Asheville NC Wedding Photographer

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.

Sarah and Cole's Carver's Gap Engagement Session in Roan Mountain, TN

A little late on this blog since these two crazy-in-love people are getting married this week! Sarah and Cole met in her mom's classroom at a local high school and I think it's safe to say it was destined from the beginning that these two would find love with each other. From what we've talked about planning wise during our consultations, their wedding is going to be super sweet (cue crying behind the camera) and very reliant on their faith!

This engagement session was such a fun time! We hiked to the top of Carver's Gap in Roan Mountain, TN, and even though the mountains were a little hazy on this particular evening, it didn't stop us from getting amazing portraits! We had great conversations about our families and their plans for after they get married! I have no doubt in my mind that these two are going to do amazing things together as husband and wife!

I can't wait for these guys' wedding at a church here in Kingsport, TN and their reception at The Social! It's going to be blast!

Intimate Mountain Wedding at White Fence Farm in Trade, TN

If any of you guys know me personally, you’ll know I’m a little OCD. Not really in the fact that I am a tidy person, but more in the fact that I keep track of my time in a journal sometimes down to the minute and eat my M&M’s coordinated by color (brown first, blue last). Also, when there’s rain in the forecast on a week that I have a wedding, I’m obsessively checking about five different weather apps to the point where my phone dies. I watched the weather for this wedding for two weeks! It was the first of my 2018 season and by George, it was NOT going to rain. Except the five weather apps said there was about a 90% chance of rain. For two weeks. I was so SURE that the weather predictions would change in the period of two weeks, but they didn’t budge at all. I think by the time wedding day was here it was down to 70%, but still – in the mountains in East Tennessee, that pretty much means it’s gonna rain.

 

Thankfully, it never rained during the ceremony or reception. We did get a light shower right before the ceremony but all was well the rest of this magical night.

 

I had the privilege of meeting Kelsey and Ian sometime last year through a website known for putting together clients and wedding vendors. We clicked on the phone right away and I knew deep down their wedding would be an amazing one. Not only was it decorated beautifully, but it was decorated with a style that definitely fit them as a couple! Kelsey and Ian said their vows surrounded by beautiful mountains, but also so many of their friends and family. They continued the celebration with traditional cultural dances and dances to music like Mumford and Sons and Caravan Palace (a couple of my own heart and Spotify, if I say so myself). They finished the night off with a beautiful display of fireworks and a hot drinks bar! 

I thank you guys from the bottom of my heart for letting me capture such a special day. I wish you both a lifetime of happiness in your marriage!

Wedding Decor Trends for 2018

If you’re like me, you mindlessly scroll Facebook until you see something interesting or drama inflicting, and earlier today I saw something that literally made me gasp. It was an article (not going to say by who but if you’ve seen it you know it) calling for all brides and couples to stop using burlap and mason jars in their wedding decor. 

I’m here to tell you to shove opinions like this out of your head and use whatever you want for your wedding decor! It doesn’t matter to anyone but you if you use burlap, mason jars, decorate the table with blades of grass from your grandma’s front yard, whatever! A lot of time brides think, “Well, I wonder if people will like this?”  

My dearest brides, stop worrying about what other people will like or think will look cool and worry more about what you want to see images of in your wedding gallery. If that means a burlap wrapped mason jar with sunflowers in it, then so be it! Your wedding should celebrate who you and your spouse are as a couple! I’ve shot many weddings and seen many, many styles and every time I see burlap and mason jars, I smile because I know that’s that couples personality coming through in their wedding. Just like I smile when I seen huge centerpieces with intricate flowers or no centerpieces but cameras and a bottles of beer. 

So, this is me, your wedding photographer, telling you that it’s 2018. Decorate your tables how YOU want to, and not how some magazine says something will be trending. 

