Kirstin + Anthony : New York Wedding

I met Kirstin and Anthony for the first time when I showed up in Tacoma, Washington to shoot their engagement photos. I immediately felt connected to these two. They were kind, compassionate, and so honest. They were themselves with no hesitation and I loved it. The day of the wedding one of Kirstin's bridesmaids asked her if she was nervous and she responded with, "No, I'm not nervous. It's just another crazy adventure with my buddy, you know?" Those words sat with me the rest of the wedding day as I watched these two celebrate their forever. 

Thank you two for having me there to celebrate with you all! Wouldn't trade it for the world!

xoxo

Jo

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Kristen + Adam : Wedding

 
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Kristen and Adam are the perfect combination of kind, genuine, and goofy. Honestly, their day couldn't have been more of a dream. From start to finish Kristen was calm, Adam was excited, and their bridal party was loads of fun! I'm so excited to be sharing all of their gorgeous details! 

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Venue : Pratt Place Inn & Barn

Design & Coordination : Details Weddings and Events

Floral Design : PIGMINT

Cakes : Shelby Lynn's Cake Shoppe

DJ : Ryan T Productions

Lighting : Lightworks Events

Rentals : Eventures

Catering : The Event Group

Hair & Makeup : Metropolis Salon

 

Brooke + Travis : Arkansas Vineyard Wedding

I met Brooke as a freshman in college. I even remember the first time she told me about Travis. We were in the red couch room of the Chi Omega house on campus. We'd just started back for our Fall semester and while we were away for the summer she had met a boy. You could tell from day one that her and Travis were special just by how her eyes lit up talking about him. Their wedding day was no different. I wish I was better with words so I could tell you more but words are hard and I'm bad at them.

Travis and Brooke, thank you so much for having me! You two are so special to me! 

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Rachel + Kenny : An Intimate Eureka Springs Wedding

The night before this wedding I had my first encounter with food poisoning. Yep, food poisoning. Unfortunately, a wedding photographer has no days off, so I headed to Eureka Springs with an extremely sick tummy and a wonderful friend who had offered to help me through the day (SHOUTOUT TO APRIL). How fortunate am I that Rachel and Kenny are a dream couple, treated me like family, and made my job beyond easy? This is one of my favorite weddings to date and I am so excited to be sharing a few of my favorite images. 

Rachel and Kenny, I wish you a lifetime of happiness. You two are one stunning couple.

xoxo,

Jo

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Why is Wedding Photography so pricey?

This blog post has been on my 'to-do' list for much too long and today is the day I finally write down the words floating through my head. Since I took the leap to full-time in January I feel as if I'm always shouting out why photography is valuable to those who don't understand my career choice. I see it discussed in various photography boards I'm on and every time I meet up with other artists it's brought up again and again. However, how can we as artists expect others to understand the value of our work if we only discuss it with other creatives? Can we really complain if we haven't done our part educating others?

I want to start this post by explaining that some people will have a difference in opinion. Not everyone sees the value in investing in photography. We can't all see eye-to-eye and that is okay! Second, I am in no way complaining about my chosen career. I LOVE what I do. I wouldn't give it up for the world but I also want to do my part educating people that photographers (and all artists!) do a lot to follow their passions and the price points aren't just random! 

 
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Photography is accessible. Almost everyone I know owns a camera of some variety, which means that almost everyone can pursue photography if that is what they want to do. I love that because it allows me to share my passion with all kinds of amazing people. Unfortunately, that accessibility makes photography a field where the perceived cost is often MUCH lower than the actual cost. I think many people see photography as a career that is also easy to pursue, and in some ways, that is true. Heck, my dog could go buy a DSLR from Walmart, whip up an Instagram account, and tell everyone she's now a photographer. That’s obviously a bit dramatic, but you all get my point! Anyone can pursue photography and that rocks, BUT not everyone fully understands the investment and what goes along with running your own business. 

 
 

So what all goes into shooting? The fixed costs that allow me to simply show up adequately prepared and equipped on the day of a wedding include: 

  • Camera equipment and upgrades
  • Lenses, flashes, and other crucial accessories
  • Editing and photo management software
  • Computer and additional hard drive space
  • Cell Phone
  • Office space 
  • Vehicle costs (gas, maintenance, insurance, repairs)
  • Business insurance
  • Domain name, webhosting, and website maintenance
  • Client payment and management systems
  • CPA
  • Business cards
  • Further education (Workshops, seminars, conventions, books)

That's just the bones of a professional photographers business. There is time that is invested with each additional client:

  • Responding to inquiries, emails
  • Filing contracts, receipts, invoices
  • Hiring second shooters (weddings)
  • Scouting locations
  • Pre-Portrait/Engagement Session (clean equipment, location planning)
  • Travel to and from portrait/engagement session
  • Importing imagery 
  • Backup imagery
  • Cull imagery
  • Edit imagery 
  • Upload galleries and deliver products 
  • Pre-Wedding Day (clean equipment, scout venue)
  • Travel to and from wedding
  • Repeat import, backup, cull, edit, and deliver 
  • Follow-up with clients 

Finally, there is the wonderful world of social media and marketing. This is the way I reach the majority of my clients. So many of you have found your way to my website via Instagram and Facebook! Keeping up with that part of the business requires:

  • Cull edited imagery
  • Export optimized versions for upload
  • Update and maintain website
  • Format blog posts
  • Write blog posts
  • Share blog posts on Facebook
  • Upload to Facebook
  • Upload to Instagram
  • Respond to comments and DM's

Every task listed above I don't necessarily enjoy but I would never give it up because it means I get to do work that I am passionate about.  They are also part of the costs of running a business. 

