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World Outreach Church, Murfreesboro, TN

Monday, July 23, 2007
Marcus and I drove to Murfreesboro last Thursday for Rachel Robinson & Ben Strickland's Friday wedding at World Outreach Church. After some photos of the girls getting ready backstage, Rachel and Ben had a private meeting in the sanctuary before doing their formal photos. They even braved the summer heat and sun for a few couple photos outside. The reception included a full dinner buffet and a DJ.

Robinson/Strickland Wedding July 20

Robinson/Strickland Wedding July 20

Robinson/Strickland Wedding July 20

The Krispy Kreme groom's cake was a hit. Also, I thought it was a great idea to attach the personalized matches to the sparklers so that everyone could light their own.

Robinson/Strickland Wedding July 20
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Butterfly Gap Retreat, Maryville, TN

Wednesday, July 18, 2007
In an intimate ceremony at Butterfly Gap Retreat, Ashlyn Slone married Ed Mitchell in 2006. After being pronounced, they shared cake and champagne with their best friends. The event was short but meaningful with an understated elegance.

Slone/Mitchell Wedding Anniversary July 18

Slone/Mitchell Wedding Anniversary July 18

Slone/Mitchell Wedding Anniversary July 18

Slone/Mitchell Wedding Anniversary July 18
Slone/Mitchell Wedding Anniversary July 18

Slone/Mitchell Wedding Anniversary July 18
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Ocoee Whitewater Center, Copperhill, TN

Wednesday, July 11, 2007
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On Monday I photographed Emily & Clay at the Ocoee Whitewater Center in Copperhill, Tennessee. I had never been there before, but it's really a neat place to visit. A thunderstorm threatened to rain us out, but luckily we were able to get in some photos first. They even brought out their little dog Chester for a few family photos.

I'm looking forward to their October 13th wedding in Cleveland.
Boggs/Kennedy Engagement Photos
Boggs/Kennedy Engagement Photos
Boggs/Kennedy Engagement Photos
Boggs/Kennedy Engagement Photos

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Belle Isle, Detroit, MI

Monday, July 2, 2007
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After the grungy session in downtown Detroit, we all went to eat at a local Italian restaurant. The workshop was over, and some of the photographers left. The rest of us drove out to Belle Isle on the Detroit River and shot some more photos around the Scott Memorial Fountain. In the end, Jessica was even convinced to get in the fountain.

Final Photos from Michigan Workshop

Final Photos from Michigan Workshop

Final Photos from Michigan Workshop

Final Photos from Michigan Workshop

Final Photos from Michigan Workshop 

The workshop was fun, and I learned a few things as well. It is always educational to watch other photographers work and to just talk business with them. From the models, I learned a bit about posing and how to get the most from my subjects. Additionally, I had the opportunity to see work done with a video light and a reflector, two tools that I've been wanting to use more, and I decided not to dread afternoon sun quite so much. Although I would still much rather work in the evening, it is possible to take good photos in the afternoon.

I also saw examples from two types of Fashion Photography. David Beckstead's fashion work is more editorial in nature. The models/brides aren't always the center of attention. Rather, they are only a part of the overall story, and he often utilizes movement, flare, or unique angles to add context to the photos. Kevin's work is more commercial. He likes to use very shallow depth of field so that the bride is the focal point, and the background is often thrown out of focus to make a pretty backdrop for the subject. I think that both styles have their advantages and hope to include a bit of both in my work.

A main requirement for this type of photography is time. I amassed a lot of photographs from the workshop, but I have separated them based on the different locations. Of course everything goes much faster when there's only one photographer shooting so each location is roughly equivalent to the time you would get from one of my normal bridal/couple sessions. I hope that these posts have inspired some of you to consider a bridal/couple session separate from your wedding day photography. It really is the best way to get amazing photos of you together and individually, and it can be as creative and fun as you want it to be.
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Downtown, Detroit, MI

Sunday, July 1, 2007
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On my last day in Michigan, we all met in Detroit for an urban session with one of Kevin's recent brides, Jessica. The first couple of days, we had been working with models. Models can make a photographers job easier because they have their own ideas for poses and know how to move gracefully, but you definitely don't have to be a model to have gorgeous photos. Jessica did a great job in front of the camera (or 18 cameras in this case).

The location was honestly pretty scary. Many brides want really pretty, natural backdrops for their bridals, and this was about as far away from that as you can get. We had to leave someone on guard because there were a couple of guys casing our vehicles before we were even around the block. The first alley that we went into had dead sheep piled up and smelled really bad. Later, we made our way into a partially demolished building. It had some cool possibilities, but there is no way I would have ever gone into it without a large group. The interior rooms were huge (the actual floor separating upstairs/downstairs had been removed in some areas) and pitch black.

Even More Workshop Photos
Even More Workshop Photos
Even More Workshop Photos

The following photo shows the same "window" as the photos above. In those, Jessica was in a dark room with only a video light for illumination. In the photo below, we had switched places with her so that I was in the dark room. Again, the video light was used for a spotlight effect.

Even More Workshop Photos
Even More Workshop Photos

Even More Workshop Photos

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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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