Key West Photographer - Karrie Porter: Blog en-us KP Photo BFS Key West (Key West Photographer - Karrie Porter) Tue, 25 Aug 2015 01:33:00 GMT Tue, 25 Aug 2015 01:33:00 GMT Key West Photographer - Karrie Porter: Blog 95 120 Hiring an Undercover Photographer to Capture Your Proposal Feel like someone's watching you?  You should!

You've invested years into your relationship, learned her preferences and predilections, and decided she's "the one".  You shopped around and dropped a substantial sum on the ring of her dreams.  You planned the perfect getaway to Key West, using any excuse you could think of to justify the trip, and have been hiding the ring box in clever places, praying everything goes perfectly.  After all that effort, why let the moment unfold without anyone there to document it? 

Man proposes at Casa Marina Resort

An undercover photographer who specializes in proposals is the perfect final piece of a puzzle you've spent so much time and energy to put together. 

Beyond the photos...a Proposal Photographer helps:

  • Scout locations to determine the best options
  • Create helpful schematics of the space so you know exactly where to go
  • Coordinate with the venue to get the necessary permissions
  • Book your reservations, transportation, or any other pertinent details if needed
  • Clear the area before you arrive (if possible) so you have the space to yourself
  • Arrange any necessary seating, shade, or champagne, so you don't have to

Other qualities to look for:

  • Someone who will coach you through the logistics
  • Someone who knows the location, where the natural light falls, and will consult you on how to make the best use of the space
  • Someone who knows how to be discreet, but isn't afraid to rally for position when the moment arrives
  • Someone who knows not to text your cell phone and ask if you're excited about your proposal.  :)
  • And obviously, you want a photographer who is not only good at all these above items, but is also skilled and creative in their work!



Engaged couple portrait at beach Why It's Important

I remember the day my own husband asked me to marry him...he had planned an extravagant weekend to a place I had always wanted to go.  I thought it was just for fun, but when on the second day, I turned around to find him kneeling down, the world melted away, my mind went blank, and suddenly people around me were clapping and congratulating us. 

It happened so fast, and while the image of his face looking up at me will forever be ingrained in my mind, I would have loved to have some photographs of the moment to share with family and friends, and to make me smile whenever I looked at them fondly years down the road.  Since then, I have worked hard to provide this service to guys asking their girl to marry them.  And every time, the girls are almost as excited about having the photos as they are about the ring, and you'll be relieved knowing you've got someone there helping it all go smoothly.   


So if you're planning a trip to the Florida Keys with a special question to ask a special someone...

be sure to download the guide and put this unique service at the top of your checklist.
Surprise Proposal
Photography Guide


Karrie Porter is a
destination wedding
photographer based
in Key West, Florida.  




]]> (Key West Photographer - Karrie Porter) ask girlfriend to marry engagement hidden hidden photographer key west photographer pictures of proposal popping the question proposal secret undercover Mon, 27 Apr 2015 01:29:04 GMT
The Essential Destination Wedding Photo Must-Haves  

Traditional weddings tend to call for more traditional photos, modern weddings have more contemporary photos, and casual weddings have more laid-back, less formal photos.  But what if you're getting married in a destination like the Florida Keys, Key West, the Bahamas, or some other island getaway? 

Just because it's remote doesn't mean you're roughing it, and just because there won't be 300 people doesn't mean it's a low-key event.  A mixture of relaxed attitude, a flair for the unique, and keeping only the closest friends and family as part of the celebration calls for a unique set of images. 

So toss out that mainstream photo list you were given.  Here are the images every destination wedding should have.

1) Bold, Colorful Backgrounds

If your house is a normally neutral palette of tans and taupe's, the fastest way to spice up a room is with a splash of color.  If that color just so happens to be the wild mural your photographer found with pops of yellow and red, or a brazenly blue and turquoise building in the middle of a historic part of town, even better!  Plan to get out and explore a little, and come back from your trip slightly more psychedelic than you expected. 

Bahama village blue and green building with wedding coupleBahama Village bride and groomBride and groom pause in front of this brightly colored building in the historic district of Key West known as "Bahama Village"

Smooches in front of the Key West postcard muralKissing in Key WestColorful mural near the Key West Bight gives reason for a smooch.


2) Relish in the Resort

You probably looked at two dozen websites, spoke to multiple people, and considered many factors before booking the perfect place to stay.  Sure, photos in your hometown hotel on the mainland probably wasn't something any website ever recommended, but for a destination wedding, the accommodations are part of the entire experience.  Even if you're not getting married there, having photos around the beautiful property you're staying at is one way to add value to that likely-premium per-night rate you've booked.  
Diamond skylight above bride posing by angular railing.Diamond [Not] In the RoughResort builders go to great lengths to attend to unique details and interesting angles. Let your photographer stop you on the walk down to the ceremony to incorporate some of this well-placed architecture. Family on split levels at Ocean Key ResortSplit Level LayoutDon't be afraid to split up the group for a minute, and use your resort's separate levels to create a fun shot with everyone in attendance. Bride and groom pose by pillar in Hyatt Key West ResortLet the Light Shine DownWhere there is a pillar covered in teeny tiles and recessed lighting to make it shimmer, there's an opportunity to get some dramatic overhead lighting before stepping out into the sun.










3) Sand Between Your Toes

If you love the idea of getting married near the ocean, but are worried about your guests watching the ceremony through sunglasses or straining to hear your vows over the cawing seagulls, don't fret.  You can always have the ceremony elsewhere, then stop off at the beach for photos.  Get there early when the sand has been freshly graded by the maintenance crews, or hold off until sunset when the pretty evening lighting makes for sunkissed accents in your hair and dress.   

Couple walks through sand leaving footprints on Smathers BeachTake a WalkMost beach communities take the time to grade (rake) the sand first thing in the morning. If you're an early riser, you get to lay the first set of footprints in the sand for the day. Couple walking toward camera on Casa Marina beachCome On Honey!When you've got a wedding ceremony to get to, you may only have 5 or 10 minutes, so hurry down the beach, and have fun while you're at it.

Bride smiling while walking barefoot in sand on Higgs BeachGo BarefootIf you're at the beach, forget the wedge heels and strappy sandals. Kick 'em off for a stroll in the sand. You can't help but smile in a moment like this








4) Get Your Groom Going

Is your man usually pretty mild-mannered, especially where photos are concerned?  You'd be surprised how much he'll open up when he's in a beautiful location with his best friend.  So don't be surprised when he takes a flying leap off a bench, or busts out with the air guitar in the middle of the day.   

Groom plays air guitar while bride looks on laughingShred It In SilenceIf your groom has a knack for music, the sounds of the live island tunes floating in from every direction may just inspire him to strike a chord on his own. Groom riding bike down path on wedding dayHuffy = HappyGive this boy a bike and there's no way he won't beam, especially riding past his pals through a path shaded by palm trees. Groom being goofy jumping off a bench in Key WestJump for JoySure, the pictures of the entire bridal party jumping in a row are a lot of fun, but if the mood strikes your future hubby to take a leap off a yellow street bench, tell him to go for it.








5) Embrace the Unusual

Whether it's a funky stump painted by a local artist to resemble a sea creature, or a boat converted into a car to float your bridal party to your ceremony, being in a new location means doing things you would probably not normally do anywhere else.  

Colorful stump painted like an octopus in Key West.Octopus Stump? Why not!Being in a new place involves embracing the new and the unusual. So when you come across a funky octopus stump painted by a prominent local artist, embrace all eight tentacles. Groomsmen ride in pink floating cadillac Nautilimo.Yup...That's a Floating LimoIf there is one day in your life you can roll up in a pink floating Cadillac, your island-based wedding is it! The "Nautilimo", based in Islamorada, Florida, brings the bridal party right to the dock.


6) Remove the Rings

Gone are the days when the newlyweds hold hands over the bouquet to show off their shiny finger trinkets.  Wiggle off your ring and let the photographer create a sparkling scene with them.   

Macro image of wedding ring diamond with blurry fire in backgroundLet it GlowYou wouldn't know it at first glance, but that orange in the background is the faint flickering of a bonfire. Rings in champagne glassRaise A GlassIf your rings come back a little damp, don't worry. They were just getting their bubbly on like the rest of the guests. Wedding rings showing groom's fingerprint inside and sparkle background.Shimmer Me TimbersAn island affair doesn't mean everything has to be pirate ships and tiki torches. A sparkly purse makes the perfect backdrop for this stunning set. Wedding rings in beach with impressions left in the sandMake An ImpressionYour wedding day will leave a lasting impression on everyone who attends and is involved in making it a reality. Signify this by letting your rings leave a mark - in the sand - as well.


7) Bridal Party Antics

You'll be with them the entire day, but unless your bridal party are all members of a local theatre troupe accustomed to synchronized displays of expressive behavior, images like these aren't going to just magically materialize.  But getting the group of 10 or 12 exuberant friends away from the party for a few minutes doesn't mean the fun has to end.  Plan for some time to spend just with them, and your photographer can set up scenarios that look good and non-contrived.    

Bridal party in seafoam green dresses chat on the beachChat It UpThe best moments happen when you're not aware of the camera, so check each other out and talk about the day to come.

Guys coming out of Sloppy Joe's in Key WestA Stop At Sloppy'sNo need to rush to the altar. We've got all day, so plan for a little stop off at one of the iconic local saloons with the guys - like this group at Sloppy Joe's Bar in Key West - for a quick bit of revelry. Bridesmaids link arms and walk along Rest Beach near White Street Pier.Walk With MeYou chose these girls because they're the most important people in your life. Stay close, share laughs, and strut your stuff.   It's time for the reception!  Run!Run for the Reception!Something as silly as a run down the beach can really loosen everyone up and make them realize that they won't be forced to stand with stiff poses and forced smiles.   Bridal party forms horseshoe shape toward camera.Form a HorseshoeLow angles and a little sassy expression means the blue sky and those sweet suits get all the attention they deserve. Just curve toward the camera so no one gets left out.


















