Family Photos in Grayton State Park | Studley Family

Gulf Coast views plus an awesome family equals one great photo shoot. This photo session in Grayton Beach State Park with the Studley family was a blast.

The Studley family discovered the Destin area in July of 2016 when they came out to visit family and friends. Though they have always enjoyed Florida, they had never been to the Emerald Coast. Of course, they immediately fell in love with the mild weather, white sandy beaches, and the friendly community.

From dining at quaint restaurants to soaking up the sun at the beach, these guys love their recently discovered getaway spot. And, as they’ve mentioned, they have only just begun to scratch the surface of this unique beach area.

When asked about their favorite aspects of South Walton, the Studleys said they enjoy all the restaurants, and particularly love the Blue Mountain Creamery. Each day, before heading to their favorite activity – hanging at the beach, obviously – they would stop for ice cream. Nothing like a refreshing treat to make a family beach vacation special!

One very memorable vacation moment for them occurred the very first time they visited Destin. They were staying in a condo on the 7th floor of the building.  They had driven from Nebraska and had a luggage topper on the car.  Unfortunately, they couldn’t fit in the parking garage with the topper, so they had to unload all of the luggage on the ground level and carry it up to the room.  This might not have been too much of a problem…except for one thing. The elevator was broken!  Needless to say, they eventually got all of the luggage up to the room…and the topper sat in the dining room all week. What’s a family vacation without a good story?

Of course, it’s always great to capture these family memories so that they may be remembered for years to come.

That’s where we came in. The family received a baby announcement, and the photo on it was taken by Pure7 Studios.  They had always wanted family photos on the beach, and impressed with the photo, contacted us.  And we couldn’t be happier that they did!

This shoot was filled with smiles, laughs, and both sweet and silly moments. There is so much love between this family and it was great spending time with them to capture their personalities, their fun together, and their memories.

Wishing this awesome family many more years of fantastic beach vacations on the Emerald Coast!

Family Photos in Grayton Beach State Park for Syrowatka Family

family photo grayton beach

Family Photos for a Fellow Photographer

When you’re a photographer, most photos of your family don’t include you because you’re the one taking them! And as a photographer, it can be difficult to trust another photographer with your family portraits, so we were honored when Angie, a fellow photographer, booked us for her own family photos at one of our favorite locations for portraits, Grayton Beach State Park!

grayton beach state park photos

About the Syrowatka Family

Marcel came to the states in 2009 from Germany when the Congress Bundestag Youth Exchange for Young Professionals lead him to an internship in Atlanta, which turned into a management position in Vance, Alabama at BLG Logistics. He met Angie at a corporate photo shoot for Marcel’s company. They just happened to have mutual friends and Marcel admits that he had his eye on her.

Marcel and Angie brought along their darling children, Sunny (4 years old) and Stella (9 months old), as well as Siggy, also known as Oma – German for grandma! Sunny, perfectly named for her sunny disposition, has never met a stranger and has a great sense of humor. She’s also learning German faster than her mom! Stella is such a happy baby with a contagious laugh and has the most beautiful blue eyes! There’s clearly a lot of love within this family and it showed in their family photos!

Tips for a Fun Destin Vacation

This was their second trip to Destin as a family – first for Stella! – and their preferred beach of choice, but their favorite vacation as a family was in Sandestin.

  1. Favorite place to eat and favorite activity to do here?
    “The Marina in Baytowne is our fave restaurant because of the fresh seafood and the harbor view. Fave activity is hanging out at the beach club and carting around Baytowne nearby the cottage we stay in.
    We also really love spending time at the cottage that Angie’s client owns – such a sweet blessing for our family to gift us this stay when we visit.”
  2. What do you love most about coming here?
    “Getting some beach time and making memories with the family – whether it’s building sand castles on the beach, shopping, or new experiences we can make into family traditions.”

“[We] wanted to document this trip with the best photographer we could find in Destin and I will have to say we found him. The photoshoot was a memory in itself and know we will have keepsakes to remember this forever!”

