Christmas Mini Tips for a Great Session

 

Bluebird Christmas Tree Farm

 

This was the first year that we went to Bluebird Christmas Tree Farm for mini sessions and it was amazing!! The tree farm was so cute and because it was before the season, we pretty much had it to ourselves. The Farm only allows a few photographers at a time so that we are not in each others shots.

Our props set up was filled with whites, greens, browns, gold and red for splashes of color

Because Shane and I tag teamed this session, we had him start at our staged location. He made sure to get all the posed photos with our props, which are perfect for Christmas cards. Our set up was  focused towards more neutral, woodsy colors, but we still added the shinny gold to help catch the eye.

Bluebird Christmas Tree Farm
Bluebird Christmas Tree Farm

 

After the posed session, I took the families through the farm to get shots through the trees and around the location. They had a great little cabin in the back with a wooden porch that allowed us to have shade, which gave us more even lighting! Next to the cabin we had more variety with a field and tall grass.

We loved the outfit choices out clients went with! Many of them stuck to  browns, blues and greens with a little red, it went so well with the trees and outdoors. It is always a good idea to have your group color coordinated, but not too matchy.

Bluebird Christmas Tree Farm

 

Bluebird Christmas Tree Farm
Every once in awhile we had some tears from our littlest models so we had to think quick on our feet. Snacks, Silly faces and You tube videos brought the smiles right back….we owe a lot to “Baby Shark”, that song is a lifesaver!

More tips for Great Christmas Photos:

let their personality shine
Decorating the Christmas tree is a great way to engage the kids
There is nothing like warm hugs to make your heart melt
Games, like follow the toddler, are amazing
Silly faces do the trick!

There was so much to learn this go around but I feel like we had a good groove. We really look forward to taking it to the next level in 2020!!

5 Things to plan in Cades Cove for Engagement Photos

Cades Cove Skies
Cades Cove Skies by ST Photography

When you think about your engagement photos there are not to many locations more beautiful than Cades Cove in the Smoky Mountains. So why not take that opportunity to add that beauty to your engagement photos.

In order to get the most out of your trip there are a few things to keep in mind.

  1. Cades Cove, in the Smoky Mountain National Park,  offers an 11 mile one way loop road of scenic valleys, fields, mountains and wildlife. Since it is only one way, travel is slow, so plan on taking some extra time making your way around the loop. There are a few roads that allow you to skip portions if you need to. There are also a lot of sight seers who like to take their time, especially if they spot wildlife.

 

Cades Cove by ST Photography
Cades Cove by ST Photography
Fields of Cades Cove by ST Photography
Fields of Cades Cove by ST Photography
Engagements by ST Photography
Engagements by ST Photography

2. Your photographer must have a permit to take photos in the National Park. The National park wants to make sure only photographers who know their rules and are licence should be taking any professional portraits in the loop.

Engagements in Cades Cove by ST Photography
Engagements in Cades Cove by ST Photography

 

Dancing in Cades Cove by ST Photography
Dancing in Cades Cove by ST Photography

3. Schedule your shoot for either early morning or late afternoon. Traffic is usually a little lighter during these hours. Not only should there be less people but it is also peek lighting.

Engagement in Cades Cove by ST Photography
Engagement in Cades Cove by ST Photography
Cades Cove Loop
Cades Cove Loop by ST Photography
Cades Cove by ST Photography
Cades Cove by ST Photography

4. There are a lot of amazing shots that you may need to walk to in order to shoot at that location. Be alert to what may be living in that area. If you see any wildlife take cation and try not to get to close. Some animals, such as bears, could attack so use good judgement and back away.

Forests of Cades Cove ST Photography
Forests of Cades Cove ST Photography

 

Creek and Forest of Cades Cove ST Photography
Creek and Forest of Cades Cove ST Photography

5. There are so many breathtaking buildings on this loop that bring a unique point of view to any shoot. Be respectful of other people and of the property. These structures are historic treasures.

Methodist Church on Cades Cove Loop
Methodist Church on Cades Cove Loop by ST Photography
Methodist Church by ST Photography
Methodist Church by ST Photography
Engagements in Cades Cove by ST Photography
Engagements in Cades Cove by ST Photography

These 5 easy steps will help your engagement photos in Cades Cove run smoothly. Congratulations on your upcoming wedding and enjoy your time in the Stunning Smoky Mountains National Park!

Engagements in Cades Cove by ST Photography
Engagements in Cades Cove by ST Photography

 

Wedding in the Smoky Mountains at the Preserve

High in the mountain top, above the business and the clouds Clayton and Chance sealed their perfect wedding with a kiss. They were surrounded by their family and friends who had been by their side through this young romance.

They met in 2011 at a friends house. Chance’s friend had been pushing her to meet this cute, single guy and so she was excited to get the opportunity. The first night they didn’t even speak! It took months before the two finally decided to talk at their hang out in Schroeder parking lot. This conversation was only 25 words and Clayton had to leave early “to do homework” but  he really just didn’t want her to know he had a curfew. He finally fessed up a couple months after dating. He was nervous that she wouldn’t date him if he had one.

