Posts in franklin tn photography
6 Tips for Taking Amazing Candid Photos of Your Kids This Summer {Nashville, TN Lifestyle Photographer}

Warm weather is HERE and it’s time to pull out the sprinklers and pop-up pools! Summer is so ripe for photos with it’s long days of sunlight, colorful palettes and large, popsicle-stained smiles!

We want to be able to capture that summer magic in photos. It’s so fleeting and the years move on too quickly, so having memories of our summers is so important. While I love gathering all the kiddos in one big group and asking them all to give me a crazy grin, I’m REALLY a fan of candidly capturing these hot-day & warm-night moments.

Now, I am always available for a summer lifestyle session - which I fully believe more people should do!! No one ever thinks to have a summer day or night professionally captured and it’s just THE BEST!!! But, since I can’t be there for you allllll the days…

…I want YOU to be able to be the best memory keeper that you can be for your family, I thought I’d share some of my top tips when it comes to taking candid photos of your kids!

And what would photo tips be without photos?! haha! DUH.

I’m often not far from my camera, and when we blew up this darling little MiniDip pool from Target for the first time, I KNEW I had to grab it and capture the first dip of “summer!” (Summer in quotes because it’s technically still spring.) And it has shows just about all the tips I talk about!

That brings me to my tips:

  1. Capture the FIRSTS. First dip in the pool this summer. First steps into the ocean. First lick of an ice cream cone. First one to cannonball into the pool without even feeling the water beforehand!

    In these images, it was our FIRST time in this adorable pool!

  2. Capture the LASTS. The last one out of the pool. The last one left cleaning up. The last one to fall asleep. The last neighborhood gathering before school begins again.

  3. Never ask anyone to look at you. That’s the whole point of CANDID! You don’t want to bring anyone out of the moment - it’ll stop the moment and ruin all the candid fun. Try to be a fly on the wall so that you can truly capture your kiddos all caught up having a good time (or maybe pouting in a corner - haha!)

  4. Move around. Stand up. Lie down. I talk a lot about changing your point of view when shooting the same scene. Most people simple stand there at the normal height they normally and shoot normally. Normal is no fun! haha! Get high and get low and move all around!

  5. Take photos of DETAILS. You don’t always have to see everyone’s face to tell your story! Don’t you love baby butt cheek hanging out of a swimsuit?! It’s the best! Take a photo of it! Wet hair, grass-covered feet, little fingers and little toes, even details of the objects that you’ll probably forget about years from now.

  6. Make it so no one can see you. If it’s possible to get completely hidden, but still get some photos, this is the BEST for capturing candids! On this day, once my girls started inviting some neighbor kids over to play, I went inside and shot through our kitchen window. They had no idea! haha!

BONUS TIP: Use a black & white filter on some, especially ones that you took in bright sunlight. They look amazing and it will add a “moment in time” feel to your photo!

So, take a look at my little backyard shoot and see if you can see my tips at play!

sisters in backyard pool
little girl swimming in lemon mini dip from target


5 year old in lemon pool
goofy face girl being silly in a pool
girl sitting on the side of a lemon blow up pool
candid photo of girl in backyard pool
little girl in polka dot bathing suit
black and white image of sisters in pool
sisters playing in minidip lemon pool
little girl being silly in a blow up pool
8 year old girl plays in backyard
little girl in backyard pool green grass
black and white image of sisters playing in small pool
little girl running out of pool
sisters jumping in small backyard pool
splash in pool
little girl does big jump into pool
sisters play in lemon pool in backyard
sisters jump in blow up pool
young girl stands in bathing suit black and white
5 year old splashes in backyard pop up pool
neighbor kids play in pool
kids play in pool as seen through a window
kids play in pool through window
older sister sits on porch playing with slime
black and white image of girl on porch
friends eating dinner on porch
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?!

8 year old girl warrior
8 year old girl in white dress
headshot of young blonde girl
black and white photo of young girl on log cabin porch
four photos of blonde girl in white dress
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


Only Child with Her Mom & Dad {Franklin, TN Family Photographer}

Love this sweet family! Their daughter and my oldest used to go to preschool together, and each kid learned everyone’s first AND last name, so our daughter would come home talk about each kiddo using both names, so I will forever think of lovely Miss V here as both her first and last name together! haha!

Now, they wanted a family session, but they really wanted a lot of focus on their daughter. They’d done a shoot with me a few years back and hadn’t done anything since then. I have to say, I adore shooting this age. She, like my oldest, is 8 and they have this very interesting developing sense of self where they are not game to simply smile and giggle at you anymore! They want to be serious and they want their serious side seen. And I LOVE Miss V’s serious side! Could she be any more gorgeous!

Since the focus was mainly on V and since the family wanted some more traditional “looking at the camera” shots, this went a little differently than my usual lifestyle sessions. It was a little more posed, but nothing too stiff. And V was kind of in model mode for a while, so I just embraced it!

It’s always sweet to me to photograph mom and daughter and then dad and daughter. Each relationship can be so different, but still so special. I love making sure that moms and dads have those. And having just one child makes it easy!

How is your relationship different with your kids than your spouse’s? Let me know!

third grade giri in pink sweater
family of three close up
third grade girl in pink sweater and jeans poses
family of three hangs out outside ice cream shop
brunette girl in pink sweater and glasses
close up of 8 year old girl in glasses
family of three poses for photo on black bench
mother and daughter hug and smile for the camera
mother and 8 year old daughter in pastel colors
young girl with her mom hug and laugh
dad and daughter pose for camera
8 year old girl whispers into her dad's ear
daughter in pink sweater poses with dad
family with only child poses and smiles
family in downtown franklin tn
girl in pink sweater poses in front of store in downtown franklin tn
black and white image of 8 year old girl with freckles
beautiful portrait of 8 year old girl in pink sweater
young girl poses for camera with black background and greenery
family of 3 stands in front of store in downtown franklin tn
adorable girl in glasses, jeans and pink sweater sits in front of double doors
black and white images of close up of young girl in glasses
mom and young daughter hold hands


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
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!