Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Whitney

From an eSession with Whitney and Ryan - they are AWESOME
people! They will be married on April 18, 2010!

Monday, December 28, 2009

Bucs Pull Supderdome Stunner!

It's been a rough year for the Bucs, but they pulled out an awesome
victory against the previously once beaten New Orleans Saints! They
came from 17 - 0 to tie the game and go into OT! Then they finished
strong and garnered their 3rd win of the year - 2 in a row! OMG!!!

It's cold here today (for us Floridians) - 52 right now.....

Check this out for a smile: http://video.tiscali.it/canali/truveo/611_1234581161.html

I woke this morning and the cold made me think of the mountains and
all the incredible memories we have made there. The picture below is The
Back Porch Restaurant - LOVE IT!

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Hello World!

Well... Hello world - I started this blog over 5 years ago now and I have
been lax lately on posting - I will do better :-)) It's a couple days after
Christmas and all is quiet. Charlie was in Iraq and Brook took Ava to her
parents - we did get to see them all Christmas afternoon on the webcam!
I had Brook on 1 screen and Charlie on another - too cool! We are excited
for Charlie's safe return - next month! We did get to share in Ty's 1st
Christmas and that was really AWESOME! He is almost 11 months now
and is excited about the world! We love our little man! Doug and Courtney
took off yesterday to Columbus, GA to visit Doug's brother so we are just
kicked back enjoying the quiet... I have an eSession on Tuesday and will
take about 8 or 9 naps between now and then :-) Linda is in the kitchen
making a quiche and a pumpkin pie - YUM..........

Yesterday the Gator Nation took a real bomb when Urban Meyer announced
that he will step down as head coach after the Sugar Bowl - WOW!!! He is
leaving to take care of his health and his family - I wish him well! I will miss
his intensity and persistence - he has been great for our football program.
He is the supreme competitor and his very nature enabled his health problems.
You can not explain to someone the level of competitiveness some reach - He,
like all truly intense warriors, are devastated far more by losses than they are
elevated by their wins.... Coach, I hope you get your health back to 110% and
come back and help others like you have helped all that been in your program!

ONCE A GATOR, ALWAYS A GATOR!!!!







these images are from the Orlando Sentinel



Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Where have you been???

Oops! It's been over a month since I posted..... I have been busy and life
has been crusin' on! I just got back from Louisville, Kentucky where we
photographed the wedding of Traci Hibberd and Chad Clifton - It was
SPECTACULAR! Chad is Brook's brother and we stayed at Lewis and
Connie's (Brook and Chad's parents) and ALL of the these people are
absolutely the finest people you could hope to meet!!! I love them all!
Oh yeah - AVA WAS THERE!!!!! Ava melts my heart just thinking about
her :-)) She is 19 months now and she is TOO COOL FOR SCHOOL!






Monday, October 26, 2009

Ava driving.....

In 1996 we bought Charlie a new Ford Ranger and he drove it through
high school, college and 4 years in the Army. I ended up with the truck
a few weeks ago and it still looks and runs great! Here is Ava, Charlie's
18 month old daughter driving Dad's truck!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Cephas, Ybor City

Used to be a really neat place.....



from Cephas himself....
Cephas tells it like he see's it! If you are over weight, he'll tell you by how much, just by sizing you at first glance! And he has no remorse for telling you, "You're Fat!, Come on Man, you're killing yourself!" He is a big believer of health through the consumption of Aloe Vera gel from the leaf of live aloe plants. Made into a smoothie by blending the gel from one elephant aloe leaf till it liquefies into a foamy liquid and then adding about four to six ounces of water and a small amount of ice. He does this on a daily basis as his grandfather did. Cephas is currently 57 years old, and has the health and vitality of a young man. Not a grey hair on his head, nor an ounce of fat to his weight. He is truly one of the most energetic grandfathers I have ever met. And the most generous people you will ever met, passing the word of his health success on to others, and helping them achieve a better well being for themselves.

Recently, Cephas had a bit of misfortune when a brand new coffee pot he had purchased from WalMart, made by General Electric, burnt his eating establishment, gutting the inside, and destroying all within. Years of memorabilia and all his equipment and amenities to run his Jamaican style restaurant were destroyed on the 9th of January 2006. But being the resilient soul that Cephas is, he has constructed a juice stand outside of his Hot Shop, where he sells his aloe smoothies, and Jamaican jerk chicken until he can resolve his dilemma with the battles he is facing from the Giant G.E. lawyers. In the mean time, Cephas is losing money daily, at the same time trying to fix his place on a shoe string budget so he can operate his business once again in a normal profitable manner.

