Christy Whitehead Photography » North Florida photographer and graphic designer

Happy anniversary to Angela and Jeffrey who tied the knot in a beautiful wedding at Bucaneer Bay Jacksonville, Florida a year ago today! And they had some awesome details and great vendors! As Hermine strengthened to a hurricane off the coast, the rain managed to hold off until just after the ceremony! But the wind caused a bit of havoc, lol!

Angela & Jeffrey’s Stormy Wedding at Bucaneer Bay Jacksonville

Angela had her mom and her mother in law’s dresses on hand for photos, which I thought was really cool, with the years they were married on the hangers.

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I love when couples give each other gifts. There’s always tears! PINIMAGE PINIMAGE

They did a first look with each other as well as dad. Daddy first looks seem to always bring a couple of tears.

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Jeff owns All About Events in Jacksonville and his company provided the tent and most of the rentals. And since he is a wedding vendor himself, their were tons of awesome details.

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Aime Peterson did the flowers and had this amazing flower thing hanging from the center of the tent.

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As everyone got ready for the ceremony, the black clouds started coming and sprinkles started to come down, which always freaks out photographers and videographers!

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But it held off for the ceremony, thankfully!

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bride and groom at beautiful wedding at Bucaneer Bay JacksonvillePINIMAGE

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As we were starting to do family photos, the rain did finally come down, so we did formals under the tent, but snuck back out for some rain photos with the couple and their bridal party.

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Executive Food Service did the food. I’ve done so many weddings with them they are great! PINIMAGE

I love this next shot with dad watching his daughter during her first dance.

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I love moody lighting, especially for dances.

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I don’t know what it is, but I actually like photographing the speeches. There’s usually a story to be told, emotion, laughter, etc. I like photographing from behind the couple aiming at the person speaking. It tells a story to me.

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Alleycakes did the desserts, they were sooooo yummy!

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Officiant, John Reardon

Event coordinator, Tanya Hendricks, Southern Charm Events

Videographer, Drawn in Media

DJ, Party Solutions

Hair & Makeup, Beautiful Faces by Erin

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When I had my daughter almost 7 years ago, I worked from home for the first two years or so and was blessed with awesome teens who came and assisted me. But as I got a studio and my business continued to grow I needed to look for a more permanent and consistent child care center and that scared me! I had heard all the horrors about people abusing children, leaving them in vans, etc. Even my mother had her own horror stories about the childcare centers we were in as kids. I have a scar over my eye where a dog bit me at a babysitter’s home when I was a child.

I’m not going to lie, most places just look scary, or I feel like their outside theme or name was trying to hard or just weirded me out.

I dropped by one center near Chaffee and the doors were locked, you had to be buzzed in and even though it was a Christian facility, the people just seemed irritated and didn’t want me there.

After lots of digging on Google I found online records for local daycares and it showed if they had violations. That’s when I found Country Bumpkins Childcare on Old Gainesville Road, off of Chaffee. They were a nice newer building, HUGE playground with HUGE trees that covered it, an outside eating area and the parents have a door code to come and go as they wanted. You could even have lunch with your child and they encouraged you to participate and holiday parties and such.

My daughter Spencer started going there for drop in care about three years ago. She was a verbal child and was always good at communicating, so I felt like if I missed something, she would tell me if something was wrong. I NEVER had an issue and she loved it. So she started going there for PreK and now my son goes there.

Over the last year I have became friends with the owners–a mother daughter team and loved how involved they are with the community and how they genuinely care. I’ve also helped them rebrand with new photos, logo, and website.

Country Bumpkins Childcare in JacksonvillePINIMAGE

 

Country Bumpkins Child Care Inc. was founded in  1989, after Angie Johnson went looking for a child care center for her 2  children. After visiting a few centers she quickly realized quality child care was needed in her area. She opened a small learning space in her family’s living room and was licensed for 45 children.

The center grew quickly and the center took over  the Johnson’s home. The family moved out and the whole house became the  first center.

Angie’s daughter, Jaime, is a registered nurse and joined the family business.

I asked Jaime about Country Bumpkins and working with her family:

I was 16 when I started getting an actual pay check, but I always helped since she opened the center when I was ten.

My favorite thing about Country Bumpkins is that we are family owned  & operated. My mom & I run day to day activities and my dad  & brother handle maintenance& building repairs or improvements. I  love bring so close with my family daily.

