Nashville’s documentary wedding photographer
and headshot studio.
I’ve known Sarah Jane and her family for the better part of 10 years, and even witnessed her graduating high school. Life has smooth seas mixed with twists and turns, and bumpy roads. Smooth seas don’t make a skilled sailor, and all young adults must learn to navigate the choppy waters so that going forward, they stay on a proper course. Wilson and Sarah met through mutual friends and shared common goals for the paths of their lives. Which brings us to this point; the day the couple sealed the deal. Allow me to walk you through the couple’s lovely Highland Stables wedding in Bowling Green, Kentucky.
Despite still dealing with limitations from the Covid-19 pandemic, it was a beautiful day in the open air venue, and everyone had a great time. Sarah’s older brother Dewayne walked her down the aisle and handed her over to Wilson. Wilson and Sarah’s daughter, Renna was the flower girl, and was quite expressive throughout the day! The ceremony is officially underway. Shall we?
This sweet Highland Stables wedding with Wilson and Sarah wouldn’t be possible without the work of their providers:
Event planner – Cole and Co.
Catering – Kathy Poston
Hairstylist- Sheridan Adkins
Makeup artist- Katy Yokley Cardwell
DJ – Scott Tucker
Cake- The Cake Shop
Loved ones carefully socialized, ate, drank, danced, and it was a great day! I know the future is happy and bright for Sarah, Wilson, and Renna. May your course stay true and may you remain in control when life’s storms come. Congratulations and thank you for choosing me as your storyteller.
Recently, I had the pleasure of photographing a lovely wedding at one of the nicest Bowling Green wedding venues I’ve seen / worked at, Highland Stables. Just moments from Bowling Green city center, tucked away on 169 rolling green acres sits Highland Stables; a 26,000 square foot converted horse barn / indoor open air wedding and event venue. The open air aspect was appreciated by many, due to Covid-19 still wreaking havoc in our society. The outdoor grounds feature many lush green meadows, garden space, a pond with a fountain, outdoor ceremony area, and other aesthetically pleasing features. The indoor venue space has a rustic decor with modern elements, easily becoming a custom canvas. Beautiful terra cotta / cobblestone floors cover the entire interior.
Climate controlled bride and groom quarters (Or groom / groom or bride / bride of course) are also attractive amenities. Heating is provided for winter events. The venue services weddings and corporate events, and provides hand sanitizer stations, as well as easily accessed rest rooms. I recommend anyone searching for Bowling Green wedding venues to give Highland Stables a look. I’m a documentary photographer and am not as much into styled elements: however, I wanted to share some photos featuring the venue, as it’s still part of every story I tell.
In the recent past, I have been part of a mentorship program in which I have worked with several emerging photographers at different levels. It doesn’t take most aspiring photographers long to figure out that a considerable part of the general public love and respect photography, although they mainly see it as a great creative outlet or hobby. Many people don’t think of photography as a career, I am guessing this is due to many reasons. That doesn’t make it so. Technology is nothing new. Film SLR’s eventually had autofocus capabilities, there were point and shoot film and digital cameras, the list goes on. Now point and shoot cameras have been replaced by smart phones. It’s a convenience available to everyone. Most people know that doesn’t make them photographers, nor do they need it to. Most of what people do is shoot pictures of things they would never have wasted film on in years past. Photographers still have a purpose, it’s just a matter of each one finding their client. What gives the public an indifferent attitude towards hiring professional photographers? Let’s discuss.
Look at antique photographs –
Photographers were once considered skilled tradesmen (Or women, just a general term) and rightfully so. Look in antique shops for family or portrait photos from 100 years ago. You can see the skill the photographers possessed and the attention to detail. Look at the lighting and composition, and how well the prints have held up. This was not done by taking shortcuts. Even though far fewer professional photographers operate in studios anymore, 100 years later, you’d think technology would enable more impressive photography. If you can look at photography from past professionals and a good percentage of photographers today and not wonder why we’ve gone backwards in quality, you’re not paying attention. The shortcuts and lack of understanding of theory from more photographers today helped decline the perceived value of photography.
