Destination Wedding Photographer

Magnolia + Ember (formerly Jewels Photography) has partnered with Borrowed and Blue, a locally-focused online wedding resource, to share with couples everything they need to know about our photography services.

“Photographers capturing Knoxville weddings have their work cut out for them—there’s just so much beauty to catch! Luckily, Magnolia + Ember is a pro when it comes to that. That’s why we’re picking her brain today all about her specialty: wedding photography.” - Stephanie, Borrowed & Blue's Market Specialist

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Here’s our Q&A with Borrowed & Blue:  

1. How did you first get into photography?

       After four years of college and nursing school, I decided that just wasn't for me. There was this part of my spirit left unfulfilled. Being an artist is natural for me as I have been a creative soul since I was a wee-thing. I bought my first DSLR camera in 2009, learned everything I could, and never looked back. Photography simply makes sense, and I adore every minute creating my art and giving the world a bit of me.

2. What single photo sums up your aesthetic?

       This. A cliffside wedding overlooking the breathtaking Pacific coast in Big Sur, California. This photograph is adventurous, bohemian, romantic, and full of so much awesomeness. No doubt this screams Julie.

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3. As a storyteller, what style of photography are you drawn to?        

       Raw emotions and light captivate me more than the artistic style of a photographer. The thing about artists is that each and every one is so unique and should have their own 'style' if you so call it. What draws me in when I look at photography is the fact that I want to see a still frame that enables me to sense everything I felt in that moment with it taking over every thought and feeling in my body.

4. What is your favorite moment to photograph at a wedding?    

       Hands down first looks! I just talked about those raw emotions above, and nothing is more intimate and real than that moment. In complete solitude, the couple sees each other for the first time on the day that they are vowing to spend the rest of their lives together. Talk about sensations galore. 

5. What makes or breaks a bridal shoot?

       Honestly whether the bride is truly happy, and the same goes with any shoot. I capture weddings, engagements, and bridal sessions in a way that clients are going to naturally showcase their inner feelings. If one is crazy in love with his or her partner, it is easy to make a great shoot happen even if the clients have never been in front of a camera before.

6. What are some of the most photogenic spots for Tennessee engagement shoots?

       My favorite spot to date is Piney Falls - no need to explain why with the image below! After four miles of hiking through the woods, the couple cooled off a bit as they shared kisses under the waterfall. And this happens to be the spot where he proposed to the love of his life. I love it when clients make the location personal and meaningful!

adventure engagement session in waterfall

7. Where else do you love to photograph?

         I love to photograph extraordinary places, and we all know the world has many beautiful places to offer. My entire life I have had this magnetic pull to nature. When I can combine my art with Earth, it is a dream come true! Below you will see a little adventurous love at Horseshoe Bend in Arizona.

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8. What’s your favorite photograph you’ve ever taken?

       Am I allowed to have two? Weddings aside for a moment, these are my favorite images ever. On the left is the Milky Way over Balanced Rock in the Arches National Park in Utah, and on the right is the phenomenal sandstone formations of Antelope Canyon in Navajo land of Page, Arizona.

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9. What’s your favorite wedding that you’ve shot?    

       That's a tough one. Honestly I don't think I have a particular favorite. All weddings are unique to themselves and have their own story that I adore.

10. What’s your favorite out of all the Knoxville or Nashville wedding venues to shoot at?

       Another hard one. Locally I have shot at some spectacular venues. If made to choose only one, I'd have to pick Ijams Nature Center for Knoxville and The Cannery for Nashville. With all my outdoorsy talk, Knoxville's pick makes perfect sense - a venue in the middle of the woods. However, for Nashville my music and urban side tends to come out. My first time in The Cannery was for a concert and I knew instantly I had to photograph a wedding there - and later that year I did! It was fantastic with its warehouse appeal and artistic vibe.

11. What is the first thing you ask couples when they approach you?

       What is the most important aspect of their wedding day and why they chose Magnolia + Ember. I want to know what draws clients to me. The ultimate choice of a photographer should be the whole package - personality, comfort, art portfolio, and more. I want to photograph couples whose focus over everything is each other. After all, this is why the day is happening in the first place - love!            

12. What’s the biggest mistake the couples make when choosing their photographer?

       Choosing one based off anything other than the personal connection with them in conjunction with the likings of their portfolio. Couples must be able to mesh well with the artist that is going to be capturing one of the most remarkable days of their life together. A photographer can have an incredible portfolio, but if they don't feel at ease with them that is sure to reflect in the photos. Remember I said emotions tend to be on the forefront of every image.    

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13. What makes Magnolia + Ember different from other wedding photographers?

       I know for certain I am not the only wedding photographer that is fascinated by what they do. But passion is individual and sets us all apart in our own ways. I am passionate about what I do, and with that I put everything into my photography and all that's behind it. It comes down to I simply love love! I have a soft spot for those couple's who are crazy about each other. You know the ones that when you strip all worldly things away and left with nothing but the bare soul and they simply just can't get enough of each other... Those extraordinary loves stories are what I crave.

14. What tips do you have for couples who have never been photographed before?

       I tell my clients to trust me, to let go of expectation on how they imagine a photoshoot to go, and just relax enjoying every second. It isn't about the perfect pose (cause guess what that doesn't exist); it is about the time you are spending with your special someone. With each shoot, I just let things flow with exactly how they are suppose to happen - genuine love comes naturally. I have photographed numerous couples terrified to be in front of the camera, and every single one comes out saying that was easier than expected and they actually had fun.  

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15. What are some of your upcoming projects for the future?     

       I am getting into traveling more showcasing my free-spirited heart. Wander Knot has recently launched and quickly is taking off to great places. I want to connect with others who believe life is made to be extravagant and rich in the heart. Those who hunger for adventure the same as I do. The distinctive individuals who let go of expectations and get out and experience life's greatest offerings.

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