Emerald & Ivy :: Formerly Blush Creative Photography :: east tennessee Wedding & Elopement Photographer

I think we all are constantly striving to get from "here" to "there" - whatever that means for you. For some that may mean a new house, a promotion, completing a degree or getting married, having children... I love when I realize that I'm in a "here" place that used to be "there."

"Because of the Lord's great love we are not consumed, for His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; Great is Your faithfulness." - Lamentations 3:22-23
 

Currently, I'm sitting in my home-office of our new home (as of this past summer), with two crazy toddlers playing in the next room, and a handsome husband at work. In a prominent place on our living room wall is a canvas of a quote that is an adaptation of the verse above. It's a daily reminder to me - that God has brought us "here." 

I'm also reflecting on the past 8 years in business. Although I still have much to learn and changes to make, I am so very blessed to be in a "here" place. When I started photography, I would shoot anything & everything - for the experience & exposure. I was  dreaming of the day that I would be "there." For me that was to contribute to the household, stay home from the corporate job and raise our family, take care of our home, and do what I love - Weddings & Elopements. Now, as of last year, I'm "Here." 

emerald wedding details

It's also made me realize, that in the past several years I have sort of "grown out" of the business name & branding style that I started with. In the past 3 years really - I cringe a little every time I tell someone my business name, thinking they'll find it cheesy and immature. If you know me, you know I'm not really the kind of person to let people's opinions bother me. But when it comes to branding... It matters how you're seen. Even more important than perception though, is the client's experience. (More on that in a bit.)

So for the past 2 years I've been collecting my thoughts, prayers, dreams, phrases or words that have deep meaning personally, or in symbolism... And I've landed on something I just can't seem to cross off the list. 

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For me, the Emerald is more than just a stone. It's a deep sense of knowing who I am, and where I come from. Growing up, my family used to go "Gemstone Grubbing" every weekend during the summer. If you don't know what that is... you're really missing out! You get a big back of dirt and a miner's pan, and have to find the gold/gems. It's rugged and dirty and wonderful. :) We moved around a lot growing up, and as I struggled with each new school to find my place, family was always constant. And my big box of rocks. They're probably worthless, but I know those experiences and memories are more valuable than I imagined. 

It's a part of my childhood, my story, my birthstone & favorite color, and symbolizes "complex emotion, growth, peace, balance, healing." It's also said that it's the most calming color - which is what I strive to be for my clients, through the planning process and especially on their Wedding Day. I think your photographer should be someone that settles your nerves, and has a calming presence on this sometimes chaotic and whirlwind of a day. I'm also drawn to rich color, contrast, and deep emotion in my images. 

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Ivy is always seen to represent growth through even through the toughest environment, as well as deep emotional connection and affection, or eternal love. 

There's SO much I could say about my beliefs on love, eternity, marriage... but I want this part of my business name to represent another term I found in researching the meaning & symbolism of Ivy: Fidelity. Faithfulness. I believe that's one of the core values you should find in marriage. I have been so very blessed with a wonderful and faithful husband. We aren't perfect and we don't always agree on things - I let the dishes pile up and he throws his clothes on the floor. But I truly believe God created us for each other, to complete one another and honor Him in our marriage. I pray for that forever love & faithfulness for every couple I have the honor of working with. 

God's faithfulness has also been very evident in my life, in my business, in my heart. I prayed for this business. I desired to have something that I could do for others, and I couldn't do this without His faithfulness in giving me this talent, a supportive and encouraging husband, helpful and gracious family, and bringing the right clients along. 

If you're still reading, thanks so much for sticking with me! I'm not a writer, by any means! But I wanted to share my heart, in why I've decided to change my business name.  

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Beginner Digital Photography Class :: Knoxville Photographer :: Learn Your Camera & How to take better Photos

I'm so excited to do these Digital Photography classes! Photography is my passion, and my goal for this class is to help you learn your camera and learn the basics of photography to take better photos!

This class is for you, if:
1.) You're a parent wanting to learn to take better photos of your family
2.) You have a camera that you'd like to learn to use correctly in different situations (and get it off auto!) or
3.) You're new to the Photography industry and want to take your photography to the next level! 

