PA Mini Sessions: Abbie & Gabby

OK, y’all, it’s about to get sentimental up in here. These are my baby sisters. Yes, I said baby sisters. They don’t look it though, right? I know…because they are so grown up. It’s kind of breaking my heart. I want to go back to the days of Hannah Montana karaoke in the living room and Barbie dream houses. You know, when they were in diapers and they idolized me. Click here for a sneak peek of those days! But, those days are gone. Now, these buttheads are all about making fun of me for wearing skinny jeans and tennis shoes and I kind of hate it.

I blinked and now the both of them are about to make their way to the adult table and I’m just so “shook” by how fast the time has gone. I swear I could’ve cried when I saw them during this last trip home. I just cannot believe they are 11 and 13.

Abbie is all attitude but in the best way possible. No one is going to tell her what to do. She has a mind all her own and she isn’t afraid to let you know how she feels. She is kind and generous, constantly thinking of others. I find myself in awe of her more times than not. During this shoot in particular, I was so proud of how she took charge. She was constantly corralling the younger girls with a patience and grace that I wish I had at her age.

And, then there is Gabby. She is still my wild child of a baby sister. She is constantly climbing trees and barns and about anything she can find. I really hate that she is growing up. All these years, she’s been the baby and now I’ve got to find a way to stop treating her like one because the fact of the matter is, she isn’t one anymore. She’s this ridiculously smart and charismatic kid who is on the brink of the dreaded JUNIOR HIGH! Though life is moving so fast all around her, she still manages to stay grounded, holding on to that unyielding sense of humor and I just love this about her.

This shoot was a little different than most, in that Jaime Lonigro of Lonigro Photography , was along for the ride. She set us up at the most amazing backdrop, her aunt’s farm in Marguerite, PA and brought her camera along so we could take advantage of second shooting for each other. Boy, was I glad she was there. I am always snapping photos of the girls but I never get any of the 3 of us and Jaime made sure to snap a bunch of us three together.

We worked our way up to the field above the farm for some photos in that golden wheat. It wasn’t the prettiest of days but the fall foliage was lighting up the trees and those cloudy skies cut the afternoon light and really created a different mood for the shoot. We told them to dance together and they interpreted that as square dance together. lol That’s Southwestern Pennsylvania for ya!

Before we finished up, I had Gabby pose with the umbrella for a few shots. The result was magic. Though we ended up missing the rain, the umbrella against her blue dress and the overcast sky made for an incredible portrait.

I was so thankful for yet another wonderful shoot with these girls. It is always a blast when I get to let them skip school and have a few photography lessons with me and it really melts my heart that they have taken a liking to portraiture. This year for Christmas, I hooked them up with their very own camera. They have been such a huge help with my shoots every time that I come back home and I just love watching them enjoy the process of posing clients and knowing which lens to use in which situation. I cannot wait to see where their camera takes them!

For information on how to book your unique Portrait Session here in Texas or when I am traveling in Pennsylvania, inquire with Angelina at therustienailhead@gmail.com. I would love to hear what you have in mind!

Colleyville, Texas Portrait Session: Meet the Montgomerys

Meet the Newlyweds, Larry and Mary Beth Montgomery! These two crazy kids tied the knot just a little over a week ago and we had the chance to document the last few days of their engagement. These guys had been in my books for quite some time but the weather in Texas just wasn’t agreeing with our schedules. No worries though! Just as they were approaching the finishing line, the sky cleared up and we ended up shooting their engagement photos on the first really nice spring day in North Texas!

Larry had purchased this session for his then-girlfriend over Christmas. He knew that she would love to have a few photos taken of her with her little boy, Liam. Little did she know that Larry would propose shortly after and this session would become their first shoot as a Family of 3!

MONTGOMERY-10After checking the weather for several weeks and praying for a day without rain, we decided to meet just 7 days before their “I-Dos” at the Colleyville Nature Center. Mary Beth had stressed that she wanted nature to be a the forefront of importance in their portraits because both Larry and Mary Beth lead active lifestyles. Located smack dab in the middle of the metroplex, the Nature Center would be an awe-inspiring backdrop. Spring had just begun and the flowers were blooming all over the park.

They arrived in style. Seeing that they were so close to the big day, Mary Beth had arranged to have her Hair & Make Up Trial that morning and she showed up looking fabulous! I fell in love with her skirt and the simple black off the shoulder top was a beautiful complement to her jeweled necklace and long dark locks!

