Six Tips for Styling Your Family Photos Featuring The McKinneys

March 21, 2017  •  Leave a Comment


The biggest compliment I can receive as a photographer is when clients come back to have me capture milestone after milestone. If you don't recognize The McKinney's already, I highly recommend getting to know this amazing family starting from their Backyard Engagement SessionDurham WeddingSunset Maternity Session, and their adorable Newborn Session with their twin daughters, Rooney & Navy. 

This six month milestone session tops the cake as my favorite family photos I've ever photographed. Shannon is a stunning picture of fresh motherhood, and our morning together was so sweet and relaxed. 

Melissa DeLeon (fashion blogger at Mel In Chanel) did an amazing job styling the whole family for a seamless look. Below, Melissa was kind enough to share six amazing tips to pull your family's look together, too! 

bluebarn-mckinney-sixmonth-1bluebarn-mckinney-sixmonth-1 bluebarn-mckinney-sixmonth-7bluebarn-mckinney-sixmonth-7 bluebarn-mckinney-sixmonth-10bluebarn-mckinney-sixmonth-10 bluebarn-mckinney-sixmonth-13bluebarn-mckinney-sixmonth-13 bluebarn-mckinney-sixmonth-17bluebarn-mckinney-sixmonth-17

1. Find inspiration. Choose a color scheme, a pattern, a perfect setting, an image or a theme that will be the inspiration behind your photos. This will be your constant reminder of what you aspire your photos to look like. 

2. Know your subject and your setting. Although you may have reserved a gorgeous space or venue to act as the backdrop for your photos, you are the subject of the images! Knowing your exact setting for the photoshoot is key, so that you can plan outfits accordingly. You do not want to fade into the background! Dressing in a color or pattern that contrasts with the setting will allow people to see you in the photos. I highly recommend doing your homework and even visiting the venue or looking at photos of it online, if any. Keep in mind seasonal changes, and remember that trees and plants change throughout the year. If you’re wanting a fresh green background, you want to take photos in the spring - not the winter.



bluebarn-mckinney-sixmonth-25bluebarn-mckinney-sixmonth-25 bluebarn-mckinney-sixmonth-27bluebarn-mckinney-sixmonth-27 bluebarn-mckinney-sixmonth-29bluebarn-mckinney-sixmonth-29 bluebarn-mckinney-sixmonth-32bluebarn-mckinney-sixmonth-32 bluebarn-mckinney-sixmonth-35bluebarn-mckinney-sixmonth-35

3. Start with one item of clothing and build off of it. Find one piece that you love and that stems from your inspiration. Then, like a puzzle, work on finding pieces that fit around it. From that one item, it’s much easier to search for others that complement and look good together as a whole instead of working on several all at once. If it helps you, I recommend making a mood board.

4. Be cohesive. Choose an attire and a season and stick with it. You want to make sure everyone in the photo is dressed similarly, as if you are all attending the same event. Is the event black tie? Casual? Dressy? Is it summer or winter? Everyone in the photo should be dressed within that attire and within that season - whichever you choose. 

bluebarn-mckinney-sixmonth-37bluebarn-mckinney-sixmonth-37 bluebarn-mckinney-sixmonth-42bluebarn-mckinney-sixmonth-42 bluebarn-mckinney-sixmonth-43bluebarn-mckinney-sixmonth-43 bluebarn-mckinney-sixmonth-46bluebarn-mckinney-sixmonth-46 bluebarn-mckinney-sixmonth-52bluebarn-mckinney-sixmonth-52 bluebarn-mckinney-sixmonth-66bluebarn-mckinney-sixmonth-66 bluebarn-mckinney-sixmonth-67bluebarn-mckinney-sixmonth-67 bluebarn-mckinney-sixmonth-68bluebarn-mckinney-sixmonth-68 bluebarn-mckinney-sixmonth-76bluebarn-mckinney-sixmonth-76 bluebarn-mckinney-sixmonth-82bluebarn-mckinney-sixmonth-82

5. Find a photographer who understands your vision and communicates well with you. Every photographer has his or her own style, and you need to make sure that their style and your style pair well together. Find one who is willing to listen and will offer up suggestions. The more they understand what you’re wanting, the more they can fulfill your wishes! After working with Rachel and Taylor on so many projects, I can tell you that they are the first photographers I call for all my photography needs. Both of these women have spurred on even more inspiration because of their communication and creativity. I’ve entrusted them with many projects and hope to work on many more. They’re the best of the best!

