30A Editorial Photography & Education » 30A editorial photographer. Serving 30A & Panama City Beach, Florida.

There is something special about slowing down, turning off all distractions, and opening your heart to God. As a mom/wife/daughter/employee/business owner/obnoxious over-achiever, that’s something that I’ve struggled to learn. Turning off. Stepping away. Saying no to the gigantic, never-ending to-do list and yes to taking care of myself. The kitchen sink will always be overflowing with dishes… What my family needs is my heart, and I’ve learned I can only do that when my own body and soul are nourished. 

This year has been a whirlwind, and I’ve raised my voice and found tears streaming down my face more than I’m proud of. I’ve gotten angry at God and questioned why I keep being faced with such immense challenges. Just over a year ago my mom ended up on life-support for a week after a “routine surgery” went south. My own health was failing and I couldn’t get answers.  In the midst of it, I heard a voice from God say “It’s not done.”  I struggled with the message and questioned my own sanity, but no less than 15 minutes later I suffered a delayed anaphylactic reaction that left me hospitalized and pondering my own mortality.  Ultimately, the experience led to answers that never would have happened if I hadn’t been in the exact right place at the right time.  The Dr’s told me my health struggles would be lifelong and that there’s a high disability potential – I told them that’s not an option. I decided the only option was to commit to doing whatever it takes to get my life on track, and have done so with a fresh perspective. I’ve worked hard to integrate the pieces of my old self that nourished me most, focusing more on emotional and physical core strength and getting back to surfing as much as possible.  The work I know I need to do is not yet done, but forcing myself to checkout and tune in to nature more is what helps me clear my head and create space for God. And that’s a pretty good place to start.

 – Holly

Pictures and songs float through my head- for every moment in life there’s a soundtrack that accompanies it, no matter whether it’s the grandest of days or the (seemingly) most insignificant of moments. Words and images have the power to heal and bring you back to the place you were in life. Whether it’s dancing in the family room with your BFFs to Sir-Mix-a-Lot, the moment you figured out the (too cute and smart for his own good) boy would only serve to mess with your head, the afternoon spent on the beach drinking mimosas with a friend that knows your heart or the sweet (and moderately embarrassing) moment of your first kiss… Name a memory and I can sing you a tune.

Clearly, I take my music selections seriously…   One could say that I’m a little obsessed with finding the perfect tune for the time. While editing Kate and Brendan’s wedding I had one particular tune stuck in my head: “Your love is like radiant diamonds, bursting inside us we cannot contain. Your love will surely come find us like blazing wildfires singing your name.

And so with much ado and a wee bit of dramatic flair, I am happy to bring you a hot new blog post, complete with the perfect tune. So feel free to crank up this song in the background and let your heart be moved.


– Holly




Here are just a few of the many vendors that made this day possible:

Ceremony venue: St. Johns Catholic Church

Reception venue: Private Residence, Panama City Beach, FL

Wedding planner: Shelby Peaden Events

Photography: Holly Gardner Photography

Florist: Myrtie Blue

Cake Artist: Confections on the Coast

Officiant: Fr. Richard Walsh

Cinematography: Sixpence Productions

Makeup & Hair: Deana Kale

Dress Designer: Amsale

Musical Entertainment: Atlanta Pleasure Band and Rock the House

Late nights with cool breezes in the air call for ramblings about life and love. Perhaps it’s the Mazzy Star dance mix on repeat, the angle of the moon in the sky or the juxtaposition of the two, but something has me full of feeling and words I can’t quite manage to find. But somehow, in this moment, the words on my iPod seem to fit just right. You put your hands into your head and your smiles cover your heart… And then you just magically fade into one another and blend perfectly – two bodies into one heart…

Heather and Noel have perfected the art of seamlessly fading into one another – becoming one heart and soul, both independently strong and unique, but unstoppable together. Their love and peace with one another is inspiring and the way they look at one another is enough to melt the coldest heart.

And their wedding day? Well, you can bet that was pretty fantastic too – full of laughter, sunshine and salt air.  I am so excited to share a few highlights from their day. Enjoy!

– Holly





Here are just a few of the many vendors that made this day possible:

Ceremony venue: St. Andrews State Park, Panama City Beach, FL

Reception venue: St. Andrews Bay Yacht Club

Photography: Holly Gardner Photography

Florist: Designs by Carmen

Cake Artist: Fatty Patty’s

Makeup: Irene Richardson

Hair: Sierra Ray

Musical Entertainment: Gulf Talent Services

Happy fall, y’all! It’s time for a quick flashback to earlier this summer for a few highlights from Amber & Andrew’s wedding. They were married on the beach in Destin, Florida and partied all day and night with their closest family and friends. They were blessed with a stunning Southern sunset, cool gulf breezes and lots of puppy kisses. Here are a few highlights from their day!

– Holly




Here are just a few of the many vendors that made this day possible:

Ceremony venue: Private home, Destin, FL

Photography: Holly Gardner Photography

Videography: Britt Burns

Officiant: Dennis Rader

Makeup & Hair: Jasmine Rizzuto, Project Style Salon & Spa

Wedding Dress: Mori Lee

Well, hello there! It’s been a long, hot summer, which has been perfect for me to wrap up galleries and albums and take a little family vacation time. Now that summer is coming to an end, it’s time to start thinking about all the fun that’s to be had this fall! We have a little over a month until we kick things off with Heather and Noel’s wedding, so why don’t we go ahead and share a few favorite images from Lauren and Andrew?

Their big day took place on St. George Island this past June and was full of salt, sun and lots of fun! Their family and friends came from afar to toast the couple and dance the night away. We snuck away for a few beach sunset photos and rode around the island on the golf cart, savoring the last inkling of light before dancing the night away. Looking back at these photographs makes me smile as I think about what a great summer it’s been. Here are a few of my favorites. Enjoy!

– Holly