly gifted their engagement session for this elopement! How amazing, right?! I arrived just moments before their ceremony began. The water, calm before another hurricane, made for the most peaceful backdrop. They wrote their own vows, all of us cried, and we spent the rest of the afternoon exploring the property before making our way back to a rental home where they celebrated as a family for the rest of the evening!
Vanda was an absolute vision as a bride, Gary’s love for her was overflowing, and to see all of their adult children surround them as their only witnesses was truly a beautiful experience. I am so grateful to get to see this family again soon when Julius & Caroline get married!
Oh my heart. Can you feel the emotions of this union? Such an incredible day!
All my love to you, Gary and Vanda!!
Things can’t quite get more perfect for me than NYC in the fall, so, you can imagine my excitement when Maddie & Eran said “yes!” to having me photograph their Central Park Boathouse Fall wedding last Sunday!
A little backstory
A year and a half ago I had the opportunity to photograph one of my best friend’s destination weddings (while 5 months pregnant, and a bridesmaid!) in Dahlonega, Georgia. Noelle, one of the other bridesmaids, was so lovely and I enjoyed getting to know her during the wedding weekend! Little did I know, her mom was also in attendance and tucked me away as someone to keep in mind for her daughters’ “someday” weddings.
Well, lucky for the Voges family they had two proposals happen in the last year! So when I met Liesl (the oldest sis!) & Leslie (super momma) for coffee this spring to chat about Liesl & Adam’s spring 2019 Florida wedding, Maddie (the baby sis!) and Eran also came up in conversation. Before I knew it, this family had welcomed me in, open arms, to be the photographer for both weddings– what an honor!
I’ll be honest, I would “work” last Sunday over and over again if I could! It was the perfect fall day in NYC, the staff members at The Plaza Hotel (where Maddie got ready!) and The Central Park Boathouse (where their wedding & reception were held!) were incredible, and every family member and friend who traveled and joined to be a part of their day were truly the kindest people I’ve met collectively in a long time! Maddie and Eran have been together since high school here in Tampa. But, after navigating long-distance during college, he finally made his way out to NYC and it’s been home for several years.
Maddie is an actress, and Central Park Tour Guide, so of course this day fit them like a glove. From the golden hour gondola ride to the late night NYC hot dog truck! There was an ease about the entire day that made it so fun to be romping through the city, stopping at Bethesda Fountain, and enjoying sunset on the Boathouse terrace! Just a few of my favorite moments from the day…!
Meanwhile downstairs at The Plaza, a kind manager named Robert jumped in to save the bowties! Such excellent customer services and a fun moment– he even jumped in a shot with the guys and I texted it to him the next day!
Maddie told me she had written a note on Eran’s shoes and made the joke that “he probably wouldn’t even see it!” Well, she was right! When I went to take this shot he was so confused. But the look on his face was priceless when he figured out her surprise. It was perfect timing, too, because she was at the top of the stairs in the grand lobby of The Plaza ready to see him for the first time!
I took these portraits in the time we had waiting on Ubers to come pick up our crew to head to Central Park! On the move we went to explore Eran & Maddie’s favorite spots before their sunset gondola ride to The Central Park Boathouse.
Maddie is a Central Park Tour Guide professionally so this girl knows every corner of this iconic place! Of course, we had to do a few photos at Bethesda fountain– a favorite of hers.
While we made these portraits, a family friend met Leslie (momma planner extraordinaire!) and Kent (real life George Banks) to secure the couple’s private gondola as well as a row boat for me. I won’t soon forget following them around on Centra Park Lake and I know it will be one of the moments the really remember from their day because they were able to just be together.
Right on time, the gondolier pulled into The Central Park Boathouse. Guests were greeted with champagne and able to enjoy the private veranda before the evening ceremony & dinner began!
Guests enjoyed multiple courses prepared by The Central Park Boathouse while toasts , dances and blessings took place. The Boathouse is all glass and I would guess that people nearby could sense the joy, warmth and celebration overflowing throughout the evening!
Even with the excellent food provided by The Boathouse, you can’t have a NYC wedding without a hot dog truck, can you? Walter’s was amazing!
This was the first wedding I got into the getaway car with the couple after their send off! We had to officially end with a few images on the steps of the iconic Plaza hotel. And how crazy that when we arrived at 1AM, another couple was also getting out of their car having just been married as well! We’ve corresponded with them already– a memory not soon forgotten!
