Just wait until you see the romantic candle lit ceremony in the converted warehouse, The Standard.
Ya know how people pick a word for the year? I’ve never really been good at that. I mean, there is NO way I’d remember what my word is and I’d 110% lose the sticky note I wrote it on. So I’m thinking that instead, I’d like to give the year a word after the fact. 2018’s word would be joy. I’m thinking 2019’s word will probably be joy too. I think that might just be MY word.
2018 was a whirlwind. It was the most beautiful mess. We had the most incredible clients, made the most impactful connections, and set and crushed some big goals for ourselves. While I could go on for hours about each and every person we met this year, I’ll leave you with this- 2018 was awesome. 2019 is already set to be even better. Check out a few of our favorite images from the year!
Jesse & Quinn
Extra extra, read all about it- Boudoir Minis are BACK.
Every year, sometimes twice, I get to hold a round of boudoir minis. These sessions are so near and dear to my heart because I inevitably bond with these incredibly strong, brave, kind, funny women and together we get to create some of the most beautiful portraits of them. I have brides and moms and grandmas and best friends and wives and single ladies all participate and they all have something in common- they’re all gorgeous. Everybody means every body. SO, if you’re on the fence, I thought I’d put together a few reasons why I LOVE these sessions.
It lets you dip your toe into the world of boudoir without grabbing a full session. I have TONS of women come back later on for a full sesh, after they see that, hey, this self love thing isn’t as scary as it may seem.
Its a perfect confidence booster disguised as a gift. Yes, you can give your session to your significant other and they’ll love it, but whats more important is that YOU will love it.
They’re tasteful. I’ve had MOMS thank me for creating such beautiful and timeless portraits of their daughters. Yup, you read that right, you could even share with your mom. These photos are the epitome of tasteful. My work is more suggestive than anything. I always grab gorgeous classic photos of you in the process.
Discount. Seriously, need I say more?
SO if you’re considering a mini, head up to the “boudoir minis” tab on the toolbar above this, pick a time slot, and lets do it!
We’d probably fight someone for Sam and Robert, like no questions asked. I’m hoping they never ask, but if they do, hey, we’d do it. We’re not particularly “ready to rumble” type people (okay, Jesse excluded, he totally is) but we genuinely love these two. Sam and Robert are OUR people. 2018 has been so good to us, slinging us couples who love us and love us well left and right, but Sam and Robert, man oh man, they take the freaking cake. Right about here, I’d like to insert the multiple text messages that Sam has sent me telling me how grateful she is for us and how much she loves us, like unprovoked, just out of the blue. I’m not going to, because this isn’t about us, but the point is that I could. But heres the thing, I have this feeling that they’d do that for any one of the people they care about, and their wedding day shows proof of that. Every single person in attendance was JOYFULLY participating in their day. From their best friends to their siblings, the dads, mom, grandma (hey, they’re my mom and grandma too on wedding days, I have no shame) they were all so incredibly excited to witness the love these two share. We were too. Like- cry multiple times throughout the day excited because these people who were relative strangers to us several months prior were showing us exactly what true love looks like, and they were OUR people now.
Okay, mushy stuff aside, this wedding was tops. We both agreed that it was our favorite reception ever (you’re about to see the liveliest group of people dancing ever) and that we could totally merge our friend groups, which is always nice. The MAGICAL 3m Creative Consultants team (hey Jana heeeeey) put together the most picturesque day for Sam and Robert, complete with the gorgeousness of the Great Smoky Mountains backdrop. Also, Beauty by Blair and Hair by Christi (my squad) were the artists behind Sam and her squad’s look.
Sam and Robert were everything a Winx Photo couple should be- kind, real, joyful, trusting, and ready to have a really good time. If you’re anything like these two, hey, head our way. We want to meet you. As for the Gennos, we love you two. Thank you for allowing us in and thank you for always being so encouraging, so kind, and so fun.
Jesse & Quinn
Tuesday freaking weddings.
Weekday weddings are literally the most magical thing ever. Intimate weddings are literally the most magical thing ever. Windy weddings are literally the most magical thing ever. Ok that was a lot, but this wedding had all of that and more and I’m not exaggerating at all when I say this day was exceptional.
Kelly and Anthony chose a weekday wedding surrounded by all of their closest family and friends at the always beautiful Spout Spring Estates Winery and Vineyard- seriously, peep those views. Kelly and Anthony booked us about a month before their day, so they decided against our complimentary engagement session. I’ll be honest, I was a little worried. I like to think our engagement sessions really help us to mesh with our clients and really play a huge part in making sure a wedding day runs smoothly. Y’all, it was like we had known each other for forever.
While I’m still a huge e-sesh fan, Kelly and Anthony broke the mold on cool couples. They trusted us implicitly, right down to having us pin the bout and bustle the dress. They ran, they laughed, they spun. They did all of the crazy things we ask couples to do and they did it joyfully and without hesitation, trusting that we’d get killer results.
This was easily one of the hardest blogs I’ve ever put together because picking photos was so tough- there are SO many incredible ones! I always like to sprinkle in some favorites while leaving a few to surprise our couples when they get their full gallery but this was tough because every photo is my fave.
