Dallas Blooms: Hannah’s Portrait Session at the Arboretum

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!

 

Milestone Session: Jessy, Jacey & Kessa

These girls are no strangers to the Blog. In fact, I have been photographing Kessa since shortly after she born! You can check out her adorable Newborn Session here. It’s hard to believe that this little baby is already TWO YEARS OLD! So, today we’re gonna put a little spotlight on one of my littlest loves!

These girls are always so easy because they are down for whatever. We’ve hiked miles into the woods for more than one session and this would be no exception. This time, our friend, Jamie at Lonigro Photography, invited us to a farm in Marguerite, Pennsylvania for a day of smoke bombs, rusty old cars and wheat fields for days! It was a dream come true shoot and you are going to get an inside look at this awesome Two-Parter.

Kessa, was…well, two. She was all over the place and making just the funniest faces throughout the whole shoot. She is such a sweet baby and you can tell that she has her Mama’s adventurous spirit. She really cracks me up.

AND THOSE CURLS!! Her Mama has notorious long locks and it looks like her baby girl is going to take after Jess. Jacey definitely has her Daddy’s hair so I’m pleased as punch to see those baby ringlets sticking around for this little munchkin. She’s like Jess’s mini-me!

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One of the greatest joys in my life is to have a front seat to these girls’ growing up. Jacey has taken on being the best big sister possible and it is amazing to see. She loves her baby sister so much and I am still in awe of how big Jace has gotten since the last time I was home. Every time I come back, I make it a point to put in some solid quality time with these girls. I make sure to listen to Jace and all her wild stories about school and Kessa. I don’t want to miss a thing.

If you didn’t know, I got to be one of the first people to meet Jacey. Right after this sweet girl came into the world, I got to shower her with a ton of hugs and happy tears. Heck, my best friend just had her first baby. I was bawling, big, fat sopping wet tears filled with so much love for this little girl. I could not be more proud of the little lady Jace is becoming!

After a quick outfit change, we made our way to the big red barn for a bunch of shots near the silos. Tell me Kessa is not the cutest thing with her little pink hat!

We had been expecting rain all day so Jaime and I had brought along umbrellas. Fortunately for us, it didn’t rain but thank goodness we brought the umbrella because these girls were just too cute carrying them around. Kess could barely hold it up!

Around this time, Kessa was pretty much over the shoot. We had played on the farm for hours. So as Jessy got Kessa ready to go, we took Jacey out for some fun with the smoke bombs. The girls were so excited and it made the shoot so much more fun once we pulled the caps. We were all running around with them giggling at one point. In fact, watching Jessy run through the field had me doubled over. She just looked so dang happy.

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It was long day. Hence the photo above. But, it was the best day. We had the absolute best time munching on Red Brick pizza and enjoying the last few warm moments of fall. Thank you again to Jamie soon–to-be Lonigro for allowing us to come shoot with you for the day. We cannot wait to do it again! To check out another Shoot with the Ray Girls, head here. 

Dallas Fort-Worth Holiday Portrait Session: The Auten Family

Hey guys! We are back with another Dallas Fort Worth Holiday Portrait Session! This time around, I met the kindest family at River Legacy Park in Arlington, Texas for an early morning Holiday Photo Shoot!

Mom, Victoria, reached out in the fall after having won a Rustie Nail Gift Certificate in an auction at a Save-the-Boobies event to raise money for Breast Cancer Research. My good friend, Cassie (who is about to be up on the blog with her adorable family and maybe even a few chickens), helps coordinate this event each year and I am always happy to donate a Portrait Session to help raise money for this cause.  I was over the moon that this family had bid and won so I wanted to make sure they had a great experience!

It was an early Saturday morning when we met and I was….wait for it…..late. I HATE BEING LATE!! Seriously though, it is the worst especially after Mom had warned that the boys would be cranky having to have gotten up so early on a Saturday. I even left my house super early so I could scope out the scene and check my lighting but go figure, Dallas-Fort Worth traffic got in my way. Thankfully, these guys were so great about it. They were calm and cool and ready to go from the beginning.

I met their youngest, Vaughn, first. He is a quiet little guy. Like most guys, he’s not too keen on smiling. He’s content being himself and confident in the way he presents himself which is something I really admire about him. Big brother, Josh, has the craziest head of curly hair and a really great smile when he busts it out. This guy is on the precipice of adulthood and you can totally tell that he’s ready for the next adventure.

