Sarah Beth is a senior at Grace Christian Academy and she couldn’t be any sweeter. She plays soccer and has great style! Her sister came along for a few pictures and gave some input on the wardrobe selections too. :) Sarah Beth had her entourage with us for her shoot, and we had a blast hanging around downtown Knoxville finding the prettiest locations for her senior pictures.

Sarah McAffry specializes in senior, family, and commercial photography in the Knoxville, TN and surrounding East TN areas. Use the contact button above or email for booking inquiries.

  • Patti Wallace

    WOW!! These are all wonderful pictures of a beautiful young lady!!! it’s been years since you’ve had pictures done, whether you have big kids or little kids…


I know it seems overwhelming, but I promise It’s so much easier than you think it is. Our family sessions are super fast. So fast that when it’s over you might even think — there’s no way she got any good photos! That’s when you have to trust me. Just wait. When you sit down at the studio to watch your slideshow, you’ll know.

You’ll know that you can’t live without these pictures. You’ll wonder what took you so long. What were you waiting for? That extra ten pounds? We specialize in flattering poses. The braces? You won’t even notice them because all that emotion OOZING out of the picture is what you’ll see.

The smiles, the hugs, the laughter – that’s what these pictures are really about.

The Fall Calendar is NOW OPEN.

We guide you through what to wear, how to prepare and exactly how to pose for classic, timeless, moving family pictures.

Cassie has been hard at work creating this website where you can choose your date and time, add it to your cart, and CLICK. You’re done. That’s it.

No more emailing back and forth. Ain’t nobody got time for that!

You’ll have beautiful Christmas Cards to send to your nearest and dearest. And best of all, you will take a minute to STOP. BREATHE. And be GRATEFUL for the blessings in your life. For the faces you rush by as you head out the door. You will stop and truly see them.

You’ll see the dimple, the eyelashes, the way their eyes get squinty when they’re really happy and can’t help but show it. And you’ll have it in print to remember

The mini sessions will be held on October 17-18, October 24-25 and November 7. Full sessions are held on weekdays. Fall sessions SOLD OUT last year!

Check out the NEW WEBSITE and in just a few clicks you’ll be done!


Mini Session
25 Minutes
at Christmas Tree Farm

Full Session
60 Minutes
at Location of Your Choice

Sign up HERE for the easiest family pictures you’ve ever taken!

If you’re ready STOP, BREATHE, and REALLY SEE the blessings in your life, BOOK NOW!

Kaitlyn Lay is a Class of 2016 Senior at Halls High School, and we had so much fun learning all about her at her styling appointment. Not only is she a runner, but she went to state last year AND is being pursued by Division I schools. How amazing is that?! She is an outgoing and thoughtful girl who isn’t afraid of a little hard work. She’s the perfect balance of strong and athletic yet feminine and stylish. We’re excited to follow your school selection process, Kaitlyn!

Sarah McAffry specializes in family, senior, and commercial photography in the Knoxville, TN and surrounding East TN areas. Use the contact button above or email for booking inquiries.

AD3A3177Day 7 was a busy day for us. Andrew stayed at the guesthouse to catch up on some much needed sleep, and I went all over town with Akbar and two other boys for their birth certificates and passports. One of the sweetest things that day was seeing Akbar show videos of Charlotte and Brooks to the other boys. He is so proud of his brother and sister and had to show them off!
It took most of the day to get the paperwork done, but our agency made it happen. I’m so glad I went to see everything our case workers go through for each piece of paperwork that is required for this process. Getting all of this done in a developing country with unpredictable internet and practically zero electronic systems is a major feat.
 11853870_10153435085321421_1063146682_nOnce we were back at the guesthouse, we decided to go out on our first outing alone to the grocery and to get ice cream. Akbar was so excited about the ice cream that we never imagined it would be his first time trying it. He knew all about it, but apparently had never tasted it before. He asked for pineapple and the waiter said they recommend vanilla for children. Um, sorry! This is his first ice cream and he can have whatever flavor he wants. :)
 Akbar patiently waited, carefully holding his cup of ice cream, for us to get back to the house to try his first bite. Can you believe he hated it?! In a world where you’ve never had anything cold and never used ice, I guess it’s just so foreign that it will take time to develop a taste for it. We’re planning lots of Saturday morning Cruze Farm ice cream tastings to make that happen though!
Day 8 was absolutely the hardest day we’ve had. It started with a medical appointment and an eye doctor appointment. He is great with all the doctor stuff, but he had a meltdown in the waiting room at the eye doctor when I wouldn’t let him have my phone. In our full week together, we had yet to see a single frown, a single tear, not even a hint of sadness. But a few minutes after I said no to the phone, I heard a sound that I will never forget.
It was a cry like nothing I’ve ever heard before. And it lasted for about an hour. He cried so long and so hard that he couldn’t even have his eyes examined by the doctor. I cried about the whole time, too. He wouldn’t let us comfort him or hold him, he just leaned against the wall in the waiting room full of people.
After a few minutes, I realized the cry had nothing to do with the phone. It’s like his already broken heart was being ripped in two before we could really start the work of mending it.
Andrew finally broke through the barrier in the van on the way home only for him to start up again in our room at the guesthouse. I have never felt so helpless. As a mother all you want is to hold your child when they are hurting. For another hour and a half, he screamed and cried and isolated. I gave him the space he demanded, but when I couldn’t take it anymore, I finally tried one more time. This time he didn’t refuse. He let me hold him like a baby. We rocked on the side of the bed and cried some more together until he fell asleep in my arms.
As hard as that day was, and as much as I hope it’s the last time he grieves like that, I see now what progress we made that day. He learned that we will respect his space when he needs it, and that we will sit and grieve with him until he is ready to be comforted.
We’re already a few days out from the hardest day, and all is well. It kind of feels like the bottom could fall out at any moment. I imagine we will take a few steps back once we get home and start the work of adjusting to a new family routine, but Akbar is currently all smiles and giggles and silliness.
This adoption thing is no joke. It is hard and it is painful and it is not the way God intended it. It’s an effect of a fallen world, a world that needs Jesus. We don’t expect smiles and giggles and silliness everyday. We also know that we will never be enough to cover the pain that he has experienced. We pray for God to fill in all the empty places that we can’t fill.
 AD3A3212Akbar’s story is already one of redemption and life and hope. We’re seeing progress hour by hour, for him and for us. Already the joy outweighs the pain tenfold. Already it’s worth it.
  • Janiece

