Should I Hire A Makeup Artist for my Wedding? | Its Jen Again

Should I Hire A Makeup Artist for my Wedding?

You’ve made a big investment in photography (and possibly videography as well) to help capture your big day. You want to make sure you absolutely look your best. Although, I’m sure you do a very nice job on your everyday makeup, I strongly recommend to hire a makeup artist for your wedding.

Here’s why:

Even though you’re great at doing your own makeup, a MUA can do it so much better. I mean, after all, that is their job. We especially recommend hiring a good MUA if you don’t normally do your own makeup. They know what will look good on you and can make it look natural and flawless.

Makeup artists use high-grade makeup – nothing runs, shines, or smudges, ensuring that you don’t have any makeup malfunctions during your big day. They also know what works well with the flash, the lighting at different times of the day, etc.

On your wedding day, you’re going to be moving around all day and you want your makeup to last. You’ll need to be wearing about 30% more makeup than normal. It may seem like a lot in real life, because you’re not used to it, but it won’t look like a lot on camera. Makeup artists know exactly how much to put on.

A MUA knows how to accentuate your features to make sure you look your best for portraits and close ups. They know that cameras alter lighting and colors and how to avoid common makeup issues with photography. Some everyday makeups can make you look oily or shiny on camera – MUAs make sure the makeup they use will photograph perfectly. Also, on your wedding day, you’ll be wearing a lot of white. You don’t want to look washed out in your photos and a MUA knows how to make sure that doesn’t happen.

And lastly, they know your schedule and can help keep you on track by making sure to have you ready in time.

So, when it come to the question: “Should I Hire A Makeup Artist for my Wedding?” the answer is a resounding yes. Feel free to email me with any questions you have about how this can effect your wedding photography as well:

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Planning the Family Photos | Its Jen Again

Planning the Family Photos

If you want to go the more traditional route and forego the first look (which allows you to go straight to your reception), you are still going to need to allow for time for your family photos after the ceremony but before the reception.

As an Asheville Wedding Photographer I have some guidelines to help when it comes to planning the family photos after your ceremony but before your reception.

  1. For family formals, you will need 30 to 45 minutes depending on your family size. This should accommodate a standard family with each of your two parents, the grandparents, four siblings and their spouses as well as their children. If you have a larger family or would like to include Aunts, Uncles, Cousins, etc. when planning the family photos, I would suggest no less than an hour of photo time.
  2. You will need a half hour for bride and groom portraits and 30 to 45 minutes for your bridal party pictures, depending on the number of people in your party. This time should allow for a standard bridal party of up to 10 people.
  3. If you are taking photos off location, you will have to gather everything together and transport it. It is a good idea to designate a friend or someone who is not going to be in photos to do this for you to save time. And creating a checklist for said person will be a lifesaver – I promise.
  4. Keep in mind when you’re planning the family photos that it is super hard to keep family, friends, and bridal party members together and all in one place after the ceremony, especially if it is a large party. For that reason, you need to allot some extra bubble time in case someone goes missing. Another way to save time is to let those who you want to participate in family photos after the ceremony know in their invitation or via a special note at your rehearsal dinner so that they are aware that they are not to go missing.

If you have any questions about any of this, please let me know! I’d love to help!

Get details and pricing on hiring Its Jen Again as your Asheville Wedding Photographer or get more Asheville Wedding Planning Tips.

Benefits of a First Look | Its Jen Again – Asheville Wedding Photographer

Benefits of a First Look

Many of my couples ask me whether or not they should have a first look. If you’re reading this, you’re probably wondering what the Benefits of a First Look are yourself. In my professional opinion as a Wedding Photographer, I think they are an excellent idea. I love first looks. I know that they are a tad bit ‘nontraditional,’ but let me take a minute to explain the benefits of a first look.

