Emily’s First Communion Portrait Session at Catholic Church of the Nativity

Emily's First Communion Photos at Catholic Church of the Nativity

Forgive me if my eyes are leaking a little over these pictures. It’s been five years since I photographed Haley’s First Communion Photos.  Two years ago, it was middle sister Hannah’s turn. And now I can’t believe it’s already baby Emily’s turn. I’ve been photographing Emmy since the moment she was born.

I cannot even begin to explain what an honor and privilege it is to be able to capture so many children as they grow. When I look at Emmy, I see so many beautiful moments as photographs in my mind, and I feel pretty lucky to have been a part of those moments with her.

Looking for a photographer in Spring Hill, Franklin, and Columbia in Middle Tennessee? I photograph families at all stages, from newborns to seniors. See my website for more information or to book a session from my online calendar. I would love it if you would consider following me on Facebook and/or Instagram.

Family of Four at Country Cove Farms

Family of Four Session at Country Cove Farms

I just love photographing old friends, and Shelly is one of my oldest. She and I met in college (just a few years ago), and I also had the amazing privilege of photographing Samuel’s birth. It was great to see them at Country Cove Farms for this family session.

I would love to find a place a bit closer for next year that has rows of Christmas trees like this if anyone knows of a place.

Looking for a photographer in Spring Hill, Franklin, and Columbia in Middle Tennessee? I photograph families at all stages, from newborns to seniors. See my website for more information or to book a session from my online calendar. I would love it if you would consider following me on Facebook and/or Instagram.

Winter Family Photos in Franklin TN | Franklin Family Photographer

Nashville Family Photographer winter photo session in Franklin TN

Happy New Year! This outdoor winter family photo session in Franklin was a perfect way to end 2020. Thanks so much to everyone who has trusted me to be your family photographer for 2020. It truly is an honor to be trusted to capture your family memories. 2020 has been such a crazy, trying year for everyone, but when I look back at all the photos I’ve taken this year, what stands out is just all the love.

This photo session is a perfect example of why I always say that winter is a great time for family photos. We had beautiful mild weather for this session, but I love the cold ones too. In 2020 style, I have gotten to know Mona virtually this year, and it was so great to finally meet her and her beautiful family in real life.

I hope 2021 brings you all many beautiful family moments, lots of love and tons of slow news days.

I would love it if you could follow me on Instagram. If you are looking for a Franklin Family Photographer, you can book a session directly from my online booking calendar, or contact me if you have questions. I have added dates for January through March 2021, and will be added April through June soon. Please contact me if you need a specific date.

Are Mini Sessions Right for You? | Nashville Family Photographer

Crystal Freemon Photography Spring Hill TN Mini Sessions

I avoided mini sessions for the longest time, preferring to stick with full-length family portrait sessions. I finally caved this year and began offering some 25-minute mini sessions at the Country Cove Christmas tree farm in Murfreesboro.

Reasons I didn’t want to offer Mini Sessions

I pride myself on capturing images of clients being relaxed and carefree. Sometimes that takes a while and I don’t like feeling rushed. I like to get to know families at a portrait session. I strive to take photographs that capture who they are and how they relate as a family at this point in their lives.

Sometimes, a child or teen, or an adult shows up at a session feeling apprehensive and self-conscious. Maybe a child feels shy at first. Or Dad has been conditioned by studio portraits to be flashing me an uncomfortable smile constantly. Maybe mom is super stressed because they were running late or someone spit-up on the drive over.

By after about 30 minutes of chatting, playing, and being goofy, I find that most people become relaxed and start acting more like themselves. Shy toddlers warm up to me. Dad gets it that I want him to play and interact with the kids. The stress has drained out of mom’s face as things seem to be going better than she expected. All this means that the second half of a one-hour session often holds my favorite images from a family portrait session.

Even more than that, a lot of my favorite images from photo sessions come after we are officially done. When we are chatting and strolling back to our cars. Often, this is when everyone lets their guard down and I notice something special and click a quick “last” photo that becomes one of my favorites. If I’m rushing from session to session, then this relaxed last photo doesn’t get to happen.

