The Flood

Two years ago today I woke up on a wedding day in a new apartment to the sound of heavy rain beating against the windows. I did what most people do when they hear heavy rain…I just hung out and laid in bed, relaxing. What’s more relaxing than laying in bed on a Saturday morning listening to rain falling? I mean, they have sound machines that mimic that sound!

When I finally got out of bed to go get some food and start prepping for the wedding that day (which was two hours away, like most of our weddings) I noticed that the carpet in the very front of the apartment was completely soaked through. And, there was water covering the tiled foyer. What the what?? Even then it didn’t occur to me that yes, a flood was in progress, and yes, if there’s water in the apartment, there’s water in the car. And if there’s water in the car, well, there’s not a lot you can do because you can’t take the risk of flooding the engine.


Once the gravity of the situation set in, I panicked for a second. John wasn’t working with me then, so he was at work, where I couldn’t contact him. I was literally all alone. This wasn’t something I’d thought would ever happen, especially not on a wedding day of all days. So, I just packed up all my gear. Unplugged the electronics, and then put Lucy in the back bathroom in the tub with food and water til I could get back. I put my wedding outfit and the stuff I needed in my backpack and literally waded out out of my neighborhood holding my Kelly Moore bag in my arms thinking to myself this is so unreal.

To make a long story of a crazy morning short, I made it to the wedding in one piece and was able to photograph it as planned. Despite all of what had happened earlier that morning, I enjoyed being there with that couple. I genuinely like and enjoy my couples as people, and this particular couple was no different. Being a part of their wedding was fun for me even with all that had happened back at home.

It was that day though, that I realized a few things about my job. First, there’s no calling your boss and saying you can’t come in if you’re sick or your home goes through a natural disaster. You’re the boss, and there’s no one else who can cover for you. Unless, there is…I also learned how important it is to have good friendships with people in your industry. My friend Anna was my second shooter that day, and I couldn’t have made it through the day without her. If there’s ever a day when I absolutely couldn’t get to a wedding, I know one of my industry friends would cover it for me, or find someone to help out. These relationships are important for so many reasons, but having someone in your field who has your back during life’s unexpected moments is priceless.

If you’re wondering what happened after the flood, we ended up moving across the street into a third floor apartment. I joked that we wouldn’t be dealing with a flood again there unless there was a tsunami (fingers crossed). There hasn’t been any more flooding in the past two years, and we’re thankful, because it was definitely an ordeal! Today, I woke up to a beautiful, sunny morning and I’m grateful that everything is dry :)


Getting Fit.

It’s that time of year again…the day I feel like it’s perfectly okay for me to be cheesy and romantical (one of my favorite made up words) and wish my awesome life partner and husband a happy birthday on my blog. Last year I told the story of the beginning of our relationship and of the infamous chocolate cake. This year, instead of a story from the beginning of our relationship, I wanted to share something a little bit more recent…so here goes!

All my life I was the smallest kid in my class and probably the least athletic too. I used to have dreams of being a figure skater or a gymnast (probably because those are really the only two sports really small Asian girls who weigh like 60 pounds til they’re 12 can do) but I forgot that you really have to be coordinated to do either one of those. I feel like, if you’re going to be small, you should be coordinated! You don’t have the body mass to be as strong as a lot of people and you don’t have the leg length to ever really be that fast…coordination should at least be like, a consolation prize, right?? Anyway, being small and really not coordinated at all meant that I was never into sports or athletics at ALL. I basically considered reading books or eating pop tarts my kind of sports. I always preferred being inside reading to going outside and playing.

As an adult, I never really picked up “working out” as a habit. I basically considered myself a proud couch potato, which is completely the opposite of how John is. He was the captain of his high school football team and learned early in life to love being active. What most people who meet him now don’t realize about him though, is that he used to be overweight. At his heaviest, he weighed close to 300 pounds. One day, while he was in college, he decided to lose weight…and today’s John is 100 pounds lighter than high school and early college John! Talk about dedication!

Anyway, you’re probably thinking, well, that’s great, but what does this have to do with anything? Well, the best thing about marrying someone who is so different from you is that they fill in all of places where you’re lacking. They make you better and challenge you to reach lengths you never thought you could go. Being with John has exposed me (very gradually, but still) to the world of physical fitness. Last year he encouraged me and supported me as I started running and then ran my first half marathon. This year he helped me train for my first full marathon and then taught me how to lift weights. Having him in my life has LITERALLY made me a stronger person. A better person. Watching my husband strive to better and challenge himself on a daily basis has had such an incredible effect on me. Beyond just feeling so much stronger because of him and all that he’s taught me, I feel so happy every time I have the chance to make him proud. I am so lucky to have this guy in my life.

