For those of you who haven’t heard, I’m hosting our very first Facebook Fan Page contest! It’s a Trash the Dress Session. All you do is become a fan if you are interested, then leave a comment…anything you want. Easy peasy lemon squeezy.

What’s a Trash the Dress session, you ask? Well, it’s a very fun shoot in which…we trash your dress! Just kidding. Well sort of.

Ok so, you know how your wedding day went by in a blur? And maybe you were too scared to ruin anything during your bridal session, if you had one at all? No time for awesome photos of you looking SMASHING in that fab dress, right? That’s where a TTD session comes in.

The day’s done…and you REEE-HEE-EEA-LLY want some knock out photos of yourself rockin’ that dress? Perfect. I want to shoot it.

Truth be told, my brides are usually not too shy about being a little less than careful on our bridal sessions. Here’s Aprille  gliding through mazes, standing by fountains, laying on park benches and looking simply gorgeous!

Houston bridal portraits Mercer Bridal Session & Trash The Dress

Bridal Portrait Mercer Arboretum Houston Mercer Bridal Session & Trash The Dress

Bridal portraits Mercer Arboretum Mercer Bridal Session & Trash The Dress

Houston Bridal Portraits Mercer Arboretum Mercer Bridal Session & Trash The Dress

Bridal Photography Houston Mercer Bridal Session & Trash The Dress

But for this…I wan to go ALL out. I’m thinking heated pools, train tracks, open fields, you name it. Anything goes.  Let’s get creative…let’s get dirty! What do you say? Do you want to trash the dress?

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The historic, octagonal, and very beautiful Garten Verein in Galveston, TX was the perfect place for Charlie & Esmeralda’s wedding. When we first met, we immediately clicked over their colorful, whimsical and romantic wedding plans. I also bonded with them because, frankly, their sense of humor and wonderful disposition is just a joy to be around.

Charlie & Esmeralda included a Disney theme in their wedding and welcomed family and friends from near and far on one of the most perfect of wedding days. Their ceremony took place at dusk, which made for amazing, dramatic lighting. And the venue was also perfectly lit by the folks at LG Entertainment to coordinate with their fun wedding colors.

Here are some of my favorite photos of the day.

As if this place wasn’t gorgeous enough, the weather was just absolutely perfect! Blue skies were abound, which made for the perfect framing of this beautiful, historic structure.

Gartein Verein Wedding Photographer Garten Verein Wedding Photography • Charlie & Esmeralda

Esmeralda went for a vintage-glam look done by the highly talented Leah, owner of Your Beautiful Face. I absolutely loved the subtle waves in her hair that just framed her bone structure perfectly.  She is an absolute vision!

Your Beautiful Face Makeup Houston Garten Verein Wedding Photography • Charlie & Esmeralda

Charlie wore a stylish, tan suit that went perfectly with this beach-side location. His tulip boutonniere finished off this polished look. All floral pieces were created by the talented folks at Striking Stems.

Picture of Groom Getting Ready Garten Verein Wedding Photography • Charlie & Esmeralda

Orange Wedding Flowers Garten Verein Wedding Photography • Charlie & Esmeralda

Wedding Bouquet with Orage Flowers Garten Verein Wedding Photography • Charlie & Esmeralda

I always borrow Hillary Clinton’s quote and apply it to weddings…it really does “take a village” to pull off such an important event. All details were expertly coordinated for this wedding by Jane and the super-professional ladies from The Total Wedding Experience. From planning, to coordinating, to set-up and everything in between, these ladies did an amazing job! Here’s a close up of some of the details they helped put together on wedding day.

Disney Wedding Theme Detail Photos Garten Verein Wedding Photography • Charlie & Esmeralda

Right before the ceremony, I caught a couple of shots of the ring bearer. His “cheese” grin is the best one I’ve seen in a while!

Ring Bearer Photo Houston Wedding Photography Garten Verein Wedding Photography • Charlie & Esmeralda

As the sun set over the gazebo, Charlie & Esmeralda shared their vows to become husband and wife…

Gartein Verein Wedding Photography Garten Verein Wedding Photography • Charlie & Esmeralda

This is a close up as Charlie thanks the Heavens. They were both so very excited and full of emotion.  This is why I love weddings so much!

