Nashville’s documentary wedding photographer
and headshot studio.
Ashley and Mark reached out to me when they were in the planning stages of their wedding on US soil, as there were visa issues. But the couple would have their day because love always wins! Mark is from Paducah, KY. and Ashley is from the UK, they met in Africa of all places! Mark travels there to do missions work, and Ashley does photojournalism there. Ashley’s father is a geologist and the family spent time there as she was growing up, so as fate would have it, Mark and Ashley came together, combined their cultures, in a land of a different culture altogether. Fast forward to present day in early October, 2019, the couple had their lovely Paducah Kentucky wedding.
The bridal prep, pre-ceremony candids, and the ceremony took place at St. Thomas More catholic Church in Paducah. Kentucky. The church was very elegant and photogenic. Ashley, being a photojournalist herself, wanted a documentary approach to their wedding photography so that they could enjoy the event with friends and family. This is possible because of no long periods of time spent on posing and group photos. The couple appreciates natural human emotion and values the relationships in their lives, I was honored to be their storyteller of choice. Not just for a style of photography, but the non-intrusive experience.
I took a few moments with Mark and Ashley to explore the lovely quaint downtown area for a few photos together. The change of scenery was a nice addition to the story of this lovely Paducah Kentucky wedding.
After a bite to eat downtown, as the couple was enjoying cocktails and time with family, my assistant and I ventured to the beautiful historic Smedley Yeiser house for the reception. It was a lovely time where the couple and guests enjoyed laughs, music, food, cocktails, and nice fellowship together.
I hope you enjoyed this grand Paducah Kentucky wedding and congratulations to Ashley and Mark!
There are many different factors / tactics in regards to planning for wedding photographers. There is definitely a lot of detail and systems to put in place for wedding photographers to carry out their job. Those systems and procedures change based on the experience level of the photographer, style of capture, and overall efficiency. What sparked this topic, on the way to photograph an out of state wedding, my assistant was baffled that I did not have the day completely mapped out, with every detail in mind. She’s used to a completely different style and approach of working and capture, so I felt this would be an interesting topic. For two or three people maybe. LOL.
I think every wedding photographer agrees that it’s important to keep equipment in top working order and cover your bases. Also, of course to know where you’re going, and have access to a timeline. That’s where the similarities end. This particular wedding was not hard to understand, and didn’t have the most formal timeline, but it was all I needed to do my job. My assistant of the day was amazed that I was ok with going forward with the basics. Like her, many wedding photographers have to have things planned down to the minute. Which works for them, if they orchestrate as they go.
Being documentary style, if I know the location(s) and basic timeline info, I can work with that alone. It’s inherent for me to follow the event, which makes any piece of paper irrelevant when things don’t go as planned. (which is out of my hands if it happens) But I still have a wedding day to document. If I’m referring to a list, I’m missing the genuine moments that happen, and human interaction. Because I don’t orchestrate, but rather document, I am used to going with the flow, which has helped me a lot for events when things change or go wrong. Even with the best of planners, they can only orchestrate the event with cooperation from the couple and family, which oddly doesn’t always happen. Rather than scramble at a paper that doesn’t apply at that point, I remain ready to follow the event. As far as planning for wedding photographers, or lack of, It’s a different mindset. One that doesn’t advocate being unprepared, just alert and adaptable.
I seldom participate on social media photography groups. I focus more on my business and creating, and following those I know who inspire me. I see all kinds of inquiries for low paying second shooter gigs, yada yada yada. Many people wanting to break into wedding and event photography, probably thinking that’s where the money is. Once you get established and are known for a specific style, maybe. But I can promise you don’t get rich off it by any means. I’m not trying to deter anyone, but rather look at things realistically.
Before even worrying about over saturation, the cost of insurance and backup equipment, marketing, etc. there are lots of things to consider. Building a wedding and event photography business takes time, and most who have the “dream” never see it through, or it’s not the gravy train they thought it was. This is someone else’s day. No do overs. No excuses. There will be things going wrong. How you measure a professional is how they perform when things do not go right. The couple comes first. Before you. If you go in, go in for the right reasons, or you will be miserable and be weeded out.
You are working long hours before, during, and after. People are emotional because it’s a huge occasion for them, and pain receptors in their brain are activated because it’s a lot of work. And they paid a lot of money for a venue and service providers. You’re working weekends, your social life does not come first. You’re in or you’re not. Customers expect the best, as they should. Your contract terms, especially on photo delivery time need to be clear. Otherwise, you will get “when will my photos be done?” emails and calls. They need to be delivered as promised. Is it fun working on photos when you’d normally be doing something else? Maybe not, but too bad. If you’re in the business, it’s time to provide or get out. You have to be a go getter and selfless. These are basic personality and work ethic pre requisites to do wedding and event photography. Not including technical, ability to handle stress and last minute changes, the expense of running the business, etc.
I had the pleasure of meeting Shawn and Christina, while they were visiting Nashville to celebrate their first anniversary. The couple wanted to do some photos of them interacting and exploring the Gaylord Opryland Hotel, where they stayed while in town. A documentary approach was to their liking, as opposed to posed, which is why they called me 🙂 I will tell their story, but first, a few Gaylord Hotel anniversary photos.
Christina and Shawn have known each other most of their lives, her grandfather worked with his father on the fire department. Holiday dinners, family get togethers, and soon, fate would have its way, they sealed the deal with tropical nuptials. The couple got married at the Gaylord Palms in Orlando, Florida. It was fun doing this couples lifestyle session with them while visiting Nashville. The couple plans to visit every Gaylord resort across the country. I hope you enjoy the Gaylord Hotel anniversary photos with Shawn and Christina!
I “met” Alex while talking to him about his upcoming trip to Nashville and how it was time to pop the question to his long-time girlfriend, Kelsey. The question would be how, when, and where? Relax dude, that’s what I’m here for. It’s always a rush doing proposals because I have to locate the couple based on a selfie we exchanged, and work with whatever location and lighting related challenges, always something new and fun. Plus, sharing and documenting a major life moment for the couple. Centennial Park / Parthenon was the place. The sun was bright, the day was bloody hot, but this Centennial Park proposal was perfect.
I don’t think I need to tell you that her answer was a resounding yes! Alex and Kelsey had met through mutual friends 9 years ago, but life took them different directions. Fate had its way and they reunited just over 4 years ago, and that’s when their dating relationship began. This trip to Nashville was special to them, and Alex had his heart set on the Parthenon as the place he wanted to propose. As he did. But it wasn’t without its challenges. There was construction at the park and part of it was fenced off, and part of The Parthenon was closed for a private event. I picked a side and just let the looky loos be part of it. These real emotions cannot be staged, and I am so happy for them! Congrats Alex and Kelsey, and I hope all of you enjoy this Centennial Park proposal.