Pigeon Forge Photographer | Photographers in the Smoky Mountains | Rachel's Cades Cove Session

Family Photography in Cades Cove

Meet Rachel’s crazy, fun, beautiful family! I knew this session was going to be a blast with such fun people <3.

We frolicked through the tall grass and wildflowers of Cades Cove ( quite literally!), piggy back rides were given, and some jumping definitely happened. They wanted some fun memories and I was more than happy to oblige during their vacation to Gatlinburg. Smiles this big from my clients make my heart happy <3

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Photographers in Gatlinburg TN | The Wedoff's Smoky Mountain Family Pictures.

Pigeon Forge Vacation photographer



Oh, the Wedoff’s Gatlinburg photography session has to be one of my very favorites. This beautiful Mama is also a photographer in her hometown and trusted and loved ME enough to do her own family pictures. Let me tell you, it is always an honor to photograph other photographers, but also a bit nerve wracking; they chose YOU to photograph their very own family when they know the ins and outs of photography.

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While they were vacationing in Gatlinburg TN, we set up a session in my very, very favorite place on earth: Cades Cove. It’s so perfect for family pictures! It’s a bit of a drive, but can you really beat 360 degree mountain views without a hike??? I think not!



Candid family pictures are always a hit ( and SUPER hard to take by yourself on a tripod), so we did a focus a bit more on fun and lifestyle type images during their session. We played a lot of games, and laughed, and just had a great time. I was seriously sad when their session was over, because their three girls, were such fun! They smiles, and giggled, and were just a blast! The precious youngest girl even told her mom the portrait session was her favorite part of the trip; if that doesn’t make me feel like I did my job 100%, I don’t know what would.

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Seriously; I love my job and couldn’t ask for a better way to spend my evenings than with amazing, loving families who invite me to join them for a fun trip to the Smoky Mountains <3.

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Candid Gatlinburg Photographer

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5 tips for picking you Gatlinburg Photographer | Pigeon Forge Photographers | Vacation Photography

Gatlinburg TN and Smoky Mountain Photographer


While I can’t speak for all Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge photographers, I personally want you to have the BEST pictures EVER, and that starts with choosing the right photographer for you. Pssssst, that may not be me, and that’s okay! There’s several huge factors to consider when choosing your Smoky Mountain photographer and I’d love to help you dissect those and make a the perfect decision for you and your family.

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  1. Figure out your budget for Gatlinburg Photography

    While I know this is nobody’s favorite topic to discuss, it’s usually one of the first thoughts when you go to look for a photographer. Whether your budget is $100 or $1000, there is a photographer in the greater Smoky Mountains that can accommodate you. Cheap photographers in Gatlinburg TN are typically still learning and more inexperienced ( but everyone starts somewhere!!!!), but that doesn’t mean that can’t provide you with portraits to suit your needs.

    I’m one thrifty gal, and I am known to search for the best deal possible on almost anything I purchase, so understand I don’t say this lightly. When it comes to photography, book the best you can afford. You’re not only paying for your session, you’re really paying for that photographers time and education that helps them create beautiful images that you want to proudly display on your wall. Trust me, this is not where you want to skimp. Budget is budget though, so don’t break the bank! Family sessions, can you eat a mean or two in your cabin instead of going out to get a better quality photographer? Extended families, are more people willing to split the bill to make Gatlinburg photography more affordable during your family reunion?

  2. Check out their style!

Every photographers style (both editing and shooting) is a little different. I’ll be honest with you; I’m a pretty solid mix of posed Cades Cove pictures, and fun, candid images. I do love a little of both during my sessions, and using a few prompts to get super fun pictures. When you’re researching Gatlinburg photographers, REALLY look at their portfolio and make sure you love their images. For me personally, if you tell me you lean more towards posed, or candid, I’m happy to a bit heavier on that side.

You should choose someone you love, because you want to love your images! You want fun AND posed with bright, sunny, golden tones I’m your girl. While I know you may not know the photography terms for the look you want, you’ll recognize images you love in your photographers gallery.

