Family: Heuchling at Smathers Beach

Smathers for the win! It seriously is a photographers playground with all the locations to take photos at. It also doesn’t hurt when you get to photograph a lovely family here. We started off this session on the walkway to the beach and their daughter was full of tons of smiles. She was even super helpful on holding her baby brother for a few photos - my heart was melting!! We then continued to the beach grass - I just love the soft green look and the hazy backlighting as it flows perfectly with my passion for bright and airy photographs. Mom had some fun holiday props that we included in a few photos. Such a great idea since the only thing Christmas feeling in Key West is the holiday lights you see everywhere. We ended the session with a few single photos of their baby and their daughter had a mini session dressed up as a princess from Frozen. The loving energy of this whole family sure did make my evening :) :) How do I get so lucky to meet so many nice, wonderful and fun people?!?

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Family: Schilling at Truman

Ohh holiday minis are just way too much fun!! I had such a wonderful evening chasing the sun at Truman beach with this family. They recently moved to Key West so it was such an honor to be their photographer for their holiday cards this year. I can’t get over how cute these two blonde girls are. They were all smiles for the camera and their pink dresses worked magically against the palm trees and sunset sky. I am looking forward to getting to know this family more in the last year Travis and I are here.

Maternity: Yasmeen at Sunrise

Oh my goodness I am so convinced I photographed a goddess this past week. Look at how amazing the sunrise was for this beauty! I am not much of a morning person, but I will wake up any day at sunrise for a photo session, especially down here in Key West. We spent a good 45 minutes exploring all the colors this sunrise and Smathers beach had to offer. Yasmeen and Joey were the cutest and I am so happy they trusted me to tell their story of their first pregnancy! :) Congrats to these two!

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A Key West Christmas!

My friend, Marta, had such a great idea for her holiday card this year. She wanted to take photos in downtown Key West with all the Christmas decorations. It was seriously, such a cute idea! She didn’t want anything formal so all three of them showed up in PJ’s. We even included her youngest daughter’s favorite stuffed bunny! Talk about a fun, goofy and laid back session. We got to the wharf area before sunrise and took time exploring all the decorated areas including: palm trees, sail boats, lobster traps, various Christmas trees and light up flamingos. A very Key West Christmas session it was.

I loved this idea so much I may just use it as an option for Holiday Minis next year! :) Stay tuned!

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Maternity: Julia at Smathers Beach

Meet Julia and Anton! This whole session I kept saying to myself "Is this real life???" For real, I was drooling (in my mind) on how beautiful, real, sexy and loving this couple was towards each other. These two lovebirds are from Russia, which was super cool to find out! It was fun to watch as Julia had to translate a lot of my English on the posing instructions - If you have met me I speak super fast, hahah and when I get excited about photography I am sure I speak super duper fast.

They drove down from Miami to have me take their photos - eeeekkk! The pressure was REAL. We spent a lovely evening chasing the sunlight and waiting for the sun to set to get that super soft, colorful light - my favorite! It was wonderful finishing our photo session in the water - I am madly in LOVE with those photos as the water was smooth as glass. I had way too many favorites from this, but below are my top ones.

We chitchatted a lot about life and travel. I really felt like these two were my best friends by the end of this session. Julia gave me the best compliment ever as they were leaving. She said before the session she was super nervous about how to move and what to do. However, I was super friendly and made it easy for her by all my directing and pose ideas. I LOVED hearing that, as it is always my goal to make each session as easy as possible and stress free for everyone!

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Family: Halsall at Truman

Look at these matching outfits? Were they not on point, or were they not on point? Hahah, I laughed super hard when this mom texted me and told me before the session and said “Please don’t judge us on our outfits, they are super matching, but this is our fun photo session and the more serious one is later this year.” My reply was “Girl, you be you! No judgement here!” Which is so true! I want every single person I photograph to just be themselves and feel comfortable with any idea they come up with. So much of photography is all about collaboration. She found these awesome outfits online, so I am a bit tempted to search for something a bit more festive and fun for our holiday card next year!.

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Q&A with Mallory Lane

Every year I like to do a Q&A with another photographer that I have met or worked with. I can’t believe it’s already the end of 2018 and time to write this blog! Where did the year go??

I'd been looking forward to meeting Mallory Lane ever since I discovered her work on Instagram and saw she was moving to Key West. I was very excited that she was available to photograph Travis and me for our holiday card this year.

I am a firm believer that it is better to support and work with each other than against each other. I think it's incredibly important to get to know the other photographers around you. Everyone benefits when we collaborate by sharing ideas, locations, photos, and questions. I have run into Mallory many times while we have both been out taking photos at Smathers Beach. I’m always grateful for the opportunity to say hi and catch up quickly. If you’re in Key West and looking for another photographer, she would absolutely be my go-to recommendation! 

Below is the fun Q&A with Mallory! (I totally agree with #3 - I feel like every client becomes a friend!)

