Erin and Kris loved a gallery from a prior session I photographed at Bok Tower Gardens in Lake Wales, Florida and they fell in love with the architecture and the scenic backdrops that Bok Tower Gardens could offer for their engagement photo session. With that in mind, we set up a date and planned our epic engagement session!
Bok Tower Gardens offers such a diverse number of locations for photographs, but I narrowed it down to my favorites here. Normally we would meet at the Visitor Center and then walk over to the Pinewood Estate.
First location is on the way to the Pinewood Estate, where there are tons of opportunities to stop and take some pictures in the beautiful gardens area.
Second is at the actual Pinewood Estate, where the possibilities are endless! We normally start on the left side and walk around the grounds taking pictures at different areas until we get to their iconic octagon water fountain garden. Then, we would make our way back to the tower.
The third location is at the actual Bok Tower. Once again, there's so many hidden places on the way so make sure to keep your eyes open! The tower also makes an amazing backdrop for engagement photos. We had to skip the tower for Erin and Kris' session due to the fast approaching rain, so we decided to go to our last favorite location at the gardens.
The fourth location is on the grassy hiking trails by the entrance. This area is amazing due to the diverse look of hills that we normally don't get in Florida. Plus, it's perfect for sunset since the sun normally sets with the tower in the background. For this shoot we had some epic clouds due to a storm that was coming in.
I had a BLAST photographing Erin and Kris and can't wait for their upcoming wedding later this year, we have some plans for some epic pictures and it's going to be amazing! Take a peek at some more pictures of their Bok Tower Gardens engagement session below for additional ideas!
If you need a wedding photographer or harpist in the Tampa Bay area, we would love to be considered! Contact us and tell us about your wedding...big or small, we want to be a part of it! :)
Taneha and James love the beach and after looking at some beach location options, they wanted to have their engagement session in Anna Maria Island. Having done some engagement photos in Anna Maria Island before, I knew of a secret spot that I love and it's my go to location for sunset beach engagement photos in Anna Maria. That location is...Bean Point!
What I love about Bean Point is that is not located in the main beach area, so there's a lot less people at the beach, making it way easier for photos. Normally we park between North Shore Drive and North Bay Drive where there is a public beach entrance. That public beach entrance is great because there are some beautiful trees and a wall with greenery that we normally stop by to take some photos before getting to the beach.
Once we get to the beach we are welcomed by some really cool grassy sand dunes, which gives us the option for more diverse backdrop to the beach photos. Since it rained the day before, we had tons of puddles in the area which made for some awesome reflection photos! Then we head to the water to finish up with the sunset photos. The sunset here is just PERFECT! One thing to keep in mind about this location is that there are no public restrooms and parking is kind of limited. Other than that, I love this location for beach sunset engagement photos in Anna Maria Island!
We had such a great time and I can't wait for their wedding day coming up! Take a peek at some of the photos from Taneha & James to get some ideas!
If you are looking for a wedding photographer and harpist in the Sarasota, Anna Maria Island, Bradenton, or all of Tampa Bay area, contact us! We would love to be a part of your wedding!
When Nichole and Mario reached out to us, it felt like a match made in heaven! They shared their vision of their beach wedding (that included the harp for the music!) and we knew right away that it was meant for us to be a part of it! Their wedding will be at the amazing Lido Beach Resort in Lido Key / Sarasota area. Lido Key Beach offers sooooo many beautiful photo options that we decided to take the engagement photos at the hotel area, and let me tell you....it didn't disappoint! In a typical Florida weather fashion, it was raining during the day of the session and we almost thought about rescheduling, but we looked at the weather maps and all signaled for a clearing during sunset. So we decided to go for it...and I'm super glad we did!
We started in the parking lot area where there was a big puddle of water due to the rain and took some water reflection photos that I love so much. We then moved to the beach area where there are some small white wood buildings and some greenery. Then, we (by "we" I mean Nichole and Mario lol) got adventurous and climbed on the rocks for some epic photos! Lastly, we did a final walk in the water to finish up the session.
This session was so much fun!!! Nichole and Mario are such a cute couple with so much love and passion. With that said, we can't wait to be a part of their wedding! Take a peek at some of the photos from the session below as they may help you with some ideas for your Lido Key beach engagement session.
If you are looking for a wedding photographer or harpist in the Sarasota, Lido Key, Anna Maria Island, or Brandenton area, reach out to us! We would love to be a part of your wedding! :)
Mary & Bruce will have their wedding at the stunning Grand Hyatt Tampa Bay later this year. When I asked them about their engagement photos, they wanted to also have them at the resort. With so many beautiful areas for pictures at the hotel, I said, why not! Let's go! With COVID-19 affecting some of the restaurants temporarily closing, Mary spoke with the team at the Grand Hyatt to see if we could go up and take some engagement photos from the amazing views of Armani's restaurant. Gladly they were able to do so for us! And let me tell you...WHAT. A. VIEW! Take a look at some of the photos we took for their engagement. With so many other location options that the hotel offers, I can't wait to photograph their wedding later this year!
