Jenny Lynn in Red: South Austin Creative Portraits

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Sometimes it just all comes together. The weekend of this shoot had us in the possession of a 50 Megapixel medium format beast of a camera called the Pentax 645z. We had it in our posssession for about 36 hours and determined to make the most out it. Saturday night we took it out to Reveille Peak Ranch in Burnet for astrophotography, Sunday afternoon we photographed a wedding with it, but Sunday morning I called together a small team that I like to use when testing out something new. My friend Jenny Lynn (I think I am the only one who calls her that, reminds me of an old fiddle tune Jole Blon) has been a muse for me since we met. We struck up a quick conversation about Avedonand Suzy Parker and now she is always first to go when I am trying out new toys such as really expensive cameras.

This little creative project called for red. Red walls, red apple, red hair, red lips, red dress. Jenny Lynn scouted an area not far from her house in South Austin that held promise with red brick walls, aluminum cutouts and other little touches. Adrian with Revelry Beauty arrived at the happy in the morning time of 6am to get started on hair and makeup. I arrived too after shooting star trails the night before. My voice sounded like an old diesel starting up. Adrian however was chipper and awesome as always. After good amounts of caffiene were imbibed off to the location where we had 45 minutes of decent light before Jenny had to go to work and I had to go photograph a wedding.

But sometimes when you have the right creative team, it all justs comes together. Even when the pc sync cable is it’s unreliable self, even when the hotshoe is giving your radio triggers trouble. You just make pictures. And let me tell you, the files from that beastly Pentax 645z are outstandingly detailed and fabulous. We pulled 4 stops of shadow detail, and the dynamic range I feel truly shows off the combined beauty of Adrian’s work on Jenny Lynn. If you ever get the chance to shoot with a camera such as this, you better bring your checkbook with you because it’s going to be hard to give back. I feel bad that these are downsized version, because the originals are 6 times larger! Really impressed with the Pentax. Good menus, well built, weatherproof, and not as heavy or bulky feeling as it looks. We really enjoyed our time with it, putting it through the paces. I hope the lens choices improve in the near future to truly be a complete system.

Back to the photos after that little technical tangent. Most ended up being natural light that you see on the post because we had good morning light filtering in through the trees and privacy fence creating natural “cookies”. On the strobed photograhps we utilized a silver beauty dish for sharp contrasty light. One of the great parts of having working with Jenny Lynn so many times is her ability to find the light. Love models that pose with the light instead of the camera, makes for dynamic photographs I believe.

Well we hoped you enjoyed this little detour into one of our side creative projects. Hoping to have a few big ones this year as well.
–JB

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October Mermaids: Underwater Series in Austin

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The thing about mermaids is, you never quite know when they will show up to haunt you. Our ongoing project of photographing mermaids in the wild stretches back over 2 years now and we are just now refining our process to capturing these rare and unforgiving creatures. This set of photographs captures 3 sessions from one not so warm October day in 2014. Our first set features Kari and David in either a mating dance or perhaps an underwater turf battle. After the two of them swam furiously away, we found a mermaid in bright orange and yellow mysteriously floating across the surface of the water. We could not divine her intentions, so we simply snapped a few photographs of Nicole and awed at her grace. Lastly, we found Jennifer underwater and coaxed her into letting us take a few portraits of her, much like one does as a tourists in a faraway land. After she had her fill of us, off to the school of fishes to retrieve her young.

Creative Makeup (and pool!) by Lecia Harkins
Mermaid Tails from FinFunMermaid

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Lauren & Joe: Bella Springs Wedding in Boerne, Texas - austin wedding photographers -golden hour wedding portraits -

Lauren & Joe: Bella Springs Wedding in Boerne, Texas

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Beautiful fall wedding in the Texas Hill Country at Bella Springs in Boerne featuring the softball playing Lauren and the newly shackled Joe (see the groom’s cake?). We love our couples who have fun and don’t take themselves too seriously. Lauren was spotted laughing, smiling and showing her gamut of facial expressions. Joe’s highpoint, besides Lauren saying yes, was the custom built mini-bike getaway vehicle. In the ring photo below take note of the family built custom inset crosses the rings rest upon, just one example of the family support this couple will enjoy.

