The Grotto at St Leo {St. Leo, Florida} Maternity Photographer

The Secret Place  

 In the Bible the Psalmist David paints a picture of how a baby is meticulously and wonderfully created in the "secret place".  

Psalms 139:13-16

13 For you created my inmost being;
    you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
    your works are wonderful,
    I know that full well.
15 My frame was not hidden from you
    when I was made in the secret place,
    when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
16 Your eyes saw my unformed body;
    all the days ordained for me were written in your book
    before one of them came to be.

St Leo Maternity Photographer

As I considered locations and theme for this maternity photoshoot, the words in the scripture "the secret place" kept coming to mind. Tucked away and hidden from the world, the serene Grotto at St Leo was the perfect "secret place" to capture the beauty and essence of motherhood. 

TampaWesleyChapelMaternityPhotography-1476.jpg

And let's be honest, it's not difficult to capture "the beauty and essence of motherhood" when you're photographing a gorgeous mother-to-be like Jenna. 

Jenna is already mom to a beautiful little girl and expected to deliver another baby girl, Noah Jane, the first week of September. Don't you just love the unique baby names she chose?

Jeremiah 1:5

“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you;
Before you were born I sanctified you;
I ordained you a prophet to the nations.”

Life is always a rich and steady time when you are waiting for something to happen or to hatch.
-- E.B. White, Charlotte's Web
 

Are you expecting a tiny miracle soon? Call or email today. Don't let this fleeting moment in your life pass by without capturing the beauty of your growing belly.  

Don CeSar surprise proposal! | Christine says Yes!

Capturing surprise proposals is one of my favorite things to do. Just something about the romance and love, the nervous "groom-to-be, the tears of joy, the giggles and squeals, and most importantly of course, the DIAMONDS!

So when Danny texted me out of the blue this week from their home state of Rhode Island because he had seen Adriano and Julianne's lovey dovey proposal that was published on "How He Asked," I was super exited to help him plan Christine's secret beach proposal! 

Don Cesar St Petersburg Beach Proposal

 

Not only did Danny do an awesome job of hiring me to make sure they had the moment captured for years to come, but he picked a gorgeous location, the Don CeSar hotel (in St. Petersburg,) and he set it up perfectly so she looked amazing!!

These photos are completely un-staged, they are really this in love.. Christine has NO idea I'm photographing them! 

Don Cesar St Petersburg Beach Proposal

After a brief walk to take in the gorgeous beach, Danny got down on one knee.. "Will you Marry Me?" 

Don CeSar beach proposal photos engagement St Petersburg-1873.jpg
Don CeSar beach proposal photos engagement St Petersburg-1879.jpg
Don CeSar beach proposal photos engagement St Petersburg-1885.jpg

And lets talk about that ring folks!!!  Did Danny do good or what? This ring is GORGEOUS!!  

Don Cesar St Petersburg Beach Proposal  Engagement Ring

 

Look at how cute these two are? 

Don CeSar beach proposal photos engagement St Petersburg-1928.jpg

They are considering getting married at the amazing Don Cesar, and I'm crossing my fingers that they choose me to capture their wedding! 

Don Cesar St Petersburg Beach Proposal
Don CeSar beach proposal photos engagement St Petersburg-1971.jpg

After Danny popped the question and Christine said "YES!!!" they headed off to celebrate with family just as the storm began and this gorgeous rainbow broke through the clouds. I'm calling that a sign of well done Danny! 

Don Cesar Hotel wedding engagement photographer

If your in the market for a wedding or family photographer, or want to "pop the question" to your spouse to be, shoot me an email and we can plan something unique to you and your style! 

Holiday Sessions are here!

Tampa Christmas photos

This year I have 3 Holiday Specials to choose from, all include 1 hour of shooting time. I have VERY LIMITED session dates available till 2017!! Please contact me ASAP so you don't miss out! 