If you are looking for a wedding photographer in the Tampa area, contact us! We offer tailored photography experience at a very high level of expertise and professionalism!
The harp is a such versatile option for your wedding ceremony music!!! Not only it’s a perfect option to walk down the aisle to live music performed by a professional musician such a harpist, but also perfect for entertaining the guests during cocktail hour or small receptions. Here are the top 5 reasons you should book a professional harpist, especially if you are moving from big weddings to small, micro, intimate, or elopement wedding due to COVID-19:
1. The sounds of the harp are soothing, romantic, and surprisingly loud. There's nothing like the sound of a harp. It's like a piano that you can take pretty much anywhere, especially for outdoor weddings! The sound if powerful enough that it travels far, plus she only needs a small place to set up! Although a sound system is generally not needed, Kristen always brings one just in case.
2. Your song on the harp. A professional harpist will be able to play whatever song you want on the harp. Kristen will work with you to create a customized playlist for your wedding ceremony, cocktail hour, or reception music. Want a special mix for your first dance? She'll make it happen!
3. It's generally a lot less expensive than hiring a DJ or band. Especially is you are having a small wedding and with some of the COVID-19 restrictions, it may not make sense to spend so much on equipment and a DJ or hire a bunch of musicians that can't maintain social distancing. Instead, entertain the guest with the beautiful music of a professional harpist playing while they mingle and eat during the reception.
4. Give your guests something to remember. As a wedding photographer, I have been in many weddings and have seen many options for wedding music. But, when my wife Kristen is the harpist for the wedding, it's the only time I hear the guest talking about the music and how beautiful it was. ALWAYS! Of course, that makes me happy :) I generally hear things like "OMG they have a harpist!" or "I've never seen a harp in real life before, it's so beautiful!" or "Wow! So cool that they hired a harpist!"
5. It’s a stunning and beautiful instrument to look at...making for beautiful and elegant pictures of your wedding. From the bride and groom photos or just having it as a backdrop, the harp is just so elegant! It's the official instrument of the royal family, so that should say something!
If you’re still undecided for your wedding music, you cannot go wrong in hiring a professional harpist like Kristen Elizabeth for your wedding! Remember, that with us, being a husband and wife team, it's even better! Kristen Elizabeth also helps as a second photographer during the day, so it's the perfect match :)
With that said, contact us today to learn how we can help you we can help you with our wedding photography and harp music experience! We want to be a part of your wedding day in Tampa Bay!
"Jose & Kristen are just FABULOUS! José does an amazing job with the pictures and expreases such creativity through photographs & Kristen for plays the harp beautifully and also is amazing at taking photographs. They are a wonderful team and what they do is priceless. Our photos came out amazing and they were able to capture every special moment in our wedding. The harp not only sounded beautiful, it added such an elegant and classy touch to our ceremony. This couple has a special talent! They are extremely warm and welcoming and make posing for pictures so effortless. I would HIGHLY recommmend." - Giselle, Bride
I've always wanted to photograph an engagement photo session in Downtown Plant City, especially at The Heart of Plant City mural found behind the Whistle Stop Cafe at the Collins Street Mural Park. So when Amy and Tim told me they wanted their photos in Plant City, I was super excited about the opportunity. When we got there, to my surprise Amy told me that her father was on the mural! I learned that Amy's father and family have deep roots in Plant City - which made this engagement photo session even more special! After taking photos at the mural, we did a quick stop at the old telephone booth outside the Whistle Stop Cafe store, then we walked to the old Plant City Hillsboro State Bank for some additional photos. On the way back, we did a quick stop by the State Theatre Antiques (Plant City's old theatre) where I saw a puddle on the street and visualized an opportunity to do a creative reflection photo! We then drove to the Old Plant City High School (1914 Plant City High School Community Center) a few blocks away. There we finished up the session with some beautiful sunset photos and more creative shots by the stairs on the side.
I had an amazing time exploring and learning about Plant City. Thank you Amy and Tim for letting me capture these and be a part of your wedding day later this year at the beautiful Cross Creek Ranch!
If you are looking for a wedding photographer or engagement photographer in the Plant City area, contact us today for a free quote! We want to be a part of your wedding! :)
I recently had an engagement session at the beautiful Fort De Soto Park in Pinellas County. A lot of our couples want beach engagement sessions and Fort De Soto Park is one of the locations I usually recommend depending on the vision of the couple. Amy and Chris are both avid water lovers, and after checking out some options, we decided on Fort De Soto Park.
