There are so many reasons vacation is the best time to have your family portraits made! Below I’m going to highlight just a few.

No stress…

Planning your color palate and dreaming of that portrait over your mantle is the fun part. It’s when real life sets in that things get stressful. Between work, sports and children’s activities, the day to day hustle and bustle of life, family portraits are just one more thing to add to the list of “to do”. On vacation it’s the opposite! Everyone is together, off from work, there are no sports practices to make, no ballet recitals to work around. Just you and your family, all together, at your most relaxed.

This is especially true for large and extended families. When is the last time your entire family had a portrait made? Your beach vacation in Florida, Alabama, or Mississippi is the perfect opportunity!

Be ahead of the game…

If you haven’t had your portraits made during the summer, around the fall, you will realize you’ve got to figure out portraits for your Christmas or Holiday Cards. If you’ve had your portraits made while on your beach vacation, you’ve got it taken care of! Whether we have already designed a beautiful custom card for you or you are planning to DIY with the digital portraits you’ve purchased from your session, there will be no added stress during an already stressful time.

You’ve also got gifts taken care of. What better gift for grandma and grandpa than a gorgeous portrait of their grandchildren, or maybe the entire family? We can even package it beautifully for you so all you need to do it present it!

It’s different…

Our high school senior clients especially love this factor. You can have what everyone else in your hometown, may not! Can you imagine a better backdrop than fluffy white sand paired with the crystal clear emerald water of the Gulf of Mexico? Add in an amazing sunset and your family…you’ve found perfection!

These are just a few reasons why having your family, senior or children’s portraits made while on your beach vacation is such a fabulous option! So if you are vacationing on the beach, whether 30a, Mexico Beach, Destin, Pensacola, Orange Beach, Dauphin Island, or Biloxi, we are your Beach Portrait Artists and we are there to help you every step of the way!

Hello again!

June 22, 2016

Hi friends! It’s been a while since we’ve been active on the blog. We figured it was about time we got back to it. 🙂

It’s been a hopping summer so far and we can so excited to meet all of our new clients in addition to seeing the familiar faces of our returning clients. We’ve got a lot of blogging to do from the sessions that have taken place in Panama City Beach, Rosemary, Watercolor and other parts of 30A. As well as the portraits we’ve taken on the Alabama coastline in Orange Beach and Dauphin Island.

On an extra happy note… Due to distance we were recently not able to offer sessions on the Eastern Florida beaches, in Cape San Blas and St George Island for a while. However, we are happy to announce we are now back to offering Associate Sessions in St George Island, Apalachicola, Cape San Blas and Port St. Joe, once again! We’ve missed our seeing our friends in the East and are thrilled to be back in the area.

Be sure to check back often for some more pretty portraits as we update the blog. In the meantime, we will leave you with this sweet little sailor. He’s ready to set sail!

This portrait was taken on the beaches of Pascagoula, Mississippi just a little East of Biloxi, Mississippi.

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Usually this time of year, we look back and talk about what a wonderful year this has been. How much we have enjoyed working with our clients and how we can’t wait to see everyone again the following year. While most of that applies this year as well, 2014 was a little different for our family. Earlier in 2014 our family experienced a few personal tragedies. Shortly after these events, we were hit with another blow that completely changed us.

On the evening of Wednesday, July 16, we did what we do every Wednesday evening. We ate dinner and got ready to head off to bible study at our church that was about a mile from our home. Ken made a run to the store and on the way back called me. I realized I had forgotten to tell him I needed packaging tape. He was going to turn around and go back but I told him not to. Just to come on home and we would run by Walgreens after church. Off to church we went and after a wonderful time studying in the word, we went to Walgreens. I wondered around the store looking at random things, eventually buying the tape I needed and some candy (what can I say, Nerds Ropes were on clearance!). We made our way home and pulled in the drive to see Alice, the stray cat that we had been feeding and semi-adopted walking up the sidewalk to greet us.

There was nothing out of the ordinary.

We parked the SUV and all started piling out. As I got out I remarked to Ken how it smelled like smoke. My first thought was that someone was burning trash or something somewhere nearby. I turned back to the SUV to get the bags from the floorboard. As I turned back toward the house I saw smoke coming out along the roof line. As I looked up, over the pitch in the roof I could see the orange glow. I yelled to Ken that something was on fire. It must be the house behind us, or maybe it was the tree behind the house. As we ran to see it was painfully obvious. It was our home… our home was on fire!

I called 911 and we waited what seemed like forever for the firetrucks to arrive. As our family watched in disbelief at everything we owned, everything we worked for and had collected over our 18 years together, go up in flames.

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It went so quickly, there was little hope for anything inside. By the time the volunteer fire department arrived the entire home was engulfed. It took most of the night for the firefighters to put out the flames.

The next day we were able to go and assess the damage. Nothing could have prepared me for what we would see…

The kitchen where we had just had dinner the night before was completely unrecognizable. It took me a bit to realize the twisted form of metal in the middle of the kitchen was what used to be our refrigerator.

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The living room where we sat together, read together and snuggled on the couch to watch tv or play games together. The portraits over our fireplace, our home movies stored in the entertainment center. It was all gone.

 

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Our master bedroom… We had just recently gotten a new bed a few months prior and just the week before had refinished a new headboard for it. Below is the startling before and after of our bedroom.

2014-07-17 22.34.59It’s one of those things you never think will happen to you. It happens to other people, people you see on the news occasionally or see through a friend on Facebook. It doesn’t happen to you, it’s never your family…until it is.

