Saturday, December 6, 2008

Christmas and New Year Studio Schedule

Can you believe that there are only 19 days until Christmas? This year has flown by. It seems like just last year we were celebrating the turning of the century!

I am very much looking forward taking some time off to spend the Christmas holiday with my family. The kids will be off from school and hubby is even taking some much deserved vacation time, too! It's been far too long since we've been able to enjoy a vacation (at home) as a family!

We will be closing the studio for the holidays beginning on December 18 and reopening in the New Year on Tuesday, January 6. If you're one of our clients who already has a session scheduled the first weekend in January, don't fret! These sessions will be held!

And don't forget! As you're finishing up (or even just starting) your Christmas shopping, we have a free printable blank shopping list to help you as you shop!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

2009 PPSNF Board of Directors!

I can't tell you how excited I am and also how honored I am to have been elected to the Board of Directors for 2009 for the Professional Photographers Society of North Florida (or PPSNF as we refer to it).

PPSNF is a local affiliate of the Professional Photographers of America and is an organization of over 100 professional photographers and industry related businesses in the greater Jacksonville area. As a professional guild, we continually work to improve the photographic industry in our area and assist the members with the success of their career through many educational opportunities.

During 2008, I assumed the duties as the webmaster for PPSNF and beginning in January 2009, I will officially be on the board, helping to continue to grow and make this already awesome organization even more awesome. I have learned and have grown so much as a photographer since joining this organization almost two years ago and it's truly an honor to have been nominated and elected to the board of one of the largest and most active PPA affiliates in the US!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Gift Card Sale! My Birthday Present to YOU!

In celebration of my birthday next Wednesday, I'm giving YOU a present - just in time for the beginning of the holiday shopping season!

For a very limited time - today through 5:00 pm on November 28th - purchase a Mikkean Photography Gift of Portraiture Gift Card for a family member, for a friend, or even for yourself and you will receive a 38% discount on the purchase of them!!! (Can you guess how old I'll be?!)

Purchase as many Gift of Portraiture Gift Cards as you'd like and receive the discount on each one. They do not have an expiration date and may be used towards the purchase of products and services at our Mikkean Photography studio.

* A $50 Gift Card is only $31
* A $100 Gift Card is only $62
* A $200 Gift Card is only $124

Our gift cards make GREAT gifts for Christmas, Hanukkah, Birthday, Anniversary, Just Because, and even a Baby Shower gift for an expectant mom (for maternity or newborn portraits).

Each Gift Card is the size of a credit card, fits perfectly in a wallet and is beautifully packaged and ready for you to give. And, if you'd like, we will even mail it to the recipient for you at no extra charge!

Don't wait! Give a gift that is as unique as the recipient and one that will be greatly appreciated and treasured for a lifetime - the Gift of Portraiture from Mikkean Photography.

For your convenience, we accept Visa and Mastercard. Call the studio at (904) 403-9553 to order your Gift Cards today!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Honoring Those Who Serve this Veterans Day

This beautiful day, the 11th day of the 11th month of November, we celebrate Veterans Day. Unfortunately, for many in our country, this day will be unnoticed. But for many is a solemn day to give recognition to those men and women who stand on foreign soils as well as here in the US who fight for all the rights we have been given and for our freedom and protection. It is also the day to give honor to those who gave their ultimate sacrifice and for the sacrifices of their families that were made in support of our great country. To all the soldiers of yesterday, today and tomorrow, my humble thanks for dedicating your life to our wonderful country.

As you may have read in earlier blog posts, on December 25, 2007 one of our own family members (my husband's cousin) gave the ultimate sacrifice while serving in Iraq - Sgt. Bryan Tutten. To Bryan - you are a true American hero and will be greatly missed. To Aunt Sylvia (Bryan's mom) and to Constandina, Catherine and Garreth (Bryan's wife and children), not a day goes by that I do not think of you. Bryan was a hero and today and every day, I am humbled by his courage, honor and sacrifice. Know that we will always be here for you all. We love and miss you, Bryan.

We Stood For Freedom
by Roger J. Robicheau, Former U.S. Army Specialist Fifth Class

We stood for freedom just like you
And loved the flag you cherish too
Our uniforms felt great to wear
You know the feel, and how you care.

In step we marched, the cadence way
The same is true with you today
Oh how we tried to do our best
As you do now, from test to test
How young we were and proud to be
Defenders of true liberty.

So many thoughts bind soldiers well
The facts may change, not how we jell
Each soldier past, and you now here
Do share what will not disappear
One thought now comes, straight from my heart
For soldiers home, who've done their part.

I'm honored to have served with you
May Godly peace, help get you through
And now I'll end with a request
Do ponder this, while home at rest
America, respect our day
Each veteran, helped freedom stay.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Give the Gift of Memories to Family and Friends this Holiday Season

Have you ever received a gift and cringed a bit, not because it wasn't appreciated or a really cool gift, but because you just don't have the room for one more "thing"? Each one of us accumulates more "stuff" in a lifetime than we'll ever need. This Christmas and holiday season don't give a gift that will end up among all the other "stuff". Give a gift that will capture memories for a lifetime and will be treasured by family and friends.

Mikkean Photography - A Gift of Portraiture Gift Card

Mikkean Photography - A Gift of Portraiture Gift Cards are a gift that can be used by just about anyone and any time and certainly won't be returned! Gift cards are available in $50, $100 and $200 denominations and each one is beautifully packaged in a gift card enclosure and provides an area where you may personalize to whom it's for and from. We'll even send it to the recipient for you, if you wish!

Of all the "things" we own, what is the one thing that almost everyone grabs first if they were to have to to vacate immediately? They all grab their most treasured family possessions - the family photographs.

This Christmas season, give your loved ones a gift that they can truly treasure and which will certainly be a gift for a lifetime. Call 904-403-9553 to purchase yours today!

Free Printable Holiday Gift List

We want to make your holiday gift shopping a little easier this year. Click on the image below to get your printable copy of a holiday gift list that you can use to help you plan your holiday shopping.

Mikkean Photography Holiday Shopping Gift List

(This is a PDF file and requires Adobe Acrobat to read. This is a free download.)

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Celebrate National Breast Cancer Awareness Month

As you may know, in a few months will be my 2 year anniversary of my breast cancer diagnosis. October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and for me, it is so very important to educate as many women (and men) as possible to be diligent about self-exams and getting your mammograms done ON TIME! So, you'll be hearing a bit more from me this month, including a very special project that you all can participate in!

So, to start the month off, here is a Public Service Announcement brought to you by Mikkean Photography:

National Breast Cancer Awareness Month educates women about the importance of early detection. More and more women are getting mammograms to detect breast cancer in its earliest stages. As a result, breast cancer deaths are on the decline. Encourage the women in your life to get mammograms on a regular basis. Visit the National Breast Cancer Awareness Month website at for more information.

