This may be one of my favorite sessions lately.  The sunlight was beautiful, and the colors the family chose just popped perfectly!

Seriously…could this family get any cuter?  Absolutely gorgeous mama, really animated and funny dad, beautiful spunky little girl, and a tiny little handsome guy that could melt your heart with his smile!  Thank y’all for letting me hang out with your family for a while!  🙂

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Some people are natural-born entrepreneurs, and success comes easy for them.  Actually, maybe that’s not true.  It’s probably safer to say that it appears to come easy for them.  If they were completely transparent with you, they will probably tell you that they failed…a LOT…and they wanted to give up.  A LOT.

I graduated from UT with a degree in Photography.  But that only sounds cool.  Well…it is cool.  I loved it!  But the thing that has really made the difference, is just practice, self-educating, reading and studying, watching tutorials, and experience.  My husband always says that “apprenticeships” should be a thing again.  That’s how people learned a long time ago.  Not that college isn’t important, but for some careers, apprenticeships would do more for them than college!  Anyway…here’s what my work in college looked like (artsy-fartsy much?):

example of 2009 work

Then, I decided to start a business in 2009.  I didn’t have a CLUE how to run a business, but I knew how to do basic bookkeeping, so I figured I was good!  I charged a whopping $25 a session to start out.  I had no idea what my time was worth, or how to cover expenses, equipment replacement/maintenance, or give myself a living wage!  Even so, it’s probably best for those sweet clients that hired me in the beginning (probably out of pity!).
Now…the kids below were adorable!  But…DON’T JUDGE…because I KNOW how bad the light was, how blurry the photos were, how terrible the posing was (on the left), and how inconsistent and yellow the editing was…I KNOW…and I can’t even believe I am sharing this!!!  It’s seriously awful, y’all…but here’s an example of my work in 2009:
example of 2009 work
 Needless to say, I had a LONG way to go before I could call myself a “professional”!
My husband loves baseball, and has said it more than once, that when a baseball stadium is built, they start by determining where Home Plate is going to be.  THEN, they build the stadium around Home Plate.  I’m sure there’s a lot of metaphors that could come from that tidbit, but the point is…everyone has to start somewhere!  So, whether you’re a beginner, or a little more advanced, you probably started somewhere close to this.  Give yourself some grace, learn from your mistakes, and keep moving forward!
I ended up “closing” the first stab at running a business after a year, and continued to do it on the side right up until my son was born.  God had some crazy things in store for us, though, and brought me full circle back to doing photography – not only improving my skill, but growing different passions that I get to pursue through my career!
Here’s a sneak of how things have changed quite a bit in the past few years!
maternity photography, knoxville, tn

Stay tuned for Part 2 of this story!  😉

**If you’re interested in booking a session, or taking your own photography to the next level with one of our classes, please fill out the form below!  We’d love to hear from you!

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Cutest. Shoot. Ever.

Thankful I got to hang out with this little guy and his mama!

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