gail centeno photography: Blog en-us (C) gail centeno photography (gail centeno photography) Mon, 16 Mar 2020 07:40:00 GMT Mon, 16 Mar 2020 07:40:00 GMT gail centeno photography: Blog 80 120 National Golden Retriever Day? That's every day for me.  

Never mind the fact that I'm a few days late on this, but Monday was National Golden Retriever Day. That's a thing? Apparently it's a thing. What doesn't have its own day anymore? Not complaining, though, because excuse me...Goldens are about the cutest thing on the planet.

Ahem. Enter Exhibit A.

(Be still my heart.)

Meet Ruby...the latest addition to our family. I've had the joy of owning four dogs in my life...three of which have been Golden Retrievers. 

I should probably rephrase the above statement to four dogs have owned me. Let's face it: dogs are a LOT of work. Correction: PUPPIES are a lot of work. This little rascal owns my time and attention like a baby, because she IS a baby. But in the end, we all know these furry friends that come into our lives end up owning our hearts.


That's how she came into our lives. After the loss of my dearest love ever, Sasha, our eight year old Golden, who completely owned my heart, and shortly after my oldest son leaving for college (I still instinctively set the table for five), my heart was feeling a little...okay, a LOT empty. I didn't want to face the idea of adding a new puppy to our lives because I knew I could never replace Sasha. But, if I'm getting really honest here, my sweet husband could see how heartbroken I was and he proposed the idea of getting another puppy. When he asked me if I wanted one, I literally bawled. I think that was his answer.

And so began the search. I admit I considered other breeds. There are so many wonderful ones! I didn't know if I could handle another dog that would remind me too much of Sasha. But in the end, my heart came to a conclusion: once a Golden, always a Golden.

(Snuggles while making new friends with our neighbor's adorable German Shepard pup across the street! He'll soon be bigger than her!)


However, this time we decided to get all crazy a change it up a bit. ;) Ruby is an English Golden with pure European lineage. Sasha was an American Golden. (While ALL Golden Retrievers originate from the UK, Ruby's line continued there as opposed to crossing the pond. ;) 

I can safely say that Ruby is not competing with Sasha as I can see clear distinction in their personalities. Sasha was a "princess" who did not like the rain. Potty time in the rain on wet grass was less than swift. (Queue memories of circling in the bitter cold, windy rain for 15 minutes. No lie. [Rolls eyes]. Hey, no pup's perfect.) ;) This little chunk of polar bear fur is not at all intimidated by it. Doesn't phase her a bit! Hallelujah. Good girl.

Also, Ruby is a cuddler! At four months old and roughly 35 lbs, she LOVES to curl up, more like lounge all over, your lap if you sit on the floor...or at least try to the moment you even kneel on the floor. It's completely adorable, genuinely sweet, very funny and still mostly tolerable, but in a few more months, I'm not sure my petite frame will withstand about double her weight. Lol.


Sweet, affectionate (when she's not puppy biting, lol) smart, goofy, clever...she's all that and a bag of chips.

I urge you to not let her intense cuteness factor fool you. I know, I know. It's hard. :) This pup is a piece of work. She has a bit of a stubborn streak that Sasha didn't have (or more than likely I just mentally blocked because let's face it, the puppy stage is not for the weary, people!) But I also know this little girl is carving her way into my heart and I'm doing all I can to make the bond with her as strong or stronger than before.

I long for that. And I think we're on our way.

Happy National Golden Retriever LIFE, Ruby. Thanks in advance for all the joy you're going to bring. We love you.


- Gail

]]> (gail centeno photography) pet photography Fri, 07 Feb 2020 16:09:26 GMT
Worship Photography. More than just pictures. Have you ever stopped to think about the power of a photograph? Like really stopped. And thought. The ability to capture a split second in time and put it on pause. Forever. Mind blowing, really.

Praise God for the creator of it. (And now for a brief commercial break while I Google who did. Shame on me. I studied that once.) But for me personally, when you pair the power of photography with the power of worship, it literally gives me chills. The good kind. ;)

As a Christian, my faith is a journey, a daily walk, an experience, which though far from perfect, is an opportunity to both feel and express God's love and power. A power that I am granted only by His grace.

So for me to be able to capture the heart of people who also love God and know Him in the same way, is an indescribable experience.

I've never sung while "on the job" before, but this time I did. (I also don't work on Sunday's, lol, but this was so very different). I actually worshiped WHILE I worked. I was so moved by the power of the music and witnessing the faces and expressions of worship that I was literally smiling and singing with every click of the shutter.

This particular day was very special in the life of the church as they were celebrating the ribbon cutting and dedication of an awesome new playground. It will be used by not only the church children, but as an opportunity to share it with the surrounding community's children to show their love and God's love.

A day of song, worship, God's Word, changed hearts, food and was perfect...including picture perfect blue skies.

I was so blessed to be a part of this day. Perks of the job? (Besides spiritual, of course.) Totally toned calves from all the stair climbing back and forth to the balcony while being the "worship photo ninja". It's my new title. ;) Also, I was fed. Muchas gracias. Who doesn't like food? Baptist churches always have food. Good food. It's practically a requirement.


]]> (gail centeno photography) Sun, 24 Nov 2019 22:53:19 GMT
Starting Over | An Honest Look at My Life  


How are you supposed to start a blog post on a blog that's been MIA, dead, out-of-service, non-existent for the past five years? (Shakes head.) Yes, FIVE years. #photographerforthewin.  I had actually deactivated my blog from the world's view! (Who am I kidding? It was probably my mom reading.) In five years, MY, oh my oh MY how things have changed.

Savannah | Paula Deen StoreSavannah | Paula Deen StoreThe top half, anyway, of the beautiful Paula Deen store. Notice it's the prettiest piece of the building. Flower boxes? Yes, please.

(Savannah, GA)

You see, life had kind of exploded into very challenging circumstances, life got in the way, survival mode kicked in, and then so did complacency. For a while, my photography HAD to be on the back burner, zero choice. But then...and this is where it gets real...I allowed myself to be content with not doing it. But was I?

Savannah | River Street FireworksSavannah | River Street FireworksJuly 4, 2013 - 2 second exposure

(July 4th | Savannah, GA)

I'm a "creative". A deep soul. It's how I'm designed. It's etched into the fibers of my soul. Overthinking everything is a daily activity for my personality. Mind racing with all the to-do, want-to-do, nah-that's-impossible, I-could-never-do-that, could-I-do-that?, have-to-do-that, need-to-pray-about-that lists. ;) Constantly feeling the itch to create, design, do something with purpose. Don't get me wrong, first and foremost, I am a wife and mother to three teenagers. Can I get an AMEN that I deserve a little hoop-la, hands up, whoop-whoop for surviving this stage of my life so far? ;) Ya'll, it's tough! But I love them and raising them right is priority numero uno. (And yes, I say "ya'll" now because I'm in the South...even though I always considered Virginia the North and being from Miami I was actually in "the South"...about the farthest south you could go, but we all know it ain't The South. Know what I mean? And, no, I don't actually say ain't. It was just for dramatic effect. Did it work?)

Brown's Island | James RiverBrown's Island | James River

(The James River | Brown's Island | Richmond, VA)

I suppose I should fill you fine people in (Hi, Mom!) on what in tarnation I'm talking about. If you're new here, it's ok, I feel new, too. We'll get comfortable together. (Grab a slice of pizza...why not. Pizza is always a good idea.) Consider this an introduction or re-introduction to who I am and how I got here. No, it's not a "birds and the bees" story. You're welcome.


  • I was born...a few decades back. A lady never tells her age. (Except I overshare and you'll probably get it out of me at some point.)
  • I was born in Miami.
  • My boyfriends were usually Hispanic (I mean, Hello. Miami. Case in point.) And knew I'd probably marry one.
  • At 17, I finished high school with two years of college completed already. I guess I'm smart-ish?, but never felt it.
  • I graduated from Samford University in B'ham, AL (I applied to one school. Yikes!) and graduated with my Bachelors degree at 19!
  • At barely 20, I married me one of those charming Miami Spanish boys. Actually man...he's a few-ish years older. ;)
  • At 21, I became a mother. And the whirlwind began.
  • By 25 and before our 5th wedding anniversary, we had THREE babies! I believe in overachieving. #iwascrazy #3kidsin39months
  • After 15 years of marriage and over three decades of my life, we left Miami (my only home ever!) and began life in Richmond. Hello!
  • Above bullet point was due to dear husband's new job that he hadn't even been searching for. He left a 20+ year career! Should I mention we had just completely renovated our entire home due to massive water damage and scary mold issues discovered the week of Thanksgiving 2014 while we all had the flu? And had been living with my parents for four months? And suddenly had to put our house on the market that I had just redone exactly they way I wanted it? And move to where we didn't know a soul? And I had never even laid eyes on Richmond? And trust God through ALL of this because it was so unbelievably overwhelming?
  • July 2015 - we sold our house for more than our realtor said we would (Praise God!) moved with three kids (one finishing elementary, one in the middle of middle school and one starting high school) and our beloved 70lb. golden retriever fur ball (more like fur hurricane), Sasha, and moved into a "cozy" rental apartment. Read: small. Very small. I almost lost my ever lovin' mind.
  • October 2016 - We moved into a not-near-as-small home that we built and designed and prayed over and I may have cried over a few times. It was stressful, expensive and wonderful all in the same basket. I got to put my love of interior design into overdrive. I mean OVERDRIVE. Love ya' Restoration Hardware!
  • These past few years since have been all about creating a HOME for my family, not just a house and getting settled in design-wise to the home itself and settled into our community and getting involved. To be honest, those pieces are STILL in the works, but time, money, energy and life are all the normal factors that come into play.
  • June 2019 - watched our oldest son graduate high school (tears of JOY!) and watched our beloved, oh so beloved Sasha, leave this earth. (Indescribable heartbreak - she was literally my best friend. You'll only NOT think that's weird if you knew her or if your best friend has fur and four legs, too. And I'm hoping you'd be referring to a dog. ;)

(Delicious graduation lunch @ Tarrant's | Downtown Richmond - iphone photo ;)

  • August 2019 - watched said oldest son leave the nest and call Penn State University his new home. (He better not actually think that's home or he's getting a whoopin'). #psuproudmama #comehomesoon
  • September 2019 - dropped off baby #3 for his first day of high school. Yep. Baby. Except, not so little. [insert sad face]
  • October 2019 - celebrated 20 years of being married to an amazing man, husband and father!!! Just sayin'. (And if you can add, now you know how old I am. See? Overshared. It's what I do.)

