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Cades Cove, The Great Smoky Mountains

Tuesday, September 28, 2010
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I don't make it up to Cades Cove nearly as much as I used to, but Robbie and Brooke came down from West Virginia for their session and wanted to do their engagement photos in the Smoky Mountains. We started early in the morning hoping to avoid the heat and traffic but ended up with both about halfway through the loop. We had fun though and were happy to finish before the afternoon rain showers moved in.

I've known Brooke her whole life (our mamaws were sisters), and I am so happy for her to have found such a great guy to share her life with. I'm looking forward to their wedding next summer (if they'll ever decide on a location!) and am honored to be their wedding photographer.

Engagement session tips:
Bring several outfit changes. Even if you don't wear them all, it is always nice to have options. After it got warm, Brooke was happy to trade her sweater for a short-sleeved shirt. Also, be sure not to leave anything behind because the loop is one way (and it is too far to drive back around for a shirt or a pair of socks). Finally, always look ahead of you when running through the woods. I learned that one after coming within inches of stepping on a big snake!

Here are a few of my favorite photographs from the day.

Brooke & Robbie Are Engaged

Brooke & Robbie Are Engaged

Brooke & Robbie Are Engaged

Brooke & Robbie Are Engaged

Brooke & Robbie Are Engaged

Brooke & Robbie Are Engaged

Brooke & Robbie Are Engaged

Brooke & Robbie Are Engaged

Brooke & Robbie Are Engaged

Brooke & Robbie Are Engaged

Brooke & Robbie Are Engaged
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Cades Cove, The Great Smoky Mountains

Tuesday, October 28, 2008
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Bridal and couple sessions always produce some of my favorite photographs. Whether you wait several months or do it the day after the wedding, it's always fun to dress up again and go out for more relaxed photos as a married couple. If you do it soon after the wedding, you have the added advantage of being able to re-use the wedding flowers and can often avoid a second tux rental. Chris went with the current trend and wore a nice suit for the wedding so that a tux wasn't even an issue.

While Jill and Chris are busy cruising around the Mediterranean on their honeymoon (I'm so jealous), here are a few of my favorite shots from their post-wedding portrait session last week.

Chris & Jill's Couple Session Photographs

Chris & Jill's Couple Session Photographs

Chris & Jill's Couple Session Photographs

Chris & Jill's Couple Session Photographs

Chris & Jill's Couple Session Photographs

Chris & Jill's Couple Session Photographs

Chris & Jill's Couple Session Photographs

Chris & Jill's Couple Session Photographs

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Clingmans Dome, The Great Smoky Mountains

Monday, September 29, 2008
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When we set out to do Megan and Monte's couple session yesterday, I had plans to do some cool shots with Smoky Mountains in the background. However, you can't really predict what the weather will be like on top of a mountain, and we ended up caught in the middle of a cloud. Although it wasn't what we planned for, I think that the fog was cool... in more ways than one. The temperature was almost 30 degrees colder on the mountain than in Knoxville, but Megan didn't complain. She was a trooper, and we got some beautiful photos including a few sunset shots with the mountains in the background.

I've resisted posting larger blog photos because they take longer to load for everyone and won't show up on all monitors without scrolling. However, I know that it's hard to really appreciate a photo when it's too small so I'm considering switching to a larger size. Let me know what you think.

Megan and Monte's Couple Session Photographs

Megan and Monte's Couple Session Photographs

Megan and Monte's Couple Session Photographs

Megan and Monte's Couple Session Photographs

Megan and Monte's Couple Session Photographs

Megan and Monte's Couple Session Photographs

Megan and Monte's Couple Session Photographs

Megan and Monte's Couple Session Photographs

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Cades Cove, The Great Smoky Mountains

Wednesday, November 14, 2007
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Knoxville has gotten a little rain this week, but it didn't stop me from photographing Emily and Clay's wedding portraits in Cades Cove yesterday. Although the forecast called for showers all day, it cleared up just long enough for our photo shoot. The wet ground wasn't helpful, but the rain did keep away the crowds and give us some nicely overcast skies. Here are a few favorites.
Clay and Emily's Couple Session Photographs
Clay and Emily's Couple Session Photographs
Clay and Emily's Couple Session Photographs
Clay and Emily's Couple Session Photographs
Clay and Emily's Couple Session Photographs

Clay and Emily's Couple Session Photographs
Clay and Emily's Couple Session Photographs
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Cades Cove, The Great Smoky Mountains

Tuesday, October 2, 2007
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I've been working hard the past few months and have several big weddings coming up. Fortunately, I didn't have a wedding booked for this past weekend so I was able to take a little break. My family and I went camping at Cades Cove. The nights were a bit chilly, but it was nice to get out and spend some time together. Cades Cove is the most visited area of the Smokies which is the most popular national park in the country. Crowds are common on the weekend (avoid Saturdays in October), but it is a beautiful place to visit if you've never been.

Of course I couldn't go all weekend without fitting in some photography. One of my 2006 brides brought her family to Tennessee for the weekend so that I could shoot a senior session on Saturday with her twin daughters Carissa and September. It was a beautiful day in the cove, and the girls were great at both modeling and assisting me. We ran short on time and had forgotten to bring a towel so we didn't have the opportunity to put anyone in the creek as planned, but we had fun and got some great photos. Aren't they gorgeous? I wish that everyone I work with could smile on demand as well as these two. In fact, the most difficult thing for them is to look serious and NOT smile in front of the camera.

Carissa & September's senior photography session

Carissa & September's senior photography session

Carissa & September's senior photography session

Carissa & September's senior photography session

Carissa & September's senior photography session
Carissa & September's senior photography session

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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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