Sara Beth and Cali, married October 10, 2017 in Nashville, Tenn.
Sara Beth and Cali proved that you don’t need to spend tens of thousands of dollars at a Franklin farmhouse to have a gorgeous wedding. They rented a house along the river in East Nashville on AirBNB, enlisted their friends to pitch in wherever they could, and threw a knock-down, drag-out karaoke reception.
Big, splashy weddings are fun and all, but there’s something to be said for the heart and personality put into a wedding on a shoestring budget. I’ll always prefer to shoot a wedding that screams the couple getting married over a connect-the-dots wedding planned by the venue.
This was the first wedding I’d shot following my own marriage, which gave me a chance to see another professional’s work up close. (Although, you won’t be surprised to hear that I was a little too distracted to quiz my wedding photographers about their lens loadouts.) I shot Sara Beth and Cali’s wedding pro-bono, partially because I was happy to be a supportive friend with a unique skill, but also because it gave me a little more license to be creative and try out some of the techniques I had watched our own photographers pull off.
Most of those big swings came during the reception, which was challenging because their venue had such high ceilings that it was tough to light without my flash disappearing into the ether. With that in mind, I tried out slow sync flash, to capture the moment brightly but pull the lights around the subjects.
I’m always looking for ways to make my photos more exciting, whether that’s in the framing, the angles, or the techniques that I’m using.
Some of those experiments worked, some didn’t. But the photos that did work are bursting with charm heirlooms. The one photo that the couple requested is at the top of this page, of them kissing on the stairs. (Which showed me that sometimes the classic photo set-up is classic for a reason.)