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John, if you’re reading this, I’m so happy you were born. And I’m so thankful for all of the ways you’ve changed my life for the better. For all of the things you’ve taught me, all of the ways you’ve encouraged and supported me. Happy Birthday!

Hello friends! I hope you are having a wonderful day so far. I just wanted to share a little bit of a recent album order! Christina and Matt ordered a leather album of their April wedding and I’m just so in love with it! Every time I think I’m over the leather because I love the linen books so much, I see a leather book one of my clients has ordered and I legit fall in love. These leather books are show stoppers. The leather is supple and smells DELICIOUS. It kind of makes you want to rub your face against it (I didn’t…since it’s not my album, I felt that might be rude…). Linen albums, I am so sorry for cheating on you with leather.

Here’s a peek inside:

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UMMMM….ALSO, the leather book has slightly thicker pages. Even Beckham couldn’t bend them. It’s definitely worth the upgrade. Sidenote, I can’t hear the word upgrade without thinking “Let me upgradeeee ya”. Beyonce references in album posts – winning. My pop culture references are just off the chain this morning, huh??

If you are as in love with this book as I am and you’re a KNP client, talk to me about adding one to your package!

Questions about image rights are always frequently asked questions for us, as well as probably most photographers. There are “helpful” wedding websites out there with tips on working with photographers that tell couples they need the copyrights to the images. I’m never quite sure where they get the questions on those lists! For 9.9 out of 10 couples, owning the copyright actually isn’t necessary. Most photographers, like us, provide a release for usage rights to their clients, which grants them the right to use the photos in pretty much all of the ways they’d ever need to. Here’s a little breakdown on the difference between copyright and usage rights.

Copyright is created by the photographer as soon as he or she clicks the shutter and creates the image. The person who created the image automatically owns the copyright, unless they give it to someone else. Most professional photographers wouldn’t part with image copyrights unless they’re being paid a pretty hefty sum in addition to their normal fees. Why it that? Protection is the main reason. Photographers retain the copyright to the images they photograph to protect their businesses. If a photographer gave away their copyright, they would have zero rights to the images. They couldn’t use them on their website, promote their business with the images, share samples of their work with potential new clients, or even say that they took the images. The person with the copyright would own the rights to the images and could even potentially open a business with them saying they took them! For these reasons, despite what wedding websites might tell you, photographers retain the copyright to the images 99.9 percent of the time.

Usage rights/printing rights
Many photographers who offer digital files like we do offer usage/printing rights with them. This isn’t the copyright to the images, but it is a release saying you can print them or use them according to the terms set forth in the usage agreement. It’s kind of like when you buy a copy of the Hunger Games (which, I totally just bought). When you buy a blu ray, you have the right to use it and watch it at home for your personal use. You can’t alter the movie (I don’t even know how you would do that), say you filmed it, or make money off of it. The usage rights are all a typical client will need to enjoy their photos.



With a print release you can:

  • Print your images
  • Share them online (with proper credit)
  • Enjoy them at home!

You can’t

  • Edit or alter the images
  • Submit them or enter into contests without the photographer’s permission
  • Sell them
  • Say you took them

I am actually pretty liberal about my images…I love for my clients to print them and enjoy them. If you want to print 1000 of your images, that’s fine! If you want to make 60 coffee mugs with your favorite engagement photo on it, that’s awesome…(and would it be weird if you gave me one?). The main things we ask are for our protection as a business…mainly please do not alter or edit the images (including adding filters and stuff…because it can misrepresent our editing style, which is part of the service we provide) and please ask us before you submit or enter into a contest!

Questions about rights? Leave it in the comments below, or shoot me an email!

On wedding days there are lots of things that are out of our control…bad lighting situations are one of them! Lots of times brides will be getting ready in a space the venue provided…the problem with this is that most venue coordinators are not photographers, so they don’t necessarily know what really makes the best photos. For us, natural light and clean backgrounds lend themselves best to our style, so we look for those when we can. It’s important to look for the same kinds of light at every wedding…it helps you edit more consistently and will help you nail your signature style. Our clients know what the rest of our work looks like and have come to expect a certain type of image from us, so we try to keep our look as consistent as we can!

The #1 principle of light is light over location. I can’t preach that enough! With that in mind, we are always going to try to move our clients to a better spot for key photos like getting into the dress. In this example, our bride, Jen, was getting ready in the ladies locker room at her venue. From a non-photogs perspective, the room was actually pretty nice! It was neutral in colors and had some nice paintings of flowers. But from our perspective, it wasn’t the best, because we weren’t going to be able to give her the same look in her images she’d seen from us in the past due to the fact that there were no windows and only fluorescent lighting.

