celebrating life personal post

I debated about sharing this on my blog, but I think it’s such an important part to my story and how life can change in a second. I am going to walk you through my last Saturday.

Gathered my camera, packed the props in the truck, kissed the boys, said I love you to them all. ME // “I’m gonna be in Murfreesboro for my first two shoots, babe. I will call you when I am headed to Pulaski.” Terry // “Okay, drive safe. I love you”.

It was an icy morning on the roads.  But, the sun was shining.  It was going to be a beautiful day capturing life.  I got about 7 miles down the road.  Typically around the time I pick up my phone to call my grandma, but I didn’t.  Both hands on the steering wheel.  I am looking straight ahead.  I am driving east and a red truck is driving west.  I notice him over correct and then over correct back towards me.  Barreling towards me in his large red truck and I knew I would not be able to avoid impact.  “GO LEFT, SARA!”…..I heard someone say.  See, but no one but myself was in the car.  I went left.  Impact.  We had a head on collision.  My truck went spinning and into the curb.  (I didn’t know this part until we got the police report back) Airbags, smoke, coffee everywhere.  I jump out of my truck and fall to the ground.  Not because I was hurt, but because I wasn’t.  Neither of us were hurt.  Sure, adrenaline was off the charts, but visibly …. our trucks were totaled, but WE WERE OKAY.  Praise God.

I’m not sharing this to boast.  I am sharing this because WE are all so distracted these days.  Especially while driving.  Guys.  I will be the first to admit that my phone is constantly ringing, buzzing, distracting.  Because I was NOT distracted that day I believe with my whole heart I am here to share this story.  I knew I had a decision to make because I saw the whole thing happening.  I had enough time (talking seconds) to make a LIFE CHANGING decision with the help of my guardian angel (thank you,  grandma Sally) to go left so I would avoid impact on my side.  We went to the ER that night to be safe.  I had scans done of my face, head, neck and back.  “GOOD NEWS!” the doctor said.  “But, you are SO LUCKY!” she said.  It’s not luck, doc.  That was God.

My plea is to look around you.  See those two boys below.  Those boys, along with their daddy, are my heart and soul.  They are my life.  They are enough reason for me to stop being distracted while driving.  What’s your reason?

Just know it may just save a life.  Maybe even your own.

I will praise HIM for this beautiful chance to celebrate life again.

XO SR

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Kristina - Praise God you both are ok!
Love you, sweet friend and so glad you are on this Earth still. XOXO!

Laura - i am so thankful you are okay.:) My sister and I had a very terrible wreck on black ice when I was in high school. My head went through the passenger window. Our jeep was totaled. The doctors couldn’t believe we were okay. Philip was hit head on by a drunk driver right before we left for college. His Honda was totalled. I remember seeing the terror in his mother’s eyes as my dad and I pulled up to see him standing outside his car without a scratch on him. His mother’s brother had been killed by a head on collision due to a drunk driver. The doctors couldn’t believe he was okay. I truly believe God has his angels watching over us. I’m thankful they were and are watching over you. Thank you for this post. It reminds me to not be distracted while driving. Love you friend.

Molly - I was on the phone when I flipped my truck after hitting a patch of black ice without my truck in 4×4… I was also 30wks pregnant at the time… Thankfully no other cars were involved and I also walked away. I haven’t touched my phone while driving since. Praise God you’re safe!!

Phil Thornton - Glad you are ok! Scary stuff.

Amber - Love you!

Jill Norris - So thankful you are ok! A great lesson for all of us. God is good.

Katherine Rauscher - I’m so glad you’re ok! Hugs!

Theresa Edwards-Capen - I am so grateful you are okay! Those two boys need their momma! Excellent post!!!

celebrating family on a beautiful january day

Howdy Friends!

I have SO much to share.  Personal side.  Work side.  Combined.  All of the above.  The words just aren’t coming out right…right now.  But, what I know I CAN do today is share this SO FUN ON A BEAUTIFUL JANUARY DAY family session with y’all!  I met this sweet crew for the first time last Spring.  Mom was not feeling well so the mini shoot became an all boy shoot (which was amazing), but THIS YEAR we made up for that missing part of their family puzzle.  We celebrated family on one beautiful Saturday.  They were my first of five that day and boy did they not disappoint.  Those glasses?  Oh yeah….I rocked them, too.  I adore this crew.  Give me love and light, y’all.  Magic.

Can’t wait to do it again, H Family!  You guys warmed my soul that day.

XO SR

ps stay close by.  I have LOTS of sessions to share with y’all…

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mommy and me

Before I start writing I wanted to share Carli’s words with you guys….

Seeing my family through your camera lens is so powerful for me. The beautiful images are such a gift that I know we will cherish for a lifetime. But, even more than that, it is always a reminder of all that I have to be thankful for. The mama trenches can be hard. Long hours. Long days. Lots of disciplining.

