Three Nails Photography
Hunter Leone of Three Nails Photography specializes in wedding-related photography, engagements, bridals, weddings and more. (Photo courtesy of Three Nails Photography)
For some photographers, the job is a dream come true. For Hunter Leone, the job just sort of happened.
Leone’s story is an odd one in that respect.
“I didn’t choose to do photography,” he said. “It wasn’t something that I’d always wanted to do, but it just kind of fell in my lap, and I just went with it.”
It started four years ago, when Leone was a senior in high school, and a friend needed senior portraits. “She didn’t have any money to hire a photographer,” he explained, “and so she just asked if I would take a couple pictures of her, and I did, and then it just kind of took off from there.”
After that, Leone’s photography business took off almost by itself. He started a Facebook page and gave his new startup the name Three Nails Photography.
“It [represents the] three nails on the cross,” Leone said of the name. “This industry is a fairly non-Christian industry, so I just wanted something out in the forefront that I was a Christian.”
Leone is primarily a wedding photographer. He occasionally does senior portraits, but weddings are his specialty. “[I do] engagements, bridals, weddings, anything that’s a wedding-related photoshoot,” he said.
Leone likes to push his limits, and he has a penchant for asking brides to do things for their photoshoots that might seem a little crazy. He related one instance from a wedding he photographed in Malibu, which involved a seven thousand-dollar wedding dress and a rock in the ocean. “I asked her if she would go get in the ocean,” he said, “and she was a little hesitant about it at first, and I said, ‘Look it’s gonna be a really cool shot. All you have to do is stand in the water next to this rock,’ and she was like, ‘Okay, I guess I will,’ and so I shot the picture.”
Leone’s unorthodox idea paid off—the photo of the bride in the ocean ended up being number one in the category of best wedding photos of 2014.
Now that his business has taken off, Leone would like to hire other photographers to work for Three Nails Photography. He currently works from home, but he recently purchased a big building to convert into an office workspace, and he plans to begin hiring soon.
As much as he enjoys his job, Leone schedule is packed, so he is looking to cut back in the near future.
“I’m shooting about forty-five to fifty weddings a year,” he said. “I would like to bump that down to about twenty weddings a year. And I would like to teach more. I do a lot of workshops, but I feel like I would like to do more teaching events, and convention-type things, to help other photographers with their businesses.”
By Jasmine A. Thrash