Adorable Family Summer Session {Nashville, TN Family Photographer}

Each member of this family was a TROOPER! We shot in 90-something degree heat and no one wanted to reschedule, everyone was like, “LET’S DO THIS!” and they showed up with changes of clothes and bottles of water and ROCKED IT.

That blue-eyed dad, Scott Stevens, is an awesome country musician and I KNOW you’ll be hearing him all over country radio soon, especially with the awesome team he has behind him! It was a blast to be able to photograph him, his beautiful wife and their equally-as-blue-eyed son.

Their baby boy had just turned one, so this was kind of a family/first birthday combo session, which is totally fine with me! Half family session, half kid-only session! We started out in a creek - because who doesn’t love creek photos?! - but had to move locations when baby Henry wanted to try swimming and wouldn’t stop trying to launch himself creekside, we had to go! And that’s how we roll with kiddos!

Outside is a wonderful place to have a family lifestyle session because there’s plenty of places for kids to explore and play. I don’t ever force kiddos to sit still and smile because, if they’re not in the mood, then they cry and get angry and mom gets frustrated and it’s no fun! Genuine interactions are the memories we all treasure most.

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chunky baby boy with his finger in his mouth
baby boy climbs on his dad in grass
blue eyed dad and young son playing in a field
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family plays while lying in the grass
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family of 3 plays in the grass and laughs
mom and dad kiss with one year old on their lap
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parents sit in a gazebo and chat with one year old son
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Adorable Girl Cake Smash Session {Franklin, TN One Year Birthday Photographer}

Sweet Makenna here is the youngest of three and it was finally her turn to have the spotlight on her!  I have been shooting her brother and sister now for a few years, and it was time for Makenna to hop in the fun!  After the traditional birthday photos of the three of them (post coming soon - and it has a GREAT idea to capture your kiddos each year), we got to have some cake fun!

Typically, I shoot my families and kiddos in more of a relaxed, lifestyle way, but I'm a sucker for an adorable first birthday cake smash session, so I do book these, too!

We scheduled this sweet baby girl's cake smash on a separate day from everyone's birthday photos so as not get too overwhelming for her.  We also shot in my client's home in a room with wood floors and a nice window.  This is always a great option when available so that baby and mama are right near everything they could need, from wipes and changes of clothes right up to all possible naptime equipment!  Smashing cake can wipe a kiddo out!  Haha!

Most parents don't realize that, for the most part, your newly minted one-year-old is NOT going to be that interested in smashing cake!  Isn't that funny?  They don't know what it is, or that they can eat it, and it usually feels really weird to them!  Often, mom will have to take some frosting and wipe it on baby's lip and hope they get interested!  

Makenna was no different!  She was a little skeptical and kept wanting to crawl away.  She gave us more smiles during her previous birthday session with her siblings, but we still managed to capture some crazy cute first birthday photos!  I love the "It's my 1st birthday" onesie and rainbow tutu that her mom choose!  I make sure to pick up a bright pink cake that would compliment all the colors!

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photo from above of one year old girl in pink tutu and pink cake
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adorable baby girl peeks through stool legs in pink cake smash session
Fun Downtown Bachelorette Party {Nashville TN Documentary Photographer}

When I got the request to shoot this bachelorette party, I was totally excited.  I had never done a bachelorette party before, despite the fact that Nashville, TN is the Bachelorette Capital of the US!  Even though this shoot was a departure from my family shoots, I wasn't at all worried because I always strive to capture connection, which can be found in any situation!

Luana clearly wanted her "last hurrah" captured with a lot of local flair and fun, especially considering she & her friends were from out-of-town and had never been here before (except one of them, a long time ago).  

Immediately upon viewing the image inspiration she'd sent me from Pinterest, I knew the EXACT locations in the pictures and decided to start our shoot under the Pedestrian Bridge and then make our way up onto it - letting the wind lead us after that! 

As is typical at the beginning of any shoot, they hadn't quite loosened up...yet.  All of a sudden they all busted out singing Journey's "Don't Stop Believin'" and it was ON from there!  Any photo where it looks like they're singing, they are!

The obvious excitement and happiness for the bride-to-be radiated from her entertaining and hilarious bridesmaids.  Everyone was there to help her celebrate!  Her maid-of-honor even brought some classic "crime" signs that we had too much fun staging and shooting! (Keep an eye out for the ready-to-help bouncers!)

It was a fantastic shoot & these ladies will have some great images to remember their super fly night!

Want to book YOUR bachelorette shoot or have a fun girls night documented?  LET'S CHAT.

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bachelorette in Nashville holding up pink sign that says, "Last Hurrah!"
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bachelorette and friend posing for funny crime photos in Nashville
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bachelorette party girl in black dresses poses with bouncer and funny sign saying "the tease" near Broadway in Nashville
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black and white photo of bachelorette party waiting in line outside of Florida Georgia Line House in downtown Nashville TN
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woman in white dress and woman in black dress having fun in downtown Nashville TN
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Celebrate Mothers - Mother's Day Mini Photo Sessions {Franklin, TN Family Photographer}

Moms and their kiddos!  Is there a more special bond?  Being a mom myself, I'd like to say I DOUBT IT.  That's why I'm SO EXCITED to be offering my Celebrate Mothers sessions again this year!  These sessions are just for mom and her kids, whether that be a brand new newborn, a set of twins, an only (like me), or a whole crew!  My style is to capture the special connection that mom has with each of her kids, and, for that reason, I do a very simple setup.  This year, it will only be a blanket in a park.  Nothing to distract from the love.  We'll sing some songs and play a few games - bring a book to read to your snuggler if you'd like, and you'll end up with some very precious memories captured for a lifetime.

These are from 2016 (the last time I did these session) and although this year will be a little different, these are still sweet and will help you get an idea of the range of images I provide.

