Logan + Jake's Stormy Summer Wedding at the Camp at Buffalo Mountain

We just want to start off this blog by saying how stinkin’ PERFECT the Camp is! The Camp at Buffalo Mountain is an amazing setting for any wedding, but especially for those outdoor brides that love the local scenery and want to celebrate the beautiful area that we live in along with their marriage.

The Camp sits on an amazing 107 acres , boasts a beautiful 17 bedroom retreat (perfect for those destination weddings and family members from out of town), along with a 5 bedroom house for you and your bridesmaids to get ready in and relax before you say I do!

Logan and Jake decided to say their vows under the pavilion, and they picked a great spot to do so because it stormed during their ceremony! You know the old saying - a knot that becomes wet is extremely hard to untie – therefore, when you “tie the knot” on a rainy day, your marriage is supposedly just as hard to unravel! The skies opened up right before Logan walked down the aisle and then cleared up immediately afterward for some fun portraits by the creek!

We wish Logan and Jake the absolute best for their marriage and many, many weekends hanging out with their dog, Porter.

Pam + Garrett's Cozy South Holston Lake Engagement Session | Northeast Tennessee Wedding and Elopement Photographer

Let us tell y’all something! Shooting on SoHo makes our heart SO full! It blows our mind that we have clients that want to bring us out on their boat for a sunset session on the lake! South Holston is probably one of our favorite places in the whole world to shoot at and we are just so thankful Pam and Garrett brought us out to spend the evening with them!

We jetted around the lake to capture some gorgeous mountain views and jammed to Weezer on the way back before ending our session at the Abingdon Vineyards where Pam and Garrett will throw a reception after saying their vows!

Melissa + Dustin's Sunny Avalon Farm Engagement Session | Northeast Tennessee Photographer, East Tennessee Photographer, Knoxville, TN Photographer

We met up with Melissa and Dustin at Avalon Farm in Jonesborough, TN for their engagement session a couple weekends ago and BOY, was it hot! We had watched the weather all day and went through two torrential downpours on our way to their session and surprisingly enough, it cleared up right when we met up with them and turned out to be a beautiful ( but hot) evening! These two tie the knot next May at Avalon Farm and we are so excited to be able to capture that for them!

Melissa and Dustin are so sweet and check out her ring, y’all! So unique and gorgeous! We love these two and their killer baseball theme to bits!

Taylor + Paul's Fall Engagement Session at Carver's Gap in Roan Mountain, Tennessee | Northeast Tennessee Wedding Photographer, East Tennessee Wedding Photographer

We met up with Taylor and Paul last October for their engagement session and boy howdy was it cold! These two braved the cold on top of Roan Mountain like champs. These two get married at the beautiful Camp at Buffalo Mountain in September. The Camp is one of our FAVORITE venues in the area! We love the nature vibes and the owners are just the sweetest and will bend over backward for you.

Taylor and Paul - thanks for coming out to brave the weather with us! We love your faces.

Kalina + Donavon's Intimate Rustic Wedding at Broken J Farm in Bristol, Tennessee | Northeast Tennessee Wedding Photographers, East Tennessee Wedding Photographers, Knoxville, TN Wedding Photographers

Kalina and Donavon were married at Broken J Farm in April on a bright and sunny day that you just couldn’t help but love despite the heat! Broken J Farm is a quaint little farm nestled in the hills of Tennessee, owned by the sweetest person ever, Tracy and her husband. Everyone was so sweet and accommodating there and made it a breeze to capture this couples perfect day!

Kalina and Donavon, we wish you the best in your marriage together! You two were just amazing to work with!

Photo Friendly Timelines | Northeast Tennessee Wedding Photographers, East Tennessee Wedding Photographers, Kingsport, TN Wedding Photographers, Knoxville, TN Wedding Photographers

A custom timeline is something so so important to making your wedding day the best possible! Think about it – would you rather be relaxing on your wedding morning, getting your hair and makeup done with no worry about whether or not you’ll be done in time for your first look? Or would you rather feel rushed and flustered, resulting in the MUA and hair artist feeling rushed and flustered, too? A rushed bride is a sad bride in our books! We have put together two sample timelines that work for your day as a bride and our day as photographers!

There are essentially two options to approaching your wedding day timeline. You first need to decide if you want to incorporate a first look into your wedding day. Read about the advantages of having a first look here! We have our traditional timeline in which the bride and groom do not see each other before the ceremony, and then we have our first look timeline. Each timelines has its own advantages and disadvantages!

