Amplify Entertainment

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Let’s get this party slammin’!

I can only imagine the previous sentence is what Nate Long and his crew chant as mantra when preparing for an event. Amplify? Yes. Entertainment? You betcha. Turn your speakers up to 11 and keep your hands in the overhead and waving position!

Amplify Entertainment crew is fired up!

Amplify Entertainment is a Tallahassee-based DJ company which specializes in weddings, corporate events, receptions, parties, you name it! With smiles on their faces and an eagerness to bring energy and life to the party, each DJ on the AE team is a consummate professional and works hard to get the bodies on the dance floor.

Amplify Entertainment was born in 2006 and satisfied some important needs among the local DJ vendor selection; things such as: can a DJ have an awesome personality AND play some killer jams? The answer was a resounding and amplified ‘YES!’

Each DJ comes equipped with a library of songs to satisfy, all kinds of fun extras (LED uplighting, custom monogram lighting), and some unique features for guests to partake. The ‘Hey DJ! Mobile Request System’ allows guests to make song requests via text message, Twitter, or mobile web app, which then get sent live to the DJ’s on-site iPad. From the Amplify Entertainment website: “Not just a DJ – We also help our clients prepare for their events and act as a Master of Ceremonies as needed. This means making sure events transition smoothly and that the event winds down when you’re ready to go home.”

Amplify Entertainment is run by Nate Long

Who you gonna call? Floor busters! Get those feet stompin’ and delight all your guests with Amplify Entertainment.

Nate Long, owner of Amplify Entertainment, is ready to get the party started!

    Remote Footprints & Project Remote

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    Set aside your creature comforts. Leave your apprehensions at the door. It’s time to break out your map and compass, ’cause this ain’t your mama’s three-hour-tour – let’s go remote!

    The Remote Footprints team hikes through the woods

    Project Remote is one facet of the nonprofit organization called Remote Footprints. A personal project started in 2009, Project Remote is the trekking and documenting journey of each of the United State’s most remote spot. The project is headed up by the Means family: Ryan, Rebecca, and Skyla, who are able to travel and report on these remote spots as free time allows; so far they have visited just over half of the 50 states. They define their remote destinations as the point within a state that is the farthest straight-line distance from a road. With their endeavors, they hope to bring awareness to the expansive asphalt arteries that make up the road network in this country. At the same time, they want to encourage other families to get outside with their kids and enjoy nature’s roadless wilderness. “This latter purpose guides our activities on a local level. In our area we offer various classes and events to help parents get outside and learn about the natural world experientially.”

    The Remote Footprints team hikes through the woods

    Location sought, food packed, car gassed-up, it’s time to head out. “We go as far as a car will take us, then we get out and walk.” In a pack weighing in at over 70lbs and containing a tent, food, and other supplies, Ryan shoulders the resources for the whole Means family, while Rebecca is tasked with carrying a load on her back that’s nearly as heavy – Skyla! “The heavy pack weights make for difficult backpacking, both mentally and physically.” Upon arrival to the remote location, the Means take 360° video and photos to document the condition of the location and they also spend 15 minutes recording any human sounds or sights.

    Rebecca and Skyla go over their Remote journal
    Ryan Means taking a panoramic photo and using GPS at the remote site

    For each of the family members, this project has meant something different. Ryan’s fondest memory so far was gorgeous scenery at the approach to the New Mexico remote spot where “we walked through a beautiful ponderosa pine grassland.” Rebecca’s fondest memory has been “watching Skyla grow into an awesome outdoors girl who can handle rain, frost, dangerous situations, and just about anything.” And Skyla, well … she says her fondest memory was “eating the beans and rice backpacker meal.” When she’s older, she will look back on these adventures and the time spent with her mom and dad with so much love and admiration.

    Follow the Means on their journey by reading their expedition journal entries and keeping up to date with Facebook posts. The Remote Footprints website and the Project Remote website contain much more information detailing their intentions, beliefs, and goals.

    “We are not encouraging people to visit a particular spot but to seek remoteness in general, and to celebrate and preserve the public lands that often times contain the remotest location in a state.”

