Big Ridge State Park Family Session :: The Wade Family

There is something special about meeting a couple to do their engagement session, photographing their wedding, and then them as a family with the arrival of their first child.  Watching them grow in love with each other every time I see them, it always amazes me how time changes us all of the time with only one thing remaining the same – love.  Of course we had to go back to the location of their engagement session and bring it all full circle.

So now meet Miss Olivia!

 

Knoxville Family Photographer
Norris Family Photographer
Clinton TN Family Photographer
Big Ridge State Park Family Session
Maryville Family Photographer
Newborn Family Lifestyle Session in Knoxville TN
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Almost Heaven Resort Wedding Pt 1 :: Bailey + Anthony

Bailey and Anthony’s Almost Heaven Resor Wedding was just that – almost heaven.  The day was gorgeous, the bride and groom lovely, the guests warm and friendly, the ceremony emotional, joyful, and sweet.

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In all my years of photographing weddings, I have never seen the father of the bride help her into her dress.  That might be one of the sweetest things I’ve ever witnessed.

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The First Look + Mountains in the background?!  To. Die. For!!!

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Stay tuned for Part 2!!!

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Culling a Wedding

While going through this last wedding I realized that I needed to revamp my culling style.  There were simply too many images to put into just 5 folders.  Yes, yes…  I used to do only 5 folders.   Right now I have 17 different folders for this wedding that separates items out hopefully making it easier for the bride and groom to go through and find something in particular that they wanted to see.  And I could break it down even further, but I think 17 will be plenty.  Haha!!

Before the folders read::
Details
Getting Ready
Ceremony
Formals
Reception

Easy enough and it worked for me for the last 4-5 years.  However, when you have close to 1000 images to give a bride and groom, that is a lot to go through in a single folder.

Now my folders read::
Wedding Dress Details
Bride Getting Ready
Groom Getting Ready
Venue Details
Bride Formals
Groom Formals
Bridal Party Formals
First Look
Ceremony
Reception Details
Family Formals
First Dance
Father Daughter First Dance
Mother Son First Dance
Toast + Speeches
Reception Fun
Getaway

I’m sure there will be some tweaking to this, but for now I think it will be so much easier to go through wedding images with a clear breakdown of what you are about to look through.  :)

This sweet little wedding’s big debut is set for this weekend!  Wait for it…

Culling Style

 

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Date Night!

It is FRIDAY which means one thing…  Date night is almost here!!!  Sean and I have been planning our date night for what seems like ever and it will finally be here tomorrow.  So yes, I’m extremely excited that today is Friday.  :)

Now it’s time to decide if it is a date night in, making homemade pizzas and watching Netflix OR do we get fancy and hang out in Downtown Knoxville???  We need your help deciding, so vote below in the comments section!!

That’s right, baby!  I’m leaving it up to the fates to decide what we do tomorrow night!!!

This is from our last date night in June.

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Going on your own date night?!  Friday Photo Challenge- Date night!!!  Tag your pictures with #DateNight and/or #FridayPhotoChallenge

 

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Do I really need to blog to be successful?

I see photographers ask “Do I really need a blog to be successful? I don’t have an idea of what I would write about and I’m not that great at writing.”  My answer is yes.  Yes, you need a blog.  There are a few reasons why I think you should have a blog and even one that might make you skip it altogether.

1)  S.E.O!!!!!  Wanna show up in Google when potential clients are looking for a photographer?  Best get to blogging!  Each time you create a post you are updating your SEO and boosting your way through the Google ranks.  That is wonderful for your business!!

2) But I use Facebook/Twitter/Instagram/Pinterest.  Isn’t that enough?!  Those are all great outlets, but what if a potential client doesn’t do social media, but instead will read a blog?  Not all clients use social media platforms the same.  I think to be successful you have to be in places where your clients are.

3) I’m a horrible writer!  Well, so am I.  Have you read my blog?!  It’s a Grammar Nazi’s DREAM!!!!!  If you could print my posts and turn it in to be graded, I guarantee you would see red all over.  I think it is okay if you aren’t the best writer out there.  No one is looking for perfection.  If it bothers you that badly you could hire someone to edit your blogs or even write your blogs for you.  Be sure if you let someone write the blogs for you, that you can put your own twist on it or it will seem inconsistent with your branding.  Clients want to trust you and branding inconsistencies do not create trust.