(See what a loving husband? He makes my coffee every.single.morning. Sometimes with a heart.)

  • PRESENT DAY: God's been working on me. And things, people, opportunities and life circumstances are showing up in ways that are basically pushing me back to my camera. I've never technically left my camera (I stay active with that art all the's Who.I.Am!), but lovingly "nudging" me back to the business side of the camera. And I have to be honest. It's exciting and terrifying at the same time! But I've been praying for answers and for change for a year. And here it is! Now there are so many t's to cross and i's to dot for my every aspect. You probably don't care about those details, but it's the legal shmegal and numbers stuff that creatives like me loathe, the design aspect of making things fresh again, the investment aspect of needing/wanting to update certain areas of my technical gear, investing in workshops and continuous training, self-doubt vs. the truth of the joy brought to past clients that fight each other in my mind, and the "how do I get started all over again" in an oversaturated market? This has been a long bullet point. I'm pretty sure it's not supposed to be that long. Whatev's.

photo credit to my daughter :)

(Yours truly and the Hubs, Christmas 2018-- photo credit to my talented daughter :)

So, here I am. Back on the blog, back in the biz, back to my life. I want to once again, use the gifts, talents and abilities I believe God has granted me to bring joy to others, and share His goodness and have a sense of purpose again. I've felt a little empty, to be honest. Photography for me allows me to connect my soul to Him and to others. It brings ME joy. I light up at a beautifully composed, well-lit, naturally or artistically created photograph, but I light up even more when the reaction of my work brings someone else joy, laughter and hits them in the face with "I love these!".

I was created for a purpose. We were each created for a purpose. I've got to get back to doing mine. What's it looking like for you?


    - Gail

(And I can say that because I have Irish and Scottish blood, though I do not have a drink in my hand, so maybe that was a little weird. Work with me. ;) It's how I roll.)


(Also, I love hashtagging stuff. It's a writing style. It's a problem.)


(And I use lots of "quotes", (((parentheses))), -dashes- and winky faces. ;)


I'm done.


And we'll end with a picture of my sweet Sasha, because she brought me joy...and I'm in the mood for a little joy.



]]> (gail centeno photography) glen allen photographer richmond rva virginia Thu, 07 Nov 2019 01:56:11 GMT
Meet Jake. You'll like him. | Miami Lifestyle Newborn Photography This is Jake.

What's not to love? I mean, could you really not love a baby in a bowtie? (Props to the crafty mommy for making that the morning of the session.)

We actually started the session in Mommy and Daddy's room. (I kind of died over the gorgeous floors and the light coming in was just perfect.)

If I had to pick a favorite, this one might be it.

They are so in love with their sweet boy.

Tiny. Baby. Feet. [Sigh.] Cuddles and snuggles. Can't ever really get enough, can you?

After a couple of feedings and changes, this little ten day old was tuckered out.

Time to make sure these baseball loving parents get the perfect shot. (Daddy played college ball, after all.)

And as if this family weren't cute enough already, I think Jake really knocked this session out of the park.

(Sorry. Had to. Lol.) ;)

>>> Thanks for sharing your precious little boy with me. More images to come!!! <<<



]]> (gail centeno photography) Tue, 01 Jul 2014 01:13:47 GMT
Janette's Baby Shower | Miami Event Photography The best part of being a photographer: I get to hang out with fabulous people and watch as some of the most memorable, endearing and hilarious moments unfold before them. Um...and sometimes, weird things happen like the microphone gets shoved in my face for a little karaoke. And then sometimes I actually sing. ;)

This particular baby shower was extra sweet since it was for my daughter's former teacher. (Honored to have been a part!) Is their baby not going to be gorgeous???


I mean, seriously.


I love how she coordinated their outfits with the shower's theme. Too cute.


It was a day filled with friends...



fantastic music...


...and this cute little lady. I caught her dancing in her seat. After I showed her the couple of images I took of her, she laughed, leaned over and kissed me. #precious


Enter hilarious baby shower game. Hmmm...who do YOU think the baby will look like?


Naturally, no "man's baby shower" is complete without a Cuban cigar...compliments of the uncle-to-be. Ahhh, a brotherly embrace.


And...without capturing this adorable "solo" moment of the great-grandpa-to-be's brother, there surely would've been something missing here. (Love. This.)


Janette, thank you so much for allowing me to capture these memories for you...perhaps some moments you were unaware of. Can't wait to finish the rest for you...and to meet baby Jake for his newborn session!






]]> (gail centeno photography) Tue, 15 Apr 2014 18:39:35 GMT
Once upon a pretend and not-so-pretend story | Helping clients make the most of their images Let's play pretend. (It's okay, even though we're not five anymore...and you might want to grab a cup of coffee for this one. Promise it's worth the read...with lovely images to boot.)

ONCE upon a time, you made the decision to hire a photographer. (Yay!) You searched internet-land far and wide, and alas found one you hoped was just right for you (at a rockin' price) and the big day arrived. You coordinated your outfits and looked charming. Maybe you even had your hair and makeup done. The location was dreamy and the shoot went as well as anticipated (always the goal, right?). Afterward, you waited for your Prince to come, I mean prints to come. (Couldn't help it.) Fingers tapping the table in nervously excited anticipation.

Perhaps the magical photographer you hired promised you all your images on a CD to print whichever ones you'd like. Sounded great. Your disc arrived and you parted ways and your photographer drove off to Never Neverland. You popped them into the computer, posted your favorites (or all 95 of them) on your Facebook page and started to dream of the ones you might print. Somehow, it became a little trickier than you imagined to make a decision. "They all look nice, but how many 8x10's do I need over my couch...or which 4x6 do I want on my desk?", you thought to yourself. You couldn't decide, so you just decided that you'd decide later. (Lots of the use of the word "decide" but no actual decision.) You slipped the disc in a drawer far, far away and found it a few months later. "I should really figure out which ones I should print, but I'm just so terribly busy. I'll do it this weekend." But sadly, that weekend came and that weekend went...and time, well, it just dragged on. Tick. Tock. The images you really liked all those months ago became the images that only mysteriously existed on a disc (and an old Facebook post).

Okay, okay. So maybe that's not you. And cheesy fairy tales aren't your style. Procrastination has never been your style either. Let's alter our story to a little better case, present day scenario, shall we? You're able to make a decision. (Awesome!) You get that disc and all super excited, head over to your local and convenient print shop (CVS, Walmart, Costco) print them all in 4x6's, tuck them away in an album and have a cute little scrapbook. You might even print a few 8x10's which seem so big compared to a 4x6 and even decide to do a little gallery above your sofa. You can't quite figure out though why your room suddenly feels smaller and why the lab cropped off your hands in the prints. Oops. You also notice that the coloring of your prints look different than they did on the disc. They're not super crisp, kind of shadowy and they're a little orangey. (It's a word.) "Hmm, that's odd. I don't remember using spray tan" you think. ;) But, at least you printed them and can enjoy them. Time goes by though, and they start to look even more "off". It's not good, my friend. Inside, you're not near as happy with the results as you thought you would be.

End of the pretend story.

Wait...except the sad part is, it's very much a reality of so. many. people. (Did you read that with emphasis?) I personally know countless stories of those who've gone through this exact scenario (both of them) and the photography industry as a whole is loaded with them. Here's why: by nature, so many of us are built to do whatever is easiest. Sometimes the easiest thing to do is put off making a decision. However, failing to make one becomes the actual decision. Funny how that happens. Sometimes we just can't figure out which option is best! (Boy, have I done that with paint colors...and the bedroom stays unpainted for far too long.) It's okay to admit we need a little guidance. On the other hand, for those who have no problem making their print decisions, heading over to the convenient general mass consumer print lab yields just that: mass produced photos. Labs like that are built for speed, not consistency or quality or longevity. That "off" orangey color (just one possibility) is because the images on your disc weren't calibrated with that lab's printer or the lab didn't offer color correction at least. And those "chopped off" cropped hands...well, as a photographer it's my job to let you know that some print sizes WILL have cropping due to the aspect ratio of the photo. Some images, depending on how they're taken will look better in certain sizes. Also, if we do need to crop a photo, I can manually adjust which part of the photo is cropped when my lab prints it. Mass consumer labs just crop with the image centered. If your hands or ear or something of importance happens to be "in the way"...well...sorry. "Too bad for you" they theoretically snicker. It's the way the cookie crumbles. ;)

The saga continues with those 8x10's over your sofa. I have to be really honest with you. It might hurt. I'm so sorry. I'll rip it off fast like a band-aid, okay? 8x10's do not belong over a sofa. I repeat, 8x10's do not belong over a sofa. I know that they're so popular at the mass photography studios (won't name them) and all the aisles in our favorite superstores ( sounds better in French, don't you think? ;) are sporting 8x10 frames and they really do seem a lot bigger than a little 4x6 print. Reality is: they only make the room look smaller (and they definitely do crop off a good chunk of the original image...assuming your photographer is using what is called a full-frame camera.) Besides, if you've taken the time to hold a photography session and get all dressed up, don't you really want to be able to SEE the detail of your images? They'll need to be bigger than that if you do.

