If you could remember ONE thing about your family this year, what would it be?
(To get right to the fall info, scroll down to Full Session. But if you’ll indulge me for just a minute, read on.)
My husband and I are in what I consider the “golden” stage of parenting – well out of the baby and toddler years but not quite to the angst and worries of the teen years. We can, for the most part, go where we want, do fun stuff (including a surprise day trip to Magnolia in Waco – Chip and Joanna’s cupcakes are awesome, y’all!), and basically live life without worrying about meltdowns, naps, or being glued to the lure of “likes”, comments, and Snaps. Sure, we have our issues just like everyone, but I know bigger ones are coming, so I am doing my best to savor this stage of parenting.
Family life definitely isn’t easy. But each year gives us something to celebrate.
This year, I want to remember that our son got braces, ran track at school, and crossed over into Boy Scouts. I want to remember our daughter’s excitement about her competitive gymnastics season that she’s worked so hard to prepare for. I want ot remember tha twe have turned the corner form the crushing loss of my husband’s brother 13 months ago. I want to remember that through everything life throws our way, we are doing the best we can to keep the long view in mind as we raise our family. (Sorry, that was more than one thing!)
How about you? What do YOU want to remember about your family this year? Maybe Harvey destroyed your home and you’re in survival mode. (No, you won’t want to remember that, but maybe you’ve experienced the love and care of others, and you want to remember THAT.) Maybe you or someone you love has gone through a major medical event and came through it with a fresh perspective on life. Maybe you’ve added a baby to the family or gained a son-in-law or daughter-in-law.
Whatever you want to remember, I’d love to help.
My job is to create an archive of your family’s life – in THIS moment – while giving you a FUN and enjoyable experience together.
Your job is to show up and enjoy your family. It’s that simple.
I offer a couple of different photo session types in the fall to meet a variety of needs. Which one is right for your family?
With up to 1.5 hours of shooting time, and your choice of date and location, full sessions are customized, just for you. We have plenty of time to take breaks, have snacks, and enjoy some special Mom/Dad/kid time (whether those kids are 2 or 20). It’s perfect for families who haven’t had a session in a long time. The session fee is $195 plus tax and you choose and purchase your wall art, image boxes or albums during an in-person viewing and ordering session with 35-40 printed proofs to choose from – or choose my all-inclusive Storybook Session, focusing on your family’s unique bond and relationship. Book by October 15 and receive a complimentary Artist’s Choice custom collage print (8×10) with your order – plus a complimentary box of 25 cards and envelopes when you book by Oct. 5.
Petite sessions are perfect for an annual update when you need a shorter time frame and fewer images. With 20 minutes of shooting time, you’ll get a gallery with group shots and individual images of the kiddos. Smaller packages are available for Petite sessions, making them a great choice for families who want a smaller investment.
Two locations are available: a beautiful wooded property in Cypress, TX with walking trails, lakes, bridges and sweeping Spanish moss, and a Christmas tree farm in Montgomery, TX. You choose – a serene, natural setting or the energy of the holidays amidst fresh and fragrant pine and Cypress trees. Seasonal props will be on hand for those who would like to use them.
Petite sessions include 20 minutes of shooting time, an online gallery of 15-20 images, full retouching on all purchased images, access to smaller packages than a full session, and access to a 24 Hour Sale after your gallery goes live. Book by October 15 and receive a complimentary Artist’s Choice custom collage print (8×10) with your order. Session fee is $75 plus tax to book; products and packages are purchased separately through your online gallery. A la carte prints start at $65 and packages start at $197. Digital and print packages (as well as a digital/print blend) are available.
BOOK YOUR WOODS PETITE SESSION NOW (Nov. 12 and 19, 2:15-5:15pm; six spots available each day)
BOOK YOUR CHRISTMAS TREE FARM SESSION NOW (Nov. 18, 2-5:30 pm; six spots left)
I can’t wait to see you this fall!
Hey Mom – yes, I see you with your super-long to-do list that includes everything from grocery shopping to picking up the dog’s medicine at Costco (HUGE money saver right there!). Maybe you even need to show up for work in there somewhere. With our lovely (insert eye-roll) 90-degree Houston September weather, the holidays seem a million miles away, but you know they will be upon us before we know it…and you KNOW you need to get your family portrait session scheduled but you just haven’t had the time to think through all the details.
