midwest wedding

Holly & Paul say I Do/St.Charles Wedding Photographer/Brookdale Farms Eureka

I was so excited for Holly & Paul's big day. Not only because I simply love my job, but because one request Holly had at random, was to not have flowers, but to have puppies instead! So, being the photographer that I am....I set out on a hunt for puppies. 48 hours later I was set up with 6 adorable bull/pit puppies that stole everyone hearts. These two also picked a GORGEOUS venue in Eureka called Brookdale Farms. The rustic charm, beautiful open hillsides, and old barn were a photographer's dream. Watching these two come together after 8 years surrounding by their kids, family, and friends was really a treat. 

I have also come to the conclusion that everyone should have puppies at their wedding. <3

Melanie & Corey say "I Do"/St. Charles Wedding Photographer/Quail Ridge Park Wentzville

Melanie & Corey had gorgeous weather at Quail Ridge Park in Wentzville where they said their "I do's". Melanie's gorgeous wedding gown that displayed her beautiful tattoo artwork was stunning with her side swoop hair do. Every detail was excellently executed and really made her look complete. The black and maroon colors complimenting everything about Melanie. I couldn't believe those were silk flowers!

I learned very quickly that the Groomsmen don't take each other too seriously when all together and they definitely love to joke. We had such a great time taking pictures and getting to learn a little bit about his friendship with each one of them. As Corey watched Melanie walk down the aisle he had to look to the sky to keep the tears from falling, which is perfection in the eyes of a photographer. 

Watching these two say "I do" with their family and closest friends really made me smile. The Lodge at Quail Ridge proved to be a perfect setting with wall to ceiling windows the over looked a pond and lush greenery. I can't wait to shoot more weddings there in 2019. The ukulele serenading Uncle's was probably my favorite part!

Thank you Melanie and Corey for asking me to be there to capture your wedding day. I loved spending the day with you and your family and friends. I am excited to see where this next journey in life takes you!

Audrey & Mwinzi ~ Marry Me Cottage/St. Charles Wedding Photographer

This year I have developed a love for small intimate weddings. 

Audrey & Mwinizi's day is at the top of the list. Marry Me Cottage in O'fallon is the perfect spot for an intimate ceremony. You pull up to a beautiful open garden filled with so many colorful flowers. Audrey & Mwinizi chose to get married in the back garden surrounded by beautiful white flowers and beautiful green foliage. Audrey walked into what seemed like a secret garden. 

Watching these two connect at the alter, was the most romantic moment I have ever witnessed behind my lens. They really didn't need 150 guests, they just needed each other and it was beautiful. 

St. Charles Wedding Photographer/Wright City Wedding Photographer/Pogrelis Wedding

This season is causing me to majorly fall in love with intimate backyard weddings. Whitney & Ben's property was the perfect spot for them to say "I do!" I had so much fun with them and their entire wedding party. 

Have you ever seen a more stunning bride? Whitney in her gorgeous dress that she personalized to her style and the attention to details she put into the whole day really made this wedding beautifully unique. 

Thank you so much Ben & Whitney for asking me to capture these for you. It was such a blessing to be apart of your forever. 

St. Louis Wedding Photographer/St. Charles Wedding Photographer/Sparks Wedding: The Corner Gates

Jen messaged me through a mutual friend in regards to shooting their wedding day. Their wedding day was the first time I met them or worked with them. Upon finally getting to meet them I was instantly put at ease. Their smiles were HUGE the entire day, they went with the ultimate flow of a crazy wedding day with grace and Jen even stated at one point, "Today is already amazing, because I am marrying this guy". Does it get any better than that? 

The Corner Gates is a perfect hidden event room off Cherokee in St. Louis Mo. The intimate feel as soon as you walk in really sets the pace for a romantic wedding. I have to confess when I go to wedding I always seem to remember the meal, and the food was outstanding! 

I know that Jen & Mike are going to celebrate a great life together and I really can't wait to see what this life brings them.

Dress: The Ultimate Bride

St. Charles Wedding Photographer/Illinois Wedding Photographer/ Gloeckner Wedding

I met Hailey a few years back during another session. Since then I have had the pleasure of working with Hailey & Joe a few times and every session is amazing. Needless to say I was so excited when their wedding day came & I got to capture it. Their ceremony was at a gorgeous historic church called Church of the Holy Family in Chaokia IL. I was instantly in love with the charm of this gorgeous church. After the service we headed to the beautiful Weingarten in Belleville IL. This place had the greatest scenery for a gorgeous spring wedding. 

