Archive: December 2010   |   View all recent posts

Winding Down & Gearing Up
WHO: Me   |   WHAT: Personal   |   WHEN: December 13, 2010   |   WHERE: Casa de Nicolosi
Thanksgiving notwithstanding (using that word makes me feel smarter than I am), this weekend was my first photography-free weekend since September.  Well, that's not exactly true; Kylie and I did do a little mini shoot for our Christmas card on Saturday, but it was much less stressful to be the photographee rather than the photographer this time around.  Actually, that's not exactly true either.  I'm admittedly a bit OCD when it comes to photography, and I loath getting my own mug on the other side of the lens anymore, so my friend Tina had to remind me before we started that I was not in control and to let her take over.  Bwahaha... thanks for patience and for taking charge, Tina.

For the first time in a couple months I was able to sit on the couch and shut everything off... no counting down the minutes 'til I'd have to get back up to go edit images, package up orders, schedule a vieiwing appt, etc.  For a moment, I had a flash back of a life before photography.  It was peaceful and pleasant time.  There were long lunches with friends, a gym with hours a'plenty to work out, more date nights, free time to work on things around the house, closets with space to spare for things other than gear and supplies, weekends... [insert sound a needle scratching on a record here] Back to reality.

With the photography season finally winding down, it's starting to feel more like the holiday season, and splashes of Christmas decorations have popped up around the house as a tell-tale sign.  Christmas music now permeates the air pretty much at all times when we're home.  Holiday cards are starting to take over the fridge.  And, completely out of character for me, I even have a few gifts already purchased.  Crazy, I know... must be Christmasageddon. 

Anyway, the break couldn't come at a better time.  I look forward to hanging out with my wife and recharging my batteries for the next several weeks and enjoying our last Christmas B.C. (before children).  Next up?  A baby!  Weeeeeeeee!!

Here's just a couple random images I took over the weekend of decorations in progress.

A candle holder on the kitchen counter.


For a short period, our manger scene was in a state of emergency as Joseph, Mary & baby Jesus - kind of important players - were AWOL. I looked suspicially at the dog, and she looked guilty, but her alibi proved solid when soon after we found the Big Three hanging out in another box.






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The Moores ~ Frisco Family Photographer
WHO: RJ, Cassidy & Baby JP   |   WHAT: Kids, Newborns   |   WHEN: December 9, 2010   |   WHERE: McKinney, TX
One of my favorite family sessions from last year was with the Moores.  Their kiddos are as cute as they come; so cute they decided to add a third.  And, well, why wouldn't you add more with those kinda genes?  If they ever decide to add a 4th, the hardest part will be coming up with another set of initials to keep them all straight. [grin]  Besides mom Maureen and daughter Cassidy, there's JC (dad), RJ (big brother) and now baby brother JP.  I'm sure at our session there were at least a couple moments when I had a brain freeze and just mumbled something unintelligible plus the letter J.

Kylie and I headed over to their home to capture a few images of JP as well as RJ & Cassidy and a couple group images.  Tell me these kids aren't adorable.  I dare you.

JP giving us his au naturale look.





RJ laughing at my corny, and I mean CORNY, jokes.


Cassidy goin' Hollywood on me with her upside-down shades.  So sweet.


"Hey, I'm here! I'm here! Let's have some fun!"



I wish I still had a Big Wheel.  I'd have a big smile plastered on my face, too.




Love some of these last ones of the 3 of them.






Cassidy's got killer eyes.







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The Parkers, et al ~ McKinney Family Photographer
WHAT: Families   |   WHEN: December 9, 2010   |   WHERE: McKinney, TX
A little over 3 years ago, Vicki Parker called me about photographing her daughter Blaire's bridal images.  That was one of the very first bridal sessions I'd done, and it was a ton of fun for me... and hopefully Blaire [grin]. Since then, Vicki and I have kept in touch, and she and her husband Allen have become the proud grandparents of Stella and Magnus.  Sweet Stella is the daughter of Steve & Blaire, and mighty Magnus is the son of Eric & Samantha. A couple weeks ago we met up for a session with the whole gang since everyone was in town, and here's a few of my favorite images from our afternoon in McKinney.

Handsome little Magnus.


Steve & Blair with adorable Stella.





Love this image of Stella and grandpa Allen.



Sweet image of Eric & Magnus.


Fun image of Magnus (if you can see him... he's hidden with his rockin' camo).


Love Stella's expression here...


... and Magnus' expression here.


The grandparental units with the kiddos!


I like the casualness of this image with (L to R) Allen, Magnus, Stella, Vicki, Samantha, Eric, Steve and Blaire.



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The Weintraubs ~ Dallas Family Photographer
WHO: Jen, Sam, Ben & Coco   |   WHAT: Families, Kids   |   WHEN: December 2, 2010   |   WHERE: Arbor Hills Nature Preserve
Having photographed family sessions for more than 5 years now, sometimes the details about each one get a little hard to remember.  Let's face it, most days I can't remember what I ate for dinner the night before or where I put the car keys 15 minutes ago (which, unfortunately, I occasionally walk around looking for them and find them in my hand several minutes later).  There's been a handful of sessions, though, that clearly stand out to me for a variety of reasons, sessions that I'll always remember.  My session with the Weintraubs a couple weeks ago will be one of those sessions.

