Category Archives: Vendor Spotlights

Details I Love — First Looks

Last November, Katelyn James wrote a blog post about first looks.  At that time, I was fairly new to the wedding industry and hadn’t experienced all the new trends that break traditions.  However, when seeing her post, I fell in love with the idea.

Photo credit: Katelyn James Photography

 Catherine & Daniel‘s wedding was the first wedding I worked on where I got to witness a first look.  IT WAS BEAUTIFUL!  I love first looks for many reasons and wanted to share Katelyn’s expertise with you as a very talented wedding photographer.

Photo credit: Katelyn James Photography

Top 5 Reasons to have a First Look Prior to your Ceremony (from Katelyn James Photography):

1) It cuts down the time for photos between ceremony and reception because you can get a lot of the couple shots out of the way before the ceremony

2) It allows you to spend some one-on-one, intimate time with your husband.

3) You end up with a ton more pictures!

4) It calms nerves prior to the ceremony, especially key for the groom.

5) Allows plenty of time for portraits while still giving the bride and groom time to celebrate later in the evening.

Photo credit: Katelyn James Photography

Please visit Katelyn James’s blog and website for more first look photos and to browse her amazing portfolio!

Photo credit: Katelyn James Photography

Happy Wednesday!


Vendor Spotlight: Alyssa Renee-Photography

I don’t typically spotlight vendors because I have built amazing relationships with so many amazingly talented vendors in this industry!  However, I wanted to spotlight Alyssa today for keeping up with a new wedding trend!

Back in high school, Alyssa worked 2 and 3 jobs almost all 4 years and she always impressed me.  After going away to college, I talked to Alyssa here and there, but we were not as close as we had always been through high school.  She surprised us all when she announced her engagement to Tim…AND that he was in the Navy and stationed in Pearl City, Hawaii, so she’d be moving there.

An even bigger surprise was when Alyssa added me as a friend on facebook from her new business page, “Alyssa Renee Photography.”  Alyssa always took pictures back in high school and she even videotaped our beach week (which I have yet to see…and I’m not sure I want to see it!).  However, I never knew it was something she was so good at or so passionate about.  Well, Alyssa is so incredibly talented and continues to just blow me away.  I knew back in high school that Alyssa was going to really make it happen for herself, but I never dreamed she’d be as successful as she has been!


I am spotlighting Alyssa’s company because I love one of the unique things she does:

Boudoir photos

What are these exactly??  The Knot explains, “Boudoir photography is a sexy new trend that’s especially popular as a wedding day gift from a bride to her groom.  Boudoir photos are usually taken wearing either just a little, or well, nothing at all. They’re hardly X-rated though, but rather PG-13 — as in classic pinup-inspired pics, or what the pros call ‘implied nudes.’ That means you’re not wearing anything, but you’re also not showing off anything either (think shot from the back, or lying on your stomach)” and, according to The Knot, Wedding Boudoir photos have become quite the trend!

Often Alyssa photographs wives and girlfriends of men who are fighting for our country overseas.  But I also especially love the idea of photographing brides-to-be.  Give these photos to your husband as a gift on your wedding day (Like Erienne did for her husband, Jeremy, on Tori & Dean’s sTORIbook Weddings — Season 1, Episode 3) or perhaps as an anniversary gift!  Plus, they are a great way for a soon-to-be bride to feel beautiful and sexy just before her wedding & what husband is going to complain about seeing beautiful, sexy photos of his new wife?  Check out these gorgeous photos of gorgeous women:


Alyssa also does engagement and wedding shoots as well as newborn and children photos, maternity shots, senior portraits, etc.  Here are just a few of her engagement & wedding photos:

If you want to see more of Alyssa’s work or you’re interested in having her photograph anything for you, please visit her website, her facebook page, or shoot her an email:

Alyssa will be visiting the DC area for 3 weeks in August (to photograph a wedding) and is also planning to move back to DC in the next year or so.  Don’t let her living in Hawaii discourage you from contacting her.  She travels all over the world to photograph events and every time she’s in town, she is doing photo shoots!

Happy Thursday!

Check back in a few weeks for a post on other

“Gift Ideas for Your Spouse”!