Travel Sessions!

Our family of four is known for being a little over the top with road trips. We regularly drive to New Orleans (8 hours from Austin), Colorado (21 hours), and South Carolina (24-ish hours) to visit family, and in the past few years our road trips have taken us to Minnesota, Wisconsin, San Francisco, San Diego, and all the places in between. We're lucky that the kids like the car, don't mind stopping to stretch legs and have a snack, and tolerate being hauled out of the car so we can stop at historical markers (Super Fun Parents of the Year, that's us!). This past spring, we started talking about what summer would look like, and decided to road trip up to visit our friends in Minnesota, and then detour a bit as we headed to Pawleys Island for our usual summer destination. We figured out our travel dates, then I tossed those dates out on Twitter and Instagram to see if anyone might like photos done while we were passing through their areas - and I was able to photograph five families on the road! Some I had met before, some I had not, but by the time I left St. Paul, Milwaukee, Chicago, and Knoxville, I was basically making plans to come back and see these fantastic people just to hang out with them. I truly had the best time! To Alexa, Sarah, Katie, Liz, and Marianne, thank you so much for introducing me to your beautiful families and for making me feel so at home! And thank-you to Amy for having us all over to dinner in IL - we are going to make that family session happen someday soon, I promise. (Adele says "Can we play in Elm's tree hideout again?") Sarah, my girls are campaigning HARD for a trampoline after visiting your house. And Marianne, my children basically want to move into Lulu's playhouse with her, so if you hear weird noises out there, don't be worried...  and thanks for the wonderful dinner, wine, and conversation. 

I'm excited to share just a few previews from these gorgeous families!

Summer Sisters Sunset Swim

Spending time on Pawleys Island, SC, has always been one of my favorite things to do. My family has been vacationing here for over 100 years (at least our first recorded photo on the beach here is of my grandmother's grandfather in the late 1800s) and we still come every summer. 

It's been ridiculously hot lately, and though the house does have air conditioning, we only turn it on at night to make the sleeping a little easier. So last night after dinner, my girls decided that they wanted to take an evening swim. There's nothing quite like beach light at sunset. 

Fall Favorites

Fall is always a bit crazy, and this year was no exception. Despite the winter coming early this year (it was 36 degrees this morning! What?!) I had some fantastic sessions with favorite clients again these past couple of months. I don't want to give away anyone's holiday cards, but I think I'm safe with sharing a few other shots. Thanks to everyone, especially the littlest ones, who tolerated the camera so well. ;)

September 11

I lived in New York City on September 11. It's something I feel odd discussing, because I had only moved there two or three weeks before that date. I had an apartment, and a job, and I was a brand new transplant. So when the date comes around each year, I can't feel but that I was an impostor to be witnessing this unreal happening in our nation's history. I didn't know anyone personally who was lost that day. I had been down there a few days before (my landlord's office was down there and I had dropped of a rent check, I think), and so my only connection with that area of the city was proximity. So I don't feel like it's my story in any way, shape, or form. 

But I lived there, and I ran home through Central Park and saw abandoned baby strollers. I smelled burning for weeks, and saw photos of missing people posted on every lamppost and subway station wall, and wiped down the fine sooty ash that deposited itself in every crack of our apartment. I flinched for months when planes flew overhead. It isn't my story, but it's one that affected everyone who saw and witnessed. 

Remember. Remember to honor those who were lost. 

{Photos taken on film at the 9/11 Memorial in October 2013, when I visited NYC with my dear friend Andrea, with whom I lived on September 11, 2001.}

Strawberry Picking at Sweet Berry Farms

We've had a pretty great (if chilly!) spring here in Texas, and a few weeks ago the girls and I went strawberry picking out in Marble Falls, Texas, with a few of my fellow film shooter friends and their kids. The kids had a great time picking berries (and, in Adele's case, eating them as she picked her way through the rows), ate homemade strawberry ice cream, jumped on giant inflatable pillows, petted goats and fed them some berry stems, and generally had a great time. For more photos on film of our day, head over to my friend Heather's blog for her shots. Thanks to Heather, Katherine, and Joyce for the great day! {All photos here shot on a Mamiya 645 with Portra 400 film.}

2013: A Roundup

It's pretty hard to sum up 2013... I mean, it was a whole year! I am so behind in sharing client shoots (I can share holiday photos now!) but in the meantime, I have a quick roundup of my favorite photos of my family from this year - month by month.

January: Adele turned four. Digital- Nikon D700.

February: Adele on the swing. I'm falling in love with film. This is TriX on a 1970's Nikkormat 35 mm.

March: Sisters. Digital - Nikon D700.

April: Easter - cascarones on the head. Fuji 400H, Nikon F100.

