Christine

About Rich Blessings Photography

Rich Blessings Photography by Christine is a family lifestyle portrait photographer in the Knoxville, Sevierville, Pigeon Forge, Gatlinburg, TN area. Specializing in child and family photography, including newborn baby portraits, maternity portraits, children, families, pets, couples, and high school senior portraits. Portraits are done in a classic style with a fresh modern twist, using both natural light or studio lighting.

“No” Home for Christmas

December 23rd, 2016

 

Many in the community of Sevier County, TN will be having a very different kind of Christmas this year.  On November 28, 2016, the beloved Smoky Mountain town of Gatlinburg, TN as well as other areas in the county were ravaged by wildfires which were started in the Great Smoky Mountain National Park near the Chimney Tops trail.

High force winds spread the fires from the park into our beautiful little town and county and over 1400 private homes, rental properties and businesses were completely destroyed. Everyone in our community has been touched by this tragedy and everyone knows a family and most more than one family who lost all that they own in the fires.

Many of the displaced fire families find themselves spending Christmas in a hotel, a friends home, or a home that just isn’t “Home” this Christmas.  Although I know everyone is grateful for a place to stay, nothing is familiar…everything that made “Christmas feel like Christmas” is now gone with the wind and the ash.  Many are feeling that “It just doesn’t feel like Christmas at all”.

In times like these it is best to return to the basics of Christmas to allow our warm, fuzzy feelings of this sacred season to return to the real story and reason we celebrate at all.

We are all familiar with the story of Jesus birth in bible in Luke, Chapter 2.

The story portrays a couple, Mary & Joseph who were simply returning home to their roots in Bethlehem to be counted in a census. Mary was pregnant and in labor but there was no room for them to stay. They were offered a small barn for her to give birth to the baby that would become the Savior of the world.

And she (Mary)  gave birth to her firstborn, a Son. She wrapped Him in swaddling cloths and laid Him in a manger (an animal feed trough), because there was no room for them in the inn.  Luke 2:7

Mary, Joseph, and Baby Jesus didn’t have a comfortable home that very first Christmas in Bethlehem.  They had no material possessions or familiar environment that might bring them comfort.  They had each other, some animals that looked on in the night and a dark, cold barn with a feed trough which became a bed for the newborn baby king..  The Christmas story sounds like a sad situation when you put it that way.  But then there is the part of the Christmas story that takes the whole situation and turns it around into one of comfort, joy, and hope.

Jesus, the babe who we celebrate at Christmas, is our Savior, our Comforter, our Provider and Friend.  He was sent into the world under the most humble of circumstances so that He can identify and relate to every person from every walk of life, beginning with those who have nothing. As a man, He was sent to the cross to die so that in all of our human hopelessness we would have a Savior and the hope of heaven, our eternal home one day.

This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son, Jesus into the world that we might live through him.  1 John 4:9

This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son, Jesus into the world that we might live through him. 1 John 4:9

So, while most escaped the fires with nothing but the clothes on their back, No one escaped without HOPE. If you are feeling like you have no hope this Christmas after losing all of the things and some have lost loved ones you hold dear, I encourage you to turn to Jesus, the baby who was born on Christmas to save the world, who then became the Savior that died on the cross for you and for me so that we can have hope of an eternal home in heaven.

Jesus knows your pain and heartache.  He knows what it is to have nothing and lose everything, even His very life. He is the friend that sticks closer than a brother. (Proverbs 18:24b)   And all He wants is for everyone to come home to HIM this Christmas.

Jesus is our hope and our future.  He will stand beside us every step of the way as lives and homes are rebuilt in Sevier County.

