• some people look for a beautiful place;
    others make a place beautiful.
    - hazrat inavat khan -

presley & ryne :: the baby bump

no one will ever forget presley and her bridal session i shot last spring. til this day, i still get questions about the gorgeous girl in lace dangling her feet off the side of a dock with a fishing pole in hand. and as crazy & fast life moves, that soon-to-be bride turned mrs. salmon almost a year ago, is now becoming a mommy! here are a couple of my favorites from my (first ever!) maternity session with presley & ryne – baby maddux is gonna be a looker!:)

happy momma :)

presley & ryne, i wish the both of you a very healthy delivery & happy life together as a family. thank you for including me & my camera during the 2 most happiest experiences of your lives together. i can’t wait to meet maddux and watch the love between the 3 of you grow everyday! love you both so much!:)

Presley Salmon - June 5, 2012 - 8:17 am

Thanks, Paige! WE LOVE YOU!

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callie :: bridal session in ridge spring, sc

One of the worst parts of shooting bridal sessions is having to wait until after the wedding to post images from it; I think this was the longest month and a half of my life!

I met Callie and her mom in Ridge Spring, SC at a gorgeous plantation surrounded by peach tree orchards and rolling farm land. We started off at the main house, then drove to a nearby peach orchard and surrounded ourselves in a sea of pink blooms! This matched Callie perfect since she is such the southern belle. And gah! Her dress! Absolutely gorgeous. The trumpet cut accented her curves perfectly and hugged her in all the right places. She made it clear she didn’t want the traditional smiley pictures, so there were a lot of hip-popping and pouty lips to bring out that inner diva. William, you are one lucky guy.:)

 

BAM! DIVA!

And then I said something about her booty:)

Callie’s graduating from medical school on May 4th, so she’ll be Dr. Callie Meeks:)

Laura - April 22, 2012 - 11:43 pm

girrrrrl! you rocked it! and that locale is the bomb.diggity. Beautiful work!

Anna Lauren Meeks - May 31, 2012 - 12:43 am

i’m a lucky sister in law :) she’s gorgeous! Paige – you did a great job :)

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carrie :: bridal session in hampton, sc

One of my favorite things about this job is that it takes me EVERYWHERE in South Carolina. I have driven through towns I never knew existed and learned where places are in geographic relation to each other. Granted, these trips to small towns do take me  off of AT&T’s 3G map which sometimes makes me nervous when my iPhone GPS stops pinging, but it truly makes me appreciate the simpler things in life and take in the countryside for a little while.

For this particular session, I headed down to Hampton, SC, the hometown of a sweet country bride, Carrie. The sun was out, the sky was blue, but GAH was it cold. I had tears running down my cheeks from the harsh wind blowing into them while shooting, and had to stop several times to wipe them dry. I tried not to complain too much, because here I was, wrapped up in a thick sweater, boots, and a jacket, and Carrie was in her SLEEVELESS dress! But she stood there, flawless, did what I asked her to do without complaining, and as you can see below, she absolutely rocked this session.
My friend/assistant Jess helping her hair battle the wind – we were both wrapped up compared to Carrie!

When I met Carrie – my first impression was that she was a sweet, shy, country girl, so when she turned around, I didn’t expect to see this!

Her artwork is gorgeous; I couldn’t get enough!

These little guys were oh so cute, but they kept following us around and getting in the shot!


See? Country girls can be tough and pretty. 😉

 

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how to choose a wedding photographer

 

Life is getting crazy here in kerri paige photography land – wedding season has officially begun for me and I’ve been busy with meeting newly engaged couples, shooting engagement and bridal sessions, and taking workshops/classes to get better at what I do! Because the bridal sessions I’ve shot can’t be revealed to the world until after the weddings take place in March, I’ve decided to blog on the topic of something that shouldn’t be taken lightly in the wedding planning stages: choosing a wedding photographer – but wait; not just any wedding photographer… The best wedding photographer that is perfect for you and your wedding. And before I get started, I’d like to note that I’m doing this from a total unbiased perspective. This isn’t a ploy to get all you newly engaged ladies to book me. This is simply a fun and laid back “how to” guide and tips for getting who and what you want.

1. What type style are you into?
There are so many types of photography out there – which style speaks directly to you? Do you like all the pictures where everything is perfectly posed and everyone is smiling at the camera? Or do you like candid shots and the documentary approach? Do you want all of your pictures to be in the real life color that you experienced it? Or do you like creative coloring and black and white photos that make the images more dramatic? Look for the photographer whose images make you say, “WOW! I want relive my wedding day looking like that!”

