Danie & Anthony

What A Gorgeous Day!

Wow this Sunday was a blast! I am just recently starting to shoot more weddings in Austin and I couldn’t be happier with these first few.

Danie and Anthony were such a lovely couple to work with. So relaxed and laid back, the ideal clients in my opinion. Here are some of the images from the wedding. I can’t wait to look through these more and get the rest of them edited!

First Dance
Wedding Couple's Photo

Jennifer & Jordan

I remember the moment that I knew I would be shooting Jennifer and Jordan’s wedding. They were guests at a different wedding I shot and Jennifer stopped me during the sparkler exit to tell me that she had a dream I shot her wedding. She told me that it made her cry and she was so excited to hire me. I found that super endearing and was so pleased when she followed through with her dream and hired me!

Jennifer and Jordan, I really wish you good luck in your future in Louisiana. Your wedding was beautiful and so chic! Looking forward to seeing great things!

Texas Engagement Photography
Texas Engagement Photography
Texas Wedding Photography
Texas Wedding Photography

The Best Time Of Day For Engagement Photography

So you’re planning your engagement shoot… awesome! I’m here to help you understand what time of day is best for engagements, because there are definitely right and wrong answers here.

So first of all, if you’re thinking “Okay let me knock these out during my lunch break” or something similar…. STOP. Photos shot mid-day are almost going to look less than stellar (unless your photographer is a magician or something!). You’re going to want to either shoot super early in the morning, or late in the evening. I’ll explain further below.

Images such as this one, shot by @timothypaulsmith, during mid-day may look nice (due to the photographer’s skill level), however it would benefit greatly if shot with the sun lower in the sky, casting softer/more flattering shadows.

Images such as this one, shot by @timothypaulsmith, during mid-day may look nice (due to the photographer’s skill level), however it would benefit greatly if shot with the sun lower in the sky, casting softer/more flattering shadows.

So when the sun is lower in the sky, several things are happening. Shadows falling across someone’s face is far more flattering during these two times. Don’t believe me? Have someone stand below directly below an overhead light (such as a ceiling fan) and snap a photo on your phone. Then do the same thing, but next to a desk lamp. You should see a very noticeable increase in quality!


 

So why is photography better when the sun is lower in the sky?

This photo, (shot by yours truly!), demonstrates how the sun can act as a rim light during an outdoor shoot. Notice how the edges of the couple are lit really brightly, resulting in a more dramatic appearance.

This photo, (shot by yours truly!), demonstrates how the sun can act as a rim light during an outdoor shoot. Notice how the edges of the couple are lit really brightly, resulting in a more dramatic appearance.

When the sun is lower in the sky, several things are happening. The light takes a longer path to reach you, so during that time, more of the blue light is filtered out due to chemical composition of the atmosphere. This results in an overall warmer tone, which is far more flattering to skin tones and feels more intimate (I personally think this is why tungsten lighting is more popular for lighting homes).

Also, a greater proportion of the light for your photos comes from the scattered light in the sky, resulting in softer shadows. Softer shadows are one of the primary reasons why photographers spend unforgivable amounts of money on light modifiers. Many of these modifiers can be boiled down to “light softeners”. The softer the light, the more flattering it is to the photo subject, such as you and your loved one!

And finally, when the sun is lower in the sky, the sun can act as a rim light to your photos. For the photography layperson, a rim light is a backlight that helps highlight the edges of your subject, helping draw your eyes to the subject and away from the background. See the included image for an example of natural rim lighting!

The Best Time For Shooting

Another example of how sunset photography creates that warm soft lighting that couples love so much!

Another example of how sunset photography creates that warm soft lighting that couples love so much!

So there isn’t a single good time that is good for photos. The sunrise and sunsets in your area are affected by your time zone, location relative to the equator, and whether or not you observe daylight savings. Luckily, the internet has our back here. Most weather apps can tell you the sunrise and sunset of any given day for the foreseeable future (assuming robots don’t take over the planet and destroy the sun, obviously). So my advice is to check the sunrise/sunset of a date close to when you’re planning your shoot, and then create your timeline from there.

If you plan to shoot around sunrise, then be sure to meet with your photographer 15 minutes before sunrise, so that way you’ll have plenty of time to get familiar with them and comfortable in front of the camera. The best shots are going to happen right as the sun is rising above the horizon.

