From a photographers standpoint, of course you should have a first look! But - from a traditional standpoint, all signs point to no. So, whats the deal with a first look? Why is it important? Who came up with this whole concept? Should you have a first look on your wedding day?
This wonderful newly engaged couple wanted to do something a little different with their engagement photos, something winter like. After calling around to many different venues near and far and looking at schedules and watching the weather radar literally minute by minute, and 53 emails... we made some engagement beautiful images. Their couple style is so much fun, so loving and just as real as they come.
You know those days where you wake up and you know it's just going to be ah-mazing! Well, that is how this whole wedding weekend was in Hilton Head. As a full time Atlanta Wedding Photographer, I make it a habit not to drive more than 3 hours in a day to a wedding because after photographing for 8-10 hours and driving.. DEAD. So with the travel time of just over 4 hours there, 10 hours photographing, and 4 hours back; I decided to drive in the night before. So glad I did. I had never been to Hilton Head before and it was a much needed change of scenery. You couldn't have ask for a better breeze, whiter sands, perfect blue sky and just the right amount of overcast.
The wedding was held at this great compound on Bradley Beach called 5 Urchin Manor. When I say this was a compound, I mean it was a compound! The total number of people this place can sleep is 21! This place was breathtaking.
Hilton Head Wedding
At every wedding something.. SOMETHING gets tangled in the wedding dress. On this wedding day it was "sea urchins". Not really sea urchins, but those grass burrs that are super prickly and stick to your shoe laces.. yea those things. But, we all laughed it off including some beach goers.
The wedding reception was intimate and beautifully set with peaches in the center pieces and the most delicious BBQ for dinner under a tent in the middle of the compound. The guests signed a globe and left bucket list ideas for the couple. Their first dance was adorable and they actually tricked me! If you have been to as many weddings as I have you see couples choreograph their first dance where they start out slow dancing and the DJ back spins a song or makes it seem like the song messed up.. well that happened here and I actually thought the song messed up - BUT it didn't. They did this fun high energy dance together and had everyone on their feet.
OH MY GOSH and let me tell you about the dueling pianos they had for the reception.. SO FUN! I was literally laughing all night. There wasn't a song they couldn't play. If you ever get a chance to see dueling pianos, you totally should. It was a unique idea for this wedding day and I was so excited to see the performance leading up to the wedding day. The show did not disappoint. Between the pianos and the guests reacting to the pianos, the reception was one for the books.
Atlanta Wedding Photographer
Not all wedding days have a formal exit and that is OK! I always try to make an "ending" photograph just because I feel it completes the album in my weird way. Since this couple was staying at the compound they did not "exit", but the groom sure did end the night by singing Tom Jones to his bride! And let me add, he sang extremely well.
Personalized touches is what helps me get to know the couple I photograph. Most times I don't get a lot of time to get to know the couple that brings me along on their wedding journey due to time or distance or what ever reason. Spending over 8 hours with someone on the wedding day, you should most definitely feel comfortable with each other and you should be able to have fun!
Venue: 5 Urchin Manor
Photographer: Krisandra Evans Photography
Coordinator: Cindy Brown
Florist: Tracy Inglesby
Caterer: Bess Soper
There isn't a bad location at the Georgian Terrace hotel. Trust me. I've literally been all over that place. It is just stunning - EVEN THE ELEVATORS! Then you add an amazing bride, beautiful flowers, good vibes and you are setup for a fantastic day. And that is just what Kelly and Chris got! They were good sports too! I have them alllll over that hotel and the Georgian Terrace is no small space. I even had them on the roof top. Given the proper amount of time, we will hit all the portrait locations at your venue. I shoot fast for a wedding photographer, test me (haha).
Seriously, do you see what I mean? Just stunning. This is a dream location for any Atlanta Wedding Photographer. Having a wedding in a location like this means you can pretty much have free range of the venue to take portraits (I even got roof top access for the wedding party photos! See a few photos below). If you give me 25 minutes for your portrait session, I will take 26. If you give me 45 minutes for your portrait session I will take 46. I will use every minute you give me.
