Dove Wedding Photography ~ Nashville, TN

Peter and Whitney Carlson are the husband and wife team behind the spectacular imagery of Nashville, TN based Dove Wedding Photography. They create images inspired by their clients and blended with their style, capturing the unique essence of every wedding. Read on to learn more about Peter and Whitney and the inspiration behind the lenses of Dove Wedding Photography.

Dove Wedding Photography is based in Nashville, TN but available for assignments worldwide. To contact Dove Wedding Photography, visit their website or call 615.730.7716.

Weddings Unveiled: Tell us a little bit about Dove Wedding Photography.

Peter & Whitney: Peter & Whitney Carlson are a husband and wife team and the owners and face of Dove Wedding Photography.

Whitney dreams of living in the early English 1900’s as she crochets, drinks tea and reads C.S. Lewis and Jane Austen books. She also loves to work on art projects and plan extravagant vacations that she may one day take. Episodes of Lost, Medium, and anything on HG TV, fill up the remainder of Whitney’s free moments.

Peter loves spending time with friends, watching movies and playing board games. He is a self-professed nerd who collects Spider-Man comics and Star Wars paraphernalia. He also holds a position as the Director of Youth Ministries at The Village Chapel. When Peter & Whitney are not busy with all these mentioned activities or photography, they are happy sitting on the couch watching Netflix instant queue.

WU: How did you become wedding photographers?

P&W: I (Whitney) studied art at the University of Georgia in Athens. After graduation I photographed a few weddings for friends and landed a job with a wedding and portrait photographer in Nashville. His mentorship taught me far more than I had learned in college and eventually he encouraged me to move on and start my own wedding photography business.

Peter joined the business when we married five years ago. He started by running all the business aspects of Dove Wedding Photography but kept finding himself picking up the camera. I noticed he had a lot of potential so we decided that I should spend some time training him. This allowed us to photograph weddings and sessions together. It was one of the best decisions we ever made.

WU: Digital or film or both? Why?

P&W: One is not necessarily better than the other, but we choose to shoot all digital. The quality and style of digital photography lends itself closer to the style we want to achieve with our images. It is also our goal to capture every moment of a wedding. Exchanging rolls of film on the wedding day slows down that process for us.

WU: Describe your wedding photography style.

P&W: Our photographs are fun, whimsical, and emotional. Our goal is to make the subjects we work with relax and enjoy every minute of their photography session. When we are not “posing” the subject we are spending time capturing real moments that express emotions of joy, laughter, love and times that are just plain silly.

WU: Show us your favorite wedding image and tell us why it represents who you are as wedding photographers.

P&W: We love this image because Christal & Michael were up for anything. They planned an outdoor wedding that ended up being on a day full of thunderstorms and tornados. This did not phase them at all. They knew their marriage was far more important than keeping dry and mud-free. Christal ran through puddles and covered the inside of her dress in mud to get into this pasture. You can see her face is full of passion for the man she was minutes away from marrying. They were excited that the storms had made the landscape even more gorgeous than it looked on a sunny day. This photograph is a good representation of us - it’s relaxed, passionate and focuses on the important things in life (even when things around us appear to be rough.)

WU: What inspires you? What inspires your photography?

P&W: We are inspired by people and their personalities. Every person is a unique creation. Our clients express their personalities through the plans they have made for their wedding. When a couple works with us, they know that their wedding images will not look like any other wedding we have photographed before theirs, because we feed off of their unique personalities.

We are also inspired by vintage photography and classic art. We love looking at the classics - everyone from Leonardo DaVinci, to Abstract Expressionist painter Clyfford Still and fashion photographer Richard Avedon.

WU: How do you keep your wedding photography fresh?

P&W: We continue to book unique couples who want their wedding to be a unique experience. We often shoot weddings at the same venue over and over again, but we never tire of it because the couples are always inspiring us to shoot their wedding in a way we have never shot at that venue.

WU: Do you do non-wedding photography work? If so, how does it influence your wedding photography?

P&W: Because we focus on weddings, our wedding photography actually influences our other types of sessions. I love to photograph boudoir sessions. I bring the same philosophy and inspirations to these shoots. My boudoir photographs are very fun and reflect the personality of the model as well as the man she is going to give the images to.

We don’t advertise that we photograph family, maternity or baby photographs, but our brides often come back to us and request one of these sessions. They know we will not take a traditional approach to these other sessions, but we will deliver the same style that they loved in their wedding photographs.

WU: What makes you different from other wedding photographers?

P&W: We have found that most photographers force themselves to be a jack of all trades just to run their business. We have full time staff working in our office. We made this decision so that each team member can focus on what they're good at. This creates the best experience possible for our clients. For example: I only focus on being a photographer. I’m not involved in the daily business operations of Dove Wedding Photography. I leave that to our administration staff. My goal is to constantly strengthen my craft and make every session as unique as possible.

WU: What would be your ideal wedding assignment?

P&W: The ideal wedding assignment would be one in which the bride has chosen to break all the rules of a traditional wedding. The more a bride focuses on the celebration of the wedding and on making her wedding a reflection of the couple’s love & personality, the more fun and unique the wedding becomes.

WU: Tell us three things you can't live without.

P&W: Food, clothes, & water. Apple computers and Netflix instant queue would be a close 4th & 5th.

WU: What is the best advice anyone has ever given you?

P&W: Do not lean on your own understandings and do not worry about tomorrow.

WU: What is the best advice you can give to an engaged couple?

P&W: Be yourself let your wedding reflect you. Hire a wedding planner or at least a day-of coordinator. Choose your photographer based on their personality and their actual images. Don’t focus on what “stuff” comes in your package or who has the best deal. Photography preserves all the plans you put into your day. Besides each other and your rings, it is the only thing you will come back to again and again after your wedding. Do not compromise.


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