brooke and i had a fun little DM friendship prior to me showing up at her house. i love those. you have mutual friends, mutual respect, and the similar banter. so when she opened the door ready for me to capture her two daughters, one a fresh newbie and the other a spunky 3 year old, i knew were were in for some awesome moments. sometimes the toddlers direct the shoots, and that makes my creative heart sing because those are the real moments. they creatively lead us through life amiright? so thats truly the only way to get the fun real shots. and brooke has amazing interior style and eye so her house was stunning, playful and had great light upstairs where did most of our shoot. a festive and colorful “newborn” shoot making all the elements of a happy family of four.
i met hayden last year under different circumstances. she was a homeowner and client of parkes and lamb interiors, and i spent lots of time crouched over her half bath toilet finding that perfect shot - a strange introduction probably. i knew right away when we walked in the door, a little hurried to get her kitchen and stunning master bath ready for my camera, that she was fierce. a attentive, caring, strong mom and loving wife. she had an eye for what she liked, and she went for it. and thats why she worked so well with blair and susan, and why we had so much fun capturing her relationship with her two girls (with her hubs mixed in there too for a few, ha!). we talked about struggles and triumphs within our few hours together. she shared her secrets for sourcing her kids creative and colorful clothes and her dinosaur tree topper too. i felt connected to her right away and loved that she was such an open book, so comfortable with me, the camera. no apologies came out of her mouth which i also appreciated. so often we apologize CONSTANTLY - for the state of our house, the toys, the cranky moments of our kids, our messy cars, dirty dishes, hectic schedules. none of that with hayden. her family is chaos and colorful and beautiful all at once and thats how we all should love and accept life.
thank you to the fulmers for opening your doors to me so many times last year, and showing me your love and spirit!
its year two getting some memories in print for this family and i couldn’t be more honored. i met julia and justin through our mutual friend, and we have a million more now in common. the first time i shoot for a family i dont know well, is always a little experiment. year two, i see what makes them tick. julia is a friend so i know her now, but as a client i love her bc she’s up for anything. she’s always smiling. she’s obsessed with her son and being a “boymom”. and she and justin have a doting, loving, and happy marriage that you see daily in her hilarious and sweet instagram stories with her boys. she’s a mom who values documented moments, building a gallery wall in her stairwell. and so this year, i really wanted to do something different and out of the normal places they visit. we went to one of my favorite spots to capture this growing family, right before field becomes a brother. and give that boy a football, and he’ll play…for hours on end. + sunset light magic + abandoned airfield = dream shoot.
after a few weather glitches and issues scheduling our hour weekend session together, debbie threw in the towel and we knocked out a holiday card photo session in my tiny home studio at my house in 12 south part of Nashville. not romantic or all the feels of an in-home shoot, but these studio sessions are really great options for getting some shots of the kids together, sweet portraits, and offer opportunity for clean colorful photos in which we can still get sweet personalities in print. the “cora” sessions are short and sweet, 15 minutes and include all the files. so they are a budget friendly way to get updated photos year round. i thought id share what we got that morning in those few minutes together. stay tuned for a studio mini sessions this spring in march, and a few in the fall too!
brave bo -
I had the honor of capturing this sweet family a few months ago for the second time. i first met them when bo was itty bitty and mom had found out she was pregnant with Hampton, so we did a few "big brother" looks for their big announcement. and life is all about timing, and we all couldn't be more thrilled we captured these most recent moments at home with bo and hampton. this week I got an email from mom, that bo has been diagnosed with type 1 diabetes after three days at the children's hospital over the weekend. my heart breaks for what they went through this week, but my hopes couldn't be higher for bo. he has the most incredible parents, whose love for their two sons needs no direction when I photograph them. mom is a former teacher and knows how to meet their every need and feed every curiosity. dad is always home for our shoots and plays a huge role in their growth and play. they may have a new journey ahead of them, but one that they will navigate together.
this session all started with a dad. and a mom who had no pictures with her daughters. john called before mothers day, his wife wanted pictures of their family....documenting the spaces the live in, the girls at play, and life at home as the fuller family. and boy was it fun. they live in the cozy and historic whitland area of nashville, and their home is full of color. vibrance. books. vintage pieces. amazing artwork. and a cultivated family life. its all around them. every nook and cranny filled with love. and you know what's amazing? whitney (mom) never apologized when i walked in the door for the toys, the corners with kid artwork spread out, the casual living room setup with puzzles, library, games, and more that fills their girls daily lives with curiosity and wonder. im guilty of it, the constant need to apologize. when people walk in my home and dolls and artwork and evidence of kids is right under their noses, immediately apologizing for the mess and my life with kids. whitney was a reminder to me to stop doing that. life with kids SHOULD be messy. should be fun. should be colorful. before we know it, the mess will be gone, kids grow up, and we'll miss the colorful family life with little ones.