Kelly and Anthony, thank you so much for allowing us to document all of that joy on your beautiful and windy wedding day. We still are just smitten over how much we love these photos and you both!
So I painted my office back in the summer.
A little backstory- we live in a rental. Our walls are a putty color- not terrible, but not me. After seeing my business coach’s studio (more on all of that another time) I KNEW I wanted to paint my office white. I’m literally here 90% of the day and I desperately wanted my space to reflect who I am- bright and joyful. I also wanted my work to really be the showcase in the office, so I knew that like my site, it’d pop best on white. So I (just kidding, it was Jesse) did it and then I immediately had an identity crisis.
THE WHITE WALLS MADE ME WANT A NEUTRAL HOUSE.
My decorating style has always been bright colors, but all of the sudden that was not the case. While yes, I love the way my work looked in my office, I also very much loved how calming the white was.
Enter fall, nesting mode, hosting an event, and my outdated living room.
Because I am a glutton for punishment, I scheduled our annual Friendsgiving in a house that hadn’t truly been cleaned in months because we were so busy. Not only had it not been cleaned (seriously, you should SEE our dust bunnies, they’re more like dust walruses) it was in need of some TLC. So again, I wanted to paint.
1 week prior to our Friendsgiving we did just that. I keep saying we, but I definitely mean not me.
So. With white walls I realized how gross our couch cover was. Unfortunately IKEA discontinued the series, and replacement covers were as much as a new couch. On a whim, I checked amazon and buddy, it was on. I found a darker grey (better for us anyway since light grey shows where our dirty dogs have put their muddy bodies before they get baths.) and it was so much cheaper than anything I’d seen before. We moved the credenza (its just a dresser), built a console table, built a giant chalkboard, ordered a new chair and light, and pulled out some of the decor I’d been hoarding with no true home for it yet. Boom. Done. And, Jesse only hated me for like 80% of the time.
All joking aside, my husband really is the most patient human and even though apparently Lowes puts him in a very bad mood, he loves the outcome and still somehow loves me.
Drumroll, here is the end result! There are still a few things I want to do (namely, find the perfect cognac leather chair at a reasonable price) but I’m super pleased with how everything turned out!
Classic Lakeside Wedding at Tellico Village Yacht Club
I don’t like being called an artist, or artists rather. I think its cheesy and pretentious. This isn’t some coy attempt at “omg! We’re not even that good!” pandering, its just me, a professional photographer, telling you that I don’t like being labeled that way. I like to call us storytellers.
When I was younger, and even now still, I loved to write. I don’t get to put pen to paper much (read; at all) anymore, but I do get to share a story. A wedding day is just that, right? A love story coming to fruition. The truth is, this is just one small part of your love story. It is not the climax, it is not the resolution. Its one teensy day that ends in you promising all of your days to the one person you hold dearest. Getting to write that story in our own way is the best kind of privilege.
Anthony and Kristen planned a destination wedding from Missouri to Knoxville, TN at Tellico Village Yacht Club for the beginning of October and y’all, it was incredible. We genuinely love all of our couples and how intricately different their stories are, and Anthony and Kristen are no exception to that. We shot their “engagement” session the day prior to their wedding day since they live out of town, and when I asked Anthony if he thought he’d be emotional seeing Kristen as a bride the next day, his response was simple, “HELL YES.” He said that the two things that could bring him to his knees were their 2 dogs and Kristen. He wasn’t kidding. Anthony’s love for his new wife was so evident, so tangible. Every few minutes I’d see him glance over at her and tell her how beautiful she was and just how lucky he felt to marry her. I know all love is different, but hear me out. Your wedding day is NOT the day to skimp on emotions just because there are people around. This is your wedding day! Its completely acceptable, and really freaking cute, if you are absolutely punch yourself in the face happy. Its totally cool if you break down in tears every few minutes, and friends, its super kickass if you express your love for your partner for all of the world to see. Don’t worry about who is watching, whether it’ll be on camera, or what it’ll look like. Just GO for it. Soak it in. Live in the moment. And if you need some pointers on how to do that, check out this JOYFUL Knoxville, Tennessee wedding down below.
Sam and Robert are precisely the kind of clients we’re always looking for and heres why:
A. They were literally game for whatever. Running, skipping (even though Robert didn’t know how), jumping. All of it. They were game. Trust makes for some killer photos, friends.
B. They’re really cute and really into each other. Like can you even imagine how good their wedding day is gonna be? P U M P E D for it.
Lastly. They enjoyed themselves. They approached this session ready to have a good time, and that right there makes the difference. We know that having pictures made is not everyone’s favorite thing to do, heck, half the time it isn’t even ours (Jesse HATES having his picture made) but when you make the decision that you’re gonna have fun (and, ya know, pick FUN photographers) then it shows. We know you can’t just turn off anxiety, can’t just change a lifetime of hating being in front of the camera, but there are things you can do.
-Step one: Pick a photographer you mesh with. Pick someone you can actually see yourself hanging out with. This will help big time. When we picked our wedding photographer we knew we wanted someone that was chill. Someone who wouldn’t judge us our our group of friends. Trust us when we say we are NOT judging you, your fam, your friends, or your neighbor that your grandma made you invite. We don’t care who they are, what they look like, where they’re from, what they’re into, who they’re married to, or what they talk like. You’re safe with us.