Houston Wedding Photography Bride Groom at altar Garten Verein Wedding Photography • Charlie & Esmeralda

As I mentioned, these two are about the most fun couple…they even stopped to do a self portrait at the end of the ceremony! I’m still waiting to see that on your FB profile, guys!! ;) Here’s how it looked from my end.

Wedding Photography Garten Verein Garten Verein Wedding Photography • Charlie & EsmeraldaThanks so much for sharing your day with me! Congrats to you both!

For a more complete look at their wedding day, you can see the video:
Charlie & Esmeralda • Garten Verein Wedding

Thanks to these wonderful vendors for making this couple’s wedding dream a reality:

Video • Kay Sue-ray Video Events

Planning & Coordination • The Total Wedding Experience

Makeup Artistry • Your Beautiful Face

Venue • Garten Verein

Officiant • We Do I Do’s

Floral Art • Striking Stems

Music & Lighting • LG Entertainment

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Sooo…since the end of the year is typically down time for us wedding photogs, I took the opportunity to have some long needed corrective surgery. In total, I’ve had two since November. On the whole, I really have to thank my surgeon, Dr. David S. Wolf because he really has gone above and far beyond any other doctor I have ever had.

From meeting me well after office hours, two days before Thanksgiving to change a bloody bandage, to calling me two days ago way past a decent hour for the sake of fixing busted stitches, he’s been so amazing. I cannot brag about him enough. I liken him to those long-fabled doctors who gave such good care they even made house calls. Of course, he doesn’t make house calls…but darn close! In fact, if you are having any issues with your footsies or ankles, he is bar none the best doc in the Houston area.

Basically, my issue was pretty straight forward and even common. After many years, my left foot finally busted due to a “hallux valgus”.

Yes, I like fancy medical terms. That’s partly why I’m so addicted to Mystery Diagnosis. But I digress.

After our consult, it was determined that only corrective surgery would do. Because it was just plain painful to walk, and for someone who relies on being quick on their feet to photographically capture what the everyday person will miss in real life, this was just not an option. And since the same deviation occurred on my right foot – thank you mother nature and your keen sense of symmetry – I had to get this one done too. My right foot was not producing the same pain as my left, but hey, I’m all for beating pain to the punch. Does that make sense here? Probably not. Surgery IS painful. OK, I never claimed to make sense 100% of the time.


Where was I going with this? Oh yeah. So I’ve been asked by friends, family, concerned citizens – what is this process like? In a word:

Cumbersome.

I had to have one good foot to walk on at a time so I had to have two separate surgeries. My left foot is about 7 weeks post op. And yes…I will include photos towards the end of this post. But BE WARNED. Don’t look if you are squeamish. That probably just guaranteed you will look. I know, it’s in our nature…can’t look away from the train wreck. But don’t say I didn’t warn you.

My right foot, is about two and a half weeks post op, and still very much “ouchie”. In fact, both surgeries, though fixing the same thing, to different degrees, went not so much the same way. Am I still speaking in riddles? OK, let me rephrase. Both surgeries were correcting the same issue, but produced different experiences for me.

To shorten the story, healing times have been a little different for each, and then tearing stitches on my right foot definitely didn’t help things the other day. Bruising was different for each foot – one bruised more than the other. I had an outer pin on each foot but on the left it was located between my toes, and on the right foot it was placed on the outer-left side of my foot, which I found highly more annoying and painful. I did have a pain pump for the left foot, but not the right foot. Oddly enough, I actually think I prefer not having one. For some reason, I correlate this to the extended time it has taken for me to regain full flexibility and motion in one foot over the other. The left one, which had the pain pump seems more stiff. Maybe because it was so numb that first week that I hardly moved it at all. Who knows?

There is physical therapy in all of this, and that’s a whole other subject. I dislike PT almost as much as I hate brussel sprouts. My feet hurt like heck the day after. But the most annoying thing in all of this? Not being able to get around like I’m used to. From being a total “hop-along” (as several of my friends have sweetly termed me), to not being able to drive (having a standard transmission and therefore a clutch to push is not ideal for this), to just having to handle the every day task in a much different and more annoying way. And did I mention that I haven’t been able to wear heels since FOREVER!?!? I can no longer hide how very short I am.

