The Sanchez House {Saint Augustine Wedding Photographer}

 

I have been meeting some local St Augustine wedding vendors and last week I was able to check out the Sanchez House. It so such a neat place! The house was built in 1791 and has a lot of the houses original materials. It also has these AMAZING windows in the front that bring in lots of sunlight. The windows are just begging to showcase a wedding dress and all the accessories that go along with it. The garden, courtyard, and porch are perfect for lanterns and lights in the trees, cocktails being passed around…..so many possibilities with this venue! I’m so glad I was able to spend a little time there.


Just in time for Christmas {Jacksonville Photographer}

A recent Operation Love Reunited session….. It was freezing, windy, sort of misty, and the arrival time changed at the last minute. So it was a little stressful for the family feeling like they could possibly miss the day they had been waiting for for more than seven months. Lucky for us, we didn’t miss it. Even if I had only gotten one picture of their son reunited with his daddy, all of the above stress would have been more than 1000 times worth it. I can’t really put into words my thoughts about this experience, so I’ll just let the pictures do the talking!

 


Renaissance Resort World Golf Village {Saint Augustine Wedding Photographer}

Have you ever stayed at or been to an event at the Renaissance Resort World Golf Village in St Augustine? We live literally right down the street from the resort so I had to go explore. There is so much to do right at the Renaissance Resort: Golf Hall of Fame,  IMAX Theater, the Spa Laterra {that sounds so nice right now! hint to my husband for my Christmas present!} and of course GOLF!

I was really lucky to be able to do the resorts holiday cards this year and I was able to meet almost all of their sales team. They are fantastic! I can definitely see why the Renaissance Resort is such a popular spot for weddings, corporate and community events, as well as a top choice for visitors to the area. I’m looking forward to working with them again after the holidays!

 

 

 


A chance to say thanks {St Augustine Photographer}

I remember volunteering when I was younger: workshops, school projects, etc. I remember being asked what I would tell someone to convince them to volunteer themselves. I remember my answer, and in case I didn’t, it’s on video! But I answered some thing like this this : because volunteering makes you feel better about yourself and open your eyes to the world around you. But nothing has made me more appreciative for people and what they sacrifice and touched me more than Operation Love Reunited. A fellow photographer and friend told me about this organization and I thought it sounded like such a fun thing to do, a chance to see things I wouldn’t see in my day to day life. I never thought I would have met all the wonderful families who face my fears on a daily basis: Giving birth with their husband halfway around the world, raising three young boys who have not seen their father in a year, being newlyweds and watching your new husband walk away from you, or facing your first separation at the holidays.

So, on January 15 and 16, 2011 I will be holding sessions that the whole session fee will be donated to Operation Love Reunited. The higher the donation amount, the longer your session will last. For example, $50 donation have a 20 minute session and include 2 {5×7} prints as well as all the proof images.  A $100 donation will have a hour long session, 2 {8×10} prints as well as the proof images. A $200 donation will have a 90 minutes session and a CD off all the images from their session with copyright release so that you may print them wherever you like. These sessions are limited to immediate family members only.

Please share this with your friends so we can make a big contribution to this organization and if you bring anything with you to send in a care box, I will send it to a recently deployed squadron. There are about 150 or so people that just left {many more probably did as well!} and are missing the holidays, so I am sure they would really appreciate this!

Email me at MadyJoePhotography@gmail.com for any questions or information!

 


Nights of Lights {Historic St Augustine}

 

Have I mentioned how much I love living in St Augustine? There are always so many things to do here, it’s pretty, the beach….. Over the weekend we went to the World Golf Village Festival of Trees and to HistoricSt Augustine for the Nights of Lights! We had never been to either, so it was nice to be able to go and take part in some of the holiday festivities in the area.  We saw the The Loring MemorialLightner Museum, and The Casa Monica all aglow with lights. There was also a regatta of lights we missed, but the kids were too cold so hopefully next year we will see it. If you’re in the area, you should go! My husband and I are planning on going again Thursday night, just the two of us {a REAL date}!

Our son checking out the lights!

