Meet Diana. This girl is the complete package. Not only is she a UTA Nursing Student, she is on the dean’s list and still finds time to participate in her sorority, work a side hustle job and donate her time to various charities here in Dallas-Fort Worth. She’s my coworker and more importantly, my friend and I am so thankful that she came out for a day of Portraits at the Fort Worth Botanical Gardens.
This little latina has been in front of the camera for me before but this would be a little different. She was 18 and graduating when I first took her Senior Portraits. Now, she is 21 and on the brink of a new and exciting career in the healthcare industry.
We met on one of the first hot days of spring here in North Texas for an afternoon of wandering around the gardens. We really couldn’t have picked a better day. All of the spring flora were in full bloom and this magical place would serve as the perfect backdrop for our shoot.
After a few outfit changes, we made our way to the fountains beneath the rose garden and a short walk through a shaded area for a few posed shots of this lovely lady in her adorable polka dotted skirt and cream lace crop top.
Though it was super bright out and the sun was beating down on the garden, we managed to find some shade and relax beneath a gazebo for a little bit. Thank goodness we both had brought water bottles. It was getting steamy out that afternoon.
Once Diana had changed into her red crop top, I knew it was time to head to the cactus garden. Really though, her gorgeous latina skin tone, that fiesta red top and the massive cacti were all screaming for a little camera time and I knew the images would pop ever so perfectly. I love the way these images came out. They look so very southwestern and the shadows from the sun make for an exquisite composition against her perfectly coiffed dark hair.
We were nearing the end of the garden paths when we stumbled upon this gorgeous little tree with blooming white flowers. I am so glad we stopped. I loved the dramatic flare of the sun shining, the white petals against her dark hair and the serious look on her face. These ended up being some of my favorite images from the day.
Next stop, Doc’s Record Store in Fort Worth. If you haven’t been, it’s past time you check it out. My buddy, Jenkins Boyd, just opened his new shop and it is chalk full of records, vintage goodies and antiques from all over. To boot, the outside has some pretty amazing graffiti murals. We headed there for a few quick shots against the colorful background.
I had so much fun hanging out with my girl Diana and I cannot wait to see where her journey will take her next. This girls’ future is so bright and I just know that whatever she chooses to tackle, she is going to kill it.
To book your unique Portrait Session, shoot Angelina (that’s me) an email at firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss your vision and our collection investments! I cannot wait to hear what you have in mind!
Hey guys! I am so pumped to share this session with you because this sweet girl is literally one of my favorite people on Earth! Her little hippie heart had a vision of capturing portraits while being completely surrounded by flowers and you could say, she chose the right person for the job, Ya’ll, Meet Hannah!
Hannah is a young girl attending the University of Texas at Arlington for her Engineering degree and I could not be more proud of her. I met Hannah a few years back when she started working at Piccolo Mondo (my other side gig) and we became fast friends. It has been such a joy to see her tackle school and work and play in such a graceful manner.
For awhile now, I have been bugging her to allow me the chance to photograph her portraits. I knew she would be the perfect model and man, was I right or what?
We met for brunch that morning and began a leisurely start to our day. After chowing down on some delicious Breadwinners, we jumped in the car and began the long haul from Keller to the Dallas Arboretum. She wanted flowers and I knew that there is no place better than Dallas Blooms in April.
Hannah had brought a few outfits with her and I was so glad because each complimented different aspects of the surroundings. Her purple top worked wonders in the lilac and wisteria patches. Even the sunglasses she brought were a perfect touch.
As we walked around the park, we took time to enjoy the scenery and had time to choose which setting would provide the best lighting. Hannah was patient and relaxed throughout the shoot and I was thankful for her trust. She listened to direction and when things got a little tough, posing-wise, she would flip her hair or go totally serious on me for a completely different kind of look. The result was simply stunning.
Though playful and wild, this girl gets things done. For real, ya’ll should see her planner. It is insane how much she packs into a week and I admire her for all her hard work. She is giving 150% to her schooling, busting her butt at not 1 but 2 jobs and in her spare time, she hustles for charitable functions in her sorority. Did someone say Rockstar?
This shoot was the perfect opportunity to unwind and have a little fun playing with my camera’s settings. I owe a huge thanks to Hannah for trusting my creative vision and speaking up for what she wanted out of the shoot. She must have said ten times that her Mom was going to cry when she saw this and I won’t lie, I kinda did. But, I am 5 months pregnant and love this girl to pieces so I have a semi-excuse for the tears.
