Oct 31, 2008
Oct 30, 2008
Join me at the Pictage User Group Meeting!
Mark your calendars for Tuesday November 11th at 7pm! It will be the first official Pictage User Group I'll be heading up for fellow photogs here in the Jacksonville/Northeast Florida/Southern Georgia area!
To find out the whereabouts of where we will be meeting, email Rachel at firstname.lastname@example.org to receive info and all the goods.
I'll be giving away a great surprise so be sure to bring your business cards to enter the drawing! Don't miss out on this fun night to connect with other local photographers, talk shop, enjoy great food, and hear the latest and greatest going on with the Pictage community!
Fun fun! Can't wait wait to meet everyone!
Labels: For Photographers
Ginger spent a day with me!
Here's some photos I took of Ginger followed by the superstar shots of Krista! And be sure to check out Ginger's blog to see what cool shots she got from the shoot! And a special thanks to Your-Dream-Dress.com for letting us borrow the Monique Lhullier dress!
And now the fabulous Krista!
Here's Ginger in action!
I've been having so much fun meeting all the Spend A Day photogs and sharing what I know to help grow their own photography career! I can't wait to meet the rest of you already signed up as your session comes around. I'm only taking on 2 more new sessions for this remaining year, so if you interested, contact Rachel ASAP at email@example.com to reserve your date with me!
Upcoming Feature in The Knot Best of Weddings 2009
I was excited to find out yesterday that Scarlett Lillian Photography will be featured in the upcoming 2009 edition of The Knot Best Of Weddings. They've selected this detail shot of Save The Date cards from Stacey and Ted's beautiful wedding I shot earlier this year The Jekyll Club Hotel.
I loved their wedding so much that I blew up this image from their wedding that hangs in my office today! So romantic!
Oct 29, 2008
Baby Roy TEASER!
Isn't this THE cutest smile you've ever seen? He's having fun driving his toy car jumpie mobile!
The rest of the session to come soon!
I am so blessed to have such a wonderful support system here on the blog. Thank you for being there for me and for sharing your own heart through similar experiences you've had or been through. I sincerely read each one. Also thank you for the personal emails for those who have sent them, I will write back as soon as possible, I promise!
Please keep a dear family in your prayers as well, the Seminara's. They are close with our family and Mr. and Mrs. Seminara were like adopted grandparents to me being my own grandparents' very best friends for the past 50+ years. I heard that Mr. Seminara passed yesterday morning after suffering a stroke 2 weeks ago and going into a coma. My mom and I will be attending the funeral this weekend, and I know it will a hard time for Mrs. Seminara, who is one of the sweetest people I know.
Here's a pic I pulled out of an old photo album I took of them at their 50th Wedding Anniversary Party we celebrated with them in 2001! Mr. Seminara looked so cute in his bowtie. And I just love Mrs. Seminara's expression on her face! That is the true essence of her.
Oct 26, 2008
Sometimes I wonder how much I should put here on the blog. If I should go into the messy emotional things I go through, or just only post the blogs when all is well. I'm sure for marketing, it's bad to go into the messy emotional things, but I've always believed in keeping it real. Mom and I were having this debate recently, more so about her blog, and how people have encouraged her to write about the REAL mess our family is going through as we progressively see my dad get worse, from hospital and insurance drama, to the disappointment in long time friends or family who have yet to show concern, to everything in between. Mom decided to keep her blog positive, because she wants to show that she's having faith in spite of everything. She wants to be an encouragement to others who read her blog. She wants to prove that God is strong in our weakness.
But today was the kind of day where we were both a crying mess. We decided last minute to go and see a movie to distract us, but afterward we just sat in the parking lot crying about all our fears and anger and confusion and doubt and emptiness we feel as we slowly feel my dad slipping away more and more. His tumor continues to increase and each day he's in more and more pain as his body breaks down.