3. Decide what kind of experience you want

This is important! Read that again! Are you after a custom, boutique experience with guidance from a local or a “just get the job done” experience? There’s pretty much two types of photographers in Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge and there’s no right or wrong here. If you just need someone to show up and take snapshots, then I’m not for you, but that’s where other companies specialize and I’m happy to give recommendations. I’m a bit more personal with my session experience and offer wardrobe tips, and location guidance. When I show up to your session, we’ve personally chatted back in forth in email for quite some time. I love getting to know families, and hearing your little ones tell me all about their vacation so far!

4. Pigeon Forge photography specialty

Check out what they specialize in! If you need someone to cover your family’s reunion in the Smoky Mountains, you probably want someone that works well with big groups of people ( read herding cats) and doesn’t mind getting a bit bossy with Aunt Becky and off of her opinions or kicking out the teens new boyfriend for a few pictures.

I specialize in vacation memories and work with almost exclusively family portraits and extended family sessions and I LOVE it! I’ve met and worked with people from almost all fifty states over the last 7 years ( Alaska included!). Not only do I get to hear stories from all over, I get to meet generations upon generations of families, and all the stories they have to tell just fascinate me. I have friends all over the US from my photography career and just hitting it off during our session. I wouldn’t have it any other way.



5. Find someone local

No matter if you are booking a session in Gatlinburg TN, or Los Angeles, CA, I HIGHLY recommend finding someone local. Locals know the best locations, they know the weather, they know the wildlife, they are a wealth of information! I recently had someone book a summer session in Pigeon Forge TN, and mentioned that they heard ( through that pesky grapevine) that evenings could be chilly in the area and wondered if they should wear a jacket. My answer??? Only if you enjoy sweating to death!!!!! I grew up here, I know our summer evenings are warm and humid.

You don’t want to book with some company, whose assistant you email back and forth about your session while they sit in their New York office and have NO CLUE what the Smoky Mountains are like. I was born and raised in these mountains and I am happy to share my knowledge with my clients. Even me, when we vacation in the Florida beaches, I hire someone local that knows those great spots, and what the weather is likely to do. That information is so valuable because the internet can only tell you so much.



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I really hopes this helps some folks pick the best Smoky Mountain photographer for their needs and get the perfect session for THEM.





Local Gatlinburg Photographer | Mountain Escapes Photography | Local VS. Chain

Gatlinburg TN Photographers



Hi everyone!!!

I am truly a Gatlinburg photographer who cares, and loves the families that come to visit. I’m not some chain, or some photographer hired by a big company to show up and snap photos of their session. I wanted to take a moment and thank you for visiting my page and supporting my art. It’s incredible to be able to provide families with memories and good times while they vacation in Gatlinburg TN! I adore photographing Gatlinburg family reunions and getting to know all 40 of your attending members just as much as I love the little families of three with so much love for each other.

You should know that I am a homegrown photographer, born and raised in the Smoky Mountains. I have so much love for this area in my heart, and I love sharing it with you all. Of course, being raised here, I’m incredibly knowledgeable on locations, weather, when the leaves change, and any other info you could possibly want to know. I love what I do and where I live and spend my spare time exploring the beauty and photographing Gatlinburg.

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When you book with this Gatlinburg Photographer, you are getting ME. From your initial contact, to answering questions about your gallery. You are’t passed through some office in Florida. You’re talking right to me here in the Smoky Mountains. You get to know me, friend me on Facebook, follow me on Instagram. I don’t work like some chain companies who send a random photographer you don’t even know the name of to your session.

I’ve worked with a family whose Grandfather was battling Alzheimers. They surprised their Grandma by wearing all purple at the end of their session in support. I hugged that grandmother as she cried tears of joy and I can’t imagine not knowing that story and just showing up to take pictures.

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Another family had a Grandfather suffering from end-stage cancer. They traveled here knowing it would be their last extended family picture and last chance to soak up that man’s company. They laughed so much, and I got to join in. I had the honor of capturing these portraits. After the session, I was informed he passed away merely days later.

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When the Gatlinburg fires hit in November of 2016, I stayed up most of the night and watched in horror. Me and my girls watched as the fires closed in on Dollywood, Ripley’s Aquarium, and other wonderful places, landmarks, and cabins. Literally watched with tears in my eyes because this is home for me. no matter wha. This was home. I still drive by this mountain several times a week and see the brown strip of dead trees years later.

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As a photographer, I capture portraits, but I love to make my clients happy, and laugh with them, and cry with them on occasion. It’s truly a personal experience when you book me.

