Meet the Hitched Team: Catering Director Leslianne Love-Lake of Old Carolina Barbecue Company

Riiiiiiiibs by Old Carolina Barbecue Co.

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HItched: What first interested you in Special Events Catering Management?

Old Carolina Barbecue’s Leslianne Love-Lake: I have always been interested in the restaurant business, food trends, cooking and pretty things! When I was a child I wanted to be a chef, that quickly changed in college when I realized how hot a kitchen truly is and I didn’t really get to interact with the public.

H: How long have you been serving wedding clients?

LL-L: I have been with Old Carolina Barbecue for 4 years but have been working in the Catering/Events business for 18 years.

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Simply Styled.  Old Carolina's Rustic Menu Board at a Venue Open House.

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H: How would you describe your style?

LL-L: My personal style – comfortable – I am too busy to be fussy about clothing, hair, make-up etc – I’m put together but in a professional COMFORTABLE way! My work style – straight forward – I am a rules person I love to have fun but I keep it professional and I put my foot down when I have to. Event style – I love Rustic, DYI, Shabby Chic, Barn Weddings, Nautical and Folk.

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Teamwork.  Leslianne with Some of her Serving Staff.

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H: Brag a little.  You recently won two awards for your outstanding work with Old Carolina Barbecue.  Tell us about them.

LL-L: In September of 2013 I was recognized by the Greater Akron Chamber of Commerce by receiving the 30 for the Future Award and last month (February 2014) I received the Distinguished Sales & Marketing Award® from the Akron/Canton Sales and Marketing Executives International.

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OCBC's Roasted Turkey with Salad.

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H: What do you enjoy most serving wedding clients?

LL-L: I enjoy serving all my clients for the same reason. Weather it’s a company picnic, retirement, funeral or wedding we are helping them celebrate a special life event – everyone has their own take on things and it’s like a different job every day – it keeps things fun and interesting!

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A More Casual Presentation - Sliders for a Less Formal Event.

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H: What is the most important consideration couples should make when hiring a catering company for their wedding reception?

LL-L: With catering a lot of the decision comes down to budget, which some times is a shame but also is a blessing for us because our pricing is very reasonable and bonus our food is REALLY good. Also beware when booking a caterer – they may come in with a low price per person but that doesn’t include the plus, plus, plus they add – service charges, gratuity and taxes can hike up that price 40% or more. We include those in our price per person – I like to keep things easy – cut and dry and fair.

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Saucy!  Old Carolina Barbecue Co.'s Signature Line of Sauces.

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H: What’s the question I’m not asking you but you wish I would, or What’s the question that clients usually don’t ask you but you wish they would?

LL-L: Will I be at my clients events? Most of time I make an appearance but we do have several weekends or days when we have 20+ weddings or events and it’s nearly impossible for to be at more than 3-4 places in a day. Our team leaders take my place when I can’t be there – we have weekly meetings during our busy season where they are given 100% of the details and run the events just as I would.

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More of The OCBC Team at a Venue Open House.

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H: What do you look for in a great wedding vendor “dream team,” and what are your colleague pet peeves? How can your “co-workers” help you, hurt you, or irritate you throughout the day? 

LL-L: I am truly blessed to know the people I do – I treat them as I would want to be treated so I hope they feel the same about me. I am happy to be part of the Hitched Team because I LOVE Anna-Jeannine Herman of SNE and Brittany Mullet of CVNP. I know I can count on them and if they are involved we should be too!

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About Leslianne Love-Lake: I am wife to Brian, mother to Ana & Tatum (14 year old twins) and dog mommy to Emily & Skyler. I absolutely love my career – I don’t call it a job because it doesn’t feel like one. For Old Carolina Barbecue Co I am in charge of Catering for the entire company – I oversee two Catering Sales Managers, a Catering Coordinator, 15 Team Leaders and 30-50 seasonal catering staff as well as sell catering for our Stow and Fairlawn locations (Summit, Portage & Medina Co’s).

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About Old Carolina Barbecue Company: Old Carolina Barbecue Co. opened it’s first restaurant in 2006 and has grown to 8 locations in that time. We will be opening our first out of state location in April 2014.

