Waiting on Baby Cash….. Lake City FL Maternity Portrait Photographer | Lake City FL Professional Photographer

Earlier this summer I had the chance to meet up with the wonderful Meek family. I had met them last fall for Fall Minis, where they told me they were wanting a new little addition soon  & we got a shot of the family boots (plus one) for their announcement to their family. I was SO excited when I learned Baby Cash was on his way (& saw the announcement, too cute!). He was supposed to be an August baby he decided July was better.

I know you are enjoying the sneak peeks of this handsome little man, but I wanted to share this session which turned our beautifully despite that it was raining…the whole time…that’s right. An entire session in the rain. ;- )  Who knew White Springs had so much to offer that included rain covering.

Thank you so much to the Meek family for allowing me to capture this journey as you become a family of 4. ❤

To find out about scheduling your Maternity session head to the Melody Coarsey Photography website! To see more of sweet Cash (& follow along as I capture his first year!) be sure to like us on Facebook & follow on Twitter!

Till next time,


Lake City FL Professional Photographer Lake City FL Maternity Photographer


Mommy & Me Tea Party…. Lake City FL Family Portraits | Lake City FL Family Photographer

Back in May I also did Micro Minis for Moms & their daughters…complete with a tea set. The moms looked beautiful & so did their girls (though we had a few little guys sneak in there too, which were rather dapper). 😉

I am SO blessed with the clients I get to meet & photograph. Thank you all!

To view more of my work or find out about scheduling a session visit the Melody Coarsey Photography website. To see upcoming sneaks of adorable little ones, newborns, weddings & more be sure to like us on Facebook or Follow on Twitter!

Till next time,


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Super Hero Moms…. Lake City FL Family Portrait Photographer | Lake City FL Photographer

Back in May (man, am I behind in blogging) I did my first ever set of Micro Minis…I had been thinking this theme would be fun for awhile. I thought a Mother’s Day Micro Mini that was Super Hero themed would be a fun way for moms to interact with their little ones & allow me to capture it all! So that both the moms & kids can look back & see the fun they had together.

Thank you so much to all the moms who came out, had fun & allowed me to photograph these moments.

To view more of my work & find out about scheduling a session for you & your little ones visit the Melody Coarsey Photography website. To see upcoming sneak peeks, know about Mini sessions, Micro Minis & more be sure to like us on Facebook & follow on Twitter!

Till next time,


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A Glimpse to the Future…. Lake City FL Family Portrait Photographer | Lake City FL Portrait Photographer

I have hinted here & there about some changes coming to MCP. Well, today, July 1st seems like the perfect time to tell you those changes.

Are these pricing changes? Not really. Am I shutting it all down? Of course not. I truly love photography & capturing memories for all my wonderful & amazing clients. So what’s the big change then? Many of you know I was a Kindergarten teacher before I had my oldest, Cayden. After the birth of Kylie, I got a camera & the love affair began. A year later, I started this little business to share what I love & make a little extra to help around the house, but always thinking once Kylie was in preschool I would go back to teaching.

As the girls got older, I started wondering if I could make this a business that could thrive. That could be a career & (though not make as much as teaching), be something that could be long term. So, I pushed. I tried. I Marketed, I read, watched blogs & webinars to improve my techniques & marketing as well. I did everything to see what would happen….

Am I busier? Oh yes. More than ever. This past month was the first time that the summer was as busy as the Fall, which was crazy. I feel so blessed & thankful for allowing this thing I enjoyed that God gave me, to turn into a way to bless others & help my family. But did it all work? Well, no. I quickly realized I would have to raise my prices OR take on more work to make it as profitable as my first ever job (before the 19.1% taxes I pay that is). I knew raising prices would result in the same amount I’m making now, but less clients which wouldn’t help. I also knew that working more wasn’t an option. This isn’t a 9-5, Monday through Friday job. It’s nights & weekends shooting, then weekdays (& often weekends) editing, practicing, Marketing, designing & of course accounting. It does put a strain on the family as we feel there’s not time for us to do family activities & taking on more work, though I would get closer to the business goals, I would move further from my personal family goals so I would be miserable & highly stressed. (sorry this is so long…..it’s hard to write since it is so personal)

So, come August I will once again be teaching. This way I do another job I enjoy that pays the bills & helps us get a new roof, etc… while still doing what I love on the side. And I may end up taking lots of pics of my little class…big surprise right?  😉

How big will this change be? Well, instead of 3 sessions a week, there will be 3-4 sessions a month. YES, there will be Christmas Minis & Easter Minis & probably some during the summer. So do not fear! 😉  But with the limited number of monthly openings I had to figure out a fair way to schedule it all. So, I decided my Baby Plan Babes & their families will get first pick (as they have a package guaranteeing them portraits that month). After that, open dates will be available to past clients (those who have been photographed by me before July 31st, 2013) for booking. Finally, any additional openings will be new for clients.  Jacksonville Clients will be almost as they are now since I will still only be in Jacksonville once a month. So, your availability is based on that. (Minis will be Past Clients first then New Clients in booking order) Senior Portrait Clients will also be in there & as they are all new, they will booked as they inquire & treated the same as past clients.  Obviously, summer months will be different as I will be able to book more sessions & therefore have more availability to all.