If anyone who reads this, has the power within their means to help this man resolve the battles he is facing with the powerful lawyers G.E. is able to afford, it would be appreciated by many who want to see Cephas continue to thrive in our town so he can continue to help many find a healthier way of living.






Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Flo, Tampa

I have her for over 7 years now - WHAT A RIDE!!!!!! Flo is my 2002
Harley Davidson Road King and we have been through a LOT of curves
and hills together! She's still rock steady!

Friday, October 16, 2009

Heather & Keith

I had the honor of working last saturday at the beautiful Don CeSar
to photograph a gorgeous couple - Heather and Keith!!! They had
spectacular weather, all their friends and family at a wonderful
resort and that made for memorable wedding!

I was working with my buddy and new daddy - Jerry McGaghey the
creator of RockStar Sexy Wedding Photography!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Fortunate Guy!


I guess birthdays cause us to take a view of our lives and are
always a grand time to count our blessings... Well, I would
need a birthday MONTH as my life has been filled with such
truly incredible people and experiences!!! I had the most loving
parents a person could ever dream of - the perfect examples
of how to do it right!!! My childhood and schooling times were
over the top! Linda and I just had our 35th anniversary and
I have - without doubt - the 2 most phenomenal children ever!
And now - Ava and Ty, my precious grand babies, what else
could a man ask for??? There so many people and times that
have left wonderful impressions on my life that it would take
forever to list them all....

I turn 60 today and it's been an AWESOME ride - I remain VERY
thankful for all you really neat people in my life :-))

Cheers!

JDM

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Matt and Nina

Incredible couple! We recently shot an eSession with Matt and Nina
at the University of Tampa and thoroughly enjoyed it! Matt and Nina
are both wonderful folks and they will married November 14 in
Bradenton! We can't wait!




Friday, September 11, 2009

Ava and Ty

Last week Courtney and little Ty flew up to Tennessee to spend time
with Brook and Ava! It was the 1st time the 2 children have been
together and I am not sure who had a better time - the kids or the
Moms!!! Well obviously, I say that they are the 2 most beautiful
children in the world! Brook has more pictures to come of these
special memories!




Friday, September 04, 2009

Happy Birthday Wayne!

Wayne Armstrong was my brother in law. He had the happiest spirit of
anyone I've known! He always seemed content! My last visit was about 5
years ago and I had taken my Harley up to Wayne and Wanda's house in
the mountains of northwest Arkansas.... My words fail me when I try to
express the beauty I saw and the serenity of my visit... Wayne was like a
kid when we got there and we couldn't wait until we were leaning into
the curves in this slice of heaven he called home! I can often tell how long
someone has been driving a motorcycle by the way they handle their
bikes - Wayne, without doubt, was one of the best, most natural riders
I have ever been around! He was "one with his bike" and he smiled unceasingly!!!!
He had mastered "happy"!!!!

Wayne died last year - it broke Linda's heart incredibly, as well as his life
partner/wife Wanda and Helen and THE grandson Tyler - LOTS of love!
Today would have been his birthday! Some will shed a tear. some will
remember fondly and I will smile- thinking of my buddy on his bike....

Rest high on the mountain, my friend!

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Happy Birthday Courtney!

Today our baby turns 27! Courtney became a Mom in January
and it has been a big year for her! Ty is wishing his Mom the
best birthday ever!!!! Court is stoked over the upcoming Gator
Football season!
Courtney and Ty will make their 1st plane trip together next
week when they fly to see Brook and Ava in Tennessee!

Happy Brithday Court - we love you!




Thursday, August 27, 2009

Happy Birthday Harley!

Harley is our male Lab and he turns 5 today! He stole our hearts before we
ever got him and he has been a big ball of love and fun ever since... As you
can see, he thinks our bed is his!



Guess who is coming tonight???

Monday, August 17, 2009

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Magazine Ad

This is our new magazine ad for Florida Brides magazine! The image is
from a wedding I shot in June and Steve created and designed the ad.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Take care of Brook and the Bong....

Here we were - again - in that awkward moment when we both have our
hearts in our throats - and Charlie says " I love you Dad - take care of Brook
and the Bong"...... Then silence - and that numbness.... This really sucks!
My son was boarding a plane to head back to Iraq. I'm proud to tell anyone
and everyone about my Special Forces soldier, but these moments are the
worst. Every waking moment will be filled with thoughts for his safety and
speedy trip home.. The Bong - is short for "Bing-Bong" one of his pet names
for Ava - his gorgeous daughter...

