Key West Photographer - Karrie Porter: Blog en-us KP Photo BFS Key West (Key West Photographer - Karrie Porter) Wed, 18 Apr 2018 02:02:00 GMT Wed, 18 Apr 2018 02:02:00 GMT Key West Photographer - Karrie Porter: Blog 95 120 Danny and Amelia Find Love at Fort Zachary We were excited to recently be invited to take part in Danny's proposal to his girlfriend Amelia. It took place at Fort Zachary Taylor Beach, with the beautiful Key West Sunset in the background and the ocean waves splashing up onto the beach!

After arriving to the park, Danny led Amelia around to see the sights.  They passed the concession stand, walked under the great Australian Pines, and out onto the beach, where he found the perfect spot!

Asking someone to marry you in Key West?Danny proposing to AmeliaAsking someone to marry you in Key West? Couple holding hands during engagement shoot in Key WestBathed in sunlightCouple enjoying the view under the trees during a recent engagement photo shoot at Fort Zachary Taylor state park in Key West. With love from Key WestCouple enjoying each other's gaze with the Fort in the background in Key West

Engaged couple sitting on rocksCouple sitting on rock jetty at Fort ZachRock jetty pose at Fort Zachary Taylor Beach photo shoot at Fort Zach in Key WestHappily engaged in Key WestCouple gets engaged and celebrates with a Key West beach photo shoot

Congratulations to the happy couple! 

Check out their full Sneak Peek Gallery HERE.

]]> (Key West Photographer - Karrie Porter) asking girlfriend to marry getting engaged in key west getting married in key west key west engagement key west proposal Wed, 18 Apr 2018 00:46:07 GMT
Jesse and David "Climb" Their Way into Each Others' Arms While their first interactions actually happened online, the first time Jesse and David met in person was a random alignment of the universe, proving even further that there was definitely something more to their then-budding relationship.

Couple married at Sunset Beach in Marathon Florida KeysSmile AisleJesse and David walk down the aisle after their Marathon wedding in the Florida Keys They had discovered that they both were rock climbers, and climbed somewhat regularly at the same gym, Metro Rock in Everett.

Jesse was climbing and saw someone that she thought "might" be David staring at her from across the gym. Unsure, she sent a text to David, at which point he responded that he wasn't at the gym.  At that point, she had already been staring at the other person, who had been staring back trying to figure out why she was looking at him.  Once she realized it wasn't the "real David", she moved to another area of the gym.

Bride adjusting dressBeautiful Bridal PortraitJesse adjusting her wedding gown before her ceremony at Sunset Beach in Marathon Groom posing with ocean in backgroundHandsome groomDavid the groom poses with the ocean in the background

Some weeks later, when she and David went to the gym to climb properly together, they passed the original "mystery man" and Jesse was surprised to find out both her date and the mystery man were named "David"!  

Tying the knotTying the KnotBride and Groom tie a nautical rope to symbolize their wedding

When they're not rock climbing, Jesse and David obsess over their fur-babies. They also enjoy playing boardgames with friends, going out to eat at interesting places, and snuggling while watching TV. Country music is almost always playing in their giant pickup truck.

Reading vowsReading vows to each otherCelebrating their love in the Florida keys Sunset Beach wedding Florida KeysThe KissBride and Groom share the first kiss during their wedding at Sunset Beach in Marathon

When Jesse and I first started discussing her wedding, I had the fortunate experience to get to "meet" her mom over the phone and give input on the dress.  That's not always something a photographer is asked their opinion about, so it was nice to chime in on that little detail.  

Beach wedding family Bridal Party FunBridesmaids and Brothers of the Groom celebrate with a little cheer during family formals after the wedding ceremony Surrounded by loveThe whole crewEveryone smiling and laughing at the bride and groom




The day of the wedding was in late January, which even in the Florida Keys, runs the risk of being chilly.  But Jesse and David were blessed with warm weather and a rain-free sky.  While we did have some ocean breezes to contend with, the ceremony overlooking Sunset Beach in Marathon, Florida was stunning.

Bride and groom on the rocksBride and Groom on the rocksSplashes in sunlight on the rocks in Marathon Florida

Couple get married at Sunset Beach in MarathonBeachfront coupleCouple posing against a blue ocean background

One of my favorite parts of their ceremony was the "blessing" of the rings.  Instead of simply having the officiant say some words, they actually passed their rings around the guests, and each guest had a few seconds to say a silent wish before the rings made their way back up to the couple for them to exchange.  They also symbolically "tied the knot" using a nautical rope, which was a fun "tie-in" (no pun intended) to the locale.  

Couple getting married in the Florida KeysSnuggling on the Seaside DockBride and Groom get married at Sunset Beach and snuggle together on the dock overlooking the ocean Holding each otherSmile with MeCouple nuzzle each other after their Florida Keys wedding

One of the best parts of any wedding is getting to spend time with the bridal party.  Jesse and David made sure to include all their best friends, without the constraints of a typical wedding party.  Jesse had her good guy-friend serve as a "bridesman", and David had his sister stand up for him as a "groomsmaid".  This lively crew were up for anything, and we had the best time traipsing about the beach while the rest of the guests enjoyed champagne and waited for the sunset.

Fun bridal party anticsNo Kissing Allowed!Bridal party have some fun with their couple to keep them from kissing

Grooms admire ringThe guys love the ringGroomsmen admire the groom's stunning ring

The reception, held at Faro Blanco Resort in Marathon, was a lovely sit-down dinner, in which the couple left two seats open at every table so they could rotate around the room and sit with each group of guests.  Remembering how fast my own wedding went by and how few people I got to talk to, I really enjoyed this tradition, and thought it was a lovely way to spend time with everyone.  

Custom clay cake topper from EtsyCustom Cake TopperStar Wars, Harry Potter, and Cats themed cake topper Candle lit dinner at Faro BlancoCandlit DinnerBeautiful warm glow of candlelight at dinner Wedding Dinner Speech by Father of the GroomDad Giving SpeechFather of the Bride gives a speech to commemorate his daughter's accomplishments at their wedding dinner Raise a glass wedding toastCheersRaise a glass to the happy couple during their Faro Blanco Resort Marathon Florida Keys wedding

Both dads gave heartfelt toasts, everyone ate, drank, and was merry, and we even wrapped up the evening with some gorgeous photos with the Faro Blanco lighthouse in the background to guide the couple to a happy close of a beautiful day!

Faro Blanco kissA final goodnight kissKissing with the Faro Blanco lighthouse in the distance

Enjoy Jesse and David's Wedding Day Highlights HERE


Photographer: Karrie Porter Photography
Getting Ready Location: Courtyard Marriott Marathon
Ceremony Location: Sunset Beach, Marathon, FL
Reception Location: Faro Blanco Resort and historic Lighthouse
Planner: Bobby Camp with Keys Breeze
Hair and Makeup: Aimee Ortega
Bridal Boutique: Mary and Tux in Nashua, NH
Dress Designer: David Tutera
Bridesmaids Dresses: David's Bridal
Groom/Groomsmen Attire: Men's Wearhouse
Officiant: Ken Thomas (personal friend)
Ceremony Music: Island Time Band
The Rings: Skylight Jewelers in Boston, MA

]]> (Key West Photographer - Karrie Porter) beach ceremony destination wedding faro blanco florida keys wedding intimate reception marathon wedding sunset beach Tue, 06 Feb 2018 03:18:44 GMT
Mike and Sarah's Sunset Engagement So happy to share the news that Mike and Sarah are getting married!  Mike contacted me about helping him plan and document his proposal to his girlfriend (now fiance!).  We talked several times, planned the perfect setup, and when the day came, she said yes!  

171104-9918_retouched171104-9918_retouched The big moment happened on the beach at Fort Zachary Taylor State Park.  The park had recently been hit by Hurricane Irma, but the sandy shores were back open and made a perfect ocean backdrop for the proposal!


Afterward, we took to the rock jetties, the wooded walking trails, the butterfly garden, and the scenic areas near where people watch the sunset to capture some additional photos of the happy couple!

171104-0044171104-0044 171104-9790171104-9790

As the evening drew to a close, Mike surprised Sarah with dinner on the beach at Louie's Backyard, and went back home to tell their family the big news the next day!

171104-9726171104-9726 Congratulations to the couple and we look forward to sharing more photos from their session soon!

See the Sneak Peek Gallery here

]]> (Key West Photographer - Karrie Porter) key west photographer proposal photography secret engagement secret proposal Fri, 10 Nov 2017 03:33:15 GMT
Hunter and Tori Get Engaged in Key West! Hunter wanted to plan a special day with his girlfriend, one complete with sparkly diamonds and stunning sunsets!  He asked Tori to marry him amid the sandy shores and soft sounds of the ocean at Fort Zachary Taylor Beach in Key West, Florida.  We enjoyed several weeks of planning beforehand, he using a family member's email and phone to communicate with me, and me being careful not to say anything too obvious when the day drew near and we were texting as he arrived to the park.  

couple sitting in sea grassSnuggling in the Sea GrassEngaged couple sit in sea grass at Fort Zachary Taylor State Park Popping the question on the beachWill you marry meBoyfriend asks girlfriend to marry him

When I couldn't spot the couple in the vast park, I had his mom's cell phone and called her to see if she could give me some insight on where they might have gone.  She helped me locate him, and as we were about to end the call, I saw Hunter getting ready to drop to one knee, and - poor mom! - I had to hang up on her!  (Of course I followed up later to explain, but she knew that had been "the moment", and we laughed about it later).  

Couple on rock jetty over oceanStanding on the RocksCouple standing on rocks at Fort Zachary Taylor State Park Beach Rock jetty couples portraitSitting together on rocksCouple sit together on rock jetty

Afterwards, the couple strolled along the beach, perched atop the vast rock jetties, snuggled in the sea grapes, and kissed as the epic Key West sunset went down behind them. 

Sea grape portraitKissing in the Sea GrapesCouple in Sea Grapes Embracing during proposalKissing on the beachCouple embrace on beach Walking on beach togetherWalking hand in handCouple walking together

Sunset engagement portraitKissing at SunsetEngaged couple kiss with Key West sunset sky behind them

Congratulations to the newly engaged couple!  

Check out their Sneak Peek gallery HERE!

]]> (Key West Photographer - Karrie Porter) fort zachary taylor state park key west engagement key west proposal proposal photography Mon, 31 Jul 2017 18:00:00 GMT
Nick and Alyssa - A Proposal in Paradise As far as Alyssa was aware, it was to be only a beautiful trip to Key West, Florida.  But what she didn't know was that her boyfriend Nick had been secretly planning a very big day.  