-Step two: TRUST US. I’m not even gonna elaborate. Just trust us. Trust the process, trust that we’ve got your back.
-Step three. Make a day of it. Plan a date for after, do your hair and makeup trial before if you want. Make it fun. If you know your partner hates having pictures made, plan something that will make them more at ease. For me, I always plan to go eat pho with Jesse after. Special treat because I am SO over pho. Whatever makes your day great, do that.
Above all, remember this time in your life is meant to be FUN. If you’re feeling stressed, take a step back and breathe in deep. The most important part about all of this is that at the very end, you’ll be married to the one person who makes your heart sing, and we’d be stoked to be a small part of that!
Its been a little while friends, but we're back!
This has been a B U S Y summer for Winx, and while we're so grateful, we've gotten a little behind on some housekeeping stuff, like updating our site and blogging our work! I thought I'd kick us back off with a recent favorite of mine, Meghan & Matt's engagement session!
Meghan is a small business owner in Knoxville, so when she reached out about us photographing her and Matt's wedding this September, I was A. Stoked, and B. a little intimidated. Meghan is precious, but its always a little nerve wracking working with someone so creative! That being said, I KNEW we were a perfect match as soon as she told me what her business is- she's a graphic designer with a pension for paper goods and collectables! (Check her out here.) I've never really talked about it before, but I collect an embarrassing amount of paper products. Wrapping paper, notepads, thank you cards. You name it, I own 42. So yeah, match made in heaven. Ok, but THEN she says she wants do their engagement session around some of the bright areas of town, like the painted stairs on campus and the sunsphere and gay st and wherever else we can find. Ding ding ding, sold. Icing on the cake? These two are the cutest. They're another one of our "we're awkward in front of the camera!" couples who ends up not being awkward in front of the camera at all. They're making all of us who truly are awkward look bad, right? Cause there is absolutely no way we can turn on this level of adorable once we step in front of the camera.
Meghan and Matt, we cannot wait for your wedding in September, and to find more murals with you both!
Its July. Let that sink in. Half of the year? Gone. We're closer to Christmas than we are to Valentine's Day... ok no, nevermind. Not quite. But we ARE close to fall!
Fall is when my body rejoices. Even though that's when wedding season picks back up and we start getting busy again, fall makes my heart sing. First, pumpkin scents. I'm not even a little bit ashamed to share that I got new fall plugins for my wall flowers this weekend. The leaves get crazy beautiful around here, but have you ever noticed how gorgeous they get RIGHT before they start to change? Its this shade of green that I dream about. I've affectionately dubbed it "puney green" which isn't the most appealing title. Basically it's when green is trying hard to be green but really it's more yellow. Fall is when I wanna curl up, watch Harry Potter on repeat, and prepare mentally for all the holiday festivities that are about to unfold.
OH. And fall is when people want their family photos.
Listen, I get it. Fall is gorgeous, it finally feels good outside, your kids are getting a little time off of school and your summer tan is still here. Here's the thing though- you can do family photos anywhere anytime, just as long as you do them. Why? Because your little boy's two front teeth are going to grow back in, he won't always have the sweet smile he has right now. Your daughter? Oh yeah, shes about to hit full blown "sassy stage" big time and there is NO way she won't roll her eyes at you when you ask her to match you next year. This isn't meant to make you sad that your babies are growing, its meant to make you think. They're growing, y'all. They're turning into the little people you're creating them to be and that is great, but they won't be little anymore. So quit it. Stop worrying about how you need to lose that last 10lbs of baby weight, how you need to wait for your husband to be in a good mood, how your kids have been arguing nonstop for 3 weeks. Stop focusing on what you can't do right now. Focus on what you can.
You CAN preserve this time in their lives, even the stuff that irritates you, like their ability to get a popsicle stain on EVERY shirt they own (seriously, where are they finding these popsicles?)
You CAN make memories for them, and make sure there is photographic documentation.
You CAN be present, because the best you is the you thats present.
Time is so fleeting. Its here and then it isn't. Let them be little, let yourself be you and let your spouse be your spouse. There is always an excuse, always a reason not to, but there are 100 more important reasons to do it. Because it is already July.
My entire life, my mom has instilled a love for the scenic route. That only intensified when she married my step dad and we moved out to the country- to Clinton. Clinton is a sleepy little town just north of Knoxville. Its quaint but vast, the kind of town you find in Hallmark movies. Far and away, my favorite street in Clinton has always been Eagle Bend. When I was younger, I would beg to drive "the pretty way" home, just to gawk at the houses and play the "which would you pick" game. One of my favorite houses, though, would oneday become the most inviting wedding venue. The Kincaid House, or as I used to refer to it, the lighthouse house, was built in the 1930s. The gardens are something out of a traditional English storybook, with lush greenery and stone walls. The inside of the house is classic, with real hardwoods and warm afternoon light spilling over, room after room. Its a home, not a house, somewhere you want to curl up with a good book and a cup of coffee, or maybe even get snowed in. Its exactly as I imagined it would be all those years ago.
