Sunday, August 29, 2010

ashley & co.

Sweet little Michael. Fresh from a morning nap that he had lately given up, the blue eyed boy was all smiles for his one year portraits! While not a fan of chairs taller than him, he did love the vintage blue rocker I brought along, as well as the suitcases and blocks. But honestly, this Nature Lover would have been content to sit in the park and observe. Or collect leaves. And sticks. He clearly loved being outside, and he made my job so very easy! Ashley and Jeff brought along a few outfit changes and Michael's beloved stuffed puppy. Literally the size of him, he loves snuggling with it at home. Or his Mommy. The doting mama had to be within arm's reach of the tot, which was so cute. And made me miss my own mama's boy at home. Poor Jeff was quite the trooper, having pulled his back out a few days prior. But that didn't stop him from playing Smile Maker Assistant for me. Funny story (at least to me): at the beginning of the shoot, when introductions were being made, Jeff looked at me quizzically and said, "Zindler? Do you know a Stephen Zindler?" Confirming that I did indeed know the man (otherwise known as the Haute Hubs), Jeff went on to share that a little after college, they met through a mutual friend and decided to take a road trip together to Austin to see a football game. Once in Austin, they parted ways, only to meet up again on Sunday to drive home. Completely random story, such a small world, and Jeff assured me that there were no stories that might land the Hubs in haute water ... Guys, thanks so much for an amazingly sweet session! Michael was an absolute doll, and I wish you all a wonderful second year together! Thanks so much, and enjoy the sneak!

jen & co.

Her name is Jennifer, and she goes by Jennifer or Jen. With one N. She's married to Shawn, and together they have two of the prettiest little boys. Ever. When Big Brother Grayson walked in to the studio, I was immediately taken by his delicious buttery locks. And then he looked at me, with his huge blue eyes and ridiculous dark eyelashes. And then he sat down. Pulled out a coloring book and crayons, and quietly colored. When it was time to take pictures with the fam, he obliged, and then occupied himself by playing with his Batman and Superman figures. Absolutely amazing. And little Graham could not have been sweeter. At 4 weeks, I can already tell he'll have the same beautiful eyes that Grayson does. He loved when Big Brother played "This Little Piggy", and he absolutely loved to snuggle. And, unlike most newbies, he loved to pose in his birthday suit! Little Graham woke his parents up every two hours the night before, but both Jen and Shawn were relaxed, patient and so very sweet. And I learned that the family will be dressing up as Toy Story characters this year; Shawn will be Woody, Jen will be Jessie, Grayson will be Buzz, and little Graham will be Dr. Porkchop. How sweet is that? Shawn and Jen, congrats on another beautiful boy. I hope Mr. Grayson got his ice cream on the way home, and enjoy your sneak!

susan & co.

Six of my favorite people came out to play with me this weekend. And I say play, because Kerry and Susan's kids do just that. Oh sure, they'll pose for me on command, but they'll also go on Toad Patrol, catch frogs, skip stones and end the session barefoot in the creek, thoroughly splashing each other (and keeping me in stitches). Abby, Parker, Grace and Claire (13, 11, 9, and 6 respectively) are just the right amount of sugar, spice, snips, snails and a pinch of sass. Parker was fresh from his first school dance the night before. Where, dear reader, he won the Dance Off! He was too shy to show me his moves, no doubt because I kept calling him Parker Bieber the entire morning (he was sporting a new 'do that was Justin B inspired). His sisters were just as much fun and were such great assistants! Oh, and FYI, jelly shoes are all the rage now. Just ask Claire. Susan recently lost her braces, so we couldn't help but take a few pics of the lovely mama solo (facebook!). It is always so much fun with this family, and I was seriously thinking of hijacking their lunch plans and joining them. Susan, thanks so much for the morning fun! Hope the kids dried off quickly .... and enjoy your sneaky!

jessica & co.

Three months ago, I met little Tatum for her 9 month portraits. This past weekend, we met again for her one year pictures. Jessica, Tatum's Barbie-look-alike Mama, had some very specific ideas for the session. So specific, in fact, that when the bakery made a smash cake with neon polka dots (that would not match the dress or balloons in the shot), Jessica decided to make one on her own. Love. It. Daddy Dylan, ever so dapper in his white TOMS, was such a sport as we went through several outfit and scenery changes. But the big props go to Tyler, Jessica's nephew, who got up at the crack of dawn to come play Jessica's assistant (and, consequently, mine). Tatum is walking now, is interested in every single thing around her, and is apparently obsessed with finding a moose (ask Dylan). With the most delicious lips you've ever seen, she is one beautiful little girl. Jessica, you did a great job coordinating the outfits, the bows, the cake, the balloons ... Thank you so much for letting me share in your little girl's big milestone! Hope the party was a success, and enjoy your sneak!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

christian & co.

