Tuesday, May 08, 2018
By Andrea McDaniel Photography
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It's getting warmer by the day in Gulf Shores, currently 84 degrees and it feels great!  I've been dreaming of this warm weather all winter long, I honestly didn't think it would ever get here.  It would warm up a little bit and then cool right back down.  It was like mother nature was just teasing us all. 


This year I implemented a handy Book Now button (which you will find below).  Why spend precious time emailing back and forth, when you should be planning and daydreaming about all the wonderful things you are going to be doing while you are here in Gulf Shores.  Just simply click the Book Now button, choose the package that works for your family size, select an available date,  fill out the requested information and then pay your retainer/deposit of $150.  It's so easy. 


Of course, I don't mind you emailing, calling or texting me if you have any questions.  I'm here for you, I want you to have a great time in Gulf Shores and I want you to cherish your vacation memories.  If you have a group larger than 16, I have packages for you as well. 

Saturday, April 28, 2018
By Andrea McDaniel Photography
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I get asked all the time from brides-to-be what I think about a first look and my answer is always, yes do it.  It's not for everyone, of course. 


There are benefits of doing a first look and I wanted to list them.


1.  You get to enjoy a special moment.  You get to enjoy and savor that first moment of seeing one another on your wedding day without all your guests watching. You are able  to hug, kiss,cry,laugh,smile and not feel like you have to hold back. Having that instant reaction and tender moment documented is priceless. 


2.  Timing. Doing a First Look provides much more time for photos without being rushed. Immediately after the First Look, I typically photograph the bride and groom together for a little while. 


3.  Calming those nerves. Brides are definitely less nervous for the ceremony and the rest of the wedding day when they do a First Look. They are just as excited and anxious, as are the grooms, but less nervous since they have already had time with their soul mate before the ceremony.


Here is a first look we recently captured.  And if you haven't considered it for your wedding day I highly suggest giving it a thought. 


Wednesday, April 04, 2018
By Andrea McDaniel Photography
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It's almost summer, so lets meet at the beach!

Are you ready to preserve your vacation memories?  Now is to the time to get yourself on the calendar. 

Book Online Today

Booking online is simple.  Just select the package that works for your family, then select the date, fill out the required information and submit your retainer/session fee of $150.  The remaining balance will be due the day of your session.  You will receive text and email reminders before your session.  So easy. 


Are you ready to reserve your date?   Just click the Book Now button below.  I would love to meet your family at the beach this summer!


Tuesday, March 13, 2018
By Andrea McDaniel Photography
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Our Favorite Places to Eat in the Gulf Shore/Orange Beach area

I get asked a lot during my photo sessions about what is the best place to eat in and around Gulf Shores and Orange Beach. Growing up here, so many new places have come to our little beach town and it feels like new places are popping up daily.  I have compiled a list of my family's  favorite places to eat in hopes that you guys will find it helpful when trying to decide where to go.





Sea-N-Suds has been serving the Gulf Coast for 43 years!  They are located directly on the beach and you can catch some amazing sunsets from the deck.  Their sandwiches and Gumbo are my absolute favorite. 

The Gulf

Located in Orange Beach, The Gulf is an absolute must visit.  Truly outdoor dining with a gorgeous waterfront setting, centered around shipping containers.  You could spend a whole evening here relaxing with friends and family.  The menu is always fresh and seasonal.  We love their tacos and the grouper sandwich. The fresh lemonade is amazing and their gift shop is just adorable. Expect a little bit of a wait depending on what time of year you visit because this is a popular hot spot. 

Big Fish Restaurant

Best crab cakes and sushi in the area by far.  Big Fish Restaurant serves amazing food in a quiet, relaxing, upscale environment.  This little gem is hidden in the corner of a strip mall on Canal Road across from Cosmos.  I highly suggest making a reservation for dinner during peak summer time visits. 

The Village Lawn at The Beach Club

The cutest little place to hang out with family in the evening after a long day on the beach.  Warning, parking can be a nightmare, but if you are staying at The Beach Club, you can just walk to it.  They have several food trucks that surround a plush lawn with picnic tables, live entertainment nightly and tons of family friendly lawn games.  Do not expect fast service, just go with the flow and relax.  Let your kids play and enjoy the evening.  I promise, if you just sit back and relax while there you'll have a great time.  You do not have to be a Spectrum guest to enjoy this awesome place. 

You can also visit The Village Hideaway for a great meal. 

