I really love photographing senior portrait sessions in downtown Columbia. There are so many fun buildings and textures, and it’s generally less crowded than downtown Franklin. It was thankfully much warmer than my maternity photo session on Friday. It was a beautiful afternoon getting to know Ethan and his mom.
While we were walking around taking photos, I was saying that I really need to explore more of the fun restaurants in Columbia. What are some of your favorites?
I’m so glad we rescheduled this senior portrait session from last weekend when it was cold and rainy. This weekend was absolutely perfect for a December photo session. Like they say about Tennessee weather…if you don’t like it, just wait 5 minutes. In this case we waited a week, but still….SOOOOO much better.
I worked with Eaman’s parents in my former life as an Engineer with General Motors, so while I haven’t really ever met him, I’ve sort of watched him grow up through facebook pictures and stories from his dad. So it was really fun getting to know him in real life. Before the session, his mom Regina had written to me that he was a “younger, quieter version of Pete.” Well she forgot taller, but other than that, was dead on. 😂 It’s a little crazy how much this kid looks like his dad. I knew that already from photos, but the expressions he gave me really made me feel like I was back in a conference room crunching numbers with Pete.
These senior sessions always make me feel a little sappy, but it’s especially so when I know their parents. I can’t help but think how quickly they’ve grown up and how my girls will be there before I know it. But I’m also excited to see what the future holds for them. ❤️
I can’t believe that once upon a time, I thought I would hate senior sessions. When I first started in photography, families and young children were definitely my comfort zone. But with some encouragement from friends, I gave senior sessions a try and was pleasantly surprised with how much I enjoyed them. It’s so fun to get to know these young people, and also to try to capture their personalities and passions in photographs. I just love that Dylan brought his guitar to this session, and my favorite photos from it are ones where he is playing.
I also love the ability to get creative with backgrounds and lighting. I can do that to some extent with younger kids, but they just don’t stand in one place for long. I love the look and variety of downtown sessions, but don’t recommend them for my young clients because it’s not a safe space for them to roam and explore freely. But with seniors, it’s just perfect. Downtown Franklin is great, but I also have grown to love shooting in downtown Columbia. It was just the perfect weather and perfect location to commemorate Dylan’s senior year.
“Now go, and make interesting mistakes, make amazing mistakes, make glorious and fantastic mistakes. Break rules. Leave the world more interesting for your being here. Make good art.” – Neil Gaiman
This was kind of an unusual week for me in having two senior guy sessions in one week, since I normally shoot more family sessions. Both the guys chose downtown Franklin as their location, which works for me because I love this spot for Senior Portraits. It’s not the best place for small kids, as I like to let the little ones roam free, without worrying about traffic, and sometimes downtown requires patience for waiting on other people or cars to move out of a scene. But it’s perfect for seniors, and I adore all the colors, shapes and textures.
I have to say, I wasn’t sure at first about senior sessions because photographing young children was my first passion. But I truly enjoy the different opportunity that photographing these young men and women offer. It’s fun to be able to plan a shot out in more detail, and to focus on the framing and perspective without fear of losing the moment. With active toddlers, you don’t get much of a say so on the exact location and posing, so Seniors are a really fun change for me.
There was one spot in a back alley that I came to at my first session this week and I took a few photos there. But I found myself wishing I had done more with the spot, so I was excited to go back for this session. I just love the perspectives and colors in the alley. It was so much fun.
I enjoyed getting to know Jack. It turns out, my daughter played Hockey with his younger brother last season, but I didn’t even realize that until we were chatting during the session. Such a small world!
“Follow your passion, stay true to yourself, never follow someone else’s path unless you’re in the woods and you’re lost and you see a path then by all means you should follow that.” – Ellen Degeneres
I’m literally about to run out the door to go work some more on Cheetahfest 2018, but I just couldn’t help but share these photos of my senior session in downtown Franklin on Monday. I was afraid it would get rained out, but it turned about to be a gorgeous day! I am quite aware that my senior guys aren’t really into having their photos taken, and are generally just there because the love their mamas, but Drew was such a great sport, and I love the way his photos turned out.
And its never a dull moment in Franklin. During our session, we were cheered on by passing cars, offered a donut in exchange for a photo for a scavenger hunt, photobombed by a random stranger, and offered free popcorn from a very sweet attendant at the Franklin Theater who noticed us outside taking photos. I love this town!
Ok, I’m out the door, but if you don’t have any plans on Friday, please join me at my other “job” (PTO President) and come out to food trucks, bounce houses, a petting zoo, games and more on Friday at Chapman’s Retreat Elementary Cheetahfest from 5:30 p.m. until 8:30 p.m. There is also an AMAZING silent auction. You can also bid on a session from me! If you were planning on booking a session before the end of summer, this is a great way to give back to a great cause. Hope to see you there!
Last night was actually the first time I had met Brandilee and & Dan, but I’ve known their oldest son, Gavin, for several years from my daughter’s school. I’m at school quite a bit volunteering with the PTO and have gotten to know Gavin through my time there and he is such a sweet boy. My first experience with the rest of Gavin’s family was this past May at the Special Olympics. Gavin has Cerebral Palsey and was competing in one of the races. I had been asked to photograph the event as a whole, but was of course drawn to events where our own Cheetah’s were competing, so I was focused on Gavin’s race. As he started getting closer to the finish line, Gavin started having a little trouble when his two little brothers came in to give him a hand. It was the sweetest moment, and the three of them just won my heart right then and there.
It wasn’t until after the race that I learned that Gavin’s two-year-old little brother Finn was battling a rare form of bladder cancer. I have followed their story since then through posts from mutual friends and through their blog. You can read more about their journey on their blog, “Finn’s Fans”.
In the past, I had photographed a few other families dealing with childhood cancer, and it was good to feel like I could do something for them, no matter how small. (If you remember those sessions, you may want to know that little Arya is doing great and Katelyn is about to finish up her last chemo treatment!) So I was really excited about the opportunity to finally meet Gavin’s little brothers and his sweet parents.
Finn recently had surgery to remove his bladder and the surgery was a great success, but his fight is not over. He will be starting chemo again soon to fight any remaining cancer cells that might still be there. I am glad we were able to fit in a session before chemo started for him again.
It was a perfect evening for a session and it’s finally starting to feel like Autumn. We played with the leaves and the boys were particularly fond of gathering sticks. Four-year-old Everett even made a really cool fire pit with his sticks. I think he’s probably on his way to a position in the boy scouts. My favorite moment was when I asked the three boys to race towards me for a photo, and when we said go, Finn took off in the opposite direction. Gavin thought it was pretty funny too.
The courage & faith with which this family fights their battle has been very inspiring to me, and to many others who have been praying for them. Please keep praying for Finn and his family as they continue on this journey.