Winter Family Photos in Franklin TN | Franklin Family Photographer

Nashville Family Photographer winter photo session in Franklin TN

Happy New Year! This outdoor winter family photo session in Franklin was a perfect way to end 2020. Thanks so much to everyone who has trusted me to be your family photographer for 2020. It truly is an honor to be trusted to capture your family memories. 2020 has been such a crazy, trying year for everyone, but when I look back at all the photos I’ve taken this year, what stands out is just all the love.

This photo session is a perfect example of why I always say that winter is a great time for family photos. We had beautiful mild weather for this session, but I love the cold ones too. In 2020 style, I have gotten to know Mona virtually this year, and it was so great to finally meet her and her beautiful family in real life.

I hope 2021 brings you all many beautiful family moments, lots of love and tons of slow news days.

I would love it if you could follow me on Instagram. If you are looking for a Franklin Family Photographer, you can book a session directly from my online booking calendar, or contact me if you have questions. I have added dates for January through March 2021, and will be added April through June soon. Please contact me if you need a specific date.

What being a Lifestyle Photographer Means to Me

Family of Four LIfestyle Portrait Session in Spring Hill TN

One of the biggest lessons I learned early on when I became a professional photographer, was that I am not the right photographer for everyone. It’s my job to try to make sure that the right clients can find me, while those who are not a good fit for me, recognize that and find a photographer who is a better fit. So when I show up at a lifestyle family portrait session and feel like the clients are exactly right for me, I get really excited.

There are lots of things that go into a photographer’s style. But what I want to talk about today is what it really means to be a lifestyle photographer. “Lifestyle” has become a buzzword in photography world, but I’m not sure a lot of people truly understand what it means. And that meaning can vary a bit between photographers. To let you know how I see lifestyle photography, let’s first talk about what it is not.

What most of us grew up with was traditional portrait photography. This was typically done in a studio (raise your hand if you went to Sears!!) with studio lighting and a photographer who told you exactly where to stand, where to put your hands, how to hold your chin just so, etc. That is a perfectly lovely form of photography when done by a true artist (like, not Portrait Innovations). But it’s not me. My goal is that no one shows up at a portrait session with me expecting traditional portrait photography. Because if they do, then they will likely spend most of the session staring at my camera with a forced, fake smile waiting on me to tell them how to stand.

At the other end of the spectrum is Documentary photography. I think documentary photographers are super cool, and I do dabble in that occasionally, but that’s not what most of my family sessions are either. When shooting, a documentary photographer would not become part of the story at all. They would simply document what happens naturally, without controlling or guiding the story at all. My birth sessions are this way mostly. I’m like a fly on the wall, capturing events as they unfold.

But as a lifestyle photographer, my approach is between these two extremes. As a lifestyle photographer, I want to capture real life interactions between your family, but I’d prefer those interactions to happen in pretty light, and I’d like to get a variety of interactions to happen in a one hour span of time, so I offer some guidance. Instead of “hold your head like this”, I’m more apt to tell you to “snuggle up” or “have a tickle fight”. I’m looking for things that capture your family as they are, and this might mean different things for different families. You may catch me noticing an interaction between you, and it’s possible I might ask you to do it again, maybe while standing in the pretty light this time.

Side note, but after all these years, I’m not sure my husband understands the difference between lifestyle and documentary. Whenever I try to get a photo of him and my girls interacting in a certain way, he always complains “but I thought you didn’t like posed photos.” Dude, I’m not posing you, I’m GUIDING YOU. Also, just do what I said.

Anyway, in trying to find the right clients for me, I work hard on educating clients both before they hire me, and before the session so they know what to expect. Some of that comes from written blog posts like this one, or client emails, but I also do it in more subtle ways. If you follow me on Instagram, you may notice that in a great number of the photos I share there, the subjects are not looking at the camera. I always get photos of clients looking at the camera at a session because everyone wants at least a couple of those, but my favorites are almost always ones where the family is involved with each other and not looking at me. So I make a point of sharing what I love to shoot, in an attempt to attract the right clients.

Well, let’s just say I felt like I hit the jackpot with this family. They were so much fun to photograph and immediately took to my guidance and silly requests. There was so much dancing, and snuggling up and giggling and LOVE that it made my job so super easy. I just adore this family portrait session and hope they do too.

Also, the family is fairly new to Spring Hill. Please join me in welcoming them to town!

In case you missed it, check out one of the other fabulous families I photographed earlier this week.

Haley’s 11th birthday, plus my photographic vision

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.

Why I’m thankful for Portrait Session Referrals

It means the world to me when a new family portrait session client tells me that they hired me because a friend referred them to me for photos. I have several loyal clients who are often sending new families to me and I am so thankful for their recommendations.

First of all, if a client refers someone else to me, that means they’ve been happy with their experience in the past, and that is the MOST important thing to me. I want every client to love both their photos and the experience in getting the photos made. If a client trusts me enough to refer other people to me, then I feel like I’ve done my job.

Also, this photography gig is pretty much a one-woman show. I’m not only photographer and editor, I’m also advertiser/marketer, accountant, web designer and administrative assistant. I never expect or require clients to share my work, write reviews or send friends and family to me. But when they do choose to help with the advertising of my business, I am so very grateful for that vote of confidence.

When Venissa contacted me about booking family photos, she said that she had learned about me from her friend Nicole, one of my oldest and dearest clients, who often sends other people my way and I am so very grateful for her support. ❤

V️enissa wanted to book an extended family portrait session while her parents were in town for the holidays. We had originally booked for a few days after Christmas, but the weather was awful and rainy, so we were able to reschedule for New Year’s day before her out-of-town family returned home. What a gorgeous way to kick of 2020….I loved hanging out with this wonderful family. The weather was a bit chilly but tolerable, and they were all so much fun to photograph.

How did you kick off the new year? Are you planning on scheduling family portraits for 2020? I’m now booking sessions through June! Contact me today!