Couple kisses in Fort Zachary TaylorA Kiss to Celebrate their EngagementDuring a proposal photo shoot in Key West, Nick and Alyssa sneak a kiss under the Australian Pines of Fort Zachary Taylor State Park.

The couple started dating many years ago, having met through mutual friends and often wondering how their paths had not crossed before.  But now, under the blue skies of paradise with the sound of the ocean in the distance, Nick popped the question and Alyssa said yes!

Giving the girl the ring on the beaches of Key WestNick Proposing to AlyssaA happy moment as boyfriend and girlfriend become fiance marriage proposal photos in Key WestShe said yesBoyfriend gets a warm embrace as his girlfriend accepts his marriage proposal

Nick wanted to work with a local Key West photographer who could help him plan his proposal and find the best location, so when we discussed the plans and logistics, all details were reviewed and the final decision was made to plan the big moment at Fort Zachary Taylor State Park.

Boy pops the question and gets a yesCouple happy after engagementGuy and girl hugging after he pops the question Key West proposal sessionLots of smiles during Key West ProposalKarrie Porter photography captures the moment she says yes

Hiding behind a Sea Grape bush, I noticed the moment was at hand when Nick held Alyssa's hands and pointed down to a "chance" encounter of a note he had written her (he had in truth dropped it just a moment before when she wasn't looking).  Alyssa read the note and before she realized what was happening, Nick was on one knee, as I captured a rapid series of photos, nearly bumping into a lounging tourist in my excitement.  

Proposal session park bench photoCouple on park benchNick and Alyssa enjoy a relaxing moment backlit by the Key West sunshine after he proposed to her

Palm tree in engagement sessionCouple posing under palm treeFort Zachary Taylor has some low hanging palm trees that are great for portraits

Afterward, we spent some time wandering around Fort Zach park so the couple could enjoy their newly-engaged status and grab some romantic photos to remember the day.

wedding ring on sea grape plantThe ring on sea grapesA wedding ring balances on a cluster of sea grapes during a Key West engagement portrait shoot Couple standing in Sea Gråpe bushGetting adventurous in the sea grapesEngaged couple clamber through the tall brush to get a unique perspective of Key West foliage in their Proposal session photos

The session wrapped up with lots of smiles as the couple looked forward to dinner plans later that evening, and planned the list of all their friends and family they would need to share the news with!

Key West engagement sessionA Fortress backgroundCouple pose with the fortress of Fort Zachary Taylor State Park behind them in Key West


See Nick and Alyssa's Sneak Peek Gallery

For more information about planning your upcoming Proposal in Key West, click here.

]]> (Key West Photographer - Karrie Porter) engagement key west engagement key west proposal marriage proposal pop the question proposal Tue, 18 Jul 2017 20:46:45 GMT
Jennifer & Justin - Destination Wedding Done Florida Girl Style As soon as I talked to Jennifer on the phone the first time, I knew it was going to be a great day with her and Justin.  

Getting married at Pier House Resort in Key WestStunning couple accent the skyBride and groom pose for the camera on the beach at Pier House Resort while the deep blue skies of Key West make a stunning background as the sun sets over the harbour.

They are from Sarasota, and being from central Florida myself, it meant kicking off conversations about Gasparilla pirate fests, Ybor City, bike rides along Bayshore Boulevard, scalloping off Homosassa (which I have yet to do, but my husband did so as a kid), and (naturally) divulging my card-carrying, mud-buggy-building, swamp-cabbage-eating, home-grown Florida cracker upbringing.

So when a fellow native "Florida Girl" chose me to photograph her Key West wedding this past June, I was thrilled!

We had lots of great days of planning leading up to the wedding.  I even had the opportunity to photograph Jennifer in a pre-wedding portrait session during one of her trips to the Keys, some of the images from which became a gift for Justin the day of the wedding.  

Bride and groom foreheads together on beach at Pier HouseJennifer and Justin together at Pier HouseAfter getting married on the beach at the Pier House Resort in Key West, bride and groom Jennifer and Justin take a moment to enjoy each other's company with the ocean behind them

The day started out beautifully, with hair and makeup provided by Beauty Boutique and the Glam Squad and the gorgeous flowers arrived from Karro Events, with pink and off white peonies accented by other soft colors and fresh foliage.

Pink and off white peonies wedding bouquet by Karro Events Flower bouquet by Karro EventsBride holds her beautiful bouquet with pink and off white peonies accented by other soft colors and fresh foliage. Pink and off white peonies wedding bouquets by Karro EventsTwo flower bouquets by Karro EventsThe Bride and the Bridesmaid proudly hold their bouquets in pink and off white peonies accented by other soft colors and fresh foliage.

We captured some photos getting ready, and got some excellent portraits of the groom as well before the ceremony got underway. 

Beach ceremony setup at Pier HouseCeremony setup at Pier HouseBeach ceremony overlooking the ocean at Pier House Resort, set up for a Key West wedding with decor by Karro Events Bride and Maid of HonorBride's Best FriendJennifer and her best friend in their satin robes with flowery design.

Lavish Detail of Groom's Tuxedo in gray with pink flower.Lavish Detail of Groom's TuxedoGroom's gray tux with pink rose. The Groom in Gray Tuxedo.The GroomJustin looking so handsome while waiting for Jennifer.

Inner Detail of the Wedding DressDetail of the Wedding DressCloser look of the Wedding Dress. The Elegant Wedding DressThe Wedding DressA-line gown with sparkly beaded details looking so elegant.

The Elegant Diamond RingThe Diamond RingThe very elegant diamond ring of Jennifer  

The Groom and his cool DadThe Groom and his DadThe man behind Justin's good looks in his wedding day.

The wedding ceremony was held at the private beach of Pier House Resort, flower decors and bouquets beautifully made by Karro Events and Floral. The sun was shining, the skies were flawless and the bright decor made everything look refreshing.  Jennifer looked amazing in her A-line gown with sparkly beaded detailing and elegant veil.  The ceremony was performed by local officiant Patti Flowers.

Officiant unites the wedding couple at Pier House Resort Key WestThen they UnitePatti Flowers officiates the unity of Jennifer and Justin with Maid of Honor and Best Man at both sides

The Wedding VowsThe VowsJennifer smiles as she tells her vows to Justin. The Perfect Family Portrait The Family Portrait Jennifer and Justin looking very happy in their wedding. The Bride and the Maid of Honor at the Pier House Resort Key WestThe Bride and the Maid of HonorThe Flowers, the dresses and beautiful make up by Beauty Boutique and the Glam Squad The Groom and the Groomsmen at Pier House Resort Key WestThe Groom and the GroomsmenJustin with his closest family members looking good in their Gray suits.

We were able to also sneak out and get some photos of the Bride and Groom around the island, incorporating the Key West character into their destination wedding portraits.

Kissing with arms wrapping each other in Key WestKissing with arms wrapping each otherJennifer and Justin kissed while holding still around Key West Colorful House of Key WestTrippin after the WeddingNewly Wed couple poses against the yellow-orange house with red doors as their background.

Bride and Groom around Key West"Hold my hand and look into my eyes" poseAs Justin lean and holds Jennifer in a classic building in Key West. Key West colorful buildingsRose Pink colored buildingThe couple loves posing against colorful background in Key West Wedding couples at Key West FloridaJust another Shot around the TownJennifer and Justin blending in this painted wall of Cuban Coffee House in Key West

We returned to the reception, held in the Pier House ballroom, to capture the cake and a few quick toasts and dances.  It was a great day that went smoothly, concluding with lots of kind words from family members, who had nothing but admiration and pride for the newlyweds.  

Two-tier wedding cake.Classic, Elegant & Yummy CakeCapturing this two-tier chiffon wedding cake with real flowers as decorations. Wedding CakeSlice it nicelyJustin trying to slice the wedding cake as Jennifer tells what part of the cake she likes. Kissing couplesA sweet kiss, literally sweet!As the couple eats their wedding cake, guests cheered for one kiss. Swirl around the ballroom of Pier House"Dance with my Father"Capturing the closeness of the Bride with her Father as they dance in Pier House Ballroom.

We join in their congratulations as Jennifer and Justin enjoy their new life together!   Kiss by the shores of Pier House at Key WestWill definitely not the last kiss for these twoCapturing this beautiful kiss by the shores of Pier House Resort. Newly Wed couple at Pier House Beach Resort, Key West, FloridaLovely as the nightOne of my favorite shot this wedding day. Justin seems whispering lovely words to his wife Jennifer by the shores of Pier House Beach with the perfect night sky as their background.

Check out their SNEAK PEEK GALLERY for more photos from this Key West wedding.


]]> (Key West Photographer - Karrie Porter) destination wedding in key west key west beach wedding pier house resort wedding Wed, 05 Jul 2017 03:34:56 GMT
Couple Kicks Off Custom "Happy Ever After" in Key West Engagement Session Dionicia and Derrick celebrated their recent engagement with a trip to Key West.  Arriving with custom shirts expressing their "Happily Ever Moite" (Derrick's last name) hashtag, and Dionicia's awesome #Feyonce shirt (a play on her newly engaged status while channeling that inner-Beyonce all powerful women have inside them!) :D.

Couple posing during Engagement shootCouple engaged in Key WestPhoto taken in Bahama Village, Key West Florida

We started the session with some classic studio portraits, going with our taupe-ish-gray background to accent the black-and-white ensembles, Dionicia even kicking up her heels to flash those to-die-for Louboutins as well!

Engagement session in Key West studioStudio portrait of Engaged CoupleCouple snuggling on gray background in Key West photographer, Karrie Porter's, studio. Engaged couple girl flashes louboutin shoesCustom shirts and Louboutin shoes!

Heading outside into Truman Annex, we got to incorporate an amazing Banyan tree that I had come across during a recent stroll.  I'm always looking for new places to shoot, so I was excited to get the opportunity to try out a few poses in this spot. 

170613-3263Fixing her fianceEngaged couple under pink flowers Couple posing by banyan tree in key westNew Banyan treeKey west has banyan trees all over the city, but this one is a little more tucked out of plain sight.

We then made our way into Bahama Village, incorporating the colorful backdrops of Blue Macaw, Blue Heaven (why is everything in Bahama Village named "Blue" something?...anyway...I digress...), and Petronia Street.  

Couple at Blue Mackaw Key West for engagement photosGorgeous old house turned into Blue MacawBlue Mackaw engagement session in Key West Couple walk down Petronia St during Key West engagement sessionWalking down Petronia StCouple walk down Petronia St during Key West engagement session

Finally, we wrapped up with a bold blue sky at Fort Zachary Taylor, getting the best of the waves that kept trying to wash away our sand-written wedding date the couple have planned!

