FINALLY!!! Welcome to my B to the L to the O to the G! Im excited. Here I hope to post some nice personal stories about my shoots and my clients who are all unique and special. I especially love to share their personal love stories...I also hope to share a little personal side of myself by writing about shoots. I hope you enjoy!
So this one is extra special....this is my best friend, so just a warning - LOTS of gushiness coming your way. Not only is this lady rockin' it here like a SUPERMODEL, but she is also a superMOMMA, a superWIFE, and SUPER awesome person to have in your life. Her adorable husband Jason is pretty amazing too, together with their cute son Cruz, they are the most wonderful little family. I could go on and on about why I love them so much but lets get to the good stuff!
We got to the maternity pictures a little later in her pregnancy, but I loved it because her belly was extra delicious and she looked absolutely FABULOUS. They could have literally walked off the pages of a magazine, and in this gorgeous setting at the Redland Koi Gardens, it all really made for a stunning shoot. I am so happy we could document this very special time in their lives so beautifully! My favorite part was getting some very cute moments of mommy and Cruz, who was so anxious to meet his brother!
As I said, we got to the maternity shoot so late that by the time they were ready, little Sawyer Christopher had made his debut!!! For the "newborn" shoot, we opted for an intimate family lifestyle shoot in (mostly) black and white, and in the comforts of their home. I believe it is the best way to really capture the reality of having those sweet tender moments with the little man in the beginning.
So here he is, SAWYER CHRISTOPHER, his loving brother CRUZ and the RUSSO FAMILY - party of 4! So exciting!!
Two less fish in the sea, and ONE BIG HAPPY FAMILY. I knew I was walking into a room of bridesmaids and sisters, but the love was so big - you couldn't tell who was on the bride's side or the grooms! It just seemed like one big happy family, and when you hear Kelli & Nick's love story, you kinda know why: Kelli and Nick met 9 yrs ago at a friends party and they have been together ever since. He proposed to her at the Ocean Reef Club in Key Largo Thanksgiving of 2014. So, "It was a long time a'coming" if you ask the family!
Everything, all the details came together so beautifully - from these adorable tabletop favors to the sparkles in the dresses to the seawood decor. I think my favorite detail, surprisingly was the pink accents with the beach decor, it beautifully complimented the girls and looked really nice in person and in the pictures.
See the bling in the flowers by Floral Fantasy of Islamorada?...beautiful and really complimented her dress, by Allure. The tool had tiny sparkles, pictures couldnt even capture all the sparkle, it was awesome. I love weddings at Cheeca Lodge because the backdrop is always so breathtaking and there is always so much to beauty around to shoot with!
This mini-bride was so cute, her dress matched Kelli's so perfectly! It was adorable.
The moment Kelli and her mom took a few moments to put on the final details, all the girls in the room were trying hard not to cry (even myself!) It was really a beautiful and special moment.
The beach wedding ceremony was gorgeous and it was a beautiful warm day.
"Clear the Aisle, Here comes my Aunt!"
The tears were rolling as the bride walked down arm-in-arm with her Father, and as he hugged her and gave her over to the groom, it was a moment rich in emotion we could all feel.
After the ceremony and a little celebrating, we opted to do the family photos right there on the beach background of Cheeca Lodge and take advantage of the nice light the cloud cover was offering. I was really excited these turned out so nice, what a beautiful venue and a gorgeous day.
After the toasts and some apps, I stole the couple out to the Cheeca Lodge dock to grab a few portraits as the sun was setting and casting rich pink and blue tones across the sky that beautifully complimented them. This cake by Bobs Bunz in Islamorada was Key Lime cake with Raspberry filing....so in other words, it tasted as amazing as it looked! But first, some dancing and getting down with Dads.
Do the Hustle! Again we snuck away to get a few night portraits and some of our favorite locations around the Cheeca venue, under the Tarpon - for the love of fishing, and of course and the famous tiki-torches. It was nice to see the bride and groom relax and just enjoy a few quiet moments alone as their wedding day was coming to an end.
What a special family that the two come together as one so seamlessly, it was absolutely beautiful. All the best to you Kelli & Nick, congratulations! It was an honor to be your photographer!
Sometimes, you get to hang out with a really big, crazy, fun, family....you get get to shoot their beautiful family of 27! And then they take you on their sunset cruise too. I had a blast hanging out with these guys, they were so much fun - and the sunset out on the water was definitely a nice perk!
Meet Chef Niven Patel, the new head Chef for the Cheeca Lodge in Islamorada. Formerly of Michaels in Miami, Cheeca is surely thrilled to welcome Patel, his culinary heritage and the fruits of his own labour of love - vegetables from his 2 acre home farm in the Redlands, aka "Rancho Patel."
I was warmly welcomed by Chef Patel to take some portraits of him in his home garden for Cheeca PR, and this "garden" was more beautiful and elaborate than I had even imagined. His home garden lovingly built by the hands of Patel and his cooks a couple of years ago, now home to some rare types of carrots, peppers, many variations of tomatoes, stevia, peas, and so much more its hard to recall them all. The best part was that - A. I got to harvest a french carrot right out of the dirt and B. he let me take it home, along with the bunch of fresh veggies you see in the picture, yummy.
So visit Chef Patel at Islamorada’s Cheeca Lodge or look for Patel’s own restaurant soon to come and enjoy his masterful culinary creations which could possibly include some fresh veggies from this secret and unexpected gem in Homestead.
As many of you know, my little Chunky Monkey was born on March 16th and I am off on maternity leave enjoying lots of snuggling time with my new little guy and family for a few weeks. Im just trying to soak it all up and preserve it to memory, loving each day I have with him so tiny (sorta tiny) and beautiful...this is undoubtedly our last baby (3 is plenty!), so Im taking my sweet time with him. :) Here are few pics of our Christian Chase, at only a couple of days old. I will post more from our "newborn shoot" we did with him later, but these are just him in our quiet little hospital room waiting to go home.
And with any joy of new family member, comes the joy of having family visits - we were so so so excited to have my brother and his new wife from Phoenix, who are also expecting (YEY!!!) come stay with us and took them out for a quick and fun photo shoot for their gender reveal ~ we went to Matheson Hammock Park showed them the view and took some cute shots. Love them and we can't wait to meet their baby this August!
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