Family Portraits with Newborn at Winstead Hill Park

Outdoor newborn portrait with big brother

This outdoor newborn/family session was a lesson in being flexible. These are wonderful repeat family portrait clients of mine. I was looking forward to meeting the newest addition to the family, a baby sister who is one month old. Mom wanted more of an outdoor family session than a traditional at-home newborn. Her original request was to have the photos taken at the Park at Harlinsdale Farms. We had not done a session for them there yet and she liked the location.

That sounded like a great idea until I realized that the session was scheduled for the same day as the Pilgrimage Festival. So I gave them the option of moving the session to another day, or keeping the date and moving to another location far far away from Harlinsdale and the crowds.

It turns out, a weekday morning session worked just great for the new family of four. Little ones are often happier in the morning and it worked for their schedules, so we changed the date.

But then Thursday morning I showed up at Harlinsdale about an hour early (because that’s me…your Enneagram 1 photographer). They were already setting up for Pilgrimage. Oops! I guess it should have occurred to me that they would need several days to set up for such a large festival. They wouldn’t let me in, and even if they had, there were giant white tents everywhere.

This is where my being obsessively early coming in handy. I was able to call the clients before they had left home, and we adapted. I gave a few options and they chose Winstead Hill Park. That worked out nicely because Winstead has plenty of shade, which is needed for a mid-morning photo session, and was somewhere they hadn’t done pictures before.

Isn’t that sweet baby girl just perfection? Big brother had a great time exploring a new park.

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.

Christmas Mini Sessions #2 at Country Cove Farm

Family Portrait Mini Sessions at Country Cove Christmas Tree Farm by Crystal Freemon Photography

During my last holiday marathon mini portrait session at Country Cove Christmas Farms in Murfreesboro, I wrote about how to decide if Mini Sessions are right for your family photos. This past weekend, I had the opportunity to photograph four more beautiful families who were all a great fit for a shorter portrait session.

To be honest, I was a little less excited about this second Mini Session today because of the time of day I needed to book the farm. I am passionate about magic hour lighting for portrait sessions. That’s the hour before sunset. My last Christmas Tree farm session was in the evening around magic hour. But because I waited too long to book, I wasn’t able to find another evening session that worked. So this one was in the morning. But it actually turned out to be wonderful. The sunlight was just coming through the tall trees on the farm and led to lovely lighting. And the weather was gorgeous…though my clients may have argued they were quite hot in their winter clothing.

This was the last of my Mini-Sessions for this year, and my family sessions are pretty much all full. But I do have one more opportunity for photos to tell you about.

I did not plan on doing Santa sessions this year because of the pandemic. But Nashville Santa and I have both gotten a lot of requests from people to find some way to make it happen. So we have put together a Santa Mini Session for Friday, December 4. The kids are doing asynchronous learning that day, so they can take a quick break to do photos.

SAFETY IS OUR NUMBER ONE PRIORITY. It will be a little different this year as kids will not be sitting on Santa’s lap. They will either stand next to Santa or sit on a stool next to Santa. I’ll be masked. You may choose whether you’d like Santa to be masked. The session is outdoors only so if there is rain we will make an attempt to reschedule but may have to cancel.

Sessions are 15 minutes long, so if you want to get a quick family shot in too, there should be time.

Teachers & First Responders: Please use coupon code “THANKS” for 20% off your Santa Session. (Please share a teacher or first responder who might be interested.)

You can book your 15 minute Santa Session on my website. Spots are limited, so don’t wait.




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.

COVID Killed the County Fair – Modifying traditions for 2020

Finding new traditions during the coronavirus pandemic - Crystal Freemon Photogrpahy

We ALWAYS go to the Williamson County Fair on my birthday (or at least within a day or two). I love taking photos of all the beautiful lights and the atmosphere. It’s been a special tradition since Megan was a baby. Last year I still made them go through the little farming exhibit for photos.

As you can imagine, there is no county fair this year. I miss it but also decided that the absolute BEST thing about our trips to the fair is that no one complains. They let me take all the photos I want because it’s my birthday.

I often say that my toughest family portrait session all year is when I take family photos of my own family.

It’s probably best that they canceled the fair because you know, we are in a Pandemic. But also, what if they brought back that weird double Ferris wheel? 2020 does not need that Ferris Wheel.

I think the best thing we can do to get through all of this crazy year is to modify traditions and make the best of what we can. For example, my family has chosen not to eat inside restaurants. But last weekend, my husband and I went on a date where we picked up food from Costa Vida and took it to a picnic shelter at Evans park to have a quiet meal together. Honestly, it was better than eating in a crowded restaurant.

So even though the fair was canceled, I didn’t let that opportunity pass me by to take advantage of my birthday to get family photos I wanted. They cooperated better than they usually do and I’m pleased with the results.

What kind of traditions have you altered for 2020?


Now that I’ve managed to get some family photos of my own family, I’m ready to book Fall family portrait sessions for everyone else!

You can book a session directly from my online booking calendar or contact me if you have any questions. Don’t wait to book because I can only fit in so many portrait sessions in the Fall. I always hate turning people away.