4 Fun Things to do with Kids in Gatlinburg

Gatlinburg Vacation Photographer

 

If you're anything like me, your kids having fun while you're enjoying your Gatlinburg vacation is one of your biggest worries. Kiddos having fun, means the parents can relax and enjoy themselves as well. We LOVE Gatlinburg and having frequent "Staycations" since we live so close by. Gatlinburg really does have something for everyone, hiking, arcades, yummy treats, shopping, and more. Here's some of my favorite kid-approved activities in the Smoky Mountains. 

1. Hiking in the Smoky Mountains

Of course hiking has to be at the top of the list in the smokies! There are trails to suit every taste and skill level. One of our favorites is the Look Rock trail off of the Foothills Parkway ( Worth a drive itself!). It's only about a 10 minute hike to the top, on a partially paved trail. It's easy enough that even our "in-doorsy" daughter tolerates it for the beautiful view. Once you make it to the very top, you can see for miles and miles of beautiful mountains. We just recently hiked up there, so I happen to have a picture of the view. 

Taken from the top of the Look Rock Tower. Well worth the 10 minute hike!

Taken from the top of the Look Rock Tower. Well worth the 10 minute hike!

2. The Gatlinburg Ripley's Aquarium

A MUST do if you're visiting the Smoky Mountains on vacation. It's seriously the coolest aquarium I've ever been to! A perfect rainy day activity if you should run into bad weather. There are so many interactive exhibits geared towards all age ranges; toddlers right on up through adults. We spend hours there when we go, especially in the shark tunnel and petting the manta rays. Oh! And the penguins; talk about adorable! There's so much to take in, and fun for the whole family. 

3. Walking the Strip

The main strip in Gatlinburg has so much to do and see. You'll find homemade fudge and candies that you can watch them make in front of you, arcades, and all kinds of fun shops to poke around. As a bonus, it's also full of Pokestops ( my kids are obsessed!), so they have something to keep them occupied during the "boring" stretches. Prepare to spend a good hunk of your day walking, browsing, and maybe grabbing some Ben and Jerry's ice cream cones. 

 

4. Drive the Cades Cove Loop

The title is a bit mis-leading. For the kids to really enjoy it, I recommend you set aside several hours for Cades Cove. Enjoy the drive, but stop to explore. Sparks lane has a great little area where you can park your car, stretch your legs, and take in the nature. We frequently find tadpoles, and other critters in the creeks that make my girls giggle, enjoy the mountain views, and if we're lucky, maybe even a deer or two will let us get a good look. Finding all the critters is like Where's Waldo! It's a very pleasant way to spend an afternoon for free. It's also one of my favorite spots to photograph, if you need family pictures while you visit!

The view from Sparks Lane in Cades Cove.

The view from Sparks Lane in Cades Cove.

 

I hope you guys enjoy your stay, and if you need more ideas, feel free to reach out. These are just some highlights; there's so much more to do. 

 

 

Gatlinburg Photographers | Cades Cove Maternity Session | Lexi

Gatlinburg Maternity Photographer

 

This Mama-To-Be had a beautiful (although cold!) Maternity session in Cades Cove. It's one of my very favorite places on earth, so I'm always super excited when I get to photograph there! It has so much to offer from the creek, to mountain views, and forest, just endless possibilities. It's really the perfect spot for those looking for a vacation photographer in Gatlinburg to capture all the Tennessee beauty. 

Lexi did an amazing job combating the chilly day for beautiful maternity pictures in Gatlinburg. Her family is expecting two adorable new little ones in the next few weeks, to make them a lovely family of 6. 

Maternity Gown Rental

Lexi wore two of my rental maternity gowns that come free with your maternity session. This first one is the Aurora in Lilac by Leah Marie Couture. It's beautifully soft and feminie and can be worn sheer, or with a slip for full coverage.

Gatlinburg photographer photographs maternity in purple gown.

Gatlinburg photographer photographs maternity in purple gown.

Beautiful view in Cades Cove for maternity session in rental purple tulle gown.

Beautiful view in Cades Cove for maternity session in rental purple tulle gown.

