Kristin Sweeting is a photographer that has covered close to 200 weddings. Her career started off with a mix of random acts of kindness and a birthday gift. Within two years, Sweeting had a ten page spread in a magazine covering the wedding of the Mayor of Sacramento at Blackberry Farm. Other than her work as a photographer, Sweeting loves the simple pleasures of life, like goofy dancing and brown sugar Poptarts. We’re so honored to have had her capture some of our clients as well as be featured on her podcast (you can find that episode, here). We look forward to more amazing things with this incredible gal. And now, onto the interview!
Q: Tell us about yourself.
Hey There! I’m just your regular photographer, single-parent, awkward dancing chick who decided they wanted more for their business than stress, anxiety, and hustle. I’m a photographer, but really, I just love people. I love making people happy and I love making new friends. I live outside Nashville in a little town called Columbia, TN with my almost-4-year-old son Hudson, and we walk to a coffee shop every single day, laugh all the time, and host backyard movie nights. My main goal in life is to create memories with people I love and to help others do the same – either on their wedding day or in building a business that is fulfilling and supports a life that they LOVE.
Q: Tell us about your art.
I really believe my art is people. My art is understanding people and making them feel like the most special human on the planet and then capturing that magic in photographs. Like yes, I’m a photographer and that’s my craft…but 90% of the work I do isn’t actually with a camera (although it looks like it is). It’s all the emotional and personal work that goes into creating authentic relationships, trust, and memories. And once you know someone and they know you, it’s so much easier to capture their authentic joy.
Q: You have an incredibly authentic style of work, tell us how you build those connections with your clients?
I spend a lot of time getting to know each client- when someone is able to have me do their engagement session and a boudoir session – that makes a lot of difference. By their wedding day, we REALLY know each other and I always build in time on either end of the session for dinner or drinks so we can “let our hair down” and really talk. I think that connection is SO important to the process. If we can’t meet in person, I have a lot of ways that I communicate with my clients so it still feels like we’re getting to know each other before the wedding. I also authentically share about my own life and I’m an open book. I don’t try to hide behind a perfect brand. I think if you expect vulnerability from your subjects, you have to be willing to give vulnerability yourself. Otherwise it’s a lot to ask of someone else. And trust and vulnerability are essential for those real emotive photos.
Q: What does authenticity mean to you?
Authenticity means loving yourself and letting that shine. Being true to yourself is so important, but that doesn’t just mean doing whatever you want. It means honoring your own journey, growing as much as you can in the process, being open with others, and trying to be the truest version of yourself you can. It means letting go of things like complaining and gossiping, believing the best in people, letting yourself fall down and make big mistakes sometimes, having compassion for yourself and others, laughing at yourself, not taking yourself SOO seriously all the time, and embracing the things that make you human and unique.
Q: What’s been your favorite destination/experience your work has taken you to and why?
My very first destination wedding may still be my favorite experience. An acquaintance (now dear friend) of mine from college fell in love with a dreamy French man while on study abroad, and they ended up getting married in a tiny castle town in France and had me photograph it plus the two weeks of events surrounding the wedding. I got to become really close with their French friends, explore the country, learn some French, and experience culture in a way I never had before. I see them every time I go back to Paris and it has become one of the sweetest friendships I’ve made through this job.
Q: The future belongs to those that believe in the beauty of their dreams. Where do you see yourself in five years?
In five years, I hope a lot of the things in my life are still the same: slow mornings at my house and walks to coffee with my son, backyard barbecues and movie nights, creating a place that feels safe for people to come and spend time, bringing community together around art and photography, leading international group masterminds, photographing weddings, being madly in love. Some other goals I have: spend a few months a year in Paris, write a book, launch a successful online course (Danger School is coming out soon so be on the lookout!), and hire a personal chef ;).
Q: Lastly, just for fun, tell us your favorite place in Nashville to hit up in your free time.
I love anything outside- outdoor concerts or movies in the summertime, a glass of wine on the porch at Barcelona, or a walk around 12South or Radnor Lake! Flamingo for a cocktail and some dancing if I’m feeling sassy.