So I began shooting Haley back in 2010. She came to me wanting me to shoot some modeling pictures, and of course I was more than willing. Haley reminds me of Alessandra Ambrosio, one of the Victoria Secret models. She has such a natural beauty, and her personality makes her even more beautiful!
I met Haley through my good friend Kaley. I didn’t know her very well when I did her first shoot, but have gotten to know her much better through out the past few years. I have been lucky enough to shoot several milestones in her life, and I am honored that she chose me to capture those moments.
Haley and I chose to do her modeling shoot in Downtown DeLand, and at my home. This was the first time I have ever taken any modeling pics, and she made it seem like the easiest job in the world. She was so natural at her poses, facial expressions, and just seemed like she had done it for years. Funny thing is, it was her first time doing a shoot like this as well. I was honestly shocked. We started in downtown on a weekday evening. We shot a few photos in two of the alley’s that had a very vintage feel. Did a few in front of Cafe Da Vinci’s, and finished up over in Chess Park. We used stars, doors, benches and even the waterfall at the park. Every photo I took got me so excited for the next.
Then we moved on to my house the next day. Kaley was my assistant and helped out by moving props, holding the fan, fixing Haley’s hair, etc. I felt at that moment like a professional. I have never had anyone assist me with a shoot, other than a second shooter at a wedding I once shot. And being I am not fond of shooting weddings, I felt very far from being in a professional status that day, lol. We used every inch of our property, and even got a shot with one of the horses in the background. Again, every frame was amazing, every pose was perfect, and I felt more confident in this shoot than I had ever felt with any shoot I had ever done!
Next Haley asked me if I would shoot her engagement photos. And once again, I was more than honored to do this for her. We met at her wedding venue (well, the venue she originally picked) and had a blast. There was so much to work with there, and of course Hailey and her fiance made it even more easy on me. We did some shots over by the pond, in the grass, used the front doors of the house for the background, a little outhouse building, and so much more. Every shot of course was perfect. My job again was so easy.
I had a feeling that Haley might ask me to shoot her wedding and was very upset when she did and I had to turn her down. I do not have the confidence yet to shoot a wedding, nor do I have the proper equipment to shoot one as well. Weddings cannot be re-shot. My biggest fear is that something happens and I cannot shoot the wedding properly. There are also so many shots that you just can’t miss, and I would worry the whole time that I would miss something. All photographers have a specific thing they love shooting the most, and for me it is fashion and children. Not weddings!
A few months before the wedding, Haley called me to see if I would be willing to do a pre-wedding shoot for her. I was confused because she would have plenty of photos from her wedding to choose from, but there was a catch. Haley had just found out she was expecting, and was worried that she would be showing too much at her wedding. How could I pass up shooting such a beautiful bride? I couldn’t! Haley and I met at Gemini Springs and created one of the most amazing and memorable shoots I could ever imaging shooting. She was more than stunning in her dress, and I was blown away that I was the one she chose to use for this shoot.
At this shoot. I was brought back to the first time I did a shoot with Haley. She was so perfect with all of her poses, her facial expressions and just made my job easier than I could ever imagine. I found myself wondering why all shoots couldn’t be this easy. Every where we went in the park, people were admiring Haley. Probably wondering why this stunningly beautiful bride was here taking photos. I was so excited after every shot that I found myself telling her over and over how amazing this shoot was going to be, and how I couldn’t wait to show off these photos. As I showed her a frame or two, she was just as excited as I was.
We shot this shoot for about 2 hours, and ended up with a few hundred frames. Haley had the lovely job of going through and choosing no more than 20 frames for me to edit for her. After a few weeks, she finally narrowed it down to her choices and then the magic began. Not that her photos ever need much editing, I couldn’t help but want to add a vintage feel to her photos. Her dress, headpiece and hair already fit the part, so I just felt that was the way to go with these photos. Once I post these photos live, the outpouring of compliments came rushing in. I have never had so many positive comments on a shoot in my life. I felt so blessed to have been able to create such a shoot!
So at this point I had done 3 shoots with Haley. A few weeks after the pre-wedding shoot, Haley contacted me again and asked that I be a 3rd shooter at her wedding. With my fear of weddings, I was hesitant. But I felt so honored to be able to be a part of this special day with her and her family.
The wedding day came, and I was amazed at how smooth and stress free things went. No one was fighting, everyone was happy and the bride was glowing. Haley and Nat’s families both made me feel like I was part of their family as we all hung out in the hotel suite while the girls were getting ready. Hailey and Nat had 12 bridesmaids and 12 groomsmen. So with that many in the wedding party, I was definitely expecting chaos.
Salon Blonde was in the suite with stations set up for hair and makeup. The girls would go from station to station getting all done up. It was truly a sight to see for sure. The girls had their bloody mary’s and other mixed drinks, even though it was early morning. I even sat on the balcony enjoying a delicious concoction with Hailey’s mother as we watched the lawn being set up for the ceremony. I did a few shots around the room of the girls, Haley and the family. I took some shots of her shoes, headpiece and rings, and just tried to capture all the moments I could for Haley and Nat to look back on.
So the wedding came and left, and then we had maternity pictures to do. I anxiously awaited the phone call from Haley for this sessions to be scheduled. We set up a date, and we had yet another fabulous shoot! Haley wanted to shoot pics near the water. I thought real hard of a place that was maybe on a lake or the river that would not only have great landscaping, but a dock as well. A friend of mine Amie’s mother lives in Riviera Bella over on the St. Johns river in a stunning house with everything we could have asked for from two docks to beautiful scenery. We got so many amazing photos and it was again hard to choose which ones to edit and not. One of the photos I took I knew was going to be my favorite the second I took it. It was one of the last frames as well. I find myself showing this shot off to everyone. It was a very proud moment for me.I know this will not be the last photo shoot with Haley and Nat. So I am looking forward to making more memories with them now that they are the perfect little family. They have recently welcomed a beautiful baby girl Natalie into the world. I was not the photographer for the newborn session (another shoot I am not equipped for YET), but Haley chose an amazing photographer to capture the most stunning photos of baby Natalie. Hopefully I will be seeing Natalie for her 1st birthday photos though. And I will be looking forward to that shoot just as much as I have always been with the other shoots!
Congrats on all these amazing milestones Nat and Haley! Much love to both of you!!