“How Do I Choose a Wedding Photographer?” | Tips for the Bride to Be | Wedding Photography


Choosing a Wedding Photographer Editing Retouching Photo
If you want to look like the image on the right: ASK your potential wedding photographers the below questions! If you don’t ask you can’t be upset if you still see that last minute breakout, etc… Remember: “EDIT” to some photographers doesn’t mean “retouched”!

I used to plan weddings way back before I ever picked up a camera professionally, and here’s a list I compiled way back then to help find the photographer you’re looking for when you email prospective photographers.

I urged my Brides to ask these questions to make sure quality expectations are met, and that there were no surprises when they got their finished images back.

Truthfully I’m saddened every time I hear a story where a bad photo experience could’ve been prevented.  All it takes is a few simple questions.  Since different Photographers have different styles, AND since some HIDE their real work behind only a few “best” images on their site….make sure your style and skill level expectations mesh with theirs! :)

One gal recently told me her friend’s wedding photographer only edited the first 100 images, and had a charge per image after the first 100 to edit more. A fact she was only made aware of AFTER the fact…that was a sad, and unnecessary blind side. So, KNOW before you sign a contract…and by all means…SIGN.A.CONTRACT!!!!

Here are a few popular questions to ask your potential Wedding photographer
(or Senior, Boudoir, Family, newborn, etc…) Because really it’s a once
in a lifetime memory…and you don’t get a “do-over”!

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1) Do your dress shots show the details of the dress? My dress has beautiful __________ (lace, beading, feathers, gathers, etc…), and I want to make sure I can see those details in my images…instead of just looking like a white washout.
2) What retouching do you do? Do you retouch at all?

3) If I have wrinkles, dark circles or big under eye bags will you remove or soften them? Whiten teeth? Soften skin? Remove blemishes or stretch marks?

4) How many images do you retouch? What are the charges to retouch more?

5) Does the disc of images, or digital files, I get contain Hi, medium, or Low res images?
What size can we print up to?

6) Will the disc have your watermark on the images?

7) Do you know what angles to shoot (or NOT shoot) from if I’m slightly
plump or have larger builds in my pictures?

8) Natural light…Do you know how to shoot indoors with and WITHOUT a
flash? I don’t want shadows or red-eye in the Church or reception!

9) Do you know how to handle “blinkers” or “squinters”?

10) How many images do you actually edit? What are the charges to
edit more?

11) Will you show me an entire gallery from a wedding that you’ve shot?

12) Do you give instruction on how to pose or move?

13) My venue is a Church and they have a restriction on photographer’s not being allowed in the sanctuary during ceremonies (or they’re allowed only behind the last row of pews).  Is this a problem for you?

14) What kinds of professional products do you offer to help me display my images around our new home?

15) What’s your turnaround time?

16) Do you travel? How far? Have passport, will travel? Travel fees?

17) If I have family and friends who want images are you equipped to handle their orders so I don’t get stuck with the bill, and ordering all of those images?

18) Will we work out a contract with you to keep us all accountable (i.e. make sure you’ll be there, or if something happens to you someone similar to your style will cover our wedding)?

Once you have these answers review the ENTIRE wedding gallery they link you to CAREFULLY!  *If they don’t, won’t, or “can’t” provide you with an entire wedding gallery they’ve captured and edited….RUN!

Do people look professionally posed or awkward?  They may say they edit every image, but do they all look cohesive…do they all look edited the same way?  If not are you OK with that edit/not edit style?  

If you’re wanting more “candid” images, and they have mostly “smile and look at the camera” images you may want to keep looking, and vice versa if you want more traditional “poses” or “mom shots”.Angela-Jacob-Backyard-Athens-Wedding-BraskaJennea-Photography_0048.jpg

NOTE: Some photographers may say they retouch, but look at close-ups of the bride and groom specifically.  Are their pores deep, dark, and harsh? Do they have dark bags under their eyes…I call them “laugh bags”? Yellow teeth? Blemishes? Stretch marks? Red Eyes? Harsh shadows or strong orange or yellow casts in the indoor shots? Are the images straight or crooked? Glasses glare? And so on. Ask yourself “AM I OK WITH THAT?”

