Nashville’s documentary wedding photographer
and headshot studio.
I’ve known Dayna for several years, and she has been a valuable part of my team since she started helping me with PR, technical, social media, and a host of other daily business tasks. When she first started working with me remotely from Michigan. her native state, she knew her goal was to end up in Nashville with her long-time boyfriend Josh, who needed a change of pace (and weather). Josh and Dayna met in college through mutual friends and now celebrate 10 years together! The world has turned a few times since the beginning; now they are both here and thriving in their careers, and decided to make their commitment official. I was honored to document part of their afternoon while doing some sweet and organic Shelby Park engagement photos.
One might ask, how does a documentary engagement session work? At a wedding, it’s a moving event, and can be done completely unposed. In a controlled setting like this, it works much the same way. I give a few tips at the beginning as needed and let the couple drive the bus for the most part. They tend to relax and interact, more in their own element. It’s as if I’m a fly on the wall documenting their day out. I was glad to be a part of Josh and Dayna’s evening, and I am excited for their future!
Meet Danielle and Megan. This wonderful couple spent a weekend in Nashville, which was the sole purpose of their visit. Or so Megan thought. Danielle hired me to document the surprise she had in store for Megan; to offer her commitment to her for all eternity. As usual, we spoke and planned some details so that we’d coordinate at the right time, and at the right place. The couple have been together just shy of a year and met through professional circles. We did not that the weather would cooperate, but I was ready to change my location at the drop of a hat. It turns out the rain held off JUST long enough to document the moment and capture the essence of the couple in moments afterwards. It was a beautiful rainy evening proposal in downtown Nashville that worked perfectly according to plan.
The couple enjoyed their weekend doing wine and moonshine tastings, exploring local shops, and enjoying downtime to themselves. Fortunately Danielle and Megan made it to their dinner destination before the rain started again. It was an honor to be chosen to tell their story and to capture this milestone moment in their lives. Congratulations ladies!!
There’s no denying that the Covid-19 pandemic has changed everyday life and how business is done, or not done. Weddings are no exception. To recap 2020, some of my own clients rescheduled to a future or undetermined date. Others had their wedding as scheduled, but made modifications to their original plans to accommodate Covid-19 health and safety guidelines. I’m thankful that I’ve been able to accommodate date changes that have occurred so far. Cancellations are murder on business cashflow, even if retainers are kept. It’s also a double whammy for the couple. Weddings during Covid are definitely possible, even if vague lockdowns were in force early in the game. What have we learned from the changes to the wedding industry during the pandemic? The biggest takeaway for me was that both vendors and couples need to be adaptable, flexible, responsible, and content with what these times allow.
Weddings during Covid changes-
-Events are smaller in size to reduce risk of spread, and some not being able to travel. Many areas (though all should) have maximum capacity ordinances, and this often depends on the size and open air of the venue. I have found couples to be gracious about this and still enjoy their day in a more intimate setting. Those who choose to wait, that’s also an option, though we do not know when policies will relax or things will improve.
-Guests and vendors wear masks and have access to hand sanitizer, while minding social distance guidelines. Venues should also be requiring this!
-Couples must check local ordinances and venue policies and inform guests. Also take guest count into consideration. Weddings during Covid are definitely possible; some of my 2020 weddings have been among the favorite, despite the changes.
-I’ve noticed a few people on wedding related social groups look for venues outside a major metropolitan area so that policies will be more lax, and they can “have the wedding they want” like none of this is happening. That’s irresponsible and selfish. Each area has their own battles to fight. As a professional wedding photographer, I need the work and enjoy being a storyteller, but not bad enough to participate in an irresponsibly coordinated event. I want this to be temporary as well. Let’s get through this and maybe we have a shot at it.
Milan and Suzanne were visiting Nashville on Christmas week, 2020. Milan originally contacted me about documenting his proposal to Suzanne. Due to Covid-19 restrictions at the hotel and being a busy area, that plan was not feasible. He proposed privately on an indoor boat ride at the hotel, and that was a success. We agreed to still do Nashville couples photos with the two of them at Centennial Park, which turned out to be some of my favorite couples work, I loved the mood of their real love for one another and the intimacy of the setting sun.
I loved the mood of the setting sun and the romantic silhouettes I was able to create. I get so bored seeing so many bright and airy photos and obviously posed photos. The artistry and natural organic mood builds important character for not only the photos, but the soul of the couple. This is why I like a day in the life / documentary / storytelling approach for weddings and engagement photos. I wanted to do for them what I do best, be a storyteller. As if I am a fly on the wall for their day out while visiting Nashville. These are some of my favorite Nashville couples photos to date. I wish Milan and Suzanne my sincerest congratulations!
Meet Kerry and Anna. The couple spent Christmas 2020 weekend visiting Nashville, and Kerry planned on proposing to Anna in their time here. Searching for Nashville proposal photography, and wondering if there was such a thing, thankfully he found me. He wanted a sneaky photojournalist who would document the true, special moment without making my presence obvious to Anna and ruining the moment. Kerry was hoping for a proposal inside the Gaylord Opryland Hotel, but during the Covid-19 pandemic, masks are required in all public areas, and hotel guests only were allowed in peak holiday time. Though it was a cold and windy Christmas eve, it was still a beautiful occasion. and the couple had the perfect view of downtown Nashville. Yes, it may have been chilly, but she didn’t say no. 🙂
The couple’s first date was at a local to them pub / burger joint, and was actually on her birthday! The day turned into an all day affair, and they’ve been together since. Now their Nashville proposal photography proves their commitment, and the rest will be history. Congratulations Kerry and Anna, and thank you for entrusting me to your milestone memories.
Incidentally, one thing I always do with proposal couples (or to the coordinator / the one proposing) is we exchange selfies so he or she knows who they are looking for, and vice versa. I took my selfie on the bridge overlooking the area of downtown Nashville tragically bombed the following morning, just 15 hours after our shoot. I am thankful for our timing, but am sad for another setback our city endures. But we will rebuild and be as great as ever. Please support our local businesses and to our rebuilding here. Thank you.