Cades Cove Photographers | Photographer in Gatlinburg TN | Claire's Family Reunion

Gatlinburg Family Photographer


This session was one big happy accident. Claire’s sweet extended family booked we well in advance, we had planned out where to go for a great Smoky Mountain backdrop in their Gatlinburg vacation photos. We drive in, all excited, and guess what?? Road closed for excessive bear activity.


LUCKILY, we found another great spot, and there was a smidge of hazy fog, which made the lighting just magical. Apparently it was just meant to be for them to have these stunning portraits. I can’t even tell you how much I love, love, love these!


During extended family sessions, I love to do a great mix of the whole gang, separate families, grandkids all together, and so many more. These a definitely moments you want to remember and capture while everyone is together.

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Cades Cove Maternity Session | Gatlinburg Photographers | Jessica's Family Session

Gatlinburg Family Photographer

Oh this session makes my heart happy <3. Jessica and her little family are just lovely, and we share an obsession with the beauty that is Cades Cove. They were visiting Gatlinburg TN before the arrival of their new addition. Of COURSE we had to do a session in Cades Cove because their sweet baby boy will be named Cade after one of their very favorite places in the world.

While a bit chilly, the weather and light was perfection for their family and maternity session. So perfect, I had a hard time not photographing them for hours, let alone narrowing down my favorites for this blog! Keep scrolling, you’ll see why!

The best part?? Jessica wore one of my client closet maternity gowns, and when she came out of the changing tent I told her sweet son to look at how pretty mom looked, and asked him to go stand next to her for a picture. His answer through tears?? “I can’t stand next to her, she’s just too pretty”. Cue the “awwwwwww” moment.

Here’s my favs!

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Knoxville Photographers | Newborn Photographer Knoxville

Knoxville Newborn Photographer


Oh. My. Gosh!!! Check out this sweet Knoxville newborn session! This beautiful, beautiful little girl was born on none-other than Valentine’s Day! I was so excited to put together her sets and include fun pinks and reds to symbolize such a fun birthday!

The little gal was WIDE awake for most of her session, but oh-so sweet and patient. She didn’t want to miss a thing. I was so surprised she let me do so many poses and prop changes with her so alert. Just one of the best babies ever <3

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Here’s some highlights:

Knoxville TN Movers | Moving Company in Knoxville TN | Caughron Movers

Hi all!

This is a bit off topic, but I just wanted to take a minute to tell you that I’ve found a fabulous moving company for anyone coming or going from the Maryville or Knoxville TN areas ( they also do long distance). Their prices cannot be beat!!! I’ve used them personally, and to move my studio when needed, and it’s always been great. I love when I can support local, and it’s an amazing experience!

Be sure to ask them about their Moves for Heros discount: EMT, fire, Police, Veterans, and more qualify =))

https://www.knoxvilletnmovers.com/

Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge Photographers | Extended Family Reunion Session | The Delorey Family

Cades Cove Extended Family Pictures


I know some Gatlinburg photographers cringe when they get a request for a family reunion portrait sessions in the mountains, but I’m an oddball! I LOVE these big family pictures and getting to meet so many great people. Don’t get me wrong, sometimes getting thirty people into place is a bit like herding cats and I have to get a bit bossy, but WOW are the results worth it!

I’m from a pretty small family myself, so I truly love being immersed in the fun and love of these big groups. Let me tell you, we laugh and joke, a LOT. It’s truly as great a time for me as them.

The Delorey family had 29 members join them for their Pigeon Forge vacation, which is on the larger side of groups I’ve photographed. The heads of the family had five handsome sons, who all started their own beautiful families.

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These guys were pros at this, and the beautiful sister-in- laws?? So helpful and organized with the session, they were just amazing at helping me get everyone in place for the perfect pose. Thanks ladies!!!

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Let’s not forget that it rained most of the day, so the fields were a muddy mess, and we had to cross our fingers the skies didn’t open back up, but they were troopers! Don’t take my word for it though, see for yourself!

