Chris & Laurie | The Lodge Ponte Vedra Wedding Photographer

If I remember right, I was stopping at Target on my way home from work one day to find my wife a birthday present and while I was enduring the challenge every husband faces of “which candle scent have I NOT bought her yet” my phone rang. Chris initially found me through a Google search but we went on to find out we are both Eleven22’ers AND he has done the same Panama mission trip that I’ve done. (By the way, after viewing this post, if you haven’t already then go look at the PANAMA post too. You won’t regret it.) So we immediately hit it off! I got a chance later on to sit with him and Laurie together as they decided to hire me for their wedding.

Chris and Laurie had an amazing beach wedding surrounded by close family and friends at Ponte Vedra’s Lodge. They are a wonderful, compassionate, genuine and beautiful couple who I can honestly say I am glad I had the privilege of meeting. Take a look at their big day and join me in congratulating these two on many years of marriage to come!

Infinitely Valuable - Night to Shine Fan Film

This past Friday night I got to experience the Night To Shine event put on by the Tim Tebow Foundation and…..


All I can say is, I don’t know what you were doing that night, it may have been something fun, but it could not have been better than this. I will never be the same. Multiple times while filming this I was holding back tears.

Forget harps and fluffy clouds. If you want to know what Heaven will probably be like, it’s this event. Do yourself a big favor next year and do whatever you can to be there. Trust me, you won’t regret it.

Ty & Mary | Bowing Oaks Plantation Wedding Photographer

Ty & Mary. Two very awesome people. That’s how I’m choosing to open this post.

I can’t say enough how impressed I am with this couple. When we first met for their EPIC engagement session, we all hit it off right away. Like me, Ty and Mary are fellow Jesus people and it is always an added blessing for me to get to work with other Christians. During their engagement shoot I asked for the story behind their proposal and found out they were doing a couple’s bible study together on Romans 12 and afterward, Ty got down on one knee and popped the question. Boom! That’s how it’s done folks. They also incorporated their faith into their wedding in many other ways too. My personal favorite was the creative spin they put on the traditional guest book by instead having their guests sign their bible and highlight a bible verse in it. SOOO awesome. (By the way if you’re looking for a good one to study for yourself, I recommend Romans 8:1. Here is a video about it that might just change your life.)

Ty and Mary had a stunning winter wedding at the beautiful Bowing Oaks Plantation in Jacksonville, FL. The temps were a little low but luckily the clouds cleared out and the sunshine helped warm us back up just a bit. Join me in saying a very big congratulations to these two and wishing them a very long and wonderful marriage!

And thank you to the very talented Janet Chrys Photography for coming along and shooting alongside me. Go check her out!

Kirk Family Homecoming

So on Thanksgiving day I got an email from Jenna about this awesome opportunity to capture a unique family moment on video. Her husband Jesse is in the military and went on a 7 month deployment. During his deployment Jenna gave birth to their first-born child, a beautiful baby girl named Jianna. Now, I am a dad to two little girls myself and so I can’t even imagine what it must be like for military families who end up going through these kind of situations. Getting connected with Jenna gave me a whole new appreciation for the sacrifices they have to make.

So real quick before you watch the video, I need to give a BIG shout out to Alex Slupski who stepped in and at the last minute filled in for me and filmed the actual event. (What you’ll see I merely did the edit for.) I was originally supposed to film but after Jesse’s return was delayed by a day due to weather, my schedule no longer allowed me to make it out. Alex stepped up and on very short notice got the job done. He is seriously, THE MAN. He is crazy talented and you should check him out by going to Hiring him for a video project is money well spent!

Ok that’s all for now. Join me in saying a very big CONGRATULATIONS to the Kirk family on their homecoming! Now grab some tissues and take a look!

Ty & Mary | Washington Oaks Gardens State Park Engagement

So….this one was special. Here’s the story…

Neither Ty or Mary are from Jax but they’re getting married at Bowing Oaks in January. After they hired me to be their photographer, we had to wait until a good opportunity for them to be in town in order to do their engagement session. She is on a rescue team for SeaWorld and he was recently drafted by the St. Lous Cardinals. (That’s awesome.) It happened to work out that this past weekend was the best for their schedules. We decided on Washington Oaks because it has a great variety to get both tree canopy shots in the park with an epic rock covered beach right across the street. (Not something you see a lot of in Florida.) I’ve shot there a few times before and I’m ALWAYS fighting for position with other photographers, especially on the rock beach when the sun is setting. Well, not this time…

