ANNOUNCING 2018 FALL CHRISTMAS TREE FARM MINI SESSIONS | MADISON HUNTSVILLE ALABAMA FAMILY PHOTOGRAPHER

Fall is almost here and I'm so excited to announce the date for my 2018 Christmas Tree Farm Mini Sessions! 

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Christmas tree farm family mini sessions will be held on Sunday, November 11th from 1:30 p.m. until sunset at Trim-a-Tree Farm in Athens, AL. Last time I checked, 5 of the 12 available spots remained!

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These sessions are perfect for couples and families looking for a few updated photos for a Christmas card. They are 15 minutes long and the $175 session fee includes your 5 favorite images for download with a personal print release.

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You can view some of my favorite photos from years past HERE and book your 2018 Christmas Tree Farm mini session by clicking the button below! 

10 on 10 | August 2018

if you're going by school year, summer is over. landan started back this week and now he's officially a junior. wah. where does the time go? however, i'm not calling it the end of summer until after labor day. we're visiting my sister in the outer banks, nc that weekend so we've got one more beach weekend in store before it's all said and done!

one thing i managed to do a decent job of was continue my eighteen summers project that i started two years ago. the thing i love about film is how in a busy season of life, it helps me to slow down and be more intentional about choosing moments to document while at the same time embracing the imperfection of it all.

this post is in collaboration with super skilled photographers all over the world, so please click through the circle, starting with Carla, all the way from Brazil!

without further ado, bits and pieces of our summer so far on film...

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10 on 10 | April 2018

Last month was a whirlwind. In less than four weeks, we went from not even thinking about moving to living in a brand new house. Our first home wasn't even on the market when we reluctantly accepted an offer on it a little over a month ago. I thought accepting a full price offer would be an easy decision, so I was surprised when I found myself wondering if we were doing the right thing. 

As I type this from our new home, I am able to look back and confidently say we did make the right choice. We are loving our new home and new neighborhood. Life feels good here. We weren't expecting a fresh start at this point in life but I'm thankful for it. 

Packing up our first home made me realize the importance of documenting our everyday lives. I'm going to share some thoughts I posted on Instagram during our move.


 I’ve been in a rut for a while. I haven’t picked up my camera at home regularly in what seems like forever. As inspiring as all the artists I follow on IG are, it’s become equally defeating trying to keep up and I’ve been searching for that spark to feel inspired again. Tonight as I was flipping through images in LR from last summer, I came across this series of Jack playing in the garden and they pulled at my heartstrings, especially this one. This is Greyson’s tree. We planted it three years ago in memory of my son, Jack’s identical twin brother, who passed away when I was 21 weeks pregnant. Little did I know when I took this picture, that this would be the last summer in our home on Tottenham Way. A home full of so many memories, happy and sad. I thought little of this image at the time probably because it’s technically flawed & Jack is out of focus. When we load up the truck and say our good-byes in a couple weeks, all I’ll have left are memories. Memories and photos. Thousands of imperfect pictures that perfectly reflect this moment in time and take me back to how it felt to be right there, watching my boys grow and discover the world and their place in it. This is my why and my reason. Nothing else matters. Just keep shooting.

I’ve been in a rut for a while. I haven’t picked up my camera at home regularly in what seems like forever. As inspiring as all the artists I follow on IG are, it’s become equally defeating trying to keep up and I’ve been searching for that spark to feel inspired again. Tonight as I was flipping through images in LR from last summer, I came across this series of Jack playing in the garden and they pulled at my heartstrings, especially this one. This is Greyson’s tree. We planted it three years ago in memory of my son, Jack’s identical twin brother, who passed away when I was 21 weeks pregnant. Little did I know when I took this picture, that this would be the last summer in our home on Tottenham Way. A home full of so many memories, happy and sad. I thought little of this image at the time probably because it’s technically flawed & Jack is out of focus. When we load up the truck and say our good-byes in a couple weeks, all I’ll have left are memories. Memories and photos. Thousands of imperfect pictures that perfectly reflect this moment in time and take me back to how it felt to be right there, watching my boys grow and discover the world and their place in it. This is my why and my reason. Nothing else matters. Just keep shooting.


