Maternity sessions are a great way to help document a family/couples life changing event...a Baby! I highly encourage all mom-to-be's to take this special time out of your pregnancy to get your family photos taken, relax, & just enjoy having a professional document everything. Because lets face it....life as you know it is about to change drastically & forever! Regardless if this is your first or your 10th! Adding another addition to your family will change the dynamics of everyday life.
Living in a predominantly destination wedding area, more times than not I do not get to officially meet my bride & grooms until the week before (sometimes not even until the day of) their wedding day. This beautiful couple was no exception, but we all immediately hit it off & the rest will be history. Here's a sneak peek into their all white gorgeous morning wedding followed by a spectacular brunch reception
Vendors that made it happen:
Venue & Catering: Tops'l Beach & Racquet Resort
Makeup: Elements of Beauty
Photography: Your truly :)
Some weddings are full of tears of joy & others are filled with constant laughter! Everyone handles big life events differently & this wedding was a prime example of that! The moms cried sweet happy tears; the bride & groom smiled & laughed throughout their ceremony. Afterwards the bridal party had us all laughing so hard some of us (namely me) had to stop to catch our breathe! Just take a look at this beautiful couples gorgeous beach ceremony.
& with the final rays of light the wedding party let loose....
Reading that title you are probably thinking one of two things-yes, please tell me how I can keep my kids clean, & happy & smiling at the camera, or pssshhh! there's no such thing! Truth is keeping kids "clean & happy & smiling at the camera" is a daunting task especially for that one specific moment during your whole entire vacation where you NEED them too & to the naysayers "pssshhh it is so possible" just maybe not your entire version of "perfect".
Just take a look at this photo above...now to everyone that wasn't there for this session you should know something....this photo was staged. Yes I purposely had the 2 younger ones running circles around their parents & sister. Why? well because they were already running around chasing each other so why not reposition them so that I could truly capture this "moment". Will this photo ever get blown up to a 30x40 print & hung in their family room? maybe not, but then again to me this photo was what truly captured this family at this stage in their life.
I go into each & everyone one of my family sessions(weddings too) with a clear head & an open heart. MY goal is to make sure I capture real family moments, real laughs, & real hugs.
Our family takes family photos every spring so trust me when I say I have been in your shoes! Our family photos this year included our FOUR dogs! Talk about absolutely madness but it helps keep everything in perspective for me as a photographer. I have been in front of the camera I KNOW how stressful it is when your 2 year old decides today is the day they are NOT going to take a nap. (keep a look out for the next blog post with my family photos)
Exciting news over here at Anna Calhoon Photography! I am officially on Wedding Wire now & bonus I already have 5 reviews from 5 of my wonderful brides!!!! Just take a look at a few!
Were you one of my fabulous brides this year? If so I would love for you to review my on WeddingWire! As a bonus wedding wire is giving out a complimentary gift to brides that review 2 or more wedding vendors. Just click the icon below to start your review!
ps Im booking now for 2016 so if you or someone you know will be getting married next year, dont forget to send in your inquiries
Sometimes getting that ONE good family shot while on vacation can feel like an impossible experience especially with a little one! Trust me! I have been there with my own family & its just 3 of us.
This family featured below is a prime example of why taking the extra time to get professional family photos done while on vacation! Mom is actually a photographer in her hometown & even though she takes wonderful photos she never gets to be in them! So this year while on vacation they decided call me for their family photos!
& let me just tell you I am so glad they did! Just look at these facial expressions on this gorgeous little girl! She was thoroughly enjoying splashing in the water.
My goal is to make sure that getting your family photos taken is one of the highlights of your entire vacation! Everyone should be able to sit back, relax & enjoy each others company while I capture the laughter & smiles.
I did a small engagement shoot for this couple back in February while they were down here planning their wedding with the ever so talented vendors at Southern Event Studio. & instantly new when it came to their wedding they were going to be a blast to work with!
Here's one from their engagement session!
These two were so wonderful to work with & I am so excited to be able to share these beautiful photos from there day!
Details & Getting Ready
The nerves of the wedding day always seem to be a little more real once the bride is getting in her dress. Here are just a few photos that captured those sweet moments with her mom.
Guys have a much simpler approach to getting ready for their big day ;)
Oh my! I always just swoon over the details that Beach Side Ceremonies & Events puts into their events. This wedding was above & beyond expectations with everything from the ceremony to the reception decor!
Bride & Groom Photos
This photo below is definitely one of my all time favorites! This would not have been possible with out the lovely ladies at Beach Side Ceremonies & Events! They were the ones that "threw" flowers petals at Kacie & Austin & just look how that final product turned out.
The details that went into making Kacie & Austin's Big day, were perfectly executed! I mean seriously just take a look.
& just take a look at this gorgeous cake that April over at Bonne Vie Specialty Foods designed & made. This girl knows how to rock some desserts.
Lastly, no day would be complete without a little dancing in the mix.
Here are just some of the gorgeous details that went into making Stephanie & Anthony's day!
