Franny & Joe {Photobooth}

These pics bring new meaning to creative spontaneity. They are the result of providing a simple white backdrop, a strobe, a camera & a bunch of random props. Put these things together at a really fun wedding & you are bound to have a great time… a guest-pleaser guaranteed!

Congrats Franny & Joe! You’re wedding was incredible & thanks for the opportunity to be a part of it. See the pics from their Photobooth reception at Cornerstone Church of Knoxvillle. If you’d like your pics in your Facebook feed, be sure to friend request me {click here} & I’ll tag you. If you’d like to order prints, register at this link & an email will be sent to you when the storefront is live. Thanks friends for a great time!!

A few of my favorites. This one definitely wins “Most Dedicatation”.

Brings a huge grin to my face… thanks Dave!
The mustaches are always a hit. Am I the only one that thinks Hallerin has perfected the Old Spice guy’s look? “Ladies… look at me, now look at your man…”
Yep… I can see it!
I agree!
The super-talented Pyxl crew! I was quite startled at Jackie’s ability to leap over everyone… nice form!
Here’s the rest… enjoy!!

  1. Meggie / Loving Drew in the most eligible bachelor picture!2.07.11 / 2:40 pm

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The Buckleys {Athens, TN}

Saturday marked a wonderful landmark for me personally as Ben Finch Photography multiplied & was in more places than one. Magic? Sort of… from time to time people have accused me of trick photography. But no tricks here. While I was in Townsend, TN on Saturday photographing Jansen & Julie’s wedding, Alan & Jennifer were photographing the Buckley family on my behalf. Due to high volume, it’s been a goal of mine for the last year or so to bring another photographer or two along as associates. Last Saturday proved a great opportunity. You may recall when I photographed Alan & Jennifer; here’s their session. I’ve been privileged to bring Alan along to assist me on a few occasions & we’ve been discussing everything from technique & perspective, to style & lighting. He & Jenn are very gifted photographers & wonderful friends. You can’t beat their personalities! That’s why I’m so excited to be offering their photography services through Ben Finch Photography. Now when you contact me, you have the option of choosing Alan & Jenn to capture your occasion. They will be available for both Lifestyle Sessions & Weddings. You have the same incredible service, editing & colorwork, access to selected products, & more. Now there’s more opportunities than ever to have photos you’ll cherish forever. Email me soon & we’ll get you on the books! {A more “official” introduction to come!}

I’ll let Alan & Jenn take it from here. Here’s Alan’s thoughts from the day:

There are times when life as a photographer can be difficult.  Perhaps the weather is not cooperating, or maybe the subject is just not into it.  Whatever the case may be, capturing pictures is not always easy.  Last weekend was definitely NOT one of those times!  First, the weather was perfect.  Mid-60’s in the middle of January…made me want to hit the lake!  Second, we could not have asked for a better family to photograph.

Meet the Buckleys.  When we were introduced and they described themselves as “one big, crazy family,” I knew we were in for a good time.At the head of the family are Bill and Gail.  Gail, we discovered, once taught with my mom at EK Baker Elementary…small world!  Of course, it probably doesn’t feel like a small world to Mom and Dad, because their children are spread out all over the United States.  Coming from as far away as San Diego and Cincinnati, everyone was able to get together for some family portraits.
Sisters Taryn {L} and Rachel {R} have such a great relationship; they also have such beautiful, natural smiles.  Bill {top R} and his fiancée Ashleigh are lawyers from Memphis and share mine and Jennifer’s love of Central Bar-B-Que.  If you are ever in Memphis, you have to give it a try; it will rock your world!  Last but certainly not least, Mike {top L} serves our nation in the Navy, and he is stationed in San Diego.
Bill & his fiancée Ashleigh.
Love the pics of these two together!
Gavin, the Buckley’s “adopted” son, was stationed with Mike in the Navy. He jumped in the mix for this photo.
As you can see, this is one big and busy family.  Thank you so much for allowing us to capture this time you had together; we had a great afternoon getting to know everyone!




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Jansen & Julie {Dancing Bear Lodge: Townsend, TN Wedding}

When I was a little Finch around the age of 4, my dad followed his job with TVA (Tennessee Valley Authority) from beautiful Guntersville Lake area in Alabama to the foothills of the Smoky Mountains in East TN. I was too young to recall but I imagine it was a huge step to leave North Alabama, the area both of my parents had grown up. We took root in Athens, TN. Of course I did what most little boys do, I followed my big sister’s lead.

I have vivid memories of a house we rented for a short time before purchasing the home in which we were raised. It had a huge basement, perfect for my radio controlled race cars. And a laundry chute; I was ever tempted to jump down that thing. And, it’s the house I lived in when I first met Julie & Andy.

