My Photography Story

 

Every now and again someone asks my photography story. My answer is simple,” It must be in my genes.” My mom always had a camera and knew how happy it made people when she happened to snap a photo and give them that stolen moment in time.

mother and daughter
My mom and I

I started my own photographic  journey when I was in high school. Writing for the school newspaper and taking photos was one of my jobs. Another perk was  meeting the new students… and boy did that work out well for me! I got to interview this new guy who had dark hair, dreamy eyes and a killer smile. Then he spoke. It was like he knew what to say and checked off all my boxes for what “my type” was. He was into snowboarding, played guitar, had been in a band…so pretty much any high school crush material.

School newspaper team Tia and Evie
High School News Paper Team

We became fast friends and soon I was telling him on the bus that I wanted to marry him…. but that is another story….. Anyway, he was very creative and helped me look at the world in new ways and encouraged me to go for my dreams, after breaking my heart at graduation.

young photo of ST Photography Shane and Tia
Shane and Tia in high school
Off I went to college. Got my AA degree and took photography classes thinking that may be my passion. The school had a dark room so I learned how to develop film and play with new techniques.

It was time to move to a university and I just knew I wanted to be a photojournalist! I had checked out this amazing art school in California and thought that has got to be my path…..then that boy came back, you know the cute snowboarding guitar playing one. He told me he loved me and wanted to be together. I just couldn’t resist that guy. I changed my plans to Southern Oregon University which was a few hours away and gave our love a shot. We took turns driving every weekend.

I started school in a new town and took classes on how to write articles and work on my art. It was a great time, but something was missing. Then a friend learned I knew my way around a camera and asked me to shoot their wedding. I said yes! I had been to a few weddings by then, and knew the drill. It was an amazing on the job learning experience, but I had found my thing. I signed up for photography small business classes and got my degree.

By that time the snowboarding guy was finally graduated from high school… Oh,  did I mention he was a few years younger…. That summer I married him at a garden and he became my husband and business partner.

Sixteen years later we are still in love and have went on to travel to incredible places, backpacked with our 2 year old around Hawaii, and move to the other side of the country. We made our home in the Smoky Mountains which has been the perfect backdrop. You never know what you may inherit from your parents, I just know now I am grateful because it has given me this life I love.

 

Wedding in the Smoky Mountains at the Preserve

High in the mountain top, above the business and the clouds Clayton and Chance sealed their perfect wedding with a kiss. They were surrounded by their family and friends who had been by their side through this young romance.

They met in 2011 at a friends house. Chance’s friend had been pushing her to meet this cute, single guy and so she was excited to get the opportunity. The first night they didn’t even speak! It took months before the two finally decided to talk at their hang out in Schroeder parking lot. This conversation was only 25 words and Clayton had to leave early “to do homework” but  he really just didn’t want her to know he had a curfew. He finally fessed up a couple months after dating. He was nervous that she wouldn’t date him if he had one.

This started their journey to get to know one another and eventually led them to Tennessee where they made their commitment known. They chose to have their wedding at the Chapel at the Preserve in the little white Chapel and Reception at Majestic View Lodge . Even though the rain poured outside, their love outshone the grey.

We wish all the best to this happy couple!

 

 

Chapel at the Preserve Wears Valley TN with ST Photography
Chapel at the Preserve Wears Valley TN with ST Photography

Chapel at the Preserve Wears Valley TN with ST PhotographyChapel at the Preserve Wears Valley TN with ST Photography

 

Chapel at the Preserve Wears Valley TN with ST Photography
Chapel at the Preserve Wears Valley TN with ST Photography

Chapel at the Preserve Wears Valley TN with ST Photography Chapel at the Preserve Wears Valley TN with ST Photography

Chapel at the Preserve Wears Valley TN with ST Photography
Chapel at the Preserve Wears Valley TN with ST Photography

Chapel at the Preserve Wears Valley TN with ST Photography

Chapel at the Preserve Wears Valley TN with ST Photography
Chapel at the Preserve Wears Valley TN with ST Photography

Chapel at the Preserve Wears Valley TN with ST PhotographyChapel at the Preserve Wears Valley TN with ST Photography Chapel at the Preserve Wears Valley TN with ST Photography

Chapel at the Preserve Wears Valley TN with ST Photography
Chapel at the Preserve Wears Valley TN with ST Photography

Chapel at the Preserve Wears Valley TN with ST Photography Chapel at the Preserve Wears Valley TN with ST Photography Chapel at the Preserve Wears Valley TN with ST Photography Chapel at the Preserve Wears Valley TN with ST Photography Chapel at the Preserve Wears Valley TN with ST Photography Chapel at the Preserve Wears Valley TN with ST Photography Chapel at the Preserve Wears Valley TN with ST Photography Chapel at the Preserve Wears Valley TN with ST Photography Chapel at the Preserve Wears Valley TN with ST Photography Chapel at the Preserve Wears Valley TN with ST Photography

Sampson’s Hollow Wedding

Sampson’s Hollow was the perfect location for Kelsey and Mathew’s October wedding. They had planned on having a destination wedding with their family and friends and as soon as Kelsey saw this beautiful venue, she knew it was the one.

Wedding Photography
Sampson’s Hollow in Walland Tennessee

The beginning of this love story started 2 years earlier when Heather, Kelsey’s cousin, knew these two would be a great match. She started planning for them to meet for 3 months and helped them connect at a hog roast she was hosting. Heather took Kelsey’s hand and brought her to Matthew and told them to “play nice.” It worked! The two hit it off right away talking through the night.

A week later they had their first date at Steak and Shake. Kelsey tried to play hard to get, but Matthew was so funny and charming she couldn’t stay away. She found out that his grandma had asked to “meet his girlfriend” and she realized if Gram thinks she is, she must be his girlfriend.

Everything just clicked from there. They both shared a love of adventure, but could still be happy relaxing at home. He introduced her to eating steak, which she now enjoys along with a dark beer.

Now they found themselves in the middle of the Smoky Mountains, dressed up with their family and friends promising to share this life together. Everything was truly beautiful. The night ended with smiles and dancing, and closed with the couple exiting with sparklers.

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Special thanks to all the incredible people who made this event a day to remember!

Venue- Sampson’s Hollow

Wedding Planner- Lesley Livingston

Hair-Bebe Salon in Maryville

Flowers- ecoflowers.com

Catering, Dj, and Cake all provided by Sampson’s Hollow