Photography in Florida

Filed under: Orlando Vacation Tips,Vacation Tips |

Photography is an essential ingredient to this blog as well as to the marketing efforts of Florida Leisure. As a result,  we’re always looking for new ways to demonstrate all of the great things that Florida has to offer visitors and travelers. So it was with great excitement that last weekend I got to spend a couple of days with some great photographers at a workshop held over at Flagler Beach on the Atlantic coast.

Flager Beach is about a 90 minute drive from Orlando and closer to two hours from our vacation homes located near Walt Disney World. It’s a very easy drive straight up I4, onto I95 and then a right turn over to the beach.

So last Saturday I got up bright and early and headed over to my first ever photography workshop hosted by two highly accomplished photography industry professionals in Anthony Neste and Dan Doyle.

Anthony began his career in photography in the 1970’s working for Sport Magazine and a short while later his work was recognized when he was asked to shoot for Sports Illustrated. This then led to more work covering many of the great sporting events across the nation. In 1989, Anthony became the photographer for the cult hit show The Sopranos and he produced some of the most memorable photographs for that series. His work can be seen at

Dan has been in the photography industry for over 25 years and in that time he has mainly photographed the glamour and fashion sides of the business. He has worked with many of the top modeling agencies in New York and in Miami and has photographed some of the most beautiful people to walk the planet. He has worked for many clothing companies featuring their products and his portfolio can be seen at

So it was set against that background that the workshop began and we were introduced to the rest of Anthony’s and Dan’s team; four models – Barbara, Megan, Nikki, Tancy; make up and wardrobe – Jules Beecher and photography assistants Pete, Scott & Christina. In addition, there were seven other photographers there (Chris, Brian, Rodney, Robert x2, Scott and Richard) and this made for a tight nit group who worked together amazingly well to capture the shots and scenes they’d dreamed about for a long time.

The location was a small motel just across from the beach itself … the Si-Como-No Inn. The inn is a photographers dream as it is painted with a spectrum of colors; yellows, purples, greens, blues, reds etc and this made for a superb backdrop with lots of interesting nooks and crannies for the models to give us their best look. The shoot began around the inn as we explored various different looks and angles using the differing aspects of natural and artificial light available. After lunch we headed to the beach to enjoy some time shooting all four models as they played and posed in the ocean and on the beach.

The day ended with a bonfire back at the Si-Como-No inn home base and the chance to enjoy some time talking about the business of photography over a beer and pizza.

On Sunday, we again began the day working around the inn and used some props such as a bicycle and a paddling pool before heading over to the Marineland area where we found a great location to shoot on the beach with some rocks. It was in this location that the models really excelled as they risked life and limb to give us some great shots as they got themselves into some precarious positions with water splashing all around them. Great job girls!

The workshop finished and on the drive home it was a chance to reflect on a wonderful weekend and how much Florida really does have to offer people with different passions and pastimes. From North to South, coast to coast, Florida really does have some exceptional opportunities for visitors to enjoy their hobbies and interests. Every weekend there are festivals and events happening in many of the towns and cities in the State and all it takes is a little research to find something that interests you.

Yes, Florida is known for it’s beaches and world famous attraction parks but it’s also possible to get away and explore many different aspects that makes this part of the world such a draw. Over 54 million people per year make a trip to Orlando alone and at last weeks Florida Governor’s conference we heard Governor Scott talk about exceeding over 100 million people visiting the Sunshine State in the next year or so. That sounds like a huge number of people descending on the area but the fact is, there is so much to see and do that you really don’t need to end up in a crowded area if you don’t want to. It’s still possible to find a peaceful beach all to yourself and its also easy to enjoy the company of friends and family away from the crowds if that’s what you prefer to do.

And, speaking to that point, that’s why an awful lot of people now prefer to rent a vacation home when visiting Florida. In Central Florida, it is now the preferred choice of many visitors who prefer a whole home to themselves rather than a small hotel room where they’re not sure of who they are sharing with next door. In fact, data now shows that visitors to both Osceola and Polk Counties usually pick a vacation home with a private pool rather than stay at a hotel. That’s a huge change from just a short few years ago but it’s pretty obvious why families choose to do this when you look at the value they get for their money.

Of course, a vacation home also allows you the space to enjoy your hobbies. It’s perfectly possible to hook up with friends and family to play games, read books, enjoy some photography, etc.,  as well as enjoy many other pastimes when you’re lounging around your own private pool!

In closing, I just wanted to extend my thanks to everyone involved last week… particularly those who made it happen… Anthony, Dan, Nikki, Barbara, Tancy, Megan, Jules Pete, Scott & Christina. Hope to do it again soon!

If you’re interested in attending a Doyle-Neste Photography Workshop check out the upcoming schedule at their Facebook page located here.

More photographs from the event and of each model at

Here’s some video:

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