Last night, I received an incredible honor and was named the recipient of the 2017 Nashville Fashion Forward Fund. I am beyond humbled to be selected for this opportunity by The Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee and Nashville Fashion Week.
My brilliant friend Matthew Priestley was kind enough to take a portrait of me for the occasion. As a huge fan of his work, and just a fan of Matthew in general as a friend… this was another great honor.
I wanted to be sure and say thank you to each of you who have helped me along my journey, below you will find the words from my acceptance speech last night.
I wanted to be sure and prepare a few words so I could accurately communicate just how grateful I am to be awarded the Nashville Fashion Forward Fund. Thank you to the Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee, and Nashville Fashion Week for creating the Fund, believing in it year after year, and choosing me to hold the torch for this upcoming year.
In our industry, what we do is all about support. I look around the room and it’s filled with familiar faces from a slew of memorable shoots and experiences. Designers and magazines have taken chances on me by hiring a green photographer who was just getting started, models have done whatever it takes to get that special shot we were chasing after, and hair and makeup artists still collaborate with me despite my shortcoming of being able to describe just what look we are going for that particular day… and using phrases such a “You know, a cool vibe” to abstractly communicate a beauty concept. You still hire me, believe in me, and support me. Because of that, I wake up every day completely aware how blessed I am to be a full time fashion photographer in Nashville, TN. I get to live my dream because of you.
These days I am finding myself traveling a bit more, and I take you all with me wherever my jobs may lead me. Every editor, designer, and modeling agency hears the tales of how we created the images in my portfolio, and in these intimidating meetings… I’m comforted by the fact that we made this work together.
The Nashville Fashion Forward Fund will allow me to embark on an educational/developmental journey I would not otherwise be able to take without the generous support of the Nashville Fashion Forward Fund. I will be traveling to London and Paris to test with modeling agencies, take meetings with designers/editors, and view works by my photographic heroes in museums across the country. I too, will be carrying you all with me once again, on the ready to tell everyone just how special what we are creating here truly is.
We have accomplished so much as a community, and will continue to do so…. together. The only reason I have been awarded any of the opportunities I have been given was because you believed in me, reached out to lend a helping hand, and gave me a chance. I encourage you to continue this important work. Make time to uplift your colleagues who have been working alongside you for years, and invest in the new pool of talent that is overflowing in our city. The only way to better our community is to pour into it, get involved, and be that spirit of light you hope to encounter.
Thank you once again for this incredible honor. I will do my best to make Nashville proud.