What do we do in that situation? Since we prefer natural light and our style is to be as unobtrusive as we can (meaning we only bust out artificial light when we reeeeaaalllly have to), we look for an alternative space, and then ask the bride and/or groom. Education is key here! When I approach my client about moving the location for these photos I don’t just tell them they need to move. I explain WHY I want think they should (in this case, because the light is way better out in our other location and light is what makes a beautiful image) and then ASK them. 9.9 times out of 10 they will agree if you educate, explain, and then ask nicely.

After scouting out the venue for another spot after we shot her bridal details, we decided on the hallway next to the getting ready room for those shots of her mom helping her get into her dress. We asked the bridesmaids to stand behind Jen and her Mom to block out anyone who might happen to pass us, and then positioned them so the light would be most flattering.

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Because we asked Jen to shoot her final bridal prep in this hallway and she trusted our input, these photos turned out beautifully! The photos in the dark getting ready room were nice too, but natural light owns fluorescent lighting every single time. I think scouting for good locations and educating our clients on moving to new spots is part of the service we provide to our clients as professionals.  I recognize that they invest a lot of money to work with us and that photos are important to them…So it’s important to me to ensure they’re getting the best images possible by sharing with them things they can do to affect the outcome of the shots we take! Moving the getting ready spot is something easy that’s always so worth it in the long run…these photos are proof!

Earlier this week we made somewhat of a spur of the moment decision…we’re going to California this fall! I signed up for Ben Sasso’s Foster Workshop held north of LA. The very next day we decided, hey, if I’m already going to be out there, and we’re paying for my airfare anyway, let’s just make a vacation out of it! So we also decided John would fly out to meet me after the workshop wraps up and spend three and a half days exploring together. This is very big for us because we tend to be somewhat wishful travelers…meaning we love the idea of traveling and exploring and there are lots of places we’d like to go, but we let life get in between us and our dreams of having adventures a little more often than we’d like. Earlier this year we had talked about going to California after wedding season wrapped up and ended up shelving the idea in favor of saving $$$ and using some of the leftover funds to visit my sister when she moves to Florida in the fall. So it was almost serendipitous that this workshop 1. Fell at a time when I could actually go. And 2. Worked out for us to both be able to see California together even just for a few days.  We are both thrilled, and incredibly excited! We’ve only been on one other big trip in the entire almost 7 years we’ve been together!

This is our first time to the west coast other than going to Vegas and we are so pumped! I personally am super thrilled at the thought of seeing the Pacific Ocean and watching a real sunset. John really wants to visit Muscle Beach. Other than that and eating lots of In N Out Burger, we’re still not sure what to do in LA! So we need your help! Any suggestions on food, parts of town to stay in (or avoid), things to do, etc are welcome!

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Also, if you live in the LA area, or will be there between Nov 13-17 we would LOVE to photograph you! Email me at katie@katienesbittphotography.com to set something up!

This past weekend I had the pleasure of hosting my first workshop in downtown Charlottesville at Old Metropolitan Hall. I was lucky enough to be a part of Envision last year, where I taught alongside several photographer friends, but despite that experience, going out on my own and teaching a solo workshop was a little scary to me at first! It can be a little intimidating to put yourself out there and not know exactly what’s going to become of it. Especially when you’re potentially setting yourself up for rejection and/or failure. One thing I’ve learned over the past year or so, is that you have to go for things. Otherwise you’ll just be sitting on the couch watching other people do things on tv for the rest of your life. Hosting a workshop is something that’s been on my business bucket list for some time, so actually going out and doing it was incredibly exciting and also a ton of fun!

I really enjoyed every part of the workshop process. From planning the styled shoot with Kat, who was sweet enough to volunteer her incredible talents (she styled the shoot AND did the florals) to putting together my presentation and lots of fun little touches for the attendees, I loved every part of it! I love to plan things, so that part of this was right up my alley. I had a very specific vision in mind for a workshop that fit my brand and I’m so happy with how everything turned out!

When workshop day arrived, we set everything up at the beautiful Old Metropolitan Hall on Charlottesville’s downtown mall and waited anxiously for everyone to arrive. I couldn’t believe the day had finally arrived!  I was a bit nervous because despite loving to teach, I’m a self confessed introvert. It couldn’t have been better though! Keeping the group small and intimate meant we could really dive into each topic and leave time for people to ask questions. Each of the incredibly talented attendees made it such an awesome experience for me. Getting to get know this group and hang out with them for the day was an honor! I loved hearing their questions, discussing business and shooting topics with them, and watching them pose and interact with our styled shoot models. They are all such talented photographers already, so I can’t wait to see them continue to grow in the future.