When I heard that the Kincaid House offered weddings, my heart started racing, because that meant that I could plan something special, something complimentary to the home. Styled shoots offer us a chance to flex our creativity, to work with our friends both new and old, and to craft a scene we've always wanted to set. There's a part of me that maybe in another life was an event stylist. Not a coordinator, no, I'm nowhere near as incredible as the coordinators I know, like Marvyl with Team Wedding (more about her and everyone else involved below.) Just a stylist, someone who picks out the whos and whats and whys of a scene and makes it lovely. I knew that I wanted to incorporate peaches, because nothing says summery gardeny wedding like a peach to me. That was my base point, and from there it took off. Our overall vision for this shoot was a modern southern wedding, with touches of whimsy sprinkled in. Check it out!
Venue: The Kincaid House | Planning: Team Wedding | Florals: Melissa Timm Designs | Dress: Lillian Ruth Bride, Hayley Paige | Hair: Hair by Christi Piontkowski | MUA: Beauty by Blair | Rentals: AOPR | Cake: Cakery Bakery | Calligraphy: Tristar Scribe
Truth be told, I've had a vision for this shoot in my head for a long time. It wasn't until I started meeting up for lunch with Marvyl and Christi that I started to put pen to paper and get the wheels turning. Marvyl just kinda brings that out of you. She's the busiest human I know, but also possibly the most thoughtful. She goes 110mph in life, but her joy, even for simple things like southwest eggrolls from Chilis, is tangible. You can't help but love her. She is also a hell of a planner/coordinator. She shows up ready to work with a smile on her face. Her problem solving skills and creativity make her the perfect person to plan your day with, I sorta wish she'd plan all of my days for me.
Christi has become another one of my favorite people. Christi is the hair stylist for all of my boudoir clients (see her work here and here) but she has also become a good friend. She is far more talented than I think she knows, the evidence is in this shoot as well as in every client project I've ever worked on with her. She also has the most incredibly calming presence, something I think must really be awesome for her brides on their wedding days. Also, shes really funny and laughs with me about life and The Office regularly, so she's an ace.
Beauty by Blair did the makeup for this shoot. I often joke that Blair, Christi, and I are a package deal, but its kinda true. We've easily worked on over 100 clients together at this point, and they've become like family. Blair did the makeup for my own wedding, will probably do the makeup for any other event I ever do, and I'll more than likely force everyone I know to use her as well. Don't get me wrong, I've worked with lots of gifted MUAs, but again, we're just kinda a package deal. I love how subtle and feminine the look she created was. It perfectly tied in with all the little details, and especially with the soft curls Christi pulled off.
I'm gushing now, but hey, I LOVE my people. Melissa Timm and her team created the most jaw dropping floral arrangements. I actually threw my phone and squealed when Marvyl sent me a picture of them. Melissa stepped in at the 11th hour and saved the day with our flowers. With it being busy season, we had a really tough time finding a florist that was available but Melissa fit us in and really showed off. The favorite part about the arrangements was her creative use of rosemary! Every time I smelled them I wanted a steak, but hey, I like a good steak. The flowers completely tied everything else together and I cannot say enough about how happy they made me.
Kim with Cakery Bakery was a new friend, but I'm so glad we met. I told her to have fun with it, but I wanted to have a subtle nod toward the royal wedding with multi-tier cakes. She delivered and man oh man, was that cake good. I won't even tell you how quickly we ate it. Kim and her daughter also stuck around and decorated the cakes for us with fresh flowers from Melissa and some peaches I picked up. They really did go above and beyond and were so kind throughout the whole process.
Brittany with the Tristar Scribe is another new friend that we're really excited to have gotten to work with! I've followed Brittany's work for a long time, so when I reached out I knew she'd come up with something great. I shot her a list of stuff we'd love to have be a part of the shoot and she quickly sent me back her idea, including an acrylic sign (praise be, I LOVE acrylic anything) and the coolest ribbon place "cards" for the head table. She hand lettered everything and stuck around to help us throughout the shoot, even though it got pretty humid outside. Brittany was an absolute treat to work with!
We picked a Hayley Paige dress from Lillian Ruth Bridal in Market Square and it could not have fit the scene any better. I have to admit, though I loved the Hayley Paige dress, any dress from Lillian Ruth would've been fantastic. Their collection is incredible and unique, and their showroom is one of the prettiest little pieces of downtown Knoxville. Even if all of that weren't true, Leslie and Liz make the experience of picking out a dress, even as a vendor, something special.
All Occasions lent us all of our beautiful staple items, like the tables, linens, chairs, plates, glassware, flatware, etc. Basically everything you'd need to actually pull off a styled shoot ;) AOPR's team is always such a delight to work with. They had no problem with us coming into their showroom and laying everything out so that we could narrow down the style. They even helped recommend items. Knoxville really is lucky to have such a killer group of people.
