Nashville’s documentary wedding photographer
and headshot studio.
I belong to a couple different wedding related social media communities that have both wedding vendors and engaged couples. That can be a beneficial but sometimes interesting mix, mainly because of coming from two different places. It’s human nature to be a bit defensive when shopping for something you’re unfamiliar with, as far as the inner workings of the business. One very common but somewhat frustrating discussion that always comes up. A bride or groom looking for leads and inquiring about reasonably priced wedding vendors. It could be a venue, makeup artist, wedding photographer, band or DJ, the list goes on.
I get what they’re saying. But reasonable means a person of good judgement, fair, and sensible. I know they mean they don’t want to pay a lot. But there are different providers with different experience levels and quality of product. Just because a good or service is more expensive than any given person wants to pay, that doesn’t make that provider unreasonable. Reasonable is an emotional defense mechanism in this case, and is a turn off to a lot of qualified vendors who know their worth.
A Lexus is more expensive than a Kia. Both will get you to and from work. One is better and fancier. You pay for that if you want it. That doesn’t make Lexus unreasonable, just because you or I can’t afford one.
Reasonably priced wedding vendors are those who charge what they’re worth.
Not what someone else thinks they should cost. It boils down to this as an engaged couple. Whether a wedding photographer or other provider type is worth it to you or not enough to justify their cost, that’s what makes it an equitable deal or a no go. There are splurge items and those you skip or just get the best you can afford.
Myself as an example. Many Nashville wedding photographers are cheaper than me, and offer seemingly more. I’m not out to compete with them. I have to run a sustainable business and I offer a signature style of wedding photography. What I offer isn’t for everyone. But it’s up to each couple to do their diligence to see if I’m the right choice, or one of my competitors. Reasonable has nothing to do with it. It’s overall value for the price and how much you love the work of each one. It’s a personalized service and a skilled artist, not a fast food coupon. My 2 cents, worth what you paid.
One cold Winter morning, I was at my desk working on photos or blogging, and I received an email from a young man asking about proposal photos. I’ve always enjoyed doing those, as it’s fun to be a part of their huge moment. I also enjoy the challenge of being the proper photojournalist and keeping my cover. Jackson and Emily are adventurers and love the outdoors, so not just any setting for him to propose would suffice. The plan was for them to do some hiking and for him to carry out the proposal at Greeter Falls, in Southeast Tennessee. This plan would be magical, as you are about to see!! I will start by documenting my own journey down to the falls.
The temperature was nice, maybe high 50’s, but it was misty from earlier rain. Which makes for slippery conditions on the hiking trail. Maybe that’s why we didn’t see anyone else until we all hiked back up together. I just had to make sure I beat them there obviously, LOL! I had to be careful where I stepped and my best option was hiding behind this rock as Jackson and Emily made their way down the steep hill.
If you think this was an adrenaline rush at this moment, you would be right!
I knew it had to be a yes by these reactions! I could hear nothing except the waterfall and water flowing past me. Yes, there was still ice lingering from a cold snap earlier that week!
Emily works at the church Jackson grew up going to in their hometown in Minnesota. The maintenance man at the church set them two of them up on a blind date, and they’ve been together a year now! I love the art of being a wing person. No friend should ever stop doing that!
The deed was done, so I made my way over to greet them. Thankfully until then, I maintained my cover with Emily not noticing me! After that, I would document some moments between them after this monumental event, and the journey back up the hiking trail. I was impressed with Jackson’s creativity planning this out on their trip to Nashville. Emily thought the proposal was coming at a later date, so this was a pleasant surprise for her!
I hope you’ve enjoyed the photos and story of this magical proposal at Greeter Falls! Congratulations Jackson and Emily!
This is meant to be honest and truthful but also somewhat witty and entertaining. I guess it depends on which end of the spectrum you are on. It’s about wedding photographer buzzwords. Basically building hype about things that usually mean nothing to the consumer. Let’s begin, enjoy!
Natural light photographer-wedding photographer buzzwords part 1
Ok. Who cares? What does this mean to the couple who is hiring a wedding photographer? It should go without saying that a professional photographer can control natural light and be proficient working in different ambient conditions. I’d hope a wedding photographer can pull that off. Usually when I hear this, the translation is “I don’t know how to use flash or other lighting”. Which is fine, but in a dark reception hall or night time reception hall, that may not bode well. It just seems pretentious when worn as some sort of badge of honor. A couple either likes a wedding photographer’s work or they don’t. Why would they care HOW it’s done? Eyeroll.
Husband and wife team-
Isn’t that sweet? Maybe. But once again, who cares? In theory it sounds great. Out of any of these wedding photographer buzzwords, I’d use this one myself if I thought it would benefit me, if I were married. But really and truly, why would that add any value to the consumer’s product or service? Those working in teams can work well together whether they’re married to each other or not. That also doesn’t mean both are equally qualified. Eyeroll. But I get the appeal, when you hear it.
Two photographers and different perspectives-
Bottom line, do you like how a wedding photographer tells a story from start to finish and do you like the experience you’re likely to have with them? Can they take great photos, capture the moods and emotions, or styles you care about most at your wedding? If so, there’s no reason to want it done differently.
