Family of Four and the Family Dog at Sarah Benson Park

Family Photos in Thompson Station Tennessee with Family Dog

Oh my goodness, there is so much sweetness in this family portrait session. These girls were so much fun to photograph. And as a bonus, they brought along their family dog. I am always game for families to include their pooches in family photos sessions, but it’s especially fun now that I’ve added my own puppy to my family. Our pets are so important to us and are part of the family, so it makes sense to include them in family pictures.

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 book a session from my online calendar. I would love it if you considered following me on Facebook and/or Instagram.

Samuel’s Senior Pictures in Spring Hill TN

Senior Pictures in Spring Hill TN

I dare you to look at these senior pictures without smiling.

I had the best time photographing these senior pictures in Spring Hill. We had so much fun laughing and dancing and playing with the puppy. Sweet Halo was so chill for our session. I joked that I needed to be able to rent her to use for other photo sessions. I always welcome dogs to my sessions (just make sure I know ahead of time so our location is dog friendly), but Halo was probably the easiest dog I’ve photographed.

Spending time with Samuel and his mom was just an absolute joy. His smile is contagious. It was a blessing to be around him, and then I found myself smiling again when I was editing the pictures.

I would love it if you could follow me on Instagram. Thatโ€™s a great place to keep up to date on future openings. Also, you can book a session directly from my online booking calendar, or contact me if you have questions. In addition to Senior photos, I love photographing families.

My Adventures in Video | Nashville Family Photographer

Nashville Family Photographer - family of four

When Ashley first contacted me about this at-home family portrait session, she said that she had found me just by googling Nashville Family Photographer, and liked the work on my website. But she wanted to know if I could shoot a session at their home. My answer was “absolutely”! I love photographing families in places that mean something to them.

Ashely wanted a daytime session that would work for baby Jack’s schedule. Her back yard was the perfect spot and offered plenty of shade for a morning session. The trees were absolutely gorgeous and I fell in love with Emilia’s tree swing. It looked like something you would find in a fairy garden.

So for a while, I’ve wanted to try adding video to my services, but I don’t have much experience in doing it. For some time, I’d wanted to try to add a few videos to a session, but needed to find the right opportunity. First, I didn’t want to feel like I was in a race with the light, and since this was a daytime session, I felt I had a little more wiggle room on the time, so I could take a little extra time at each spot to get the photos I normally would, and then take a video or two.

Second, I needed it to be a small family with young children. I have done a few bigger families and extended sessions lately and definitely didn’t feel confident adding something extra to those. But with a small family, there is usually more time during a session since there are not lots of combinations of people to include in the shots. I wanted young children because those sessions are just naturally more active and a good fit for capturing movement.

So anyway, I didn’t tell the family I was shooting video because I wasn’t sure how it would turn out or if I would even include it. But I played around with them today and think they turned out OK. I definitely want to practice more and maybe eventually add this on as an additional option for clients.

Are these not the cutest kids ever? The session was so much fun and I love reliving that fun through the videos. Emelia’s laugh is just the most beautiful music.

In case the video moved to quickly for you, here are some of the images in my usual format:

Are you following me on Instagram? Thatโ€™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 of 3 Summer Photo Session | Spring Hill Baby Photographer

โ€œDoes she realize she looks like a sunflower, ready to rain sunlight on all who look down upon her?โ€

Simone Elkeles

Yesterday, I had the wonderful opportunity to meet one-year-old Ada and her family. I was a gorgeous day for a summer family portrait session, and the heat was totally reasonable. Kayla decided to have the photo session at their Spring Hill home, and I’m so glad she did. They have a beautiful backyard that was just right for a family portrait session. And it allowed the family’s sweet pets to get in on the action.

Summer is almost over and now is the time to book your Fall family portrait session. I have recently added fall dates to my calendar. Unlike last year, I’m going to spread the sessions out more and let clients decide on a location (though I will happily help you choose a good fit for your family). You can see open dates and book one now on my online booking calendar. Don’t wait to book yours. These session will sell out.

Family of 5 portrait session at Harlinsdale Farms in Franklin TN

When Jennifer first started discussing her family portrait session with me, she told me that her girls were all “super energetic & goofy.” I said that was great because that’s my favorite type of family to photograph!

