A little fun around town with Latch On Jacksonville –Christy Whitehead Photography

I recently featured Samantha Kastelz on my blog to talk about her business Latch On Jacksonville, where she helps parents with their car seats concerns. However, I wanted to follow that up with a fun blog post of some of her favorites, including this around town.

What’s the best place to get a…

Burger: I love M Shack and Burger Barn. I LOVE when I can add bacon and avocado to a burger

Pizza: I don’t eat pizza…I am gluten and dairy free, but my husband and kids love a good stuffed crust Pizza from Pizza Hut

Chinese: Green Tea…Yum. I love beef and broccoli and sweet & sour chicken

Sushi: not a sushi girl

Italian: I used to LOVE Italian but alas Gluten makes it difficult to find anywhere good. However when I did enjoy going out for Italian I liked Enza’s and Spinach Manicotti

Mexican: Mexican all day. Tacos are my favorite. Salsa’s, Chuy’s, La Nop…I can eat tacos anytime.

A drink: I’m a red wine kina girl. Fisher Unity, Faust, Stags’ Leap, are a few of my favorites

Ice Cream/dessert: anything with peanut butter

When family is in town, where do you take them to entertain them? All of my family lives here except my half-sister. I grew up in Middleburg so my parents still live there. We like going out to eat and we are members at Deerwood Country Club so we do a lot of family events there

Now tell me some fun stuff about yourself, what is your favorite:

Color: Pink

Drink: Celsius and Zip Fizz..energy anyone?

Alcoholic beverage: Cabernet

Meal: I’m a foodie and can find something l like just about anywhere but any type of taco is generally a safe bet for me!

Dessert: I’m not a huge sweets person but love a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup

Movie treat: I’m not really a movie theatre person and I don’t do popcorn. I know, I know. Icee maybe.

Movie: Princess Diaries

Song: Anything by P!nk or Taylor Swift…I have their albums on a playlist on repeat generally

Dream car: Blacked out Range Rover

Theme park: Aquatica

Holiday: Valentine’s Day

Cake flavor: hmmm. I usually do Sweets By Holly PB Cupcake

And what about your first:

Job: A doctor’s office as a file clerk when I was 14

Car: 1995 Honda Civic manual coupe. I wanted to the funky door handles

Go find Samantha on the web here:

Your website: latchonjax.com

Facebook: LatchOnJax

IG: @LatchOnJax

She’s also featured on our Resources page.

Professional headshots by Christy Whitehead Photography.

Tag! Featured: Random Fandom Gifts

In an effort to feature local businesses during Covid, we are playing “tag”. We are asking local companies info about their favorite places. And then we ask some of the companies they tag about their favorites!

Random Fandom Gifts was recently tagged as a favorite by another local company so here they are:

Your name: Alexis Kaisharis and Rich Oliver

Where are you located: You can usually find us at Riverside Arts Market, but you can always find us on our website www.randomfandomgifts.com

Tell me about your business.

We hand make pixelated artwork, home decor, and accessories representing all kinds of pop culture across all medias. Our pieces can range from 100 beads to 10,000 beads; our biggest piece ever was actually 30,000 beads. Everything we make we do it with pure geeky love. We’re bringing geeky goodness to everyone, and our goal is to make everyone’s pixelated dreams come true!

Now that you’ve been tagged, tell me your favorites!


What is your favorite local restaurant for date night? Orsay

What is your favorite food place to go with family? Leaderboard Arcade

Who has the best sandwiches? Eddis & Sons

Best pizza? Pie 95 Pizza 

What toppings MUST go on a pizza? Cheese, Pepperoni, and Canadian Bacon

What should NEVER go on a pizza? Pineapple or any fruit, except tomatoes. 

Best Mexican? El Jefe

Best Chinese? Tim Wah Dim Sum

Best burger? JoyShtick

Best fries? JoyShtick

Best bar? Rec Room 

Best BBQ? Twisted Okie

Favorite food truck? Pie 95 Pizza and Fusion Food Truck

Favorite place to get dessert? 1748 Bakehouse


Favorite activity around town that’s free? Riverside Arts Market

Favorite activity/place to go, that costs money around town? The Cummer Museum 

Best local band or musician? The Fire Water Tent Revival


Best place to get a hair cut? Red Hot Looks

Best realtor? Lou Morales Realty, David Morales

Do you have any tattoos? Who would you recommend? Melaniinks at Dark Matter 


Favorite mom & pop shop? Darby’s Dungeon, Bellalina Bath and BelloBoopie 

Favorite side of town? Riverside

Favorite local event? Riverside Arts Market and the GAAM Show. 

What local charities do you like to support? First Coast No More Homeless Pets and JASMYN.  

