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


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

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Kiss! Bang! Pow! – Comic Book Wedding Inspiration


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

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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!








Downton Abbey Style Shoot: Creative Session

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Pamuk and Tom play chess. Tom doesn’t know what he is doing.

I have crazy friends and I love them. My friend Amie has been planting this Downton Abbey shoot in my ear for a while now and we finally had the chance to make it happen. For those that don’t know, Downton Abbey is a period drama set in England around the time of World War I in an estate with upper class and lower class characters. Our goal was to play up some of that class warfare and show the Crawley Sisters doing their thing. Amie found the perfect venue in Austin at the Scottish Rite Dormitory and got us access to all kinds of fun rooms, libraries, boiler rooms and grand ballrooms. As a former UT student I had only been in the lobby of the dorm (it’s all girl) so it was fun to poke around this historic venue. Honestly, it took me about an hour of scouting to soak in all the nooks and crannies available to us.

Let me give a shout out quickly to my rockstar Hair and Makeup Gal Crystal Glass. She makes everyone look awesome no matter the style we through at her, and if you follow this blog you have seen some of our craziness.

Returning to Amie, wow, she did so much work to make this shoot happen. Period Costumes, Venue Access, Beef Jerky for the photographer (always recommended!), finding the cast, and starring as Mary!, busy day for Amie indeed. My work was easy, I just pushed the shutter button.

We also setup a Rolleiflex portrait session with our led litepanel, but those will have to wait until we can get our 120 film developed and scanned. Excited to see what those 2 rolls of film holds.

Thanks to everyone that helped out on this shoot, we love showing what we can do creatively.

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Pamuk is restless for something to happen

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The Crawley Sisters

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Edith in the library, no one pays her any attention

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A proposal

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Tom finding a helpful book on chess

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Oh no! A dead body must be hidden!

Nautical Style Shoot: Bliss Bridal Magazine


We were honored with the opportunity to photograph our third style shoot for Bliss Bridal Magazine. We took this chance to go big in our ambition, and have our couple go underwater for the lead image! The team at 11-11 Events styled this shoot and took care of everything. That let the photography team get on with the work of photographing, tweaking lights and scuba diving in the awesome pool at Taylor Mansion. I can’t stress enough how much better photoshoots (including real weddings) go when you have brains at the top in an excellent event planner putting everything in place at the right time. The gals at 11-11 Events found the vendors, found the venue, and styled the hell out of the look with cool little touches everywhere we looked.

Some of my favorite creative touches were the literal tying of the knot, get it? The groom’s Sperry Top-Siders contrasted against the wedding dress is a fun image as well. The floral team did a super cool job between the floating pomanders weighted and secured at the bottom of the pool to the correlated suspended center table roses in the large vase. The message in a bottle well wish at the guest table! Can’t wait for someone to do this at a wedding, just a great idea. And finally, the food! The pastries and the oyster bake, I think we all gained 5 pounds on this shoot with all the cake toppers and cupcakes. Delicious and fun in completing our nautical theme.

I will take a quick moment to thank all of the vendors for trusting 11-11 Events and AzulOx Photography in our vision for how the shoot should go. Lots of vendors would run away when the words cocktails tables submerged in water get uttered but everyone came through like a champ and the pictures reflect the courage of all of the vendors in trying something out of the norm. Here is the list of the vendors for you to get in contact with them:

Event Planning: 11-11 Events
Rentals/Furniture: Illusions Rentals & Design
Floral: Casa Linda Floral
Venue: Taylor Mansion
Pastries: Envy Pastries
Cupcakes: Pamcakes
Hair & Makeup: All Dolled Up
Catering: Rosemary’s Catering
Bride: Camryn Little
Groom: Ryan Kiel
Video: Austin McGrew with AzulOx
Audio: Kelsey Noelle with AzulOx
Assistant: Meredith Surrey

Thanks again to everyone who helped out on this photographic endeavour. I hope yall like the direction we are taking with our styled shoots. Which ones are yalls favorite?




















