What's up in the world of Steely Joe

adventures in photography and other stuff


Leave a comment

Punta Gorda Florida Country Wedding

Since moving to Florida, I have been shooting as a contractor for George Street Photography. I still occasionally shoot under my own studio as well, but working for George Street has been perfect for me. All I have to do is the fun part – the photography – and they take care of the rest! This has allowed me to indulge my passion for wedding photography while devoting most of my time to my PhD studies. Seriously, weddings are an addiction: I go through withdrawals if I can’t shoot a few every season (which makes me a pretty odd duck in the world of geology academia). The hardest part about shooting for GS is that I have to wait several months before I post photos on my own blog, and the wait is so hard! They have connected me to the best couples in some amazing venues. Anyway, Enjoy the photos from this beautiful outdoor spring wedding in Punta Gorda.

Punta Gorda Florida wedding, country, spring, sunset, bride and groom, oaks

Spring is a great time to have an outdoor wedding in Florida – the temps are nice and everything is so green. Mallory and Jeremy planned a country wedding at a unique venue in west-central Florida called Hall Ranch. This wedding was uniquely Floridian, with preparation and pre-ceremony portraits right on the Gulf at PG Waterfront Hotel, and a rustic ceremony and reception beneath the live oaks and palmettos in the country. It was a beautiful day with handmade details in a beautiful setting.

Punta Gorda, PG waterfront, wedding dress, bridal prep   PG waterfront, bridal prep, wedding

Punta Gorda Florida wedding, PG waterfront hotel, bridal portraitsPunta Gorda Florida wedding, PG waterfront hotel, groom, groomsmen, portraits, beach, sunny   Punta Gorda Florida wedding, PG waterfront hotel, first look

The bride and groom had prep rooms right next door to each other, which allowed us to get some cute pictures of the two of them before the ceremony without doing a “first look”.

Punta Gorda florida, wedding, PG waterfront hotel, bridal party, portraits, pre-ceremony, balcony

Punta Gorda Florida, wedding, bride, water, balcony, bridal portraits, ocean

When all the preparations were complete, the bridal party loaded up in a limo for the drive to Hall Ranch for a beautiful ceremony under a gigantic Live Oak tree.

Punta Gorda florida, wedding, father of the bride, processional, outdoor ceremony Punta Gorda florida, wedding, father of the bride, processional, outdoor ceremony

Punta Gorda, florida, wedding, outdoor ceremony, live oak, spanish moss, bride, groom, spring

Punta Gorda florida, wedding, flower girl, groomsmen, outdoor ceremony, green  Punta Gorda, florida, wedding, outdoor ceremony, bride, groom, spring

Punta Gorda, florida, wedding, dancing down the aisle, outdoor ceremony, live oak, spanish moss, bride, groom, spring

The Bride and Groom warmed up for the reception by dancing down the aisle after they tied the knot!

Punta Gorda, florida, wedding, bridal party, chalkboard, outdoor ceremony, live oak, spanish moss, spring, green bridesmaid dresses

Punta Gorda, florida, wedding, outdoor ceremony, live oak, spanish moss, bride, groom, portraits, spring, ranch, country

Punta Gorda, florida, wedding, jeep, truck banner, burlap, country, d.i.y., bride, groom, portraits, spring

The reception was in an open-sided pavilion on the ranch. The D.I.Y details were the perfect addition to the rustic setting. The bbq was amazing, the guests were tons of fun, and the party went well into the night!

Punta Gorda, florida, wedding, outdoor, reception, ranch, country, d.i.y., first dance, cake, floral,green, spring, yoda grooms cake

Punta Gorda, florida, wedding, outdoor, reception, ranch, country, d.i.y., night, lights, toast, bride and groom

Punta Gorda, florida, wedding, outdoor, reception, ranch, country, d.i.y., night, lights Punta Gorda, florida, wedding, outdoor, reception, ranch, country, d.i.y., night, lights, toast, sparkler, send off, going away, bride and groom exit

After the sparkler send-off, a bus was waiting to take guests back to the hotel; a very thoughtful detail that allowed guests to fully enjoy the party! It was a celebration focused on friends and family, perfect for this sweet, laid back couple. Congratulations, Mallory and Jeremy!


