Jessica B. Senior Session — Sebring High School Senior Photography — Sebring, FL

This girl jetted off to college in Kentucky this week and I couldn't help but to get a little misty eyed in the process. Little did I know when Jess walked through the doors of the youth group I help out with a little over a year ago how much this girl would grow to mean to me. She is a brave and beautiful soul and I loved getting to be a part of her senior year, her lovely senior photo session (complete with a frolic in a full on rain/lightening storm) and her bright future ahead of her. Thanks, Jess for being such a doll!

xoxo, Caroline

Emily J. Senior Session — Avon Park High School Senior Photography — Avon Park, FL

Avon Park High School's Emily J. is the definition of photogenic and a true sweetheart too. I loved spending the gorgeous springtime Florida afternoon with her and her family as we traveled from their hometown ballfield to her lakeside backyard to the seat of a perfectly weathered canoe at sunset. I love getting to know my seniors during our sessions and thinking about how these images tell their story of where they have been, to where their feet are planted today to where their wings will take them tomorrow. And as a sentimental person I couldn't help but to get all nostalgic at the very end of our session as Emily walked alone to the end of her childhood dock, a warm springtime breeze in the air, her eyes towards the golden setting sun the horizon with the glimmer of its reflection, like a memory, on the waves.

Congrats Emily! And here is to a bright and hopefully future in all that The Lord has in store for you!

xoxo, Caroline

Mary E. Senior Session — Sebring High School Senior Photography — Sebring, FL

It's full on summer. Like, I am currently sitting in a vacation condo overlooking the shimmering Gulf of Mexico as the sun makes its way towards the crisp western horizon. Heaven. School is out, VBS' are on and all of Caroline Maxcy Photography's Class of 2015 grads have donned their caps and gowns and are prepping for the next big step in their journey on the not so distant horizon. Whether they are planning to head off to amazing colleges (like my alma mater, Florida State University!) or setting off to explore this big ole planet, I am delighted to have been able to get to know these seniors and take part in their story for a wee bit with my camera in hand.

Over the next few days I'll introduce you to each of the 2015 grads I had to joy of photographing this past year. I started things off last fall with the lovely Gabi and you can check out her full session on my blog (complete with some killer poolside and underwater swimming pics) by clicking here. And today you get to meet Mary E. Mary is an evident leader and a truly fun and encouraging personality to be around. Her smile is electric and her sense of style was something to marvel at (I almost asked to borrow her last outfit of my own engagement session.) Thanks for having me Mary! And I wish you the best of luck in your big bright future!

xoxo, Caroline

Libby + Brandon Sneak Peek — Honey Lake Plantation — Destination Wedding Photography

Oh the month of May was simply lovely! And I got to celebrate new beginnings with the sweetest brides and grooms all over the state of Florida starting with this pair, Libby and Brandon. Here is a peek into their sweet, southern celebration at Honey Lake Plantation in Greenville, FL. Congrats you two!

xoxo, Caroline

Honey Lake Plantation Destination Wedding Photography with Caroline Maxcy Photography

Honey Lake Plantation Destination Wedding Photography with Caroline Maxcy Photography

Godwin Girls — A Mother's Day Treat — Central Florida Lifestyle Photography

Mother's Day is literally just around the corner. I'm not always this on top of gifts but I've had my gift for my mom for about 2 weeks already now (insert pat on my back.) And you'll never guess it but it is "photo related", duh (shhhh... don't tell my mom). Seriously, I don't just push photography because it is my profession but I truly believe in the value of capturing a moment and sharing it for generations to come. Life changes and moves on. The kids grow up. People come and go. Life will never be the same again as it is today, right here. So let's celebrate and say thanks for this moment!

These sweet Godwin girls hopped in front of my camera, looking all gorgeous, a few weeks back in a sweet treat to their mom (they even agreed to wear matching dresses!). We spent a sunny afternoon wandering around Miss Cindy's Gardens in Sebring, FL capturing gorgeous smiles, lovely light and all the love between these girls and their momma. What a great idea! And this is what I am freely offering to you all if you haven't been quite so on top of the Mother's Day gift thing this year (I've been with you in many-a-past years). Caroline Maxcy Photography offers gift certifications and I'll even send along a beautifully designed certificate for you to present to your adoring mom come Sunday. Just click here to message me about your gift and let's get to capturing and celebrating this beautiful moment in life.

