St. Augustine Photographer: Holiday Portraits 2014

As we enter into the new year here are some of our favorites from our portrait marathon, in conjunction with the Conservatorie, and holiday sessions. These images held small moments of joy that we felt summed up our holiday season. Thank you to our loyal clients and we look forward to seeing you in 2015!

Winner St. Augustine Best Photographer!

Thank you so much for your vote for St. Augustine Best Photographer! This is our 5th year running for being blessed with this award. There are lots of great photographers here in on the First Coast so I am always humbled by winning. Thank you to all who have trusted me in 2013/14 with making beautiful photographs of their wedding or of their family. This award wouldn’t be possible without you!

St Augustine Photographer: Best Freckles

Ok I admit it! I have always wanted a face full of freckles I have the red hair, but wasn’t blessed with the other half of my Scot/Irish heritage. So anytime I find someone who has an amazing face full of them, I can’t help but get as close as possible. So for day 5 of our Best Of Shout outs, I had to pull this freckle queen!

Don’t forget tomorrow is the LAST day of voting for Best of St. Augustine contest. Click here to vote for us for Best Photographer!  Then make sure to shoot us an email afterwards to register for our drawing for a FREE family session!


St. Augustine Photographer: Best Kid Moments

Every year when voting starts for the Best of St. Augustine contest we hold our own little contest to highlight some winners we have photographed over the last year that didn’t make it to the blog. Our first category this year is Best Kid Moments. We all know that every wedding has at least one little cutie that steals the show.  This one goes out to all the kids who shared their charm and put smiles on everyone’s face. Here’s to you little guys, keep the cuteness coming. And don’t forget to vote for us for Best Photographer! Voting ends July 31st!

St. Augustine Wedding Photographer: Away We Go Elopement Lena & Sean

Our last Away We Go elopement event couple as the sun started to set was Lena & Sean. The loved ones for both of these wonderful people were such a joy to photograph as they celebrated the joining of their two families. There was so much laughter and happy tears especially from the moms!

The Conservatorie’s bouquet of white hydrangeas and garden roses had Lena’s grandmother’s ring tied lovingly into the stem ribbon. The softness of the bouquet colors went perfectly with the softness of the light as the sun set.

Lena & Sean also chose the expanded Away We Go package that included a cake and champagne reception with a beautiful cake from Sweet Weddings. Coastal Celebrations and The Conservatorie’s decor really made the event along with the string lights from St. Johns Illuminations.

We so loved being a part of this event and meeting all of these couples in one wonderful day. If this is something that would work great for you and your fiance, let us know. Plans are in the works to hold another great Away We Go event later in the year.


St. Augustine Wedding Photographer: Away We Go Elopement Kristie & Felipe

Our afternoon at the Away We Go elopement event was blessed with Kristie and Felipe. These two sweethearts along with their family and friends shared in a wonderful ceremony. These two are expecting their first child in June and were excited to share this day with those they loved. We loved Kristie’s empire-waisted dress which wasn’t even a maternity dress. It was so airy and light. And she rocked those plum heals! We also loved Felipe’s slick vest and the billy button boutonniere from The Conservatorie. Drea from Coastal Celebrations officiated the ceremony.

The light at the Ximenez-Fatio House is so beautiful. The afternoon sun bounces off the pea gravel in the courtyard and illuminates the eaves of the balcony and hay barn. This creates the wonderful light in Kristie and Felipe’s wedding portraits.


St. Augustine Wedding Photographer: Away We Go Elopement Event – Allyson and Jeff

Allyson and Jeff were our second couple of the day for our pop-up elopement wedding event Away We Go held at the Ximenez-Fatio House. These two fell in love with St. Augustine and wanted to get married here. Away We Go worked perfectly for them. It was just the two of them so it was a true elopement. Don’t you just love their style?! Allyson’s sweet lace shrug topped her dress perfectly. Not to mention her gorgeous smile and genuine laugh from her heart.

When we chatted during our pre-wedding-get-to-know-ya meeting, Allyson mentioned that they were HUGE Pittsburg Steelers fans and really knew they were right for each other based on their mutual love for this team. For those not familiar with the Terrible Towel, all true Steelers fans own them and they usually hang in a place of reverence, at least that is how it works for my father-in-law and all of his kin. The Towel makes you legit. So Allyson and Jeff definitely wanted to swing their Terrible Towels on their very own special day because now they are their own team and loving every moment of it.


St. Augustine Wedding Photographer: Away We Go – Rachelle & Kevin

Our day started at Away We Go with Rachelle and Kevin. The couple, who live in Richmond, Va with their daughter, had thought about doing a destination wedding in Hawaii, but Rachelle’s mom lives here in St. Augustine and between the white beaches, historic downtown and mom, they figured this was the next best thing. We loved Rachelle’s tattoos with her pearls and formal veil. And doesn’t she look like a southern belle as she paused for just a moment up on the balcony to look down on all of her family and her hubby to be!

