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Complimentary Engagement Session

Book a WC1 or WC2 Wedding Coverage Package in the month of July, 2015 and receive a complimentary Engagement Session.  The complimentary session includes:

  • 90 Minute Engagement Session
  • All final images in full high resolution format


Contact Us for More Details

 555 NE 34th Street, Miami        (305) 301-9314          ivan@ivanapfelphotography.com

Welcome to my Blog.  This is where you will find my recent projects.  From photography sessions to publications, announcements and articles related to wedding planning and photography, you will find it here.  So grab a cup of coffee or tea and enjoy.

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Katie & Pat

I have been incredibly lucky this past year to have had so many couples that were just so naturally in love with one another.  Katie and Pat are a perfect example.  Even when we shot their engagement session a year earlier at the same location as their wedding, they were so easy to capture them showing natural affection.

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Jordan & Alexa

I have shot my share of Bat Mitzvah portraits in the past, but this was the first time I have ever shot a twins’ Bat Mitzvah portraits. There is definitely a new dynamic to shooting twin 13-year-olds, but these two were a blast.

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Kaitlin & Ben

Other than a quick break for the first dances and then another for everyone to enjoy the insanely delicious slow cooked meat and fish taco bar created by Chris and Natalie at Irie Island Eats, the entirety of the reception was spent on the dance floor.  I mean, this group danced and celebrated so hard (while wearing their pirate patches), they required a midnight Pizza Bar to refuel.

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Holly & Charlie

Within five minutes of meeting Holly you will find her to be one of the nicest people you will ever meet.  Within five minutes of meeting her family you realize why.  And within five minutes of seeing Holly and Charlie together you realize how perfect they are together.  It’s equally adorable that they have known eachother since the 5th grade.

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Melanie & Sebastian

I can’t lie.  When Melanie, Sebastian and I originally started planning out thier session, were pictured it with a little more sun and a little less wind.  But so is life in South Florida.  That said, this just goes to show you that the secret to beautiful engagement pictures is not the location or the weather; it’s the couple and their love for eachother.

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Katie & Pat

For our second post of 2017, we head back to the Coconut Palm Inn.  But this time it’s not for a wedding, but for an engagement session. Katie and Pat live in Chicago but were down in the Keys to finalize all of the details for their November 2017 wedding so we decided to go ahead and shoot their engagement session while they were here.

Anne & David

When Anne, Dave and I met for coffee to discuss their wedding, I realized very quickly that this was not going to be your typical wedding.  Their entire planning process centered around making the wedding an experience not just for themselves, but also for their guests as well.

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Business Study: Corporate Portraits & Millennial Consumers

While there are many Millennial habits that older generations may find annoying, there is one habit that I for one welcome; their desire to do business with people they have a personal relationship with….or at least people they ‘feel’ as though they have a personal relationship with.  For them, it’s a trust issue.

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Vicky & Hugo

Vicky took the first big leap that made this wedding possible having left her family in China and traveled to Miami to attend college.  It was there that she interned at a Miami advertising agency and met Hugo.  After graduating college she accepted a great job in Manhattan.  It wasn’t long before Hugo realized he couldn’t be happy without her and took the big leap of leaving his job and family to be with Vicky in Manhattan.  And while they call Manhattan their home now, they decided to make Miami the location for their intimate yet stunning wedding.

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Christine & Thanh

Christine and Thanh first contacted me a few years ago when they entered one of my annual wedding giveaways.  Unfortunately, due to a delay in their wedding date, they had to withdraw from that giveaway.  But a year later, they called me to let me know the new date was set.

While Christine’s family were almost entirely local, much of Thanh’s family flew in from out of country, including his best man.  So they made sure to get the most out of celebrating this beautiful couple.  From Christine’s father moving her to tears with his toast; to the Best Man choking himself up during his own toast, there was plenty of emotion all day and night.


Jenny & Chris

Jenny and I met many years ago.  Ever since, she has been one of my biggest followers.  So it was such a pleasure when she sent me an email the night she got engaged to give me some dates to hold for her wedding.

