Her name is Brenda...
A couple of weeks ago, I had the honor of photographing Brenda at Batey Farms during their Sunflower Festival in Murfreesboro. My assistant and I met her at Dunkin’ Donuts for coffee before we hit the road. Laurana turned on Lady Gaga for the first half of the trip, but we somehow ended up all singing and dancing to *NSYNC by the time we got there. Needless to say, we were in a good mood and ready to start our shoot.
This is the part where I feel a little embarrassed. When we finally paid and pulled into our parking spot, I stepped out of the car to take a test shot and realized that I had forgotten my memory card at home. Instead of driving the hour back just to feel defeated, we convinced the man who was taking payment to let us back in when we returned from Walmart with a new card. Although this man had been replaced with a little girl when we returned, she graciously allowed us to enter the parking lot again.
From a post on the Batey Farms Facebook page:
"This 3 day event is a community fundraiser for our friends at Second Harvest Food Bank of Middle Tennessee. There will be a $5 cash charge per car that comes in each day. Portion of the proceeds collected go to supply needy children right here in Rutherford county through the Backpack Program. Come on out and enjoy the beauty of summer right here in the middle of town and help others in need!"
We were down about a half-hour, so we rushed to begin shooting. Of course, there were dozens of photographers already positioned with their models, so we decided to get in a few quick shots near some sunflowers. While we were shooting, everyone was a little distracted by the adorable babies that were being photographed. Laurana even said, “It’s crazy how just seeing a few cute kids is enough to throw me into baby fever.”
Then we ended up traveling around in search of a good background. We managed to find amazing light in random spots around the farm. Some of the shots I got with Brenda just sitting in a patch of grass made the trip entirely worth it for me. This is why I believe that simple and clean photography can be extraordinary. You don’t always have to go over the top to get beautiful images.
The humidity was high and the sun was setting, so we decided to cool off inside of a building while Brenda changed her outfit. Then it was on to the back of the farm where the sunflower field had rows mowed into it. We got in a few great shots before the sun finally decided it was time for us to go.
We got in the car and headed to Red Robin for dinner. We decided to catch up over fries and burgers. We talked about what our lives have been like since we graduated and grew apart. Brenda used to be in the color guard for the Upperman High School marching band (the Regiment of Black) with Laurana, and I used to march for them playing the sousaphone. Despite our many struggles since leaving high school, we all feel like our lives are heading in the right direction.
On the ride home we stopped for some coffee at Starbucks. The energy in the car was a little lower at this point because we were all ready to go home and relax a little bit. Doing this shoot was an amazing experience for me, because it made me realize that the whole world is open for me to do what I love. Never again will I feel like I can only shoot in Cookeville or Nashville. There are amazing shots everywhere you look, if you are willing to find them.
Are you loving Brenda’s first ever professional photo shoot? If so, why not book a shoot for yourself or someone that you love?
Thank you to all of the amazing people who continue to help and support me in my quest to make my photography successful. A personal blog will be up soon explaining some of the things that have been happening in my life lately, so stick around! Thank you for reading, and I hope you are having a wonderful day!