Kaitlyn: Liberty Hill Senior Portraits, Part 2

Kaitlyn Liberty Hill Senior Portraits - 004

Part 2 of Kaitlyn’s senior portraits was a few weeks in arriving, weather and all being a question. Kaitlyn has been riding horses her whole life so we were thrilled that we could bring that aspect of her life into her senior portraits. Of course we took pretty shots (queue the bluebonnets and sunset), but we also wanted to highlight the more exciting aspects of riding a thoroughbred horse. What better way to do that than to add a little rain to the mix (and never mind the fact that her horse is named Rain too).

This time we took the photo’s at her mother’s riding school, Conner Combined Training in Liberty Hill. Adrian with Revelry Beauty was there once again adding the finishing touches to Kaitlyn’s hair and makeup.

Exciting, yes? We think so.

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Soaked: Fashion in the Wet in Austin


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.





Erika & Diego: Round Rock Wedding


They made their escape in the rain to a distant shore, holding hands and very much in love.

That went through my mind as I saw Diego and Erika leave after a family and friend filled evening. We enjoyed the quirks and details of their wedding day and let me start by talking about the Groom’s Cake. Mario and the Princess! with a bacon topping? get out of here. We took the Mario cake topper and used it in the ring shot as well as the purple linen that ran through the day. I can also appreciate Diego’s sense of style. From the tuxedo t-shirt to the silly socks, it seems like something I would have done for high school cross-country and I approve. We also enjoyed the succulents for the bouquet. Adds to the Texas feel especially for the out of state guests, not to mention the local beers on display that helped add to the Austin Ambiance.

Follow along with their Instagram hashtag #ErikaDiego2013 and make sure to tell the happy couple congratulations in the comments!















Shepherd & Megan: Soaked Engagement


We have said it before and we will say it again, we love our clients. We will be photographing Shepherd and Megan’s wedding next month at Vintage Villas. While going through our initial consultation with them I discovered that they felt their engagement pictures could be better suited to their personalities. When asked about their personalities it came out that they loved dancing together and were up for about anything. I casually mentioned that I was shooting a series called “Soaked” and they were instantly interested and willing to participate. Oh, and they are also super talented dancers. 2 weeks later we had them in my garage shooting in “rain” on a 60 degree day with 20 mph wind. Megan’s lips were blue after the 45 minute water torture, er, portrait session but she stayed committed throughout. Are these the best of the series so far?


I know you can feel the warmth and passion this couple has for each other and it was shining through even as they were shivering together. Such a pleasure for us to watch them work out their choreography and moves on the spot. Then they would just bring it when the rain came down. Like a hip hop Singin in the Rain!


Let me take a second to run through our process for capturing these Soaked shots. Due to the high wind we setup a 10 foot roll of black background paper inside my garage to shield it from the wind and to put the exposure of the black further into the shadowed ambient. The couple is just in front of the edge of the roof to get the water falloff on, in front and behind them. We have a AlienBee 800 with a small softbox from behind and a LP160 gelled red from the opposite corner. They were both on 1/2 ish power. The key light is an Einstein640 with a sport reflector on full power. That’s because we were at an ambient killing iso50, f18, 1/320th exposure. Cue the rain from Austin on a ladder and Bob’s your uncle. Austin is the premiere provider of rain in Travis County.


We also took some proper engagements before the wet and wild part of the session. Made sure we had enough good ones where we could shoot without hesitation on the rain soaked section. There is this great old barn in my neighborhood that I am always looking to photograph in new ways. Lucky for us the clouds stayed together and dramatic. The vertical photograph above is maybe my favorite of the entire day because it shows Megan and Shepherd in their true state of happiness together, a small slice of time that represents their future time together. And from up close to tiny in the frame, I think these pair well together in a narrative fashion.


Hope you have enjoyed the continuation of our Soaked Series, any requests for what to photograph in the rain next?

Haide & Manny: Soaked


Haide and Manny are Soaked! I mean really, how amazing is the passion in their eyes for each other. This session bounced around from so many possibilities. The first plan was for this to be an underwater session, outfits were purchased, pools reserved, stylists were ready to go. Then the storms came in and the lightning forced us out of the pool planning. Figuring there to be rain we were then going to go for a more intimate and muddy in the storm type of session. And then the rain finished hours before we were scheduled to start at 7:30 in the morning. So what did we do? We threw them on the back porch, brewed some hot tea with cinnamon rolls in the oven and we made it rain from a water hose!


The sun rise almost directly behind my back porch, so our new plan was to have a rain in the summer sunrise look and feel. The sun decided to stay behind the clouds. I added a full CTO gel to the backlight to give that warmth the sun wasn’t providing and underexposed those great clouds by a bit to give the full drama. Our last bit to the equation was a medium softbox from up and left to illuminate our couple.


We will be continuing our water theme this Spring with a few more entries in our Soaked category and a couple great underwater session that I can’t talk about just yet. For now, enjoy the passion and chemistry of Haide and Manny.



Andrea & GoGo – Horse Portraits at Star T Ranch

Andrea and Gogo go smooches

Andrea and her eventing horse GoGo, otherwise known as MARE (yes, all capitals), are the subject of today’s blog post. We met up at her barn, Star T Ranch, for a planned photoshoot at a nearby park. And then it rained, and rained, lightened up for a bit, and then rained some more. We saw kids show up for lessons, wait around a bit, and then head back home. The barn manager put on a slicker straight out of the movie Tombstone to keep off the elements. Andrea, GoGo and I? we made photographs.

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