  1. Your wedding day will be crazy busy. No getting around it. You have so much to do and so little time to do it in. If you have a first look, it helps to calm down the day a bit. Instead of trying to rush around to get everyone together and have pictures taken between the wedding ceremony and reception while your guests are waiting, you’ll have that time to relax and enjoy your guests and not have to worry about being late to your reception. We can do all of the main portraits before the ceremony even begins – at the very least, the bride and groom and bridal party photos. This way, your hair and makeup are still perfect, as they were just finished. If your family is coming earlier, we can do their photos beforehand, as well, or we will only have to worry about those portraits after the ceremony and not the bridal party shots.
  1. A first look also gives you a very special, intimate moment with your new spouse. If you are nervous or stressed out, this will especially help to relax you, and your spouse can comfort you and let you know it will all be OK. During the ceremony, there are many of people around and you can’t fully take in the moment because everyone is staring at you. With a first look, that moment is just between you and your spouse (and your photographers, of course – but we stay out of the way).
  1. Even if you have a first look, your husband will be just as happy to see you walking down the aisle and you’ll still take his breath away. Don’t worry that you’ll be spoiling the moment by seeing him prior to the ceremony.

If these benefits of a first look haven’t convinced you and you still want to go with the more traditional timeline, go for it! It’s your wedding and you need to be happy with your decision. Here are some tips on planning the family photos to help you plan that part of your day appropriately.

Get details and pricing on Asheville Wedding Photography by Its Jen Again or get more Asheville Wedding Planning Tips.

Or send me a message here and let’s get started!

How Many Hours of Wedding Photography do I Need

How Many Hours of Wedding Photography do I Need?

How Many Hours of Wedding Photography do I NeedOne of our most frequently asked questions is: How many hours of wedding photography do I need? This is a great question, and we’re here to help you find the answer.

What do you want covered?
First, you need to decide what important details you want covered. Do you want a lot of getting ready shots prior to the ceremony? Do you want us to stay for the entire reception? These details will affect the length of time you will need us there. If you want us to stay until your reception exit, and you want a lot of candid, getting ready shots, you will need full day coverage. If you just want a few getting ready shots, that will knock off some time. If you want us to stay for just the main events in the reception and not until the last guest leaves, then this will also shorten the day. By deciding on a start and/or end time, this is the first step to booking your package and knowing how many hours of coverage you will need.

Ceremony Length
Next, you need to think about the ceremony length. For a Catholic wedding, the ceremonies tend to be longer, so you will need to allot more time for that. If you want us to cover you getting ready, the ceremony, and the reception, I suggest 10 hours for Catholic weddings. If you have a shorter ceremony, you won’t need to take out as much time from your schedule. 8 hours for a traditional American wedding day should work great. (Send me an email and I’ll send you our timeline planner for free!

Location Transfer
Now let’s talk about location. If you have a shorter ceremony and your reception is at the same venue as your ceremony, then you won’t need as much time because you can take out travel time. I would say something like this would be good for six to eight hours, depending on the formal photos.

On that same note, if your reception is at a different venue, you will need to include travel time into your schedule. Also incorporate the amount of time it takes to pack up all of your stuff to take to the reception. If you are going to take photos along the drive to the reception, more time will need to be added for that as well.

Formal Photo Requirements
For formal photos, you have to consider how many people are in your bridal party, and how many people are going to be in your family photos. If you have a small bridal party and a small number of family members having photos done, (and you’re at the same location the whole time), then six hours will suffice. If you have a larger family or bridal party, you will need closer to eight hours.

Special Exit
If you’re doing a special exit from the reception, like a sparkler exit, you’ll need to have full day coverage.

Some weddings can be covered in just four hours. If you’re having a backyard wedding or a courthouse wedding where your reception is short (for example, no dancing, etc.) and maybe just like a sit down dinner at a restaurant, then this could all be covered in four hours time.

