The Pinkners {Lifestyle Session | Knoxville, TN }

Occasionally I wonder what it is I will remember from this time in our lives. Things go by at such a rapid pace & we are so busy making memories, aka surviving, that we rarely have time to reflect. I find myself saying, “Joy, what was it that Knox said yesterday that made me laugh so much I cried?” Or, “Remind me again, what day of the week is it?” Ha! If you’ve ever been a parent you can relate. I guess that’s why photography is so important. Almost instantly after viewing a photo from your past, stories & memories come to mind that bring a nostalgic feeling. It takes you back where once again you remember that season of life… it’s a beautiful thing.

Meet the Pinkners: Greg, Jennifer, Jack & Bailey (the dog). There is so much I could say about this incredible family. I’ve known Jennifer since my childhood & have really fun memories of her at church camp & events. Plus, her mom was my music teacher in elementary school… those were the days. Without a doubt, I could easily say that Jennifer was such a great example & godly influence on us all! And still is… check out her blog here! She married a Texan by the name of Greg. Greg happens to be one of the most gifted communicators I’ve heard & through his teaching is making an profound impact about students locally & abroad. He is a teaching pastor at Fellowship Church in Knoxville & when I was in grad school I would listen to his podcasts faithfully. I can’t overestimate how much the Lord used that in my life.

After years of wanting to have children, Greg & Jennifer were blessed with John Benjamin Pinkner, aka Jack… love that name! Jack is around 8 months old & is a big little guy. He was such a pleasure to meet & I had such a great time with Greg & Jennifer. This is their season of life & it’s beautiful. Here’s a sneak peek.

Story time. I loved Greg’s editorial commentary he added as he read.
Bailey was eager to get involved.
Action shot… yes, that’s Bailey’s tongue sprinting in for a kiss on Jack.
Jack & his buddy, Aslan.
As of late, Jack has been quite fascinated with mirrors.
Love this look on his face.
I’m not sure what he was thinking but I like that look!
Congrats my friends. It was such a pleasure to spend time with you guys. Can’t wait to see you again soon!

Russ and Savannah’s Wedding {NewYear’s Eve Wedding | Athens, TN}

I’ll never forget the day Jenn and I booked Savannah’s wedding.  I was eating lunch in Cracker Barrel talking to Savannah’s sister, Lacey, on my cell phone.  She and Savannah had called to inquire about our availability for a New Year’s Eve wedding.  When she asked if we were available, my answer was “Kind of.”  How can someone be “kind of” available for a wedding?  Well, it just so happened that December 31st was the day we would be returning from a vacation to Hawaii.  We would definitely be here, but might be just a tad bit jet-lagged.  They said they weren’t concerned about that, and several days later we met up and booked the wedding.

However, as their big day got closer, Jenn and I were becoming more nervous about our return trip from Hawaii.  Would it even be possible to stay awake after 20 hours in a plane?  What if there were delays or a missed connection?  Close studies of US maps showed that driving a car from Hawaii to Tennessee is not the best option.  Therefore, my wife decided that I should return home from Hawaii a day early while she would stay (I’m sure that was a difficult decision for her to make…haha) just to make sure everything would be fine.

As it turned out, we both returned on time, but I must admit that extra day on Tennessee time really helped!  This was a wedding that I had been looking forward to for some time.  Over the past few months, we had been able to spend quite a bit of time with Russ and Savannah on various photo shoots (here, here, and here) and got to know them quite well.  Savannah is always so laid back no matter what the situation (actually, the same could be said of Russ).  I knew they were both going to be able to relax and enjoy their wedding day.  Also adding to my excitement was the fact that the Passmores REALLY know how to decorate!  I couldn’t wait to see the church and reception sites.  As you’ll see below, they did not disappoint.  Thank you all for allowing us to be a part of your wedding day!  It really means a lot that you had faith in us even with the close travel schedule; we hope you enjoy!

As I was saying, this family knows how to decorate.  Check out the tree.  Can you imagine how long it took to decorate that?!

As I arrived at the Passmore house, the girls were busy getting ready.  I was dodging hairspray and snapping pictures!

After everyone was ready, we ventured to a nearby field to get some images of the bridal party.

Next, we drove to Woodward Avenue Church of God.  The theme was a Winter Wonderland Wedding.  I think they definitely captured that!

After grabbing some details, it was time for the guys.

UT orange in the wedding band…love it!

It was then time to exchange gifts, and I learned a valuable lesson.  When buying for your wife, Tiffany & Co. is a good place to start!

Is there a better gift than the gift of photography?  :)

Although Savannah and Russ decided not to see each other before the ceremony, that didn’t stop us from getting some pictures together.

How Savannah’s dad David made it through singing “Butterfly Kisses” just before the ceremony, I’ll never know.

After the sparkler send off from the church, it was time to head to the Open Door Cafe in downtown Athens for the reception.

The wedding party really knew how to make an entrance.  There were top hats involved…need I say more?

We slipped away from the reception for a bit to get some more pictures.  Free photography tip:  work quickly because it gets cold at night in winter!

As it was completely dark, we had to make creative use of our off camera lights.

After de-thawing from our late-night outdoor photo session, the band Smokey Jam got the party going.

Finally, as midnight rolled around, we all counted down with Dick Clark.  Balloons were released, everyone wished everyone else a Happy New Year, and a few lucky ones received a kiss from a loved one.  Perfect ending to an incredible wedding!