No entry barriers-
Logic should prevail, it’s not a good long-term decision to get into a business you don’t know and understand. It takes research and working as an apprentice, and learning from experience to hone your craft to be able to carry a business. Many don’t want to do that anymore, and the pricing numbers are arbitrarily picked by some newer photographers. I’m not begrudging newcomers. But there is a difference between making a good hourly wage and running a sustainable business. We’ve reached a time in society where you don’t even have to be a great photographer to be financially successful. It’s all about the marketing and personality. There are some great photographers who aren’t great at marketing who perish, sadly. But that’s where we are.
How can customers think of photography as a career when it’s not operated like a business? –
Professional photographers who put out great work and operate professionally will command their rates from the right clients. There are also newer photographers who don’t use contracts, invoicing, or truly have any idea how to operate a business. For a low stakes photoshoot, fine. But there are times when you have to hire a professional, but it won’t be as cheap. You get what you pay for. Not every client will get that, and that’s ok. A true professional is measured by their skill, attention to detail, how they conduct business, and most important of all; how they perform in less than ideal conditions.
The tools are more readily accessible, and more people are trying it. Pans don’t make the chef. Professional photographers, we have to keep our eye on the prize and realize things change, and keep pushing on as long as it works for us. Part of doing business is setting boundaries and avoiding the wrong clients. It’s harder work than many think. If someone doesn’t want to pay my price, so be it. I’m not out to get rich, but I don’t feel like giving away what took me years to learn, and what I’ve invested in my business. I can’t worry about public perception, although most understand the value of hiring the right people for the right job. Some learn from their mistakes, others keep repeating them, Nero fiddled, George played golf.
I was thrilled to hear back from Anthony and Brian, a couple whose wedding I photographed fixe years ago. Since they got married, life happened with job changes and relocation, though their travels would always take them back to the Nashville area they call home. The most exciting news for them is they are now a family of three, with a toddler boy they adopted. The trio was planning to return to their home church in Brentwood to have their son christened now that the adoption process is finalized. I was honored to be asked to do photograph the special occasion. During the Covid-19 pandemic and churches just recently at partial capacity, and people wearing face masks, I wasn’t sure how the photos would be affected, I quickly realized I was just doing modern documentary photography that represent a time in history. One I’d like to put behind us, but none of us will soon forget.
Even with wedding photography, the weather is usually not ideal. Instead of trying to document the day a different way, as a documentary photographer, I like to accurately represent the weather and tell the story around it, Masks may be unsettling, but that’s where are now, for the first time in 100 years. The masks could not hide the love that surrounds their family, and journalism is designed to tell a story based on the true event. Not something staged, This documentation of the baby christening especially during the pandemic, it’s modern documentary photography and a true account of the event. Not to mention the love and excitement shared by everyone in attendance.
We are far from out of the woods with Covid-19, but people are carrying out their activities and using caution, as are responsible businesses. As for me, I have systems in place to protect both myself and my clients during this time. Many people are getting back to work, finding new jobs, or even new careers, and need an updated headshot. One might wonder, what is the safest and easiest way to get a headshot in these strange times? Once you contact me and we set up a day and time (please be advised that similar to other business, availability may be slightly limited, but not to worry, I’m here to serve) the visit will be contactless. I will wear a face mask for your safety.
Studio headshots or location headshots are brief. Payments are done electronically through online invoice. All proofing is done electronically for the time being. I love visiting with clients and doing this in person, but this is where we are for now. Once favorites are selected, I do a basic retouch and deliver files electronically. Most clients receive their final files within one business day from when favorites are selected. Old pricing has remained, the same great quality remains. The easiest way to get a headshot is right here. When can we schedule yours?