The Hancocks | Spring Hill Family Photographer

Scott and Katie are the kind of friends that people only dream about having if they don't already have a set of Scott and Katies in their lives. They're a fun-loving couple who are so totally open and honest about their marriage and their family, completely unapologetic about asking you those tough questions that no one else ever seem to have the guts to ask and forever passionate about loving you right where you are in the mess that you're in. Jamie and I have spent many hours around the fire pit in Scott and Katie's backyard learning from and getting loved on by them and the other couples in our weekly Bible study.

So when I heard they were looking to get their family portraits done, I had to stop myself from asking how much
I had to pay them to get the job.

The Hancocks became a family of four about four months ago and I have to say a slew of prayers every time I look at baby Jacob just so I don't catch "baby fever". Is it just me, or can you just not get enough of this face?

And that smile...

From the moment she was born, Anna was ready to show the world that she was a unique individual full of spunk. She doesn't give her smiles away to just anyone, so she always makes me so excited when I'm honored enough get one. That, and she shares my penchant for routine and order, so I can't help but just have a special place in my heart for this child.

This family loves fiercely...

...and laughs often.

And they're willing to share their lives with me, not just for a brief photo shoot one afternoon, but day after day, week after week. Including Scott's now famous "recipe" of making s'mores with Reeses Peanut Butter Cups.

So, Mr. and Mrs. Hancock....let me just say that you have a stunning family.....and make equally fabulous friends.


Finding Myself | Personal Reflection

Who am I? That's really an age-old question, isn't it? One's self is not easily defined, nor is it readily understood. And to make things even more difficult (as things often are), self-definition and self-discovery must occur not once or twice, but many times throughout one's life.

Take junior high, for example. Yeah, I we really want to go back there?? I don't know about you, but for me, it was one of the most pivotal times in my life. After a satisfying summer vacation, I arrived at the first day of 7th grade thinking I was pretty hot stuff. (Okay, nerdy hot stuff, but who's really into details these days?) After all, elementary school was a cakewalk. But to my surprise, there were hundreds of other kids my age looking for the same thing: searching for love, for acceptance and just wanting to be noticed by somebody. And so began my first sojourn to find myself. My awkward, nerdy self. Sans the glasses, thank goodness.

My personal journey in high school offered a much more positive experience overall. As much as I dislike existing in the past, I often find myself jealous of, well, my past self, really. Outgoing, self-assured and confident in both who I was in Christ and what I wanted out of life. Passionate to the core and not caring much about what other people thought.

College. Marriage. Getting my first job. Leaving my first job. Experiencing loss. Each of these represent moments in my life when I've had to reevaluate priorities and really ask myself (and God) some hard questions to figure out which road to travel. I think I'm just at a point in my life (yes, at the old age of 25) where I'm trying to once again figure out who I'm meant to be and what I'm meant to do. It's not that I'm dissatisfied with my life - quite the contrary, actually - I just can't shake the nagging feeling that I'm missing something. I love my husband and I love my life, but with marriage (sorry, babe), work, managing the household and the other things clamoring for my attention these days, I can't help but feel as if I've lost a bit of myself along the way.

It's one of the reasons I love photography. Photography is one of those things that challenges you to find what makes you unique. It requires you to be confident, yet vulnerable; it asks you to share pieces of yourself as you experience moments in other peoples' lives. Sure, I can take a pretty picture, but I want it to be so much more than that. I want my photography to be reflection of who I am while showing off the beauty that God made in each of His creations. That's why I'm so excited about the For the Love Workshop this fall. I have a feeling that it will be a great opportunity for some deep soul-searching while fellowshipping with my brothers and sisters in Christ and getting poured into by some of the photographers I most admire.

At this moment, I am crossing my fingers and praying there's a spot with my name on it. I'd love to be there.


Selma's Story | Franklin Children's Photographer

Throughout my journey into the world of photography, I've discovered that one of my favorite things about it is the fact that it allows me to play a role in someone's life that I wouldn't necessarily have the opportunity to otherwise. I have the honor of sharing both laughter and tears, experiencing vulnerability and celebrating successes with those whose images I am able to capture through my lens. A couple of weeks ago, I was blessed to be able to catalog a part of someone's story on (digital) film.

Selma's Story is a Franklin, Tenn.-based non-profit organizations that connects donors with stories of individuals who have a life-changing need. Many times, through no fault of their own, people are often faced with a need, one that if fulfilled, can dramatically alter the course of their lives. Think medical needs for a child living in an orphanage overseas or covering education fees for a single mom struggling to pay the bills. Selma's Story comes along existing organizations and make it possible for people who want to make a difference in someone's life choose the story that touches them, thereby actually becoming a part of that story.

So, who is Selma and how did it all start?

Selma and her mother, Lynn, were living just outside of a dump in Tijuana, Mexico. Over a period of several months, dozens of people came together to bring this mother and daughter back to the United States and help them to get back on their feet and to begin again. It doesn't matter in what capacity each person participated - what matters is the fact that they each did what they were called to do. Some gave money or clothes, some held a hand or gave a hug, some prayed...the list goes on and on. And because of a group of people's willingness to step out and do something, Lynn and Selma's lives are changed forever.

Today, Selma is a beautiful little girl full of personality and life, charming everyone who crosses her path.

Lynn has become a strong woman, growing in confidence in her role as a mother and as the beauty God created her to be.

Time will tell what the next chapter of their lives will hold, but I'm just so blessed I got to be a part of this one.


Mikayla | Nashville Baby Photographer

I met Lindsay my freshman year of college at a campus ministry event. Not only is she beautiful on the outside, but she's got a particularly lovely spirit, which is clearly evident in the photos I took of her and her baby girl. When Lindsay asked me to do a photo shoot with four-month-old Mikayla, I jumped at the chance. I have a feeling little Mikayla is going to be a knock-out when she grows up. What do you think?

Mikayla's beautiful, just like her mother, with a great personality to match.

Seriously, this was one happy baby.

Thank you, Lindsay, for letting me share a part of your life. You and Wes have a beautiful daughter and I can't wait to do a session with the three of you!


Nashville is Open for Business

Nashville is open for business. Well, most of it, anyway.

After a photo shoot on Saturday (more to come on that later), I thought I'd take advantage of the fact that I had Canon's 70-200mm f/2.8 L IS USM lens that Jamie from Jamie Wright Photography generously let me borrow. The "L" is for "Luxury", by the way, and I think it's a very accurate description. So while I wipe the drool off my face, since I'd very much like to purchase one for myself, let me share with you the photos I captured from my first visit downtown since the flood.

It's already a week since the flood and some of the businesses downtown are
still pumping water out of their basements.

Including the beloved Schermerhorn Symphony Center, home to the Nashville Symphony and my previous place of employment, and a shining jewel, in my opinion, in Nashville's music scene.

Those businesses with serious damage are closed indefinitely.

But, Nashville never ceases to amaze me. Because even the biggest flood most of us have ever experienced can't suppress the undeniably strong and proud spirit of the people of Nashville and their desire to help one another.

I think we'll look back on this as a time that built, or perhaps rather reinforced, our character as a city. I was a proud Nashvillian even before the flood, but now I feel like shouting it from the rooftops.

So just in case I haven't said it loud enough, Nashville is open for business.


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