“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”!

Travelers-Rest-Wedding-Liz-+-Brian-Nashville-Wedding-Photographer_0060.jpg

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

You Are Worthy! – Introducing “The Worthy Project”

IMG_6164

You are here for a divine purpose, and appointment.  You are here to hear truth, to be renewed, reminded of your beauty, your worth, that you are loved, and if you’re a photographer that you have an enourmous responsibility as one who calls themselves a “Photographer”.

You see for so so long I lived under the banner that I wasn’t worthy.  31 years of it actually. Until last year when I wrote this post.

God was stirring.  He was up to something grand, and I didn’t know, just then, what it was.

He’d just thrust upon me a booming Clothing Boutique that ended one of my life long battles, and contributing reasons to my feelings of unworthiness, with FINALLY being able to afford and source truly trendy, FLATTERING, clothing for my curves.

The struggle then became finding manufacturers who made beautiful, flattering clothing over a size 12/Large. A task still proving so difficult that some weeks I just can’t fight the frustration so I don’t shop for the Boutique at all.

When you research though to find out WHY it’s so hard only to find that while an overwhelming 67% of Americans are a size 14 and higher, but only 30% of the entire WORLD’S manufacturers make anything over a Large/12 it compounds the frustration…and the anger.

I trudge on though because getting messages like this make it all completely worth it.

” I cannot EVEN tell you how thankful I am for you and your boutique !!! Three compliments already, and the day is still young! It was so very nice to dress with confidence this a.m. I actually feel good about my body the way it is. Clothing DOES make a difference! I am wearing the charcoal hanky hem swing shirt with blue jean jeggings and clogs. Although it will look much cuter with my cork sandals, I am actually happy with the way I look today in my clothing. Thank you, and may God continue to bless you AND your business!!” -S.S.

And this: “Here I am shooting a wedding reception in sweltering 95 degree heat, cool as a cucumber in my Buxom Boutique ensemble!” – C.H.

You see I’ve always, ALWAYS, been large. Thick is more like it😉 Truthfully I’ve always sort of resented it too.  “Why can’t I lose weight!?”,  “Why do my calves have to be so big?  I just want to wear tall boots!”, “I hate my arms!  Why do they have to be so big? I can’t even wear most bracelets!” Magnolia Market Waco, TX Adventure - Houston Wedding Photographer - BraskaJennea Photography-45FIX

Until a few weeks ago though it didn’t really click until…

Two of my girlfriends and I, all three very thick and curvy ladies, decided to go raft the Hiawassee River.  Now, I’d been down it last year for the first time, and I’ll take the Ocoee over getting stuck on every.single.rock. in that river any day.  Nonetheless we went, and of course, got stuck on just about every rock cluster, and grass cluster ;p, that river had…and we went early in the day at the highest point!

Fast forward about half-way through when we slam into a bank, a tree branch swings back and knocks A* right into the freezing rapid, with boulders on both sides, feet over head. Of course at that point there would be absolutely ZERO rocks in that river. None!

Now I don’t know if you’ve ever fallen into a river filled with giant boulders and little rock piles covered in sometimes a lot, but usually only a little, rushing water, but I can say from experience it’s NOT one you really want to put yourself in…especially without a helmut or some sort of means to protect your head. IMG_4276.JPG

J* held on to A* by the life jacket as I one paddle paddled us to a nearby “island”.  Nope…no rocks there either…just a bank wayyy too steep that A* couldn’t climb up onto. So, frozen, and still a little in shock, I tightened her life jacket as tight as it’d go, and informed her I’d be pulling her up into the raft. J* used the nylon roll of cord I fortuitously brought along “just in case” to wrap around a tree limb and semi-anchor us for the operation.

Now, a little backstory.  Beginning with the vessle choice earlier in the day they wanted to opt for the one and two man inflatible kayaks. I just didn’t feel right, and even remember telling them “How would we get back into that if one of us were to fall out?” hahaha!  Oh little did I know!

She promptly informed me “Dude, there’s no way you’re going to be able to pull me in!”

She clearly didn’t know what I knew…that God in His infinite wisdom/sense of humor? made me a SHE-HULK…through no training of my own HA!  SO, I informed her that I would indeed be able to pull her into the raft. We were still hoping for a rock, anything she could step onto for at least a little leverage, but, alas, no.such.luck.

