As we say farewell to 2008, I want to say thank you for making these moments a part of mine.
I wish each of you health, happiness and lots of smiles in 2009.
Happy New Year,
jenn & co.
Monday, December 22, 2008
Three of my shoots this weekend were rescheduled for 2009 due to two clients suffering from a horrible stomach bug, and one client not wanting to wear her bridal gown in balmy 15 degree weather. Which turned out to be a good thing. Because when Lisa, Sam, Zach, Emily, Bob, Auggie, Shannon, Steve, Ann, Krystal, April, Sheryl, Mark, Ryan, Patrick, Butch and Donna all rolled up yesterday, I panicked. Just a bit. 17 people. 17. But you know what, it was for nothing. The shoot went really, really well. You may remember Lisa and Co. from a couple month's ago. Her son is a tee-ball powerhouse on cleats, and her daughter is obsessed with all things Spiderman. Well, for Christmas, Lisa and Sam presented her family with a photo shoot with me. Timing was an issue, because Christmas is literally days away, and some of the family lives out of town (ain't no party like an H-town party!). So many class clowns in the bunch, led with lots of laughs by Grandpa Bob, and so many incredibly beautiful smiles! Seriously, the grandkids in that family, every single one, are so good looking! Even McTexty and his white ankle socks. I don't think the shoot would have gone as well if everyone didn't have great senses of humor and were so very nice. Kudos to each of them for their great work and their great patience! And special thanks to my girls, Krystal, Shannon and April, for their wonderful help in arranging the gang. You guys were awesome! Enjoy your sneak, happy holidays, and safe travels to Donna & Co!
Sunday, December 21, 2008
About three months ago, Ashley and Ian recently added a new baby girl, Jadynn, to their family of three. So they, and big sister Brooklynn ( who has the whole posing thing down to a science), wanted to capture a few moments of their family at this special time. Ashley invited along her in-laws (such a good DIL), Larry and Phyllis, to join them. Not only did they lend four extra hands, they got to take a few pictures with their granddaugthers. Now, I must share with you, that I have known Larry for over 10 years. Larry was the financial guru/CFO at the company where I landed my first job. From Wisconsin, he and I bonded over Brett Favre and the Packers very early on. He eventually became my boss as well as a dear friend. Larry and Phyllis are high school sweethearts, and just about the nicest people you'll ever meet (and still so in love). When I once commented on how much I liked Phyllis' perfume, she sent me a bottle. Whenever Larry would make his annual pilgrimage to Lambeau (to tailgate with the boys), he'd bring me back a souvenir. And when my husband and I were itching to move back from Chicago to Dallas, 5 years ago, Larry pretty much spearheaded the campaign to get us back. Just a good family, and it was such a pleasure (and honor) to work with them. Although, I'm not gonna lie, I was a tad intimidated, as this guy did once sign my paycheck . . . Two final thoughts: Larry, being the finance guy he is, used to chastise me when I'd show up to work with my "frou frou" coffee. He once calculated how much money I'd save if I gave up the frou frou stuff and poured from the pot. So, on my way to the shoot, I stopped off at my local froufrou shop, and I did have a moment of guilt. Secondly, at the end of our session, as we were saying our goodbyes, the old Cheesehead brought out a bag of Packers pens for me, and just about the softest, warmest Lambeau hoodie in a beautiful, buttery yellow. Such a treat for me, especially as the arctic front had literally hit us mid-shoot (poor Jadynn let us know she was not a fan of the frozen tundra!), and it kept me warm on the way home. As did the cup of hot chocolate from my favorite froufrou shop that I stopped off to get on my way home. Thanks, guys, for coming out to see me. You are a wonderful family, great friends, and it was such a pleasure. Enjoy, and happy holidays!
Yesterday morning I found myself at the castle of Snow White and Ariel. I'm sorry. I meant Jessica and Shayna. Their sweet mama recently scheduled a family photo session, and this would be baby brother Jordan's (born last month!) big debut. Oh my gosh, this family could not have been sweeter. The girls were so much fun and literally could not stop telling me about their Halloween costumes (Snow White and Ariel), and Jessica was telling me all about her upcoming birthday party. She's got it all planned out, from the Cinderella theme to the tea party menu. Of course, her birthday is not until October of '09, but who's counting? Dawn and Brad were so patient, and I was struck at how calm they both were, in spite of a newborn and two active little girls. Such a sweet family, who has endured quite a bit over the last 2 years, which made yesterday's session even more special. Dawn, I can't thank you enough for inviting me into your home, and I wish for your family a very happy, healthy and uneventful New Year. I should point out that, as the session came to a close, Dawn was already planning the next family photo shoot, for November '09 . . . hmm, I wonder where Jessica gets it from? Enjoy your sneak peek!