 
 

I too have been shocked by estimates I've gotten in the past. I applaud you for spending time thinking about how each dollar is spent and asking questions so you understand exactly what you're paying for. I pour my heart into making a business model that is profitable so that I can do what I love and enjoy my life away from the computer or the camera (mostly the computer haha). Nowhere above did I mention paying my rent, feeding my dog, or the costs of day-to day life.  Like anyone else, the money I make at work has to support more than just the business, it has to pay for me! 

The professional photographers that you are reaching out to capture your biggest moments have spent a lot of time perfecting their craft. They work hard, long hours just like you! They want more than anything for you to have imagery that you can cherish forever. Just last week I spent the afternoon flipping through my Grandmother's wedding album. Getting to experience her memories is pure magic, and priceless. To make that happen for you and your loved ones, photographers give up their weekends, their friends’ weddings, and time with their families to celebrate you. They spend long hours on the computer making sure that you look your very best in every captured moment. After all, the only tangible thing you take away from your wedding day is the images you capture and print. 

I’ve said it about a trillion times in this post, but I love photography and I am grateful to make a living doing it. If you’ve made it this far, thanks for taking the time to read my rant. I'm thankful for people like you. 

xoxo,

Jo

 
 

 

 


 

Brittany + James : Part Two

 

Brittany + James : Part Two

Really this should be titled, "Brittany, James, and Jo : Lost in the woods unprepared."

We left my house at 4:45 am to arrive at the trailhead of Whitaker's Point in time to hike there by sunrise. Granted, anyone who knows Brittany and me should know that although we are tough and love the outdoors...we are far from outdoorsy. We arrived at the trailhead. It's dark. We've never been there. And yes, we take the wrong path (if it was really a path at all). The three of us spent an hour and a half wandering in the woods, experiencing a foggy sunrise, in the complete wrong place. Eventually, we found our way back to our car and found the correct trailhead and completed our journey to Whitaker's Point but what was suppose to be a short hike became over thirteen miles round trip (shoutout to my watch for tracking my activity all the time). It was worth it. Oh my, it was worth it. We finally arrived and we were blessed with the most beautiful foggy morning, gorgeous weather, and a perfect little breeze. 

This journey was just another reminder to me that I am so fortunate to have friends like Brittany Roberts. She's beautiful. She's kind. She has the most sincere heart. It's not surprising that her other half is just as wonderful. These two are sensational together and looking through the photos in this post you will know exactly what I mean. 

xoxo,

Jo

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The Ravington : Bridals

 

The Ravington : Bridals

This. Styled. Shoot. Oh my goodness. I was fortunate enough to get an invite from my friend April of Freckled Fox Photography to shoot one of the most beautiful styled shoots I've ever been to. We started the day by blasting love songs, preparing, and prancing around The Ravington (which is flawless, just in case you're planning a wedding), then transitioned into shooting the STUNNING Payton Moore in this gorgeous Tesori gown. Pretty much the definition of a perfect day in my eyes. I'm beyond excited to be sharing these! 

I hope you enjoy! 

xoxo,

Jo

Venue : The Ravington
Makeup : Sarah Spoon
Hair : Meghan Duncan
Wedding Gown : Tesori
Decor : Pretty Old Stuff
Flowers : ZuZu's Petals and Gifts
Cakes : Cakes by Robbin

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Brittany + James : Part One

 
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Brittany + James : Part One

I've been waiting for as long as I can remember for these two to get engaged and when James proposed last weekend I immediately started planning where I wanted to capture their love.  Here's part one of their INCREDIBLE engagement session (ft. Baby Finn)! These two are insanely beautiful!


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The second half of Brittany and James engagement photos are coming to the blog later this week, be on the lookout!

xoxo,

Jo

 

The Camp Series Workshop in Joshua Tree National Park

California. The state of sunshine and big dreams. After three flights, a landing strip mishap that almost stranded me in Arizona, and a few too many blueberry muffins...I made my first trip to the Golden State earlier this month and got the opportunity to attend Ben Sasso's #TheCampSeriesWorkshop. I wish I was better with words so that I could express to you all how inspired this experience has left me. Unfortunately, I'm more of a 'picture speaks 1,000 words' kind of gal. I'm so excited to be releasing this set of images!

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My few days spent in California were incredible. It's so humbling and inspiring to meet people with similar passions. Big thanks to Ben Sasso and Katch Silva

Happy Thursday!

Jo