A Very Bad Blogger!

I've been a very bad blogger the past several weeks. We've had some very busy weeks and I'm going to make sure I update a lot more often! So, stay tuned!

Monday, September 8, 2008

Holiday Cards Are Coming!

We're getting ready for the holidays....yes, already. And we're going to have an awesome collection of beautiful holiday cards for you to choose from. Whether you like traditional holiday reds and greens, brighter colors, or more deeper, richer colors, we have something for just about everyone.

Our cards are not flimsy photographic cards produced on photo paper that you can get from your local mart. They are beautifully printed on fine paper stocks such as dreamy pearl paper, linen paper, watercolor paper, or just simple card stock with or without a glossy finish.

This year we will be offering a nice selection designs for double sided flat 5x7 cards and folded 5x7 cards, and several designs for 5x5 trifold cards. All cards are available in sets of 24 and include envelopes, as well, and feature usually one to three images from your portrait session.

The cut-off for ordering cards will be November 30 to ensure you'll receive them in time to mail them out for the holidays. More information to follow in a few days, but until then, here's a sneak peek!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Tag, I'm It!

Tonight I get to reminisce back to those childhood days where we played a fun game of tag. Why? Well tonight I was tagged in a grown up version by my dear friend Stacy from SLN Studios.

Now on to six unspectacular quirks about Keely:

1. I love to offer help to pretty much anyone who needs it, many times at the expense of time for me.

2. My nickname when I was a child was Corky, affectionately given to me by my dad. Corky's was a 5 and dime store in my town that I always begged to go to, thus the nick name!

3. I'm a self-proclaimed "geek" - between writing computer programs, building e-commerce web sites, and back in college days doing Differential Equations and Linear Algebra problems for fun when I was bored - I actually majored in Mechanical Engineering and minored in Math and Music & Sound Recording.

4. I use the word "actually" a lot. :)

5. I worry….about everything.

6. I love doing Sudoku and logic puzzles for fun (see #3)

Okay so now its my turn to tag someone:

Well, rules say I have to tag 6 people…so tag, you're it Heidi, Melissa, Deanna, Tammie … I'm too tired to think of more! Will have to come back to this!


1. Link the person who tagged you
2. Mention the rules on your blog
3. Tell about 6 unspectacular quirks of yours
4. Tag 6 following bloggers by linking them & leave a comment on each of the tagged blogger’s blogs letting them know they have been tagged.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Prayer Needed for My Father In Law

You never know when life may take a sudden turn leaving you to realize how fragile it is and the importance of family and not taking anything for granted. I've been down this road myself and today we had another family scare.

This morning, we received a call from my mother in law that my husband's father was being rushed to the hospital and all she could get out was "it's his heart". We soon found out that he had suffered a heart attack and his heart had taken a pretty big blow due to some blockage in the major artery to the heart. He is in ICU now being observed now because they told us that's the worst artery to have blockage in.

We feel that this morning God was watching over him. He normally gets up very very early to head out fishing on the open ocean for a few hours before heading to work. Had he been at work or fishing, we would have probably lost him. Instead, he slept in this morning and his family was there to call 911.

Please keep him in your prayers. And please give your children, husband, significant other an/or parents a hug and tell them that you love them. Please also remember that the special moments we share with our loved ones and the moments captured in time are some of life's greatest gifts.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Please Stay Safe - Updated

To all of our clients and friends, please stay safe while Fay makes her way through our area.

Due to the weather, our studio will be closed on Thursday and Friday, August 21 & 22.

Be safe!

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Studio Closed August 23-27

Our studio will be closed on August 23-27 as we'll be attending the Florida Professional Photographers conference in Orlando! The studio will reopen on August 28th.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Considering Professional Newborn Photography

One of the most special days in your life is the day that you found out that your family would grow by two little feet. In the nine months following, there is so much to do and so much to experience. It is amazing time, watching the belly grow, listening to the sound of the baby's heartbeat, seeing a glimpse of your new baby during an ultrasound, feeling those little flutters which all too soon turn into frequent kicking from this tiny little person, setting up a nursery that will welcome your newborn infant home, shopping for those tiny little outfits that seem oh so small, interviewing pediatricians, and the list goes on!

While it seems that your pregnancy will never end, before you know it, your newborn baby will be placed gently in your arms for you to meet face to face for the very first time. What an amazing moment. Whether this is your first child or fourth, this amazing feeling is still the same. There is nothing in this world like it.

Your newborn baby will change so much and so quickly in just the first few weeks of life, never again to be seen as this new, fragile little person. Those tiny hands, the fuzzy hairline, the tiny wrinkles, the precious little nose, those perfect little feet that just days before were kicking non-stop...these will all change in the blink of an eye. The only memories of this time will soon fade as she grows unless you have chosen to have your newborn baby photographed during his first days of life. Photographs of how tiny she was, of the new bonds forming between you as parents and your precious baby, of the discovery of a new sibling, are these fleeting moments captured for you to reflect on for a lifetime.

While you may certainly choose have your newborn photographed at a chain store "studio", you will receive a more personal, customized and thorough session by working with a custom professional photographer.

A custom professional photographer who specializes in newborn, baby and infant photography, normally dedicates anywhere from 2 to 3 hours for your newborn photography session as they know that an infant will need to be changed, fed, and even cuddled to calm her at times in between the clicks of the shutter. There is no stress, no hurrying, it's relaxed. When the atmosphere surrounding baby is relaxed, your baby will be relaxed which will show in the photographs the are captured. The majority of professional newborn photographers will encourage mom and dad, as well as siblings to participate in the session. And while mom may not feel like she's back to herself, the photographer should take that into consideration when setting up poses in which mom is a part of.

What do you need to look for in a newborn photographer?

First, look at their portfolio and determine if their style reflects the type of photography that you prefer. If the style is entirely different than what you like, you probably won't be satisfied with the resulting images. You should also pay attention to the details in the photography in the photographer's portfolio. Do the eyes have light in them (catchlights) - therefore avoiding the "dead" eye look, are the images in focus, do the subjects in the photographs stand out (from the background or other distractions), and do they appear three dimensional rather than two dimensional. A professional photographer who has taken the time to invest in education knows how to correctly control the lighting to create a three dimensional effect as well as flatter the subject with the correct type of lighting. Also you may consider checking to see if they're a member of any professional organizations, the Professional Photographers of America, state affiliations, regional affiliations and local affiliations. This simply means that the photographer has a desire to learn from and improve upon his or her skill as a photographer, and is not just a "weekend warrior" who happens to have a digital camera.