    May God bless you! We love you! You are doing great! Thank you for your transparency and letting me be blessed by praying for you!

  • Audrey Lupisella

    Tears abound from this post. My heart is filled with joy and sorrow alike for this young man and the trials he has had to face his short life. I can only imagine the blessing you have already been and will continue to be in his life ❤ So many prayers for your family on this invaluable journey.

  • Raymie

    Love you so much Sarah! You are such an amazing Mom! Your huge heart is so evident in this post and I can’t even begin to express my happiness for Akbar! That he gets you as his mother! What a lucky boy… I know how lucky you feel and I love how openly you share the struggles that come with opening your heart to love a child that has been so hurt, as your own… But I just want you to know that even on the bad days, I’m sure his little heart feels so lucky to have you. Such a beautiful story

  • Nancy Patrick

    You catch a glimpse. …a faraway look….and you know there is a memory that you are not a part of….and it hurts because you don’t know how to fix something that you don’t know how it was broken. BUT GOD…..those two words can mend, heal and redeem all things. Keep working through it… is so worth it. You guys are amazing!

  • Shawna

    Sarah- you don’t know me or I you, but through a common friend I have stumbled across your bog. My family is in the beginning steps of adoption. Your blog has been so uplifting and encouraging to me. I have tears in my eyes as I read your experience, and as I anticipate ours in the near future. Thank you for openly posting, it has been such a blessing to read .

Our big day in court on Tuesday came and went without much fanfare. I was so nervous before they called us in, but it was over in less than five minutes and we walked out of the door officially Akbar’s parents! He had to stay in the car while we were in there, but after working his charm he convinced Yesochor to bring him up to see us. He’s such a sweetie and can’t go very long without a hug!
We went up to Entoto Mountain to the museum, church and palace but I didn’t hear many of the historical details dragging along this tired boy. We do get some strange looks when we carry him around, but it’s much more efficient than trying to have a conversation each time he stops. Plus we have eight years worth of catching up to do, so sometimes I pretend he’s a baby. Totally normal in the adoption world. It’s all for bonding and attachment!
We stopped for lunch at Rodeo, a Texas themed restaurant complete with cowboys on the walls and BBQ sauce on the table. Akbar has been asking for a burger for days, so he ordered a cheese burger with scrambled egg on top. He would eat eggs for every meal if he could. You should see this skinny boy down a burger!
As soon as we got back to the guesthouse, Akbar started asking, “Shower?” in his most charming voice while rolling his ‘r.’ He loves a warm shower. He’s in an out in 30 seconds flat. I guess it’s what they had to do at the orphanage, but I’m sure he’ll learn to slow down and enjoy it soon. For now we enjoy a laugh watching him frantically washing.
Wednesday began with cultural training at the Bethany office. We learned how to make injera, and we had a coffee ceremony complete with Akbar’s favorite snack, kola. It’s roasted barley and is so crunchy and yummy. We got a big bag to bring home with us!
One of the sweetest moments of the day was learning what Brooks means in Amharic. The way Akbar says it is without the ‘s’ and again with a perfectly adorable rolled ‘r.’ It actually means ‘blessed.’ I hope the first time Akbar heard his brother’s name, he felt instantly connected to him. It wasn’t a strange, foreign word, and I can only imagine how these brothers will be blessed by each other.AD3A3023
In our first days together we realized that though Akbar has some things to learn to keep up with his American peers, he also has a long list of things he knows that we don’t. For example, he taught me a thing or two about how to dry laundry by hand. He can braid better than I can – yay for Charlotte! And he can clean a chicken bone like nobody I’ve ever seen. He is making so much progress with language and I keep telling him how proud I am. He has been through so much loss in his eight years, but he struts around with a smile on his face every day. Can’t wait for him to meet all the people we love!
  • Carolyn E Stinnett

    Every day I look for an update on Akbar and continue to be amazed at how well he has bonded with his parents. Hope you get to bring him home soon! Loving the pictures and seeing his big smile, which seems to be a permanent fixture :)