Senior Session in Santa Rosa Beach | Madeline Quarrier

Senior photos are a rite of passage. Not all kids fit the mold, though, and their senior session should capture who they actually are during this crazy, exciting season. So it was really a no-brainer when we planned this shoot because we happened to know this girl personally, and she’s definitely got her own style. It was an easy choice to skip the beach and wander down some side streets and back roads with a film camera added to our usual arsenal of digitals.

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Madeline’s images are breathtaking and everything she had to say about life at this age reminded us of ourselves not that long ago (except our senior session pics were never this cool – trust us).

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Beach Portrait Session | Jones Family

What do you do when the kids are scattered about the country and mom has a milestone birthday coming up? Gather everyone and convene in the spot where the family has vacationed for 40+ years, of course. Oh, and place a special order for absolutely perfect weather because, well, it’s for mom.
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A regular on a plethora of top beach destination lists, this beach portrait session proved why the Destin area was the perfect choice for this boisterous family’s celebration.

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Waves of Grace | Lake Family Portrait

Although this is definitely the thick of family portrait season, we shoot them pretty much year-round. Such was the case with the Lake family, who enjoyed our beautiful beaches during the cooler months courtesy of Nashville-based Waves of Grace. This organization is one of several that provide beach vacations for families dealing with cancer, giving them a refreshing, life-giving change of pace from daily routines defined by medical appointments and prescription refills.
Though they love living in Nashville, Jennifer Lake said she and her husband Bruce were so happy to have some time away from cancer treatments to laugh together and relax with their daughters. The sobering reality of their life for the past year or so made them appreciate more than usual the opportunity for family photos.
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“Having our family pictures taken is a gift we will treasure for the rest of all our lives,” Jennifer said. “We feel it is a gift to future generations of the family, as well.” And the Lake family certainly has had a huge impact on future generations. Though there are only four of them in the photos, the Lake family tree has had 22 other family members grafted into it for a very special reason.

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Milestone Collection | Hines Family

Saylor just celebrated her first birthday. As you’ll see in the milestone portrait session photos further down in the post, this little girl has some breathtaking baby blues. When we asked her mom to choose, though, Christyl’s favorite picture of her little miracle is from their newborn portrait session, the one she calls the “baby bird picture.” We had to agree.

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Saylor Hope had her name from the time her mom was in the 7th grade, a nod to her Andalusia family’s frequent trips to the beach during her childhood. Christyl met Tom in high school and, as it turned out, he also grew up with sand in his shoes. The name she had already chosen for her first daughter was a perfect fit.READ MORE

Waves of Grace | Patrick Family Beach Portrait

It’s spring along our gorgeous Emerald Coast, which means there is no shortage of families frolicking on the beach at sunset. The beach portrait session families are easy to spot, as they’re the ones fully clothed with a photographer hovering nearby. Not all of the laughing families are on a carefree vacation, however. A few have arrived on the brink of utter exhaustion, grateful for the brief reprieve from a reality that has consumed every last ounce of energy and then some.

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All families matter to us, but some hit our hearts harder than others. Sessions like this one with the Patrick family are the ones that leave a lump in our throat.

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A New York City Love Story | Ben & Randi’s Engagement Shoot

“Don’t you love New York in the fall? It makes me want to buy school supplies. I would send you a bouquet of newly sharpened pencils if I knew your name and address.”

Joe Fox knew what he was talking about. That line from one of the best-loved movies in cinematic history perfectly describes the reason the #pure7fam headed to the Big Apple last fall for an adventure-filled engagement shoot with Ben and Randi.

Randi is the first to admit that she didn’t want to do engagement photos, initially. She didn’t even want to date Ben, initially. Luckily, everyone’s persistence paid off. He got the girl and, after assuring her that we really do love to travel, so did we. We packed our gear and met them in the city where they fell in love.

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From the corner bistro where they had their first date to the newsstand below their apartment and the flower shop down the street, we spent a whirlwind week in New York capturing all the places that brought their story to life – a story that almost wasn’t written, thanks to the infamous Friend Zone.

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Eden Gardens Portrait Session | The Fortenberry Family

In case you missed it, the first wave of “Season” has hit. Locals know that, among other things, “Season” means it now takes 30 minutes to get to a location that was only a 10-minute drive a few weeks ago.

