Jessica and James found me through my previous clients, Megan and Chris. I always love for my wedding couples to be referrals from previous clients, since that means they’ve already seen my work and how I work, so we’re more likely to be a good fit!

Jessica and James found each other online, while volunteering with Relay for Life. They were giving of their time to others, and right away, I knew they would be a super sweet, fun couple.

Hair and Makeup: Aveda Institute
Bridal Gown: Bill Levkoff
Accommodations: Park Plaza Hotel
Coordination: Kristy Rapp Events
Venue: Winter Park Farmer’s Market
Floral: Jonathan’s Flowers
Catering: 4Rivers Smokehouse
Entertainment: Tami Davis with TamiDJ
Cake: Blue Bird Bakeshop

Jessica is a teacher and a veteran one at that, which is very impressive. I have so much respect for teachers. She had many teacher friends at her wedding! James is in sales and, at the reception, several of his family’s Danish touches were including, such as a special toast and shot.

Jessica’s bridesmaid came all the way from Sweden to stand up for her, so she definitely wins the award for farthest traveled. After hairstyling, the ladies gathered at the Park Plaza Hotel, which is adorable and charming. I’m dying to stay in this 1920’s era hotel, which recalls a day when people came into town on the train, the very train that stopped at the former train depot where the ceremony and reception were held. Even the elevator was rustic and called to mind a fancier time.

Jonathan’s Flowers did the floral design, and the bride and groom provided their own blooms from a friend’s orchid farm. Due to the hot weather, Jessica wisely waited to put the flowers in her hair until just before the ceremony.

And it was definitely hot outside! But the Winter’s Park Farmer’s Market has great A/C, and even the ceremony was on the covered patio, which came in handy when the rain started to come down during the reception. But the rain did indeed hold out for the portraits and ceremony, so we fit it all in!

The food was delicious barbecue. I’ve heard that 4Rivers is so popular in Orlando that the line is often out the door and around the block for to-go orders.

These little jam jars were their favors. They went with an owl motif and the favor tags said “I hope you had a hoot!”

DJ Tami played great music and definitely switched it up from the usual wedding selections. James ended up spending part of the night with a genuine “ball and chain” around his leg as part of a little prank. The last two songs played fit perfectly with Jessica and James’ fun personalities and the venue. First, everyone formed two lines and danced to the last song from the movie “Hitch,” where each couple came down the line and showed off their moves. And late in the evening, a train passed through Winter Park, so Tami put on the “Train” song as the train outside blew its horn in celebration of Jessica and James’ wedding day!

Congratulations to you two! I wish you a lifetime of happiness and fun together! 🙂

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I don’t feel like I get to do enough engagement sessions, really, especially for being a wedding photographer. And I LOVE doing them, might even love them more than shooting weddings.

So when Casey and Rob wanted to do an engagement session prior to their upcoming March wedding, I was excited. We headed down to Church Street Station in Orlando for their shoot.

Here’s why I love engagement sessions:
1. We’re not rushed. On the wedding day, we almost always are. We really took our time and got a ton of different shots for Casey and Rob.

2. We can choose a supreme location for both lighting and background. On a wedding day, we’re limited to what is near the venue/on the way to the reception, most times. And the lighting on a wedding day? You have to work with it, and it can be crazy!

3. We can have an outfit change for variety.

4. We can more easily incorporate props and your interests.

5. Capturing emotions and fun is often easier during an engagement session. On the wedding day, you will be pulled in 800 directions. Mom wanders off during the portraits, bridesmaid Susy doesn’t feel well, the time is ticking on the limo, Dad and Grandma are arguing again, etc. You might feel a bit stressed. You might be exhausted or overwhelmed. During an engagement shoot, it is no worries. Just having fun. No eyes on you; it is just the three of us working together!

I love learning about my couples during the engagement session too. Casey and Rob are getting married on Florida’s West Coast in the spring. I also learned that they got engaged in the Bahamas on a cruise, and that Casey’s ring was her special souvenir from the trip!

Casey also was down for anything to get the shot, including hanging from the train. 🙂 Thanks for being such a good sport in the name of the image!

