Photographer: Events, Weddings, Portraits – Austin, Texas

Archive for July, 2010

Fun Friday Fotos: Swimming Lessons

Fun Friday Photos!

In just a few days my son, Roman, will be 16 months old. It’s an exciting time for my wife and me because he’s trying to talk a lot more and he runs everywhere that he goes. So we decided that now would be a good time for him to have swim lessons.

Roman having fun during his swim lesson

We placed him in a 4 week swim course given by Aqua-Tots and we’re pretty happy with our choice. Although Roman can’t yet swim by himself, he is certainly more comfortable in the water and learned important things like depth perception in the water and how to climb out of a pool.

Roman loves the water!

My wife photographed him (with me assisting him) during his last swim lesson at an indoor pool in North Austin. He graduated with honors and next year will move on to the intermediate swim class. We’re so proud of him and love sharing photos of him.

Enjoy!

Roman like to drink the water too!

Too much fun! :)


Mercury Hall Wedding

Located near St. Edwards University in south central Austin, there’s a little wedding spot that not everyone knows about: Mercury Hall. Mercury Hall is special for a lot of reasons: It’s a 100-plus-year-old church, it’s located in the heart of Austin and it’s been featured in a Hollywood movie.

inside of mercury hall

Located in the Galindo neighborhood off of South 1st Street Mercury Hall is an elegant, old church structure on 4 acres of beautiful trees and well maintained vegetation. The church chapel is decorated with beautiful stained glass windows, hardwood flooring and simple white accent colors – which give the entire church a classic Americana look.

According to the Mercury Hall Website, the wooden church building was built in 1904 in Mercury, Texas (located northwest of Austin), where it was long used as a place to worship and for event gatherings. It began operating as a wedding and event center in Austin, Texas in 1997.

“Mercury Hall hails from 120 miles Northwest of Austin, where surveyors claim the geographic center of Texas is located. Built in 1904 by the inhabitants of the frontier town of Mercury for use as a church, the chapel survived two major fires that reduced Mercury from an eager young town to the quiet country settlement (pop. 166) it remains today. Sunday services, weddings and prayer meetings were held in the building for more than eighty years until the decision was made in 1996 to construct a modern building for the congregation.” – Mercuryhall.com

Mercury Hall is also somewhat famous for being featured in a Hollywood movie: “Waking Life”, released in 2001 – directed and created by Richard Linklater, a Texas director and producer.

Last year, I was privileged to be the official photographer for a wedding at Mercury Hall which featured well known Texas musicians and artists alike. I greatly enjoyed being there to capture all the wonderful moments during the wedding and reception and I look forward to my next photography event at Mercury Hall.

Mercury Hall is capable of facilitating both small and large weddings and events – up to 250 people. It regularly hosts luncheons, meetings, musical/artistic performances and more. Parking is available both onsite and on the street (Cardinal Lane).

Want to visit or learn more?

Address: 615 Cardinal, Austin 78704-6934
Email: info@mercuryhall.com
Web: www.mercuryhall.com
Hours: Hours by appointment

Phone: 512.236.1226


Austin’s Zilker Botanical Garden: A Great Place For Photos!

In the past few years I’ve photographed lots of brides and engaged couples at Zilker Botanical Garden in Austin, Texas. Obviously I can’t share all the photos from these shoots, but I wanted to show off some of the variety of photographs that are possible when shooting at Zilker.

Bride poses on the bridge at Zilker Botanical

Bride Poses Above Koi Ponds In Japanese Garden

The park has to be one of the most popular places for photography of any kind in Austin. Not only is it a huge repository for plant life centered in Travis County (which is why people are drawn to it) but it’s also one of Austin’s little jewels that’s been around for many years. I’m pretty sure that the creators of Zilker never intended it to be one of the foremost popular venues for photography around Austin, but that’s what it’s become.

ZBG features many different plant species and specific garden areas that are dedicated to a particular theme or cultural plant cultivation, if you will. For example, one of the popular areas of Zilker is the Japanese Garden, which features Koi-filled fish ponds, stone trails leading around bamboo gardens and a structure made of stone and bamboo that only could fit into a Japanese garden . The entire area is shaded by trees and feels like being in another world.

Couple Shows Off Their Engagement Ring

Zilker also features a beautiful rose garden where weddings frequently occur. Colorful roses line the concrete paths that wind down the hill from the main entrance of the park. The Rose Garden area is very open, located at the edge of the tree line bordering the Japanese Garden. It also features a red and white gazebo next to fish ponds and a historic brick structure in the shape of a keyhole that has been apparently transplanted from historic downtown Austin.

