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UPDATE: I'm now documenting Jacksonville high school senior portraits.
You can view my senior website here!


Serving clients in Jacksonville, FL, St. Augustine, Amelia Island, Ponte Vedra and surrounding areas.


Jacksonville Senior Photographer // Scarlett Lillian Seniors: August 2010

Aug 30, 2010

Chelsea & Josh are married! /// California Winery Wedding Photographer

Right now I'm in Europe with my mom and my camera, simply, being tourists. But while I was gone, I set my blog to publish a few great weddings I shot with my fiance, Stephen Knuth, while I was in San Diego for the month of July.

Can I just say how much I adored Chelsea's do-it-yourself pastel decor for her and Josh's wedding?

"Chelsea, your whole theme of your wedding reminds me of something out of Anthropologie!" I told her on her wedding day.
"REALLY?" she asked as her blue eyes lit up. "Sweeeet, that's what I was going for! That's my favorite store!"

Between the old west winery setting to the handmade pastel flags, my personal favorite part was her "love bird" theme. Her cake topper was the cutest thing ever with the two little birds and eggs laying all around the tables. So so cute!

Another touch I loved was how all the bridesmaids wore cowboy boots and had mismatched dresses strung with pearls. It was the perfect vintage fashion look as we walked around the winery for all their bridal party shots.

Being from Florida, it's been a dream of mine to shoot a wedding in a California winery, so I was excited to help Stephen out for this beautiful wedding!

Here's my favorites from the day! And to see what Stephen documented, check it out here.


COORDINATOR :: Krystel with Couture Events
WEDDING VENUE :: Rancho Bernardo Winery
FLOWERS/DECOR :: Tricia with The Floral Department
CAKE :: Edelweiss Bakery
CUPCAKES :: Cupcakes Squared
CAR SERVICE :: Rolls Livery

Um, hellooooo, how adorable is this flower girl in her pink cowboy boots?

Again, I couldn't get enough of the boots!

I just loved this moment when Chelsea's college roommates saw her as a bride for the first time!

Chelsea was raised by her grandparents, and I just love this shot of them watching her. :-)

Seriously, why can't we get this kind of amazing setting sun light in Florida? Ahhhhh

And a Pink Cadillac to drive away in... With all the pink, needless to say Chelsea and I hit it off great! :-)


Aug 27, 2010

All roads lead to Rome.

It was Christmas day 2006. As my dad came around the corner holding a big box, I picked up my shiny new Canon 30D. It was a moment I didn't want to miss. Dad handed mom the big box and told her to open her present. As my mom peeled back the layers, she discovered she got the brand new Apple computer she had been begging for!

Momma jumped up and said a big "THANK YOU JESUS!" and Daddy jumped up off the couch soooooo excited that he finally "got one on Momma" with the surprise. I've never seen my dad so excited. It was a simple moment of joy that I watched my parents share as they embraced each other.

Looked each other in the eye.
And laughed some more.
If only we had known, that was 1 of 3 Christmases left with Daddy.

What daddy never knew was that, well, it wasn't quite the surprise he thought it was. Mom knew the whole time she was getting a computer. But she knew how important it was to my dad to still think it was a surprise. She wasn't going to ruin the joy he had from simply giving.

That pretty much somes up my dad's love language. He was a giver always providing for my mom and I. Every night when he prayed to God, it was always the same prayer over and over:

"Dear Lord, I thank you for another day in this life, and if you have any blessings you want to give me, give them to someone else who needs it more than me. You know I'm a simple man, and I don't need much."

But one thing he was excited to splurge on himself was a trip to Rome. He retired in early 2008 and we were starting to plan a family trip to visit Rome. I personally wanted to go to Paris, but Rome was his city he always dreamed of visiting for the history. He was a history buff and wanted to see Roman history in person. But then the news came in the summer of 2008 that no one wants to hear. Daddy had lung cancer. With the quick decline in his health, the three of us never made it to Rome.

But starting tomorrow, the two of us will. As a mother/daughter adventure before I get married, mom and I are heading to Europe, ending our travels in Rome, in memory of my dad.

With the same camera that once took these photos of my dad that Christmas morning, I'll be bringing with me to document the city he never saw.

It seems like lately, I've been hearing the news of so many other's loved ones being diagnosed with cancer. To be honest, there's still a part of me that doesn't quite know what to say to comfort people now in the same shoes I was once in. But I do know that the experience changed the way I look at life, that each day is a gift from our ultimate Giver who I know my dad is walking beside now in Heaven.

