Q&A WITH B. JONES

Q&A WITH B. JONES

What style(s) do you specialize in?
My aesthetic is bright & airy, inspired by Fuji film and filled with authentic emotion.

Will the photos be retouched and color balanced? Is that done before I see the proofs?
I hand edit all the images before delivery. It’s all part of the luxury experience I provide. 

Wedding Humor Courtesy of my Mama

A little 'funny' courtesy of my mama.

One day, when I was attending Western Washington University and still living at home, I opened the fridge to find a sticky note attached to a bowl of fresh cut cantaloupe. "Cantelope without a man."

Every time I cut cantaloupe now, I smile and remember the sweet little sticky note my mama left for me. :)

Wedding Pun

Tips for Planning a Wedding in The San Juan Islands: Part One

Tips for Planning a Wedding in The San Juan Islands: Part One

As a Bellingham native and a devoted PNW’n’er, the San Juan Islands are basically my backyard. After many years of family vacations & destination weddings on Orcas, San Juan & Lopez Island — I’m a pro at getting the best deals on places to stay and navigating the ferry system. I know the best places to get married on the islands and I have a list of adventures/booze/bites that’ll make you want to visit each island at least once! 

Finding the Perfect Wedding Dress in (Greater) Seattle

 
B. Jones Photography
B. Jones Photography
 

There is nothing more personal to a bride on her wedding day, than the dress she’s picked to wear.  The dress that makes you feel fantastic, look stunning and is forever immortalized in your wedding pictures.  You know the dress as soon as you put it on, it’s just a matter of finding it.  I’ve gathered five of my absolute favorite dress shops in Seattle that you should definitely stop by on your search for THE dress.  In no particular order…

MeaMarie Bridal Altelier

30 Lake Shore Plaza 

Kirkland, WA 98033

 

      MeaMarie Bridal Altelier is a must have in my top five.  Proudly boasting as Seattle’s Premier Couture Bridal Experience, MeaMarie has the class and style to back it up.   Run by Rachelle Witt and Mea Mendez, MeaMarie carries some of the most gorgeous wedding dresses I’ve ever head to good fortune of photographing.  With decades of experience between the ladies, Rachelle and Mea have taken a private-suite and transformed it into an experience in and of itself.  

     “My love for bridal started over 20 years ago.  I had a strong passion with playing dress up and was mesmerized by beautiful gowns. When we purchase dresses from designers from all over the world, we don’t just see dresses we see the art and design of that dress.”-Mea

      Looking through the walls of gorgeous dresses you can take your pick of designers, from Eve of Milady, Cristiano Lucci, Pedram Couture, and Anny Lin, just to name a few.  If you are looking for that fairytale wedding dress, MeaMarie needs to be on your short-list.  MeaMarie is by appointment only, which means you will get their undivided attention, and you can give your undivided attention to finding that perfect dress.

Dress range: $2000-$10000;

most range between $2500-$5000

 

Alicia’s Bridal & The Formal House Tuxedos

1400 N State St, Ste 102

Bellingham, WA 98225

 

     My top five list would be completely amiss without including my favorite Bellingham based bridal shop.  After all, Alicia’s is where I knew I had to shop when it was time for me to pick the dress I’d been dreaming about since I was a little girl, and where I really started in the industry.  A family-owned business for over 60 years, Alicia’s wide selection of designers, not only in dresses, but tux’s as well, makes it a top contender in the industry.  Pam Reed and her team of bridal consultants have all the know-how of a big city bridal shop, with a small-town feel.  

     “I love what I do…working with the brides, hearing their vision for the wedding and making it all happen! Over the past 30 years I’ve formed such close bonds with our designers and our brides.  We honestly love what we do, and just want our brides to feel the same way about us!”

     To top it off they support on of my favorite designers, and Bellingham local, Heidi Hull who designs absolutely stunning, one-of-a-kind jewelry, accessories and veils.  Alicia’s also has a fantastic outlet right next door if you’re on a more modest budget!  So, take a trip up north, check out the city of subdued excitement (oh, Bellingham, nothing but love for ya) and check out Alicia’s!  And by the way, no appointment needed!

