Motivation and Opportunity

In just a few months, it will have been a year since I moved to Nashville. As I take the time to reflect on how the year has been and the progress I have made, I just want to say that I am super thankful for the opportunities I have had and the wonderful people I have met. I am also very thankful for some of the not-so-wonderful people I have met. I have learned lessons from you guys as well.

I am sure all of my artist/creative friends will agree that getting discouraged, even the slightest bit, can seem so devastating. Whether your work isn't turning out how you want it to, you're not getting the feedback you want, or it's from a random loss of motivation... In July I  decided to focus solely on portraits and it has been very rewarding/exciting for me.  I have been learning so much about myself, my work, and the people I get to work with. However, the one thing that has discouraged me recently is lack of responses I was getting from those who I was reaching out to. I didn't expect everyone to talk to me or even reply, but when only one person did (even after following up with the others) it was kind of a bummer.  Despite this, I kept going and I kept shooting. I knew the direction I wanted to take my work in, I just had to find away to take the next step. 

Last week I was offered a dream internship. Over the next few months, I am going to working with/photographing local talent and building my portfolio. This is the main reason I am not going to update my website just yet. I am excited for what is ahead. This opportunity is unreal and I am so thankful for everything that has lead me to it. 

For now, I am going to post my recent work via this blog when I can. <3 Here's the photos from September and October. I hope y'all enjoy them! 


Models (in the order in which they appear): Tasji Bachman, Talia Zaverdinos, Kara Sheridan, Tracy Guillet

Kelsey and William

I was so excited when Kelsey asked me if I would be interested in taking pictures of her and William. I have done a few shoots with Kelsey since my move to Nashville and she has always been wonderful to work with. This shoot was intended to be at golden hour, but mother nature decided it was going to be extra cloudy this evening; despite the weird weather we made it work! 

Also, I am very happy with how these photos turned out! I mean it is kind of hard not to get good photos with two very happy, positive, and good looking subjects. Thank you guys so much for letting me photograph you, I had a blast! 





I was lucky enough to spend a month at home in Cleveland throughout July and August and I was also lucky enough to have time to shoot with some wonderful people! 

A little bit about my time at home: 

Initially, I was going home because I was moving into a new apartment here in Nashville and I needed to get some of my belongings from storage. However, I realized that I had a decent amount of down time so I decided to go home  for an extended period of time. My reason for staying longer may or may not have been to spend time with my girlfriend while I had the time. In addition to that it was the one year anniversary of my brother passing away and there was no way on earth that I was not going to be home for that. I am thankful for the time I got to spend at home with my family but now it's time to start thinking about what's next. Once and while I find myself questioning pretty much everything that's happening in my life. Though I may not have any answers right now, I am confident that the next few moves and decisions I make will be the right ones. 

For now, I am going to continue working on my craft and to improve as a photographer in anyway that I can. With that said, I am going to start booking shoots again this week, so if you'd like to shoot please feel free to reach out!

Here are some of my favorite frames from my time at home. Enjoy! 

-Jakob Richard



I know it’s been a while since I’ve posted anything on here, but I’ve really been thinking about what direction I want to take my art in and how to make it happen. As I mentioned on social media, I have decided to start focusing on (artistic) portraiture. When I first picked up a camera taking portraits was the last thing I wanted to do. Fast forward to a year later and it’s the one thing I love to do! 


I have done a few shoots with some amazing people since then! When Danielle and I were discussing what we wanted to do, she mentioned she had this mask she’s been wanting to shoot with... 

Belmont: Pt.1

My first semester as a full-time student at Belmont was amazing!

First, I want to start off by talking about my previous experience with school... My High School years were not the best and in fact I barley graduated. I spent every summer in summer school, I rarely earned a passing grade in any class, and most days I would just go to school and goof off. After that, I attempted the community college thing which did not go too well since I didn't really learn much in High School. This is about the time I decided to join the Navy. I spent my time in the Military catching up on what I robbed myself of during High School and slowly started taking classes again. 

Fast forward 5 years and I am living in Nashville as a full time student and not failing. My first semester at Belmont was also my first semester at a University, which was slightly terrifying. Also, my course load was larger than any other time I attempted college. I genuinely did not think I was going to make it through this semester, but there are somethings that I have realized during this time. One, college is difficult but the more time you put into it the easier it is. Two, it is much easier as an adult who actually gives a shit. Three, and similar to what I learned in the Navy, if you show up on time, do what is expected of you, and don't act like a disrespectful, ignorant fool you will probably have a decent time. 

 College is so much easier now that I  actually want to attend; I actually enjoying being a student. Quite frankly, it is a lot easier than most of my previous experiences. 

For the first time in my life, I have earned all A's and B's and it feels great. On top of that, I've met some AMAZING and very inspirational people. It really surprised me how positive and supportive some of these strangers were in comparison to those I encountered in the past. Because of them and the creative environment I have been surrounded with, I have grown so much as a person and a photographer...

Overall, my first semester has been a positive one and I am thankful for the growth, friends, and connections I have made. 

Until next time, Belmont.  

A Personal Story...

For those of you who know me on a personal level know that the past year has been a challenging one and for those of who you do not, I hope we can connect through these few paragraphs.

 I got out of the Navy in mid-may and had somewhat of a solid plan, shortly after that, the relationship I was in and thought was going to last for the unforeseeable future ended abruptly and horrifically, and then on the 12th of August I lost my only/older brother, Eddie. I thought I had the next few years planned out but, as you can see, life happened. However, I tried to not let these events completely break me down and ruin my life. I decided to move to Nashville to attend Belmont University even though I had never been to the state of Tennessee. I have been here for about 3 months and I have never been so "broke"... but I couldn't be happier. 

These events took a large toll on me and made me question a lot. I lost touch of who I was and my beliefs/morals had seemed to vanish. I hurt a few people and lost some really good friends, but I really did not care; I was numb. Almost a year later from the first event, I am finally noticing change. I am actually starting to have genuine, positive feelings and my morals are starting to shape back to how they used to be. I am so grateful for this season of bullshit, but I am happy it is coming to an end. 

To all of the people who have helped me through this, I am forever thankful for you. Whether it's from your lyrics, art work, photography, an article you've sent me, or from you staying up late/leaving work/dropping whatever you were doing to just be there for me. I love all of you! <3 

These photographs are by far the most telling photographs of me and in my opinion they portray everything I have just mentioned. (Taken by: Kaylee Marie O'Hara // @golden.peaks)

- Jakob Richard Wandel

Ryan Courtney (Trenton)

Ryan and I met during the summer of 2015 while I was living in Norfolk, Virginia where he was visiting for a friend's wedding. At the time I had expressed desire to move to Nashville (where he currently resides) and that was pretty much the start of a new friendship. Aside from being a friend, Ryan, shortly became a very important and influential person in my life. Ryan is the front man for the band Trenton who released their newest album Ghost Runner around the time I was dealing with a family tragedy. Little did I know Ryan had been through a similar situation and had genuinely understood what I was going through. We agreed that once I moved to Nashville we would arrange a shoot. Here are some of the shots I was able to get with him: