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The Museum of Appalachia, Norris, TN

Thursday, May 31, 2007
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Last Saturday was a perfect, happy day for Peggy Toler and Aaron Hooper as they said their vows in front of friends and family at The Museum of Appalachia in Norris. The weather was warm, but beautiful. We did have a few clouds overhead at times, and the reception area indoors was air-conditioned. I will be doing a couple session with Peggy and Aaron on a later date so that we can really take advantage of the picturesque museum grounds. Congratulations you two!

One of the cutest little ring bearers ever. He was completely enthralled with the peacocks roaming around.
Toler/Hooper Wedding May 26 Photographs
Toler/Hooper Wedding May 26 Photographs

Every wedding needs a precious little red-headed flower girl.
Toler/Hooper Wedding May 26 Photographs

Toler/Hooper Wedding May 26 Photographs

Toler/Hooper Wedding May 26 Photographs

Toler/Hooper Wedding May 26 Photographs

Toler/Hooper Wedding May 26 Photographs
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On Location, Knoxville, TN

Wednesday, May 30, 2007
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While many of the individual tips would work here as well, here are a few tips more specific to working with groups...

Unless you just absolutely love the idea of having everyone in the same outfit, I don’t recommend it for families. Avoid anything too formal (ties, dress shoes etc) so that everyone’s comfortable and be sure that no individual outfit stands out more than the rest. 

As a general rule for adults and older children, keep all the clothing solid (no patterns) in one color family (earth tones work well as do schemes such as blues and orange or pinks and reds) but limit the number of different colors. We want the focus to be on the people and not the clothing. An exception to this rule would be to have only the mother wearing a print but nothing too very bold.

The best advice for dressing children is to let them be themselves and look like kids. Anything too formal will only make the child uncomfortable. Hats & scarves, boots, bright colors, hoodies, layers, sundresses, pigtails, rolled jeans, bare feet, and even tutus work well. Jeans and overalls do not work well on babies.

Avoid dressing anyone in white if possible (off white and light pastels are better).

 

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On Location, Knoxville, TN

Wednesday, May 30, 2007
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A little list of tips for portrait sessions (especially highschool seniors)...

Do:

• Bring along several outfits ranging from formal to dressy to casual with a variety of colors and styles. It’s better to be over prepared so we have lots to choose from than to be left wishing you had something that’s hanging at home in your closet.

• Keep in mind that most outdoor sessions have limited options for clothing changes. If you’re not comfortable changing in your car then you may want to wear a layered outfit so you can just subtract pieces for a different look. If you plan on changing, arrive wearing the outfit that is most difficult to put on.

• Choose outfits that are simple and comfortable. Nice jeans or khakis and a simple button up shirt are classic choices.

• Plan whole outfits including shoes since some shots are closeup and some are full length. Old sneakers don’t look good with dressier outfits.

• Bring clothes on hangars to avoid wrinkles.

• A little sexy is OK if that’s your style, but be sure to include appropriate outfits that grandma will like as well.

• Wear clothes that fit rather than clothing that is too small and tight or too large and baggy.

• Bring along accessories (sunglasses, hats, jackets, scarves, class ring, umbrella etc).

• Consider bringing along a formal outfit such as a prom dress or suit.

• If you have longer hair, consider putting it up for some of the photos and down for some. Just be sure you can make the change quickly.

• Replace your mascara if it is old and clumpy or just leave it off alltogether. Avoid makeup or lotions with sparkle or SPF in it (many mineral makeups). Try the MAC counter if you need help with application. Use powder to reduce shine.

• Select undergarments that will not show with your chosen outfits.

• Pay attention to your nails. Fingernails and toenails probably will be visible in your photos. Natural or basic (not dramatic) nail colors work best.

Don’t:

• Don’t go shopping for all new clothes. Just choose some of your favorite outfits that make you feel like yourself or borrow from friends and family.

• Don’t show too much skin. Avoid low cut shirts, short skirts, spaghetti straps, and tube tops (this rule can be broken if you are one of the lucky few with a perfect body).

• Don’t wear clothing with patterns, plaid, stripes, text, or logos. Solids photograph best. Absolutely avoid pinstripes. (Kids actually can and should break this rule. They can mix solids, polka dots, stripes etc.)

• Don’t wear a lot of white or light pastels if we may be shooting in the sun. A white tee under a jean jacket looks good. A bright white, long-sleeved shirt doesn’t. Black can also be problematic, but bright colors work great.

• Don’t choose clothes that are so trendy as to look dated in a couple of years. (this is a good rule to break if trendy is your style and you know that you won't regret your choices later)

• Don’t wear a lot more makeup than usual. You want to look young and fresh.

• Don’t wear extra jewelry. The only sessions that need jewelry are engagement sessions, which only need a ring, and senior sessions if you have a class ring. Big earrings, bracelets, watches etc  are distracting. Necklaces tend to get twisted, off center, or fall sideways and look wrong with different poses.

• Don’t become too much of a perfectionist when changing outfits. If you’re quick then you’ll have more time in front of the camera. If you spend too much time getting ready (hair, makeup etc) then you won’t have as many photos or as much variety.

 

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The Tennessee Riverboat, University of Tennessee Trial Gardens

Tuesday, May 29, 2007
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Stephen Shook married Jessica Waldrop in a 2006 ceremony at the UT trial gardens on Neyland Drive. After getting ready at Maplehurst Inn, Jessica arrived for a sunny ceremony in the middle of the gardens. Lake Terrace Trio provided music for the ceremony, and 3 little princesses provided petals in the grassy aisle. After the short ceremony and some group photos in the shade, we were just a short drive from the reception.

The reception was held on the Tennessee Riverboat, the Star of Knoxville. Because the day was hot, most of our time was spent in the air-conditioned main level, but the kids did enjoy visiting the upper deck and bow as we made our way down the Tennessee river. They also enjoyed the butterfly wedding cake and the groom's cake that was decorated with a transformer and care bears. Jessica & Stephen did a great job including the younger guests, playing some music that they could dance to and even passing around a basket full of toys that they could choose from.

Once we arrived back at the dock, Stephen & Jessica walked down Volunteer Landing, enjoying some time alone together as husband and wife while I snapped a few more photos.

Now time for a few photos before I have to run out for a meeting...

The food provided on the riverboat was tasty and colorful - perfect for the hot and hungry guests.

Waldrop/Shook Wedding Anniversary May 29

Waldrop/Shook Wedding Anniversary May 29
Waldrop/Shook Wedding Anniversary May 29
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Home, Knoxville, TN

Monday, May 28, 2007
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I have taken off yesterday and today but will return to work Tuesday.

I hope everyone enjoyed the long weekend and took a moment to remember all those who have given their lives in the military service. My grandfather fought on a battleship in World War II. Though he lived a long and full life after the war, I did visit his graveside this morning. He's buried with his wife, son, and daughter (my mother) so it's a difficult place to visit. I took some purple and red flowers to place in the vases on either side of the headstone and just spent a few minutes with them. Today is a good day to spend with your family and to just appreciate those who are here to enjoy it.

My grandmother learned this famous WWI poem as a young girl ,and she recited it for me sometimes. I thought it would be good to remember today:

In Flanders Fields
John McCrae, 1915.
In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.
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Welcome to the Nancy Hellsten Photography blog! This is the place to be if you’re looking for wedding ideas and photography promotions or if you just want to view some great photos and see what I’ve been up to. If you or someone you know are getting married, having a baby, or just want some relaxed portraits with the family, please visit my website or contact me for more information. I would love to hear from you. Thanks for visiting and check back often to see what’s new.
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