I get it.
Getting ready for a family photo shoot can be a lot of stress and work, not the least of which is deciding who to hire. Here’s my list of 7 things to consider before you hire a photographer this fall.
- What kind of feel do you want your photos to have? Do you want the perfectly posed, everyone-looking-at-the-camera shot to hang over the fireplace? (This kind of shot takes more skill on the photographer’s part than you probably realize.) Or maybe a more relaxed version of everyone looking at the camera? Do you want candid shots of your family loving on each other? Or do you want to highlight the quirkiness of your family’s relationships with a water balloon fight, night at the ice cream parlor, or something else your family enjoys doing together (commonly known as lifestyle photography)? Once you’ve decided what kind of images you want, look for a photographer whose portfolio matches up with how you want your images to look.
- What do you see in the photographer’s portfolio? Do the people look relaxed and natural? Do the hands look natural, or are they stiff, awkward and have nothing to do? What about expressions? Are smiles forced, or does the smile reach the eyes and really communicate authentic expression? Being able to coax real expression from subjects is a developed skill, and some photographers are much better at it than others.
- How will the photographer help you prepare for your shoot? Will she provide you with suggestions on how to put your outfits together? What about hair and makeup recommendations? Should you have your hair and makeup done by a professional? If so, will the photographer help you set that up? (Shameless plug – my answer on this one is YES you should have it professionally done if possible and yes I will help with appointments!) Will the photographer work with you on finding the perfect location for your shoot, or is she limited to only a few places? Is there an indoor option if that’s what you prefer?
- What kind of deliverables do you want from your photography session? Do you want digital images only? Or are you interested in top-quality, professional photographic art that will grace your home for years? What about framed prints or canvases to beautify your walls, or albums for the coffee table? There’s no right answer to this question (well, on second thought I MIGHT have an opinion on that, ha!), but give it some thought. Some photographers offer only digital images, some only provide printed products, and some offer a mix of both. (I’m in the third category, in case you’re wondering.)
- What’s the photographer’s turnaround time and when do you need your images or products? If a photographer is doing all of her own editing and processing, it may take two to three weeks to receive your proofs or images. If you need your images the same or next day, you may need to make a trip to the mall. If you want professionally crafted portrait art, the design and printing process can take some time, so just check with your photographer before you book to ensure she can meet your timeframe. This is especially important during the holiday season when portrait photographers are at their busiest.
- Is the photographer reliable and someone you want to work with? If you have found your photographer online and not through a friend’s recommendation, ask for references. If you like talking on the phone, set up a time to chat – it’s a great way to get an idea of what it might be like to work with someone new.
- Do you understand the pricing? Pricing for photographic services is all over the place, and encompasses everything from the photographer’s time and skill to her costs associated with the business. A photographer who uses top-of-the-line gear, has years of experience and education, and operates a dedicated studio space will charge more than someone who’s just starting out. Regardless of what the price point is, make sure you understand how the prices work and what is included. Some photographers offer all-inclusive pricing and some use a model of a session fee and a la carte or package purchases after the session. Again, there’s no right or wrong here, just make sure you understand what you are purchasing. (For example, session fees usually do not include any prints or digital images.)
Want to know more about my fall availability? Pop your email below and I’ll send it right your way, along with a pretty cool surprise, too! Happy fall, y’all!
Send me the fall scheduling info!
Ahh…wearing jeans outside without melting into a puddle…enjoying a hand-mixed beverage while watching the kiddos have some good, old-fashioned fun outside…anticipating the parade of fall holidays…the gradual change of seasons always serves as a time of refreshment and renewal for me. I love the slow transition into more pleasant weather in the Houston area, beckoning me outdoors to revel in the breeze and the slanting rays as the earth makes is slow rotation away from the sun. It reminds me that as we say goodbye to one season and enter another, we do the same thing in our lives. Our kids are in 5th and 2nd grade this year, and it just doesn’t seem possible that my baby now wants clothes, shoes, and PIERCED EARS for her birthday instead of toys (?!?!?!).
That’s why I’m so grateful to have a vault of photographs to help me remember our family’s heritage and history. From the annual first-day-of-school snapshots to capturing new experiences like gymnastics meets and rock concerts, it’s all documented and, this fall, will be safely printed for our enjoyment and safekeeping (I’ll post an update to keep me accountable!).
