Nashville’s documentary wedding photographer
and headshot studio.

wedding photography for entire reception

One very commonly asked question about whether or not couples need wedding photography for entire reception, it is no longer a mystery!

Franklin TN LGBT wedding

The short answer-

Most of the time I do not stay for the entire reception unless there is a special exit that is important to the couple. I will not leave a couple if the story is not told, so I will explain. There comes a point in many wedding receptions when some guests leave, and I’ve already documented the critical moments like cake cutting, couple and parent dances. Also the couple, wedding party, and other guests hitting the bar and shaking it on the dance floor!! Those events are why the reception is my favorite part of wedding photography. However, by the time guests thin out, I’ve gotten what I need. Past that point, it would be redundant.

LGBT wedding Nashville

All the Nashville wedding photographers I know work differently, but I think all of us would agree on a couple fine points. Many couples err on the side of caution and overestimate the time they need their photographer for. It’s wise to have enough time, but the best solution is to use that time wisely and have logistics that make sense.

kids at weddings

The whole idea for hiring a wedding photographer is to have them tell a story. About you and your day. The balance of getting ready, ceremony, cocktail hour, reception, and even portraits is to be worked out between the couple and the wedding photographer. It’s about the balance that is right for you. Each event is unique.

wedding dancing

The easiest way to sort this is to speak with your photographer and let them help you, based on their approach. As far as the original topic of wedding photography for entire reception, that’s a personal choice. From my experience, it’s not usually necessary or particularly beneficial once the event reaches that point right past the peak.

Tipping wedding vendors

I see different discussions on social media and online wedding forum communities about tipping wedding vendors. I’m not here to tell anyone they need to tip their vendors or how much to tip them. Plenty of resources online for that. But more rather who to tip, how to deem a vendor or service provider is deserving, etc.

Outdoor wedding Nashville

Who should you tip?

Any vendor you feel worked hard to provide the goods and a good overall experience on your wedding day. If the cake maker shows up an hour late and the cake is not in perfect condition, well. Needless to say that vendor doesn’t deserve a tip. It’s a personal choice. I don’t personally expect a couple to tip since they’re paying good money to hire me in the first place. But as their wedding photographer who has an important role in their story and experience on their day, I always appreciate it when it happens. Reviews are equally valuable to me. There’s one ugly misconception around the internet, and it makes my blood boil.

wedding cocktail hour

You don’t tip business owners do you?

Why wouldn’t you, if you were going to tip that vendor and the person providing the service was the owner? That is utter nonsense. I don’t know where that idea came from. Obviously, if it’s a larger operation and the owner wasn’t involved, that’s a different story.

I’m the owner and sole operator of my business. What does that mean? Nothing. I hire contract labor for assistants but it’s me who meets with clients, emails them, does the photography, provides design and does post production. Also puts together the online galleries and print goods. If I’m hands on, why is someone working for another company more deserving of a tip? Ignorant. Basically, no one is obligated to tip. If you do, whoever was hands on and went above and beyond for you are good candidates for a tip. If you feel inclined.

LBGT wedding photographer Nashville

If you feel like tipping wedding vendors who served you, there are a couple different ways to do it. Provide envelopes at the wedding, or send them a check or gift card in the mail afterwards. This way you can assess who the most valuable players were. Or if you don’t, that’s fine too. We know it was an expensive proposition, but we’d love you forever if you write us reviews.

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Telephoto lenses for wedding photography

One very popular tool for wedding photographers are telephoto lenses, and it used to be one for me. This will take us to the SLR days for me compared to being all mirrorless for over 3 years, and how that platform switch changed many things about my approach. Despite what most wedding photographers do, I haven’t used telephoto lenses for wedding photography since that switch to Fuji in 2014. I am not here to make fun of those who use them but more rather explain my thought process on why I stopped using telephoto lenses for wedding photography.

wedding cocktail hour

I work from the inside out-

I have seen a difference in my work since getting my system of working refined based on my smaller mirrorless systems. I can’t say it’s just because of gear, but as gear changed, so did some of my thought process and what weddings are all about. Human interaction. For me, doing so non intrusively and traveling lighter help me be less noticeable. As I work closer to my subjects, I blend in with the guests and am close enough to feel in my heart what is going on. This helps me more effectively watch for the moment and document it when the time is right. I don’t have that advantage standing in the back and looking through the lens.

wedding dancing

The longest lens  I have is the Fuji 56mm 1.2 which is great for shallow depth of field if needed, but that isn’t the most important part of my approach. If I was doing a very restrictive church ceremony, which I seldom do, I have the option of renting a telephoto if needed. They do have a purpose, even though I don’t own one. I just feel that not using telephoto lenses for wedding photography has brought my work to a more intimate level. With compact gear, I blend in and can work closer without establishing a presence. Plus I don’t experience blocked shots because I’m right in the vicinity. The energy rubs off on me and I can report it from the inside vantage point.

