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featured by {Lucy Dylan Weddings}

Aw, shucks!

I just love it when bridal blogs decide to feature a session of mine. Lucy Dylan Weddings has featured the beautiful Mrs. Autumn Curtis. We romped around in Manchester, TN following her wedding day and caught some awesome rustic shots of this little lady having fun in her gown again. Wanna see the full post click here.

If you’d like to see the full feature at Lucy Dylan Weddings, click on the photo below. Be sure and share them the love.. they are a great blog to peruse if you’ve got some spare time on your hands.. sending love their way!




Thelma & Louise and our first wedding of 2012

I think my heart could just explode after the last weekend in March.

Let’s start from the beginning. As always, a better place than just about any… plus, I’m feeling like all my photo friends are always down for a good afternoon read.

Where’s that ottoman? Kick your feet up, bro. Bro?! Yup. Too much DJ Pauly D and Jersey Shore. I’m so shamefully addicted to reality tv, I must admit.

So from the beginning *ah-hem…

I packed up and loaded into my car Friday morning, March 30th to be exact. It was sunny, beautiful, and a day begging for a good road trip. It’s been a about year since my last lengthy drive, and I was long overdue. I needed the wind in my hair, the shades permanently adhered to my face, and the loudest 80’s radio station playing.

I needed a Thelma & Louise moment to the infinity power.

With my girl Beth in the passenger seat, this trip was shaping up quite nicely, and the eight and half hour drive down to St. Simon’s island was just peachy.

The best part? I think we talked the whole time… only pausing to belt out some lyrics with some of the music world’s greatest…

If you like Pina Coladas and gettin’ caught in the rain…

Oh yes.. Two girls and retro music can be dangerous. All my karaoke queens raise your fists… haha I know you’re with me. : )

Our trip was eventful… we pit stopped often (we’re chicks, geez!), went 28 minutes off our course to find the nearest Starbucks (coffee feens unite!), and rain over a semi’s entire tire in the middle of the road ( it was the 80’s music, I swear!). We laughed and danced in our seats to  The Hustle (Beth: You just can’t help yourself right?!?! Her shoulders moving back and forth…an upperbody spasm of sorts. Am I right?? You just gotta dance when you hear this! I can’t sit still!! )  We laughed while the top part of our bodies convulsed. Chiming in with Do the Hustle!! because that’s they only part we knew.

One thing is for sure, passing vehicles must have thought we were looney.

And you know what?

We probably are, but the best times in life are when ya let loose and go a little crazy. So this trip was welcomed by me with open arms… and given one hell of a bear hug at that.

I needed this, and the picture perfect reason behind it all?

These two lovebirds..



I met Liz through possibly one of the most heartfelt inquiries I’ve ever received- a page long email explaining her love for my photos and her deep passion for her fiancé. Smitten? Just as much as she was with her beau- I was tickled to pieces to have gotten such a sweet letter.

Things like this make me fall in love with my work all over again. I think if it were a person.. BD  might get jealous. Admittedly, it makes me weak in the knees to this day. (Don’t worry B.Dizzle- you’re my # 1 maker of knees ‘o wobbly.)

After their awesome engagement session ( you can check out that full post of Liz+Derick’s love here), I simply couldn’t wait to photograph them on their day.

I’ll save all the details for their wedding post… but boy do I have some words to spill out to you. You know me, it’s hard to keep anything bottled up into this extroverted heart of mine. I might just have excitement bubbling out of my ears to have to wait, but it will be so worth it to share their wedding day story with all of their awesome photos.

Excited is an understatement..

But! Alas, you know my photo self could not keep you beautiful peeps waiting for a pretty reveal  photo of Liz + Derick on their most amazing day (which was also Derick’s birthday, by the way! A hot wife to boot?? Best birthday present eva!!)


Are you falling in love with them too?

Yup. See what I mean? Sold like one of those styrofoam fat fingers at a baseball game. I’m smitten because they’re smitten. I’m coming down with a bad case of feeling the love here people.

