Austin Family Portraits

Why Fall is the Best Season for Family Photos in Texas

About three years ago, after gaining a new writing client, I thought it was time to finally get some
professional headshots taken. The timing was perfect. I was updating my website and had created some
marketing materials so things were falling into place.  Everything was great, except for the fact that it was
the end of June, in Texas. Of course, the photoshoot needed to be outside to catch some of the amazing
natural light, which meant that I spent about three hours in the sun on a 103° day. Keeping the river of
sweat on my forehead from photobombing my professional shots proved to be more work than the mile-
long hike it took to get to the location of the shoot. I survived that shoot, but later on I thought about how
it could have easily been avoided had I planned for a shoot in the cooler months. Hopefully this post will
convince you to do the same.

So, Texas is finally getting some fall weather, which in the South typically means anytime the
temperature drops below 70 degrees.  Southerners have waited an excruciatingly hot six months (yes, six
months) of summer for these cool days. Now is the perfect time to get out there and take those family
photos. Why wait until the winter season to have your holiday card photos taken? Here are a few reasons
why the fall season is best time to line up little Timmy and Tanya or Rufus the labradoodle outside and
create photos that will last a lifetime

 

Tahoe family portraits

1. You Won’t Melt into a Puddle of Sweat.

Please see my story above.  Let’s face it, it’s hot as Hades in Texas between the months of June-October.
 Around the end of October we finally start to see glimpses of what I like to call, “Cold Front Season.”
 It’s not quite a normal fall in terms of getting cold and staying that way, it’s more like a cold front that
drops temperatures below 70 degrees for a few days, and then it jumps back up to 85°-90°. Either way,
you have to take advantage of the ability to actually sit (or stand) outside for longer than 30 minutes,
which means the photo shoot won’t leave you burned and applying aloe vera to your skin several days
later.  You can actually pick a shoot location outdoors and get some great natural lighting without melting
your face off!

family photos

2.  The Colors Duke, the Colors!

Summer is nice, but in Texas it tends to get so hot, that things just turn brown and die without some
diligence in watering. However, fall seasonal colors are the best.  The foliage is no longer getting beat up
by the unbearable summer sun and the leaves finally begin to realize that winter is coming.  What that
means for you is that there are lovely colors everywhere, and lovely colors mean lovely pictures.  Because
fall colors tend to be neutrals, you can color coordinate to your heart’s content.  In addition to the color
coordinating, the weather is cool enough to add in some additional matching accessories.  Try hats,
mittens, gloves or scarves for additions to your holiday card.

3. Holiday Props

In addition to cooler weather, the fall season welcomes in what the internet lovingly refers to as
“HallowThanksmas,” or the season in which we celebrate or prepare for Halloween, Thanksgiving, and
Christmas/other holidays. What this means for you is that you have the ability to use lots and lots of props
of your choice in your photo shoots. Feel free to pull out that Menorah and Dreidel, plant yourself in a
pumpkin patch or pull out the famous ugly Christmas sweaters and lawn snowman. Try variations of all
of those things if you are feeling adventurous this year.  Just know that fall is the perfect season to take
advantage.

Hopefully this article encouraged you to go ahead and book your family photoshoot now. Take advantage
of the cool breezes, the awesome fall colors and the opportunity to pull out the Christmas tree early.  The
cool weather might not last for very long and come Christmas, we may very well be looking at a sunny 90
degree day.

Tahoe Family Photos

Plymouth CA Same Sex Wedding

Interviews: The Texas LGBTQ Wedding Experience

June 26th, 2015 was a day that changed the lives of many people in the United States. It was one of those days, that ingrained into many people, the memory of exactly what they were doing when they heard the news. For a few of my friends in Texas, waiting on the state to make same-sex marriage legal was beginning to feel like a hopeless dream but that Friday changed it all. On June 26, 2015, The Supreme Court of the United States legalized same-sex marriage in all States and tears of joy, excitement, and hope were shed all around. Once they heard the news, couples could finally begin making those long-awaited ceremony plans. From where to find wedding photographers who shared a vision for their wedding (like…ahem, Lauren Lindley), to which traditional wedding aspects they should include. One of my oldest family friends was one of those couples who began planning. So, in honor of the recently celebrated Pride Parade in Austin, TX, I asked her and her close friend to share their Texas LGBTQ wedding experience. I believe these stories will help all couples find some joy, hope, advice and encouragement from reading.