Something so special happens whenever I see our family pictures. It is like it refocuses my attention back to the parts of motherhood that I adore. I rediscover Zoey’s dimples and Piper’s shy grin and Daphne’s joy for life. I know that it is in front of me all the time, but sometimes it takes a picture to be reminded that I need to look for it. I do it all for God’s glory and His work to be completed in those three little lives.

And Daphne’s session yesterday. Man, I needed that.

I wanted to do a session just with Daphne and I because I wanted to slow down time. I love family shots and capturing the interactions between my three girls. But, the first year of Daphne’s life has absolutely flown by. Some days I worry that I didn’t get to enjoy the little things–snuggles and tub time and kissing baby toes. These are the moments that are most precious to me. The opportunity to capture those small things filled my heart so completely. I feel a sense of joy and relief–joy that I got to spend such precious 1:1 time with my girl and relief that these simple pleasures will never be forgotten thanks to the images you took.

In the years to come, I want Daphne to look back at this photoshoot and just see the absolute love and adoration I have for her. My hair/outfit/makeup wasn’t perfect nor did I try to make sure I sat in the most flattering or perfect poses. I want my daughter to see me as I am: an imperfect woman that loves her completely. I want her to know that this is the true meaning of beauty–the overflow of love I receive from Jesus pouring out of my heart and into my babies. I want her to realize that I am comfortable in my skin because I am so content in my heart.

______

From me.

From the beginning family photography has been my GOAL.  I wanted more and more family portraits in clients homes than ever before.  From those that hire me for mini sessions, or full sessions and even those who hire me to capture their baby’s first year.  Family, Family, Family.  Last week I was jotting down some personal projects and even some sessions I want to capture this year.  I want to stay inspired and excited about 2015, so that’s what I do.  I dream.  I write.  I capture.  Carli sent me a message last week about Daphne’s session and after a few back & forth texts we decided we would do this session differently.  See, I have captured Carli & Spencer’s family photo since before their first born was born — FOUR YEARS of capturing their life.  Three baby girls later and many many many FAMILY shoots later this one time Carli would not stress about dressing five and everything else that comes with preparing for a photo shoot.  We would simplify, slow it down and focus on mommy + daphne.  We would focus on the things that mean so much to Carli at this stage with her baby girl.  Daphne was sleeping when I arrived so I got to catch up with my sweet friend, look through her capture life album and then our special session began when she went in to get her baby girl up from her nap.  This session filled my soul UP and was everything I truly didn’t know I needed.

So, I encourage you.  Whether your sweet baby is 9 months, 2 years, or 8 years old.  Take some time to celebrate each kiddo with a special mommy + me shoot.  Carli and I have already planned her special shoot with Piper and her special shoot with Zoey.  We will go to a place that is special to them individually and capture life.  Capture who each child is TODAY with a super fun, laid back shoot.  I can bet you that it will not only mean the world to Carli when each shoot is done, but it will mean EVERYTHING to her girls.  Maybe not today, but 20 years from now!

Mommy + Me sessions are not new.  They have been around for a very long time.  But, they are absolutely new to me and I am inspired.  I am a memory keeper at heart.   I look forward to capturing these special memories for you to cherish forever.  But, more importantly, I look forward to these special sessions so your child will have them forever.

XO SR

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Kelly B. - These are AWESOME!! It helps that Daphne looks like the Gerber baby! I especially love the one where she’s grabbing mommy’s cross necklace! Best!

chelsea - oh how i love these! can we do some like these for luke’s 6 or 9 months? i’m crying at my desk thinking about all the little things in this shoot that remind me of OUR little things that i never want to forget and now i have to go so no one walks by and sees me in this state! LOVE

Rebecca Brown - Oh Sara, these are heartwarming. Reminds me how important it is to capture these everyday things now, because one day they won’t be “everyday”. So beautiful.

Stephanie Hayden - i love all of these photos!!

Brandi major - Beautiful work, Sara. These are baby-fever inducing. ;)

Kenya Whaley - I’m in tears… knowing my girl’s heart and how awesome of a mommy she is… Sara you captured the essence so beautifully. Just amazing. You are so hired!!! Sending you love.

embracing the seasons

Every year we go through the seasons as if we haven’t experienced them before.  It’s too cold, it’s too hot, it’s too rainy, it’s too windy, it’s too sunny, it’s too gloomy, it’s too….something.  Am I right?  I am guilty.  I am guilty of wanting Mr Sun to “shine down on me” as often as possible.  But, what I have found is that you can absolutely find beauty in even the days you might think are less than perfect.  Days that most would write off and hope for another day.  A better day tomorrow, perhaps?  I say, “embrace it!” and make the best of the days you are given.  I fight depression during these cold months.  I’ve been fighting it most of my life.  And, I could go on and on about all of that, but instead I will say this…..make a choice to look past the gloom.  See the beauty.  Can you imagine being a one year old again and seeing LIFE brand new?  That’s what I try to do every time I have to embrace a season.  Whether that season is outside.  Whether that season is hidden deep inside of me.