6. Wear something that you love and that suits your personal style. You need to look like yourself! This is my last and most important rule of thumb. Wearing something you wouldn’t typically wear will make you feel and look uncomfortable in the photos. If you don’t look like yourself, you won’t feel like yourself, and that will show in the photos. You want to be comfortable in what you’re wearing so that you exude confidence and look your very best.

bluebarn-mckinney-sixmonth-88bluebarn-mckinney-sixmonth-88 bluebarn-mckinney-sixmonth-108bluebarn-mckinney-sixmonth-108 bluebarn-mckinney-sixmonth-113bluebarn-mckinney-sixmonth-113 bluebarn-mckinney-sixmonth-118bluebarn-mckinney-sixmonth-118 bluebarn-mckinney-sixmonth-121bluebarn-mckinney-sixmonth-121 bluebarn-mckinney-sixmonth-122bluebarn-mckinney-sixmonth-122 bluebarn-mckinney-sixmonth-128bluebarn-mckinney-sixmonth-128

As a bonus, were sharing the McKinney's style inspiration board below! Melissa and Shannon decided on the gorgeous Anthropologie dress as the base for the family's look, and pulled together pieces that would look cohesive, and relaxed with the natural outdoor setting. I'm a huge fan of all the timeless neutrals and blush tones that are soft and feminine, with just a touch of girly. 

And PSST! We've partnered with Melissa to offer her styling service within several of our packages! Contact us for more information. 

mckinney six month outfit boardmckinney six month outfit board

xo Rachelxo Rachel

The Smith's

February 23, 2017  •  Leave a Comment


In June of 2012, I showed up to a wedding as the second shooter, not knowing anything about the bride and groom. After spending a short amount of time with Hannah and her bridesmaids before the ceremony, I distinctly remember thinking, "I want to be friends with her." Fast forward a few years and several dozen coffee (Jubala) dates later, Hannah is one of my dearest friends. Our friendship has challenged and refined me, and we've shared so many amazing memories together since - birthdays, coffee dates, Moscow mules, road trips, business ventures, and more photo shoots. This shoot in particular is by far my favorite time photographing Hannah and Sean (you may recognize them from our styled shoot featured on Love & Lavender). It was extremely cold that Sunday afternoon, so we kept the session short and sweet. But, a couple rolls of film were all I needed because let's be real, Hannah and Sean are gorgeous. More importantly, they love each other and know how to have fun and make the most of any situation. It is such an honor that I have been present for their wedding, and now this exciting milestone in their marriage! Seth and I cannot wait to share in even more adventures and make more memories as the years go on and families grow! :)  

bluebarn-smith-10bluebarn-smith-10 bluebarn-smith-8-Editbluebarn-smith-8-Edit bluebarn-smith-2bluebarn-smith-2 bluebarn-smith-4bluebarn-smith-4 bluebarn-smith-6bluebarn-smith-6 bluebarn-smith-7bluebarn-smith-7 bluebarn-smith-9bluebarn-smith-9 bluebarn-smith-11bluebarn-smith-11 bluebarn-smith-12bluebarn-smith-12 bluebarn-smith-13bluebarn-smith-13 bluebarn-smith-16bluebarn-smith-16

bluebarn-smith-28bluebarn-smith-28 bluebarn-smith-25bluebarn-smith-25 bluebarn-smith-19bluebarn-smith-19 bluebarn-smith-26bluebarn-smith-26 bluebarn-smith-33bluebarn-smith-33 bluebarn-smith-32bluebarn-smith-32 bluebarn-smith-30bluebarn-smith-30 bluebarn-smith-31bluebarn-smith-31 bluebarn-smith-35bluebarn-smith-35 bluebarn-smith-36bluebarn-smith-36 bluebarn-smith-39bluebarn-smith-39 bluebarn-smith-37bluebarn-smith-37   xo Rachelxo Rachel

Love Is Sweet

February 05, 2017  •  Leave a Comment


Whether you're throwing a get together for your favorite galentines, planning to treat yo'self, or wanting to stay in for a cozy night with your love this Valentine's Day, this gorgeous table scape is sure to offer some savory inspiration for celebrating the sweetest day of the year!  

bluebarn-dessertscapes-4bluebarn-dessertscapes-4 bluebarn-dessertscapes-7bluebarn-dessertscapes-7 bluebarn-dessertscapes-8bluebarn-dessertscapes-8 bluebarn-dessertscapes-49bluebarn-dessertscapes-49 bluebarn-dessertscapes-17bluebarn-dessertscapes-17 bluebarn-dessertscapes-44bluebarn-dessertscapes-44 bluebarn-dessertscapes-14bluebarn-dessertscapes-14 bluebarn-dessertscapes-12bluebarn-dessertscapes-12 bluebarn-dessertscapes-24bluebarn-dessertscapes-24 bluebarn-dessertscapes-30bluebarn-dessertscapes-30 bluebarn-dessertscapes-29bluebarn-dessertscapes-29

Photography: Rachel Linder
Venue: The Glass Box
Styling: Brittany Maiava
Dessert: Sugar Euphoria

xo Rachelxo Rachel

Christina & Quentin's Charming Southern Wedding

February 02, 2017  •  Leave a Comment


This lovely couple's story began at a local Raleigh restaurant where Christina, a sweet & gorgeous Virginia native, first became smitten with Quentin's strong accent & shy demeanor. It was her very first weekend after moving to North Carolina & soon after she knew he was the man she would marry. We hope you find inspiration through the beautiful images of their wedding day as Christina shares a few words about how she fell head over heels! Enjoy!

BBT-christinaquentin-3008BBT-christinaquentin-3008 BBT-christinaquentin-3009BBT-christinaquentin-3009 BBT-christinaquentin-3013BBT-christinaquentin-3013 BBT-christinaquentin-3015BBT-christinaquentin-3015 BBT-christinaquentin-3016BBT-christinaquentin-3016 BBT-christinaquentin-3022BBT-christinaquentin-3022 BBT-christinaquentin-3026BBT-christinaquentin-3026 BBT-christinaquentin-3028BBT-christinaquentin-3028 BBT-christinaquentin-3030BBT-christinaquentin-3030 BBT-christinaquentin-3033BBT-christinaquentin-3033 BBT-christinaquentin-3041BBT-christinaquentin-3041 BBT-christinaquentin-3058BBT-christinaquentin-3058 BBT-christinaquentin-3063BBT-christinaquentin-3063 BBT-christinaquentin-3064BBT-christinaquentin-3064

"After the night Quentin & I met, we spent every minute together. Everything just felt so easy and real & always had such a great time together with constant laughter and impromptu trips. We couldn't stand to be apart. Our love was the easiest and most wonderful thing to happen to me & I knew I had to have him in my life forever."

BBT-christinaquentin-3079BBT-christinaquentin-3079 BBT-christinaquentin-3082BBT-christinaquentin-3082 BBT-christinaquentin-3083BBT-christinaquentin-3083 BBT-christinaquentin-3086BBT-christinaquentin-3086 BBT-christinaquentin-3084BBT-christinaquentin-3084 BBT-christinaquentin-3109BBT-christinaquentin-3109 BBT-christinaquentin-3111BBT-christinaquentin-3111 BBT-christinaquentin-3117BBT-christinaquentin-3117 BBT-christinaquentin-3122BBT-christinaquentin-3122 BBT-christinaquentin-3125BBT-christinaquentin-3125

"Our whole entire wedding day was so wonderful. It's difficult to pick out a specific moment to call my "favorite" but the most magical part was during our ceremony, when I couldn't stop smiling & giggling because I was so incredibly happy to be marrying the man of my dreams."

BBT-christinaquentin-3130BBT-christinaquentin-3130 BBT-christinaquentin-3133BBT-christinaquentin-3133 BBT-christinaquentin-3137BBT-christinaquentin-3137 BBT-christinaquentin-3141BBT-christinaquentin-3141 BBT-christinaquentin-3142BBT-christinaquentin-3142 BBT-christinaquentin-3144BBT-christinaquentin-3144 BBT-christinaquentin-3174BBT-christinaquentin-3174 BBT-christinaquentin-3178BBT-christinaquentin-3178 BBT-christinaquentin-3183BBT-christinaquentin-3183 BBT-christinaquentin-3184BBT-christinaquentin-3184 BBT-christinaquentin-3188BBT-christinaquentin-3188 BBT-christinaquentin-3191BBT-christinaquentin-3191 BBT-christinaquentin-3216BBT-christinaquentin-3216 BBT-christinaquentin-3222BBT-christinaquentin-3222 BBT-christinaquentin-3224BBT-christinaquentin-3224 BBT-christinaquentin-3260BBT-christinaquentin-3260 BBT-christinaquentin-3263BBT-christinaquentin-3263 BBT-christinaquentin-3269BBT-christinaquentin-3269 BBT-christinaquentin-3274BBT-christinaquentin-3274

"Not much has changed since we got married, aside from the fact that my heart is completely & utterly full. We have had a great time watching our wedding video and looking through pictures taken of our day over & over again. It is so great to be able to re-live our day as much as we want to especially knowing that we wouldn't change a single thing."

BBT-christinaquentin-3277BBT-christinaquentin-3277 BBT-christinaquentin-3281BBT-christinaquentin-3281 BBT-christinaquentin-3282BBT-christinaquentin-3282 BBT-christinaquentin-3291BBT-christinaquentin-3291 BBT-christinaquentin-3294BBT-christinaquentin-3294 BBT-christinaquentin-3312BBT-christinaquentin-3312 BBT-christinaquentin-3322BBT-christinaquentin-3322 BBT-christinaquentin-3324BBT-christinaquentin-3324 BBT-christinaquentin-3326BBT-christinaquentin-3326 BBT-christinaquentin-3344BBT-christinaquentin-3344 BBT-christinaquentin-3355BBT-christinaquentin-3355 BBT-christinaquentin-3358BBT-christinaquentin-3358 BBT-christinaquentin-3417BBT-christinaquentin-3417 BBT-christinaquentin-3419BBT-christinaquentin-3419 BBT-christinaquentin-3258BBT-christinaquentin-3258 xo Taylorxo Taylor

Venue: Magnolia Manor Plantation
Hair + Make-up: LULA hair + make-up

Lucas & Allie's Sweet Carolina Engagement

January 31, 2017  •  Leave a Comment


Though it was winter & the air was quite crisp, these two still managed to completely melt my heart during their beautiful engagement session in Raleigh last November. Not only is Lucas & Allie's love filled with passion for one another, but also for The Lord in which they've committed to center their relationship upon & it surely shines bright through each of their smiles. We hope you enjoy images from this sweet North Carolina engagement, as well as some personal words from Allie herself as she shares the beginning of their beautiful love story!

"From the day Lucas started pursuing me, he was always very intentional in his thoughts and actions. As soon as Lucas dropped me off after our first date, I knew I was in trouble because I could already see myself falling hard & soon after I became certain this was the man God intended me to spend the rest of my life with. Lucas is the most hard working, loyal, trustworthy, caring, and funniest man I know. He loves me and shows me grace when I least deserve it; just like Jesus does."

BBT-allielucas-1014BBT-allielucas-1014 BBT-allielucas-1015BBT-allielucas-1015 BBT-allielucas-1016BBT-allielucas-1016 BBT-allielucas-1017BBT-allielucas-1017 BBT-allielucas-1021BBT-allielucas-1021   

"I had no intentions of getting a dog until I saw this adorable black puppy, I now call Monkee. She's been my shadow since my sophomore year of undergrad so when Lucas started coming around, my little girl was very protective over me and unsure about him; however, before I knew it, the two of them became inseparable. After Lucas and I had been dating a few months, Lucas thought it was a good idea to get Monkee a brother. We found Beau in Goldsboro as the chunkiest and laziest puppy of his litter and we knew he would be the perfect addition to our little family. Admittedly ever since, we have fully embraced the title of "crazy dog people" & share an unbreakable bond between the four of us."

BBT-allielucas-1002BBT-allielucas-1002 BBT-allielucas-1005BBT-allielucas-1005 BBT-allielucas-1003BBT-allielucas-1003 BBT-allielucas-1008BBT-allielucas-1008 BBT-allielucas-1009BBT-allielucas-1009 BBT-allielucas-1010BBT-allielucas-1010
BBT-allielucas-1033BBT-allielucas-1033 BBT-allielucas-1035BBT-allielucas-1035 BBT-allielucas-1036BBT-allielucas-1036 BBT-allielucas-1037BBT-allielucas-1037 BBT-allielucas-1038BBT-allielucas-1038 BBT-allielucas-1039BBT-allielucas-1039

"Lucas and I have been through many life changes together: graduating from East Carolina in both our undergrad and graduate programs, moving to Raleigh, beginning our careers, raising our pups, planning our future lives together and I can truthfully say that each day with Lucas is a blessing. Whether we are in the valleys or on the mountaintops, our love for each other has remained constant. It has been amazing to reflect on how far we have grown as individuals and as a couple and we couldn't be more excited to see what the Lord has in store for our future!"

BBT-allielucas-1040BBT-allielucas-1040 BBT-allielucas-1041BBT-allielucas-1041 BBT-allielucas-1044BBT-allielucas-1044 BBT-allielucas-1046BBT-allielucas-1046 BBT-allielucas-1047BBT-allielucas-1047 BBT-allielucas-1048BBT-allielucas-1048 BBT-allielucas-1052BBT-allielucas-1052 BBT-allielucas-1055BBT-allielucas-1055 BBT-allielucas-1056BBT-allielucas-1056 BBT-allielucas-1057BBT-allielucas-1057 BBT-allielucas-1058BBT-allielucas-1058 BBT-allielucas-1061BBT-allielucas-1061 BBT-allielucas-1062BBT-allielucas-1062 BBT-allielucas-1063BBT-allielucas-1063 BBT-allielucas-1068BBT-allielucas-1068

Aren't they the cutest?! We can't wait to see Lucas & Allie become one this coming summer. Stay tuned to view their wedding images at the gorgeous Jones Chapel! 

BBT-allielucas-1071BBT-allielucas-1071 BBT-allielucas-1072BBT-allielucas-1072 BBT-allielucas-1073BBT-allielucas-1073 BBT-allielucas-1074BBT-allielucas-1074 BBT-allielucas-1075BBT-allielucas-1075 BBT-allielucas-1077BBT-allielucas-1077 BBT-allielucas-1080BBT-allielucas-1080 xo Taylorxo Taylor

TSOSOnlineLaunch-59Photo by Perry Vaile for The School of Styling

We believe in true love and capturing the sweet beginnings to beautiful marriages! It's a joy to photograph moments that will resonate in your hearts for years & generations to come & it's an honor to document each story.

We're honored to have our work featured with the following publications:

Dear Gray Magazine

Issue Two

Style Me Pretty

3 Easy Ways to Throw a 20+ Person Party on a Budget
Our New Favorite Way to Drink Tequila

Vintage Glam Elopement

Magnolia Rouge

The ZEN Succulent Store Tour

The Everygirl

Stephanie Scholl's Apartment Tour

The School of Styling

An Interview with Megan George of The ZEN Succulent
Three Ways to Style Your at Home Bar
Meet Our Brand Relations Assistant, Kelly Hovis
TSOS Chapel Hill Enrollment
Why & How to Say "No" to Potential Collaborations

Southern Weddings

Carisa & Kyle's Garden Engagement
2015 Gingerbread Barns at The Carolina Inn

Haute Cotton Weddings

TAPC Wedding Suite

Inspired By This

Sunny Yellow Wedding Brunch

100 Layer Cakelet

Romantic Coastal Maternity Session

The Carolinas Magazine

Blackberry Styled Wedding Inspiration

Love & Lavender

Romantic Wedding Inspiration + Sangria Recipe

And More! 

Some posts contain affiliate links.