1. Being part of the military life we all travel a lot, so where did you grow up? I’ve only been part of the military life for a little over a year. This is my first move with my coastie. I was born and raised in niceville, Florida. Which is a tiny, military town just north of Destin, Florida.
2. When did you start getting interested in photography? Photography has always been a hobby from the time I can remember. I really got into it when I was my high school band historian my senior year. I didn’t really think of it as as possible career path until I had my son Kai and needed to do something that kept me home a lot for him.
3. What is your favorite part about being a photographer? My favorite part about being a photographer is meeting new people, and those people quickly turning into friends. Seeing their families grow every year makes me so happy.
4. What would you recommend every person should have/hire a photographer for? I would honestly say to get a photographer for any big milestone/moment/event. It gives you the chance to be in the moment and worry less about getting your own photos when you have someone there to specifically handle that. It helps take some stress out of certain days. And you end up with moments you didn’t even think about. (That’s a bit rambling, hahah, you understand!)
5. Quickly describe a common photo session with you: A photo session with me is pretty much me making a ton of mom jokes! I try to make it fun and relaxed and always hope my clients leave thinking it was easy!
6. Photo advice for the someone wanting to take a good photograph?? Practice practice practice. Always be photographing someone or something.
7. Just for fun, what is your favorite quote? “It's a terrible thing, I think, in life to wait until you're ready. I have this feeling now that actually no one is ever ready to do anything. There is almost no such thing as ready. There is only now. And you may as well do it now. Generally speaking, now is as good a time as any.” -Hugh Laurie

Check out some of the  gorgeous photos Mallory Lane took at Ft. Zachary.

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Family: Roberts at Trumbo

I am sure you have heard me say this before, but nothing makes me happier than clients/friends that re-hire me for another photo session. It is just beyond flattering to know they loved their photos the first time and want even more! I had the honor of photographing these two girls with their cousin over the summer so I was ecstatic to know their mom wanted holiday family photos of all four of them! I can’t get over how adorable they all looked in this blue color theme. They were dressed perfectly for the cold, windy, day Key West gave us. Trumbo park is one of my favorite locations for the green grass and simple, clean backgrounds of bushes and blue skies. Also, the rocks by the water give a different Key West feel. I had so much fun spending time with this family again! :)

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Family: Cochran at Truman

These three. I just can’t! They were recommended to me by another friend I photographed and I am so glad I had the opportunity to meet them. We took their holiday photos at Trumbo so we got a nice mix of the green bush, which I just love for a Christmas feel, and then wandered the beach for a bit to get some Key West feeling photos. Their sweet child was such a free spirit and wanted to explore on her own so I made sure to get some of just her on the beach. Check out that AHMAZZZINNGG sunset we got as well! I feel like these cotton candy kind of sunsets are so rare and man, oh man they are breathtaking!

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Ali & Michael Wedding

These two LOVE BIRDS rock my world! I don't photograph weddings anymore, but I couldn't turn down the opportunity to photograph Ali & Michael's big day at the Botanical Gardens in Key West. This was my first time ever going to the Botanical Gardens on Stock Island and I need to make another trip back there, it was beautiful! I have limited the photos on this blog post to my top 12 favorite because I delivered a lot of photos to them, but you can get a feel of the great wedding it was.

I am so grateful I met Ali last year while working at Hogfish Bar & Grill and that she asked me to take her engagement photos as well as be their wedding photographer. I am so happy for these two friends and wish them all the happiness together as a married couple.

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Family: Lowes at Smathers Beach

They didn't know this, but I TOTALLY DID A HAPPY DANCE when my neighbors asked me to take their family photos <3 Travis and I have been super lucky to have amazing neighbors while living here in Key West. I had a blast hanging out with this fun bunch and getting to capture some updated photos for their home. 

Their session was at my favorite location in Key West - Smathers Beach. In this photo you never would have known we had to adventure around the beach to dodge the four different weddings happening at the same time!

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Children: Baby A

Christmas is coming! I loved this holiday mini because mom decided to put baby A in a Santa hat and it just made my heart melt. Look at how adorable he is!! We then did an outfit change and I convinced mom to jump in a few photos.

I loved photographing both of them interacting together. Dad was deployed during this session, but I hope one day we get to take some photos of everyone together!

Family: Pappas at Trumbo

Holiday Minis are so much fun…. BUT what is even more fun, is photographing repeat clients (can I call them friends?). I feel like once I take a photo of you, you’re automatically a friend, as client seems way too professional. I am definitely a professional photographer, but I want to be a friend more than anything as I want to be someone you feel comfortable with and am willing to let go and be yourself with so I can capture those raw, intimate moments! When a previous friend comes back to me for another round of photos it’s a wonderful way of letting me know they are super happy with my work. I strive to make you happy, so this action makes me one of the happiest people in the world. I had the honor of photographing Shaydee when she was pregnant with this cute little babes.