What is the most underrated shop or company in North Florida that everyone should know about? Bijubee Jewelry, plus maybe also us lol

Best place to get married or have a big party? Congaree and Penn

Best place to get fresh veggies and fruit? Riverside Arts Market

Anyone we missed? All of the amazing artists in Jacksonville! Elena Ohlander, Chappy Lips by Leslie Valerio, Hypnoticat, Olivia Gonzalez (Garage Roses), and R.L. Pyro Art are some of our favorites

Where can people find you:

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/randomfandomgifts

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/randomfandomgifts

Website: www.randomfandomgifts.com

Email: randomfandomgifts@gmail.com

Tag! Local business, Bello Boopie

With everything going on, the need to support other small businesses is more important now than ever. On the last flight I took, I saw a magazine and they interviewed local business owners and those business owners mentioned their favorite businesses, and then THOSE businesses were interviewed, and it kept going.

So, we are doing a “TAG! You’re it” Local business feature to help get the word out about a lot of local businesses that I hope you’ll patronize!

The first is Bello Boopie, who makes paper goods, like cards and stationary, you may have seen them at Riverside Arts Market.

Your name: Noel a.k.a. The Minion Man

Where are you located: Riverside Arts Market, Orange Park Farmers & Arts Market, Art Walk Downtown Jacksonville.  In Store: Trove Antiques and Coconut Barrel

What makes your business unique? Bello Boopie isn’t afraid to push the boundaries.  Most Greeting Cards come blank or with sentimental greetings; our greeting cards are geared to make people laugh. 

What’s the favorite thing you sell? Our locally inspired greeting cards that make fun of Floridians


What is your favorite local restaurant for date night? Hawkers 5 points

What is your favorite food place to go with family? Clarks Fish Camp

Who has the best sandwiches? European Street (Park Street Location)

Best pizza? V’s Pizza!

What toppings MUST go on a pizza? I’m a Cheese kinda guy!

Best Chinese? Peony Asian Bistro

Best bar? Park Place

Favorite food truck? Pie95

Favorite place to get dessert? Community Loaves


Favorite activity around town that’s free? Riverside Arts Market

Favorite activity/place to go, that costs money around town? Jacksonville Zoo & Gardens

Best local band or musician? Jacksonville Symphony (I’m an old soul)


Best place to get fresh veggies and fruit? Riverside Arts Market and Orange Park Farmers and Arts Market


Best place to get a hair cut? Barbara Fisk at Beauty Boss Hair Studio

Best realtor? Mary Ann Eldreth

Best massage therapist? Brenda Star Walker


Favorite mom & pop shop? Trove Antiques

Favorite side of town? Riverside/Avondale

Favorite local event? (Party, sports, concert, whatever) Weekly: Riverside Arts Market.  Yearly: Boat Lighting Parade

What local charities do you like to support? JASMYN, V for Victory, and First Coast No More Homeless Pets

What is the most underrated shop or company in North Florida that everyone should know about? Coconut Barrel

Best place to get married or have a big party? Old St. Andrews

Best Local Maker: Random Fandom Gifts

Best Fur Friendly Company: A tie: Lucy Lou’s Designs for collars and leashes, Bubbas Bistro for pet treats

Best Local Shoe Company: An Unlikely Pear

Best Burger: One Twenty Three Burger House

Best Local Instagram Account: JaxMarketplace

Where can people find you:

Instagram: www.instagram.com/belloboopie

Facebook: www.facebook.com/belloboopie

Website: www.belloboopie.com

Email: belloboopie@gmail.com

Phone/Text 904-290-3060

Bello Boopie

Shop Online l Facebook l Instagram

Shark Week: Hunting for Shark’s Teeth–a fun outing in Florida!

I’ve lived in Florida most all of my life and I’ve only ever found ONE shark’s tooth. My husband loves to go to the beach and walk and look, but we just never find them.

I’m one of those people that for gifts I rather give experiences, so for Father’s Day, I found Fossil Florida through a friend and booked Chase for a 4 hour private fossil/shark’s tooth dig for 4 people.

My father in law, Felix, my hubby, Andy and my daughter Spencer woke up early one Friday morning to meet up with Chase in Gainesville.

My haul!

We were hunting for about 3 hours or so and I found about 120 shark’s teeth, plus sting ray teeth, an alligator tooth plus some other stuff, including a broken Megladon tooth.

I posted a photo on Facebook and EVERYONE was asking me how we found so many shark’s teeth, where, etc.

I have been back since, when my brother came to town, but we just went by ourselves, not with Chase. I HIGHLY recommend going with Chase. One of the biggest reasons is his knowledge.

He is super friendly, great with kids and REALLY knowledgeable about everything you find and run across. He loves what he does and you can tell! Plus he goes to different places all over the state to hunt!

My daughter found a huge Megalodon tooth that she is sooo proud of. My father in law found a tooth that Chase absolutely loved, my FIL tried to give it to him, but he refused, but politely offered to turn it into a necklace for my FIL.