Key West engagement session on beachBlue skies at Fort ZachBy the ocean in Key west

Couple getting engaged in Key WestWill you marry meCouple getting engaged in Key West Wedding Date written in sand in Key WestSave the DateCouple saves the date in the sands of Key West

It was a great day and we really enjoyed being part of their special celebration.  Congratulations Dionicia and Derrick on your engagement, and thank you for coming to Key West to kick off a new exciting chapter in your lives!


Check out their SNEAK PEEK GALLERY from this Key West Engagement Session.

]]> (Key West Photographer - Karrie Porter) beach engagement shoot custom shirts for engagement engagement session key west engagement key west engagement shoot Fri, 23 Jun 2017 18:09:36 GMT
Magaly and Ryan - Big Day Brought to the Beach Ryan and Magaly met while he was working as a bartender at Jays Elbow Room. He was serving drinks all night and before you know it, they were making conversation about how to properly pronounce Magaly's name ("muh-gal-ee").  :)  At the end of the night, he walked her to her car, they exchanged numbers and kissed good night. After that, they never stopped talking and eventually made it official a year later!

bride and groom next to foliageRyan and Magaly during their Key West WeddingBride and groom happy on their wedding day

The couple love to travel to new places together, enjoy taking cooking classes, and spending time with their daughters.

Daughters laughing while bride and groom kissKissing with the KiddosBride and groom kiss while their adorable daughters smile for the camera

Ryan proposed on December 5 2015. The couple were taking a trip to see Rockefeller tree and he asked a by stander to take their picture. As Magaly was posing for the picture, Ryan got down on one knee under the tree and proposed in front of a lot of people!!

Heels with satin straps for wedding dayPrincess shoes for a brideWedding shoes with ivory satin Karro events flowersGorgeous island wedding bouquetBouquet of flowers for wedding day in Key West by Karro Events

We caught up with them once their travel brought them to Key West, Florida!  Magaly had originally planned for a big city event, but upon the arrival of their second daughter, they decided to keep things more laid back and traded the East Coast for the Gulf of Mexico.  Their ivory and tropical color palette looked gorgeous against the blue skies of Key West as they exchanged their vows under a beautiful arch designed by Karro Events, overlooking Key West Harbor from the shores of the Pier House Resort and Spa

Bridesmaids laughing with brideThe bride and her girlsBridesmaids and best friends laughing together on the wedding day

Groom in khaki linen for his Key West weddingGroom looking handsome as he waits for the brideRyan looking so handsome Pier House beach weddingThe KissKissing under the beautiful arch designed by Karro Events

Dancing with momGroom dancing with momMother son dance Dancing togetherBride and groom dancingSwaying in the summer breeze

The day went off without a hitch, we got to spend some time capturing photos around Key West at the nearby marina and boat docks, grabbing images with colorful scenery and a vibrant sunset on the beach. 

Bride and groom posing by the turtle museumHappy couple during Key West weddingPosing by the Turtle Museum Turtle Museum wedding photosKissing on the Key West docksCouple grabs a smooch leaned up agains the Turtle Museum wall

Bride swaying dress by the sunsetSwaying the dressBride swishes her white wedding dress against a blue and orange Key West backdrop Bride and groom cozying up during sunsetSunset loveSnuggling at sunset

Cakes by Karol photo by Karrie PorterWedding cake at sunsetAfter nightfall, wedding cakes looks even more delicious Kissing bride and group silhouetted by sunsetSilhouette SkyBride and groom kiss as the night wraps up on their gorgeous day

Kissing at sunset on wedding dayKey West sunset wedding kissKey West couple kisses on the beach while the sunset goes down on the horizon behind them

We were so happy to have the opportunity to work with this beautiful couple (on the inside and out!) and their family!  Thank you to the team who made the planning, decor, ceremony, and evening so effortless.  

Check out their Sneak Peek Gallery HERE!


Wedding Planner: Kayla Rokowski from Say Yes in Key West
Hair and Makeup: Elena Southcott from Key West Hair and Makeup Artisty
Videography: John and Iris from CineaVerde
The Dress: Hayley Paige from JLM Couture
Dress Boutique: Bridal Garden
The Suit: Men's Wearhouse
Flowers: Karro Events
Officiant: Patti Flowers
Her Ring: Steven Singer
His Ring: Jared the Galleria of Jewelry
Cake: Cakes by Karol
Music: SoundWave Productions

]]> (Key West Photographer - Karrie Porter) island wedding key west wedding magaly and ryan pier house wedding Tue, 20 Jun 2017 02:10:47 GMT
Erika and Romel - Bringing Family from Near and Far for a Key West Wedding When Erik and Romel met through a mutual friend in New York City, they were surprised to find they were also neighbors AND they worked for the same company.  It was obviously meant to be that they would find one another!  

Puppy waits patiently while bride and groom kiss in Key WestPooches and SmoochesKey West couple getting married with their cute puppy celebrating with them!

As their relationship grew, they spent their time together exploring Miami, going boating, and hanging out with friends.  One of their best friends, by the way, is their adorable puppy Brandi, who also got to hang out with us during our Around Key West photo shoot after the wedding!  ;)   

Fuchsia wedding bouquet by Flower Trend Bouquet by Flower TrendSumptuous arrangement of pink peonies and fragrant flowers in fuchsia and cream accent colors. Palm frond accent wedding invitations for Key West weddingInvitations by MintedGorgeous palm frond style wedding invitations featuring classic sans serif typography and silver foil accents

Romel proposed to Erika on a trip to Hawaii, and they have since enjoyed lots of exotic destinations together.  Their MOST exciting destination, if I may be so bold to assume, would be Key West, Florida, where they celebrated their wedding day with family from all over the world!

bride and groom kiss between cheering family in Key West cathedralA Church full of Cheers!Bride and groom kiss as family look on and cheer inside Saint Mary's Cathedral, after their wedding in Key West.   wedding dress hanging in window at Pier House resortThe DressMermaid style train with sheer lace bodice, perfect for a light and airy look for a Key West wedding shadow lines leading toward groom in key west wedding photo All Lines Lead to LoveRomel the groom hanging out under the atrium of Pier House Resort's main entrance, while a water themed artwork and shadow lines from the glass ceiling create a unique balance. Bride posing on steps inside Key West hotel Pier House ResortStunning EntranceBride Erika stops for a moment on the grand staircase inside Pier House Resort's entrance before walking down for her ceremony on the beach.

The wedding day began at the Pier House Resort in the large comfortable bridal suite.  Erika got ready with Bella Luxe Hair and Makeup, giving the perfect complexion that dewey glow every bride dreams of, while her mom, sister, and other attendants enjoyed some pre-wedding pampering as well.  The girls looked stunning, and Erika was able to relax and enjoy the morning.  

Bride and Maid of Honor Sisters Forever!Erika with her sister Jenna. Hair and makeup by Bella Luxe Beauty

Groom surrounded by groomsmen in Pier House Resort Key West FloridaReady Set Groom!Groom Romel looking so handsome in his blue-gray suit with his closest male family members serving as groomsmen.

Bride entering Saint Mary's cathedral on her wedding day in Key WestHere She ComesErika rounds the corner of the Basilica Star of the Sea cathedral on the arm of her father. Groom sees his bride as her father walks down the aisle with herA Real "First Look"The couple did not see each other before the wedding, so this is truly the first time he has seen his bride as she walks down the aisle.

The ceremony at Saint Mary's Star of the Sea was absolutely beautiful, with readings by family members and a lovely service by Father John Baker, whose warm and welcoming personality and witty humor make for a great way to celebrate an already holy union. 

Father blessing wedding couple at Saint Mary'sWhat Man Has JoinedLet no one separate. Erika and Romel receive a blessing by Father John Baker at Saint Mary's Star of the Sea Bride puts ring on groom's fingerWith this RingI thee wed. Erika slips the wedding ring on Romel's finger with a smile. Happy couple married walking down aisleRevelrie Has No BoundsThe couple come down the aisle to raucous applause and lots of selfies!

After the ceremony, the family gathered for portraits in and outside the cathedral, while guests took a trolley ride over to the Pier House for cocktail hour.

St Mary's wedding key westStunning Steeple ShotErika and Romel enjoying a moment after their wedding day in front of Saint Mary's Cathedral Bride and groom by green buildingGoing GreenStanding near a funky green building in downtown Bahama Village in Key West

bride and groom walking on dockA Walk on the DockKey West Marina photos with bride and groom

We managed to sneak in several stops around the island to capture some photos of the bride and groom in the natural Key West surroundings.  Boat docks, old colorful buildings, and 

Bride and groom pose with their dog in bicycle basket by wine store in Key WestBuvez du Vin BicycleGorgeous shot of Erika and Romel with the "bicyclette" in front of this pretty yellow wine shop in Bahama Village. Notice Brandi the dog hanging out in the basket! Married couple walking on Key West dockside restaurantShall We Head Back?Walking hand in hand along the Turtle Kraals dock by the Key West Bight marina

Once we got back to the reception, we were greeted with gorgeous purple uplights and a fun Photo Booth by Prestige Party Rentals, sumptuous tablescapes and floral displays by The Flower Trend, and a funky "fusion band" by LR Entertainment who incorporated DJ sounds with live musicians.  

Wedding tablescape at Pier House Resort by Flower TrendCascade of OrchidsWhite orchids float romantically from clear tall vases Fusion band by LR EntertainmentSax and SoundsA Fusion band incorporates live musicians and a traditional DJ keeping the beats going

wedding cake at Pier House wedding in Key WestTop Tier Love!Elegant cream colored sleek cake design with swirl icing base by Publix Groom giving speechA Multi Lingual WelcomeGroom Romel gave a heartwarming bilingual speech and welcomed his family and guests from all over the world, conducting the speech in both Portugese and English so everyone could enjoy

Bride puts cake on groom's faceCake FaceErika gives Romel a little extra cake after they cut their beautiful three tiered dessert

The night concluded with lots of dancing, boisterous family swirling about the dance floor, the happy couple enjoying every moment, and wrapped up with one final photo cutting a rug on the checkered floor in the ballroom of the Pier House Resort and Spa.

Married couple on dance floorIt Was a Great NightFinal celebrations on the dance floor with family and friends around them

What was your favorite part of Erika and Romel's wedding day?  Leave a Comment below!

And check out their Highlights Gallery HERE!



]]> (Key West Photographer - Karrie Porter) fusion band key west key west wedding pier house resort saint marys key west wedding wedding photographer Thu, 01 Jun 2017 18:00:00 GMT
Does it Make Sense to Print My Own Photos? If you're hiring a professional photographer to capture your wedding or family portraits, you've likely considered the notion of "I'll just get all the digitals and print them myself". 



Sometimes this comes from a desire for convenience - being able to hop onto SnapFish at 2am and have the prints show up a week later has it's appeals - but sometimes it comes from a place of economics (surely, printing them myself is less expensive?).


On the latter note, let's explore that.  I'm a consumer myself, and am very frugal.  I also am not an emotional buyer...I make no big financial decision without weighing the tangible costs and returns on the decision.  So, for my fellow number-crunchers, let's go through this exercise.



For the sake of this example, let's assume the following constants:

  • it's a Family Portrait Session
  • the Family includes mom, dad, grandma, one teenager, one "tween", and one first-grader (6 individuals)
  • session takes about 1 hour
  • in that hour, you stop at 5 different areas around the location
  • at each stop, you set up 1 full group, 1 parents-only, 1 kids-only, and the rest a mixup of grandma with kids, kids each alone, etc
  • photographer delivers 60 Proofs
  • that's approximately 12 images per "spot"
  • if each spot has roughly the same groupings, that's about 2-3 proofs of each grouping
  • in total, 60 proofs means about 20-30 unique "setups", each setup with multiple variations of expression or pose to choose from


OKAY - with all that in is what to ask:


1) How Many Prints Do You *Actually* Envision Having or Gifting to Family?

Pile of Unorganized Prints


Client #1 answers: "I want a 3x5 print of every image from the session, I want to send multiple iterations of the same pose to all my family members, and I intend to cover all the walls in my home with dozens of framed portraits"


Client #2 answers (as most people do): "I intend to pick my favorite full group shot to hang on the wall, send a 5x7 of the kids to grandparents, and put up a series of candids of my husband and myself on the mantel.  Other than that, I just like the independence to print my own."




2) Do You Have Any Self-Image Concerns, and/or Are You Worried About Having Unavoidable Background Distractions Removed?  

Retouch Before and AftersRetouch Before and Afters


Client #1 answers: "Heck no.  If the kids' hair is blowing in the wind, or a tourist crosses in the distant background wearing bright green swim trunks at the very instant we are all smiling and looking amazing, so be it!  That's part of taking pictures on the beach after all!  And me? 

I might be a little softer around the middle than I once was, but that's the real me and I'm not going to change now."


Client #2 answers: "I feel pretty good about myself, but softening the lines around my eyes would be appreciated, and my husband's teeth have gotten a bit duller from drinking coffee every day, so a little whitening probably wouldn't hurt him. 

As for the background, I know you'll work hard to avoid distractions, but I understand at a public park, it's inevitable to occasionally have someone swimming in the water behind us, or someone else watching the sunset in the very spot we want to shoot...I really want these to look amazing on the wall so ideally I'd like those things removed before they get framed."



3) How Long Do You Intend for These Prints To Be Around?

Badly faded photograph from sun damage


Client #1 answers: "Meh...I really just feel obligated to send photos to the grandparents...they're old school and don't do Facebook.  For me?  The joy will wear off in a year or two and then they'll be thrown in a box.  As long as I can get a little bit of life out of them, I'm good."


Client #2 answers: "Is 'forever' too much to ask?".  If I'm investing the kind of money and time into family portraits, I want something that we can proudly hang and display and enjoy even after I'm long gone. 

I remember finding old photographs of my great-grandparents and the connection through the generations I felt holding it in my hand.  I want that for my family who come after me as well.  And if I'm hanging something in my home, I don't want a bit of sunlight to fade them to the point they are no longer recognizable...I want quality products that will last."



4) How Technical Are You, and/or Do You Tend to be a Creative "DIY-er"?

If you get overwhelmed by technology, ordering your own photos is probably not a good idea

Client #1 answers: "I build computers for a living, I regularly create scrapbooks, I have a Double Diamond Super-Primo Ultimate Status account at Walgreens, CVS, AND Costco's one-hour photo lab, and can create photo collages and christmas card templates with my eyes closed!"

Client #2 answers: "Technical as in email?  Sure, I can work my Iphone and browse the web, does that count?  Scrapbooks?  I wouldn't even know where to buy the stuff!  USB 3...Is that some kind of neck cream?  Crop Ratios....I heard that was a good movie...I think?  heh heh {nervous laughter}."

In other words, "printing your own photos" may sound simple enough, but you need to be comfortable working with digital downloads, USB drives, resizing photos, cropping with digital software, uploading photos to the lab, and knowing enough about paper types, finishes, mounting options, and color adjustments to make the process worth your effort, before you realize you've spent 20 hours on your computer and still don't have anything to show for it.  


Now, let's assess the costs of printing and displaying your own photos. 

This example follows the answers given in Question 1 above, and assumes typical One-Hour Photo Lab costs without any bells and whistles:




$600   digital upgrade  $600  digital upgrade
$  35   consumer 8x10's ($3.50 approx 1 hr lab x 10 images) $  14   consumer 8x10's ($3.50 x 4 images)
$  20   consumer 5x7's ($1.00 approx 1 hr lab cost x 20 images) $    6   consumer 5x7's ($1.00 approx 1 hr lab cost x 6 images)
$  18   consumer 4x6's ($0.30 approx 1 hr lab cost x 60 images) $  50   flimsy poster size print ~11x17" from 1 hr lab
$   10   4x6 display - being put into inexpensive family photo album $  40   11x17 frame from hobby or department store
$    0    5x7 display - being mailed to family, they will frame them $    0    5x7 display - being mailed to family, they will frame
$  25   8x10 display - half in $5 frames, other half sent to family $  32   8x10 display ($8 each x 4 frames)
= $7.86 per unmounted, uncoated, unretouched print = $68 per unmounted, uncoated, unretouched print


Looking at Client #2's column....For the same amount of money, you could have had:

(1) 16x24" wall art - retouched, mounted, coated, textured, professionally printed on archival luster paper

(3) 8x10 mattes with 5x7 prints - retouched, mounted and matted, coated and professionally printed on archival luster paper

(4) 8x12" prints - retouched, mounted, coated, textured, professionally printed on archival luster paper

(4) 6x9" prints - retouched, mounted, coated, textured, professional printed on archival luster paper

(6) 4x6" prints - retouched, mounted, coated, textured, professionally printed on archival luster paper

And STILL have $18 left to spend!

That's 18 prints...($748/18 = $41.55/ea)...


All retouched, mounted, coated, textured, and professionally printed on archival luster paper that is going to last for generations

and, your photographer would have handled ALL the technical, creative, and logistics of order and shipping for you!



Looking at Client #1's column....The benefit would strictly be "quality" over "quantity"

For the same money, using the smallest print size we offer, you could have had:

(20) 4x6" prints - retouched, mounted, coated, textured, professionally printed on archival luster paper

And still have $8 left to spend. 

all retouched, mounted, coated, textured, and professionally printed on archival luster paper that is going to last for generations

and, your photographer would have handled ALL the technical, creative, and logistics of order and shipping for you!


If you're Client #1

in this scenario, then YES, in light of the answers assumed above, it might make sense to upgrade if having more prints of every image is more important, as no matter how hard your photographer tries, there is just no way to produce that much quantity at the same price.  

If you're Client #2

then it probably does NOT make sense for you to upgrade, because quality, longevity, professional printing, retouching, and technical savvy are more important, AND from a cost-benefit analysis, you're going to get WAY more bang for your buck by having your photographer do the printing for you.  

Professional photos come lovingly packaged


Now, if you're Client #2 and you're thinking

"But I just REALLY love the independence and freedom to print my own images"

....remember, ANYTHING you order in print from our studio, you AUTOMATICALLY get the retouched digital file, without watermark, that you can later created ADDITIONAL PRINTS of yourself, at NO extra charge. 

The retouched digital is INCLUDED with the retouched print! 

So you really are getting the best of both worlds.  


Why Does It Matter To Me?

You might be wondering "Why does this matter anyway?"  Sure, as a photographer, it is certainly a lot less work, time, and effort on my part for my clients to simply purchase the digital files and be on their merry way. 

Well, as I've mentioned in many other blog posts, my work is not just about the shoot, it's all the love that goes into seeing that finished product on the wall.  And no matter how determined a family says they are about printing all their own photos, in 17 years of shooting, I have found when following up later, these same clients often still only print about the same number of images for themselves as a typical client will order from me. 

Images ordered from a professional photographer always come nicely packaged

What does this mean?  If you end up falling into that same category, you end up paying a premium, but still have to: 


(A) do all the work yourself

(B) get an inferior product because consumer labs do not use the same quality paper, ink, coatings, and mountings that the pro labs do

(C) you do not get the benefit of the images receiving that complimentary retouch, so you either end up living with a wayward flyaway hair or extra love-handle you would have much rather had taken out.


For those who need it and will really benefit from it, I'm happy to offer the Digital Upgrade.  But the reason I share all this is because I want you to feel calm, love, and ease when you walk through your house and see your photos. 

Generally speaking, the time, cost, and frustration that comes with trying to "DIY" this process, it's usually (in my humble near-two-decades-of-experience) just not worth it.  

]]> (Key West Photographer - Karrie Porter) costs digital files high resolution printing shoot and burn Fri, 19 May 2017 12:45:00 GMT
Key West Photographer's Best Tips for a Beautiful Bridal Portrait After getting every hair into place, slipping on the dress that was truly "the one", and matching it with the perfect shoes, you want to take a few minutes on your wedding day to let your photographer capture some stunning bridal portraits of you. 

Gone are the days of stuffy poses and dead stares.  Today's bridal portraits are fresh, romantic, and sometimes even a little sexy.  So before the tears start rolling, here are a few tips on how to look your best in your bridal portrait. 


1) Kick everyone out.

Yes....everyone.  You're already nervous, watching the clock, trying to remember your vows, and keeping your emotions in check.  The last thing you need is everyone staring at you.  

Bride Ocean Key ResortGive Yourself Some SpaceBride taking a moment to breathe on her wedding day Bride posing for portrait outside in Key WestBride in outdoor bridal portraitOutdoor Bridal Portrait in Fort Zachary Taylor

Unless you're a professional model and accustomed to someone pointing a giant lens in your direction, having your portrait taken is a little intimidating.  This is likely the first moment that you and your photographer will be interacting in a more direct way, as they will have spent the morning quietly documenting the behind-the-scenes of all the preparations as it unfolded without much direction.  Now, they'll be asking you to adjust "just so", turn your head this way, move your shoulder that way, and you want to be able to focus without feeling self-conscious.


2) Beauty Inside and Out

Plan to capture some of your bridal portraits in the comfort and air-conditioning of your suite, but also get a little adventurous and go outside as well.  A good photographer can find amazing images in the most unlikely of places.  Parking garage?  Outhouse?  Rusted bridge?  Street graffiti?  Patch of woods on the side of the road?  All of these can be potential portraits.  Trust that your photographer sees something, even if you don't quite get the vision yet.   

