Saturday, December 20, 2008

December - West Family

Sherri West and her family got together for pictures with her kids and grandkids. Their home and yard were a perfect backdrop for the kids as this is the play area for them anyhow. They are an active group who slowed down enough to get just a couple of whole family shots, we only needed one \"/. I really enjoyed my time with them, and hope to see them again soon.

December - Jillian and Dereks new baby

Baby Madeline came!! She is so beautiful and was very alert and very awake for 11 days old during our baby shoot. She fussed only a tiny bit and was ready again. I couldn't help but notice, how proud dad and mom were, the looks on thier faces changed quite a bit since the engagements, wedding, maternity pictures to now being parents of such a wonderous, beautiful new baby. Congratulations again Jillian and Derek!

December - ARFNets at Hastings

ARFNets, also known at Animal Rescue and Fostering Network held a fundraiser at the Hastings near Foothills mall on December 13th, photos with Santa. This is the second year I've been a part of this event and we were pleased with the turnout. For more information you can visit

November -Susan and Dillon engagement, downtown

Susan and Dillon will be getting married in March. We went downtown near the water for their engagments. They were both very fun and game for anything. The sun came out and gave us some nice warmth and light. I can't wait for the wedding.

November - Karen and Jeff at Sampson's Hollow

Karen and Jeff came from Georgia to get married at Sampson's Hollow in November. It was very cold outside and as you can see by her dress the plan was for indoors no matter the weather. As with most weddings, something can go wrong, for this, Jeff forgot the ring in his other pocket in the bathroom and had to leave her standing while he went to retrieve it. Everyone got a kick out of that, expecially Karen.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

November - Smoky Mountain Animal Care site dedication

Progress is really being made now. I've been part of the Smoky Mountain Animal Care Foundation for over a year and we're at the point of cement slab and walls going up!! This is the site for the Blount County animal center. It will be an all access center with several really great and wonderful "out of the box" practices to make sure as many animals get homes as possible. I am proud to be their official photographer and a member of the Education/Outreach committee. For more information, please view their site at

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

November - Cheyenne and Colin engagements, Butterfly Gap

OK, so these two are so cute! They did such a great job just making the day a fun day and not worrying so much about the camera. They both were game for pretty much anything and it was just so obvious how in love they are. I really enjoyed the day with you both. Thank You.

November - Jillian Maternity

I took Jillian and Dereks wedding photos in October of 2007, so I was thrilled when she emailed me asking about doing Maternity photos! She has 3 weeks to go and looks just wonderful. Can't wait for baby too ....

November - Jami and Chuck engagements

Jami and Chuck are getting married next June, and we went to where they met - UT, for the engagement shoot. Funny enough they had never been to UT Gardens though... It also turned out to be a very nice day, a bit bright. I can't wait for the wedding!

November - Tina and Scott

Tina and Scott were married November 1st at Fellowship Baptist in Lenoir City. The day turned out warm and beautiful. The two of them and their families are such a fun group. Rebekah shot with me that day and did a wonderful job capturing the details and entire day. Tina is so sweet and we've spoken so often that she is programmed in my phone at this point. I hope to keep in touch like this for a long time!

November - Meagan and Aron, Sampson's Hollow

I had the pleasure of photographing the wedding ceremony of Meagan and Aron Carroll at Sampson's Hollow on Nov 1st. They couldn't have picked a better day to get married. The weather was perfect and the trees were incredibly colorful. They were great to photograph because they were so laid back and just enjoyed their day. They drove down from Michigan with a bunch of family and friends to get married in East Tennessee. They had the ceremony in the glen which is a little open area surrounded by trees. Their pastor came down from Michigan to marry them in a beautiful ceremony that brought many tears and much joy. Although we were a little pressed for time, we still got to shoot in a lot of the beautiful locations at Sampson's Hollow and had a great day. Congratulations Meagan and Aron!!