May: Georgia - Abita Springs, my parents' driveway. Fuji 400H, Nikon F100.

June: Georgia, front yard in nightgown. Digital, Nikon D700.

July: Sisters, Pawleys Island. TriX, Nikon F100.

August: Casey in Palm Springs. Digital, Nikon D700.

September: Georgia, neighborhood walk. Digital, Nikon D700.

October: Adele, school photo. Digital, Nikon D700.

November: Georgia, backyard. Portra 400, Mamiya 645.

December: Georgia, neighborhood walk. Portra 160, Mamiya 645.

This has been a big year of changes... and I'm looking forward to hitting the ground running in 2014. Next up - a collection of my favorite client images from this past year!

Film is Not Dead * New Orleans

It's hard to know where to start a post like this one; I feel like this is one of those where I just have to let the photos speak for themselves. But maybe a little back story would help?

I've been following Jonathan Canlas and his film work for a long, long time, and I've wanted to go to a photography workshop for about that long. I've always kept an eye on his Film is Not Dead workshop and thought "I'd like to go to this but I probably don't know enough/won't know enough/ok, fine I'm just intimidated." So last spring, I said "DAMMIT I'M DOING THIS" and registered for Film is Not Dead in New Orleans (and Katherine signed up, too, which made it an easier decision! It's nice to have a partner in crime.)

I had been shooting film on my mom's Nikkormat from the 60's, which is a great old Nikon, but it's pretty finicky with light; after registering for the workshop, I found a Mamiya 645 and starting practicing. I primarily have used it for personal work thus far, and I've fallen in love. It's definitely been a learning curve, but I love the feel and look of film. While I appreciate the convenience and ease of digital, I do feel that shooting film is making me in to a more careful and thoughtful digital photographer, as well. Also? It's such a great feeling to get film back and see the results.

The workshop was absolutely worth it. Aside from the shooting, camera, and technical and business aspects of everything we learned, I met a great group of women (yes, for some reason the workshop ended up being all women!) photographers from all over the country. I feel like I can ask any of them for help, critique, or just advice.

Here are a few favorites from the workshop; these are a combination of a personal shoot day, a day with models, night shooting, and then photographing around town and outside of New Orleans at Oak Alley Plantation just for fun.

Thanks so much to Jon and Catherine, and all of you fantastic women who made this workshop great. I loved meeting you all!

Sarah and Casey at Zilker Clubhouse

I'm a firm believer that the greatest couples are the ones who send other couples to you who are just as wonderful as they are.

Melissa and Carl put Sarah and Casey (who were actually guests at their wedding!) in touch with me, and I was so excited to meet them. We met up for coffee and hit it off right away, and I was thrilled to be able to capture their beautiful wedding at the beginning of November. Thanks to the lovely Jess of Just Expressive Photography for helping me shoot that day, and to the fantastic Heather from Vintage and Lace, who coordinated the wedding.

These are just a few shots from their gorgeous day... congratulations, Sarah and Casey!!

Lydia and Family at Home

I love meeting families that I click with so easily that I don't want to leave their home. Christy contacted me when she was pregnant with Lydia and we talked over the phone about a relaxed, easy shoot in their home, which is my favorite kind to do. The day we scheduled was supposed to be rainy and dark, but it turned out to be a beautiful morning (and cool outside!). I loved meeting Lydia and Emerson and their mom and dad... it's clear how happy they are as a family of four.

Juliette and Family at Home

Newborn shoots aren't the easiest thing to plan for, given that babies aren't really "schedule" kind of people. It's hard being a baby! You want what you want when you want it! Come on, people!

Therefore, I LOVED what Jesse and Moira decided to do for newborn photos with their sweet Juliette. Step one: invite your whole family over to your home one morning. Step two: make sure one of you has a brother who is an incredible chef. Step Three: Have him cook chicken and waffles. Step Four: Mimosas and coffee. Step five: Make sure that both parents, two grandmothers, one grandfather, one godmother, one aunt-to-be and one uncle are all on hand for plenty of baby holding and snuggling.  Step six: admire this sweet baby who's mellow and calm and happy just being in everyone's arms. Then invite a photographer to catch you all in action, and you've got some happy family photos all together.

Congratulations, Moira and Jesse, and the entire family! Juliette is just beautiful, and so loved.

Back to Reality

Well, nothing like launching a brand-new website to make your computer up and KAPUT. First the screen went out, then the "internal temperature monitor" (what does that even mean?!) and then, lastly, the hard drive. Apple VERY kindly just replaced the entire thing with a new one, so now there are no more excuses in regards to posting!  (Thank goodness my obsessive backup tendancies saved all data.)