8) Don't Forget The Details

Pictures of details aren't a new thing, but when your tiny items have traveled hundreds or thousands of miles to make it to your wedding in the Florida Keys or wherever else your wishes have taken you, they tend to feel even more special.  So, whether you're making a subtle case for marriage equality with some nicely printed wedding programs, showing off a hot new pair of shoes, or highlighting the "sheer" brilliance of your dress selection, detail shots add context to the entire day.

Sunlight backlit sheer dressLight Through LaceAnything sheer should be enshrined in light to give it a beautiful glow from within. Bright shoes hanging from white balcony railing.Fuchsia ShoesBold shoe colors were meant to be seen. Clever images of bright pumps dangling from gingerbread railings (yes, they're really called that) are a fun scene-setter for the entire set of "getting ready" photos. LGBT wedding card depicts subtle meaning of togethernessCards For HumanityThose subtle little touches distributed in print give meaning and extra context to the day. Just because they aren't tabletop show stoppers doesn't mean they don't have a quiet power that should be ignored.

















9) Let the Veil Prevail

Lots of destination brides share that they are torn over whether or not they want to wear a veil.  After all, the laid-back atmosphere of a Key West wedding, for example, might make the veil seem a bit too formal.  I'm here to tell you that once you see the wonderful things that train of tulle can do when the ocean breeze gets involved, you might just change your mind! 

Bride's veil blowing in the wind.Tighten Your Clip!A long, luxurious veil is such a fun way to frame a shot; just make sure whatever you've got to hold it in your hair is very secure, as those Atlantic breezes can be a bit gusty at times! Bride stands on rocks by oceanOn The RocksA little elevation onto the coral rocks gives just enough lift for the Gulf breezes to catch the veil and show it off.


10) Sea Walls and Sunsets

This one might be a given, but since sunset can sneak up on you during the afternoon festivities, it's a good idea to plan around it so that it is an integral part of your wedding day schedule.  You'll have about a 15 minute window during which the light is perfect and the skies come ablaze with the dramatic pink and orange hues you saw in the travel mags.   

Bride swishes dress on top of Fort Zachary TaylorSunset SwishYou could just stand there, or you can grab the dress and swish it around. Married couple pose during sunsetWarm Skies, Cool ColorsThere is a period of time about 10 minutes before the sun hits the horizon and about 10 minutes after that the skies take on stunning hues of pink and orange, offset by a small bit of remaining blue.





So with these top ten image types, hopefully his helps in your destination wedding planning decisions.  Whether you're headed to the Florida Keys, Key West, or another island chain, you'll be well equipped to incorporate photography that makes the best use of the unique locale.  

In the meantime, share your thoughts, and your own photo ideas, in the comments!

bridal magazine


2015 Florida Keys
Wedding Magazine!

  Karrie Porter is a
destination wedding
photographer based
in Key West, Florida.  








]]> (Key West Photographer - Karrie Porter) checklist destination wedding destination wedding photographers key west wedding key west wedding photo ideas key west wedding photography photo checklist photo ideas photographers in key west photography planning Sun, 12 Apr 2015 17:21:53 GMT
My Mission  
Bride in window with orchid I give people the power to recollect.  As someone who is very nostalgic, thinks deeply into the meaning of every little moment, and daydreams in great detail about the future, my mission is to create a world that people can draw on in moments of reflection, and be transported back in time to feel the emotions, see the faces, and be reminded of the love that made the event important enough to document in the first place. 
When life takes over and we start to lose perspective, I give couples the power to rediscover each other. For when they peel back the layers of stress and distraction, and stand up out of the fog, they can see the moments that brought them together, and move forward in greater love and respect for each other. 
Love is infectious. Kindness grows exponentially. When we feel the power of love, and are reminded of its beauty in the images we surround ourselves with, especially when we know - being human - we aren't always worthy, we rise to the occasion and we pass it on.  They in kind do the same.  
And so, in this way, my mission is to also improve the world by improving the thoughts and emotions we allow into our minds.  If an image can change one person's perspective, it can in actuality change 100 perspectives, which can then change 10,000.  That's a pretty powerful thing, and it's why I aim every day to be better than yesterday, to give more than I gave, to love more than I have been loved, and to be more than I ever was. 
]]> (Key West Photographer - Karrie Porter) Sun, 15 Feb 2015 04:04:10 GMT
Don't Trust One Wedding Vendor to Hire Another Let me first start off by saying that I am not going to name names here.  The point of this post is not to draw negative attention (and thereby any attention) to specific individuals.  Instead, I mean only to inform brides planning to get married in Key West that there are a few things to keep an eye on when booking your vendors.  

Talking with photographer before the wedding First and foremost, if you are talking to one vendor about a combined service, and they are saying they will handle the booking of the other service(s) for you, make sure you get copies of that vendor's contract WITH THE OTHER VENDOR.  Do not trust your wedding day to someone else.  If you hire a videographer, and they say they will handle booking your photographer, EVEN IF YOU SPEAK TO THAT PHOTOGRAPHER, do not assume there is a confirmed booking and a proper deposit paid until you see it in writing. 

Better yet, even if you're doing a combined vendor "deal" with two people who work together, simply request that you want to sign contracts with EACH of them, individually.  

Why am I telling you this?  Well...because this very situation happened to one of my brides, and to me, and I want to help prevent it from happening to others.  Because of the actions of one unscrupulous vendor, the bride almost lost her photographer and important members of her other vendor team (hair/makeup/etc) three days before the wedding.  

At the request of a very prominent (but unbeknownst to me at the time, notorious) videographer in town, someone I actually considered a friend, I had a consultation by phone with a bride to provide the photography portion of a combined photo/video package.  She indicated to the videographer that she wanted to work with me, and (also unbeknownst to me), paid her deposit at that time (this was about 10 months before the wedding).  

Over the next few months, for about 5 or 6 months total, I would check in with the videographer on occasion and ask if the bride was booking and if she had paid her deposit.  He always told me she had not.  Come to find out later, he had actually been lying the whole time, as the bride HAD paid. 

Let me also add that this particular wedding was on a very popular wedding date.  I had roughly 7 or 8 leads for the date who would email in.  I would always mention that I had another inquiry on the date but nothing booked so far.  Each time, I would reach back out to the videographer about our mutual lead, and always he would say he'd get back to me.  In the meantime of waiting, I would eventually fall out of touch with the other lead, and they would book elsewhere.  I lost every other inquiry while waiting for an answer, and many of them for a larger package.  But because I considered this vendor a friend, I wanted to be there for him. 

Sunset behind silhouette couple in Key West When I finally told him I would need an answer or book another wedding for the date, magically the next day he had a signed contract and a paid deposit, meaning, for me, a confirmed booking and I could stop looking to fill the date.  Great. At this point we were still a few months out, so I told him he could get me my portion of the deposit at his convenience.  (Big mistake on my part....but I really shouldn't have to track it down either).

A week before the wedding, I am getting emails and calls from the planner, the bride...we are talking and going over things, and in every way I am being consulted as the photographer for the wedding.  I get the planner's schedule, however, and it's the videographer's business listed as providing photography.  I sort of scratch my head, but don't think much of it.  After about an hour talk with the bride to go over logistics, we wish each other well and vow to see each other on Saturday.  This is when I mention to her my uncertainty of whether I am getting payment from her or from the videographer (I was never copied on any contracts, so I have no way of knowing, and the videographer wouldn't answer me).  She cheerfully says the videographer has been paid in full for the entire package "a while ago".  Keep in mind, this sum is not an insignificant number.  

But when I check in with the videographer, he balks at my mention of the payment.  He changes the number.  Not by a little bit.  By basically almost all of it.  He essentially wants me to drive four hours, shoot 8 hours, and deliver the files to him for only about 25% of what we originally agreed to.  After expenses...paying my assistant, my editor, my travel, and a few bits of rental gear, I will make nothing.  We go back and very polite and understanding, fully realizing that miscommunications happen, and offering options for how we can come to a resolution.  He gets angry, starts cursing, retorts that he had offered me a specific price earlier in the year (not apples to apples mind you, but that's a conversation for another day) and changes into someone I don't even know.  He tells me never mind, he'll find someone else. 

Except, it's now four days before the wedding, and I know that everyone is booked.  I call the coordinator, whom I've never worked with but I know has a good reputation.  I explain what's going on.  She tries to mitigate.  I even offer to renegotiate our terms to make it work for both of us.  He won't budge.  

So then I call the bride and tell her I'm very sorry, but the videographer will be finding someone else to shoot her wedding.  I try to keep the details to a minimum, but of course she wants to know what happened.  I tell her the whole story.  She is understandably upset with the videographer, who basically took a large sum of money for a photo and video package, but has basically failed to hire her a photographer.  Yup.  Pretty much. 

When it turns out they can't find anyone else, and the videographer won't budge, and the bride tells me she still wants me there, I offer to shoot the wedding....for free.  I figure if I'm going to work for someone else and be backed into an impossible corner, and not get paid, then I'm going to work instead for the client directly, handle things on my own terms, and not get paid.  

It was a beautiful day, a beautiful couple, and the images turned out great.  The working relationship on the day of the wedding was fine, but internally awkward, and when it was all over, I lost a good friend and a respected professional colleague.  

Beyond that, it was a valuable lesson learned, and so I share it with you as you work toward booking your vendors for your Florida Keys wedding.  Maybe it's the hotel saying they'll book your florist, or your caterer saying they'll book your table decor.  If they themselves are not providing the service and are partnering with another company, make sure you speak to all parties, ensure everyone has a contract, and everyone has been paid.  And do this long before the week of your wedding, and you will have smooth sailing with no vendor drama affecting your big day. 

