Nashville’s documentary wedding photographer
and headshot studio.

When to get new headshots

You might be considering a new job, career, or business venture, and the dilemma ” When to get new headshots ” comes to mind. I think it’s always smart to have a current headshot made, especially if you’re considering any life change or your look has changed. New hairstyle or color? Yup, it’s time to update your headshot if you’re updating your resume or making any professional changes. A professional headshot shows commitment and effort on your part, and is a more flattering representation of yourself than a casual snapshot.

headshot Nashville

It’s a fun and easy process here, if you’re in Nashville, or are traveling here, I can update your headshot for you. Camera shy? So am I. I make the process easy and quick. Even though I’m primarily a documentary photographer, I enjoy headshot sessions. I get to know new people and hear about their upcoming adventures. I get to be a part of it by giving them the necessary tools.

residency headshot

I’ve seen all kinds of people with different needs. Some are applying for medical residency programs, others are starting a new business, applying for new jobs, switching careers, etc. Updating your headshot in any of those cases helps represent you well.

headshots nashville

“Oh, but I hate it when professional cameras pick up my flaws” A professional photographer knows how to photograph each unique subject. Also, I provide basic Photoshop for a little bit of assistance. Without leaving traces in my work or taking skin texture away. Tastefully, without overdoing it. Do you have 30 minutes? Get your headshots scheduled today.

When to get new headshots? What better time, if your life is described above? It doesn’t have to be time consuming, long and drawn out, boring, emotionally draining, or painfully expensive. It can be fun, as it is for my clients, and quick and painless. You’re welcome. 😀

Nashville tourist marriage proposal

We are rocking it this season with weddings and surprise proposal photoshoots! With strong tourism in Nashville, a Nashville tourist marriage proposal happens here regularly. Each one I’ve done with each couple is unique and special in its own respect. History was made with Javier and Catie, for a couple of reasons. Instead of me telling you, I will let Javier do the talking, as he wrote his story for me of their relationship and the proposal.

Nashville tourist marriage proposal

I’ve never seen a lady get down with the guy proposing, this was raw and real emotion in this Nashville tourist marriage proposal, I loved it!!

Nashville tourist marriage proposal

Nashville marriage proposal

Nashville marriage proposal

Nashville marriage proposal

So we get to the big day and we get ready to head to the beautiful pedestrian bridge. Jay and I decided on sunset around 7 because it would make a gorgeous setting and I could use the excuse of we were going to dinner after seeing the bridge. Just something I could use to keep Catie in the dark. So we get in our Uber with plenty of time for us to arrive on time.  It should have only taken 5 minutes.  After about 15 minutes of driving around and heading in the wrong direction I see the Uber driver throws his hands up looking confused and he says “I don’t know”. 

Nashville marriage proposal

Nashville marriage proposal

It is now 7:15 and the sun is starting to go down. I begin to get flustered, worried, and angry that this Uber driver is going to ruin all these plans. I begin to get angry with the driver which didn’t help the situation. As usual with our relationship, the other person steps up and Catie is the one who gets us to our destination. However, there is one problem.

Nashville marriage proposal

Nashville marriage proposal

The driver has dropped us off on the wrong side of the bridge from where Jay has a spot picked out and was waiting for us. I text Jay letting him know what had been going on because we are losing sunlight by the minute. He tells me he’s on the move and will meet us half way. By this point I’m still flustered, frazzled, and angry. I’m half outta breath from being nervous and hustling down the bridge and starting to sweat. The whole time Catie is being amazing and trying to cheer me up without even knowing why I’m so upset.  As usual, she’s always picking me up. In the distance I see Jay and I know this is our spot. We start walking up and Catie immediately points to Jay and says, “I wonder if they guy will take our picture?” Of course. Of all people, she points out the one guy she’s not supposed to notice. So I tell her not to bother him because he looks busy and I take her with me out onto the overlook point.

