Archives: 2011/02

Our Favorite Bouquets of 2010 Feb 24th | Favorite Photo

Here is a collection of some of our favorite bouquets from last year. There are no rules with bouquets as far as I’m concerned. The only wrong that can be done is if the arrangement, design, and colors don’t speak to who you are as a bride. I’m a firm believer that your wedding & all of it’s glorious details should express a natural and accurate image of who you are!

Use a single stem and keep it simple and elegant.

Show some contrast, use lighter colors for a base and your accent colors will pop!


Add some textural elements like pins, an antique handkerchief, or a patterned fabric to accentuate the bouquets natural colors.

This can also double as your something old, new, borrowed or blue.

Arrangements by our brides, Cedarwood, and The Village Florist

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Dove Wedding Photography at WPPI Feb 18th | Announcements

WPPI Logo Dove Wedding Photogrpahy

Celine Dion and Wayne Newton aren’t going to be in town….but who cares, we’re heading to VEGAS!!!!

I’m excited to announce that Dove Wedding Photography will be heading out to WPPI in Las Vegas this weekend! If you’re not familiar with WPPI, it’s a fantastic conference held every year to promote the industrious growth and advancements of wedding and portrait photography. This will be my first trip to WPPI, and I can guarantee you I will be tweeting like crazy! Follow me on my Vegas adventures on our twitter or our facebook.

You can catch the Dove crew hanging out with Pictage and ShootQ a lot this year. Whitney and Peter will be speaking about community on Tuesday at 3:30 at the Pictage/ShootQ booth, and you can also catch Peter, Whitney, and myself tearin’ it up at The Pictage/ShootQ Studio 54 Party at The MGM Grand. Also, Pictage is having a scavenger hunt with $3000 in prizes, as well as a HUGE surprise give away, so be sure to enter. The drawing will be held Tuesday between 3:00 and 4:00.

We’re going to have a blast and I can’t wait to see some new faces…we’ll see you in Vegas!!!!

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Before You Leave…Breathe Feb 14th | Travel

It’s no secret, your wedding day (no matter how fabulous and amazing it may be) is exhausting! There’s no way around it; no sleep, nerves, bachelor/bachelorette parties, over stimulation, and maybe a touch of alcohol can make even the most hard-core, red-bull chugging, super-party-playa fall to their pillow in a coma of sandy-eyed delight.

This is why I suggest maybe taking at least a day or two after your wedding festivities to take a breath, and relax before you venture out into the world on your first vacation as a married couple. First off, do nothing and recoup. Recharge your batteries, cause you’re going on an extended vacay and no one wants to travel with an irritable and grumpy fiance….just sayin’. When your stretched thin and a little loopy you’re not on top of your game, and when you’re not on top of your game you’re forgetful. I mean there’s no better way to start your honeymoon then by forgetting your passport and realizing it in customs after 2 hours of security prodding at 4:30 in the morning. Or arriving at your destination, getting dressed for a nice formal dinner and it’s made clear that in your post-wedding daze you let your fiance pack for you because you were to tired to do so…hope you enjoy eating a 5-Star dinner in a hoddie and flip-flops.

Just remember your wedding and honeymoon should be enjoyable and relaxing. Before you leave…breath, and take some time to yourselves. Go see a double feature, stay in for a day and lounge around, or grab some take-out and a bottle of wine and simply reminisce. Point is, you’ve been planning, stressing, and partying, and now its time for a little R&R before life can truly begin.

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The Big Comfy Couch Feb 11th | Photo Tips

It’s retro, it’s comfy, and it’s the best shade of green. It’s the prop brides love to use and can really make a photo pop. I absolutely love the use of indoor props in outdoor shoots, especially when the aesthetics and colors are in high contrast. For example, bringing a retro green couch to a dirty, dark, urban setting (alley, fire escape, etc…) and plopping that couch right in the middle. It is impossible to not focus on the bride in all her glory! Just like the above photo from Karli’s bridal set.

We get a lot of requests to use this prop in both our wedding and bridal shoots, and we never get tired of it. Try it yourself and bring an outside element/prop to your shoot, it’ll give those photo’s a little pizazz (yep, that’s right I used the word pizazz!).

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On the 1′s & 2′s: Turntablist or DJ? Feb 10th | Wedding Tips

I went to Chicago for my best friend’s wedding over the spring last year, and a beautiful wedding it was. The couple are long-time friends of mine and my wife’s. The location was a plant nursery/garden with a very cool earthy vibe, but it wasn’t the vibe of the venue that got me excited….or the open bar for that matter. Oh no, it was the fact that they had a DJ. Not a guy with a mic pressing the play button and instructing your grandma how to do the chicken dance, but a real life Emcee riding the wheels of steel and working the 1′s & 2′s!!!!

For those of you who don’t understand my cool-kid lingo I’m talking about the kind of DJ who mixes records, scratches LP’s, who works with two turntables and a cross fade mixer. I was blown away by this guy and I’ve never seen a DJ of this kind outside of a dance club. This definitely adds an element of cool to your reception, and the nature of mixing records keep the music moving without gaps and keeps everyone on their feet.

Choosing between a turntablist and DJ depends on who you are as a couple and what kind of feel your reception is going for. If your post-ceremony festivities are more black tie and formal I would not recommend a turntablist. I would go with a very subdued DJ or jazz quartet. If you want a lighter party vibe and are encouraging heavy dancing…then you can’t go wrong with a turntablist.

Its a great way to make your wedding memorable and show that even though you’re in a gown and tux you can still get down!

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Nashville Takes a Purty Picture Feb 09th | Wedding Tips

Every once in a while this city slaps me in the face with how unique and photogenic it really is. Being one of the few and far between locals I get used to the scenery, one might even say I go numb to it and forget its even there. I assume this is the same for anyone who has lived in a city as long as I have. Either way, I was walking around downtown (waiting to load-in for a gig because that’s what you do in Nashville) and literally felt like I had been awakened! Everywhere I looked was another place to shoot a bridal session, a great couples photograph, or just a nice little details shot. If you’re newly engaged, and getting married or having an engagement session downtown, you and your fiance should take a little time and get lost in the alleys and side streets of our mini-metropolis!

Search the nooks and crannies of our fair city, visit the little cafes & restaurants you’ve never been before, and peak in the many boot shops sprinkled all over Broadway or 2nd Ave. You’ll find tons of awesome ideas & inspiration for your wedding photography.

And you can’t forget about Nashville’s rich history with sites like Fort Negley or The Parthenon.

Nashville really is a fantastic city to get married in, and a great setting for your wedding and engagement photographs. Take a look around the next corner, you never know what gem you might find next.

adrian: i LOVE the shot in front of the boots. repeating patterns just draw me right in! (Feb 23rd - 10:26 pm) chris: @wedding photography norwich Thank you very much for the kind words! Whitney does an amazing job. Keep visiting, as we post new photo's almost daily :) (Feb 11th - 09:34 am) wedding photography norwich: These are just awesome. I specially like the last one. very romantic. thanks for sharing these photographs. I hope i will see more photographs in future. (Feb 10th - 06:56 am)
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Kelly & Rick’s Engagement Feb 08th | Engagements

The first day we attempted Kelly & Rick’s engagement session, thunderstorms helped us make our decision to postpone. So we rescheduled, and as the new date approached it looked like snow was in the forecast. Not sure how Kelly would feel about this, I e-mailed to see if she was okay shooting in the snow. Her reply was “Absolutely!! :) I hope it snows!!!!” & I knew then she was without a doubt a Dove bride! Even though it was in teens while we were shooting, Kelly & Rick were such troopers! We could not have planned a more beautiful day, & I am so thankful our first attempt was rained out.

Kelly & Rick are getting married at Cedarwood, and Cedarwood was happy to let us shoot out there. Cedarwood is a dream in the snow!

Kelly & Rick, thanks for braving the cold with me. I can’t wait until May!
Whitney Carlson

adrian: LOVE LOVE LOVE these! i know the couple has to as well! (Feb 23rd - 10:27 pm) chris: Thanks @Jessica it looks like it was a fun day, and you can't possibly be a 'snow hater' with gorgeous photos like this. I like that @Lesli Emmetts...'snow-haters' (Feb 11th - 09:37 am) Jessica: Woohoo! These are awesome!!! (Feb 09th - 01:02 pm) Lesli Emmetts: Love these Whitney! Makes even the "snow haters" love snow! Great job! (Feb 08th - 01:22 pm)
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Singing In The Rain Feb 04th | Wedding Tips

I was married about year and half ago, on what seemed to be the coolest day in July in the history of all blazing hot Julys. It was a cool crisp 75 degrees, which made me a little scared. I was afraid that wedding’s arch nemesis would shake his soppy head….RAIN!!!! Not to worry though, the rain was nowhere to be found. However, the grounds forgot to turn off the sprinklers which led the wedding party and parents in a mad dash to dry off our chairs just minutes before guests started to arrive.

They say it’s good luck to have it rain on your wedding day….do sprinklers count??? My point is don’t let rain (or sprinklers) ruin your special day, let it enhance your day! Whitney has had the opportunity to make the best out of photographing with those ominous rain clouds approaching. The contrast and dark grays can really bring out the beautiful.