If you're still reading this, you're 1) fabulous and 2) obviously curious where I'm going with this.

This is where I step in. Am I trying to sell myself to you? Maybe. ;) Most importantly though, I want you to realize WHY hiring a custom, boutique photographer is different and what you can expect from ME if you decide I'm the right one for you. (I've described some of this already in the FAQ link above.)

As a boutique photographer, I focus on giving each client a very customized, personalized experience. (That's what defines it as "boutique".) Instead of marketing to the masses, I prefer to hold fewer sessions which enables me to give 100% to every client who comes my way (and because I think that's what my clients deserve). My clients don't have to worry about ending up like our fictitious "you" in our pretend story. Don't worry. It's not really "you". What does happen is my clients have beautiful session images that result in even more beautiful wall art for their home. They become conversation pieces, family heirlooms and enhance the beauty and design of the room.

So much goes into creating images for my clients before even getting to the final edited stage, but once there, my FAVORITE part is the complimentary wall design consultation I provide when we get together to select their favorites. This is when I help them figure out what in the world to do with them all. It's a lot of fun and takes the guesswork out of how they'll look on the wall. It instantly makes their investment a reality, not just an idea in their head. (And, if you're like someone here, you're a very visual person. Did you guess that about me? ;)

And if you're STILL reading've made it to the pretty pictures: how I help my clients make the most of their images (using labs built for consistency, quality, longevity and all that good stuff that YOU should expect.)

Using gorgeously designed room images (in which I can customize the colors of the room and accessories) OR using an image from the client's own home, I come up with wall galleries on the spot using your favorites, based on what looks best in the room. Options are practically endless and fit a variety of budgets.

Can you see now why a few 8x10's just wouldn't make the cut?

Product options include fine gallery wrapped canvas (classic yet modern), brilliantly crisp and colorful metal prints, modern standouts, print wraps and traditional framed prints (with a variety of options).

In addition to bringing prints to life, I bring a variety of product samples to eliminate any possible guess work. Most of all, when all is said and done, my clients have beautiful, tangible memories. (And they're really, really happy.)

If you've been considering hiring a photographer for a special day in your life or simply realize it's been far too long since you've appreciated the miracle of "everyday" as a special day, I'd love to be the one to introduce you to the world of the boutique, personalized service you'll receive with me at Gail Centeno Photography. To read more about the fantastic wall design, click INFO above then select CLIENT WALL DESIGN GUIDE.

When you're ready, click "contact me" above or below or email me at or call me at 768-213-4245. (I do admit, email is usually best, but I promise I'm friendly on the phone. ;)

Here's to YOU having all your hands in your photos!

]]> (gail centeno photography) Mon, 17 Feb 2014 20:15:01 GMT
Baby Alfred | Miami Newborn Lifestyle Photography Introducing, Prince Alfred. Okay, he's not actually a prince, but he sounds royal enough and is definitely sporting regally dapper looks. How can you not agree?

miami modern lifestyle photographer newborn photography custom boutique baby portraits

Seriously. Perfect.

For eight days new, he was quite alert. In fact, he wanted in on the action most of the time, but we managed to sneak in a few "sleeping babe" shots like the above.

Mommy and Daddy were so sweet with him and we used the awake time to capture the lifestyle images.

Love that sweet, loving smile her husband is giving her. Kind of makes me melt, because that folks, is what families are all about. Love.

New babies are hard work, and hands down, it's one of the hardest things you can ever experience, but it's completely worth it. And the time spent to capture images like these are what makes me love what I do even more.

Thanks, little Alfred, for letting me spend the morning with you. I hope you let your Mommy and Daddy rest for a bit after I left. ;)


]]> (gail centeno photography) Sun, 09 Feb 2014 02:25:44 GMT
New Life Within | On becoming a published author and photographer | Say what? It's finally published! And it's here!

A surreal moment opening the smooth brown box tossed on my doorstep. Inside, pieces of me. My heart, my life and my work.

I wrote about the book project I was involved with a while back and had every intention of posting this earlier...but life gets in the way. Not a new story from my mouth. ;)

Incredibly grateful to work with author Jillian Amodio and Griff Hanning at CausePub, having my cover design and short story part of this very special book.

Filled with forty inspirational stories on motherhood (and quotes and funny kid sayings), it's a book that touches the heart of anyone who reads it. It just can't be helped. I don't know about you, but I confess I'm not a big reader unless it pertains to something I'm needing to learn. I simply always need more time in the day. The beautiful stories in here, however, are quick reads...perfect for enjoying a cup of coffee (or tea, my latest obsession) and reading a couple of stories at a time. So good though, you might just find yourself lingering a while.

This one's mine. I bet you could've figured that out, though. ;)

nikon d800

Five pages of my words. My story. My most intimate thoughts and experiences. It's ridiculously personal. Kind of can't believe I put it all out there. ;)

My favorite part? The little quote of humorous perfection on the page following my story.

nikon d800

"Mothers are all slightly insane." - J.D. Salinger. I'll try not to take that quote personally, as if it were hand selected for me, but I confess: It's true. It's true. ;)

The book can be purchased online at:

Causepub Publishing:


Barnes & Noble:

A portion of the book proceeds supports pro-life organizations serving women who find themselves in crisis pregnancies and empowers them to choose life by providing medical care and even housing if needed.

A source of inspiration and hope, this book would make your heart (and night stand) happy or make a much more treasured baby shower gift than a pack of bottles and wash cloths. ;)

Have I sold you on it yet? I'm just a little bit passionate about it. Combining my love for photography, graphic design, writing (with definite nuggets of humor) AND helping women and babies...I think that pretty much sums up my reasons.




]]> (gail centeno photography) Mon, 27 Jan 2014 03:55:54 GMT
South Beach Family Photography | Miami Makeup Artist Okay, ladies. Don't hate me when I say this, but this is the first face I've never had to "Photoshop". At all. Pinky promise. It was kind of surreal.

There's a reason for that. This beautiful woman is none other than Miami's Award Winning Makeup Artist, Aimee Ortega Rodriguez from Chic Makeup by Aimee. (Hint, hint: she's your girl for your wedding, special event, commercial or personal photography session >>> and Instagram @makeupbyaimee) Frankly, I'd like to make an extra room in my house and see if I can convince her to move in. She'd probably miss a couple of really important people in her life, though. Take a look at her sneak peek. ;)

At just 7 months old, he's "ready to walk"...or so he thinks. He. is. adorable.

When Aimee contacted me to do their family's first portraits with their new baby, I was so honored. Spending the day with them on South Beach was an absolute pleasure. The day could NOT have been more perfect. 72 degrees, barely a cloud in the sky, light breeze. That's why we live in Miami, isn't it?

Isn't she stunning?

Loved this quick little series of moments.

They were so cute together.

I adore this image. Not posed, she was just being playful with him and I turned quickly to catch it. Those are the best moments.

Can you even stand how cute this is? He looked straight at the camera AND smiled. What a good boy!

Aimee, thank you for allowing me the pleasure to document this beautiful afternoon with you and your lovely family. What a perfect age your little guy is for this family session...happy, alert, playful. He did amazingly well. (And thank you to your sister for helping to keep his attention!)

Can't wait to meet with you and show you the rest! By the way, you're just as beautiful on the inside as you are on the outside. There's nothing more important than that.

]]> (gail centeno photography) Wed, 22 Jan 2014 18:35:25 GMT
Black Friday Deals | Miami Modern Portrait Photography It's here! Gail Centeno Photography Black Friday deals! My LOWEST PRICES E.V.E.R. >>> Only 10 spots available at the session prices listed below! And for my beloved past clients, I didn't forget you. Scroll down. ;)

About those details: Session must be paid at time of booking, by 12/1/13. An online invoice via Paypal will be sent. Session must be completed by March 1, 2014. If session is not held by March 1, 2014, Gail Centeno Photography reserves the right to refund full or partial amount paid at the photographer's discretion and session will be cancelled. Session will include a 1-2 hour shoot, at one location, for up to 4 people. ($15 per extra person. $50 for an additional location.) You will receive the best of the best, between 20-25 fully edited, custom images to select your favorites. You'll also receive your edited images on a disc, perfectly sized and formatted for social media and email, but not intended or formatted for printing. About two weeks after your session, I'll have tangible, printed proofs ready and we'll get together (over coffee?) at your ordering appointment for you to choose your favorites for printing. I'll show you a variety of choices (paper types, print sizes, books, canvas wraps, etc.), so you can decide how you'd best like to use your images. The amount you decide to purchase is completely up to you, without any obligation and depends on your needs, but the best part is you're getting amazing, I'VE-NEVER-HELD-A-SALE-LIKE-THIS-BEFORE pricing, so you can only win.