Cell phone photo of my daughter, Spencer, and her Megalodon tooth!

Chase said he has found arrowheads while doing the digs also!

We had a great experience and I wanted to share it with everyone and with this week being Shark Week, and Chase just having his first boy (shark theme nursery, of course!) this last month, this seemed like the perfect time!

He provides EVERYTHING you need for your hunt and is a great host that keeps digging and refilling your sifter with sand/fossils! All you need is a bottle of water, swimsuit and maybe some snacks!

Read all the way to the end for my review and a DISCOUNT CODE!!!

Cell phone shot of Chase and his daughter hunting!

From Chase: We are super excited about shark week, my daughters are making shark art and Wednesday I am displaying my shark tooth art at Art Walk in Jacksonville! 

My grandmother was a pro at finding shark teeth at the beach, I would walk next to her and not finding any as she picked them up right and left.

I remember always looking at her piece of art my aunt made for her with their findings from a trip to Fernandina Beach–It has hundreds of shark teeth and even a nice 2” Megalodon!

I always looked for them at the beach, and in the shell cart path ways at the golf course, but it wasn’t until a friend of mine showed me that you could find them by diving in the dark creeks I grew up swimming and fishing in.

The first time I went looking in a creek, over 10 years ago, I found a 2.5” Megalodon tooth and I was hooked! My favorite place to hunt fossils is scuba diving or snorkeling in Florida waters like deep creeks/rivers. The fossils accumulate in the gravel when the water ways wash through the ancient layers. 

The teeth I found–Christy

I have found the fossilized teeth and bones of many of Florida’s extinct and living animals, from alligators and dolphins to horses and bears. Shark teeth being the most common of course.

In the past year, I have picked up approximately 100,000 shark teeth of all different shapes sizes and colors. The majority of them going into my fossil Florida artwork, the largest of which contained almost 10,000 teeth alone!

One of Chase’s pieces on his website. Florida COMPLETELY made with fossils!

A large variety of recognizable shark teeth and other fossils go into our interactive fossil dig kits as well!

One of my favorite finds is a 3.5” perfect ancient dolphin/whale relative known as a delphinodon. They aren’t found too often and it’s the only one like it I have seen!

Anything funny ever happen? I once took a family to a small private creek and ran across a 7’ rat snake, I grabbed it by the tail and tossed it off in the woods. The family was a little surprised, but that’s how Florida is.

How do you see your company in five years? I will continue making art, leading private guides and expanding our jewelry and dig kit lines.

Sharks lose an average of 30,000 teeth in their lifetime, that times millions of sharks, and 400 million years, there are still many to be found!

We will be expanding our private guide areas, and looking to start taking children’s groups in the future!

How can people book you?

DISCOUNT CODE to get a free mini dig kit with any purchase from the website: Sharkblog



Details of some of the teeth I found. The bottom right is an alligator tooth.
Cell phone photo of our gang. Chase provided the sifting pans and the bags to put our teeth in.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Christy Whitehead is a photographer in Jacksonville, Florida. She often shoots product photography and head shots in her studio and on location.

A Sweet Local Company: Bee Friends Farm

A couple of months ago, I was over at Diamond D Horse Ranch for an event and ran into Bee Friends Farm and their honey products. At first, I didn’t think it was local, the logo and packaging just looked very corporate and national. I’m a huge honey fan and am always buying local honey, so I was shocked to find that it was a Jacksonville-based company.

I bought a bunch of items and took a couple of quick product photographs in our studio and I wanted to share some info about them as well as our own personal review!

Product Photography of Bee Friends Farms honey, labels and logo.

They had a product that I had never seen before called Roasted Toasted Salted Pecan Honey. They call it pecan pie in a jar. If you love pecans and honey, this is amazing. I honestly wasn’t sure what I would think of it, but I hid it from my kids so I wouldn’t have to share. I bought pecans and added it to the jar and added honey and it’s not the same, but it is getting me through my withdrawals! LOL.

I bought some for my mother in law as well and she said she thought it was weird but when she tasted it fell in love with it as well!

The company is run by third generation beekeepers. Leach has been a draftsman, engineer and so much more. When the market crashed his successful cabinetry business fell with it and he was looking for something new.

Michael had always learned a lot from oral history and getting into hives so he started selling bee equipment in 2009 and then in 2013 moved over to honey production as Bee Friends Farm.

Brentley Stead is the Marketing Director for Bee Friends Farm, though she says, Bee Friends Farm Wrangler is more accurate. She got her start with the company after college and says that they run the company full time and it’s a lot more time consuming than folks think!

“Between maintaining our retail stores (you can find a map of our local retailers here), bottling honey, taking care of bees, selling honey at events and doing educational events there’s a lot to get done,” she says. “We have about 400 hives right now and we are looking to expand to 700 by the fall!”

They are currently located right off of I10 and Lane Ave but are migratory beekeepers which means they move the bees depending on what blooms are in season.

