One of the most frequently asked questions that I get is “Where/how did you come up with the name Celladora?” or “What does IT mean?” When most people ask I shrug it off and simply reply that it is a beautiful sounding made up word. But for a few (especially brides that continue to push) I’ve given the full answer and I’m finally ready to set the record straight for all of the internet.

In 2010 I was looking for a name that really expressed the type of wedding photography I wanted to create here in Nashville and around the world. I wanted something beautiful, modern, classic and timeless. I knew the answer wasn’t John Yates Photography. I wanted the name to be larger than myself and something that many people could identify with. I found inspiration in an unexpected place, one of my favorite films.

Donnie Darko

First if you haven’t seen the film Donnie Darko please go and do yourself a favor and watch it. It is a beautiful love story mixed with time travel that has become a cult classic. In one of the most poignant scenes Donnie Darko (played by Jake Gyllenhaal) talks with one of his teachers (Drew Barrymore) and she tells him “That of all the phrases in the English language, of all the endless combinations of words in all of history, that “cellar door” is the most beautiful.”

I spent a lot of time tracing back the origin of this thought and who the originator of it was. Although there is a lot of debate and speculation I like attributing it to J. R. R. Tolkien (who also just happens to be one of my favorite authors) “Most English-speaking people will admit that cellar door is “beautiful”, especially if dissociated from its sense (and from its spelling). More beautiful than, say, sky, and far more beautiful than beautiful. Well then, in Welsh for me cellar doors are extraordinarily frequent, and moving to the higher dimension, the words in which there is pleasure in the contemplation of the association of form and sense are abundant.”

I love that passage and the sentiment that I attach to it. From there the combination of the two words and the dropping of the hard R sound at the end of “cellar” forms a new character that can take on a life of its own. To me this combination has a lot of symbolism and perfectly defines the type of client that I love to work with as well as the style of photography that we offer to them.