Jamie & Courtney – Knoxville Same Sex Wedding

I love this family & I am so excited to share Jamie & Courtney’s Knoxville same sex wedding!  This couple has been with me almost my entire wedding photography journey. I photographed their engagement, maternity, birth, newborn, and baby photos, all before marriage equality was the law of the land. The day that same sex marriage was legalized country-wide, I celebrated for everyone but deep down I could not WAIT to photograph this wedding.

In 2014, Courtney wrote in Freedom to Marry about their journey:

If families like ours were to leave Knoxville, we may never see the change that is so needed in states like Tennessee. It’s important to be able to share our lives with the members of our community. It’s important for the three of us to hold hands and make the case that we should be respected as a family in this state where we live. It’s important to show people who aren’t quite on board with the freedom to marry that we are no different than other neighbors, family members, and co-workers. 

It’s time for my typical love story to become even more typical. The next time I tell my story, I want Jamie and I to be able to stand proudly and track our life journey together: We met, we fell in love, we had a baby, we got married – and we were treated the same as all other families in Tennessee. 

If that doesn’t punch you in the gut, you have no soul. Jamie & Courtney’s wedding is featured in Catalyst Wedding Magazine Volume Four! In print & available at bookstores! How cool & crazy is that?

knoxville same sex wedding photographer

Knoxville Same Sex Wedding

Jamie & Courtney’s relaxed backyard wedding was a testament to the power of friends & family. Everyone came together to create their day from the bouquet, the property, the decorations, etc. When I arrived that afternoon, everyone was working hard. The day was extremely kid friendly with lots of yard games & their adorable daughter Sophia stealing the spotlight most of the time. Oh, and Courtney was 8 months pregnant! Enjoy :)

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Knoxville Elopement – Cait & Rob

Cait & Rob eloped during the peak of the fall leaves in Appalachia. Driving up their rented cabin, I was so excited to capture these wonderful folks becoming a family. I enjoy nothing more than taking a long drive into the mountains to photograph happy people.

Tiny Catherine’s excitement during the entire evening made this elopement so memorable. During the vows, she frolicked about being as adorable as possible.

As a Knoxville elopement photographer, intimate ceremonies hold a special place in my heart. There’s something magical about spending the day without any of the stress or expectations of a huge wedding. I’m all about elopements! Cait rocked a beautiful Modcloth dress & I adored her dried flower bouquet.

If you are looking for someone to photograph your Knoxville elopement, I’d love to chat. Now onto the photos!

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Why I Schedule Sessions One Hour Before Sunset

Alex & Tyler’s Knoxville engagement session is the perfect example of why I schedule sessions one hour before sunset. Sometimes I receive a slight pushback when I say I like to shoot the last hour of sunlight. Many people think it might be too dark. I promise you, this time of day gives you the best chance for outstanding photos. Alex & Tyler’s engagement session shows off all of the reasons why this is my favorite time to photograph! I hope you enjoy and see just how lovely the light can be when you plan your session around it.

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Shooting During Golden Hour

Photographers refer to the last hour of light as “golden hour”. The light at this time is more flattering, warmer, and softer. The lower the sun is in the sky, the better you’ll look in the photo. Sometimes during this time, I’m stunned by just how beautiful the light looks in the photos. I care more about quality light than location at sessions. I’d rather shoot beside a dumpster with amazing light than an incredible location with bad light. Golden Hour shooting means you will probably have great light. Even in photos when you can’t see the sun, you’ll notice a nice warm glow in the background. Thanks sun!

There are a few situations where you might not see the benefits of shooting during Golden Hour. If it’s overcast, there will likely be no special Golden Hour light. That’s okay! It doesn’t mean it’s too dark to shoot unless there are really dark storm clouds. In that case, we’ve probably already rescheduled the session. It doesn’t hurt to shoot during Golden Hour even if it’s overcast. In fact, maybe the clouds will part & we’ll be rewarded with a great display!

It can be hard to plan for shooting during Golden Hour if you are shooting at high altitude or if there is a large mountain looming in the horizon. The sun will hit the mountain earlier than usual. It will still be beautiful, but you won’t see the deep oranges and reds that are in these photos.

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There are no downsides to planning your session an hour before sunset. It’s worth it to plan your session around the best time of day for beautiful light. I can’t guarantee it won’t be cloudy, but often we are rewarded with the best light possible!

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Michelle & Joanna – Day One for Same Sex Marriage in Alabama

Two years ago, a decision by a federal judge meant that gay marriage legally began in Alabama. When I heard news, I jumped in my car & drove down to Huntsville to volunteer to photograph couples eloping at the courthouse. It was an incredible moment to witness with my camera & everyone was in such a festive mood! There were donations of wedding cake and bouquets, and a ton of volunteers showed up to donate their photography, videography, officiating, and more.

One of the weddings I photographed was that of Michelle & Joanne. They were unique because they showed up with a CROWD of people. Most of those getting married at the Huntsville courthouse were struggling to just get out of work to go elope, but Michelle & Joanne showed up in matching outfits and with a huge group of admirers. How? With such short notice? I have no clue but the joy that surrounding everyone was so palpable. You just knew this wedding was a long time coming. It was a honor to photograph Michelle & Joanna’s wedding on day one for same sex marriage in Alabama. They were just one of 43 couples to get married in Huntsville on February 9th, 2015.

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Knoxville Wedding at Riverdale School – Sarah & Clint

Blog shame. It’s when you love a wedding but get so behind that it takes you 3.5 years to blog it. Go ahead, make fun of me! I did it to myself. This one is a beauty. Sarah & Clint had a heartfelt Knoxville wedding at Riverdale School. Their morning ceremony preceded a brunch reception & the couple headed to their honeymoon that evening. This is the type of wedding that reminds everyone that the whole GETTING MARRIED part is more important than anything else. My favorite moments, hands down, were the ridiculously sweet vows & the romantic kiss. I highly approve of Clint’s choice for a groom’s cake- BANANA PUDDING! l I loved  that Sarah chose Tennessee’s state flower, the iris, for her bouquet. In all my time photographing weddings, I can’t recall another iris bouquet!  From personal details to joyous moments, I was so happy to be a part of my dear friends’ wedding.
Knoxville Wedding at Riverdale School

Knoxville Wedding at Riverdale School

This summer Knoxville wedding at Riverdale School felt perfectly Tennessee. The Riverdale School is a sweet historic schoolhouse situated in the Knoxville countryside. Sweeping mountain views & an adorable green vintage gym are perfect spots for a wedding. The blooming sunflower field at Seven Islands State Birding Park bloomed at the right time to give us a breathtaking setting for photos after we left the reception. Sarah & Clint were troopers during the humid August heat! Thank you to my second photographer, John Shim, who photographed some of the photos featured in this post. Check out Sarah & Clint’s feature on Southern Weddings!

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Venue: Riverdale School
Florals: Powell Florist
Dress: J. Crew
Groom’s Attire: L.L. Bean

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