Package 1: Pick your favorite 3 digital images for download with personal printing rights $275

Package 2: Gallery of Images for download with printing rights (at least 25) $450 

Package 3: Gallery of Images for download with printing rights (at least 25) and $75 Print Credit $500 

Contact me asap: Melissa@contemporarycaptuers.com 

Check out the free session I'm giving away on my facebook page! 

https://www.facebook.com/MelissaKortaPhotography/

 

Georgia Destination Wedding Photographer | Kaitlyn and Eric Married

 Katilyn and Eric originally planned  a St Pete Beach destination wedding, but when Eric's family offered to host in Eric's home town of Cobb, Georgia, they jumped at the chance.  I was super excited they asked me to join them in such a beautiful place! Oh the gorgeous pecan trees!! 

They had the cutest lakeside wedding with a "beachy theme" and their loving friends and family in attendance.

After the ceremony we borrowed a golf cart from some strangers for our couple portraits and ended up back at the reception just in time for the skies to open up. Talk about perfect timing. 

Her wedding colors were blue and orange, (I teased her she was a Gator fan) and her bouquets and boutonnieres were full of birds of paradise which made them not only unique, but gorgeous as well! 

I'm so glad they asked me to take a road trip and can't wait for the next one!  If your getting married in the pecan trees, I am most definitely your girl! 

 

Photographer: Contemporary Captures Photography
Second Shooter/Assistant: Rebekah Mann 
Wedding Dress: David's Bridal 
Bridesmaids Dresses: David's Bridal
Hair & Makeup: Cuttin' Up Salon
Shoes: Kelly & Katie
Tuxedos/Suits: Macy's
Florida: Margie's Florist
Wedding Cake:  Jennifer Payne
 

If your looking for a Central Florida or Worldwide Destination photographer, shoot me an email!

Sunken Gardens Wedding {Hilary and Brighton Married}

I'm so excited to blog this wedding sneak peek of Hilary and Brighton's Sunken Gardens Wedding!  The flowers...the colors... its all right up my alley! If you haven't heard of Sunken Gardens, its a botanical paradise in St. Petersburg, Florida. What a lovely place for a wedding! I'll stop talking and let the photos speak for themselves! 

Sunken Gardens Wedding
Sunken Gardens Wedding
ST Petersburg Wedding ring
st pete garden wedding invitation

I mean can the backdrop be more beautiful? That morning it was threatening rain, but held off till we were headed into the reception for perfect timing! We enjoyed the storm from inside the comfort of the reception. 

St Pete Garden Wedding

Her baby's breath floral crown fit right in with the gorgeous surroundings. 

St Pete Bride
ST Petersburg Wedding couple bride groom
ST Petersburg Wedding couple bride groom

I love this sweet moment from their first look! 

ST Petersburg garden Wedding first look
St Pete Wedding Large Bridal Party

Didn't I tell you the surroundings were gorgeous? I can't think of a more perfect venue for a garden wedding in the Central Florida area. 

st petersburg garden wedding

The rain started coming down just as the party got started. 

tampa wedding first dance

Hilary and Brighton love to travel, so they incorporated the travel theme into their photo booth! 

travel themed wedding

Because their last name is Gardiner, the entire reception was full of "garden" puns! So clever! 

ST Petersburg Wedding cake cupcakes

If your looking for a St Pete, Florida photographer, or are a world travel and need a destination photographer, I'd love to chat with you! 

Safety Harbor Spa Wedding Photographer | Melissa and Jerry Married

Melissa and Jerry were married at the gorgeous  Safety Harbor Spa in historic Safety Harbor.  I loved more about Tampa Bride Melissa than just her name. Her wedding dress was STUNNING! I mean look at that amazing lace!  

Safety Harbor Spa Wedding Dress
Safety harbor spa wedding
Safety Harbor Spa Wedding

How sweet is this moment between Melissa and her mom? 

Safety Harbor Spa Bride
Safety Harbor Wedding

Her ring and dress reminded me of days past while still being classically modern. 

engagement ring Tampa
Safety harbor Bride
Safety harbor wedding

I love this image of Jerry seeing Melissa for the first time walking down the aisle. I think this is one of my favorite images to capture of the wedding day.. when a groom sees his wife to be walking towards him. 

Groom seeing bride for first time
safety harbor spa wedding

Melissa and Jerry were excited to have their "baby" be a wedding ceremony guest. 

Safety harbor dog wedding
plum wedding colors purple
Tampa couple posing
safety harbor wedding photos
Safety harbor wedding photos

I just adore this wedding cake. The flowers are so beautiful, and it tasted amazing too! 

