Pensacola – Destin Photographer:
We first met the Brown family in 2010 when we took their family portraits and have stayed in touch since, so when they contacted us again last month for another session before the military moves them overseas, of course we said yes! When they mentioned that they wanted a relaxed beach photo session involving the other member of their family (aka “the boat”), I think Wes nearly flew out of his chair with excitement. Destin and Pensacola have a wonderful boating community and it’s almost a way of life on the Gulf Coast. When we’re not working, you can find us on the water ourselves, so it was insanely fun to capture that love of boating for another family. It ended up being a little cooler than we expected for a Spring Break week, but the kids bundled up and were a delight to play with while we captured all of their fun at their favorite spots. One thing we love about boating is getting to go to the places that no one else can reach by car, so it gave us plenty of room for silliness. If you are interested in a lifestyle photo session like this for your family, feel free to contact us. We’d love to help!
Our new look! That’s right, we’ve been working hard to update our blog and website with a beautiful new brand. We’re not finished yet! You may notice our blog is catching up, but we will not be launching our new site until next week! We will also be merging raeleytham.com/blog with raeleytham.com to bring both the new blog and website together. I’m sure there will be technical glitches along the way, so please stick with us while we get all of this worked out.
- New logos & graphics
- Comment on posts with Facebook
- Updates menus and resources coming soon
For now, enjoy a sneak peek of the coming soon raeleytham.com below while you enjoy the new look of our blog!
We were thrilled recently when we got a call that Jacob was coming all the way from Atlanta for us to photograph his senior session. His mom is a photographer too which makes it even more of an honor to have such an important job for her “baby”. Jacob loves to fish on the Gulf Coast when he comes in town (and he’s really good too), so we wanted to make sure we really captured that part of his life. We spent some time around downtown Pensacola and then took him places where he could show us his fishing skills. The sky was so dramatic with Fall storm clouds that it made for beautiful backdrops. We hope you love these as much as we do! Thanks again Jacob for being such a good sport!
Nothing pleases us more than seeing our past wedding clients starting a family of their own, and Rich and Hannalore are no exception. It’s hard to believe that their wedding was four years ago already! When they had friends in town from Ohio this summer, we did a combined maternity and beach session for them and their friends on a beautiful summer afternoon. Congrats to them for the recent birth of their beautiful baby boy!
Fairhope Wedding Rehearsal Dinner – Point Clear Marriott
Brooke & Brandon’s rehearsal dinner was at the Grand Hotel Marriott Resort in Point Clear, Alabama. The Grand is known for their southern charm and hospitality. The grounds are gorgeous and the staff is some of the best in our area. The Ballroom was transformed into in a Bay Retreat and was full of beautiful details from driftwood art to oyster-covered candle vases. The theme was chosen because it represented the groom’s favorite past time…………spending time, boating, fishing or just relaxing on Mobile Bay! The florist was Zimlich’s Patio and Garden/Elizabeth’s Garden, (owners and siblings Carol Reeves, Donald and Tommy Zimlich). Band was Trot Line, Lighting by Will Bridges (Willow Bridge), Cake designed by the Pastry Chef at the Grand Hotel. The Theme represented life on Mobile Bay, and all indigenous plant materials were used along with props like sails, kayaks, paddles, crab traps, buoys, even a Stauter Boat was brought in to finish out the theme. The head table was made into a wharf and a driftwood Bride and Groom was designed by the talented Zimlich’s. Oyster Shells were harvested from Mobile Bay and made into mirrored and vase table scapes by local artist Celia De Laney. Marriott’s Grand Hotel was the perfect setting as the guest watched the sunset before gathering for a sumptuous meal featuring local seafood and farm to table vegetables all created by Master Chef Mike Wallace. Videography was covered by our good friends at Diva Productions!
The decor’ was breath-taking, the food was delicious, but the best part of the evening was the love and emotion. Both dads had us all crying, Brandon’s childhood friend has us laughing until we cried, and Brooke’s best friends had us giggling as they read an email from Brooke when she first met (and started to like) Brandon. After the crying and giggling were over, the band started and so did the dancing. These people can seriously dance….and they don’t stop!
Loved the boat paddle signature board! Tip: Use items like this that can be used as house decor’ for years to come!Loved the driftwood mannequins! The head table… Details were just so intricate all the way to the crab pots and driftwood garland. This is a working vintage coke machine and it is AWESOME!This might have been one of the funniest toasts ever!
