Our session–and I mean the exact date–had been on the calendar for nearly a year, so of course, the day comes and we were greeted with pouring down rain. Reschedule #1. The next date we selected, sure enough, mom was going to go get her hair done and the rain came in AGAIN. Reschedule #2. The third date, weather was looking PERFECT and I had just sent mom the “all clear,” when my daughter suddenly got really, really sick. I didn’t think there would be any way to pull this session off, but somehow, all of our stars aligned and we finally made it happen! (My daughter is fine now, by the way ;-). R – thank you so much for your patience as we tried to make this work and I’m so glad you stuck with it! Those boys are busy, busy. Lots to do and lots to explore!!! No wonder mom is so tiny!!

completely modeled after her:


Don’t you agree? I mean how could you not love all of that adorableness???

It was a little over a year ago when I first met her and she was a newborn baby at the time. Normally, when I see newborn clients for their one year birthday session, I recognize them right way, but I admitted to her mommy, if I saw this little girl on the street, there is no way I would peg her as the same baby I had photographed last year! I mean, I guess now looking back, I can see some similarities, but wow! She changed and grew and matured so much! She was cute back then and she’s cute now, but she does not look like the same kiddo to me, lol.

I really enjoyed getting to hang out with her and her amazing family for this fall-like session (even if it was like 110 degrees outside that day). Most of all, I loved listening to little miss chatterbox tell us all kinds of stories. And, an added treat: we were able to re-visit one of their newborn images (which I noticed was proudly displayed in the house) and LOVE how it turned out!


I had the pleasure of seeing the beautiful state of Washington this summer. I loved my first morning there, shopping an AMAZING farmer’s market in Olympia with our awesome hostess Casey with Phreckle Face Photography (and be sure to visit her website because it is REALLY cute!).  I mean, we have have farmer’s markets in Austin, but it’s nothing like this. The air was so fresh and cool. The smells of flowers and berries and hand-crafted soaps was intoxicating. We may or may not have spent nearly half of our food budget for the workshop there (which may or may not have resulted in two Thai meals that weekend with minimal complaining), but oh, it was worth it.

Our fabulous attendees arrived later that afternoon and after going over the traditional workshop business stuff, we played outside along the beautiful bay practicing finding light and embracing sunshine. We were up early the next morning to photograph a *very* expressive newborn baby girl who had us all entranced with her adorable whole body smiles:


Later that evening, we had the incredible opportunity to photograph the family who owned the STUNNING Lighthouse Bungalow that housed us (pics of the house below). This session was such magic…it was all things boy and beach and energy and light and sparkle and love:


Our final morning together, we were up at the crack of dawn to hone our photography skills and try out new techniques with our oh-so-fun maternity couple along the docks (continuing the nautical theme that sort of naturally developed during our stay here):


LOVED playing with that perfect mirror-like reflection that greeted us in the water that morning!

And here’s some house decor eye candy for ya:


We had such lovely evenings out there, overlooking the Capitol building, watching the drastic changes in the tide, sipping drinks, watching the sunset, discussing all things photography. What an amazing group of ladies and a fantastic way to end our 21 day journey workshopping up the west coast (click to read part 1 and part 2; my personal pics from the trip will come…eventually).

And be sure to follow the next link in our blog circle to see another perspective on this photography workshop: the beautiful and talented Carrie with Yi Li Photography, Seattle Family Lifestyle Photographer. I can’t wait to check all the posts out myself! I have purposely not looked until now!

Meanwhile, I wanted to let you know that we do not have any more workshops coming up in the states this year or next at this time. However, we are gearing up to head all the way down under to Sydney, Australia sometime late in 2015. If you would like to be notified if that changes or if you want to get information on the Australia workshops when they are available, please drop a line.

austin urban family photo session

I mean really…how could you not look up there and smile at all of that wonderful, loving energy up there?! These three kiddos truly brought their A game to their family photo session in downtown Austin that night. They were up for *anything* I asked of them, including laying down in the grass that may or may not have had a couple of bugs hopping around. And fortuitously, we even happened upon a toad (NOT a frog, right T?) which happened to be one of his most favorite animals! Little Miss Sassafras definitely stole my heart sporting those fashionable boots and big bro was absolutely amazing at leading his younger siblings and getting everyone to cooperate happily. Yup, rockin’ session all around!

