Why I'm bringing boudoir BACK to Winx.

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Why I'm bringing boudoir BACK to Winx.

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


xoxo
Quinn
Knoxville's top boudoir photographer.
Just kidding about that part.
I'm alright though. 

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Country Manor Acres | Knoxville Wedding Photographers

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Country Manor Acres | Knoxville Wedding Photographers

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

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The Barn at Buttermilk | Knoxville Wedding Photographer

The Barn at Buttermilk | Knoxville Wedding Photographer

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

Reasons You Should Hire a Husband & Wife Team

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Reasons You Should Hire a Husband & Wife Team

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. 

 Heres an example from Taylor & Joe's wedding day! We were limited in where we could move because the ceremony was moved into the reception space because of rain, but we made it work! I was able to get Taylor and her dad and stepdad while Jesse focused on Joe's reaction!

Heres an example from Taylor & Joe's wedding day! We were limited in where we could move because the ceremony was moved into the reception space because of rain, but we made it work! I was able to get Taylor and her dad and stepdad while Jesse focused on Joe's reaction!

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!

 Same pose, different focal lengths!

Same pose, different focal lengths!

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. 

Downtown Knoxville Engagement Photos

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!

2018-05-18_0004.jpg

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.

knoxville wedding photographer

*****BONUS*****

We're ridiculously cute together. 

 Okay maybe not, but we're pretty fun.  P.S. You play pop punk, Outkast, 2000s rap, or Toby Keith at your wedding, you're likely to see the above scene, we're not about to fistfight, I swear. PC: Erin Morrison Photography

Okay maybe not, but we're pretty fun. 
P.S. You play pop punk, Outkast, 2000s rap, or Toby Keith at your wedding, you're likely to see the above scene, we're not about to fistfight, I swear.
PC: Erin Morrison Photography

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!

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Knoxville Engagement Photographer | Country Manor Acres

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Knoxville Engagement Photographer | Country Manor Acres

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!

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Knoxville Engagement Photographers | Downtown Knoxville

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Knoxville Engagement Photographers | Downtown Knoxville

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! 

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Knoxville Commercial Photographer | The Mudroom

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Knoxville Commercial Photographer | The Mudroom

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

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Heartland Meadows | Taylor & Joe

Heartland Meadows | Taylor & Joe

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

6 Tips For Better Wedding Photos | Knoxville Wedding Photographer

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6 Tips For Better Wedding Photos | Knoxville Wedding Photographer

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.

The Standard Knoxville Wedding Venue Bridal Suite

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. 

popart wedding invitations

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.

estate of grace farm ceremony fall

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!

Knoxville free engagement session photographer

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." 

Estate of Grace Farm Knoxville Candid bridesmaids wine dress

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. 

jesse and quinn winx photo

Bonus Tips
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.

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Knoxville Wedding Photographers | How We Met

Knoxville Wedding Photographers | How We Met

Hi friends!
This year, I wanted to be intentional about sharing more about us, our life, our struggles, etc. I think its important in the social media age to remind people that A. we're human, and B. we are normal. Relatively, that is. I also just really want to write more. I love writing. Always have, always will. English and Creative Writing were always my favorite classes back in school, and I've found myself longing to fill up that creative void. That being said, former English teachers, its been a while. Please excuse my (potentially horrendous) writing blunders.

jesse and quinn winx photo knoxville
jesse and quinn winx photo knoxville

Our story isn't frilly. Theres nothing written in the stars. We aren't particularly romantic people, just Jesse and Quinn. I think there is something to be said for that, though. Some of my favorite love stories are as simple as two people deciding they want to be together, against all odds. Odds being things like moving and in laws and bills and stuff, not some ridiculous Nicholas Sparks plot. So, settle in, here we go. 

To tell this story, I need to go back a few years before we met. I know I said that there's nothing especially extraordinary about us or our story, but there are some coincidences. Jesse went to Gibbs, I went to Powell. My parents were divorced when I was younger, and I lived with my mom. My father, however, lived in Gibbs. He lived next door to his brother, so when I visited his house when I was younger I would often end up at my uncle's house, hanging out with my cousins. Jesse, as it turns out, was one of my cousin's close friends. He also spent a lot of time at their house. Even so, our paths never crossed. I think that when God wrote our story, He must have been pretty proud of Himself for that one. Its easy to think, "why couldn't we have met back then?" but the truth is, it would have never worked. Jesse is around 4 years older than me, and chances are 16 year old Jesse wanted nothing to do with 12 year old Quinn. We both still had to become the people we fell in love with.