Dress range: $700-$2800;

most range between $1400-$1800

 

LaineeMeg

1212 First Street

Snohomish, WA 98290

 

Celebrating their 10th year in business this year, LaineeMeg is an Instagram worthy bridal studio located in the Historic Snohomish Shopping District.  Ladies, it is a must-see.  Seriously, grab your girls, grab you Mom and plan a girl’s day in Snohomish because you are going to need to grab lunch after to GUSH about how much you love LaineeMeg.  Aside from carrying gowns from top designers, LaineeMeg boasts their own line, Ma Nani Anake, which is designed by studio owner, Zerlinda and her fabulous team.  These ladies are going to make you feel like you found a part of your family you hadn’t realized you were missing.  Their passion to make your experience as perfect as it can be is evident from the moment you walk in.  

“We believe in honesty, kindness and want you to leave feeling like you have made new friends! My favorite part of what we do is when a bride leaves having found the perfect dress, gives me a hug, and says she loved the experience, us, and most importantly, her dress.”-Zerlinda

The store is by appointment only, so be sure to plan ahead and reserve your private bridal suite.

Dresses start at $1100

 

Cicada

90 Madison St. Seattle, WA 98104

 

      If you are looking for a custom gown, come to Cicada.  I’m talking, you’ve created a vision board and aren’t sure how to put it into words kind of custom gown…Jen and Elizabeth are who you need.  These ladies know how to decipher your hard to express ideas and transform them into THAT dress.  Of course, you can also book an appointment, take a look at their sample dresses and get started there as well.  Either way, all you need to do is be honest and they’ve got you, girl!  Cicada offers you the flexibility to have complete creative freedom, and you can rest assured that you’ll have a one-of-a-kind gown on your big day.  

Dress range: $2000-$5000, depending on fabric type, amount, design time etc.

($10 3-hour valet parking available through Alexis Hotel next door)

 

The Dress Theory

1423 N 45th St.

Seattle, WA 98103

 

     Last, but definitely not least, we have to talk about The Dress Theory.  Their site boasts that their dresses (or maybe their brides?) are “commanding, comfortable, & very, very cool.”  Either way, I couldn’t agree more.  This isn’t the store you go to for that “classic” gown.  This is the store you go to for a romantic, free-spirited, fashion-forward, classy yet bohemian gown.  Yes, I’m aware there are a lot of adjectives going on there, but you have to trust me, their dresses encapsulate them all.  The Seattle location is one of three sister-owned locations (San Diego and Nashville being the other) by Camille & Summer Wynn.  These ladies have traveled far and wide to find the absolute best of the best when it comes to designers, and it shows.  If you are looking for a timeless dress, make an appointment at The Dress Theory.  They won’t disappoint.

Dress range: $2000-$8000; most range between $2500-$4500

Wedding Photography: You Get What You Pay For

Wedding Photography: You Get What You Pay For

“You want to charge how much?”

“You seriously charge that much just to show up and take photos?”

“All It takes to get good photos is a good camera…my cousin can do it, she just picked up a new camera from Costco”

*Cue eyeroll*

Why I became a Wedding Photographer 5.5 years ago

Before I even met my future husband, I had our wedding ALL planned out. Yep. I was that girl. I was SO obsessed with weddings that I took any job that would allow me to be within the wedding industry. I started off selling engagement rings for a local jeweler and spent more time dreamily trying on rings then actually selling. #whoops Clearly, it wasn't the right job for me. ;) 

Seattle Wedding Photographer | snohomish wedding photographer |

After my brief stint in fine jewelry, I began work at one of the sweetest family own bridal shops in Bellingham, Alicia's Bridal. I LOVED being around the hustle, joy & giddyness of brides searching for their dream gowns. AND, I was always happy to volunteer to try on the newest samples that arrived in the store so the owner could 'see them on a real person.' Needless to say, I got particular REAL quick about what type of wedding dress I wanted. But I digress... 

