sarah + eric are married! | laytns land-n | yulee fl | jacksonville wedding photographer | yulee wedding photographer

March 2, 2013 / Laytns Land-n | Yulee, FL

Ceremony: Laytns Land-n, Yulee FL
Reception Venue: Laytns Land-n, Yulee FL
Wedding Coordinator: Southern Charm Events
Floral: Blossoms and Accents, Rachel Ely
Cake Artist: Metro Custom Cakes
DJ: Feedback Entertainment
Hair Artist: Paperwhite Salon
Makeup Artist:
Bridal Gown: Maggie Sottero
Men’s Suits: Men’s Warehouse
Officiant: David w/ River City Weddings

I was SO excited when Sarah and Eric decided to hire me as their wedding photographer!! Her style was a perfect match with mine, & we hit it off like old friends right away. Although we always managed to get beautiful pictures together… I have to say, the weather has NEVER been on our side. When I did their first engagement session we were completely rained out. Literally, we shot in the rain until Sarah and Eric were soaked. The second time we attempted their pictures it was totally overcast and cloudy… but luckily, didn’t rain. And for their wedding day… it was *COLD!!!* I don’t just mean “oh, that’s kinda chilly”, it was BITTER COLD and WINDY. Probably around 40 degrees- and for us Floridians, that is about as cold as it gets. Sarah and her beautiful bridesmaids were such troopers with their pictures, and it was WELL worth the chilly weather! The ceremony was absolutely beautiful, Sarah was STUNNING in her Maggie Sottero gown, and the reception was a P-A-R-T-Y! Brent and I were SO honored to photograph this wedding, and are so happy for the newlyweds! :) Congratulations Mr and Mrs Tanner… we love you guys! xoxo

Like I said… it was REALLY COLD.. LOL! this was a much needed  warm-up snuggle in-between formals!! ;)

*PSA: Prepare yourself for one of the most tear-jerking daddy/daughter dances EVER!!*

This was BY FAR the most creative (and awesome!) garter removals we have ever seen! The groomsmen took position- and once the situation was “secured”, the groom came in and safely removed the garter from his bride. ;)

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Amanda BrownMarch 19, 2013 - 9:12 pm

I am in love with this venue that couple and your amazing work…It all looks so wonderful.Great Job!!!

Mirela KasimovicJune 5, 2013 - 3:48 am

Amazing work ..!! Wonderful snaps and one of the pic reminded me the ponds ad.. Its so pretty and adorable :) Sweet pair and the brides pearl accessories are lovely :)

alison + trent are married! | fernandina beach photographer | sugar pointe, yulee fl

February 23, 2013 / Fernandina Beach, FL | Yulee, FL

Ceremony: First Presbyterian Church, Fernandina Beach FL
Reception Venue: Sugar Pointe, Yulee FL
Floral: Dottie B (Ceremony) & Darlene Baker (Reception)
Cake Artist: Publix
DJ: The DJ Company
Hair Artist: Somer, Images Salon- Fernandina Beach, FL
Makeup Artist:
Tamara, Serenity Salon- Fernandina Beach, FL
Bridal Gown: Pronovias (The Bridal Shoppe- Jacksonville FL)
Bridesmaids Gowns: The Bridal Shoppe, Jacksonville, FL
Men’s Suits: Men’s Warehouse (River City Marketplace)
Rentals: Beachview Rentals, Woodbine, GA
String Trio: Kathy Dennis, Lois & Debbie

Alison and Trent’s wedding day didn’t exactly go according to plan. Alison planned a February wedding because she wanted a nice chilly day, but it was the exact opposite! We’re talking 80+ degrees at the end of February (good ol’ Florida!). However, despite the warm temperatures, humid weather, and massive swarms of gnats that attacked us during their formals, we still managed to get some beautiful pictures that were totally worth the sweating & itching. :) Thankfully, the 60% chance of rain that had been forecasted all week held off- until literally the exact moment Brent and I left the reception. I mean literally, when we were walking to our car the rain began to downpour and we had to make a run for it with our cameras tucked under our clothes! Even if “plans” hadn’t exactly run perfectly, at the end of the day Alison and Trent had become husband and wife… and it was a beautiful ceremony that united them. We were SO beyond honored to capture your wedding day, Alison and Trent- and we hope you absolutely love your pictures as much as we enjoyed taking them!

Oh, and we also had a BLAST at this reception…it was quite the party. Brent did the wobble… (and the cupid shuffle..and the wop..), I ate some cake, and we all learned how to dougie! ;) ENJOY!

 Both Alison & Trent’s fathers had passed away. They had the sweetest memorial table for their dads. <3

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Lee ScofieldMarch 5, 2013 - 10:16 pm

I like them all, but the three of the cake cutting with the lights in the background are my favorites. They make it look like there were fireworks going off as if in a Disneyworld celebration of the stars.

