Blog | Knoxville Maternity & Newborn Photographer

{Our Story} A Crazy 3 Years :: Knoxville Lifestyle Newborn & Family Photographer

So, you might remember in the first part of the story, I had a photography business for a while, but ended up doing it only on the side until my son was born…but let’s back up a little…

So, we had a NUTTY 3 years that led up to the re-opening of the business…

Here’s just a PEEK at life over those 3 years…

March 2012 – Met my husband and started dating (aww!)

back when we were dating - karen stone photography

 

October 2012 – Steve bought a house!!

steve bought a house - karen stone photography

 

ALSO October 2012 – Got engaged!! (Steve proposed on the day he closed on the house!)

we got engaged

 

March 2013 – Got MARRIED!!  BEST DAY EVER!!

we got married

 

Us on our honeymoon…WAIT FOR IT…

on our honeymoon - karen stone photography

 

ALSO March 2013 – Got pregnant on the honeymoon!!

pregnant with our little boy - karen stone photography

 

December 2013 – Gave birth to our SON!!  He’s SO stinkin’ cute!!

our little boy

 

October 2014 – Got pregnant again!!

pregnant with our little girl - karen stone photography

 

January 2015 – As if things weren’t already crazy around our house, we thought we’d do a little home reno.  “Hey!”, we said…”Let’s just do this a little at a time!”, we said…

*Steve pulls back paneling downstairs…because…paneling…

(full disclosure…I couldn’t find a paneling picture of the basement, but here’s Steve ripping out upstairs paneling…)

mid-reno - karen stone photography

 

Then we found this loveliness…

foundation issues

 

Yep…that’s a big crack in our foundation wall – it was awful.  The lower blocks were sliding off the blocks at the bottom, also known as “sheering”.  The whole wall was bowing in…it had to be fixed immediately.  We also had to install a sump pump with drainage tile going through the concrete basement floor along the entire front side and left side of our house.

foundation repair

 

Oh, and did I mention there was a WINDOW covered by DIRT??!!  YES…previous owners had covered up a window in the basement with NO other barrier…they just filled in the window well outside with DIRT.  Like…DIRT…the windows were single-pane aluminum.  No bueno, folks.  Check it out below:

mid-reno - karen stone photographymid-reno - karen stone photography

mid-reno - karen stone photography

 

 

$15K later, we were left with a huge mess to clean up just to regain our living space.  Since we had to rip out the walls and flooring, that definitely needed to be replaced.  Which meant that the ceilings in the basement also needed to be replaced since they were ripped from the walls being removed.  The ceilings and walls touched the stairwell area, and the stairwell area touched the upstairs, and before you know it, we were just going ahead and renovating the whole house.

We were already having to replace all the basement windows (still had old broken single-pane aluminum windows from the 1960’s), replace and move the electrical panel inside, and replace the roof…and after all that, it made more sense to let the sub-contractors do a little more to the upstairs while they were here.  Steve and our parents worked really hard (I tried helping, but my belly was growing by the second, and I was chasing a toddler around…I was not very useful!).  They replaced all the interior and most of the exterior doors, laid tile throughout the basement, laid hardwood upstairs, painted our existing cabinets, made our own butcher block counters, moved walls to add a laundry room in the basement, and painted the whole house!  It was a LOT to take on…but they did it!  They were amazing!

Here’s a bit of the wreckage, and mid-reno photos:

mid-reno - karen stone photographymid-reno - karen stone photographymid-reno - karen stone photographymid-reno - karen stone photographymid-reno - karen stone photographymid-reno - karen stone photographymid-reno - karen stone photographymid-reno - karen stone photographymid-reno - karen stone photography

mid-reno - karen stone photographymid-reno - karen stone photographymid-reno - karen stone photographymid-reno - karen stone photographymid-reno - karen stone photography

mid-reno - karen stone photography

mid-reno - karen stone photography

Then…we kicked down a wall…we meaning my little girl (in my belly) and myself…SERIOUSLY…it got over 2000 views and was shown on AFV!!

You can watch the video that aired on AFV HERE

Mid-reno, though (no, not because of what you just saw in the video…) – I started having contractions.  I was SURE they were just Braxton Hicks.  I mean, come on.  I’d already been sent home twice already.  So, I go to the hospital.  I tell Steve, “Y’all stay here – they’re just going to send me home – I just want to get checked out.”

So, Steve and his parents stay at the house to finish putting in one of the exterior doors.  (WHAT??!)

I should’ve known better…

mid-reno - karen stone photography

 

They kept me for a little bit to monitor my contractions.  They said I wasn’t progressing, so they were probably just Braxton Hicks.  BUT THEN…they started getting more intense.  I had been there about 5 hours when they finally told me…

Those were most definitely contractions.  Like…the real deal!

Whaaatttt???!!!  My husband is at home putting in a door, I didn’t pack my bags, or even fix my hair (’cause that’s TOTALLY important when you’re about to have a baby!! Ha!  😉 )

I called Steve, we made arrangements for our little boy, and he rushed over to the hospital with a few things – mostly a change of clothes for him, and a couple of phone chargers.  HA!

They gave me an epidural, and took us back to the operating room to have the c-section!  Within about 45 minutes, we got to see our baby girl!

July 2015…

 

our little girl was born

 

You know how the story goes.  We went home a couple days later, with TWO kids in tow, and went about our life!  But that’s not the end of the story…

our family - karen stone photographyour family - karen stone photography

After about 8 weeks off work, I was ready to get back into the swing of things, but things kinda hit the fan.  But honestly, it was TOTALLY a God thing, and I wouldn’t change it for the WORLD!

