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.

knoxville best engagement session

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.

knoxville wedding photographerdogs in engagement sessionsknoxville engagement photographyknoxville engagement picturesknoxville engagementwhy shoot at golden houralex bee photoknoxville engagement photographerlovely light at sessionengagement photos in knoxvillegolden light engagement sessionknoxville engagement photoalex bee photographybeautiful golden lighttennessee engagement photographerknoxville engagement sessionalex beewarm golden lightknoxville indie photographer

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!

view portfolio! get in touch!

Fall Mini-Sessions 2017

It’s time again for Fall Mini-Sessions!horner

I’m happy to announce this year that I will be having one packed day full of mini’s at a wonderful location- Bluebird Christmas Tree Farm. The farm is located just north of Knoxville in Heiskell, Tennessee.


The wonderful thing about this wonderful spot is that we have lots of options for photos. We’ll have options for fall leaf, Christmas tree, and country barn backgrounds. To say I am excited is an UNDERSTATEMENT! And we’ll have the farm completely to ourselves for the entire time!


WHEN: October 21st ~ as many slots as we can fill, I’ll start with evening sessions then open up morning sessions if there is desire.

WHERE: Bluebird Christmas Tree Farm, Heiskell, TN

PRICE: You’ll have the choice between two packages $100 for 15 minutes of shooting + 10 high resolution files OR $200 for 15 minutes of shooting + 25 high resolution files

smith 19


How do we book? Fill out the form at the bottom of this page. I ask for full payment via credit/debit card to reserve your time slot.

What happens if it rains?  If it’s not severe weather, the show will go on. We’ll make do with umbrellas & rainboots! Sessions in the rain can be fun! If the weather is severe, I will reschedule the sessions. If you can’t make it to the new session, your money will be returned.

What kind of session can I book? Anything! Family mini-sessions are the most common but I enjoy it all. Engagement, headshot, maternity, you name it! You can bring your dog too!

Can you really get decent photos so fast?  YEP! If you want to see some galleries taken in 15 minutes,  let me know in the form below & I’ll send you some.

rachel mini



  • You might say "evening sessions are best" or "I'm unavailable between 1-3pm". No times are guaranteed, but your input will be helpful!
  • The slots will be given to the first person to pay the fee.
  • You can use credit/debit card or even link your bank account.
view portfolio! get in touch!

Knoxville Same Sex Friendly Wedding Vendors

It’s been a little over a year since the Supreme Court ruling made marriage equality a right for all same sex couples across the country. June 26, 2015 changed the lives of so many couples, families, and LGBTQ allies. It also changed the lives of many wedding vendors, specifically those of us that live in the Bible Belt.

I committed to happily & openly photographing same sex couples, families, and weddings many years ago.  The June 26, 2015 ruling gave me the opportunity to photograph even more same sex weddings because local couples were no longer forced to leave Tennessee to be legally wed. For many wedding vendors who had no previously worked with same sex couples, it was time to make a decision.

In a perfect world, a directory of same sex friendly wedding vendors would be pointless. Being in the wedding industry, it’s been impossible to avoid stories of bakers refusing to bake cakes or venues backing out of wedding contracts. Over & over again when I chat with my clients, they tell me about the awkward interactions or upsetting situations they find themselves in. I can’t imagine what it would be like to navigate the stresses of wedding planning while trying to figure out if a vendor might refuse you service. I sincerely can’t wait for a time when all couples feel welcome everywhere.

To combat a little bit of the stress, I’ve created a list of Knoxville same sex friendly wedding vendors. These vendors have expressed desire to serve same sex clients openly & happily. They are ready for you to inquire with them.

This is in no way a comprehensive list. If someone isn’t on this list, it does not mean they don’t serve the LGBTQ community. I am not compiling a list of vendors who do not serve gay couples either. I prefer to share & celebrate those who do.