    Means family portrait at night

      The Sharing Tree

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      Traverse the treasure trove, scour the rummage jungle; supplies and materials abound. Tubs of tubs, bins of rolls, buttons, binders, shelves and shelves of possibilities. Various knick-knacks, doo-dads, and thing-a-majigs. Oh, the thing-a-majigs! Carly’s shop is full of the makings of opportunities to come; The Sharing Tree caters to everyone. Bins full of would-be trash that are now part of art projects, classroom supplies, presents, decorations; all thanks to The Sharing Tree’s commitment to community and to bolster the phrase that’s been spread far and wide: reduce, reuse, recycle.

      Carly of The Sharing Tree, behind the front counter

      As a little girl back in Minnesota, Carly was inspired by a similar business, which took in donations and recycled them via low prices back to the public. She wanted to continue a legacy of caring for the earth when The Sharing Tree opened three years ago here in Tallahassee. The nonprofit’s beginnings came about through a need from the local government and schools, dreams from Carly’s childhood, and other interested entities. Through a public partnership with these factions The Sharing Tree was born.

      From their website: “The mission of The Sharing Tree is to collect and redistribute reusable materials to educators, artists, and the broader learning community, while simultaneously educating the community in the art of creative reuse. The beauty of The Sharing Tree is that it truly benefits the entire community; providing classroom materials to teachers that enhance the educational setting for students while also inspiring the entire community to reuse and recycle.”

      Inside The Sharing Tree
      Inside The Sharing Tree

      Originally intended solely for educators, The Sharing Tree opened its doors to the public just a short 5 months after its grand opening in August 2010, at which time it was a resource only for teachers. This is one of those places you have to visit to appreciate how awesome it is. Don’t miss the $5 fill-a-bag room when you visit. Oh, and supplies are free for Leon County School educators.

      Inside The Sharing Tree
      Inside The Sharing Tree

      For the green aspect, here’s one wonderfully staggering fact: in the first two years of being open, TST kept 400,000 pounds of materials out of local landfills! At that rate, after being open for five years (in 2015), 1 million pounds of materials will have been diverted from becoming trash. Beautiful!

        Mission San Luis Wedding

        Just off the edge of the FSU campus and near the residences of many college students lies a Tallahassee treasure. It is one I had passed by many, many times without ever visiting. That is, until I wanted to scout the grounds in search of some awesome locations for pictures at the wedding I was to shoot the following weekend. Elizabeth and Tai were set to get married at the Mission toward the end of July and it gave me a good excuse to visit before all the rushing around during the wedding day.

        Pro tip: each photo is larger than shown below, click to enlarge!

        A portrait of the bride and groom inside one of the hallways at Mission San Luis Continue reading “Mission San Luis Wedding”

          FSU Graduation Photos on Campus – Westcott and Doak Campbell

          Double majoring because she wants to feel the scholastic burn, Kristen has a great attitude and an equally great smile which she turned on bright! All that smiling, even though she has a ten page Spanish paper due on Tuesday, what a player. We toughed it out through the crowds of graduating students around Westcott, in and around the fountain and on the steps, and then headed to Doak Campbell stadium to get some pics on the field before she says farewell to Tallahassee.

          Graduating student wearing cap and gown, sitting on the steps at Wescott on FSU campus
          Graduating student wearing cap and gown at Wescott at FSU
          Graduating student wearing cap and gown at Wescott at FSU
          Graduating student wearing cap and gown, sitting on the steps at Wescott on FSU campus
          Dramatic lighting on student wearing cap and gown

          Graduating students are always serious.

          Graduating student wearing cap and gown at Wescott at FSU
          Graduating student wearing cap and gown at Wescott at FSU
          Graduating student wearing cap and gown, sitting on the steps at Wescott on FSU campus
          Graduating student wearing cap and gown at Wescott at FSU
          Graduating student wearing cap and gown at Wescott at FSU
          Grad pics at FSU, lying on the field at Doak Campbell stadium

            Raley’s Confectionary

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            Who: Wes Raley
            What: Candy Master
            Where: Raley’s Confectionary
            Favorite Board Game: Candyland
            Why: Because… candy!

            Wes Raley of Raley's Confectionary holding some of his art rock before it is cut into bite-sized pieces

            Wes cut his teeth in the candy-making business some years back. He made his debut in Tallahassee fairly recently working for a local toy shop/ice cream parlor creating lots of image candy and other types of old-fashioned treats. Yet, he had lofty pursuits of his own – running his own candy business – and so set out on the sugar-dusted trail.