]]> (Key West Photographer - Karrie Porter) get in writing photo video package vendor agreements watch out for wedding vendor horror stories Sun, 28 Dec 2014 05:30:00 GMT
How Much Time Should I Book With My Photographer?  

You're pretty darn good at telling time...

As creatures of habit, we develop very accurate internal clocks for the things we do every day. Whether it's your commute, how long to cook your favorite recipe, or how much extra time to allot when your friend tells you they're “almost ready”. 

Whether it's...

Your daily commute: 20 minutes

Your favorite pastime: 4 hours

Your creative hobby:  45 minutes

With such repetition, you can see how it's easy to estimate time for different activities when you've had lots of practice.

Planning a wedding takes a little knowledge about how the day will go and how much time each of your vendors will be needed. But your wedding...!?

Many of us have very little experience planning a wedding, so we have to rely on our vendors to tell us how long their service will take. Your hair and makeup stylist may ask for a head count and a few simple questions.  For the DJ, their schedule is going to revolve around how much time you've rented the venue.   


When it comes to photography, however, there are so many variables to consider.  

Combined with the fact that they will spend more time with, and have more access to, you and your guests than any other vendor, it's a good idea to carefully think through how much time you need before booking.
Here are the top questions I ask when discussing the amount of coverage needed to shoot a wedding.

They are more complex than this, but in a nutshell, it all boils down to three main things: 





1) What types of images are most important to you? 

For example, are you hoping to spend some time going around town and hitting scenic spots around the island?  Or are you content to shoot just at the venue?  
Driving around town is a great way to add images you can't get anywhere else, but the driving, setting up, and shooting (at each location, no less!) takes time, so be sure to account for that if this is something you want.  Are you inspired by the creative detail shots you see in magazines, or will you be happy with just a quick single photo of the dress after you've put it on?   A professional photographer is used to working under pressure and on a time-crunch, but creativity tends to flow a little more generously when they know they've got an extra 15 minutes to spare.

How many family formal groups will you need captured? Keep in mind each group takes about 3 minutes to set up and shoot. 2) How many posed family groups do you need?

Setting up nicely arranged portraits with every family member in attendance will take more time than if you'd rather stick to just immediate family and a few close friends.  On average, it takes approximately 2 to 3 minutes to set up, shoot, and break down each family grouping, which I find is a helpful gauge when planning for these types of images.

3) Do you want your schedule to move along at a pretty brisk clip, or would you rather take your time and be laid back? 

If you are naturally efficient and move quickly in your everyday life, then you'll be fine having a schedule detailed out to the minute.  

Do you want to have time to play?

However, if you're someone who would rather take it all in, walk slow, take time to stop and chat, or are generally someone who needs time to pause and think, then you should plan to buffer your schedule so you don't feel rushed.  Think too about your family gatherings, and if you know some key players who have trouble with punctuality, then setting a tight schedule might make it hard for everyone to keep up. 
Whatever your schedule looks like, I'm going to make sure you stay on it.  Most of the time, that just involves my assistant reminding us occasionally how much time we have left throughout the day.  But sometimes that means cutting out the last stop from our around-town session because 3 groomsmen ran late.  Think about how much hustling you want to do, and how comfortable you will be with last minute changes if things don't go according to plan. 

How much variety do you want to see in the finished product? 4) How much variety are you looking for in your images?  

After 13 years in the business, I have a workflow and methodology that lets me produce high quality images regardless of how tight the schedule gets. But like any creative professional, the more time there is to take in the surroundings, look for unique opportunities, and take advantage of serendipitous moments, the more variety you'll see in the finished product.  For some people, this is very important and is what they look for in a photographer.  For other people, as long as they have a few nice shots in a single spot, they are happy.  

5) Are you open to seeing each other before the ceremony?

If you are, then it means we can spend some of the time beforehand capturing images of you together, with the bridal party, with family, or hit areas around town without the rush of knowing everyone is waiting for you.  As a result, less time is typically needed between the ceremony and reception, and it means you get the benefit of joining cocktail hour if you like.
Are you open to seeing each other - and completing some of the photography - before the ceremony?







"That's great and all, but I still have no clue where to begin."

No worries.  A professional photographer should be willing to help you write your schedule, or willing to discuss it with your wedding planner.  But if you want some general guidelines, here is what I suggest:


FIRST - Start with the one "set" time you know will not change.  If your officiant has set the ceremony time, use that.  If you're basing the entire schedule around something like a sunset, do a quick search to determine what that time is.

SECOND - Work backwards from your "set" time to determine when you need to start.  Use the answers to the questions above to help you determine where more or less time is needed.  If you're unsure, always assume you've calculated short and buffer in extra time.  

THIRD - Go back to your set time, and work forward through the rest of the day to determine what time you'll be done.  Again, keep in mind where you might need to be extra generous to avoid the stress of rushing.

Your photographer should be more than happy to help you with your schedule.

And if that wasn't enough, I want to leave you with one more helpful tool.  Use it to get a rough estimate of how much photography coverage you will need, based on the parts of the day that you know you definitely want covered.  

Timeline Builder Chart:

Details (shoes, dress, flowers, etc) 30 min Photo with each bridesmaid  3 min/ea
Girls / Bride getting ready 30 min Photo with each groomsman  2 min/ea
Guys / Groom getting ready 15 min Posed group images 10-15 min
Moving between rooms (same location)  5 min Fun & playful group images 15-30 min
Moving between locations 15-30 min CEREMONY  
Portraits of bride alone 15 min Walking to ceremony (same location)  5-10 min
Portraits of groom alone 10 min Getting bride only to/from car  5 min
BRIDE AND GROOM   Getting entire bridal party to/from car 10-15 min
Moving into "first look" position    10-15 min Driving to ceremony location 15-30 min
First look moment                      5-10 min Lining up for processional 10 min
Posed / traditional images            20-30 min Processional   5 min
Fun & candid-style images           30-60 min Ceremony & Recessional 15-75 min
Loading/unloading into vehicle         5 min/stop Post-ceremony congratulatory moments   5 min
Driving to next location  5-15 min RECEPTION  
Walking to each shooting spot  2-5 min Grand entrances 15 min
Photos during each location stop     20-30 min Special dances & toasts 30-45 min
Returning to ceremony venue 10 min Scenery and decor photos 15-30 min
FORMAL / GROUP PORTRAITS   Bouquet/garter/other traditions 30-45 min
Gathering family for portraits 10 min Wedding rings and other creative photos 30 min
Posing and shooting small group  3 min/group Sneaking B&G away for sunset photos 20 min
Posing and shooting large group  6 min/group Cake cutting 10 min
Buffer time if "sideline shooters" distract groups 10 min Mingling and miscellaneous candids 45-60 min
Buffer time for missing guests 10 min Dancing and miscellaneous revelry 60-75 min

Keep in mind that these estimates are very general, and won't fit every wedding, but it's a starting point that I hope you'll find helpful.

Good luck in your wedding planning, and of course if I can assist in any way, please don't hesitate to CONTACT US.

]]> (Key West Photographer - Karrie Porter) Weddings & Romance how many hours how to karrie porter photography key west key west photographer photography coverage photos planning questions to ask timeline wedding wedding photographer wedding photography wedding planning Tue, 02 Sep 2014 06:00:00 GMT
Extra Love: Retouching for Albums and Prints As I sit here working on the retouching for one of my latest albums, I thought it would be a good opportunity to show some examples of what goes into this "behind the scenes" step of the process.  I often get the question "What is the difference between editing and retouching?" 

Basic editing, which all images receive before you view them, is a faster, strictly objective process.  

Full retouching occurs once the final selections have been made for the album, or for prints that will go on the wall.  This level of work is much more time-consuming and extremely detail-oriented, which is why we reserve it for these images only.

Rough Draft Album Design Pages Bride and Groom wedding album example Series of images arranged in Key West wedding album

BASIC EDITING (all images)


  • adjust white balance so colors render correctly
  • adjust crop to tighten the composition in a scene
  • cull out the "blurs, blinks, and blah's"
  • straighten horizon lines and architecture
  • correct image distortion caused by wider lenses
  • add the contrast that is indicative of Karrie's style
  • add vignettes to draw focus to center as needed
  • dodge and burn (brighten and darken) areas of interest
  • add detail back into sand and sky as needed
  • add minor teeth whitening and small blemish removal
  • sequence multiple cameras into cohesive story
  • renumber sequenced images
  • export raw images into readable format
  • uploading to client gallery and saving to client USB drive
  • sharpening eyes and shiny details
  • small skin blemish removal as needed
  • removing makeup smears and eye bags
  • removing stray hairs and "fly-aways"
  • cooling down redness in sunburned skin
  • smoothing harsh tan lines
  • retouching out garbage or other small distracting elements
  • removing outlets, exit signs, and other unsightly details
  • removing dirt, makeup stains, or sweat marks on clothing
  • straightening crooked necklace, candle, column, etc
  • fixing broken tile, missing patch of grass, scratches on car, and other "dangit"s
  • simple "vanity edits" like slight arm slimming and slight tummy tucking are included upon request.  
  • complex "vanity edits" are an optional upgrade at the rate of $120 per hour (billed in 10 min increments). Includes: 
       • double chin, love-handles, large tummy pooch
       • extensive arm tightening, leg lifting, shoulder bulges
       • extensive scene edits like cleaning up a messy room

Mouse over images to see "Before and After" **

**(viewing this page from mobile device?  Mouseover will not work, but we've included some handy animated GIF's, ordered in special from Windows '95.  Ha!  



This image was originally taken with the idea of cropping it to a square, so I wasn't so much concerned about the items on the left and right edges.  When it came time to do the design, however, the square format just wasn't cutting it, so we decided to use the full horizontal.  That meant working some retouching magic to tidy up the room.  And if I do say so myself, that left end-table is looking pretty darn good.  Do you realize how many layers and out-of-box ideas that takes to pull that off?