Why I decided to offer Mini Sessions Anyway

The biggest reason I decided to give in and offer mini sessions this year are because it had gotten to the point that I couldn’t handle October. Everyone wants photos in October and there are only so many hours in the day.

Mini sessions not only allow me to shoot the sessions in a shorter time, but also it cuts down on editing. I’m importing the photos all at once, culling them in one swipe, and blogging them all at once. Editing is the task I spend by far the most amount of time on. So while I still have to edit a lot of photos, the process is streamlined.

I’m able to shoot more clients and turn fewer people away during the fall portrait season. Also, I am able to offer them at a price that is easier on the client’s budget.

Mini Sessions are not for Everyone

I’ve decided that mini sessions work well for certain clients. Others should stick to full-size portrait sessions, at least at first. The four sessions I photographed this week give a good example of what kind of families are best suited to mini sessions. I will explain why each of them was a good fit.

Family of Three with toddler

Toddlers are my favorite. One of the reasons why they are my favorite is because they are so unpredictable and full of energy. I love that, but also it can mean it can take a while to get all the photos I’d like for a session. Nolan was full of energy at this session. But because it was just him, I feel like I was able to get enough photos that I’m happy with during the mini session. If there had been multiple children, I may have had a hard time getting the appropriate group shots in the short 25 minute time frame. I was able to focus primarily on him and didn’t have to divide my time between multiple kids. Also, I have worked with this family before, which helps a lot as I will discuss more below.

So a family of three is perfect for a mini session. Aren’t they the cutest? And I love the color of his shirt. Perfect.

Family well suited to being photographed

OK, I just hinted that mini sessions might not be the best if you have two young children. And now I’m showing you two young girls (ages 6 and 3) who knocked it out of the park. But they had a few advantages that I think helped. First of all, mom stated in her survey that the girls were pretty happy having their picture taken. I found that to be true.

Also, I had photographed this family before. One can argue that it doesn’t count because it was years ago when Rowan was just a toddler and Caroline had not been born. Clearly, the girls did not remember having a session with me. But the person who usually most benefits from knowing what to expect at a session is dad. James jumped right into this session being silly and playful and fun, and that makes all the difference in the world.

From now on if people have trouble decided what to wear for a session, I’m sending them to Elizabeth. ❤️

Family who has grown up with me as their photographer

This one was a no-brainer. When Margaret signed up for one of the mini-sessions I was immediately happy and knew it would be a great fit. I’ve photographed these two kids their entire lives, including Grayson’s birth. I have lost track of how many sessions that has been. There is no “get to know you” time needed. As always, we had a great time. Though I was sad it was only for 25 minutes.

Family with older kids / teens who I can relate to

This family had a definite advantage in that all the kids were old enough to stand and do whatever I told them to do. However, I wouldn’t automatically assume a min session is a good fit for teens or tweens. Some kids that age can take quite a bit of time to warm up to having their photo taken and may need the entire hour.

I had never met this family before really (other than maybe in passing at school events), but I felt a connection to them already. In the past few months, Leslie and I have become “internet friends”. We have a lot of common and are in some of the same groups. Because of the pandemic, we haven’t had the chance to get together and hang out in real life, but I do feel like I’ve gotten to know her a little. And my oldest daughter is friends with one of the boys and was in drama with him. I believe all that helps in having clients start to feel at ease at a session, and helps everyone to relax quicker than if we had no connection at all and they were meeting a complete stranger.

That’s the most words I’ve put into a blog post in a long time, but it was a four in one. I guess the big question is will I do min sessions again? Yes, I think I will, and now I will be able to point clients to this blog post to help them decide if mini sessions are a good fit for their family. Maybe I can offer them other times of the year as well. I’ve been thinking about summer sunflower field sessions maybe?

Are you following me on Instagram? That’s a great place to keep up to date on future openings. I have a couple spots left for my Holiday Family Mini Sessions. Or are you looking for a senior photographer? Either way, you can book a session directly from my online booking calendar, or contact me if you have questions.

