Get to know your wedding photographer

So all this personal talk is nice. But I know why you’re here. You want to see some beautiful pictures and know a little bit more about me, Tammie Gilchrist Photography. And I want to give this to YOU! A few posts at a time – I will tell you more about me.

Here goes nothing…

1. Tell us a bit about yourself and your company?

I started shooting in 2009. It was by accident actually. My father in law, Charles Gilchrist, is an amazing artist. He draws, sketches, paints and is a photographer. He lives in Ohio and in 2008 he traveled west to stay with us for a week. He brought with him a Canon G9 point and shoot camera. He said of all the cameras he’s own (digital) he loved this one. I used it a few times and the fact that I could take a picture of my kids without getting that dreaded blur amazed me, and so I was hooked! My birthday rolled around and guess what I got? Yep, a Canon G9.

My first victim, um…client, was my best friend and her family. We had a great time and I actually don’t cringe looking back at those photos. They were really good 🙂

Then it hit me. I LOVE doing this. I get this warm feeling when I’m shooting people and then as I pull the images from the camera into the computer it’s just like Christmas morning for me. Every. Single. Time. I was hooked! Fast forward just about three years and here I am. I still shoot Canon, just with a little nicer of a camera. I have an assistant and I’m mentoring a teenager who is an aspiring photographer herself. Although I could say I shoot ‘everything’ I don’t. I specialize in Wedding Photography. If you need maternity photos done, I can give you some names. If you need boudoir images taken, let me know and I’ll hook you up with someone fabulous.

2. How did you get into Wedding Photography?

A few years before getting the G9, I was in college. I had been an EMT and decided I wanted to be a flight medic. For a long time flight medics were paramedics, but the two companies that flew around here were getting out of hiring paramedics and hiring RNs. I was taking all my courses for RN school. That particular semester I was in Anatomy. Ben was the only guy in a group of us 5 girls. I kind of felt bad for him, but he fit in just fine. I loved that class, not only because I got to experience all sorts of gross stuff you wouldn’t get to experience without taking a hands-on anatomy class, but I made some pretty special friends in that class as well. Fast forward a year after Anatomy, Ben decides it’s time to marry his fiance, Caitlin.

They are both in school, don’t have a lot of money and because of facebook, he knew I was dabbling in photography. They were my very first wedding clients I shot on my own. It was fun and nerve raking all at the same time.

3. What is your favorite part of the Wedding day to capture?

This is easy for me. I love bridals.  If I thought my brides would be interested, I’d start offering bridal sessions before or after the wedding day. It’s a time in our life that we don’t get back. We have spent hours and HOURS planning this day out to be perfect. For us to look perfect.  It’s also the only quiet time you will get with me during the day. I don’t allow anyone else with us (except my assistant) so you have a chance to breathe and relax. The day gets hectic after your bridals, I won’t lie. But for this, sometimes very short, amount of time with me, you can relax and take it all in.

4.  What is the most awkward moment you’ve experience while on the job?

Hmmm….awkward? It’s not awkward for me, but while my brides are getting ready, sometimes they feel a bit uncomfortable changing in front of ‘everyone’. I always play it by ear, but make sure if she is feeling self-conscious, the camera goes away and my assistant and I turn around while she slips into her dress, before the buttoning starts. I would never want to make anyone feel uncomfortable, and everyone has different comfort levels when it comes to body image. This is why it’s always good to have a relationship with your photographer ahead of time. We become more of a friend than just a person, the paparazzi in your dressing room. It’s about trust.

5.  What’s the best thing you’ve ever ate at a Wedding?

I have to be completely honest here. I don’t usually ‘eat’ at the wedding. Sure, I always bring snack bars for me and my crew.  But most of the time I just don’t feel the need to sit still and eat a meal. I will however, take the time during the meal to do other things related to the day, like prep for toasts or dancing.  Thinking back to last year, I had a very short wedding day where my clients booked me for 5 hours. I never shoot while people are eating, because no one wants to see pictures of them with food in their mouths, right? So my assistant and I did eat, together. And it was the BEST food. It was authentic Mexican food and it was delicious.


And tomorrow’s post will be 6-10 ‘Getting to know your photographer’ questions that include things like what’s my favorite venue and if I were to shoot a celebrity, who would I pick and why?

If YOU have any questions for me, please feel free to ask in the comment section and I’ll answer them for you. I’m an open book – ask away!


Self portraits

I like to be behind the camera, not in front. I’ve always felt awkward. Slightly crooked smile, very pointy chin…yes, I’m my worst critic. So I decided as a New Year’s gift to myself I would attempt at taking a decent picture. I mean, I feel good. My skin is very happy these days. I’ve been Zumba-ing for over a year. Why not?