Maddie & Eran,
I cannot thank you enough for inviting me to travel to NYC, meet you & be a part of such an incredible day! There are moments where you realize your clients helped make dreams come true you didn’t know you had and your wedding day was certainly this for me. I am so thrilled this isn’t “goodbye”, since I’ll see you at Liesl’s wedding this spring! Again, truly honored and wishing you all the best!!
And lastly, a sincere thank you to Maddie & Eran’s families, specifically their parents Leslie, Kent & Virgil, for all of their hard work in making this day possible and the kindness they extended to me! And not to be forgotten– the wonderful vendors who contributed their talents and gifts! Loved this team! And New York City, I hope to see you again real soon my friend!
Salon: Paul LaBrecque, Florals: Lennox Hill Florist, Bride’s Gown: The Bridal Garden, Badgley Mischka, Tuxes: The Black Tux
Officiant: Rev Brad, Cake: Madison Lees Cakes, Catering + Venue: The Central Park Boathouse, DJ: Remixologists, DJ Luke
It’s incredibly special that I’ve been able to visit the Wojo Family for now two Tampa at home newborn sessions for their sweet girls! Reese was born just days before my daughter, Mac, and I shot her session about a week post-partum! This week I was able to visit their new house to meet their new sweet girl, Brynn.
After a speedy crazy birth story, and one tough mama, it was wonderful to see this family together as 4 instead of 3! Of course, we had to get some pictures of big sis (who is so grown and beautiful!) on her own as well. She also did a wonderful job loving on sweet Brynn, even holding her!
I love shooting at home newborn sessions because you get to be in your space, hanging out! So grateful for the time to sneak in snuggles with this family! Congratulations Wojos!!
Last month I was able to go home for the perfect K-State wedding, and I’ve been so excited to share with you all! Though I now call Tampa home, I started my business in Kansas, and absolutely love that I’m able to go back quarterly for weddings & portraits!
Kaylee & Seth hadn’t ever met me, but, Kaylee works for the same department at K-State that I used to and the legacy/relationships there run deep! I’m grateful that her bridesmaid and friend, the amazing Courtney, recommended me to her and several months later, I was back in The Little Apple for their K-State Wedding!
She and Seth are such kind people who truly love their friends and family. Even with over 200 people in attendance, they made their way to every person during their reception! I love that she had custom cuff links made for both her dad & Seth. I love that their parents have respectively spent decades married and shared the dance floor with them after their first dance. I loved the purple (K-State’s color!), Willie the Wildcat’s surprise arrival, and the ever-amazing Coco Bolo’s salsa bar (duh). It was a wonderful, incredible K-State Wedding! Especially to be hugging them both for the first time and having them trust me so deeply!
These images were all taken in the lobby of the Holiday Inn At The Campus, a stone’s throw from my apartment I lived in as a junior when I started this business! Talk about a full circle moment.
I absolutely loved that they had a Catholic Mass as a tribute to their faith & family! Such wonderful people surrounding them!
I could not handle the sweetness (or style!) of their ring bearer and flower girl! Are they not the cutest kiddos ever?! They even joined the “big kids” for a few bridal party portraits.
Fun fact: it was really hot, so we changed things up and shot ALL of the portraits outside of Berney Family Welcome Center, which is actually where Kaylee works!
The night ended just across the street at the K-State Alumni Association, of course! They had an incredible, purple themed candy bar and a visit from Willie!
Kaylee & Seth, I am so so so thrilled I got to be a part of your perfect K-State wedding! Thank you for giving me a wonderful reason to come back to a place that I “love full well” to celebrate with you!!
For the last year I’ve been having the best time hanging out with some of the most incredible friends in my Shoot in Manual Course! This class was created because you all begged me to offer it! And I was shocked!
Why? Because there is SO MUCH FREE PHOTOGRAPHY EDUCATION out there! Between newsletters, YouTube and your great Uncle Joe + a million other people who “know stuff about photography”, it seems like you could figure out everything out on your own.
But what I heard over and over and over again was that you weren’t getting it.
Your cameras were getting left at home instead of taken on vacation.
Your client work wasn’t getting more consistent.
You still couldn’t capture a clear photo of your sweet kiddo.
And at the end of the day, you were ready to sell your SLR + lenses and just stick with your iPhone.
