Laura & Shaun | Flamingo Gardens Wedding

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Laura & Shaun | Flamingo Gardens Wedding

I had a hunch after their engagement session that Laura & Shaun's wedding would be natural, bo-ho dream, but I had no idea how much I'd be obsessed with it. Flower crowns, a VW bus, roaming peacocks, and the sweetest flower girls you've ever seen (like in your entire life!) were just some of the details that brought their perfect day to life. 

Laura and Shaun, thanks so much for choosing me to photograph your perfect day! 

Getting Ready | Margaritaville

Ceremony & Reception | Flamingo Gardens, Davie

Makeup Artistry | Sabrina Navarro

Hair | Amber Kelso 

Florals | Ever After Event & Floral Design

Cake | My Sweet Therapy

Steel Drums during Cocktail Hour | Helen Whitehorn with Ultimate Steel Band

 

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Leigh & Andrew | Lighthouse Point Yacht & Racquet Club Wedding

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Leigh & Andrew | Lighthouse Point Yacht & Racquet Club Wedding

Since the day I met with Leigh and her mom for their consult, I've had a crazy crush on this family. Last May I drove out to the west coast for Leigh and Andrew's stilt house engagement session and fell harder when Andrew's family hooked it up with Publix subs for the drive home (that's love, folks.) And now that their wedding is officially blogged, I'm a little sad as our "wedding vendor" relationship comes to an end. 

Leigh and Andrew chose the Lighthouse Yacht and Racquet Club because it was near the water and had enough room for their guests. It was the perfect venue for their nautical inspired Navy wedding. (Yes girl, we have men in uniform here!) I don't think this day could've been more perfect for these two. 

 Now sit back and get your scrolling fingers ready - this is a long one. (Might as well grab a tissue too - Leigh's dance with her daddy.... oooooof.)

Venue | Lighthouse Point Yacht and Racquet Club

Florals | Flowers N' Designs

Hair & Makeup Artistry | Get Gorgeous by Kelly (and her amazing team!) 

DJ & Lighting | Ultimate Events SWFL 

MC | James Aaronson

Second Shooter and Fellow Viking Goddess: Jodi Fjelde

 

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Rachel & Beau | Long Key Nature Center Wedding

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Rachel & Beau | Long Key Nature Center Wedding

I'll be honest, I don't know the story of Rachel and Beau - how they met, how long they've been together, who said "I love you" first... But seeing how Beau looks at Rachel, and the way she lights up and crinkles her nose when he's around, I don't need to know their backstory to know that I just love their love. Rachel and her girls got ready at the Marriot Renaissance Plantation Hotel in Plantation. 

Getting Ready | Renaissance Plantation Hotel 

Hair & Makeup Artistry | Beauty by J Brand

Rachel's Dress | Bellissima Bride

Cake & Florals | Publix! 

Reception | Long Key Nature Center

DJ & Lighting | Vision DJs

Special thanks to my second Shooter and bringer of all things awesome: Giganni Lopez

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Ari & Lynn University Baseball | Boca Raton Bar Mitzvah Photographer

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Ari & Lynn University Baseball | Boca Raton Bar Mitzvah Photographer

I've been photographing Ari and his family since 2012. (Feels way longer - they're like family now!) The first time we met, his mother Leah wrote this about Ari: 

"Ari has a rare chromosome disorder called Trisomy 9 Mosaic. What makes it so rare is the mosaic part because every child that has mosaic has the extra number 9 chromosome in different parts of their body. Ari was given a very grim prognosis. We were told he would never learn to eat- suck and swallow- but with plenty of feeding therapy and amazing therapists he worked hard and avoided the threat of a feeding tube more then once. The doctors said he would never walk- but after a surgery on his spine for a tethered cord and tons of physical therapy,  Ari was walking by the age of 3 without the use of a walker. They said he would never communicate- but today, with bi-lateral hearing aides, and a 500 vocabulary of signing –he communicates nice and loud! He is the most amazing little boy who has such courage and determination – he is a people person and loves to be loved and he loves to love. We have has several close calls where we almost lost him – but with faith , hope and a lot of prayers from friends and family, Ari today is strong and thriving- he is our SUPERMAN.”

Well that "amazing little boy" is now an amazing young man, and I get to document his Bar Mitzvah next month. Since Ari isn't having a "traditional" service and party, we decided to bring Ari back to the field where he's an honorary team member of the Lynn University Baseball Team with the hope of grabbing some portraits while he plays with the guys. The players really do treat him as one of their own, and I hope that the following images reflect what I love so much about Ari - his curiosity, stubbornness,  and mischievous ways. 

Are you crushin' on Ari as much as I am now? Check out the blog post from Ari's day as a Boca Raton Ocean Rescue lifeguard here: www.sonjuphotography.com/blog/ari-boca-raton-ocean-rescue

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Bye bye, posey posey!

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Bye bye, posey posey!

As of March 1, 2016, I will no longer photograph "posed" family or children's sessions. 

Hear me out. 

I've been in this weird transition stage ever since my blog post about documentary-style sessions. Since last April I've photographed a handful of Day in the Life sessions while still shooting the poseyposey park sessions. If you've booked with me in the last few months, you were given a choice of posed or documentary - and there's been a good mix. But the same thing is true: Posing next to a tree in pretty light says nothing about your family and the relationships with the people you love. 

That park, that blanket, that outfit you saw on Pinterest, the overly cheesy smiles... is that really your family? Years from now, will you think back on that hot-ass day in the middle of June and think "man, what a great day. I'm so glad we went to that park and suffered through 90 minutes of sweat and mosquitos and 37 other photographers shooting mini-sessions!" Gosh, I hope not. 

I LOVE what I do. I LOVE the relationships I have with past clients. I LOVE that I have new friends because of my camera. I LOVE that this passion of mine pays my bills, feeds my cat, and lets me travel the world. But I don't love creating something anyone with a camera and a few YouTube videos can make. It's not real. It's not honest. It's not special. And to me, it's definitely not the best way to document your family. 

If you take a look at my website, I've removed all posed family sessions from my gallery page. Sure, they're still on the blog, but there has been a shift in those types of sessions where I strive to capture all the little in-between moments. This doesn't mean you'll never see another "camera-aware" photo here - you will. I know there's still a need for "everybody look at the camera and smile" photos, and you'll get them, they just won't be the focus of your session - your relationship will. 

Another thing that's changing: The pricing structure. I am going to do away with the session fee/credit thing. With documentary photography, I'm telling a story. I can't expect you to pick and choose chapters from the story and stress out over credits. All Day in the Life and shorter, activity based sessions will come with digital files and a keepsake album.

When's the last time your daughter's tiny hands held an album? If your phone were to fall in the toilet today, are all of your baby's photos gone? What's the point in plopping down hundreds of dollars for a few JPEGS to end up on Facebook? Will your children be able to see photos of themselves when they were six, or will they struggle with remembering your Facebook log-in like I am trying to access my Photobucket account from 2005? 

Let's get back to HONEST expressions. The TRUE you. The REAL memories. 

As of March 1, 2016, I'll be offering two types of family/children sessions only - 8 hour Day in the Life, or up to 2 hours of activity-based documentary photography. (And of course weddings, engagements, and events) 

For more information on documentary/Day in the Life sessions, click below. And for a limited time, I'll be offering $100 off either session. Just mention this blog post and the discount is yours. (offer expires March 1, 2016. Must book by March 1, 2016, and shoot by October 1, 2016. Good for 2 hour documentary sessions or full Day in the Life.) 








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