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!

Lindsay and Jonathan - Austin Vintage Swing - 037

Lindsay and Jonathan - Austin Vintage Swing - 046

Lindsay and Jonathan - Austin Vintage Swing - 036

Lindsay and Jonathan - Austin Vintage Swing - 044

Lindsay and Jonathan - Austin Vintage Swing - 043

Lindsay and Jonathan - Austin Vintage Swing - 039

Lindsay and Jonathan - Austin Vintage Swing - 042

Lindsay and Jonathan - Austin Vintage Swing - 040

Lindsay and Jonathan - Austin Vintage Swing - 041

Kristen & Sam: A Match Made in Austin


Kristen & Sam kicked off our first wedding of 2016 with a big bash at the elegant Driskill Hotel in downtown Austin. Their wedding certainly set the bar for the rest of the weddings to come this year. Kristen is low key and up for whatever photo ideas we had, and Sam just made us laugh the whole day. Perfect combination of fun, silly, and mad/made for each other. During the first look Sam pulled out his cellphone to throw Kristen off her romantic game. I started to shout to him that Kristen was coming through the door, then realized he was trying to prank her. He made up for it for weeping a bit at how beautiful Kristen looked in her wedding gown. Andrew made sure to capture it from across the sheet in the parking garage.

We had a great gang of vendors to work with, and one unique vendor type that we haven’t seen at a wedding yet. Personalized poems for wedding guests from Typewriter Rodeo, what a cool idea!
Venue: Driskill Hotel
Florist: Coby Neal/The Flower Studio
Video: New Road Videography
Hair/Makeup: RAE Cosmetics
Planner: Lydia Smith
Poems: Typewriter Rodeo
Photobooth: Booth 66

Congrats to Kristen & Sam, a Match made in Austin, with adventures in store to carry them far and wide!
































#BoomAthlete : Chrissy Cowdrey Fitness Portraits


Chrissy needed fitness portraits for a project she is working on called “#BoomAthlete showcasing everyday people’s fitness through twitter and instagram using the #boomathlete hashtag. First, we love shoot that already have hashtags associated with them. Second, we are a big fan of fitness for everyone. We are proud to have coached experienced and new runners alike, so this project dovetails nicely with my own personal passions. That said, never in my life have I been as fit as Chrissy! She Booms and she Booms hard!

We covered this project in the area of Austin around the Lamar Pedestrian Bridge and the Seaholm Power Plant. We were lucky to have a random late summer rain storm blow in for the last bit of the shoot which made for some epically moody skies to shoot against. The first half of the session we mainly just used big silver and gold reflectors to punch in light where it was needed. Only toward the end did we break out one gelled speedlight to add drama to the scenes.

Let us know if you need fitness portraits or any other type of fitness related photography, we love it! And be sure to check out the hashtag in the coming weeks to see what Chrissy and her team have in store!






Kayla: Creative Style Shoot


Super pumped about this shoot from last night. Felt like we had a good creative break through to produce some exciting photographs. Tried to push my boundaries a bit in terms of lighting and composition to see what we could come up with. Just like every shoot, the photographs are only as good as the team that goes out in the field. We had a stellar cast with the gals from The Beauty Jar running hair and makeup. Our model Kayla also doubled as our wardrobe stylist for the evening, be sure to check out her fashion blog too. On my side we had Austin running video which we will share later on the youtube channel and Kelsey helping with reflectors and lightstands for both the photo and video production.

With the team and introduction out of the way, let’s take a look at logistics and the thought process behind the creation of these photographs. First up on a shoot like this is getting prepared mentally. We have shot in this empty lot before so I had a good idea of the light quality and the various backgrounds this area offered. We lucked out a bit that one of the rotating graffiti peices had colors and looks that we could use to dramatic effect with the red and black polka dots and the bright colored patches (all the same wall). We also knew we were in good hands with the hair, makeup, and styling team because we have worked with everyone including the model before, so the familiarity and professionalism helped the shoot move along and advance quickly. Those are the basics.

The most important part is the the mental aspect of deciding what part of yourself you are imparting onto the photographs. All the little choices in lighting, styling, makeup, framing, tone add up to tell as much about the person behind the picture as the one in front. On the ride down Mopac from the salon to the location, Kayla and I were talking about the narrative space she should try and enter. We kept using words like “fierce” and “aggro” to describe not just her hair but the attitude to bring. Having a storyline is always a help. I had her watch the intro to Punky Brewster to get inspired! (mainly because I was the only one old enough to remember it airing). The takeaway though was street wise with a big heart, a role that I think Kayla is a natural for, eyes to lure you in and the brains to pick your pocket.


Mentally we were set then with a streetwise, aggressive character with a glam look. The last part is the lighting and framing. We used about every type of light modifier we own on this shoot, a good thing the trunk of the Jetta was never far away helped! The image that leads off this article is from a silver long throw reflector from up high feathered away and down a bit to keep the hardest intensity light off of Kayla’s skin, still plenty silvery and hard though. Once the ambient levels came down, we also used the Orbis Ring Flash to great effect throughout. Standard beauty fare modifier but we paired it with s-l-o-w shutter speeds in the neighborhood of 1/4 of a second to give it that jittery hand held feel while still maintaining the glam feel. We also used a flash and slash technique to get the ambient lights burning into the background.

The strangest technique and one that I have never tried before was a snooted flash on camera zoomed in. It creates the vignetted effect you see on photograph #4. This light had a definite sweet spot and moving away from the center lost all of your light. Finicky for sure, but fun when it hit right. Fun light setups, gorgeous model styled well, and new camera techniques. Good times.

That’s a wrap on what may be a few of my personal favorite photographs I have taken this year. Thanks to all who helped out!








Danielle: Senior Portraits


Danielle will soon be graduating from Seguin High School and making the trek an hour north to attend the University of Texas. I say good choices all around, since that is exactly what I did. This session was a bit of whirlwind. We got through six locations/six light setups in about 2 hours plus a brief posing primer at the beginning of the session. We would have done more but Danielle’s sister Tiffany wouldn’t share any of her delicious goldfish crackers so we ran out of energy. Our theme for the shoot was “nothing normal” (which is most of my shoots!) so we used ring flashes, hard lights, soft lights, direct sun and a shady ambient. The differing lights showed off the different aspects of Danielle’s personality but didn’t show her tattoo! (Have to ask her mom about that).

Tell Danielle which is your favorite in the comments and start her summer off right.






Palladino Sisters: Senior Portraits


Not often we photograph a Sister Session and a Senior Session at the same time but Kate and Christa are both graduating this year, Kate from Pflugerville HS (but going to A&M) and Christa from the University of Texas (hook’em!). We bounced around Old Settlers park and discovered a new to me barn with farm implements and a supercool old Chevrolet farm truck. After we used all the daylight we could at Old Settlers we headed into downtown Round Rock where we used some rustic background and broke out our ringflash for the first time in a while. We really had a great time together and their Mom basically had to pull us away from shooting all into the night.


We explored a lot of natural light + reflector settings, which if you follow this blog, we don’t do too much of, but it was the best light available in a few of the places we were so we went with it. With numerous outfit changes we explored a range of facial emotions as well, and really tried to fit the light to the emotion at hand. Really a fun shoot where everything lined up well. I look forward to going through the 400+ photos we took to pick out the super elite because I think there maybe a couple of portfolio winners in the bunch.






Which ones are yalls favorite?

PBK Stem & Stein: {Bridal Style}

We put together a bridal style shoot this week to show off the new Pflugerville destination venue PBK Stem & Stein. Great use of a super cool building in downtown P-ville with a history that dates back to a Prohibition-era Speakeasy. Super cool upstairs bar, nice little nooks and crannies to explore and the best patio in town. Our style team showed their pro chops by getting this up and running in a heartbeat, just like a real wedding!

Flowers: Flower Child Design
Venue: PBK Stem & Stein
Models: Jenny Lynn Larsen & Nicole Bowler
Hair/MUA: Crystal Glass Makeup
Breakfast Tacos: Me!
Masks: Jennifer Davis with Pilgrimage Design

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Regan: RR McNeil Senior Portraits

Regan is a Senior at Round Rock McNeil High school with many talents: playing ukulele, tumbling, backflips, harmonica, and apparently quick change artist. We did more outfits in a couple hour session than I wear in a week. Our first location was at the big rock in Zilker Park. This provided us with a nature-y background and an urban background with good views of the sky to boot with out pesky telephone wires. From Zilker we headed to South Congress armed with more outfit changes and a reflector. The natural grace that Regan possesses is best served by broad naturalistic lighting. A slight departure from the normal photos we post but for rational reasons. Walked about South Congress searching for light, background and attitude. Super fun afternoon!

As always, let us know if you have any favorites or questions in the blog.

Trevor: Bowie HS Senior Portraits

Trevor and his Hyundai Coupe… zoom zoom

Trevor head about us from one of our previous Senior Portrait clients, Andrew, and decided to go his own route in choosing the theme of his session. Started off with Austin Skyline Casual where we had a great sky for about 10 minutes to get some cool dramatic looks with. We played around with the light and look around the Daughtery Art Center/Dough Sahm Hill and yes that black and white photograph has me standing on the railing above the water shooting down to get the angle I wanted. Wish I had go go gadget legs from time to time.

Angles, Lines, Standing on a Ledge

The dramatic sky put to use

After a discussion on where to head next, Trevor mentioned that he had a red sports car. Um, yes please! Met back up at a parking garage off southwest parkway to capture the cover image as well as the ones below. Originally we thought to go to the top floor to see the downtown skyline, but the wind (20mph) and the light (approaching noon) just were not suitable. So we headed to a middle floor where the ambient was less and the angles were snappier.

Thanks to Trevor and his mom for getting an impromptu car wash that is going to save me tons of time in post. We had a blast with yall and can’t wait to share the full gallery.


Katie: Senior Portraits in Dallas, Texas

Adele's New Cover? - nope, that's Katie

Can we start by saying how much we love our clients? I think we should. We love our Clients. Yes, we traveled to Dallas to do a Senior Portrait Session, but they traveled in from Arkansas! So, so awesome. The first location was at the Dallas Arboretum on a hot, hot day. Summer is here for sure. Our brilliant Makeup/Hair/Stylist gal, Crystal, did a fantastic job of transforming Katie into each scene. Ask her where they prepped. Also making for excitement is the sculpture installations by, no, not the hot sauce, at the Arboretum with cool glass sculptures erupting and levitating around the floral scenery.

Pretty Flowers Everywhere!

After getting kicked out exactly at 5pm… because apparently the flowers need their beauty sleep. We headed downtown for a modern look transformation in both clothing and scenery. We started out near the old Neiman-Marcus buidling and then ventured around to an urban park space.

Shooping Time!


And seeing some “models” in the water, we of course had to give a running through the water shot a chance

Thanks again for Katie and Sandra for being great people!

2013 Seguin HS Senior – Ashlyn

Ashlyn has mad hops!

Introducing Ashyln, 2013 Senior at Seguin High School, she is going to be the captain of the cheerleading team, dances and teaches at the Suzi Hughson School of Dance and is our spokesmodel for the Seguin area for 2013 Seniors. And how do you photograph an acrobat full of energy and sour patch kids (RED!), you have her jump off of tall structures repeatedly! We had a blast with Ashyln as we quite literally bounced around Seguin. From the fields and wind of the Big Red Barn to the back alleys of downtown we were on the search for amazing photographs. How did we do?

And if you are a Senior in Guadalupe county looking for out of the ordinary photographs to capture your spirit and personality then contact us today to schedule your appointment.
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Kara & Joe – Engaged in Austin

Evening Sun at Zilker

I know what you are thinking, haven’t we seen this couples engagement photos. Yes and No, we have posted the first part when they went underwater for me. These are the “official” versions sure to please the happy couple and their families.

Our general plan was to take a mini-tour of Austin to show off the city for their families which both live out of state. We started at Lou Neff Point on the trail to get some skyline in our photos. And then spun around to photograph in Zilker Park proper which has special meaning because that is where Joe proposed to Kara!

Skyline and Springs, just watch out for attacking Geese!

We proceeded to cruise around town looking for a more “urban” scene trying to capture a different feel. We saw this alleyway and just had to shoot there. Joe is saying that a fight scene in Machete happened here and that somehow led to a discussion on Jessica Alba’s acting skills. Kara’s sister Laura helped me with a snooted light on a stick to really highlight the romance in the alley.

Alleyway Romance

We finished off with a little time spent in front of the Capitol. We only had to wait a few minutes before the lights came on to shine onto the building and a perfect gust of wind gives us the Superman-tie curl that you see below. Also, Kara has some calves, just saying. I guess that is what happens when you train as hard as this couple does. You look awesome all the time!

Current Superheroes/Future Senators?

Stay tuned, we have a special side project from this shoot that I think yall will dig.


Emily’s Senior Portraits – Seguin, Texas

Patches and Badges

Emily and I had fun, fun, fun! We toured around downtown Seguin, setting up lights, striking some poses, yes both of us, and made some super fun photos along the way. Emily has a letter jacket that is a mere canvas for her Band and Tennis patches and badges. Mine was never this cool, mainly because I lettered in cross-country and in high school that wasn’t cool.

Emily is just so full of socialness and giddiness, not sure if both of those are words, but you get the idea.

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Steam Punk Fashion Show

Jasper, or Ironworkz

I have a bit of a fascination with Steam Punk. I love the idea of aether, gears, lenses and the mixture of leather and brass. So when I heard that there was a steam punk fashion show I was all aboard. Plus a few of my friends were modeling some of the gear. The above photo is one of the designers, Dr. Jasper Ashton, for Iron Workz. Their gear is legit!

A few of the other Designers has more of an anime/cosplay feel to their work, which was also a cool look. See more of the photos below.

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Alex the Dancer – Austin, TX

Think "California" was the inspiration for this shot

What a fun and energetic photoshoot with Alex last night. She needed images for her Dance tryouts in L.A. toward the end of the month, so we covered a few different styles of clothing and dance.
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80’s Style Family Portraits – Austin, Texas

Ollie Style

A Fellow Rogue had seen my Team Rogue Elite work and decided she wanted her two boys to have photos done with their skateboards in front of graffiti with edge lights and sunsets. Awesome. She found a cool spot on east 5th street and we went to town on the raised platforms and graffiti backgrounds. The boys were decked out in gear I hadn’t seen in a while, mainly because skateboards are out to maim me at every chance, so I steer clear.

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Maribel’s Senior Sneaks – Austin, Texas

Maribel at Sunset

The post could have been titled, “Maribel Takes over Downtown!”

Maribel contacted me about doing a Top Model type shoot downtown for half of her Senior photos, sounded great. I had no idea that she would bring such a commanding presence in front of the lens. Just rocking it all around. We caught more than a couple of people staring as they drove by, good thing she didn’t cause any accidents!
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Golf Anywhere – Creative Project – Austin, Texas


Ivy K and I hit up Austin again this morning at the nice and convenient time of 6:30 AM. Not so bad, unless you have an 8 week old at home. Our theme was morning, and hopefully one that we will be revisiting is “Golf Anywhere”. Why stick to a course when downtown alleyways and scenic hill country vistas are your’s for the taking. Nevermind the sawdust, lack of putting green, or other amenities.
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3 Ballet Dancers – Senior Portraits – Austin, Texas

Millie on the Streets

My friend Millie is attending the new Austin School for the Performing and Visual Arts. We met last year at our Mini’Lypse in March because she dances with an instructor that I have known since middle school. Anyhow, Millie and I have teamed up a couple of times before on some photo projects. I love working with her because she always brings a ton of energy, passion and excitement. On this shoot, she brought friends, even better.


I wanted to photograph them against the background of their school first, give a historical touch to these photos, because these are the first students attending and graduating from the program. Also, the building has a great north facing wall that would serve as a backdrop to our first round of images. This section provided a get-to-know-you introduction to posing, key lights, and “hold that just a bit longer”!

3 dancers in front of their School

We attempted next to head to an alleyway, but, we couldn’t find enough parking that was remotely close with 3 girls in ballet clothes, 3 patient mothers and 1 photographer with lighting gear.

So instead, we headed over to some haunts of mine on the East Side. Like the Jeffersons!

The dancers all had red, not quite matching, but red none the less, so I really wanted to utilize this Red and Yellow landing with a hard light from a bare Alien Bee 800. One light, hard edged, hard shadow. Just seemed like a great contrast to these beautiful dancers in graceful poses.

Red Red Red and Yellow and Red

Side View of the 3 Dancers

And finally, we headed over to the graffiti wall with a background of the Austin Skyline and the Frost Tower peaking around the corner. I love this wall! This time I put a huge octobox on the Alien Bee, and then had 3 of my batter-powered Canon flashes gelled with different colors to bring out the colors in the graffiti. The graffiti would otherwise drift into dark shadows as the light level fell.

The Three Graces

Finally, here is a link to all the photos, the dancers did wonderfully, looking forward to working with each of you again!