May your walls know JOY

My absolute favorite photo sessions are lifestyle, in-home sessions! They capture a slice of that day-to-day life, your family rhythm and your own personal style. 

I met Kara when I was 18 at Texas A&M University. We were both architecture majors and had nearly every class together, as well as some of those sleepless architecture school nights. I had the joy of watching her and Chris fall in love. It started with snagging that seat next to her...on the regular. Then there were the roses marking the day that this was clearly NOT just friends. Fast forward nearly ten years later and they are welcoming Baby Boy #2. They have been the dearest friends to me over the years and I couldn't have been more excited to take these photos for them. 

Here's a little glimpse of life with two little boys and a golden doodle:

May your walls know joy; May every room hold laughter, and every window open to great possibility.
— MARY ANNE RADMACHER-HERSHEY

Fall Photos :: Christmas Cards

Fall is by far my favorite time of year! I don't know if it's the crisp air, the fall fashion or the reprieve from the summer heat, but my soul feels a renewal.  It's also the busiest time of year for my little business as Christmas Card photos are in full gear. The best part of this business is building relationships. I love this time to connect with old friends and make new friends. In December thing start slowing down as Christmas Cards are in the mail. I sure do love opening the mailbox to find a KFP Christmas Card! 

Here are some highlights from this past Fall!

And then the cards start coming! YAY! 

And then the cards start coming! YAY! 

making a home photography studio

I love, love, love my home studio! It's nothing fancy. It only took a Saturday to put together and I use it all the time. I used to think that my home studio had to have beautiful wood floor, had to be extra spacious and have a large closet where I could organize all my blankets, props and equipment. While I still dream of having that studio, I have made the space that I have work. And it works great! Don't think you need to the perfect space to get a studio set up. 

I chose the room in our house that gets the most sunlight. This is the key factor! I took the screen off the window to allow maximum light in the room. I've found that the light in the room is best between 11am and 3pm on sunny days. This is what it looked like before. See, nothing fancy! 

I made a trip to a Benjamin Moore store and picked up some paint [Chantilly Lace] and started painting. White paint can be hard to pick out because it is often has an underlying tone - a blue, yellow or red tone. I love Chantilly Lace because it was the most neutral white paint color that I could find. 

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I put a full size bed on the ground and covered it with white quilt. It's a quilt from target and is machine washable. I can wash it in between each session. Having the bed on the ground is great for being able to get a variety of angles. 

Here is a list of some of the other items I use in the studio: 

- LimoStudio Backdrop Stand

- Set of Heavy Duty Spring Clamps 

- Large white blanket to drape over the backdrop stand

- Newborn Bean Bag (I made it myself with Vinyl Fabric, Beanbag Filling, and some Velcro)

- Various Pillows

- Fig Tree (I love the dimension it adds against the white wall)

These are some of the photos I have taken in the studio: 

Doggone cute photos.

Having a dog child myself [Finley the Golden Retriever], I absolutely love when clients ask if they can bring their dogs! Brittney, John, Scraggs, Dexter and I headed out to Bull Creek Park to snap these fall photos. 

Here are a few of my tips for taking that perfect pooch photo: 

1) Ask your client to bring the doggies favorite treats & toys. Finley's treat of choice is cheese. A toy with a squeaker in it works well to get the dog's attention. 

2) Having someone stand behind you and make noise / squeak toys is SO helpful! My sweet husband tagged along for this shoot to help me out. 

3) Pick a location that is not crowded / consider time of day. Early sunrise shoots work well for pet photos since there aren't as many people out and about at parks yet. 

John + Brittney, thank you for letting me take this photos of you and your sweet doggies. Remember, you can never have too many photos of your dogs, because let's be real folks, they are family. 

And finally, I couldn't leave you without one photo of Finley Fassetta. Cheers!

And finally, I couldn't leave you without one photo of Finley Fassetta. Cheers!

55' Chevy

This is my brother's family, Brian and Kate and their two little boys. They are one BRAVE family. They are in the process of adopting Baby Girl Lydia from China. After four nephews (on both sides), that we love SO much, my husband Bennett and I are just over the moon about about a having a niece. Be ready for some bows and tutu photos, come the new year.

I have learned so much about adoption through their story and it is so incredibly beautiful. They live out what they believe, LOVE. They believe in being the father to the fatherless, being the hands and feet of Jesus. 

This 55' Chevy Bel Air is part of Kate's family story. Growing up in small town Texas, Her dad and brother rebuilt it. They spent weekends pulling it apart and putting it back together. They entered car shows and won. Brian and Kate drove it away from their wedding on their wedding day. And now Kate's family is auctioning the car to raise money to bring Baby Lydia home and help with her medical expenses. I don't know how much you know about international adoption, but it is pricey, especially if you are open to a baby with medical needs. 

