Featured Guest: Sam Stitchberry with Ghost Tours of St. Augustine!

I was recently doing headshots for Saint Augustine based Samantha Stitchberry when I asked her where she works, she told me she had three jobs! One of those being a ghost tour guide in St. Augustine! (Oh and she works on vintage costumes and fixes them.)  I had to know more…

How did you get your start?

I started by answering a Craigslist ad! I was looking for a new job and I thought being a Ghost Host sounded like great fun!

What drew you to costumes and the ghost tours?

I grew up in theatre and I always loved playing in the costume closet. It was filled with clothing that I would never be able to wear in my everyday life. I knew that downtown tour guides usually had to dress up in some sort of period costume so I was even more excited about the job!

Anything really funny ever happen while you were out giving a tour?

Oh for sure. I get weird things almost every night. Last week I was interrupted by a guy in a pedicab, playing bagpipes. It was very weird but kind of impressive.

How about scary or crazy?

I always love when people are able to get a picture of a ghost on camera. James at the Tolomato cemetery has been very active and it’s a nice way for people to get that ghostly chill.

How long have you been doing the ghost tours?

8 months

What is your favorite thing to do around Jacksonville and St. Augustine?

The beach is always great but I love going to the pirate museum in St. Augustine. It’s so interactive.

When your family comes to town, what is something you guys always have to do while they are in town?

My parents actually live here! We like going out and trying new restaurants.

What’s your favorite movie?

Either Anastasia, Ratatouille, or Harry Potter. I can never pick. They are all very nostalgic

What’s your favorite song?

Currently Necromancer’s Lullaby by Bearfoot Monty. I love the work put into the lyrics. It’s haunting and beautiful.

What’s something you can’t live without (besides your loved ones)?

If my cat Pepper doesn’t count, I would have to say my IPad and planner. My entire life is on both of those things. I do a lot of editing on my iPad and I just love the convenience.

What’s your current obsession?

Kayla Nicholson Youtube video. She has a beautiful aesthetic. They have really been making me consider making some videos myself

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

Doing a job I love in a small little beachfront property, surrounded by a variety of animals.

Favorite dessert?

Fruit salad. I know it’s healthier, but it’s something I will never turn down.

Favorite restaurant?

Anywhere that makes good Japanese food!

Find her on Instagram.

I don’t know about you, but I want to do a ghost tour now! Go ask for Sam over at Ghost Tours of St. Augustine.

Wedding Photographer Feature: The Veil Wedding Photography

Since I have stopped doing wedding photography, I have decided to partner up with some other wedding photographers in the area so that you know where to go! Every photographer has a different style, whether it’s light and airy to dark and moody. Some use a lot of off camera flash, others don’t use that at all.

Today, I’m featuring The Veil Wedding Photography, owned by Amanda and Landon Raulerson.

I’m not going to lie, their style is super consistent in it’s editing style (which is DEF what you want from a photographer) and light and airy.

Let me preface this, with a story about how I met them.

A couple of years ago when I got this studio space, I had A LOT of work to do to make it what it is. I made a call out on Facebook looking for some help to lay flooring and paint the walls. 2,400 sf is a lot of work and it was killing me to get it opened in time.

It was Amanda’s birthday and she showed up with her husband and kids in tow late that evening. They worked for hours. And neither one of them complained at all! They both smiled and just helped.

I appreciated all their help so much. Especially from other photographers in our area that did NOT have to help, especially since they weren’t being paid and I was their competition!

For that, I have always been eternally grateful to them. Some people act nice and genuine and then there are people who actually ARE that way.

So onto their story:

Landon retired from the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office to fulfill this dream

Here’s some info about them.

How long have you been in business? 6 years

How did you get your start?

We picked up a camera with plans of having a hobby to do together. I wish I had some cool story of how we have always loved photography, but the truth is this journey was never suppose to be a business, that was an unexpected blessing we received.

What drew you to photography?

We were looking for a hobby to do together. I (Amanda) had been a stay at home mother for 7 years and wanted something to get me out of the house more. Landon had the idea of photography. The rest is history.

How would you describe your style?

Simplistic, Elegant, Timeless

What has been the hardest part about working with someone else in your company?
The first few months after Landon quite his job as a correctional officer and began working with me from home full time was interesting (for a lack of a better word lol.), we had been married 7 years already and I was use to him going to work while I took care of the kids and home. To have him home every day, to be with each other constantly, it was like we had to learn each other in a whole new way. It was a learning experience.

We had to learn how to balance marriage, parenthood, and being coworkers, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. This business takes us both to run. His amazing talent, my business and social skills. We really excel in different areas and together make up a wonderful team.

Do you guys ever disagree on how things should be done?

Ummm.. heck yes! LOL! I’m a passionate person. When I decide to do something I jump in head first. Landon on the other hand is the voice of reason. He thinks everything through and makes the most logical decision. Sometimes being passionate is a good thing, but there are times I need him to bring me back to reality lol. So there are many times we disagree how situations should be handled. But we never handle them without first agreeing together on a solution.


