So I went from celebrating Lincoln’s 5th birthday with photos on Thursday, to Haley’s 11th birthday yesterday. Isn’t she just gorgeous? I love, love, love the red shirt on her. It’s perfect with her eyes. I enjoy photographing this pre-teen age group. I think it’s an often over-looked age group when it comes to professional photos. We always photograph our babies and little kids, and then again when they are Seniors in high school, but often the middle years are less documented.
A few weeks ago, I went to a photography conference in Atlanta. One of the workshops I took was specifically on capturing tweens and teens. The photographer who taught the class, Neely Ker-fox, had a specific package in her business that focused on photographing this age group at home, focusing on the connection with their parents. I thought it was beautiful and very inspiring.
Another class I took at the Click Away conference was called “Your Voice, Your Vision” with Caroline Jenson. For that class, we had to submit 3 of our favorite photos to the instructor before the class. During the workshop we reviewed each others photos and talked about how the photos we picked gave some clues as to our photographic vision…things that we were drawn to in photography, whether we realized it or not.
Some of the things that the instructor and my classmates said about my images were that I was drawn to bold, colorful images and strong black and white edits. That was no surprise to me. But one thing that the instructor said that stood out to me is that all the photos I chose had at least two people in them. I guess I kind of new that, but it was interesting to have it pointed out. I do very much prefer photos that show a connection between two or more people.
I thought about that as I edited these photos I took for Haley’s birthday. Even though I love the photos of just Haley, who is gorgeous, all of my favorite photos were of Haley and Christy together. This is true for me even when you can’t see a lot of Christy in the photo, but she’s there…I love the way Haley is looking at her mom instead of at the camera. You can just see the love there.
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.
To our men and women in uniform, past, present, and future, God bless you and thank you.
How fitting that I’m sitting here writing this blog post on Veterans Day. Jennifer wanted to schedule this session because her husband will soon be leaving for military training for six months. She wrote “I would just love some memorable family pictures that my girls and myself can look at while he is gone and just have a fond memory and smile.”
She snagged a spot that had opened up fairly last minute because I had a client that needed to change to a different date. I’m so glad she did. I had photographed the family a couple years ago and it was so great to see these sweet girls, and how much they had grown.
The day could not had been more perfect, and we had a blast exploring and playing in the leaves. I love their energy so much. I couldn’t help but smile while I edited these pictures of their sweet family, and hope that they will be able to look upon them with fond memories during their time a part.
To all of those who serve our country, and to their families who support them, thank you for your service. 🇺🇸
If you book a family portrait session with me most times of year, one of the questions on your booking paperwork will ask you where you’d like to shoot the photo session. I have a page on my website that will tell you about locations I frequently use, and I’m here to help you if you want it.
But you may notice that if you book a session for a weekend in October or November, that I’ve already chose a portrait session location.
The reason for this is that in the busy season, I generally book 3 back to back sessions on the weekend, with only about 15 minutes between them. This is just enough time for me to switch memory cards, so I don’t have time to drive to another location between sessions.
I used to let the first client who booked a particular date choose the location, and then those who booked the date after that would have to agree to that spot. But this complicated the booking process.
Also, I have more requirements for long shooting days than I have for just magic hour sessions. For the rest of the year, most of my sessions are scheduled for the hour before sunset…known in photographer lingo as “magic hour”. Magic hour lighting is pretty great anywhere. But when I am booking sessions earlier in the day, then I have to be sure that a location has some shade available, because the sometimes harsh sunlight of earlier in the day is not ideal for photos. But the proper location can allow a shaded spot from which the sun comes through the trees beautifully.
But for this session and the two before it, the bright sun wasn’t a big concern because it was a nice overcast day.
These two sweet brothers did an amazing job for their session. Those eyes! How can you not smile from looking at them?
The last time I blogged about this beautiful family for their Fall family portrait session, I left out some information. Mallory had told me before her session that she was in the early stages of pregnancy. I wasn’t sure if that was public knowledge or not, so I didn’t’ mention it in the blog post.
But here we are, not quite a year later, and this lovely family has an adorable new addition. I’d been following baby Mia and big sister Margot on Instagram, and was so excited to be able to finally meet her. (If you aren’t following me on Instagram, please do! I’d love to interact with you there.)
These girls were just the sweetest and did a great job at their photo session. We ran into a little trouble with my location being over-crowded but we moved around a little and made it work.
Last year, Margo had brought her baby doll and carried her for the entire session, which was perfectly fine with me. This year, she brought a different doll…Rapunzel to our session. For me, if a beloved toy helps a child to be more comfortable at a session, then I say let them bring it. My favorite part was when Margot broke into songs from Frozen. I’m also a big fan of Elsa. ❄️
If you haven’t booked your Fall family portrait session yet, please don’t wait. I have a couple of openings for November but they won’t last long. One fantastic spot just opened up because a client needed to reschedule for December. Book your session today!
Y’all, I’m editing my booty off, and I’m running out of words to put in my blog previews of my family photo sessions.
It’s the height of peak season. We were gone all weekend to my beautiful nieces birthday party in Ohio. But someone I still managed to shoot 5 sessions in the past week, with one more tomorrow, and another three on Sunday (please pray it doesn’t rain on me.)
I’m keeping up, but if you need to find me, I’m probably at my computer. But I wouldn’t have it any other way. I know it sounds cheesy, but I really love being a part of shooting these moments for families, especially when I get to see the same ones year after year.
For example, It makes me smile to think about how much little Jace has grown since I first started photographing his family three or so years ago. I love meeting and photographing new families too, but I especially look forward to seeing repeat clients each year. ❤️
If you are a procrastinator, I do have two November spots open…once just recently opened up because a family needed to move their session to December…it’s a magic hour session too! You can book your portrait session online from my scheduling calendar or contact me if you have questions!