You’d think I’ve seen it all in the 17 years I’ve been photographing weddings. This moment in Heather & Mike’s wedding proved me wrong. So what do you do when the groom is going under the wedding dress looking for the garter and ends up doing this as the wedding guests jaw’s drop and you hear the MC yelling into the microphone: “Just the garter! Just the garter!” I’ll tell you what you do – YOU CLICK AWAY and pray you captured the best wedding moment EVER that just happened right in front of you.
That’s what you do.
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I finished the Mcwilliams family portrait in 5 minutes. Really, I was done. That’s what happens when sweet 20 months old Declan could not stop smiling and laughing. We got THE shot in the first 5 minutes of the shoot. After that we were just playing.
All Declan wanted to do was laugh – and walk. So we let him do his thing. I like to pose my clients around the situation unfolding, so I asked Anna & Brendan to walk behind Declan as he was racing towards my assistant Courtney who functioned as the safety gate
Then we came across the pink bunny. And sweet Declan did what was natural for him to do – he stopped and hugged the bunny.
To finish this shoot off, I asked Anna & Brendan to swing Declan towards me. As I suspected Declan loved it, and we got this fun family shots. I captured Anna & Brendan’s wedding 10 years ago, but these were the first family photos they got with Declan, and it was important to me that these shots would be memorable ones, and was so glad to know we nailed this shoot. I absolutely LOVE that my clients come to me to capture all their life events, and so humbled to be their Forever Photographer. Enjoy your beautiful family Anna & Brendan, so happy to be on the other side of the camera for yet another happy moment in your life!
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One of the questions I get asked a lot is what do you do when a child doesn’t want to have their picture taken? As you can imagine that happened to me more than once or twice in the past 17 years. It happened again this past weekend when two and a half year old Adair was not feeling well on the day of her family portrait session. I assured the family we will get the photos, and got to clicking away. I always say the child’s attention span lasts as long as their height, but when a child is not feeling well the window of opportunity is even smaller. So we started with the most important photo – in this case, the family portrait.
As soon as I saw we were losing Adair’s attention I asked her older sister, four and a half-year-old Marlow to give her baby sister a hug. That worked, we got some great shots, and the added benefit was that everyone ended up receiving a hug from these two sweeties, including grandma Maureen.
In a situation like this, I find that the best thing to do is capture fun, interactive moments of the family, to distract the child from the fact they are, indeed, in the midst of a photo session
The results are fun filled lifestyle family portraits of a happy loving family – and even Lizzie the dog gave us a smile!
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What I enjoy the most about being hired to shoot a job for a magazine is when the editor trusts me enough to give me creative freedom. As it was on this photo shoot for the Orlando Family Magazine, Nate, the editor’s hiring instructions were: I trust you, do your thing.
So I did. 11 portraits of up and coming high school athletes. All are top in their field. All are dedicated to their demanding training routine. All are passionate about their sport.
And that’s what I wanted to show in the portrait. This was not about “a kid holding a ball” – I wanted to show what their sport meant to them, and where their personality met their passion.
It was interesting to see how shy these successful young adults were. Getting them out of their shell, creating trust, and seeing them allowing their personality to shine – all in an hour – mission accomplished! Here are some of my personal favorites from this photo session:
And here is the Orlando Family Magazine finished article as published
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When I arrived on a beautiful October day to Paradise Cove, Britnia , the bride, looked at me a little worried and said: “You are going to kill me”. “Why?” I asked. “Because I am not ready for the pictures, because I have to finish writing my vows”. I looked at the nervous bride and smiled. Since it was not my first rodeo, I knew what to do. And a few minutes later Britania was tucked away in a side room, alone with her thoughts, as I watched the door and ensured no one was disturbing her. 10 minutes later we were back on schedule like nothing happened.
While Britania was busy writing, I captured some shots of her beautiful dress and bling shoes.
