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For Photographers: Wedding Day Must Haves

I’m the kind of person who always packs just a little bit too much when I go away on a trip just because I really like to be prepared. This is one of the qualities I think will make me a decent mom one day, actually…I always try to pack a snack and some kleenex. Because, I mean, you never know, right??

Wedding days are pretty much non stop, so I’ve learned to pack a bunch of essentials (and a few non essentials) for each wedding day. I blogged about what lenses I shoot with and the flash equipment I take to weddings, but this is the first time I’ve shared the random, miscellaneous stuff I bring! Hope it helps you think of something you can add to your wedding day kit, and if not…at least hopefully this post is entertaining enough to make up for it!

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Miscellaneous Shooting Items:

  • Vintage stamps (To style reception details)
  • Scissors (Cutting tags off of jewelry when photographing getting ready details. I buy child’s sized scissors with a pointed tip so they are smaller and more portable)
  • Glue (I mean, you never know)
  • 3M Command Hook (In case there isn’t anything to hang the bride’s dress off of)
  • Wood hangers (Always better to sub in than a plastic cheapie from the bride’s tailor)
  • Lighter  (to light some of the reception candles if they aren’t lit already by the time I start photographing details)
  • Double stick tape. (Helps stick stationery to a wall or to the floor if it’s windy or there’s not a great spot for it. Also sometimes helpful for ring shots or to keep a bridal or bridesmaids dress on a hanger for a shot)
  • A yard of lace. (For detail photographs)
  • White pillowcase (a nice, neutral fabric to photograph details on. You can also use this as something for the couple to sit on, if you want them to sit!)
  • Mini stool (Important for me personally, because I am short and sometimes I’d like to get a better angle on things)
  • Umbrellas (Kind of a personal one too. We have huge golf umbrellas and some clear ones to keep us and our clients dry if it rains)

Wedding Day Must Haves for Photographers_0004

Miscellaneous Personal Items

  • Ban body wipes (This one is great for hot, humid wedding days. After shooting outside, I wipe off with one of these to refresh and not feel sticky and sweaty anymore.)
  • Extra makeup (Again, important for hot, humid wedding days. I prefer to maintain a professional appearance and looking greasy doesn’t really work for that)
  • Bobby pins
  • Red Bull (Especially helpful for this introvert right before handling large bridal parties or family formals)
  • Medications (Aleve, Pepto chewables, Allergy pills, Benadryl itch cream for bug bites, Dramamine)
  • Bug spray (They sell a pocket sized one at Target!)
  • Tide to go pen
  • Blister bandages (Clutch! And actually way better for blisters than regular bandaids. If you haven’t tried them, do it! They’ll change your life)
  • Instant cold pack (I broke a bone at a wedding once and am determined to be prepared if it happens again)
  • Kleenex (Kind of self explanatory, I think)
  • Wet ones
  • Gum
  • Portable silverware. (If you’ve been shooting weddings for a while, you probably know that it can sometimes take a while to get silverware before you start eating your meal during dinner. And since there’s usually a pretty limited amount of time in which we can eat, we don’t want to wait forever for silverware to arrive and then have to eat in two minutes before dances start, OR not get to eat. So I found these portable ones on Amazon for us!!)

Probably the BEST thing we take to every single wedding though, is our mini cooler!!! It only cost about $30 but it’s worth it’s weight in GOLD. Okay, maybe that’s a little bit of an exaggeration, but it’s awesome and we are so happy we got it. We keep all of our (many) waters and gatorades inside of it in the car instead of just keeping them in the hot car with nothing to insulate them. Before we had the cooler, the waters would get so hot throughout the day and you’re really not supposed to drink water bottles that have been in a hot car because of BPA. And no one really enjoys a warm water bottle anyway. I keep a bottle of water on me in my shooting bag, but we also keep a bunch of drinks and snacks in the cooler so they aren’t melting away out in the car.

