Archive for April, 2009

I told Austin I felt like I was photographing a celebrity when I met him and his mom and dad at Katy High School this past weekend. I mean, he’s played on a high school team that has won 2 state championships in a row! That’s no small feat. In fact, it’s downright AMAZING! Katy High School is THE premiere high school football program in the great state of Texas. Being the down-to-earth guy he is (and his parents are, too), they all laughed hysterically when I said that. But you know what? That’s what makes him GREAT. He’s soooo laid back, cool, collected. I can just see him on the field during the state championship game. He probably wasn’t nervous. Or maybe he channeled that energy into focusing on the game. He’s an offensive lineman, so maybe he gave one of his fierce looks (yes, he does have a few. Trust me. I captured them on camera!) through his face mask and scared the daylights out of his opponent. That I wouldn’t doubt! Or maybe he smirked at the guy he faced on the other side of the scrimmage line and then bulldozed him. Or maybe I have no idea what he did, but I do know that he is darn good at what he does, and so is the rest of his team and coaches.
But what really makes Austin special is his likability factor. He’s got a great sense of humor! When I would pose him and ask him if he understood what I was trying to get him to do, he would answer, “Si.” He never complained, followed instructions, and was sooo polite, answering “yes, ma’am.”
Austin plans to play football for Angelo State next year and study International Studies. He’s got it all: athleticism, personality, good looks, and TWO state championships under his belt as well as two state championship rings on his fingers (can you see them in the pics? They’re the two bling blings on his hands). It doesn’t get much better than that, Austin! Congratulations to you and best of luck in San Angelo!!

Go Green!

April 25, 2009

I met Hilary at Discovery Green for her photo shoot. I was very excited to photograph in this park because of all the clean lines and color. Hilary brought her mom and two younger sisters: Anna and Kathy. These girls are all soooo pretty. Her parents have to be beaming to have such beautiful (and super sweet) daughters. Hilary is a St. Pius X young lady who’s going to Texas State next year. That’s my school!! I graduated from there in. . . well, never mind. I still have a hard time calling it Texas State. In my heart, it will always be Southwest Texas. Anyway, she picked a good school!

I’m wondering if Hilary knows how photogenic she is? She has this natural smile, piercing dark eyes, and gorgeous long hair. No wonder photographing seniors is my favorite thing to do! They’re all so attractive, full of energy, and ready to take on the world! Here are a few of my favorites from Hilary’s session:

Color is Key

April 23, 2009

I am LOVING my recent senior sessions! I had another one in Katy this week. This is Allison. She brought a beautiful wardrobe–full of vibrant colors which is exactly what I like for photographs. As you can see, the colors really POP and complement her dark hair and brown eyes. Well, it would be safe to say that Allison looks good in just about anything! However, she did a fabulous job with her clothing selections. She’s got a good eye for fashion! Allison, it was a pleasure photographing you and meeting your mom Kay (my assistant for the shoot!). Good luck at Texas A&M!!

Charming Tayler

April 20, 2009

I must admit–I get a little nervous when I have a session with a guy. I worry he is dreading the shoot, wishing he were somewhere else, angry at Mom for setting it up. I was dead wrong with this one. Tayler was so incredibly cool. Yes, he’s definitely cute, but that will only get you so far. He’s FUN (or at least he acted like he was having fun. Maybe he was just trying to be nice to me?) Well, even if he was pretending to have fun, he’s polite and that is a HUGE asset. So, back to Tayler. He’s a Sealy Tiger! That’s not just a high school football player. He’s a SEALY TIGER, people. You know, Sealy Tigers, the TX high school team that has won about a zillion state championships? Anyway, they are icons in the TX high school football arena. And did I mention how much I love photographing athletes? There’s something about them–other than confidence and poise, they are usually good at taking direction which is key in a photo shoot. Take Tayler, for example. He’s very photogenic. Obviously:

He knew how to pose with little direction from me! This one is PERFECT:

And another natural pose by Tayler. Isn’t he handsome?? Seriously. He also chose some of the locations where we photographed. He had a great eye for settings!

Tayler was a receiver for the Tigers this year. He’s also a basketball player. Oh, and he’s going to Sam Houston State University and wants to study accounting–so, he’s smart, too!

All I have to say is WOW. What a pleasure it was to photograph you, Tayler. Thanks for

being so cooperative and enthusiastic! Good luck at Sam Houston State!

1915 Bethlehem

April 14, 2009

The house we’ve lived in for more than 10 years sold in 5 weeks. We are moving out of it this Thursday. Tonight was the last night my daughters will sleep in the house on 1915 Bethlehem. Arden acted whiny all day, and I wasn’t quite sure why. Did I not think she might be troubled by our sudden dishevelment? I always read her a book before bed. But, her books are packed. This sent her into a hissy fit! When I told her tonight was her last night in the house, she burst into tears and said she didn’t want to leave her room, that she liked it. I cried with her. Not because I particularly like her room, but because of the memories the room brings to mind. This was the room where we stared in awe at her tiny little newborn self on the change table in the dim light. Where I lay her on the floor for a baby massage, her tiny legs still scrunched up like a newborn and quietly watched me caress her soft skin and whisper to her, what will you be? what kind of person will you be? How will you sound? The room where she lay in the Moses basket, I on the twin bed, drifting in and out of sleep, waiting for her to stir. This was the room where she play with her Barbie dolls, colored, watched dvds, dressed in tutus and butterfly wings.

