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A trip for the soul

So much has been going on here. My husband and I are starting a Maryville based mediation business which has been very exciting. We are doing the last part of our training this week and couldn’t be more excited to start serving our community. Hopefully we hear about final approval in late January.  In the meantime, he has been busy with his law firm Point Counsel and doing work for Clayton Bradley’s STEM Academy,  and I have been plugging along with my photography work.  So if you are counting, that is THREE home based businesses we are working on.   Between training classes and keeping up with the businesses we are plenty busy, although the flexibility in our schedules is wonderful.   While it’s scary and nerve wracking, the best part is being your own boss.  This is something Josh and I have wanted for a long time.

I recently took a trip to Connecticut (my home base) and got to spend some special time with childhood friends. I can’t tell you how good this was for my soul. After all the change in our lives, it was just nice to be in a familiar place with old friends. While I dislike winter, I actually really enjoyed my entire trip, even the cold.   Here is one of my favorite spots to visit with Amy.   It’s just right down the road from her house, and just the perfect spot to relax.   Harvey Beach, Old Saybrook, Connecticut.


I also finally got to spend the afternoon with my girlfriend Amy and her two precious girls whom I refer to as my nieces, Ella and Lilly. (Don’t worry Katie, I am not moving in on  your auntie territory!)- but boy are they sweet girls.

Here are some shots from my trip. Thanks to all my friends for making it such a special trip with no pressure. It was wonderful.

Here’s a few shots of Amy and Ben’s cuties, Ella and Lily.  Ella is also Kathryn’s age.  (Yes, Sloane, Amy and I were all pregnant and due around the same time.)   Baby Lilly is 6 months.   Ella will be three in April.

Sloane and Vinny are having their second baby in the next few weeks and I had so much fun watching Rocco prepare to become a big brother.  Sloane and I have been friends since 4th grade.   And her son Rocco, and Kathryn are just 4 days apart. I didn’t get to bring Kathryn or Owen with me to visit,  but I will when we make a summer debut.   I ended up liking the snap shots I took so much I am using them as part of my portfolio of “lifestyle photography”.   There is still a few more I need to add, but I am loving these so far.  Rocco is going to be a big brother in about 2-3 weeks.   This auntie couldn’t be more excited.


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Meet baby Sawyer

Sawyer is just 7 days new.  He is a beautiful baby and I had so much fun capturing him.  I heard he has quite the big brother that is enjoying his company.

Thanks to Mom Autumn, and Dad Chase for sharing him with me today.   Nana Lynn is one happy lady!   My kids came home while I was editing these, and Kathryn asked me why the baby’s belly was broken.    I explained that all new babies have belly buttons like that.  Needless to say, she was very relieved.

But, seriously- can you think of a better holiday present than this?   New life is the best gift of all.    Hope to see you soon Sawyer.   Click on the first photo to view the next (and so on).


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Madison & Brian

I had the pleasure of shooting Madison and Brian’s maternity session last Saturday.  It was UT v KY and freezing (25 degrees) with a horrible wind chill.  But Maddy was a trooper and I couldn’t be more pleased.   She has helped me with numerous shoots and is also a photographer.  I am so excited to see their family grow.   Remember, Finley?  He is Madison’s nephew!   These two kiddos are going to have a blast discovering the world.


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Holiday Photos- Schedule now!

Ok everyone, I am doing holiday sessions this year.    The price is $149.00 and includes 5 digital files (high resolution print quality) and a print release.  You may purchase additional digital files and or fine art prints on any photograph in your gallery.  I will also be providing 50% off all prints (not digitals).   And yes you may use these digital images for your holiday card, in fact- we hope you do that!   I am not calling them mini sessions, because I want to be able to take my time with each client.

Here are your options:

A)  Downtown Knoxville (urban setting) 

I am offering them downtown Knoxville the following dates:

Friday Nov 21*

Sat Nov 22*

Sun Nov 23*

*Meet at the Hilton’s lobby (next to the Library and across from the UT Conf. Center)

B) Studio- Good for babies or very small kids  (cream and light blue background) Studio Sessions: 

Fri Nov 28*

Sat Nov 29*

Sun Nov 30*

So- I hope that gets you on the schedule and excited!

p.s.  If you wish to have your pets shot, please call me for a separate appointment.