Congratulations Hailey and Joe. I can't wait to see what this life brings to you.

 

St. Charles Wedding Photographer/How do I chose a wedding photographer?

Yep, I am doing it. I am going to break down the most important points of choosing a wedding photographer and what to think about for your wedding day regarding pictures! This piece of the wedding day is going to last the longest, yes even the dress ends up yellowing, so really taking the time to chose the right photographer is important. There are so many brides that I have personally spoke with that had no clue what they were getting into when they started this part of wedding planning. Knowledge and confidence is key to not feeling left in the dark and taken advantage of.

Most brides seem uneducated(WHICH IS OK!!!) and a little terrified when it comes to choosing a wedding photographer.

So let's start with the obvious...

1. BUDGET

Before you start to research photographers, think of an ideal budget you have for this aspect of your big day. Photographers usually price their work per hour and then bring in the add ons like albums, canvases, engagement shoot, and second shooter. All of these things will raise the price of your package. $1500-$2500 is a decent budget and can get you a really good photographer with a few package options.

-An entry level photographer - one who is trying to build a portfolio with charge around $150 an hour. This photographer may have only acted as a second shooter with only a few Lead shooter weddings.

-An experienced photographer - one with at least 50 weddings under their belt as a LEAD shooter will charge anywhere from $225-$250 an hour. Usually has a few key second shooter they prefer to work with.

-A senior photographer who has at least 100+ weddings can charge anywhere starting at $300+ per hour. They are going to come with a whole team and offer major package incentives. 

So know your budget and then you can start to look at the right category of photographers. Not sure of the photographers level of knowledge? Ask for their wedding count! This number will tell you how many weddings they have done as the Lead photographer. Which means they can run your wedding day with knowledge and experience.

2. STYLE

What is your ideal style? When you flip through Pinterest, Facebook, and Instagram what style get's your attention most? Do you like the sunny open feel or do you before dark with a little bit more emotional feel to it? Make a Pinterest board and share it with your potential photographers! Know that they won't duplicate this board but know where your personal inspiration for you wedding day is coming from. I love seeing bride's boards!

I will put some examples below:

Light & Airy v. Dark & Moody

Can you tell the difference? Jheart Photography uses the Left side look for all images. I am definitely a light and airy photographer!

Can you tell the difference? Jheart Photography uses the Left side look for all images. I am definitely a light and airy photographer!

Also in style, do you like candid portraits or more formal posed? Ask to look through a few potential photographers portfolio to get an idea of their individual style. No style is right or wrong, it's ALL about personal preference.

3. REFERRALS

Now that you have those 2 things narrowed down. Ask around to friends and family photographers that they have worked with. It is ALWAYS comforting to know someone that has had a great wedding day experience with their photographer. Some also offer incentives for being a referral. (I know Jheart does!)

4. What do you WANT?

Photographers will offer more than just day of service hours. Here are a few add on shoots you may want to consider! Outside of these add on shoots some photographer offer albums, canvas, and other prints options. 

Engagement shoots are my favorite way to get to know a client. It really helps me prepare for the big day. Every couple interacts differently so to know what to expect ahead of time is a huge bonus!

Engagement shoots are my favorite way to get to know a client. It really helps me prepare for the big day. Every couple interacts differently so to know what to expect ahead of time is a huge bonus!

Engagement Shoot - A great way to announce you are getting married! It is also a fabulous way to get to know well you & your photographer work together. It also helps add a personal touch to your special day!

 

 

 

 

Bridal shoots are a perfect chance to get to wear that stunning gown one more day!

Bridal shoots are a perfect chance to get to wear that stunning gown one more day!

Bridal Shoot - This is a session prior to the wedding where you just take pictures in your dress! It can be scheduled when you do your hair & makeup trial so it looks like they were all taken on the same day. Plus you can display them at the wedding!

 

 

 

 

Obviously these images are to private to post, but if you are interested I would love to send you a private gallery!

Obviously these images are to private to post, but if you are interested I would love to send you a private gallery!

Bridal Boudoir - I LOVE boudoir sessions. Not only is it the perfect gift for your new hubby, but it's shocking how beautiful, confident, and sexy it will make you feel as a bride!

