Part 2 of our interview with wedding photographer, Jennie Tewell! With so many questions to ask, we did a Part 1 and Part 2 blog post! Below are some more questions that I asked Jennie but instead of sharing her answers word for word, I have summarized her answers in my own words.
Fun fact: On our way to Jennie’s home studio to conduct the interview, we got “lost” 3 times! Apparently her neighborhood has 3 streets that share the same name. Google maps definitely needs to update their mapping in this area! Any who, we ended up ringing 3 different doorbells! Definitely a fun memory for us all!
- How do you choose the best pictures in the editing process? Do you ever get overwhelmed picking the best when they are all beautiful? Jennie explained to us that this is her least favorite part of the job, simply because there are so many pictures! After shooting a wedding, Jennie typically comes back with around 4,000 pictures!! Then, she goes through and chooses the best out of the 4 or 5 duplicates. She chooses the one that is the most focused and has the best lighting. She then delivers around 75-100 pictures per hour from the day. So for an 8 hour wedding, that is approximately 600 to 800 images! Jennie ended up outsourcing this part of her business recently. It is super freeing, because it lets her do the part of the business that she loves and is passionate about and not the tedious parts. She trains her cullers to find the best picture that is in focus. That is one thing that is very important to Jennie. All pictures must be in focus.
Fun Fact: Culling is the process of choosing and editing pictures in a photo gallery.
- What is the hardest part about being a wedding photographer? This was the most difficult question for Jennie because she loves photography so much! In her experience, she struggles with the business side of photography. She wishes she could just take photos all day, but that is only about 20% of the job. When it comes to wedding photography in general, she said the most difficult part is trying to make all of the photos look cohesive, no matter the price of the wedding. Whether it be a $5,000 wedding or an $80,000 wedding, she wants every photo to look high end and cohesive. She wants every bride to feel loved, no matter what the cost is of their wedding.
- How long did it take you to design your magazine “The Wedding Experience”? Now that Jennie has the initial magazine layout finished, it does not take her long to update it. She used to list her pricing in it and so, as her pricing was consistently changing, she would have to consistently update and reprint her magazine. Now that she took out that detail, it usually only takes her around 1-2 hours to update the pictures and make the magazine look fresh. She usually updates it twice a year to make sure that her new brides are featured. But, she does not print once a year. She prints 20-25 copies at a time and she only prints when she runs out of copies. This ensures every new client gets the most recent copy, which features her most recent brides/weddings. Her magazine is a guide for her Jennie Tewell Photography Brides. The table of contents includes things like engagement prep tips, engagement outfit inspiration, preparing your groom, sample timeline breakdown, pre-ceremony prep, bridal details and timing tips, and so much more!
- Living in Mobile, Alabama, is it a constant struggle with the rain and fog when you are shooting weddings? What do you do when there is bad weather? Jennie said that she would definitely be spoiled if she did not have to deal with our rainy Mobile weather. But, because it is very typical down here, she has acclimated and adopted and it does not phase her. Some photographers do not have an issue with overcast as their style may be darker. Jennie’s photography style is always bright and sunny so it is difficult for her to shoot on cloudy days but she has learned from trial and error. She also recommends brides to book a Wedding Planner, because they are the ones who come up with a rain plan if there’s inclement weather. This will ensure that everyone will be prepared and relaxed. She said about 50% of the time, her brides have to evoke a rain plan. Although Jennie does not come up with the rain plan for the day, she has to have a rain plan of her own so that her and her team can still take beautiful photos, regardless of the weather. Choosing/finding a second location to shoot photos is typically her rain plan. The good thing about Mobile weather is that even when it does rain, there is usually breaks in the downpour. So, there is still an opportunity to take pictures outside. There have only been 3 weddings in Jennie’s entire career that have rained from start to finish, which did not allow them to get photos outside.
- In the last interview, you said that you made a big decision in your career which way to shoot strictly weddings. Where do you see yourself 5 years from now, career wise? Jennie does not see a day when she will not be shooting weddings. She sees her business more streamlined in the next 5 years. She currently outsources her coaling, editing, album design, and emails. She is looking to outsource her company even more, so that she can be strictly thee visionary of the company. She is also wanting to push herself to host more educational workshops and post more educational content. She has never been one to love talking in front of people and teaching, but she is hosting her first educational workshop this Spring of 2020 and wants to do many more in the upcoming years.
Fun Fact: Jennie started doing photography as a hobby and it eventually grew into the successful business that it is today. It took her 7 years to make an income off of photography, which is why she is wanting to host these educational workshops. She wants to teach upcoming photographers a faster way to make it their main source of income.
Didn’t catch Part 1 of our interview? Click here!
Sharing more of Jennie’s favorite wedding photographs!
Written by Lila Brasili