In Conclusion
So, the answer to “how many hours of wedding photography do I need?”: As an Asheville Wedding Photographer, I fully recommend at least 8 hours for a traditional wedding. This will ensure that you get all the photos that you are wanting in your album. Remember not to skimp on deciding how many hours you need for your wedding photographer because your wedding album is the only thing that will be left after all the time and money spent on your wedding.

Get details and pricing on Asheville Wedding Photography by Its Jen Again or get more Asheville Wedding Planning Tips.

Why You Need A Second Shooter | Its Jen Again

Why You Need A Second Shooter

As as a wedding photographer I recommend including two photographers – a main photographer, and a second shooter. The second shooter is an additional photographer who is there to cover the wedding as well. We choose to have a second shooter for many reasons.

  1. It is impossible to everywhere at one time. If you want photos of the bride and groom both getting ready, we can’t be in both locations at once. By having a second shooter, we can cover more events at one time. If you like candid shots, you absolutely want a second shooter. They will be able to get all of the little moments that are happening behind the scenes. If you only have one photographer and he or she is with the bride while the groom is getting ready, then you will have to have the groom mock up and fake these moments to look candid, while missing the real thing. You don’t want “forced candids.”
  1. During the wedding, the main wedding photographer is so focused on getting all the traditional shots that sometimes we miss the candid moments during your ceremony just due to the fact that there are only so many hours in a day. A second shooter is looking out for these moments. By having a second shooter, it ensures that you get more candid shots.
  1. You’ll also get more creative shots for the same reason. Second shooters aren’t worried about getting the traditional shots because that is what the main photographer is doing. This frees them to be able to be more creative. They can catch different angles and give you a fresh perspective. Also, there are two angles to the important moments, like the kiss. And in the off chance one of us misses it, the other is sure to have it.
  1. With a second shooter being there, we always have a backup on scene in the event the main photographer gets sick or injured. The second shooter will be able to take over for them without skipping a beat. And vice versus.
  1. It is also good to have two different cameras shooting the event. In case of emergency – for example, a camera is broken or a card gets corrupted – you will still have photos and they won’t all be lost or damaged.
  1. If we are limited on time, having a second shooter will ensure we don’t miss anything. One of us can be shooting the reception details while the other is in cocktail hour getting all of those candid moments and details.

Get details and pricing on Asheville Wedding Photography by Its Jen Again or get more Asheville Wedding Planning Tips.

Feeding Your Wedding Photographer | Its Jen Again

Feeding your Wedding Photographer

Here is a simple rundown of how feeding your wedding photographer should work because it is one of those unasked questions by our Wedding Photography clients.

A wedding typically lasts 10 to 12 hours. If we take getting ready shots and are there all day, we try to eat a big breakfast before we get there, but that only lasts so long. We are often running around like crazy all day trying to cover the whole wedding, and don’t have time to snack or take a break. We’ve literally been known to run to the bathroom to cram down a sandwich or pretzels that we packed in three minutes and then get back to it.

All that said, it is important that we get a small break to eat during the day. Feeding your wedding photographer is preferably done during the reception when everyone else is eating – particularly the bride and groom, which works out because nobody wants to have photos of themselves eating, anyway.

We do prefer if you provide a hot meal for us so we don’t have to leave and find a local food place, or worry about spoiled food that’s been sitting in the car all day. Although it can be what everyone else is eating, we don’t have to have a plated meal as long as something is provided. Many venues offer vendor meals that you can get for us, so inquire about that when you have the chance.

Finally, feeding your wedding photographer is important because it is hard to stay creative on an empty stomach. Think about if you didn’t get a lunch break at work – it makes it hard to focus the rest of the day because you’re so hungry. You also don’t want us passing out during your reception. (Even though my fiancé is a medevac pilot, that’s not how I want your wedding to go down 🙂 )

Please let us know arrangements ahead of time so we know the plan. Thank you!

Get details and pricing on Asheville Wedding Photography by Its Jen Again or get more Asheville Wedding Planning Tips.