Friday, October 31, 2008

October - Julie and Jeremy engagements, Whitestone

Julie and Jeremy are getting married at the Whitestone in the spring and she had raised horses so of course wanted "Junior" in the pictures with them. It turned pretty cold and she was such a trooper riding bareback to get the pictures she had wanted, Oh and Jeremys feet were half frozen, but did what he could to make it all work out - and it did. You two were great, I can't wait for your wedding.

October - Lauren and Shane engagements

Lauren and Shane are getting married in December and they wanted downtown engagement pictures, so we went on a beautiful day last week. What fun we had in alley ways, and in the streets. I love your matching tatoos too! Best, Valerie

October - Ashley and Mark, Rarity Bay

Ashley and Mark are just a hoot, they were so much fun on their wedding day, no jitters, just fun! And I can say the same for their family and friends. They were married at Rarity Bay in Vonore and it turned cold and windy, so they definately were troopers with the no sleeves. All my best to you both!

October - Leslie and JR, Butterfly Gap Retreat

Leslie and JR were married at the Butterfly Gap Retreat. This wonderful outdoor/indoor location on a private lake is beautiful year round. Lauren worked with them on their wedding day and she'll write more soon. Congratulations again!

October - Jennifer and Aaron, The Bleak House

Jennifer and Aaron were married at The Historic Bleak House in Knoxville. The setting is absolutely gorgeous and the weather cooperated so nicely that day. They did not see each other before the ceremony. It was a pretty emotional day for some family. It was a full house and everything went off as planned and Jennifer and Aaron were both so calm and relaxed... At least it looked that way.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

October - Stacey and Jared, Heritage Park

Stacey and Jared were married in Townsend and had their reception at Heritage Park. I love that red door on the church! They both lived out of town, Stacey in Michigan and Jared in Illinoins, but came here to get married, they have family here. All my best to you both!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

October - Jennifer and Tim, Volunteer Princess Cruise

Jennifer and Tim were married on the water on the Volunteer Princess Cruise Yacht this last Friday, and what a great event it was. I really enjoyed being on the water with the motion of the yacht as well as the gorgeous and ever changing views as we cruised. They seemed just so completely enveloped into each other, I don't even know how much they realized cameras were there. Tim just couldn't keep from kissing on her, and Jennifer couldn't stop looking into his eyes all night - wow.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

October - Laura and Josh, Smoky Mountain Country Club

Lauren had the pleasure of working with Laura and Josh at their wedding on October 4th, and by the looks of things and Lauras email, things went great. They all had quite a bit of fun in front of the camera and everyone looked so beautiful. Lauren will write more when she gets back from her mini-vacation.

I had such a great time photographing the wedding celebration of Laura Overholt and Josh Woodson on October 4th. They decided to get married at the Smoky Mountain Country Club in Newport, TN since they are both from that area. It was a beautiful location overlooking the Smokies and a perfect day for a wedding. Everything went off just as planned and they seemed so happy together. Both Laura and Josh had lots of friends and family there with them which made for a very fun but also very emotional day. We all had a wonderful time and got some great pictures. Congratulations and thank you for letting me be part of such an important day in your lives.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Should I have two photographers at my wedding?

I have been asked by most brides if they should have a "second" photographer at their wedding. I highly recommend to all of my couples that yes, they have two photographers. If you look at the photos above, these are just a small sample of what the "second" photographer does on your day. This person usually captures the small details, the things you don't necessarily even see that day. They definately capture a different point of view and when someone looks off camera the photos look so much more natural, which is one of our ultimate goals. To capture your day with natural, classic, timeless photographs. In fact I believe that this is so important, and I've had such a good response from previous brides who have used two of us on their day, that I am cutting the price of and assistant/second photographer in half - effective immediately. \"/
Remember to click on the pictures above for a close up view.

