October 28, 2020

ATX Lifestyle Family Shoot | Seaholm | The Ferraras

I met Dr. Mai about 5 years ago when she called me and was interested in finding a photographer to photograph her orthodontic client's new smiles once they got their braces off. We met and hit it off immediately and worked together for about 4 years or so. At that time, I also started photographing her family photos, too. Since I've known her, it's always been her and her two little boys. She lost her husband unexpectantly when she was pregnant with their second son and has raised them AND ran a successful orthodontist business for many years solo. I think that's why we hit it off immediately because we're both single mom's of boys and we're just trying to raise and love them right and sometimes...just sometimes... that's hard to do alone and ALOT to do alone. Can I get an AMEN? Well, she retired about a year ago from her practice so she could focus her time on her boys and be there for them all the time. Why am I telling you all this? I'm telling you all this because I admire her for her courage and strength AND that I also found this amazing song called "Hold on Tight" while I was editing their photos and these words just moved me so much that I decided to put their photos to it. It says... When the rain come
And the sky's falling down
In your darkest hour
When there's no one around
It won't be long
Keep your head strong
Hold on tight to me
Hold on tight, hold on
When you feel like crying
Go on, let it out
Just remember
The sun is shining behind the clouds
It won't be long
'Til your pain's gone
So hold on tight to me
Hold on tight, hold on

I think these lyrics probably ring true for alot of people especially these days living through a pandemic. Personally, I thought about me and my son and all the ups and downs that we've lived through together when I listened to the words and I'm sure others will find the lyrics relateable to whatever they're going through, too. But, in this special instance today I found these lyrics to be perfect for this Mama and her boys. With all the photos of the 3 of them holding each other tight, this little family is going to be alright. :) Turn it up.

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October 27, 2020

ATX Family Lifestyle Shoot | Circle C Park | The Rodriguez Family

It's so exciting when I get to see client's who I've been photographing for years and I get to see their families grow. I've been photographing Sarah and Mike since they were just dating, then photographed their engagement session, Sarah's bridal session, their maternity session and was supposed to photograph the newborn session but since Covid-19 hit we had to cancel that one. Now, we just completed their baby's 6 month old session and he is A.D.O.R.A.B.L.E! Period. No iffs, ands or buts this is one cuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuute baby! I must give credit where credit is due... Mama and Grandma got very creative with coming up with their own ideas and bringing their fall/winter ideas and props with them. The weather decided to give us a little hiccup so we all masked up and worked efficiently in the studio to produce some stinkin' cute shots of the baby. Then, we regrouped on day two and met at the park to get some family shots in nature. I can NOT get over how much I love these "Where The Wild Things Are" shots we got of him in the wispy grass with his crown on! Grab a nice cup of hot cocoa on this chilly day with a warm, cheesy biscuit (yuuuummmmm) and sit back and enjoy this little video. It will definitely leave you smiling on this dreary day. :)
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October 14, 2020

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October 7, 2020

ATX Lifestyle Family Photo Shoot | Jensen Girls + 2

Where oh where do I begin with this shoot? I mean, come on! It doesn't get much cuter than this...grandma, daughter, grandson and their dog! We decided that they needed some happy and cheerful family photos so we met up on South Congress and found a few places with color. I am in love with Plaza Colombian Coffee shop on South Congress. They have knocked it out of the park with character and color and it's just so inviting and they have coffee AND booze! :) We stayed on the outskirts of the property and utilized some cool paintings and doors and then buzzed across the street for a few shots by a graffiti "LOVE" mural. They were so cute and bright eyed and bushy tailed even though it was an early Saturday morning! The family embraced having some fun during the shoot and I think their photos show that. Grab yourself a yummy coffee and sit back and enjoy this video that screams joy.
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October 5, 2020

ATX Seniors 2021 Video | Bowie High School | Laurel

The time is upon us to start gearing up for those senior 2021 shoots. It seems to me that after the year we've had, everyone is eager to get their senior photos taken which makes me super happy! It has been a terribly slow year for me since almost ALL my photo shoots were cancelled from February through September. I've been hangin' tough though and concentrating on getting lots of home projects done that I had been putting off for so long and focusing on staying positive through covid. I am happy to report that I recently photographed Laurel who is a natural beauty and super sweet. She is wrapping up her senior year in high school and deciding where she will pursue her nursing degree. Mom and dad hopped in a few photos with her which I am never opposed to because this is such an important mile stone in your child's life and needs to be documented! I photographed Laurel at Butler Park downtown and the weather...oh, the weather was just perfect! I rarely get to say that here in Texas! The temperature was perfect (didn't even sweat!) and not a stitch of wind to mess her hair up! It was a glorious way to be welcomed back to work. There's nothing better than photographing a beautiful family in beautiful scenery. Kick back and enjoy Laurel's video now.
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October 1, 2020