The Traditional Timeline Based on Full Day of Coverage              

9AM: Wake/shower, eat breakfast, relax with bridesmaids
10AM: Hair and makeup begins for bridesmaids
11:45AM: Eat lunch! This will most likely be the last time you eat before the reception which is HOURS away!
12PM: Bride’s hair and makeup begins
12:30PM: Photographers arrive
12:30PM: Florist delivers flowers
1PM: Groom & Groomsmen arrive on site
1:15PM: Neal heads over to begin photographing Groom preparations while Lakyn takes care of bridal preparations
1:45PM: Bride gets into her dress
1:45PM: Neal starts Groom and Groomsmen portraits
2:00PM: Lakyn starts Bride and Bridesmaid portraits
2:30PM: Groom departs for ceremony OR if staying onsite, tucks away into the suite for relaxing
3:00PM: Bride departs for ceremony OR if staying onsite, tucks away into the suite for relaxing
4:00PM: Ceremony starts
4:30PM: Ceremony ends
4:35PM: Family portraits
4:45PM: Cocktail hour begins
5:00PM: Wedding Party portraits
5:10PM: Bridesmaids and Groomsmen meet at reception entrance for introductions
5:10PM: Bride & Groom Portraits
5:45PM: Introductions begin
5:50PM: Bride & Groom cut the cake
5:55PM: Prayer/Welcome by Father of Bride
6:00PM: Dinner served
6:30PM: Toasts
7:00PM: Cake served
7:15PM: First dance
7:20PM: Father-daughter dance
7:25PM: Mother-son dance
7:30PM: Any special dances go here! Think about a fun bridesmaid’s dance or an anniversary dance!
7:35PM: Open dance floor!
7:45PM: Bride and Groom take a few final photos at night or sunset
9:00PM: Bouquet/garter toss
9:05PM: Open dance floor with group photo
9:30PM: Late night snack served
10:30PM: Last dance; bride & groom send off

There are pros to this timeline like the lighting won’t be as harsh later in the day! However, because you spend most of your day apart, there will be less photos of you and your groom unless you allow a little more time between the ceremony and reception! You miss your cocktail hour and won’t have time for a receiving line if that’s something you want to incorporate.

The First Look Timeline Based on Full Day Coverage

9AM: Wake/shower, eat breakfast, relax with bridesmaids
10AM: Hair and makeup begins for bridesmaids
11:45AM: Eat lunch! This will most likely be the last time you eat before the reception which is HOURS away!
12PM: Bride’s hair and makeup begins
12:30PM: Photographers arrive
12:30PM: Florist delivers flowers
1PM: Groom & Groomsmen arrive on site
1:15PM : Neal heads over to begin photographing Groom preparations while Lakyn takes care of bridal preparations
1:45PM: Bride gets into her dress
2:00PM: First Look!
2:15PM: Wedding Party Photos
2:30PM: Bridal Party departs for ceremony together, or if staying onsite, tucks away into the suite for relaxing
2:30PM: Family portraits
3:00PM: Bride, groom and family depart for ceremony, or if staying onsite, tuck away for relaxing
4:00PM: Ceremony starts
4:30PM: Ceremony ends and cocktail hour begins. Option receiving line or more Bride and Groom portraits!
5:30PM: Guests are ushered into the reception site and find their seats; bridal party lines up for introductions
5:45PM: Introductions begin
5:50PM: Bride & Groom cut the cake
5:55PM: Prayer/Welcome by Father of Bride
6:00PM: Dinner served
6:30PM: Toasts
7:00PM: Cake served
7:15PM: First dance
7:20PM: Father-daughter dance
7:25PM: Mother-son dance
7:30PM: Any special dances go here! Think about a fun bridesmaid’s dance or   an anniversary dance!
7:35PM: Open dance floor!
7:45PM: Bride and Groom take a few final photos at night or sunset
9:00PM: Bouquet/garter toss
9:05PM: Open dance floor with group photo
9:30PM: Late night snack served
10:30PM: Last dance; bride & groom send off

The pros here are obviously all the portraits are finished before the ceremony save for the sunset/night portraits. This allows you to have a receiving line if you wish and attend your cocktail hour! First looks are sometimes essential during the fall and winter months where we don’t have a lot of day time light to work with! The con here is sometimes your portraits are taken near the middle part of the day where the sun is its harshest. As long as we can find a shady spot under a tree, we’re good to go, otherwise be prepared for some squinting!

