Vanessa and Eric were a dream to work with from beginning to end. When we met for the first time, I knew I would be excited to photograph them. Their engagement session was a nothing short of magical. We took a stroll through the beachside park and just had a really relaxed, natural photoshoot. The photos are still some of my favorite today.
That same laidback nature saved them on their wedding day as the ceremony plans changed due to rain. This wedding is such a perfect example of how a backup plan can save the day! Their reception was held inside and it was beautiful all the same.
I love shooting weddings like theirs, intimate affairs that are all about love and little else!
We didn’t have to travel far to get to their church wedding in Cape Coral before heading to Doc Fords for the reception. Doc Fords is a cool restaurant that sits right on the water on San Carlos island by Ft Myers beach. It was the perfect place for this wedding reception and guests could go out on the dock as the sun was setting and after to enjoy the beautiful weather.
Living in the same place you grew up allows you some interesting opportunities. Especially when you’re a wedding photographer. This time the bride was someone Kyle has known since childhood. They attended the same schools growing up and their mothers were friends. It was fun to see her grow up and get married to an awesome guy and it was really interesting to see all the old friends and acquaintances who attended the wedding.
The ceremony was at McGregor Baptist Church in Ft Myers where they had the biggest receiving line we’d ever seen. Receiving lines are so much fun because they allow us some time to get candid photos of the couple and their family interacting with guests, and it’s great for the couple because they get some extra time to see friends and family immediately following their ceremony. This time they left the ceremony and went to a large room at the church and hung out for around an hour. It was really relaxed and fun.
After the receiving line, everyone headed over to the reception area at the Bay Club in Estero. This is an immaculate country club with gorgeous views. The bride had been here early in the morning getting ready, and we returned to do some portraits before the reception. Once the reception began in their main hall, everyone danced, sang and had a great time.
Sometimes after I shoot a wedding and leave, I have a feeling of euphoria. It’s like I never want to do anything else. There’s a “perfect storm” of having an awesome couple, laid back wedding party, serendipitous venue, and all the pieces just fall in line. Meghan and Darren’s wedding was my perfect wedding. Not only were they a truly incredible couple, everything about their wedding was a dream.
Cypress M ranch is a small private ranch in Punta Gorda. I hadn’t ever heard of it because when I shot this wedding, the venue had just recently opened up. They had a great barn style reception area and an open, sprawling lawn for the ceremony. There were secret areas we could sneak away to for photos including a small pond and trails. The entire area had been kept up nicely.
During their engagement session, Darren and I had discussed his family’s history and archaeology. He was raised in South Florida and as a child spent tons of time outside exploring. He knew a ton about the local history in Labelle and it made for fantastic conversation. Later on when I met up with Meghan and Darren to photograph their new family, we continued the conversations. I love when we meet a couple that’s just so easy to relate to!
As USF almuni, I was intrigued when Stephanie approached and asked to shoot her wedding at the Sarasota USF campus. I graduated in 2009 and I’ve never been a particularly prideful person. I never owned a collection of USF shirts or bumper stickers, but I have a lot of fond memories of that place. During college I made tons of close friends and I miss the times we spent together dearly. Even though I attended USF in Tampa, I knew the satellite campus would somehow still feel like home…
Stephanie and Tim were nothing short of amazing. It was apparent how in love they were, and the four of us hit it off immediately. I particularly loved how Stephanie infused her own culture and upbringing into the wedding. The decor was simple, but elegant – our favorite! Sadie and I also loved the coffee wedding favors in case you couldn’t tell from the photos! But more than any of the wedding-related stuff, I just loved this couple. We’ve stayed in touch online and they now run their own travel blog Circa Wanderlust, which is definitely worth a peek (also, check out all our photos of them on there!). Stephanie has even been featured on the Huffington Post, which is awesome in itself.
Sometimes we connect with couples in a way where we begin to feel like guests, rather than hired help. For me, I’ve always felt this makes for better images. I’m always compelled to make photos when I fall in love. Not necessarily in the romantic sense, but in love with a person, an idea or a couple. It’s inspiring to me and it takes making images from being a mechanical function of my body and brain to being an intimate function of my heart and living in the moment. Stephanie and Tim brought that out in me. I’m not sure if it was their own style or their free, happy go lucky personalities… or both… but this was definitely one of our favorites from last year.