All of the flower girls matched the decor perfectly in their champagne dresses. In fact all of our couples and their families, as you will see later in the week, matched the champagne, peach, and pink decor perfectly. The girls at The Conservatorie Floral & Event Design along with Coastal Celebrations pulled the color palette for the decor from the wall color of the Ximenez-Fatio House Museum which was the backdrop for the event.



St. Augustine Photographer: Away We Go Elopement Event

Curious what this whole Away We Go Elopement Event was that we were lucky to be one of the featured vendors? Here’s how it worked. Four wonderful couples wanted to have small, intimate weddings in a sweet historic venue with all the Pinterest-worthy details, gorgeous flowers, and all the other features of their day sewed up in one neat package.  Each couple had their own time slot throughout the day and shared the costs of St. Augustine’s top-tier vendors.  Here are the gorgeous details that all of these couples had as part of their day and some of the people that made it happen! Stay tuned for the next couple of days as we show off the beautiful couples who shared their special day with us.


Planning & Decor: Coastal Celebrations – Lindsay & Drea

Flowers & Decor: The Conservatorie Floral & Event Design – Amy

Venue: Ximenez-Fatio House Museum – Gina

Lighting & Setup: St. Johns Illuminations – Jim

Cake: Sweet Weddings – Arlene

Officiant: Peggy LaRoche

Photography: Kate Gardiner Photography – Me!


St. Augustine Photographer: Wedding Dress Fashion Shoot

If you checked out our spread in Old City Life Magazine in February you saw our favorite model Niamh Hart showcase the fabulous bridal fashions by local St. Augustine wedding dress designer Daniel Thompson. His designs are in bridal shops across the country but he calls St. Augustine home and you can make appointments with him to try on dresses in his shop on San Marco Ave.

We also had the pleasure of working with Jacksonville wedding planner and stylist Megan Martin. She was amazing!

The dresses she chose from Daniel’s collection all fit perfectly within our backdrop of the Markland House and Solarium on the Flagler College campus. She also helped to sculpt each look that Niamh had by working closely with hair and makeup stylists from Panaché Day Spa.

Markland House Weddings

Megan Martin stylist and wedding planner fixes a seam on a wedding gown at the Markland House for the Old City Life fashion shoot.

Wedding Fashion shoot

Panaché staff work their magic during the Old City Life fashion shoot.

Markland House Weddings

Megan Martin stylist and wedding planner fluffs a wedding gown at the Markland House for the Old City Life fashion shoot.

Solarium Flagler College Weddings
Whitney Warren Shafer, Lura Scarpitti, Megan Martin, Brenna Martin, and the gals from Panaché watch the magic.
Daniel Thompson Bridals

Daniel Thompson stitches his latest creation at his San Marco Blvd studio.

Daniel Thompson Bridals

Stitch by stitch.

Daniel Thompson Bridals

You can feel the magic and elegance in his gorgeous light-filled studio.


 Here is what all the hard work produced. Some of these images were in the February issue of Old City Life magazine, but there were many that didn’t make the issue do to space constrictions. Special thanks to the ladies at The Conservatorie Floral & Event Design for their beautiful bouquets. Also a note of thanks to Blue Water Jewelers for loaning us some great pieces.

Markland House 2
Markland House
Flagler College Weddings
Flagler College Weddings
Flagler College Weddings
Flagler College Weddings
Flagler College Weddings
Flagler College Weddings
Flagler College Weddings
Flagler College Weddings
Flagler College Weddings
Flagler College Weddings
Flagler College Weddings
Markland House
Markland House
Markland House


St. Augustine Photographer: Old City Life Magazine

You may have seen that we are doing more magazine work lately if you have picked up a copy of Old City Life Magazine around St. Augustine. In case you missed the spreads, they are all in the slideshow below. Many great things are happening at Old City Life and we are excited to be part of it! Stay tuned for more posts on our work for the magazine including an upcoming post filled with images from the February Bridal Issue that didn’t make it into the spread.

Palm Coast Wedding Venues: Hammock Dunes Club

Hammock Dunes Club along A1A in Palm Coast, Florida is an amazing venue! It is a private club but does host weddings to non-members. The view of the ballroom overlooks the gorgeous croquet court with the ocean just beyond. Their outdoor ceremony site is on a big expanse of lawn mowed to 1/4 of an inch that is perfect all the way across. There is a bridal room onsite that has plenty of space for you and all of your girls to get ready. Their catering staff is awesome and their chef is a big award winner so your guests will dine in complete elegance. Their events manager is Crystal Hill who I have worked with a bunch over the years. She is really good at what she does and will make your day super smooth. Click here to go to their site.



