I LOVED this photo shoot. I could do an entirely separate post on loving Nashville itself, but I am trying to stay on task here! But my gosh, the people, the food, the vibe... anyhoo...
I'll admit I was a little stressed just before this shoot, I mean, what with all the beauty, timing, trying to get it all done in one day, doing it all justice, famous musicians with not a ton of spare time, lighting (the nature kind, which has a schedule of its own), and it being my first assignment with Southern Living magazine. But as usual, once you show up, set up, the collaboration begins, and hit the shutter that first time, all your worries start to fade and you go into work mode, all pistons firing.
Our kind hosts, Cassie (check out her fashion Instagram @womanista) and her musician husband Charles (you might recognize him from his little band, Lady Antebellum), opened their doors to us for the day and wow, their home did not disappoint. Bright, comfortable, chic and stunning come to mind, and the garden was just perfect for cocktails and a delicious dinner. Their guests arrived and it was go time. I took a deep breath and got to work, maybe or maybe not hollering across the pool here and there some soft direction (Charles, tell a good story!, Cassie cross your leg the other way, Charles put your foot down, sit back, sit forward, GOT IT!!). I'm sure they were counting the minutes until I left! But they truly could not have been more kind, accommodating and easy to shoot.
I hope you enjoy the piece. And seriously, add Nashville to your travel list!
Honored. And floored. Swear.
Several months ago I was asked by an editor at Martha Stewart Weddings to fill out a questionnaire for an article about photography to be in their next issue. Just normal stuff, you know, how long you've been in the business, describe your style, do you travel for weddings, advice for brides, that sort of thing. I was very careful with my words, and a bit verbose I suppose (that's just how I roll), and submitted my novella wondering if they'd use a quote or something. I mean, wouldn't that be cool??
Fast forward a few months and one day I get a Facebook message from an old friend saying 'Congratulations on being named one of Martha Stewart Weddings' Top Photographers!!' Whaaa? I made her send me a snapshot of whatever she was reading because I didn't even believe her. But there it was in print, some sort of otherworldly validation by the masters of all things weddings, of ten years of shooting, and learning, and just plain working my butt off (and shhh... doing what I love). Let me tell you, it made my day, my month, my year, my career.
But my 14 year old warned me not to let 'ranking hubris' affect me (I still think he made that up but have been meaning to check). And so it is. I am beyond thrilled to be part of this list, but back I go to chatting with new clients, committing dates for summer weekends well into the near future, editing until my wrist feels weak and my eyes start to cross... and making brides, grooms and their families happy capturing one of the best days of their lives. Because that's truly the best validation there is.
Many moons ago I photographed Briana and Ben's gorgeous Kiawah Island Wedding at The Sanctuary, and I swore I'd be back one day. I just loved that quiet, beautiful, Southern Coast island and could easily appreciate their family's attachment to it over the years. So when Briana's Mom, once of the nicest people you'll ever meet, called to let me know that her other daughter Kelsey was engaged to the cute boy she had brought to her sister's wedding, I was so excited!
Kelsey is a very patient bride, a skill learned in part by falling in love with a Navy man, so navigating (get it?) the calendars far in advance to determine he would be on his deployment was hard enough, but ensuring the River Course at Kiawah Island, her dream venue, would have been rebuilt in time after a heartbreaking fire made the wait seem ever longer. They set their date and we waited. And waited. And planned. And wow, was it worth it.
The day started hazy and humid, storms threatened from the west, but spirits were high given Kelsey and Patrick would finally be married! All went smoothly and then suddenly, I kid you not, DURING the ceremony, the sun peeked through and never stopped. It was pretty spectacular.
Take a look in this spring's Coastal Living Weddings, and enjoy.
Event Planner: Engaging Events // Invitations and Programs: Sixpence Press //
Bride's Dress: Madison Row // Bridesmaids Dresses: LulaKate // Cake: Market Street Sweets
Jackie and Scott had visited the One&Only Ocean Club Resort in the Bahamas with Jackie's family numerous times, and it always held a very special place in their hearts. They knew early on they would use this perfect venue for the wedding, and the ever-talented Dickie Morris at just a little ditty events brought us all together. I am still trying to figure out how Dickie got that Sperry Tent down there! The vibrant Caribbean-hued flowers and accents, the bridesmaids' dresses (which were designed and made by Jackie), her gorgeous Monique Lhuillier gown, and lovely invitations by Bella Figura, plus many more details came together brilliantly.
Jackie and Scott were great about heading to the beach for a few portraits after the wedding, though the wind was picking up, and as always the images turned out to be some of my favorites. I love when the bride and groom get to step away from the activity and take a few minutes to themselves (with me, their personal stalker, of course). The joy mixed with excitement, amazement, and maybe just a touch of relief that everything went the way the bride had dreamed, always, always, without a doubt always, come through in the images.
Last summer I was contacted by an art director working on a new magazine called Coastal Living Weddings. You mean as in Coastal Living magazine, I wondered? The magazine that always features dreamy, breezy homes with insane views and makes me wonder why the heck I live two hours inland? Yup. So with the help of some seriously good fortune, both weddings I submitted were selected. Stay tuned for the next installment.
Now go make yourself a little frozen drink with an umbrella, and enjoy, and look for the 2014 issue of Coastal Living Weddings on newsstands now!!