To do this every day for a living…I still pinch myself. I pray I never take for granted what a gift it is to do this for my “job.” I get to meet new people and work with people who are madly in love. It doesn’t get much better. Since I get the opportunity to learn so much about my clients, I thought I’d share an interview I did when working on the new website…here’s a bigger glimpse into my world.
Where are you from?
I’m from and grew up in a small town outside of Richmond, Virginia. My grandparents were my neighbors until high school. It was amazing to have family so close. It was always a full house, and I loved every minute of it. After high school, I was determined to leave my small town forever, move to NYC and become a magazine editor. Well, that was until I went to James Madison University in Harrisonburg, VA and met my husband. It’s pretty obvious how those plans turned out – ha! Nashville has been the perfect fit for us. It gives me a taste of city life while still living out my small-town, slow-paced roots.
When did you know you wanted to be a photographer?
I’m not sure I ever had the lightbulb hanging over my head that it was my calling, but I’ve always felt emotionally connected to photography. Growing up, I spent a lot of time going through boxes and boxes of my parents’ old photographs. Those photos told their story and gave me an understanding of who they were and where they’d been. I somehow felt nostalgia for moments I had never experienced – I was hooked.
In third grade on the last day of school, my mom surprised my brother and I by letting us pick a small gift to celebrate our good grades. My choice? A teal green 35mm camera. I’ve had a camera in my hands ever since.
How would you describe your photography style?
Timeless, joyful and romantic. I hope my photographs evoke a bit of nostalgia as well. That’s one of my favorites elements of photography–the nostalgia of it all. Photographs take you back to moments that may otherwise be forgotten. They tell your stories and most importantly, they document those you love, those you’ve lost, the moments that made you you.
What are the most important things your couples should know about you?
I only take 12 weddings a year so that I can get to know to each couple and really invest time into telling their story. I love planning with my couples: helping them with timelines, what to wear for engagement sessions, how to relax and be natural. I want to help in any way I can even if that just means staying out of their way. There are so many questions with engagement and wedding planning so I love to be there throughout the process and ease any anxiety and worries they have about their wedding.
The truth is I really don’t see their wedding as a work day. It’s a day of celebration, a day where love wins, an occasion when families crisscross the country to celebrate the most beautiful of emotions. To see the bride and groom so smitten and full of excitement is indescribable. It’s inspiring to capture their story. I take my responsibly seriously and I consider it a true honor that couples allow me in on such an intimate and incredibly important day of their lives–their first day as husband and wife.
I want my couples to feel comfortable in front of the camera and be themselves, so I give a bit of guidance but also encourage them to relax and ignore me. Embrace the moment! I remember every minute of my wedding day and still thrive in that joy. I try to remember what it felt like throughout the day—the butterflies, the excitement, the happiness—so that I can capture their stories in the most elegant and powerful way.
Any unrelated awesome talents?
Not a talent…but I had a full ponytail by age 1. My hair is sort of my trademark!
Tell me a little more about that husband of yours. How did you two fall in love?
That kid? Oh, Jeremy is one handsome man with a sense of humor that always keeps me laughing. He’ll do anything for a good laugh. He keeps me grounded and helps me dream big. We officially met in the laundry room of our dorm sophomore year. I was taking out the trash and praying I wouldn’t see anyone since I was looking like a hot mess, but there he was working on a class project with a mutual acquaintance. He introduced himself and the rest is history.
What scares you?
(Interview by Matt Burch on 11/12/14)