October - Jessica and John T. - Riverside Baptist, Harriman

Jessica and John T got married at Riverside Baptist Church in Harriman on Saturday. I have been fortunate enought to spend several days with them, doing their engagements, her bridal session, and being at the rehearsal. I was very happy for the wedding day to finally arrive. The bridal party was great, jumping for joy and reinacting some of John T's football days even! The ceremony itself was done so elegantly and a bit emotional as they had friends who sang while candles were lit for family members who had passed on. They also played a slideshow during the ceremony to share thier life stories with thier guests (as much as you can in 10 minute slideshow). Reception went pretty quickly and then they were off to honeymoon. I feel like I've gotten to know them, and am looking forward to seeing them all again soon.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

September - Jessica and Josh, Yacht Club at Tellico Lake

Jessica and Josh were married at the Yacht Club and Marina on Tellico Lake, and what another beautiful outdoor setting. It felt really nice to be on the water, they both were so very anxious to be married. Emotions were running high and the day although sprinkling a bit with rain, could not have been nicer. Deanna at the Yacht Club and Allison from LiveLaughLove weddings did a wonderful job coordinating the whole thing, very elegant! Again I felt so honored to be a part of thier special day. - Thank you.

September - Amanda and Joey, Sampson's Hollow

Here's another Sampson's Hollow wedding. And again just beautiful, and it did rain all day. Lauren was the photographer on this wedding and she just got soaked. I was on the other side of town and we had just a few sprinkles, but that was all. Amanda and Joey and thier families came up from Alabama for thier wedding and I'll have Lauren put more info on here soon ... \"/

I had the pleasure of shooting the wedding of Joey and Amanda Jones at Sampson's Hollow. It is such a beautiful location tucked away at the edge of the Smokies. There were so many great places to shoot and we had a wonderful time. It was a beautiful wedding despite the constant drizzle for most of the day. Everything got soaked and just as the ceremony began the rain decided to come down in full force. It was amazing how calm and unaffected the bride was but she just seemed excited about getting married and didn't let the rain bother her. The guests sat with their umbrellas and I continued to shoot in the rain. Even with the rain, it was still a beautiful day of celebrating two wonderful people joining together. They just seemed so happy and we got some great shots capturing their day. He didn't tell her where they were going on their honeymoon which was going to be a fun surprise. Congratulations Amanda and Joey!!

Monday, October 6, 2008

September - Cassie and Josh, Sampson's Hollow

Cassie and Josh were married at Sampson's Hollow in Walland two weeks ago. The place is fabulous, one of my favorite outdoor settings! Janice and her staff will drive the bride and groom and photographer around in golf carts to get to all of the beautiful places on the property to get pictures done timely so they can get to the reception, I love it!
Cassie, although spent a tad extra time getting ready, was well worth it as you can see. We had to try and beat the sunset, and I think we were able to get it all in the nick of time. Jenni went with me on this wedding and worked her magic. Irish Bull Entertainment were the DJ's and were great as always.
Pictures coming....

September - Jessica's Bridal Shoot

Jessica is a gal who is not afraid to get a bit dirty, she wants to have fun getting some nice pictures. WOW, she looked gorgeous in her dress and it was so much fun taking her into a big field with the hay bales, except those darn little black buggies that kept biting! More on her wedding to come....

August engagements

Tina and Scott are getting married in November and we went to the park in downtown Maryville for our engagement shoot. Another nice day, no rain, and not too hot.

August - Premier Bride Bridal Show

August 17th was the Premier Bride, bridal show at the convention center in downtown Knoxville. I attended in January as well, but this show seemed to really have a lot more couples who were ready to make some decisions. I spoke with so many couples and family members it was hard to keep it all straight. Lauren and Rebekah were both there with me talking with couples and showing them our work. I was able to get two new brides that day, Chantelle and Tina - yay, can't wait for both of these weddings for sure. We got to meet with several others that next two weeks or so.
Also, was able to meet and talk with several other vendors. Great networking and getting ideas for my couples as to whom I can recommend they use.
Had a great turnout and a great time, very tired though from Katie and Roby's wedding the night before... big smiles!

August - Katie and Roby, Dara's Gardens

Dara's Gardens in South Knoxville is where Katie and Roby got married in August. These two knew how to have fun, and we had the earlier opportunity to get engagements there so I knew a bit about Roby and his personality (as shown) - what fun. ... Lauren got a great balloon shot of Katie. My favorite though is the look on thier faces in that last shot with the lights in the trees behind them, it certainly shows "them".

