Saturday, November 22, 2014

Sugars for Sweet Dreams

The hour or so between bathtime and bedtime is by far Sam's happiest, most playful time of the day. Somethin' about feeling all clean and full from dinner and having both me and Daddy all to himself. It's apparently a good combo.

So right after bathtime, Sam actually runs around naked a little bit. This is not on purpose. He's just hard to catch. But one day he's gonna be grown, and he'd be mad at me if I put pictures of that on the internets, so we'll skip to the next parts!

We've been reading books at bedtime pretty much since we brought Sam home. The Going to Bed Book was the first book I read to him. He liked that one for a while. Then we went through a Kiss Goodnight phase. He's a big fan of both Little Blue Truck books. And one of our friends got him the cutest Itsy Bitsy Spider book that he wanted me to read over and over again for about two weeks. I don't think it's exaggerating to say I've sung that song hundreds of times by now.

His first picks lately have been an HEB special called Demolition (it's as boyish as it sounds) and Red Truck. There's also one we picked up at the Cottage in Jasper that sings Jesus Loves the Little Children. That song is probably gonna break the Itsy Bitsy Spider record here pretty soon.

You might be laughing at me thinking that he actually has favorites at his age. But he definitely has pretty strong opinions about which ones he likes and doesn't like. I bought him a cute little copy of Jamberry months ago ('cause I liked it when I was little), and we have yet to get past the first page. No joke, he closes the book every time I start reading it to him. Jamberry was a flop.

So after we had sweet, calm story time tonight,

Daddy got his turn. And we got this:

We're teaching him to read and wrestle early. Both indispensable life skills, after all. At least it gets him good and tired for bed.

He is also a Peek-a-Boo pro. He used to put a bucket on his head and peek out from under it. Now he prefers that his daddy do all the work. He just watches and giggles. I got the sweetest smiles from Peek-a-Boo tonight!

Then we gather up the puppy dogs. They are both necessary for good sleep. (Yes, he's chewing on the first one's tail. He normally carries them by their tails. If we ever get a real dog, we'll teach him not to do that. Promise.)

Then after a "sugar for a sweet dream"

he's ready for bed.

Sleep tight, y'all!


Thursday, November 13, 2014

Oh the Selfies You'll Take!

It's been about a month since we got back from our Fancy Schmancy New York Trip. I have so many pictures. We saw all the things. (And took almost none of them seriously. Just a teaser, Brandi touched ancient history. Stay tuned!) 

But tonight I give you, the Fancy Schmancy Selfie Collection. Some are sophisticated (see if you can spot the Met). Some are whimsical (we saw Matilda). Some gave us away as tourists (selfie in the taxi?) and at least one is in a bathroom that is fancier than my whole house. 

All of them are second takes, 'cause nobody gets the first pancake right. 

God bless, y'all! 


Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Pretty Please!

A lot of y'all follow me on Facebook and already know that I applied for a Chase Mission Main Street Grant. They're giving 20 grants worth $150,000 each. The application process is fairly simple, but the tough part is that I have to get 250 votes by October 17 just to be considered!

I already have 182 votes! I'm so blessed to have so many people who are willing to help me out! But even though that's a ton of support, I still need 68 votes!

I know most of the people who read this blog have probably already voted - so I'm asking for even a little more help! Will you forward this link to any friends and family who have a Facebook account and would be willing to vote for me?

Y'all's support means so much to me! I will keep you updated on my progress! 

God bless y'all,


Sunday, September 28, 2014

Jill & Dean's Engagement Little White Church Engagement Session

I loved everything about this session! First of all, Jill and Dean were so much fun, and if their marriage is anything like their engagement shoot, they will be laughing together a lot! I have a lot of shots like this one:

And more than a few like this one:

He hollers randomly. I think it's something akin to a love language. You don't have to understand it - Jill totally does, so it works.

In between cracking up and trying to get Dean to behave, we took the pretty pictures!

Another reason I loved this session is that Jill's family founded this little church out in Thorndale. She has wanted to get married there since she was little, but her guest list got too long and the small church can't accommodate everyone. So she decided that having their engagement portraits taken here would do.

Deep down roots, belly laughs and pinkie promises...that's what marriages are made of, right? Looks like that's what Jill's and Dean's will be made of!

Congratulations, Jill and Dean!

God bless y'all,


Monday, September 22, 2014

Three Happy People on a SeeSaw

While Michael toured D.C. a couple of weeks ago on a business trip, Sam and I spent the week in my equally exciting hometown of Jasper.

I mean, does D.C. have a Gammi and a Grandaddy who will not only seesaw with you, but also let your momma take a picture of them seesawing with you?

Or help you climb the wrong way up a slide over and over and over again?

Or swing with you? 

Or push you waaaaay high in the baby swing? 

Bonus: There is also an old twisty slide that goes way faster than the stupid new plastic ones. 

Nope. It does not. Jasper wins. 

Monday, September 8, 2014

Throwback Tuesday

I'm mixing it up on y'all. We're throwing it back a little early in the week with some of my favorite images that I've ever taken.

They're special because they're some of my firsts. I took them in college for my one and only photography class at Baylor. All but one of them were taken on film and developed in a dark room, which I really miss. It was so slow. As far as workflow goes, I am grateful for digital cameras! But there's something about something that takes a little time...

I took this one at Mozart's here in Austin. Michael was already living here when I took my photography class, and I drove down one weekend to do a project. I like the conversation going on through the middle window. I caught that on purpose. Totally.

This one was also in Austin - there used to be an antiques store down at 24th and Lamar. The one with the Eiffel Tower in front? Why, oh why, did I not buy this dang top hat?! It was velvet. I love this photo, because you can tell it was shot on film.

Hymnals in the Pioneer Village behind the Mayborn at Baylor. I love it. I wish it was a real church. And I wish you could see which songs they're open to. I don't know if I even looked at that when I took it.

Something else I wish I had bought! At the time I thought it would've been silly to buy just one teacup, but I would drink from it every day and pretend like I am fancy if I had it now. I was proud at the time of my composition and how sharp the lady with the bustle is. Although, I actually had to do this shoot twice. I screwed it up bad the first time and came out with, well, nothing. Blanks. The second time was better. These were at Spice. I go there every time I drive through Waco if it's open.

I think about this picture all the time. It's the only one not taken on film, and I'm pretty sure I just took it with a point and shoot digital camera. The conditions must have been perfect. I love how simple it is. I've always thought of it as "quiet." It's just a quiet picture to me.

Just thinking about where I started.

God bless, y'all,


Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Sleepy Smilin' Sam

Of course, I have about one bazillion pictures of Sam I haven't put up. This is one of my favorites, 'cause he's smiling at me so sweet!

Michael took that picture. My camera is too heavy for selfies. It would at least sprain my wrist!

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Backlog Breaker #1 - Going to the Chapel

I have so much new(ish) work that I'm proud of, and I can't believe I haven't share it here! Hardly anyone has seen some of what I have to show you!

But I'm gonna start with something that some of y'all have already seen. Back in May I did a second styled shoot with Posh Bridal Lounge and a number of other vendors whom I will list for you at the bottom! But I just need to get some photos up and so here's the long and short of it!

We created a little wedding vignette based on the idea of a church wedding with a little glamour.

For example, we had Dessert Divas create some fancy mini-desserts and then displayed them on an heirloom style piece of furniture.

After perusing Signature Bridal's selection of dresses, we very reluctanly narrowed it down to two gowns. This one won out because, besides being beautiful, it also looked stylish and young, but had the sheer neckline to give a little modesty. (Appropriate for a church wedding!)

I love that this church still has pews. I get that the individual seats actually end up seating more people, but I am for pews! They're so much more aesthetically pleasing. What I mean to say is, they're "purdy." Thank you Hyde Park Presbyterian for standing with me on that very important issue!

I am also for our florist adding honeysuckles that were blooming by her back door to our bouquet on a whim. Honeysuckles definitely belong in a bouquet for a church wedding.

If you love our bride's jewelry, it's all from Stella and Dot! Our stylist, Whitney, brought a ton of gorgeous stuff to choose from. It's a good thing I was very busy or I might've ended up buying most of it from her.