6. Freedom of movement and posing! This is HUGE. On your wedding day, you can’t really get dirty. We have to be careful at all times. Your dress might be a bit uncomfortable, or heavy, and fragile. But during the engagement session, you can sit, lie down, jump, walk around, lean on something less than pristine, giving us a lot more variety in posing.

7. More photos to hang on the wall. Engagement photos are really your *first* family portraits. You’ll build on these portraits for years to come, adding fur-children or human-children. It’s nice to have something different than just wedding photos on your walls. And you can use the photos for many wedding-day related details, like programs, table numbers, and the guest book.

8. You get to know your photographer. She/he gets to know you. It is the perfect trial run. If you don’t like the results, there’s still time to find someone else for the big day. You also learn about yourself and what poses you like best for the two of you as a couple.

Casey even used her engagement session as a time to trial run her hair and makeup. That way, she knows exactly how everything will appear in photos…great idea!

So for all of those reasons, I highly recommend that all my couples do an engagement session prior to the wedding day! 🙂

I can’t wait to work with you two! I had a blast during our engagement session and look forward to making more images with you at your wedding!

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Bri said: | Nov 29, 2010 - 10:11:45 |

LOVE the location and the interaction that you caught between the couple. Gorgeous!

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The photography community is an amazing one. I’m so grateful to be part of a nationwide private board of female photographers nationwide. We always come together and help our own.

So, if I end up in the hospital the morning of your wedding, before I even call my husband, I’m calling on my photography pals to help out and get you coverage, to take care of you. I would drop everything to cover any one of them as well. The business world is a competitive one, but also a collaborative one.

My friend Jen and I met on a newlyweds’ and mommas’ photography board last year when we were both brand new to the business world. We never met in real life, but talked online as often as we could and even booked a wedding together without ever meeting (can’t wait!). That’s how I knew we just meshed perfectly. So when Jennifer had her baby, I couldn’t wait to come over and help her pose Miss A for photos. Jennifer’s a baby and family photog and I specialize more in weddings and engagements, so I just wanted to help out and learn from her.

When I walked in, it was like we had known each other for years. And Jennifer’s older daughter, Miss L, is the smartest little girl I’ve ever met, ever. She had her own digital camera and was posing her dad on the newborn backdrop. So funny! She also has her own little baby doll, which she named after her real life little sister. At just two years old, she can put her shoes on the correct feet and told me my camera was “heavy.” I was blown away by how smart she is. I still can’t get over it a week later.

Miss L chimps on the back of her digital camera like a true pro..wonder what metering mode she’s using? 🙂

I wanted to include a photo of Jen working here. She’s the newborn genius and was 5 days post-partum here, setting up backdrops, nursing, doing the outfit changes, getting her husband and older girl ready for family photos, posing, and getting down and shooting. I was amazed! She just took it all in stride and we got to work!

Miss A slept the whole time and was so easy to work with…if only every newborn baby was this bendable, pose-able, and happy!

Jen, I LOVED working with you. Let’s get together soon. Your family is just perfect!

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Amanda said: | Nov 2, 2010 - 06:11:26 |

I love that smile! great shots

JenStevensonPhoto said: | Nov 2, 2010 - 10:11:24 |

Thanks so much Kristen! I esp. love the shot of Lily checking her camera and posing Dad, hilarious! Thanks again for coming over, I couldn't have done it without you!

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I’ve worked some red carpet events for The Event in Orlando a few times previously, and recently, I was contacted to offer headshots to some of their aspiring actors and models.

So on a warm Friday evening, I met Miss S and her mom at their home down by the St. Lucie River. It turns out, they have a great piece of property to work with, as there was a dock, a fence, some fallen logs, and an overturned canoe to make for
some fun, natural shots.

Miss S picked out her outfits and we got to work capturing different sides of her personality for her headshots and zed cards.

Mom was having a hard time selecting her five favorites from our over 200(!) choices, so I told her I’d post some of my favorites to help narrow down the selections. 🙂

Hope this helps, Mom! Miss S is an awesome, super cooperative, sweet girl and I wish her so much success in her auditions next month!

