has been photographing weddings professionally since
1981. He worked about four years as a photographer/manager
for MasterPortrait studios based in Chattanooga. While there, he became one of their top selling photographers. John believes genuinely caring about the quality of the photography his customers receive is the driving force behind his long photography career. When John was promoted to general manager of the MasterPortrait studio in Dalton Georgia, John found that many of his loyal customers were driving all the way from Knoxville, Atlanta, Chattanooga and parts of Alabama to ensure he would be their photographer. John says seeing the happy expressions of his customers, especially brides and their mothers as they tearfully thank him for beautiful wedding photographs is the greatest reward and so very emotionally satisfying. This is when John can't begin to imagine doing any other kind of work.
John weddings provide a great opportunity for being creative.
Expressing himself creatively in his wedding photography
is John's favorite activity. John works in our photography
business full-time. Shooting weddings, engagement and
bridal sessions, custom processing all these images
and maintaining our website is a full-time endeavor.
As you can see by the BIG size of our website, John
loves to talk about wedding photography . . . it really
is his passion! John has written his book about wedding
photography in the form of this website. He hopes our
years of experiences, advice, information and insights
he speaks from throughout our website will help brides
who visit our website to have a wonderful and beautiful
Wedding Day whether he or another photographer is there. While many brides in our local area are booking us to photograph their weddings, we are still able to accept a limited number of wedding assignments abroad.
daughter Sara playing in the yard with Buddy.
are pet lovers. So we invite everyone with pets to bring
them to our studio during engagement and bridal portrait
sessions. Buddy is a dachshund and one of the most affectionate
dogs we've ever had! Love him. John is also an aquarium
enthusiast. He also enjoys astronomy, reading and cooking
out with family and friends during the summer.
are originally from Athens Tennessee. We moved down
here to Chattanooga in 1999. We love Chattanooga and
the warm friendly atmosphere of a family oriented city.
After leaving MasterPortrait in 2003, John opened our
wedding studio here and many brides have warmly welcomed
our combination of photography styles, quality and pricing.
Many "Thank You" to all our wedding customers
and your family and friends! The excitement and happiness
we see on the faces of so many of you when you view
your wedding photographs really makes it all worth while
for us. Also thanks to all of you we have received another "BBB Complaint Free Certificate"
for our 2nd consecutive year of being complaint free. That's 85 weddings, 80 engagement sessions, 72 bridal sessions and no complaints to the Better Business Bureau about any of our products and services. Thanks everyone! Also a very special thank you to those customers who have been very kind and generous to us. We really do appreciate you very much.
Our Photography Styles
main photography style is to capture the love, romance,
fun, excitement and joy of your Wedding Day.
do not have any one style of photography. Every wedding
presents various opportunities for different styles
of photography. For example. Very small weddings where
there is little interaction between the Bride &
Groom and between the Bride & Groom with their handful
of guests makes very little content
for the journalistic style of photography. Especially
when there is also no dancing and all the guests are
simply sitting around the tables. A Bride with such
a very small wedding and bridal party consisting of
perhaps only two or three bridesmaids and that many
groomsmen would have to agree to a LOT of posed photographs
in order to have great looking photographs. To get great
looking journalistic style photographs with such little
genuine interaction would mean semi-posing and the photographer(s)
creating some situations
and photographing the spontaneous reactions at the anticipated
moments. But while this may produce some great looking
journalistic style photography, the Bride & Groom
and everyone else in the photographs will remember that
these images were actually contrived. NOTE: Do not allow a photographer who needs journalistic samples to do this to you, your family and guests! There are some photographers who will direct everyone to contrive great looking journalistic set-ups which may look great in album samples but are very much contrived! For these reasons
and more, Cherry and I shoot very small weddings in
the traditional style and sometimes even with some "old
school" classic poses when requested.
classic poses like the one on the left are nostalgic
and still create fun and laughs for wedding guests.
Some classic poses are just like old great music - old
and young alike still enjoy it even today! A lot of bride's fathers still like
a shot of their pants pockets pulled out. If you request
poses like these, I will set these up in front of your
guests for fun and laughs . . . and your other Wedding
Photographics photographer will be sure to capture the
enjoyment of your family and friends. For another "classic",
see Gallery 26.
few thoughts to consider about photography styles:
good reason for your wedding photographers to
provide you a variety of photography styles is
simply because the bride very often shares her
photographs with parents and other family and
friends. Certain requested shots and styles of
photography may not appeal to the bride, but they
may appeal to the bride's parents or other people.
Of course, the bride does not have to include
these particular images in her own album. But
it is really beneficial to others who view the
bride's hundreds of images on her designer DVDs
to have certain requested shots and styles of
photography which also appeals to them. There
is NO one certain style of photography which is
"superior" to the others. So being flexible
and allowing your photographers to shoot with
a variety of photography styles will help insure
different people the bride cares about will also
find photographs they LOVE among the hundreds
of images the bride receives from us.
at the opposite end of the spectrum are the weddings
with LOTS of people in the bridal party, hundreds of
guests, music and dancing at the reception. With a Bride
& Groom who are not shy to interact with all their
family and friends, there is a lot of CONTENT for the
photographer to switch to the journalistic style of
photography. This is my favorite style of wedding photography!
Capturing people celebrating the wedding, sharing the
joy, laughs and genuine smiles and happy tears with
their closest family and friends! Than there are also
the genuine romantic moments of the Bride and Groom
during their first dance as husband and wife. Whew!
I love these opportunities to capture so many genuine
and exciting moments of people having a wonderful time.