The summer has been a little crazy over here; we have taken two vacations, both of which involved a lot of driving. In June we drove from Texas, to Louisiana, to South Carolina, and then back to Texas, and then in early August we drove to San Francisco! Casey and I took the long way home and drove down Highway 1 in California, which cemented two facts for me: 1) I am really terrible at driving on twisty turny roads, even as a passenger 2) California is lovely but also VERY hot and desert-y in the inner portions. Big Sur, however? Oh, I would move there. I mean, I would have to live in a tent within a national campground area because I couldn't begin to afford a square foot of coastal California real estate, but that's neither here nor there. 

In the meantime, I have a few shots of our annual trip to Pawleys Island; these were shot on a Nikon F100 with Ektar 100 film (which I have heard referred to as the red-headed stepchild of film) and scanned by the FINDlab. More actual vacation photos to come once I get my head back in real life! 


Louisiana on Film

The girls and I took a quick weekend trip to Louisiana last week, just because. It's been awhile since we were there (the Christmas holidays were our last visit) so we decided to drive over for a long weekend. I hadn't been to Jazzfest in years and was dying to go, so I went in to New Orleans by myself one day, spent some time with good friends, and heard some music. The rest of the time was spent doing a lot of nothing in particular at my parents' home in Abita Springs; the girls went swimming, we all went to the farmer's market in Covington, and we read a lot of books and drank coffee and visited. It was one of those weekends that really makes me sad that we live so far from family.

I didn't bring my digital camera on this trip... just film. I just got everything back from the lab; this was my first time shooting Fuji color film and I like the way it turned out, especially the ones of the girls (who were surprisingly amenable to having their photo taken... it's hit or miss these days.) All of these photos were taken on a Nikon F100 with Fuji (color) or TriX (black and white), and were developed and scanned at Holland Imaging in Austin. This film thing is addictive, I tell you.

I've lived in Austin for a long time, but New Orleans, you'll always have my heart.


The Ladies of Alpha Xi Delta - UT at Austin

I had such a fun time a few weekends ago; a friend of mine serves as an advisor to her college sorority here in town, and they had me come to their Mom's Tea to do some photos of their group. They made me feel so welcome, and it was so much fun to shoot this happy group of women. (Plus, I kind of felt like I was back in college, and wanted to move in to their sorority house. They were all just so fun!) Just a quick peek of the ladies of AXD below. Thanks for having me, girls!

The Johnsons at Home

I love how many families lately have been open and excited about the idea of shooting in their homes. These shoots are, without a doubt, my very favorites. Charlotte and Ben and big brother Ingram recently welcomed baby Alice, and they invited me over to hang out with them on a recent Sunday morning. Here are just a few favorites from the day... Charlotte and Ben, thank you for having me over! (Also, I went home and REALLY wanted pizza rolls for dinner. Ahem.)

Easter and Cascarones

I've been on film bender lately; I've been shooting almost entirely film for my personal work, and even got the courage to do some film at my last client shoot.

These are from our Easter weekend a few weeks ago, when we came home from a walk to find bluebonnets and discovered a dozen cascarones on our porch (thank you, kind neighbors!). The girls immediately jumped in to smashing them on each others' heads.

All shot on a Nikon F100 with Portra 400 film.

Rachel and Rob at Hummingbird House

You know how every once in awhile you're at a wedding where EVERYONE is supremely happy? Not just the bride and groom and their families, but everyone including the flower girl and ring bearer and everyone getting down on the dance floor and the maid of honor does karaoke in her toast and one of the groomsmen plays "I Will" by the Beatles on acoustic guitar as part of HIS toast and... oh, wait. That's totally unique to Rob and Rachel's wedding and it was AWESOME.

Normally for a sneak peek I'd post three or four photos, but, um... well. Here are about 20. And this doesn't even go past the ceremony! Expect part 2 sometime next week, with shots of their fabulous reception. ;)

Rachel and Rob, thank you SO much for letting me be a part of this day. It was spectacular, and so are the two of you.

(Huge thanks to the amazing Katherine Harte for shooting with me and also to the great folks at Hummingbird House!)

A Family at Home - Part I

This spring has been a funny one... cold, then warm, then rainy and cold again. Outside shooting has been unpredictable at best, so I was really excited to get to do the kind of session I love best: a family in their home.

Morgan and Ryan asked me to come take some photos with their new baby boy and their two year old at  home, which they are actually in the process of selling; they were set to move the week after we did this shoot, so I love that we got some photos of them in the house where they brought their babies home. Isla is SO much fun (she liked playing with my camera, and I was happy to oblige... photographer in the making, perhaps?) and baby River was so mellow and calm. Here are just a few of the digital shots I got... I'll be picking up their film scans from the lab on Monday, and I can't wait to see how they turn out!