Cut to early Sunday A.M…. Beth and I are traveling back to Cookeville much in the same way as we left: Perma-sunglasses, coffee cups & soft drink bottles galore, and the best set of 80’s you can imagine on the speakers. Loving life as much as when hopped in the car on Friday morning. Why? #soblessed.

Omigosh….Did I just hashtag it on my blog??!?! EEK! Non-Twitter faux paus. (I’m smirking right now because of a rant I recently saw on Fbook condemning the use of hashtags anywhere but Twitter. It made me laugh for the severity in the tone. As if our ever-changing world of social media has some “social graces” book that we are given along with our usernames to all these online outlets. Just for a quick second.. I must say… If you wanna hashtag it. HASHTAG it. Who cares? Rock it out.)

I just committed a virtual etiquette crime. BOOM. It was so totally appropriate.

Are you having fun reading? I’m gonna guess so, if you’re still with me. Thanks for sticking around. : ) I’ll be sharing the good stuff that was their wedding day in the coming weeks.

To tide you over until then??

No worries, my pretty. I’ll hook you up with some photos Beth took of our driftwood location for the after ceremony pics of the bride an groom.


Thanks for the coming on over to this post. This new blog love is making me feel as giddy as that sand in my toes this weekend. I’m being smothered by everything awesome… keep piling it on.





diana + patrick. engagement session.

I waited in my car and stalked on Facebook. Not people stalking, but worse. I was on the  the Free People Nashville store’s page ( I’m addicted to their clothes, their accessories, their everything. That’s the way to my heart… anything from them and I’ll give you a giant bear hug so hard your eyes will pop out…. I’m not kidding. )

Anyways- so I was  stalking  and I look up to see this couple walking toward the location where I was set to be shooting that day. She’s cute… I thought to myself. Omg.. I love her skirt.  She moseyed along with her beau, their hands intertwined. He had on a cap and matched her well.

I wish I could take a picture of them, I thought as they roamed through the bottom of the treehouse which was entirely empty . I laughed at myself. What a creeper! I can’t help it when I see cute couples enjoying one another.

I arrived an hour early to scout out our spot and had taken a breather in the car while I waited for Diana and Patrick to arrive from Cookeville.  They had chosen The Minister’s Treehouse in Crossville, TN as their amazing engagement location, and I had forgotten how much I loved this place.  From the seemingly endless rooms to the crazy architecture inside, this is a place to be appreciated. I knew Patrick had been there once before, but Diana had never seen it and I was so looking forward to being with her as she got to experience it for the first time.

She was gonna LOVE it.

I watched as the couple came closer. I squinted my eyes. I took off my sunglasses. Yes! I busted out laughing. The little couple I had been photo eyeing was Diana & Patrick. They had arrived from an opposite way than I expected, and I hopped out of the car with a big smile on my face to greet them. I retold my funny story about eyeing them as potential models. They laughed and looked at one another, seeming pleased that they looked so dapper. And they really did. : )

I couldn’t wait to get started photographing these two. If you’ve been following my blog, you may have read the post where I raved about engagement sessions and why I am such a huge fan of them. They are some of my favorites to get to shoot, most definitely.

We started their session at the bottom and worked our way around this massive structure, photographing along the dirt paths and moss covered trees. The beauty was breathtaking from the beginning, and I could only imagine what the inside would look like on camera with these two.

They laughed and played as though they were on a playground from back in the day. They laughed at the crooked slide, and took turns giving it a spin. They grabbed hands and threw their arms around one another while I switched my memory cards. I caught them in my peripherals at one point. They gazed into each other’s eyes, and I thought This is why I love my job. I get to be around people like this everyday, and I don’t care if you’re Scrooge himself- you can never get sick of this. Being around couples in love is one of the most refreshing things by far… it makes me appreciate all the positivity around.

