Location: Glen Saint Mary, Florida
Groom's Necktie: 1930s Dustbowl Floral Print
(additional credits at the end of this post)
We spent some time chatting with this terrific couple (both are photographers!) about love, family and owning a business together. Read on to see how they make it all work.
GK: What inspired your wedding aesthetic?
Derrek: We wanted our wedding to feel organic and timeless. It was more about us just having our closest family and friends together to celebrate not only Jennifer and I’s relationship, but all the relationships we’ve built over the years. We just wanted to be surrounded by our loved ones in a beautiful setting with delicious food and awesome dance music. There’s something to be said about gathering all of your loved ones in a space at once. It’s truly a once in a lifetime event. One of our favorite things to do on the night of our wedding was to just walk out into the dark and turn around and watch all of our family and friends interacting. We hit our mental record buttons and just took it all in knowing that this was probably the only time in our life we’d get to see this.
GK: If you could go back to when you first met, what would surprise you most about where you are now as a couple?
Derrek: Well, we met when we were about 15 years old, so A LOT, haha. Most notably, the fact that we ended up together. Jennifer and I were always close friends, but for whatever reason dated other people. That being said, I was always sweet on Jenn. I remember thinking at the age of 16 or so, “man, if I could just find a girl like Jenn..”. I would try to date people that had her redeeming qualities, but in the end I just wised up and realized it wasn’t the qualities I needed. It was her.
You own a Photography Studio, Flora & Fauna
in Northern Florida and one of your specialties is Wedding Photography. How did you choose the photographer that shot your own ceremony? Jennifer:
Our photographer happens to be one of our best friends and mentors, Christina Lilly. We had the pleasure of shooting her wedding years ago in the desert and when it came time for our own, it just felt right.
GK: Did you feel the need to art direct them in any way or were you able to step back from the process?
Jennifer: Not at all. We look up to Christina so we trusted and knew we were in the best of hands.
GK: As a couple that works together everyday, what are the biggest the challenges of how to separate the workday from your personal life?
Derrek: I think we’re still trying to figure that out, honestly. It is hard. The most important thing we find is to schedule in time to do things as a family. Physically put it in our schedule. If we don’t, it almost always ends up getting filled with work. It’s totally a good problem to have, but you can easily become burnt out. It’s a constant balance of mind, body, and soul. Eat healthy, exercise, enjoy what you do, and the people and stories you create.
GK: In terms of aesthetic and theme, do you see anything trending in today’s weddings versus when you started your business?
Derrek: Weddings today are changing, for sure. I see it being more about couples expressing who they are as individuals through their wedding design. It’s all about bringing all of your loved ones into a space and saying, this is who we are, this is where we are going, come celebrate with us.
GK: You specialize in both stills and cinematography. Each being equally beautiful. What are the different challenges in having a couple’s personality shine through in each medium?
J&D: The biggest challenge is earning the couples trust, really. When we shoot a couple, we’ll sit down for coffee first and try to connect just on a human level. If someone isn’t comfortable with you as a person, they aren’t going to be comfortable in front of a camera. Most of our photo-shoots that aren’t weddings usually take an entire day. We like it this way too. We don’t have locations planned out. We like to just all get into a car and drive until we see something that catches our eye. This approach keeps us refreshed and gives us that much more time to get to know our couples and put them at ease. Being in this industry has taught us that just about everyone has something that they are self conscious about. When it comes to photos, people start to become very aware of these things and will tend to focus on them rather than to relax and just be themselves. We’ve all spent a lifetime in front of a mirror picking ourselves apart, but the truth is that other people never see the things he or she is worried about. We’re too focused on all the things that make you beautiful.
Grooms Suit: J. Crew
Kid Attire: Crew Cuts
Set Up & Coordination: A huge thanks to all of the couple's friends and family who helped out!