Stories from the Heart
Blue Ridge Wedding Photography 5 Star Stables & Lodge Drew & Jenni
A Blue Ridge Wedding at 5 Star Stables & Lodge
When Drew and Jenni were planning their wedding they chose the Blue Ridge Mountain Area. The venue they chose was 5 Star Stables & Lodge. The Lodge sits on 45 private acres and can house over 30 guest and offers absolutely spectacular views.
Mary Spencer is the founder and owner of the Lodge.
You can check them out HERE:
The Moose Lodge Pavilion is used for weddings and is breathtaking. As we alluded to in our previous post, inclement weather can happen! Choosing a venue (and vendors) who are comfortable performing in such situations is highly preferred. You can read about that in more detail HERE:
Drew and Jenni never batted an eye over the weather and in fact, embraced it as part of their unique day. It is truly amazing to see how huge hearts and an attitude of gratitude can make the day.
Makeup was handled by the awesome maid of honor/ sister in law- Brianne Davenport who did a superb job on not only makeup, but in keeping everyone upbeat, lighthearted and on point.
Hair was handled by Susan Patterson who the bride described as a miracle worker. Susan is excellent and such a professional. You can check out Susan and some of her other work HERE:
Dress was by the incredible La Raines Bridal Boutique. La Raines reputation for both unique and personal service is well deserved. You can check out La Raines HERE:
Alterations: Linda Gillentine. Linda has her clients so crazy about her work they wont use anyone else…for anything! Check her out HERE:
Flowers were by N and N florist. You can check out more of Becky’s work HERE:
Food was done by Grillin’ Gangsters- yummy bar-b-que, Check the out HERE:
Cake- Cakes by Julia out of Woodstock. The Cake and cupcakes were divine! You can scope out more about Julia HERE:
Wedding Photography by A Day In The Life Photography. You can find us HERE:
Great weddings are made up of the right people, the right attitude, the right atmosphere and the ability to not sweat the small stuff and what you can not control.
At the end of the day, great weddings are all about the love, the celebration and the memories created.
With that in mind Drew & Jenni hit every single mark on their wedding day. We have a feeling those awesome hearts, and their attitude of gratitude will carry them far and serve them well.
Some fairy tales are true….
We are John & Tamera Webb.
We shoot with our hearts on the shutter and it looks like this….
5 Ways to plan and handle bad weather on your Wedding Day.
5.) Pick the right venue. With rustic, outdoor venues being so popular preparing and being aware of the venue’s backup plan is just smart. This does NOT necessarily mean you have to have a venue with an entire separate building in the event of a bad weather wedding, but it does mean making sure the coordinators and staff for the venue know how to handle things in the event of bad weather for the wedding.
A great example of this is the folks over at 5 Star Lodge and Stables. You can check them out HERE:
4) Pick the right vendors. from the food to the flowers to the photography make sure you fully discuss and are aware of each vendors situational handling of a bad weather wedding. For example, You can check out photographers by checking a site like The Professional Photographer’s of America. You can check them out HERE: They also have an excellent “Find a Photographer” site that can assist you in searching for your photographer with various filters such as photographic degrees, location etc. Check it out HERE:
3) Planning. Having a fully written back-up contingency plan is highly recommended. You want to keep the day in a positive expectation, however the old adage “failing to plan is planning to fail” holds true here. Have a written backup plan with your vendors all the way down to things like positions at the ceremony in the backup location. You would be surprised to see how this can affect your images later.
2) Props. In the event of inclement weather having prepared props such as tents, mobile heaters and umbrellas will give you a high degree of comfort should your day turn ugly weather-wise. Designate who is in charge of what prop and even the signal to retrieve it.
1) Attitude. The better your attitude on the day of your wedding, the better the wedding. After all our years and all the weddings we have shot the one, simple thing we have noted that makes a wedding is an attitude of gratitude. How does that fit into alternative planning for a bad weather wedding? By embracing the things that make your wedding day yours…rain, ice, snow, storms etc…any of these can paint a unique backdrop to your day, a day like no other. It’s up to you how you view it and your party and guest will take their cue from you.
Blue Ridge Wedding Photography Trends. The Intimate Wedding.
As we discussed in our last blog post, we were contacted by a wedding-centric magazine asking what we saw in our area as trends. In our world of Blue Ridge Wedding Photography we see the trend being towards a more intimate wedding.
It is important to define and differentiate what the term intimate wedding means as we see it through our clients.