Elevated bridal portraitGorgeous BrideBridal portrait using window light Bride on stairs in parking lotBacklit location bridal portraitCan get great photos anywhere

Bride between bird paintingsBride in Audubon House GalleryBride posing between the birds Bride looking up at cameraInside portrait of EricaFlawless bridal portrait

3) Get ready for a little interior re-decorating

When your photographer walked into the room for the first time, they looked around and their mind lit up with possibilities.  Wedding photographers are unique in that they have to create beauty in any space, no matter the size, lighting, or decor.

Key West wedding bride at DoubletreeBridal portrait using furniture moved from another roomMoving furniture and lights to create the perfect bridal portrait

Fashion photographers can build a scene from scratch; portrait photographers have a studio space dedicated to its purpose; outdoor photographers have wide expanses of space to work with.  But wedding photographers get a 12x15 foot room complete with suitcases, furniture, half-eaten food trays, and what always seem to be the most gigantic lamp shades the hoteliers can possibly find in every corner of the room.  [can you tell I have a love/hate relationship with lamp shades?].  So don't be alarmed when your photographer starts hauling in adirondack chairs from the balcony, moving entire tables, and unplugging things so the cords don't show in the background.


4) Where There's a Window, there's a Way

The best lighting for portraits is soft, directional window light.  Most windows are big and have some sort of diffusion material (sheers, blinds, etc) that can be used to modify the quality of the light.  

Key West wedding bride between shuttersBride in double door backlitBacklit portrait of bride between two shutters Bridal portrait in window lightWindow lit rembrandt style portrait of brideRembrandt style bridal portrait in Islamorada

In the studio, your photographer could set up a giant soft box to emulate this effect, but working on location means working with what's there, so wherever the window is, that's where we'll be starting.  If it's a full length sliding door, it can be used for full length dramatic backlit silhouette photos.  If it's a smaller window, it can be used in a more directional pattern to stream light onto the face and bodice of the dress.  If it's an overhead skylight, the options are more limited but it can be used to create a dynamic "fashion-esque" type portrait.  


5) Flowers are your Friend

Ever been to a party and felt awkward not having a drink in your hand yet?  We are hard wired to want some form of comfort with us when we are in uncomfortable situations.  And let's face it, when are your nerves more on "high alert" than on your wedding day?  While it's not absolutely necessary to have a bouquet to take great bridal portraits, it definitely helps give your hands something to do, gives you something to "hide" those troublesome areas (we ALL have them!), and of course, they look beautiful and accent the dress perfectly!  

Key West historic venue bridal portraitRound window light behind brideCircular window light source illuminating Key West bride from behind Bridal portrait in Key WestBride standing in patio window


6) Embrace a Little Mystery

In addition to the classic softly lit portraits, don't be afraid to get a little more edgy with your portraits.  A low-key, dimly lit room with just a single light source can make for a very dramatic look.  Looking at the camera for some portraits is a great way to connect with the viewer of the portrait, but looking away invokes a sense of mystery and gets the viewer thinking and imagining what thoughts you were thinking and what emotions you were experiencing, and can make for a very powerful portrait as well. 

Key West wedding bridal portraitBacklit curtain shot of brideBrial portrait in window Overhead lighting for dramatic look

7) Do What I Do

If you're not naturally accustomed to striking poses for photos (most people aren't!), then you'll want to look to your photographer for direction.  The easiest way to do this is to mirror them as they demonstrate the pose and look they are going for.  For starters, always have your weight on the foot that is farthest from the camera.  This shifts your hips back and away, and makes you look slimmer.    

141108-076_2507Slight bend in the elbowBrides look best when their limbs are straight

Second, always have a slight bend in the elbow.  Straight arms look limp and unengaged.  The best way to fix this is to rest your palm on your upper thigh and draw your elbow along your waist almost as if you were tucking it behind you.  It gives a slight bend without looking forced.


8) Let it Shine

Try to put everything else out of your head for just five minutes and focus on feeling gorgeous.  This will naturally allow your forehead, eyes, mouth, and cheeks to relax and generate a more genuine smile that allows the real glow to shine through.  Don't like the way you smile in photos?  The best remedy is to think of something funny.  We all have inside jokes or things that amuse us.  Have a store of those thoughts ready to bring forward, and you'll get a "real smile" every time.  A little bad photographer-provided humor doesn't hurt, either.  :D

And remember, your real smile doesn't have to be a big gregarious grin.  Some people naturally smile more demurely, and that's okay too!

Bride close upGet in closeUp close outdoor bridal portrait Bridal portrait during key west weddingNatural smile during bridal portraitBride getting married in Key West smiling for camera Bride smiling at camera with flowersSweet bridal portraitBeautiful bride Jasmine getting ready for her wedding day Bride connecting with cameraConnection with bride in cameraBridal portrait with blue and yellow background

9) Let's See A Show of Hands

In professional photography circles, there is a comment often given during critiques that revolves around the placement of the hands.  You know you've nailed a great portrait when everything comes together and the hands are the icing on the cake that finishes the whole look off.  

Bride handsBride's hands on her wedding dayGently clasped hands

So, let's give your hands some "go-to's".  Hold your flowers, play with the back of your hair (underneath the hair if it's all down), trace your decollatage with your fingertips, wrap one arm across your body to create a "resting spot" for your other elbow and bring your hands gently to your cheek or chin, place one hand softly over the other one on a knee or across your waist, and if you're feeling fierce, go ahead and pop both hands up onto the hips with a full "wonder woman" stance! 

Wonder woman brideBride with hands on hipsPosting with fierce wonder woman stance tree lines bridal portraitBride holding flowers with treesBig sky little bride 090516-2_214.jpgNight time portrait bride holding dressHolding the train during bridal portrait
As you can see, there isn't much required to get great bridal portraits.  

Whether the photographer puts the window behind you and shoots into it, to the side and uses it in a Rembrandt effect, or puts it behind her and creates a soft milky flat source that evens out the skin tones beautifully, and whether it's a standing, seated, camera-aware, or more distant thoughtful expression, there are so many ways one can create multiple looks during your Key West wedding bridal portrait session.

As long as you have time to take some photos without rushing and a little creativity on the photographer's part, you can create gorgeous photos of you in your wedding dress before the day gets underway.


]]> (Key West Photographer - Karrie Porter) bridal portraits how to get great bridal portraits key west brides look great in your wedding dress preparation photos wedding day ideas Sat, 15 Apr 2017 18:00:00 GMT
Putting A Face With A Name: Virginia Panico, Key West Chamber of Commerce Director If you own or work at a business, or are in any way involved with city, tourism, or other issues on the island of Key West, there is likely one name that you have heard:  Virginia Panico.

Event candid of Virginia Panico

However, unless you are an active participant in those arenas, you might not necessarily know her if you ran into her in the grocery store.  

As the long time Director of the local Key West Chamber of Commerce, Ms Panico has been at the forefront (and in the trenches) of all matters related to living, working, and visiting Key West for over 20 years.  

Just check out this interview by Britt Myers of The Keys Weekly newspaper in 2015!

She knows her stuff, is well respected, and plays a big role within the community.

I had the honor of being chosen to photograph the annual Key West Chamber of Commerce Awards Banquet, where I was able to grab the above quick image of Virginia as part of a lineup of past Athena Award recipients.  

But if you were to do a Google Images search for her name to try to associate it with the person, you would be served a mish-mash of poorly-lit indoor action shots, quick 'get together!' group photos from various events, and, ironically, a slew of photos in which Ms Panico is not even present!  

Searching for Virginia Panico in Key West photosWhere's Virginia?Searching for the well-known director of the Key West Chamber of Commerce on Google, ironically, you're served up a variety of photos, many of which do not even have Ms Panico in them!

One might expect someone like that to have a highly curated collection of images, amassed over a long career of activism, events, speaking roles, and board memberships.  

But Virginia is a woman of action, getting things done, and staying involved.  I would imagine that staying busy with two decades of official duties did not leave much time for stopping to schedule a formal portrait of herself, which I can totally understand as well!

Virginia Panico VIRGINIA PANICODirector of the Key West Chamber of Commerce. Photo Credit © Keys Weekly This image, taken by the Keys Weekly staff photographer to accompany their interview when it was published, is one of the few decent publicity photos I could find of Ms Panico.  

It's a nice-but-flatly-lit snapshot with a casual look to it, but as the original version from which it was cropped also incorporated the Visitor's Center sign as well, it served mainly as a visual for the story, not necessarily ticking any boxes for a great portrait.  

So, when she called me and told me she needed to update her headshot, I was of course delighted to be the one to provide it!  After all, this is someone who has been in her position, leading the local business networking organization for over 20 years!  

I needed to make sure I did justice to her position, showcased her professionalism without coming across as stiff or overly-corporate, and also conveyed an approachability as well.  I admit, I was feeling a little pressure, but up for the challenge to deliver. 

Virginia Panico HeadshotVirginia PanicoHeadshot for Virginia Panico, Director of the Key West Chamber of Commerce

The bright tangerine/coral color of her shirt, which complemented her skin tone and hair color perfectly.  We went with a neutral white background so that she could use the image as a transparent PNG cutout if needed for future marketing materials, and to contrast nicely with the brightness of the clothing.  

Karrie Porter headshotsKarrie Porter Photography HeadshotsBright and vibrant headshots by Key West photographer Karrie Porter


One common thing I hear with headshots, from both men and women, is the desire to look "fresh and a little more youthful".  Of course we want to look like ourselves, so while we want to retain the shape and overall appearance, there is no harm in putting forward an image that appears rested and vibrant.  


To achieve this, I use a lighting technique specifically designed to reduce the appearance of lines (effectively, reducing the shadows), which has the bonus side effect of brightening up the eyes with a little sparkle, and helps minimize skin tone variations as well.  


What couldn't be achieved with lighting alone, we took care of with post-production retouching, delivering several iterations of the requested edits before settling on the final version.  


Being a lifelong entrepreneur myself and having a long background in marketing, I find professional headshots to be one of my favorites types of portraits to do, because not only can it help a person feel good about themselves, it actually has the power to help them succeed in their business and professional life as well.  

Retouched headshot photoRetouched portrait of Virginia PanicoImage delivered after slight retouching

I'm quite proud of the images Ms Panico and I made together, and am happy to have been selected to help her share her image with the world.   

]]> (Key West Photographer - Karrie Porter) corporate headshots headshot photographer key west chamber of commerce director key west photographer professional headshots Mon, 27 Mar 2017 19:41:27 GMT
How Long Will It Take to Receive my Photos We know you're super excited to see your images!  We have 100 steps on our Workflow Checklist that we have to get through first. 

