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The Museum of Appalachia, Norris, TN

Wednesday, September 26, 2007
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Peggy and Aaron were married in late May at the Museum of Appalachia. Last week I met up with them again at the museum to do their couple session. It was sunny and warm just like their wedding day, but it was nice to have all the extra time to roam around the grounds and really take advantage of the setting.

By the way, the museum has their annual homecoming festival coming up the weekend of October 13. I have two weddings that weekend so I wont' be able to go, but I have been several years in the past. It's a good way to spend the day - listening to bluegrass and folk music; eating chicken-n-dumplins, cobbler, homemade ice cream, funnel cakes, and BBQ; visiting with the artisans and authors, viewing old-time life demonstrations, walking around the antique engine and tractor show, and shopping for crafts. It isn't cheap, but it's a good way to support the not-for-profit museum so take a lawn chair and make a day of it. If you act fast and purchase your tickets by September 28 then you can save some money.

Peggy and Aaron's Couple Session Photographs

Peggy and Aaron's Couple Session Photographs
Peggy and Aaron's Couple Session Photographs
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Dara's Garden, Knoxville, TN

Thursday, September 20, 2007
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On Tuesday evening I met up with Tessa & Jimmy for their newlywed photos. Dara's Garden provided a beautiful, colorful backdrop for the session.

Tessa & Jimmy's Couple Session Photographs

Tessa & Jimmy's Couple Session Photographs

Tessa & Jimmy's Couple Session Photographs

Tessa & Jimmy's Couple Session Photographs

I'm so glad that we had the chance to do these photos. It is obviously great to have the extra time for more photos, but what I really like is the fact that they were so much more relaxed. Wedding days are just very stressful events, and it is much easier to capture natural expressions when people are relaxed.
Too many couples think that it is just a big hassle to do a session after the wedding day, but it doesn't have to be.

Most guys do not rent a tux again. They just go with a dark suit. If you want to look a little more formal, purchase a tie in the same color as the one worn on the wedding day.

Most girls do not have their hair and makeup professionally done. It's a good opportunity to even try a different look. If you normally wear your hair down but had an up-do for the wedding then it's nice to wear your hair down or half-up for the couple session.

You do not have to have a bouquet, but if you want one then you can just purchase some roses at the grocery and give them a couple of days to open up. Then use rubber bands and ribbon to bind them together.

You do not have to worry about the dress being in perfect condition. I actually prefer if it's a little dirty so that brides don't think twice about sitting on the ground or leaning against trees.
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On Location, Knoxville, TN

Thursday, September 13, 2007
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I realize that I haven't posted in a week, but I've been very busy. Last Friday, I did some photos at Thompson Cancer Survival Center for an upcoming trade magazine article. The article features a local nurse named Victoria, and here's one of her photos.

My week

On Saturday I photographed a nice outdoor wedding, and on Sunday I celebrated my 31st birthday! Marcus gave me a cool necklace that he purchased in Sweden a few weeks ago. He's really good at finding unique jewelry pieces. We also went to eat at The Melting Pot. Of course I like to be behind the camera rather than in front of it so I don't have any birthday photos to share.
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Farragut, Knoxville, TN

Thursday, August 23, 2007
If you don't already know, photoshop is a huge part of digital photography. I think it's part of why a lot of film photographers held out for so long and didn't (or still won't) switch to digital. If you master photoshop then you can take good photos and make them amazing. Sometimes you can even take bad photos and make them good.

I'm sorry to say that most of my photos don't come out of the camera looking like the ones on my site. It just isn't possible. Of course you need to start with a good photo to end up with something amazing. The tricky, time-consuming part is going from good to amazing with a little photoshop magic. 

Of course it makes us regular folks feel better to find out that celebrities aren't really as beautiful as we're led to believe so check out the iwanex site. Click on the portfolio link at the top for some cool, mouse-over examples of photoshop magic applied to celebrity photos. Of course these people had already been worked over by hair and makeup professionals and photographed by some of the highest paid pro photographers. It just shows that everyone (I admit that Halle Berry is just about perfect even without photoshop) can benefit from a little photoshop help. I'm not quite as heavy-handed with it, but I apply the same sorts of touch-ups to my portraits.
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Hidden Mountain Resort, Sevierville, TN

Tuesday, August 21, 2007
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On Sunday, I photographed an engagement session for Diana & Zach who will be married in November. These two are just adorable. Although the heat can make it more difficult to be affectionate, they did a great job. Diana is a natural in front of the camera, and I'm excited to see what we come up with on their wedding day.

The wedding will take place in Sevierville with a reception at Hidden Mountain Resort Lodge, and that is where they chose to do the engagement photos.

Wooten/Pelham Engagement Session Photographs

Wooten/Pelham Engagement Session Photographs

Wooten/Pelham Engagement Session Photographs
Wooten/Pelham Engagement Session Photographs
With this last photo, the sun was behind them and hit the front of my lens. Instead of just trashing it, I experimented with some textures and colors. I think it's one of those things you either love or hate, but I like to mix things up once in a while.
Wooten/Pelham Engagement Session Photographs
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Welcome to the Nancy Hellsten Photography blog! This is the place to be if you’re looking for wedding ideas and photography promotions or if you just want to view some great photos and see what I’ve been up to. If you or someone you know are getting married, having a baby, or just want some relaxed portraits with the family, please visit my website or contact me for more information. I would love to hear from you. Thanks for visiting and check back often to see what’s new.
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