We’ve shot a lot of weddings and here are a few things we’ve learned over time:

  • Get a good night’s sleep before your wedding! This will help keep stress in check and help you look your best in photos. If possible, both you and your Groom should spend the night near the place where you’re having your photos taken.

  • Keep your bridal suite tidy! You don’t want to have clutter in the background of your photos.

  • Have all your wedding details ready and in one place for when we arrive. Here’s a list of what we ask for and typically shoot, however feel free to include anything you want if it is sentimental. Our rule is if you spent money on it, if it was passed down, or given as a gift, you’ll want a photo.

  • Please arrange to have lunch delivered or already at the suite and PLEASE take time to eat! Dinner is always several hours away and having yourself or a party member end up lightheaded or end up with a headache from not eating is HORRIBLE!

  • Avoid having a TON of people in the bridal suite! This reduces overall stress! Include your bridesmaids and your mom and close family and then tell everyone else you’ll see them after the ceremony!

  • Family formals are a whole blog post on their own, so here it is!

Northeast Tennessee Wedding Photographers, East Tennessee Wedding Photographers, Kingsport, TN Wedding Photographers, Johnson City, TN Wedding Photographers, Bristol, TN Wedding Photographers, Knoxville, TN Wedding Photographers

Northeast Tennessee Wedding Photographers, East Tennessee Wedding Photographers, Kingsport, TN Wedding Photographers, Knoxville, TN Wedding Photographers

Our Favorite Venues | Northeast Tennessee Wedding Photographers, Asheville, NC Wedding Photographers, Charleston, SC Wedding Photographers, Tennessee Wedding Photographer

If you’re like us, you’re booking your photographer before your venue and any other vendor. We appreciate it and we got you. Here is a list of our favorite venues that we just love shooting at! This list constantly changes as we have opportunities to shoot at venues all over the country and world! If you don’t see your desired venue here, no worries! We love a challenge and would love to shoot somewhere we haven’t been before! All of the venues you see here have no travel fees!

Tennessee

Waterstone Venue – Johnson City, TN
The Social Event Facility – Kingsport, TN
Thomas Farm & Events – Church Hill, TN
Grace Meadows Farm – Johnson City, TN
The Blackthorn Club – Jonesborough, TN
Sugar Hollow Retreat – Butler, TN
MeadowView Convention Center – Kingsport, TN
The Camp at Buffalo Mountain – Jonesborough, TN
Still Hollow Century Farm – Greeneville, TN
Avalon Farm – Jonesborough, TN
The Magnolia – Pigeon Forge, TN
White Fence Farm – Trade, TN

Virginia

Crooked River Farm – Hiltons, VA
Mount Ida Farm – Charlottesville, VA
Windsong Barn at Konnarock – Damascus, VA
Buckeye Farm – Newport, VA
Middle Fork Barn – Meadowview, VA

North Carolina

The Venue Asheville – Asheville, NC
Biltmore – Asheville, NC
Twickenham House – Boone, NC
The View at Emerald Lake – Matthews, NC
Fussell Farm – Millers Creek, NC


South Carolina

Weddings at The Cliffs – Travelers Rest, SC
Hotel Bennett – Charleston, SC
The William Aiken House – Charleston, SC
The Creek Club at I’On – Charleston, SC
Legare Waring House – Charleston, SC
The Oaks Wedding Venue – Anderson, SC

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Where is My Money Going? | Northeast Tennessee Wedding Photographers, Tennessee Wedding Photographers, Asheville, NC Wedding Photographers, Charleston, SC Wedding Photographers,

If you’re here because we were telling you to raise your photography budget then here’s the nitty gritty of it. There are a lot of costs that go into small businesses, especially ours. We are a full-service studio, meaning we handle everything. We don’t outsource your photos to other people to handle. We curate your shoots, design your albums, hand edit each and every single photo and video we deliver. It’s our gear to give you the best photos possible, our artisan albums that will last forever, even our office space so we can answer emails and prep for your wedding! To think that some people think that all we do is push a button baffles us sometimes, but hey, those people aren’t educated like you are about to be. Consider us doing you a favor! You get to learn about what goes on behind the scenes and can debate against the “push a button” naysayers!

tennessee-wedding-photography-north-carolina-wedding-photography-south-carolina-wedding-photography-virginia-wedding-photography

 Professional Experience and Education: $80k student loans combined for 4 years of college each, plus we like to spend an additional $1-2k on educational workshops each year. Why? To better serve our wonderful couples.

