Gatlinburg, TN Family Reunion | Family Pictures Pigeon Forge Vacation | Mandie's Family

Gatlinburg extended Family session

 

Gatlinburg family photography sessions in the winter come with their own unique set of challenges. This good-looking family was visiting from Florida this month, and was hoping to see snow on the Gatlinburg vacation. To say it simply, they got their wish; a winter wonderland!

The downside of snow in Gatlinburg is the road closures ( and super chilly temperatures!). This sweet family was amazing and totally flexible to change their date due to the weather. We were all set to go to Cades Cove, and thought we lucked out, because the loop re-opened on the afternoon of our re-scheduled session. Unfortunately, we didn't think to check and see if other roads they needed to travel on the way were also open. Thank goodness, they thought quickly and contacted me to let me know they couldn't get there, and we were able to move their session to a location in Knoxville with well-salted roads. While it wasn't the Smoky Mountain views we were all hoping for, I'm so glad we were able to capture their family while they were all together. In the end, that's all that matters. 

There was still a bit of snow on the ground, and freezing cold, but they braved it out!

Here's the highlights from their Pigeon Forge family reunion session. 

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Gatlinburg Photographer | Knoxville Photography Studio | Beth's Family Session

Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg Photographer

 

You wouldn't believe all the obstacles we had to overcome to get this beautiful family gorgeous extended family pictures... 

Beth contacted me several months back to photograph their family while they were visiting Gatlinburg TN on vacation. We chatted, booked, and thought we had everything all set. Well, if you've ever been around the military, you know plans are made to be changed, and since one of the members of their family is a service member, we needed to move our session to accommodate their schedule. No problem, once again, we're all set.

Now, we have had one of the coldest winters I can remember this year, and of course, their session was set to fall on one of the super-cold, 23 degree days we've had recently. The cold coupled with little ones recovering from the flu forced us to get creative and move their session from Cades Cove to my Knoxville studio.

They hung in there through all these changes though, and I'm so glad they did! The images were not what we had planned, but I love them just as much! The studio lent a very classic feel to this extended family's portraits. 

 

Check out some highlights. 

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Knoxville Newborn Photographer | Knoxville Photography Studio | Pregnancy Announcement | Baby Reed

Newborn Photographer

 

Say hello to baby Reed! He's such a cute little fella!! This sweet baby is just so loved; I'm incredibly glad I was able to be apart of his parent's journey to parenthood. It's not every day I get to see a picture of one of my newborns as a teeny, tiny embryo. His Mama had this beautiful watercolor done from an ultrasound of him as an embryo that we used in their pregnancy announcement; it's probably one of the coolest things I've gotten to photograph. 

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Now that their handsome little man is here, we got to take darling newborn pictures. He's such a little champ! He gave us sweet tiny smiles, and slept away for most of his newborn session. We got to incorporate a few fun things like his monogrammed diaper cover, and rainbow baby blanket. I love everything about his pictures <3 

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What To Wear for Family Pictures | Gatlinburg Family Photographer | Photographer in Gatlinburg TN

Pigeon Forge Vacation Photographer

 

What to wear for Gatlinburg family pictures? Such a simple question right? Yeah, it's not for me either. This is a HUGE stress on so many of my clients, and even myself when I get ready for family pictures. I don't know about you, but I really don't welcome additional stress in my life.

What Colors to Wear for Gatlinburg Photography Sessions

A big hurdle is color scheme; it can be tough! Pulling everyone together while being worried about looking like a box of the reject crayon colors. I personally love really classic, timeless looks and adore neutrals like cream or grey being the main focus, or heavily incorporated. Chambray and denim are also great for casual looks. Don't be scared of a bit of pattern, but keep it fairly subtle. Not everyone has to exactly match, mixing in colors, layers, and those simple patterns create a beautiful texture and look for your Gatlinburg family pictures. I've made some swatches with some of my favorite color combos that photograph beautifully.

 

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What to wear for family pictures
What to wear for family pictures
What to wear for family pictures
What to wear for family pictures
What to wear for family pictures
What to wear for family pictures

These are a few of my favorite schemes, especially for big groups. There are hundreds of beautiful combinations though, and so much more I would include if I had space. 