I’m so grateful for this job because I want to see the beauty in every single day because these little ones deserve it.  On the day the we did this shoot it was cold and gloomy.  But, I see something completely different……I see a curious beautiful baby girl who is loved so deeply.  I see a husband and wife who survived the first year.  I see love.

Been photographing this story since mom & dad were engaged.  One of my last weddings to photograph, too.  So thankful to have spent so much time watching them all grow.  Happy 1st, Naomi!  You were a wonderful start to what I am hopeful will be an incredible year.

XO SR

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Leigh - Thanks, again, Sara, for capturing our story so beautifully! We love you :)

Snapshots of our life II personal project

Happy Brand New Year, Friends!

A year ago I shared this personal project with you guys via this post.  Little did I know, this personal project that means so much to me, would turn into something much more than I imagined.  But, I am so glad it has.  What it has turned into is a project than many friends have also started.  I get emails all the time about it.  And, I even had the honor of sharing this project with several attendees at the AH Inspired workshop a few months back.  It’s a personal project that I love to share the story behind because it truly has helped change the way I see things.  Photography is so important on so many different levels, but for me it’s always been about capturing life so others may cherish the memories forever.  It’s capturing REAL LIFE.  It’s being able to look back at a time with your kids and hear them say “mom, that was such a fun day!”.

But, while I was capturing everyone else’s lives I realized I had the most important family as an after thought….my own.  When my grandma passed that’s where it all changed.

When my grandma passed 3 years ago I remember everyone looking to me for photographs.  But, guess who didn’t have any?  Guess who thought her grandma would live forever so what was so important about taking photographs (even snapshots)?  She was going to live until she was 100, so I had time.  Time is what we didn’t have and I was too late.  Sure, I have photographs but not nearly the amount I would love to have.  I remember sitting in her living room with my Bopa and going through old photographs.  And, you know what I found?  Beautiful LIFE portraits.  It wasn’t a highlight reel of their life.  There were tons of beautiful posed photos but there were so much more of LIFE.  My grandpa didn’t have to say a word and I knew exactly what kind of life they lived together.  I could tell you when life was sweet.  I could tell you when life was tough.  But, I can also tell you that they got through it all together.  At that moment I knew “that’s the kind of photographer I want to be”!

Personal projects are just that : PERSONAL.  I only share this one with you because I do believe printing your photos is so very important.  I have people say to me “why don’t you just do books?”.  I like to hold a 4×4 photograph in my hand.  I like to be able to pull it out of my albums and place in a tabletop frame if I want.  I like to be able to go back to a moment, pull it out of the sleeve and give it to a friend when they need it most.

I take photos of what’s most important to me, but I know will mean SO MUCH to my kiddos later in life.  I take pictures of their art.  I take pictures of scripture.  I take pictures of quotes.  I take photos of sunsets.  I take photos of silly and absolutely ridiculous things that would mean nothing to you, but they mean everything to me.  I take photos with my girlfriends.  I take photos with my husband.  I take a million and one selfies with my kids while we eat ice cream because it’s our most favorite treat.  I’m capturing our life, but importantly I am retelling our life story back in photographs so if anything were to ever happen to me……(tears)…..they’d have all these beautiful memories to hang onto forever.

I always think videos help, so here is our annual flipagram video with some of our favorites from the year.  Maybe this little video will encourage you to CAPTURE YOUR LIFE in 2015 because it sure as heck makes me all misty eyed and emotional but so excited about the memories on the way : SRP CAPTURE LIFE 2014

Y’all, it’s easy.

Here’s what you will need : 12×12 album, photo sleeves, dividers, phone camera, social print studios ap

Here’s how I do it : I take photos and load them to instagram.  (you don’t need IG for this project, but I love it so it’s what I use).  I take a photo of my calendar at the beginning of every month so I know when it starts.  At the end of that month I print all of my photos (through Social Print Studios in 4×4**).  They will show up about a week later!  I place them in my album and we all smile as we look back on the memories.  It gets really fun when you get a few months in.

**This personal project has expanded into gifts and here’s how…  If we spend the day with someone and I take a photo, that photo goes in 2 places : 1) in the album and 2) in a card to that person with a small note “thanks for such a fun day”!  If I have pictures with dear friends, they get copies.  Spend the day with grandparents, they get copies.  It’s not just a special holiday gift anymore.  These photographs have become a “just because, but we are so grateful for you” gift.  Can I tell you that my grandma’s fridge is COVERED with pictures of her with my boys?  Can I also tell you that in that mix are tons of photos of me with her?  Do you know how much those photos will mean to me when she’s no longer here?