How did you come up with the name of your business?

Interesting fact. Most people believes the name “The Veil” comes from a wedding veil. Actually that’s not entirely true. When we first started the name of our business was Amanda Jayne Photography. We had planned for me to be the main shooter.

It wasn’t until we both realized where our strengths were in our business that we realized Landon was actually the main photographer role and I was the second shooter and handled the every day running of the business.

When Landon came on to work full time with me I decided it only made sense to change the name of the business to something we both could be represented by, instead of the business being named after me.

We knew of course we wanted our industry to be represented in our name, but we also decided we wanted our faith to be represented. Landon and I are Christians and truly believe we have succeeded simply because of God’s grace.   We came across this bible verse and knew immediately “The Veil” would be a part of our name: Matthew 27:51 “then, behold, the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom; and the earth quaked, and the rocks were split.”

Anything really funny ever happen while you were shooting?

All the time. But if I’m honest the thing me and my couples laugh the most at is when Landon is demonstrating to the bride how to pose for a photo. Watching him play the bride’s role always cracks us up. I really need to make a video of his moves lol.

What is a piece of advice you can give to newbies?

Never give up. Your going to get discouraged, or think your not good enough, or go through some ups and downs. We have all been there, but if you can push through those trials the reward is wonderful. You will meet the most amazing people and share in some of the greatest moments of their lives. It’s not a race it’s a marathon. Keep working at your craft, keep your head up, and the time will come that you look back and feel proud of the journey you’ve been on.

What’s your current obsession?

Obsession? Wow! We are parents of 3 Kids. It’s normally all about them lol. Hmmm.. I guess it’s Netflix. I know Netflix has been around a while now, but we didn’t jump on the band wagon until last year. We work so much and when we aren’t working we are being parents, so we have found enjoyment in binge watching Series on Netflix once the kids are asleep. First we went through The Office, then Friends. We enjoy not having to think and just laugh together for a few hours at night. Man we are getting old and boring lol.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years? 
In 5 years I see us expanding our business. We have already began to expand The Veil but I see more growth opportunities ahead. I’d like our business to be a career option for our children should they choose it when they become adults. We want them to follow their own dreams, but should their dreams be this industry we would like a solid foundation set.

(Amanda recently launched her own company to do wedding planning.)

What’s your favorite food?
This is hard. I’m a food lover. Though I will say Landon has 2 meals he makes that I think are better than anything I’ve ever eaten: Cajun Pasta and Italian Chicken Soup. He really could have chosen to be a chef, the man can cook!

Favorite dessert?
We both have a love for the French Pantry’s Wedding Cake. That cake is amazing.

Favorite restaurant?
We have several. Though our tops favorites right now would be Bentos, The Burrito Gallery,   Timoti’s, and Chuys.

Favorite place to hang out in Jacksonville?
Wedding venues. Is that an option? Because on weekends that’s pretty much where you can find us. On a serious note we have started really loving beach trips.

What is your favorite thing to do around Jacksonville?

We have found a love as a family for searching for sharks teeth. We enjoy all going to the beach and searching for them. Yesterday we found four in one trip. It excites the kids, but poor Landon has yet to find one.

My son felt bad for him and brought a sharks tooth from home to place in front of Landon so he would see it and get excited he found a sharks tooth. Sadly Landon is so bad at it he can’t find sharks teeth we put right in front of him lol. But then again he is pretty much good at everything else, so we were shocked to find one thing he wasn’t good at.

What’s your favorite movie?
I would have to say A Walk To Remember. It is the movie we were watching when we had our first kiss. It will forever be my favorite.

What’s your favorite song?
I’ll Be- Edwin McCain. It’s our song.

Follow them here:


Featured Vendor: Sweets by Staci Cakes

I met Staci Glover several years ago. She’s done quite a few smash cakes for me over the years for the first birthday photo sessions I do in studio. So today I’m featuring her!

Official business name: Sweets By Staci

How long have you been in business? 5 years

Where are you located? On the Northside of town. (However, she will deliver your cake to the studio!)

How did you get your start?

It was a lot of trial and error and using my friends and family as guinea pigs. YouTube and Pinterest helped A LOT!

What drew you to make cakes? 

I went to a local grocery store bakery to order my son’s first birthday cake. Being a fairly young mother, I couldn’t justify spending the amount they were asking on the cake I wanted so I decided to take a stab at it. I always loved to bake, even as a kid, but making his cake made me realize that maybe there was something a little more there so I started making cakes for friends and family and now here I am.

What’s probably your most favorite cake you’ve ever made?

That’s a tough one! There’s multiple that I love for different reasons. I would have to say either the blue teapot or a the dream catcher cake. 

How about craziest?

The tequila in the ice bucket. That took FOREVER!

Anything crazy ever happen while making or delivering a cake?

Nothing really crazy. I had a cupcake catastrophe once where I was driving down my road and a guy towing a trailer all of a sudden pulled out in front of me. I had to slam on my brakes and cupcakes went flying. Ironic thing is that they were flamingo cupcakes. I ended up being late because I had to go home and fix all of them. 