ROOF TOP ACCESS! yessssssssss. Did I mention I was afraid of heights? Well, lets just say the elevator ride up was interesting to say the least. Like it was high enough to make my ear pop. And all of us in one elevator, ah! Usually, if I keep photographing I am able to block out the scary things like height or bugs or tight spaces.... I have to because you hired me as your wedding photographer and I can't come with a list of things I won't do. I have been part of an helicopter exit. So imagine me on the roof top with no safety rails and a helicopter and a bride and a groom plus the wedding party! Now a helicopter exit, let me tell you how scared I was that I was going to be so busy photographing and not paying attention and get my head chopped off (LOL) - seriously. But, I'm getting off task here. Lets focus! OH, but not before I tell you what happened at my most recent wedding where I sat my camera bag on the ground and somewhere in the ground was a nest of baby spiders, so my bag got covered with hundreds of baby spiders DURING the ceremony. Talk about professional... no one even knew ;-)
Georgian Terrace Wedding Photographer, right?! Ok.
Georgian Terrace Wedding
Atlanta Wedding Photographer
I have to give a shout out to all the amazing vendors this day. Not only did they work with my crazy timeline of wanting to hit all these great locations, but they made sure I had access to each location. And of course to Kelly and Chris for having me along on their wedding day journey. It was truly a pleasure to work with you both and your families. Thank you for trusting my vision. Best wishes for the future!
Alright, so real talk - I am the worst for showing the sessions I photograph. Its not because they aren't awesome, because they are really. Its because, well, I'm busy shooting all these amazing sessions and talking with you! But, with baseball opening weekend just passing I had to come back to this baseball engagement session because it's that good.
So, let's go back to early 2016. March to be exact. This is Pam and Thomas. They needed some engagement photos since they were having a destination wedding (no, I was not the wedding photographer, sadly). Sometimes this happens! Sometimes couple will hire a local photographer to do their engagement session and hire a local (their destination) photographer to photograph their wedding like me who is an Atlanta wedding photographer.
But yes, they wanted some engagement photographs and came to me with the best ideas. First they wanted to start on a baseball field and ending at a private lake just on the other side and a small climb behind the field. Me to them, "OMG, yes!! Let's do all of that". I had been dying to photograph a baseball engagement session being a huge Atlanta Braves fans and living no further than 6 miles from former Turner Field at any given time over the last 7 years.
Now of course this amazing location isn't located inside Atlanta and I do no mind driving for these amazing locations. I really like to create images for my couples that are special and important to them otherwise you might as well go to JC Penny or Picture People and have standard portraits done. Right? RIGHT!
Atlanta Wedding Photographer
Just before sunset we had climbed down this little hill and then down a small trail to where they like to bring their dogs. Now when they described this lake to me, I imagined this magical place, but you really never know what you are going to get on any given day. Overcast, dry spell that has the lake level low, someone could have mowed the grass... but this area - holy moly! OH and there was champagne which makes everything better.
Lake Engagement Session
Being a wedding photographer in Atlanta allows me to get to visit all these great places. There are SO many place I have yet to photograph in and yet SO many places I have photographed in. Every couple has their own idea of what they want from their engagement session and even if its the same location that has been used before, it hasn't been used before with that particular couple. So, when you book your engagement session with me I will ask you your ideas on location and we will come up with something unique that you are excited about! Good chances are that if you are not excited, I won't be excited either. Then it really just becomes a formality at that point and if that is the case... I am not the photographer for you. Because let's be honest, you will get better results at Walmart.
Baseball Engagement Session
ATLANTA WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHER
My couples are important to me, so important in fact that I forget the other side of wedding photography. The other side which is showing YOU ALL the weddings I photograph. Well, it's time to change that. I have so many amazing wedding days to show! So let's start here, with Katie and Ryan in North Carolina at Camp Pinnacle!
Yep, I travel for weddings. My couples are so awesome, how could I not?! (Have current passport, will travel- just putting that out there in case anyone wants to elope to some random amazing place) Camp Pinnacle is one of those locations that is close enough to Atlanta that I can do it in a day. Drive up, shoot, drive back. That is the great thing about being an Atlanta Wedding Photographer is that so many amazing venues are really within driving distance to each side! You can get to Florida, Alabama, Tennessee, South Carolina, North Carolina and all over Georgia!