The intimate wedding as we see it is concentrated around just a few family and friends. The intimate wedding may or may not choose a commercial venue. Family homes, rented cabins etc may stand in stead of an “official venue”. You can check out some great cabin rentals in Blue Ridge HERE:
These decisions can save substantial dollars but do require a degree of finesse. As with any larger wedding, decisions on who to invite can be stressful but clear communication to all family and friends can set the expectation that it may all be based on budget and cost. It is very important to maintain a mindset that your wedding is YOURS and to keep to that mantra especially if you encounter hurt feelings or others attempting to force their ideas for your wedding on you.
The intimate wedding also allows you to highly prioritize where cost go. With our clients that becomes their Blue Ridge Wedding Photography. As we mentioned in our previous post, the intimate wedding may not have the overall total number of images but CAN have more images of just the bride and groom.
Our post is not to make a statement that one wedding type or another or which is “best”. The best wedding is the one for YOU. Our offering here is that we do most definitely see a trend towards the intimate wedding and towards clients who place a premium on their wedding photography as an overall priority in their budget.
Our best advice after shooting hundreds and hundreds of weddings;
- Keep in mind the wedding day is about each other, not everyone else and their wants and likes.
- Prioritize the various components of your wedding by importance to you. This will give you a clear idea where to proportion and allot your dollars.
- Keep in mind every variable you encounter, the ones where things do not go just as planned will make it uniquely your own.
- Your mindset should be one of grateful acceptance. You’ll enjoy your day soooo much more!
We are John & Tamera Webb. We shoot with our hearts on the shutter, and it looks like this.
Blue Ridge Elopement Wedding Photography
Blue Ridge Elopement Wedding Photography. Are Elopement Weddings the latest trend in Blue Ridge Wedding Photography?
Blue Ridge Elopement Wedding Photography. We had a request from a wedding-centric magazine we contribute to asking us our take on trends in weddings for our business. In our case particularly wedding photography. When we looked back starting in 2016 we noted a trend towards smaller, more intimate weddings.
Not all were elopements but there seemed to be a specific mindset when speaking with the couples; they all wanted professional wedding photography and had it high on their list of what they were willing to invest in. At the same time cost such as venues, flowers, Music, food etc were not a factor when considering overall long-term value.
All our couples were all working professionals. Their average mindset was settled on NOT spending huge dollars on their wedding BUT were willing to invest, and expensively so in their professional photography. Cost such as venues, catering, flowers and the difficult job of who to invite, and who NOT to invite all seemed to drive them to the idea of smaller, more intimate weddings.
It is important to note that this post is NOT a statement that smaller and more intimate weddings are better or worse than any other. Only that from our perspective we see a trend to couples wanting to position their investment to their photography and limit cost elsewhere. Blue Ridge Elopement Wedding Photography is definitely a trend and it is a trend that seems to be growing.
In 2016 our elopement package made up less than 20% of our overall sales. In 2017 our Blue Ridge Wedding Elopement Photography Package made up approximately 30% of our overall package sales. For 2018 our Blue Ridge Elopement Wedding Photography Packages are set to make up 42% of our total package sales!
The reasons, as told to us by our clients are stated above clearly.
As a very recent couple told us one reason that cemented the decision for an elopement wedding photography package was the fact that former clients of ours who had opted for one of our Blue Ridge Elopement Wedding Photography Packages ended up with MORE images of just themselves on their special day than did friends of theirs who had a more traditional coverage of 10-12 hours or more.
Now it is important to note that there were NOT more images OVERALL for the couple, but that there were more images of just the couple themselves from an elopement wedding photography package than a more traditional package.
And it makes sense. Of those 10-12 hours of coverage one may have on average 15 minutes of ceremony and perhaps 30-45 minutes of time for imaging after the ceremony. That time usually is to include the entire wedding party and family imaging with both the bride and groom. If you factor in the possibility of any timeline interruptions then it is very possible an elopement wedding photography package would end up with more images of just the couple on their big day than a traditional wedding photography package.
It is important to note than many professional photographers such as ourselves offer upper tier packages that include an extra day or time shoot for just the bride and groom and in cases such as that one would have both high image numbers of just the couple as well as excellent photojournalism coverage of their day like no other.
Whatever your choice, Blue Ridge Elopement Wedding Photography Packages or a more traditional full day coverage the choice is as individual as you are and will be the correct choice for YOU!
We are John & Tamera Webb
Our Studio is located in Mineral Bluff Ga, just north of Blue Ridge Ga.
We shoot with our hearts on the shutter, and it looks like this…
Blue Ridge Wedding Party Gifts That Keep Giving
After months and months of planning, your wedding is almost here. You’ve taken time to decide on your menu, entertainment, and the theme of your special day, everything’s almost good to go. But, what about the wedding party? They have been there helping you plan every step of the way, so it’s important to find a special way to thank them. These are your closest friends and loved ones, so finding something they love may be stressful. Choosing to give them something that they can keep long after the wedding is a great place to start.
