Austin Family Photography: In-studio session

I bought myself a new 9’ backdrop last Friday. Now listen, I’m not the type to buy myself new things very often… especially kind of expensive new things. But after a lot of hemming and hawing on the color and texting Briley and finally making her decide for me, I settled on “Pecan” for this cute little family shoot. What a great neutral. I did manage to let it unroll itself WAY too much accidentally because I got a little arrogant and convinced myself I could set it up on my own. It ended up getting pretty wrinkled and kinked on the end. Oops. But it worked out! And I have some major heart eyes for this fam. L & T were in my class when I worked at the Montessori school (5 YEARS AGO!). They’re taller and 10000% hilarious and hate having their picture taken as much as the next person but we all had fun I think and now we have some cute photos to last them a lifetime.

Dear Universe,

More studio family shoots, please <3

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Merciful Heavens at Scholz Garden

There’s something about black and white 35mm that just begs to be used during live music performances. This Cinestill BWXX film has been blowing my mind lately. What a beautiful film. Just the right amount of snap, crackle, pop to tug at my heart strings. Thank you to my friends, Merciful Heavens for inviting me to come by and snap some photos during your show!

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Black and White Portrait Session in Austin, TX

Sometimes a simple black and white portrait session is enough to set your heart ablaze. For a while there I was feeling burned out on black and white images. I thought that color images were really where my heart and soul were. But oh my, was I wrong. Don’t get me wrong. I love color film—it’s a big part of my creative vision, but black and white can tell a story that color cannot. It leaves so much more to the imagination— it’s more of a whisper than a shout. For this shoot, MD and I channeled our inner Jeff Goldblum and Cole Sprouse and Nico Tortorella. And let me tell you— it worked. Also, MD is a really fantastic assistant, so when I get nervous and make weird mistakes that are 100% avoidable and very DUH, they are there to make me feel competent and confident again. I have known them for more than 10 years now (which is crazy to think about). They are a really good friend and I’m grateful I get to be their go to photographer.

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Welcome Braxon!

Courtnie and Bradley have done an exceptional job making the cutest babies. I mean, just stinking look at ‘em! What a precious family. I am so glad that they invited me into their home for this little welcome home, baby boy photoshoot! It has been a real treat to watch this family grow and I cannot wait to see what the future holds for them.

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Serendipity: A Surprise Summer Wedding

I just love love. This summer I had the opportunity to photograph a wedding in the woods under the strangest of circumstances.

You see, it all started with a small, scared dog. A longhaired dachshund to be exact. Named Lambo. He had escaped from his family’s group campsite and gone on quite an adventure in the woods before running out in front of the car as if to say “Excuse me, have you seen my mom and dad?”. Before too long (and before it got too dark) we returned him to the camp where he came from and were offered a spot to set up the tent in exchange for bringing Lambo home. We gladly accepted because we were running out of daylight to find a good spot and the people were so warm and gracious.

While setting up camp a few people came over (we learned later were the Groom, his brother and sister in law) to check in on us and see if we needed any help, and also to thank us again for bringing their baby home. I know personally how crushing it can be when a pet gets lost and we were just so happy we came across him as well! Like I said, it was getting dark pretty quickly and he would have been in a real pickle had we not come along and picked him up. Serendipity. They mentioned that there was a wedding happening the next day. To which we quipped “Ya got a wedding photographer for this wedding?”

“Actually…. no! Do you want to do it!?” An opportunity we couldn’t really turn down, right?! DUH!

The wedding the next day was meant to start around 2pm but ended up starting around 5:30 or so— much to our photographic benefit because by that point the lighting had gone golden and warm and shimmery just the way I like it. We spent some time milling around talking to the guests who all had beers in their hands and were ready to celebrate. By that time the story of how a wedding photographer just happened upon an impromptu wedding in the woods by way of a little brown dog. It was a good story. For both us and the wedding party. Everyone was so incredibly warm and welcoming and happy to have us there. And we in turn were so grateful to be there and to have a nice place to camp and wonderful people to converse with.

The Bride finally emerged from the trailer and approached the hill where everyone had set up their camping chairs and some ribbon and flowers had been set up for the ceremony. She was just glowing. A simple lace dress with a purple under slip and her hair and makeup beautifully done. Now the glow may have been that golden light I mentioned….but I think it was more just the pure joy radiating out. She was escorted up the hill toward her father who was waiting at the top to walk her down the isle by her many many dogs. (oh yes, the dogs were a big part of the ceremony and that is one of my favorite things every about weddings—- when people make a point to include their furry family members too).

The ceremony was officiated by a good friend of the bride and groom (and the officient’s dog Cosmo who was very handsome in his little tuxedo). It was short— but so so so very sweet. We spenT about half an hour afterward taking the standard family photos for keepsakes and then were welcomed to have some dinner with their family and friends. They had a big cookout. Everyone had made the quick trip up to the mountains and into the forest to see their good friends get married— but the party was not lacking in any way. Music and laughter filled the air and everyone was just grateful to have been a part of it.

I can say that I was also so very grateful. We had just met them the night before—total strangers— but felt like we were a part of their story now and couldn’t have been more moved and amazed by the kindness, acceptance and graciousness of other humans.

I am generally a fairly shy and introverted person… behind the camera… always observing… rarely participating. But they made me feel comfortable and able to come out of my shell a little— that was pretty special.

