She said, “Yes!”: St. Augustine Engagement Photographer

Daniel called me about 3 weeks ago with this great idea that he wanted to ask his fiancé Annika to marry him at the top of the St. Augustine Lighthouse.  He was supposed to ask her to be his girlfriend a few years before at the spot but it had been closed and thought it the perfect spot to get it right this time. And boy did he did he get it right! I got there early and hiked to the top to wait for their arrival. Daniel had sent me a photo of them so I knew what they looked like. We exchanged eye contact after they came out of the door onto the observation platform and I whispered as he passed me to take her to the sunny side. I then just hung close to the lighthouse and fired away as he pulls out the pale blue Tiffany box, gets down on one knee and asks Annika to be his wife. And of course she said, “Yes!” Followed by, “We need to ask someone to take our picture!” To which Daniel points to me and said, “You mean like her?!” It was priceless!

The other tourists clapped with one exclaiming, “No way! Did that really just happen?!”

She looked down at her hand with this gorgeous ring on it and said to Daniel, “How did you know this is the one I wanted?” Daniel sheepishly said, “I saw it on your Pinterest page.” Love it!!!

We then walked over to the St. Augustine Yacht Club to take advantage of the gorgeous winter sunset. Congrats you two!!!

ProjectLife365 Daily Fix Winner!

So Jason and I have been participating in the daily photo project known as #ProjectLife365. There is a daily topic that is up to the interpretation of the artist. The organizers of ProjectLife365 then choose 4 of their favorites to feature on their site the following days. Today I was featured in their Daily Fix post.  Yesterday’s topic was #outside. Our Weimaraner has this amazing deadpan stare that is so statuesque. She is a great model. Here though she just wanted to come in to hopefully score some cast-offs from our dinner party. Thanks ProjectLife365! This has been a great growing experience. Stay tuned for future posts from this project. We hope to put together a book at the end of the year of both of our combined photos. If you would like to join the project, follow this link to sign up for their mailing list to receive the daily themes. Here are the other artists featured in today’s Daily Fix: @owlnredfox @tcanetty @house_of_emery

Kati and Jon tie the knot at The White Room Loft

Kati and Jon had an amazing sunset wedding on the deck of the White Room Loft & Rooftop with dramatic cloud-filled skies. We had such a great time. The weather was perfect!  These two know perfect since they live in Hawaii, but they made St. Augustine the destination for their family and friends since it was kind of in the middle of where everyone lived. Opting to do a “first look”, they giggled like kids when they saw each other for the first time in their wedding duds. Their bestman married them in a great ceremony that had the whole party chuckling. The ever-talented designers at The Conservatorie Floral & Event Design constructed their arbor of driftwood along with the elegant yellow calla lily bouquets, and snapdragon center pieces. The River Town Band rocked the rooftop! This was my first time working with them and can’t say enough good things about the party they threw. Everyone had such a great time with them. Kati’s hair and makeup were done by Amber Lynn Mabry at Beauty by the Beach. Their cake (which was oh-so-good!) was done by Sweet Weddings.

There were lots of kiddos at the wedding and I loved the coloring pages that Kati and Jon had made for them in cartoon version of themselves. They were a big hit!

St. Augustine Portrait Photographer: Holiday Portrait Round-up

This was the first year of offering portraits in our swanky new studio. Yep can’t believe that last year at this time our studio was an empty concrete mess. Now we have amazing backdrops, our rustic wood wall, some great furniture, and a client meeting space. Here are some of this year’s holiday portraits and card designs. Our card designs this year were done by our awesome design intern Brenna. We do still offer on-location shoots but think about doing something different in 2013. Now that the hustle and bustle of the holidays is over, schedule your session for your Valentine!

