Pictures in Italy Summer 2014 — Meet up with us for an unforgettable experience

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Diana & Boris – Ukraine

Hello bloggers…

I hope everyone is having an amazing 2014 and ready for an amazing year full of wonderful portraits.  Today I want to share with you an amazing wedding we recently shot in Ukraine.  We absolutely loved Ukraine and its people.  Not sure if the vodka makes their hearts warm as well but we experienced nothing but warmth from the Ukrainian people.  The wedding itself was far from Kiev in a town called Uzhhorod in western Ukraine next to Slovakia.

I had the pleasure of shooting this wedding with my brotha and world renowned cinematographer Ray Roman.

Enjoy some landscapes I shot during my free time first and then the wedding.  I WISH we had had a few more hours of time with Diana and Boris to go take some pictures in some of these areas but the wedding was jam-packed with commitments and the time for photos during the wedding day was very limited.

If you want to revisit their NY wedding please click here

Enjoy

This below is a man-made lake that the father of the bride cleaned out and created for this special occasion.

A standing-room only chapel also built by the father a few years ago.

In the Ukraine ladybugs are considered good luck and as I was shooting her shoes, one came and landed right on the shoe.  How awesome is that?

A horse carriage built just for the wedding straight out of a story book.

One of my favorite pictures of the day above.  The carriage went around the circle and headed up to the chapel.

They were married by the Archbishop of Ukraine.

The reception had several performances including a set by the a famous singer in Ukraine Tina Karol

I hope you all enjoyed these images as much as we enjoyed shooting them.  Keep it locked here for more amazing images soon.

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Miami Children’s Hospital’s Toy Drive — What a success!!

Hello bloggers…

Today I want to share with you one of the most special events we have had the privilege to be involved in. We’ve wanted to do this at our studio for the past 3 years but doing this during our busiest month of the year is like asking a marathon runner to go back to the start line running after he crosses the finish line. However, a dear friend Vanessa Santana-Peñate approached us with the idea and we just couldn’t say no to the plans she had in mind. For a relatively short period of time we collected toys through various avenues. Vanessa had her house turned into an FAO Schwartz and we did a Toys-For-Shots drive at our studio where if you brought some toys you would get a free picture taken and emailed to you for your holiday cards. The results were shockingly amazing. The amount of love that poured in and people donating toys and gift cards and cash was overwhelming. 100% of the proceeds and collections went to benefit the children of the Oncology department at Miami Children’s Hospital. These children’s lives are terminally threatened by cancer which sees no distinction between race, ethnicity, financial status and sadly AGE. We’re parents of 2 boys and if anything like that happened to us we’d be a complete wreck! So the choice for my wife and I was clear to participate in this 100%

Vanessa Santana went OUT OF HER WAY to make a special day for these children as you can see below through these pictures. I’ll narrate more under each picture.

A huge thanks to my staff for volunteering their time on a Sunday for the toy drive and beyond.

An equally big thanks to all that donated and to those who turned their own collection projects and merged them with us. Overall we collected more than 1200 toys which were given to the Oncology Unit and Miami Children’s Hospital and since we can’t give out 1200 toys in one day we stocked their treasure chest where patients coming in for treatment every day get a free toy to ease their pain and keep their minds off the frightening experience.

Thank you all for paying it forward and for helping us do something good for those in need.

Here is the story through pictures.

ANY PHOTOS YOU WILL SEE BELOW HAS WRITTEN CONSENT FROM THE PARENT TO BE PUBLISHED.

1st grade students from Coral Terrace Elementary made custom bags for the patients so we could make goodie bags for them.

3 full trucks wasn’t enough.  We had to do two trips to the hospital with all the toys we had at our studio.

Multiple carts and bins and dollies and still wasn’t enough to transport all the toys we had.

food that Vanessa got donated for the party at the play room.

Then the toughest part….delivering the toys to these children.

But this smile made it all worth it!

We took a printer and printed pictures on the spot for instant gratification!

Vanessa managed to get the Elf on the shelf from Pottery Barn to come and deliver toys and books to the children in their rooms.  How awesome is that.

To get a boy sad laying on a bed to up and reading a book makes every effort worth it!

Then party time at the play room with singers, food, activities, Ginger Bread man from Trader Joe’s

We set up a photo area for families to have pictures with their kids that couldn’t leave the hospital.

and we printed them on the spot for them to take.

Vanessa helping kids pick through piles of toys and books

This smile above stuck with me for the whole day and if for a couple of hours we helped these kids forget about what they are going through then it was all worth it. Next year we want to do it bigger and better so get ready Vanessa and AM Team.

Thanks again everyone.  I hope you see where your efforts went.  We certainly appreciate it

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