How long have you been a photographer?
That’s a tricky question. I’ve always enjoyed photography. I grew up in the modeling industry so I was exposed to cameras pretty early in life. I first learned on film actually. I eventually acquired a little point and shoot camera and took photos of anything and everything I could. I grew up wanting to go to art school and pursue photography as a career. My path changed in high school after family discouraged me from pursuing photography. I truly felt like I would never be good enough.
I ended up going to school for clinical psychology instead and actually have a masters. When I was 21 I had to leave school for a period of time to take care of my father who was diagnosed with terminal cancer. It was heavy, and I so badly needed an outlet. Photography presented itself to me once more. I became a hobbyist photographer again and fell even more in love with it. I dabbled throughout my masters program, but it was while I was working at Vanderbilt that I became serious about it. One day I just said, “What if I did this as more than a hobby? What if I could photograph people and make money while doing something I love?” I was actually dating someone at the time who replied with a scoff and “We’ll see...” It was like I was my 12 year old self again rivaled by the doubt of others. I was heated and refused to allow outside forces to influence my passions for a second time so I took the pursuit on full force. I took photos of whoever would let me. I shot for any magazine and local venue that would welcome me. I never expected my business to take off like it did as fast as it did. I left my day job and now have been a freelance photographer for the last year. There is one thing that is for certain- for every one person who doubts you, there are 10 more who believe in you.
What do you love about photography?
I love creating, collaborating, and building relationships with people. Photography allows me to do all of these things. When two or more people come together to create one masterpiece, it is pure magic. It really is an indescribable feeling. A lot of work can go into one photo- location scouting, wardrobe styling, makeup artistry, modeling, photography, and editing. All to create one photo that elicits feeling. Creating these aesthetics is rewarding and, as a bonus, cultivates the most life-giving relationships.
In addition to portrait photography, I also shoot live music. I love both but for very different reasons. When shooting live music, I’m not able to create a specific aesthetic. I have no control over lighting or poses. It can be more challenging in its own way. I have to shoot despite my surroundings and sometimes under a strict time constraint, especially at festivals. The challenge of capturing the best photo of an artists set within a certain time frame no matter the environment is thrilling and weirdly energizing. I definitely experience an adrenaline rush. I love that each genre of photography has its own set of challenges and rewards.
What's your favorite photo you’ve taken and why?
What’s my favorite photo? Wow, what a question. I would like to highlight two photos. The first photo is a dreamy scene of a woman dialing on a pink telephone. It includes sprinkles of Art Deco style and a book labeled “color photography”. I love that photo for more than just surface reasons. I’ve been working to cultivate a brand that is unique to my style for the last year or so. And I finally felt like I hit the nail on the head. It is now my brand of photography, and that photo was the beginning of digging deeper into my identity as a photographer. It’s the main page of my website and also on the wall in my home studio.
The second photo is of the Weiss Liquor Store sign- an East Nashville staple. I was on Main Street photographing a client at dusk and, in passing, snapped a photo of the neon sign. I have photographed the same sign multiple times in the past year, but this time felt really special. Within 24 hours of that click, the 2020 tornado barreled through my precious home of East Nashville destroying many businesses and neighborhoods, including Molly Green east and the Weiss Liquor store sign. That was a really helpless, uncertain time for Nashvillians, especially the first 48 hours after the storm. I remember harboring a lot of anxiety because I wanted to help, find solutions, or comfort my neighbors- anything. I actually was asked if I would be selling prints of the Weiss photo, and I thought “okay, this is how I make light in this darkness.” I turned selling my art into a way to give back to my community. I sold a hundred prints and raised $1500 to donate to the TN emergency tornado fund. God, the universe, fate- whatever you believe in- placed me there and allowed me to photograph the Weiss sign that day. My wish is that the photo is not only a special reminder of our home that we love so much, but also a representation of Nashville’s volunteer spirit and neighborly love even in a heart breaking season of life. At least that is what that photo means to me.
How did you find out about Molly Green?
I actually found out about Molly Green around 2015. One of MG’s photographers at the time was my sister's roommate in Birmingham. I used to shop at the Birmingham location when I visited my sister. I’ve shopped at the location in Nashville since I moved here and was so stoked about the East location opening.
What do you love about working with MG?
The MG team is so generous and kind-hearted. I was a new photographer when I first visited the east location. I fell in love with the interior of the store. I shyly asked the manager, who is now one of my closest friends, if they ever allowed photographers to shoot in their space. She met me with a welcoming smile and brought me over to meet Brittany. The next week I was shooting in their space, and MG was loaning me clothing to style my shoots - in and out of the store. MG has given me a creative space to grow as a photographer and to form solid professional and personal relationships, and I am deeply thankful for that.
Do you have any favorite pieces from Molly Green?
MG carries pieces that are pure GOLD. My favorites have been the yellow jumpsuit and the yellow pantsuit set. I guess I have a thing for yellow clothing. I wear the jumpsuit when I’m shooting mostly. It’s so comfortable, and the pockets are a plus! I’ve worn the pantsuit to events, and have supplemented the single pieces into my everyday attire. The blazer dresses up any casual outfit. Every time I wear the suit, I get major compliments.
What do you love about Nashville?
I absolutely love Nashville. I hail from a smaller town in Alabama so to me, Nashville is a happy medium.
I love the balance of the countryside and the city. I especially love my East Nashville home. It’s like a cozy little cubby tucked away from the rest of the city. Besides the landscape, I love Nashville for its people. It is a melting pot. Although most are transplants, Nashville still carries a hospitality associated with southern culture. I love Nashville most for its art community. It is so refreshing to be surrounded by like-minded humans who want to support each other in chasing dreams. The photography community especially has been a soft place to fall.
How can our audience get in touch with you?
The best way for my audience to get in touch with me is Instagram
and email. You can also contact me through my website.