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Okay, you *may* need some shades to get through all of the images in this family session. Truly, one of the most VIVID and colorful and URBAN photo sessions I’ve done in Austin! I’ve driven by the Austin Graffiti Park many times and I’ve always wanted to check it out, so I was pretty excited when my chance finally came with one of the most Austin families you’ll ever meet. Now, I will say, it was a bit of a challenge to avoid #1 the mud, #2 me falling off a wall, and especially #3 the not-so-appropriate “art,” but we did our best and these guys were positively AMAZING! I cannot think of a better group of cool, hip, awesome people to try to pull this off with! My absolute FAVORITE image (which will also be going in my portfolio whenever I get around to updating it ;-) is HERE!

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 You don’t say?

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 THE COLORS!!!!!!

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 Hello!

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 We were *trying* to have a serious moment here, but it just wasn’t happening. By this point, we were all pretty delirious with the heat and all nice and sweaty, lol!

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 You know I can’t pass up a cool reflection!

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 A bit like a game of Where’s Waldo…see if you can find all five people ;-).

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 Some of the randomness we spotted.

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And, I want to give a shout-out to photographer Christie Goss who flew all the way in from Jackson, Wyoming (in a TROPICAL STORM, no less) to come hang with me for a few days and talk all things photography and business-related (rescheduled her Pinkle Toes Photography Workshop). She is SO wonderful, SO talented, and we had a fantastic time tooling around Austin. Thank you so much, Christie. I really enjoyed my time with you and I look forward to getting to visit with you again!

And now, from mom:

Tell us a little bit about your family…

Chris and I met in 5th grade, went to prom together our senior year and celebrated our 11th anniversary just two days after this photo shoot. We created three pretty awesome small people, Paxton (8), Evan (5) and Hamilton (2.5) that we are just trying really hard not to mess up too bad.

What made you decide this was the time to do a photo session? Were you marking any special occasion, etc?

Michele came to our house right after we were fortunate enough to move back to Austin in 2011 and she’s been a staple for our family every year since. This year I was in a panic trying to figure out when we could fit our annual session into our crazy 2015 schedule….needless to say, the stars aligned and she contacted me!

Where was your session held and why?

We went to HOPE Outdoor Gallery aka Graffiti Park at Castle Hills aka the Baylor Street Art Wall. Our kids had been dying to explore the park and I just love the ever changing art work and colors. Michele needed us to go somewhere urban and super Austin-y. I really couldn’t wait to see what she could do there.

What did you like about your session location?

Oh, Ha! See above??? I think it’s a place that screams Austin. It was started as an educational art project and is one of the largest outdoor galleries in the USA. There are little gems hidden everywhere within the artwork (and some not so hidden gems we tried to avoid, ha!).

What was your favorite part of your session?

That it stopped raining just long enough to squeeze the session in at all??? That, and just exploring all around the gallery…and that funky detergent baby hanging on the post…keep Austin weird, y’all.

Was there anything you were nervous or worried about before the session?

No way. At this point in our relationship, a session with Michele is like a little family reunion. [I feel the same, my sista!]

Any funny stories or interesting happenings during your session?

The fact that my oldest always finds a way to pass gas towards the end of our shoots with Michele and this year the baby was old enough to get it and then proceeded to run around and tell us all over and over that, “Paxton tooooooot!!!” and crack himself up.

Any advice to other families before their photo sessions?

Relax and trust Michele. She sees things that you absolutely had no idea she was photographing at the time. She handled the fact that my daughter went through a phase where I had to be holding her at all times and that my boys are wild and crazy. She has photographed us everywhere from our house at sunset, to the Broken Spoke at the crack of dawn, to little pockets of west Austin, the hospital, her studio and now a giant graffiti wall. She’s photographed us dressed to the nines, casual, super pregnant and pushing out a baby. Every single image she has captured of us we have loved. Every. Single. One. Every time we see her I am anxious to see what she comes up with because I just know she’s going to produce something that takes my breath away once again. [Aw…wow…thank you, W!]

What made you choose Pinkle Toes Photography?

We spent a little time in Lubbock as a family and I had the privilege of doing some work for a neighbor that was a photographer. Having seen the behind the scenes action there, I scoured the internet when we moved back to Austin searching for the right “feel” for our family. I stumbled upon Pinkle Toes Photography, googlestalked her, and there was no turning back. Her website, her blog and most importantly, her images just spoke to me.

What do you hope your kids/family will say years down the road when looking at these images?

I am really glad Mom made us wear those goofy age shirts every year….when’s our next session with Michele?

