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I'm Dolly — a Nashville based family & branding photographer AND a systems + workflow educator (and Podcast Host) for creatives who want to be more streamlined and organized with Systems, Workflows & SOPS to better impact the backend of their businesses. I'm here to help you look awesome (for your photos) & feel great about workflows!
Capture the magic of motherhood and family moments with the ultimate guide to Nashville family photography. Whether you’re a new parent looking to capture those precious early days or a seasoned mom longing to freeze time with your growing children, as a skilled family and portrait photographer, my goal is to always bring those special family moments and milestones to life.
In this comprehensive guide, I am going to help you explore the different facets you will need to consider and think through when planning out your ideal family photography session. From choosing the perfect location to coordinating outfits and capturing authentic emotions, I will provide you with all the tips and tricks you need to create in order to achieve those classic and joyful images you are craving!
My photography style is bright, bold, and colorful, and I am always encouraging readers to embrace the beauty of motherhood and celebrate the love shared within their families. With my expert advice, experience, and insider knowledge of the Nashville photography scene, you’ll be able to navigate the process with ease, ensuring a memorable and enjoyable experience for everyone involved.
🔖 I would really encourage you to bookmark this blog post as you plan out your ideal Nashville family photography session and/or share it with a friend who also wants help navigating the process of planning out their own photography session!
As the old saying goes, “Time flies when you’re having fun.” And nothing could be truer than when it comes to the precious moments we share with our families and little ones. From the first steps to the toothless grins, these moments are fleeting and deserve to be captured in all their glory.
Family and motherhood photography allows me as a photographer to freeze these moments in time, preserving them for future generations (your family) to cherish and enjoy. The candid laughter, the loving embraces, and the genuine expressions of joy are all beautifully captured in a photograph, allowing you to relive those cherished memories whenever you please.
But it’s not just about preserving the memories; it’s also about celebrating the love and bond shared within your family. A well-captured family photograph has the power to evoke emotions and tell a story. It serves as a reminder of the love, support, and connection that exists between family members, creating a visual representation of the unique dynamics and relationships within your family. One of my favorite photographs in my own household is the newborn photos I got of my youngest, Jack, and they were at a studio in Franklin, TN. Getting to the session with a newborn and a toddler was both hysterical and stressful, and coaxing our 4-year-old son to cooperate for family photos was highly stressful at the moment. But whenever I look at those photos, I smile because my photographer did an amazing job capturing the season we were in at the moment. I actually ended up printing half of the gallery and now it’s all over my house, and even my son has a print in his room which he loves! So yes, these milestones are even cherished by our little ones!
So, whether you’re a new parent or a seasoned mom, taking the time to invest in family and motherhood photography is an investment in creating lasting memories and celebrating the beauty of your family. I take the planning and preparation of your family photography session very seriously because I understand that this is an investment of your time with you and your family. I want you to walk away feeling refreshed and elated after your session (yes even in the midst of a “stressful toddler” season)!
When it comes to family and motherhood photography, choosing the right photographer is crucial. After all, they will be responsible for capturing those precious moments that you’ll cherish for a lifetime. So, how in the world do you go about finding the perfect photographer? It feels like there are just so many to choose from, and yes it can be overwhelming but I want to encourage you to take the following steps when choosing the right photographer.
Firstly, it’s essential to do your research. Look for photographers who specialize in family and motherhood photography and take the time to explore their portfolios. Pay attention to their style, composition, and ability to capture emotions. Do their photographs evoke the feelings you want to capture in your family photos? Do you see yourself in these photos? Do you find yourself saving these photos as inspiration?
Next, take the time to read reviews and testimonials from previous clients. This will give you an insight into the photographer’s professionalism, communication skills, and ability to make clients feel comfortable. Look for photographers who have a reputation for being patient, understanding, and able to connect with children and families. Take a look at Google Reviews for the specific photographer’s webpage. And make sure they are actually active and are still photographing families in your area.
Lastly, don’t forget to consider your budget. While it’s important to invest in quality photography, it’s also crucial to find a photographer whose pricing aligns with your financial situation. Remember, capturing magical moments shouldn’t break the bank AND it don’t also settle for a photographer who has zero skillset in family photography (because if you are making an investment, you should also make sure they have the skillset)! So, this is why I encourage you to do plenty of research!
By taking the time to research, read reviews, and consider your budget, you’ll be able to find the perfect photographer who will capture your family’s unique story with skill and passion.
✅PLEASE NOTE: I will say, that as a photographer with over a decade’s worth of experience, I have slowly (over time) raised my own pricing structure. I am fully aware that investments are varied for different families, so this is why I have created a mini-session experience for all families to check out. If you know that you WANT to work with me but just want a mini-session version of working with me. Check out my Nashville Mini Session Experience page here. It is a great solution for any family who just wants a smaller version of the family photography experience of working with Dolly DeLong Photography!
Once you’ve chosen the perfect photographer, it’s time to start planning your family and motherhood photoshoot. Planning will ensure that everything runs smoothly on the day, allowing you to relax and enjoy the experience.
First and foremost, discuss your vision and expectations with your photographer. Share any specific ideas or themes you have in mind, and let them guide you in terms of what will work best for your family. They will have the experience and expertise to suggest locations, outfits, and poses that will bring your vision to life.
I would say, please be super realistic when you are planning out your session in Nashville. Although Nashville is an amazing city with a variety of beautiful backdrops you need to consider the following key factors depending on the time of year in Nashville: you’ll need to consider the factor of WEATHER and consider the factor of PERMITS.
Yes, I understand you want to have a location that FITS your family’s personality and that represents your stage of life but if it is mid-January and you want to take photos outside, you will need to remember that it will most likely be colder and that the greenery (that makes Nashville so gorgeous) will not be in full effect and it will be damp, gray and cold in your photos. You need to consider the time of year to FIT your family’s ideal photo location. Remember, if you want spring photos, then plan a photo session in the spring. If you want the foilage of Nashville to be reflected in the photos, plan a session for late October or early November. Be realistic with the seasons, and please do not expect your photographer to photoshop everything in the background.
As far as PERMITS go, if you want to shoot at a specific location in Nashville, you will need to think ahead and think through the permit requirements of the location that you wish to photograph. Be sure to be super communicative with your preferred photographer and ask them ahead of time if the location you desire requires a permit and how much it will be added to the photography package. Please factor that into the planning of your family photography session.
When it comes to outfits, coordination is key. While you don’t have to match perfectly, choosing complementary colors and styles will create a cohesive look in your photographs. Consider the location and season when selecting outfits and aim for a balance between comfort and style. If you want bright, light, and airy photographs to be represented in your photos, make sure you are wearing outfits that represent that look, and make sure you are coordinating well. Do not get mad at your photographer if you show up wearing matching neon pink and green jumpsuits and you expect your photographer to create creamy and dreamy-toned photos. You need to be mindful of your outfit selection and see how it matches with the location as well.
On the day of the photoshoot, make sure everyone is well-rested and fed. A happy and relaxed family will result in more natural and genuine photographs. Bring along any props or sentimental items that you’d like to include in the photos, such as a favorite toy or blanket.
Remember, family and motherhood photography is not about perfection; it’s about capturing authentic moments and emotions. Embrace the chaos and unpredictability that comes with photographing children and allow your photographer to guide you throughout the process. The best photographs often happen when you’re simply enjoying each other’s company and being yourselves.
By planning and embracing the spontaneity of the moment, you’ll be well on your way to creating beautiful, heartfelt photographs that truly capture the essence of your family. But if you do want those dreamy, creamy-toned photos that you have been eyeing on Pinterest and want to achieve a certain look, you will need to speak about this with your preferred photographer and let them help you curate a wardrobe which can help you plan out your family photography experience in a more streamlined way!
✓If you want a specific blog post about what TIME of day would be preferred to shoot check out this article I wrote:
Now that you’ve planned the perfect photoshoot, it’s time to think about posing and styling. While your photographer will guide you throughout the process, having some ideas in mind will help you feel more confident and comfortable in front of the camera.
When it comes to posing, the key is to keep it natural and relaxed. Encourage your family members to interact with each other, whether it’s through a playful tickle fight or a heartfelt embrace. Candid moments often result in the most genuine and beautiful photographs, so don’t be afraid to let go of any preconceived notions of how you should pose.
In terms of styling, consider the overall mood and theme you want to convey in your photographs. If you’re going for a more formal look, opt for classic outfits with clean lines and muted colors. For a more casual and relaxed vibe, choose comfortable and coordinated outfits that reflect your family’s personality.
Accessories can also add interest and depth to your photographs. Consider incorporating hats, scarves, or statement jewelry that will enhance the overall look without distracting from the main focus – your family’s love and connection.
Lastly, don’t forget about the power of props. Whether it’s a picnic blanket and basket for a playful outdoor shoot or a cozy armchair for an intimate indoor session, props can add a touch of personality and create unique storytelling opportunities.
Remember, the most important thing is to have fun and be yourself. Your photographer will capture the genuine moments of joy and love that naturally occur when you’re relaxed and enjoying each other’s company.
Nashville is a city full of charm and character, making it the perfect backdrop for your family and motherhood photoshoot. Whether you’re a local or visiting the city, there are plenty of stunning locations that will showcase your family’s unique story.
For those who love the urban charm of downtown Nashville, the bustling streets and vibrant murals provide a lively and colorful backdrop for your photographs. The famous “I Believe in Nashville” mural is a popular choice for families looking to capture the spirit of the city.
If you prefer a more natural setting, Nashville is home to several beautiful parks and gardens. Centennial Park, with its iconic Parthenon replica, offers a mix of green spaces and architectural beauty. The Cheekwood Estate and Gardens, known for its stunning botanical gardens, provide a picturesque setting for your family photos.
For a touch of history and nostalgia, consider exploring the historic neighborhoods of Nashville. The quaint streets of Germantown and East Nashville offer charming houses and cobblestone streets that will transport you back in time.