Leave a comment

Professional Headshots and Fall Mini-Sessions at USF!

 

 

 

 

 

 

mini_session_portraits_tampa

I am so excited to be partnering with the Geology Graduate Student Organization to offer TWO great events. On November 1st, we will be in the Marshall Center offering Professional Headshots for just $10 per image! For those looking for something gift-worthy, we are also booking outdoor mini-sessions on the beautiful University of South Florida campus on Friday November 15th. The mini-sessions include a 20 minute session, and 10 high-res digital images with full printing rights for ONLY $60! This is a great offer and a fraction of what an outdoor session would typically cost. Images will be delivered in time for the holidays – what a great gift idea!  headshot_promo_web

Proceeds will go towards establishing a travel fund to help offset the cost of field research and conferences for graduate students in the Geosciences department.  Many times the cost of traveling to do geologic research or present findings at a conference are primarily absorbed by the student. This can create a significant financial barrier to a young scientist’s career. So come on out to support a good cause and get some great photography!

If you are an individual, couple, family or group who would like some great images while supporting a good cause, this event is for you.

No reservations required for the Professional Headshot event – just drop by “dressed for success”.

Due to the limited  number of spaces available for the mini-sessions,, a 50% non-refundable deposit is required to secure your spot. Contact me to book or if you have questions, but hurry – these sessions will fill up fast!

 

Learn more about GGSO at: http://shell.cas.usf.edu/geograd/, or follow them on Twitter @USF_GeoGrads.

My main Photography website is at: www.steelyjoestudio.com, or find me on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/pages/Steely-Joe-Studio-Photography/122281166420

 


Leave a comment

Playing with Fire: Steel wool and light painting Photography

I have been admiring the cool images created by other photographers by burning steel wool – just a quick Google search of “steel wool photography” gives you some amazing results! I studied up and decided that I would celebrate Labor Day by treating myself to an awesome session of throwing fire around. It’s easy enough to find directions on how to create the sparks, Photojojo has a nice simple tutorial. But since you can do this with a nice long shutter speed, why not add in some traditional light-painting as well?

Finding people to help with this when you are friends with a bunch of volcanologists turned out to be really easy (surprising, I know). The most difficult part of this project was finding a place where we could do it. People tend to freak out and call the cops if you try this kind of thing in a public area. It took a bit of scouting, but we found a great location with a big stretch of wet sand well away from anything that might catch on fire.

Three light sources:

Three light sources in this image are the spinning steel wool, a headlamp held in the models hand, and red and blue light wands held together to paint the swirls. Awesome! It looks like some kind of magic yoga.

3 light sources give this picture its unique look: the spinning steel wool, a Chinese lantern and a blue light wand for "painting" the ground.

3 light sources give this picture its unique look: the spinning steel wool, a Chinese lantern and a blue light wand for “painting” the ground. Amazing image right out of the camera!

Another 3-source image: the spinning steel wool fire, a Chinese lantern, and a green headlamp light. The model has to hold very still for this kind of result, which can be a challenge when sparks are flying around you. But look at the epic results!

 Want to see more? I posted some more from this session on my Facebook page: Steely Joe Studio on Facebook.

I am sure this will not be my last attempt at this style of photography. I see this more as a warm-up run for even more amazing creations in the future!


Leave a comment

Venus Setting over Clearwater Beach Florida

A long exposure from the southern end of Clearwater Beach looking west shows Venus rising over the last bits of a beautiful sunset.

A long exposure from the southern end of Clearwater Beach looking west shows Venus setting over the last bits of a beautiful sunset.

Sometimes there is nothing better to unwind at the end of a week than to pack up the camera and tripod and head to the shore. I have several favorite spots depending on what I’m in the mood to shoot.  Clearwater beach can be very crowded compared to other beaches, and even after dark it can have a surprising number of people milling around. I have learned not to gripe about that (like some landscape photographers do) and take it in stride. Sometimes the people end up being an interesting element in the photograph, like in these images:

The rock pile at the southern end of Clearwater Beach. I really like what the silhouetted mad brings to this image.

