Dee and Matthew are getting married in their hometown of Dallas, but they came to one of their favorite places to visit, Seaside, FL, for their engagement photos. It was a very blustery weather day with lots of wind and waves, but we started in town center and worked our way to the beach. They were such good sports and I think this photo adventure will provide them with lots of happy memories for many years to come. Congrats Dee and Matthew!
The only thing more exciting than being hired by a great couple is shooting their wedding at your Alma Mater. As a graduate of Spring Hill College, it’s always like coming home when we get to work there. Anna and Jeb had a beautiful and fun-filled wedding surrounded by family and loved ones, many from Anna’s home state of Ohio. We started at the famous Battle House Hotel in downtown Mobile for her preparation before heading over to St. Joseph’s Chapel at Spring Hill for the ceremony, followed by the reception at Stewart Field. Their families were so warm and such a pleasure to be around, and we can’t thank them enough for having us.
Planning: Pat Herndon Events
Florals: Jubilee Flowers
Catering: Classic City Catering (Pensacola)
Cake: Betty Weber Cakes
Tent: Blue Rents
Lighting: Willow Bridge
Go ahead, ask me about our hard drive failure. You know why? We can talk about it because we were prepared. After 12 years in the wedding and portrait business, we know there are things you don’t skimp on. One of those things is your backup equipment. Yes, you may find a photographer that’s cheaper than us, and yes, their images may be good enough for the price, but do they have a backup plan for your images? What if their hard drive fails a week after your wedding? It happens all the time. Photographer X downloads wedding images onto a hard drive, doesn’t back them up, and then that hard drive fails. Sometimes it’s before the bride and groom ever see their images. It happened to multiple local brides that we know of in 2014. The good news is that’s it’s preventable.
How do we do it? How do we protect your images?
You see the photo above? Its consists of three components. The two smaller components in the front of the image are hard drives. That metal box behind them is their housing. Normally, those hard drives are both in that metal housing. When we download a wedding, we plug into that housing and it creates two copies of your wedding files automatically. One of those drives is the primary drive and the other is a duplicate. If one of those drives fails, we get a warning light on the main housing unit so that we can swap out the bad drive with a new one where the other drive automatically creates another copy as if nothing ever happened. Recently, this main unit failed us. There was nothing wrong with the hard drives themselves, but the power port in the main unit came loose and the unit would not turn on. The great thing is that we were able to take out both drives with all of our clients photographs, and keep those safe with us while we shipped that main unit off to be repaired. No worries about anything being lost in the mail, no worries about any drives accidentally being formatted during the repair. If that main unit had been lost or damaged beyond repair, all they had to do was send us a new one so we could plug in the hard drives and keep going. Each one of these drives is 2 TB, so that’s 2 TB of storage and 2 TB of backup in each unit. We have to buy two of these units every year. Yes, that’s 8TB of storage capacity every year to keep our files safe.
Is that all? Nope!
After we download your wedding to that big hard drive with dual backups, we also download a copy to a smaller pocket drive. Drives like this Toshiba allow us to create a temporary offsite backup. If someone were to break in and steal that main hard drive we spoke of above or heaven forbid we had a fire, these little pocket drives are our next backup. These are never left in the same location as the main drives. They stay in an offsite safe, or travel in a laptop bag so we can work on your wedding while we travel using these smaller drives.
Nope! So up above, we show you how we have three backups of your wedding files the minute we download the files from our cameras. As soon as your wedding is uploaded to our galleries and posted online, that becomes your 4th backup. Yes, we upload all high-res files into a cloud server where they live indefinitely. Those are the same files you are viewing as your proofs. Even in a worse case scenario where we die in a plane crash while simultaneously our office is burning down with the other main drive in it, your files are located safely in a cloud and available for download at any time.
There can’t be more…..
Well, yes… sort of. Our clients also receive their wedding images on a USB flash drive at high-res sizes. That becomes the final backup. We highly recommend for our clients to download their flash drives and then send them off to family members to download their own copy for safekeeping as well.
You cannot be too safe with the images from a once in a lifetime event. We are happy to protect those memories the best way we know how. Please share if you agree!