How about you? Is it time for your family to enjoy one another, laughing and playing and connecting, while creating beautiful photographic memories at the same time? Is it time to let go of whatever may have kept you from having family pictures done? Or maybe time just seems to slip by every year and it just doesn’t get done.
Let’s make this YOUR year. I’ll help you each step of the way. Whether you want a full session, a fall Petite session, or a Christmas tree farm session (!), let’s put together something fabulous that’s a perfect fit for your family. See more details about each option below…
With up to 1.5 hours of shooting time, and your choice of date and location, full sessions are customized JUST for you. We have plenty of time to take breaks, have snacks, and enjoy some special Mom/Dad/kid time (whether those kids are 2 or 20). Great for families who haven’t had a session in a long time. Session fee is $195 plus tax and you choose and purchase your wall art, images boxes or albums during an in-person ordering session with 35-40 printed proofs to choose from. BOOK YOUR FULL SESSION NOW.
FALL PETITE SESSIONS
Petite sessions are perfect for an annual update when you need a shorter time frame and fewer images. Petite sessions include 20 minutes of shooting time, an online gallery of up to 15 images, and an adorable wood ornament frame with an Artist’s Choice image inside. Session fee is $75 plus tax, and products and purchases are chosen and purchased after the session through your online gallery. *Smaller packages are available for Petite Sessions, making them a great choice for families who want to make a smaller investment. A la carte prints start at $65 and packages start at $197. All sessions are held from 4:30-6:30 pm; only five spots are available each day. BOOK YOUR PETITE SESSION NOW
Friday’s location (10/14): downtown Tomball
Saturday’s location (10/15): private farm in Cypress with open fields, woods, a pond and dock
Sunday’s location (10/15): near downtown Houston
CHRISTMAS TREE FARM PETITE SESSIONS, NOV. 13 ONLY
Perfect for holiday cards, a session at a family-owned Christmas tree farm will give you seasonal artwork for your home that will be treasured for years. Imagine a canvas that perfectly captures your kids and your family, right where you are, that can grace your home for holiday seasons to come. Format and cost is the same as the Petite Sessions. Nov. 13 only, from 1-5 pm. Only eight appointments are available.
It happens every year…”Help – we had our family photos done and I’m not happy!”
Often, I get these calls from well-meaning moms who were trying to stretch the family budget by saving money on a novice or just-starting-out photographer. I’ve been there – I get it. And with the economy contracting, everyone is doing what they can to save. Unfortunately, the old axiom “you get what you pay for” is often true, especially in the field of photography.
Sometimes, paying less for something that’s “just OK” is fine. Like laundry soap. Or a generic brand of shampoo. Or whatever it is you don’t care about TOO much.
But when it comes to your family, the memories you make together, and the art you hang on your walls…do you want “just OK”? Or do you want to LOVE what you see every day? Do you want your heart to swell every time you walk by that canvas, delighting in your child’s perfectly captured expression that just oozes personality? Um, yeah! Save me a spot NOW!
I’ve been told time and again that the real expressions, the interactions between family members, and making sure that Mom always looks GREAT are what make my images stand out…and it’s worth paying for. Heck yes, save me a spot now!
If you’re ready to break up with bad family photos and have a photography experience that will not only result in gorgeous artwork for your home but will actually be an enjoyable family evening (yes! It’s true!), jump on over to the calendar to schedule your fall date. (But hurry – I only have THREE weekend spots left in October!)
There is no higher honor for me than to be invited back to continue documenting a family’s growth and story. When this sweet family decided to return to Galveston for vacation (check out a little peek of their 2014 session here), they wanted to update their family portraits with the addition of a new baby, and I was all too happy to oblige.
Despite the joys of vacation, it’s been a rough 12 months. Mom’s father passed away unexpectedly a few months ago, and she wanted to think of a way to honor his memory and legacy during their session. We settled on flying prayer papers, on which each family member wrote their prayers and remembrances. The idea was then to alight and release them, but the coastal winds made that part difficult. Despite the wind, it was a poignant and beautiful moment, with hugs and prayers and tears and laughs. I’m so glad Mom thought to include this special time in her family’s session.
To find out more about documenting your own family’s story, please use my contact form. Enjoy!