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Meet the Hitched Team: Stationery Designer Kathleen Prumo of Paper Bouquet Studio

Hitched: What first interested you in wedding stationery design? Paper Bouquet Studio‘s Kathleen Prumo: I’ve always been interested in art & design, but I got into wedding stationery when I designed invitations for my twin sister’s big day. My own wedding was two … Continue reading

Meet the Hitched Team: Master Stylist Kelly Jenkins of Fringe Studio

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Hitched: What first interested you in becoming a hair stylist?

Kelly Jenkins of the Fringe StudioSince a young age, I’ve had a strong interest in hair styling. From an even younger age, I had a deep passion for art. I believe my passion for art was the motivation when beginning my professional career in Hair Designing. I began styling people for special occasions as young as 13 years old. I realized then that I could create art through styling hair. From then on, bridal, special occasion, and formal styling have been the driving force in my career. Meeting new people, getting to know each individual client, and creating a relationship is such a rewarding part of being a Hair stylist. More so than I could have ever imagined.

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H: How long have you been serving bridal clients for wedding day hair and updos?

KJ: My wedding styling started long ago when I would style the flower girls in our family weddings, but I have been professionally styling bridal parties for about 8 years, and I hope to be closely involved with weddings for the rest of my career.

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H: How would you describe your esthetic style?

KJ: When describing my hair dressing style, it’s all over the board. I melt for an antique or vintage look, but I also love a challenge. Avant-garde styling is a huge part of my craft, but I always say you can never go wrong with a classic look! I have a huge respect for all aspects of styling, and I love learning new techniques and creating my own.

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H: What training, certifications, awards, or other honors have you and your salon earned?

KJ: I’ve trained in hands-on styling with top stylists from high end product lines. Including: Bumble and Bumble, Joico, Aquage, and Wella. I also participate in as many bridal shows as I can throughout the year to keep my bridal styling on point. I’ve also been told by many clients that I have the gift of really listening. Just by truly listening to the ideas and concerns our clients have, can really help use our abilities to their fullest potential. People truly appreciate that, and won’t forget it.

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image_1H: What do you enjoy most about styling brides’, bridesmaids’, and mothers’ hair on the wedding day?

KJ: I love formal styling, and I feel my best work has come from bridal styles. It’s such an exciting time for my bridal clientele, and I feel most passionate about formal styling, so it’s a great match. Also, the trust they put in me to make them look and feel beautiful on their very special day really creates such a connection. A unique feeling of nervousness and excitement, with so much happiness and commotion all at the same time really is a perfect blend. What’s not to love?!

H: What is the most important consideration ladies should make when hiring a salon for their wedding day?

KJ: Receiving a great reference about a service provider. I also feel a first-hand reference is so important. When I hear from a Bride how happy someone else was from choosing my services, or that I came highly recommended from a wedding I serviced prior, it really makes what I do that much better and more important to me. A reference can make it or break it, and I feel it’s a very important consideration.

H: What’s the question I’m not asking you but you wish I would, or What’s the question that clients usually don’t ask you but you wish they would?

KJ: All questions are important, and I enjoy throwing my ideas around. It’s important to hear everyone’s opinions and concerns, and learn from other people’s views.

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H: What do you look for in a great wedding vendor “dream team?” Tell us why you’re excited to be working as part of this team.

KJ: I look for super creative and anxious people. People who are so excited about their profession that everyone can’t wait to begin the process. It’s so great to bounce ideas off of each other and create things together. When you have a group of super passionate people all putting their everything into the same goal, it can only end up phenomenal. I’m very excited to be a part of the ‘Hitched’ team, and feel very fortunate to be able to share my talents with such an awesome cause!

imageAbout Kelly Jenkins: I’m Kelly Jenkins, a mom to an amazing little boy, and a wife to the greatest man ever. I’ve been a licensed Hair Designer for about 8 years, and recently obtained my Managing license. I’m a practitioner of yoga, and enjoy all aspects of art. I feel like everyone I get to work with is a new canvas. There aren’t many things I love more than special occasion hair styling, especially bridal, and I love creating fabulous looks for all my brides. I’m so happy to be part of such a creative industry, and I’m excited to see where my career will take me!