Also, each kid writes (or draws) what they love about YOU, mom.  You do the same, and then I create a collage of those letters along with one image and print it on an 8x10 for you as a keepsake!

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black and white image of mom and young daughter hugging
three image collage of six year old girl in a pink dress outside
grandma daughter and baby girl smiling on a white wicker bench
mom throwing baby girl in the air and catching her
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mom with three kids in purple and blue outfits
collage of young siblings snuggling
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Downtown Franklin Personal Branding Session {nashville headshot photographer}

When Franklin TN's newest lawyer, Shanone (pronounced "Shannon") contacted me about doing a little personal branding shoot in front of the courthouse, I was so excited! I know it sounds odd, but so many headshots are done in my studio in front of a plain backdrop, that the thought mixing it up a little sounded fun.  She said she'd be using them on her website - that this wasn't just a single-shot deal for something like a corporate team page or a new LinkedIn profile pic - so I suggested we go with two different outfits and that we walk around downtown shooting a bit to get of that small town vibe.

This kind of shoot is a little more involved than a one-off headshot deal, but less so than a full lifestyle shoot.  I like them, also, because it allows me to get to know my clients a little more, and that always helps both of us.

Fun fact about this headshot session: this was the first time I ever had to DARKEN someone's eyes in post-processing!  Her eyes are hands down the brightest, sparkliest eyes I have EVER come across and I had to do just a tad bit of darkening in one or two photos just to help define them!  Isn't that nuts?!

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blonde blue-eyed woman with turquoise shirt and light pink jacket strolls through downtown Franklin TN
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All the Snuggles - 3 Month In-Home Lifestyle Family Session {franklin, tn baby photographer}

This session was a series of mis-haps at first, where we simply couldn't get our schedules aligned for a newborn shoot, so eventually we threw in the newborn towel, turned it into a 3-month photoshoot and it's one of my favorite baby boy sessions ever!

Her oldest is exactly the way you'd expect a little boy - rambunctious and does his own thing all the time!  That's what I love about lifestyle sessions - it doesn't matter!  It's all about the family and how they roll, and I just snap away!  

First, we played downstairs for a little bit, but then her sweet baby was hungry so we went to the nursery for a quick diaper change and a brief feeding time.  Dad and big brother occupied their time with a fun game of "find the orange ball" and then we all headed outside!  Since everyone got out a little energy inside, outside was the perfect spot to grab some cuddle shots of everyone, and baby boy got some snuggles from daddy!  Another wonderful lifestyle photo session in the books!

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Family Love - Beautiful Fall Lake Day {nashville baby photographer}

What a gorgeous day for a beautiful family photography session!  This mama contacted me and all she wanted was some sweet photos of her, her adorable baby boy and his sweet, doting grandparents.  And it was so easy to give that to them because there is so much love between this group!

At first, I was worried because we each parked at different sides of the lake - and it's a big lake - so we talked on the phone and just decided to start walking toward each other on the lake's path and hope that we ran into each other before the sun dipped too far!  I love to schedule as many outdoor sessions as I can during sunset because the light is simply DIVINE, but as I walked on, the sun dipping behind the mass amounts of forest trees and fall foliage, I was a little nervous!  (Even just walking by myself with all my equipment!)  But, then BOOM!  They came walking around the corner in their palette of denim, red plaid and neutrals, and I knew it was going to be a wonderful session!

All they had to do was be with each other, and all the love came pouring out.  Can you even handle his little face and his blue eyes?! OH, MY!!!  So excited to share these photos with you!

For every lifestyle session, I create a stunning slideshow for my clients. their precious slideshow is at the bottom of the post!

toddler boy with blue eyes looking at camera and playing with his mommy
toddler boy with blue eyes walking on leaves and holding his mommy's hand
toddler boy with blonde hair being held by his grandma with fall trees in the background
toddler boy with mom, grandma and grandpa standing together on a gravel path with fall trees in the background
toddler boy getting tickled by his mommy
grandma and mom sitiing down helping toddler boy walk
toddler boy in front of a rack of canoes in a black and white photo
toddler boy with blue eyes holding his grandfather's hand and playing with canoes in the background
toddler boy getting snuggles and kisses from his grandpa
mommy changing her toddler son's shirt outdoors in front of his stroller and standing in leaves
toddler grandson getting kisses and snuggles from his grandmother
adult daughter with her mom and dad leaning against a railing with a lake in the background
toddler boy walking on a bridge with his tongue sticking out and his mom and grandpa and grandma behind him
mother and toddler son wearing matching red plaid and getting smooches outside by fall plants
toddler boy being carried by mom you can see his shoe and the back of her
sweet mother and toddler son snuggle moment, mom standing and holding her son
toddler boy with blue eyes and blue shirt looking at camera being patted on the head by his mom
toddler boy with his mom and grandma and grandpa sitting on a log fence in front of a lake during the fall

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How to Favorite Photos on Your Phone to Make an Easy Online Album

By now, you've probably come across various apps that advertise monthly photo albums that are SO easy and made automatically and sent right to your door!  If it's so easy, then why aren't more of us diving in?  Well, because we don't really need EVERY photo we take to be part of an album!  The fuzzy ones, the ones where our kids turned around right when we hit the button, and then the ones of our kids mooning the camera (anyone else?).  We don't need those to be our forever memories.

 
Want to join in on the Mom's Moments Photo Project? Get monthly themes and weekly prompts to capture your memories! Then, learn to easily create and order a photo book from your phone!
 

But that doesn't mean we don't have a bunch in there that are totally worthy of being on our shelves.  We just have to pluck them out, and the best way to do that is to regularly go in and FAVORITE (or heart or star, depending on your phone) your favorites.  That way, when you go to make an album, you just tell the app to only use the photos found in your FAVORITES folder!