Want to know more about the silent auction or their adoption story!? Check out www.loveforlydia.com. The car will be sold via a sealed bid auction. There is a bid form on their website and the specific details of the auction. The minimum bid will be $25,000 and the auction will end August 31, 2017. 

I am so honored to be a part of their story through these photos. Counting the days until Baby L comes home! 

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Downtown & Flower Crowns

I had the best time with lovely Kimbell on this lifestyle, portrait shoot. We chose Zilker Park because of its versatility offering both an urban and park setting. Kimbell wore a gorgeous burgundy dress that was the perfect choice to create this airy, woodlands feel. 

A few things to keep in mind when prepping for your shoot: 

1) Wear something that makes you feel like YOU. It's important to pick an outfit that is your style and you feel comfortable in. Keep your location in mind - if it's a park, you might consider a pop of color or a pattern to add a dynamic element. If the shoot is in a downtown area, you might consider neutrals or solids to not compete with the surrounding signs, lights and urban culture. I love consulting on outfits, so don't hesitate to reach out before you shoot and we can brainstorm.

2) Consider bringing a prop! I always love when clients bring props like Kimbell's sunflower crown. Is there something meaningful to you or your family? My husband and I brought a canoe to our engagement photos, because our first official date was boating on the same lake. Every time I walk by those photos in our house, it takes me back to our beginnings.  

Prop Ideas: balloons, flowers, wooden letters or numbers, a blanket, chair, guitar, suitcases, pack a picnic, pendant/streamers, Chinese lanterns, sign, books, coffee mugs, chalkboard, hats, confetti, & sign, pumpkins and plaid (in the fall), vintage car, bicycles. 

Jack + Milo + Bugs, Sticks and Rocks

Let boys be boys. All they need is a tree to climb, a bug to catch, or a park to run in for hours of endless entertainment. Jack and Milo and I had a blast getting some fresh air on this woodsy photoshoot. We wished on dandelions, spun around, laughed, explored and investigated. 

What a great reminder to get outside this summer! Sometimes it's the littles that know best. 

What are your favorite outdoor spots in Austin? These are our top 5: 

1) Lady Bird Lake - This is one of my favorite places in the entire city. Walk, run, bike, people watch, take the dog, the kids or both. This. is. Austin. You'll get a great view of the city, Zilker Park and the river. There's easy parking on the street by Austin High School or under the Mopac bridge. 

2) Mozart's Coffee Roasters - Grab your favorite dessert (there are so many to choose from) and coffee beverage and watch the sunset over Lake Austin on the patio. This spot has a special place in my heart - growing up here it was where I went for late night desserts with my high school girlfriends. Who knew back then that one day I would meet my husband here! 

3) Our Neighborhood - I've lived North, South, Central and everywhere in between in this City. One thing I love is exploring right where I live. You might be surprised that there's a lovely neighborhood park right around the corner (that's where this photoshoot happened!). Maybe it's putting a picnic table in your front yard and chatting with your neighbors. I love finding a few spots right around the corner that are easy to get when you are tired after work. I'm always surprised how refreshing a little time outdoors in the evening can be. 

4) Mount Bonnell - Grab your favorite plaid blanket, pack a picnic and take a short hike up Mount Bonnell. You can see for miles and miles in every direction. I find myself so often zoomed into the tiniest details of life. I love these places that make you zoom out and literally see the bigger picture. I highly recommend. 

5) Turkey Creek Trail at Emma Long Park - I love this trail for many reasons, but mainly because I am a crazy dog momma and our golden retriever Finley can hike with us off leash. We did this trail last fall while the leaves were changing. It's easy to forget you are in the middle of a city out here. It is just out 2222 off City Park Road. 

Milo + Jack, thank you for the reminder to spend more time outside. I hope all of your dandelion wishes come true.

Eat Donuts for Breakfast

I absolutely LOVED this lifestyle photoshoot. It's these shoots that capture REAL LIFE that make me feel alive. The ones that capture life as it is: crumbs on the table, chocolate on little faces and maybe a little bit of spilt milk. Add some matching striped PJs, spring tulips and some deep belly laughs for some framers.

These little moments in life sometimes just pass us by, another trip to the grocery store, another meal, more dishes to do...There is more. May each one of you embrace what may seem like the day-to-day today. Hold on to those moments, because theses "day-to-day" moments add together to create something far, far bigger. 

Love for Lydia

I couldn't be more excited to share the news that my brother and sister-in-law are in the process of adopting Baby Girl Lydia from China. They asked me to take some photos to capture the process. Of course, I jump at any chance I get to photograph my nephews. We can't wait to bring Baby Lydia home to Texas and I couldn't be more thrilled to be getting a niece. Read more about their journey at www.loveforlydia.com