Child excited about photosExcited to see photosChild excited about having her picture taken, standing in water on Key West beach


We want to make sure you are thrilled with your photos when you receive them, which means we take the time to sort through them, narrow down sets of multiple images to just the "best of the best", and optimize them for the best exposure, crop, straightening, contrast, and color possible. 

Your images are downloaded and backup at the studio, then they go to our editor. 

Depending on the size of the shoot, they may come back to the photographer one to three times throughout the process. 

Upon final approval, they are finally exported from our editing software (we use Lightroom) and are ready for viewing.  






With that said, under normal circumstances, to give you an idea of what this timeline looks like, check out the following timeline:






Studio portraits,
mini sessions

small family sessions

Weddings, Large families

1 Download cards
Local and Cloud Backup
Catalog setup for editing
Download cards
Local and Cloud Backup
Download cards
Local backup
2 Culling for best images
Karrie reviews culling,
adjusts as needed
Catalog setup for editing
Culling begins
Sneak Peek if possible
Cloud backup
Pre-pro meeting
Catalog setup for editing
3 Overall edits completed Culling completed
Karrie reviews, adjusts
Culling begins
Sneak Peek if Possible
4 Karrie reviews editing,
adjusts as needed
Overall edits completed Culling completed
Karrie reviews, adjusts
5 Final edits exported
Gallery created
Filters and local edits done
Karrie reviews, adjusts
Overall edits begun
6 Invitation sent / 
Viewing appointment set
Final edits exported
Gallery created
Overall edits completed
Filters, local edits begun
7   Invitation sent / 
Viewing appointment set
Karrie reviews, adjusts
Final edits exported
8     Gallery created
Invitation sent / 
Viewing appointment set

This is meant to be just a guideline.  If your studio session, family portrait or engagement falls on or around a major holiday (Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year, Easter), expect an extra week turnaround.
Key West family portrait at Casa MarinaCouple having funCouple having fun on Casa Marina beach during Key West family photo shoot

Unforeseen issues such as hurricanes, photographer or editor illness (yes we are a small business run by real human people), computer equipment or software issues (in 17 years this has only caused delays twice, but it's possible), will invoke our Force Majure clause in our contract, which you signed when you booked. This basically means we agree to communicate and work together on reasonable alternate arrangements to deal with unexpected issues such as these.  

Want to learn more about the specific steps as images make their way from Camera to Client?

Check out our Wedding Workflow Behind the Scenes Steps


1) Can I pay extra to receive my images faster?

No.  We more-or-less have a handle on workflow because we know how many jobs we have to shoot in a given period of time.  Bumping someone higher - for whatever reason - just screws up the entire system.  Plus, who wants to be the jerk that tells their bride and groom "Sorry your images are late, this other customer paid more so we moved them up the list".  Not fair to them, feels icky to us.  Sorry, we won't do it.  

Mary and Keith letting the world go by as they kiss on the Westin dock boardwalkMary and Keith letting the world go by as they kiss on the Westin dock boardwalk 2) Can I get a discount if I tell you I'm not in a hurry and give you more time? 

No, due to the reasoning above.  It's already complicated enough when we are managing tens-of-thousands of images per year, multiple orders, albums, and other production related requests.  Making per-job adjustments just adds more for us to concentrate on...concentration that could be spent getting the editing done.  

3) Can I pay my final balance once the images are ready?

The agreement you sign when you book outlines your payment schedule.  Your final payment is due in accordance with your agreed payment schedule.  For most weddings, that is 30 days before the event.  For most family sessions and engagements, that is the week of the shoot.  This schedule has nothing to do with image turnaround.

4) I forgot to pay my final balance.  When will I receive my photos?

As outlined in the contract, images are not released on accounts that have a balance.  If you still owe a portion of your wedding or session, your images will not be posted.  We will send invoice reminders; You are welcome to make payments on your balance, and when the total is paid, the gallery will be released. 

Bride on swing at Higgs Beach parkBride swinging at the parkBride laughs while swinging at the park at Higgs Beach in Key West 5) Can you send me a weekly update of my job status?

You're welcome to email us at any time to check in, but we don't currently have a system in place that will automatically update you on where we are in the overall process, and honestly with a small staff, the hours it would take to manually compose all those emails on a weekly basis would be hours that could have been know where we're going with this.  :) 

6) I have a party/reception/event/special request when I get back home...Can I get a few images sooner in time for that?

Maybe.  It all depends on if we're able to deliver a Sneak Peek, and where that falls in relation to your event.  Since it takes nearly as many steps to get you 5 images as it does 500, the fact that you need "only a few" doesn't really save us any steps on our end.  We will do our absolute best, but for the reasons mentioned in all the FAQ above, we cannot guarantee delivery for a specific date that falls before the contracted turnaround time.  For best results and less stress on both ends, if having your photos are super important to the success of the event you're planning back home, we recommend you schedule it around when you know for sure you'll have images in hand.  

7) I want to send Thank You Cards as soon as possible after my wedding...Can I get a few images sooner so I can use them for this purpose?

Maybe.  See the answer to #6 above.

Teal jar and fuschia orchid wedding detailsJar and flower photo at wedding in Key Westwedding details at Pier House

8) I'm a photo hobbyist/I have Photoshop Elements/I love editing photos on my phone...Can I get my images faster if I do my own editing?

We are a full service studio, and will complete the process start to finish as part of your package.  We do not offer raw unedited files.  Unless you're a professional working photographer with specific software, your computer most likely will not even be able to read the camera raw files anyway, so it's a moot point.

But technicalities aside, let's pretend you're a chef, or maybe you sell insurance, or maybe you're a teacher at a private school.  This request would be like a patron, customer, or parent coming to you and saying "I cook at home all the time, can I get my order out faster if I help you flip the meat?" or "I've bought car insurance online before, can we speed this process along if I come to your office and enter the data into your computer for you?", or "I read children's books to my kids all the time, can I get reduced tuition if I come in to the classroom and teach my kids their letters for you?". 

See how that would be kind of hard to do?  :)


9) When will the retouching be completed?

When we say "editing", we mean overall edits to an entire set of images to tell a story and showcase the very best of the event with a style and look that is consistent with our portfolio of work.  

"Retouching" is what happens after you place your order or choose your favorites, and are done image-per-image, and done to fit YOUR specifications.  Obvious things like flyaway hairs and facial blemishes are automatically taken care of, but cosmetic requests (slimming, etc) are only done upon request, so all of that happens AFTER you have seen and chosen your images.


]]> (Key West Photographer - Karrie Porter) editing image key photo photography turnaround wedding west Thu, 09 Mar 2017 18:30:00 GMT
Behind the Scenes During a Casa Marina Wedding Setup It was a beautiful day to have a wedding in Key West, as local wedding planning company, A Modern Romance run by Eric Baker and overseen by his fellow Planner Brittany, set up a stunning display for their clients.  

Casa Marina Resort walkwayCasa Marina ResortOne of the most beautiful venues in Key West, Casa Marina Resort welcomes you in style with a grand walkway that leads from this iconic building out to the beautiful beaches, lined with palm trees and reflection pools High heel shoes in sand at casa marina resort weddingShoes In The SandIt's bare feet only when you're saying your vows with your toes only feet from the ocean. Tray of champagne glasses Bubbles A MustLeave it to the attentive staff at Casa Marina Resort to be at-the-ready with a tray of champagne as the wedding party makes their way to the beach.

I was on scene to capture the setup and details of this small family gathering, with Chip Willis from PSAV getting the beach chandelier just the right height, musician Brian Roberts arriving and getting his equipment tuned for the evening's entertainment, and Casa Marina's food and beverage Director / onsite wedding coordinator, Carina, overseeing the crew as they got the table set.   

Brian Roberts musician, photographed by Karrie PorterPlease Don't Stop The MusicLocal Key West musician, Brian Roberts, arrives with his equipment to the beach to set up before the ceremony. Casa Marina Resort crew behind the scenes wedding setupTable for TenCasa Marina crew get the wedding reception table into position Beach bar setupRaise the BarA full array of wine, beer, liquor, and all the necessary incidentals.

One common misconception with island weddings is that just because there are not often as many guests, that the weddings have to be basic setups.  But nothing could be further from the truth.  In fact, there are often more options with smaller groups, because more time and effort can be focused on a setup that doesn't don't span an entire ballroom.  This beautiful centerpiece and carefully arranged decor is one such example.

Crystal chandelier hanging above the beachA Certain Pop Song Comes To MindWhen Sia proclaimed she wanted to party all night ("I want to swing from the chandelier"), I wonder if the one she envisioned was held aloft amid swaying palm trees and the sound of the ocean? Flower centerpiece by Milan Event floralsFloral DecorMilan Events brought out these white beauties to adorn the table for this Casa Marina wedding Chevari chair on beach for Key West weddingSun Kissed ChevariThese classic wedding chairs aren't just for ballroom soirees. They make an elegant seaside choice when your wedding reception is under the blue skies of a Key West afternoon.

Before the ceremony, the team joined together to get every grain of sand and piece of decor into perfect position.

Raking sand in front of wedding ceremonyGetting The Sand Just SoA Casa Marina team member rakes the sand in front of the wedding ceremony before the beginning of the event. Musician setup on beach for weddingMusic SetupBrian Roberts Music getting set up on the beach of Casa Marina resort in preparation for a wedding.
Wedding table setupTable setupPlates and silverware being placed by wedding team Florist arriving with wedding centerpieceFloral GloryMilan Event Florals arrives with the crown jewel of the wedding centerpiece, a magnificent arrangement of flowers and perfectly placed greenery.

Milan Event Florals brought in the beautiful floral designs and centerpieces.  There were two big flower arrangements at the altar in silver vases atop white columnts.  For the reception, a tall center clear glass vase meant guests across the table could still see one another, and look up in admiration of the crowning glory of roses and other floral beauties above them.

Ceremony meets ocean Milan Event Florals by Karrie Porter PhotographyMaking A StatementFloral arrangement by Milan Event in Key West, accented by the splash of a wave coming in off the Atlantic Ocean on the shores of Casa Marina Resort Simple floral arrangement on white linenSmall but PrettySmall white flowers in a simple clear glass make a lovely understated but classy look

The couple and their small group traveled all the way from Norway to enjoy a destination wedding on the private beach of Casa Marina Resort, and had a lovely evening to celebrate.