Kinetic Romance: Wedding Style Shoot


I want to start by talking about our design theme: Kinetic Romance. We wanted to design a style shoot that showcased what a Texas Elegant wedding could be beyond mason jars and burlap. We felt that martini glasses, bauhaus design elements, and a splash of James Bond debonair cool can become elements that you will see in the future of Texas Weddings. As you look through the photographs, notice the bold, dramatic color pairings: Red, Black and Yellow, like a Texas coral snake. Also notice the squared bouquet, I have never seen that before. One last thing to notice is the super cool Photo Wall with cutouts for couples to get photographed in with monogrammed initials and details such as the wedding invitation. How awesome is that! Let me now go into throwing out heaping praise on people and give a backstory into how this shoot came about.

The Kinetic artwork that led to this whole shoot

The Kinetic artwork that led to this whole shoot

I have been waiting to share the photographs from this shoot since the moment I pressed the shutter. We made these photographs for the just released issue of Bliss Bridal Magazine to showcase new ideas and talents in the Central Texas area. The whole genesis of the shoot started from a kinetic sculpture on the grounds of TerrAdorna in Manor, Texas. This whirling, twirling metallic peice of shiny moving art got our heads around the theme of Kinetic Romance. The decisions that followed were based upon and inspired by the artwork. Dory, owner and operator of TerrAdorna, had an idea for a jumping groom to seated bride photograph featuring the artwork and we went off and running from there.

Details Everywhere! Slinky's, Martini Menu's, Red, Black!

Details Everywhere! Slinky’s, Martini Menu’s, Red, Black!

Elegant Photo Wall!

Elegant Photo Wall!

To complete the vision we brought in Michelle from Here to Help event planning and worked with Maddie from Bliss. Michelle took our notion and got the caterer, rentals and all the super details to mesh together in completing our vision. Michelle did great work in listening to our intent and turning it into a reality. One of her decisions was to bring in Robin from Gilded Petals . I was apprehensive at first but I had no reason to nervous, because Robin took it to the next level. One of my ideas was a square bouquet, and no one had really seen one before until Robin debuted her red and yellow square masterpiece, I had to stop myself from taking pictures of it all day. Thanks for your work Robin!


We had two great models to work with that day as well, Jenny Lynn Larsen as our bride and Michael Steven Vail as our groom. Michael was kind enough to jump onto the rock island about 20 times in dress shoes and look cool doing it, no easy task. Jenny Lynn just waltzed around looking stunning all day, also no easy task. Jenny Lynn and I have worked together on at least ten projects so to have her there was a nice bedrock to our photographs. We more or less knew what to expect from each other. Michael was new to me, but it won’t be the last time we work together.

The grounds of TerrAdorna

The grounds of TerrAdorna

Long Exposure, Mercedes, Gorgeous Bride, yeah what else do you need?

Long Exposure, Mercedes, Gorgeous Bride, yeah what else do you need?

Another guy that needs a big shoutout is Matthew from Illussions. He came up with these super cool bright red race-car thrones for our couple to sit on during their long-exposure shots. He also setup a red-chaired lounge for our couple sit and stare and each other on. Furniture pieces like these really pull the shoot together. Also, on the guy list is my assistant Austin, who braved strong winds on a tall ladder while holding an octobox and for being the source behind the cool long exposure shots as well.

The Romance part of the Kinetic Roman shoot

The Romance part of the Kinetic Roman shoot

Finishing up, I am so overwhelmed with all the people who put in a bunch of hours to get this project off the ground. Thanks to all the vendors who stepped up to the challenge of creating something new! Big thanks to the Bliss Bridal Magazine family for supporting our vision and having such great vendors to work with. For all my brides out there, go check out their magazine and all the hard work they do in bringing you the freshest wedding ideas in Austin.

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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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.