Nashville marriage proposal

Nashville marriage proposal

Once we get out there…more trouble. I see two other couples who I’m pretty sure are there for the same reason I’m there.  I had this plan to make small talk and take some selfies with her to lead up to the proposal.  But to be honest, I was still rattled from everything that lead up to this. I couldn’t think of anything to say. At the same time I’m thinking, there’s no way in hell I’m letting one of these other couples steal our shining moment and mess things up even more.  So due to being rattled, flustered, and worried some other couple would steal our thunder….there was no build up. I immediately drop to a knee and pull out the box and ring.

Nashville marriage proposal

Nashville marriage proposal

The look of shock, amazement, and pure joy on her face made me forget about everything else. But if you were to give me a million dollars right now for me to tell you what I said to her in that moment…I couldn’t do it. I have absolutely no clue what I said to her. I just remember being nervous, stuttering, mumbling, and trying to find the words. But what’s so amazing is that I didn’t need the right words. She understood everything I was trying to get across to her.  I’ve never felt so loved in my life.  Her reaction reassured me this woman was going to love me unconditionally.  We had some pretty emotional and passionate moments after I put that ring on her finger for the first time. Jay was the Jedi master and captured those moments better than I could have ever imagined. Catie had no clue until I introduced them.  Looking back and reflecting on that 45 minutes of chaos. – Javier

Nashville marriage proposal

Thanks Javier and Catie for giving me such a rich story to tell. The couple then had their dinner reservations at The Southern, in downtown Nashville.  I hope you’ve enjoyed this lovely heartfelt Nashville tourist marriage proposal, and congratulations Javier and Catie!

Nashville tourist marriage proposal

Parents paying for weddings

This is a challenge and dilemma some couples face. In the past, it was more customary for parents to pay for their childrens’ weddings, which I feel mixed about. I think these days, couples want to step away from the norm and even certain traditions. Like the cringeworthy garter and bouquet tosses. Parents don’t always have the means to pay for weddings, and many couples are just taking care of business themselves. Parents paying for weddings or helping couples pay can be a lovely assist, or an invitation of trouble and control. A lot depends on the relationship.

farm wedding Nashville

Most couples I meet don’t want a huge wedding with hundreds of guests. They value personal connections with those in attendance, rather than guest collecting. Also, once they explore venues and available space, costs, smart couples know managing their guest list is smart budgeting. Whether paying for the wedding themselves or receiving assistance from parents. The truth of the matter is this:

When parents pay, they have a say –

It starts with a realistic couple having the event they can afford. I don’t think most expect a large ballroom event with 300 guests. The median guest count for most of my weddings is maybe 125. If the couple has a sensible vision and wants to personalize their event so they enjoy it, and have personal connections with each guest, that’s great! That’s how it should be in my opinion. If the parents see and respect that vision, but offer guidance when needed, that’s a healthy balance. If part of that involves a financial contribution, great! When it becomes an aggressive takeover that they feel entitled to do because they paid, it may not be in the interest of the couple to accept their help. The latter scenario is not ok.

champagne toast

I’m not suggesting parents should feel obligated to pay and give their kids their way. But I’ve heard of cases where the parents paying for weddings changed the complete vision and wishes of the couple, usually to the more upscale side, when the couple wanted a smaller farm wedding. Then the parents invite their friends who the couple barely even knows. They pick colors and decor, they have a say in anything and everything. What the hell is that about? In a case like that, that’s helicopter parenting, and I’d rather pay myself. That way Thanksgiving dinner doesn’t have a different taste.

sparkler exit

Conclusion about parents paying for weddings –

Do what is right for you, have the event and experience you want. At no point of the process should you begrudge your own wedding. The best way to prepare for paying for the wedding yourself (if that’s the best or only option) is to create a realistic guest list, provide a fun and comfortable experience for all, and pick your splurge items. Other things you can skip or do cheaper options.

Intimate backyard wedding | Nashville wedding photographers | Marty and Marilyn

I got a call from Marty, a groom to be in just 9 days from the call, about photographing their intimate backyard wedding. I don’t do many weddings in July or August, I think because people want to avoid the heat, which is smart. Marty told me it will be small and simple, with only the closest family and friends, under their covered patio.

