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JUST LEAVE THE IPAD AT HOME – Orlando Event Photographer

Now that graduation is over I have been reminded of one of my “pet peeves” and I see that many of you are not aware of how annoying this little trend actually is, so with that being said, I give you a PSA:

Dear people of the world, and especially people who attend weddings, graduations and school events. We ALL have children and family members we would like to see and capture in images and video, but when you lift your IPAD up and in the way of those of us trying to actually enjoy the events for ourselves, you not only block our shots, but you block our view of the event! Maybe it’s just me, but people used to be considerate of others, especially during a group event, but the IPAD craze is so out of control. I worked 3 graduations for the class of 2014 and during the last event I was in the center aisle attempting to capture each graduate as they marched in. A person seated near the aisle whipped out her IPAD and moved in and out of my shot for the entire processional. I was paid to capture the images for the families and the school…but I had to work very hard at not only making sure the graduates were each captured as they walked up the aisle, but to ensure that the IPAD was NOT in any of my shots. I politely cropped out the person with the IPAD from my shot, but could not crop out her device, which is very apparent in almost every shot as the graduates came up the aisle. So very sad. :(

Let’s play “Can You Spot the IPAD”?

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I was recently at a graduation I had been hired to photograph for a client and I stood, patiently waiting for the graduate I was capturing to have her turn on the stage. While I was waiting, I was run over, literally run over by two small children who were sent the the front of the room with their parent’s IPAD and were making lots of noise trying to troubleshoot and capture the graduate come across the stage, all while talking loudly and moving the device constantly. Another lady stood next to me on the side area and literally asked me out loud why her IPAD was taking photos that were so bright? Ma’am, I cannot answer you in public, in front of 500 people, nor will I fix your device when I am hired to work an event. She ran off and captured images anyway, none of which were of any use.

While I continued to watch people trip over themselves to run up aisles with an IPAD and observed people trying to move, shift and lift their heads to be able to actually see over the person’s IPAD in the row in front of them, the thought occurred to me that occurs to me more and more, ever since I became an event photographer. Why don’t more people actually want to be present in a moment and enjoy it? This is something I am trying to do more of myself. For me, I work and carry a camera all the time and it is my job to be looking, searching for the little moments and entails that my clients will want to remember. But when I am at events for my own family, I sometimes shudder at the thought of having to bring along my gear and have to sit through an event (or stand off to the side, so I can get my shot)…I hate missing my own events because I am having to look through a lens. The last few events for my kids I didn’t even bring along the big camera…just an iPhone. I captured some quick video and one snap of my kids “after” the event took place and actually sat and enjoyed watching them get awards and enjoy the moment as it happened.

I do weddings and events almost every weekend, and I cannot tell you how many times I am dying over an IPAD in a ceremony shot. There’s nothing like the father of the bride walking his beautiful daughter down the aisle…and wait, what’s that in between their heads? Auntie June with an IPAD, extended out so it’s actually in the aisle and now making a BIG, GIANT, SQUARE in between their heads, ruining my beautiful shot. I used to make every effort to Photoshop them out, but now the craze has become so common that I cannot possibly take the time to get all the devices out of the shots.

Has it come to this, people of America? Are we so Iphone and IPAD addicted that we cannot even attend an event and be present, physically and mentally present in the moment anymore, without an instant Facebook upload, Tweet or to be the first one to take a selfie as the event takes place. Even in church, people seem to forget the fact that a wedding ceremony is a sacred thing. I always get upset when the church gives me a 2-3 page document, describing what my “Rules” are when it comes to photographing a wedding in a church, and I’m told “no flash photography” and to “Be respectful”, but as I stand in the back of the church I witness countless flashes going off from the guests, and ALL of them have their cameras and phones out…ALL of them. I respect that they want it captured as well, but why are the professionals told in churches to be respectful and many times we are event told we cannot even be IN the sanctuary when the ceremony takes place, so we are told we can take photos in the balcony. Why is this the case when nobody else in the church is expected to respect the sanctuary? I can assure you that I am more respectful than many of  the guests I see in ceremonies every weekend. This photo is still beautiful to me, and I love and adore these clients and their entire family. I just wish for them that they had all been able to actually see them walk down the aisle in person, and not through and LCD screen.


For those of you who are the guilty parties I am speaking of here, who make that split-second decision as you lace up your suit and tie and grab up the bulky IPAD before you run out the door, I implore you to PLEASE think twice before bringing it to your next event. Please be considerate of all the other people who want to either be present or capture the event discreetly. Discretion goes a LONG way, but in the age of selfies every five minutes, nobody has much discretion in their behavior anymore.

