Fresh, Natural Lake City Wedding Photography by Dawn McKinstry Photography
  • Dawn McKinstry Photography Blog
  • Dawn McKinstry Photography Blog
  • Dawn McKinstry Photography Blog
  • Dawn McKinstry Photography Blog
  • Dawn McKinstry Photography Blog
  • Dawn McKinstry Photography Blog
Dawn McKinstry


A little about me… I’m a small town girl who loves to travel and is a bit on the shy side.  ;)  That may be mostly due to the fact that I am a twin, and she was the talkative one growing up. But get to know me – and I’ll chat up a storm.  I love talking photography and weddings, so give me a call and we’ll chat!

A little about my experience… I’ve been shooting weddings throughout Florida and the Southeast US since 2008.  I am also a PPA Certified Professional Photographer.

Email or call me and we’ll chat!




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It’s time for Christmas Cards!

September 12th, 2013

Christmas in September Special Event!

It might seem early, but it’s that time of year to order Christmas Cards!

It may still be in the 90’s here in Florida, but it’s that time of year to book your Christmas Card session!  This year I will be holding mini sessions for Christmas Card sittings in Gainesville and Alachua/High Springs throughout the month of September.

Session includes:
– 30 minute session,
– a set of 25 custom designed cards (includes envelopes)
$200 fee

Sessions are limited, so contact me now!

Gainesville Sessions:
Friday September 13th
Thursday September 19th
Friday September 20th

Alachua/High Springs Sessions:
Saturday September 21st
Sunday September 22nd


Mom&Danny2012card_Snowflakes Letterpress_Blog







Farm Family Portraits

September 12th, 2013

In celebration of her birthday, Hannah asked me to photograph her and her pets. As a former horse owner and lover of all pets, as well as a friend of Hannah’s, I was thrilled to photograph this session for her. Little did I know how much personality each of her pets had!

cat portrait

orange tabby cat, natural cat portrait

pet portrait

dog with horses portrait

Here’s an outtake of a setup of a shot of all the dogs and one cat in the gorgeous evening light.  ;)

pet photography outtake


Junior League of Gainesville Kick-off Party

September 15th, 2012

Last month the Junior League of Gainesville kicked off the 2012-2013 league year by getting together with good friends over good food. I have the honor of being not only a league member, but also the official league photographer this year.

Are you a League member? Were you there? Click on the photo below to check out the gallery and see…


Claire & Cameron – Tallahassee Wedding

September 5th, 2012

Earlier this year, I had the chance to second shoot for my friend Catherine (Woodland Fields Photography) at one of her weddings in Tallahassee.  The wedding ceremony was at the beautiful Trinity United Methodist Church and the reception was at the historic gem: Goodwood Museum & Gardens.  Claire & Cameron were married in a touching and personal ceremony, and their reception was filled with many custom and personalized touches.  I loved the table settings of vintage glass, silver, and milk-glass.

bride and groom first dance

black and white bridesmaids

bride's reflection in mirror

custom wedding programs

custom wedding program with ribbon

bride with veil and green and white bouquet

bride and bridesmaids in garden

ringbearer in suspenders and bowtie in garden

methodist church wedding

Claire & Cameron wanted to include communion in their wedding ceremony.  I’ve seen it done before, but they personalized it by having their parents serve the bread and wine to their guests.  It allowed them to look each guest in the eye and connect with them.  It was a very touching and personalized detail.

communion during wedding ceremony

stained glass and altar at wedding

viburnum, rose, and hydrangea wedding bouquet

bride and groom at altar

bridesmaids in tan dresses

breaking bread with bride and groom

casual bridal party

lantern, milk-glass, flowers

simple, modern, white wedding cake

vintage silver wedding details

wedding reception cookie and milk bar

martini glass mashed potato bar

first dance at Goodwood Museum and Gardens

Carriage House at Goodwood Museum and Gardens

father-daughter dance at Goodwood Museum and Gardens


Sauls-Wilson Family Session

August 24th, 2012

A few months ago I received a call from Megan.  We had never met, but she was friends of former clients and raved about my work and their recommendations of me.  She explained that she was from Anthony, a small town outside Ocala, but didn’t live in the state anymore.  She would be back in town for a quick visit, and wanted a family session with five generations of women born and raised in that area.

So on a rainy Fourth of July, I headed down to Anthony.  As I got closer and closer, the skies grew darker and darker.  By the time I arrived to meet the Megan & her family, it was a full-on monsoon.  Not good!  Three of the family members were from out of town and  were flying home early the next morning; it was now or never.  So we all stood in their dining room, looked at the radar, and formulated a plan.  We were going to outrun the rain.

Now, let me pause for a moment to make a point – something I rarely do here.  I prefer to let my images speak for me. But… this is why you hire a professional.  Yes, camera technology has advanced to the point in recent years where most people can purchase a “fancy camera” and do it themselves.  But it takes the knowledge, skill, and professionalism to know how to use that camera and handle whatever is thrown at you to make any situation work.

As we drove down backroads, making random turns, only looking at the sky, I had to think on the fly to find a location and situation that would work for the family to produce the images they expected when they hired me.  All while beating the setting sun.

I think I can say that we made it work.  And I am thankful every time my clients put their full trust in me and my work.  See the result for yourself…

Family Photography Session

Five Generations…

five generations of women portrait session

baby, mom, and great great grandmother photography session

family photography

family portrait session

natural family photography session

garden dedicated to baby