So, once a week or so, next time you're scrolling Facebook or Instagram looking at everyone ELSE'S photos, open up your photo app instead, scroll through your photos from that week, and hit the little heart next to the ones you super heart.

Ok, if you don't already know how to favorite a photo, here's how to do it on an iPhone.  It's pretty much the same on Android except there's a star at the top of the screen (I believe) and not a heart at the bottom.

1. Go to photos app (super simple)

If you have a group of photos that you want to narrow down, simply scroll to that group and start on one end!

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2. Choose Your Favorites. Be Selective!

See that heart down below?  You simply click that and your photo has been deemed a FAVORITE of yours!  Change your mind?  Just click it again.

Now, this is where we can tend to go nuts and think OH, I NEED ALL OF THESE!!  No. You don't.  If I can take 1546 photos from my Disney trip and narrow it down to 289 for a photo book, YOU CAN, TOO.  Now, lean in for the secret whisper: no one misses the other 1257 photos.  They were either bad (fuzzy, sneezing, eyes closed, blocked by a billion other tourists with strollers) or I just didn't need them to accurately tell the story of my Disney trip.

When deciding, really think if this image ADDS to your family's story.  Is it an important part of the beginning/middle/end?  Does it showcase your kiddo's personality perfectly?  Does it document something new?  Something that's about to go away (a tooth? an almost-walking toddler?)?  

In my first photo you can see four photos toward the end of my youngest nut and her bestie.  I'd skip the first two and I'd favorite the second two.  Why?  The first favorite is a good, cute smile shot and they were so happy at her party.  In the second, they both look ridiculous and I know we'll all get a good laugh when we look back at it!  

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3. Solid Heart.  See?

This is what the heart will look like when you have successfully favorited an image.  To un-favorite, click the heart again so it goes back to being an outline.

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4. Go to Your Favorites Folder

Now, when you open up your photo app, click on the folder icon on the bottom right and you'll see all the folders that your iPhone has.  You should see "Favorites" up near the top!  

Remember to pop into your Favorites folder every once in a while to make sure that little hands haven't accidentally favorited photos you don't care about!  Like mooning photos.  Or photos from princess apps.  Or snapchat photos.  ET AL.

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10 Reasons You Should Want (and Have) an In-Home Lifestyle Photography Session
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Your kids.  You love them, they're the most beautiful, precious things in the world.  And you want DESPERATELY to capture them in an equally beautiful and precious photo, with them SMILING real smiles - not their current, odd, fake smile that makes them look like they kill birds in the backyard - and you want them with their arms around each other looking simply like the BEST, MOST WELL-BEHAVED, GORGEOUS children on the planet.

In short, you want this photo to completely MISREPRESENT who your kids are.  Misrepresenting kids in general, really.  Kids are wild.  They are shy.  They cry, they jump, scream, laugh.  They use their entire bodies to express themselves.  They hit their sister, hug their brother, give sloppy kisses and spit in anger.  They are uninhibited and learning about life.

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I mean, right?  I have two girls - ages 4 and 7.  They are INSANE.  Smart, pretty, hilarious...and freakin' NUTS.  And while I, like everyone, will beg, plead and bribe them to stand, arms just right and smiles just lovely, it's rare that that kind of experience doesn't end with tears and anger and my youngest yelling something like, "YOU OLD RAT!" (Because she did that once.)

And the good and the bad about this?  It's ONLY FOR A LITTLE WHILE.  Even this time next year, or in six months, will not look like it does now.  Especially for the littlest of little ones.  

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So, instead of choosing to have a lovely photoshoot in a lovely field where you aim toward the most perfect over-the-mantle canvas with some gilded ornate frame and you have lots of non-lovely feelings about your kids running wild and your husband getting all annoyed because this NEVER goes well, and you are now annoyed at EVERYONE and everyone will go home and EAT DINNER IN SILENCE BECAUSE OUR FAMILY WAS SUPPOSED TO LOOK LIKE WE ARE LOVELY IN THESE PHOTOS AND NOBODY DID ANYTHING RIGHT!! GIVE ME THE WINE!!!

Well...what if...doing a photoshoot right...is just...letting everyone be.  Just as they are.  Kids.  Dad.  And, yes, YOU.

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So, let's get into

10 wonderful reasons to want (& have) an in-home lifestyle photography session, like, ASAP (because it all changes so fast!!).

10. No Loading Up the Car.  Isn't that grand?!  No remembering to pack this and that.  No worrying about kids messing up their hair or spilling snacks or drinks on their photoshoot-only clothes that they can only look at through glass until the day of the shoot!

9. No Photoshoot-Only Clothes or Hair.  Yes!  Save money this way!  And no fancy photoshoot-only hair which really means that kids run and scream and don't do their hair and mom and dad yell (and dad pops open a beer.  Just us?).  NONE OF THAT!  In fact, it's almost BETTER if your kid has her crazy bed-head when I or your photographer show up!  Eventually, their hair will grow out and won't stick up like that.  Why not leave it alone and brush it half-way through the shoot after getting some adorable and slightly hilarious just-woke-up shots?  In fact, your kiddo can just be in a DIAPER!  You don't have to dress them AT ALL if you don't want!  Save dressing time for the sweetest of images - after capturing some diaper-only shots, of course!

8. Snacks & Bathrooms.  ARE RIGHT THERE.  I mean, mic drop, yes?  MIC-FREAKIN'-DROP. 

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7. All the Wardrobe Changes You Want!  Your kiddos can go from pajamas to a fancy dress, to suspenders, to princess high heels and boas.  Or an Einstein wig, purple necklace and a silver shield if you've got kids like I do.