Not every professional photographer is an editing and retouching freak like me…it’s not their style, or maybe they don’t know how yet. And to each their own, but make sure you’re not expecting super smooth, flawless skin, and white teeth when they only do color and b&w editing. Make sure you’re not expecting slimming angles for fluffier frames when the skinny frames in their gallery look wide.

Note:  “EDITING” does NOT = RETOUCHING! DO NOT ASSUME this! Ask!

Why do I urge every Bride to ask these questions  Well….If you don’t ask you have no right to be upset later.  Of course we put our best work out front for the world to see, who doesn’t?  It’s the actual full Monty of a recent wedding that will speak VOLUMES. So, ask and review, and above all have PEACE about your decisions.

Weddings are meant to be fun, so make sure you’re going to be able to relive that fun AFTER the fact…through your images!

Happy Wedding Planning & Rock ON!

-Braska Jennea

BONUS!  Guess what!  There’s MORE great Wedding Planning Freebies at your fingertips.  Check out the links below for more outside the box Wedding Planning Wisdom.

Part 1: Your Best Photos

Part 2: More About Budgets, Locations, and PHOTOS!

Part 3: Maids & Men, Looking Your Best, and TIME Management!

Part 4: The W.E.A.K. Wedding Emergency Aide Kit

Jessy + Daniel – Wind River Engagemet – Knoxville, TN Photographer

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I met Jessy at a Bridal Fair, and felt an immediate connection to her.  She seemed to breeze into my booth browsing, feeling, really noticing everything…especially my attention (and affection!) for details.

We met up one evening to get the party started, and over two hours later I could already see why these two were a perfect pair!

Daniel was the question man, asking just about everything I tell couples in my blog to ask when they’re searching for a photographer…I instantly liked him as well ;)

It was a perfect Spring day when we met at the site of their October Wedding at the beautiful Wind River in Lenoir City.

They brought along their sweet fur baby for some family portraits, and to help announce their wedding, and did an excellent job “smiling” for the camera!

We started at the stunning Citico Restaurant on the sprawling lake-side property, and found our way around the golf course to one gorgeous location after another.

The future Mr. and Mrs. White laughing and smiling all along the way, backed by perfect weather, upped my excitement for getting to capture them on their big day!

We ended the day out near the Marina where the sunset was like a beautiful fire in the sky wishing them smooth sailing until it sees them again in the Fall.
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Announcing the BraskaJennea Online Bridal SHOP! Exqhuisite, Affordable Accessories for Every Budget


imageSome have asked what on earth I’m thinking adding one more thing to my already packed plate, but this is one more step towards a long time dream of an all inclusive Bridal Shop.

You see when I started working weddings over a decade ago there was one complaint that’s only gotten louder as the years have gone by…”Weddings are expensive.”

It’s always all of the little things that mount up, but make such large impacts to the overall day.

Veils, garters, jewelry, accessories, garters, bridal party gifts, favors….it all adds up quickly.

When a bride a couple of years ago spent around $25 to make an inexpensive version of a necklace she saw in her Bridal salon, for over $100, it stuck with me.

Then a bride told me of the hundreds of dollars her groom swooped in and spent, while she was changing, for the veil and a hair comb because he wanted to help and knew she wouldn’t spend the money herself, I thought “and she shouldn’t have to!”

In the last few weeks researching and shopping for clothes for a new online Plus-Size clothing Boutique (yes, that’s coming soon too!) it hit me I could do the same for Bridal Jewelry and Accessories.

Thus the BraskaJennea Shop was finally born! An elegant, hand picked, selection of stunning jewelry and accessories that won’t wreck the wedding budget.

So, check out the shop, and enjoy 10% off your first purchase using the code LAUNCH in honor of the launch celebration.

There’s more to come in the coming months, as well as a “Pop-up shop” in Athens coming later this Summer so join our mailing list via the box in the right hand column, and stay tuned!

There’s even a Pin to Win Giveaway happening on Pinterest just for pinning the “Pin to Win” image at the bottom of this message! Win a FABULOUS Wire Brimmed (YES!  A Wire Brimmed Straw hat to shape how you want!!!) Straw Hat in Pink prized at $20*!

