There are a lot of rapidly changing trends with regard to styling and floral, table settings, overall styles of the wedding itself. Boho, Shabby Chic, rustic, etc. Many wedding photographers go to great pain to keep up with these ever changing styling and wedding photography trends as well.
Many wedding photographers build their brand and success by being known for certain styles of weddings and styling. This could include the trending flowery Lightroom presets to finish their photos. I can’t blame anyone for looking for and finding their niche, but here is how I look at wedding photography trends differently. As well as my lack of interest of styling trends. I don’t really have to know everything about trends as I capture and appreciate what is there, but it doesn’t define my particular style.
I look at many trends as passing fads. My approach is based primarily on documenting a story and human interaction. Sure, I like photographing the vibe and decor, but it doesn’t define an event or it’s people. This is why I put my energy and continuous efforts to being a stronger documentarian and don’t worry about passing trends. Because timeless photography and real human emotion don’t go out of style. Trends and fads do. Capturing some details are great, but it seems sad and impersonal to make wedding photography coverage primarily based on that.
I’m not making fun of the trend followers, because we all must do what we believe in and are passionate about. I just don’t want to deliver photos to a couple that they have to make excuses for decades later as their kids and grandkids look at. Like why are these as out of style as the mullet? The blown out highlights and whites and all the current styles, Instagram filters, well….they’re short lived. If I looked at my parents’ or grandparents’ wedding photos, I wouldn’t care about the decor one bit. I want to remember them and see them at different stages of their lives when I wasn’t here to see it. I tell these stories for future generations first, then the couple. Just my two cents, worth what you paid.
I got a phone call on a lovely Sunday morning from Thiago. Him and his wife were celebrating their first wedding anniversary while visiting Nashville that weekend. The couple was determined to get part of their day documented, which I was happy to do and be available for them! So we began our first anniversary photoshoot at the Gaylord Opryland Hotel where they stayed!
This hotel is very picturesque and because of that, if they didn’t have systems in place to control 9 million photographers coming in, it would be a giant photo set. So I just went in with my Fuji mirrorless and one lens, nothing else. I just kept a flash in my backpack if I needed it. But I wanted to travel lightly and not stand out, it was no problem. The trick is finding a place away from the massive crowds and working quickly in each location, then moving along. Therefore not affecting the experience of other guests.
I was honored to document their story using my fly on the wall documentary style, while capturing different parts of the hotel. I hope this anniversary photoshoot at the Gaylord Opryland Hotel provides a long lasting memory and heirloom for Thiago and Rebecca.
I told them that they provided inspiration to me at a time when I needed it and I appreciated doing this for them. I only hope my documentation of their time provided them inspiration as well. Thiago told me that they met in church as kids, and at times they have gotten closer and dated, gone their separate ways, but look at them now! Congratulations Thiago and Rebecca!
I’m glad we crossed paths in the midst of their travel and my schedule. It’s an honor to share these moments with you, and thank you again Thiago and Rebecca, here’s to the future!
For couples I meet with and work with, documenting their day, they often need recommendations for other wedding vendors. In which case I am happy to refer wedding professionals I know, who I believe in. Referring wedding vendors is rewarding and a good pay it forward, but I do so selectively.
Obviously if I took a chance on referring someone new or of unknown caliber, just because they seemed like a nice person or knowledgeable, that’s a huge risk. I won’t do it. It would look bad on me if i recommended someone who disappointed the client.
But, everyone starts somewhere, right?
Yes, but not at my expense or the expense of my clients. I would only refer those with a proven track record and reputation. Usually only after having worked with that person and know the product, skill level, and overall experience they offer the clients. I’ve came across many new to the business or to Nashville on social media communities and even networking events. I’m happy to befriend them. But if they ask me to refer them or help them get clients, I am of course polite, but won’t refer unknown people. I’ve heard lots of talk, and have seen many come and go.