These Black Friday deals will ONLY be available for 3 DAYS (with no return in sight): Fri, Sat & Sun >>> 11/29-12/2

So, if you've been THINKING about taking pictures, now is the time! If you've ALREADY taken pictures, now's the time to get any extras you had on your wish list.

Questions? I recommend reading my "faq's" link. You can also click "contact me" above or below, send me an email:, or give me a call: 786-213-4245 (Yep, that spells GAIL on the phone. Yes, cheesy AND cute all in one. ;)

Hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving! We each have much to be thankful for.


{ Follow on Instagram @gailcentenophotography }

]]> (gail centeno photography) Fri, 29 Nov 2013 03:20:23 GMT
New Life Within | Book Cover Design This post is a little different from what I usually do. It's still photography related, but it's much more personal. I'll make it short (which is hard, because I'm very much a writer).

About nine months ago, I was approached by author Jillian Amodio, a young woman and mother with whom I'd become acquainted with through our personal blogs. (Yes, I have a personal blog. Told you I'm a writer. ;) She asked me to contribute to her next book, New Life Within, a pro-life project benefiting the Gabriel Network. It's an organization in the DC and Baltimore, MD area which seeks to minister to and aid women in crisis pregnancies. A Chicken Soup for the Soul style of book, it's being filled with inspirational stories of motherhood by contributing writers. I am one of those. After praying about and considering it, I agreed. It's far more personal than I ever dreamed of sharing. The personal details of my pregnancies, births and feelings, both overwhelming and joyous, as a's all in there.

The book is in the process of publication through a publishing company called CausePub. However, the way it works is we need votes! Stories with the most votes will make it to final print. Curious about the grit intimate details of me? (It's not actually grit, but I can't believe I'm sharing it.) Go here to vote for my story: Not the Nanny (That title? I had three babies in three years...quite young. Yeah, people thought I was the nanny.)

But...there's more. I also designed and submitted a cover for the book.

I'm pretty excited about it! Combining my obvious love of photography, graphic design...and babies...I came up with a cover that I feel modernly and simplistically portrays the beauty of new life. Something I want a reader to be drawn to from the first look. Submissions also need to be voted on! Please vote for my cover design, too! Gail Centeno Photography - book cover design.

If you're interested in supporting this cause, the project is seeking 500 pledges to purchase the book on it's release date of Dec. 19, 2013. Go to the main CausePub website to find out more on how you can support New Life Within! I think there is very little, if anything, better than preserving the sanctity of life.

Thank you!

{I should probably write an UPDATE POST. ;) My cover was selected and the book was recently released! Find it on Amazon!}

]]> (gail centeno photography) Thu, 14 Nov 2013 23:39:15 GMT
Ella's Baby Shower | Calamari Restaurant | Miami Event Photography Ella is one of those people you're just drawn to. Walks in a room? Yep. It lights up. If she knows the meaning of the word frown, boring or drab, I've never seen it. As animated and full of life that she is and her innate musical talent and dramatics...I can only imagine how much more full of life her little boy will be. (Hold on to your seat, Ella!) ;)

Sneak peeks don't usually have quite this many images, but I just couldn't help myself.

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Crazy thankful for getting to document this fun day for her. She's clearly blessed by many who love her and this sweet little guy on his way.

Oh, and Ella? I will never again watch The Goonies the same way again. Bahaaahaha! ;)


{Photographed at the beautiful Calamari Restaurant in The Grove, Miami, FL. More pics coming soon!}

]]> (gail centeno photography) Thu, 07 Nov 2013 18:21:56 GMT
Holiday Mini Sessions {2013} | Miami Family Photography


Time slots are as follows:

3:45 - 4:05pm

4:10 - 4:30pm

4:35 - 4:55pm

5:00 - 5:20pm

5:25 - 5:45pm

5:50 - 6:10pm

6:15 - 6:35pm

Important Info:

A non-refundable $75 deposit, required to book your session, is applied towards the $150 session fee, and due within 4 hours of receiving my online invoice. I will send the invoice via Paypal. You do not need a Paypal account. It processes as a normal credit card. Please understand, I cannot hold spots for unpaid deposits. If there is a true emergency or illness on the day of your session, you must contact me as soon as possible BEFORE the session and I will gladly schedule another day for you.

PLEASE ARRIVE 15 MINUTES BEFORE YOUR SESSION. In the event you are late, I can only guarantee any remaining portion of your time slot. You may then choose to wait, and if there is enough available light before sunset at the end of all sessions, we can make it up.

Your session and prints: I will take an undetermined number of photographs during your 20 minute session. (As many as I can!) I will then select the best images to edit, maximum 5, to upload to your private online gallery. You may then select from those images the prints you would like made, whether the 2 - 5x7's and 1 - 8x10 (can be one or multiple poses) or one pose for the Christmas cards. Additional prints or cards may be ordered at 20% off! Other products are available at standard pricing: modern canvas gallery wraps, wall standouts, metal prints, etc. Full pricing available upon request.

Clothing ideas: Matchy, matchy is out. Coordinating is in! I recommend combining a couple of solid color tops that mix nicely and avoid bold or flashy prints or big logos. Think timeless (but not boring). Add fun jewelry or cute headbands for girls or hats for guys/boys. Layering always looks great (scarf, jacket, leggings, etc.). Think fun colors that look great on you will make you happy every time you look at your images. #1 tip: If Mom is going to be in the picture, have her choose her outfit first, then coordinate everyone else. :)

Digital images: Under Federal Copyright law, all images are protected and property of gail centeno photography. Images MAY NOT be cropped, altered, edited in any way or printed without permission of gail centeno photography. Doing so is a violation and gives a false representation of my work. Any watermark must remain visible. Digital images provided are for personal sharing through email, social networking, etc. only and are not high resolution images for printing.

Most importantly after all the boring (but essential!) legal stuff: Relax and have fun! This will be a non-stressful and easy way to get some great new pictures and introduce you to the world of custom photography! I love my clients and enjoy meeting new people. Customer service is HUGE to me! I never give less than 100% and absolutely love what I do. I hope it's evident in the images I capture that photography makes my heart sing. Okay, that was cheesy, but it's true. :)

Happy Holiday Mini booking!


]]> (gail centeno photography) Sat, 05 Oct 2013 14:28:25 GMT
Bayá {Chic Bags & Accessories} | Miami Commercial Product Photography gail centeno photography Bayá Baya Chic Bags Accessories Miami Commercial Product Photography

Bayá: Bags that don't scream "Mom"

Okay. That's NOT actually the company's tag line, but it could be. Where were these 10 years ago? That's all I want to know.

Truth be told, they don't say anything at all, but if you listen closely, you might hear the faint whispering of "I'm beautiful...and your baby's diapers look waaay better in me."

5 new styles + 3 gorgeous prints = L O V E

Meet Miami designer, Lissette Cuervo's, new collection. She's the mommy, design guru and brilliantly colorful mind behind the trendy bag & accessories company, Bayá. She recently contacted me to photograph her NEW FALL COLLECTION to feature on her beautiful, newly redesigned website: Go ahead. Click it.


gail centeno photography Bayá Baya Chic Bags Accessories Miami Commercial Product Photography

Combining her many years in the fashion design industry in New York and her frustration as a mom at the lack of beautifully designed, yet chic and functional bags for moms, Lissette was determined to fix that problem.

She was successful. Not a detail has been ignored.

gail centeno photography Bayá Baya Chic Bags Accessories Miami Commercial Product Photography gail centeno photography Bayá Baya Chic Bags Accessories Miami Commercial Product Photography Not toting a tot these days? (I'm a bit beyond the diaper stage, myself). She's still got something for you. of these all-purpose hobo totes (easy-going shape with adjustable!) in every print would be great. Please?

gail centeno photography Bayá Baya Chic Bags Accessories Miami Commercial Product Photography

gail centeno photography Bayá Baya Chic Bags Accessories Miami Commercial Product Photography

gail centeno photography Bayá Baya Chic Bags Accessories Miami Commercial Product Photography

More of a sling bag kind of girl? Certainly. Want it reversible? She's gotcha covered. ;)

gail centeno photography Bayá Baya Chic Bags Accessories Miami Commercial Product Photography

 Complete the look or give a great gift: say hello to a non-boring wallet. [Hello, non-boring wallet.]

gail centeno photography Bayá Baya Chic Bags Accessories Miami Commercial Product Photography

My personal fave is the set of 3 pouches...perfect for cosmetics, personal care items or baby wipes and ointments. Honestly, is there ever such a thing as too many bags to stay organized? Clearly, the answer is no.

gail centeno photography Bayá Baya Chic Bags Accessories Miami Commercial Product Photography

And if you are in that baby/tot toting stage, then don't miss the diaper clutch! Cleverly disguised as a pretty clutch, it unfolds to a travel changing pad. It even has a zippered pocket for ointment, etc. Smart.

gail centeno photography Bayá Baya Chic Bags Accessories trendy diaper clutch changing pad Miami Commercial Product Photography

It was an honor to photograph such a gorgeous collection. I am privileged to know Lissette and call her friend. Her design abilities amaze me. She really has thought of everything. The way the handles snap here and there, straps that attach the bag to the stroller, convenient wipes case opening, the easy-to-care-for fabrics...everything. I was beyond impressed with the products: quality, style and functionality. She's also a new mommy...again! (baby #3!), so she knows firsthand what stylish moms (and ladies) are looking for and needing.

