Is it Spring?

This has been the strangest pattern of weather.  I’m not sure what happened to winter.  We missed it entirely and went from fall to spring.  No snow.  While I’m not a huge fan of copious amounts of frozen precipitation, I do like a soft fluffy snowfall that melts in a couple of days-preferable on a weekend.  Out west they are getting feet of snow and scads of rain.  The drought in California seems to be over.  The concern now is how bad will the bugs be this year?!  By June the mosquitos will be big enough to carry of a small cat!  If the weather holds, we be planting gardens and flowers soon.  Strange weather, but I am enjoying it!

Dance Dance Dance

Working with Caroline was and is truly a joy!  Caroline joined our “team” in 2016 as a Student Ambassador.  As a freshman at South Warren High Scool, Caroline is involved in the Leadership Team.  She is a pre-professional dancer and has already earned scholarships!  During our shoots, she works tirelessly to hold the poses I ask from her and that helps me “get that perfect shot”!  We at The Studio will be watching her through the coming years as she works to perfect her craft and strengthen her dance skills!  We are cheering her on as she reaches for her dreams! Want to schedule your own dance session?  Call 270-791-6159. 

Want to be a part of our team of Student Ambassadors?  Contact me today at

#thestudiosky @SOKYed Studio

Live to Serve 

Jesus Prom was a huge success!  This is the 3rd or 4th time I have been blessed to take “Prom Portraits” at Jesus Prom and I can honestly say that it was a huge blessing!  I think each and every volunteer and attendee had a massive amount of fun.  The portrait process went more smoothly than ever before!  I wish I could share the images but without a signed release, I can not be sure that I have permission.  Just know that everyone had fun and my participation makes me a better person and photographer.  I can not thank my assistants, Brianna Spain and Madelyn Yonts, enough!  They worked tirelessly to make the event go a smoothly as possible for us!  From set up to break down, we worked as a team!  Thank you Pastor Ben for letting me be a part of the joy!#thestudiosky

Weddings, Weddings, and more Weddings!

Wow!  In the past month we have had 4 –yes 4 — engagements in our family!  Needless to say, we are all scrambling to find ways to plan wonderful weddings without insane costs!  Here are a few penny-pinching ideas that might be beneficial to you (and to us).

  1. Plan an off-season or off day ceremony.  Some venues offer a discounted rate for weddings that are NOT on a Saturday.  and many times the other vendors may also be cheaper as well, such as caterers, photographers,DJ’s etc.  Or by planning a beach wedding in the late Spring-before rates go up you may be able to save a bundle and have the bonus of everyone getting a mini vacay to boot!
  2. Take you time.  Planning a longer engagement allows you to wait for discounts and sales on everything from food to detail pieces… remember when the hobby store had that great sale on charger plates?  You can snap them up when they are cheapest and keep your costs lower.  Now, be careful to keep lists so you don’t accidentally purchase doubles of things!
  3. Have your ceremony and reception at the same location.  This can be a benefit by only having one venue fee and your guests are less like to get lost or decide to forego the reception and leave you with extra/wasted food.
  4.  Keep alcohol to a minimum.  By limiting options and simplifying the beverage menu, you can buy in bulk and save dollars.  Beer and a limited wine option will keep you within your budget.  Sometimes, you can find a local wine that is wonderful (and cheaper).
  5. Consider a simple Cake and champagne punch reception for the bulk of your guests and have a more relaxed intimate dinner/after party for the people you are closest to– family and just-like- family friends!  This can take a chunk out of the food costs!
  6. DIY some things.  There are so many ideas for DIY details, decorations, invitations, centerpieces, etc on pinterest.  Go back to #2… plenty of time to do these  projects yourself and make everything more personal.
  7. When people offer to help… let them!  If Aunt Sally says what can I do? ask her to purchase wedding favors or bubbles or if she makes an awesome apple pie consider adding asking her to help make deserts… adding homemade desserts to your cake table adds a touch of nostalgia and whimsy and trims your budget by a few dollars!
  8. Going back to #2 — consider growing your own flowers.  Not everyone has the space/time/talent to grow flowers.  But, if you do, cha-ching!  Planning a fall wedding? Plant tons of sunflowers and they should be perfect for decorating just in time for the festivities.  Gladioli are beautiful and easy to grow as well.  Then by adding in eucalyptus, leather-leaf, greenery or ivy you can have beautiful decorations and centerpieces with minimal cost (in dollars).  A minor investment in on the front end and a major bonus at completion.
  9. Everyone wants to be fashion forward.  However, planning a wedding a year out will allow you to purchase end of season dresses for bridesmaids and mothers-of-the bride thus saving a bit of money for everyone… now that means no one can gain or lose a ton of weight.. or you’ll need a great alterations person.
  10. Lastly, don’t serve a sit down dinner.  If you plan you ceremony in the early afternoon then you can offer hors d’oeuvres and cocktails.  The upside is you get to head out to your honeymoon earlier.  The downside, less dancing and drinking… depending on your family that might be in the plus column though!

