I'm Holli Brown, a natural-light lifestyle newborn, child, & family photographer located in Cleveland, TN. (formerly known as Madame Brown Photography)
When I'm not shooting, I'm loving my home life with my son, Lennon (8), my wonderful husband Lucas (a hair stylist who treats me with haircuts at home), and my 4 dogs (Pomeranian Fasi, 13, Brussels Griffon Wickey, 10, Cockapoo Luci, 4, and Chihuahua Bootsy, 1).
Outside of photography, my passion is in music and song-writing. I grew up playing guitar and singing with my amazing guitarist Dad, Doyle Dykes, and my sisters and brother. My family is my world. <3. This is why photographing families means so much to me.
My passion is in capturing real-life, candid photographs that become treasured memories. I treasure memory boxes. They're like a treasure chest of the sweetest things in my life, including treasured photographs, as my logo depicts. I love to go through them and relive those moments. That is what my photography is all about. Capturing memories for you to look back at and treasure. <3
Q & A
What style of photography do you do?
My work is lifestyle / documentary style. I focus on capturing sweet moments that are not posed. I may have some shots looking at the camera, but overall, I think the most beautiful imagery is natural and unposed.
Who is your ideal client?
My ideal client is one that desires imagery outside of the traditional family portrait. My gift is in capturing memories and connection with those you love... more of a lifestyle/documentary approach. If you like those images, we will be a great fit. :).
Do you have a studio?
No, I shoot all of my sessions on-location or at the client's home (for lifestyle newborn sessions).
What kind of gear do you shoot with?
I am a Nikon lover (though I did have a Canon film camera years ago that I loved). My first digital DSLR was a Nikon, and I have built on that for years.
Do you pose your clients?
My photography is lifestyle and mostly candid-based, full of smiles, hugs, laughing, and having fun. :) However, we still do have some shots looking at the camera.
How long do the sessions typically last?
Newborn sessions can last up to 2 or 3 hours. Family or child sessions are typically around an hour.
Do you Only shoot within an hour or two before sunset?
For beautiful lighting, I prefer to if at all possible. However, if we have a more shaded location, that can be adjusted. Newborn sessions are done in the morning (around 10 a.m.) at the client's home.
What if it rains on our session day?
I will typically go until the day-of to see how the rain will go. I do not want you to have to do a session on muddy grounds, so if it clears up and you'd still like to go, we can, but I like to give the option of rescheduling for that very reason. We will get a new date ASAP that works for both of us.
Do you shoot outside of Cleveland, TN?
Yes I do! However, there is a travel fee involved for certain locations.
When do you do newborn sessions?
I prefer to do them within 14 days after birth.
How many images will I receive?
This varies per session but a minimum of 30 edited images will be displayed in your online gallery.
Are all the images delivered in the gallery edited?
Yes, each image is individually edited.
What do I do with my downloaded images?
Most of my clients prefer the hi-res digital downloads with reprint rights, so that is the service I currently provide. Once you download your images from your gallery, you can choose how and where you'd like them printed. Of course, prints are available directly through the gallery, but if you're printing on your own, I always recommend the company MPIX. They are a great company that has nice pricing and a nice product for consumers. Through this company, you can make photo books, prints, cards, wall portraits, and more. It is a DIY method, where you can be in control of the exact product you want. I am happy to offer professional wall portraits, albums, etc., but this is the most common method my clients prefer. Please do not print at local labs (like Walmart, Pharmacies...), as the prints are not high quality or true to color.
How long will you keep the digital files?
Galleries are up for 4 weeks, and you will need to download the images in that time. I cannot guarantee that after that time I will still have your images. I am constantly adding new sessions and need to free up space on a regular basis.
When will I receive my images?
Around 2-3 weeks after your session (in busier seasons, around 3-4 weeks)
Can I share my images on social media?
Of course! I just ask that no filters or editing of any kind be done to them.
How did you get started in photography?
I spent my childhood in Florida, and I can hardly remember a time when I didn't love photography. I used to take my long rectangle camera with film on school trips and take about 36 exposures of trees. ;). Why I didn't think to photograph people is still amazing to me, but hey, those were some amazing trees I guess.
I wanted to major in Photography in college, but my school didn't offer that, so I did take a couple of classes in it (where I could also develop my own black and white film, which was amazing). I majored in Business with a minor in Spanish & Theology, and I added a Masters in Teaching, but I have never been able to set Photography aside, and along with music, it is my greatest passion in life.