Here are a few behind the scenes peeks at the day taken by my good friend Serena. The full styled shoot will be coming soon, after it’s been published!

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I couldn’t end this post without a huge thank you to all of the friends who helped make this workshop a reality! Without all of their hard work behind the scenes, this wouldn’t have happened at all. I am so grateful to have such awesome people in my life! I left the workshop Sunday evening feeling very loved. Thank you, guys. I love you to the moon and back.

Interested in learning opportunities with Katie Nesbitt Photography? Visit this site for info on future workshops and mentoring.

Sometimes the unpredictable summer weather makes scheduling engagement sessions in July pretty tricky! After rescheduling our session twice, we finally caught a break and spent a wonderful summer afternoon in DC with Katie and Bryan. We started at Rock Creek Park and then explored the neighborhood near their apartment in the city. Our last location was the coolest library right around the corner from their home! I love shooting engagement sessions near the couple’s home. Shooting there seems like such a special way to commemorate their time living there together! Here are a few of my favorites from this session.

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Yesterday, I hosted my first workshop in Charlottesville at Old Metropolitan Hall on the adorable Downtown Mall! I don’t have behind the scenes pictures yet (my sweet friend Serena was kind enough to take them for me) and I can’t share pictures of the styled shoot until it’s been published. But I wanted to share this revelation that hit me yesterday instead. I hope you’ll bear with me!

It was after lunch and I was just standing back watching everyone else interact and it hit me how excited I was that this was actually happening. I dreamed about this a long, long time ago. I had dreamed about teaching a workshop. When I looked up and realized that it was all coming true, I finally understood that the only thing it takes to make your dreams come true is just get up off your ass and go do them. I literally said out loud “It feels so weird…I just wanted to make this happen, and now it is! How crazy is it that you can just do whatever you want to do?”.

Every once in a while I start to fear that this life (my amazing job, the best husband ever, our life together in general) is just too good to be true. What did I ever do to deserve John? Or our incredible clients and friends? Or getting to quit my full time job to pursue my passion? I never feel like I did enough to quite deserve any of it. But yesterday’s revelation reminded me that it isn’t by luck or by chance alone that life is what it is right now. It’s by hard work and determination. And with that same dedication, we can go anywhere we want to in the future! It reminded me that all of those bucket list dreams (writing a book, going to Hawaii, running a MARATHON, etc) are only as far away as I let them get. I hope whoever might be reading this remembers that too. Your dreams are as close as you want them to be. All you have to do, is just go out and do them.

End inspirational message for the day :) Here’s a small snippet from yesterday’s workshop. I hope to share a full behind the scenes tour later this week, and the shoot as soon as it’s accepted for publication!

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Thanks to Dear Sweetheart Events for this beautiful bouquet!





It’s always so exciting to me to hear that one of our couples have hired one of our planner friends! I knew Mary and David’s wedding was going to be a lot of fun from our initial meeting (they’re so sweet and laid back…how could it not be??) but after they hired Kat of Dear Sweetheart Events to help plan and make sure the party went smoothly, I knew it was going to be an amazing day! And it was! From the gorgeous, brightly colored florals Kat designed, to the wine tasting station at cocktail hour (David is a wine salesman!), no detail went without thought. When you pair one of the nicest and most chill couples on earth with a super on the ball planner, you have a wedding photographer’s dream day!

Mary and David, we loved working with you two and we hope you are having an amazing time on your cruise!! Here are a few of our favorites from the day:

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First look time! I loved how they decided to keep the first look to just the two of them!

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I loved this shot of David sneaking a peek at Mary!

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Kat did such a great job on Mary and David’s reception! It was a fun mix between a bright summer garden party and a classic Southern wedding…there were even Chicken and Waffles and Shrimp and Grits for dinner!!

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Vendor Team:

Planner: Dear Sweetheart Events
Venue: Tuckahoe Woman’s Club
Flowers: Dear Sweetheart Events
Calligraphy: Sincerely Amy Designs
Cake: Sorby Sweets
Music: Blue Tips Rhythm Revue
Hair + Makeup: Studio FBJ
Bridal Gown: JCrew
Shoes: Etienne Aigner
Getting Ready Location: Linden Row Inn
Catering: Hazel Ruth Fine Catering
Linens & Rentals: Classic Party Rentals of VA

Katie is a Richmond Wedding Photographer currently booking for 2015