You can stop looking...except go visit her for more details. ;) The gorgeous Bayá Collection is available at retail locations across the U.S. and online! 

Find her on...

The Web:




Disclaimer, except not really: I was NOT compensated in any way for my review of the Bayá collection. I really do love the products and think you will, too. I might consider having another baby just to use some of the "mommy" bags, but I think I'll stick with the "any" girl bags.

See something you love? Please share it with a friend!

For a commercial product photography quote, click "contact me" on the top or bottom of this page or email:

]]> (gail centeno photography) commercial product photography Wed, 21 Aug 2013 04:09:26 GMT
Have camera. Will travel. | Urban Birmingham, AL Family Session The best part about traveling as a photographer is having the tools needed to successfully capture the new (or long lost) sights. In this case, the best part about traveling...period...was I got to see my sister (and her sweet family). The fact that I'm a photographer meant: #familyphotoshoot! I loaded up my little carry-on bag (on what turned out to be a flying tuna can...smallest plane ever) and ginormous camera bag and made it through Miami security without having to pull out all my gear. (I was once stopped in the NYC LaGuardia airport, having to unload everything and turn my camera on to prove it was actually a camera, so this time was a breeze!)

My sister (whose B-DAY is TODAY! Love you, Karen!) lives in the Birmingham, AL area. She decided on an urban setting in downtown B'ham and then the campus of Samford University, where she and her hub met and are both alumni. B'ham is my old stomping ground, too, having graduated from Samford myself. I hadn't been back in years, so it was pretty exciting for me!

Let me preface these pics with:

1) It was a miracle the weather held up for us. The forecast was rain and more rain. Torrential downpours. We prayed. God answered. The rain skirted us and ALL we got was one humorous, giant, thunderous BOOM when we got out of the car. And that was all she wrote.

2) It was also a miracle that my sister found jewelry for both changes of outfits. Seriously. Three days of shopping with two young boys (in which frozen yogurt and Krispy Kreme donuts may or may not have been used as bribes rewards), looking for something very specific (hey, a girl is entitled to her opinions) and all on a time crunch and budget = not an easy task. The good news? We had a great time being together, the boys were extremely well behaved (love those nephews!) and she found the perfect accessories, which we were convinced did not exist.

3) The boys (ages 8 and 12) were dreading having "boring, cheesy family pictures" made. Good thing for them...I'm not a boring, cheesy family photographer and they actually had fun on the shoot. Whew. #yayauntgail

Pictures. Hit it.

gail centeno photography miami fl birmingham lifestyle urban downtown family photoshoot Love the metal mixed with cobblestone. (Note to self: find cobblestone road in Miami. A girl can hope.)

gail centeno photography miami fl birmingham lifestyle urban downtown family photoshoot How. Cute. Are. They?

gail centeno photography miami fl birmingham lifestyle urban downtown family photoshoot Stop it. :)

gail centeno photography miami fl birmingham lifestyle urban downtown family photoshoot Sweetest boys...even without the sugary donuts and frozen goodness.

gail centeno photography miami fl birmingham lifestyle urban downtown family photoshoot The wind kicked up. (Nah, I carry a fan for my models. ;)

gail centeno photography miami fl birmingham lifestyle urban downtown family photoshoot Boys...doing what boys do best. [grin]

gail centeno photography miami fl lifestyle urban family downtown birmingham family photoshoot I love feet (more like shoes).

And my sister.

And her family. MY family.

As for the traveling camera gear, my bags are ready to go any see her...or other urban places and faces. ;)

Happy Birthday, sis. And the rest of your pics are coming soon!

Ya'll come back now, ya hear?

]]> (gail centeno photography) family portraits Sat, 17 Aug 2013 01:00:37 GMT
Savannah, GA | A Traveler's Guide...with more pictures than is legal I did it. I actually went on vacation...with the family, minus the dog. (Sorry, Sasha.) 7 people (Me, Hub, 3 kids...and Mom and Dad), 1 fully loaded Suburban, 11 days on the road. Good times. (Okay, a few stressful times, but mostly good. Really good.)

First stop: Savannah, Georgia. I took nearly 600 pictures in 48 hours. I edited 126 of them. In lieu of making this the longest blog post ever, I'll only post 100. Kidding. I'll try to narrow it down, but you can check all of them out here:

We arrived in Savannah on July 4th. It was gloomy and rainy, but cleared up just as we arrived down on the River Street historic shopping and dining district (thank you, Lord!). Lo and behold, it was Paula...her store and restaurant, anyway.

Savannah Georgia Paula Deen storeSavannah | Paula Deen Store What do you do on July 4th in Savannah when Paula Deen's restaurant has a 2 hour wait? You walk by with your camera and get a simultaneous food/street scene shot. It's quirky...and the closest I got to eating her food.

Savannah Georgia Paula Deen store Lady and SonSavanah | The Lady and Sons | Paula Deen's Restaurant A view of the beautiful Capitol building dressed up for the occasion.

Savannah Georgia golden dome Capitol Building July 4thSavannah | The Capitol Building When in Savannah. Eat. Eat beignets.

Savannah Georgia beignets on River StreetSavannah | Beignets The bustling crowd down on River Street as the first of the fireworks began.

Savannah Georgia River Street crowd fireworks July 4th, 2013Savannah | River Street Fireworks To be honest, I was a bit disappointed with the fireworks. They were quite low and didn't seem to have much punch to them. I threw on my 70-200mm zoom and steadied it on a tripod. Managed to get a few cool shots using some long exposures, most ranging from 3-15 seconds.

Savannah Georgia River Street fireworks July 4th, 2013Savannah | River Street Fireworks Savannah Georgia River Street fireworks July 4th, 2013Savannah | River Street Fireworks Savannah Georgia River Street fireworks July 4th, 2013Savannah | River Street Fireworks Savannah Georgia River Street fireworks July 4th, 2013Savannah | River Street Fireworks Savannah Georgia River Street fireworks July 4th, 2013Savannah | River Street Fireworks I call this: the Miami Palm Tree. It's like they knew I was there.

Savannah Georgia River Street fireworks July 4th, 2013 Miami palm treeSavannah | River Street Fireworks Savannah Georgia River Street fireworks July 4th, 2013Savannah | River Street Fireworks Savannah Georgia River Street fireworks July 4th, 2013Savannah | River Street Fireworks On to day two:

Parks. Pretty, pretty parks. And my pretty family.

Savannah Georgia Miami Florida couple photographySavannah | Couple Portrait Cutest picture of my mom and dad ever. Deserves a closer look.

Savannah Georgia Miami Florida couple photographySavannah | Couple Portrait A rare moment: me, in front of the lens. Pretty hats and Southern charm inspire me. What can I say?

Savannah Georgia Miami Florida portrait photographySavannah | Self Portrait Gorgeous architecture everywhere. Code: Photographer's eye candy.

The historic Owens-Thomas house, built from 1816-1819, is said to be one of America's finest examples of English Regency architecture.

Savannah Georgia architecture photography Owen Thomas houseSavannah | Architecture Savannah Georgia architecture photography Owen Thomas houseSavannah | Architecture Packin' my bags. I'm moving in. (Won't they be surprised.)

Savannah Georgia historic architecture photographySavannah | Architecture Savannah Georgia historic architecture photography red door bricks flag shuttersSavannah | Architecture I have a thing for doors.

Savannah Georgia historic architecture photography old wooden arched doorSavannah | Architecture | Old Door Beauty on every corner, it's ridiculous.

Savannah Georgia historic architecture photography July 4th Savannah | Architecure Savannah Georgia historic architecture photography Chatham AcademySavannah | Architecture Back on the streets...the gang.

Savannah Georgia street scene photographySavannah | Street Scenes Thank you, little Irish Pub. We loved your prop red phone booth.

Savannah Georgia Miami Florida couple portrait photographySavannah | Couple Portrait Savannah Georgia historic architecture photography Savannah College of Art and DesignSavannah | Savannah College of Art and Design My little guy excited to see his name on a historic marker. ;) He's famous now, you know.

Savannah | Madison Square Next up, just what the doctor ordered: Lunch at an old apothecary.

Savannah Georgia historic architecture photography Gryphon restaurant tea room apothecarySavannah | Gryphon Restaurant No, really.

Savannah Georgia historic architecture photography Gryphon restaurant apothecary tea roomSavannah | Gryphon Quirkiest combo of amazing architecture of times past, lovely food and funky decor. It wasn't just lunch. It was an experience.

Savannah Georgia historic architecture photography Gryphon restaurant apothecary tea roomSavannah | Gryphon Savannah Georgia historic architecture photography Gryphon restaurant apothecary tea roomSavannah | Gryphon Think there's any original Neosporin in those drawers?

Savannah Georgia historic architecture photography Gryphon restaurant apothecary tea roomSavannah | Gryphon My little girl with a very sophisticated food palette: avocado mousse, fresh crab and tomato salad.

Savannah Georgia historic architecture photography Gryphon restaurant apothecary tea roomSavannah | Gryphon Savannah Georgia Miami Florida family lifestyle photography Savannah | Family My attempt at trying to get a secret photo of my little one...

quickly turned to...Savannah Georgia Miami Florida funny child lifestyle photography ...and then he ran away.

Savannah Georgia photography tree lined park squareSavannah | Park Savannah Georgia photography oak tree lined park squareSavannah | Oak Trees Savannah Georgia photography LeopoldSavannah | Leopold's Savannah Georgia photography LeopoldSavannah | Leopold's Waiting semi-patiently for ice cream.

