Dear Bride… From Your Photographer

Dear Bride to be,

    I have experienced many different wedding setups. From the classic inside the chapel wedding, to inside barn ceremony, to the sandy beaches. All of these venues are beautiful and ready for a big day like yours to draw attention to the happiness you and your significant other are going to share. I count down the hours until I get to grab my camera and take beautiful pictures of your wonderful day, but I want to let you know a few things before that day comes.

    Though these locations are beautiful, if they are not properly prepared for pictures than the images I will be able to capture will not be the best of the best. I want to make sure you receive the most beautiful pictures possible. Here are a few things to consider to help ensure that the photographs you receive are perfect in every way.

    I am going to follow the timeline for a wedding and cover the basic stages of the day so you know how best to prepare for my arrival.

    Before I get started on the wedding day, let’s talk about itineraries. A schedule of any kind is much appreciated and will help me gauge how long I will have to take photos throughout the day. I can help make this with you so I can have plenty of time making sure I get all the little moments of your wedding day photographed. Thirty minutes to an hour is plenty of time to plan for pictures in each of these sections or for specialty picture requests. If I have that much time the day will feel relaxing and I will feel better knowing I got every picture you wanted.

    Preparation: This is normally in a dressing room or a house where all the ladies, and sometimes the men, get prepared to walk down the aisle. Small rooms can be hard for me to maneuver around and raise the risk of me not getting the perfect shot. Make sure there is plenty of light in the preparation space. Big glass doors, windows, ceiling and wall lights help me out a lot to get the best lighting possible, we don’t want a huge shadow on your face covering up that big smile. We need to make sure the bride is getting ready in a timely fashion to make sure that we have plenty of time to take portraits of you in your dress with your makeup and hair done. No one wants to feel rushed especially on your special day.


    First Look(Pros and Cons): You two might decide that you do not want to see each other before the ceremony(my wife and I wanted our first look to be her coming down the aisle). This can get amazing reaction picture opportunities of your future partner at the altar but there are some possible issues. When you choose not to have a first look before the ceremony this means that combined family and couple photographs will have to be taken after the ceremony, if your wedding is in the late afternoon then this can cause lighting concerns. When the sun starts setting it gets dark very fast. Also, time is an issue. Your wedding has ended and everyone is heading toward reception. You cannot join them until all of your photos are taken. Also, your attendants and family members will not be able to join them until all the photos are taken, and this can make everyone feel rushed. If you choose to have a first look before the ceremony, all of these images can be taken before guests arrive directly after the first look.


    A Ceremony for Outdoor Weddings: This is the moment when you take those first steps toward your loved one and the crowd goes silent. They hold their breath as you come down the aisle and make eye contact with the love of your life. One thing to make sure of is that the crowd can hear you when you make it to the altar(vow area). If the ceremony is outside, the wind might be screaming through and the crowd will want to hear your vows, but when they gather around you, it will block me from getting some angles and won’t allow me to do my best work. If the ceremony is outside, ask uncle jo or cousin buddy(or an actual DJ) if they have a PA system or some sort of speaker they can set up so everyone can hear your confession of love to one another and I can sneak around like a ninja in the crowd.


     A Ceremony for Indoor Weddings: If you go for the more traditional indoor church wedding, the lights in sanctuaries are not always flattering. Most churches use fluorescent lights to save on energy bills. I completely understand this but they can cast a blue tinted light making everyone look like they just stepped out of the freezer. Some Churches use more yellow-tinted lights which can make people appear to have a spray on tan that stayed on too long. Make sure if you do use a church for a venue that you have a place in mind to take photos outside around the church, where natural light can be used. 


    Reception: This is a big one. Most receptions are at night or start when the sun begins to fall. If it is an option to have lights over the dance floor, eating area, drink area this will all help me. Any kind of light is better than no light at all, except for just a DJ colored light, those don’t do much for me or the people that look like green aliens or blue smurfs. Twinkle lights, candles, white string lights, wire LED lights all will help me have more options of what lenses I can use and will get my creativity flowing with all the possibilities of places I can pose you and your new partner. This will also allow me to better photograph the big moments like first dances, cake cuttings, and exits.