While I would have much rather had the time to tidy the room beforehand, I will say that Photoshop challenges like this are really good for me.  I've been studying, using, and teaching Photoshop for about 15 years now, and enjoy stretching the creative and problem-solving muscles it takes to cleanly edit an image like this.  I'm always learning, of course, but projects like this put me into a bizarre zen-like trance.  I get completely absorbed, and obsess over ever little pixel.  In a world of constant interruptions, it feels good to get work steadily on one thing for 45 minutes.  

These two (above and below) are those candid type of "in the moment" images, that a photographer has to grab unscripted, without much direction or interaction with the subject.  

Can you imagine how annoying it would have been for me to go "I know you're about to have this really iconic moment on your wedding day of putting on your dress, but can you - half naked - kick your shirt to the side instead of it being at your feet?  Oh and you there...yes...can you reach down - while you have a dress over your head - and move the envelope and iPhone charger sitting on the couch behind you?  Oh and everyone, tidy your buns, smooth over your hair.  Yes you may continue". the dang picture and move on.  


This image was requested by a bride looking for a little "slimming action", and we were happy to help her enjoy her ideal vision of herself.  :)


This image was taken from an upper-floor balcony.  I asked the bride to turn and look up at me. 

It resulted in a sweet image, but ideally, given my vantage point, I should have turned her left shoulder forward just a bit to avoid it widening the amount of horizontal space her body takes up in the frame.

I realized it instantly, but like many times during a busy wedding day, we had places to be.


Anytime we can take 30 seconds to interrupt a moment and fix something distracting, we will do that. 

But rest assured that your album and wall portraits will never suffer as a result of a wayward plastic bag, an unruly piece of hair, or a clumsy guest who steps on or stains your dress.  


Article by Karrie Porter














Mobile-Friendly Before and After Photos of Album Retouching

Viewing this page from a Smart Phone or Tablet?  Sorry...mouseovers don't work for you.  But here are some handy animations to show you the "before and afters" discussed above:



]]> (Key West Photographer - Karrie Porter) image editing karrie porter photography key west photography photo retouching retouching wedding album wedding photography Sat, 16 Aug 2014 23:53:07 GMT
Venue Feature: Pier House Resort in Key West, FL

Here in Key West, one of the most popular wedding venues is The Pier House Resort and Spa, in the middle of downtown.  Combined with a great downtown location, luxury amenities, an onsite spa and salon, a spacious and beautiful beach (rare for Key West), waterfront views, and great staff, it's hard to beat.

Enjoy this visual tour of the Pier House, start to finish from the preparations, ceremony, portraits, and reception. 


I have always found the rooms to be spacious, well decorated, spotlessly clean, and beautifully lit with sunlight streaming through the sheer curtains (this is something I personally like to see, as it makes the most flattering photographs that allow me to shape light on a subject without using artificial flash).  

Bridal suites at Pier House Resort are roomy and comfortableSweet SuitesBridal suites at Pier House Resort are roomy and comfortable


A bride's dress hangs elegantly in the window of her Pier House Resort suiteShow off the DressA bride's dress hangs elegantly in the window of her Pier House Resort suite

Soft lighting from a window at the Pier House Resort allows beautiful detail shots with lots of shape and detail.Details, DetailsLighting doesn't come to mind to most people when choosing a hotel for their wedding, but it does create opportunities for images that have a different look and feel than those created with artificial flash.
Bridesmaid wearing floral kimono wrap pops the cork on a bottle of champagne for her best friend's wedding in Key West.So Thirsty!Never worry that your champagne wishes will be ignored! Delivery to the room often includes everything from fruit, to mini sandwich wraps, and of course, your beverage of choice!



When you see each other for the first time on your wedding day, the moment will already be special.  But since you will likely also have photos taken during this time, you want the surroundings to be stunning as well.  Thankfully, the Pier House has several nice places that allow you the space and quiet atmosphere that is perfect for this.  

Bride and groom see each other for the first time before their wedding at Pier House Resort.In the GardenPier House has a beautiful garden throughout the center of the hotel that allows snug little spots to see each other for the first time.
First look with LGBT couple at Pier House Resort, hidden among the foliage to give them some privacy.Privacy SettingsWith a moment like this, you want it documented, but you don't want your photographer to be in the middle of it.
Bride and groom exchange cards on their wedding day during a first look session.Happy ExchangesThe "first look" is also a great time to exchange cards or other gifts. The balconies overlooking the harbor make a nice area to do so. Bridesmaids sneaking a peek at a bride and groom seeing each other for the first time.Sneaking a PeekThe beachside covered patio area offers a shady spot where you can be perfectly alone...that is, until your bridesmaids find out where you are. :)


People often think that getting married on the beach in Key West means you have to forego the amenities and full service of a resort.  With a wedding at the Pier House, you get the best of both. They have two primary ceremony locations on the property, both of which we see couples light up with delight when they see it all set up for the first time.  

The paved covered patio area leads out onto the white sand beach area, and offers a beautiful unobstructed blue sky background.Beach CeremonyThe paved covered patio area leads out onto the white sand beach area, and offers a beautiful unobstructed blue sky background. One area of their beach extends all the way to the water's edge, however because this is near the bar and the restaurant, and is where other hotel guests go to relax in their lounge chairs, it's actually better to have the ceremony a little further down, tucked in behind the beautiful sea-grape foliage, with a view of the blue water in the background.  

From a photographic standpoint, this site is actually the best because the setup allows the sunlight to come in from the side, which is a very flattering effect.  

This spot also has a covered patio where the ceremony musician can set up in the shade, and a walled-off "staging area" from which you can line up with your bridesmaids, and give your dad a final kiss on the cheek before you make your grand entrance.

The other thing I like about it is that you have the entire area to yourself.  Beach weddings on Smathers or Higgs require you to jockey for position when you arrive, and other hotels have beaches that are so small, you don't really have much separation from other guests.  Here, the only people surrounding you are those you intended to be present.  

A large group of guests cheer for the newlyweds at a beach ceremony at Pier House Resort in Key West.Invite Them AllWhether it's an intimate gathering of your 10 closest family and friends, or you've got people flying into town by the dozens, the beach ceremony site at the Pier House can easily accommodate.

In terms of size, the Pier House excels again.  You have so much flexibility with how many guests they can accommodate.  Not only is their resort large enough that everyone can have a room on site, but their ceremony sites both can scale both up and down.  It's very common for us to see very small weddings with 10 to 15 people, and you don't want to be getting married in a massive, expansive space that feels empty.  At the same time, you don't want a venue that is so restrictive in its capacity that you have to worry if extra people show up.

The Pier House gives you a setting that is intimate enough for very small events, but scales easily when everyone is attending. 

The waterfront terrace offers another beautiful spot to get married, especially if your guest list is very small.Terrace CeremonyThe waterfront terrace offers another beautiful spot to get married, especially if your guest list is very small.

On the other side of the resort is the waterfront terrace ceremony location.  This is a large private open balcony-type area that feels as if it sticks out over the water.  It has wooden pylons that accent the corners, and a clean white railing that borders the area.  

While I do find it to be a very pretty spot to have your wedding, there are  few things to consider.  Because it is not as "tucked away" from the water as the beach spot, you are more aware of the activity out on the harbor.  There is a jetski rental company that departs nearby, so occasionally you'll see them zoom by.  On the flip side, this also means you have a better view of the historic schooner sailboats as they float past, often waving and hooting in congratulations! 

My biggest recommendation, however, when choosing this spot, is to talk with the coordinator about how the chairs will be positioned, and to be aware of how this will affect the images your photographer can capture.  While the sun going down behind the altar area sounds like a romantic idea, this means everyone else will be facing directly into the sun.  Guests will need to squint or wear sunglasses, or at worst will be holding up their hands to their eyes.  

Be aware of how the positioning of your ceremony in relation to the sun will affect the style and look of your ceremony images.Sun SplashThe terrace location, while very beautiful, is going to give you a different look in your photos. Light flares and sun that spills in from behind can have a romantic look, but is not for everyone.

Your images will have to be taken in such a way that either allows sunlight to splash into the scene, or the photographer will have to position herself at angles that aren't always ideal.  If guests are against the right railing, it limits images from that side, which is the direction the bride is usually facing.

If you have your ceremony on the terrace, maybe look into positioning the "aisle" perpendicular to the sunset, as opposed to facing it.  You'll have a shorter aisle to walk down, but the positives may outweigh these considerations.  



Whether you choose to have your bride and groom photos taken before or after the ceremony, one area that Pier House Resort really shines is its beautiful surroundings, lush garden walkways, and variety of scenic areas to shoot in, all of which are mostly devoid of people loitering in the background or disturbing the session.  

In addition, the hotel is so centrally located to downtown Key West, that it is very easy to wander off property and incorporate the funky and colorful Duval Street attractions - all within walking distance - into your portraits.

Pier House beach shoreline makes a great place for group photos with the bridal partyJump for JoyPier House beach shoreline makes a great place for group photos with the bridal party
Married couple take pictures at a Key West resort with a burst of sunlight coming in behind them.Beam of CreativityWith so many nooks and crannies to explore throughout the hotel, it's easy to pull out creative effects like this.
The gardens throughout the resort give your photographs a true tropical feel.Perfect FitThe gardens throughout the resort give your photographs a true tropical feel.


Once the wedding ceremony is over and all the portraits have been captured, it's time to party!  Here is where you'll have a variety of options.  While we have seen receptions take place in the conference center, most happen on the terrace, with select smaller weddings being hosted on the restaurant veranda.  

Cutting the cake at an indoor wedding reception at Pier House Key West ResortIndoor SpaceWhile not used as frequently, the Grand Ballroom at the Pier House Resort is a great indoor space to have your wedding reception. Veranda reception setup at the Pier HouseSmall Party. Cozy Setting.The veranda makes a nice comfortable setting if you are just celebrating with a small group of friends and family and aren't hosting a full reception. They can set it up with one long table, or a few round 8-Tops. The terrace reception area is the most popular and spacious spot at Pier House to have your post-wedding party.  Under the StarsThe terrace reception area is the most popular and spacious spot at Pier House to have your post-wedding party.