Simply enter by:  Following @BraskaJennea on Pinterest, then copying and tagging me in the description “Loving this Pink WIRE Brimmed hat from the new @BraskaJennea Bridal Accessory Shop! No more floppy sun hat! Get yours in one of 8 colors: http://www.BraskaJennea.bigcartel.com ”   Pin and tag once per day now through May 6th, 2015 to enter!

Also get two bonus entries for signing up for our e-mail mailing list!  We’ll never spam you or sell your address.

Plan on party rockers, and take those baby steps towards those bigger dreams! :)
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*Giveaway is in no way sponsored, endorsed, or supported by Pinterest or WordPress or any of their subsidiaries.  Prize awarded by email or Pinterest message on May 8th, 2015, and winner has 24 hours to claim or alternate winner will be chosen.  Shipping within U.S. covered at or below $7.00, winner agrees to pay difference before item ships if S&H charge exceeds $7.

Jenny + Maddy – Spring Time Mommy & Me – Athens, TN Photographer –

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There’s something special about that mother daughter bond. It’s a special kind of love, and capturing it in it’s most pure form is a unique kind of beautiful.

This Spring the flowers and dogwoods were blooming so spledidly amid all of the April showers. Forget bringing May flowers, it brough April flowers!

Jenny and Maddy met up at the studio one weekday evening earlier this month where they got dolled up, and then we started their shoot out at E.G. Fisher Library’s wetland park.

The rains had filled the pond there, and the blooming redbuds and dogwoods were the perfect backdrop for their session.

We ended with a stroll down one of our beautiful Athens’ streets where a yard edged with gorgeous tulips caught Maddy’s (and our!) attention. A marvelous end to a marvelous session with two beautiful souls!

Happy early Mother’s Day to all the moms out there! You all are worthy of celebration all year long!

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Krista + Raymond Part 2 – Historic Fillauer Lake House Wedding – Cleveland, TN Wedding Photographer –

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Get ready for Part Two of Krista + Raymond’s gorgeous Fillauer Lake House Southern Wedding.  Re-visit Part 1 Here.

It was a wedding filled with beautiful details from the flowers, the centerpieces, the table of family member’s images and wedding portraits, the delicious popcorn bar, custom cornhole boards, to the self-manned photobooth, and of course the lovely antiquities that are throughout the Fillauer property nothing was overlooked.

Then once the “I do’s” were said the real fun began…portraits!  My favorite part of the day are the Bride and Groom portraits.  Why?  Because once they’re together it’s as if nothing else matters and everything is just so much more fun!  Especially with these two and their crew!

The smiles just did.not.stop. nor did the laughter.  Joy.  Absolute joy fills these two amazing souls, and capturing love like theirs reminds me of why I’m so blessed to use all I’ve been given to tell their story in still life for their future generations.

Through the first dance, the cake cutting, right through until they exited an aisle of sparklers lined by their closest family and friends it was all a beautiful kick-off for the start of a Happily Hanlon After!

Congratulations Krista and Raymond, and thank you for choosing me to capture it all!

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Special thank you’s go to all of the amazing vendors who helped make Krista + Raymond’s day a smashing success!

Officiant/Minister: Mike Hubble
Venue Coordinator: Nancy Sellers
Florist: Ivy Lane Florist
Wedding Gown Designer: Allure Bridals
Bridesmaids Gowns by: Watters Originals
Guys Suits Or Tux Rentals From: Men’s Warehouse
Hair: Brandi from  Sheek and Sassy
Make-Up: Kathryn Golden of Sephora
Wedding Cake Bakery: Kimmees Cakes
Linens: provided by Fillauer Lake House
Caterer: Tasteful Gatherings
Bar Tending: Elizabeth McAmis
DJ: Jon Bessom

Krista + Raymond Part 1 – Historic Fillauer Lake House Wedding – Cleveland, TN Wedding Photographer –

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Ever have so much goodness one of something just won’t do?  Well that tis the case for this Happily Hanlon Ever After so you’re getting not one, but TWO blog posts.  One just wouldn’t be able to contain it all…or load on most phones or tablets ;)

The day I met Krista and her mother at my studio I had an immediate draw to her wedding.  Perhaps it was her relaxed demeanor, laid back attitude, or that infectious smile as she talked about the details of her Wedding Day to Raymond.