We love our neighbors. To the right, Dian, Gary, and Jody. Hook ’em, Horns! Dian, the cook, gardener, and most active woman I’ve ever seen. I hope she soon becomes a grandma because she will be the best one on earth. Gary, the golfer, photographer, and Dancing with the Stars fan. Jody, the die-hard Longhorn, artist, and also a fantastic cook. We will miss the Parkers dearly.

To the left, Charles, Millie, and Christina (whom Arden and Tess adore). Charles, the smart engineer, cigar smokin’, overall wearing, fishin’, boat cruisin’, politically incorrect (but we love it!), Mexico travelin’ man! His sweet wife Millie, a Neiman Marcus Escada buyer/seller for many years, a class act, gentle spirit, beautiful woman. And Christina. Ahhh, Christina. I watched her grow from 5 to 16, from riding her tricycle in the driveway to anticipating a car. She’s often my photo assistant and babysitter, St. Pius X student, lover of books, fashion, Taylor Swift, the Twilight series. And my daughters are her biggest fans. We love the Zubes!

This house is full of memories I will never forget. Thank you, 1915 Bethlehem.

Classy Kat

April 9, 2009

The first thing I noticed when I met Katherine (Kat is her nickname) was her amazing hair! It is simply divine. Of course, there’s a lot more to her than that. Besides her obvious beauty, this young lady is a creative spirit. She’s an artist. She loves to draw and brought a piece of her artwork for some of the photos. She also loves Audrey Hepburn. I can see why. Kat is pure class. She has this talent for art, but she also wants to be a nurse. What a wonderful combination of creative talent and compassion. Kat, you’ve got it ALL!

One of her art pieces is in this photo. I hope she continues to explore her gift!

Can hair get any better than this? And her smile is so sincere. Love, love, love the color in this one. It really brings out Kat’s beautiful features.

Best of luck to you, Kat! Thanks for making this session so much fun! And thanks to your mom Jan for being such a fantastic assistant!

T.C. Jester Soiree

April 6, 2009

Children are unpredictable, honest, and down-right exhilarating to photograph! Enter these two sweethearts: Taylor (almost 5–don’t you dare just say she’s 4!) and Ellis (almost 2). They are super special to me because I have literally watched them grow. They both go to the same school as my two daughters, are the exact same ages as mine, and attend the same classes!! I was thrilled when their mom, Mandy, asked me to photograph them. I have admired Mandy and dad Zack from afar ever since we went to Taylor’s 4th birthday party. It was probably the coolest kiddo birthday party EVER. All the kids dressed up in fairy tale costumes, met a real live Cinderella who put make-up on them, read to them, danced with them. The kids were awestruck! As if that party doesn’t prove it, Mandy and Zack are simply fantastic parents who like to have fun with their girls. They helped me a lot during this session, making the girls laugh and have a good time without really realizing I was there for some SERIOUS business. Ha! Oh, and grandma Mimi was also on hand and helped out so much with carrying all our gear. Here’s a tiny sneak peek:

Houston Blooms

April 5, 2009

It’s that time of the year again. . . part of a child’s right of passage is to take bluebonnet/spring flower photos every year. The older they get, the more they despise this parental obsession. I remember glaring into the camera at my dad as he tried to pose me and my brother Ray on a hillside of bluebonnets 50 feet away from Interstate 10, cars zooming by. I had my arms crossed, an enormous frown on my face, eyes rolling, the WORKS.

So, I’m enjoying this now, because I know I will not get even a morsel of cooperation out of my daughters in about 5 years.

Crossed Paths

April 5, 2009

Twice I crossed paths with two photographers this past week. The first was with my friend Abbie who I met when I taught at Presbyterian School 3 years ago. Her warm smile drew me in, but her Canon 70-200mm lens really got me! When we first met, we were both tinkering with the idea of being serious photographers. We love the art and talked about it every time we saw each other in the school hallways.

So, I ran into Abbie at a Presbyterian girls lacrosse game. There we stood with our massive Canon 70-200mm lenses in hand. We both laughed about how many people have approached us and either said, that’s one BIG lens, or that’s a SERIOUS lens. In between clicks we shared photography stories and tricks of the trade. It’s been neat to see her business grow and watch her embrace her talent for wedding photography. I’ve never told her this, but I don’t know what I admire more about her: her photography skills or her mothering skills. Her kids are amazing! The whole family has so much fun together. I finally met Mr. Flynn at the lacrosse game. He’s the same way: witty, warm, easy-going. Abbie truly has fun with her kids and they adore her. She also takes fantastic photos of them. Her website is Check her out, especially if you are looking for a wedding photographer!

My second encounter with a photographer this past week was at Starbucks. I straddled the parking line boundary with my car (only because the car next to me did the same thing and forced me to) and the truck that pulled up next to me had to cross his parking line as well. We both emerged from our vehicles at the same time and I heard a friendly voice say, “Well, looks like we took up 4 parking spots between the two of us!” Normally, I would just say “yeah” and walk on, but this guy was so friendly and immediately engaging. We strolled into the coffee shop together, both desperately needing a caffeine perk, but acting like we were casual drinkers (instead of hard-core coffeeholics; well, at least I am!) I asked him what he did for a living and he said he was an architectural photographer. That’s all Carl had to say. I was immediately interested! To make a long story short, Carl gave me a few of mini-lessons with my camera and we talked a little bit about the business side of photography. I was in awe. He’s been photographing for a long time and truly does some amazing work. His website is Check it out!! Oh, and here’s the look on my face that he captured as he was trying to explain a camera setting to me. I asked him how to clean up all the wrinkles, but he couldn’t do that for me. At least not right there. That would require PhotoShop. Seriously, though. I can’t believe the age lines. Thanks a lot, Carl!