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There’s been a whole bunch of new little babies born this summer, so here’s another treat! This little cutie did soooooooo great during her newborn photo session…LOVE her sweet little poses that she did all on her own. I think she knew she was being photographed ;-). My favorite moment was between her and her big sister HERE.

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austin-round-rock-family-newborn-baby-lifestyle-photography-13From mom:

Tell us a little bit about your family…

Our family balances each other out. We are different from one another but complement one another at the same time.

What made you decide this was the time to do a photo session? Were you marking any special occasion, etc?

We wanted to do a newborn session since we recently had our second child.

Where was your session held and why?

At home.

What did you like about your session location?

Everyone could be comfortable. With a new baby, there is more chaos and being at home made most sense.

What was your favorite part of your session?

Sibling pictures- big sister Amara is super excited about her new role and adores her baby sister. Amara is very loving and loves helping her mom out however she can.

Was there anything you were nervous or worried about before the session?

Getting everyone ready and hoping for cooperative kiddos!

Any funny stories or interesting happenings during your session?

Amara wanted to spend the session holding or being close to her new baby sister and could not get enough!

Any advice to other families before their photo sessions?

Michele is great to work with and she is very laid back and makes everyone feel comfortable- easy to be yourself. Try to relax and have fun!

What made you choose Pinkle Toes Photography?

As above, plus Michele’s pictures are so unique and she is so creative. When we were looking for a photographer, she stood out from the others with her vibrant and fun picture.

What do you hope your kids/family will say years down the road when looking at these images?

That it was so worth taking the time to do them.

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And, how about a short trip down memory lane with a look at some of their maternity portraits we took in downtown Austin. Side note: this was the only time I had to call a session early because of LIGHTNING!!! Whew…it was crazy! Made for beautiful clouds, but eventually it got to the point where it just wasn’t worth being outside anymore ;-(. Fortunately, we had gotten plenty of images beforehand and everyone did so great working so quickly!

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I showed up to their beautiful home bright and early at 7 a.m. and I have to say, when you’re greeted with, “Miss Michelllllllle! I love you so much! We are besties!” well, you just can’t be grumpy about being up so early, lol. By the way, that was from Mr. Man and he rolled the ‘l’ in Michelllllllle every time he said it and I thought that was the cutest thing ever! Hard to believe I first started working with them when he was just a wee babe and now look at him! And now look at baby sister, too?! Yes, this family is indeed near and dear to my heart. So many wonderful memories at our photo sessions through the years. But probably most of all, this one lol ;-).

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So, funny enough, just a few seconds after I started taking the pool pics, I stuck my arm in a wasp nest!!! Yeeeeeowtch!!! Occupational hazard. It’s crazy, too, because we had been working so much by it earlier in the session and nothing ever happened to the kiddos, thank goodness! I’m so glad it was me! Once I stopped crying (nah…I only cried on the inside), we got to play a little bit more and the kiddos were rewarded with popsicles. I’m glad we stuck it out because my favorite image was taken right here by the pool ;-0.

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From Mom:

Tell us a little bit about your family…

Holden & Calla are growing up so fast and we like to capture as much of their lives as we can. We took our first family photos with Pinkletoes when Holden was 9 months old and have done sessions every 3 months for the past 2 years :) We hang the canvases all over our home so that we can be surrounded by what we love the most – our family :)

What made you decide this was the time to do a photo session? Were you marking any special occasion, etc?

We try to do them every three months to capture Holden & Calla – they change so very much at this age :)

Where was your session held and why?

Our home – we wanted to capture our family together where we love to be – at home with each other :)

What did you like about your session location?

The trees were in bloom and we were at home with each other.

What was your favorite part of your session?

Playing ring around the rosie :)

Was there anything you were nervous or worried about before the session?

No.

Any funny stories or interesting happenings during your session?

Calla is funny in that she is always smiling, however, for some reason she gets stonefaced when we do actual photo sessions :)

Any advice to other families before their photo sessions?

Relax & have fun :)

What made you choose Pinkle Toes Photography?

When we moved to Austin 3 years ago, our photographer from Illinois said “you HAVE to get Pinkletoes to shoot you, I’ve been following her work and it’s beautiful.” So we booked our first session 3 years ago and we are always THRILLED with how they turn out – always better than expected (and we have high expectations). Also, we’ve come to love Michele, our kids get SO EXCITED to see her when we do a shoot.

What do you hope your kids/family will say years down the road when looking at these images?

Look how much fun we had together. Look how much we love each other.

