Currently showing posts tagged Lifestyle Portrait


    Danika is such a dear, dear friend of mine. I've been photographing her and her firstborn, Liston, for 5 years now. They are very special to me. On June 5th at 6:31pm, Danika and Jimmie welcomed a gorgeous little man into the world. Meet Aadyn Ahanu James Allen. He's absolutely perfect. I can't wait to watch him grow and develop into what I know will be an amazing human being. Wanna see more? To view Danika's maternity session click HERE

    Jimmie, I watched you gracefully slip into your role as a first time parent during our shoot. When Aadyn hit your arms and heard your sweet singing voice, he chilled right out. Aadyn is a gift and is lucky to have you. Treasure him. I jacked the following quote from your facebook page. It sums up the pure excitement you felt when you first saw Aadyn:

    "Words can't express the amount of love and emotion that came over me when the doctors placed him in my arms. His little eyes opened and the first person he saw was me "Dad" looking back at him. I have never known a love like this. This boy has stolen my heart. I'm looking forward to spending the rest of my life giving him all I have. He WILL!! love all things DISNEY!!!!!" - Jimmie Allen (Daddy)



    So I suppose most proposals are a "surprise" for the bride-to-be, but this one was extra special. Ryan's older sis, Brynn Marie is a dear friend of mine. She recently played a pretty major show at the Ryman to which her entire family came from the Pittsburg, PA area to see. She filled me in on Ryan's sweet plan to propose to Andrea here in Nashville at Maggiano's. To add another element of suprise, Ryan had convinced Andrea's family to come to Nashville for the occasion as well. We all arrived at Maggiano's before the two lovebirds and kept our distance. After Ryan's quick proposal (in his excitement, he proposed before they even ordered appetizers), he led Andrea into the next room where 25 of their closest family members and friends awaited them. There were so many sweet moments and happy tears. These two are so lovely together and have such an amazing support system around them. Here are a few candid images from the day. 


    Dallas is a total individual and I love her to bits. To celebrate her burgeoning adulthood we met up at the Wilson County Fairgrounds. With it's mix of art, history, and all things original, the location fit Dallas perfectly. The girl has an amazing spirit, an intoxicating laugh, and a kind heart. I can't wait to see how she decides to live her life. However she chooses to live it, she will most definitely do it laughing. 

    Dallas's parents: You guys are such a breath of fresh air. Dallas is a lucky girl!


    Last year I photographed David and Maggie as an engaged couple. The wedding has come and gone and they are now expecting their first child! It's crazy how fast life moves forward. For this shoot, we used beautiful Radnor Lake as our backdrop. Radnor is probably one of my most favorite locations in Nashville. It's such a peaceful spot to hike, think, and just breathe.

    David and Maggie, you two are beautiful together. Maggie, you are flawless! Cannot wait to meet your little one soon!! 


    William and I met a few years ago while dancing together in Nashville's own Found Movement Group. William is one of those people that just makes you smile. He is a ray of freaking sunshine. We met up and he told me all about his recent trip to Ghana as he danced around downtown Nashville. I listened and photographed. Enjoy these images of William just being William. XOXO


    Mary and I met years and years ago while dancing together in a Nashville based dance company called Found Movement Group. Mary is a beastly dancer and more importantly, she's an incredible person. I love her. I've not spent much time with Chris, but from what I've witnessed he's supportive, sweet, and he loves his girl. 

    Mary and Chris will be tying the knot in May. We met for our engagement shoot at the location where said knot will be Mint Springs Farm, an all inclusive wedding venue located in Nolensville, TN. Our shoot went flawlessly. The weather was gorgeous, the scenery heavenly, and the subjects perfect. If you or someone you love is engaged, Mint Springs Farm is a wonderful venue. The ladies that own and operate this joint have impeccable taste and keen eyes. The views are breathtaking and the bridal loft is pretty much every girl's dream come true! 

    Cannot WAIT for this wedding guys! It's gonna be extra special. XOXO


    Jamie and Zach are one of the cutest couples I've ever had the pleasure of photographing. I knew the pair through a mutual friend, but had never spent time with them together. When Jamie emailed me to tell me that she and Zach were engaged and needed photos to make it official, I was stoked!