I want a cupcake. Specifically one with a handcrafted blue sugar flower on top.

I also considered making Furbish Rentals an offer on this settee. I could find somewhere for it! And I would sit on it just like that all the time. Probably in a gown with a train.

Now see, if churches quit using pews, how will we get this shot?

Newlyweds! (Okay, not really. We were just playing wedding. Just go with it.)

Going to the Chapel in Style! This is Hyde Park Presbyterian Church in Central Austin, and yes! They do rent the church for weddings!

Loooooove Akula Kreative's stationary suite. It was especially designed for us. She mailed it to my house before the shoot, and I was so excited to find something so pretty in my mailbox! If you want to get your guests excited about coming to your wedding, this would definitely get you started!

I think the only vendor I have left to thank is Erin at Rosehip Flora. I gave her a few ideas, but mostly told her our theme and just to "run with it!" Unless you have a super-specific idea of what you want, I think that's what you should do with your florist! It was so fun to see what she came up with! 

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Sam's First Photo Bomb

I guess Sam got jealous of Buddy Ben's mad modeling skills:

and decided to sabotage him.

Sorry, Sam. Buddy Ben is unflappable!

We just changed locations and kept on shooting! We couldn't let these beautiful blue eyes go undocumented: 

It's okay, Sam. He seems to also be pretty forgiving.

Good qualities to have in a buddy! Thanks for letting me take your picture, Ben!

Thursday, May 15, 2014

What I Do

A wise person recently told me that no one is going to book me if they don't know what I do. 

I know almost nothing else about this person except for that he said that and that I was pretty. I don't care who it comes from, that is nice to hear even if you are covered in bananas and/or rice cereal and it's clearly being said to cover the initial "ew" face that he made. I will take it and thank you very much for it. 

I would've thought the first thing was smart anyway. I don't have a huge advertising budget, but Facebook is free, right? While I don't want to be the person who is constantly reminding you that you need photos or offering a bi-daily special that nobody is paying any attention to, I do actually get the question, "Now what do you do?" a lot. So here it is. 

I am a wedding & portrait photographer. See? 

The next question people ask me is "what's your style?" 

Ohhh, I'd say I'm mostly Southern with a little bit of "street" thrown in. You know how it is. 

Just kidding. Seriously, I should start blogging earlier in the day before I get stupid. 

My wedding style is called fine art photography. That sounds like I'm just saying that I'm kind-of fancy pants. I totally am fancy, but that's not what it means. 

A fine art wedding photographer combines candid shots that capture the important moments of your day with more stylized, directed shots that convey the emotion and thoughtfulness that have made your day the unique experience that it is. 

While I hope you completely forget about me during your ceremony, I’ll step-in during your first portrait session as husband and wife to position you in the best light, so that it looks like you’re basking in the glow of your brand new marital bliss, and turn you just so, to present you as the sweetest, happiest couple ever, while also ensuring that your dress drapes perfectly around you. Lighting, composition, color, movement and mood – I’ll use all of these things to create a cohesive, artful collection of images that conveys who you are as a brand new married couple.

Brides often ask if I have a standard set of shots that I make sure I catch at each wedding. Why yes, yes I do! I won't write out the whole list for you here, but it consists of the big moments. The bride walking down the aisle, the kiss, first dance...all those "memory maker" moments. Then there are those details you've agonized over for the past year! You agonized over these because you wanted your wedding to represent the two of you as a couple. I get that. And I'll get those shots! 

But shooting an actual wedding is different than shooting for a magazine spread! You have a ton of family and/or friends who showed up to celebrate with you! We can't risk letting you forget your uncle tearing up the dance floor, your college roommate catching the bouquet or your sweet flower girl twirling her little heart out! 

I like bold color. 

Sometimes I like black and white. 

I love to shoot getting ready photos! 

I'll let you know if your bra strap is hanging out. 

I hope you picked awesome shoes. I love a good shoe shot.

I can design a custom wedding album for you.

I can help you choose canvases for a gallery wall if you prefer. 

So that gives you a good idea of my wedding style. We'll cover portraits another day. I hope that answers at least your first two questions! Call me if you have more!

God bless, y'all!