These tears though come after a beautiful day we shared together the day before as all three of us got in the car to travel to Tallahassee to attend the Florida State football game, the first for my dad this season. My dad barely had enough strength to go, but he has always been the biggest Seminole fan, and it was always one of his greatest joys in life, sitting on the 50 yard line, row 2 at each home game for the past decade. In college, I would drive all the way from University of Florida just to go to the Florida State games with him (I know, I know, I'm a Gator traitor!). I've never been a big football fan, but I would make the 2.5 hour drive just to hang out with my dad and pretend to be the son he never had for a few hours as we ragged the other team and shouted our "Ooo ooo o o oooohs" while doing the tomahawk chop.
But yesterday, it was just different. We drove 3 hours to the game, but only stayed until half time because he simply didn't have the energy to stay longer. I cherished every moment enjoying the experience with him again, but at the same time, it saddened my heart because I knew deep down it would be his last game. Mom confirmed it today when she said that he said last night that he knew it was too.
So today was kind of the aftermath of that sadness. That gut wrenching sinking feeling where a huge emptiness consumes my heart knowing I'm really losing one of the two people who mean the most to me in this world. The kind of feeling where the slightest thought of my dad fills my eyes with tears. The kind where, yes, I say I'm a Christian, but I don't have the strength to even pray or seek God's presence right now, because honestly a huge part of my heart is furious at Him for taking away my dad like this as I watch the strongest man I ever knew became so weak and fraile. I know he's not gone yet, but the whole thing has been kind of like ripping off a band-aid. It hurts less if you just rip it off, but if you rip it slowly, pulling one hair at a time, it hurts like &*!$! But then again, I had a friend who recently lost her dad to a heart attack, so I know neither way is less painful.
I felt numb when I first heard the news of his cancer, but now I simply feel broken. I continue to try to block the pain and move on with life and distract myself with work, but it's all more like a fake superglue trying to hold my life together when instead I feel like crawling under the covers and crying my eyes out like a little girl who wants to scream IT'S NOT FAIR!
I'm not writing all this for sympathy, and I don't mean to keep whining, but I'm just being real with all of you through the ups and downs of coping with this reality that has shaken up my world. I thank you for all your continued prayers standing in the gap where my faith is lacking right now. Oh, how so quickly we can go from being on the mountain to back in the valley... but I know that's what faith is all about as Ginny Owens sings in one of my all time favorite songs "If You Want Me To."
Oct 24, 2008
Attention Northeast Florida Photogs!
Just wanted to write a quick blurb about something new and exciting I've been working on behind the scenes. I just got off the phone with Pictage.com, who I am excited to team up with and be the leader of a new Pictage User Group here in Jacksonville! They are affectionately called PUGs and are an awesome chance to hangout and meet other photographers in the area, win cool prizes, participate in fun test shoots, grow your business, and learn more about the latest and greatest Pictage has to offer. It's actually how I got my start into photography by first modeling for the Orlando PUG group years ago. Through meeting the other photographers, it gave my career a great jumpstart as I switched from videography to photography, with Pictage being such a great benefit to help it grow that much more, and I'm excited to head up a PUG here in Jacksonville to give you the same opportunity as we learn and share about our passion for photography!
The meeting caters to Pictage members, but other photographers are welcome too! Stay tuned for more info and send Rachel (firstname.lastname@example.org) your name and email if you want to be on the V.I.P. invite list of when and where the first meeting will be!
Looking forward to meeting more of you photographers here in the area that I haven't met yet!
Labels: For Photographers
My new favorite toy.
Me... the glam girly girl, always dolled up in make up and hair teased and poofed, usually in all things glittery or bold, and I adore shops like bebe and Express.
Rachel... girly in a conservative way, wears make up light and very natural, every hair always perfectly in place, always looking corporate chic, and could be the poster child for Ann Taylor or Gap.
