loved my newborn shoot with this sweet family in their new home, but this shoot felt like a refresh. new year, she's three months older now, and her big sister is in the routine with her little sister. they are a family now, and bailey is in her little three month groove. after a busy, BUSY fall this shoot was a kick start to a 2017 full of fresh shoots. some of the same families, but we know each other better now. we have a groove too, and its my job to capture these families in the way i know they want to keep in print forever. its also my job to exceed expectations, find these new beautiful moments when a family is in a new stage of family life. and this shoot felt like i accomplished that. little details, cozy moments, and a family ready to take on the first year of sweet bailey's life together.
its not often i leave a session feeling inspired and refreshed. with new ideas, and new dreams for my own personal family growth. and this was a two hour double session with multiple families, a LOT of people to coordinate and corral. but this was different. i spend most of my days in the fall months with younger families (who i dearly love with all my heart) with kids the same age as mine. its SO fun bc they AREN'T my kids...so i can relate, play, get messy with them and it comes so easily since i have my own at home and know those preschool ages so well. but this time around i had a bunch of "kids" who were all my height and some were drinking beer. so yea....took me a minute to figure out what "games" we should play. ring around the rosy probably wouldn't work. admittedly i was a little nervous and thrown off my game for a minute. how do i organize 10 teenagers/20somethings to be natural in front of the camera?? well it took a few mental minutes on my end, but they made it so easy for me. these young adults....siblings, cousins, step-cousins...they are obsessed with each other. ive never seen anything like it! they were playful, cooperative, happy, adjusted and respectful....to each other and of course to me. we joked about ring around the rosy, and then they thought it would be fun, of course at a high speed that led to most of them catapulting into the woods...but they were up for anything and everything. and they wanted it all documented. piggy back rides, holding hands, playing animal games, lining up for an updated portrait, even kissing significant others in front of me! it was a magical end to my fall season of over 70 family shoots. the cherry on top? the vintage vw van owned by abbie, a dear friend of one of the sons.
the overall message i gained from this shoot. these "kids" couldn't be more different from one another - and these parents have embraced, cultivated, loved each of these kids independently from the others. they see big dreams in each of them and have allowed the space for them to grow and that example has given their siblings and cousins to gift each other the same thing. leaving the 2 hour shoot, they were all still taking pictures of each other - jumping around, dancing, on one another's back, cartwheels, playing in the vw van. i saw LOVE and RESPECT and a HOME. that home has no direct road or set path, it always evolving and dynamic and flowing. and im still captivated. couldn't be more proud to know these people, and to have the images in print for them to cherish.
photographing a bride and groom is a journey. lisa contacted me over the summer and she was just the full package bride in my eyes. lisa is super motivated and organized, but quickly offered her trust in those creative people around her, including me, and the planning process was totally calm. her fearless wedding planner, blair laborde, took the reigns and put together a stunning affair. with simple and understated details, so the focus remained on the reason we were all there in the first place. lisa and walker. their love. the connection that had been built on friendship, trust and solidarity. lisa and walker were a dream to photograph on their wedding day. lisa was cool and collected (and gorgeous). walker was eager and ready (and dapper) and these two made this day feel like a walk in the park with some very special accents of course. her blue strappy stilettos, blush pink ribbons, and heavenly lace from her stunning dress to the tiered cake.
special thank you to my guru and dear friend, sara moe, for shooting this with me.
design and planning - blair laborde
two of my favorite brothers, in blue, on a gorgeous farm in brentwood. and it was so much FUN. smith, hibbs, mom and dad - all together and i was so thankful dad could take off that afternoon at work to explore with us and get in the memories. i love this sweet family and so thankful that heather has asked me to capture her boys in these fun stages. hibbs now in big boy kindergarten and smith still in toddlerhood, it was a brotherly love that is just beginning. soccer, roaming through the fields, and exploring hand in hand with mom and dad. there's nothing better to document. its the ordinary moments. maybe in a new place so that makes it interesting. but just a regular afternoon of family. and i loved how the story unfolded that early afternoon before a 4 pm sunset (thank you daylight savings!).