 

How To Plan your Pigeon Forge Photo Shoot Wardrobe

When you start planning, I suggest starting with Mama ( or the women in the case of extended families with several Mamas to please). The old saying, " If Mama ain't happy, nobody is happy" does have some truth to it.

Mom, you're most likely in charge of planning your family pictures in Gatlinburg, and the wardrobe is totally up to you. Once you've picked your color scheme, focus on finding flattering pieces for yourself. If you have any areas that aren't your favorites, really work to camouflage those. It can be as simple as wearing a light jacket, or lacy cardigan to cover your arms, or a flowy top, layered with light jacket, or high waisted flowy skirt to hide a tummy. These little tricks will make you feel SO much better about how you look. 

Now that you've found an outfit you adore, fit everyone else's in.  Layers are GREAT, jackets, kimonos, cardigans, half-zips for the guys: all of these create really great texture and interest to add to your photos. Notice in the net picture, the slight texture the Dad's shirt, the embroidery detail on the sweet girl's tops, and how the denim jacket really pulls this beautiful Mama together. 

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This fabulous family looks amazing! The Mom chose a beautiful figure-flattering dress, and used light patterns and different maternials to create texture and interest in theor outfits. 

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A fabulous example of neutrals with a tiny pop of color! So classic and timeless for your walls. 

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This dark khaki, taupe, and grey combo is one of my favorites for Gatlinburg Photographer sessions!

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Here's how to do bright colors! Throw in a few neutrals, and make sure everyone ties together, for a great look for your family. 

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If you follow these few simple tips, I promise you all will look magazine worthy and feel great! 

Knoxville TN Newborn Photography | Newborn Baby Photographer | The Quillins

Newborn Photographer

 

Oh happy day! It's always a great day when I get to cuddle a brand new baby! The Quillins sweet, sweet baby girl was a delight. She was an AMAZING sleeper and flew through her newborn session. Her big sister was such a sweetie! She was the perfect role model for her baby sister during the session, she even held open the studio door for me when my hands were full. 

Newborn Carriage Prop

This little bit was the first baby to use my news Carriage! I love this piece! It's perfect for your little princesses first photo shoot! She can ride in style for those sweet pictures. What little girl doesn't want to be a princess at some point in their lives? 

Newborn and Sibling Photos

Next, the sisters got to be in the spotlight together! Little bit's big sister could not stop kissing her; it was the sweetest thing. You can tell they'll have a wonderful childhood toegther. 

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Knoxville Newborn Photos

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Photographers in Gatlinburg TN | Family Photographer | The Dahmans

Gatlinburg Vacation Photographer

 

This beautiful family of three booked their family photos with me during their Gatlinburg vacation. The Smoky Mountains are such a beautiful place, it always makes my heart happy when I get to photograph families in our beautiful scenery, with mountains and woods all around. Photographers in Gatlinburg are just so lucky to live in this beautiful area and capture memories for families enjoying a fun time together. 

The Dahman's sweet daughter is just three and she ROCKED! She was up for every challenge, from balancing on logs, to twirling her skirt, to loving on Mom and Dad. Sometimes little ones aren't quite so eager, but getting to play a little bit really brings them out of their shells. 

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Showing off the best parts of a family is such a wonderful part of my job as a photographer. The Dahmans are a perfect example. There's so much love and energy in their pictures; just beautiful. 

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Knoxville Christmas Light Show | Family Fun in Knoxville

Christmas Light Show in Maryville

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Hi guys! As I've told a few of you, our family puts on a huge synchronized light show for Christmas. 

This year, we've tripled our lights, and have a total of just over 45,000 total bulbs that all twinkle and dance to music. 

This is just a fun thing we like to put on for the local community and I'd love to see you guys out here. 

The address is 924 Montgomery Lane in Maryville. To view the show, it's best to park at Montgomery Ridge Intermediate School and walk down to view the show from the sidewalk. Show will run at 6pm, 6:30pm, 7pm, 7:30pm, 8pm, and 8:30pm nightly until December 22nd- 25th when the last show will be 10:30pm. 

We have a radio playing in the yard, but to hear better, we recommend bringing a portable FM radio and tuning in to 92.5fm. 