It’s All About the Cake 

It is definitely “that time of year”. Between Christmas and Valentines Day, more people get engaged than any other time of the year.  Every time I look at social media, I see another pretty girl showing off a ring.  There is that euphoric period, everyone congratulating the happy couple…. followed by the frenzy of planning.  

Now, don’t get me wrong, I love a good wedding.  As a photographer, they are a big part of our business.  However, things can get out of hand in a hurry!  It is important to sit down with pencil and paper and plan a serious budget.  Then, do yourself a favor, and look into hiring a wedding coordinator.  There are many many ways a coordinator can help you save time and money.  Their connections with various vendors can help shave down dollars.  Additionally, they have a firm grasp on the little expenses that can sneak into your budget and break the bank.
After all the cake is gone and everything has been dry cleaned and preserved, the portraits are going to be displayed in your home for generations.  So, choosing a photographer may be one of the most important decisions you will make.  It is, unfortunately, a place where many couple will try to save a few dollars and then be dissatisfied and disappointed.  Custom portraits with a qualified professional are an investment and finding a photographer with the skill and experience to capture your most precious memories while enhancing the wedding day is blessing!  

Planning the wedding is all fun and games until the bills come in.  Remember, it’s a wedding…the marriage needs to last a lifetime.  That’s where that budget comes in.  If you want to have a fantastic celebration without selling a kidney, consider a longer engagement and that way you can budget the expenses over a period of time.  Also, consider non-traditional days… a Friday night or Sunday evening, instead of the traditional Saturday may save you money with the caterer, the photographer, the DJ and the venue.  Consider a more traditional venue… a church!  In recent years, brides have gotten away from the “church wedding” for a variety of reasons.  But, the church for the ceremony may still be the most cost effective event space.  A secondary location for the reception a would allow a slightly lower table count for dinner as some guest will not elect to go to the reception.  Another option is a simple cake and punch reception immediately following the ceremony, then an after party that is more intimate (and less expensive) for your closest family and friends at a secondary location!  

Then, there is the trend of destination weddings.  Planning a destination wedding has a whole different kind of stress.  It’s difficult to know who the best vendors are from hours away… enter the coordinator.  Remember, just because you are choosing to travel to have your wedding does not mean you can’t have your favorite photographer.  Most professionals have experience traveling with the necessary equipment and would love to go with you to capture amazing portraits.  Personally, I actually want to do destinations… I love the beach!  Be sure to research any local ordinances.  No one wants to get a ticket as a souvenir. You can plan an early morning shoot the day after for couples portraits on the beach and families traveling with you can get those awesome beach portraits they have always wanted as well!

Let’s get started with the planning…. Bridalfest is February 19 from 12-4pm at the Sloan Convention Center.  The Studio on Main will be there so come on out, say hi and see what the best wedding vendors have to offer!  There will be door prizes…and cake!    —Erin D.


