Hey there friends! Today I am super excited to introduce you to my friend Markie Jones, who is a Seattle/Tacoma and beyond, wedding photographer! Not only does Markie Jones do wedding photography, but she also does engagement photos, portraits, boudoir, business branding photos and more!
I met Markie when I was on the hunt for someone to take pictures of a styled shoot for me. As soon as I went to Markie’s website and read a bit about her, I knew immediately we would be friends!
We met for dinner and found out we have a ton in common (a love for Dave Ramsey *high five!!*) among many other things.
Months later we were able to narrow down a good time to do my styled shoot pictures, and the rest, as they say, is history!
Markie Jones offers a mix between urban, yet light, feel and approach to her photography. She uses those nice artsy angles that I love and captures such beautiful images. I hands down would recommend her to be your wedding photographer!
Let me introduce you to Markie Jones
Please introduce yourself:
I’m Markie, a self-proclaimed “unartistic” Taurus with a soft spot for all things love related.
Tell me about your photography business:
I’m the luckiest girl alive documenting weddings and portraits for the wild at heart. I started as a sports photographer (more or less, I was volun-told to photograph a sports team) and moved from there to portraits and weddings. It was a natural flow I suppose, mostly because I got asked to shoot those things… and I did it.
What made you decide to open up your own photography business?
Honestly, it was kinda decided for me. Like I mentioned above, I was voluntold I would be shooting Pop Warner Football when my ex was coaching. One of the parents loved the shots I took of their kids on the sidelines and asked me to photograph their Christmas card that year. My dad had owned his own business for many years and offered me a “loan” to buy a pro camera if and only IF, I also applied for a business license and became a legit business. At the time, I had been laid off from my job in construction and just given birth to my eldest daughter. Any opportunity to stay home with her was a win in my book.
What’s your favorite memory from an event or wedding?
Oh man… this is such a hard question. I’ve seen so many amazing things over the years, from a bonus parent surprising everyone with special vows to a bonus child, to a bride stopping her wedding ceremony to feed their child before walking down the aisle. I’d have to say one of my favorite memories though, was the incredible bride who walked down the aisle to the Imperial March. She hadn’t told anyone (except me) and everyone had the biggest smiles when she walked down.
Another favorite is the groom who made a special ring box for his new wife and gifted her his great grandmother’s ring along with it.
So many special memories from so many amazing couples.
Let’s hear it! Tell us a funny or (embarrassing) memory that happened at an event:
Haha… I should have known this would come up. I have a really really bad habit of climbing on things to get “the shot” and more than once, this has worked against me.
A few summers ago, I had a bridal party who were all a good 5-8″ taller than me. I snagged one of the footstools and climbed up on it… no less than 3 times.
Well, third times a charm and the step stool toppled over, sending my feet over my head and one of the elderly guests actually caught me on the way down, keeping me from hitting my head. He was literally my hero that day.
The last time I fell (before a vendor friend and my husband forced me to buy a step stool), I grabbed a folding chair (one I’d stood on many times) and stepped on it the wrong way… with my foot going through the back as it slow motion folded underneath me. The worst part? I was 3 weeks postpartum with my youngest and several guests watched me go down. It was more embarrassing that they kept checking on me than anything else.
What is your favorite part of the process in your photography business?
My favorite part? When I have a vision for something and I totally nail it. I find myself squealing randomly throughout my sessions because I’m just in love with the images we’re creating. I can legit be having the crappiest day, and the moment I nail a shot, it’s the best day of my life again.
Do you have a favorite photograph you’ve taken from an event or wedding?
I do! It’s actually one of the moments I mentioned above, where mama stopped to feed her daughter when they were supposed to walk down the aisle. She sat down in this grove of bushes and I asked if I could photograph the moment for her. It turned out more wonderful than I ever could have imagined. (You can see this image on Markie’s website HERE)
What’s the process of your initial consultation with a couple?
It really depends on the couple! I have so much information on my website that the majority of the time, clients come to me already knowing who I am and what I’m about. It’s pretty rare that I’m asked for an in-person or face to face initial consult.
