Getting to know your vendors - GK Photography

GK Photography
February 22, 2015 UPDATE:
GK Photography is taking things to a new level! They are handing out expert, first-hand information about local wedding venues! Check out these awesome and quick clips! 

Southern Oaks
The Chicory
Omni Royal
Rosy's Jazz Hall
The Audubon Institute

Talk about your consumate professional photographer. George Kuchler takes it to another level. For George, or GK, it's about doing it right the first time. It's about respect from his clients and his peers. He takes pride in the profession and in how other photographers are representing the profession. He's been doing this for years and has never stopped wanting to be better and to learn more and to be challenged. So GK says, "Bring it on." You want something different, he will work to make it happen.

GK started in 1994. He was first a musician, so in addition to having years of experience and knowledge you know he is fun to work with!
GK Photography

He learned the camera inside and out (which is truly a testament to his wanting to know as much as possible about his profession and the tools he works with). He was hooked immediately and it became his passion.

He worked with others as much as possible. He went to conventions/conferences and over the last twenty years he's spent roughly the equivalent of my student loans on his own education in photography (and it's a lot, believe me). He wanted to know the languages and the ins and outs of the business. And now, he is one of those people teaching courses and on stage sharing the language because he loves every aspect of photography.

Photographers are artists. And as a photographer and artist, GK loves growth. Whether he is shooting at a location he's done 50 times or at a brand new venue that takes a lot of planning, he wants to see at least one image where he can see how he has grown and his photography has gotten better. If you have something in your head, whether it is for your wedding or as a senior or a business owner, he wants to help make it happen. So he has creative sessions. Contact GK to find out more on how to do this!

Today GK focuses on weddings, seniors, and families because it allows him to get to know his clients better and grow his business. And because he has ventured out into other areas like fashion and commercial shoots, his main focus has gotten stronger.

For GK, his biggest inspiration is his family. If he won the lottery though, he'd still be a photographer, but with a huge warehouse studio. It's through his photography and work that he shows his kiddos that anything is possible if you work hard and go after what you want.

In terms of what sets GK apart, it's just him. His personality. His work ethic. His experience. For GK, it's not about being the best. His work is very subjective. Photography is the latin word for "painting with light." What I think is gorgeous, others might not. It's all about what you like. Go to GK's page, look at his work, check out his About page, and see if it's what you like. If you like what you see, then book him!

To brides, he says, "for your day, before your day, write down the family groups you want pictures of. Then for each group, add two minutes. And see how quickly your time adds up." If you want all of those people and all of those groups, make sure the people you want in those pictures know they will be in pictures and to hang around. Make a list to give to your coordinator or to a friend to coordinate. He does not want you to waste your reception time taking pictures. He wants you to have fun. GK is known for being quick if you are prepared. So be prepared :)

GK also says, spend your money in the right places. Coordinators who know you and your schedule will help to make your day go smoother. If you're going to have bridesmaids, let them help you. Lay it out for them so they know who is doing what and when and so it doesn't get missed. But if you have a good coordinator, this eliminates a lot of the "who is doing what and when" questions. So GK says to be organized because it's the unknown that can throw kinks into your day.

If you've gotten this far and you've checked out GK's page and you want to book him or even just want to learn more about him and what he does, give him a call. You can reach GK Photography at or call 504-737-5557. You'll probably talk to Elizabeth, his awesome wife! They're a great team to work with!
GK Photography
Photo by Arte de Vie

Getting to know your vendors....Arte de Vie

Doug and CheyAnne "have a tradition of always taking [their] portrait together when [they] travel, and [they] absolutely had to do it for [their] wedding!"

Wow! I think I met that couple that truly embodies the terms partner and in love and complimentary. Wow! They are just wow! I met Doug through Facebook when I was living in DC. I was still thinking about and working on photography when I saw the PUG Group on Facebook and contacted him. He was so friendly and still is. Now, as a coordinator, I can't wait for the day I get to work with them (which could be sooner rather than later considering one of my brides already booked them!)!

Both photojournalists by trade and romantics at heart, Doug is a tad bit more serious and leans more toward the artistic side. Doug went to Western Kentucky University and then spent years shooting assignments for the Associated Press, The Washington Post, The New York Times and many other publications. His experience and education mean Doug knows how to capture the moments that matter. He's trained for it. He will document your day as the events and the memories unfold.