What does this mean? If you are someone who has wanted to book with MCP, but not done it yet, THIS MONTH IS YOUR CHANCE! TO be considered a “Past Client” I would have had to photograph your little one or family by July 31st, 2013.  If you have family or friends who have wanted to book let them know, now’s the time! I have limited availability, but I will do what I can to get those in.

I am SO thankful & blessed to all of you for making these past 3 years wonderful & I look forward to capturing more memories in the upcoming years (albeit less than before)……

Till next time,

**And because this is a photography blog, some shots of my sweet niece. 😉 Figured a Monday needed cuteness to soften the blow. 😉

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Lots of Family means Lots of Love…. Lake City FL Family Portrait Photographer | Lake City FL Family Portraits

Earlier this month I was lucky enough to capture a wonderful family. 4 Generations of love. The entire session was filled with lots of laughs & you could see & feel how much they all loved & cared for one another. It was wonderful.

Thank you so much for allowing me to capture all of you & join in on the fun!

If you would like to schedule a family session, large or small, head to the Melody Coarsey Photography Website. To see upcoming sneaks of all kinds including lots of newborns, couples, toddlers & more be sure to like us on Facebook & follow on Twitter! If you need help with ideas for what to wear for your upcoming portrait session don’t forget to follow my board on Pintrest!

Till next time,


Lake City FL Family Portrait Photographer

Happy, Happy Birthday to Me! Lake City FL Family Portrait Photographer | Lake City FL Child Portrait Photographer

Today is my birthday!! I don’t feel 34 (many days I feel older, lol), but to celebrate I wanted to give something to ALL OF YOU! And I even changed it a bit from what I said on the newsletter. 😉 Why? Because I felt this was more appropriate.

To celebrate ALL session packages of $200 or more (of any kind, maternity, Newborn, family, Child, Themed, etc..) booked from today through April 30th for a May through August portrait session…

Savings on Professional Portrait Photographer in Jacksonville FL

It’s an odd number, but it’s my new age & I gotta embrace it right? This is for new sessions booked only & cannot be used towards sessions already booked.  To book your portrait session head to the Melody Coarsey Photography website or you can email me directly at: melody@melodycoarseyphotography.com

Thank you all & have a wonderful (albeit rainy) day!


Easter Minis….. Lake City FL Family Portrait Photographer | Lake City FL Child Portrait Photographer

Earlier this month I did my annual Easter Minis…Thank you so much to all the wonderful families who came out! Stephen Foster Park worked perfectly & it was a gorgeous day (though a little chilly in the morning).

A day late, but I hope everyone had a wonderful & blessed Easter!

To view more of my work or schedule a session for your family visit the Melody Coarsey Photography website. To find out about upcoming Mini sessions, sneak peeks & more be sure to “like us on Facebook”.

Choose Joy,


North Central Florida Family Portrait Photographer

How is already March????? Now what to do? Lake City FL Family Photographer | Family Portraits in Lake City FL

Of course we all know at the end of this month is Easter (which I’m hoping I am prepared for….especially since as of now I don’t even have dresses for the girls), but what else is going on? Here are a few things going on in & around Lake City. Depending on how far you want to drive there is lots to do for little day trips & of course some weekend family fun.

Saturday, March 9th:  Hogtown Reptile Shop in Gainesville, FL is having their kids program. For all the info, find them on Facebook by clicking here.

Saturday, March 9th: Spring Kids Fest at the Oaks Mall in Gainesville, FL. From 12p-3p this Saturday in front of Dillards kids are invited for face painting, make & take crafts, games, music, dancing & more! For all the info click here.

March 14th-17th : The “Just Between Friends” sale in Gainesville. This is a HUGE consignment sale. I have known many people who have been able to stock up for the following year for clothes, baby furniture & much more. You can buy OR you can even sell items in this huge sale taking place at 2305 N 13th Street (in the building that was formerly Sticks N Stuff). It opens at 10am Thursday & Friday, 9am Saturday & 10am on Sunday. Not a family activity, but a way to save money for your family on the things you need for sure!