At first they could not decide if they wanted to have the wedding in Savannah or in New York.  New York finally won out and our planning began. First with the engagement session, which you may have seen posted back in April, and then the wedding.


Published: Selecta Magazine Features Stefanie & Oscar's Wedding

Stephanie and Oscar’s wedding appeared in a two page spread in the July 2015 issue of “Selecta Magazine” which is one of the premier Spanish Language Society and Entertainment Magazines for Latin Americans in the United States.

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Wedding: St. Patrick's & Eden Roc Resort - Miami Beach, Florida

Our first meeting proved just how small Miami really is.  Granted there was also one slightly embarrassing moment as well.  Evy was referred to me by her best friend from college, Patty, who my wife is also friends with.  At our meeting, Evy was joined by her uncle, Jorge, who would be both helping her plan her wedding as well as giving her away on her wedding day. As we talked, Jorge and Evy were both convinced they had seen me before.  After exploring this, Jorge realized he knew me because he was long time friends with my sister and had seen my pictures at her home.  How Evy and I knew each other was a bit more embarrassing.  Turns out, Evy and I live four doors down from one another in our building.

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Wedding: Savannah, Georgia

So back in 1992 while going to college in Savannah, my friend Mel invited me to her folks place for dinner.  There I met her little sister, Amanda, who must have been about 12 at the time.  Who would have thought back then, that 23 years later I would be shooting she and Lili’s (short for his last name Lilienthal) wedding?

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Wedding: Caribbean & Islander Resorts, Islamorada - Florida Keys

You know, the only thing better than shooting a wedding in the Keys on St. Patrick’s Day, is to  shoot a wedding in the Keys on St. Patrick’s Day with two Irish descent families.

Ashley and Matt decided to travel down from Kentucky and South Carolina with their friends and family to spend a week escaping the cold, then capping the trip off with a wedding.  With green bowties for the men, a green sash for the maid of honor, and Succulents adorning the bride’s bouquet, tables settings and even the wedding cake, Ashley and Julia, of Blue Water Weddings, created an elegant wedding tie in to St. Patrick’s Day.

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2014 Photographer's Favorites

I had the pleasure of photographing some incredible couples and families this past year as well as boosting my corporate side.  And even though this was by far the busiest year I have ever had on the corporate side, I decided to make this year’s “Photographer’s Favorites” focus more on the couples, weddings and families I shot.

2015 is set to be a busy wedding year with five destination weddings already on the books (Florida Keys, Georgia and New York).  Can not wait to see how awesome 2015’s “Photographer’s Favorites” will be.

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Product Review: ONA Union Street Bag

I am not sure how they pulled it off, but they managed to make camera bags look like the same shoulder bags, messenger bags and backpacks seen carried by every young businessman, hipster and college student.  After comparing bags made by many leading and recommended companies I decided that the ONA Union Street Bag was the bag for me.  And here is why:

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Brooke & Carlos

This wedding began with some twist of events that ultimately could not have turned out better.  Originally Brooke and Carlos planned to have their wedding at a different location in the Keys, but due to significant damage from Hurricane Irma, They and their planner scrambled to find a new location.  Playa Largo stepped up, as they did for many other couples impacted by the storm, and provided them with their location for their special day.

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Ximena & Jay

Published in People Magazine

We almost did not get to do this session due to the weather.  It was one of those times you are happy the Weather Man was wrong in forecasting all day rain.  As soon as we saw it was not going to rain, we decided to go ahead with it.

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Erin & Supo

What more perfect way to start 2017 than with a wedding post.  One of the reasons I love shooting weddings in the Keys is that they tend to be on the more intimated level.  While you can still have an incredible big wedding in the Keys, it is the perfect location for weddings with just your family and closest friends. Erin and Supo did just that.

Jessica & Mehdi

When Jessica starts each text with “Hello my friend” it is not just a greeting but an honest sentiment.  From Jessica making mimosas to start the day as well as more during outfit changes; to Mehdi making a pot of Moroccan Mint Tea before hitting the pool; it felt more like a morning with friends than a photoshoot .