Which leads me to my final point. Sunset engagement photography sessions are so much better because you can end the shoot with the best photos. Your engagement shoot is likely the first time you’ll work with your photographer, so there will be that awkward time where you’re all getting familiar with each other and getting comfortable in front of the camera. So the less awesome photos that are shot while the sun is still in the sky can be almost like a small “meet-and-greet”, and then later when the sun is super low in the sky, you’re mega comfortable with each other. It most definitely shows in the photos!

I hope this is helpful for planning your engagement shoot. Your photographer will likely have their own opinions, but I feel like most of them will agree with what I said here. Good luck out there!

New Website Design!

Be on the lookout for a complete redesign of the website coming soon! The current design has been wonderful but I have been looking at some other photographers who have much more straight forward designs and it has grown on me.

The idea will be to simply things. Rather than splitting images up into many categories, there will be two categories… weddings and non-weddings. There will be very little text on the homepage as well. I want visitors to jump in and be smacked in the face with images! Then if they want to explore around and learn more, the familiar links such as my blog and the faq page will be available.

I’m been wanting to do this redesign for a long time but I’ve been super afraid of breaking my website and having potential visitors turn right around the moment they see it. However, today I figured out a way I can completely redesign the site and only go live with the redesign when I want to. That way the website seems the same while I work.

I’ll be announcing the new design within the next few days so keep an eye out!

Lauren & Richie

Family Photos Aren’t Really My Thing

As you may have noticed, I don’t really shoot a ton of family photos. I have a few personal reasons for this, but it’s mostly down to a difference in taste compared to what most clients want with family photos. However, I will occasionally make exceptions for friends. Especially friends with cute little babies like Rhodes here! I have known Lauren for a long time and when she reached out to me to shoot photos of her new baby I was like “yeah okay I need to see that bab immediately.” He’s such a good little baby and what a charmer! (you’ll see for yourself below!). Enjoy the photos!

Also, Lauren is a musician based in East Texas. So if you dig super awesome chill music, you should check her out. Click here to follow her on instagram!

Lauren Alexander Family Photography

Jennifer & Jordan

Could these images from my latest engagement shoot be any more perfect?!?!?! This is a couple I’ve been waiting to work with for a really long time, and now it’s like a dream come true! So happy for them!

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I suffer from FPD

It’s called forgetful photographer disorder. It’s a thing I made up to explain why I sometimes schedule a fun shoot with people and then never share the images. (likely to do with wedding work always taking priority hehe). Here’s an image I found from a few years back that’s pretty great! I was trying to break into the product photography scene and had these cool headphones (which I still own!) and wanted to shoot photos of them. Enjoy!

Not All Shoots Go As Planned

So here’s the thing, not every shoot goes as planned. Shocking news am I right!? The day of Amanda and Steve’s shoot started out with me finding out that my car had been towed. Super fun times there. It wasn’t supposed to be towed, because I had the parking sticker, but it was the old sticker before they updated. I was told it would be fine, and there was no need to update. However, I guess the towing company had some different plans for me.

After I retrieved my car, I run back home and pack my gear. Only then do I realize that I don’t have my camera charger. It was probably lost at the wedding I had shot the weekend before, but I hadn’t realized because I have plenty of batteries and was just swapping them all out. Well, of course, every battery I owned was now completely dead. So I set out to a Best Buy to purchase a new charger. I worked at Best Buy back in the day, so I knew they carried chargers. Well I guess between when I worked at Best Buy, and now, they have gutted their camera departments. I spent two hours driving between different stores looking for any kind of camera charger. Finally, the third Best Buy in the area had one left in stock (and they’ll likely just not buy any more now).

So that struggle was out of the way, but now I was running super late and was worried about rush hour traffic, because the shoot was located about 3 hour drive away. I called Amanda, and wow she was so understanding. She had every right to be upset, yet, was very calm and encouraged me to just get there safely and we would figure everything out. So, yes, while traffic turned it into a 4 hour drive, I was determined to get some good photos with our short time together!

And, wow, did we ever! We only had time for about an hour of shooting in one location, but the photos just turned out so good. She had the excellent idea of shooting on a pedestrian bridge in Dallas. I’ll shut up and get to the photos. I was just blown away with how so many things could go wrong and yet still end up with some excellent shots!

Amber

A few weeks back, I had that pleasure of working with Amber Chaffin on her bridal photos. When you first meet Amber, she is very shy and reserved. However, after working with her for a couple hours during her bridal shoot, I learned that she just needs some time to get comfortable. She was very focused and easy to work with that day!

