Posts in family photography
Sisters Maternity Photoshoot {Pregnancy Photographer, Nashville, TN}

When I realized that my sweet pregnant friend, Kristina, had a look-alike (not twin) sister and that they were both pregnant only a few weeks apart, I just about BEGGED them to let me photograph them! At first I was thinking a drone shot of the two of them lounging on pool mats in a fancy pool would be AH-MAZING, but they were feeling too “pregnant-y” for that (you mamas know what I’m talking about) so we scrapped the swimsuit idea.

We ended up going to Kristina’s house and her sister brought over some dresses and we did a very casual maternity photoshoot with the two of them that probably lasted maybe 30 minutes.

My vision was to have them on the front porch together, shoes off, just enjoying each other’s company. The image I had in my head was to give the photos a current-day take on the photos we see now when we look back at our grandparent’s images - not a lot of background blur because that wasn’t really a thing yet, black & white and simply showing daily life.

We did some maternity photos like that, but then her sister also had these matching lace kimono things and I was like OH. WE NEED THESE. I pictured them with backlight pouring through, accentuating the feminine designs of the lace & the obviously feminine lines of two baby bellies.

BUT FIRST - haha! - I got there before her sister arrived, so we just hung out in her bedroom looking for good light and chatting, so I had to snap some images in there. The painting above her bed is her own! Her artwork is amazing and you can see more of her work HERE.

If you’re looking for maternity photos, let’s chat!

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series of photos of pregnant mom wearing black in her bedroom
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pregnant sisters say hello
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pregnant sisters hanging out
black and white image of pregnant sisters outside
maternity pictures of sisters pregnant at the same time
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pregnant sisters back-to-back
maternity shoot of pregnant sisters standing back-to-back
black and white image of pregnant sisters in cotton dresses
maternity shoot of pregnant woman in her doorframe
pregnant woman in striped dress in doorframe
maternity photo of woman in her doorway
pregnant sisters stand belly-to-belly
black and white maternity image of pregnant sisters
maternity photoshoot of sisters in backlight with lace coverups
black and white image of pregnant sisters
maternity shoot of sisters in backlit doorway
sister pregnant bellies together
maternity pictures of sisters
maternity photoshoot of woman wearing tight black dress and lace kimono
black and white image of pregnant woman
black and white maternity photo door reflection
sisters maternity photoshoot
maternity shoot of pregnant sisters black and white
pregnant sisters maternity shoot close up of bellies
How to Take Amazing Photos of Your Summer Vacation {Nashville, TN Lifestyle Photographer}

Your vacation was awesome. But your photos are…only okay. Or maybe you got home, looked back at your photos and went, “Oh! How did we miss taking a photo of that bird that came and sat on the deck every morning?!” Didn’t you love that bird? You know you named him.

Amazing vacation photos aren’t just about great light and beautiful beaches (but that helps!), it’s about capturing the routines, details and unexpected surprises that happen so that you can always look back and spark that same joy that felt ON that vacation.

Have you ever had a family vacation that was less than you’d hoped? Maybe it rained too much or the kids fought too much or you missed getting on the sunset cocktail cruise, but then, months or years later when you look back at your photos, you find yourself feeling nostalgic? You think, “That was a good time.” You laugh about the rain and the fights. You’re painting over your initial memory with these good feelings. It’s so important to have photos of summer vacations!

Let me give you some tips. I’ll do some here and then - I normally don’t do this - I’ll comment between photos as you scroll down to talk about specific tips relevant to some of the images. So, scroll to the bottom for more tips!

  • ROUTINES

    • Even if you’ve never been to this place before, you have a routine. You have an unpacking routine, a “let’s go explore” routine, etc. For us, the girls always run around the rental house, choose their rooms and then immediately head to the beach with Papa (we vacation with my folks a lot).

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Part of our routine is to assess the shell situation for shell-hunting adventures!

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Ugly bags of snacks are normally not our routine, but it simply shows that we were fresh off the airplane because they were eating their airplane snacks!

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I love when my girls first investigate the water. They check the temperature and feel the ocean water on their feet reminding themselves of what it’s like to be at the beach.

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Back to the house to unpack and get on some bathing suits!

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Husband’s routine: Immediately unpack in a very orderly manner while girls explore with Papa. Then, put on his vacation hat, grab a drink and head down!

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Nana’s routine: Unpack all the groceries and put them away neatly while girls explore with Papa and husband (mine) unpacks. Change into something beachy, grab a glass of wine and watch everyone swim!

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Enjoying that first ocean dip!

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Typically, the houses we rent also have a pool, so the girls will dip in the pool before drying off and getting ready for dinner.

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Night One: We all watch Jeopardy! hahahaha!

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Night one sunset beach walk.

  • TIP: Your photo will automatically make a shot like this way too bright because it thinks you want to see all the details of your gorgeous child’s face. But you don’t. So, on your screen, darken your image by dragging down with your finger until your subject is silhouetted!