Bags and Coolers
Totes bags and coolers are a great gift for your wedding party. Gifting a tote at the rehearsal dinner will offer your friends a personalized gift for them to use the day of your wedding, they will be able to keep all of their belongings organized while getting ready when they’re in a monogrammed bag.
If you plan to have a wedding on a hot summer day, gift your friends a customized cooler to keep drinks and refreshing for the hours while you prep for the wedding! If you personalize a cooler with their family name then they can use it for barbeques and beach days for years to come.
Sunglasses are a fun idea for the whole wedding party! It gives your wedding a casual, laid back flare that you can show off during the reception and in your wedding photos. You can even save money by ordering cool sunglasses in bulk online for every one of your bridesmaids and groomsmen. Also, this helps tie together a look for your whole wedding party in your photos.
The guys over here are pretty awesome….check them out…HERE:
Gifting your friends a photo frame is a great idea that they can make use of long after your wedding. You can fill a picture frame with your favorite photos together for them to have as a keepsake, that will remind them of all of your special times together including your wedding! You can even take this a step further by getting the frame engraved with your favorite quote or a funny inside joke. Then your loved ones can use the picture frame for photos of the both of you together for years.
If you have a crafty side, get together with your fiancé and create fun and personalized baskets for your wedding party. Pinterest is a great start to get the wheels in your mind turning. However, thinking of what your bridesmaids and groomsmen each love is really what you want to create the baskets around, that way they will be excited to use everything you’ve put together for them after the wedding. You can create a “date night in” basket, a “spa day” basket, or a “movie night” themed basket… the options are limitless, and your loved ones will appreciate the thought that you put in for them!
By gifting your wedding party something they can enjoy and utilize long after your special day, not only are you thanking them for helping your throughout the planning process, you are giving them a small reminder of how fun the wedding day was! Pair any of these gifts with a handwritten note thanking each member of the wedding party for how they made your day one to remember.
How to hire a wedding photographer
I recently had a query for a wedding date that we were unfortunately already booked for. When I asked the bride if she would be interested in a referral she said what she would really be interested in is me telling her HOW to hire a wedding photographer.
And then it struck me. Most people have no idea how to go about hiring a wedding photographer. Sure there are friends of friends who knows someone or the always available Uncle Bob who has a new camera. But when you are starting from scratch and looking to be thorough there are very little, if any, guides available.
So here is MY take on what matters, how to go about it and greatly narrow the search for a fully professional wedding photographer.
Before we look at all that, let’s set the stage about cost. What is priceless tomorrow should not be inexpensive today. Here is an excellent link to a bride who hired a cheap wedding photographer. Check it out HERE:
- Start with a smaller haystack. One of the best ways to immediately make your search easier to manage and far more effective is to utilize professional organizations. The best that I know of are The Professional Photographers of America. You can check them out HERE: They offer excellent advice on 10 questions to ask your wedding photographer. You can jump to those HERE: There is an excellent video that was shot in our Marietta Studio that outlines the importance of certification. Check it out HERE:
- One other excellent resource is The Better Business Bureau. The BBB fully vets businesses before granting accreditation. You can see how easy the process is to locate by this filter HERE:
- Now that we are through the first two filters to reduce the size of your haystack, let’s talk style. If your photographers work doesn’t speak to you then move on. Your chosen photographer should be showing work that stirs your soul, work that tells the story YOU want told. This is a highly personal choice and a good photographer will be trying to attract their ideal clients while not attracting potential clients who just don’t get it.
- Ask to see work that runs from the start of a wedding day to the end. Stories always have a beginning, a middle and an end.
- Ask about experience. How many weddings have they shot?
- Ask your photographer if they have backup gear, backup plans and how your images are protected AFTER the shoot.
- Are there two photographers or only one? It is difficult to be in all places at the same time. Multiple photographers can better canvas your event and offer different perspectives.
- What is the normal timeline for delivery?
- What, precisely, is delivered? Digital files only or are albums and prints included.
- Do they have a written contract spelling out everything?
So there you have it. How to hire a wedding photographer. In our humble opinion this will go a long way towards making sure your photographs meet and exceed your expectations.
We are John and Tamera Webb. We own and operate a boutique wedding photography studio in Blue Ridge, Georgia. We shoot with our Hearts on the Shutter, and it looks like this..
Blue Ridge Wedding Photography-Honesty in Wedding Photography
Whether your planning a wedding in beautiful Blue Ridge Georgia or another picture perfect locale, do you want honesty in your wedding photography?