Jackie and Monica contacted me about two weeks ago for a covert family photo session. The idea was to surprise Jackie's mom with some pictures of her brood for Christmas. Jackie's mom is also Thomas' mom, and Thomas is married to Monica. And they have the sassiest little girl. Jackie is married to Neil, and they 3 of the sweetest and cutest boys you'll ever meet. Jackie and Thomas' mom is also mom to Tori, and she is just about the most mature 14 year old you'll ever meet. So, on Friday afternoon, I met up with Jackie, Neil, Jakob, Andrew, Nicholas, Monica, Thomas, McKinley and Tori, and in one hour we managed to capture some great shots. The children behaved wonderfully, the adults were so much fun, and tweener, Tori, was such a sport. This family not only plays together, they work together, and you could just sense the closeness they shared immediately. Thank you, guys, for meeting me 1/2 way. I hope Grandma treasures the shots, and enjoy your sneak peek! Oh, and I hope you got all the leaves out of your hair and clothes without too much trouble.
Thursday, December 18, 2008
Ashley contacted me a few months ago for a maternity session, but I was booked the days she wasn't. We sent a few emails back and forth, and nothing ever lined up. And then I never heard from her again. Which just about killed me. I figured she wrote me off, so I was beyond pleasantly surprised when she contacted me again this week. With only 4 weeks to spare (baby Kendall is scheduled to arrive on 1/12th!), Rob and Ashley came over for a very entertaining maternity session. I'd like to share, however, the story of how I met Ashley and Rob is not nearly as endearing as how Ashley met Rob. As Rob tells it, she was the nerdy 7th grade brainiac, and he was the beyond cool 8th grade football player. She sent her BFF Sylvia (who, to this day is still a BFF) to see if he liked her. En Rico Suave told Sylvia he thought she looked cool . . . and they've been together ever since (with one heartbreaking, but brief, break-up in 10th grade). During one of Ashley's wardrobe changes, I asked Rob if they ever got sick each other. Without even hesitating, he answered, "Of course not. I married my best friend." Sooooo sweet, and such a fun couple. Truly. We were laughing the entire time, and I am so thrilled for this wonderful couple. Little Kendall is going to be welcomed into the world by two of the most loyal people ever, and I know she will love her green nursery, sans toile. Rob and Ashley, thank you so much for coming over today, I hope you weren't too late for your dr's appointment, and enjoy your last Christmas as a twosome! Happy holidays, and enjoy your sneak peek! Oh, and if any of you are in the market for a new car, go down and see Rob at Toyota of McKinney. You can't miss him. He's about 7 feet tall. Tell him the crazy lady with the camera sent you.
Monday, December 15, 2008
Yesterday's final session involved Luvy and her beautiful family. As I began snapping pictures, all the while trying to get the lovely Sophia to smile, Luvy let me know that Sophia is just a very serious little 22 month old and really prefers not to smile for the camera. Which really isn't a bad thing, because even her most serious face is gorgeous. So I gave up for a few minutes and just worked on some family portraits. But 1/2 way through the session, after she shared not one, but two goldfish with me, and after we played Up in the Air with Daddy, Sofia and I became fast friends. And then the smiles never stopped. I quickly realized the best way to get Sofia to smile (and laugh) was to play I'm Gonna Get Ya. Which literally had me chasing the tot around . . . which I didn't mind so much, as I had indulged in a delicious Sprinkles cupcake from the session prior. I'd also like to point out that at a very young 22 months, Sophia can sign, and speak both spanish and english. Trilingual. Muy bueno. All in all, a breathlessly, wildly successful shoot with Luvy, Sophia and Chris, and I hope they had as much fun as I did. Luvy, I'm so glad you save Ticey's email from months ago, and I hope you enjoy your sneak peek!
Have you ever driven through Nacogdoches, Texas, dear reader, thinking to yourself all the while, "Wow, I wondered who founded this great little town?" Well, wonder no more. For yesterday I took pictures of a man whose great-great-great-great-great-great grandfather founded it. And he's married, I must point out, to a 7th generation Texan. So, yesterday was a Lone Star session, to say the least. And the shining star, of course, happened to be the delightful Miss Grace. Jennie and Jason contacted me for a family holiday session/one year portrait, and it could not have gone better. This family was so much fun, so very easy, and Grace literally followed my lens wherever I went. Apparently she has had her picture taken since birth, and it certainly showed. Such a cutie and so very generous with the smiles. Of course, when you throw in a delectable cupcake from Sprinkles (yes, they are as delicious as rumored), it makes for a very sweet session. Jennie, thank you so much for putting this session together! I hope the wind wasn't too much for you guys, and I hope the cupcake wasn't too much sugar for your little princess! Don't Mess with Texas (or the squirrels), and enjoy your sneak!
