10 Questions with Matt Andrews

WeddingRule Interviewed one of the most popular and highly sought-after wedding photographers in Tennessee, Matt of Matt Andrews Photography. Nashville based Matt is the founder and owner of Matt Andrews Photography.

Matt Andrews Photography

Photographer - Matt Andrews

10 Questions with Matt Andrews

1. Introduction: What's your story?

Hi, I'm Matt. I live with my wife Sam and daughter Sophie in Brentwood, just south of Nashville. In addition to photography I enjoy writing and recording music. I love conversation and laughter so I'm a big fan of the things that lead to more of it: road trips, campfire, craft beer and comedy. I love kayaking in the summer, skiing in the winter and traveling whenever I can. I play sports (especially soccer) but I don't watch much. I enjoy biking with my daughter and reading to her at bedtime while fending off her constant attempts to tickle me.

Photography has been a lifelong source of friendships and adventure for me and I have been honing my craft since I was a kid. I've been a full time professional photographer since 2010 and I'm proud that I've been able to stay busy in such a competitive market shooting 40-55 weddings per year (more than any photographer I know who doesn't just farm out their gigs to associates). In addition to wedding work I take on commercial and entertainment work with local clients including The Grand Ole Opry, Frist Museum, Nashville Symphony, Vanderbilt University and national clients such as HGTV, Discovery Channel, Lifetime Television, Amazon, Shop UAL, Health Magazine, Pierce Manufacturing, AEG Live Events, record labels and motion picture production companies.

I don't take myself too seriously but I take photography very seriously. The friendships I build with my clients are lasting. I'm so lucky that I have a job that adds purpose and meaning to my life and it just happens to be a ton of fun! Often senior portrait clients end up hiring me for weddings and often wedding clients have me out to do maternity and family portraits that lead to yearly get togethers.

I grew up on a farm in Santa Fe, TN and went to Father Ryan High School. I went to college at Ole Miss, MTSU and UT Knoxville where I took a photojournalism class that changed my life. I worked for several years at Vanderbilt's Innovation Center before going full time with photography. My wife Samantha is an artist and an Emmy Award winning writer and art educator at The Frist Art Museum. Our daughter Sophie is in the 8th grade and plays soccer and spends time on musical theater and she is always making things in our art room from sketches to outfits that she has worn to school. My girls make wonderful companions in travel and in life. I love adventure and always have something in the works. I've run with the bulls in Pamplona, hiked the Inka trail to Machu Picchu, visited the Taj Mahal in India, Petra in Jordan, rode camels around the pyramids of Giza, and I've been diving in the Red Sea. However, my greatest adventures have been closer to home and surrounded by friends.

I recently turned 40 and my mid-life crisis has included joining adult softball and soccer leagues, playing more tennis, and doing cross-fit workouts but I still haven't had any luck talking my wife into letting me get a motorbike.

2. How long have you been shooting weddings? How many weddings have you photographed?

My first wedding was in college when I was a student at UT Knoxville around 1998. I went full time in 2010 and since then I've photographed over 40 per year every year. I've photographed over 500 in 16 States and several countries.

3. How would you describe your photography style?

With me you get variety. I take advantage of natural light whenever we have it and love that look but when it is dark or rainy or at dusk or sunset I'm able to use lighting to make an image that much more striking. I do a lot of documentary work at weddings where the subjects aren't camera aware but there are designated portions of my typical wedding days where I pose couples and groups but even when I'm posing and setting up images I do my best to make clients look and feel natural so I can capture those candid moments and laughter when a groomsman cracks a joke or a bridesmaid does a happy dance!

4. How well in advance should couples book their wedding photographer?

After all these years it is hard to predict how far out dates will book. My busiest months of April-June and September-December might book up 9 months to a year or more in advance but July, August, January, February and March I might have an available Saturday just a month out or one that never books at all.

5. What are the different packages that you offer and which one is your most popular package?

All of my packages come with full day coverage and a 10 year gallery site with all of your (usually over 1,500) edited images available for download with a base rate of $2,800. Some couples may find that my base package is all they need but extras can be added a la carte. These include 2nd photographer perspective, engagement portrait session, bridal portrait session, rehearsal dinner coverage, and albums.

Most couples end up booking packages in the $3,800-$5,000 range but the works with video packages can range all the way up to $10,000.

6. Are you the wedding photographer who will be shooting on the wedding day? Who else is there in your team?

I'm the lead photographer and never send less experienced associates in my place. In all of my years of shooting I've never backed out of a wedding contract. I take it very seriously. Clients have the option of adding a 2nd photographer and when they do I hire full time professional photographers. I don't use them as assistants but rather I ask them to be creative and capture their own unique perspective of the day.

7. Do you charge a travel fee? For what distance? What does that cover?

For destination weddings I just ask to have airfare covered as well as hotel rooms for myself and my 2nd photographer from the night before the first day I'm needed through the night of the last day I'm needed. For weddings within a 4 hour drive of Nashville I won't charge anything extra for travel though a room would be appreciated if I'm needed before 11am on the wedding day or after 10pm on the wedding night.

8. Are albums or prints included in your packages?

You can add an album or prints to your package though most couples book me for a service package and then order albums after the wedding. Clients are welcome to order albums and prints through me or they can also download the photos and make their own album or print orders through the lab or print website of their choice.

9. How long after the wedding will the couple receive the images? How will they be delivered?

Typically I send about 100 teaser images within a week to 10 days but the full deliverable with 1,500-2,000 edited images will be closer to 4-6 weeks.

10. What is your cancellation and/or refund policy?

I only charge a 10% down payment to reserve the date. This down payment is non refundable and off-sets my loss of income from having to turn away other potential clients for dates that couples reserve and then later cancel. In some circumstances as with the pandemic I've worked with clients to postpone to a new date without having to pay another down payment.



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