One of the things I loved about working with Amber is how comfortable she was telling me what she wanted, and also if she didn't like a photo that I shot. My feelings do not get hurt easily, and my main goal is to help deliver a product she loves. So if there was a photo she did not like, she was willing to let me know, which is something not all brides do unfortunately. This helped us work together and create images that she and her family will cherish forever!

My Baby Sister

Last Saturday (5-12-18), my baby sister Kimberly Bennett suffered a sever motorcycle accident. She wasn't speeding, and she was in full protective gear, but unfortunate road conditions caused her to lost control of her bike during an acceleration from a stoplight. Fortunately, one of the people she was riding with was a paramedic and she received immediate medical attention, in addition to, being very close to a level 1 trauma center which specializes in head injuries.

She sustained very minimal injuries to her body, but unfortunately, she is suffering from severe brain injuries. The extend of the damage is still unknown at this point, as she is still not awake, but what is known for sure will likely have a long road to recovery.

We are just so very thankful that she is still with us, because when it comes to motorcycles, physically surviving an accident isn't a given. The Lord definitely had some angels watching over her that day, and continues to have them at her bedside, because every day there is some kind of improvement with her awareness and her overall condition. The bruising in her lungs is almost completely gone (which has made her breathing much easier). As a matter of fact, she is breathing completely on her own as of today.

We are so thankful for all of the support we have received so far. The mayor of Kim's town began a fundraiser for Kim's recovery and has raised nearly $4,000 so far.

I'm not really sure what the point of this blog was supposed to be. I just needed to write something about how she was doing and share a few of the images I have captured. Unfortunately, I was unable to stay for longer than a week due to work so I had to leave the hospital. But my mom knows that I'm still very interested in Kim's condition and to call me if there are any changes. If you'd like to keep updated with Kim's condition, I will provide a link below where my mother is updating Kim's condition daily (at least mostly daily hehe). I will also include a link the fundraiser mentioned earlier.

Keep up to date with Kim's condition

Donate to Kim's Recovery

Me trying my best to watercolor something for Kim to see when she wakes up. I need more practice!

Though she has had her ups and downs, I wanted to capture images of my mom during the good days because those are the days when I believe Kim has healed the most.

My mom has barely left the hospital room. And even then, we practically have to force her out of there. She isn't going anywhere without a fight!

A photo I shot of my beautiful sister on her wedding day.

Tatiana & Tristan

As a child, my father's side of the family was very close. I knew all of my cousins, aunts, and uncles very well. However, as with most families, time caused us to drift apart. Most of my family moved away and started living their own lives.

Now, there is nothing wrong with that at all. I feel like relationships with people should always be treated as temporary. Because most of them are, and that makes them even more special. This is why I was so excited to shoot my cousin Tatiana's wedding. We haven't reconnected (other than on social media) in over ten years. While I had very little time to catch up with her in between shooting the wedding photos, it was very refreshing to see how happy and excited she was to get married! 

Enjoy the photos!

Tatiana & Tristan Wedding Blog

Card 53

Some really cool dudes recently asked me to help them out with a promotional photo shoot. They are part of a group called Card53. They are a local improv group that has been touring for 7+ years and I have personally seen their show a few times. They are phenomenal.

So naturally I was very excited at the idea of shooting for these dudes. We managed to secure a shooting location at Liberty Theater. We did plan to shoot some photos outside as well, but unfortunately the weather in East Texas decided not to cooperate, so we were forced to move the entire shoot indoors. These guys were mega cool with the whole procedure and it was likely the funniest shoot I've ever participated in. Who would have thought that an improv group would be funny and able to banter properly.

Anyway, here are some of the photos from the shoot! Please also take a moment to check out Card 53 and Liberty Theater.

Still Alive!

Hello website visitor! I don't write in my blog here as often as I should, but I'm super duper still out there shooting photos with that camera thingy I own. Things in my life have been changing pretty rapidly (graduation, new relationships, possibly moving to a new city... etc) but my focus is still very much on photography! I will definitely try to write in this blog about once per week from now on if possible, even if it's just a single image or a small update or something!

Hope your life is going super awesome and I look forward to us speaking!

 

A photo I snapped of my girlfriend before we were even dating =D

A photo I snapped of my girlfriend before we were even dating =D

Lauren & Kody

Because I'm finishing up my degree in chemistry, I don't usually advertise my ability to travel very much. I will definitely do it though, but because of my lack of outreach, I don't do it often!