If you are a wedding professional in the Knoxville area who would like to be added to this list of Knoxville same sex friendly wedding vendors, please contact me. If you are on the fence on whether or not you should publicly serve same sex clients, I would love to share my experiences with you. Check out this wonderful list of ways you can become a better LGBTQ allied vendor by the incredible Kelly Prizel.

All photos provided by yours truly. Special thanks to Shaun Cox of a DIY Wedding Affair for compiling a list for Chattanooga weddings & inspiring me to create one for Knoxville.

Happy wedding planning!


knoxville same sex wedding


Heartland Meadows – Knoxville – events@heartlandmeadows.com
The Knoxville Zoo – Knoxville- ahackney@zooknoxville.org
Dara’s Garden – Knoxville – sales@darasgarden.com
Club Leconte – Knoxville – patricia.johnson@clubcorp.com
The Historic Bleak House – Knoxville – historicbleakhouse@gmail.com
The Hilton – Knoxville – nthreadgill@hiltonknoxville.com
Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame – Knoxville – dhart@wbhof.com
The Volunteer Princess – Knoxville – volunteercruises@bellsouth.net
Elizabeth Claire’s – Clinton – elizabethclaires@me.com
Smith Event Centers – Maryville – info@smithvenues.com
Idle Hour Farm & Retreat – Rogersville – idlehourfarmandretreat@gmail.com 
Bluff Mountain Inn – Sevierville – info@bluffmountaininn.com

Knoxville gay wedding vendors


Celebrations by Celeste – celebrationsbyceleste@gmail.com
Sevier County Weddings – thomas@seviercountyweddings.com
Universal Wedding Officiants –  universalweddingofficiant@gmail.com
Judith Douglas – shortredhair@msn.com


Patrick Michael Weddings – michael@patrickmichaelweddings.com
Good Sounds Entertainment –  hkinney@goodsoundsentertainment.com
Side-by-Side Entertainment – jeff_dj@charter.net
Brian S. Graham Entertainment –  brian@knoxvillewedding.com

gay weddings knoxville


Casey & Kristin – hello@caseyandkristin.com
Ryan’s Production – ryansproduction@mac.com
Midnight Magic Studios – info@midnightmagicvideo.com
NuWave Productions – daniel@nuwaveprod.com


Alex Bee Photo – alex@alexbeephoto.com 

Erin Morrison Photography – erinmorrisonphotography@gmail.com
Break the Mold Photo – breakthemoldphoto@gmail.com


Beauty by Blair – beautybyblair@yahoo.com


Southern Bliss Weddings – southernblisswed@gmail.com
Absolute Wedding Perfection
– angie_froemel@yahoo.com
Premiere Events –  eventstn@att.net

knoxville gay wedding photographer


Melissa Timm Designs – melissa@melissatimmdesigns.com
Flower Shop, Inc. – info@flowershopinc.com
The Fleurella – esme@thefleurella.com


Holly’s Gourmet Market  – hambright610@gmail.com


Sugarbuzz Bakers – connie@sugarbuzzbakers.com
Art of Cakes – artofcakesbakery@gmail.com


Unique Setting Rentals – Mismatched China & Tabletop Rentals – uniquesettingsrentals@gmail.com
Sarah Brobst Designs – Custom Brooch Bouquets and Wedding Jewelry – lilysjb@hotmail.com
Sweven Vintage & Rustic Rentals – swevenrentals@gmail.com
Wallace Paper Company – Invitations & Other Paper Goods – hello@wallacepaperco.com
Robyn James Ensembles – Musician – robyn@robynjames.com

Memories In A Flash Photo Booth – betsy@memoriestn.com
Regal Carriages – Vintage Car Transportation – steve@regalcarriagesknox.com

knoxville same sex wedding photography

If you are a wedding professional in the Knoxville area who would like to be added to this list of Knoxville same sex friendly wedding vendors, please contact me.

All photographs by Alex Bee Photo

view portfolio! get in touch!

5 Reasons For a Post-Wedding Session


Everyone knows about engagement or bridal sessions, but post-wedding sessions? Nah, they aren’t that well-known. I’m here to tell you all about them & give you the knowledge to decide if having one is right for your wedding.

