I did, however, find this one perfect tree that had not lost it’s leave and was a gorgeous red orange color.
There were droves of photographers at the park that afternoon. It is one of the busiest portrait weekends of the year. I arrived early, as I always do, to stake out the location and look around at the light. These two sessions are a perfect example of why I do that. Even though I know this location well, and had been there just a few days before, it looked completely different.
When I found my tree, the light was coming through it in just the right way. I’m obsessed with light and this is one of my favorite kinds. I don’t normally shoot in that direction because there is an ugly parking lot behind the tree. But I figured it was far enough away to not be much of a problem. I knew I wanted to start the family photos at the tree because the light could move and not be at just the right spot if I waited. So I stopped roaming and just stood and staked out my spot like a dog hoping it didn’t get overrun with other photographers before my session started.
The funny thing is, I never saw another photographer go near the tree. It just goes to show that you can have 100 photographers photograph a subject, and everyone of them will see it differently and execute a different vision.
And isn’t this just the most beautiful family? Gah, those giggles are the best.
I’m pretty sure that I say this every year, but the best time to get Fall portraits done if you want Autumn color is the first or second week in November. This year’s most perfect Fall session was definitely snagged by Kendall for her Senior photos.
I was afraid that we might have to postpone this session for rain. But the rain cleared out in time for the portrait session and everything was just perfect. I love the lighting that you can find after the rain, and the overcast skies really make the fall colors pop. I’m in love with this senior portrait session. I hope Kendall and her family love them as much as I do.
To see other senior photo sessions I’ve photographed recently, click here and here.
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.
As I sit here on the super cold morning, I miss the perfect Fall day we had just two days ago. I wanted to take the chance to talk about when to book a family portrait session if including fall colors on the trees is important to you. I wrote about this last year, and none of that information has changed, but if bears repeating. I still have many clients who assume October is the best choice for Fall color.
First of all, I want to say that any time of year is perfect for a family portrait session. The important thing is to get them done, and to do it regularly, preferably at least once a year as our littles ones grow so fast and are constantly changing. Beautiful memories can be captured any time of year. I’m now booking January photo sessions, and those can be absolutely beautiful (you just need to dress warmly!)
With that being said, lots of my clients really want that gorgeous fall color, and ask me when they should schedule family portrait sessions to get that color. I always hesitate to answer because mother nature is unpredictable and I cannot promise you we will get beautiful fall color at all. Sometimes, an early freeze or drought conditions or other things can put a damper on that beautiful autumn color.
But I can tell you, after some experience and actual forecasts, when to schedule your session to get the best chance of gorgeous color, and that is the first or second weekend of November (the last weekend in October is a good second choice). That’s when our fall colors peak here in Middle Tennessee. I find a lot of clients who assume it happens a lot earlier than that, and that’s probably because it does up north. Our friends in Michigan saw their autumn peak several weeks ago (and now they are getting snow!).
I said all of that same information last year, and here, as further proof, is one of my sessions from Sunday, November 10. I adore this family and loved getting to hang out with them again. I’m thrilled they were able to book this session and indeed did get gorgeous fall color.
About 20 minutes into this outdoor family portrait session, my camera suddenly refused to take a photo. I looked down at my camera screen, and saw a warning that said I had a memory card error, and to remove the defective card. The card was somehow damaged, and could not be accessed at all. All of the photos I had taken of these beautiful girls so far, were not on the card.
That might have been a moment of panic. For an hour long session, 20 minutes of shooting is a significant number of photos. And the girls had done such an amazing job. We had sang and danced and giggled in the gorgeous light of the most beautiful yellow tree at Thompson Station Park.
But instead of panicking and mourning the loss of those pictures, I simply popped out that memory card and replaced it with another one. You see, I wasn’t worried about losing images, because my camera holds two memory cards. When I take photos, the images are copied to both cards, so that even during a session, I always have a backup. One card was damaged, but the other one was just fine, and had all the photos from the first part of the session. So I just continued shooting without issue, with a new card from my bag as a second backup.
In fact, I always have two copies of your portrait session images. Once I get home from a session, I immediately copy one of the memory cards onto my computer. The other memory card from the session is then stored in a case, not be erased until I have uploaded the session to my online gallery, at which point I’ll have a copy online and a copy on my hard drive.
And I am so glad there are, because I wouldn’t have wanted to miss one photo of these amazing girls. This is the third year now that I’ve been blessed to photograph this wonderful family. Last year, I wrote about how much I love to see repeat clients each year, and that’s still true today. Seeing how these young ladies grow and change each year is one of the best parts of my job. ❤️