Jen Weintraub, a fantastic Dallas children's photographer I met a few years ago, contacted me last year in November about scheduling a session to capture some images of her and her kids.  Jen was going through a difficult period as she and her husband were moving forward with a divorce, and she wanted to create some images of a new start for the new family that would become happy art to decorate the walls of their new home when they found it.  It just felt like a healthy, healing thing for her to do, and I was honored she asked me to photograph this new beginning.  She is a strong woman (not to mention funny & creative) and truly passionate about her kids, and having the presence of mind to do a photography session at that time, a time when I think photography would be the furthest thing from most moms' minds, would be an immeasurable gift to both her and the kids now and in the years to come.

I'm a big believer that there's a purpose for everything that happens in our lives.  With weather and crazy schedules getting in the way, it took us a year to make this session happen.  Turns out those said weather and schedule issues allowed time for the kids to get adjusted to their new life, and as Jen mentioned, they are much more happy now than they were at this time last year, so the timing of this session was exactly what it needed to be.

The 2nd reason this session was so memorable to me was for less nobler reasons, but truly amazing just the same.  The day before my session with her and the kids, I had photographed an engagement session in Deep Ellum near downtown Dallas.  That session was a ton of fun, and everything went great except I left my $550 light meter in a parking lot.  Without a nametag or label on it.  Downtown.  With a couple million people in the DFW area.  I didn't realize it until the next day when I was packing up my gear to go meet the Weintraubs for our session and realized it was gone.  So annoying because, believe it or not, this was the 2nd light meter I'd left behind.  So I went to meet Jen and the kids at the Arbor Hills Nature Preserve, and she and I were just chit-chatting while we were walking to our first spot when I mentioned leaving my light meter downtown the day before. 

She looked at me, paused for a moment and asked, "Where you photographing in Deep Ellum yesterday?  An engagement session, right?"  Uh-huh.  "I have your light meter."    

Out of all the people downtown that could've ended up with my light meter, she found it.  And I just happened to have a session with her the next day!! What are the freakin' odds?!?  Turns out she was photographing 2 sweet little girls at the opposite end of the same alley I was photographing Brandon & Perrin's engagement images.  In fact, I remember seeing another photographer with a couple people waaay down the alley, but they were too far away for me to realize it was Jen.  Anyway, apparently after I had moved on to the next location, Jen and her clients had made their way down the alley to where we were a few minutes before and found the light meter.  Of course, because I was a moron and didn't label it, she had no idea it was mine. Until the next day.  Anyway, an amazing story.  Like I said, there's a purpose behind everything that happens to us.

Okay, okay.... on to the images.  'Bought time, right?  This session really was a ton of fun, just as much for me as Jen and the kids.  They were so easy to photograph and a pleasure to hang out with for the afternoon.  I think we got more than a few images that really tell a story of this family and their personalities, and here's my favorites.

Ben is such a ham.  Once he gets goin', he's a Kodak moment waiting to be photographed.


Sweet Coco... she's a 3ft tall ball of adorableness.



Sweet, beautiful, big sister Sam.




Coco cracks me up.



Really like this image... such natural interaction.



Delicious.



30 seconds before this Ben was crying.  Then he was burying his head trying to hide his laughing.  Foiled!




The composition's not perfect with this image, but this was a moment that just happened and sometimes things aren't technically perfect, but you just gotta roll with it. if I woulda taken the time to change to a wider angle lens or even to just get up off the ground and back up, I woulda missed this perfect moment.


Seriously?  Do kids' expressions get any better than this?






Since her mom's a photographer, Sam's pretty comfortable with a camera.  She picked up one of my camera's and just started firing away.  She's a natural.


Here's my angle of this image...


... and here's Sam's.  Image copyright © Samantha Weintraub.


I might ask Jen if I can hire Sam to be my second shooter.



Another one of my absolute favorites.





Another authentic moment.


If this was Facebook, I would "like" this next image.  More than once.


Jen's just as easy to photograph as the kids.



3 seconds before this, Coco was running toward's the rest of the gang.  Her little feet couldn't keep up with her excitement.


Sam, mom & Ben were each holding their arms out waiting to see which one Coco would run to.  And the winner is?... Ben!  Love these expressions.




Thanks again, Jen, for the opportunity and honor to capture this special time in your new family's journey.  And thanks for letting me tell your story to encourage others who might be traveling on a similar path.


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The Weintraubs [Sneak Peek]
WHO: Jen, Sam, Ben & Coco   |   WHAT: Families, Kids   |   WHEN: December 1, 2010
I can't wait to share the images from a recent session with the Weintraub tribe later this week.  There's two remarkable stories around this session that I'll share with the full post, but for now here's just a little taste of what's coming...



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