Met this adorable family and their beautiful new puppy, Gertie, in a historic downtown Houston studio space. We had a ton of fun! I absolutely love when families incorporate their furry friends into their family shoots and it’s especially awesome when a puppy is this photogenic (and well behaved!).

Our goal was to capture family, individual and sister photos. I just adore these two sweet girls together! Look at those smiles and personalities. They were the perfect subjects and the entire family was dressed in bright colors and patterns – they nailed the layering look!

After they received their gallery of photos, I got the most amazing¬†note from mom … “Oh my goodness!! These are fantastic!! The morning before we took these, I prayed that the photos would show how we feel about each other. Thank you for allowing yourself to be used to answer that prayer!”

Wow, I sure do love what I do. Providing families with beautiful and colorful photos is such a joy!

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Are you tired of me always saying, “Let’s color your walls!”? I just can’t help it and won’t apologize – blank walls really do make me sad! When you spend time, money and energy to have professional photos taken, I think they deserve to be beautifully displayed.

I totally understand it’s hard. Staring at a blank wall not knowing where to begin can be overwhelming. On top of that, visualizing and finding the right frames can be too much. Well … you’re in luck! With my full photo sessions, I offer wall gallery design as well as frame matching. All I need is a horizontal, straight-on photo of the wall you’d like to design – that’s it!

Once we have the sizes and design laid out, we can move on to frames. Maybe you want to match an exact color or maybe you want to find the perfect compliment color to your new photos? We can do that! Together, we will decide on colors and frame sizes. Next, I will have them ordered and your prints framed. One of my favorite parts of my job is when my clients stop by my studio to pick up their framed prints. To see it all come together is so fun!

Then, the last part is up to you. You’ll have the layout as a guide and all you have to do is hang them up. But, you have to promise me you won’t let them sit in a corner, under your bed or in a closet – color your walls right away! I won’t even judge you if you make a mistake and have to put a few extra holes in the walls – you should see what’s behind my framed photos! ūüėČ

Want to see what I’m talking about? Take a look at this video example below of how we can create a wall design that is custom, colorful and creative, in your space!

Oh, how I LOVE happy smiles, glowing light, tiny toes and sibling shinanigans! This family was one of my first clients back in the day when they were a family of three. Fast forward many years and they are a joyous family of five!

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Mom was kind of bummed she never got newborn pictures of the baby, so she wanted me to focus a lot on the littlest member of their family. When I realized we were quickly running out of light, and I still had a few more shots we wanted to get, I decided to do an extra little 20 minute mini shoot of just her the following week. I adore this little bundle and her contagious merriment!

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“It doesn’t matter who you are or what you look like, so long as somebody loves you.”¬†Ronald Dahl¬†(One of my all-time favorite authors!)

Friends make me happy! This adorable photo shoot and the quote above had me thinking about friendships, both new and old. When my client approached me with this photo shoot concept, I was THRILLED! I love when my clients come to me with new ideas because collaborating, brainstorming and dreaming up together is such a treat. It’s especially sweet when an idea comes together as well as this one.

Just being able to pause and appreciate the innocence, joy and happiness of elementary school friendships is a gift. My client and her daughter didn’t just want to remember those friendships before the girls moved on to intermediate school, they wanted to capture them forever! So, we gathered her daughter’s closest elementary school friends (All rockin’ adorable, colorful outfits, of course!) and headed out for pyramids, hugs, giggles and a spur of the moment dip in the fountain. I’m so thrilled with how these pictures turned out!

the woodlands childrens photographer www.spryart.com the woodlands childrens photographer www.spryart.com2 The Woodlands childrens photographer_www.spryART.comNow that the photos are done, this shoot has me thinking … why not gather your friends for photos? Seniors, college friends, high school friends, mom friends, childhood friends, youth groups … the list goes on and on. Really, a must for all ages! After all, these are the people we lean on, talk to, and enjoy most. Why not have beautiful {and colorful!} photos to display and cherish?