This started their journey to get to know one another and eventually led them to Tennessee where they made their commitment known. They chose to have their wedding at the Chapel at the Preserve in the little white Chapel and Reception at Majestic View Lodge . Even though the rain poured outside, their love outshone the grey.

We wish all the best to this happy couple!

 

 

Chapel at the Preserve Wears Valley TN with ST Photography
Chapel at the Preserve Wears Valley TN with ST Photography

Chapel at the Preserve Wears Valley TN with ST PhotographyChapel at the Preserve Wears Valley TN with ST Photography

 

Chapel at the Preserve Wears Valley TN with ST Photography
Chapel at the Preserve Wears Valley TN with ST Photography

Chapel at the Preserve Wears Valley TN with ST Photography Chapel at the Preserve Wears Valley TN with ST Photography

Chapel at the Preserve Wears Valley TN with ST Photography
Chapel at the Preserve Wears Valley TN with ST Photography

Chapel at the Preserve Wears Valley TN with ST Photography

Chapel at the Preserve Wears Valley TN with ST Photography
Chapel at the Preserve Wears Valley TN with ST Photography

Chapel at the Preserve Wears Valley TN with ST PhotographyChapel at the Preserve Wears Valley TN with ST Photography Chapel at the Preserve Wears Valley TN with ST Photography

Chapel at the Preserve Wears Valley TN with ST Photography
Chapel at the Preserve Wears Valley TN with ST Photography

Chapel at the Preserve Wears Valley TN with ST Photography Chapel at the Preserve Wears Valley TN with ST Photography Chapel at the Preserve Wears Valley TN with ST Photography Chapel at the Preserve Wears Valley TN with ST Photography Chapel at the Preserve Wears Valley TN with ST Photography Chapel at the Preserve Wears Valley TN with ST Photography Chapel at the Preserve Wears Valley TN with ST Photography Chapel at the Preserve Wears Valley TN with ST Photography Chapel at the Preserve Wears Valley TN with ST Photography Chapel at the Preserve Wears Valley TN with ST Photography

Sleeping Beauty

ST Photography Princess Shoot for Sleeping Beauty

ST Photography Princess Shoot for Sleeping Beauty
Sleeping Beauty

 Once a year my little girl turns another year older and asked to be a princess. This year she was excited to be Sleeping Beauty. My little Beauty played the part wonderfully and was fully in character. It is always a joy to see her dress up even though the rest of the year she is still a princess in her own right.

Her Grandmother has always acted as her “Fairy Godmother” dressing her in new gowns to fit the role she hopes to play that year. She flew all the way from Washington to make my girls dreams become a reality.

This year she is turning 6 and the magic of princesses still fills her heart. I hope she still likes to dress up when she turns 7….

ST Photography Princess Shoot for Sleeping Beauty
Sleeping Beauty
ST Photography Princess Shoot for Sleeping Beauty
My Little Sleeping Beauty
ST Photography Princess Shoot for Sleeping Beauty
Sleeping Beauty
ST Photography Princess Shoot
Sleeping Beauty

ST Photography Princess Shoot for Sleeping Beauty
Sleeping Beauty and the prick from the spinning wheel
ST Photography Princess Shoot for Sleeping Beauty
Sleeping Beauty Awakes

ST Photography Princess Shoot for Sleeping Beauty
Sleeping Beauty Waiting
ST Photography Princess Shoot for Sleeping Beauty
Sleeping Beauty in the Woods
ST Photography Princess Shoot for Sleeping Beauty
Sleeping Beauty

ST Photography Princess Shoot for Sleeping Beauty
Sleeping Beauty

 

Chapel at the Preserve Smoky Mountain Wedding

If you have ever dreamed of a Mountain top wedding, the Chapel at the Preserve can fulfill that fantasy. Coleen and Kendrick came to the Smoky Mountains to find just that. The quiet atmosphere and spectacular views captured their hearts and they knew it was perfect.

Their beautiful wedding was attended by their family in an intimate ceremony. Coleen was lead down the isle by Kendrick’s children, who were eager  to call her their mom, to the music of violin and harp strings. As the ceremony went on every little detail seemed to be so thought out with loving care, personal to only the two of them. In the center of it all was their love for Jesus.

The first dance was so tender as the two could not take their eyes off of one another. This was followed by a beautifully laid out meal. The family was all smiles as they enjoyed the feast before them. A roaring fire in the back ground was a perfect ambiance. Everything was incredibly gorgeous. 

The couple decided to add to their video and photos with shots from Cades Cove. As the sun set they went through the fields taking in all the natural beauty around them. Their children even joined in the fun, running and playing with their parents. The joy between this family was contagious. They were just beaming with happiness.

From the views from above to the valley below this was truly a perfect Smoky Mountain wedding.

Thank you to all the wonderful vendors that made this day remarkable!