I’m not telling you here how I work. How I do it shouldn’t change those views. But a story that matches up and having a system to work efficiently is all you need. Why should the couple care how it’s done? That’s our job to know. Do I go into a restaurant and ask how many chefs they have? No, I’m paying good money and only care about the food and experience I’ll have. Tell the story, do it effectively. Some don’t use two shooters for the sake of consistency and non intrusive approach. Some do, they have their reasons too. Who cares? Eyeroll.
Wedding Wire couples’ choice awards winner-
Final one. That means a provider collected enough reviews from their clients to qualify for this award. Nothing else.
You might remember Scott and Brittney from their engagement photos I did of them in the late Summer. Seems like yesterday! On December 29, 2017, Scott and Brittney would have their dream day that I was honored to document. Brittney is from the Owensboro, Kentucky area and her family lives there. Scott’s family traveled in, so it made sense to have a lovely Owensboro Kentucky wedding near Brittney’s family. Owensboro is also home of their first date!
The couple had room blocks at the Lovely Hampton Inn riverfront hotel, where I would document the pre wedding prep / getting ready. Dress by The Spoiled Lady.
Brittney asked me to remind her to get the bottom of her socks with a special title on them. So I was glad to get it this way as she was making a phone call and standing with one foot propped up, as it’s natural and unposed. She knows orchestrated shots are not my thing, LOL. This was win win.
I go to check on Scott and his dad, and son, Stone. Well, the first word he told Stone about the tie, he wasn’t a fan of that idea. Nor was he a fan of the course of action!
Brittney’s mom lending a hand with the dress, enjoying final moments of warmth before the first look at the riverfront.
It was a cold windy day on the Ohio river with Indiana on the other side! Scott, dapperly dressed, waits patiently for his lovely bride to make an appearance for their first look. The view was amazing too!
The ceremony would be a couple miles away at the Third Baptist Church in Owensboro. This Owensboro Kentucky wedding would be officially underway in this lovely historic church!
Here is where I go to work as a documentary wedding photographer. Keeping a low profile and watching for real moments of human interaction and critical moments as they happen. The best photos and best emotional moments can’t look the same as what happens naturally.
Great balcony view! I would do some there before going back down before bread and wine communion.
It’s official! Congratulations Scott and Brittney!
Lovely ceremony indeed! Now, off to O.Z. Tyler Distillery event venue for the reception! Beautiful and spacious, comfortable event venue with nice staff. I’d be honored to return there! What a rocking celebration! Wedding planner is Aly, with Events by Aly. Guests started serving themselves, catering my Moonlite BBQ in Owensboro. Delicious indeed, it hit the spot!
The couple arrives and the party starts, after dinner break! But first we have the first dance, loved it! I’m lurking in the shadows to document the laughs, alcohol consumption, dancing, band rocking the stage, you get the idea!
Parent dances were lovely as well, so much happiness and emotion!
The speeches evoke real laughter and joy, something no one can arrange. I love human interaction and the love that surrounds the wedding day. Videography by Matthew Lynn productions, a couple really nice guys to work with!
Cake and a knife, well, you know who wins that battle. Cake by Francis Southard, Beaver Dam, KY.
This is the 12 South Band, SO amazing and so charismatic on stage, great music and even better show! They knew how to create energy in the room!
This is where my work as a sleuth journalist pays off, people are cutting loose and being themselves, celebrating. Makes for the best and most energy and emotion packed photographs.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this amazing Owensboro Kentucky wedding, congratulations Scott and Brittney! It’s an honor to be chosen as the Nashville wedding photographer with the documentary approach to tell this magical story!
In this realm of the arts, and probably with any career path in life, people with thick skin and an open mind have a huge advantage over those without it. As long as I’ve been involved with photography, I greatly value and appreciate those with whom I’ve had discussions and critique time with. It’s nice to have friends, whether photographers, makeup artists, models, graphics designers, etc. To periodically get together, discuss where we are at and what’s happening, show new work, give and receive critique and kudos. Of course many things are subjective. The whole idea with critique for photographers is to discuss what strengthens the image, what may take away from it, and then come to your own final conclusion.
Many people, myself included have been known to develop an attachment to a specific image, and miss a fairly obvious flaw. Or be your own worst critic! That’s one reason it’s nice to view your peers as just that, and not competition. We can all help and encourage each other. And there are times when a layman can effectively critique work, you never know. Every opinion does count and should be respected! I am very grateful to those who have helped me, no matter how nice or harsh they have been. Without that, I couldn’t have gotten where I am. I don’t want to stop here either. If I can provide that for others as well, it feels good to pass it on. Good karma folks.
I said nothing about telling someone what they want to hear, which many newer artists are looking for that. I can promise, if that doesn’t change and they don’t become mature enough for critique, they have a dim future. Not all my work is technically perfect. But it’s a never ending quest to keep seeking and growing. Aligning yourself with respected colleagues will promote growth. Cheerleaders don’t promote critique for photographers or any other. The easier thing is seldom the most beneficial for growth. Open mind, willing spirit, and tenacious desire to grow, the winning formula.