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6. Mama Can Take Her Time.  Now that you've FINALLY gotten your kids ready and shoved them off to hang out with Dad, you barely have the time you wanted to get your hairs all did up nice.  But with an in-home lifestyle photoshoot, I am or your photographer is likely to come and focus on the kiddos alone first, leaving you time to leisurely apply some mascara and rouge.  And you don't have to get fancy AT ALL.  I mean, if I were being photographed, I'd slap on some makeup so I didn't look like a man and then I'd go with my NICEST pair of comfy pants and fuzzy socks.  And some kind of top, too.  You know.  Don't want to make it all awkward. 

5. Dad's Love It.  I sh*t you not.  EVERY. SINGLE. lifestyle session I have EVER had (in-home and outdoors - because you can do this kind of thing outside), dads say to me, "That wasn't that bad! That was the best time I've ever had at a photoshoot!"  HA!  Winning with the dads.  And mamas, we all know we might be able to swing ANOTHER session next year if Dad has a fond memory of the last one, right?! Because in a lifestyle session, dads get to do stuff like this with their kids:

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And, I'm sorry, what dad does not want the sweetest bedtime book-reading routine with his little lady documented?  Is this not something he'll look back on FOR DECADES? Like her wedding day?  And then his little girl will show HER kids one day, when she sits reading to THEM.

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4. Naps & Bedtime Routines.  Ok, so it's REEEALLY unlikely that I or your photographer would be at your house for like 10 hours, so, you know, we just get sneaky sometimes and PRETEND to do a little bedtime routine, just to capture it.  And kids usually think it's super fun to get in jammies and play bedtime.  But, it can certainly be likely that we can run right into naptime.  In fact, if you have a kiddo that still naps, I love to plan it so our session ends right around then.  Because then you get this:

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3. You Might Move One Day.  And if you do, it's wonderful to look back and remember your old house.  You might move when your kids are little and they won't remember their first room with their crib, and train table of toys and how they loved to open and close the shutters.  But whey they ask about it and you tell them, you can pull up these images.

2. In-Between Moments.  This is where the family magic happens.  These moments are the intimate fibers of our familial being.  Where you're enjoying a cup of coffee and the littlest wants to smell it.  Where you're about to give a horsey ride and, instead of taking the photo once your kiddo is all saddled up, you have the memory of how you used to have to LIFT him up.  And how, no matter the highs and lows of crazy that having kids can bring, you can still laugh with your spouse.

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1. Home Is Where the Heart Is.  So shouldn't it stand to reason that the home is the absolute BEST place for capturing your family, the love within, the silliness, the seriousness - all of your family's whole personality and that of the individuals that comprise it?  I think so.

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Liza Hippler is a portrait and family lifestyle photographer located in Franklin, TN. She serves the Middle TN & surrounding areas including Brentwood, Spring Hill and Nashville.  She would love to talk to you about what you're looking to capture about your life now. She is available for travel.
Luxury Portrait Session with Jen {franklin, TN portrait photographer}
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Ooooh, I had so much fun with Jen in her session!  When I shoot females (grads, 20-somethings, moms, women), I love to start with the look that is the most "them."  Something they might wear at home or out to dinner with friends.  In this case, we went with the "just threw this on while I sip coffee and work on my laptop, but am ready to head out the door at a moment's notice" look.  Haha!  

(CLICK HERE for info on booking your own portrait session or giving it as a gift!)

It's always best to show up with no makeup so that my stellar makeup artist can do her magic! First looks are usually nice and clean and bright.

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Pretty sure we kept laughing here because we were all talking about having babies and our husbands' reactions when in the delivery room.  I have photos of my husband with his head in his hand and a very "I can't handle" vibe happening.  Because, you know, it was all sunshine and rainbows for me. Ha!

Moving on!

From there, we dial it up.  I really love to get to know my clients and understand what they have hidden in their personalities and in their souls and try to bring that out.  Feminine?  Edgy?  A love of old Hollywood or Elizabethan times?  Maybe they're always in charge and outgoing in life, but they have a soft side they want represented.  With my four-look sessions, we can do both - plus two more!

Jen was really excited about the tulle skirt I have in my studio for her portrait session (I have many lovely things for my clients!).  We wanted to get a little sexy, but still keep it soft and feminine.  I simply love creating some artistic lighting for this kind of look.  

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Then, we kind of cheated and added half a look.  I mean, when you have a shirt that fabulous and there just aren't a TON of places to wear it around the honky tonks of Nashville, what's a girl to do except use it for a portrat photoshoot?! AMIRIGHT?

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Then we went into her third look, which I think we all had the most fun with.  Brittany (my hair & makeup artist) and I put this look together with the clothes that Jen brought for her shoot - and she brought these because we talked about a boho look - and Jen was so excited and said her mom always calls her Janis for Janis Joplin!  

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Once she was all done up and had her hair and makeup fixed up for this look and I looked at her through my lens I said, "I know what I want to do!"  I often get inspired right there on the spot and will make last-minute adjustments based on the vibe I'm getting.  I wanted her to look a little like papparazzi were shooting her and flashing their flashes in her face.  Makes me so happy. 

The order in which we shoot the four looks really depends on what Brittany has to say about hair and makeup.  We want a good flow of hair up, down, curls, braids, whatever, and we don't want to have to go from a really heavy makeup look all the way BACK to something simpler.  Because of that, we had the Old Hollywood look last.  Although I have a similar dress in my in-home photography studio, Jen happened to have this from a wedding!  The mink was my grandmother's (thanks, grandma).

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Isn't she FAB?  Here's a little behind-the-scenes peek, too!  Like I said, my studio is in my house - and it's through the playroom (ha!), but I just love the princess vanity right outside the door where we're doing real-life dress up.

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Ladies, rarely is there a "right" time to do a portrait session.  For many, it can feel indulgent and selfish, but for every woman who has stepped into my studio and come out with beautiful images of themselves, it has been completely worth it.  And, think of it this way, you'll now have gorgeous portraits to pass down in your family for generations to come.