yet another very fun shoot with this family. i feel like we know each other pretty well now after three little shoots together. this particular GORGEOUS fall day at radnor lake was just as easy as the others...with a final bang to end the session. our sweet little nature walk ended with ross and moss - lake water moss that is. thankfully he was a trooper about it, and more importantly mom was a total trooper too. mess. life. kids. the greatest plans never go as they should with little tikes and those are the memories we'll keep from this day.
and for those of you needing custom designed cards next year for the holidays, or newborn announcements, vance is your go-to girl. stay tune for more on that front....
i was SO honored when rory asked me to capture her family. she wanted FUN, real photos of her little clan and so we picked a park close to our neighborhood. an iconic park in nashville, but one where they could spread their wings, literally in some cases and be playful in a gorgeous sunset park evening. i try not to play favorites, and loved each little foster's personalities, but evie stole my heart and the show pretty quickly. she LOVED the camera, and i loved her for it. she also reminded me SO much of my little middle child, tate. beats to her own drum.
this family is the epitome of natural...free...kind....and loving and glad i was able to capture these memories.
thanks to rory for trusting me. xoxo
when emily called about a session, just a few days after i closed out my fall shoots, we had a little chat about exactly what she was looking for. i whole heartily admitted to her that i was in need a break. after over 70 family sessions this fall and a gorgeous wedding in belle meade, my creative inspiration tank was running on fumes. she got it right away. we postponed a few days to a weekend slot, and i got a solid 5 days off to catchup on a few work items (hello, accounting...) and be with my family.
by saturday, refreshed, i was eager to meet another new family and since we'd chatted by phone about our plan for the morning, it was a breeze. it doesn't always happen, but talking by phone or in person about expectations for a family session is really important. i want to know your goals, and i want to meet them. i also want you to know it will be fun, easy and casual with trust and a little free will.
the steffens were open, willing to share and love, and i was so thrilled to be the fly on the wall for and hour with this family. another "pinch me" session in the books. thankful for each and every one of you that lets me in your home and lives.
ive mentioned my friend, connie, several times on my instagram feeds. and most of you know my love for yoga. i met connie because she was in my teacher training class for yoga certification a few years ago at epic yoga in brentwood. through some guidance of the epic yoga owner, she emerged from that training with an idea to bring yoga to the military, where they are. and to serve. her husband, greg, has deployed many times and is still in the reserves. she recognized a really huge gap with soldiers, their care, and the enormous suicide rate - 22 military suicides a day. ft campbell currently has the highest military suicide number in the nation, and she immediately went into action. i tagged along as her assistant and partner, pregnant at the time with my youngest. photography in the meantime has taken off for me, so now (when im available and have a sitter lined up) i go and document her incredible gift she gives these soldiers weekly. we reminisced this morning about that first time up there on a helipad with 20 soldiers.
three years later, she's still going strong and has branched out to reach the military on bases across the country through her nonprofit Joined Forces Yoga. she hosts trainings for teachers nationwide, and has recruited volunteer teachers to serve through her nonprofit. connie is AMAZING and an inspiration to me. she's dedicated her life to this work. these soldiers give so much to us. they give their lives for us every day.
connie (and members of her nonprofit including myself) were honored yesterday for her service with a certificate of appreciation and also a black heart - the heart insignia is worn on each soldiers' helmet to signify their unit. we are honored, humbled, and grateful for their recognition and its a token we will cherish forever.
thank you to the soldiers who serve. there's no greater gift. and thank you to the 2nd Brigade Army Strike for having Joined Forces Yoga each week.
learn more at www.joinedforcesyoga.com and please consider a donation or volunteering with us! donate mats, blocks, money, time....
this session was particularly meaningful for me this year. blair and i have been friends for a few years now in nashville, and blair has been one of my biggest cheerleaders in building my craft over the past few years. it all started with a wild and free sunset adventure on the beach in rosemary, and i feel like it has come full circle as they are now settling into their gorgeous home in belle meade after many years of moving for cregan's school and work and renting. on top of that, blair and i collaborated together on a gorgeous wedding in november ant our shoot fell just a few weeks before the big event. blair and i have worked so closely together this fall and im thrilled about her building her own brand and business.
