I’ve had the honor of being this beautiful, growing family’s photographer for a couple of years now. Their children are so sweet and so beautiful… the whole family is! Sophia is turning in such a beautiful Big Girl; Evie is as precious as she can be; and now for our newest, Baby Boy Henry! I can’t wait to meet him!
I’m always saying this, I know, but I just never get tired of the joy of seeing families every few months and watching their children grow. It’s a real honor one I do not take lightly. “Baby’s first year” is an important thing to document, and I just love it! (Although, it is always sad when that first year is over and I don’t get to see the families as much!)
It’s no different with sweet Jack and Lucy. Recently I got to visit them at their home and photograph Lucy at six months. She’s getting so big, and is so sweet.
It was my unbelievable pleasure to shoot these guys a few weeks ago. I just love them; I love hanging out with them; I respect them. The pressure is always on when you are shooting artists :), but I feel very honored for the opportunity.
I’ve been shooting a lot of young kiddos this fall. I felt compelled to share some things on my mind and heart as I spend time with you all:
1. You aren’t being judged. I am a family photographer for a living. Every week I have my camera in a child’s space. I am more than used to children who aren’t excited about cooperation. And I promise, I’m not forming opinions about your child(ren) or your parenting while you try to wrangle your brood. That’s not my job and I don’t need or want to do it. Also, I’m a pretty laid-back gal, and I am not going to get stressed out if your child is fussy, unwilling to comply, opinionated, or cranky. I aim to shoot real life, and I often tell clients “We shoot the age”, and if the age is exhibiting particularly “strong-willed” features, that’s okay. I am not looking to capture a specific image (and it could possibly be time to let go of your hopes for your Pinterested images too); I’m looking to capture your child and your family. I have kids at home too, kids that also do not want to comply with picture taking, so trust me. I know what it’s like.
1a. In related news, I firmly believe in and support bribing. I will not be silently passing judgment if you have a pocketful of skittles.
2. Your child is doing great. If a 1-year-old lasts for 5 minutes, a 2-year-old lasts for 10 minutes, or a 3-year-old lasts for 15 minutes before having a melt-down of some variety, I consider our shoot a success. Usually I shoot families for about 1 hour. I DO NOT expect little ones to last this long. I realize from the first minute that our meter is running. They aren’t big, and do not have the attention span of big kids or adults, and that’s ok with me. I’m not gonna stress it.
3. Perfection is overrated. I personally love the idiosyncrasies of children and families. Each family has it’s own very personal and unique characteristics. I especially love the charismatic ways of children. I love the unique characteristics and personalities that exist among and between different family members. THIS is what makes your photo good, in my opinion. In a social-media-crazed world, I think many people come in to shoots with ideas, and they want to capture certain poses they have seen others do, and this is totally fine with me. BUT I tend to think that poses and props and perfection do not make your families pictures good, eye-catching, or unique. What makes your pictures different from everyone else’s pictures are the people in them. The family dynamics, the little (and BIG!) personalities. These things– if I can capture them, THEN we have a good photo. And yes, we’ll make sure to grab some good frame-worthy family shots, but if your four-year-old is striking her diva-pose in it, or the 1 year old has his passy in his mouth, it’s okay. Really. Perfection is overrated.
4. I’m not in a hurry. I don’t have an agenda. I allot enough time to work through moments of frustration, an infant’s unpredictable feeding schedule, and most of all, the very independent posing ideas of little 3-4 year old girls. So I don’t want my clients to feel pressured or rushed on my behalf. If everyone takes a deep breath and remembers to just relax, everything will be fine. Most shoots last an hour, but if we go a bit over, it’s ok. I’m not gonna stress it.
5. It gets better every year. My clients of 5 years ago look much more relaxed this year, with their little charges needing less wrangling. The 2 year old, who three years ago who screamed the entire session, today will sit with the best-ever smile for as many pictures as I care to take. When I tell you “We shoot the age” I mean it. If you want cooperative, sweet, well-behaved, and lovely-posed photos, give those little kids a few years!
6. I adore spending time with you. I do not see clients as just clients. I care about each one of you. I adore watching your children grow up. I love seeing their characteristics change, and other ones stay exactly the same. I love going from the stranger-danger stage to the hold-my-hand-and-chat-about-ElsaandAnna phase. I like talking with the parents and comparing parenting and schooling notes. I like your opinions. Photographers sit behind a computer a lot, but being out there with you and shooting is the fun part! I miss you if you go, and I like being social-media friends with you. These relationships are important to me! Being a family photographer is more than “just” a job. It’s one of those few jobs in life where you have the honor of seeing the individual beauty of families. I don’t take this honor for granted!
