I hope 2017 was a good year for all of you! I had a great year full of weddings, family sessions, and time spent with my three daughters as they tackled FLVS (virtual school) for their second year in a row.
As with the closing of each year, I sit down and assess my numbers, and prep for this year's taxes. In doing so, I also see what changes need to be made in our structure and price list. For the past few years I have priced my weddings separate from any products to really focus on what people purchase most of. I've taken those figures, and added them into our wedding packages for 2018.
I have also decided to start my own newsletter, which I've lovingly called my *P*ewsletter - a mix of "P" for photography and "pew" for the sound the blasters in Star Wars. If you aren't making the noise in your head, we can't be friends ;) lol.
Anyway, the *P*ewsletter will be a place where I can send out coupons, sales, and little tid bits of information, like what is found in my FAQ page to people each month. I'm hoping that it will keep photography in people's minds as something that is quite important; because life is short, and memories are the most precious things that we leave others.
Cleaning up and organizing my businesses also means all the extra websites that I am on. Since word of mouth is really the largest factor in getting business, I really would appreciate more reviews/testimonials on these websites. Even if you copy and paste the same review to each one, I would really appreciate it and promise cookies in return. Seriously, let's get together and bake some cookies.... put a little ice cream in the middle and voila, ice cream sandwiches!Here are some links if you'd be so kind: Google Review, Facebook Review,
If you have any ideas for 2018 let me know! I look forward to working with you in the new year!!!!
On June 24th I had the rare honor of photographing Phantasmagoria, not only their show, "Wickedest Tales of All", but also the ghouls and ghosts getting ready behind the stage. It was their first time doing a complete show at The Athens Theater in DeLand, FL. They played there once before, during The Cog Is Dead's live concert/DVD recording, where they accompanied the band in several songs.
Now through Nov 4th you can catch Phantasmagoria's "The Chains of Fire" at the The Mandell Theatre in Orlando.
Two week before the date I received an e-mail from a mother asking if I could help her out by photographing her daughter's destination wedding in DeLeon Springs at Harmony Gardens. Thankfully, I still had the date available and was able to be there for those who came from Texas and Georgia to celebrate the union of Julianna and Anthony! Due to his being stationed in Texas, they had done the wedding paperwork months earlier, but were finally getting to have their ceremony in front of friends and family. The day was beautiful even if Florida's summer showers caused the wedding to move from outside to under the reception tent. Everything ran smoothly and the two renewed their vows surrounded by those they love.
Trash 2 Trends is a Keep Orlando Beautiful, Inc fundraiser that brings the fashion and art of local artists together with the environmental community to promote sustainability in an innovative way. The show features local designers who create runway looks from items headed to the landfill. This annual event is covered by magazines, newspapers, bloggers and more, and I've been honored to be able to photograph it for the last 3 years. Here is an inside look behind the scenes and a run-through of all 35 designs and winners. If you'd like to see my full gallery, click here. Enjoy!
"Taking the Plunge" by Alison Pearce, modeled by Nichole Selph. Materials included paragliding reserve parachute, kitchen utensils, VW bus parts, and wisteria vintes. This art deco inspired gown took over 80 hours completing the look with jewelry made from cogs, clock hands, and various other small parts.
"Sassy Spooning" by Benjamin Shores modeled by Stephanie Rosario. Materials include chicken wire, over 200 aluminum cans, and over 300 plastic utensils.
"Media Medley" by Candace Turner and modeled by Kathryn Mullarkey. Materials include plastic liners, product bag netting, compact discs, irregular scrubs, plastic furniture gripper, and video tape.
"Delicately Matched" by Charlene Gary and modeled by Theresa Curameng. This elegant, living masterpiece was made from over 175 fabric swatches donated by Montanna Design and took over 100 hours of sewing to create.
"Tilt" by Chaz Rose De La Cruz modeled by Fred Sergeant. This design consists of nearly 100 donated dies to create the kilt, mohawk, and the detachable bag. The body chain is made from donated scraps from manufactured fishing tackle.
"Uncorked" by Christina Woodman and modeled by Brittany Heidemann. About 250 corks were used on the bodice and skirt, 5 cardboard tubes (previously used for storing fabrics), storage bags, fused plastic shopping bags, an old purse and wire hangers. The corks were hand cut into delicate shapes, while the many circles on the overskirt and collar were cut from strong cardboard tubes. They are reminiscent of the champagne bubbles which love to delight the senses with each sip.
"The Blue Jay" by Ciara Rodriguez modeled by Jasmine Peart - Newspaper and cardboard
"Beautifully Bad" by Coley Grant modeled by Melissa Zoldan - Styrofoam, plastic, and cardboard
"Death by High Fructose Corn Syrup" by Constance Blackmon Lee modeled by Thomas Bridges. Materials include 200+ 2 liter bottles, 250 bottle caps, 125 labels, 12 yards of metal chain, 16 feet of metal wire and a horse bit. This design represents how people are bound in chains enslaved by their dietary habits and the unhealthy effects of regular daily doses of corn syrup, caffeine, and other additives found in our food and drinks.