     Exits: When you exit your wedding you want it to be magical because this is the start of your life together as a married couple. PLAN IT OUT. I am not meaning that to sound rude, but I have watched many brides not plan this out. They do not have a specified time to leave, they do not have a plan of where and how their guests will stand, and they have not chosen an item(sparklers, bubbles, streamers, etc) to exit with. Once you have planned this out please voice these plan with me, your photographer. This will allow you to have the most beautiful exit that you can remember through pictures.



Your Photographer


**These are some things that can be done during the planning of your wedding to help your photographer do a better job and to get the photos that you will love. 

Some of the images from this post were taken from a wonderful couples wedding. Check out that blog post here Mr and Mrs B


Rustic love story

A few weekends ago I had the pleasure of photographing a beautiful couple on the rolling hills of Tennessee. My wife and I got the opportunity to be a part of our cousin’s marriage to the love of her life. On June 29th my wife and I jumped in the truck with Candy and Starbucks to drive out to the home state of the Titans. 

Now one thing to know about this couple is they love Starwars, so we were ready to see what they incorporated in their wedding to pay homage to their nerd-dom. We drove all night, nine hours and walked through the door at 5am. We quickly got in the house, quietly climbed in bed and got a few hours of sleep before setting up the wedding the next day. 

All the decorations were placed, tables were set and we had some time to hang out with our family up there. The energy was high staying up laughing and talking the night before. The Sun comes up, wake up, coffee… Not enough coffee. We grabbed some food and out to the church on the hill. 

The location was absolutely beautiful. Tears began flowing before the ceremony even started. Even when the cake was taken out by the wind, the ceremony continued without a hitch.

 This wedding truly pulled on the heartstrings when the groom took a knee and read his personal vows to his new daughter. She looked like a little princess in her white dress, and he placed a crown ring on her finger. True love, God’s blessing, lots of laughing and tears were all part of this amazing trip. I also am in the nerd class and loved seeing all the starwars details, the bouquet had a deathstar pendant, the boutinerres had Lego starwars characters and there were tiefighter cake pops.

 It, was, amazing!!!! I’m so blessed to be doing what I’m doing and wouldn’t trade it for anything. 

We have a winner!!

I love to give future married couples chances to win photography and video packages. Recently I was part of a bridal show with my wife and we had a drawing for a free couple photoshoot. We selected our couple and scheduled a shoot at oaks by the bay in St. Andrews early on a Saturday morning. They were eager for some new photos since the last time they had pictures was a fair time ago. On the morning of the shoot, I woke up before the sun rose and gathered my gear to head out to the park. Lens snapped on, camera bag slung over my shoulder and my eye keen to all the spots I wanted to use, I started testing my settings.

The couple arrived and we started shooting around 6:30 as the sun was casting beautiful light on the damp ground. 

The dew shining and the puddles drying up as the sun came over the horizon. You can tell in the images that not a moment went by without laughter and smiles producing some truly beautiful images. 

We made some jokes of your classic Sears portrait poses and I got this gem.

This is the kind of shoot I dream of every time I grab my camera and head out the door.


Make your wedding #trending

The summer wedding season is booming, will your wedding be hashtagged #memorable? When my wife and I got married we went into the planning process wanting people to have as much fun as we did. A Tardis photo booth, take home mason jar cups, personalized kids coloring books were just some of the features at our wedding. Everyone that came was talking about it for weeks and still mention how awesome it was now. If you want your wedding to be #trending there is a great article on The Knot about the trends for weddings in 2017.

Unique Invitations

photo from Pinterest

Invitations are the first thing most guests will see from you about your big day, shouldn’t it be amazing? Simple monograms on a beautiful portrait of the two of you, there are so many options for this. I have a new option for this in my video packages, but you will need to contact me to find out more,

Ceremony Remix

circle wedding ceremony- photo credit Stylemepretty

photo credit Stylemepretty

I love this idea. Thinking about the guests encircling the bride and groom as they confess their love sounds so beautiful. As a videographer/ photographer, I can imagine so many opportunities for unique photos in a setup like this. It is now a dream to shoot a wedding in this fashion. Hurry up brides, let’s make this happen.

Grand Getaways

photo from Wedbook

I am so glad they covered this in their article. Having an exit that is totally you and completely unique will leave your guests wishing the party would last longer. Sparklers, bubbles, ride away on horses, make it impressive and fun to leave the image in your guest’s mind. This will also help me as a videographer give you an amazing close on your final video and give everyone a smile that watches it.