Nashville intimate wedding

small wedding Nashville

Nashville intimate wedding

Nashville intimate wedding

Marty had the good folks at Nashville Event Design screen in the back patio and provide decorations, tables and chairs, settings, etc. He had fans and portable air conditioners which did help. Tennessee in August can be very hot, but this was really nice. A candid photo of Marty enjoying a cold bottled water helps document the weather. Which true storytelling is what documentary wedding photography is about.

Nashville intimate wedding

Nashville intimate wedding

Marty and Marilyn met through Marilyn’s Uncle, and they’ve been together for 11 remarkable years! They decided it was time to make it forever!

Nashville intimate wedding

Nashville intimate wedding

Nashville intimate wedding

Nashville intimate wedding

Nashville intimate wedding

Nashville intimate wedding

Nashville intimate wedding

Nashville intimate wedding

This is the second marriage for both of them. You can see the real emotion and interaction between them which was heartwarming for sure. Those real emotions and moments of real love are also what documentary wedding photography is about. You can’t pose the real thing.

Nashville intimate wedding

The couple enjoyed a first dance, I love how they’re so happy and in love, it’s inspiring.

nashville wedding photographers

nashville wedding photographers

small wedding Nashville

small wedding Nashville

small wedding Nashville

small wedding Nashville

A father daughter dance with Marilyn and a very emotional father of the bride. I’m never one to rapid fire shoot, but my eyes never left them. Watching first is how the best moments are documented.  My friend Chris Wheeler was the videographer for this event.

small wedding Nashville

small wedding Nashville

small wedding Nashville

small wedding Nashville

small wedding Nashville

small wedding Nashville

small wedding Nashville

small wedding Nashville

small wedding Nashville

small wedding Nashville

To finish up, the couple enjoyed the cake cutting. The cake had to be moved inside to ensure its safety. But this was a perfect and beautiful occasion packed with happiness, human emotion, and love.  Which is what wedding photography is to me. I hope you’ve enjoyed this sweet intimate backyard wedding. Great photos can be had at a patio wedding like this, a farm wedding venue, or a fancy ballroom, with the proper skill.  Thanks Marty and Marilyn for allowing me to tell your story and I wish you a brilliant future together!

small wedding Nashville

small wedding Nashville

Pixellu Smart Albums review

As seen in my past article about Pixellu’s sister program, Smart Slides, this is my Pixellu Smart Albums review. What is Smart Albums?  It’s brilliant, that’s all you need to know, lol. It’s a program that enables wedding photographers, and even portrait / lifestyle photographers to easily design their own albums. My first thought when being told about it, I’m a photographer, not a designer at all. Like, as in, I have no idea where to start designing my own albums, at all. Well, Smart Albums changed the game for me.

smart albums

I buy my albums from Kiss Books. I was having their designers do design for me, and I request revisions. Mainly because I could stick to what I do best, and leave the design to someone used to doing it. It cost me $49.00 a pop which isn’t bad. But it took me more time to ask them to not crop an image oddly or anything else that wasn’t to my liking. I could view the design and make comments, and that process helped me know what I wanted and what I didn’t in an album design. I tried Smart Albums, but I had no doubts that I’d find it saved me time. My very first one, I designed in less than an hour. Even after playing with all the different combinations or spread design.

Pixellu Smart Albums review

These are screen caps from a client album design. I used to make album photo suggestions by making a dedicated folder online and letting the client review, and request substitutions. Which in reality, is not a difficult process if they take time to look. But seeing the photos I suggest in form of an album design, it helps couples visualize the final result. Within the link the client views, there’s cloud proofing where they can make comments. In this design, the customer requested two photos be removed, and I picked a couple different ones to add. They approved the design. Easy peasy. Smart Albums gives me the control I need for my brand, and saves me time and money in the end. Nothing negative to add. They also have a Facebook users group.

Once the client approves the design, I export the spreads and upload them to the album company. The program knows the bleed lines of each album company, you select that and size when you begin the project. My only worry was that clients would nitpick the design. I want them to focus on photo content. Mainly because of bleed lines, and page utilization, I have to use my best judgment and use an effective amount of photos per spread average. I explain this going in and it’s all good. Bravo Pixellu! I hope this Pixellu Smart Albums review has been helpful. Comment or ask if there is anything to ask or add.