When you speak with the photographer, does the photographer seemed rushed or is she taking the time to get to know you and what you're looking for? A newborn baby photographer should demonstrate a caring demeanor and a lot of patience as newborns are so unpredictable and sometimes it take some time to get the necessary images. Does the photographer provide other products, such as custom birth announcements or albums? Do they guarantee their work? Make a list of questions to ask the photographer to help you select the one that is right for you.

Once you select the right photographer for you, it's time to schedule the session for your infant. It is best to contact the photographer you have selected prior to your delivery so that they can pencil in a date on their schedule that coincides with your due date. If the baby comes earlier or later, just contact the photographer and let her know. Morning and afternoon sessions are best for a new baby. To ensure the best newborn photographs, schedule your session within the first two weeks of the baby's life. During these first days, the baby is more flexible and the photographer is able to capture the newborn curled poses more easily. After about two weeks, they lose a lot of the flexibility making it more difficult to curl as a new newborn would.

Your baby will only be a newborn once in her life, so don't trust just anyone with capturing these moments for a lifetime of reflection and memories. While you will pay more for a custom professional photographer, the experience is much worth it, and that's something that a chain store studio or weekend warrior just can't provide.

Keely Deuschle is certified Jacksonville and Orange Park area professional photographer who specializes in fine art newborn photography.

The above article is the first of a series of articles I'm writing on maternity and newborn photography.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Sharing a Little of My Polish Heritage

One of my hobbies is genealogy and I've learned a lot about my ancestors in the last 10 years of research, solved some family questions, met some very distant cousins and learned even more about my heritage. The past several years my research focus has been on my Polish ancestors who immigrated to the US and settled in western Pennsylvania.

Yesterday afternoon, I was trying to figure out what we were going to have for dinner and something popped into my mind that I have not had since I was a child - Halupkis. Both my grandmother and my mom used to make these a lot when I was young and it's a meal that my Polish great grandparents would have made, too. When we were little, our family called them Pigs in a Blanket which is a much different version than the hotdog in a crescent roll.

Making them and eating them last night brought back a lot of memories and took me back to envisioning my ancestors making them, too. So, I thought I would share this delicious Polish recipe with you.

Halupki (Stuffed Cabbage Rolls)

4-6 servings

1 head cabbage
1 1/4 lbs ground meat
salt and pepper
1 egg
1 teaspoon parsley
1/2 onion, chopped
1 clove chopped garlic
1 cup cooked rice
2 cans tomato soup
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon vinegar
1 3/4 cups water

In a large pot (I used an 8qt size), boil the head of cabbage 10-15 minutes. Carefully remove the leaves from the head after the cabbage has been boiled.

In a medium bowl, mix the meat, salt and pepper, egg, parsley, garlic, onion and rice together.

Place a spoonful of the meat mixture into a blanched cabbage leaf (use more meat mixture if the leaf is large) and roll the cabbage leaves to enclose the meat mixture.

In a 5-quart dutch oven, place some leaves of cabbage on bottom of pan.

Add cabbage rolls on top with the seams face down.

Mix tomato soup, sugar, vinegar, and water together.

Pour over cabbage rolls, cover and cook on medium heat for 1 1/2 hours.


Thursday, July 24, 2008

A Tiny Little Bundle of Absolute Joy :: Jacksonville Newborn Photographer

Oh my, this little guy stole my heart today. Mom and Dad brought him by for his first portraits for his birth announcements. He was an absolute dream to photograph -- so tiny, so precious. He was sound asleep for the entire session, except for an occasional peek to see what was going on, and he must have been having very sweet dreams as he gave us so many beautiful smiles in his sleep.

Mom and Dad, congratulations! I'm so very happy for you both! Thank you so much for bringing him in! Here's a little sneak peek for you before I see you next week! Give him a little hug for me!

Sunday, July 20, 2008

What an AWESOME Day at Kutting for Kids

Today I had the incredible opportunity to help photograph the Kutting for Kids event at the Orange Park Mall. All I can say is WOW! So many wonderful people showed up to donate their hair to Locks of Love -- from all ages, all walks of life, it was just amazing! If I remember correctly, the last update I read on the sign that the Orange Park Girl Scouts were updating said 400 donations with the longest single ponytail being 28-inches long -- that was towards the end of the 4 hour event.

Kutting for Kids was first started nine years ago by Jeannie Blalock and First Coast News to help get donations for Locks of Love who take the donations and make custom wigs for children who do not have hair due to medical reasons. It takes Six to 10 donated ponytails to make just one hairpiece.

As I was walking around today to the different stylist stations, I had the opportunity to talk to some of the individuals who were donating their hair. What incredible stories they have. From one man who began growing his hair several years ago after his wife's father died from cancer. He received a lot of grief from people about having long hair until he told them of his reason for growing it. His wife donated her ponytail a few weeks ago and he brought her here today so he could donate his.

One little six year old girl came in with incredibly long, beautiful hair. She had never had a haircut but wanted more than anything to donate her hair so another child could have it. The stylist cut 18 inches. I don't know who was more nervous - she or her mom, but she looked just beautiful and dad even bought her a princess tiara for after her hair was cut. She didn't know what to think at first when she was checking out her ponytail that mom was holding.

These were just a few of the many amazing stories I was told today.

It was definitely a day filled with emotion. Watching the questionable expressions on the faces of some of the little ones when mom came back after getting her hair cut was priceless - they didn't really know what to think. There were many who were ecstatic to have the extra weight off their head, and there were some who were nervous and a few that shed a tear or two. And there were a few who had their hair cut recently and saved their ponytail so that they could give it to Jeannie, like this young lady.

While everyone was celebrating the day, some very talented musicians played some pretty awesome music for everyone to enjoy! The Simon Mall Kidgits also had a table where the little girls who got their hair cut could decorate and personalize a hairband with some pretty cool stickers! A clown painted faces and Batman even made an appearance!

To EVERYONE who came out today, THANK YOU you so very much for making such a great turnout to such an amazing event.

To see more images, please log on to the First Coast News website, click the View Videos and Photos link and select the Kutting for Kids gallery. Here are just a few of the many images taken today!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Kutting for Kids - Orange Park Mall - Sunday, July 20

One of the most rewarding things in life is to selflessly give of yourself unto others. This Sunday, July 20 from noon to 4pm at the Orange Park Mall outside the JC Penney court, you have the opportunity to do just that. You can stop by and donate your hair at Kutting for Kids - in its 9th year thanks to Jeannie Blaylock and First Coast News.

If you have at least ten inches of hair to donate, then stop on by and the professional stylists will cut and style your hair at no charge.

All of the hair donations will be donated to Locks of Love which is a non-profit organization that uses the hair donations to create custom hairpieces for children who do not have hair due to medical reasons.