Make sure and scroll down to the sunset photos, they are some of our favorites. And the coming soon trailer is a hoot too, find out who forgot the rings!
–JB

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Jared & Megan: Inn at Wild Rose Hall Wedding in Dripping Springs

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Happy Sunday Wedding Dance Party. Jared and Megan’s wedding was the perfect expression of two fabulous people coming together as one. The positive energy, the lightness in the mood, the smiles on guests faces are all the aspects that I will take away from this wedding. The venue, http://www.theinnatwildrosehall.com/, provided a fantastic backdrop to the day with the little touches here and there, the nooks and quirks that provided the Austin in the Hill Country vibe. The day went off without a hitch thanks to the planning and preparation of 11:11 Events. The floral designs from Sixpence Floral tied in so well to the theme and feel of the day.

Let’s talk about some of the firsts as we like to do because we believe every wedding has something we have never seen before. This was the first and probably only wedding in the near future that we photographed using the medium format Pentax 645z. The files took a bit longer to process but wow the detail in the photographs is just astounding. This was important to us because Jared’s father is a photographer from Georgia and I wanted to have something special for their day as a nod to his efforts.

Our favorite little moment occured when a three old guests took the mic during the reception and belted out Let It Go from Frozen. The entire crowd cheered her on, pretty neat few minutes.

Make sure and scroll to the bottom to see what our Coming Soon trailer for their wedding film and get a sense of what all the dancing was like!

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–JB

Madison & Tom’s Engagement Session in Austin - austin wedding photographers - ladder - epic engagement shoot -

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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Nicole: Commercial Fitness in downtown Austin

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Can you do a headstand? Nicole can!

We are rebuilding our commercial fitness portfolio during this fall and winter. Photographing Nicole at the Thinkery parking garage is our first step in that process to update our fitness genre portfolio. We loved the geometry and color of the parking structure as a complement and a contrast to Nicole’s long lines. Part of our passion in the fitness genre is to showcase strong people, especially women, to serve as a better projection of what we can acheive. Nicole told me she had been doing two a day workouts for the month leading up to this session to get her body in the best shape she could. Love that passion and commitment.

If you are interested in showcasing your fitness this winter please contact us. And if you have a great story behind your achievements even better!
–JB

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Bliss Bridal Cover Shoot at Hyatt Austin

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Love our styled shoots with Bliss Bridal Magazine because we get a chance to connect and work with new wedding vendors. For the Fall issue we were at the Hyatt Regency in Downtown Austin, Texas for the opening of the Hyatt’s new Zilker Ballroom. Part of our photographs were to show the scale and usage potential of the new ballroom. We had 2 model brides running around the Hyatt on a hot Texas August day to showcase the views and angles of the Hyatt property. Our video below walks you through the design process from the creative directors viewpoint so give that a watch too. Thanks to everyone who made these photographs a success!

Vendors:
Magazine: Bliss Bridal Magazines Fall Issue
Venue: Hyatt Regency
Models: Jill Love & Tiffany Chan
Photo + Video: AzulOx Visuals (www.azulox.com)
Florals: Arthouse Florals
Gowns: Blush Bridal Lounge
Rentals: Unique Events and Design
Cake: Baked by Amy’s
Hair & Makeup: All Dolled Up
Lighting & Lounge: Universal Sounds and Entertainment

We filmed our cover shoot for at the Hyatt Regency in Downtown Austin.

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Kelsey & Sean: Pearl Stables Wedding in San Antonio -Austin Wedding photographers - First Dance -

Kelsey & Sean: Pearl Stables Wedding in San Antonio

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Kelsey and Sean were married at Faith Lutheran Church in Seguin and the reception followed at the Pearl Stables in San Antonio. Now, where to begin on the fun stories of the evening. We started the day off by making the groom and his guys take photos in the pre-school room at the church. The mother of the bride was my pre-school teacher so we had to bring it full circle for this family affair. Continuing the family affair, the Orange Poppy (Josh’s Sister) was the florist for the evening and produce their usual brand of client specific floral pieces.

