Archive for September, 2011

September 30, 2011

Tony & Heather///San Antonio Engagement Photographer

Meet Tony and Heather. They are such a beautiful couple that I think it would have been impossible to take a bad photo of them! I’m so excited to be shooting their wedding in November as well!

I do my best to use my engagement sessions to tell a story of each couple’s connection. It’s my job to take what I see and help it come across visually in a photo. It wasn’t hard with these two. As you will see, they are very sweet together.

I’ve also started providing a monochromatic copy of all photos to my couples. This is for several reasons:

I love b&w prints, they look great in a cluster on a wall and I love giving a little extra to my clients.

While I love the color versions of these photos as shown in the first two, I just felt that the bw copies told the story better. So that’s what I’m sharing today:)

Tony and Heather, thank you so much for letting me be a part of this special experience!




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September 29, 2011

The greatest glory in living lies not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall. – Nelson Mandela

Yesterday I got a call from Lulu’s teacher notifying me that she had been dealing with a bully at school. Her teacher said that she had gone to the principle, counselor and the boy’s parents.

I had two thoughts: Why didn’t lulu tell me? and I’m so happy about how her teacher handled the situation.

This is not the first time we have dealt with bullies with Lulu. She was constantly teased last year by little girls who found her clothing style and personality weird. Labeled as a “peacemaker” by her teachers, lulu is the sweetest child. She doesn’t understand why other kids don’t get her. I could tell that this was affecting her self esteem last year. So I’ve done my best to be supportive and encourage her in things she loves.

I spoke with her about the new situation yesterday and she said “I just didn’t want to get anyone in trouble, so I didn’t tell you.” After explaining to her that the best thing was to tell someone and no one would be hurt, she felt better and opened up more. She felt better in hearing that her teacher, principle and counselor (as well as her parents and brother) were on her side.

I truly hope if you have a child going through this, that you don’t just turn your back and hope it goes away. It’s our job as parents to be involved.

Lulu is one of the strongest kids and I know she will prevail no matter what comes, but I love her positive attitude. I could learn a lot from it.

It started raining today and she said “Can I go play in the rain? It always makes me feel better!” I said “only if I can take photos of it.”

Of course she agreed. To further build her self esteem and encourage her art, we decided to start doing original photos of her for her room. I thought this would be a good chance to get some fun shots in the rain.

This is what we got:

I love this girl more everyday.

September 26, 2011

Corpus Christi, TX//Fall Photos

Fall is one of my favorite seasons! Unfortunately, we don’t get much of one here in Texas. While I keep seeing photos of girls with new boots and cute scarves, I am still wearing sandals and tank tops. I don’t like to complain about the weather too much, because it could be much worse, but I do sometimes wish we had the four seasons.

I’ve never been one to linger too long on things I can’t change, so I mold to them.

A few ways I’ve embraced fall in my own way:

  • Incorporating the fall colors into my wardrobe (even if it’s not sweaters and jackets yet). I love the dress below that my lovely friend Zel from Honey in the Sun let me borrow for our beach shoot this weekend.
  • Getting pumpkin flavored drinks/candles.
  • Letting my bangs grow out for the winter for a change.
  • Taking walks at night when it actually feels like fall.
  • Paying more attention to the leaves that have fallen (I swear they have secret messages in them;)
  • Planning more DIY projects with the kids (this week we are making our own picture frames with my friend Chris Pichado)
  • Putting more inspirational books on my list to keep my spirit upbeat through the winter months
  • Living vicariously through craft blogs and Martha Stewart magazines because I know I don’t have the time to do any for myself.
  • Making plans for more dinner parties with friends, because they need it and I need them.
  • Giving myself room for improvement, renewal, change, growth and even failure, because they are all necessary for progress.
I hope wherever you are, you are enjoying your season!  Light a fire, take photos of the leaves, get a pumpkin spice latte… or if you are in Texas, go to the beach and enjoy the breeze!
Many thanks to Zelina Garza and Nichole Groves for taking these photos for me. If felt nice to be amongst friends, in the elements, barefoot;)


September 19, 2011

San Antonio Singer/Songwriter: Taylor Anne Crawford

This is Taylor…

She is a singer/songwriter , 18, drives a VW Beetle, currently writing her first EP with Producer Mack Damon, and has the best heart/passion I have seen in a musician in a while. I met Taylor months ago after being facebook friends for a while. When she asked me about doing a shoot, of course I was excited. We’ve talked about it for a month and knew we wanted to do something that would give her different styles/shots.

With musicians, I’ve found it’s best to give them a lot to work with. They have to use the photos for social media profiles, blogs, websites, album art work, EPKs, etc. If you limit the shoot to a few shots, they don’t get the most out of it.

We did her shoot out in Boerne on someone’s farm. We were only shooting for about a half hour when the storm started coming in. It didn’t matter. I think the rain clouds made for a great backdrop.

We even had the craziest drive back through the storm. I definitely enjoyed not only getting to do photos of Taylor, but also finding out more about her. She is a lovely person and I can’t wait to see what this life has in store for her.

