I have so, so many places that I love to shoot in and around Austin and I’m thinking about making this a series…we’ll see. However, this one is definitely one of my favorites. McKinney Falls State Park has so much to offer-textures in rock, trees and water and just so much beauty. Exploring this wide open space is always a hit. This amazing family of four rocked their session here! Their love and this location, plus amazing light resulted in some of my favorite images this fall! Enjoy!
Dusting off the blog, because I have SO MUCH to post and I’m going to start with a personal one. I started this self portrait project officially in 2017 and decided to just keep it rolling into 2018 and I do not regret it! There are both self-portraits of Kingston and I, and some are only me. For King, my hope is that he will look back on these when he is older, or even after I’m long gone and he will feel my love for him. My intent is to capture us in an easy way. No huge set-ups, just us, doing what we do. For myself, I use these as a way to break through ruts, work through feelings, and just for fun. These are my faves-enjoy!
One last thing—if you’re interested in seeing how I shoot some of these, I have a lesson at Unraveled Academy live right now! You can click here to sign up and have access to that and many other artists! You will not regret it!!
I don't often borrow my own blog for personal purposes, but I do LOVE to round up my favorite images of summer. There was a post going around recently, saying something to the effect of "you only get 18 summers with your kids" and so I think I'll love these posts even more as they age. (and as an FYI-this post is always a mix of iPhone and camera images)
This summer was an awesome one! We traveled a bit more than we usually do and that proved to be very fun and very exhausting. To kick things off, we went camping with friends, then King went to Washington, D.C. with his grandparents, and I went to Portland, OR with a rad group of ladies for the Dear Photographer Elevate + Grow Workshop: making art, honing my craft, meeting new friends. We went glamping for the first time, and to Houston to see my mom and family. King broke his arm, and in a separate incident, had to have the Heimlich maneuver administered. I was hired for a family session in Naples, FL so we spent a week hopping around Florida and then spent a weekend at the Frio River, had a family reunion on Lake Travis and snuck in time to rest and to play with friends all way through. Here are my favorites memories from summer 2018...
(some sights in washington dc as documented by Kingston's grandmother, Marme)
What a special session this was. I mean, they all are, but I don't always know the back story. For this one, I did. This sweet baby girl is a rainbow baby. If you are not familiar with the term, a rainbow baby is a baby born after the loss of a previous baby. And there's really nothing more beautiful than a rainbow after a dark storm. Chances are, you may have experienced a loss, or know someone who has. I myself have had losses. 5 of them, actually. So, I have an idea of what this couple has been through and being there to capture this beautiful rainbow of their's, felt sacred. <3 Such an honor to do this work, friends.
So you're pregnant and thinking about scheduling a Fresh 48 session? Or maybe it never even crossed your mind...Either way, I'm going to tell you why it's a great idea! SO incredibly special in that they just represent such a small window of time and are so neat to look back on. I shot this Fresh 48 session back in May and it's a favorite! They're all my favorites, honestly. It's an honor every single time and I always walk away with such a grateful heart!
I do feel like the best sessions unfold naturally, without forcing too much. I just love to observe and document these times-snuggles, cries, feeding, loving, all of it. It's all beautiful, though when you are "in it" you may not realize. Trust me, as your baby grows (and grows!!!!) these images will continue to take on meaning for your family. Maybe it's your first child, and you'll remember what it felt like to be a brand-spanking new parent in that moment, or maybe it's your 2nd+ child and you have memories of siblings meeting and you'll be brought back to those emotions and YOU.WILL.SMILE. You will smile because time has passed and edges have softened and surely you've resumed sleeping again. You will smile because you have this time preserved forever. Expectant families click here to schedule your Fresh 48!
Where do I begin with this amazing family??! They've recently moved from Boston to Austin (I'm sorry, I just love the way that rhymes) and I was so excited to show them one of my favorite spots to explore. I fell in love with their interactions-the sisters like best friends, the littlest such a hoot, all of them in sync while we walked, got our feet wet and just took in the beautiful nature of McKinney Falls State Park. I'll just let the images speak for themselves--I love the ease they have about them. <3 Oh and it's time to start thinking about scheduling for fall, you guys!! I want to get you all on my schedule so the sooner the better! Click here!
I met Sara of Sara K Blanco Photography last year, after falling in love with her work and hiring her for a session to capture my family. Let me tell you, I adore her. We have so much in common that we did not realize and I have since become friends with her beautiful self. She radiates love and happiness and I truly loved getting to meet the people in her life that are the most special to her. I'm so excited to share her session with you guys--to me it embodies what my style is all about. Letting go of perfection, of trying to get that "perfect" image in your mind of everyone smiling at the camera, and just allowing yourselves and your love to shine through. Because to me, the "perfect" images are in the details; they are the ones that capture who you are RIGHT NOW. The way your children hug you, what smile phase they are in (it's a thing), how your partner pulls you in, the beautiful dynamic of your family just being together. Enjoy!
