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Why Bare Sessions Should Be for You

Today I was looking around on the interwebs for inspiration and came across this article in Magnolia Rouge (one of my favorite wedding inspiration sites).  

Artistic Boudoir Shoot in the Colorado Mountains

These images are STUNNING.  Absolutely stunning.  I love the airiness, the light, but above all I love that these are unique.  They are personal because they are telling a story.  They bring the Bride's talents and passion into the session and it takes it to the next level.

I am a firm believer in the idea that you must do things for yourself first.  While this may sound selfish at first, it's actually quite the opposite.  For example, in an emergency situation on a plane adults are asked to first put on their own oxygen mask and then help their child.  You have to make sure you are in a place to help others.  Elizabeth Gilbert goes into this topic in her book, "Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear."  If you're into living creatively, I highly suggest you check it out.  It's kind of my jam right now.  

This is a lesson that I have really taken to heart over the past year as a new Mom.  It used to be that I could push myself beyond my limits.  I was notorious for pushing hard until I emotionally and physically crashed and burned.  As a Mom though, I HAD to take care of myself first.  I had to eat enough calories to breastfeed.  I had to sleep when I could or I wouldn't later.  I had to take moments of peace when I got them to stay sane.  (Those should be HAVE since it's still ongoing!)  But I believe these principals also flow over into our passions and our personal needs.  Even if you do a selfless job like volunteering for charity, it has to be because you love it for you first.  Otherwise you won't be able to give of yourself more and more.

So what the hell does all this have to do with getting naked and taking pictures?  As I have stated many many times.  Bare Sessions (or boudoir if you're fancy) are all about vulnerability, openness, and trust.  And therefore they need to be for yourself first.  You are giving of yourself, you are opening yourself up, and you are allowing someone else to see YOU.  And I truly believe that is a beautiful thing to share.  And SHOULD be shared.  But if you are doing it because you want someone to see you a certain way, or to strive for perfection, or to be someone your falls flat.  Authenticity is the key to beauty in my opinion.  Authenticity is what takes those images to the next level.  So be you.  Be true to yourself.  Be passionate.  And do it for you. 


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Oh Baby Baby

Indoor_Maternity_San_Francisco_Photography072 In case, I forgot to mention it...Speed Racer and I are pregnant!  We are having a baby and quite soon too I might add!  Our little one is set to make its debut February 3rd, 2015.  So between holidays and preparing for baby, the posts and updates may be few and far between.  I appreciate your patience during this time, especially all of my clients who have already shown me so much patience and love!  I cannot wait to share the next stage in our life with you as well as my photography career.  Here's to the next adventure!

A special thinks also to Kayla with Kayla F Photography!  I cannot get over my amazing maternity session with her and adore each and every beautiful image she took!


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IMG_0341 It's pretty rare that all the elements come together for a outdoor boudoir session.  Weather, timing, a willing subject, and of course finding a secluded enough location to take the photos.  But Amanda and I set out on a beautiful warm fall day for a beautiful boudoir adventure.


Boudoir sessions are close to my heart.  They require a lot of trust, vulnerability, and openness.  When a subject relaxes during a boudoir session, it is a huge compliment.  But the main reason they are so close to my heart is that they are an amazing opportunity to show someone's true beauty, the kind that very few of us show to others.


So Amanda and I headed out on a hike, with a few outfits and a flower crown to make some magic happen.  Amanda is so beautiful and I think these images did a great job of capturing her.


My favorite images of the day however, are the ones that we took in the lake.  That's right you heard me.  This girl got in a lake, in Fall (with maybe a little persuasion from yours truly).



There is something about water that is just magical to me.  The first half of my life I grew up near the water and it still has a huge calling for me.  Lately, I have been very influenced by Michelle Gardella.  I love her work and think her River Stories series is absolutely stunning.


A tremendous thank you to Amanda for trusting me during our shoot.  For going with my crazy whims and being up for anything...even freezing cold lakes.  Especially lakes that are pretty gross at the bottom.  It was a great adventure and you are such a beautiful woman.  I hope the world can now see what I see.



Wedding Day Moments

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We all have our favorite moments at weddings.  Moments that make us tear up, moments that always make us laugh, moments that you never forget and moments that we wish we could capture forever.  That is the favorite part of my job, capturing all those special moments for you to hold onto.

IMG_1276 bwFrom embarrassing moments at the rehearsal dinner to so many tearful hugs, there are so many moments packed into a wedding weekend!  I was recently a vendor at Knoxville's Pink Bridal Show and I asked several of the brides that I met to chime in on their favorite wedding day moments.  I would love to hear from you too!  Check out the poll below and add in your opinion!



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Don't see your favorite wedding day moment in the poll?  Go ahead and shout it out in the comments below!  I'd love to hear from you!



John & Lynn

IMG_1898 I am so lucky to have these two in my life.  We call them Speed Racer's adopted Grandparents.  They're not Grandparents by blood but they have been an integral part of his life since he was born.  I have loved getting to know these two and being accepted as one of the family.


John and Lynn are proof that if you work at a marriage, love can last a life time.  They clearly still adore each other and had so much fun having their pictures taken.


They have traveled all over together, raised three beautiful women, and a complete gaggle of grandkids.  They cherish family as much as they cherish each other.





Thank you John and Lynn for not only making me part of your family but for showing me that youth is a mindset, not an age, and that love is eternal.  Your love is inspiring.