4) I have no idea what to write about.  Welcome to the Writer’s Block Club!  It can be easy to feel uninspired.  However, keep reading and I’ll give you a couple of tips on how to keep your brain in writing mode.  And if you never get writer’s block, then don’t talk to me.  Just don’t.  Lucky dog.

5) Who would read my blog?  You never know who may come across your blog.  And there may be days when you only have a handful of people visit (I’ve been there) and there may be days when you have thousands of people stop by (I’ve been there, too).  The thing of it is you have to be consistent.  It might just be your momma reading for a while.  Or maybe a client might stalk your posts and tell friends and then their friends start stalking your posts.  You just never know.  It doesn’t happen overnight but if you work hard enough you could get quite a following!

 

Blogging Tips//

Here are a few tips that I have picked up over the years that have helped my blogging!

1) It’s okay to be personal.  Why?  It makes you relatable.  If clients cannot relate to you, then they are never going to feel comfortable using you as a photographer.

2) Post consistently.  Posting every couple of months makes you look lazy.  If nothing else, post something at least once a week.  It doesn’t have to be a 5,000 word essay.  It could just be a thought or an image.  The best bet would be the thought and the image together.

3) Create a blogging schedule.  Write out how many days a week you would like to blog and then come up with 10-15 topics that you could easily write something about.  You could pre write those posts, or you could be like me and fly by the seat of your pants..  I blog every weekday morning.  Sometimes I know what I’m going to say.  Sometimes I don’t.  I feel like that shows a piece of me.  It’s me and not a scripted version of me.

4) Be consistent!!!!  Oh wait, did I say that already?  Sorry, it’s just that important.

5) If you absolutely do not like blogging, but you have a blog, and your last post is older than a month, etc….  Then I suggest taking your blog down.  Why??  Because clients may perceive you as lazy or not busy and will move on quietly to the next photographer who does post consistently.  It’s true.  I get bored waiting for the next blog to come out if it has been a few weeks since the last one.  Then I <gasp!> forget about you.  Sad day.

 

I hope this helps your blogging woe’s.   It really isn’t hard and doesn’t require a HUGE amount of time.  Mostly just heart… and spell check.  Gotta love spell check.:)

 

And true to form, no blog should be without a cute picture.  This one will do just nicely!

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Pop Up Wedding Photography :: Wednesday Wedding Planning

A couple of weeks ago a sweet friend of mine called me to chat about a little pop up wedding that she had just booked.  She explained to me how she loved everything about this wedding EXCEPT the time of day for ceremony and portraits.  Her client has seen her work and loves the softness of light in her images, yet has decided to start the photography part of her short wedding day at 2 pm.  She wasn’t frustrated at her client but frustrated for her client because she knows that she can not get those creamy images her client loves with the hard light that midday brings.

Many times a wedding day is set in stone because we are there at least 8 or 9 hours and the ceremony is at a time that is guest friendly.  We are taking all sorts of photos from getting ready to the time you leave your reception and itineraries are what they are.  I see it.  I get it.  BUT if you are choosing to do a pop up wedding and want fabulous pictures, take the opportunity at planning your wedding ceremony at the BEST part of the day for wedding photos.

Generally you will want to schedule your ceremony an hour to an hour and half before sunset if you are not seeing each other before the wedding or an hour before if you do see each other before the ceremony.  That will give you the best of couple formals AND enough time to grab 10-15 minutes of that perfect sunset light for a warm romantic bride and groom sunset session.  Talk about getting the bang for your buck!

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Baby Clay :: Family Session, Clinton, TN

I couldn’t believe my eyes when I peeked into her car.  He was trying to take the last little bit of his bottle from his daddy, but that wasn’t what had surprised me.  I looked at him and shook my  head in almost disbelief that this was the same baby I had photographed 5 months earlier.  The 5 lb infant that I could snuggle and be reminded of just how tiny Jace during those early weeks, that sweet little baby was still reminding me of Jace.  At nearly 15 lbs he is a thriving, happy, and healthy 6 month baby.  Gosh they grow so fast.