A lot of the times, when I'm heading to a session, I've never actually spoken to them in person. We've communicated via email and text, but not face to face or even over the phone. This can be for varying reasons, the most of those being that I am such an introvert that sometimes the thought of speaking on the phone makes my armpits sweat. (just keeping it real! if you are a phone person and would rather do that, it's ok! I'll wear extra deodorant! lol) Anyway, so I get some butterflies when my people are new to me, but 9 times out of 10, I am made to feel so very welcome and comfortable and I can only hope that I do the same for you.
I walked in and the big sis of this family had a huge smile on my face in about 3 seconds. I ADORE KIDS, Y'ALL! From outgoing to shy, rambunctious to meek, GIVE THEM ALL TO ME. I absolutely loved meeting this gorgeous family and I love the images we created together to document some of baby sister's first days at home. Have a look!
Spring is here, which means things are greening up, flowers are peeking out, and the weather is unpredictable! ha! But it's a beautiful time for sessions, so we take what we can get, when we can get it! Thankfully the it held out for us on this day, and we were able to run around Butler Park for some fun. And, we closed out our time together cooling off in the fountain! So much fun!!
Let me tell you about my friend, Kacie. Both she and her husband Tim are people that I look up to. They are the kind of people that after being in their presence, I feel like I have been afforded a special privilege. They are incredible parents, and amazing humans. And if she's reading this, she's either blushing or rolling her eyes at me. Anyway, maybe you follow her on instagram (@heymamacase & @skinnyjhorts for Tim), or you may know that she used to sling the coolest tiny tees, which is how I ended up meeting her, after finding out that our husbands worked together for a stint! They have 3 of the most gorgeous children and they are an all-around rad family. So, when they let me tag along to explore one of their favorite spots, it was a no brainer. Have you been to the new Austin Central Library? If you haven't been yet, WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR?? No, seriously-it's worth it. The architecture, the vibrant colors, the gorgeous patio views, the people-watching, the artists doing watercolor stills, and the books!
I absolutely loved my time there with them--I didn't interfere too much, just observed and captured them as they were. The love, the patience, the beauty.
I happen to think that pregnancy is beautiful. The fact that as women our bodies can create and birth another life is absolutely incredible. Not everyone is a pregnancy unicorn, loving every minute, but I think we can all agree that it is an amazing process. And so when I am hired for a lifestyle maternity session, I do my very best to capture the beauty. There is beauty in the new shape a woman's body takes, in the anticipation, in the love shared between parents.
With Britt and Steve, there was such an ease about them. They are so clearly in love, and ready to meet their baby boy. I'm excited to meet him, too!
I met Amy of Captured Simplicity through my FAVORITE app, Instagram a couple of years ago. She is immensely talented and I've watched her little family grow from afar (well not THAT far--she's based in Houston). I was SUPER excited when she hired me to capture her own family. To me, that is a truly wonderful compliment--when another photographer hires me, it's both humbling and a little nerve-wracking. Will she like my session flow? Will I do her family justice? How will I not flub this up?? (all questions I asked myself before meeting Amy in person.)
We explored one of my favorite spots, as I got to know her wonderful kids. Seriously--they were a blast! And this mama's smile? Could light up the night. SO. GORGEOUS. See for yourself!
A couple of years ago, I was looking through my catalog of images and realized that I had loads of photos of my son (of course) and of my son and husband. Where was I? I was there, but behind the lens. Don't get me wrong-I'm very comfortable there. I'm awkward when I'm on the other side. BUT, aside from our yearly family sessions and selfies, I longed to be captured in the everyday with my family. So, I started experimenting with my phone's self-timer and the hashtag selftimerscorewithkingston was born. Click here to see those early self-portaits. Then, at the end of 2016, I joined a small group of artists that vowed to take a weekly image of themselves as a Project 52. Either alone or with our loved ones, we committed to capturing ourselves. (a big shoutout to Adri De la Cruz for starting this project named P52radness.) I absolutely loved diving into this project and exploring my creativity and confidence, as well as seeing other artists inspired and empowered. I will cherish this collection of images for years to come. #kingandadproject52
To see more beautiful imagery, click here to see Tina Lowry Strickland's year!
Here are some of my favorites!