CheyAnne is more contemporary, spontaneous and has a softer and more carefree side. She received a bachelor’s degree from Western Kentucky University in photojournalism in 2005, spent a year at LSU (Geaux Tigers!), and then took a job in New Orleans at a prestigious portrait studio, where she worked for two years. Between her bubbly personality, educational background and professional portrait experience, she's able to combine true photojournalism with classic portraiture.

Together, I really think they're an awesome pair and compliment each others styles perfectly!

Arte de Vie is a product of both of them. They fell in love while in school for photojournalism at Western Kentucky University. Then, for a while they both had their own businesses (Bradfield Photography and Artisan Style). Finally, over a period of about two to three years they joined forces by not only getting engaged but also by creating Arte de Vie and then getting married (you can see more of their personalities in their wedding trailer by Studio Vieux Carre).

They are a picture of a successful working team and a married couple.

CheyAnne and Doug are very proud of how much their business has grown without any real business experience. To them photography is more than a hobby. Yes, it's something they enjoy, but it's their business. If they could recommend one thing to aspiring photographers, it would be to take the time to master the skills of photography and THEN take the time to learn business skills. Also, don't be afraid to work with others and source out what you cannot do by yourself. Doug and CheyAnne both recognize how much Titus does for them in getting information out, second shooting and just helping when needed.

They are also very proud to hear people actually talk about Arte de Vie. To them, it is a very proud moment when they overhear people say or do the following:
  • gasp in reference to having "Arte de Vie" or 
  • say that they are "awesome" or 
  • say that "Arte de Vie needs to be booked early" or 
  • that they are "they hardest working photographers." 
They take pride in their work and the results of their work and what you think of their work.

In the future, overall as business, CheyAnne and Doug just want to improve on what they already do. They want to provide a higher level of customer service, which will probably mean hiring someone in office to handle customer service, so CheyAnne and Doug can focus on photography aspect. They want to further develop their skills so you get better products. It's all about what CheyAnne says: they want to "keep elevating the name. Keep it classy....timeless." They're not high quantity....recognize them for the quality.

To couples getting married and going through the planning process, from a photographer's perspective and as a previous groom Doug says the following:

  • Choosing your photographer: As far as photography, narrow it down to the top 2-3 photographers you like and then DIVE DEEP into their websites. So you have a full comprehension of how the photographer captures the entire event, not just portraits. Then talk with the photographer so you can get to know your photographer and if your personalities mesh. 
  • Videographer: They also highly recommend videography! Certain things don't translate the same between photography and video. There is sound and movement that a photo just can't capture. 
  • Finally, get a coordinator. Even if it's just week of they highly recommend getting one. Your coordinator will make sure everyone is showing up at the right time to the right place. All those little details you don't need to worry about on your day. They recommend getting one because they want you to have a good wedding day and two so you're not stressed and are relaxed in the pictures. 
Tips from the experts regarding your photoshoots:

  • Engagement session: try to choose a location that has personal meaning because if it has meaning, then you're going to be more comfortable and enjoy the pictures more. Also, make sure your outfits wise. If you're going to be formal, make sure you're both formal. If you're going to be country, make sure you're both country. By themselves they may be great, but individually they may not mesh well in the photographs.
  • Bridal shoot: have a smaller version of your bouquet so your hands aren't empty all the time. Eat before the session. Don't get hung up on staying clean....they do a fabulous job of keeping the dress clean. For your hair and make-up, use the same person you're going to use on your wedding day so you can both be on the same page...this is your trial run. 
  • Wedding day: organization is KEY. Your photographer has a timeline and knows how long it will take to do your pictures throughout the day. If you're organizing your own day, talk to your photographer about this timeline; if you have a coordinator, ensure the coordinator has talked with your photographer about the timeline. Communication is key (again). Finally, don't send your photographer a Pinterest board with 50 pictures you "want." The list means they miss YOUR moments and it stifles their creativity. 
Not only did CheyAnne and Doug have tips for brides and other photographers, they also had a little tip for me (or for others helping with the wedding). When the bride is in the back of the church....after they've made their way from the car etc.....once we fluff the dress, we need to step away from the bride and her father/escort. Let go of the dress and let the photographer capture the moments happening without us in it. Let them have their moment together. Let the picture happen. I can do that. Thanks y'all!

CheyAnne and Doug are not only professionals, but they are truly warm people. This shows in not only their personalities but in their work. Contact Arte de Vie to set up an appointment to discuss your big day!