LGBTQ Wedding Experience

Liz and Traci
Wedding Date: Dec 10th, 2015
Venue: Private Estate Backyard

How long have you been married? 1 year and 9 months

Tell me how you met. We met in Jr. HS. Liz asked Tracy to the Valentine’s Dance. Tracy said yes!

Was there an official proposal? If so, who Proposed? Yes! Liz proposed in California on Sunset Beach, at sunset. (I’ve been chasing Tracy for years. It was only appropriate to finally propose). We were also pregnant and thought we should act fast just in case something was overturned.

Did you decide to get married pre-supreme court decision or post?   We wanted to before but we were also expecting a baby. To protect my (Liz’s) rights, it seemed logical to rush it more than we originally had discussed.

Did that ruling affect your decision? Yes, to get married sooner rather than later. We were really worried it wouldn’t stick and hoping we could get grandfathered in.

LGBTQ Wedding Experience

Did you both want to have a wedding?  If not, why not?  Yes, but we dreamed of more of wedding ceremony with more family and friends present and not so much
of an elopement.

Were your families accepting of a wedding? If not, what were some of their concerns? Yes, our families were totally good with it. They were only sad they couldn’t all be there.

Did you decide on a big or small wedding?  Why? We did small for sake of time. We plan on throwing a bigger one at our 5-year anniversary.

Did you bring the standard traditions into your wedding (Ex: Father/Daughter Dance, throwing of the bouquet, etc.)? No, but we did write our own vows, and Tracy’s daughter held the rings.

LGBTQ Wedding Experience

Were there any new traditions you started? I’m not sure. We wrote our vows (not sure if that’s traditional or not), we had everyone we knew involved in some way at least. Sister-in-law signed our marriage certificate with the county, best friend was the officiant, our other sister-in- law was our photographer, we used our friend’s backyard, and our other friends made some yummy foods for after.

Did you have any vendors or did you completely do it on your own? Why? Completely on our own. Mostly because it was small and not necessary to use vendors.

Did you come across any discrimination during your planning? No, even getting our marriage license in small town Lampasas, just so Tracy’s sister could sign it, was still very welcoming.

Did you feel like you were treated like a heterosexual engaged couple? We just felt like a couple getting married. That’s all we ever wanted.

Tell me about your wedding day.  How did you feel after it was over? It was short and sweet. Even as I (Liz) was running a 103 temp, I still couldn’t be happier to look Tracy in the eyes to say I’d love to spend my life with her.

What tips would you give other same-sex couples preparing to plan their wedding in Texas?  Don’t give in to hate.

LGBTQ Wedding Experience

Prior to this interview, I had never heard Liz and Traci’s complete story but I will say that any couple can walk away from reading this with a few beautiful takeaways.

1. Elope!

(Just kidding, well maybe but definitely hire a photographer if you do)! But I think the takeaway from elopement is if you find love and you know, go for it. Life is unpredictable and if you wait for the perfect moment, you may never have it. See the opening and take it.

2. Even though Texas is a conservative state, most people are still good.

Texas gets a bad rap for being politically conservative and when it comes to politics and politicians that may be true, but the great thing about actual Texans is that they believe in decency and respect and most residents will still make sure you feel that.

3. Involve people who love and accept you in your wedding.

This day should be about you and your love, don’t allow people to come in and bring dark clouds to your special day. Don’t give in to another person’s hate. Surround yourself with love.

LGBTQ Wedding Experience

Trinity Overlook Park Portrait

Bishop Arts District Engagement | Dallas, TX | Ashley + Tim

I was thrilled when Ashley and Tim told me they were interested in having their engagement session done in my hometown of Dallas, TX and even more ecstatic when they picked the shooting itinerary that I secretly was the most excited about: a romp around the Bishop Arts District in Oak Cliff.  I’d been wanting to photograph a Bishop Arts District engagement session for years because of it’s quaint shops and bright colors and textures.  I had a feeling that it was going to be fun, urban and colorful and it totally paid off.  I always like to start sessions off with an adult beverage and this one was no different.  Unfortunately, our original plan was to meet at the uber colorful and outdoor space of the Foundry but I arrived to discover it was closed for a special event.  Womp, womp.