Fast forward to 2011. I'm now 16, Jesse is 20. I'm dating a guy, Jesse has just been dumped by a girl. Through mutual friends, hes heard about me. He stumbles across my social media profile, "follows" me, and that's where it begins. He is in a band at the time, and tells his bandmates that he thinks I am THE most beautiful girl in the world (duh) and  that one day, he's going to marry me. Keep in mind, I have never met this guy, in person or online. A few weeks later, I get dumped. I start hanging out with my friends again, and promptly swear off dating for a while. One night, several of my friends decide to head to a local venue, Longbranch, to see one of our other friend's bands play. I tag along. As I walk up the stairs of the venue, I see Jesse. He also sees me, and immediately hugs me. First thought? "Why is this sweaty man hugging me?" His first though? "Its her."

From there, we hung out most days. He'd drive from his house in Gibbs to my house in Clinton to pick me up, drive back to Knoxville to hang out for maybe 2 hours, back to Clinton to drop me off, then back home to Gibbs. I wasn't interested in dating him. At. All. I wouldn't say I strung him along, because I told him pretty early on that I just wanted to be friends. He understood, respected that, but never gave up. He became my best friend, and days where we were apart felt like lifetimes. Finally, about 3 months after we met, I got my head out of my ass and realized that he was a great guy who deserved a shot. He asked me to be his girlfriend in the parking lot of a shop he used to rent, written in chalk. Perhaps the cheesiest thing hes ever done, but also probably my favorite. He also wrote me a letter that detailed how highly he thought of me, and that if I wasn't ready to date him, he'd keep waiting, because he believed I was worth it. I still carry that note around in my wallet. Of course, I said yes. I'm a sucker for cheesy.  Afterward, being the particularly unromantic people we are, we walked across the street to sonic and bought a footlong hotdog and some cherry limeade. True love. 

I think one of my favorite things about our story is how he knew he'd marry me. Isn't that incredible? I've always heard the old "when you know, you know" adage, but never put much stock into it. Even though he knew before I did, I think I figured it out early on. Its different, when you find the person you're meant to be with forever; like coming up for fresh air, or a warm house on a cold day. Its like new sheets on your bed, your favorite meal, and fresh spring flowers all rolled up into one. Like something in your just clicks and everything you've been waiting on starts falling into place. I think that happens with a lot of stuff, though, like when you make the right move with your business or when you decide to have kids. People are always waiting on big grand gestures, signs that you're doing the right thing, but the truth is, it's a still, small voice. Even though its small, though, you feel it in your bones. I'm not entirely sure we can mess up God's plan for our life. I think we can make choices that set us back, but I believe that stuff that is meant to happen will happen one way or another. I'm so thankful that my husband was meant to happen to me. I'm glad he knew, I'm glad he cared. I'm incredibly glad we met when we did, that he was patient with me (and still is) and that he allows me to be exactly who I am. 

If you're waiting on that person for you, heed my words, it'll happen. Even though we met young, I often felt like maybe that wasn't something that would happen for me for a long time. I've seen so many posts like "everyones getting married and having babies and I'm over here eating this bag of Cheetos" Giiiiiiiiiiirrrrrl, listen. You can get married and still eat your cheetos, just give it time. Trust the process. Know that theres a plan for you, your love, and your life, and rest in that. When it happens, however it happens, its gonna be great. 


-Quinn

Pro photos by some of my favorite people: Alex Bee Photo | Erin Morrison Photography | Matthew & Brittany 
Crappy cell photos by your truly

