Josh & Jenny – Married | Calvary Baptist Church – Simpsonville, SC | South Carolina Wedding Photographer

Meeting Josh & Jenny was a whirlwind because of their distance apart.  Josh was in Michigan working and trying to find a job in the Greenville area, so I only meeting Jenny at first.  I was initially contacted by Josh because, as Jenny told me, he likes planning things out, so she just let him do it, lol.  Which was a great change for me.  I like speaking with both the bride and groom in the planning process, and there’s been times when I won’t meet the groom until the day of the wedding.  But they were both part of every process every step of the way.  It was just refreshing.  Also?  Josh & Jenny are just the kindest and sweet couple anywayyy, so they made me feel like I had the easiest job in the world.   I also photographed their engagement photos, you can see those HERE.

I arrived at their gorgeous venue, which was Calvary Baptist Church in Simpsonville.  I don’t typically enjoy photographing in churches due to the lighting, but I was pleasantly surprised to find that there were lots of windows in the front foyer and plenty of lighting showcasing them during the ceremony.  It was a lovely day.

Josh & Jenny opted for a first look, which I always recommend, for that extra intimate moment together before the big moment.  But theirs was just as wonderful as any other.  I try not to intrude on their moment, so I keep a little bit of distance away if I can.

Without going on forever and ever, here are some favorites from Josh & Jenny’s wedding 🙂

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I want to thank you, Josh & Jenny, for asking me to be a part of your wedding.  It was truly a pleasure meeting and working with you and also meeting your wonderful families!  I wish you both the absolute best in your lives together and marriage 🙂

 

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Kevin & Kelly – Engaged | Furman University – Greenville, SC

I met Kevin & Kelly at a Starbucks back in September.  We talked over the main details of their wedding, laughed mostly, and got to know each other a little better.  Kelly was actually referred from one of my long time clients, Jessica (Ya know that super adorable couple I’ve done my styled shoots with?  Yeah, them!  Most recent session with them HERE.), who she use to work with.  Said that loved my work and chose me to be their wedding photographer.  How awesome!

Their engagement session was so much fun and we had MANY laughs, as I’m sure there are many more to be had from the way that we interact with one another, lol.  The day that we were at Furman University, there was either a football or soccer game going on (don’t remember which) and they had been playing Black Eyed Peas, so it could be heard all over the campus.  While I was switching out one of my lenses, I had my back turned for a minute, and in true “me” fashion, I started rapping a part of the song in this deep, burly voice.  Totally professional.  And from behind me, I hear this burst of laughter coming from Kevin & Kelly because apparently I had interrupted a romantic moment they were having.  Whoops!  😛  One of the many perks of working with this ‘lil gal.  I break out into song at any given moment, be prepared folks!

Here are some of my favorites from their engagement session 🙂

Kevin & Kelly are to be married on May 6th, 2017.

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Thank you Kevin & Kelly for making a part of this process in your lives.  I can’t wait to do Kelly’s bridals soon, and then the big day in a few months!

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Matthew & Kalee – Married | Lake Robinson – Greer, SC

I received a phone call from Kalee about a month prior to their wedding saying she needed me for a couple of hours to photograph her small intimate wedding at Lake Robinson.  I love small, intimate weddings just about as much as big, elaborate weddings, so I of course said yes!

Matthew & Kalee had been together for several years before deciding to tie the knot.  They wanted something small with just immediate family and that’s just what they had.  The view of the Lake from the dock was just beautiful.  It wasn’t too cool or hot that day (Even though it was early/mid December) and the sky was just gorgeous.  I couldn’t have asked for better weather for an outdoor wedding!

Here are just some of my faves from their big day

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Also!  Matthew & Kalee had been trying to have kids, but never would take.  I’m happy to say that they are expecting TWO precious bundles of joy!  Again, congratulations to you both for your marriage and the babies!

Thank you again for allowing me to document this amazing day for you both.  I wish you both the absolute best with your wonderful family 🙂

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Calling Yourself Out: Dealing with Jealousy & Admitting Mistakes

I’ve had (emotionally) a rough past few weeks, I hate to admit.  I’ve doubted myself more than I should and I let my emotions impair my judgement professionally.  And I’ve done this on more than one occasion, but I have yet to meet a photographer who hasn’t made some kind of mistake like this.

We’ve all heard of “faux-togs”, right?  People who go out and start photography “businesses” after just buying or receiving a BRAND-SPANKIN’-NEW-RIGHT-OUT-OF-THE-BOX DSLR and have no intentions on improving their skills or any desire for a real passion in photography.   Lately, I’ve been seeing more and more of these people…everywhere.  You’ll hear most photographers talk about these types of people at weddings as “Uncle Bob” or “Aunt Sally”, who are pretty much photo bombers for the hired professional.  I mean, the list goes on and on.

BUT!  As you get better and better (as long as you try to improve), you’ll see all of these mistakes that you made back when you first started, and you work hard to make sure that those things never happen again.  But there are SOME people who don’t even try.  No real passion for the art and only see it as some extra cash in their pocket.

This is where I made the mistake.

The mistake where I let jealousy and my true love for photography get the best of me without even thinking.  I sounded off about how these photographers were taking away business from “real” professionals by only charging a very small amount ($25-50) per session.  I also went about saying how much I had worked hard in the past three and a half years and how I improved my skills, but these people where getting all of the business.  It’s not fair.  Why would these people who are charging such cheap prices and low quality get all of the praise & business that I wanted/needed?  But then I remembered (a little too late, might I add)…….I USE TO BE ONE OF THEM.

