Tales of a post surgical photographer… by Melanie Watson

If you’ve been following my tweets for the past week or two, then you probably already know I recently had to have surgery on my left ankle.  The back story is, I have been having some ankle pain for a several weeks now and recently found out I had floating bits of bone in my ankle joint that were impinging the joint and making mobility darn near impossible and incredibly painful to boot.  While we were in Atlanta shooting Michelle & Ben’s wedding, I moved my ankle wrong somehow and ended up locking it up entirely.  The pain and swelling made it nearly impossible to walk.  I sucked it up and shot the entire wedding on what I considered a dead foot.  You should have seen me dragging this useless limb around, I looked like Brad’s handicapped sidekick Egor as I waddled around on the wedding day getting my shots.  Brad did an amazing job taking charge and letting me have a back seat for the day.  As soon as we got home from Atlanta, we called the doctor and were scheduled for surgery within days.  What was supposed to be pretty minor surgery (get in, get the bone fragments out, and go home) turned into something a bit more extensive while on the operating  table.  There was more damage inside the joint than the MRI had shown an my 90 minute surgery turned into 3 hours complete with bone drilling.  Mmm sounds delightful right?!   Poor Brad was left in the waiting room wondering what was happening as the surgery went into double over time.  Eventually the surgeon came out and explained how cartilage had to be removed due to the extensive damage and they had to drill into my bone to cause scar tissue to grow a cartilage-like mass to buffer impact from here on out.  My one week on crutches “easy recovery” turned into six weeks of crutches with more pain and discomfort than I had initially prepared for.  Thankfully we have been able to reschedule most of our sessions that require lots of walking.  The doctor said everything looks great and I will heal up good as new, but for the next six weeks I’m rocking the mechanical armpit extensions for mobility.  Here is a little glimpse into what my life has looked like for the past week.  I call it livin la vida sofa: (yeah that was cheesy but you know I’m good for some cheese factor every now and then.)

Notice the still stained iodine toes… I think its rather festive since Halloween is just around the corner


My arsenal of tools to get me through the day.  I try to keep everything at arms length so I’m not having to be up and down too much throughout the day.


Thanks so much to my wonderful friends Kara, Star and Faythe for the goodies they left me to help me get better.  I now have enough candy, magazines and organic bath salts to make me think surgery isn’t so bad.  Also, thanks to all my friends, family and clients for the well wishes and prayers for a speedy recovery.  I’m doing great and Brad is manning the fort like a pro.  I will be back up and running full speed ahead in just a few weeks better than I was before.  

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  • Gwendolyn Tundermann : OMG! I thought it was just a simple surgery! But let's be glad that it was something that was fixed now instead of later when it could have been worse. Hope you are able to get back to being superwoman again soon!
  • adrian hitt, 10.28.09:
    adrian hitt : oh man, i feel for you! the longest i've ever been on crutches was a little over a week ... and it SUCKED! heal soon!
  • Kristen Morgan, 10.28.09:
    Kristen Morgan : mel mel mel! please drop me an email or a phone call and let me bring you lunch one day. it would be fun! :)
  • Tresa Harrison, 10.28.09:
    Tresa Harrison : I am glad to hear that everything went well. It looks like you are in good hands. Just wanted you to know that we were thinking about you. Feel better soon!
  • Tara, 10.28.09:
    Tara : Mechanical armpit extensions... you crack me up! Hope you're all better soon!
  • Ben, 10.29.09:
    Ben : Somehow, this isn't suprising. What's amazing is that Michelle and I had no idea how much you were hurting until we heard about the surgery. You rock. Enjoy the downtime and get well soon.
  • Michelle, 10.30.09:
    Michelle : Melanie, you are such a trooper, I had no idea and hope your recovery is fast! Brad, you were all over the place! Ya'll are such a great team :)
  • Amy, 10.30.09:
    Amy : Mel didn't you have issues with your ankle in high school?
  • Dereck, 11.01.09:
    Dereck : Dudette, Bummer. I hope you have speedy recovery. the photos you've shot make looking hurt seem like a great ol time. Take care.
  • Kellie Kano, 11.01.09:
    Kellie Kano : Here's to a speedy recovery, Mel! Glad to hear you're on the mend :)
  • Dereck Mateo, 11.02.09:
    Dereck Mateo : I sprained my ankle once mountain biking and had to ride back 3 miles to my car. But these shots you've taken make being down and out look great! Get well soon.

Jen & Jared’s Engagement Session | Jacksonville Wedding Photographers

When we met Jen and Jared a few months back there must have been something in the air that day.  It was like kismet or destiny or some other crazy term for awesome… I’m not kidding.  We walked into their home and as I was sitting down at their dining room table I saw a plaque above their kitchen that said “La Dolce Vita.”  Oh the sweet life indeed dear friends.  I knew right away the stars had aligned and we were meeting with people that would surely become some of our favorite clients yet.  As the meeting went on, more and more similarities between us came up and there were (I kid you not) several occasions where Brad and Jared finished eachother’s sentences.  I mean come on, if this were a first date, we were knocking it out of the park!  We loved that their puppy would lick our legs under the table, that Jen and Jared shared our rockin sense of humor,  and even more so we loved that they gave us total and complete trust when it came to their pictures.  Not only are they seeing eachother before the cereomony (LOVE!!) but they are also giving us plenty of time to really get some artistic shots on their wedding day.  We met up with them downtown last month to shoot their engagement session and had an absolute blast.  We were honestly a little sad when the session was over and we had to go our separate ways.  Luckily we will be seeing them again in February to shoot their incredible wedding at TPC Sawgrass.

PS: I have to send a special thanks to Sarah, Jen’s maid of honor, for telling Jen about us.  Sarah was a bridesmaid in Bonnie & Jason’s wedding last April and we can’t wait to see her again!!
























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  • Julianne, 10.21.09:
    Julianne : Love the 2nd to last one!
  • Audrey, 10.21.09:
    Audrey : Gorgeous as always! My faves are on the brick pavers. Such neat patterns and color.
  • Matt, 10.22.09:
    Matt : So many great shots. I love the one of them with the tree with the red balloon in the background. Kind of ties everything together. Such a fun idea. Great job!
  • Emily Beaty, 10.22.09:
    Emily Beaty : What a fun session! I love the red balloon and huge tree!
  • Melanie, 10.22.09:
    Melanie : Thanks guys! We had so much fun shooting with these guys.
  • Mandy, 10.22.09:
    Mandy : These are some of my favorite engagement photos from you guys!
  • Hilary, 10.22.09:
    Hilary : OMG LOVEEEE the picture of them laying on the brick, and of course the red balloon!

Lucy and the Rapid Straps

So Brad’s new Rapid Straps came in today… and while he was playing with them Lucy decided she needed a new toy too.  Apparently laying on all the packaging makes it hers.  Poor girl… I guess we should have gotten her some new toys as well.


PS:  I will have to post some pictures of Brad shooting with the new straps this weekend at Ben & Michelle’s wedding.  Prepare yourself for an onslaught of ultra sexy photographer activity on the blog.

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  • ron Henry, 10.16.09:
    ron Henry : This is such a cute shot.. can we use it on Blackrapid Buzz? A link to your blog.. thanks for using the Rstrap.
  • Kari, 10.19.09:
    Kari : I LOVE LULEEEE!

Holiday Boudoir Marathon | Jacksonville Boudoir Photographers

The holidays are just around the corner and its time to sign up for the last boudoir marathon of the year! Knock his socks off… literally… this year with one of our signature Little Black Book albums. Sign up now for our November marathon and give him a gift unlike any he has ever had before! Sign up with a friend and you will both receive $25 off your session.


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