After getting to explore the grounds below, they changed and we began our inside excursion through the maze of doorways and graffiti. We got lost a couple  of times, but had a blast finding our way back out. We enjoyed the beautiful Sunday morning all by our lonesome in this artistically built structure.

If you’ve never been to this spot, you have got to go. For reals. Make it a weekend trip and be prepared to be amazed. You’ll have fun and always remember your own little Saturday or Sunday Funday adventure.


I hope you all enjoy these photos as much as I loved shooting them.



[…] these two had me looking forward to their big day even months before it arrived. We got to shoot their engagement session at the Minister’s Treehouse in Crossville, TN and boy was it an overload of vintage […]

say yes to the sesh: engagements rock

4 a.m.

The Cranberries’ “Dreams” just came on Pandora. The music gods must have seen my office light switch on.

A sweet kind of Saturday morning. (insert smiley emoticons x infinity)

It’s SATURDAY?! What am I doing up and why aren’t the cartoons on? Where are my p.j.s with the built-in footies and my giant bowl of Captain Crunch? I do love Saturdays.

As awesome as this throwback to my childhood sounds, I have better plans, and there’s no way Dora could top them.

The big plans on my agenda today? I’ve got a sunrise engagement session, and I can’t wait…. hence the lack of sleeping thing. When I get tickled to pieces, my body says saynora to R.E.M and hey, good lookin’ to York Peppermint Pattie coffee creamer.

Oh yeah, baby. Sippin’ on that good stuff right now.

I laid in bed at three this morning, and contemplated whether or not to just get up. There was no way I was snoozing again, so I threw my feet over and began moving & grooving to start my day.

I had an idea, and I wanted to share it with you guys. My pumped-upness about these kinds of sessions needed some explaining. (Luuuuuccccyyyyyyyyyy, you’ve got some splanin’ to do!!!)

Yes, proverbial Desis. I do have some very special somethings to tell.

My post today revolves around my love for my clients, their engagement sessions, and why the outcome of these shoots makes my job as their wedding photographer even sweeter. For clients and rising photographers alike, this post is geared toward sharing what I do and why in pre-wedding day work.

For my current & future  el clientes: It’s about shining some light on why I encourage engagements,and their sole purpose in developing excitement for your big day.

For all my aspiring picture snappers: It’s about learning your couple just as well as your camera- they are equally important when it comes to being a successful portrait photog and should each be given just as much attention.

Ok, lovely people. Hop aboard my blog sailboat and let’s take a ride. It’s such a pretty day and the water’s fine…. time to relax and enjoy a good read. I like to call this little entry:

Why Engagements Rock My Face Off & Why You Should Faceless with Me.


Chapter 1: The beginning of why

When I first began shooting weddings, engagements were not something I included in my packages. I thought of them simply as a luxury – a simple  decision couples made.

They wanted one or they didn’t. It was that easy.

It’s not that I didn’t care, because if you’ve worked with me you know I am very involved with my clients. They are great friends, and I have wonderful relationships with all of them.

It’s just that I understood that everyone’s day is different, and so is what they want for it. I just viewed their decision towards an e-session to be just another facet to making their day completely theirs.

Then something started… changing.

I began shooting more engagements, and somehow these wonderful set rose-colored glasses were given to me.

I wasn’t just shooting an engagement. I wasn’t just customizing the wedding day options for my client. I definitely wasn’t just snapping another set of photos for a lovely couple.

These were their photos. This couple’s symbol of where they’ve been, what they’ve overcame, and why they have one hell of a reason to celebrate: THEY’RE IN LOVE!

I think too many photographers can get in a routine. They shoot because they’re hired, and run through the motions of a pre and actual wedding day. This is not to take jabs at anyone. It happens. Just as with any profession, habits and normalcy develop and it’s easy to fall into the motions.

Time to do a little jig and shake out our limbs. Just as I mentioned in a previous posts, all my clients are different and so is their love. Like lots of summer snowflakes, these people who choose to get to know me and ask me to photograph their day already have a place in my heart.

