Mandalorian Mercs Costume Club – An Armor Making Story Session

The Mandalorian Mercs is an international costume club dedicated to helping charities and creating movie-quality costumes for conventions and fundraisers. Some of the members from South Florida invited us to be a part of one of their armor making events. As a wife of a Star Wars fan and a lover of cosplay I was excited to see the behind the scenes. We started off in the backyard, watching as they cut their armor out and painted the details onto weapons and helmets. Midway through there was break for coffee and cookie cake and when the final touches were complete we ventured out the Everglades to get some photographs of their completed costumes.

This was such a unique experience and a great start to our Story Sessions. If you’re interested in joining the Mandalorian Mercs let us know and we’ll happily get you in contact with someone from the South Florida chapter. Here are a few of the pictures from our day!

"Mandalorian Mercanaries of South Florida Costume Modification P "Mandalorian Mercanaries of South Florida Costume Modification P

 

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Night Owl Street Market Festival, NE 6th Street, Fort Lauderdale, Lucky Elephant Photography

Night Owl Market Street Festival – Fort Lauderdale

If you enjoy music, art and easy-going fun in Fort Lauderdale you’ll have to add the the Night Owl Market Street Festival to your calendar. Every couple months thousands of people can be found on NE 6th Street supporting locals businesses, artists and musicians.  Among the shopping, eating and experiences there is something for everyone of every age, guaranteeing a good time for all. Among the highlights there is free entertainment, free beer for anyone over 21 all night long, a playground for kids, free wildlife habitats, tree giveaways for any Fort Lauderdale residents and an array of gourmet food trucks. The goal of the event is to fuse arts, small business, community & sustainability.

We had a lot of fun browsing all the booths and came home with some free butterfly plants, bits and pieces from local artists and caprese grilled cheese to-go. YUM! Hope to see you at the next one!

The official FB event page can be found here.

Night Owl Street Market Festival, NE 6th Street, Fort Lauderdale Night Owl Street Market Festival, NE 6th Street, Fort Lauderdale, Lucky Elephant Photography

Night Owl Street Market Festival, NE 6th Street, Fort Lauderdale, Lucky Elephant Photography

Night Owl Street Market Festival, NE 6th Street, Fort Lauderdale, Lucky Elephant Photography

Free Wildlife Habitats for Fort Lauderdale residents.

Night Owl Street Market Festival, NE 6th Street, Fort Lauderdale, Lucky Elephant Photography Night Owl Street Market Festival, NE 6th Street, Fort Lauderdale, Lucky Elephant Photography

Night Owl Street Market Festival, NE 6th Street, Fort Lauderdale, Lucky Elephant Photography

Randy Brown at the Ant Del Designs booth.

Night Owl Street Market Festival, NE 6th Street, Fort Lauderdale, Lucky Elephant Photography

Art by Ant Del Designs.

Night Owl Street Market Festival, NE 6th Street, Fort Lauderdale, Lucky Elephant Photography Night Owl Street Market Festival, NE 6th Street, Fort Lauderdale, Lucky Elephant Photography CR_NightOwlFest-2

 

If you want to be a vendor you can sign up here.

 

Lucky Elephant Photography serving Broward County South Florida. Specializing in photography that tells a story.

Story Sessions with Lucky Elephant Photography

Somewhere along the lines I lost touch of my true passion in photographing people in what I thought were the technicalities of portrait photography. The things I thought I had to do in order to gain respect or be looked at like I knew what I was doing. I spent a lot of time and investment in learning poses and techniques for setting up people to look their best. Positioning them nicely in a park or a beach. I even learned studio posing, for what I thought I needed. Telling my clients to, “Say Cheese!” or “Open your eyes at the count of 3!” wasn’t something I ever felt proud of doing but it’s what I thought I had to do to get ‘that shot’. This is the traditional way of portrait photography and it’s the way most people think it has to be. It’s the way I thought it had to be and what I thought was the ‘must do’ to be a professional family photographer.