  Key West wedding beach setupHow It All Comes TogetherThe work of planner, venue, florist, and lighting teams to create the perfect look for this destination wedding client at Casa Marina resort in Key West, Florida Table centerpiece setup by A Modern Romance and Milan Event FloralsA Beautiful Way To Close The DayIt's exciting enough to look across the table and see the love of your life staring back at you, but when that view is adorned with roses and crystal and candles and the deep blue of the ocean, you realize the perfect moment has come together at last.

I hope you liked this Behind-The-Scenes peek into the work that went into creating this fabulous look.  To view the full gallery, CLICK HERE

Planner: A Modern Romance 
Venue: Casa Marina Resort
Florals: Milan Event
Lighting: PSAV
Officiant: Family Member
Hair and Makeup: Unknown
Photos: Karrie Porter

]]> (Key West Photographer - Karrie Porter) a modern romance beach wedding casa marina resort destination wedding intimate wedding karrie porter photography key west key west photographer key west photography milan event florals photos of casa marina wedding small wedding wedding photographer weddings at casa marina Mon, 27 Feb 2017 00:31:49 GMT
What Size Digital Files Do I Need? When hiring a photographer for your upcoming Key West wedding or beach family portrait session, you will likely be offered the option to receive digital copies of your photos, in addition to the prints, albums, and other products you'll be ordering.  In our studio, we have three versions of our digital files, to suit all budgets and needs. 



These are your standard screen-resolution digital files, suitable for viewing in your online gallery, watching your digital slideshow on your tablet or Smart TV, and posting to social media.

Digital proofsDigital ProofsThe digital version of old fashioned "contact sheets", digital proofs are meant to display all the images from your shoot. You select your favorites from the proofs.

Similar to "the old days" when printed contact sheets (thumbnails lined up 9 to a page for review) were how photographers shared a set of images, digital proofs are how you review the images from the session.   Digital Proofs in online galleryDigital Proofs delivered in Online Gallery

It is the full set of images, culled down to the best versions from those captured, so you'll usually have several versions of each pose/scene to choose from.  Proofs are edited for basic adjustments such as color, crop, contrast, and exposure corrections if needed.  They have little to no retouching done to them, since they are just for previewing and selecting your favorites.


Digital Proofs are automatically included in the cost of the session.  They are delivered either via online gallery or on screen during your in-person reveal appointment.



They are the most versatile files because while they offer a lot of printed product options, the images are not so huge that they take up a ton of storage space on your computer's hard drive, and they are still small enough to upload to websites and social media without running into any issues.  These files are delivered to you unwatermarked with a release for personal use.  

You automatically receive a retouched Medium Resolution digital copy of everything selected for your order.  So, any photos that go into an album, a wall art, matted print, or other products created and delivered by us, the retouching is included, and you get the benefit of receiving the retouched digital file as well.

Medium Resolution File BeforeMedium Resolution File BeforeImage from Digital Proofs set, before retouching for the client's order.   Medium Resolution File BeforeMedium Resolution File AfterImage after removal of people in background, and enhancements made to colors and crop.  










Some packages include a full Medium Resolution Digital Archive, which will be all the images you saw in your Proofs, but delivered in a larger format that you can print from.  

Medium-Res' files are suitable for printing wallets, 4x6's, 5x7's, 8x10's, 10x12, for creating wedding and portrait albums up to 12x12", for purchasing photo products such as keychains, mugs, and tote bags, and for creating Save the Date cards, Thank You Cards, and Christmas Cards.  

Print Sizes on Side TableProduct Sizes with Medium Resolution Files

Printing larger than the recommended size will result in pixelation and very blurry, low-quality images.  Not to mention the fact that, doing so technically puts you in violation of your license agreement with your photographer.  :(

Medium-Resolution files are a moderately-priced upgrade that allow you to create some of your own products and have a higher-quality archive of your session, but without the added cost of full resolution files.



These are the "digital negatives" of the modern photographer.  Purchasing the High-Res' files is equivalent to having a full size negative of the image(s).  While you are not buying out the copyrights (meaning the photographer still retains ownership of the images), High Resolution images give you the ability to create prints and products in any size, even large 40x60" canvas portraits, if you choose.  

Wall Art above CouchHigh Resolution File Sizes

The file sizes take up a lot more space on your computer, and may not be up-loadable on some web applications, but give you the most "digital information" in your image files as can be saved.  

Similar to with the Medium Resolution Archive, if your session includes a Full Resolution or High Resolution digital image set with your package, any of the images that were retouched as part of your print order, you will also receive the retouched version of the photo, but in High Resolution format.  

High Resolution files, because of their premium size and the fact that they negate the need of clients to order Wall Art from the photographer, often come at a higher price point.  With my studio, clients have the option to upgrade their entire session, or just individual images, in a High Resolution format. 

One thing to note.  "Resolution" does not mean "Quality".  The High-Res files are of no higher 'quality' than the Medium.  Both are saved at a substantial 240 or 300 pixels per inch (PPI), which is the industry standard for high quality printing.  The difference is in the physical dimensions of the photos, which is what determines how large they can be printed.  

Hopefully this is helpful in determining your file size needs, as you make a decision on which Key West photographer to hire for your upcoming session or event!

]]> (Key West Photographer - Karrie Porter) digital digital files digital images digital proofs high resolution key west key west wedding photo sizes medium resolution photography portrait sizes Sun, 15 Jan 2017 21:30:00 GMT
Why Can't I Just Have The Disc? "Shoot and Burn" is not Service

Square Cameo 2Square Cameo 2 You wouldn't be happy paying someone to design and build your dream home, but walking away with nothing more than the blueprints, content to figure it out on your own.  

You wouldn't be happy going to an exclusive restaurant, paying for a premium meal, and having the chef bring out all the ingredients on a plate and leaving you to fend for yourself.  

And you aren't going to be happy if you pay a photographer to create images you love, then have to spend the next several months or years waiting until you have time to learn Photoshop and InDesign before you can print your first portrait. 

The Cost Is Not In The Spark Plugs

It's easy to think that "if I'm not getting prints, then the package will be cheaper".  Mmm...not quite.  

It's kind of like taking your car to a mechanic, paying them to tune up your vehicle, but telling him "we really just want you to dig in there, find the problem, give us the spark plugs, and we'll finish the rest of it ourselves".  

He can give you the spark plugs, sure, but he still has to charge you for the time he spent, the electricity the work used, the opportunity cost associated with taking your car over someone else's.  The $5 spark plug is really irrelevant in that equation...all those things have a cost associated with them, which adds up to basically the same as what you'd pay for him to just finish the job.  

We Made Something Beautiful Together

As the "digital revolution" took hold, we have taken our most cherished possessesions - our memories - and reduced them to a cold flat soul-less piece of hardware, one that many admit years later, aside for some pictures they posted on social media, they never looked at ever again.  

That's sad.  I don't want that.  We worked hard to get those images.  I pulled out all the stops, pulled out an extra lens for a special shot, brought the extra doo-hicky-bobber just in case, we hiked 3 miles by the time it was done, I left with bruised knees, your sides hurt from laughing, and I had sand in my tripod clamps, but we were both beaming from ear to ear!  

Karrie Porter directs model posing next to tree during photo shootBehind the scenes during portrait shootDirecting my model posing next to this killer tree we incorporated into her photo shoot. Tree with gnarly roots during model photo shootResulting "Gnarly Tree" imageModel Kylie in the final shot that we got during her session



And what about you!?  


You paid good money for those images.  


And they were awesome.  


And you left feeling good about this!


Life Takes Over. 

Think about it: you got your entire family together and traveled 682 miles to be together.  Your brother in law wore a collared shirt for the first time in 10 years, and your moody teenager smiled "for real" running around that beach.  You're going to leave them on a disc, or a USB drive, and not bother with them ever again?

USB drive flash stick on white backgroundSo Luxurious...not.The digital files are a means to an end. They are not the product. They are the ingredients in the chef's concoction, they are the blueprint for the architect's skyscraper, they are merely the bits and bytes in a photographer's toolkit that result in a finished photograph. Oh what's that?  You had every intention of making a book, but you couldn't figure out whether to go with Canva, SmugMug, or SnapFish.  You say you wanted to put some on the wall but couldn't decide between Fine Art Matte, Fuji Deep Matte, and True Matte, and finally got overwhelmed and too busy to worry about it.  I see.  And before you knew it, six years went by...oh what's that? was ten years.  Yikes.

Sad, isn't it?  I've now been around long enough now to have clients come back to me over the years and tell me this same thing over, and over, and over.  

A Turning Point and a MovementInternationally awarded and acclaimed portrait photographer superstar, Sue Bryce, my mentor and general industry ass-kicker, speaking at WPPI to the brightest names and shakers in the imaging community, talking about the demise of the "missing generation". I subscribe to the professional mantra that to call yourself a photographer is to believe that the work does not end until the client is holding a physical, tangible product that will last them a lifetime. This is how I was feeling as I was beginning to connect the dots of what it meant to have offered digital-only options to my clients for too long.  

The Missing Generation

The turning point for me was when I attended a workshop at Wedding and Portrait Photographers International (WPPI) one of the megalith international organizations for professional photographers, and my mentor Sue Bryce got up and kicked us all in the ass.  

To a room full of the top minds in professional imaging, she laid into us up one side and down the other, like an auditorium full of school children getting called into the principals office.  

In her signature Kiwi accent, she made us realize that we were the reason that an entire generation of children are going to grow up without that self esteem that comes from seeing your photo framed lovingly on the side table, why family legacies now had gaping holes in their records, why sitting on grandma's couch flipping through photo albums will become a lost art, why and why when future populations look back on this time, they're going to wonder "where did everyone go?"  

hard drive on white backgroundReally?This is what you want to look at in exchange for hundreds, sometimes thousands, of dollars? We have all taken the easy way out.  Consumers, content with an online-only existence.  And Photographers, relieved to be rid of all the work that happens after the shoot.  

So together we have contributed to "the missing generation".

We are now a culture that, when the drives crash, the internet "clouds" dissipate, USB sticks get lost, or better yet, experience the tiniest bit of static electricity and get wiped clean (true story), the CDs get scratched (or an ant farts too close to them and barely misaligns the surface, rendering them useless), or anything else happens to our current methodology of storing our memories, we will have nothing to show for it. 

So, myself along with many other professionals in my field, have committed ourselves to not only the art of making good images, but the craftsmanship that comes with delivering a product that will last.  

That's Great and All, but Seriously...Can I Just Pay You For the Disc?

If nostalgia and longevity are not enough to convince you that what we are doing here is meaningful (and therefore valuable), then perhaps a more business-like spin on it will help provide some additional insight.

There can sometimes be a disconnect between the easy perception of digitals being an "easy fix" for an inexpensive shoot, and the professional standard of providing a finished, tangible product, retouched and mounted so it will both look good and last a lifetime.  