At Home TN Magazine | Wedding Feature: Michael & Jamie

Of very exciting news, Michael & Jamie’s beautiful wedding is featured in the January 2012 Wedding issue of At Home Tennessee Magazine! I love this magazine & really enjoy the relationship we’ve built with their wonderful staff… it’s high quality & definitely worth a subscription!

It’s hard to beat seeing your weddings in print & to see the satisfaction of that comes when others have the opportunity to enjoy as well. Congrats Michael & Jamie!


Grant & Fernanda Wedding {Calvary Baptist Church | L&N Depot, Tuscaloosa, AL}

I couldn’t have dreamed it any better. It was December 30 & my bride & I were headed toward Tuscaloosa, AL, after having left all three kids with Joy’s parents, Praise-a-lujah!!! We were so excited to have a weekend away & to be staying with some of our closest friends, Ish & Amber. We had plans for the evening to take on Downtown Tuscaloosa & ended up at what is now one of my favorite spots, 5, the restaurant. All in the world seemed good. I enjoyed time with some of my favorite people in the world & am quite certain I wore a smile the entire evening. Could it get any better?!

Well, it most certainly did. The main reason for the trip was to photograph the wedding of Grant & Fernanda. Following their vintage inspired engagement shoot, I knew their wedding was going to be incredible. What’s not to love about these two?! Grant is as nice of a guy as you’ll find & his leadership qualities seem effortless. And Fernanda, what a beautiful & pleasant bride, inside & out! They have such a wonderful marriage to look forward to!

The day of the New Year’s Eve wedding was unreal. Who would’ve believed that it would be a calm 70 degrees throughout the day. And the wedding party, as well as Grant & Fernanda’s families, were so gracious & hospitable. It felt like I’d known them for a lifetime. To top it off, I had my best mate, Ismael, helping me throughout the day; we were also privileged to work alongside Thomas & Sarah of TLC Wedding Videography.

Our coverage for the day began at the Historic L&N Station, site of the reception. Since the sun sets so early for Winter weddings, I was eager to shoot some of the reception details beforehand. I love how Grant & Fernanda continued the vintage theme from their engagement session into the wedding details.

Vintage postcards were available for guests to write the couple messages… love this idea!
In lieu of favors, Grant & Fernanda made a donation to Rebuild Tuscaloosa.
Wedding photos of parents & grandparents lined the short hall of the station.
We then met up with Fernanda & her mother, Suzana, at Divine Appointments for their hair & makeup.
The ceremony was held at the church where Grant & Fernanda attend, Calvary Baptist Church, Tuscaloosa, AL. Here, I captured some of the details.
On Fernanda’s bouquet was a Brazilian pendant, passed down from her grandmother.
The final preparations.
The couple chose to see one another before the ceremony, allowing some outdoor portraits before the sun was to set. Here’s their first look & exchange of gifts.
 We then ventured outside for some portraits of the couple, followed by wedding party & family photos. I love seeing these two together. Fernanda, you are such a lovely bride!
Such a dapper groom!
Fernanda & her beautiful ladies.

The wedding party.
And the fellas.
Every time I see this shot & the series (sorry, didn’t post them all), I can’t help but hear the song “Sabotage” run through my head.
Fernanda & her mother.
With her father.
Grant & his parents.
As the ceremony begins.

And the party started!

The first dance.
Fernanda & her father… love this picture!
And Grant & his mother… it never fails that I have to hold back tears during these dances.
Once the dancing kicked in, the party let loose.
The band for the evening were all University Fellows from the University of Alabama… they were a blast!
And the guests saw the couple off with sparklers… such a beautiful day!
Congrats friends! I can’t tell you how much I enjoyed being a part of your day. Enjoy this highlight post, there are many more to come!

Savannah Passmore {Bridal Session | Athens, TN}

Well, slight correction…she’s actually Savannah Blair now, but when Jenn and I met Savannah for her bridal session, she was still Savannah Passmore.  You may remember her from previous engagement sessions (here and here).  She and Russ were married in a gorgeous New Year’s Eve wedding.  However, she opted to do a bridal session several weeks before her wedding.  I am in complete agreement with Ben on this one:  every bride should do a bridal session!  We had so much fun, and it was such a laid back atmosphere!  To begin the afternoon, Savannah’s nieces stopped by for some pics that were to be a surprise to their parents (hence the delayed blog posting).  After hanging out with the little ones for a bit, we ventured outside to an unusually warm day (hasn’t this winter been amazing so far?!).  As you’ll see below, Savannah is absolutely beautiful and has such an easy-going manner in front of the camera.  We had a blast capturing these images; congratulations Savannah and Russ!

Savannah’s niece Sadie was first to arrive and she was all smiles for the day.  She loved dressing up in her mother’s wedding gown.

Scarlett was blown away with how beautiful her aunt Savannah’s dress was!

Named after her aunt, Savannah Claire has some of the bluest eyes I have ever seen.  You can definitely tell she loves and looks up to her cousin Sadie!

After the girls left, it was finally Savannah’s turn.

After a few in the Passmore’s beautiful home, we ventured outside to take advantage of the perfect weather.

Now THIS is what a bride’s dress should look like!  Isn’t her dress incredible?!

Savannah’s veil was also stunning.  We took full advantage of it in the images below!

We finished up the day in studio.  I love the simplicity of a solid white background.  It really allows her personality to come out in these images.