(In case you were curious, our favorite wedding day snacks are: Pure Protein Shakes, Quest Bars (cookie dough flavor), Fiber One Brownies, Applesauce to Go packets, cracker chips, larabars, sour gummy bears etc)

So, that’s what we bring with us, in a nutshell! We are constantly adding and improving things we travel with on a week to week basis depending on when we see a need for something new. Hope you find at least one thing on this list that can make your wedding days run more smoothly!!


So interesting to see what you bring to the wedding day!

This is an excellent post! I love the idea of bringing silverware! That’s perfect and so true! I also try to bring an extra change of clothes! One time it rained so much, my clothes were soaked through and I WISH I would have had an extra pair haha. Thanks for sharing this great post! :)

Leesburg, Virginia Wedding Sneak Peeks

Happy second day of summer! To me it actually feels like it’s been summer for a while…at least, weather wise. It’s been a hot one, am I right??

Over the past weekend we wrapped up what was an eight week stretch of nine weddings in a row with Bonnie and Quentin’s elegant rustic wedding at Riverside on the Potomac. Their wedding day was definitely one for the record books! You’ll have to read more about it on my blog post on Thursday, but let me just say, you probably won’t want to miss this one:)

Rustic Virginia Wedding Riverside at the PotomacModern Arlington Wedding With Southern Touches__0056

I have so much to do today in the office, but before I go, I just wanted to say thank you SO much for all of your kind words regarding the new site and our promo film! John and I are blown away by the support you guys have shown us! We are so thankful for you guys, whether you’re one of your past, present, or future clients, or whether you’re a vendor friend, or just a reader who checks out the blog once in a while, we couldn’t do it without you. THANK YOU!!

PS, I’m working on announcing the giveaway winners later on today on Instagram! Follow me!



Beautiful previews!

It’s Launch Day!

I can’t believe it! It’s finally launch day, as you can see! I’m so excited about the new look and of course, about our promo film too! Here’s a little back story on both:

Our Film:

I was initially very nervous about doing a promo film because I really didn’t want a “typical” promo film. I wanted something that didn’t feel contrived or staged and most of all, I really wanted it to be authentic and genuine. Josh created a film for us that is a pretty big departure from the typical photographer’s promo film. I don’t even touch a camera in it and we don’t really talk about the business at all. Our business has always been focused on relationships…our relationships with our couples, their relationships with each other, and our relationship and how inspires a lot of the business. So, really, it makes sense that it’s about us!

The thought crossed my mind before we started working on this whole thing, “Well what if we don’t always work together? What if we aren’t always a husband and wife wedding photography team one day? What if one day it’s just “wife” photography again?” I realized that even if that does happen (hey, I can’t predict the future. If I could, I would have never imagined the life I have now) everything I do as a wedding photographer is still based on us and our marriage. Our marriage is what gave me the courage to start my business to begin with. Us as a couple is what inspires me and makes me so happy to spend all of my Saturdays photographing other couples get married. No matter what the future holds, the very heart of my business is based on this love that we share, and this film totally reflects that.

Before you watch our film, I just have to give props to Josh (and his girlfriend, my good friend Serena) for all of their hard work on our film. It turned out so wonderfully and we’re so thrilled we finally got the chance to work with him! I’ve been following his work since John and I were engaged and since becoming friends with him at WPPI a couple years ago, I always hoped I would have the chance to work with him…and I am so glad that we did!

Katie Nesbitt Photography from Josh Gooden on Vimeo.

The new site:

I worked with Ravyn on my old site almost three years ago. Professional branding was one of the first things I invested in somewhat early on, and I am so happy that I did because the site she created for me back then not only helped me grow my business so much more quickly than it might have otherwise, it also really helped me book the types of clients I really wanted!

