Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Kristina & Jay's Professional Pictures

Wow! That's all we can say! Wow! Limelight Photography captured some unbelievable shots of Kristina & Jay's wedding day. Here are some amazing shots from their blog...

All images courtesy of http://www.stepintothelimelight.com/.

Vendor Feature: The Pink Fiddle

Voilinist Amanda Gerttula and her musicians are quite a team! Amanda works with each client to select the perfect music for their wedding. The Pink Fiddle is also on the preferred vendor list of many local venues.

Amanda was brought up in Florida near Orlando. She started playing the violin in the 5th grade, and had great string programs during junior and senior high school. She earned a Bachelor degree in Music Education and performance, and a Masters in Music Education and Performance. Amanda attended the Spoleto Festival in Spoleto, Italy, a festival in Graz, Austria, and has taught in the public schools in Cork, Ireland, and in Pinellas County, Florida.

From 1981-2000, Amanda played in the Florida Orchestra, under the baton of Irwin Hoffman, Jahja Ling, Skitch Henderson, Bobby McFerrin, Aaron Copland, and Joseph Silverstein. She has performed with Roberta Flack, Johnny Mathis, Carol Channing, the Smothers brothers, and many others. Amanda is included on VH1 Behind the Music in a feature about Marty Balin pf Jefferson Airplane fame, and can be seen playing next to Marty during a concert sequence. Amanda has performed solo with Vassar Clements, John Hartford, Bobby McFerrin, and Marty Balin (founder of Jefferson Airplane), along with local groups such as The Women’s Blues Review, and Full Moon Rodeo.

Amanda started improvising in 1993, when she bought a Fishman transducer for her violin. Every week, she would go out and jam with various bands in the area, playing blues, jazz, new age, rock, and pop. In 1995, she bought a pink MIDI Zeta violin, and started using a Boss SE-70 effects unit. In 1998, Amanda acquired a handmade 5-string violin made by Robert Scoville.
In 1998, Amanda a purchased a laptop, and started playing MIDI files using the program Cakewalk, and using the music to play for weddings, receptions, and concerts. She has recorded all the music to an MP3 player, and can perform many hours of classical, jazz, new age, and pop music.

In 2000, Amanda resigned from the Florida Orchestra after 19 years. She started her new business in 1998 and it has prospered.
Her prices range from $200 - $900 depending on your needs and number of muscians you require. She even sells a CD of traditional wedding music on her website so that you can listen to each song to select the music that's perfect for you!

The Pink Fiddle

All images courtesy of http://www.pinkfiddle.com/.

Behind the Scenes

I had a great joy to be able to work with an unbelievable group of vendors and friends a few weeks ago. Josh Walther of Inspire Entertainment, Rebecca & Michael Zoumberos of Limelight Photography, Alex & Jocelyn Karas of Viola Cinematic, and I worked together for Kristina & Jay's wedding at the Don Cesar. Rebecca & Michael were able to capture a few great "behind the scenes" shots of us working together to create the most beautiful day for this sweet couple! It's so interesting to see an event from this perspective!

All images courtesy of http://www.stepintothelimelight.com/.

WeddingWire.com Rated!

We are very excited to announce that we are now "WeddingWire Rated" on WeddingWire.com!

Thank you so much to our clients for all your kind words. We appreciate it and the opportunity to be a part of the happiest day of your lives!!

Thanks again & God bless!!
Images courtesy of http://www.weddingwire.com/.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Congratulations Kristina & Jay!!

We had the joy of working with an amazing couple this weekend, Kristina and Jay! They had a beautiful ceremony in the Don Cesar courtyard with the cocktail hour and reception in the North Terrace. Their color scheme was an interesting contrast of chocolate brown accents with light blue and light yellow. The ceremony decor was very simple yet striking, with white chivari chairs and accents of yellow and blue flowers. The cocktail hour had a combination of tall and short tables with light yellow linens, and centerpieces of sand, starfish, and sand dollars. The escort card was accented with a tree of flowers and crystals. The reception was a total contrast to the cocktail hour, the room was filled with blue uplighting, light blue linens, and brown napkins and chivari chairs. The centerpieces were three varying height cylinders with yellow and blue flowers inside. There were also lighting at the bottom of each vase and candlelight on the table. The favors were a real hit! They were boxes of chocolate sand dollars and starfish, made by the Don Cesar, on a bed of "sand," made of sugar and brown sugar. Their cake was a very simple white cake with a drape of white fondant and flowers, also made by the Don Cesar.

The ceremony was so touching, both the bride and groom cried! You could see the abundance of love that they have for each other. The bride even had the DJ, Josh Walther of Inspire Entertainment, sing "God Bless the Broken Road" as a dedication from her to her new husband. Rebecca & Michael of Limelight Photography and Alex & Jocelyn of Viola Cinematic captured all of the beautiful moments throughout the day. All of the gorgeous flowers were created by Stephanie at Fish Hawk Weddings and truly added texture to all the decor. And, special "thank you" to our intern, Natalie, for all of her hard work helping out throughout the night!

Congratulations Kristina and Jay! We wish you a lifetime of happiness together! Thank you for allowing us to be a part of your day!

Friday, April 10, 2009

Cans for Comments Update & A Shout Out!