i don't take the fact that you moms invite me into your homes, your private family moments and spaces. thank you for trusting me to see the life you've cultivated for you family and document those spaces in ways your kids will treasure for the next generation. and then in this preview with whitney yesterday, a tear or two shed when she held prints in her hands with herself and her precious girls. a pinch me moment that she shared with me and i'll never forget.
when i met margie in november 2015, baby boy byers was a fresh newborn and i showed up ready to get all the pretty little announcement photos and some of big sister with her new brother. what i didn't expect when i showed up, was to meet someone who would later would support me in some of my most difficult moments health-wise id had in years. just prior to us meeting in november, margie had been diagnosed with bells palsy. sounds scarier than it is, bells palsy is a neurological nerve condition that causes temporary paralyses half of your face. yup, weird shit. id never heard of it before, and she'd mostly recovered so i honestly didn't notice it at all. fast forward seven months later, im diagnosed with the same condition and the first contact i made leaving the doctors office was margie. its a physical health condition that is scary and isolating. she was constantly checking on me, offering advice to all my questions and concerns, and recognizing my tears and sadness in dark times. more importantly she was my beam of light at the end of this dark tunnel; that i would get better, it would go away and its only temporary. and she was right, it did get better.
special thanks to margie. a lifelong friend, in sickness and health, in happy days and sad, and in capturing many memories through the lens for her sweet family - the original tie that binds us. ill always be thankful our paths crossed at just the right time.
my little piece of advice for the day, reach out to the ones who you love, or who have loved you...supported you and given you the lift in life when you needed it most.
happy memorial weekend to you all...xoxo
my favorite part about my "job" are the new people i meet. and no better way to get to know new friends fast is to show up on their doorstep with a bunch of camera gear and ask to look around in the first 2 minutes. how's that for intimate right off the bat?? houses are cleaned up of course, but i want my families to be themselves. so shoes off, casual clothes, and a sunny normal day at home with little ones is my preferred way to go. its the closest to real life i can get to them without spending an entire day shooting the life of that family documentary style (which I've contemplated doing...any takers?).
and this family couldn't have made a warmer welcome to me on saturday afternoon. it was a gorgeous day, and apache the dog was a total gentleman and on his best behavior as we took TONS of pictures of his baby brother, lamar, and mom and dad. i couldn't help but be distracted by the gorgeous decor. between the vintage rugs, mid-century wood pieces, and amazing light fixtures and art around every turn, it was a dream shoot with this family.
its no secret that im a fan of turkish-t. ive loved this company ever since i moved to nashville in 2010, before i started my photography journey. i had an immediate connection and draw to this line of towels. so simple in design, but genius in concept and brand. we moved here from florida, and so we had TONS of beach towels...thick, terry, heavy....and the constant concern about mildew and fitting them in my cute beach/pool bag. and then i walked into a local store in nashville, ashblue, and there they were. simple stripes, clean, thin but absorbing and weightless. not to mention endless possibilities for how to wrap them, use them...and the colors. they had my heart. over the next few years i started and grew my little business, met sue along the way when i was connected through a dear friend, lindsay. and sue became a role model for me, and a creative colleague. im so grateful for her vision and drive, and also for her friendship, support and guidance.
this past spring break, sue sent me with lots of new colors, designs, textiles, and patterns. it was play time and when i travel is when im most inspired. i had never been to the house or beaches we would be for the next week, but i knew the environment would be my new playground with these amazing designs. summer is only 8 weeks away friends, so get ready with some new linens for the pool - to buy visit www.turkish-t.com
special thanks to my gorgeous models - morgan storm, burney dawkins, and all the sweet little cousins who had a ball dancing and posing for me.
i spent a friday morning with the brookshire family and it couldn't have been more gorgeous and sunny. baby dean came into their lives a little earlier than planned, but he's made every day since complete for this household. i loved my time with them as they settled into life with a growing three month old - we started outside with fresh air and sunshine, and made our way through a day with dean - morning talk and laughter around the breakfast table, and cozy moments in their bedroom where he spends most of his time. yet another morning with a new client, i never would have met before my photography days, and i couldn't be more thankful to be putting these memories for this sweet family in print.
its always fun collaborating with other creatives. fine paper, design, art, and now model. kat and i were chatting about photography and her styling and hair talents. it quickly came together that a shoot would be easy and fun. kat is different from my normal models (ill give you a hint, she doesn't wear diapers or need snack incentives mid-session) and i like different. as much as im obsessed with my family sessions, mixing it up and pushing myself creatively keeps me on my toes. we walked into the session with open minds and inspiration, and walked away with images in print to build on....
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.