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  • Writer's pictureTracie Smith

Wedding Days and Puppy Kisses

So here I am. Taking the plunge into the wild world of blogging. Let's face it. I am not a writer. I went school for law. I can write a brief and court motions like a wiz. Blogging, scares me. I'm not one to back away from fear ever, so here I am blogging. I'm Tracie (the one not wearing a bandana around her neck) I am am national wedding and portrait photographer based out of Baltimore, Maryland and New Orleans, Louisiana. I started my journey in photography in the world of film 20 years ago in the music industry. I loved shooting shows. Capturing moments when a person, just like you or I, laid everything on the line and bared their heart and soul to a room full of people. To be able to capture a little bit of a persons soul in a photo is very attractive to me.I spent quite a bit of time shooting shows, working for a local music management team developing local artists and getting them to the national stage. During this time I shot a fair amount of weddings and portraits, but I put my camera down for period of time and I stopped pursuing this dream professionally. Fast forward to four years ago, my Great Aunt Honey sat me down and put me back on this path. It was the best thing that has ever happened to me. Honestly, I've always had a creative outlet, I grew up in dance studios and was a dance teacher for about 8 years after I stopped competing. I had lost that creative outlet and through photography I had gotten it back.

With being in this pool again, this time around everyone had a slick website, everyone blogs, everyone floods social media with posts and everyone has something to offer. What makes me so different from everyone else? Gosh, where do I start. Well, first I'm a redhead - we're pretty outgoing and fun to begin with. Put a camera in my hand and it's a whole new world ( Yes, Little Mermaid reference was intentional). Photography as an art form is something that I strive to keep it as. For me, it's about the work; not the popularity contest, not expanding and turning into an educator, not to make 6 figures a year. I love capturing life as it happens. There isn't anything that I don't love about shooting a wedding day. I get to incorporate landscapes, macro work, candid portraits, emotional moments....real life. I have such a diverse love of all aspects and niches in the photography world, weddings is the one place where I get to use all of my knowledge and present a well rounded complete gallery of images for my clients.

My personality comes in pretty handy too. I grew up competitively dancing for 20 years and cheerleading for a few years in high school. I know how to take command of a group and get things accomplished. I know how to make you laugh and relax and how to guide you through your wedding day; honestly enhance your day and help make it the best experience of your life. I draw from my dance background incorporating different holds and body positioning when it comes to portraits to ensure that your pose is flattering for your body type. So last talk about that:

The Process/ The Experience

My process is pretty straightforward. Out first contact comes in the form of an email. I tend to exchange messages back and forth educating you a bit on pricing and answering questions. Next comes your booking session. We can do it in person or via FaceTime. I book out about two hours for your booking session as I want to get to know you and a couple. How did you meet? What was your first date? How did he ask? How did you know she was the one? I want to know your story..the details is what makes us all unique and lovely. I love hearing feedback form my couples too. What about my work drew you to me? I go over your contract. As a legal professional, I find it's the best policy to explain all the sections of your contract. Once I do that, almost no one has any questions for me. I like to make sure I have a complete presentation on the details of what is included as each booking is different. At this point we also book your engagement session. securing your date early is very important and my calendar gets filled very quickly. I will help you find the perfect location for your engagement session. Through getting to know you as a couple and what environments you're most comfortable in, I have a tone of locations in my bag of tricks.

The day your engagement session comes! It will last about two hours and I encourage all my couples to bring an outfit or two. Something formal and something more relaxed. Every likes options right!? Through your engagement session I will watch how you naturally interact with each other What is do you gravitate towards each other and I take my cues from you. From there I can put you in poses and holds that fit and are natural for you. I don't ever ant my couples to look back on their images and feel like that hold, that pose was not "them" ( If that makes any sense) if you have a fur-baby PLEASE bring them! I have a very health background with the four leggers. I work with dogs almost as well as I work with people.

After your engagement session and 30 days before your wedding date, I'll forward out my Bride and Groom Questionnaire. This is my bible for your wedding day. Take a few days complete it and return back to me as soon as possible. Once I receive it back I can go over the final details and ask questions as needed. All of my guys and gals are super amazing at getting me their wedding day timeline and vendor details , I'm positive you will be the same too!

Your wedding day arrives. It's gonna go by so quickly. Please remember to above all else, don't stress. It's gonna be beautiful!

After your wedding day I start working on your images and posting a few sneak peeks for y'all. About 30 days after your wedding day, you'll receive your online digital gallery. Around your 1 month wedding anniversary I feel like is the perfect time to send that over. You've gone on your honeymoon, you've gotten back home, started working on thank you cards, and getting back into work and daily life. Then, around your 1 month wedding anniversary you get the link to your gorgeous gallery!! You get to relive that day and bring back all of the beautiful memories you have...

You'll receive your back up flash drive in the mail after you receive your online gallery. Technology keeps changing and evolving. Although digital is the direction the industry is going, I still like to back things up with a flash drive. You'll receive your limited license in the mail with your drive so you can print and share your images as you like without any issues.

If your package included an custom wedding album. Those will be in approximately 3 months after your wedding date. They are custom designed by me and will contain images showcased in your wedding gallery.

After your wedding day, I ask my couples to head over to Wedding Wire and leave me a review. Reviews and word of mouth is so important in this industry. Wedding Wire has been so amazing to me over the past few years and has been instrumental in helping other brides find me, I'd love to have your sweet words out there to help future couples make the choice to book with me.

Wedding days are a ton work and I love the challenge that they represent to a professional photographer. After a wedding, I head home with a slice of wedding cake, start downloading your images and curl up in bed with my labrador retrievers, ShutterBug and Emmy Mae for puppy snuggles and puppy kisses.

My goals to educate my couples on what to expect on a wedding day and give you an experience that compares to no one else. When I do that, I'm doing what I am meant to be doing in this world.



Check out a Little of Casey's wedding this past April....She is stunning!!

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