The Importance of an Experienced Makeup Artist
May 3rd, 2016

We may be a bit biased, but of course we feel like photography is one of the most important decisions for a bride and groom to make for their wedding!  In reality, so many decisions are important and for each couple and what paramounts is different.  This may come as a surprise to our readers, maybe not, but considering who you choose for your makeup artist may need to be at the top of your priority list.  One big reason is the effect it can have on your timeline if makeup runs late.  More importantly, I (Kristin) know that every bride wants to look retouched… in real life… on her wedding day.

So today I’m going to talk you through what a professional photographer is looking for in wedding day makeup.  Some of our brides want a more natural look while some are perfectly willing to go dramatic.  Yet there are key elements to color, shadows and highlights that mimic what we’re trying to accomplish with light.  When these two factors are on point (light and make up), the finished portrait is exquisite.  Ok… so what are these elements?  The first… shadows.

Our first bride is Changyi who was honestly very worried about her makeup.  She mentioned that she was a bit self conscious of the shape of her face.  Our makeup artist shared with her that she studies the features of her brides faces and knows where and how to bring out her best features.  Whether you have a round face or narrow, a key component of wedding day makeup is shadowing below the cheekbone.  Notice how defined Changyi’s cheeks are.  It’s subtle, but key.  Whether we’re using off camera lighting or natural light, we’re looking for those beautiful shadows below the neck and cheekbone.  Now this is just my opinion, but I prefer a rosy brown for this shadow.  When it’s pink, it’s often lost in our cameras and when it’s too brown, it looks like you’ve been punched in the face.  Yikes!
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Study the album spread above.  Now you’re noticing Jenn’s perfectly rosy brown shadow under her cheek aren’t you?  Now, study her jaw line.  See the beautiful shadow that goes all the way from her ear to her chin?  Don’t we all want that perfectly slim neck!  Well, there’s contouring there and this is one of the MOST missed details we notice.  The same color used to contour your cheekbones should be used below your neck to give beautiful definition.  There have been weddings where I wished I carried bronzer with me and when the make up artist wasn’t looking I would apply to my bride myself!

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Another key component of wedding day makeup is color.  Seems obvious, but there are colors you should use and colors you may want to avoid.  While shimmery eyeliner and eye shadow are fun for going out, they are not the most flattering when you’re being photographed.  The shimmer in eye shadow can actually reflect light and makes your skin look speckled or dirty.  The white or colored eye liner washes out your eyes instead of accentuating them.  Even you’re hoping for a dramatic look, we recommend you sticking to a neutral color palette but just taking it up a notch.  A smoky eye is perfectly fine, and we always love a dramatic lip.  But the key is to keep the color around your eyes neutral and with a matte finish so we see your eyes first, not your makeup.

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Often times our brides will look at their makeup when it’s finished in a hand held mirror.  They are still in their t-shirt and who knows if the light is pretty where they’re sitting.  So they see their face super close up and have a mild panic attack… just wait!  Before you cry to your makeup artist to tone it down, wait until your gown is on and we put you in beautiful light.  Then, make a decision.  It often puts our brides at ease to see what their face looks like in our cameras.  When you’re a distance away and, not to mention, in a gown, the makeup must be substantial in order for our cameras to see it.

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Natural from a distance looks bold up close…

Notice our stunning bride Megan shown above.  She is exquisitely natural and still looks like herself.  I’ve heard many times that my brides worry about wedding day makeup because they want to look like themselves on their wedding day.  Of course you should look like yourself!  But just the most beautiful version of yourself!  Close up, Megan has a dark red lip, but notice from a distance how soft it looks.  She has false lashes and contouring and all key elements of wedding day makeup.  Emily and Sean-0035

Ok, now let’s talk about brows.  No matter how dark or light or perfect you think your eyebrows are… in order to have a complete look, your makeup artist should color them in.  Whether slightly or not, it finishes the look.  Notice above Emily’s brows are already dark and you may not think necessary to color, but they are and are done so with precision.  They don’t look thick or fuller than normal, nor do they change the structure of her face, which brides often worry about.  Rather, they define her eyes and anchor her cheekbones.


