Stephanie & Jason: Quirky, Cool Austin Engagements

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Love our engagement sessions! Stephanie and Jason are quirky and cool and fun to hang out with and then I get to take their pictures too? Just about an ideal afternoon for me. Our first stop was the graffiti park on 11th and Baylor to appease Jason, because the evening part of the session he was dressed according to a character on the show Justified, so we threw him a location bone. Our second stop was to the east side dive Sputnik. The light at the one booth we used was fantastic, the doorway was providing a giant softbox shaft of light for Stephanie and Jason to arm wrestle in. Apparently they bicker like an old couple, but I never personally witnessed it over the 4 hours we shot together. And lastly we hit up the apparently hidden location of Lake Pflugerville to simulate their upcoming beach wedding locale. Thanks to Furbish Vintage Rentals for providing this pitch perfect vintage couch on short notice, helped to finish the look. They look live a movie poster right?!

Looking forward to photographing yalls beach wedding on Memorial Day!
–JB

Deepak & Yogini’s Wedding Day in Austin

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That details in a wedding matter goes without saying. The details you pick have a large influence over the course of the wedding day. I love Deepak & Yogini’s details, but not for the details themselves. No their version was using the small things to tell a much larger story and to inform their guests about what truly matter to the newlyweds. The perfect example of my rambling prelude is the bowties for the after party. Deepak announced that every one in the room has forgotten how to tie a tie, except for his new bride Yogini. Yogini would then tie the bowtie onto the men’s neck while Deepak told her what made each recipient special to him. The quiet moments of sharing in a loud room still stand out to me weeks after witnessing. You see the bowtie didn’t matter, the opportunity the bowtie created did matter. The wedding day was filled with similar small moments and I loved this wedding because of these moments.

Congratulations Deepak & Yogini! Continue to share the great moments in life and look for the meaningful opportunities the small details provide.
–JB

Stacy: Bridal Portraits at SwitchWillo in Austin

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Stacy’s Bridal Portraits were one of those session that I wish I could share immediately. There were so many facets of this session that combined to make it a special one for me. We had a great, playful horse in Wowser that felt it was the star of this portrait session. The venue at Switch Willo Stables is personal to Stacy and an amazing hidden gem in north Austin. The flowers from A Gilded Affair were elegant as always. We had a team working with us and special thanks to Andrew who trudged along his 4×5 Land Camera to make a few film exposures. The sunset was one of those Texas sunsets that you oh and ah over and then is gone. Finally, we got to photograph Stacy for a few hours. She is a warm glow of light in any setting and outfitted in her wedding gown surrounded by horses and friends she was positively radiant.

–JB
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Helina: Spring Senior Portraits in Manor, Texas

We love our repeat clients! We photographed Helina this past fall for herFall Session Senior Portraits and then we borrowed her again to film our first Senior Fusion Film and now we come full circle to her Spring Session that looks back at different moods in the 60’s and 70’s. These photographs are not your standard senior portraits (when are ours ever that way?) but the photographs are the creation of Helina’s ideas, the location at TerrAdorna, clothes from Ledbelly Vintage, and my interpretation of all the elements. I think the end result is personal and alluring in ways that bear a second or third viewing.

I enjoy the challenge that Helina has given me in that she basically gave us 3 different characters to photograph in one setting: 60’s era Mother filled with ennui, an extra from Sound of Music, and bohemian gal from the 70’s. See if you can figure out which is which.

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Audrey: Senior Portraits and Film in Austin

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Super excited to share our 2nd Senior Film, this time starring Audrey a soon to be class of 2014 graduate from Dripping Springs High school. Watch the video below to get the story told from Audrey’s point of view. Scroll down to see more of her fun-loving photographs. Had a great time capturing all of these elements of Audrey because she is sweet and funny and never makes the same facial expression twice! Just a range of emotions and intelligence is what we took away from our time with Audrey.

Schedule your session by clicking the Book Online calendar button above


Stacy & Travis: Wedding at The Winfield Inn in Kyle

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An evening filled with light and love. That’s my seven word write up of Stacy & Travis’s wedding at The Winfield Inn in Kyle, Texas. There is more, of course, so let’s share a few highlights.