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Liza Hippler is a lifestyle and portrait photographer located in Franklin, TN.  She serves the Middle TN and surrounding areas including Brentwood, Nashville and Spring Hill.  She would love to talk with you about how you want to be photographed.  
Best Mother's Day Gift Idea: A Contemporary Portrait Session {franklin, tn portrait photographer}

We don't often place a high enough value on what mothers do.  This year, treat yourself, your wife, or a mom you love to something wonderfully special, good for the soul, and that can be passed on for generations.  Wondering what to get that special mom in your life?  How about a Contemporary Portrait Session with Liza Hippler Photography?  

A portrait session with me is a one-of-a-kind experience.  We take you - with professional hair and makeup - through a range of four different looks spanning your most "you" to something completely out of the box, but also completely on-par with who you are.  It's a day of magic.  One mom said, "It was one of the best experiences of my mama life."  

Mom can come in and have a session with someone significant - mother, grandmother, best friend, daughter - or simply take the day to celebrate herself. 

You can purchase gift vouchers HERE.

And...feel free to share this email to someone who might want a little hint in what to get for you. ;)

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Ideas, Tips & Tricks to Photographing Your Children: Through the Window {franklin, tn family lifestyle photographer}

So often as parents we say, "Stay here, I'll be back in a second," right? Maybe we need to run upstairs to grab something and don't want our toddler clunking up eight steps in the time it would have taken us to run up and down past her about 14, waving hello as we flew by.  For me, this time is walking the dog - either in the freezing cold, the boiling heat or simply when my kids whine I DON'T WANT TO GO.  So, there they are, left looking at me out the window.  Taking a photo of your kid with you on one side of the window and them on the other is a great way to show just how much we really are in two different worlds.  Maybe they're on the other side having tons of fun without you, or maybe, like this one, they wish they could grow up fast and be an adult just like you.  If you try a photo like this, put it on Instagram and tag #lhp-throughthewindow - let me see what you've got!

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Glowing Mama - In-Studio Maternity Session {franklin tn maternity photographer}

I have been shooting this stunning mama's older two children for a couple years now.  She's always ready capture those two in photos, but it took a little convincing get her in front of my lens!  She did a portrait session, which meant is was in my studio and I had my amazing hair & makeup gal, Brittany, there to take her elegantly from look-to-look.  

Like a lot of women, my pregnant mommy felt a little awkward and wasn't sure how the maternity photos would turn out, but she was totally game and did all the things I asked!  When she finally saw her photos, she said, "Oh, wow!"  I LOVE when that happens!

Personally, I think she puts Beyonce to shame in that last black and white shot!

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Introducing: Photos of Your Life - Highs, Lows, Wins & Losses {franklin, tn portrait photographer}

Image & poem.  More details below about how it came to be, plans for others, and about how YOU can get your story told in an image.

Here comes the wash
of change
the wind and rain
to peel

these layered paints.

Pain will not dissolve
             resolve

it will peel like skin in a sea
so dead

it floats.

I choose the red
raw, prickled
flesh of a new day

sunrise on
a sea I did not know
before it ran

                          water water

before it crossed
my face.
                 

I see what the dead sea
shows me

                         water water

running to an ocean
thick with salt

my paint crackles-
          old canvas
older wooden frame

this house belongs
           or should I say
belonged to

                         water water

running to an ocean
eyes and cheeks awash

thick with salt
             and thick with salt

Daughter-
what salt
in father's eye?

               Daughter-
What father then?

               What mother?


Image: Liza Hippler   |    Poem: Noah Leventhal


This image is of Mark Montgomery - a prominent figure here in the Nashville startup and biz scene.  He lost his wife to cancer in July 2015.  She left him and his four-year-old red-headed wild child behind.  

It's his story that started what I'm currently calling the "All of Us Project," though I have no doubt the name will change.

I knew him peripherally and I knew his wife because we were in a show together called "Listen to Your Mother."  She was - as many people will say about someone who has died tragically too young, but hers is one of the truest ones - a light to everyone she knew. You can view her story from the show HERE, and the one I read at the show HERE.  Hers is much more powerful.

Mark and I are friends on FB and I saw his grieving on there as much as he would show it, and I believe I read into it deeply, imaging this powerful man, a man known for his no-bullshit approach to life and business, I imagined him and his daughter (having two of my own, I know what he was up against and I can barely handle it with the help of my husband some days), that he was barely surviving.  I imagined that, through his brokenness, that he would have to change somehow.  He would see what it meant to be a parent through and through - in the dark hours of the night and when the daylight shines on her youth.  Everything was probably breaking, I thought.  And, in my storyteller mind, I imagined that it would have to be put back together carefully, softly, so as not to break or topple the tower as it got clumsily mortared back together.

And as I continued to imagine, Mark took a trip to the beach in October 2016.  For quite a good number of weeks, I believe, and he was able to take a lot of it alone while have others who love him care for his daughter.  He would write on FB and subsequently on his blog about going there wanting to die, but then the cleansing of the ocean.  It was magical.  It was "washing away his grime," he said.  

And I thought of this image.  Actually, in all honesty, I originally thought of painting his face to look more like a cartoon of a stern businessman, but as I made my own paint (normal face paints wouldn't drip) and I bargained with my six year old to let me practice on her, I saw it did not drip in telltale droplets from the crown of the head like I pictured, but it peeled.   It peeled like paint, like grime, and I thought: PERFECT.

I sent him a message in October with my idea.  We finally shot it in March.  In those months, I started to have other ideas for other people with their own stories - stories that were uniquely their own, but, like most, completely universal.  I have always had a passion for helping people to not feel so alone - either through humor or through sharing of stories.  So, the idea of a book came about.  A book of images like these paired with original poems.  I contacted the son of a lawyer I used to work for, Noah Leventhal, who recently graduated and has studied poetry in very prestigious institutions.  He wrote this poem for this story of loss and a gradual rebuilding.

