md-pinkle-toes-austin-newborn-baby-photographer-jeweled-indian-sari[Austin lifestyle newborn photo session at home]

I’m not sure if I ever told you this before, but the sessions that sometimes make me the most nervous are those for clients that I’ve worked with repeatedly before. Why? I’m always a bit scared about successfully raising the bar. I think most photographers can relate to this, actually. But, the wonderful part (and this probably outweighs the nerve-wracking part) is that I’ve been able to get to know them more and more over the years and we are certainly more comfortable working so closely together. Our photo session rhythm just comes more naturally and it feels effortless.

Plus, I got the chance to help create and carry on some tradition photos. A few years back when I photographed their newborn son, we incorporated a beautiful blue sari that was presented to mom as a means to celebrate the arrival of her first baby. This time, we were able to revisit those images with her daughter, but she is wrapped in the sari her mom wore on her wedding day.  Now that just gets me all kinds of choked up. In fact, I kept tearing up at the session imagining these very images sitting out somewhere on baby girl’s wedding day (many, many years from now). I. Love. Tradition. My personal fav is HERE.

She was as perfect little princess and her brother was very much the loving and protective prince that day. They are going to have so many wonderful times and adventures growing up together.

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Finally, I wanted to mention mom’s hair and make up. Now, she is STUNNING as it is already, but she is also smart in realizing that with a newborn baby AND a very active little boy to get ready for the session, it’s much easier to let someone else take care of getting herself done up. I cannot recommend enough (and ESPECIALLY for newborn sessions) to hire someone to handle your hair and makeup before your photo session. Trust me, it is such a burden released if you know you are not going to be facing a bad hair day. And, if you haven’t been sleeping for the past few weeks because you just had a baby, you’ve got someone who knows how to make sure you look refreshed but not overly made up Katie with Modern Muse Beauty  knows how to do just that and make moms look like brighter versions of themselves. Good teamwork, ladies! S…you truly looked all kinds of radiant!
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I am so glad I had Katie come and help me do my hair and face before our session. As a new mom, it is very difficult to find the energy to do these things yourself.  Katie was prompt, fun to talk to, and made me feel a little more like my usual self, rather than an exhausted and sleep-deprived zombie. I feel she was a key player in making the newborn session successful. Plus, it was nice to have a little pampering! I would certainly recommend her to anyone, especially before a newborn session. 

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Austin Lifestyle Newborn Photographer

I very much remember speaking with this mommy years ago just after she had her very first baby girl. I think my schedule was full at the time, but somehow, I managed to squeeze her in and it has been my honor to work with them every year since! Three girls now! Wow! I love “knowing” the girls well enough and for long enough to be able to see similarities and differences in their baby features. While taking these newborn images, I would have flashbacks to the other two sessions…”Oh, in this pose she looks like L. But with this expression, that’s just like T.” Even cooler than that, is having watched each of the two older girls take on the role of big sister, one at a time. Mom and dad should be very, very proud of how well these two have done in their new jobs and how much they ADORE their little sister. It is so heartwarming! When going through their images today, I literally had tears in my eyes, sharing in the joy that is so obvious with these girls and among their parents. And perhaps I was also a little wistful realizing how much their family has grown and changed in just a few short years. The passage of time, as cliché as it sounds, is so very bittersweet.

So welcome to the world, little one! You are the perfect blessing to your happy family and a beautiful soul.

(Don’t miss this sweet interaction between youngest and middle HERE ;-).

ad-pinkle-toes-senior-photos-downtown-austin-texas-class-of-2015[Austin senior portraits: Class of 2015]

I promise to get to the point of this post title in a little bit. Meanwhile, just let me tell you this young lady positively sparkles! Her smile is radiant, yes, but she was so pleasant…so confident…just easy to be around and work with. Lovely, lovely young lady! Another fav HERE!