With her head and shoulders barely out of the water, feet not very steadily, and flatly on the bottom or a shallow rock/root I counted to 3 and she “jumped” what tiny bit she could.  I yanked her up onto the side of the raft, she assumed a rather hilarious “Superman” pose between my legs, while I adjusted to bring her on in the boat. IMG_4365.JPG

We laughed then once the diar-ness of the situation had passed, and replayed the now funny scene of HOW A* fell off the raft in what seemed “slow motion”.  It was in the laughter that I uttered what would be my new revelation…

“I guess THIS is why I’m built like this!  Because God knew at some point in my 33rd year I would have to deadlift my friend’s behind out of a river.” We laughed again, but I let that truth sink in.  I mean I know there are other reasons, but had I have been as thin and small as *I* want to be it wouldn’t have happened.

I AM “Fearfully and wonderfully made!”

The other ignition point came back in March at WPPI.  The world’s largest Professional Photographer’s Convention in Las Vegas.IMG_0359

I looked around at two enourmous ballrooms at the MGM Grand filled to the brim with Photography vendors showcasing everything from albums and prints, to web design, and equipment.IMG_0279.JPG

Having a clothing boutique unlike any other around that equally, sometimes more, carries 1XL thru 3XL Clothing I’ve become unusally intune with whether or not other businesses are ignoring the 67% of the population who are the “average” and a size 14 or larger.

I was sort of taken aback that an average sized client or larger never once appeared in any marketing displays, samples, or portfolios. None.

Nowhere did I see MYSELF represented in any of these companies that were vying for my business. It’s a good thing my self-esteem is pretty high😉 Ha!  I just chalked it up to they wouldn’t be able to handle all of the business if they were to put my lovely mug in their marketing😉

So now, along with knowing there was size bias in the Social Media/Blog/Magazine world, I was grossly aware my industry was perpetuating the notion that if you’re not a certain age range, or size/version of “small” you’re not worthy of showcasing a product or business.

Even more infuriated when I heard one of my, now former, older, female, photography idols talk about “Pretty people sell”, and how she wouldn’t put her own portrait on her website, though her before and after glamour portrait was STUNNING, because “no one wants to see that”.

What?!?! YES!  YES THEY DO!

People, women especially, WANT and DESERVE to see themselves represented in media…in photographs!   Women NEED to see that no matter their age, their wrinkles, their stretch marks, THEIR STORY, that they are WORTHY of having their legacy captured…WORTHY of an image that makes them feel as beautiful as they truly are…EXACTLY as they are!

We just don’t see “ourselves” represented, if at all, well enough to get the message.

Why do we think it’s so hard to get mother’s to pose with their babies?  Why is it so hard to get Boudoir and Glamour clients to walk through our doors?  Why is it we always hear the same sad words from client’s mouths?

“Oh I’ll break your camera!”

“Did I break your camera?”

“I’m just not photogenic enough”

“I just don’t feel good about myself.”

“My _______ is too ________.”

“You know it’s been probably 20 years since I had my picture taken!  I don’t look good enough anymore for a photo.”

Because THEY DON’T SEE PEOPLE LIKE THEM, BEAUTIFULLY AVERAGE PEOPLE, REPRESENTED…ANYWHERE! 

Want to know how bad it really is?  Go scroll through the popular Wedding Instagram accounts and blogs.  Go check out the Online and Print Magazines devoted to our industry.  Tell me how many MONTHS you have to go back to even fine ONE.SINGLE.IMAGE of a bride, family, senior, etc… that would be described as our national average or above of a size 14 or higher…hey, try to even find one over a size 8.  I looked through FIVE Instagram accounts, all of the “big” well known Wedding Blogs, I found ONE in only three of them…going back over 25 weeks on each.

One day I want a grand wedding, I’ll certainly have waited long enough for it.  I’ve planned, did floral design, and photographed enough of other bride’s days that I know what details and looks get published.  The sad truth is though, even if I have Kaitlyn, or Justin and Mary, or Jasmine, Leslee, or Kristyn, or Zach and Jody capture it, I’m fairly certain, given the state of our industry now, that it would never get featured all because the industry, and the American culture we live in, doesn’t see ME and those like me, as worthy.