Instead, we ended up at the beginning of the district at Parker Barrows, which had fantastic open windows, local beers on draft, and cool subway tile.  We wandered our way through the district, stopping when inspiration struck and sampling chocolate (a must do!) at Dude, Sweet Chocolate, where the employee went above and beyond to let us sample almost everything in the shop.

We finished up at the Old Kemp House where local artist Eric Mancini has given it his colorful make-over and created a work of art.  There was a swing!   Finally, we drove over to the nearby Trinity Overlook Park to capture some golden hour goodness and the Dallas skyline.

No trip of mine to Dallas ever goes without a stop at Fireside Pies for dinner, usually in the company of my mom and her sisters.  My aunts weren’t available but Ashley and Tim accepted my invitation and we had an awesome evening over amazing pizza and great wine!

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Austin Family Portraits

Austin Family Portaits | The Hilder Family

Sometimes the stars align and shit just works out.

The day before I was set to fly to Austin to photograph Lisa and Michael’s Mercury Hall wedding an old friend and former co-worker reached out to me on facebook, asking when the next time I was coming to town was going to be.  They wanted family portraits while their youngest, Ranger, was still a roly-poly mess of adorable babyness.  Conveniently, I was basically en route and we scrambled together to find a time to meet while I was there.  When the world feels totally random and chaotic, there’s a sort of beautiful poetry in everything coming together just like that.  I guess that’s fate.  I am so thrilled I was able to see Stephen after so many years (10?!?) and meet his amazing rockstar wife and accommodate their request some awesome Austin family portraits for their family.  I had a blast!  Their eldest son, Maverick, is a spitfire of spunk, sass and hilarity.  He was pure entertainment the entire morning: hooting like an owl, spraying like a skunk, and generally just strutting his stuff.  When the internet has me feeling dismayed and sorrowful, all it takes is a few glances at the photos of this family to make me smile.

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Trois Estate Wedding

An Enchanted Rock Trois Estate Wedding | Aaron + Ellen

Nestled in the shrubs and mesquite trees of central Texas, just past the vast pink granite domes that make up Enchanted Rock State Park is a bed and breakfast that is EVERYTHING a traveler looking for a quite respite wants in their bed and breakfast.  The Trois Estate is quiet and picturesque; it’s an eclectic mix of quaint Southwest, comfort, and the downright bizarre, all the while surrounded by the expansive beauty that this part of the Texas hill country has to offer.  The estate’s cathedral is a sight to be seen, with an antique fireplace and wooden pews underground, but what’s really interesting is the attached hidden heated grotto, perfect for a midnight skinny-dip.  You didn’t get that idea from me!

The resort offers an intimate, relaxing experience in one of the most beautiful parts of Texas and I can’t imagine a more perfect place for Aaron and Ellen to wed at.  Aaron has been a prolific climber for as long as I’ve known him (which is a long time) and Ellen is a climbing convert and an avid trail runner.  They were seeking an cozy private venue for a small wedding and the Trois Estate was the perfect location.  Most of the guests were able to stay on-site (we had the run of the place).  The ceremony was held in an enclosed tree-filled outdoor patio, a cocktail hour on an upper outdoor deck overlooking the landscape as the sun set and the dinner in a private interior dining room filled with large overbearing furniture filled with Texas charm.  It was a dream venue to photograph at as well and my only regret is that I had such a busy weekend (three weddings in Texas in three days!) that I wasn’t able to sincerely enjoy the awesome that this quiet location and landscape had to provide.

The wedding was simple and absolutely reflective of Aaron and Ellen and their personalities.  It was attended by immediate family and the closest of friends only and followed up with an amazing multi-course BBQ meal from Chef Jay and his incredible staff at Chef Jay Events.   I can imagine a more beautiful, touching and poignant way to celebrate the love of two people I hold dear and I’m honored to have been able to photograph their day.