Family Portrait Session For Hometown Friends

This gorgeous family traveled from my hometown, Elizabethton TN, for their family portrait session, and I am so glad they did! Whitney is the best friend of my amazing sister-in-law, which kind of makes her like extended family. You might recognize sweet Zoe from photos I’ve taken at my niece’s birthday parties and other such events.

But this is the first time I’ve been able to do an actual family portrait session for them. They combined our session with a weekend family getaway to the Opryland hotel, which I thought was a fantastic idea. They were able to visit the ICE! at Gaylord Opryland and all the holiday fun at the hotel. Then, before returning to East Tennessee, they met me at Winstead Hill Park in Franklin for a fun fall family portrait session.

The weather was gorgeous, which was my one fear… I wasn’t sure how we would reschedule if the weather didn’t cooperate, considering the 5 1/2 hours they traveled to get here. But we couldn’t have asked for a better day, and they were so much fun to photograph. Zoe is a natural in front of the camera and so much fun to be around. As a side-note, I love the rose pink color of your outfit and think it worked perfectly for fall photos.

Let’s pretend Fall is really here.

It’s supposed to be Fall Family Portrait Season. Someone needs to tell summer it’s time to go.

I like my weather forecast with a side of humor. When you are in a job that is so weather dependent, it helps to be able to laugh. If you aren’t following US National Weather Service Nashville, you are missing out. Not only do they do a great job keeping everyone informed, they make me laugh pretty often.

NashSevereWX is another good one to follow.

The good thing is, I think this LOOKS like a Fall Portrait Session. I mean, would you have known it was 100 degrees outside if I hadn’t told you? Well, I guess they aren’t dressed in way that would make you think “chilly, fall day”, but they are gorgeous nonetheless.

I’ve been friends with this beautiful family for about five years now and have been photographing them since 2015, when they won their first session through a Silent Auction for the school. Looking back at those photos from four years ago, it feels like time is flying so quickly. These babies aren’t babies anymore. What’s funny is that I see them quite often, but sometimes it takes looking through the lens to really SEE how quickly they change, even since last year. #Dontblink

I am grateful to have them in my life and ot be able to capture their wonderful personalities. Some of these photos made me laugh out loud when I was editing. 🤣

Repeat Portrait clients are my favorite

One of my favorite things about my job as a family portrait photographer is getting to know families, especially when they come back for repeat sessions.  I photographed this beautiful family around this time last year and just loved getting to know these three beautiful sisters, so I was so excited to see them again this year. 

Last year I wrote: “They are totally my happy place. So much energy, and wonder and joy.  They were just perfect.”  I would say exactly the same thing about our session this year.  Only one thing was different…

Last year for their session, I wrote about how important it is to tell me if one of your children is particularly shy before the session. That lets me know that I need to maybe approach that child a little differently and give her time to warm up to me.  

But you know what’s great about being able to see client again and again?  This time, the children remembered me, and they knew that the session wouldn’t be scary or boring.  They came into it knowing we’d play and have fun.  This makes it especially easier for kids who may be a little shy.  Knowing me coming it to it, they feel more at ease and have an easier time getting into the session.

And I got the chance to see how much they’d grown over the year, and hear about their new interests and what brings them joy.  (New Harry Potter fans are the BEST.)  

Bold Beautiful color – Spring Hill Family photographer

I’m so in love with the beautiful wardrobe choices that my friend Emily made for her family’s summer portrait session. I admittedly don’t feel like the best person to be giving advice about wardrobe choices, as fashion has never been a topic I have felt particularly comfortable with, but I absolutely know what I like for a session when I see it, and this is it. 

I’m drawn to colorful photographs and prefer rich, deep colors & jewel tones. I don’t mind a good neutral color scheme either, but its colorful choices like the ones below that I really love.

