Sunday, July 25, 2010

Feature: Little Acorn Photography

Hi everyone!

I am sorry that I have been a little slow getting this off the ground. I just wanted to have some good info in line to get out there to you!

For our very FIRST featured vendor, we are taking a look at Little Acorn Photography. They are a fabulous husband-wife team who are passionate about
marriage, photography, and the river region! One random thing I love and appreciate is that they have an AMAZING website that even has their calendar on it. So when you are in that bridal panic, wondering if the photographer you have always dreamed of is available for your big day, you can just hop over to their site to find out!

To get some background info on Little Acorn, I have asked them 5 questions...

1. How long have you two been in business and how did you get started?
"We have been in business as Little Acorn Photography since Fall 2009. Prior to that, Jackie did some side work specifically in baby portraiture as a supplement to her full-time job as manager at a Montgomery portrait studio. Jackie didn't just fall into photography on a lark; she received her ht6BFA from the University of Montevallo with a focus in photography. Her niche in college fell squarely into documentarian work, something we've found exceedingly useful when doing weddings. Many brides today want full documentation of their day, from pre-dress snacking to the last person leaving the reception, and Jackie's skills, eye, and attentiveness to the subject play brilliantly into that mode of shooting. As for me (personally), I don't have any true formal training; I graduated from Montevallo with a degree in history and currently work as graphic designer. I picked up the photography bug from my dad and my grandfather. I spent many summers armed with an old 35mm SLR from my dad, and one summer with my grandfather's incredible collection of Nikon lenses and F3 SLR. I studied books and manuals and picked up what I could from both my dad and grandfather. Since then, obviously a ton has changed and everything I know now, I know from Jackie. We finally took Little Acorn Photography (named on a long drive back from Virginia) full-time when Jackie left her job at the portrait studio to pursue her own work."

2. What is your favorite part about photographing weddings?
"Our favorite part of photographing weddings has to be the moments that we catch between the new bride & groom. Not the posed or formal shots, but the moments they think no one is looking and they feel its just the two of them: the head on the shoulder, the shared look or laugh at something someone said, the random kiss on the forehead... those are the moments that, above everything else, mean the most. When we get those shots, we know we've done our job."

3. What is your best advice for a bride in the River Region?
"The best advice is something we've determined from the outset: have a helper! Whether its a paid coordinator or an aunt or uncle, you need someone who knows whats going on right now and whats going to happen next. The wedding day is a "big thing" and you don't want to be burdened with telling everyone whats going to happen in 20 minutes, especially not your photographer. We've yet to have a bad experience at a wedding, but we have seen too many brides get simply overwhelmed with too many questions from too many people (including the photographer). A bride needs someone they can point to from the start and say, "Ask them!" Its your day to be on display and to be the focus... but you want to make sure its not the type of focus reserved for an information desk. Some churches, like the one we were married at, have people available to help plan & coordinate. . . Ok, and one more piece: remember, no matter what happens during your wedding day, at the end of it all, its about being married, nothing else."

4. How would you describe your photography style?
"We tend to shy away from most buzzwords when describing our style. Since I work in the graphic design field, and consequently do a whole lot of reading about trends in the design world, buzzwords tend to just start falling flat, especially when everyone essentially is using the same ones. When pressed though, we like to think our work is a well-balanced mix of traditional and contemporary, elegant, candid, and artful. It used to be (and not so long ago) that wedding photography was viewed almost as a joke, something a photographer did for quick & easy money. There was little thought put in to the process and everyone knew the poses and setups and everyone used them. But somewhere along the way, within the last ten years or so, there's been a huge shift in what is expected with wedding photography. There's an expectation for the typical "required" stuff, but there's also a heightened desire and awareness of artistry that is, or should be, present in the work. Part of that weaves itself in with the documentarian style we champion, and part of that is in our willingness to take risks with shooting: shooting at different angles, finding interesting spaces to shoot in, clever framing, and sometimes just asking the bride, groom, and party to try something wholly unexpected."

5. Tell us a little about your own wedding!
"Our wedding was fantastic! We were married at First United Methodist Church here in Montgomery in 2006 and had our reception (outdoors) at Hillcrest Manor. We'd set our date based upon what we thought would be a perfect in-between time, right between summer & fall, hoping for slightly cooler weather, but surprise!, the high that day was in the mid to upper 90s. Despite that, everything went absolutely according to plan, thanks in large part to our coordinator at the church (who, at a minimal cost, definitely made a huge difference) and the built-in coordinator at Hillcrest Manor. They both took so much of a load off our planning for that day, we were actually able to enjoy it. Side note: we also had a good two-and-a-half years to plan our wedding, as we determined from the start it made more sense to wait till I graduated from college instead of rushing headlong into planning whilst I was still in the midst of finals, research projects, etc."

Aren't they cool? I just had to share all of this information about Luke and Jackie with y'all.


Also, one more thing Luke told me that I felt was really important is:
"We see our brides as
friends, not just clients, and feel its important that we develop a relationship and rapport with both the bride & groom. In that way, we strive to make it feel as if a bride is working not just with a vendor, but with someone they can trust. Working as a married couple, we love the institution of marriage & love to see it celebrated, and every opportunity to capture a new bride & groom on their first day together as husband & wife is an opportunity to take."

So here is the deal guys and girls, do
not skimp on your wedding photography. It is not worth it. [am I sounding too harsh?]

I heard a quote saying, "In 20 years, the cake is gone, the music is quiet, the flowers are dead, and all you're tangibly left with are the photos - good or bad."

And have no fear...Even amazing photographers like Luke and Jackie can work with any budget. You do not have to get the most expensive package a photographer offers. You can always pick and choose between some great options to fit your budget.

Please hit up Little Acorn's website to see some more fabulous photos and contact info!