Funny how sometimes it takes completely uprooting to get out of funk and create for no one else but myself (and my family). Not for likes, not for recognition...So, without further ado - here's this month's 10 on 10 (ok more like 15 on 10). A collection of images from our last month in our first home that aren't perfect but mean the world to me. Here's to new beginnings and keeping my camera on the counter again. Continue the circle with the inspiring Colie James--her work is bright, colorful and REAL!

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Avery's Lifestyle Newborn Session at Home | Madison + Huntsville Newborn Photography

When Shannon reached out to me to book a newborn session, I was overjoyed. A little over three years ago, I met Shannon in the neonatal ICU. She took care of my tiny, fragile son, Jack, many nights during his NICU journey. In fact, we share a special memory with Shannon - she was the nurse who let Brad hold Jack for the very first time. 

Truth be told, while I'm blogging this session in November, it was actually shot in early July and I've already been back to visit Miss Avery for her four month milestone session since then! Avery is a part of my Baby's First Year club and it's been an honor to document this fleeting time in this family's lives.

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The Legacy Project | Week One: The Beginning

Francesca Russell is a photographer and filmmaker (and mom) out of Long Island and I've been following her work since I was in a street photography class with her last year. She is the queen of projects and when she shared her latest one earlier this month, I knew I had to jump on board. The Legacy Project was born out of Francesca's desire to write all her own family stories down, to be shared and passed onto her children as they get older. If I stay on track, I'll have a new post every two weeks on the blog, following the prompts Francesca gives us in The Legacy Project group! I hope to print these stories and photos in an album once I complete the project. So, without further ado...

it's a girl

Week One

What do you know about the day you were born? Where were you born? How did you get your name?

I was born on September 30, 1987 to William Whitten Cox & Coryn Brennan Cox. I turned to my mom to tell the story of the day I was born! In her words:

On Tuesday, September 29, 1987, I was 14 days past my due date with my first pregnancy. Bill and I headed to Martin Memorial Hospital (in Stuart, Florida) to forever change our lives by becoming a family of three. I was scheduled to be induced. The labor room had two beds with a curtain separating them. There was another expectant mother in labor alongside me. While we were both striving for drug free natural births, she was screaming for drugs by mid afternoon. My progress was slower and my contractions didn't become really productive until early evening.

At that time my doctor, Dr. Heidi McNaney had completed her office hours and from about 6:00 p.m. on she never left my side. Around 10:00 p.m., I was ready to push, so they wheeled my bed into a delivery room and I had to move from my bed to a delivery table.

After two hours of pushing, and after midnight, Mary Colleen was born. She was perfect. 

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my birthday

As the nurse, who was also named Mary, was cleaning her up, the Dr. and she talked about what a nice name Mary is. We had no idea whether our baby would be a boy or girl, so we had chosen two different names. The boys name we had chosen had included a family name from Bill's family and our girl's name choice was after my mom (Mary Riley Brennan) and also after my best friend (Colleen White).


 Colleen (left) and my mom (right)

Colleen (left) and my mom (right)

Growing up, I didn't realize the significance of my name and didn't love it, but as I have gotten older, I have come to appreciate it so much and take pride in it. I was named after two incredible ladies - one which I have never had the opportunity to get to know, Colleen. She was my mom's best friend, and she had followed my mom down to Florida (from New York) after college. The last time my mom talked to her was on mom's 21st birthday - September 28th, 1983. Five days later, the "accident" happened. It was a day that changed my mom's life forever. Colleen and her sister,  Liz, were involved in a tragic accident. Liz was killed and though Colleen survived, she suffered a traumatic brain injury and has spent the last 34 years of her life in hospitals, nursing homes, and a group home. My mom described Colleen as an emotional person who loved deeply. She was funny, sassy and quick witted. 