When it was finally my turn to be the bride, I received the most beautiful photos I girl could ask for. Those photos and the experience made me feel beautiful & special...and I had SO MANY PROFILE PICS to choose from...and I received SO MANY COMPLIMENTS on my gorgeous wedding photos. At the time, many of my friends were also getting married. I heard so many stories from my girls about their 'horrible wedding photos.' It was disheartening, I believe every bride deserves to have the quality of photos & a amazing experience I had.

A month after our honeymoon, I returned to me grown-up-big-girl-insurance-company day job. ugh. Another job choice that was doing nothing for my creative spirit & need to be around weddings. As I was listening to the audio book, the 4-hr workweek and brain storming potential careers, it hit me!

I LOVE WEDDINGS.

PHOTOGRAPHERS MAKE A SHIT LOAD OF MONEY.

I'D ONLY HAVE TO WORK ONE DAY A WEEK!!

I SHOULD TOTALLY BECOME A WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHER. 

I called my husband and hashed it out with him. He's so used to my 'latest obsession' phone calls that he was fairly unfazed by my latest brilliant idea. I think one of his first questions was, "how much is this going to cost?" hah!

Welp, 5.5 years later and that 'latest obsession' of becoming a wedding photographer is not only still going strong, but I'd like to not-so-humbly say, I feel like I'm doing a pretty great job!

Side note: let me dispel some myths from my earlier thoughts about becoming a wedding photographer. 

I LOVE WEDDINGS. -- Yep, still true! 

PHOTOGRAPHERS MAKE A SHIT LOAD OF MONEY. - hah! Yes I make a large gross but my take home is like 50% after business expenses & taxes. The reality of 30% of my income going to taxes is still SO DISAPPOINTING. I'd rather buy more boat shoes.

I'D ONLY HAVE TO WORK ONE DAY A WEEK!! - Nope, not even close. I work 3 hrs every day during the off season and closer to 30-40 hrs a week during wedding season. BUT, it does come with a fair amount of flexibility that means I get to stay home with my kidlets.

I SHOULD TOTALLY BECOME A WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHER. - Still the right choice. <3

 

Talking the Talk (Engagement Ring Style)

Talking the Talk (Engagement Ring Style)

POP QUIZ! Tell me the 4 Cs! Okay, you may know all of those, most ready to be engaged person does…but does your significant other?  They really should.  Unless your love plans on popping the question with a family heirloom, or you two are planning on tattoo rings (you do you!) then you should know how to speak the engagement ring lingo.  An engagement ring can be a HUGE investment; months of salary saved up.  You don’t want to have buyer’s remorse because you didn’t do your research, so consider this your engagement ring class: Ring Speak 101.  By the way, those 4 Cs are cut, color, clarity, and carat. Okay, let’s dive in.

Rattlesnake Ledge Adventure Engagement Session

3 Tools to Automate Your Wedding Photography Business

Tools for Wedding Photographers

Start your year off on the right foot by getting your systems dialed in so that once the busy season picks up, you can still maintain your momentum & feel/look super professional!

A CRM with customizable automated workflows: 17hats

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I use 17hats. It allows me to create a consistent workflow for each wedding and engagement client. Below is the workflow I used for all my 2017 weddings. I have email templates set with reminders to send them out at a designated amount of time prior to their wedding. For example, every one of my couples receives a series of planning tips emails 6 months, 3 months, 1 week and 3 days before their wedding. Providing this planning information helps set expectations for their wedding day and ensures we're both on the same page. 

Here's the template for the email I send out 3 months before their wedding day. 

"Dear [Brides Name],

3 more months to go! 

I just wanted to check in to see how things are going with the wedding? If you have questions about anything, please feel free to reach out to me. I'm here to help! Within the next few weeks, you will start getting additional helpful hints from me. They will help you to achieve the perfect timeline for your wedding, reduce the stress typically associated with family photos, and many other helpful tips. Please be on the look out for those emails! 

In the mean time -- check out this blog post about swanky newly wed discounts #freestuff #swag
https://www.bjonesphotos.com/blog/newlywed-discoun...


