Magazine / November

Entrepreneurs and Photographers: A Darling Day Photography

What could be busier than wedding season? Add in a full-time food truck business and you’ve got yourself a busy couple who knows how to have fun. Oh, and did we mention the vintage props and rental business? Learn more about how photographers and entrepreneurs Jessica and her husband Neil stayed busy in 2014.

The 2014 wedding season just wrapped, and we’re sure your summer was filled with beautiful captures and exciting locations.  Can you tell us a little bit about how the wedding season went for you and any unique opportunities that your photography led you to?

Living in the South, our wedding season starts in April and lasts til the end of October. My husband owns a food truck here in Greenville (Thoroughfare Food Truck), and his busiest season overlaps with mine. This was the first full year that we ran both businesses full-time, so it has been a busy, exhausting and very rewarding year! My favorite opportunities this year have involved a combination of our businesses for the same event, like photographing a wedding catered by the food truck!


What was your most memorable wedding shoot in 2014 and why?

My most memorable wedding in 2014 was a wedding in a small town in North Carolina. The groom was German, and the bride and groom live in Germany. It was a smaller wedding with a first look and lots of time for portraits. The bride and groom incorporated some German wedding traditions, like tying well wishes for the bride and groom to balloons and releasing them all together. I love weddings where different cultures and traditions merge together.


What was your most challenging wedding shoot in 2014, and how did you overcome those challenges?

My most challenging wedding in 2014 was a spring wedding at an old brick mill with large windows. This spring was a rainy one for us, and during this particular ceremony, a dark storm rolled in and I literally lost all the light. I do not use flash during a ceremony, so I quickly adjusted my ISO and switched to manual focus. After the ceremony, I usually take my bride and groom outdoors for portraits. But because of the storm, we had to take portraits inside the venue, which was challenging, as we were limited to shooting in the small space where the guests were not hanging out. Whenever circumstances change on a wedding day, and things do not go as planned, it provides me with a great opportunity to grow, to rise to the challenge, to remain calm and to make it work. I’ve had several of these moments in 2014, and they have really grown my confidence.


A Darling Day not only offers photography services, but you also have an amazing line of vintage props and furniture available for rent.  Where do you find these pieces and how did you get started in this other line of business?  Do you find that many of your clients will utilize both services?

I started the vintage rental part of A Darling Day in January of 2012. My husband and I are auction junkies, and we have always loved thrifting and refinishing furniture. We took a couple buying trips up the east coast in a box truck to build our inventory quickly. The rentals seemed like the perfect way to combine our interests and add to the business. I offer a discount on any rental orders placed by a bride who has already booked me for photography, so many brides incorporate rentals into their wedding day. And as a bonus, I get to photograph the rentals at their wedding and use the images to promote both sides of the business!


You’ve purchased a number of Vertical Panoramic Books from Pinhole Pro over the last couple of years.  Are these included in your packages?  What’s been your response from clients when they receive their album?  What do you personally love about the Vertical Panoramic Book?

The vertical panoramic albums from Pinhole are included in some of my packages, and are also available as add-ons to any of my packages. I LOVE these albums. I love the double-thick, lay-flat pages, the matte finish (no finger prints!) and the quality of the printed images. I think it is so important that a bride prints her images and has access to them in a tangible, easy-to-share format.


I have Pinhole albums I use as samples whenever I meet with a bride. It is the perfect way to showcase my work, and most brides end up adding one to their package. Every client who has ordered an album has loved having her images in print, especially in such a high-quality album!


Jessica Barley PPro_ADarlingDay-1owns A Darling Day with her husband Neil. Based in Greenville, SC, A Darling Day is a wedding photography and vintage rental company.

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