30A Photography Education & Healthy Living » 30A editorial photographer inspiring women to savor life through learning about photography and healthy living. Serving 30A & Panama City Beach, Florida.

Summer is here and the first wedding season of the year is drawing to a close rapidly (how did that happen?). In the midst of editing, I figured it was time to hit pause and share a few images from a recent wedding that absolutely pulled on my heart strings –  Courtney & Jeff’s elegant Seaside wedding. After a touching first look in Watercolor, they said “I Do”  at the Seaside Chapel and danced the night away in Ruskin Park. Throughout the day, there was lots of love and laughter – from the expressions of the bridesmaids when they were spying (from a distance) on Courtney and Jeff’s first look, to the tears of joy and love in Jeff’s eyes as he saw his bride walk down the aisle.

A huge thanks to Defining Moments by Heather for putting together an amazing event and to Courtney, Jeff, and their families for being so warm and welcoming.


– Holly

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

Ceremony venue: Seaside Chapel

Event Coordinator: Defining Moments by Heather

Reception Venue: Seaside’s Ruskin Park

Florist: Milk & Honey

Photography: Holly Gardner Photography

Videography: Josh Kidd Films

Officiant: Gary Wingo

Makeup Artist: The Perfect Make-Up

Hairstylist: Hair Design by Jessica

Music: Masterpiece Band, Gulf Talent Services

Catering: Townsend Catering

Wedding Ring: Rotem Fartook, Bella Diamanti

Wedding Dress: Lela Rose


A few years ago, I met Heather on the job… The pretty little blonde was on assignment for the News Herald and I was working for a local company that was having a big press conference with Governor Rick Scott. It sounded easy enough, but when I got in the midst of the crowds I realized the lighting was awful, people were (literally) pushy, and I was feeling pretty out of my element. Heather was kind enough to guide me through the day and I was incredibly grateful for her, as I watched her navigate the crowds with ease. That day I gained a whole new appreciation for photojournalists… I knew they had a tough job, but I didn’t realize how different our lines of work really were. Since that day, I’ve always smiled when I’ve seen her images on the front page of the paper, or honked as I’ve driven by and seen her in the oddest places, hauling around her camera like it’s no big deal.

Recently, she became engaged to Noel in what may be one of the cutest proposal stories I’ve heard in a while. Shortly afterward, she contacted me about photographing her wedding. I have to confess feeling a little nervous – I always am when working with a fellow photographer- but particularly one that I know and whose work I follow. One recent evening at Camp Helen State Park we met up for their engagement session and I begged them to put away any preconceived notions and just trust me… Their session ended up being a ton of fun and we walked away with a ton of diverse photos, from glowy tree to pastel sunsets. Here are just a few from our evening together. Enjoy!

– Holly


After a long winter, it’s always fun to kick the spring wedding season off with a beachfront wedding. This March, Heidi and Derrick welcomed spring AND the new chapter of their lives with one another in at Palazzo Del Sol in Destin, FL. They said “I do” as the wind blew and took stole a few moments with one another at the last inklings of sunset before dancing the night away. I can’t think of a more wonderful way to kick the year off! Heidi and Derrick, congratulations on your marriage and many years of dancing through life together!

– Holly


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

Ceremony venue: Palazzo Del Sol, Destin, FL.

Ceremony coordinator: Seashell Wedding Company, Brandy

Florist: Flowers from the Heart

Photography: Holly Gardner Photography

Cake: Bake My Day

Officiant: John King

Makeup Artist: Make Me Blush, Jessica Austin

Hairstylist: Amber Conner

Wedding Dress: Maggie Sottero from A-Net’s Bridal

A few weeks ago I posted images from John and Brianne’s engagement session at St. Andrews State Park and today I wanted to post an even more recent session! Lauren and Andrew will say “I do” this summer at St. George Island, and they came to Panama City Beach to kick it by the beach and plan their wedding for a few days. Their session was in the exact same location as John and Bri’s, but we were able to select different spots for a completely different feel. These two are sweet and funny and I think these images of their engagement session really show the tenderness of their love for one another. Enjoy!

–  Holly

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Patience has never been my strength. When I take a photo I love I want to race home, edit it up and share it with the world. When working for businesses and magazines that’s not an option though – I always have to wait until after they’ve been published by the client. During a styled shoot for Wyndham Vacations in Destin last fall, I found myself literally jumping up and down over the incredible skies. We’d spent a few hours shooting inside and then moved to the beach for sunset. Now I’m able to share a few of my favorites and I’m jumping up and down again at my computer. Yes, I love what I do. So without further ado, here are some sweet, soft, pastel sunset photos (and a few from their styled shoot section) with a couple that is full of love and light!

–  Holly