 

Side note: I can take very good macro images of blades of grass. 😂 

Love, 

Lakyn

Rustic, country wedding at Willow Creek acres in Kingsport, TN, Limestone, TN

Rustic, country wedding at Willow Creek acres in Kingsport, TN, Limestone, TN

Rustic, country wedding at Willow Creek acres in Kingsport, TN, Limestone, TN

Rustic, country wedding at Willow Creek acres in Kingsport, TN, Limestone, TN

Rustic, country wedding at Thomas Farm Events in Kingsport, TN, Church Hill, TN

Rustic, country wedding at Thomas Farm Events in Kingsport, TN, Church Hill, TN

Classic, intimate wedding at Meadowview Convention Center and Domtar Cabin in Kingsport, TN, Jonesborough, TN

Classic, intimate wedding at Meadowview Convention Center and Domtar Cabin in Kingsport, TN, Jonesborough, TN

Classic, intimate wedding at Meadowview Convention Center and Domtar Cabin in Kingsport, TN, Jonesborough, TN

Classic, intimate wedding at Meadowview Convention Center and Domtar Cabin in Kingsport, TN, Jonesborough, TN

Classic, intimate wedding at Meadowview Convention Center and Domtar Cabin in Kingsport, TN, Jonesborough, TN

Classic, intimate wedding at Meadowview Convention Center and Domtar Cabin in Kingsport, TN, Jonesborough, TN

Country Wedding at Willow Creek Acres in Limestone, TN

I don’t even have words for how beautiful this day was. I’m normally successful holding back happy tears at weddings, but this one was crazy hard to do that. Ryan and Alyssa deserve every ounce of love and every amazing thing that happens for them. Their love and happiness is evident just by looking at them, and it radiates to their friends and family around them. Congratulations on a gorgeous day and a lifetime of memories!


Vendors:

Dress: David's Bridal

Hair: Jenny Lea Academy

Cake: Amber Horton

Makeup: Julia Wilson

DJ: Taft Simmons

Gorgeous table centerpieces | Kingsport, TN Wedding Photography  

Gorgeous table centerpieces | Kingsport, TN Wedding Photography  

The brides bouquet was HANDMADE! | Kingsport, TN Wedding Photography  

The brides bouquet was HANDMADE! | Kingsport, TN Wedding Photography  

Delicious cake! | Kingsport, TN wedding photography 

Delicious cake! | Kingsport, TN wedding photography 

Walking down the aisle to some fun fall colors | Kingsport, TN Wedding Photography  

Walking down the aisle to some fun fall colors | Kingsport, TN Wedding Photography  

Close up of this gorgeous handmade bouquet | Kingsport, TN Wedding Photography  

Close up of this gorgeous handmade bouquet | Kingsport, TN Wedding Photography  

A venue specialty - Osage oranges! | Kingsport, TN Wedding Photography 

A venue specialty - Osage oranges! | Kingsport, TN Wedding Photography 

Love the bridal suite | Kingsport, TN Wedding Photography  

Love the bridal suite | Kingsport, TN Wedding Photography  

IMG_9961.JPG
A moment of good ole southern prayer | Kingsport, TN wedding photography  

A moment of good ole southern prayer | Kingsport, TN wedding photography  

What a gorgeous venue Willow Creek Acres is! | Kingsport, TN Wedding Photography  

What a gorgeous venue Willow Creek Acres is! | Kingsport, TN Wedding Photography  

An emotional groom | Kingsport, TN wedding Photography  

An emotional groom | Kingsport, TN wedding Photography  

The newlyweds! | Kingsport, TN Wedding Photography  

The newlyweds! | Kingsport, TN Wedding Photography  

The gorgeous bride | Kingsport, TN Wedding Photography  

The gorgeous bride | Kingsport, TN Wedding Photography  

The beautiful ceremony | Kingsport, TN Wedding Photography  

The beautiful ceremony | Kingsport, TN Wedding Photography  

9 Tips for Your Engagement Session: Outfit Edition | Kingsport, TN Wedding Photographer

1.  First things first. When preparing for your engagement session, the first step is to make sure you choose a great photographer with a personality that you love.  Consider whether they will be able to make you feel comfortable in front of the camera during your engagement session and keep you calm on your wedding day. Will you be able to laugh with them, let loose, and show your true smile? When you have a wedding photographer you completely trust to capture all of the most important moments, then you can sit back, relax, and let them do their job of making you look beautiful.

2. Location. Before you start picking out your outfits, you should determine the location of your shoot. Engagement sessions are meant to be personalized to the max so I always encourage my couples to pick a location that is special to them. Once you choose that location, you can start choosing your outfits.