The Hogan Boys
The Cutters
The Lee Family
The Santos Family
The Brown Family


St. Augustine Jacksonville Birth Photographer : Kate and Sirgo

The week leading up to the 4th of July this year is one I will never forget. I was honored to be asked to photograph the birth of Kate and Sirgo’s baby. It was a crazy week as this amazingly strong mama labored for 48 plus hours at home before transferring to the hospital. These proud parents were blessed with a baby girl, Evelynn Bloom, born 12 minutes after midnight on July 5th. Welcome to the world little flower!


Photo Booth St. Augustine: Open House Fun!!!

Huge note of thanks to all who came out for our open house last week! We had a ball and were so thrilled seeing old friends and welcoming new. Here are a few of my favs from those who braved our photo booth. We take it along with us to weddings and other events or is available to rent all on it’s own. Shoot us an email if you would like more info on it!

St. Augustine Photographer: Welcome to our new site, blog, and studio!

It has been a long time in coming but finally Kate Gardiner Photography has a brand new presence online! Make sure to cruise through our new site a check out all of its super cool features. It was a labor but definitely one of love! A big thanks to Megan and Meghan at Red Met Yellow Design. I can not say enough good things about these chicas.

Other big news that I haven’t really blogged about is our new studio called The Photo Lounge! We moved out of our home office back in January into a great space on Anastasia Island. The best part is that we share this gorgeous studio with The Conservatorie Floral & Event Design. These ladies are so inspiring! I have an amazing topiary camera in my front window, a background wall of aged palate wood plus surprise arrangements that show up on my desk! Love them!

We are having a much anticipated studio warming party on June 7 from 5pm to whenever the last one turns off the lights! Join us!

900 Anastasia Blvd, Suite E-2 32080

The Nocatee Room at Crosswater Hall: Ponte Vedra Wedding Venue

The first thing you notice when you step into The Nocatee Room at Crosswater Hall is the light that pours in through west facing windows. It bounces off the hardwood floors and light colored carpet and makes the open beams of the vaulted ceiling glow. Tucked back into the Nocatee Village in Ponte Vedra, Fl, the venue is perfect for weddings with an elegant feel without sacrificing the relaxed Florida atmosphere. The expansive lawn where they hold outdoor ceremonies overlooks the pool area but still gives a private feeling with monolithic royal palms bordering the area. There are tons of portrait possibilities for couples and their families including a big open field across the parking lot. The huge bride room has an amazing tall mirror that will make for great getting ready photos. The bride makes a killer entrance to the ceremony, walking down the grand staircase from above the ceremony site.

The cocktail hour is held on the plantation style wraparound balcony of The Nocatee Room that is furnished with patio furniture right out of the Crate & Barrel catalog. Your guests are then ushered into that beautiful light-filled room that can seat 300 guests. Your caterer serves from their full kitchen at the rear of the room.


St. Augustine Jacksonville Wedding Venue: St. John’s Country Club

For couples who are looking for a relaxed beautiful setting that has a touch of country elegance, St. John’s Country Clubis the place! A short drive south of Jacksonville and an equally short drive north from St. Augustine, it is perfect for medium sized weddings. I recently dropped in on event manager Amanda Dunn and got the full tour. Their side patio or nearby green provide a lovely outdoor ceremony venue. Your guests then have a short walk into the clubhouse for your reception. The clubhouse has gorgeous hardwood with a large fireplace and vaulted ceilings. There is a lovely bridge, expansive putting green and stone entryway that are perfect portrait spots!

The food though blew me away! Sushi, grilled veggie bruschetta, pan-seared tuna on pita chips, and baked brie was to die for!  Definitely give Amanda a buzz to schedule a site walk. 904.940.3200

Marsh Landing Country Club Jacksonville Wedding Venue: Jacksonville Photographer

I recently went to visit Erin D’Agostino the new event coordinator at Marsh Landing Country Club and to see their gorgeous venue. I was unaware of all it had to offer and was so excited to see the outdoor pavilion for a ceremony site. It overlooks a marsh that gives an old world Florida feel with the monolithic palm trunks sporadically throughout the reeds. Nothing like being outside for your ceremony but still be covered without having to rent a tent!

