Monday, August 31, 2009

book 'em, danno

It feels so odd to be writing this in August, dear reader, but Haute Shot Photography's weekends are booked through December. There are a few weekend sessions left in November, but September, October and December are completely booked. For those needing last minute pictures for holiday cards and gifts, I wholeheartedly suggest les petit seance. There is also availability for sessions on some Tuesdays and Thursdays during the fall, so please contact me if one of those days fits your schedule. As always, the most hearfelt thank you for your continued business. I have always said that I have the greatest clients. Ever. And I mean it. I brag about you whenever I get the chance. I will see most of you this fall, and I'm looking forward to it!

Sunday, August 30, 2009

carrie & co.

I don't know what it is. What. It. Is, people. But I was visited by yet another little red head today! Seriously. And she had the most beautiful little nose and china doll lips. Miss Emily is 2.5 weeks old, so tall (like her daddy) and so sweet (like her mama). I think this was a record newborn shoot: in and out in almost less than an hour. When discussing the "vision" of the session, Carrie said she wanted simple. Which is my favorite kind of newborn shoot. Her only request, she informed me, was to get a shot of Emily with a stuffed pelican. Apparently Emily's grandma is a big fan of the bird, and they have a special meaning to her. And you know me, dear reader, I'm not one to disappoint the grandparents. And Miss Emily was not one to disappoint me. Even though she's going through a growth spurt at the moment (and I can't imagine how much taller she'll get, because she's so tall already!), she was just an angel. Eye contact for the beginning of the shoot, snuggles with Mom and Dad, some smiles for the camera, and then lots of dreamy, sleepy newborn poses at the end. Easy, peasy. Carrie and Brad, thank you so much for bringing your beautiful baby girl out to see me. It was such an honor and so much fun. Enjoy your sneak!

rebekah & co.

I first met Rebekah and her boys, Chip and Hutch, last October for our first photo session. Little Hutch was about 6 months then, and just as serious as ever. We got together again for his one year portraits this past February, and we met again yesterday for his 18 month pictures. "I don't know why I want 18 month pictures," she said while booking the session. "I just always remember my Mom having them of us." Hutch was wearing the most adorable little outfit and two adorably skinned knees. And just as he was almost a year ago, Hutch was as serious as he could be. Not at all impressed with my arsenal of vintage toys. And why should he be, when Mom and Dad are so much more fun? Even though she's due in January, Rebekah let Hutch "toddler tackle" her over and over. And Chip climbed trees, lifted Hutch in the air and even put on a silly hat, all for his boy. But don't be fooled by this serious tot: he's got a silly side to him, too, and he definitley let the camera see it. And he's also got a penchant for All Things Clean. Seriously, I see the words "neat" and "freak" in his future. Before our first session last fall, Rebekah and Chip had already given my name out to all of their friends. "Call it blind loyalty," she said over her shoulder as we parted ways. And I'm equally devoted to this family of 3.5. As always, it was so great seeing them (and meeting Aunt Melissa and Uncle Drew, all the way in from Austin!). Rebekah and Chip, thanks for letting me play with Mr. H yesterday. Congrats on the upcoming arrival, and enjoy your sneaky!

Saturday, August 29, 2009

jaime & co.

This past spring, I donated a session to the Juvenille Diabetes Reserach Foundation Dream Gala auction. A worthwhile cause, indeed, and I was very excited to meet the generous family who bought the package. Jaime and I exchanged emails and finally settled on a session in August. She and Trey came out to see me yesterday, and they brought with them their beautiful little girl, Kaitlyn. In our email exchanges, Jaime described her daughter as "3 1/2 and full of energy." Miss Kaitlyn is one of those "older beyond her years" types. And, at times, I felt like I was interacting with an 8 year old, and not someone just shy of 4. Kaitlyn was fearless, inquisitive and really did mind so well when it came to posing . . . of course, an invisible mouse and some magical chocolate rocks can pretty much get a girl to do anything. Two words come to mind when describing this family: Gorg. Eous. Jaime had these beautiful long, brown locks that looked like something out of a Botticelli painting. Trey, God bless him, went straight to work for me, dragging chairs, picket fences, the whole nine yards. And little Miss Sass lasted long enough for us to do a few shots indoors. Jaime, you have a beautiful family. It was so much fun meeting you guys, and I really enjoyed working with you. Thank you so much for donating to the cause, and thanks for coming out to see me! Enjoy your sneaky!

Monday, August 24, 2009

ryan & co.