For updates and more information check out our facebook page https://www.facebook.com/baconlights/

Knoxville Photographer | Maternity Session Knoxville | Sequoyah Hills Park

Knoxville Maternity Pictures

This lovely couple is expecting their first little one; such an exciting time! It was a pleasure to meet Sarah and Jason for their Knoxville maternity session at Sequoyah Hills Park. Sequoyah Hills has some beautiful hidden gems tucked back in the park; grassy fields, rock faces, and the water all make great backdrops. As an added bonus, it's just 2-3 minutes away from my Knoxville studio. 

The outdoor portion of Sarah's session was beautiful! She looked stunning in the blue Poppy maternity gown. She was a natural in front of the camera, making it easy for me to capture a ton of images of her bump. The sun was even on our side, and dissapeared behind some clouds, providing a beautiful sunset. 

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Knoxville Photography Studio

Sarah requested a few indoor, studio maternity pictures, and I was thrilled to oblige. Several months back, I opened my first storefront studio on Kenesaw, so it was just a quick trip over from the park. I don't typically do indoor maternity pictures, as I adore working on-location, but the simplicity of these really won me over. I love how the focus is really pulled to the Mama in the studio with classic portraits.  Doesn't Sarah look radiant?

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Gatlinburg Photographers | Metcalf Bottoms Family Session | Family Portraits

Gatlinburg Family Photographer

 

A few weeks back, the beautiful Pfeffer family visited Gatlinburg on vacation from Nashville and requested a Smoky Mountain family session. We opted to use Metcalf Bottoms as our location for its wooded look, super easy river access, and relatively short drive from Pigeon Forge. I love how versatile it can be with woods, wildflowers, and water.

Their two sweet little girls were troopers! Our mountain session was awfully close to bedtime, but they did great and gave some shy smiles. Vacation pictures can be awfully hard on little ones, whose schedule is thrown for a loop, but with a little patience, we always get awesome pictures. 

We started out by the water, for some beautiful mountain stream pictures! The water stays SUPER cold, so we didn't venture into the stream, but enjoyed the soft babbling in the background. 

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Next, I led their family down the trail just a bit, to an opening in the trees. I find the woods so peaceful and love when families want a picture there. The greens in the summer forest and just gorgoues! 

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The Pfeffers ended their session in a patch of wild clover, playing with their beautiful girls. Tickles and giggles are a huge part of my family session with little ones and they are alwasy some of my very favorite images. 

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5 Tips for A Great Fall Family Picture Session | Knoxville TN Photographer

Knoxville and Gatlinburg Photographer

 

It's that time! Time to think about your fall family photos and Christmas card images here in Knoxville. I'm hearing that the foliage should be AMAZING this year, way better than the past two or three Autumns. I'm SO excited; fall is my very favorite season. 

 

1. Book Your Knoxville Photography Session Early

Seriously, please don't wait! I'm even a bit late writing this. October and November for photographers has been compared to April for an accountant. Those two months are CRAZY busy here in Knoxville, and even more so for my Gatlinburg and Cades Cove sessions. My October/November weekends are sometimes booked 2-3 months in advance. I absolutely hate to turn people away, so I'll do everything in my power to make room for your session, but sooner or later, I run completely out of slots. So especially if you have a hectic schedule and need certain dates, book as early as you can. 

2. Carefully Consider Wardrobe

Your wardrobe can make or break your session, the feel and look of your images. You should absolutely use this to your advantage.

If you have a "problem area", use clothing to direct attention away from it, so you love the way you look in your photos. Personally, after two kids, my stomach is problem area, so I try to go for looser tops or high-waisted dresses that flow away from the body

Avoid too many large and crazy patterns and neon colors. A pattern or two mixed in is great for a bit of texture, but too many distract from your beautiful family. I love soft neutrals with a pop of color for family portraits. IF you need help, I'll be happy to point you in the right direction. 

3. Prep The Little Ones

Taking some time in the days leading up to your session to explain to your kids what to expect during the session and what you expect from them can work wonders. I find when littles are prepared, sessions go super smooth. I'm not above bribery with own kiddos, and find that going to the store and picking out a small toy ahead of time ( They're SUPER into blind Shopkin packs), that they can have if they're good listeners and patient during their photos, helps boost their morale a bit. Of course a good nap and a full belly before your session is also a great idea if you can swing it. 