I want to make more and more of these and share them in a book so that people everywhere can see and read and find some that make them say, "That's me, too.  Someone else understands."  And it might be WINS or LOSES, UPS or DOWNS.  

So, I'm open to hearing your story.  Where have you struggled?  Felt alone?  Left for dead?  Or so far at the top no one could hear you?  If you would like to be considered to have your story told in image and poem, send it to me.

Share this post with anyone you think might want to share their story.  And, thank you, Mark, for trusting me and being the first to give your story to my lens and Noah's words.  (And thank you for letting me pour too-hot and then too-cold water over your head. Ha!)

2nd Annual Photos with Santa Sessions {Franklin, TN Child Photography}

Is there any more magical time of the year?

Even now as a mom I can feel the magic of the excitement that my little girls have each Christmas season.  I remember I would walk up early - I'm talking like 3am early - and I would sneak downstairs and...you guys...

SANTA HAD COME.

I would view every single present and, without touching, try to guess what was in them.  Then, I would pop in this Disney Christmas Special movie and wait until 5am, when my generous (now I realize HOW generous!) parents told me I could wake them. 

What makes the holiday season the most magical is MAKING the magic along the way - looking at Christmas lights, watching Rudolph and Frosty on TV, and...meeting Santa Claus.

It is such a joy to be able to offer Santa Sessions along with Andrea Farmer Photography and to be a part of the magic that gets strung along during the holiday season.  It's so awesome to give kids one-on-one time with Santa - away from the long lines at the mall- where they can go over their Christmas list, listen to him read a book and whisper secrets in his ear.

This year we have rented a beautiful studio in Nashville that offers an airy shabby chic feel.  We will have 2-3 setups for you guys - Santa and then one or two others just for kids and family - so perfect for holiday cards and annual holiday memorabilia. 
 

THESE BOOK UP SUPER FAST YOU GUYS, SO IF YOU WANT A SPOT, GRAB IT ASAP.


DETAILS:
 

  • Sunday, November 20 
  • 10:30am - 2:00pm
  • Booking families every 15 minutes
  • $99 session fee for session only (due upon booking, non-refundable, transferrable)
  • Digital & print package purchase options (email me for these details)
  • Free ornament gift with early package purchase (details with pricing sheet)

Liza Hippler is a lifestyle photographer serving the Middle Tennessee area including Franklin TN, Brentwood TN, Nashville TN, Spring Hill TN, Thompson Station TN, Belle Meade TN and surrounding areas.  She specializes in families, children, babies, newborns and maternity photography. She would love to hear from you and be your Nashville photographer for your next session.

Stylized Outdoor Lifestyle Session {spring hill, tn family lifestyle photographer}

Oh, the Lee girls!  They were so fabulous for this shoot!  I like to refer this type of shoot as a "Stylized Outdoor Lifestyle Photo Shoot / Session."  WHY, you ask?  WELL...because it's a lifestyle shoot in the sense that it was about connection and play and love (and not so much about portrait-style posing and forced smiles), but "stylized" in the sense that they had a very purposeful look of vintage-style dresses and flower crowns.  And, really, it all works amazingly well in this divine cotton field, yes?  100%

(CLICK HERE for info on doing your own outdoor lifestyle session!)

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At first the younger sister didn't want to have much to do with me and my camera.  She was a little shy - and I had zero problem with that.  No need to force anything!

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But I quickly discovered that she couldn't help but laugh hysterically when she looked at her sister!  Ah ha!  A place to start. :)

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Part of why I love these girls so much is because they are simply beautiful, and they both represent fleeting times in a child's life.  The older one has her grown-up teeth in and it reminded me completely of myself when mine came in - and how many young kids appear when they are small and all their grown-up sized teeth come in.  She was self-conscious, but I only saw one of the first phases of life as it peels away the layers of childhood to reveal, piece-by-piece, the building blocks of adulthood - and how beautiful that looked on her. 

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Her younger sister, still free in the full-on childhood phase, felt safe with her sister and shy with me.  But opened up eventually, because I'm patient like that.  And I have two girls of my own, so I felt an automatic connection, as us mamas tend to do

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Taking care of each other.

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I could tell she also had a level of maturity that her age was bringing to her.

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Ah, ha!  There it was!  I got a little personality thrown my way. :)

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And can we just talk about this unbelievable field for a minute??  And the light!  And the dresses and crowns and beautiful girls!  OMG, the stars aligned for this photo shoot!

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Oh, those eyes. 

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You don't need to see someone's face to capture something special.  Our body language often speaks louder than our words.  I just loved these two little goofballs holding hands!

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Twirling.

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So, I like to think I'm pretty good with kiddos, no matter what their disposition.  I love that she flashed me that giant smile - and without the comfort of her sister nearby!  Totally winning as a photographer, here.

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"So we're running just as fast as we can / Holding on to one another's hand..."
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There it is again! That smile!

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HAHA!  TOTALLY warmed up by now!!

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It was almost impossible to get these girls out of the cotton field.  They were having a BLAST just playing and being together and doing it all in a super cool environment.  Thank you, girls, for simply being you that night!

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Hey, I'm Liza Hippler and I'm a lifestyle and portrait photographer located in Franklin, TN.  I serve the Middle TN and surrounding areas including Brentwood, Nashville and Spring Hill. I would love to talk with you about creating a divine photo shoot for you and your family. For real.
Lifestyle Model Call {franklin, tn family lifestyle photographer}

Recently, I took a brilliant photography course all about lifestyle photography.  It's funny, as I went through it, it hit home so deeply, and I found myself going, "YES! YES! THIS! SO MUCH THIS!"  

