Christmas Memories – Giant Extended Family Session

Merry Christmas everyone! This beautiful family isn’t able to get together often since some of them live in different parts of the country. Since they were all in town for their Christmas celebration, they wanted to be able to capture those memories in photographs, and I am so glad they did. It was such an honor to be a part of such love and laughter. I felt so at home with them that I could have easily slipped in and pretended to be another sibling. It was so much fun.

We had hoped to be able to take at least some of the photos outside, but the weather didn’t cooperate. But with the help of a large covered deck and a gorgeous red umbrella, we made it work.

I hope that the photos mean something special to them and that they can be treasured for years to come.

And I hope all of you have a very wonderful holiday season filled with lots of magical moments, laughter and love.

Embracing the Rain – Nashville Family Portrait Session

“I love the rain. I love how it softens the outlines of things. The world becomes softly blurred, and I feel like I might melt into it.” – Hanamoto Hagumi

It’s no secret that I love the sun, and obsessed with chasing light. But not everyone knows that I also love the rain. A couple years ago, I did a rain session with my friend Christy’s daughters. We planned it and then waited for the right weather to hit, and then I called her and said, “It’s go time.” We met at a park and I photographed her adorable kids playing in the rain. It was so much fun.

Last fall, one of my favorite sessions was for a couple who decided to go ahead with our planned time, even though we knew it would probably rain. To me, it was such a romantic session, and the rain just added to it. 

That wasn’t exactly the situation for this family portrait session at Harlinsdale Farms.  They were hoping to avoid the rain, but mother nature had other plans.  We were able to get in a few photos before the rain came, but then once it did, I couldn’t help but to wrap my camera in a poncho, hand these sweet kids some umbrellas (I always keep these in my car because they still let light in), and to keep shooting.

And I have to say, I’m not really sorry it rained. These two kids are just so perfectly adorable with the colorful little umbrellas and those smiles.  It’s just one more thing that I absolutely love about kids this age…they really know how to embrace the rain.  

Bridgette’s Senior Portrait Session at Thompson Station Park

“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

It’s so much fun to take a break from photographing little kids sometimes and instead photograph seniors.  This beautiful young woman was a joy to meet, as was her mother.  One of my most favorite parts of my job is getting to know new people.  Bridget reminded me a little of my oldest daughter with her passion for writng and love of books..  She was so sweet to my younger daughter, Kayla, who accompanied me on the shoot as my “assistant.”  

One of the great things about photographing seniors is that they will stand in whatever beautiful light that I want them to stand in….which is not always the case for toddlers.  And Thompson Station Park was really showing off some gorgeous light last night.  The autumn color isn’t really there yet, thought I think it’s coming soon (I hope). But the weather could not have been more perfect for Bridget’s senior portrait session.  

I keep hitting the jackpot with these senior girls who are just naturals in front of the camera.  Also, I loved her clothing choices. I am often asked if it is OK to change clothes during a photo session.  My answer depends a little on the type of session and ages of the subjects.  For senior or couples portrait sessions, you may absolutely bring a few different outfits.  For family sessions, I don’t normally recommend it just because having to change clothes can sometimes upset little ones and disrupt the momentum of our session. Ultimately, I leave it up to parents but just caution you to consider the value of wardrobe changes verses timing and keeping little ones happy during a session.  But for teens and adults, there is plenty of time during a session for a few wardrobe changes, and it adds some variety in a senior session gallery.

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The Schafran Family

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.