Little Miss Hannah

My favorite family welcomed a new member recently and I had the honor of taking some of her very first photographs...she is a tiny ball of precious and is so very loved by all around her.  Her big sister Sarah was very helpful and taught me this new game called "LET'S JUMP ON THE BED"...(side note: if you've never played it, I highly suggest you go try it right now)...so we did...a lot.  Always love my time spent with Lesley Anne and Jordan and their adorable clan.

WELCOME TO THE WORLD LITTLE HANNAH!

Justin Taylor Films

I never really mentioned it on my blog, but I recently became an official member of the Old Married Lady Club (YAY!). The experience of planning and executing a wedding was simultaneously the best experience ever and the hardest job I've ever had. Basically, leading up to the Wedding, I would set aside some time everyday for planning. The process went a little something like this:

HOORAY I'M GETTING MARRIED!

PINTEREST IS SO AWESOME!

I WANT ALL THESE PRETTY THINGS!

I'M GOING TO MAKE ALL THESE PRETTY THINGS BY HAND!

TOO MANY DETAILS!

**BRAIN EXPLODES**

Seriously, this happened everyday.

The one detail that I already had worked out before I even was engaged was who was going to film my wedding day. My buddy and all around amazing moving picture maker, the incredible and infamous Mr. Justin Browne.

Justin Browne and I literally ran into each other while scrambling to capture our mutual friends wedding. They had asked me to be the photographer, and asked Justin to be the videographer. We quickly worked out a system on who was going to stand where to get whatever images they needed...even before we introduced ourselves. At the reception, we formally met and quickly fell into Camera Nerd mode speaking in millimeters and shutter speeds, to the embarrassment of our significant others. In other words, we became fast friends.

We were the luckiest people in the world to have him capture our wedding day. Because we were friends prior to the actual day, I was totally comfortable having him in close proximity all day long. I'm absolutely over the moon about how the final products came out and I have him to thank for giving us the present of being able to re-live our day over and over again.

Here's the trailer to the video...

and here's a longer version (because he's awesome)...

A giant THANK YOU to Justin and his amazing video abilities. We are lucky to know you.

Check out his other work here and hire him often:

http://vimeo.com/justinbrowne

A Lovely Little Sunday...

My Sunday consisted of spending the morning with one of my favorite families and their newest addition - followed by a successful treasure hunting trip to Target. ALSO...Beyoncé BROKE THE SUPERBOWL WITH HER FIERCENESS.

(love her).

Get It Right // One Stop Valentine's Shop // Javalina Bar

Gentlemen of Austin...this one is for you:

Do you get nervous or anxious thinking about what to do for your lovely lady to satisfy her Valentine's Day RomCom Expectations? Confused when wilted flowers, a Hersey bar and a Post-It note that says "i love you" scribbled on it doesn't immediately make her say, "Wanna make out?"  Don't worry...you're not alone.

The awesome peeps at Javalina Bar on Rainey Street have put together a Man friendly One Stop Shop for all your Valentine's Day needs. They are bringing in best ladies in the business of Valentine's Day goodies for one night only - FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 1st. You can browse and purchase some surprises for your better half - while simultaneously enjoying some free cocktails from Ilegal Mezcal (while they last). Don't forget to stay for one of Javalina's amazing burgers and a cold beer from their primo selection of drafts.

Win / Win, Guys...WIN / WIN!!

PS >> Amanda and I will be there offering Peekaboo Boudoir Photo Packages - talk about a Win/Win...

Little Lucy and Her Big Brothers.

I had the unbelievable pleasure of spending the afternoon with three of the cutest kids any parents could ask for. We hung out and took some pictures, played with some pretty cool train toys and tried to set a record of how many High Fives I could dish out and receive in an hour. With two older brothers already doting on her, I fear for the future boyfriends of this little beauty:)

CHECK OUT THESE BABY BLUES!!

Lunch Date.

I had the day off from the Dept. of Awesome today - which left my morning / afternoon wide open for planning fun stuff around editing photos. What's better than an impromptu lunch date with your man on a beautiful day? Not much. Not much at all. Restaurant choice of the day was Elizabeth Street Cafe - one of my top 5 favorite places in Austin. We went late as to avoid the lunch rush - it was perfect.