The rock pile at the southern end of Clearwater Beach. I really like what the silhouetted man brings to this image.

cleawater_twilight1

In a long exposure image, objects standing still will be sharp, moving objects are blurred. I like how the one guy taking a video with his cell phone is sharp and all the others are blurred.

 Hope everyone out there has a great week!


Leave a comment

Tampa Bay Destination Wedding Photographers | Adriana and Bradley’s Garvan Woodland Gardens Celebration in Hot Springs, Arkansas

Garvan Woodland Gardens in the spring - you couldn't ask for a more beautiful wedding venue!

Garvan Woodland Gardens in the spring – you couldn’t ask for a more beautiful wedding venue!

Back when we lived in Arkansas, we had the opportunity to photograph a destination wedding in Florida. So it’s kind of funny that our first destination wedding after moving to Florida was in Arkansas! We had the honor of photographing Adriana and Brad’s beautiful spring wedding at the amazing Garvan Woodland Gardens in Hot Springs, Arkansas on May 25, 2013. The Gardens are one of the premier wedding locations in central Arkansas and truly unique venue.

The bride and her lovely bridesmaids. The fuscha and green color scheme worked perfectly for a garden wedding.

The bride and her lovely bridesmaids. The fuschia and green color scheme worked perfectly for a garden wedding.

The DIY bride is a huge trend right now. It allows the bride (and usually some helpful friends and family) to put a very personal touch on the day’s festivities. In this case, all the flowers were designed and executed by Adriana and friends. They did a great job!

The bride and groom mentally prepare before the ceremony. Although they didn't see each other before hand, they did do a quick prayer around the corner from each other. This can go a long way towards easing pre-wedding anxiety!

The bride and groom mentally prepare before the ceremony. Although they didn’t see each other before hand, they did do a quick prayer around the corner from each other. This can go a long way towards easing pre-wedding anxiety!

While it is now very common for the bride and groom to see each other before the ceremony, there are still those who choose to hold to the old tradition of keeping the bride and groom separated. In these cases, I highly recommend devising a creative way to make contact with your sweetie. You can use a corner, door, or even a blindfold to make sure the groom doesn’t peek. It is amazing how much this relaxes both parties before the ceremony.

The processional at Anthony Chapel. The tiny flower girl and ring bearer were quite the scene stealers!

The processional at Anthony Chapel. The tiny flower girl and ring bearer were quite the scene stealers!

The wedding ceremony at Anthony Chapel. This is a venue that needs no decoration!

The wedding ceremony at Anthony Chapel. This is a venue that needs no decoration!

For the folks who think this venue looks familiar, Anthony Chapel is another stunning work by E. Fay Jones, the mind behind Mildred B. Cooper Chapel in Bella Vista and Thorncrown Chapel in Eureka Springs. Each is unique, but have a similar feel.

The new Mr. and Mrs. Holst

The new Mr. and Mrs. Holst

Anthony Chapel is located in the Celebration Garden, which provides many great portrait locations.

Anthony Chapel is located in the Celebration Garden, which provides many great portrait locations.

The first dance and reception details.

The first dance and reception details.

The wedding reception was held at the Quapaw Community Center in Hot Springs, a vintage building near the historic downtown area. The pink and green theme continued with a custom cake and a candy bar for guests to make their own favors. The groom’s cake celebrated the bride and groom’s favorite college teams – half Razorback and half Red Wolves. When it comes to feeding wedding cake to each other, the choice of naughty or nice always presents itself. You can see from the pictures which one this couple chose 😉

Time to cut the cake then time to party! DJ Xavier did a great job of getting everyone out on the dance floor.

Time to cut the cake then party! DJ Xavier from central Arkansas Entertainment did a great job of getting everyone out on the dance floor.

I love this image from the last dance of the bride and groom.

I love this image from the last dance of the bride and groom.

The bubble send off was the perfect way to end the day.

The bubble send off was the perfect way to end the day.

The lovely bride is my cousin, and I am very honored that I had the privledge to travel all the way from Florida to photograph this special day. It also gave me and Ed a chance to spend some time with relatives that we just don’t get to see often enough. In fact, they convinced us to go play mini golf after we finished shooting an all day wedding, which shows how much we like to spend time with them, because we would usually go back to the hotel and collapse!