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If you're like me, I like to know EXACTLY what to expect! So i'll try to give as much detail about the class as i can! We'll cover: 
Introductions
My personal photography style & philosophy :) (briefly! So you understand a little of my approach.)
How to capture moments, not poses - and the difference in a "snapshot" and a "good" image
Also, training your eye to tell "good" from "bad" photography
Camera Settings, what they mean and when to use them
Composition
Perspective
Finding the Light, using the light available, and the difference in quantity and quality of light
Great Photographs at any age (with some tips & tricks to captivate their attention!)
Tips & Tricks I've learned through the years working with different body types
Incorporating props, background and foreground, even a bit on wardrobe.
Working with Siblings/Groups
Workflow (even give some suggestions for great image editing programs that are free)
Q&A - specific questions about the equipment/lenses/flash you may have

There's so much involved with each of these topics, I can't list them all out here. So, come ready to learn! And don't forget to bring your camera and any lenses or equipment you want to ask about! 

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All the info covered will be provided for you in a nice booklet to refer back to. You'll also be added to the exclusive FaceBook group for class attendees for additional help after the class, if you forget something, or have questions as you practice, or would like critique or how to make an image better. Or just to show off what you've learned! I love seeing before/after examples! 

Also, throughout the course I will give you ideas for how to implement different things, with a couple of "assignments" to start practicing right away! 


The next class is scheduled for January 13, 2018.

This class is roughly 3 hours long, starting at 12:30PM sharp, and packed full of PRACTICAL instruction! This isn't the typical, super-technical college style class...

You'll actually learn HOW to take better photos right away! 

SELECT YOUR CLASS DATE/TIME:

TO RESERVE YOUR SEAT, ENROLL TODAY! 
Only 10 spots available for this class!


Are you looking to purchase a new camera? Here's a great review of some beginner DSLR cameras out there! (Just a note, I'm a HUGE fan of the Canon T6i.) 
https://www.reviews.com/digital-camera/dslr/ 

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Just so you know, this is not specifically a class for professional photographers, or those wanting tips on creating a photography business. We will touch on post-processing (editing), but will not go in-depth. 
I do, however, offer one-on-one for business or photographer mentoring. Let me know if you're interested in setting up a consultation to determine if this would benefit you and your business!
I'm also working on a class specifically for the more advanced photographers and those interested in learning more about growing their photography as a business. Just let me know if you'd be interested in that workshop, and I'll be sure to let you know when that's planned! The only prerequisite will be that you take this basic course first, so I know you have a good grasp on these topics first. 

Source: beginnerphotographyclass

ISAIAH LEE :: 7 DAYS NEW :: NEWBORN STUDIO SESSION :: KNOXVILLE MATERNITY & NEWBORN PHOTOGRAPHER

As soon as new parents Heather & Lee brought little man Isaiah in, I couldn't get over how tiny he looked! and all that hair!  

We were able to get a several photos with this sweet new family all together, then Isaiah literally slept for me for the rest of the session! He was absolutely perfect! and I could hold him all day. 

I told Heather, I feel like every time I have a newborn session - I get a tiny bit of "Baby Fever"... then my babies (Hunter and Grant) come home and I'm reminded how crazy my world already is (in the good way, of course!). 



FOR PHOTOGRAPHERS:
Newborn sessions only seem like they're easy... It takes a lot of training, experience, and definitely quite a bit of preparation by the parents (Heather and Lee, you did amazing!) as well as all the right elements coming together at session time to help baby stay settled and sleepy. But they will let you know when they've had enough. :) I have a "Newborn Guide" that I send out to parents a few days in advance of their session date (as soon as baby arrives and we book the shoot). Consider putting something like this together for your clients, or at the very least - letting them know what to expect. It's overwhelming enough to have a brand new baby - whether that's your first baby or your fifth... so giving them a few pointers and tips will give them peace of mind that they're doing the right things. Knowing what to expect can calm nerves and set them at ease for the shoot as well. 

