Nashville’s documentary wedding photographer
and headshot studio.
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?
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.
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.
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.
I had the honor of documenting the amazing Dyer Observatory wedding day of Alan and Brett! Quite at an amazing place I have never been before! The Vanderbilt Dyer Observatory is an astronomy observatory owned by Vanderbilt University.
It’s up this huge hill, away from everything, but so close to local amenities and still far enough from light pollution for star gazing. Alan and Brett are both Vanderbilt graduates and always took an interest in the observatory so it only made sense for them to use it for their Nashville wedding venue! I will quietly document these moments before their guests arrive and the ceremony starts!!
Alan and Brett currently live in the South Of France, so this was my first time meeting them face to face, which was exciting! We had talked a lot by email and a few times by phone, so this was nice. I’m honored that they put their trust in me as a proud LGBT friendly wedding photographer.
These kids were so expressive, I would use that to my advantage. As a documentary wedding photographer, I watch for real moments like this, of human interaction. It requires a non-intrusive approach to build that trust factor particularly with kids. The best natural moods are captured without posing and people are just being themselves. The best captures.
Vendors involved with this lovely Dyer Observatory wedding –
Venue – Vanderbilt Dyer Observatory
Planner – Helen Morrisette
DJ- Lt. Dan Buckley
Caterer – Ribbons Of Chocolate
Ceremony time! –
This kid needs to be in show biz. He is so animated.
Slightly reluctant flower girl, adorable!
That was an amazing ceremony! Now a few quick family groups and then cocktail hour! Real human interaction, nothing orchestrated, natural as intended.
After a delicious dinner from Ribbons Of Chocolate, we prepare for the Dyer Observatory wedding to come unglued!
Before the dancing started, Alan and Brett took a few guests up to the dome to do some star gazing with this HUGE telescope, it was epic! The dome opens for star gazing, and a knowledgeable person is there to teach people about what they’re seeing. Really neat!
Ok, shake it, dance the night away and party like it’s 1999!!!
I watched him do this once and could tell he was going for it again….locked focus and waited without him suspecting it…by then he didn’t think of it.
I loved the dimensions and perspectives here, with high contrast light and shadows…ahhh!
Slightly dragged shutter for effect.
I hope you’ve enjoyed the story I told for Alan and Brett, and I hope they enjoy it for an eternity! Congratulations gentlemen, can’t want to see you again and work on your album soon!
I’ve looked forward to this day for nearly a year since meeting David and Lindsay! They’re movie aficionados and wanted a wedding that was personalized just for them. What better spot than the Historic Capitol Theatre in the Lebanon, TN. town square? Let’s begin the story of this lovely Capitol Theatre Lebanon wedding!
The connection between David and Lindsay and the creativity they have, is truly amazing! It was a relatively hot Mid June day, but nice and cool inside! They even made custom movie posters, to complete the concept / theme!
Now that the decorating is finished, we’ve got a wedding to get ready for!!
Meet Miss Hope Elizabeth, just over two months old at this time!! David and Lindsay’s baby daughter!! I’m glad she was such a huge part of this!
It’s moments like these that don’t happen from shooting more, but more rather watching more. One key factor about documentary wedding photography that defies human logic.
Before we get into this Capitol Theatre Lebanon wedding ceremony, I will give a shout out to the participating vendors!!
Officiant – Golden Dolphin Weddings
Cake – Cupcakes – Publix
Catering – Two Fat Men Catering
Venue – Capitol Theatre
DJ- DJ Dan Co.
Photo booth- ShutterBooth Nashville
I’m so humbled by David’s reaction to see Lindsay walk towards him, this is real folks!!
Lindsay and Hope make their way to the big stage!!
I loved the curtain and whole star of the silver screen feel. I’m definitely inspired to do a lot of film noir and mood lighting for this wedding. As I usually feel inspired to do haha. There was a special dance before dinner break, then back to partying like it’s 2017!!
With Amanda, signing the marriage license!!
I love receptions, I watch for it and love documenting pure raw energy and emotion, that you can’t possible stage. Dance like no one is watching!
