From Napa to Nashville

July 06, 2009  •  Leave a Comment

I met Melissa Morgan back in October or November of 2008 when she was planning her two-part wedding and was seeking a photographer to cover the Nashville portion of the event.   Fast forward to April 2009, and she and then-fiance Alan jetted off to Napa Valley in California with just some close family and friends to say their vows.  A week later, they returned to Nashville for their reception.  That’s where we came in.

Panorama of the bridal partyalbum01_090425_0041

One of Melissa and Alan090425_053 I met the couple and their wedding party at Centennial Park in Nashville.  We first did some panoramas out on the east side of the massive building, having a little fun as we went along.  The group was awesome to work with and were up for anything.  We did a variety of group shots, even having the girls jump down together off of the huge steps.  The hardest part was keeping track of the time since we still had several other locations to take advantage of.

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This is one of my favorite images from the shoot.  I just love the scenery and the overall symmetry of the image.  The lowered saturation on the greens gives it an artistic look, and the look on their faces beaming back at each other just makes you smile.
 
 
 
 
 
 After Centennial we all hopped into the F.A.D.D.S. Party Trolley, which was a fantastic choice.  If you are getting married or having a reception anywhere in the Nashville area, I would recommend FADDS anytime.  The trolley was perfect for the nice April weather, and made getting to the various shoot locations
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Our next stop was the Hotel Indigo, where we picked up Melissa’s brother, and then by happy accident (a mistake on my part that worked out), we stopped at the Nashville Library.  (I had intended to get to the Courthouse, but for some reason thought it was the Library).  But it worked out nonetheless with a cool wall mural.
 
 
 Before Retouchingbumsbackground1_retouchingsample

Before Retouching

After retouching (notice the "extras" in the background now gone)bumsbackground2_retouchingsample2

After retouching (notice the "extras" in the background now gone)

 

 I will say one bad thing was that we were in such a rush that there was no time to politely ask the ”extras” in the background to move, so being the tediously overachiever that I am, I painstakingly removed them!
The image was worth the effort, though, so I’m glad I did it. 
We then made our way to the Courthouse (where I had originally intended to go), to make use of the fountain that comes up out of the ground.  I had driven by this so many times before, but this was the first chance I’d had to take a bride there.  I had made a special trip the week prior to make sure I knew where I was going and what exactly I would see when I got there.    At one point as we made our way back to the trolley, I had started to really worry that we were running short on time.  At one point Melissa said don’t worry about the Courthouse, but I am glad I convinced her to let me take them there.  It only took a few more minutes, and the images were well worth it!

IMG_6666bimg_6666b

Album37_090425_273album37_090425_273   The place is gorgeous.  Big open grassy area surrounded by stone walkways, two huge fountains flanking the building, and then of course the fountains that come up out of the sidewalk. 

Oh yes and how can I forget about the mirror pools!?  Those were a hidden treasure I hadn’t known about until I scouted the areas. 

The great thing about working with this couple is that they are just so natural.  Their chemistry and attraction is undeniable, and their sense of humor makes them easy to photograph.  Melissa carries herself well and needs absolutely no direction.  Alan’s a good sport and just goes with the flow.  What I love about couples like this is that they are completely comfortable being themselves in front of a camera.  This is very rare, by the way!  They are the epitome of what I mean when I say “just have fun, be yourselves, and play!”  And just an added little bonus, Melissa’s dress for this shoot was also very fun & flirty and very different from what I typically shoot, so it was a refreshing change of scenery from the typical white satin, chiffon & tulle.

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After the preliminary shoot, we finally made our way to the reception location at One Eleven Broadway, which is above Big River Grille & Brewing downtown.  After some laughter over Alan’s name being spelled wrong on their sign (hey, if that’s the worst thing that happens, we’ll take it right?), Melissa went to change into her other gown, also from the White Room (aka “The Ribbon Dress” as my friend who works there says it is referred to between the employees), while Rob and I made our rounds getting shots of guests, the location and all the details.  We also met up with Blake from Nashville Event Lighting, who did an amazing job on the lighting of the space.  They had these vertical pink and purple LED beams that skimmed the edges of the glass walls and flooded the ceiling, put accent lights on the enormous weeping willow centerpiece on the food table, as well as spotlights on the centerpieces at the guests’ tables.  It was amazing, and he is a pretty cool guy.  Totally recommend them if you’re looking for some fantastic lighting!

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Album66_090425_418album66_090425_418 The rest of the evening was a lovely time of dancing and mingling, and of course enjoying the wonderful food!  The shot above was taken later in the evening after the sun had gone down.  I made sure to drag the shutter to allow the streetscape to burn into the background.  On camera flash fire froze their slight dance movements.
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At the end of the night, Rob and I hung it up and headed out.  I shot this last image from across the street in the middle of a mob of people standing on the corner, and waiting for the traffic and horse carriages to go by and get out of the foreground.  All in all, we had a great time with this group, and wish Alan and Melissa all the best! 
   
 
 
 


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