after a few chats and emails with mom, i was so excited to meet this sweet family of 5. lauren designed baby hadden's nursery in soft pinks and lots of textures and layers, and finally a gorgeous iron crib from restoration hardware. her attentive fur-brothers, rollie and charlie, were there for every minute of our little session, and were so loving and gentle with their new baby sister. our breezy session with little hadden awake and taking breaks to nurse a bottle every few minutes, a trooper throughout the hour. little sips and then sweet smiles - we even found a dimple - it was a dream in their beautiful three story home. can't wait to watch her grow and what life brings this sweet family next...
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.
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.
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.
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
my favorite time of year is here and mother nature is finally on board with cooler temps - pumpkin patches, jeans and booties, and cozy blankets. sue joyce, owner of turkish t, has the third one covered with her fresh new fall line of cashmere, woven wool, kiln prints, and iconic turkish t stripe towels to freshen up your home. they are SO beautiful and will not only adorn your sofa and kitchen counters, you'll find the perfect gift for all the special family and friends on your gift list this year. especially for us nashvillians, there's no better gift for our family and friends than the locally cultivated item and the original turkish towel. sue has narrowed her favorites to this sophisticated and casual fall selection. this is just a snippet sneak peek of the first round of this line. stay tuned for round two!
find these items at www.turkish-t.com where you can pick up your items locally in nashville, and also at ashblue and white's mercantile located in nashville and franklin.
i had the pleasure of meeting little baby annie afton at 1 week and 1 day old. she is perfect in every way down to her little button nose. thankfully she was resilient through us waking her up, moving her around and lots of big sister kisses and little pats. this family just moved back into their precious bungalow in sylvan park after a short move to memphis. although moms want the house to be perfect, they never are right? and the benefit for me of a newly moved in family is all the boxes aren't unpacked and there's less to move around and typically freshly painted walls. white sheets and bedding - perfect! annie afton's warm and cozy nursery nook was my favorite spot - paige (mom) has a really impressive eye for design and soon is opening booth of cultivated pieces.
thank you paige for inviting me into your previous family moments. loved meeting you all!
sweet little louise - growing up SO fast and our next session will be her first birthday. so excited to celebrate her first year of life with her mama who i've known over 10 years now....
planning your fall session with extended family is a great idea and i loved being with all three of these family units on sunday in brentwood. each family is different - not just in age, genders and sizes - but in interests and mannerisms. most importantly, the love is bigger and more dynamic when there are cousins and aunts and uncles involved. and even greater when there are grandparents there. this is a love that cannot be faked and it symbolizes for me, a start to a season that focuses on the important values. being together as one big unit and making memories that will last generations.
thank you to this special family for sharing these moments with me and letting me capture them in a way that made us both look forward to the holidays!
baby bailey and her adoring big sister.
i know this scene well since i went through it myself five years ago with my first two girls. quinn is in LOVE with her baby sister, bailey. reading to her, patting her head, counting her toes, and just wants to hold her non-stop. its moments that change in an instant and over weeks of baby sisters arrival and I'm so thrilled i was there to capture these for this family.
i called to prep mom over the phone for the shoot and it was a bit unnecessary actually. shaun is a laid back mom who has brought hundreds of babies into the world herself (she's an OB). she and dad were open to any shots i wanted to play with and quinn was just perfection in her big sister role. along with fresh paint on the walls and newly laid tile in the master bathroom, we took advantage of every open space and beautiful nook in the house.
i met this family last november in a quick fall session. last fall for me was a whirlwind. so many trusting friends, new people in my life, super fun kiddos, and me floating through it and finding my voice through a tiny viewfinder. i say all the time, I'm SO grateful for each of the 50+ families who entrusted me last fall with their big holiday card dreams. this family was no exception. the session started off in a race to capture the light with little 9 month old ross. we got one of my favorite shots i took all last season.
i tell people all the time, i sort of thrive on chaos...as long as the families can sit back and enjoy the ride and can trust me, i can show them real life in print. what will our kids want pictures of when they are older? they won't be the posed, stiff photos sitting on a bench. they will notice the car in the background and the memories that unfolded inside it. they will notice the yellow lamp by the bedside table, that now sits in their living room as an adult. they will cherish these real life moments interacting with their mom or dad and siblings. this is the heart of each of my shoots. all i ask is for you to relax, smile and play - and you'll get keepsakes to be passed down through generations.
this summer, this family grew by adding baby sister whitaker. she is so loved and such a blessing to this family. and again, thankful to vance for trusting me with capturing her early days at home. welcome home baby whitaker.