On to Mom and Dad…these two are seriously so ga-ga for one another. When I ask most couples to impromptu dance in a field, they hesitate and fumble with how to hold one another or spin around but not these two. From the minute I asked them to pair up, they began twirling and laughing together. The way Norman looks at Victoria reminds me of the way Noah looks at Allie and I kinda love it. (#theNotebookisstilltheBESTmovieEVA)

After running around near the paddling trails of the Trinity River, we started making our way towards an open field with a few Christmas trees because I freaking love Christmas and these guys came prepared to hike around with me!

Again, these two with the dancing. Could they be more adorable?

Once we’d manage to snag individual shots of everyone, I wanted to make sure  we got good ones of Mom with her boys! This was the moment that Vaughn gave me the biggest smile. His Mom just gave him a big bear hug from behind and low and behold, the boy was grinning from ear to ear!

After snagging a few shots of Dad with his boys, I set out the blanket that Mom and Dad had brought along so we could grab a few more of this sweet family all together. You would never have guessed it but we are right next to a major highway and that’s another thing I love about this job. Sometimes it is about creating an illusion and other times its’ about overcoming that obstacle but regardless, I love the challenge and this sweet family had the notion to trust my vision.

As we came to the end of our session and we were making it back to the car, we stopped one last time to take a few photos in front of the changing leaves. Fall in Dallas-Fort Worth doesn’t last very long and Victoria kept that in mind while planning her session so I made sure to get her some really bold photos with those golden leaves in the background.

I could not have dreamt up better clients to take a hike with on a chilly fall morning in Texas. Thank you to the Auten family for allowing me to document this special time in your lives and thank you for your generous donation for Breast Cancer Research. Every little bit helps and we are so thankful for people like you who donate your time, energy and love towards a cause that affects us all.

If you would like to donate to Breast Cancer Research or to inquire how you can help at next years Save the Boobies event….head here.

The Kramer Family Portrait Session

Hey guys! I’m back at it again with another adorable Family Portrait Session. This time around, I met up with the Kramer Family in Grapevine, Texas to snag a few family photos. Meet Joey, KD, Joss and Emily!

You may notice this little girl, Josslyn. She has been featured on our blog before during the Waters Family Portrait Session. That shoot was all about cousins, brothers and sisters but this shoot was all about the immediate Kramer Family, just Mom, Dad and their sweet baby girls.

KRAMER -28We initially met in downtown Grapevine near Tolbert’s to take a few pictures of Dad, Joey. He was in need of a few headshots for his up and coming chiropractic office and we both thought Main Street would provide the perfect backdrop. But more about those Headshots later…

After Daddy’s photoshoot, we headed to a section of shoreline called “Katie’s Woods”. Located near the boat ramp at Grapevine Lake, the cypress trees lining the small beach front would be perfect for blocking out that harsh morning light. Both babies were all smiles.

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KRAMER -38After a few test shots, I was ready to start posing these guys. But, they were all about play. Joey and KD lovingly tossed their little ladies in the air while each of them giggled endlessly. These 2 photos pictured above are my absolute favorites from their session. You can see how stoked the girls are by just looking at the huge smiles on their faces. Pure Joy Y’all!

Once we all had calmed down a bit, Joss was all about loving on her baby sister, Emily. She kept reaching over to tickle her and give her kisses on the cheek. KD and Joey have some heartbreakers on their hands so they better watch out!

After we managed to get a few of all 4 of them looking at the camera, Dad headed back into work for a little bit while mom, KD, stayed behind to grab a few photos of just the girls! While KD changed their outfits, I got a small blanket out so we could set Miss Emily down without getting her all dirty.

Does this girl have the prettiest blue eyes or what? And man oh man was she a happy little girl. She kept smiling at her Mommy and not once did she try to take her headband out of her hair. She even let me love on her for a little bit. While KD was changing Joss into her 3rd Birthday tutu, Emily and I bounced around in the shade.

We managed to get a few of the girls together but it was getting pretty hot out by then so I didn’t want to test their patience. We had started at 7 AM and it was nearing 8:30 when we realized how high the temperature outside had raised. Luckily, the breeze blowing off the water kept everyone in a good mood.

KRAMER -63Or maybe my iPhone playing Justin Timberlake’s “Can’t Stop the Feeling” on repeat kept them in a good mood! Seeing that Joss is a Trolls fan, like so many of us have been or are, I figured this song might help Princess Poppy with her twirling!

We ended their shoot by letting Joss don her 3rd Birthday tutu and wand! With that big pink bow in her hair and the colored pom-poms on the inside of her rainbow colored tutu, Joss proved to be just about the cutest 3 year old in the whole wide world! I had a blast shooting this family’s session and I look forward to seeing lots more of these guys in the future!

For information on how to book your unique Portrait Session, shoot me an email at therustienailhead@gmail.com or head to our Instagram page (@therustienail) to follow along with upcoming events, mini session and travel dates!