Looking for a great day trip out of Austin? Look no further…We had so much fun on our previous outing to Rockdale that we decided to make another trek to pick strawberries. This time we traveled from Austin to Marble Falls, to a little place called “Sweet Berry Farms”. Sweet Berry Farms has strawberries (and other fruit/vegetables – depending on timing), as well as a petting zoo with goats and donkeys, face painting and a barrel train! You can not only pick your own strawberries, but you can also purchase jams, honey and lots of other home grown/home made foods. We had a great time and can report that it’s worth the trip to Marble Falls!
I always wonder if my son will be interested in the things that I love. In one way I hope that he will; but in another way I know that I need to respect whatever path he chooses. Tonight, I came home after a stressful day feeling a little drained, hoping to just watch a movie with my 2-year-old son, Roman. As I sat down at my desk to check my email, he brought me the photo tripod. When I asked him what he was doing he replied, “working”. I unfolded the tripod and showed him how it worked and explained that the camera sits on top of the tripod. He repeated what I said in his own terms (like two-year-olds do) and then he looked me in the eyes and said, “get the camera”. To a photographer, that is a very meaningful thing. For a whole second I became excited and felt weightless, almost like I could fly. So I got out the camera, planted it on top of the tripod and proceeded to show him how to use it. He had a great time snapping photos of Daddy, and I started snapping photos of him. I know it’s a silly story, but he really made my day by becoming interested in my passion. Some day he may completely lose interest in photography, but we had this moment, and to me it was timeless and as long as my memory works, I’ll have it!
Just a block or so away from “The Drag” (Guadalupe Street) in Central Austin, Texas is a spacious Victorian home called Allan House. It was built in 1883 by Scottish immigrants to Austin and is apparently one of the few remaining Victorian homes in greater Austin. Although it’s no longer occupied by residents, Allan House now hosts numerous events throughout the week, including wedding ceremonies, receptions, bridal showers, rehearsal dinners, and special events.
Recently, I photographed a wedding at Allan House and really enjoyed the venue. Staff were on hand to make sure everything went smoothly, including servers, bartender and a manager/coordinator. And although the day was a little warm and muggy, inside Allan House things were cool, thanks to the one modern amenity that probably didn’t exist back in 1883 when it was built: air conditioning.
As the Allan House website says,
” the venue is ideally suited for weddings, receptions, corporate functions, and charitable events. The gated grounds include a charming stone patio with native Texas blossoms under a canopy of century old majestic oak trees.”
And as a wedding photographer who has photographed many wedding venues in Austin, I couldn’t agree more. There are multiple levels to the home, several of which open to patios overlooking a garden patio – which means extra space for guests and plenty of room to spread your party/event – not to mention really great views of the party and partial views of south and west Austin.
The outdoor patio and yard make you feel like you’re on a southern plantation home, with greenery encompassing the fenced, rot-iron gates that surround Allan House. Large trees abound, creating a beautiful, comfortable shaded area for guests to lounge. Although this venue is in the middle of a busy city, you’d never know it and you instead feel like you are out in the quiet countryside.
Allan House Visiting hours: Monday – Friday, 10 am- 6 pm by appointment.
Address: 1104 San Antonio Street (across the street from the Travis County Courthouse). Contact: 512.478.8653 or email here.
Last night while I was trying to sleep (after doing some online marketing research) I had a flash of genius. I realized that although I frequently blog about helpful topics and provide information for Austin brides, I’m not sharing all of my wedding experience with brides in one of the newest and most popular avenues: video. So I’ve decided to make a series of videos, which I’ll be soon sharing on my blog with brides and grooms about wedding topics I have experience with – and I’m excited to share everything that I know with brides. Some of the information I’ve covered before in past blogs, so I’ll try to condense my wedding tips and suggestions about wedding photography and all things wedding to something small and manageable. I’m looking forward to sharing some of my experience with new brides and I look forward to the information exchange! See you soon (or you’ll be seeing me!) – Martin
This morning I had the pleasure of photographing another beautiful Zilker Botanical Garden Wedding here in sunny Austin, Texas. I’ve done enough July and August weddings in Central Texas to appreciate the “mild” weather that this April has brought us. Today was partly cloudy in the high 80’s/low 90’s and luckily most of Zilker Botanical Garden in shaded. We were also lucky enough to have relatively cool breezes blowing through the garden, which I’ll admit didn’t prevent sweating, but did make the day bearable and somewhat enjoyable. Here’s a sneak peak of a couple of Zilker Botanical Garden Wedding Photos from today’s Austin wedding. Enjoy!
Last week my wife, my son and I packed into the car and took a road trip out of Austin to find some strawberries. We’re all really big fans of the strawberry, which we think not only tastes delicious but is also loaded with Vitamin C. My wife had heard that there were a number of pick-your-own fruit farms around Austin, so we selected a farm in Rockdale, Texas (approximately 1 hour from Austin) called Star Farmers Market. We had a great time there picking strawberries, watching the owners make strawberry jam and chatting. The size and quality of the strawberries exceeded our expectations, as did the friendliness of the staff (we met Amy, who was super nice and helpful). We were very glad that we made the trip from Austin to visit Star Farmers Market! And I know Roman had a great time too.
Here’s a sneak peak of one of Austin Americana’s most recent downtown engagement photo sessions with a cute couple who are getting married later this year. Like many subjects I have the pleasure of working with, they were lots of fun to photograph, frequently smiling and laughing, and requiring very little posing on my part. They wanted to add some excitement to their photos and so they dressed things up Texas style with boots for her and a tie for him. They also were dying to do a “jumping” shot in the street downtown. Who doesn’t like a little adventure and danger in their life?!
Update: See more photos from the downtown engagement session HERE.