A Perfect Summer Night!

If you have ever read my blog of visited my Facebook page, you know I love stories, I love weddings, and I’m double blessed when I get both in the same evening. Such was the case when I had the pleasure of  photographing Bob and Heather McCarthy’s wedding a few weeks ago.

Although Heather is a new friend, I’ve known Bob and his family for several years.  Spending countless nights at the ball park when he, his twin Jim, and older brother Daniel played little league with our son, and their younger sitter Ellen ran around the park. As “baseball parents” a friendship grew with his mother, Andrea. Over the years we have shared swimming, tri-atholoning, book club and watching our kids navigate through school. So, you can see why I was honored to be asked to record this next amazing step in their lives.

Bob and Heather have dated for several years. I believe they met when both worked  as life guards at the city pool. From what I’ve heard, both Bob and Jim had a bit of a crush on her. And I can see why, she is absolutely darling! She spent the whole day what an infection smile on her face, beaming! Never a ruffled moment.

I hope  you enjoy a few of my favorites!

Every wedding need a little “Audrey Hepburn”

The Girls!

Brothers!

Bob and his crew!

In Jim’s words ” I guess we are kinda breaking up, but I knew it would be over Heather!”

One of the best moments: During his vows, Bob turned to their guess and loudly pronounced  “I DO!”

Tears of joy are the best kind.

Adding to an already perfect occasion was the wonderful new venue “Pecan Springs Ranch” near Dripping Spring, TX.  Although the official open date is September, Paige Smith of Paige One Events and her team created a storybook setting for the wedding and reception. On top of planning and coordinator, she was also the floral designer.The delicious cake was by Jennifer Isler, reception music by Tunes Across Texas. Lighting was by   FILO Designs-Howard Fletcher and additional rentals were provided by Bee Lavish Event Rental. Catering by Carino’s Italian

Last but not least, I’m so thankful to have Kristin of Kristen Joy Photography shooting second with me!

It’s been a while, so let’s catch up!

Hello friends,

I know it had been a while and so much has happen in the last months. Besides the holidays, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years,  We had anniversaries, birthdays, a funeral, and our son’s wedding (this will take a post of it’s own later). So before I get to all that….

If you read my last post you know I’ve been on some what of a journey. Journeys can often be exciting, refreshing, enlightening, frightening and overwhelming but always necessary.  One thing I know for sure, if you are not moving forward you are backing up. If you are not growing you are dying.

In moving down this photographic road I’m on I spent some time looking back over 2011. Looking back on where you’ve been can often shape where you are going. I realize most (if not all) of my photo friends and colleges shared their “2011 Year in Pictures” months ago, but what the heck!  Sometimes it’s better to show up at the party late than not to show up at all.

Here are (more than) a few images I’m fond of for one reason or another.

I started off the year with Derek and Cara’s wedding in Cuero

February brought snow and very large Combo-Birthday Celebration!

Followed by the Golden Stirrup Horse Show at the Austin Rodeo.

Spring was full: Babies, bright colors in nature, Seniors, beach trips and of course weddings.

This past summer was full of family,

Picking blueberries with Bobby and him mother Gen.

and what is the 4th of July if not spent with my Dad?

The Texas State Fair

Fall is always full of portraits but this year I also worked on a Cancer Survivor Calender

and a few personal projects.

Thankfully the year ended peaceful.  A blessing before the busy days ahead.

Thanks for stopping by and reminiscing with me.

I’m looking forward to sharing a few new project as I continue down this road one click at a time.

Giving voice

I keep waiting for the perfect words to come, they are not coming. And rightly so because this is not a perfect story.

I have been on somewhat of a journey, it began with redesigning my website but quickly took on a life of its own. These days you can’t simply re-design your site, you have to “Brand” or ‘Re-Brand” yourself. In Branding, first you must ask yourself who you are as a photographer and what your photography is saying?  That of course leads to self reflection and who has time for that? So I would put it on the back burner for a time, then pull it forward trying to “reflect”, then get busy and push it back, all the while not getting anything updated because I was not “perfectly” sure what I was trying to say.

In between then and now was quite a  struggling, I won’t bore you with the details, but that struggle lead me to spend a week with a group of photographers all looking for more in their photography. “Photo Muse” Austin was a group of 12 photographers, lead and directed by 3 leaders in the industry. Lynn Johnson, National Geographic, Penny De Los Santos, travel and food photographer and Scott Martin  fine art photographer and digital imaging educator.

There is much to share, and as I continue to process I will tell those stories, but the short version is: I went to be inspired, make beautiful images and find my voice. I finished the week with more purpose and a different kind of beauty in my work. I spent the week getting to know and photographing a group of men, telling the story of their lives. This may not be much different from my work in weddings, telling the love story of the couple and the story of the day. But these men live on the street, between a fence and wall, in the middle of no where, yet everywhere. They are the men and women we see (or often try not to) on street corners across this city, across the county. They have names, dreams, memories. My assignment, to give them their voice.

Life between the wall and a fence.