Okay, now on to the post title: at the end of our session, as I was taking that very last image of her up there, I had been gearing up for the perfect skyline shot, but as I was about to press the shutter, a couple situated themselves just to the left of my frame. I thought I’d wait it out a bit and just decided on vertical pictures for a few. But they just weren’t leaving. They were talking. A long time. Just as I was about to move us to another location, I saw him drop to one knee. Oh, my word! They were getting engaged!!!! LOLOLOL. My frustration quickly melted away into pure joy…they were so adorable and everyone around started clapping and cheering them on. I’ve never seen a proposal before (it has always been a secret dream of mine to photograph an engagement), so on the sly, I snapped a few images for them when she said yes. My model up there was such a good sport, too, letting me share her spotlight with the happy couple for a few minutes.  I was so thrilled to have been in just the right place at just the right time! It was indeed a good interruption.

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I’ve been an Austin family lifestyle photographer for how long now? Eight years? In all that time, with all of the photo sessions I’ve done, I have never had to bail in the MIDDLE of a session because of rain. Never. Let me tell you, we tried SO hard to push through the first morning I got together with this family. Kids were adorable, everyone was cheerful, we were excited to play (and for me, I was excited to explore a place in Austin I’ve never really been to before). We had all gotten up insanely early that morning to make this shoot happen and things were going SO perfectly until…

…we were a good distance from our cars (and umbrellas) when the skies just opened up on us. No lightning (thank goodness), but a rain shower just strong enough to drench clothing and to threaten my camera equipment. I raced back to my car to grab a supply of umbrellas and all-Macgyver-style, craft a shield for my camera/lens using a grocery bag and a headband. By the time I got back to this poor family, everyone was pretty much soaked. It was at that point, I knew we were not going to be able to recover to finish the session properly. Kids were starting to get tired and wouldn’t you know it, the clouds (in a rather untimely manner) completely cleared to leave us in a full, too bright, and much too hot Texas summer sun. So, we let the boys play in the water a bit and decided to cut our losses and try again another day.

And I’m so glad we did! I would not have traded the fun pictures we got on day one, but day two was even better! It was like we got to have two sessions in one, even throwing in some shots with the iconic “I love you so much” wall so synonymous with Austin now:

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I want to thank these guys for being such troopers and hanging in there with me, even when Mother Nature turned against us. I know it takes so much effort to get yourself ready at the crack of dawn, let alone a family of five, and I know nobody wants to have to do it TWICE, but they did and they did not complain. And I got to have two very fun and very different little mini sessions with them in the span of just a few days.

See a collage of my favorite interaction between oldest and youngest HERE ;-). It was such a random moment, but it was REAL and sweet and 100% love.

behind-the-scenes-pinkle-toes-texas-australia-photography-workshop-retreatTHIS group…my oh my! I’m not sure I have ever laughed so much at a workshop. Some super witty ladies in this bunch and I’m quite impressed we still managed to accomplish all of our lifestyle workshop objectives in between our constant brainstorming and amusing conversations. I think that’s what so amazing about any workshop group, actually: when you get a group of women together with so much in common, there is a bond, no doubt, but we all understand we still have work to do and are incredibly eager to do it! Did you see I even earned my own Ryan Gosling “Hey Girl” meme? P.S. My underwater “assistant” would probably kill me for that last pic up there, but I couldn’t resist. I won’t out her here since you can’t tell who she is, but she knows. Oh…she knows.

Day one was spent talking all things related to the business of photography complete with headshots in the now infamous Wal-mart parking lot sunflower field:

headshots-pinkle-toes-texas-australia-photography-workshop-class-retreatThe next day, we headed over to my sister’s house for our in-home newborn photo session demonstration. I was honestly a little afraid to use the twins as my subjects for this workshop because I knew it would be hard for me to keep my emotions in check. Sure enough, as with pretty much ANY photo session I do for my baby sis, I started out so choked up, I couldn’t speak, but we worked through it:
twins-newborn-austin-lifestyle-photography-workshop-texas-sydney-australiaAren’t my twin nieces  just so deliciously adorable? And have they not changed SOOOOO much??? Oh, and did you see they’re kinda locally famous now, lol?

