What to Wear for Your Engagement Session

I always get asked the question, “What should I wear for my Engagement Session?” and my answer is always a long, solid-color fluid dress, heels and classic jewelry — estate or family pieces if you have them. Long dresses are very feminine. They catch the wind and add beautiful movement when you walk. That movement adds so much interest to your images. And, the fit of your dress should compliment your figure and show off your shape. If an outfit off the rack needs to be altered to fit you well, then do it to look your best. The reason we love so many celebrities’ outfits is that they are custom made to fit their bodies. My favorite silhouettes? It’s no secret that I absolutely LOVE a one-shoulder dress. It’s a hint of sexy, but classy at the same time. I also love simple slip dresses and wraps that accent your waist.

When choosing a dress, keep in mind that solid fabrics are best, because prints and patterns can be trendy and distracting unless they are tiny florals or classic patterns like stripes or checks. Plus, so many trendy outfits can date your images very quickly. Same goes for big, chunky accessories. Choose simple and delicate instead. I love heirloom, estate pieces that connect you to your family and give just enough sparkle. Ask your grandmother if you can borrow her pearl and diamond earrings, or your mother her diamond necklace. If your location makes it a little hard to walk in heels, you can take them off. Holding your shoes as you walk gives the images a more relaxed feel (even though you are dressed up) and also gives you something to do with your hands.

For a second, more casual outfit, well-fitting jeans with heels and a dressy blouse or a tailored jumpsuit, is what I recommend. Both are always a win.

So, to sum it up in a few words…solid, flowy, delicate feminine, and classic with a just hint of sexy and a touch of tailored. If every piece you choose to wear for your session can be summed up in those words then you’ve nailed it and your images will be beautiful and timeless.

Be looking for my next post, which will be a Q&A with Walton’s Jewelry on how to confidently shop for and choose estate jewelry and antique engagement rings.

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Dresses: Nordstrom | All jewelry: Estate pieces from Walton’s Jewelry, Franklin TN

 

Welcome to the World, Ann Dozier!

A month or so ago I had the great pleasure of photographing newborn Ann Dozier and her beautiful family at their home in Crestline. Here are a few of my favorite images. HDP-Corr-109_-WEB.jpg

Corr Family Newborn Lifestyle Session by Heather Durham Photography

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Happy 80th Birthday Harold Ripps!

It was a privilege to be asked to photograph Birmingham business executive Harold Ripps’ 80th Birthday Party at The Club. Kathy G did a wonderful job with this masculine event design. Entertainment by Eric Essix.

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Simple Fall Decorating Ideas

Ahhhhh Fall! Cooler temperatures, changing leaves, pumpkins and mums on porches, firepit gatherings, s’mores, cozy sweaters, leather jackets and boots. All of these things make me extremely happy. I want our home to be a place that is warm and welcoming; however, Fall is also my busiest season, so I don’t have time for much fuss. I try to take what I already have and fill in with mums I purchase from our high school cheerleaders’ fundraising project and pumpkins from the little market down the street. I always lean towards minimal styling and non-traditional, greyed down colors. And, there always has to be shades of blue/green in my world…even for my pumpkins! Years and years ago, my hand tinting instructor told me “Always add a little blue to your image. It gives the eye a place to rest.” This is so true for me! Blues are peaceful.

Bright orange, black and purple for Halloween isn’t my jam, and red and green at Christmas is just a little too expected for me. Have you noticed the “other orange” pumpkins? They are a bit more subtle and go beautifully with the autumn colored mums that aren’t exactly yellow or orange, but have a hint of both. I plan to purchase a few rectangular lanterns like these, to add some flicker at night and a different shape to go with all of the round pumpkins.

Here are few vignette shots of my front porch and foyer table. Minimal. Nothing fussy, overdone, or even expensive. There’s nothing difficult about throwing mini white pumpkins in a unique bowl. If I had found where I put my pheasant feathers, I would have mixed those in with the pussy willow branches. Pheasant feathers are one of my favorite things to use in the fall because the colors and texture are amazing. My husband brought back real feathers from a hunt in North Dakota, but you can also purchase them online. I’ve included a link at the end of this post. Ostrich feathers and raw cotton branches are beautiful too!

