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Whitestone Country Inn, Kingston, TN

Thursday, November 13, 2008
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Ready for some more beautiful photos? I had such a difficult time choosing which ones to share from this session! I even enlisted my husband and sister to help, but we still had trouble narrowing it down.
Although they live in Georgia now, Lindsey and Aaron drove up for this session at Whitestone. They are such an awesome couple, and I really enjoyed seeing them again. Because the wedding was back in May when everything was warm and green, I wanted to show some variety and take advantage of the fall color with this session. The weather was a bit chilly, but we still had fun and came away with gorgeous photographs.

Aaron and Lindsey's Couple Session

Aaron and Lindsey's Couple Session

Aaron and Lindsey's Couple Session

Aaron and Lindsey's Couple Session

Aaron and Lindsey's Couple Session

Aaron and Lindsey's Couple Session

Aaron and Lindsey's Couple Session

Aaron and Lindsey's Couple Session

Aaron and Lindsey's Couple Session

Aaron and Lindsey's Couple Session
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Farm, New Market, TN

Monday, November 10, 2008
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Matt and Sarah are planning an early spring wedding so we did a fall engagement session. It was a beautiful day on Sarah's family farm in New Market. Because they met in high school and plan to build a house and stay in the immediate vicinity, the farm is part of who they are - past and future. It's great when couples choose a session location that is meaningful and familiar to them. It's a charming rural community, and I'm looking forward to returning for their wedding.

We had fun scouting out some different photo spots in the area including this spot above Cherokee Dam.

Matt and Sarah's Engagement Session


Matt and Sarah's Engagement Session

You can't have a photo shoot on a farm without including the barn. I love that the bull came to check out what we were doing (trust me, I wouldn't even attempt to pose a bull).

Matt and Sarah's Engagement Session

We did pose this little guy for a snapshot though. He's just a few months old and is already very attached to his family, wanting to follow them around like a little puppy.

Matt and Sarah's Engagement Session

Halloween had just passed, and they were quick to go in and cut down the corn maze. It was actually being cut as we were shooting, and we had to be careful not to get run over (they didn't know we were in there).

Matt and Sarah's Engagement Session

Matt and Sarah's Engagement Session

Matt and Sarah's Engagement Session

This last picture is probably my favorite even though it's just a simple portrait. Sarah's top was such a great color for her, and she just looks so beautiful.

Matt and Sarah's Engagement Session
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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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Norris Dam State Park, Norris, TN

Tuesday, October 21, 2008
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I love fall! The leaves are changing, and we're finally having some great jacket weather, the sort that makes you want to sit around a campfire making s'mores. The temperature on Saturday may have been a little cooler than Jill and Chris would have wished, but it was still a beautiful fall day for their outdoor wedding at Norris Dam State Park. After a few photos around the park, the couple said their vows at the ampitheater and then walked across the street for a dinner reception at the Tea Room.

Jill and Chris had their private meeting on this leaf-strewn lane outside the rustic cabin where she had gotten ready.
King/Jones Wedding October 18

There was another wedding staged at the old mill and barn in the park, but we found some more creative places to do a few pre-ceremony photographs.
King/Jones Wedding October 18

King/Jones Wedding October 18


King/Jones Wedding October 18

The ampitheater is surrounded by large trees and made for a very natural, serene ceremony site. This was their first kiss as husband and wife.
King/Jones Wedding October 18
I love the idea of having a petal toss as the couple exits the ceremony. I had a couple try this before, and none of the guests (not even the friends and family who knew about it) threw the petals. Jill did a good job putting explicit directions on the petal cones: Please shower Jill and Chris with petals at the close of the ceremony. However, guests still seemed a bit confused. While it was still a fun exit, anyone copying this idea may get even more petals in the air if they ask the officiant to give directions just before the exit.
King/Jones Wedding October 18
Jill's grandfather and his friends provided live music at the reception.
King/Jones Wedding October 18
The guests had fun using the photo booth, complete with fun props and costumes.
King/Jones Wedding October 18


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Nashville, TN

Wednesday, October 8, 2008
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Candi and Ryan had a fabulous wedding on Sunday. The ceremony was in Wightman Chapel at the amazing Scarritt Bennett Center in Nashville. SBC has beautiful arches, windows, stone, and woodwork that make it a beautiful wedding venue. A photographer could spend several hours exhausting all of the stunning photo spots there. Candi and Ryan did choose to see each other before the ceremony and do all of the formal group photos - a decision that lets couples spend more time together on their wedding day and get more great photographs together.


Nunley/Hammonds Wedding October 5

While candid shots can capture the action and mood of the day and are a very necessary part of wedding coverage, I do love a beautiful portrait.

Nunley/Hammonds Wedding October 5

Nunley/Hammonds Wedding October 5

Nunley/Hammonds Wedding October 5

Nunley/Hammonds Wedding October 5

Nunley/Hammonds Wedding October 5

While most of the day was very relaxed, Candi and Ryan were excited to run through their recessional and bubble exit (although Ryan had some trouble keeping up).

Nunley/Hammonds Wedding October 5

Nunley/Hammonds Wedding October 5

After a few night portraits, we headed to the reception at Maggiano's Little Italy. As perfect as Scarritt Bennett is for ceremonies, Maggiano's is an excellent choice for a reception. Although they don't seem to have room for really large crowds, the food ranks right up there with some of the best wedding food I've ever had, and they definitely don't skimp on the serving sizes. Although most of the guests seemed to be too full to even eat another bite, I always appreciate a good dessert, and there were lots of delicious choices. There was even a "bleeding armadillo cake" just like in the movie Steal Magnolias. After the couple cut the cake, Ryan ceremoniously presented the tail piece to a special guest.

Nunley/Hammonds Wedding October 5

Although there wasn't any real cake smashing going on, Candi did manage to smear a bit of icing on Ryan's face. She proceeded to cleaned him up with a napkin, but he took a quicker route to cleaning the icing off of her.

Nunley/Hammonds Wedding October 5

The guests were treated to a fun photo slideshow from the couple.

Nunley/Hammonds Wedding October 5

Some wedding crowds go a little overboard with the bells on the tables, but this group rang them just often enough. When you hear bells, you know there's a great photo opportunity.

Nunley/Hammonds Wedding October 5

With the beautiful venue, sweet and happy couple, and amazing food, it really was a great wedding day. After a road trip through the North East (which is beautiful this time of year), the couple will be heading to Hawaii where Ryan will be reporting for duty at Pearl Harbor. As part of the armed forces, they both deserve our respect and gratitude, and I was very honored to have been a part of their important day.

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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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