Again, please feel free to contact me if I can be of any help! 

xoxo,
Becca"

Easy Bookkeeping Tracking -- Quickbooks Small Business

Previously I was using the bookkeeping options available within 17hats but found their available reports to be lacking. Quickbooks small business has this neat feature that offers insights into what to expect to pay on your taxes based on your current income & expenses. I still hire a professional CPA to do our taxes because our finances/investments are pretty darn complicated and going DIY is too intimidating. What I love best about this bookkeeping system is that it is EASY. I sync my business credit card & checking account info and it automatically pulls all my transactions into the system daily. Every few days, I'll go in and categorize a few transactions and that's it! At the end of the year, I hand my accountant a few reports available through Quickbooks and I don't have to do anything else. SO GREAT. It also has the added benefit of offering a mobile app. As a mom, finding time to sit in front of the computer to work is a commodity! So being able to do bookkeeping from my phone in the playroom while the kids do their Legos is a huge win! 

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Pre-scheduled Instagram & Pinterest posting -- Tailwind

I use Tailwind to schedule all my pinterest & instagram posts. I feel like Pinterest is sort of an under the radar way to reach brides that isn't super saturated with a bajillion other photographers. I received 6 wedding inquiries from brides who found me on Pinterest last year and 3 of them ended up booking me. #WINNING I recently started using Tailwind and boosted my Pinterest reach from 75,000+ to 105,000 in a month. I also use it to schedule my Instagram posts. One of my favorite features about Tailwind for Instagram is that it suggests relevant hashtags and then ranks them to let you know whether they a Niche, Oversaturated, Ok, Good, or Great.

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Pet Wedding Inspiration | "Our Humans are Getting Married!"

Tips: Being a Nursing Mom & Wedding Photographer

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Many of my fellow momtogs have lamented about the difficulties of being a nursing mom and trying to shoot an ALL day wedding. During an 8-10 hr wedding, there is limited time to eat, drink, let alone pump. It's stressful because this can cause a mommy to lose her milk. 

So I want to share my experience and things I've learned that have helped maintain my milk supply. 

Tips:

1. Quick & Easy Snacks! I always carry tiny snacks in my camera bag & pump bag. I often scarf them down between locations while shooting or while the bride & groom are wrangling their people for family photos, I'll take a few steps away from the group, turn my back and stuff as much food in my mouth as I can manage.

Snack options that are easy and convenient:

  • Individually packed nut butter 
  • Granola Bars
  • Apple Slices
  • Fruit Leather
  • Trail Mix
  • Baby food squeeze packs. (I'm obsessed)
 This is really what I take with me! I just pulled these out of my camera bag.&nbsp;

This is really what I take with me! I just pulled these out of my camera bag. 

 My husband teases me that I still use my hospital water bottles. (Baby Jack is 3 months old.)

My husband teases me that I still use my hospital water bottles. (Baby Jack is 3 months old.)

2. Make sure you are drinking TONS of water. I always bring two full water bottles with me to a wedding. I drink half of one on my way there. I drink another full one when we are driving between locations and right before the ceremony. Then I drink another half on my way home. Another easy way to get water is to send your second photographer to fetch you some during family photos or when he/she is not busy. No need to feel like a diva, you're a nursing mom and need your fluids!

3. Find time to pump. I know, it's hard, it's inconvenient, and it's awkward doing it anywhere other than home. A few ways to over come this:

  • Pump in your car while driving between locations
  • Pump during your dinner break
  • Pump on your way home at the end of the night. 

Even if you're only at one location, that's still two pumping opportunities! 

 

 

 Mommy's Milk Smoothie

Mommy's Milk Smoothie

BONUS: Drink mommy's milk smoothies! 

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup apple sauce
  • 2 bananas
  • 1/2 cup of oats
  • 1 lb of chia seeds
  • 2 tbls Brewers Yeast
  • 1/2 cup of peanut butter
  •  2 scoops of Barleans Chocolate Greens

Blend until smooth.

 

 Photo Credit: Sarah Sweetman Photography

Photo Credit: Sarah Sweetman Photography

From Bridal Consultant --> Bride --> Wedding Photographer - I'm wedding obsessed!