They value my work, and I should do just the same with learning their love story. It’s a very important piece of the wedding day puzzle that can’t go without getting in line.

Just think of it as one of those super important corner pieces.


Chapter 2: The shoot. The love. The stories.

To encourage couples to opt for engagement sessions, I decided to include them in my collections this year. While there are other options available if they choose not to do an e-session, they come highly recommended. However, there is a level of respect important to following the couple’s unique wishes for her day, and I completely adhere to any requests they  may have for their day.

If they ask my advice? I’ll say e-session all the way, dudes with a big  grin.

My bias may show, but the reasons are so worth my emotional inclination.

When couples show up for an engagement, they’re giddy. Like kids they look at one another and laugh in the beginning, not sure of what to do or whose hand should go where. It’s this initial fumble that has me falling in love with their affection for one another.

It’s this playfulness that begins a story for me. These awesome pages open up- details of their firsts (first meeting, first date, and first impressions) slowly unravel. The impressions part is my favorite. We all know how important those are, but hearing them from a couple who is soon to be wed puts even more weight on the topic.

A soulmate is forever and so is the first thought of them.

The recollections are always accompanied with nostalgic smiles, sideways glances, and interruptions in sentences only to be followed with their completion (or correction!) from the other.

Yes, yes, and more YES! I can’t get enough of this back and forth chattiness.

Sometimes we don’t talk much about the past, but often times about the present: their shared passions, their favorite ways to spend the afternoon, and why their day is just gonna rock.

If anything is for certain, it’s that I’ll never experience the same engagement session twice. This is the main reason I freakin’ love shooting them. It makes my job so fun, different, and so extra-specially awesome.

Extra-specially? Yes. I just said that. Whoa…. easy caffeine. I knew you gave me super powers, but other worldly abilities to recreate new words? Nice.


Chapter 3: The answer is in the reaction.

The explanation for my e-session encouragement is something that’s difficult to verbalize and nearly impossible to fully communicate.

Because it’s seen.

Purely visual, and real, and every ounce of amazing to watch.

It’s that Oh my God, I can’t believe we’re doing this. We’re really doing this..Holy cow, we’re doing this! look they give each other. I can’t explain it really, and every couple is different.

Sometimes it’s in the beginning of the session.. sometimes in the end…sometimes when we’re saying our goodbyes.

And sometimes it’s when we’ve already parted, and they think I’m not looking. Those are my favorite.

It seems like when you get engaged you begin on a roller coaster ride of planning, and prepping, and picking (Good grief, the picking! The choices!). You move from one thing to the next, or you just dog paddle around in a sea of stuff, always concentrating on what’s to be done and what’s left to do.

You complete. You check off. You begin the next thing.

Sound familiar?

You don’t get much time to stop and smell the roses, unless you happen to be making a decision about floral arrangements.

Your head becomes filled with planning and the seemingly endless tasks you need to accomplish.

That’s why I make you stop. Or… I suppose these sessions make you stop.

For just a couple of hours. For just an afternoon. For just a moment or two, you can get swept up in the whole reason you’re doing all this. The purpose behind all of your current chaos is this guy who’s sitting across from you in the grass in the middle of nowhere.

For just a while, it’s okay to let go of it all. It’s perfectly fine to quit pressuring yourself and your beau, and it’s only important to just enjoy the moment. That’s why you’re here in the first place- to breathe, to laugh, to feel so overwhelmed with love that your little heart could just pop.

You’re welcome ; ). You looked like you needed an afternoon like that. is what I think when I leave these sessions. It’s this woo-sah moment that makes me never question my decision to be an advocate of such wonderful photo sessions.

Say yes to the sesh. Most definitely.