It also means that portrait season is here! With breathtaking shoot locations such as Watercolor and Rosemary Beach, it’s no wonder that families love to have their photos done when they come to our beautiful coast for vacations and weekend getaways. The beach isn’t the only gorgeous location for a family portrait session, however, and you don’t have to be on vacation to set aside an afternoon for pictures. The Emerald Coast has some fantastic locations that are a little off the beaten path and provide a fresh setting in which to capture the fun, sweet moments of what makes your family unique.

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We had a blast recently at a lively portrait shoot with the Fortenberry family, set in lovely Eden Gardens State Park. They are active members of the community as well as local business owners. Right off the bat, we could tell that they thoroughly enjoy each other’s company. Nobody was fussing over super coordinated outfits and nobody cared that everyone wasn’t looking at the camera at all times. As a matter of fact, during this shoot, there were some tears, a little pouting, a couple of sullen expressions, glaring, and a rather fantastic trip-and-fall within the first few minutes of the session that resulted in a freshly skinned knee. And guess what? That’s real life. That’s what your family photos should reflect – who you are in real life.

We love the first photo in particular, because it makes us feel like we could plop down on the steps next to them and get in on whatever was so funny. Scrolling through the rest of these pictures confirms that there is never a dull moment in their house!

Call us or shoot us a message and let’s talk about booking your family’s session. Before you know it, school will be out and the summer will be flying by. So don’t wait; go ahead and start that group text to coordinate schedules and get everyone on board. When you’re flipping through your family heirloom album over the holidays, you won’t have one single regret. We guarantee it.

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Andy Saczynski + Ryan Manthey |30A Painted Photography – Part 2

Greetings from a stunningly beautiful 68° day along the Emerald Coast! Go ahead – you’re allowed to be jealous for a minute. Wedding Season has started, and that means only one thing: Portrait Season is coming. Our little black book is filling up, so please don’t wait to contact us to book your session. We’ve already had some fun family shoots that we’ll be blogging soon, which means we’re all warmed up (literally, thanks to this fabulous spring weather) and ready to shoot.

So what have we been doing in the off-season? Oh, just a little exclusive collaboration with a nationally-known artist. You know, nbd.

Actually, it’s a REALLY big deal. We were beyond excited last month to debut a brand new painted photography project with mixed media artist and high school buddy Andy Saczynski, who is fast becoming a household name in the art community. The short version is that Ryan, our lead photographer and studio co-owner, takes a photo and prints it on heirloom-quality canvas. He then hands it off to Andy, who contemplates it for a few days and then paints on the photo whatever inspires him. The results have been nothing short of fantastic and the first one sold in one day. For real. That’s why the next step seemed like a no-brainer.

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While They’re Still Little | Heirloom Portrait Photography

The FedEx truck pulled up to the studio the other day, as it does most days of the week, delivering yet another stack of packages. One of those boxes, however, was not just another box. It was a precious collection of moments in a season of life that is flying by so fast it makes your head spin. Wedding photos, perhaps? Nope, not this time.

We eagerly opened the albums, as we always do, our freshly-washed hands brushing invisible specks of lint from the smooth leather covers, our fingers gently turning every page. We poured over each one, checking to make absolutely sure that every detail was perfect and the finished product reflected the investment everyone had made – the photographer in his art, the publisher in their hand-crafted work, and the client in their decision to purchase the product. Satisfied, we turned the last page on the final album and caught our breath as the poignancy of that photograph sank in.

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Andy Saczynski + Ryan Manthey | A 30A Painted Photography Collaboration

We have a creative piece hanging in our studio that blows our minds on a daily basis. We’ve had it up for about two weeks now, and we are still mesmerized every time we come into the room. It’s not just our opinion, either; everyone who walks in the door stops mid-sentence and stares because it’s just. that. cool. And, in our humble opinion, so are the guys who made it.

This one-of-a-kind exclusive collaboration between Pure7 Studio’s 30A photographer Ryan Manthey and nationally-known 30A mixed media artist Andy Saczynski is literally a dream come true for both creative professionals. They rolled the dice on something neither had done before, and no one could believe how it turned out.

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