Pregnant belly bump in purple tulle gown

Pregnant belly bump in purple tulle gown

Green Maternity Gown

The second dress Lexi wore was my sage Jamie gown by Sew Trendy. It showed off her perfect bump beautifully! I just love how it looked for her session. 

Family poses in Cades Cove for family pictures.

Family poses in Cades Cove for family pictures.

Mom-to-be poses on mossy log in Gatlinburg for maternity pictures. 

Mom-to-be poses on mossy log in Gatlinburg for maternity pictures. 

Aren't they just the cutest family with a beautiful Mama?

 

 

Gatlinburg Photographer | Smoky Mountain Maternity | Kendra's Session

Gatlinburg Maternity Pictures

 

Meet Kendra! Her and her hubby met me at a beautiful Smoky Mountain location for their maternity session. The river and rock faces made amazing backdrops for her beautiful maternity pictures. I am so fortunate to live close enough to photograph in the mountains and rivers of East Tennessee. 

She wore one of my maternity gowns, the Kiara is wine. It is available to rent for your very own session, absolutely free when you book with me. That red is SO her color, she was STUNNING in it. I adore all of the images from her session. 

I cannot wait to meet their beautiful baby in just a few weeks! Sweet babies are my favorite!

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Maternity in rocky river

5 Super Easy Steps to Schedule a Gatlinburg Photographer | Alisha Bacon Photography

Gatlinburg and Smoky Mountain Vacation Photographer

Gatlinburg and Smoky Mountain vacations are magical. Whether you're getting away with your immediate family, or have the pleasure of getting the whole gang together for a family reunion, take advantage of your time here with beautiful family portraits in the mountains or meadows. 

Step 1. Start Planning Early

Gatlinburg photographers stay busy in the "tourist season", which runs Spring through late Fall. As soon as you have your dates pinned down, I recommend reserving your photographer. Personally, I love to help my clients choose a date early during their trip, to give us a bit of wiggle room if we need to re-schedule for any reason. 

Step 2. Choose the Right Photographer for You

When looking for a photographer, look for someone whose work you love, who is licensed to shoot in the National Park ( if you want mountain images) , and that fits your budget and needs. Check their packages and fees; every photographer has a different business model, some include only prints, and some digital images.

Step 3. Contact Your Photographer

Reach out to your favorite photographer and see if they're availability matches up with the time you're in town. From there, they can help you plan your perfect session. From location: Do you want downtown Gatlinburg, the mountains, or maybe in one of the beautiful rivers? To best time of day for lighting and working with your family's schedule. I even offer wardrobe consultation  and planning to help you look your very best. 

Step 4. Get Booked

To secure your slot, most photographers require a contract and retainer to hold your date. This will ensure the date and time you chose will be there waiting for you on vacation, so you don't have to give it a second thought.

Step 5. Have Fun and Take Gorgeous Pictures!

On the day of your session, your Gatlinburg Photographer will direct you into flattering poses and encourage you to have fun with your spouse or little ones. Relax and have a great time! During my sessions, I love to do a mix of posed and candid pictures that show fun and love from your trip. 

 

 

Knoxville Photographer | Maternity Pictures | Urban Tennessee River

Knoxville Maternity Pictures

 

Meet Brittany. A soon to be mommy of two! Isn't she absolutely radiant? I just love everything about her Knoxville maternity session.

We planned for golden hour at Volunteer Landing, right by the river. It's an adorable little urban park, that I just love for sessions. It was the perfect spot for Brittany's maternity pictures before her family moves out of the area; a great memento of Knoxville. I had a great time getting to know her and her family.

She wore both my Emma sequin maternity angown, and my Poppy gown with tossing train. Both are available for rent for your very own maternity session. Rental is absolutely free when you book your session with me. You deserve to feel gorgeous for your maternity pictures <3. 

This first one is the Emma, it looked fabulous on Brittany!

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Next, she wore the strapless Poppy gown. That blue, paired with the water and the birdges in the background... I just LOVE it!

