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Farragut, Knoxville, TN

Wednesday, August 22, 2007
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If anyone picks up a copy of the magazine "I Do" for Tennessee Brides then you can check out their write up on one of my 2006 couples, Mandy & Johnathan Sitzlar.

Mandy's parents own Butterfly Gap, and she helps run the place with her sister Laura. It's really a gorgeous venue, and their whole family will go out of their way to make your wedding perfect. I highly recommend checking them out for a wedding, event, or just a romantic weekend get away. Marcus and I have spent the night in one of their guesthouses before, and it was very relaxing.

Also, I just received a great review in Clarksville's The Leaf Chronicle. After you check out the review, read more of Melissa's blog. She obviously has great taste since she declared my work officially hot. However, I have to say that it's my couples who are truly hot, and they make my job so much easier.
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Fountain City, Knoxville, TN

Monday, June 18, 2007
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From time to time, I'm asked if I went to school for photography. I've always been creative and loved art class in high school, but I, like many great photographers, didn't study photography in college. I considered it, but the classes being offered at that time were still film oriented topics like darkroom technique. If they had offered photoshop classes or digital workflow then it would have made more sense.

Althought I didn't take college classes for it, I wouldn't say that I'm exactly self-taught either. I use all sorts of educational resources (magazines, books, forums, DVDs, tutorials), and in that way I am constantly learning from some of the best photographers around.

This week I will be attending a workshop by Kevin Kramer and David Beckstead (who was named one of the top 10 wedding photographers in the world by Photo Magazine this year). The workshop will cover a growing trend in the wedding industry, fashion photography. I will be watching two amazing photographers work on location and will have my own opportunities to practice what I've learned. When I return home, the fashion style will be another part of my shooting repertoire.

I am leaving tomorrow and will return to work June 25. I don't expect to have access to email while traveling so all calls and emails will be returned next week. I am sorry for the inconvenience.

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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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Home, Knoxville, TN

Monday, May 28, 2007
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I have taken off yesterday and today but will return to work Tuesday.

I hope everyone enjoyed the long weekend and took a moment to remember all those who have given their lives in the military service. My grandfather fought on a battleship in World War II. Though he lived a long and full life after the war, I did visit his graveside this morning. He's buried with his wife, son, and daughter (my mother) so it's a difficult place to visit. I took some purple and red flowers to place in the vases on either side of the headstone and just spent a few minutes with them. Today is a good day to spend with your family and to just appreciate those who are here to enjoy it.

My grandmother learned this famous WWI poem as a young girl ,and she recited it for me sometimes. I thought it would be good to remember today:

In Flanders Fields
John McCrae, 1915.
In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.
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Market Square Downtown, Knoxville, TN

Friday, April 27, 2007
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Do you have plans for next Friday? How about heading out for a night on the town and stopping in to see me? On May 4th, Indigo on Union Avenue will be hosting an artist reception for me from 5 to 7 as part of May's First Friday event.

So what is a First Friday event? On the first Friday of every month, the Market Square District, Gay St, and Old City merchants offer something special for all downtown residents and visitors. Participating galleries and shops have promotions, receptions, music, and special food offerings.

KAT will operate a trolley route to connect downtown visitors with the galleries and shops along Gay Street, Market Square and the Old City. The First Friday trolley will travel down Gay Street and through the Old City every 5-7 minutes from 5:00 p.m. until 9:00 p.m, and it's free! To catch it, just watch for the sign on the front of the trolley that says "First Fridays."

Participants include Blount Mansion (free tours and wine), Gallery 1010, Art Market Gallery, World Grotto, Vagabondia, The Basement Gallery, UT Downtown Gallery, Three Flights Up Gallery, Abode, Salon Visage and others. Treat yourself to a night out and shop for a creative Mother's Day gift at the same time.

Indigo is a cute little shop with some very hip clothing lines and unique jewelry. It's right around the corner from Market Square so come in, look around, and say hello!

ETA: I just ran across this expanded entry about the First Friday event on the Knoxville 520 blog.
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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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