Savannah Georgia photography LeopoldSavannah | Leopold's Do you have any idea how hard it was to choose a flavor?

Savannah Georgia photography LeopoldSavannah | Leopold's Totally worth the 30+ minute wait. (The line was out the door. Way out the door.)

Savannah Georgia photography LeopoldSavannah | Leopold's Is it good, Dad?

Savannah Georgia photography LeopoldSavannah | Leopold's An even rarer second appearance: Me, wondering how a picture of myself eating [amazingliy delicious, coffee chocolate chip] ice cream will look. Now we know.

Savannah Georgia photography LeopoldSavannah | Leopold's Working off the ice cream...walking around River Street shopping district again.

Savannah Georgia photography River Street shoppingSavannah | River Street Shopping Dad found a "girlfriend". (Don't worry, mom gets him back and finds a "boyfriend" at our next stop in Asheville.)

Savannah | River Street Shopping Inside the girly Savannah Belle Boutique, the boys were more fascinated by what they saw out the window.

Savannah Georgia photography River Street shopping Savannah Belle BoutiqueSavannah | River Street Shopping Savannah Georgia photography River Street view shopping Savannah Belle BoutiqueSavannah | River Street Shopping Savannah Georgia photography River Street shopping Savannah Belle Boutique river bargeSavannah | River Street But Little Miss found a purty hat!

Savannah Georgia River Street shopping Savannah Belle Boutique Southern turquoise Miami Florida child lifestyle photography hatSavannah | River Street Shopping Savannah Georgia River Street shopping Miami Florida child lifestyle photographySavannah | River Street Savannah Georgia River Street shopping Miami Florida child lifestyle photographySavannah | River Street Savannah Georgia River Street shopping Miami Florida child lifestyle photographySavannah | River Street A River Street view of the sun going down on the Capitol building.

Savannah Georgia River Street golden dome Capitol building sunsetSavannah | River Street Shopping Spanish moss galore.

Savannah Georgia oak tree spanish moss photographySavannah | Oak Trees On our way home...I snapped this hilarious street scene through the windshield: 10 people riding a trolley bike? That's what I'm calling it.

Savannah Georgia River street lifestyle photography trolley bikeSavannah | Trolley Bike Faster!

Savannah Georgia River street lifestyle photography trolley bikeSavannah | Trolley Bike And then we ate some more...(we ate a LOT on this trip!)

Savannah Georgia Shell House seafood restaurant night photographySavannah | Shell House This boy loves him some crab.

Savannah Georgia Shell House seafood restaurantSavannah | Shell House Two thumbs up from a picky selective eater.

Savannah Georgia Shell House seafood restaurant Savannah | Shell House An active end, (late at night) to a very active day.

Savannah | Comfort Suites Gateway Oh my goodness, I am not even counting how many pictures I just loaded up here. It's probably close to that "100-haha-just-kidding-but-not-really" quota. You are a gem if you made it all the way to the end. Speaking of stop on this little, crazy va-cay: Asheville, NC. We went gem mining(!!!), among other things. You have to come back for this, my friends. But give me time. I haven't even flagged the pics I want to edit from that stop yet. That will have to be a 5 part post, I'm afraid. So. Many. Pictures. ;)

]]> (gail centeno photography) Mon, 22 Jul 2013 06:07:38 GMT
The P Family | Family Portraits | Coral Reef Park When you love what you do and you have a family this fun, is it wrong to call it work?

gail centeno photography miami modern family portrait photo shoot coral reef park

The semi-complete list as to why this shoot was awesome:

1) Mother's Day. 

2) Three generations.

3) Can we say "photogenic"?

4) First family portrait in...we'll just say a "few" years.

5) No rain this time...barely ;)

6) You, Dear P family, were fun...and nice...and easy-going...and everything that makes up a great family. You helped me lug around my gear, to boot. Thank you! :)


On with your sneak peek!
gail centeno photography miami family portrait photo shoot coral reef park bridge

gail centeno photography miami family couple portrait photo shoot coral reef park gail centeno photography miami family children portrait photo shoot coral reef park

gail centeno photography miami family portrait photo shoot coral reef park gail centeno photography miami family portrait photo shoot coral reef park gail centeno photography miami family portrait photo shoot coral reef park

gail centeno photography miami family children portrait photo shoot coral reef park gail centeno photography miami family portrait photo shoot coral reef park

gail centeno photography miami jumping family portrait photo shoot coral reef park I cannot wait to get together with you and show you the rest! Thank you for being such an amazing family to work with! Dodging the ducks and beating the lightning siren only added to the excitement. ;)

]]> (gail centeno photography) coral reef park family portraits Mon, 13 May 2013 18:26:06 GMT
Matthew | First Communion Sneak Peek | Good Shepherd Catholic Church, Miami Picture-perfect Miami weather. That's what greeted us this past Saturday as Matthew and his family celebrated his long awaited First Communion at Good Shepherd Catholic Church in Miami.  About that weather, while it's true most pictures were indoors, try lighting a fire outside and hundreds of candles for Mass in the rain. Not too likely. We were all very grateful for a beautiful day for a beautiful event.

Matthew, like an angel in his dapper white suit, (though he may think that's a bit mushy) was such a sweet boy. My hope is that I captured, for him and especially his proud parents and loving family, the joy, excitement, reverence and moments of candid playfulness of that day.

--- {Enjoy this sneak peek!} ---

Let's talk details. Matthew's mom, who has an incredible gift for attention to detail among other things, made the evening beautiful. Don't take MY word for it. Pictures say a thousand words:

first communion good shepherd catholic church miami florida gail centeno photography first communion good shepherd catholic church miami florida gail centeno photography first communion good shepherd catholic church miami florida gail centeno photography

Once at the church, I snapped this photo, watching his feet tapping, dancing in anticipation of his big event. I love the candor and honesty of children.

first communion good shepherd catholic church miami florida gail centeno photography We waited for nightfall for the beautiful and spiritually moving candle lighting ceremony representative of being the Light of Jesus Christ into the world.

first communion good shepherd catholic church miami florida gail centeno photography

No flash. Practically pitch black, I wanted to capture the warmth and drama of the fire light.

Matthew's family lighting their candles together...

first communion good shepherd catholic church miami florida gail centeno photography first communion good shepherd catholic church miami florida gail centeno photography first communion good shepherd catholic church miami florida gail centeno photography

Matthew's baptism was held the same night.

first communion good shepherd catholic church miami florida gail centeno photography first communion good shepherd catholic church miami florida gail centeno photography Loving parents...

first communion good shepherd catholic church miami florida gail centeno photography And a cute shot from my cute second shooter. ( husband.)

first communion good shepherd catholic church miami florida gail centeno photography A party was in order to commence the evening.

first communion good shepherd catholic church miami florida gail centeno photography Rico agreed.

(Photo requested by Matthew's dad. I LOVE it when people love their doggies like that! They deserve photo time, too! :)

first communion party good shepherd catholic church miami florida yorkie dog gail centeno photography A-M-A-Z-I-N-G ceviche made by Matthew's grandmother. Seriously. Amazing. (Thanks again for feeding us!)

first communion good shepherd catholic church miami florida shrimp ceviche gail centeno photography Evidence of a long night. ;) I told you I love kids.

first communion good shepherd catholic church miami florida gail centeno photography More pictures to come soon!

Monica, Oscar...MATTHEW! :) Thank you for allowing me to step into your evening and document these very special moments in your lives. May God bless each of you as you seek to Honor Him.

]]> (gail centeno photography) church event photography first communion Thu, 04 Apr 2013 22:01:34 GMT
Unexpected knots (dot com) | Good things Recently, I was the recipient of an out-of-the-blue experience. The good kind. It came packaged in the form of a phone call from The Knot (with a bow on top) in in the largest all-in-one-resource-everything-a-bride-could-possibly-need-for-her-perfect-wedding

Turns out I have a raving review on their site from my recent bridal client.

Review here:

More wedding pics here:

gail centeno photography south florida miami wedding lifestyle candid photojournalist The Knot spotted it, did some research on me (my work and website) and wanted to extend an invitation to provide me the opportunity to be one of their featured photographers on their main site and affiliates (Wedding Channel, etc.). They loved my work and felt I would be a good match with what their thousands of South Florida brides are looking for. My website design, content and ease of use was commended as well. Now, I'm generally not one to "toot my own horn", but if I said I didn't do a little happy dance in the aisles of Target (yes, yes, the very nice, Ms. Marketing, caught me being a totally normal person while Christmas shopping)...I would be lying.

[insert awkward public dance moves]

Although I'm not going the route of mass marketing right now, it was a very cool day. In fact, I might just have some of those dance moves leftover and tucked away in my back pocket for a rainy day.

]]> (gail centeno photography) TheKnot wedding Wed, 09 Jan 2013 22:09:19 GMT
Hello, world. | Miami Newborn Lifestyle Photography | Sneak Peek Meet Jacob.

Nine days old.