Frustration and Stress

How in the world (and why) do we continue to allow companies like Comcast to remain in business?  Why do we not have some alternative?  Comcast has some of the most ridiculously dishonest and prohibitive practices. .  If I were to stop paying my bill, they would disconnect my service (without leaving their comfy office) in a New York minute.  But, when we want to disconnect, we have to give them 30-60 DAYS to get around to the disconnect… while they continue to charge us…  How is this acceptable business practices?  I really wish there were some other alternative in this area.  Truthfully, I expect all other Cable providers are equally dishonest in their business practices.  It isnt any wonder that we as a country struggle with dishonest politicians and people in authority. What happened to “Let your Yes be your yes, and your no be your no”? or “My word is my bond”?  Makes me wish I was independently wealthy and could hire a lawyer to pursue this all the way to the Supreme Court.

Learning is Life!

Photo Pro Expo..Did you miss it?  If you are a portrait photographer in Kentucky, you missed an amazing opportunity to here/see/work with some of the very best photographers in the world.  Training under the World-famous Hanson Fongwas worth the trip alone!  Learning posing, creating triangles, M’s, W’s, Nike Swish!  Learning to pose people who are not models- who come in different shapes and sizes. Posing singles, couples, and groups, open and closed posing, and the art of uneven heights.

In addition to the valuable instruction, PhotoPro Expo includes a print competition.  Prints are judged by experienced PPA (Professional Photographers of America) judges, using the 12 elements of the Merit Prints.  The art was amazing!  Watching the print judging was eye opening.  I think it provided me with a great deal of insight into how to improve my entries going forward.  I did merit with one image👍🏼.

On top of all that, there were parties and a wonderful trade show with vendors from across the country who offer products and tools to help us as photographers to be more successful and profitable.

Here is my 2 cents, if you are a professional, or want to be a professional, then it’s time to join PhotoPro Network which is the KY affiliate of PPA.  Joining is easy and relatively inexpensive.  To join, go to and be a part of the best affiliate organization and next year, make sure you are here at Photo Pro Expo 2018!

What to Wear?

One of the questions I get asked before almost every session is “What should I wear?”  You don’t necessarily need to dress up for your session.  Often, the best images are created in clothing that you are comfortable wearing and that fit your style.  It is fairly important to “keep it simple”.   By this, I mean choose solid or semi-solid colors and coordinate your outfits as much as possible.  Do not try to be “matchy-matchy” but choose a color family.

Steer clear of busy patterns, extremely bright colors, or logos.  We want to focus on you!  Consider bringing along several different clothing changes.  Don’t forget the accessories!  Earrings, shoes, bracelets create the total package!  If you have an absolute favorite shirt, jacket etc… by all means bring it with you!

A Little Hot Air

It has been a very busy weekend.  Kicking things off with a great session for the South Warren Middle School Cheer team,I finished up my Friday at the US Bank Balloon Classic. The Classic is always a big winner with families!  There is something so exciting about getting to be up close to the colorful silks of those balloons!   The heat of the burners used to heat the air to fill them is quite the adrenaline rush.  While I did not get to go up in a balloon this year, I will definitely make that a priority next year.
Almost as much fun as watching them fill the balloons, is watching the faces and hearing the excitement in the kids!  It starts way out in the parking area as the can hardly contain their excitement, dancing along beside their parents.  There were bounce houses for the kiddos and cotton candy, ice cream and a variety of beverages and food to enjoy!


A few month ago, I started a personal project I call the Ingenue Project.  I wanted to capture  that sliver of time in a girls life… that time between child and woman, between innocence and maturity.  I started by inviting moms of girls in the right age range to participate.  I wanted to be able to show them their inner and outer beauty as I see it through the lens of my camera.

This is an ongoing priject for me.  Im not sure I will ever be completely done.  I would liek to publish the image sin a book one day.  I ned to create more images before that dream can come to pass.  If you know of anyone who might be interested in being a part of the Ingenue prject please have them contact me at The Studio on Main.  South Central Kentucky’s best full service studio located in the heart of Historic downtown Franklin, KY.   270-791-6159     Extraordinary Images for every Occasion!