What I love about Fort De Soto Park is that it offers different landscapes and backdrops to a beach session, giving you more options to be creative in your photographs. We normally would meet at the historic fort parking, then walk around the fort to take some photos. The fort has a very distinctive look and makes for such a nice contrast. It also offers some opportunities to take photos inside some of their rooms - I normally do a cool effect with color and off camera flash! On one side of the fort, there is a nice set of stairs that can also be used for photos. I then walk around the other side of the fort, looking towards the beach and find an area with greenery, palm trees, and flowers. Again, more options and diverse backdrop!
To end the session, we walk over to the beach area where you will find some ruins of the fort. This area makes for a very dramatic look, especially when the sun comes down! I encourage my couples to get in the water and have fun! That always makes beautiful and memorable engagement photos for years to come.
Take a peek below for some ideas of engagement photos at Fort De Soto Park. If you are looking for a wedding or engagement photographer in St. Petersburg or Tampa Bay area, contact us! We want to be a part of your wedding day! : )
As the Coronavirus continues to make waves across the globe, we hope that you and your families have been staying safe and healthy.
Our top priority for this year is making sure that we do right by all of our clients. While we hope that your wedding planning will not be disrupted, rest assured that we are here to make our part of your big day as easy as possible.
As of now, every wedding that we had in contract during this time of pandemic, we have been able to help our couples in finding a new date and rescheduled the wedding! Also, we ARE STILL BOOKING WEDDINGS! That's correct, if you are still undecided of booking because of what's happening, we totally understand. But, all things will come to an end at some point and if you have a wedding to plan for later this year or 2021, 2022, etc....contact us ASAP! The good news is that our contracts are client friendly, plus we only require a small retainer and since we limit the amount of weddings we book a year, we have more flexibility than other photographers who may have tons of weddings and don't have the flexibility to reschedule dates.
Now, as for us, we've been taking extra precautions because wedding season must go on as soon as this is over, and it's our responsibility to stay healthy for our couples! We strongly suggest you do the same and follow all quarantine rules - we want to photograph your wedding!!!!
If you have ANY questions, please email us, or contact us via any of our social media pages. We are here for you and hope that all of this can be over soon so we can celebrate your day. :)
Jose & Kristen
A few weeks ago I was at Shayla and Preston's fantastic wedding ceremony. They took their vows at Cross Creek Ranch in Dover, Florida. I was thrilled to photograph a wedding at Cross Creek Ranch. It is an excellent location for weddings, I hope to come back soon. Being a wedding photographer in offers great opportunities to work with lovely couples like Shayla and Preston in fantastic locations like this one.
Shayla got ready at Main House on the morning of the wedding. I really enjoy photographing bridal prep as it gives you a chance to get to know the bridal party a little better. For this wedding, my friend Andrea Jackson from New Ground Photography helped me out as a second photographer and popped in on Preston while he got ready at Groom's Cottage.
Shayla and Preston tied the knot at Enchanted Forest and it was a emotional ceremony among family and friends.
During the wedding reception we photographed some portraits and formal photographs. It was a lovely atmosphere and everyone really enjoyed themselves. Photographing the reception was interesting and heartwarming. So many moments were caught!
This was a fantastic Spring wedding and we made sure we got some lovely portraits at the venue. There was a lot of cloud about on the day, but clouds create the softest light, and that really helps create flattering photographs.
I really enjoyed photographing Shayla and Preston's special day and I'm sure they will be really happy together. Take a peek below at some of the images from their wedding at Cross Creek Ranch!
If you are looking for a wedding photographer for your wedding at Cross Creek Ranch in Dover, contact us! We would love to be a part of your wedding day :)
Photographing Alison and Bryan's big day was so much fun! Alyson and Bryan decided to have a non traditional wedding and when they told me about their plans I was more than excited since it's something we don't get to experience of photograph often! They held their wedding at Ulele, located in Downtown Tampa. It was the first time I photographed a wedding at Ulele, it's a great venue right by Tampa's Riverwalk that allowed me to bring the best of each moment.
I started the day photographing Alison at The Barrymore Hotel. I photographed her having her hair and makeup applied and getting the final stages of her preparation. It was so cool seeing all the details of this renaissance type of wedding with hand crafted medieval jewelry and dresses.
Once we got to Ulele, friends and family looked on as Alison and Bryan exchanged rings in a fantastic ceremony right on the riverfront while my wife played their favorite tunes on her harp!
Ulele was decorated beautifully based on Alison and Bryan's love for role playing games, cosplay, and medieval/renaissance. The guests were chatting happily, as they enjoyed drinks of their choice while I was still on the lookout to catch fantastic moments on camera.
Alison and Bryan created a fantastic day and it was a joy to share it with them.
This unique wedding was a success thanks to the amazing work of Rachel Dummeldinger with Ardour Complete Events! Take a peek at some of the images from the wedding below.
If you are looking for a wedding photographer and harpist in the Tampa Bay area, reach out to us! We would love to be a part of your wedding day!
Jose & Kristen Hoyos, Tampa Bay Area Wedding Photographer and Harpist for Weddings