Note to self: never plan 3 shoots in the Higland Park on the morning of the annual White Rock Marathon. 17,000 runners (god bless 'em!) and streets blocked throughout the area made it almost impossible to get to my shoots. But somehow we managed (albeit 15 minutes late), and I thank everyone for their flexibility! Gen and Avery were my first session, and they brought along the lovley Lilian. And lovely really doesn't even begin to describe this 9 month old. Gen and Avery had such great personalities and were open to all of my suggestions. Avery and Gen work full time, Avery models on the side, both attend SMU law school, and they are busy raising a beautiful 9 month old baby. Objection, your honor: can someone say over achievers! But they really are the sweetest couple, and their great senses of humor is must be what gets them through the chaos! Thank you so much for coming out to meet me, for indulging me with the hat and buggy shots, and for being such great sports about the marathon debacle. It was a pleasure working with you guys, and I hope you enjoy your first Christmas as a family of three!
A few months ago, I took the lovely Miss Sofia's one year portraits with her lovely mama, Cathie. We had so much fun that morning, and this past Saturday, I was delighted to meet big sister Celia and daddy Brett. Before arriving for our session, Celia told Cathie she had no intention of taking pictures by herself (which Cathie had wanted, since Celia wasn't with us for the one year portraits). Well, I'm not sure if it was the discussion about her Christmas list, what her favorite subject was, or just playing in the leaves, but within 10 minutes, Miss Celia couldn't stay out of my focus! She was all about the poses and smiles, and I was captivated by her charm (and gorgeous hair!). And the fact that math is her favorite subject. Math. Brett was ever the doting daddy to his two girls, and it was a special moment when we were able to take a family photo on the very steps where Cathie and Brett exchanged I do's. Cathie, it's always a pleasure and an honor working with you. Thank you for braving the wind on Saturday, and enjoy your sneak peek!
I'm sure you all remember Miss Blue Eyes, or Alexis as she's known to family and friends, from a September post. This past weekend I was treated to her loveliness again, and I finally got to meet Baby Brother! You'll be pleased to know, dear reader, that Baby Brother was graced with those same beautiful blue eyes! Joelle did a fantastic job coordinating the green and blue outfits, and Alexis looked ADORABLE in her skinny jeans (who knew they made those for 2 year olds!?!?!) and flats! Such a beautiful family and very dear friends. Rob has known my husband since grade school, I've known for over 10 years (and he was one of my very first friends when I made the move from a small West Texas town to Big D after college), and his wife has mad marketing skills which she utilized when she plugged my biz to all of her friends. I am looking forward to seeing them again in January when I take Joelle's family's annual portraits at her sister's lovely home. Thanks, guys, for a fun morning, and enjoy your sneak!
I can't begin blogging about this past weekend's sessions, without giving a shout out to my little sister/assistant extraordinairre! This weekend, 5 out of 6 clients were spoiled with their own personal hair and make-up girl, and I was spoiled with my very own laugh maker machine! Such a treat, and my sister did an unbelievable job. She toted my bag, carried sippy cups, fixed hair, adjusted necklaces, blocked the sun . . . the whole 9 yards. Melissa lives out of town, and she had come in for a visit; little did she know that Sissy would put her to work. She has gone on countless shoots with me before, but this is the first time I've blogged about her. At one of our sessions, I was testing the light before my clients arrived. She said she felt like she was doing senior portraits and made me promise I'd delete them. Needless to say, she'll probably cross me off her Christmas list after this entry, but I couldn't help it. They are awfully cute. As is she. Thanks, Miss, for all of your help and support this weekend. I had so much fun, and I think my clients did, too!
Friday, December 12, 2008
This week two very special ladies and their equally special families stopped by for some holdiay shots. Jennifer and Kelly (or Ms. Jennifer and Ms. Kelly, as they're known to so many little ones) are my son's teachers. Such fun, engaging and sweet women, and I couldn't be happier that my first born's first teachers ended up being them. I've so enjoyed getting to know them, and I admire them so much. Ms. Jen's husband has served our country not once, but twice, in Iraq, and it's a very special Christmas that he is here with them today. Ms. Kelly welcomed the sweetest little boy into the world 3 months ago, but some very scary circumstances after the birth kept us up all night worried to death, and the poor baby in the NICU for a week. But both boys are home with their families this Christmas, and it was an honor to capture these moments for them. Thank you, ladies, for the beyond stellar job you do with our babies every day, and enjoy your sneak!