Referring wedding vendors is rewarding for me and creates goodwill, those I refer will do the same for me. But here’s the thing, we’ve all worked together and know each other’s systems and level of commitment to our clients. It’s not being in a click or being closed off, it’s being careful and diligent. I’d rather be a reliable source and make sure people I refer will provide the best to those I refer them to. I’ve worked too hard to take chances recommending seemingly nice people without a track record. My two cents, worth what you paid.
I thought I’d help some fellow wedding photographers and overall photographer workflow processes. Wedding photographer workflow / post production can be time consuming. But I believe that working smarter and not harder helps you deliver a better product and have better attention to detail. Let me elaborate.
Proper ergonomics and really good desk chair-
Don’t skimp on this. Elbow and wrist should be in line when working the mouse. Many would laugh at me for paying $800.00 for a Herman Miller chair. But it’s design helps take weight off my spine and on the back of my legs which helps prevent back problems. Plus I get monthly chiropractic adjustments to ensure proper spine alignment and overall physical health. Wedding and event work is hard on you. Whatever preventative you can do helps in the long run.
Take frequent breaks and get exercise –
Some might say, I can get this knocked out in a couple days if I spend 8 hours a day on it, and get to the next project. It may work for some. But I recommend taking frequent breaks and getting proper exercise. Why be a slave to desk work? In the end, physical activity and exercise makes us and our minds more productive. Spending an hour or two at a time working and some doing some activities in between makes me more productive in the end, even if less time is spent at once.
I have found doing this helps me catch more things to work on before doing the final sweep. Also, overall better focus on my work and attention to detail. For example less temptation to surf social media in between my work. It’s about working smart and not hard.
Wedding photographer workflow tips –
I make my time most efficient by working systematically but avoiding being dogmatic, as each event will tell it’s own unique story. Part of it for me is not over shooting, as it creates a lot of sloppy work and overall composition problems. Plus missing what I should be watching for instead. There’s nothing to gain by taking 74 of the same photo, especially in non critical moments.
Now then, in Lightroom after my export, I use quick collections to work on the photos I don’t cull. A simple B key strike saves that photo to the quick collection. Then I most often use my Fuji classic chrome preset and make other adjustments as needed. I can right click, edit in Photoshop or NIK plugins for black and white work as I go. Or even remove an exit sign or a pimple, etc. All one thing. Wedding photographer workflow doesn’t have to be exhausting or daunting.
Today’s venue spotlight is Terian Farms weddings and events in Lebanon, just a 30 minute drive from downtown Nashville! There are a lot of Nashville wedding venues, and many great choices. But Terian Farms remains one of my favorites because of it’s beauty, ownership and care of property, and just overall feel. Here are some questions and answers as I interviewed owner, Teri Daugherty. So if you’re looking for a farm / barn style wedding or events venue in the Nashville area, this should be very helpful!!
Who wouldn’t love to arrive to this, especially after dealing with he hustle bustle of the city all week?
Question 1 for Teri -Do you notice any commonality or similar traits with the couples who book your venue for their wedding?
Answer- Couples who book my venue are looking for privacy and a quaint setting within the beauty of nature. Most comment on the views, horses, wildlife, and peacefulness. They also like the different woods and uniqueness of this barn vs. barn venues that just have one big room.
Question 2 for Teri- What’s new with Terian Farms? Any new projects or amenities you’re working on?
Answer- We added a new “photo booth” for quests to hang out and have fun in. It is a large open room with an oversized picture frame and props. We also added a new bar at the back of the barn. We have new furniture and a wagon as additions as well.
Question 3 for Teri- Are there hotel and airport shuttles that transport people to and from the venue? Any established relationships with the hotels or shuttle services?
Answer – The hotels near us offer a 15% discount for weddings at Terian Farms. There are free shuttles to the Nashville airport, but not to the farm itself.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this Q&A session with Teri! It’s a great venue and immaculately kept. Teri also helps keep events running smoothly with day of coordination. If you’re in search of a rustic farm style venue, I encourage you to set up a tour of Terian Farms as part of your search of Nashville wedding venues!