So yea, Camp Pinnacle is a pretty awesome venue, very similar to some that I have photographed here in Georgia. It's exactly what the name suggests, A CAMP! So there is all sorts of open space, amazing tree lines, loads of cabins, an amphitheater with seating, covered picnic area, and of course in the middle of the mountains on a lake. These types of venues are a lot of fun because you rent them out and then your wedding party and/or family can stay in the cabins and you get full access to all the camp has to offer! Not only is it a wedding, but a mini vacation for everyone else. Not that your wedding day is about anyone else, but some people may travel far or some of them may work harder than others for your wedding day. It's nice to able to offer something like this to those people.
And hey - sometimes its even the bride and groom who travel too! This actually was that type of wedding. The bride and groom use to live in Georgia, but not anymore. We actually did their engagement session (which I still haven't blogged well because yea I am behind) when they were in town checking on the wedding planning part of things! I really need to blog that engagement session. It was a good one. We literally just walked around Cabbagetown and hung out. I should blog that one soon.
What I really loved about this wedding day though is that they made it like it was at a camp! From the custom camp sign, using all the property (for ceremony, getting ready, photos), bbq for dinner, and just a really relaxed vibe throughout the night. They didn't try to make it something it wasn't like making all the bridesmaids wear stay in heels at camp, haha, which I have seen before. And that says a lot for your wedding day and how your reception will go. If you make your guests feel at home comfortable you can almost guarantee that you will have to kick people out at the end of the night.
CAMP PINNACLE WEDDING CEREMONY
ATLANTA WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHER KRISANDRA EVANS
THE BARN AT TATUM ACRES WEDDING CEREMONY
This is Demi and Matt - they are a stunning couple. And yes.. I say this about all my couples because all my couples are stunning. But, they were totally into each other. Even during their engagement session (which we did in their beautiful home with their adorable pup) they were just all about each other. And that is what makes amazing photos. Well, a lot of things happen that make amazing photos, but being into each other is a key part. They just have a sexiness about them as a couple and its rare that I use the word "sexy" about wedding photos. And can we talk about that veil for a moment. I. Cant. Even. I am a sucker for a long, flowy veil (flowy is a word, right? My spell check keeps disagreeing with me). Flowy. Flowy. I'm going to say that is a word and if it really isn't it is now a word to describe wedding veils. Done. (ok. I googled it and it is a word, my spell checker just doesn't like the word.)
Oh and Matt got Demi's name tattooed on his ring finger!
They got married at The Barn at Tatum Acres in Jasper, GA! And of course I can't say enough about this venue that sits on 75 acres. From the bridal suite, to the inside of the barn, THE VIEWS, the outdoor dance area. It's just stunning up there and the crew are just the sweetest ever. And I mean it, some venues are good, but this one was outstanding.
They were so accommodating to whatever we needed, and the venue owner, Miss Debbie, even moved my car for me when I was busy photographing because we all know I always park in the wrong place or leave my gear laying around. Which reminds me, Miss Debbie even held onto a lens I accidentally left out there on a pile of wood because I was trying to get this shot. Totally worth it, wouldn't you agree?! My lens is fine, by the way, haha.
ATLANTA WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHER
Do you see this wedding cake! I have seen a lot of wedding cakes like a lot, but nothing like this one. I mean.. its hanging from the ceiling. From the ceiling! By a chain! You guys. I need to see more suspended cakes. The cake was definatley a center piece at this reception which is why you get a lavish cake, right? Kinda sets the tone for the reception and the couples style. Here comes that word again, SEXY.
Not only was the cake display stunning, but the flowers and greenery were a wedding photographers dream. I mean, ah! The estate table was just dreamy. The pale pink lush flowers against the wood with alllllll that greenery is for sure one of my favorites.
Demi and Matt, thank you for having me along on your wedding journey.
The Barn At Tatum Acres - Atlanta Wedding Photographer
The timeline. The timeline!
You have to have a schedule even for your wedding day? You mean the stuff doesn't just happen?
I have been to HUNDREDS of weddings and trust me, wedding days don't just happen... It's not as intense as it seems especially if you can just accept that a timeline is a guide to get you to that first dance during the big party you have been planning for FOR-EVER.