We ended the shoot by circling back around to a tree that Hannah just loved and I am so glad we did. I love this image so much. The tree was dramatic and provided the perfect backdrop for her curls and that pretty red sundress.
Our last stop was the petunia house. I’ve been to the Arboretum for Dallas Blooms before and seen some pretty amazing displays but these houses were seriously so awe-inspiring. I captured a bunch of Hannah in the house and then I let her have the camera so my sweet friend could capture my little baby bump and those images will be some that I will cherish forever. It was a joy and a pleasure hanging with my girl for the day and I hope I get to share more from her in the future. Thanks Hannah! Lots of love to you my friend!
Ahhh, Texas Tulips! This place never disappoints. Since moving to the North Texas area, I have made it a point to plan a visit to this magical place at the beginning of the spring season. Located in Pilot Point, about an hour North of DFW, this Dutch tulip farm is known for its colorful display of blooms!
Last year, Tiffany, of @WanderlustFlorals, and I headed to the Tulip Farm for a day of frolicking and picking out a few of the gorgeous stems. You can read all about that trip, how muddy our boots got and see the variety of blooms here.
This year, I had the opportunity to visit the Tulip Farm with a few first-timers. My dear friend, Jenn, and her daughter, Emma, met me in the wee hours of the morning for a hearty breakfast and then a quick drive north for their first glimpse at the rows and rows of petals popping up at the farm.
Jenn had mentioned that Emma had an interest in photography and I thought this would be the perfect opportunity to let her try out my Canon Mark iii 5D. Plus, I needed a new headshot and Emma didn’t disappoint. She really has a good eye at the tender age of 15 and I cannot wait to see where her new found love for this hobby will take her.
Her Mama, Jenn, came dressed and ready for flower picking. At $2.50 a stem, Jenn’s basket soon become a treasure chest of every color, size and variety of Dutch tulips! I was loving all of her choices so I just kept following her around and grabbing compliments to her bouquet.
We had a blast catching up and I was so glad that they didn’t mind me documenting their first visit to the farm. Jenn and Emma are an adorable Mama/Daughter duo and I was so happy that they allowed me to photograph them enjoying their first experience in Aubrey.
I was equally impressed by the blooms. In the past, I had visited the farm in April when the tulips had been picked through. Though the fields are never scarce, it was really nice to see the fields in such good condition. Each variety had just popped and were bursting with color. The pinks were perfect, the reds were vibrant and the purples were on point!
Towards the end of our visit, Emma was sweet enough to model for me. At 15, this girl is a heartbreaker and I was over the moon to get her in front of my lens. She had all the right poses. She was serious in some and goofy in a few. Emma is a fair-haired beauty and I hope I have the opportunity to photograph her again in the future!
As promised, I made Jenn jump in for a few photos and I couldn’t be happier with the result. These two have such an incredible bond and it really shines through in these portraits. I was so happy to have a day of hanging with these fun-loving girls and I cannot wait to see what adventures we come up with next!
Ya’ll this week’s Blog is another Creative Spotlight featuring one of my idols, a photo guru, kindred spirit and kind soul, Trish Dove of Beatbox Portraits. When I started this business, I started to follow so many creatives on social media. But like so many, I felt bogged down by the competition. I felt like I was just treading water. The competition flooded my newsfeed. I was overwhelmed by the challenge but felt this need and want to rise up to it.
So, one by one, I started deleting and unfollowing other photographers. The only way I was going to succeed was to stop comparing myself to every other photographer and to only follow the ones that depicted styles that I could hope to achieve, in my own unique way. The Rising Tide Society’s community over competition model states that we, as creatives, are stronger together than we are apart. We all have different visions and aspire to do different things yet we will not achieve them if we can’t grow together. You’ve got to have that edge, the eye for curiosity and the heart to share your experience. Which is how I came to find and follow Beatbox. In DFW, there are certain names you know when it comes to the creative world. BeatBox Portraits is a name you should know.
Recently, I had the chance to sit down and chat with Trish about her business model, her sources for inspiration, including her own upcoming wedding and how she plans to keep her followers on the edge of their seats. We gabbed for over 2 hours while we munched on tacos. We covered everything from advice for budding photographers to brainstorming for new outlets to venture into. At one point, she even graciously drew a map of a secret shoot location that I should check out. She was real and totally down to Earth.