Be. Still. My. Heart.

gail centeno photography miami kendall newborn session lifestyle candid photojournalist My dear friend, Michelle, brought her first baby into the world on 12.12.12, naturally! (I don't think anyone could plan that if they tried!) I was afforded the honor of capturing his amazing newness, indescribable preciousness and cuteness level so high it's ridiculous.

gail centeno photography miami kendall newborn session lifestyle candid photojournalist Foregoing the traditional posed "baby in a basket", my aim was a more natural, "lifestyle", real life documentation of his new little life and the tenderness of his parents' love for him and for each other. I also love being aware and tuning in to all the sweet little details of a baby.

gail centeno photography miami kendall newborn session lifestyle candid photojournalist gail centeno photography miami kendall newborn session lifestyle candid photojournalist And feet. I have a thing for little feet. Big people feet...not so much. Baby feet...oh, yes.

gail centeno photography miami kendall newborn session lifestyle candid photojournalist gail centeno photography miami kendall newborn session lifestyle candid photojournalist Thank you, Michelle and Diego, for allowing me to be the one to capture these fleeting newborn moments. May God bless you more richly than He already has. Love you all! I can't wait to finish editing the rest of your images!

Here's to baby Jacob!

]]> (gail centeno photography) miami newborn photography Mon, 31 Dec 2012 00:04:59 GMT
Hang those pictures | Client Inspiration More fun than seeing your session images for the first time is getting to actually touch, feel and look at the final, tangible product! You might decide on a sleek, modern lay-flat book, a few framed favorites or maybe an entire wall collection in beautiful canvas or modern standouts. Whatever the case, I'm an advocate for people actually printing and enjoying their photographs! The worst thing that could ever happen is someone hiring a photographer who provides them just a CD of their session images and then the client never gets around to printing them! Of course, their intentions are to print them, but we all know how easy life gets in the way and people just "never get around to it" or money runs out or they just can't decide what to print, so the inability to make a decision becomes the decision. Make sense?

I never want that to happen to my clients. I'm so excited to be able to help clients of gail centeno photography visualize the beautiful  possibilities for their favorite images they'd love to hang in their home.  If you're anything like me, then you're a visual person. Explain something to me aaaaand it might be a bit fuzzy. SHOW something to me and the great "A-HA!" moment happens. That's what I want to do for you! Help you literally picture what your photographs will look like in your home.

I recently put these together for a bride. Can you imagine the daunting task of choosing from among hundreds of her wedding images? My goal here is to help her make an exciting, yet naturally large task a bit more easy and fun!

So pretty to mix and match not only sizes, but pops of color with timeless black and white.

I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE providing this tool for my clients!

Can you picture your images yet? Booking a session is the first step! I'm currently booking very limited sessions to provide my clients the best customer experience and fastest turn-around time. Need more information first? Click "contact me" to send me a message or give me a call.

Time to get some beautiful images of you and your family on the wall where they deserve to be. ;)

]]> (gail centeno photography) client inspiration wall gallery Mon, 29 Oct 2012 15:56:08 GMT
Kristin & Federico | Miami Wedding | St. Hugh's Catholic Church and JW Marriott Marquis Have you ever been married? Did you ever dream as a little girl what your wedding would be like? (If you're a guy reading this...oh, hi...I doubt you imaginarily planned your dream wedding at the age of 8...or ever.) Was it everything you imagined it would be? Did the day fly by like a whirlwind and it's a jumble of memories now? Hopefully your photographer caught all the best parts for you.

Kristin is a bride who just lived out her dream. Four days ago to be exact. She's also one of the most stunning brides I have ever seen, but she's just as beautiful on the inside as she is on the outside. Probably one of the reason's her husband (AGH! Kristin, you can say "husband" now!) married her.

Federico and Kristin, I can't thank you enough for allowing me to be the one to document your love story. I hope these sneak peek images are everything you dreamed they would be of your beautiful wedding. I'll be working on the rest while you two are off galavanting the Mediterranean. You poor things. ;) [Sigh.] Send me a postcard?

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I wish you both countless years of happiness!

]]> (gail centeno photography) wedding photography Thu, 20 Sep 2012 03:12:50 GMT
Kristin & Federico | Bayside Engagement Session Meet Kristin and Federico.


A very cute couple, who happen to be getting married and happen to be extremely photogenic. The camera loved them.

I got to spend the evening with them Saturday night over on the water in downtown Miami at Bayside. They were looking for a variety of styles for their shoot. Bayside gave them many colors, lights, a merry go round, live music, people dancing, shopping, water, boats...all with a fun, urban feel. "Picture-perfect" blue skies there were not. Humidity? Plenty. But rain? It held off for us (muchas gracias). And smiles despite the wicked heat? You betcha.

Miami Bayside engagement photoshoot photo session gail centeno photography

We rolled with it. I have to say Kristin and Fede were awesome. I love their playful spirit and willingness to be spontaneous and just go with the flow. Pretty sure those same great attitudes will come in handy for their wedding in less than 7 weeks!

A few more from there session...

Though nice in color, I knew this would pop as a black and white.

Miami Bayside engagement photoshoot photo session gail centeno photography I love this next one. Time froze for them in the midst of the crowd and it was as if the walkway was parted just for them (for that split second, anyway.)

Miami Bayside engagement photoshoot photo session gail centeno photography Gorgeous in her red dress.

Miami Bayside merry-go-round engagement photoshoot photo session gail centeno photography They may or may not have been "called to" from the car on this shot. Kissing as the cars go by? Why not?

Miami Bayside engagement photoshoot photo session gail centeno photography Kristin and Fede...looking forward to capturing you two on your wedding day!

]]> (gail centeno photography) Bayside engagement session miami photographer Tue, 24 Jul 2012 20:42:16 GMT
I love this face. | Miami lifestyle pet photography Honestly, could you not forgive a rascally puppy this cute?

&quot;miami kendall natural light golden retriever pet photography gail centeno&quot; Even cuter asleep.

&quot;miami kendall natural light pet photography gail centeno&quot; Be still my heart.

]]> (gail centeno photography) pet photography Mon, 02 Jul 2012 15:57:04 GMT
Going to the chapel... They did it. On June 16, 2012, they finally said "I do". Planning a wedding seems to take forever and then suddenly it's over. Without pictures, I dare to say most of it is a blur, especially for the couple. (At least that's how much of it was for me...I won't age myself by telling you how many years ago.)

I was "Aunt Gail" this past Saturday. That was my job so that I could truly enjoy the day (plus keep three kiddos in line, my daughter being the adorable flower girl, of course). But, if anyone thought I'd be able to go to my niece's wedding and not take at least some pictures, they don't know me at all. All from my seat or weaving in and out of the crowd, I didn't use flash at all so as not to distract and I certainly wanted to be respectful to the other photographers/videographers. Official wedding photography by Soul Echo Studios. )Alex, whom I have met before and who's wife I went to HS with, is truly a nice guy and gifted photographer.) Amy called me a ninja after seeing some of these shots. Ha! I like that. I have been thinking of new business names. How does "The Nikon Ninja" sound? Tag line: "I can see you, but you can't see me". Haha! Totally kidding.


Okay, you came here to see pics. Enough of me.

plymouth congregational church miami wedding photography gail centeno the kiss - Plymouth Congregational Church wedding Miami photography gail centeno Plymouth Congregational Church wedding Miami photography gail centeno Plymouth Congregational Church wedding Miami photography gail centeno Plymouth Congregational Church wedding Miami photography flower girl yellow orchids Plymouth Congregational Church wedding Miami child photography boy suit Plymouth Congregational Church wedding Miami photography outdoor mother of bride gail centeno Not wanting a traditional wedding guest sign-in book, Amy and Greg opted for a lay-flat book which I designed for them using some of their favorite images from their engagement photoshoot at Vizcaya and Coconut Grove (CocoWalk). It turned out beautifully and was the perfect alternative. (Seriously, where were lay-flat books when I got married? Photography has changed sooo and products! I demand a re-do, but I'll keep the same husband. ;)

Coral Gables Country Club candid lifestyle wedding Miami photography bride dancing Coral Gables Country Club modern candid wedding photography miami Coral Gables Country Club modern candid wedding photography miami gail centeno Here's where things get hilarious. I was super stealthy trying to weave in and out of people to get these shots. I was determined not to miss the hilarity of this show. It seriously was a show. Check out the lady laughing in the background. Even she thought it was funny!

Coral Gables Country Club elegant candid lifestyle wedding Miami photography garter reception gail centeno Coral Gables Country Club elegant candid lifestyle wedding Miami photography garter reception Coral Gables Country Club elegant candid lifestyle wedding Miami photography garter reception Coral Gables Country Club elegant candid lifestyle wedding Miami photography garter reception Coral Gables Country Club elegant candid lifestyle wedding Miami photography garter reception kiss gail centeno They are ridiculously cute...and they are my family. :)

Love you, two!

Now I'm looking forward to Kristin and Federico's wedding in September! Thanks again for booking me! Truly an honor. Can't wait!

]]> (gail centeno photography) Miami wedding photography Wed, 20 Jun 2012 16:56:07 GMT
Let's talk weddings. Weddings. The biggest day of a couple's life. A brand new beginning. Unbelievable depth. Completely raw emotion. Love at it's pinnacle moment. Romance and beauty in every detail. Pure enjoyment by everyone (okay, the father of the bride may be cringing at the bills, but work with me).

It's probably the best possible opportunity for a photographer to capture completely uninhibited expressions of emotion and so much beauty all at one time.

(One of many "unofficial" wedding pictures I took at my friend's wedding last year...just because I couldn't resist.)

When I started my photography journey (this could be a whole, long other post), I quickly figured out that the unposed, photojournalistic, natural approach was my style and with that I knew that "people" were my thing. (Though I really love landscape photography, too. Is there really anything a true photographer doesn't love?)

What does that mean? I planned to and have been offering services for: newborns, children, families, couples/engagements, parties (birthday, bridal and baby showers, etc.) and since getting a pup, discovered the joys in "furbaby" pet photography.