This was our first time at the Winfield Inn and it’s a gorgeous venue with a great staff. The bluebonnets were in bloom and the spring provided a great Texas evening of just right temperature and a nice breeze. Speaking of florals, the team at A Gilded Affair put together a great bouquet and table pieces, elegant and a light touch of sophistication.

Starting with the things I loved from this wedding, the vows come up first. Personal, organic and they quoted Dr. Seuss. You had to have to been there to get the full effect but I admire couples who have the courage to write their own vows and express their personality. It can be daunting to share so much of yourself in front of 200 people. I cried.

The hokey pokey was danced at the reception, yep, the hokey pokey and all the guests got up to dance to it with Stacy in the middle leading the way. A fitting dance and a reminder to keep it loose, find your soulmate and have fun.

The best thing of the evening though? Definitely watching Travis and Stacy look at each other. A happiness/excitement/love combination crackled the air as they walked down the aisle and throughout the reception. Just a palpable feeling of love for each other.

Share the love in the comments for Travis and Stacy!
–JB

Soaked: Fashion in the Wet in Austin

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Continuing in our Soaked Series, we had another fun, windy, wet and stormy session a few weeks ago and I wanted to share a few photographs while explaining our process. First, let me start by thanking our participants Sanchita, Dandie and Cassidy. The temperature dropped and the wind picked and yall were troopers to pose with cold water raining down upon you. Adrian with Revelry Beauty was a big help in doing hair and makeup, plus she held reflectors, water hoses and generally was a big help on set. Andrew with for being a second shooter/helper/inventor/part-time model thanks for your help too.

Our plan going into the day was to shoot again my big black fabric backdrop and to play with shutter speeds to get different length rain drops. The weather had other ideas as we got halfway through our first session with Sanchita and the wind became more than our sandbags could hold a 10×20 foot backdrop. The wind brought clouds and we problem solved by reversing our shooting position from shooting into my garage to shooting into the street. We also utilized my side yard to use my neighbor’s house as a wind screen. We had to shoot pretty tight and the models stood on top of a folding ladder to get enough elevation to clear the row of houses. Look at the last photo to see our setup.

Another big change for me is the use of the beauty dish. I have been shooting mostly with my paul buff long throw reflectors either bare or gridded but I wanted a wider throw and closer range and the beauty dish was a win for that solution. Need to continue exploring the edges of the beauty dish’s light, I think there is an interesting edge there. We also need to get another round of big gel sheets. I had a lumopro 180 with various Rogue Gels on it, but it doesn’t come close enough to the power of an Einstein640 on full power. Next time, I think we will gel the AB800 backlight. Looking to have more fun with color in this series and match the backlit color to the clothes/makeup of the models.

Already have the idea for the next installment of this series, leave a comment if you want to participate or if you have an idea of where a localized rainstorm would make sense.
–JB

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Ivy & Dan’s Wedding at One World Theatre in Austin

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Ivy & Dan’s wedding at One World Theatre featured a rousing chorus of New York, New York with confetti, the Bride playing drums, a bridesmaid singing, and the Groom getting thrown heartily into the air. The wedding also featured a couple that are exactly right for each other and who just want to play catch. We were privileged to be able to be the visual storytellers of record. The following images tell the main thread of the wedding day, for the full story you can see their entire gallery. We are thrilled that Ivy and Dan found each other.

And the pro tip we learned from the evening, if you give the bridal party whip like glow sticks for the grand exit, they will use them as whips to pummel the bride and groom as the run to the car. Trust us on this one and see the second to last picture to get a better understanding of their expressions.

Ivy: Bridal Portraits in Austin

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We had a fun challenge shooting Ivy’s bridal portraits last month. The goal was to shoot one normal portrait and one creative portrait. Ivy told us to that once the photographs that would satisfy her family were taken that we would then have free reign to do as we pleased as long as we didn’t destroy the dress one month before the wedding.