Sarah is my nanny/errand runner/math tutor/soccer practice Uber driver/grocery shopper/laundress. So in other words, I would have a hard time doing it without her. She is headed to Texas A&M (whoop!) in the fall and we are going to miss her like crazy. She loves flowers, so we took full advantage of the flowers growing alongside the side of the road. I’ve got to tell you- it’s not the most comfortable situation laying¬†on the¬†side of a busy street, in the grass, in a dress, with 784 mosquitos buzzing around, AND with¬†8,976 drivers speeding past, but she pulled it off and looks SO amazing!

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OK, OK, Carly is not actually a senior. I did her senior photos a couple of years ago and she needed new ones for some dance auditions as she is currently a Houston Rockets Power Dancer. Always so much fun to photograph with the best clothes, this girl has got it going on!the woodlands texas senior photographer_spryART.com

I will not play at tug o’ war

I’d rather play at hug o’ war,

Where everyone hugs

Instead of tugs,

Where everyone giggles

And rolls on the rug,

Where everyone kisses,

And everyone grins,

And everyone cuddles,

And everyone wins.

-Shel Silverstein

 

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Displaying photographs and artwork on the walls of your home can be a difficult task, if, like most people, you have big blank walls and are overwhelmed with the task of creating a perfect wall gallery. I have walked into friend’s houses who had¬†huge pieces of art and photographs sitting in frames on their floor (hi Tiffany!) and they have told me how they don’t even know where to begin in getting their gallery from the floor to the wall. So the artwork and photographs sit. For months!

That makes me sad! Artwork and photographs just do not belong on the floor.

Some of the difficult questions people ask themselves- photographs or artwork or both? A few large pieces or many small ones? How do I arrange them to look great in MY space?

It’s usually the Type As who want it to be done perfect the first time… The Type Bs like myself just start hanging and adjusting as they go, regardless of the swiss cheese walls they are creating in the aftermath. Nothing a little spackling compound and touch up paint can’t fix, right?

But honestly, I would not recommend anyone do it like me. Trust me, there is an easier way.

I once¬†watched an engineer client¬†(i.e. Type A) take a VERY mathmatical approach to hanging a photo¬†wall with his assortment of levels and measuring tapes and other tools¬†… ¬†only to leave extra holes in his wake when his wife didn’t like the way the items were arranged and everything had to be rearranged.

Most people are visual and need to SEE IT before they believe it.

For all of my photography clients that want to create a gallery wall, I use a special software program to create mock ups of their walls with the images from their session. For people that are not my photography clients but that still need help, I sell this design service in my Etsy store.

Allow me to demonstrate.

Behold this series of sad, blank walls (pathetic aren’t they?) that need some love.

(Note: All of these room photos are stock photos from BigStock photo, as I wanted to protect my client’s privacy and not show the interior of their actual homes. The photographs within these mock ups are all my clients :-))

Modern living-room interior with blue couch near white wall. Frontal view. 3d render.

Now let’s play!

Let’s first compare sizes and scale.¬†You can see how different size images will appear in the same space. If you are not used to wall art, an 11×14 (top left corner) might seem like an enlargement. However, as you can see when you compare mock ups of the same mantel, the 11×14 and 16×20 (top row) are not quite large enough to stand alone over the mantel. The 20×30 and 30×30 on the bottom row fit much better!

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Sometimes it is hard to decide if you want one supersized image or a series of smaller images. I think all three of these mock ups look great, but which one would be right for your space?

Interior of nursery.Bedroom for boy. 3d render.

Sometimes one large image does the trick (although I would probably recommend some killer sconces on either side of the framed print in the below mock up!)

Modern dining-room interior for four persons. Classic style. 3d render.

Sometimes you need a size you would have never imaginged yourself. In this mock up, one large framed 20×40 print does the trick to fill this space. Be honest now… would you ever have decided to use a¬†20×40 on your own :-)???

Modern hallway with commode near empty gray wall. 3d render.

Some people prefer very symnetrical designs with a series of images in matching frames, whereas others prefer a more organic, eclectic design with frames and mats of varying sizes.