m-behind-the-scenes-pinkletoes-photographer-workshop-california-australia-sydneyLet me start by saying that Mendocino is no easy drive up from San Francisco. While the Google Maps says it takes 2.5 hrs or so, it’s more along the lines of 4+ hours considering all of those windy mountain roads. Thank goodness our amazing hostess Melody White Studios gave us plenty of warning about that and we were all equipped with sea sick bands and Dramamine ;-).

Every inch of that windy road was totally worth it as my breath was completely taken away when we pulled up to the house that night just in time to catch the most incredible sunset over the Pacific. I mean it was something else and thank goodness we managed to see it that night because the sun pretty much disappeared into a very thick fog for the rest of our stay there (pics below).

It was a small, intimate group for our little workshop, but that ultimately tied right into the cozy little theme we had going on in Mendocino. I mean, how lucky were we to get to do some serious workshop discussions in a hot tub overlooking the ocean??? (And yes, Miss E is probably going to kill me for posting that pic up there, but I can’t help it. It was just so cool!).

As with all of the workshops, the first official photo session was the in-home lifestyle newborn demonstration. Loved meeting this family and check out “Crying is for Babies” below. Classic!!!


That afternoon, we drove out of the fog to get to spend time with a SUPER DYNAMIC family (the sister of our hostess) feeding pics, playing in the sunshine, collecting chicken eggs, dancing to records, and playing music. It was perfection!


Don’t miss their not do American Gothic ;-)

The next morning, we explored downtown Mendocino, which quite honestly, looks like something out of a fairytale book. The flowers…oh the flowers!! And the houses and storefronts are like little cottages. I really wish I had the chance to go back and explore and shop more because it was truly a beautiful place. Our maternity models were so stunning, don’t you think? And, they even stayed extra long so we could take them out on that amazing arch (it looks scary, but the walkway is actually quite wide and safe ;-). The fog actually worked in our favor as we were able to shoot much longer than full sunlight would have normally allowed.


And now, back to the lovely home which welcomed us with open arms in Mendocino:


Magical house. Just magical and I am so thankful we got to experience its charms. Like I said HERE, Mendocino is like no other place on earth. And maybe someday, you can stay in this cozy house yourself (HERE).

Thank you, Melody, for a BEAUTIFUL time in Mendocino and to the attendees for making this workshop absolutely amazing! Also, a very special thank you to Aderyn–those little touches you put onto everything you do just have a way of making things seem so magical and heartfelt. For a little eye-candy and continued look at life in Mendocino, you might want to start following her on Instagram ;->

And most importantly, check out Emily from Pure Light Photography and her beautiful images from the Mendocino workshop!


My little sunshine has been under the weather for the past few days and I’m anxious to start seeing this smile of hers again. Every year on our land, the Gayfeather (aka Blazing Star) comes into bloom and it always makes me think back to 5 years ago when I first photographed my daughter in them. I always think about revisiting that shoot, but somehow it never works out. I was determined to make it happen this year. Doesn’t even seem like the same little girl to me. Well, her beautiful spirit hasn’t changed ;-) [My absolute fav HERE].



While it was stifling hot the evening we did their family lifestyle photo session in downtown Austin, we were sure treated to some incredible light and a BEAUTIFUL sunset. I loved that they brought their puppy dog with them to the session and even more so, that he could pull the skateboard! How cool is that? We did spend more time than I should probably admit stuck in the parking garage, trying to get everything to align for that perfect shot, but I’m fairly certain it was totally worth it. What I first considered to be an outtake, actually turned into one of my favorite images from their session and you can check that one out HERE.


[Austin baby photographer]

It was not very long ago at all when this little man up there was being represented by a small bunch of balloons secretly tucked away in a box. It wasn’t all that long ago when I was prepping mom and dad about the planned cake smash for baby girl’s first birthday and warning them that sometimes kids aren’t that into their cakes. It wasn’t all that long ago when we all got to be part of the surprise gender reveal for little man AND baby girl proved us very, very wrong regarding the cake smash (she takes the cake…quite literally, here). And just like the example his big sister set before him, he took to this whole cake smash thing like a PRO! This brother-sister team is good, don’t you think?

