Category Archives: Talking Shop

It’s been quiet in the “wedding” tab here.
There have been quiet evolutions that I felt needed to happen.
This past year I’ve gone from shooting JPG to RAW, Photoshop {and several other post-production programs} to 100% Lightroom, PC to Mac, experimenting with some new photography techniques, and I’ve added a full time second shooter!

Definitely embracing change, but I’ve been slow to show until I felt like I had a handle on all of this.

Ault Park Cincinnati Wedding by

Thank you for your patience, I hope to keep sharing my journey & what I think about these developments to my style & workflow.

Mark & Jenn’s Cincinnati wedding will be posted soon, full of color & summer’s grace. ♥

Find me on Instagram // Pinterest // Facebook // Twitter // Vine

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I’ve finally given up on the notion that I need more hours in day.
My history is brimming with accounts of the rise and fall of working late into night.
Always hoping to maximize my time by somehow extinguishing every bit of energy.
Always ending in a heap of frustration & fatigue.

Managing time is obscure when you work from home & dreams begin as indistinguishable blocks of mud.
And {military} life & children create additional components to the conundrum of getting one chance to create a life.
They don’t make ambitions futile, just the going about them & timing different.
Realizing that they are part of my dream,
is part of unraveling the riddle of how this will all take shape.

They say it’s in the silence that you shape the clay.

For me, stepping away from the hum of social media has been liberating.
Had to admit a need to focus on my weaknesses & redefine my attitude.
I’m shy to even voice my attempts to acknowledge this work in progress,
careful not to speak too soon.
Lest my current enlightenment give way to another dose of “teaching.”
On my blog I’m opening the veil to uncover this living memoir,
the process of etching a dream.


You might notice a fresh look here.
For a year I’ve been going round and round about my “brand” and what to add.
Instead, stripping down & using my handwriting feels like home. ♥

Images iPhone 4 & edited in Afterglow App

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“Nothing was lost in the end, because they had learned how to begin again.”

Alison Sudol of A Fine Frenzy

Images » A Fine Frenzy | Pines » Andrea Dozier Instagram Images » Butterflies & Fall Wedding {iPhone Preview}

Please excuse us while my family is learning to adjust to a different rhythm,
I took off some days to focus on this transition for my kids.
While I’m catching up, A Fine Frenzy’s new album Pines has been keeping me wonderful company. ♥

It was such a treat to see the whole album is on Spotify, love the calming & haunting melodies.
Any other new fall music I’m missing out on?


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Talk about a lovely idea!

As a wedding photographer, it’s always fun to see how brides & grooms have been customizing their wedding celebrations with anything from vintage, DIY decor, eclectic thrift finds, to modern & minimalist fashions.
The new wedding trend is that there is no trend.
It’s about your story & being able to craft a wedding that feels like YOU.
Now there is a way for Dayton locals to style weddings & events by renting the props & furniture.

I was so excited to find out that wedding & portrait photographer, Molly Dues, was starting a modern vintage rental company here in Dayton, Ohio. They are technically located in the charming downtown of Troy, Ohio and have a beautiful studio space above the Obama Center. I might or might not find excuses to stop by and say hello to the friendly & gifted photographers who run it, Molly & Rachel. 🙂

Lovely Rentals was so kind to sponsor a recent engagement session I did and I was so impressed with the stylist they offered to help us, Andria. She was so sweet & we were talking about “kindred spirits” before we knew it. She was really helpful with styling a bohemian engagement session that was absolutely gorgeous. I am so excited to tell my treasure seeking & busy brides about this opportunity to work with a boutique that will help set up engagement sessions, wedding displays {your cake table or guest sign in area}, and special events {bridal showers!}.

You can check out Lovely Rentals on Facebook and stay tuned for their new website launch.