Knoxville Maternity Pictures | Military Couple in Maternity Gown | Michaela's Maternity Session

Maryville Photographer | Maryville College Campus

 

I had the opportunity to work with this super sweet couple for their maternity pictures! The timing was perfect as they just celebrated Army AIT graduation, so his dress blues were ready to go. We lucked out with a nice, warm February day in the sixties, which was fantastic. Maryville College campus provided us with gorgeous backgrounds, despite it being winter. 

My husband is a veteran, so it's always such a wonderful thing for me to be able to work with soldiers and their families. Plus, the uniform sure looks spiffy in pictures!

Free Maternity Gown Rental 

Finding something to wear for maternity pictures is hard! Not all maternity close are super cute and photogenic, so I'm now offering maternity gowns!

Michaela wore a few of my favorite gowns from my maternity gown collection, both the Aubrey and Harlow gowns by Sew Trendy ( my absolute favorite gown designer!). This HUGE collection ( over 30!) is available to rent for my maternity clients, absolutely free with your session. They're made to perfectly show off your bump while being super flattering for the expectant mama. 

Pink Ruffled Maternity Gown

This is the Harlow gown, a ruffled pink gown fit for a princess. Michaela wore it so well, and I think it fit her personality perfectly <3. Every mama deserves to feel like a princess, it's hard work growing a tiny human. 

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Red Slim-fit Maternity Gown

Best Place To Eat in Pigeon Forge | Amazing Burger | The Local Goat

Local Restaurants | Pigeon Forge

 

Need a great place to eat in Pigeon Forge? Run, don't walk to The Local Goat. It's a fabulous place that just opened last year that I just had the pleasure to experience. My husband and I drove past it a few weeks ago, and the name intrigued me enough to look it up. The menu won me over on their website, so we made a point to check it out.

The service was absolutely wonderful and the food was amazing. 

We started with their Deep Fried Deviled Eggs. While it sounds crazy, I would make the hour drive from my house up there to eat those every day of my life. So. Darn. 

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The burgers were just what a burger should be. Perfectly cooked, well-seasoned, and served with tasty fries and housemade ketchup. I'm a super picky burger eater, and I wouldn't change a thing. 

This is the best local place I've eaten at in Pigeon Forge. Five stars from me for sure!

 

 

 

 

Maternity Pictures | Knoxville photographer | Ashley's and Nathan

Knoxville Urban Maternity Session

I'm so thrilled to share Ashley and Nathan's downtown Knoxville maternity session with you all! Ashley looked AMAZING in the maternity gowns she wore so well by Sew Trendy Accessories. These two were fabulous and so easy to work with, and just great together. Trust me, you'll see their chemistry in some of my favorite images. 

We spent the evening wandering through downtown in the 40 degree weather ( although you wouldn't know it looking at Ashley's pictures; she was a trooper!). There are so great urban spots in Knoxville to choose from. 

Maternity Gowns

Ashley wore two of the gorgeous maternity gowns available to my clients for their maternity sessions, both the Samantha and Celine gowns from Sew Trendy. They accentuated her natural beauty and showed off her bump perfectly. 

These might just be on my all-time favorite picture list; they're so incredibly beautiful. 

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Knoxville Mom's 4 tips to stay Healthy and Happy

Knoxville School Closures

 

If you're a busy mom like me, the Knoxville school closures announcement throws you into a bit of a frenzy! I am so glad the little ones who are ill will be able to get some R&R and the schools can sanitize. It also means little germs are running rampant in Knoxville ( I'm a teensy bit of a germaphobe). Seriously, as a busy mommy with two kids, that runs a business from home, I don't have time for my little's to bring home the flu from school. Plus, I work with pregnant mommies, and teensy newborn babies, which I absolutely don't want to expose to anything.  We have a few things we do to help prevent illness and save my sanity. 

 Seriously, as a busy mommy with two kids, that runs a business from home, I don't have time for my little's to bring home the flu from school. Plus, I work with pregnant mommies, and teensy newborn babies, which I absolutely don't want to expose to anything. We have a few things we do to help prevent illness and save my sanity. 