Meet the Hitched Team: Cinematographer Brendan Sandham of Sandham Films

Brendam Sandham at Work.  Photo by Ban and Jodi Photography.

Brendam Sandham at Work. Photo by Ban and Jodi Photography.

Hitched: What first interested you in being a wedding videographer?

Brendan Sandham of Sandham Films: I’ve always loved to tell stories. I’ve been making films since I was young and first received permission to use my parents’ VHS camcorder. I made sci-fi films, westerns, and news broadcasts. It was then that I really began to understand the language of film and its power as a storytelling medium. In college I made student films, and after graduation worked as a cameraman and a video technician. I continued making short films, and even had one screen in Hollywood!

I shot a few weddings, but ultimately found them to be bland and boring. I set up a camera in the back of the church, and I would edit in some of the speeches and dancing from the reception.

But when I was introduced to the concept of presenting a wedding day as a story, and framing the film around a narrative, I was hooked. It’s a very different way to think about a wedding video, and I love that I can offer something that is filled with so much emotion and meaning.

Cheers!  A Still from One of Sandham Films' Productions.

Cheers! A Still from One of Sandham Films’ Productions.

Hitched: How long have you been a wedding cinematographer?

Brendan Sandham: Over ten years.

Hitched: How would you describe your cinematographic style?

Brendan Sandham: Cinematic. Not to get overly technical, but they are shooting movies and television shows on the same equipment that we use, and we are careful to match our camera settings to those seen in multi-million dollar productions. We’re also meticulous about lens choices, camera moves, and shooting angles. I love it when someone sees one of our films for the first time and says, “Wow, it looks like a real movie!” It is! That’s exactly how I view it.

A Still from One of Sandham Films' Productions.

A Still from One of Sandham Films’ Productions.

Hitched: What special training, certifications, awards, or other honors establish you as an expert in your field?

Brendan Sandham: I majored in Communication Studies with an emphasis in video production, and I’ve studied storytelling extensively. I worked high profile events for many years, and have filmed presidents, world leaders, and other celebrities. I’m an award winning stage director. I’ve had short films featured in festivals and have been on both sides of the camera on some major Hollywood productions (if you pause in just the right place, you can see me in The Avengers!)

A Still from One of Sandham Films' Productions.

A Still from One of Sandham Films’ Productions.

Hitched: What do you enjoy most about being a wedding cinematographer?
Brendan Sandham: I love finding the story. Sometimes it’s how the couple met. Sometimes it’s told by a friend or a loved one. Sometimes it appears in a place I least expect it. But it always appears and becomes the narrative thread for the film. I love finding that and bringing it to the forefront.
Hitched: What is the most important consideration couples should make when hiring a cinematographer or videographer for their wedding ceremony and/or reception?

Brendan Sandham: First and foremost, you need to look at the quality of the work. Look at past films. Do they hold together? Are they shot well? Is the music properly licensed? Beyond those basics, you need to make sure that you are comfortable with your cinematographer on a personal level. If you have a good report, it will lead to a better film.

A Full-Length “Trailer by Sandham Films.  “Matt and Alison” from Sandham Films on Vimeo.

Hitched: What’s the question I’m not asking you but you wish I would, or What’s the question that clients usually don’t ask you but you wish they would?

Brendan Sandham: I usually shoot with a team of three, and I’ve seen a lot of eyes get very, very wide when I mention that fact. Ask me how that works! Folks worry that we will be in the way, or obtrusive, but that’s rarely verbalized.

The truth of the matter is that we are pretty ninja-like. Every wedding we’ve shot, and I can say this without exaggeration, someone from the bridal party has said some variation of, “We barely noticed that you were there.” I went to say goodbye to a bride and groom at the end of their reception. They had a puzzled look on each of their faces. “We thought you left over an hour ago!” Nope, we were still there, filming away!

A Still from a Sandham Films' Production.

A Still from a Sandham Films’ Production.