Thank you again so very much to Kaycee and James and congratulations again!

I had no idea I would be shooting a wedding on vacation… but it’s the most memorable and special one so far.

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atxGALS Summer Art Party

I had the pleasure of joining the atxGALS last night at TOMS on South Congress for their Summer Art Party! atxGALS is a group of women on a mission to empower local female artists and give them a platform to stand on (all while also supporting local non-profits that are aimed at promoting women’s rights and women’s equality). They’re a pretty amazing organization and I was blown away to be invited to attend. Not to mention— they also throw a pretty killer party.

The featured artists at last night’s event were Neena Buxani , Abby Ruston , Allie Eileen , Ella Nilsson , Kristin Moore , Monica Ceniceros , and Whitney Avra . I am floored by these ladies and their talents. All of the heart eyes forever and ever and ever and ever!!!

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35mm: A Love Story

I will always have a soft spot for 35 mm photos. These days I think of them more as point and shoot— snap shot type images as I like to use medium format or digital for bigger projects. But sometimes snapshots are the most fun. And of course, snapshot doesn’t necessarily mean poorly composed or uninteresting— just that it was snapped in the moment. A “love at first sight” type shot. An image for posterity. A friend of mine reminded me recently that it is important to have a good balance of reverence and fun in all things you do. To not take things so seriously all the time. It was a great reminder for my day to day but also creatively. 35 mm does just that for me.

I recently purchased an on camera flash for my Nikon FE and have been playing around with a more snapshot look. I can tell you, I’m really loving the results and it has inspired a much larger project for the coming year.

I can’t wait to share it all with you.

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South Congress Family Photoshoot--Austin, Texas

Spent my morning with Courtney & Bradley and their sweet little one walking up and down South Congress. We stopped for a brunch break down at Cafe No Se, walked all around the South Congress Hotel and stepped into Big Top Candy Shop for a few minutes. I photographed Courtnie and Bradley’s New Year’s Eve wedding almost 4 years ago now and I’m so grateful to be here to capture their family as it grows. It’s always good catching up with old friends and watching them thrive.

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Pesoli Wedding 2018

Catching up on blogs and remembering this backyard wedding. Backyard weddings are wonderful— more people should have them. I photographed a book release party for Christina a few years prior and then a few months before her wedding, I received an email from a mutual friend because Christina was asking if I might be interested in photographing her wedding day as well. It was wonderfully relaxed and a true celebration of their love and the life they have built together. Also, their cat, Dulce, was the best man and if that’s not enough to melt your heart then I don’t know what is.


Just for fun.

I’m the most grateful that I have friends who let me take pictures of them all the time and they never get tired of me asking. It’s a real blessing.

I chose to leave the raw edges on some of these film scans. Film… it doesn’t have to be perfect to be fun, right?

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{In-Home Family Session} Sydney, Michael and Olive

After our last Mommy and Me shoot, Sydney asked me to come back and take a few more family photos. I, of course, said HECK YES. This sweet little family gives me all of the heart eyes in the world and I am so lucky to have been a part of this little moment in their life.

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{In-home family session} Spitzer-Hanks Family

I’m running out of fresh blog ideas lately, so I figured I’d flash back to this one.

Thomas and Stephanie were just about to pick up and move from Austin to a new town. Stephanie reached out to me a few months prior and asked if I would photograph them in the house where they had become a family. And I must say, I felt honored to do so. They are sweet and genuine and hilarious and I loved every moment of the afternoon we spent together.

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Going to the Mardi Gras

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Aaaaand for those who have asked—

Here are some recommendations:

Panola St. Cafe — delicious local breakfast. Crawfish etoufee omelette, anyone?

Cafe Beignet — (slightly) easier to get into than Cafe Du Monde and just as delicious.

Carousel Bar— GREAT bar in the Quarter.

Pirate’s Ally Cafe and Absinthe— Pretty near Bourbon St. but in a nice corner of the Quarter. Also really good selection of Absinthe if you’re into that kind of thing.

Superior Seafood— Best damn happy hour specials in all of North America? .50 cent oysters, y’all!

Jacques Imo’s— Great food. Great service. Great bar.

The Columns Hotel—Good for a lunchtime snack and a quick drink. Really near the streetcar as well, easy to get to.

Verti Mart— a little (read very) pricey… but a really delicious po-boy to take along with you while you wander the French Quarter.

The Garden District— You could wander the streets for hours looking at all of the amazing homes and stopping to look around the historic cemeteries.

Audubon Park—Duh!

Zotz for a funky, friendly coffee adventure or Rue De La Course for a more main stream coffee experience. Both have delicious coffee and pastries.

Jackson Square on a Saturday— for all the tarot readings you could ever dream of.

Of course wander the Quarter (during the day… unless you’re a party hard type)!

Take the streetcar as often as you can and travel by foot. It’s easier to stop and explore— hop into a bar or store.

{{Wedding}}: Kate and Sam tie the knot

Was it a cold, wet day? Yes. My hands felt like both fire and ice. Was it one of the best most beautiful and loving ceremonies I’ve ever been to? Also yes. I only cried a lot. Kate and Sam tied the knot one month and 6 days ago and I’m still swooning over how pretty it all was. The ceremony was officiated by one of their very good friends under an arbor that Sam built. It was in a quiet wooded area and they were surrounded by those closest to them. It was an honor to be invited.