Denae Brennan Events is a boutique full service wedding and event planning firm creating events filled with thoughtful details, refined beauty and joyful experiences.
My vendor spotlight series continues with the talented Jessica Smith and Betsy Wall of the newly formed Smith & Wall Wedding Co. Don’t be fooled by the term “newly formed” though – these two ladies have been professional photographers for 13 years in their own right, but they recently decided to join forces to form Smith & Wall Wedding Co. But I’ll let them tell you their story below! I had the pleasure of working with Betsy a few years back on a wedding, from which I’m sharing a few photos here, along with some work from both Betsy and Jessica.
Let’s get to know this dynamic duo!
Q: How long have you been photographing weddings? How did you get started in the wedding industry?
A: Both of us are going on 13 years of being professional, full time wedding photographers! Between the two of us we’ve photographed over 500 weddings, and counting.
Jessica: Ever since I was young I’ve had a love for photography and was always the one with the camera in my hands at all the high school and college events. But it wasn’t until my own wedding that this dream came to a reality. I was inspired by my amazing wedding photographer 14 years ago! She took me under her wing and taught me the ins and outs and here I am today living my dream as a wedding photographer.
Betsy: I’ve always been artistic, but didn’t connect that I could make a career out of it until after college – my undergrad is in software engineering, actually. Everything changed when by chance I met a photographer (my now dear friend, Jackie Boldt!) who was incredibly encouraging and let me apprentice with her for a year or so. Then, with the support and encouragement of my husband Pete, left my steady tech job to pursue photography full-time. I’ve been chasing great light and working with the world’s best clients ever since!
We created Smith & Wall Wedding Co. because we’ve been friends and colleagues since the beginning of our careers, and have always complimented each other amazingly well. We both genuinely care about our clients, are obsessed with customer experience and are very organized people. Betsy brings boldness, a sense of humor and gravitates toward the unique, and Jessica balances with a sweet and steadfast demeanor, never ending patience and has an amazing ability to make everything she touches look pretty. This means we can give our couples unmatched experience and quality, and have a LOT of fun during the process.
Q: What is your favorite part about a wedding day?
A: So many to choose from! The first look is always SO sweet. Walking down the wedding aisle surrounded by the most important people in your life? Amazing. When parents share moments with the couple and become overwhelmed with emotion. Also, is it normal to get goosebumps when we see great light? 😀
Q: What’s the piece of advice you give most often to your couples?
A: A couple things! Plan, plan, plan before the wedding day but when it arrives, let us take care of the logistics. Whatever the day brings, go with the flow and enjoy it. Also, be intentional about carving time out on your wedding day for just the two of you. There’s a lot going on and it will fly by, so you’ll appreciate having a quiet moment to connect and take it all in.
Q: Do you have any dream destinations in which you would like to shoot (a wedding or otherwise)?
A: Anything in the Hamptons! PS – Taylor Swift. If you find yourself engaged, call us.
Q: Do you offer other photography services outside of weddings?
A: Individually, we do photograph families, portraits and commercial work. When we both started our careers, our goal was to specialize and get really good at one thing – weddings. Over the years and especially after we each had kids, we have added other types of photography services. From the start though, weddings have had our heart, and still do. At Smith & Wall Wedding Co. our focus is wedding photography.
Q: What do you do in your free time – when you’re not behind the camera?
A: Betsy: Free time? Ha! 🙂 I’m an avid runner and fit the miles in whenever I can. My family loves going to the farmer’s market on Saturday mornings. After I put the kiddos to bed I’m likely fitting in an episode of Parks & Rec or Arrested Development.
Jessica: I am proud to be a full blown Minnesota hockey mom! When I’m not watching my boys on the ice I like to squeeze in a good workout, a round of golf, travel and live music.
Okay friends, if you are looking for a wedding photographer team that gives you not one, but TWO extremely experienced photographers with a classic and timeless style, be sure to reach out to Betsy and Jessica!