2. Do they fit your budget?
Most likely, this is going to be a make-it or break-it situation for a lot of brides, and that’s okay. Figure out your budget early. 10-20% of your entire budget should be set aside for a good photographer; possibly more depending how much photography and remembering your day means to you. 50 years from now, you [most likely] won’t remember the flowers or the centerpieces, but I guarantee you’ll remember how you felt. Photography is supposed to help you not only remember the smaller details, but relive and feel the emotion of the day… and high quality timeless photography does that. However, don’t get me wrong – high quality photography DOES NOT EQUAL expensive. There are amazing entry level photographers out there that are charging pennies, but are damn good. They just need the experience. Unfortunately, a lot of people associate cost with level of knowledge and quality of photos and will automatically overlook the beginners. Don’t forget to give them a chance too!
Also, don’t be afraid to ask for packages to be customized or bargain with your photographer. Yes, some are set in stone and won’t budge, but you may be surprised how many may knock a couple hundred off of their price if they want to work with you badly enough. From personal experience, I’m known for knocking my prices down when I hear an AMAZING love story that I want to be a part of, or if the wedding is somewhere I’d love to shoot… sometimes even if I like the couple enough! I’m sure seasoned photographers who charge up the wazoo will frown on this and may even call me desperate, but I see it as being flexible and giving the bride one less thing to stress about when it comes to planning.

3.  What all do you get?
Believe it or not, there are photographers out there who still only sell prints and refuse to sell the digital images on a CD. There are even some who will only do albums!
Make sure you choose a photographer who has options that you want and fit into your budget. I do believe prints are extremely important, but the truth is that I don’t do much business with them since I provide a DVD of the images for unlimited printing. However, during my consultation shpeal, I do share my hate for Walmart and CVS do-it-yourself printing. No quick printing stores do my images justice, and it makes me ill to think that my work is being displayed in a home, printed from Walmart in it’s missed-colored, distorted, darkened glory for the world to see. But no matter how many recommendations I give for good consumer based professional printers, it doesn’t compare to the quickness and convenience of 1 hour photo labs. [insert eye rolling here]
I also understand the importance of having digital files and the rights to all of your rightfully owned images. It’s your day, for Christ’s sake. I just think you should get everything I shoot and I just can’t bring it to myself to charge you $10 per 4×6. Some photographers believe otherwise, and that’s okay. Ask to see examples of prints, canvases, albums, etc. Ultimately you’ve got to be happy with the end result, just make sure that your photographer has what you want available.

4. Can I get along with the person behind the camera?
Okay, let’s assume you are booking the works: an engagement session, a bridal session, a boudoir session, rehearsal dinner coverage, and wedding day coverage. That’s already 5 times you’re going to be with your photographer, not including your consultations, contract signing, pre-wedding meetings, etc. You deal with your photographer more than any other wedding vendor you are working with, so you have to make sure you like them. Chances are, you’re not going to want to keep it 100% strictly business with your photographer. You’re going to want to get to know them, and in return, they should want to get to know you. The more comfortable you are with your photographer, the more comfortable you are in your pictures!

5. What have other brides thought of their experience?
I’m a HUGE believer in referrals and word of mouth – aka good old fashion gossiping. Ultimately the decision is yours, but if you know other ladies who’ve worked with a photographer you’re interested in, they will give you the 411 most truthfully. Websites and Facebook and consultations paint a very pretty picture for you. Everything is a marketing tool. I’m not saying everything is disguise for something that’s truly a mistake, but photographers don’t really out and out tell you the horror stories, or how many times they were late or needed to cancel, or how not dressed appropriately they were. Past clients will tell you that stuff which, in the big scheme of things, is crazy important. They will also tell you the beautiful stuff – the times when they went over and beyond for you, and how they made your day perfect.  You have the right to request references – use them!

Of course, there are lists and lists of criteria when choosing a photographer, but these 5 things, to me, are the most important. I could give you websites of “How to Choose a Wedding Photographer” lists, but all in all, it’s about following your heart and what seems to be the right fit. If a photographer can satisfy your needs and wants while making this the best time of your life, you found’em.

Patty Bryan - May 28, 2012 - 9:54 am

I really enjoyed your thoughts on how to choose a wedding photographer.

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it’s a small world after all.

I’ve been MIA the last several days, and I have a COMPLETELY valid excuse: I’ve been in Disney World! A little FF (fun fact) about me: during my senior year in college, I took a semester break from school, and went down to Disney World where I took part in the Disney College Program!  For 5 months, I worked in merchandise at the Disney MGM Studios (now called Disney Hollywood Studios) and lived with 5 other girls in a furnished apartment that Disney put us up in. I’m still really close with 4 of those girls today! January 15th marked our 5 year anniversary since doing the program, so the 5 of us headed down to our old home to celebrate. We had a great time playing in the parks, catching up, and seeing old friends who are still working at Disney today. Though I didn’t bring my big camera, I was still able to capture some awesome photos with my little point & shoot (Canon Powershot S95, if you’re wondering). Let me get this straight: Disney is not just for kids. Adults can enjoy it too, and sometimes appreciate it more than the kids! If you need any advice on taking a trip down there or interested in doing the Disney College Program, I’m  your gal!:)

We covered all four theme parks in 3 days. Our feet were killing us! We forgot how much work it was to get around the parks!

It’s awesome how 5 women from 5 different places all over the United States can make friendships work from long distance. No matter how different each of us are, we still share that common bond and experience of the Disney College Program and living in Chatham 13102 that continues to keep us close and connected.  Here’s to making more memories and keeping this friendship going!:)

Callie Ann - February 2, 2012 - 11:02 am

These pictures are great Paige! I miss you already. I might need you to email me some of these shots! Love.Love.Love you!!!

Tiffany z - February 5, 2012 - 11:18 am

Yaaaa! We made it to your blog!!! The pics are awesome Paige! Miss you tons!

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