4. Keep Calm

I'll be the first to tell you, family pictures almost never go as planned. From the planning phase, to the actual session, little things go wrong and things aren't always perfect. We will work together to make your session just as amazing as possible, but if we hit a bump, roll with it. It's so easy to get stressed out when little ones running around when they're supposed to be posing for your stunning family portrait. I promise they're not the first, and you will come out with amazing images, even if we have to play three rounds of ring-around-the-rosie to bring out those smiles.

5. Have Fun

Seriously, relax and have a good time. Play with your kids, embrace the crazy, and realize almost no one has a "perfect" photography session. Kids have meltdowns, clothes get stains, and husband's sometimes scowl. Come to your session with a playful attitude. I personally love a mix of playful pictures of playing with kids in the air, or running and picking flowers and your above-the-fireplace posed portraits. I promise we'll get great shots you'll love <3

 

 

Knoxville Newborn Photographer | Newborn Photography | The Sheppicks

Newborn Photography Knoxville TN

 

Meet the beautiful Sheppick family! They recently welcomed a BEAUTIFUL baby girl that I had the joy of photographing. Little miss was such a sweet little nugget of baby goodness; I couldn't get enough of her! Snuggling teeny babies never gets old <3.

Knoxville Family Photo

During newborn sessions, I like to start with the family pictures, if requested. It keeps everyone looking fresh for their pictures, before enjoying the 75-80 degree room ( to keep baby toasty warm.). Aren't they the cutest little family?

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Newborn Baby Pictures

Sweet little miss was such a cooperative baby after she fell asleep. I got to use tons of set ups and had so much fun dressing her up in different outfits, wraps, and headbands. One of my favorites is the floral wreath!

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I cannot wait to watch this little Sweetie grow up <3

Knoxville Photographer | Family Photos in Knoxville TN | Fall Family Photos

Knoxville Family Photographer

 

Meet the Shrewberry family! They invited me to come and take their pictures in their neighborhood, with the cutest little bridge. This little family of four did amazing, especially those sweet little boys! At their age, it's super hard to sit still and look at the camera for a bunch of family pictures, so we made sure to have some fun play-time mixed in. Running, swinging, and being tossed in the air does WONDERS for bored little ones to make sure you receive amazing Knoxville family pictures! 

Watching these families laugh, play, and make beautiful memories during portrait sessions is the best part of my job <3

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Knoxville Maternity Photographer | Smoky Mountain Pregnancy Pictures | Gatlinburg Photographers

Cades Cove Maternity Session

 

A happy accident: that's exactly what Ashley's BEAUTIFUL Smoky Mountain maternity session was. This lovely lady had her heart set on beach maternity pictures while her little family was visiting Charleston, SC. Sadly, the weather had other plans and rained them out the entire week! She got in touch with me just as soon as she knew her original plans weren't going to be possible to get on my books. 

She had a vision of maternity pictures in the water, and it took some brainstorming on both of our parts to find the perfect location that would suit all of our needs. We settled on Cades Cove where we would have both a beautiful stream and the mountain views for her maternity session. Guess what happened on our first scheduled date? Rain! Of course it would rain us out on our first attempt. Thankfully, we pushed through, found a new date, and it was perfect for the session. It was cloudy the whole drive up, but the skies cleared just as we started. 

Maternity Pictures in Smoky Mountain Stream

I LOVE water pictures and the day was perfect for them. A beautifully warm July afternoon, where the water was cool and soothing on our feet as we waded out to the middle of the stream. Ashley looks so radiant and serene in water. While it's no beach, I adore the beauty the Smoky Mountains have to offer.

Smoky Mountain Maternity Pictures

After the water, we headed out into the fields and road with Ashley in my Harlow maternity gown to take in that beautiful view! Cades Cove has amazing views in every direction, making it one of my very favorite spots. 

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Ashley looks fabulous! I just know her baby girl will be a beauty <3

Gatlinburg Photographers | Smoky Mountain Family Reunion Photographer | Smoky Mountain Anniversary

Family Photographer at Gatlinburg Cabin

 

Tracy and her beautiful family invited me to come out to their cabin to photograph her extended family in celebration of her Mother and Father-in-law's 50th anniversary. We absolutely lucked out that their Gatlinburg cabin sat just 10 steps from a grassy spot with a stunning view of the Smoky Mountains AND we had just enough shade to make perfect portraits with them never leaving sight of their home away from home. Tracy' father-in-law was in poor health, so it made these pictures extra special, and also made it a must that we be able to stick close by the cabin.