Taylor, thank you so much for letting me get to know you better and allowing me to take such lovely photographs of you!

September 16, 2011

San Antonio Photography: “Breaking the rules” SOOC-Edited photos

Last night I had the pleasure of having a group of creative folks in my living room. We were there to do a project for another local photographer and I will share more of our night and photos of that project later. Rick Rooster Garza and I were chatting about how we shoot and how our images come straight from the camera.

I break a lot of the traditional rules of photography sometimes and my white balance settings are not what most photographers would probably choose. I was explaining to Rick that because I know what my editing style is, I set my white balance to work with what I know I’ll do later. I love the play on colors and light in photography. I like to manipulate it to look as “I” see it and not necessarily as it appears in real life. I like being able to get the image I want straight from the camera so I don’t have as much post processing to do.

I also don’t mind sharing. I get a lot of questions at times about my settings/lenses/shoot style. Below is an example of a few shots I took of the lovely Lacie Dawn while I was helping with production of Rich O’Toole’s music video shoot. Lacie is a local Bad-A makeup artist who was working on the shoot as well. She’s so pretty and her makeup always looks great so I didn’t want to pass up the opportunity to get some shots of her.

Here are the images SOOC (straight out of the camera) and my camera settings for both. I normally shoot in raw but I was low on card space:

I shot each of these photos with a white balance of 3600 Kelvin. It was noon and the lighting was extremely bright/orange. I loved Lacie’s makeup so I didn’t want to mess with what she had done. I shot a little brighter on the photo of her close up because I loved the softer feel. I also shot with my portrait setting a little less saturated so she would stand out in front of the bright greenery.

I then pulled them both into raw and corrected some of the lighting, used the unsharp mask tool to add some clarity and used photoshop to run some of my own actions. I also cleaned up some of the distracting elements in the b&w photo.

I’m not saying that this style works for every photog’s style. But after chatting with Rick last night and getting his insight on his own techniques, I thought it would be good to share some of my own. I really don’t understand that old school way of thinking where we must keep secrets and be so competitive as photographers and artists. It’s unnecessary because you can find out pretty much anything you want to on the internet. I hope I can continue to work with people like Rick who are not afraid (or intimidated) to share.

We are all in the same boat. Learning, perfecting our craft and running businesses to support our families. I think we can help one another get to the place we really want to be; to be the artists we know are within us.

I’d also like to share a sneak of my last two engagement sessions…

September 14, 2011

San Antonio Couples//Blaine & Mimi

I love working with couples… there is always a loving playful vibe. I shot with these two a while back and I’m happy to finally be able to share. I met Blaine almost two years ago when I assisted on a photoshoot for my friend Amber. A year later, she and I shot his band again together. I met Mimi through Blaine and so on.

They are SUCH a pretty couple and super fun. They didn’t mind doing anything I ask them to do.

Each photo of them was full of life and emotion. If I would have had to choose my favorite, it would have to be the b&w below. It’s perfect at showing the intensity between the two of them.

Thank you Blaine and Mimi for allowing me to photograph you guys!

On another note, the bag I modeled for Epiphanie (read post) is available for sale… click on the image below to check it out!

September 8, 2011

You see her confidence is tragic, but her Intuition magic.

When I started this blog, I told myself that I’d keep things more professional… only share things that had to do with strictly photography. Often times, I’ve been accused of sharing too much. I really thought I could do it.

But I can’t. One of the reasons I love photography so much is that I get to tell stories with pictures; share how I see the world. Everything about who I am is about sharing. Sharing my life, sharing my experiences, sharing my perspective. Some people like to keep journals (which I do) to keep their thoughts. Some like to internalize them (I do not). Some like to share with friends and family (I do). Some don’t mind sharing with strangers as well (that’s me). I can’t help it. I don’t want to change it… so if we are all agreed that this blog will be about whatever I decide to share, I’ll start.

Lately, I’ve moved from that phase of being a mother of small children, to a mother of pre-teens. My son already thinks and acts like he’s a 25 yr old and my daughter is deeper than some adults I’ve met. I am slowly adjusting to this new phase… I’m coping by taking more photos. I don’t want to forget anything about who they are right now.

Last week, I was extremely busy and was trying to get my 7 yr old to read her homework. I was frustrated and told her “see baby, your brother is already done, can you do it like Jaden?” To which she replied “mommy, I’ll never be like Jaden.”

She’s right and I would never want her to be anyone other than who she is right now.

Today’s post is dedicated to my daughter.

Born Madison Kay Brimhall, she now writes her name a cursive “lulu “and adds a heart or butterfly to almost anything paperlike in our home.

She is:

not concerned about being an over-achiever, but she will give her heart to everything she wants to do, not concerned with being competitive (except with her brother), not the know-it-all who raises her hand first, but she will be the first to offer her hand to someone in need.

Although she got the Math award at school, she thinks math is useless to her dream of being an artist.

