I’ve been wanting to start a blog for awhile now. Like, a really long time. As a creative human, my ideas and thoughts bubble out through my photos, my words, my art. And I’ve always brushed away the actually doing it part aside due to doubts, insecurities (ya know, the excuses we give ourselves). But for various reasons & inspirations, I’ve decided to dive in – so here I am, and here you are, reading it! Thank you for being here! What better place to start than a photo adventure of two PCB photographers!
Capturing the beauty of our coastal paradise is not just a profession but a passion. Recently, I had the incredible opportunity to collaborate with my talented fellow PCB photographer, Hayley, – (you can check out her work here) in a sunrise session at the enchanting St. Andrews State Park .
St. Andrews State Park is located in Panama City Beach and is one of my favorite areas with its serene landscapes and untouched beauty -providing the perfect canvas for our sunrise session. The soft glow of the rising sun painted the sky in hues of pink and gold, casting a magical spell on everything it touched! Our respective alarms went off painfully early to make it here in time, but it was important to capture the softness of the early early morning light. The sun quickly becomes bright, harsh and hot this time of year!
Hayley had rented a Reclamation dress for an upcoming shoot and wow, this thing was gorgeous! We took turns wearing it and taking photos of each other. Alongside us, the seagulls sang and the boats made their way through the pass and out into open water – so much fun! Reclamation is a brand that makes stunning, unique garments that photograph BEAUTIFULLY!
OK, I’ve gotten ahead of myself – let’s back up just a bit… picture this: a gorgeous, cool morning, the beaches practically empty, Hayley and I making our way to the beach, carrying our respective gear – then BOTH of us slipping and falling (smack, bam) one after the other on the boardwalk. We went down like dominos -the morning dew had made a portion of the mat slippery- and we about died laughing. Nothing like a hard fall and a belly laugh to start your morning off right! I was glad that both of our bodies and all of our gear made it through this little incident intact.
I’m pretty sure our only audience was the birds, but we may have given an early morning beachgoer a humorous start to their morning! It was most likely quite the sight!
Hey, isn’t she pretty?! I met Hayley at a styled shoot back in March 2021. We had a lot in common and being from the same area we’ve become fast friends. She is super talented and I’m looking forward to the many photo & friend adventures that I know we will go on!
I have been immensely grateful for how quickly my circle is expanding in just one year of being in this field. Everyone has been so welcoming and kind – the mindset of community over competition absolutely aligns with me and my values.
Light is always catching my eye – and way it caught this dress, y’all – I was basically swooning the whole shoot. If you want to make your photographer’s heart beat faster, wear something flowey that catches the sun! Dresses made from light materials that have slits and/or excess fabric tend to move really well with the breeze. Light or sheer-ish fabrics are GORG as the sun filters through them!
If you’re not a dress girl, adding a cape, or wearing a piece that has movement to it is a beautiful way to add a bit of drama and catch the ocean breeze.
The rock jetties at St. Andrews are such a vibe – they provide such beautiful texture & contrast! I really love how the darkness of the rocks provide such a deep and textured backdrop to the lightness of the dress. They almost look a bit otherworldy! Dark seaweed had covered the shores this particular morning – and honestly, I love the depth it adds to this image. The beach is ever-changing with the colors & shorelines. I’m constantly seeing interesting & peculiar things that wash up or are uncovered by the persistence of the waves & wind.
An old WWII gun turret is occasionally visible in this particular state park. It’s massive and will periodically be covered or uncovered depending on how the sand is situated at that point in time!
Nothing to see here – just Hayley, lounging beautifully – in an exquisitely crafted dress! I love how the sun peeks through the dress and highlights the gorgeous handcrafted lace!
The body of water behind her is nicknamed “the pass” where boats pass in from the open Gulf of Mexico into St. Andrews Bay. Many years ago I was on a VERY choppy boat ride through the pass in which I truly wasn’t sure we were going to make it through the large waves, wake & currents on the very small boat. We did, and it was an adventure that I remember fondly, even though I was hanging on for dear life, ha! But that’s a story for another day!
We finished off the session with a few shots with the local gulls as they scattered into the hazy morning sunlight – I’m in love! Mornings & adventures like this remain with me forever. These images feel free, beautiful and straight out of a coastal fairytale. Adding Panama City Beach photographers to my network and friend circle has been a joy. In all honesty, the local network of artists in the area is bigger than I ever expected! I love the community over competition mindset that so many people have exhibited. There truly IS enough room at the metaphorical table for all of us. I believe that what goes around comes around and being a support system to other artists in a respectful manner is the best way to be!
In our quest to capture the essence of PCB’s early morning beauty along with the gorgeous Reclamation dress, this sunrise session stands out as a testament to the artistry and collaboration within the local photography community! As PCB photographers, both Hayley and I strive to encapsulate the unique charm of our coastal haven in every frame! Truly, I count myself lucky to have beautiful, tropical backdrops almost every direction you turn. Quite a dreamy scenario for a portrait photographer like myself.
Thank you so much for reading along this super fun morning adventure – check out BTS footage of this shoot here!
Are you interested in your own beautiful sunrise portrait session? I’d love to assist in planning a stunning & elevated portrait session that celebrates where you’re at in life! From styling to location to all of the details in between, I’m here to walk you through this process. These moments are here and gone and there’s no better reason to capture your now! Reach out to me here to discuss a unique portrait session that fits your vibe!