Being family owned  means we put a great deal of time being involved in the center & the  children & families we care for. Most families we have had for many  years. We develop a relationship with our families & our staff. We  are very involved in our community & local school.

What is your favorite part about being a business owner?

My favorite part about being a business owner is being in control of  what happens in and at the business. If I do not like the way something  is running, I can change it. I can be involved in the every day operations of the business but still enjoy activities I have with my  children.

Do you have any advice for parents looking for child care?

Go with your gut. If you have a bad feeling about something at a center or someone who works there do not bring your child there. Look for colorful, bright, current artwork on the walls to give you a feel for what your child may be doing. Talk with the teacher about what an average day looks like, they should be able to answer your questions. Parents should check out Myflorida.com for a childcare center’s recent license inspection report which will show violations and incidents the child care center has had.

 

Country Bumpkins Childcare in JacksonvillePINIMAGE

 

If you’re looking for a childcare or PreK on the Westside, I would highly recommend them!

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Hiding and finding painted rocks has become all the rage. I kept seeing Facebook groups and friends post about it. Then about a month ago I was at Dave and Buster’s and was walking over to the game side and I look over to my left and found this Aloha rock!:

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Rock Painting -the why, how and where #jaxrocks #jacksonvilleRocks

Since finding that Aloha rock, we painted some and hid them in Oakleaf. My kids loved it. Hid some Minion ones when we went to watch the Minions movie. My daughter was SOOO excited when she saw someone found them. And she gets SOOOO excited when she finds some.

The Michaels by the Avenues had a sign up about rock painting and had some painted rocks in front of it.

One day, we went to the pizza place in Argyle. My daughter put one rock on a table out front and went in to order, another Jax Rocks person spotted it and put two in it’s place by the time we had got done ordering!!! My daughter was so amazed.

A lot of the local parks have them. The Aloha rock I found, I went to the group on the back that was hashtagged and posted a photo. The artist was from out of state and said she left it there for work 2 days before!!!

(If you want FREE stuff, read to the end!)

When I found that first rock I decided that was the sign and it was my turn to do it now. But, I wasn’t sure what to do or what to get. So I started researching and I also interviewed, Kristen Bloss, a leader of the local group #jacksonvillerocks community group on Facebook for pointers and info! Kristen founded the group in October of 2016.

How did you become interested in painting rocks?

I have always liked to paint, and I love being outside. So when I saw a friend in Washington State doing this I had to find out what it was and then after doing some research, I decided to start it here in Jacksonville.

Do you remember the first rock you painted? Found?

I remember the first group of rocks I painted. I still have the photo of them. The one that sticks out with me the most is a large frog face. The first rock I found was an American Flag, which was very fitting for me and my son loved it.

What was your favorite rock you found?

I would still say the American flag since it was our first find.

Why do you do it?

I enjoy painting and being outside myself, and my sons enjoy it as well. I started the group because I know so many people would enjoy it and it would get them outside seeing the beautiful areas that Jacksonville has to offer (and get people off of their phones, video games etc). I love that people are spending time as a family painting, walking, hiding and searching. For a lot of people it is a form of therapy and I think that is awesome as well, and I LOVE seeing people realize their artistic potential.

What words of advice do you have for anyone wanting to do it?

Start!

Where do you get your ideas?

For me, I mostly think of what my son would like to see. Lately I have started doing things I am more interested in. I also get inspiration from seeing what others are painting in the group.

Any funny or crazy stories?

Not particularly, except for my son getting paint everywhere and all my friends kids talking to me about rocks. Actually, it was pretty awkward in the beginning when I tried to explain this concept to places like Stones Plus (to buy the rocks) and other art places that I thought could help this get started. The art studio that I thought would be a great help brushed me off but I am sure they see it differently now.

Is there anything people shouldn’t paint or do?

Just try to keep kindness in mind, and not paint offensive things. We also don’t want to hide in businesses (without permission) or in lawns where mowers could toss the rock. We dont want to be a nuisance.

Anything else you want to add?

I am very happy this group has grown how it has. I think we have a wonderful group of people and I know that we still havent reached most of Jax but we will, one rock at a time.

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This is a photo from the Jacksonville Rocks group. I love the Quilt Rock idea. Paint a square and then rehide for someone else do the same!!!

Rules & Tips & Places to Buy What you Need

Now the rules and tips on where and what to buy and where to hide! (This list comes from a post from Kristen that I have modified a bit and added too, but you can read all her info on her group page.)