 

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Do you need to update your family portraits?  I have limited availability this Fall due to a busy wedding season.  Email me soon to schedule your session – jennifer@jennbrownphoto.com

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The Simple Life

Lately it isn’t hard to find blogs or pins giving you a vision of a “minimalist lifestyle” from food you eat to how many clothes are in your closet to even your home (think modular studio apartment).  The idea is that you only own things that are useful and everything else goes away to charity or you sell it.

It kind of give weight to “less is more” and “use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without.”  If you are pursuing this lifestyle you might be called a Minimalista: a person living a well designed, inspired, minimalist lifestyle.  Sounds kind of cool, a little hard, and I might be a little intrigued.

This lifestyle idea took me by surprise.  I’ve heard of people talking about doing things like this before, but it seemed like there would never be a way to get truly away from stuff.  My stuff, Sean’s stuff, Wade’s stuff, and Jace’s stuff.  Why is it that someone so tiny has the most amount of stuff?!!  It’s crazy!  Then there is house stuff, pantry, mail, furniture, etc…  There is just so much stuff!  And thinking about where to start?  Totally overwhelming for me and yet I found myself pinning things and becoming inspired by a simple life.  It is taking what matters more and making a home for it and getting rid of the excess.

Just think about this with me.  All of the clutter, all of the junk, the toys the kids no longer play with, the clothes you haven’t worn in 2+ years, the food in your kitchen that you probably won’t eat, that gross junky area that “stuff” just seems to gravitate towards… all of that mess gone.  What’s left?  Clean, free space to make useful.  A homework station, an organized office, a living room that is inviting because it is clear of mess, a closet that is easy to find something to wear, a home that can be LIVED in.

Coming home this evening to a clutter of stuff makes me think of stress, frustration, and MORE housework versus the alternative- coming home this evening to a home that is thought out, clutter free and feels more like your personal oasis where it is FUN to live in and much easier to keep clean.

But Jenn, there is SO much to do!!!!  Where will you begin?  Oh yes, I can already hear my husband snickering at me while reading this.  This girl will have to start small.  I have a lot on my plate and tackling the whole house in one day is out of the question.  Instead I will be tackling a room or a cause (haha!!) at a time.  Just like Clean House, I will have 3 boxes labeled: sell, trash, and keep.  And if stuff doesn’t sell, then it gets donated.  I have a month and a half to do this to get ready for my yard sale, so I have plenty of time to do it but I also have a deadline.  I have to have a deadline or I will procrastinate like crazy and it may never happen and this has got to happen.

To put it out there even further….  I will be documenting the whole thing.  With photographic evidence.  I have 6 Mondays do the whole house – every room and the junk drawer(s).  Wanna join?!  Let’s get to decluttering!!!!  You can hashtag your successes by using #FreeYourHome and or #MinimalistChallenge.  Let’s see what you are getting rid of and the fresh, clean, and purposeful space you just created!!!

My Mountain Top

 

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The First Day of School

So momma?  How did you do??  How was the first day of school for your little one?  We were all a little sad about it, but at the same time we know that it was time.  Time for the routine to come back, time for more learning, time to see friends, and time to give Mae Mae and Pop a break.

Of course Wade wanted his Kindergarten teacher to be his 1st Grade teacher and was devastated when I told her that she had moved and was teaching at another school now.  But why????  He’s such a sweet boy.

In honor of the first day/week of school, today’s Friday Photo Challenge will be those first day of school photos you took or will be taking.  Don’t forget to tag them!!!  The tag for these will be #1stDayOfSchool

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Sweet Light and Summer Time

I feel like I’ve been so quiet lately and I’m not!  I promise I’m working nonstop with edits to get out to some sweet folks.  Thank you, thank you for your patience!!

I wanted to share one last sweet peek before this gallery is released.  I just cannot get over this GORGEOUS evening light.  Oh yes, that is what summer sun gives you at just the right time. These were taken right around 6:45 pm.

Sweet Summer Light

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