The surrounding grounds have so many neat spots that would be amazing for bridal portraits. I can’t wait to shoot a wedding here!

The inside of the club house is full of hard wood vaulted ceilings which they brought into their table settings using wood chargers and fine burlap tablecloths. I love the chandelier that hangs outside of the ballroom above a vintage look-a-like circular lobby sofa. They had the ballroom set up for a commercial shoot on the day I visited. Shea Hopely Flowers, Inc. did the floral arrangements

Marsh Landing Country Club Jacksonville Wedding Venue … | Wedding Venues, Locations And Spots - […] the article here: Marsh Landing Country Club Jacksonville Wedding Venue … ← Wedding Venue: Arista Winery Color My World | I Do […]

St. Augustine Photographer: 2011 Round Up

Summer and Fall of 2011 was such a whirlwind that my blog has suffered from lack of attention. We added a new little one to our family brood, photographed 7 weddings and 20 or so family portraits, and moved our photography out of our house and into a studio space! Whew!

See I told you we were busy!

Here is a round up of some the best of images from 2011. We were so blessed with wonderful clients this year and can’t wait for all of our events here in 2012!

Leeann Marie - If there's one thing that you're excellent at, above and beyond your work, is capturing the personality of your clients!

kate - thanks so much Leeann!

St. Augustine Photographer: Winner Best of St. Augustine 2011!

Thank You!!
We feel so honored to be voted Best of St. Augustine for two years running! And we couldn’t have done it without you!
Lots of amazing things in store for 2011/2012! Stay tuned for news on portrait marathons for the holidays, photo classes, and much more!

St. Augustine Photographer: Instagram Addict

Have you played with Instagram? I have become obsessed with it. It is a great way to share photos with other photo minded people. I find inspiration in what others come up with in their everyday lives. I have noticed that a lot of my “friends” on the photo based social media site take pictures of their food. Not sure if that means that we all just love to eat or what?

If you have an iPhone, you HAVE to check out this app. It doesn’t have as many filters and bells/whistles as Hipstamatic which I kind of like. The down side is that the built in camera in the app doesn’t create a very big file so if you are wanting to print your Instagram photo later, it probably won’t go very well. Although, I just got a note from Blurb books that they have an upload program to instantly make a book out of your Instagram photos.

Here are some of my Instagram photos from the last 2 months. I even took some photos at a friend’s wedding where I was a guest. Definitely makes you think out of the box when all you have is your iPhone to make a great photo at a wedding!


St. Augustine Wedding Photographer: Featured on Pictage homepage AGAIN!

So pleased to be honored again on Pictage’s homepage. I submitted this image for their latest contest titled “Faces”. This is Robert and Betsy Hagerty. I photographed them a couple of years ago while Betsy was going through treatment for breast cancer. She loved her bald head and wore it like the badge of courage it was. They wanted me to photograph the two of them as well as their daughter Ariel before her hair started to grow again.

I have had the pleasure of photographing their family since, last year during one of my portrait marathons I held in Phoenix.

Thank you to the Hagerty’s for letting me be part of your family and allowing me to share this image among other great photographers and their clients.

St. Augustine Wedding Photographer: Photo Shoot with your Bridal Party

Erin and DJ wanted to spend their time after their May 7 ceremony on a limo cruise with their bridal party to do on location photo shoots, away from their ceremony and reception site.

This is becoming more and more common with our couples. It really makes the photo shoot as part of the celebration of the day instead of a limited time between the ceremony and reception which sometimes is rushed.

Some things to think about if you think you want to incorporate this into your wedding day:

1. It usually works best to have just your bridal party along for the ride. Trying to coordinate family too is really tough.

2. Schedule your reception to start at least 1.5 – 2 hours after your ceremony. That way you won’t miss out on the party and your guests won’t be wondering where you are.

3. Rent a limo, shuttle or trolley to take your bridal party from place to place. Make sure it can fit everyone and leaves space for the photographer and maybe their assistant if needed.