I've been obsessed with weddings & LOVE & pretty bridal details since waaaay before I became a wedding photographer.

 

Things I've learned along my journey:

As a Bridal Consultant at Alicias Bridal

Seattle Wedding Photographer | snohomish wedding photographer |
  • Order the gown in the size you measure for, even if you plan to lose weight! It's SOOOO much easier to alter a gown smaller, it's A LOT harder to let it out. Often times, there is only an inch or so of seam to let out on a gown. 
  • Bring 1-2 people gown shopping. Too many opinions will make the experience stressful and it's often hard to decide when you have to factor in so many voices. 

As a Bride: 

  • Hire a day of coordinator. She took care of EVERY detail on the wedding day and I got to be blissfully unaware of any issues. <3
  • Do as many photos as you can BEFORE the ceremony. Our day felt relaxed & carefree because we didn't have to cram all our photos into the 1 hr between the ceremony & reception. 
  • During our cocktail hour, we opted to spend 20 min together on the beach sipping drinks and just reveling in the magic of being freshly married. It was one of the best parts of our wedding day. My advice: if you can, take a few minutes to be together without cameras or guests.

As a Wedding Photographer: 

  • Once you book your photographer, ask them to create a timeline for you. Having a timeline at the beginning of your planning process makes your wedding vision tangible. Being able to share this timeline with all your wedding vendors at the beginning makes the whole process run smoother and ensures everyone is on the same page. 
  • Go all out for your engagement photos! Buy the longest/most fabulous gown you can afford and get your hair & makeup professionally done! These photos are going to be displayed in your home for a lifetime....and all over social media. Get dolled up, jus' sayin'.

Nudge, Nudge! I'm ready for you to propose.

Nudge, Nudge!  I'm ready for you to propose.

Take the hint; I’m ready for you to propose!

For the Quick-Plan Summer Bride...

For the Quick-Plan Summer Bride...

Planning a summer wedding -- eek, it's 2018 and time to get serious. Here's some advice from a seasoned pro, Rachel of Manette Gracie Events.

About The B. Jones Bride

The #bjonesbride loves any and all of the following: 

Kayak Point Engagement. Snohomish Engagement Photographer.
  • Kate Spade 

  • The color mint

  • All things nautical 

  • Glitter and/or Sequins

  • Seahawks Fans 

  • Wedding Magazines

  • Golden Retrievers 

  • Receiving Christmas cards 

  • The Show "Fixer Upper" 

  • Hiking

  • Boating

 

Celebrate Your Engagement With a Free Mini Session!

Free mini sessions with every consultation - if you love the photos and book your wedding, you get all the digitals from the session free!

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Best White Tent Wedding Venues in the PNW

There's something about a big white tent that just says "WEDDING."

Confession: When I got married in 2012 at Semiahmoo Resort, my favorite things about the venue were the chiffon lined tent & the great view. This got me thinking, surely there are other brides who dream of a white tent wedding. So here's a list of my favorite white tent weddings to provide a little inspo for you!

(In no particular order. Just like a mom, I love all my brides the same.)

Hire out or DIY? | Wedding Planning Tips

B. Jones Photography - Hire out or DIY. www.bjonesphotos.com

There is a saying:

"You can have things fast, good, or cheap: pick two."

  • You can get something fast and cheap, but the quality isn’t going to be good.
  • You can get something fast and good, but it won’t be cheap.
  • You can get something good and cheap, but you won’t get it fast.

Of course, in the ideal situation, you’d get all three, but that’s just not how it works.  So, you have to find the balance so you can spend the money on the things you can’t do yourself, and shell out for the other things that really should be left to the professionals.

Hire a Professional for…

The Music

It is totally fine to play DJ for your engagement party, a road trip, and your office work party, but leave it to a professional when it comes to your wedding and reception.  You’ll get the opportunity to chat with your DJ or band beforehand, and make sure that they are going to play the kind of music (and special songs) that you want to hear.  Besides that, they’ll be gauging the mood of you and your guests and tailoring the songs to keep the party going.  