That afternoon, we headed out to one of my favorite spots to cool down and photograph a dear friend of mine and her beautiful family in the creek:

family-pinkle-toes-lifestyle-family-workshop-photography-photo-session-creek-austin-australia-texasAnd then we all got up before sunrise the next day to do a little practice maternity session at the greenhouse along with a bit of underwater photography:

maternity-pinkle-toes-underwater-photography-workshop-texas-austin-australia-sydneyIt was a fabulous end to the summer Texas workshops! I haven’t looked at all of the posts yet, but I can’t wait to start going through the images in our blog circle from this group. Make sure you hop over and see Beth’s take on the Pinkle Toes Workshop:  The Queen B Photography – Houston Family Photographer!

 

us-pinkle-toes-behind-the-scenes-texas-lifestyle-photography-workshop-australia-sydney-perthThe second Pinkle Toes Photography workshop this summer had me back at my home in Austin, Texas in early July. We spent three days learning how to connect with our clients on a deeper level to create more successful and meaningful photo sessions, finding the light in client homes, working in challenging situations (ie. HEAT!!!), and taking headshots in a Wal-mart parking lot ;-). Seriously. We ventured into the greatest little sunflower field and if you couldn’t see it in that picture up above, you would never know where we were, lol. Here are some of my shots from the in-home newborn session demonstration: 2-henry-pinkle-toes-austin-newborn-photography-lifestyle-workshop-australia-new-castle-sydney-perth And then our family demonstration later that day in beautiful downtown Austin, which happened to be with a past workshop attendee/wonderful photographer/good friend Chantal with Whimsy and Style Photography : cb-pinkle-toes-australia-photographer-lifestyle-family-workshops-class-training And finally, we were up BRIGHT AND EARLY the next morning for a sunrise maternity photo session at the greenhouse at my studio/property. We even did a little bit of underwater work: maternity-pinkle-toes-australia-photographer-lifestyle-pregnancy-workshops-class-training Another fav from the maternity session can be found HERE!   And some of the sunny faces from Pinkle Toes Austin Workshop 1: class-pinkle-toes-texas-photography-workshop-australia-sydney-perth And THIS ONE by Jessica with Periwinkle Photography just makes me giggle.

Tomorrow, I’ll be posting about the 2nd Austin workshop this summer. But until then, be sure to hop over to my DEAR friend Minnette’s page to see her take on the Austin workshop: Minnette Demafiles Photography – Houston Lifestyle Photographer

I’m back to work here in Austin right now, but I am already making plans to head overseas to Australia for workshops next fall! Lots of details to work out, but we are very excited to head over there. I’ve never been before and it will likely be the only trip I make out that way. If you’d like to get information on the Australia photography workshops (dates, pricing, locations, etc.) when they are ready, please drop a line.

jt-austin-family-photographer-beach-kids-photo-shoot-seattle-washington-discovery-park-lighthouseAlmost a year ago exactly, I met this mommy when she attended my lifestyle photography workshop in Toronto, Canada. She didn’t even live in Canada…she was from Minnesota. But just a short time after that workshop, she learned she would be moving to Seattle, WA. We decided to get together when I was there to do another workshop this summer. It was so surreal because as I was messaging her regarding our photo session location in Seattle, I noticed the last texts we had were from a year ago talking about our visit to Niagara Falls! I mean, how crazy is that???

What a JOY to experience this incredible beach in Seattle with their family! The views at Discovery Park are simply incredible and if the traffic/parking wasn’t such a beast, I would probably go there every night to watch the sunset behind the lighthouse. And these little doll babies! They have such a wonderful sense of adventure and explored every nook and cranny we could find at the beach that night. Don’t miss this image not pictured.

You might notice a pretty gnarly strawberry on baby girl up there. Man…she took quite the tumble and I was worried that was going to be the end of our session right then and there. But she sucked it up (for a little bit) and let us finish the night out working in some of the most romantic, perfect, lovely dresses EVER! And then, Jennifer happened to notice me looking longingly at the sunset, that dress, and my little girl and SO graciously told me I could borrow the dress for a couple of shots with Amry (here’s one with my iphone). It might seem like such a simple thing, but I think only a fellow photographer like her would truly understand that kind of longing and read my mind before I even knew to ask. Thank you for that, my friend. That will go down as one of my favorite memories from the trip.