For those of you who won’t listen to me and bring along the IPAD, I have a secret for you…I’ve seen your IPAD images on your screen…I cant avoid seeing them from behind you as you lift and move your bulky device all over the place in front of me, and don’t think I don’t see your blurry, out of focus and underexposed image or video that is basically going to be worthless, because and IPAD ISN’T INTENDED TO BE USED AS A “PRIMARY” CAMERA OR VIDEO CAMERA…Think about who really wants your grainy, out of focus images? Does the bride want yours over the professional who was hired? How about the parents of the kids I was capturing who were graduating? Do you think your IPAD shots will be better from a side angle, as they are blurring while the child walks past? Digital cameras come in all shapes and sizes and you don’t need big and bulky equipment to capture amazing stuff. They are quite affordable too. In my opinion, if you can afford an IPAD, you can afford to invest in good camera equipment, so your IPAD isn’t lost, stolen or damaged at an event as well.

I rant, because I am the one who sits and studies images from every type of event I shoot for hours on end. I see and study each image and marvel at how many people have lost their minds at these events now days. PLEASE take my advice and the next time you go to an event, JUST BE PRESENT…bring your camera but use it AFTER the event is over to capture memories you can ensure will be amazing. Most event hire professionals to cover them anyway, so be at peace knowing your event will be captured so you can simply enjoy watching your child march down the aisle. Digital cameras come in all shapes and sizes and you don’t need big and bulky equipment to capture amazing stuff. They are quite affordable too. In my opinion, if you can afford an IPAD, you can afford to invest in good camera equipment, so your IPAD isn’t lost, stolen or damaged at an event as well.

The next time you leave for an event, please take my advice…LEAVE YOUR IPAD AT HOME. We ALL thank you!

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SWIBA Awards in Atlanta, GA – WINNER 2013 – Photography Business of the Year



This year I have really made a conscious effort to grow my business connections by attending networking functions, meeting new people, making new connections by attending more workshops and joining new organizations. I became a member of the Stiletto Woman organization last year, which empowers women who run small businesses throughout America. I have been blessed with so many new friendships and social connections online because of my affiliation with this amazing organization this year.   You can imagine how excited I was to find out in the fall that I was nominated for 3 national SWIBA awards this year: Mom Entrepreneur of the Year, Entrepreneur of the Year – Weddings & Events, and Photography Business of the Year.

My schedule is often so crazy, I don’t have time to hop a plane and take off for any “me” time, so when I found out the awards ceremony would be taking place in Atlanta, GA the morning after I had a wedding scheduled I thought it would be next to impossible for me to actually attend. Somehow, the stars aligned and I was able to attend this powerful conference and awards ceremony March 16, 2013. It was a whirlwind weekend, hopping a plane at 7:00 am from Orlando, arriving in Atlanta that morning and making my way to the workshop and awards. I met some of my friend affiliated with the organization in person for the first time. I got to meet Karlena Wallace, who is the CEO and founder of the organization, finally meet my Facebook buddy, Aradia Knight in person. Aradia is the owner of AIDARA and winner of “Entrepreneur of the Year”. I was so impressed with the work done by Walethia Aquil, who won “Girl Advocate of the Year”. She provides prom dresses to girls who can’t afford them. Be sure to check out her organization My Dreams Do Come True.


As the awards began, I was so very impressed with each and every woman who got up and told their story of the challenges they faced in their businesses and how they overcame great obstacles to find success. There were plenty of tears in the room and lots to celebrate as these amazing women are so very inspirational to us all in our own businesses. I was thrilled and honored to have won the “Photography Business of the Year” and to even be mentioned on the platform with all these amazing women and businesses is a thrill I will cherish!





I met amazing women who are making big things happen, like the founder of Blogalicious and blogging guru, Stacey Ferguson, Television Actress, Tina Sloan from “Guiding Light”, TV Personality and Coach Dee Marshall  and author and powerhouse speaker, Brandi Mitchell. I was so inspired by Stacey Ferguson or “Justice Fergie” to blog more this year. I plan on attending her conference in Atlanta this year as well. Dee Marshall spoke and is like a tiny tornado, on fire with passion for life. One quote in particular really stuck with me, and i plan to keep it in mind as I move forward with my business and personal life this year. She said, “In everything that you do, HONOR your PASSION, and WALK with PURPOSE”! Sounds pretty simple right, but those little words are so powerful. When I feel overwhelmed, or tired, or feel like I am a failure at this thing called life, which happens to the best of us at times, right…I will recall this powerful little statement, and hopefully it will inspire me to put on my “stilettos” and go out and walk with purpose. If that is what we strive for, haven’t we already found success?

Thank you Stiletto Woman Media for making these types of opportunities possible for women in small business to get together, make connections and be recognized for all the hard work that goes into being everything and doing it all in your own business! Until next year!

