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My love story

10 Sep

All romances begin with a meeting.

The way I met my husband is pretty childish, whimsical and completely us. I was living in Germany at the time, but visiting my high school best friend in Lakeland, Florida where she attended college. Five college guys and five college girls hung out together on a regular basis. My best friend and Craig, my huband, were both apart of that group. In true Florida fashion, a downpour created a muddy mess on campus one afternoon while I was visiting. So, what were five college guys and five college girls, plus a friend suppose to do with these circumstances? Mud fight, of course!

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And that is how I met Craig: slinging mud and running all over campus in the rain. Can you see us in the picture? We are the back two on the left.

Two years after this picture I actually started attending the same college. By that time Craig and Karen, my best bud were great friends, which made it easy for all of us to hang out. We went every where together, the three of us: the library, cafeteria, walks around the lake, camping in Key West. I liked Craig, he liked me and we both confided in Karen this truth. She would “fall asleep” on our outings or “have to leave” after we all were settled into a study group together. What  a good friend!

We began dating four months after I started attending college, six months later we said, “I love you” for the first time and nine months after we were “official,” he proposed. Some say that it was fast, but for us it was perfect.

The proposal is a wonderfully romantic story, but I’ll save it for another post. Let’s just say that in true Craig fashion, he was HUGELY romantic, surprised me completely and I looked like this for my proposal.

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Even though I wasn’t adorable for the proposal, it was one of the best evenings of my life. Craig had become my best friend and I knew that life with him would make the mundane amazing. I mean, we met during a mud fight. How much better could this match be? And with all my enthusiasm for a new life ahead, it was time to start planning a wedding! We were going to get married the summer after Craig graduated, giving us six months to plan.

Enter the planning scrapbook. All of the things I liked, inspired me, struck my fancy were snipped from the magazine and glued into the scrapbook. Sometimes words escape me, but an image expresses my intent perfectly.  This book helped me share my ideas with others as I planned. Now, brides-to-be create boards on Pinterest or a wedding planner might create a  “mood board” for your event. Back then I had a glue stick and a pair of scissors. Look! I was ahead of my time.

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I was only *gasp* 21  when we got married, so I was still honing in on my style. My mom was willing to help plan the wedding any way she could, but there was a huge ocean between us as I planned. My magazine clippings gave me an idea of what I wanted, but I struggled to make my DIY, handmade, vintage wedding come true. There wasn’t Etsy and Pinterest back then to show you amazing artisan ideas to do on a budget. And I wanted something different than the traditional wedding that all of my college friends were doing. I was in a dilemma for making my perfect wedding plans come true, but I knew I was in love and the marriage was more important than the wedding. I knew I had that part right, so I just went with what I had.

The next step was dress shopping! The dress had to be perfect.

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{Stay tuned for more of the story about my dress, the photographer I chose, our engagement pictures and the wedding!}

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Vintage Blue Sash / Lakeland Bridal Photographer

17 Aug

I adore this dress! The blue sash, the tulle, the lace. I just love it! And Kayla’s piercing eyes make the dress sparkle even more. The dress is a genuine vintage bridal gown from the 1940’s- 1950’s. A couple of adjustments have been made to it, but it is a beautiful piece that I just loved working with for this shoot! Enjoy these images and head over here if you would like to see a couple more. Thank you to Costumes by Camille for the dress and Kayla for your willingness to jump into a hole with a wasps nest!

Lakeland Modeling Photographer

Lakeland Modeling Photographer

Lakeland Modeling Photographer

Lakeland Modeling Photographer

Lakeland Modeling Photographer

Daniel’s Head Shots / Lakeland Head Shot Photographer

20 May

A fellow thespian from college, Daniel asked me to take his head shots. He set up a studio in his house and we tried to capture the many faces of Daniel. It was a pleasure and I hope that these photos open the door for many acting gigs. Thanks, Daniel for choosing me!

Lakeland Head Shot Photographer

Lakeland Head Shot Photographer

Lakeland Head Shot Photographer

Lakeland Head Shot Photographer

Lakeland Head Shot Photographer

New Business Cards / Lakeland Photographer

12 Apr

I have just used up my last business cards this month and am ready to go a little fancier. This what what my old business card looked like:

Lakeland Portrait Photographer

 

This is fine. Clean. Professional. Informational. But I want my business card to show my work. If my images are already on the card, that allows people who see them without taking the extra step of going to my website. Hopefully this will leave them wanting to see more images and they will hop right on the computer and see more!  So, here is the front of my new, improved business card:

Lakeland Wedding Photographer

 

And here is the back:

Lakeland Family Photographer

 

I still need to make some more promotional pamphlets and fliers, but this is a good start. One day I hope my business will be large enough to hire a professional to design all of my business needs. Until then, I have me and my husband. We make a pretty good design team and that makes it all worth it!

The same alley / Lakeland Senior Photographer

11 Apr

Downtown Lakeland is a popular location for photo shoot. As an outdoor, on location photographer, I really enjoy exploring the downtown Lakeland area and seeing what new ways I can shoot the same places. The following pictures were taken in the same alley and I think they all turned out wonderfully! Yanfei is an exchange student from China who has been staying with a good friend of mine for the past 7 months. She asked if I would do her senior pictures, which is not something that is done where she lives in China. I was excited to capture her time here in Lakeland with beautiful senior pictures. Thanks, Yanfei and I hope your parents love this gift!

Tampa Senior Photographer

Tampa Senior Photographer

Tampa Senior Photographer

Tampa Senior Photographer

Tampa Senior Photographer

Tampa Senior Photographer

Tampa Senior Photographer

Tampa Senior Photographer

Tampa Senior Photographer

Tampa Senior Photographer

Tampa Senior Photographer

Why I love my job / Lakeland Child Photographer

4 Apr

During spring break, I had the opportunity to photograph a little girl with a unique story.  Liya is from China, but has found her way into a wonderful family here in Central Florida. Liya has had all of her toes removed on both feet and has over come many other physical obstacles in her short life. Despite these realities, this little lady is filled with joy. To read more about her story, head over to her mother’s blog by clicking here. Liya and her mother were looking into boutique modeling for her and asked if I would be up for modeling session. I was told she was “rambunctious,” but what I found was a little girl who loved life and lit up the camera every moment I was photographing her.

 

I will post some of her shots for her composite card at another time, but these four images sum up while I love my job. Right after I took these pictures, I had to quickly place my camera on the ground because Liya jumped into my arms for a big hug.

 

Liya, thanks for making my life a little sweeter!

Tampa Modeling Photographer

Tampa Modeling Photographer

Tampa Modeling Photographer

Tampa Modeling Photographer