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Myrtle Beach vacation photos

After a busy wedding season that I’m still working on, and life in general catching up, I needed a break. There’s only two ways to get unraveled, one is to sleep and the other is travel. I went to a wedding near there as a guest, for the first time in many years. While there, I was able to enjoy that time with a friend, meet up with other friends, and enjoy some beach time. Enjoy these Myrtle Beach vacation photos!

Myrtle Beach vacation photos

Loved this pier at 2nd ave. So many possibilities with light, shadows, and vanishing perspectives! Also how different I can make it look at different times of day!

Myrtle Beach

This was sunrise from my hotel balcony, wasn’t quite ready to get up that early because I was out late the night before. However, it turned out that balcony view was amazing! The next day I would hit the beach at sunrise to get a more up close and personal angle.

Myrtle Beach vacation photos

Myrtle Beach vacation photos

I traveled light. Just my Fuji X100F, which is practically pocket sized! Ideal mirrorless camera for travel, street photography, even weddings! Crank shutter speed up to 1/2000 second and stop it way down, even in full sun, as we’ve got this palm tree silhouette!

Myrtle Beach vacation photos

Myrtle Beach vacation photos

Myrtle Beach vacation photos

Myrtle Beach vacation photos

See? Beach is love.

Myrtle Beach vacation photos

There was an amusement park across the street from the hotel, late afternoon sun as it’s starting to sit lower in the sky. Roller coaster baby!

Myrtle Beach vacation photos

Myrtle Beach vacation photos

Myrtle Beach

Myrtle Beach

This guy with the panda bear mask said he wore it to make people happy, and many were! One of the unsung heroes of life, not something I’ll forget anytime soon!

Myrtle Beach

The Myrtle Beach Sky ferris wheel, was a bit of a walk but so worth it!

Myrtle Beach

I love the setting sun and these street scenes with nice soft golden light. I like contrast even with haze.

Myrtle Beach

Myrtle Beach

Myrtle Beach

It was getting dark and I walked past that same amusement park, but it closes earlier in the off season.

Myrtle Beach

Sunrise on the beach as promised. After a meditation session on the beach late the night before.

Myrtle Beach

Myrtle Beach

Myrtle Beach

Myrtle Beach

Myrtle Beach

I hope you’ve enjoyed these Myrtle Beach vacation photos from my inspiration break!

 

Centennial Park engagement photos

I had the pleasure of meeting Scott, Brittney, and Scott’s 2 year old son, Stone at a Summer wedding show where I participated as a vendor. They were engaged and planning their wedding for early Winter, and just wanted their day documented with little interference from the wedding photographer. So, naturally we clicked! It was an ideal fit between us. The rest was history! We scheduled their engagement photos soon after they retained my services, so I am pleased to share these Centennial Park engagement photos with you!!

Centennial Park engagement photos

Centennial Park engagement photos

Centennial Park engagement photos

Centennial Park engagement photos

Centennial Park engagement photos

It can be a challenge trying to do a couples’ shoot and documentary family time photography with a curious toddler running around, but he was really good about staying close even when the couple was getting their camera time! Scott and Brittney met on the Tinder app, I’ve heard of a few really good success stories this way!! Their first date was at a restaurant in Owensboro, KY where Brittney currently lives and they quickly built up an unmistakable connection! Once Brittney finishes her work obligations in Owensboro, she will join Scott and Stone here in Nashville! Quite an amazing bond between each of them!

Nashville engagemet photos

Nashville engagemet photos

Nashville engagemet photos

Nashville engagemet photos

Nashville engagemet photos

Nashville engagemet photos

The couple loves dining out, coffee shops, and outdoorsy things. Centennial Park was the perfect spot for them to document their fun day out as a family and couple. It’s always been one of my favorite metro parks as well.  I tried to be careful not to make the location too recognizable because there are always photographers there. Park rangers have cracked down on some of that, as too many could become public nuisance. I was just there with my Fujifilm XT-2 and 35mm F2 lens, simple and effective setup. No muss, no fuss.

Nashville engagemet photos

Nashville engagemet photos

Nashville engagemet photos

Nashville engagemet photos

Nashville engagemet photos

Nashville engagemet photos

Nashville engagemet photos

Nashville engagemet photos

Nashville engagemet photos

We were enjoying the beautiful end of day light and low setting sun to enjoy some warm golden UV haze. Which really helped accentuate the mood and love between Scott and Brittney as a couple and with Stone as a family.  I hope you’ve enjoyed these lovely Centennial Park engagement photos! Congratulations Scott and Brittney, I can’t wait to document the final chapter of this story in just a few months!

Nashville engagemet photos

Nashville engagemet photos

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