So, moms…get in the photos.  Dads, you, too!  Print them, share them, enjoy your life.  It’s a gift!  Every single day.  Every single moment.  All gifts.

I am just an email away if you have any questions.  XO

p.s. Big thank you to the sweet Callie Davis for a few of these shots of my project!

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Maybe this little video will encourage you to CAPTURE YOUR LIFE in 2015 : SRP CAPTURE LIFE 2014

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Katrina - Hi Sara! I love this and especially your flipagram! Thanks for sharing! I did project life for two years and then the year Sydney was born I loved it so much decided I would work on our family album, as well as an album for each of the girls. I got overwhelmed and ended up not doing any of it. :-( All that to say, I love how you’ve simplified it with just the photos. My question is, do you take all of these photos with you iphone or some with your big camera?

sara - Hi Katrina! That is a great question. All of these photos are pulled from my Instagram account and unless I share a #notiphone photo (which is rare), they are taken with my iphone only. The whole idea behind this project is to Capture Life as it is. Snapshots of our life. I still get out about once a month (probably more, really) to photograph my guys with my real camera because I think that is SO important. But, for this project….I think using just your phone camera works great! XO

year end of happiness

In the handful of years I’ve been doing my best at running this business I have never finished a year with a full post year end review featuring every single session I’ve had that particular year.  I decided to change that.  Maybe it’s because THIS year was different.  Maybe it’s because I finally feel like I can truly say I am OKAY with not being like rest.  That it’s okay that I run this ship with my heart and it’s only steered me off course a few times, but that same heart got me back on track.  Maybe it’s because this year, these clients, these sweet babies and children, my heart, my soul….were just “right”.  Yeah.  That feels good, guys!  Feels good to say.  I had the BEST year capturing YOUR LIFE.  I had the BEST year getting to know your families.  I had the BEST year giving you my heart & soul through every single one of your sessions so you may have beautiful images for years and years.  Maybe I saw you for only 30 minutes this year.  Maybe I saw you 5 times.  Whatever it was, for however long it was, you guys helped make my soul a little richer.  Thank you for inspiring me.  Thank you for letting me in.  Thank you for believing in me.  Through every single beautiful season.    Thank you.

2014 did bring a little sorrow.  But, 2014 brought so much JOY.  Thank you for playing such a huge part in keeping a smile on my heart and my camera around my neck.

Love you guys more than you know!

Here’s to an even better 2015.

XO SR

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Crystal - Thank you, Sara Rose! You are an inspiration to me daily on FB and Instagram, and you have an amazing gift of capturing life. I am looking forward to an awesome new year with more amazing photos in my walls, and I wish the same for you!

Emily - Thank YOU, Sara Rose, for sharing your God-given gift with my family in the most precious time of our lives! You, my dear, are a true treasure that radiates joy! So thank YOU for being so giving of your time and talent! Wishing you and your precious family a wonderful 2015!

Love,
The Crutchfields

Donna Sumners - This is great!! Thanks for sharing! Can’t wait to see you this spring!

Laura Jenkins - This is beautiful! Thank you for always capturing our love! We love you!

PS Lucas got a vtec camera that takes real digital pictures for christmas so that he can be just like “mrs Sara”! I wish you could see him try to make Holley laugh like you do!

Love, Pups and Baby

Hey Friends!

We are officially 15 days away from Christmas, guys!!  I can’t believe it.  I had good intentions of sharing this amazing 3 month shoot last week, but better late than never, right?!  Ah.  I adore this sweet boy and family.  And, I knew I would absolutely enjoy the first year with him before I met him.  You may remember their oh so fun maternity shoot from the summer?  I was so glad to have the entire gang back together (pups included) for what would be one of my favorite (and, easiest) 3 month shoots to date.  Luke is a happy happy dude.  Glad his sweet Auntie could join us since we scheduled these the week of Thanksgiving.  Give me a happy baby, happy parents, happy pups and sunshine = perfection.

Hope everyone is enjoying the holidays so far.  Remember to enjoy them.  Sit down, relax and look around at what all is in front of you.  It may be hectic.  It may be loud.  But, there is so much beauty to be found in what is right in front of us.  Family, life, love and happiness.  The best gifts of all.

XO SR

p.s. 1st Q of 2015 is open for booking!  You can reach me by using the contact tab up above.

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Chelsea - i love these so so much. Thank you Sara! These photos are such a precious gift

Shelia - i absolutely love these. Thank you so much for your hard work.