 

For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord , “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Jeremiah 29:11

 Prayer:

Dear Jesus,

Thank you for coming into the world as a humble baby and for your sacrifice so that we can all have hope, even in the most seemingly hopeless situations.  I ask that you bring COMFORT, JOY, and  HOPE to each and every person who has been affected by the wildfires in Tennessee and to all who read this.  Help us to see Christmas for the wonderful miracle that it is…the day that God put on flesh and sent his son to earth as a baby in a humble manger to save the world.  Amen

About the images:

The images used in this post are of  my dear friend Debbie sitting beside the fireplace and what is left of her family home of 40+ years on what has been affectionately named “Miracle Mountain” in Gatlinburg, TN.  Debbie, along with her 91 year old Mama, Ruth, and brother Mark Martin lost everything in the fires.  In a time when many would feel a great sense of hopelessness, this family is a beautiful example of HOPE in Jesus.  As I captured these images which I believe say much more than I can express into words, Debbie began to read such wonderful, comforting words from the old careworn bible.   When you’ve lost everything, but you have Jesus…you indeed have everything you need.  Thank you, Debbie, Ruth and Mark for letting me photograph your property and tell about your beautiful faith and hope in the Lord.   I hope the images and words will bring hope to others in Sevier County.

 

 Ruth Martin is a dear and wonderful friend who has spent her 91 years on this earth writing some of the most beautiful and profound poems I have had the pleasure of reading.  All of the “originals” were lost in the fire, but thankfully the publisher of her book “A Gift of Bluebirds” still had everything in it’s files.  I’m sharing this poem “THE CRADLE AND THE CROSS” that was written by Ruth in December of 1964.

 

THE CRADLE AND THE CROSS

The greatest gain the world has known

Was Heaven’s greatest loss;

Her King was gone! His mission was

To die upon a cross.

To Earth He came, a Babe to be.

No pillow knew His head;

No royal cradle did He choose-

A manger was His bed.

No royal court to welcome Him,

Just Mary’s lullaby,

And humble shepherds from the hills-

(But angels sang on high!)

The heart of Mary pondered o’er

The measure of the cost,

As o’er the sleeping Infant fell

The shadow of a cross.

He’d be a man ‘fore she’d recall

The aged prophet’s word,

But when He hung on Calvary

Her heart would feel the sword.

She could not know that holy night

When star-fire lit the sky,

Her tiny Babe-the Son of God-

Was only born to die.

By Ruth R. Martin

If you’d like to help the Martin Family during their time of rebuilding from the fires, there is a GoFundMe account set up for them at:  http://www.gofundme.com/blessthemartins

 

 

 

Gatlinburg “Before the Fire” Prints to benefit Gatlinburg Fire Victims

December 1st, 2016

 

In the wake of the Wildfires that have devastated many homes and businesses throughout the Gatlinburg and Sevier County, Tennessee area I have decided to offer a set of 5×7 prints that capture the beauty of Gatlinburg before the fires took a toll on our beautiful town and landscape.   Each print was specially selected because the areas they represent have been either destroyed or severely damaged by wildfire.  It is my hope that they honor the beauty that these much loved attractions, nature and lodging facilities held before being ravaged by fire.  

All prints will be printed on professional quality photo paper from a professional lab.  The $25 donation cost includes shipping in the United States.   $20 from the sale of each set will go directly to benefit a family who has lost their home and belongings in the fires.  Prints will ship no later than 12/20/16.  If orders continue after 12/20, they will be shipped as received.  Please note when ordering if you prefer prints without scripture, otherwise you will receive the prints with scripture as shown. 

For a donation of $25 you will receive five  5×7 prints by professional photographer, Christine Romano of Rich Blessings Photography.

Included are the following:

Gatlinburg Walkway

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Gatlinburg  ”The Strip”

Mount LeConte – View from The Highlands Condominiums

 

God, Your God, will restore everything you lost, He’ll have compassion on you; He’ll come back and pick up the pieces from all the places where you were scattered.  Deuteronomy 30:30 MSG

Gatlinburg – View from Sky Lift

Roaring Forks Motor Nature Trail – Gatlinburg, TN

 

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.  Proverbs 3:5-6

Click the button below to purchase and donate:




Smoky Mountain Proposal Photo Shoot

September 1st, 2016

 

 

 

 

Brandon contacted me wanting to surprise his girlfriend with a proposal at Clingman’s Dome in the Great Smoky Mountain National Park.  He also wanted to incorporate their sweet dog into the photo’s…all while keeping a secret.  It was a cold morning and I pretended to be photographing the sunrise and gave Brandon a Thumbs up while she was watching the beautiful view  herself. The moment could not hav

e been more prefect!