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Just a week ago, Lisa and Mark got hitched! I was eagerly awaiting Lisa’s big day because I knew she had a lot of really cute, interesting details planned from our emails back and forth. And she certainly didn’t disappoint! 🙂 There was SO much to photograph!

The shoes were gorgeous and my favorite pair thus far this year because of the glam factor.

And all the vendors working this wedding were working really hard to make this event perfection. It was so great to meet all of you!

Coordination: An Affair to Remember
Ceremony and Reception Site: Lake Mary Events Center
Hotel: Hyatt Lake Mary
Catering: John Michael Events
Videographers: Jared Curtis and Seth Cohon with Visual Effects by Seth
DJ/Band: Beautiful Music by Shannon Caine
Florist: Peddles-Vicki McCullough
Officiants: Reverend Kevin Knox and Rabbi Robert Lofkowitz
Cake: Sweet! by Good Golly Miss Holly
Transportation: VIP Transportation
Hair/Makeup: Tiffany McKimmey

Lisa personalized her wedding with a lot of elements that were integral to themselves as a couple. For example, Lisa and Mark met each other in high school, but it wasn’t until many years later that they started dating (more on that story further down!). So, Lisa folded up her ceremony programs the way we used to fold up notes in high school and displayed them in a vintage lunch box.

She had a tea ceremony during her ceremony to honor her Asian heritage, as well as a wine ceremony and the breaking of the glass to honor Mark’s Jewish heritage. Lisa had two gowns (and of course two pairs of shoes), one Vietnamese gown for the ceremony and a party dress for the reception.

And Lisa and Mark were both in marching band in HS and incorporated that as well. Their guest book was a signed arrangement of Ben Fold’s “The Luckiest” and they both brought their instruments out for a quick photo op. Lisa and Mark are self-described “band geeks,” so I would dub this wedding theme as “Geek Chic.” Lisa even put a drum corps championship ring on her bouquet.

Facebook played a part in this wedding as well, as I snapped a few photos of the couple changing their statuses to “married” right after the ceremony and we all wore personalized pins with our Facebook “likes” on them as our escort cards.

Now, getting back to the instrument incorporation, I believe the story told in the toast by the best man went like this: Mark traveled to California for a big drum corps championship, having not seen Lisa for many years. Lisa also happened to be at the same competition. They met for the second time and it was fate.

On the big day, Mark’s cuff links read “Blue Devils.” For a second, I thought Mark and the groomsmen were into stunt flying planes. Then I remembered, that’s the “Blue Angels.” Oops! 🙂 But looked up the Blue Devils on Google- very cool.

The cake was something unique as well, again paying homage to their heritage, as it was a Norwegian wedding cake. Tell me these little flags aren’t cute?!

Lisa had a brunch reception, so she had activities other than dancing to entertain the guests (but there was dancing too, naturally).

One of those neat things was a DIY photo booth that she and Mark created. Everyone had a ton of fun with the different props.

You can tell that Lisa (and the ladies at An Affair to Remember) put so much hard work into this wedding; it was truly a labor of love. And speaking of love, Mark’s card to Lisa was printed with the following message: “Marriage is a celebration of eager promises and an endless number of beautiful tomorrows.”

At the end of the day, the bride and groom were sent off in style with a ribbon wand exit.

You two were just an awesome couple to work with, so laid back! I wish you two both many, many happy tomorrows together! 🙂

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Lisa and Mark said: | Oct 23, 2010 - 04:10:28 |

LOVE these Kristen!! You are a rock star!!! I can't wait to see more!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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A few months ago, I worked on a project over in Orlando with some incredible people. I frequently provide convention photography for some of the hotels and centers. It is something I really enjoy doing because of the fast pace of the day and the chance to work with corporate clients.

Recently, I did yet another The Event and got to photograph Disney Channel star Nate Hartley at a red carpet event, so much fun!

But the event I did back in May was finally published this month, which means I’m free to share here on my blog. I just want to thank Troy and those at NSAA for the opportunity. It was truly one of the best experiences of my professional career thus far.

