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UPDATE: I'm now documenting Jacksonville high school senior portraits.
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Serving clients in Jacksonville, FL, St. Augustine, Amelia Island, Ponte Vedra and surrounding areas.


Jacksonville Senior Photographer // Scarlett Lillian Seniors: March 2008

Mar 30, 2008

Strength in resting.

Ok, so today I cheated.

This whole no-running thing was killing me.

It has been a few weeks since my chiropractor told me not to run. And I was supposed to wait a few more weeks before I tried to get back out there. When she initially told me told me the news, not only was my hip and knee hurting, it then hurt my heart to hear I needed to take a break. But, I really felt God say through it all, "Simply rest, My child. Just rest right now."

So I've been resting. And resting. And resting.

To add to the torture of the stillness, the other night I had the most beautiful dream about running, where I remember simply gliding along in my run so peacefully. No aches and pains. No gasping for breath in my stamina like usual. Just running, not away from anything, but toward unexpected unknowns so enthusiastically. Then I woke up and remembered, oh yeah, back to reality and this hip problem I have.

I've been trying to keep up with yoga in the meantime, but I've truly been missing running. Not only do I miss the peace of mind it gives me daily to clear my mind during runs, but now that my jeans have started getting tighter, I had enough resting. So I couldn't resist, I got back out there out tonight.

Further motivating me, my friend Rachel and I and our moms attended the most amazing conference in town by one of my favorite Christian book authors, Beth Moore. It was a beautiful two-days of truly feeling God's presence in my spirit and the 14,500 other women in His house. Of all things, the foundation of her message was Phillippians 3 about running toward Jesus, forgetting the past, and pressing toward the future. To further illustrate her points, she showed a YouTube clip this morning that I COMPLETELY bawled my eyes out to.

To preface, it is Derek Redmond, an Olympic athlete who got an injury in the middle of his race. The man you see jump out from the crowd to help him finish the race is his father. The quality is a little poor, but you must watch this!

I couldn't think of a more beautiful analogy of God's love for us. When we are broken, like I feel currently with my injury, our Heavenly Father is always ready to jump up and walk with us to be our strength when we are weak. And as Beth Moore added: "And He's always there to smack away other people who try to get in the way like the father did in the video!" She's the best, I love her!

How could I not go for a run after viewing that? I usually run in the morning, but when I got home, it was the most beautiful Floridian weather, not too hot, not too cold, and a golden setting sun. I told myself, I was just going to walk, but after a mile I tried to run to test my hip and knee, and next thing I knew, I ran the rest of the way home, 5 miles all in all. And I NEVER have been able to do that! Usually I walk 50%, run 50%, but the first time ever, I ran probably 95% of the time tonight. I got teary eyed all over again just realizing the strength that comes from the moments of resting when we truly allow ourselves to.

I'm sure I'll be paying for it tomorrow, but for today, it was amazing to feel that same feeling in reality that I thought was only possible in my dreams.

May your Sunday be a true day of rest the way Lord the designed it to be. I'm really looking forward to mine. Special plans involving a new dress, meandering on cobblestone streets, and the company of a beautiful heart. :-)


Mar 28, 2008

Leysa & Ross are hot!

While in Las Vegas, I was able to squeeze in some shooting time amongst the bright colorful lights with Leysa and Ross. Ross and his company Flosites.com are the creative geniuses who designed my fab website. He and Leysa are newlyweds, so they brought their wedding outfits all the way from Europe to have me do a hot high-fashion shoot for them while we were all at WPPI. Last month at the Love Affair workshop, I learned about how awesome video light can be for night time photography, so I was excited to get this opportunity to experiment with it in Vegas, along with my new Pocket Wizards for dramatic back light. Now I'm in love with it all and totally want to do more night time shooting!

Because we were at WPPI, what started as a photoshoot with a few of friends of mine tagging along soon turned into a madhouse of other photographers joining in. The funniest part of the night was when Japanese tourists pulled up alongside us in the median of the road, rolled down their windows exclaiming "Look look, American paparrazzi!" and then they whipped out all their high tech Japanese cameras. I wish I had a shot of that moment! So funny!