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Our rental at night. I just thought it looked so cool.

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  • TIP: Back up further than you think! This was our little spot on the beach every day. It’s so easy to take a “normal” shot of it, but if there’s something you can stand behind that will act as a frame, then try it!

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  • DETAILS: Don’t be afraid to chop people’s heads and limbs off like it’s the French Revolution if it means getting some good detail shots.

  • ABOVE: I just loved her little turtle tattoo - so perfect for my beach girl.

  • BELOW: Papa ALWAYS makes sandcastles and he always finishes them off using this technique. A detail shot is great here - this will be a Papa move that the girls will remember forever and they’ll always have this image to remind them.

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Can’t beat enjoying the water.

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  • TIP: I LOVE beach photos in black & white. Try using an app like Color Story or Afterlight to turn a few your photos into black & white. Images with a lot of sun are the best!

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My oldest always makes these sand balls and starts a collection of them. Who knows, but it cracks me up!

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  • TIP: Put your phone camera in Portrait Mode so that the background is blurred and focus on an object in the foreground while the people in the background are blurred! Both the ABOVE & BELOW photo show this.

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Morning seashell walks with Papa before everyone else is up is a standard.

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  • TIP: Most of us shoot all kinds of photos as the sun sets over the ocean, but don’t forget about that lovely morning sun! Try to catch it just to the side of your subject!

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  • TIP: Try different perspectives. Shooting down at the pool from the top of the stairs shows way more of the scene than had I taken it from the ground. Great way to remember our little home for the week!

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I just love that they’re both getting ready for the boat trip in their own way - opening snacks and figuring out the map! He’s always our navigation guy!

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Papa drives & the girls get to steer!

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Boat silliness. Love shots like these because boat sillines will change as they age, so capturing this kind of stuff is like creating a mini time capsule.

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  • TIP: Give someone else the camera! I know you can’t see my face, but getting in the frame with my little one and my husband is so important! My kids need to remember I was there, too! haha!

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More black & white. Doesn’t it look so timeless?

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  • TIP: This is the kind of shot that most people remember to take all the time, “Everyone look at me and smile!” But it’s actually the shot that I have to remind myself to take or I’ll miss it! I absolutely think there’s a place for everyone to snuggle up and look at the camera! It creates a wonderful connection to the outside viewer, and in a few years it will be you looking in and younger versions of all of you looking back.

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  • TIP: Everyone knows to capture the goofy stuff, right?! It’s the best!

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  • TIP: Capture other parts of the scene to better tell the story.

    • I could have just focused in on my girls actually getting along and being all squished up and adorable, but I also included my husband navigating in the background. With his back turned, his focus on the sea in front of him, it makes the world of my two girls even more secret feeling.

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Because when you kid actually looks at you and smiles without you begging, you take a photo!!

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Goggle shots, you guys. Goggles for the WIN.

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  • TIP: Capture the scenery when no one is around, but make sure it shows evidence of your vacation.

    • No one is in this photo, but when we were done swimming we’d hang up our towels to dry. Lets us remember what our rental looked like and the towels are like writing “We were here,” in wet cement.

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Always a tradition of Paper looking for fish with my oldest!

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  • TIP: Be sneaky. Reading always means that you’ve got a moment to yourself. A moment when no one is bothering you and you can focus and get lost in a great story. Capturing my husband in his vacation hat (he seriously brings it on all our vacations) reading, and doing so from behind - lends itself to that quite time when no one is bothering you.

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  • TIP: I know you’re at the beach or in some exotic land, but don’t forget about the moments that happen in the in-between. The downtime when everyone is resting or gearing up for a new adventure. So much love, connection and even rest and renewal happen during these in-betweens.

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You’ve always got to write in the sand.

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  • TIP: Another great way to use portrait mode is for something like this image with the heart-shaped shell. Have your subject hold it out toward you at arm’s length so that your subject is blurred.

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WATERPROOF CAMERA - So, I have a special case for my big girl camera so that I can bring it in the water. There are also tons of very affordable options on Amazon for waterproof cameras (though I have no idea how good they are) and even options for iPhone waterproof housing. I have to say, being able to take my camera into the water is one of the BEST ways to capture a great beach vacation!

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  • TIP: Having everyone repeat the same action is fun way to create a mini photo series!

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Again, hand someone your camera. I love that I have a few when I’m just loving on my big girl.

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  • TIP: Have your husband wear a Hawaiian shirt and drink whiskey and pretend he’s talking to a big crowd. haha!!

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Again, don’t forget the indoor in-between times.

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I love to end all my beach photo collections - and albums - with people walking away. It’s like they’re saying goodbye for now.

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!

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little girl swimming in lemon mini dip from target


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goofy face girl being silly in a pool
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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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young girl in karate uniform goes across the monkey bars
girl stands on giant stone snake looking fierce
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young girl with facepaint climbs on jungle gym at nashville zoo grassmere
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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
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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.