The timeline is not going to be set in stone and it's not going to stay on track. So what! But, It's important to work your timeline properly, so even if it doesn't stay on track that there is still time for photography. And more than likely if you aren't working with a wedding planner/coordinator there is a good chance you probably weren't even thinking about a timeline and how long it takes everything to happen on a wedding day and how all these wedding activities fall into place.
THAT'S OK! I can help!
I LOVE when my couples ask for my opinion on their timeline because they did hire me to photograph this amazing special day and photography is an important factor of said day and it is crucial to make time for the photographs you want. Alright maybe that was a bit dramatic, but against popular belief these amazing wonderful heartfelt beautiful timeless images don't just appear. We have to make time for them to happen.
So how do you make the time? Well, I have created a template timeline for an 8 hour wedding day which you can use a guide to make your own amazing awesome timeline!
Wedding Day Timeline (8 hour coverage)
1:00 PM PHOTOGRAPHERS ARRIVE (photography coverage starts)
This is the time where I will collect your shoes, dress, rings, paper suite, flowers and any other details you might want photographed. All this will be happening WHILE you are getting your hair and makeup done and yes, I will be photographing that too!
2:00 PM BRIDE GETS DRESSED
By this time everyone else who plans to be around while YOU, the bride, gets dressed should be already dressed. So, that means bridesmaids, Mother of the Bride, ANYONE who plans to be in the shots NEEDS to be ready. You probably don't want a bridesmaid in her pj's helping you into your wedding dress, or maybe you do! Its your wedding, but yea.
3:00 PM GROOM FINISHING TOUCHES
Once you are dressed, I will then check on the other awesome person- the Groom. His getting ready session is much faster and usually involves him fixing his tie, putting on his jacket and making sure he is ready to go!
3:30 PM THE FIRST LOOK
This will happen at the place you have already picked out and if you don't have a specific spot set- NO WORRIES! I will find the best spot in your chosen location. This time will be for only you both. No one else needs to be involved or even around for this portion.
4:00 PM WEDDING PARTY PHOTOS
Yep, it only takes a half hour for the first look and your portrait session. This is when we will bring the whole wedding party into play and photograph everyone together!
4:30 PM HIDE!
This is exactly what it means, go hide. Once we have photographed you and your whole wedding party you should go to your hiding place to get ready for the ceremony. This will allow you to cool off, collect yourself and have a drink!
5:00 PM CEREMONY
5:30 PM COCKTAIL HOUR
THIS is where the family formals happen! Make sure the family members you want in these photos knows where to be and at what time. THEY MUST BE THERE, there is a limited amount of time to get through them and I can run through the list quickly IF THEY ARE THERE. Let the cocktail hour be for your guests, lets run through these images and get to the reception!
6:00 PM Photographer photographs the reception space (cake, table setup, favors, flowers) and everything else you spent tons and tons of money on while NO guests are present and haven't made a mess yet.
6:30 PM RECEPTION!
This is when your guests will start to make their way to their seats and you get ready for your entrance.
6:45 PM RECEPTION ENTRANCE
Wedding party is introduced and wedding couple is announce. Wedding couple go into the first dance followed by Mother/Son and Father/Daughter dance.
7:15 PM DINNER IS SERVED!
Your photography will be eating at this time (quickly, but yea).
7:45 PM TOASTS! SPEECHES!!
8:00 PM DANCE FLOOR IS OPENED
8:15 PM CUT THE CAKE OR PIE OR DOUGHNUT!
8:30 PM TOSS THE BOUQUET/GARTER
9:00 PM GRAND EXIT (Photography coverage ends)
See! That wasn't too crazy? But, you can see how quickly time gets filled up and why it is important to make the time for photography. I photograph quick, but you don't want to feel rushed through it and I don't want to push you from scene to scene- I mean, I will if I have to and have done it before... You get the idea.
If some of these don't apply to you (like the bouquet toss) that is OK- take it out, just add some extra time for your portrait session and wedding party photos or any other photos! Just don't skimp on the photography portions. I mean, right?!
Have any other questions about the timeline?
Atlanta Wedding Photographer Krisandra Evans
If I am not shooting a wedding for my own lovely couples, you can find me still photographing a wedding with another photographer. For me, photographing with another amazing wedding photographer is a way for me to stay fresh and creative. So, when Allison of Allison Mah Photography asked me to be the second photographer on one her weddings at Foxhall Resort I of course said YES!