The reception was at an amazing new to us venue called Pearl Stables. The former home of the 60 odd horses that the Pearl Brewery used has now been fit and finished out to be a spectacular venue. It took us awhile to take in all the details before we could show it off photographically. Just so many details around the building with a history that is rarely seen in most modern venues. Inside the Stables was laughter, camradarie and a dance party to celebrate Kelsey & Sean. Spy the red headed boy doing the worm!

We are so happy for Kelsey & Sean and were honored to take part of their wedding day!

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Hannah & Charlie: Round Rock Fire Station Engagements - Epic Engagement Photos - Austin Wedding photographers

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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Jon & Kim’s Downtown Austin Wedding

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It’s been two weeks and we are still buzzing after this wedding. Saturday night rehearsal dinner with Two Tons of Steel at the Broken Spoke, followed by a Sunday ceremony at Trinity Hall and then onto The Parish for a reception with Roger Clyne & The Peacemakers with lindy hopppers, Texas BBQ and a whole lotta love! You should see this couple move together on the dance floor and a good thing Kim is an endurance athlete because I don’t think she ever stopped dancing in her wedding dress and Chuck Taylors.

Congratulations Jonathan & Kim and may I recommend to the readers to listen to Two Ton’s of Steel’s Live at Gruene Hall or Roger Clyne’s Live at Billy Bob’s to get a small taste of this wedding weekends atmosphere while gazing at this energetic duo.

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Haide & Manny: Round Rock Wedding

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Excited to finally be sharing Haide & Manny’s wedding with y’all. We have followed this couple around 2 countries (part 1 | part 2 | part 3) now taking their photos and we couldn’t be more excited for the future that they will be sharing. The ceremony was at St. Williams Catholic Church in Round Rock followed by the reception at Pfluger Hall in you guessed it, Pflugerville, my town! The reception had a couple of firsts for me that I thought were interesting.

The first first was getting to listen to Haide sing with the Mariachi band during cocktail hour, the girl can belt it! The second first was a game that I don’t know of but consited of the bridal party trying to tackle the bride and groom off the chairs they were standing on while Manny held onto the veil. It was exciting to watch though and then the groomsmen almost threw Manny into the ceiling. Not a first, but it was also a treat to see all the kids running around having fun with the light toys and blinking sunglasses. Reminded me of going to weddings as a kid in Seguin when the best thing to do was slide across the corn-mealed dance floor like a slip and slide.

So congrats to Haide & Manny, glad we could be there along the way in your life’s journey. Excited to see where the road takes you!
–JB

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“He is Gone”: Cassandra at Lone Oak in Round Rock

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“She wished and wished with all her might, holding fast to the remnants left behind.
A dream, a dance on this late night, hoping her love can find
Her man, her soldier.

The war is done, he should be here to dance. To dance and set free
The war inside of she. Hold fast to thoughts, to romance, to me.
Telegram reads, He is Gone.

Touch and Remember the pearls, the jeweled necklace
All you have is the last embrace”
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So a bit of a departure on this shoot. It started with a phone call to Adrian with Revelry Beauty that had me saying, “so I have an idea…”. The team came together quickly with vintage clothing and accessories from Ledbelly Vintage. Our gracious hosts at Lone Oak Barn for a great venue. Our supermodel Cassandra! who held all the emotion to these photographs.

We wanted to create a mood and lighting from 1946. We leaned heavily on film noir principles to help us get there. Hope you enjoy our little break from the norm, the next blog will deal with weddings and a bit more client work. Thanks for reading and watching!
–JB

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Casey Jo & Scotty Mac: Mt. Pisgah Arboretum Wedding in Eugene, Oregon

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Casey Jo & Scotty Mac’s wedding was full of honest love for each other, laughter among all the attendants and lots of flying marshmallows. You might know this couple as the leaping bluebonnet engagement photo as this is one of the most commented on photo we have ever produced. You might know Casey Jo as an amazing gymnast who is now coaching Div. 1 gymnasts at Missouri. You might know Scotty Mac as the fastest man in town, whichever town, he is quick after finishing 19th in the last Boston Marathon. But the thing that you should know about them is that they are absolutely mad for each other.

