Friday, December 30, 2011

More of this, please...

Tomorrow is the last day of December.
There were days during the month when my heart was heavy, touched by news of loss and goodbyes. 

But December was also a month of celebrations, friendship, homemade treats, good food, music... all draped in glittering lights.
Here are a few of my favorite shots, reminding me of those brightest moments...

My oldest turned twenty-six... I was there to take photos!
(and just this week proposed to the love of his life! For more on that, go HERE.)

There were graduation celebrations (above, my son's friend's graduation from UT) and lots of parties (below). the winery...

...with my dear friends from high school...

...the last annual hangar party, a bittersweet celebration...

Besides the tempting treats above at my Martha Stewart-ish friend Darla's home...

we found sweets in abundance when we visited Tom's parents in Florida.
The plates above miraculously stayed full no matter how many we ate!

Our trip was made sweeter by plenty of card-playing, like the cribbage game above between Tom and his mom...

...and a day at the beach. (More shots from this later.)

Santas and nutcrackers stood watch under my mother-in-law's angel tree

My sister-in-law Erin's home was twinkling all over with Christmas... as you can see from her table above...

...and this wonderful old star that topped their tree.

Even the winery was decorated for the season.

All month I found beautiful decorations glittering inside...

...and out.

Thank you for your friendship and for all of words of encouragement you've given me this year.
I hope when you think back on December... and all of 2011... you're able to find plenty of sweet moments sprinkling your memory as well.

Happy New Year to all of you!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas!

Wishing all of you the light, peace and joy of Christmas
Wherever you are.

Please pass it on.

Monday, December 19, 2011

On the Playground with Haila

Electronically thumbing through my photos yesterday, I was dismayed by how many I've barely glanced at, if not totally forgotten. 

These of my nephew and his family are from Thanksgiving weekend! 
Where have those weeks gone? 

For that matter, it doesn't seem that long ago that I took this young dad, his sister and my own three kids to a playground similar to this one.

Ahhh, they grow so fast, don't they?

As much fun as those days were, I confess I'm happy to be the one snapping photos rather than chasing after the giggling toddler...

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Lessons from the Second Shoot

The day of my second shoot
it was cold
there were near-hurricane force winds blowing
(that's an exaggeration, but during a photo shoot, wind is not your friend)
so the plan of shooting in a nearby park was scrapped.

I learned to be flexible.

We shot between two tall houses that (nearly) blocked the wind.

We shot inside, too.

I don't have the right lighting equipment for inside shots
so I had them stand near a window.

My client had this beautiful red wall and yellow couch
and great ideas on how to stage the shots.

I learned (too late, obviously) that they shouldn't stand close to the wall.
This would be so good except for that shadow.

You can't beat that smile, though, can you?
Again, I was blessed with wonderful photogenic client/models
who had great smiles and ideas.

I just listened and clicked.

Capturing this many sets of eyes open in one shot felt amazing!

...and I kept an eye on this one during the breaks... 
It paid off!

The outside shots are still my favorites...

The biggest lesson I learned?
To relax and have fun, no matter what.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

A Night Stroll in Hyde Park

Hyde Park is an eclectic little neighborhood in Austin, filled with charming cottages and unique restaurants.
Want to stroll along with me while I practice my night shots?

Just the right touch of Christmas decorations.

This vintage Mercedes fit right in with the rest of the neighborhood.

I just like neon signs.

While I snapped away, Tom and Daniel caught up on the neighborhood news.

Knitted pole scarves were everywhere!

Famous for their vegetarian and vegan food. 

Cheap transportation.

A restaurant on every corner.
I want to try them all!

Do you see the face? Well, at least the eyes? 
It's amazing the difference a scarf makes....

Another knitted pole scarf!

We ate here in celebration of Daniel's friend's graduation from UT. 
Yummy Italian food!

What's that you say? You want to see photos from the graduation?
Well, okay. Here are a couple of my favorites...

These messages caught my eye. 
I wish them good luck!

One of my favorite shots of the night. 
I don't know who they are, but I'm glad I captured it...
A universal image of proud parents.