What has been the hardest part about working with family, as a family run business?

Having a family run business means we can focus on what needs to be done because we all chip in for tasks that must be accomplished for the business to move forward. That might mean test tasting products, late nights moving bees, cleaning toilets, running around making deliveries the possibilities are endless and it isn’t always glamorous. Because we are all in this together, we get it done together. 

Christie, Michael’s wife, and their three children are always pitching in. At markets, with creative projects and more they are always willing to help! Christie is also the mastermind behind why our Creamed Honey is so delicious. She plays a big role in our fundraising programs for schools as well. 

Can people visit the farm?

We wish we could say yes to this request and we are working on it! For now, we have a couple of great opportunities: You can come visit us the first Saturday of every month when we host a bee mentoring workshop with the Jacksonville Beekeepers Association which is a very cool way to get some hands-on education and meet fellow beekeepers.

We also host a Honey Tasting Workshop with Congaree and Penn practically every month. You can find info on both opportunities on our website – and if we start to open up the farm social media would know first! We are also excited to announce our upcoming Honey Bee Festival on August 17th. Fans can find more info on the event here: https://beefriendsfarm.com/pages/honey-bee-festival


What is your favorite thing to do around Jacksonville?

We have some great outdoor opportunities in Jacksonville like the Arboretum, farm visits at Congaree and Penn, taking a book to Memorial Park, hanging beachside, biking trails and more. 

When your family comes to town, what is something you guys always have to do while they are in town?

There are so many great markets around town and pop-up events picking one of those is a great way to spend a day! 

What’s your favorite bee related movie?

We are loving the bee/honey segment in the four-part series Rotton which you can find on Netflix. It’s very accurate – know your beekeeper! 

What’s your current obsession? 

Craft beverages are super fun right and we’ve been experimenting with other local businesses in town! For example, Wicked Barley specializes in meads and they have been using different types of our honey to make some magic happen, or Hive Alive who specializes in Jun Kombucha which uses honey instead of sugar. Cocktails are all the rage too (alcoholic and non-alcoholic) and working with Volstead downtown and Wildcrafters in Riverside – an upcoming alcohol-free bar –  is always exciting for us. 

Where do you see Bee Friends in 5 years?

We hope to still be producing the best quality honey in North Florida! We are also currently working towards expanding into beekeeping equipment and selling bees again. There’s up and coming beekeeping community and we want to help make sure they get quality supplies and bees. Maybe get into more backyard beekeeper education – stay tuned! 

My daughter’s favorite lemon creamed honey!

Favorite dessert?

Honey!! In all seriousness, there is a local ice cream maker in Springfield, Thomas Reed Creamery, who makes small batches for his neighbors and he makes some honey-based icecreams that are divine! 

We also specialize in Cream Honey which is a crystallized version of our Jacksonville Wildflower and then we add an infusion of spices or extracts. That crystallization is what gives it that thick, rich texture. There is no added sugar or dairy. My favorite is Mexican Vanilla it is rich and smooth and the vanilla almost mellows out the sweetness.

Favorite restaurant?

Oh, we love so many, but are pretty partial to spots like Bread and Board, Vagabond Coffee, Ugly Cupcake, and Vitality Bowls. 

Education is very important to Bee Friends and they try to do a lot of outreach in schools and troops/kids club (which they do not charge for).

We bring our observation hive and bee suit and the kids can’t get enough! We offer fundraising programs for those schools as well – it makes a nice change of pace from wrapping paper and cheesecakes. 

We also do special events and people can book our Tasting Experience for weddings, corporate events, parties etc. 

What if I want to be a beekeeper or want more info?

For those looking to become beekeepers, interested in beekeeping we recommend coming out to our upcoming event on August 17th the Bee Friends Farm Honey Bee Festival. All of the local Beekeeping Clubs will be in attendance and available to answer your questions! 

The Jacksonville Beekeepers Association is an amazing organization and we work closely with them. Any time anyone is interested in learning more about beekeeping or our fabulous community the Jacksonville Beekeepers Association is a fabulous year around resource. Find more from them at JaxBees.com


Instagram: @beefriendsfarm

Facebook: Bee Friends Farm 

Website: www.beefriendsfarm.com


Christy Whitehead is a corporate and product photographer located in Jacksonville, Florida. She photographs headshots and products for many types of companies. She often features local companies and products on her blog that she thinks other people might find interesting as well!

Featured Vendor: Dr. Cristina Padilla, Thrive Family Chiropractic — Business Photography

Dr. Cristina Padilla contacted me a couple of months ago needing portraits for her business to showcase what she does. She wanted to feature them on her blog, Facebook and Instagram. I happened to be looking for a chiropractor at the time but was having an issue finding one that worked with my schedule since you typically have to drive out to their office.