Couple Poses Near Waterfall at Zilker Botanical Garden

Other areas featured at ZBG are the Prehistoric Gardens further down the hill from the main office, which feature “old world” plants, pools and even a beautiful, natural-looking water fall. Toward the front of the park is an area that contains historic Central Texas pioneer homes and work areas made of wood.

Ultimately there are many, many different areas of the Garden that offer photography opportunities for brides or couples. After visiting and photographing friends and family there for years I’ve grown to love and appreciate Zilker for the beautiful part of Austin that it has always been and hopefully will always be!

Engagement Session At Wooden Bridge Inside Zilker Botanical

Things you’ll need to bring if you photograph a bride or couple at Zilker:

- Payment for photographing someone at ZBG

- Water

- Bug/Mosquito repellant

- Sun block

-Comfortable walking shoes (ZBG has lots of trails)

- Patience. If the park is busy, you may have to wait for that perfect shot! :)

Hints/Tips: Arrive early and check park closure times (which change with daylight savings time). Park staff require visitors to leave 30 minutes prior to gate closure.

A Kiss Is Captured Next To A Koi Pond At Zilker Botanical Garden

………………..

Martin Whitton is a passionate wedding photojournalist who lives and works in Austin, Texas. Email your questions to him at martin@mwwphoto.com.


American Graveyard – Austin, Texas

The Austin Chronicle says that Austin’s Band, American Graveyard is,

“From bluegrass to blues, country to punkgrass, jazz to what-the-f#@k? – American Graveyard is brewing a stew of American music served hot off the stove and backed up with a glass of moonshine.”

I like the music and the guys are super great people. Last time I saw them they opened up for Black Joe Lewis & The Honey Bears so they only could’ve gotten better. Like any a lot of other music, it’s best experienced live. In the meantime here’s there latest video. Go check these guys out at their next show! Great stuff…


Daniel Schorr

Yesterday (July 23, 2010) legendary journalist Daniel Schorr died at age 93.

As someone who was born in the 1970s, I missed the majority of Schorr’s career as a journalist. I wasn’t around to see him report on the McCarthy 1950s or the raging 1960s. I wasn’t even alive to see him cover the Watergate Scandal that rocked the Nixon White House in the 1970s.  My first memory of Schorr was when I watched the movie “The Game”, starring Michael Douglas. Schorr’s unforgettable, raspy voice is heard on the television speaking to Douglas’ character through a television in the movie. Later in life, while listening to NPR Radio, I regularly listened to Schorr’s news pieces given during my commute to and from work.

I came to really appreciate Schorr’s brutal honesty and integrity in the stories that he covered. This can be seen in his 60 years of journalism from when he was called before congress to answer about sources to when he was at the original CNN news desk. It was clear that he had a passion for news and that fairness and transparency were paramount in what he reported on.

He will be sorely missed by those who enjoyed listening to and reading his reports. It is also apparent that he will be missed by those who know the news business, considering his long tenure in reporting and the high regard that he had earned for such a distinguished career in news. The world has lost a great champion this year.


San Rafael Sustainable Coffee Initiative

I wanted to take a moment to share information about our friends in Costa Rica who are promoting and supporting a sustainable coffee farming initiative. My wife and I met Ken Lander while staying in Monte Verde, Costa Rica earlier this year. He’s started a great organization (San Rafael Sustainable Coffee Initiative – SRSCI) which produces world-class coffee in a sustainable environment which supports local farmers and their families in Costa Rica. It seems like a win-win situation to me and my wife, which is why I’m sharing.

Fresh-roasted Coffee Beans At Ken's Coffee Coop

At the moment the SRSCI is asking for new members to join and help with making micro-loans to the farmers (as little as $35) in order to grow their operation and produce more sustainable coffee, which in turn helps their local economy.  I love the idea and I must say that the coffee is some of the best I’ve ever had. If you join as a new member you also get fresh coffee mailed straight to your doorstep from their Costa Rican farms, which means great coffee, at a great price which helps local farmers and eliminates the corporate (for profit) middle man.

The power of the San Rafael Sustainable Coffee Initiative is that the coffee drinker has the opportunity for the first time to be involved in the production of his or her own cup.  Obviously, purchasing coffee from the SRSCI is a wonderful way to support the SRSCI (and we welcome your continued orders for coffee!), but this year, the coffee lover has the opportunity to invest in the SRSCI directly.  We are asking you to consider both ordering coffee and giving the SRSCI a one-time micro-loan to help capitalize this year’s 23 hectares and liberate farmers from the need to find capital through the current cooperative and old value chain that follows.

Your micro-loan will return 100% to you in the form of a $70.00 credit on your future order from next year’s crop.  If 600 hands raise and join this effort, the SRSCI will generate $21,000.00 in capital just from the micro-loans alone.  However, this is a relationship between you and the farmer, so the farmers of the SRSCI commit to contribute from the proceeds of the sale of coffee from this drive a matching $21,000.00 in capital from the profits of the sale of the coffee.

Inside The Coffee Coop Where Coffee is FREE!

Web: http://www.gourmet-coffee-costa-rica.com/


Is Drinking Tap Water Safe?

For months now my mind has been contemplating whether it is ok for me to drink tap water, i.e., the water that comes out of the faucet at my house. I’ve never liked the taste of the Central Texas tap water. I remember when I first moved to Austin about 10 years ago I complained to the City Of Austin about the taste, thinking that something was wrong with the water. The City dispatched an inspector who took water samples and sent them off to the lab for analysis. As I waited for the results to come back I remember wondering what kind of contaminants could be in the water. I had just graduated from college with an science degree and thought that surely I could figure out what was making the water taste so bad.

According to the City Of Austin Water FAQ website, the primary sources of water contamination in urban areas,

“is rainwater that flows into street catch basins (called urban runoff or storm water runoff). While the rainwater alone is not necessarily harmful, it frequently carries untreated waste products from our streets and yards directly to rivers, lakes, and streams – our drinking water sources.”

If you visit the City Of Austin’s website you can find a breakdown of some things that you might find in your tap water. The first four chemicals or elements that are listed are barium, fluoride, nitrate, simazine. Barium and fluoride are not big surprises; but, nitrate is a fertilizer and simazine is a herbicide (read: herb – “plant” and cide – “to kill”) – two things that I personally would not want in my body. There is a lot more information on their website as well that I’ll let you read for yourself.

So what would a chemist say? Are the chemicals in our water safe to drink? According to an article entitled, “Tap Water: Safe To Drink” by: Andrew Gaug,

“Everything we use every day, from your pharmaceuticals you take to your soap, it all goes down the drain. And most of that will end up in treatment facilities,” said David Alvarez, a research chemist for the U.S. Geological Survey. He is a St. Joseph [Missouri] native with a Ph.D. in environmental and analytical chemistry.

“The problem isn’t that huge doses of pharmaceuticals or soap are slipping past being treated, but that there isn’t a barometer for the miniscule amount that does get by.”

A drinking water sample has many chemicals in it. But they’re all likely to be at very, very low concentration,” he said. “Are they a problem to humans? I don’t know. I don’t think so.”

Final answer: “I don’t know. I don’t think so.” Hmm.. that doesn’t sound all that reassuring to me.

So what does the highest environmental organization in the land say about tap water safety? According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency website,

“the taste and quality of drinking water varies from place to place. Over 90 percent of water systems meet EPA’s standards for tap water quality.”

Over 90 percent is safe? So what about the other 10 percent? Is it not safe?

And the article entitled, “EarthTalk: Is Tap Water Safe to Drink?” from AlterNet E-Magazine states,

“Tap water is not without its problems. The nonprofit Environmental Working Group (EWG) in 2005 tested municipal water in 42 states and detected some 260 contaminants in public water supplies, 140 of which were unregulated chemicals, that is, chemicals for which public health officials have no safety standards for, much less methods for removing them.”

Again, not very convincing. In fact, I feel even less happy about drinking water out of the tap now. So what about bottled water? Perhaps it is better to drink than tap water.

In many ways bottled water is subject to less screening and testing than tap water. The EPA does not demand the rigorous testing and analytical methods for bottled water that it requires for tap water. And oddly enough, as much as a quarter or more of bottled water actually originates from tap water sources. So if you thought that the cool, glistening bottle of water with images of glaciers and mountains on the bottle label originated from some pristine underground aquifer or from an untouched mountain stream you may be mistaken. Had any Dasani or Aquafina bottled water lately? You’ll never guess where it comes from (hint: water does not come from a spring or glacier)!

Ultimately, I was told by the City Of Austin that my tap water was completely normal and they didn’t have an explanation for the bad taste I experienced. They assured me that the water I was drinking from the faucet was completely safe. And I’m sure it is. However, I only drink filtered or bottled water now. But that’s my choice I suppose.