We chose the Scottish Rite Dormitory to give the main portraits an old world feel. The main lobby gave us quite a few angles to shot in and big glass windows streaming in sunlight. We used both soft natural light, strobe soft light from an 86 inch umbrella and a hard grid to give a speakeasy feel to the piano photograph. The dorm really has great potential and we loved the stares and questions from the young college students as we navigated around their study locations.

While we were at the dorm my buddy Andrew, one of our senior photographers, took 4 portraits with his 1953 Speed Graphic 4×5 film camera. We lit them with a 1×1 FV led light panel and then processed the scans in photoshop to really give the resulting image a vintage almost Hollywood feel to it. It’s the last photograph in this post and we love the way it turned out.

Our 2nd and final location is the graffiti wall at 10th and Baylor. We chose the topside to also photograph the Austin skyline with the Capitol also in view. Ivy made a video to encourage Ellen to attend her wedding and she used this location for part of the video, wearing one of my wedding dresses! (We have 6 now and are always taking donations…) So there was some synchronicity to this location as well, plus it has great colors to use against a white wedding dress.

Thanks to Ivy and her family for allowing us to take a leap away from normal in our bridal portraits. The wedding was a blast and we have lots more images to share coming soon
–JB

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Deepak & Yogini: Austin Engagements

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Sunrise engagment sessions? I think I am starting to dig the concept. Beat the crowds, play with good light and work off the green tea buzz. Our morning with Deepak & Yogini started at what should be sunrise except with this fickle Texas weather we never saw the sun, but we did see rain at the end. But now I am getting ahead of myself. We mimicked a sunrise with a orange gelled flash on a stick to get a feel in our photographs that didn’t exist in the hazy, overcast drizzly morning. Started up at Jo’s Coffee, home of the famous “I love you so much” sign that gets all the attention. We took a different angle and approach to the wall to place more of the emphasis on Deepak & Yogini.

From Jo’s we ran around South Congress for a bit before heading over to the Lamar Pedestrian bridge. Felt like we had some good lines and graphicness to our set here and was really working the groove and then poof! the clouds opened up and we grabbed a few backlit shots while an amtrak cruised in the background. Crazy timing on that one. Didn’t have my scuba gear so we ended on a positive wet note.

Show Deepak & Yogini some love and wish them well for their fusion wedding in April!
–JB

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Deanna: Senior Portraits from Georgetown, TX

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Deanna met up with us in Georgetown, Texas for her Senior Portraits. She hails from Richland Springs out near San Saba and we felt a bit of pressure knowing she had driven 2 hours to have her portraits taken. Her family tagged along too as well, quite the peanut gallery I must add. They did a great job of keeping Deanna from ever keeping a straight face. We split the section into 2 parts, Donnie Osmond-style, a little bit country and a little bit rock n rolll.

The first section had us tooling around the square in downtown Georgetown using the multitude of textures and hideaways there for fun shots. Must add that the new Cianfrani’s Coffee house looks great! The second section was a treat for me because we went to Berry Springs to photograph the country section (complete with 2 donkeys). Been wanting to photograph out there for a year or so and today’s overcast and rainy conditions proved challenging but fun. Duck weather as her grandma called it. Can’t wait to go back to Berry Springs in the Spring when the wildflowers are blooming!

Thanks to Deanna and her family for trusting us with their Senior Portraits. Show her some love in the comments!
–JB

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Sea Bride: Creative Portraiture in Austin

This project runs a little darker themed than our usual postings but it’s a story that has been in my head since I first heard the song “Sea Bride” by The Haunted Windchimes. Sometimes I just get stories in my mind that I have to tell. This one deals with a bride whose groom never returns from sailing. She waits for his return but realizes her love is lost so she leaves this world to join him. I know, like I said, a little darker theme from me, but I think the photos are awesome so whatcha going to do?

Thanks to my friends for making this notion turn into reality-ish. Beau from Flower Child with the bouquet, Amanda from 11:11 Events keeping us organized , Lizbeth and the PRO Makeup & Hair team for the look and feel of wind torn bride, and finally Naomi who braved some frigid temperatures and numbing water to let us capture these fantastic photographs. Almost forgot thanks to my old roomie Brian for mixing up our fake blood. Pro tip: don’t get the corn syrup in your lens, just sayin’.

“Sea Bride”
The sailor man is set to return on this day of wedded bliss
Rumor speaks and whispers The Tall Sailing ship is sunk
Promise not to tell

Sea Bride grips in grief to shell and sand
while tears and blood fall to the
same water and fate as she

Tossed to the sea at golden light
floating serenely to shore
The rocks and the lips run red

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Jared & Megan: Running Austin Engagements

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Running to a wedding near you in October Jared & Megan decided to have a bunch a fun on their engagement session and only moderately thumb their noses at no trespassing signs. We started around Barton Springs and the Zilker Hillside Theater for the open aired natural feel of the first photo in this post. We made a quick jaunt over to the Welcome to Austin postcard on Annie Street because Jared and Megan are both from out of state. And then the real fun began. Jared and I discussed how cool the new boardwalk around town lake is and wouldn’t it be nice to get some photos on it. After 2 or 3 false starts, and some gentle fence hopping we found a spot that gave us a great new view of downtown Austin near sunset. I think it will be a hugely popular spot once it opens in June.

The last section of our photos made me giggle too, because Jared reps Asics and Megan reps Adidas so they had a little competition to see who was faster and better looking, Meg won on both accounts for the record.

Let us know how we can personalize your engagement session and storytell your love for each other
–JB

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Kiss! Bang! Pow! – Comic Book Wedding Inspiration

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We love it when a team of talented individuals and businesses come together to produce an amazing photoshoot. This Wedding Inspiration was just released in the 2nd Anniversary Issue of Bliss Bridal Magazine and we have been waiting months to share these photos! Our favorite details/feature is our aerial photobooth to simulate the flying of our models against a Lichtenstein Backdrop. The models were laying on the floor while we photographed them from the second story balcony.

Our team of talented Vendors:
Event Designer: 11:11 Events
Florals: The Orange Poppy
Rentals: Illusions
Venue: The Plant in Kyle
Cake: Blue Note Bakery
Catering: Catering with a Twist
Gown: Sarah Eileen
Tuxedo: Beau’s Flower Child
Hair & Makeup: Brizy Tait from The Beauty Jar
Stationery: Posh Posh Designs
Models: Jenny Lynn Larsen, Haide Gonzalez, Ismael Soto, Chris Van Loan

Sophisticloth: Commercial Fashion Shoot

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Bow Ties she said, Fashion she said, See the world she said. Ok, Maybe not the last part. Val with Sophisticloth had a new challenge for us in shooting her new line of bow ties that incorporate vintage silk and organic materials. With these photos and video we wanted to show both close ups of the ties and the general look and mood of the guys that would buy them. We used the Long Center in Austin for it’s skyline view and for it’s glass and metal architecture. My favorite of the shoot is Ken against the dark green wall with a restricted light to set the mood of a modern upscale man.

We also utlized a friend’s condo in downtown Austin for a nightlife feel. I cribbed a light setup gleaned from reading Gregory Heisler’s 50 Portraits and used a green gel from below to anchor Charley into the scene with a believable light from below. My change to the setup was dragging the shutter significantly and adding movement to the photograph to give it more energy. I think I was around 1/8 of a second hand held and the motion is intentional.

Hope yall are enjoying our new website and expanded coverage of some of the work we produce. Let me know your favorites in the comments!

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Austin: Round Rock Senior High School Portraits

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I am never worried about the future when I meet clients like Austin here. He runs his own golf-ball finding business (ask him!), is already working on his pilot lesson, and has the coolest jeep we have photographed yet! How could the photos not turn out amazing, I mean check out the burnt orange jeep with maxed out LED lighting and a nice lift for those big ole tires. Though I think Austin was a bit jealous of the fuel range of the AzulOx Jetta TDI.

Our locations for the day were the Castle Hill Graffiti Wall and an undisclosed parking lot near the Oasis. The jeep had no problem getting up that rock, don’t think the Jetta could handle it, ha! We also utilized the top of the Oasis parking garage in a stone concrete stair well with a spot grid for the last photo. Simple and elegant way to control the ambient, get out of the sun, allowed us to shoot at f1.8, f2 ish with an off camera flash. Sorry, too much technical-babble. Anyhow, Austin the person is awesome and I am happy to have met him in the City of Austin

Where should we go for our next creative Senior Portrait Session?
–JB

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Stephanie: Camp Lucy Bridal Portraits in Dripping Springs

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Stephanie’s bridal portraits from this summer were one of our hottest portrait sessions of the year. Temperatures were hovering around 108 degrees when we started our shoot. We definitely did what we could to utilized the air conditioned areas first, stayed hydrated, and then finished off with the outdoor sections a bit later in the day. I also remember laying on the cool concrete patio to keep my temperature down during the breaks in action. How Stephanie managed to look so radiant is another reason I will never fully understand the secrets that women hold.

Thanks to Camp Lucy for being accommodating during our session, we had a great time there for the bridals and for the ceremony. In case you missed them, here are Stephanie’s engagements on our blog, and her ceremony on our blog.

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Jennifer & Chris: Wedding from the Palm Door in Austin

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Jennifer & Chris come to us from a referral from our Summer L.A. wedding couple Ashley & Andrew and it turns out that Jennifer and I met at Ashley’s wedding, and although we don’t remember,  I have photographic evidence. Now that you know how the bride and I came to know each other, let’s get on to the important topic which is the happiness I have seen on multiple occasions emanating from Chris and Jennifer in the way they look at each other, the way they hold each other and the way they are committed to each other. We are happy to offer photographic proof of their love for each other so that their grandkids can see the day that they announced their commitment to the world.

We were so happy to photograph this wedding at the Palm Door in Austin in a cozy venue that kept friends and family close to the couple all night. Some of the details that we loved. The most scientific table settings with the listing of native trees (including genus and species) to denote where people were to sit. I felt a little smarter just being there. We also loved the Texas Shoddish dance to Steve Earle’s “Copperhead Road”. Been a while since I have heard that much boot scootin’ and it reminded me of my own wedding a bit.

Congrats to the happy couple! Remember to leave them a congratulations in the comments!
–JB

Jennifer & Chris's Wedding from the Palm Door

Jennifer & Chris's Wedding from the Palm Door

Jennifer & Chris's Wedding from the Palm Door

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Jennifer & Chris's Wedding from the Palm Door

Jennifer & Chris's Wedding from the Palm Door

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Jennifer & Chris's Wedding from the Palm Door

Jennifer & Chris's Wedding from the Palm Door

Jennifer & Chris's Wedding from the Palm Door

Jennifer & Chris's Wedding from the Palm Door

Jennifer & Chris's Wedding from the Palm Door

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Jennifer & Chris's Wedding from the Palm Door

Jennifer & Chris's Wedding from the Palm Door

Langley & Schurod: Austin Wedding at Texas Fed

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Schurod & Langley were married at the historic Georgian Revival TFWC Mansion on a fine January Saturday for Central Texas. The air was crisp and cool, the sun was shining, and laughter could be heard throughout the day echoing off the red brick walls, especially if Schurod was near. The fabulous team from 11:11 Events coordinated this wedding. Always great to work with a team you know and trust. One of our favorite aspects of covering weddings is the family and cultural traditions that we get to witness. We saw the first “jumping the broom” that we have seen. There is an interesting history behind this tradition that you can read more about from Wikipedia.

Judging by Schurod’s smile he was the happiest man in Austin on Saturday night. Langley, much like my own wife, shakes her head and quietly smiles as their men bounce around the room. As always, use the comments to congratulate Langley & Schurod and let us know which photo is your favorite!
–JB

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Mandi & Matt: St. Cecilia Elopement in Austin

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We finish off our 2013 wedding season main course with a sweet desert of Mandy and Matt’s elopement at the always cool Hotel St. Cecilia. Matt and Mandi met in a running group (Team Riff Raff) in an only in Austin way. Their running coach named Panther provided the nuptials, of course! I felt very honored to be there to tell their story visually. A super sweet couple indeed starting off the New Year together with their love and 2 doggies.

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