St. Augustine Elopement: Away We Go Event

So, you may have caught wind of our involvement with this little event called Away We Go. It is quickly coming up on Saturday March 1, 2014. What is this you ask? Well it is a pop-up wedding where we have reserved the gorgeous historic venue of the Ximenz-Fatio House here in downtown St. Augustine for the whole day. Then our favorite local vendors are putting on a wedding where couples and their families have their own time slots throughout the day where they can enjoy an intimate affair with all the Pinterest worthy decor and high-end vendors without breaking the bank.


Perhaps you know someone this would be perfect for. Or you have been wanting a simple wedding without complications, while not feeling ready to run into any Elvis characters on your special day. Or you and your spouse have an anniversary coming up and want to tell each other all over again “I do”. This all-inclusive elopement package gives you the wedding of your dreams for a fraction of the cost. Learn more about each of the three unique packages, along with the amazing talent that will be involved on the Away We Go event website, and keep yourself up to date on Facebook as things unveil.

If you haven’t heard already, there are going to be some pretty sweet vendors involved (besides us of course)!  Planning by Coastal Celebrations, flowers & decor by The Conservatorie, cakes by Sweet Weddings, makeup by Amanda Hopcraft, , lighting by St. Johns Illuminations, officiating by Your Wedding Ceremony Your Way, videography by Life and Love Studio, and our gorgeous venue at the Ximenez-Fatio House.

For more information, give us a shout, email! We are looking forward to meeting each couple who wants to be whisked away by a ceremony that is perfectly made just for them!

St. Augustine Photographer: Wedding Blogs


Congrats on getting engaged over the holiday season! Now the fun begins! Oh and yeah the stress of planning a wedding… but alas you don’t have to rush into the closest Barnes & Noble and huddle in the corner scouring bride mags. Unless you want to, because it can be kind of fun even if overwhelming.

Once you get your date vaguely figured (I say this because you may have to be flexible if you want to get married at a popular venue), now it is time to start day dreaming style. Pinterest can be your best friend or nightmare. I think if Pinterest had existed when I got married, analysis-paralysis would have gotten me for sure. Personally I love wedding blogs. They really have relevant and useful info and are far less cluttered than bridal magazines whose seasonal element may not apply to you depending on how far away your wedding is. Plus a lot of the time their content is NOT pay to post so you know the contributors are top notch instead of whomever wanted to pay the most for the spot. Here are some of our favorite wedding blogs to get you on your way:


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Happy planning! And don’t forget that we are booking through 2015 right now, so if you have your date chosen, contact us asap to schedule your consult!


St. Augustine Wedding Photographer: Guest Post on wedding venues at Flagler College

whitney_kgp-blogGuest Post from Whitney Warren Shafer

Ponce de Leon Weddings and Special Events Coordinator

For the first time in over 40 years the historic Ponce de Leon Hotel, now home to Flagler College,
is opening its doors to the public as a venue space for weddings and special events.  Ponce de Leon Weddings and Special Events offers four unique venues: The elegant and historic Ponce de Leon Ballroom, the sunlit, domed Ponce de Leon Solarium with a view of downtown St. Augustine, the charming southern estate of Markland House,
and the modern and contemporary Crisp-Ellert Art Museum.

(Ponce de Leon Solarium)


(Ponce de Leon Ballroom)

The Ponce de Leon Ballroom and Ponce de Leon Solarium are part of the 125-year-old Hotel Ponce de Leon Hotel, now home to Flagler College. Built in 1888 by railroad tycoon Henry Flagler, the Hotel Ponce de Leon was once an exclusive winter playground for the world’s most privileged elite.

(Crisp-Ellert Art Museum’s Lawn and Garden)

The Crisp-Ellert Art Museum, with wooden beamed cathedral ceilings, a beautiful private garden out back, and Tuscan tiled floors, was originally the art studio for a local artist, JoAnn Crisp-Ellert.


(Markland House)

Markland House, covered by the shade of magnolia trees, is an elegantly appointed Colonial Revival mansion and was once home to Dr. Andrew Anderson, friend and business associate of Henry Flagler.

Some bonuses to getting married at one of Ponce de Leon Wedding’s venues:

  1. When renting one of the venues, as long as there isn’t an event going on in the other venues, the bride and groom may take photos at any of the other venues. That’s four locations all right next to each other that have incredibly different styles. It also cuts down on the walking!
  2. Ponce de Leon Solarium has one of the best views of the city you can find. Wow your guests with a breathtaking view and photographs that are magazine worthy.
  3. When getting married in the Ponce de Leon Ballroom, tables and chairs are provided. Although some are reproductions, when sitting in one of the original 125 year old chairs, you could possibly be sitting in the same chair John D. Rockefeller, Andrew Carnegie, or George Washington Vanderbilt II sat in.
  4. Flagler College is dedicated to historic preservation. The rental fees associated with our facilities help the College maintain and conserve our historic buildings.

For more information regarding Ponce de Leon Weddings,
please visit or call Whitney at (904) 826-8617.