Hey! I’ve been too busy to blog lately! (You can always check my Facebook page for up-to-date sneak peaks). While this post in no way covers all the joy I’ve been able to shoot the past few weeks, I thought I’d show off some of the wonderful families I’ve had the honor of shooting in the past week. (I’m sorry this doesn’t include all my shoots, I’ll hopefully get around to updating the blog after Christmas!!!!)
Clearly I’ve been beyond blessed this early fall season to spend my time with the likes of these kids and their lovely parents!! Thanks to them, and to all the people I’ve shot and are on the docket for fall and winter pictures, for allowing me the honor of capturing your families. Probably all photographers say it, but I really do think it’s an amazing job.
It’s always exciting/sad to watch my first-year babes turn 12 months. I love watching them grow and I consider it a huge honor to be allowed to capture their milestones, but I also know that after the 12 month shoot, I’ll see much less of them. This little lady and her parents have been such a joy to have as clients. I always have fun shooting them and they are always so easy to work with, and that little lady of theirs is pure sweetness!
I rarely post pictures of my own clan on here, but we had such a fun time at the beach this last week, and I had so much fun taking pictures of my little loves. We definitely recommend Perdido Key, FL!
So exciting to shoot this adorable little one after her Mama’s maternity shoot back in the fall, and her newborn shoot at the beginning of the year. It’s crazy how quickly they grow! She is growing in to the most adorable, happy, smily Little Lady. I just love my job, y’all.
If you are in the market for children’s or family photography, give me a shout!
I just loved shooting this family’s maternity photos, and of course it’s just so exciting to get the call that it’s time to schedule her newborn session! What a beautiful little lady Miss Anna Kate is! And one of the best little models I’ve had in a long time!
I just love being able to photograph this beautiful little lady and get to know her family. I loved shooting her newborn pictures, and if it’s possible, she’s even cuter, sweeter, and happier at 6 months! Her parents are pretty swell too! 🙂
The best thing about being a photographer is seeing these beautiful families year after year and having the honor of documenting their growth, of freezing their wonderful, feisty little personalities in time, and of building on sweet relationships with them year after year. It makes me think my job has to be the best job in the world.
This family is special to me because I’ve been shooting them for several years; I love watching that cute little fireball, Haley, and her sweet protecting brother, Casey, grow.
Here are a few sneak peaks of our shoot together this month:
If you’re looking for Nashville family photography, give us a call!
So very often i receive this question, and I thought I’d just answer it here on the blog.
“What should we wear and how should we dress our families for our upcoming photo shoot?”
I have two rather passionate personal convictions on the matter, then I’ll add a couple more general guidelines.
Number One: I believe in not getting carried away in the “look” of it all. As the subject of the photo, naturally you think, “oh, I want us all to look our best for our shoot” and “I want our outfits to coordinate.” Yes! That is, of course, at the top everyone’s list. The problem (and I know this because I’ve done it myself) comes in when you stray from the natural “look” of your family and venture in to unchartered waters.
Here’s a for-instance: I have two little girls who play in dirt and dig for worms and climb trees. Most days they are in play clothes, and on nice occasions, I dress them in nice play clothes! We aren’t fancy dressers and we don’t pin-curl their hair every night at bed time or spend lots of money on top of the time items. In fact, most of the time their shoes don’t match their dresses and they are on the wrong feet. My point is, that for my own family pictures, I want to see those rough and tumble girls, those girls who climb trees and charm snakes. That’s my Ava and Audrey I want to remember forever. So of course, I want them to look nice, but I want them to look like them. And I want them to feel like them too. So the fancy embroidery and the high end boutique clothes are just not for us.
Having said that, I know other girls who are dressed to the nines in frills and frocks every day. And those girls should most definitely be dressed like that for their pictures, too!
Bottom line: let your clothes reflect your personality, not project their character on to you… And let those little ones be comfortable!
Number Two: Don’t blend in with your background. If our shoot is schedule to take place amongst the fall leaves, please don’t wear brown and orange, or at least add balance with other colors as well. If we’re taking pictures in a lush park in spring, don’t wear head-to-toe green! It’s pretty simple. I tend to be pleased with the way cool colors photograph as a general rule, but all colors work, just depending on when and where we’re shooting, and what you’re going for!
And a couple other thoughts:
– pictures live on years and years (and years and years) after they’re taken. It’s a good idea to pick a somewhat classic outfit (unless that’s just really not your thing, and then don’t!) that won’t date the photo in years to come. Let your age, and not your outfit, date the portrait.
– some adults have expressed that they’d wished they hadn’t worn a strapless or sleeveless shirt, that all the bare skin was distracting to them.
– plan for unpredictable weather. Your outfits may need to be flexible enough to incorporate a sweater or scarf, for instance.