First, the magazine shots:

And now, some of my personal favorite shots from the day:

This is members of our Olympic team, including Hannah Kearney, who was SUPER nice. I loved watching her on the Winter Olympics this past year, so seeing her in person was very cool for me.

Cute little kids make for the best shots!

I thought the leftover strawberry juice looked like little lipstick kisses. 🙂

I really loved hearing Mitt Romney speak and got to shake his hand after my work day with him was completed. Awesome person.

Life is good founder Bert Jacobs came to speak and inspired everyone there with his story of starting a company with $75 in the bank, living out of a van for five years, working hard, and eventually owning a multimillion dollar company while staying true to who he is. Very inspiring!

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Recently, one of my clients told me she checks my blog for updates frequently. I realized then how far behind on my blogging I am! 🙂

So, it is time to catch up with Dori and Brent. We met up in beautiful downtown Celebration, Florida for their engagement session.

Celebration is the perfect photo shoot spot because of its quaint look, essentially a small town with a Main Street and a look that is uniquely northern here in Florida.

Brent owns his own business; Dori works in a school. I was feeling really into the black and white shots for this session!

They are planning a destination wedding in the Florida Keys this fall. They chose to get married in the Florida Keys because they enjoy vacationing there every summer together.

Destination weddings are always so fun! Hope you love your engagement photos as much as I do!

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Let me tell you a story of a super sweet couple, Christy and Will! They were married on April 17, 2010 in Orlando.

I started off in the morning with Christy, getting her hair and makeup done.

I like to give a little bit of behind the scenes details, so here’s one: Christy’s sister ran all over town looking for another set of false eyelashes when the first set didn’t work out; that’s an awesome sister! (In the end, the first set worked just fine). 🙂

Christy and Will may not have seen each other before the ceremony, but they kept communicating throughout the day…very sweet!

Then, I headed over to meet up with the guys. Christy’s sons are just awesome kids.

One of my favorite parts of the day was when Christy’s younger son brought out a Whoopie cushion and announced “I’m taking this to the church!”

(Will-the groom-vetoed it). 🙂

Everyone made it to the church on time and down the aisle.

There were some sweet moments between Christy and her older son as he walked her down the aisle.

Christy looks beautiful here, one of my favorite photos of her.

There were some great DIY details at this wedding, including this hand painted aisle runner and the beautiful ceremony centerpieces.

I also loved the fact that they did a sand ceremony and incorporated their two sons into the ceremony.

After the ceremony, Will and Christy had a delicious lunch served for the guests and enjoyed some great socializing with family and friends.

I think the last image of the day tells you how happy everyone was that day and for many years to come! 🙂

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I recently photographed for the National Ski Area Association conference and tradeshow here in Orlando. I can’t share the photos with you yet, as I am waiting for them to be published in the official magazine before sharing them here on my blog.

However, my work does appear in the following publications, which is pretty cool for a small-time girl like me!


Aspen Times

Vail Daily

Thanks to editor Troy Hawks for sharing the news of these publications with me! 🙂 I had an awesome time working your event!

While I can’t share photos of the actual event with you, I can share a photo from my non-pro point and shoot camera showing what I was up to over the past few days. Excuse the quality of this, but here I am on a golf cart, and I actually saw a HUGE gator that day, yikes!

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This is the first blog post on the newly revamped blog, so the photos should be bigger and better!

On April 10th, Liz and Luke got married at the Veranda Inn in Orlando. I never met Liz before, so when she opened the door to the honeymoon suite, I was quite excited to meet her.

Liz and Luke had lots of great DIY details. She even did her own bouquets!

Liz and Luke have an adorable son and daughter; they were perfectly behaved and served as the ringbearer and flower girl. This photo of Liz’s daughter’s bear wearing the veil is just so cute.

Of course, one of the groomsmen forgot his black socks, so we snapped a quick shot. No one noticed though!

Both families were just so sweet and the inn is a really nice backdrop to the wedding day.

The first dance was very intimate as well.

And after the first dance, everyone filled up the dance floor until it was time to close for the night!

Thanks so much to the two of you for having me as your photographer! I had such an awesome time; I’m sure your guests did as well! 🙂

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