I don’t know how else to explain it other than, God smiled on these two and I happen to be the lucky one who got to capture it. Never in my 10+ years of doing this have I gotten an ending to an engagement shoot like this one. We walked out to the beach and over to the rocks at sunset and……..NO ONE was out. We had the whole thing to ourselves. On top of that, ZERO wind. ON THE BEACH! So I was able to put my light stand up WITH an umbrella attached to it and walk away and not worry at all that it would tip over. And then to top it all off the most AMAZING firey purple pink orange sunset I have EVER had AND it was right over our heads. Plus it was 70 degrees and no humidity, IN FLORIDA. That combo of conditions just does NOT happen EVER. Period. God smiled on these two.

Oh and I’d like to also point out, as we were wrapping the shoot I asked Ty how he proposed. His answer? Well it went something like this. “We were reading Romans 12 together and then I got down on one knee and asker her to marry me.” Folks, that’s what you call…The Man.

James & Katie Wedding (VIDEO) | Epping Forest Yacht Club

James and Katie had an absolutely stunning wedding on the river at Epping Forest Yacht Club this past weekend. Katie was the makeup artist for a couple of previous weddings I’ve shot which is how she found me and I’m glad I got the call because this one has turned out to be one of my favorites. Join me and wishing these two a very big congratulations and a wonderful future together!

A Message For Parents - Doug Fields

Are you a parent? Well then do yourself a VERY big favor and take the next 45 minutes to watch this teaching. By tomorrow you are not going to remember most of the useless junk you scrolled through on Instagram or Facebook. So why not do something right now that could have an incredibly positive impact on your children??

THIS VIDEO WILL MAKE YOU A BETTER PARENT. Or at least, if you respond to it’s teachings it will. So watch this for the benefit of not just yourself, but even more importantly….watch this for THEM.

Worth it.

Alex & Kristi Wedding (VIDEO)

Kristi and Alex had a beautiful oceanside wedding at the historic Casa Marina hotel in Jacksonville Beach. I had a great time working with them on what has turned out to be one of my favorite wedding trailers to date! Take a look back at their special day and join me in wishing these two a wonderful marriage together for years to come!

A Heart for Panama

If you've been following along with me here, you may be familiar with my 2016 mission trip to Panama with Eleven22. That trip was absolutely incredible and had an enormous impact on my life. Fast forward to 2018 and I was called back to Panama but this time as a trip leader. And once changed.

Come along with me and take a look at The Church of Eleven22 Panama B 2018 Mission Trip!



So I really have to start with this before I get into anything else. Two trips now and it's official, the people of Panama have set up shop and now have a permanent address in my heart. Including one little girl in particular who, moving forward, will be a major part of my life. Her name is Krislyn. She is 7 years old and was clearly the reason I was meant to go back to Panama. Let's start with her, and then I'll take you through the rest of the trip.

So if you ever go on the Panama trip with Eleven22, you'll get to participate in the Manos De Fe Family Assistance Outreach. Manos De Fe translates, "Hands of Faith" and it is a Christian ministry based in Caisan, Panama founded in 2008 by Julie and Gary Proctor from Jacksonville, FL. (To keep things simple, I'll refer to Manos De Fe as the "Mission House" or "Mission Partner" from here on.) The program involves bringing things like food, soap, toothpaste and medical supplies to families in the area that are in pretty desperate need. The program helps to get them back on their feet and as families graduate out of the assistance program and become self-sufficient, they have the opportunity to transfer services to another local family.

When I went to Panama the first time in 2016, one of the first homes that I visited on the program was Krislyn's. (Although on that trip I never learned her name or went inside the home.) I remember seeing her for the first time as she curiously peeked her head out through the front door. Once she worked up a bit more courage, she stepped all the way out and I got this picture of her. We dropped off the food, said a prayer for the family and then left. I truly thought that was probably the last time I would ever see her again.

Of all the images I got during that trip, this one by far left the biggest impact on me. Probably due to the fact it was my first trip after becoming a parent myself and I have two daughters of my own. But it just stuck with me in a way I am not real sure I have words for. It's almost like it's been imprinted on my soul.


Fast forward to 2018 and my first opportunity to do the Family Assistance Outreach for this trip just so happen to be Krislyn's home again. Now keep in mind, I had absolutely nothing to do with which homes I'd go to and when. There were others on the team who had already started going to other homes in the area before I had my chance to go on one. And even when it was my turn, the Mission Partner is still the one who selects the different homes to go to each day. We just go wherever they tell us. So once again, I did not choose to make her home the first family I went to. It was chosen for me. And none of them would have known I had that strong memory of Krislyn from two years prior.

