I am so thankful for sweet, talented, encouraging friends - friends who are doing cool things, who inspire me to want to do more cool things. My friend Courtney is a talented photographer who recently opened up a shop called Western Darlin. She knows her style, knows what she likes and has curated a shop that so perfectly represents her. I loved getting to photograph her in some of the shop's tee shirts (black tee + white tee).
I recently got the chance to work with Koolaburra by UGG on a lifestyle shoot here in Austin. I knew Ana from The Gold Atlas would be the perfect person to photograph walking around downtown in these comfy boots. The lighting was dreamy + Ana's style was wonderful and effortless, per usual. This wall is probably one of the most photographed in Austin and for good reason! We got there just in time to get direct light and shadows - always a good combination for dreamy photos. The boots she has on in these photos are the 'Sylia".
Every once in a while, clients come along with a story that speaks to your soul. All of my clients are wonderful, but sometimes a story reaches out and grabs your heart unlike others and this is one of those. A couple months ago, I got an email from Erika about doing a maternity shoot. To be honest, I don't do a lot of them, but when she mentioned they were not supposed to be able to get pregnant and how excited they were, I was honored that they wanted me to photograph this sweet moment in their life and said yes!
Upon meeting Erika, there was an immediate connection because she is just so bubbly, kind and has a comforting presence. I loved the way her and Jason interacted. As we were shooting, I began asking questions (as I do on most of my shoots), but I was so blown away by Erika's honesty and willingness to talk about the hard parts of their story. She told me she had a disease that was supposed to prevent her and Jason from conceiving. On top of that, after they got pregnant (a complete shock), Erika continued to get sick (not just morning sickness) and they were worried about the baby making it through the first trimester. But here they are, 14 weeks in with a healthy little babe. They both know they are not out of the woods yet, but the amount of joy I got to witness while photographing them was infectious. I am so thankful that God provides people with hearts that are willing to share their pain + their joy.
I am learning more and more that vulnerability is not a weakness, but a strength. It is a way to connect with people that isn't possible when you shut people out. This world is full of pain + heartache, but we have to experience pain in order to understand + experience true joy. So, thank you Erika + Jason for your kindness, candidness, infectious joy and for allowing me to photograph your growing family.
A couple weeks ago, I got to work with the lovely ladies of Cove Boutique on their most recent lookbook. We shot at the Hotel Ella - a stunning boutique hotel in downtown Austin. If you are in Austin and haven't checked out Cove's beautiful store on South Congress, I highly recommend it! Our talented model, Sanetra, made my job super easy, as always. Here are a few of my favorites from the shoot:
I love that my job allows me to capture such special times in peoples lives. I am honored that Mochi + Jon asked me to document part of their anniversary trip to Austin! We only spent an hour together, but I was able to witness such a wonderful level of love, comfort, and respect that radiated from these two. They were kind and funny and a joy to photograph.
We had another shoot location in mind when we originally planned the shoot a month ago, but with the recent storms, we had to adjust and they just so happened to be staying at one of the most beautiful Air BnB's I have ever seen. I think this place worked out just fine!
Thank you to Moch + Jon for being so wonderful and for making my job so easy!
There are several words I could use to describe this shoot, but I think the one that stands out the most is therapeutic. In the midst of a really tough week, it provided a safe place. A place to create, even though my mind was not at full capacity to create. A place of no judgement. A place with friends + inspiration. I am so thankful for the few hours where I could escape reality and remember why I love what I do, why I am passionate about it, and why I have the best support system in the world.
As a borderline control freak/ obsessive planner, this week has rocked my world + shown me there are just some things that are out of our control. As a human being with an infinite amount of feelings, this week has devastated me. I am keeping this a little vague because I believe in a little bit of mystery, BUT what I am not going to hide is my love for my community. My love for the people who have rallied and brought me joy in a time where it seems a bit limited. My routine and life was changed in an instant recently and my heart was broken, BUT, one truth I can cling to (although it takes a lot of daily reminding) is that God is good + He is FOR my good.
This shoot was a concept dreamt up by my close friend, Travis Hallmark and I, a few weeks ago (before the above mentioned incident) and I am so thankful that we followed through with it. I am so thankful for a creative friend that lifts me up, challenges me, and really took creative control of most of this shoot, while I was not in the mental capacity to do so. He was ok with me just showing up and going from there. Travis is a talented food +lifestyle photographer + I am a fashion photographer - we wanted to come up with a concept that meshed the two worlds together. We both love coffee and neutral color palettes. We started a Pinterest board and the rest is history. Travis picked up fruit, coffee, + croissants the day of the shoot and we went to town. He styled the food and I gave as much direction as I could from my distracted mind. I am so inspired by the photos that were taken, but this shoot will always mean more than just pretty pictures. It is a sign of progress; a sign of not surrendering to desires to stay hidden when things get tough; A sign that there are people who will always have your back and want whats best for you; A sign that even in the midst of heart ache, you are stronger than you think.
While my 'routine' is going to look a little different from now on, I am still the same person. I still have the same passions: showing people how wonderful they are through photography, loving others, building community, playing soccer, traveling and many other things. One event doesn't define you, right? It's how you rally. Its your actions that follow. I am so honored to be surrounded by people who help me to go + do, even when my bed is calling my name (because trust me, some days, leaving my bed seems impossible). When I look back at this situation, I want the way I handle it to be described by one word, graceful. Because if the God of the whole universe can show grace to me, why should I be incapable of showing it?
I am absolutely not looking for pity - I believe in the power of sharing and sometimes it helps to know others are going through stuff, too. You aren't alone. I hope all of these words made some sort of sense. and if you got to the end of this, props to ya! If you haven't gotten anything out of it, keep scrolling - hopefully the pictures make up for it!