50th Anniversary and Reunion in Gatlinburg

What better way to spend your 50th anniversary than in the Smoky Mountains surrounded my a loving bunch of kids and grandkids. I know that's exactly where I'd like to be in 41 years. I have so many beautiful pictures of these two from before we started family pictures, it was hard to narrow down which to share! Seriously, forget celebrity relationships, I hope to be like these two years from now <3

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Gatlinburg Family Photographer

The beautiful family was perfect for pictures! Being surrounded by family during these big sessions tends to really keep the big grins on their faces. There's always an uncle or grandpa willing to be silly with me to grab the best smiles! Extended family pictures are so, so, so important! In the end family is everything, so let's celebrate them.

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This is one of my all-time favorite pictures! We asked all of their grandchildren to give them a big hug and it couldn't have turned out more perfectly!

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This was one of the very last pictures I took at their session, when this sweet girl scooped up some bright yellow wildflowers, I snapped the picture. It sums up this session perfectly: beautiful and peaceful. 

Book your own Gatlinburg Photography Session

Pigeon Forge Photographer | The Island | Family Pictures

Family Pictures at the Island in Pigeon Forge

 

Meet the Sivestros! This spunky little family had the great idea to take their Smoky Mountain family pictures at The Island in Pigeon Forge during their vacation. I just love the fun-loving feeling this location lent to their images. 

If you're visiting the Pigeon Forge area, you should check it out! The Island is a cute little area with unique shopping, rides, and tasty, tasty food! It's a great way to spend the afternoon during your Smoky Mountain vacation with stuff to do for everyone. I need to make it back up there myself soon to check out the Paula Deen restraunt. 

It was a busy day at the Island, but we were able to make some great spots for family pictures! My personal favorite was probably the carousel; super cute! 

The fountains were a close second for a favorite spot! The way the water caught the light when it shot up, was just perfect for the background of their photos. So differnt and fun!

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It took a bit of patience, waiting for people to pass to grab some of this cute spots, but it was so worth it in the end. 

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Knoxville Newborn Photographer | Photography Studio in Knoxville

Brand New Knoxville Newborn Studio

 

I am THRILLED to announce my brand new Knoxville studio location! I am now conveniently located in the heart of Knoxville in the Sequoyah Hills neighborhood in the same shopping center as The Plaid Apron. I'm so excited to be readily available to my clients in a great location.

It is now available for all of my  Knoxville newborn sessions, as well as indoor family, maternity, and milestone sessions! It has a super comfy waiting area where you can relax and watch your sweet little one's session while taking a much-needed break. 

When you arrive for your newborn session, I will have the studio set up and ready to go with all of your custom requests of colors and props. You'll be able to watch all of the sets as I pose your newborn on different props and set ups right from the comfy couch.

Feel free to help yourself to the coffee bar and cold drinks while you're here!

All of my newborn outfits and hats are available for you to browse through and add to your session if you find something you love. 

I can't wait to photograph your sweet babies here; it's been a wonderful blessing to be able to open such a space for indoor sessions. 

Gatlinburg Photographer | Cades Cove Family Pictures | Jamie's Family

Gatlinburg Family Photographer

 

Jamie's little family was so sweet! They were visiting Gatlinburg all the way from Michigan. We spent the afternoon exploring and playing in one of my very favorite spots on earth, Cades Cove. The littlest member started off a bit grumpy, having fallen asleep on the trip over from Gatlinburg, but after a few minutes to warm up, he was laughing, and playing, and showing his truly joyful little personality just like his sweet brother. Those two sweet boys seriously cracked me up!

Family photos while you're vacationing in Gatlinburg are so fun! You get these beautiful mountain views, and to enjoy the serenity around you. It's so peaceful and beautiful there, I sometimes just stop and enjoy the views for a few minutes after my sessions, and watch the sun completely set. 

