About JoPhoto

JoPhoto Knoxville Wedding Photographers

About JoPhoto – Knoxville Wedding Photographers

Today’s post is a little bit different than what we normally share. Instead of telling the story of a couple and their unforgettable wedding day, we’re sharing a little bit about ourselves with you!  This is because today’s post marks our 500th blog post. That’s right, we’ve been sharing updates, wedding photos, and tips for planning your wedding since 2011, and in those 8 years of blogging, we’ve covered a lot of ground.

Joe and I began shooting weddings together in 2008. Since then, we’ve shot more than 600 weddings together, and we’re in the middle of our 12th wedding season. We love photographing weddings in our hometown of Knoxville and the Great Smoky Mountains. We’ve also enjoyed traveling across the United States and even across the ocean in England (twice!) to photograph weddings. The past 11 years has been quite an adventure, and we’re looking forward to where JoPhoto continues to take us in the future too!

One of the questions that we are most often asked is, “How did you become wedding photographers?” Well, here goes. When we met in 2008, Joe was working for an advertising agency and photographing weddings for free on the side for his friends. Kathleen was a marketing manager at a healthcare technology company, and she had never thought in her wildest dreams that she would be a wedding photographer.

Sidebar: Ironically enough, Joe photographed a wedding in 2007 that Kathleen attended, and he took photos of her at that wedding. Crazy, right!?

Back to the story….so, I said to Joe, “you know, you can photograph weddings and charge money for this. I can create a web site for you and see what happens.” Making some additional money sounded great to him, and we took literally any wedding we could get.

We started our business in 2008, which was also during the recession, which was another challenge. Our starting prices were dirt cheap when we first began. We remember one of the first weddings we photographed had an 8-hour reception at a local hotel. Just the reception was 8 hours. Everyone was from out of town, so they would go up to their hotel room and relax, change clothes, hang out, and then come back down to continue the reception.

Fast forward the story a little bit, and we got engaged in July of 2010 at Wrightsville Beach. We both wanted to go to the beach and have a small, intimate wedding with just our families. But, family logistics didn’t work out in our favor, so we had our wedding on the white sandy beach at Hunter Valley Farm on a Sunday in April of 2011. This is why we are big supporters of intimate destination weddings, because that’s what we originally wanted to do ourselves!

We shoot approx. 80-90 weddings a year as JoPhoto. We also own the Knox Photo Bus, which is a photo booth inside a 1969 Volkswagen bus, and we sell a retail product for photographers called Atmosphere Aerosol. Between everything that we do for those businesses on a daily basis, we have to be very mindful about taking time off to relax. Because if we don’t, we can very easily head down the path of burnout. The most important things in our lives are our two golden retrievers, Murphy and Tigger. They are our daily dose of love, humor, and excitement, and they are the center of our world.

We also have an awesome team who help us keep everything rolling! Justin runs the Knox Photo Bus at most events, and you may have met him with Stella (the bus). Virginia helps me in the office, and her fiancé, Evan, helps with events as well. We’re going to be a part of their wedding next June in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Kara and Perry worked for us up until this spring when she graduated from law school, and we photographed their wedding at the Barn at Chestnut Springs in 2016.

I hope you enjoyed learning a little bit more about us! If you love watching lightning bugs flicker in the trees, get excited by the smell of a campfire, love jumping in a cool mountain stream, and hopping across river rocks, then get in touch with us so we can capture your next adventure!

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jophoto - smoky mountain wedding photographersthis is us!Hey!

Hi! We're Joe and Kathleen, and we're a husband and wife photography team specializing in weddings and elopements for adventurous couples in the Great Smoky Mountains, Gatlinburg, and East Tennessee.


Celebrate in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Gatlinburg, by the river, on top of the mountains, or in a cozy cabin...wherever adventure takes you, our job is to take photos you'll love for years to come.

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Wedding Photography

Adventure Sessions

Super 8 Films

Knox Photo Bus



Great Smoky Mountains






Smoky Mountain Wedding Photographers

Joe & Kathleen Atkins


Tel: (865) 919-7280 Calls only