A stroll through the Celebration Garden.

A stroll through the Celebration Garden.

Congratulations to Adriana and Brad! May you continue to be an example of God’s Love to everyone you meet.

Vendors

Photography: Steely Joe Studio Photography

Videography: Nick Burt

Music/DJ: Xavier Riley, Central Arkansas Entertainment

Wedding Venue: Garvan Woodland Gardens

Reception Venue: Quapaw Community Center


Leave a comment

Tampa Bay Wedding Photographers – Seminole Heights Garden Center Wedding: Jessica and James

seminole_heights_wedding_001Jessica and James were married in March at Seminole Heights Garden Center in Tampa, Florida. It was a very overcast spring day, but the rain held off just long enough for a beautiful outdoor ceremony. The Garden Center is a pretty little property in the historic Seminole Heights neighborhood. The style of this wedding was vintage with a “rockhounding” touch – not something you see at every wedding!

One of my favorite ring pictures ever! The absolutely beautiful vintage ring set was chosen by the groom. He did good!

One of my favorite ring pictures ever! The absolutely beautiful vintage ring set was chosen by the groom. He did good!

The brides vintage style was created with a combination of antique pieces and handmade accessories. The birdcage veil and matching belt were both made by the bride!

The brides vintage style was created with a combination of antique pieces and handmade accessories. The birdcage veil and matching belt were both made by the bride!

The couple describes their wedding theme as “Sunday dinner at grandma’s house”. This required many vintage and handmade touches pulled together by creative family and friends. BBQ was served on tableware pieces collected from flea markets and antique malls. Dessert was served out of dishes borrowed from family members, some of which were heirlooms giving the feel of family tradition to the event.

The vintage theme included a variety of antique dishes and tableware, a wedding pie dessert bar, and homemade cookies as favors.

The vintage theme included a variety of antique dishes and tableware, a wedding pie dessert bar, and homemade cookies as favors.

Its not often you see a geology theme added to a wedding, but this event did it very well.

Its not often you see a geology theme added to a wedding, but this event did it very well.

When the bride and groom are both geologists, why not incorporate it into your theme? Each table had live plants in wooden boxes along with a rock and the story behind it. Many geologists have rock samples they feel very sentimental about, and this was a great way to incorporate it into the wedding. Some of the guests even got into the theme by wrapping gifts in old geologic maps and posters. There was even a fake rock in the playground in the garden that of course we had to use for some pictures.

Colorful paper flags marked out the aisle for the outdoor ceremony.

Colorful paper flags marked out the aisle for the outdoor ceremony.

seminole_heights_wedding_005seminole_heights_wedding_006

The outdoor ceremony was held on the steps of the Garden center building with simple decorations of a paper flag garland and potted flowers. The nice thing about a venue like this is that elaborate decorations are really not needed. This was a sweet, happy wedding for a couple that could be described the same way 🙂

Congratulations Jessica and James!

Congratulations Jessica and James!

Vendors:

Photography: Steely Joe Studio Photography

Venue: Seminole Heights Garden Center, Tampa Florida


Leave a comment

Surf’s up in Clearwater!

We went out to shoot the sunset and found surfers enjoying the waves. It’s not everyday you get waves big enough to surf in Clearwater, so even if its chilly and very windy, it won’t keep them away! These were taken out at Sand Key Park, and we had a truly spectacular sunset!

Amazing sunset at Sand Key Park, Clearwater Florida

Amazing sunset at Sand Key Park, Clearwater Florida

Surfing in the sunset.

Surfing in the sunset.

surfers_04

lost in the surf.

cold day to surf

The surfers added a really nice element to these landscape shots. Really love the tiny people in the vastness of the sunset and surf.

surfers_10

Surfers in the sandstorm. About dusk, a really ferocious sand storm started up. Good thing I had a filter on my lens so I could shoot into the blowing sand!

surfers_12

At one point I wondered if the surfers realized what an amazing show they were missing in the sky behind them. But I got my answer. At the best part of the sunset, when a huge orange beam poured through the clouds, all the surfers on the beach, without speaking to each other, turned to face the sun. It was a strange and beautiful thing to watch.

Surfers watching the sunset

Surfers watching the sunset