Stay Healthy Knoxville

1. Hand Washing

I know, this one should be a no-brainer, but if you have kids, you know the struggle! I'm constantly on my kids to wash their hands as soon as they get home from school, and regularly throughout the afternoon. 

2. Vitamin C

We started taking vitamin C every day about a year ago ( before that I was bad about remembering!). The kids get chewables and take 500-1000MG a day. In the last year, the sweet kiddos have hardly been sick! A great improvement from the previous year where it was almost once a month. 

3. Elderberry Syrup

I just found elderberry syrup this year, and let me tell you, I'm so glad I did! You can buy it in the store, or make your own ( my top choice because I know exactly what goes into it, and can use local honey for the allergy benefits!). It tastes great, and the kiddos just have to take a teaspoon a  day for prevention, or a teaspoon every 3-4 hours for treatment of cold or flu. I use this recipe https://wellnessmama.com/1888/elderberry-syrup/

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4. Stay Away from Germ Factories ( AKA children's Play Places)

Seriously, in cold and flu season, we stay far, far away from Chuck E Cheese, Jump Jam, etc. With Knoxville schools being out, I've even seen some of these places advertising to bring the kids over. I totally understand needing to get well children out of the house, but all it takes is one sick child to go and ruin it for everyone. Personally, I keep the kiddos entertained with crafts and such instead. They're just as happy, and we can keep exposure down to a minimum. 

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I hope these help you busy moms keep the littles well!

Knoxville Engagement Pictures | Knoxville TN Photographer | Coope

Knoxville Photographer

 

Oh what fun this lovely couple was. We braved a chilly, windy day for their beautiful engagement pictures in Knoxville, TN. We met at a lovely garden, with tons of little nooks and crannies to pose in. I just love exploring green spaces, especially while chatting with such lovely people. 

Engagement pictures are always fun sessions! Two people in love, showing it off for the world to see. It's a beautiful thing to share in. Enjoy a few of my favorites from their darling session. 

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Downtown Knoxville Photographer | Urban Maternity | Tessa's Maternity Session

Knoxville Maternity Photographer

 

Oh happy days! I was so excited to photograph Tessa and Joe's maternity session! Photographing in downtown Knoxville is one of my favorite things; combine that with a maternity session and it was perfection! Their maternity pictures look like something off a movie a poster. 

Maternity Sessions

Maternity pictures are seriously some of my favorites! I adore helping the mom-to-be look stunning and capturing the beauty of pregnancy. It's also a fabulous time for me and the parents to get to know each other and chat before their newborn session. 

Tessa and Joe were amazing despite the bitter cold on the day of our session; I know for a fact I would not have looked that good while freezing. They were up for any ideas I could throw their way; their couple pictures are simply stunning!

Maternity pictures really agree with Tessa, she looks beautiful in every shot! It was nearly impossible to narrow it down to just a few to post. Everything about these is perfection. I love that we went with an urban location, it paired so well with them.

 

 

Knoxville Newborn Photographer | Baby Session | Jack

Knoxville, TN Newborn Baby Photography

 

Darling baby Jack came to meet me last week! His sweet Mommy brought him to my Maryville newborn studio for his very first photo shoot. Jack was almost eleven and a half pounds at birth, and super tall! He's a big boy with oh so many adorable baby rolls <3. At first, he made us really work for pictures, but after a little snuggle time, he was the perfect newborn. The Hunk hat fit this little nugget perfectly.  

Next, the little guy curled up on my counting sheep mat; too cute!

I was so excited that little man gave in to a deep sleep! He was the first baby to get to use my brand new truck prop! Now available at Knoxville Newborn sessions with Alisha Bacon Photography. He rocked it!! I love the rustic look on the barnwood backdrop. 

To end our session, we nestled Jack into my rustic wooden bowl to complete his session. What a little champ!

Maryville Family Photographer | Cake Smash First Birthday | The Armstrongs

Maryville Photographer

 

I was beginning to think the weather was completely against me getting to work with the Armstong family! We scheduled in the middle of this bit of a rainy season we're having here in Knoxville, and had to move the session, not once, but twice! I'm so thankful they were willing to hang in there with me for their beautiful family pictures. Well worth the wait!