Tampa Wedding cake
Tampa plum wedding
wedding bouquet flowers purple

There were some emotional first dances, but none more than daddy giving away his bride. 

First dance
father daughter dance
Mother son dance

All that was left was the party.. and party they did! 

safety harbor spa reception
tampa wedding party
tampa wedding photobooth

VENDORS

Ceremony and Reception | Safety Harbor Spa and Resort 
Cake Artist | Let Them Eat Cake 
Florist | Black Forest Flowers
DJ |

 

If your engaged I would love to shoot your wedding! Shoot me an email and lets get planning! 
 

TAMPA PHOTOGRAPHER {TWELVE BY TWELVE BLOG CIRCLE: CELEBRATE}

If you've been following along my rarely updated blog,  :), you know that I've been participating in a 12 month project where a group of photographers from all over come together and share their viewpoint on a singular topic. This is the final topic of the year and how appropriate that we end with CELEBRATE!! 

So this month is another personal post because nobody can celebrate like my little brother Andy. He is always full of such joy and love and always is down for a good hug. He visited me here in good ol' Wesley Chapel for Christmas and showed us all how to celebrate even the little things! 

Here are a few photos of him opening his Christmas presents this year.. If you know me, I am NOT a raver, so his reactions put me to shame. We should all be so free with our feelings! and ps... clearly I keep the air conditioning on too low.. hence the blankets haha 

Wesley Chapel Photographer
Wesley Chapel Photographer
Wesley Chapel Photographer
Wesley Chapel Photographer

 

Head on over to see Jen of Shooting for Keeps Photography for her  take on Celebration and keep the circle going! 

 

Safety Harbor Engagement Photographer {Bethany and Aaron Engaged}

Bethany and Aaron not only just moved to Safety Harbor, but Aaron proposed at the Safety Harbor Spa, so we knew it was the perfect location for their engagement photos. They even brought along their puppy Bosco, and they warned me he HATED cameras!! Well, Bosco and I hit it off and he posed perfectly in just about every photo!

Safety Harbor Engagement Session
Safety harbor engagement session

We started our session off at the gazebo and walked around downtown Safety Harbor a bit and  ended by the gorgeous waters at the spa. Safety Harbor is such a gorgeous little town, and we passed a few little mom and pop shops I can't wait to go back and visit. 

Safety harbor engagement photographer
Safety harbor engagement photographer
Safety harbor engagement photographer

This adorable couple has their wedding next month at the Postcard Inn in St. Petersburg and I can't wait! 

Safety harbor engagement photographer
Safety harbor engagement photographer
Safety harbor engagement photographer
Safety harbor engagement photographer

If your looking for a Safety Harbor engagement or wedding photographer, give me a call! 

Tampa Photographer "EYES" {Twelve by Twelve Project}

I am so excited that its my turn to host this month's Twelve by Twelve Project. The theme this month is eyes and because its October and Halloween, I can't wait to see what everybody comes up with! 

Check out  Rita, one of Tampa's Amazing Newborn Photographer Infinity Photography who's next in the circle and follow along! 

Tampa Photographer

Tampa Child Photography {Nostalgia} Twelve by Twelve Projects

I can't tell you how excited I was about this month's topic! I knew exactly what I wanted to capture. When my mom died of cancer 6 years ago, when my sisters and I were cleaning out her things, we found a garbage bag with 2 outfits and a pair of heels that belonged to my great grandmother. I have imagined shooting my daughter in these outfits since that day. This topic was just the kick in the pants I needed. 

Tampa Child Photographer Vintage
Tampa Child Photographer Vintage

These pieces remind me of my mother and where I came from. They make me feel closer to my mom, and bring back tons of memories. They've also inspired me to share more with my kids about my past and my "story" so that if anything were to happen to me, they would have these memories to hopefully comfort them. 

Tampa vintage child photography
Tampa vintage child photography

Gracie wears a size 9/10 little girls clothes and a woman's size 5 shoe. The dresses were only slightly too big for her and the shoes were VERY snug. The tags in the clothes say size 6.  Boy were clothes (and people) smaller back then! 

