While in the Smoky Mountains in Tennessee while hanging out with The Might Sound Wild team for a photography retreat, I had the pleasure of photographing Lia and her beautiful family in Cade’s Cove. I loved everything about Lia’s session and excuse me if I get a little sappy, but as the daughter of a single mother, Lia’s session landed for me in ways some others don’t. Lia and her three kids are one of the most tight-knit families I’ve ever met and it was obvious they were all just enjoying life, ready to have fun and appreciate some time together in the Smoky Mountains.
We set up shop at Abram’s Falls, about halfway into the Cade’s Cove loop and just a few steps onto the hiking trail. With a picnic set up, water to play in and space to roam, that’s exactly what Lia, and her kids, Callina, Jubilee and River did; they played, picniced and roamed. And as they enjoyed their time together, I was loving every detail, from Lia’s tattoos to Jubilee’s shell necklace to River’s goofy faces. More so than most, this family session was fairly handsoff and by taking a few steps back (literally) but also with a little less direction than usual, their family dynamic and personality really came through to create some treasures.
Keep scrolling to see how this creek-side free-spirited family session in the Smoky Mountains turned out!
There’s a time and a place for more formal family portraits, but I’ll take moments and adventures like these any day. As a photographer, I love when families will forgo a plan (for the most part, I’d never leave you hanging with no direction) and during the session we can just capture you and the fam being yourselves. Sometimes the sweetest moments just can’t be planned!