Rikki + Kyle — Engagement Photography — Sebring, FL

This sweet couple is getting hitched this weekend and I had to share their simply gorgeous and unique engagement session with an Americana feel involving an airplane hanger chocked full of vintage planes, a sparkly dress, and the most lovely piece of Florida countryside complete with a red barn a red Chevy and matching red lips! Just lovely!

Why airplanes? Well, let me tell you a bit of their story. Kyle is basically the equivalent of a pilot but behind a computer, controlling traffic from his Dallas, TX job (do I have that right, Kyle?). And he proposed... in an airport involving an elaborate set up with folks holding signs all along the way! They even serendipitously found a random stranger had posted a video of their proposal on Instagram for them to discover later. Such sweetness. These two both love travel and adventure and I can't wait to capture their wedding celebration this weekend in Naples, FL. Congrats you two! And I'll see you soon!

Now go and gush over all of this loveliness...

xoxo, Caroline

Caitlin + Michael — Sebring, FL Engagement Photography

This sunny Central Florida engagement session with Caitlin and Michael is to die for! Seriously, these two should look into modeling together. But the most photogenic thing about it all is the sweet and evident love between these two love-birds who meet in a Louisiana college library. Then this lucky girl got to capture all the sweetness on "film"! Congrats, Caitlin and Michael!

xoxo, Caroline

Impromptu Portrait Sesh at The Standard — Miami, FL

The Lido Restaurant at The Standard is one of my favorite spots to dine in all of Miami. Every time I wander through their gardens on the way from the valet to this dockside gem of a restaurant overlooking the Miami Beach bay I dream of taking pause one day to capture some photos... if only I had willing models...

Yesterday was the day. 

Thanks Edwin and Caitlin for our impromtu photo session at this lovely place!

xoxo, Caroline

Caroline's Top 10 Tips for Better Mobile Photography

I just wrapped up round two of my iPhoneography Class with Highlands Art League, and I'm not going to lie, I may have a little bit of favoritism with this course. iPhoneography is just plain fun, we don't get muddled up with all the settings and buttons involved with a "fancy" camera plus I kind of like the fact that it pushes folks (including myself) to get more creative with the flood of photos we are all pouring into social media these days. Yay for pretty photos! So I thought I'd go ahead and share some tips and tricks I've learned along the way for thoughtful and creative photographic storytelling with my iPhone lens. So here you have it...

Caroline's Top 10 Tips
for Better Mobile Photography

(A.K.A How to Take a Better Photo with your Camera phone)


#1 IDENTIFY YOUR SUBJECT: LOVE WHAT YOU SHOOT

This is a two part tip.

#1 Love what you shoot. Identify what excites you, what takes your breath away what story you long to tell and shoot that. We all can't be Ansel Adams or Anne Leibovitz  and they can't be each other. Love what you are shooting and that will come across in the image you capture.

#2 When you are out there taking a photo, take a step back and think about why you are about to capture this image - what is your real subject ? Once you have determined what is making you press the shutter, it instantly becomes easier to show the end viewer what kind of message or emotions you are trying to convey. 


#2 FIND THE LIGHT: TAKE A PEEK AROUNd

Light is one of the most important elements of a photograph. Just try to imagine an image without light? Its impossible, right? And the way we work with and use light completely alters not just the quality of our image but also the story we are trying to tell. Hold your phone out in front of you (selfie-style) then spin around the room slowly. Watch and see how the direction of the light source (a window, door, lamp, etc.) changes the look of the image. Can you see it? Lighting changes everything. Sit with the window to your back at lunch next time and see how the light makes your lunch date's eyes sparkle (and it also probably helps to see those cute freckles too). Put them in front of the window and you loose all those details. And it is not just about the direction of where the light is coming from the time of day, the weather and the things the light is reflecting off of, the way the shadows fall all come into play in telling a unique and different story.


#3 USE THE DARK: FIND INTERESTING SHADOWS AND SILHOUETTES

Sometimes the absence of light can be the most compelling storytelling tool. Search for the shadows and silhouettes and let the dark create frames in your images. 


#4 PAY ATTENTION TO THE BACKGROUND: SIMPLIFY AND FOCUS

Sometimes we get so wrapped up in our subject we are photographing that we don't pay attention to what is going on behind them. If the background is too busy or doesn't add to the story you are trying to tell it can get rather distracting. If you want to photograph your friend and her cute outfit for the day place her in front of a solid colored wall or door. This draws your eye straight to your subject. 

