April 22, 2012

Sneak Peek: Shannon & Josh's McKinney Engagement Portraits

I love this engagement session that I shot this evening for Shannon & Josh! I've known Shannon since she moved to Texas from Illinois in the 3rd grade. I think we almost always had at least one class together all the way through high school. We didn't keep in touch much during college, but now it's so exciting to meet her beau, celebrate her getting married, and arguably best of all, get to photograph it! I can't wait until September, you two!

April 15, 2012

Natasha's College Senior Portraits in Allen, Texas

Yesterday, I met up with Natasha, her mom, and one of her good friends here in Allen to shoot some portraits for her college graduation announcements (and because everyone need pretty photos of themselves, am I right?). Natasha and I have known each other since we were about 12 and 13. We played violin together in the Greater Dallas Youth Orchestra downtown. I can't recall if we were stand partners or what exactly made us gravitate toward one another, but we did, and soon started carpooling every week too. I quit that orchestra after 9th grade, but I talked her into coming up to Cape Breton to take fiddle and step dancing lessons with me one summer (we were fortunate kids to have such an awesome experience in such a beautiful place). Facebook has been our only means of communication since then, so it was wonderful to see her again in person!

Since facebook facilitates a little healthy stalking, we knew in general terms what the other had been up to, but it was great to catch up. We both started out at small private liberal arts schools before making the move to state schools, and she'll be graduating from LSU here in about a month. Proud of you, lady! I know you'll go far.

The weather was trying to be uncooperative for our "sunrise" shoot, but we dodged the raindrops, and the overcast skies made for some beautiful diffused light. Enjoy these first few photos!

April 13, 2012

Happy Birthday to Me!

Today is my birthday! I guess it wouldn't be nearly as cute for me to slam my face into my cake now that I'm all grown and such, so I suppose I'll refrain. Actually, I'm not really big on cake, so it's probably a moot point anyway. But if I have a celebratory pie or cobbler, I'll still try to keep my face out of it. I don't have too much planned for my birthday this year. A birthday dinner (for all of us with April birthdays) with one side of the family is on the books, and we just decided to throw together a birthday dinner on the other side too, but otherwise it's a working weekend for me. I'd love to have time for a friends-inclusive birthday shindig, but it's just not on the books this year. That's alright though, so long as Opie makes me a pie. ;)

April 12, 2012

Allen, Texas Bluebonnet Portraits

It's bluebonnet season in North Texas! We have a gorgeous stretch of bluebonnets in the median on Bethany Rd in Allen right now. Last weekend, I shot some portraits of my nephew Will and of the Jackson family out among the wildflowers. Bluebonnets are one of the best parts of Spring in Texas. Well, that and the cool temperatures before we dive into summer...

April 10, 2012

Trajan is 4 and Gus is 3.

Opie and I have a tradition for our dogs' birthdays. It stems from a family tradition that he brought into our relationship. He grew up taking his dog Caesar to McDonald's on his birthday for a vanilla ice cream cone. We haven't picked up the McDonald's portion of the tradition, but our dogs do get ice cream for their birthday. I used to protest the fact that Opie wanted to give them Blue Bell ice cream, given its cost and absolute deliciousness, but well... I've given in. So, Blue Bell Homemade Vanilla it is. My dogs are spoiled. At least we only do it once a year! Gus (our fawn Great Dane) turned 3 on Saturday. Trajan won't actually turn 4 until July, but we can't very well celebrate with ice cream for one dog at a time! If you're wondering about their names, Trajan and Augustus (Gus) were Roman Emperors. Another continuing trend started by Opie's old dog Caesar. At the vet, Trajan invariably gets called Trojan, but c'est la vie.

April 8, 2012

Mama Gene's Birthday

Yesterday, we celebrated my grandmother Mama Gene's 87th birthday! I'm lucky enough to live near quite a bit of family. My husband Opie and I actually live in the same neighborhood as my parents and one of my cousins. My brother, another cousin, and one set of my in-laws all live in our town. Opie's aunt & uncle, grandmother, dad & stepmom and my grandmother all live within half an hour of our house too. Though Mama Gene is now my only living grandparent, I was fortunate to know all four of them quite well. Mama Gene and Papa Daddy watched me everyday when my mom was in nursing school and I was in preschool, so we've always been quite close. She's had a rough last few years with my grandfather's death and some health problems, but Mama Gene seems to be doing much better when I've seen her recently. We had a really good visit last week on her actual birthday, and it was great celebrating with the whole crew today at my parents' house.

I'm trying to get better about documenting my daily life. Since I shoot almost every day of the week in one work capacity or another, sometimes I don't feel like pulling out the camera for my own life. Naturally, those are the photos I cherish the most. I love to document important days for other people, so it's high time I do the same for myself. Here are some that I snapped yesterday.

April 7, 2012

Sneak Peek: Garret's Frisco Senior Portraits

I met up with Garret and his mom this morning at sunrise in downtown McKinney to knock out his Senior Portraits. A Senior at Wakeland High School in Frisco, Garret will be heading off to Texas Tech in the Fall to study engineering. The session went really well. Compared to most 17-year-old boys I've met, Garret was unusually receptive to a photo shoot at the crack of dawn. Actually, he chose the morning session himself. His mom was also wonderful about stepping back and letting him be himself, which definitely helps me get relaxed, natural portraits. No "helicopter parenting" here. Thanks for that, Sharyn! Garret is actually the cousin of one of my long-time good friends, and I think the family resemblance is uncanny!

April 5, 2012

Allen, Texas Engagement Portraits: Paul & Kristen

On Saturday, I met up with Paul and Kristen to shoot their engagement portraits. They're a little over halfway through a rather long engagement, and by the sounds of it, very ready for November to get here already. It's obvious these two have a very loving relationship. At one point during the session, they apologized for their PDA. I couldn't help but laugh. If PDA is acceptable anywhere, it's certainly acceptable at your engagement session! They met in their days at the University of Texas at Dallas, which is my own college as well. If I were an Aggie I would holler a "Whoop!" of solidarity here, but I refuse to throw down a Comet "Whoosh." Then again, my lack of school spirit has a lot to do with why I'm not an Aggie...

Like a few other couples I've worked with, Kristen and Paul are very involved in Ultimate Frisbee. The first time Kristen met Paul, he was actually playing Ultimate in a halo brace, thanks to a recent car crash. Her response to that was something along the lines of, "What an idiot," but thankfully they got off on a better foot a little later in their time at UTD!

Paul is someone that I've known of for many years, but to my knowledge, had never actually met until this weekend. He's the younger brother of one of my sister's good friends from high school. He went to high school and college with my brother. Kristen was actually just drafted onto my sister-in-law's Ultimate team, teaches at the same high school as one of my husband's friends, and when I added her on facebook, we had some unexpected mutual friends. It's a small world, and I'm glad to have finally met them!

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