To boot, the boys were  dressed simple, casual and so very perfect. Larry brought a classic neutral gray suit jacket to wear over his button down and Liam looked picture-perfect with his black and white gingham backwards hat and red corduroys. It was the perfect combination of style and laidback glam.

DID I MENTION THE ROCK ON HER FINGER? Holy moly, it is gorgeous. It is shiny and beautiful and looks oh-so perfect on her freshly manicured fingers! I even gave Larry a High Five! Good Job Buddy!

We strolled around the park stopping underneath fresh blooms and by the various waterways that surround the Nature Center for  photos of this sweet new family. If truth be told, it seemed to me like they had been a family for quite some time.

Liam really loves his Mama. It’s hard not to notice the way he looks at her. But, he really admires Larry too. You can tell. He looks up to him and has this ease about playing and joking with his StepDad that comes with an air of trust and respect. It made my heart so happy to see them all lovingly holding hands and embracing this new journey they were about to take off on.

Our last stop was by the ponds. I had promised Liam that he could take a few photos. I try do this with all my sessions because you would be amazed at the authenticity of the smiles you get when the little ones become the one behind the lens. Liam had Larry dipping his Mom and was posing her all kinds of funny ways.  He really enjoyed himself and I was glad to see his perspective documented so naturally.

I had asked them to bring a blanket to sit on. This is usually an easy photo. Not with these guys though. I was crying laughing at Larry on that blanket. He could not get comfortable to save his life. We tried so hard to make it work and in the long run, the photos were really cute but only they and I will know what a struggle that blanket was. Larry kept tipping over and wrestling to get comfy. Liam and Mary Beth couldn’t keep it together while watching him struggle. I hope that in 20 years from now, these guys still laugh at that memory that way I do.

Congratulations to the Montgomerys! I could not be happier for you guys! I wish you a wonderful and prosperous life together and I appreciate you allowing me the opportunity to document this very special time in your lives!

Baby Henschel: It’s a BOY!

GUYS!!! My best friend is having a BABY!!! What seems like forever ago, this girl, my girl, Emily freaking Henschel sent us (baby’s aunts/BFFS4LYFE) the best group text ever, a teeny weeny sonogram photo letting us know that he or she would be making their arrival this coming spring. After years of prayers and wishes, these 2 are finally about to become a 3.

Emily and I go wayyyy back. Like elementary school days. And man oh man has it been a ride. As soon as she said she was preggo, I planned a trip home so I could take these photos. This is seriously like dream come true stuff right here. Never in my life did I think that I would the one documenting their baby announcement but wow. Look at my best friend. She is seriously glowing guys. No lie, I cried big , wet soppy tears through most of the editing. I’m just so stupid happy for these guys.

We met at Winnie Palmer Nature Reserve because these fools got married at Saint Vincent and it only seemed right to continue the celebration in our hometown! It was a dreary, wet and cold day and of course, the pregnant lady was in search of a restroom, so we decided to move fast. From the beautiful red barn near the front entrance to a garden area above the fields, we were racing our way all over the property trying to soak up the last little bit of sunlight. The result was these might just be my most favorite collection of images.

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Let’s take a little walk down memory lane. Funny but true story. We got engaged on the same day and didn’t even know it was happening. She was in PA, I was in TX and our beaus hadn’t told each other their plans so neither of us knew for a few days!! Somehow we even managed to go dress shopping a few weeks later! But then, the best thing happened, we got to stands beside each other on our wedding days and that is something that I am forever thankful for. Emmy has been my rock for close to 15 years now and I can’t tell you the joy it brings me to see her wish of becoming a mother come true. She even lets me rub her belly guys!!

Chad, on the other hand, is one tough cookie. As 1 Assistant Fire Chief of Pleasant Unity Fire Department, Chad is a man who bravely faces any and all obstacles head on. He’s a guy who loves riding ATVS and hanging out with this buddies at the firehouse. I never would have expected him to be joyful about taking photos. Heck, my husband hates having his portrait taken and I still force him to do Christmas cards year after year. But I gotta say, Chad wasn’t just a trooper, he was pumped. Probably being able to relax around me helped but Chad was so excited. He could have cared less about the photos. He is just so excited to bring this baby into the world and you can see it all over his face. I don’t think I have ever seen him smile so much! I look forward to seeing Chad be this little baby’s father!