Our meeting came at a perfect time. Dr. Padilla just recently got an office space, however, she mostly makes house calls!

Padilla has been practicing for almost 5 years. Her husband is a chiropractor in Amelia Island.

How did you become a chiropractor?

I received Chiropractic care as an athlete during my teenage years and had a great experience. After undergrad, I wanted to stay in the healthcare field and in 2010, a friend suggested I explore a chiropractic college in NY state.

At that point, I planned on working with athletes after graduation but as I went through the program at New York Chiropractic College, I learned about all the amazing benefits Chiropractic and Alternative Medicine offer children and women during pregnancy. I underwent a post-graduate 12-course program with the International Chiropractic Pediatric Association (ICPA) to become certified as a Pediatric Chiropractor and a Webster Technique Chiropractor.

Side note (from Christy), if you are a pregnant, contact Cristina, I had the Webster technique done to me at least once a week during my last pregnancy and birth was sooo much easier, not to mention the chiropractic care helped with a lot of the pain I was having!

What is your favorite part about chiropractic care?

Chiropractic, in its core, focuses on enhancing the bodies ability to heal and to manage physical, emotional and chemical stress. The fact that I help people reach their maximum health potential and become the best version of themselves every day is absolutely rewarding.

I love being part of a woman’s journey through fertility or pregnancy and empowering families to seek alternative methods of healthcare for their children.

What do you specialize in?

I underwent 14 months of training in Pediatric and Pregnancy Care, additional to the 3.5 years of Chiropractic education. I am certified in the Webster Technique for pregnancy care, which is a Chiropractic-specific protocol to prepare women for an optimal birth experience by aligning their spine and balancing their pelvis.

I am also certified in Kinesiotaping by Kinesiotape International. I use this technique mostly in my pregnant patients and in athletes.

You’re a mobile chiropractor, is that common?

In Jacksonville it is very uncommon. Because the majority of my practice are busy professionals, children and pregnant women, being mobile allows me to provide convenient care for my patients, without the added stress of taking time off of work, traffic and missing school/work to be able to receive the care they need.

How did you come up with the name of your business?

My mission is to help families and children express the best version of themselves with good health, a positive lifestyle and healthy practices. I think this is all summarized in helping families thrive.

Now on to the fun stuff:

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

Buying a home in Jacksonville (ideally in Springfield!), starting a family and partnering up as a chiropractor with a birth center!

What is your favorite thing to do around Jacksonville?

I love checking out local coffee shops and breweries, being outdoors–going to the beach, riding my bike, going for runs.

When your family comes to town, what is something you guys always do together?

We always go to St Augustine. I love the historic neighborhoods and it reminds me of home (Puerto Rico).

What’s your favorite movie?

I don’t have one specific one but Disney’s Lion King, Love Actually (a Christmas staple), Juno and Under The Tuscan Sun are some of my all time favorites.

What’s your favorite song?

Some of my all-time favorites are “Let It Be” by the Beatles and “Eso es vivir” from La Secta, a puertorican rock band.

What’s something you can’t live without?

Coffee and sunshine.

What’s your current obsession?

Chocolate hummus (yum!) and the Backstreet Boys new album, DNA. I listen to it almost every single day. I’m a total BSB fan. My girlfriends and I bought tickets to their concert in August!

What’s your favorite food?

Puertorican, all the way: mofongo, tostones de pana and my mom makes the best “ternera”, which is a meat stew. But I can eat Mexican every day too!

Favorite dessert?

Anything with chocolate, especially cakes or a baked good.

Favorite restaurant?

In Jacksonville, I love Lime Leaf (Thai), Latin Creations (Puertorican) and Cantina Louie. In St Augustine, I love Taverna del Caballo (Spanish/Tapas).

Favorite place to hang out in Jacksonville?

I live on the Northside of Jacksonville. I like going to the local breweries, Wicked Barley is my favorite but I love hanging out in Springfield. I am a huge fan of the historic neighborhoods.

Get in touch with Dr. Padilla:



Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/jaxmobilechiropractor/

Her office is located at (by appointment only):

6817 Southpoint Parkway Ste 2304 (across from St Vincent’s Southside)

Featured Vendor: Greenlight Graphics Headshots and Product Photography

Crystal and Zach Gay own, Greenlight Graphics a veteran owned and operated family run company that offers laser engraving and vinyl services. We used them for our window signage and were impressed with their keen interest in making sure that the colors matched correctly. They showed up with samples for us to flip through.

When our home was flooded in the hurricane, they offered not to charge us for the vinyl, but I wouldn’t let them do that, but I loved their generous and caring heart!

They have since gone on to work with several businesses I know and so I wanted to feature them on my blog in case anyone else in the North Florida/Jacksonville area needed something as well. However, I do think they’ll ship.

I had to open with the photos of their daughter holding the engraved notebook. She is SUPER cute and she def. needs to do some modeling, look at those curls and that smile!