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Mom, Mimi & me

I'm also proud to be named after my mimi, Mary Riley Brennan, who I got to spend seventeen years with before she passed away of kidney failure in 2005. Like Colleen, she was a firecracker - blunt and witty, there was never a dull moment around her. She had "busy hands" and was always cross-stitching, playing cards or knitting. She loved traveling to Disney World and Hawaii.


What was going on in 1987 - THIRTY years ago?!

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  • Ronald Reagan was president.
  • Full House debuted!
  • Gas averaged 89 cents a gallon.
  • The world population reached 5 billion.
  • "Didn't We Almost Have it All" by Whitney Houston was at the top of the Billboard chart.

Frazier Park Maternity Session | Madison + Huntsville AL Newborn Photographer

When Lisa reached out to me about shooting her maternity photos early on in her pregnancy, I was so excited! Not only because I knew how long Lisa had hoped and prayed for this pregnancy, but because she was one of Jack's NICU nurses in his earliest days. In fact, she let me change his diaper for the very first time when he was two weeks old.

She was a little nervous that she would be freezing during her March maternity session, but we ended up lucking out with a beautiful Spring day (can you tell I'm a bit behind on blogging)!

Not longer after this session, Lisa & Zach welcomed a beautiful and healthy little girl into the world, and I was able to go to their home to shoot her newborn session. I'll share those on the blog soon! 

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Fall Mini Sessions in Madison AL | Huntsville AL Photographer

I'm so excited to be offering an afternoon of fall mini sessions in Madison this year. These sessions are short and sweet, but long enough to create a gallery full of images that you can not only use for Christmas cards, but hang on the wall in your home. These mini sessions will be held on Sunday, October 29, beginning two hours before sunset. You can purchase your session in the shop! If you have any questions, shoot me an email at mary@marycolleenphoto.com.

Here are a few favorites from last year's fall sessions!

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Christmas Tree Farm Mini Sessions | Trim-A-Tree Farm Athens, AL | Madison AL

Due to popular demand, and because I love seeing your families so much, I've decided to open up a second afternoon of Christmas tree farm mini sessions! These fun sessions are held in Athens, AL at Trim-A-Tree Farms, just a 10-20 minute drive from Madison and Huntsville. These sessions include incredible cookies (from Mel's Sweet Treats!) and hot chocolate!! Head to the shop to read all the details and purchase your session! 

And, just for fun...here are a few photos from last year's sessions!

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Announcing Fall & Christmas Tree Farm Mini Sessions! | Madison Huntsville Alabama Family Photographer

NOTE: If Google brought you here and you are looking for info on 2018 Fall/Christmas Mini Sessions, click the button below:


Now Booking Fall & Christmas Mini Sessions!

To me, fall kicks off in August, when the kids head back to school and football season begins. So, with that, I thought I'd announce my 2017 mini sessions dates!

Cotton Field & Fall Foliage Mini Sessions

COTTON FIELD sessions will likely be held on a Monday or Tuesday evening before sunset in September in Priceville. I'll know the exact date once the cotton blooms. Send me an email if you're interested in a cotton field mini session and you'll be the first to know all the details. There are 4 spots available.

FALL FOLIAGE sessions will be held from 3:30 - 5:30 p.m. on October 28 in Madison, AL. There are 6 spots available. 

Christmas Tree Farm Mini Sessions

TREE FARM sessions will be held on Sunday, October 15 from 3 p.m. until sunset at Trim-a-Tree Farm in Athens, AL. There are 9 spots available.

How to book your mini session:

Visit the shop on my website at www.marycolleenphoto.com/shop. Add the mini session of your choice to your cart and complete check-out. From there, I'll be notified of your purchase and will contact you regarding the details of your session. Payment is due in full at booking for fall mini sessions. A deposit of $75 is required to book Christmas Tree Farm mini sessions.

All mini sessions are first come-first served and sell out fast, so don't wait! 

As always, full collections are available year round for maternity, newborn, family and senior sessions. I hope to see you soon!