March 15th-16th: The Wild Azalea Festival in White Springs (just north of Lake City on 41). Friday night there will be a “Sweets & Eats” festival with food tasting from 5pm-7pm. Followed by a street dance from 7pm-10pm.  Saturday morning, there is a Pankcake breakfast from 8am-10am followed by the Wild Azalea Festival from 10am-4pm with an art exhibit, Musical performances, arts & crafts & the “Little Miss Azalea” contest. There will also be a duck race down the Suwanee River a Children’s Area & much more!

March 16th: Dudley Farm Antique Tractor Day~ Dudley Farm is located in Gainesville south of downtown. For all the information head to the Dudley Farm website.

March 16th & 17th at 2pm (& 7pm on the 15th) : “Into The Woods” the Musical performed by Musical Me at the Gainesville High School Auditorium. This is a play about all the famous storybook characters. A great outing for the little one in your life who loves storybooks, performing & everything that goes along with it.

March 16th: Egg Drop Alachua ~ An annual event. Not only will your kids have eggs across the field to find, but they will be dropping eggs from a helicopter. A twist on the traditional Egg Hunt for Easter. For all the info visit www.eggdropalachua.com

March 24th: From 9am-2pm at UF’s Dairy Farm in Hague is offering FREE tours of their Dairy Facility. Show your kids how milk is made & more! Visit free stall barns, pet a calf & learn. For more information visit them on Facebook

March 30th : 2nd Annual Easter Egg Hunt in Lake City ~  The Lake City Columbia County Chamber of Commerce is sponsoring the 2nd annual community Easter Egg Hunt. Along with an “Egg Hunt” there will be free children’s activities and entertainment. Back by popular demand Shana Banana will provide the children’s entertainment. Bellamy Beaver, the mascot for the Ichetucknee Partnership, will also be in attendance. He will open the egg hunt and have giveaways for the children.

Of course, St. Patrick’s Day is March 17th & Easter is March 31st giving us all plenty of opportunities for fun crafts, themed treats & more!

Have a wonderful March!



Why Should I pay for Custom Portraits???? Lake City FL Family Photographer | Lake City FL Family Portrait Photographer

Ok. This topic I know may upset some….it may also reveal to some of us our true priorities. But, it’s a question that goes through everyone’s mind when thinking about paying for Family Portraits.

Especially with this economy, this is a thought that goes through people’s minds all the time. I get it. But if you think about it, are all those photos you snap with your phone or your cousin snaps with their good camera, are they photos you want to proudly display in your home? Photos that will be treasured forever. Photos that flatter you & showcase the best of your family, even in the candid moments? Usually not.

Of course, it may also be something like my problem. YOU are the one behind the camera all the time. You flip through your album or scrapbook & there are tons of photos of the kids, yet you are not in any of them…..why? Because you took the photo. Simple as that. This year, we will be getting a professional portrait session done of our family.

Is it something I will have to save to be able to do? Yes.

So, why will I do it? Well, because I want fabulous photos of my whole family. Not just my girls, but me with my girls. Photos I feel confident about & want to display in my home. Photos showing the love we have for each other. And yes, photos where I feel I look good. I feel confident & happy & it shows whether or not I lose 10 more pounds.  (& no I am not remotely looking forward to styling my family for this photo, but I know it needs to be done, lol). True, family photos are typically a once a year thing. But PLEASE do it once a year. If you are truly too strapped for custom portraiture, then let a friend capture the shot at minimum. Will it be something you treasure & want to order of a canvas of? Probably not, but at least you will be in the photo. With your children. Loving them. Being with them.

The photo below is one a family friend took last summer. I was happy we got photos where I was in them, but are they what I picture in my head for family portraits? No. Why? Because a family friend (albeit very knowledgeable in how to use a camera & takes wonderful nature photos) is not a professional Photographer. This was taken in a cute little town right before we went to dinner. Not exactly a photo session, but I wanted photos with me in them.

Family Portrait Photographer in Lake City FL

What do you need to do this? You need to find a photographer who understands what you want for your family. Has a good rapport with your k ids & is able to capture their true smiles. A photographer who knows the most flattering way to pose you & your family as well as fun ways to set up a shot that will make for wonderful candid photos of your family interacting without posing. A photographer you feel comfortable with & you feel values you & your family. This person will be able to capture photos for you that you will cherish forever. Photos that make you smile & even shed a small tear in a few years when you look back & wonder where the time has gone. You only have one family. You only have one life. Is that new purse or pair of shoes awesome now? Probably yes. But 10 years from now what would you value more? That purse or a beautiful portrait of your family?

I will end with that, as that is what it boils down to. And now, I can even shoot your session with layouts in mind for the wall in your house you plan to display those images…..which means the photos (colors, location, etc…) will be perfectly suited for display in your home.