But Rielle, isn’t only the cutest one of the team (sorry guys!, she also really does help!

“She is the absolute best.” says Crystal. ” She loves helping with the company. She is our door greeter at pickup. During cut prep, she unboxes and sorts lids. She also likes to help us pack everything back up for the customer.

The three of us make a great team and we love teaching her that she can create her own business and be the boss in her life, if that is what she wants one day.”

I used green with many of their photos because their branding has green in it.

How did you guys get started?

What drew you to vinyl and custom products?

After we had Rielle, I wanted to be there for her always and become a stay at home mom so we started brainstorming ideas for extra income to make that transition easier.

We began having casual conversation about logos/marketing and the constant need for it, along with the growing trend of personalized gifts. We thought it would be really neat to work with other businesses while building one of our own. I had a background in customer service along with the love for working with others and Zach is an artist and great with designs so we gradually started putting it all together and just took a leap of faith and invested in the equipment.

(These are for the fabulous Remi Realty, here in Jacksonville.)

What all products do you make?

We personalize, in individual and bulk, RTIC and Maars drinkware, wood products such as cutting boards, coasters, photo on wood canvas, etc. and leatherette gifts such as flask boxes, koozies, wallets, mouse pads, portfolios, bottle openers, business card holders etc. We also do vinyl for storefronts, wall art, or decals.

How did you come up with the name of your business?

Zach created the name and logo. We literally just said names aloud until something clicked. We wanted something simple, but clear and catchy.

And now for some fun stuff:

What is your favorite thing to do around Jacksonville?

We spend most of our free time and some body of water. We both grew up on the Suwannee River and just thoroughly enjoy fresh air, sand, and sunshine.

When your family comes to town, what is something you guys always have to do?

We live in Yulee, so we always take family onto Amelia Island for great food, shops, and beaches. We also enjoy Dave and Busters or other places in Jax that are kids oriented.

What’s your favorite song?

We are music lovers. That is definitely something we use to connect with each other and to escape with. Some of our fav. bands are JJ Grey and Mofro, Gaslight Anthem, and Hours Eastly.

What is your favorite movie?

Busy days leave little time for movies and most tv time is filled with Disney films. And we have to admit, we love them just as much as Rielle does!

What’s something you can’t live without (besides your loved ones)?


They were sweet enough to bring me this reusable cup when they came in. What surprised me was most of these cups I see for sale online by vinyl companies scare me, because vinyl would come off easy. But Greenlight Graphics actually ETCHES the logo into the cup, making it super durable!

Check them out:

Facebook:    www.facebook.com/greenlightgraphics
Website:   www.greenlightgraphics.net

Featured Wedding Photographer: The Copper Lens

I recently photographed Susannah Moore, of The Copper Lens, creating some new headshots for her and wanted to share those photos and a little about her and her business.

When photographing a business owner, I like to take a look at their brand–usually their website. and see what their style is. Is it very traditional or do they have a different vibe? Usually it helps me pick out a color pallet to use.

For Susannah, her colors were very light and airy. She likes pinks and coppers.

I also try to do one look that is slightly different. Sometimes the lighting is more moody or the colors may not fit quite with their brand. For Susannah, when she came in she was wearing this cute little red dress with blue flowers and a denim jacket. So I pulled a blue background and started her with a one light headshot, creating a little more dramatic shadows and making a little more rich of an image.

Susannah has been in business for 3.5 years and has a great look. Her brand is very pulled together.

I got my start to photography when I owned a women’s boutique. I learned to shoot by taking photos of the clothing on models and slowly began creating styled look books each centered around a certain theme. I quickly learned that the creative side of the business and the photography was my favorite part.

Friends began asking me to capture all their special moments and occasions and as I began to dabble in photographing outside of fashion, I fell in love.

I decided to close shop and pursue photography full time. After a year of shooting a little bit of everything to get my feet wet, I found my passion in couples. Weddings, engagements, anniversaries, elopements, or even just because photos of two people in love is where my heart still lies today.

What drew you to photography?

Originally, it was the joy of creating something and also capturing a moment and being able to re-live it over and over again. I love putting things together to create something out of nothing but I also love the joy of just creating. Photography is art and art is a way of expressing yourself or your subjects. It’s always changing and I think I love that most of all.
How would you describe your style? Bright, Romantic and joyful! I love pretty light, pastels & people in love! You just can’t go wrong with that combination.

How did you come up with the name of your business?

I knew I wanted something more creative than just my name for a business name. I actually hired an incredibly business branding strategist to help me come up with the name! When I told her my favorite color was copper she put it all together for me! I absolutely love it.

Anything really funny ever happen while you were shooting?

Every time. I love to be active during sessions and will do anything to help my clients feel comfortable so they can be themselves. I hope every session has at least one moment that we can all look back on and laugh.