The Photography

Everybody has a camera these days.  Not everyone really knows how to use it. Your photographs should tell the story of your wedding day, and they are what you are going to have for the rest of your life to remember the day.  Obviously, you can’t really do this one yourself, but this should be one you hire professionally.  A hobby photographer probably won’t be prepared for how quick paced and stressful getting the perfect shots can be.  After all, there are no “do-overs”!

The Bouquet & Flowers

Colonial Styled Shoot

This one, I go back and forth on.  If you are planning a very small wedding, then maybe you could tackle this one on your own.  I’m talking 5 centerpieces, a bouquet and a boutonniere.  Anything bigger than that, do yourself a favor and hire out.  Flowers require careful handling, temperature control and must be made within a couple days of the wedding.  You’re going to have plenty of last minute things to take care of, don’t make this one.  

Lighting

Lighting can so easily be put on the back-burner and forgotten about until you remember that your wedding may start with the sun out, but by 11 p.m. you have to light that reception up!  Ask any photographer, and they’ll tell you how important good lighting is.  If you hire a wedding coordinator, or use an inclusive venue, odds are this is already being taken care of/considered, but be sure to bring it up, either way.  

Stylist for You & Your Wedding Party

Colonial Styled Shoot

Unless you are super confident in your hair and makeup abilities, and those of your party, hire this out.  Hair stylists know that you expect your style to last through the ceremony and all through the celebrations.  They won’t leave you with wilting curls and pins popping out.  And wedding makeup isn’t the same as your everyday/weekend style.  Make-up artists know you are getting this done to 1) look gorgeous, but 2) look gorgeous in your photographs.  They’re trained in accentuating your features to make them POP in photos.  And, you won’t have to be super concerned with smudges and smears, because they’re using the best, long-lasting product.  Besides, wouldn’t you rather have your party drinking mimosas instead of tiring out their arms with curling and pinning?  One definitely sounds better than the other to me.

Bartenders & Food

Most venues require you use a hired bartender, but even if you are just having beer and wine, hire someone who is going to tend the bar and keep things from getting crazy.  You’ll make things far easier for your guests.  And while it can be done by the occasional professional chef or via potluck, the food should be left up to the people who do this for a living.  Besides, the cost of the catering will include clean-up, because who wants to deal with that?

DIY for…

The Favors

Colonial Styled Shoot

Favors are generally something you can tackle far in advance, which makes it a perfect DIY project.  Even if you aren’t making the favors 100% yourself, you can order supplies and assemble them at home, adding a slight personalization.  Your guests won’t get to preoccupied with the favor, it’s the thought that counts.

Centerpieces

I know, I know.  Earlier I told you to have all your flowers done professionally.  Here’s a caveat.  Your centerpieces don’t have to be FRESH flowers.  Heck, they don’t have to be flowers at all.  This is a great DIY project you can knock out what ahead of time, too.  

Signage

You know those chalkboard signs saying, “Mr. & Mrs.” and “Pick a Seat, Not a Side”, they aren’t all that hard to make. If your handwriting leaves something to be desired, I bet one of your bridesmaids/mother/cousin has gorgeous handwriting and would LOVE to help you with this.  Or, you can even buy framed glass and the materials to etch a phrase, psalm, or little something lovely onto it yourself.  This IS something you could have done professionally, but it’s also something that doesn’t have to be perfect.  

Décor

Tread lightly, I don’t mean all of it.  You have to be one AMBITIOUS bride or groom to take on all of the décor on your own (planners and rental companies are your BFF’s here).  That doesn’t mean you can’t pick and choose according to your talents and time.  Pick a few things you can do with confidence.  Maybe it’s a photo tree of you and your love, or place cards, or paper lanterns that you hang from the trees at your reception.   Adding your personal touch and style to your celebration will be noticed by your guests, and will set your wedding apart. 

At the end of the day, remember that weddings are a lot of work, but worth it.  Tackle what you can, and invest in the hard stuff.  And even though you are paying for their services, the professionals want your day to be everything you’ve dreamed it to be. Let them carry the weight and trust that they have your back.  Happy planning!

Ashley & Nick's Winter Wonderland Wedding at Lord Hill Farms | Snohomish, WA