My grandmother passed away 6 Thanksgivings ago. She lived long enough to meet my first born when he was only 6 weeks old. She never met the little girl I named after her, two years later. So when my cousin, Christian, asked me to take a generational shot with her, her two daughters, her mother, and her grandmother (who also happens to be my late grandmother's baby sister), I was beyond excited and so very moved. I don't get to see my Aunt Bev often, but when I do, I am looking into my grandmother's eyes. Christian was in from Chicago with Hardin (who turned two last month) and Emerson, barely 9 weeks old. As most of my haute stalkers know, I love to brag on my littlest clients. This time, I get to do so with kiddies from my own gene pool! Barely two, Hardin can recite the ABC's, without missing one letter. She will serenade you with the most passionate rendition of Happy Birthday I've ever heard, and she pretty much repeats everything you say. "Jerry Rice" being her favorite catch phrase of the day. She has christened Aunt Sherry "Sheshe" and Uncle Peter "Pepo." In short, she's a genius. I love the last shot of her in this post. She clearly was over my silly antics and looks as though she's longing for conversation a bit more ... stimulating. And she literally just turned two. Emerson is as lovely and sweet as they come. And such a snuggle bug! Honestly, I could have sat and snuggled with her all day. And at 9 weeks, way past the sleepy newborn posing time, Emerson took a quick cat nap ... long enough for me to get the baby bum shot Christian wanted. My grandmother's cousin, Betty (who shares the same birthday with my daughter), was in town. And it was just incredibly bittersweet to see them all together. Christian, I love your daughters. I love that you arranged this entire session. And I love you! Enjoy your sneaky, safe travels home, and Jerry Rice to Hardin!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

karin & co.

Take six children, ranging in ages from 6 months to 6 years, add triple digit temps, and one part boy who was just released from the hospital due to a horrible stomach bug and serious dehydration. Sounds like a recipe for disaster, doesn't it? On the contrary, dear reader. Will, Reese, Ava, Jay, Hudson and George joined me on the hottest day of summer for some Cousin Shots for their doting grandparents. And their crazy photographer had the crazy idea of taking pictures on rocky terrain, very near to water ... I blame the heat. Not that it mattered. Little Reese held cousin Hud like a champ, and all the children cooperated beautifully. George clearly has the title of Class Clown somewhere in his future, and I'm pretty sure cousins Reese and Ava will be vying for the title of Miss America. Brothers Will and Jay were absolutely adorable as they tried to argue with me that their shirts were not pink, and have Future Heartbreakers written all over them (and Jay, literally just out of the hospital, gets the title of MVP). And baby Hudson: Killer blues. Sinfully delicious smile. Perfection. Karin, thank you so much for organizing this session for the grandparents. All of you should be so proud of the little ladies and gentlemen you are rearing, and enjoy your sneaky!

lauren & co.

Welcome to the world, sweet little Alec. Just 5 days old, he and his older sibs stopped by for a newbie session this past weekend. I don't know what it is, but I have had a stretch of newbies who just won't sleep for me. None of my tricks seem to work on these summer babies! Which I actually don't mind, as they definitely give me some amazing gazes that just melt your heart. Alec was no exception. And watching big sister Ava mother him was just as heartwarming. She literally gazed at him when she was holding him, spontaneously kissing his head and singing lullabies in his ear. Big Bro Asher, however: Not. So. Much. He was much more interested in the vintage truck he found in the studio, as well as the vintage lollipop his mama found in her purse (the last shot in this post is one of my new faves; a quiet, spontaneous moment that pretty much summed up all three's personalities that day). And once that lollipop found it's way in to his mouth (and all over his face), the sweetness came out. He shared with Ava, smiled from ear to ear, and I'm fairly certain was about to share with Alec, had mama not intervened. Cary, daddy to all three of these adorable babies, is one of the hubs' BFFs. And his beautiful wife, Lauren, is one of my most favorite people. She brings a lovely calm to his craziness (he's got Steve Carrel beat on funniest guy in the office), and it was so wonderful catching up with her between shots. A beautiful boy, a gorgeous family, and such an honor to document this special time in their lives. Mazel tov, guys, and enjoy your sneak!

stacie & co.