But tonight, Rachel became my barbie doll and I glammed her up a little. In the 16 or so years we have been friends, this is only the 2nd time she's allowed me to give her a makeover, but as she said "All part of a day's work at Scarlett Lillian Photography." She even let me put fake eye lashes on her for her first time ever wearing them! What I found even funnier was her saying "I don't care looking like this for a photo but ahhhh, no way would I let you do this to me if we were going out in public." As I said back "Ummm, gosh forbid someone sees you in public, but who cares that THOUSANDS of people are going to see you on my blog!" LOL But as she said back, "Well, uh, that's different, I don't have to see their reaction going 'oh my goodness, look at that girl!'" (Rolling my eyes, ohhhh Rachel! Always the shy one! he he So be sure to leave her some love!)
I needed her to model because I just got a new toy, the Alien Bee Ring Flash. In wedding photography, I adore natural light and some off camera lighting, but fashion studio lighting is a whole other field I know little about and have been wanting to learn more. I love flipping through fashion magazines and eating up their juicy lighting and challenging myself to figure it out. It's the kind of thing I wish I could rewind and go to school for, but instead now I'm having to teach myself. I recently got Zack Arias' One Light DVD which is AMAZING. It's like Lighting For Dummies, seriously, I highly recommend it. But then I kept hearing buzz about the Ring Flash, like on Joel Grimes' blog, and how it's known as the "beauty dish." So I had to get it!
This has also been great practice for me because the night before last I was discussing with Rachel and Beth, who was in town for a night hanging out, that I realized I have intimacy issues in photography. Meaning, I'm more naturally a wide shooter, and it's rare I get a close up shot of anyone. Even the previous blog entry with Cheryl, the close up shots were cropped in editing. So I'm trying to work on sticking a camera (and now a huge Ring Flash) in people's faces. ha!
And I thought as a step toward working on my intimacy issues would be first, gulp, posting a SUPER close self-portrait I took while I was waiting for Rachel to arrive to work and trying to figure out how the Ring Flash worked. And wow, this is vulnerable, seriously, I only have on foundation and mascara. (Oh yeah, nooo, I'm not naked, I have on a tube top you can't see!)
I'm excited to open up the door to this new level of photography and learning more about the language of lighting. As I said in my F-Stop Beyond interview, "That's the thing I love about photography, there's always something new to learn and continue pushing yourself to be better and better with each photoshoot. And I hope I never stop learning."
Here's some results from the semi-photoshoot of my beautiful Client Concierge and one she grabbed of me too!
I couldn't stand it, I had to add some lipstick this time!
Oct 23, 2008
Beth spent a day with me!
Though I surprise each Spend A Day photographer with a goody bag, Beth was so sweet to show up with her own blinged out goody bag for me full of fun fashion and accessories. She knows me so well!
Here's some fun colorful photos I took of her, and then some glam ones from our photoshoot!
She wanted me to make sure to get some shots of her great shoes and ring!
Here's her in action at the photoshoot experimenting with my Pocket Wizards!
Our model Cheryl is the little sister of one of my high school BFF's! I can't believe how growny she's gotten, but has grown up sooooo beautiful!
These kind of shoots, I shoot more like the style for a fashion editorial spread, so I've pieced together the images as I would imagine them in a magazine! And thanks again to your-dream-dress.com for letting us borrow the amazing Kenneth Pool dress!
Cheryl has perfect features, I swear!
Later that night, Beth and I met with Lyndsay for dinner! It was so fun to meet both of the contest winners in one day!
And on Tuesday, Ginger came to spend the day with me. Here's a teaser from our photoshoot using Spend A Day Alum Krista as our model!
Oct 21, 2008
Amy & Joe Wedding TEASER!
So breathtaking Amy was!
The sweetest part of the ceremony! Funny, being from Nashville and in the music business, Joe was telling me how he always gets stopped and asked if he is Keith Urban. I do see a resemblance now especially with the guitar in his hand!
These smiles are the essence of Amy and Joe. And I love how the sun light backlighted their love in this shot!
More to come soon once they get back from the honeymoon and Joe can record the song for the slideshow for me! :-)
p.s. As I mentioned on Twitter, this wedding was the first I shot all JPEG. Can you tell the difference why I love it and will now be switching from RAW! A blog entry with more on that soon!