Wedding days can be so rushed, so I love anytime I can get the opportunity after the wedding to do more creative fashion driven shoots with brides and grooms where they can really let loose and work it for the camera for some passionate shots. I love making my brides feel and look like supermodels as if their photos could appear on the pages of Vogue! For my current and future brides, it's never too late to add on a glam session to your package! It's your time to live it up and rock that dress of yours every chance you get!

Here are my faves from the shoot and their hot slideshow at the end!

EDIT: A lot of you have been asking what my lighting set up and settings were, so I've edited this post to include all the stats! Also, my video light you have been asking about was the Sima SL-20LX Ultra Bright Video Light - Silver. I hope this helps you all! Thanks for all the awesome compliments you have been leaving and emailing!

One of my favorite things in life, chandeliers.
SET UP: Video light to the right above. 1/160s at f/1.8 ISO 400 LENS: 28 mm1.8

SET UP: Video light to the left above. 1/100s at f/1.8 ISO 400 LENS: 28 mm1.8

SET UP: Video light to the right above. 1/100s at f/1.8 ISO 400 LENS: 28 mm1.8

SET UP: Video light to the left above. 1/100s at f/1.8 ISO 400 LENS: 28 mm1.8

It wouldn't be Vegas without a slot machine shot!
SET UP: Video light to the left. 1/100s at f/1.8 ISO 400 LENS: 28 mm1.8

My favorite shot of the night! I just love the energy of the motion and the lights and the attitude!
SET UP: Ok, so technically this shot is a combo of two Photoshopped together. They were both taken at 1/5s at f/9 to get the motion blur, and I had her stand still like a statue. But the first, the video light wasn't hitting her right, so I took another shot with it positioned better to the left. The fill light on her was better, but not as many cars passing gave a good motion blur, which is why I combined the two. Also too, I stuck my off camera flash behind her dress which produced the glowing blue light seeping through her dress behind her for more drama.

This is about the time the Japanese tourists whipped out their cameras! I can imagine they've never seen a bride on the cement in her dress! What's great about this shot is that the smiles were from Leysa having just fell down on Ross by accident! I love those priceless moments!
SET UP: Same as above since this shot happened by accident, I just kept shooting as she fell, and my off camera flash kept going off behind her to give the rim of light on her ams and hair.

SET UP: Natural light, 1/160s, f/3.2, ISO 600 LENS: 28 mm1.8

Yes this is Photoshopped. :-) I thought I would get a little creative with this one.
SET UP: Natural light, 1/160s, f/3.2, ISO 600 LENS: 28 mm1.8

The beauty of backlight flash.
SET UP: Video light in front, off camera flash behind them to produce the halo of light around her hair, 1/160s, f/3.2, ISO 600 LENS: 28 mm1.8

Ross is the man!
SET UP: Video light to the left, 1/200s, f/1.8 ISO 1600 LENS: 28 1.8

I love elevator shots!
SET UP: Natural light, 1/200s, f/1.8 ISO 1600 LENS: 28 1.8

SET UP: Natural light, 1/320s, f/1.8 ISO 1600 LENS: 28 1.8

SET UP: Natural light, 1/15s, f/6.3 ISO 1600 LENS: 28 1.8. Also, when I took the shot, I jerked the camera down and right to give the blur around them even more.

is where we stayed and partly where WPPI was.
SET UP: Video light to the left, 1/125s, f/2.2 ISO 1600 LENS: 28 1.8

SET UP: Video light to the left, 1/320s, f/1.8 ISO 1600 LENS: 28 1.8

SET UP: Natural light, 1/400s, f/1.8 ISO 1600 LENS: 28 1.8

Time for fashion!
SET UP: Natural light, 1/400s, f/1.8 ISO 1600 LENS: 28 1.8

This is one of those pictures that almost didn't happen. I was having issues with my flash and Pocket Wizard's trying to set up the shot, and as soon as I finally got it figured out, I clicked this frame, and then a security guard came out right after to tell us we weren't allowed to shoot in front of Tiffany's. Whoops! I love stolen moments like that! ha!
SET UP: Off camera flash to the right, pointed left at them, 1/320s, f/1.8 ISO 1600 LENS: 28 1.8

I love the random mess this photo is, yet how in the midst of them swirling around in the revolving door, reflection of people watching and Vegas lights, you can still see the emotion of their kiss.
SET UP: Natural light, 1/20s to get the motion blur, f/1.8 ISO 1600 LENS: 28 1.8

