Nashville Wedding Photographers | Jay Farrell | Jay's blog

Going against the grain | Nashville wedding photographers

Most engaged couples searching for their ideal wedding photographer match would agree there are many choices. Too many. Out of those, not all are ideal for them. For wedding photographers to develop their brand and target client, sometimes it means going against the grain and being different. Each couple must know their identity and what is most important to them.

umbrella love

Without going too in depth about documentary wedding photography I will cover the basics. As well as demonstrate another working preference that some would question, based on what they’ve perceived as normal. My approach in short, as a documentary wedding photographer is to have the gift of finding  those real organic moments of raw human emotion. And documenting it. Un-posed and non intrusive throughout the day, with exception of some formal groups that the couples want. I never pose anyone or orchestrate anything besides that. A rare / non existent approach in this market, but that’s what I do best.

kids at weddings

I also use off camera lighting with an assistant to be able to control shadow and lighting patterns I want, with no unmanned light stands which can be a hazard and eyesore. My camera platform is Fuji mirrorless, because I love the unique look and character of the photos and lenses, and the more compact size. The main area where I’m going against the grain is not using a second shooter.  This goes against how many wedding photographers work and what the mainstream wedding media says you have to do. Seen it, heard it….some work best that way, others like me don’t. The short explanation is for style consistency, non intrusive approach, and the guests won’t feel like they’re in a paparazzi zone.

bride dancing

I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with others who do things differently. I’ve just developed my own system that works well for what I do. You as a couple should book the wedding photographer whose style and photos speak to you. Also considering their personality, their organization and systems, and overall experience you and your guests will have.

Terian Farms wedding photography

My reputation has been built on MY unique ability to tell the story of each wedding that I photograph. By being the solo photographer, every photo is consistent with the last. The style, the lighting… it all blends fluidly with a singular artist creating each photo. This also affords me the time to focus on detail in post production, album making, custom wooden packaging, etc. All personal touches. I don’t recommend every photographer work this way, but I’ve developed my system which took years. I can work non-intrusively, cover the ground I need to, stay organized and be prepared. No waiting for lighting or flash setups, it’s mobile and done before I walk in. Backup equipment on me, as well as a spare lens. I love what I do and I love the couples I work with. Quality over quantity, but a cohesive complete story.  Going against the grain is good if you have a system that works and clients are happy.

wedding dancing

By me going against the grain and offering a style that defies a lot of human logic provides me a unique client which is great. If you love an artist’s work, it hardly makes sense to want it any differently. I had a venue coordinator work with me for the first time last year and she asked me about my second shooter. I graciously explained I’m both, and this is my assistant 🙂 She saw the system work and has referred me to other couples which is the best compliment I can receive. One I’ll never take lightly and always be grateful for.








Are wedding videographers annoying?

This was the first I’d heard this question asked this directly, but I attract a no nonsense couple which I love. I spoke with a couple about their wedding photography in Nashville, and they were on the fence about hiring a videographer. The bride asked me, are wedding videographers annoying? I wasn’t exactly sure how to answer that at first, LOL! But there is definitely a two part answer.

bride and groom

A good experienced wedding videographer knows how to work around guests and the photographer and not be intrusive to get their footage. Inexperienced ones, well….yes! They’re annoying! They don’t know the etiquette, nor is their footage ever impressive. The same could be said about photographers too. A good one creates a great experience while documenting the day as a pro would. Most rookies annoy the guests and make spectacles of themselves. It’s relative.

When hiring a wedding photographer, or videographer, it’s not just about the photos or video, it’s also about the experience you will have with them during the consultation process, the wedding day, and all the way up to the delivery process. Your guests’ experience is also affected based on how they work.

Back to the videographers. Are wedding videographers annoying? The ones who are all over the place, intrude on the event, distract critical moments, or get in the way of the photographer, officiant, couple, and guests, absolutely! Video is one of those services, it’s best to go big or go home and skip it altogether if the budget isn’t there to hire a really good one. Then it’s personal taste about how passionate about video each couple is. With either or both services, it’s about having the story told without either one ruining the experience. And providing a substandard product in the process. Don’t hire an annoying one, and they won’t be annoying. 🙂


Building a farm wedding venue

I met Hunter and Brittnee along with Hunter’s mom just months before their October 2016 wedding, this will always be a memorable one. The family had acquired a farm property with a lot of land, I forgot how many hundreds of acres, in Watertown, TN. It’s almost an hour from Nashville, and at least 20 minutes from the nearest small city of Lebanon. There was no house, but a large modern but rustic barn, a small cabin used for changing quarters, and a carport with a deck. Since this was a special place for the couple and the family, this is where Hunter and Brittnee’s wedding would be. But Building a farm wedding venue is no easy task.
kids at weddings
wedding cake
I went for a tour and a fish fry party with them and Brittnee took me to the top of the mountain in her Jeep on gravel roads, and there was electricity run! That seemed so random! At the time, there was no toilet or any other structure besides the barn. It was very pretty and scenic but it was beyond me how they would get the farm ready for a wedding and fully decorated in just three months time. I saw so much potential but had no idea how they’d pull it off. I show up with my assistant on the wedding day and I was flabbergasted. They had built an out building with plumbing, finished the deck by the car port, decorated the small cabin, steamrolled the barn floor, and had it all decorated! Tables, chairs, rustic decorations, ceremony and reception props, band area, they had this all thought out. It was missing nothing and was as well equipped as many farm wedding venues I’ve seen. And it wasn’t even an actual venue! Well…at least not yet but we will see. It sure could be!
farm wedding details
first look
Watertown Tennessee farm wedding
Tennessee farm wedding
mason jar candles
walk the aisle
One unique thing about weddings in a rustic venue like Hunter and Brittnee’s is how guests incorporate the feel of the wedding into their attire. Rustic weddings, get their touches of romance from the venue, decor and all around love from all those in attendance. Small things like the attire of the guest in attendance can really contribute to the feel of the wedding. The guest who attended Hunter and Brittnee’s wedding did just that with their choices in clothing and footwear. Something as simple as a good pair of boots, like those made by King Ranch Saddle Shop, is an easy way for loved ones to show their love and support. In the end, a wedding is all about the love and romance. children at weddings
Building a farm wedding venue that was perfect for them was not too great a task for them, well done!


Fun animated wedding photographer video

It’s extremely rare that I ever read any solicitation emails from service providers I don’t know or have not used before. But one day I got curious, I saw an email about custom whiteboard videos and animated cartoon videos. The light bulb went on, how about a fun animated wedding photographer video? I had considered putting a short video on my website because many people love them. Also it’s a way to get info without having to read through multiple pages. So I looked at their website and sample videos.

Whiteboard was cool, but more instructional than what I needed. That’s basically things being written and illustrated on a whiteboard. I liked the idea of a fun custom cartoon video, because who doesn’t love cartoons? My style of wedding photography can be viewed as more utilitarian as opposed to bright and airy and Pinterest inspired. For that reason, I thought this fun animated wedding photographer video could be a good tool to sell my approach to those looking for info. It’s a fun, light, and brief way to simplify the understanding of the process.

I spoke with Julian, my contact person, and I gave him my vision for the project and went over a bunch of details. Then we went over words for his voice over person to use. He hit the nail on the head. The cartoon me even sortof looks like me, LOL! I’d love to get your thoughts on this new video, it’s now on my website as well. I thought it was a good idea because no one has anything like it. It’s fun, informative, and brief, well under a minute. Maybe Cartoon Network will hunt me down and try to make a Jay Farrell Photography cartoon. One step at a time. But I’m happy if it only helps and entertains prospective clients.

Dog insulinoma follow up

As promised, I am doing a Dog insulinoma follow up from last article about a pancreas tumor removal surgery on Oscar in mid February, just over two months ago.

rescue Boxer

I reiterated in last article, deciding on surgery or euthanasia in the event of a terminal illness, it’s a personal decision. A lot of it depends on your finances and the overall probability of a good quality of life after treatment. As well as the dog’s overall health besides that. Oscar was otherwise fine so this was a shock. With much deliberation, I decided to do the surgery, despite it’s potential risk and long term survival odds. Well, it’s been 10 weeks since the insulinoma surgery where the vet cut out that section of the pancreas with the tumor. The tumor was malignant after testing, but I do not know the technical information about margins, etc. But any other questions you are welcome to ask.

The overall Dog insulinoma follow up-

He’s been happy and overall doing well. He’s not as playful with Buttons, his companion but that’s to be expected. He remains on Prednisones which is a powerful steroid. That is what is regulating his body and blood sugar. His blood sugar should be at 80-110. It stays around 48-50 on average, 30 being the dangerous number. My guess is the pancreas can’t repair itself and the prednisones are needed to keep him going. Not an ideal long term treatment option, but that and frequent feedings are all we have.

Side effects I’ve seen on him- Frequent urination, excessive water drinking and food appetite, heavier breathing, less endurance on walks etc. So I make sure he gets walks but don’t overdo it, especially with warmer weather now. I’ve been giving him some wet food and chicken to get him acclimated with the extra meals. The bad thing now, he’s out 10 pounds on in the last month. He’s still not obese but I’d like to take 3 or 4 pounds off him ideally and maintain.

I will cut out the wet food and give chicken sparingly (calories) and mix some various things with his grain free dry food to help fill him up but not fattening. Apple, green beans, banana, pumpkin puree, things like that. More later. I’m glad we did this but it’s trial and error as far as post treatment. But I’ve got my buddy here next to me as I write this.