I'll think of times on the mountains, oysters at the Crab Shack and count
the days until my boy comes back to Brook and the Bong... and Dad...

I love you son - hurry home!



Saturday, June 20, 2009

Ty meets Aunt Brook!

Charlie and Brook came for a vacation and it was the 1st chance they
have had to see Ty.... Brook fell in love immediately and they formed
quite a friendship in minutes...

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Felicia and Michael

I had the distinct honor of 2nd shooting with the incomparable Phillip Lloyd
this past Saturday as Felicia and Mike celebrated their wedding day!
Felicia was a beautiful bride and the ceremony was a memorable time
for the couples' families!






Sunday, May 24, 2009

A debt we can NOT repay....

I recently finished "5 Years to Freedom" - Colonel Nick Rowe's memories
of his 5 years as prisoner of war in Vietnam! It was INCREDIBLE! It was
my companion for months as I would read at lunches and whenever I
could squeeze in some time. I was quickly taken back over 40 years
and relived this war through the eyes and spirit of a young Special Forces
soldier taken captive in 1962... I found myself mad, sad and a myriad of
other emotions as I read how this incredibly brave man fought with every
fiber of his spirit to survive and hold fast to his convictions! I literally
cheered and had tears runs down my face the day I read of his escape
and reunion with his fellow soldiers! I have no idea how he - or any of
our brave young guys survive such horror... I asked my son once as he
finished Ranger school how he lasted - he replied he had learned to
"live without limits"....

On this Memorial Day, I am humbled and thankful for all the brave souls
that fought and died for our freedoms....

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Pass-A-Grille Beach

One of the most beautiful areas ANYWHERE is Pass-A-Grille on the southern
tip of Gluf Blvd in St. Petersburg... the end of the road... I grew playing here
and there are many tales of fishing and smuggling that play a big part of the
history of this area. It is a MUST see! This shot is from the top of the famed
Hurricane Restaurant... We will be headed there again on the 30th to capture
the story of Marcela and Chris' wedding!!!

Monday, May 18, 2009

Soon to be 3!

2 of the "Super People" in my life are Jerry and Mandi - shown here
last November at a wedding we were shooting! You can not meet
better peeps anywhere! They recently found out that they will become
parents in September!!! They have spoiled their beloved dogs and
cats for years - now they will have a "Little Mac"....


Friday, May 08, 2009

Tough Day

It started over a week ago... The periods of long lost stares and no words...
Last night we had our last call and that's always a heart stopper - at that
point we were both feeling abut as empty as a parent can feel... Sleep was
so elusive, Linda was up since 3 - at 5:30 we were staring at the clock
knowing it was 4:30 where he was and it was time to go - again!
Our son is a soldier - one that has been through the most intense training
in the world and he travels with other "Chosen Soldiers".... It still scares
a Mom and a Dad to the depths of our souls... We are extremely proud of
our son and all that he has achieved and accomplished, but when he has
to go "do what he does" Linda and I remained gripped by an intense fear
that comes along with being a parent.... I simply will not draw a breath
until he returns without his face on my mind...
If you see a Mom or a Dad next week that has a son or daughter in the war,
go up and give them a hug - they will appreciate it...
I've ALWAYS been in awe of the incredible mutual love I have shared with
my son and in these times I am thankful to have such a powerful love in
my life...

Hurry home son......

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Happy Birthday Sweet Ava!

The year has flown by!!!

I have a high school friend that I have lunch with every few months
and he always turns the conversation to his grandchildren - a glow
comes across his face as he tells me tales of the little people that
stole his heart! A year ago today I came to understand that perpetual
smile and just how much a baby could melt you.... Ava has grown into
a beautiful little girl and we are just beginning!!! I do not have the words
to describe just how much she means to me... so I will just continue
smiling!!! Thank you Charlie and Brook for this most precious of gifts!

Pap-Paw loves you Ava!


Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Tatiana & Peter

It was a beautiful day at a gorgeous resort - The Sandpearl
on Clearwater Beach, for these 2 wonderful people to celebrate
the start of their new life together! We had flaming sword dancers,
Russian toasts and broken glass! AWESOME! I was working with the
infamous Jerry McGaghey and we both learned new words and saw
sights we had not seen before! We had a great time!

Shout-out to Ian Prosser at Botanica for the incredible flowers and
arrangement - they are truly in a league of their own!