 

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I first met this mommy and daddy when that little baby up there was still in his mommy’s perfect little round tummy (see below). I knew two things instantly about them: 1) they were very much in love with one another and 2) they were going to be amazing parents. And when I got to hang out with them a few weeks ago to celebrate the arrival of their baby boy, those two things were still very, very evident. These are the kind of newborn sessions that I live for: pure, honest, raw emotion, love beyond words, a little bit of trepidation, but soooooo much wonder and amazement. The whole family is so natural in front of the camera and in their interactions with one another. I kinda wanted to just stay there all day and watch them adore their son. My personal favorite image is HERE.

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Candid moment caught looking through his grandfather’s WWII medals and pins.

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That eye contact!!! Wow!

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Melt our collective hearts, why don’t you?

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The focus so did not fall where I had originally intended, but I ended up keeping this version…it communicates to me without being so literal. I kinda dig it.

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I was actually in the process of taking some closeups of the baby alone when I noticed the way mom and dad were watching over him and it was absolutely beautiful!

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Speaking of beautiful, motherhood looks really good on her, doesn’t it?

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The pupster, on the other hand, well, I’m not so sure how he feels about all this ;-).

And, since I hadn’t blogged the images from their maternity photo session a few months ago, please enjoy:

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Soooooooooooooo sweet!

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Once upon a time, there was a beautiful, blue-eyed baby boy that grew up into a beautiful blue-eyed big boy and he let us celebrate this milestone with him one warm summer morning in a park overlooking downtown Austin.

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After exploring the park, making adorably cute faces, and doing some baby yoga ;-), he was crowned a prince by his mommy ;-).

Speaking of his mommy, she had this to say about his one year photo session:

Tell us a little bit about your family…

Alex and I met in Austin and have enjoyed starting our lives together and now our family here. Michele took newborn photos of Henry last year that turned out so well.

What made you decide this was the time to do a photo session? Were you marking any special occasion, etc?

The photo shoot was for Henry’s first birthday. We know how fast they grow at this age and we wanted to get some photos while he is this age.

Where was your session held and why?

We did the photos at Butler park to get a nice view of the Austin skyline and to be outside. We did the newborn photos at home because it seemed too overwhelming to take him somewhere and too hot to be outside, but now that he is a little older and we are more comfortable as parents we felt like it would be fun to get more shots of him outside enjoying himself.

What did you like about your session location?

We loved the views of downtown Austin and the water. It was also really easy to get to and had ample close in parking.

What was your favorite part of your session?

When Henry started splashing in the water and when he was under the Magnolia tree in just his diaper.

Was there anything you were nervous or worried about before the session?

I was worried that Henry would be upset and not take great photos.

What made you choose Pinkle Toes Photography?

A coworker of mine had used Pinkle Toes to shoot her family many times and I had seen the photos and she highly recommended Michele. After using Michele for the newborn photos we knew we wanted to use her again.

What do you hope your kids/family will say years down the road when looking at these images?

Remember when Henry was that little?

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These cuties are no strangers to the Pinkle Toes blog, but this is the first time I think we’ve worked together and I’ve really had the opportunity to experience their personalities. They are just getting to wonderful ages, where they are becoming more and more their own individuals and it’s been such a privilege to get to see that process happen in person!

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This red wall was SUCH a find when mom pulled out all of this gorgeous red, white, and blue!

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Sometimes, it’s nice to let the little ones take a step back away from the action of a photo shoot…where they don’t feel all the pressure is on them ;-).

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And then…we got to RUN! And play! And RUN! And play some more!!

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I was just commenting to someone about how much the Austin skyline has changed and so quickly! It’s amazing that while I may take pictures by the skyline nearly every 4th photo session, it’s NEVER the same it seems. Still crazy to think I can’t see the Frost Bank building from this vantage point any longer :-(.

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 Okay, so at this point, they were starting to feel their oats and they were getting so crazy and sooooooo funny!

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And as always, don’t miss my PERSONAL FAV from their urban family session!

From mom:

Tell us a little bit about your family…

We are a family of four. The boys love legos, the beach and being silly.

What made you decide this was the time to do a photo session? Were you marking any special occasion, etc?

We do a yearly session with Michelle right around the boy’s birthdays. I like to see how they’ve grown in a year.

Where was your session held and why?

It was held in urban Austin because we wanted to capture the feel of the city we live in.

What did you like about your session location?

True austin feel.

What was your favorite part of your session?

My favorite part is always thinking that the kids didn’t follow directions and that we won’t have good pictures… then realizing that Michelle always captures the perfect moments and the photos are amazingly beautiful.

Was there anything you were nervous or worried about before the session?

The heat.

Any advice to other families before their photo sessions?

Just enjoy it.. it always turns out perfect.

What made you choose Pinkle Toes Photography?

We’ve been working with Pinkle Toes for 6 years!

