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!


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. 





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


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.


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!


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. 

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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. 



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.