Cynthia SappMarch 6, 2013 - 7:05 pm

The photos are absolutely beautiful! Alison is a stunning bride!

Mirela KasimovicMarch 11, 2013 - 9:08 am

Photographs are beautiful and amazing.. bride looks stunning!!
Makeup + Photographs = Perfect wedding … Beautiful moments to cherish with!!

Patti LongoMarch 29, 2013 - 3:58 pm

Breathtaking to say the least!!

drayton & mitch are married! | jacksonville wedding photographer | florida yacht club wedding

February 9, 2013 / Jacksonville, FL

Ceremony: Ortega United Methodist Church
Reception Venue: Florida Yacht Club
Floral: Bill Wilson (Wilson’s Limited)
Cake Artist: Kakes by Katie
Hair & Makeup: Angela and Aimee (Salon 192)
Bridal Gown: Martina Liana- Love, A Bridal Boutique (Jax Beach)
Bridesmaids Gowns: Love, A Bridal Boutique
Men’s Suits: Jos A Banks

 

For all the couples out there debating on doing a “first look” but are worried that your groom won’t have that “reaction” he might have had seeing you walk down the aisle… this blog is here to prove you wrong! This couple did the sweetest first look, and you will see proof that the groom was still in tears when his bride came walking down the aisle- NOTHING can beat that moment! :) This wedding was full of love and emotion- both laughter and tears, and it was an honor to be able to capture it all with my fiancé, Brent Culbertson Photography. (Thanks for all your help, honey!) Hope you enjoy the pictures, it’s always a pleasure being able to shoot at a venue that’s as beautiful as the Florida Yacht Club- especially when your bride and groom are basically super models. ;)
XOXO! <3 Jenn

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elizabeth & justin, married! | tallahassee wedding photographer | calvary baptist church wedding

January 26, 2013 / Monticello, FL

Ceremony: Calvary Baptist Church
Reception Venue: Calvary Baptist Church
Linens:
AZ Rent All, Tallahassee FL
Floral: Gellings
Cake Artist: Malissa Reams
Hair & Makeup: Leslie Szendel
Bridal Gown: WTOO by Waters (Vocelles; The Bridal Shoppe, Tallahassee FL)
Bridesmaids Gowns: French Novelty, Jacksonville FL
Men’s Suits: Mens Warehouse

When Elizabeth booked me as her photographer, I knew we were going to be a perfect fit! She was so excited about her upcoming wedding and the photos were so important to her, so I was extremely honored that she chose to work with me! :) The wedding was super sweet, and we had a blast with her and Justin’s formals after the reception had ended. Congratulations you two, it was such a pleasure to capture these memories for you!

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a view on second shooting, from the perspective of a second shooter.

When I first decided I wanted to pursue my passion for photography, I had absolutely NO intention of taking on weddings. I was interested in photographing families, newborn babies, children, seniors & boudoir… basically everything BUT weddings. In fact, I was SO certain that newborns were going to be my primary focus, that I invested in a newborn workshop with Julie Paisley, of Julie Paisley Photography. Little did I know that investing in that newborn workshop would turn out to be the best investment I ever made for photographing weddings instead. <3

I was asked to photograph my very first wedding in December of 2010. Since then, I have photographed 31 weddings. When I think back on my journey since my very first wedding, I can’t help but feel that there are SO many things I wish I would have known back then, that I have realized now as an experienced and confident wedding photographer. That is the reason for this blog post. I am determined to reach out to aspiring wedding photographers & to share some of my personal experiences in hopes that they will benefit you in someway. I will also say that I am NOT claiming to be the “know it all” of wedding photography, or to seem as a superior to anyone at all. But with the weddings I have shot over the past year and a half I have gained enough experience and confidence to feel that what I have learned may be insightful to others aspiring. I do not intend to offend anyone, please understand that.. I am only writing this to be honest about my own experiences.

When I took on my very first wedding in December of 2010, I was the main shooter. I had ZERO wedding experience, and no clue what I was doing. (I believe I charged the bride $500, and thought that was a pretty awesome deal! ;)) HOWEVER- the most important thing I did, was to make sure I informed my bride that I had never shot a wedding before, that I did not have “professional” gear, and that I really didn’t know what I was doing. All I knew, was that I could snap some pictures for her. This bride was completely 100% okay with that- so I agreed to photograph her wedding. I shot the wedding with a Canon 50d, and I rented the 24-70L, since the only other lens I had was my kit lens. Looking back now, I cringe at the pictures I took for her. But that’s just the thing… I have experience now, and I know what I would expect as a bride from MY photographer. As wedding photographers WE ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR ALL THE WEDDING MEMORIES. The bride and groom may not look back at their album too often- but do you know who will? Their children, Their children’s children… it is YOUR JOB to be HONEST with your brides. You need to gain that experience so you are able to show them a portfolio. Talk to them about the experiences you have had (main and second shooting), let them know what you are (and are not!) capable of. When a bride hires you, she is putting TRUST in you to capture some of the most precious and priceless memories of her entire life- you need to be PREPARED to take on that responsibility, and to not take it lightly. That is why I believe that *EVERYONE* who intends to photograph weddings should gain experience as a second shooter first.

