A widely anticipated hallmark of spring in Texas is the arrival of our state flower, Bluebonnets. Their season is short so when you start seeing them popping up on roadsides, it’s time to take note of where the big patches are. They’re perfect for family portraits! I was happy to meet my friend Traci and her darling family in South Austin to capture some precious moments between her and her boys. The last photo made me laugh. Her son saw them kissing (again), turned to me and asked, “Will they ever be done kissing?” I hope not, sweet one, I hope not!
I’m a reformed crotchety Christmas-hater. I’m learning to give into the magic of the holidays, and shooting holiday photos is helping me in this winter-time journey! It’s hard to be a scrooge when you’re around family who love each other. I had a blast being the fourth wheel to the Tovars as we strolled around downtown Round Rock. Their little princesa was a natural in front of the camera!
I had my first multiple babies photo shoot in Austin this weekend. Can I be honest about something? I find myself just gazing at these snapshots. These cousins are so stinking cute, I can’t help myself. Born just a few days apart, I have a feeling they’re going to grow up to be best friends.
To see more of my work and book with me, check out my photography website! I don’t mind a little travel either!
When my beautiful friend Soujanya approached me about doing a newborn photography session with her son, Reyansh, I was honored. As soon as I arrived at Soujanya’s and her husband Deepak’s home, we entered a state of flow. With patience and teamwork, the four of us, with some support from doting grandparents, were able to capture some precious moments. Baby Reyansh and his adoring family were a dream to capture. I left inspired by their images. Soujanya reported she loves them so much she cried. What a relief! Here are some of my favorite shots.
Treavor and I met about 6 years ago when we both vlogged our lives every day for a month on Youtube. It tickles me to tell people we met on Youtube. Through the years, it’s been a pleasure to watch Treavor grow in all aspects of his life, but more specifically, watch him grow creatively. One of his favorite modes of creative expression is through words. He is currently pursuing his dream of publishing his first book, and he asked me to photograph him to mark this endeavor. I will always be a cheerleader for Treavor and his projects so I was honored to be part of his new exciting adventure.
We spent a whole day together and shot outside during relentless but light rain. I’m so glad I was the one behind the camera and not in front because I wilted under the humidity and moisture. While I wilted, Treavor seemed to bloom. It must be one of his super powers. I thought I’d share my favorite shots of him looking radiant and powerful despite the rain.
The first three photos on this post were from my first asado, an Argentinean barbecue. I wrote about what a serene day it was on my food blog. (Click on any of the first three photos to read the post.) I went to Houston for a weekend to stand in a high school friend’s wedding. I stayed with my parents and brought back some of the permissions they harvested from their garden. Sugarface and I were invited to an outdoor hot pot party which was also another serene experience dining outside in good company.
October was mostly about settling into the new apartment with Sugarface. I’m proud of how well we handled our transition from seeing each other a few times a week to every waking moment spent at home. That’s a lot of change for any relationship. Not depicted on Instagram, all the home-cooked meals we’ve made in our new home, hosting our first dinner guests, a dance party in our undies with our puppies, and hosting our first overnight guest. We did a good job breaking in our new home!
September was moving month for me and Sugarface. We started searching for an apartment together and fell in love with the first apartment we saw and three weeks after seeing it for the first time, we moved in! So apartment hunting and moving in bookended the month. The act of moving in and packing is dreadful but I found this was the most exciting move I’ve had and I’ve moved 13 times in the last 14 years!
In September, I took walks along Barton Creek and creeped on strangers as they admired nature. I spent sometime in the pool, both with friends and on my own. I attended a Cirque Du Soleil show with Jane and also went to a brunch she hosted at Top Golf. I’m still taking advantage of my free time from not working and volunteered at a local farm and painted with vegetables.
Sugarface and I went on more adventures with our pups, who by the way have adjusted to being roommates and are great pals!
Not depicted on Instagram: a 4 hour Revenge marathon while eating chocolate and camping out in Sugarface’s living room before the big move.
I started July with a middle of the week visit to one of our creeks in Austin with Sugarface and his pup. Every time I find myself doing something fun during normal work day hours I make sure to be grateful for one of the perks of unemployment. We then drove eight hours to Arkansas to spend Fourth of July with his family. It was a perfect few days spent barefoot in our bathing suits and eating amazing home-cooked meals.