Oct 20, 2008
Sarah & Brian are expecting!
Another day at the grocery store...
That was a quick shot I grabbed with my iPhone. But it's such great news to hear Jenny's son is growing out of his autism and I admire her for using her celebrity spotlight to be such a strong advocate in raising awareness for it all, as well as giving God credit! You can read part of the article here!
Oct 19, 2008
Bride's Newspaper Engagement Announcement
Oct 17, 2008
The secret mountain.
Here in the land of flat Florida, we have plenty of gardens, but we don't have mountains or hills. When I visit places like Las Vegas or Los Angeles like I have this past year, I always get envious of the different elevated landscapes God created on the other side of the country.
But here in Jacksonville, I discovered a mountain last year. It's almost like a secret mountain. In the middle of everything, but in the middle of nowhere at the same time hidden behind trees and homes and commercial property that people's busy lives fail to see. I discovered the mountain on one of my runs. I'm always looking for new paths to push me to run further distances. In that way sometimes people can't see the forest for the trees, I got curious to see the forest and walked through the trees to discover a magical lake that the mountain overlooks.
When I first discovered it, it literally looked like a pile of dirt with overgrown brush. The rain made the tracks up the mountain slimey and muddy. All the brush was mostly brown and dead, literally like weeds that had grown out of the pile of dirt it originally served as. There was nothing beautiful about it, but I have always loved hiking up it from time to time to have a moment of being that much closer to God as I overlook the land below and the life that swirls around beneath.
It's rare that I visit the mountain. When I do, it's only when I feel like going on a long run. There and back is 7 miles from my home. And considering I really stopped running over the summer, it had been a while since I visited.
But I've finally started running again a few weeks ago. It started with a few miles here and there on the treadmill to beat the Florida heat outside. But this week, I ventured outside again. Again, it just started with a few miles to get back in the swing of things, but yesterday, I felt like giving it my all and set my iPod goal for 7 miles to have my virtual Nike + Trainer continue to push me further in my ear. "Half-way point, keep going!" he chimes in regularly with the distance reminders that I'm not done yet, even though at this point I'm always tempted to turn around and go home. But I keep pushing through it.
Life has changed so much since I last visited my mountain. A relationship ended. A week later we found out my dad had cancer. I've lost some fake friends but gained new wonderful ones and a few others restored. My business grew up and became an LLC while hiring my first assistant to help me maintain it all. And of course, one thing after another keeps popping with the business, one interview after another, one publishing after another, and more and more weddings after another. I've been so thankful to have the distraction of busyness to keep me focused off the day to day wondering of how my dad's cancer outcome will be. Needless to say, it has truly opened my eyes to appreciate each day we are given with loved ones.
But that said, in all honesty, the past few months have been filled with a lot of tears. Tears of sadness and confusion about my dad, tears of joy in starting to appreciate the little moments of life, and tears just because I'm a woman and during that time of the month, we cry at everything. This year, I've also held a lot of bitterness in my heart from learning the hard way who true friends are, but yet, trying my best to forgive them despite how much they burned me. And because I stopped running and doing yoga, I gained a little bit of weight, also resulting to comfort food during all of the life crisis swirling around me. So of course the extra pounds never makes a girl feel good. My life has felt like the slimey muddy weed-filled brown mountain that I used to climb. A mountain in my life I've been climbing to try to overcome all the resistance and trust that God is using the time of hardships to strengthen me. Just like how a muscle can't grow until it is torn through resistance, I know we as humans are the same in our spiritual walks with the Lord and how he builds our character to reflect His glory more and more.
So this week, I decided to do my part to turn things around. I know, when we draw close to the Lord, He draws close to us, but that is something I had been neglecting. In the midst of feeling let down about so many things, I had stopped doing my quiet time in the morning and stopped praying heartfully the way I used to. But this week, I made a commitment to God to start putting Him first again in my day. To stop eating crap. To get back into running seriously. Because really, the spiritual and physical really do go hand in hand.