Chelsi Warren

The perfect Mountain Venue– Chapel at the Preserve

Gorgeous Megan Connors Floral and Styling

Lions Creative

Great Smoky Mountain Catering Company

Laurel Strings

Sandy’s Cakes

Sweven Vintage and Rustic Rentals

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sampson’s Hollow Wedding

Sampson’s Hollow was the perfect location for Kelsey and Mathew’s October wedding. They had planned on having a destination wedding with their family and friends and as soon as Kelsey saw this beautiful venue, she knew it was the one.

Wedding Photography
Sampson’s Hollow in Walland Tennessee

The beginning of this love story started 2 years earlier when Heather, Kelsey’s cousin, knew these two would be a great match. She started planning for them to meet for 3 months and helped them connect at a hog roast she was hosting. Heather took Kelsey’s hand and brought her to Matthew and told them to “play nice.” It worked! The two hit it off right away talking through the night.

A week later they had their first date at Steak and Shake. Kelsey tried to play hard to get, but Matthew was so funny and charming she couldn’t stay away. She found out that his grandma had asked to “meet his girlfriend” and she realized if Gram thinks she is, she must be his girlfriend.

Everything just clicked from there. They both shared a love of adventure, but could still be happy relaxing at home. He introduced her to eating steak, which she now enjoys along with a dark beer.

Now they found themselves in the middle of the Smoky Mountains, dressed up with their family and friends promising to share this life together. Everything was truly beautiful. The night ended with smiles and dancing, and closed with the couple exiting with sparklers.

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Special thanks to all the incredible people who made this event a day to remember!

Venue- Sampson’s Hollow

Wedding Planner- Lesley Livingston

Hair-Bebe Salon in Maryville

Flowers- ecoflowers.com

Catering, Dj, and Cake all provided by Sampson’s Hollow

Gorgeous Mountain Wedding at the Chapel at the Preserve

 

The  Chapel at the Preserve is such a perfect backdrop for a Smoky Mountain Wedding. From the moment Laura and  Austin were engaged they wanted to bring their families together and this was an amazing place to do that.

Their wedding was absolutely stunning as Laura made her way to the love of her life. As they stood side by side they could not take their eyes off of one another. Everyone cheered as the kiss sealed the deal.

They danced the night away in each others arms until the little ones stole the show! Then the family showed off their dance moves.

The two families blended perfectly together.  Laughter and smiles lite up the pavilion. Both sides of the family had helped set up and decorate and  it had turned out amazing!

Location- The Chapel at The Preserve
DJ- Smoky Mountain Sound Ron Crivellone
Flowers- Flowers of Gatlinburg
Cake- Cakes by Bakin’ Bishop
Hair- Smoky Mountains Salon and Spa

 

 

Crissy + Jay

 We have such a gorgeous wedding to share with you today! This wedding has quickly become a new favorite!! We had the pleasure of shooting Crissy and Jay’s stunning Jackson Terminal wedding in Knoxville, TN recently, which was designed by the talented Peggy Buchanan at Heels and Veils.

Every detail of the day was fun and inspiring!

We loved how Crissy and Jay incorporated board games into their decor symbolizing their dating life, full of laughter and competition. The lovely and colorful oranges and pinks in the flower from  Melissa Timm Designs were a perfect way to display the fun and lightness of the centerpieces.

Crissy was a knock out!!! Her beautiful red hair had a perfect braid on the side that looked so elegant in her short locks. Alisa Sawyer at Grow Knoxville worked her magic and completed the look with stunning makeup.

The two decided that they would do a first look so that we could go around town in a bus!! This special moment was perfect as Crissy walked behind Jay and tapped his shoulder.

The wedding itself was a gorgeous affair filled with love and support from their family and friends. Crissy’s father seemed pretty confident his daughter had chosen the perfect man as he put his little girls hand in Jay’s. The wedding ended with the bride and groom going down the aisle and snagging another loving kiss.

Family and Friends could not help but to smile knowing that these two incredible people were so happy together. The reception continued with  laughter, especially when the speeches began. We heard so many wonderful stories and even some good advice from the helpful family.

Once the sentimental tears were shed it was time to head on to the dance floor as the guests danced the night away thanks to Sammy Scott from Ogle Entertainment.

It was so amazing getting to know this wonderful couple. Their love for each other was so obvious and we were so happy to be apart of their joyous day!!!

 

 

Fairy Tale Wedding at Castle Post

Many little girls dream of being a princess at their fairy tale wedding but few truly get the castle!

This dream wedding was perfect as Kaitlin and Justin said “I do” behind the medieval walls.

Location- Castle Post in Versailles Kentucky
Florist- Jeanie Gorrell
DJ- Time Zone Enterainment
Videography- Uncle Dairrell
Catering- Castle Chef

The Great Hall Staircase

The Dinning area at Castle Post

 

The Dress
The Stunning Bride

 

The Wedding

 

 

Beautiful Couple

Holly + Michael

 Pregnancy Photos in Cades Cove Tennessee

We are so excited for Holly and Michael as they get ready to welcome their new little one. In honor of this amazing miracle we went to the Cades Cove to document this stage in their journey.