A Waves of Grace Shoot for Miss Macey and Her Family

When we discovered the Waves of Grace nonprofit organization, we knew we wanted to get involved and provide the families with a long lasting reminder of their meaningful family vacations. Waves of Grace sends cancer patients on vacations with their families so they can try to relax and step away from the stress that comes along with their fight with cancer. For some patients, these vacations are the last they will be able to take with their family. For Miss Macey Bodily, she and her family are still going through all the trials and tribulations that come along with a cancer diagnosis, but they’ve made some great progress and we hope to continue to watch her journey with positive updates!

Macey’s Story as Told by Her Mother

An MRI in February of 2014 found a massive tumor, the size of 2 golf balls in the middle of Macey’s brain, causing her blindness and some other issues as well! She was admitted to Doerenbechers Children’s hospital the very same day, and underwent cranial brain surgery 36 hours later. The surgery was 9 long hours, and her amazing surgeon Dr. Baird and her team were able to remove the tumor successfully! She lost her pituitary gland in the process and will require lifetime care for that. That is a life threatening condition, which we manage daily with medication. It is also life long condition. She will remain blind in one eye and need to wear glasses always to protect her good eye.

On August 5, 2015 we were told that Macey has a regrowth, detected by MRI, 2 tumors or 2 cystic tumors in the exact location as the first. We were given another brain surgery as the only option. That didn’t sit right. Through a support group we were led to St Jude. They are conducting trials on her specific tumor. In September we traveled to St Jude for a few weeks of testing and determined that Proton radiation would be the best answer as the doctors felt surgery was far to risky based on the location of the tumors. They were too close to her optic nerves and carotid arteries.

In October 2015, Macey and Mommy boarded a plane for 7 weeks of treatment at the University of Florida in Jacksonville Florida.

Macey tolerated the daily treatment like a champ. How she did it with a mask attaching her head to a table, wide awake for 30 treatments is beyond me. She had to lie perfectly still. Amazing for anyone, let alone a 7 year old little girl, whose mommy couldn’t go back with her.

We continue to travel to St Jude every 90 days and will for a year, after that we will go every 6 months for 4 years, then every year till she’s 18 if all remain status quo, After that she will enter the St Jude life program, where they will monitor her for her life. She still sees her doctor here at home as well. Needless to say, we see a lot of doctor offices.

In January and most recently, March 2016 her MRI’s determined she is stable, with no tumor growth! We are grateful. Her remaining vision is stable as well. We work daily to maintain her lack of hormones, which is a delicate balance and necessary to stay alive!

October 2016 Macey was diagnosed with stenosis of her carotid arteries. The original tumor backed up to and actually wrapped around both her carotid arteries. Thus the issue. It puts her at increased risk for stroke and a variety of other issues. Needless to say this took the wind out of our sails. Thankfully though, St Jude is following this closely, along with her neuro surgeon at Doernbechers who amazingly specializes in stenosis. Wow, right! As of now things are stable, which is the best we can hope for.

In Jan 2017 we added a new diagnosis to the list, narcolepsy. Wish I was kidding!

In Feb of 2017, Macey underwent another surgery this time to remove the metal hardware in her skull that was causing severe headaches as well as to reattach a temporal muscles flap that had detached after her first brain surgery. This isn’t altogether unusual on either count. It turned out to be a bigger surgery than we imagined, they reopened her entire incision from the original craniotomy. She has healed well.

Since October of 2016 Macey has just struggled overall with fatigue and headaches. The hardware removal helped the headaches, but the fatigue still lingers and has made school difficult…If she makes one full day a week, that’s great. We hope that this eventually will work itself out, but we just don’t know. So for now we take things day by day and thank God for all we have. This surely is a crazy adventure, or better yet a roller coaster we call life!

Overall we feel very blessed and supported. We are grateful to have our daughter!

Senior Session in Santa Rosa Beach | Kaylee Battiste

This sweet subject of a recent senior session is headed from the beautiful Emerald Coast to UF this fall to start a whole new life chapter. Before the summer and all the college prep kicked into high gear, Kaylee met us and our cameras in Santa Rosa Beach one warm spring afternoon. We explored old buildings and dusty dirt roads and shot until the light faded. The photos that resulted from that shoot are as lovely as the subject.
Pure7 Senior Session Santa Rosa Beach Battiste
We loved that Kaylee’s sister, Danielle, tagged along, so we snapped a few of them together. We can just imagine the fun inspiration those heirloom portraits will be for their little girls some day, as they drag out clothes to play dress-up while their moms catch up over coffee.