Before the Big Day | Pure7 Engagement Shoots

Weddings are our jam. Totally. Especially in the fabulous 30A weather that’s happening right now! A close runner-up for us, though, are engagement sessions. They are seriously so much fun!

The groom is beaming with pride, the bride hasn’t yet tired of using grand gestures to point at everything with her left hand, and the couple is still basking in the afterglow of the proposal evening. This season of life is fresh and exciting and, we’ve found, can make for one of the most fun photoshoots a couple can do together.

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Whether you want to capture your life at the beach or in the Big Apple, we’re ready whenever and wherever you are. Before you disappear into Pinterest + planning, let’s talk about why engagement pictures can be one of the best ways to prepare for a super important part of your wedding day.

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Pure7 Goals | Rules of the Game

I just got back from a trip to Tahoe where I spent a week with a group of guys snowboarding, eating, and talking shop about all our various business and creative projects. We were there to be inspired, challenged, and join a brotherhood of like-minded, creative entrepreneurs. Sounds like a fun adventure, right? Unless you’re an introvert.

Even then, these kind of scenarios could work out alright if, by the end of the trip, you’ve gotten comfortable enough to break your mysterious silence and share your personal story – the tale of whatever rocky road you’ve traveled to beat the odds and reach this place that allowed you to be snowboarding in Tahoe in February. Unless you don’t have a story.

See this group of guys in this photo? Every single one of them (except for the fourth guy from the right) have overcome something incredible. And this is only half the group! We’d have evening meal conversations and mid-day workshops where I heard story after story of varying degrees of hardship and heartache. I started to wonder if I had missed a qualifier for this trip, or maybe if I just looked more interesting than I really am. I was already tapping the depth of my social reserves to hang out with 20 people for an entire week. I wasn’t about to disappoint anyone with, “Hi, I’m Ryan and, despite my sleeve of tattoos that might suggest otherwise, I have not experienced any terrible tragedies and I’m fairly happy with my life.” Wah-waah. #lame.

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To make things worse, most of these guys were starting to have breakthrough moments. There wasn’t as much crying and hugging as there would be if all our wives were here hanging out, but everybody seemed to be having A Moment. Except for me.

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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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Joyous Alys Beach Wedding Highlights Film | Katherine & Hunter

If we had to choose one word to describe this day, it would be, without question, “joy.” As we scrolled through the footage while creating this wedding highlights film, we didn’t spot one insincere smile from anybody and – trust us – that isn’t always the case. Everyone was truly happy to be celebrating this milestone occasion and thoroughly enjoyed every minute of the day!

Katherine & Hunter’s beautiful wedding ceremony took place at the Seaside chapel, and the absolutely gorgeous reception was held in Alys Beach. Take a look at the aerial shots that our award-winning filmmaker Alan LeBlanc captured in the opening scenes of this film. We could not have asked for a more fabulous day for a wedding!

The big game of the day made several cameos by way of iPhone and the groom’s cake, so all was right with the world.

We hope you love this as much as we do. Alan’s schedule is filling up quickly, so if you’re interested in booking him for your upcoming event, let’s talk soon!

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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Fun Rosemary Beach Highlights Film| Mary Grace & Chad

When we click “send” and that wedding highlights film we’ve fallen in love with leaves the coziness of our creative space and lands in our client’s inbox, we hold our breath until we hear from the bride. Does she adore it as much as we do? Will her best friend gasp with delight, her squeal of “Oh. My. Gosh!” causing her friends to drop what they’re doing and gather ’round her phone, watching it over and over? When the feedback comes in the form of a comment like this one posted on social media with a link to their film, we are ecstatic!

“So thankful for Pure7 Studios and this amazing wedding highlight film! Alan was seriously a (very talented) fly on the wall throughout the best weekend of our lives. Can’t wait to see more! I’m shocked by all the footage because I rarely knew he was around! Reliving these memories will never get old.”