People tell me "I don't want anything fancy", or "I don't need a lot of extra stuff".  I understand it's easy to think that because digitals aren't something we can pick up and touch, that they have no cost associated with them.  Actually, digitals represent the greatest cost of all the products a photographer can offer.  A print is only created because the client wants it, therefore it represents no long term cost to the storage, no backups, no servers, no software.

Array of hard drives on white backgroundThis Is Your Brain...On ElectricityEvery thought, feeling, emotion, tear, memory, frustration, every inch of growth, every family outing, every loss, and everything that represents your visual history, now looks like this.

Digital files, on the other hand....well, we shoot 100 raw files, generate an editing catalog, store the sidecar files, store the exported 16 bit TIFF files for long term storage and the 8 bit High-Resolution JPG's for immediate use, the low-res web files for our website, and the watermarked versions for vendors and marketing.  

Most photographers can't bear to delete old shoots, so the hard drives pile up year by year, and because every good photographer knows that it's a matter of when, not if, a drive will crash, there has to be duplicates on another set, and a cloud backup in case the building burns down someday.  

So out of a set of 100 images on a small shoot, the client may select 10 for their order, but we maintain the full set for safe keeping, and now have a stock pile of 1800 files (Original Raw x 100 + Edited sidecar files x 100 + HighRes Jpg x 100 + LowRes Jpg x 100 + Watermarked x 100 + Archival Tiffs x 100 = 600 copies + 1 Duplicate Drive x 600 + 1 Cloud Based Backup x 600 = 1800).

Hanging photos on the wall.Go Big when you Go HomeHanging photos on the wall is scientifically proven to increase dopamine (the happy chemical), increase self-awareness and self-esteem, and is linked with happier marriages and more stable home life.


Consider the difference in intrinsic value from when you pick up an album, with thick pages and leather hand-stitched cover, or a canvas print carefully stretched over a frame and hung lovingly on the wall.  


There is almost no amount of money that you can put on the happiness, stress-relief, and relationships that are built on positive self-image and visual affirmation.  


"Shoot and burn" photographers cannot give you what I, and other professionals who operate like I do, can give you.


If you are wanting to work with someone for whom this is a full time career, there is effort, time, and money in education, insurance, taxes, staff, materials, and equipment that you expect when you give good money for a service, that affects the cost of the service regardless of the finished product.


Sure, some pricing is affected by location, and those intangibles like years of experience, creative style, and longevity (knowing that if you need to come back 5 or 10 or 20 years later, the liklihood that that person will still be in business), but in general, there are basic operating expenses that do not go away.

Because of that, the cost - from a business standpoint - is the same whether you receive 10 digital files, or 10 beautiful prints and their accompanying digital files. 

All other things being equal, why wouldn't you want both?


Portrait of couple in matted print.Is Everything In The BagThis is what photography looks like. Something you can pick up, touch, hold, kiss, love, display, and pass down to your kids when they are grown. Invest In Product, Not Pixels

I pose the question....if you are going to invest in the time and effort it takes to get your group together and capture some beautiful portraits, isn't it worth it as well to work with someone who is going to see the process all the way through to the end?  Someone who isn't going to leave you out in the cold, designing your own album, cropping your own photos, printing images on non-color-calibrated printers, and leaving it up to you to keep those digital files safe and secure. 

"Just getting the disc" might sound like a good idea right now, but 30 years from now, when your family can pick up and hold prints, or reach up to the portrait on the wall, or sit and thumb through old prints stored neatly in a box...that is when the value of what you purchased really hits you.



]]> (Key West Photographer - Karrie Porter) exist in photographs explanation of digital files explanation of printed products key west photographer missing generation why you should display your photos Thu, 01 Dec 2016 18:45:00 GMT
Destination Photographer versus Local Pro A Photographer for your Destination Wedding: Hire a Local, or Bring One From Home?  
Finding great vendors for a destination wedding comes with its own unique set of challenges, from being able to verify their professionalism and reliability, to something as simple as communicating over different time zones.  Often, hiring local for most vendors is a matter of practicality.  Five-tier cakes and sumptuous floral arrangements don't take kindly to long-distance travel, so the chances are slim that you'll hire anyone other than who is locally available. 
But with photographers, their service is unique in that their "product" is essentially them - their creativity, personality, experience, and technical training - and the quality of those things does not change based on where they are shooting.  So, the thought may have crossed your mind "Should I hire a photographer locally, or should I bring someone with me from back home?".  
While both will be able to deliver technically accurate and aesthetically pleasing results, when making this decision, consider that a local photographer has a lot going for them that their out-of-town counterparts will not find so easy.

141011-090_1662141011-090_1662 1) They know the roads and can lead the way

A photographer who lives and works in the destination you're getting married is going to know the area geographically...without a GPS, without stopping for directions, and without the need for U-turns every few miles.  They know the side-streets when traffic is jammed, they can give your mom directions when she ends up at the wrong location, they know who's going to tow you if you leave your car too long, and they've already heard about the impromptu parade down the main drag, long before Uncle Jim calls that he can't get through.  And especially important on a wedding day when timelines are so important, they've lived there long enough to know exactly how long it will take to get from Point A to Point B, so you can be pretty confident in their scheduling skills. 
If you're getting married in a cool destination, it's unlikely you'll stay in one place with your photographer; you want to get out there and incorporate the location into your photos.  Having a local photographer who can get you around town safely and efficiently, and get you back to the ceremony on time.

160610-081_1692_retouchedB160610-081_1692_retouchedB 2) You get instant insider access

Destination weddings often take place in small towns, and it's amazing what kind of access you can get to places that would normally be off limits or require a lot of red tape.  No matter where you are, Locals like to take care of their own.  If you're wanting rooftop access at the fort that normally doesn't allow it, or maybe you've always dreamed of an Engagement photo on stage at Jimmy Buffett's Margaritaville, or you passed that old abandoned Theater and wondered who you'd have to talk to in order to get in, you can probably bet that your local photographer knows someone who would be happy to make that happen.  That's not to say an out-of-town photographer can't do some homework and reach the same end result, but pulling permits, registering with the film commission, and paying reservation fees seems rather silly when a local can whip out her iPhone and send a quick text.   

Karrie and Jenn Perez at Mouer Wedding - Old Town ManorKarrie and Jenn Perez at Mouer Wedding - Old Town Manor 3) Your local photographer plays nice with others

No wedding vendor operates in a vacuum.  They all rely on each other to make your day a success, and when they work with each other every other weekend, root on each other's kids at soccer games, and run into each other at the grocery store, there's a level of comeraderie and symbiosis that doesn't happen otherwise.  That's not to say that an outside vendor is going to get the cold shoulder, but it's human nature to have more of a vested interest in those who are part of your regular network.  
The opposite can sometimes happen if your out-of-town vendor arrives with a slight chip on their shoulder, perhaps feeling a sense of privilege at having been 'flown in by the bride'.  While this is "back of house" stuff and should never affect your wedding day among accomplished professionals, the fireside chats about "difficult diva vendors" abound, and you don't need anything detracting from your day.   

IMG_6441IMG_6441 4) Summoning support is no sweat

We all like to pretend that nothing will ever go wrong and everything will be perfect on your wedding day.  But the reality is that sometimes, things happen.  An accident can shut down bridges and make it impossible to get from island to island.  A thief on the beach can slip away with an entire bag of gear.  Your photographer can be randomly walking down some stairs and fall and twist her ankle.  When these things happen, you want someone who can fix the problem, find a backup, and quick!  If you're getting married in a major metropolitan area...sure, your out-of-town photographer can call the local rental house and have a new bag of gear delivered.  But in a destination like the Florida Keys or Key West, those services aren't usually available.  Being part of the community means having an instant rescue network.  Whether it's an extra hand because the other one will be holding crutches, or an extra flash because your photographer just went for an unexpected swim, there's more of a safety net when working with a local professional.

141012-006_1903141012-006_1903 5) Give You a Unique Perspective

When your photographer has never visited a new place, they have to walk a fine line between explorer and tactician.  Traveling to a new location is exciting, but they have a job to do.  Everything is new, and because they haven't photographed something 37 other times, they feel good about even more "run of the mill" shots, simply because they don't yet have a frame of reference.  Because you're on limited time and they have limited knowledge of the area, they're going to play it a little more safe.  This isn't to say that those photos won't be beautiful, but you're not going to get that "level up" that a local can deliver.
When you live and shoot in the same destination all the time, you have to be constantly innovative.  A local photographer has a more limited palette of new places to work in, and therefore a much higher frequency working in the same space.  Any creative worth her salt is going to get bored shooting the same scene the exact same way every time, and if she is a quality photographer, her clients are going to expect that their wedding photos don't look like everyone else's.  Therefore, if a destination wedding photographer is going to stay at the top of her game, she has no choice but to think outside the box.  
There are many things to consider when hiring your photographer for your destination wedding, but the ultimate decision should be which of the local professionals has the best personality, style, and credentials to be the perfect fit for you, not whether you should bring someone from out of town.  
If you're traveling for a destination wedding, consider the difference between bringing your own photographer and hiring someone locally. 
  • know the area
  • know the vendors
  • are familiar with weather patterns
  • can save time with secret shortcuts
  • have a network of support to call on should something go awry. 

But over time, working the same venues for many years, there is the risk of their work becoming very formulaic, so make sure to review samples of multiple weddings from the same venue to get a sense of how their creativity continues to expand even in a familiar space. 

Conversely, bringing your own photographer means you get someone you can connect with before and after the wedding in person.  This is a valuable asset in that your photographer will be the one person you'll be in close proximity to the entire day, and you want to make sure you are comfortable with them.  On the other hand, they don't know the local area and will have to be extra resourceful in making all the logistics of the day work out, and you should budget one extra scouting day for them, which can hurt the budget between hotel, per diem, and hourly non-shooting rates. 

If you're considering a wedding in Key West, reach out to local planners, or you are welcome to comment here on the blog, shoot us an email, or message us on social media if you just have a quick question about a venue, vendor, or varietal.  Good luck!

]]> (Key West Photographer - Karrie Porter) bringing an outside photographer getting married in Key West hiring local key west photographers key west wedding planning should I bring my own photographer Sat, 01 Oct 2016 13:00:00 GMT
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 ResortProposing to Girlfriend at Casa MarinaMan kneels on one knee to propose to his girlfriend on the beach of 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 beachCouple snuggling after proposalHaving a photographer at your proposal means you can immediately get some engagement photos taken 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.
1-Cover1-Cover FREE DOWNLOAD:
Surprise Proposal
Photography Guide


KarrieMugKarrieMug 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 magazine2015 Florida Keys 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 orchidThe power of recollection 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