 Pre-Production and Post-Production: If we only charged for the time we were actually at your wedding, then things might be a little different aka we wouldn’t be in business. We spend anywhere from 40-60 hours on each wedding. Before your wedding, this includes emailing and admin work like filing, signing contracts, bookkeeping, emailing back and forth, planning and consulting over coffee, creating your custom timeline, etc. This includes the work on your wedding day, which starts well before your coverage begins and goes through from the time we walk back through our door. We immediately back up your images in five different places until they are edited and delivered so we never lose files. Then after your wedding, this includes hand editing each and every photo that we deliver so it’s perfect, organizing your galleries so you can share with your families, designing your album and products and then delivering those albums and products.

 Equipment: We shoot with three Nikon D750s ($1300 each), a Nikon 85mm 1.4 ($1600), a Nikon 35mm 1.4 ($1700), a Nikon 24-70mm 2.8 ($2400 ), a 105mm 2.8 ($900). Our lighting kit consists of 4 speedlights ($350 each), 2 triggers ($300 each), 4 lightstands ($50 each) so we can properly light your ceremony or reception. Our memory cards are $50 each and we shoot on one and back up on the other. We use about 10 cards per wedding! Our videography kit includes 2 microphones ($180 each), our beloved drone ($1600), our stabilizer ($700), our slider ($1000). Not to mention batteries at $60 each (we have too many to count), filters for our lenses, camera bags, straps, etc. Anyone bother to add all this up? No? We did it for you and rounded up because we are positive we are missing something. We use $25,000 worth of gear to cover your event.

Business Expenses: Postage to mail your welcome kits and products ($20), our phones ($150), our internet ($80), our computers built specifically for photo and video editing so we can deliver your images and video promptly ($5000), our software ($1000). We are definitely forgetting stuff here.

 Taxes: 30% of every collection goes to the great Uncle Sam. *insert upside down smiley face here*

 Insurance and Business Licenses: This one is important. We are LICENSED and INSURED. We carry $1,000,000 worth of coverage.

Living Expenses: Of course, this will vary from business to business, but we have rent, car payments, pet and grocery bills just like the next person.

We have priced our services at a fair price for our clients, but also one that will keep us afloat and allow us to continue doing what we love. You can copy this exact blog post and use it for any other business, too. The next time you think, “Wow, that plumber is really expensive”, maybe consider that he might be the best in the business and that he also has a family to take care of, as well as business expenses.

We’d love to chat more with you if you have any questions on what it takes to run a small business! Shoot us an email if you’d love to learn more.

Shawna + Matt's Blush and Dusty Rose Intimate Wedding at the Foundation Event Facility in Bristol, TN

Shawna and Matt got married on a beautiful (and hot!) day in early September at the Foundation Event Facility.

The Foundation Event Facility is a GORGEOUS venue in Bristol, TN! It has three floors perfect for any size event, and the staff is so nice and accomodating! They helped me when I had some questions about a super secret room with a gorgeous brick wall I found to hang Shawna’s dress in for photos.

Shawna and Matt put so much planning into sharing moments together throughout their day with just the two of them. The first was a first look together in an alley where we would later do some night portraits with gorgeous bistro lights, and the second was having dinner together privately with each other! I had heard of this being done before but none of my couples never have done it, and I am SO glad that these two did because eating dinner together privately for the first time as husband and wife is just so meaningful and it gives you a chance to breathe and relax before the party begins.

My love for blended families runs deep and these two families became one in front of their friends and family with a sweet unity sand ceremony, and later celebrated their family with a special dance together on the dance floor! After everyone had eaten dinner and had some cake and the formal dances were over, it was time for the treat of the evening, an 80s cover band! The 80ATors were fantastic! They played all the classics and had a killer light show to boot!

Shawna and Matt, I wish you the BEST of the BEST in your life! You two have such awesome family and friends and I can’t thank you enough for letting me be a part of your big day!


The amazing vendors who helped make their day:

Venue: The Foundation Event Facility
Second Photographer: Pam Burke, Pam Burke Photography
Dress Designer/Boutique: Stella York, Annie’s Room
Shoes: Badgley Mischka
Jewelry and Accessories: Kendra Scott
Groom’s Attire: Calvin Klein
Entertainment: The 80ATors
Catering: 620 State
Cake: Cake Art by Margi Chambers