However when Lauren & Kody approached me at a local wedding show, I knew I just had to shoot their wedding. We just immediately hit it off, and I could sense the strong connection they had with each other, even through all of the overwhelming stress that comes with wedding planning. I feel like wedding planning is the first major test in a relationship. If you can handle that, then there is little you ca't handle together!!!

Lucky for me, they hired me to shoot their wedding at the absolutely gorgeous Inspiring Oaks Ranch in Wimberley, TX. Let me just say something, wow at that place! You get to stay at this really nice house in what feels like the middle of nowhere surrounded by hills and trees. They had an excellent ceremony spot and and an equally amazing reception spot. They didn't pay me to say this hehe, I just loved it!

Anyway, I loved shooting this wedding! The weather and lighting were perfect. Lauren and Kody were obviously deeply in love. The ceremony was perfect. And the reception? I swear they hacked my spotify playlist and copied my favorite songs! haha

Okay I'll stop talking and get to the photos now! Enjoy!!!!

Lauren & Kody Website-38.jpg
Lauren & Kody Website-42.jpg

Kittens!

Those of you who know me, also know that I'm a student of chemistry at the University of Texas at Tyler. While I love school, it does cause me to be a bit busier than most people, so things like keeping this blog up to date kind of fall on the back burner. I'm far more active on instagram though, so feel free to check that out and follow me there! But I'm going to try and be better about coming back to this blog and update. Eventually one day when I can focus on photography full time, I want this blog to also be a place for aspiring photographers to come and learn!

But anyway, I just want to show people out there I'm still active and being a photographer person!

I was out shooting engagement photos with some clients and saw a cat. I love cats. But then when I got closer, I saw KITTENS! They all ran away under a building, but one of them was brave enough to stay close to the edge of the building and let me grab a quick snap of it!

So CUTE! I love animals.... sorry not sorry.

Anyway, that's all for now!

Brittany & Ryan

Brittany & Ryan

June 11, 2016


It's not very often that I pull up to a venue which is still under construction on the day of the wedding. In fact... it's never happened to me before Brittany and Ryan's wedding! Long story short, Brittany's father turned his home into a vineyard/venue for his daughter's wedding! I believe he plans to host weddings in the future, but his daughters would be the first. Let me just say this... it was amazing. I'm so very excited to think I may get to shoot over there again!

However, my favorite moment during the day was their first look before the ceremony. I literally cannot recommend doing this enough! Not only does it help because you can shoot all of your family photos before the ceremony and go straight to your reception, but the moment is also far more intimate. I must admit that I've shed a few photographer tears over the years while Okay I'll stop writing and let you see the rest of the images!!! Enjoy!

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Dallas Trip

Believe it or not, I sometimes do shoot photos that aren't wedding related! Haha! But for real, I took Emma (my SO) to Dallas to go the aquarium and to go shopping, and I figured I'd like to share those photos on here! I didn't shoot a ton of photos because I try not to get too sucked into just the photography and rather enjoy myself! ENJOY!

Emma helping to open up the Disney store!

Emma helping to open up the Disney store!

That manatee was just eating the entire time, so the moment it stopped I snapped this quickly!

That manatee was just eating the entire time, so the moment it stopped I snapped this quickly!

This penguin would literally not stop cleaning itself, so I just grabbed a photo anyway.

This penguin would literally not stop cleaning itself, so I just grabbed a photo anyway.

This is definitley my favorite photo of the entire day!

This is definitley my favorite photo of the entire day!

I didn't intend for this photo to be anything special, but for some reason it looked awesome enough to keep!

I didn't intend for this photo to be anything special, but for some reason it looked awesome enough to keep!

At the end of our trip!

At the end of our trip!

Heather and Brant

On March 5th I shot a very special wedding. It was my first wedding to shoot at Villa di Felicita. It was also probably the shortest ceremony I've ever shot!

So what people may not realize is that when I meet a client for a pre-wedding consultation, I'm not only being "interviewed" for a job, but I'm also deciding if I want to accept the job. It doesn't happen often, but sometimes I meet people who I don't really feel a good connection with and I'll recommend them to another photographer.

Why am I writing about all of this? Well I got to meet Heather and Brant at The Foundry Coffee House a few months back and almost instantly decided that I wanted to work with them! It usually takes me a few minutes to the entire meeting before I make my decision, but they had such a good positive energy that it took almost no time at all.

So anyway, I'll stop talking and get to the photos. Congrats Heather and Brant! Your wedding was awesome and I loved the venue you chose!