A Fun Photo Shoot for JMB–Thanks to Wendy Updegraff, Penelope T, and Sutra Salon!

For our new team pictures, Jacksonville Moms Blog was thrilled to partner with Wendy Updegraff Photography once again.  Since our first shoot showed one side of Jacksonville, down by Friendship Fountain and the Main Street Bridge, we decided that with spring in full swing and summer around the corner, the beach would be the perfect location this time around–so we designated Atlantic Beach Town Center as our next beautiful backdrop.

JMB Photo Shoot- Wendy Updegraff Photography

JMB Photo Shoot- Wendy Updegraff Photography

A wife and a mom to two beautiful children, Wendy Updegraff has a lifelong passion for photography, specializing in the use of natural light photography. She has an enviable talent for capturing those candid moments that are precious to all of us. In particular, Wendy enjoys working with families, catching them on film and creating important memories to be treasured for years to come.

JMB Photo Shoot- Wendy Updegraff Photography

To look our very best for our photo shoot, we relied on Penelope T in Jacksonville Beach to style us in their latest designer duds. As we quickly discovered, local co-owner (and new mom!) Manne White is always ready with her impeccable taste and artful eye to help each client choose the best look for her. Co-owners Manne and Nickie “strive to help their customers see fashion as a form of self-expression and believe the Penelope T woman is imaginative, creative, and wants to set herself apart from the rest of the crowd.”

The women at Penelope T warmly welcomed all of us on the JMB team, and we had a wonderful time playing dress-up! They did a fantastic job helping us achieve our goal of making everyone feeling beautiful, stylish, and full of color for our shoot. By reading Erin’s blog, you can learn even more about what this wonderful boutique has to offer.

We also partnered with Sutra Salon in Jacksonville Beach, enlisting six of their talented stylists to style all twelve of us. It was definitely a daunting task to get all of us done in a short time frame, but Sutra pulled it off with grace and helped us all relax and have fun. Be sure to check out their Facebook page, where they regularly post incredible deals!

Sutra SalonSutra is owned by Babs Gil (mom of four!) and her husband Carlos, who describe their mission as follows: “At Sutra Salon, we strive to provide every customer with exquisite taste and our utmost desire for quality. Our dedicated staff is committed to education and teamwork. We continuously strive to provide a unique and comfortable atmosphere that exceeds all of your highest expectations. We assure every customer will leave our salon, not only looking their absolute best, but also feeling fabulous after each and every salon experience.”

Cheryl and Luanne having fun at Sutra
Cheryl and Luanne having fun at Sutra

As some of you know, I am also a Senior Stylist with Stella & Dot, so I was able to adorn all the JMB ladies with carefully selected pieces and had so much fun pairing my jewelry with all of the gorgeous outfits from Penelope T.  You can find all the resulting looks here.

My own experience reflects the success of this whole venture: I loved my Penelope T dress so much that I ended up buying it for the Stroller Strength Fitness Challenge Finale Dinner I had later that week; it’s so versatile and flattering that I know I will get a lot of use out of it. And remembering how much fun I’d had at Sutra, I made an appointment at their blow-dry bar to have my hair done for the same event.

Stroller Strength Finale Dinner
Stroller Strength Finale Dinner

We all had such a blast at our photo shoot, and we thank Wendy for the amazing job she did in capturing our whole team on camera.  Meanwhile, when you stop by Penelope T for fabulous style and Sutra for an amazing blowout, be sure to let them know that Jacksonville Moms Blog sent you!

JMB Photo Shoot with Wendy Updegraff Photography

Megan Kilis
Born in Jacksonville and raised in New Orleans and Houston, Megan attended college in Knoxville, then worked in Nashville. From her nomadic lifestyle grew a love for the beach, as well as a fondness for Cajun food and jazz, Texas BBQ, Tennessee football, and everything Music City. She is a work-from-home mompreneur with a passion for business, fashion, fitness, community, and all things mom. Having fallen in love with her parents’ hot plumber Mike in 2007, she married him two years later in her parents’ backyard. After their spunky curly-haired charmer Kingsley was born in February 2010, Megan decided not to return to her job. While spending time as a stay-at-home mom, however, she realized that Jacksonville was lacking some important resources for moms–so in August 2012, she asked her friend Vicky to join her in starting Jacksonville Moms Blog, now Jacksonville Mom. Megan loves learning more about her city; connecting with other moms, as well as connecting moms with one another; and discovering new local businesses. As the blog has grown, so has her family: in May 2014, she and Mike welcomed a spirited baby boy named Britton. When she’s not working on Jacksonville Mom, you can find Megan sweating it out with other moms, shooting skeet with Mike, or running around on the beach with her energetic duo!


    • Hi Janet,

      We welcome wide racial and ethnic participation on our blog. As far as we know, no one of color has thus far approached us about writing for JMB. If you know anyone who would be interested, please urge them to fill out and submit our “Become a Contributor” form on this site under the “Contact Us” tab.


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