Nashville’s documentary wedding photographer
and headshot studio.
I met Celina and her mom last year when first discussing Celina and Jamison’s wedding photography. Two things were important to Celina specifically. Documenting human emotion and love, with the ambience and mood of the venue incorporated in the photos, and beautiful, fun engagement photos. Celina met her fiance while both of them worked at Publix supermarket to get themselves to what’s next. In the process, they found a paycheck, and each other! Jamison also used to work at Hermitage Golf Course, who graciously extended them the invite to do their engagement photos there, on their green pristine grounds. Golf course engagement photos, here we come!
My approach with the couple, as always, is to be a fly on the wall and document their natural interaction with only minimal direction from me. This creates a mood that belongs to them rather than one I created, and avoids contrived, unnatural posed photos. Apparently they’re skilled dancers! It’s discoveries like this and experiences together that help build our bond leading up to their kick ass wedding day!
It was fun zooming around in the golf carts, across the pathways, off the beaten path, and even where the rams were housed. Yes, there is a ram sanctuary on the property, they just didn’t want to join us on our photoshoot.
I hope you’ve enjoyed these sweet romantic Hermitage golf course engagement photos featuring Jamison and Celina! I look forward to rocking their wedding photography and documenting their next chapter. Next time you drive past a golf course and yell “FORE!” at the top of your lungs, remember, some of them have good aim. So I’ve heard. You’re welcome.
It was time to catch up with my friends, Mary and Les, and their children, Marley and Wiley on their farm in Southern Kentucky. I photographed their wedding in 2011, and have done documentary family photos for them since. Also I got to catch up with them over homemade spaghetti and sourdough bread. One aspect of documentary / lifestyle photography that they appreciate is the capture of real human emotion in ways that posed cannot do as effectively.
Mary messaged me and said it was hard for her not to be freaked out, because the house work, weed trimming, etc. was not done. I told her, don’t give that a second thought. You know better than anyone, part of documenting through photography is recording real life as it happens. Not facades, which portrait photography is about. We begin with Mary and Marley helping give Wiley a bath in the sink. When looking at these documentary family photos in two years, and twenty years, these moments don’t happen like this anymore. The photos and memories remain, not just for you but for them.
All of these are natural activities the family does after dinner, during the Summer months where daylight savings time and weather allows. This was not an act, and no special preparations were made for my arrival, except dinner prep. Just the way it needs to be, to document a day in the life of Les and Mary’s family. In 20 years, no one cares about how clean countertops were. The real memories that documentary family photos provide, is forever.
I don’t think the topic of wedding guests taking photos at weddings will ever have a unanimous agreement of the masses, but I thought I would offer my perspective, as a wedding photographer. Before I dive into the topic, I wanted to tell you that it’s customary for a wedding photographer’s contract to state that no other photographers are to be working when you hired them. How each photographer interprets and enforces this clause will vary.
I don’t care if wedding guests take photos-
I don’t consider the average wedding guest with their phone or camera taking some photos to be another photographer working. It’s the norm in our culture. I’m documenting the day as it happens for the couple, and the last thing I want to do is affect the guests’ experience. Most people understand that the couple invested a handsome sum of money to hire me and they don’t interfere with my work. I think it helps that my couples value my work because I’m hand picked and one of their key investments.
What about guests or relatives with pro cameras?
Same principle applies. I’m more concerned with behavior than I am equipment. Every once in a while, I’ll encounter a guest or family member with a full rig, as an attempt to fill the shoes of a hired pro, with their frequency of shooting. That’s what the difference is between someone acting as a photographer vs. wedding guests taking photos. Usually, those people are intrusive, and probably aren’t accomplishing anything. But that’s beside the point. Maybe they’re trying to build a wedding photography portfolio at someone else’s expense, maybe they think they’re helping (they’re not), who knows. But the last thing I want to do is to say anything to them, as they are still the couples’ guest. I’ve only had to, as professionally and politely, but directly as possible, maybe three times in the past 6 years.
Yes, it’s the job of the pro to work around the event. I don’t mind that. When you have an inexperienced shutterbug who has no clue about etiquette, that can sabotage the working pro you hired. Wedding guests taking photos are great. But I’d advise telling any click happy shutterbugs to come as a guest and celebrate with you, as you’ve hired a pro to do the work.
I first spoke to William, who was planning to visit Nashville with his girlfriend Becky in the next couple of weeks. He was planning to propose in Nashville and wanted a photographer to document the milestone moment in their lives, and of course I was up for the challenge. Fast forward to the day of the proposal, William and Becky have a tradition of visiting Hard Rock Cafe in every major city they travel to. After the couple enjoyed dinner there, they walked up the pedestrian bridge, where William told me was his place of choice, and there it was! A lovely proposal in the sun!
William let Becky off the hook and introduced me. All those strange texts planning logistics finally revealed themselves! What a wonderful and vibrant couple, I am so excited for them. In this role, I get to help put the sinister plan together, and be responsible for documenting real life.
William met Becky when she was actually his hairdresser. William is active duty military. They got to know each other, dated, and now here we are!! Celebrating a proposal in the sun in downtown Nashville. Congrats guys!!
It’s an honor to document the beginning of this couple’s forever story, and I hope to see you guys again, hope you enjoyed your Nashville trip! Hope you enjoyed hot chicken.
May the fourth be with you! I love it when two quirky nerd lovebirds come together! You know what they say about nerds, they are highly intelligent, hence their choice of photographers to document their day, lol. This brilliant and happy couple, Dylan and Christianah celebrated their nuptials at Historic Rock Castle, a Hendersonville, TN lakeside venue with the oldest historic home in middle Tennessee. Let’s get this lovely Historic Rock Castle wedding underway, lots of photos, you’re welcome.
Getting ready photos are always candid and fun, with decorum and moderation in any one given area.
Rock Castle is an outdoor event venue, with indoor changing rooms, where the ceremony can be lakeside, in front of mansion, under a tent in case of rain, as it works out. There was light drizzle that started mid-ceremony, and this continued throughout the evening, where the reception was held under the specious covered pavilion. The lakeside, and thankfully tented ceremony was lovely with Star Wars themed, and Irish music for pre-ceremony and background. Which, of course, I loved!
As a documentary wedding photographer and master storyteller, I like a fluid story without redundancy. Tunnel vision prevents sweet emotional moments throughout the audience, so I like to direct my attention everywhere, apart from any critical moments.
Just like that, married they are! (See what I did there?) Dylan and Christianah value the serene setting of the venue, but most of all, being in the company of their loved ones, and enjoying their day. No shot lists, only a few portrait groups, and it was off to the reception pavilion. That’s another great feature of photojournalist wedding photography, couples look back on photos of what really happened, not what a photographer told them to do.
The newlyweds make their way into the reception area, avoiding moderate rain, thanks to an umbrella and some forethought. Catering by Our Place Cafe.
The bartender eagerly awaiting the next guest who wants a refill. A little behind the scenes.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this Historic Rock Castle wedding….what a sweet story and photos that document the different stages of the day. Congratulations Dylan and Christianah, may the fourth be with you!