Music Country Grand Prix Benefitting Saddle Up, Franklin TN

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!

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Music Country Grand Prix Benefitting Saddle Up in Franklin TN Photographed by Heather Durham Photography

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Mary Wesley & Bradley’s Engagement Session in Birmingham, AL

I was so excited to finally meet Mary Wesley & Bradley (and her sweet parents) a few weeks ago for their Engagement Session at her parent’s ranch in Birmingham, AL. We connected over our love for the University of Alabama. I can’t wait for their fall wedding; and, of course, as all true southerners do, they considered the football schedule. It’s not on a Saturday home game. Roll Tide! 🙂 Can’t wait to spend the day with these two on October 5th. It’s going to be so much fun. I love them already!

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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

 

Ministry Branding Portraits

A few favorite portraits of Charles, who needed a variety of business and casual images for his ministry branding and website. Photographed in Franklin, TN.

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Speaker Charles Kown Professional Headshots by Heather Durham Photography

Speaker Charles Kown Professional Headshots by Heather Durham Photography

 

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Heather’s Valentine’s Day Gift Guide

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.

XO,

HeatherSig.jpgValentinesPicks02_01.jpgAll images courtesy of websites listed below.

  1. Heart on my Sleeve Sweatshirt $44
    Because it’s cute AND clever.
    vicicollection.com
  2. 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
  3. Le Labo Santal 26 Candle $75
    Because it smells like heaven and your home will too.
    nordstrom.com
  4. 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!
  5. Golden Goose Sneakers Hi Star $695
    Happy (and Sparkly) Feet!
    goldengoosedeluxebrand.com
    Also buy locally:
    Nashville: H. Audrey Boutique
    Birmingham: Etc.
  6. 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.
    potternbarn.com
  7. Anthropologie Kiss Mugs $32
    To remind you that every morning should start with coffee and a kiss…in that order.
    anthropologie.com
  8. Frette Grace Italian Sheet Set $1200
    Because sleep is a luxury.
    frette.com
  9. 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!
    amazon.com
  10. Calvin Klein Velvet Bra $38
    Again, February cold weather means everything that touches me must be cozy.
    urbanoutfitters.com
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
    anthropologie.com
  13. 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.
  14. 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!
  15. Lana Jewelry Narrow Flat Upside Down 14k Yellow Gold Hoops $430
    I’ve never met a pair of hoop earrings I didn’t like.
    saksfifthavenue.com
  16. 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!
    nordstrom.com
    Also available locally at Habit in Franklin and Green Hills
  17. 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.
  18. 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!
  19. 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!
    saksfifthavenue.com
  20. 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.
    ryman.com

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.
shedgroupfitness.com

And… to go with that gym membership…here’s some fashionable workout clothes you’ll love to sweat in. Check out these red legging and sneakers for your Valentine’s Day morning workout. Rock it!

Music Inspired Fashion Shoot, Nashville TN

I get so excited for opportunities to shoot personal projects, and this one that has been spinning around in my head ever since moving to Nashville. As soon as I mentioned it to my talented friends Kerri Bunn and Mary Beth Wetzel, they were on board. As creatives, we are usually busy with client work and don’t have time to shoot what inspires us personally, but when we do find a morsel of time, we jump on it.

After moving to Nashville from Birmingham, I realized very quickly that people who aren’t from here do not have an accurate idea of what locals wear to music events. Their perception is that everyone in Nashville wears stonewashed denim, western bedazzled shirts, cowboy boots and cowboy hats to everything. So, to address that misconception our team pulled together a shoot from high-end Nashville boutiques to tell the story of fashion for music events from a local’s perspective.

I’m thrilled to finally share this shoot inspired by music and photographed at a Nashville indie recording studio. Side note: I have an old RUN DMC t-shirt just like the new one used in our shoot…I bought mine years ago…it’s faded and old and I love it…and sometimes I get to wear it if my daughter isn’t already wearing it herself. It’s tricky.

Many thanks to these amazing Nashville and Franklin boutiques who partnered with us on this shoot.

Emerson and Grace
Gus Mayer
Haven
Hero
Two Old Hippies

 

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Photographer: Heather Durham
Wardrobe Stylist: Mary Beth Wetzel
Hair & Make Up Artist: Kerri Bunn
Model: Ashley Fisher with AMAX Talent Agency

 

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Rachel & Alex’s Downtown Nashville Engagement Session

I had fun getting to know these two on a perfect fall day. We started their Engagement Session at Centennial Park, because several months ago, Alex flew in town, surprised Rachel there and asked her to marry him on the steps of the Parthenon. From there we made our way to the Shelby pedestrian bridge downtown. Rachel won’t be living in Nashville after they get married, so she wanted to capture this beautiful city in their images since it’s an important piece of their story.

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Rachel & Alex's Downtown Nashville Engagement Session by Heather Durham Photography

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Rachel & Alex's Downtown Nashville Engagement Session by Heather Durham Photography

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Abby in Studio

Had the best time turning my camera on AMAX Model, Abby Cook in studio a few weeks back. Here’s some of my favorites…

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