Love this mood and raw emotion, off camera lighting to fit the scene! Just a signature touch I offer. 😀
Bohemian Rhapsody does it every time!!
I had an idea, long exposure shot of the theater after the wedding, loved how it turned out! Just had to wait for this one parked car to move. I hope you’ve enjoyed this very special Capitol Theatre Lebanon wedding, congratulations David and Lindsay! Thank you for letting me document your story!
I’ve waited for this lovely same sex wedding of Kline and Curtis for almost a year now. It was a Schermerhorn Symphony Center wedding located in downtown Nashville. It happened to be the same weekend as the Predators Stanley Cup Finals, a Broadway block party and concert, another and concert right up the hill at the amphitheater! I was in the most happening spot with Kline and Curtis!
I had not been in the Schermerhorn since seeing the flood damage in 2010, it was even more gorgeous than I remembered before that happened.
Vendors who worked this Schermerhorn Symphony Center wedding-
Planner – Nicole Moon http://www.2divasandaparty.com/
Cake and floral- www.samsclub.com
Reception Band- https://www.emeraldempireband.com/
Catering – http://baconandcaviar.com/
What a beautiful ceremony!! Curtis and Kline met online 4 years ago, and are both Louisiana natives. In fact, most of the guests were from Louisiana! Kline went to Vanderbilt Law School and Curtis is an accountant. Soon after the wedding, the couple would relocate to Jackson, MS. where Kline is doing a clerkship with a judge. Eventually the couple will relocate to Boston where Kline had lived before and loves!!
Ok, this would have happened in the ceremony, but no one knew where the lighter was for the candle! Part of the story for later, but they were determined to get it lit one way or the other!! Now we go upstairs for the cocktail hour.
These raw and natural emotions are what I love so much about capturing a wedding documentary style. You can’t match it or the experience by posing or orchestrating. I love this job! Same sex weddings ALWAYS seem to be oozing with energy and passion, I love them!
Now off to the reception area as we await dinner break! Some fine edibles from the staff at Bacon and Caviar! Now try to visualize how refreshing these beverage dispensers looked on a hot Summer day, even though it was cool inside!
Before the cake got ravaged!!
LGBT weddings always party down, it only gets wilder from here! Kline and Curtis have some impressive moves on the dance floor!
How cool is this pregnant lady?
The Emerald Empire rocked the house!
That hair, that decisive moment! I hope you’ve enjoyed this beautiful Nashville same sex Schermerhorn Symphony Center wedding! Congratulations Kline and Curtis! You guys are amazing! It’s a pleasure working with you and your lovely guests! Thanks for letting me document your story!
I’ve always taken a documentary, photojournalist, un-posed approach to engagement photos and wedding photography. In the purist sense, engagement photos can’t be 100% documentary because the couple knows the photographer is photographing them. really same with weddings. They just don’t always know when and the approach is much less hands on than strongly posed. Photojournalist style engagement photos are a thing. Especially for that couple who just wants their fun day and true love captured in it’s simplest form.
What’s the benefit to doing Photojournalist style engagement photos? –
The approach works for a skilled wedding / engagement photojournalist, and the couples who want a more organic and natural vibe to their photos. I give minimal direction at first, and maybe in between, but when actually photographing them, it’s a bare minimum interaction. I just want them to focus on each other and the love they have. I’m more of a fly on the wall documenting their day. As opposed to manually posing them throughout the day, which isn’t for many couples. In that case, the photos will show it.
At the beginning I provide some basic tips for hand and body placement and the overall mood I’m going for based on the lighting conditions and location. I move to accommodate them from there. Of course if they’re stuck I am happy to help, but nothing would be more awkward than a love coach with a camera directing the entire engagement photo session. This is how I capture their love without the contrived look to the photos.
The whole point of engagement photos is to be casual and affectionate as a couple, document a fun day or evening, morning, whatever time. It’s a fun way to connect with your photographer and get used to the process, in a relaxed fun setting. Have fun with it and don’t overthink it. Just have the photographer whose work you love the most document your time together. It’s a lifetime heirloom. And beyond that.