What’s your favorite flavor? Or do you hate cake now?

Amazingly enough I do not hate cake. My favorite cake is either a lemon cake with lemon curd (that sounds amazing!) or a coffee infused chocolate cake with a chocolate ganache filling. 

Do you prefer icing or fondant?

Icing for eating but fondant for decorating.

How would you describe your style?

Pretty laid back and casual. I’m a mommy of 5, I don’t have time to get all prettied up all the time. LOL

How did you come up with the name of your business?

My original name was taken so I asked friends and family what they thought would be sound good. Then I held a voting on facebook of who thought what name would be best out of all of the ones given to me.

What is a piece of advice you can give to newbies?

Know your worth and don’t budge on your morals. Always show your clientele how much you appreciate them because without them you are nothing.

What’s something you can’t live without (besides your loved ones)?

My cell phone/laptop. It’s how I keep in touch with practically everyone and keep track of everything.

What is your favorite thing to do around Jacksonville?

Anywhere the kiddos and I can go hang out. They love to explore new places and usually we hit up the local preserves and plantations. Their favorite right now is Bird Island. 

When your family comes to town, what is something you guys always have to do while they are in town?

Go get sushi! 

What’s your favorite movie?

Top Gun.

What’s your favorite song?

My Wish – Rascall Flatts. I cry every time I listen to it because it reminds me of my children and believe it or not God Bless the USA by Lee Greenwood. 

What’s your current obsession?

My skin. I’ve aged a lot in the last 5+ years. 

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

Hopefully with a store front and on Cake Wars!

What’s your favorite food?

I love too many to list but I could always go for sushi, pizza and of course fried chicken!

Favorite dessert?

A hot brownie with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and chocolate drizzle.

Favorite restaurant?

European Street.

Favorite place to hang out in Jacksonville?

I don’t hang out anywhere except church and home!


Instagram: www.instagram.com/sweetsbystaci

Facebook: www.facebook.com/sweetsbystaci

Website: http://stacilglover.wixsite.com/sweetsbystaci

Vendor Feature: Unicorn Tea Party Jax

We recently did a portrait session with a bunch of little girls dressed up like princesses (dresses are available to borrow upon request from the studio!) and a unicorn. 

For a little fun this week, we’re interviewing Luna, our little unicorn.

My name is Luna the Unicorn and I am 11 months old and only 30” tall. While horses grow until they are 4 years old , I’m a miniature unicorn and am nearly done growing , even before my first birthday! 

 I am owned by Miss Kate and live with my best friend , a Doberman dog named Lyla. Miss Kate named me Luna because my silver dapples make me look like the moon and Luna is the Latin word for moon.  Which I guess makes me a Lunacorn! While most people will think all unicorns should be big and white , I love the fact that I am different by being small and silver. I have a long white mane and tail though , and little girls just love to brush and braid it! 

Miss Kate thinks I’m too cute to keep all to herself , so she thought that she would like to do animal therapy work by taking me to hospitals and nursing homes. Unfortunately , I am still too young. Therapy animals are required to be older and more experienced working in public , so Miss Kate came up with idea to start allowing me to attend birthday parties and posing as a model in order to meet the requirements for future therapy work. Miss Kate also practices with me at home. She has looked very silly trying to scare me with loud sounds and weird sights , but I always get a treat at the end so I don’t mind! 

To keep me pretty for birthday parties and photos, I have to get a regular haircut. So while I look beautiful, I am no longer able to be outdoors when it gets really cold. On mildly cold nights I sleep in my stable with a mini horse blanket that fits me like a coat. But on really cold nights Miss Kate lets me sleep in the house! You read it right, I sleep in the house. Miss Kate builds a little pen in her parlor and makes me a soft bed out of hay. I don’t cause any trouble at all and go right to sleep! 

I love going for rides in the truck! I am no bigger than a large dog, so I fit in the backseat of Miss Kate’s truck just fine. Even though the windows are tinted, people can somehow always see me inside! So if someone sees me at a stop light, Miss Kate will roll down the window so I can say hello. You should see the smiles when someone realizes a tiny unicorn wants to say HI! 

I just started my career as a Birthday Party VIP guest, and I must say, I LOVE IT! I get plenty of attention at home, but nothing compares to getting lots of hugs, kisses, and pretty hairdos from the children at a party. Even adults like to join in the fun! I also get to have my picture taken…..a lot. Now that’s what I really like! 

 I really want to be a model. I love getting washed and brushed and camera ready. I like seeing the girls in their pretty dresses posing for the camera. I know that meeting me will be a memory they will never forget, and I will never forget them either! I don’t have any children in my life, so the children I meet while I am working  fill my days with smiles, giggles, and love. And that makes me one happy unicorn. 

Want to book your own unicorn session with Luna?

We hope to book her again soon. Email Christy to let her know you want info!

Social Media Links:

You can find Luna on Facebook : https://www.facebook.com/unicornteapartyjax/

And Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/unicorn.tea.party.jax/