A Family Photo Session on A Christmas Tree Farm, Spring, TX

One of my photographer bucket list items has always been to shoot at a Christmas Tree Farm. When Erika contacted me and said that is exactly what they wanted to do I was elated. We went to Old Time Christmas Tree Farm, where they’ve gotten their tree in the past. It’s a beautiful place not far from my home. I was amazed at how much farm was there, I had no idea it was that large. The Christmas trees go on forever.

We went on a weekday so other than one or two other families we had the place pretty much all to ourselves. Erika and her family are beautiful so my job was simple, just capture their natural beauty. Her daughter was the easiest baby I’ve ever photographed and their dog was a champ. Here are my favorite images.

Tomball Texas Family Photographer Spring Texas Family Photographer Christmas Tree Farm Family Photos Family Photos on a Christmas Tree Farm Spring TX Spring Texas Photographer

 

 

Christmas Tree Farm and Santa

September through December is really busy here in the photography world, lots of family photo sessions and traveling and seniors who are super on the ball or trying to make yearbook deadlines on top of the typical ebb and flow of newborn, engagement and one year photo sessions. This means I have to be very intentional about family time. There were times in years past where I would just work non stop, but over the years I’ve learned about setting up boundaries between my work life and home life, which is especially hard when you primarily work out of your home. It’s worth it though, it makes for better relationships and it makes me a better photographer overall because my life feels more balanced.

Family Photographer Spring, TX Christmas Tree Farm

Since Issa is older this year and actually kind of ‘gets’ Christmas we decided to create things to together (and sometimes with friends too) on our Advent calendar. There are tons of amazing handmade advent calendars on Pinterest like this one from A Beautiful Mess and this one from The Handmade Home and I truly wanted to make our own.

However, on top of learning about balancing family time and work time I have also learned that I am not superwoman. In a perfect world I would make everything handmade, put on makeup every day, and have homemade dinner ready when Bill walks in the door. But this is not a perfect world and clients need Christmas cards and prints in time for Christmas, and sometimes its ok to go through a day in sweatpants, and do a fend for yourself-eat what ever is there dinner.

So for now, I bought a cute count down to Christmas tree shaped one from Target. It has little pockets for each day and you move a santa head day to day. The Santa head part is kinda weird now that I write it, but I promise, it’s cute. And because my crazy days are really the first two weeks of December we skipped those and decided to focus on the 14 days leading up to Christmas and do advent activities on those days. Some days are little things like make paper snowflakes or dance to Christmas music and some days, like Sunday are bigger things.

Family Photographer Tomball, TX Christmas Tree Farm

Sunday was our second advent activity and we visited a local Christmas Tree farm, saw Santa, a few animals and rode the tractor around the farm to see the trees. It was an inexpensive ($8 for the santa picture and that was it) and fun day. Issa’s friends George and Cruz joined us and it was loads of fun watching them run around together and be toddlers. It’s amazing to think they all met before they could even walk.

Family Photography

The picture below is one of my favorites (as well as the two above). I’m pretty sure this is what they’ll look like 5, 10, and 15 years down the road. Hopefully Issa will have more hair then.

Family Photographer Spring, TX Christmas Tree Farm

Santa was not a hit again this year. We even talked it up and tried to prep her for it, but yet again, more screams, this time with real words, “mommy don’t like it!” But ask this kid to stand next to a snowman cut out and she’s all smiles. Theres a serious Frosty the Snowman obsession in our house these days, I’m not sure what we’re going to do when the season is over.

What are you doing to create special moments with your family over the holidays?

Snowy Holiday Mini Photo Sessions, Houston, TX

It’s been almost seven years since the last time I shot holiday mini sessions. But after many requests from old clients and new we decided to do holiday mini sessions again, this time with snow, in Houston, because, lets face it, it’s pretty awesome. I am overwhelmed with the outcome of this shoot. It was a lot of work and so different from what we normally do, but it was still fun and I could see the joy on my clients’ faces. Here are a few of my favorites.

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A Family Photo Session Among Airplanes, Houston, TX

I love this family. Nicole has done our hair for years, we were pregnant at the same time and our littles are only two months apart. I was her client long before she was mine, but through it all we’ve become friends and I look forward to taking pictures of her family every year. The first session I ever shot with Nicole and Steven was their maternity session, I was almost 8 months pregnant myself, it was a windy day in late January. A few months later I went to their home to take photos of their newborn babe Talon. Then this time, last year, we did a family session. All of their sessions were fantastic, and I am really lame because I never shared them on our blog. I may need to do some back posts.

