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adventures in photography and other stuff


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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!

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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


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Jillian & Kevin’s Miami Wedding

Over Labor Day weekend, I had the privilege to travel to Miami, Florida to photograph Jillian and Kevin’s destination wedding. This was by far the best location for a wedding I have gotten to travel to so far! The sunset ceremony took place beneath the lighthouse at Bill Baggs State Park on Key Biscayne.  Afterwords, the couple along with attending friends and family celebrated with dinner at the Fort Lauderdale Cheesecake Factory on trendy Las Olas Boulevard. The guests stayed at a cute retro-style little “boutique Motel” called Motel Bianco. I think I was almost as excited as the bride for this wedding and when it started raining a few hours before the ceremony, I started to worry. But the rain cleared off about an hour before we were supposed to start, and the remaining clouds made for a spectacular sunset! Here are a few of my favorite images so far, I will be posting more on my Facebook page as I work through the rest:

Jillian got this adorable handmade ring box as a gift for Kevin.

Love this image of the bride and her father walking down the palm-lined path to the lighthouse.

What a beautiful setting for a wedding! The officiant suggested this location rather than the traditional one at the base of the lighthouse. As a result, the full lighthouse could be seen in the ceremony pictures, which was great!

The ring exchange. The sunset glow gives all the images such a nice look.

Such a sweet couple. This image was taken during the prayer of blessing Jillian's father gave at the end of the ceremony.

The only problem with sunset weddings is that the light goes away really fast if you are doing portraits afterward. But thanks to Ed holding an off-camera flash, we were able to get some nice images in the fading light.

I will be posting more on my Steely Joe Facebook page as I go, so “like” it and follow along! And now I need a new destination – so who’s super cool destination wedding is next?