We had lots of happy tears in the wedding, one of the most emotional moments was when Britania’s mother saw her daughter as a bride for the first time
Mathew could not contain his tears of joy, and was laughing when I told him to cry like a man into my camera
Britania was a beautiful glowing bride. She gave her mother a keepsake ring, and received a preciouse necklace from Mathew
And it was time for Britania & Mathew to say “I Do!”
Happy Ever After Britania & Mathew!
Britania & Mathew’s Wedding Day Vendors:
Location: The beautiful Paradise Cove
DJ & MC: M.A.D.D Vybez Entertainment
Catering and Florist:
Video: Perfect Sky Productions
Second Shooter: Tam Ho
Photography Assistant: Shelby Gavin
Photography: Rinat Halon
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It was a nice day for a white wedding! Not a cloud in the sky, and decorated with beautifully elegant details.
I love photographing Heather and Mike because their personality just shines through each and every photo!
My favorites, as always, are the “Before” shots
Lovely moment when Mike’s sister caught the bouquet – and her boyfriend caught the garter…
Heather & mike’s wedding vendors:
Venue: Red Tail Golf Club
Makeup: Amanda May
Planning, coordinating and deserts: P.S. I Got This
DJ & MC: Exclusive Deejays
As soon as Maty contacted me I knew I was dealing with a uniquely wonderful young woman. She found me online, knowing that she was coming to visit Disney all the way from Tennessee; Maty came up with the original and fun idea of having her senior portraits done – at the Magic Kingdom. Maty saw I was previously Walt Disney Imagineer’s in house photographer, so she realized I knew the Disney parks inside and out. She also loved how colorful my photos are on my web site. She put two and two together and reached out to me to see if I can help make her dream come true.
At the same time here in Orlando myself and the rest of the state of Florida were going through Hurricane Mathew. You got to believe me when I say that getting a text from someone who claims they are in school and will call me when they get out to discuss senior portraits – I thought someone was pulling my leg as, well, Florida was closed at the time and everyone was sitting put under careful waiting for this massive storm to pass.
But as it turns out Tennessee, of course, had school that day, and Maty and I planned her senior portrait session over the phone and met in front of the Magic Kingdom gates one very early morning.
Our concept was a Disney fashion shoot. Maty loves bright colors – a girl after my own heart – so she wore a couple of very bright colored outfits for this session.
And there we were, on the Magic Kingdom’s crowded Main Street – snapping away as waves of people, kids and strollers pass us. At the beginning I realized Maty was feeling uncomfortable in front of all these people. I walked up to her and said “just look at me, pretend none of these people are here. It’s just you and me, and we are turning your dream into reality. Just think about that, realize how happy you are, and ignore everything else” Maty smiled her beautiful smile at me, and from there on she was enjoying every moment of the experience.
As I was photographing I was wondering to myself what will happen first – will I get run over by the mob rushing to see the show at the castle, or Disney police will walk up to me and escort me out of the park. But neither of these happened. And I realized no one cared. It is, after all, the happiest place on earth. And in that spirit everyone was busy – being happy.
We ended our session on the Dumbo the flying elephant ride. Turns out it’s a favorite ride for both Maty and I, and proving you are always a kid at heart no matter what your chronological age you actually are – we both jumped on the ride. I asked Maty to sit behind me, and as the ride started, and Dumbo was airborne, I turned around and saw Maty stretched her arms out in pure glee, I snapped a few frames and I knew it was a wrap. We succeeded in this pursuit of happiness. What an incredible high school senior session!
On a personal note, after the session, on the way out of the park I passed Walt’s portrait. It is hanging by the entrance, just a black and white standard 8×10, most people pass it and not even notice it. When I was WDI I had to photograph in the parks before and after opening hours. Whenever I was photographing at the Magic Kingdom I would stop in front of Walt’s portrait and say hello. After the senior session with Maty, on my way out, I stopped in front of Walt’s portrait again. I smiled at him and thanked him for this incredible place he created. And I swear he smiled back at me. Hey, it’s possible. it is the Magic Kingdom after all.
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