Anywho, this year Nicole and I put our mighty brains to work trying to come up with an interesting location or theme for their family session. Nicole knew she wanted to include her parents and we played with a lot of different ideas and finally landed on a very very cool place near the airport where the planes fly right over your head just before they land. It’s kind of magical and reminiscent of that scene from Wayne’s World, where they’re laying on the hood of a car, “ok, keep looking up!”

The sky was SO beautiful that day and her parents are adorable. During the session Nicole whispered to me that they’d never had professional pictures taken and in that moment I felt incredibly special and honored. Here are my favorites, prepare yourself, there are a lot.

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7 Tips On What to Wear for Holiday Photos

Typically during our session consults we go over clothing ideas and how to pick clothes that are right for your family for your photo session, but since we’re doing snowy mini holiday sessions this year and I’m not able to talk in depth with every client I thought I’d post a handy tips list.

7 Tips on what to wear for holiday photos. How to put a group of outfits together. From @dilibertophotoanddesign

1. Choose a Style
There’s a lot here, I always start with casual, dressy, or somewhere in between. From there you could go rustic (think red plaid shirts, jeans and snow boots), glam (glittery dresses, furry vests and suits), western (red western shirts and cowboy boots), pajamas (Christmas PJs, long underwear), hipster (scarves, skinny jeans and toms), etc. When deciding on a style go with the style of your family, if you’d never be caught dead in western wear, don’t wear it for your family session, you’ll never feel quite happy with the photos. Once you choose a style you can start narrowing down your clothing options.

what to wear for photos

2. Choose a Color Palette
Understanding color is a subject I could go on and on about. But really what you’re looking for is a color palette of 2-4 colors. Pantone, the godfather of color (if you will), puts out a fashion report every fall and spring that will show you what colors are in for the coming season. You can find that here. It’s like your cheat sheet for color. From that large color palette choose 2-4 colors that you love. Then look for things in those ranges. Clothing designers base their designs on what colors are in for the season so you should have no problem finding these colors in stores.

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3. Don’t Be Matchy Matchy
Remember it is not 1990 and we won’t all be in jeans and white t-shirts (sigh, this was a sad time for family photos). You want everyones clothes to go together, but not match exactly. That’s why choosing a style and color palette is so important, they give you the parameters to keep everyone’s looks similar without looking like uniforms or landing you on Awkward Family Photos.

4. Mix Patterns
You can mix patterns. Mom can wear a polka dot shirt, while dad wears a striped sweater and little Sally is in a dress with birds all over it. A mix of patterns can make the photos more interesting and break up the monotony of all solid colors. If the patterns are all in the same color palette they will all go together without looking silly. But, like with everything, you can over do this, so keep it simple but don’t be afraid.

Patterns-What to wear for family photos

All patterns above can be found on clothing at Gap.

5. Enjoy the Layers
Layer up!! These are holiday photos, wear a t-shirt under a half zipped hoodie with a puffy vest on top! Give little Johnny some skinny jeans, a button up shirt with a sweater over it and a fedora. Dads, wear scarves. Moms, cuff your blazer so we can see the lining. Layering clothing adds depth to the outfits and your pictures, plus it’s really easy to toss off the first layer of coats and have a totally different clothing option without an actual clothing change. Wink wink, make those mini sessions count for all their worth.

what to wear for photo shoot

6. Accessorize
This sort of goes with the layers but remember your accessories. For ladies, scarves, earrings, leggings, tights, necklaces, belts bracelets and rings are all things to remember. For the little ladies, hair bows, tights and hats. For the guys there’s hats, belts, scarves, bow ties and sunglasses. Accessories finish off the outfit. AND for the whole family do not forget to think about shoes. Holiday photos are a great time to show off those boots we only get to wear once or twice in Houston. Make sure your shoes (for the whole family) go with the style and color palette of your look. And please, remember socks for the men! If we do a seated pose those socks will show and if he’s wearing dark slacks or jeans I promise those white socks he swore would never show up in the pictures, are the only thing you’re going to see.

how to choose clothing for photo sessions

7. When in Doubt, Look to the Mannequins
Clothing retailers want you to buy clothes. They spend tons of money paying stylists to come dress the mannequins in their stores. If you go to somewhere like Gap or Old Navy, where they have styles for the whole family, you can literally purchase exactly what is on the family of mannequins at the front of the store and be ready to go with the perfect look. You can also just observe them, look at the layers they’ve included, the mix of pattern, the accessories, the color palette, the style. It’s a visual cheat sheet. If you don’t want to buy exactly those items, or if they’re not in the color palette you prefer, take notes of what you like and go find those things elsewhere.

