Nashville’s documentary wedding photographer
and headshot studio.

Anniversary photoshoot at the Gaylord Opryland Hotel

I got a phone call on a lovely Sunday morning from Thiago. Him and his wife were celebrating their first wedding anniversary while visiting Nashville that weekend. The couple was determined to get part of their day documented, which I was happy to do and be available for them! So we began our first anniversary photoshoot at the Gaylord Opryland Hotel where they stayed!

Gaylord Opryland hotel

Lifestyle couples photoshoot

Gaylord Opryland hotel

This hotel is very picturesque and because of that, if they didn’t have systems in place to control 9 million photographers coming in, it would be a giant photo set. So I just went in with my Fuji mirrorless and one lens, nothing else. I just kept a flash in my backpack if I needed it. But I wanted to travel lightly and not stand out, it was no problem. The trick is finding a place away from the massive crowds and working quickly in each location, then moving along. Therefore not affecting the experience of other guests.

Gaylord Opryland hotel

Gaylord Opryland hotel

I was honored to document their story using my fly on the wall documentary style, while capturing different parts of the hotel. I hope this anniversary photoshoot at the Gaylord Opryland Hotel provides a long lasting memory and heirloom for Thiago and Rebecca.

Couples photoshoot

Couples photoshoot

I told them that they provided inspiration to me at a time when I needed it and I appreciated doing this for them. I only hope my documentation of their time provided them inspiration as well. Thiago told me that they met in church as kids, and at times they have gotten closer and dated, gone their separate ways, but look at them now! Congratulations Thiago and Rebecca!

Couples photoshoot

Couples photoshoot

Lifestyle couples photoshoot

Lifestyle couples photoshoot

I’m glad we crossed paths in the midst of their travel and my schedule. It’s an honor to share these moments with you, and thank you again Thiago and Rebecca, here’s to the future!

Lifestyle couples photoshoot

Lifestyle couples photoshoot

Lifestyle couples photoshoot

Wedding photographer workflow

I thought I’d help some fellow wedding photographers and overall photographer workflow processes. Wedding photographer workflow / post production can be time consuming. But I believe that working smarter and not harder helps you deliver a better product and have better attention to detail. Let me elaborate.

Proper ergonomics and really good desk chair-

Don’t skimp on this. Elbow and wrist should be in line when working the mouse. Many would laugh at me for paying $800.00 for a Herman Miller chair. But it’s design helps take weight off my spine and on the back of my legs which helps prevent back problems. Plus I get monthly chiropractic adjustments to ensure proper spine alignment and overall physical health. Wedding and event work is hard on you. Whatever preventative you can do helps in the long run.

Take frequent breaks and get exercise –

Some might say, I can get this knocked out in a couple days if I spend 8 hours a day on it, and get to the next project. It may work for some. But I recommend taking frequent breaks and getting proper exercise.  Why be a slave to desk work? In the end, physical activity and exercise makes us and our minds more productive. Spending an hour or two at a time working and some doing some activities in between makes me more productive in the end, even if less time is spent at once.

I have found doing this helps me catch more things to work on before doing the final sweep. Also, overall better focus on my work and attention to detail. For example less temptation to surf social media in between my work. It’s about working smart and not hard.

Wedding photographer workflow tips –

I make my time most efficient by working systematically but avoiding being dogmatic, as each event will tell it’s own unique story. Part of it for me is not over shooting, as it creates a lot of sloppy work and overall composition problems. Plus missing what I should be watching for instead. There’s nothing to gain by taking 74 of the same photo, especially in non critical moments.

Now then, in Lightroom after my export, I use quick collections to work on the photos I don’t cull. A simple B key strike saves that photo to the quick collection. Then I most often use my Fuji classic chrome preset and make other adjustments as needed. I can right click, edit in Photoshop or NIK plugins for black and white work as I go. Or even remove an exit sign or a pimple, etc. All one thing. Wedding photographer workflow doesn’t have to be exhausting or daunting.

Documentary wedding photography FAQ’s

The different questions and misconceptions many may have about documentary  / photojournalist style wedding photography will be covered here! Let’s get started with some Documentary wedding photography FAQ’s!

In short, what is documentary wedding photography?

In it’s true sense, which is how I approach it, documentary style wedding photography is a natural, organic storytelling approach to wedding photography. It is primarily focused on human interaction, emotion, love,  energy and un-posed. I have a signature style of storytelling that remains cohesive and provides a non-intrusive experience for the couple and guests. In documentary wedding photography’s true sense, these moments are un-orchestrated by the photographer.

farm wedding

What about decor and details? Don’t you capture those? –

Yes, absolutely! It’s part of the day and part of the story. Someone’s hard work went into all these details. I work efficiently and with purpose. With that being said, I’m not one to fixate on a specific detail or part of the event, for example, taking 63 different photos of a flower vase from different angles. The human interaction and people involved will always be the most important aspect of the day to me, as they should be for the couple as well. But, of course, the decor and details are part of my day, too!