Kylie (8), Alexie (6.5) and Bailey (3) were so much fun and I just adored working with them. Photographing young sisters always makes me nostalgic for when my own girls were younger. (Side note: I just registered my oldest for high school. How in the world did that happen already?) Also, Trev & Jennifer are the most adorable couple. There is so much love and laughter in this sweet family, and it shows.

The family moved to Middle Tennessee from California, and in the process, left their beloved family photographer and friend. This was the first time they had pictures made since the move, and wanted a country feel to the location. They also wanted to include their sweet, 13 year old golden retriever. Since it’s still winter and there isn’t a lot of green on the trees, I though Harlinsdale Farms in Franklin would be a good spot. I always love the textures and colors on the barns and buildings there, and it’s a great place for a dog.

I was a little worried about ti being super cold, but it ended up being a really beautiful day, though still a bit chilly if you weren’t bundled up. As a bonus, the girls found the first dandelion of the year! You guys know I love a good dandelion wishes photo, and this year Kylie got to be the first. I hope they enjoyed their first Tennessee photo session as much as I did.

Christmas Eve-Eve Extended family Portrait Session

The hardest part about this extended family portrait session was deciding which pictures to share. For my large group session the day before, the weather was rainy and awful. We made do with a large covered balcony and some indoor shots, but I was very happy when the weather turned gorgeous for this session.

Sometimes clients are hesitant to book a winter session for fear of bad weather, but this session is a perfect example of how, in Middle Tennessee, any month can be wonderful for outdoor family photos. It was truly the perfect day.

To be honest, a lot of times large family portrait sessions aren’t my favorite. I enjoy them, and wholeheartedly believe they are important for capturing priceless memories. My only complaint is that often, because of the number of people being photographed, there isn’t a lot of time for candid, natural moments. You spend so much time getting all the required combinations of people, that there isn’t a lot of time left to run, jump & play with the kids.

But this session was absolutely perfect. The group shots went quickly and the family so fun and relaxed. We had plenty of time to explore and play. I loved the dynamic with this family, from the silly men to the sweet way that Kalei and Reed looked after their baby cousin, Alice.

I hope that they love this portrait session as much as I do and that the photos will be a cherished reminder of a happy Christmas for years to come.

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas making memories.

Learning new things – Indoor Portrait Session in spring hill

I am so glad this family chose to have an indoor portrait session this year, as it allowed me to test out new skills I’ve been working on learning. For most of my photography career, I’ve considered myself a natural light photographer. Most of my family portrait sessions are outdoors, but I also love shooting indoor portrait sessions for families and newborns. I’m obsessed with light and love exploring all the ways I can incorporate natural light into my photography.

But sometimes, natural light doesn’t give me what I want. I love using natural light at indoor portrait sessions, given that there are enough windows (and daylight) to allow enough light to enter the rooms. But sometimes, I find that light lacking. I can generally make do with the light available, but sometimes it’s just not the prettiest, and I wish I had more control over the light.

My journey to flash photography

So I set a goal to become more comfortable using a flash, when necessary. It started last summer when I somehow let one of my best friends talk me into photographing her sister’s wedding. (I don’t shoot weddings). I knew that shooting a dark reception would require flash, so I started working on getting better at using one. It was a learning experience and got me more comfortable shooting other dark indoor events, like this Quinceanera.

But at this point, I was only using flash when I had no other choice. I decided it was time to start creating my own light when maybe the natural light was passable, but not the prettiest, like sometimes at indoor sessions. So I’ve been taking an online class on off-camera flash and playing around with using a flash in more circumstances.

An indoor portrait session – the perfect time to use what I’ve learned

This family indoor portrait session was the perfect chance to use some of the things I’d learned. I met this family at their outdoor winter session two years ago, that ended up being one of my favorites of the season. I loved being able to photograph this beautiful family again – this time in their own home. It’s so much fun to have the kids show me their rooms, and get to know another side of them just by exploring their environments.

The living room was a bit dark, so I used off-camera flash for the photos we took in there. Abigail’s room had beautiful window light, so I just used the natural light in her room. But Eliot’s room faced another direction was a bit darker, so I did use the flash in her room. The flash was a great option that allowed me to get some fun action shots of her jumping on her bed. The movement might have been blurry without the flash in the darker room.

A chance to get creative

I was happy to be able to increase the available light in the house when I wanted to, but the most fun came when we went outside! I was always jealous of wedding photographers who post the fun rain shots with flash because most of my clients postpone their sessions when it rains. (It’s easier to defer family photos than your wedding day). But since this was mostly an indoor session, I was kind of hoping for rain so I could give it a try. The girls were kind enough to go out in the rain with me to get the shot. I wish it had been raining harder, but even the sprinkling gave a fun look to our umbrella shots.