It is with great excitement that we can finally share with you a beautiful bridal portrait session we photographed last week. Jodie and David said their “I do’s” this past Saturday, but we had the opportunity to take her in her beautiful dress to Ft. Pickens a week before the wedding to take some jaw dropping formal photographs.
One of the things we love about our job is seeing our wedding clients start a family of their own. Baby Brantley has some pretty awesome parents and grandparents who love him very much. Will and Amber were married in 2010, and we are so excited to see them take this step in their lives. We know Grandma Vicky and Grandpa Troy and going to spoil the dickens out of him too! Congrats to the whole family, and thanks for letting us capture his first week!
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.
Some of you might recognize Farmer Michael. Not only is he an up and coming farmer, he’s rising on the photography scene as well. He’s been quite a help to us over the past year at weddings while graciously handling some behind-the-scenes dirty work we’ve thrown his way from time to time. We love Michael because he just “gets it”. He’s humble, he loves photography, and he’s always working hard to improve his skills. When he asked if we could do a shoot with him, his wife Laurel, and the whole family at Green Cedars Farm, we couldn’t resist. This is the family farm owned by Laurel’s dad, and it’s a great place to have access to. They have everything from horses and sheep, to cows and chickens. Michael is turning into quite a bee farmer with his new bees as well. We had a great time with them recently and loved seeing the animals as always… Enjoy!
These little piggies are the newest addition to the farm. They’re sort of cute…
Things don’t always go as planned… This is Santa Goat, and he wanted his photo taken too!
The whole Newman family!
Michael loves all of his hot chicks…
The only thing better than a good bridal session is a bride who allows us to think outside the box to make her photos unique. Brandy was just that bride. The minute she mentioned having her session at Fort Pickens, we knew it was going to be a great opportunity to do something a little different and create some stunning, artistic images. Fort Pickens is a local landmark that is nearly two centuries old. Geronimo was actually imprisoned there from 1886-1887, and it’s history can be felt the minute you enter its passageways. We had a blast, and she was such a trooper about staying calm while having her dress around all that dirt 3 weeks before her wedding.
Randi sat down with us last year when she booked to tell us about her farm wedding in Greenville, AL. There’s nothing better than when we envision something great in our heads, and then we’re blown away x 10 when we actually get there and see the real thing. It was beautiful! Chase and his dad own this 1400 acre farm complete with stocked lakes and pet deer. Guests were shuttled to the back corner of the property for a ceremony under a massive oak tree next to one of the two lakes. The reception tent was on on a hill with a fire pit just a quick walk away overlooking the lake. The moon was full, the stars were bright, and it was a magical night. The vendors involved are some of the best in the FL Panhandle who traveled to Greenville to pull off this magnificent event. We are so delighted to be able to show you their work that made this wedding possible. Enjoy!
Planning/Coordination: Dana Goodman Weddings
Catering: Classic City Catering
Wedding Cake: Betty Weber
Band: The Neons
How do bridesmaids get around a large farm? Polaris of course!Love, love, love the dress!Chase is quite fun to hang out with if you couldn’t tell 🙂 He also loves his pet deer… These are just happy to be safe!They were escorted into the reception in style by the bagpiper…You’ve got to love the deer stand groom’s cake by Betty Weber…The decor’ was very farm chic’ and just perfect for the theme of the wedding..
Here’s a little collage of the details… Classic City served a mouth watering buffet of smoked grouper and pork. The popcorn and candy table was a big hit along with Fiore’s rustic farm touches on the decor’.It was a perfect night…The fire pit under that full moon was a hit as well..
When Cathy called us and described her wedding on the phone, we knew right away what she had in mind. She was planning for approximately 70 guests, and she was going over the top with the details. We were more than excited when we heard the news. Everything was exquisite and Cathy’s vision came to life just beautifully. She and Chuck are perfect for each other and their relationship shines in their photos. We wish them both the best in their new life together!