Tomlinson family farm wedding

Don’t you do ANY posed or group photos? –

Yes. I understand that most couples and their families will at least want some group photos together. Typically, these are done in a fairly brief time as they are not the main focus of my work. However, setting aside time to do them is no problem. Having ample creative freedom is what enables me to do my best work and capture the raw emotion and interaction I am known for. I provide a good balance that works perfectly for the couple who wants documentary / candid coverage for a vast majority of the event. Here is a first look, which is un-posed but still an orchestrated part of the wedding day.

first look

Why do some photographers advertising photojournalist style not have similar work?-

I don’t know, LOL! The term, like many others, can certainly get watered down. Not everyone understands the true concept of the documentary approach, or offers a mix of everything depending on the part of the day. Without being dogmatic going into each event, I stay true to the documentary storytelling approach. Consistency with a signature style is what I believe packs the most punch and evokes emotion when viewing the photos. I’m not everything to everyone. American diners may have great breakfasts and burgers, but is their spaghetti usually memorable? Not so much. I go against the grain by using a signature approach that took me years to build, which makes up my brand. Not all photographers are comfortable with that. That’s why it’s good to create a perfect pairing.

LBGT wedding photographer Nashville

What kind of couples book you? –

Most of my couples want to enjoy their day and don’t want to be posed or directed throughout it, resulting in a non-intrusive experience. They like the natural feel of my photos and how I capture emotion and expression. My couples basically want to hire me and forget me, so they can genuinely enjoy their day together. They want the story told and don’t want to have to think about it. Of course, we go over the event details and timeline, but after that, they want me to use my ingenuity to document their day with the brand of photography they chose. Documentary style wedding photography defies a lot of human logic and what many wedding articles online condition people to believe. However, my system works beautifully and showcases the raw emotion of the couple’s memorable wedding day. Is it for every couple? No, but if this sounds like you, it could be!

wedding reception dancing

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same sex wedding Nashville

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I hope you’ve enjoyed these Documentary wedding photography FAQ’s. Any questions? Anything I didn’t answer? I’d love to hear from you!

 

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Wedding photographer album samples

Seeing Wedding photographer album samples are one major asset for engaged couples looking to secure a wedding photographer. The main reason I package albums in is because it allows me to finish telling the story that clients hire me to tell. Tangible goods, physical printed goods, so much richer than on a computer monitor or iPhone screen. A cohesive story with fine quality flush mount albums. I like to keep a few studio samples on hand to show couples a couple different cover options and to have a wedding with a similar feel to theirs. This helps the couple envision how their day will be documented.

KISS books

Depending on the collection, I offer lovely and clean design linen cover albums as well as leather heirloom albums with extra thick, heavy pages. I’m also packaging them, in all except the starter collection, in custom made wooden album boxes. It’s added presentation value and an elegant way for couples to showcase their albums. Why not let it be a feature in the room rather than let it sit in a sock drawer?

Lamb and raccoon

Light espresso color with washed denim linen album.

Lamb and Raccoon

Warm gray box with cioccolato distressed leather album.

Lamb and Raccoon

Having my own wedding photographer album samples show that I believe in my products enough to invest in them. This way I can show others how richly their story can be documented for the ages. With the quality and integrity of products that stand the test of time. It’s rare that couples left to do their own actually do it. Life happens, and it’s far more invasive to their time when they aren’t used to doing it. I hand it over and it’s a turn key operation. I feel without tangible goods like these albums and wooden display boxes, the story remains untold in a way.

Photographing details at weddings

As a documentary wedding photographer, my primary focus and strength is documenting human interaction. The signature style and non-intrusive experience I provide my couples is why they hire me. I don’t move or manipulate things, or pose / direct people. I only provide some basic direction for the few group portraits they want to do. So, with that as my native style, what about photographing details at weddings?

Tomlinson family farm wedding

Tomlinson family farm wedding

Tomlinson family farm wedding

Yes, absolutely! Photographing details at weddings is also an important part of the day for a documentary wedding photographer like me. Someone’s hard work went into them. The couples always appreciate it, and it nicely balances out the coverage.  In fact, I make it a practice to arrive at the venue a little early to navigate to capture some of the details about the venue and various decorations for the couples’ wedding.

Savoir Faire Nashville

Here are a few wedding venue details from Tomlinson Family Farm in Lebanon, in between rainstorms. Might as well take advantage of the mood with bolder higher contrast. Much more reminiscent of my style than bright and airy and blown highlights.

Tomlinson Family Farm

Tomlinson Family Farm

Tomlinson Family Farm

Tomlinson Family Farm

That doesn’t mean I am running around for hours and taking 78 photos of the same table setting or flower vase, LOL. But it’s nice to give details some attention, and it’s already done by the time the bride / couple thinks about it. Then as guests arrive and as we prepare for critical moments, I can dedicate my time to documenting the love, energy, emotion, and human interaction. All of which happen naturally at weddings.

wedding venue details

wedding venue details

wedding venue details wedding venue details

wedding venue details

wedding venue details

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