To find out about booking a family portrait for your family or view my work head to the Melody Coarsey Photography website. To keep up to date on all Mini sessions, sneak peeks & more be sure to like us on Facebook.



February’s Here! The Month of Love….now what to do??? Lake City FL Family Photographer | Lake City FL Photographer

It’s Wednesday! Though I’m a little late as one of the bigger events many of you have already been to…The Medieval Hoggetown Fair in Gainesville! It was all last weekend. But there is plenty more in store this month in Lake City, Gainesville & all around to help you make some memories with your little one. 😉

1) Saturday, Feb. 9th 6:30p-9p “Stargazing on the Prairie” Though this may be for the older crowd or those of you who have some night owls, I think kids would enjoy it! It’s $5 per person ages 7 & up. Ages 6 & under are FREE.  The Alachua Astronomy Club will provide the telescopes, and the expertise. Enjoy sitting around a campfire while sipping hot chocolate & making smores. Take a hayride around Hickory Ranch. Bring your family, friends, and chairs for relaxing. Paynes Prairie is located 10 miles south of Gainesville on Hwy. 441.

Do not enter at the Main Entrance/Ranger Station.
Proceed to Hickory Ranch at 9300 S.E. CR 234, 5 miles north of the intersection of CR 234 and Hwy. 441 in Micanopy.

2) Sunday, February 10th 1pm-4pm “Ask a Scientist” at the Florida Museum of Natural History. This FREE event gives you the opportunity to take advantage of this opportunity to talk with scientists and ask those questions you have been wondering about. Bring your specimens and find answers during an afternoon of discovery and learning.  Florida Museum of Natural History Website

3) Thursday, Feb. 14th from 10am-11am or 3pm-4pm this event is for ages 6 & up! Corks n Colors Studio is offering a  Peace n Love Valentine’s Day Mini Camp for Ages 6 and up! Kids can make a clay peace sign or heart and enjoy a cupcake. Call to register 352-575-4069

4) Saturday, February 16th ALL DAY is of course, the Olustee Battle Festival.  This annual FREE event just west of Lake City on Hwy 90 includes the annual re-enactment of a Civil War Battle between the North and the South.   Hundreds of re-enactors come from miles around to participate in this historical event. It also includes lots of booths, food & fun for all ages! For more information head to the Olustee Festival Website.

5) Saturday, February 23rd you can do a Paynes Prairie guided Moonlight walk from 5pm-8pm for only $2 per person.

Meet at the La Chua Trail Parking Lot and join a Paynes Prairie ranger for a moonlight walk along the north rim of the prairie basin. Wear comfortable walking shoes and bring a bag dinner to enjoy while watching the sunset from a scenic overlook. (Not recommended for children under 10 years old.) Paynes Prairie Preserve State Park is located 10 miles south of Gainesville, in Micanopy, on the east side of US 441 For more information and to make reservations, call (352) 466-4100

6) Saturday, February 23rd at the Santa Fe Zoo is celebrating “Zoo Animal Appreciation Day”. From 9am-2pm at the Santa Fe Zoo, for regular Zoo admission ($5 for adults, $4 for children, ages 3 & under are FREE)  Explore the Santa Fe College Teaching Zoo and the wonder of wildlife. Visit with the animals and chat with the zookeepers at various animal encounter stations throughout the zoo. In front of the zoo, enjoy FREE animal themed children’s crafts, face painting, a bounce house from Space Walk of Gainesville, games and kids activities. PLUS meet various local animal mascots like Odie Bee, Beauregard, Geoffrey the Giraffe, the Chick-fil-A cow and more!

Santa Fe College Teaching Zoo: 3000 NW 83rd St, Gainesville, FL 32606 / (352) 395-5601

7) O’Leno State Park Chili Cookoff/Springs Celebration~ You are invited to have an attend at the annual Springs Celebration/Chili Cook Off at O’Leno State Park on Saturday March 23, 2013 from 11 Am until 3 PM. There is FREE admission to the park with a canned food donation. There will be live music, entertainment, children’s activities, informational exhibits and CHILI! This is a great event along the banks of the Santa Fe River. If you are interested in participating in the Chili Cook Off details and rules can be found at http://www.friendsofoleno.com.

Of course, there are also all the parks around us, the Jacksonville Zoo, The Children’s Hands On Museum in Jacksonville & Bouncin’ Big with 8,000 sq. ft of indoor bounce house & slide fun! Lots to do! Don’t forget to give a little extra love to your littles on Valentine’s Day (Friday’s blog post will be all about fin Valentine’s Day inspired crafts!). 😉