After nine years (nine!!) together, Michelle and Dan finally became husband and wife this past weekend! Their wedding day was an amazing celebration from start to finish. Champagne started flowing in the bride’s getting ready suite early in the day, and kept the party going late into the evening! I’ve never seen a couple with such an awesome group to support them, party with them, and celebrate with them! These guys were so much fun all day that our 9 hour day felt like it went by in the blink of an eye!

It was supposed to rain all day, but the skies cleared just in time for an intimate first look. I love overcast days so much! They add an intimacy and a romantic moodiness to images that just makes my heart so happy.  And the light, you can’t beat that clean, beautiful natural light. The clouds are like a huge soft box making everything look extra pretty! All of the beautiful decor and flowers were put together by Intrigue Designs. She’s is incredibly talented, and working with her on this wedding was wonderful! You’ll love the AMAZING bouquets and centerpieces she created…she’s a master!

Enjoy a few of my favorites from this wedding day!

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Vendors:
Venue: Harbourtowne Golf Resort
Flowers + Decor: Intrigue Designs
Hair + Makeup: Up Do’s for I Do’s
Music: Jason Burns
Donuts: Bay Country Bakery
Rentals: Party Plus Rentals
Stationery: Sugar Paper
Cake: Julie Bakes
Bridal Gown: Betsy Robinson Bridal
Bridesmaids Dresses: JCrew

Hope you’re having a wonderful Wednesday so far! I just wanted to pop in for a quick announcement! Christmas tree farm mini sessions are coming back! We’ve done them the past two years in a row and they’re one of my favorite things to shoot! I wasn’t sure if I had time to do them this year, but quite a few people asked about them, so they’ll be happening again this year!

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These mini sessions are 1/2 hour long each and are for up to 4-5ish people max. They’re perfect for couples AND families! I don’t usually have a ton of time for family sessions, so if you’ve been wanting to work with us for family photos, this is a great opportunity!

Fun props are included in the cost of the shoot. So are color corrected digital files and right to print them. The images are wonderful for Christmas cards or to give as gifts! Whose parents don’t like getting pictures of them??

The sessions will be held in Williamsburg, Virginia and are $200 each. I only have six spots open, so make sure you grab yours quickly!

Can’t wait to see you all there! Email me with questions or to register for a spot!

When I started out as a wedding photographer, I never thought I’d end up being part of a husband and wife team. I don’t know why it never occurred to me to bring John along for the ride…he was into photography even before I was! Documenting memories has always been important to him, he loves videos and photos as much as I do, if not more! Originally the decision to bring him on and make him a member of my team (okay, so my team is just the two of us, and Lucy as an honorary member…) was born out of being burned out. I was worn down from traveling 3+ hours to and from my weddings every weekend for months on end without seeing my husband. I was lonely, sick of traveling alone, and needed a change. Bringing John on also meant I would have a consistent second shooter…someone who knows me well, knows how I work and how I think, and works seamlessly with me as a team. I can’t recommend having a consistent second shooter enough…even if that person isn’t your spouse, having someone as your regular sidekick is invaluable!

View More: http://katelynjames.pass.us/john-and-katie
Photo by Katelyn James

Here are a few things we’ve learned so far as a husband and wife team! We’re by no means experts at this, but after shooting 36 weddings together, we’ve definitely learned a lesson or two when it comes to working together!

Expectations
The first thing you need to do when considering having your spouse work for you is come up with a list of expectations on each of your parts. What part do you expect your spouse to play in your business? What role does he or she expect to play? I wanted John to work with me as my second photographer, but also as my driver. I hated driving long distances alone to weddings every weekend. Driving by myself is NOT one of my favorite things. Really, driving isn’t something I love a lot. It can be stressful! When we started working together, the expectation was that he would also be the person who drove us to and from each wedding. I also explained to him what I felt the role of the second photographer was and what I expected from him at the wedding itself.