If you’re feeling adventurous, venture outside the city limits to the rolling hills of Tennessee’s countryside. The beautiful landscapes, with their lush greenery and winding roads, create a scenic and serene backdrop for your family and motherhood photos.
Remember, the location you choose should reflect your family’s personality and style. Whether you prefer the vibrant energy of the city or the tranquil beauty of nature, Nashville has something for everyone.
To dig further into more location scouting, I have compiled a list of my favorite places to photograph sessions in this article right here:
Now that you have your beautifully edited family and motherhood photos, it’s time to think about how you want to display and preserve them. After all, these photographs are meant to be enjoyed and cherished for years to come.
There are endless options when it comes to displaying your family and motherhood photos. From creating a gallery wall in your home to designing a custom photo book, the choice is yours. Consider your style, the space you have available, and how you want to interact with your photographs when deciding on the best display option for your family.
If you prefer a more traditional approach, framed prints and canvases can add a touch of elegance to your home. Choose high-quality materials that will preserve the vibrancy and integrity of your photographs for years to come.
For a more modern and interactive display, consider creating a digital photo frame or slideshow that can be enjoyed by the whole family. This allows you to showcase a collection of your favorite family and motherhood photos and easily update them as your family grows and changes.
When it comes to preserving your family and motherhood photos, proper storage is key. Keep your printed photographs away from direct sunlight and extreme temperatures to prevent fading and deterioration. If you choose to store your photographs digitally, make sure to back them up regularly and store them in multiple locations to prevent loss.
By taking the time to display and preserve your family and motherhood photos, you’ll ensure that these cherished memories are enjoyed by future generations and become a lasting legacy of your family’s love and connection.
Here’s what some of my satisfied clients have to say about their experience with our Nashville family and motherhood photography services:
⭐️ “Dolly is an absolute dream to work with, starting from first contact with her to gallery day! She is incredibly responsive and professional. She actually responded with a personal video she made when I first contacted her, literally within minutes of my email, which was a wonderful touch!” (Isaacs family)
⭐️”Dolly is absolutely wonderful!! She did my maternity pictures and did a fabulous job!! I did not want to have maternity pictures taken since I have not been feeling like myself but I am so glad that I did! Dolly captured beautiful images that I will cherish forever! Dolly was so sweet and had so many amazing ideas for photos! She definitely made my husband and I feel very comfortable. She will 100% be our ONLY family photographer!” (Benjamin Family)
⭐️”Okay, I don’t leave a lot of reviews but I just had to because I’ve never loved family photos more than these pics by Dolly!!!! The lighting is amazing and she captured my two-year-old perfectly.. big smiles and all! I will cherish these pictures forever and some are going to end up on our walls. Thank you, Dolly! You are the BEST!” (Kacy)
Capturing magical moments with your family is a priceless gift that will be cherished for a lifetime. From the first steps to the toothless grins, family and motherhood photography allows us to freeze these fleeting moments and celebrate the love and connection shared within our families.
In this comprehensive guide, we’ve explored the art of family photography in the vibrant landscape of Nashville. I have provided tips and advice on choosing the right photographer, planning the perfect photoshoot, posing and styling, selecting locations, editing and enhancing your photographs, and displaying and preserving your family and motherhood photos.
I truly hope that this guide has inspired you to embrace the beauty of motherhood and celebrate the love shared within your family. Whether you’re a new parent or a seasoned mom, investing in family and motherhood photography is an investment in creating lasting memories and capturing the essence of your unique family story.
So, gather your loved ones, find the perfect photographer, and embark on this journey to capture magical moments that will be cherished for a lifetime. Your family and future generations will thank you for it.
If you have read this and want to work with me, Dolly DeLong Photography, I would be so honored to get to work with you! You can click here or click on the banner to get started!
Dolly DeLong is a Nashville-based branding photographer for small business owners, a family photographer, and a creative business owner who educates other creative business owners on all things systems, SOPs, and workflows. Dolly loves serving business owners + families with her bold, elevated, and radiant photography. She also loves educating other creative business owners on how to set up systems and workflows that will ultimately help them save time in their business. She does this by producing weekly blog posts and weekly podcast episodes on The Systems & Workflow Magic Podcast.
She has a heart for serving the larger business community. Dolly shares her knowledge of tools like Dubsado, Email Marketing, and Business Systems with new creative business owners & family photographers in an encouraging and supportive way because she believes that anyone can find joy in systems, workflows, and SOPS! Plus BONUS: Systems is where the MAGIC happens! You CAN streamline & automate the backend of your creative business with ease!
Dolly’s faith and love for her family motivate her to help other business owners find the joy and freedom she’s found in running a successful small business.
Whenever she has a spare moment, she enjoys watching TV (i.e. Survivor), loves eating way too many sweets, and listens to podcasts while running or walking. To work with Dolly DeLong Photography for a branding photography session, fill out her contact form
Or maybe you're not really sure how you'd use your new collection of branded images? Download my free planning guide to learn how to plan an elevated brand photography session to impact your business!