Nathan Mantor Photography

Celebrating five years!

I was updating my Facebook page the other day, and saw that I started the photography page five years to the day and I didn’t even realize it!  It made me stop and think to when I first started and all the great people I’ve met and had the privilege to shoot for.

I started shooting, like most other photographers, for friends and family. Then it branched out to friends of friends and eventually people I didn’t know because they liked my style.

Photography, for me isn’t a job. It’s fun. I get to be creative and that in itself is rewarding; but when people you shoot for really like the job you do, that’s the extra icing on the cake.

Maintaining a presence in a city with so many people doing the same work is a tough thing to do. Luckily, a lot of Nashville’s photographers are genuinely good people.  People at the top to people just starting. The ones that have been in this business the longest all share their knowledge and help out the new comers in ways that doesn’t happen often with other professions or other cities.

One day I saw an ad on Craigslist looking for an assistant for a wedding. I answered it and was hired. It wasn’t a shooting position, just helping out carrying gear, setting up lighting and copying cards. It wasn’t glamorous, but I was lucky to assist on a lot of weddings with them, and I learned a lot of invaluable knowledge. Also, by assisting, I got familiar with a lot of Nashville’s best wedding venues. Since then I’ve had the opportunity to shoot at several of them for my own weddings, and by assisting I knew ahead of time good spots to shoot, and an overall plan. Paying the dues paid off.

When I started out, I was watching a lot of established photographers give tips on how to establish yourself, and most recommend finding a niche. Picking that one thing and really honing your craft.  While I do agree on honing in your skills, I didn’t stick to one genre. I find shooting a variety of things keeps it exciting. Over the years I’ve had the fortune to shoot for a wide variety of photography genres and it’s all been exciting and each pose a slightly different approach to how you capture the shot.

So without further ramblings, here is a collection of retrospective shots from five years!

 

This is from Brandi & Shaun’s engagement session fall of 2010.

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This is the first session after I got all new gear. Night and day quality difference between this and the prior shot. 2011

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This one is from one of the first mini sessions I did trying to expand my clients.

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One from my cousins senior session. Shot in Maine.

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An urban business brand headshot shoot.

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Another urban shoot, this time a family session. Urban shoots are my favorite because the city is such a great background, you never know what you’ll find that is an interesting enhancement to the photo.

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An engagement session shot on a farm in Cookeville, TN.

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Aubrey playing in the leaves, having a great time. Getting the focus on her face and it not being blurry was tough to do because at any point the camera could’ve grabbed the leaves as the focal point.

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A bridal portrait of Natalie. One of my favorite shots to this day.

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Sometimes it’s not a typical “smile for the camera” shot, it’s the realness of the moment.
Those are often the best shots you can get.

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This is from a mock wedding, but still a personal favorite because of the lighting, and how the dress frames the model,
the faint pattern in the background and the blue highlights in her hair.

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Maternity session for Cody and Kira shot in 2014

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I could’ve posted a shot from the wedding, but I chose this one because it was one of the tougher shots I’ve ever done.
It’s actually two photos meshed together, because I couldn’t get Jason and Andria and the fireworks on one frame. I had to shoot them, then shoot the fireworks separately. Not to mention never having shot fireworks before! But some dragging of the shutter and boom! Literally!

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There are some throwbacks and recent work from five years snapping away! Hope you enjoyed, and thank you to everyone who has commissioned me to shoot for them!

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