That makes me angry.

YES it absolutely takes extra time posing, angling, lighting, coaching on clothing, etc… for a curvy client, but if you don’t want to take the time to capture their beautiful spirit in the most beautiful way possible the same as any other client, then send them to me.  I’ll be happy to show them what a TRUE Professional Photographer SHOULD be able to do!Magnolia Market Waco, TX Adventure - Houston Wedding Photographer - BraskaJennea Photography-49fix

I saw and blasted a male Boudoir “photographer” this year in a Photography group who literally admitted he told a size 26 woman who came into his studio asking to “be photographed as beautiful as she feels” that it “wasn’t possible” because of her size.  No, I’m NOT even kidding.

Who the hell do we think we are either verbally, or by refusing to showcase them, telling clients that they have to be a certain size or age to be beautiful enough to be photographed?

I get it.  I know it’s not easy.  I’ve had more than my unfair share of horrible portraits byx photographers over the years, ohhhh don’t get me started on the “Professionals” and the Studio who later did another session from the horrifc mess that were my Senior portraits.

It is our JOB however to look through that lens and see every.single.different body type, every possible *flaw* they may be self-conscious about, and know or be contemplating as soon as we consult with them on how we’re going to capture them.

How we are going to FLATTER and visually slim or hide those imperfections they worry about themselves, that others probably never see but to them it’s the hump on The Hunchback of Notre Dam, to bolster their self-esteem when they step in front of our lens.

We hold such fragile pieces of each precious soul in our hands.  A soul with a story, a beautiful, unique story, that deserves to be told and encouraged that they are in fact beautiful and worthy of being seen.

We must be ever so mindful of that, and educate ourselves to the best of our ability to not shoot everyone, every body type, the same.  Because honestly you just cannot do it, and make every timid, nervous, aprhensive, delicate, unique being that steps in front of you feel like they are as wonderful and beautiful as they truly are.

So, yes send me your Curvy brides, Boudoir wives or engaged women, Seniors, Families, and Headshots if you feel you can’t do them justice.  Or even BETTER hire me to COACH you on how to do what I do.  Hell, hire me to come style your Curvy Brides and Grooms during Weddings or Bridals!  I’ll teach you in the process!

I can’t do them all though, and honestly I don’t want to because I want YOU to feel that love and gratitude those clients who haven’t ever felt good about a photograph of themselves feel when they see an image YOU captured of them!

So, I introduce you to The Worthy Project.  I want to start a movement in the Wedding, Photography, and Videography industries to right the decades of wrong, and make sure every soul leaves our businesses, whatever the medium, feeling valued…feeling seen..feeling WORTHY!IMG_6164.PNG

Will you join me?

XOXO, B

 

Maybe, Just Maybe, You’re Not Meant To Be A Photographer (or _____)

image

What I am about to say will probably ruffle feathers, I can almost guarantee it, BUT I hope you’ll feel this through to the end.  See where my heart is, and why I say maybe you’re not meant to be a photographer…or whatever it is you’re struggling to make a go of.

Here’s the deal I get it in this “You can do anything, and be anything you want in life” mentality that this isn’t going to be a popular statement. So just roll with me here😉

Maybe, just maybe, you’re not called to be a photographer, chef, firefighter, wedding planner, baker, florist, teacher, or ______ (fill in your desired career). *GASP* and cue the lynch mob! Maybe you are, BUT it IS possible that you’re not.

Just because we all own stoves, and loooove to cook, doesn’t mean we’re to become Julia Childs.

You may have a “healing touch” that can soothe just about anyone, but you’re not meant to be a Doctor.

Likewise just because you have a killer boat, fishing rod, and can spend all day on the river you’re not going to become the next Bill Dance.

A gift, an ability, having the right equipment, do NOT always equate to being the gateway to the career you’re meant to impact the world with.

It took me years of getting hooked into “pyramid” companies, many of which ARE indeed amazing and can having mega rewards/paychecks, to realize something monumental.