And if there's anything I believe my dad would tell me now, it's to live each day to the fullest. That God is still good no matter what. That you can dream dreams that crash around you, but dream them anyway. To not wait until retirement to see the places you dream of seeing. To see the rest of the beautiful world God created. And if I think that's incredible, just wait until I see the beauty that awaits that he now sees in Heaven.

As my dad's favorite t-shirt used to say in French:

"Laissez les bon temps rouler!"
(Let the good times roll!)

And I leave you with a pic from that Christmas 2006 afternoon of Rhett and I crashing on my dad and his recliner to snooze for our post-Christmas-dinner-food-coma nap. Gotta admit, I miss those moments with my dad, just sitting on his recliner, solving all the world's problems.


Aug 26, 2010

The experience vs. the product.

I love my brides and grooms! This is me with Arlene and Jacob right after I got done photographing their beach wedding.

I was on the phone with a new bride and groom yesterday answering their normal questions in the inquiry process.

"Ok, cool, well, we want to book you as our photographer!" they told me at the end of the phone call.
"Great! I'm excited!" I said with a big smile.
"You want to know why we are choosing you?" they asked further. "We call it 'The Scarlett Lillian Experience.'" I just laughed and continued to listen as I questioned myself, "I have an experience?"
"We have a wedding planner who referred us all these photographers on her list," they continued. "We spoke with a lot of them, but honestly, you were one of the only ones who gave us such a good experience in just the booking process, that we are confident you will take good care of us on our wedding day. And oh yeah, we love your photography too."

Sniff, sniff... inside my heart, it let out a big "awwwwwwwww." So apparently, I have an experience that I'm not quite sure I had. To me, being a girl and a bride, I just naturally love weddings and I naturally love hearing people's love stories and celebrating with them the day that God is bringing them together as man and wife. But I guess, that in itself is part of the experience.

It got me thinking a lot about how the experience is just as important as the final product! Though they liked my photography, it was the experience I provided that built that trust with them. For those in the wedding industry, the experience, and genuine interest in their day, that you give your brides and grooms from the very first contact inquiring is sooo crucial. I'm learning that as a bride myself too. There have been some vendors I've hired for Stephen and I's wedding because of their promptness in providing information and answering all my dumb questions. And because while I know they have a ton of other clients, they treat me like I'm the only one.


Vendor A & Vendor B for a certain category.

When we got engaged, I scoured the internet to find the best vendor for this service I was looking for. This particularly category was super important to us and I knew would take a good chunk of our budget. I ran across the website for Vendor A and I TOTALLY fell in love with their work. They were even in a different country but I thought their product was A-MAZING and would sacrifice something in my budget to afford to fly them from another country. So I inquired.

One day passed. No response. Ok, I get it, I get busy too.
Two days passed, no response. Still, I get it, I get swamped.
Three, four, five days passed, and nothing.

In the meantime, I got frustrated and because I wasn't hearing anything back, not even an away message letting me know their normal response time, around day 3, I started scouring the internet for other options.

That's when I discovered Vendor B, who I thought was just as amazing, and inquired. Within a few hours, I heard a response. I was super impressed with their promptness, but was secretly holding out to hear from Vendor A. When the next week rolled around and still no response, I decided to go with Vendor B and book them. About 2 weeks after my initial inquiry with Vendor A, yes, 2 weeks, I finally got a response back, which confirmed I was glad I booked Vendor B. What annoyed me was not only did they not apologize for taking so long to get back to me, but their prices, as expected, were double what Vendor B was. I'm sorry, but for vendors who prices are more expensive than the average joe, they should provide even more prompt service for the investment. Would the Ritz Carlton be the Ritz Carlton if their reservation assistants took 2 weeks to book your room?

One tip to help set expectations:

Use an automatic response message for your email. Anyone who emails me gets this message:

"Hello! Thanks so much for writing me!

Due to a high volume of emails, I will get back to you in the next 2-3 business days. I appreciate your patience! You can always stay up to date about the latest happenings in my world and recent weddings I've shot on my blog at scarlettlillian.net."

I do this to let potential clients know, I've gotten their email, I do care, I will get back to you really soon, I promise. But personally, I always try to exceed their expectation by getting back to them within 24 hours, not the 2-3 days they think they have to wait.

Point of the story, the experience you provide your clients is just as important as the product you provide. Now as a bride myself, I realize that more than ever.


Aug 25, 2010

Europe here I come!

Photo from this link about Paris.

I must say, this year, I'm quite proud of accomplishing a few things on my bucket list. First, I ran a marathon (lolol, and I haven't run since), and now I'm heading to Paris, France!!!!!