Blue Ridge Wedding Photography-Honesty in Wedding Photography. You’r getting married. You’ve chosen gorgeous Blue Ridge Georgia as your destination. In all the hustle and bustle of planning your wedding you have to make decisions on your wedding photography. This is where it gets challenging for many couples. Deciding on a particular style that speaks to you is critical. It is critical because sticking to what speaks to you means you have taken the first step to honesty in your wedding photography. We are going to delve into Blue Ridge Wedding Photography and Honesty in Wedding Photography.
Honesty in Wedding Photography for us means images that show the clear personality and characteristics of a person or a moment. Many of our most prized images, for both us and our couples are raw, completely un-posed and document a peak moment or emotion. These images often are less than technically perfect, but ARE full of life, love and as we like to show the soul. If we have done our job correctly they also tell a story within the story of the day.
For the first image above this shot was taken immediately after the ceremony recessional. The bride and groom and the photographers were the only people standing in the vestibule area. It was an intensely private moment. As many of us can identify with theirs had been a journey only they knew. All that emotion, all that love, all that gratitude came bursting forth. From a technical standpoint the images are not tack sharp. They are grainy and have movement…and they could not be better suited to tell that portion of the story.
Even after many years this remains one of our favorite images of a first dance. The look of contentment is something you can almost palpably feel. As for the background, I love using the people who make that day special much more than inanimate objects.
For the images above the expression tells it all while the bride danced and sang for her new husband.
The husband, of course, returned the favor with a song for his new bride. Once again we can see background being so important to tell the story.
The last image listed here was well into the evening. The couple, surrounded by friends, family and love spin, swing and sway in dance. When we address the technical we see movement. The image is not tack sharp. The image is however undeniably bursting with life. This is a great example of when the perfect image is perfect BECAUSE of its timing and includes the imperfections.
All the images above were taken at The Marlow House.
You can check them out HERE:
And at Maple Ave United Methodist Church.
See more about them HERE:
In closing we hope you are the type of potential client or the type of photographer who values honesty in wedding photography.
In the coming weeks we will revisit some of the keys to obtaining this.
In the meantime you can checkout a solid hint HERE:
We are John & Tamera Webb. We own and operate a wedding photography studio in Blue Ridge Georgia. We shoot with our hearts on the shutter…and it looks like this…
The Top 5 Reasons Why an Engagement Session Matters
In this week’s blog post we are discussing the top 5 reasons why an engagement session matters. In today’s digital world, fine tuning and cutting cost is almost inevitable for wedding photography overall. While we greatly disagree with that stance, we often see couples choose to eliminate an engagement session from a package in an attempt to save money. We think it’s a huge mistake. Here we are going to outline what we believe are the top 5 reasons why an engagement session not only matters, but is a great value.
- Professional Imaging. I know. I am willing to bet you’ve heard this too, or something very similar. “Well I am going to get Uncle Bob (Insert any family member or friend here who has access to a prosumer camera). It will save us soooo much money! And that all sounds great until the images come back and you realize that the lasting things from your wedding is what really counts. Your jewelry, each other and your photography. The cake is gone, the flowers are dead and the dress is packed away, but the photography and your jewelry last forever.
You can check out and locate professional photographers at The Professional Photographers of America’s Website. Check them out HERE:
2. Unique quality images for your save the date cards. These images can also be used at the reception etc for decoration. We like to produce multiple prints and canvases for the reception. We also include a signing canvas for guest to sign. This creates an immediate family heirloom.
3. The practice “dry-run”. Working with your photographer for an engagement session allows you to get used to each other. The pace, timing and communication all will pay dividends on your wedding day. This develops and deepens the all important chemistry.
4. You get to show off your bling as well as any props or other important items you would like to incorporate. While family treasures are usually unique, finding a place for excellent quality jewelry can be challenging. We highly recommend out friends over at Blue Nile. Check out the beautiful engagement rings at Blue Nile. You can visit them here: HERE:
5) Wall Art and Heirloom Prints. In today’s digital world often the importance of tangible and actual prints is lost. Professional prints and canvas are investments in lifetime heirlooms. You can see where we have discussed this in the past. You can check it out HERE:
In closing we stress the importance of engagement sessions. It creates confidence, immediate art and helps in so many ways avoiding it just doesn’t make sense.
We are John & Tamera Webb. We own and operate a wedding photography studio in Blue ridge Georgia. We shoot with our hearts on the shutter and it looks like this…
Blue Ridge Wedding Photography-Cost
Blue Ridge Wedding Photography-Wedding Photography Cost
Blue Ridge Wedding Photography-Cost. Wedding Photography and cost. Those words, like it or not, are attached at the hip. No matter where your value and emphasis is on wedding photography, cost for those services are unavoidable.