            Wes, folding up different colored sections of sticky sugar to make an image

            Located just a block or so from the ever-growing Gaines Street, off of All Saints Drive, next to Fermentation Lounge, through the doors of the Cider Lodge, down a hallway, and in a little back room (shared with a chocolatier) *PHEW* is where the magic happens. No illusions here; the magic is a fine mixture of the smells, visuals, tastes (free during a presentation!), and Wes’ personality. For the history of how this young fellow got started, well, that I’ll save so you can hear it from him – a story he tells every batch of customers to walk through the door (because the question of his beginnings inevitably comes up). I will let you in on a little info: his favorite candies are the root beer art rock (candy with image in the center) and anise taffy. And just to sweeten the deal, all the sugar used is organic and the flavors are all natural. Business is sweet, folks!

            Wes Raley of Raley's Confectionary holding some of his art rock before it is cut into bite-sized pieces
            Wes Raley of Raley's Confectionary holding some of his art rock before it is cut into bite-sized pieces
            Art rock being cut into bite-sized pieces
            Wes gives out samples to eager customers
            Wes can't resist his own candy

              Gretchen & Justin & Tallahassee Wedding Photos

              It all started at Brittany’s wedding a couple years earlier, that’s where I met Gretchen. She has a vibrant personality and it just radiates from her. She helped to create a calm atmosphere for the other bridesmaids and Brittany all day long, so I was beyond thrilled when she called in need of a photographer for her wedding. We hit up downtown Tallahassee for the engagement photo session a number of weeks before the big day. Wedding day. Ah! Perfect weather, a couple in love, friends, family: these are the makings of a great wedding. We started out at Trinity Community Church, near Killearn, and then moved just down the road to Z. Bardhi’s for an intimate afternoon reception, where Nate from Amplify Entertainment took over the hosting duties. What a fantastic fun-filled, love-filled day! View more photos from their wedding at Trinity Community Church and Z. Bardhi’s.

                Phoenix & David • Wedding at Lichgate in Tallahassee

                Driving down High Road in Tallahassee you’d never expect to see a place as magical and full of wonderment as Lichgate. A grandfather oak takes center stage as soon as you get through the woodsy clearing and instantly you’re transported out of the small Tally town and into the world of Lichgate. Thinking about how many people have seen that tree and the history it holds is a constant thought while on the grounds. And that is one reason why it was such a special place for Phoenix and David to get married. They gathered their friends and family under the shade and magnificence of the oak for a ceremony of true love.

                See more of the wedding at the Lichgate grounds.

                Reception table details, jar of honey, flowers and vases, Lichgate oak tree Lichgate cottage house in the afternoon Wide angle view of the oak tree during the ceremony Smiles and cheers as the bride and groom exit the ceremony Hugs to guests after the ceremony, beaming from the celebration Everyone partying on the dance floor Bride and groom breaking it down on the dance floor Cake cutting, bride and groom embracing Long exposure shot with light streaks and trails, the bride and groom posing

                  Gretchen & Justin • Downtown Tallahassee Engagement Photos

                  Scooted through a Latin festival near the Brogan Museum, waited a number of times to get that shot in the Kleman Plaza parking lot elevators, and enjoyed the gorgeous weather and scenery of downtown Tallahassee. All-in-all, we had a pretty sweet evening of engagement photos. And much to the happiness of Justin the Gators pulled through for a win over Tennessee.

                  See more of Gretchen & Justin’s downtown Tallahassee engagement photos.

                  The cool look of the Kleman Plaza parking garage Pictures taken in front of the Tallahassee capitol building Bride-to-be gazing into the camera, holding her man Standing in front of Monroe Street holding hands. A long exposure produces light streaks from the cars driving in the background.

                    June & Paul • FSU Campus Engagement Photos

                    It only takes one visit to the FSU campus to realize there are a vast amount of beautiful scenes to photograph. Throw some people in the mix and you’ve got yourself an engagement shoot. I met June & Paul earlier this year and enjoyed their quiet yet warm demeanor. While getting them positioned in the stands at FSU’s Dick Howser Stadium, they informed me they hadn’t taken any photos professionally since high school (!). Consider me honored.

                    See more of June & Paul’s FSU campus engagement photos.

                    Sitting on the steps leading up to Ruby Diamond Auditorium on the FSU campus On top of a parking garage at sunset with Doak Campbell Stadium in the background Kissing in black and white with the sunset vignette behind