Other fun stuff:

What’s your favorite food? Potatoes. You can seriously cook them 100 different ways and they are all delicious! 
Favorite dessert? Cheesecake
Favorite restaurant? Any Hibachi/Sushi
Favorite place to hang out in Jacksonville? If Im being honest, my house! I am such a homebody and introverted. I could spend all day just chilling on the sofa watching Netflix!
What’s your favorite movie? Dirty Dancing


And some of her work:

Check out The Copper Lens:

IG: @thecopperlens

Wedding Photographer Feature: The Veil Wedding Photography

Since I have stopped doing wedding photography, I have decided to partner up with some other wedding photographers in the area so that you know where to go! Every photographer has a different style, whether it’s light and airy to dark and moody. Some use a lot of off camera flash, others don’t use that at all.

Today, I’m featuring The Veil Wedding Photography, owned by Amanda and Landon Raulerson.

I’m not going to lie, their style is super consistent in it’s editing style (which is DEF what you want from a photographer) and light and airy.

Let me preface this, with a story about how I met them.

A couple of years ago when I got this studio space, I had A LOT of work to do to make it what it is. I made a call out on Facebook looking for some help to lay flooring and paint the walls. 2,400 sf is a lot of work and it was killing me to get it opened in time.

It was Amanda’s birthday and she showed up with her husband and kids in tow late that evening. They worked for hours. And neither one of them complained at all! They both smiled and just helped.

I appreciated all their help so much. Especially from other photographers in our area that did NOT have to help, especially since they weren’t being paid and I was their competition!

For that, I have always been eternally grateful to them. Some people act nice and genuine and then there are people who actually ARE that way.

So onto their story:

Landon retired from the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office to fulfill this dream

Here’s some info about them.

How long have you been in business? 6 years

How did you get your start?

We picked up a camera with plans of having a hobby to do together. I wish I had some cool story of how we have always loved photography, but the truth is this journey was never suppose to be a business, that was an unexpected blessing we received.

What drew you to photography?

We were looking for a hobby to do together. I (Amanda) had been a stay at home mother for 7 years and wanted something to get me out of the house more. Landon had the idea of photography. The rest is history.

How would you describe your style?

Simplistic, Elegant, Timeless

What has been the hardest part about working with someone else in your company?
The first few months after Landon quite his job as a correctional officer and began working with me from home full time was interesting (for a lack of a better word lol.), we had been married 7 years already and I was use to him going to work while I took care of the kids and home. To have him home every day, to be with each other constantly, it was like we had to learn each other in a whole new way. It was a learning experience.

We had to learn how to balance marriage, parenthood, and being coworkers, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. This business takes us both to run. His amazing talent, my business and social skills. We really excel in different areas and together make up a wonderful team.

Do you guys ever disagree on how things should be done?

Ummm.. heck yes! LOL! I’m a passionate person. When I decide to do something I jump in head first. Landon on the other hand is the voice of reason. He thinks everything through and makes the most logical decision. Sometimes being passionate is a good thing, but there are times I need him to bring me back to reality lol. So there are many times we disagree how situations should be handled. But we never handle them without first agreeing together on a solution.


How did you come up with the name of your business?

Interesting fact. Most people believes the name “The Veil” comes from a wedding veil. Actually that’s not entirely true. When we first started the name of our business was Amanda Jayne Photography. We had planned for me to be the main shooter.

It wasn’t until we both realized where our strengths were in our business that we realized Landon was actually the main photographer role and I was the second shooter and handled the every day running of the business.

When Landon came on to work full time with me I decided it only made sense to change the name of the business to something we both could be represented by, instead of the business being named after me.

We knew of course we wanted our industry to be represented in our name, but we also decided we wanted our faith to be represented. Landon and I are Christians and truly believe we have succeeded simply because of God’s grace.   We came across this bible verse and knew immediately “The Veil” would be a part of our name: Matthew 27:51 “then, behold, the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom; and the earth quaked, and the rocks were split.”

Anything really funny ever happen while you were shooting?

All the time. But if I’m honest the thing me and my couples laugh the most at is when Landon is demonstrating to the bride how to pose for a photo. Watching him play the bride’s role always cracks us up. I really need to make a video of his moves lol.

What is a piece of advice you can give to newbies?

Never give up. Your going to get discouraged, or think your not good enough, or go through some ups and downs. We have all been there, but if you can push through those trials the reward is wonderful. You will meet the most amazing people and share in some of the greatest moments of their lives. It’s not a race it’s a marathon. Keep working at your craft, keep your head up, and the time will come that you look back and feel proud of the journey you’ve been on.

What’s your current obsession?