I wanted to get a photo of Eliot riding her bike because that is something she does a lot at home, and I wanted to capture that time for her family. Since it stopped sprinkling, she grabbed the bike for a few shots. Usually, it would have been getting too dark outside for me to get a good picture, particularly of a moving child on a bike. But adding the flash allowed me to not only capture her movement with plenty of light, but it also allowed me to balance the cool, moody clouds in the background.

So I think I will begin to consider flash more as an option, not only for indoor sessions but for fill light or fun effects at outdoor sessions as well. You can still expect most of my shots at outdoor photoshoots to be with natural light, but don’t be surprised if I pull out the flash once in a while.

Time is running out to book your 2019 family portrait session

Speaking of sessions, if you haven’t booked yours for this year but intend to, please don’t wait. There are only a few spots left, and I don’t want you to miss out! I hate turning people away in the fall, but editing a session takes a lot of time, and there are just only so many I can do. You can choose a traditional outdoor photo session, or schedule an indoor portrait session like this one. Book yours today.

Develop a passion for learning. If you do, you will never cease to grow.

Anthony J. D’Angelo

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. ๐Ÿ˜

Yes, Bring the Dogs

I welcome clients including their pets in family portrait sessions. After all, they are a part of the family too.

Robin & Miles wanted to include their dogs Harley & Cassie in their portrait session, and the Park at Harlinsdale Farms was the perfect spot for including pets.  Robin is originally from Kentucky and wanted a location with a rustic feel, so Harlinsdale was perfect and a welcome spot to bring dogs. 

One reason I love to include dogs in a session, is I think it helps the clients to feel more relaxed.  It’s easier to capture candid moments when there are sweet doggies to play with during the session. Some clients worry that the dogs will be a distraction. I haven’t really found this to be an issue.  Assuming the dogs are friendly, I am generally able to include photos both with and without the dogs. For this session, my 10-year-old “assistant” actually joined me at the shoot was able to help with the dogs when they were not being included in photos.  If you would like to include your family dogs in a session, just let me know ahead of time and we can choose an appropriate place, and I can even bring my young assistant if you think that will be helpful.

Harley and Cassie were the sweetest dogs and I really enjoyed getting to know them and their lovely owners on this gorgeous day.

Baby Azure’s At Home Newborn Portrait Session in Spring Hill

I first met this lovely Spring Hill family a little over two years ago at big sister Scarlett’s newborn session. I was excited when Mikaela contacted me to tell me that she was pregnant again and wanted to schedule a second newborn portrait session. 

It is so much fun to get to come back to a family and again witness such a beautiful time in their lives.  I loved seeing baby Scarlett, now 2 1/ 2, doting over her new baby brother. I was able to see what used to be her nursery, recently turned over to baby brother.  And she showed me her new big girl room and all her toys. 

It’s a different vibe to the house the second time around when I get to photograph repeat newborn sessions.  Mom and dad are no longer newbies, but seasoned parents who know better what to expect from both parenthood, and the photo session.   And then there is an energetic giggling big sibling there to liven things up…one of my favorite parts.  

I feel fortunate to have a job that lets me be a small part of such special memories for a family. I know every time I leave a newborn session, I end up reminiscing about when my girls were that age, and what a magical time it was.  I know it was tough too. I haven’t forgotten that completely, but it was also so special. I’m glad that I can create a little something to help them remember that time, which is so fleeting. 

And as a bonus, I got to spend a morning hanging out with two pretty awesome little humans. โค๏ธ

No, we aren’t doing photos with Satan…and other reasons I need a copy editor.

So apparently I invited the “I heart Spring Hill page” to come have photos made with Satan at Spring Station Middle School. ๐Ÿ‘น

So two things:

We will be doing photos with SANTA ๐ŸŽ…๐Ÿป, not Satan ๐Ÿ‘น.  Satan isn’t very festive. ๐ŸŽ„  (Click the link at the bottom of this blog post to get your tickets now..don’t wait as they are selling out fast.) 

Also, I should not be allowed to type things.  Pictures really are my specialty.  And if pictures are worth a thousand words, then I have millions and billions so I should just quit typing.