Last but certainly not least, a massive thank you to our real couple, Kelsey and Saxon. We always use real couples for styled shoots because they bring an extra level of emotion, intimacy, and, our favorite thing, joy. Kelsey is photographer in Knoxville as well and we met by both being Preferred Photographers at The Hive. We instantly clicked, because I'm not sure who wouldn't click with Kelsey. Shes a precious human being and an excellent photographer. When she volunteered herself and her husband, I knew it was kismet.
PHEW. I know. I ramble. I just feel like thanking people for their time and talent is really important, especially in this industry. If you're looking for any vendors, please check out our friends. They really are second to none and they all care massively about the time it takes to make you day spectacular. Plus, hey, we all work really well together :)
I'm nothing if not real, and in an attempt to share my realness with you, I want to make sure I share my shortcomings.
Heres the thing about business, there is no one right way to do it for everyone. We learn as we grow, situations mould our ideas, and plans change. Boudoir has been my passion for a long time, and a few months back, I got this idea to move my boudoir work into its own entity, enter Alexandra Quinn Photo. My hope in doing this was that A. I wouldn't offend the fine folks who don't wanna see a booty pic when searching out their wedding or portrait photography and B. I would be MUCH more organized.
WELP. I'm here to tell you, I am in no way, shape, or form any more organized than I ever was. I also could've alleviated the booty pic problems by, oh I don't know, making a seperate insta for my boudoir work? Something super creative, like @winxphotoboudoir probably would've done the trick. Also, upon creating a beautiful site and setting up all the social media platforms, I learned that I share a name with.....drumroll please.... a porn star. Yep. You read it here first. SO, for anyone just typing in something innocent like "Alexandra Quinn Boudoir" google would pull something that...well... is kindof boudoir?
Whatever. I digress.
Aside from all of that, one of the most visited posts on this site is my post about being a Knoxville Boudoir Photographer. It also polls pretty high SEO wise when googling, higher in fact than my dedicated boudoir website.
With that being said, I'll be transitioning boudoir work BACK to Winx Photo in June. I guess theres nothing I love more than revamping my site (if you visit frequently, you'll probably notice that I quite literally change SOMETHING every single week) so I'm up for the challenge.
As for a studio space, thats still on the horizon, but in the midst of wedding season it just isn't as pressing. I am, however, officially a preferred photographer at The Hive in Knoxville, meaning I have access to that beautiful space without any additional fees for you. While I can use it for anything, it definitely suits boudoir well.
To kick off this reintroduction, I thought I'd share some recent boudoir work with you from our last minis. Heres Kristen at the Honeybee Loft, lookin' fine.
Hair: Hair by Christi Piontkowski | Makeup: Beauty by Blair
Knoxville's top boudoir photographer.
Just kidding about that part.
I'm alright though.
Every photographer has an ideal couple. For some, that couple is incredibly wealthy and polished, for others, that couple wants to elope. Some photographers love a detail heavy wedding, others just need two people. Us? We love a laid back couple, everything else is secondary. If you love each other and you're more excited about the marriage than the wedding, then we're probably the Knoxville photographers for you.
Enter Chelsea and Andrew. I could gush about our connection for days, but I think its best to let their photos speak for themselves. Being a part of their wedding day felt like being a part of an old friend's wedding. We laughed together, cried together, and cheered for one another throughout the day. My favorite part of their wedding day was the inclusion of Chelsea's biological daughter, Emma, as well as Emma's adoptive parents and little brother. At one point, Chelsea had a special reveal of her full wedding look just for Emma, then they shared a special moment, one I truly felt privileged to capture, where Chelsea gave Emma a necklace she had worn while pregnant with Emma. Em was clearly excited, squealing, "I'm gonna keep it in my sock drawer so its safe!" Andrew and Chelsea also surprised their guests with a foot washing ceremony, signifying their devotion and humility toward one another, just as Jesus did with his disciples.
The love and joy on C & A's wedding day was tangible. It was one of those days where every bit of achey bones and sore muscles was 110% worth it. We feel so incredibly blessed to call this a job, and to call our couples friends.
Venue: Country Manor Acres | Dress: Lillian Ruth / Kenneth Winston | Florals: Betty Longworth at Countryside Gardens | Suit : Jos A Bank | HMUA: Audrey & Miriam at Salon Aquarius | Rentals: AOPR / Campbell's | Catering: Rosa's | Cake: Sugarbuzz Bakers
When Michelle and I met for the first time, she described her wedding as a laid back get together where two people just happen to be getting married. She said there would be food and friends and family and music and lots of love, and I think that was an accurate description!
Heres what I've learned about weddings- they don't need to be fancy. You don't need the most expensive table linens or the 4 course meal, you don't need an extravagant display, you just need two people in love, the rest will work itself out. We've shot formal weddings and we've shot casual weddings, courthouse weddings and destination weddings, but the most consistent thing that each of these weddings has is love, laughter, and the most incredible display of joy I can think of. Our job is kind of selfish, you see, almost a little self indulgent. As much as I love our couples, love that they're sealing the deal, I LOVE the high I get from that joy. I love knowing that we got to be a very small part in the start of such an intricately beautiful journey. I love knowing that our couples will cling to their wedding photos, that their great grandchildren will pour over their albums while showing them to their own children. What I'm saying is, forget the details, the guest list, the dress, and focus on your love. That love will carry you through highs and lows, will dream with you, will care for you. That love is one of the only things that really matters.