What’s left to say other than CONGRATULATIONS EMILY & CHAD! I am so pumped to meet this little nugget and just love on them! Now, please send me weekly fruit size updates and belly pics. 🙂

 

SURPRISE REVEAL/BOOM: The results of the gender reveal are in and the Henschel’s will welcome a Baby BOY in April of 2018!!! These 2 celebrated with friends and family over the weekend!

Coming this October: Baby Capaccioli

You read it right! Now that the cat is officially out of the bag, I can share this adorable pregnancy announcement. My good friends, Gian Marc and Emily, are expecting their first child this October! For those of you who don’t know them, get ready to meet the sweetest couple in the world. Or should I say Trio?

The Capacciolis are an easy gang to please. When it came time to pick a location for their big announcement shoot, they left it up to me so I choose the Fort Worth Water Gardens.  The clean lines make for an exquisite downtown backdrop. Surrounded by brick buildings and glass towers, this place is a peaceful corner for Texans to enjoy an afternoon listening to the water rushing over the expertly engineered falls.

They arrived shortly before sunset and we immediately headed down into the largest water feature. Though an architectural feat, the massive steps down into the falls were a little daunting. They had joked upon arrival that surely I wouldn’t make them go down into the thick of it. Hahaha

Once we were on the biggest platform, I realized how loud the water was! I could barely hear them nor could they hear me. This was going to be a challenge because I usually shout out poses and direction while I shoot. Since that wouldn’t be happening, I told them to just go love on each other. After a few sweet kisses and snuggles in front of the waterfalls, Emily busted out Baby Capaccioli’s first picture, their latest sonogram!

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This urban sanctuary is divided into 3 refreshing pools; the quiet, the active and the aerating. We visited all 3 that day but while walking around, I asked Em to write a little something on a chalkboard. The picture above is Emily doing just that. We laughed as they fought over who had better handwriting. It was cute to see them so excited about just writing their news down, let alone sharing it with the world. That’s what I love about these two. They live and love in the little moments.

I met Gian Marc 2 days after I moved to Texas, FIVE YEARS AGO!!! His family owns Piccolo Mondo Italian Restaurant, a staple here in Dallas-Fort Worth, and they hired me just days after arriving here. Over the years, this place has become a home. A home filled with amazing friends, like Gian Marc and Emily. Little known fact, Russ and I got engaged on the same day as these guys. I was so caught up in the fact that Gian Marc was about to propose to Emily that I had no idea Russ was about to bend the knee. To boot, Gian Marc had been in on it the whole time.

It’s so fun knowing that our lives are coming into fruition in a weird sort of unison. We’ve got to celebrate our engagements, our marriages and now, I am photographing their announcement that they are bringing a Bambino/a into the Capaccioli gang! Thank you guys. It was an honor to say the least. Life is good y’all!

 

Texas Tulips: A Girls Day in North Texas

A few weeks back, my bestie and full time petal pusher, Tiffany of Wanderlust Floral Designs, headed out to the U-Pick Tulip Farm in Pilot Point, Texas. Just north of Denton, you can find this traditional Dutch tulip farm. Truth be told, this was our 2nd go around at this particular farm. Last year, we headed there bright and early but were soon swarmed by Spring Breakers. To check out our last trip to the Tulip Farm, click on this link. I’d like to say we prepared better this year but I’d be wasting my breath. Though we managed to beat the crowds, we happened to go on a particularly dreary day.

Thank goodness we brought our coats because the sun chose to hide behind the clouds most of the morning. It was chilly!! Luckily for us, overcast makes for some pretty great floral photos.

The colors were so vibrant and the variety was insane. They must have had 50 variations of tulips in every shape, color and size. From fringed parrot heads to to willowed lush petals, we found an interesting array of Holland’s best known blooms.

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We strolled the rows and rows, picking one of each kind it seemed like. I was going to bright and lush. I love the way they float from a vase. Tiff was more interested in the pastels. Her arrangement felt a little earthier than mine which I am always envious of. Tiff has a way with picking the right bouquet. She knows which sizes and colors are going to coordinate well together. You really do need to check out her work, she has been up to some pretty exciting things this season. Follow along on her Instagram at @wanderlustflorals.