When I first met Stacie, I was immediately taken by her lovely brown eyes. Her mega-watt smile. And I wondered how she could possibly fit so much sass in to her tiny frame. Fast forward 7 months later, when Wylie's Citizen of the Year brought her granddaughter over for her one year portraits, and I was immediately taken by Elizabeth's lovely brown eyes. Her mega-watt smile. And I wondered how she could possibly fit so much sass in to her tiny frame. Like all the beautiful brunette women who make up Izzy's life, the tot is funny, incredibly sweet, impossibly spirited and so much fun to be around. In addition to the birthday girl, Stacie brought along her mother and two daughters;, but the apple of her eye is clearly the little girl who shares her name (E' first name is Stacie). When she drove me around the neighborhoods of Plano, Richardson and Dallas 6 months ago, Stacie and I talked square footage. We talked number of bedrooms and baths. And we might have mentioned pool or no pool ... but the real topic of our conversations was Elizabeth. So absolutely loved by such lovely women, she is one lucky little one year old. And I felt equally lucky (and honored) to have spent a few hours with her this past weekend. Stacie, my dear, thank you for Westie. Thank you for sharing E and her entourage with me. And enjoy your sneak!

jenny & co.

Lilah Blue. Just dances off the tongue doesn't it? I honestly couldn't think of a prettier name for such a pretty little girl. A few days shy of 8 months, she and her parents stopped by for a photo shoot ... on their way to Houston for a last minute family gathering of sorts. With his pink bowling shirt, hipster glasses and watch, I would not at all have been surprised if Mike had answered, "Rock star" in response to my "What do you do?" And with her sparkling eyes and porcelain skin, it's clear to see where Miss Lilah gets some of her beauty! And Lilah Blue ... she had me at her cheeks, dear reader. And then she smiled, her chocolate brown eyes sparkled, and I was a goner. Such a sweet, sweet baby girl, and she posed like a pro for an entire hour! Before Mom and Dad loaded her back up and headed South ... with a trip to Buckeye's for the world famous banana bread, I hope. Guys, it was so much fun. I adore your girl. Thank you for sharing her with me, and enjoy your sneaky!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

laura & co.

Meet the lovely and incomparable Miss Laura W. A senior at Abilene Christian University, majoring in Musical Theatre, and the love of my brother's life. She's got quite an impressive resume already, performing in several plays at Ft. Worth's Casa Manana, as well as singing the theme songs for Japan's very popular cartoon, Magical Girls Club (it's my ring tone for her when she calls) in English. She rocked the stage as Marci Park in Abilene's Historic Paramount Theatre in The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee this past summer, and this fall she'll play a 1st Class Woman in ACU's musical homecoming, The Titanic (no, not Leo's version). {SPOILER ALERT: she and her child make it. Her husband doesn't it}. And while I can go on and on about the greatness of Miss Laura W. as an actress, I think I'd rather go on and on about the greatness of Miss Laura W. as Miss Laura W. She makes me laugh. Out loud. Consistently. And she totally has the Crazy Christoferson humor that my family eats, sleeps and breathes. The most telling thing about her: she makes my baby brother laugh. Out loud. Consistently. She's beautiful, intelligent, so very talented and so darn funny. I had so much fun FINALLY getting to put her in front of the camera (is she not the cutest little piece of eye candy, or what?!), and it was an absolute honor. I have no doubt she'll go far in the pursuit of her dream, and I am so happy she let me join the ride. Break a leg, Wetsy, and enjoy your sneaky to the peeky!

carrie & co.

It was literally a year ago this month when sweet little Emily came to our studio for a newbie session. She was 2.5 weeks then, and an absolute angel. One year later, she's been walking for three month (yep; she took her first steps at 9 months!), can say "dog", "hi" and "graham cracker" and still has the most amazing head of hair. Emily brought along her mommy, daddy and beloved dog, Banjo for the session. Yes, it was miserably hot, but Emily allowed us 4 outfit changes. She was not a big fan of going barefoot in the leaves, nor of the adorable smash cake Carrie brought (she literally cried when it was placed in front of her, and then turned and walked away), but she loved my baskets and shabby chic chairs (thank, in large part, to Brad turning them into fun rides). Guys, it's been so much fun watching her grow up this past year. Thank you so much for sharing her with me. Enjoy your sneaky, and next year we'll just make a graham cracker cake!