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Gatlinburg Family Reunion Portrait Photographer – Great Smoky Mountains National Park

September 1st, 2016

The Childress Family came to the Smokies to celebrate Mom and Dad’s 5oth wedding anniversary.  They chose to have their family portrait made in the the stunning Greenbrier location in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park just outside of Gatlinburg.

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Intimate Cabin Wedding Photographer, Pigeon Forge, TN

September 1st, 2016

 

 

 

 

 

Joel & Jordan were married in Pigeon Forge at a lovely intimate cabin wedding!  This sweet couple was such a pleasure to work with, even though we had a rainy evening everything turned out beautiful!
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Gatlinburg TN Smoky Mountains Cabin & Real Estate Photographer

April 28th, 2016

The “other side” to Rich Blessings Photography  is the Commercial photography of Cabins and Real estate properties throughout the Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge, Sevierville and surrounding areas.  Recently I photographed a 6 bedroom cabin called “Tippy Top” available on VRBO listings.  Absolutely beautiful cabin and the photographs came out beautiful.  If you own a cabin in the Gatlinburg or Pigeon Forge area and are in need of professional, high quality / high definition photographs for your cabin listing, please give me a call!  (865) 325-9241 or email richblessingsphoto@gmail.com

Professional photographs of cabins and real estate in Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge, and Sevierville, TN

Professional photographs of cabins and real estate in Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge, and Sevierville, TN

Professional photographs of cabins and real estate in Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge,

Professional photographs of cabins and real estate in Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge,

Professional photographs of cabins and real estate in Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge,

Professional photographs of cabins and real estate in Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge,

Professional photographs of cabins and real estate in Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge,

Professional photographs of cabins and real estate in Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge,

Professional photographs of cabins and real estate in Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge,

Professional photographs of cabins and real estate in Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge,

Professional photographs of cabins and real estate in Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge,

Professional photographs of cabins and real estate in Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge,

Smoky Mountain Family Portraits – Fall Family Fun!

November 1st, 2015

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I love working with families from all over the country, and the “V” Family was no exception.  This fun family came together to the Smoky Mountains to vacation and decided that family portraits in Emerts Cove near the Great Smoky Mountains National park was a “Must Do”!   I’m always honored when I’m chosen to be a family photographer, thank you for choosing Rich Blessings Photography!1-Vanderbogart101115 2-Vanderbogart101115 3-Vanderbogart101115 4-Vanderbogart101115 5-Vanderbogart101115 6-Vanderbogart101115 50-Vanderbogart101115

Smoky Mountains Anniversary Portraits – Gatlinburg Photographer

November 1st, 2015

Tyler and Teresa have been married for 10 years and wanted to commemorate this special year with couple portraits in Emerts Cove and Greenbrier in the Great Smoky National Park!  Thank you for making Rich Blessings Photography a part of this special time in your lives!  Happy Anniversary!

 

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Congratulations Eric & Jennifer – Gatlinburg Great Smoky Mountains Wedding Photographer

November 1st, 2015

Eric and Jenn had a picture perfect autumn day for their Smoky Mountain Getaway wedding.  Surrounded by family and friends, this couple who have known each other since high school, said their “I Do’s”.   Reverend Tommy Orange of  Sevier County Weddings did a wonderful job officiating.

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Gatlinburg Photographer – High School Seniors Allysa & Hunter

April 14th, 2015

Allysa and Hunter are 2015 Seniors who attend the same school and came to the Smoky Mountains to have their Senior Pictures made!  We had a fun and beautiful late afternoon session taking in the beauty of the Emerts Cove area in Gatlinburg.

 

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