Now, I am not someone who believes in coincidences. In other words, I believe there is a God, and he has everything planned out ahead of time. So I don't believe it was an accident that almost two years apart (to the day) that the very FIRST child I see on the outreach is the same one that had left that big impact on me from before.

So as I walked up to the house once again, memories from the previous trip started flashing through my mind. As we approached the door, I started to think to myself "I wonder if that same little girl still lives here." We knocked on the door and kindly called out "Hola" and when the door opened up........there she was........two years older......and with a look just as striking as before.

2018 trip.

Right away something just started working in my heart. After the rest of the team had moved on to another family's home, I stayed behind with one of the mission partners and a translator and we had a chance to go inside the house (something I did not have an opportunity to do on the past trip) and learn more about their family dynamic. When I stepped into the home and saw how incredibly small the living space was (about the same area as my kitchen) it was terribly sad. Krislyn, her three siblings and mother all share the space. The dad is not a part of her life and it's likely she has never even met him. Then we pulled back a dirty old bed sheet hanging on a wire to act as a curtain and I saw the bedrooms, if you can even call them that.

Then my heart pretty much broke in two.

It was at this moment that something in me started saying that I was being brought back to this girl for a reason and I needed to step in and help them more but wasn't quite sure how yet. Eventually we left the house to catch up with the team but the thought of sweet Krislyn stayed heavily on my mind the rest of the day. But once again, I was starting to wonder if that was the last time I'd see her for the rest of the trip, or quite possibly ever again. In fact, I began to heavily regret that I had not stopped to take a picture with her and I missed an opportunity. The thought was eating me up all night after that.

The next day, I had just returned with a small group from a morning outing and I was making my way back into the mission house for lunch. When I opened the front door, much to my surprise, there was little Krislyn standing right there looking at me in a pretty dress with a little bow in her hair. I can't even tell you the excitement that I experienced in my soul in that moment. I think I started saying to her (in english of course) Hey there you are! You're here! It's you! (Which she wouldn't have understood at all.) But I was just extremely excited. Of course, I had to stop and get a picture with her this time JUST in case.

(Notice the orange sticker on her dress. Keep reading.)


Quick rewind, when I went to Panama in 2016, there was a guy on the team with me named Paul Martinez. It was his first ever mission trip. In Paul's own words he will tell you "I did not even want to go." But thank goodness he did because like many others who finally work up the courage to try one of these trips, it changed his life. Paul is the President and CEO of the Boys and Girls Club of Northeast Florida. After he saw the conditions down there and being moved in his heart to act, he decided to turn the mission house into the local chapter of Boys and Girls Club for Panama! So not only does it help serve it's missionary purposes, but now during the week they house 57 local children each day to come after school to receive hot meals, homework support, English lessons, technology training and more. And when you live in a part of the world that has virtually nothing, that means this is a BIG deal to these kids. There are no movie theaters, theme parks or arcades around. In fact, most of these kids have no clue those things exist. So if you get to be a "Boys and Girls Club" kid, you are envied by all the other kids around town! There is simply no other opportunity that exists like this available to these children.

Ok so all that being said, slightly confused on how Krislyn could be there, I later found out that the mission house is fronting the money to allow some of the kids to come to the program after school but that little orange sticker on Krislyn's dress meant, she was one of the kids that needed a sponsor to pay for her membership otherwise eventually she'd be unable to keep attending. So after some thought, prayer, and sending the pictures of her room to my wife back in Jax, she gave me the go ahead and said "Let's sponsor her!" So by the end of the trip, I went back to Krislyn's home and had the rare privilege of telling the mother in person that I had decided to pick up her daughter's sponsorship. Some tears were exchanged along with some hugs. It was one of the most fulfilling and incredible experiences of my life. And I'll NEVER forget it.

So much more gratifying than a Carnival Cruise or Sandals Resort. Nothing wrong with doing those things, I like being on boats, I'm just can't compare.


So before I take you on the rest of the trip, here are just a few more images I captured of this sweet precious girl who now means so much to me. I would also like to point out that the next wedding I am hired to shoot, 100% of the cost will go towards Krislyn's sponsorship. So if you're reading this and know someone getting married, let them know about this unique opportunity to help! ALSO, her little brother still needs a sponsor as well. So if you're feeling any kind of tug on your heart, just visit and click on DONATE to help him too! It is only $40/month to sponsor him. A few less cups of Starbucks and maybe eating at home once or twice a month and you've just massively increased this kid's chance of making a life for himself. And I can guarantee you that you would not trade the full feeling you'll get in your heart for that temporary feeling you'd have in your stomach even for one second.