I love to eat pumpkin spice and cinnamon flavors, but do not like for my house to smell like it, unless it’s the real bread or cake coming out of the oven. Sweet smelling candles give me a headache, so I go for more masculine and earthy scents in the fall like the Le Labo Santal candle shown here, cedarwood, tobacco and leather, etc. Locally, I purchase my candles at Two Old Hippies and White’s Mercantile, two of my favorite Nashville shops.

What about you? What do you do to keep your fall decor simple, yet interesting? What is your go-to color palette? Leave a comment here or on my Instagram! I want to hear from you! Happy Fall Y’all!

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Williams Family Fall Mini Session Birmingham AL by Heather Durham Photography

Simple Fall Decorating by Heather Durham Photography

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Organic TeakWood & Capiz Bowl | Pussy Willow Branches | Pheasant Feathers | My art was purchased from At Home in Birmingham, AL but try Art (similar) or Art (similar) | Glass Jar (similar) | Bird artwork on easel | Voyage et Cie Santal Candle | Danny Clinch photography book | Sinatra 100 photography book | Raw Cotton Branches | Porch Swing

 

Alabama Chanin Fashion Story [Birmingham Magazine Weddings, February 2018]

Hand sewn garments, quality focused, responsibly produced, rich in tradition, and created in Alabama. THIS was a fun project to shoot. If you ever find yourself near Florence, Alabama, stop by the Alabama Chanin factory, browse their organic garments and home goods, then sit down for a bite of lunch at The Factory Café. So much southern goodness created by Natalie Chanin, right there in my home state. Read the full story in the current issue of Birmingham Weddings MagazineHDP-BhamMag-AlabamaChanin-53_-WEB.jpg

Alabama Chanin Wedding Fashions by Heather Durham Photography for Birmingham Magazine, February 2018HDP-BhamMag-AlabamaChanin-69_-WEB.jpg

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The process…pretty fascinating.

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Photographer | Heather Durham
Art Director | Laura Buchanan
Model | Ashley Fisher of AMAX Talent
Stylist | Mary Beth Wetzel
Wardrobe Assistant | Allison Belcher
Hair & Make Up | Kerri Bunn
Photo Assistant | Andi Rice
Custom Backdrop | Telicia Lee

The Levin Family

A few years ago I photographed the Levin family at their beautiful Lake Martin home. So, I was excited when they asked me to photograph them again as their sons, daughter in laws and granddaughters all gathered at their home in Birmingham for Thanksgiving. The Levins are such kind people with adorable kids/grandkids. Clearly they have a great deal to be thankful for!

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Highlights from 2017 [Birmingham, AL] Fall Portrait Mini Sessions

Every year I enjoy heading back to my hometown of Birmingham for my annual weekend(s) of Fall Portrait Mini Sessions. It’s fun to recconect with loyal clients who, over the years, have become friends as I’ve watched their children grow up through my lens. I also enjoy meeting new clients. Fall Mini Session dates and online booking is announced each year the first week of August, so mark your calendars to grab your spot. Here are some of my favorite images from the Birmingham sessions. And, you can see the Franklin, TN Mini Sessions here. HDP-Dennis-4_-WEB.jpg

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Birmingham, AL Fall Portrait Mini Session by Heather Durham PhotographyHDP-Peeples-42_-WEB.jpg

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Jonathan Savage Interior Design Hermes Christmas Tree

It was a pleasure photographing Nashville top designer, Jonathan Savage’s personal home decorated for the holidays. His Christmas tree was appropriately dressed in shades of his branded Savage Interior Design orange with Hermes bags under the tree for extra holiday cheer. His pup Artie was even in the holiday spirit for our shoot. Cheers!HDP-SavageChristmas-1crop_-WEB.jpg

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Designer: Jonathan Savage Interior Design • 615.244.5674

 

Merry Christmas from our Family to Yours

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