Taylor and Alex: Joshua Tree Adventure Engagement

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When couples say yes to our crazy ideas, spectacular things happen. We met Taylor and Alex at the Georgetown Bridal Show even though they live in the Bay Area (as in California). Conversations ensued. We road tripped out to meet them at Joshua Tree for a destination adventure engagement.

Joshua Tree National Park is a dream location. It is the sort of place where a photographer can point their camera in any direction and get spectacular photos. We started in the Cholla Garden, hung out at Skull Rock for sunset and then watch moon rise in Hidden Valley.  Needless to say, we had a ton of fun on this one.

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Jacob & Katie: Westridge Stables Spicewood Springs Engagement

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We met Jacob and Katie through Jacob’s company Lone Star Wake Rentals. Jacob takes people out on the Austin area lakes to have a good time. I don’t know that I’ve ever seen a better job fit. About half way through their engagement session I looked at Katie and said “I assume Jacob was always the class clown?” The answer was a resounding “yes!”

Needless to say, Katie and Jacob’s engagement session at Westridge Stables was a lot of fun. The property is huge and we spent the afternoon roaming around it looking for photos. We even made some creative use of our Polaris transport under the milky way..

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Lindsey and Chase: A Canoeing Adventure Engagement

Start with a bucket of west Texas hill country sunshine, a canoe, a couple of kayaks and finally splash on some some water. Lindsey and Chase wanted to revisit one of their early adventures as a couple so we packed up our camera gear and headed out to the Llano river near Chase’s family ranch.

We set out on a “3 hour tour” down a beautiful and largely wild section of the river and didn’t see anyone else after the first thirty minutes.  We had fun taking photos along the way and stopped at a couple of special locations like the red cliffs for portraits. Three hours turned to 6 and we got to finish the paddle under the milky way.

Chase and Lindsey Kayaking Engagement on Llano River

Chase and Lindsey Kayaking Engagement on Llano River

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Chase and Lindsey Kayaking Engagement on Llano River

Chase and Lindsey Kayaking Engagement on Llano River

Chase and Lindsey Kayaking Engagement on Llano River

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Chase and Lindsey Kayaking Engagement on Llano River

Chase and Lindsey Kayaking Engagement on Llano River

Chase and Lindsey Kayaking Engagement on Llano River

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Jason and Shay: Inks Lake Adventure Engagement in Burnet

The Texas hill country is full of beautiful locations to explore and we love it when couples say yes to exploring them during their engagement session. Jason and Shey met us for an Inks Lake Adventure Engagement. Check out (and I don’t normally get to say this) Shay’s adventure giraffe bridal shoot.

Reflective Inks Lake Adventure Engagement

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Inks lake is a beautiful natural location for engagement photos. The rugged landscape fit Shay and Jason’s adventurous spirit perfectly. Thanks to some recent rain, there were even reflective puddles on the granite.

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Inks Lake Adventure Engagement - Creative Engagement Photos - Hill Country Engagement Portrait - Austin Adventure Engagement

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Starry Engagement Photos

The stars were big and bright over Shay and Jason. They said yes to hanging out and waiting for full dark. Then the fun began.

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Inks Lake Adventure Engagement - Starry Night Portrait - Star Engagement - Austin Adventure Engagement

Stephanie and Daniel: Old Town Kyle Engagement

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Central Texas is full of beautiful texture and color. Stephanie and Daniel live in Kyle, a small town that is no exception. We decided to have a little fun with the travel theme and the old railroad depot and caboose and then just enjoy the texture and nice weather.

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Jonathan and Lindsay – A Vintage Austin Engagement

Jonathan and Lindsay are people I’ve known a while through the Lindy Hop community, but that is only one facet of their personality. Jonathan is one of the biggest foodies I know and Lindsay is really into 40s, 50s and 60s vintage. They have both been bitten by the entrepreneurship bug too. They definitely have their own style. And I spent most of their engagement shoots grinning ear to ear and chuckling.

Planning engagements is always fun. Sometimes we just do pretty pictures but we really enjoy finding something a little more personal, something that really speaks to the couple’s personality.

Lindsay asked if we could do part of their engagement at Sawyer & Co in East Austin. A quick call to the manager and we were good to go. Not only was Sawyer & Co really nice and the decor cool, but the food was great too. The restaurant made a nice backdrop so I decided to have some fun and tell a little visual story through the session. Enjoy!

