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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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On Location, Knoxville, TN

Monday, August 20, 2007
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Last weekend, Marcus and I both picked up ticks while shooting in the mountains. I specifically want to mention this for anyone planning an outdoor photo session, but this advice is relevant to everyone. I picked up a tick while walking around my yard last month.

Ticks are definitely gross and can be dangerous, but the danger is much less if you find and remove them quickly. Dog ticks are the most common and are large enough to be seen if you just look for them. It helps to have someone else looking as they are often behind ears or on your back or neck. If you find one, use tweezers to grab it as close to your skin as possible and pull it off. You don't want to shock it with alcohol or a hot match or any of the other "tricks" often suggested to make it detach as it may regurgitate into the bite wound and spread more germs. Once it's off, check to be sure that it didn't leave behind any mouth parts and clean the wound with alcohol. Keep the tick in a ziploc in the freezer in case you become sick and need to identify it.

You may also want to check again for ticks the next day. Marcus and I both found ours the day after actually being outside even though we had checked once we got home. It's possible they may be in your shoes, car etc. before finding their way onto your body.

First and foremost when you get home, take a thorough shower ASAP with soap and a washcloth. Chigger larvae can take a few hours to travel around your body before they actually settle down to feed. Until then, you can wash them off easily and will never even know that they were on you. If you don't get them off, it's only a matter of time until you have a rash of blister-like bumps that are very itchy. Similarly, if you scrub poison ivy toxins off of your skin within a couple hours of exposure then you will probably not develop a rash.

Place all of your clothing directly into the washer and use hot water if possible. You don't want to spread chiggers or ticks around your house.
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Neyland Stadium, Knoxville, TN

Monday, August 20, 2007
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Two years ago, Britney and Jamie were married at Fairlane Church of Christ in Shelbyville, TN. Before the wedding, Britney came to Knoxville for a bridal session. Because her dad and Jamie are such huge UT Vol fans, Britney wanted photos taken in Neyland Stadium so that she could surprise them with the prints. You can see several of the session's photos from the stadium and the World's Fair Park in the bridal section of my main site, but here are some of the wedding day photos.

Britney's little flower girl was so sweet. Unfortunately, she wasn't feeling well, but she didn't complain. I thought this was a funny moment that I caught as the girls were getting ready. Britney is on the floor in the background. The little girl in the second photo was such a HAPPY baby. Her mother was trying to get her into her dress, but she was determined to smile for the camera.

Darnell/Warren Wedding Anniversary August 20

Britney & Jamie didn't see each other before the ceremony, but they did exchange gifts/cards.

Darnell/Warren Wedding Anniversary August 20

Darnell/Warren Wedding Anniversary August 20

Rather than have the mothers wear corsages, several couples are opting to let them carry small nosegays (aka tussy mussy). Many companies sell tussy mussy holders, and several have engraveable tags attached.

Darnell/Warren Wedding Anniversary August 20
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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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