So what the heck is a post-wedding session? Post-wedding sessions are just like an engagement session but you’ve got your fancy wedding day attire on. There are so many reasons why post-wedding sessions rock. Continue on for my top 5 reasons for a post-wedding session!

post-wedding session

You want lots of wedding portraits but you’d rather spend your wedding day with friends & family

One of the best things about a wedding is seeing all the people you love in one spot. You get to hug, dance, drink, & cheers to your favorite people! It’s truly a unique time in your life & you will probably never see all those people together again.

That’s why I completely understand when some clients want to skimp on the portrait time so they have more time to spend with their family. You want to go to the cocktail hour & visit with guests? Heck yeah, I’m all for it! But if you value your wedding portraits, you should definitely make time for them. With a post-wedding session, you make time days, weeks, or even months after your wedding!

Spend most of your wedding day with friends & family and get a large amount of wedding portraits? Yes! You can have your cake & eat it too.

day after session

You don’t have to worry about getting your wedding outfits dirty. And you can let your hair down!

The worst thing about bridal sessions before the wedding is that everyone freaks out about getting the dress dirty. Let’s just admit it, being in your dress just means it’s going to be dirty. Walking on clean floors, sidewalk, anything, is probably going to affect the bottom of your dress. You might surprise yourself by how much you care about this.

After the wedding is over? Who cares, right? The dress is already dirty from your day & if you plan on preserving it you’ll have to get it cleaned anyway. So let’s go make some beautiful portraits in a dirty field or alleyway.

When I say you can let your hair down, I mean it literally & figuratively. Post-wedding sessions are much more relaxed because you don’t have anywhere to be or a schedule to follow. Lots of brides opt for wedding day hairstyles that can withstand the heat, rain, and dancing to the YMCA at the reception. Many clients opt for a more natural look for their post wedding sessions because they can! No worries about making sure your hair & makeup last 10+ hours.


post-wedding portrait session

You can go to great locations you could never fit into your wedding day logistics

Great Smoky Mountains National Park? Biltmore? That little state park you visited when you first started dating? The options are endless. Maybe you are getting married at a church but you prefer lots of greenery in your photos. Or maybe you are getting married out in a barn but want to celebrate the downtown where you went on your first date together.

We have so much time & freedom to go anywhere for the session.


You’ve planned a destination wedding & want to take advantage of the location

If you are planning a wedding in a spectacular location, post-wedding sessions are great ways to take advantage & get great photos. If you’re flying me somewhere or you’re flying here, you might as well get lots out of it! Just make sure that book your post-wedding session as soon as possible so we can schedule it within our travel dates & make sure we have accommodations.


You couldn’t take many portraits on your wedding day for a variety of reasons

There are many things that might affect the amount & type of wedding photos you receive from your wedding day. For example, maybe you plan a wedding after dark. That is common for fall & winter weddings. Maybe it’s freezing outside or hot as hades. Maybe it rains cats & dogs.

I’m always able to find ways to take portraits even during the craziest of circumstances, but they might not be the type of photos you imagined if you love my outdoor portraits. With a post-wedding session, we can control the season, weather, and schedule. We can postpone the session if it calls for rain. We can mold the post-wedding session to fit our wants & needs*!

* Unless you are planning a destination wedding with travel. We will have less flexibility then but we’ll still rock it.

5 Reasons For a Post-Wedding Session

Are you ready for your rad post-wedding session now? Let’s plan it! Even if I didn’t take your wedding photos, I bet we can make some magic.

view portfolio! get in touch!

7 Tips for a Heartfelt Wedding

heartfelt wedding

If you’re looking for ways to make your wedding more genuine & heartfelt, this post is for you. As a professional wedding photographer, I’ve been witness to many weddings. My favorites are always the personal weddings where everyone is so present & excited to be there. I’d love to share my advice to those hoping to have their own heartfelt wedding.