But weddings?

Uh. No. No plans for that. I literally said on multiple occasions that I did NOT plan to offer services for weddings. Probably ever.

Looking back at how I view weddings, the question is: why not? Seriously. Why not? It's everything I love.

If you know me personally, you know that for a very long time I have been praying about the direction God wants me to go with my businesses: boutique & photography.

So, all this time, I've been praying, seeking, asking for His direction...and I've also been saying "No Weddings".

See where I'm going with this?

God is funny. I am convinced.

In the past couple of months, I have had more than one possible wedding opportunity cross my path in one way or another...never seeking them. Now, though not all of them have come to fruition for various reasons, the fact that the topic itself kept coming up made me start wondering, "Um, God? Are you trying to tell me something here?"

And I started to get that wedding itch. A different kind from the girl who's waiting to be asked. ;) Once it became a possibility presented to me, I saw it differently.

I'll spare you all the details, but The Pea Closet Photography is now officially booking weddings...with the first one on the books for September! Though fully aware that she's the first wedding, this bride has been following my work, loves it and is confident of my capabilities. Extremely humbling. This is a big deal! And I couldn't be more thrilled. I knocked back a couple of espressos (ha!), met with her, presented several package options with flexibilities and all that I could offer her print/product-wise. We talked "deets", I got the "let's do it!" from her and soon after, met with her to sign the contract.

And that's that!


Wedding photography. 

Never say never.

I love irony.

God's plans are not always our own. (His are better.)

I'm excited! She's excited! She and her fiance are really nice and down to earth. I'm really looking forward to getting to know them more and be part of their beautiful day! The wedding will be at a church in Coconut Grove and the reception is at the JW Marriot Marquis Miami. A-MAZING! I can already see the images in my head...all of the raw emotion I will capture that day and all the gorgeous details...eek! I can't wait!

**Wedding pricing/info coming soon to the main photography site.**




]]> (gail centeno photography) weddings Fri, 30 Mar 2012 02:44:42 GMT
New Fabulousness! Luxe Frames! Take a look at what's NEW at Gail Centeno Photography! I think I'm about to grace my home with some new fabulousness. Picturing these with my chevron curtains ( I still need to actually make. The fabric is staring at me from the corner of my studio.)

new product luxe frames

Featuring four beautiful shapes (Ornate, Bombay, Tuscan and Hampton) and five colors (black, white, espresso, baby blue and pink) with distressed detailing. (Frames not for individual purchase. Available for photography clients only.)

Product details:

  • Sizes include 8x10 and 10x10
  • Choose from E-surface, Metallic (GORGEOUS!) or True Black & White paper
  • Comes ready to hang with print mounted on Styrene and framed
  • Lustre Coating added to print for protection (glass not available with Luxe Frames = no glare!)
  • Due to distressed detailing, minor imperfections are a natural feature of these frames

the pea closet photography new product luxe frames

"Picture" your next session framed in a bit of your own fabulousness. And yes, I realize "fabulousness" isn't actually a word, but I think it totally applies. ;)

]]> (gail centeno photography) The Pea Closet Photography luxe frames new product Thu, 22 Mar 2012 14:41:41 GMT
Amy & Greg | Vizcaya & CocoWalk Engagement | Sneak Peek An engagement session. Vizcaya. CocoWalk. Sunny Miami skies. Ocean breeze. 70-something degrees. My beautiful niece and her guy. We'll call him "Greg". Ha. The day was perfect.

Me...trying not to feel old that my [husband's] niece is of marriageable age. She's changed a little since I met her on her 11th birthday (and I turned 18 the day after!)

Amy and Greg, these photographs have been "scheduled" for a very loooooong time. Unreal that the day finally arrived! It was special...and hilarious. Especially when I blinded myself with the giant reflector. ;)

Enjoy your sneak peek! Miami Vizcaya engagement lifestyle photojournalist photography pictures

Miami Vizcaya engagement lifestyle photojournalist photography pictures

Miami Vizcaya engagement lifestyle photojournalist photography pictures

Miami Vizcaya engagement lifestyle photojournalist photography pictures Miami Vizcaya engagement photography pictures

(You two are hilarious. This is so "you"! Perfect example why candids are the best! Amy, you rock for letting me put this pic on here.)


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Stick around. More on the way! On the streets, I was their personal paparazzi. Let's just say it includes a milkshake, two straws and funny hats. Awww! ;)

Session photographs will have their own gallery. Click here to go to this site's home page.

]]> (gail centeno photography) CocoWalk Vizcaya engagement session Thu, 22 Mar 2012 03:00:27 GMT
Monica's Sneak Peek | Miami Bridal Shower This weekend, I had the privilege of photographing a bridal shower for a firecracker of a bride-to-be. Monica was probably the most fun person I've photographed in a while...quite possibly ever. You see, as a photographer, my job is technically to be a spectator. I must watch...and wait...for just the right moment. I followed her with my eyes and sneakily with my feet...and camera. Her smile, laughter and confidence became contagious. I found myself giggling as I previewed the images on my camera's screen. I think we could all learn a thing or two from Monica. It's clear she loves life. She's comfortable with who she is. And when she laughs, she laughs with her whole heart.

Monica, thank you for brightening MY day, while capturing the fun moments of yours. And thank you, Janelle, for allowing me the opportunity to do so. Enjoy your sneak peek...

140905 Edit 081 The very best to you, Monica!


]]> (gail centeno photography) event photography miami bridal shower photographer Mon, 12 Mar 2012 15:07:40 GMT
Charming Charlie...What to Wear | Miami Portrait Session Have you been Charmed by Charlie yet? As of today, I have been officially Charmed, though I'm a few months late finding out about this new hot spot. (And my wardrobe has noticed!)

Charming Charlie will likely become your favorite new shop in a matter of minutes...probably less...because it has EVERYTHING you need to look fabulous: jewelery (OH MY! EVERYWHERE!), handbags, hats, makeup bags, organizers, shoes, headbands, and lots of cute, cute tops and dresses from casual to dressy, sophisticated to bohemian, vintage to modern. Did I mention it's affordable??? It's affordable.

(All images courtesy: my iPhone. ;)

Charming Charlie Walking in, right away I noticed the industrial glamour vibe going on. Love! True, chandeliers may not affect the contents of the store, but it sure does look pretty! And we all like pretty. Next, aside from being overwhelmed by the sheer size of the store, they are so smart about it. Everything is COLOR COORDINATED making it really easy to find something specific you have in mind. Genius.

Charming Charlie

Then, the fact that nothing in the store is over $49.97, will make you do your happy dance. That's not to say you're not going to rack up a bill [ahem...possibly speaking from recent experience], but you're not going to break the bank on just a few pieces. Earrings and rings start as little as $4-5. A lot of necklace and earring sets were around $12 and up. Really cute tops were on average $20-$35. They also have a high-glamour section (like "after 5")...gorgeous stuff...and a little girl's section. And let's not forget the clearance section. Found out I missed a sale where they had jewelry for $1 a piece! Where was I???

Charming Charlie

I love how everything is displayed! But, if you love an outfit, grab it while you see it. They only carry a few of each size and don't stock up in the back! Very boutique-ish of them.

Charming Charlie Then, the brilliant bell went off in my head when I realized this would be a GREAT place to send my clients prior to a photoshoot! (That would be you!) Tons of cute options here for beautiful outfits for an engagement shoot, portraits, bridal shower...almost any event. Go. Check. It. Out.

Charming Charlie

So, naturally, I spoke with the manager to tell her I'll very gladly send people her way! It was followed by their own happy dance. (Okay, not really. Work with me.)  Both the manager, Michelle, and Vanessa, who helped me were very nice. How refreshing! Sadly, that does not happen here often.

Charming Charlie Now all you need to do is head in to Charming Charlie and tell them I sent you! ;) Of course, that only works if you live here. Don't say that anywhere else. You'll get a strange look.

Charming Charlie Seriously, my local friends...I had so much fun playing dress up (and adding a "few" new pieces to my wardrobe)! Go say "hi" to Michelle or Vanessa and pick yourself up a "few" (or a truck load of) new, pretty goodies.

Charming Charlie is located in Town and Country Mall (b/w Marshall's and NY&Co.)

8600 Mills Drive, Suite 1585

Miami, FL, 33183


Go! Scoot! Your closet...and portraits...will thank you! ;)

P.S. If your session is with your favorite guy, or you're the Mom...make sure and pick your outfit first, then coordinate everyone with you. Why? First of all, you're the lady...and ladies first, right? Lol. But, in all honesty, we know us girls are our own worst critics. So, we need to make sure we look and feel our best! As for the fam, coordinating colors are better than matchy, matchy. I plan to post about that soon.

]]> (gail centeno photography) Charming Charlie boutique session tips what to wear Wed, 29 Feb 2012 01:42:50 GMT
[Gulp.] Testing. Testing. | First Post Hello? Is this thing on? And do I really need to add something to my plate? Well, yes. If it's awesome. Sasha agrees.

golden retriever puppyKuhn-5340 This, being very much a test post, may not be exactly fascinating, but hopefully the beginning of great things to come.

I'm pouring myself into this...and ignoring the dishes. [Works for me.]

I'll be out shooting something...with an incredible new piece of glass (hopefully you realize I am referring to a lens) that makes my heart do back-flips...because I'm very likely incapable of doing a real one.

]]> (gail centeno photography) Fri, 17 Feb 2012 15:40:06 GMT