Big Wave Daves

This is a relatively new restaurant with a surfer theme with a big screen on the wall showing old surfing videos and the food is great!  They start you off with popcorn and water.  I highly suggest the lobster roll, it is amazing!!  Our other favorites are the Hong Kong tacos, Blackened shrimp tacos, grilled cheese, chicken tenters or hamburger for the kids.  The service is always outstanding.  Located next Ron John Surf Shop on the main beach road between Gulf Shores and Orange Beach.

Chronic Tacos

Great alternative to a full service restaurant.  Think Moes Southwest Grill or Chipotle Mexican Grill.  This is a build your own taco joint, simply walk up to counter and order your tacos how you like.  If you prefer you can get a bowl with your ingredients.  They also have quesadillas.  Yum!  Try the Chronic Fries!!!!  It's nachos with fries instead...just be ready to go to the beach and run the calories off afterwards.   Located in Orange Beach.  25775 Perdido Beach Blvd

Hope's Cheesecake

Best cheesecake ever!!  At least in my opinion.  You can buy by the slice or a whole cake, so you can't really go wrong here.  Hope's cheesecake is smooth, creamy and absolutely delightful.  I don't think we've ever bought a cake or slice from here we haven't enjoyed.  From key lime, to red velvet the list goes on.  We frequent Hope's often.  Locally owned and operated so go show them some love!

210 E 20th Ave, Gulf Shores. 

The Ruby Slipper Cafe

If you are looking for breakfast, brunch, lunch then look no further than The Ruby Slipper in Orange Beach. They are family owned, based out of New Orleans and donate a lot to charity.  Come hungry and you will leave so satisfied.  They have HUGE portions of great food that is fresh, tasty and served beautifully. The eggs Benedict are to die for and the stuffed French Toast is a sweet treat directly from heaven!  And did I mention bloody mary's and mimosas?  Yep, that's right and they are soooo good!!

Tuesday, February 27, 2018
By Andrea McDaniel Photography
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Remembering the BP Oil Spill  of 2010

I know a lot of my readers come to my blog to read about the gorgeous beaches we have here on the gulf coast and to look at photos to get inspiration for their photo sessions.  But the wildfires in California reminded me of the BP oil spill we had in 2010 and how we went from a thriving tourist town to suddenly the worst nightmare on earth. Encase anyone doesn't remember, the BP oil spill happened because of a flawed well plan and then a horrible blow out.  An estimated 184 million gallons of oil spilled into the gulf.  Fisheries, wildlife and tourism were all affected.  It was the worst thing I had ever witnessed,  thick oily water and then black oil clumps washing up and covering our beautiful white beaches, there wasn't anything I could do but sit there and cry.  The emails and phone calls started pouring in, one cancellation after another.  Business was over before it had even become peak tourist season.  Almost 8 years after the Deepwater Horizon spill, the affects still linger.  Officials had released 1.8 million gallons of Corexit into the Gulf before the well was even sealed.  Cleanup crews walked our beaches in hazmat gear picking up the clumps that washed ashore.  Almost 8 years later people are suffering from migraines, anxiety, seizures, dizziness, neurological problems, depression and nerve damage.  Some clean-up crews wives experience missed periods, or even stopped having menstrual cycles all together which was linked to washing their husbands oil-drenched clothes.  But this post isn't supposed to be about the BP Oil spill of 2010.  This is about the California Wildfires. 



Wine Country Weddings are waiting for you!

I feel California's pain.  We didn't have to evacuate in horror due to sparking flames, horrible smoke, falling trees and raging fire.  Weddings in the Wine Country are big business, just like here at home. The seventeen fires that raged across the state of California burned at least 245,000 acres and forced thousands to evacuate from their homes in complete and utter fear for their lives.  It's estimated that about 9,800 structures were destroyed by the raging fires and that damages cost about $9.4 billion across the state.  But,

I'm here to tell you the wineries are open for business! 

Yes, that's correct.  the wine country is as beautiful as ever.  While the fires were a terribly, tragic disaster the damage to Napa Valley wine country was not widespread.

Take a look at these recent gorgeous photos provided to me. I mean, who on earth wouldn't want to get married overlooking the beautiful vineyards and have their reception at a stunning country estate? 

Samar Hattar at Blissful Event Planning is ready to help you plan your perfect day.  With 11 years of experience, Samar has produced amazing weddings for both US and international brides.  Visit her blog post about Beautiful Wine Country Weddings.  And if you want to, perhaps show some love on social media, you can follow her Instagram or Facebook page.

So if you have a friend planning a wedding in the California area, send them to Samar for all their wedding planning needs. 

And Samar, if our tourist and wedding industry made it through the horrible BP oil spill, I'm confident you guys will too!