Sometimes little ones ( haha, okay, most of the time) don't enjoy standing still and looking at the camera for those above the fireplace shots, so I love to mix in some tickling and playing fun for them. This next one was a mixture of tickling, and playing who can not smile the longest! Fun is KEY to a great family session. 

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Gatlinburg Child Photography

These two boys were amazing little characters! Seriously, we laughed and played through our poses (and silly faces). I adore their portraits; so cute! Their Mama picked out outfits that complimented their Smoky Mountain location beautifully. 

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Knoxville Photographer | Country Rustic Barn | Maternity Pictures

Knoxville Maternity Photographer

 

Jessica and Jeff's Knoxville maternity session was perfection! This is one of those sessions that just aligned perfectly despite an imperfect start. I normally scout out my own locations, but Jessica's awesome sister had an amazing venue just down the road from her, with a beautiful barn that graciously allowed us to use their property for a session. My GPS went haywire and directed me out to the middle of nowhere and Jessica's hair and makeup ran late, but it put us at the perfect time, with magical lighting. Everything happens for a reason, and this couldn't have been better.

Knoxville barn pictures

This location has the cutest barn, that is just beautiful! It made such an amazing backdrop for Jessica's pictures. She requested a country barn feel, and I know we captured just that. Even her sweet puppies got to join us in this stunning spot! I've always loved barns so this location was right up my alley. 

Grassy Field Knoxville Maternity Pictures

Along with the barn, the farm had the prettiest grassy fields, with gently rolling hills. I could've done the whole session right there, it was so beautiful. 

What is a farm without hay? Jessica's sister pointed out the bales off in the distance, and as soon as we saw them, we knew we needed pictures by them! Isn't she just the most beautiful Mama?

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I cannot wait to meet their new addition in a few weeks in my Knoxville photography studio! So exciting!

Knoxville Baby Photographer | Newborn Photography | The Grooms

Knoxville Newborn Photographer

 

Floral Newborn Pictures

The Grooms family brought their sweet girl to meet me last week. Her beautiful Mama requested lots of floral to represent this little girl's two grandmothers. I ADORE a good floral, so I was happy to make that a reality for Annalice's session. We used a wreath, flower blanket, and a floral beanbag backdrop, almost everything had something floral to it! I thoroughly enjoyed designing every set up for this family. 

Knoxville newborn girl on purple flower blanket made for her session. 

Knoxville newborn girl on purple flower blanket made for her session. 

I love her sweet profile in this wreath; such a beauty!

I love her sweet profile in this wreath; such a beauty!

Princess and the Pea Newborn Picture

Annalice's Mama had one other request, a Princess and the Pea set-up for her princess. With short notice, I didn't have time to order props, but her awesome family stepped in to make it happen. Grandma lent us a ton of antique quilts, and her Dad made the darling ladder. I'm so glad we were able to make it a reality; it couldn't be more beautiful!

Newborn Photography Knoxville

Next, we moved on to one of my very favorite parts; the beanbag poses! This is where all the cute, squishy pictures happen. Sweet girl did not disappoint! She let me cuddle and pose her into the sweetest pictures. 

Family PIcture in Knoxville Studio

Finally, I wanted to end with the Grooms first family portrait in my Knoxville studio! They are such a gorgeous family with two beautiful children! Enjoy!

 

 

 

The Best Gatlinburg Souvenir is Family Pictures | PIgeon Forge and Gatlinburg Photographer

Smoky Mountain Photographer

 

This past week, a sweet client told me that the best souvenir they could think of from their Gatlinburg vacation was family pictures. She really couldn't be more right. I couldn't tell you what little trinkets that we've brought back from different vacations are still around. We've purchased t-shirts that soon have holes, magnets that fall of the fridge and get kicked around, jewelry for our girls that breaks within a few days, etc. 

On our vacation to California, I took along my tripod, and we took family pictures to document our kiddos first time on the beach. You know what? That family picture is still the largest canvas on my wall, that I walk by every single day. Four years later, and it's a beautiful memento of our trip, and my favorite family photo to date ( and trust me, we take a TON of family photos).

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On your next Gatlinburg vacation, consider having family pictures taken while you're in town. The mountains surround you with natural beauty and make an amazing backdrop. I can promise you, those images will mean so much more than a whole trunk full of trinkets. Invest in your happy memories at this stage of your life.