Ceremony| St. Paul Catholic Church – Pensacola, FL
Reception| 5 Eleven Palafox
Cake| Confection Perfection
Flowers | Brenda Smith 850-341-1417
Catering| Classic City Catering
We’ll start with this beautiful hand-painted wedding invitation Cathy mailed to her guests that was on display at the reception. These set the tone for such a grand wedding. The dress was just amazing as well. It was so perfect for the ambiance of the wedding and Cathy wore it like a model.Everyone was trying to not get emotional right before Cathy’s sons walked her down the aisle.A little spontaneous moment immediately following the ceremony after they exited the sanctuary..This church was so beautiful that I just had to include a formal of the ladies…
This cake tasted just as good as it looked. Each layer consisted of several mini layers that literally melted in your mouth. It was made by Marcia Aceval and we have her contact info if anyone wants more information. Chuck is quite an artist himself and wrote Cathy a beautiful song to serenade her.
We had a great time with Holly & Jonathon at Pensacola last week for their E-Session. They are having a destination ceremony in Mexico next year with receptions following in Cape Cod & Pittsburgh. It’s going to be quite a celebration.
We have been itching…. ITCHING to show these for about 3 weeks now. Lauren and Marc tied the knot this past weekend, so we can finally post some of her beautiful bridal session photos. These were actually taken on two different days in two completely different locations, the last with her horse Warrior. We’ll have a quick preview of their wedding soon, so enjoy these for now!
Dress| Bridal Loft Pensacola
The first session was photographed in South Walton County at some of their amazing venues:
This session was photographed on her parent’s farm. It was a brilliantly sunny afternoon and the lighting was amazing….. Warrior was a little grouchy, but Lauren comforted him very well.
Michie and Tan’s wedding was a little different than most of our weddings. It was rich in Asian tradition and so full of culture! They mixed in their heritages for a Chinese/Vietnamese party. It all started at a beach house when Tan’s family presented gifts to Michie’s family. Then, the parents’ presented gifts to the couple. They ate yummy Chinese snacks and drank tea before heading to the church. The ceremony was almost entirely in Vietnamese, but we followed it pretty well since we have been to so make Catholic ceremonies. Then we headed to the reception at St. Ann’s beautiful fellowship hall. It was on of the only places in town that could accomadate the 350+ crowd. And, it didn’t even feel crowded in there! Tracy from Wedding Walls did a fabulous job dressing up the interior of the hall. The 7-course Vietnamese dinner was catered by a Vietnamese restaurant from the New Orleans area and it included all sorts of seafood (mmmm lobster) and was absolutely amazing!! I am pretty sure every person there thoroughly enjoyed their meal and their night.
Wedding Gown | The Bridal Loft
Ceremony | Our Lady Queen of Martyrs
Reception | St. Ann’s
Lighting & Decor | Wedding Walls
Catering | Ba Mien Restaurant
Hair | Thu Vo of Regis
Makeup | Tiffany Park or MAC
Flowers | Fiore of Pensacola
Cake | Twan
Michie was flawlessly breathtaking the moment we arrived…
She started out intraditional Chinese attire for the tea ceremony prior to the wedding
Michie was formally introduced to all the guests at the start of the tea ceremony
Michie’s parents accepted the gifts from Tan’s family. It was quite a food ensemble… including a whole roasted pig!
Immediately following the tea, Michie slipped into that gorgeous white dress and we headed to the chapel…
The ceremony kicked off with a band playing nothing but Asian music
Fun details including the cake front and center with beautiful draping provided by Wedding Walls!
Michie changed back into her Chinese dress for part of the reception and they had to visit each table for gifts and a toast. It was a lot of toasting with 300+ people! I think Michie tried to slip in water a few times, but her glass was quickly replaced with some bubbly!
For the partying, Michie changed again into a FUN party dress! That girl has style!
One of the highlights of this wedding season was another wedding with the Fabulous Lara Casey and Bliss Event Group. Becky and Scottie has a beautiful wedding at the Our Lady of Assumption Church on Pensacola Beach followed with a reception at the Pensacola Beach Hilton. They have a precious little girl that will melt your heart in this post, especially since we featured her in extra photos. Yes, extremely cute children get extra attention here on the blog! Scroll down and enjoy!
Becky’s room on the 17th floor of the Hilton had the best view on the beach!
Helloooooooo hottie! We take our photos seriously! Some detail love…. The colors and florals were just scrumptious…. Let’s have some Barry White music for the Betty Weber cake…. Oh yeah Scottie decided to be unique and smash cake into his own face….Then it got a little bit crazy!