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Rachael and Kevin, Take 3 – Day After Shoot

Sometimes the world conspires against you, or it seems that way…

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Rachael wanted a bridal shoot before her wedding and we scheduled one for the week before the wedding right after the dress would be done. That morning we had to cancel. The area got 10 inches of rain and there was widespread flooding and road closures.

Flash forward to October. The wedding is over and the wedding photos are long done (including some epic weather on their wedding day too). We regrouped and tried again in the cooling fall weather only to have the second major rain event of the year happen that day… More flooding and road closures. Scratch attempt 2.

Attempt number 3, and this time we missed the rain by a day and had beautiful weather. As a bonus, Kevin tagged along and we turned the shoot into a “day after” couples shoot and had a lot of fun. We started off at Rabb House in Round Rock and then used the open skies at Old Settlers Park for some night sky shots.

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Joseph and Sara – Texas Hill Country Engagement

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It’s always a special privilege to work for another professional photographer. When our friend Joseph asked us to be his wedding photographer, we were honored. There is a validation that goes with that, but also special responsibility and pressure. Phase one is the engagement shoot, and it is probably my favorite part of wedding photography. The ideal engagement session isn’t fast. It is relaxed and it is fun. I think relaxed and fun sums up Joseph and Sara’s hill country engagement.

We had a blast and made a ton of fun photos around the hill country. Picking the set for this blog was no easy task. The day began at the Stargazer cabin outside Fredericksburg with clear blue skies, tall brown grass and post oaks. We strolled up and down Main St in Fredericksburg for a bit, seeing the sites and making images. We hung out and chatted over a relaxed lunch at Rothskeller while we all flipped through the photos and talked about growing up in small town Texas.

Our plans hit a slight snag at Enchanted rock… The park was closed due to a managed hunt going on, so we diverted to Inks Lake. Luckily, we had time for the change in plans and spent sunset having some fun (including a cliff diving photobomb) around Devil’s Watering Hole.

Hopefully you like the images as much as we do.

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Britt & Kristina: Burnet Engagement Portraits

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Britt & Kristina have a love of water, and in planning their engagement portraits we discussed a few options but settled on one of our favorite locations, Reveille Peak Ranch in Burnet, Texas. The team there is fantastic, good people. Anyhow, our first setup involved Britt & Kristina on a pier. Josh being the adventuresome sort knew that the right angle required him to be a few feet in the water, and after 3 steps, he was in the water, up to his neck. College beer skills saved his favorite camera from taking a drink.
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Once the normal photoshoot tension was shattered, we rollicked through three outfit and light changes around the lake at Reveille Peak. The other super cool location was on the back side of the dam where the overflowing water has revealed the pink granite. This was a tough part to shoot, happy with what we got, but already looking forward to getting more from this wave location.

Britt mentioned that he was a photography minor in college, so now we have to plan something outrageous for their wedding. Leave any crazy suggestions in the comments.

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Michelle & Antonio: Engagement Session in Dallas

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Dallas Skyline Engagement Session

Been a bit of a whirlwind this summer with assignments and shoots around the big state of Texas. And truth be told this engagement session in Dallas had me a bit nervous. See, Antonio is a photographer himself and has high expectations. Michelle’s older brother turns out to be a running friend of mine. So we had a bit of pressure on either side to turn in something fairly epic. The shoot itself took place mostly in the Arts district in downtown Dallas and finished in a secret parking garage to get twilight skyline views. The pressure went out the door the moment we pressed the first shutter. Tonio and Michelle are just a riot to work with; funny, smart, charming and a very beautiful couple. We had a bunch of fun playing with water, light and lines in ways to tell their love story. My favorite is the last photo in yellow… comfortable in front of the camera much?