August - Kala and DJ, Magnolia Manor Lenoir City

Magnolia Manor in Lenoir City was the location for Kala and DJ's August wedding. I had never been there before, but am extremely impressed not only by the beauty and history of the grounds, but also by the new owners, how professional and exceptionally run this facility is! For Kala and DJ, it was a Friday wedding in August, 8-8-8, and they planned with black white and red as their colors. The evening was nice and not too hot for the mid summer. They also did not see each other before the wedding.

August - Lauren and Andrew, Ridge Valley Farms

Lauren and Andrew were married at Ridge Valley Farms. We were able to go there to get thier engagement shots as seen a bit earlier in the blog. Another gorgeous outdoor setting with a great walkway to an outdoor gazebo and full glass windows for views to the outdoors from the inside reception area. These two were great, they didn't mind at all that it rained up until about an hour before the ceremony. I along with several others were a tad worried about the rain, but again, it lifted just in time for them. They did not see each other and keeping them seperate was a bit harder in a smaller building. He had to hide in the bathroom while we took her out to get pictures outdoors. We didn't keep him locked up for long ... Rebekah went with me on her first journey and shot the picture on the right - I told you she has a great eye!

July engagements

July was a great month for engagements!
Cassie and Josh at Sampson's Hollow, Jessica and John T. in a field in Wartburg, and Jessica and Josh at The Yacht Club at Tellico Lake.

July - Mary Beth and Gabe, Fountain City United Methodist Church

Mary Beth and Gabe were married in Fountain City United Methodist Church where her father is also a pastor. They had a beautiful ceremony, did not see each other before the wedding - except the one "across the wall" shot we got where they spoke but could not see each other. I thought she had told him what we were doing, and he was pretty surprised/emotional to be holding her hand and talking with her.... I know now to warn every groom before hand what we are doing. And this is one of the best garter catches I've seen, good job guys!

June - Tiffany and Nick - Hunter Museum Chattanooga

Tiffany and Nick were married in The Hunter Museum in Chattanooga. We had done a bridal session there earlier so I got the lay of the land... which is good because that place is huge. Different elevators for different levels, getting ready in the basement and getting lost would have been easy. Lauren was with me shooting this wedding and we had such a great time. They did not see each other before hand and keeping them seperate was pretty easy being such a large place. The sun hit just perfect in the windows for the kiss, made for a very dramatic moment. The bridge at night was also pretty incredible with the green lights underneath. All in all the place was hoping, great music, lots of family and friends who stayed well into the late hours to enjoy thier night with them.

June - Rebakah and Bobby at Twin Cedar Farms

Rebekah and Bobby were married at Twin Cedar Farms in Maryville. The farm is a great spot for outdoor ceremony and indoor receptions. The reception lasted for quite a while with dancing, toasts, food and fun.
This is Bobby being spun by some of his groomsmen after a few cocktails I think... Lauren was with me again here - Rebekah could not have been happier, actually, Rebekah has since joined the VF family as an assistant photographer in training, she's got a great eye and definately has it fresh in her mind the stresses and joys of planning a wedding.

June - Heather and Jeromy at home

Heather and Jeromy were married at her parents home, and her father worked on that yard for almost a year to get it ready for his daughters wedding. After that he could have rented it out for weddings it was so gorgeous!
Heather and our April bride Maggie were roomates before they both got married, got to plan things together and both get married within a couple of months of each other. They seemed to really rely on each others help and support.
They had a tent, with DJ, and dancing, toasts and a wonderful night for all.

May - engagements

May engagements were Jennifer and Aaron. They are getting married at The Bleak House and so we shot engagements there. What a fun couple, Aaron kept suggesting areas to go take pictures, I think he was having fun! I can't wait for the wedding.

May - Cara and Ryan, The Orangery

Cara and Ryan married and reception were at
The Orangery in Knoxville.
It is certainly a unique and gorgeous place, long and narrow aisle with huge ceilings and what ambiance!
The upstairs ballroom is where they had the reception.
They did not see each other before hand, nor did we even leave the building for pictures. We didn't need to with such a beautiful backdrop right there...