Sources:

1. http://www.alternet.org

2. http://www.epa.org

3. http://www.ci.austin.tx.us

4. http://www.nrdc.org

5. http://www.ewg.org

Martin Whitton is a photographer and writer who lives and works in Austin, Texas. He can be reached at martin@mwwphoto.com.


My Favorite Photo Locations: Zedler Mill (Part I)

In the next few weeks I’m going to post a series of blogs about some of my favorite places for wedding photography. Some of the places I’ll talk about are well known, some are practically unknown; some are in Austin some of the venues are not. But I think it will be fun to take a trip down memory lane and see some of the places that I’ve had the pleasure of photographing.

I thought about writing this blog about great wedding photography locations last night while updating my wedding photo slideshow. It seems like I stay busy with photography, always moving on to the next bride and groom or location and not spending a lot of time on specific shoots. One particular shoot location that really sticks out in my mind as both unusual and unknown is Zedler’s Mill (or just Zedler Mill). I photographed a bride there in 2009, during and after a rain event, which made the photos extra special.

Old Zedler Mill, Luling Texas

Zedler’s Mill is located in Luling, Texas, a sleepy little town of about 5,000 inhabitants between Austin and San Antonio that bills itself as the “home of the annual Luling watermelon thump.” Luling was a center of the Chisholm Trail and in the 1920s became an oil town with the discovery of crude oil. Zedler’s Mill was apparently built in the late 1800s to be utilized as sawmill, gristmill and cotton gin which would be powered by water from the San Marcos River, next to which it stands.

Today, Zedler’s Mill change has begun with the renovation of several buildings onsite.  The land next to the San Marcos River where the Zedler Mill once thrived has been converted to park space for everyone to enjoy. According to the Zedler Mill Foundation Website:

Bride Photographed At Zedler's Mill

Future plans include the restoration of the mule barns into an artisan village, the restoration of the actual mill physical plant, and the development of restaurant and lodging facilities across the street. We would like to restore many of the actual functions of the original mill for demonstration and educational purposes. We have already secured some working machinery from other mill locations to help us demonstrate actual mill operations that were performed at this site. Once these demonstrational and educational exhibits are put into place we will solicit school field trips, discovery tours and other interested groups.

In my opinion, Zedler’s Mill also makes a great place for bridal and engagement photos!

Bride Posing In Front Of Zedler Mill


Photographer Bio: Who Are We?

Martin Whitton is a native Texas photographer who has been photographing people and places since 2002. He has traveled extensively worldwide and has developed a deep love for travel photography, attempting to capture classic images of people and their culture in ordinary situations.

Although Martin’s roots began in travel photography, he regularly photographs Central Texas Weddings, photographing 75+ weddings and related events in 2009 alone. He also has contract experience in commercial photography work with Seiko Instruments and smaller businesses in Texas. His art photography has been exhibited at numerous venues in Austin, Texas.

Martin met his wife Michaela in Austin while taking dance lessons. They fell in love with dancing (and each other) and married in 2009. Martin and his wife still live in Austin, along with their son Roman.

Getting To Know The Photographer: 3 Questions

Why Did You Start Your Business?

I started Martin Whitton Photography because I have a passion and talent for photography. All businesses are in business to make money. However, I enjoy what I do (shooting people and weddings) so creating a wedding photo studio was a natural and sensible thing to do.

What Makes You Different Than Other Similar Businesses In Your Community?

I could say that my passion or my talent for photography set me apart, but there are lots of passionate, talented photographers here in Austin. I believe what truly sets Martin Whitton Photography apart from many other photographers is professionalism (respecting clients, dressing professionally, etc.) and extensive experience with shooting weddings. My team is consistent in providing our clients with all of these positive aspects, and success has followed.

What Do You Like Most About Your Community?

Everyone likes to keep Austin weird, and we love that too. But I like the energy that the University of Texas breathes into this community. It’s the energy of creativity, openness to new things and a desire to grow intellectually and spiritually.

Questions? Email Martin at martin@mwwphoto.com


25% Off Sale! (No Kidding!)

Take 25% Off AllWedding Photo Packages Thru August 15th!

Wedding Packages Starting at $749 ($250 Off Regular Price)!

All Packages Include:

  • Free Album Design
  • Customized Wedding Schedule
  • 2 CDs of Hi-Res, Edited Images
  • Photojournalistic Style

Just text “25SALE” to (512) 669-0020 or email us to save your date: martin@mwwphoto.com

Offer ends August 15, 2010.

View Photos Here

Bride & Groom Exchanging Nuptials

Martin Whitton Photography/Austin Americana Studios © 2010

Bride & Groom Depart Beneath Sparklers


Interview With A Wedding Photojournalist

I recently ran across these 16 interview questions on a photo forum (which would be credited if I could find the link) and thought it would be interesting to answer them myself. So I did just that.