So you may have guessed by now who’s techniques we’ve been referring to in this post.  While we work with many amazing makeup artists, the famous Kara Winslow is a makeup artist we trust 100% to deliver a beautiful service while staying on time… always.  Kara understands how to make our brides look their best while also understanding what we want as a photographer.  We have worked countless weddings with Kara and never once has she been late or taken longer than she said she would.  For my brides, I know you have so many decisions to make and sometimes that’s overwhelming.  But I promise you you will not regret investing in a professional makeup artist and Kara is our first recommendation.  Twice a year, Kara and Footstone host a Makeup Workshop where we talk about these elements in more detail and can talk specifically with you about how your make up could look based on your individual features.  Stay tuned for that or email us if you want to be added to the email list.  Thank you Kara for being so wonderful and taking such good care of our brides!


Light and Composition – A Magical Moment
April 26th, 2016

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We photographed a seriously magical wedding last week and are excited to post the entire wedding soon.  But for today, we will share one single portrait of Shelby that we’re very proud of.  First, we’ll share what Paul was thinking as he captured this moment.  Then, Kristin will share why they posed Shelby this way.

Paul… “When I walked into this scene, I saw the final image.  The way the upper canopy of leaves create a soft start to all of the trees that lead your eye down to her, the lines of the bottom of the trees that lead straight into her flowing dress, the direction of the light that would shape her face, all would create a beautifully striking image.  I knew my Sigma 85mm 1.4 Art lens would create a slight grittiness to the softness of the background.  Every photographer knows the feeling of clicking the shutter release and knowing the result will be stunning.  Those moments are really, really fun.”

Kristin… “Once Paul walked through the trees, staring at the shadows and looking up at the sun, he said to Shelby, ‘I want you right here’.  I love how Paul always takes his time making sure he places our brides in the light that will be most flattering.  It’s deliberate and intentional and key to making a woman look beautiful.  Once Shelby was standing in the right spot, we turned her body slightly to her right and had her sit on her back hip.  This subtle positioning shows off the curve of her waist.  Notice how Shelby’s front arm is pulled away from her body so we’re not hiding her waist.  We turned her ever so slightly so we didn’t lose her back arm as well.  Her bouquet pointing towards the camera is always key. Then we raised her face towards the light so the shadows laid on her cheekbones and neck, but lit up her face.  We call this process soft-coaching.  It takes a few seconds, but it’s what elevates a pretty picture to a breathtaking portrait.”



The Minchin Family – A Generational Panoramic Session
April 21st, 2016

I’m just going to start this post by saying, we adore this family.  We view the Minchins like they are our family.  Paul and his siblings have known the Minchins literally their whole lives, and Paul and I (Kristin) actually got engaged on the beautiful property that belongs to their family… Though that’s a story for another day.

We were absolutely delighted and honored when the Minchin family asked us to photograph them.  They are spread around the country, so the fact that we could get them all together at once was nothing short of a miracle!

A little while ago, we shared about a new kind of family portrait that Paul has created. He photographs each small unit separately and then creates a panoramic composite of all the groups together.  With this process, we are able to have each family member in the foreground of the portrait and perfectly in focus.  It is a more dramatic and intimate end result, and the perfect centerpiece for the Minchin home.



Shown above is the final framed wall portrait on the Minchin wall.  As the family grows, more portraits will hang with it.  It’s a special day when you begin to create the “family wall” that so many of us have in our homes.  What a treasure it is to know that this portrait will hang in this very spot for decades to come.

Below Paul took a picture of me (Kristin) holding the gift-sized panoramic portrait that each of the children will receive. This can be displayed on a table or a small wall. The clean black frame made it perfectly modern yet timeless.


Thank you to the Minchins for giving us this great honor to photograph your beautiful family.  You are absolutely blessed with amazing children, but we know that you already know that!