Also seeing the bouquet toss and it being caught from
two different angles at the same time by two different
photographers looks so exciting. A single shot from
one angle getting ready to toss and from the same angle
the girl who captured it just does NOT compare! Two
photographers really are better than one, especially
when there are so many photographic opportunities. For
big weddings like this, you may expect to see Cherry
and I both shooting a lot more journalistic style photography.
See Gallery 58
for more information and samples. While Cherry and I
shoot more journalistically when there is lots of people
interaction, we still want all your family, friends
and guests to feel free to make special photo requests.
See Gallery 39.
Gallery 63 for more
details about tilted photographic compositions
and how we can even apply tilted compositions
to your favorite images after your Wedding
the wedding is small or the wedding is very large, there
is a "contemporary" style of photography which
looks more dynamic and creative than simply straight
shooting. This style of photography is very popular.
It relies largely on tilted camera angles TO MAKE a
dynamic composition. Some photographers also like to
frame the subjects between foreground objects - leaving
the distant subjects focused and the foreground objects
out of focus. This technique often helps impart a journalistic
look even though the subjects are sometimes obviously
posed. But that's ok. It is acceptable and expected
because this style breaks the mold and frees the Bride
from the dreaded "ordinary" of the traditional
and classic styles she does NOT want. Formal group shots
and other posing of the bride & groom and wedding
party are more "dynamic" and simply not your
typical traditional style poses. All your formal group
shots of family and relatives are traditional poses.
If you view a LOT of samples of contemporary style photography,
you will eventually notice, perhaps even feel, that
the people in the photographs are a "secondary
consideration". Sometimes it seems it was more
important to the photographer to get a great tilted
camera composition than to actually capture the people
in the photograph and the actual context of the interaction
between the people. If you find yourself looking at
these photographs and paying more attention to
the tilted composition rather than to the people and
what is happening with the people, you might
want to consider a modest use of this style of photography.
In fact, most of the photographers who promote this
style of photography do NOT have complete wedding albums
of any one given wedding which tells the complete wedding
story exclusively with this style of photography.
who shoot with 8 megapixel and lower megapixel
count cameras DEGRADE
the image quality of their photography even more
when they rotate and reposition the center of
their images in post-production. Your
wedding photography team should be shooting with
13+ megapixel cameras to provide you superior
image quality even after you have selected certain
images for tilt and other cropping changes after
your Wedding Day.
beautiful images may be created from very small up to
very large weddings with the creative style of photography.
Creative style photography can be broad in its scope
of subject matter. But it most popularly emphasizes
close-ups of Wedding Day mementos such as the bouquet,
bride's shoes, the rings, flower girl's basket, ring
bearer's pillow and other things which are meaningful
to the Bride and/or Groom. It is more obvious that this
style of photography cannot tell the complete wedding
story all by itself.
all these reasons and more, Cherry and I incorporate
a variety of photography styles, some of which I have
not addressed here, to photographically document the
Wedding Day in a way which ultimately fulfills the expressed
needs and desires of the Bride. Every wedding is unique.
During our consultation with the Bride, we will discuss
the styles of photography with the Bride and get to
know the various styles she wants us to use as her Wedding
Day unfolds. We will make recommendations to the Bride.
Ultimately, it is the Wedding Day itself which tells
us as photographers the amount of various styles to
use to properly document the day . . . you don't want
your photographers to dictate the day. But with proper
pre-planning of the Wedding Day during our consultations
with the Bride, we can help insure the Bride receives
the mixture of photography styles she would like for
a well-balanced documentation of her special day.
few more thoughts to consider about photography
some photographers may emphasize journalistic
style photography and that you will hardly notice
they are there shooting, with our TWO photographer
team one of us can be shooting journalistically
while the other is shooting special requests shots.
Most people get along with us very well and we
have a great time interacting with your guests
to produce shots like the one above. We want all
your family, friends and guests to feel free to
make special requests shots. Who knows? Some of
your family and friends may have some "surprise"
requests they want us to shoot for you. Bridal
magazines and books recommend making sure your
personality and the personalities of the photographers
"click" with each other. But what difference
does that make if your photographer is going to
be hiding in the background and always trying
to stay unnoticed while shooting? If your photographer
has a fun personality, let your family, friends
and guests ham it up with the appointed photographer
for special request shots while your other Wedding
Photographics photographer is capturing the other
kinds of images discussed during our consultations
Cropping, Tilting and Conversion to Black & White: Fun Things You Can Do as the Years go by when your photographer has provided you the digitally mastered images from your engagement, bridal and Wedding Day.
Move Pointer Over Image to View 2nd Cropping Option in Black & White.
Below is the Final Crop. Allowing the top of the bride's head to go outside the border of the pic is not a photography "style" but merely a cropping option. Such cropping compositions have gained a little more popularity in the past couple of years.
Photographers who provide you the digitally mastered 13 megapixel images on DVDs from your engagement, bridal and Wedding Day enable you to always have creative options with your photos as the years go by. The color bridal shot may be more liked by some people and the dramatic black & white final composition will be better liked by others.
John and Cherry,
Thank you so much for the wonderful job you did photographing
our wedding! We had such a blast working with you. You
were so professional in giving us just what we wanted
out of our wedding photography. Thanks for making the
day even more special! We love our magazine album...I
am so particular about photography and there just couldn't
be a better compilation of photos. Each shot really
captured the emotion and excitement of the day. We just
wish we could have you photograph all our special moments.
Thanks so much,
M & R Stalnaker