I definitely don’t think that you should do random things just to make your wedding more sentimental, but I’ve picked up on a few ways to inject a little authenticity & love into your wedding. Here are my absolute favorite ways to make your wedding more personal & heartfelt.

1 – Surround yourself with love

bride with bridesmaids

Your wedding day is about you & your loved ones. It’s a time you should be feeling oh-so-happy & not stressed out because your mom forced you to include your annoying cousin in your bridal party.

Avoid feeling obligated to include people. If you have a friend who you love, but is overdramatic and stresses you out, you should really consider if you want to have her around you for the entire day. You want your wedding attendants to be excited, helpful, and present in the moment. You shouldn’t be putting out fires on your wedding. It can be tough to make these decisions, but it’s for the best. Surrounding yourself with only your favorite people is a great way to reduce the drama and create a positive space for you to get married.

2 – Personalize your ceremony

personalize your ceremony

Work with your officiant to create a ceremony that really represents you as a couple. You can have readings from books and poems that are important to you both or have someone play a song you both love. If you aren’t a very serious couple, include some funny bits to lighten the mood. Your friends and family should leave the ceremony thinking “That was SO them!”

It’s always a shame when a wedding officiant includes a sentiment or philosophy that the couple doesn’t agree with. Even if you don’t want to personalize your ceremony, always check to make sure your officiant’s general vibe is the way you want to begin your marriage. I’ve seen couples STUNNED by something their officiant said without their prior knowledge.

3 – Avoid the traditions you want to avoid

be unique at your wedding

Not looking forward to a bouquet toss? Ditch it! I encourage couples to only follow the traditions that appeal to them. By taking out the traditions you don’t like, you will make your wedding more personal & authentic. Don’t feel pressured by family or wedding planners.

You don’t have to have a garter toss. You can see each other before the ceremony if you want. I’ve been to wonderful weddings where they follow every tradition under the sun. I’ve also been to weddings where they follow no traditions. They both were great because they were doing exactly what they wanted to do. Figure out what appeals to you & what doesn’t.

4 – Get ready with loved ones

get ready with loved ones

One of my favorite parts of the day is the getting ready. Everyone is so excited! Getting your hair and make-up done surrounded by friends and family is much more fun than getting ready alone. It can be meaningful to have your bridesmaids help you into your dress or to have your mom put on your veil, etc. You shouldn’t push or fake sentimental moments during your wedding day, but if you are surrounded by loved ones, it will happen naturally. Your friends will also be able to help calm your nerves. This goes for the guys too!

5 – Write your own vows

write your vows

If you are looking for heartfelt, writing your own vows is the way to go. Handwritten vows are beautiful & moving. There’s no better time to be open & vulnerable. If you are nervous to say your personal vows in front of your guests, there are ways to get around it. You can say them softly to each other or even walk away from the ceremony for a few minutes to exchange your vows. I love A Practical Wedding’s guide to writing your own vows.

6 – Thank everyone

thank your guests

So many people have impacted your wedding. You’ve received help and emotional support from family & friends. For those that have gone above & beyond, consider giving them a small gift or thank you letter to express your gratitude.

Your wedding is important to everyone close to you & they will really appreciate your thankfulness. At the reception, it can be really sweet to thank your guests for coming & being involved in your life. Your guests are taking a day (or more!) to celebrate your marriage. Appreciate that! And don’t forget to send thank you cards for the gifts after the wedding.

7 – Ask your family to ditch the cameras

sweet photo of the groom's parents

You want your family to be present during your wedding day. They should be celebrating with you & taking in the day. It’s important for them too.

Encourage your family members to be obligation free during the ceremony. You shouldn’t rely on a close family member videotape the ceremony. You’ve hired people for that. Seriously, do you want your dad fiddling around with camera settings during these special moments? Ask them to witness your ceremony camera-free. If you need someone to take video, find someone outside of your closest family.


There you have it! My best advice for couples seeking a personal, heartfelt wedding. I’d love to hear what you think in the comments below. Feel free to pin this post or share with friends!

view portfolio! get in touch!