Blue and White striped nightcap & pants outfit from Azure Raine, White fuzzy basket stuffer from Leighton Heritage, all the stretchy knit wraps (Not cheesecloth material, as that can irritate baby's sensitive skin if not the right type of wrap) are from Red Owl Photo Props and Lavender Lou Handmade - All on Etsy!
Baskets and other fabrics are local craft store or department store finds! Always have an eye open for great baskets!

Just make sure the base of any basket/bucket used is sturdy and wide (you can also use weights in the bottom) and there are no rough edges or wiring! Always layer blankets inside to support the baby's back, and leave enough blanket to pad under their head - so they are NEVER resting right on the basket with either their head/neck or ankles/feet. Notice in all my baskets/crates, there's plenty of room between baby and the edges! Don't try to squeeze a baby into a tiny basket! :) 

COLE ISAAC :: 7 DAYS NEW :: NEWBORN STUDIO SESSION :: KNOXVILLE NEWBORN PHOTOGRAPHER

I couldn't have asked for a sweeter baby! Cole was an absolute dream to photograph, and I was able to do so many poses with him! 

Here's a few of my favorites!

For Photographers:

Teal and Gray striped nightcap from Azure Raine, White fuzzy basket stuffer from Leighton Heritage, Wraps are from Red Owl Photo Props and Lavender Lou Handmade - All on Etsy!
Baskets and other fabrics are department store finds!

*Also, baby's safety is always the most important! No pose or photo is worth hurting those tiny little joints! Always move slowly and carefully, don't make them stretch out in ways they don't want to, and ALWAYS use an assistant or family member to spot the baby in poses like this one: 

HUDSON GRAY :: 6 DAYS NEW :: NEWBORN STUDIO SESSION :: KNOXVILLE NEWBORN & BABY PHOTOGRAPHER

I couldn't have asked for a sweeter baby to cuddle! This little dude LOVES to be held, but only fussed a little. We were able to get so many pictures in our time together!

I'm so excited to see this family grow over the next year. Hudson makes baby #3, and I'm positive brother and sister love him to pieces already! 

Teal & Gray striped sleep cap and pants from Azure Raine
Blue & Tan plaid newsboys cap and pants from Darling Desirae
All wraps from either Red Owl Photo Props or Lavender Lou Handmade

BLAKE & ALISHA :: SEVEN ISLANDS STATE PARK :: SUNSET ENGAGEMENT SESSION :: KNOXVILLE WEDDING & ENGAGEMENT PHOTOGRAPHER

Some of my favorite things include Autumn. Flower Crowns. Happy couples. and new locations. This session combined all of those! So obviously, I love these! 

Alisha & Blake picked this location because it was where they took their first photo together! I loved being able to incorporate part of your love story into the photos! and I cannot wait to see what you've got planned for your New Year's Eve Wedding at the Knoxville Botanical Gardens! I'm so excited!

ALEX & MISAE :: SUMMER SUNSET ENGAGEMENT SESSION :: KNOXVILLE BOTANICAL GARDENS & WORLD'S FAIR PARK :: KNOXVILLE WEDDING & ENGAGEMENT PHOTOGRAPHER

I've been looking forward to this session for SO long! Misae has been a dear friend for many many years, and she was engaged during the "Bouquet Toss" portion of her sister Keegan's Wedding back in May... and I'm so excited to also be photographing her wedding next June at Knoxville Botanical Gardens & Arboretum! 

We started our evening together at the Botanical Gardens, with all the charm and amazing sunlight this location offers... then headed downtown (as we were running out of daylight) for a few more fun photos around World's Fair Park. 

As I was going through these after getting home, my cheeks hurt from smiling so much! This session was so much fun, and you can just see the love and adoration Misae and Alex have for one another in all of these! 

I love these photos and I love this couple! Enjoy!

ADAM & EMILY :: SUMMER SUNSET ENGAGEMENT SESSION :: IJAM'S NATURE CENTER & MEAD'S QUARRY :: KNOXVILLE WEDDING & ENGAGEMENT PHOTOGRAPHER

I absolutely LOVE LOVE! and Emily and Adam are so obviously head over heels in love with one another! It makes my job to capture this stage in their journey together so easy! Not to mention they are both professional models, so just a tiny bit of coaching for how I like to do things, but they're naturals!

