Author Archives: Heather

Dance Murfreesboro’s 2015 Spring Showcase

Middle Tennessee Event Photography

We had a fantastic show full of dynamic routines at Dance Murfreesboro’s showcase this spring! We laughed, we cried, we celebrated all the hard work that has been done over these past few months and we enjoyed every second. Thanks to everyone who was a part of it! Feel free to view your images here!

If you would like to order a CD of your images, you may purchase one online by following this link, or getting in contact with Heather by email:

Orders will be ready to pick up at Dance Murfreesboro on or after March 26th! Enjoy reliving this great show, everyone did a fantastic job! Thanks again for letting me be a part of it!


I always love photographing and dancing in these shows – it is a treat! As a quick note, honor system here folks! You know the drill – please credit HCP if you choose to share on social media and refrain from downloading or screenshoting images without purchase or permission. 😉 Thanks!

For more information about Dance Murfreesboro and becoming a part of this dance family, please visit!

Posted in News

Riley is 2! A Minnie Mouse Birthday Celebration

It doesn’t seem like it’s been a year! It seems like Riley is growing way too fast, but then again, that could just be my perception. You might remember her awesome Peanuts-themed first birthday party, and this year, mom decided on a Minnie Mouse theme! Lots of clever decorations and great fun – now you guys know what comes next!

If you’d like to order prints of any of these photos or get a CD with digital copies of your favorite shots, you can order them right here! Prints and CDs will be ready within 1-2 weeks of ordering and you will be notified by email when they are ready. Once they are, just stop by the studio to pick up your prints!

4×6 print – $4.00
5×7 print – $6.00
8×10 print – $10.00
11×14 print – $16.00

Image CD – You can include as many photos as you would like on your CD for just $4 per image! (with a minimum of 5 images) Then upload or print to your heart’s content (any size, any time, any where)! Those digital images are yours forever!


Thanks again to the entire Hillis family and happy birthday to Riley! Hope the coming year is even better than the last!

Posted in Uncategorized

An Inside Look into Post-Processing with Photoshop

Or the more aptly named…How Heather spends the majority of her days. No really!

Most folks are familiar with photoshop, but unless you have to use the program every day, you may not realize how versatile and vast of a program it truly is. I’ve developed a love/hate relationship with photoshop – I love her but she is a cruel mistress at times. I decided to write this post to show you some before & after shots from some of my edits so you can see just what my post-process entails. Photoshop is so exhausting extensive, it literally has a MILLION options as a program, so each photographer can develop their own post-processing style. Here’s a little glimpse into mine. :)


I’ll start with me. This is my headshot that I use for all professional-type things. This edit probably took me about 20-25 minutes. First I adjusted the overall color and contrast, applied a slight vignette (I try not to go overboard with those – just a little darkening of the edges). Then I fixed the little crinkle in the backdrop and proceeded with the fine retouching for my skin and some of those stray hairs. For those of you with Photoshop Elements (a simpler and much less expensive version of the program!) – all of this would have been possible in elements. It makes such a difference!


Here’s another great example of an everyday edit I do for a family or children’s photoshoot. This one took me about 35 minutes. I wanted to give this photo a warm tone so I applied a “Sunny Day” action. For those of you new to photoshop, actions are your VERY BEST FRIEND. Actions allow you to save commonly-used processes in one quick step – you just press play and it repeats all the steps for you at once. (This doesn’t work for everything, but it’s super helpful!) After that I did all the fine retouching for stray hairs and to even out the skin tone, and then I added a gaussian blur filter around her to give it a little softness.


Here’s a fun one – this edit took me about 20 minutes. Ever work with multiple kids and you just can’t get them all to smile at the same time? And you know in a group shot, SOMEBODY is always blinking. Story of my life. No sweat. Photoshop allows me to pick and choose from different shots to get what I need. In this photo, I loved the expression of laughter and wanted to keep that, but since the little one on the right was blinking in that shot, I searched through a few other shots I had from this scene to find one with her eyes open. Then I just selected that part and replaced her blinking eyes with bright, open eyes. Soften around the edges, make sure it fits just right and Voila! Then I applied a couple actions and slight vignette to get the tones looking warm and vibrant.

Moral of the story? Always take multiple shots. ALWAYS.


Alright, last one – I promise. This was a more involved, artistic edit so it took a good bit longer – and I tried a few different things before settling on what I wanted. I probably played with this shot over 2-3 hours total, with breaks so I could regain my sanity rest my eyes in between.
As you can probably tell with this one, I wanted to give it that vintage 1920’s look that the model reflected in her style (and just so you know, that girl is amazing). I did all my retouching first (fixed the splotchy backdrop and edited skin tone, stray hairs, etc.) and then saved it so I could proceed from there. Then I adjusted the color a thousand different ways, desaturated a bit to give it that slightly faded look, and then gave the contrast a boost to give her a glow.

