City Lifestyle

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Meet The Talent

Every month, we strive to put out a magazine that the residents of and visitors to Franklin will enjoy. We simply can't do that without the help of these 15 cherished and valued people right here! Our freelance staff of writers and photographers is an uparalleled group of consummate professionals who go above and beyond to get the story right through their words and photos. 

Kellie Walton Benz

Kellie is a travel and food writer eating and adventuring her way around the world. A former PR pro, Kellie now tells stories related to all things travel – including city guides, hotel and restaurant recommendations, travel hacks and tales of her own adventures (and misadventures). Follow along on Instagram, @kellie.benz. 

Lisa Valentine 

Lisa Valentine is a Nashville-based freelance writer, covering an array of topics including music, lifestyle, travel, and outdoor adventures. She began writing for Franklin Lifestyle in 2021 while traveling on a six-month, cross-country RV trip. Her love of travel has taken her to 30 countries and 36 states across the U.S.   

Susan Baldani

Sue has been writing for City Lifestyle magazines for the past few years and loves promoting small businesses and nonprofits. She also enjoys highlighting people, home décor, food and more for magazines across the U.S., Canada, and the UK. She lives in New Jersey with her husband, Steve, and two mischievous black cats named Boo and Grover.

Ed Atlas

Ed Atlas enjoys finding great stories about ordinary people and presenting them to our readers every month. He’s been a copywriter for a Fortune 500 company and a publicist for three NCAA Final Four basketball teams. He’s also a founding member and guitarist for Velvet Dogs, a Nashville cover band that plays everything from Carly Simon to Megadeth. Guess what? They’re for hire!

Linda Dohse 

When Linda isn't writing (which is her number one passion!), you'll find her teaching, enjoying the great outdoors, and spending time with her family including her three rescue kitties. She lives by the words of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., "If I cannot do great things, I can do small things in a great way."

Brianna Melanson

Brianna is a writer and local guide. She is passionate about showcasing small businesses with the magic of words-and creative Instagram posts. Originally from Upstate New York, Brianna is proud to call Nashville her home. Fueled by local coffee, she’s always shopping in charming boutiques and discovering fun events. She works full-time as a copywriter for Picket Homes. After a long day of work or exploring, she loves coming home to snuggle with her dachshund, Dolly. 

Jessica Wayman 

Jessica was born and raised in Nashville, attended David Lipscomb and Lipscomb University, and now has a career in the court system. A lover of music, history, all things Southern, and Franklin, Tennessee, Jessica enjoys exploring and writing about Middle Tennessee, old and new, in her spare time.

Christina Madrid

Christina has been writing for City Lifestyle since August 2022. Before moving to Tennessee, Christina worked as a Communications Consultant for Booz Allen Hamilton in Stuttgart, Germany while her husband served in the U.S. Marine Corps overseas. They moved with their two daughters to Franklin in 2020 and have no plans to move again! Christina now works in communications for HNTB.

Jennifer Bennhoff

Jennifer grew up in Texas and California and worked as a writer and photographer in NYC for 28 years before settling in Franklin. She’s grateful to be “American by birth and Southern by the grace of God.” She believes that everyone has a story to tell and recently launched Franklin Friends, a social media page highlighting members of our friendly community.

Dawn Burns 

Lifestyle blogger Dawn Burns calls Nashville home, where she is a mother of two and wife to husband, Seth. Dawn has always had a growing love for community and an even stronger passion for families traveling to her beloved city. Striving to connect others with the happenings in Music City and all it has to offer, Dawn is the face behind The Nashville Mom, a resource for families to discover the best restaurants, shops, kid-friendly activities and events in town. Dawn also loves sharing about travel, home, books and favorite brands from across the south. 

Sarah Skates 

Sarah has been a writer and editor in the Nashville music business since 2004, previously spending most of her career at MusicRow magazine. She is currently a freelance journalist, as well as a contributor to The Change Agent*cy. She is a native of LaFayette, Georgia and lives in Brentwood. 

Ashley Hutcheson 

An avid runner, Ashley is a Nashville native, wife and mom of both two and four-legged kiddos. A self-proclaimed foodie, she also enjoys furniture restoring, traveling, concerts and the lake. After a long career in Human Resource Management, this Father Ryan and Indiana University Alumni moved to a more creative career as a freelance writer.


Deb Scally 

Deb is a studio portrait and lifestyle branding photographer based in Brentwood. A former magazine editor and journalist, Deb’s passion is now creating beautiful and authentic stories of people and their lives through artistic, contemporary portraiture. When she’s not behind the lens, you’ll find her practicing and teaching yoga or at home snuggling with a book, a cup of tea, and her two cats. 

James Williams 

James' photography experience started with his dad who gave him a passion for photography from elementary school age. He used to give James his camera and ask him to take pictures of anything he could find. His passion started growing year after year after he got his M.S degree and worked as an art director for many magazines, and a photographer for many national and international clients. He started doing wedding photography after he got the required skills and experience for this great responsibility. Delivering good wedding and family-related pictures is a continuous challenge, always seeking a smile on his client’s face and hearing “We love our pictures.”

Sarah Bishop 

Born and raised a Carolina girl, Sarah moved to Music City in 2018 where she is a wedding, portrait, and lifestyle photographer. When she’s not behind the camera, Sarah enjoys being in the kitchen whipping up something sweet, diving into the latest and greatest binge-worthy show or taking a spontaneous road trip to, well, anywhere!

Teresa Cartner

Teresa is a long-time resident of Middle Tennessee. She has had a passion for photography since she was in her teens. Captivated by everyone’s story, she has an enthusiasm for capturing life’s moments with her camera and helping the subject feel comfortable and have fun being photographed! See more at 

Danielle DelValle

Danielle is a freelance photographer in Nashville. She has a bachelor's degree in commercial photography from AIA, and specializes in product, portrait, lifestyle and entertainment photography. She is also a freelance photographer and editor for Getty Images.