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This was my FIRST wedding.  I think I charged them $50 for the whole wedding.  I swear to God, this is all true.

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I done this……..yes.  I did.

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Oh yeah, and I done this too.  Not sure what’s so awesome about that strand of grass and their blurry selves, but mind you…I has just started.  And that angle?  MY GOD MAN!  WHAT WAS THINKING?!

Now that I go back and look at my “work” back in 2010-11, I realized that there were probably people who were saying the SAME EXACT thing as I have said about those other people.  And if I would  have known back then what was being said about my work, I’d feel like a pile of poo and just quit.  And that’s when I realized that I was being a big, fat jerk and a bully.

Now, I’m not sure if you know how I feel about bullying, but I DESPISE it.  I’ve had a sibling who has been a victim of bullying so there’s no way in the world that I’d ever condone it.  And at the moment when it clicked that I was doing something so hurtful to people, without even speaking directly to them, I hated myself.  I immediately pulled down everything and started working this blog post in my mind because I know I’ve had past clients who saw what was posted and even if you didn’t see it, you deserve to know how I felt anyway.  And then, I got a message on Facebook from someone that I unintentionally hurt.  I felt like a sack of garbage, like someone should’ve just thrown me in the bin, because I. felt. awful.

To all of you who are just starting with photography, whether or not you are doing for extra money or because your truly love it;  I was once in your shoes.  But, it gets better, it really does.  If you work on improving your skills, making sure that you have the best equipment that you can possibly have and LEARN how to use it, you will be SO much better, in time.

I told this to the person who messaged me yesterday and I wanted to say it here, that I was truly jealous.  I was so angry with these people who were getting SO much business and praise for doing so very little.  That’s what I wanted (still want, to be truthful! lol) and I couldn’t handle it anymore.  My mind just threw out all professionalism and went crazy.  I have a great friend, whom I once felt intimidated by.  She had started taking pictures and I thought of her as one of “THOSE” people at first, because I really felt like she would take away my potential business.  Living in such a small town, yeah…..it was possible.  So I was kind of snobbish towards her at first…whether or not she realized it.  Why would I give her all of my advice and knowledge?  Why would I just throw everything I knew away to someone who could potentially put me out of business?  Not too long after that I watched something from Jasmine Star (or someone else I truly admire, I can’t remember for certain) that told me (something along the lines of) that no matter how much you help someone or what advice you give them, it’s not gonna make a huge difference if they don’t know what to do with it.

And again…I felt like a huge jerk.  So, I started helping her out as much as I could and if she didn’t fully understand something, I’d explain it to the best of my abilities with examples of what I do in that certain situation.  And now?  I love her to death and I can truly call her a great friend.  Also, she started upgrading her equipment and LEARNED how to use it and she is getting so much better every single day.  I couldn’t be any more proud of her than I am right now.  By the way, she knows that I’m talking about her, lol.

I guess you need these moments in your life and career to push you forward and to be the best professional that you can be.  Dwelling on others’ mistakes can get you nowhere, and getting angry because of their small success doesn’t make you a better photographer/person either.  If someone is having trouble with anything, help them and push them in the right direction to be better photographers (as long as they want it).  I mean, the only way that you’re gonna see yourself getting better is by trial and error and trying new things.   And how are gonna be able to do that if you don’t know that what you’re doing is wrong?  I had the pleasure of having some friends who were gracious enough to help me when I asked questions about settings, equipment, etc.  I can’t imagine where I’d be without that kind of help back then.  Shewt, I still need help NOW with certain things.  No, I’m not the perfect photographer….buddy, I’m far from it! lol  But I can at least help others with what I DO know.

Have a great week,

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Tim & Merlinda – Married

They were married at Cleveland Park on June 30th, 2013.  The festivities were suppose to take place outside in a small amphitheater.  And as a photographer, I was SO excited, I’m sure you all can understand, lol.  The location was beautiful, but we just had one problem……RAIN.  Right before the ceremony started, it started to sprinkle, so yes….we had to move the ceremony indoors where the reception was to take place.  Which I’m not complaining, the reception area was BEAUTIFUL.  And the best part?  Merlinda decorated everything.  AMAZING.

I drove up the hotel where Merlinda and her wonderful bridesmaids and daughter were being pampered and getting ready by April & Charleen from the Classy Styles crew.  I’m sure you all have heard more than enough about them from me 😛  But I can’t help it, they are awesome at what they do.  I came in to the room where April was finishing up Merlinda’s hair with some small details as the rest of the bridesmaids, as well as Merlinda’s daughter, were frantically rushing to get dressed and finishing up their hair.    And what a beauty she was that day, it’s hard to describe.  Which is why I’m there to get the emotion, in photographs 🙂

I met up with Tim before heading to the hotel and he was already dressed and ready to be with his bride.  I can sense a little bit of nervousness from the initial hello, but he seemed rather cool.  Everything was looking great, and I couldn’t wait to start on what was going to be a great wedding.

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And it all ended with a kiss in the limo that they drove off in.  This wedding was beautiful and even more so since they were surrounded by SO MANY friends and  family.  I am blessed and honored to have been a part of Tim & Merlinda’s wedding day as well as their engagement session (you can find that here).  From all of the dancing, small details, and just flat out LOVE (and fun) that they radiated, was more than worth it.  I am happy for Tim & Merlinda in the greatest of ways and I wish then both the best life they could possibly have with each other 🙂

Have a great weekend y’all! 🙂

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