I have met some amazing women doing some impressive things with their lives and time. If you are female and have not joined at least one of the many women's groups in town you are missing out. Although I do not do a lot of event photography there is something great about being in a social scene hidden in plain view capturing people at a particular moment when the space is full of possibilities of new friendships and alliances. These were taken at the June BossBabesATX meet-up. They are a badass collective of women who created this platform and space, a space in which I have met some truly good friends. If you don't know about them, I suggest you check them out.
When my darling friend hired me to do her engagement photos I thought it was a little funny that she wanted to have part of her session at a Whataburger. She told me the idea was to capture her and her fiancee all dressed up scarfing cheeseburgers because that is how most of their fun nights ended. All she really needed to tell me was, "food", and I would have been up for it.
The restaurant could not have been nicer, (a huge thank you to our East Austin location, my old neighborhood). Call time was 5a.m. I grabbed my handsome assistant, Mr. Leandra Blei, and upon arriving saw the most darling couple, ready to go in a suit and cocktail dress. We had an amazing shoot, although I kept forgetting between bites they actually had to chew and swallow their food for me to take my next shot.
Last Spring wanting to hone my skills a bit I posted a Craigslist ad looking for a blogger of food or fashion to collaborate with. This is how I met Betsy, who aside from our metabolism and other physical attributes, could be my little sister. We hit it off our first meet up and have been shooting together for over a year now and even did a shoe campaign together last Winter. Here are some favorites from our Anniversary Session we took to Laguna Gloria. She is not only lovely but the absolute sweetest. Be sure to check out her blog, Hello Tuesday, here.
This session was so much fun! I photographed these two when they were still inside Mommy's belly. Here we are a little over a year later and they are crawling and wobbling all over daddy's face while mom and grandma help to wrangle them up. Lucky for me they're still in the early stages and aren't as mobile as they'd like to be.
I still love shooting food but hardly anyone asks me to do it. And since my favorite chef moved to Atlanta and I am a terrible cook, it doesn't happen as often as I'd like but when it does I usually jump at the chance. This was a little different however. There was not a whole lot of styling as I was to capture the food as an event was taking place. No reflectors (mostly), no lights, no tweezers to move parsley around just me and my camera and an approaching storm, which ended up breaking to everyone's surprise.
These little darlings gave me a work out but isn't that the point? What fun is a field of flowers at sunset if one can't run around and play in them? Am I right?
It was such an honor being asked to do this Senior Session. Kristina's mother and I are what we call, "Forever Friends". We shared many fun times and tears growing up and although we do not get to see each other very often, (she lives in a far off place called Amarillo, which for those of you out of Texas translates into a 7 hour drive), we keep in touch through Facebook messages and emojis. She is just as beautiful, faith driven and sweet as her mother. I could not be more impressed by a girl her age. Here are some of my favorites from our session.
I love working with bloggers. They keep me on my toes with all the current lingo and what is fashionable. Yes, I feel a little old when I'm around them but it is worth it just to be around such a fun bunch of gals, letting their creativity and personalities out to the world in ways I am still terrified to do. While working on a Christmas Collaboration last year with a handful of fashion bloggers, I was introduced to Kaley Margaret. She is kind of the coolest chic you'll ever meet. She is a foodie who likes fashion and drinking beer and has a roar of a laugh. We got together with her childhood friend and make up artist, Katherine Crenshaw, for a little Valentine's Day fun. Or rather Pre V-Day to offer beauty tips and tricks. It was such a great time and my partner and I even played around with a little video. Click here to check out her blog and some past shoots we've done together.
There is a very lively group of women of all walks that has come together filling the Austin streets with badassery. They are Bossbabesatx. It is a wonderful community of makers, creatives, fun, expressive, ladies, doing what they do. I have met some extraordinary women at these meet ups and here are just two. Realtor, Kristina Modares and small business accountant, Heather Labus. They have teamed up to teach a financial literacy course and asked me to take their photo for a few web promos. Of course I said yes.
While having an online presence is important, making real face to face connections is a big part of owning a business. This is why I teamed up with my neighborhood Mary Kay studio to meet a few of their consultants and clients. I set up a couple of large foam boards, a light and had five minutes with each woman for an "After" photo. It was a tremendous experience for me and I think the ladies looked amazing.
I had set up a shoot with wonderful ATX model and actress, Katherine Molidor and just as we were about to begin the power went out. I thought I had blown a fuse in the studio, (again), but this time it was the entire street and completely NOT my fault. We had a great shoot using my battery pack in the studio but then decided to try a little natural light. Katherine, being the talent that she is, did her own hair and make up. Some of my favorite photoshoots have come from accepting a challenge. She was a doll to go with the flow. I love the Sassy magazine 90's feel of these.
Playing in the studio with local model, Chelsea.
Victoria is a Puerto Rican student, starting her own fitness business and an all in all force. She and her partner teach about body love along with healthy living. It seems to be working for her because I absolutely love the way these portraits came out. She is confident, poised and a knock out for sure!
We met at a BossBabeATX art workshop. She was striking and hard not to start a conversation with. I eventually asked her to sit for me and she handed me her card. It read, "Lauren Fucking Russo". Suddenly I did not only want to photograph her, I wanted to be her. Of course she is a life coach so if you need someone to help you get your own thoughts organized call this babe.
Women Portraiture: Take Two: This project means so much to me and I am so thankful to the participants. Do we see ourselves the way our loved ones do? Beautiful. Generous. Full of life. Here are some of my favorite shots from my session with Lan.
I am so grateful every day that I get to do what I love; taking photographs of people celebrating cherished events, showing off their styles, their talents, capturing a period of time with their families...Along my journey I stumbled upon a famous photographer's work, Sue Bryce, and something clicked. Like discovering French cheese for the first time, studying her portraiture became my new favorite thing. I have been putting together shoots in my studio, focusing on portraits of women. One of the reasons this type of portraiture spoke to me came from the idea, not a new idea, but one that Sue Bryce touched on in one of her talks, that we all have that one photo of someone we love that is so special and passed down for generations. Not "emailed to" Not tagged on Facebook, but a physical printed and framed image. I thought, YES! What a wonderful idea! So here we go. This is the beginning of something I would like to do. A project that is becoming very dear to me. I would like to bring back the portrait.
I am sometimes asked to take family portraits. This wonderful mom and I went to school together, which seems like a million years ago and at the same time just yesterday. How is that? She, of course, is only getting more gorgeous with age and her girls are precious. She says she could not have made two daughters more different if she had tried.
I have recently been getting into more studio work but for families, in my opinion, it's more fun to get outside. We met at a little park, which I was introduced to by another family last fall, and got some fun shots. Below are some of my favorites.