3. Accessorize. Wear or bring lots of accessories! A necklace, a bunch of bracelets, a scarf, a hat, cute shoes... the list goes on. For guys, I recommend watches or a favorite belt or necklace!

4. Complement each other! Coordinating your outfits a little bit is fine, but don’t wear matching outfits. If you don’t dress like each other every day of the week, I don’t recommend dressing the same for your engagement shoot. However, wearing colors that complement each other and pieces that have common shades are fine.

5. Layer it up. Clothes often photograph better when they are layered, so consider adding a cardigan, blazer, or jacket to finish your look. The weather in Northeast Tennessee can be pretty unpredictable all year round, so prevent uncomfortable photo sessions by layering your look. That way, if you decide to have some photos taken in the cool shade and then hike to your next sunny location, you don’t have to break a sweat. Layers are also great because they hide areas you might not feel comfortable flaunting. For the guys, depending on the weather, it’s often simple enough to have another shirt under a sweater or jacket to change things up halfway through the shoot. Layers can also include accessories like a vest or belt, which always add another element to the photos.

6. Choose outfits that you feel beautiful in. Don’t worry about all of the rules of what you should and shouldn’t wear; simply make sure you feel great when you look in the mirror. Coordinate your colors but don’t be too matchy.  I typically ask couples to bring 2-3 outfit changes for an engagement session, but make sure to ask your photographer how many outfits to bring.  If you’re really stuck on what to wear, ask your photographer if you can send them photos of your outfit options and let them give you their opinion

7. Personal Touches/ Special Heirlooms. Add a touch of sentiment to your photos by including an item that is special to you: your grandmother’s locket, your father’s watch, your favorite sports team jersey or your cowgirl boots.  These items will add a personal touch  and will make your images even more meaningful as you look at them today, tomorrow, or 30 years down the road.

8. If you want extra ROMANTIC images, consider wearing something long and flowy! I absolutely love photographing fabric that flows in the wind! Also, light & neutral colors allow images to appear more light and airy no matter what the weather is like!

9. Don’t over think it! Some of my favorite outfits have been when the guy is just wearing a simple colored v-neck!

 

10 Things Brides Forget | Kingsport, TN Wedding Photographer

As much as you prepare for your big day, as the fates would have it, things are forgotten. If you're like me, you have lists upon lists of stuff that you can't forget, and then when the time comes, you forget the lists. During my time as a wedding photographer, I have noticed the following things being forgotten, when they're probably one of the most important!

1. The Invitation Suite – The invitation suite is one of my favorite things to style with the rest of your details on your big day. You should remember to pack at least one full suite and any other stationery details that were mailed out during the engagement.

2. Getting Ready Playlist - What's better than a playlist curated by your bridal party? Nothing short of saying I do to your sweetie. Champagne, your favorite girls and some good tunes always make getting ready a little more fun.

3. Marriage License – Seems like common sense, but I've seen it forgotten plenty of times.

4. Phone Chargers – As much as we know you want an unplugged wedding, making sure your phone is charged so is vendors can get a hold of you (or your contact person) is important if something needs to be addressed

5. Eat Your Cake - You'll be having so much fun that it'll be hard to get in more than one bite of your wedding cake. Girl, you paid good money for that! Make sure to appoint a person (or let me know and I can hook you up) to cut a few slices for your and hubby to enjoy after the wedding or if you're crazy like me, for breakfast the next day.

6. Clean the Bling – Your engagement ring goes through a lot! Make sure to have it cleaned so it has that extra sparkle for your wedding day

7. Emergency Kit – Again, common sense, and I always have one on me, but it never hurts to have back ups. Make sure to include things like Bobby pins, safety pins and stain removers!

8. Feed Your Vendors – We work hard to make sure your day is perfect! We will eat quietly away from your guests and appreciate every bite insert angel emoji here

9. Online Reviews – We live for reviews! Make sure to write out a small review for each of your vendors on social media or the knot! Not sure where to review? Shoot me an email and I'll let you know

10. Unplug Your Wedding - There are so many reasons why you should opt for an unplugged wedding. Mostly, it ensures you have the best possible images of your ceremony (i.e. no huge phones/tablets in the way of your first kiss), and also it lets your guests really take that beautiful journey with you and your sweetheart from the first time he sees you, to the first kiss.