Want to know one of my very favorite options we offer? Our Expanded Mini Session. This little gem of a session solves the needs of so many of our clients. It is shorter (and less expensive) than a full-blown session, but it’s longer and yields more photos than a simple mini. We photograph these nearly every day at our Pensacola studio. The Expanded Mini is perfect for families, children, promotional photos, pets, engagement sessions – you name it and we have shot it. It’s perfect because it’s low-pressure (30 minutes and you’re done!) and relatively inexpensive ($275!). It also gives us a chance to use our studio space, which is really a unique spot in Pensacola. We have gorgeous natural light indoors due to our floor-to-ceiling windows, a truly Southern wraparound porch, and the sweetest garden with a stone walking path. The Expanded Mini is so quick and easy that we are often able to deliver the finished photos to our clients the same day; this also means that most of the images we make during these sessions never get published on our social media or blog, so most of you don’t get to see them . . . which is a shame and has led to this post. We have decided to blog a handful of these sessions as we photograph them, showcasing the wide variety of needs an Expanded Mini can fulfill.
All of this leads me to Estee’s portrait session. This lovely young lady came in with her mother, hoping for a great headshot. In 30 minutes of photographing (right here at our Pensacola studio space), we made some drool-worthy images that I know will stand the test of time for Estee’s family. I’m including the eleven that Estee chose for herself – this selection isn’t curated by me and is a true representation of the product this client received. Thirty minutes was all it took – and the results will undoubtedly have more value to Estee and her family than the small investment need for this mini session. Also, major shout out to Rainey’s Closet, a national company that rents gorgeous frocks and accessories (based right here in downtown Pensacola).
EXPANDED MINI SESSION // Photographer: Aislinn
PROFESSIONALS WHO MADE IT HAPPEN:
CLOTHING: RAINEY’S CLOSET
Living on the coast is pretty much awesome. I grew up in landlocked, Fort Worth, Texas – water wasn’t something I saw a lot. Once of my favorite parts about moving to Florida was the gradual way that the water snuck up on my consciousness. The first was the obvious – the beach! Sugar white sands, aqua water, and blue skies for days. Then there was the bay; bay water is darker, choppier, full of boats and separating Pensacola Beach from our historic downtown. Finally, I started to notice the bayous, places where the salty bay waters began to make inroads into the land, cutting narrowing and winding channels lined by private homes with docks. Bayou water has its own charm, as it makes private docks multiply, smaller fishing and sailboats numerous – really, as you head up Bayou Chico, you stop seeing beach balls and start seeing the masts of sailboats and yachts, adorned with marine flags fluttering in the coastal breeze. This is the water that brings us to the Pensacola Yacht Club.
Frances Marie and Nick planned a big wedding, and I love that they brought their family and friends to one of the prettiest pieces of property in Pensacola to celebrate. They set up a huge, clear-top tent on the back lawn, so their guests could dine on fresh seafood and savory treats while watching the sun set over Bayou Chico. The couple danced underneath sparkling market lights, and every one of their 450 guests sang along and cheered as one of the bride’s uncles sang “Mustang Sally” with the incredible band. The bride’s white wedding cake was lovely, but everyone was extra-impressed by the chocolate groom’s Star Wars cake with a sugar replica of the Death Star on top – incredible. At the end of the evening, Frances Marie and Nick left under a shower of lavender, a sweet (and sweet-smelling) sendoff for a lovely couple.
But my very favorite part of this gorgeous event was the love that was so obviously apparent, both between the bride and groom themselves, and in the way they treated their family members. Yes, a wedding is about the bridal couple, but it’s also about the people who raised them and help make them into the awesome people they are today. Both Frances Marie and Nick so clearly respected and appreciated their parents, and it reflects on what wonderful individuals (and now, a couple), they are.