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Lady & Danny’s Vintage Historic Dubsdread Ballroom Wedding – Orlando Wedding Photographer

One thing I know about weddings, you can’t control the weather…as was the case the day Lady and Danny decided to get married at The Historic Dubsdread Ballroom. The stage was set for a gorgeous ceremony out under the grand oak tree, but Mother nature had another plan in store…about 10 minutes before the scheduled ceremony, the rain began to pour, much to the bridal party’s discontent…but never fear, Dubsdread jumped right in and made the best of what could have been a bad situation and fixed the reception area in the ballroom for the wedding to take place there instead. They even hung the bride’s paper decorations that had been hung in the trees outside. Nobody would have ever known that wedding wasn’t intended to be inside, as the room was spectacular, and the bride and groom were thrilled!

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Lady and Danny chose to do a “First Look” and were so pleased we had done their portraits earlier in the day, so they didn’t have to worry about portraits in the bad weather. We got some gorgeous shots out on the Dubsdread golf course. They yellow and melon colors really popped against the greens of the gold course, and the vintage theme was so much fun! Lady looked STUNNING and Danny, so suave.

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The two were very emotional as they exchanged their vows. The fun began when the reception started. The bridal party walked in and then all broke out into the “Wobble” on the dance floor. It was so much fun to see! I loved working with Lady and Danny to capture their Big Day! If you are interested in my wedding photography packages, be sure to contact me through the website.

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Carmen and Aaron’s Old Florida-Themed Wedding Published in Orlando Wedding Magazine – Orlando Wedding Photographer

I LOVE working with fun and laid-back couples and Carmen and Aaron take casual cool to a whole new level. The couple planned their DIY wedding in their lovely back yard, complete with tent, mojito station, wine bar, pastry table and more. Aaron brews his own beer and had two special varieties on tap for the wedding guests, along with a cigar area and Scotch. The decor was a mix of traditional and old Florida, with cigar boxes decorating the tables and Florida oranges mixed into the design. I wasn’t surprised when Orlando Weddings Magazine decided to feature their table decor in their current issue of the magazine. The magazine selected their tables, with cigar boxes and Florida oranges as their cover story images. The clean, yet elegant table decor was a perfect fit for their fun wedding.



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I always love capturing and telling wedding stories, but this one was so much more exciting for me because of all the personal touches Carmen and Aaron included into their wedding day. I asked the couple if they had written out vows and Carmen presented me with a sheet of small paper, with the vows typed out, while Aaron’s were hand written and a little crumpled from carrying them around in his pocket all day. It was a detail I knew I had to capture as the vows the two of them wrote to each other were some of the best I’ve seen over the years. They included details like Aaron agreeing to “Always top off Carmen’s beer”. Good stuff.

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The couple agreed to do a “First Look” together, so their could maximize their portrait time and spend more time with their family at the actual wedding and “after party”. It was so much fun capturing the love the two share. As I snapped away, Aaron would whisper into Carmen’s ear and she would burst into laughter. Their love radiates all through their wedding day images. They are so clearly in love, and have a good time together!

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One of my favorite details from the reception was the small chalkboard I found inside the house. I passed it around to all of the wedding guests and had them write personal messages to the bride and groom, then I took their photo with their message. The couple even got to leave personal messages for each other that they wouldn’t see until they saw their wedding proofs.

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As the day drew to an end, I was left with a good feeling about love and life. Aaron and Carmen are so much fun and I thought to myself, “Work isn’t supposed to be this much fun, right?” I know one thing, those two definitely know how to throw a good party…I just hope I make it on the guest list again. Check out the feature published in Orlando Weddings Magazine.

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Tyson is 2 – Birthday Portraits – Orlando Newborn, Infant and Toddler Photography

I always love working with clients and getting to see their children grow through the years. I especially love documenting the first year of a baby. My how they change from newborn to toddler. I have been blessed with three beautiful boys of my own and contrary to what everyone assumes, I have not been the best at always documenting the important stages of their lives. Taking everyone else’s portraits, often leaves me with little or no time to document the lives of my own babies.

As I looked through some of the old photos I had of my two older boys and it made me sad to think I had not taken the time to document each little stage. I decided that when my last baby arrived, I would be diligent about taking the time to make sure his life was captured, and in the process try to make up for lost time with my other two boys.

When Tyson was born I made time to take portraits of him and the boys at every stage. It is hard to imagine my sweet baby grew from a precious little baby to a bright-eyed. blonde toddler.

It’s now one month until my sweet baby boy will turn 2 and I am waxing nostalgic, as I look back over these two years and how quickly he has changed and grown up. What a difference from newborn to the 6 month stage.

After six months, the baby has turned into a rambunctious toddler, then it’s on to a big boy from there! Last summer I captured his first year portraits, along with his smash the cake session. I found an amazing spot for his cake portraits and these are some of my favorites from his first year birthday session.

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I am so excited that the new website has finally launched and is live! It has been a long time coming, and a lot of work has gone into getting the look just right. While I still have to finalize some of the galleries, it is good to know things are moving in the right direction and I am finally representing my image and brand appropriately.

Check out my new page and leave me some feedback and some love!

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The Baby…


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