The terrace has plenty of space for the band or DJ, some open areas for dancing, pretty overhead strings of bulbs or lanterns, a full service bar, plenty of tables for family, gifts, guest book, and even room for a Photo Booth or a custom Cigar Rolling Station, if you're up for it! 

Another option is to have your reception under the beachside patio.  The layout allows for a grand entrance and plenty of "room to groove".Make an EntranceAnother option is to have your reception under the beachside patio. The layout allows for a grand entrance and plenty of "room to groove". Bridal bouquet of flowers sitting on a sweetheart table during a wedding reception.All Taken Care OfThe wedding packages at the Pier House mean all you have to do is choose your preferences, and they will order and deliver.
Danny DiFabio with Rodriguez Cigars specializes in bringing custom cigar rolling tables and supplies, and will even teach guests how to roll their own.  Roll Your Own Cigar!Danny DiFabio with Rodriguez Cigars specializes in bringing custom cigar rolling tables and supplies, and will even teach guests how to roll their own.

In addition to the space and amenities, the Pier House also wins in its delicious catering.  Be sure to ask them to include their delicious conch chowder!  The staff is always super friendly and attentive, and the receptions always run very smoothly.  I've never had a bad experience as a vendor at this location, nor have I seen my couples run into any issues either.  

A photo booth is a really fun way to create memories without everyone feeling so formal and stiff. 1, 2, 3, Smile!A photo booth is a really fun way to create memories without everyone feeling so formal and stiff. Junior bridesmaid dancing at Key West wedding reception.Room to MoveThe fist pumping, macarena, YMCA, and cupid shuffling can go on all night long.
Dad and daughter dance during a destination wedding in Key West.Dance with DadWith a large open space overlooking the ocean, dancing with dad (and anyone else, for that matter) is no problem.

While there are many venues in Key West that can deliver a great experience for your wedding day, I have photographed enough events at the Pier House to know it is a solid choice for couples looking for a place to make their planning easy, and their event unforgettable.



Author: Karrie Porter

Karrie Porter Photography
Key West, Florida

]]> (Key West Photographer - Karrie Porter) Pier House Key West reviews getting married how to choose a venue key west wedding venue photos of Pier House pier house resort wedding ceremony wedding reception where to get married Mon, 14 Jul 2014 03:44:00 GMT
Make Your First Year of Marriage As Beautiful As Your Wedding Day From the moment he pops the question, you believe that it will be a fairytale wedding and you’ll live happily ever after.  But the truth is, you must put in a bit of work to have the story play out the way you intend.  Even though you may have had the most beautiful wedding ceremony, the first year of marriage can throw you for a loop if you aren’t poised and ready to deal with it effectively.  It is natural to have some misunderstandings as you learn more about each other, but knowing what to expect can help you live a happy and successful life with your new spouse.    

Bride puts ring on groom's finger during their wedding ceremony



  • Commit to your partnership from the very beginning and make an effort to work on that partnership every single day.  Just having this mindset from the get-go will put you in a better frame of mind when issues do come up.


  • Encourage, be proud of and show support for your spouse by building them up and helping their self-esteem.  Always make time for each other and don’t let other activities keep you away from home for long periods of time.  Quality time will build commitment, love and mutual support for each other.


  • When planning for your wedding, it is important to plan for your marriage as well.  Discuss responsibilities with your fiancé, in addition to chore expectations, finances, children and other long term goals.  This is the opportunity to get excited about the great adventure with your new life partner.



Bride and groom enjoy a casual ceremony on the beach of Key West, with their wedding date written in the sand.


  • Always be honest with your spouse.  Discuss your needs and problems openly without complaining, but instead be truthful and discuss how you feel specifically. 


  • Remember that your spouse can’t read your mind, and always try to keep your relationship on track.  Problems can only be fixed with communication and not by turning to other people for advice or to “vent.”  Keep your marriage issues just between the two of you.  


  • If you find yourself struggling during the first year of your marriage, sit down together and look through your wedding photos.  It will take you back to that special day and remind you of all the great reasons you decided to marry your best friend.  Flipping through the images in your album will help you relive that happy day, and will help you to keep the big picture in mind, help you rediscover your spouse, and also bring back all of those fun newlywed butterflies.    



The first year is spent getting to know each other on a closer level, loving and encouraging each other.  While keeping these simple points in mind, you can spend the first year of marriage enjoying being with your husband or wife, and looking forward to a wonderful life together.

]]> (Key West Photographer - Karrie Porter) advice for newly married couples big picture first year marriage advice tips for newlyweds wedding photos Mon, 30 Jun 2014 18:00:12 GMT
Getting Grooms Going. Using Key West's quirky energy into great groomsmen wedding photos. Unless you have a groom who is really outgoing, photogenic, and has a big personality, most brides at some point will worry about their fiance's attitude or behavior during the photography session.  The top concerns are usually one of the following: 

Karrie Porter Photography's image of bride and groom snuggling.




  • He will get impatient
  • He will feel awkward and uncomfortable
  • He'll be hot, hungry, and grumpy
  • He will be too self conscious to let loose and have fun






But fear not, my veiled taffeta beauty!  If you go about the photography session of the two of you the right way, it will be smooth sailing, and your man will be asking "Oh we're done already?"  The key things to keep in mind are:

Snuggling in the peace and quiet near the water's edge in Islamorada in the Florida Keys.

1) He might not realize it now, but after the stress and hubbub of the preparations, ceremony and family formals, it's going to be a huge relief to finally get some time alone with you away from the attention and the activity.  If you decide to see each other before the wedding during a "first look", you'll find those nerves dissipate even more.

Groom leads his new fiance in a silly frolic down the beach in Key West.  © Karrie Porter Photography

2) This is only a short segment of the day.  You might be thinking "big picture" and how the schedule will play out with the photographer over an entire day, but keep in mind that most of that is documentary-style capture of the moments as they unfold.  It's only during the more directed portrait sessions that he will even be conscious of the camera.  So don't fret that "there's no way he'll last 6 hours", because it's really only about 30 to 90 minutes (depending on the wedding, of course) total that the photographer will be asking for his direct and personal attention.

If you'd asked this bride if her man would play air guitar for the sake of a funny wedding photo, she probably would have guessed not.


3) He might not be normally that "into" pictures, but you'd be surprised how often grooms really amp it up on their wedding day.  Think about it...they're happy, they're excited, they feel good, they look good, they have people they love around them, they're in a beautiful space, they feel important, and they've just married the girl of their dreams.  All those endorphins have a way of energizing guys, and they often emote more readily, smile more genuinely, laugh more heartily, and play more enthusiastically.

Guys enjoying a float away on the Nautilimo in Islamorada, Florida  © Karrie Porter Photography

4) Finally, be sure to get buy-in from your fiance during the planning process.  If he's more of a "whatever you think" kinda guy, then just go ahead and plan for some fun activities for just him and the guys.  If you think he'll be stiff and awkward having preparation photos done at the hotel, schedule him to meet the photographer somewhere cool.  Tossing quarters over your head into a plastic fish's mouth hanging on the sign of Captain Tony's Bar will certainly make for some interesting pre-wedding photos!

Groom throws quarter into the mouth of the plastic grouper above Captain Tony's bar in Key West.
Groomsmen coming out of a Key West wedding on Higgs Beach in their linen slacks and coral bowties, holding custom engraved flasks.

If location or logistics won't allow for an off-property activity, then think about the kinds of things your man is into (short round of touch football with the guys during cocktail hour?), or maybe a gift he is giving to his groomsmen.  Something like custom-engraved flasks filled with a little "liquid courage" are a subtle but meaningful way to make the groom's photos unique and enjoyable to him.  

Groom jumps off yellow bench in old town Key West during wedding photo shoot.


It's very common for brides to express fear that their husbands-to-be will be cranky and uncooperative, but most of the time, that turns out to be a non-issue.  

If you're working with a professional photographer who is organized, thoughtful, and creative, they will help you come up with some great options to make the experience enjoyable for your guy, and they will have a way of making everyone feel comfortable, including people who don't traditionally enjoy being photographed. 

This in turn will translate into excellent images.  You never know, your man might just surprise you with how photogenic he can really be!



By Karrie Porter 

]]> (Key West Photographer - Karrie Porter) Key West wedding couples Tips for better images of the groom Using an experienced Key West wedding photographer how to get groom to smile Fri, 20 Jun 2014 00:07:57 GMT
What to Expect During Wedding Day Preparation Photos  

What does it mean when the photographer says they will include "preparation photos"?

Preparation photos are the images your photographer will capture when they first arrive for your wedding day.  Often, these images are used to "set the stage" for the day's events.  They give the viewer a sense of introduction, and set the tone for the style, colors, theme, and overall mood of the wedding.  

Fish eye image of wedding dressPreparation photos set the tone for the style and overall mood of the wedding.

Why do I want them?

While not vital to every wedding, whenever your photography schedule can accommodate it, it's nice to have those behind-the-scenes moments captured before the event begins.  There is beauty and emotion in those subtle nuances.  The bride in deep thought, biting her lower lip while she gets her veil put on.  The mother standing in the corner, looking on with that unmistakable look of admiration in her eyes.  The well-manicured fingers of the maid-of-honor prepping the latch on the back of the necklace.  Those subtle hints contribute bit impact on the overall story.

Tidying up the room before the photographer arrives will maximize the time ($) you have them there.Stay refreshed, but hide the bottles when you're done! :) Do I need to do anything special to get ready for these images?