4. Scout locations with your photographer before the big day. No sense trying to figure out where to go on the fly and your limo driver will appreciate the heads up.

5. If you and your bridal party would like to indulge in a little liquid cheer in the limo(champagne,etc), try to stay away from drinks that stain like red wine or other dark liquors.

Here are some of my favorites from Erin and DJ’s photo cruise. We hit the jackpot with this abandoned train station and the life-like soda fountain sculpture, both in downtown Wichita, KS.

Gainesville Wedding Photographer: Chelsea and Steve’s big hurrah!

Chelsea and Steve met during their stint at the University of Florida and even though they have now moved to Colorado they wanted to celebrate their big day in the town they love best!

Chelsea and the ladies got ready at the Magnolia Plantation which provided a great spot for Steve to see his bride for the first time. The more first look moments I do the more I love them! We spent an hour there doing portraits of the just the two of them together before heading off to the Baughman Center for family portraits and of course their ceremony!

You would drive right by the Baughman Center and not even know it is there. This wooden gothic style chapel is so beautiful and you feel like you are in the belly of ship when you look up into it’s rafters.

Each of Chelsea and Steve’s bridal party each had a part in a special blessing to read. And their close friend sang a beautiful aria.

The best part that really made us all cheer was when their officiant (another close friend) announced them for the first time as Dr. and Mr. Steve Kischner. :O)

Love it!

Then the bridal party met in this cool brick street to do some fun photos before meeting up with all the guests at Boca Fiesta Restaurant

This was a truly unique venue for a reception. I loved how intimate it was with guests sitting at cozy booths including a special one just for Chelsea and Steve.

All of their details highlighted their love for El Dia de Los Muertos icons. Complete with a sugar skull groom’s cake, Chelsea’s garter had mini skulls and table signs also sported the sugar skulls. These two also love their bikes! Chelsea got Steve a bike bell with a skull on it and there was an oh so cute cake topper that had a caricature of the lovebirds on a bicycle built for two.

They had a great alternative to the old school bouquet/garter toss. They had piñatas for guys and girls that inside had a garter, gift cards, and a little bouquet. It was so fun to watch Chelsea and Steve take whacks blindfolded at the crepe paper burros.

We brought our awesome photo booth which along with some fake mustaches of course brought lots of laughs with their guests. Click here to see the photo booth pictures on Facebook

The pair then made their getaway in a tunnel of sparklers out to a horse drawn carriage that was waiting for them.

Congrats to you both and enjoy the cool pines of Colorado!

Melissa - One of the best you've done! love it!

St. Augustine Photographer: Alice Tea Party and Fashion Show

Loved being a part of this Alice themed tea party and fashion show! Models showed off killer fashion from The Closet and from Down the Rabbit Hole boutiques. Plus tons of goodies from Sugared Bliss, Gas Restaurant, Fairy Cakes were on hand and displayed with flowers from Flower Works. Hair and makeup were provided by Mahela Salon and Monica Zonni. The models strutted their stuff down the runway to the lovely voice of Amy Hendrickson, followed by Psychronic Continuum. All of the proceeds from the event went to benefit the Head Start program in St. John’s County.

windrosie - Hi!:) Your photography is stunning!!! I was wondering if you would graciously allow me to use the gorjuss pictures of my products you took(tags, signs and paper clocks) in my listings on Etsy.
here is a link to my paper shop:
Thank you so much in advance!!!

St. Augustine Wedding Photographer: Featured on Pictage homepage!

Feeling so honored! Pictage, our print lab partner, chose one of my photos to feature on their homepage!

They asked for submissions that showed true emotion. Here is my winning image plus a screen shot from the Pictage homepage:

This is from Nick and Lisa’s wedding from last spring at the Peña-Peck House in downtown St. Augustine. The bride’s nephew was their ring bearer and had his camera in his pocket. Would love to see the photo he got!

Cheryl Joy - That is awesome Kate!!!