On the upside, I’m more appreciative of the little things. I say thanks to the Universe everyday for having the ability and opportunity to correct this issue in the first place, not to mention that I’m still a healthy, non-handicapped individual. Because let’s face it, this will be over in about two more weeks and the searing pain I used to feel in my left foot is already gone. Thanks to my new buddy, Ibuprofen, the pain that’s left is completely manageable. Minus the hiccups and extended healing times, I really, truly cannot complain. So I’m excited to return to life as I knew it very soon! Actually, it should be a *new and improved* life, really.

If you’re wondering why the heck I’m posting about surgery and busted feet…well, duh. It’s because nobody knows what an operated foot looks like! ;) For those of you who braved this looong post about my feet, here’s your long awaited reward. Ha ha! But seriously, if you puke at the sight of blood, open wounds, severe bruising, or just ugly feet…stop right here.

This one is about 8 hours post op…when I had that issue with over-bleeding. That yellow thing is the pain pump.
left 200x300 Because Nobody Knows What An Operated Foot Looks Like

Sans bandage. Don’t you just love what iodine does to skin and nail color? Again, about 8 hours post op. That yellow thing between my toes is actually a metal pin that goes into the bone and outta my foot. Not so fun.
left2 200x300 Because Nobody Knows What An Operated Foot Looks Like

About 2.5 weeks post op on my right. Much more bruising on this foot. My left held the bruise on the underside, for some reason. This is right after the outer pin got pulled out and just before the sutures tore.
Right 300x200 Because Nobody Knows What An Operated Foot Looks Like

Left foot again, as of last Thursday. Still some swelling mid-foot. But surprisingly clean closure.
left3 300x200 Because Nobody Knows What An Operated Foot Looks Like

And that’s the photo re-cap! I know, I know. No photos of the open sutures. But I was kinda busy at the time!

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Just a very quick sneak of a couple of groomsmen portraits. These guys were so hilarious! I just love how these turned out.

Grom Portrait Hillary & Clint • Wedding Sneak

Groomsmen Portrait Hillary & Clint • Wedding Sneak

More to come soon!

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I had the great pleasure of photographing this little bundle of joy earlier this year. Ana Sofia is Valentina’s sister, who, coincidentally, has been featured on this year’s holiday cards for Plum Tree. You may remember this family from our multiple posts documenting their lives – a journey that began almost five years ago when I shot the wedding.

This session was actually a three-part shoot, capturing the arrival of this new family member, collecting some holiday family photos, and eventually a mini session for Valentina. I just can’t help it when it comes to this child – my camera adores her…but more about her will follow in another post.

So to start off this three part post, here are the photos of Ana Sofia. She has already captured my heart, and if history repeats itself (and I’m certain it will), she will be a camera magnet just like her big sister.

I put together this collage of my favorite images. And then I got to playing around with ideas for a big wall display in a nursery.

Newbown Photo Collage Ana Sofia • Newborn Session

A little modern…

Newborn Wall Display 2 Ana Sofia • Newborn Session

A little more traditional…

Newborn Wall Display Ana Sofia • Newborn Session

I just love decorating around the house…since I don’t have kids, this was a fun, virtual project!

Here she is out like a light in daddy’s arms…

Dad and baby Ana Sofia • Newborn Session

And playing with mommy…

Mom and baby Ana Sofia • Newborn Session

Big sis Valentina loves baby too!

Big sis and baby Ana Sofia • Newborn Session

Congrats to the Ayala’s for their beautiful, growing family!!

Family and baby Ana Sofia • Newborn Session

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Hillary • Bridal Photos

December 28, 2010

I’ve been itching to post these bridals for a while now. Hillary is just such a stunner, and we had a grand time at our session in October. Since her wedding photos will be going up very soon, I’ve just got enough time to post some faves of this session.

We shot these on Halloween morning in Downtown Houston amidst a menagerie of on-lookers who probably thought we were in costume for the day. Nay, Hillary looked so fabulous, there’s no way this could have passed as Halloween getup!

