What’s your favorite photo with a parent?
This is mine. It’s my dad and me when I was five, and is probably one of my most treasured photos. In the lush mountains of West Virginia with my baby sister strapped on my mom’s back, we explored caves and hiking trails in the area where my dad was born. I don’t remember a lot from that trip, but I do love the few photos that remain from our time together.
If you’ve had a child longer than one day, you know how FAST they change. (That goes for toddlers and teenagers.) In our digital and smartphone age, most of us have no shortage of photos of our kids.
But how many do you have where YOU are in the photo too? And of those, how many do you have printed out, that your child can frame and enjoy 30 years from now?
(My guess, if you’re like most people, is “not that many”.)
Let’s fix that, shall we?
I know, I know…a family photo session screams “stress and chaos”, especially if you have LITTLE kids (or a reluctant teen or spouse).
That’s why I’ll help you all the way through the planning process, from suggesting ideas for clothing to making sure kids (and dads!) have FUN at the session to helping you select the PERFECT artwork to grace your home. I even team up with hair and makeup artists to make mom feel fabulous.
You’ll get the clothes together (with guidance from me), show up, and have fun with your family. I’ll handle the rest.
I only have a few weekend dates left for full family or senior photography sessions with delivery guaranteed before Christmas, so be sure to snag yours before they are gone.
Fridays: 10/12, 10/19, 10/26, 11/9, 11/30 (all outdoors, your choice of Houston-area locations)
Saturdays: 10/27, 11/10 (late afternoons are all outside, mid-day can be either in the studio or a shaded outdoor location)
Sundays: 10/7, 10/14, 10/28 (mix of mid-afternoon northwest Houston studio sessions and sunset outdoor photo sessions at your choice of Houston-area locations)
Full sessions include:
- A 1.5-hour session at a location of your choice (I’ll provide options!)
- An in-person viewing and ordering appointment (at my studio or your home)
- A beautiful gallery of wall-worthy images to fill your home (all artwork purchases are made during your in-person viewing and ordering appointment, 1-2 weeks after your session – session fee does not include products or digital files) See the Studio Lookbook with full pricing details.
- ZERO guilt over spending money on digital images only to have them sit on your computer two years later despite your best intentions of making canvases, albums, etc.
AND when you book your full photo session by Oct. 1, you’ll receive a FREE box of 25 custom-designed holiday cards, printed on thick, luxurious card stock ($75 value) – my gift to you.
Yep, free holiday cards, DONE FOR YOU. Sign me up!
What about mini sessions?
If something shorter and smaller is what you need for your family photos this year, my annual Petite Sessions (sometimes called Mini Sessions) are now open for booking, with three date and location choices in and around the Houston and Bellaire areas. You’ll get 20 minutes with me and a proofing gallery of 10-15 images to choose from – perfect for holiday cards and quick grandparent gifts. (All purchases are separate from the $59-plus-tax session fee.)
Oct. 21: Spring Creek Growers (Christmas tree farm in Montgomery), 1-5 pm BOOK TREE FARM
Nov. 10: Private farm in Cypress, TX, 2:30-5:30pm BOOK CYPRESS FARM
Nov. 17 and 18: Private home in Bellaire, TX, 3:30-5:30pm BOOK BELLAIRE HOME
Hop to it! When they’re gone, they’re gone.
(If you’re someone who likes to see all the info before making a decision, check out the Petite Sessions price guide, including the 24 Hour Sale I offer immediately after the mini session gallery is opened for viewing.)
Boho-inspired details, flower crowns, a gorgeous beaded gown, a lush venue, a couple made for each other…all made for a perfectly romantic, dreamy wedding last fall. Congratulations, Megan & Brandon! Thank you for choosing me to photograph your gorgeous wedding.
Venue: Oak Tree Manor
Flowers: Bramble & Bee
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!
I’ve been a portrait photographer in the greater Houston area for six years. During that time, I swore up and down that I would not photograph weddings – the days are too long, too much stress, no “do-overs”…plus bridezillas? No, thanks.
But when not one but TWO of my incredible portrait clients gave me the high honor of asking me to photograph their weddings, knowing full well I didn’t have much wedding experience, I gladly said yes – and they may have just made a wedding convert out of me.
From the months of effort that go into all the details (big and small) to emotions running high, there is a multitude of photographic opportunities come wedding day. I’ve discovered that there is something so tender about recording the culmination (and at the same time, the beginning) of a couple’s love story. It is truly an honor to create the visual archive of the day a couple exchanges their vows, and I’m beyond delighted that Jen and Wes invited me to be a part of theirs.
Jen did a phenomenal job curating the details and vendors for their wedding. (Have you ever seen peacock feathers in a bridal bouquet before? SO cool!) Be sure to also keep an eye out for their dogs, who made a special appearance in the ceremony. Also check out her fantastic vendors:
Venue: The Bell Tower on 34th
Bride’s Dress Design: Pnina Tornai
Flowers: Floral Events
Cake: Cakes by Gina
Hair: Diana Cauzabon Makeup: Katrina Victor
Jen and Wes, thanks once again for the honor of recording your wedding day. Enjoy!
If you are in business, whether for yourself or someone else, take a second to pull up your social media profile photo (Facebook, LinkedIn, whatever you use for business). Go ahead, I’ll wait.
(Really. Go look. Then come back.)
This is your visual presence to the world. What is it saying about you?
If you’re like a lot of people, you may not have given much thought to your photo. It may be 10-plus years old. You may have grabbed one of your family shots and cropped everyone (or most of everyone) out. Perhaps you asked a friend to snap a photo of you (not really knowing what was going on in the background), or maybe you really wanted to get something up fast and uploaded a quick selfie taken in the driver’s seat of your car (seat belt and all).
OR, you do realize that a great, up-to-date photo is important, but getting it done seems overwhelming. Maybe you don’t know what to wear. Perhaps you’ve gained some weight. You think you never look good in photos. Or you just don’t have time to think about a photo shoot.
How do I know this? Because I see it every day – and I’ve heard them all.
But it doesn’t have to be this way.
I’ll help you communicate exactly what you want to say with your photographs. You want your profile photo to represent your best self. You want to visually communicate your professionalism and a sense of what it is that you do. A yoga instructor’s headshot should look very different from an accountant’s. An attorney’s headshot will communicate a different message than an artist’s. From how to get ready to what to wear, I’ll walk you through the process – and I promise, it will be easier than you think.
Enter the Headshot Marathon, Oct. 15, 18, 20, and 29
For four days only this month, my in-studio headshot sessions are yours for the taking, at a $100 savings. I know times are tough, and a lot of people are looking for jobs. How will you make your profile stand out from the crowd? An updated, great-looking headshot is a fantastic start.
Grab your spot now with just a $50 plus tax deposit, and I’ll invoice you for the $150 plus tax balance before the shoot. That includes a 20 minute shoot, an online proofing gallery of up to 15 proofs, and three final images, fully retouched and delivered to you in color and black and white, high resolution (for printing) and low resolution (for web) for a total of 12 files.
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!)