What started out as a hobby, turned into a passionate career for Nashville wedding photographer Billie-Shaye; owner and talent behind Billie-Shaye Style Photography. Behind the lens, Billie-Shaye is able to capture the intimate moments of couples so in love and deliver a fun, relaxed experience for them as well. Wedding photos should move you and make you feel, and that's exactly what she captures. Keep reading to learn more about Billie-Shaye and her business from the interview in this post!
Tell us about your company + how long you've been in business.
Billie-Shaye: Storyteller of adventurous, down to earth, fun loving couples. I'm a craver of light that's obsessed with all things mountain related. I began as a hobbiest photographer in 2009 & decided to take a leap of faith going full time in 2013. Only, I thought I was going to be a studio posed newborn photographer, lol. In 2016 I planned for that to be my last year of wedding photography but somehow managed to book almost 30 weddings for 2017, oops. I went from on average of 5-6 weddings per year to 20+. It's a God thing for sure.
How did you get started in weddings?
Billie-Shaye: After returning from Iraq in 2009, where I was a civilian contractor, I had some friends getting married and they couldn't afford a photographer. That is just when digital photography was becoming big. I offered to shoot their engagement and wedding for a big $75. They agreed to do the engagement session then determine if they wanted wedding photos. I showed up to their session with a notebook of 6 pages of very detailed poses that I wanted to do. It took me like 4 hours to shoot their engagement session. But, they allowed me to do their wedding as well and from it I booked several for the next year.
What's the philosophy behind your company?
Billie-Shaye: My business plan was simple when I started & is still true today; I will walk by faith even when I can not see. It's from 2 Corinthians 5:7. I just want to be considered to capture as many couples in love as I possibly can. It's an honor to be able to show them how I see them.
What attracts couples to your business (+ describe that couple!)?
Billie-Shaye: I feel like most couples book with me for a couple reasons. One being they always say after a few minutes of talking to me they feel as if we've known each other our whole lives. I'm relatable and try to treat everyone how I want to be treated. Also I think the confidence in knowing what I bring to the table when you book with me. I know what I can/will do for every one of my couples. My ideal couple... I want a couple who knows we need to get that image of looking & smiling at the camera for grandma, but that we gotta capture that love & intimacy between them as well. My couple is fun, laid back, trusting, confident and very much in love. They don't mind PDA, skin or showing intimacy.
What is the most innovative new product, service, style, or other aspect of your industry that brides and grooms might appreciate? (Think trends, major changes, etc.)
Billie Shaye: Honestly I think Pinterest is the most innovative new thing to the photography industry. The power of Pinterest is incredible for so many reasons. Most photographers hate it because people bring their board to them wanting them to recreate what they found there. I myself use it to help me get to know my couples better. I have them all create a secret custom style board. It's a board between them and I. They pin their favorite colors, scenes, outfits, poses, quotes, etc. In a world where everyone was showing me their boards wanting me to recreate what others were doing, I found a way to utilize it to my advantage. My couples love the idea of having a secret board where we create magic. The love knowing I'm gonna use that board to bring forth some surprises on the wedding day.