Heartwarming photos of you with your kids aren’t frivolous – they’re a necessity.
Because to them?
You’re too indispensable to be omitted from their past.
Introducing Celebrate Mothers…the Mother’s Day project to make sure YOU aren’t an invisible part of their childhood.
What is it?
Celebrate Mothers creates beautiful artwork of a busy mom and her children, so she can look back when her children have grown and not regret that she was always behind the camera. (Or that the only shots she has with her kids are cell phone selfies.)
The imagery is mixed with her hand-written words answering, “What do you want to remember most about your children at the age they are right now?” And the words or drawings of her children answering, “What do you love most about your mom?”
Mark your calendar for April 11, 14 and 16. We only have three dates open for sessions and a limited number of sessions each day. Book yours before the Celebrate Mothers portrait sessions are gone.
The Celebrate Mothers project is closed. Look for another celebration of Moms in 2017! Join my email list to make sure you’re notified.
Of course, new parents are thrilled when they finally get to meet their tiny baby they’ve been anxiously waiting nine months for…but there is another couple who also anxiously awaits that new one’s arrival…Grandma and Grandpa. Then multiply that excitement by three sons, and there is a whole lot of anticipation and joy going on in this family!
With children flung in various parts of the U.S. and the world, it’s not easy to get everyone together at the same time – but I caught up with this sweet family at their gorgeous property in San Antonio, TX, and we made some magic happen! Since they booked my multi-family Storybook Session option, they got to keep every single image – the looking-at-the-camera shot that will be prominently displayed above the mantle, along with all of the other little details that make each grandchild unique – the smirk from the baby girl, the coy grin of the preschooler, and of course the laughing smiles of the newest grandson. Their image box and album will provide years of enjoyment, along with their custom wall gallery that will soon be making an appearance in their living room. (And didn’t they do a great job of styling their outfits?)
Check out their fabulous session, and don’t forget to use the Contact page to check with me about making some magic for YOUR family!
Fall in Houston – 90 degree days with pumpkins and Christmas decorations already and ghosts and apple crisp. (Which I made a couple of days ago, and the whole house smelled like sweet-tart and saucy apples and cinnamon and memories and fall.)
It’s also time to treat yourself to an evening of memories with your family – playing, laughing, hugging, lots of tickles…or if you have older kids, just letting them know how special they are (or possibly breaking out into a spontaneous belly laugh competition – who knows?!?!). And I’m there to capture every minute.
I’m offering a few days of “Golden” Petite Sessions – often known as Mini Sessions – in early November. Petite Sessions are quick and easy – 20-25 minutes of shooting time at a beautiful outdoor location. In that time we’ll get images of your whole family, an individual shot of each child, and if we can, shots of just the grown-ups too. You’ll get:
- 10 digital images (printable up to 8×12) that you can use on your holiday cards and make prints for gift giving
- Five gorgeous 5×7 loose prints of your selected images for gifting OR keeping. (Because PRINTS MATTER.)
- Web-size versions of your 10 images for social media sharing
- A $35 credit toward holiday card purchases AND a $100 credit toward wall art purchases
- PLUS a super-secret surprise
It’s a flat rate of $395 plus shipping and tax. Dates are Nov. 6, 7 and 8 (Cypress/Tomball area). Sign up for your date and time and pay your session fee here. Session fees must be paid within 24 hours of reserving a time slot to keep your date and time.
Want a full session instead? You pick your date, time, and a location that perfectly fits your family. (I’ll help!) You’ll get more shooting time (up to an hour & a half), premium weekend time options, and absolutely stunning product options, from heirloom albums to swoon-worthy wall galleries. (Just ask my clients who get to look at their gorgeous wall galleries every day – worth every penny!) Check out the available weekend dates here, and just contact me if you prefer a weekday. (Pssst…if you book your full session before Nov. 1, you’ll get a FREE box of custom-designed holiday cards. That’s a $75 savings right there!)
Can’t wait to see you this fall!
PS – Want that apple crisp recipe? It’s in Molly Wizenberg’s memoir, Delancey. And it was SO. GOOD.
The joining of two people for a lifetime is one of the most beautiful things to witness. Although I don’t photograph many weddings, I was privileged to document Bonnie and Aaron’s small, sweet, intimate seaside ceremony in Galveston, TX. Enjoy your sneak peek and your new life, you two!