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Gatlinburg Family Photographer | Smoky Mountain Vacation | The Ritchey Family

Gatlinburg Photographers

The lovely Ritchey family contacted me a few months before their vacation to Gatlinburg Tn to plan a fabulous family session. As the mother of four boys, she knew a mixture of planning, prepping, and fun was the key to a great family portrait session. Let me tell you, working with four young boys can be a challenge, but nothing I wasn’t up for! I’m not going to lie, there were moments, no one would look at the camera, and they were just over it; and let me tell you, it’s totally normal, and we always end up with amazing images!!!

Cades Cove, with is 365 degree mountain views makes the perfect spot for vacationers. You get gorgeous images that are so different than everyone elses. Those mountains are just perfection, not to mention the fields!

We ended up having SO MUCH FUN. We took posed images, and laughed, and played games for the perfect candid/posed mixture. They’re just a lovely family and I’m so glad I had the pleasure of meeting them.

Here’s my faves!

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Gatlinburg Photographers | Smoky Mountain Family Photographer | Paige's Family Reunion

Family Pictures in Cades Cove

Any day I get to spend in the mountains is a good day, especially with a big, fun family like Paige's! I come from a small family myself, so I really do love interacting with these bunches full of life and personality. 

The sun shined, and the lighting was beautiful for their session date, despite the threat of rain all week ( crazy east TN weather!). I couldn't have asked for a prettier day for this beautiful family. 

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Sometimes I get to do funny face pictures; always a hit with the kiddos!

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What extended family session would be complete without grandparent snuggles?

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Paige's sweet family of three and me stepped away for a few minutes for some family portraits and they are gorgeous! Don't take my word for it, check them out yourself. 

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Cades Cove Photographer | Gatlinburg Maternity | Cortland's Session

Cades Cove Maternity Session

Meet Cortland! A STUNNING mom-to-be who wanted a gorgeous Smoky Mountain maternity session while her and her family stayed in a cabin in Gatlinburg TN. She is one outdoorsy godess, so we chose to do her session in Cades Cove ( on a frigid day, not that she shows it!!!).

Seriously, it was middle of winter, below freezing, and she toughed out her Gatlinburg photography session like a pro model! I couldn’t have done it. I myself was in a coat!

I love the woodland feel that photographing in Cades Cove gives; it just magical. Here’s my faves!!!

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Gatlinburg TN Photographer | Pigeon Forge Family Photos | Amy's Family

Gatlinburg Family Photographer

I’ve had the absolute pleasure of working with this stunning family for several years now. This year’s session was GORGEOUS! By happy accident, we ended up on the Foothills parkway,, down the road from Gatlinburg overlooking the Smoky Mountains with perfect fall weather.

Amy and Chad’s two darling girls are perfect little models! We had a great time between posed and candid shots of the beauties. Their smiles are SO big and beautiful <3

Didn’t Amy do a fabulous job with their wardrobe?? Everyone looks flawless!

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Photographer in Gatlinburg TN | Family Reunion Photography Pigeon Forge | Amy's Family

Smoky Mountain Family Photographer

 

This beautiful family had a small family reunion during their trip to Gatlinburg TN and one of the daughters, Amy, asked me to meet up for some extended family pictures. I couldn't ask for a sweeter family; it was truly a pleasure to spend my evening photographing them and playing with their little ones. 

We chose a beautiful park in Knoxville, Sequoyah Hills, for their session to make it convenient for some of their family members to make it down.  It's been a super warm year with a fair amount of rain, so the greenery was just beautiful, and the bright colors they chose in their outfits, popped perfectly. Seriously, if you want to know how to do bright colors well for pictures, just look here. 

Without further ado, here are some of my favorites. 

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The best part? They brought bubbles for the kiddos to play with at the end. So cute!!

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Pigeon Forge Family Vacation Photography | Gatlinburg Photographers | Bayleigh's Family Session

Cades Cove Family Session

 

Bayleigh has such a sweet little family! I had the pleasure of meeting in them on their Gatlinburg family vacation; they decided it was the perfect time for updated pictures. Who wouldn't want beautiful family pictures in the Smoky Mountains?

They were just the sweetest couple with their beautiful big-eyed baby boy. He could melt your heart with one look and loved to have his Mom and Dad's attention during some of our fun, playful poses. Little man really loved the kisses and tickling that took place. 

Getting to spend time in Cades Cove during your vacation for pictures is such fun! We run into wildlife and soak in the natural beauty and really enjoy what the Smokies have to offer. I love using being able to help my clients make memories, as well as provide beautiful family pictures, unlike anything they could get back home. 