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Priscila & Felito

I knew from the moment I met Priscila (who was a bridesmaid at a wedding I was shooting) two years ago that I just had to shoot her wedding.  So you can imagine my excitement when she contacted me last year to announce that she and Felito were getting married in Mexico and that the only people invited were 40 of her closest friends and family.  And I was even more excited when she told me that she only had two demands for her wedding; a perfect dress…and me as her photographer.

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Stacy & Jeff's South Beach and Art Deco District Engagement Session

Mainland Boy goes to Hawaii on vacation and meets an Island girl kick starting a long distance relationship.  Fast forward, and after too many FaceTime and Skype, dates, the boy is now in New York working and the girl is in Boston attending law school.  Now the long distance isn’t so long anymore.

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Advice Article: Why Final Pre-Wedding Meetings are Essential

A bride (and couple) will spend on average two hours discussing floral arrangements with their florist, three hours creating their dream cake with their wedding cake maker and countless hours with their dress maker picking the dress and then multiple fittings.  So why wouldn’t they spend at least and hour or so discussing the final details and timeline of the wedding with their photographer?……..read more

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Nacira & Rolando

Instead of going into great detail about Nacira and Rolando’s wedding, let me tell you the story of their engagement.

One day they decided to do something that neither of them had ever done before, skydiving.  Rolando was first out of the plane followed by Nacira.  As Nacira approached the ground she saw a large group of people on the ground.  As she got closer she realized it was her family and friends holding up large letters spelling, “Will U Marry Me?”.  She landed to find Rolando waiting on one knee holding a ring.

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Portraits: Villalobos & Andrews - Key Largo and Island, Florida Keys

I am pretty sure that other than my own family, I have photographed the Villalobos and Andrews family more than any other family.  We originally met when I was shooting their family friend’s wedding.  Since then, I have now photographed Alex and Barby on three occasions (including Katie and Ryan’s own wedding) and I have now photographed Katie and Ryan five times including their Vintage County Fair Engagement Session which was featured in The Knotty Bride.

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Portraits: Edgewater & Wynwood Art District - Miami, Florida

Not only is Shannon and Jesse our friends, but Shannon is the awesome hairstylist who keep all three Apfel boys looking good.  I would always look at these two and think, “Man, they would look so amazing in front of my lens!”.  So I was so happy that we finally got to make that happen.

I had been thinking about this opportunity enough, that I knew exactly where we would be shooting.  First, we started in a space that had been a sauna for over 20 years.  When they converted it they left the weathered wood walls.  After that we headed to the abandoned Pepsico plant in Wynwood which turned out to be junkyard heaven for Jesse.

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Engagement Session: New York City, New York

It is the best feeling in the world when you are the first wedding vendor your clients contact for their wedding.  So you can imagine the feeling I had when Jenny emailed me the night she got engaged telling me to get ready to shoot she and Chris’s wedding.

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Engagement Session: Card Sound Road, Florida Keys

I have known Priscilla for a few years now since she was a bridesmaid at one of my favorite three day weddings.  From the moment I met her I knew I wanted to shoot her wedding one day.  Not only because she is stunning, but also because she has one of those infectious personalities that you love being associated with.  So you know I was excited when she contacted me about shooting her wedding next year.

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Wedding: La Gorce Country Club, Miami Beach, Florida

Leave it to a media event planner to plan and pull off her own perfect wedding.  Stefanie managed to create an event that was stunning, but not over the top.  Elegant, yet warm and inviting.  And the invite list was not small, yet it was clear that not only did those invited count the bride and groom as their friends, but considered everyone else there as friends as well.

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Wedding: Veronica and Brad - Pompano Beach, Florida

I seriously adore this couple.  It’s hard to explain it.  They are fun, genuine, out-going, thoughtful, thankful and absolutely adorable.

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Advice Article: To Theme or Not To Theme

To Theme or Not to Theme……. this seems to have become a very big question for many of todays couples.

Theme engagement sessions are fairly new in the world of engagement photography.  And as with all things new, some themes are better than others, some are more successfully executed than others and some tend to be more repetitive than others.

Over the last few years I have had several of my couples ask me the “yay or nay” question.  I have always responded to them with one very simple question: