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I absolutely loved this wedding.

Michele and Matt are two of the sweetest people you could ever hope to meet, and their day went beautifully!

Many sincere thanks to the always awesome wedding designer extraordinaire, Cherrie Denney for a beautifully done day from start to finish, complete with working around a huge downpour during the reception.

This also was my first chance to meet the incredible people from Aloha Productions, Inc who provided the bar service and SUPER talented dancers for the evening’s entertainment. Absolutely loved working with them.

The wedding was held at Paradise Cove in Orlando, FL.

In the continuing trend of avoiding all weddings completely on the blog, I’ve decided to go with Mary’s bridal session today. I’ve had this for a bit, but wasn’t actually able to blog it until after her wedding, which was a couple of weeks ago.

I’ve honestly lost count of how many times she’s been in front of the lens. When you become friends with a crazy photographer, you get phone calls in the middle of the night that go something like this:

Me – ” Hey. ”

Client-turned-friend – ” mmmphgqz…..zzzzz ”

Me – ” Listen, I know you’re probably asleep, but I have this REALLY freaking cool idea I need to get out of my head. We should go shoot tomorrow. I need a model, and the Model Mayhem people scare me. ”

CTF – “…mpphkk..ssnrrt…uuhmmk….zzzzz”

Me – ” Sweet! Thanks! ”

Uber thanks to Mary’s mom (hi mom!) for lugging all kinds of quilts, equipment, etc around during this shoot.

Mary, you absolutely rocked it my friend.


  • Jeremiah D Spray - These are amazing brett, warm and beautiful. I really hope I get to work with you someday. Awesome.ReplyCancel

  • Tom - Great shots as usual!ReplyCancel

  • Tanya - …you had me at “the Model Mayem people scare me…”

    Fantastic work!ReplyCancel

  • mary - thank you so much! it was a super fun experience. and if you have anymore crazy idea that you just are dying to try and you need a model, you know i’d always love to help! (and garrett too!) even if you call me at 2 in the morning. haha!ReplyCancel

  • Sarah - wow.. always love reading your blog, but wow. Beautiful.ReplyCancel

  • Susan - These are amazing!ReplyCancel

I know what most of you are thinking.

“Aren’t you that guy that fought the rock in the ocean for half an hour?”

Yes. Yes I am.

But aside from that you’re probably wondering why I’ve posted 3 engagement sessions in a row. And to be completely transparent with you…I have no good reason. As my grandmother used to say, ” Go to school son, they don’t let fat kids be movie stars.” And while not at all relevant to this blog post, sometimes you just have to give a shoutout to your grandma.

Michele and Matt were one of those magically refreshing couples to work with. Wedding photographers, whether they admit it openly or not, experience some form of creative-funk burnout towards the end of the season. You can only see so many khaki pants and white shirts on the beach, only hear ” All the Single Ladies” when the bouquet is tossed, only have your second shooter witness a rather hefty bridesmaid remove her undies on the balcony of the reception venue so many times before it’s all one big blur.

{*side note – the latter actually happened, but I’m not entirely sure how to blog about. I will, it just takes tact. And I’m fairly certain I left mine in Key West.*}

And so when I went to Tampa to meet up with Michele and Matt, it was completely refreshing. Their personalities are absolutely awesome, they are in crazy mad love with each other, and it all came together for an awesome e-session. Throw in the 6:00 AM sunrise session the following morning in 40 degree weather, during which I lost my credit card, and it was a completely memorable weekend.


  • Christina - Awesome as always really like the one where the word love is spelled out on the ground.ReplyCancel

  • Jamie - You left your tact in Key West? Or your underwear? 😉ReplyCancel

  • Kirsten - 1) Tampa has streetcars?? OMG!! 2) ROTFL yet again… 3) You. Are. A. Kick. Ass. Photographer. That is all.ReplyCancel

  • Brianna Phelan - This couple is having so much fun together and you’ve done a great job capturing that. The shots are beautiful and very honest. I love the street car one.ReplyCancel

I was intending on blogging a wedding before posting another e-session on here, but as I started going through the archives this one kind of smacked me upside the head and said, ” You! With the Pringles! Blog me!”

And so here we are.

I couldn’t have imagined a more diverse e-session. High heels, electric guitars, a carnival and a very brief but incredible encounter with some rays of sunshine. I’ve included a couple of shots only of Jen, because I’m a rebel like that.

Happy weekend all…


Dearest readers,

This is an excerpt out of an email I’d sent a friend back in February of last year during a destination wedding I’d shot in Key West. I was going through old emails a few weeks ago and found this story that I’d completely forgotten about. You must understand that while either excited, caffeinated, intoxicated, or cold, my emails are sporadic at best, often to the point of incomprehension. I actually tend to write with all the calm and serenity of one of those tiny, nervous Chihuahuas. The ones that shake all the time, and pee if you pick them up. Except I don’t shake all the time.

But I digress.

As I’ll once again be in the Keys shortly, I thought it only fitting to share this story with you, my sometimes faithful, oft-times intoxicated, always lovable friends and followers, whom I sincerely adore.

All the best.



So, the place I stayed was directly on the water. This would be better with pictures (that’s what she said) HAHAahah… really, this would be better with pictures. BUT….back of this nice house, big dock, which around the dock the water was like…8 feet deep…and dark…and sharks…because I caught one..booyah……but seriously like…40 feet away from the dock the water was about 3 feet deep. Perfectly clear, coral sandy bottom….hehehe..I said bottom…..but, all around the dock was deep for boats to get to the dock. Once you get away from the dock, the water is shallow. Remind me to tell you the story of trying to kayak really fast through the deep water to get into the shallow water. Yeah. I fell out. In the deep part. I probably inked like a scared octopus, but I can’t remember.


So they had these kayaks that you could paddle around the 234234 miles of 3 foot deep water and explore. First day, there’s Brett in his bigarse kayak, a mile from anything solid to stand on, looking in the water. And then, there’s a huge, huge stingray that swims under the kayak really slowly. It was so freaking perfect! My first day in the Keys, in my kayak, alone in my element of danger and exploring the wild as it was meant to be. I, Brett Birdsong, overweight, pasty-white, abnormally hairy pansy of a man that I am, was alone in the water with the heartless bastard that killed Steve Irwin. Or at least one that knew the one that did it. Bastards.

I will pause here to say the wind was blowing extremely hard. And I was the only idiot in a kayak on the water that I could see for miles around. Because if you stopped paddling like hell, the wind would blow you 30 miles an hour…I’m sorry…knots….30 knots….in whatever direction the wind was blowing.

To continue.

So there goes this huge stingray under the kayak. I start paddling in my furious pudgy man fashion in it’s general direction, and after about 5 minutes I caught up with it. Then I remembered I had my fishing pole with me, and I should then try to hook the thing. Why? Because that’s what you do when you’re in the water with something that could kill you. You want to catch it and pet it. So there I go, put the paddle down, grab the fishing pole, cast the line out over the thing and try to drag the hook back across it. Nothing. Went right over it. Slimy bastards. Of course by that time the wind had blown me halfway to Cuba, so there I go again, paddling like hell to catch my now arch-nemesis of the sea.

The above process lasted for about 15 minutes. Paddle, cast, curse, paddle paddle paddle, cast, curse.

By this time I was getting severely frustrated. I hated the stingray. I loathed it. I finally managed to paddle the kayak directly over the thing, which was now sitting still, and my then brilliant idea was to poke it with the paddle.

Yes, really.

Let me again pause to say wine may or may not have been involved.

So there I am, paddle in mid air, on it’s descent down into the 3 foot deep water to touch the bastard of death….and then this magical thought process (which takes all of 3 seconds) goes through my mind; if that thing gets scared, it will whip it’s tail up, which will most likely come through the kayak and spear my junk, or somewhere close thereto. I don’t want to be speared in the junk by a stingray. I probably shouldn’t poke this stupid thing.