I don’t know if I have ever laughed so much during a wedding ceremony. There was a movie trivia round featuring Romantic Comedies, the fathers had to run to get drinks for the mid-ceremony toasts and during the first kiss heaps of marshmallows progessed airborne onto the kissing couple. There was also the matter of the gymnastic scoring system for the high points, 10’s all around. Yes they also had a surprise first dance medley that covered the low lights of 90’s pop music to start the dancing portion of the reception, luckily we had a video camera in place for just such a thing…

We are honored to have the opportunity to escape the Texas heat and photograph this wedding in the Great Pacific Northwest. Congratulations to the happy couple, thanks for inviting us and welcoming us into your families!
–JB

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Kim & Jonathan: Reveille Peak Ranch Engagements in Burnet - Epic Engagement photos - Austin Wedding Photographers - Water Engagements

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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Haide: Bridal Portraits from Hacienda Las Trancas, Mexico - Exotic Location Bridal Portraits - Austin Wedding Photographers -

Haide: Bridal Portraits from Hacienda Las Trancas, Mexico

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Excited to share this set of bridal portraits from our Mexican Road Trip summer adventure. If you follow our blog you would remember Haide & Manny’s engagement sessions in Dolores Hidalgo & Guanajuato, and today we get to share the bridal portraits from the 400 year old Hacienda Las Trancas in the village of Las Trancas outside of Dolores Hildalgo.

The hacienda sits across the soccer field from Haide’s parents house in Las Trancas. Our first morning there we walked over and asked if we could shoot portraits inside the Hacienda. No was the answer. We then traveled to Dolores Hildalgo to watch some World Cup soccer/futbol and scout for the rest of the trip. As the American game reached halftime and our breakfast plate delivered we got word that yes we could photograph at the Hacienda in a 2 hour window from 1pm-3pm. Scramble mode activated! Haide went off in search of hair and makeup in the local shops, Manny, Andrew and I went looking for a florist. After three versions of a bridal bouquet in a second language we ran back to get Haide and back to Las Trancas!

Inside the historic Hacienda was everything you could ask for in a portrait location. Gorgeous light, interesting textures, manicured gardens. We could have shot there for 2 weeks instead only 2 hours to cover a few of our favorite locations inside. We worked quickly and surely with one speedlight, one 24 inch softbox and one reflector to capture this set. Haide, as always, is stunning to photograph and this session was no different. We have built up a rapport over the years (Starting with her HS Senior Portraits!) that allowed us to get what we wanted in a short time period.

We hope you enjoy this set of photographs, we certainly had an amazing time photographing them. Let us know how we can fulfill your photographic dreams!
–JB

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Morgan & Matt: Nature’s Point Wedding in Lakeway - Austin Wedding Photographer - Blue Hour Wedding Portraits

Morgan & Matt: Nature’s Point Wedding in Lakeway

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We love to talk about firsts at weddings. First toast, first dance, first kiss and all the nostalgia associated with those firsts. Morgan & Matt’s wedding at Nature Point above Lake Travis had a lot of firsts for us to witness. First Mt Fuji Cake, First literal toast from the best man’s speech, First playing of Let It Go from Frozen as the last song, and the first wedding that I felt out-nerded.

The Mt Fuji cake held a cool significance because that is where Matt proposed to Morgan in Japan, good work Matt!. The best man had never given a wedding toast and there was some slight confusion as he brought an actual toaster and bread for the happy couple. The Let It Go rendition turned into a rousing chorus complete with dance moves, Kaush and I might have sung a little bit too. And yes there were moments and events that I gathered had something to do with Anime or Comic Books or Japan, but I was clearly outclassed in my knowledge of these things. You win this time Matt!