Or maybe the background is the story you want to tell. Like the amazing colors and buildings found on the streets of Lima, Peru…


#5 Get Close: Focus in

There is an incredible beauty to be found in the details when you take the time to lean in, shift focus and celebrate the small things. Get close and see what you find. 


#6 Step Back: Tell a Larger Story

Stepping back tells a larger story that is oftentimes grounded in place. Your friends happy dance in front of a quaint bed-n-breakfast, the still quiet moment of your pup taking an afternoon siesta on your bed, the limbs of a tree reaching out to shade a bride and groom's closest family and friends on their wedding day… it's all in there. And oftentimes these types of images are not just capturing a scene or a place but also the memory of a feeling you experienced in that place. 


#7 Explore Angles: Get Creative

Our viewpoint plays a major role in the story we tell in our images. Photograph a gopher turtle from above and he looks like a wee little guy but put your camera lens all the way on the ground and look up at the fella and he suddenly becomes massive. And a personal favorite of mine is snapping a photo from directly overhead of your subject on a beach cruiser bike, in the winding staircase, in a litter of pups or at the piano with your niece and nephew. Take time to explore angles and determine what works best for your photo story.


#8 Snap Away: click, click, click

If you have even had a photo session with me you know I am a big proponent of clicking away, especially with kids. Snap a few photos of a moment to try and capture that "just perfect expression" then go back and choose which one works best for your story. And keep snapping even after they think you are done. It is oftentimes in those moments that folks relax and you get the real, authentic smiles.


#9 Patiences makes perfect: wait for it

Sometimes I see the photo I want before it gets there; the kids about to leap from the edge of the pool, the sailboat about to make it's way into my view, the baby about to burst into a smile because he thinks it is funny when you cough. I saw it coming. These types of photos don't happen by accident. They happen because you practice patience and you know just the right moment to click. Wait for it.


#10 Be present: celebrate life

All of these images are all little glimpses of life that I was simply present in and paused to capture. The image didn't have to be perfect, but it is a perfect reminder of a moment. I can remember the temperature in each of these photos. The way sun or the night time breeze felt on my skin. The emotion in the air. I can remember it because I lived it. Because I tucked my phone back into my pocket and walked the street, chased a baby on a beach or hopped into a late night pajama dance party with my best friend and her kiddos. Be present. Sometimes the best pictures are captured in our hearts.

xoxo, Caroline

The only real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes but in having new eyes.
— Marcel Proust

A Miami Family Vacation — Key Biscayne Miami Photography — Silver Sands Beach Resort

If you follow me on Instagram you may have gathered that my family stole away to Miami for the weekend to celebrate my mom's 60th birthday (I don't know what may have clued you in, maybe it was the 30+ images I posted over the course of 4 days). I just can't help it! Miami is such a visually appealing city and then you get my gorgeous family up in the mix and it is a recipe for photo overload. Plus my sister calls this place her home so we have a insta-tourguide for places like Vizcaya, South Beach, Coconut Grove, Wynwood and finding the best food. (Side note: Because my sis lives in Miami I have no travel fees for wedding photography in the area. Yay for Miami weddings!) 

We opted to stay a hop skip and away from all the hustle and bustle on the island of Key Biscayne and found ourselves the quaintest of retro Miami places, Silver Sands Beach Resort. If you are looking for Miami luxury, glitz and glam this is NOT the place but if you want to step back in time and experience a little bit of vintage low-key Miami this is DEFINITELY your place. It was just perfect for what we were looking for for the weekend. And as an artist it was a dream… the retro feel, the swaying palms, the vintage architectural details, those aqua doors! All weekend long I plotted and planned for the photo session I had worked out to do with my 13 year old niece for a photo class I was teaching. I wanted to walk my class through how I go about a photo session and this place was the perfect setting, put a gorgeous gal up in the mix and voila… photo loveliness. But… as many photo shoots go things didn't go as planned… when we actually got around the the session the 13 year old wasn't up for it (oh the temperamental-ness of being 13). Luckily I have a 19 month old model of a nephew that is always up for photos (or rather, allowing me to chase around after him with my camera while we try to keep him as happy as possible.) And to top it all off I got myself a great teaching lesson for my photo class where I was able to talk through finding light, making compositional decisions, working through challenges, being present in the moment and telling a compelling visual story all along the way in a real life setting. Win!

Here is a glimpse into a low key morning of Miami fun! And to find out more about how I capture these type of images join me for my next This is the Day Photo Workshop or Highlands Art League class. Enjoy!

xoxo, Caroline