Benefits Of An Unplugged Wedding | Its Jen Again

Benefits Of An Unplugged Wedding

benefits of an unplugged weddingWhat is an unplugged wedding?

An unplugged wedding is where you ask your guests to turn off their phones, cameras, tablets, and other mobile devices during your ceremony.

Here are some benefits of an unplugged wedding:

  • When guests use their own cameras, there are many ways that this affects the photography that you’re actually paying for. Guests oftentimes are taking photos at the same time we are, and their flashes interfere with our cameras, leaving you blown out completely (and unsalvageable) or having weird shadows or lighting throughout the photos.
  • Guest cameras can leave a red or green dot from their focusing mechanisms. These will show up in our images.
  • If guests don’t turn off the noise on their cameras, they could be very loud when taking the photos. This can be very distracting to you and your guests.
  • Speaking of distracting – let’s talk about iPads and other tablets used to take photos. They are HUGE and are very distracting. If we are taking a wide photo of your ceremony, your eyes go straight to the tablet and completely ignore the beautiful couple exchanging vows.
  • Guests will often get in the aisle or stand in front of the professional photographers, blocking their shot. Sometimes, it’s too late for us to be able to get them to move, and we certainly don’t want to upset your guests by making them move.
  • During family formals, guests will often stand around photographers to get shots of their own, which can create harsh lighting if they use their flash. Even if they don’t use their flash, it causes the group to constantly be looking around, leaving wandering eyes. It’s hard for the photographer to get a good photo with everyone looking at the camera when there are multiple people taking photos around you.
  • Most importantly, if your guests are taking photos, they are not fully able to enjoy the moment. They are absent and distracted by their picture taking and posting.

It is your wedding and we understand that having a fully unplugged wedding is a major decision, but so we fully respect your wishes if you choose not to, but we want you to be fully aware of the benefits of an unplugged wedding. If you have any questions concerning this or how to unplug your wedding, feel free to contact me and we can chat.

Get details and pricing on Asheville Wedding Photography by Its Jen Again or get more Asheville Wedding Planning Tips.

Wedding Photography Terms | Its Jen Again

Wedding Photography Terms

wedding photography termsAs Wedding Photographers, we use a lot of wedding photography terms that you may not understand. This article is to help you get to know some of our terms regarding your Asheville wedding photography so that we’re all on the same page.

Photography Types

  • Traditional – Traditional wedding photos are the standard portraits, poses, and events taken at weddings. These are the images that we get at every Asheville wedding, no matter what. For example, bride and groom standing side by side looking at the camera, or the exchanging of rings and kiss during the ceremony.
  •  CandidCandid images are photos that are not planned, but are taken as they happen. They are very much in the moment and are different for every single wedding. They aren’t posed or forced.
  •  PinterestThis is when a photo is posed via a style that can be found on the popular website, Pinterest. We often have clients show us Pinterest boards they’ve created of different images they like.
  •  Romantic – These are images that are based on the couple and shows them interacting with one another and being lovey toward each other. They are sweet and more natural poses.
  • Fun – Fun photos are spontaneous, in the moment photos where the couple or bridal party acts silly and loosens up as opposed to the sometimes stiff feeling of formal photos.
  • Photojournalistic (PJ) – This is a style of photography that is based on candid images. There is no real posing to it, but rather capturing events as they happen.

Image File Types

  • RAW – This term is used to describe the files before they go through their editing process that can only be viewed via special software.
  • JPEG – A JPEG is the type of file your images are converted to after they are edited and the format that most photos are printed from.
  • Digital Images – We are digital photographers, meaning that we use memory cards instead of film. All of our images are loaded to a computer and we send you digital copies of the images via a disc or USB drive. They are not printed when they are delivered to you, but rather, you can take them to be printed at your lab preference.
  • High Res – This term is short for High Resolution and means that the image is good for printing.
  • Low Res – This is short for Low Resolution and is not good for printing. Low Res images can be used for online purposes – sharing on social media, etc.