Michelle and Michael's day may have been laid back, but it wasn't running low on love. The Barn at Buttermilk made to most beautiful backdrop and even though it was hot outside, their guests were SO excited to see these two tie the knot. Thank you both so much for allowing us to be a part of such a perfect day!
Venue: The Barn at Buttermilk | Florals: Broadway Flower Shop | Cake: Publix | Hair: Carla Carter w/ Salon Luxe | MUA: Kristen Davenport
Dress: David's Bridal/ Oleg Cassini | DJ: Parker Dodson | Rentals: AOPR
I was thinking earlier about how much of a pain it would be to shoot a wedding as a solo photographer, and it got the wheels in my brain turning. While I've shot with lots of other (incredible) photographers, my favorite person to shoot a wedding with is my husband! I love that I can look at him a certain way and he knows exactly what I'm directing, I love that we both get to bond with our couples, and I love that after a long day on our feet, we can plop down on our couch with whatever treat we picked up at the gas station (you know we have an affinity for gas station food) and binge The Office until we fall asleep. He is my teammate, y'all, and playing a game without him would just mess with my flow, ya know?
SO I've comprised a list of reasons why you not only need 2 photographers, but a couple team!
1. We're excellent at communication
Simply put, I know how he shoots and he knows how I shoot. There is no guesswork. I can motion with my eyes where I want him to move to and vice versa and we just GET it. Its weird, but I think you develop a level of telepathy when you've been together for a while.
2. You get the same two people for the engagement session AND the wedding!
Whats that mean for you? You get to bond with both of us from start to finish! While I do most of the behind the scenes work, we both attend every shoot (except for boudoir) to make sure you get to know us as a team while we get to know you as a couple!
3. You're getting the perspective 2 different ways!
This one is a big deal, because if life teaches us anything, its that we all see things differently, both figuratively and literally. As a bonus, you're getting a male/female perspective! We pose differently, we see details differently, we pick up on subtleties differently.
4. We're married, we get it.
We're married, to each other, so trust us, we understand. We know how difficult planning a wedding is and we've experienced the level of hangry you're about to feel. We've had our own awesome wedding photos and we want you guys to get them too! During every wedding we shoot, we're both reflecting back on our own wedding and things we can do to make your day even better than our own!
5. Double the moments
We're committed, first and foremost, to capturing your wedding day as it unfolds. Not just one of us, both of us. If I'm busy photographing the recessional, Jesse knows to turn eagle eye around and grab those special moments, like your maid of honor and you jumping up and down as soon as you're back down the aisle! We're like your backup's backup.
We're ridiculously cute together.
Theres a million more reasons, but I'm typing this up at 3am, so this feels like a good place to stop. If you're looking for your very own Knoxville Wedding Photographer, we'd love to meet you and show you why we make a good team!
TWO BLOGS IN ONE WEEK?!?!
A. How'd you get so lucky?
B. How'd I get so productive?
Subconsciously, I think I'm trying to be super productive before my birthday tomorrow. Its my last year in my early 20s, I'm feeling the pressure.
Back to this post. You know I like to rabbit trail mid thought.
Chelsea and Andrew met with us about a week after getting engaged in April. They didn't want a long engagement and decided that a May wedding would be perfect, so thats exactly what we're going to do! When we met, we instantly clicked. We talked for around an hour about the most random things, like Andrew's barber being allowed to call him Andy and which phone games were best. We laughed about adding certain songs to their "do not play" list for their DJ, and about the time I stole someone's deodorant, and how kids always know dance moves that we don't know. By the end of our meeting, they felt like old friends.
We met up at their venue, Country Manor Acres, and the sunset was as magical as I remembered. We've shot one other wedding there, Jaron & Makayla's, and their sunset photos are still some of my favorites to date. I think it has something to do with being in the mountains, and the prettiest little pond at the base of the main site. The owners are precious and allowed us to explore all over their venue, including the prettiest little entrance to the woods which was so lush and beautiful, and where Chelsea immediately picked up a four leaf clover, which has got to be a good sign, right?
Chelsea & Andrew, we cannot wait for your wedding next week! We're so glad you picked us to be your knoxville wedding photographers!
In true East Tennessee fashion, Whitney and Ryan planned their engagement shoot, got excited about it, and then, rain. Such is life down here in the valley. When they asked for our next available date, I threw one out that I honestly A. Didn't think they'd want and B. Wasn't sure I really wanted them to grab- A sunrise session, the day after second shooting a wedding, on a day when we already had a sunset session.
Let me be frank, I love weddings. I love being a part of the joy, I love how tangible the excitement is. But y'all, I LOVE to sleep. Jesse loves to sleep more than me. We're a sleepy bunch, and I pray to God our future children are sleepers as well. After a wedding, we have whats called a wedding hangover. No, its not from sneaking shots (we've haven't done that...yet) but rather from standing, in the heat, holding 10-30lbs of gear at any given time, staying in full blown people person mode for 8 or more solid hours. It is E X H A U S T I N G. We're talking full recuperation day, turn the phone off, sleep for 15hrs kind of exhaustion. So anyway, Whitney and Ryan wanted the sunrise session. At first, I was a little mad at myself but then I got super excited because we really hadn't done a sunrise session before, and as much as we'd shot downtown, we'd never seen it in the early morning.