Before I even met him, little Ryan had touched my life. His Aunt Melissa called to book a session for him, which was to include his mommy and daddy and both sets of grandparents. Ryan was two, she informed me, and has been bravely battling cancer for most of his life. At two. Diagnosed in March of 2008 (a few months after his first birthday), Ryan endured 52 weeks of chemo and was given a clean bill of health this past April. But this past June something new showed up on an MRI, so now it's back to doctors and chemo and so many horrible things that no one should have to go through, let alone a beautiful baby boy. Who loves the color purple, Barney the dinosaur (go figure), milk, books, being sung to by mommy, lollis, Froggie, and his beloved family. For two hours we chased this sweet boy around the Arboretum, picking nuts, chasing squirrels, splashing in water . . . and just absorbing the wonder that is Ryan. I could go on and on about this session. This family. This boy. But instead, I'll let the moments from the morning speak for themselves. Rather than a sneak peek, I'm posting a sneak video. My son's own Aunt Melissa used to sing this song to him at night. After meeting Ryan, it takes on a whole new meaning to me. To see the video, click here. There is a slight delay in the pics appearing at the beginning, so give it a few seconds (and be sure to have your speakers on to hear the song). And be sure to go home today and hug the dickens out of your babies. Melissa, thank you so much for allowing me the privilege of working with your nephew and his entourage. Joanne and Andy, you have done an amazing job raising this brave little boy, and I could have spent all day with you. Such an honor. Such a lesson. Such an amazing little boy. Kisses to him . . . and to Froggie.

mackenzie & co.

She called to schedule her daughter's newborn pics a few days after Leighton was born. At times she spoke with an understated southern drawl and sounded way too relaxed for having had a baby a few days prior. We set up the appointment, and I asked her where she was coming from. Houston, she replied. I paused; did she realize I was in Dallas? Driving 4 hours, with a newborn, just for pictures with me seemed a bit . . . extreme. After having met Mackenzie this past Saturday, however, it makes perfect sense. Friday she and her husband, Aaron, loaded up the car and made the drive to Dallas in 3.5 hours (I still think they have some sort of special turbo boosters on the car that Aaron the Engineer designed), checked into a hotel and then came out to see me Saturday morning. Only to get back in the car after the shoot to head home. To Houston. With a newborn. Extreme. And that relaxed vibe I got on the initial phone call with her? Totally Mackenzie. So, I guess when you are extremely laid back, you can do extreme things. Like marry your high school sweetheart in a destination wedding on the snowtop mountains of Colorado. Or look amazing for a photo session even though you only got 2 hours of sleep the night before. Mackenzie and Matt are brother and sister (with 11 years between them), and Matt's mama, Matt, and Miss Hattie all sport gorgeous red hair. And Mackenzie is convinced that Leighton does not. I, however, beg to differ. But, to be fair, I'm willing to call it strawberry blonde; but she's definitely not a brunette. I can't post without thanking Aaron for so graciously laying on the wooden floors, under a pile of blankets, for about 20 minutes in the studio . . . just so that his little princess could "sit up" for some of the shots. And I have to thank all three of them for making such a fast roadtrip up to see me. Such an honor, truly. And so much fun. Leighton's mommy and daddy have this uberhip aura about them and I could totally picture hanging with them at some uberhip concert, just relaxing. Except that I'm probably 20 years their senior, and they might be totally creeped out. Instead, I'll gladly hang with them in the studio, taking pictures of their precious little strawberry-blonde-head. Guys, hope the drive was a great one! Thanks so much for coming up to see me, and enjoy your sneaky!

Monday, August 17, 2009

megan & co.

The bride wore a simple, strapless ivory gown; in her loosely twisted hair, an exquisite diamond brooch encircled by ivory feathers. Her blushed satin peep-toe pumps peeked out from beneath her hem. A vision of elegance and simplicity. Megan and Eric's wedding was an event I had been looking forward to for months. Held at the beautiful Lantana Golf Club, the evening could not have been lovelier. Or the couple more relaxed. I had the pleasure of dining with them a few weeks ago to go over their vision for the wedding and other housekeeping items. In addition to bringing along a "wedding-to-do-book", Megan also brought along coloring books and crayons. These items were for Eric's 4 year old son, Rob. And aside from watching the obvious chemistry Megan and Eric shared, it was so sweet to see the obvious mutual affection Megan and little Rob share. The wedding was intimate, elegant and so much fun. As Rob and his cousins breakdanced on the floor, Megan and Eric mingled with all their guests (and Megan tore up the dance floor several times, as well). The newlyweds exited the festivities a little after 10:30, amidst a sea of bubbles and well-wishes. I know that Eric and Megan have nothing but Happily Ever After in their future, complete with high-maintenance margaritas, good ol' country love songs and a couple of "whoop whoops" to boot. Congrats, guys. It was an honor (and a very fun one at that!). Special thanks to Missy, for coming all the way in from A-town to play my assistant!

brandy & co.

I was supposed to meet baby Jack a few weeks from now. But he decided to enter the world a little earlier than planned. Three weeks, to be exact. And talk about impeccable timing: his doting Grammy and Papa were in town visiting that weekend, and Grammy Pam told Brandy she wanted to see the hospital, just in case she had to drive in by herself when Brandy had the baby. I suppose the thought of Grammy driving in alone was what did it; he decided to enter the world the very next day. That Jack . . . already a gentelman! So yesterday I was fortunate enough to meet Jack, his Reese-Witherspoon-look-alike mama, daddy Randy, Grammy and Papa. They brought with them a bag of goodies, most notably a quilt hand-made by Jack's great-Grammy. Who, at 72, is looking forward to cheering on her first great-grandson in future teeball games. Melt. My. Heart. Sweet really does not begin to describe this family. And smitten really doesn't begin to describe the grandparents. In sweltering studio temps, Papa dutifully played Paci Patrol and held up blankets while Nana would run back and forth between the studio and the restroom to rinse off fallen pacis . . . and Brandy knew how to soother her bouncing baby boy in an instant. During one of the mommy/daddy shots, Jack locked eyes with mama and literally held his head up for 10 seconds just to look at her. And, if she wasn't so sweet, I think I might hate Brandy. For, 4 weeks post-partum, she's lost all of her baby weight. And 10 extra pounds. Uh-huh. I know. I made that same face when she told me. Jeff and Pam, it was beyond wonderful meeting you yesterday. You have no idea. I hope your trip home to Houston was a good one! Randy and Brandy, congratulations on the arrival of your sweet baby boy. It was such an honor working with you, and I hope you enjoy your sneak. Thanks again!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