Community

Sharing

Simple

Strength

In the days to come I hope to spend more time with them, and share their stories with you. To what end, I do not know. I do know people, all people are worth knowing.

Do I have a new brand? Nope! I don’t think so but I do know why I feel strongly about photography. To give each person a voice and tell their story. Weather the love story of a new marriage, the beginning of life in a newborn, the excitement and expectations of high school seniors. Equally important is the voice of the unnamed, the unseen, forgotten. I hope to treat them all the same.

The Face of Cancer

Thankfully it’s not what it use to be.

October as become know for Cancer Awareness Month.  You can’t help but see it everywhere from TV ads, to billboards to our roadways. The Lance Armstrong “Ride for the Roses” comes right by our house!

To the right is one of my grandmothers, MamMaw Brush, for years she was the “face” of cancer in my life. She died when I was a sophomore in college. (I was blessed to have had her that long.) Being away at school I didn’t really share the day-to-day struggles of her cancer so my hurt was more in the losing her than the fight.

The last few months the “face” of cancer has taken on a different look. I have had the honor of being involved a special project, photographing Cancer survivors and their caretakers for The Relay for Life 2012 Calendar of Hope. Through this project I met people and heard stories that helped developed a new view for me. Stories of fighting for years as with Lisa who was diagnosed with Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia when she was 4 years old, surviving for 39 years. Stories of hope and faith in Christ as in Gaby was also diagnosed with Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia at age 3, but has hope because of all of those before her who are dedication to awareness and research.

This is Yo, when diagnosed in 2007 she bought herself this necklace and earrings, designed by a Native American to represent Power. She is a strong and beautiful face standing up against cancer.

Stories of Family and Friends who where are every step with love and support.

You can view more  images, read their stories and be inspired when you buy a calendar. It comes out in November.  Check out the website for placed and location.

I can’t end without thanking Vicki, (not pictured here but maybe at the relay in May I can grab a shot) The Chairman for Relay for Life Dripping Springs, a 2x caregiver, survivor and amazing woman who gets things done! It is due to people like her the “face” of cancer is ever changing.

a walk remembered

I first posted this in 2004, with a heavy heart and a loss for words a re-peat seemed a good thing.

We lost our Loving Grandfather, Husband, Dad, Great-Grand father, father-in-law, friend to Alzheimer’s. But Team Cactus will remain ever strong!

This morning I got up early and headed into Austin, by early I mean I watched the sun come up, and it was glorious! I went in to meet some family for the Memory Walk for the Alzheimer’s Association. It was a beautiful morning and beautiful time. I have more than a few family and friends facing this disease in some form. so it was worth the early hour and drive in.

Every since I started the business side of photography and began “working” at it, I found I don’t seem to photograph my life as I once did. Or don’t just go out and photograph for no reason. Lately I’ve been making an effort to change that, so, even though I only had one cup of coffee before leaving the house I managed to grab my camera.

Here are a few from this morning!  Enjoy and remember to make Memories    (and record them!)

Team Cactus
Team Cactus

Love, marriage, friends in North Carolina

Most of my wedding stories start with the bride, this one is a bit different!

I start this one with the groom Jared!

This is Pecos, one of the best men!

I’ve known Jared since he was in 7th or 8th grade, perhaps longer, but it  was around then he and my son became friends. Through their school years in Dripping Spring, they were close to inseparable and attending college on opposite coast lines never weakened their bond.

I can’t even begin to tell you of their countless adventures, church camps, mission trips, tennis tournaments, Young Life, camping, surfing, rock climbing, road trips, camp councilors, Costa Rica., double dates, and heart breaks…… It goes on and on, all the while growing, supporting and challenging each other in matters of the heart, their walk with Jesus and becoming amazing young men.  Iron sharpening iron. (But is another story)

The rest of the Drippin Crew!

Last month Jared joined with a new partner on the adventure of a life time when he married Lizzy.

So Beautiful

I was more than honored to be asked to photograph their wedding. I was blessed to say the least.

Yep,this is me

Here are just a few  favorites

Perfect day at Shady Wagon

Proof Jared giggled!

I don’t normally include images of my self , but had to laugh at this one!

I didn’t know it would be so hard to get a 4 year old to jump!

As you can see, I didn’t.

It was an amazing day full of grace and love. Click here to view a little video of rest of the day

Best Day Ever 2010 Colin’s Hope

 

I found out about Colin’s Hope when Ana , our daughter, was working for Ian Crocker (Olympic Swimmer). You can read for yourself the story of why and how this non-profit was formed but here is the short story: A very loving family lost their 4-year-old son Colin in a drowning accident. Their journey through grief and pain, trying to understand with faith, led them where are they are today. They soon found out many children die from drowning and knew they had been called to do what they could to change that. Please check out the site.

Each year they host The Colin’s Hope Kids Triathlon. What a great event. Kids swimming, biking, running. Parents cheering them on.

I think they have opened registration for this years event so again, for participation and volunteers  check out their site. What a great way for you and your kids to have a “Best Day” and give back at the same time.

Click below to view the  video I put together from last years event.

Best Day Ever 2010.