I've always found it a little awkward to do more formal portrait-style posing, and I have DEFINITELY found that children like traditional portraits about as much as they like sitting still and quiet during church...or on airplanes (unless it's just my kids loudly demanding for more gummies and an iPhone??). 

So, as I took this course and realized that lifestyle photography was very real and very legit (too legit to quit, perhaps), I was so excited.  I have always resonated with a more relaxed shooting style - one that guides people naturally into connection.  Even back when I was shooting film headshots in Los Angeles, I would give people scenarios to embody instead of things like, "Head up, chin to the left, chin down, chin up, up, more down, less up, shoulder back, don't blink, or move, more with the eyes...." (Not that my Nashville, TN business headshot clients don't get some of that, but STILL.)

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ANYWAY, I was so moved and felt so like this was ME at my core, that I went out and did a model call for a few families to help me revamp my portfolio to reflect this new style.  I had SO MANY AMAZING FAMILIES respond!!  It was hard to narrow it down, so I really went with what *I* needed in my portfolio to give it a look of different families all just, well, being themselves, really!

My first official lifestyle shoot was with Nayoon and her adorable family.  She sent me photos of these ready-for-Gap-ad kiddos and I was like YES.  Haha!

And then she wrote to me and say her husband just got an old Cadillac and could we maybe use that in photos!  HELLO!! Um...YES?!

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So, based on their little questionnaire, I choose a location for them.  And, I have to say, I pride myself on location picking.  I try my best to match the scene to my families, and I have had every single one so far respond that they either love that place or that, unbeknownst to me, it has special meaning for them.  It's so awesome!  

One of the things I LOVE about this kind of photography is the ease and the go-with-the-flow-ness (real thing).  So, you know, if your previously-presumed-camera-shy son suddenly discovers a complete fascination with the camera and turns into a ham, running away from the "everyone sit and snuggle" shot, it's fine!  It's totally fine, mamas!  Because LOOK at how cute...

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He just kept running back and forth from me to his family, giving me all his glorious 2-year-old expressions! (And probably loving that no one was making him sit and smile!)

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And then there was his beautiful sister, who is 5, and really, when you're a girl and you're 5, things are a little more serious, right?  You want to look beautiful and twirl and talk grown up talk.  (I know, I have a 6 year old girl.)  And so she did. 

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It's so fun for me to see how siblings interact.  Having two girls (who are a little nutty...or a lot nutty, depending on the time of day) and their love-you/get-out-of-my-face relationship, I love being a witness to other siblings and watching them (and capturing them) simply play together.

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It's important to me to always get a few shots of mom and dad together.  I mean, that's how it all started, right?!  Just two people and then BOOM, a baby.  And, just like in life, the focus goes so much on family that we can forget to the core connection of mom and dad.

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And then it's time to melt your heart.  Mommy with her kids and daddy with his kids.  Being a parent, I understand every look of love and look of "stop it" that parents give.  And I know every look of "Mommy, you're the best" and "Mommy, you're so annoying."  And I understand how our hearts are now running around outside our bodies.

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Something that I find very important, too, is to get some shots of mom all by herself.  Man, moms hold down some FORTS, don't we?  And rarely, RARELY, are we ever in our own photos, let alone get a shot of us as we are today, a wife, a mom a warrior (cheesy, maybe, but whatever).  Kids should have photos of mom to look back at.  And mom should have photos to look at say, "Yes. This is me.  I feel good where I am."

Liza Hippler is a lifestyle photographer serving the Middle Tennessee area including Franklin, Brentwood, Nashville, Spring Hill, Thompson Station, Belle Meade and surrounding areas.  She specializes in families, children, babies, newborns and maternity. She would love to hear from you and be your Nashville photographer for your next session.

Celebrate Mothers: Part 1 {franklin, tn family photographer}

This past April was my first annual Celebrate Mothers Mini Session Event.  It was three days of just mamas and their babies (of any age!).  Along the way, I learned a few things I'd do a teeny bit differently next year, but what I got out of it the most was HOW MUCH LOVE there is between mothers and their babes.  Oh, my.  Each session left my heart warmed!  And so did the COLLAGES!

My first session was with Lisa and her girls, Kate and Anna.  Anna is now THREE and I also got to shoot her six month photos (see them HERE). If you look, you'll see some things never change - she broke down during that shoot and she broke down during this one!  One of the things that endears me most to Lisa is how she loves the photos of the kids losing it!  It's just such a natural part of motherhood/childhood - I love mommies that embrace it!  (See Anna down there in the corner?  Still so pretty through all the tears!)  We got her to smile eventually, though.  The shoot was in my backyard, so we had her hop on the YELLOW swing (much more desirable than the green one, you know), and that improved her mood immediately. 

By far my favorite "perk" of this session was the mother-child collages.  Each mother wrote a little letter to their children describing what they wanted to remember about each child at this age, and each child drew or wrote (or both) a love note to their mom and then they got a complimentary 8x10 of their collage.  Isn't it adorable! 

For the first few people who signed up, I had a gift.  I let them purchase a $1 gift session to give to a mom in their lives who meant something special.  Lisa chose one of her daughter's teachers, Michelle.  Then she showed up with HER mom, so we had three generations!  So sweet!  Little Chandler (isn't that a great name?) was the sweetest - and look at those eyes!!  

Here's Michelle and Chandler's collage:

I'll be sharing the rest of the sessions soon!

XOXO My Clients CONTEST!

Well, we've made it through "I'm going to lose 10 pounds" January and we're headed into "now give me some love and some chocolate" February!  I don't have chocolate for you, but I DO have some love!  Love in the form of canvases and prints and an Amazon Gift Card!

I have had ridiculous amount of fun getting back into the photography biz these past several months, and I want to say a tremendous THANK YOU to my clients from waaaay back in 2015 who hopped right on board, no questions asked, ready to jump on the Liza Photography Train (probably not as cool as the Hogwarts Express, but still awesome).

