Nashville’s documentary wedding photographer
and headshot studio.
Downtown Nashville engagement photos, featuring Joe and Rebecca! –
It was maybe a month before the Downtown Nashville engagement photos session we had, that I talked to Joe on the phone. As a general stereotype, guys are known for being a little bit too simple and not as romantically spontaneous as the female gender. BUT, after working with several of these guys on surprise marriage proposal photos and in this case, surprise engagement photos, there’s a lot of hope for the male species. LOL. He said he wanted to surprise Rebecca with a fun romantic couples getaway to downtown Nashville and arrange a surprise engagement photoshoot, and dinner at The Melting Pot! So we worked the plan together.
Joe and Rebecca are both Michigan natives. Rebecca still lives there and is a nurse, and has mixed feelings about organic foods being the end all be all. 🙂 Joe is stationed at Fort Campbell and active military, Army. They had both been married before and had lived and learned. Through healing and personal / spiritual growth and rebuilding, they found an amazing support system and love connection in each other! All of which was very evident in these lovely engagement photos!
None of these photos were scripted or posed, it was about me documenting the fun afternoon in downtown Nashville. One cool thing about our downtown, we have our crowded hot spots but also places where you can find your own corner to hang out and breathe. Doing these Downtown Nashville engagement photos would document their day and love perfectly. Just me, my backpack, Fuji XT-1 and 35mm F2. Backup body and lens, spare batteries in tow. Traveling lightly still.
There was something powerful about this photo. Some might say, well…it doesn’t show Joe. Well, it does. The sun in her hair, and the hand. Hands are very intimate and this particular composition emphasizes the love and touch of the hand and the calming mood it instills in her. Nerd moment over, lol.
This is where Joe revealed the surprise dinner reservations to Rebecca and I walked off into the sunset after a fun time with them. I hope you’ve enjoyed these Downtown Nashville engagement photos, and the couple will cherish them forever.
It was a beautiful sunny late February afternoon, around 54 degrees. When you get in the sun it’s quite lovely, but in the shade it may feel chilly. Arrington Vineyard is a beautiful, hilly, scenic destination to unwind, enjoy some fine wine and food, and the outdoor amenities offered. So, today I present to you a beautiful Arrington Vineyard marriage proposal featuring Donna and Monee!
Donna emailed me about a month before the shoot after finding me on search for LGBT friendly photographers in Nashville. The planning for this Arrington Vineyard marriage proposal began! Donna has been with her girlfriend Monee (pronounced same as Monet) for 4 1/2 years since meeting on Ok Cupid, an online dating website. The couple had planned a long weekend trip to Nashville that weekend, visiting from Atlanta. But Monee didn’t know exactly what was coming! That was our secret. For now.
Donna even made a trip to Nashville a couple weeks before the big weekend to find the perfect spot to propose. Also to scope out hotels and restaurants while in Nashville. While she was here with her friend, I met up with them to meet and talk strategy. I could tell Donna is very detail oriented and wanted everything to fit them perfectly, which I would say happened exactly according to plan.
Donna scheduled a wine tasting tour at the vineyard, and arranged to have a picnic basket and bottle of their wine ready for after the proposal. Monne didn’t know my involvement until that point when they hiked up the hill for their picnic.
I love the intimate mood and back lighting for photographing this happy couple as they bask in the sunshine. What a lovely special occasion to be a part of and to document for these wonderful ladies. This has been my fifth live marriage proposal to photograph since the Summer but my very first same sex marriage proposal! It’s an honor to serve the LGBT community and of course a true pleasure to know Donna and Monne. Congratulations ladies!
Eco friendly wedding planning tips, by guest lifestyle blogger Naomi Shaw –
Are you eco-conscious and want that reflected on your big day with your significant other? Many couples are eco-friendly in their everyday lives, and don’t want to leave a destructive footprint while celebrating the happy occasion of their love. Green options are turning up all over wedding plans in many creative and exciting ways. From the location of the event to the food and the invitations, green is the color of many weddings, no matter what the color scheme is! Here are some eco friendly wedding planning tips, enjoy!
Location, Location, Location-
Finding an eco-friendly location is an easy matter. If you want an outdoor wedding, you’re on the right track! Many venues have outdoor areas, and local, state, and national parks often have areas with pavilions or even lodges of their own that they’re more than happy to rent out for your big day. If an indoor wedding suits your needs better, many event halls are using eco-friendly lighting. Having the wedding and the reception in the same venue also cuts down travel between the two, removing the associated pollution from the equation.
Reduce Paper Use-
You don’t want to create paper waste before the wedding even takes place, right? Many invitations are cutting down to the bare essentials, such as extra envelopes and RSVP cards. You can double this effect by also doing your invitations on recycled paper. Some couples are even skipping paper invitations altogether and creating an invitation webpage, where guests can reply and view the gift registry. Place cards are also being replaced with paperless options, such as having a host seat the guests in their proper locations. Another great idea is to have the “place cards” double as favors for the guests. Personalization and customization are in season this year, so a little mug or basket with the guest’s name on it can be filled with goodies to take home. Even small potted plants can fill this role, creating a favor that not only lasts long after the wedding, but gives back to the environment.