Modern Virginia Wedding Photographer Website

Early this year I knew it was time for a “refresh” of sorts. I’ve changed a lot over the past few years and I just felt like it was time to update the site to reflect where the business is going now. One of the things I’m learning these days is that just because something is going great and is working really well, that doesn’t mean that it always will. If you’re continuing to grow and improve, your brand shouldn’t stay stagnant either. It should grow with you.

Ravyn really created something more polished, yet still very “Katie” and unique for me. I love how everything turned out!!! If you’re considering rebranding, you should totally hire her! I can’t say enough good things about her. Go here to see the site in it’s entirety!

To celebrate the launch and say thank you to all of you nice peeps who have supported my business over the past few years, I’m doing a giveaway!

Enter to win a $100 Visa gift card by doing one of the following:

  • Follow me on Instagram and tag three friends in a comment on THIS POST. 5 bonus entries can be made by re-posting that photo to your own instagram and using hashtag #thenewkatienesbitt and tagging me @katienesbittphoto
  • Sharing this blog post on Facebook!

If you do all three things, you’ll have 7 entries into the contest! Winner will be announced on Monday, June 22. You must be 18 or older and based in the US to win.



OH MY GOSH KATIE!!!! I’m obsessed with the new look AND … THE FILM! HOLY COW! LOVEEEEEEEEE! So so so perfect! <3 <3 <3


Looks great Katie!! Love the promo video! :)

Andrea Creighton

great job!

Bethanne Arthur

Everything is amazing!

Bethanne Arthur

Also, the promo film brought tears to my eyes! Just lovely!

Libby McGowan

I’m so so so in love! The video is amazing! You’re so damn cute!

Everything looks incredible, Katie! Congratulations!

Congrats on your new site and video! It looks truly amazing! Love it :)

Arlington Wedding Photography | Rae + Jon

Last weekend Rae and Jon were married in a ceremony on a rooftop near their home in Arlington. Their wedding was such a joy to be a part of! All weddings are, of course, but Rae and Jon both had nothing but smiles all day, even throughout outdoor portraits in the heat. I loved how happy they were! Their joy was infectious.

When you normally think of a rooftop wedding, you probably imagine a really modern vibe…but I loved all of the soft, southern touches that Rae and Jon included in their wedding day, like the pink and cream bouquets the girls carried down the aisle, and the gold, cream, and pink throughout the reception. Add to that Rae’s lace veil and the more modern lace detailing on her dress and you have the perfect mix of modern and traditional! You’ll look at these photos and feel like they have such good taste!

Enjoy a few of my favorites!!

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Esther Buchweitz, aka Nonnie

the first of my 5 beaitifulgrand daughters to get married. my wish is to see them all happily married SOON .’ A real thrill for me, along with sorrow for those that couldn’t there. Rae is and always has been a unique little girl, now she is a =unique lady. May her and John always be as happy as they were on their wedding day, I hope they can be as happy as papa and I were for 64 years. I will pray daily for them. eb.

Monument Avenue Engagement Session | Brianna + Wes

Whew. I think we can all agree on one thing, and that’s that it’s been unbearably hot over the past week or so! When we initially scheduled Brianna and Wes’ engagement session for last Thursday, I don’t think any of us knew it was going to end up being right in the middle of a historic heat wave. Heat is normally not ideal for photographing people, because well, it’s hot out, but I think this session worked out so well despite the oppresive temps.

I always get a little bit nervous to photograph other photographers (Brianna and Wes are also a (soon to be) husband and wife wedding photography team!), but these two made it feel like an afternoon hanging out with old friends. They’re both so friendly, outgoing, and legit photogenic. I am so pumped for their October wedding…and I am excited that it will most likely NOT being 100 degrees out…fingers crossed!

Here are a few of my faves from our session! We started out on Monument Ave where Brianna picked out an adorable little spot that reminded me so much of Italy that I am trying to decide whether or not it would be weird to hang one of their images in my office 😉

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You can just tell they are photographers by all the pretty places they found for their pictures! What a cute couple!

Sheree Walsh

Such a beautiful couple congrats