It's summertime, it's Florida,and it's hot outside. Treat yourself to a cool new "do" while helping a wonderful organization help some pretty amazing kids. Make this a special event for the whole family.

I look forward to seeing you there!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Family Fun! Upcoming Events You Won't Want to Miss

We've heard about some pretty fun upcoming events and we just wanted to pass them along to you! The first one is more for little ones, but the second one would be great for some of the older kids. Enjoy!

Sing Along - Wednesday, July 23, 10am and 11am: Anna Moo will be performing at Pottery Barn Kids in St. Johns Town Center. Come and sing along and have some fun!

Kite Workshop - Saturday, July 26, 10am: Fort Clinch State Park is hosting a Kite Workshop on July 26. The program will begin with a short introduction to the history and basics of kite flying. Attendees will then have the opportunity to create their own kite and fly it on the beach. All activities are included with paid admission to the park, of $5 per vehicle. Call the park to sign up as participation is limited. 904-277-7274.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Our new web site is launched!

I can't begin to tell you how excited I am! Today, we launched our new web site! It's been a long time coming, but the wait is finally over!

I guess having been a web designer/programmer for 14 years has its pros and cons - pros are a custom designed site that no one else has and truly represents the studio's image and branding. The cons, well, as an artist, I'm a perfectionist, so everything had to be just right, so it took just a bit longer than I had originally wanted it to take. I still have a few minor things to tweak, but I'm so very proud of the results.

We invite you to take a look through the new site and let us know what you think!

Friday, July 4, 2008

Happy Independence Day!!!

"We hold these truths to be sacred & undeniable; that all men are created equal & independent, that from that equal creation they derive rights inherent & inalienable, among which are the preservation of life, & liberty, & the pursuit of happiness. " - Thomas Jefferson

There's nothing like enjoying a hometown parade to celebrate the 4th of July! This morning, we joined many others to watch the festive parade in Middleburg. Our daughter was excited to be in the parade with her Karate studio, Middleburg Martial Arts.

Ean, Karl and I waved our flags and celebrated with everyone around us. Of course we had our camera and got some amazing images of many of the wonderful groups and floats, and of course Mikaela doing some of her karate. But, those will have to wait until later this weekend to post a few of those. What an awesome morning!

We're going to enjoy an afternoon cookout and then tonight we'll be heading to St. Augustine to watch the fireworks from the bridge!

We wish all of our clients, friends, family and this wonderful country we live in a Happy Independence Day. God Bless the USA!

(We encourage you to check out - something very close to our hearts.)

Monday, June 23, 2008

OPHS Class of 1988 20-Year Reunion

This past Saturday, we had the wonderful opportunity to spend some time with the Orange Park High School Class of 1988 at their 20 year reunion! The Jacksonville Omni Hotel was transformed to a fantastic luau and it was great to see everyone decked out in their Hawaiian clothes! Despite some unfortunate setbacks, the class officers pulled this awesome event off without a hitch and everyone had a blast -- including us! With a lot more classmates present than were anticipated, we had to switch gears with the group shot and go to our Plan B, but we think it turned out even better!

We were so happy that we could be there to capture this special event and the wonderful moments of old friends catching up! To Whitney and Jay, hats off to you for all the work you did for this - I can only hope my 20 year reunion turns out this great! Thank you for allowing us to be a part of it!

Monday, June 2, 2008

Studio Renovations Update!

With the floors in the studio complete, well except for some minor trim pieces that I'm having a really difficult time matching the color to, the studio's look is definitely making progress! In the next few weeks, the transformation will be completed and I honestly cannot wait! I'm working with an Interior Designer and the studio is going to look awesome when it's done! That paired with new flooring in the rest of the house has me so excited.

I started installing the wood floors in the living area of the house this past weekend. The whole project is taking longer than I had hoped. I'm not supposed to do a lot of lifting, hammering, etc., with my right arm, but I have to to get the projects done. So, as a result, my arm is pretty sore so I'm taking it as I am able to.

We've purposely not scheduled any sessions for the next two weeks so that we can really focus on the renovations and get everything back to normal as soon as possible. I will be dancing on cloud 9 when it's all done!

Stay tuned for more updates!

Just Us Girls

Saturday night, one of my closest friends and I decided that we both deserved a Girls' Night Out -- no hubbys, no kiddos, just she and I. It's been YEARS since she and I had a night out together...let's see, maybe 10 years? Yeah, tell me about it! Life gets crazy and you get married, have kids, and tend to forget that you need to get out once in a while! The last time was Ybor City in Tampa, in 1998? Yikes! We see each other often enough and talk on the phone nearly every day, but we just never get the chance to get away!

So, what did we do on our night out? We hit TGI Fridays for a drink or two and some appetizers then ventured over to the AMC 24 to watch Sex In the City! What a great movie especially if you watched the tv series at all! Lots of laughs and tears! Have you ever been to a movie where at certain parts of the movie, nearly everyone in the theater sighs, "Awwwww..."? It was definitely a first for me.

And since the previews for the new upcoming movies looked so great, we made a promise to each other to do it again very soon!

So, ladies, if you are thinking about going to see Sex In the City, call your girlfriends and make a great night of it, because YOU DESERVE IT!

Friday, May 23, 2008

Celebrating Memorial Day Weekend

This weekend, please take a moment to reflect upon those who have given their lives so that ours may be better and honor them by flying an American Flag at your home or business. It's the least that we can do to let them and their families know how thankful we are for their sacrifices.

This holiday weekend is especially important to our family for two reasons. The first being honoring our cousin who was killed in Iraq on Christmas Day, the second reason is last year during this holiday weekend, we lost Karl's grandmother (Ean's great-grandmother) after a very sudden major stroke. Both of these two very special loved ones gave so much back to our family and they will forever be remembered in our hearts.

Since I know many of you will be celebrating with the First Official Cookout this weekend, I wanted to share with you one of our family's favorite recipes!

Mozzarella Stuffed Burgers
Preparation Time: 10 min. | Cooking Time: 6 min. | Serves: 4


  • 1 1/2 lb raw ground sirloin beef
  • 1/2 cup fresh Italian Parsley (flat-leaf)
  • 1/4 cup Red Onions -- finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup small Capers in a jar, drained
  • 1/4 cup dijon Mustard
  • 2 medium fresh Roma (plum) Tomatoes -- ripe, seeded and cut into 1/4" diced pieces
  • Yolk from 2 large eggs
  • 4 pieces sun-dried Tomatoes -- (8 halves) coarsely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons Caraway seed
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 4-6 teaspoons part-skim milk Mozzarella Cheese -- coarsely grated


  1. Combine all the ingredients in a bowl, except the cheese - gently tossing with your hands. Do not overmix.
  2. Divide mixture in half and make 4 patties out of one half.
  3. Make a small indention in the center of each patty and place some of the grated mozzarella in each. Top with the remaining meat to finish the patties.
  4. Grill over hot coals for 3 minutes on each side for rare -- or longer to taste.
Hope you Enjoy!