Maryville Family Photos

We chose Pearson Springs in Maryville for this family session, the weather FINALLY cooperated, and did so beautifully. I couldn't have asked for more gorgeous lighting! Their three little ones were just darling! There were all about playing and smiling; I love when children warm right up to me <3. There was a definite chill in the air, but they powered right through with those bright eyes and grins. It usually takes me way longer ( and a lot more silly noises) to get three littles looking my way. 

First Birthday Cake Smash

Fast forward to my studio for the cake smash! I LOVE cake smashes, but sometimes the babies don't share my enthusiasm. Little miss was a bit unsure about her cake, but in the end gave in and gave it a few good smashes. 

Cake Smash | Knoxville, TN Photographer | The Loy's

Knoxville Child Photography

 

Meet the lovely Loy children that I had the pleasure of photographing! These two little ones sure did give me a run for my money, but the end result is so worth it. The weather was perfect and the Knoxville garden backdrop was beautiful. 

First Birthday Pictures

This sweet girl is turning one! We took some beautiful portraits of her to document her at this age. Her gorgeous red hair looked so adorable in the perfect lighting we had. I can't get over how cute her Knoxville child pictures are! Babies this beautiful start my baby fever! 

Of course, we also had to sneek in a sweet mommy-daughter picture <3

Knoxville Cake Smash

Next, we had some cake smash fun! Little miss was happy to dig right into her sweet icing and make a mess. I think we might have had just as much fun watching her. The faces she made were priceless!

Toddler Pictures

Sweet girl's brother took a bit longer to warm up, so his pictures waited until the end. Once he was ready, he was one of the most smiley, happy boys out there! He ran and played while I chased after to catch a few great pictures. We had a blast playing on my airplane prop!

Maryville Photographer | Family Photos | Farm Session

Photographer in Maryville, TN 

 

The Napier's sessions was such a fun one! This lovely family invited me to come photograph their family session on their Maryville farm. If you know me, you know I am farm ( and farmhouse) obsessed, so this was right up my alley! Exploring their beautiful property made for a wonderful afternoon. 

Part of the farm had the perfect mountain view for Smoky Mountain family pictures! I could look at that view all day long! What an amazing spot for pictures.

Pet Photography

Their three beautiful children were absolutely lovely to work with ( as well as the fur baby!). We had quite a few laughs while they worked so hard to wrangle the pup into their sibling picture. Poor pup just wanted to run while we insisted he sit for still. What you don't get to see, is that literally 3 seconds after this shot was taken, pup bucked all three of them off of him and made a run for it!

Rustic Family Photos

The property was so perfect! It even had all kinds of darling, rustic buildings for us to use as backdrops. It really injected a ton of personality into the Napier's pictures. 

Knoxville Newborn Photographer | Baby Pictures | Maximus

Newborn Photography Knoxville

 

Just before Christmas, sweet, baby Maximus came to the studio! He was one of the sweetest, most snuggly babies ever! Snugglies the wee babies is the highlight of my week. 

 

Naked Baby Newborn Pictures

There's just something so wonderful about the classic " naked baby" newborn pictures. It allows you to see all their little rolls and features so perfectly; they'll always be some of my favorites. As always, we used wraps and posing to keep little man modest, while still showcasing how tiny and perfect he is. 

Newborn Prop Pictures

Props are addictive! Especially the really fun, themed ones. I love to grow my collection for parents to choose from whenever I can. Maximus' Mommy chose some adorable ones for their session; I'm so excited to share!

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Family and Newborn Picture

A portrait with your brand new baby is so special, and this family nailed it! They posed so naturally with their new baby, it was beautiful. I absolutely adore this one of the three of them together. 

Christmas Tree Pictures | Knoxville Photographer | Mylie and Lila

Knoxville Christmas Pictures

 

Sometimes you just find the perfect spot and have to do some pictures! Thankfully my littles are pretty awesome at spur-of-the-moment photo sessions while driving around Knoxville. When you find Christmas trees and beautiful light, you just can't say no. 