Now for some images best displaying my words of e-session love above…





[…] I think the biggest emotional connections I have found with clients have resulted from photographing their engagement sessions. […]

[…] you haven’t checked out the post where I chatted about engagement sessions and why they rock, you totally […]

[…] Wes was all about meeting a fellow player of the strings, so I knew BD and him would get along just fine.  Little did I know, they would get along so well. Rachel and I laugh about their insta-bromace. They were two peas in a pod, and the five us (Lauren came along, too!) had an absolute blast setting up and shooting their session. These two added just another reason to my list of why engagements rock. […]

[…] Huh?? What’s that you say? Why??? You must read more here my pretty ——> I just gush about everything engagement. […]

[…] How I do love engagement sessions.. […]

[…] (Wanna read more about my love for engagement sessions? Click here. ) […]

[…] stuff had me nodding my head about how much I love my engagement sessions. Check out the link here to see why I think they totally […]

[…] Like pedal to the metal, I was ready to shoot this engagement session right then and there (you know how much I love my engagement sessions!). Needless to say, silos are always fun to shoot, and anything rustic is of course […]

morgan + zach. engagement session.

I pulled up to their chosen location and my face hurt. Why, you ask? Because my jaw was on the ground, and it was painful. JUST KIDDING! But seriously, my mouth was wide open in awe of this place.

Morgan’s father, Tommy Thomas of T. Thomas & Associates, had designed this cabin inside and out- refurbushing it with some of the most awesome antique-y things I have yet to see.  I mean: a “No Vacancy” light-up sign,  a vintage Hurricane Camp neon sign, AND a plethora of old stuff just had my heart fluttering. Hello, photo heaven, I’m so glad to be here…my thoughts exactly.

I think besides photographing these two, getting the initial tour from Tommy was one of the best parts. He showed me each bit of it with a smile of pride that I related to so much- kind of like when I watch couples look through my portfolio in albums on a wedding consultation. This beauty was his creative baby, and I related to him well. Right-brained buddies at first hellos, for sure. I appreciated having this dude around.

Once I got the grand tour and ogled over the barn wood walls and cool vintage fishing poles, I had to stop for a second. Breathe  Jessie, I said to myself. I was overwhelmed. This doesn’t happen to me very often. I am lucky enough to get to shoot in some of the coolest old locations, and I should be used to this by now.

Not gonna lie, I couldn’t get over this place. I was trying to wrap my mind around it while Morgan & Zach stared at me. Think I’m exaggerating? Just ask them. I was in rare form.

I should have warned them! Put me around to many old things, and I just get so tickled I can’t even think straight. They giggled at the look on my face, enjoying my half-dollar sized eyes.

I couldn’t blink.

Is it possible to lose your mind when you get too excited about something? I think that happened, because mine momentarily went M.I.A.

But it returned (thank goodness…how would I explain that one? Sorry guys.. won’t be able to shoot today. Just lost my mind. See ya next week. Yeah right.), and we got to snapping photos.

I wish I could have shown the  full awesomeness that was this spot and given it the justice it rightly deserved, but it would consume a whole blog post with just the wonder of it all.

Morgan & Zach were the center of focus here, and I was loving every minute.  Their Classy Camp turned L.L. Bean e-session, had me smitten. I think my favorite part about developing this business and this style, is that all the couples on my wedding 2012 agenda are right up my alley. They are as laid back and carefree as me, and we most often laugh the whole way through these afternoons.

From beginning in this amazing house to moving down by the water, our session was more of an adventure- a rustic photo love story that celebrated their plans to seal the deal on October 6th.

If the wedding is anything like the couple pictured below, it’s going to be one awesome day.

Can’t wait to see this two say their ” I dos” . Suh-weet beyond belief.

Wanna see more photos of this awesome place? Check them out at  the T. Thomas & Associates website here.

Make sure you’re somewhere carpeted. I’d hate for you to get that chin scuffed up ; ).

Sending the photo love your way, kids. Enjoy!




[…] You may remember Morgan & Zach’s cabin + lakeside engagement session. I’ve attached the link to see that below. Click on the image, and experience the e-session love! […]