When I am contacted for a lifestyle newborn session, well first, I do a happy dance, because--BABIES. But then, once the session is booked, I write the family name on the calendar month(s) of when to expect the session to take place. And I wait...and I have to tell you that I get SO excited when the parents reach out after the baby has arrived. I've been waiting for that email/text/call! So when Michelle reached out to let me know her sweet baby boy had arrived, I was ready. I absolutely love being invited in your spaces, the places you have made a home for your family. No matter how big or small the space, I aim to tell YOUR story. This was the sweetest little tale of a new baby brother at home: the stillness, the adoration, the uneasiness and adjustment period of the existing sibling, and of course, the love. <3
This awesome family went the extra mile for their fall session, literally. Because they have some property in Fredericksburg, they thought perhaps a session at Enchanted Rock State Natural Area would be fun. I loved that! Somewhere that has meaning to them, forever captured. And, we had a blast! We met there about 2 hours before sunset, paid and parked and then set out on our climb. You guys...if you have never been, you've got to see it. It's a giant pink granite dome of amazingness--a batholith to be exact. It's just incredible. I had been before, but this time, I had my photographer hat on and it was SO GOOD. Lugging my gear and a back pack of snacks and water was a good workout but worth every huff and puff. I'm in love with these images and this family! xo
If you've never booked a session with me, I'd love to give you a feel for how they unfold, while also sharing one of the many beautiful families that just get me and allow me to create with them.
First, I'll ask what area you live in, so that I can scout accordingly. I really don't like to add the stress of having to travel across town if I don't have to. There are many, many amazing locations to shoot at. Some are obvious...and some, are on the side of I-35, in front of the Tractor Supply. (as pictured in this blog post.) I'm ALWAYS looking. :) I walk around with my compass, so I know where the light will be, and I make sure it is a safe place for my families.
Then, it's session day! I'll meet you and we'll walk together to our spot. We will most likely start in some sort of traditional pose. I'll snap some photos, I'll talk to your kids, and then I'll start moving around.
I'll keep talking, acting a little silly, and I'll keep moving. I may ask certain family members to love on each other. I'll get close, and then I'll go far.
And then, we'll need to change it up! Especially if you have young children. I don't like to do one thing for too long. Depending on the location, this could mean, walking somewhere else, or simply changing what we are doing.
Then, I'll start to break it up, giving other family members a quick break, while capturing different combinations of family! During this movement, I usually capture some of my favorite moments of your session.
And usually, by this time, everyone has relaxed and things are unfolding quite nicely, which enables me to really SEE you. The way you love your people. And that, is exactly what I want to capture. Side note, I'm probably full-on acting a fool at this point: barking like a dog, running around being silly. ;)
And then, we'll wrap it up! Thank you to the gorgeous families that let me in, that put their trust in me and let me see your gorgeous love.
I'm always a little sad when summer is over. Gone are the days of sleeping in (you know, like to 7:30), and the lazy days of doing whatever strikes us. But at this point, as always, I'm ready to be done with scorching temperatures and sweating profusely. Every year I like to do a summer recap in photos and so here we are again, a gratuitous personal post. :) We travelled a little, played a lot. We read some books, we stayed close to home, we adventured in our city. Blake had to go to New Orleans for more than half the summer so King and I were inseparable. We definitely continued taking our self portraits, but I'll save those for a special post when the year is over. I stayed busier with sessions than I expected and I am grateful for that! It was a nice summer and we are already making plans for next year. Let's see what fall brings! xo
*a few iphone images mixed in*
I absolutely love it when my dear friends refer their friends to me, or actually when really anyone refers friends to me, for that matter! It just means so much! And bonus, I get to meet so many great people this way! That was the case with this sweet family. They had booked a little getaway on the Blanco River in Wimberley and contacted me to see if I'd be interested in shooting them there. OF COURSE. And with the summer temperatures, water is always welcome. I loved my time with them--and how adorable are they?! I wanted to bring that sweet smiley girl home with me!
Once again, it's been too long that I've visited this blog space to share my awesome sessions! I really am going to try harder to get more up, more often! With that being said, you've GOT to check this one out. A super fun, in-home session where this family danced and sang and loved their little hearts out to celebrate the arrival of a new baby sister.
You get pregnant, and hire a photographer to document your glow and growing belly. Then, your sweet baby comes and a newborn session is a must! You blink and then your precious babe is one year old...but wait. What about that amazing time in between, when your little love is giggling, and growing and discovering things everyday?! 6 months, y'all. It's the CUTEST. (I mean, really anytime in there from 4-9 months)
This sweet family of mine, wanted to document just that--the rolls (oh my gosh, the ROLLS!! pass the butter, please!) the smiles, the curiosity, the daily life with a 6 month old. We had such a sweet time. And I did my best to resist eating this little cutie right up. It was so difficult!