I can see why she continues to gain followers. She makes sure to capture all those small moments, you know, the ones that really are the big moments. She has an eye for anticipating the emotion, the ability to envoke laughter and has mastered the clever approach to promoting affection. Her dreamy engagement shoots and fine art wedding portraiture is simply something out of a fairytale. I was initially drawn to her portfolio because of the romantic style she portrayed in her shoots but her innovation is what kept me following along. I noticed that she was incorporating bakeries and candle companies into her shoots. She was breaking the mold by not conforming to one particular style of shoot. I’ve seen her tackle everything from smoke bombs to cascading cliffs and floral design. Trish has got something that certain creatives lack. She has an audience that can’t wait to see what she does next and that’s what’s going to make her one of the big names here in DFW.
I don’t know what exactly I expected going into our meeting but I know that I walked away from this experience with a sense of forward motion and a fire that had been lit you know where, for how to expand my own portfolio. For the most part though, I walked away having gained a new friend and for that, I am thankful. To read our full interview and to find out how to reach/follow Beatbox Portraits, scroll down below the gorgeous images that Trish was gracious enough to provide for this Blog. Give her a like on Facebook, check out her Pinterest page or Follow her creative journey on Instagram! For more inquiries or questions on how to book with Trish, shoot her an email at email@example.com.
Interview with Beatbox Portraits:
RN: Why did you choose to be a wedding photographer?
BB: There is no other greater joy than to find that other person that is the peanut butter to your jelly. I believe amazing images start off with amazing relationships. That includes, couples that believe in building a strong lasting marriage and usually have been courting or dating for at least three years.I am a total romantic so I have always been one who loves to celebrate joy and happiness. Weddings allow my creative romantic side to soar. I am a firm believer that what ever you surround yourself with daily is the main influence on what kind of life you will live. I am surrounded by happy couples, in love, celebrating. This type of energy flows over into my daily life everyday and helps me to live a more fulfilled life full of joy and positive energy. The number one adjective my clients use to describe me is “high energy happy soul”. What they don’t know is they are the reason for my bubbly personality.
Our Fall Mini Sessions are in full swing and I couldn’t be more thankful that little Miss Mia and her Mommy, Brit, made their way out for a photo shoot. Dressed in navy blue and pink, these girls showed up with some pretty amazing props. One of the props consisted of a huge frame lined with multi colored florals. Mia’s aunt had crafted it for this little lady’s upcoming birthday. The other was a letter “M” that Mia had decorated with jewels for her glam shoot! Both props were the perfect additions to this Mommy and Me Session. We started our shoot at Bear Creek Park in Keller and worked our way over to a secret sunflower field for a few shots around sunset.
This wasn’t my first rodeo with little Miss Mia. We met awhile back, around Christmas time. Mia had joined her besties, Zoee and Paizlee for a Holiday Mini Session. They all arrived in dresses with adorable fur vests. They loved posing and playing “ring around the rosie”. The three of them had me cracking up all night. Needless to say, I was really excited at the chance to get Mia in front of the lens again.
I was even more pleased to find out the other girls would be joining the shoot too! Little did I know, this would end up being a very memorable shoot. After trekking through the tall grass, I noticed a shift in the girls’ personalities. They all seemed to be walking on eggshells when just a few minutes ago they had all been giggling together. I couldn’t quite figure it out. I assumed it was because they were getting tired. Their mommas assured me that they would be fine.
After a few minutes of trying to coerce them into smiles, we could tell something else must be going on. We were shocked to learn that these brave little ladies were being attacked by fire ants and chiggers! And now, so were we. It was awful!! We ran screaming and crying from the field. We grabbed some ice and rubbed it on our legs while we all cried on the sidewalk. After more than a few tears had been shed, Mommy managed to convince Mia that ice cream was the only cure. I felt so bad after that and assured Mia that we would never venture into the sunflowers again. Brittney assured me that Mia would be ok. They headed out for chocolate chip cookie dough the minute we all started to feel a little better .
Despite the hiccup in the sunflower field, our girls night turned out to be an adorable affair. With her polite demeanor and precious smile, Mia lights up any room. And, she has the best giggles, especially when Mommy is around! It was a pleasure to finally meet Brittney and spend a little quality time with her pretty princess! I hope I have the chance to work with them again the future!
