Dallas Arboretum // Mini Session Portraits
A while back I put together my first mini portrait session at the Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Gardens and it was such a successful morning! The reason I put together this shoot was just because at the time the Arboretum was holding an awesome deal with $1 admission. I wanted people to come out and enjoy this deal and tried to encourage them through some portrait sessions. Needless to say I had acquired so much interest and met some old and new faces. Thank you to all my friends and families for not only spreading the word but saying such kind things about my photography. All your support means so much! And A HUGE KUDOS goes to my photo assistant, Lionel Park. He kept me on schedule and held up a reflector for me as we sweated in the summer heat. I hope to do another session like this again! Be on the lookout for an advertisement through my Facebook page if you're interested to sign up for a mini or regular portrait session! In the meantime, here are all my clients' favorites and my personal favorites just below with a little bit about each family! Enjoy!
I've known this child for years and it's been incredible to watch him grow up. I've photographed him since he was three years old (I think...I can't remember). What I love about Max is that he has been a happy, curious, and goofy kid ever since I've met him. He is so comfortable in front of the camera and loves to act silly but he can turn on that million dollar smile in a snap. He makes my job so so easy - I don't have to tell him how to pose or ask him - he's got it. Over the years, I've seen him go from his obsession of toy cars to ants and bugs. Our session last - he took photos of a ton of ant piles haha! Kimmy - his mom - always posts the most endearing and cutest videos of him dancing his butt off or records his voice singing in the bathroom. I keep telling his mom that he ought to go into acting. He would be such a great kid actor. She told me his latest favorite dance craze is the whip and nae nae - did I say that right or spell that correctly?? I don't even know what exactly the moves are except I've heard the song on the radio >< lol! I would post more photos but Kimmy picked up all my favorites (after so many years it would figure we would pick the same ones!) I can't wait to do their Christmas card photos again this year!!!
KAREN & DOUG
I met Karen while attending Texas Woman's University. I can't recall how we met exactly (I think we shared a class together), but we have chatted on numerous occasions. Karen has always been so sweet and kind. I remember her asking me to photograph her wedding a little while ago but I wasn't able to. I'm so glad she reached out to me about wanting to take some photos with her hubby! It's been years since we both finished at TWU and we've gone on to grow up and become adults with careers. It was fun to see her again and meet Doug. Those two are really chill and relaxed. They were so adorable in their matching outfits too! I think what I liked most about them is that they were very really calm and willing to do different poses despite how silly it sounded when I requested it! During post work, I went through all their digitals and they both have incredible skin! I mean seriously gorgeous skin! It was all really even toned and barely any retouching was needed! Must find out their secrets on skincare! =)
LIL MISS HADLEY
Oh, sweet adorable little miss Hadley! I not only got to meet this tiny blue eyed baby but her kind and sweet parents and even sweeter grandmother. The whole gang came out wanting not just portraits of her but of her with her parents. One thing I learned very quickly was how curious she was while we were photographing her from the bridge. All she wanted to do was figure out what was going on! She was super cute when she cried - I learned that she's not a fan of changing clothes despite the wishes of all of us adults wanting to make use of the outfits that were brought. She loves it when her mom cries and she goes crazy when she sees snacks. I would be too - who wouldn't get excited for food!
I've never met Lauren but I've always heard how amazing Lauren is because she works with my sister. This former UT Mathematics graduate just completed her graduate program and received her MBA. And she's only 25! My sister told me how incredibly smart she is and I was wowed because she certainly seemed so in person! Lauren has some stunning bright blue eyes and she picked such a great dress color to make them pop - and it was such a great color to sport at a botanical garden I really enjoyed how easy to get along with her was and it was cool to exchange stories about our relationship with our sisters. What I thought was super cute was that Lauren asked to have photos taken with her black blazer. I was impressed because not only was she thinking about her next best photo for Facebook - she was thinking professional shots too! She's so professional but super down to earth. Congrats on finishing grad school Lauren!!
CURLY HAIRED AUGUST
Um, first off - that name. I have never met anyone with such a great name like August. It's short for Augustus which is even cooler. And go figure - his dad is photographer Shawn Roller. I met Shawn at the beginning of the year at an Instameet and let me tell you he wrote a really nice paragraph that featured me as one to watch for the month of January on @InstaDFW. Since then, we've followed each other on Instagram and casually said our greetings at other instants and art shows. So when he said he wanted to take part of my mini session - I was so flattered! It's one thing to have photographers ask you to take their portraits, but its another thing to take their children's portraits. I loved that he was so open to having another photographer's POV when it came to capturing his children (he has two sons) and I loved how involved he was during the entire session. His youngest, August, was not really digging the whole sit and smile thing so to get him relaxed - Shawn chased him around getting him excited. It was so much fun following after him and his dad and seeing him really light up. He got moreover curious with the garden's decor and animal statues too - so after that it was really hard to keep him still! But I loved watching him bond with his dad - it was really incredibly endearing.
COOK KID JUDAH
I swear this one needs to be in a GAP commercial. That's the first thing I thought of when I met little blue eyed wonder Judah - Shawn Roller's eldest son. His long locks, denim slip on shoes, and corduroy pants were exactly the look of a fashionably hip four year old. Unlike his little brother's eagerness to move around, Judah was really patient with me. His dad asked him to be good and smile for "Miss Esther" (I love when parents tell their children to address me like that - it's so respectful and sweet - I feel like a teacher!) and he did his best even when you could tell he was ready to go explore the gardens - he really wanted to play in the children's gardens. What I love about Judah is that he can make ever pose look so cool. He would look off to the distance or just hang on a fence and not give a cheesy over the top smile but this natural toothless smile that was so effortless. Even when he displayed moments of boredom with taking pictures he looked incredibly adorable! It was so so difficult to go through his digitals and not spam you all! My favorite shot is the one below. We were wrapping up towards the end of his session when I asked him to sit on this wooden bench to which he obliged. But minutes in, he slowly started sinking into the bench and that's when you could tell he was just about done. He didn't complain, he didn't whine, he didn't cry - he just decided to get comfortable and not care and that's when he threw this pose out on his own. It's how kids are most of the time - not trying to smile not trying to be cookie cutter - just kids being kids and Judah rocked it.
Again, I want to thank every single one of my clients who came and brought themselves or their children to take their portraits with me! It was a lot of fun! Even though we only got thirty minutes together, I learned so much about y'all and loved getting to work together! I hope you all had a great time walking around and soaking up the heat and beautiful botanical gardens. One day I will try to do this again!