 

 

 

 

 

5. QUESTIONS TO ASK

Now that there is a budget, preferred style, and  possibly have a few photographer leads to start with, let's talk about great questions to ask potential photographers. No question is a stupid question! Honestly the more questions a Bride asks me the better I feel. 

1. What would you say your style is?

2. Do you always work with the same second shooter? Can we only use a second shooter     for the ceremony or do we have to hire them full day?

3. When should we expect photos back after the wedding day? When do you provide a preview or blog post?

4. How many weddings have you done as LEAD shooter?

5. Do you organize a timeline for our day to best suit your photography needs to get all the shots we are looking for?

6. Do you set up consultations so we can meet and chat?

7. How are the pictures delivered? Digital? USB? Both?

8. Do you make packages special to weddings or do you only offer set packages?

9. Do you have a back up shooter if you are ill and can't shoot the wedding? Do they do the editing too?

10. Do you have a contract?

11. Do you have insurance?

12. Can I contact a previous bride and ask her experience working with you?

I know there is quite a few questions but all of these details are important. You will figure that out when it gets closer to your day and even after the big day. You will be glad you asked these questions! Any great photographer will be able to answer all of these questions for you to help make you feel comfortable with how your day will go, what you are paying for, and what to expect after the day is over. 

6. THINGS TO JUST KNOW

Sometimes it's just easier when someone points out the obvious. So here are some obvious details to remember:

*Having more than one PROFESSIONAL photographer at your wedding is not necessary. Each has their own style and flow to structure a wedding day, so trust me, just using one company is better! Of course family can shoot as long as they do not interfere with the work flow of the professional. 

*No photographer is going to allow Brides to personal edit or filter their images. Yes, this includes Facebook and Instagram filters. We take a lot of pride in our work and when a filter is added it produces an image that is no longer ours. 

*Professional photographers do not give out RAW images. Most clients would not even be able to open and view a RAW image, you have to have special editing software. Also, as a client you probably don't want the RAW image. Personally my back of camera is really dark so that I don't loose details and highlights.....as a client, you wouldn't want to hang that image on your wall. 

*Professional photographers do not offer Copyrights to the images. They will however offer print release. These two things are very different. Print release gives the client privileges to print the images as they see fit. Copyright signs over all right from the photographer to the client over the image. We don't really want to give up the rights to our artwork.

*Photoshopping "Aunt June" into pictures because she wasn't there, isn't an easy task. So unless you want to pay big money to have her added, you might just have to let that go. 

I really hope that this helped some Brides decide the best photographer for their big day! Choosing your photographer in the giant ocean of photographers can be so overwhelming, but going into the process with confidence and knowledge is the best place to start. 

Jenny

St. Charles Wedding Photographer/Chaumette Vineyards/Chaumette Wedding

Chaumette Vineyards was a gorgeous spot for a beautiful wedding day. The open fields, the grapevines, and the overlook of Missouri is just breath taking as you stand on top of a hill to say your vows. Not only is the wedding venue perfect for your rustic wedding day, Chaumette offers the cutest rental cabins for your bridal weekend stay! 

I loved shooting here and couldn't believe how gorgeous this October wedding was. From the moments of anticipation and getting ready, to that feeling of relief as you see your loved one at  the other end of the aisle. I love capturing weddings. It brings out all the feels for sure. 

St. Charles Wedding Photographer/Gulf Shores Wedding Photographer/Kylie & Josh Married Gulf Shores

Kylie & I crossed paths a few years ago when she found me to take pictures for her Mom's gorgeous wedding. Since then I have captured 3 weddings, a birthday, and a senior for their family. I love this family. Every event they throw is always a blast, full of friends, family, and love. Kylie & Josh's Gulf Shores beach wedding was no exception.

Kylie & Josh's setting was actually about 30 miles out of Gulf Shores on Fort Morgan beach. Kylie did such an amazing job with the details and Josh did even better with her ring. The center Opal is from Australia given by his mother and some of the diamonds are from a ring that used to belong to her. I melt for a romantic story like that! After their first look we actually went to the old Fort Morgan civil war base for pictures and it was so cool. I am extremely surprised that we didn't see or hear any ghost activity! We then went back where they said "I do", in front of their beach house with the ocean crashing behind them. After the ceremony, they spent the evening partying on the sand with family and friends.

It was an amazing time and I am seriously blessed and glad I was there to capture this for them. I have fallen in love with beach weddings and I can't wait to do so many more. I can't wait to see what else life has in store for these two!