Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Ashley and Ben - Sampson's Hollow, Walland TN

Ashely and Ben came in from out of town to get married at the breathtaking Sampson's Hollow.  I was fortunate enough to work with this couple, but only for a short time, it was only about an hour and a half !  No, this is not Ashley Tisdale - This Ashley is much prettier!!   Her dress was just amazing as so many of the other details were.   I hope you enjoy the photos!
All my best,
Valerie Foley
VF Photography
Maryville wedding photographer, Knoxville wedding photographer

Monday, August 29, 2011

Choosing the RIGHT photographer ~ what people don't always think about.

Choosing the right photographer:
     You will want to speak to many people, get referrals from friends, family etc. and use reputable resources (online, bridal shows, local magazines etc.) to find the photographers that you will spend your time interviewing, put in the time researching this and it will pay off.   Check out their website, blog and Facebook pages and make sure that you really like the style of the photographs, and look for quality photographs.  A good photographer should have a really good website.  That is a key component to running a photography business.  They also should either Blog or Facebook or sometimes both to communicate what they are up to in the social networks.
     Once you have chosen your top 5-8 or so picks from research already done, contact them and find out if your date is available.   That may eliminate several for you if you have a popular date or are booking last minute. Many photographers book up a year in advance, but I have noticed that with the change in the economy recently this has changed some.  A statistic on The Knot this month stated that wedding photographers on average were being booked 7.5 months out from the wedding day.  Find out whether this person is a full-time professional photographer, or if they have another job and do photography as a part-time job.  Why would this matter?    The full-time professional will give all of their time to you and they have invested in this as their profession so they will take it quite a bit more seriously than someone who is not. 
      You will read online and in magazines a list of questions to ask when you are looking for a photographer for your wedding.   Most of these are very good and you should use some sort of set of standard questions when interviewing multiple photographers so you can really see the differences in each.  Print off a list or two that you like and make sure to ask those questions as well as what I have added here.
     Being comfortable with your photographer is the number 1 most important thing after the quality of their work in my opinion.   You will likely be with this person more on your wedding day than any other vendor and certainly more than even your new husband.  So be SURE that you like your photographer and have a really great rapport. 
Things to ask that you won’t read about typically are things like:
- Tell me about the qualifications and experience of the 2nd photographer (if there is one).  Will this 2nd photographer be able to shoot on their own or will they solely be used to capture the candid moments and stay with you the entire time, how long will we have that 2nd  photographer – know what their purpose is.
- Ask if they are part of any professional organizations, are they insured, licensed?  Some venues require this.  And it is another sign of someone who will really make sure you are taken care of properly throughout the whole process.
 - How does the photographer handle last minute changes?  What if someone is running late?  What if the flowers don’t arrive on time?  What if it rains?   What if you change your mind on something?   How does the photographer handle delicate family situations?  Of course we want everything to go perfectly on your wedding day, but sometimes life happens and things just get hectic on the wedding day itself.  How will your photographer handle the stress of these situations?   If they are flexible and can go with the flow of the day and don’t seem stressed to answer these questions you will likely have someone who can handle the structured chaos of a wedding.  If they are uneasy about these questions, or are too stringent with the schedule, then that tension may spill over onto you and add stress to you on your wedding day.    The goal should be great photographs under any situation, so ask the hard questions about the wedding day itself.
Other things to think about:
The location itself, will there be lots of walking needed or driving to get to the locations you want to be photographed, and who will drive? – some photographers will take you around especially if they are already familiar with the location.
Are you comfortable with a male photographer to capture the getting ready shots in the dressing rooms?  Will the 2nd shooter be male or female, does that matter to you?    How will they dress? Will they bring extra lighting stands, ladders etc. that may interfere with the ambiance of your wedding, or will it be OK with you?  
Ask them to tell you what you should expect from them in detail on the wedding day and take notes.
And of course, when should you see your photos and how?  And any other items album, disc etc, what is the timeframe to get these items, how will you get them? – this can take some time so please understand that 60-90 days to create and deliver an album is appropriate, but 6 months probably is not.
I know this sounds like a great deal, however, these are the things that I hear over and over from bridesmaids, parents and friends of my brides who tell me that they wished they had known some of these things before they chose their photographer.  You are the bride, it is your day, you should have it the way you want it, and you should surround yourself with vendors who believe that way too!
Valerie Foley
VF Photography

Brooklyn - newborns, 3 and 6 months

I had the pleasure of working with Brooklyns mommy and daddy too for their wedding photos, and am so glad I get to work with little Brooklyn too.  Here are a couple from her newborn session.... she did great! 