I do not remember the name of this shop, but I will find out because I LOVE this and cannot believe someone actually made it. I must get a special treat there because everything looked so fantastic!


What’s in a name?

I get the question a lot: Why is your business named Mady Joe Photography. Here is the explanation and little bit about my journey with photography!

I know you’re not supposed to have favorites when you have children. But I do. My son is my favorite for certain reasons and my daughter is my favorite for others. I love that they are so different. My son is quick, smart, and mischievous.  My daughter is polite, sweet, and loving. My son loves construction, trains, big trucks, and Miss April {his teacher}. My daughter loves all the big trucks and trains because her  big brother does, but she loves teddy bears, Winnie the Pooh, Abby {our dog} and sharing bites of her food.

I wanted to do a post like this for my son’s birthday, but in between sessions, homecomings, my husband changing jobs, packing, moving, and unpacking,  I was lucky to pull his party together! And it’s kind of fitting that I do this for my daughter as she was the true catalyst for me putting a little faith in myself and starting on the journey into photography. For a solid year after she was born,  I tried and tried to get the same pictures I had seen photographers use on their websites, and a picture that my son was NOT blurry, using a Nikon point and click. I kept saying with every trip {really, every time I used our camera} to a local portrait studio that I could do their job and get the pictures I wanted of my children, but in other environments than a studio. I just wasn’t sure I wanted to spend the money on a nice SLR if I wasn’t going to be good at it. Then I just decided that I had saved us enough money nursing my daughter for a whole year versus the money we spend on formula with our son and I deserved to try something I thought I would love. Lucky for me, my husband agreed {or he was just tired of listening to the constant debate of buying a SLR and which one I wanted and why}. So off we went to Colonial Photo and Hobby and came home with my new camera body and new lens. I WISH I had the pictures from the first night on this computer, but I think they are on a CD in a box somewhere…..

So, as my daughter turns 2 I keep being bombarded with memories. When I found out I was pregnant, how I cried in fear and my husband grinned;….. when we found out we were having a girl and my husband cried;….. when my labor was stopped at 31 weeks, the day before our son turned 2;……all the doctors appointments and hospital trips;….to the second I saw her and all the caution I held for 38 weeks trying not to love her too much because my pregnancy was so tough I didn’t know how it would end, came crashing down as I held her;…..the first time our son saw his new sister and gave her the teddy bear he made her {obviously she loved it as now she loves all teddy bears!} and all the moments in between then and now. Our son I wanted desperately and our daughter terrified me because I didn’t want to experience a loss again and I wasn’t sure I would know what to do with 2 children, but does anyone really know 100% what to do with any child?

So, why Mady Joe Photography? Mady is my daughter and Joseph is my son’s middle name. Joseph was also my grandfathers name, the man that always had the SLR and took all the pictures. He’s the one that let me play with his camera and tried to tell me not to turn my head looking through the viewfinder {too bad I still do it!}. I have his Pentax film SLR in my closet. I’ve thought of using it, I hoped to find some lost film with pictures on it, but my grandfather was not the one to forget something, so there wasn’t any long lost film. Maybe one day I will use it, but for now I like just being able to look at it or hold it and know that he was the last one to use it.

To remember Madelyn at almost 2 I wanted just some pictures of her making all her funny faces, she thought lunch was funny today, so here are some I loved!

 

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Welcome Home Hero!

I love when people contact me to capture an important time in their lives. I love it even more when it is a military family trusting me to capture a homecoming. Especially when it is as special as this one. You may have seen this family on Channel 4 the morning after the homecoming so you may be familiar with their story, but for those of you who are not, here is a little background for you.

P was gone for a year and came home briefly after the twins were born. So, he hasn’t seen his twins since they were 6 days old and his older son since that visit. Can you imagine how hard it must have been for that whole family? I cannot, and through all of our emails A was always sure to tell me how she appreciated me doing this for her family. There isn’t any way for me to ever fully tell this family, and all the other military families out there, how much I appreciate them! Thanks for everything that you do!

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You can check out the USO and the Jacksonville USO office for ways you can support our troops or make a donation!