All of those firsts aside, it was a great pleasure to see Morgan & Matt on their first evening together as man and wife. We are certain there will be a lifetime more with these two. Congratulations Yall!
–JB

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Mermaid Monday: Creative Underwater Portraits in Austin

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Underwater has been one of our themes the last few summer’s as the weather in Austin, Texas gets unbearable. This years theme in particular was Mermaids, how fun! We had a menagerie of talented individuals who helped put this all together. Let me thank them now because without everyone pulling together a shoot this scale would not come together.

Hair, Makeup, Style, Pool Owner: Lecia Harkins with Austin Beauty on the Go
Florals: Beau Dawson at Beau’s Flower Child
Producer: Amanda Ervin at 11:11 Events
Camera Assistants: Jessica, Caleb and Ty
Video: Brian Nixon with AzulOx Visuals
Mermaid Tails: Fin Fun Mermaid
Studio Lights: Arri 1k’s from Lensrentals.com
Mermaids: Naomi Loghry, Meganoke, Jenny Lynn Larsen and Cassidy Koranek
Merman: Ryan Saathoff
Safety Diver: Amber Meaux

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We would like to mention that we will be offering Mermaid Portraits as a session that you can purchase soon. Please send an email at josh@azulox.com or leave us a Facebook message if you are interested.
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We tackled this underwater session a bit differently than we have in the past. I had tried to cobble together an underwater strobe kit, but the results have been inconsistent. This year we used 2 1000w video lights stationed on the pools edge to provide our lighting. Our goal was to provide consistent lighting for both the stills and video. The lights were great except that our sunken treasure chest threw off so much particulate into the water that by the end of the shoot I had no way of getting clarity to the images. Lesson learned there. One of the reasons we shoot these large scale productions for our selves is to work out kinks in the workflow before we take them to clients.

Shooting underwater is hard, posing underwater is hard, lighting underwater is hard. Any breakdown in the system and the images are not that great. Add to that that it takes 3-10 times longer underwater to get your shots. With all that said, I am super proud of the gang we had working so that we could capture a few mermaids in action. Where will the mermaids pop up next?

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Haide & Manny: Guanajuato, Mexico Engagements Part 2

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Continuing on our Mexico Road Trip adventures (part 1 is here) the action has moved to Guanajuato, Mexico a town that holds so much magic for me as it was the town where I studied in the summer of 1998 after my freshman year of college. In 16 years and the town hasn’t changed. Still ate at my favorite restaurant Truco Siete and El Pipila still looks down upon the town he helped to protect. If you want to feel like you have traveled to Europe but still want to eat green enchiladas I highly recommend Guanajuato, just a gorgeous old world city. The views and streets and colors made this Engagement session super special to me. We walked the streets, chased the light and took in the town.

Again, thank you to our client Haide & Manny for putting us up for a few days in their parents house in Dolores Hidalgo and for speaking with all the checkpoint and shakedown stations. Yall are rockstars in the photographs and in real life. We are so excited for what the future hold for yall. This session will be one that Andrew and I remember for our lifetimes, thanks for the opportunity to travel and photograph!

–JB

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Kelly & John: Skateboarding Engagements

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You know those whip smart guys whose sense of humor gets hard to follow because they are running 2 steps ahead of you? That’s John. And the lovable lady that puts up with him? Well that’s his soon to be wife Kelly. Put them together and we got one of the quirkier and most excellent engagement session in the South Austin neighborhood around Eureka Dr. that, as John told me, means I found it! For them, they found the loves of their lives and are perfectly matched for one another. Oh, and John skateboards so we had to shoot that as well. Before we got there though we utilized their front porch that serves as the meeting place for them and their neighbors and lost chickens apparently. The last place we visited was also a skate venue with super cool drainage culverts, old tunnels, and new trains rumbling overhead.

Thanks to John and Kelly for taking me on an adventure through the area, glad we could make a little magic happen for y’all!
–JB

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