    Our shoot took place in downtown Nashville. As I watched the two interact I couldn't help but "awwww" to myself. I mean Zach played guitar for this girl, gave her piggy back rides just for fun, fed her a hot dog, and even let her drink most of his coca-cola. The boy is definitely relationship material. And he definitely loves his Jamie. And who wouldn't?? The girl's even hot while inhaling hot dogs (insert immature comment here.) I had so much fun traipsing around the city with these two. Big shout out to the hot dog stand guy!

    Congrats on your enagement guys! I know you will live happily, musically, and deliciously ever after. 

    Hair and Makeup Master: Marz Makeup and Hair (doesn't Jamie's makeup/hair look flawless!? Marzie is a beauty wizard.)


    Chris and Liz are engaged to be married this coming October. Liz is a creative Nashville native; Chris is a sweet, hard working man from North Carolina. Marz Makeup and I met up with these two lovebirds at their cute eclectic little home in Nashville. Marz worked her magic on Liz and she looked stunning! Sidenote: I loved Liz's shoes and took waaaay too many photos of them. I'm not apologizing. Chris and Liz love Nashville, so naturally the Bicentennial Mall area with all of its Tennessee history was a fantastic place for us to begin shooting. They are very passionate about Jeni's ice cream as well. So round two of our shooting lead us to this amazing ice cream joint in a cute little strip in East Nashville. Liz got a scoop of "Lemon and Blueberries" and Chris decided on the "Whisky and Pecans." Marz and I were good girls (double sigh) and didn't partake in the fun this go around, but we will definitely be hitting up Jeni's in the near future. What I learned about these two crazy kids? For one, they love cats and enjoy watching the Animal Planet series. Secondly, they are an incredibly great fit for one another

    Chris and Liz: We had SUCH a fun time with you two! Thank you for being awesome and making our jobs so easy (and yummy!). I know your future together will be filled with happiness, love, magical rainbows, and potentially more cats. :)


    I recently spent a sunny Saturday morning hanging out with the Lantz family. They are such an attractive bunch! And lots of fun too! Swinging on swings, four wheeling, hanging out in a viper, talking to cicadas, swimming…they packed in a ton of fun stuff while i was there! This made me and my camera very happy. The names of these gorgeous and very talented children are Jayden, Makena, and Kelton. They are super duper beautiful…all three of them. Serious model quality stuff going on here. Thanks so much for letting me capture your sweet family.


    and last but not least….they break rules and ignore signs……they do what they want.

    Meet the awesomeness that is the staff of Barefeet Studios. This diverse group of people make my life better. They are a family. Danika Miles is the owner of Barefeet Studios. She is insanely talented, insanely loveable, and she is most definitely the business. Her entire heart is devoted to spreading the love of dance. This is not your typical bubble gum dance studio. All of the instructors are incredibly passionate about what they do. They inspire me daily. The mission of Barefeet Studios:

    “Our Mission is to provide students with the opportunity to receive the highest quality of dance, yoga and fitness instruction by encouraging growth as performing artists and enthusiasts with the intent to enrich lives’, as well as the community in which we live. We do this by making our services affordable for every individual and family, by creating opportunities to give back to our community, and by opening our hearts to everyone who comes through our door.”

    For more information about this wonderful studio, please visit Go get your weeerk on!


    Meet my gorgeous friends Chris and Starr, and their stylish kids, Phoenix (age 3) and Ameryn (age 7). We met up in Hillsboro Village and the fun times began! This was sort of a three part shoot. Part one took place near Dragon Park. We basically let the kids run loose and just followed their lead, forcing them to stop on occasion to get a few “normal” shots in. They acted appropriately…making faces and showing off. After 30 minutes or so, it got ridiculously hot and we headed to Hot and Cold for some yummy paletas. Voila, now we have part two! Brightly colored popcicles and chocolate faces made for some ridiculously fun images! (Chris and Starr, you’re kinda adorable too!) The last part of our shoot was for adults only. The kids were scooped up and taken away. We walked around and looked for random pops of color and cool textures. After 20 minutes or so, we ditched the modeling and headed for Jackson’s Bar and Bistro for drinks. These ladies are badass.  They are strong, independent, and successful. They also both happen to possess some pretty killer mama skills. You ladies are awesome and i’m lucky to have you as friends. xoxo


    Meet Julie and Jamie Bennett. They are cute as cute can be. Julie is pregnant (obviously) and due around the end of August. We had so much fun taking these pictures! We met up at Jamie's parents home out in Gallatin. They have a beautiful back yard so that's mostly where we shot. Jamie and Julie laughed throughout the shoot and made my job incredibly easy. They have so much love and respect for one another. It's very sweet and completely refreshing.