I’ll admit – I agonize over these edits sometimes but it’s a lot of fun. I’ve spent a lot of time developing my style to the point that it is now and it took years. Years! Photoshop is not a program to learn in a day, but with every new discovery you get that rush of feeling like you’re the master of photoshop – and then you realize you haven’t even scratched the surface. It’s never-ending.

For those wondering, an average 1-hour photoshoot will take me about 8-10 hours of editing time – sometimes more if there’s extra retouching or special edits to do. And I don’t batch edit (though it’s totally possible) – I guess I’m way too much of a perfectionist for that. I spend way more time on photoshop than I do having a social life, which…..might explain some things about me as a person.

Either way, if it’s something you’re into, photoshop can be a seriously fantastic tool that’ll give your photos some extra oomph. For those looking for a jumping-off point with photoshop, pick up the latest version of Elements and let’s get started! You can even book a workshop and I’ll guide you through your first couple of edits. :)

To learn more about post-processing or to schedule a workshop with me, feel free to shoot an email to!

Posted in Uncategorized

A Concise Guide to a Fantastic Newborn Session


Seems like there’s something in the water lately – everybody’s having babies! I suppose that comes with the start of spring, the beginning of new life, and all that good stuff. I’m not complaining – this season brings some of my favorite work as a photographer – newborn sessions!

But since you’re a new mommy or daddy, newborn sessions can be an overwhelming prospect. It’s not always as easy it seems. When do I schedule a newborn session? How do I keep my baby happy, sleepy, or cooperative throughout this process? Should I feed him/her before the shoot or not? And hey, how do we get into those cute poses I’ve seen all over pinterest?

To answer all those questions and more, here’s my concise guide to a successful newborn session:

1. Book your shoot as soon as your baby is born for the first 3-14 days. 
Babies under 2 weeks old are usually sleepier and more cooperative – after 14 days, your baby is going to discover that stretching is SUPER COOL, and they’ll be slightly more alert as time goes by. It might be harder to get them into those adorable newborn poses.

2. Keep the house nice and toasty.
If we’re doing the photoshoot at the nursery (which most parents prefer) – you’ll want the house WARM. As in set your thermostat to 80,or keep a small heater running in the nursery for a good while beforehand. It’ll be a little hot for the grown-ups, but baby is going to be much happier if it’s warm (especially if they’re in the buff for a bit!)

3. Your House Doesn’t Need to be Spotless
Hey, you just had a baby! If you’ve got dishes in the sink, it’s not a big deal. The only thing I suggest to most families is to make the bed. A fluffy bedspread is a great backdrop for some photos. Other than that, you just bask in the glory of being a new parent and let me worry about the rest :)

4. Feed & Burp Your Bambino Beforehand
Babies are usually most cooperative when they’re happy and full. Go ahead and feed them about 30 minutes before we get started, and make sure you get a good burp – gassy babies have a tougher time sitting still. Just in case, have an extra bottle prepared in case they get fussy halfway through, or if we need to take a break for mom to breastfeed, that’s fine! Happens all the time – I promise. We’re on their schedule.


5. If Baby is Going to be in the Buff….Loosen up their diaper about 30 minutes before we start. It allows some time for the diaper imprint to disappear. Photographers can edit out imprints on the skin if needed, but I know I always appreciate when it’s taken care of! If you’d prefer for baby to keep the diaper on, have a diaper cover handy or we can wrap a drape around it. No worries either way!


6. Pee Happens
Especially if your baby is in the buff, he or she will probably pee all over the place at some point. Don’t worry about it! I guarantee it happens during almost every newborn session I do. Any blankets or drapes that I bring are washed between shoots with hypoallergenic detergent, and as a new parent you probably know that getting peed on is just a new part of your life.

7. Collect Important Items Beforehand
Before the photoshoot, gather together any things you’d like to include in the photos like family heirlooms, headbands/hats, monogrammed items, etc. I’ll bring some props as well so we’ll have lots we can sort through and use. If a specific item is super important to you, please don’t hesitate to let me know! I don’t want to miss anything you’re hoping for!


8. A Boppy is Your Best Friend
‘Nuff said. They make great posing pillows! If you’ve got one, great! If not, I can bring one, so let me know.

9. Be Patient – Don’t Freak Out!
If your baby is restless, fussy or just won’t go back to sleep, don’t get stressed. Babies can sense your anxiety and if you feel anxious it may even help for you to leave the room for a few minutes (babies have super smell when it comes to mom) or to drape you so baby can stay in your arms for a few shots while you lull him or her back to sleep. If the baby just can’t get comfortable, we’ll take a break until they settle down! No big deal.

10. For Your Photos With Baby
If you decide you’d like some photos with your baby, decide that beforehand and pamper yourself! A lot of mom’s will have a friend come over to fix their hair or help with baby duty. But don’t be too concerned about dressing up and looking perfect – keep your outfit simple. Solid colors work best as opposed to busy prints or logos.


If you follow these steps, I guarantee your newborn session will go swimmingly. And if you have any other questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to ask! Bringing a new baby into the world is a big job, and I want to be here for you in any way I can to make your newborn’s photography as stress-free and fun as possible.

To schedule a newborn session with me or if you have any other questions about your newborn session, email me anytime!


Posted in Uncategorized

Dance Murfreesboro Winter Showcase

Another fantastic dance showcase at Dance Murfreesboro is in the books – and again, it was such a joy to be a part of it. That place is just so full of talent and energy that I almost can’t handle it. Every time I make it to a group class, the fun is just infectious! Each showcase just blows me away.

Thanks for your patience in waiting for these photos, dancers. You’re all intensely beautiful people who worked very hard on these lovely routines. Let’s remember and celebrate them with some photos! Here we go:

If you’ve done this before, you know the drill. For the newbies, if you’d like to order prints of any of these photos or get a CD with digital copies of your favorite shots, you can order them right here! Prints and CDs will be ready within 1-2 weeks of ordering and you will be notified by email when they are ready. Once they are, just stop by the studio to pick up your prints! (Or in this case, I’ll bring them up to Dance Murfreesboro and come dance with you!)

4×6 print – $4.00
5×7 print – $6.00
8×10 print – $10.00
11×14 print – $16.00

Image CD – You can include as many photos as you would like on your CD for just $4 per image! (with a minimum of 5 images) Then upload or print to your heart’s content! Those digital images are yours forever!

Click on any image to enlarge. To select sizes, simply click “Add to Cart.”


Thanks again for another great show at the Warehouse! You guys are all an inspiration. Can’t wait for the next showcase with all of you!!


Posted in Uncategorized

Black Friday Sale


The holidays are officially here! You know what that means…..BLACK FRIDAY SALES. (dundundun) Instead of rushing out and fighting lines or wrestling your neighbor for the last $10 toaster (as enticing as that sounds), you’ll get the best special pricing from me all from the comfort of your computer. And I promise these photos will almost certainly last longer and mean more than a $10 toaster.

Here are the sweet deals we’ve got going this year!

Gift Certificates

Buy a gift certificate for a 1 hr photoshoot at the price of a 30-min. $100 instead of $150 if you buy the certificate as a gift for someone. Certificate sessions should be scheduled by 3/31/2014 and can be redeemed for families, babies, and couples sessions of any kind.

Buy a gift certificate here.

Photo Books

Did you just get married? Have a baby? Need a great gift for yourself or the family? These hardcover photo books are PERFECT for holiday gifts and can be customized for any occasion. Plus, they’ll literally last forever. Buy a hardcover photo book and get a mounted 11×14 print of your choice for FREE. That’s $35 worth of framable goodness!

I’ve got a few sizes available – 8×8″, 10×10″ & 12×12″ square. Completely customized with a hardcover and sturdy matted pages that won’t rip or tear. The template styles vary. Prices starting at $160 for them.

Your 11×14 print will come mounted on white matte board and will not bend or tear. Suitable for framing behind glass or without glass. This free print gives you a $25 saving.

Buy a photo book here.

So get in your pajamas and get ready to wake up after your turkey-induced coma to snag a great deal on some awesome photography! These deals will be available on Black Friday ONLY, so don’t miss it!

Posted in News

Cousins & Cohorts: Bella, Brinley, Brianna & Austin

Fayetteville TN Children & Family Photographer

It’s a rare opportunity to have cousins all together at the same time, and I can relate! I grew up in a military family with more than 20 first cousins and getting us all in the same place pretty much only happened at reunions or weddings (and even then it was a toss-up). But the relationship that I have had with all of my cousins is something I hold very close to me. They’re both family and friends who are there for you your whole life.

These four girls show just that. These 4 little cousins were in town for a wedding and it was the perfect opportunity for the families to get them together for some photos. You know the grandparen

ts are going to love it…how couldn’t they? We did some photos of the little ones in the studio and then went for a walk on the Fayetteville square for some outdoor photos as well. Best of both worlds, right?

Here are some of our best shots from that lovely afternoon:


Yeah, I know what you’re thinking. Too. Stinkin’. Cute.  And with the help of their parents, we were able to pull off a successful photoshoot with 4 kids 5-years-old and under! Such feats are the stuff of legend. I hope these four remain the best of friends throughout their lives, because goodness knows cousins can be some of the best friends we ever have. And seeing these four together just puts a smile on my face.


Posted in Sessions