Mikkean Photography Earns the Certified Professional Photographer Designation

It's official! This past week while at my week-long school, I received the news that I met all requirements to become a Certified Professional Photographer and I have been floating on cloud 9 since.

What does this mean? Well, it means that I'm among a select few (less than 3%) of all professional photographers in the United States who have earned this designation. And of all the hundreds of photographers here in the greater Jacksonville area, I'm one of about a dozen that has earned the CPP designation.

Here's a little more about what all that means!

Certified Professional Photographer: A Symbol You Can Trust

When you hire a photographer, you want the best. Unfortunately, anyone can claim to be a professional photographer – so ensuring that you get the best photographer for the job can be a difficult task. To make it easier for you to find a truly professional photographer, Professional Photographers of America offers the Certified Professional Photographer program through the Photographic Certification Commmision.

As the leading certifying agency and association for imaging professionals, PPA’s Certification program is recognized throughout the industry as a sign of excellence. When you see a photographer displaying the Certified Professional Photographer seal, you can be assured that he or she is among the less than 3% of all imaging professionals who have successfully completed and maintained our requirements.

Those who have earned the Certified Professional Photographer designation have passed a comprehensive written examination measuring their technical expertise, and have successfully submitted their work to a panel of judges for review and approval.

Every five years, a Certified photographer must renew his or her credentials by participating in continuing education programs and periodically submitting work for critical evaluation. This helps assure you that Certified photographers maintain their level of expertise and continue to develop new skills and techniques.

Your Assurance of Quality
Every day Certified professionals help record the most important moments in life. And while every situation brings new challenges – you can be assured that the Certified professional has the creativity and skills to deliver the best possible images for you.

Be assured that whenever you enter a studio that displays the Certified Professional Photographer emblem, you will be dealing with a professional who is dedicated to providing you with the highest level of professionalism and expertise available.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

What an AMAZING Week!

Earlier this evening, I arrived back home to three sets of open arms ready for hugs after my being away since Sunday morning. Several times a year, I take a week away from the studio to go and study under some pretty amazing photographers. This past week, I was immersed in a sales & marketing class and I was so inspired and have so many incredible ideas that I can't wait to implement. We went full force for all 5 days and I can honestly say my brain hurts, but in a very good way!

We had an incredible group of about 16 in our class and I think we all learned something from each other, at least I know I learned something from each of my classmates. I made some great new friends and really just look forward to watching everyone grow after this intensive experience.

Okay, before you think that we did nothing but sit in a classroom, I just have to tell you about some of the "field trips" we made. One day was to the local mall. Cool, shopping, huh? Well, not really. We visited some stores such as Hollister, Abercrombie & Fitch, Victoria's Secret, and Origins and really got to look at how they brand their business and carry that branding through everything they do, from hangers, to packaging to the total experience.

Last night, we had an awesome field trip to the hotel's lounge to study wine labels and how the label itself, including the logo, the wine description, etc., can really tell you about the experience you may have when you open that particular brand. Cool stuff, huh? We all loved it.

What week long class wouldn't be complete without a fun celebration at the end? After the classes were over last evening, we all headed to the ball room area for a fun 70's party. There was a lot of dancing and just letting the hair down and there were quite a few people dressed up in 70's style clothing! I didn't dress up in any themed clothing, but you probably would have had a hard time pulling me off the dance floor!

And what a way to wind down each night, but to sit out on a balcony in your ocean view room while there was a full moon. Amazing. I did take some photos, but I haven't taken them off the camera yet. Tonight, I just vegged and tried to let my brain, the season finale of Grey's Anatomy was on, and I couldn't miss that!

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Studio Closed May 18-22

I'm trying to remember all the things I need to do before I leave in the morning and this is one of the last, I think! The studio will be closed May 18-22. I'm heading a little further south to Daytona for several days to attend the Florida Professional Photographer's (FPP) Florida School! I have been waiting a year to attend and I'm soooooo excited. Can you tell? I promise to come back with great ideas to make our studio even better!

While my class is all about marketing, I'm still taking my camera along and hoping to catch a sunset or maybe even a sunrise if I can drag myself out of bed early enough!

I won't have access to email or phone, but all messages will be returned when I get back in town.

I hope you have a fabulous week!

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Phase I of Studio Renovations is DONE!!!!

You have no idea how excited I was at 1:00 AM this morning when the last full row of wood floors were put down in the studio! There's still one more 1/2 row, but it was way too late to be running the circular saw! I don't think the neighbors would have appreciated that. This project was all about blood, sweat and tears (well, the only blood was from a small scratch, so nothing major there).

I must say I was a little stressed this week trying to get it done before the maternity session this afternoon. The camera area was done, but the waiting area was still sporting a concrete floor at 5pm yesterday afternoon. When Karl got home from work, I put him to work and together we finished the last 10 feet of the studio. I had never before tiled or put down wood floors so it was a huge accomplishment for me, but they look great and Phase I is 99.9% done. Just have to put the grout in the tile and add the transition pieces from tile to wood!

The next phase is painting and the final phase is putting the baseboards back up. So, if you're coming for a session in the next few weeks, you might still see a work in progress. I just can't wait for the studio to be complete! Then comes the floors in the living area of the house...oy...

Here are a few snapshots. Don't mind the bare walls, everything was pulled down for the renovations. Just a few easels were put up before the session today and the camera area has to be rearranged once everything is finished.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Lots of Fun Teaching Mini Seminar

Last night, I was SO nervous to teach a mini seminar, More Than F-Stops, to about a dozen of professional photographers at our PPSNF guild. Thankfully, my nerves settled after the class got started. The goal of the class was to help other colleagues prepare for their Certified Professional Photographer (CPP) exam. We went through a set of about 55 questions that are representative of the types of questions on the exam and didn't just tell the answers, but discussed them and why 3 of the 4 answers were not correct. The goal was to help the class understand why so they could apply that to when they took the test.

A lot of photography is based on different principles involving math - inverse square laws, lighting ratios, etc. I have to admit that I'm a math junkie. Always have been always will be, I'm sure. So, for some of these types of questions, I got some blank stares as I tried to describe how the answers were mathematically achieved! Yeah, I'm a geek, and proud of it, but I think we finally did get to a point where the math was understandable!

If the class achieved one goal, it was that each attendee would take at least one more bit of knowledge home with them and write their own goal to pursue the road to their CPP.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Studio Renovations and more...