Knoxville Engagement Photographers | Seven Islands State Birding Park

Knoxville Engagement Photographers | Seven Islands State Birding Park

  Does snow make anyone else long for warmer days? Like even the days where you know you were actually hot? I totally romanticize summer, thinking its the perfect temperature always. The truth is, Knoxville summers last a long time, are generally humid, and always make me long for cooler days. I'd be pretty content to stay in the fall weather range for forever. Whats the Miss Congeniality line? Not too hot, not too cold, all you need is a light jacket? Yeah, thats me. Thats ideal. When we met up with Bess & Jason for their engagement session back in August, thats about what the weather was like. Hot, but not too hot. Breezy, but not too cold. Perfect. I'd take a day like that today. 
  Bess and Jason love each other a lot. They wanted to do their engagement session somewhere meaningful to them, which is something we always recommend. Jason used to work at Seven Islands, so they spent a lot of time exploring the park. We saw the most BEAUTIFUL sunset while he explained what wildlife resided there and when the best time to come was. While seven islands isn't up in the GSMNP, its close enough to feel like you're away from it all. Theres an old homestead you can visit, complete with rocking chairs and mountain views. We could have sat there all night, listening to the sounds of summer. 
  Though their wedding day has passed (we'll share it with you a little bit later) we wanted to show you how fun their Knoxville engagement session was. All of our wedding packages come with a complimentary engagement session, something we think helps us all bond and get to know each other. We recommend always doing a session with your wedding photographers before your wedding day, that way you get a good feel for their style and how you'll work together. Plus, we tend to love spending time with our couples. If you or someone you know is getting married, we'd love to get to know you and see if we're a good fit! 
 

Best of 2017

Best of 2017

Better late than never, right?

2017 was filled with lots of joy! Here are a few of our favorites!

Estate of Grace Farm | Haley & Gunner

Estate of Grace Farm | Haley & Gunner

I want to start this out by saying how incredibly sweet Haley and Gunner and their precious families are. All day, Jesse and I felt like we were just hanging out with old friends, partly due to the fact that Jesse and Haley ARE old friends. Way back when, before I knew his name, the color of his eyes, or his heart for people, Jesse was playing music out of Haley's mama and daddy's garage with his band. I like to think that was a part of the story of how God led him to me. You see, if kind people like Haley's mama and daddy hadn't opened up their garages and risked their neighbors filing noise complaints about those loud teenagers banging around, if kind people like Wendy and Kevin hadn't encouraged dreams, then maybe just maybe, Jesse wouldn't have been playing a show the night I met him. Maybe he'd be a different person and maybe our paths would not have crossed when they did. People like Haley's mom and dad, who are warm and inviting and encouraging, those people change the world. So it comes as no surprise that Haley would be the same type of person, marrying an incredible guy. One of the things that really stuck out to me about Haley and Gunner was their desire to spend their wedding day with their guests. If I'm being honest, that part of my own wedding day made me a little anxious, but not these two. They made sure to love on every single person there, making sure their bellies were full and that they felt appreciated. They truly were one of the most gracious couples we've seen.

Estate of Grace Farm now takes the cake for one of my favorite venues. This home turned venue is nothing short of a photographer's dream. They have a bride AND groom area, both beautifully decorated. The walls are light, allowing for the perfect natural light photos, and the rooms allow for so many options. A rainy wedding day wouldn't be an issue at this venue, because the home is immaculate and spacious. It gets even better when you walk outside, giving you an absolutely breathtaking view of House Mountain, surrounded by rolling hills and fields. The ceremony location overlooks all of this, leaving guests awestruck at the beautiful backdrop for the beautiful bride and groom.

Haley and Gunner only amplified the beauty of the venue, surrounded by their fun bridal party. These guys and gals were feeling the love and joyfully celebrating their friends. We are over the moon about this couple, their friends and family, the venue, and all of the talented vendors involved!

Venue: Estate of Grace Farm | Florals: Blooming Collective | Hair: Racheal Moyers | MUA: Alesha Varner | Dress: David's Bridal | DJ: Smokey Mountain Sounds | Cake: Renee Ailor Ricker

Knoxville Wedding Photographers | Riverdale School | Tara & Forrest

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Knoxville Wedding Photographers | Riverdale School | Tara & Forrest

This wedding. THIS FREAKING WEDDING. Y'all, no words. First of all, Tara and Forrest are two of the most genuine people we've met. They love each other, obviously, but they also love their family and friends so much. When we initially met with them and they told us they were getting married at Riverdale School in Knoxville, TN we HAD to have them. That sounds a little weird, but after our meeting I was giddy with excitement, hoping and wishing and praying they'd choose us to be their Knoxville wedding photographers. When that email came, Jesse and I both did a happy dance. We knew then that this wedding was going to be incredible. We looked forward to it all year, but in the days leading up to it, the forecast called for rain all day. Talk about a huge bummer. Riverdale School is an indoor/outdoor venue, so they had options, but man, the tree they were planning to get married under was going to be so pretty that it genuinely hurt our hearts to think that may not happen. Thankfully, in true East Tennessee fashion, the forecast changed and the outdoor ceremony was on. 