With a couple like Ann and Beau you kinda just have to trust that when they say they have Nerf guns for the end of their engagement session that it is going to be FUN. No, at first I was a little confused and not sure what to expect- but man! Did they bring the fun.
I can't wait for their wedding this Summer at Monday Night Brewing! Congratulations on your engagement.
When I am in a meeting with a bride this question almost always comes up, "Have you had your engagement portraits done yet?" It doesn't matter if the bride lives down the road from me or if she lives in 5 states over.. I still ask. I still ask for a variety of reasons...
You and your fiance should have nice photos of yourselves starting this marriage journey. Nice photos that aren't in your wedding clothes! You will have tons after I photograph your wedding, but you should also have nice regular clothing portraits!
It will give us a chance to work together before the wedding! Some of my out of state brides will book their engagement session with me when they come down to check on how their planning is going. This not only allows us to work together, but for some its the first time we will actually meet in person (not Skyping) after the booking.
Its FUN! It's a break away from all the hectic planning. Its a chance for the 3 of us to disappear for a couple hours. You should take a break! You can even bring your dog.
They look great on your wedding website! Yea, they do!
2015 was filled with all sorts of adventures and one led me to photograph Tracy and Dan's wedding in Washington D.C! Not only did I fly out to D.C., but it just so happen to be during Hurricane Joaquin. But don't worry- we didn't let that stop us (not even the horrible airplane turbulence stopped me) we just changed venues! Ok, maybe we were in the direct path of the hurricane, but that hurricane did provide us with some challenging weather.
Tracy, and her daughter Daisy, provided everyone with these super cute flower umbrellas to help against the rain (which I still carry mine in my purse, Thank You Tracy!). With umbrellas in tow we had to brave the weather and have a portrait session at the National Mall.
Waterfall. Old ruins. What more could you ask for as a backdrop for a wedding day?! How about an amazing bride and groom! Rebecca and Tanner's classic wedding at Hightower Falls in Georgia was nothing short of breathtaking.
There are just a million of locations that scream, "PHOTOGRAPH A BRIDE HERE!". In some of these locations it's hard to convince an actual bride, in her amazing stunning actual wedding gown to trek around in.
But- it's offbeat locations like the Ocala National Forest that paves the way for future brides to trust "outside the box" for their portrait session to get something unique while still being timeless.
Maybe I just love photographing brides, maybe I enjoy exploring new areas to keep me on my toes (photographically speaking), but I just die for this session.
It's no secret. I love a unique wedding especially if it involves the words, "its about a mile hike to where we would like to take our portraits". COUNT ME IN!
When Cori and Matt asked me to photograph their brunch style wedding at Vogel State Park, I was beyond pumped. I had just been up that way a few weeks earlier hiking Blood Mountain. It was just too pretty for words, so it only seemed fitting that a wedding should happen there!
Not only did we hike to a waterfall, but along the way we saw a turtle hanging out and some of the most beautiful colors over the mountains. Matt and Cori got married overlooking the view of the mountain range, had an omelet chef prepare brunch and the most unique exit I have to witness.
OH and P.S. Matt sang a song he wrote for Cori. *tears* So sweet!
We all knew April and Mike were going to get married, well, I knew it. Even way back when they had their first photo session with me and were shy about holding hands in front of the camera. I didn’t care how shy they felt, I made them hold hands anyway. And when Mike asked April to marry her all I could think was, “I have to photograph this marriage”.
I now know why “they” say never photograph the wedding of a family member or someone who is super close to you.
So we fast forward to a million group texts, countless snaps and a couple phone calls later- the day finally arrives! I anticipated on treating this day like it wasn’t my sister who was a bridesmaid, but just a lady named Sarah or that the maid of honor wasn’t one of my best girl friends and that I knew almost everyone in attendance. Ha! That was a joke and the joke was on me.
Stan Fields: Miss Rhode Island, Please describe your idea of the perfect date
Cheryl “Miss Rhode Island: That’s a tough one. I’d have to say April 25th. Because its not too hot, not too cold, all you need is a light jacket.