I can't tell you how very excited I am! The studio is getting a BIG facelift! After a newborn session last weekend, the studio floors were torn up and are in the process of being replaced with beautiful wood flooring and a new tile entrance! I am doing this myself, mostly when my hubby is at work - he does help out when he gets home, too. I was hoping to post some quick snapshots and I promise I will later this week, but between laying the floors during the days and attending a few workshops this week in the evening, it just doesn't seem there are enough hours in the day to even get those snapshots off the camera!

This has been a really busy week trying to get all of this done before a maternity session this coming Saturday, then it's off to Daytona for a week to attend a week-long class on sales & marketing with a very successful photographer. I have been waiting a year to attend this class! :) This is a week-long school offered one time per year for members of the Florida Professional Photographers (FPP). I cannot wait!

I'm also excited to be teaching a workshop tomorrow evening as part of a series of mini-workshops that our local photography guild offers to its members. My class is called "More than F-Stops" and it's all about the very technical side of photography. I am so delighted to share this knowledge with fellow photographers! I will be co-teaching this with a fellow photographer from our local guild!

So, lots going on this week, but wanted to take a few minutes to at least give an update on what we've been doing! Keep your eyes out for some of the renovation snapshots!

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Urban Fashion Shoot Workshop

One of the wonderful things about being a member of a local professional photographers' guild is attending workshops! Tonight I attended one called an "Urban Fashion Shoot" given by a friend, Vincent Pierce, and the group of us headed into downtown Jacksonville with two beautiful models, Amy and Megan! I'm still going through the images, but I did want to post at least one or two!

Friday, May 2, 2008

Family Fun - 16th Annual World of Nations Celebration

If you've never had the opportunity to attend the World of Nations Celebration at Metro Park in Jacksonville, you're missing out on a fantastic celebration! There are so many cultural things to experience, it's almost like a mini-Epcot right here in our back yard. The kids will have a lot of fun when they get their passport stamped at all the different "nations"! There are so many fun activities, great food, and it's supposed to be a beautiful weekend, so why not get out there and experience it for yourself! You won't be disappointed! Our family is going to plan to visit, and I encourage your family to check it out too! Here are the details...

Saturday May 3 and Sunday May 4 at Metropolitan Park (across from the Jaguars Stadium)

Discover the rich cultural traditions of nations and regions around the world at the World of Nations Celebration. Experience the cuisine, artistry and customs from lands near and far. Activities include Parade of Flags, Passport to the World, World of Kids Playland, and more. Prices: One day ticket $5; Two day ticket $7. Children 3 and under admitted free.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

My Little Girl is a Teenager

Thirteen years ago today, after 24 hours of labor, my little girl came into this world. Then I held the most beautiful little girl in the world in my arms for the first time. I named her Mikaela Taryn.

Looking back, it's hard to believe that 13 years have gone by. It has been such a great journey watching her grow to the young lady she is today, passionate about writing, about art, about her close friends. This Saturday she has invited only her closest friends to celebrate with her in a Girlfriend's Day Out.

Tonight we will be celebrating with her favorite type of cake that Ean and I will be making today ...a dark chocolate cake with dark chocolate icing - she definitely inherited her taste from me! ;)

She woke up this morning and asked to open just one gift before school started. She decided she wanted to dress up for school today, too, something she doesn't normally do.

I'm just so proud to call her my daughter.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Family Fun - Celebrate Earth Day at the Jacksonville Landing

Looking for something fun to do with the kids this weekend? Stop by the Jacksonville Landing this Saturday, April 19th, from 10am – 4pm, and join kids and families all across Jacksonville in celebrating Earth Day with an Ecology Fair!

There will be more than 100 booths of learning and family fun! There will be children’s games and activities, music, face painting, prizes, educational information and two stages of live entertainment. Children’s activities include craft projects with recycled and reused materials and live animal encounters. For the adults, learn what you can to help the environment.

And best of all? Entrance and all activities are FREE!

Hope to see you there!

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Wow! OMP - Image of the Day

I just received a message on my MySpace page from a model I know congratulating me for the Image of the Day on One Model Place, one of the model sites that I have a portfolio on. I was SO surprised! It's such an honor to have one of my images featured on this site as there are thousands of photographers who also have portfolios there! The image is one of my newborn clients, sweet little Carson, who was just four weeks old when he was photographed in this image.

I'm just so excited I had to share!

Monday, April 14, 2008

Congratulations Ada and Oswaldo!

I was so excited when I opened my email up this morning and saw a note from one of my recent maternity clients telling me that their precious daughter, Ariana, has arrived!

I am so very happy for your family and I can't wait to meet Ariana!

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Renaissance Beach Workshop

It's always fun to get out and do something different and Wednesday night I did just that, along with about 20 other photographers from the Professional Photographers Society of North Florida, of which I'm actively involved. The workshop was held at the beach in Ponte Vedra and what made it different, was our model was dressed in a Renaissance period dress and joining her was her beautiful horse.

With this many photographers, it isn't always easy to find a spot where you can capture the image as you envision it as well as make sure there aren't a lot of lenses appearing in your shot! But, that's what's fun...challenging and discovering unique approaches to get a shot that you can proudly post.

Below are a few of my favorites!

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Exciting News from a Client - Nuestra Belleza Latina

I absolutely love to hear from my clients when they have exciting news about their family! One of my recent maternity clients, Ada and Oswaldo, contacted me the other day to tell me that Ada's sister, Génesis, was selected as one of the 12 finalists for the Reality Show, Nuestra Belleza Latina (Our Latin Beauty), shown on the Univision Network on Friday nights at 10:00PM! I had the opportunity to meet Génesis during her sister's maternity session and the entire family is just one of the sweetest I have ever met!

Nuestra Belleza Latina is a show that combines the glamour of a beauty competition with the excitement of a reality show with the finalists representing the most captivating Hispanic women from across the U.S. and Puerto Rico.

While these ladies do compete and are judged each week by the panel of judges, it's not all in their hands - their fate also rests in the votes of supporters across America! So, if you would like to help Génesis Seguías out, please consider sending her some votes!

You can vote by text messaging on your cell phone. The number to send your text message is 8803 if you have AT&T. Just write the word VOTE on the body of the message. You can vote as many times as you want, but normal fees for text messages apply. You can vote via text message up to two days after the show airs!

And check out her belly dancing (click here)! We wish you lots of luck Génesis!

And, Ada and Oswaldo, I can't wait to hear from you when you're sweet little girl arrives!

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Our Morning Adventure

Today I took the day off from the studio to spend some time with my kiddos. This morning, my little man, Ean, and I decided to embark on the birding adventure (see next post down) at the Tillie K Fowler Regional Park. What fun it was!