My booking process is really easy, with the contract online and the ability to pay your invoice as well.
Do your clients have to purchase prints from you, or can they take their images to another place and print the pictures themselves?
They don’t have to purchase from me, though they are welcome to do so from their gallery. All galleries are available to download and print wherever they’d like as well.
What’s your starting price for the different photography options you offer?
Elopements & Micro Weddings (under 30 people) begin at $1297.
Large traditional weddings (which need 2 shooters) begin at $1997.
Portraits and hourly coverage begin at $497.
Of course, I always encourage couples to contact me if they’re budget is slightly smaller than my starting price. I can customize collections to suit many different budget needs and it would take way too much internet space to list all the potential options.
Do you offer any special mementos to your clients as an add on to your photography services?
My favorite memento is the signature album. They’re incredibly gorgeous and come in a box that my 5-year-old can stand on (she’s stood on my sample box, and you wouldn’t even know).
I typically start with a 20 page album, but have designed up to 40 pages and can fit in even more. Each album is custom designed for the client so no two are identical in layouts or covers.
How far will you travel for a photography gig?
Since I have a passport… I’ll go anywhere you’re willing to go. I’m currently working on a project where I can photograph a wedding in all 50 states before my 50th birthday (In April 2036). So far I’ve checked off 3 (WA, CA & CT), with MN scheduled for next year. Seriously though, I’m pretty much dying to go to Texas… anywhere near Waco.
Do you have an ideal couple?
My ideal couple is about 30 years old and on two totally different spectrums. He’s in some sort of construction or labor industry, while she’s more of a hands-on creator. It’s very likely that one or both of them own their own business, and they have kids together or from a previous relationship. They tend to shop locally from artisans and farm stands while caring about the environment. As a couple, they’re adventurous; whether that means trying the new brew your own craft beer joint in town, or hiking up a mountainside to get killer views of the sunset.
When hiring a photographer, what should the person look for?
Beyond the obvious skill, contracts, insurance, and licenses look for someone you can really click with. Other than your new spouse, you’re going to spend most of the day with your photographer and you don’t want to listen to the same chicken crossing the road joke 45 times in one day.
You want someone who instills trust in you and you feel REALLY comfortable with. Chances are high you’ll be half-naked at some point in front of them. You don’t want to feel like they’re oogling you while you change into your dress or knickers.
What sets you apart from other photographers?
My attitude and insane determination. I shot a wedding 6 days postpartum with my new baby in tow because I was determined to do it. My client was relying on me to make her wedding day dreams come true and I wasn’t going to let something like a c-section and infant stand in my way.
This past fall I shot 5 other weddings with the little guy in tow. People were counting on me and I wasn’t going to let them down. Plus I have backup plans for my backup plans.
Why should someone hire a professional photographer, as opposed to using their best friend’s little sister (…or *insert person*) who dabbles in photography?
I don’t even know where to start with this one, so let me preface by saying: Everyone starts somewhere. However, that doesn’t mean you’ll want to look back on those photos in 2, 5 or 10 years. I cringe looking at some of those weddings I shot when I didn’t know what I was doing. Between “creative edits” and horrible angles, it’s just yuck now.
For those who want to dabble in weddings, they’re better off second or third shooting for someone before being trusted with a wedding day. I’ve seen so many horror stories from just gross photos, to not getting photos at all.
As far as professionalism goes, it really pays to have someone who knows what they’re doing. I personally invest a good chunk of my income into continued learning so that I can provide couples with the best experience and imagery from their wedding day. But I also understand that comes with a price. If the price is a big factor to you, check for hourly options or even ask about setting up couples portraits the day after in your wedding attire.
Always make sure there’s a contract in place that outlines the what, when, and where of everything, along with a solid cancellation clause and a plan for what happens if the photographer fails to perform.
Learn More About Markie Jones Photography
Thank you Markie, for taking the time to be interviewed for all our Tacoma – Seattle, WA (and surrounding areas) brides, grooms, and others looking for a wedding and engagement photographer!