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On Location, Knoxville, TN

Thursday, June 14, 2007
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I did an earlier blog post on out-of-the-ordinary bridal sessions that place the bride and her gown in some extraordinary, often grungy, locations. John Michael Cooper was one of the first photographers to begin photographing brides like this, and he was definitely the one that inspired other photographers to do the same. Now the whole phenomenon is gaining national attention.

The New York Times even published an article on the trend this week.

Now I'm really excited to get out there and see what I can come up with so the first qualified person to email me will receive a free anti-bridal session. To qualify, you must already be married and be willing to use your own dress. You must sign a model release so that I can post the photos online, and you must be available to do the shoot on a weekday (probably July). If you're a person that's up for anything or know someone that fits the description, please get in touch.

In addition to offering a free session to the first person, if you have a really great session idea or access to a great location then contact me and you may also get a free session. Just brainstorm for creative locations that you may have access to: old theaters, barns, warehouses, junkyards, fire stations, lofts, cabins, forests, the lake, yachts, bed and breakfasts, museums, airplane hangars, cafés, horse stables etc.
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On Location, Knoxville, TN

Thursday, June 14, 2007
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Well... maybe they only love one shovel in particular.

As part of a large online community of wedding photographers, I have the opportunity to learn from some of the best. In 2005 and 2006 I traveled to Las Vegas for a convention and trade show with everyone. One of the convention activities is a shoot on location. Last year, we were all guests at a real wedding and could watch the couple's wedding photographers work. They were lucky enough to have some of the best wedding photographers in the world including Bambi Cantrell, Yervant, and John Michael Cooper. If you don't know the work of John Michael Cooper then you owe it to yourself to check out his site. He's not at all your mother's wedding photographer. He's known for his anti-bridals and his trash-the-dress sessions.

Unfortunately, I didn't make it to Vegas this year so I missed their desert shoot with JMC and David Beckstead (more on him later). For one of his anti-groom shots, JMC used a shovel and then sold it to Joel Wiebner, one of the photographers in the crowd. Now that shovel is traveling from one photographer to another and having its photo taken. There's even a traveling shovel website to document the travel. Shovels apparently don't travel very quickly, but it has already gone almost 7,000 miles and has a long list of photographers to visit. It should be fun to check in once in a while and check out the shovel's travel photos.
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United Methodist Church, Spring City, TN

Tuesday, June 12, 2007
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Saturday's afternoon wedding for Andrew Sampson and Casey Cash was at the United Methodist Church in Spring City, TN. Casey described Spring City as "Mayberry", and it is definitely a cute little country town. With the green, rolling hills and white, fluffy clouds, the drive from Knoxville was scenic and relaxing.

Andrea was a very composed, adaptable bride. Unlike some weddings that can be stressful and hectic, this wedding was easy breezy with the focus on the couple and their marriage. After the ceremony, the guests moved to the church's fellowship hall for the reception.

Sampson/Cash Wedding June 9 Photographs

Sampson/Cash Wedding June 9 Photographs

Sampson/Cash Wedding June 9 Photographs

Sampson/Cash Wedding June 9 Photographs
Sampson/Cash Wedding June 9 Photographs

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Cedar Springs Presbyterian, Knoxville, TN

Tuesday, June 12, 2007
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In addition to attending workshops and conventions, reading books and magazines, watching instructional DVDs, and participating in online forums, I like to hone my photography skills by working with other photographers. In 2005, I had the opportunity to second shoot the Campbell wedding with the amazing Tina Wilson.

Sarah Keeton & Scott Campbell had their wedding at Cedar Springs Presbyterian in Knoxville. Then the wedding party took a trolley to the reception at The Knoxville Museum of Art.

I think the most common "mistake" for ceremonies is that the bride is so excited that she forgets to get her bouquet for the recessional. I'll admit that I forgot at my own wedding.

The second most common would probably be a problem with the ring exchange. I've seen several people drop the ring. At this wedding, the couple shared a fun moment when Sarah couldn't fit Scott's ring onto his finger.

Another memorable detail from this wedding would have to be the wedding cake. Elaine Mason of "I Do" Cake baked and served a strawberry cake, and it was delicious.

Keeton/Campbell Wedding Anniversary June 11
Keeton/Campbell Wedding Anniversary June 11
Keeton/Campbell Wedding Anniversary June 11
Keeton/Campbell Wedding Anniversary June 11

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Chattanooga, TN

Sunday, June 10, 2007
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Matthew Estes married Jenny Thomas in an afternoon ceremony last year in Hixson, TN just outside of Chattanooga. The ceremony was held at St. Alban's Episcopal Church and was the only ceremony I've photographed where they did not allow any photos at all during the ceremony. I did snap a few shots from outside the door as she walked down the aisle though.

The day was too hot for any outdoor photos, but the couple did meet before the ceremony so that we could get the group formals finished up in the church before the ceremony. After the ceremony, everyone drove to the reception at the Chester Frost Park Pavilion.

I've also included some photos from Jenny's pre-wedding bridal session. We started the session in Stone Fort Inn which is a very nice little bed and breakfast in downtown Chattanooga. We also did a few photos in Coolidge Park on the north shore of the Tennessee River. The park lies in the shadow of the old Walnut Street Bridge (one of the longest pedestrian bridges in the world) and includes a beautiful, old carousel.

Thomas/Estes Wedding Anniversary June 10

Thomas/Estes Wedding Anniversary June 10

Thomas/Estes Wedding Anniversary June 10

Thomas/Estes Wedding Anniversary June 10



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Welcome to the Nancy Hellsten Photography blog! This is the place to be if you’re looking for wedding ideas and photography promotions or if you just want to view some great photos and see what I’ve been up to. If you or someone you know are getting married, having a baby, or just want some relaxed portraits with the family, please visit my website or contact me for more information. I would love to hear from you. Thanks for visiting and check back often to see what’s new.
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