There was just something about her, like all of my Brides really, that whispered there was something magical about these two.

I first met Raymond at their engagement session that started out on the Chickamauga Battlefield, and ended on the Market Street Bridge in Downtown Chattanooga.  It was a stunning Fall day, and from the moment I saw the two of them together it all fit, they fit.

When you’ve been in the wedding industry for as long as I have you pick up on certain “tells”.  These two couldn’t stop smiling, laughing, or just cutting up.  I KNEW I liked them for a reason, and couldn’t wait for their wedding day, they were a breeze to photograph.

It’s so easy to see when a couple doesn’t feel comfortable during their session.  Whether it’s with the actual person taking their portrait, or the whole situation itself, but from the moment we started until we were through they were completely comfortable in front of the camera.

Incandescently happy to do whatever was asked because on this day they were to marry their best friend!

The guys played cornhole out behind the barn while the ladies got dolled up in the upstairs of the majestic Southern Manor complete with Mimosa’s and music.

The bridal suites are simply to die for, and more tears were shed by her girls as Krista got into her gown than possibly all of my bridal getting ready moments combined…well…close ;)

The portraits started of course out on the balcony, where all good Southern portraits should start of course.  We then moseyed down stairs where the light coming from the foyer, and the mirror hanging on the wall in front of Krista, just seemed to easily stop time like a moment from a movie.

Laughing and crying at the same time seemed to sum up the portraits as mother, sister and friends, couldn’t even look at each other without tears welling up.  Truly precious friendships and family!

As we wrapped with the ladies the fellas were waiting, and eager to begin their hamming it up for the camera antics.

These two chose their Bridal Party wisely as they picked people who would do anything for them, right down to joking about blocking off exits, and a piggy back ride ;)

I don’t believe I’ve ever laughed harder or longer shooting men than I did with Raymond and his G-men.  Almost like it was their mission to have everyone within ear, or eye, shot in hysterics.  Another testament to the sweet sweet spirits they have, and of the people who love them most.

We wrapped with the men, and headed off to snap a No-peeking shot from the balcony of the manor just before Go-time.  Like something out of Romeo and Juliet he waited below, threatened if he so much as dared to look up, as she peered down at him from above grinning ear to ear.

It was time.

The ceremony flowed perfectly, and as she ascended the aisle Raymond’s face couldn’t have been anymore in love.  Those are the magic moments I live for.  Whether private and hidden during a first look, or as she walks the aisle amid their guests, that reaction says everything.  Everything you need to know about a couple, and for Krista and Raymond it was simply pure bliss.

True to form they smiled and laughed through the whole ceremony; even when the candles had blown out and were struggling to stay re-lit for their unity candle, they laughed and seemed to communicate secret thoughts through their beaming glances.

With their vows and rings exchanged, and the symbolism of two separate lives now being put out to now shine as one they were now husband and wife.  Mr and Mrs. Hanlon.

And with their first portraits as Mr. and Mrs., and the reception to follow, this is where I’ll leave you…wanting more for part two tomorrow!

So stay tuned….I promise you they’ll all be worth the wait ;)

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Special thank you’s go to all of the amazing vendors who helped make Krista + Raymond’s day a smashing success!

Officiant/Minister: Mike Hubble
Venue Coordinator: Nancy Sellers
Florist: Ivy Lane Florist
Wedding Gown Designer: Allure Bridals
Bridesmaids Gowns by: Watters Originals
Guys Suits Or Tux Rentals From: Men’s Warehouse
Hair: Brandi from  Sheek and Sassy
Make-Up: Kathryn Golden of Sephora
Wedding Cake Bakery: Kimmees Cakes
Linens: provided by Fillauer Lake House
Caterer: Tasteful Gatherings
Bar Tending: Elizabeth McAmis
DJ: Jon Bessom