Flowers – More Than Just Bouquets-
Flowers and plants for the wedding aren’t just limited to the bride’s bouquet. There are a lot of lovely organic arrangements that are both stylish and green. Potted flowers reduce organic waste and provide a sweet souvenir of the wedding. Small vases of flowers can be given to guests to take home. Larger arrangements can be donated after the wedding to brighten up someone else’s event. If you absolutely can’t part with them, they can be made into potpourri or added to the wedding album.
Local is love-
Every item you get for your wedding has a certain amount of travel it needs to get there. Flowers, food ingredients and decorations all are transported to the wedding from near or far, which adds exhaust fumes to the atmosphere. By buying local, you can reduce or even eliminate this part of the ecological footprint, because travel time is curtailed. Local growers of food and flowers are also most likely going to be organic, reducing the footprint even further because no nitrates or pesticides were used to grow them (check with your florists and growers to be sure, though!).
A wedding is the celebration of a new life for the happy couple. Celebrating the environment at the same time by making a wedding eco-friendly is like inviting the Earth to be one of your guests! I hope these eco friendly wedding planning tips have been helpful to you! Please visit my page for more lifestyle and fitness related topics!
About wedding photographers developing identity-
I was a street photographer / photojournalist in my start with photography and later branched out into fine art / figure study photography. I never once considered wedding photography as I didn’t think I’d enjoy it. Plus, it was one thing you could not mess up. I was already a fairly seasoned photographer in 2008 when answering an ad on Myspace for photographers needed. So I thought, what the hell, I can always use extra work, I think I’ll talk to them. It turns out it was for wedding photography. I went silent. I then told him I have never shot a wedding. He says he liked my work I submitted and would work with me on it if I give it a shot. I said, sure, let’s give it a try.
He needed wedding photographers to subcontract for days he was double booked, but first I would work with him on some weddings. I kind of dug it. It felt like a privilege to be a part of someone’s wedding day and I really wanted to provide them something memorable. All I had to go on is what he was teaching me as far as protocol and etiquette. It is SO much more than technical photography knowledge with wedding photography, I can’t stress this enough.
Well, the time came when I went out on my own without him. It was nerve racking but exciting. Eventually I took on some of my own wedding clients I accepted somewhat selectively. I was honest with them and showed them the wedding work I did have. Fast forward to a couple years later. I enjoyed weddings, and by then I had quite a few under my belt. BUT, something wasn’t exactly right. I couldn’t identify exactly what it was. I was changing, and going with a different approach that seemed to compliment my native photojournalist approach. I felt like the 13 year old boy at the school dance with feet that outgrew my body, and zits. Basically freezing up when it was time to ask the girl to dance.
I knew the style I was taught wasn’t my identity. I was learning the importance of wedding photographers developing identity. Soon after, we parted ways and I was strictly freelance. I realized that the approach I do best didn’t match his brand and approach. I had to complete my own. The best advice was from my colleague and friend, Kevin Mullins, a well known British wedding photojournalist. Put my documentary style of photographing weddings in the forefront of my brand and website. I was scared to do this for a while because I knew it would put a lot of couples off with other expectations. But….that’s the whole point! It also attracts those looking for what I do. Being a niche style makes for marketing challenges, but I’ve never felt more liberated!
There are already too many wedding photographers. Many with a non-descript style and no real identity of their own. In order to stand out from your competition, you have to eliminate competition by being different. Not everyone gets it, those who do are your client. Many think you win people over by being low priced and being everything to everybody. Not at all. Those who hire because of price or to tick this service of the list don’t hire hand picked individuals. These are often the most problematic clients, I saw this first hand with some of his.
With me zeroing in on my niche, I get clients who hire me for me. They’re a specific client. But in the past 2-3 years, I can’t think of any couples or guests I’ve had any problem with. Sometimes you have to be true to yourself and this helps you provide better service to your clients. It’s an interesting ride for sure.
Bridal shows / wedding expos have been around for a long time, and they serve two main purposes. To provide inspiration and resources to engaged couples, and for vendors to participate and meet these couples. But from the bride’s / couples’ perspective, are bridal shows worth attending? Let’s see if I can help. But prepare for some moderate honesty, lol!
Benefits for couples attending bridal shows-
-Inspirations for their wedding, fashion shows and inspirations, food and cake tastings.
-Being able to meet all different types of vendors face to face and gather information.
-Taking advantage of vendor show specials. Many offer booking incentives to help protect their investment in their show booth. For this reason, any vendors you are in need of, research before the show on who will be there. That may help you use your time better.
-Meeting other engaged couples and enjoying the festivities.
Notice I didn’t say prizes and giveaways. Those who are ONLY there for that are wasting their own time and everyone else’s.
Some common complaints about shows –
-Overwhelming- Ok. Do you visit every store when you go to the mall? Didn’t think so. Get what you need from it, forget the rest.
-Too many calls and emails – I don’t think you’re required to share your phone number. You can make this a lot easier by making info labels for when you visit vendor booths. Also set up a dedicated wedding email account on Gmail, it’s free. I don’t condone vendors blowing people up, but logic should prevail here. We go to great expense to attend, and we are nervous too. We are excited to meet you and naturally want to earn your business. All you have to do is unsubscribe from people you don’t wish to follow.
End result, are bridal shows worth attending ? –
If in the planning stages, you need ideas, and some vendors are still needed, I’d say yes. Like anything, those with the right attitude can benefit. That doesn’t mean go in without keeping your wits about you, but closed minds don’t learn anything or benefit from different experiences. Try one and see for yourself, enjoy. 🙂