 

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Did I mention it was chilly? Ya, and muddy. Very, very muddy. We may have beat the crowds, but we didn’t get any better at planning. Case in point, check the shoes yo. Neither one of us dressed appropriately for our girls day. Word to the wise: Check the weather.  By the end of our romp around the farm, we were soaked and caked in mud. We got a good laugh out of it but ended up stopping at Ross to buy a new pair on the way home.

 

 We witnessed photographers out on shoots with little girls in their Easter hats. You could easily see the potential for an amazing backdrop. Seriously, could this place get any more adorable?

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At $3/cover and $2.50/stem, this place can add up quick. But, we agree, it was totally worth it. We soaked up the aroma and beauty of this little piece of heaven in North Texas and we will be back again next year!  For more information on how to visit Texas Tulips, head here to www.texas-tulips.com.

My name is Angelina Norris. I am natural light photographer based in Dallas-Fort Worth, with roots in the Laurel Highlands of Pennsylvania. I specialize in family and lifestyle portraiture with an emphasis on play. I believe that the best portraits are a combination of  genuine intimacy and playful experience. I live for the opportunity to test out the waters of new shoot locations and discover new places all around the globe. Photography Services start at $300. If you would like to book your unique portrait session, shoot me an email at therustienailhead@gmail.com.

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Pologruto Family Holiday Minis

Hey guys! A few weeks ago, I headed back to Pennsylvania to do a plethora of holiday mini sessions. It was a whirlwind of spending time with family, eating everything my Mom put in front of me and photographing the most adorable families for their Christmas Cards! This trio reached out shortly after I announced my travel dates and I was pumped that they had thought of me to capture their photos. In the last year, Sara and Anthony welcomed the most adorable little lady, Maggie, and they wanted to capture their little girl just playing in her own backyard. I loved Sara’s vision and couldn’t wait to see the place that they are lucky enough to call home.

With my photography assistants, aka my little sisters, in tow, we made our way into the mountains. Before the shoot, Sara filled me in on the location. Anthony and Sara purchased a home in Rector, PA. Just to give you an idea, these guys live in the woods. Like, really, in the woods. So far in the woods that my GPS literally failed me. Thankfully, Anthony stood by the side of the road waiting for us to arrive to help with the directions. Once we made our way across a wooden bridge, we traveled down a dirt road into a small community of homes spread out though out the expansive acreage of Powder Mill Nature Reserve. These guys really do live in a magical corner of the world. Both Mom and Dad agreed that their backyard was the perfect place to capture these photos because this is where Maggie lives and breathes her playtime!

From her little old lady coat to her pigtails, this angel could not have been dressed more perfect! It was a cold and wet day but you couldn’t tell looking at her. She was playing in the leaves and taking off the minute that they set her down. She is an explorer for sure. I have a feeling Mom and Dad are gonna be chasing this girl down for years to come. We strolled around their neighborhood and looked for spots with good light. As we quickly approached the sun setting, Anthony and Sara led me back down to the wooden bridge and we set up shop.

After snagging a few photos of Maggie with Mom and Maggie with Dad, we focused on letting them play with their little girl. In the end, I’d have to say we did just that. I love that these photos are so bold and wintery. I love that Maggie has the prettiest blue eyes, especially when she is carrying around her favorite little toy, a stuffed piggy. And, I especially love the way that Sarah and Anthony look at their baby girl. You can see how smitten they are with her every move. From their gorgeous backyard in the forests of the Laurel Highlands to the rich red gingham blanket Sara brought along for the shoot, these guys have gotten a hang of how to put a smile on their baby’s face. I am so thankful for this opportunity and look forward to spending more time with this sweet family and their wild child of a baby girl! Merry Christmas Pologrutos!!

For Information on how to book your unique Portrait Session, shoot me an email at therustienailhead@gmail.com. Throughout the month of December 2016, I am offering $150 Mini Sessions in the Dallas Fort Worth area. These sessions include a 45 minute session within DFW, 15-20 Digital Images delivered in an Online Downloadable Gallery and Print Release. Perfect for Christmas Card Photos, Surprise Holiday Proposals and even Gifts. You can buy this deal for a limited time as a Gift Certificate in 2017!

Blog Spotlight: Beatbox Portraits

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.

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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 beatboxportraits@yahoo.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.