Sedona Girls Trip | 5 Things To Do In Sedona, Arizona

What do you do early on in a pandemic? You plan a girls trip because you're missing your friends so much! Late March my girlfriends and I planned a girls trip for late September thinking this pandemic will surely be over by then! Well...we were wrong but we were able to make the trip and still be safe. Sedona was amazing and it was even better in person than in photos. We had an easy direct flight from Austin to Phoenix on Southwest Airlines and I love that SW is not booking the center seats to keep everyone spread out more. The drive to Sedona is about 2 hours and the closer you get the more dramatic the views get! Let me tell you what we did because we're bad ass bitches (that's what we named ourselves on this trip) and we had an amazing time so why not share the tips with others? Here we go!
1. Rent an Airbnb (especially with a pool if you go when it's hot) We rented the Doodlebug House and were very happy that we had a pool to come back to since it was 100 degrees! This house sleeps 8 so we were super comfortable with only 6 women in the house. I even got my own room this time conveniently located by the kitchen. They have great amenities including a little putting green and the garage has been converted into a game room with a pool table. We spent the majority of our time when we were there down at the pool, the cabana with lots of comfy seating and the balconies with the amazing views! We used the kitchen alot b/c most of the gals are doing the keto diet so I was nearly in ketosis by the time we left AZ! :)))
2. Rent ATV's We had to do it! This is where we named ourselves the "Bad Ass Bitches" because we owned every dirt road, curve, bump and ate dust like the best of them! We actually rented two atv's...we had one 4 seater and one 2 seater so all 6 of us could go. Those of us who wanted to drive made sure to sign the waiver and get added on the contract and those who didn't just rode along for a good time. We rented our atv's from Sedona Can-Am and everything went smooth! We had read on some of the reviews that they are pretty particular so we made sure to video all around our atv's before we left so we had photos and we didn't have any issues. On our 4 hour rental, we chose to go to Honanki Heritage Site with ruins and picnic in the shade there and then headed to Schnebly Hill which we never made it all the way to the top because we were cutting it close on time. The Schnebly Hill Road was WAY more bumpy and rough and by that time our bad asses were worn out! Ha! As we started to head back, we decided to take a group shot on our atv on Schnebly Rd and were having a hard time finding a spot to set the camera up so when an older couple driving by stopped we asked them to take our photo. As the older woman handed back the camera she said, "Wow! You gals are tough!" Of course we are...we're Texans AND we all have kids in college! I think that makes us double TUFF! :) If this video doesn't sell you on the atv idea, I don't know what will!

3. Bell Rock Hike (Vortex Hike) Bell Rock is on the Red Rock Scenic Byway (SR 179) and unmistakable. It's huge bell shape towers over the Village and makes it easy to spot. Bell Rock is reputed to have very strong vortex energy and many feel the strongest energy is located on Bell Rock's north slope. The girls and I did the hike around the entire Bell Rock which was about 4.5 miles. None of us really knew much about the vortex energy but wanted to try one vortex hike to see if anything would transpire. In due time, I guess we will find out. We decided on our hike that we would each take some time to come up with some goals, wishes, ideas that we would each like to come to fruition in our lives. After we started the hike, we spaced out each of us taking a turn to tell the others what we wanted to make happen in our lives. On Stacy's turn, we each picked up a flat rock and put our rocks together and listened to her speak then we each took a moment and sent her good energy so that her goal would be fulfilled...hopefully soon. While doing so we had to give a quiet "ohmmmmm". With each one of us, we picked up different items on the hike...broken sticks and built a teepee for Julie, sprigs of juniper and tossed it over our shoulders for me, layed on the rocks for Tara, picked yellow berries for Shana and put them in a cactus and stacked rocks for DeeDee. For me personally, I've entered into a new decade of my life this year and have come to terms with the fact that my life is more than half over yet I feel so young and have so much living to do. I still have big dreams that I want to fulfill and I shared with the gals that I want to own my own rv park/boutique hotel AND I want to eventually find a tall, dark, single, hot, funny, caring, loveable christian man that I can share a healthy relationship with. Can I get an amen? Or should I say an Ohmmmmm? :) Let's move that vortex energy and make it happen! Here's an interesting article about what a vortex is.
And then sometimes the energy just moves you to bust out in song because you can see for miles and miles and love how wide open the space is! Sorry Chicks we kinda destroyed your song with our singing! :))) We'll work on that for the next karoake night!

4. Sunset dinner at The Hudson
Try and make reservations early on in your trip for outside seating on the deck at The Hudson if you can. The views are breathtaking and the food was tasty!
5. Pack Moisturizer/Sunscreen/Lip Balm Last but not least...pack these items when you go because you will need them! Especially if you go when it's hot like we did! It's the first time I've ever been happy to return to the humidity in Texas so my nose and skin could heal and have some moisture.
6. For all the single ladies out there, I'd say Bumble while you're there but to be honest me & Stac (the two single ladies in our group) tried and it was slim pickens'! I guess Sedona is just too small of a town for these big city girls! We can scratch #6 off of the list! :)))
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