-some people like to pick one “theme” color and make sure that there is at least a splash of it in each person’s ensemble. A good idea which most everyone already knows is to coordinate, not match.
– don’t underestimate accessories. Shoes, jewelry, hair things, they all add a touch of character to the photos.
– last, but definitely not least, if your shoot is going to be in the cooler months, add more layers than you think you need. For adults this is great, but for babies and young children, this is absolutely essential for a successful shoot.
And one more little post script concerning something I am most passionate about: many (most?) women don’t like the way they look in photos. We aren’t happy with our weight, or our nose, or our skin, or our post-baby bellies. Please do not let this keep you from having your family pictures made. And don’t put it off. You will want to have been IN the pictures with your family when you are old and looking back, and your kids will definitely wish they had pictures with their parents. Don’t let the image of the picture override the moment in time that is captured. A picture is about so much more than outfits and hair styles, it’s about remembering a phase of your life that you will never live ever again. SO get those pictures taken and be proud of the person you see in them when you get the proofs back!
written by Grace Rowe with Clearly Photography Google Plus Author
I always love shooting this little angel, she’s such a doll. It’s always a little sad when babies turn 1 and I don’t get to see them as often, but at the same time, it’s such a huge joy to see them developing some of those healthy, strong willed, love-my-mama-and-daddy qualities of toddlers. 🙂
It never easy to pick a few favorites from my Karalynn shoots, but I’ll try.
If you’re looking for children’s photography Nashville, please contact us for more information about our affordable options.
This is a topic I get asked about all the time by clients. I am behind the camera every week, capturing families and children and moments, and it’s easy being in that position. But it’s easy to forget that my clients are not in front of the camera every week and may not be nearly as comfortable.
So I have compiled 10 easy tips for making the most of your photo shoot. These are tips I give every day and that I see being very helpful when the time arrives for the shoot.
1. Pick a photographer based on what is important to you. For my clients, I know that my being (and staying) affordable, listening to and respecting their needs and wants, being compassionate, and capturing the reality of their families are some of the most important things to them. But each photographer is different; some are hyper-trendy, some are dedicated to photo-shopping out every imperfection, some are majorly into props and set ups, some are not interested in post-processing at all, and many will not provide you with digital images of your shoot unless you pay a very high price. Ask about these things; especially ask about fees- not just the session fee, but the printing fees, the post-processing fees, and the cost associated with obtaining the rights to the images from your shoot.
2. Shoot at the right time of day for the sun. Most photographers who know what they are doing will make this decision for you, but it’s good to know. There is a whole science about light as it travels through the atmosphere, and at what points the light is being reflected in what way. But what you need to know is that about one hour before sunset is the perfect time of day for a photo shoot. The sun is golden and the shadows are gentle.
3. Decide on the right location. A good photographer will include you in this decision. Choose a place that is close to home, not too crowded, is varied in its background textures, and most of all, that is comfortable for you and your children. Also, if it’s winter time or cold outside, keep this in mind with young ones. The cold is very uncomfortable for little ones, and they will definitely not be happy unless properly bundled!
4. Shoot at the right time of day for your children. In point #3 I mentioned that one hour before sunset is the perfect time of day for shooting. BUT, that may not be the perfect time of day for your child to be photographed. If it is dinner time for your children and they are hungry or their routine is disrupted, that may lend itself to meltdowns and tantrums (I know it would for my own children!). If it’s normally a time that a young child would be napping, shooting a tired child does not lend itself easily to happy photos. Your photographer can shoot at another time, taking care to filter the light properly to emulate the aforementioned golden hour.
5. Speak up! If you want a particular pose, location, time of day, or anything else, let your photographer know! A good photographer will not be offended by your suggestions, but will be more than happy to make sure you get exactly what you want. If you do not feel you can speak up to your photographer, refer back to #1 on the list.
6. Plan your outfits right. First, pick clothes that you and your children will be comfortable in and that you don’t have to stress about wrinkling or getting a little dirty. There’s no need to match exactly, but feel free to coordinate naturally. Remember these photos will last forever, so classic outfits are the most time-tested. I will do another blog post on which types of colors and patterns and shapes work best later, but for now, think of where you will be shooting and try not to blend in too much. For example, if you are having your photo shoot in a forest during the Autumn season, don’t wear orange and brown. 🙂
7. RELAX! One of the worst thing that can happen on a photo shoot is the subject getting stage fright. RELAX. As your photographer, I want to capture you and your family as you are naturally together. I want to capture what you want to remember. I do not care if it isn’t perfect; I want to preserve the reality of your family… As an aside, I promise, I am not judging your parenting if your child throws a tantrum or refuses to obey. Not only is that not my place, but I have 4 small kids of my own. I’ve seen it all!