30A Photographer: Spring wedding season and summer beach portrait season are both rapidly upon us, so we’re going to start posting some of our favorite 2014 sessions. This family was such a joy to spend time with. They were vacationing at Watercolor, which is always a beautiful place for a beach portrait session. We love to start sessions at the park before we head down for sunset and get all sandy. This seems to be a huge hit with our clients because they get two completely different looks in one session. The S family was game for our ideas and we had a blast.
As with most of our beach sessions, notice the colors in the clothes and how beautiful shades of blues, greens, and teal can look together when a family coordinates their clothing….
Can you believe that we have the occasional person who does not hire us because we have not photographed a wedding at their venue before? Yep, it happens. I’m here to reassure all of you that we actually thrive off new venues. Sometimes new locations are the best because it makes us think outside the box rather than just going through the motions of all the previous weddings we’ve shot somewhere else. When we arrive at a wedding, we’re like the police looking for a crime scene. We’re examining the direction of the sun compared to the surroundings, which way the wind is blowing, and looking for those perfect sweet spots for photos. Sometimes, just when we think we’ve got it all worked out, the sky can go from cloudy to sunny or vice-versa and that immediately changes everything. In other words, we adapt to any and everything. Great wedding photos involve so much thought process at times, the actual surroundings are just a small portion of what goes into them. So, moral of the story is to never choose a photographer based on their experience at a particular wedding venue.
I went back and pulled some older wedding pics to show you some of the more extreme examples of how we can take a less than perfect situation at a venue we had never photographed before and manipulate it into something great. These are both venues that are extremely hard to photograph.
We’ll start first with Jenna’s wedding on Pensacola Beach. The plan was to do getting ready photos and portraits at the bride’s hotel before going to an isolated beach location for the wedding. When we arrived, this was our first view of the hotel. Asphalt jungle right? Ok, this may take some creativity…..
The back of the building wasn’t much help either…..brown grass, blue umbrellas, and even a palm tree with the top cut off.
That’s when we found this… A nice little landscaped corner on the front of the building.
With the right lens choice and a little maneuvering, this is what we were able to achieve with that little corner of landscaped heaven.
Here is another venue than can be hard to photograph. This is the Emerald Grande in Destin. It’s a beautiful resort, but it’s also a concrete jungle when it comes to the surroundings.
When our couple stayed here to get dressed and do photos before their beach wedding, we had a few minutes to make the most of the front parking area of the building. This doesn’t look very promising right?
Well, sometimes a little strip of landscaping goes a long way…. See where that light pole is? I’m going to stand there and put our bride a little closer to those two palm trees at the end.
And this was the outcome… she has a portfolio of images that make it look like she was standing in a luscious garden.
This is what we do as professional photographers. We take our experience and skill, and use it to deliver a great portfolio of wedding images. While we can’t guarantee miracles every time, out track record for making things like this work is pretty darn good. This is why we are proud to be who we are, and we hope you will give us the same opportunity for you even if we’ve never photographed your particular venue.
We simply adore Watercolor weddings and really enjoy working with our friend Cheryl Walton every time we have a wedding there. She talked so highly of Cindy and Robert, and we knew why the first time we met with them. Although their kids are almost grown, they are a perfect modern day version of the Brady Bunch. They love vacationing on 30a and knew that’s where they wanted to plan their destination wedding from Tennessee. Watercolor was a perfect choice, and Cheryl & staff did an amazing job as usual. The day was completely laid back, stress free, and their guests really seemed to have a great time.
Coordinator: Cheryl Walton of Watercolor Resort
Flowers and Decor: Fishers Flowers
Cake: Bake My Day
How would you like to be a part of a luxurious bridal event near Atlanta this weekend? Here is your invitation! The Ritz-Carlton Reynolds Plantation, beautiful location of country music star Carrie Underwood’s recent wedding, will be hosting this grand event. Wesley will be there to meet, greet, and answer all your questions along with some of the south’s hottest wedding vendors including one of our favorite publications, Weddings Unveiled Magazine. If you are in the Atlanta area, you do not want to miss this event. See all the details below!
