If anyone can prove country music is more than pickup trucks and sad songs, it's photographer Melanie Dunea -- though she never could have known one shoot would be the start of a yearlong passion project. Melanie traveled the country, making quite a few stops in Nashville, to dive deep into country music and the artists who create it.

From Kenny Chesney to Taylor Swift, Melanie interviewed and photographed stars in unique environments to create a beautiful set of portraits. Check out our conversation with Melanie and hear what she had to say about country music, photography and more.