There isn’t much a mother (or grandmother) loves more than a great picture of her children. But sometimes, the hunt for an amazing photographer that you can trust can be overwhelming. So, we’re here to help with that.
Welcome to the very first post in our new Photographer of the Month series! Know that we aren’t promoting just any photographers, we’ve done our homework and we’re giving the photographers we promote our “stamp of approval”.
This month, we want to introduce you to Dottie Beasley Photography.
As a child, Dottie used to carry around a disposable film camera and take pictures of friends and random things. As she got older, her parents bought her a ‘real’ camera for a photography class. Photography is something that has always been a passion and hobby for Dottie. So, in 2012 she decided to make it bigger part of her life.
What makes Dottie’s work so unique are her Pure & Simple Sessions. The sessions truly showcase your child’s personality. It’s all about them. The idea came from an impromptu photo shoot with some of her nieces and nephews.
“They were in town visiting (well, 5 of the 7) and we were just hanging out on a Saturday morning in our pajamas. The kids were playing and my nephew Erik got upset about something that someone did (pretty sure a video game was involved somehow). So I brought him into my office to give him some space from the other kids for a while, and as we were talking I just thought “I need to take his picture…right now!” During that one on one time with him, it dawned on me that it’s really easy for a kid’s personality to get lost in the shuffle of always being in a group, fast paced lives we lead, and just the idea that their a kid.
A few months later I did a commercial shoot for Chubby Bunny Baby Food. We used a simple white backdrop and natural lighting. Those photos turned out to be some of my all-time favorites. And the concept was so simple. There were no gimmicks or extravagance going on…just kids being their awesome-selves in front of the camera. Those two photo shoots started to change the way I was thinking about photography and the story I wanted to tell with my work. “
We asked Dottie some fun questions so you can get to know her a little better.
What is your favorite thing to photograph?
Kiddos! Kids always make for interesting subjects because they are the most authentic people that you will ever work with. And for me, the more authenticity of personality and emotion in a photograph, the better. Plus, they’re just a lot of fun and really cute!
What inspires you/your work?
There is so much that inspires me. Music has always played a huge part in my life. When I’m looking for motivation or inspiration, there’s not much that can’t be fixed by turning on The Beatles or Band of Horses. But I’d have to say my main source of inspiration is love. I see so much love in my family, friends, people walking down the street, being in nature…pretty much everywhere! And it just makes me want to create more of it. There’s an Osho quote that I read a few months ago that kind of sums it up for me: “To be creative means to be in love with life. You can be creative only if you love life enough that you want to enhance its beauty, you want to bring a little more music to it, a little more poetry to it, a little more dance to it.”
Black & white or color?
I tend to favor black & white photos. Although every now and then a color photo really strikes me. I guess it all depends on what best tells the story.
What do you do when you aren’t shooting?
When I’m not shooting or working on my own sessions, I really like assisting for other local photographers, like my bud Tausha Ann Photography. She is an amazing soul and has taught me so much over the last year! I also try to keep my creativity flowing by working with other mediums like charcoal drawing, painting and creative writing.
I’ve got a few projects I’m working on right now that I’m pretty excited about! In a couple of weeks I’ll be holding a workshop about accessing your creativity and the positive effect being creative can have on wellness. Hopefully, this will be the first of many! And I’m really excited to be putting together, along with my friend Nora, for the second year, Love Will Keep Us Warm, a winter clothing drive. We’ll be collecting donations at the Franklin Farmers Market on November 15th, between 8am and 12pm.
When I’m not doing that stuff, I’m usually spending time with family & friends. Mainly, I hang out with my husband doing things like walking on the Greenway, going out to dinner, or watching some variation of sci-fi/fantasy or comic book related TV shows and movies. Also, we’re pretty fond of talking to our cat like she’s a person.
What is your favorite thing to do in Nashville?
Oh, this is a tough one! So much awesome stuff to do around town! We love walking the trails at Radnor Lake, seeing shows at TPAC or live music at The Ryman.
What is your favorite place to eat in Nashville?
Another tough one. I’d have to say my favorite place for coffee and a quick lunch would be the café at Atmalogy on West End. And I also love Burger Up for lunch or dinner. Man, do they have good fries!
We love Dottie around here and we really think you will too! Contact her today to get your session booked. (PS- pictures make great Christmas gifts!)