Then I had an epiphany one night while trying to select three of my favorite photographs of my daughter for a frame. Suddenly it clicked in my head and I realized that posing and forced smiles or fake emotions aren’t present in any of them. Most of them are beautifully composed, yes, but they are all genuine real moments. All my favorite pictures of my own family and of others’ families have always been the candid ones too. Once this dawned on me I instantly realized why I’ve had a hard time promoting this business. I didn’t believe in what I was doing. I was stoked to be taking pictures of people and wanted to keep doing it but the people in the frames weren’t behaving naturally and it always felt off to me. Who just stands in the middle of a field with their family, all facing the same way, arm to arm, smiling in a certain direction instead of at each other? The answer is no one. It wasn’t what I loved in my heart. I didn’t feel like I was capturing real people and that’s what makes my heart sing. That’s what fuels me to work so hard. I couldn’t bare to take more time away from my family while posing others in ways they would never naturally be.

Story Photography by Lucky Elephant Photography

While I love each one of my clients and the experiences we’ve had shooting, a whole lot of me wishes I hadn’t been so worried with poses and techniques, backgrounds, baskets and props. I wish I could have sat down with my clients, gotten to know them a little better, then accompany them on an adventure or spend a day in their home, capturing real moments between each other, telling their individual unique story.

To me, it’s not the nice park setting with the pretty trees. It’s not making sure to stand in the direction of the wind so that your hair won’t fall in your face when posing out on the beach.  It’s not the perfect smiles or the fake laughs. It’s not wrapping up newborns and setting them in buckets. It’s not jingling bells so babes will look at the camera. It’s not about props and backdrops. It’s about the love and the connection – and I let the poses and the technicalities get in the way of that.

To me, it’s about the way a child looks at her mother, or the way a daughter’s hand can fit inside of her father’s just so. It’s about the miracle of birth or joining hands in marriage. It’s about a first trip to the zoo, children wide eyed with wonder. It’s about a carnival date between two lovers, sharing funnel cakes and kisses. It’s about celebrations and parties, exploring and adventures, days spent at home and evening walks on the beach. It’s about tears over spilled milk. It’s about the real moments. Most importantly, it’s about the small little things that we don’t think to get captured but end up missing the most over the years.

Story Photography by Lucky Elephant Photography

 

The standard posed portrait is the way people think it’s supposed to be, the way they think it has to be. Well I’m here to break the tradition of the standard portraits. I’ve done them and I’ve not done them and now I know I don’t need them. I want to capture real genuine moments. I want to create photographs that will become family treasures. I want people to look at my images and be able to feel something. Those small special moments or special occasions that time takes away too quickly, I want to preserve them forever and that is exactly what we are doing here now. We are telling real life stories one beautiful album at a time.

 

If you’re interested in having your family’s memories photographed by us send a message via the Book a Shoot page or call and leave a message at (954) 900-9927. Because I am super duper excited about this change, we are currently offering session discounts for a limited amount of time if you let us come along and capture something super fun and unique! Let’s chat!

Those of you that read along or that continue to work with us, thank you!

Much Love,
Amanda Ballard
Owner of Lucky Elephant Photography

 

Richard and Whitney {Engagement Session}

Richard and Whitney are two very cool, down to earth people. If you get the pleasure of spending more than a couple minutes with them you can see they are more than just lovers, but best friends. Most anything he says is guaranteed to make her laugh and the way he looks at her is just perfect. Whitney and I got to spent a lot of time talking about her family and their upcoming destination wedding out of the country!! How is amazing is that?

Their love for each other is just a small part of why this session was so special to me. It was the end of an era for Lucky Elephant Photography but the start of something new. You can start to see bits and pieces of the change if you snoop around our website but that’s all I’m saying for now. Get excited and keep your eyes out for a future blog post because this one is all about Whitney and Richard!

All the moments spent with these two were a breeze and fun! Here are a few of their favorite pictures from their engagement session.