Continue reading “Blog Spotlight: Beatbox Portraits”

Waters Family Portrait Session

This session has been in the works for quite some time now but I can happily say it was worth the wait. Awhile back, my coworker, Doug, approached me about getting his Mother the gift of family portraits. As you very well may know, family schedules are crazy when you have such a huge age gap between kiddos so it took us some time to get everyone together. On an early Saturday morning in April, the Waters family and I met on a ranch in Keller. Actually, ranch doesn’t quite describe it. This property once belonged to the great Terry Bradshaw. For those of you who don’t know, Mr. Bradshaw is the legendary #12 quarterback who managed to lead the Pittsburgh Steelers to 4 Super Bowl titles back in the 70s. His property boasts views of more than one pond, horse stables, fields of wildflowers and an assortment of wildlife!

This group was a wild bunch but luckily, we had our fair share of characters to help out with outfit changes and prop setup. I wanted to make sure we had individual shots of all the kids and of course that proved to be the easiest task. Kids love being the center of attention so they all hammed it up for their individual portraits. When it came time to get all 4 together for a group shoot, that proved to be a little more of a challenge. Thankfully, I live for the opportunity to rise to the challenge. Eventually, they did all look at the camera at the same time, I just had to get to know each of them a little better.

Mason, the eldest of the group, towered above his younger cousins. (Not to self: Bring stepladder. 15 year old boys are much taller than you.) Mason definitely needed the most encouragement to smile but that seems to be a common trait among guys his age. Taking pictures is so not what he wanted to be doing, but the sweet kid totally smiled and helped pose the little ones for every picture. Respectful and kind, he made sure to put a smile on his Mom’s face.

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Abbie was the little lady of the group. It was cleat to see that she is smitten with her baby cousins. I can’t lie, I was her at that age. Always sneaking in the other room to wake them up, they were like my own little baby dolls. I adored playing house and doting on all their little woes. She was my easiest of the bunch. She was so perfect, hair in her eyes, took direction, dressed impeccably and played a huge role in keeping the youngsters happy, almost like she understood them. It was such a nice treat having her be my right hand throughout the shoot.

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Zach…simply amazes me. At one point, I watched this little guy pick up a stick and wave it around. Then, he began making a buzzing noise and pointing it in every direction. I asked him “What are you doing buddy?”. He looked me straight in the eye and uttered a single word, “lightsaber”. I was crying laughing at his Star Wars shenanigans. And, then he attempted to jump in the lake. He danced. Then, he decided to try his luck at fishing, which resulted in a whole lot of giggles and then an attempt at running backwards into the lake. He absolutely kept me on my toes and in this weird way, he reminds me of my coworker, Doug. This kid kept me in stitches but it was an absolute joy to see how crazy smart he is.

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Last but not least, Joss, this adorable baby girl who was clearly not having it when we started, but completely blossomed as we brought out the butterfly kite and adventured our way into the wildflower field. By the end of the shoot, I was carrying her on my shoulders! She feed the mini horses and munched on snacks while we trekked away around the expanse of this gorgeous estate.

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At the end of the day, they made me laugh and I’m happy to know these guys. It really was a fun way to start off a Saturday morning and I hope we have the chance to do it again sometime. Look out for these people, the Waters clan. They are the type to remain tight knit, the ones who love each other on the good days and the bad, through thick and thin and it’s nice to know that kind of joy still exists in the world.

Are you trying to book your Family for a Portrait Session, just shoot us an email at therustienailhead@gmail.com to set up a completely personalized session!

Brit & Jeremy

Sometimes, just sometimes you walk away from a shoot with nothing but smiles. This was that kind of shoot. It was a beautiful fall morning when I met Brit, Jeremy and their sweet pup, Beau, out on a ranch in Keller, Texas. I met Brit at a flower shop in Grapevine. You could say she was a teacher of sorts, far more knowledgeable in the world of floral arrangement and design than I could hope to be. To say I valued her knowledge of the floral world is an understatement so you could imagine my excitement when Brit asked me to photograph her and her husband for some Christmas cards.

It was a warm morning in November when we ventured out onto the property. The lighting was impeccable and the weather was perfect. We managed to hike the vast acreage on the ranch and capture some amazing shots of this couple in the wildflowers. If you can’t tell by the smile on Brit’s face, these two are smitten for each other in all the right ways. Two years of wedded bliss can do that to you.  It was a pleasure to catch up with this sweet girl and her two favorite guys. Crossing my fingers these two give me a call when they are ready to bring the next Williamson into the world. Lots of love and Happy Holidays!