To our other families, we would love to talk to you about scheduling a Generational Portrait Session.  Let’s start dreaming about filling the empty space on your walls with the faces of your loved ones.  Call our studio today, or email us for more info.  We would be honored to be your photographers!

352.562.3066  //


A Sneak Peek of our Wedding Season!
April 19th, 2016

We wanted to take a moment and celebrate what an incredible 2016 we’ve had so far.  We’ve been a part of many gorgeous weddings and witnessed incredibly special moments and wanted to share a sneak peek of what we’re working on!
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We never take these beautiful days for granted.  Every bride is a stunning masterpiece that we are privileged to walk beside on one of the most special days of her life. We’ll be sharing each of these bride’s stories and more of her wedding images soon.  So far, 2016 has us all excited for the rest of the year!


Paul’s Favorite Portraits
April 15th, 2016

Today I (Paul) just wanted to post some of my recent favorite portraits – if yours isn’t on here, it’s not because I don’t like you, I just have limited space…

Anyway, the thing I love about photographing children is the fact you don’t have to break down too many walls to be able to see the real child, very unlike most adults when they’re in front of a camera.  Please enjoy.

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Gorgeous Santa Fe River Ranch Wedding Album
April 14th, 2016

I’m just going to start this post by saying the spreads that follow are just a fraction of Jennifer and Trey’s finished album (which is being printed and hand assembled in Italy as we type this!).  Their album is unbelievably beautiful! We can’t wait to share what the finished product looks like, but mostly because we can’t wait to get our hands on it.

Jenn and Trey have been fun to work with from day one.  The banter between these two is quite hilarious.  For their engagement session here we went to Jekyll Island in Southern Georgia and even had dinner together after.  They shared with us some of their sweet story.  Jenn and Trey started out as friends from a very young age, due to their fathers being close friends.  When Trey was a senior in high school, Jennifer told us she offered to go to his prom with him since she felt bad that he didn’t have a date.  🙂

Here’s more of their story in Jenn’s words…
“Fast forward a few years, I had started college in Gainesville, and Trey had decided to attend Auburn University.  We somehow became really good friends, and somehow the distance between us drew us even closer together.  We would text in class or talk when we should be studying, or even be those annoying people at parties who would just text on their phones instead of socializing with others.  We did all this and we weren’t even dating!  Something had to change.  Soon, Trey would make trips back to Gainesville on the weekends, and we would find time for just the two of us.  It took Trey asking a few times, but I finally agreed to date him. Our relationship grew from there. I started attending Auburn University a year later, and our college love story began. We fell in love in that small college town in front of the backdrop of football games, frat parties, and long weekend adventures.  Our love grew and of course led to an engagement, a really long engagement – a year and half engagement to be exact!”
We’ll share more of the story as you scroll through their album.  Jenn and Trey were truly a joy to photograph, and this day could not have been more beautiful.  From beginning to end, everyone around us was smiling and laughing and the energy was simply contagious.


One of the most special touches to Jenn’s details was her garter (not the Auburn one… the other one, sorry Gator fan here :).  Jen’s “something old” was a garter that was handmade from a piece of lace from her mother’s wedding gown.  How special! Gorgeous-Santa-Fe-River-Ranch-Timeless-Wedding-002 Gorgeous-Santa-Fe-River-Ranch-Timeless-Wedding-003

Paul read a quote somewhere that said wedding photographers spend 10% photographing and 90% moving furniture.  SO true!  For the getting ready room, you want an open clean slate so all you see is the moment and not the clutter.  But don’t worry Jake and Mr. Allen… we moved every piece back to it’s exact home and never slide it across your beautiful wood floors!