Everything about Tara & Forrest's day was unique to them. Their invites are THE coolest invites I've ever seen, which, by the way, Forrest actually made! I squealed when I saw them. There is a hotdog on their invite and a pop art drawing of them, plus its the brightest and happiest invite ever, abolutely perfect for them. One of Tara's sweet bridesmaid's mothers grew the flowers used in the wedding, including the fresh bouquets. Again, bright and happy and wonderful. For dinner, T & F had a food truck cater the most delicious hotdogs and bratwurst. Forrest is a DJ, but ironically enough, they hired a band for the reception! The Pop Rox were excellent and by the end of the night, everyone was on the dance floor. When the party was over, Tara and Forrest and a whole host of family and friends got on a party bus and headed downtown to do a bar crawl!

Tara and Forrest, your day was as bright and happy as you two. We are still so thrilled you chose us to photograph your Knoxville wedding!

Venue: Riverdale School | Florals: DIY | Dress: The Gilded Gown | HMUA: Kahlen Hibbing | Rentals: All Occasions Party Rentals | Officiant: Celebrations by Celeste | Band: Pop Rox
Catering: Bowties Street Food

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Knoxville Wedding Photographer | Warehouse Wedding Inspiration

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Knoxville Wedding Photographer | Warehouse Wedding Inspiration

Have you ever had a space you've seen then can't get your mind off of? That may just be a "me" thing, but it happens to me a lot. So here's what happens: I see a space. I oooh and ahhh over it, I drive Jesse insane talking about what I could do with said space to the point where he probably hates the space. Most of the time, that's where it ends. I never put my ideas into action because by the time I start, I can't pinpoint what I want to do. This is really no different, except I had a team of incredibly vendors to help me narrow down my thoughts.

White Space Studio is located on the 2nd floor of the Fireproof Storage and Van Co building downtown, close to the Old City. I've been lowkey obsessed with the building for the better part of 5 years, but highkey obsessed for at least the last 12 months. Back when Jesse first started Blacksheep, they operated out of one of the upper floors for a while. So often, we'd be at his "shop" way into the wee hours of the morning, taking breaks from printing to walk around the neat old building. When I first saw the 2nd floor, I fell in love. The bright white walls combined with the big old windows and a few thousand square feet of space are enough to make even the least creative of people swoon. After seeing the sun shine into the massive space, I was hooked.

I started envisioning a minimalist approach to a classic wedding, casually classy if you will. I wanted to design a scene that wouldn't take away from the awesome backdrop, and with the help of some awesome vendors, I think we accomplished that. Originally, I wanted to go for a warmer palette, with rich copper tones and warm woods, but at the last minute I got a wild hair and decided to make the scene a nice juxtaposition. I paired some of my white eames chairs with a rustic farmhouse table from All Occasions Party Rentals. Adding in Colleen's gold flatware and crystal goblets from her collection at Unique Settings gave just enough glam to the table setting.  Lesley with Blooming Collective designed the prettiest greenery runner, which smelled heavenly, as well as the perfect full bridal bouquet. I took several of the glass bottles from my own wedding and some fabric turned napkins from hobby lobby to complete the look. Jessica with J.C Cakes contributed the GORGEOUS naked cake with a caramel drip, which we set up separately on the neatest metal cabinets.

When it came time to pick a couple, I had the perfect pair in mind. Nick and Beth are a real couple (I only use real couples for styled shoots) and their chemistry added the perfect unspoken addition to the whole shoot. Beth is wearing a Pronovias dress from Loveliest, as well as a jewel sash and veil handpicked by Anna, Loveliest's owner. Christi Piontkowski styled Beth's hair in a classic updo that framed her face beautifully. Blair with Beauty by Blair added the finishing touches, a glam makeup look topped with bright red lips, a look we both agree pulled it all together. 

I am so thankful to be surrounded by such talent. We really are a dream team, and I could not be happier with how this shoot turned out. Thank you thank you thank you to all of the lovely vendors who helped make my dream a reality!

