Nashville’s documentary wedding photographer
and headshot studio.
Recently, I was the photographer of choice to document a lovely destination wedding for an Arizona couple, and they wisely selected the Bobby Hotel in downtown Nashville. This was my third time at the Bobby, and the first time I had the pleasure of working there. The first thing one would notice about the downtown boutique hotel is the retro, yet modern furnishings, the ornate details in the cleverly constructed chandelier, and open-air bar at lobby level. The Bobby has quickly become one of my favorite downtown Nashville event venues and attractions. As part of the story I tell for the couple, as a documentary photographer, some details of the venue are always part of the package.
The rooftop where the ceremony and reception took place was amazing; with picturesque views of the downtown area, and even across the river to East Nashville. The caravan used as a bar, the cabanas, vegetation, and turf really set the mood for the event. The rooftop bar and pool are also lovely amenities; and are certainly attractions to enjoy while enjoying downtown without the raucous crowd on the streets. I hope you enjoy some photos dedicated to the venue itself, and you will consider the Bobby for your event or weekend away. Who’s Bobby? The answer is “yes”.
Many people view hiring a creative artist as a service like having their gutters cleaned. When they hire an artist they don’t always realize they can’t have the same expectations. Artists have a process, style, and vision unique to themselves. Which is why they should be hiring that person, not because they want something different. This could be said if a paint artist is being commissioned, or if you’re hiring a photographer, sculptor, or any other creative artist. I mainly speak about photography, since that’s where my expertise lies, and the industry in which I work. I can understand that for example, engaged couples hiring a wedding photographer have access to Pinterest and other inspirations, and countless sources of information (or misinformation) online; it’s a lot to process.
The couple hires a team of vendors; the cake maker, officiant, hair and makeup, caterer, photographer, etc. All of which are artists in their own right. It’s easy to confuse hired help and creative artists. Of course the client needs to be diligent in the hiring process and hire the photographer, etc. that aligns with their vision, and has a vision and process they trust. There is certainly nothing wrong with project management, but when you treat an artist like hired help and micromanage them, you’re missing the true point of their unique work. You know, the whole reason you hired them. Hiring a photographer / artist with a specific vision and telling them what to do defeats the purpose, especially if it doesn’t fit the style of that photographer. As long as the people you hire are doing their job, and you went into the deal on the same page; leave them alone and don’t micromanage. It also helps to understand that guests / family with a different expectation isn’t necessarily entitled to have access to these hired artists. For example, their personal family photos while the photographer is capturing the event, requesting a song from the DJ as if it’s a radio station in the 1980’s, etc.
I operated as safely and responsibly as possible throughout most of the Covid-19 pandemic, as required by CDC and local health ordinances. Though the headshot business was relatively slow. I am happy now as we recover and life gets back to how we know it ( notice I didn’t say new normal, you’re welcome) that there is once again an uptick in headshots. Headshots in Nashville are back, and I am offering my services to help people get out of toxic jobs and into new ones; even new careers. Depending on the vibe or purpose of the headshot, I can do an outdoor / ambient vibe or in studio with professional and flattering lighting. Now once again I can give clients the option of proofing in-person or electronically. Same with payment. The process is brief. There’s no need to take up peoples’ valuable time, this is two professionals at work, not a practice run. Here are a couple recent headshots, so when would you like me to do yours?
Headshots in Nashville are back, be next. 🙂
Why hire a documentary wedding photographer?
More specifically, why hire me in particular? In short, documentary photography is about capturing the natural moments and human emotion that happens at a wedding. With exception of approximately 20 minutes of family / group photos, typically up to eight combinations (if the couple wants these at all) the entire wedding day is unposed, affording me the opportunity to do what I do best- capture the soul, energy, emotion, and love as it happens in its own perfect way. These moments are what makes your day unique to you and your loved ones. As you reminisce, browsing your photos after the day has come and gone; seeing yourselves and your guests in your natural elements is the fondest memory. Yes, I am a niche style of wedding photographer, and I know this approach, style of photography, and overall experience is not for every couple. I dare say that despite me photographing over 200 weddings, I’m not a wedding photographer at all. I’m a journalist and storyteller who photographs weddings.
This approach is exactly tailored for the couple who wants to enjoy their day, spend quality time with everyone, and not have to endure hours of standing for posed groups, fake smiles, and time away from their event. Basically hire me and forget me, and it will be done. My clients value my non-intrusive, understated presence, as I am a fly on the wall throughout the day. I understand that most couples and their families want at least the basic portrait groups which is easily doable in 20 minutes. If a couple wishes me to do many more portrait groups and have more orchestration, that defeats the purpose of hiring a documentarian, and they are better off with a more traditional wedding photographer.
To break it down into simple terms; clients pay good money for their wedding photographer. It’s only logical to hire the one with a like-minded vision. My clients receive a lovingly crafted series of photographs that makes up their story. To do so, I need creative freedom to do what I do best, most effectively. There are a host of others who pose the couple, parties, and guests throughout the day, and respond well to lists, Pinterest ideas, and the micromanaging that goes with that (The polar opposite of any true documentary photographer). I should be hired exactly for my signature style and system of working that I’ve built over the years, not something different. This is not a trend, it’s timeless and hinges on true human interaction. Why hire a documentary wedding photographer? If you think it’s for you, let’s talk.
I spoke with Nick a couple months before the Fourth Of July weekend summertime proposal photos and engagement photos he secured my services for. Nick met Darielle over two years ago through mutual friends, and their relationship has been a catharsis for both of them, as nature intended. The couple lives in New Jersey, as do their families, although at first, I had no idea I was going to meet the entire crew! One thing I love about proposal photography is the element of surprise, and seeing how creative the guy can get. Nick rose to the occasion and surprised Darielle beyond what she could have dreamt. The proposal took place in front of The Parthenon at Centennial Park. A musician was even hired play guitar as Nick proposed, and then both of their families surprised them immediately after. All unbeknownst to Darielle!
It was a rare occasion in Nashville that in early July, the humidity and heat weren’t unbearable, but the gods were in their favor indeed! Another surprise Nick planned with me, was for the couple to do engagement photos after they had a chance to visit with family and digest that amazing surprise. Indeed this was a pleasure, and I am happy Nick and Darielle, and their families enjoyed their weekend in Nashville. Thankfully post-pandemic when we can all let our masks and guards down. It was worth the wait. Wishing this fabulous New Jersey couple the deepest congratulations! I hope you’ve enjoyed these lovely Summertime proposal photos and engagement photos!