December 31st my husband went off to work. My kids traveled out of town with my parents. And I got busy. Clothes? check. Makeup? check. Hair? check. Tripod? check.

Golden hour rolled around and I headed over to my parents house where the light would be perfect, I wouldn’t have an audience and I could set up and get busy.

Trust me when I say this – it is not easy taking a picture of yourself. I don’t know. Maybe it is. But it wasn’t for me. And I was slightly nervous the neighbors were looking over the fence watching. And quietly laughing at me. Because let’s be real here. I probably looked like an idiot. Back and forth. Did that look good? Nope. Try again. Click….beep. beep. beep. Click. Did that look okay? Nope. Try again…

It took me about 1 1/2 hours to get anything decent.  I have something scheduled for February with another photography team out of town. I’m really looking forward to this shoot for a number of reasons. Mainly so I don’t have to run back and forth looking at the screen 😉

Curious to see the results? here ya go…


My brother came to town for a few days. He doesn’t live too far away, but if you have ever been to Fort Bragg, then you know how isolated we are here. And it doesn’t matter if you live 3 hours away or 15, you still have to drive a lot to get here.

The weather has been something nothing short of amazing. Big blue sky, crisp cool air. Birds chirping and the ocean waves roaring.

The kids were getting very restless just hanging out at my parents house. So it was auntie to the rescue!  We have a lot of great trails along the beach, but the easiest to access and walk on is at a State Park by the name of MacKerricher SP. With paved parking lot, easy to get to potties (yes, I said potties. I have small children!) and a wonderful wooded boardwalk  – why would we even imagine going anywhere else?

I really did try to take the kids on a walk off the boardwalk, but fighting with my 9 year old to stay on the path so her younger cousins wouldn’t fall off into the ocean just wasn’t working for me. So we found the boardwalk and all was happy again.

I love these kids. Smiles, giggles, hand-holding and running. I’m happy to be able to spend time with them, because as I watch my teenager grow into an adult, I realize time goes by so quickly. Before I know it my 9 year old will be a teenager, and my niece and nephew will be older as well. So for now I cherish all the time I have with them.




Trying to get things underway

New year, new resolutions.

Not really. I try not to make resolutions as they always seem to disintegrate by mid-February.  If I’m going to make goals for myself, I will just make them. I don’t need a particular time of year to roll around for me to do it.

Like November 2010. I went to see my nurse practitioner. I think it was my annual check up. Or maybe I wasn’t feel well. I don’t remember exactly what for, but we got to talking. I wasn’t depressed, but I wasn’t overly happy with my life either. She suggested I start exercising to help with a boost of endorphins. Plus I could stand to lose some weight. I wasn’t ‘obese’ but I do have a family history of obesity, and I think she was afraid I might head down that path if I don’t get my butt in gear and start moving it.

So I started, just like that. We have a beautiful new gym about 5 blocks from my house and I started exercises. I buddied up with my girl friend, Jenn, and we went to Zumba a few days a week. Then it turned into daily Zumba classes. Then on some days, I’d go in the morning and at night. It was a glorious ‘addiction’ that was good for me and good for my health.

14 months later I still go just about every day. I’m not sure how much weight I’ve lost, but I did start keeping tract of the inches about 4 or 5 months in – and the loss is startling.

I feel good, and I think I look pretty good too. I have incorporated a couch to 5K program into my daily cardio classes as well. I’m not exactly a ‘couch potato’ but I don’t run. At least not for very long and can keep up a good pace only if someone is chasing me in a dark alley…

I have been challenged by another Zumba buddy to do a 5K run in March with her, at a local charity event here in Fort Bragg.  I’m very excited and can’t wait to be able to do an entire 5K run without walking.

So on that note…I’m going to try to keep this blog updated regularly. Some life stuff, some work stuff and some stuff inbetween.

xo – tammie

I worked on my business website all week. It’s completely updated and beautiful (if I do say so myself!). This quote speaks to me so much I incorporated it into the site on a few different pages.


There will be a slight delay…

Yes, there will be. I have had a blog for the past few years over at SquareSpace. It has been a pretty decent place to have a blog. Except for one thing. It took FOREVER to upload photos. Which really makes me sad, because well. I’m a photographer. And photos are basically my life. So it was just too frustrating for me to continue with them.

I will miss you SquareSpace.

I will.

And on that note – I’ll be posting quite a few family session, high school senior sessions and wedding here shortly.


And I’ll be running some fun contests for my clients on here too.

I like to get things interactive and fun – the more comments the better.

Because really, they really do make everyone feel good.

 But in the meantime please feel free to check out my website or facebook page


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