Here’s a few of my favorite frames from their Trois Estate wedding.

Venue: Trois Estate at Enchanted Rock | Officiant: Rob Lohmeyer | Catering: Chef Jay Events | Bride’s Dress: Badgley Mischka | Groom’s Attire: Joseph Abboud | Hair and Make-Up: Brandy Pate of Jay and Co | Rentals: Whim Rentals

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Winspear Opera House Engagement

Winspear Opera House Engagement | Whitney + Richard | Sneak Peek

These two are quite the pair.  Self described as “reversed” from the norm, Whitney wanted nothing to do with engagement photos… at first.  Two days later, she’s posting on her facebook about how excited she is to see them.  Apparently, I’m fun to hang out with but they are the real fun: Whitney and Richard will jumping at the chance to climb, roll, run, and acrobat through their two hour session, which started out with drinks at The Mansion Bar, in The Mansion at Turtle Creek, a location significantly fancier than the three of us put together.  I was immediately in love with both of them and I can’t wait to force them to be my new Dallas friends.

Until I’m done, here’s a few images to hold you over from their awesome Dallas Winspear Opera House engagement session.

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San Antonio Wedding Photographer

San Antonio Wedding Photographer | Los Patios | Jimmy plus Karlie

I’ve known Jimmy his entire life.  He’s been in heaps of trouble with my brother on multiple occasions.  I’m pretty sure that my mother claims that Jimmy, BC and the two ushers from the wedding, Teddy and Josh, once broke her couch.  They are rabble rousers, party animals and dancing fools with veritable hearts of gold – all three of those boys.  I’m so honored that Jimmy and his bride to be, Karlie, choose me as their wedding photographer.  I can’t imagine a better honor than photographing the wedding of my brother’s best friend.

Jimmy has grown into such a handsome young man and Karlie is as sweet as can be.  They picked an absolutely amazing venue for their wedding: an oasis of calm, lush greenery in the middle of San Antonio.  She completed it with adorable DIY details; all the flowers, table arrangements and decor (including the cake toppers) were designed and created by Karlie herself.

The dance party was epic (especially since my own mother was there).  If you ever wanted proof that mad dancing skills runs in the family, look no farther than Jimmy and Karlie’s wedding album.  There was a dancing recessional at the end of the ceremony, Shiner on tap, midnight waffles, and a literal FIGHT for both the garter and bouquet.

Thank you Jimmy and Karlie for choosing me to be your San Antonio Wedding Photographer.

Your wedding was full of win and awesome.  Your wedding was so full of win and awesome that there are way too many photos in this post, but I couldn’t bear to leave any of my favorites out.  Did I mention DANCING RECESSIONAL?!  

I would really prefer it if ALL my couples would henceforth have a dancing recessional.  It’s my new favorite thing.

Venue, Catering and Day of Coordination: Los Patios | Cake: Meemo’s Bakery | Flowers: Travis Wholesale | Dress: Wedding Dress Bee

San Antonio Photo Booth | Jimmy plus Karlie

Jimmy and Karlie wanted a party for their wedding and you know that I’m a firm believer that no party is a true party without a photo booth.  As such, I shipped all the gear down to San Antonio for their beautiful wedding at Los Patios.  Although I’m still working on their wedding photos, here’s a few of the photo booth photos from the evening.

If you were a guest at Jimmy and Karlie’s wedding, you may view the entire gallery via this link.  As always, I will leave a permanent link over on the 2014 Photo Booth page.

Crossfit Photography, Crossfit Promo Photos, Crossfit Texas, Austin Commercial Photography

Austin Freelance Photographer | CrossFit Texas Sneak Peek

I’m so excited for my friends Liana and Terry Collie!  They are following their dreams and just bought a gym after their own passion: CrossFit Texas in Pflugerville.  Since I was traveling all the way to Texas to shoot a San Antonio Wedding a few weeks ago, they requested that I make a stop in Austin to help with new marketing photos for their small business.  Here’s a sneak peek of what’s to come!  Congrats to my friends, whose awesomeness knows no bounds.