001 Hillary • Bridal Photos

002 Hillary • Bridal Photos

005 Hillary • Bridal Photos

003 Hillary • Bridal Photos

004 Hillary • Bridal Photos

006 Hillary • Bridal Photos

007 Hillary • Bridal Photos

008 Hillary • Bridal Photos

009 Hillary • Bridal Photos

010 Hillary • Bridal Photos

011 Hillary • Bridal Photos

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We are all just a sea of people. Each a particle of a very vast ocean. None too different from the rest. So why do we sometimes feel so disconnected? We all need, want, fear, love, cry, feel just the same. At any given moment, we are but a speck in a universe of echos, reaching to connect. Today, I can see this clearly. Tomorrow, I may need to recollect.

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I’m so excited to post this sneak preview for Natasha & Jason’s wedding. They tied the knot on 10/1 at Agave Road. What a way to kick off October! Many more photos will soon follow, but for now, enjoy!!

001 Natasha & Jason • Wedding Photo Sneak Preview

002 Natasha & Jason • Wedding Photo Sneak Preview

003 Natasha & Jason • Wedding Photo Sneak Preview

004 Natasha & Jason • Wedding Photo Sneak Preview

005 Natasha & Jason • Wedding Photo Sneak Preview

009 Natasha & Jason • Wedding Photo Sneak Preview

006 Natasha & Jason • Wedding Photo Sneak Preview

007 Natasha & Jason • Wedding Photo Sneak Preview

008 Natasha & Jason • Wedding Photo Sneak Preview

Fun, Love, Tears, Laughter…so much going on in this wedding. It was soooo amazing…

Pigs flew. Nuff said. For now. ;)

010 Natasha & Jason • Wedding Photo Sneak Preview

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0051 Kennedy Bakery • Band Photo Shoot

Photo shoots are fun. Shooting in a nineteenth century, haunted, old pub with the band Kennedy Bakery – MUCH more fun. That’s them above, having a good ol’ time as they pretend to be bartenders at what used to be the actual Kennedy Bakery in Downtown Houston.  The place is rich in history, creaky floorboards and that creepy feeling that sneaks upon the back of your neck. Alas, there were no ghosts there on this particular evening. But it didn’t stop us from having fun.

Kennedy Bakery is composed of Erin, James, Jenny, Justine, and Rachelle. They’ll be playing next at Walter’s on Washington on October 24th.  You can also catch them on their site: www.kennedybakery.com

Here are some photos from their shoot!

0041 Kennedy Bakery • Band Photo Shoot

0031 Kennedy Bakery • Band Photo Shoot

0021 Kennedy Bakery • Band Photo Shoot

0011 Kennedy Bakery • Band Photo Shoot

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Many, many times I’ve been caught gushing about my Plum Tree Families. From weddings to little ones and some other, major life events, these are the folks that have come along with me on the Plum Tree ride. Truth be told, I gush about all my clients – no joke, I’m incredibly fortunate to have the best ones in the world. Nonetheless, I’m also soooo thankful to feel a part of the magic that are family moments and bonds.

The Ayalas are definitely one such bunch – if not THE Plum Tree Family. Since 2006 (the year I also founded my business) I’ve been privileged with documenting their lives. Each time it’s something so awe-inspiring. This month, I’ve been commissioned to photograph Carolina and the gang for the coming of their second baby (name pending).

By now, they could probably list “professional model” on their resumes and, given their ability to charm the camera, make a pretty good living at it. How fortunate am I that they hire me to take their pictures instead! ;)

I just love working with these guys.

While I edited this shoot I caught myself sneaking peeks and reminiscing on the newborn shoot for Valentina – who’s now, incredibly, two years old! Princess Valentina is such a fun, sweet, and loving girl…that has us all completely ga-ga over her. Baby number two is going to have a wonderful big-sis.

So here are the Ayalas, celebrating the coming of their newest addition. Thank you guys for letting me be a part of it! I can’t wait to see her when she’s here!

001 Carolina • Maternity Session Houston002 Carolina • Maternity Session Houston009 Carolina • Maternity Session Houston010 Carolina • Maternity Session Houston008 Carolina • Maternity Session Houston006 Carolina • Maternity Session Houston005 Carolina • Maternity Session Houston003 Carolina • Maternity Session Houston007 Carolina • Maternity Session Houston004 Carolina • Maternity Session Houston011 Carolina • Maternity Session Houston012 Carolina • Maternity Session Houston

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