Posts in my family
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
Third Grade Market Day Crafting Session {Franklin, TN Documentary Photographer}

Two weeks ago my 3rd grader came home with papers that didn’t look like homework. It was two printer pages, stapled at the top left corner, and they talked about Market Day. This was where all the 3rd graders are to come up with a product to sell. They are to purchase the materials to make the product, make up to 20 per kid - and you’re allowed one partner, so that’s 40 per team - and get ready to learn about economics!

Apparently, though, this year they threw in the wrench that you have to first choose a country and then some country-appropriate product. So, Sailor and her friend first choose Japan and SQUISHES - obvi - but the first thing I had to do was explain that squishes aren’t made in Japan, they’re made in China, and then that making squishes that lived up to any 3rd graders expectations was near impossible (without your brain melting from whatever chemicals they use in those things).

So, then they went with flower crowns from Mexico! Sounds good, but flower crowns originated in ancient Greece, and then made their way to England and then a few other stops before being decidedly “American Wedding.” So, no go on that one, either.

FINALLY, they went with mini piñatas. Yes! We have a winner!

So, Sailor’s friend’s mom took them out to Hobby Lobby - which turned in a TWO HOUR TRIP complete with various discussions about BUDGET (God love that mom) - and they returned with all kinds of colorful loot. It was late when they got back and Sailor’s friend was spending the night so they skipped starting their work until the morning (after pizza and a movie and coconut milk ice cream which was not a hit for the friend - I feel bad).

But these girls got up and got to it starting at 7:30am, and, with exception of a lunch break and a “run around the house screaming like maniacs” break, they worked straight until 3pm!! Seven and a half hours! And they’re still not done! haha!!

But what’s MOST IMPORTANT HERE is that mom got some fun, colorful photos. I’m sure her friend was like, “Why did your mom turn off the overhead lights and why is she standing on a chair behind us?” BECAUSE THIS.

I love telling the story of our lives. I love being able to tell the story of my daughter and her friends. It’s awesome. (If you want your story told, check out my lifestyle sessions and contact me.)

SIDE NOTE: I’ve realized the wreaths in my dining area make it look like it’s still Christmas. So…time for a new plan…

girls crafting
overhead shot of craft table colorful
third grade market day crafts
colorful crafts on dark table
third grade girls crafting
market day crafting pinatas
crafts from hobby lobby
girl makes silly face while crafting
crafting for market day
crafts all set up
two third grade girls crafting with colorful tubes
lots of crafts on table
overhead shot of colorful crafts
girls crafting at table with black wall
mini pinatas
girls laugh while making mini pinatas
making silly faces with streamers
gluing streamers for pinatas
mini pinatas looking so fly
girls making pinatas in dining room
A Barely-There-Snow Inspired Shoot with My Kiddos {Franklin, TN Lifestyle Photographer}

It snowed last night. And by “snowed,” I mean “barely dusted a damn thing,” but my 5 year old looked out the window and saw a winter wonderland ripe for the sledding. And good God she would not stop begging me to get out our highlighter-ugly plastic sled and pull her around in it! haha! So I finally said I would.

We went outside, I dragged her across our grass for a few minutes and then promptly declared I was freezing and that I would gladly play, but it would have to be INdoors. Now, she’s an outdoor girl, so she took her snow-booted self, all wrapped up in coat and mittens and trapsed from house to house, finding nary a single friend either home at all or who wanted to play in the freezing cold.

Her older sister and I sat at the front door and spied. We watched her hopefulness wane down to sadness as her head drooped a little lower after walking away from each house. So, really, we had no choice but to go play with her. She was THRILLED, obviously, especially at the fact that her SISTER was coming to play, too. The sister whose auto-responder to any incoming message is NO.

My little one ran inside, grabbed her teddy bear and took him “sledding” while the big one and I got all bundled up. When we walked around to the front of the house, there was Holland and Teddy (who is a girl, btw) - Teddy in the sled and Holland happily jumping in snow-speckled grass and doing her best to make snow angels, but only succeeding in flattening said grass.

So, what does a mom do? TAKE PHOTOS! YES! LOTS OF PICTURES OF THEM PLAYING IN THE SNOW! While I don’t take EVERY opportunity to turn our normal activities into a photoshoot, I obviously have a love with lifestyle shots, and it was a fun way to get some photos of our new house, too. it was delightful to see them playing together, to see my oldest (8) laughing and smiling and enjoying herself with her little sister. It turned out to be a fantastic morning for all three of us.

girl walking down driveway
big sister pulling little sister in snow
girl in pink hat and blue coat pulls sled
girl lies down on sled in purple coat
close up of 8 year old in pink winter hat
pretty girl in winter hat and coat in front of house
little girl puts her teddy bear on her sled
teddy bear ready for a sleigh ride
big sister pulls sled in front of house
little sister pulls big sister on sled
little sister runs around big sister on sled
black and white image of sisters playing on sled in front of home
girl laughs while being pulled on sled
photos from behind of big sister being pulled on sled
little sister pulls big sister on sled down the street
sisters playing in winter
sisters sitting on sled together while one gives a pouty face
little girl holds her teddy on her sled
sisters smile together
sisters smile on sled
sisters on sled while one sister makes a goofy face
girl in purple coat gets pulled on neon colored sled
little sister in purple coat and big sister in grey coat
sisters stand next to each other and face away wearing coats
little sister toothy grin with USC hat