So that begs the question, what SHOULD wedding photography cost?
A quick query on-line shows the wide range of information to assess wedding photography cost.
You can check out some of those links HERE:
Brian Noah makes an EXCELLENT statement clarifying wedding photography cost. You can see it HERE:
When you start to read some of those queries, you find statements like “Does anyone know the average price of a good photographer? I’ve been researching for one non-stop and many of them seem overpriced.”
“Seem Overpriced” really says it all. For example, “seems overpriced” compared to what?
This leads into what I have always said and that the value in and for wedding photography is like anything else;
Watches, as a rule, really all perform the same basic function, the tell the time. As a rule also you can get accurate time told over a wide range of cost and features. Yet luxury brands such as Rolex and Omega, among others, continues to thrive.
Cars all perform the same basic function. They act as transportation from point A to point B. Ford Motor recently announced they would concentrate on trucks and SUV’s as that is where their customers have said they preferred with their wallets!
Clothing, Houses etc also fall into this conundrum of performing a basic function, but having wildly varying cost.
So why is that?
Because taste and perceived value are seen differently by all of us!!!
However, perceived taste and value can change when a potential client is made aware of what all is, and is not included from varying photographers.
We always recommend when couples are starting to research to start with what we consider to be the leading organization for professional photographers. They offer a very good find a photographer search. You can check them out HERE:
For us, our clients are folks who realize that when the wedding day is over, the dress is packed away, the flowers are gone and all that is left is each other, the rings and your wedding photography.
What is it worth to YOU?
In the words of one of my favorite photographers and people, Jerry Ghionis, “What is priceless tomorrow should be expensive today”..
Blue Ridge Wedding Photography-Intimacy
Blue Ridge Wedding Photography-Intimacy One of the Pillars of Personalization
Blue Ridge Wedding Photography-Intimacy. For us, Intimacy in wedding photography is one of the pillars of personalizing the day for our clients. Of curse intimacy can have different meanings for different photographers.
For us the definitions vary. Let’s take a look…
For a ceremony shot like this many people would think intimate would not be a characteristic of what would be captured, but take a look at every single member of the bridal party. While this is a public ceremony it is also undoubtedly intimate.
Love the gorgeous venue above? Check out The Historic Tate House. You can see more of them HERE:
For the above image as the bride was completing her getting ready, her children came in to see her. The scene turned incredibly emotional but also intimate.
Just hands right? Hardly. The image above shows the bride and grooms first look after they clasped hands along with the tissues each had for wiping away their tears. A moment we categorize as both emotional and intimate.
The images above show a bride in reflection and in single, silent prayer before the ceremony, then being joined downstairs with a dear friend for a final prayer shared before the procession.
This image is from a post shoot with the bride and groom. I have worked with many photographers just getting started who have stated they simply don’t see how intimacy can be involved in a planned and post wedding shoot. If you have read our past blogs where we talk about connection with your clients it is in our opinion necessary to be allowed “in” for moments like this. Often those intimate moments are caught between directed posing.
Like the above image? You can check out the fine folks at The Gardens at Kennesaw Mountain HERE:
You can tell that we love moments such as prayer. Now let me stop here and clarify something. In our Super 1 day class we were asked once how, as Christians, we could shoot during the prayer? The answer is we actually pray with the group and simple take a few quick images as quietly as possible.
For a destination wedding it is hard to beat gorgeous historic Savannah. You can check them out HERE:
Te above image has been a favorite of ours for years. After the ceremony and the first dance the couple stepped out for a breather after a long destination wedding day. While vaguely aware of us following, they were quickly lost in the moment with each other. That brief beautiful moment certainly qualifies as intimate.
First dance images can offer intimacy, but your timing must be superb. This quiet, fleeting moment was in full view on the dance floor, but to capture it you had to feel it coming. I would point back to that most important client connection. You can see where we have spoken about this more HERE:
This last image was taken in the middle of the final getting ready moment between daughter and Mom. Their relationship was one that was preternaturally close. In the final moments the bride turned to her mom and was in tears and very emotional. It was a perfect intimate moment. One you felt blessed to be allowed to shoot.
In closing intimacy, along with emotion are a few of what we consider the pillars of quality wedding photography. We strive for images that stand the test of time and evoke not just what we all looked like, but what it FELT like.
We are John & Tamera Webb. We own and operate a wedding photography studio in Blue Ridge Georgia. We shoot with our hearts on the shutter, and it looks like this…