Fall Mini Session Information
We are currently booking Fall Family Mini Sessions. You choose the location (within DFW), you choose the style and I provide 1 hour of shoot time, 10-15 digital images delivered in an online gallery and a Blog Spotlight for sharing! These make for great Christmas Card photos! The cost is $150 during the months of September and October. if you’re interested in setting up a timeslot just shoot me an email. If not, no worries, just pass this info along to anyone who you think might be interested. I appreciate your time and hope we get the chance to work together soon! Consider following along on Instagram @therustienail or give us a LIKE on our Facebook Page!
Hey y’all!! We are back with our 2nd Edition of our Travel Guides on the Blog! You all loved our Girl’s Guide to an East Coast Trip so much that we decided to add another Guide to the series. A little over a month ago now, Tiffany, of Wanderlust Floral Designs, and I made our way north of DFW to Broken Bow Lake in Oklahoma. This quaint town, located at the foothills of the Ouachita Mountains, is the perfect place for family vacations, peaceful retreats and even a little adventure. We had a blast exploring McCurtain County and I just wanted to share some tips on where to stay, what to eat and how to get the most out of a small getaway like this.
Where to Stay: Lakeview Lodge at Beaver’s Bend State Park
This state-owned facility is exactly what your family is looking for. Each room has a gorgeous view of the lake from your very own balcony. Continental breakfast is included and we managed to snag a Groupon for our stay which made it Uber affordable, around $50/night. For more information on how to stay here, give the front desk a call at (580) 494 6179 or head to TravelOK.com. Word to the Wise: Beware of Spring Break!
Where to Stay: Rent a Cabin for the Week
Though we did not opt for a cabin, we were lucky enough to meet some locals and check out their digs during our stay. Jerry Isbell of Mountain Vista Luxury Cabins was nice enough to offer up some information on how to rent a cabin/cabins in the Broken Bow area. We encourage you to download their app and check out their Blog for more information on this versatile area.
I will head back to this place every time I am in the area. This hippie shack, located about a mile from Lakeview Lodge, is the ultimate hangout for friends and family. The walls are decorated with Jerry Garcia and Grateful Dead memorabilia, as well as a few bobcats hanging from the ceiling. An outdoor patio with thousands of twinkly lights and space heaters makes it the ultimate oasis for anyone looking for a good beer and some really fantastic wood-fired pizza. Bands play out on the deck and the gift shop offers the absolute softest t-shirts around if you are in need of a souvenir. We recommend the Psychedelic Supremo or the Tree Hugger paired with one of the Beaver’s Bend Brews.
Where to Eat: The Blue Rooster
Located in the same parking lot as the Grateful Head, the Blue Rooster is chalk full of southern charm. The menu consists of everything southern fried; chicken, Gulf shrimp, catfish, green tomatoes. The service was great and the Bloody Mary’s were the ultimate way to start off our trip. Plan on spending your night out on their patio with one of the many Oklahoma craft brews that are available at the bar. We recommend the Fried Chicken dinner!
This place is definitely one of the fancier places to dine in Broken Bow. Tiffany and I rolled into this joint late one night to catch the end of the Rangers game and could not have been more pleased with our experience. Though most places shut down super early in this town, Abendigo’s proved to be the place to grab a late bite and a cold beer. Tiff had the Wood-Grilled Salmon and I had the Chicken Madeira. Both dishes were out-of-this world. We recommend both but highly suggest that you try the Fried Calamari with Dynamite Aioli and Pickled Jalapeno Relish!
What to Do: Beaver’s Bend State Park
This park has so much to offer. Whether you are away for a girl’s weekend, bachelor party or family vacation, this park has a mile-long list of activities to dive into. Head to visitmccurtaincounty.com for all the details.
Carson’s Creek (great picnic area & marina)
What to Do: Beaver’s Bend River Floats
Near a swim beach in Beaver’s Bend, you can find this Rental Facility. For $12, Tiff and I had the pleasure of spending our day on the Lower Mountain Fork River. Though the kayak/canoe trip only takes about an hour, we managed to make it last all day. It was so much fun and the scenery can’t be beat. This was, hands down, our favorite part of the trip. To set it up, just give these guys a call at (580) 494 6070.
For a more adventurous ride, check out Wild Goose Canoe and Kayak. This company is located a little further out of town but worth the drive. They offer 2 trips, a 5 mile or 8 mile down the Mountain Fork River. One of the tours even has a Class 2 Rapids classification and a 3 foot waterfall, Presbyterian Falls.
This boutique style wine and gift shop is located near Beaver’s Bend State Park. When planning our trip, I was lucky enough to get in contact with a young woman named Katie who worked here. She proved to be indispensable when it came time to find models for our styled shoot but also blew us away with her knowledge of the wines they had available. She explained to us that the owners, Michelle and Terry, have all the juices for the wine shipped to them and then they actually ferment their own wine! So, of course, we had to have a tasting.