Hitched: What do you look for in a great wedding vendor “dream team,” and what are your colleague pet peeves? How can your “co-workers” help you, hurt you, or irritate you throughout the day? Tell us why you’re excited to be working as part of this team.

Brendan Sandham: My “dream team” would include vendors I’ve worked with in the past and so understand how they work. Then I can anticipate how the wedding will flow and not need to spend time speaking with the other vendors to find out how they will run their part of the day. But until that rapport is built up, the absolute best thing another vendor can do is to have a positive, can-do attitude – we love problem-solving and anticipate it as part of the job, and we hope the other vendors do to (though, of course, we’d always love a seamless wedding!). I’m excited to be part of this team, because all of the vendors are consummate professionals who are on top of their games!

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Brendan Sandham of Sandham Films

About Brendan Sandham: Brendan Sandham has been producing films for over a decade, and specializes in cinematic wedding films. He also creates films for clients in a wide variety of industries, and samples of his work can be found at www.vimeo.com/sandhamfilms

About Sandham Films: Sandham Films, established in 2013, produces cinematic wedding films which get to the heart of a couple’s wedding day, as well as to the heart of audiences for years to come. Based in Chardon, OH, Sandham Films is owned by filmmaker Brendan Sandham.

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Meet the Hitched Team: Designer Laura Lynn Smith of A Bride’s Design Bridal Boutique

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Hitched: What first interested you in owning a bridal boutique?

Laura Lynn Smith of A Bride’s Design: I started sewing and designing at a very young age. I made all sorts of crafty item and started selling them at craft shows at the age of eight.

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H: How long have you been serving weddings?

LS: 17 years

H: How would you describe your gown selection’s style?

LS: elegant and timeless

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H: How have you prepared for your career as a wedding fashion designer and curator of wedding gowns? 

LS: An honored and featured graduate of The Shannon Rodgers & Jerry Silverman School of Fashion Design at Kent State Univ; 1st place in senior design contest with bridal line – Trained in marketing and visuals at Bloomingdales at the Mall of America in Minneapolis, MN – Mentored by Disney Sr. Creative Costume Designer – Made 72 costumes for the Canton Ballet production of The Wizard of Oz – Designed and constructed 8 original 3-D patterns of Candy Confetti for Bonne Bell Inc. – Interned with Lee Ann Belter, Toronto’s top bridal designer -Featured in Seventeen Magazine as a top ten designer for Zum-Zum – As a junior in college my bridal gown creation won the Simplicity Pattern bridal gown contest resulting in $1000, air travel and 2 day stay at NY City headquarters; pattern became their best seller for the next five yrs.- Recipient of the Frances Kliebacker Endowed Scholarship – Designer for Simplicity, Bonne Bell and Jo-Ann Fabrics – Won Fox 8 Hot List as Cleveland’s best bridal shop for the last three years – designed for red carpet celebrities at the Grammy Awards – Bridal designs are sold internationally – designed gown and tuxedo for national TV commercial

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H: What do you enjoy most about helping a bride “say ‘yes’ to the dress?”

LS: Making the bride feel beautiful about herself.

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H: What is the most important consideration a bride should make when choosing a gown — and a dress shop — for her wedding?

LS: Expertise in deciding upon a dress that will express the brides own unique style from modern sophistication to a classic or vintage look yet lend itself in achieving the perfect fit.

View More: http://julinamarie.pass.us/caitlin--brett-zientarski-wedding-060113

H: What do you look for in a great wedding vendor “dream team?” Tell us why you’re excited to be working as part of this team.

LS: People with a good reputations who follow through.

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About Laura Lynn Smith and A Bride’s Design: Owner, Laura Smith received her BA in Fashion Design at Kent State University in 2002. Immediately following in 2003, she opened A Bride’s Design due to her passion for classic elegance, sophisticated styles and exquisite knowledge of fabrics and laces. For the past 17 years she has had the pleasure of assisting thousands of brides in discovering their dream wedding gown. Providing exceptional service, and designing, with a personal touch, to ensure every bride has a charming and unique experience is essential to Laura. She specializes in custom bridal wear and freelance design, thus providing a couture look for an affordable price.