All of this? It just reminded me of when I first started with the original Canon Rebel back in 2008. And I had no clue what I was doing. And reading all the things did not help. In fact, I can remember a friend telling me during the summer of 2009 that I “needed to shoot in Manual”. I was on vacation in Colorado, switched that wheel to “M” and HATED every images! Promptly called her back and declared that I “didn’t need to learn to shoot in Manual… that I would stick with auto and launch my business”! Wow.
I’m so thankful that life brought in-person mentors across my path to switch this thinking but I’ll be honest, it wasn’t until I had someone actually teaching me about my camera that things clicked for me. And so, when I heard what you all had to say about how you’ve been trying to learn but how it’s not working I knew I had to do something. And to be honest, the response has been amazing! For a year now you all have joined me on Google Hangout every month for a 1.5-2 hour class. You’ve brought your old cameras, new cameras, Sony/Nikon/Canon cameras. Some of you knew a decent amount about the exposure triangle, others new nothing! And yet, and the end of our time together, everyone had learned, everyone had a worksheet to refer to moving forward, everyone had practiced, and everyone had the tools to master this as long as they would practice for the next few days following the course! WINNING!
So, that’s the backstory. And here’s what I want you to know if you’re here because you’re interested in jumping in yourself!
WHO IS THIS COURSE FOR
Anyone who wants to be able to completely shoot in Manual mode. Yes, I mean ANYONE! I have had 13 year olds take this course, reitrees wanting to shoot better on vacation, photographers who know manual mode but aren’t rocking it confidently/quickly. And my guys out there– I know my website/the images even in this post are very feminine, but I want you in the class! This is a non-discriminatory space, if you want to learn, I want you there!
WHAT KIND OF CAMERA DO I NEED
As long as the camera has a Manual/M mode, I can work with it! Basically, I need you to be able to manipulate the aperture, shutter speed and ISO functions. If you’re not sure whether or not your camera allows this, check the manual or do a google search! I welcome all brands, makes and models. Removable lenses are not required, but, I do walk students through critical understanding of how lenses work, what their information (focal length, aperture etc.) means and how to know what to shoot with when!
WHAT IF I LITERALLY HAVE NO IDEA WHAT YOU’RE TALKING ABOUT IN THIS FAQ SECTION SO FAR
The reason I love this course is because I know the “foreign language” of photography, and you guys– you can learn it in 2 hour time the course takes! YOU CAN! So don’t feel bad, or like you’re not good enough.
WHAT IF I ACTUALLY KIND OF DO KNOW THIS STUFF. WILL I STILL LEARN SOMETHING?
I have had many photographers/pseudo photographers take this class because there is still a piece missing from their Shoot in Manual process and I think they are so wise to seek education! I shoot on average 1,000 images a week so this course is all about taking what I do on the daily and making sure you can do it anytime, in any setting (dark? No problem. Blinding beach mid day? I got you!) and FAST!
HOW IS THE CLASS RUN?
We meet for 2 hours online & there are usually 2-4 students in the class + me! I provide you with a worksheet guide I created and that is what we walk through during the class. We also take apart your equipment to make sure you know how everything works, I google things for ya if I have to (related to your specific camera & body!), and I have you go around shooting, right where you are!! Everyone gets to know each other, ask questions– it’s the best.
WHAT IF I STILL NEED HELP AFTER THE CLASS?
I’m here for you! I leave my inbox open to Shoot in Manual students to email with basic shooting questions any time. Some will even send me photos so I can see their progress or answer specific questions about what is happening in-camera, and I love it!
If you’re looking to further your shooting/photo process education after the class, I also offering the following:
– 1:1 mentoring, virtual/in person
– My online, self-paced course, The One Hour Workflow. All about editing/delivering images in an hour!
– A mini course for Shoot in Manual students that want to know how to do basic edits/photo organization, but aren’t interested in doing photography professionally or having an involved workflow! (coming soon!)
I’M READY TO GO! HOW DO I RESERVE MY SPOT?
YAY! I cannot wait to have you be a part of this! We are currently working behind the scenes on fall dates/times, BUT, will be launching September dates FIRST to an email list of excited new students! Want to join? Email email@example.com!
I am so thrilled to continue teaching this course while offering MORE freebies, class openings, and follow-up opportunities for you to keep learning! Can’t wait!
READY TO GRAB YOUR SEAT?
SEPTEMBER & OCTOBER DATES ARE NOW OPEN! YOU CAN RESERVE A SPOT HERE.