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Mary Beth

IMG_7882 I love doing one on one shoots.  There is a different pace when its just you and your model that slows everything down and it's a time to connect.  When Speed Racer's Cousin, Mary Beth, asked me if I could take some portraits of her for a modeling agency she is using, I was thrilled!  Number one reason?  Because she's gorgeous.  Number two reason?  Because she's gorgeous.  Number three reason?  I like to hang out with my models, so it was a great excuse for a day to just have fun together despite our busy schedules.



For this shoot, we wanted a variety of looks but all keeping within a professional theme so she could use the images for a variety of submissions from modeling, acting, or for music gigs.  Make up by yours truly.








We had a blast going around the Knoxville Botanical Gardens and exploring downtown.  I think the photos reflect the good time we had and the comfort and trust that we had in each other.  Thank you to Mary Beth for letting me help you with this project and I hope it results in some new jobs!

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Still Moments 4.4.14


To me, there is absolutely nothing like starting my day off with a warm drink.  It's one of my few daily rituals that I stick to.  I also realized this morning that it's one of the few Still Moments that I have everyday and it always starts the day off right.  My morning usually starts very early and there is something about making coffee or pouring tea that calms, rejuvenates, and prepares me for the day ahead.  It's a time where I contemplate the dreams that are still on the edge of my consciousness and turn my thoughts to what's in store.


We all need morning moments that speak to us whether it's coffee, prayer or meditation, or maybe lacing up your shoes for a run.  What is yours?  I encourage you to revel in your personal still moment this morning and start today feeling reawakened.



Let's talk Beauty

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Beauty is in the eye of the beholder...famous saying but something that I don't totally agree with.  As a photographer one of my favorite aspects of my job is to show my clients (and the world) the beauty that I see in people.  So, bear with me for a moment as I get on my soap box about how beautiful you are.


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"Thank you for sending me those pictures.  I have been having a real hard time with self esteem lately, and seeing those pictures helped me a ton." -Amanda

We all struggle with self esteem issues.  I know for me it has always been that if I thought of myself as beautiful then that meant I was vain and big headed.  This is something I have struggled with my whole life and I know it's not just me.  We all have something that when we see ourselves we think, "Well, that's not flattering."

But the truth is most people have no idea how absolutely stunning they are.  Seriously, you're stunning.

One reason I got into photography is to reveal that beauty and that light to the world and the people I am photographing.  It doesn't matter if it's a man, woman, child, couple, old couple, or even animals.  I want people to recognize and embrace their beauty.

In my career I have found that one of the most beautiful times that this happens, when people truly get it, is during boudoir sessions.  Now you might think boudoir is scary or maybe even inappropriate but I like to keep my boudoir classy.  However, boudoir takes a lot of trust.  You're literally baring yourself to someone you might not even know.  I have always had that moment with my boudoir clients when they finally relax, trust me, and start to feel confident and beautiful.  That is the moment that absolutely fills me with joy.

That moment happens so many times, not just in boudoir, but in lifestyle, bridal, couples, and even family shoots.  I am so flattered that my clients trust me.  Embrace it, love it, and find joy in your beauty.

Know today that you are beautiful inside and out.  If you don't think that can happen, let me know, I'm here to show you the way.

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Jacob & Morgan's Surprise Engagement Session


One of my favorite parts of being a photographer is getting to share in those intimate and epic moments in my clients lives.  Moments like the birth of a child, their first kiss as husband and wife, the anticipation of a new child, or in this case, the moment they decide to spend the rest of their lives together.



I was absolutely thrilled when Jacob contacted me and asked me to take part in his proposal to Morgan.  I had done Senior Portraits for Jacob's sister Claire last summer and been able to get to know the family better.  Jacob had everything planned weeks in advance, so all we had to do was set up, and wait for the big moment.



Jacob wanted to propose at a quarry outside of Oak Ridge that he and Morgan had often taken walks at.  He ordered sunflowers, had a blanket by the water, and had lined the path with photos of them together throughout their relationship.  It was perfect!  I found a spot to hide and then just had to be patient, which was pretty hard.



The big moment arrived...



And it was like the whole world just got still for that short moment...



And then she said yes!



It was really a beautiful moment and one I know they will cherish for years and years.  After a few moments for the reality to set in Morgan turns and goes, "What's that clicking noise?"  I popped up  like a total creeper from the woods and was like, "Hi! Congratulations!!" To my surprise, and relief, she was excited and took it all in stride.  We then spent the rest of the afternoon reveling in their excitement and doing several engagement photos.



It was so much fun to do the engagement photos right then when emotions were high and everything was so exciting!  Jacob and Morgan are so perfect for each other and compliment each other so well.

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Jacob and Morgan congratulations!  I loved getting to know you and your love story better.  I can't wait to see where life takes you and the amazing time you are going to have together.  Jacob, thank you for being a romantic and including me in a truly beautiful day.  I'm so excited to get to know you both better.






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Still Moments 2.19.14

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Today I am pining for some sunshine and warm weather.  So today's entries in the Still Moments series are photographs that make me think of that.  My mind is on lazy summer days, sun coming in the windows, and well, just sunshine mainly.

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We are so close to warm weather again I can almost taste it.  For those of you farther up North than Tennessee, hang in there!  Until then, I hope these will help keep you through the cold days.