Veronica & Graham: Austin Clarksville Engagement Portraits

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We just wrapped up a fun filled weekend of engagement session that had a common thread of being neighborhood based. Veronica and Graham’s centered around their beloved Clarksville neighborhood. I don’t think we ever got further than 3 blocks from their house! We started at the very chic Jospehine House and then utilized the iconic Naus Enfield Drugstore on the opposite street corner. The middle section is the sidewalk in front of their very house and the alleyway across the street. The light was great and the couple looked iconic thanks to the styling help of Veronica’s sister, Crystal who just happens to be a pro stylist, lucky there! Our last stop was to the top of the graffiti wall to catch a view of the super moon. The clouds hid the moon for a little too long so we just went with a twinkling lights photograph instead.

Thanks to Ashley for helping me out by carrying around our lights in the heat and mugginess and to Crystal for staying through the shoot to keep everyone looking so fresh. I have a feeling Veronica and Graham’s wedding photos will be even more spectacular but that is all I will say for now.
–JB

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Haide & Manny: Dolores Hidalgo, Mexico Engagements Part 1

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Let me introduce yall to Haide and Manny. You are going to be seeing several blog posts about this couple. We all just returned from a 5 day road trip to Central Mexico to photograph Haide’s Bridal Portraits at a 400 year old Hacienda and to photograph their Engagement portraits in Dolores Hildalgo and Guanajuato. The other part to the We is Andrew Fritz, our partner in picture taking. Will be sharing some of his work on the facebook page when he gets back. A big thanks to the Gonzalez family for hosting us and showing us the best Torta places in Las Trancas!

Timeline wise this session took place on the evening after we photographed her bridal portraits. Dolores Hildalgo is the town in Mexico where Father Hildalgo gave his Grito to kick off the Mexico battle for Independence from Spain and Guanajuato is the site of the first battle to give you a sense of place, time and history.

Anyhow, Dolores Hidalgo is a town of about 50,000 residents with beautiful and historic churches and a ceramic industry. The walls of the town are painted with a variety of colores and textures, more so than any American town I have seen. As photographers we are always seeking out color and texture and Dolores was almost too much to handle. We could have probably taken photographs on any street corner. So instead of chasing color and texture we chased the sunlight to give us shape and dimension. Of course along the way we had to stop for some street corner ice cream and all the unique flavors from different fruits and alcohols. Best way to shoot in my opinion was with the Bacardi pineapple ice cream in one hand and the camera in another!

Next week we hope to share the session from Guanajuato which is the town partially responsible for AzulOx getting it’s name!
–JB
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Morgan & Matt: Comic Book Engagements in Austin

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We met Morgan at the Georgetown Bridal Show and instantly bonded over her Doctor Who themed T-shirt. We were destined to do an engagement shoot that combined her love of Doctor Who, Matt’s work in comic books and my own interest in all of the above. From the scale replica of Godzilla, (of which Matt is the illustrator for the comic book) to the plethora of sonic screwdrivers to the ultraman beta capsule we were in nerd heaven! Matt and Morgan even did the spray painting of the Bad Wolf at the Castle Hill Graffiti Wall, pretty awesome to have to 2 art majors on hand for spot spray painting duty.

For us at AzulOx we relish the chance to show off what makes a couple unique and then to exceed their expectations in delivering photographs and images that they will cherish. Thanks to Matt and Morgan for allowing us to craft a set of images that will stand apart from the crowd. This will go down as one of our most memorable engagement shoots! Can’t wait to be at yall’s wedding at the end of the month!
–JB

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“I too, have loved in the Garden”: Creative Shoot in Austin

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The genesis of this shoot was a conversation I was having with Adrian at Revelry Beauty as we talked about ways we could push our work forward this summer. One tangent led to another secant and we came up with the idea of a couple that must say goodbye to each other even while the love is still there. Lots of angst and anguish and Victorian clothes at the cool venue of Dunvegan Keep in South Austin. This shoot provided a personal project for each of us to experiment with in different dimensions.

One of the tenets that we have been working under the last few years is to continually push our photographic boundaries both in business (not the topic of this post) and in technique. This particular session was an exercise in shooting stills and video with one light setup. In the past we have our video lights and our strobe lights and it get’s to be a mess on set, plus longer times for setup and breakdown, not the best idea in the expanding Texas heat. For this shoot then we rented an Arri 1k light from lensrentals.com and a video crane. The 1k light turned out much bigger and hotter than I expected (wear gloves!). The upshot was learning that we can shoot stills and video and almost the same time with little changes to either team. The video is below and we shot both the video and stills in about 3 hours which I feel is great turnaround time and one of the benefits of this type of setup.

We really strive to push our limits in our personal projects so that we can cross over the skills we learn into our client time. In this way we keep our client work fresh and innovative by nudging it more and more forward. Let me know if you have any questions on our light setups or other tech questions.

Thanks to Nicole and Jonathan for wearing 19th century clothes in Texas heat, humidity and mosquitoes.

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A Gilded Affair: Style Shoot for Bliss Bridal Magazine in Austin

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Excited to be sharing one of our feature that is in the summer 2014 issue of Bliss Bridal Magazine that we photographed and filmed for the talented team at A Gilded Affair Event and Floral. The theme was timeless elegance and easy to see all the steps each of the vendors took to make the effortless looking glamour happen. From the award winning cake from Rosemary Galpin to the high flying entertainment of Kari Lehman and onto the scrumptous food of Southerns Fine Dining we couldn’t have asked for a better team of vendors. Our bride and groom, Brianna and Lee, were styled by the team at Bettie Bangs Salon and Brianna’s dress is from Signature Bridal Salon. The venue at Ma Maison is a new wonder in the Austin Wedding venue space with a feel and style unlike any other. Little touches were filled in with the iron works from Mancino Rentals and the lighting and sounds of Jeff Hudson from Spacecraft Entertainment.

Take a look at the video below to see more of the day in action and scroll down for more photos
–JB

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Stephanie & Jason: Mansion by the Sea Wedding in Port Aransas - Ocean Front Wedding Portraits - Austin Wedding Photographers

Stephanie & Jason: Mansion by the Sea Wedding in Port Aransas

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We love our clients, I know I mention that over and over and it is the truth so it bears repeating. Stephanie is co-owner of Bettie Bangs Salon and we have worked together on various projects over the years. She loves our work and I love working with her so when she called up asking to come to Port Aransas, Texas for the weekend to photograph their wedding at the Mansion by the Sea I jumped at the chance. You might have already seen their sunset engagements but we continued our theme of water and sun with Jason and Stephanie for their wedding day.

The sunlight was oozing through the palm trees and the ocean breeze kept the rising Texas heat off of our shoulders when Stephanie and Jason said “I do”. Friends and Family gathered round the rest of the evening, well, until the cake begun flying around the room. I must say that I have never seen a more committed wedding party as 20 or so guests walked out into the bay to get a unique group photo.

Thanks for having us out Stephanie, look forward to seeing the life you and Jason build together!
–JB
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Katie & Nick: Chateau Bellvue Wedding in Austin

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A wedding is often like an impressionist painting. Daubs of color and brushstrokes that combine to form a fuzzy memory. Katie & Nick started the next chapter in their own masterpeice and the first words as brushstrokes that I think of are: Sweet, Fun and Just Right. The band Hot Sauce ATX had the crowd movin and groovin, the florals from STEMS set the ambience and the crowd gathered to watch Nick soak in the radiance that is Katie. Purple dresses and hook’ems from the bridesmaids swirl about during the reception. The pedicab exit was a first and elicited cheers from the bubble blowing exit crowd. Nick’s face when Katie came near, Katie’s laugh through the course of the evening. Vintage couches holding secret conversation in the coolness of the stone patio.

Those are the brush strokes I remember anyhow. Take a look through their pictures and see what stories they trigger.

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Katie: Bridal Portraits at STEMS Austin

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Seems like we have been on quite the bridal portrait roll this spring and Katie’s are another fantastic example of what we can do with a trusting bride, gorgeous flowers, a unique venue and a sprinkling of bluebonnets. The location is the tucked away production office of STEMS floral design in West Austin. They are also responsible for the florals of the bouquet and the wedding day (coming soon!). The Texas spring gave us an adequete day but a whole field of bluebonnets to throw couches around in for Katie to preen on (Katie isn’t really a preener, I bet she would prefer being on my side of the camera honestly) and when you look as good as she does, preening is what you should do! Getting away from myself a bit, but the best part of the day is Katie in her wedding gown. Sweet, funny and trusting of what I wanted to accomplish… such as standing on the meeting table in STEMS offices to incorporate the cool metallic ceiling.

Anyhow, we are lucky to have clients such as Katie enter our lives and we are happy to return the favor in a small way by going the extra mile to make these bridal portraits as unique and lovely as our brides. Congrats to you and Nick!
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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

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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
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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


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Stacy & Travis: Wedding at The Winfield Inn in Kyle - Blue Hour Wedding Portraits - Austin Wedding Photographers

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
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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.

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Ivy: Bridal Portraits in Austin - downtown austin, austin skyline - Blue Hour Bridal Portraits - Graffiti Castle Bridal Portraits, Austin wedding photographers

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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