I remember investing in a professional DSLR around the year 2000 or so, and I didn't really know much of what I was doing (just using Program mode), but it felt awesome having it. It wasn't until... (insert typical cliché reply here)... my son was born that everything seemed to change more. People told me my photography was Awesome (Now let's be honest... I have always had the eye for it, but those first images were pretty terrible... except for when I may have gotten lucky sometimes). ;)... but it was Their encouragement that pushed me into starting a business.
I have since immersed myself into everything photography on a daily basis. I eat, sleep, and breathe it... am constantly learning... and believe we can never stop growing to new levels and learning.
A little more about me... :)
I grew up playing guitar and sharing music with my family (my Dad, Doyle Dykes, is a guitarist by profession and calling). Music is such a big part of my life. I would travel all over the country and world with my family and be able to meet so many wonderful people of all walks of life. My sister, Haley, and I were so blessed to spend so much time with Dad on the road together and make the best memories. She will always be my favorite singer. <3.
I went to college for Business, but my heart was in studying photography. They didn't offer that major, but I was able to take a couple of classes, and I truly loved my film class. Developing black and white film is amazing. Seeing the images come up in tray and wet solution is like... well, Magic. <3
Before I started my own photography business, I went back to school to get my Master of Arts in Teaching. This is after I came back from France (I almost lived there for good, but God had other plans). I have taught French in high school, a little Spanish, and English as a Second Language. What do you love the most people ask... I can't deny I have a love for music, photography, and languages... but I must say, my first love was always music... I can't live a day without savoring it... photography is my breath... I can't be ME without it... and languages are something that just intrigue me. I love that I can learn to communicate with words that first sound like jibberish... and after a lot of hard work and dedication... you unwrap them like a gift and see they actually mean something... and you begin to hear it differently... and life then becomes so clear... Isn't that amazing? What was just sounds... is now a message... it has meaning! I love it.
In 2009, the greatest thing ever happened to me. I gave birth to my one and only son, Lennon. He is now 8 and my everything. I'm the kind of Mom that feels she has to capture every little thing... so I can look back and see I didn't miss it... but we have to be careful we're not actually missing the gift of it being in real life right then. I will actually get depressed thinking of how much longer it is until he's 18 and an adult... thinking of him moving out... I have to make myself stop so I can enjoy the NOW. I'm just being real. It's hard. You want your child to stay little forever, and the truth is, childhood is just One phase of our beautiful lives. That's why I'm so keen on capturing it... I want to hold onto it forever... and help you do that, too.
I also have four dogs that are like my children. I even have an Instagram account for them (yep, I'm THAT person). They bring me more joy than you could imagine. I feel like I have five children. Two of them are Senior dogs (13 and 10), and then I have a 4-year-old and 1-year-old. I even taught my Chihuahua to say Mama. If you don't believe me... scroll down on their Instagram feed and find it, lol. We practiced for months and then he just did it. He only does it to get on the couch with me, though. BUT he does it without prompting. I wanted to have another baby so badly, and God, the loving Father He is, is so giving and gave me Bootsy at just the right time and even had him say Mama to me... I believe God has a beautiful sense of humor, don't you?
My husband, Lucas, is a hair stylist. He is always on the top of the report cards at Great Clips (I'm SO proud of him) and plans to have his own Barber shop someday. He does a lot for me that I'm so grateful for and always believes in me.
For fun, I love to get dinner out (like Abuelo's or Chuy's) and then go to a movie or watch a movie at home. Some people might say I'm super-boring, but it's the simple things in life that make me the happiest, and I don't call it boring... I thank God I have the gift of enjoying the small things in life (because they usually mean the most).
I'm a huge Disney fan. I want to LIVE at Disney World. I've been to Disney World (I grew up as a kid in Florida), Disneyland (we used to live in California and travel there often after that), and I've also been to Disneyland Paris (my favorite one, because it feels so beautiful and quaint being in Paris... and the fact that you get to hear the beautiful French language there is just... (aahhhh)
I adore going to my parents' house. I feel like I live there. Playing piano in Mom's beautiful formal living room is healing for me... especially after a super-long or hard day. Mom and Dad lift my spirits so much. Family is my life. I can't imagine living life without them. Each special person in our lives is a gift... from a parent or sibling, husband or child, or a beautiful friend who's there for you when you need them... It all goes back to the amazing design our Father had when he created us. We weren't created to be alone.
I hope that gives you a little more insight into my life. I think it's fun to find out more about a person rather than just a picture and name. I'm sure it will also make a difference in your life to know I love chocolate milk, French fries, hot sauce, and I ask God nearly every day why we have to have fat/calories and why we can't just indulge in food every day without gaining weight... :D. The end. ;)