Jason & Emily: Austin Engagement Session


Our engagement session with Jason & Emily had a bit of everything: Austin Landmarks, Tears (mine), Laughter (theirs), Sweetness, Silliness, Airplane Enagement Sign (not theirs), and a sweet sunset over Downtown Austin. Let me back up a bit to put everything into context.

First the Landmark, Emily said on the phone while planning the session that her and Jason are both Austin transplants so they wanted to have their session be almost as tourists. To do the cheesy “Welcome to Austin” Sign, get some skyline shots and then be up for whatever. I have to admit that at first I was apprehensive about the Welcome to Austin sign. “It’s been done before!” shouted one side of my brain. “Do It Better” shouted the other side of my brain in the voice of my wife. So I embraced the “Do It Better” side of the brain, yes my wife always wins, and set out to make the best “Welcome to Austin” sign photos. Ever.

Quick tip for shooting landmarks bigger than people, pull the couple away from the sign. Give the couple room to breathe and let distance be your friend in conveying scale. (For those Strobist fans out there, giving distance allows you to light in 2 different planes.

Second, my tears. While shooting with my fancy new fangled digital cameras I pulled out my just-restored-last-week 70’s era Rolleiflex belonging to my late Father in Law. The leather strap gave up hope and the vintage camera went plummeting to the asphalt post-haste. I was stunned and a bit shocked. I am still not sure if everything is functioning and another trip to Precision will be required. The shutter mechanism was stopped up at first but we fired a few shots off and everything seemed to be working; fingers crossed.
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Jennifer Hritz: Creative Session


We just wrapped up a creative session for a local Austin Author, Jennifer Hritz (website), to produce media for her upcoming novel, “The Crossing”. The experience was a bit surreal on a day when Austin set an 84 year old record for cold weather in May. This fit our purposes though because the action in the novel is set on a cool October day. The other surreal aspect is photographing characters from someone else’s head. Usually I am the one writing backstories on the characters in our sets, but not today. Jennifer told me that the characters for this novel had lived in her head for the last twenty years. No pressure in presenting them as she saw them! Austin and I were a bit nervous about that part but we kept our professional cool and made these photos happen.

For the curious, we tried out the new VSCO film pack #2 to provide an emulated emulsion that replicated the type of camera and film that would have been available to the characters. First time using VSCO after hearing about them for the past year. Nice setup and fits my workflow quite nicely. Based on limited use so far, I would already recommend this product to use for the right type of photos.

And yes, I realize these photo’s also could be used for a smoking campaign. Just part of the detail that makes up the characters. Read the books, don’t start smoking. That is your public service announcement for today.







Savanna Noel: Senior Portraits


Savanna is Senior from The Woodlands, Texas with Austin, Texas roots. Our session took us through her childhood stomping grounds of the fire truck playground at Barton Springs to the waters of Barton Springs and finished with a picture of her and her dad in front of the Jo’s Coffee shop “I love you so much” graffiti wall. We all had a great time together and Savanna’s sarcasm and mine meshed nicely. Even made a few jokes about the trendy style of alien eyed, plastic skin portraits making the rounds. Check our instagram feed for our joke edit to see what we mean.

Savanna swims and sings though probably not at the same time. We like to incorporate the important elements at this point in a senior’s life. For Savanna, that meant flippers and a microphone with the classic shades. Make sure you let us know what you are interested in for your portraits, it helps to plan your session.

Get out your #2 pencils and write a short comment answering the questions: What is your favorite photo of Savanna? What do you feel about about ouerve? (bonus points if you don’t have to look up what “ouerve” means”)







Nicole: Lake Travis Senior Portraits: Armed & Elevated

Camouflage & Pink

Nicole is our favorite type of client. We have worked with her in the past on family portraits. She knows exactly what she wants and plans accordingly. She loves, loves, loves being in front of the camera and she is cute as a button. Part of what Nicole wanted is to show off different parts of her personality. She is a bow hunter. She has bright pink nails and a matching camouflage and pink compound bow. And she almost has as much energy as I do, almost, which will be a great benefit to the world when she finishes up her nursing degree in 4 years. Spunky, energetic nurses are the best kind.

Keep on reading/watching/scrolling for more from this fun fun senior portrait session.
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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.


More from Team Rogue Elite

Team Rogue Setup Shots
(From left to right: Adam Perkins, Joe Thorne, Darren Brown, Kyle Miller)

First up, I remembered to take some setup shots so that I don’t have to draw cheesy diagrams in photoshop.

Second, these Team Rogue guys are F-A-S-T. I asked Coach Sisson if they would be moving quickly through my lighting zone. He said, “well, you won’t be able to tell the difference between their hard and easy, from 4:10 to 4:30 pace.” That, my friends, is hurtling through the bi-pedal atmosphere.

This weeks workout was at Zilker Park in downtown Austin, Texas. I wanted to get more essence of place than last weeks non-descript track. The skyline of downtown Austin would be awesome. The fog and haze prevented a clear view, but at least my strobes weren’t working overtime like last week.

Team Rogue Setup Shots

The runners were coming by from both sides of the road, running an out and back course. So I setup a modified triangle lighting. The flash to left had a 1/4 cto on it, and the middle side light had a blue gel. I should have put a warming gel on the far right side. The middle light was for rim lighting, and at some point I moved it across the street into the same position.

Not having an extra person around this week, I had to self test the light to make sure I had a decent exposure.

Team Rogue Setup Shots

I know that David Hobby uses his hand for this type of thing, and I usually do too, but I want to see how the gels would play on my noggin first.

When the guys and gals started their workout, I wanted to go low with a wide-ish angle and get close to get the feel of speed and still get some of the Austin Skyline. It worked okay for a single runner, but for the guys in the groups, the person closest to me would look good and the others would become obscured. The point of these photos is the team, so I switched to my trusty 70-200 and captured the Rogue’s as they came around turn 1.

Lots more from this group to come, including my favorite composite.

EDIT: HERE is the video link from the workout