This past September I traveled to Orlando, Florida for one of the best weeks of my life! I went to attend a Disney themed photography retreat hosted by White Pine Designs Co.
This was a crazy weekend for me. I shot a local wedding that Saturday, flew to Orlando on Sunday morning, had the best week ever, flew home on Friday, and shot another local wedding on Saturday. It was absolutely packed but extremely rewarding.
When my plane arrived on Sunday, there wasn’t a gate for us to pull into so we waited 2 hours to get off the plane. From there, I was able to finally get to my Disney hotel for the night, Pop Century, and get a quick dinner. On Monday morning, I hopped on the skyliner and headed to EPCOT, meeting up with Kristin from White Pine Designs Co. We got to spend most of the day at EPCOT together before she headed back to our townhouse to prepare for the retreat. When I arrived at the house later that day, Kirstin had dinner ready for us and we started preparing for the following day for the shoots to begin.
Tuesday was full of 4 photoshoots, the remaining 3 were on Wednesday. We started with a sunrise Cinderella engagement session at Rollins College. The beautiful models @lauraandjavier were absolutely incredible and fit the part perfectly. The cherry on top was the vintage car from @colesclassiccars. We were able to get a majority of shots done before students started heading to class but we definitely got lots of stares around campus. This college was so stunning and this first shoot was a great way to start off the Disney week. Cinderella had lots of special details from the choker necklace, the “glass slippers”, and the getaway car. I still can’t get over this first morning.
After this shoot, we all went out to breakfast to fuel up before our long afternoon at our next venue – the Capen House.
The Capen House @capenhouse is a historic, lakefront venue located in Winter Park, Florida. This venue hosted the two Tangled inspired shoots with Rapunzel and Mother Gothel. We were able to capture two gorgeous tablescapes and adventure with each couple around the venue. With each couple, we took them by the lake, through the lush greenery, and especially showcasing the interior details. The Rapunzel shoot was full of pastel colors, whimsical dress sleeves, braided hair, and of course the symbolic sun on her necklace. The thought Kirstin (@whitepinedesigns.co) put into every shoot was impeccable. The Mother Gothel shoot included deep red table cloths, black twisted candles, dark fruits, and of course the iconic yellow flower boutonniere. I don’t even have words to describe this day and it’s not even over yet. I’ll be thinking about it for the rest of my life!
Vendors for Capen House:
Models: @ivyawest @lifebeing.us
Tabletop Rentals: @echoeventrentals
To finish out the first day, we ended with a Tinkerbell inspired courthouse elopement with @taylorandmaguire at Orlando City Hall. The sunset couldn’t have been more perfect. We explored the streets with Taylor & Maguire as a group and made our way to the top of the parking garage (before getting kicked out…) but it was SO worth it. I mean, look at that view! Before we said our goodbyes for the first day, we did some flash photography in the parking garage next to our vehicles. Even the simplicity of this shoot was still carefully planned out. The puffs on her shoes, the dainty dress, and even the dangly flower earrings. I am obsessed!
The second day of shoots didn’t begin until later in the afternoon so a fellow photographer Annie & I went to check out the Disney Character Warehouse. If you know you know. It’s a place I’ve only seen on Tik Tok and it was a really fun store! We picked up Panera for lunch and were on our way to the next shoot!
The next wedding venue we got to experience is The Black Barn in Orlando. This is a modern style farm venue with so many unique touches. If I wasn’t already married, I would die to get married here! These next two shoots were Sleeping Beauty inspired. We got to photograph Princess Aurora and Maleficent. Maleficent inspired the black dishes, iridescent glasses, long stick florals, and crow pin. The black wall in the ceremony area was a perfect backdrop. As well as the various areas of black & white flooring, the black & white outdoor wall mural, and even the dark floral bathroom design. Yes we took some photos in the bathroom! The same venue was also perfect for the dreamy princess vibes for Aurora and Prince Phillip. The tablescape and florals were the most incredible details of this whole shoot. The florals created an ombre effect from pink, to purple, to blue (make it pink! make it blue!) Along with the glasses & candles. Every detail was perfection.
Vendors for The Black Barn:
Models: @hannahh.grossman @wildwest117 @samnidy
Tabletop Rentals: @echoeventrentals
At this point in the day, at 7 PM, it started raining! You never know what to expect with Florida. But we still had one Disney shoot left – the Tiana engagement session at Cypress Grove Park. We had limited time for this final shoot due to the light quickly leaving as well as the rain coming down. But that didn’t limit us from capturing some beautiful shots in a quick amount of time. The Spanish moss gave off the perfect, New Orleans look for Princess Tiana. The estate house was also a beautiful backdrop surrounded by palm trees & lush walkways. I’d love to go back one day!
After the 2 full days of photoshoots, our last full day together was spent at DisneyWorld! We rope dropped Magic Kingdom and stayed until the park closed. Quite possibly my longest Disney day ever! It was the most fun I’ve ever had. We got to ride the brand new Tron ride twice – it was incredible!! We also got to have dinner at the Be Our Guest restaurant inside Beast’s castle. Out of any photography retreat I’ve attended, this one will forever be at the top. I think we’re going to need a part 2 in the future…. *Wink wink Kirstin.
I’m mainly documenting this experience for my own memories but also for the amazing vendors who brought Kirstin’s vision to life. If anyone in Orlando needs a photographer, I’ll be there in a heartbeat. My heart is still so full.
X, Hannah the Disney princess at heart