today Nantucket is saturated with many, all competing for the same
“I cannot compete with off-island photographers,” she says.
“People will always bring in destination shooters and I understand
this. I just try to keep my work fresh, tasteful and affordable.”
One way Hazlegrove differentiates her work is by offering me-
dium format black-and-white film as an option to clients who
prefer to be photographed in the analog medium. “With film, I am
forced to capture the image correctly the first time,” she says. “Too
many photographers overshoot and then spend a lot of time cor-
recting mistakes in post-process. Digital has lowered the bar when
it comes to technique. Taking a good picture right off the bat is im-
portant to me. I treat my digital shooting as if it were film.” For both
formats she prefers fast prime lenses, enhancing many of her im-
ages by using a very shallow depth-of-field to create backgrounds
with a creamy bokeh.
And because Hazlegrove understands the challenges inherent to the island, she is able to capture weddings during windstorms, hurricanes and power outages, in months like June or
July when brides are anticipating blue skies. She is also sensitive
to her subjects. “Being flexible, enjoying a chaotic atmosphere
and being able to put the bride at ease is the key to capturing
great wedding photographs,” she says.
Due in part to its position in the Atlantic, Nantucket is 15 degrees
cooler than the mainland. In the summer months, temperatures
are warm during the day, but early evenings are often ensconced
in thick fog. Hazlegrove loves to work with fog as an element in
her landscape work; she also juxtaposes its dour nature with the
subjects of her wedding portraits. The subtle mystique of the fog
has given the island its alias, “The Little Grey Lady.”
Hazlegrove routinely photographs her wedding clients at the
Sankaty Golf & Beach Club, which opened in 1923 and sits on
the edge of the island next to a timeworn lighthouse. The Sankaty
Lighthouse is still working and has served as a nostalgic backdrop
for many couples. For parties of 65 people or less, Hazlegrove does
not like to use a second shooter. “Being able to photograph without
an assistant gives me full control in capturing images which reflect
my style and spirit,” she says.
Sometimes, however, it’s the little surprises that make weddings really interesting—from the more traditional church marriage, to elopements, to brides who are pregnant, to same-sex
nuptials. One of her most memorable ceremonies was when the
bride and groom, originally college sweethearts, tied the knot 17
years later, after being married to other people.
Shooting the vast landscape of such a small island has allowed
Hazlegrove to photograph Nantucket in its many phases. “I have