Say Cheese

Preserving the memories takes the right fit

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To ensure that the memories of the wedding day last a lifetime, hiring the right photographer and videographer is essential.

“Finding the right photographer can help ease the pain of pre-wedding jitters,” said Teressia Zack of ZackShack Photography, Inc. She said her style of photography is blending in with the wedding party. “I like to be a part of the family for the day.” According the Zack, this allows her the opportunities to capture the creative moments.

Photographer Leslie Karnowski hopes to ease the bridal party’s stress.

“One thing I do for wedding photography is I make it really simple. I don’t offer complicated packages or anything like that. I charge by the hour and they get a disk of all the pictures I take,” said Karnowski. “That way brides aren’t limited in that they can only pick certain pictures. They get everything,” she said.

If the bride chooses to do more with the photographs, like create an album, Karnowski said she’ll point them in the right direction and suggest places for those other services.

“My goal is to keep the whole day simple for them,” she said.

Zack said the trend for wedding day photography is the desire of the couple to have informal portraits together. “This lets the couple to really be themselves,” Zack said. She recommends the couple to have the most fun possible. She helps any way she can by providing levity to an otherwise stressful day. “I tell people that it’s the wedding, not the marriage.”

Today’s brides tend to go with a more photojournalistic style said Paul Miller of Paul Miller Photography. “It’s changed from the traditional way of doing it,” he said. “A lot of younger brides don’t really want posed photos. More of a shoot it as it goes,” he said.

Miller has 15 years of experience and primarily shoots everything in digital. “That way I can work with Photoshop to change images, convert to black and white and combine color with black and white combinations,” he said.

“I love working with people,” he said. “It’s always a different location, a different scene, different people. In one day I’ll work with a 2 or 3 year old child and then work with a 92 or 93 year old adult. I love my job,” he said.

Miller works with assistants who provide an extra set of hands. “They can help out with the bride’s dress and the such. Sometimes my assistants and I turn into a sort of wedding assistant. Weddings are so detail oriented. It’s always good to have as many people there who know what’s going on,” he said.

Miller said his years of experience are critical to making the most of the day. “You have to be on your toes,” he said. “You’ve only got one chance to get it and get it right. It won’t be recreated and that where my experience comes into play. I’ve done well over 100 weddings and can often predict what will happen before it does. I’ll even go to the rehearsal to get a feel of things before the big day,” he said.

In order for the couple to become comfortable with the photographer and with being in front of the camera, many couples opt for an engagement session prior to the wedding. The couple chooses the venue for an informal photo shoot. A perfect location for couples is the seven-acre farm that Zack and her husband, Scott live on in Rockford. The couple has access to a pond with weeping willows at this picturesque location. Other popular photo shoot sites are Cades Cove, the cascading waterfalls at World’s Fair park or other scenic parks.

For the engagement photo shoot, Zack suggests that individual shots of the bride and groom be taken. Some newspapers want a photograph of the bride only for the engagement notice. Also, some couples incorporate the individual photographs into a video montage that also features childhood photos and snapshots of the couple when they dated. The video montage is shown throughout the reception and provides the wedding guests an opportunity to reminisces.

Photo albums are also being used in conjunction with or as a replacement for the bride’s book or sign-in book. The guests sign an album page and includes any thoughts. Then the photographer captures snapshots of the guests and arranges them in the photo album as a keepsake the couple can enjoy after their honeymoon.

Another keepsake the couple will treasure long after the wedding day is the DVD a professional videographer can provide. For the couple, a videographer can capture the sights and sounds of the action that they might miss on the actual wedding day. For example, a professional videographer, like her husband, Scott, can capture the attendants coming down the aisle. Naturally, the bride doesn’t see that particular action since she is waiting behind the scene.

According to Zack, some couples try to go easy on their budget by allowing a friend or family member to videotape their wedding. “Just because you own a video camera, doesn’t mean you’re a professional,” Zack said. “Just like because someone has a kitchen doesn’t mean they can make a wedding cake.” She said that for most couples, the wedding day is such a big event that it is too risky to leave such an important job, like videotaping the wedding, to an amateur.

Some suggestions for couples who are looking for a wedding photographer or videographer are to do your research and do it in advance. Hiring a photographer during the peak wedding season dictates that you start contacting photographers and videographers as soon as you agree on the wedding date. Some photographers will be booked a year in advance especially during May, June and October.

Also, before you sign a contract, look at the photographer’s portfolio and check their references. Another important consideration is the chemistry the couple has with the photographer. This is a one of the most memorable events is a person’s life, the bride and groom need to make sure they have the right photographer or videographer for the job.


ZackShack Photography can be reached at 865-379-8180 or at their website,

Paul Miller is a member of the Blount Chamber of Commerce. For more information, visit his Web site at or call him at 865-982-3335.

For more information about Leslie Karnowski Photography, call her at 865-254-8118. She said her Web site is being updated constantly so be sure to check it out at

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