It’s not that I can’t spell, it’s that I type quickly as things are coming into my head, and then, even if I re-read it multiple times, I SEE it like it’s correct.  Have you ever seen those tricks of the mind things where they delete all the vowels from a paragraph, but somehow you can read it anyway because your mind subconsciously fills in the blanks?  That’s what I do when I try to edit my own work…I don’t even see the error. I mean, you guys, OF COURSE I meant Santa.  

I’d like to say that was the first time I royally goofed in type, but sadly, it’s not. 

So I actually have a copy editor.  She’s really good at it and bonus…she’s free.  Unfortunately, she’s also 12 and at school all day.  I could wait, and I know I should, but I get so excited to show these beautiful families their photos, and I know that they are usually on pins and needles waiting to see them, that I just can’t make myself wait.

So instead, I ask for your grace and hope that you’ll love me for my photos and not judge me for my typos. And a big shout out to all my amazing people who are kind enough to point it out to me when I invite an entire town to photos with Satan, or who help point out less interesting errors. 

With that, check out these photos from a session that I so look forward to each year.  Lucky Ladd Farms is one of my favorite places and the Ladd’s are one of my favorite families to photograph. (Check out their website to see lots of pictures of my baby girl, who has been in love with their farm since she was teeny tiny.) 

What to wear to a family portrait session

Confession time – I’m not very good at picking clothing for family photos.  I’ve never felt like I was very good at fashion, but I know what I like and what I don’t like to see in family portrait sessions.  And I know that several of my friends are REALLY good at picking family session clothing.  One of those friends is Christy – I am always so impressed with her wardrobe choices for her family photos, so I asked her how she goes about choosing photos for a session for herself, her husband, and their three adorable little girls.  She had some great advice to share:

“I typically start with one outfit I love.  One year I loved this purple sweater that Hannah had, it looked great on her.  That year purple was our color and everyone else’s outfit was picked to match.  Last year I had a floral dress I loved, so I pulled colors out of the dress for each of the girls to wear.  I try not to pick more than one or two patterns, or any pattern that is too small or busy.  Most of the time we have what we need in our closets already.  I usually only buy one or two outfits for a shoot.  Old Navy is a great place to get coordinated outfits. They sell lots of solids which always look great in photos!  Little touches like matching bows or denim jackets helps tie everything together.”

Here are a few more do’s and don’ts I have for choosing clothing for your family photos:

DO:

  • Do pick 2-3 colors & find outfits for those colors. 
  • Do shop your own closet first.  What do you love to wear that is your signature style?  
  • Do be yourself.  If you are a blue jeans kind of mom, then wear blue jeans.  Don’t feel like you have to be fancy.  Be you.
  • Do make sure everyone feels comfortable in what they are wearing.  
  • Do make sure everything fits appropriately….this is not the time for squeezing into something, or for buying clothes big so the kids can grow into them. 
  • Do consider scarves, jackets, accessories and other things that add texture & interest to the outfits.
  • Do avoid graphics and distracting logos.  That “Big Brother” shirt is cute, but unless he’s standing perfectly still, you won’t be able to read it well in photos. 
  • Do expect you child to run, jump and play at the session.

DON’T

  • Don’t force your kids (or husband) to wear something they hate.  We want them to be comfortable at the session. 
  • Don’t wear florescent colors.  They can reflect onto skin tones. (My favorite colors for sessions are jewel tones…blue, plum, teal, burgandy, mustard yellow, etc)
  • Don’t use giant bows…it distracts from your daughter’s beautiful face.  Smaller ones are great, BUT only if she wants to wear it. Let’s not spend the entire session trying to force her to put her bow back on.
  • Don’t be afraid to incorporate patterns, just don’t go overboard.
  • Don’t try to be too matched.  Coordinated (but not matched) looks best. 
  • Don’t wear a shirt that wrinkles super easily (I see this a lot on men’s dress shirts…it’s pretty impossible to photo shop out.)
  • Don’t forget about your nails. (I often see chipped nail polish on little girls.)
  • Don’t forget about shoes…especially for the little ones.  If the weather is appropriate, barefoot is a good option for the kids.
  • Don’t be afraid to ask me if you are unsure about something. 

And didn’t Christy do a fabulous job?  They look like they belong on the cover of a magazine. 

Bonus before and after editing shot below. Can you find it?  I kinda love the before.  ๐Ÿ˜‚

Have you booked your family portrait session yet?  There are only a few spots left for spring, so don’t wait to book your session.