My friend Treavor came to visit me that next weekend and gifted me early birthday presents to add to my home library. We talked really late into the night, watched Magic Mike XXL, which we both really enjoyed, and worked to find work in coffee shops.
I joined Sugarface during one of his work outings. Again, as I sat under a tree with him in the middle of a Tuesday, I thought to myself that this could have only happened while I’m in between jobs. Along with the lunch dates we’ve had.
July really had wonderful weekends. The third weekend I spent in Chicago with girlfriends. I went with my current roommate, a former roommate who now lives in Florida, and a friend I often travel with. In Chicago I met up with my friends who live in Chicago, one of whom was a former roommate! I could start a sisterhood of lovely women I’ve had the pleasure of living with. There was a moment in time prior to this trip where I wondered if it was prudent of me to go on a trip while unemployed. I’m glad I went! It was mostly paid for by the time I was laid-off and it produced such sweet memories. We went with the purpose of eating and singing along with Taylor Swift. I wish I could show you how excited my roommate was when Taylor surprised us with Sam Hunt.
The last weekend I spent with my girlfriends again. Stephanie picked me up bright and early with breakfast and treated me to great conversation while floating on stand-up paddle boards. My roommate and I hosted our monthly brunch, our theme being “Totes Toast”.
I ended the month turning another year older, feeling very loved with the gifts in the mail and cupcake and plant deliveries. On the actual day, Sugarface made me my favorite breakfast. I met up with my old coworker who was also laid off and we applied to jobs. I had lunch with my best friend and then dinner with Sugarface at my favorite restaurant. It was a quiet day and made me very happy.
Towards the end of June, I was laid off unexpectedly when my company downsized. The layoff has left me feeling really unsettled and insecure about my life. However, when I look through my images shared on Instagram in June, I’m surprised and pleased to see how happy my life is, even when unemployed. I started June wading the Green Belt with Sugarface and our dogs. I tried to force Bob the dog to enjoy swimming but he remains very much like me, a panicked swimmer. I bought myself peonies and reveled in their short season.
Bob the dog and I took a weekend trip to Houston where I would leave him till mid-August. He stays with my parents when I travel and I had four weekend trips from the time of drop-off to August. In Houston, I met up with my friend Thomas and we practiced our night-time photography. Sugarface left for a conference for a week which is the longest we’ve been apart. While we were apart, I had a rough week of not only missing him but also getting laid off. I spent that week reeling and spending a lot of time in coffee shops job searching. I tried to fly to Arkansas to meet Sugarface after his conference and to spend time with his friends and family. I ended up flying halfway and driving the other half with a stranger. (Our connecting flight was delayed and then canceled so we split a rented car.)
Sugarface and I were reunited for a very relaxing weekend. The first of two consecutive weekends (second one being in July) in his hometown. He showed me his childhood home and I met his parents. The natural beauty of the lake and trees compounded with his mom’s amazing cooking and the kindness of his family and friends felt restorative.
Not depicted on Instagram, aside from that spontaneous road trip to Arkansas with a stranger I met while waiting for our soon to be canceled flight, was another ride with a stranger! This one less risky. Blacklane gave me a complementary ride to the airport in a luxury car. I was not otherwise compensated to try out their service or obligated to tell you about them. This is the third time I have used their service and have felt quite spoiled every time. Also not depicted, I officially joined the board of the Austin Food Bloggers Alliance as their Social Chair!
I love Houston. I love her food scene. I love her museums. A lot of my close friends live in Houston. I love the diversity of the population and I love the art! If you’re in Houston from now to February 22, I strongly recommend checking out the Bruce Munro Field of Light exhibit at Discovery Green. The field is illuminated between 3 to 11 pm. If you’re not in Houston on these dates, check out the link anyway as Bruce Munro has multiple traveling exhibits.
I had so much fun setting up a borrowed tripod and taking these shots. The one photo of me was taken by my photography coach and friend for life, Thomas L Chen. You can read more about this night from his perspective on his blog.