There were about 20 little ones from ages 1 to 7 who came to learn a little about birds and enjoy a beautiful morning! First activity, after passing around a few feathers, was a fun Cat in the Hat story, Fine Feathered Friends: All about Birds that was read to everyone. Afterwards, each child was given a pair of "binoculars" (okay, really two toilet paper tubes taped together) to decorate with the many markers that were available. The parents then tied string to allow the binoculars to hang around the neck. We were all given an important tip on how to correctly use binoculars! What is it? Use your eyes FIRST to find the bird, and then lift your binoculars to your eyes! Makes a lot of sense rather than scanning the sky with your binoculars and not being able to see anything! We also listened to different bird sounds from those cute little stuffed birds you can find at the zoo gift store and even JoAnn's.

After we had our little lessons, we headed outside to look for birds! So, how do you make sure you can find birds when you have a whole handful of little ones? Well, you strategically hang photos of birds along the trail and then the kids can discover them as they walk along! And, the birds don't fly away as the group moves in closer! Very cool! Aside from the photos of birds, we did see a live hummingbird and a woodpecker as we walked the trail.

When we made it back to the Nature Center, we all spent some time discovering some of the amazing little creatures in there -- live snakes, mice, frogs, lizards, and many fossils, bones, skins and some taxidermy animals, too! Then, a quick peek outside through the window revealed a live raccoon walking through the garden area!

What a great morning and here are some snapshots to share! If you have the opportunity to attend this event in the future, I would highly recommend it for the kids!

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Fun for the Kids! Our Feathered Friends Wee Workshop

The adventures that they have for our kiddos at the area parks are so much fun! Our family has had the opportunity to attend a few of them at the Tillie K Fowler Regional Park (formerly the Westside Regional Park) across from the main entrance of NAS Jax on Roosevelt Blvd. With it being spring break week for the kids in Duval and Clay, this is a great way to get the kids out of the house and have fun with nature! This one is for the WEE Explorers under 7 years old! Sounds fun!

10:30-11:30 a.m. Wednesday, April 2
Tillie K. Fowler Regional Park
7000 Roosevelt Blvd.
Calling all wee nature explorers (7 years and under) and their adult companions to join in on a search for our feathered friends…birds! Learn what makes birds special and different from other animals. Participants will decorate “binoculars,” which they will learn to use and can take home with them after the program.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

People's Choice - Third Place!

What happens when you get a room full of professional photographers? You get to see some amazing images and have a little friendly competition! Each month when our Professional Photographers Society of North Florida (better known as PPSNF) gets together, we have what's called "People's Choice" where members vote on their favorite images from fellow photographers.

For me, this experience is about learning. Learning what really makes a great photograph and learning from those who have been in this business a lot longer than I have. So, each month, I try to bring an image that I am particularly proud of that meets some of the 12 guidelines for competition and I put it down with the photographs of others to be judged by our peers. We each take a turn voting and before the meeting begins, they announce the winners of People's Choice.

Last night, it was an absolute honor to have tied for third place among about 15 entries. The title is "Tres Chic" and the beautiful model is Miss Hannah.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Big Announcement

Watch for some big announcements coming very soon! Can't say anything else quite yet!

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Our Beautiful City

The City of Jacksonville has such a beautiful skyline, especially at night. A while back, my daughter and I headed down to Friendship Park in the evening to photograph some of the beauty that Jacksonville at night has. This is one of the photographs in my series! Enjoy!

Family Fun - Kids Kampus at Metropolitan Park

If you haven't yet checked out the Kid Kampus at Metropolitan Park in downtown Jacksonville, you definitely need to! The Kid Kampus is a "ten-acre recreational facility with bright, colorful, climbing, digging and sliding equipment with an educational twist." And the best part is it is FREE!!!

Set right on the St. John's River across from the Jaguars stadium, children can ride their tricycles or training wheel bikes on the roads of a miniature downtown Jacksonville, complete with miniature Jacksonville landmarks. If you don't have one of those kind of bikes, you can easily rent one for no cost! But don't try to bring in a bike for an older child (ones that are not tricycles or with training wheels) as they won't allow them for the safety of the younger kids.

Kids can also play in the sand pits, or on the large playground with lots of places to climb and play. There are plenty of benches for parents to sit and watch the kids and restrooms are right there, too. There is also a picnic pavillion and jogging trail. During the summer months, the Splash Park (May - Sept) will be open, as well.

Spring/Summer Hours: Mon-Sat, 8am-8pm; Sun, 10am-8pm. Fall/Winter Hours: Mon-Sat, 8am-6pm; Sun, 10am-6pm. (Hours subject to change due to holidays, special events and inclement weather.)

For more information, call 904-630-KIDS or visit

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Getting back in the habit!

The past month has been very busy, both with business and my family!

My son and I had a great time on our whirlwind trip to Pennsylvania. Although it was very short (19 hr drive on Wednesday and 19 hour drive back on Sunday), we did get to visit with my aunts that I haven't seen in a very long time. My son was so excited to see snow, however, when we arrived, the only snow was that which had been left over from the snow plows and were mostly covered with cinders and dirt. So, my dad and I ventured over to the ski resort I spent much time with growing up just so Ean could experience the joy of snow. He absolutely loved it! The visit with my aunts was wonderful and I'm hoping to be able to travel back up there this year to visit with them again.

Half my family, including myself, have been dealing with a bout of a very bad cold, however, we are on the mend and are almost back at 100%.

On the business side, we've been enjoying working with our amazing clients. We are putting some finishing touches on some new products and expect to announce them very soon! You definitely won't want to miss them!

And, my promise to you is to get back in the habit of updating my blog regularly! We've got some pretty neat things planned for the blog. Stay tuned!

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Operation: Love ReUnited

Mikkean Photography proudly announces their support and involvement with Operation: Love ReUnited. Jacksonville and it's surrounding areas is home to many military families who are attached to either NAS Jacksonville, NS Mayport and NSB Kings Bay, GA and this is our way of saying Thank You to the military. A limited number of sessions are available.

If you have ever been through a military deployment, there are no words to explain how hard it is to send the father or mother of your children off to some foreign, dangerous land, leaving you all behind…. Alone. It’s indescribable to watch their faces light up as their mother or father comes up the stairs of the airport after months, possibly a year or more, of not hugging each other. Emotions fly through the main lobby, it’s so very good to have them home. Your base’s Family Support Squadron will help you with your deployment. But the last thing on your mind when your wife or husband arrives home after a 4 to 18 month tour, is capturing all this love– on film. Most people are so overwhelmed with emotions they forget to simply point and shoot the camera they are grasping of their child’s first hug, or that single tear of relief from a mother being able to hold her twenty year old son again. With the help of Operation: Love ReUnited and local photographers near your base, you can.