The questions and answers are written more towards newbie photographers who want to see how established photographers get started, but I suppose the audience could be anyone interested in the subject.

(more…)


Austin Locations We’ve Photographed

In my last blog I talked about Green Pastures and how it was one of my favorite places to photograph. And frequently I meet with brides-to-be who ask where I’ve photographed in Austin. Well, not to toot my own horn, but I’ve  been photographing weddings and events for a number of years now and there’s quite a list of locations where I’ve shot.  In this blog I’ve decided to list every place (that I can recall) that I’ve photographed a wedding or event in the Austin, Texas area.  I’m going to try to keep the list reduced to venues where weddings/events are held.

Burnt Orange Wedding at Central Christian Church

After I make the list I’m going to follow-up over the next few weeks with some “highlight” blogs that will discuss some of the more memorable locations for photography.  It will be fun for me to re-live some of the moments and places through blog and it will be helpful (hopefully) to anyone who reads the blog to find out more information about each place from the perspective of a photographer and layperson who isn’t trying to sell you the place, i.e., I have nothing to gain from telling you about my experience other than promoting my wedding photography.

Oh, and before I forget, most of the events that occurred at the locations listed below can be viewed at my old website.

Without further adieu, here is the list of places in and around Austin where I’ve shot weddings or other events (in no particular order):

·         Green Pastures

·         Canyon Of The Eagles

·         St. Albert The Great Catholic Church

·         Renaissance Hotel

·         Zilker Botanical Garden

·         Vintage Villas

·         Bella Notte

·         Balcones Country Club

·         Kindred Oaks Estates

·         Hotel Valencia (San Antonio)

·         Laguna Gloria

·         Casa Blanca

·         St. Ignatius Martyr Catholic Church

·         High Pointe Baptist Church

·         Angel Springs

·         Avery Ranch

·         Driskill Hotel

·         St. Paul Lutheran Church (Serbin, TX)

·         Marriot La Frontera

·         Mercury Hall

·         St. Luke’s on the Lake Episcopal Church

·         Lakeway Activity Center

·         Emmaus Catholic Church (Lakeway, Texas)

·         Transfiguration Greek Orthodox Church

·         Lakeside Pavillion (Marble Falls, Texas)

·         Villa Antonia

·         SPJST Hall (Taylor, Texas)

·         Spicewood Vineyards (Spicewood, Texas)

·         St. Thomas Moore Church

·         Zilker Clubhouse

·         Ruby Ranch Lodge

·         Santa Cruz Catholic Church

·         Emmanuel Lutheran Church (Killeen, Texas)

·         United Christian Church

·         Cool River Cafe

·         Bethany United Methodist Church

·         Austin Hindu Temple

·         Saint John Vianney Catholic Church

·         Star Ranch Golf Club

·         Star Hill Ranch

·         St Mary’s Church (Fredericksburg, Texas)

·         Luckenbach Dancehall

·         Chapel Dulcinea

·         Mt. Sinai Church

·         The French Legation

·         Sons of Hermann Hall (Giddings, Texas)

·         Central Christian Church

·         Chateau Bellevue – Austin Woman’s Club

·         Crown Plaza Hotel

·         Clark Mansion

·         Memorial Baptist Church (Taylor, Texas)

·         First Presbyterian Church (Georgetown, Texas)

·         Onion Creek Country Club

·         St. Mary’s Our Lady Of The Lake Church (Lago Vista, Texas)

·         K-Bar Oaks Clubhouse

·         Berry Creek Country Club

·         Holy Trinity Church (Jarrell, Texas)

·         Steiner Ranch

·         Simply Romantic Wedding Chapel

·         Crown Plaza Hotel

Black & White Bible


Green Pastures Restaurant Wedding

Green Pastures

Green Pastures Mansion at Night

I know that I say it a lot, but I have a new favorite wedding venue in Austin: Green Pastures Restaurant. Now let me tell you why…

Green Pastures Restaurant (also known just as “Green Pastures”) is beautiful inside and out, it’s charming, it’s staff are the friendliest (really!) I’ve ever met and it’s quiet.

First, this historic home which hosts weddings, meetings and other events has been around for a long time. It was built in 1894 by Dr. E.W. Herndon. The legendary attorney John Henry Faulk (for whom the Faulk Library is named) resided there, as did a number of other families throughout the years.

