Nashville’s documentary wedding photographer
and headshot studio.
Part of doing engagement photos for a couple is capturing the essence of them as a couple and personalizing it to them. With my photojournalist approach to wedding and engagement photography, I’m a fly on the wall on their day out. This outing for tacos and engagement photos, and a little window shopping is very personalized for Brandon and Adriene, because it’s very relevant to how they met and their first date. I met the couple through their planner, and my friend, Kasey, with Luminary Event. We are all going to be quite the crew, always doing the most!
Brandon and Adriene met on the dating website and app, Coffee Meets Bagel.
The couple had their first date at Taco Mamacita in Edgehill Village, after talking for a bit to get to know one another. Brandon works in IT, and Adriene is a relationship and marriage therapist. I imagine that knowledge helps navigate through the challenges of a relationship, but these two are true team players on and off the court. Brandon received a job offer in North Carolina, a year into their relationship. Adriene made arrangements to join him and they continue their life together, and subsequently continue her practice.
The key ingredient to personalizing this engagement shoot was including where it all began. The staff and management of Taco Mamacita were very accommodating and allowing us to finish our photoshoot there. They were also genuinely touched to know they had a part in this great couple’s history!
Great times, laughs, tacos and engagement photos, and just enjoying an afternoon out. No uncomfortable and awkward poses. I’m certainly looking forward to continuing to get to know Brandon and Adriene, and documenting their wedding day in genuine, photojournalist capture. I certainly look forward to that day, and am hoping everyone enjoys these moments from their day out in Nashville.
I’m a firm believer in doing photography for fun, in between busy seasons and just exploring with my camera. What led me to this topic,? I was sitting at a table at a wedding industry mixer recently talking with a fellow Nashville wedding photographer, the topic came up. He said he only shoots professionally and does no leisure photography at all, even during lull times in his wedding photography season. I kept my expression as unreadable as possible, but part of me doubted that was possible. But we’re all different.
Why does this seem unusual or far fetched to me, or even a bad idea? Musicians always practice. Professional athletes stretch, train, and practice. A photographer who doesn’t feed their inspiration could be akin to an out of shape athlete. Or an out of tune musician. I know we have to do this as time allows. But every excursion I go on, whether street photography or abandoned building photography, inspires my professional work.
Photography for fun is practice for the no do-over events we love doing, and is food for the creative soul. If we love doing it, it’s not a task, but an inspirational exercise that we need to keep us sharpened.
For engaged couples gathering information about services for their upcoming wedding, interaction they have with vendors can make or break their overall experience. Today, I’m creating a two sided discussion on the topic of wedding vendor price inquiries. I’ve seen one side complain about the other, so much division. It’s not supposed to be that way.
It’s really this simple. As a service provider, I obviously need my clients. My website is my initial sales tool. Mine is set up very deliberately to attract clients who want what I offer, and put couples off with different expectations. They need us to provide a service and to make the load they carry a bit lighter. Just as I mentioned I qualify clients, they have to do the same. There shouldn’t be animosity. Here are direct comments on this topic from a shopping bride.
Ok, pricing transparency, I agree that something should be available to prospective clients. Depending on the products or services we offer, sometimes there are too many possibilities to list them all, and only overwhelm the viewer. Sometimes, as seen on my own website, a starting price or range is a good compromise. We know you’re busy, and the last thing most of us would want to do is cause you a hassle or waste your time.
Be specific in your inquiries-
Even if it’s copied and pasted. We won’t know, or care. Basic info about the wedding is important. It’s not logical to think a choppy how much email can be sent, and you get the most solid response without being asked for more information to base pricing on. Why do some find it easier to email 10 providers than to pick a few they’re most interested in, and keep the conversation productive? That’s where this bride was partially creating her own problem. You get out what you put in. She’s right, it shouldn’t be like pulling teeth, but being impulsive and impatient isn’t conducive to the discussion either. It’s a personal service. A good provider can provide guidance, and most of us want to help you, not oversell you.
Ghosting or responding –
She’s right, she isn’t obligated to respond to everyone, but there again, it’s more productive to research more and contact fewer to simplify. She’s also right, it’s proper to respond to vendors who have spent time with you, even if you went a different direction. Also true, if a vendor never follows up, a response on your part isn’t necessary. This is also where a professional service provider shouldn’t be badgering brides or grooms, but simply thank them for thinking of them. It’s very much a two-way street.
Final thoughts on wedding vendor price inquiries –
I see some frustration from her, and others. Also vendors. My best tip, when shopping, it never hurts to be friendly and detailed. In fact, the quality of the answers you get from vendors will be exponentially better. Less is more, with number of inquiries, and avoid the foul tempers and attitude. Both sides. We’re here to help each other. Not oppose.
I spoke with Mike by email a bit over a month prior to Mike and Reigny’s proposal, completely unbeknownst to Reigny of course. Mike lives in Alabama and is attending flight school there, and Reigny lives in Arkansas. of course the plan is to come together when their respective tasks are done. But the couple enjoyed a trip to Nashville to spend Valentines day weekend together.
Mike and Reigny met at college in Arkansas, where they attended a study group together. They didn’t know each other going in, but they could only ignore the chemistry for so long. When they finally went out, they talked until the wee hours, which caused both of them to miss class the next morning. But that’s a small price to pay, since now their relationship and story of their love is cemented.
I love proposals because it shows me guys really can be spontaneous and creative. Reigny knew this was coming at some point, but never was able to predict that a random wall across the bridge from the restaurant to the car would be the unexpected magical moment of their lives. There is without a doubt a bright future for them, and it was my pleasure to document their monumental event. Through the eyes of a journalist, without the stiff poses and contrived feelings. Natural human emotion and love. I hope you’ve enjoyed Mike and Reigny’s proposal, congratulations and stay in touch or else I will keep texting you at 3 AM 😛
Meet Jayde Smith, a highly experienced Nashville wedding planner. Even during the rocky times of 2020 and the Covid-19 pandemic, Jayde has managed to grow her company, Jayde J. Smith Events and help couples plan their ideal weddings, for both middle Tennessee and destination couples. Below is a bit of information about Jayde, her transition into building her own wedding and events planning company, and key benefits of hiring a qualified planner
Now, to quote Jayde directly (I’ll spare you the italics, you’re welcome.) –
I’ve always had a passion for helping others. I received my bachelors degree in public relations, so I quite genuinely majored in people! An internship on Music Row landed me in Nashville, and I’ve been in the wonderful world of events in Nashville for over 5 years. Five years of non-profit galas, corporate events, wedding coordinating and wedding planning. Now I am proud to be an independent Nashville wedding planner growing my business through referrals, professional connections, and reputation.
I got my start in the coordinating / planning business while working at Andrew Jackson’s Hermitage, Carnton Plantation in Franklin, TN,, then Geny’s Wholesale Florist And Bridal. A bit of trivia; I met Joan Presley of Geny’s as a bride myself when I purchased flowers from Geny’s for my own wedding!
I think it’s important for brides to hire a wedding planner because for me personally, I truly genuinely want the couple to enjoy their season of engagement. I don’t want them to look back on their season of engagement and planning and think of only stress, tensions blazing and consistent concern if they are over budget. Let me handle all of the organization, vendor communication and budget maintenance while the two of you have fun at cake tastings and engagement photos!
Plus, a planner is the best gift you could give a Mother of the Bride on her daughter’s wedding day. Keep mom from having to run around all day so she can be your side and the two of you can make special memories to last a lifetime as daughter and mother, and as Bride and Mother of the Bride. If you need a Nashville wedding planner, please reach out for a consultation.