A Garden Party Interview: Tina Jay Photography

  Well, I hope you enjoyed reading about The Sweet Life Bakery last week. This week, I have interviewed Tina from Tina Jay Photography. If you frequently read A Garden Party's blog, you know that Mary and Dawn constantly rave about Tina. Here is what Tina had to say about being a wedding photographer...

Why should engaged couples choose your services?

Photography is one of the most important aspects of your wedding day; your photos are the only thing you'll have left after the wedding! It's the only way to preserve the moments on one of the most special days of your lives, and these pictures will be treasured by your family for many generations to come.  Choosing the right photographer, and not just booking whoever is cheapest, is one of the most important wedding decisions you'll make.

What makes your business stand out? The relationships I form with my brides are what make me stand out among the competition.  I love when brides become friends of mine, so I'm not just another vendor showing up on the wedding day.  I think it adds something to your photographs, when we actually form a personal connection rather than me just showing up without ever meeting the bride or groom before the wedding day. (We couldn't agree more Tina! We feel the same way about forming friendships with our brides!)

Why did you want to enter the wedding industry? I was working as a CPA in a public accounting firm when I first started my journey into wedding photography. When I shot my first wedding, I realized THIS is what I'm meant to do with my life, not sit in a cubicle.  I love that my job involves hanging out with amazing couples on one of the happiest days of their lives; it doesn't get much better than that!

Is this a family owned business? I started this business on my own about four years ago. I quit my day job and have never looked back.  I personally shoot all of the weddings, and I also bring a second shooter to the weddings with me.

What is your favorite part of being involved in weddings? I love documenting the love between a couple and bringing out the personalities and qualities that make them unique.  I also love documenting all the moments of a wedding day, knowing that they will become treasured memories held in that family for years and years. I always consider it a great honor when couples choose me for the job. What advice would you offer to engaged couples looking for a vendor who provides your services? I always have two very important suggestions for couples when they're looking for a wedding photographer. 1) Make sure your personality clicks with the photographer.  They're the one vendor who will be with you all day long, so you have to make sure it's someone you want around you all day long.  I've heard so many brides say they wish they would have thought of that when hiring their wedding photographers. 2) Make sure to ask photographers to see an entire edited wedding that they've shot.  So many photographers make the images on their website/blog look amazing; then they hardly touch the rest of the photos, so it can be a little misleading.  I strive to make each and every picture I deliver have the same quality as the ones you see in my website/blog.

What general advice would you offer engaged couples? Planning a wedding can be incredibly overwhelming.  I always suggest booking all of your major vendors as soon as you get engaged, since it feels like a huge weight off your shoulders when you have all of that set in place.  Then you can take a break, and just enjoy planning all of the little details as you get closer to the wedding date.  Also, check out wedding websites like Style Me Pretty and Wedding Chicks. They really give you inspiration and ideas for your day.

What are your short and long term goals? My short term goal is to continue booking weddings as I have been, filling up my 2012 and 2013 wedding weekends.  My long term goal is to potentially hire more photographers for my business, which will allow me to offer brides different packages based on the photographer you choose.

Additional Comments: Two more things I always suggest to brides: 1) Do an engagement session!  A lot of people ask what the point is of an engagement session.  Besides having amazing photos of the two of you (duh!), it's great to schedule an engagement session with your photographer.  This session gives you a chance to bond with the photographer and learn a little bit about each other. It also gives you a good idea of what to expect on your wedding day.  That way you'll feel at ease on your big day. 2) Do a First Look session!  This is when the bride and groom decide to see each other before the ceremony.  The traditional notion of waiting to see each other when you walk down the aisle is going by the wayside. About 80% of my brides are opting for a First Look session.  It's great because it gets jitters out of the way, it's an intimate moment just between the two of you, and it gives you the opportunity to get all photos (family and bridal party as well) done before the ceremony.  That means you can go straight to your cocktail hour and enjoy the party.  And I promise, you still get the same "feeling" walking down the aisle.

Obviously, Tina is an amazing photographer. She loves her job, and she has sound advice to offer both the bride and groom. One look at her work and you will see exactly why A Garden Party loves Tina! Check out these weddings photographed by Tina Jay Photography.

Jena and Mike at Centerton Country Club

Adelina and Michael at the Hyatt Regency


Sara and Simon at the Mansion

Kari and Dave featured on Style Me Pretty

Sarah’s Winter Wedding at Waterfalls in Claymont, DE


Love what you see? Check out even more photos on Tina’s official website and her blog.

We’d love to know, who is your favorite photographer? What is most important to you when choosing a photographer?


***Just a reminder, we will be closed July 9th through the 17th, as we will be on our annual family beach vacation to Strathmere! Emails and phone calls will be answered upon returning to the office on July 18th, I just hate when my laptop gets sandy :) I will be scanning messages, so if something critical pops up, we will get back to ya ASAP. Thanks for understanding and have a great week!

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