And the way I want to offer my hugs and smooches without actually offering hugs and smooches (flu season, you guys), is to hold a contest.  And I'm opening it up to both my full session clients and my mini Santa session clients!

ANYONE can enter this contest.  Print & photo product prizes are for clients, but there's also a $25 GC prize for one random commenter!  So much XOXO!!

Below you'll find a list of my fall/winter 2015 clients with a little look into their style and personalities via my photos.  All you have to do is COMMENT on which family or kiddo is your favorite!

Here are the prizes:

  • FIRST PRIZE: 16x24 Gallery Wrap Canvas (goes to the family/kid's family with the MOST COMMENTS)
  • SECOND PRIZE: 8x12 Standout Mounted Enlargement (goes to the family/kid's family with the SECOND MOST COMMENTS
  • ANYONE WITH 20 COMMENTS OR MORE: 8x10 Professional Lustre Print (This is great because ANY and ALL past clients can end up with this!)
  • ONE RANDOM COMMENTER: $25 Amazon Gift Card (chosen using random.org and the order in which you left your comment.)

HOW TO ENTER:  Simply leave a comment with the name of the family or the kid who YOU think deserves the grand prize!  You can only comment ONE TIME. Feel free to share this post on Facebook or anywhere else to help YOUR choice win!

The contest ends at 11:59pm on Sunday, February 21st.  Any comments left after that time will not be counted in the final tally. Winners must choose images from their 2015 sessions.

And now, without further ado, your contestants!


Gia, Age 5

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Gia and her hip-hop-loving sassy pants downtown Nashville shoot!


The Alabaster Family
{Franklin, TN Family Photographer}

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The fun and offbeat curly-haired Alabaster family and their park shoot!


Vivian, Age 5
{Franklin, TN Child Photographer}

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The beautiful, quiet and confident Vivian and her downtown Franklin shoot!


The Sanford Family
{Franklin, TN Family Photographer}

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The fall-fun Sanford family with their adorably rowdy boys and their Harlinsdale shoot!


Lyle, Age 1
{Nashville, TN Baby Photographer}

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One-year old serious, blue-eyed Lyle and his rustic shoot!


The Jones Family
{Brentwood, TN Family Photographer}

The crazy, hilarious, just-let-it-ride Jones family and their Franklin, TN shoot!


The Greear Family
{Brentwood, TN Mini Sessions}

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The all-too-adorable Geear trio and their Santa Session!


The Wilbur Family
{Franklin, TN Mini Sessions}

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The full-of-love, haven't-had-a-photo-of-everyone-in-too-long Wilbur family and their Santa Session!


The Mattingly Family
{Brentwood, TN Mini Sessions}

The smiley big brother and his less-than-thrilled-but-still-too-precious sister of the Mattingly family and their Santa Session!


Good luck to everyone!  So excited to see what happens!

Liza Hippler Comments
Instill Self-Confidence In Your Tween Through Portraits

"Tween."  The term given to that beautifully awkward stage between the ages of 10 and 12.  Not a little kid anymore.  No, far from it.  But not a teenager yet.  We have a few more years before that stage hits my household, but I certainly remember it.  Completely unsure of myself, but still trying to have cute hair and get the popular boys to dance with me at my first fifth-grade dance.  It's right before all the hormones attack and slap you around for a while.  Right when you SEE the hormone kids in the grades in front of you getting older, LOOKING older, doing older kid things - and wanting to be there, but having it feel a galaxy away.

It can be a weird time for parents.  I imagine it can feel like your last shot to really set your ideas in their heads.  Like the last time their pre-pubescent brains might have room for what you want to say to them.  What you want them to know as they hit the teenage years, which can be lived so much more publicly now.

What do you want them to know?  That they're BEAUTIFUL beyond reason?  Even if they get made fun of every day for the next few years?  That they are WORTHY of the best life has to offer?  To not tie their self-worth up in another person? In a group of people? To think for themselves, stand up for what they believe in.  That life can get lonely and scary, but that their little world is not all their is - far from it.  That they are SMART, CARING, HILARIOUS, STRONG.  I imagine you want to shove all those things in their growing brains and hope that, as dark skies of teenagerdom roll in on occasion (or often), that your nugget that you planted has turned into a glowing diamond and speaks to them like a beacon.

I want to tell my daughters these things NOW, so I can only image I will want to make sure it's in their bones as time sends them to their teen years.

Even now I find myself wanting to hug the tweens in Claire's!  Or at the local sporting goods store!  Or the girls and boys who were brave enough to not only take a hip-hop class, but perform in front of hundreds!  I want to say, "YOU are BRAVE!  YOU are BEAUTIFUL.  YOU ARE ENOUGH."

But they'd think I was a whack job and probably start screaming, so I refrain.

But what I CAN do, as a photographer, as a capturer of time, of emotions of confidence and beauty...I can photograph these 10-12 year olds - these beautiful, growing people - and give them visual reminders of who they are at the core.  What mom wouldn't want to give that?  

Once or twice a year I let my now five-year-old create her own photo shoot.  Location, fashion, makeup, whatever she wants.  And I take her favorite photos from the shoot and I hang them in her room.  And I turn the rest into an album.  And she looks at them SO OFTEN.  She looks at them and KNOWS she's beautiful and wonderful and a good person.  

I can imagine there will be a big difference in her 12-year shoot and her 13-year shoot (if she'll even want to do one).

So, moms and dads, CAPTURE your sweet tween.  Capture this time.  Hand your son or daughter their confidence, beauty, strength, bravery in something they can look at every day.  And something you can remember forever.  Don't just tell them.  Turn the mirror on them with photos and say LOOK. SEE? I TOLD YOU.

(I am personally booking Tween sessions and am offering to waive my normal $200 session fee for the month of January. Click here to contact me.)