And so now, back in Austin, I gotta say I quite enjoyed proofing this photo session because not only did I get to revisit this family, but I also got to relive one of the many awe-inspiring sunsets we experienced this summer on the west coast.

Austin kids photography

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Austin Kids Photographer

I just did a quick search for old posts about her and I had to stop looking through them lest I force myself into the rabbit hole of nostalgia and melancholy. She started Kindergarten this week. Her first year of school. This is not a new thing to many parents. It’s not even a new thing to me. I’ve been there, done that. But this time, it was different. This is my baby. My baby isn’t a baby. This is not something my heart is willing to accept. And as if to add insult to injury, she lost her very first tooth the day after we did this photo session. And to further rub salt in my wounds, she is happy. How dare she????? No tears. No, “Mommy…I miss you! Stay with me!” Nope. I’m old news. My poor little mommy heart was not made to handle all of this “growing up” business. I am not properly equipped. It has been admittedly difficult for me to accept this week. Don’t even get me started on when any one of my kids decides to leave the next in just a few short summers. But I’m still proud. I’m still joyful. I still feel blessed beyond words that I am one of the lucky few that actually gets to experience these bittersweet gems in life. So I’ll quit my whining. For now ;-)

pb-austin-california-maternity-photographer-pregancy-photos-beach-cardiffIt’s going to take some getting used to, this thing called “back to school” and living on a schedule here in Austin. It’s going to take some getting used to blogging again as well. It was certainly the most magnificent, incredible, exhausting summer of my entire life and I think we are all still recovering from being on the road so long. I know I will be equally excited and saddened to start this process of blogging about everything we did and everywhere we went this summer. Going through our pictures will mean it’s truly over and I’m not ready to face that just yet.

For now, I’m going to blow the dust off the blog and work backwards for a little bit. I know I’ve missed blogging several families that I worked with this summer and I *will* get them up here eventually. But today, let’s start with my photographer friend Angela with PB Kisses Photography in sunny California. Angela was a past lifestyle photography workshop attendee not to long ago and I was so amazed we were actually able to work out a maternity session while I was in southern California this summer to document this pregnancy for her caboose joining the family soon ;-).

Things you should know about this session:

  1. Big bro and big sis up there? They are going to be AMAZING to their new baby. No. Doubt.
  2. Angela is funny. Like really funny. I like that. She’s also really talented. And I like that as well.
  3. There were like a bazillion people on this beach and in the water and I don’t get that. Coming from the WARM waters of the Gulf Coast, the “warm” Pacific is not so warm along the California coast. Or maybe I’m just a wimp?
  4. I did this session within just a few hours of first setting foot in the great state of California. Way to dive in head first, huh?

Angela, you can be sure I’m going to look you up if I’m ever in your neck of the woods again and I want to get to hang with you in a non-business environment. Well, maybe after I snuggle on that new little one first?

 

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I wanted to share this image and these words from a recent workshop attendee Amy Drucker with Amy Drucker Photography in Westchester, NY:

I’m spending today editing this week’s sessions and just wanted to say that something has really clicked for me since our workshop. I’m not afraid of families anymore – I feel like I’ve been given license to shoot what I want to shoot (as long as I get that Grandma shot too).

An image I love, and a moment I might have overlooked during a recent session if not for the confidence I gained during your workshop. Watching you work and having access to question your process helped me get past a creative block that had recently been keeping me from shooting for clients the way I really wanted to. Thank you again for being so open and working so hard during our recent workshop. I got everything I had hoped to out of it, and much more.

And it makes me so incredibly happy to hear the joy in her voice. Thank YOU, Amy! And congrats on following your heart!

For more info on the upcoming lifestyle photography workshops in CA and WA starting next week, visit http://pinkletoesblogstalker.com/blog/workshops-coaching/