They lived just down the road. Julie was a year younger than my sister, Amy, and I was a few years older than Andy, Julie’s brother. It was a great fit. At one point my dad was in a bad car accident & Julie’s mom picked up my sister & I from school & we stayed at their house for several days. Their dad was an airplane pilot so I was constantly enamored by Andy’s toy planes. And one time, the Axley’s took a trip up north to Chicago & Wisconsin (I think) & they were kind enough to take my sister. I remember being devastated that I wasn’t able to go; I cried like crazy.

Many years passed & they were still good friends. Eventually, they moved out of the neighborhood but we all still went to school together. When I entered high school, my sister had already graduated, but Julie was there, like a sister to me. I always kind of considered her to be.

And this past Saturday Julie was a bride; I was honored to photograph her wedding to Jansen Bailey. Here’s their day:

The wedding festivities were held at Dancing Bear Lodge in Townsend, TN. This venue is exceptional including all the amenities & conveniences one might desire for a wedding.

I admit I was slightly skeptical about the thoughts of a pre-wedding ceremony flag football tourney. I could only imagine how sore I would be. But it proved to be the perfect idea. Some serious competitors out there.
Shortly after, it was prep time. Love this pic of the Bailey’s that his dad brought.
The groomsmen gifts were top-notch.
Jansen is looking quite dapper!
The fellas.
A note from Julie explaining his wedding gift… an all-expense paid trip to Munich for Oktoberfest.
And now a look at the bride as she prepares for the ceremony. A few details to begin with:
Julie & Jansen’s dog, Remi.
Love the feel of these two images.
Julie made a beautiful bride!
Her ladies.
As the ceremony approached there was excitement in the air.
Julie & Jansen’s ceremony was really nice. I love how family was seated below & friends stood above surrounding them with support.
The moment they’d been eager for… together!
The wedding party.
Another favorite!
The reception was incredible.
One of my favorite moments occurred during the reception when Jansen’s sister, Kara, offered a toast. She shared stories of growing up with such a wonderful older brother; I couldn’t help it, I was tearing up behind the camera. Really special!
In 2004, Julie’s brother, Andy, went on to be with the Lord. A memorial was setup in his honor & we took time to remember him. A very moving moment occurred during the ceremony when Julie & Jansen lit a candle in his honor.
Julie & Jansen showed us all how to dance!
And the party further ensued. I was hanging from the chandeliers to get this pic. What can I say, I’ll do anything for a picture!
I’d have to agree, Julie & Jansen, you guys are the perfect match. Congratulations & thank you for the honor of photographing your wedding.

  1. Alan / Reception from above was a cool perspective, and I'm a big fan of them sitting in the swing. Also, I still cry when I don't get to go on plane rides, so don't feel bad.2.02.11 / 3:21 pm
  2. Julie Axley / Ben- Jansen and I greatly enjoyed sharing our special day with you. Thank you so much for the lovely images!2.15.11 / 8:23 pm

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ISO Camera Settings in Photography {Tips}

Who’s up for another “Tips” blog post? Today I wanted to respond to a question from my good friend Heather from Birmingham. She wrote in response to the Aperture blog post:

“Ben, this is awesome. One thing I hear a lot of different opinions about is ISO. Maybe you could comment on that sometime? I’ve heard some people say that an ISO > 400 is never ideal b/c of “noise” in the background, but if you want an indoor pic sans flash sometimes that’s the only option. Is it possible to use a higher ISO and still get a good quality photo that is able to be enlarged?”

Here’s my video response. (Warning… I have a bit of a cold so I’m a little sniffly… sorry!)

Heather, I disagree with the advice you’ve received. I think it is more preferential than it is rule, opinion rather than principle. I love shooting at higher ISO settings. As a recap from the video, ISO refers to how sensitive the image sensor {in digital photography} is to the available light. The higher the ISO setting, the more sensitive the sensor, resulting in the ability to photograph in lower lighting.When shooting film, ISO refers to the speed of the film, measuring the sensitivity of the negative material (aka film) to light.

Let’s be real practical here for a moment. What if you find yourself in a poorly lit environment & would rather not use your flash, what do you do? You begin by trying to shoot at an ISO setting of about 320. Next, maybe you try to widen your aperture, choosing to shoot at around an f/2. Works pretty good except the shutter speed is still too slow {ex. 1/6} & the subject is somewhat fuzzy. Your next thought needs to be, “let me increase my ISO settings so that I can shoot with a faster shutter speed & get a sharper image.” So you bump your ISO to 800 or 1200 or 1600… whatever you can in order to achieve the look you were going for. My first thought when faced with less than optimal lighting conditions (low light) is always, “can I shoot with a wider aperture?” Thus allowing more light to enter the lens. If that doesn’t work, I then bump up the ISO setting. For me personally, I’m usually always trying to shoot at the widest aperture possible. Then, depending on the situation, I adjust the ISO.