Christmas pictures are still in full swing, although we're on the cusp of it being too late. If you're hoping to use your pictures for gifts and Christmas cards, I recommend booking your session in October or early November next year so nothing's rushed or stressed ( Who needs more stress in their lives?). 

Tree Farm Children's Pictures

This little " tree farm" on the side of the road made me so excited to nab a few shots of my girls. I adore the results from our ten minutes there.  

My girls always cooperate better if a silly face picture is promised, and I'm alwasy happy to make it happen for them. 

Knoxville Photographers | Sunflower Maternity Session | The Jones Family

Knoxville Photographer

 

A maternity session in a huge field of sunflowers, it doesn't get much better! This maternity session just aligned perfectly! We were all set for a different location, but on a whim, I asked Katie if she'd like to switch to the sunflower field that happened to be in full bloom. As luck would have it, sunflowers were her favorite flower! I couldn't have asked for a more perfect session. 

The heat and humidity has been KILLER this year in Knoxville, but you would never know looking at them! They were real troopers enduring the swarming bees ( who were thankfully more interested in the flowers). It was 100% worth it for the final images. 

Maternity Pictures in Field of Flowers

Aren't they just the sweetest?? Seriously, I had the hardest time choosing pictures for the blog, they're all so cute!

Maternity Photographer Knoxville

There was the most adorable little path next to the flowers that we took advantage of as well. I love the simplicity of it. 

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Maternity Portraits

Pictures of just the mom-to-be are some of my favorites! Katie looks so beautiful in these, that I had to include a few in the blog. 

Knoxville Photographer | Family Photography | The Bennett Family

Knoxville Family Photographer

 

The beautiful Bennett family invited me out to their lovely property for their Knoxville photography session. It was the perfect setting for their family, and they were so gracious to allow me to explore and ask questions about their land ( we hope to build a small farm in a few years, so I love to soak in everything I can on the subject). It was a great session, full of laughter and smiles; even the littlest one did beautifully. we played in a field of flowers, and walked through the woods. I can't imagine a better afternoon!

Rustic Family Pictures

The Bennetts home had so many beautiful spots for portraits! My favorites came from their field in the back with pretty, rustic fence posts and flowers galore. 

While posed pictures are beautiful, and usually end up as stunning wall art, I myself love a good candid! Catching real moments of love between a family makes my job all the better. 

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Just Mom and Dad

A grouping that gets overlooked the most, is pictures of just Mom and Dad! I really love sneaking a few in to family sessions. Family portraits are super important, but sometimes it nice to have one of just you and spouse at that stage of your life. Plus, they're so adorable! One day their little ones will look back on their love story as something to aspire to. 

Knoxville Child Photography

These two sibling were AMAZING together! Little miss was the best big sister and did a great job helping with these poses. She was very loving and patient and with her baby brother, which allowed me to take some beautiful pictures of the two of them <3. The flowers were the perfect setting, plus the beautiful kids; perfection! 

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Gatlinburg Family Pictures | Pigeon Forge Photographer | Melanie's Family

Cades Cove Family Pictures

 

Extended Families are the best! When Melanie contacted me to capture her fun family while they were all on vacation together, I was thrilled! I love getting to be a part of these big families while they visit the Smoky Mountains. Plus, Smoky Mountain pictures are to die for! Sharing the natural beauty I experience on a daily basis =). I seriously can't tell you how much I love being a Gatlinburg photographer!

Big Family Picture in Cades Cove

Of course, we had to get a picture of all of the family together with the mountains! No stay in Gatlinburg would be complete without it! They are such a lovely bunch, and such pleasant company!

Candid Smoky Mountain Picture

So much of my work is beautiful, posed portraits, which are GREAT, but sometimes the candids are my very favorites. This sweet little family had fun playing in the field and we got some candid fun on camera with the stunning Smoky Mountains in the background. oh, and that light!!

Gatlinburg Family Pictures

Now it's time to share a few more of my favorites! We took so many awesome pictures that it was super hard to narrow them down for a blog post!