If you want to maximize the photographer's time once she arrives, it can be helpful to have unsightly things out of view:

• empty water bottles and beer cans
• shopping bags and receipts
• dress tags and laundry
• and other similar "unmentionable" items stashed into a closet or designated corner. 

That's not to say that the room needs to be white-glove ready, but it generally makes for less fuss later, since a good photographer will take the time necessary to remove the soda can from your background as as your mother is putting on your bracelet. 

If the general flotsam and jetsam can't be corralled, a secondary suggestion would be:

• keep at least one area, preferably near the biggest window in the room, clear of "stuff"
• if nearby garbage cans and chairs can be removed, that helps too. 
• this will give you an area for window-lit portraits
• stunning "dress in the window" shots can be composed with minimal fuss.

Now...of course this can all be done by the photographer themselves, but because many packages are based on time, it's probable that the preparation photos get the smallest allotment of that schedule, so every moment taken to clean up the area is less time she can be actually taking pictures.

Discussing the wedding day scheduleGoing over the rundown for the day. What should I do when the photographer arrives?

When your photographer arrives, she'll generally want to greet you and your attendants and family.  She might give a general introduction to the room, or she might address each person to start learning names.  She'll likely give you a quick recap/rundown of what she'll be working on. 

Because preparation photos tend to be more candid, your photographer will usually work her way around the room, taking advantage of whatever little activities are unfolding.  It's not necessary to look at the camera every time you see it pointed at you.  Just carry on and pretend no one is watching.

Adjusting the bride's hair accessoryLet your attendants and family know that they are part of the day and don't need to hide from the camera.

Is there anything in particular that should be shared with the family and bridesmaids?

Yes!  It's very helpful if they understand that a photographer will be coming for preparations.  Often, they are caught off-guard, and worry that their pictures will be taken while they are not yet "camera-ready".  This is part of the process, and contributes to that very "behind the scenes" feel referred to earlier.  Some people, generally relatives who happen to be in the room, get an instant sense of being "in the way".  It's good to reassure them that they are part of the day, and they should be in the pictures.

Those who are more shy may worry that the photographer will be getting them in their undergarments.  While most professionals are sensitive to this and will reassure them of what they intend to shoot (or not), it's good to state your preference.  Some brides will drop-trou' without any hesitation.  Others are so conservative that they prefer to dress in another room.  Either way, just express your comfort level so everyone is on the same page.

Window-lit portraits are a beautiful and simple way to create great images before you get married.The window will be part of the preparation photos, so let folks sitting nearby that, at some point, they'll have to relocate to a new seat. Referring back to the clearing of an area...sometimes guests may be seated in an area that is the prime spot for pictures.  In a small room, it may be the only viable "scene".  No one likes to be kicked out of their comfortable chair, and if your photographer is human, they will feel bad asking.  But there is work to be done, so inevitably someone might have to be relocated to get the images needed.  With this in mind, it's good to just plant that bug ahead of time.  If the cleared window area is decided on beforehand, this helps anyone sitting in that vicinity know to expect they will eventually have to move.

How long should preparation photos take?

It depends on the size of the wedding, and how much is going on.  It also depends on whether your and your fiance's room are in the same building, or for that matter, in the same location.   But in general, about 20 minutes for the guys, 10 minutes of walking back and forth if you're both in the same location, 20 minutes allowance if driving between two locations, 30 minutes for the girls, and 10 minutes for bridal portraits before leaving the room, is reasonable. 

This, of course, assumes everything runs on time, which often doesn't happen.  A hair style may be uncooperative, an earring may break in two and have to be super-glued to your ear (yes...that has happened!), the flowers may have gone missing, a hem has unraveled, and a whole host of other "Murphy's Laws" should be accounted for.  In other words, if you can, it's good to buffer in a few more minutes juuuusst in case.  If you're planning on doing a First Look session as well, then throw in another 20 minutes for that as well (5 min walk down and setup, 10 min shooting, 5 min return to rooms).     

Groom adjusting his tuxedo before the ceremony.The groom may have less to do, but it's important to get his preparations also.

What are some of the types of images I can expect to see from the preparations?

• Full length and details of dress • Groom "primping", brushing hair, etc • Bride and mom  /  Groom with dad
• Arrangements of flowers, rings, garter • Getting boutonnieres pinned on • Bridal portraits / Portraits of groom
• Touching up makeup and hair • Groomsmen helping with jacket, cufflinks • Silly/fun bridal party images
• Putting on dress, jewelry, veil •  Casual guy moments, joking, roughhousing • Details of room, champagne, hotel motifs







While it's reasonable to expect that not every wedding will have every single type of image from this list (and frankly, you want a photographer who doesn't work off a "shot list" but has a general template from which they start, building onto it with additional creative images and original ideas), and not all will follow these exact steps, this hopefully gives you a sense of what it means to include preparation photos in your wedding day schedule.  


Article by Karrie Porter



]]> (Key West Photographer - Karrie Porter) getting ready groom getting dressed preparation photos types of images included in preparations wedding photography what to expect during wedding Sun, 26 Jan 2014 18:59:12 GMT
How 4 hours of Coverage Can Fly By

You might be thinking "I'm just having a really small Key West destination wedding; I could never use up 4 hours of coverage".

Large wedding party enjoying photos after the ceremony.Planning a big wedding is easy. You know you're going to need lots of time to include everything. Small weddings, however, can take more time than you think, so watch out for "little things" that eat up the day, regardless of how big the wedding is.

It's true, four hours does seem to be that magic starting number of many wedding photographers.  If you're planning an event with a handful of guests, it might be tempting to look past photographers whose packages start at four hours. 

Couple eloping on the beach in Key West.Elopement ceremonies are about the only weddings that can easily make use of only 1 or 2 hours of photography. Having photographed tons of "small weddings" (which are "average" sized for us here in Key West!), I can attest to how many brides struggle with this.  Sure, there are some events that really only warrant an hour, maybe two, but they tend to be teeny tiny, ceremony-only type weddings where it's just the bride and groom, the photographer, and the officiant.  Every now and then we'll see a few friends in attendance, but that's it. 

Beyond that, most weddings, even self-described "tiny weddings" (again, often "average" in Key West) can easily make use of the standard four hours of coverage.  I'll get to the breakdown in a minute, but in a nutshell, the timing blocks out into four major areas:



In a very broad sense, each one of these makes up roughly an hour.  Now, before you scoff that there's no way you'll need "an hour" of getting ready shots, let me just say that I agree!  You don't need an hour.  But if you're going to have them, you will need about 30 minutes for the ladies and about 15 minutes for the groom.  And assuming you're not getting ready in the same room, you know that bipedal action it takes to get from one end of the hotel to the other...and back?  Yep...that's an easy 3 to 5 minutes each way. 

Okay, no, we aren't counting steps between rooms, but my point is that it is so easy to forget about all the little things that eat up the day.  Walking to and from, loading into the car, waiting for the elevator, and so on.  If 10 different activities each take "only five minutes", that's basically an entire hour right there.  And even if you are executing your wedding day with military precision, something will inevitably take longer than expected, so you have to account for some conservative "buffer time", just in case.


Cannon balls as part of your wedding portraits could be the next best thing.You chose a destination for a reason. Why not make use of it for your wedding photos? You can bet your best friend won't have cannon balls in her wedding album, now will she?

Here is one sample 4 Hour Wedding Schedule for a smaller event in which everything is taking place at a single location (assuming the couple are both staying at the venue where the ceremony will be held), assuming the bride and groom won't see each other beforehand, and aren't needing the photographer for a big reception.

20 min Check in, detail shots, makeup, flowers, and other "not-quite-yet-ready" preparation shots of the girls
  5 min Relocate to the guys' room.
15 min Preparations (guys)
  5 min Head back to the girls' room.
15 min Getting into dress / portraits of bride alone
10 min Walk down and line up for ceremony
20 min Ceremony
10 min Well wishes / Photographer sets up for groups
20 min Family groups / Formal bridal party
10 min Bride and Groom around hotel
10 min Drive to First Location
15 min Shoot at First Location
10 min Drive to Second Location
15 min Shoot at Second Location  *(times are estimated conservatively...often there is time for a 3rd stop, traffic and route permitting)
10 min Drive back to hotel, head back in to reconvene with guests
15 min Introductions, Toasts
15 min Mingling, Candids
10 min Details, food, place settings, rings
10 min Cake, Informal groups and couples, final shot of bride and groom
As you can see, no one single element takes very long by itself to cover, but when lots of important little details are combined, it makes it very easy to use up a 4 Hour Wedding Package without hardly breaking a sweat.   Good luck in your wedding planning!
Article by Karrie Porter Bond
]]> (Key West Photographer - Karrie Porter) 4 hour wedding schedule getting married in key west how many hours do I need a photographer key west wedding planning ideas need help deciding ceremony time small wedding package wedding photo schedule wedding planning Sat, 21 Dec 2013 04:45:00 GMT
Yes, You're Getting a Wedding Album  



