If you're a couple with a heart for adventure and looking for a wedding photographer, then fear not, Nashville area wedding photographer Lion & Lark is here to save the day. Dixie Gaultney of Lion & Lark describes her style as a mix of Jane Goodall and Audrey Hepburn. And if you look at her work - that description is so spot on! It's classic timelessness with a modern twist. Want to learn more about Lion & Lark and how Dixie can photograph your wedding? Check out our power-packed interview below!
Tell us about Lion & Lark and how long you've been in business!
Dixie: Lion & Lark started in Knoxville, TN in 2013. I was newly married, and trying to figure out what to do with myself while I applied to grad school (I had plans to be an elementary school teacher). I fell back on the skills I'd learned during my four year stint as my college's yearbook photographer, and rediscovered why I'd had that role for so long. Long story short, I turned down my offer to get my master's degree and have been self-teaching, learning, and improving at photography ever since. Five years later, Lion & Lark has developed into a comfortable photography company offering images that blend the classic with the modern in the best way possible so that everyday lovers and adventurers have images that share their stories for lifetimes.
How did you get started in weddings?
Dixie: This is a fun story. So, a couple of friends and I all had decent cameras and were pretty good at taking pictures, and one of our mutual friends was about to get married. Her budget wasn't big (we were just out of college) and so she bravely asked the group of us if we'd be willing to take photos at her wedding, tag-teaming along, and getting paid with our favorite candies (mine was sour gummy worms, if you were wondering). We said yes, and it was one of the most simultaneously fun and fulfilling afternoons of my life, and I think I started to think then that weddings were a place I'd like to be more often.
What's the philosophy behind Lion & Lark?
Dixie: No matter the current trends or the style of your wedding, Lion & Lark wants to give you pictures that you look back on and feel the story behind each one: the way you loved each other with that special, newly-married kind of love, the excitement as you hugged your best friend as hard as you could when they saw you with your makeup done, the sweet sadness that tugged at your heart as you showed your dress to your parents and realized that you'd always be their little girl even though you're all grown up. Every wedding day is as unique as the love story of the couple behind it and I believe that the marriage that follows is one of the greatest adventures anyone can take. I believe that any love willing to stand in front of the world and say, "I'm in this forever," is bold and wonderful and brave in a way that can't be beat even by climbing Everest or crossing the Sahara. Giving couples photos that help them to remember that is why I do what I do.
What are your strengths compared to other photographers?
Dixie: Trends are constantly changing - especially these days when social media can make fads like "squiggly eyebrows" go viral overnight and then disappear just as quickly (thank goodness). The good news is, I believe it's part of my job to keep up with these things, and I put a lot of effort into cultivating work that is the best possible combination of classic and contemporary. Of course, we'll get the popular intimate poses, but we'll also get the ones you hang above your mantle with similar ones of your parents and grandparents. We'll get moody tones, but you'll still know that it was the sunniest day of spring so far when you tied the knot. Lion & Lark's images won't leave you looking back at your photos with your kids and wondering "why?"- I do my best to make sure you get the best of both worlds: trendy and timeless.
What attracts brides to Lion & Lark?
Dixie: Part of this I think reflects back to the question about strengths. I think brides see images by Lion & Lark and they speak to them because they're a modern take on classic in both composition and editing style. But that's just the beginning. From there, I think the Lion & Lark bride stays because of what this company is: photography for bold lovers with adventurous hearts. My brides don't have to elope in Yosemite (though if any future brides want to, I'm there!) to show their love is fearless- they value their families and tradition enough to be true to their community while still creating wedding days that are uniquely "them." They're fun mixes of Audrey Hepburn and Jane Goodall - bringing style and class to an outdoor wedding (because they love being in nature); and they don't stress too much when their wedding day falls behind schedule, because they know that at the end of the day, they'll be married to their favorite person and that's all that really matters.