Green Pastures Restaurant Sign

Green Pastures Historical Marker

Historical Marker at Green Pastures Restaurant

In 1946 the Koock Family turned the home into a restaurant and today it’s still known world-wide for it’s 5 star cuisine and service.

The website sums things up:

“Green Pastures began its 60-year tradition of elegant dining rather quietly. But friends told friends, and the word spread. Austin’s neighborhood retreat quickly became known citywide as the place to enjoy sumptuous gourmet dishes, fine wine and true Southern hospitality.” – Green Pastures Website (www.greenpasturesrestaurant.com)

Not only can you enjoy fantastic food, but you’ll also feel like you’re on a southern plantation. The home is spacious inside and fitted with patios and covered porches overlooking acres of green trees, grass, gazebos, gardens and more. A number of peacocks roam the estate, including two rare male albino peacocks.

The bride and groom that I photographed at Green Pastures on wedding day got married outdoors, just behind the Green Pastures Home, beneath the shade of Oak trees. Since it was a little warm, as May and June in Texas frequently are, the reception was held inside the main ballroom of the house. There were many opportunities for great photos, such as when the bride descended the stairs in her gown, formal photos of the bride and groom (including the peacock!), the military sabers ceremony (also known as the Sabers Arch) as the bride and groom entered the reception as a couple for the first time and much more…

Bride Looking At Groom

Bride Tries To Sneak a Peek at Her Groom

Bride Descends The Staircase at Green Pastures Restaurant

See more photos from the Green Pastures Wedding at Martin Whitton’s Website: http://www.mwwphoto.com/Weddings/greenpastures/

Father escorts bride at Green Pastures

Bride prepares for wedding ceremony at Green Pastures

…………………

Martin Whitton is a passionate wedding photojournalist who lives and works in Austin, Texas. Email your questions to him at martin@mwwphoto.com.


Our New Kitties!

I can’t help but share with the world our two newest family members: Orion and Apollo

Our new kitties

Apollo (left) and Orion (right) - 2 new family members!

We are delighted to have these two little devils as members of our home and as playmates for our son. Apollo is smoky gray and was the smallest kitten in the litter. Orion is peachy, white and much larger but from the same litter. They love to play fight all day long with each other. They also like to wait until my son is asleep and then ambush him together. We put little bell collars on them so we can hear them playing or running anywhere in the house. They are a lot of fun and have completely different personalities. Apollo is quiet and lovable. He enjoys quiet time and sitting with us on the couch to watch tv and relax. Orion on the other hand, likes to constantly be busy hunting or playing.

We brought Orion home a few weeks before Apollo because Apollo was too sickly and small to come home with us at the time. While Apollo stayed behind with temporary foster parents, Orion got comfortable with us at home, constantly eating, playing and growing. When we finally were able to bring Apollo home, who was significantly smaller than Orion, we worried that he would feel inferior in a new place with his bigger, stronger brother. But Apollo doesn’t let anyone take advantage of his small size and stature. He asserts himself like a bigger cat and shows his bigger brother up all the time with sneak attacks from atop the couch and from behind corners.

But of course both kittens have to watch their back as our son, Roman stumbles around near them, constantly trying to pick them up to carry them both and give them crushing little boy bear hugs. If we had a “cute” meter in our house it would be sounding off 24/7! :) We are all definitely one big happy family now…

Apollo the kitty

Apollo takes a break from attacking Mica's necklace

Orion the kitty

Orion poses for a photo inbetween wrestling matches


Save The Date! Austin’s Progressive Round Robin Wedding Tour – CANCELED!

Update: This event for 2010 has been CANCELED! Check back in 2011…

Austin Americana Studio in conjunction with Martin Whitton Photography is proud to share with you the charity event of the year! 25 couples getting married in Austin on the same day! You are invited….

SAVE THE DATE!

Austin is about to celebrate a VERY unusual wedding.

The Wedding Industry Outreach is hosting the first ever Progressive Round Robin Wedding Tour, and YOU are invited to witness 5 couples getting married AT THE SAME TIME.  While one set of couples is getting married in one area of town, another set of 5 couples will be getting married at 4other locations across the city.  That’s 25couples!!

Mark your calendar for
August 22, 2010!

Be a BRIDE or be a GUEST,
hitch a ride, and we’ll do the rest!!

Make a difference in YOUR village!
Details are on the website, our
www.weddingindustryoutreach.com

A Wedding for $500.00???  How is that possible?
Don’t have time to plan all the details?
Don’t have the budget to have all the bells and whistles?
Getting married for a second time?
Want to be a part of a very special way to give back to your community?

