Baby Hunt’s lifestyle newborn session at home in Lookout Mountain, Chattanooga by Heather Durham Photography.
Last month I invested in me. I invested in my business. I surrounded myself with hundreds of incredibly talented photographers from all over the world. I met with owners of film labs to learn more about their processes and how I can deliver the best images to my clients. I met with print labs to discuss new partnerships for the fine art prints I have always offered my clients, since the beginning of my business over 16 years ago.
It’s always important to me to attend at least one industry conference each year. Continuing education is invaluable. I never want to feel like I’ve learned everything there is to know. I want to always be a student, honing my skills. Conferences are always a shot in the arm of inspiration, but sometimes they can also make you feel “less than” or overwhelmed with information and how to apply it to your business right away. As soon as those feelings creep in I try to realign them with the truth that I am enough. My worth is in Christ and I am created to be me, not anyone else. I do me. I stay true to my style, my goals and my desire to keep learning and pursuing the best ways to serve my amazing clients. Then I stop for a minute, take a deep breath and realize how deeply grateful I am that THIS is what I get to do every single day. It brings me so much joy.
I already shared the shoot hosted by the talented Eric Kelley and you can see that post here. Now, I want to share some of the film images from an inspiration shoot and workshop hosted by another leader in the wedding photography industry, Lauren Fair, who has been named Top Wedding Photographer in the world by BRIDES and The Knot. I enjoyed meeting her after following her work for a while now. She and her husband Tim are kind people and wonderfully humble educators. I love how this shoot turned out because of the efforts of an incredibly talented vendor team. My business started with film exclusively over 16 years ago. After a long sabbatical, it feels good to slowly weave film back into my workflow as a hybrid shooter, which just means that I’m an artist who chooses the medium (film or digital) that best suits the client, the situation and the light. I hope you enjoy this lovely wedding inspiration shot on film…
Credits/Vendor Team + Instagram Accounts:
Host Photographer: @erickelley
Producer and Set Designer: @type_a_society
Floral Designer: @melissabroadwell
Wardrobe Styling: @lexfordays
Jewelry: @sarahojewelry + @trumpetandhorn
Couture Bags and Jewelry: @mindylamjewelry
Earrings: @jenniferbehr + @lili_claspe
Backdrops: @telicialee styling mats @jrd_artshop
Plates, Silverware and Glasses: @greystonetable
Stationary: @yonderdesign + @aerialistpress
Ring boxes: @voeu_du_coeur
Floral Pedestal Columns: @lavendersflowers
Jane Elizabeth and Taylor’s April wedding….it was stunning! Just wait to you see the reception floral design. It’s next level gorgeous! The couple even brought their lab “Honey” along for portraits after their First Look. My favorite image of the day? As you are scrolling, look for the black and white, wide reception room shot with JE and Taylor in a moment as if they were the only ones in the room. That image is what I look for at every reception. It encompasses the story of the entire day from planning and design by the talented Meghan Cease of M. Elizabeth Events, to all the important people in your life celebrating with you, and most importantly your joy and emotion in the midst of the moment of it all coming together. It’s everything!
I loved spending the day with this Alabama girl, Arkansas Razorback and their sweet families! I say this every time, but y’all my brides are the sweetest! I feel truly blessed to be invited into your lives.
Photographer: Heather Durham | Assistant Photographers: Emily Kicklighter & Rizza Phillips | Planner: M. Elizabeth Events| Floral Design: Mary Donald | Wedding Gown: Custom redesign of bride’s mother’s dress by Katherine Vier | Bride Shoes: Stuart Weitzman|Tuxes: Mr. Burch | Bridesmaids Dresses: Amsale from Bella Bridesmaids |Wedding Invitations: The Scribbler| Bride Hair Stylist: Melissa Bogardus| Ceremony: Cathedral Church of the Advent | Reception Venue: Mountain Brook Club| Cake Artist: Magic Muffin| Lighting, Draping and Rigging: AG Lighting | Rentals: Prophouse Birmingham |Entertainment: Atlanta Groove Factory
My daughter Olivia and I volunteer for Saddle Up, a therapeutic horseback riding program for kids with disabilities, just down the road from our neighborhood. We’ve seen first hand how caring for the horses and riding soothes these kids and brings them so much joy. It’s truly an amazing place that gives so much to families in our community.
Last Saturday I had the privilege of photographing the Music Country Grand Prix, sponsored by Tractor Supply and benefitting Saddle Up. This event is held at beautiful Brownland Farm here in Franklin, TN.
It was an absolutely perfect first day of June on the farm with sunshine, blue skies, fluffy clouds and nice breezes. I won’t share all of the jumpers, because this blog post would be too long; but I will share an overview of this wonderful event and the winning jumper, David Jennings, owner of Full Circle Farm Jumpers here in Franklin, and his horse Caddie R. Congratulations! If you are in Nashville and have never attended this event, I highly recommend putting it on your calendar for next year. It’s a great way to spend a Saturday with the family!
Some of my favorite details to photograph at a wedding are family heirloom jewelry the bride has chosen to wear on her special day. I love hearing the history of the pieces and who else in the family has worn them. These unique pieces aren’t just wedding day details, they are a celebrated generational connection…a part of your story.
Recently, I interviewed Julie Walton Garland, owner of Walton’s Jewelry in Franklin, TN. Here’s what she had to say…
HDP: Tell us about your family business, Walton’s Jewelry. Give us a little history. How long has it been in business?