Compensation
A lot of people probably think that I don’t pay John to shoot with me, because he’s my husband. But, I do! When he’s working for me, he’s working. I respect his time spent as my employee. The time he’s working for me he could be working overtime at his regular day job, or he could be enjoying a nice Saturday off, so I pay him what I would pay another second shooter to work with me, which ends up being comparable to what he might have missed working OT for his day job. I think it’s important to compensate your spouse if you’re going to be working together. Not only does it show John that I respect his time and efforts, it also helps create a distinction in our employer/employee relationship on wedding days.

Try a trial run
When we first started working together, we had no idea how it was going to turn out. Working together with your spouse can potentially be a disaster, if things don’t go right! So instead of jumping in with both feet (which I’m prone to do), we decided on a trial run to see how things went. The trial run went for a month or two and when it was over, we talked and decided to make things official.

Make sure your spouse can actually shoot
(Or, if you’re not a photographer, make sure they can do whatever it is you actually do). I think it’s a huge disservice to clients to bring along a spouse, fiancé, or any other person like that if the person can’t actually deliver. My biggest thing with John was that he’d have to learn to shoot, and shoot well, in order for this to work. When it was first an inkling of an idea, I started teaching him how to shoot in full manual on my camera. As he grew as a photographer, he was slowly brought into the business. After many of his first weddings with me, I’d go through his images with him and explain to him what made a good image and what didn’t. I’d show him the ones I thought he did great on, and explain what he could have done to create something better on the ones I didn’t like. He also took the initiative to start reading my blog every day and studying the images I shared to learn “my style” as best as he could. Not only is it important that he shoot well, but that we shoot alike for consistency’s sake.

Professionalism
When you show up to work with your husband or wife for the day, whatever conflicts or things that might be going on must be left at the door. We’ve had disagreements in the car on the way to a wedding and had to shelve it for the day and work together like everything was perfectly peachy. This is more challenging for me, personally, because I like to handle conflicts immediately. But if you’re shooting a wedding together, all of those things must be set aside. In the same vein, you also can’t be pda’ing all over the place at a wedding when you’re shooting with your spouse. Keep it classy, people.

This was just a quick post with some things that we’ve learned as a team over the past year and a half, but if you have questions about working with your spouse or have an idea for a future “For Photographers” post, hit me up with an email!

 

 

When I woke up this morning, I couldn’t believe that today we’re halfway through September! Where has the time gone? I feel like we were just starting Summer, and Fall is literally a few days away now. I love Fall, but it’s definitely a little bittersweet because I know Winter (my least favorite season) is right around the corner.

While I’m sad to see the summer go, I’m not sad to be shooting Fall weddings this month! This weekend we were in St. Michael’s, Maryland for Michelle and Dan’s wedding day with Up Do’s for I do’s and Intrigue Designs! This wedding was STUNNING! You won’t want to miss it on the blog later this week!  Seriously, check out that bouquet! It’s probably one of my all time favorites!

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Hope everyone has a wonderful Monday! This one is going to be a little groggy for me…I’m battling the last remnants of a cold/sinus thing and me on night time cold medicine doesn’t like getting up early to work. See you all tomorrow back here on the blog!

The start of Fall wedding season has begun! And I can’t think of a better way to kick things off than with Tom and Lindsie’s elegant Baltimore wedding at the Belvedere. I loved shooting this city wedding day! Everywhere I looked all day that day there were pretty things to photograph! Beautiful details, beautiful flowers, and a beautiful couple!

The most beautiful part of the day was the love between this sweet couple. Lindsie and Tom have been together many years now and have two adorable little boys together, so this wedding day was a long time coming. Watching them finally become husband and wife was such a privilege! From Tom meeting Lindsie at the end of the aisle and them walking down together, to the memorable toasts at the end of the evening, this day was one I won’t forget!

Lindsie and Tom, it has been such a joy to work with you two! I hope you love this peek at your wedding day images!

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Ceremony time! The Belvedere is gorgeous, am I right??

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Vendors:
Venue: The Belvedere
Flowers: Wicked Willow
Catering: Truffles Catering
Music: Jukeboxx
Hair: Jewel Hair Design
Stationery: Flair Necessities
Ceremony Music: String Theory
Bridal Gown + Bridesmaids Dresses: Betsy Robinson’s Bridal Collection
Accommodations: Hotel Monaco

With all of the rain and the cooler temperatures over the past couple days, I’ve been starting to get a little more excited for Fall! I usually don’t get into the Fall spirit until it actually feels like it outside, but this morning I’m dreaming up what I’d like my Fall wardrobe to look like!