"In the Mood" by Debbie Reaney modeled by Marisa Westberry. Materials include over 40 feet of pool screen lost during hurricane Matthew, 12 VHS tapes, 20 bicycle inner tubes, bicycle chain, part of a shoe, scraps from a leather sofa, an old weed mat, soda can tabs, and pieces from a chandelier. Debbie has designed for all four Trash 2 Trends and always recycles parts of her old designs and uses them in the new one!
"Tick-Tock" designed and modeled by Doug Rhodehamel. Tick-Tock is a living breathing conglomeration of trash. Doug used over 1,000 cigarette butts as texture because they are the world's most littered item. They are packed with toxins and take decades to degrade. Over 4.5 trillion find their way into our lakes and oceans every year.
"Orange Crush" by Gail Warner modeled by Amanda Drury. Materials include over 14 feet of plastic safety fencing, 4 feet of orange construction barrier and 120 zip ties!
"Light" by Diana Spencer and modeled by Alanis Santillian. Materials included discarded LED car lights from her brother's auto shop, garment bags, and old computer paper.
"Master Piece Showgirl" by Georgia Culp and modeled by Emily Ann Cancel. Materials: Over 400 movie DVDs, covers and cases.
"The Woman in Recycled Gold" by Ha'Ani Hogan and modeled by Adrienne Wilhoite. The dress, inspired by Gustav Klimt's painting, is made from an old shower curtain and adorned with 3 decks of playing cards, reusable shopping bags, a car windshield sunshade, postcards, aluminum foil, and old event programs. The cape is made with mesh material from the bottom of a box spring.
"Plastic Betty" by James Costello and modeled by Divine Grace. After 40 hours of pinning, gluing and stitching, James turned over 200 plastic bags and 20 plastic straws into this great way to draw attention to the fact that plastic bags can sit in landfills for over a thousand years and destroy all forms of oceanic life.
"The Night's Wind" by Jenna Rysanek and modeled by Kassie Ledoux. Materials include VHS tapes, elastic, and soda pop tops.
"Fanciful Falls" by Jill Moore modeled by Jordann Human. (I'm seriously just going to copy and paste this one) Materials: 25 Coat hangers, 50 sq. ft. bubble wrap, 6 sq. ft. Sheet foam, 50 Produce bags, 60 Dry cleaning bags, 2 dozen twist ties, 300 hand painted styrofoam peanuts, broken glass cabochons, aquarium plants, bath poufs, silk petals, small shells, paint, glue and tape. The hat is made from a Hormel casserole steamer bowl, 6 coat hangers, 7 dry cleaning bags, over 30 peanuts.
Jill's Inspiration for aquatic themed sculptures came from 8 rare dry cleaning bags that her brother brought to her from Arkansas, combined with her need to bring awareness to the plight of our aquatic world. Plastic bags are among the worst long time polluters and killers of wildlife, so their deadly longevity makes them a perfect artistic medium. Jill's hope is to exhibit the dress, along with her other plastic sculptures, somewhere relevant….keeping literally tens of thousands of plastic bags out of the environment for decades to come.
"Mesmeric" by Kira Abramovs and modeled by Anna Abramovs. Materials include corrugated election signs, irrigation pipe, and septic drain guard.
"Daughter of Demeter" by Kirsten Hawkins modeled by Shanee Dunbar. Kristen combined her love of Alexander McQueen and a memorable project that she used to do with her mom - pressing flowers into wax paper. The dress is constructed from wax paper, floral wire and tape, pressed and live flowers, as well as tissue paper. All the flowers were donated post-production from a local floral events company, Loewe and Behold.
"Color of Bloom" by Kyana Wilborn and worn by Jenna Huston. (Again, directly quoting) After being mesmerized by a video she saw of women crocheting plastic bags into blankets for the homeless , she suddenly knew just how to use that stash of bags. Kyana quickly learned how to crochet. She chose the granny square design with splashes of color because it reminds her that like humans, each one is beautiful and unique but when united, they create something purposeful, strong, and full of love.
"Garbage In. Fashion Out." Designed by Lori Warren and modeled by Alexia Della Valle. Materials include over 400 expired plastic gift cards, credit cards, and electronic hotel room keys on top of discarded polymesh, 2016 Trash 2 Trends tote bags, and adorned with over 120 chopsticks and some shoestrings.
"Love Conquers Hate" by Meaghan Moreno and modeled by Sami Jaye Giampapa. Materials used: Over 150 foam sheets, garland, metal beads, old wire, screen mesh, paper, yarn and other types of plastics. The inspiration for her design came from the angelic wings used by individuals who helped ensure respect and privacy during the funerals of those who lost their lives during the Pulse nightclub attack.
"Light and Shadow" by Meghan Cuthbertson modeled by Michael Encinosa. Materials used: Retired barista aprons, used foil coffee bags, straws, cardboard cup sleeves, plastic cups, used gift cards, and discarded Christmas lights.
"Screaming Wasteland" designed and modeled by Michael Nesheim, AKA Boom Boom. Materials used: 18 square feet of wood veneer waste, 12 feet of discarded canvas, 120 square feet of used vinyl barrier protector, 128 square feet of old drapes, 16 feet of left over laminate, PVC and adhesives from the 80's. "The inspiration for “Screaming Wasteland” comes from Michael’s daily exposure to the construction industry where in the matter of one day, a small construction company can demolish and throw away as much as 200 cubic yards of items, which most of can be repurposed and about half of which could be recycled. Sadly, recycling these items is time consuming and cost prohibitive."
"True Colors" by Nancy Alonso modeled by Ivana Fiorella. Materials include newspaper, toilet paper rolls, water bottles, plastic bags, magazines, construction wire and CDs. All materials were collected from her neighbors, the hospital where she works, and a construction dumpster. She used 3 different weaving techniques and cut long strips of newspaper and individually hand rolled them into tubes.
"Tipping the Scales" by Norelis Dean and modeled by Annikka Dobko. This ballet costume was inspired by the Beta fish. Her stash of over 100 fashion magazines make up the scales for the bodice, shoulder piece, shoe decoration and additional accents. Each scale is made out of three layers of magazine paper hardened to make them stronger and more 3 dimensional. The tutu is made out of pleated magazine paper, pleated plastic bags, and pleated tulle.
"Abstractica" by Oscar Hernandez modeled by Bryanna Alford. Materials used: Cardboard, cigarette boxes, bathtub curtains, laces and elastic.
"Wings for Women" by Patrick O'Connor modeled by April Michelle Ross. Materials used: Aluminum cans, rubber, wire and bubble wrap.
"Bridal Illusion" by Raul Ali Castillo Areanas and modeled by Dianie Ortiz. Materials used - Fashion Magazines
"The Art of Fashion" by Riley Phillips modeled by Sophia DuRose. Riley created her dress almost completely out of art supplies in her studio and left over trash and materials from old projects and sculptures of hers. These include 26 different sized canvas scraps and panels from paintins, 1,200+ black paint swatches, 300+ strips of blue and gold pages from magazines, fabric scraps, colored pencil shavings, strings from balloons, crayon, shattered mirror bits, VHS tape, cassette tape, and a plastic 6-pack bottle carrier.
"ReBUILDing for Life" by Rodny Ochoa and modeled by his daughter Paula who traveled over 5,000 miles to be his model. Rodny's materials include wire, bullets, fabric, metal, and vertical blinds. He spent over two months collecting materials while working to build a new therapy and rehab center.
"Silver Lining" by Teresa Rench and modeled by Aleesha Denning. Materials include over 100 feet of clear plastic shelf liner, landscaping mesh, six pack rings, two dozen silver thermal packaging bags from Blue Apron boxes, furnace filters, packing peanuts, and a swag bag from the 2016 Trash 2 Trends show!
"Far East Headlines - Read and Wear" by Sharon Huang modeled by Ashley Cruces. Material include 75 sheets of Asian print newspapers, 125 plastic grocery bags, 50 multipack beverage rings, cardboard, 15 plastic water bottles, 30 plastic bottle caps, and 3 pairs of chopsticks.
After the final runway walk with their designers, the models and designers headed out for the main floor where guests could take a closer look and vote on their favorite designs by donating money in that designer's bag. The bags were then collected and the money counted to figure out the winner of the people's choice award!
"Love Conquers Hate" by Meaghan Moreno won Best Use of Materials
"Uncorked" by Christina Woodman won Avant Garde
"Color of Blooms" by Kyana Wilborn won Most Ready to Wear
"True Colors" by Nancy Alonso won Top Design as well as Audience Choice!
A final "Thank You" from Jody Buyas who curates the show every year. We can't wait to see you all next year!!!!
See the rest of my photos CLICK HERE
The last time I photographed this family, Tammy was almost due with Baby A. Fast forward over a year later and it's his first birthday! I'm so glad that I got to work with this family again and capture another year in their life! This time grandma joined in and we met at Secret Lake Park at 8:30 am so that the boys could go play soccer and grandma could make it out with her friends. The weather was beautiful, and the park was a perfect background for family photos. They even had a playground so that we could play on the swings when it was all done. I look forward to seeing how much Baby A grows in the next year!