8. Bring props if you want to, but bring the right props. If your little guy loves to push his dump truck all over the yard, and that characterizes a part of his personality, then by all means, bring the dump truck for a photo! If there’s a particular stuffed animal or blanket that is special, it’s worth capturing, in my opinion– even if it’s not “photo worthy” in appearance. If you want to blow bubbles to pinwheels, pull your child in a wagon, or bring a first-birthday cupcake, DO IT! I love that stuff; it’s special.
Just don’t spend a lot of time and money on props that are meaningless to you or your family. For example, I was once photographing a family at a venue, and at the same time another photographer was shooting a family with this huge, elaborate, fake lemonade stand. The parents and children were all dressed in hundreds of dollars worth of clothes and the set-up was very elaborate. I’m sure the pictures came out great.
If that’s the type of photos you really want as a family, that’s fine, but think about it first and make sure you are capturing the reality of your family or child the way you want it to be remembered for generations.
9. Get to the location early if you have children who are shy or who need to acclimate to a new place. Many children are shy around strangers, and, even if I take your pictures every year, your children may not remember me! They may feel shy towards me, and they may feel unsure about a new place. Let them get there early and run around, explore, and start to feel some ownership of the situation before the shoot starts so that some of the shyness will wear off.
10. Remember: SIMPLE IS BEST. The more complicated a shoot becomes, the more there is to go wrong. Simple is best. Comfortable clothes, familiar props, simple poses (or even better, unposed shots!), and relaxed parents are your best tools for making your shoot go smoothly.
If you need nashville family photography, please feel free to contact me for a price list at: http://www.clearlyphotography.com/
As a family photographer, it’s such a joy to shoot a child’s yearly photos. Seeing how a child has grown and changed over the past year is so much fun. But I’m also discovering the joy of how much a child has stayed the same.
It was no different shooting the handsome Mr. Tucker Boch and his family this week!
If you need some information on Nashville children’s photography, please feel free to shoot me an email!
This is baby Carson. He was just perfect and sweet and cute and scrumptious. And I loved shooting him. And, while I’m at it, I love his family. They are so special to me because I’ve shot everything from their engagement photos to their new baby photos. Words simply cannot describe what an honor that is. Seriously.
Anyway, here’s the cutey.
Thanks so much, sweet King family, for letting me capture your most important parts of life. You guys are awesome!
If you need any Nashville newborn photography, please contact me at: http://www.clearlyphotography.com/
Can I just take a minute to talk about something? Newborn photography, in my opinion, has gotten out of hand. There are elaborate props, decorations, headbands, and gadgets, not to mention the photoshopping that’s done afterward. It’s Anne Geddes meats Glamour Shots!!
I love a cuddled up, sleeping baby as much as the next gal, but newborn photography has become more about the photographer’s desires and props and less about capturing (accurately) the reality of that tiny baby. A baby in a tiny wooden baby hammock, photoshopped to death and with a flower headband that’s bigger than her head might be adorable to look at, but how real is it?
Instead of hoping the baby cooperates with me, I go in to a newborn shoot hoping that I can cooperate with the baby– that I can accurately capture the reality of that newborn baby, a reality that is so changing that it will be gone in a few weeks.
SO with all that said, check out this sweet sweet little baby girl I got to photograph this week!!
I love being this family’s Mount Juliet Family Photographer! It’s almost painful how beautiful this family is! I shot Miss Jadyn’s 4 year pics over the weekend and snuck in a few of her handsome brother and the whole fam as well. It was a blast! Thanks, guys, for letting me hang out with you for a bit!! Here’s a couple of the pics…
This family is also wonderful for another reason! They operate Rockstar Academy of Dance, where I also shoot AND where my own little ballerinas attend dance class. Check them out!
… that as your family photographer in Nashville, Clearly Photography is now offering free photo sessions for adoptive families!
We love adoption. We are in the process of adopting our own little Rowe Kiddo #4. And we have been thinking, “How can we use our passion for photography to support others in their adoption processes?”
Naturally the answer was Free Photos! We realize it doesn’t exactly do much for the 143 million orphans in the world, and our prayer is that as Clearly Photography and Clearly Media grow we will be able to give much, much more towards that cause. But for now, we want to say a huge “Congrats,” and “Welcome Home” to the adoptive parents and children in our community.
SO, if you are a family who would like to take advantage of this opportunity (and there are no strings attached, by the way), please send me a shout at firstname.lastname@example.org, and we will get you all set!
We can’t wait to meet your forever family!
If you need a family photographer in Nashville, whether your family is put together through adoption or not, we’d love for you to contact us! We have reasonable rates for any needs you have!