SHOPPING & HOW TO PAINT:

You can buy rocks at Stones Plus (You can buy prebagged or pick your own for like $5 for A LOT! And they have free bottles of water in the lobby if case you get hot out there picking through the rocks. I personally like supporting small businesses with a great product, great price and awesome customer service!)

You can also pick some rocks up at Walmart, Lowes/Home Depot, and Earth Source to name a few. OR, use seashells or rocks you find.

You can use a pencil, colored pencil, oil pastels, or crayons. Sharpies work well and can be used for writing, outlining, and drawing. Be careful when sealing sharpies. They can run if you spray too much sealant on at once or spray too closely.

I bought some Sharpie Paint pens on Amazon and they worked pretty well, didn’t have any bleeding. Buy fine point for easier writing! Sharpies were also easier to use with toddlers who wanted to help!

Posca paint pens are amazing paint pens. They cover well, dry quickly, and don’t smear.

Acrylic craft paint, enamel paint, and spray paint are all great choices too.

The most important thing is that you SEAL your rock, covering the art and the writing on the back, before placing it. You can use any clear spray paint, gloss or matte, your choice. Modge Podge Sealant Spray or marine safe spray called Moeller Clear Coat. I am sure there are others. If you are not sure if it is sealed, try washing it in the sink and see how it holds up. That is how we tested the durability of the colored pencils.

 

NEED IDEAS?

Besides checking out the group for inspiration….

I found a book at the public library with ideas and a how to, but I’m a big fan of Amazon and found these as well:

Rock Painting Book & Kit

Rock Art: Painting & crafting with the humble pebble

Hide & Seek Rock Painting Kit

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This was posted to the group. Michael’s is really getting into the rock game!

COURTESY:

If you find a rock with a hashtag, post a photo to that group so the artist can know that their art was found and well received.

If you find a rock with a nasty message or one that is in need of some tlc (writing needs to be touched up or resealed),considered repainting it instead of leaving it behind or before hiding it again.

If you have a paint party at one of our parks, bring something to pace over the picnic tables so that there won’t be a mess left behind.

 

HIDING ROCKS
Please be respectful of painted rocks on private property or if there is nothing written on the back of the rock it may be part of a more permanent art/beautification display.

Please be thoughtful of others and the environment when placing rocks. Please do not hide rock inside of buildings and please do not hide your works of art in the grass where they may cause damage to mower blades and other equipment. This should also be considered if you are hiding rocks along trails or display garden beds. We want to be a blessing to the community not a nuisance. Also be respectful of private property and businesses. It is a good idea to ask permission.

National parks are off limits and do not want rocks hidden on their property. Disney has also banned it.

Tree Hill, Jacksonville Arboretum, and the Jacksonville Zoo welcome your art (no advertising though).

 

KEEPING & RE-HIDING

Feel free to re-hide rocks wherever you think they may belong. We have had quite a few rocks travel to different states and it is exciting for the artist to see all of the places that they go. That is something to keep in mind when you are traveling. You can bring your own masterpieces or someone else’s along on your journeys and take the fun outside the community and inspire others.

 

# HASHTAG IT
Make sure you write share a photo to the Facebook group Jacksonville Rocks,#jaxrocks, or #Jacksonvillerocks on the back. You can also write keep or re-hide, or a special message if there is room. Writing on the back of the rock lets others know its purpose and gives you an opportunity to see your art again.

Don’t Get Discouraged!!!Your beautiful creations are a gift and a blessing to whoever finds them. Don’t get discouraged if your really awesome beloved work of art is never shared but you know has been found. Just remember how special it is to unexpectedly find a work of art or message on a rock and the joy that it brought. You can be certain that your art has been a joyful blessing to the finder even if they didn’t share to say so.

Just have fun and keep creating and sharing your beautiful creations with us. Jacksonville Rocks ROCKS because of you.

Now for the freebies!

I’m a photographer, not a painter or artist, but I couldn’t help making some camera ones. They have the #jaxrocks as well as #jaxphotographer on the back of them.

If you find them, feel free to bring it to my studio at 514 Chaffee Point Blvd #9 (at Chaffee & 10, I’m usually there 9-5 Mon-Friday, you might want to email Christy@jaxphotographer.com to make sure!) for your choice of a gift card to use towards photography OR a gift card to use at Florida School of Holistics/Green Lotus in Riverside for a free class (soap making, perfume, etc, over 200 classes!)