Below are some images I shot with a really high ISO yet really love the look & feel they portray. Plus, allowing a bit of “noise” in the image gives you an opportunity to differentiate yourself from the always expected.

I referenced this wedding detail image in the video. {ISO 3200, 35mm, f/2.8, 1/500 sec}. This was shot with the Canon 24-70 f/2.8.

{ISO 3200, 24mm, f/2.8, 1/60 sec}

I really love this image. To me it has a strong cinematic feel to it… as though it was taken a long time ago, expressing emotion. I’m not sure it would have the same feel without the grain. {ISO 3200, 40mm, f/2.8, 1/50 sec}

And the same goes for people shots too! When I was photographing these twins I couldn’t really afford to shoot with a lower ISO… it’s one of my favorite images! {ISO 1250, 50mm, f/1.8, 1/320 sec}

As you can tell, I don’t always stray away from shooting at a high ISO setting. In fact, sometimes I prefer it. What do you think? Does this post help you better understand ISO settings? Has it given you a new appreciation for grain/noise in images? Let me know what you think. Thanks friends!

  1. Heather / Thanks Ben! That's definitely helpful to me, especially to encourage me to "think outside the box". I feel so freed up now to try to use ISO when aperture alone isn't getting me the shutter speed I need. And yes, I have a new appreciation for the grainy look. It does add a uniqueness to the photo. Thanks so much for answering my question, and so quickly!!1.29.11 / 9:27 pm
  2. Emily Grace / Your videos are really helpful, and your way of presenting definitely diffuses the tension that can come with trying to learn and apply information. Love it that your filming them in the mirror.2.13.11 / 3:09 pm
  3. Brooke Green / I'm so sad that I am just now finding this post! I have read several ISO posts here lately and yours is by far the easiest to follow. Way to go!5.16.12 / 8:06 pm

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The Story of Two Little White Boxes

Monday morning I kept the boys so Joy could go for a visit. When she returned home, she brought me two boxes. Inside the bottom box there were two white Chocolate covered strawberries. In the top one, the same, except with sprinkles. She then explained, “the strawberries in the bottom box represent the two beautiful little boys you’ve already given me. The top represents our next little baby we will have in August!!”

That’s right friends. Apparently, the Lord is blessing us with another little Finch. We will officially transition from man-to-man defense to zone coverage. What can I say? There’s always room for one more! Now… ya’ll go ahead & let us know when you’ll babysit!

  1. Jared Wilson Photography / CONGRATS!! I can say, from experience, 3 is a little crazy! Hopefully you can get your oldest to lend a hand! :)1.26.11 / 2:48 pm
  2. Kristine Neeley / AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!! :) So happy for you!!! :)1.26.11 / 4:52 pm
  3. Donna / Congrats to you both!!! We are expecting our new arrival in about 6 1/2 weeks - I will let you know how that "zone" coverage works out, ha!1.28.11 / 7:56 am
  4. Josh Simmons / Congratulations Ben and Joy!! Just read the news on the blog post. Meggie and I are so excited for you! Hope the Finch family is doing well!1.30.11 / 9:45 am
  5. Drew Simmons / Yes!!!! The world needs more Finches!2.07.11 / 12:18 pm
  6. Andrea Humbert / Hey Ben & Joy; I am so happy for you guys. If it's a girl, I'll be able to give her some pointers on being the "little sister" of brothers; I have 2 brothers, 2 & 4 years older. :^D Love & miss ya'll!2.07.11 / 12:26 pm
  7. Vickie Ford / 3 little ones and counting! What blessings the Lord has in store for you! Congratulations! and much love sent your way. I would love to babysit. Are you close to me in Athens AL? Bring on the children. Mr Mike and I are transitional empty nesters. My brother lives temporarily with us. His 7 year old son comes on visitation 3 or 4 days a week depending on what week visit it is. Blessing! We have not had such activity since the last of the Ford boys moved away 4 years ago! Activities in the house again! Love it!2.07.11 / 12:55 pm
  8. april taylor / Hey like I've said from the 2nd've got 2 whats one more...well I stopped saying that after #5 :) Children are a BLESSING from God, I wouldnt trade a moment, the easy ones or hard ones. Enjoy EVERY moment! congrats and we'll babysit anytime I am serious...we have 5 whats 3 more LOL2.07.11 / 2:22 pm

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