I'm determined to make it to see the real Eiffel Tower this year! But in the meantime, I loved grabbing this shot in front of the Paris Las Vegas Hotel.
SET UP: Video light to the left, 1/50s, f/1.8 ISO 1600 LENS: 28 1.8

SET UP: Natural light, 1/50s, f/1.8 ISO 1600 LENS: 28 1.8

The infamous Bellagio water show!
SET UP: Natural light, 1/400s, f/1.2 ISO 1600 LENS: 50mm 1.2

SET UP: Natural light from headlights of cars, 1/250s, f/1.2 ISO 1600 LENS: 50mm 1.2

You must watch this slideshow! Leysa and Ross are so hot!
SET UP OF THIS PIC: Natural light, there was a light in the water behind Ross that shot up to give the halo of light around his hair, 1/125s, f/1.8 ISO 1600 LENS: 28 1.8

It was a long night, but worth the jet lag and late night hours!

Here's a fun shot of my ShootSac I adore that my roommate Cheyenne accidentally caught of me when I stepped in her shot to position Ross and Leysa just perfectly.

After the photoshoot, I was about to head to The [B]ecker's party, but we got word that his party rocked so hard that he knocked all the electricity out of the hotel and shut down the casinos in Mandalay Bay?!?!? Only The [B]ecker!

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Mar 27, 2008

Sarah & Brian's Guestbook

It's always fun to see the photos from an engagement session or wedding come together in an album to tell the story of the day. Sarah & Brian ordered a Guestbook for their wedding from their fun engagement photos we took a few weeks ago. It's a great way to show off your photos to your guests while leaving them space to sign to you personal messages around the photos, rather than a one line sign of their name in average guestbooks.

Just wanted to share the final design for brides who are considering this option!

Here's how they presented it at the wedding during their cocktail hour:

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Mar 26, 2008

My dog, the tennis ball thief.

In case you couldn't tell from the blog header above, I love my dog.

He teaches me so much about finding joy in the simplicities of life. For instance, his greatest joy comes from tennis balls.

Over the course of living here at my condo, he has collected nearly two dozen abandoned tennis balls from the tennis court we walk around on his daily walks. Today, he added a new one to the collection. There can be a ball on the other side of the yard, but he will spot it and like a child finding a new Easter egg in an Easter egg hunt, Rhett will enthusiastically run up to the ball, pick it up, do a little dance and prance with it and run back to me to have me throw his new toy for him. However, like a typical boy, he always plays the game of the tease in really trying to make me want what I can't have. Instead of just giving me the ball, he comes up to me, when I reach for it, he backs away to test me on how much I really want the ball. When I reach for it again, he backs up again, then finally plops on the grass to then slyly drop the ball and nudge it to me, NOW ready to give it to me to throw for him. Men. ha!

Another interesting thing about him. My loft upstairs is half my office, half my walk-in closet. The closet alcoves that holds my clothes has a gap from the bottom of it to the floor. Often, Rhett will be playing with his tennis balls, and one will roll under the closet unable for him to reach. He will have the rest of his dozen tennis balls out in the open, but instead of playing with those, he will sit near the one under the closet and whine and whine and whine until I get up, crawl on the floor and dig under my closet to get to give him the one he can't have. Some days I look up at God and think "This must be how you look at humans! We can be so blessed with so much, yet we whine about the one thing we can't have!"

Anyways, I just laugh every time he finds a new ball and had to share his throne of stolen tennis balls.


Mar 25, 2008

The present moment.

Today is one of those days I have a million things to do on my To Do list. But one thing I was praying about this morning is to spend more time in the present moment of each day. To stop looking back at the past, and stop spending so much time wondering what will happen in the future. But to wake up each morning giving thanks for each new day the Lord has made and making the most of each day that is given to me.

Then, perfect timing, I just read this quote from thisdaysthought.org that I get in my email everyday.

"There are many fine things which you mean to do some day, under what you think will be more favorable circumstances. But the only time that is surely yours is the present. Hence this is the time to speak the word of appreciation and sympathy, to do the generous deed, to forgive the fault of a thoughtless friend, to sacrifice self a little more for others. Today is the day in which to express your noblest qualities of mind and heart, to do at least one worthy thing which you have long postponed, and to use your God-given abilities for the enrichment of some less fortunate fellow traveler. Today you can make your life significant and worthwhile. The present is yours to do with it as you will."

