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unapologetic chaos of a family in 12 south Nashville

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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!

mini studio session for the fall Nashville photo win

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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!

designer family gets updated fall photos in home session

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i was so excited to see tori’s new digs, especially since i knew she’d have it designed down to every last detail.  last year we had a french horn that made for one of my fav spunky photos of her girls, this year we had a scenic back porch swing, tea for two in their room, and a cavapoo that i almost stole and made the latest dawkins family member.  tori is a super talented designer with a california luxe esthetic, and her girls are some of my favorite sisters out there.  no lacking of personality or cuteness, which makes for great posing and tons of fun candid moments too. i think we captured a cohesive look in keeping with her cool design…she may have even inspired the dawkins to finally go for that furry member of the family….

brave bo

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.

short and sweet weekday session - the "tate"

loved my time with this sweet family. they booked a weekday 30-min "tate" session and when I showed up, they were ready to play. mom and dad couldnt have been more laid back about our little shoot and lily and annabelle were dream girls to capture in their heirloom dresses.  we picked a couple rooms inside, and fit in a few outside shots before I hit the road. it was short and sweet and exactly what this family needed to document the end of summer and new baby Annabelle.

the weekday "tate" session is availAble on mondays, tuesdays, thursdays and fridays from. 9-12 am. you can book yours at www.marycraven.com/fallsignup

a cultivated family life

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. 

#documentyourdays #mommiesinthemoment

the tie that binds us

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

at home with baby lamar (and apache)

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.  

baby harry at home

this family was SO easy and fun.  dorothy is a laid back mom, and we have several mutual friends, so this was a breezy newborn session with sweet little baby harry along in tow.  big brother, boone, was on the move throughout the session. he wasn't so sure about me at first, but after some time he settled right in smack dab in front of my lens and i had a blast channeling his boy energy into all sorts of fun activities with dad around the house.  and then harry, he's settled right in with this family in their gorgeous home in nashville.  loved getting some moments with just mom and then with dad too. but our prize for the day were the sweet connection between brothers that you know will only grow and deepen.

xoxo

sand, sunshine, and my favorite towels ever...

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. 

xoxo