SIGNATURE WEDDING // Principal Photographer: Aislinn // Second Shooter: Rachel O. // Assistant: Grace
PROFESSIONALS WHO MADE IT HAPPEN:
CEREMONY: St. Christopher’s Episcopal Church // RECEPTION: Pensacola Yacht Club // FLOWERS: Mary Anderson // CEREMONY MUSIC: Sewell Griffin and Sammy Tucker // BAND: Four Barrel Funk // TROLLEY: Five Flags Trolley // CAKES: Betty Weber // DRAPING, LIGHTING, RENTALS: Wedding Walls // OFFICIANT: Susan Sowers and Rick Branch // HAIR: Pear Tree Salon // MAKEUP: Sheryl Schwartz // WEDDING GOWN DESIGNER: Pronovias // WEDDING GOWN BRIDAL SHOP: Bridal Loft // ALTERATIONS: Ruthy’s Creations // BRIDESMAIDS DRESS DESIGNER: Jenny Yoo // BRIDESMAIDS DRESS SHOP: Bella Bridesmaids // GROOM + GROOMSMEN’S SUIT SHOP: Men’s Wearhouse // VIDEOGRAPHY: Caleb Pierce // CATERING: Pensacola Yacht Club // INVITATIONS: Crane through Artesana
Every once in a while, we are asked to photograph a senior portrait, and it’s really one of my very favorite types of sessions. It’s a joy to photograph an individual, when the ultimate goal is really to capture her spirit, personality, and emotions as she approaches the first major threshold of her adult life. A great senior session should strive to show beauty and emotion, strength and vulnerability, excitement and fear of the unknown. I can still taste all of these contradictory feelings in the back of my mouth when I remember the last semester of my own senior year in high school. When I have the opportunity to capture a senior on film, I try to make portraits that evoke all of these feelings.
A client like Maddy makes it pretty easy. This senior from Texas invited me to photograph her while she was on spring break vacation to Pensacola Beach. She was confident and well-spoken, friendly and fearless, and did everything I suggested with grace and poise. We used the incredible Fort Pickens as our backdrop, which is one of my favorite spots for Pensacola senior portraits. The old brick walls and arches provided a textured and historical background for Maddy’s trendy mauve dress, and I was pretty impressed at the ease with which she navigated bumpy and sandy ground in those amazing stilettos. As the sun began to set, we stole a set of photographs in the open grass, and they felt warm and innocent and hopeful – just like the tiny white flowers we found right where we stood, as though they had been waiting just for us. And finally, we used our majestic white sand beach on the Gulf of Mexico to end. Maddy’s white flowing dress made her seem as though she were part of the landscape, and when she entered the water, it looked magical and symbolic – the birth of a beautiful, adult life.
SIGNATURE SESSION // Principal Photographer: Aislinn
Downtown Pensacola must be one of the most amazing areas ever to host a wedding. Not only are there great venues to choose from, but the options really are endless when it comes to the vibe you’d like to create in your photographs. We are so fortunate to have amazing greenery in our parks, the beautiful waters of the Gulf within walking distance, and great historic buildings to create imaginative backdrops of scenery for our clients.
Heather and Peter decided to have their wedding ceremony and reception at Skopelos at New World located in the heart of downtown Pensacola. Their indoor ceremony, led by officiant Mike Taylor, included the groom’s father sharing sentimental words of wisdom as well as how excited he is to have Heather as his new daughter-in-law. Peter could hardly hold back the tears as he saw his beautiful bride for the first time. Heather’s heirloom veil was detailed with lace given by her late grandmother sewn into angelic wings.
The reception was very upbeat and fun as mingling, dancing and games provided their guests with a great celebration experience. The large dance floor made it easy for everyone to shake it while the little ones just ran in circles around everyone. As Peter and Heather made their grand exit, everyone cheered and sparkled them into their new life together. Thanks for allowing us to be part of your day, guys!
ASSOCIATE COLLECTION // Principal Photographer: Jeremy // Second Shooter: Rachel O. // Assistant: Rachel W.
PROFESSIONALS WHO MADE IT HAPPEN
COORDINATION: Brandi with Skopelos New World // GETTING READY VENUE: The Inn // CEREMONY: Skopelos at New World // RECEPTION: Skopelos at New World // FLOWERS: Self // CEREMONY MUSIC: Boogie Inc // DJ: Boogie Inc // CAKES: Mad Batter Bakery // DRAPING: Wedding Walls // OFFICIANT: Mike Taylor // HAIR: Alyssa w/ Belk // WEDDING GOWN DESIGNER: Oleg Casini // WEDDING GOWN BRIDAL SHOP: David’s Bridal // BRIDESMAIDS DRESS SHOP: David’s Bridal // GROOM’S SUIT DESIGNER: Vera Wang // GROOM’S SUIT SHOP: Men’s Wearhouse // GROOMSMEN’S SUIT DESIGNER: Vera Wang // GROOMSMEN’S SUIT SHOPS: Men’s Wearhouse // CATERING: Skopelos at New World