Double Trouble

Betsy and Connor are clearly twins. They look alike and have the same parents and all...but it's the way they ACT with one another that immediately shows you that they shared a small place together for a long period of time. They have their own language, they have hilarious gestures and their own UNBELIEVABLE ADORABLE personalities which makes being around them kinda like watching the most entertaining silent film ever. They have super awesome parents too - so much so that I never want to leave, so my sessions with them always end up being awkwardly long (my fault). Sorry guys...But not really. :)

Queen Ranch Chicken

My Mom is the master at cooking...no really, she's amazing. It's one of the traits I hope to eventually discover I've inherited. No such luck at being as naturally gifted at the time of this blog post, but it's a goal I hope to achieve within my lifetime. Her most famous dish (besides her Banana Nut Bread)  is King Ranch Chicken. She's nicknamed it Queen Ranch Chicken - I love it. So that's what I call it.

We're going to our friend's house for dinner tonight and I thought I'd take a crack at the famous recipe to take along with us (+ black bean salad.)

FINGERS CROSSED Y'ALL.

P.S.

If you're a black bean salad lover like myself - this is super duper easy & fast  (I adapted it from another recipe, so apologies for the informal measurements - please remember I make no claims to be  a proper Chef.)

2 cans of black beans (drained and washed)

1 Tomato  (chopped )

1 Avocado (chopped )

1 Red Bell Pepper (chopped)

1/2 Red Onion (chopped)

1 Big Handfull of Cilantro - chopped

1 Cup of Frozen Corn (Thawed)

2 Tbs Fresh Lime Juice

2 Pinches of Sea Salt

#

*Mix and refrigerate until chilled

* For bigger flavor - drizzle with Lime Cilantro dressing

Wells Wells Wells

Adorable Adorable Adorable Mr. Wells...causing Baby Fever all over town. Aren't his parents dreamy and OH SO PROUD? Isn't he such a little heartbreaker?

All answers point to "yes."

Daytime

It's been pretty cold and rainy and grey for the past few weeks - but I kinda love it. When it's sunshine and heat all the time, a little rain and grey is relaxing. It makes you want to hunker down and read a good book and have some awesome BBQ for breakfast:)

Bring it Twenty-Thirteen.

That's right. I'm ready for you. Or at least I'm going to act like I'm ready for you and perhaps fool myself into actually accomplishing some of the items on the following list of aspirations. Although the word 'aspiration' sounds straight out of Downton Abbey, I dislike the pressure associated with the word GOAL . It's very JV Volleyball huddle circa 1999.

Also, I'm not going to number them - because that will mean another hour of me agonizing what order they should be in...we're all about saving some time in 2013...i'm very excited.

SHOOT BETTER PHOTOS.

*YAWN* I know this is SO PREDICTABLE but what do you expect from a photographer's blog? This is a personal and obvious aspiration for a photographer. It's harder than you think. You get in your groove, what you're comfortable with, what you know will work and it's HARD to deviate from your safe and fluffy formula. 2013 calls for more danger and intrigue in the photos I want to take...maybe less danger and more intrigue...with a double dose of creativity.

CREATE PERSONAL PHOTO PROJECTS FOR FUN.

My great boss and mentor Bill is demanding this happen. "Get out of your box and do something just for you - not for money, not because it's easy. Challenge yourself."

This one is a nice compliment to the one above, but it's different. The above aspiration is about my everyday work - this is about doing something for your soul. Use a different camera or explore a different medium... Paint or draw or write or *gasp* shoot with film. I have some ideas for personal projects that I could get really excited about if I gave myself the time. And man, I kinda wanna get weird with it. Let's get crazy 2013! I just need to set aside some designated brain cells/hours...But I guess that's the point of New Year's Resolutions huh?

DRINK BETTER WINE.

You think I'm kidding. But I'm not.

BECOME AN ADULT.