We will be completing our Cans for Comments program next week, when we purchase all the cans and drop them off at Tampa Bay Metropolitan Ministries. Stay tuned for updates & pictures!

In the meantime, we would like to give a "shout out" to Aymee Brace of Brides Florida who not only posted a comment, but also donated cans too! That was so generous you Aymee! We really appreciate it!!

Read more about the Cans for Comments program:

Friday, April 3, 2009 - Cans for Comments - THANK YOU to everyone that supported us!!!
Tuesday, March 31, 2009 - LAST DAY!!!
Tuesday, March 24, 2009 - Cans for Comments Update - COME ON PEOPLE COMMENT AND GIVE BACK!!!!
Monday, March 9, 2009 - Cans for Comments!!! Comment & Give Back!!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Great Article: Why are Professional Photographers so Expensive?

A photographer brought this article to my attention, it's great. If you've ever asked yourself this, then please read!

"Why are Professional Photographers so expensive?

In this digital age where everyone has digital cameras, scanners and home "photo printers", when people upload their photos to a local drug store website and pick them up a few hours later, we hear this all the time - How in the world do Professional Photographers charge $55 (actually more then what I charge) for an 8x10 when they cost just $1.50 at the drug store?

Here's why.

Simply put, you're not just paying for the actual photograph, you're paying for time and expertise. First, let's look at the actual time involved. If you don't read this entire page, at least read this first part.

For a two hour portrait session:

- one hour of travel to and from the session
- two hours of shooting- 30 minutes of setup, preparation, talking to the client etc.
- 30 minutes to load the photos onto a computer (2 - 4 Gb of data)
- 30 minutes to back up the files on an external drive- 3 - 4 hours of Photoshop time including cropping, contrast, color, sharpening, saving a copy for print and a copy for the internet and backing up the edited photographs
- 2 - 3 hours to talk to the client, answer questions, receive their order and payment, order their prints, receive and verify prints, package prints, schedule shipment and drop package off at Fed Ex.
- For local customers, we also print a set of all of their photos, and meet them at our studio to review the photos and place their order. Meeting and travel time averages 2 hours.

You can see how one two hour session easily turns into more than ten hours of work from start to finish. So when you see a Photographer charging a $200 session fee for a two hour photo shoot, you are not paying them $100 / hour.

For an eight hour wedding:

- I won't bore you with the details, but an eight hour wedding typically amounts to at least two to three full 40 hour work weeks worth of time. Again, if they are charging you $4,000 for an eight hour wedding, you are not paying them $500 / hour.

Now for the expertise.

Shooting professional photography is a skill, acquired through years of experience. Even though a quality camera now costs under $2,000 taking professional portraits involves much more than a nice camera.

Most Professional Photographers take years to go from buying their first decent camera to making money with their photography. In addition to learning how to use the camera itself, there is a mountain of other equipment involved, as well as numerous software programs used to edit and print photographs, run a website etc.

And let's not forget that you actually have to have people skills, be able to communicate, make people comfortable in front of the camera - and posing people to make them look their best in a photograph is a skill all by itself.

Think of it this way - the next time you pay $X to get your hair done, a pair of scissors only costs $1.50. But you gladly pay a lot more to hire a Professional.

What about the cheap studios at the mall?

Please don't compare us to the chain store studios. But if you must, consider all of the time and work that we put into our photographs, compared to what they do. Good luck getting a two hour photo shoot at a chain store. Not to mention they won't come to the beach! And of course, look at our work compared to theirs. You get what you pay for.

The truth is, most of the mall and chain store studios lose money. In fact, in 2007 Wal-Mart closed 500 of their portrait studios because of the financial drain they were putting on the company. What the chain stores bet on is that you'll come in for some quick and cheap photos, and while you're there, you'll also spend $200 on other things. They don't have to make money, they are just there to get you in the door.

In conculsion, we hope that those who have taken the time to read this page will have a better understanding of why professional photographs cost so much more than the ones that you get from your local drug store.Thank you for taking the time to read this."

Author: Shawn Richter

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Great Blogs to Check Out!!

There are a number of amazing blogs out there for you to follow! You can learn all about the latest tips, tricks, and trends.

Here's some of our favorites:

Preston Bailey

This is the official blog of Preston Bailey. You can see extravagant floral designs by the famous designer. Preston Bailey creates anything and everything out of flowers! Use his designs as inspiration for your event.

Kiss the Groom

This blog showcases great vendors and the weddings they create. They recommend great websites for you to check out too.

Southern Weddings Magazine

This blog is updated pretty much everyday and features weddings, complete with questions and explanations direct from the bride and groom. They also feature different ideas and resources for your event!


This is the official blog of Sasha Souza. She posts about great vendors and resources for unique touches to add to your event. She also posts about the weddings she does, which are completely inspirational.

Style Me Pretty

This blog is updated multiple times a day with photos of unique weddings. If you're a creative one, they hold contests to find the latest and greatest DIY projects. They also do contests to win great vendor products.

Tidbits on Weddings

The blog of South Florida planner, Kelly McWilliams, is a great resource! It's loaded with ideas and trends to create great events!

For more information about these blogs or more fun ones to check out, contact us at 813.426.5280 or staci@uniqueeventdesign.com.