But I’m not the only one giving away free stuff. I saw in the group the other day that Jimmy Johns in Fleming Island made their own rocks and if you bring them in you get a free sub.

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Maternity photos are an exciting way to prepare for the arrival of your new baby and to document this time in your pregnancy. If you’re thinking about, or have recently booked a maternity photo session, you’re probably wondering how to prepare for a maternity photo session. The tips below should come in handy as your prepare for your portraits!

How To Prepare For A Maternity Photo Session

  1. Schedule your session between 32 and 36 weeks as your tummy should have popped and you have a beautiful shape around this time. If you are having a single baby, around 34-36 weeks is the best time. For multiples, you’ll want to come in a little earlier as there is a chance you’ll go into labor a little earlier. By booking your maternity session during this time you are also past the discomfort and bloating that happens earlier in the pregnancy.
  2. We know how important it is to moisturize those knees, elbows and belly but we recommend you do so 1 – 2 hours before the session to avoid any shininess or sticky clothes. You should also avoid wearing any tight fitting watches or bracelets that might leave marks on your skin.
  3. Treat yourself to a neutral or light colored manicure 1 – 2 days prior to your maternity session so that you can take some beautiful shots with your hands on your tummy. You don’t want to choose a bright color and have it not match all your outfits.
  4. If you already have some cute baby items such as shoes, hats, toys, blankets or onesies–feel free to bring 1-2 of your favorites–bring them along as they make for adorable props. The same applies to family heirlooms. If you have a special locket or photo that you would like to use, bring it along too.
  5. More and more moms are using their ultrasound photos in their photo sessions. If you aren’t too sure whether you want to use it or not, bring it to the shoot anyway and decide on the day. I can always help you narrow down your props.
  6. Take the time to pick the right outfit for the maternity shoot. You should of course be comfortable but make sure that your clothing doesn’t detract from your tummy’s shape and your natural glow. Avoid large, bold patterns or clothing that is too loose. Empire waists, drawstrings, flowing tops and wrap dresses are perfect for enhancing your shape. I also have several dresses in studio that you may choose from.

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I do quite a few head shots at the studio and it’s easy to see why. Professional head shots are the first introduction to you, your business and your personal brand. If your photo on Instagram, LinkedIn, your website, etc. is a cell phone photo or something from a party, it won’t likely give off a vibe that you care about your career.

If you’re joining a dating website, a professional head shot can also be a great way to set yourself apart!

Use this guide to a great head shot photo session to make sure you’re getting the photographs that work for your business.

A Basic Guide to a Great Head Shot Photo Session

Around 93% of HR professionals and recruiters turn to LinkedIn to find quality candidates, 2 in 3 turn to Facebook and more than half utilize Twitter. This just proves that a head shot plays an important role in your professional life. Your head shot should be a powerful, compelling and confidence-instilling head shot that makes prospective clients, employers and partners want to reach out and connect with you.

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This would be a great photo for a teenager looking for a summer job, maybe as a babysitter. But not necessarily someone looking to become a major player in a company.

Before you head to the studio for your professional head shot photo session, think about the things that you want others to see when they glance at your profile page.

Think about some of the characteristics that embody your personal brand. Are you a chef, an educator, a writer? If there are certain props that could help tell your story, bring them along to your session too.

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We did a series of images for this DJ that gave him a bit of personality and made his profiles stand out.

We will usually take a few different shots using various outfits so that you have a good selection to choose from. If you’re going to be using your headshot on a specific social media platform, you might even want to tailor it to fit that site.

It’s important that your look matches the image you’re trying to convey.  What you wear on a daily basis is a great place to start. Solid colors are always a good choice, as are tops with strong collars and necklines. We suggest that you wear clothing that compliments your skin and eye tones and it’s best to stay away from very bold colors too. Even though you’ll only be photographed from the shoulders up, it’s important for your entire outfit is professional as you may want a shot or two that is taken further away and incorporates more of your body. Hazel and green eyed people may want to choose green clothing to help make their eyes pop a little more. Blue eyes, something blue. Brown eyed people I suggest something that looks overall best with your skin tone.

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Practice your expressions in the mirror the week before to get a good feel for the type of smile you want to show.

Even though this is a more professional shoot, remember to have fun.

 

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