Look for this couple’s wedding at Lone Oak Barn planned by Life Styled Events in September, we have been plans for that day too!
–JB

Dallas Skyline Engagement Session

Dallas Skyline Engagement Session

Dallas Skyline Engagement Session

Dallas Skyline Engagement Session

Dallas Skyline Engagement Session

Dallas Skyline Engagement Session

Dallas Skyline Engagement Session

Dallas Skyline Engagement Session

Dallas Skyline Engagement Session

Dallas Skyline Engagement Session

Dallas Skyline Engagement Session

Dallas Skyline Engagement Session

Bhumi & Savan: Houston Theater District Engagement

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Uptown Style. Bhumi & Savan’s Houston Engagement session featured backdrops at the Williams Water Wall and then into the Theater District. Bhumi wore 3 distinct dresses, from her traditional sari to a classic little black dress. Savan was the perfect future husband accessory to Bhumi’s style, he looked great in a suit and stood stoic in the photos letting loose with the occassional ear to ear grin.

Tell us your perfect Engagement Experience and how we can help photograph it, always up for new ideas

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Julie & Garrett: San Antonio Riverwalk Engagement

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Whirlwind! Julie & Garrett wanted to do an engagement shoot that showed off their rambling, adventuresome side. We met at the Japanese Tea Garden in San Antonio and palled around there for a while in the giant pagoda and near the waterfall until we found these exploding red flowers. Also had to utilize the old concrete kiln that produced the first Portland Cement west of the Mississippi.

From there a quick trip to Alamo Brewing Company and the restored railroad bridge that traverses the train tracks. A needed pint of hefeweizen and off again to the Riverwalk area of downtown.

This was the crazy part of the session. The Riverwalk was packed with tourists making it hard to walk along the historic sidewalks. The river barge operators spotted us every time and cajoled the crowd into cheering for Julie & Garrett. But finally we found the quieter parts of the old river and made the glowy sunset photos we were after.

We love this type of engagement session, where only a rough outline of the day is drawn and we spend our time chasing the light and color we seek to define the mood. Thanks to Julie & Garrett for running around town with us!

–JB

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Shannon & Ryan: Meridian Engagement

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A jeep, a faithful dog, a quiet place on the river. Shannon & Ryan’s engagement session is about as idyllic as can be imagined. We trekked up to the thriving metropolis of Meridian, Texas to photograph the happy couple. The field of tall grass with the lone tree near the center was enough to photograph on it’s own. The sun was coming in low over the horizon and Buck the Dog was happily jumping and pouncing in and out of the camera’s view. The day ended at sunset at a hunter’s retreat a few minutes down the road. We photographed until we could see no more and then talked while the fireflies lit up the lodge. Thanks to Ryan for hosting us, and to Shannon for making sure he dressed well. See yall in July!

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Andrea & Keith: County Line Equestrian Center Engagement

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We always love it when we are able to photograph a couple in a special place. In Andrea and Keith’s case, that was Keith’s family equestrian center, County Line in Pflugerville. He grew up there and it had obvious significance to him. This was one of those shoots that got better and better as it went on. We started with clear skies and had some fun with a few settings around the grounds. As the sun approached the horizon, thunderstorms started to build to the south of us, boiling up into the sunset. Things got a little surreal.

Great couple. Great location. Great weather.

We pride ourselves on making great photos under any conditions (see the Anytime Light Workshop if you want to learn how), but sometimes nature cooperates and we are able to raise the bar in a way that no amount of equipment or skill can match. This was one of those situations.

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Emily & Joey: Travis Heights Engagement

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We are loving a new trend in our engagement photography, to stay in the neighborhood of our clients and photograph in the places that are meaningful to the couple. For Emily and Joey’s Travis Heights engagement session we focused on areas that Emily found on her running routes from her house. We started with the uber-Texan Mockingbird and Bluebonnet graffiti wall off Riverside, found a great tree on a corner street (that was gone a week later!), utilized some huge agave plants near little Stacey Pool, and then finished up by strolling around St. Edwards at sunset. We hope to see this trend continue because we think it adds to the intimacy of the photographs to have meaningful locations as a layer in the final images.

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Noah & Vanessa: Laughing Around Austin Engagements

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Laughing around Austin is seriously all we did for Noah & Vanessa’s engagement session. Our goal was to hit up fun spots around Austin while staying away from the cliche spots (I am looking at you Jo’s Coffee Shop). We managed to get 5 locations in 3 hours and only had to slide through one chain link fence to get our East Austin Skyline photographs. We all were laughing the entire shoot, even when I broke one of my flash tubes, or kept losing my balance. Vanessa and her infectious Jennifer Garner smile kept us all in good spirits. Noah you have your hands full with that one I tell ya. Truly one of the nights when I didn’t want to stop shooting, if only to stop and have a beer and hang out with this super fun couple.