We had the pleasure this past weekend of being in Atlanta at the Atlantan Brides Evening of Bridal Luxury at Buckhead Theatre to represent StudioWed Atlanta. One thing we have learned quickly about Atlanta is that they do not play around when it comes to style and setting trends in weddings. Once again, the StudioWed team did not disappoint with a rock/glam themed display for everyone to marvel at. Here’s a little sneak peek of the fun:
Accessories: Chaos Couture and Stella & Dot
Florals : Aesthetic Floral and Savage Garden
Linen: I Do Linens
Stationery: Luxe Expressions and Papered Wonders
Planning: Lemiga Events
Wedding Cake: Sweet Sensations
This was the fantastic centerpiece designed by The Savage Garden….Look closely at that Banana leaf and you’ll notice the zipper around the edge giving the perception of this centerpiece busting at the seams to be seen…. That beautiful cake in the bottom right corner was a result of endless talent from Sweet Creations with that fishnet stockings decor’.
The latest trend in bridal fashion is nothing short of eye-catching either. A combination of 50’s and 60’s glam with a tiny bit of 80’s thrown in is having a wonderful outcome….A little Sean Connery/James Bond look anyone?Classic by day quickly transforms into party mode at night!Love x 10 the dress on the left below!Do yourself a favor and get to one of these upcoming Atlanta events if you are looking for some great ideas for your wedding! Contact us if you need any details on what’s coming up next….
We were in Atlanta this past weekend for the Inspired Bride event at StudioWed Atlanta. They know how to throw some beautiful bridal events in Atlanta, and StudioWed is leading the way with a very talented list of vendors. The table and floral designs were top notch which you will see below. We are so thrilled to be involved with such an amazing group of wedding designers.
Love Spun Events designed this whimsical table setting that was just….. unbelievable.
This beautiful table was designed by Michelle Gainey of Lemiga Events. We love Michelle’s style because it is modern/contemporary with a touch of classic, just like us.
Sharon with Sweet Sensations is the goddess of elegant Atlanta cakes. Love her!
And certainly last but not least, the fashion show…. loved both of these dresses! Bring it on Jackie O’
That’s right! Those of you who know us understand that we always do things twice as big and deliver twice as much. Why should babies be any different? We’re about to be the Leytham 5.
It seems like only yesterday that our Avery was born. What a blessing she was. Three years and the price of a small island is what it took to bring her into our life. Every wedding we photographed while working full time jobs our first 3 years in business went into creating that child, and she was worth every penny (except currently at bath and bed time). One thing we did learn from Avery is the scientific reality of what it took for us to have children, so we knew the next time would be a little easier both financially and emotionally. A few months ago, the stars aligned perfectly once again and with some blessings and a little luck, we were able to try for baby #2. We knew that with baby #2 there would also be a chance of baby #3, but we have always wanted 3 kids and knew that we would take whatever God gave us. Well, he didn’t disappoint haha. We’re expecting Christmas or New Years babies.
With Avery, our family was there every step of the way for nearly 2 years, and we totally missed the surprise factor most couples enjoy when announcing a new baby. We didn’t want our family having to deal with all of that drama this time and kept all of it under wraps so we could surprise them. Rae’s birthday ended up being the perfect excuse to have both families together without them suspecting anything. I told them I was wrapping up a big box containing cruise tickets since we just had our 10th anniversary thinking it would throw off any suspicions they might have. What they didn’t know was that in the box we had placed two onesie’s and written the words “It’s Twins” on them. Wesley’s sister Sara announced on her birthday last year that she was pregnant at her own surprise party. In retaliation, we wrote a sappy letter for Sara to read that was supposedly from Wes to Rae about our 10 year anniversary, and at the very end of the note we wrote, “and we’re here today to prove we can throw a birthday party twice as good as Sara can”. There was a chuckle after that and I just knew someone was going to get the hidden message, but they didn’t which you’ll see in the short video below. It was hilarious! They were really expecting Rae to pull cruise tickets out of that box and it took half of the room a minute to digest the contents. Wesley’s dad was still the last one to get it…. poor guy.
So there you have it. A little glimpse into our life and future. Thanks to all of you for your support, your prayers, and the well wishes we have received. 2011 is going to be quite a busy year!
We are so excited to have a wedding featured on the fabulous Weddings Unveiled Blog! If you haven’t seen their blog before, head on over. You will see some really beautiful weddings. You should also pick up a copy of their magazine too. I love wedding magazines and theirs is one of the best!