So fun to get together with them again and get some family photos for their holiday cards! I love that they went with a grassy, green park look instead of the beach in order to change it up a bit. I only do holiday minis in SEP/OCT/NOV and as a thank you, give previous clients all the photos instead of just ten! <3

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Kacie & Justin

Kacie and Justin were visiting from Maryland and wanted some fun beach photos with palm trees! If you have been to MD, you know they sort of lack in the beautiful palm trees that Key West offers. I was so excited to meet this couple since I was born and raised in northern VA. We took our time exploring my all time favorite location, Smathers Beach and taking some updated photos. I LOVE photography (obviously!) and love when I meet other couples that are totally in to updating their couple photos for their home and social media. I try to make an effort to do this every year, because you never really know what will happen. It’s so important to try and live and take in every moment and if you can record it with a professional photographer that is a win, win! It made my week that I was able to get some photos of these lovebirds while they were in town for the boat races.

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Megan & Christian

I am one lucky photographer! I seriously walk away from so many photo sessions thinking, “Man those were some really cool people!” This was one of those sessions where I felt like I had been friends with this couple for a lifetime. They were so laidback, open to any little idea I had for their photos and full of so much laughter. They also brought their whole family (cough, cough dogs!) so I was even more in love with every moment of this holiday mini. We took our time walking around Truman Beach and chasing the sunset to get some different photos.

I honestly can’t pick my favorite between the palm trees, bushes, beach grass and plain blue water! I am so happy these four have crossed paths with me and I really hope we have some more photo sessions in the future. <3 <3

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Home Office: Busy Bee!

Today I am busy working on delivering galleries, website updates and blogging. Did you know that being a photographer is so much more than just taking photos?? Hahah, sometimes I forget as well and then I will remember it has been a year since I have updated my website. I am so thankful I have a home office to get all this work and more accomplished. My corner desk was purchased from Ikea over twelve years ago and I refuse to get another one because I love the white, clean and large space it provides. I have surrounded my editing desk with some of my all time favorite things: A framed print of Douglas and Marilyn Monroe hanging out after his session with her in 1961, My first ever personal framed photo from my graduation themed portfolio of: “products on location”, A portrait of Travis and me right next to my computer, My branding and color inspiration board kept on the wall, A 15% off blurb coupon to order some custom made books, A jar of succulents (my all time favorite plant!), Netflix on my iPad because I can’t get anything done surrounded by silence! My YETI full of ice cold water because water in just a glass here will melt in a heartbeat, A framed quote by Mark Twain “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” which was a gift from my mom AND we can not forget my fun teal curtains. This is just one corner of my office so stay tuned to learn more about what I surround myself with for daily inspiration, peace and just an overall happy heart!

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Halloween in Key West!

Happy Halloween from Key West! Even though it has been super warm here lately we got a little bit of a fall look with this setup. This years Halloween minis were too cute: I had an adorable Flamingo and a Nemo. We also had some crazy looking zombies for the famous Zombie Bike Ride! I don’t think I can pick a favorite out of all these photos. Do you have a favorite??

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Family: Cordani at Smathers Beach

Look at how adorable these two girls are? They had such fun attitudes this whole session (the little one even wanted some photos with her cute stuffed animal - kitty!) They even had the idea of getting in the water for one of our last photos. They have a photo tradition of including their favorite children book in their yearly family photos so we made sure to include a photo with that as well. This beautiful family won my free photo session giveaway this year! I love giving back to the community and every year give away a free photo session to a military family via FB. I couldn’t get this family to stop smiling - it was so nice to meet them and spend my evening taking photos on Smathers Beach.

Home Office: My Reading Nook

I really enjoy reading when I can make the time to do so. I decided the best spot to create a reading space would be in my office, because not only is this where I keep all my books, but it’s honestly my favorite spot in our house (minus hanging out on the front porch with my hubby during our cooler weather months). I stay very busy! When I am not partaking in fun photo sessions I am busy working as a server at Hogfish Bar & Grill. I try to make sure I have one day off a week to just unwind and relax, which very often involves curling up on this papasan in my office and reading a good book. Right now I am reading Tom Wolfe’s THE RIGHT STUFF - a great read about the first American’s to conquer space. Everything in my office sparks a huge amount of joy in me. It is saturated with wonderful memories, art and pieces I have collected from traveling all over the world. Below is a breakdown of some of the fun things in this photo! Stay tuned to learn more about my home office and what I do here on a weekly basis <3.

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Halloween Minis

Ohhh October is my favorite time of the year. When you are not living in Key West, it’s FALL and the air is crisp and the leaves are changing colors and man, oh man, it’s just wonderful. It’s my wedding anniversary month, my birthday month and Halloween!!. One of my other favorite parts of OCTOBER is Halloween Minis! Don’t miss out on these fun minis. They are only $50 a person/pet. Book your preferred time slot by filling out this form: http://www.mirandaboller.com/halloween