 Here Brooklyn is 3 months and we decided to go ahead and play a little bit with some of daddy's toys!

These were taken yesterday at the park for Brooklyn's 6 month session, I can't believe that I have to wait a whole 6 more months until I see her again!!

Remeber to click on the photo for a larger view.
Knoxville wedding and portrait photographer, Maryville wedding and portrait photographer

Oliver's First Year!

Why should you have photos taken when you are pregnant or in that first year from a professional, instead of just having a friend do it, or doing it yourself.... let's take a look at Oliver.  He is such a sweet boy and I got to know his mommy and daddy when I photographed their wedding.   He came to us a bit early and thankfully came through his first year healthy and strong!   There are many times when I "see" something that my clients do not as a great photo opportunity, or just brainstorming with them we come up with some great ideas together.  Since it is my profession, I am always looking for ways to improve, and practicing, and learning.  I have the professional equipment.  I am a mom and have lots of experience with kids in general and recently a whole lot of experience with babies, I am by no mean's the baby whisperer or anything, but have some great tricks up my sleeve!   Why add one more thing on your "to do" list?  This is a must have for any new mommy!   AND Oliver got a great book to show off his first year too.
Knoxville wedding and portrait photographer, Maryville weddding and portrait photographer

Friday, August 19, 2011

Christina's Bridal Shoot - Riverdale School, Knoxville

After many schedule changes due to her fiance' living out of town, Christina and I decided to change the engagement shoot to a bridal shoot.  So we went to the Riverdale School where they would be getting married in late July.  I had never been to this area before and it is stunningly beautiful, like most of East Tennessee.   The school was built in 1938 and is now renovated as more of a small community center and there is a couple who do own it and live there.  The building and grounds are gorgeous, and there is a church next door that hasn't been used in over 20 years with ivy growing all over it and paint falling off.... a photographers dream!!!  She didn't have any flowers so her friend who came with ran and pulled some off of a nearby bush.. and presto - a bouquet.
The dress was altered by Christina and the lace is a simple, yet gorgeous cover.  I have to mention Christina's mom.  What a great lady.  I am honored to have met her.  She was a huge help to Christina for bridals and the wedding, but the funny part, is that whenever anything was needed, she would run - really take off and run and go get it :)
Such fun~ 

Maryville wedding photographer, Knoxville wedding photographer

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Christina and Dee's wedding - Riverdale School, Knoxville

The reason that I chose Christina and Dee's wedding to be the first one I blog about this year is really simple. She did something that none of my other brides have ever done. She is very organized and had a schedule to go over with me when we met for her bridal shoot. On that schedule, she had a 30 minute block, where it said "photographer break". I was just amazed and so glad she thought of me. She said she figured I might need to sit and take a break in a 7 hour day. I really appreciate her realizing that we really run around everywhere and don't take breaks very often and if we do they are MAYBE 10 minutes to grab a drink and a power bar and keep on moving.
Her wedding was absolutely beautiful, the historic building was a great backdrop for indoor and outdoor photos, and I really enjoyed getting to meet her family and friends. The boys were super fun with the whole "ball and chain" gag getting put on Dee's ankle at the end of the ceremony and fake lips for the kiss. And who would think that catching frogs would be a wedding reception event... well I guess if you're 10 you would think of that on a rainy night in summer in Tennessee :)
When it came right down to it, you could see how in love they are.
Congratulations again and thank you for thinking of me,
Maryville wedding photographer, Knoxville wedding photographer

I'm BACK!!

With the ease of Facebook, I have been spending quite a bit of time with my updates this last year on there. However, I only have a limited amount of space to write so I will be back to blogging as well as using Facebook. I enjoy sharing the fun stories during my photo shoots and here is where you will find these. I also want to make sure to give credit to the wonderful vendors and venues out there that I work with so I can do that here as well. Since I have a year's worth of fun to share, it will not be in order... for now :) I will look back and just blog about some of the most memorable events that I can and go from there. Thanks for reading and hope you enjoy.
Maryville wedding photographer, Knoxville wedding photographer