Venue: White Space Studio | Dress: Loveliest | Rentals: All Occasions & Unique Settings | Florals: Blooming Collective | Cake: J.C. Cakes | Hair: Christi Piontkowski | Makeup: Beauty by Blair 

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Knoxville Wedding Photographers | The Emporium Center + The Standard | Rob + Bria

Knoxville Wedding Photographers | The Emporium Center + The Standard | Rob + Bria

 All wedding photographers have bucket list venues that they want to shoot. If they tell you they don't, they're lying. These 2 Knoxville wedding photographers are no exception to the rule, so when Bria and Rob contacted us to shoot their wedding at TWO of our bucket list venues, we were floored. I mean, when does that ever happen? 
 We met Rob and Bria earlier this year for their engagement session and took some of our favorite photos yet. Almost every client we talk to mentions how they saw the cool JFG silhouette photo and wanted to talk to us about their own wedding. We knew after their engagement session (where we exchanged recommendations for mustard, who has the best bbq, and what spots in ATL were our favorites) that their wedding would be a blast. The thing we love the most about Rob and Bria is how genuinely kind they both are. We felt like we had known them for 10 years easily, which made the entire wedding process so relaxed. 
 Rob and Bria both got ready at The Standard on Jackson Ave, then we all headed up to The Emporium Center for their ceremony. Afterward, we took the long way around, trailing along under the bridge close to Jackson Terminal for some photos, then back up to The Standard for the reception. R & B did something really cool that I only wish we would have thought of for our own wedding- they ate upstairs, away from their guests. This allowed them to have a small break and celebrate as just husband and wife, but also to be fully prepared to host their guests when they got down to the party. There's nothing worse than greeting people with a mouthful of salad (which, by the way, Rob ate for the FIRST TIME EVER on their wedding day) and not being able to enjoy your food. We'll definitely be recommending that to future couples.
 Rob and Bria, you were an absolute delight to photograph. It is evident to everyone you meet how gracious and kind you both are, and we feel honored to have been a part of your day. 

Ceremony: The Emporium Center | Reception: The Standard | DJ: Ogle Entertainment | Florals: Hatler Florist | Rentals: All Occasions | Catering: Holly's Eventful Dining | Pies: Buttermilk Sky Dress: David's Bridal | HMUA: Tatyana Wilcox | Officiant: Brad Burling | Rings: Maryville Jewelers

Knoxville Boudoir Photographer | Self Love

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Knoxville Boudoir Photographer | Self Love

"I hate the way I look in photos, but I really want to do a session like this for my husband." 
Stop. Stop right there. I've heard a variance of that line probably 60+ times. I am not joking, I am not over exaggerating. 
Ladies, this post is about to get real. 

I need to hit a nerve with you, yes, you reading this, because I NEED this to sink in. 
You are beautiful. You are valuable. You are worth showing up for. 

When I was around 12, we had a group come and speak to my school about risky behaviors I think. I honestly don't remember what the initial topic was, but I remember that they split us up, boys with boys and girls with girls, and had a little breakout session. The man who talked to us ended our session with 3 of the most profound and powerful words I have ever had spoken to me, over me, about me: "You are valuable." 
I'm not entirely sure why that sunk in so much, because it wasn't like I had had a shitty life or didn't know I was valuable, but for some reason it did. I've carried that with me for years, thinking back on it when I've felt like I needed a jolt. Imagine if this guy knew what an impact he had had. Imagine if he understood that what he said to a room full of 12 year old girls so many years ago would help mold me into who I am and what I stand for. Imagine if this man could see that those very words inspire my business the most. 
I have to believe that if he knew that, he'd never stop saying them. Maybe he hasn't. Maybe he knows what a difference it can make to affirm someone's value. I do, and thats why I shoot boudoir. 

Your value is not in your pant size; it is not in the number on the scale. Your value doesn't fluctuate depending on if you've laid in the tanning bed this month or if your skin is particularly ashy today. Your value does not decrease when you're bloated, nor does it increase when you camouflage your flaws with makeup. Your value is not a variable. 

When you walk into my studio, into whatever space we're shooting in, you have to understand one thing: we are both human. We both have bodies we love to hate and we both have flaws we'd rather not showcase. This is where we have to change the narrative. 

No, I will not photoshop you into something you're not. No, I will not obsess over hiding your body behind things. No, I will not stop joking around with you because you hate your smile. No, I won't be that photographer who only shows up for the check.

Yes, I will embrace you exactly as you are. Yes, I will showcase your best assets, and help you believe that you are absolutely beautiful. Yes, I will tell insanely cheesy jokes and laugh with you at myself when I try to demonstrate a pose. Yes, I will be your #1 fan. 

In front of my camera, I need you to practice self love. I need you to believe that maybe just maybe, you're perfect the way you are. 