    Jamie and Julie: You guys are stupidly amazing together and will be incredible parents. I can't wait to meet your little man soon!


    Remember the maternity pics I posted a few weeks ago with cute pregnant Julie and her awesome husband Jamie? Well they are adorable and if you didn't catch the blog post a few weeks ago, click here! I'm so glad we took those pictures when we did because this little guy decided to come out early. His name is Oliver Andrew Bennett. And man is he the best thing ever. I fell in love with his dark complexion and sweet little face. Not sure he feels the same way, but time will tell. Oliver, you sir are one lucky little man. Jamie and Julie, congratulations on your job well done :)


    The story of my life begins like this:

    stop waiting.

    Everyday I wake and discover

    the soft curve of your ear

    and your heavy breathing beside me.

    I move through the day,


    pondering what feels off

    what I do not have

    what more could be done.

    “Should” rules me.

    Everyday, I stare at this city

    from my small city block

    as if all the secrets of Chicago

    are contained within it.

    When did I become lonely?

    When did loving you and

    making words

    not plug the gaping hole in my chest?

    On our balcony, I write furiously

    awakened by the sound of traffic

    as my toes grow cold

    and the sun perches behind the soft haze of white moisture

    And I breathe deeply.

    The first hint of fall is upon us

    and I am happy.

    The Captain’s Verses sits beside me,

    off-white with that stamp of aqua

    containing such a familiar name:

    Pablo Neruda.

    I want to do it like he did it,

    by the water, with his love,

    all day plagued by the words

    in his head and the fire in his belly.

    I am not a poet,

    but I can still write like one

    If I want to.

    A mug of coffee sits in my right hand,

    for it is heavy like a bowl

    and my hands are tired.

    A thick blanket drapes across my body

    Our home is taking her first inhale.

    And yet you are still sleeping.

    Should I wake you?

    Everyday, I plan to be different

    I see people and laughter

    and a house for two.

    And yet the only laughter is our laughter

    echoing off of walls that are not ours

    in a city that feels rented

    And I ask, “Is it enough?”

    Should it be?

    The story of my life should not be

    “stop waiting”

    but: she never waited.

    She lived, she loved, she tried,

    she mattered.

    She never gave up and she never fell prey

    to the same


    She constructed hers with a different paper

    and a thicker ink.

    And yet here she is, on a random balcony on the fifth floor

    of a building,

    that diamond studded water just out of reach.

    If she strains, she can see it

    or perhaps she only imagines she can see it.

    Either way, she creates it from memory.

    The water calls to her as it has called to so many

    throughout history.

    “Fling away your life,” it says. “Come start a new one.”

    Create your own consequences.

    She looks inside. The screen obscures her vision.

    She sees only herself staring hard at questions unanswered.

    Can she undo all of this, or is she just lonely?

    Does she need more?

    Will moving change nothing or everything?

    She continues to ponder in a journal pieced together

    by the hands of her husband.

    Her body aches for the warmth of his cheeks and fingers.

    He will know what to do, she thinks,

    how to guide them, how to make their lives fit

    with the purpose of

    doing anything.

    For now, her face tips up.

    She takes a clogged breath,

    filled with the city’s grit,

    but at least it is a cool day.

    She will take this small gift of weather

    and find a sweater buried deep in her closet.

    She will wear it proudly.

    It is Labor Day, but today,

    there will be no labor.

    Only love and reading and a general contemplation

    of things.

    She takes another sip.

    The coffee is cold.

    The sun starts to dance,

    breaking apart the clouds.


    the drone of the TV lingers.

    She hears a baby cry.

    Her husband’s footsteps rattle the floors.

    She smiles.

    “Time to wake up,”

    she whispers.

    It is finally time.

    Rea and I have known each other forever. We go way back to the days of Pumas and Jncos. Actually we go back years before those days. But the Jnco wearing days are when we became "official". She is my dearest, oldest, and closest friend. I was recently able to go to Chicago to spend time with Rea and her adorable husband Alex. This photo shoot  was extremely impromptu. Rea and Alex never had the opportunity to have engagement photos taken, so this is sort of a tribute to that lost time. They have a beautiful marriage and adore one another. I love you both!!

    Below is a bit of poetry that Rea wrote. She originally chose this piece of writing because it so perfectly matched the photos. I found it to be just as fitting :)

    Written by Rea Frey Holguin (Inspiration provided by Alex Holguin)


    I am proud to say that this beautiful little thing is related to me. Meet Princess Presley Ruth Singleton. She isn't mine, but I wish she was!! Her first birthday party was held at a local park on a gorgeous fall day. She was surrounded by dozens of doting relatives, several of which came all the way from Mississippi. Presley maintained her happy disposition throughout the course of her purple-princess themed party. Despite having an awful ear infection, this sweet baby only cried once (and that was only because she had rubbed a handful of icing into her eyeballs!) Her first birthday party was a hit!

    Presley, although you cannot read, you are precious and I love you! I am honored to have been a part of your big day. Also, you win the award for "most chill baby alive"....CONGRATULATIONS! It's official.

    Crystal and Rodney...if I have a third child any time soon, you can thank yourselves for giving me baby fever.


    I love Halloween for several reasons. Growing up, Halloween wasn't just one night of fun, it was more like an entire season. Several weeks leading up to Halloween my dad would halloween-ify our home. Decorating was a huge part of every holiday and is probably why I remember the holidays so well. My dad loved to see us get all giddy and excited. He also got a huge kick out of seeing us terrified.  Each year he sought out the scariest of haunted houses....the scarier the better. I swear to god I think I was around 7 years old when I had my first haunted house experience. I'm the oldest so of course I had to keep it together. I played cool as we were led through bloody murder scenes, startled by hidden zombies, taunted by young pleading dead girls, grabbed at the ankles by old prisoners, trapped in tight spaces, and chased around with chain saws. Year after year, my younger sister would start out holding my dad's hand and end up on his hip. I'd call her a baby, knowing good and well I was one scare away from peeing my pants. My least favorite part was being chased by the men with chain saws. They generally came out at the very end of our haunted house adventure. Hearts racing, the three of us would run screaming all the way to the car as we were chased by these crazy men with their menacing power tools. It was thrilling and I loved every second of it. Halloween night itself was always a long affair. We'd set out before the sun went down and stay gone for hours. Once we finally made it home, our pillow cases overloaded with candy, we would sort it out and eat until our stomachs hurt. Where were our parents? Who cares! Halloween was awesome. It didn't matter what day of the week the holiday fell on. We partied. Halloween marks the beginning of awesome weather, all things pumpkin, and long weeks off of school. It makes me think of my family and my close friends. Now that I'm grown (that's questionable), I've tried to create traditions for my own children that hopefully they will remember for as long as they live.

    This year to celebrate the occassion, I held a Halloween mini shoot-out at one of my favorite little parks. These kids (and adults!) came in character, ready to work it. They were so much fun to photograph. I plan on making these shoot-outs a yearly thing. Halloween is a big deal and should be treated appropriately.

    Pictured above: Amira the Zombie, Sheriff Brady, Jasmine (Delly), The Scooby Doo gang, and Ryder the Cowboy


    These photos were taken this past summer with a Holga. I finally got around to having them developed! If you aren't familiar with a Holga, it's basically a toy camera. Super inexpensive ($30) and super fun! They are imperfect, which makes for interesting light leaks, and happy mistakes.  Achieve "hipstamatic" results the old fashioned way, with zero editing required. The kids pictured in the images are my beautiful children. Enjoy!
  • MARZ + ED

    Meet Marz and Ed. These two lovebirds are getting married next fall in the beautiful mountains of Gatlinburg, TN. Prior to our shoot, Marz and I discussed engagement shoot ideas over coffee and it was agreed upon that silly/non-lameness was our theme. The day of the shoot, the three of us met up at the Starbucks in downtown Franklin. Ed is a huge RC Cola fan, so we decided it was best to start drinking early to loosen him up :) We found a pretty tree and let the pumpkin playing commence.  From there, we took the party down the street to the Factory (where we also purchased some badass homemade ice cream), and then walked across the street to the open field across the street (The Park at Harlinsdale Farm) and played in the gorgeous setting sunlight. Marz and Ed are the real thing. They are so comfortable with each another. I had so much fun photographing them as they are, two incredibly goofy people that have a ridiculous amount of love for one another.

    By the way, Marz is also a fabulous make-up artist! You can view her work HERE.