Nashville’s documentary wedding photographer
and headshot studio.

Photojournalist style engagement photos

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.

engagement photos

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.

LGBT couple

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.


Realtor headshots

I’ve been fortunate enough to be a trusted Nashville wedding photographer servicing many realtor headshots for both established and new realtors. Nashville has a fast growing real estate market for both commercial and residential real estate. There are also a lot of new realtors to accommodate this rapid growth. But how do they all get noticed and show buyers they are serious about earning their business? It starts with having a nicely done professional headshot.

realtor headshot Nashville

As a realtor, you are a professional offering a very personal service. Home selling and buying can be a tiresome and nerve racking process, so it’s always nice to have a good assertive realtor who is also caring and human. A professional realtor headshot can help represent that. Most every realtor’s business card has their photo on it. So why not put some care into it, since it represents your professional image and what your potential clients will see? A lot about professional image is about effort.

realtor headshots Nashville

A home or commercial property is often the biggest purchase a buyer / buyers will ever make. They need a realtor they can trust, and who is looking out for their interest as well. So a good professional realtor headshot investment helps show commitment on your part as a realtor, and helps you stand out. May the best service provider win.

Headshots Nashville

I’m honored to be a trusted photographer to provide realtor and other professional headshots in Nashville. I show my commitment to you by providing reliable service, fast turnaround, professional / understated retouching, and giving you the best image for your business. Headshot services begin at just $100.00 all inclusive. I can do in studio, ambient / outdoor or combination of both. Different wardrobe options for seasonal use are also an option. I look forward to hearing from you soon!







Going against the grain | Nashville wedding photographers

Most engaged couples searching for their ideal wedding photographer match would agree there are many choices. Too many. Out of those, not all are ideal for them. For wedding photographers to develop their brand and target client, sometimes it means going against the grain and being different. Each couple must know their identity and what is most important to them.

umbrella love

Without going too in depth about documentary wedding photography I will cover the basics. As well as demonstrate another working preference that some would question, based on what they’ve perceived as normal. My approach in short, as a documentary wedding photographer is to have the gift of finding  those real organic moments of raw human emotion. And documenting it. Un-posed and non intrusive throughout the day, with exception of some formal groups that the couples want. I never pose anyone or orchestrate anything besides that. A rare / non existent approach in this market, but that’s what I do best.

kids at weddings

I also use off camera lighting with an assistant to be able to control shadow and lighting patterns I want, with no unmanned light stands which can be a hazard and eyesore. My camera platform is Fuji mirrorless, because I love the unique look and character of the photos and lenses, and the more compact size. The main area where I’m going against the grain is not using a second shooter.  This goes against how many wedding photographers work and what the mainstream wedding media says you have to do. Seen it, heard it….some work best that way, others like me don’t. The short explanation is for style consistency, non intrusive approach, and the guests won’t feel like they’re in a paparazzi zone.

bride dancing

I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with others who do things differently. I’ve just developed my own system that works well for what I do. You as a couple should book the wedding photographer whose style and photos speak to you. Also considering their personality, their organization and systems, and overall experience you and your guests will have.

My reputation has been built on MY unique ability to tell the story of each wedding that I photograph. By being the solo photographer, every photo is consistent with the last. The style, the lighting… it all blends fluidly with a singular artist creating each photo. This also affords me the time to focus on detail in post production, album making, custom wooden packaging, etc. All personal touches. I don’t recommend every photographer work this way, but I’ve developed my system which took years. I can work non-intrusively, cover the ground I need to, stay organized and be prepared. No waiting for lighting or flash setups, it’s mobile and done before I walk in. Backup equipment on me, as well as a spare lens. I love what I do and I love the couples I work with. Quality over quantity, but a cohesive complete story.  Going against the grain is good if you have a system that works and clients are happy.

By me going against the grain and offering a style that defies a lot of human logic provides me a unique client which is great. If you love an artist’s work, it hardly makes sense to want it any differently. I had a venue coordinator work with me for the first time last year and she asked me about my second shooter. I graciously explained I’m both, and this is my assistant 🙂 She saw the system work and has referred me to other couples which is the best compliment I can receive. One I’ll never take lightly and always be grateful for.








Fun animated wedding photographer video

It’s extremely rare that I ever read any solicitation emails from service providers I don’t know or have not used before. But one day I got curious, I saw an email about custom whiteboard videos and animated cartoon videos. The light bulb went on, how about a fun animated wedding photographer video? I had considered putting a short video on my website because many people love them. Also it’s a way to get info without having to read through multiple pages. So I looked at their website and sample videos.

Whiteboard was cool, but more instructional than what I needed. That’s basically things being written and illustrated on a whiteboard. I liked the idea of a fun custom cartoon video, because who doesn’t love cartoons? My style of wedding photography can be viewed as more utilitarian as opposed to bright and airy and Pinterest inspired. For that reason, I thought this fun animated wedding photographer video could be a good tool to sell my approach to those looking for info. It’s a fun, light, and brief way to simplify the understanding of the process.

I spoke with Julian, my contact person, and I gave him my vision for the project and went over a bunch of details. Then we went over words for his voice over person to use. He hit the nail on the head. The cartoon me even sortof looks like me, LOL! I’d love to get your thoughts on this new video, it’s now on my website as well. I thought it was a good idea because no one has anything like it. It’s fun, informative, and brief, well under a minute. Maybe Cartoon Network will hunt me down and try to make a Jay Farrell Photography cartoon. One step at a time. But I’m happy if it only helps and entertains prospective clients.

Wedding photo retouching

As an engaged couple shopping for a wedding photographer to document your day, here is one helpful tip decoding jargon. You might notice some wedding photographers advertise wedding photo retouching as part of their digital file delivery. Let’s discuss what it all means without too much in depth trivia.

artistic lighting

-The definition of editing in terms of photo work is only the beginning of the post production process. Post production covers the wide range of the process. Editing is the sorting and culling. Yes, culling is part of it. Getting rid of less flattering photos, missed focus or exposures and less strong redundancies. That’s editing.

-Color correction / batch post production is what most wedding photographers TRULY offer. This is after the editing process, doing basic adjustments and color/ black and white work. This ensures a level of quality control so that the photos look consistent and present well. That’s the standard and this is what I offer, on paper.  Yes, it’s post production, but not actual retouching.

-Photo retouching consists of creative changes. Such as skin and blemish cleanup, teeth whitening, slimming an arm or face, etc. Or even background manipulation like removal of exit signs. Actual wedding photo retouching on the grand scale isn’t feasible because of the quantity of photos and the work it takes.

walking the aisle

Actual wedding photo retouching isn’t something I promise in my contract, but it is something I do at my discretion. That’s one perk of not having to sort through 7849 photos and allowing myself enough profit to do the job properly. I can be detail oriented. My approach is organic and I capture and light how envision the photo, so that helps cut back on retouching. In cases where there are skin breakouts, some of the dress bustled wrong and I can bring it in, exit sign or wall plug removal, I usually do it. No reason not to. I’m pretty quick at Photoshop and it helps the overall representation of the end product. But if asked to slim the entire wedding party…well….not feasible unless they are willing to pay my retouch rate. So this is a term I avoid using as my standard offering but I over deliver by doing what they don’t expect. Watch the terminology and clarify.