JWG: My grandmother, Melba Walton, started the store in 1974. She first got started by selling jewelry on the hood of her car at flea markets, next to the chickens that were for sale! She opened Walton’s in its original location in Carter’s Court, the Franklin shopping destination at the time. In 1983 she purchased our current building at 410 Main Street – the best decision she could have ever made!
Julie Walton, owner Walton’s Antique Jewelry
HDP: What is your expertise?
JWG: We specialize in pre-1940’s antique and estate jewelry as well as jewelry repairs and appraisals.
HDP: What sets you apart?
JWG: Not only do we sell fabulous, one-of-a-kind jewelry, we take pride in the quality of our customer service. We are a family business and treat any and everyone that walks through our door as part of our family. Jewelry means different things to different people, but the common denominator is the sentimentality behind it. We care for our customers’ pieces as if they are our own because we understand their sentimental value, not just their monetary value.
HDP: I own one of your art deco diamond rings that I fell in love with the minute I saw it. I see so many amazing pieces that I photograph for you every other week. Tell us how you find your beautiful and unique pieces?
JWG: Our inventory is constantly changing and we never know what we may find or come across from day to day. We purchase our pieces from the general public (anyone can email or call us to set up an appointment). We also purchase from antique dealers, jewelry shows, estate sales/auctions, and on our travels.
HDP: What’s the best advice you could give a partner searching for the perfect antique engagement ring?
JWG: The biggest concern clients have when shopping for an engagement ring for their partner is wondering if they will like the style they choose. These days, there are many ways to do a little bit of spying on what styles he or she likes, i.e. Pinterest, Instagram, etc. My advice would be to do a little snooping first. Also ask his or her friends. If you can’t find any examples of what they like, first start with the basic shape of the ring (round, oval, square, etc.). Once you have it narrowed down, we can help you from there. And, Walton’s has rings for every budget, from conservative to luxury.
HDP: What are 5 tips for purchasing estate jewelry pieces, not just
- Try on different styles – you may not realize just how much you love a piece till you try it on!
- Because our pieces are one-of-a-kind, know that once it sells, it’sgone. If you fall in love with a piece, don’t hesitate…just purchase it!
- Ask questions! We are here to help and are happy to give explanations and clarification.
- You’ll know it when you see it. If a piece takes your breath away, then it’s the one!
- Our inventory is constantly changing – we are putting out new inventory all the time. If you don’t see a piece you love one day, good chances are that you will the next time you look. You can also follow our social media and website to see our newest acquisitions!
HDP: What details in estate jewelry set it apart from modern-day designs?
JWG: Antique and estate pieces tend to feel less bulky – the filigree details of the past are always airy and refined. Modern day designs, even those that are “antique-inspired” often feel a bit bulkier.
HDP: What is your personal favorite style?
JWG: I love all things diamond from the 1920’s. My style tends to be classic and understated – diamond stud earrings, diamond pendant/necklace, diamond bands all paired with my 1920’s diamond engagement ring. I add a modern twist with my Apple watch!
Walton’s Jewelry is family owned and operated since 1974 and located in
Historic Downtown Franklin, TN. (615) 790-0244
Sometimes it’s the simple concept that conveys the message best! I shot this image during my favorite time of day on the beach in Seaside…afternoon light and glistening water. I’d like to be in that chair right now, what about you?! Don’t miss this great 30A Beach Guide by Birmingham Magazine available on newsstands now.
I always get asked the question, “What should I wear for my Engagement Session?” and my answer is always a long, solid-color fluid dress, heels and classic jewelry — estate or family pieces if you have them. Long dresses are very feminine. They catch the wind and add beautiful movement when you walk. That movement adds so much interest to your images. And, the fit of your dress should compliment your figure and show off your shape. If an outfit off the rack needs to be altered to fit you well, then do it to look your best. The reason we love so many celebrities’ outfits is that they are custom made to fit their bodies. My favorite silhouettes? It’s no secret that I absolutely LOVE a one-shoulder dress. It’s a hint of sexy, but classy at the same time. I also love simple slip dresses and wraps that accent your waist.
When choosing a dress, keep in mind that solid fabrics are best, because prints and patterns can be trendy and distracting unless they are tiny florals or classic patterns like stripes or checks. Plus, so many trendy outfits can date your images very quickly. Same goes for big, chunky accessories. Choose simple and delicate instead. I love heirloom, estate pieces that connect you to your family and give just enough sparkle. Ask your grandmother if you can borrow her pearl and diamond earrings, or your mother her diamond necklace. If your location makes it a little hard to walk in heels, you can take them off. Holding your shoes as you walk gives the images a more relaxed feel (even though you are dressed up) and also gives you something to do with your hands.
For a second, more casual outfit, well-fitting jeans with heels and a dressy blouse or a tailored jumpsuit, is what I recommend. Both are always a win.
So, to sum it up in a few words…solid, flowy, delicate feminine, and classic with a just hint of sexy and a touch of tailored. If every piece you choose to wear for your session can be summed up in those words then you’ve nailed it and your images will be beautiful and timeless.
Be looking for my next post, which will be a Q&A with Walton’s Jewelry on how to confidently shop for and choose estate jewelry and antique engagement rings.
It’s always a pleasure to shoot for The YMCA of Middle Tennessee. This Ad Campaign was photographed at the Donelson location last summer to promote their summer swim program. Here’s a few ads rolling out now, plus some of my other favorite images from the shoot…