The Progressive Round Robin Wedding, sponsored by the Wedding Industry Outreach, is looking for couples who would like to make a difference in their community and at the same time, have the wedding of their dreams.
Cost?  $500.00 (100% of which is donated to the charity of your choice)

What you get:
Your own photographer, ceremony venue, cake cutting, light appetizers and toast at a second venue, and reception complete with dancing, bouquet, garter toss and get away at a third venue, wedding cake, floral bouquet, appetizers, videographer, shuttle, champagne, ALL completely donated by The Wedding Industry Supporters below!

A Wedding for $500.00???  How is that possible?
Don’t have time to plan all the details?
Don’t have the budget to have all the bells and whistles?
Getting married for a second time?
Want to be a part of a very special way to give back to your community?

The Progressive Round Robin Wedding, sponsored by the Wedding Industry Outreach, is looking for couples who would like to make a difference in their community and at the same time, have the wedding of their dreams.
Cost?  $500.00 (100% of which is donated to the charity of your choice)

Vendor Supporters:

Ame Soeur Events – Donna Aleman

Angelic Strings – Belinda and Michael Morris
Austin Wedding Jookbox – Beverly and Stephen Lee
Austin’s World of Rentals – George Bates
Austin Photo Booth – Martin Aleman
Angel Springs Events Center – Anthony and Norma Beissner
Austin Wedding Day – Rita and Don Nowakowski, Cheryl Ann
Austin Wedding Guide – Bob Lowman
Arbor Pointe Event Center – Pat Ott
Alamo Photographics – Veronika and Vlad Jirasek
Altared Weddings – Ryan

Beyond the Big Day – Valerie Williams
Blue Note Bakery – Angie Giles
Bruce Covill Photography
Bill Bastas Photography
Bouquets of Austin – Stephanie Barro

Cakes by Kathy – Kathy Hunt
Catering By Mopsie – Robert and Mopsie Cavo
Chateau on the Creek – Kathy Hunt
Complete Music – Scott and Becca Valley
Courtney’s Catering – Mark Dowling
Cedar Park Convention and Visitor’s Bureau – Aimee Whitley George

D & C Entertainment – Coleen Yantis
Dagar’s Catering – Kathryn Dagar

Elite Events – Kathie Millen
Epic Productions – Clint Choate
Eudora’s Cuisine – Catherine McDargh and Jo Terrell
Ever After Images – Debra and Ray Malkiewicz

Flora Fetish – Carrie Beamer
Fountain Glenn – Jon Bradley and Jack Graham
Fairy Godmother Foundation – Keri Byer

The Gold Coat Inn – Catherine McDargh and Jo Terrell
Getaway Travel – Suzy Secora

Hill Country Events – Amy Mullins
Hollywood Sounds – David Combs
Hilton Garden Inn – Sarah Lindstead
Hooked Photography – Michael Hooks

The Inn at Wild Rose Hall – Morgan Jackson

Jmark Photography – Mark and Vickie Cowling
Jacqueline Platt – Harpist

Jeff Loftin Photography
Judge Jon Wisser

Kelly Cameron Photography

Leave the Details to Me – Keri Wootton

Maris Malone Calderon

Memory Lane Events Center – Thalia Morgan
McMurtrie Farms – Chelsea McMurtrie
My Power 2 – Michelle Conner
Matt Montalvo Photography
Martin Whitton Photography
Mercury Hall – Herb
Marquee Rentals – Damon Holditch

Nelson Jetter Photography

Neil Holman – Hotels for Hope

Officiant – Connie Larson
Officiant – Joey Wilson
Officiant – Vicki Wood
OnPoint Communications – Alicia Terry

Premiere Party Central – Delores Crum
Plantation House – Luanna and Norris Cole
The Photo Shoppe – Chris Howard
Photohouse Films – Will Herrington
Parkcrest Floral

Rebel with a Camera – Travis and Christina Gagnon

Say Cheese Photobooth – Todd Darby
Simon Lee Bakery – Judy Le and Jad Simon
Sterling Affairs – Larry Kille
Studio 563 – Andy Peterson, Sean Wray
Stubbs Staffing – Robin Plett
Southwest Party Productions

Texas Old Town – Larry Kruzie, Danny German
Texas Wedding Mall – Travis White

Villa Antonia – Toni Sharp/ Michaja Tate
Villa St. Clair – Kim Sinclair

Wild Bunches Floral – Janet Morgan

ZuZu’s Petals Floral – Steve and Elaine Lincoln


Town Lake Photography

Town Lake (aka, “Lady Bird Lake”) is one of Austin’s most precious resources and one of her not-so-hidden gems. And it’s one of my favorite outdoor locations to take brides and grooms for engagement photography sessions!

