Why Hire a Professional: Photographer

I am so excited to have my friend Jeff, with Chao Photography on the blog today!  He is such an amazing photographer that truly cares about his clients and aspires to give them the best experience possible.  His passion for the Lord is inspiring and I love his famous tag line “Smile for Jesus” that he is known for.

Hiring a professional photographer for your wedding day is SO important and I can’t stress this enough.  They will help make your day run smoother, they capture all the important details you have worked so hard on and will capture all those priceless moments you will cherish for years to come.  If you’re looking for a photographer that captures all of those real moments in a beautiful way, then Jeff  is your guy!

Tell me a little bit about yourself!  How did you get started in the wedding industry?  Why do you love it so much?

I’ve always had a passion for photography.  Nearly a decade ago, I asked a girl from my church if I could come and just take photos at her wedding.  After making sure it was okay from her “official” photographer, I went to work.  She ended up liking my photos better than the photographer’s that she had hired.  Her parents ended up hiring me for her sister’s wedding and it all began from there.  I fell in love with weddings and it has not stopped since.

I feel that my role as a photographer is to freeze a moment forever, so generations from now, people can still feel the love captured through my lens.  The kind of moment where a person can look at their grandparent’s or great-grandparent’s wedding photo and still experience the love that they had.

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If you could photograph a wedding anywhere in the world, where would you go?! Why?

I would probably say Greece.  I have photographed 3 greek weddings so far and the tradition and symbolism in their ceremonies are so unique.  Plus, you can’t go wrong with the roman architecture and the mediterranean sea in the background.

View More: http://chaophotography.pass.us/lindsaydenver

Why do you think hiring a professional photographer is so important?  What are the benefits?  What are the assets a professional photographer will bring to the table vs. someone who just owns a nice camera?

Good photography is more than a fancy camera.  I have spent literally a thousand hours training to be a photographer and another thousand or so photographing weddings.  I know how to get the shot predictably every time.  I know how to compose the shot beautifully and then execute it with skill and precision.  It isn’t the camera that does this – it is me.  As I shoot in manuel – I tell the camera what it should be doing rather than allowing the camera’s sensors to make the decisions for me.  So if you want that beautiful photograph of you and your new husband or wife gorgeously backlit by a red sunset- you can only get that with a pro because the camera just cannot correctly read that light.

I know how the day flows.  It is the experience of being at 100′s of different weddings that allow me to know just where to look and when.  I know the time in the wedding when I can sneak a shot of your dad looking at you with a tear in his eye.  I know to expect that moment just after the vicar asks for objections and know the church will break into nervous laughter and the bride will pull a priceless face.  These are the things you can only get with experience.

View More: http://chaophotography.pass.us/lindsaydenver

All images by Chao Photography

Category: Vendor Spotlight
Posted by: southernproductions
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Weekend Recap

This past weekend we had Mackenzie and Eli’s wedding at Pine Forest Baptist Church in Collinsville, MS.  Mackenzie hired us for wedding day management and floral design.  It was the first early afternoon wedding we have done in a long time and it began at 2 pm.  It was so nice getting home before the wee hours of a Sunday morning like we usually do!  The challenging part about an early wedding is  we have to be completely done with set up earlier than we normally do so we have to rush to get it all done on time!

Here are a few photos I snapped on my iphone…

The bride wanted a rustic wedding with touches of coral and yellow and sunflowers were a must.  The only specific thing she requested was an arbor with greenery and flowers for the ceremony and mason jar centerpieces for the reception.


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The beautiful bride before she walked down the aisle…

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Church Street Cakery did a great job on the cakes as usual…

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Monogrammed wood guest book by Southern Bliss…

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We are making a lot of progress on our house now! Yay! They finished framing it last week!  After we tore down the reception I went by to check it out since it had been over a week since I had been by there.  I am amazed at how fast they were able to completely frame the house!  In less than 2 1/2 short weeks they had our house completely framed! Pretty impressive if you ask me!  Now, I am even more excited after seeing it all framed up and can’t wait until we are all moved in.