YOU GUYS, IT WAS INCREDIBLE.
Like, never in my photography career have I been more grateful for a decision on shoot time. First of all, there was nobody downtown. Complete and total ghost town. We met up and started walking up the hill to the little bridge and I swear, we didn't see a single soul. We had access to all of the places we love to shoot without managing the logistics of how to shoot around people and obstacles. The sun gave way to some of the best light we've ever had for a shoot and despite it being 40ish degrees outside, Whitney & Ryan were a complete and total dream to work with. After their shoot, we felt energized and ready to kickoff the day. That was quickly squashed by me telling Jesse to drive out to our favorite breakfast place across town instead of the 90 trillion surrounding our house, only to find out it was closed on Sundays. Oh well, it was good while it lasted.
Whitney and Ryan, thanks for picking an AM shoot. No amount of sleep would overpower how excited I am about these photos and your wedding day. We cannot wait to meet up again in August!
I've always been encouraged to dream. I wasn't pushed into college, was never shamed for being a creative. My mother raised me to truly believe that I could be and do anything I set my mind to. She raised me to believe I have a beautiful mind capable of creating a beautiful life.
She has led me by example in so many ways- marry the person who cherishes you, stand up for whats right, don't be afraid to laugh at yourself, and don't just quit if something gets hard.
When I was around 7, my mom married my step dad, Dale. Part of them creating their life together was building a home for us. My mom sketched out blueprints for months. She wrote down her ideas, gathered her magazines, and was fully prepared to build the house of her dreams. Their builder stepped on a lot of her ideas, "no it isn't possible, no it would be too expensive, no nobody else will do that either. No." and ultimately left them mid build. For months, they worked on making the house something liveable, then for years, something beautiful. The thing is, even though its been a long process, styles have changed, and kids have grown, she never gave up on turning our home into a work of art. It is our favorite place to be (Jesse frequently asks if my parents would be game to be roommates) and the hardest place to leave.
This lady is the OG Joanna Gaines. She was throwing up shiplap, nickel gap, and board and batten before HGTV ever breathed a word of it. Shes innovative, brave, and creative, some might even say stubborn. When she has a vision for something, she makes it happen. If I can be half the woman she is, I'll be doing alright.
This is the first part of a series. I'm so excited to show you some of her/our projects, and introduce you to the woman I call mama.
Part 1: The Mudroom
Finding your ideal client takes a while. For a long time, I wanted my ideal client to meet a certain aesthetic. I wanted them to have excellent style, be incredibly organized, skip all of the current trends, and on top of all of that, I desperately wanted them to mesh with me.
But heres the thing- I am nothing like that ideal client. WE are nothing like that ideal client. Somewhere along the road, I changed my tune. I realized that the most important thing to me was that whole meshing part, and in order to mesh, we needed to have just a few things in common.
1.) My ideal client is laid back. Like maybe almost to a fault. I like a chill couple, what can I say?
2.) My ideal client trusts us implicitly. They know the seemingly stupid things we're instructing them to do (whisper your fave veggie in her ear, but seductively) are intentional.
3.) My ideal client likes the idea of a wedding, but LOVES the idea of a marriage.
Bonus: My ideal client can laugh at stupid stuff, like thats what she said jokes.
Thats it. Thats all.
Enter Taylor and Joe.
Taylor and I met for the first time 5 days before her wedding, the day she booked me. We only talked for the first time about 3 days before that. When I asked her why she waited to book her photographer, she said, "Well, I needed a place to host all of these people, so I booked that. Then I knew I needed to feed them, so I did that. Then I wanted to have pictures of them, so here we are." Calmest. Bride. Ever.
So we sat there, 5 days before her wedding, with one of her bridesmaids, Grace, and talked like old friends. We talked about how she was still deciding on a DJ, and how she didn't know what song to enter the reception with. I suggested Hey Ya by Outcast. She took my suggestion. We talked about how tons of her friends and family were coming in from Texas and how her and her friends and mom were putting together the flowers she ordered. And just like that, I had the most ideal client I could ever dream up. Calm, cool, and collected.
On the day of their wedding, we were preparing for a storm. Jesse and I stopped at Target and I bought a new rain jacket and an extra umbrella, thinking it'd be a wet wedding and we'd need a backup plan. I figured that by the time we got to Heartland Meadows, Taylor's cool facade would have worn off considering every sign pointed to a washed out day, every bride's biggest fear.
NOPE. This girl was still as relaxed as a human being can be. She was surrounded by her friends and family, excited to celebrate her and Joe's 6 year dating anniversary with a wedding. And Joe? Well, he was calmer than her. He and his groomsmen played arcade games and waited for the ceremony to start. Joe also knighted his groomsmen when gifting them their new pocket knives. Casual.
