The Magic + The Mess: Holland Williams

As we continue to catch up with inspiring women from around our community, we were thrilled to be able to chat with Holland Williams. Holland is a Birmingham family and interiors photographer and mama of three who we love for the stunning imagery and useful photography knowledge she shares all while keeping it real on instagram. 

Margaret Reed (5 years old) is wearing the Emmy Dress in 4T. Shop Now.

At Home With Holland 

Tell us about your family . . .

I have three children: an 11 year old daughter Chappell, an 8 year old son Collier, and my youngest daughter Margaret Reed, who is 5. They are all three years and one month a part, which was (obviously, if you know me) completely unplanned. 

Our oldest is a very typical first child–a people pleaser, a rule follower. She keeps us all in line. Maybe we should've quit while we were ahead! (Kidding, of course).  

Our younger two are full of spunk and keep us laughing all the time. Coming from a house full of girls, having a son opened my eyes to a world that I didn't know existed. He is messy and fun. He breaks so many things and is 100%  wild, but gives the world's best hugs. My youngest is my heart.  

I'm married to my college boyfriend. We met my senior year of college and have been together ever since. He has a full time job as an attorney, but he helps me so much with the business side of my company. I don't know what I'd do without him. Graphs and charts are so not my thing.

We can relate to this! It’s always nice to have someone around who likes the numbers game when you are more of a creative at heart. 


Holland is wearing the Monica Dress. Shop Now

How are you thriving during the pandemic? What are your favorite parts of each day/week/month? 

The first part of the pandemic, I dove into home improvement projects and deep cleaning. We tackled every project we didn't think we'd ever have time to do. We painted, we landscaped, we checked every box we have been dying to check. Afternoons on the porch quickly became our favorite time of day. The sense of community in our neighborhood is something special, and I'll never forget those evening walks in the first days and weeks of quarantine. We were all there for each other and checking in daily. It was a really cool thing to witness.

How are you struggling during the pandemic? 

As a photographer, I have learned to adapt. Keeping a distance from my clients, changing the lenses that I normally use. . .this caused me to stretch in ways I've never had to or needed to. But in times like this you have to learn to pivot, and I've been trying to do just that.

Could you share some rituals or routines that you’ve created while staying at home? 

 In the late afternoon, our favorite thing to do is sip on tequila in the front yard while we watch the kids play. We might need to quit this habit once our lives regain more normalcy- ha! 

Sounds lovely! Can we join!?

Tell us the story behind your photography business and how it came to be. What’s your favorite part of your job?

When my first child was born in late 2008, I was still struggling to figure out what I wanted to "be when I grew up." My dad, a dentist and professional sports photographer, gave me my first DSLR. I was instantly hooked and started photographing other babies during my first year of motherhood. I read everything I could get my hands on and even sold some of my jewelry to a sketchy pawn shop to buy my first version of Photoshop. I didn't want to owe anyone (including my parents or husband) anything if my big idea was a huge flop. 

What’s one thing you’ve discovered during this time that you hope to keep in your life once things go back to “normal”? 

That in the end, time with the people you love will always be the most important thing in life. It's easy for priorities to get out of whack. I know mine certainly were. I don't ever want to be at that pre-quarantine level of busy ever again. I didn't know how fast we were moving until we were forced to stop.

What’s your #1 tip when choosing outfits for family photos? 

Say no to really bright colors and busy patterns. Everyone doesn't have to match. In fact, you really shouldn't match. Pick complementary colors and something you feel good about wearing.

Love this tip! We are all about the complementary looks. 

Any helpful things parents can bring/do for a successful photo shoot with children? 

Always bring snacks–light colored food, of course! Miniature marshmallows and smarties are good treats. If you have a baby, bring plenty of milk and/or a pacifier. Tell your children you are going to play with a friend. Please don't tell them to say cheese! Let your photographer take the lead. They'll let you know when they need your help–promise! 

Any tips for mama’s at home trying to capture images of their own kids during this season?

Gentle window light is always beautiful. It's a good time to upgrade your phone. The new iPhone cameras are pretty good for every day snaps. 

Shop the Look: Eloise Dress, Margaret Dress, Elizabeth Playsuit, Emmy Dress, Monica Dress

Quick Takes: 

Favorite dinner to make when you’re short on time: We have been grilling anything and everything.

Best take-out you’ve had during the pandemic: Dyrons Low Country in Crestline Village

Best book (or quote!) you’ve read during this time: With everything going on in the world this is one I feel is really important to remember: "No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin, or his background, or his religion. People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love." Nelson Mandela 

Once the world is back to “normal,” I can’t wait to… (fill in the blank!): Have a night away, in a hotel, kid free!

Favorite memory over the last couple months: There have been so many! Strawberry picking was a hit. My youngest learned how to ride her bike without training wheels and caught her very first fish in the same spot as me 20 something years before. We have had lots of quality time and that has been so special.


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