Category: Weekend Recap
Posted by: southernproductions
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Meridian, MS Rehearsal Dinner Venue Spotlight: Weidmann’s

A question I get asked by almost every single bride is “Where can I have my rehearsal dinner at?”  If you are looking for a restaurant then Weidmann’s is going to be your best option in Meridian.  It’s really one of the only restaurants that can accommodate a large guest list.

Weidmann’s has two banquet rooms available for dinners; one can accommodate up to 50 guests and the larger room can accommodate up to 80 guests.  The rooms are located on the second floor and you can access them by stairs or elevator.

weidmanns rehearsal dinner christmas

The most popular time for a rehearsal dinner is during the evening hours usually the night before the wedding.  Weidmann’s has a special banquet menu for both lunch and dinner with three different price levels for you to choose from.  Each of the three levels has three main entrees for your guests to choose from which is great since everyone won’t like the same thing.

Here is the Dinner Banquet Menu from Weidmann’s

Dinner Banquet Selections

Choice 1

House Salad with a choice of dressing

Grilled Pork Loin

Grilled Catfish

Chicken Florentine

Lemon Almond Pie

Chocolate Bourbon Pecan Pie

$20.00 per person plus tax and gratuity

Choice 2

House Salad with a choice of dressing

Crab Cakes with a Buerre Blanc sauce

Chicken Bolognese

10oz Prime Rib of Beef

Black Bottom Pie

Bread Pudding

$27.00 per person plus tax and gratuity

Choice 3

Lobster and Shrimp Spring Rolls

House Salad with a choice of dressing

Redfish Hannah

Chicken Bolognese

12oz Prime Rib of Beef


Black Bottom Pie

$35.00 per person plus tax and gratuity

 For banquet reservations, you can either call or email any of the following staff members:

weidmanns rehearsal dinner

Category: Rehearsal Dinner
Posted by: southernproductions
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Wedding Recap: The Old Place, Gautier, MS

Congrats to Kylie and Ryan!  After a year of planning with Kylie and her mom Sonja, their big day has finally come and gone.  I could not have asked for a sweeter family to work with!  From day one they have both been the kindest and easiest people to get along with.  I got to know Kylie’s dad, Charles in the last couple of months from our site visits to The Old Place and even more on the wedding weekend.  He was just as kind as they both have been and was also so easy to get along with.  They are just good, Southern souls and I was honored to be a part of this special day in their lives.  So, thank you for trusting me with Kylie and Ryan’s wedding day.

It rained on Friday before the rehearsal began and after we had all the ceremony chairs placed.  It did not bother me one bit that it was raining on Friday and I was just praying all the rain would come then and spare us on Saturday since the ceremony and reception both were outside.  We got lucky for the second weekend in a row with rain in the forecast for both outdoor weddings!  We have another outdoor wedding this weekend so we just have to get lucky again, right!?!

Thankful for my great team that wiped down all the chairs since they were covered in water and had dirt all over the back from the hard rain…

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The beautiful ceremony site at The Old Place…

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A big thanks to Katie for talking this sweet flower girl into walking down the aisle.  You would have never known it, but minutes before walking down the aisle she was in tears and was not wanting to walk down the aisle.  Katie the “flower girl whisperer” soothed her and knew just what to say to change her mind…needless to say Ms. Crimson made it all the way down the long aisle and did just perfect!

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I always love getting to meet new vendors and enjoyed getting to work with RD Digital this past weekend.  I can’t wait to see their wedding film and know it will be awesome!

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Loved doing these pave styled arrangements throughout the wedding…

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Loved the simplicity of the mason jar centerpieces…

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And the pub table centerpieces…

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The bridesmaids carried simple bouquets of ivory roses…

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I can’t wait to share the professional images captured by Phillip Carlisle Photography!
PS: I don’t know why my photos are getting cut off still, but I hope my web developer can have that fixed soon!


Category: Weekend Recap
Posted by: southernproductions
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