Morning Photo Session: Joyful Moments at Percy Warner Park

Sweet siblings at a morning photo session at Percy Warner park in Nashville

With its delightful steps, Percy Warner Park set the stage for a heartwarming family photo session with a cherished family I eagerly look forward to photographing each year. We had a wonderful time exploring the park and even made our way to the top of those charming steps. Opting for the morning sun instead of the traditional “magic hour” was a deliberate decision, allowing the children’s happiness and comfort to shine through.

Typically, I lean towards capturing photos during the enchanting “magic hour” in the evening. However, ensuring your children’s joy and comfort takes precedence in family photography. If a morning session is the best fit for your family, I am more than happy to accommodate. All that’s needed is a location with ample shade. Opting for an earlier morning timeframe ensures the most beautiful lighting for your photographs.

Are you in search of a skilled photographer within the Middle Tennessee region, covering Spring Hill, Franklin, and Columbia? My expertise lies in capturing beautiful family moments at every life stage, be it the arrival of a newborn or celebrating the accomplishments of seniors. For detailed information, visit my website or easily book a session through my convenient online calendar. Your support on Facebook and/or Instagram would mean the world to me – stay connected for more!

Spencer’s Bar Mitzvah | Nashville Family Photographer

Spencer's Bar Mitzvah at West End Synagogue

Spencer is one of my daughter Megan’s best friends. They met in third grade when they were grouped together in the school’s gifted program. They get each other, and challenge each other and are very much like siblings. So much so that when Spencer misses school for Jewish holidays, other kids have asked Megan why she wasn’t home too, because they thought they were really siblings.

Spencer’s Bar Mitzvah was supposed to be in March. They’d all been looking forward to it for years. Then Covid happened and the world shut down. They rescheduled for June, but then that wasn’t safe either. Finally, Spencer’s family and synagogue decided to set a date for August 8 for a modified version of the Bar Mitzvah, covid style.

Only 25 people were allowed at the service, so it was only close family and Spencer’s best friends. Masks were required and families were spread out through the synagogue. The service was live streamed so that those who could not attend could watch from home.

I personally thought that despite all the changes, it was perfect. I recently read an article about how the pandemic may permanently change weddings as people are decided that the smaller, more intimate weddings that Covid has required are actually better than the large events they’d originally planned.

I am sure that there are so many more people that Spencer and his family would have loved to share the day with, but there was something special about the service that came from being a more intimate group of people. Spencer & Erin’s speaches had us in tears and it was a beautiful celebration of an amazing young man. Mazel Tov, Spencer!

I want to note that cameras were not allowed at the service. All of my photos are from the Thursday before when I was able to take photos inside the synagogue. I added a few phone pics from the actual ceremony of Spencer, my daughter Megan and their friends.

Family Portraits After Loss

It’s a very personal thing to photograph someone. It’s especially personal to photograph them through loss and grief. So when Brandilee told me she wanted family photos, and wanted to find a way to include Finn in them, I wanted to do the best I could to make that happen for her, but wasn’t really sure the best way to do it.

I can’t even imagine what it might be like to lose a child myself, but I can guess that every first without your little one is incredibly difficult, including the first family photos after loss. I am thankful to have been trusted with this task, and hope that I was able to honor Finn’s memory while capturing the beautiful lives of his loving brothers and parents.

There really wasn’t much on the internet that I could find on honoring the loss of a loved one but Brandilee had made two requests so that was where I started.

The first thing she wanted was to photoshop Finn into some of the photos in a transparent way, symbolizing that his spirit was still there with them. I used photos from my family session with them from two years ago, and tried to blend it into a photo from this session.

The second thing she had requested was to include a framed photo of Finn with this family portrait session. So we printed her favorite image from that session two years ago, and she found a frame she like to put it in. The print was an 11×14 and I believe the frame was 16×20 inches.

One issue we ran into with the framed portrait was glare on the glass of the frame. Looking back, I wish I had asked them to remove the glass for the photo session. However, since I had the original image that the print was made from, it was pretty easy for me to photoshop the glare issue by covering up the reflection with the actual original image.

The last thing we did to include Finn in the photos was suggested to me in a forum of photographers who volunteer with The Gold Hope Project, and it’s actually my favorite. They suggested that we include a “stuffed animal or other object” that was important to the child whose memory we are honoring. What better way to remember Finn than to include his stuffed Avocado in the pictures?

One very important way that Finn’s family is honoring his memory is to be intimately involved in the continued fight against Rhabdo, the rare cancer that took Finn (and Sophie). If you want to learn more about their fight and the very important research going on at the Mayo Clinic, read this link on their blog.

To contribute to this incredible work please go to the following link:

Select “Other” under “Designate My Donation” and type in “Pediatric Rhabdomyosarcoma Research – Granberg/Gargollo.”

Typing in “Finn Schafran” when given the opportunity to enter in who’s memory this gift is for will help us continue to track Finn’s influence in this research

Baby Evie: Capturing the Uniqueness of Each Family at a newborn portrait session

Nashville Lifestyle Newborn Photographer

Every client is unique, and it’s important to me to capture that uniqueness in my portrait sessions.  

If you’ve ever booked a session with me, and you’re the type of person who actually does read a contract before you signed it, you may have noticed this paragraph in my client agreement:

 Each session is as different and unique as the beautiful families being photographed and I do not aim to copy or recreate Pinterest images.  Before booking a session with me, I want to make sure that you are familiar with my style, and that my style is what you are wanting for your images.

This statement isn’t just arbitrarily in my contract.  It’s there because I want you to understand that our goal with a session is not to recreate some scene that you saw on Pinterest, or even to copy a photo you saw on my website that I took.  Our goal is to create images that are as unique and beautiful as your family.

Finding what makes families special and unique is especially fun when I get to photograph clients in their home.  Details like a baby’s nursery, knick-knacks or books displayed throughout the house, cherished toys, and a family’s pets are all items that can be photographed that tell part of a family’s story.  I look for those types of things as I am photographing.  For example, both of Evie’s parents are Chemistry professors at Vanderbilt.  So when I saw a set of Science Board Books sitting on the nursery table, I knew I wanted to include one in the photos.  Mom and Dad said “Quantum Physics for Babies” was their family favorite, so I asked them to read to baby Evie for a few shots. 

Other things I made sure to include in photos were the cat and dog (who Lauren had said were a huge part of the family), a blanket made by Grandma, & the stuffed Bunny Evie got for her first Easter.  

And I’m convinced that in 20 years when families look back on these photos, they will be glad to have those details captured instead of someone else’s idea of a pretty Pinterest scene. 😍