The rain held off, the day came together. Taylor and Joe celebrated all night with their family and friends. We were and are so overjoyed to be chosen as their wedding photographers. Getting to be a part of a day like theirs was infinitely better than whatever our weekend plans were 6 days before the wedding, before we met.
Taylor and Joe, congratulations again. We hope you love these as much as we do!
Venue: Heartland Meadows | Dress: David's Bridal | Florals: Kukka Flowers (put together by Taylor's mom) | Hair: Abby with Studio 26 | DJ: Knox Vegas | Catering: Sweet P's BBQ | Bartending: Pour Guys
I'd venture to say that if you've landed on our site, your wedding photos are important to you- as they should be. I won't go through the spiel, about how they're all thats left after the cake is eaten and the guests are gone, just know its true. Hiring a quality photographer is important, but there are a few things you can do to make your photos even better.
1. Keep it bright, keep it tidy.
This may seem simple, but it makes a huge difference. When you're deciding where to get ready, choose a space that has nice natural light, minimal clutter, and is spacious enough to move around in. This doesn't have to be the room everyone gets ready in, but it should be the room you put your dress on in. This room should be clear of bags, hangers, snacks, and trash. Keep it minimal. I love doritos as much as the next person, but I do not love doritos in the background of your beautiful bridal photos. I know wedding days are hectic, but assign someone to tidy up the space, or designate an area where snacks can be eaten and bags can be stored.
If your venue doesn't have a good bridal suite, consider renting a hotel room or, my personal favorite, an Airbnb.
Bonus Tip : Have the guys do the same.
2. Its in the Details.
When you're planning your details, go ahead and include an extra set of your stationery (envelope included), a nice hanger for your dress, and any other things that are special about you on your wedding day, like the perfume you'll wear. Guys, do the same. Lay out your tie, cufflinks, shoes, etc. Also, if you're feeling extra extra, ask your florist for a few extra sprigs of greenery or one or two extra focal flowers. These can make beautiful additions to the styling of your details. Have all of your details gathered up and ready to photograph.
3. Consider The Background
When you're picking your ceremony site, keep in mind that you have 2 backgrounds to consider. One is obvious, the altar where you'll stand. The other is often overlooked, looking down the aisle, where you'll enter. The last thing you want is a whole bunch of Honda Accords littering the sweet moment your dad takes your arm and begins walking you toward your future spouse. Parking is obviously limited at some venues, but if you have the option, choose an area not visible from the ceremony site. This is where day of coordinators can help as well. They'll be able tell where the cutoff needs to be for cars to not be seen. Some venues and coordinators also offer a valet service- take them up on that. Photographers can do a lot in photoshop, but removing a sea of midsize SUVs may not be possible.
Bonus Tip: The sun should be behind the altar, if possible.
4. Snag an Engagement Sesh
Y'all, there's a reason so many photographers offer their engagement sessions complimentary- its so we can all get nice and comfy with each other. We want to meet with you pre-wedding day jitters and make sure we're all on the same page. This will give you a chance to get to know your photographer a little better (and vice versa) but it will mainly get you comfortable with their shooting style. Maybe it's just me, but I've noticed that most men who get a chance to do an engagement session with the wedding photographer end up being much much much more relaxed on the wedding day. So, even though your friend who is in the wedding may be an awesome photographer, if she isn't shooting the wedding, do the engagement session with the person (or team) who is.
Bonus tip: Some photographers also offer bridal sessions and boudoir sessions, grab one of those as well!
5. No Cheesin'!
Candids. Candids candids candids. Mama bear, you don't have to yell out "turn around and smile" to the kiddos. I promise you, the photographer knows what they're doing and the candids are worth it. Make sure you let your friends and family know that they don't have to freeze up and fake smile whenever they see a camera, they can relax! Don't worry, we'll get plenty of posed photos too, but part of documenting the wedding day is capturing it as its happening. Nothing can ruin a moment quicker than someone yelling "smile."
6. Pick the Pros
Okay, I lied, I am going to do my spiel. I can't stress this enough. I believe that everyone starts somewhere, but I also believe your wedding day is not an ideal place to start. Pick vendors who KNOW what they're doing. Pick vendors who can navigate your day with grace and without hesitation. Pick vendors you genuinely like. I LOVED (and still do) my wedding photographer. I didn't feel rushed or stressed or anything other than happy. I also had a coordinator helping keep things flowing. Our florist was a seasoned pro who made exactly what I wanted, and my hair and makeup team left me feeling like a princess. My DJ kept the party lit (cringe, but I can't think of a better way to describe it) and my food was exceptional. My venue was the icing on the cake, (ha) and left me wanting to live there. Y'all, we did all of our wedding on a budget and still had everything we could have wanted. Skip the things nobody remembers, like the cocktail napkins and koozies, and spend a little more on vendors who "get" you. They're well worth it, I promise you.
- Don't get too turnt before the ceremony or photos.
- Remind your bridal party they're being heavily documented, so no nose picking and tone down the RBF
- Tell your photographer if there is something special you want photographed
- Don't do something just because its trendy.
- Pros don't need a shot list. We know what we're doing, I promise
- Kiss a little longer than you normally would.
- Take time for yourself and your new spouse. Those moments are fleeting and beautiful.