I was first a fan of Mary Craven Dawkins' work and now I'm so glad to call her a friend. Mary Craven is a fabulous portrait and interiors photographer based in Nashville. I had the pleasure of collaborating with her this past year and am so glad she agreed to be our latest Well + Wonder guest curator - because this lady has inherent good taste and style! Read more to see her favorite pieces she pulled from Well + Wonder as well as our fun rapid-fire Q&A. Welcome, Mary Craven!
Tell us about yourself.
I'm a Mrs. first to my husband Burney, Mama second to my three girls, and Photographer third. We’ve lived in Nashville for 8 years now and I love this creative, bustling, musical town. My girls are my favorite subjects, and when I'm not capturing them at play, I love documenting the in-between moments for families, the labors of love for business owners, and the occasional wedding.
What is currently on your nightstand? What are you reading?
What is your favorite room in your house? Describe it.
Our front porch. We use it daily when the weather allows. We have picnics there, dance parties, art projects, homework, happy hour, and it's a great place to watch my girls play soccer, make fairy houses, do chalk work and ride scooters. We watch rainstorms come in, and we have two big swings hanging out there that the girls love. It overlooks our front yard with a 100-year-old elm tree in it. We live in a very busy pedestrian-friendly neighborhood so it's a very social and friendly porch. It makes our house a home even though it's on the outside!
It is said to look for art that "makes your heart skip a beat." What aspects of art make your heart skip?
My heart skips a beat when I see a moment captured that is authentic, emotional and vibrant. That's my goal with every shoot I show up for, to find that big LOVE moment and capture it forever in time. I see that in artists as well. When they put their heart and vision into their pieces, they are free and ready to make a mark and stay true to their brand/perspective, you can feel it. I love investing in those moments.
If you have the entire day to spend in an art museum, which one and why?
The Whitney in new york city. I visited last year, and my girlfriends had to drag me out of there. It shocked me, made me cry, and made me a more inspired and invigorated artist.