Is this what you want to keep you warm at night?THIS?Digital images alone do not constitute a well-delivered product from a photographer. OR? This is more like it.Or THIS?A professionally designed wedding album becomes a keepsake that stays with your family forever.
"I Don't Need A Wedding Album"
I hear this from couples a lot.  Conditioned by our digitally-connected world that is always on, always accessible, and oh-so-full of gizmo goodness, who wouldn't think that "the digital files" were all a girl would ever need to be happy?   But I'm here to tell you otherwise.
We love our gadgets.  iPads, Smart Phones, Apps, Social Networks... 
If it's in the Cloud, we love it.  I love you smart phoneIf it's in the Cloud, we love it.Conditioned by our always-on world, brides can't help but think that digital gizmo-goodness is all they need to be happy. (Image: 'The Suit Up' 3D printed iPhone case)
So, it's no wonder that many couples have a half-hearted perception of a wedding album.  
Let me tell you why I propose against axing the wedding album. 
For a long time, we did albums, because "that's what you did".  Then with the digital revolution, we got 'hip', and moved to just providing the digital image files. 
I did that for about 5 or 6 years, because that's what brides started asking for, and I wasn't clear enough on the consequences of my acquiescence.  I rationalized that with all the technology available, all the options clients had for creating their own products, that it was no longer necessary for me to provide them. 
But you know what happened?  Of all the brides during that time who did not opt for any products, no album, no prints, just the digital files, only ONE ended up doing anything with them.  One!  The rest were too busy with careers, marriage, babies, hardships, and just life in general, to ever have the hours and hours it takes to successfully plan, lay out, design, edit, and order, a nice album. 
A Source of PrideBooks from our Italian Graphistudio line.
I began feeling heartbroken for all of my couples who'd invested a good amount of money, energy, and time out of their wedding day, to have me create these amazing photographs for them, only to find out that I'd done them a complete disservice. 
Sure I'd given them what they "wanted", but as a result, the images had sat cold and unloved on a silver disc, stuck in a drawer in the computer desk.  I had abandoned the images for an "Easy Yes".
Hands working on a photo albumAlbum craft in progressThe work of talented artists and skilled craftsmen goes into each album.
But then I realized why it bothered me.  I am a full service photographer.  I plan, create, capture, edit, retouch, and otherwise give lots of love to your images.  So why jump ship at that point?   After all....
  • A commissioned artist doesn't spend hours on an initial sketch, only to hand over a rough draft to the patron with a brush and "paint by number" grid. 
  • An architect doesn't draw up a blueprint, send it off in a tube-mailer to the client, and leave him to figure out how to build it.  
  • The composer doesn't create the measures of an original score, simply to give to the concert benefactor to hum pleasantly to himself. 

But this is what was essentially happening with weddings.

OK...OK...Enough with the self-deprecation.
Let's also talk about the real danger this "digital only" phenomenon is taking us...
Album compileCare and Closure First of all, when you think of the rapidly-changing digital environment, there is no way to guarantee the long-term viability of a digital image.  If you have parents who've been married a long time, you may have well pulled out the album and gone back through the day with them.  Once the images exist in print, they are real, they have life, and they will last practically forever (with certain limitations of course). 
I appreciate a digital and sharable file as much as the next person in our tech-savvy generation, but I've also watched floppies turn to laser discs, get shrunk down to CD's, and further still into Thumb Drives.  Some laptop manufacturers don't even incorporate CD drives anymore because it is a fading technology.  We still have hard drives and flash storage, but they crash, USB's lose the electrical charge that stores their information, and file formats become incompatible as programs upgrade and operating system change.
Floating on clouds?  Cloud-based storage is indeed a very useful thing.  But the technology is new, and untested.  We live in a very connected world where somewhere, in a land far-far-away, there is an IT guy fixing whatever glitch is currently plaguing a system that we benefit from.  But what about a global virus?  I'm not one of those "Doomsday Preppers", but can you imagine how devastated you would be if you relied solely on cloud-storage for everything that made up your digital life...Facebook, Flickr, Pinterest, Picasa, Google Drive, DropBox...and one day it was all wiped out? 
Album bindingLongevityOnce your wedding images exist in print, they take on new life. They are real, and will last practically forever.
So, I decided to go back to the "right way" of doing things, and that is providing the service, start to finish, and delivering something beautiful and tangible, that you can pick up with your two hands, flip through fondly, and display proudly.  While I pretty-much-almost-never will say the ugly two-letter word ('no') to my brides, this is something I feel responsible to save you from mis-guided advice. 
Engagement bookDelivered with a kiss(figuratively speaking)...The feeling of fulfillment returns every time you look through it.
Couples will ask, but my answer will always be the same.  A lonely existence as a sequence of 0's and 1's is not what I want for your wedding photos.  Let me give you an amazing day, beautiful images, and a fun time.  And when it's done, let me post your images to your gallery, share them with you on Facebook, send them to you on a disc and in a proof book, AND THEN, deliver you a nicely wrapped, beautifully crafted, custom designed, wedding album.
It marks the final stage of our long journey together.  It is the final note of the symphony, the last brush stroke on painted canvas, and the remaining corner stone in an architectural masterpiece.



Article by Karrie Porter Bond





]]> (Key West Photographer - Karrie Porter) do I need an album only want digital files shoot and burn should I design my own album what to expect from a professional photographer why you should want a wedding album Sat, 30 Nov 2013 21:45:00 GMT
Plan a Long Weekend Engagement Getaway Scheduling a long weekend in your destination wedding location is one of the best things you can do leading up to the big day.

Engaged couple near mosaic wall in downtown Key West RECONNECT

It's easy to get caught up in the details and planning of the wedding.  Instead of seeing your fiance as your future partner in life, they begin to take on more of a role of co-organizer, co-pilot, and at times, co-conspirator!  There is so much work that goes into planning any event, but a destination wedding adds unique stress in that you have less control. 

Having a few days of fun helps remind you of why you're together and why you chose the destination you did.  Having perspective of what's important helps you not sweat the small stuff.


Bride tries on a hat during a fun engagement portrait session on the beach at Fort Zach REVIEW

You've likely perused tons of photos of the venue, flowers, ceremony site, video samples, photography examples, and seen beautiful displays on stunning websites from all of your favorite vendors, but there's a lot to be said about seeing those products and people in person. 

It's often easier to make a decision when you have something tangible to see, touch, and experience.  Even if you have narrowed down your remaining vendor choices to a single florist or photographer, decisions will need to be made on styles, sizes, quantities, and other details that wrap up the order and finalize the booking.

A couple shows off their engagement rings while enjoying a sweet moment together in Key West.


In addition to booking your remaining vendors, having a few days to visit with those professionals you've already hired can resolve any remaining concerns you might have, gives you some valuable face-time with the people who will have an integral part of the success of your wedding, and gives you an opportunity to make any changes if needed. 

It's a good idea to pre-schedule these meetings, and if possible, get it all done in one day.  You don't, after all, want the trip to be all work and no play!


Article by Karrie Porter Photography

]]> (Key West Photographer - Karrie Porter) destination wedding tips engagement ideas engagement photo examples engagement trip plan a trip sample engagement portraits visit wedding destination wedding planning, what to do before your wedding Sun, 17 Nov 2013 18:18:39 GMT
WHY VIDEO SHOULD NEVER BE “ON THE CUTTING ROOM FLOOR” Wedding video shouldn Yeah, the economy can be tough sometimes, but that doesn’t mean your wedding memories should take a back-seat.  There are so many ways to remain cost-conscious for your wedding, but too often we hear that a wedding video is considered a “luxury” that most couples forego.

Many couples see the photographer as a necessity, and the video as something they would like, but can ultimately live without.  Really?  Let’s see….budget…budget…where to spend the budget?....on one hand, upgrade to some exotic flower that no one – aside from maybe the florist – has ever heard of…or, relive one of the biggest days of your life in vivid detail for years to come?

A professionally produced wedding video is not the same as Uncle George carrying around his camcorder. A professional video will showcase moments of the wedding from perspectives not shown in the photography, and in ways that (het hem…Uncle George) don’t intrude on the photographer’s shots.  In addition to the emotion and subtleties of a moving image, the video will also share the sounds of the day…a faint sniffle during the ceremony, the cheers and excitement during the pronouncement, and the best man giving his speech. Professionals who use wireless microphones will produce a video with the best sound quality.


  • Choose a videographer whose style fits your personality.  Like the photographer, he or she will be intimately involved in every event throughout the day.
  • Consider whether you want a videographer that is more one-on-one, offering direction and setting up shots as the photographer would, interacting with guests for impromptu interviews and inviting on-camera feedback, or one who will work more in the background, capturing moments as they unfold.
  • The videographer and photographer often work hand-in-hand, coordinating shots and conversing about lighting. Some photographers have a videographer on staff, so it’s wise to check with them first to see if video is something you can add to your package.  But if you have already found a videographer you love, it is okay to book them separately as well. 
  • Just because your photographer’s camera can also shoot video these days, that doesn’t mean you should task your photographer with this additional responsibility.  If you want a wedding video, plan to have someone dedicated to the job.  Otherwise, you’ll end up with moments captured as stills that you wished were video, and video clips that you later wish you could put in your album as still images.  The photographer can’t do both (at least, not well!).

Discuss your style preferences with your videographer

Although we live in an increasingly digital world where people capture photos and videos on their smartphones, a wedding video captured on professional equipment and expertly edited into a story of the day becomes a unique keepsake.  The best wedding videos incorporate short, bite-sized clips of the day, highlighting the most interesting and memorable features in a way that keeps the viewer excited and interested.  So, no long drawn-out shots of every bridesmaid’s walk down the aisle…just the wait at the end of the aisle of one girl, a few strides of the next, a bashful smile of another, and the arrival to the altar of the last.  In other words, you want something with an upbeat tempo that doesn’t have you turn around to a room full of viewers who are half asleep three minutes into watching. 

A few other benefits to consider:

There are some moments during the event that are even better on video

  • When else is it possible to get all the most important people in your life together in one place (and looking their best!)?
  • Although no one wants to think of it, some of the older friends and family who attend your wedding will eventually pass on to a better place, and the wedding video often becomes a very cherished way of seeing them smile, dance, laugh, and hug you one more time.
  • There are many things happening outside your immediate surroundings that will come as a great delight later on, such as the gasps of wonder upon guests walking into the reception room, or the tears on the face of an aunt who was sitting too far back in the church pews. This is where a wedding video can prove invaluable.

When discussing your video options, state your preferences on how you like to look, and even fears about being filmed, and the videographer can no doubt find solutions that will accommodate your needs.

Modern videographers offer high-resolution, edited movies that can be watched both online and shared digitally with friends wherever they are, but also on a hard-copy DVD or Blu-Ray, so you can enjoy it on your home TV. 