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It’s always exciting when a bride and groom let’s us leave one dominant portrait to stand alone on a spread.  Trey’s portrait above and Jenn’s below are worthy for a spread all to themselves.
Gorgeous-Santa-Fe-River-Ranch-Timeless-Wedding-007Trey shared with us a little later, that his absolutely favorite moment of the day was when Jenn was walking down the aisle towards him.  We don’t blame you, Trey.  She is perfectly breathtaking! Gorgeous-Santa-Fe-River-Ranch-Timeless-Wedding-008 Gorgeous-Santa-Fe-River-Ranch-Timeless-Wedding-009

Jenn’s bridesmaids were absolutely incredible.  The entire day they were asking her is she needed anything and made sure she was comfortable and having fun.  Another special update is that Jenn’s now sister-in-law Shelby, her bridesmaid on the far right is getting married this Saturday, and we have the honor of photographing this wedding as well!  I love this family!Gorgeous-Santa-Fe-River-Ranch-Timeless-Wedding-010 Gorgeous-Santa-Fe-River-Ranch-Timeless-Wedding-011 Gorgeous-Santa-Fe-River-Ranch-Timeless-Wedding-012 Gorgeous-Santa-Fe-River-Ranch-Timeless-Wedding-013

Jenn and Trey’s first look is displayed above.  Jenn shared with us this sweet message…

“As with most things in life, anything worth having is worth waiting for and it was just as true for our wedding! It was the most amazing day! When we had our first look it was as if everything had stopped and there was not a more perfect moment.”

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LOVE long veils… my advice to almost all brides is it’s ALWAYS a good idea to choose a cathedral veil!Gorgeous-Santa-Fe-River-Ranch-Timeless-Wedding-018

Having two little ones of our own, Paul and I have a hard time not taking a lot of pictures of flower girls and ring bearers.  These precious little blonde cuties running in an open field with warm sunlight… sigh.  So adorable.Gorgeous-Santa-Fe-River-Ranch-Timeless-Wedding-019

Keith Watson Events did a phenomenal job with the design of Jenn and Trey’s wedding.  With Jenn’s vision and their creativity, the details were extraordinary yet personal and charming.  Gorgeous-Santa-Fe-River-Ranch-Timeless-Wedding-020 Gorgeous-Santa-Fe-River-Ranch-Timeless-Wedding-021

Jenn told us afterwards that this moment in the field with Trey was one of her favorite moments of the day that she’ll treasure forever.  She said, “It was like a fairy tale… it was so perfect.”  We have to agree, and are swooning just a little bit over these incredibly romantic images.  Thank you God for this perfect sunset.  🙂

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This moment above was so fun!  The Keith Watson crew wanted to give the couple a few minutes alone to see their reception before guests entered.  Jenn and Trey could walk around and see everything they had worked so hard on come to fruition.  We often hear that our couples barely even looked around because they were talking and mingling and forgot to notice.  While your guests should absolutely be a priority, it’s nice to be able to remember what your wedding day looked like!Gorgeous-Santa-Fe-River-Ranch-Timeless-Wedding-024 Gorgeous-Santa-Fe-River-Ranch-Timeless-Wedding-025 Gorgeous-Santa-Fe-River-Ranch-Timeless-Wedding-026 Gorgeous-Santa-Fe-River-Ranch-Timeless-Wedding-027 Gorgeous-Santa-Fe-River-Ranch-Timeless-Wedding-028 Gorgeous-Santa-Fe-River-Ranch-Timeless-Wedding-029

To Jenn and Trey and your families, thank you for welcoming us and allowing us this great honor.  You are both so blessed to have such loving friends and family and we enjoyed being by your sides watching this story unfold.  And a special thanks to all the vendors below who made this day seamless and fun from beginning to end.  We loved working with each of you!

May God bless your marriage Jenn and Trey!  Here’s to forever!

Venue: Santa Fe River Ranch

Event Planner: Keith Watson Productions

Videographer: White in Revery

Florist: Keith Watson Productions + working with local florists

Cake Artist: Dream Day Cakes

Musician/DJ: Genius Entertainment

Makeup Artist: Kara Winslow

Hair Stylist: Graceful Strands

Caterer: Blue Water Bay


Emily & Sean’s Fine Art Wedding Album
April 12th, 2016

We just had the honor of delivering this exquisite album to our recent bride and groom, Emily & Sean.  This incredibly special couple were married this past fall at Rembert Farms in Alachua, Florida.  Emily chose the acrylic cover to showcase one of their favorite portraits of the day.  The display box is a two-tone maple custom piece made to fit her album exclusively.  It’s truly perfection… and we have a sample book in the studio!

