“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

Happy Gotcha Day – Brock Family Adoption – Cleveland, TN Photographer

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THIS. Moments like this are the beat to my heart. The reason I love this gift so so very much. Capturing legacies to freeze them in time for the future simply keep me going.

I don’t know how long I’ve known Jason and Tiffany, can’t really even remember how we met other than somehow through mutual friends a long time ago.

They’ve been married for 12 years this coming Fall, and for as long as I’ve known them being parents has always been their heart’s deepest burning desire. They’d found each other, and they were ready to have babies!

But God. He had a better plan. A more painful and constantly heartbreaking plan, but nonetheless a more beautiful plan than they’d ever have dreamed to dream. A plan that inevitably made them so much stronger together than most.

Jeremiah 29:11 is framed in their living room. An ever present reminder than He hadn’t forgotten them. They wouldn’t have to live in this dark place forever. “For I know the plans I have for you declares the Lord, plans to prosper you, not harm you, to give you hope and a future…”

Many have walked the walk with them over the years.  We’ve had the discussions with our friends who would get pregnant seemingly so easily while they were still waiting. I’ve seen the pain and heard the cries from both sides of the fence…tears of guilt from some because they could when their precious friends could not, tears of sorrow and grief from the other wondering “Why not me?”. Tears and sometimes anger myself FOR their pain.

But God…

A year ago, the first of March, I walked into their home to meet and photograph this tiny 6 week old baby boy whom God had placed under their loving care through Foster Care. It wasn’t a certainty he’d get to be theirs, but as we’d all discover yesterday God knew this baby was always meant to be theirs.

You see my faith in God’s divine plan and timing tells me this…that before they were husband and wife, before they even knew the other existed, God had it planned all along that one day THEY would be the ones to love this child. None of us just knew it quite yet.

Today He reminded even me that He hasn’t forgotten me in my struggle. No. He concreted what He’s been speaking to me the last few months, YEARS even. What He’d been rounding out the hole readying the concrete for…so it could be poured today.

His will IS PERFECT. His timing is impeccable. His love immeasurable. He is faithful, always!

Whatever you’re waiting on, whatever you’re beating back doubts and thoughts of, with defeat encircling your every thought, know this…He sees you!  He loves you!  And He’s making a way in the wilderness to give you “exceedingly abundantly” more than you know to even ask for!

He saw Jason and Tiffany all along, and in a crowded Judge’s Chambers filled with family and friends who’ve walked alongside them all the way I captured THE moment they FINALLY became PARENTS! The very moment that legally they became a FAMILY!

Now officially a mother and a father to a precious little boy. A little boy who stole their hearts over a year ago, and who this day joined the Brock clan as not only a son, but the first grandson too!

The kisses and hugs from his new grandparents, aunt, and loving friends were plentiful as he laughed and giggled his enormously infectious smile.  If you’re around him at all, and he doesn’t make you laugh then you must be defective!

In the midst of usually dreaded circumstances which bring people to a courthouse, there was a bright, giggly, baby chuckle filled, JOYOUS moment where a family was solidified…after 11 years of waiting, and 495 days with him it all perfectly became concrete.

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11 Years of waiting in their own desert. Years of wandering, tears, doubts, and questions….all of it ceased today with one glorious word…

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I teared up behind the camera, and then sobbed back in my car. My dream for my precious friends had finally come true, and I was reminded once again that HE.IS.GOOD ya’ll! So SO immeasurably good!

Foster Care and Adoption are simply perfect representations of God’s love for us! We’ve been adopted into His family forever once we accept Christ as our Lord and Savior…given forever love even before He knit us together, and all we have to do to claim it is say “YES, LORD!”.

I’ve had my own burning desire to foster and adopt for as long as I can remember, and stories like my sweet friends’ only serve to drive the nail in deeper that He never forgets us nor leaves us, there is absolutely a purpose, a GLORIOUS purpose, to our pain.  No matter how impatiently patient we may get as we walk out the waiting.

Sometimes He leaves us in the desert just long enough for us to see the other way He wants us to go. Just long enough for us to realize His way really is the only way…

Isaiah 48: “Look, I am about to do something new; even now it is coming. Do you not see it? Indeed, I will make a way in the wilderness, rivers in the desert.”

Last Sunday in Memphis I visited another friend’s Church, friends who are waiting for their child via adoption, and the Preacher broke down Moses’ encounter with God in the rocks when he asked God to show Himself Moses face to face. “God did not grant Moses’ request as he asked for it… The problem we have ISN’T with God’s promises, but rather His ways of fulfilling those promises.”

I love that God said “You shall see my back, but you cannot see my face…you would perish because my glory is too great for any man to take.” so instead He places him in a rock to have a peek AFTER He’d walked by. He granted his request, but it had to be modified for Moses’ sake.

It gutted me that night that many times we can only see exactly how and why God was moving as He did until after He’s already passed by us…after the waiting ends.

Sometimes He shows us with a tiny glimpse from a small crack in a rock, and sometimes just blindly, because if we got to see it coming at us head on it’d be too much for us to take either from fear, doubt, or just being ill-equipped at that moment so we’d run the opposite way of that which He wants us to go.

Rylan is proof of that glory.

They didn’t get to see him coming into their lives, it wasn’t how they’d initially planned it, but ohhhh how mighty the glorious ripples are that he’s been making since God placed him in their care those 495 days ago.

Thank you Jason and Tiffany for being wonderful friends, sharing your hearts always, and for loving the Lord with all of your beings. I love you both, and am forever grateful for your friendship, and willingness to just go, be, and do. Rylan is one BLESSED baby boy, and I cannot wait to watch your family continue to grow!

Welcome to the Brock Family Mr. Rylan! You’ve been loved, anticipated, and prayed for so much even before you were born!

XOXO, “Aunt B”

The first time ever I saw his sweet face…6 weeks old:Brock Family Adoption - Cleveland, TN Family Photographer - BraskaJennea Photography_0048.jpg

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This police onesie they’d been waiting for over 5 years to have a bundle to fill lay on their kitchen table…waiting for this handsome fella! Brock Family Adoption - Cleveland, TN Family Photographer - BraskaJennea Photography_0049.jpg

Halloween 2014 when he moused his way to my studio for some Halloween portraits:
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The Courthouse waiting game where he didn’t care about the seriousness of the place…he was just having a good time making everyone smile and laugh:
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Inside the Judge’s Chambers as they were sworn in, and legally made Mom and Dad:Brock Family Adoption - Cleveland, TN Family Photographer - BraskaJennea Photography_0011.jpg

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Part of the afterparty and Rylan welcoming commitee ;) Brock Family Adoption - Cleveland, TN Family Photographer - BraskaJennea Photography_0020.jpg

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Their FIRST Official portraits as a family! Brock Family Adoption - Cleveland, TN Family Photographer - BraskaJennea Photography_0023.jpg

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And a little Splish Splash fun with his hope to be someday soon lil sis ;) to round out the day:
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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