Although there will always be things that have to get cut from the budget, the longevity and value offered by a beautiful wedding video should be something that are carefully considered before ruling it out completely.

]]> (Key West Photographer - Karrie Porter) Weddings & Romance do i need a wedding video key west key west wedding should we hire a videographer wedding budget tips wedding photographer wedding photography wedding video ideas Thu, 29 Aug 2013 03:47:11 GMT
Beach Wedding Tips from the Knot couple gets married in Key West with photographer Karrie Porter When I was getting married, I was constantly glued to my account.  Now that I'm on the other end, I often find myself answering questions that I once had myself, and I still rummage through the pages of the Knot to see what's happening. 

I came across this article they wrote about tips when planning a beach wedding.  Since we service so many beach weddings, I thought I'd share!

The main points you'll learn more about relate to scouting locations and arriving early, ways to guide your guests to otherwise hard-to-find areas once they reach the location, staying flexible, and working with local experts, such as your wedding photographer or coordinator who is familiar with the Key West area.

We hope you find the information useful!  Read on!


]]> (Key West Photographer - Karrie Porter) beach wedding tips destination wedding karrie porter photography key west wedding key west wedding ideas married in key west things to think about wedding planning what to do Sat, 24 Nov 2012 04:06:15 GMT
Top Ten Timing Tips Bride getting ready for the big dayHow can you know how much time you need with your photographer if you've never planned a wedding before? While some of your schedule will be dictated by how long you have access to the reception venue, what times of day your church allows ceremonies to be held, religious preferences that determine how long your ceremony will be, and (especially in Key West) the timing of natural elements such as the sunset and the tide, there are ways you can maximize your timing so that you get the most of your photographer's time.

So, to take in my Top Ten Wedding Timing Tips, continue reading...

]]> (Key West Photographer - Karrie Porter) destination wedding planning how to schedule wedding day karrie porter photography key west wedding photography tips wedding schedule wedding timing Mon, 05 Nov 2012 20:44:17 GMT
What will my photographer wear to my wedding?
If you're getting married in Key West, you might be curious how the overall laid-back atmosphere translates to photographer dress code. While it is true that Key West is more laid back, and our dress code is, in general, less formal than most places you'll visit, a wedding is still an important event and your photographer should dress with respect to the level of formality of the wedding.

Since the majority of the weddings we shoot down here in Key West tend to be smaller, more casual, typically outdoors, typically with very few guests, and often on the beach, our dress code is understandably less stuffy than you'd find at a black-tie event in a big city ballroom.

I wanted to have some fun, so here is the "official-unofficial" attire you can expect at a typical Key West wedding.

Karrie Porter poses with a groom at one of her weddings"Because I'm haaaaaappppyyy!!"Karrie cheesing with a handsome groom

PHOTOGRAPHER CAMOFLAGE  –Practical, solid, non-flashy colors like black or brown.  “No khaki?” you ask.  Not really…sure it's "beachy", but it gets dirty too easily, and black is the unofficial “wedding vendor” color and sends a signal to guests and other vendors that we are there on official business.

STUNNER SHADES –That sunset sure is pretty, but does a number on the eyes after hours on end.  Ask Karrie about the first time she ever wore polarized sunglasses to shoot a wedding...the heart failure is funny now...not so much when she thought her camera was broken.  Lol.

GREAT ATTITUDE –The most important piece of wardrobe!  Period!

BIT OF “SASS” – If you’re not a natural supermodel, no worry!  I’ll help you channel your best looks by demonstrating various butt-pooking, back-arching, and hip-popping poses to make you look amazing!  Want a really fast tip for [visually] losing five pounds in an instant?  Don't stand with your weight evenly distributed on both feet.  Choose a foot and rock most of your weight to one side, or back away from the camera.  Instant sass. 

Karrie wedding photographer at Hyatt Resort in Key WestTrying to channel my inner "cool". ;)Karrie stops for a quick photo opportunity at a Hyatt Key West wedding GRAB BAG – Essential if we are hitting up several locations, and even more if I’m shooting by myself.  Being able to do those quick battery changes and card-swaps without running back to the pelican case keeps the momentum rolling.

KINOS – “THE” essential footwear anytime I’m shooting anything that doesn’t require pants.  Getting those fun shots of you running down the beach isn’t quite as easy if I can’t dump the ‘flops in sand and trot along with you.  Plus, they’re comfy and cool, and who wants their photographer to be cranky ’cause her feet hurt, right?

GAUCHOS – Sort of like soft, flowy capri pants, these are my go-to bottoms when shooting in the heat.  I like wearing black, but in this heat, the light fabric is perfect for preventing me from melting into the sand.  A passed-out photographer doesn’t make pretty pictures (although if you had an iPhone handy, could make for a funny social Meme).

TOUCH OF COLOR -   Just something to add a little spark and fun into the outfit.  Sometimes I even score extra points by managing to match the wedding colors.  But usually it’s olive green, fuschia, lemon yellow, or turquoise.

and obviously, no ensemble is complete without the FANCY SCHMANCY CAMERA.  :)  Depending on the wedding, sometimes I’ll just tote one piece of gear at a time, and sometimes I’ll have one on each shoulder and swap back and forth as we change locations and settings.  For those that care, we shoot all Canon gear, all "L" grade or equivalent lenses, full frame main body, and backups for our backups.  Something can always break, so we come prepared.

So, there you go!  I hope my fun little “Make up of a wedding photographer” graphic was entertaining, and hopefully I’ll see you soon down here in Key West for your destination wedding!

]]> (Key West Photographer - Karrie Porter) karrie porter photography key west key west photographer key west photography photographer dress code wedding attire wedding location ideas wedding photographer Sat, 27 Oct 2012 19:45:00 GMT
Black and White in a Colorful World Sunlit bride in historic Key West home before her weddingDo photographers still shoot black and white wedding photos? As you’re planning your wedding, the question of “color versus black-and-white” may come up at some point, and it’s a good question to ask. While most modern brides are hip to the idea that their wedding images will be captured on a digital camera, it’s often uncertain as to how that affects your ability to have some of the photos “taken” in black-and-white.

To read about ways of incorporating black and white photography into your wedding, continue reading....

]]> (Key West Photographer - Karrie Porter) Weddings & Romance key west key west photographer key west photography wedding photographer Fri, 12 Oct 2012 19:30:00 GMT
Unique Wedding Ideas I love it when I find creative stuff!  Here are a few cool ideas I stumbled across....

fingerprint wedding bands

Fingerprint wedding bands from Brent and Jess.  Check out their store at  


paper lanterns to adorn beach weddingPaper lanterns that make great (and affordable) decorations for an outdoor beach or resort wedding here in Key West!  You can order them from . 


souvenier shot glasses as Key West wedding favorI was perusing the Off Beat Bride blog and came across this cool idea...especially down here in Key West where...het hem..."consumption" is....mmm hmmm....a little bit of a pasttime.  :)  You can check out more at


chic lace veil for destination weddingAnd finally, if you're wanting a little tradition but a lot of flair, check out these stunning fashionable lace veils from Ruche!  It makes me want to have another wedding!  (to the same guy, of course! lol).

]]> (Key West Photographer - Karrie Porter) Weddings & Romance karrie porter photography key west wedding ideas wedding photographer Mon, 27 Aug 2012 00:54:18 GMT
A Key West Honeymoon with Ivan and Lina I love watching two people in love, so when I met Ivan and Lina for the first time, I knew we were going to have a great time on our shoot.  They live in South Carolina, and wanted a weeklong getaway in paradise, so naturally they ended up in Key West!  Originally from the Ukraine, Ivan and Lina told me they’d known each other much of their lives.  It was sweet the way they shyly told me of how their friendship had blossomed into romance, and now they had made the committment to one another for the rest of their lives.

We spent about 2 hours shooting along the south end of the island, visiting first a long dirt road typically used by city service vehicles, but was a great starting point since the sun was still a little higher than ideal.  The road is lined with palm trees, so we made use of those for some nice images I typically refer to as “warm up images”.  There is always that threshold of comfort I have to cross when first working with a new client.  Down here in Key West, we so often don’t get to meet with our clients beforehand, so taking a few minutes to chat, start with some basic poses and simple directions, often helps the client feel more at ease, and gives me as the photographer a chance to get a sense of how they move and interact with each other. 

Some clients are more playful and silly, some are more laid back and chill, some are very formal….it’s important for me to shoot images that draw out the best aspects of someone’s personality and not be too far outside their comfort zone with what I ask them to do.  For example, Ivan and Lina were very sweet and affectionate, but not overly boistrous, so I found a happy medium and got them running down the beach together and standing up on top of some rough rocks for some dramatic “sky background” photos.


The couple were great to work with, and were very open to suggestions and ideas.  For the most part, there wasn’t anything that they weren’t up for.  Lina bravely battled the wind in her hair, which was whipping up a lot more than usual!  It did make for some great veil shots!  Her dress was very pretty, with rouching in certain places that gave it some nice texture, with a nice fit over her slender frame, with conservative touches that fit her personality perfectly.   It was a nice break from the strapless A frame we’ve seen so commonly in the past few years, regardless of its suitability!  ;)

One nice thing about this shoot was that the couple had already gotten married two days before, so Lina was not worried if her dress got a little smudged from the sand, or a little wet from the waves.  One of my biggest fears when shooting is asking a client to do something that ends up with them getting dirty or injured, so I am always mentally walking a fine line between getting unique shots without pushing the envelope too far.

Our session finished out further down the beach, utilizing a cool stone building, some bent palm trees, the seawall, and the local beach greenery.  Check out these and more in their gallery at!

]]> (Key West Photographer - Karrie Porter) Weddings & Romance beach photos karrie porter photography key west key west photographer key west photography wedding location ideas wedding photo locations wedding photographer wedding photography Sat, 07 Apr 2012 08:13:47 GMT