She is not the girl who wears name brand clothing, but she the girl who makes dresses out of my vintage shirts. She is not the girl who asks for Taylor Swift tickets, she is the girl who writes her own songs.

She is:

the girl who is still afraid of the dark, but not afraid to stand in front of 100 people and sing her heart out.

the girl who cries at the sight of true love, a beautiful melody, and when her brother doesn’t give her her way.

the girl who stands up to mean girls but loves them anyway.

She doesn’t apologize for who she is. She is not concerned with anyone’s version of what success or happiness is… she sticks with her own.

She is:

a feeler, a lover, a thinker, a giver, not a follower, a little syvlia plath mixed with a little hanna montana mixed with a little bit of me.

I believe in her more and more everyday, and in turn, she’s teaching me to believe in myself.

September 7, 2011

On the other side of the camera: Epiphanie Camera bags

Once in a while, I get a break from standing behind the camera and get to be on the other side. Yesterday, I had the complete pleasure of modeling for Maile Wilson, a local photographer who owns her own designer camera bag line called Epiphanie.

I have been a fan of Maile’s work for years now so when she asked me to model for her, of course I said yes. I think I said yes more than a few times to myself.

After months of trying to get our schedules together, we finally met and I shamelessly acted like a fan-girl. I love meeting fellow photogs and especially love meeting those whom share similar experience and passions. I had a great time and the best part was getting to know more about Maile (she is even more amazing and fun in person than what you see online). It felt great knowing that we all go through the same struggles as people/artists.

I don’t take these kind of experiences for granted and I am excited I was able to meet her, pick her brain for a little bit and hopefully help her by modeling.

Before I left, she gave me some of her designs. It felt like I was on the Oprah show walking out with presents!

Below are the bags I am blessed to call my own. I absolutely love the detail she puts into her bags. The colors, the little tags, the braided straps (with interchangeable shoulder straps) make these bags easy to use and lovely to look at. Fashion+Function makes me happy. Who says all professional photographers have to use black and grey bags?

I love that there is a bag for all purposes… laptop, handbag, courier. I can’t wait to be able to use them all!

Thank you Maile for your time and all of your encouragement! And of course the gorgeous bags:)

You can find better photos and Maile’s whole line at www.haveanepiphanie.com

September 5, 2011

SAN ANTONIO BRIDAL PORTRAITS: Stephanie Salazar sneak

I had a wonderful time with Stephanie at her bridal session. I can’t show too much until after the wedding, but I LOVED her dress and veil. She was so open to everything I wanted to do and SUCH a pretty girl. I can’t wait to share more later. Thank you Stephanie for allowing me to document this special time in your life. xo

September 5, 2011

Matt Adler (Behind the Scenes) + 5 easy tips for last minute photoshoots

I am blessed to be fortunate enough to work with musicians. Back in my earlier twenties, I was involved with music and never was able to fully chase that dream. Doing photographs for musicians allows me to live close to that dream.

Sometimes, an artist gives me a concept but sometimes they just give me a color scheme. It’s my job to closely match what they need in the photographs for the graphic designer to be able to do their album art.

When local singer/songwriter, Matt Adler asked me to do his photos, he gave me some color swatches and left the rest to me.

It’s no secret that I am from the self taught photographer generation and have always worked with what’s available to me rather than going out and spending a fortune on equipment. I appreciate more tools=more options. But what happens when we don’t have as many tools due to finances or availability? We improvise and still give our clients the best product. Sometimes having complete creative control can be intimidating but there are a few things I do when handling last minute sessions.

5 tips for last minute photo shoots
1. Choose a location with multiple backgrounds- By doing this, I am able to give my client many options. This is especially helpful for musicians who want to get the most life out of their photos. They are able to choose what’s best for their album artwork, their press kits, websites and profile photos; and all can be different.

2. Make the client comfortable first- By letting the client give your their perspective, they will be more comfortable in having their photo taken. Listen to them and they will be able to loosen up so you don’t waste time on the empty shots.
Tip: I ask my clients a lot of questions and take photos “while” they are talking so they get used to the camera.

3. Pay close attention to detail- Straightening hair, adjusting clothing, paying attention to the full composition of the shot will ensure that you don’t have to take the shot over and over or miss the “look” just because something was off in the photo.
Tip: Take your time in reviewing the photo’s composition and once you get the golden shot, move on so you’ll have time on your next location.

4. Engage your client- Just because you are the photographer and they are your subject, doesn’t mean you have to create a distance. By suggesting poses and helping explain how they can give a certain look, you will help them give the best in them. Remember photography is a recipe of the subject, your artistic and technical ability and how they mesh.
Tip: Encourage them; show them what each look shows up like on the camera. I always show my client the good and bad photo so they can adjust.

5. Have fun- I know from experience on being the subject on the other side of the camera, nothing is worse than a photographer who is not fun and engaging. You want your client to have a good “experience” not just a good photoshoot.
Tip: Ask them about their hobbies and likes and find some area to relate to. Keep your energy up and let them enjoy themselves.

Below is the “behind the scenes” of my photoshoot with Matt. All tips can be seen here: