Spencer's Birthday

There are a lot of events piling up that I need to get to, but I thought I'd jump ahead to this past weekend since I have the slideshow created. Spencer celebrated his 5th birthday with lots of friends and family. It was a very "magical" day as you can see. Enjoy!

Meghan and George, A La Carte Event Pavilion Wedding

Meghan and George were married in a Greek Orthodox ceremony and had their reception at the A La Carte Event Pavilion. This was a real fun group as you'll see in a little bit.

Meghan and her girls hid in another building before the ceremony. The large windows provided some wonderful light for photos.

The girls proved to be just as goofy as the guys, but a lot better looking.

George poses outside the church before Meghan arrives.

I did convince them to pose for a few serious portraits, but why fight it? These ones show the real energy and feeling of the day.

The church was very beautiful and had this amazing dome. Laying on the floor allowed me to get most of it in while still keeping the couple in the shot.

We timed things perfectly with the sunset.

Meghan and George stroll under the trees outside the A La Carte.

As we headed inside, Meghan let me get a few more shots of her since the light just kept getting better.

After all the family shots, we played around inside the A La Carte getting some cool photos.

Meghan and George pause for a quiet moment before entering their reception.

These guys had an awesome first dance. It started out like any old slow dance, but then progressed through like ten songs, each with its own style and choreography. Well done you two.

How low can YOU go?

The cake is framed by the outside lights.

The reception was almost too dark for me to focus, and these guys were wearing sunglasses.

That was a Big Fun Greek Wedding! Congratulations Meghan and George! It was a pleasure to capture all the moments that made up your special day. Thanks for choosing Tampa Photo. I wish you all the best for years to come.

Super Build

Habitat for Humanity (Pinellas and Hillsborough) is planning some great events to coincide with Super Bowl week. A recent press conference highlighted the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' support and participation in these events. Two homes will be built the week before the super bowl and one home will be built on the day of the Super Bowl. That's right, a house will be built in one day. That house will be shipped to a lucky recipient in the city of the team that wins the Super Bowl. You can see the St. Petersburg Times article here.

Warrick Dunn, Shelton Quarles, and Doug Williams were on hand to symbolically raise the first wall of the Super Build home.

Doug Williams responds to a few cracks about his age.

Doug and Warrick show it's all in good fun.

The players show their skills with a hammer. Warrick was careful not to hurt himself, as audience members reminded him he had a game coming up. The future homeowners watch as the process begins.

Enough watching...it's time for the future homeowners to pitch in and raise the wall.

Warrick fields questions from reporters. Wow, I guess you would get used to this after a while?

Shelton autographs some T-shirts.
The players pose with the future homeowners.

This really is a great event. Hopefully lots of press will pick up on it while they are in town for the big game. All of the Super Build t-shirts have the number "59" on the back. That represents the donation required to sponsor a squre foot of living space in the habitat home. Learn more at http://www.habitatsuperbuild.com/. Shelton Quarles is involved through his Impact Foundation. Visit http://www.sheltonquarles.org/ for more information. Warrick Dunn is supporting the project through his foundation, http://www.warrickdunnfoundation.org/index.php.

Sarah and Nick, Anna Maria Wedding

Sarah and Nick were married right on the sand of Anna Maria Island. It was a beach wedding from start to finish. The evening went very smoothly thanks to Sandy's skillful coordinating efforts. I had a tough time narrowing down the images to post here, so you've been warned: there's a lot. Let's dive right in.

Sarah and Nick agreed to see each other before the ceremony. This always helps when it comes to getting photos out of the way, assuming that everyone's ready on time (ahem, ladies...). These two were real fun and laid back.

We had to get some shots by the water, but unfortunately the sun was still a little too high making the light rather harsh. The flash helps to even things out.

Nick hangs out before the ceremony.

Since the ladies were taking a little extra time for their final preparations, I was able to stroll around with the guys and create a few unique portraits for Nick. There are plenty of ways to depict that beach atmosphere besides just plunking them down in front of the water.

Nick and his fellas gather around for a nice relaxed portrait.

Now it's Sarah's turn. Her dress, veil and bouquet were all very beautiful. And it's tough to find a better background than this.

But sometimes photos need more than a nice background, they need nice light. Sarah was kind of surprised when I suggested we shoot a few portraits under the hotel since it was mostly concrete and clutter. But it had the nicest light. The picture above is great for a lot of reasons, but as a photographer I want to make sure I also get shots like these. In the end Sarah trusted me and I hope she will think it paid off.

We didn't have enough time for a ladies portrait before the ceremony but we were lucky enough to still have some sunset left afterward. It was windy and a little chilly, but these girls were real troopers!

Just before the ceremony started, the sun was low enough for a few direct-light portraits. Harsh direct light can be unflattering at times, but if used correctly it can recreate that old Hollywood glam look.

Sarah and Nick play around before walking over to the ceremony.

All the guests will surely remember these amazing orchids and what they symbolized.

A perfect sunset provided the backdrop for the ceremony. And this sailboat was the icing on the cake.

Sarah and Nick pose for a shot under the bamboo canopy as they sky takes on that great post-sunset glow.

A slow shutter speed blurs the couple as they stroll to the reception

The reception was held right out on the beach.

As the guests ate dinner, I visited the bamboo canopy to capture a long exposure shot of it. The bamboo is lit by the moon and the lights from the hotel/reception. This gives you a pretty good indication of the wind that night.

And finally the happy couple makes their grand exit as the guests shower them with fire-balls, I mean sparklers. Geez, I thought I was going to catch on fire!

Congratulations Sarah and Nick! I had a blast at your super beachy wedding. Thanks for having Tampa Photo cover your day!

Shelly and Chris, Ybor Italian Club Wedding

Congratulations Shelly and Chris! These two were married at Christ the King Church and had a lovely reception at the L'Unione Italiana aka the Italian Club in Ybor. It was a wonderful day with only a few drops of rain.

We'll start with Shelly. Here she poses on the first floor of the Italian Club. There was some great ambient light bouncing around and I really liked the look of the light coming down the stairs. But the window light on our level wasn't bright enough. A flash is used to mimic natural window light.

The guys were ready for some photos before the ceremony so I was able to walk around the church with Chris and experiment with some cool setups.

The ceremony was very nice, but this moment struck me as exceptionally sweet. The kids shuffled to the ends of the aisles to get a good look as the couple receives a blessing.

Churches tend to have difficult lighting situations for formals. Balancing my flash to the ambient stained glass window ensures a nice background. And while it can be a pain to carry and set up umbrellas, they make all the difference in situations like this.

After the ceremony, we strolled around outside the reception location before the light disappeared. Shelly hams it up amid some traditional Ybor scenery.

Shelly works it as Chris gazes from afar.

The rain swept in just long enough to chase us inside. It was time to head in to the party anyway! What a nice guy.

As the girls work to bustle Shelly's dress, Chris pauses for a few quick portraits by the window.

I love it when the guests sit down to eat right at that perfect twilight hour so I can run outside and get some location shots.

A final parting shot of the cake. Carefully controlling the ambient and flash exposures allows me to highlight the cake, get that nice cool window background and remove all the other distracting elements in the room.

Congratulations Shelly and Chris! You know how to throw quite a party! Everybody was great; you two, your families and all of your friends! It was a pleasure to shoot your wedding. Thanks for having Tampa Photo there to capture all those special memories on film and video!