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Gatlinburg TN Photographer | Cades Cove Maternity Session | Pigeon Forge Vacation Photography

Danielle's Cades Cove Maternity Session

 

The lovely Danielle and her family came in all the way from Florida to have her maternity session in the serene Smoky Mountains, down in Cades Cove. Since they were flying in just for the weekend for these pictures, I was super worried about the weather! Our original date ended up being rained out, but luckily, they were able to change up their plans to be here on a beautiful, sunny day. The weather in the Smokies can be so hit or miss, I always try to leave room for re-schedules for my out-of-town clients; there's nothing worse than missing out on your pictures because Mother Nature had other plans!

Danielle borrowed a few gowns from my maternity closet, the Krysten and the Joselyn. She rocked both! I don't think there's a single gown in my closet she couldn't have pulled off. They complimented her sweet bump perfectly. 

Here's some of my favorite maternity pictures from her session. 

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Knoxville Photographer | Maternity Pictures at Concord Park | Cory's Session

Knoxville Maternity Photographer

 

Cory and her beautiful family met me for some darling family and maternity pictures this fall! The weather was perfect, with some amazing fall colors starting to peek out and give us some amazing backdrops. The Cove at Concord Park in Knoxville is such a great little spot; it gives some amazing foliage, and crystal clear lake views. I love the variety. 

Cory and her handsome husband have two beautiful children, twins, and are expecting their third. We wanted to focus on the family, with a few special pictures to celebrate the soon-to-be new addition. I'm so glad I got to spend an afternoon with them in the very best time of year <3.

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Knoxville Maternity Photographer | Maternity Gown Rental |Photographers in Gatlinburg, TN |

Gatlinburg and Knoxville Maternity Photographer

 

What to wear??? That's the question on everyone's mind when they book a Knoxville maternity session. Wardrobe can make a break your session, and while you're expecting, wardrobe can be even more of a challenge. I remember when I was pregnant, finding clothes I liked, that fit was a struggle, let alone maternity clothes that fit well enough for my maternity pictures. There's tons of beautiful maternity gown designers, like Sew Trendy, but they can get pricey for just one wear, especially if you want a few different styles.

I saw this dilemma firsthand and watched a lot my maternity clients struggle to feel amazing in their outfits, so I did something; I created my client closet.

I currently have over 50 maternity gowns in a range of sizes and styles for you to rent, at no cost, for your maternity session. I've curated these to have amazing options that photograph beautifully. I'm so excited to be able to offer these gowns to make your maternity experience that much better. What Mama doesn't want to feel like a princess for at least a day?

Some of my favorite maternity gown images!

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Photographer in Gatlinburg TN | Cades Cove Family Pictures | The Kirkwoods

Gatlinburg Vacation Photography Sessions

 

Gatlinburg family vacation sessions are awesome! I love providing these families with beautiful family pictures in our amazing Smoky Mountains. The Kirkwoods were no exception.

Cades Cove Family Photography

We had a bit of a rough start; Cades Cove can be super confusing with it's one way loop and random traffic jams ( bear sighting!) and these sweet people accidentally entered the loop without me, and spent almost an hour trying to get back to meet me. Despite our late start, we were able to create some beautiful family pictures together with spectacular mountain views. This family is just so photogenic, picking highlights was hard!

Joanna and her gang brought along their sweet pup, a pretty little Bichon Frise. He, of course got a few pictures of his very own. Pet photography can be tough, but this little guy was a natural poser. 

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UTK Grad | Graduation Session at University of Tennessee | The Campbells

UTK Senior Pictures

 

It's that time of year again! Dedicated UTK seniors are preparing to graduate and start the rest of their lives! College senior pictures or graduation pictures are just a great way to celebrate your grads accomplishments and see to see how far they've come. 

Blake finished at the University of Tennessee in just three years : I must say, I was impressed by his dedication. Of course after living on campus for three years, it's great to grab some pictures at your favorite hang outs, and iconic spots on campus. The weather was beautiful and cool, a perfect Spring day to walk around the UTK campus. 

We just had to snag a few family photos to celebrate the big moment, and sneak one of Blake and his lovely Mom. Where would we be without our biggest supporters: Mom and Dad?

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