allison & co.

Sunday morning I met Allison and her oh-so-lovely family for some pictures. This family of five drove for an hour just to play with me, and what fun I had! Allison is Michelle's sister-in-law, and I definitely saw some similarities in the cousins (the to-die-for red hair, for one thing!). Avery (the red head), Gabby (the blonde) and little Brody were as sweet as they were different! Avery is 8 and just Miss Sass. I was in LOVE with her Anne of Green Gables looks, and she is one very bright child. Miss Gabby was such a sweetie. Behind the lens, I couldn't help smiling as I saw her just naturally snuggling up to baby Brody during pictures. And she was game for anything; especially the crazy vintage hats I brought out during the shoot. Brody, however, not a fan of the hats. In fact, he literally picked each one up and walked 1/4 mile away to try and throw them in the creek. I kid you not. Luckily the hats did not make it in the creek, and believe me when I say this child is All Boy. Which made for some very funny moments during the session. The kids loved the rock bridge, the climbing tree, and Brody loved chasing butterflies. I think Cody loved the fact that he was only in a few pictures and we finished in less than hour! Seriously, though, this family was so much fun and truly picture perfect (even though the girls were up the night before at a sleep over!). Allison, it was such an honor working with you and the crew. Thanks for coming out to see me, and enjoy your sneak!

kristin & co.

Saturday morning Kristin, my new assistant-extraordinaire, brought over Miss Madison for her Christening gown pictures. She also brought along Madison's Nana and Aunt Courtney. And Nana happened to bring along the most exquisite ivory satin gown from Strasburg's speciality line. With a matching bonnet and booties to boot, no less. Madison looked like a china doll in the ensemble, especially when we placed her in the baby carriage. Can this child pose perfectly, or what? I think I've mentioned it before: Kristin. Is. Hilarious. She honestly needs her own talk show. She can keep you laughing, non-stop. And it clearly runs in the family, as all three ladies had me laughing the entire time. In fact, all three could host the talk show. They'd put the View to rest. I find it so funny that this session was solely for the gown, and the gown was the only outfit worn during this shoot. For, as I think I mentioned during her newborn session, Madison's closet is insane. And Kristin was efficiently going over her mental "Madison's Outfits in the Future" list during the session. I'll be seeing alot of Madison and her gals over the next few months (and so will you!), and I simply can't wait! One last side note, Madison had her first League dinner the night before and was so pooped from her partying, she slept through the night for her mama. She's just so thoughtful (and so smart, as she clearly knew she needed her beauty rest for her big photo shoot the next day) . . . Thanks, ladies, for coming out to see me, and enjoy the sneak!

Friday, August 14, 2009

celia & co.

Funny story about this family. Last fall, when I took family pictures for a local pre-school, I knew I knew the Dad from somewhere. Between shots, I kept staring at him (like you do when you know someone but just can't place the name or the face). I am sure I was creeping him out, not to mention annoying his lovely wife, but it was driving me crazy! Finally, I asked him if he went to my college. He said no, and that was that. I just chalked it up to me being crazy. Until Facebook validated my hunch. While stalking, I mean searching for, old high school classmates, I was thumbing through a friend of a friend's page. And she had a friend who was using a picture I had taken of a a family. I looked closer, and it was this family's, and the picture was from the aforementioned photo session! It turns out he was in my high school class! I KNEW I knew him. And then he told me his wife went to Ursuline, and small, small world, she KNEW my cousin! How crazy is that? Anyway, to make a very long story short, last fall I met Celia and her family when I did the family pics. She came out with the girls on Friday for a session at the studio. She brought a ton of wonderful dress up clothes (her sister used to work in a bridal store and would get all these gorgeous flower girls dresses for next to nothing!), and the girls were too precious. We did some outside shots by the creek, a tea party for two and then some studio shots. I loved how, even dressed in the finest couture, these sisters were not afraid to show their inner-tomboy. During the creek shots, Molly jumped on a swinging rope and went sailing through the air in her dress. Indoors, Mary found a cricket oh so interesting and tried to catch it (and I must give credit to Mama, she literally caught it in her bare hands and placed it on the chair for Mary to further investigate; the apples don't fall far from the tree!). I had so much fun with these girls, and just as much fun with Celia. Thanks for coming out to see me, and enjoy your sneaky, girls!