My daughter Olivia and I volunteer for Saddle Up, a therapeutic horseback riding program for kids with disabilities, just down the road from our neighborhood. We’ve seen first hand how caring for the horses and riding soothes these kids and brings them so much joy. It’s truly an amazing place that gives so much to families in our community.
Last Saturday I had the privilege of photographing the Music Country Grand Prix, sponsored by Tractor Supply and benefitting Saddle Up. This event is held at beautiful Brownland Farm here in Franklin, TN.
It was an absolutely perfect first day of June on the farm with sunshine, blue skies, fluffy clouds and nice breezes. I won’t share all of the jumpers, because this blog post would be too long; but I will share an overview of this wonderful event and the winning jumper, David Jennings, owner of Full Circle Farm Jumpers here in Franklin, and his horse Caddie R. Congratulations! If you are in Nashville and have never attended this event, I highly recommend putting it on your calendar for next year. It’s a great way to spend a Saturday with the family!
Jane Elizabeth and Taylor’s Rehearsal Dinner started with family portraits in the Elyton Hotel’s gorgeous lobby (I’m a little obsessed with its blue walls.) Then, champagne and a sunset view of Birmingham at Moon Shine, the rooftop lounge at the top of the Elyton. Everyone enjoyed a delicious, candlit dinner seated at tables with monogrammed napkins and beautiful florals at Café DuPont. We left with full stomachs and full hearts. Guests parted with a monogrammed gift box of roasted pecans from the groom’s family ranch in Arkansas.
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.
It’s always a pleasure to shoot for The YMCA of Middle Tennessee. This Ad Campaign was photographed at the Donelson location last summer to promote their summer swim program. Here’s a few ads rolling out now, plus some of my other favorite images from the shoot…
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.
It’s always a pleasure to shoot for The YMCA of Middle Tennessee. This Ad Campaign was photographed at the Brentwood YMCA location last fall to promote their youth sports programs. Here’s a few images rolling out in their advertising now…
It’s always fun to start seeing ads roll out after shooting a campaign. The focus of this campaign for the YMCA of Middle Tennessee is a membership drive, with an incentive for inviting a friend to join the Y and work out together. We had a great team on this shoot! More new work to come…
Always fun to see work enlarged. Here are two of the billboards in downtown Nashville…
Ahhhh Valentine’s Day… I’m not trying to be a downer, but it’s often quite underwhelming and cheesy, am I right? When I first got married I told my husband that the pressure was off for him ever buying me a dozen red roses and a box of chocolates. I can’t think of anything I would like any less, especially for how cliché it is. I’d much rather have something unique like a one-of-a-kind estate piece of jewelry that can be handed down to our children, an experience such as a live music show or a trip somewhere warmer, or even a thoughtful handwritten note listing his favorite memories of us over the last 21 years and a mini peppermint pattie (my favorite). You’ve gotta think outside the [chocolate] box and get a little creative to avoid the commercialism of it all, to make it a meaningful and lasting display of affection.
I don’t try, claim or pretend to be a style or fashion blogger; but occasionally I enjoy sharing ideas, tips, tricks and finds to give back to followers who spend just a little bit of your valuable time taking interest in my work. Thank you! I’m so grateful. Here are a few ideas to pass along to your hubby or boyfriend. But, when you really think about it…All you need is love. Love is all you need.
All images courtesy of websites listed below.
- Heart on my Sleeve Sweatshirt $44
Because it’s cute AND clever.
- Custom Diamond Initial Necklace in Gold $1200
Obsessed with these. Love a necklace you wear and forget it’s there until everyone comments on it. The capital H is definitely on my wish list.
Ladybird Jewelry by Emily Dee
(Handmade in Nashville)
Buy locally at H. Audrey Boutique or order via email Emily@LadyBirdJewelry.com
- Le Labo Santal 26 Candle $75
Because it smells like heaven and your home will too.
- Estate Brooch Pendant .10 carats of European cut diamonds in a 14k white gold $675
These and so many other beautiful and unique estate pieces that will become YOUR family heirlooms. Love my friends at Walton’s Antique Jewelry in Franklin, TN!
- Golden Goose Sneakers Hi Star $695
Happy (and Sparkly) Feet!
Also buy locally:
Nashville: H. Audrey Boutique
- Faux Fur Alpaca Throw $129
February is just way too cold. Always in need of a cozy blanket…glass of wine and movie not included.
- Anthropologie Kiss Mugs $32
To remind you that every morning should start with coffee and a kiss…in that order.
- Frette Grace Italian Sheet Set $1200
Because sleep is a luxury.
- Vogue X Music Coffee Table Book $40
Lady GaGa is on the cover…in a big pink hat…need I say more. I just bought it for myself!
- Calvin Klein Velvet Bra $38
Again, February cold weather means everything that touches me must be cozy.
- Nancy Gonzalez Mini Lily Genuine Crocodile (in pink for V-Day, of course) $2650
A Tiny Top Handle Bag because whowhatwear.com says we need one…and Kate Middleton loves them too. Nice pop of color to head into spring.
- Anthropologie Flora Nikrooz Marion Robe in Black $98
Love the lightweight, feminine lace sleeves on this one because I get hot when I’m drying my hair.
- Big Book of Chic by Interior Designer Miles Redd $85
Every home should have some “wow” and curiosities, even if only for good dinner party conversation.
- Free People Red Bikini $135 top + $110 bottom
Because I’m always a sucker for a one shoulder anything…add two tickets to paradise (somewhere tropical) and it’s the best Valentine’s Day ever!
- Lana Jewelry Narrow Flat Upside Down 14k Yellow Gold Hoops $430
I’ve never met a pair of hoop earrings I didn’t like.
- P.J. Salvage Camo Lounge Pants $52
I have to admit I just purchased these and have a hard time taking them off. I love most anything camo and these are like your favorite old t-shirt that’s been washed and worn so many times it’s perfect. Soft, comfy and cute. Dress them up with a crisp white button-down half-tucked and some pumps if you feeling like getting out of the house!
Also available locally at Habit in Franklin and Green Hills
- STOCKHOLM SG 79 No 16 Eau de Parfum $400
A sweet friend of mine from Sweden just gave my daughter this perfume for her 16th birthday. I’ve never seen it here in the U.S. which makes it that more unique and her special scent. Trust me on this one. When you read the floral notes in the online description you will understand why it’s just perfect.
- Commando Gram Panties $24
These feel like…well you don’t even feel them. They are the best panties ever…especially under leggings. No seams. No show. Commando bodysuits are great too!
- Givenchy Limited Edition Rouge Interdit Lipstick $34
I’ll admit, I’m always self-conscious when I try to pull off a red lipstick because I’m usually a berry-brown nude every day. However, I love a true red lip with black for a classic evening look, especially for a Valentine’s date night. I have some friends that can really rock this look. You know who you are!
- Tickets to a Show at The Mother Church(Priceless)
Because the Historic Ryman Auditorium is a magical place to experience live music with your love.
One last bonus idea…
Membership to a Great Gym to Workout with Your Better Half (Priceless)
My recommendation if you are in Nashville is SHED! Best workout in town for strength and cardio mix. Do something together that’s fun and good for you! The gift that keeps on giving back.