Their day started off with some pretty ominous looking fog! I still haven't figured out which one I dread most fog or rain! In the fog, you can still get married but it does not make for very lovely photos, but with rain usually comes some pretty spectacular sunsets (if it lets up). But as the hour approached the fog started to move off the beach & ended up getting this guy below
photo taken from the 3rd floor balcony where the bride & bridesmaids were getting ready :D
It really doesn't matter how dashing a groom (& his groomsmen) might be...the bride & her bridesmaids will always get ready more elegantly & beautifully than the guys lol. Its just a fact. The ladies of this wedding were all stunning & did an exceptional job at making sure the bride was well taken care of.
I absolutely love during first looks with my bride & grooms because it offers them time to be by themselves & enjoying the quietness before the rest of the whirlwind day continues... but if you choose not to do a first look with your groom the next best thing is with dad! This helps ease him into the idea of giving away his baby girl...maybe.
The Dad Moment
I love watching the dads expressions for the first time! They all just seem to beam with pride & joy! Especially this dad! He was very excited & joking around with his gorgeous daughter all throughout the process but the moment he saw her completely ready he was speechless...for a few moments anyways. ;)
Getting Ready...the guys
When guys get ready there is definitely more playing around...
but in the midst of all that horseplay there's still a mother-son moment where there is nothing but love & admiration for his mother on this grooms face.
The photo above is one of my most favorite outtakes from this wedding...I usually don't give the bride & groom any outtakes but this photo is really neat because you can see where the bride/bridal party is peaking out the upper right hand window of the house.
I love that this minister had everyone in attendance being active by praying over the bride & groom, not just for their marriage but for them as individuals to continue to walk steadfast in their marriage through all the good & bad times.
The majority of the people in attendance of this wedding were family, they embraced both the bride & groom so much so that the line between who was the grooms family & who was the brides family seemed to blur. This entire ceremony was nothing but pure joy & happiness for Stephanie & Anthony.
I wish you both all the happiness in the world & pray that you will continue to grow together as a strong loving & loyal husband & wife! Cheers!
A special thanks to all the vendors at Southern Event Studio
This past week has been a fun fill week of engaged couples & 2 weddings! Love is in the air! well at least for the 2 couples that got married this week! lol
For all you currently engaged you will probably not fully understand that first sentence so I figured I would dedicate this weeks blog to all my lovelies that are engaged or about to be engaged.
The engagement is less than perfect, borderline ROUGH!!! This sweet wonderful woman that you have proposed to is slowly turning into this bridezilla or at least someone that has started over analyzing things that prior to you proposal never would have been an issue. I am speaking from 1st hand experience!
My husband & I are coming up on our 3rd anniversary! & oh boy let me tell you that engagement was the WORST.....things were thrown, words were said, & tempers were hot! We were on 2 different planets when coming up with a budget & my loving husband wanted to participate in all the planning, which for me was ummmmmmm... was less than ideal! I was a DIY bride, that was slowly becoming this DIYzilla! The important thing is as that day came I realized at the end of the day I was signing that marriage license & I really didn't care what else happened because that man was the best ever & I knew that if he could put up with all my wedding craziness than I needed to marry him ASAP( not really ASAP we were engaged for over a year) before he decided I was a little to far into that crazy spectrum. ;)
Seriously though, all week Ive been joking around with my grooms that bridezilla goes away on your wedding day! but really I promise she does!!!! If you don't believe me just ask my hubby! Bridezilla was not the person that walked down the aisle on our wedding day. We actually laughed the whole time! he was making faces & then tried to force my wedding ring onto my swollen fingers, messed up our vows, & maybe even enunciated a little on the "RICHER or poorer" part. (theres a whole inside joke with our families about this part prior to the wedding, geared towards my husband lol ) he cracked a joke when we were exiting the ceremony & in the process stepped on my dress, oh good lord the whole list of funnies could go on & on!
Anyways the point is if your engaged right now it may not be the best year you guys have ever had; both of you just remember why each said "yes" in the first place. Focus on whats important. & everything else will fall into place! Promise!
Btw soon-to-be- groom if you love to preserve the woman you proposed to (you dont want a bridezilla then you guys will hire a planner! My absolute favorite planner can be found at Beach Side Ceremonies & Events and the are conveniently housed at Southern Event Studio (more about them in a later blog :)
My 1st cake smash for 2015 could not have gone any better! I always seem to develop the butterflies when I am going to a shoot that is something that I haven't done in a few months. Cake Smashes for instance....I do not get to do those nearly as much as I would love too! But when I do....oh those sweet little faces get covered in icing!!
I start off these sessions by taking a couple family photos, namely because most of the time these families have not had their family portrait taken since this 1 year old was a new born! & lets face it making it to 1 is just as big a deal for mom & dad as it is for the baby. We then transition into getting a few individuals of the little guy/girl in a few different outfits that mom (or dad) just had to have ;)
& lastly we let them dive into cake until their little hearts are content!
This session with Little Miss Abby was actually my first Cake Smash indoors (my home mini studio) & I think this might be my new favorite location for a cake smash. Main reason was I could control everything. lol. The weather outside was not warm enough for this Little Miss to be getting messy in just a tutu so we adapted & overcame! The lighting in my home office (mini studio) was ideal & the best part for mom was she could take her little one straight to the tub afterwards where I had a towel, soap & washcloths ready!
This also happened to be the 1st Cake Smash (besides our daughters) that my husband got to watch & I think he had just as much fun as I did!
& I wouldn't have it any other way!