Like a FOR REAL adult. I have my own business, I have my own place to live, I'm MARRIED for pete's sake - on paper I'm doing pretty good. Here's the thing...I wake up most mornings with the mentality of a 20 yr old. For starters, maybe I could try not wearing Chuck Taylors every single day of my life? Maybe I could invest in some "nicer" t-shirts? I would like to start dressing like an adult on a daily basis. I would like to wake up a little earlier and actually 'fix' my hair other than hoping it's mostly dry by the time I leave the house so I can immediately throw it up into a bun. Also, I would like to keep up with some kind of regular beauty regimen. Treating myself to a Mani/Pedi, a professional haircut, having my eyebrows shaped...you know, things adult women do. In short, I'd like to look like something I pinned on my "Style Inspiration" board on Pinterest and not a sloppy freshman who's late for her 8 am Statistics class.

*This is a long shot at best since it requires waking up more than 20 mins before I need to leave to be anywhere*

GET PHYSICAL.

This is an oldie but goodie. I would love to learn to LOVE to exercise. When I hear people talk about how much they love it I can't help but think they are liars and probably cheaters, but maybe this is the year I will finally jump on the Exercise Bandwagon. The love for it is just not part of my DNA. Sure, I can do it. I can even get pretty good at it. But my affection for exercise has never risen above what I felt for say, the smart kid who sat next to me in biology. Admired, useful, but never loved.

Here's what I've put together by chatting with other ladies in my age bracket...The 26 yr old body is like that cool girl you met at a party or through mutual friends that you immediately clicked with while simultaneously being jealous of her outfit. She makes you laugh, you have fun together, you want to hang out more, you plan to make plans to get together sometime in the coming weeks or months and then you find out through Facebook or an Instagram picture that she has up and moved to a far away place and you'll never ever see her ever ever again. Sad story y'all. But so true.

Alas, in my old age I figure it's time to join the YMCA.

*This is an even longer shot than the above item*

KEEP IN TOUCH.

I'm so terrible at keeping in touch. Whether it's returning an email or a text or a phone call or mailing my wedding Thank You notes...I suck and I'm sorry, World. I am seriously going to try to be MUCH MUCH better at this.

I honestly feel like the more gadgets I have to 'keep me connected,' the worse I get.

BE POSITIVE.

It's so much easier to be the opposite of positive. Why is that? Let's turn that frown upside down in 2013 shall we?

VISIT MY FAMILY.

I have amazing sisters who live in super rad areas that aren't Texas - California and Wisconsin to be specific. I know what you're thinking - what a jerk I am for WASTING the opportunity to travel to these places and stay somewhere for free. It's not just you I'm disappointing, I promise. I've also  got a teenage niece up in Wisconsin who I'm dying to spend some time with before I blink and OOPS she's 25. I recently reconnected with some kick ass cousins in the Oklahoma/Dallas area that I'm dying to spend a weekend shopping, gossiping and drinking good wine. They are all so close and yet so far away. I want to make at least one trip to California, Wisconsin and Oklahoma/Dallas this year. Dammit.

TRAVEL MORE.

This one is very similar to "Visit Family" EXCEPT this one applies to tropical environments and/or places where they speak a different language entirely.

MAKE SOME DRASTIC CHANGES TO MY APPEARANCE (not really, but kind of)

The things I call drastic are the things normal people do on a Tuesday afternoon out of boredom. I would like to dye my hair a more obvious shade of red for awhile. I've never really had the balls to color my hair for fear that it would never ever return to it's orignal boring glory. Also, I actually like my natural hair color so I never really thought about it...until now. I think I want to try for 100% no doubt about it Redhead. None of this 60/40 red and blonde non-sense. I have some other ideas I'm bouncing off the old sounding board (aka my amazing husband) but maybe we'll wait and see how this first step goes...

START CHRISTMAS SHOPPING AND SHIPPING STUFF IN AUGUST (at least).

I say August is perfect because I will put it off until end of September, which really is the prime time to start scoping out some gifts on Etsy and beat the rush of all the LOSERS who wait until 2 days before (me) and is then offended by having to justify buying scarves for everyone again this year. *sigh* I'm better than the crazy dance I've been doing the past few years. Let me rephrase...I hope I'm better than the crazy dance I've been doing the past few years.

