Britt & Kristina: Burnet Engagement Portraits


Britt & Kristina have a love of water, and in planning their engagement portraits we discussed a few options but settled on one of our favorite locations, Reveille Peak Ranch in Burnet, Texas. The team there is fantastic, good people. Anyhow, our first setup involved Britt & Kristina on a pier. Josh being the adventuresome sort knew that the right angle required him to be a few feet in the water, and after 3 steps, he was in the water, up to his neck. College beer skills saved his favorite camera from taking a drink.

Once the normal photoshoot tension was shattered, we rollicked through three outfit and light changes around the lake at Reveille Peak. The other super cool location was on the back side of the dam where the overflowing water has revealed the pink granite. This was a tough part to shoot, happy with what we got, but already looking forward to getting more from this wave location.

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



kristina quick-1




Hannah: Lone Oak Barn Bridal Portraits


We just wrapped up photographing Hannah & Charlie‘s Wedding this weekend, so now we can share her fantastic bridal portraits from Lone Oak Barn. Lone Oak Barn is one of our favorite venues so we had to work hard to show off all of it’s potential. The wind had a mind of it’s own and presented us with 25 mph winds for the duration of the shoot. We started off inside to keep Hannah’s long locks in decent shape before we ventured outside to see what drama we could add with the wind. We ended the session with lensbaby 35 for some crazy light bending in the courtyard at blue hour. We hope you enjoy, and keep watching for their wedding post too, a guitar playing-singing groom?






Clay at UT Tower

Clay: Dripping Springs Senior Portraits


City to Country, Business to Golf to Farm. Clay is a young modern man with contrasts and facets in his life. Our Senior Portrait Experience started at the UT McCombs School of Business where Clay will be attending in the fall. Risky Business look? We think so too. From there we headed to Grey Rock GC to photograph Clay in his other passion, golf. We set up our lights to bring a ESPN the Magazine look to the photographs. We ended the day at his home in Dripping Springs to show off the softer side of his nature utilizing the beautiful natural light of the Texas evening.

A big Hook’Em to Clay and thanks for having us photograph your passions









Ivy & Dan: Soaked Engagement Session

Ivy & Dan's Austin Engagement Session #-20

Talking with Ivy on the phone she gave me the freedom to shoot whatever I wanted for part of their engagement session, a dangerous proposition for our creative juices. The theme I came back to was my Soaked Series, (view previous editions here | here | and here) I love doing them and the photos seem to come out with a different sheen to them. Our inspiration for this particular sessionn was Justin Timberlake’s “Suit & Tie”. We told Dan to be JT and he responded pretty well to the role, playing that Hollywood look with seriousness and indifference. Ivy had a hard time keeping a straight face, something about playing a female role was difficult for her after acting out so many different/masculine roles for us over the years.

Let’s walk through the photos real quick for those interested in such things. First photo to me could be a movie poster, maybe a Mr. and Mrs. Smith Sequel? The second shows Dan at his indifferent best, which is a hard look when cold water is raining down your shirt and pants. The third might be my favorite of all. A good warm/cool contrast that plays well with their non-soaked photos. The fourth shows Ivy not able to stay in character, come on Hollywood! And the last photo shows the setup before we turned the water on, looks almost normal doesn’t it? Key light as a spot with two edge lights.

We will write another blog post detailing their “normal” around Austin Engagement Portraits soon, but for now let’s get Soaked!

Ivy & Dan's Austin Engagement Session #-16

Ivy & Dan's Austin Engagement Session #-18

Ivy & Dan: Soaked #-15

Ivy & Dan: Soaked #-14

Joe & Misti: Engagements at Stanley’s Farmhouse Pizza


Special locations add another dimension to environmental portrait photography. Joe & Misti decided on using the picturesque area around the horse farm that they volunteer at on weekends near Stanley’s Farmhouse Pizza and the Jester King Brewery. We could feel the excitement that Joe & Misti felt for this place that is close to their hearts and that shows through in the photographs. The positive feedback of a sense of place combined with the way Joe looks at Misti’s eye made for a memorable engagement session. And now we want to go back and taste the pizza at Stanley’s!

Our horse model for the day was a nice blue-eyed paint that had never seen green grass before in it’s entire life (sarcasm intended). Everytime we got the shot framed, and the light just right down went the horses head for bite of delicious grass. We all laughed, got the photographs that we could and then moved on the scenic barn and little touches that Stanley’s has to offer. I loved the blue sunflower gate and the way the setting sun was streaming through. The Airstream your see in the background is not just decoration but also the restrooms for the clientele. The rustic hill country vibe suited this couple so much, it is hard to believe they are getting married on the black sand beaches of Hawaii. Yes I asked, no they won’t take me with them!

Thanks to Misti & Joe for sharing their special place with us!






Meg & Josh: Portraits at Hops and Grain’s Brewery


Our friends over at Hops & Grain Brewery commissioned us to do a set of portraits of themselves and their canine companions. The dogs Suzy and Zoe have their own beers, well, named after them, not in their water bowl or anything. The Pale Dog is named for Suzy and The One they Call Zoe is for Zoe. Now I just have to make the pictures so good in hopes that I get a seasonal beer, maybe the Black and White instead of a Black and Tan? I think that has a certain ring to it. Combine a porter and an homage to Celis White, the photographers black and white. Sorry, as well as a photo geek I am also a beer nerd. Yall need to go visit the tap room on Friday or Saturday to see what Josh and Meg are cooking up in the Green Room. And support local business by buying a sixer of Zoe at your HEB!






Cathie in Gruene: Bridal Portraits


We have had tons of fun prepping for Cathie and Andrew’s wedding. Their gallery of photographs includes a Mad Men themed engagement session, a film engagement session, and now this Bridal session on the banks of the Guadalupe River in Gruene, Texas. So much gorgeous to photograph! Cathie brough along her mother and maid of honor to help with the props, the change of shoes, and make sure the dress stayed clean and dry as we positioned her in various spot around Gruene. Special thanks to Gilded Petals for their Floral Crown for the fairy image at the top.

Stay tuned for the wedding photos and as we took those last night and need a little bit of time to process them, hope these stunning bridals tide you over until then!



Falon: Liberty Hill HS Senior Portraits {Fire and Horses}

Go big or go home. We try to photograph by the motto when possible. Between our underwater photography, renting airplanes for landscapes or bringing more lights than the sun to session we go big. Falon wanted big. Her dad built a huge bonfire for us to use as a backdrop. Falon brought her black mare, Belle, to ride bareback. We brought the lights and attitude. Belle brought the occassional perky ears. Just a fun senior session all around. Falon’s parents were making faces at her while she was trying to act tough in front of the flames. Three dogs were vying for our attention in the downtime as we setup the lights. And the weather was just a perfect fall November day in Central Texas.

Which of these is your favorite? How can we go big for your portraits?!

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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.

Bella by Sara Style Shoot: Kiara & Bouquets

Kiara at Sunset

We had the privelege of working with Bella by Sara Event Floral Design on a styled bridal shoot displaying a few of their new bouquet ideas. Leena with Singar Studios provided the hair and makeup for our bride for the day, Kiara, at a private residence in Dripping Springs. More of these photos will be used in Bella by Sara’s website and marketing in 2013, but we had to show off a couple of these today! Which bouquet is your favorite?

A couch in a field with a bouquet

Wispy Dreams

The fountain of youth

Make sure and check out their work! These are vendors we have worked with repeatedly and love their execution of artistic ideas.


Cindy’s 10 year Bridal Portraits: Austin, Texas

Searching amongst the trees

What a blast we had last weekend photographing Cindy and her husband for their 10 year anniversary photos! I think this is a tradition that more couples should pick up because we all have a great time and the photos turn out super terrific. One of the fun parts is that the dress doesn’t have to look good in front of 100’s of people in the next few weeks, so we can get a little more adventuresome with our placements of the bride. Not that the we have ever been accused of being boring. We headed down to the Long Center area of Austin to get a few with downtown skyline views and then a few more nature feeling spots. We also knew that we would get wet at some point (although it was a bit cold for our semi-planned Barton Springs section) and there is a great fountain to play with next to Doug Sahm’s Hill. We also had a super cool Cypress tree that was just asking to be photographed. Trees are very demanding in Autumn.

Also, shout out to my conspirators at Flower Child Design for the bouquet, always stellar work.

Let us know in the comment section with of these is your favorite. And if you are married and have an anniversary coming up, these make great gifts! wink, wink, nudge, nudge.

Skyline views, but I only have eyes for you

Dancing near the arches

Playing in the fountain and maybe controlling the elements


Andrew’s Senior Portraits: Bowie HS

Row, Row, Row Your Scull

Paddle On

Andrew presented us with a fun challenge for his senior portrait commission. The first challenge was to get exciting rowing photos with his Texas Rowing Center jersey. I have run around Lady Bird Lake enough to have seen the rowers in their sculls and the coaching chase boats. We coordinated with one of these chase boats to get action shots on the water of Andrew rowing with the Austin Skyline behind him. A cool experience all around with good morning light, a knowledgeable boat driver and a cool lake breeze. Reasons like these are why I love my job so much!

Art and Action

Our second challenge was to take place at the skate park near ACC. Andrew can ride a BMX like a madman (ask about his injuries), and we were tasked with getting a different look and feel for these. More x-games, less Harvard. We mounted our EF 15mm fisheye onto a 1.3 crop 1dIII for the higher flash sync rate (we cheated a bit at 1/320). Mounted up a beauty dish on an Einstein on a stick with my assistant holding without unfurling the tripod legs. We tried to keep a minimal approach with a busy open skate park with skaters, bikers and bladers buzzing around. I must say, I really want to ride a bike around the bowl, the speed and force looked to be fun. My job was to capture that feeling as best we could.

Bike Bowl

Andrew in Austin

The last part of our shoot was simple in comparison, nice casual portraits with a bit more of the Austin Skyline. The timing of the day’s work had us out at mid day in open daylight. No problem for us! Just a quick exposure of slight over exposure on the background and then bring in the highlights on the face with a medium softbox balanced with our base exposure.

Andrew was super fun to work with and wish him all the luck in the is rowing season, no broken bones this year!

Let us know if you have an interesting senior portrait idea that we can tackle


Katha: Underwater Portraits

A Songwriter’s Dream

Continuing in our underwater portrait adventures, we went a bit more thematic this time around as we tested the pool that I hope to use for future shoots. The theme was a songwriter’s dream. Our lovely model Katha, moonlighting here as our subject is a singer songwriter in the real world. We wanted to take the dreaminess of underwater photos and add them to her dreams as a songwriter. You can see the empty music pages and the floating pen in parts of these shots. We didn’t take into account how quickly paper will disintegrate in water, next time we will try to use papyrus. Once we blew through the small amount of music paper, we shifted into straight underwater portraits.
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Sandra & Her 1977

Sandra at Sunset in her Truck (yes it’s capitalized)

My friend Sandra has been restoring a sweet 1977 Ford pickup truck for the last year or so. Once it got to running shape she commissioned me for portraits in and around her truck. Our goal was to have Sandra be as fierce in her photos as the truck, no small task with a 4 wheel drive whomper that looks and sounds like it does.
We want to thank Tami at Ramaker Stables as well for allowing us to roam over her fields and meadows so that we could position ourselves for these portraits.

I also want to take a moment as well and tell yall have much I have enjoyed the Nik Software Suite. All of these files have been post-produced with a combination of Lightroom 4 and Nik’s Viveza and Nik’s Color Efex. They work well in concert in an intuitive way that let’s me create images in an efficient manner.

The first image is created with 24×36 Buff Softbox streaming in through the passenger side window. I exposed for the background of hot highlights and filled in Sandra with the rest. We did a little cross-toning in Lightroom (as well as my normal adjustments) and then used Color Efex for Dynamic Contrast, Sunlight and a Glamour Glow. That’s about the basic process for the rest of the images to follow as well. Hit me up in the comments if you have more specific questions.

Cowgirl and her Truck

Summertime Chillaxin’

Sunlight Portrait (no softbox here, just a silver sided reflector)

Sunset and Attitude, yeah this is the fierceness we were going for.

Underwater Testing: Part One

Summer in Texas is hot, make that a capital “H” Hot!. Shooting outdoor portraits in the summer HOT months aren’t a whole lotta fun. So last summer we rented some underwater gear and tested out shooting cool portraits underwater in places like the spring fed Comal River. After dealing with the cumbersomeness of the Aquatech Sport Housing we searched for a more nimble approach to get our Canon 5d II underwater. Dealt with Mike at Essex Surf Housings and we figured out a solution to my creative problems – triggering strobes underwater.

So let’s back up just a bit.

Austin at the pool, no extra lights

Here is Austin, my first mate, in our community pool on a somewhat cloudy day without any extra lights on his face. Nothing wrong with this image, just not the over-the-topness that I am looking for. That and the Lightroom adjustments are plenty starting with +75 red units to help balance out the blueness of the water and his skintone.

Self Portrait with added 390 Lumens

Same Pool, Next Day a self portrait with the added light of a Princeton Tec Shockwave diving light that produces a continous source of light at 390 lumens. Not extremely bright for underwater, need to be on the shadow side of the facial exposure (my back is to the sun) and about 3 feet away to affect the exposure in a meaningful way. This light will prove useful for tight portraits but not a main light for the big sets I have planned.

Megan in Murky Barton Springs
LumoPro 160 at full power in an OtterBox

Enter the LumoPro 160 in a Pelican 1060 case. More power! The above photo is taken at iso 100, f11, 1/200th (the 5d2 sync speed). With the help of Mike from Essex Surf Housings we determined that the CST from Paul C. Buff would fit inside the housing and help me to trigger strobes. Megan, a local triathlete, is brave enough to test at Barton Springs with me. For those that don’t know the Springs are a constant 68 degrees. The CSRB and the LP160 make a tight squeeze but in a good way. The flash doesn’t bounce around and the head aim is consistent.

We found that if the camera housing and the strobe housing are just breaking the surface of the water then we had at least 15 feet of range. We didn’t test beyond that distance. However if either of the housing’s were submerged, which the Pelican Product page says not to, then the effective range is about 15 inches. Basically an underwater version of a flash on a bracket.

Backstroke Megan

I had contemplated putting a CTO filter on the flash to warm it up even more against the blueness of water and cursed myself on the drive to the Springs for not bringing one. One of my Pelican Cases is Yellow though and the light it emits is quite yellow/orange which is close enough for me. The light you see in the back of the above image is the yellow Pelican Case with the LP160 firing at full power.

Which brings us to the next challenge in our quest to bring our style fully underwater, adding at least one more flash underwater. To do so, we are going to test out using the optical slave of an additional LP160 in an extra Pelican Case. Using good Strobist technique we will use the radio-triggers to fire one unit as an on axis fill, while hopefully using the the optical slave (not digital slave since we are full manual here) as a key light or a separation light, depending on the sun.

Heading out bright and early to give this setup a go tomorrow morning, stay tuned for the follow up post

Summer Underwater Portrait Series Details

Following up on the success of our underwater portraits from last summer, we are again offering a unique opportunity to have amazingly creative portraits made while underwater. These sessions are super for creative portraiture, maternity, and engagement/couple portraits. Models and Creatives types, these sessions would look epic in your look book. The look and lighting of being underwater provides an ethereal feel that can’t be recreated on land.

Here are the details:

* Private Pool (9 ft deep) in Dripping Springs, Texas
* Sessions Available Monday July 16th through Friday July 20st
* 1 AM and 1 PM Session each day
* Professional Hair and Makeup where needed
* 1 – 16×24 Art Print in your choice of Acrylic, Aluminium, or Canvas
* Sessions ~3 hours
* Edited Session Gallery
* $995

Message us at Josh@Azulox.Com or give us a call at (512) 461 9416 to reserve your time slot now!

Underwater Portraiture

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!

Heather – Texas State Senior Portraits

Small Diploma, Big Work

Most of our Senior Portraits are done when graduating from high school. Heather didn’t have good high school portraits and figured when graduating with a Master’s Degree from Texas State was a great opportunity to document this phase of her life. We spent the first part with Heather and her awesome blue eyed dog Remi at Rio Vista Park throwing the soggy ball around and diving in the water.

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Alyssa’s Bridals

Sun Soaked Bride

We finally get to share Alyssa’s Bridal Portraits! Been holding off on this post since early January. We ventured to the McNay Art Museum in San Antonio for their varied grounds and scenery. The place was just amazing to photograph at because we never had to move more than 100 yards for all of our photographs. Places like the McNay are great for stimulating the senses with Contemporary Artwork around the grounds.

We have to thank Alyssa and Kevin’s Moms for being great assistants and for Leena at Singar Studios for her excellent makeup work.Continue reading