Other Resources
Over the years we’ve put together clothing guides for our clients, you can find them here, here, and here. While some of the items in these guides may not me “in” you can still check them out to see examples of some of out tips above and how to put things together.

You can also take a look at popular retailers websites. Many have look books or promo videos highlighting outfits and combos.

Lastly, stay tuned to our blog and our Facebook page! We’ll be posting tips, links to cool ideas and more throughout the season.

How do you choose your holiday photo session ensembles? Did you find any of these tips helpful?

SNOWY Holiday Mini Photo Sessions, Spring and Houston TX

It is with great excitement that I announce we will be shooting Snowy Holiday Mini Photo Sessions this year on Saturday, December 6th!! Yes I said snow! I didn’t want to announce it when we first announced our mini sessions because it wasn’t 100% happening yet, but now friends, it’s happening!! SNOW in Houston, TX!

What it Includes
The mini session includes your 15 minute photo session and 25, 5×7″ Flat Holiday Cards customized with your photos. We will also be offering additional Holiday Cards, $10 off per pack of 25 as well as additional discounts on prints and products. We’re streamlining our process so that you’ll receive cards in time to send out for Christmas as well as any prints and products in time to give away as gifts.

Who Mini Sessions are For
These mini sessions are great for whole families, couples, or just the kids. I’m thrilled to be putting together a custom holiday set with snow for these sessions and can’t wait to show you a preview later this month.

Get Free Stuff
Share this link or the flyer on our facebook page with family and friends. For every friend who books you’ll get $15 in print credit good towards photo prints from your mini session. Yes, free $15, and there’s no limit. It’s awesome.

How to Book Your Mini Session
To book all you need to do is give us a call (number is on the flyer below) or fill out this form, it’s that easy! We’ll call you to book your time and then we’ll e-mail you a PDF with a bunch of additional information as well as send you a paypal invoice for the fee. Please note your session is not officially booked until we receive payment.

For all the little details check the image below. Also make sure you stay tuned to our Facebook page as we’ll be posting clothing ideas and previews of the set design as well as some previews of the card designs you’ll have to choose from.

Holiday Mini Photo Sessions with Snow in Houston , TX

 

 

Aaron Senior Photos 2015, Spring, TX

Every year I shoot about half as many guy senior photos as I do girls, so it’s always a pleasure when I have a senior guy who is totally willing to do whatever for his senior session. Meet Aaron. During our session consult I could tell he was pretty laid back and didn’t have any huge expectations but was also up for just about anything. So on one of the first chilly days of the year (after rescheduling because of rain) we went out to one of my favorite new locations and did his senior session. He has an infectious smile and I’m just thrilled with his photos.

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Two Sisters and a Smash Cake, Spring TX

Believe it or not these two sisters have two older sisters and I’ve shot both of them too. There’s Jessica’s senior session and Melissa’s senior session and more recently Melissa’s engagement session. This was my first time photographing Madison and Kaylee and I’m loving the outcome. They’re sweet little ladies with very different personalities, Kaylee wanted to explore and pick up leaves and sticks and Madison didn’t want to stand in the grass barefoot to change her shoes. It was a fun and slightly chilly sunrise session but both girls did awesome.

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A 2015 Senior Swimmer, Hannah, Houston TX

When Hannah contacted me for her senior session and told me she is a swimmer I was absolutely thrilled. I’ve been wanting to do some water shots and this was a perfect opportunity.

We started her session by doing some traditional shots in her amazing backyard and on her childhood treehouse. Then we headed to her neighborhood pool where she’s been swimming for basically her whole life. There is a moment in every session I do where a client opens up to me through my camera. It’s a moment in which they become vulnerable and I get to see who they really are. I’m not even sure if they realize this happens but for me it does and it’s the moment we get some of the best photos. Sometimes its after we have a good laugh about something, or when Bill does something silly, but with Hannah it was the moment she entered the pool. I could tell that this was her happy place, her peace, her zen if you will. It was so exciting to capture it and an honor as well. Thank you Hannah for sharing that with me, and for being so very willing to try all kinds of things, jump in and out of the pool and teach me a little about swimming.

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