kate and monroe are so thick as thieves. kate, whimsical and spunky, and monroe, sweet and gentle - they balance each other perfectly and they love each other hard. when i showed up, they were ready to play, dance, swing and show off all their favorite spots in their new home. while mom and dad got dressed, true personalities of these two in action unfolded and loved being a part of the everyday life of this family in their new stage. Blair and cregan are still putting the finishing touches on their new nest, and i can't wait to photograph it when it's finished. my favorite current piece, cregan's heirloom vintage leather sofa.
dream sessions. ive had so many amazing sessions with families this year y'all. somehow i've lucked into this glorious "job" where i get to photograph families in real moments. and this session was a big one for me. jocee generously bid on my donated session to a local pre-school, so i had never met her family prior to her contacting me for a fall session. i had no idea what she had in store for me. and then a week prior to our session, she sent me a PINTREST board. that's in all caps bc i was completely THRILLED. the minute i saw it, i called her and shared my excitement over the phone.
i guess i can consider myself an artist now, right? sounds a bit precocious, but i think people now rely on me for vision. but i also want to collaborate with a family (or mom) on what they will cherish, frame and put in albums in their homes. and i love creativity and input so we can create magic together. i can move people around, go through the motions that i do with every family, direct everyone...and i've gotten more comfortable in that role in helping create the moments between your loved ones. it doesn't always come easily when someone is right in your face with several cameras. but always know that ahead of time you can give me your ideas too, your vision. and we can create a plan of capturing your family together.
once i saw jocee's board, we connected on a few details - we needed to change the time of day we met for the shoot based on the location we'd picked. we worked together to find a time that would work and it was worth the extra effort and schedule hopping. i think we created something really beautiful, natural, loving....together.
when mom mentioned her sister-in-law was renting a farm near franklin, tn and it might be the right spot for our family session, i couldn't wait to see it. note to all of you families out there...a farm is ALWAYS a good idea. this was the perfect spot to capture these two siblings in fall, their friendship with each other, their sweet dynamic with each parent, and of course their quirky little personalities.
best of all, we had a wild and free backdrop for this family of four and i loved capturing the love they have. my goal is always to start with mom and dad first, and layer in the kids. its important to start the family at the heart of the home - the parents. and the kids can join in organically and bring the giggles and cuddles. audrey and foster were experts in this sweet addition to the family photo.
and finally, i hope to capture the mom. im usually hired by moms, and we rarely have photos of just us. it is so important to have a beautiful image just of her. because after the day to day grind of loving on your kids and balancing your family life, you deserve it.
happy thanksgiving to my clients. sending hugs and love your way. so much to be thankful for, its all around you!
the family unit - the heart of the home.
i photograph lots of families in nashville and beyond. my joy behind the camera comes from the kids. people say all the time, "how do you deal with other people's kids? isn't it exhausting?" - and its not at all. they are all so great, so much fun and they all have their own ideas and energy that they bring to each session. i also love it when the moms and the dads are both able to be there - or even just one of them and are ready to play, get in the frame and love on their kids. and there was a lot of this with this beautiful family on this gorgeous fall afternoon. cami and wes have a clear vision to parent organically and be an active part of their kids lives. and even more importantly, they are connected...to each other and then to jones and sophie. im so lucky to find this hidden gem in SO many of the families i get to capture and am thankful they open their private moments to me.
loved meeting this family on sunday afternoon. they live in the heart of a gorgeous neighborhood in nashville and between caroline, a nashville native, and teddy's mom, the house is decorated in a stunning contemporary style. i was immediately drawn into every detail, right down to the modern birdhouse hanging in the front yard. bo is a precious 8 month old little boy and had perfected his handsome stoic stare for me. he is scrumptious and this family was such a joy to be with on this gorgeous warm fall day.
holidays are 55 days away and turkish-t has your covered - literally. in the coziest, most luxurious cottons, lambswool, and fleece. in the most contemporary and beautiful patterns that will update and adorn the homes of all your family and friends.
