Austin Lord, photographer and creative mind behind Gather Portrait Studio, offers couples and their guests personalized portraits without a photobooth. At weddings and other events, Gather Portrait Studio replaces a traditional photo booth with a photographer to create timeless portraits of guests. With their signature lighting, deluxe hand-painted backdrops, and a photographer posing for each guest, every portrait they take is worthy of a magazine cover.

We spoke to Austin Lord of Gather Portrait Studio and how he creates the perfect backdrop for those special occasions.

Tell us about yourself and your entry into the world of photography!

My interest in photography started when I was in high school. My dad gave me an old 35mm camera he had, and I started walking around my hometown in Alabama taking pictures on it. I continued filming with cameras for a few years until I moved to Nashville to go to college and study music. A few weeks into my freshman year, I was hired by the university’s marketing department as a photographer. A year later, I bought my own digital camera on eBay and started networking like crazy in the local photography community. This quickly caused me to be so busy with photography that I couldn’t fully concentrate on school. So I made the decision to drop out of college and pursue a full-time career as a photographer. That was eight years ago now.

How would you describe your style when it comes to your photos?

I think my hope every time I take a picture is that it looks timeless. I like photos that look like they were taken thirty or forty years ago.

What are the details behind your business concept, Gather Portrait Studio?

Gather Portrait Studio is a business I started to replace photo booths at weddings and events. It offers guests the chance to get portraits they would be proud of and cherish for years to come. I bring the same lights and backgrounds I would use if I was shooting a magazine cover and I guide and help pose the guests to look their best as I would on any other shoot. The result is normally a delightful surprise to those I photograph because they’ve never had a photo like this of themselves.

What was your inspiration for Gather Portrait Studio and how did your vision come to life?

The inspiration came from having our eyes opened to the missed opportunity at weddings and events. It’s so common to have goofy photo booths where everyone is wearing giant sunglasses and holding a pineapple cutout or something. I wanted to be able to create a luxurious and personalized experience that couples could offer their guests and that enhanced the event. I also love the idea of ​​being able to take family portraits at the wedding and turn them into the next set of family heirlooms. I think there’s something so special about being able to have a portrait of your parents, grandparents or whoever taken on your special day that can be displayed in your home.

How do you prepare your clients and get them to relax/be themselves for a photo shoot?

My favorite way to relax people is to pretend we’re not even taking pictures. I just treat people like we’re just hanging out. I ask a lot of questions and really try to find out who they are. As we talk I’ll be taking a few pictures in between and it’s normally a pretty good stream.

From start to finish, what can you expect from a Gather Portrait Studio shoot?

They can expect to take a photo alone or with their friends and loved ones. I help to guide and pose each person. I normally take a few minutes to get a variety of poses to choose from. At the end of the event, they will have the edited portraits in their email inbox with the option to order artist-quality printed products and have them sent directly to them.



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