April + Michael - Jackson, TN

I was so excited when April asked me if I was available for a photo shoot with her and Michael. I took their engagement and wedding photos, and had so much fun working with them. We decided to meet in downtown Jackson for this shoot, only steps away from where we took some of their engagement photos. I'd never done a shoot like this before and I was SO NERVOUS that I would say or do something to spill the beans. This wasn't just your average family/anniversary/couple shoot. This was April's way of telling Michael that he was going to be a dad. :) 

Stephanie Benge Photography | Jackson, TN Photographer
Stephanie Benge Photography | Jackson, TN Photographer
Stephanie Benge Photography | Jackson, TN Photographer
Stephanie Benge Photography | Jackson, TN Photographer
Stephanie Benge Photography | Jackson, TN Photographer
Stephanie Benge Photography | Jackson, TN Photographer
Stephanie Benge Photography | Jackson, TN Photographer
Stephanie Benge Photography | Jackson, TN Photographer
Stephanie Benge Photography | Jackson, TN Photographer
Stephanie Benge Photography | Jackson, TN Photographer
Stephanie Benge Photography | Jackson, TN Photographer
Stephanie Benge Photography | Jackson, TN Photographer
Stephanie Benge Photography | Jackson, TN Photographer
Stephanie Benge Photography | Jackson, TN Photographer

April suggested to Michael that they take photos of a board listing reasons why they loved each other, and take photos presenting the boards to each other. Michael's list of why he loves April made me smile so big, and the whole time I was just thinking dude, this is about to get crazy, you have no idea. 

Stephanie Benge Photography | Jackson, TN Photographer
Stephanie Benge Photography | Jackson, TN Photographer
Stephanie Benge Photography | Jackson, TN Photographer
Stephanie Benge Photography | Jackson, TN Photographer

Worth it.

I cried. I have no problem admitting that.

Stephanie Benge Photography | Jackson, TN Photographer

Michael was COMPLETELY surprised, and SO happy. You never really know how people will react to these things, and it was wonderful to watch Michael react in such a beautiful way. He kept saying "this is the best day!"

:)

Stephanie Benge Photography | Jackson, TN Photographer
Stephanie Benge Photography | Jackson, TN Photographer

Rachel + Price - West Tennessee Wedding

I've been away from the blog for a while! It's been months since I posted a wedding. The last thing I posted that wasn't birth related was the engagement pictures for Rachel and Price. They got married last month and I wanted a chance to tell their wedding story here!

Their wedding was beautiful, super relaxed, and VERY sunny. I may have gotten a sunburn. More on that later.

I didn't anticipate while building my house that someone would be getting ready for their wedding in it, but I think our little abode served pretty well for the getting ready space for Rachel's wedding.

Stephanie Benge Photography | West Tennessee Wedding Photographer
Stephanie Benge Photography | West Tennessee Wedding Photographer
Stephanie Benge Photography | West Tennessee Wedding Photographer

Rachel used all of these cool copper decorations. 

Stephanie Benge Photography | West Tennessee Wedding Photographer
Stephanie Benge Photography | West Tennessee Wedding Photographer
Stephanie Benge Photography | West Tennessee Wedding Photographer

I just like ring photos. :) 

Stephanie Benge Photography | West Tennessee Wedding Photographer
Stephanie Benge Photography | West Tennessee Wedding Photographer
Stephanie Benge Photography | West Tennessee Wedding Photographer

Rachel and Price had a super sweet ceremony. It was very meaningful and very THEM. You'll notice I'm in some of these photos. I was on double duty at this wedding as photographer and maid of honor. My girl Kristina took the photos of the ceremony and bridal party (at least the ones I was in). She did an awesome job as my second. These are all taken by her. 

Stephanie Benge Photography | West Tennessee Wedding Photographer
Stephanie Benge Photography | West Tennessee Wedding Photographer
Stephanie Benge Photography | West Tennessee Wedding Photographer

It's not exactly a flattering picture, but it very clearly describes this particular group of people. They would be crazy to think I wouldn't include it.

During the ceremony (which I forgot to prepare for with sunscreen) I could feel myself getting a sunburn. The second it was over I had Kacye sunscreening me while I worked. 

The following series is a documentation of the coolest/weirdest group of folks in the world. My favorite group, actually.

5 Tips for Choosing the Right Wedding Photographer

One of the most important choices you'll make for your wedding day is who you have as your photographer. There are a thousand and one different photographers to choose, so how do you know who is right for YOU and YOUR special day? I've compiled five essential tips from my time as a wedding photographer and as a bride myself. 

1. Choose someone you like

I can't emphasize this enough! Many brides don't consider this, but you will spend more time with your wedding photographer than any other person on your wedding day. More time than your mom, more time than your MOH, more time than even your groom. Your wedding photographer will be by your side almost every moment of your big day. If you meet with a potential wedding photographer and think they are arrogant, or annoying, or you don't like their sense of humor, TRUST YOURSELF. Don't hire this person. On your wedding day you want to be surrounded by people who make you happy and make your day the absolute best it can be. You want a photographer who makes you feel content, calm, confident, and comfortable. Choose someone you will look forward to spending all day with. Someone who makes you happy. 

2. Choose someone who responds

It's frustrating when you want to get in touch with someone and they never seem to respond. It's even more frustrating when the person you want to get in touch with is responsible for your wedding photos, or has already taken the photos and you haven't heard from them. Unfortunately, I've had two friends in the past two years who had issues with uncommunicative photographers. One of these friends has STILL never seen her wedding photos (almost two years later). Understandably, not every business owner can respond within the first 24 hours, (though most GOOD ones do) but if you reach out to your photographer and regularly cannot get contact back that is a big RED FLAG. Great customer service is essential when you're talking about something as important and irreplaceable as wedding photos. If someone can't take the time to get back to you, you can find someone else who will be happy to work with you. 

3. Choose someone who fits your needs

You want full day coverage, but this photographer only offers 6 hours? No. You want a bridal session, but this photographer only offers engagement sessions? No. You want to be able to purchase an album, but this photographer doesn't offer that service? No. There are so many wonderful photographers out there in the industry. Find someone who is offering you EXACTLY what you want. 

4. Choose someone who fits your style

The best photographers have a clear style and vision. There are so many different artists with so many different perspectives on wedding photography. Find someone who has the right vibe for you. Don't book someone just because they are local or in your price range. If they don't produce the style of images that YOU want to treasure forever that's ok. But find someone who does.

5. Choose someone who has YOU in mind

Whew, this is a big one. As wedding photographers, it's our job to go to weddings all the time. Duh. I'm sorry, that was obvious. Because of this some photographers will fall into the trap of treating your wedding like a run of the mill day at work. It can be easy for people in this industry to begin to think of your super-special-once-in-a-lifetime-very-important wedding as just another task to accomplish. The cake was prettier at the last wedding I shot and will be better for my portfolio. Uh, if I see ONE MORE bride use navy blue for her bridesmaids dresses. I've already shot at this venue twice this year... BORING! Etc, etc. YOUR WEDDING IS NOT ABOUT THEM. You MUST choose a photographer whose number one priority is making YOUR big day the absolute best it can be. Your wedding is not a portfolio filler. Your wedding is not a future Facebook ad. Will your photographer use your wedding photos for their portfolio and future Facebook ads? Probably. But that cannot be the focus of a great wedding photographer. The focus should be you.

If you're still looking for your perfect wedding photographer I would love to work with you! Head to the contact page to get in touch!

Nashville Wedding Photographer