Hi friends! We are SO excited to share our new series, Captivating Creatives right here on our blog! We have been so blessed to work with so many amazing photographers and wedding professionals and are constantly blown away by the talent in the industry! Grab a cup of coffee (or tea), get to know our first creative and help us celebrate these amazing businesses together!
Captivating Creatives Feature | Derek Couts Photography | Nashville Wedding Photographer
Meet Derek! A wedding photographer based in beautiful Nashville, TN, Derek believes in building relationships and growing couples closer together authentically and providing brides and grooms with an authentic and exciting wedding experience through photography. Since we started chatting, Derek has been one of the friendliest people we have met! The couples he works with are so lucky to work with a photographer that they can call a friend!
Now, let's get to the interview!
How long have you been in business?
Why did you get started in your industry?
I got started in wedding photography not long after I got married myself. When my wife and I got married, the next day it felt like it didn't happen other than we were waking up in our resort room for our Honeymoon. That same day, however, we received a sneak peak of our wedding and we felt like we were served well. When it comes to my life's Mission Statement, the same phrase always pops in my head, "To Serve." When I think of one of the best times I've been served is when I think of my wedding photographer and the joy my wife and I get consistently when we take the time to look at our photos. A few months prior to our wedding, I bought my first camera and was told I take good photos (as most photographers are told at the start) but I didn't think anything of it until I realized it was a tool I could use to serve others and help grow relationships.
What has been the most rewarding project you have worked on in your career?
The most rewarding project I worked on actually was not related to photography directly, but I wouldn't have been able to do this had it not been for the skills I learned from wedding photography. In 2015, I traveled to Nicaragua with Brock Gill (a magician) to shoot a team serving the people there by entertaining them with magic and ministering to them as well as praying with them. This trip was one that helped me realize that everything caught on camera, whether that be video or stills, is a story, and underneath that story lies a person's life. It's not about the lighting and it isn't about the pose. Instead, it's about the authenticity of the moment, which is why I focus on authentic engagement and wedding photos now.
What does a day in the life look like for you in your business?
A day in the life of my business starts at 8:30PM due to my day job. Once 8:30 is around, I'm up until 1:00am. I check and respond to most emails throughout the day, but otherwise, I'm organizing shoots, reading up on new techniques in business and photography, and emailing vendors/venues to schedule meetings. Although I go all in at 8:30, I'm available to my clients and anyone I have correspondence with at any time of the day.
What has been the best investment you have made in your business?
The best investment has been in myself. By that I mean books on book on books! I've read some that just didn't seem to get me anywhere, but occasionally I would come across some that would take me in the next step, and the right one at that.
What advice would you give to a person just starting out in this industry?
Be patient. It's going to take time, but it's worth every second. Also, stay focused and get off Facebook.