Other Terms

  • Details – Detail shots are just that – pictures of details, like the flowers, your rings, place settings, shoes, jewelry, etc.
  • Formals – Formal photos are typically done after the ceremony (sometimes before) where the family and bridal party gets together with the bride and groom and takes photos where everyone is looking at the camera and smiling. There are a variety of photo groups here depending on the family bridal party sizes and with whom you want photos.
  • Retouching – During our editing process, retouching is where we can remove blemishes and smooth out skin, minor adjustments, etc.
  • Cull – This is the process where we eliminate ‘bad’ or duplicate images before you get your proofs. A bad image would be one that is way too dark, bright, blurry, someone blinked, etc. We also take out similar images so you don’t have to look through a million of the same photo over and over again, leaving you only with the best shots.
  • Bridal Party – This includes your maid (or matron) of honor, best man, bridesmaids, groomsmen, ring bearer, flower girl, and ushers.
  • First Look – A first look is when the bride and groom see each other before the ceremony in a private meeting while being photographed. The bride usually comes up behind the groom and taps him on the shoulder and they see each other for the first time then. This allows more time for photos, as you can do them before the ceremony and also gives you your own special, private moment.
  • A La Carte Images – This is when you purchase images individually and not as part of a package.
  • Same Plane – When we are taking photos and we tell you to ‘Get on the same plane’ that means that we want all of your faces/bodies to be on the same level so that everyone can remain in focus.


I hope these wedding photographer terms come in handy when speaking to your Asheville Wedding Photographer, and if you haven’t found one yet, I’d love to chat!.

See It’s Jen Again Wedding Photography Gallery.

Asheville Wedding Photographer Prices

Asheville Wedding Photographer Prices

Asheville Wedding Photographer Prices vary tremendously across the board. You can choose a photographer off of Craigslist for $250 or you could choose the award winning, highly published film photographer for $8000.

So how are you supposed to know what to look for and how to choose? How do you know if a photographer is legit and won’t bail on you?

Obviously, the first thing on your mind is Asheville Wedding Photographer Prices, which is totally understandable. You need to stay within your budget and not go bankrupt planning a wedding.

BUT think about this. How much cake will you have left ten years from now? How about your food – nothing? What about the decorations? Or the flowers? Invitations? All of it is usually lost or tossed on purpose because it serves no purpose.

And let’s be honest… who really wants ten year old cake & tacos?

The photographs are the ONLY thing that you have left that serves any purpose. The fifty, sixty, seventy years that you are married to the love of your life, these pictures will be hanging on your wall. Your kids and grand kids (maybe even great grand kids) will look through your album and ‘ooh’ and ‘ahh’ about our funny hair and bad style.

The pictures are one of the most important aspects of your wedding. Hands down.

So how do you decide on a photographer that within your budget but fully capable of getting the job done? Ask them all these questions:

  1. How many weddings have you shot? Obviously the more the better, but someone just starting out may very well know what they are doing. I would suggest choosing someone who has shot at least 3-5 weddings recently. They will be familiar with how the day will run and can anticipate shots better than someone who hasn’t shot any.
  2. When was your most recent wedding? This can be tricky, because there are wedding ‘seasons’. And some photographers only work certain months out of the year. As long as they’ve shot a wedding within six months, you should be good! Ask to see the full gallery that was delivered to the client.
  3. May I see a wedding you’ve shot from start to finish? If they aren’t willing to share a full gallery start to finish, that is a red flag. It could mean that they ‘borrowed’ images from another photographer (which is totally against the rules). Or they shot it themselves and aren’t confident enough to send it to you.
  4. Do you shoot digital, film or both? This is going to be more of a preference thing for you. Understand that film comes with longer turn around times and your photographer MUST know what they are doing. You can expect to spend quite a bit more money for a film photographer.
  5. How long before I see my images? A typical turn around time is six to eight weeks. Be prepared for that. But, some photographers, like myself, guarantee your photos within two weeks. You could also ask your photographer if they will rush edit them for you for an extra fee.
  6. Are the digital images included with printing rights? Digital photographers should be including at least small digital images in their packages for you to print from – via a USB or online gallery. Find out how long your online gallery will be live and make sure you can download from it. Film photographers may not do that due to the process that is required.
  7. Are you the person that will be present at my wedding? Some photography companies hire outside photographers to shoot their weddings for them. Usually this is totally fine, but there is a slight chance you get a new photographer who isn’t totally sure of themselves.
  8. What happens if you get sick? EVERY photographer needs a backup plan. If they don’t have one, run. Period.
  9. Are you photographing/videoing other events the same day as mine? It’s not necessarily a deal breaker if they are photographing two events in one day, but just know that they will be time restrained, and if you’re the second event, they may be exhausted.
  10. Is it ok if guests take photos? It should be fine if guests take photos. Obviously, Uncle Bob can’t be in the way of the photographer and the guests can’t hold up  yours &  the photographers schedule, but it should be fine if they take photos during your event. The only restriction might be during formals due to the time constraints and making sure things go smoothly – so be prepared for that as well.
  11. If my event runs over, will you stay? Is there an additional charge? Most photographers will stay for an hourly fee. There is nothing wrong with this as long as you are aware of how it works from the beginning. Here is a great article on making sure you have enough hours of coverage.
  12. What is your refund/cancellation policy? Even though we know you aren’t cancelling your big day, it’s good to know where you stand if there is an emergency. Make sure to ask about date transfers too if you need to change the date of the wedding.
  13. Do you have insurance? Yes. The answer here is always yes. Make sure they have liability and equipment insurance. No exceptions to this one.

So, yes, while shopping for Asheville Wedding Photographer Prices is important and a valuable part of your search, there are other factors that should be considered when choosing a photographer. Make sure to protect yourself and have gorgeous images to show for years to come!

Have any other questions you’d like answered? Email me at

Still looking for an Asheville wedding photographer? I’d be happy to chat with you about your big day. Contact me here.

How to Look Your Best on Your Wedding Day | Its Jen Again

How to Look Your Best on Your Wedding Day

We’re here today to talk about wedding day prep. Here are some tips on how to look your best on your wedding day:

  1. Tanning: If you’re going to tan before the wedding, be sure to avoid tan lines – especially if you have a strapless dress. If you’re getting married in the summer, make sure that in the two to three months leading up to your wedding you’re tanning evenly to avoid tan lines.
  2. Hair & Makeup: Get your hair and makeup professionally done. Be sure to do a trial run beforehand to ensure you like the look before your big day.
  3. Accessories: Try on your dress with different accessories you think you want to wear on your wedding day. This way, you know what it looks like with the dress so you know for sure what you want to wear, and are not trying to decide on a necklace, etc. on the day of your wedding. This takes away getting ready time and causes unnecessary stress.
  4. Shoes: Walk around in your wedding shoes prior to the big day to get them worn in. Also, take some sandpaper to the bottoms to scuff them up a bit so you don’t slip down the aisle or on the dance floor. If you are going to walk around in grass, you’ll want to get some high heel protector caps so you don’t sink in the grass. Also be conscious of walking on uneven grass so you don’t face plant in your pretty white dress.
  5. Eat & Drink: The best way for you to look your best is to stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water the days leading up to, and the day of, your wedding. Also, be sure to eat on your wedding day throughout the day so you don’t pass out or get a headache. And if you’re going to drink alcohol, don’t get drunk before photos – especially if it’s red wine that can stain everything (including your mouth). Save it for after all the big events at your reception.

Get details and pricing on hiring Its Jen Again as your Asheville Wedding Photographer by Its Jen Again or get more Asheville Wedding Planning Tips.

Have any questions about how to look your best on your wedding day? Email me at or contact me here.