We are excitedly looking forward to their August wedding with reception at Brazos Hall, all planned by one of our fave event teams, 11:11 Events.

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Madison & Tom’s Engagement Session in Austin

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“Feet in the Sky, Feet on the Ground” –
When discussing Madsion’s engagement session, she mentioned that she wanted to do something a little different, music to my ears! I have had an idea of photograph where the bride to be was floating through the air while the fiance anchored her down. Madison and Tom were perfect for this because Madison is a dancer and aerialist and had the needed body control to pivot off the unseen ladder. The weather cooperated as well, giving us the soft and gloomy light of a British countryside at the rolling hills of Commons Ford Park. The couples outfits added that last great element of posh, country elegance with a three piece suit and a red dress. I felt like they could have left a formal afternoon tea to take these photographs.

Our second setup of the day was interesting as well. Smores around a fire pit, Madison’s favorite pastime. Sounds easy enough, but I knew the light would be harsh just coming from the flames. To fix the harsh light we used three LED panels gelled orange and red to smooth out the light on Tom and Madison’s face and to give a bit of edge lighting to separate them from the dark background. We cooked marshmellows and burned a few until we got what we needed.

Looking forward to their wedding at the Downton Abby-esque Chateau Bellevue in the spring of 2015.

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Hannah & Charlie: Round Rock Fire Station Engagements

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Super excited to share this firefigher engagement session from Fire Station #7 in Round Rock, Texas with Hannah and Charlie. We got to play with 2 fire engines, fireman clothes and gelled flashes. Felt like a photographer in a candy store, no a kid in a camera store, er, I was excited to be shooting at a real fire station. Everyone was happy to help and to give Charlie only a modicum of grief for the cute photos he and Hannah were taking. Tough crowd. Our goal with this shoot was to be the best fire fighter engagement session on pinterest and I think we are well on the way.

We are also excited because this happy couple will be our first Lone Oak Barn wedding, one of our favorite new venues in Round Rock. Thanks to Hannah and Charlie for being good sports with our photo ideas and thank to them as well for choosing AzulOx Photography.

–JB

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Todd & Michelle: Austin Paddle Boarding and Graffiti Engagements

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We love our couples that give us the freedom to create a mini-storybook of their lives. Michelle and I had quite a few brainstorming sessions about what silliness we should photograph that best represented her and Todd. Wine Stomping, Pedicab with their Dog, and a few others hit the cutting room floor as we nailed down our three locations to the Graffit Wall on 11th, Paddle boarding on Town Lake and at Big Top Candy Store.

First up was the graffiti wall on 11th where Todd and Michelle wanted to recreate the hip hop vibe of the 80’s. Sadly we couldn’t locate a boombox the size of small truck but the hard light and fisheye pulled a lot of the weight on this section. We even got them to spray paint their wedding date and initials onto the wall.

Second was the most challening as we ventured onto Town Lake in 2 person kayak photographing Todd and Michelle sharing a SUP board. Todd did all the work as he paddled around and around chasing the light. I was directing them holding onto my camera secured in our underwater housing while our gal Marina paddled us around to get the right angles. Michelle made cute faces as she does.

Last we hit up South Congress to visit the Big Top Candy Shop. Apparently Todd has a bit of the sweet tooth, and Michelle, well, she is a dental hygienist. Natural tension ensued and then they brought the dog into the mix to decide which parent’s vice he preferred. The lollipup, er, lollipop won out to no one’s surprise.

We are looking forward to their wedding at The Union on Eighth in December with some of our fave vendors and seeing how they decorate and plan around the fun that is this couple.

Recommended Listening to this blog post – Beastie Boys Paul’s Boutique

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Kim & Jonathan: Reveille Peak Ranch Engagements in Burnet

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Where to begin on this pre-wedding shoot? We have a mountain biking couple, dressed in a tux and a wedding gown, careening downhills at Reveille Peak Ranch and ending up in the lake at Sunset. You think we had a bit of fun? You betcha we did. We love our adventuresome couples and we love to challenge them to take it that one step further, Kim and Jonathan took it at least two steps more. (dancing pun for the cowboy boots and hat crowd) Love this shoot, love this couple. We are going to have even more good times together on their wedding weekend!
–JB

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