This was all shot in about fifteen minutes because after a long hot summer drought, it finally poured mid session! We decided to reschedule for a couple days later & they had a whole new evening sky to work with. Stay tuned for the second part of Shawn & Jill’s special engagement session.
Thankfully, they had the most gorgeous wedding weather. I think they deserved it after the deluge during their engagement session!
Here is a preview from their beautiful wedding at {newly restored} The Willow Tree located in Tipp City, Ohio:

Vintage Furniture & Decor curtesy of Molly Dues at Lovely Rentals
Lovely Rentals is located at 6 1/2 East Main Street in Troy, Ohio 45373

Styled by Andria Garber

Makeup Art by: Ruby’s Traveling Beauty Show

It’s such a treat to meet other inspiring photographers & work with a community of wonderful vendors here in Dayton! ♥


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I get really excited to meet new couples and work with so many inspired people. Many of these talented couples are surround by talented creatives.  The question comes up pretty often about how I feel about their family or friends bringing cameras to weddings. My answer is based on my own beliefs, so it’s always best to run this by your own wedding photographer before your event.

In my contract I do state that I am the only commissioned wedding photographer. I believe that for order and to omit confusion, you really do need to pick one official photographer. However, many people have friends or family who are either enthusiastic hobbyists or up and coming photographers in their own right. If anyone ever wants to take pictures during unscripted events, I really don’t mind! I feel like it’s a great way to have even more photographs at your wedding since there’s no way my assistant & I can be omnipotent! There are three things I would encourage couples to consider:

  1. What is the goal of the images? Does your good friend just want to give your family extra photographs {what a good friend, right?!} or is someone wanting to mislead others into thinking they were paid to shoot this wedding? It is easy {and free} to set up a Facebook page and slap a logo on a few images, and therefore mislead fans into thinking they were selected to shoot this wedding. Can you see a difference? It’s easy to snap a picture or two out of the whole wedding day that is amazing. It’s a different situation if you must operate your own business, coordinate all the moments, shoot in many different types of light, and guarantee to process hundreds of outstanding photographs.
  2. What type of wedding are you having and what space will the photographer have to work with?  Weddings comes in all shapes and sizes, they are each getting pretty unique! This is actually an important aspect to think about. Are you having an outdoor wedding in the summer with a lot of natural light? Or are you having a small intimate evening affair in the late fall in a small dark chapel? If you have spacious grounds and guests won’t have to use their flashes, the photographer will barely notice they are there. It’s very unfortunate when a couple is exiting a church and a guest unknowingly messes up the shot by having their flash go off at the exact moment the official photographer is taking the picture. Although some heavy editing can help salvage an overexposed image (the photographer’s flash + the guest’s flash makes the image too bright), it’s not quite the same as if the photographer had been able to take the image as they had originally exposed it. On the other hand, there can be completely opposite experiences. I had a gorgeous outdoor wedding in Toledo a few months ago. A friend of the couple photographed some of it too, (the bride ok’d it with me months beforehand), and he was incredibly kind! I was not intimated at all, and he was able to give them some beautiful images in addition to the ones I took. I didn’t notice him at all since we were both using natural light and he was very respectful. It was also nice for me to “talk photography” with someone else. I have actually met some really amazing photographers that are guests at weddings I’ve photographed!

    The other part of thinking about your venue is the space available. Is there room for someone else to be there, or is it cramped even for the photographer & assistant? This goes for the dressing room, the ceremony, and the dance floor at the reception. I typically shoot intimate weddings and am used to the challenge of working in close quarters. Adding others can make it difficult to get a clean shot or move around like I need to.

  3. Do they want to shoot portraits with the couple?  This is the part where I don’t really compromise. During the intimate portrait session with the couple, where I am working on a tight timeline & posing them in a very specific way, I must insist I am the only one who can photograph them. Not only does it take longer to add another voice asking for types of shots, the couples portrait session is a big reason they hired me. I have to produce images under pressure and I have a lot to do with the body language, location, and light of the images. During family or bridal party formals, I honestly don’t mind if other people have cameras and take pictures. I just ask that they allow me to get the shot(s) I need, then I scoot over so they can shoot a few. I completely understand how exciting it is to see all your family together and I feel like you should get as many images as possible of that rare & beautiful moment! I want to encourage good energy at weddings and not have anyone feel apologetic for wanting to take a picture!

 What do you think of my line of thought as a bride or colleague? Extra cameras nay or yay?

This is one of those subjects that can get pretty touchy and to be honest every wedding is different! I think that a lot of amazing and positive things can come of being understanding & respectful of each other. As I mentioned above, I’ve met and gotten to know some really wonderful and TALENTED photographers through weddings I’ve photographed! If anything, I will probably ask for a business card or Facebook name so I can follow your work! ♥

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