It's Your Time Events is an event and wedding planning and design firm. For more information regarding It's Your Time Events you can email, Like us on Facebook or follow on Twitter

To Look or Not to Look, that is the Question: First Looks

You've heard it before, the Groom is not supposed to see the Bride before the wedding. It's bad luck. It's a tradition. You can't do it. And while there is plenty to do to keep the bride and groom in their separate corners on the morning of the wedding, many couples feel this is an outdated tradition (including me). Honestly, my husband and I not only saw each other that morning, we ate breakfast together with some of our guests and we had a few moments alone exchanging gifts and it was absolutely perfect. There was no pressure or work to keep us hidden. We did exactly what we wanted. And so should you.

The superstition/tradition originated from a time when most marriages were arranged and grooms didn't know who he was marrying (I can't imagine this). Back then, there was a possibility he might take one look at her and run...deciding not to proceed with the marriage. So the parents took charge and said the first time he should see her is at the altar, thus placing more pressure on him to marry her (isn't there already enough pressure?).

Now-a-days many people agree this is an outdated tradition. Many people participate in the "First Look" and it has become a very special moment on a very busy day - the Wedding Day. The First Look is often coordinated with the photographer to find a somewhat secluded, intimate or private space where the couple can meet and see each other before the wedding ceremony. You'll see many pictures of the groom facing one way as his bride approaches from behind to greet him. Once they meet, they can share a moment in peace that can be beautifully captured by photo and film - First Look by Studio Vieux Carre

As a bride, this moment provided a chance to see my groom and look him in the eyes before all the crazy started. It allowed us to relax just a bit more. As a bride, it allowed me to take a quiet moment with my soon-to-be husband and just take in the moment. There was no rush to get pictures done between the ceremony and reception. There were no people wanting hugs or wanting to talk. It was just the two of us looking into each other eyes and taking in the moment. 

As a coordinator, this eases tension because the bride and groom are dressed, ready and in the same place well before the actual wedding; therefore they're less likely to have logistical issues arriving to the ceremony on time. 

By no means am I trying to convince any couple to do something they don’t feel comfortable with. If you're a traditional couple, go for it and wait until the ceremony? As I've said it before, it is YOUR day, so remember it the way you want.

As for me, I did it my way. I didn't care about tradition. I ate breakfast with my soon-to-be husband and enjoyed a moment or two with him again before the ceremony. I loved every minute of it. 

If you choose to do the first look, it's important to coordinate this with all vendors and parties involved - coordinator, photographer, and videographer. Do you want your parents or his parents to see? Mine watched from an area which allowed us our moment but still allowed them to take part in it from a distance. 

Making memories

I'm fast becoming a Pinterest girl. I pin a LOT. And I love seeing what others pin. It gives me a LOT of good ideas for clients and myself. And as much as I love what others are pinning and the ideas I get, it also makes me want to scream sometimes.

A big pet peeve of mine is when people post photographs and say, "I want that pose." The photo is of a moment in time. It's not a pose. It's a bride and her niece dancing. Or it's the couple starting a second line. For example, this pic of my husband and I with our second line umbrellas taken by David Paul Studio -

Would I have loved a fancy pic of us posing with our umbrellas like everyone else has? Probably. But I also love this moment that was captured....of me basically having the following conversation with my northerner of a husband -

Him - "What am I supposed to do with this?"
Me - "Walk...just walk and bounce."

And that's what we did and I have this picture to prove it :)

Yes, previously I said to look at other photos to see what photographers have to offer, but I meant look at their style and if it's something you think you might like and if they capture moments. Please remember that life is about living and your events are short. So enjoy every minute of it and let the photographer capture.

Is this entirely too harsh? I know my job is to be on your talk to the photographer and make sure he/she knows the photos you want. And I am on your side. I want you to get the photographs from your event that you WANT. But my job is also to help manage expectations and keep things in perspective. You want to create your own memories; not recreate someone else's memories. Please keep that in mind. 


In class we are given homework. Homework to help us keep our motivation outside of the class and throughout the week. So this week we have a LOT of homework and this is one piece.

HWK 13 - find FACES in life. Find faces in inanimate object.

When I left class I sat in the car and noticed a face staring me in my face. See my first attempt at finding faces :)


In the first one, I would have liked to blur out the background some more so I could have lowered my f-stop...and should have. Then in the second one, I turned the wheel upside down to see it from a different perspective...remember to always look at things never know what you're going to find :)