(You know I'm excited when I use a "!" at the end of every sentence!) ;) 
Aren't they just the sweetest? 

Ruby Lyn :: 7 Days New :: Newborn Studio Session :: Knoxville Newborn & Baby Photographer

Sweet Ruby! I thought she would just snuggle up in those baskets all day! I think it's safe to say she likes to be swaddled. 

I absolutely love these color combinations her Momma and I picked out for little miss Ruby! 

Welcome Sophia :: 13 Days New :: Newborn Studio Session :: Knoxville Newborn & Baby Photographer

Little Miss Sophia was an absolute dream to photograph! Even though she was almost 2 weeks old, she did so perfectly! Sometimes older babies want to stay awake and chat, but she was so perfect, and slept for most of her session! We did get some photos toward the end of her beautiful eyes, so I'm excited to get to those. She was so tiny and sweet, I really could have just cuddled with her all day.

I know Brittney and Alex are just on cloud nine with this sweet girl. Y'all are already wonderful parents! Enjoy!

Charles Asher :: 10 days new :: Newborn Studio Session :: Knoxville Newborn Photographer

Welcome sweet Asher! 

Y'all. I think i'm obsessed with these color schemes for baby boys! I love blues and neutral tans and creams. I do love the occasional bright color or bold pattern, but these are just so sweet! (Not to mention neutrals are so easy to incorporate into your home decor through prints or canvases!) 

Asher was a dream to photograph! I know his milestone sessions will be just as easy! This sweet family now has three adorable kiddos, and Asher will be the second on a "Baby Plan" and I couldn't be more excited!  

Enjoy!

ALEX & BRITTNEY :: MATERNITY SESSION :: MELTON HILL PARK :: KNOXVILLE TENNESSEE MATERNITY & NEWBORN PHOTOGRAPHER

Some of my favorite memories growing up was hearing my Daddy softly playing the guitar in the evenings after supper... and loudly to wake us up in the morning! (and yes, I'll always call him Daddy!)  

So I absolutely LOVED that Alex brought his guitar to serenade Brittney and Sophia for a bit!


Brittney & Alex were awesome enough to endure the heat and humidity at Melton Hill Park with me a couple of weeks ago for their maternity session...  (yes, I am behind on blog posts and pretty much all social media updates!)

I can't wait to meet Miss Sophia soon! 

Parker James :: 8 Days New :: Newborn Studio Session :: Knoxville Newborn Photographer

Parker James is here! and he is so tiny and sweet!

Chelsea and Nick, y'all make having an eight day old baby look so easy! Of course, Parker is such a sweet baby! He wanted to look at us most of the session, but we got some really cute expressions and LOTS of smiles! I couldn't believe it! 

Welcome Morgan Leanne :: 7 Days New :: Knoxville Newborn Photographer

Sweet baby Morgan is here!

She was one of the easiest babies to work with! I couldn't believe how well she was doing! 

And I'm loving these bright colors! This is something new for me, as I usually work in neutrals and very soft colors! I LOVE it! :)

Big sister Hayley was also so easy to photograph as a newborn! I'll post a side by side of sisters at the bottom of this post! :) 

Enjoy!

Hayley Elizabeth, February 14, 2014 (Left) and Morgan Leanne, May 31, 2016 (Right)

Gage & Savannah :: The Emporium Center :: Knoxville, TN :: Downtown, Urban Wedding :: Knoxville Engagement & Wedding Photographer

We couldn't ask for a more perfect day for a wedding! Savannah and Gage are probably one of the sweetest couples I've worked with, and I am so happy for them! It's absolutely clear that they want to honor God with their lives, and in their marriage! Savannah and Gage - It was an honor to capture your day for you! 

To see the entire preview gallery, go HERE. But here's just a few of my absolute favorites from the Brazzell wedding:

Source: brazzellwedding