 

 

Town Lake Map - Courtesy of Texas Parks & Wildlife

Downloadable PDF trail map here.

Some of the wonderful features offered by the lake are its convenience (located in the heart of Austin near downtown), beauty, cleanliness (clean water, air, environment, etc.), trails for hiking and walking, open space and so much more. I like it for all those reasons and because it makes my photographed subjects (usually newly engaged couples) feel relaxed and somewhat connected to nature, a feeling which manifests in the photos.

 

The lake is named after Lady Bird Johnson who was chair of the Town Lake Beautification Project, a community effort to create hike and bike trails and to plant flowering trees along the Colorado River in Austin, Texas. Mrs. Johnson is also the founder of the National Wildflower Research Center, a non-profit environmental organization formed in 1982.

Town Lake (now Lady Bird Lake), downstream and south of the Highland Lakes on the Colorado River, was formed in 1960 by the construction of Longhorn Dam. The surface area covered by the lake is over 400 acres and is owned and operated by the City of Austin in cooperation with the Lower Colorado River Authority. It was created by the City of Austin for the purpose of being a cooling pond for the Holly Street Power Plant.

 

 

Beneath a tree at Lady Bird Lake

Engagement Photo of Couple On Town Lake

 

In the early 1970s the Town Lake Beautification Project was a recommendation made to the Austin City Council in commemoration of the upcoming United States Bicentennial Celebration which would occur in 1976. In 1971 when Roy Butler became Mayor of Austin, he began working with Lady Bird Johnson to form what would later become the Town Lake Beautification Committee. Mrs. Johnson was a primary contributor to the effort of improving the then “Town Lake”, which had become polluted with chemicals from area industry, littered with trash and had been left derelict without major oversight. In 1971, with the assistance of members including Emma Long, Jim Pfluger and Mrs. Roy Butler, the Town Lake Beautification Committee was officially off and running.

With the support of the local community and with new dams in place on the Highland Lakes, the sole purpose and goal of the project was to beautify the banks of Town Lake with trees and trails for Austinites to enjoy. A $2.5 million dollar Capital Improvement Project bond for the years 1975-1977, approved by tax payers provided funding for the undertaking.  Town Lake Metropolitan Park resulted as a dividend of the committee’s hard work and foresight – covering an estimated 5 miles of the north and south shores of the lake. The park includes numerous sports parks, outdoor event venues (Auditorium Shores), boat/kayak/canoe rental locations, swimming pools, picnic tables with grills, miles of running trails, pedestrian bridges (one currently under construction), restrooms, Butler Park (on the south side), many varieties of trees, look out points and more.

 

 

Engaged Couple at Town Lake Bridge

Couple posing for engagement session at Town Lake

 

More History from Wikipedia:

By the 1970s, Town Lake and its shoreline had become neglected, polluted and overgrown with weeds.[2] KTBC referred to the lake as an “eyesore.”[2] During his two terms in office (1971–1975), the Mayor of Austin Roy Butler partnered with former United States First Lady Lady Bird Johnson to establish the Town Lake Beautification Committee with the purpose of transforming the Town Lake area into a useable recreation area.[2] A system of hike and bike trails was built along the shoreline of the lake in the 1970s, establishing (what was then known as) Town Lake as a major recreational attraction for the city of Austin.

One of the most popular features of Metropolitan Park are the miles of hike and bike trails which run along both sides of Town Lake and allow runners and bikers a continuous exercise trail with the best view in town. Living a healthy lifestyle (including regular outdoor exercise) is considered to be in vogue in Austin, as is being seen on the hike and bike trail around Town Lake. Even celebrities like Luke Wilson, Lance Armstrong and our own Texas Governor, Rick Perry are rumored to be runners on Town Lake.

Many people know that the Colorado River is the primary source of water for Town Lake; however, there are also natural artesian springs near Deep Eddy which also act as a source of water for the lake. Today these natural springs are covered by the lake but still flow and can be seen by boat. Only sailing, rowing, kayaking, canoeing and other non-motorized water sports are permitted on Town Lake. Motorized craft of any kind (other than those specially authorized by the City of Austin are not allowed on any part of Town Lake.

 

Town Lake officially became “Lady Bird Lake” in July 2007 when Austin’s City Council unanimously affirmed the resolution.

 

 

engagement photo session

Couple seated near Town Lake's Lamar Street Bridge

 

(more…)


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