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Janelle & Charlie’s Wedding at the Palms Hotel in Miami Beach

2015 March 27
by rickyste

I had such a great time at this wedding because the bride and groom were so incredibly nice and up for photos, it made my life very easy. A beautiful day on the beach, ceremony in a lovely gazebo, parrots, blue skies . . . tough life I lead, let me tell you. It’s pretty amazing that I just so happened to live in a location that is a destination all on its own and decided to be a wedding photographer because it really does lead to gorgeous photos, as evidenced by this awesomely tropical wedding.

The way Janelle and Charlie incorporated the natural beauty of Miami into their big day was inspiring for me, which is hard considering I live here, shoot here and am more or less immune to tropical beauty – but this time it worked through my jaded filter and I was impressed – always good for photos. So is generalized silliness, and they thankfully provided me with that as well :)

Katie + Alfie’s Engagement Session at Vizcaya

2015 March 25
by rickyste

Katie and Alfie are a VIP couple of mine – not because they’re an attractive couple (they are) and not because they are close friends with a prior couple who was awesome (they are). No, they’re VIP’s for the same reason any couple of mine becomes a VIP – they’re FUN. I don’t prefer couples that are gorgeous and bland to a couple that’s not as photogenic but super fun tp be around. I have a zillion pictures, what I want in my life is happiness, laughs and fun. When the two come together as they do with Katie and Alfie, hey all the better!

Shooting at Vizcaya isn’t as easy as everyone assumes. The architecture and gardens are obviously wonderful but their hours aren’t exactly conducive to great photos. The majority of the time you spend there is in harsh, bad light. So I took the opportunity to play around and try to use the harder light to my advantage for some truly breathtaking results. Yay Ricky!

Alexis & Alejandro’s Wedding

2015 March 24
by rickyste

There’s always something special about shooting at people’s homes. I always love to explore the different angles, hallways, mirrors, pass-thrus – the entire layout is always (by definition) new and unique. I know I’ll never get another chance at shooting there so I always try to make it count. I love working in hotels as well, but let’s face it, I’ll be at (hotel name here) every other weekend until I retire. The opportunity to step into someone’s home presents a literal once in a career opportunity every time, and I love that sort of thing.

At this beautiful wedding, I got the chance to exploit not just one private residence but TWO! And that’s on top of the Church of the Little Flower and the groom’s getting ready at the Biltmore, covered expertly by Tasha Schwartz from . The great locations took a backseat to the wonderful couple of course, especially this most beautiful bride. Alexis looked absolutely perfect, from her hair to makeup to dress, she pretty much came out of central casting for “princess bride” while staying as sweet as can be.

I truly enjoyed the experience and I hope you love the photos, including a multi-colored light up dance floor (!) – enjoy!

Shandra + Will’s Engagement Session

2015 March 24
by rickyste

. . . and Nathanael, of course. This beautiful family met up with me at Volunteer Park where they love to hang out, play at the playground and generally enjoy life – which is precisely what we did at the session. Sometimes I have to be careful because I find myself enjoying hanging out with people too much and not focusing on taking the best pictures, and that was dangerously close to happening here. Fortunately, I was able to force myself to like them less so I could do my job properly :)

Now I just hope they don’t suck me back in at the wedding. These super friendly, funny couples are bad for business!

Sabrina & George’s Wedding at the Miami Beach Botanical Gardens

2015 March 2
by rickyste

If it seems like I spend a lot of time at the MBBG lately, it’s because I have been. It’s obvious why couples love it – it offers a ton of natural beauty, cool features like the ubiquitous red bridge and access to more urban-y locations nearby. So how do I keep it fresh? It’s easy – focus on the couple.

A bride and groom like Sabrina and George makes wedding photography a breeze because they provide so much emotion. This wedding ran the gamut from laughter to tears of joy and no one was safe from the excitement of the day, not even me. It also helped that they and their bridal party clearly loved pictures and patiently agreed to assist me in whatever idea I cam up with next.

I really enjoyed spending their big day with them and I hope you enjoy checking out the pictures :)

Ashley & Miguel’s Wedding at the Ancient Spanish Monastery

2015 March 1
by rickyste

No one at this wedding is from Miami. Ashley did a search online for a location with beautiful gardens and gorgeous classic architecture and she found only one spot that lived up to what she had envisioned, and it was the Spanish Monastery down here in sunny Miami.

Of course, the nice thing about getting married down here, apart from the weather and beauty, is that I’m here, and Ashley wisely decided to have me capture her dream wedding photos. It’s no small sense of pressure to produce the glorious photos that led a bride and groom to come in from across the country, guests in tow, to a remote location with the sole requirement that the pictures be fantastic and then some. She didn’t put that pressure on me – there was no mention of a fantastic photo requirement – but I put it on myself, because come on. How could I have her go through all that planning and traveling just to leave without the memories? No chance.

Maria and Miguel’s Engagement Session at the Miami Beach Botanical Gardens

2015 March 1
by rickyste

Beautiful location and beautiful couple, that’s a recipe for beautiful photos! I got some interesting light conditions to play with and I spent a really great day with these two.

Katie and Brian’s Wedding at 7th Circuit Productions

2015 February 17
by rickyste

So this wedding had everything you definitely want as a photographer, but none of those magic ingredients is more magical or more necessary than true, unadulterated, full-throated love between the bride and groom. That was fortunately provided in spades by these two, who literally never stop looking at each other, or touching, or embracing, or celebrating, or doing awesome high-five routines, or laughing . . . they do it all together. And smiling.

But then, on top of that, I was graced by the wedding Gods with a party bordering on the insane. And nothing brings out the Ricky more than generalized insanity. As the party ramped up, I ramped up, until we were all at an 11 (and that’s around when the balloon shower started – and right before the chicken head hit the dance floor). At the center of it all was Brian, who is just a typhoon of energy, whipping us all into a frenzy. What a glorious frenzy it was. Enjoy – I definitely, definitely did.

Allison and Adam’s Engagement Session at Joe’s Stone Crab

2015 February 16
by rickyste

. . . and South Pointe Park! This couple is all fun, all the time. They wanted a shoot that wasn’t the usual flowery romance – they wanted it to be funny, creative and awesome, just like them. They also wanted to include their dog. And some lawn flamingos. And Joe’s Stone Crab!

So, with those parameters in mind, we set out on a session that more than lived up to its billing in the fun department, and exceeded my (high) expectations for beauty. Win for everyone – especially the lovely couple who got to eat crab on top of getting beautiful photos. Lucky!

Jennah & Jared’s Wedding at the Rusty Pelican

2015 February 9
by rickyste

In my previous life, I was an attorney – a criminal attorney at that. I sometimes have the pleasure of working with people who I knew from the courthouse, and on one of the (unfortunate) occasions when I had some business there a few years ago, I ran into Jennah’s mom who told me she was following my photos on facebook and wanted to hire me for Jennah’s wedding, whenever that was. I thanked her very much and went on about my day.

About 18 months later, I got an e-mail from Jennah asking for a meeting because she was engaged. We quickly set it up, met and she told me there were no other choices for a photographer, just me.

That’s what I like to call the right kind of pressure; a family deciding on me as the photographer before the engagement? You know I’m coming full bore at that one. And sure enough, Jennah’s wedding was great. The photos do the talking, really, so I’ll turn over the stage to them, but let’s just say it was an exercise in lighting that I passed, with relief. I really wanted to do a very good job :)