Grenville Kleiser

Ok, back to my To Do list. Photos coming soon I promise!


What's your pDNA?

I LOVE taking personality tests, and now there is one designed specifically for photographers! It's called pDNA and a super cool way to discover what kind of photographer you are, your strengths, weaknesses, and suggestions for how to continue growing creatively and professionally. You have to check it out at fasttrackphotographer.com/pdna

It was created by Dane Sanders, who was so awesome to meet in person at WPPI (but darn, I forgot to grab a picture of us!). He has such a giving heart and is doing amazing things through Fast Track Photographer to help the photography community grow.

I know you have a million things to do on your To Do list, but take a moment to invest in yourself. pDNA is worth it and fun to read the in-depth results at the end.

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Mar 23, 2008

An early Easter encounter.

Last night after shooting Kellie and Colin's wedding in Jekyll Island, my second shooter, Kenzie, and I were starving. It was almost 2am by the time we got back to Jacksonville, early Easter morning, and needed an 24-hour place to veg. We headed to Village Inn where, first, we ran into these fun guys on the other side of our booth topping off their Bachelor party with a late night snack.

Boy, what characters they were. A lot of laughs though.

But then, after they left, Kenzie and I started talking to our waitress, Lisa.

When she found out we were wedding photographers, Lisa opened up about how much she loved taking photos and began to share her heart with us about some hard things she been through in life. She got teary eyed simply sharing how much she just wants to do something to give her 4-year-old son a better life. Working night shift, she rarely gets to see her son except 2 or 3 days a week because he stays with his grandmother due to her crazy work hours. She has always dreamed of being a photographer and had been trying to decide to go to school for it, or if she should invest in better equipment to start learning, or what. Kenzie and I encouraged her and told her about all the wonderful resources out there online for free, like Open Source Photo and other photographer's blogs where we learned a lot of our photography knowledge from. Yet, we further encouraged her that the most important thing required to becoming a photographer is a lot of prayer and faith and trusting God even in the slow times how if you keep planting the seeds, He does eventually turn it into a harvest.

When we left, I felt led to give her a $100 tip and wrote a note on the receipt to put it toward her photography dreams and to keep the faith. Then Kenzie and I slipped out into the night before she could refuse it.

On the drive home, Kenzie and I were talking about the appointments God sends us. There's always that infamous question of, "How do you share your faith with others without preaching at them?" We truly felt like, on that early Easter morning, that Lisa was an appointment He was sending us. Since I'm still looking for a home church, I don't have a church directly to tithe to, but I have been praying about opportunities to tithe in more direct ways that I know could bless someone else's life. I've also been praying to change my attitude from a whiny complaining one I get stuck in some days to an expectant one of all the good things God is waiting to do in my life. The last thing I expected, being exhausted after shooting a wedding, was for God to bring along an opportunity to show His love to a stranger at 2 in the morning, but that's what I love about Him. In order to distinguish between our will and His, He calls us at the most unexpected times. It was a great reminder that receiving truly is in the giving and how He uses ordinary people to do extraordinary things.

I pray your Easter is full of love and moments you can serve those that are closest to you, as well as strangers who might cross your path.

Thanks to Kenzie for whipping out her camera for these photos. Lots of new photos to come this week... I can't wait to share with you the images from a ton of shooting I have been doing! Wedding season is in full swing!


Mar 22, 2008

What happened in Vegas....

My view from the plane flying into Vegas. Living in flat Florida, I am always fascinated by mountains, and I thought these snow capped ones were cool!


I'm home.

What a whirlwind WPPI in Las Vegas was. But wow, so much fun! It was my first year attending the tradeshow and it was definitely information overload, but I loved getting the chance to explore new products to offer my brides and grooms. My favorite product that I fell in love with was Fin-A-O albums and I look forward to offering them to you soon! (Even better, I love what Fin-A-O stands for: "Failure Is Not An Option"). They were very edgy and out of the box like I am and a perfect fit to showcase best my style of photography for your wedding day!

