There’s a nice little park in Round Rock, just off of IH-35 and 620 called Memorial Park that makes a great location for photos. It has lots of great elements: lots of trees, a small lake, a waterfall, ducks, a wooden/iron pedestrian bridge, big rocks (“the” round rock in the cities name) and more. And it makes a great alternative to driving into Central Austin.
Last week I met a couple at Memorial Park to capture some “newlywed” photos. I call the photos “newlywed” because the couple I photographed have been married for a short time. Normally I photograph lots of couples who are newly engaged and soon to be married, so this was something new. The neat part of this story is Memorial Park, our photo location, is significant to the couple because this is where they originally got engaged!
I met them just before sunset and we were able to capture some beautiful, orange light that can only be experienced before a sunset. The weather this November has been unseasonably warm and I’ve had lots of fantastic weather for outdoor shoots. This was a great one…
I frequently get requests by my photography clients to “Photoshop” – in or out something related to a photograph. This could be a bad tan, skin blemishes, teethe whitening or any number of other issues that can make people self conscious about their photograph. There are definitely some amazing things that you can do with Adobe’s famous Photoshop software, but my studio doesn’t use it. We use Adobe Lightroom – a powerful photo editor and manager for photographers who take lots of photos, especially for wedding photographers like myself. Although Lightroom doesn’t have the breadth of options provided in Photoshop, it still allows photographers to make amazing edits to photographs. Recently I photographed individuals for portrait sessions where the photograph would be featured in highly circulated publications (read: magazine). That means that my clients not only wanted to look their best, but they wanted to look even better – and that’s where the magic of photo editing comes in.
Originally, when I visualized writing this blog I wanted to talk about the specifics of what I did during the editing process and show the before and after photos of my clients. But there is such a marked, visual improvement when comparing the original photo and the processed photo that I decided against showing the original, mostly to avoid being flogged by my clients – which is a good thing! Why? Well, first of all I don’t enjoy getting flogged and not getting flogged is always a good thing. Second, I’ve noticed that such impressive improvements in a persons portrait always brings about smiles and a sense of well being in the client. Everyone wants to look and feel 10 years younger, so when I can provide a little help in that department I’m always glad to do so.
Like I said, these are the “after” photos, subsequent to the editing process. I was very pleased with the outcome and I hope that my clients were too.
This past week I had the pleasure of photographing a brand new life: a baby girl! It’s not often that I get the opportunity to photograph babies, especially now that my son is getting into the toddler years, so I savor the joy and the challenge of photographing a little one.
Baby photography is challenging and fun for a lot of reasons. It can be challenging because babies are unpredictable and volatile. On my drive over to my shoot I wondered if my 3 week old subject would even be awake for our infant photo session, since babies of her age typically sleep all the time. But to my excitement she was awake and wide-eyed for almost our entire 1 hour photo session. Another concern was crying. We all know that babies cry and it’s something that parents can’t necessarily control, sometimes even with consolation and TLC. But again, baby came through with flying colors, as did mom and dad for being there to care for her every time she felt like crying.
Our photo session went off great. Baby was awake and alert for most of the session and how hard can it be to photograph the love and affection between parents and their newborn? For me it seemed easy and it was a rewarding experience. I hope that mom and dad enjoy these baby photos as much as I do.
My son is a huge fan of the Disney movie “Cars”, and he frequently loves to play in the family cars at home. I shot some photos of him inside my car, pushing buttons, honking the horn and more. He just can’t get enough of cars!
Austin Americana completed another successful engagement photo session at Zilker Botanical Gardens here in Austin this week. Thanks go out to my gracious subjects, Jen & David, who I met through DealOn and who’ll be getting married in May. Congratulations guys!
There will be lots more photos coming soon as a result of our successful promotional event that was through our friends at DealOn, including at least one wedding, multiple engagement sessions and even a newborn session – all coming soon! How exciting! Stay tuned….
In the Texas Hill Country about 35 miles due west of Austin (just west of Lake Travis) is a quiet, rural area that is home to Spicewood Vineyard. If you’re looking for a weekend trip (who can beat wine tasting?) or a place to host a great event like a wedding, then this is the place. Spicewood Vineyard stands out as an award-winning creator of wines with a Texas taste.
When I first visited the place (after a little winding, hill country driving) I was greeted by the friendly owners who welcomed me into the main tasting room. They were eager to share their home grown wines and talk about Texas wine. Honestly, I’m not very knowledgeable about Texas wines, or any wines for that matter, but I still enjoyed the conversation and the opportunity to try several different vinos.
Eventually, after some lively conversation and fun, we got around to talking about the real reason I was visiting: I would be photographing an international wedding ceremony there in a few weeks. I was whisked away for a tour of the barrel room and the grounds, including the lovely ballroom and vineyards. The whole place is beautiful and was a fantastic choice for such an important day.
If you imagine rows of green, viney grapes on a sprawling Texas farm in the Hill Country, then you’ve imagined Spicewood Vineyard. The grounds are beautifully manicured and well kept. The tasting room and barrel room where wine is kept is next to a beautiful ballroom. The ballroom is spacious and roomy with ample light and a bar, featuring beautiful stained concrete floors, a concert piano and lots of other details you can only appreciate in person.
My bride and groom married there a few weeks later. Their ceremony was a marriage of world culture and varied beliefs. She was Chinese and he was Jewish. They both loved to travel and to learn. The couple, together with their families, brought both cultures together in a way that you could hardly imagine. There was amazing cuisine, photographs, art, decorations, dress and more from all over the world. All told the event was a great success and was another memorable and special wedding that I was privileged enough to photograph.
If you would like to visit Spicewood Vineyards for a tasting or to see the facilities you can check out their website here, or make a short trip just outside of Austin. Information is below.
From the website: Wines from Spicewood Vineyards are available not only at the vineyard but also in Texas stores and restaurants. The winery features a large indoor tasting room and outdoor pavilion. The large underground barrel room can accommodate 400 barrels.
The winery is open for tours and tasting Wednesday through Sunday. In addition the winery also offers facilities for special events such as weddings, receptions and meetings.
Tasting Room Hours are:
Wednesday through Saturday 10 to 6
Sunday 12 to 5
Monday and Tuesday by appointment only.
Spicewood Vineyard, 1419 Burnet County Road 409, Spcewood, Texas