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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.

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

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.

Navy and Blush Romantic Wedding at the Social Event Facility in Kingsport, TN

I think every last one of my peers in the photography field have been so sick and tired of rain this season. It seems like every weekend, there’s rain! Well, these two found the solution – just get married on a Thursday and you’ll have beautiful weather! It was blistering hot in Kingsport on their big day and I’d just like to go ahead and say in advance to all of my future brides THANK YOU for putting up with me looking a hot mess during your summer wedding. It might not seem like it, but photography is hard work especially when you are holding your breath, bent over some important details trying to get a focal point sharp in 90+ degree weather.

When Sarah’s mom contacted me earlier this year about shooting their wedding, I knew it was going to be a special one, but I didn’t know how special. The love that Sarah and Cole share, not only for each other, but for their faith, is so evident in everything that anyone who looks at their photos can tell that every detail was planned with this very love in mind. These two met in Sarah’s mom’s classroom at the local high school while she was helping him write a sermon. Sarah told me that Cole had a reputation of someone who was very faithful and that was something that stood out to her.

Their wedding was beautiful! Watching these two say their vows and proclaim their love for each other in front of their friends, family and God was something truly special. Their ceremony was perfectly timed for some gorgeous sunset photos on top of the parking garage in Kingsport and then later we headed to the Social Event Facility for their reception, which was a true party complete with not one, but three special dances, a delicious dinner and cake from Petite Sweets, and great music to dance along to!

Sarah and Cole, I wish you a world of happiness in your marriage! Your wedding has been one of my favorites yet!

A list of the wonderful vendors who made their big day come true:

Second Photographer: Pam Burke Photography
Videographer: James Gray Videography
Cake: Petite Sweets
Dress: Allure Bridal
Shoes: Bagdley Mischka
Venue and Catering: The Social Event Facility

Neyland's Six Month Sitter Session at Domtar Park in Kingsport, TN

I started out this photography journey almost ten years ago and when I started I mainly photographed babies and maternity! I've had a couple of those shoots over the past week and it definitely gets me back to my roots and feeling a little sentimental! I love my weddings, but it's fun to go back to where you started!

Neyland was such a joy to be around and his giggles were definitely contagious! He put up with the humidity like a trooper! I hope I get to photograph his one year session so I can see how much he has changed!

 

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!

Lakefront Engagement Session at South Holston Lake in Bristol, TN

I'm just going to start out by saying - you can't really beat an engagement session on a boat! I met up with Shawna and Matt at Lakeview Dock in Bristol, TN, overlooking the always beautiful South Holston Lake for their engagement session!

We spent the afternoon boating around the lake to find the perfect spot, which proved difficult because we had just come off of what seemed like weeks of rain and some areas were flooded. We finally found a place on Cliff Island, a popular small island with the locals, where we climbed up to the top to get some beautiful portraits with the lake in the background.

Matt boated us back to the dock for a quick change of clothes and then we milled around the docks a little longer, getting some sweet, romantic pictures of these two lovebirds just hanging out and doing what they do best - loving each other. I can't wait for their wedding in September at the Foundation Event Facility in Bristol, TN! They have some great ideas so far and I can't wait to see how they execute them and truly make that space their own!

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!

Adventure Engagement Session at Beauty Spot in Kingsport, Tennessee

These two are such sweethearts and such total troopers too! I knew I would get along with them during our initial phone call, however I knew it even more so when they were so patient with the road closure to Beauty Spot and the frigid cold weather and wind we got the day of their session!

I cannot wait for their wedding at White Fence Farm in Trade, TN! I'm so sure their personalities will shine through everything on their big day!