I’m engaged and looking for a photographer. What can I expect from Simply Blue Studios?

First of all, Congratulations on your engagement! I am so happy that you're considering me as your photographer on what is to be of the most important days of your life. From me you can count on the best images and the most professional experience possible. I pride myself in the customer service I provide to all of my clients and the joy my images bring to people's lives when remembering their special moments. Please look through the rest of the questions on the FAQ as well as the other links and galleries on the page.

How did you get into photographing weddings?

As a lot of wedding photojournalists did, I was asked by a friend to shoot a wedding. In my case, when I was a senior in college, I photographed the son of the director of WKU's photojournalism program's wedding. I was very nervous to see several photojournalists as guests and remember feeling terrified that they might think I wasn't doing a good job. I later turned in a print from that wedding for an assignment and made an A. Since then, I've traveled the country extensively photographing weddings. I liken the experience of photographing weddings to my days of covering the NFL. Except, it's more fun chasing around brides than quarterbacks. They smell better :)

What is your photography style and approach to the wedding day?

I enjoy and thrive at documentary style photography. I've been training at it for the past thirteen years and am very strong at capturing real moments. While my approach is documentary, I do help "guide" couples and family members when posing them in formal portraits. I try to keep everybody as comfortable as possible and want everybody to look good. When you look good, I look good.

Will Carrie be our photographer?

Yes, I am the lead photographer and am present at all of my weddings. I generally stay with the bride for the day but will break away to set up equipment or to go photograph details or room shots of the reception.

Do you use a second photographer?

Yes, I do use a second shooter on all of my weddings. I have network of talented photographers and choose one to bring along for the day to help with coverage of the groom and his friends, the details, as well as to provide a second perspective for the moments of the day.  My second shooters are all highly qualified photographers who have professional equipment and are trained at an equal level as me.

I also bring along an assistant for help with organizing formal portraits, carrying equipment, helping you with any needs that may arise, and making everybody laugh. These are added into my packages and are of no extra cost to you.

In the case of smaller, intimate weddings, you may not always want or need these folks at your wedding but we'll judge that on a case-by-case basis. Please contact me for further information.

What are your business credentials?

Simply Blue Studios is a registered business in the state of Florida and carries comprehensive insurance. I am an active member in several professional organizations and follow the ethical guidelines of such groups as the Wedding Photojournalists Association and the National Association of Catering Executives.

Do you include digital negatives?

Yes, the majority of my packages include digital negatives. I shoot all of my weddings in a raw format, edit, then tone my selected images for galleries and the DVD. I provide two DVDs with a copyright letter allowing personal print privileges. I also provide a wedding gallery with all of the images for family and friends to order from. This takes the pressure off the bride and groom to provide prints for all of their loved ones. Clients can expect to receive their digital negatives with their custom-made wedding albums or about three months from their wedding day.

What kind of equipment do you use?

I use a pro-line of digital equipment, whether it be from cameras, to lenses, to lighting equipment. This enables me to provide images that can be printed to large sizes and framed inside your house. I keep up with changing trends in the industry and am able to stay up-to-date with my equipment, and therefore my work.

What should I expect of an engagement session?

My engagement sessions generally last 1-2 hours and can be shot in a variety of locations. This is an opportunity for you to become comfortable in front of my camera and get to know me. I generally will guide you in your posing and then allow you to be yourselves. This allows for better images and your love to show itself. I try to keep engagement sessions light-hearted and fun, always looking for the best light and moments.

What should I wear to my engagement session?

Wear what you find is comfortable. Think about the location where your portraits will be taken and consider dressing to that style. Coordinating colors work well but matchy-matchy can sometime be a bit too much. I encourage two or three outfits for the session to get different looks. Also, consider getting your hair and makeup done. There's nothing wrong with looking gorgeous for a professional photo shoot. This can also be practice for your wedding day.

What is the best advice you can offer me?

Hopefully you have hired a wedding coordinator/planner. If you are planning on hiring one and need a recommendation, just ask, I have a list of several reputable wedding vendors in the Tampa Bay area. If not, I highly recommend a timeline. It's the single best piece of advice I can offer. Since I work as a documentary wedding photojournalist, your images depend on how well your day is set up. All of this can be attained by a clear timeline that everybody has seen and knows the importance of.

All of my brides receive a welcome package that includes several timeline examples to help you get a start. The feedback on these timelines has been incredible. Please fill out my contact form so we can start the conversation!