Spotlight: Nate Dainty
In this series we are sharing some of the wonderful photographers who make up the NineDots Community. Finding out what makes them tick and the what, why and how behind some of the work they are most proud of. Today Sheffield Wedding Photographer Nate Dainty shares his favourite 2 images and why he loves them so much.
WHY WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHY?
Our wedding photos aren’t for us. It might seem a strange thing to say, but what I perhaps mean is, our wedding photos aren’t JUST for us. We book wedding photographers because we want to remember the happiest day of our lives, but the photos serve a much more important purpose. They are a journey back to the past for our relatives, and when memories start to fade, our photos are the thing that keeps them alive. I got asked by Rahul if I wanted to be featured in the Ninedots member spotlight on the same day that I found out a friend’s leukaemia has come back, and he is dying.
My work is all about trying to show how happy weddings can be, it’s what made me decide to be a wedding photographer – because my wedding was a HOOT! But I’m really struggling to be happy right now (as I stand in St Pancras station typing this on the way to shoot a corporate event with tears threatening to spill out) thinking about what photos are going to be important to my friend’s kids in years to come.
I lost my dad to cancer 4 years ago now, and I really wish I had more photos of him. I have one of him shaking my hand at my wedding, one of him holding me as a baby, one of him looking towards me from the crowd as my wife and I are being showered with confetti. They are all nice enough, but I wish there were more.
Nate’s 2 photos for Spotlight
One of my first weddings was shooting a wedding for my friend’s aunt who was about to have surgery in hospital and they weren’t sure she’d make it. So Carone and her long-time partner Patrick decided to get married at the hospital just in case the worst happened. There was no reception. No speeches. Just two people declaring their love for each other, surrounded by immediate family and it was beautiful. Side note: I had to stand in one place and shoot most of the ceremony on a fisheye so it was less than ideal.Carone passed away a few years ago and I got a message from my friend (her nephew) saying how much the family appreciated having the wedding photos to look back at.
The second photo is one from the last wedding of 2022. The guests were pretty wild right from the get go, and the dude with the tie around his head was what I affectionately call a ‘good value guest’. Every time I pointed my camera at him, he was doing something noteworthy. The party is my favourite part of a wedding, and this was my kind of party. I’m finding as I tweak my website and show more of what I want to shoot, I’m getting more of the type of wedding I want to shoot. One of the many pearls I’ve learned from joining Ninedots.
WHY NINE DOTS?
Which takes me onto how I found Ninedots I suppose. Shout out to Janina who gifted me a year’s membership and introduced me to a great group of people when I needed a bit of community. I attended my first gathering on a bit of a whim back in November, and even though I’m outgoing, and come off as extroverted, it was quite intimidating as a newbie. There are A LOT of talented folks in Ninedots. I needn’t worry though, as I met so many great people who really made me feel like I belonged. I got some pretty strong business advice too, (shout out Chloe) which really helped focus my brand and my offering.
Our job is so important. Experiences like this are also why I’ll end this post with a plea.
Don’t hide from the camera, embrace it!
There is always an excuse, and everyone has things they don’t like about themselves, but if you are ever inclined to try and hide in the background of a photo, or don’t like a camera in your face. The photos aren’t for you, they are for the people who love you and wish they could see you smiling again.
I’m going to continue taking photos of people having an awesome time, that’s my jam, but I have definitely been reminded to work my bollocks off to try and get as many photos of the important people as possible.