Because of the job thing, we were having to figure out some big decisions financially, and one of those was to put our house on the market.  YES…the house we had JUST finished renovating!

God taught us big time about humility and contentment.  Nothing we have is ours!  It’s all His, and He allows us to use it!

We had a moving sale.  We prayed.  We searched for jobs.  We prayed.  We moved in with my parents while our house was on the market.  We prayed.  We searched and searched and searched for jobs.  My “regular job” experience only consisted of being a secretary or a bookkeeper.  Both of those would never pay enough to justify putting two kids in childcare while I was working.  We prayed.  We searched and searched and searched for houses.  Houses that weren’t in the middle of the worst part of town; houses we could afford.  We prayed.  We prayed.  We prayed.

Then one day, God tapped me on the shoulder.  He said, “Hey…remember how you went to school for like…forever?”  And I was all like, “Yeah…but I’m not good at anything [God]…face it…I’m just an egghead.”  And God was all like, “Oh honey…you’ll always be just an egghead with an attitude like that.”

Wait a minute…that was from The Sandlot…

Either way…

I told Steve, and we figured it couldn’t hurt to try!  So, we re-started the photography business!

In 2009, I was definitely not ready.  My business skills sucked, and I didn’t HAVE to support anyone else but myself.  But this time was different.  I had a FAMILY that would support me, and that I wanted to support.  I wanted to stay home with both my babies for their first few years.  We wanted to stay in our house and not have to sell it!

So, with some divine intervention…

We moved back into our house in time for our little boy’s 2nd birthday!  Yay!  We put up our Christmas tree, had Christmas at our house, got a good tax refund, and stuck to a budget like CRAZY.

I learned a lot about marketing, setting business goals, time management, finding a niche, and setting photography pricing that was reasonable yet able to help support our family and not whisk me away at all hours of the day.

Two years later, and we can actually look back, see how God has stitched us together even more, worked things out for our good…

And I don’t mean our “good” like we’re living the high life.  I mean “good” like we’re constantly learning to trust Him, lean on Him, lean on each other, communicate with each other, how to stay humble, and how to be content with what we have.  We have so much!  We have our health.  We have beautiful, sweet, funny, healthy, growing babies.  We have amazing friends and family.  We have the chance to go out and enjoy ourselves every now and then too!  And ya know what?

God even takes care of us in that, too.  I know it sounds silly, but Steve mentioned getting 1/2 off tickets to Dollywood.  That sounded nice, but at the same time, that still is a chunk of change out of our budget.  But it would be awesome to experience just a full day of hanging out with each other, and PLAYING!  As we were walking into Dollywood, a sweet older couple stopped us and asked if we wanted to walk in with them for FREEEEEE on “bring a friend” day.  Are you kidding??!  Wow.  Just wow!  Again, I know it sounds silly, but being able to play and have fun, and listen to each other SCREAM on all the roller coasters…that was amazing!  We had so much fun…TOGETHER!!

So…here we are.  This business has grown much faster than I anticipated, yet still has a ways to go!  I am constantly learning.  I love getting to know all my clients!  I love seeing someone blossom in front of my camera – someone that may be shy, or may be a little self-conscious – it’s like they come alive when they see themselves through my lens!  I love seeing the beauty in people, and showing them how I see them!  It’s an absolute honor!  Seriously.

I have had the chance to meet some of the sweetest people (and maybe a few crazies too!).  I have been able to work with amazing organizations like Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep, Heart Gallery of Tennessee, Hope Resource Center, The Tiny Footprints Project, YOKE Youth Ministries, Fellowship North Knox, The Wellhouse, and Open Heart Doula.

And I have been able to stay home with my KIDS!!  They are crazy, and it’s sometimes a bit stressful, but I would not change it for the WORLD.  They are growing up too fast!  My family is the reason I do any of this at all.  They are my inspiration to capture every moment, and my motivation to stick with it.

I couldn’t have planned this life out if I wanted to.  It’s a beautiful chaos, and I am so thankful for how God has orchestrated every single part of it.

Here’s a few more pics…because I love and adore this crew of mine!

family pic - karen stone photographyphoto by Sarah Elizabeth Photographyphoto by Sarah Elizabeth Photographyphoto by Sarah Elizabeth Photographyphoto by Sarah Elizabeth Photographyphoto by Sarah Elizabeth Photography

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Last set of family pics by Sarah Elizabeth Photography.  Newborn pics of our kiddos by Bella Baby.  Wedding and engagement pics above by Ancelet Photography.

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Thank you so much for stopping by! I am a Knoxville-based photographer, specializing in maternity, newborn, and baby photography. And I love the family photography that I get to do as your family grows! I want to make sure these times in your life are remembered fondly for YEARS to come!

 

Feel free to browse the blog for session examples, location examples, or even to answer some of your frequently asked questions! And if you don't see what you're looking for, please reach out! I would love to answer any questions you have. I'm so excited to meet you and your little crew, and can't wait to learn about what makes those genuine smiles come to life!

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Maternity Photography

Newborn Photography

Baby Photography

Studio Location:
Knoxville/Powell, TN 37849


865.803.2925
hello@karenstonephoto.com

 

Knoxville Newborn, Maternity & Baby Photographer

Business Headshots Photographer

Knoxville, TN