What do you hope your kids/family will say years down the road when looking at these images?

Mommy put together great outfits for us all! ;) {Um…yes. Let’s talk about that for a second. Miss S…most of us have a hard enough time pulling together just one outfit for everyone in the family…I don’t know how you managed TWO sets??? You always rock the wardrobe department, my friend!}

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I starting working with this family when the youngest up there was just a wee baby–and I’d like to pause for a moment to take a quick trip down memory lane: newborn photos, baby bath time session (sigh), and super hip Austin photo shoot. Okay, I feel better now, but also slightly sad that he’s grown sooooo much!

Anyway, this was the first time we were able to get the WHOLE family together in the same place at the same time so that everyone could play along. And it was quite the treat! I especially enjoyed seeing how the older sisters doted on their younger brothers. The relationships they have with one another are really something special. And I mean everyone just gushes over the little guy, but can you blame them????

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It was literally RAINING on my when I was driving out to their house. And I can’t even begin to tell you how challenging scheduling this session was in the first place. These are VERY busy people and when we were stuck in that rainy weather pattern, our days to try to make this session happen were so limited. But look at those blue skies up there! It was absolutely meant to be!

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 This series above = melt my heart!

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So excited that at the end of the session, we were able to hop in the pool. Not only were we refreshed from the extreme humidity that afternoon, but come on…look out gorgeous it was out there:

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 He loves planes. Duh. And Top Gun is his favorite movie. He’s a pretty cool kid.

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 Big brother taking excellent care of him! And then kisses from mommy when he made it into the water!

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The colors were so rich that evening, thanks to the intermittent cloud cover and the reflections of the blue pool water. LOVED getting to snag these underwater photographs and THIS one right here is probably my absolute favorite from the whole evening. It was truly such a special time and I am so thrilled we were able to make our session finally happen!

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austin-city-texas-lifestyle-urban-family-photography-21Okay, his mommy and daddy and his two big sisters are beautiful people, there is no doubt of that. However, I’d be lying if I didn’t admit that this little dude kinda steals the show no matter what he does! Whether he’s acting like a puppy dog (as demonstrated by lapping up the water in the fountain) or snuggling with his mommy or making funny faces, he is always 100% in the moment and 100% exactly who he wants to be at that time. And I have to admire that. I wish we could all continue to hold onto our childhood imagination as well as that inability to hide emotions. It just dawned on me that he is probably the most authentic he will ever be. As he gets older, social customs and expectations will start to take over and little by little, he will be more and more like a grown up. I don’t mean this to be all melancholy, but man, sometimes I do wish I could live more in the moment like little kiddos do. I think I’m going to try to take a page out of his book. If I feel like barking or whimpering like a puppy, maybe I will. Of course, at my age, that could land me in some trouble, couldn’t it. Okay, maybe I’ll just do it at my photo sessions ;-).

Torn on my favorites, by the way. It’s between the water fountain pic or THIS ONE.  What about you? Do you have a fav in this bunch?

{Hair and makeup for the gals by Katie with Modern Muse Beauty, whom I am seeing tomorrow. What should I do with my hair? I’m soooo tempted to get some crazy color done!}

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USB Memory Direct! Sorry…just had to share because I tend to get excited when I find things that are exactly the right shade of pink ;-). I’m even more excited about the ones I’ll be ordering next year to commemorate Pinkle Toes Photography’s 10th Birthday (wow…can you even believe that?). Thanks so much for the wonderful and speedy customer service, USB Memory Direct!

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I didn’t realize this until I started culling and editing this precious baby boy’s newborn photos, but I must have been really boring him because he yawned SO MUCH, lol! Here are just two examples:

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Actually, I think he was just happy and content and why wouldn’t he be? Look at how well he fits into his little family! You all may remember those lovely red curls of big sister from the maternity photo shoot HERE. Well, it was so crazy because the whole time I was editing the images, I could NOT get over how much he resembles his big sister! Something about his nose and lips, I think? Wonder if he’s going to have the same red curls, too…

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While he LOVED snuggling up with his mama, he was pretty awesome with his big sister, who LOVED to love on him! My personal favorite image is HERE, because you can literally SEE the wonder in his sister’s eyes as she is watching over her little brother. I teared up several times at her interactions with him. I know she is struggling to figure out her new role, but she loves her brother so much. You can just tell it.
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She is one of the most gorgeous little girls ever, isn’t she?

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Then of course, look at her parents ;-).

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These two. So happy to hang out…

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…and nap together ;-).

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Counting baby toes.

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I mean, seriously?

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We had to work hard to wake him.

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And to try to keep him awake ;-).

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But I think our persistence paid off with the very last image of the session right up there.