I can’t even express the thankfulness we feel that none of us were inside the house. We are all safe and healthy and together. I can’t tell you how glad we are that we stopped at Walgreens for tape and candy instead of coming home and crawling into our beds, where the outcome could have been much, much worse.

We were so very blessed by our friends and family who stepped up to help us in our time of need. We had nothing but the clothes we had worn to Bible study the night before. We met new friends who were so generous to bless us with all kinds of donations, clothes, shoes, toiletries, things to keep the boys busy and their minds occupied.  People we did not know were praying for us and sending donations. It’s in times like this that you see the true beauty in this world. The beautiful people who do what they can to help others, sometimes others they don’t even know.

Without equipment to photograph, our wonderful associate photographers picked up the slack and took care of our amazing clients until we were able to replace and repair. They were instrumental in making sure our clients still received the top notch experience they know and love from Knowles Portrait Design. We will be sharing some of those portraits from this summer on the blog and facebook page very soon. So be sure to check back often!

Just a few weeks after the fire, we learned there was another rainbow shining through for our family. A very special little blessing that was ahead.

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That’s right! We are expecting our 4th little boy this spring!!!!

So as we look back over the year of 2014, while it was filled with heartache and loss for our family, it was also filled with hope and encouragement. As we look forward to 2015, we look forward to that hope being realized in the form of brand new life. A fresh start and the realization of a rainbow of promise.

I’ve heard it said so many times but I now I can tell you just how true it is. When you have a tragedy or a disaster in your family, the first thing you look for, the first thought is of your family portraits. The artwork that shows the legacy of your family. The portraits you want to pass down to your grandchildren and their children. That is why we love what we do and why we know just how important it is.

With that we leave you with a portrait of our family… missing Ken because he took the photograph 😉

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In 2015, we look forward to seeing you, our treasured clients and continuing in the tradition of creating exquisite portrait art for your home to last from generation to generation.

The Jones family is full of gorgeous girls… sorry Mr. Jones… we can’t forget about him too. 😉
Tracy photographed the Jones’ during their vacation in Destin this summer. Rebecca has photographed them a few times before and they are always such a pleasure to photograph.

With this many pretty girls, you have to throw some fun stuff in there too. Perfectly posed… and perfectly real too!

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Ahh, one of my favorite families. If you go far enough back on the blog, you will see that we’ve been photographing them since before the littlest Martin was born. Every year it’s like seeing a part of the family. Watching the kids get bigger their personalities sparkle. My favorite part of what we do.
This year I got to meet a few more family members, grandma & great-grandma! It was precious capturing the generations of beautiful ladies!
Can’t wait to see the Martins again this fall!

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Almost three years ago I got a call from a nervous mom who had a session reserved with us for family portraits on Mexico Beach. She was on vacation, with a little baby and a very sick toddler at the hospital. As a mom, I know how stressful it can be to have a sick child… but a sick child, in a strange town while you are on vacation. That is even worse! Fast forward to the next Spring and everyone was healthy, the sky was amazing and we were able to do their session. That was two years ago and I was so excited when they contacted me to do Spring beach portraits for them again this year. The baby is now an almost three year old, the toddler is a 5 year old and they are even more adorable than the last time I photographed them!
We originally planned the session for a Friday evening but upon watching the weather discovered it was a 100% chance of rain that day. So we moved it ahead a day to Thursday, thinking we would be safe. It was a little overcast and a little breezy but it was beautiful. Just as we were taking the last portraits of the session Addison said “rain!” Sure enough a few seconds later it started to very lightly drizzle. Then the bottom fell out and we all took off running to the cars for cover. We just did beat the rain and I’d say these portraits are worth a few raindrops falling on our heads. 🙂

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Don’t you know stars belong in the sky?!?

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June weddings… we love June weddings… we love them more when they are indoors though. lol It gets ridiculously hot here on the Florida and Alabama coastline during the summer! Ladonna commissioned us to photograph her June church wedding near Chipley, Florida. When she said she would also like an engagement session, I was thrilled! Engagement sessions are a perfect way for us to get to know each other before the wedding. For this engagement session, we traveled to downtown Chipley, Florida. It was  perfectly clouded day and we had the train depot and downtown all to ourselves. Hope you enjoy a peek at Tim & Ladonna’s engagement session. We look forward to their wedding this summer!

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Madilyn turned the big O-N-E just before this session. When we were planning what to do for her beach session in Destin Florida, we knew it needed to be spectacular. Not that little miss couldn’t be spectacular even in a potato sack but you know, we like to make sessions extra special. 😉 I’d say ruffles, pearls and snuggles with mommy are pretty special for such a special little girl!

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Amanda, one of our two fabulous associate photographers, traveled to St George Island recently to photograph the Robertson’s. They were spending the week on the Island with the whole family enjoying a nice vacation during Spring Break. On St George Island, it really is like taking a break from everything. Its quiet, non-touristy (is that a word?!? lol) and just a short distance to the quaint fishing town of Apalachicola. Amanda made great friends with the littlest Robertson’s hunting for seashells and playing at the edge of the water since it was still a little chilly in Florida during March this year.

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Sweet little Brenna is about to be a year old! How can that be?! All these little newborns grow up so fast when you just see them every few months. Brenna was a bundle of smiles at her newborn session in Panama City and as you can see, not much has changed! She was a happy little girl at her 6 month session in Santa Rosa Beach Florida as well. Absolutely edible little cheeks! I can’t wait to see how much she has changed at her first Birthday session next month!

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