Yes, the discounts, and the money, are sooooo enticing you see others making so “effortlessly”.  Then, BONUS, I loooove make-up, skin care, chocolate, jewelry, even wine, BUT they weren’t jobs I was sincerely, 100000%, passionate about.  They weren’t gigs I was willing to sacrifice anything for…much less vacations, my own place, dinner out, etc…

You see I was in love with the product, the idea of a quick buck doing something I loved…and getting it for less…not the process and the PURPOSE behind it.

Even answering phones all day in a Call Center is a calling (no pun intended😂)…some are meant to do it, while others almost, or do, suffer nervous breakdowns.

You either see the purpose behind it, love the process, and embrace it to the fullest, orrrrr, like me, you quit.

You quit with no solid back-up plan, no job in line other than this VERY part-time, time stealing, money eating, soul fire burning, hobby called “Photography”.

You quit, jumping blindfolded, ready to fumble it out, because sitting in discontent just for security no longer sounds as appealing as dangerous uncertainty doing something you wake daily thinking about.

I left a steady (AMAZING) paycheck, INSURANCE, retirement fund, bonuses, living in the wonderful Middle Tennessee area so close to Nashville that it was PERFECT…for straight uncertainty.

I had to move back with my parents in East TN, surrender security, surrender luxuries (like health insurance), all to pursue something that FINALLY, truly, FIT ME!

I’d found my purpose, and as awful as it was not having steady, reliable (make people pay deposits ya’ll!!!) income, it just started to naturally role into place.

Wasn’t easy.  Still to this day is packed with sacrifices (can’t get a mortgage, chose a studio over my own place because that was a need more than my parents not driving my 30yr old self crazy), sleep loss (though that thankfully has gotten better with outsourcing!), giving up one thing I’ve saved for to replace something more important, and the list goes on.

You see I’ve been told over the years I can “sell you the shoes off of someone else’s feet”, so it wasn’t lack of sales ability that was the problem with those other jobs.

I couldn’t sell any of it very well despite my killer sales pitches, knowledge, and knowing the bonuses I could achieve; because I didn’t TRULY care about it.

THEN when someone else I knew came along to sell the same thing (whatever the new *trendy* sales item was in our tiny town) I was always devastated at how seemingly quickly they took off…how much more they were making than me.

And I wasn’t willing to fight them for it. It wasn’t my absolute passion…and it showed. In my sales attitude, and my business.  Maybe others didn’t see it, besides my recruiters, but I was NOT interested in sacrificing anything to build those businesses or advance positions (unless it was pushed upon me).

I let these teeny tiny speed bumps become giant brick walls blocking my success, and I had no interest in mustering the energy to tear them down or climb over.

image

Like Sue Bryce says I had “self imposed mental blocks”, and because those weren’t career paths my soul was on fire for I was perfectly fine letting others just take my business.

Now this part won’t be for many of you, but my faith and belief in God’s divine plan, and His perfect timing, has shown me time and time again that He has a career for us that is designed to fit uniquely us.  A passion, not just a paycheck, that He also let’s pay our bills.

So, you have to decide if you love it so much you’re willing to sacrifice what.ev.er. and do whatever it takes to make this a success.  Decide if you’re willing to fight for it because it’s what you live and breathe to do, or if it’s just an outlet to let you do something fun and creative for little while.

What you fight for is what will manifest. So search your soul, and find the thing that lights it on FIRE! Fight for that! Invest in that!

If it’s not photography then so be it!  If it’s not law school, your teaching certification, your nursing degree, a promotion, etc… then let it go.

BUT, if it is, then I urge you to run, full steam ahead, stop building your own walls by laying the bricks, or letting others lay them for you, and, like the saying says, “get out of your own way”!

I would rather spend every day of my life clawing, scraping, fighting for this gift of Photography, than simply making an easy, secure, dollar.

The risk is great here, people’s memories and legacies are on the line with real lawsuits and consequences possible.   I say that’s how you know you’ve found your soul fire calling…when you know the risks and proceed sacrificing anyway to make it happen.

I can tell you all of this as one who’s lived it.  Is still living it, walking it out sacrifice by sacrifice, but is reaping rewards never imagined.  Rewards that came in form of a thriving Clothing Boutique for Small thru 3XL…another business, another passion, I didn’t ever plan or see coming, but that fits smashingly.