As April 25th (yes, April 25th) wore on, the tears fell, and the stories were told I couldn’t help but be part of this day where one of the best women I knew was getting married. It didn’t help that every moment of the day was personalized from the unintentional wedding colors being the colors from the Golden Girls’ couch, to the random canoe that floated ashore and made the perfect drink station, to the bridal party singing “Hold on for One More Day” by Wilson Phillips to our bride during the reception topping off the evening by having a d.j. personality we all grew up listening to, Lewis Stokes of K Country, provide the soundtrack for the evening.
All I could do was gracefully accept a tissue from the Groom’s father, wipe my face, and keep shooting. And shoot and shoot and shoot. Would I photograph the wedding of another person this close to me? YES! As stressful and emotionally draining as it was, I wouldn’t have had it any other way.
Any time Whitney of Tulle & Grace asks if I want to come along on a shoot, I re-arrange whatever I have to to be there. She always brings amazing ideas to life! This time it's bridal boudoir. What a great idea for a gift to your husband to be!
The idea of bridal boudoir is a little sneak peek into the lingerie you might wear under your wedding clothing or after your wedding day. Not only is it a great gift for him, but what an amazing gift for yourself. To be able to capture the happiness and passion of who you are going into your marriage.
*boudoir doesn't only have to be as a wedding gift. it is a gift for anytime of the year… birthday, Valentines day, Christmas, or because it's Saturday.
Model: Teresa Motes Cardin
Hair and Makeup: Robn Nicole Johnsen
Wardrobe: Girl With a Serious Dream
Florals/Design: Bowman & Clark
Location: Tulle & Grace
Every detail for this Trolley Barn wedding was perfect and they welcomed me along their journey as a friend. When Shawanda told me her wedding dress was going to be PINK I had no idea what to expect. What I got was a fun, relaxed, over the top, happy bride! I believe the dress set the whole tone for the day- AH-mazing.
When they told me the wedding was unplugged I couldn't have been more excited! Turning your phone off during the ceremony allows the guests to really be part of why everyone came together…. That is why you hire a wedding photographer, so your guests don't have to take the photos. It's nice not to see 20 cell phones up in the air.
As I right this blog, I am starting to think back to the tacos (that were unlimited and oh so delicious) from the Tex's Taco truck! If you ever see that truck, GET THE CHICKEN TACOS!
Not one, but two brides? Not one, but two dresses?? I get giddy when I get to photograph one beautiful blushing bride on her wedding day, but at this wedding I got to photograph TWO beautiful blushing brides on their summer wedding day! I adored this DIY backyard wedding in my neck of the neighborhood in East Atlanta. Wait till you see what they got married in front of. Simply beautiful.
Chelsea and Jen mentioned they wanted to go by a local bar, The Flatiron, in the East Atlanta Village for a drink before the ceremony. Not only was I all over that idea because I love that bar, but because that bar was an integral part of their relationship. They laughed there, made up there, and just hung out there.
These two brides continually surprised me throughout the day… especially when the day got so hot before the reception that Chelsea decided to cut her long dress into a dress above her knees!! Yes, took scissors to her dress! Believe it or not, it looked just a amazing short as long. Take a look for yourself!
Here comes the brides!
We would love to be part of your wedding day! Contact us for more information below.
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It's so exciting that I am at an age where the next phone call could be that my friend is now engaged and asking me to be her wedding photographer! Rachel is one of those friends. Rachel became my sister when she and my (actual) sister were in the Army together. I couldn't have been more happy to hear that she found the man she was going to spend the rest of her life with and Drew was the perfect match for her zany personality! Everyone traveled to Folly Beach, South Carolina for this offbeat destination wedding. One of the things that makes your wedding day so special is that you can make your day however you want. Rachel and Drew's destination wedding also doubled as a honeymoon!!
People often cringe when you say winter at the beach because it's cold and usually raining, which it was raining (and flooding for that matter). The rain wasn't going to stop us! Rachel's pink wedding dress was stunning against the grey December sky. They decided to take their beach ceremony onto a trolley that drove through downtown Charleston as they exchanged vows! The ceremony and tour of downtown Charleston was followed by a sand ceremony and a low country boil by The Smoking Pot. It doesn't get any more personalized than that!