All of the trends happening in 2017 are amazing. I am excited to see more of these trends in my weddings coming up. Brides if you want some suggestions for how video can help make your wedding #trending sending me an email and let’s make your wedding shine.

Check out our latest blog posts Tom our last Weddings to see some of my latest work. Laughs with the Solari Family.

I only covered a few of the unique features the knot article mentioned but you can see them all in their article 2017 Trends.

Brides on the lookout

Happy June everyone. Summer is in full swing and brides are out looking for deals.

I had the pleasure of being a part of the  flash Bridal Show by The Wedding Shop Panama City Florida. There was delicious food, great music and amazing people in attendance. The picture below is one of the games that was played during the show. The bride and someone that joined her for the show had to grab gummy rings on a stick. Using their mouth. It was so funny to watch and this guy was so focused. 

Brides and their loved one’s were able to walk through the show and get information from vendors for cakes, catering, makeup and more. My wife joined me for this one and we had a blast getting our booth all pretty and meeting all the couples ready to wed. 

Seeing all the bride’s-to-be and vendors having such fun at the bridal show made this event a wonderful experience. We are definitely going to join The Wedding Shop for the next one. 

If you would like some information that will help you in planning your wedding, check out my other blog post about how you can help photographers get the best images possible. Dear brides from your photographer

A tool for my horrible grammar

In person, I feel like I am good at constructing sentences. When writing… Not so much. I am one of those, what do you call them? Oh yeah, home school kids. English was not my strong subject. My mother was a great teacher and prepared me well for the world around me. But when I look at my writing and think, “that’s pretty darn good” I ask Grammarly and it says otherwise. When you are writing a lot either on social media, email or another outlet, you don’t always structure things correctly in writing. We write like we speak and it sounds great in our head but where do you out the dang comma to stop a sentence from running on too long or never having a period on it…….. I did not ask Grammarly on that sentence by the way. Grammarly sits over your current browser window as a green button,

The button will spin when it is scanning your text to find errors in your writing. The green button will turn red if it finds something that is not correct. This tool is amazing and I recommend it for anyone that writes a lot. You can get Grammarly through the link below. Using the link below helps support me and my mission to help you all better yourself through technology.

The Basics of ISO

Low light, no light, some light and everything in between. Early on in my photography, ISO was a setting on my camera I was scared of, and just didn’t understand. People I learned from and worked with always were paranoid about using higher ISO but sometimes I just need to do things against the grain.

ISO is the setting of how sensitive the sensor in the camera is to light. It’s like if you could change how your retina sees light in your eye. Let’s dive in deeper!!!!!!!!

Just so you have an idea of how I am setting up this post.

All the images were taken on a Sony Alpha a7II Mirrorless Digital Camera – Body Only with a Sigma MC-11 Mount Converter Lens Adapter (Sigma EF-Mount Lenses to Sony E) w/ Essential Photo Bundle and a Canon EF 24-105mm f/4 L IS USM Lens for Canon EOS SLR Cameras. This camera has been an amazing upgrade from the Canon EOS 7D 18 MP CMOS Digital SLR Camera Body Only (discontinued by manufacturer) I was using for so many years. There is a link to the Amazon pages for these pieces of gear below so you can check them out and buy them if you are wanting to upgrade.

Let’s start with the numbers. What does it mean when my camera has an ISO number? To keep this answer simple, I’ll explain it this way. the lower the number the less light is picked up by the sensor. But won’t my images be dark if there is less light???? Yes, but the lower the number also lowers the noise(speckles in your image) and you can also adjust other things to compensate(I will be covering the exposure triangle later, stay tuned).

Now some examples!!!!!!!!

These images are taken directly out of the camera. No color correction, noise reduction or anything. #nofilter

1: ISO 80-F4-1 Sec Shutter


2: ISO 200-F4-0.4 Sec Shutter


3: ISO 800-F4-1/13 Sec Shutter


4: ISO 2500-F4-1/30 Sec Shutter


5: ISO 25600-F4-1/250 Sec Shutter


If you look at the darker areas around the lamp, in the dark section on the right, you can see the noise begin to appear. It looks like fuzz or dots in the image. Sometimes this can be reduced in Photoshop or Lightroom. You want to avoid using noise reduction in your photos as much as possible.