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Meet the Hitched Team: Master of Ceremonies, Disc Jockey, and Lighting Designer Anna-Jeannine Herman of Something New Entertainment

Hitched: What first interested you in being a wedding entertainer? Anna-Jeannine “DJ AJ9” Herman of Something New Entertainment:  I’ve been performing since I was a child — on stage as an actor, a singer, a musician (I play the French horn … Continue reading

Meet the Hitched Team: Beelicious Bakers Jenny Bachelor and Jenny Bowles of JennyBees Sweets

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Hitched: What first interested you in making desserts?

Jenny Bachelor & Jenny Bowles of JennyBees Sweets: We both have a passion for baking since we planned our own weddings and created our own edible favors. By doing what we love while putting smiles on our customers faces we both feel more than satisfied with our chosen career path.

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H: How long have you been serving weddings?

J&J: We have been providing sweets for several weddings since our business first opened February 2013 and before the business started we have catered our family and friends events.

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H: How would you describe your style?

J&J: Our style ranges from simple and sweet to gourmet, one-of-a-kind treats you wont find anywhere else.

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H: What special training, certifications, awards, or other honors establish you as an expert in your field?

J&J: Jenny Bowles graduated from Kent State University with a Bachelor’s degree from the Hospitality Program and a minor in business and has been working in the hospitality industry since 2005. Jenny Bachelor comes from a family full of bakers and has been practicing since she could walk.

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H: What do you enjoy most serving wedding clients?

J&J: Being a part of each Bride and Groom’s special day and helping them create their dream wedding.

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H: What is the most important consideration couples should make when hiring bakery for their wedding reception?

J&J: Quality, comfort and security. If you aren’t comfortable and completely relaxed with your wedding vendor then you should re-evaluate the situation. Make sure that when you find a service provider that you feel a good connection and you can be comfortable just being yourself and vice versa.

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H: What do you look for in a great wedding vendor “dream team,” and what are your colleague pet peeves? How can your “co-workers” help you, hurt you, or irritate you throughout the day? Tell us why you’re excited to be working as part of this team.

J&J: Qualities in a wedding vendor “dream team” would have to be cooperation, support, and awesome work ethic. Jenny and I are both perfectionists so sometimes we tend to over-analyze or criticize each others work. This can be frustrating but we like to look at each others different point of view so we can see each situation from all angles and come up with the perfect ending. At the end of the day we always end up hugging-it-out and leave on a sisterly note! We are both super excited to be a part of this team wedding event so that we can make a difference in at least two peoples lives. We want to help encourage people to be more willing to support others and lend a helping hand when they can and this is our first step in the wedding industry.

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Jenny Bachelor & Jenny Bowles and JennyBees Sweets: The Jennys met in 2nd grade and have remained friends since. We have seen each other grow up, get married, and have children. While clicking through some Facebook pictures, we realized we both had a talent for baked goods and decided to expand our horizons and build a business together. Since the beginning of 2013, while working everyday, we have been able to master several recipes, decorating techniques and business procedures. We have a private kitchen in which we have been practicing new ideas and baking for our customers. And with the business and support of our customers, we plan to buy a store front as soon as it is possible. We are a home bakery that concentrates on special events while bringing you, your family and friends the best quality product possible. JennyBees Sweets, LLC. offers you traditional goodies, along with Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, Vegan and Low-Sugar products. We realize it is hard for everyone to find a sweet-treat that meets their dietary needs and we will be more than happy to work with you to curb your sweet tooth cravings.
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Meet the Hitched Team: Lead Coordinator Meredith Masaveg of Rain Wedding Planning

Hitched: What first interested you in planning weddings? Meredith Masaveg of Rain Wedding Planning: All my life I have always ended up in the role as “event planner’ from the first tea party I planned as a child, to being … Continue reading

Meet The Hitched Team: Master Baker and Pastry Chef Mary Ciesicki of Dolce Colpo

Hitched: What first interested you in owning a cake shop? Mary Ciesicki of Dolce Culpo: The love of baking! H: How long have you been creating custom cakes for weddings? MC: For over 8 years. H: How would you describe your … Continue reading

Meet the Hitched Team: Photographer Jodi Jacobson of Ben and Jodi Photography

As the clock counts down to February 12, 2014, when we’ll be accepting the very last entries for the Hitched giveaway, we wanted to tell you a little bit about our team!