The Operation helps those long months go by a little faster. It’s designed to capture moments that you will never remember. It’s art. It’s love. And it’s all made possible by artists wanting to give something back to those who make the United States what it is, and ask for nothing in return- but to come home.

If you are a member of the United States Military, and are interested in having very special and touching images with a patriotic edge taken of you and/or your family before a deployment or during, and at your reunion, please contact Mikkean Photography now.

In addition to the complementary session, you will receive one (1) 4x6 album of pre-deployment images, such as a child’s hand clasped in his parent’s with the faint glimpse of a BDU sleeve, a marine in dress with his family, a salior with his parents right before departure, or a child playing dress up in combat boots and a helmet. The album will be sent directly to the deployed soldier by our studio.

About Pre-Deployment & Deployment Sessions:
OpLove Pre-Deployment & Deployment sessions help you say goodbye and cope with being away. Anyone who has had to see their husband or wife, son, daughter, sister or brother off to war knows how hard it is to watch them walk away from you. Our studio volunteers to capture these emotions. We feel your pain, having been a military spouse and family member myself. We want to listen, help ease your worries, and want to do what we can to help you through this deployment, and we do that with our photography. Your initial session will be either with the your spouse before he or she deploys dressed in their dress uniform or BDUs for most of the session, or if you find OpLove after your loved one has deployed, your session will be done without your loved one keeping a patriotic theme that could include dress, hats, BDUs, boots and other military gear, but they will still experience all the love & benefits that OpLove has to offer.

About Returning Sessions:
When your loved one comes home from a deployment, the last thought on your mind will be your camera. Most people are so overwhelmed with emotions, they simply forget they are holding it in their hand. Once you find out about the time your loved one is to return from his or her deployment, please let Mikkean Photography know. We will want to accompany your family to the welcoming home of your spouse or loved one, and capture that first glimpse, that first embrace, and all the love that surrounds every person who walks off that plane, into their families arms.

**Please note that orders may be requested. Pre-deployment sessions in which the deploying spouse is participating, should include their military uniform, dress or BDUs, being worn for most of the session. Some images may be taken in civilian clothes but please understand that this program does not focus on traditional family portraiture. If an OpLove session takes place and the spouse has already been deployed, the session should keep a patriotic theme including military gear such as hats, uniforms, boots, etc. A model release must be completed at the time of the session.

No purchase is required. If you would like images in addition to the complementary 4x6 album for the deployed soldier, they will be available for purchase.

If you have additional questions, please contact Mikkean Photography or visit

Fun for Kids - Tunnelz N' Tumblez

We were invited to a birthday party last weekend and discovered a fun place for kids to play that is not nearly as hectic as Chuck E Cheese (and much cleaner, too). It's called Tunnelz N' Tumblez and is located on Sunbeam Road in Jacksonville. They have a
a great climbing and sliding area, a really cool 9-hole indoor pirate themed miniature golf with the walls painted with phosphorescent paint and lit with black light, a laser tag area for the older kids, and a snack bar which you can order pizza and more.

This seems to be for children about two years of age or older. Parents ARE able to climb in the tunnels, too!

For more information and directions, visit their website at:

P.S. If you live in St. Augustine, there's a location in the St. Augustine South area!

Fun for Kids and Families

Mikkean Photography is all about family and children and we want to share with you some family and kid friendly activities and places that you might enjoy in and around the Orange Park, Flemming Island, Jacksonville and St. Augustine area! We will only recommend those of which we have first hand experience with and recommend! If you have a recommendation that you'd like us to check out, please drop us a line and let us know!

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Studio Closed Jan 29 - Feb 3

The studio will be closed until February 3 as my son and I will be heading north to Pennsylvania to visit with family. I will be checking emails and voicemail while I'm gone and responding to anything urgent. Non-urgent messages will be returned when I get back to the studio on Monday, February 4.

Have a wonderful week!

Monday, January 28, 2008

Incredibly Blessed

During the past two weeks, I have received some incredibly wonderful news. I felt I had to hold off sharing until I received the second half of the results and today I did. Two weeks ago today, I very nervously went in to have my 1 year mammogram since my breast cancer diagnosis and subsequent surgery. Along with so many others, I prayed, and after waiting over a half hour to find the results, I began to cry tears of joy when I read the report stating the mammogram was normal. Today, I went in to meet with my oncologist for my regular 3 month check up which was also my 1 year exam. He said that all my blood work looked excellent and my CA125 test came back normal. Because of these results, he has now moved me to checkups every 6 months instead of every three. Again, I cried tears of joy.

I am so incredibly blessed to sit here today and celebrate one year as a cancer survivor!

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Happy 2008!

The holiday season is now past us and I finally have a little breather time to catch up with updates to the blog. We had a fantastic holiday portrait season and are gearing up for an even more incredible new year.

The first week of January, I attended a huge national photography conference and came back with a lot of great ideas and even found some awesome new products that will be introduced soon and your certain to love! I know I do!

May each of you have a safe, healthy and blessed New Year!

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Our Family's Christmas Tragedy

Christmas Eve 2007, we spent a wonderful evening with my husband's family, including aunts, uncles, cousins, and their children. It was a magical evening for the children and a wonderful time of having the family together. The one person missing was Bryan, my husband's cousin, who was serving in Iraq.

On Christmas Day, we each spent Christmas in our own homes celebrating the true meaning of Christmas as well as seeing the delight and awe in our children's eyes when they awoke to see what was under the tree.

All of our holiday cheer was shattered when we received word at 10 o'clock in the morning of December 26, that Bryan was killed in Iraq on Christmas Day when an improvised explosive device detonated near his position. Bryan was serving with the 82nd Airborne out of Fort Bragg, NC.

Bryan was the only child of Karl's aunt Sylvia. He had been deployed to Iraq for his second tour since November 2006 and had just received his orders stating he would finally return home in early February 2008. His daughter turned 4 on New Year's Eve and his son was born this past May. Bryan was 33.

The outpouring of support from the community of St. Augustine where Bryan grew up was so overwhelming. Nearly a hundred Patriot Guard Riders with flags on their motorcycles also stood with flags on either side of the sidewalk leading to the church; a several mile procession with people taking time out of their work day to stand and hold American flags with their hand over their heart; three gentlemen who saluted every vehicle in the procession; the sheriff's deputies who stood at attention at nearly every intersection; the fire fighters who positioned two ladder trucks at the entrance to the cemetery over which flew an enormous American flag; and the house on the procession route who had a sign in their front yard thanking Bryan.

Please keep Bryan's mom and his wife and kids in your prayers. We will miss you tremendously, Bryan.