Want to learn more about kids who need sponsors? Watch this short interview from the Principal of the Club.

Ok back to Krislyn...

Did you notice her shirt said "FOLLOW ME" on it? Again, I do NOT believe in coincidences. ;)

Ok, thank you for taking the time to read all of that. I hope it did something for you today. Now let's look at the rest of the trip.

The Ngobe

So one of the most intriguing parts of places like Panama is that there are still pockets of families that are practicing a cultural way of living that has its roots in the Ngobe (No-Bay) Indian tribe. I am not exactly sure how far the culture dates back but in present day Panama, it has unfortunately resulted in prejudice among some the local communities.

Ethnically speaking, there are not any differences that I am aware of between Ngobe Panamanians and the other Panamanians. Economically speaking however, it is quite clear that families who still practice Ngobe culture are considered to be "less than" or a lower class of people. The Ngobe hold tight to their cultural roots. Therefore very few of them are able to own land, have the appropriate government paperwork and are unable to attend school which puts them at a great social disadvantage. In some cases this has resulted in many families with children who live in homes with dirt floors, no electricity, and inadequate water supplies. And furthermore, this means many of the kids are malnourished and when they get sick they are unable to obtain simple medicines to treat their conditions. One family below even recently lost a baby due to these circumstances.

One of the Mission House's initiatives in Panama is to bridge the gap between the local people groups by showing love and respect for the Ngobe families regardless of their socioeconomic class. Efforts like this can take years to see changes happen in cultural behavior but I am happy to report that cracks in the barrier are starting to show and they are now seeing more and more Ngobe people interacting with the other locals and even some being hired for open jobs. This is a BIG deal. But the challange is still an up hill climb.


Julie's heart for the Ngobe showing up here as she begins to tear up and pray for this girl. Julie and her husband Gary founded the Mission House and are truly some of the most inspiring people I have ever met.

The Boys on the Hill

So this is not just some clever name I came up with for the section of the blog post. These kids have actually become known in the area as "The Boys on the Hill" because, you guessed it. They live on these steep hills.

The exact details escape me now but, the story goes something like, their family is extremely poor but has been picking up some farming jobs on the various hills in this part of the land but about every 9 months once the work is up for that project, they have to pack up and move to another hill. It just rips your heart out for these kids. True survivors.

The Panamanians

Here are some more families in the area who are struggling to make ends meet but with very little resources available to get the help they need. This first family below also had some particularly sad circumstances they were going through. The grandparents at this home were keeping their 4 year old granddaughter because her mom and dad did not want her. (They had left her behind for a party life in Panama City.) We brought them food and supplies and prayed for the best outcome for the child. The gratitude of the grandparents was shown to us when the grandfather went into his chili garden and picked us some fresh chili's. For a family with so little, this was a BIG gift from them!

95 Years Young

This man was born in 1923 making him 95 years old. And this is where he lives and sleeps. Sure makes me feel silly for ever complaining about the luxuries I own. Every day he slowly walks several miles from here down to the village area although I don't remember exactly why. But spoiler alert, it is very HOT in Panama and it rains And not just a light drizzle. Torrential downpour. So when it starts raining, if he's not within several yards of cover, he gets soaked. Every day.

The most humbling thing I remember from meeting him was, although he lives in a house that is about the size of a small bathroom, and he has a significant amount of joint pain and health problems, when we asked him what he needed prayer for, he replied by saying he didn't want prayer for any of his own needs, and to simply pray and thank God for our visit to him. Pretty remarkable really. Don't let that scoot passed you too quickly.

Clase de Musica!

So one of the big plans for me personally on this trip was to get some of the kids exposed to playing musical instruments. Music has always been a big part of my life and I love to pass it on to others. Especially kids. On my last trip in 2016, I gave away a guitar to one local boy who later on went on to become an amazing musician and to this day sends me emails saying what an impact it has had on his life.

So we set out to do the same by teaching some guitar and keyboard to the little ones throughout the trip. My hope is that one day some of these kids will pass on the same to future generations as they remember the first time they held a guitar when some random white dude in a Star Wars t-shirt showed up one day and showed them how to hold a G chord.