Why?  Because if I hadn’t walked out Photography I wouldn’t have learned all I needed to know to offer a unique eye for outfitting women of all BEAUTIFUL sizes in figure flattering, photographer approved (i.e. will photograph well), clothing.

In the wise words of Yoda: “Do or do not, there is no try”!

You never know what other blessings await as you trudge it out toward the goal line, and you just might miss those blessings if you keep trying to force something you’re just not meant to do.

Make it happen, or find what you’re supposed to make happen, and let everything else fall by the way side!

Xoxo,  B

 

 

A Disney Beauty and The Beast Themed Engagement – Whitney + Cody Pt. 1- Knoxville Wedding Photographer – BraskaJennea Photography

Disney Beauty and the Beast Themed Southern Spring Engagement- Knoxville Wedding Photographer - BraskaJennea Photography_0059

When one of your best friends, one of your ride or die people, asks you to photograph their Wedding you, of course, say YES!  When they tell you their Groom-to-be is an enourmous Disney fan, and concocted a grand idea to re-create a Modern Day Beauty and The Beast Themed Engagement portion to their session….well…you just die!

They’ll even Honeymoon in The Magic Kingdom, to which I am plotting a way to get there and do a Bride and Groom After Wedding Session at the Castle!  I mean…if they’re THIS stunning in little ole’ Athens, Tennessee can you imagine them AT Disney World?! As much as I hate the phrase “CAN’T EVEN” comes to mind😉

He’s an Elementary School Teacher and the Children’s Director at his Church, and she’s a brilliant Accountant.  Both with personalities bigger than life, and smiles that can’t be contained when they’re forced to look at each other even for a brief moment. It’s just so sweet….ly sickening😉 Haha!  *I kid I kid Whit-bit!* (She scares me! Lol!)

They opted to go for the longest BJP Engagement session available, and with the weather not really cooperating on the 1st day of their session we split it into two…the second half being the very next evening.  Turned out to be a giant blessing due to the weather, and wind!, on “Beauty and the Beast Day” being simply perfection!

Exhuberantly excited for their Wedding this October if they’re this much fun, and this insanely easy, to photograph just for the engagement portraits! I mean he gives as good as she gives, and they both just simply exhude sheer happiness in each other’s presence.

They’re definitely a match made not only for a Happily Ever After, but one made exclusively in Heaven. Truly a love worth waiting for, and a tale as old as time!!  So, enjoy Part 1 of their two part Engagement Story!  Part 2 coming after their Save the Dates go out  ;)

B loves you crazy two so much!  Bring ON October!!!

Disney Beauty and the Beast Themed Southern Spring Engagement- Knoxville Wedding Photographer - BraskaJennea Photography_0083