Obsession? Wow! We are parents of 3 Kids. It’s normally all about them lol. Hmmm.. I guess it’s Netflix. I know Netflix has been around a while now, but we didn’t jump on the band wagon until last year. We work so much and when we aren’t working we are being parents, so we have found enjoyment in binge watching Series on Netflix once the kids are asleep. First we went through The Office, then Friends. We enjoy not having to think and just laugh together for a few hours at night. Man we are getting old and boring lol.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years? 
In 5 years I see us expanding our business. We have already began to expand The Veil but I see more growth opportunities ahead. I’d like our business to be a career option for our children should they choose it when they become adults. We want them to follow their own dreams, but should their dreams be this industry we would like a solid foundation set.

(Amanda recently launched her own company to do wedding planning.)

What’s your favorite food?
This is hard. I’m a food lover. Though I will say Landon has 2 meals he makes that I think are better than anything I’ve ever eaten: Cajun Pasta and Italian Chicken Soup. He really could have chosen to be a chef, the man can cook!

Favorite dessert?
We both have a love for the French Pantry’s Wedding Cake. That cake is amazing.

Favorite restaurant?
We have several. Though our tops favorites right now would be Bentos, The Burrito Gallery,   Timoti’s, and Chuys.

Favorite place to hang out in Jacksonville?
Wedding venues. Is that an option? Because on weekends that’s pretty much where you can find us. On a serious note we have started really loving beach trips.

What is your favorite thing to do around Jacksonville?

We have found a love as a family for searching for sharks teeth. We enjoy all going to the beach and searching for them. Yesterday we found four in one trip. It excites the kids, but poor Landon has yet to find one.

My son felt bad for him and brought a sharks tooth from home to place in front of Landon so he would see it and get excited he found a sharks tooth. Sadly Landon is so bad at it he can’t find sharks teeth we put right in front of him lol. But then again he is pretty much good at everything else, so we were shocked to find one thing he wasn’t good at.

What’s your favorite movie?
I would have to say A Walk To Remember. It is the movie we were watching when we had our first kiss. It will forever be my favorite.

What’s your favorite song?
I’ll Be- Edwin McCain. It’s our song.

Follow them here:


Vendor Feature: Unicorn Tea Party Jax

We recently did a portrait session with a bunch of little girls dressed up like princesses (dresses are available to borrow upon request from the studio!) and a unicorn. 

For a little fun this week, we’re interviewing Luna, our little unicorn.

My name is Luna the Unicorn and I am 11 months old and only 30” tall. While horses grow until they are 4 years old , I’m a miniature unicorn and am nearly done growing , even before my first birthday! 

 I am owned by Miss Kate and live with my best friend , a Doberman dog named Lyla. Miss Kate named me Luna because my silver dapples make me look like the moon and Luna is the Latin word for moon.  Which I guess makes me a Lunacorn! While most people will think all unicorns should be big and white , I love the fact that I am different by being small and silver. I have a long white mane and tail though , and little girls just love to brush and braid it! 

Miss Kate thinks I’m too cute to keep all to herself , so she thought that she would like to do animal therapy work by taking me to hospitals and nursing homes. Unfortunately , I am still too young. Therapy animals are required to be older and more experienced working in public , so Miss Kate came up with idea to start allowing me to attend birthday parties and posing as a model in order to meet the requirements for future therapy work. Miss Kate also practices with me at home. She has looked very silly trying to scare me with loud sounds and weird sights , but I always get a treat at the end so I don’t mind! 

To keep me pretty for birthday parties and photos, I have to get a regular haircut. So while I look beautiful, I am no longer able to be outdoors when it gets really cold. On mildly cold nights I sleep in my stable with a mini horse blanket that fits me like a coat. But on really cold nights Miss Kate lets me sleep in the house! You read it right, I sleep in the house. Miss Kate builds a little pen in her parlor and makes me a soft bed out of hay. I don’t cause any trouble at all and go right to sleep! 

I love going for rides in the truck! I am no bigger than a large dog, so I fit in the backseat of Miss Kate’s truck just fine. Even though the windows are tinted, people can somehow always see me inside! So if someone sees me at a stop light, Miss Kate will roll down the window so I can say hello. You should see the smiles when someone realizes a tiny unicorn wants to say HI! 

I just started my career as a Birthday Party VIP guest, and I must say, I LOVE IT! I get plenty of attention at home, but nothing compares to getting lots of hugs, kisses, and pretty hairdos from the children at a party. Even adults like to join in the fun! I also get to have my picture taken…..a lot. Now that’s what I really like! 

 I really want to be a model. I love getting washed and brushed and camera ready. I like seeing the girls in their pretty dresses posing for the camera. I know that meeting me will be a memory they will never forget, and I will never forget them either! I don’t have any children in my life, so the children I meet while I am working  fill my days with smiles, giggles, and love. And that makes me one happy unicorn. 

Want to book your own unicorn session with Luna?

We hope to book her again soon. Email Christy to let her know you want info!

Social Media Links:

You can find Luna on Facebook : https://www.facebook.com/unicornteapartyjax/

And Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/unicorn.tea.party.jax/