With a photo journalistic approach to her photography, Sara Bill loves to capture candid shots.
"90% of the time I’m a fly on the wall to get all those great candids, and 10% of the time I’m working with the couple or bridal party to create composed but natural portraits," Sara told us. "I encourage movement and interaction, and I have a few tricks up my sleeve for those couples who don’t love being in front of the camera."
Sara moved to Nashville by way of Milwaukee, WI in June of 2015. "I had moved back to Milwaukee after college in Chicago for a few years," Sara said. "I was antsy to try out a new city. A few of my good friends moved down to Nashville and after visiting them my mind was made up. I moved a few months later, and I absolutely love the creative community here."
We first met Sara in 2016. As an auxiliary photographer for us at Infinity, she has helped us grow our image library. Capturing vibrant, beautiful images of our food and event spaces. We caught up with Sara for our first Feature Friday of 2018.
How long have you been a photographer?
I became interested in photography in high school and decided to go to college for photography while applying to schools. My mom was an art major in college and always encourages us to pursue creative interests. I was excited about the idea of capturing weddings so I started assisting an established wedding photographer and learned the ropes.
I got my photography degree from Columbia College Chicago and went into business right after that. I’m from a small suburb of Milwaukee so my business got off the ground by word of mouth referrals in our small community.
What's your favorite part about your job?
My favorite part has to be getting those candid emotional shots. When everyone is truly present and having a once-in-a-lifetime experience, and I get to help them remember those moments. Those are always the shots I’m most excited about.
What are some of the most interesting stories behind the shot?
I had an engagement session in 12 South and we planned on ending our shoot in the park, but we quickly realized that wasn’t going to happen when we saw a storm rolling in rapidly. By the time we got to their second outfit, the sky was looking ominous and it was getting dark fast. We headed to one of the only light sources in the area, the Draper James alley wall. We only had time for a few shots and we rushed back to our cars as it started to down pour. I love these romantic dancing shots that we got, but it definitely wasn’t what was planned.
Any other favorite moments?
Everyone is always varying degrees of nervous on their wedding day, especially during the ceremony. This couple hadn’t done a first look so anticipation was maybe higher than usual. When they got to the vows, the groom went first and immediately said “I Do” and the room was filled with laughter. That moment washed away the nervousness of the bride and groom. These “mistakes” become positive memories and are a reminder that perfection isn’t necessary to have an amazing wedding.
What are some of your favorite spots in Nashville to shoot?
I love Long Hunter State Park for a nature feel. It’s on Percy Priest Lake and my favorite trail goes up along the beautiful rocky bluffs. I love to hike, so I’m always excited to work that into a session when my couples are up for an adventure. On the flip slide, shooting in the city is an adventure in its own way. I love to discover cool new nooks and crannies in the city and tend to find the most interesting spots where I least expect it.
What, where, or who would be your bucket list photo session?
Oh man. There’s so many, but if I had to narrow it down I would love to do some elopements or small weddings in National Parks, Iceland, and the Mediterranean. Exploring new places is one of my favorite things, so when that’s combined with an epic destination wedding or elopement, it doesn’t get better than that.
More by Sara Bill Photography:
Stay tuned for Sara Bill's guest post next Friday on the blog!