Disney Beauty and the Beast Themed Southern Spring Engagement- Knoxville Wedding Photographer - BraskaJennea Photography_0057Disney Beauty and the Beast Themed Southern Spring Engagement- Knoxville Wedding Photographer - BraskaJennea Photography_0058Disney Beauty and the Beast Themed Southern Spring Engagement- Knoxville Wedding Photographer - BraskaJennea Photography_0056Disney Beauty and the Beast Themed Southern Spring Engagement- Knoxville Wedding Photographer - BraskaJennea Photography_0052Disney Beauty and the Beast Themed Southern Spring Engagement- Knoxville Wedding Photographer - BraskaJennea Photography_0053Disney Beauty and the Beast Themed Southern Spring Engagement- Knoxville Wedding Photographer - BraskaJennea Photography_0054Disney Beauty and the Beast Themed Southern Spring Engagement- Knoxville Wedding Photographer - BraskaJennea Photography_0055Disney Beauty and the Beast Themed Southern Spring Engagement- Knoxville Wedding Photographer - BraskaJennea Photography_0060Disney Beauty and the Beast Themed Southern Spring Engagement- Knoxville Wedding Photographer - BraskaJennea Photography_0061Disney Beauty and the Beast Themed Southern Spring Engagement- Knoxville Wedding Photographer - BraskaJennea Photography_0062Disney Beauty and the Beast Themed Southern Spring Engagement- Knoxville Wedding Photographer - BraskaJennea Photography_0059Disney Beauty and the Beast Themed Southern Spring Engagement- Knoxville Wedding Photographer - BraskaJennea Photography_0063Disney Beauty and the Beast Themed Southern Spring Engagement- Knoxville Wedding Photographer - BraskaJennea Photography_0064Disney Beauty and the Beast Themed Southern Spring Engagement- Knoxville Wedding Photographer - BraskaJennea Photography_0065Disney Beauty and the Beast Themed Southern Spring Engagement- Knoxville Wedding Photographer - BraskaJennea Photography_0066Disney Beauty and the Beast Themed Southern Spring Engagement- Knoxville Wedding Photographer - BraskaJennea Photography_0067Disney Beauty and the Beast Themed Southern Spring Engagement- Knoxville Wedding Photographer - BraskaJennea Photography_0068Disney Beauty and the Beast Themed Southern Spring Engagement- Knoxville Wedding Photographer - BraskaJennea Photography_0070Disney Beauty and the Beast Themed Southern Spring Engagement- Knoxville Wedding Photographer - BraskaJennea Photography_0071Disney Beauty and the Beast Themed Southern Spring Engagement- Knoxville Wedding Photographer - BraskaJennea Photography_0072Disney Beauty and the Beast Themed Southern Spring Engagement- Knoxville Wedding Photographer - BraskaJennea Photography_0073Disney Beauty and the Beast Themed Southern Spring Engagement- Knoxville Wedding Photographer - BraskaJennea Photography_0074Disney Beauty and the Beast Themed Southern Spring Engagement- Knoxville Wedding Photographer - BraskaJennea Photography_0075Disney Beauty and the Beast Themed Southern Spring Engagement- Knoxville Wedding Photographer - BraskaJennea Photography_0076Disney Beauty and the Beast Themed Southern Spring Engagement- Knoxville Wedding Photographer - BraskaJennea Photography_0077Disney Beauty and the Beast Themed Southern Spring Engagement- Knoxville Wedding Photographer - BraskaJennea Photography_0078Disney Beauty and the Beast Themed Southern Spring Engagement- Knoxville Wedding Photographer - BraskaJennea Photography_0079Disney Beauty and the Beast Themed Southern Spring Engagement- Knoxville Wedding Photographer - BraskaJennea Photography_0080Disney Beauty and the Beast Themed Southern Spring Engagement- Knoxville Wedding Photographer - BraskaJennea Photography_0081Disney Beauty and the Beast Themed Southern Spring Engagement- Knoxville Wedding Photographer - BraskaJennea Photography_0082Disney Beauty and the Beast Themed Southern Spring Engagement- Knoxville Wedding Photographer - BraskaJennea Photography_0084Disney Beauty and the Beast Themed Southern Spring Engagement- Knoxville Wedding Photographer - BraskaJennea Photography_0085Disney Beauty and the Beast Themed Southern Spring Engagement- Knoxville Wedding Photographer - BraskaJennea Photography_0086Disney Beauty and the Beast Themed Southern Spring Engagement- Knoxville Wedding Photographer - BraskaJennea Photography_0087Disney Beauty and the Beast Themed Southern Spring Engagement- Knoxville Wedding Photographer - BraskaJennea Photography_0089Disney Beauty and the Beast Themed Southern Spring Engagement- Knoxville Wedding Photographer - BraskaJennea Photography_0092Disney Beauty and the Beast Themed Southern Spring Engagement- Knoxville Wedding Photographer - BraskaJennea Photography_0091Disney Beauty and the Beast Themed Southern Spring Engagement- Knoxville Wedding Photographer - BraskaJennea Photography_0090

 

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

Brock-Family-Adoption-Cleveland-TN-Family-Photographer-BraskaJennea-Photography_0031.jpg

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.