It was also fun seeing and meeting old and new photographer friends! My favorite part of WPPI was meeting YOU, my blog readers! It was very surreal to me. For so long, I have been a blog stalker of so many, and in the past, I was the one going up to my favorite photographers to meet them. But this week at WPPI was the first time that I was on the other side, and had so many of you coming up to me introducing yourselves at the tradeshow and parties. I know that takes courage, so thank you so much for saying hello! I truly enjoyed meeting you and putting a real face with an avatar and your sweet comments you always leave me. You're the best and thank you for being a friend here on the blog!

The last night I was there, I shot a very very hot high-fashion photoshoot for Ross Tanner and his new bride, Leysa. Ross with Flosites designed my website, and he and his wife are newlyweds, so they brought their wedding outfits to have me take some extra wedding photos of them. We cruised all over Vegas playing with the bright lights and experimenting for my first time with video light as a cool fill light instead of the harshness of flash. I'll be posting those pictures soon, so stay tuned! I so can't wait to show you. I have a wedding to shoot this weekend, but will post Ross and Leysa's pics next week. So for now, here are a ton of party photos with all my photographer friends from my point and shoot camera! Fun times, and I miss you guys already!

The hotel where we stayed and where WPPI was.

The rock star So Cal photographer, Greg Bumatay.

The super energetic Bobbi of bobbi+mike. She's my editing twin the way we are both obsessed with popping color!

A picture from the revolving door going out of Bally's the Flosites party. I was trying to squeeze in Heather Cole,, my roomies Cheyenne and Lauren, and Bobbi!

Jesse, founder of the fabulous Photographik.org.

Superstar photographer Katie Thurmes.

Superstar Katie's sister, Jenna Walker. Jenna was one of those people I feel like I've known forever through our emails, but this was the first time we met.

Stealing a kiss from the best cinematographer I know, Joshua Smith. I have no idea who the guy is behind us.

Finally getting to meet Ross Tanner of Flosites.com, who designed my website. Stay tuned for the hot pics I shot of him and his new bride!

New Orleans rock star, Mark Eric. Whoops, the pic is kind of blurry, I think whoever took the photo had one too many drinks. wink wink

Moi and my roomies, Lauren Wright and Cheyenne Schultz.

Getting to meet the beautiful Dawn Davis and her hubby Bob Davis of LaStoria Foto.

My buddy Jason Groupp. Back in my video days, I used to shoot a few weddings with him in NYC. He's one of my original teachers of photography who I am forever grateful to for his mentorship!

Sweetheart Erin Reed of LaCour Photography.

Hanging with Fred Egan, and again my roomie Lauren.

Cutie pie Crystal Goss.

The gorgeous Jasmine Star. We were matching in green for St. Patty's Day.

A reunion with the fabulous Amy Martin and Carlos Andres. We all had fun shooting together with Jason Groupp in NYC last year for my last video wedding.

I was thrilled to meet the sweet Jen Harris. She's been a loyal blog reader and we've connected through email over time. It was so great to meet for the first time and get to know her better over dinner!

Hottie Mary Marantz of the even hotter duo, Justin and Mary. I just shot Mary and Justin at the Love Affair Workshop, so it was fun to hook up again at the Photo Lovecat Party.

The Southern brunettes, moi, Mary Beth Tyson, and Amy Martin again.

Goofing off with Jillian Kay and Anne Ruthmann.

Fellow diva, Carmen Salazar.

Pete Redel and I met randomly one night at 2 a.m. in Paris.
Ok, so it was technically the Paris Hotel there in Vegas, but still. The next few days, he and I soon became fast friends.

I couldn't leave Vegas without taking a photo of a million dollars. One day I'll have this in my bank!


I totally forgot to include these crazy photobooth photos from Sara France's party. The first one is with my girls Jenna Walker and Katie Thurmes and their friend, and the second is with my roomies Lauren Wright and Cheyenne Schultz!

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The images on this blog are the property of Scarlett & Stephen Photography. Images may not be reprinted without the permission of Scarlett Lillian.
However, you are welcome to use them for personal web sites such as MySpace, Facebook, etc with the link back to this blog, and keeping the logo on the photo. If you would like to use the images for any other purpose, please contact Scarlett Lillian at scarlett@scarlettlovesstephen.com. Thanks!

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