sue has really cultivated the most gorgeous fall line yet....more at www.turkish-t.com
when a mom has a particular spot in mind for our shoot, im all for it. i love a mom with vision and rachel had it for this years holiday shoot. but she let me have free reign of the gorgeous piece of farm property south of nashville. we sought out spots of incredible light and shadows, and the boys were the perfect subjects with all the scenic backdrops of foothills, equestrian fields and striking architecture. rachel has an thoughtful eye for design but more importantly she's an incredibly patient, playful and kind mom. the boys made our afternoon on the farm their own brotherly adventure and i loved being there to capture the joy. and i might have snuck in a couple of mom too...
the ozburn family oozes casual and contemporary. and are the example that living beautifully and authentically IS possible with children. on this particular day, three of them.
i loved meeting this family - mark and hannah live in a gorgeous tudor home in nashville. hannah is an interior designer (www.hannahozburn.com) and has just moved her business here to nashville after 6 years of working in design in new york. i was shocked to learn they had only been in this home 1 year, it felt like a home where every wall, nook had been cultivated to personify them as a family. the home spoke volumes about who these people are, the love they have for each other and the vision of life and laughter in a comfortable and beautiful space. added bonus on this day, louisa's adoring older cousins, aunt catherine, and mark's kind and gentle mom.
fall with the ozburns...
these two sisters are two peas in a precious pod. blakley and blythe are the sweetest of sisters. we spent an hour together last week. i know for some moms, it can be stressful to have me over for these session. blaire showed me around and then let the three of us explore and play. i have three little girls myself and so i know that there are really sweet moments, and maybe a few dramatic moments as well. no drama here with these two girls. the murfree sisters played so well together and showed me all around their grandmother's backyard. we collected nature items and flowers for their mommy and grandmother. along our nature walk, we found spots to sit, pose and twirl. and the final moments capture are fun candid and genuine moments of sisterly love...and a few interior moments that round out a really sweet session.
when i think of a sanctuary, i think of a place of peace. nature. privacy. loved ones. pontotoc.
this place is one that hosts heart and history. I've been lucky enough to visit my friend there a few times now and each time i drive the winding road up to the main home, i get a euphoric feeling. when bonnie mentioned they were spending the weekend there and "is it ok if we have our session out at the farm?" - and all my dreams for fall came true. good friends and adorable kiddos. throw in some horses, primitive barns, and a john deere four wheeler to tour the property? yes please. with miriam in overalls and a bright squirrel sweater, and oakes decked out in stripes (my favorite) and ready to run - we had a truly free and easy morning. im thankful beyond words my dear friend has entrusted me in capturing memories at her parents home of her beautiful family.
enjoy pontotoc... and the cross family in their sanctuary.
confession. my love of art is similar to my love of wine. I'm completely uneducated about it, but i love it and appreciate many different styles and varieties.
meeting katie was just another part of my ongoing education of fine art and boy was i lucky to be up close and personal with such stunning pieces. everything about katie is effortless and breezy. she showed up at my house with a few large pieces for us to capture on film, along with her easel and her paint cup. a plastic cup that she's used for years. its similar to one of those cups you get at a bridal shower or engagement party with the couple's name printed on the outside. so unassuming and simple, yet it holds the heart of her work before she's put it on canvas. this paint cup was the heart of our photo shoot as well. to me it demonstrated that simple tools in the right hands can make masterpieces adorning walls in your home. something i strive for too in my work.
i can't wait to see her next piece, inspired by her trip to italy...
thanks to katie madden fine art - find her at www.katiemaddenfineart.com
there's something to be said about finding the love of your life in your thirties...
a morning with lisa and walker was so easy. free. real. taking pictures of two people kissing and having intimate moments is a potentially awkward situation for all three of us, right? not these two and not not on this gorgeous fall morning just weeks before their wedding. lisa and walker met in nashville, after they were both established in careers and had been through some major life changes. it comes so natural to them to not to love one another, but to be accepting of the love and adoration of the other. some couples need some direction, need guidance, reassurance which i'm ready and happy to offer and encourage. but after scanning through the images we collected that morning a few weeks ago, i realized these organic moments came from them being comfortable, trusting each other, and meaningful life experience that brought these two together in a union that i saw as one unclouded by the outside world.
i cannot wait to capture their special day when they declare in front of all of their loved ones, the future they've chosen to live together. a love worth waiting for.