Brock Family Adoption - Cleveland, TN Family Photographer - BraskaJennea Photography_0002.jpg

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

Brock Family Adoption - Cleveland, TN Family Photographer - BraskaJennea Photography_0001.jpg

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

Brock Family Adoption - Cleveland, TN Family Photographer - BraskaJennea Photography_0046.jpg

Brock Family Adoption - Cleveland, TN Family Photographer - BraskaJennea Photography_0047.jpg

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:
Brock Family Adoption - Cleveland, TN Family Photographer - BraskaJennea Photography_0050.jpg

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:
Brock Family Adoption - Cleveland, TN Family Photographer - BraskaJennea Photography_0005.jpg

Brock Family Adoption - Cleveland, TN Family Photographer - BraskaJennea Photography_0006.jpg

Brock Family Adoption - Cleveland, TN Family Photographer - BraskaJennea Photography_0007.jpg

Brock Family Adoption - Cleveland, TN Family Photographer - BraskaJennea Photography_0003.jpg

Brock Family Adoption - Cleveland, TN Family Photographer - BraskaJennea Photography_0008.jpg

Brock Family Adoption - Cleveland, TN Family Photographer - BraskaJennea Photography_0009.jpg

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

Brock Family Adoption - Cleveland, TN Family Photographer - BraskaJennea Photography_0012.jpg

Brock Family Adoption - Cleveland, TN Family Photographer - BraskaJennea Photography_0013.jpg

Brock Family Adoption - Cleveland, TN Family Photographer - BraskaJennea Photography_0014.jpg

Brock Family Adoption - Cleveland, TN Family Photographer - BraskaJennea Photography_0016.jpg

Brock Family Adoption - Cleveland, TN Family Photographer - BraskaJennea Photography_0017.jpg

Brock Family Adoption - Cleveland, TN Family Photographer - BraskaJennea Photography_0018.jpg

Brock Family Adoption - Cleveland, TN Family Photographer - BraskaJennea Photography_0019.jpg

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

Brock Family Adoption - Cleveland, TN Family Photographer - BraskaJennea Photography_0021.jpg

Brock Family Adoption - Cleveland, TN Family Photographer - BraskaJennea Photography_0022.jpg

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

Brock Family Adoption - Cleveland, TN Family Photographer - BraskaJennea Photography_0024.jpg

Brock Family Adoption - Cleveland, TN Family Photographer - BraskaJennea Photography_0025.jpg

Brock Family Adoption - Cleveland, TN Family Photographer - BraskaJennea Photography_0026.jpg
Brock Family Adoption - Cleveland, TN Family Photographer - BraskaJennea Photography_0028.jpg

Brock Family Adoption - Cleveland, TN Family Photographer - BraskaJennea Photography_0029.jpg

Brock Family Adoption - Cleveland, TN Family Photographer - BraskaJennea Photography_0031.jpg

Brock Family Adoption - Cleveland, TN Family Photographer - BraskaJennea Photography_0033.jpg

Brock Family Adoption - Cleveland, TN Family Photographer - BraskaJennea Photography_0034.jpg

Brock Family Adoption - Cleveland, TN Family Photographer - BraskaJennea Photography_0035.jpg

Brock Family Adoption - Cleveland, TN Family Photographer - BraskaJennea Photography_0036.jpg

Brock Family Adoption - Cleveland, TN Family Photographer - BraskaJennea Photography_0037.jpg

And a little Splish Splash fun with his hope to be someday soon lil sis😉 to round out the day:
Brock Family Adoption - Cleveland, TN Family Photographer - BraskaJennea Photography_0039.jpg

Brock Family Adoption - Cleveland, TN Family Photographer - BraskaJennea Photography_0038.jpg

Brock Family Adoption - Cleveland, TN Family Photographer - BraskaJennea Photography_0040.jpg

Brock Family Adoption - Cleveland, TN Family Photographer - BraskaJennea Photography_0043.jpg

Brock Family Adoption - Cleveland, TN Family Photographer - BraskaJennea Photography_0044.jpg

Brock Family Adoption - Cleveland, TN Family Photographer - BraskaJennea Photography_0045.jpg

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

Jessy-Daniel-Wind-River-Engagement-BraskaJennea-Photography_0005.jpg

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.
Jessy + Daniel - Wind River Engagement - BraskaJennea Photography_0001.jpg

Jessy + Daniel - Wind River Engagement - BraskaJennea Photography_0002.jpg

Jessy + Daniel - Wind River Engagement - BraskaJennea Photography_0006.jpg

Jessy + Daniel - Wind River Engagement - BraskaJennea Photography_0003.jpg

Jessy + Daniel - Wind River Engagement - BraskaJennea Photography_0005.jpg

Jessy + Daniel - Wind River Engagement - BraskaJennea Photography_0007.jpg

Jessy + Daniel - Wind River Engagement - BraskaJennea Photography_0008.jpg

Jessy + Daniel - Wind River Engagement - BraskaJennea Photography_0010.jpg

Jessy + Daniel - Wind River Engagement - BraskaJennea Photography_0011.jpg

Jessy + Daniel - Wind River Engagement - BraskaJennea Photography_0013.jpg

Jessy + Daniel - Wind River Engagement - BraskaJennea Photography_0014.jpg

Jessy + Daniel - Wind River Engagement - BraskaJennea Photography_0015.jpg

Jessy + Daniel - Wind River Engagement - BraskaJennea Photography_0017.jpg

Jessy + Daniel - Wind River Engagement - BraskaJennea Photography_0018.jpg

Jessy + Daniel - Wind River Engagement - BraskaJennea Photography_0019.jpg

Jessy + Daniel - Wind River Engagement - BraskaJennea Photography_0020.jpg

Jessy + Daniel - Wind River Engagement - BraskaJennea Photography_0021.jpg

Jessy + Daniel - Wind River Engagement - BraskaJennea Photography_0022.jpg

Jessy + Daniel - Wind River Engagement - BraskaJennea Photography_0023.jpg

Jessy + Daniel - Wind River Engagement - BraskaJennea Photography_0024.jpg

Jessy + Daniel - Wind River Engagement - BraskaJennea Photography_0025.jpg

Jessy + Daniel - Wind River Engagement - BraskaJennea Photography_0026.jpg

Jessy + Daniel - Wind River Engagement - BraskaJennea Photography_0027.jpg

Jessy + Daniel - Wind River Engagement - BraskaJennea Photography_0028.jpg

Jessy + Daniel - Wind River Engagement - BraskaJennea Photography_0029.jpg

Jessy + Daniel - Wind River Engagement - BraskaJennea Photography_0030.jpg

Jessy + Daniel - Wind River Engagement - BraskaJennea Photography_0031.jpg

Jessy + Daniel - Wind River Engagement - BraskaJennea Photography_0032.jpg

Jessy + Daniel - Wind River Engagement - BraskaJennea Photography_0033.jpg

Jessy + Daniel - Wind River Engagement - BraskaJennea Photography_0034.jpg

Jessy + Daniel - Wind River Engagement - BraskaJennea Photography_0035.jpg

Jessy + Daniel - Wind River Engagement - BraskaJennea Photography_0036.jpg

Jessy + Daniel - Wind River Engagement - BraskaJennea Photography_0047.jpg

Jessy + Daniel - Wind River Engagement - BraskaJennea Photography_0045.jpg

Jessy + Daniel - Wind River Engagement - BraskaJennea Photography_0046.jpg

Jessy + Daniel - Wind River Engagement - BraskaJennea Photography_0043.jpg

Jessy + Daniel - Wind River Engagement - BraskaJennea Photography_0041.jpg

Jessy + Daniel - Wind River Engagement - BraskaJennea Photography_0039.jpg

Jessy + Daniel - Wind River Engagement - BraskaJennea Photography_0038.jpg

Jessy + Daniel - Wind River Engagement - BraskaJennea Photography_0048.jpg

Jessy + Daniel - Wind River Engagement - BraskaJennea Photography_0049.jpg

Jessy + Daniel - Wind River Engagement - BraskaJennea Photography_0050.jpg

Jessy + Daniel - Wind River Engagement - BraskaJennea Photography_0051.jpg

Jessy + Daniel - Wind River Engagement - BraskaJennea Photography_0052.jpg

Jessy + Daniel - Wind River Engagement - BraskaJennea Photography_0053.jpg

Jessy + Daniel - Wind River Engagement - BraskaJennea Photography_0054.jpg

Jessy + Daniel - Wind River Engagement - BraskaJennea Photography_0055.jpg

Jessy + Daniel - Wind River Engagement - BraskaJennea Photography_0058.jpg

Jessy + Daniel - Wind River Engagement - BraskaJennea Photography_0057.jpg

Jessy + Daniel - Wind River Engagement - BraskaJennea Photography_0059.jpg

Jessy + Daniel - Wind River Engagement - BraskaJennea Photography_0060.jpg