Tampa vintage child photography

Get out there and capture your loved ones, family, and YOU get in those pics too.  Please continue on our "Twelve by Twelve Project" journey and check out Kristie Serra Photography! They will be cherished.  And if you ever need a Tampa Photographer, give me a call! 

Free Halloween Mini-Session! {Free Photo Session}

Halloween Tampa Photo session

We're bringing back our Fall Food Drive this year! Session and 2 digital images are free to those who bring in 10 cans of food or a $10 donation. All proceeds will be used for Thanksgiving Dinners for Families in need!

Bring your kids by in costumes or come as you are!

Drop in, no appointments needed.

*Because of the small time frame for each session, please limit to immediate family only per donation.

*Sessions to be held in Wesley Chapel. You can choose studio or outdoor shots.

*Image downloads will be sent to your email address with print release

Holiday Boudoir Bash {Tampa Boudoir Photographer}

Tampa Boudoir Photographer

Don't know what to give your significant other (or yourself) this year? We've got the perfect thing. Why not take the time to get pampered and feel beautiful and book one of our Holiday Boudoir Sessions. I'm so excited about these! The location will be the glamorous Rialto Theatre!! Think of the possibilities! 

-Details-

-Sessions to be held November 29th.

-Professional Hair and Makeup will be provided

-Session Products include online gallery, 15 digital images (your choice) and a custom designed Little Black Book. (in Gift box)

-Little Black Book will be delivered before December 20th if images are proofs are approved within 5 days of Gallery Reveal

-$25 discount on your session for each referral who books and pays in full

Holiday Sessions are here! {Tampa Photo Mini-Sessions}

tampa christmas photo sessions

Yep! I can't believe it either! Its already that time of year! Time to book those Holiday Portraits! Whether your sending out cards, or updating the family canvas, now is the time to get on my calendar!

-Details-

All sessions also include an in-person proofing and ordering appointment scheduled a weekday within 2 weeks of session where we will sit together, reveal images, choose your 5 files and 11x14 print. Other prints, packages and gifts will be available to order at that time.

-Session fee is due in full to secure your date and time for booking and is non-refundable.

-Immediate families only. If additional family members would like to be included, please book an additional time slot.

-All print and artwork orders must be received by December 15th to ensure Christmas delivery or pick up!

NOVEMBER 13th (Friday) | Philippe Park

4:00pm |

5:00pm |

NOVEMBER 14th (Saturday) | San Antonio

4:00pm | BOOKED

5:00pm |

NOVEMBER 15th (Sunday) | Redington Beach Pier

4:00pm | BOOKED

5:00pm |

NOVEMBER 27th (Friday) | Ybor City

4:00pm |

5:00pm | BOOKED

NOVEMBER 28th (Saturday) | University of Tampa

4:00pm | BOOKED

5:00pm |

DECEMBER 5th (Saturday) | TBD

4:00pm |

5:00pm |

University of Tampa Wedding Ma$e Concert

I had the pleasure of photographing a wedding where the reception was held in the Fletcher Ballroom on the University of Tampa's Campus.  The "High profile" clients had booked me through a wedding planner, Abigail of Stylish Wedding Ceremonies. (more on her later cause she rocked!!) Abigail had told me they planned on having celebrity entertainment. My close friends make fun of me because I know NOTHING about music/pop culture from my childhood, as growing up we did not listen to TV or radio, so I had no idea who or what to expect.  

Ma$e Mase Celebrity Rapper

Do you recognize him? 

Ma$e!! 

Ma$e Mase Celebrity Rapper

The songs were so familiar to me, so I couldn't wait to go home and do my research! By the end of the mini-concert, my second and I were rocking right along with the crowd! 

Ma$e Mase Celebrity Rapper
celebrity Wedding Fletcher Ballroom
University of Tampa Ballroom Wedding

 Stay tuned later this week, when I blog the full wedding.

If your looking for a wedding photographer for your Tampa wedding, shoot me an email! 

Just Peachy Siesta Key Beach Destination Wedding Photographer

Kayla and Tyler are from the beautiful "cool" state of Maine, and decided to travel on down to sunny Florida for a gorgeous but "HOT" destination wedding with friends and family on Siesta Key Beach.  Florida beaches are almost always sunny and warm, but this particular day, the sun came out to play in full force!  Despite the record heat, Kayla was a gorgeous bride and married her high school sweetheart surrounded by her closest friends and family. 