And yesterday, I was ready to tackle my mountain again. Around the 5 mile mark, the furthest I had been in months, my legs were starting to feel like deadweight. I was starting to hit "the wall" that they talk about in a cute movie I just saw called "Run Fat Boy Run". I almost turned around to head back home, but I hadn't reached my mountain yet, and I knew I had to make it there no matter how tired and hot I was. Also, let me throw in, due to some work stuff, I didn't get out the door until 1pm, so the Florida sun was beating down harsh on me, I have sports bra tan lines now to prove it. But I kept running and pushing forward as we are supposed to do in life, right?
I finally made it to my mountain and I was... amazed. Not amazed that I actually made it, but amazed how BEAUTIFUL it had become over the summer. The weeds had now turned into a mile of yellow and white flowers. So many butterflies fluttered along and kissed my shoulder as I walked up what once was the slimey muddy trails, but now was dry and covered in a layer of green grass. I almost felt like I was in one of those butterfly gardens I've seen advertised. I couldn't believe how beautiful and full of life my mountain had become. I had to remind myself that it was the middle of October because instead it looked like the newness of spring life. As I hiked up the new beauty I was seeing before my eyes, I felt like that little girl discovering her own secret garden. It really felt like a magic land.
When I got to the top, I just stopped for a moment and raised my hands to Jesus in worship. It was a simple moment of thanks for all He has blessed me with, for the grace He continues to show me as I endure the hardships of life and overcome, for how far He has taken my career that only He could open the doors for, for the extra months beyond the original time frame that my dad continues to be here with us, and for how He always takes me back even when I pull away and try to do life on my own.
The run started on my iPod with the over-played Leona Lewis song "It All Gets Better in Time", and it was an amazing run that reminded me of that exact thing. Just like how God turned my ugly mountain into a new beautiful creation, it was a great analogy of what He graces us with in our own lives. Everyday is another step along the journey of life as He turns us into a more beautiful creation than the day before. Sometimes we step in mud, sometimes the butterflies kiss us on the shoulder. But in the end, it all gets better in time with Him.
Yesterday especially was a day of thanks. As some of you saw on my Twitter and Facebook on Wednesday, my dad was rushed to the emergency room for sharp pains and shortness of breath. I put out a rally for prayers which so many of you graciously did through your comments on Facebook and Twitter and phone calls and text messages. And your prayers truly worked because the doctors couldn't find anything wrong with him. They tested him mostly for a blood clot in his lungs, but nothing was there in the end, praise Jesus! So as always, to everyone who reached out, thank you for your sweet prayers and words of love as true friends who show concern during this time my family needs you the most.
I dedicate this video to all of you as a thanks for standing in the gap of our faith. It's called "Mountain of God" by Third Day.
"I must go through the valley to stand upon the mountain of God."
Oct 16, 2008
Rachel & Ariel are married!
On the guys side, there was a slight injury! My second shooter Leah was doing some fun shots with the guys where they run up behind Ariel, and one groomsmen fell and sliced his hand on the deck nails. Ouch! You can see the click by click collision in the slideshow!
Rachel and Ariel are so cutesy together and share an amazing laugh just in the way they look at each other and crack up! Many congrats to you both!!
Here are my favorites from the day and their slideshow at the end!
Searching for the missing eyelash! It was cute how the videographers of Deluxe Video Productions were providing their video light to help out.
The new eyelashes!
I loved the reflection of her laugh in this pic !
So beautiful! It was inspired by this pic of Mandy Moore!
They crack me up!
I LOVE this shot! We were done with photos, but walking back to the reception, I noticed this chair had a spotlight of sun peeping through the window, so I told them to go sit in it real quick. Though we were using a lot of video light earlier for Rachel's bridals, I love when you find natural light like this!
This Father/Daughter dance choked me as much as it did Rachel.
Starting off the marriage right!
And the slideshow....
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