Nashville’s documentary wedding photographer
and headshot studio.

Modern documentary photography

I was thrilled to hear back from Anthony and Brian, a couple whose wedding I photographed fixe years ago. Since they got married, life happened with job changes and relocation, though their travels would always take them back to the Nashville area they call home. The most exciting news for them is they are now a family of three, with a toddler boy they adopted. The trio was planning to return to their home church in Brentwood to have their son christened now that the adoption process is finalized. I was honored to be asked to do photograph the special occasion. During the Covid-19 pandemic and churches just recently at partial capacity, and people wearing face masks, I wasn’t sure how the photos would be affected, I quickly realized I was just doing modern documentary photography that represent a time in history. One I’d like to put behind us, but none of us will soon forget.

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Even with wedding photography, the weather is usually not ideal. Instead of trying to document the day a different way, as a documentary photographer, I like to accurately represent the weather and tell the story around it, Masks may be unsettling, but that’s where are now, for the first time in 100 years. The masks could not hide the love that surrounds their family, and journalism is designed to tell a story based on the true event. Not something staged, This documentation of the baby christening especially during the pandemic, it’s modern documentary photography and a true account of the event. Not to mention the love and excitement shared by everyone in attendance.

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Easiest way to get a headshot

We are far from out of the woods with Covid-19, but people are carrying out their activities and using caution, as are responsible businesses. As for me, I have systems in place to protect both myself and my clients during this time. Many people are getting back to work, finding new jobs, or even new careers, and need an updated headshot. One might wonder, what is the safest and easiest way to get a headshot in these strange times? Once you contact me and we set up a day and time (please be advised that similar to other business, availability may be slightly limited, but not to worry, I’m here to serve) the visit will be contactless. I will wear a face mask for your safety.

Studio headshots or location headshots are brief. Payments are done electronically through online invoice. All proofing is done electronically for the time being. I love visiting with clients and doing this in person, but this is where we are for now. Once favorites are selected, I do a basic retouch and deliver files electronically. Most clients receive their final files within one business day from when favorites are selected. Old pricing has remained, the same great quality remains. The easiest way to get a headshot is right here. When can we schedule yours?

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Jay Farrell Photography Youtube

Just a quick note inviting everyone to subscribe to my official Jay Farrell Photography Youtube channel. I’m a still photographer and love the moods provided through texture, emotion, lighting, etc. to give the photograph proper drama and character to stand on its own. Though I’m not a videographer, I love using video format to place photos together, and make digital slideshows for wedding clients. It’s a fun and concise way to put a story together not only for the couple, but for the couple to share their event photo highlights with their loved ones. I also have a separate playlist for my book video trailers, titled Jay Farrell Author.

Are second photographers necessary?

Couples are busy shopping for venues, cakemakers, planners, studying design pallets, oh yes; and wedding photographers! It’s an extremely busy and time consuming process. It’s my interest to simplify the experience for couples consulting with me and those who secured my photography services. When couples research photographers, it can easily become overwhelming and confusing, because the styles of work and overall experience between photographers is very different, which is a good thing. Many wedding photographers use the second photographer as a point of value for their services. Are second photographers necessary? What exactly does it mean?

My neutral opinion-

It’s perfectly fine for each unique wedding photographer to work how they see fit. I’ve never worked with a second photographer personally. I take a journalist approach, and appeal most to those who want to have their story told and not have to think about it. It’s also perfectly fine that others prefer to work in teams. I would however beg to differ that the way some present it as being a necessity is accurate, regardless of who you choose. There is nothing I can tell you, and there’s nothing anyone else can tell you that should program your mind either way. The work, personality, and reputation of your ideal photographer should be the only thing that impresses you and strongly influences your decision. Anyone can talk, actions speak louder. If you like a specific photographer and their work, and feel that they show up prepared, then common sense should tell you that there’s no reason to want it done differently. Part of what you are relying on and trusting are their systems.

Clients don’t care about the contents in my camera bag, just that I show up prepared and insured. (most never question either, though venue owners should). I answer their questions and tell them anything relevant. I went to two weddings as a guest and observed these two photographers at one of the events. They seemed to be tunnel-visioned and neither one of them even noticed an adorable toddler protruding into the aisle quietly observing and eating a snack. If the couple got what they wanted, it’s a win. The other, the photographer was barely noticeable but still worked. That couple also got what they wanted. I can’t say that I saw the value of the second shooter in the first wedding, though different approaches can create a different result.

It’s only a perk if the qualifications and style are similar to the primary photographer, which is not usually the case. I’ve seen many posts on local wedding photographer social media groups looking for a second shooter at the eleventh hour because theirs bailed. That’s just heaping in a second shooter, and it’s only because it was promised, and for optics. How is this an asset to the couple? An author writes a book, and a copy editor proofs it. There’s one film producer. Are second photographers beneficial to some photographers? Yes. Are second photographers necessary for all wedding photographers? No. Just be sold on your choice for the right reasons.



Keeping things real

Before and after the Covid-19 pandemic started, I’ve always believed in keeping things real. Many people cannot see friends and family, and miss the little things we have all taken for granted. This only solidifies my strong belief in my style of documentary wedding photography. Real human emotion and interaction can’t be replaced by staged moments or detail heavy work. I love pretty surroundings and the talent it took to create it, and even photographing it. Though the people, and nothing else tells the true story of the day.
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What I do isn’t for everyone, and that’s fine with me. I’m looking for clients who value real moments documented that collectively form a story, all with a non-intrusive presence. I suspect that dealing with isolation could make this approach popular. I’m not trying to be everything to everyone, but to do what I do best. I don’t water it down either as my work would lose potency.

When hiring a creative artist, there should be a connection between them and the couple; the couple knows that their approach and systems will work for them. If a couple feels the need to micromanage the photographer, they’re hiring the wrong one. I love to accommodate my clients, though the premise of what I do should be what they want if they’re hiring me. With a niche stye like my photojournalist approach to photographing weddings, I don’t work well if placed on a leash or being micromanaged. Besides, why would anyone invest in a pro photographer and feel that they have to place that burden on themselves? It makes no sense.

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Of course weddings are made up of baseline moments that I always capture. Everything else I use as free reign to watch for the richest moments, and tell a story through those. Of course I do some group photos for the couple. The reason most would hire me is if they want to enjoy their day and not have to think about it. There are plenty of photographers who work better as order takers. But in the end, if the photographer doesn’t match the couple’s vision, is anyone happy? Now is the time especially for keeping things real and hiring your best photographer match so that your day is a dream, and not a task.