OK…go check out our feature now. It is Christina & Dan’s Carillon wedding from September! The vendors for their wedding AMAZING which helps give us gorgeous details to photograph!
Special thanks so our friend, Kirstin, for the feature!
Yeah for a new blog update! Catherine and Terrell were married last month on Pensacola Beach with reception following at Skopelos on the Bay here in Pensacola. The ladies had a room at the beautiful Portofino Resort on Pensacola Beach which made a great location for the pre-ceremony photos. It was a beautiful afternoon on the beach, and an even prettier sunset over the reception. Terrell was up for promotion in the Air Force, so his dad took the honor of performing the ceremony at the reception so that all their friends and family could be present. It was quite the party!
The view from Catherine’s room…. this is why we live here!
Beach Bum Trolley is a great service if you’re planning a wedding in the area….
The bird was pure luck…. but I’ll pretend it’s talent 😉
There have been some bonehead amateur photographers illegally putting people in the sea oats for photographs in the area. For the record, we always have us and our subjects on a foot path even though it appears at times they are not.
Trolley + Wedding Party = Good Times!
Terrell’s dad performed his promotion ceremony during the reception and gave his mom and Catherine the opportunity to pin him…..
Awesome…. we love our military clients!
What a great night! The Covenant Hospice teamed up with local celebrities and the dancers from the popular show Dancing with the Stars for an all out gala here in Pensacola. Leah Harrison with Covenant called us a couple of weeks ago to ask if we would photograph the event for them, to which we quickly replied YES. What a great opportunity and adventure being backstage with these fabulous guys and gals for a three hour performance. We’re working with Covenant on the details, but we will be offering these photos for sale on our proofing site soon with proceeds going to the Covenent Hospice. You missed a fantastic show for a great cause if you were not there!
For privacy purposes of our stars, I am requesting that these photos not be removed from this site unless you are in them or with Covenant Hospice. I have the ability to track these if they are posted somewhere else, and you will be asked to remove them without permission!
My favorite shot of the evening…. Rae made fun of my little fat head poking out from behind the curtain for this one.
Mrs. Sue Straughn from Channel 3 news was beautiful, and a very good dancer too.
This is Mr. Ballinger of Ballinger Publishing. His company printed a great little magazine some of you may have heard of called Southern Weddings……
Roy Jones Jr. was quite the dancer as well…..
The VIP party at Jackson’s Restaurant afterward was full of great food and cocktails….. This was shot at 4000 ISO with the 5DMKII for my fellow nerds.
Avery sends you love! That’s right….. YOU
She tried to call……but you didn’t answer
So she ran over to see you, but no one was there!
So she just pondered for a while….
and finally decided to say Happy Valentine’s Day!
I know this posted is going to be a popular one! The sneak peek Wesley posted with just one photo has gotten at least 20 comments already. Keh’ara & Jordon certainly have family and friends that love them! So, HI everyone!! And, thanks so much for being patient while we got caught up from the holidays.
These two planned a wedding very quickly because they were ready to be married! They booked us just a few weeks before their wedding. I can truly say that Wesley and I have never felt so “at home” at a wedding before. Everyone treated us as we were part of the family and they were all so grateful that we were part of their special day. It was absolutely a wonderful way to end 2008.
Oh, and I cried three times during this wedding. Yes. THREE times. The first time was when Keh’ara opened her gift from Jordon. It was a pair of Swarovski earrings. These earrings were so special. Keh’ara had bought them to wear on her wedding day, but decided to return them once she realized the wedding budget was getting a little out of control. Her sister (hi Kia) told Jordan about them and he went back to the store and bought them. Oh. My. Goodness! It was so stinkin’ sweet.
The ceremony was at Old Christ Church in downtown Pensacola and the reception was at Soiree.
OK….enough of my babbling. Here are the fabulous photos everyone has been waiting for…
Love, honor, and disobey! ladies…. The shirt says it all
It’s hard to disobey when you’re this happy though
She was so beautiful everyone was crying!
Sneaking around the church…
Is this the cutest cake or what? The wife of a groomsmen made it as a gift to the couple!
Can you believe this is Keh’ara’s dad? He looks so young! You should see her mom….gorgeous!