Siesta Key Beach Wedding Photographer
Siesta Key Beach Wedding Photographer
Siesta Key Beach Wedding Photographer
Siesta Key Beach Wedding Photographer
Siesta Key Beach Wedding Photographer
Siesta Key Beach Wedding Photographer

After the "I do's" we quickly got a few shots in before everybody melted! As hot as it was, Kayla still summoned up the energy to channel her cheerleading roots! 

Florida Beach Wedding
Florida Beach Wedding
Florida Beach Wedding
Florida Beach Wedding
Florida Beach Wedding
Florida Beach Wedding
Florida Beach Wedding
Florida Beach Wedding
Florida Beach Wedding

Afterwards, I followed them over to Lakewood Ranch to capture the first dance, and snag the bride for a few bridal shots! I love that their wedding was all about friends and family, and just being together! 

 

Lakewood Ranch Wedding
Lakewood Ranch Wedding
Lakewood Ranch Wedding
Lakewood Ranch Wedding
Lakewood Ranch Wedding
Lakewood Ranch Wedding

If you need a wedding photographer for your destination or beach wedding, be sure to contact me! I'd love to be a part of your wedding day! 


Tampa Wedding Ring Photography {Shadow} Twelve by Twelve Project

If you've been following along, you know I'm a part of a group of amazing photographers who are blogging each month in a blog circle. This month's topic is "Shadow." 
Tampa  St Pete Wedding Rings Photography

Its no secret one of my favorite things to photograph are the details. All those special little touches you worked so hard on in the months before your wedding day.  The penny in your shoe, the note from your loved one, the jewelry your grandmother passed done, and of course the stunning wedding rings. 

Tampa  St Pete Wedding Rings Photography
Big, small, brand new, or Grandma's hand me down, Tiffany, or the local jewelry store, I love them all. There is something so special about something given thats meant to seal a lifetime of love to come! 
Clearwater-Grand-Hyatt-South-Asian-Indian-Wedding-Photographer-0880.png

Check out the other 11 photographers and their interpretation of "Shadow" by following the blog circle starting with Reilly of Reilly Maquire Photography! Rita is our guest judge this month, so head on over to the "Twelve by Twelve Project" facebook page and share your favorite shadow image! Contact me if your looking for a wedding photographer in the Tampa Bay Area!! 

Tampa Wedding Photography {Laughter} Twelve by Twelve Project

If you've been following along, you know I'm a part of a group of amazing photographers who are blogging each month in a blog circle. This month's topic is "Laughter."  Watching my wedding couples laugh and giggle together is one of my favorite real emotions to capture!

Plant City Wedding Kathleen's Garden

Check out the other 11 photographers and their interpretation of "laughter" by following the blog circle starting with Rita of Infinity Photography by Rita! Contact me if your looking for a wedding photographer in the Tampa Bay Area!  

Tampa Underwater Photography {Grounded} Twelve by Twelve Project

If you've been following along, you know I'm a part of a group of amazing photographers who are blogging each month in a blog circle. This month's topic is "Grounded." 

Tampa Underwater Photographer
Tampa Underwater Photographer


What could be more "grounded" than being underground and underwater! I've recently discovered a love of underwater photography.  The colors are always amazing and here in Florida, there is never a shortage of bodies of water! 


Tampa Underwater Photographer Photography-1696.jpg
Tampa Underwater Photographer
Tampa Underwater Photographer

Check out the other 11 photographers and their interpretation of "soft" by following the blog circle starting with Amy of Apple Street Productions and contact me if you'd like an underwater session! 

Tampa Bridal Photographer {Twelve by Twelve Project Soft}

If you've been following my blog you know I've been participating in the Twelve by Twelve Project, which is a blog circle with some amazing photographers. This month's topic is soft. 

 

This topic was hard for me because "soft" is not a word that one would usually use to describe my style of photography. I had to think out of the box for this one.. Here is my version of "soft."

Tampa Bride Wedding Photographer
Tampa Bride Wedding Photographer
Tampa Bride Wedding Photographer
Tampa Bride Wedding Photographer


Check out the other 11 photographers and their interpretation of "soft" by following the blog circle starting with Reilly Maquire Photography