The magical part was that while this brief yet untimely bit of logic was starting to develop… hands, and the paddle, had gained momentum and kept hurling downward…so at the precise moment that the paddle touched the stingray, all thoughts came together, and I shrieked like a little girl. I screamed actually. Rather loudly. I was going to die from a poisonous poke in the junk. In Key West. From that point on, I would be forever known as the idiot wedding photographer that died from a poisonous junk poke…..

And it was a rock.

A big, round, brownish gray…..rock. With a little ridge of rock going down the backside, disappearing into the sand, aka the tail.

Absolutely identical to a huge stingray.

And as I poked it again repeatedly to be sure…the wind picked up….and started blowing me away from the rock-ray. Which gave the illusion that it was swimming away from me again.

And then the flood of emotion hit….. from being almost given the junk-poke of death, to realizing what an absolute moron it would take to fight a rock in the ocean for almost half an hour…….and I laughed hysterically. By myself. In my kayak. Blowing at 30 knots on my way to Cuba.

  • Christina - That is by far the funniest thing I have read in a really long time. You are always making me laugh. Thanks.ReplyCancel

  • Trish - Hysterical!!!! You need to be published!ReplyCancel

    • Brett - I misread that the first time through and thought you said “punished” lmao. Which I’m sure some would agree with ;o)ReplyCancel

  • mary - that is awesome. A++ hahaaha!ReplyCancel

  • Mark Eric - Wow. Just what I needed to start my morning- you are such a great story teller- ha ha!ReplyCancel

  • Dale - LOL

    I can’t get the image of Bugs Bunny out of my head. He’s saying, “What a maroon!”ReplyCancel

  • Kimberly - You crack me up!ReplyCancel

  • Razvan - That’s too funny! Brightened my day 🙂ReplyCancel

  • mattbeaty - Haha! Great stuff! I needed a good laugh 🙂ReplyCancel

  • the red gecko - 🙂 Ah, it is so fantastic to find a photo blog that comes with a huge dose of comedy as well! Thanks for sharing!!ReplyCancel

  • Lew - OMG I’m laughing so hard, I’m crying!!! The “overweight, pasty-white, abnormally hairy pansy of a man that I am” go me started…and by the end, I was in tears!!ReplyCancel

  • { jamie } - Thanks for a good giggle today! 🙂ReplyCancel

  • Tarasview - bwahahahahahahaha- thanks, I needed a good laugh today!!ReplyCancel

  • Kevin - Thank you for posting this hilarious story. I needed to laugh today and this post brought it.ReplyCancel

  • Jeanelle Caraway - HAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA! Awesome story!ReplyCancel

  • Margaret - Hehehehe .. thanks for sharing .. made my day!!!ReplyCancel

  • Ronnie - OMG, ROTFL, LOL and all that hyphenated stuff! Love it! Hilarious! Thanks for sharing 🙂ReplyCancel

  • Richard Melanson - Ahh. Thank you to Zack Arias for tweeting this, otherwise I would have never had the pleasure of reading this actual, laugh out loud, cackle like a drunken hyena on my couch… story.

    My two favorite things, photography and laughing, all in one blog!!!!ReplyCancel

  • Brett - You guys are cracking me up lol. Glad you liked it. Now I should probably try to go find it again and take a picture.ReplyCancel

  • Kelly - I can only hope to someday write such a masterful blog post. Laughed so loud I scared the cat.ReplyCancel

  • George McConnell - This is by far one of the strangest yet hilarious emails I have had the pleasure of reading in a long time. Watch the junk….!ReplyCancel

  • Jessica - That’s was hilarious!!!!!!! Beyond hilarious. Awesome!ReplyCancel

  • Rebecca - Your story had me laughing and laughing, which is quite a difficult task… i am still chuckling as i write this….. I would have loved to see this all go down… One of the funniest things i have heard in a while…..ReplyCancel

  • Alicia - “Slimy bastard”-LOVE IT!! This is so funny!!ReplyCancel