First up: an interview with Jodi Jacobson of Ben and Jodi Photography — our visionary.

Photo by Ben and Jodi Photography.

Photo by Ben and Jodi Photography.

Photo by Ben and Jodi Photography.

Photo by Ben and Jodi Photography.

Hitched: What first interested you in photography?
Jodi Jacobson of Ben and Jodi Photography: I’m not sure that there was a first thing that interested me in my profession. My soul has always been drawn towards photography and capturing emotion. Since I can remember I have had a camera in my hand, although it use to be the disposable kind until one day I decided to just take a leap of faith and really dive into photography.

Photo by Ben and Jodi Photography.

Photo by Ben and Jodi Photography.

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H: How long have you been photographing weddings?

JJ: I have been serving weddings for 8 years. There is nothing else I could see myself doing, as we specialize in weddings I know that my passion has become so much more than just photographing a wedding day, it has become about making friends and memories with the couples and wedding professionals we get to work with!

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Photo by Ben and Jodi Photography.

Photo by Ben and Jodi Photography.

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H: How would you describe your photographic style?

JJ: Changing always! No seriously, I am always looking to learn and to grow, if we ever stop growing then we’re done in the industry.

I have a love for light, my favorite kind of light is window light, if there is great diffused window light I will be using it! I have a more candid, lifestyle approach to photographing weddings.

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H: How have you prepared and trained as a photographer?

JJ: I was an assistant forever! I held lights and listened and held more lights, all so I could learn starting from the bottom. I have had some of the most amazing mentors on this journey, who continue to mentor and uplift Ben and I! Now we are both a part of Professionals Photographers of America, and Professional Photographers of Ohio. We regularly attend workshop and seminars to make sure we are always educating ourselves to give our couples the best!

H: What do you enjoy most photographing weddings?

JJ: Everything! We get to work with the most amazing couples, and we become so close with them over the course of the months to years they are planning that I often tear up when the bride puts on her dress or during their vows, and the first dance, yep, I am usually misty eyed behind the camera. I adore our couples and the relationships that we build with them!

Photo by Ben and Jodi Photography.

Photo by Ben and Jodi Photography.

H: What is the most important consideration couples should make when hiring a photographer for their wedding ceremony and reception?

JJ: This is such a great question! You cannot put a price on photographs and the memories from your wedding day. You want to make sure that you vibe well with your photographers and you enjoy being around them, your whole day will go great when we can make you laugh and feel comfortable in front of the camera. You want to make sure that our style matches your style, not style of clothing, style of photography. You should LOVE you images for years and years to come, and know that they truly reflected who you are as a couple and the atmosphere and energy of your wedding day.

Photo by Ben and Jodi Photography.

Photo by Ben and Jodi Photography.

H: What do you look for in a great wedding vendor “dream team,” and what are your colleague pet peeves? How can your “co-workers” help you, hurt you, or irritate you throughout the day? Tell us why you’re excited to be working as part of this team.

JJ: A Wedding Dream Team for me is like minded professionals all working together towards one goal, to give the best experience for our couple on their wedding day. We have no time for cattiness or egos. What helps us is when we all work together and communicate with one another. We are exited to be working as part of this team because every single wedding professional involved is being selfless and paying it forward to our community! Wow, what an incredible event to be a part of. Of course we want to associate and work with people in our industry that so willingly give back! Pay it forward.

Jodi Jacobson of Ben and Jodi Photography

Jodi Jacobson of Ben and Jodi Photography

About Jodi Jacobson and Ben and Jodi Photography: I am Jodi Jacobson, a Business Owner, Wedding Photographer, Mom, a lover of books, yoga, music and being outside. As said by someone else, “Let your life be your art” – Annie Danielson. Our company is committed to providing a positive and uplifting experience for our couples. We are not just another photographer who shows up on the day of your wedding. We specialize in knowing who you are and what you want us to capture!