FALL STYLE

1. Tribal print sweater. I live in sweaters and leggings during off season. They’re comfy and versatile, and can be dressed up if I need to go out and run errands or have a coffee date. This sweater style is one I’ve been crushing on for a while now! Hopefully I find one in my budget this Fall!

2. Laptop satchel. I’m looking for a vintage-looking satchel bag that I can carry my Macbook Pro around in. To meetings, to travel, etc. I’m in love with the look of Ona Bags, but I can’t justify spending that much! I’m considering this bag from Etsy instead!

3. Olive and Burgundy Jeans. It’s really hard to find jeans when you’re short. It is. And if you don’t have hips, it’s even harder to find appropriate jeans…aka jeans that aren’t basically showing my goods. I want to start a campaign to have stores start selling women’s jeans they way they sell mens…by waist AND inseam. Seriously…why do they think all women have the same inseam? Anyway, I haven’t bought new jeans in years. YEARS. I’ve been wearing Forever 21 jeggings for at least three years. Olive and Burgundy jeans are on my fall wish list because I think that even though they’re colors, they’re sort of Fall neutrals. And I’m all about neutral colors!

4. Riding Boots. Over the past two years I went through four or five pairs of $40 Target Boots. I loved them dearly, but they would scuff and scratch pretty easily. I thought I was saving money by buying cheap boots, but since I replaced them every other month, I really didn’t. This year I’m hoping to spend that same amount of money on ONE nice pair of boots I can wear for a few years. I wear riding boots almost every day during the fall and winter (with leggings and sweaters during the week and with skirts or dresses to shoot weddings) so I think this will be a good investment! I have my eye on a pair of Madewell Archive boots over on Ebay.

5. Smoking Flats. I love the way these flats look! I want a black velvet pair and a pair with a tribal print. Are you sensing a trend at all?? I love tribal print EVERYTHING right now.

6. Cargo/Utility Jacket. I really want one of these jackets to wear when it gets cool enough. I think this color would go with just about anything I already own! I especially think the plaid lining of this jacket is super cute.

7. Tortoise earrings. I don’t wear a lot of jewelry and I never wear dangly earrings. They’re just not me. Studs are my thing when I do wear earrings. Tortoise shell everything is my new favorite. I think it’s pretty timeless and these earrings are something I could wear for years. They’d be perfect to wear to weddings, client meetings, casual hangouts, etc.

Well, that’s what I’m into this Fall….what pieces are you guys hoping to add to your wardrobe this season? Leave a comment with an item you’re looking to pick up and I’ll pick one winner to gift a $15 Starbucks card. So you can get your sip on!

 

 

One of my main mottos for my business, and well, my life, is “Work SMARTER, not harder”. This is something I try to apply to all aspects of my business, but particularly the ones that are not always as much fun or may be a little bit more tedious…like sending emails. Don’t get me wrong, I love corresponding with my clients (and potential clients, too!), but if you aren’t careful with your inbox, you might find yourself sitting in front of a mountain of messages seemingly impossible to get through. With my motto in mind, here are a few things I’ve found that make managing the inbox a piece of cake!

Organize your inbox into folders
If you’re anything like me, your inbox gets really cluttered really quickly. I only use one email address for pretty much everything because I can’t keep up with checking a bunch of different inboxes, so pretty much any messages for me (business or personal) go straight into the one inbox. It can get a little wild in there if I’m not careful. And a message I might have read, but decided to wait to reply to, might slip through the cracks just because there is just so much stuff in there. So, what I do, to prevent that from happening, is organize all of my messages into folders. Inquiries, receipts, client emails, vendor correspondence, blog stuff, etc all go into their own folders as soon as I’ve read and replied. This way, when I’m looking at my inbox in the morning, I know everything in there is something I actually need to deal with.