LOVE THE SPACE I'M IN.

My husband and I live in a tiny box 9 stories up in the air in one of the most eclectic/loudest neighborhoods in our fair city of Austin, Texas. It's actually not that tiny, and we should get out more and enjoy the people watching -  but - that being said, I'm so tired of living here it makes my hair hurt. The parking, the loud music, the neighbors (although I'm rather fond of our immediate next door neighbor- it's all the others I could do without), only having room for half of our stuff...For 3 years my desk was either our couch or our bed depending on how fancy I was feeling that day. We are ready for a house. SO READY CAN'T WAIT YAY. However, the process of finding said house is difficult and frustrating, so for now, I need to love the space I'm in. I made a list of things that I could do to help with this problem - it's 33 items long and will probably be completed 3 hours before midnight next December 31st. Alas, I WILL TRY.

and while we're at it, let's just throw out some hopefuls for 2014...

- Rent/create a studio space. Because I consider lugging my gear around 'exercise' and we all know how I feel about that.

- Live in a house and not across from 10 + bars. *fingers crossed*

- Have a dog that's mine all mine/ours.

Birthday Girl!

Little Miss Harper turned 1 this year (back in October) and I was invited to attend her fabulous Birthday Soirée. It had everything...magical princess wands,  bloody mary's (for the grown-ups), chick-fil-a, cupcakes, and BABY FARM ANIMALS (WHAT?!).  Harper's first birthday looked a lot like how I want my 31st birthday party to look...seriously.

Dept. of Awesome.

I have a part-time day job...and it's the best job ever. Here's a glimpse of my everyday surroundings - I've nicknamed it the Department of Awesome. It might not look as swank as your office, but this place is magical. #trustme

My Best Friend's Family

I've been taking photos of the Buschman's (they have married last names now with adorable husbands, but they'll always be the Buschman's to me) since I first picked up a camera. They have been as supportive in my love for photography as my own family - which makes me a lucky girl.  I've watched them both grow - from falling in love and getting married to now their ever-growing families. Amanda and I, being best friends and business partners in Peekaboo Boudoir, spend an awful lot of time together as you can imagine. We spent just as much time together before the whole business became a reality, which really gave her the time to become my #1 most photographed subject - I'm thrilled to watch her become the awesome Mom I always knew she would be. Lesley Anne is like a big sister to me - which means I know her not-so-well kept secret...that she's actually Superwoman. Her family is about to grow by +1 very very soon and I can't wait to meet the new addition to an amazing family! Update: Shout-out to my tiny pal Sarah - let's do lunch soon and maybe you can show me how to build a princess castle correctly ;)

Holidaze

Y'all, I scheduled this "day off" a month ago. It's the first day that I literally didn't have 100 something's looming or necessary tasks to accomplish. I did not set an alarm. I told my husband to let me sleep and to expect an epic level of laziness. I was shooting for setting a new personal record.

Here's a general idea of the greatest day off ever:

I woke up at 1 pm, went from my bed to the couch and watched a solid couple of hours of Law and Order.

Opened a good bottle of wine around 6 pm.

Ate homemade gumbo for dinner.

Decided I should do at least one productive thing today - so I took a horrible photo with my phone.

SUCCESS!

Deer Party

Every night my Dad throws deer food in the backyard and has a "Deer Party." It's an awesome little tradition. Merry Christmas little Deers!

The Road Home

Usually, when I drive home to see my parents I find the 2 hours useful to stress about all the other things I need to be doing that the act of driving prohibits...editing photos, paying bills, christmas shopping, BLOGGING, etc. But then there's that rare trip that I hit Highway 474 right as the sun is going down - and the air is cool and Tom Petty is blasting on my radio and I roll all the windows down and sing at the top of my lungs while my hair whips itself into a frenzy and I could care less about my list of things I "need" to get done. When that perfect combination of hair whipping, good tunes and magic light happens, I try to remind myself to put "shut your mouth and enjoy the moment" at the top of my to-do list.