Dotson Studios bio picture


We are Grant & Sara Dotson. As a husband and wife team, we bring a unique perspective to photography, one influenced by life experiences as well as comprehensive art and design training. Our cameras are an extension of not only our eyes, but our minds and hearts, instantly capturing moments and emotions just as they occur. We enjoy getting to know our clients on a personal level and helping them feel that they're a part of a partnership. Every client is different, and our photographs seek to reflect each individual personality for truly unforgettable memories.


Photo of Grant: Courtesy of Jamie Weiss. Thanks Jamie!


James & Mary’s Engagement

We are so happy that James and Mary asked us to do their photography. They have a fantastic sense of style and interest in photography, and we loved shooting in Johnson City and Jonesborough for a change. We started out at this fabulous old train depot and then went to Jonesborough and enjoyed lots of little neat spots in the downtown area. James and Mary have a sweet story, we are so happy for them and are really looking forward to their wedding in August.

We hope you enjoy James & Mary’s pictures and sweet story. :)

How did you meet?
Mary and I met while we were both attending Carson-Newman College. It was right before a long, cramped drive to Maryland for Spring Break in 2005. Her roommate was also from Maryland, and she agreed to give me a ride home. When I went out to meet her, Mary was standing there in the grungiest sweatshirt imaginable, but that didn’t stop me from falling for her over the next eight hours.

Anything special you’d like to share about dating?
It’s been a long and interesting journey since we met five years ago, and we couldn’t be more excited to finally be tying the knot. The most special part about dating for us is how well we’ve gotten to know each other—no secrets here. We can truly call one another ‘best friend’.

Describe your proposal.
I skipped a midterm (with the instructor’s permission) to surprise Mary on the anniversary of the day we met. When I pulled into her driveway, I called her and asked her to meet me at the spot where I first told her I loved her. She ran outside, and there I was with a huge smile and twelve perfectly picked red roses. After she calmed down, I told her I loved her, and that if she’d let me, I’d spend the rest of my life surprising her. I got down on one knee, and I asked her to marry me!

I was able to make up the midterm during finals week.

What is your ring like?
James got the ring from my dad. It was the same ring that he gave to my mom when he proposed to her thirty-nine years ago. James kept the stone and original setting, but had the band replaced with white gold—it’s so perfect!

How would you describe the way you feel about each other?

James: Honestly, I can’t imagine my life without Mary, and even if I tried, it would scare me. She’s actually become a part of me. We’ve been living an hour apart for over three years now, and I miss her so much when we’re not together. I admire her heart, the way it passionately seeks the Lord. She truly has a servant’s heart, and she’s everything I want the mother of my children to be. Perhaps most importantly, she keeps me laughing and smiling, and I love her as much as one can love another person.

Mary: James is the best friend I’ve always wanted and prayed for. He just gets me. Most importantly, he shows me the love of God daily through his love and strength. He is always strong when I am falling apart. He keeps me steady. James also teaches me new things everyday. He constantly challenges me to be better and to never give up on something. At the end of the day I feel so safe with him. Finally, James also keeps me laughing—laughing very hard! I am so in love with him, and I will love him forever, and I mean for-ever!

Do you have any special plans for your wedding that you’d like to share?
We truly feel the Lord has brought us together for this very purpose, and our hope is that our wedding will be remembered as an act of willful obedience as we dedicate our lives to each other in the eyes of God.

Congrats guys!!! We had a blast on your shoot and can’t wait until your wedding.

June 26, 2010 - 11:46 am Eric McCarty - Superb! Just can't think of where the red brick wall is. Great stuff!

June 26, 2010 - 5:04 pm Sherry Hamilton - Mary, These pictures are amazing! I am so proud for both of you.

June 26, 2010 - 8:20 pm Grant Dotson - Thanks, Eric. The red painted brick wall is in Jonesborough, next to the wall painted with the ad, to the right of the courthouse. Thanks again!

August 6, 2010 - 3:18 pm Robbie Quinton - I am crying!! What beautiful children of God. Mary reminds me of Diana and her Mother Mary. I am so happy for both of them.

June 14, 2010 - 11:08 am Tweets that mention James & Mary's Engagement Photography by Dotson Studios -- - [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Sara Dotson, Sara Dotson. Sara Dotson said: A really unique shoot for us is on our blog. Clients look like models, an old camera, and new location=fun shoot. [...]

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