Local Schools and Generosity of Others

So one of the other big plans we had for this trip was to bless the local schools with some much needed supplies. Once again, resources in these areas are very hard to come by. And one of my amazing co-leaders Jamey has a big heart for helping teachers and students. So we collected a bunch of school supplies back here in the U.S. and loaded them up in extra suitcases to give away in Panama. This is just one of the local schools we helped out. We started the day off with me totally butchering the song "Happy and You Know it" in Spanish (hey it got the kids laughing) and then later donated the supplies to the teachers. The response was awesome.

I need to do a special shout out for my AMAZING co-workers at St. John & Partners Advertising Agency for all of their support. Look at all of the stuff they sent me down to Panama with. ( These are just some of the faces of the kids you helped. Thank you for your generosity! You are quite literally the answer to these people's prayers!

Cerro Punto

Throughout the hard work and long days, we did find some time to break off and enjoy some sights. Including one town called Cuerro Punto that had different villages, shops and a steep hike up one of the mountains with an incredible view for the payoff. Not to mention 60 degree weather that felt amazing.


Cami finding an unexpected souviner. 

Co-Leaders and New Friends

My amazing co-leaders, David and Jamey Burns. Two people who now mean a whole lot to me! It was a privilege to serve along side you and lead this brave and bold team together! Thank you for being shoulders for me to lean on. I truly hope we get the opportunity to lead together again in the future. I am forever grateful for you two. Your hearts for Panama are as big as those mountains behind us. And I know you will both continue to do incredible things with your ministry in the years to come!!



To finish up, I thought it would be fitting to end on this. You may have noticed the older guy throughout the pictures with the cool safari looking hat. The one that looks kind of like Steve Spurrier (and actually kind of sounds like him too.) Two years ago was the first time I met James. I had no idea what was about to hit me. He is one of the most brave, courageous, humble and selfless people I have ever been around. I vividly remember the discussion we had one night when he gave me his back story. He was living in Texas working hard to make a good living. He was running his own business and things were going really well. As it grew and grew, he continued adding on more staff and hitting bigger and bigger sales numbers. He was quite literally living the American Dream. Business was going well. Really well.

Then one day something in him changed.

In his exact words to me that night he said "I couldn't get satisfaction from those things anymore." So he gave it all up, left the business behind and moved down to Costa Rica where he now resides. In the years since, he spends his time driving his pickup truck between Costa Rica and Panama getting to know all of the families in the assistance program. And he is the one who drives the different mission teams to each home and arranges the bags that have the various foods, soaps and medical supplies for each family. And he does it all for either no pay or virtually nothing. I've never seen anyone quite like him before.

Thank you James for your inspiration, devotion and your love for Jesus that has left me strangely jealous of the life you now live. I hope to be like you are when I am older.


Hasta La Vista...Baby

If you actually read all of this, please tell me so I can A) personally thank you and B) buy you lunch. Trips like these mean A LOT to the people who go on them. So any time someone shows even a little bit of interest in hearing how they went, believe me, the person you ask about it will be THRILLED that you said something.

It can be challenging to go off to another country like this and spend a week in the trenches in some of the poorest conditions imaginable only to come back home to an American lifestyle that can suddenly seem very.....well, selfish.

At the time I am typing this, I am personally experiencing some of those feelings. Although I know in a couple weeks from now I may resort to my own selfish ways of thinking. So I cannot judge anyone. But if this trip has left any kind of impression on your heart, I STRONGLY encourage you to ask more questions about how you can be a part of one of them too. Just talk to anyone who's gone on a mission trip, specificially with Eleven22, and they will all tell you the same thing...... I wouldn't trade it for the world!



Black Widow Trailer (Parody)

About 8 months ago I left the ad agency I was working for to start with another agency in downtown Jacksonville called St. John & Partners. Now at 35 years old, and having been in the corporate workforce since I was 19 years old, I can honestly say of all the places I've worked, this company is the most amazing. In my short time I have already made several close friends. Everything from the office space, to the work and especially the people....the place is truly special. I've never seen or been a part of a work culture quite like this before.

Throughout the year the company does several events to keep us all engaged and building up our relationships with one another. The most recent event was right up my alley because it was an internal competition to split the company up into teams and see who could come up with the best "short film trailer" based on a randomly chosen historical piece or fairytale. The team I ended up on drew Goldilocks and The Three Bears and were tasked with coming up with creative and modern retelling of the story. It was SO MUCH fun to make and it was awesome getting to know some new faces in the company. With all that being said, I welcome you to watch our submission of "Gold Widow" a modern spin on the character of Goldilocks. Enjoy!