Posts in family photography
Fierce 8 Year Old Rocks Her Birthday Shoot {Unique Nashville, TN Family Photographer}

Ah, my favorite Miss Gia! I have been shooting her birthday photos for three years now, and her mom and dad always want something unique, which I LOVE! We met originally because our kiddos used to attend the same school in Franklin, TN, but now I love being able to call her mom, Corbi, a good friend AND a stellar realtor. ;)

This year Corbi wanted to incorporate some of Gia’s love of all things kick-ass, namely, her jiu jitsu skillz. Oh, yeah, with a “z.” She is one of the only girls in her class and she totally thrives on beating up guys! haha! If she were my kid, I’d be like YOU WALK IN FRONT - haha!

The photoshoot is really about her as her mom always uses it to create an annual album for her grandma, but Gia still insists her parents promise that they’ll hop in a few with her & make it a little family shoot. Isn’t that adorable?! My kids are so over photos that they just want it all to stop!

We knew we wanted to do a little face paint to make her look even more fierce, but I was a little nervous! Normally, my hair & makeup gal, Brittany, is all over that, so I had to bring out my face paint skills (no “z”) for this one! Thankfully, it wasn’t too difficult. ;) And, it only made sense that we head to the Nashville Zoo at Grassmere to utilize their amazing property and jungle-like jungle gym! Such a fun shoot! I have to imagine Gia will show these at her wedding, RIGHT?!

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8 year old girl in white dress
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black and white photo of young girl on log cabin porch
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close up of 8 year old girl with blue eyes
silhouette shot of girl walking in white dress
black and white photo of girl spinning in white dress
young girl leans on fence and kicks up her shoes
cute little girl leans on her arm and smiles
only child with her mom and dad
black and white photo of girl riding carousel
young girl rides nashville zoo carousel
carousel at nashville zoo grassmere
blonde third grader with blue dress and orange flower in her hair
young girl in karate uniform goes across the monkey bars
girl stands on giant stone snake looking fierce
8 year old girl in jiu jitsu outfit
young girl with facepaint climbs on jungle gym at nashville zoo grassmere
fierce little girl climbs jungle gym nashville zoo
young blonde girl in jiu jitsu outfit crouches down on wood playset
girl climbs on ropes in cool jungle gym
little girl in face paint looks fierce
blonde 8 year old with face paint looks tough
black and white photo of young girl with facepaint looking tough


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!

black and white image of little girl looking longingly out a large window
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.