In high school and college, I took 4 years of French lessons. Everyone was like "Um, you live in FLORIDA, why aren't you taking Spanish?" But my answer was always "Because ONE day, I'm going to Paris!" And, eh, not that I remember any of the French now a days, but it's finally a dream come true.... I'm going to Paris!!!!

Mom and I wanted one last big mother/daughter adventure before I get married next Spring. Before my dad got cancer, we were planning for the three of us to go to Rome where my dad always dreamed of going. But when he got sick, obviously that trip didn't happen. So now mom are heading to not only Rome, not only Paris, but all over Europe. We are taking a guided tour with a group of people, starting in London and working our way through Europe down to Rome.

Eeeeeeeek! I'm so excited! I've been to other countries in the Caribbean, but never a non-tropical country. I can't wait to simply be a tourist, instead of traveling just for work. I will though have my camera and look forward to sharing photos when we get back!

I would love to hear from you any tips you have about traveling in Europe! Or if you are in Europe reading this, can you tell me what the weather is like in your country? I'm clueless what to pack and wear.

Also, with this said, I'm turning this into a true vacation and will answer all emails and phone calls when I am back in the country and back at my desk on September 13. In the meantime, I've got my blog scheduled to share some amazing weddings I second shot in California with Stephen in July. Enjoy those while I'm gone!


Aug 24, 2010

Brittany & Michael are married! /// The missing photo.

Sometimes when I'm editing the rest of the hundreds of pictures from a wedding post-blogging about it, I find a hidden gem that I overlooked and didn't blog. I ran across this photo of Brittany & Michael, and just went "oooohhh, I love this!" I love how classic and old fashioned it is with the old car in the background and Michael holding the umbrella and her dress like a true gentleman. So even though I already blogged their St. Augustine wedding, I had to blog this one by itself. Simply, because.


Aug 21, 2010

Eat, pray, love?

As I watched Eat, Pray, Love tonight, honestly, I wasn't impressed. Maybe it's because I couldn't relate to that struggle anymore. As I near 30 this Christmas, I've been thinking a lot lately, "Thank GOD my 20s are coming to an end." To be honest, when I think of my 20s, I think of pain.

The pain of not know what the future held in college.
The pain of trying to figure out what career I was meant to pursue.
The pain of not knowing who the heck I was.
The pain of comparing what I saw in the mirror to airbrushed magazines.
The pain of loving someone who couldn't love me in return the way I needed and getting my heart broken... more than once.
The pain of breaking hearts.
The pain of hearing my mom had cancer and almost losing her.
The pain of hearing my dad had cancer and losing him.

But for the first time in a long time.... I truly feel... happy. And at peace. It's been an ongoing up and down relationship with Jesus, learning to trust Him more, learning to be content with what He has blessed me with, learning to not doubt... but like any relationship, it's the struggles that brought me closer to His true heart. It's the pain I felt in life that makes me appreciate the beauty what's in front of me now. It's the pain in past relationships that make me smile that much bigger when I think about how loved I am by Stephen. It's the pain in losing my father that makes me hug my mom that much stronger than I ever did before.

Maybe if I were to see the movie or read the book a few years ago, I would have loved the movie and been able to relate to her brokeness. But for now, it's a cool feeling to see how God took the broken pieces of my life and molded them into a whole new beautiful creation.

With all that said, the movie DID get me really excited about heading to Europe this time next week! Woo hoo... and like the movie said, this will be a "No carb left behind" journey! :-)


Aug 18, 2010

Marina & Shawn are engaged! /// St. Augustine Engagement Photographer

Shawn and Marina originally met in DC where they currently reside, got engaged in New York City, and during their time together have traveled the world together. When I asked her all the places they have been, I couldn't keep track of all the countries she was listing that they have explored together. She originally wanted to bring vintage luggage for their engagement session, but she couldn't find any last minute. So instead, she brought her beloved Godiva. Not the chocolate. The chihauhau.

Marina, Shawn & Godiva explored the city of St. Augustine as I took their photos also around Flagler College where Marina graduated from. Coming back to close to her roots and where her family is still located, they are planning a fall wedding in the heart of St. Augustine too that I can't wait to shoot!

Here's my favorites from the day! And I have to admit, I've never photographed a dog who posed so well for the camera like Godiva did. (Ok, besides my own dog, Rhett!)



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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!

Jacksonville Senior Portrait Photographer also serving Ponte Vedra, St. Augustine, Amelia Island, Orange Park, Fernandina, Nocatee.
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