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It’s officially been more than two years since I started Plaid Barn Studios.   What a mix of emotions.   I do know this, I am so thankful I was able to attend #ClickAway2014 in Salt Lake City and thankful my business has steadily grown over the last two years.    After, my visit to Salt Lake, I decided to make some business changes.  I started with my logo.  I didn’t ask for feedback, and I went with my gut instinct.  Not fancy, but it’s me.  I am currently making changes to our offerings and once everything is complete I will blab about it via this blog.  Why make changes?   Several reasons.  Because I have changed.  Because change is good.   And because I am not the same photographer I was two years ago.  My time away from my family is valuable.  And most importantly, because I want to continue to be select about assignments ensuring I can spend the time I need on you when it’s your turn.    I am not changing  my prices much, but I am combining digital  products and the session fee in response to customer feedback.   This way you know you are getting a group of digital photos with your session fee.  They will no longer be separate.

I have been asked by clients and peers what the photography industry is like here in the greater Knoxville area.  While it is competitive, I believe there is a photographer for everyone.  I also know I don’t want to be the next fad, but rather something that grows with you.   So, stay tuned as we make changes to our business and continue to offer you custom, fresh photography.

Here’s Kathryn recently.   I didn’t even know I got this photo when I shot-  just another reason why I love doing this.


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November 18, 2014 - 12:59 pm

bets - remember the new white frame in the hallway just for kathryn; this photo will be perfect there1 how can i order?

Salt Lake City- #ClickAway2014

Wow.   That’s all I can muster right now.  Admittedly, I rolled my eyes at the thought of thousands of moms and women coming together to do our thing- photography.   But the truth was shocking.  These women were not only kind,  but fun, and so willing to help and collaborate.  What a wonderful, refreshing, authentic conference.  I can’t even get into the speakers right now, it is too overwhelming to start.   Pieces.  I will do this in pieces.

I will most definitely try to go again next fall, especially if it is a cool city like Salt Lake City.   I have so many images I need to go through- I mean soooo many.   Highlight of the conference for me was to see Meg Bitton work.   I also loved chatting with Sue Bryce (who looks amazing) and to see how incredibly human and humble these women are.   I didn’t once feel like “I wasn’t good enough” or “that I needed to be making X amount in photography” in order to be there.   It was such a wonderful way to grow, individually but with people by your side.  But soon the great plague set in.  The plague of change.   The plague of stripping down the old and starting new.  I found myself wanting to immediately strip down my website, logo, and pricing and start from scratch.  I kept thinking of what a speaker said, “What you put out there is what comes back to you.”  Darn it.  While I love the images I have taken in the past, it is not necessarily who I am as a photographer and what I want to be shooting.   Thankfully, I wasn’t the only one suffering from this epidemic.    I quickly learned others felt the same way, so I am holding off, going very slow and approaching new gigs with a new eye.  I have turned down a bit of work lately, because quite frankly, I want to define my own style and I don’t want to be just another photographer taking pics of babies with cute props.  I definitely want to learn to be good at many things, but with that said, I don’t want to studio shoot as often- instead I want to shoot outdoors in all seasons.    The conference also reinforced, I am just not a landscape photographer.  That’s ok with me.  I don’t find interest in much of my images of fountains and buildings and landscape- it’s the ones of the people I am so intensely drawn to.   But my gosh, the pictures others took of the beauty around me was astonishing.  Clearly that isn’t my forte, and that is ok.   Everyone needs to do their thing.  My thing is people.

Here is just a few shots with two sweet and beautiful girls that I shot with Sarah Vasquez’s class in natural light.  I have so many more that I don’t know where to start.



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October 12, 2014 - 4:07 am

Natalie S - LOVE LOVE LOVE! Obviously adore the pix, but your blog entry is so heartfelt! You are an amazing person and I hope we get to work with you again one day soon xo

Sweet Aybree

I finally finished baby Aybree’s photos.  The other day after this shoot, Owen asked me why I only photographed “new” babies.  I told him that I photograph lots of people, but the newborns are the ones that come to the studio that he sometimes gets to see.  He wanted to know why new Mama’s want to capture their babies so young.  Here’s why!  Click on the first photo to get to the next.   Thanks Paige for letting me capture sweet Aybree in her first week here with us.   I look forward to seeing her in the studio again soon.


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