Each variety and blend is innovative and a few of their wines have proceeds that help out local charities. The B’Ark is a kiwi pear Sauvignon Blanc which proceeds benefit Animal Rescue and their Friends 4 Life is a rose, white merlot infused with ripe strawberries, that was created with a friend’s memory in mind. The owner’s friend, Cynthia Shawnee Hutchings passed away in 2008 after battling breast cancer and these friends wanted to help raise awareness for Breast Cancer Research and be able to provide scholarships for their friend’s children. Now that those guys have graduated, the tradition continues. It varies each year but now the proceeds go towards scholarships for seniors at Broken Bow High School, where their friend has previously taught.
We could all learn a thing or two from the girls at Girls Gone Wine. We love that they have embraced their community with open hearts and the Pinot Noir Slushie had me at hello! Stop in here and make sure to tell these girls we said Hello!
What to Do: Talimena Scenic Byway
This scenic drive panning over 54 miles of the Ouachita Mountains is the perfect opportunity to bust out that camera. For a lax day full of winding roads and sweeping views of the mountain vistas, head here during the fall. The changing colors of the fall foliage may force you to never leave.
So, we didn’t have the time or availability to do everything we wanted while we were in Broken Bow and that means we will be back. Next time, we are hoping to check out the Moon Tower, a restaurant located slightly north of Broken Bow. Owned and operated by Tabb Singleton, a winner of the CHOPPED series on the Food Network, the locals raved about the food.
Another must see, the RUGARU Ziplines. They were not open yet in the beginning of May but we are eyeing them out for our next trip. And lastly, squatch sighting. Yes, we will be on the hunt for the infamous Big Foot, apparently a favorite pastime in this particular part of the country 🙂
What we Loved:
Tiff and I had been itching to get out of dodge, beat the concrete jungle that is DFW and set up a styled shoot. McCurtain County provided the perfect backdrop for our shoot and for a relaxing vacation. The drive from DFW was only 3 hours and the sides of the road were covered in Texas spring blooms, everything from blue bonnets to Indian paintbrushes. We jammed out to the likes of Trent Harmon, Chris Stapleton and Sublime as we chatted our way to Oklahoma. Overall, this trip was one for the books. We managed to work and play. It is a balance and war to find time to take care of yourself when building a brand and this trip proved to be exactly what we needed. We got a little break from the hustle, a little time to rest and more stars in the sky than we could have ever imagined.
So if you are in need of a getaway, check out this part of the country and we know you will end up leaving a fresh perspective on the world. For more information, head to TravelOk.com or follows these guys on IG: @hochatime (a lifestyle brand) or @mccurtainok (travel info) or @beaversbend (cabin rentals). Hope you all enjoyed this Guide and looking forward to sharing our next big trip with you guys.
Part II of our trip to Oklahoma consisted of meeting Dawson, a bubbly little thing straight out of Broken Bow High School. This curly haired brunette was interested in having a few Senior Portraits taken before Graduation the following weekend. She arrived in a delicate pink dress and light wash denim jacket looking the perfect picture of 18 years young. From the minute we started shooting, I knew that this shoot was gonna be a breeze, which rarely happens. Dawson was very comfortable in front of the camera and had this mega-watt smile to match.
Turns out, Dawson just so happens to be the cousin of our first model, Raina (check out her session here) and we managed to snag a few photos of these 2 silly girls together. It was really interesting to see how different these girls were in personality. Raina, the quiet, dramatic fashionista and Dawson, the happy go lucky homecoming queen (I don’t actually know if she won, but I’d of voted for her). These kids were so comfortable together that it made my job a piece of cake. I kept hearing them telling little inside jokes and cracking each other up, which made for some awesome candids. I almost wish all of my Seniors could bring a few friends along for those giggly shots! It was a fun night chalk full of gorgeous sunset silhouettes and wet toes as we jumped in the lake towards the end of the shoot. This gorgeous gal is headed to Oklahoma University in the fall and we wish her the most amount of luck as she tackles this next big adventure!
To book your 2017 Senior Portrait Session, email firstname.lastname@example.org for any and all Inquiries! We look forward to helping you and your family document this major Milestone! Best Wishes as you embark on the next step!
Florals graciously provided by Wanderlust Floral Designs. Check out their page here.