Mary Grace and Chad Pinkard’s wedding was one of our favorites, and we were so excited to hear that they loved their film as much as we did. Of course, it really helped that we worked with fantastic vendors and wonderful clients in an absolutely breathtaking setting, and those are the combinations we live for. That pretty much guarantees a lot of attention to the key details that set the tone for this type of gorgeous events. It’s those details you’ll see in this film that can take a wedding from ordinary to extraordinary. We think this one definitely qualifies as extraordinary.

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Sanders Beach Rentals Commercial Video | Watercolor

We’ve been sitting on this for a little while and are so happy to finally be able to share this fantastic commercial video project! It’s a wonderful teaser for the gorgeous weather that’s just around the corner here on the Emerald Coast.

If you’ve ever had to plan a family or group vacation then you know it takes time, energy and patience to find the perfect place. You may have even gone somewhere that ended up not being worth the work when all was said and done. We have a solution for you.READ MORE

A Dog & His Girl: Tucker & Lula | New Year, New Baby

Meet Tucker. Although he was not the focus of this adorable newborn shoot one morning a few weeks ago, his presence made it clear that Lula had quickly become his pride and joy. No matter that our own Lindsey Bray is dubbed “The Baby Whisperer” because of her effortless way with the littles, as well as their brand new moms and dads; Tucker stuck around throughout the morning just to make sure all was well.

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We truly adore love stories, and when we get to follow a couple from a gorgeous Santa Rosa Beach wedding to the coziness of a sweet, quiet nursery a few years later, we consider it a privilege to continue the tradition of preserving their priceless family memories. So while we were busy prepping cameras and polishing lenses, Brandy and Greg were changing diapers and choosing outfits, all in preparation for our first newborn shoot of the year (and their first newborn shoot ever!). And, as with any event involving babies, anything can happen.

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Pure7 Studios & Operation Smile | Show the Love

We’re in what’s known locally as “off-season.” Typically, that means things slow down a bit before the swirl of wedding season begins, before the arrival of all the fun families who visit our beautiful 30a beach community each year. We thought about taking a break before our packed spring calendar takes over, and then we got it – The Email.

That email brought an incredible opportunity to be part of something huge so we wasted no time in jumping on it. The great part is that it includes everything we love – cameras, travel, kids, adventure, and smiling (because smiling is our favorite!). But the best part? It’s something near and dear to our hearts that we can share with YOU, and we love finding ways to include you in our #pure7fam, whether you’re a local or a seasonal friend. Ready?

A few years ago, we hosted fundraising portrait sessions to help pay for cleft lip and cleft palet surgeries for kids whose families can’t afford them. You may not know that these deformities, ones that are fixed almost without thought in the United States, are literally life-threatening in other countries simply for lack of resources. This year, we are thrilled to get to physically visit a clinic and document these life-changing surgeries in person.

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In about two weeks, our associate photographer Lindsey Bray will be packing her gear and heading to Cavite, Philippines! She’ll spend 10 days shadowing a medical mission team and shooting the incredible work done by Operation Smile. She’ll be blogging her trip, which we’ll share in a special series of posts, and her work will be published as part of a compilation celebrating both Operation Smile’s 35th anniversary and PPA Charities‘ 20th anniversary. READ MORE

Weddings, Portraits, & Football | FSU vs Miami

Most Saturdays will find us shooting, whether it’s a wedding at Watercolor or a family session in Rosemary Beach. One particular Saturday in October, however, brought a brand new experience as Ryan, our lead photographer, traded the soft sugar sands of the Emerald Coast for the fresh-cut grass of a North Florida field. And not just any field, mind you. This was ground zero of one of the most heated rivalries in college football. Goodbye, Destin; Hello, Tallahassee!

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Though the roar of the stadium crowd left no question as to what was about to erupt, there was another, much quieter competition taking place behind the scenes, one that only Ryan was aware of. 

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