Lucy’s dress is definitely the focal point, and when choosing clothing for a family photo session, that’s a great way to start…pick one person’s outfit (doesn’t really matter who) to be the focal point and then build the rest of the choices around that one piece.  I’m obsessed with this deep mustard like yellow color, as I think it looks beautiful in most outdoor photos (deep purple is also a fantastic choice). But I do warn clients to be careful with yellow, because if it’s too neon, it can create a color cast on the person’s face which is really hard to correct in post processing. But Lucy’s dress is just right.

And I love how Maggie is wearing a bit more neutral of a top to balance out the bold print of Lucy’s dress, but ties in the floral pattern in her shorts. And mom’s orange pants are the perfect pop of color and look beautiful with the mustard. It all comes together looking beautifully coordinated, but not to matchy matchy.

What do you think? What are your favorite colors for photographs? 

The Good Memories

I’m really struggling with how to start off this post, so I’m going to jump right into it. 

This is my beautiful friend Chelsea and her daughter Molly.  Chelsea is one of the most kind hearted and loving people I’ve ever met and would literally give the shirt off of her back to anyone who needs it. And my heart is hurting for her.

I’ve been photographing Chelsea & Molly for several years now.  Last year, she wanted to include her parents and her brother Chris in their session. Chelsea’s brother, Chris, had recently gotten out of jail.  He had struggled with addiction for years, but at the time, was clean and doing very well and the family was full of hope for his future.  We met at Harlinsdale Farms and it was a gorgeous evening full of laughter and love, and of course photographs.

On Saturday, I photographed this session for Chelsea & Molly.  They are one of my favorite families to photograph always, as the love and connection between these two is truly something special to capture.

On Sunday, Chelsea’s brother Chris lost his long battle with addiction.

Chelsea and her parents received the heartbreaking phone call that he had been found unresponsive at home and it was later confirmed that he died of an accidental overdose.

They loved him so and his loss is is heartbreaking for their family.

I sat with Chelsea last night and listened to her talk about her brother & how much she loved him. It has been years of heartbreak for her family, but she wants to focus on all of the good memories she has of him.  I didn’t really know Chris at all, but I do know that he looked at his sister and his niece with such admiration and love. 

As they mourn the loss of his precious life, Chelsea and her family hope that Chris’s story may help someone else to seek the help they need to overcome addiction.  And to seek help again, and again and again, until they beat it, if that’s what is necessary. When lost in addiction, a person might believe that their life doesn’t matter.  But I promise you, it matters.  Addiction impacts so many people and has reached epidemic proportions. Below are the beautiful faces of people who have been heartbroken by this disease. 

Chelsea & her family are asking that anyone who would like to honor Chris’s memory do so by making a donation to the Dismas House of Nashville.  The Dismas house believes that second chances saves lives, and their mission is to provide a safe haven for offenders transferring out of prison to aid them in beginning a new life. 

If you need more information about addiction resources, check out Bradford Health or call 1-888-577-0012.

Photo Session Location Selection – Light & a good dose of Imagination

Sometimes, clients already have an idea of the type of location they would like to use for their family portraits, and other times they come to me for suggestions.  Sometimes, my suggestions sound a little crazy and not like a “normal” place that you would want to have photos made.

You have to use your imagination.

Lucky for me, if you are a client who is also my friend, then you trust me when I say “meet me by the U-Haul place off the side of the street. That’s exactly what Erin did without blinking, and I love her for it.

I happened to notice the spot when I was scouting for light before our session, and it just called out to me.  I snapped the first two photos below with my cell phone, just so I could show you how ridiculous it probably looked as a location option.  It’s really kind of a dirty, uninteresting stretch of road with a broken down old building, a billboard facing the interstate, and a parking lot full of U-haul trucks.

But on this particular day, the light, the clouds, the wildflowers, a little fence and the way the weeds were growing caught my eye.  Now, if I go back in a few weeks, I might find the place completely uninspiring, but for Saturday, it worked.  So I wanted to show it to you as an example of how it might look to you, versus how it looks through my camera.  

For when scouting out locations for a portrait session, the most important factor is the light, and then a healthy dose of imagination to see what it might look like through the lens of the camera.