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!


Krystal & Josh’s Engagement

We first met Krystal when she was a bridesmaid in another wedding we photographed. We clicked with them right away and had a great time walking around Renaissance Park and the Walnut St. Bridge where Josh proposed to Krystal! Plus they brought thier sweet dog along for some shots which was tons of fun.

We had a great session with them and really look forward to their wedding coming up this April.

We hope you enjoy Krystal & Josh.

How did you meet?
We met a bit over nine years ago. We both participated in the same drum and bugle corps during the summer of 2002 and first met at one of the tryouts the winter before. Josh and I dated other people for a few months after meeting. While on tour that summer, Josh pasted a CD to me and told me to listen to track 12. The CD was Ben Folds’, Rockin, The Suburbs and the song that played was The Luckiest. That was the first moment in time that I knew we both had feelings for each other. We spent the first two and a half months of our relationship together 24/7. We spent that time sleeping on sleeping bags on gym floors, sitting on a tour bus, and being hot and sweaty at practice and shows/competitions marching and playing some of the greatest hits of the band Chicago. Needless to say, we got to see each other for exactly whom we were.

Anything special you’d like to share about dating?
I would say to be patient, understanding, and willing to constantly work on your relationship. The one thing about relationships is that they constantly grow and you consistently learning from one another. You have to be willing to grow together or you will grow apart.

Describe your proposal.
So this one is a bit of a long story:

On Wednesday April 27, 2011 storms and rounds of tornados hit Chattanooga. The morning that the storms hit Chattanooga our power went out and we were unable to regain power for a few days. Thursday afternoon our good friends Ryan and Annie allowed us to stay at their apartment with them because their power was fixed early Thursday morning. Josh worked Thursday afternoon and I studied for two large exams for my degree that were coming up on Saturday. We spent the night at Ryan and Annie’s apartment and Josh left for work Friday morning at 9:45. I completed a graduate course final and studied some more for my upcoming exams. Josh called around lunchtime to see how everything was going and if I had gotten any word about if our house had power (still no power). Josh was scheduled out of work at 3, or so I believed.

Josh did go into work that morning but not for the whole day. He left the apartment with his work clothes on and lunch in hand. He went to work to complete schedules but gave his sift to another worker so that he could finish up some details for what was to come. He said that he had to make the day like any other, so he could not come back until he would be scheduled out of work. After completing his final details he went and saw a movie at the movie theatre. Sometime during the day he also called all of the parents to let them know what was to come later that night and ask for permission for my hand in marriage. Josh returned to the apartment wearing his work clothes and I was none the wiser.

After being at Annie and Ryan’s for a night we packed our stuff up. We wanted to stay at our house even if we did not have power because it would place us closer to school and be a quiet place to get rest before my exams the next day. We came home and our house still had no power. We unpacked and talked about where we may want to go to dinner. Josh said a few options that I declined. I brought up the option of going to Tony’s Pasta Shop (a local pasta place located in the Chattanooga art district). It was set. We were going to walk to Tony’s and have dinner. To get to Tony’s by foot from our house we would cross the Walnut St. Bridge (a pedestrian bridge that goes from North Shore to downtown Chattanooga, right next to the art district). We walked along the 2,376 ft bridge and got almost to the other side when Josh said something like, “Did you see this?” Josh asked if I saw something and I was not aware that I was supposed to be looking.

Josh asked, “Did you see this?” I replied with something like, “No, see what?” He would then say “this” and look down. The first thing that I noticed was that there was black ribbon on either side of a plaque that was set in the wood of the bridge. I looked closer and recognized my name. What seemed to take me forever was to figure out that it really was my name and that I should keep reading because there were more words of the plaque. The plaque says my name and under it “I Love You Will you marry me?” I looked at him and he got down on one knee and said, “Will you marry me?” I proceeded to be stunned and he said that I said, “Are you for real?” Shaking with nervousness, he put the ring on my finger before I could actually say yes. I was still in shock, but Josh assures me that I did in fact manage to say,  ”YES” to him. We hugged and kissed and hugged some more. We retrieved the plaque that was set in the wood of the bridge and started to finish walking to dinner, taking a few more moments to hug and kiss. Ryan met us at the end of the bridge and congratulated us. He had a camera and he was the one that set the plaque in place and made sure that no one would mess with it before the big moment happened. I remember asking Ryan where Annie was and he told me that she was back at the apartment.

We were walking to dinner and I asked Ryan where he parked. He told me that he parked down the street but that he was going to come inside the restaurant to get a glass of water before returning home. Thinking nothing of it, we walked into the restaurant and the host asked how many were going to be our party. I responded by saying two. At this time Josh grabbed my hand and led me into the next room were there were tables pushed together with 12 of our closest friends from the area. He seemed to have surprised me twice. It really was perfect and more than I ever could have imagined. We were able to have the moment be fairly private (yet in public) and then share it immediately with some of our close friends. What is really neat is that you can donate to the restoration of the Walnut St. Bridge and have a dedicated plaque set into the sidewalk planks of the bridge. Josh actually has already completed a donation and there will be a plaque on the Walnut St Bridge that will be engraved with our married name. There will be a plaque set into the wood somewhere on the bridge where he asked me to marry him. I could not be happier.

What is your ring like?
My ring is a band that Josh had transformed into an engagement ring. It is a pavé band that he set a cushion cut diamond into the center as though it was a traditional band with a solitaire. It has a traditional feeling while still being slightly contemporary. It is perfect and everything that I could have ever wanted.

Do you have any special plans for your wedding that you’d like to share?
We will say our “I do’s” on the morning of Sunday, April 22, 2012. The ceremony will take place at Patten Chapel, on the campus where we both attended college. The ceremony will be followed by a brunch reception held at Miller Plaza in downtown Chattanooga, TN. We are excited to share such a special moment in our lives with family and close friends.

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