For their story and a more detailed look of their wedding, visit Emily and Sean’s full post here.  It never gets old hand-delivering these treasures.  Thank you to Emily and Sean and their families for trusting us with this great responsibility.  May generations to come enjoy this beautiful story.

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Brasher Anthony Privette
April 8th, 2016

Brasher Anthony Privette. Born April 9, 2011.

That means tomorrow is his fifth birthday. Brasher is a tough one to figure out… he is very particular about everything. And I (Paul) mean everything. From food to toys to the chair he sits in at lunch. He has a big heart, but won’t take crap from anybody. He loves animals. Loves loves loves animals. Except dogs, not a big fan of dogs. One day he saw a dead bird by the sidewalk, and he started to cry. But then after a trip to the Jacksonville zoo, he claims his favorite part of the trip was watching a bald eagle rip apart a dead mouse.


If you were to ask him, he would probably tell you his favorite animals are dragons, dinosaurs, and tigers. He’s one of the coolest kids you will ever meet, and I can’t wait to see how he grows in year five. I am so thankful for the family that God has blessed us with, and today we celebrate Brasher.


Jenn and Trey’s Santa Fe River Ranch Wedding
April 7th, 2016

We are thrilled to share Jenn and Trey’s album slideshow with you today!  Right now, their album is being printed in Italy, and we are dying to see the finished product.  This will be our first album to be showcased in a real wood box.  GraphiStudio is helping create this brand new product for us so this book is displayed the way it truly deserves to be.

We’ll share a lot more fun details about Jenn and Trey’s stunning wedding on the blog next week so stay tuned for that… but for today, enjoy a glimpse into a truly magical day…


An incredible night for an incredible girl – Lauren’s Bat Mitzvah
April 5th, 2016

Today’s post is a really special one.  This past December we had the honor of celebrating sweet Lauren’s coming of age with her family and friends at her bat mitzvah.  Lauren is an incredibly impressive young woman and took the responsibility of preparing for her ceremony very seriously.  She was well read, well spoken and beautifully confident. Her Rabbi shared about what an amazing student she was and how seriously she took her lessons.  It was clear that Lauren was proud of her heritage, and was thoughtful and confident in the meaning and purpose behind this event.  It was an honor to share this with her and her family!

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Lauren and her mother, Kim, with the help of Unforgettable Events, created a “winter wonderland” theme for the party on the evening following her ceremony.  Snowflakes and icicles and flowing white fabric from floor to ceiling created an exquisite room that Kim and Lauren were shocked to see when they first walked in.  After spending a year planning this special party, both Lauren and Kim were thrilled to see the vision come together perfectly.  Kim was so proud, and Lauren was so excited to share this night with her greatest friends. Bat-Vitzvah-005

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Lauren blew everyone away with her confidence and creativity while presenting her candle lighting ceremony.  For each year of her life, Lauren asked a very significant person to come light a candle with her.  She shared of her love and admiration for these people and how they’ve impacted her life.  This young lady, I will declare here and now, will be a leader and a speaker one day.  As a 12 year old young lady, she spoke with absolute assurance and poise and had the entire room clapping and laughing along with her.Gainesville-Florida-Bat-Mitzvah-Event-Photography-21

I (Kristin) feel like Lauren’s mom Kim is now more than a client, but a friend.  I was able to help her design Lauren’s invitations and day of stationery which made it possible for me to be a part of the excitement and designing and planning for the event.  She allowed us to be more than just their photographers but actually invited us as guests.  This is an amazing group of people and Paul and I grateful to know them!

Lauren’s album is being printed right now and we can’t wait to share that with her and her family.  It will be an exquisite book to show off this exquisite young lady and this beautiful night!