It blows me away to think I was privileged and trusted enough to be present to document three very significant milestones for this beautiful family and exactly as they were happening. We did big sister’s first birthday photo session on her actual birthday. We did the gender reveal that day as well. And we celebrated little brother’s first year of life on his birthday, too! But I think my favorite moments from this session were the very real and very loving interactions between little man and his grandfather. Those looks of joy cannot be put on…those two are connected in a genuine way. Both of these kiddos are incredibly blessed to have grandparents in their lives!

You can catch another one of my favorite images from the session HERE and stay tuned to the blog this week for a special (but not surprising) announcement.

I’m not even sure how to put into words the experience my family and I had this summer on the west coast. I guess I’ll try to break it down by each of the three lifestyle photography workshops I did along the coast and then come back to blog about what we did as a family. So let’s start with Cardiff-by-the-Sea in southern California. This group of ladies was so fun and up for anything. The first night, we got to venture out to the beach so I could take their headshots (all the way at the bottom of this post) and we could dip our toes in the ccccccccold waters of the Pacific Ocean (I had NO idea how chilly the water was compared to the Gulf of Mexico out here, lol).

After staying up all night covering all of the standard workshop stuff about preparing for sessions and equipment, etc. (oh, did I mention we did much of this discussion in the amazing hot tub by a fire at the house?), we got up early the next morning to head out to our first official photo session of the weekend: the in-home lifestyle newborn photography demonstration. We could not have asked for a more laid back, perfectly California cool family with which to work. And I mean, look at little guy’s hair? It just doesn’t get any better than that!

Later that afternoon, I had the long-awaited privilege of photographing my wonderful photographer friend with Caroline Martin Photography in Carlsbad, CA. I’ve “known” Caroline for several years now (she is a Pinkle Toes Photography Workshop graduate) and she also served as our amazing hostess for this workshop in Cardiff. We got to work in Caroline’s home…the place where she brought her boys home from the hospital after they were born…the place that they love and have grown up in. SO many memories there!!! It was rich with love and happiness. I teared up so many times while editing this session because Caroline radiates joy in all things she does…especially when she is around her family. She is a talented, vibrant, determined, energetic person and I feel very lucky to know her:

The next morning, we had to get up at sunrise (which is BRUTAL on the west coast) to practice all of the techniques and skills we covered on this gorgeous couple, who at the time, were expecting their third baby:
Workshops are always equally exhausting, inspiring, and cathartic…this one was no exception and the attendees who choose to attend a Pinkle Toes Workshop truly give it its own personality. Here are some of those personalities:

As always, I’m excited to follow along in this workshop blog circle to get all of their perspectives and see the images the attendees took for the very first time. Follow along with me! Next up is Brittany Lynn Portraits all the way from Milwaukee, WI!


Austin Lifestyle Family Photo Sessions Home: This family photo session once again reinforces why it is so awesome to have your pictures taken in your own home: because it’s so much easier on you!!! Especially when you have two very active twin boys and a precocious but very caring big sister! It was so great to just hang out and relax in their home, using their space, incorporating their things, taking breaks for the kiddos whenever needed. Snack time even turned into the perfect little photo vignette! Most importantly, a few years down the road when they’re out of the whirlwind of the busy, busy toddler stage and fun colorful toys are replaced with smaller, more expensive electronic devices, they are going to have photos like this that capture what their lives were like was when the kids were little…here’s where they played…here’s how they ate, etc. In fact, the images that I love most of my own family are ones that surprise me with unrealized gems when I least expect it: I’ll be flipping through some old files and one image will stop me in my tracks: oh, my word! I forgot how much my daughter used to LOVE this toy.

My favorite playtime image from this family session came right at the very beginning HERE.

Oh, and one more thing: check out how the brothers pulled off the SAME pose laying down on the bed totally on their own and not even in the same room together at the same time. Twin connection!