In working with Julie Paisley Photography as a second shooter, these are some of the most valuable lessons I have learned;
1. CONFIDENCE. I have gained the confidence to know what goes into shooting a wedding. I know my responsibilities, and what is expected of me as a photographer on wedding day. And BONUS!!- as a second shooter, I am given the freedom to be creative and to master my technique as a photographer, without all of the stress that goes into being a main shooter. Main shooters often have to worry about getting so many important shots during the day, that they may not have the opportunity to get those creative angle shots, or to capture those beautiful details that the bride and groom put so much thought into. ALL of those things need to be captured. Being given the opportunity to master my skill and learn who I am as a photographer has been the best lesson I could have hoped for.
2. The camera does not MAKE the photographer, but it definitely HELPS. :) My Nikon d700 is able to handle noise & low light better than my Canon 50D- hands down. When working in dark reception halls, sometimes you need to bump that ISO! Can I get the shots that I need with my Canon 50D at ISO3200? Probably. Will the noise reduce as well on those images as it will from my Nikon d700 at ISO3200? Probably not. If you are calling yourself a professional photographer, invest in professional gear. It will only benefit you. (If you are not able to invest in professional gear right away- ROCK what you GOT! That means you better learn that camera manual from front to back in order to get the best possible shots with what you have available to you!)
3. How to deal with stress & crises! I have learned that not everything is going to go perfectly on a wedding day. But it is the photographer’s job to adjust accordingly & to make changes to accommodate the bride! Watching another photographer deal with issues the day of the wedding is reassuring that it will happen, but and it’s all about how you react & deal with it- that is what makes the difference.
4. Finding a mentor is so important. Put yourself out there, find someone who does work that you love. Message them, and attend workshops. Offer to second shoot for them. If you don’t put yourself out there, you’ll never know. When you work under someone who has already gained that experience, you are able to watch how they work and handle all aspects and situations that may come your way. Seriously, what could be better than following someone you aspire to shoot like, and learning how they do what they do? :)
5. Finally- Practice makes perfect. I believe that you can read all the manuals you want. Posing, technique, lighting… it’s all good and dandy. But NOTHING beats hands on experience and PRACTICE. Would a doctor perform a major surgery without learning & practicing first? No way! It’s the same basic concept for us photographers… it’s crazy to take on a wedding without learning and gaining experience first. The more you shoot, the better you will become. Period.

Having said all of this, I hope I have opened a door & inspired anyone who might be thinking of taking on weddings to consider second shooting. I hope everyone who reads this takes it for what it is- my personal thoughts and opinions. I am by no means saying that you cannot be successful unless you second shoot. I am only sharing how this experience has benefited me, and what it has done for my confidence and craft in hopes that it might do the same for you.

Here are some of my favorite images I have taken while second shooting with Julie Paisley Photography.

*posed by julie paisley.

*my favorite shot to get as a second shooter- the groom’s face when he sees his bride.
*i got the back view looking toward the crowd during this wedding. creative angle for their first kiss!
*i have TIME to play with details, and be creative.
*posed by julie paisley.
*shot on behalf of julie paisley.
*posed by julie paisley.
*snapping a creative angle while julie was focused on the main image.

Thank you for reading, friends! :)
xoxo; Jenn

 

 

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Felicia McTernanMay 17, 2012 - 1:20 am

Great article!

HollyMay 17, 2012 - 1:43 am

Jenn, this is a great blog and had some good points for aspiring photographers! I only dabble in the subject, but you made second shooting sound like so much fun! Love and hugs from the Mitten, kitten! ;)

KatieMay 17, 2012 - 4:40 pm

Gorgeous images and sage advice! Thanks for sharing.

LaurenMay 20, 2012 - 8:58 pm

Thank you Jen for posting this, I’ve kind of fallen into wedding photography on accident. I had the opportunity to assistant and got to shoot about 90% of the time and all the pressure was off and I actually enjoyed myself!!! Your shots are beautiful and I hope one day I’ll gain enough experience and hopefully talent to shoot amazing shots like you too!

DeVende PhotographyOctober 13, 2012 - 4:40 am

Beautiful expressions! Keep up the great work!