Pastor Family Session – The Gallatys {Nashville Portrait Photographer}

This past fall, I had the honor of taking family portraits for our pastor and his family.  He followed the Lord’s call to our church in October of 2015, about ten months after our beloved former pastor tragically passed away from a rare cancer.

Pastor Robby and his family have been such a blessing to our church, and have really helped us heal and move forward after such a great loss.  His dedication to discipleship has touched countless lives and helped us grow in our faith by leaps and bounds.  I look forward to sitting under his teaching and leadership each Sunday, and have never been more excited about faithfully reading The Word.  If you’re in the Nashville area, and looking for an amazing, Bible believing church to call your own, I highly recommend Long Hollow Baptist Church in Hendersonville.  We will welcome you with open arms!

I had such a fun time photographing Pastor Robby, his wife Kandi, and their sweet boys, Rig and Ryder.  The weather was warm, and the autumn leaves were out in all their glory, making the perfect backdrop for this special session.

Brothers embracing by creek - Nashville Child Photographer | Jo McVey Photography

Brothers embracing on bench - Nashville Child Photographer | Jo McVey Photography

Brothers sitting on crate by creek - Nashville Child Photographer | Jo McVey Photography

Mother and sons by creek - Nashville Family Photographer | Jo McVey Photography

Father and sons sitting on bench by creek - Nashville Family Photographer | Jo McVey Photography

Little boy autumn headshot - Nashville Child Photographer | Jo McVey Photography

Little boy autumn headshot - Nashville Child Photographer | Jo McVey Photography

Fall Family of 4 - Nashville Family Photographer | Jo McVey Photography

Family of 4 sitting on quilt near creek - Nashville Family Photographer | Jo McVey Photography

Fall couple - Nashville Portrait Photographer | Jo McVey Photography

Autumn husband and wife - Gallatin Portrait Photographer | Jo McVey Photography

Fall Female Headshot - Nashville Portrait Photographer | Jo McVey Photography

Fall Male Headshot - Nashville Portrait Photographer | Jo McVey Photography

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Joanna McVey specializes in maternity, newborn, child, senior, and family photography.  Serving Nashville and surrounding areas, including Hendersonville, Gallatin, Goodlettsville, White House, Madison, Hermitage, Brentwood, Franklin, Murfreesboro, Smyrna, Bellevue, Old Hickory, Donelson, Mt. Juliet, Lebanon, Castalian Springs, East Nashville, Germantown, Nolensville, Green Hills, Ashland City, 12 South, Belle Meade, Cool Springs, Clarksville, Greenbrier, Spring Hill, Dickson, Portland, Fairview, and all other Middle TN areas.

Shoot & Share 2017 – International Photography Contest

A few months ago, I saw an ad for a worldwide photography contest called Shoot & Share.  You could enter up to 50 photos to 25 categories (I entered 40 photos).

This year, the contest had their largest turnout yet, with 332,768 photos entered from 141 countries, and had over 49 million votes!

There were SO many AMAZING photos in each category!  I was shocked and proud to find out that two of my photos had placed in the Top 100 in their categories, three photos were finalists (top 3%), eight photos were top 10%, twelve photos were top 20%, and five were top 30%!  You can see my photos and their placement below (top 10% and above).

Shoot and share top 100 boys by creek

This photo of my boys by the creek placed 50th out of 23,969 photos.

Shoot and share top 100 mother daughter in cotton field

This mother/daughter image placed 61st out of 22,299 photos.

Shoot and share top 10%

Shoot and Share Finalist

Shoot and Share Finalist

Shoot and share top 10%

Shoot and share top 10%

Shoot and share top 10%

Shoot and share top 10%

Shoot and share top 10%

Shoot and share top 10%

Before and After

Besides God and my family, photography is my biggest passion.  I picked up my first DSLR camera in 2011 — a Canon Rebel XTi that I bought, along with some lenses, from my extremely talented sister-in-law and wedding photographer, Stacey Pentland.  Seriously, she’s amazing.  I would know.  She photographed my wedding in 2011, and if you’re getting married in the Bay Area in California, you should definitely consider hiring her to capture your wedding.  You won’t be disappointed!  I know I wasn’t!

Anyway, I’ve since upgraded to a Canon EOS 5D Mark III and have tried to learn as much as I can about photography and editing in the past 4+ years.  I am mostly self-taught, and my only education has come from some online video tutorials.

My favorite part of photography is post production, or editing the photos.  I love taking a mediocre, or even sometimes a horrible, seemingly unsalvageable photo, and turning it into something amazing.  (Although I try my best to get it as close to perfect straight out of the camera as I can.)  I always start my editing process in Lightroom, and then change over to Photoshop.  I would say I do about 10% in LR and 90% in PS.

So, without further ado, I wanted to show you some of my favorite before and afters.

Before and After -

This photo was taken at a local pumpkin patch, and the sky was so beautiful that evening.  It was getting pretty dark, and I knew that if I set my camera to expose for the subjects (Grayson and me) so that we’d be bright enough, it would blow out the sky and make it just a bright white, instead of showing any of the beautiful pink clouds.  So I exposed for the sky and hoped that I could fix it later.  Thankfully, I was able to.

Before & After -

Here’s another fun one.  I had to expand the floor, delete the cable, make the floor a darker, warmer color, among other things.  This photo turned into one of my favorite photos I have ever taken, and it was even featured on Greater Than Gatsby’s Facebook page!

Before & After -

This was a shot I took of our boys playing on the beach in St. Augustine during our vacation this past summer.  The lighting was just perfect, and the sky was beautiful, but I underexposed just a bit to make sure I didn’t blow out any part of the sky or beach.  I love how it turned out.

Before & After -

This one was quite a challenge.  I don’t typically shoot families in my studio.  Normally it’s just newborns and babies one year old and younger.  The reason for that is because I don’t have any backdrops big enough for more than one person at a time.  Trust me, I want to by ALL the backdrops!  But at the moment, I can’t justify spending the money when I’m only doing about 8-10 sessions a year.  (I’m taking this time to focus on raising my two crazy boys while they’re young and not in school).  Normally when I take my parent shots, I have them standing in front of my tan wall, which acts as a backdrop.  But for this photo, I had them sitting down so that they would all be on the same level.  I must have a lot of confidence in myself to think that I could pull this off, when I looked at the back of the camera and thought, “Yah, I got the shot.”

Before & After -

And of course, a before and after post wouldn’t be complete without a composite of my two crazy, hilarious, lovable boys.  Rarely do I ever get a good shot of them both at the same time.  So more often than not, I have to swap out heads, bodies, you name it.  Anyway, this was their official Christmas picture that I took for the calendar I make every year for their grandparents and us.  This was “December.”  As you can see, Grayson was not cooperating while sitting next to Oliver, so I had to take his photo separately and then swap his body into the photo with Oliver.  These boys make me work, I tell ya!

Anyway, that’s my fun little before and after post for today.  I wasn’t sure if this would be my last post of 2015 or my first post of 2016 since we’re nearing midnight, but it looks like 2015 it is!  I wish you all a very Happy New Year!  Stay safe and take lots of pictures!!!