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Lisa and Donny {Engagement Session}

Lisa and Donny were our first engagement session of 2015. An engagement session is meant to capture and celebrate the love between two people. They are a wonderful and fun way to start off any wedding story! We shot at my favorite of our exclusive parks and it was such a pleasure. The lighting was great, the weather was perfect and the two of them were super cute with great chemistry to boot. I really really really can’t wait to capture the rest of their wedding day story in October! They are going to love their photographic heirlooms. Here are just a couple of our favorite digitals from the session!

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Emilie & Seth {Quickie Family Session}

Emilie and Seth brought Giana and Mason to meet me for a quickie photo session in celebration of Mason’s 3rd birthday! I don’t typically do solo mini sessions if the star of the session is under 5 as it’s just too much pressure to expect them to take direction in such a short amount of time but Emilie had been waiting and asking for so long, I had to! Mase’s big sister was so sweet and soon Mason is going to be a big brother himself, Congratulations Emilie and Seth!

LuckyElephantPhotography_Emilie Continue reading

The Perfect Christmas Gift!

Look no further! I have just helped simply your holiday shopping. Simply send me a picture or a screen shot of the picture(s) from your session that you would like to use with the words you want on the other side. Order by December 6th to guarantee you’ll have it in time to pass out or to hang on your own tree for Christmas. Seriously folks, metals prints of any kind are stunning.. These are wonderful little keepsakes and they will last for generations. Message me via FB or e-mail me at Amanda@LuckyElephantPhotography.com with your info! Happy Holidays!

MetalPrints_LEP

Family Sunrise Session

Okay. Okay.. I just have to say that I think this family deserves a golden medal for this session. I only do beach sessions at sunrise for multiple reasons and when I found out this family of EIGHT was interested I wasn’t sure we’d make it. Sunrise is no problem for me, I get all my stuff ready the night before and when my alarm goes off I roll out of bed, brush my teeth, get an iced coffee and head to location. Easy peasy. But when you’re the one on camera you have a lot more to do. That might be no problem for one adult, maybe two. Now, add in four kids. FOUR. Then add in the kids’ grandmothers! I would have totally understood if they hadn’t made it there on time because I don’t know if I could do it with my own family and I only have one kid! But guess what? They were there on time AND they looked great. They were all awake and they were ready to go! So fantastic! Here are a few samples from our sunrise beach session! Enjoy! FamilySession_LuckyElephantPhotography
This was what the beach looked like when I got there! Dark and gorgeous! Continue reading

Chelsey & Corey {Beach Elopement}

From the moment Chelsey contacted me about her and Corey’s beach elopement I was ALL ON BOARD. I mean, common’.. I was getting chosen to capture something so intimate and romantic, in such a beautiful location with beautiful people! When I arrived at the hotel I found out that Corey was getting ready at a separate location and Chelsey’s sister, Courtney, was taking pictures there. Suddenly it clicked in my head and I realized her sister is none other than professional photographer Courtney Ortiz. Talk about NO PRESSURE… haha, yea right! Once Chels was finished getting ready we headed down to the beach to take a few pictures before she saw Corey at their ceremony.. which couldn’t have been more perfect. They lit unity torches and said their “I do”s in a ring of seashells, with nothing but us, the sand and the sea to witness it. Perfection! Here are a few sneak peeks for you all!

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Christy & Humberto {Destination Wedding / Family Vacation}

If you follow me at all you’ll know that in July my daughter and I went along with my sister, our parents and her fiance to Tennessee so that they could get married out of the city. It was a small intimate wedding with the most perfect of details and it took place right in front of the fire place in our cabin in the mountains. After the ceremony the three of us went down to explore and and soak in as much of gorgeous Tennessee as we could. Since they got married on our first day up there we enjoyed the last bit of the trip site-seeing and doing what tourists do – cave exploring, gem mining, trout fishing, deer feeding – you know, the usual! Here are a few (ha ha – in comparison to the whole album) pictures from our trip. Grab a cup of coffee and enjoy!

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