In the Spotlight : Tec Petaja

(Say it with me- pit-ahh-jahh.) Tec hails from Nashville and has the loveliest sensibility . . . sort of Cali-come-to-TN? I’m listening to Allison Krauss whilst posting these pix and I feel swept away in some old school fairytale. Slash, where’s my verdant field of flowers? I’m poised to traipse along in a drapey gown from Decades and have Tec magically turn me into some wispy boho model in one click. Alas, an impossible feat.  Something to look forward to instead: he’s shooting a Fall wedding of ours and we can’t wait to see how he captures our gorgeous bride.

Three words (or a phrase) that epitomize your style: fill in the blanks.
TP: natural, light, genuine

What’s your take on the controversial “First Peek”, where the bride and groom see each other before the ceremony?
TP: This is a tough one for me since I think there’s a really sweet moment between the bride and groom when they see each other for the first time when the bride is walking down the aisle. I got married 3 years ago and I wanted to see Chelsea for the first time as she was walking down the aisle and I wouldn’t change that. It was such a built up moment and the emotion of waiting and getting to see her in her dress was something I’ve never felt before. However, when you don’t see each other before the wedding you’re typically on a really tight schedule to get the pictures done before the sun goes down and still have time to enjoy yourself at the party!
At the same time there is something really nice when the couple can see each other beforehand and get the nerves out.  On top of being a bit more relaxed, they also have that moment of a “First Peek” between just themselves (and the photographer) as opposed to sharing it with their guests, which some couples really cherish.  All in all, the decision is completely up to the bride and groom and I’m happy to photograph them whenever they feel comfortable.

One of your top favorite images from 2010 …
TP: One of my favorite images I’ve shot was when I was working with a couple in La Colle sur Loup, France. The couple was beautiful inside and out, so fun to work with and their images reflected them as a couple. I scouted out the location the day before and when I came across the wall of pink flowers, I knew it was going to be a beautiful shot. This wedding has gone on to be featured in Travel + Leisure and also Destination Weddings Magazine.

Best store (online or not) for great reception finds?
TP: I have no idea… My wife took care of that portion of our wedding!  Ha.

Where is one place where you’re dying to shoot a wedding -anywhere in the world . . . and why?
TP: I don’t have just one! I’m going to name a few and then share which one I really would love to visit; Antarctica, Australia, Brazil, Finland, Iceland, Ireland and South Africa. The one place I would really love to visit and shoot a wedding is Finland. My parents and I have been talking about how fun it would be to see where our heritage is from!

What’s one thing you wish you could say to your brides, but you don’t out of decorum/propriety?
TP: Nothing comes to mind. I have wonderful clients and my brides are great to work with.

No wedding is complete without . . . (fill in the blank).
TP: Love, love and more love.