Take Christal and Micheal’s wedding for example. They knew the rain was coming, didn’t let it bother them in the least, and made the best of it…and they got some great photo’s out of it as well.

It also helps to have a top notch wedding planner that knows how to work with nature and make things happen, just like the always exceptional Angela Proffitt at Elegant Weddings by Angela took Cali & Will’s outdoor wedding and transformed it into indoor wonderland full of rich colors and depth regardless of the down-poor.

Or just go with it and get soaked like Claudia & Mark did…but oh the fun they had!

chris: It helps when you've got a great wedding planner like @Angela Proffitt :) (Mar 08th - 09:49 am) chris: Thanks @adrian! Whitney does an amazing job capturing moments like this, and we will definitely have some contest entries coming soon (Mar 08th - 09:48 am) Angela Proffitt: Great tips Chris!! (Mar 06th - 03:53 pm) adrian: that first photo should be entered into a photojournalism contest. great job! (Feb 23rd - 10:28 pm) Peter Carlson: @Jo Graham: Thanks so much for your kind words! It's very humbling. Best wishes as you start out and find more about who you are! (Feb 12th - 10:52 am) Jo Graham: Just looked through all your pics! love them..i am just developing my own style and got a few odd jobs...scared to brave the wedding industry as yet! but your pics really inspire me...searched loads of sites...and yours is really something. good job! (Feb 12th - 07:01 am)
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Jordan’s Nashville Senior Portraits Feb 03rd | Portraits

Every now and then I get the chance to stray away from wedding photography and photograph a high school senior portrait. I love them! They are so much fun! My favorite thing about photographing these sessions is getting to know the student and then photographing images that really represent their personality.

I’ve known Jordan for a few years now and for as long as I have known him, he has been a big fan of the stop-animation film The Nightmare Before Christmas. So, naturally, this was the first thing I had in mind for Jordan’s photo session.

These are two of my favorite photos. The photograph on the right is inspired by one of the promo shots from the actual movie. A battery powered strobe with a beauty dish attached makes a great substitution for the moon!

Jordan’s girl friend Whitlee helped add the Nightmare theme even more. We had a blast at MAC Makeup in the Green Hills Mall. Many women shopping in this up-scale Nashville mall had to stop and see what was going on with our crazy makeup session. Thanks to Bridgette P and the rest of the ladies at MAC for being so creative and doing such a great job!

Jordan is a HUGE fan of Red Bull. When I saw these tables at a restaurant in East Nashville, we had to take advantage of the opportunity. The other great thing about shooting high school senior portraits in East Nashville is the near by park, a great place to photograph some more traditional shots

I’ll admit that these last couple images are not totally Jordan’s style, but sometimes as a photographer we need to capture things for ourselves. I really liked this mural and thought it would make a cool set. Plus, it was just fun!

Thanks Jordan and Whitlee for letting me get creative with you and for sharing in such a fun time with this photo session!

Peter Carlson: @Jenna Henderson: Thanks so much! It was tons of fun. (Feb 08th - 12:37 pm) Jenna Henderson: What a wicked awesome shoot! Great job! (Feb 03rd - 08:25 pm)
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To Trash Or Not To Trash Feb 01st | Wedding Tips

I personally am a huge fan of the trash the dress trend. I thinks its a fun way (especially if it’s documented) to discard of something you’re only going to wear once and stuff in a closet. Have a little fun and get outside your comfort zone. Grab some paint, role in the mud, something to switch it up…you may surprise yourself in how fun the experience can be.

Trashing the dress has come under scrutiny recently…oh the scandalous topic, but that my friends is the allure of trash-the-dress aesthetic. These photos are designed to illicit a reaction, as they should. Having a trash-the-dress photo session can really make your dress a physical memory. You can have a beautiful photo and remember your dress in a way that really sticks. Or you could get it vacuum sealed in a plastic bag, push it to the back of the closet with those stylish Christmas sweaters, and only pull it out when you’re moving. Trashing the dress isn’t just for those anarchistic rock n’ roll brides either, it’s for every bride. Make your trash the dress session speak about who you are.

Above is a photo from our previous post paint the dress that Whitney shot of Kristen & Mason. Both are visual artists and wanted to incorporate that into their shoot, and I believe they succeeded. I mean come on! Look at how much fun that is…I know you’re thinking about it.

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Nashville Wedding Photographers, Whitney & Peter Carlson are Dove Wedding Photography.
Our wedding photography portfolio and information can be viewed on our portfolio site.

Dove Wedding Photography
2827 Azalea Place
Nashville, TN 37204
(615) 730-7716

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