XOXO
Quinn


Quinn Barlow is a natural light boudoir photographer based out of Knoxville, TN. She focuses heavily on body positivity and self love, believing there is no "wrong" size/shape/color/age for boudoir. For more information, contact her at winxphoto@gmail.com

 

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Downtown Knoxville | Knoxville Engagement Photographers | Tara + Forrest

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Downtown Knoxville | Knoxville Engagement Photographers | Tara + Forrest

  This. Summer. Is. Hot. Seriously, we're absolutely melting. On an unseasonably cool day in June, praise the Lord hallelujah, these two Knoxville wedding photographers met up with one cute couple, Tara and Forrest, and made a little downtown Knoxville magic. 
  Tara and Forrest met downtown, so it was only fitting that we used it as their engagement session backdrop. We started with the iconic Tennessee theatre sign, then circled through Krutch Park, down the art alley, along the side of market square, then ended at Sapphire, where Forrest works and Tara watches. Forrest is a DJ at Sapphire (check him out when you get a chance) so they wanted to take a few fun pictures reversing the roles! While we were there, T & F introduced us to Frosé, which, basically, is an adult slushie. Talk about delicious. 
  These two downtown lovin' cuties are getting married this October at the COOLEST venue, Riverdale Schoolhouse, complete with food trucks, craft brews, and a live band. We cannot wait!

 

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Knoxville Wedding Photographers | Katie + Garrett

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Knoxville Wedding Photographers | Katie + Garrett

You know when you walk outside on a fall morning and you breathe in deep and even though its cold, its exactly what you need? Thats what Katie and Garrett's wedding was for us. 
.....Except it wasn't cold.
It also wasn't fall.
When we initially met Katie and Garrett, we knew they were a perfect match. We trespassed together and climbed up giant ladders just to check out the view, so obviously, we liked them from the start. Couples who commit small crimes together stay together, right? Katie and Garrett are the type of people who make you believe that true love exists and is worth it in every way. And if you already believe that, well, they make you believe it more. They're warm and exciting and personable and kind. They're the type of people who could get married in the middle of a field surrounded by horses in 90 degree weather and make it worth every second for their guests, which is exactly what they did. 
K & G's wedding party was packed full of fun people who really like to have a good time, including a 1 month old insanely cute baby (cue baby fever) and Katie's 2 sons, Kadin and Lyric. Also, Garrett's mama handmade Katie's bouquet, how cool is that? Though it was hot outside, that didn't stop people from shredding up the dance floor. I mean, even Garrett's grandma got in on the fun! We capped the night off with a sparkler exit and a sky that matched Katie's hair perfectly.

Katie, Garrett, being your Knoxville wedding photographers was a dream. We loved spending the day with you and your family, and we cannot wait for you to see your full gallery!

Venue: Benchmark Fams | HMUA: Southern Sirens | Dress: Oleg Cassini | Catering: Buddy's BBQ | Cake: Publix | Tent: Campbell's Tent

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Tsali Notch Vineyard | Knoxville Wedding Photographers | Kathryn + Hunter

Tsali Notch Vineyard | Knoxville Wedding Photographers | Kathryn + Hunter

Being a set of Knoxville wedding photographers, we're surrounded by talented individuals. We work with a lot of different vendors, who we're immensely thankful for, but occasionally we also get to work alongside a few other Knoxville photographers. When that happens, well, we make magic.
 This styled shoot was put together by one of our favorite's, Erin Morrison Photography, for the Looks Like Film East TN spring meetup! She partnered with a few of our other favorite vendors, listed below, and created a masterpiece. Our favorite part about doing group shoots is getting to see how everyone else shoots the scene. Knoxville is packed full of so many different photography styles, so representing a small portion of that really is an honor. We loved the use of a real couple, because you can absolutely feel the chemistry between them. Kathryn and Hunter knew exactly how to work a camera! The versatility of Kathryn's bouquet being in a basket really should become the next big floral trend. I mean, how cool is it that you can set the basket on the table with a few small tabletop rentals and you've got yourself a centerpiece? Kathryn's hair and makeup stayed absolutely perfect all afternoon, despite it being humid outside! Her dress by Sarah Seven was just the right amount of ethereal for running through the vineyards.
 Thank you again to everyone who played a role in making this styled shoot a success. We cannot wait to partner up in the future!


Venue- Tsali Notch Vineyard | Models- Kathryn and Hunter Patterson | Dress- The Dress Theory Nashville | Makeup- Beauty by Blair | Hair- Christi Piontkowski | Florals- Blooming Collective | Rentals- Vintage Inspiration Rentals