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Canned Responses
As a wedding photographer, I type the same things a lot. Inquiries, gallery delivery, and such all have very similar verbiage almost every time. So I use an applet for Gmail called Canned Responses, which allows me to save email templates and insert them into new messages super quickly. So when a new client inquires, I use my template, I tailor it to the individual who’s inquiring, and then boom, send that sucker out. It’s so much easier and faster than typing the same exact things all the time. My fingers are so happy about Canned Responses.

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Setting Expectations
One thing I hear a lot and see people stressing about in photography forums is clients emailing them back the same day or the day after they sent an email asking “Did you get my email??”. An easy way to prevent this is to set your client’s expectations. In my email signature, I have my “office hours” listed. Thanks to this, most people are aware that after 4:30 in the afternoon, I’m out of the office for the day, and I won’t be replying to their email until the next day. I also set an “out of the office” message if I’m going to be out all day traveling for a session, or if we’re shooting a wedding and won’t be checking mail during the day at all that day. This lets your clients know that you are unavailable, but you will get to their message when you become available again. I also try not to send emails when I am not “in the office” because I don’t want to set the expectation I will answer outside of my “office hours”. So much of great customer service is really setting expectations and then exceeding those. And you aren’t able to exceed an expectation if you don’t set one in the first place, am I right?

But, Katie, you say….I work full time/am a mom/etc and only really have time to answer my emails at 1am, when my kids sleep, etc. How do I set an expectation that clients will only receive responses within a certain amount of hours of the day if I’m only able to send my emails anytime I have a free minute to do so? That leads me to my next tip….

Boomerang for Gmail
Boomerang is da bomb. If you don’t know what it is, it’s an app you can install into your gmail that will let you schedule when your emails are sent! You can also use it to “boomerang” messages back to the top of the inbox if you need to remember to reply the next day or within a week or so. I love it because I can knock out a bunch of messages on a Sunday night while I’m watching reruns of Fear Factor (real talk, Fear IS a factor for me) and then schedule them to go out the next morning, thereby preserving the email expectation I set for my clients ahead of time.

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These are just a few simple things I do that greatly help me manage my inbox a lot more easily. In addition to these tips, just taking a few minutes at the beginning and end of each work day to reply to messages really helps keep things under control! Hopefully at least one of these things will be helpful to someone out there struggling with their inbox!

Is there something you’d like to see in a future For Photographers post? Email me your questions at katie at katienesbittphotography.com

It didn’t quite feel like it this weekend, but fall wedding season has finally started! Wedding season has two distinct busy seasons (Spring and Fall) and Lindsie and Tom’s elegant wedding at the Belvedere in Baltimore was the first of the second half of our 2014 season. It was so great to finally get back into the swing of things after a few weeks off during August. I love having some time to rest and relax, but I missed my clients and making pretty images for them during the downtime!

Industrial Romance Styled Shoot by Katie Nesbitt_0064

I’m really looking forward to sharing more of this wedding soon! I think I’ve fallen in love with shooting city weddings, because this one was definitely a stunner:)

Hello there! I hope everyone had a wonderful Labor Day Weekend! Though most people consider Labor Day the end of summer, I consider it to still be summer until it gets cool outside. So in my book, there’s at least another month of summer fun left! This past weekend was the last weekend of a small break from shooting we’ve had since the beginning of last month. I’ve had one of these little summer breaks for the past few years and I’ve come to treasure them! Fall is our busiest time of year, so it’s nice to relax and recuperate a little bit before shit gets cray.

Before I tell you about our weekend getaway, I have to preface this whole thing by saying, I am definitely not a super spontaneous person. I love to plan things out in advance and kind of have an idea in my head of what’s going to happen next. That’s just how I am. I’m just a planner, I guess! Anyway, about a week ago we decided to fly to New Orleans for two days over Labor Day weekend, which was crazy adventurous for me! I love to travel, but it’s not too often we get to do something super spur of the moment like that. It was great to be able to do something like that, and I know I’ll treasure the memories we made for a long time.

If you’ve never been to New Orleans, it’s crazy fun. Emphasis on the crazy. If you love to people watch, New Orleans is going to be your favorite place ever. I love food, sight-seeing, architecture, history, and a good cocktail or two, so it was right up my alley! I can’t wait to go back again sometime…I’m already craving po boys and beignets something crazy.

I shot exclusively with my film camera on our trip, but John took a few photos with our 5D Mark III! Here are a few of his photos til I get film scans back.

Destination Wedding Photographer

That’s it for me this morning! Hope you have an awesome four day work week!

I wrote about wedding day timelines in the past, but since it’s been over two years since I initially discussed them here, I thought it was time to talk about them again! Having a well thought out timeline is crucial to not only making sure that your wedding day goes smoothly, but to ensuring you get the most out of your photography investment! Most of our clients haven’t been married before (and even if they have, they wouldn’t consider themselves experts on wedding logistics), so as a wedding professional, I consider it my job to help my clients develop a timeline that works well for their wedding day and suits their wants and needs. We want to make sure our clients get the most out of their experience with us, and helping with timelines is key to ensuring that they do!

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So, here are a few things to consider when creating your timeline:

Is travel time necessary?
Are your ceremony and reception venues not the same place? Are you getting ready somewhere else? A good timeline will factor in travel time to and from each destination, plus a little extra for traffic. Another thing to look into is whether or not there are any festivals, races, or special events that might cause extra traffic or make things more difficult for your guests or vendors to get to your wedding. Usually wedding season is also prime time for Farmer’s Markets, 5ks, fairs, and more because the weather is beautiful!

Are you seeing each other before the ceremony?
In most situations, if you see each other before the ceremony, you have way more flexibility as to what you can do with the timeline and we can space things out so they’re much more relaxed and not quite as rushed as they have to be to fit all of your photos (family, bridal party, and bride and groom portraits) into about an hour between the ceremony and reception. If you decide you don’t want to do a first look, you’ll need to budget more time for photos (we suggest at least an hour and a half…a half hour for family photos, a half hour for bridal party, and at least a half an hour for bride and groom portraits), otherwise you’ll most likely be sacrificing either the amount of portraits you receive or the amount of family photos we can get in. On average, couples who do first looks end up with about 40 percent more portraits than our couples who don’t!

What time will your reception be fully set up?
Every photographer is different, but we capturing details is very important to us. Details help tell the story of the day and are so hard to remember without images of them! We shoot reception details before guests are allowed into the space. When you’re planning out the logistics for the day, try to make sure everything will be set up early-ish in the day if you can so that it will ensure your photographer has lots of time to shoot everything! Bonus: Have your florist deliver your bouquet to your getting ready room so your photographer can photograph it with the rest of your bridal details!!

How many family photos do you want?
We send out a list of seven “suggested” family formal shots a few weeks before the wedding and ask our couples to list no more than five additional shots they’d like that are outside of that. Why is that? Family formal shots can be time consuming. It takes time to set up each shot, to gather all of the people necessary for the photo, etc. We suggest budgeting at least 4-5 minutes per family formal photo you’d like to accommodate this. Likewise, if you have a large bridal party, this is also something that may take more time than usual, so let us know!

What time of year are you getting married?
If you’re getting married outside of Daylight Savings Time, you especially want to be conscious of your ceremony time if your ceremony is outside, or if you don’t want to do a first look. If you aren’t going to see each other before the ceremony, and the ceremony is at 5pm and it gets dark at 4:30, it’s going to be pretty difficult to get images like the ones you see on our site, blog, etc. Natural light is a key component for our style of portraiture. If you’re working with us, or other photographers with a similar style to us, definitely work with your photog as early as you can in the planning process to ensure your timeline means you’ll get the type of images you’re looking for.

What time will hair and makeup finish?
We always start each wedding day by arriving an hour before the bride gets into her dress. During that time we photograph bridal details and a few candids of the getting ready process. We also suggest having bridesmaids dressed about 15 minutes before the bride is ready to get dressed, so that everyone’s ready by the time it’s time to get into the dress.

These are just a few things to consider when creating a timeline. If you’re a KNP couple, feel free to email us directly with your timeline questions and we’ll be happy to help!