So as you can see, changing the ISO of your camera can help a lot in different lighting situations but can also be a sneaky devil. It can totally ruin an image if your not careful, but don’t be afraid of it.

Spending time with the Prices

Welcome to Mexico Beach FL. It’s a beautiful day in Florida in the month of May. Although it was a little windy, the sun is out and no cloud is in the sky, its a wonderful day for a beach wedding.

20170506-DSC02237A relaxing drive out to the location, making sure my wife and I arrive early to the Paul Brent house. We pull up to park and everyone is having fun and relaxing from the night before.


I pull out my camera, lock in the lens and start capturing the little details of this beautiful home. Now one unique thing about this wedding was the Disney details. Seeing the bride’s Mickey hat and the dress, the rose from Beauty and the Beast, I knew this was going to be fun.



Everyone preparing was full of laughter and fun and the anticipation was growing every minute closer to the ceremony.


Finally, the moment has arrived. Everyone is ready and in position. Cue the music, start the processional, all rise.


I had so much fun during this wedding and look forward to seeing this couple grow together through the years. Congratulations Larry and Rebecca Price.


I used my new Sony A7ii for this wedding and loved every minute of using this camera. Combine that body with the Sigma MC11 and some Canon lenses, this setup was a dream. Affiliate Links are below for the gear I used on this wedding.

3 Part Films Website

Sony Alpha a7II Mirrorless Digital Camera – Body Only

Sigma MC-11 Mount Converter Lens Adapter (Sigma EF-Mount Lenses to Sony E) w/ Essential Photo Bundle

Canon EOS 7D 18 MP CMOS Digital SLR Camera Body Only (discontinued by manufacturer)

Laughs at the Solari Wedding

The moment I got home from this wedding I talked my wife’s ear off. Seeing old friends growing their family was such a pleasure and I was so blessed to be asked to video this wedding. I started off the day with the family of the bride at their Airbnb. The ladies of the wedding party were all smiles and laughs while they were getting their hair and makeup done.

Makeup Laugh

A side note about these photos, they were taken from the video I shot on the Sony A7II with an MC11 hooked to the Canon 24-105 F4 L. These images look amazing for being taken from video and I am so happy to have this camera in my gear bag. It is small, sharp and fast.

Brides MakeupEverything was moving swiftly and I was called to go capture the guys getting suited up. I walk into the church and this is the first thing I see.

Big Wheel

A grown man peeling out a big wheel on a hardwood floor… It was pretty funny. This is the bride’s brother and the clown of the groom’s side of the party. The men got their suits unbagged and began the difficult task of tying ties. I wanted to help these guys knot their ties but I was getting such great footage I didn’t want to interfere.Tie 1

But they all looked sharp when they finally figured it out.

Groom in the Chapel

The ceremony location was perfectly set up, the weather was pleasant and everyone was ready to see these two get married. The music started and the party walked down the aisle, I am sure tears were falling in the crowd. This wedding was beautiful and the families were amazing throughout this whole day. I am so happy to have been a part of this big day. I would love to shoot at Bradley’s Pond in Tallahassee Florida again and I can’t wait to see this family grow through the years. Here is a teaser of the final video from this wonderful wedding.

Working with the Raders

I have the pleasure of being relatives of the Rader family. If you live in Panama City FL, you have probably heard their name before.

The Rader family has been a staple in the Panama City area for generations. They operated The Grand Ole Opry here and had many successful years of great family music and performances. 

Billy Rader is currently performing on Panama City Beach and I was asked to photograph some promotional images for him and his wife Becky. 

Going into this shoot we knew we wanted  a some nice pictures of Billy for his solo shows and Billy and Becky together for their duets. We had fun just trying some different poses using his guitar and fiddle. We were able to use the old McKenzie house in Historic downtown Panama City for the shoot, and it was my first time seeing inside this beautiful location. 

Built in 1909, this home was the residence of Robert Lee McKenzie. Robert was the first mayor of Panama City and served in this position for fifty years. This building is used for a choir practice space and other events in this downtown area. 

Drawing inspiration from some old time country stars we captured an amazing set of photos for Billy’s new set of promotional photos

It is always fun being a part of the rader families legacy and taking pictures for them. I look forward to working with Billy in the future and hope to be able to use the McKenzie house again for a shoot location.

 Take a look at my educational post on ISO. It will help you understand a little of what I look at when shoot