Modern living-room interior with blue couch near white wall. Frontal view. 3d render.

Hallway with bench near empty gray wall. 3d render.

Sometimes it helps to see one wall mocked up a few different ways.

Hey, I’m SUPER visual, I get it. I need to see things with my own two eyes as well!

Colorful playroom interior with blue commode. 3d render.

If you have existing artwork, no problem! It can all be incorporated.

Colorful playroom interior. Table and six green chairs. 3d render.

(You are BEAUTIFUL artwork from Oh So Lovely blog, Wonderful World artwork from Lost Bumblebee... please check out these lovely designers and help support small business owners and freelance artists!)

I could really play at this all day!

Designing wall galleries does not have to be something that you procrastinate on for months at a time. It’s actually quite fun to actually see the potential your space has!

Modern and Contemporary dining room table and decorations with blank wall for your text image

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I know picking out clothes for sessions can be stressful. Trust me, I have to pick out seven outfits every time we get our photos done. Then I have to rework them because some of my kids actually have opinions now.

(Uh mom? I don’t do skirts anymore.

No.

You can’t bribe me.

Seriously. No.)

Sure. There’s a time and a place to catch your beautiful offspring as they are, in all their mis-matched socks, soccer-jersey-to-school, hole-in-both-knees-and-not-in-a-cool-way, tennis-shoes-with-skinny-jeans glory. But it’s usually not when you are paying a professional to take killer photos. And YES, I know it is more about the connection and the spirit that is captured in the photos. But let’s be honest. Great outfits¬†help.

The family below never fails to surprise and delight me with their clothing.¬†I look forward to their sessions every year because I can’t wait to drool over¬†what they are wearing (and they’re just an awesome family that really connects and truly loves each other and all that goodness).

If you are feeling frustrated and fashion challenged and ready to resort to Olan-Mills-White-Shirts-and-Khakis, first, take a deep breath. Put the white shirts away, and call me if you need some help. I am here to help with wardrobe!

Here are my top three tips to get you started:

  • Colors. Most people pick me to photograph their families because they love my use of color. Clothing¬†can bring color into an otherwise neutral space and create a more compelling image.
  • Layers and details. Layers photograph really well. Details, like the little buttons and lace on the girl’s boots, also add interest.
  • Patterns. There are at least four different patterns going on in the photos below. Don’t be afraid. Just do it!

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My Squishies turns two today. ¬†This little boy has blown me away from day 1… ¬†I had no idea how much joy he would bring to our family. ¬†It is genuinely a gift to observe him achieve new developmental milestones each month. ¬†This month, he has become very mannerable, offering unprompted¬†“peases” and “dank yous” ¬†and LOTS of kisses (often in an attempt to delay bedtime). Both his kindness and stubborness are impressive.

Happy birthday, TJ.

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We took the kids on an EPIC trip to Colorado before Christmas with two other families. Seventeen of us stayed in a huge, bad-ass condo and we never once felt crowded. I grew up in Colorado but my poor kids have never even seen snow. Presley was SO surprised to learn that snowflakes were actually little tiny things. In her head, they were BIG like the snowflakes you cut from paper and hang from the ceiling.

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I had these grand ideas of taking amazing ¬†pictures of the kids with a gorgeous snowy background. However, the minute the plan landed and¬†my Texas raised¬†kids discovered just what five¬†degrees actually felt like, the mere thought of wearing anything less than 18 puffy layers became out of the question. I grew up in Colorado and I LOVE cold weather (which is why I sometimes question living in a swamp like Houston), but my fragile little Southern children had a bit of a time adjusting. ¬†So I had to settle for photographing these wimps in their 18 layers of ski clothes. Even then, there were some tears because of cold hands and feet :). If you are going on a snowy vacation for the first time, take my advice and buy your kiddos a truckload¬†of hand and feet warmers. Once they got these puppies in their gloves, the complaining turned to just how sweaty their hands were… which¬†beats tears and proclamations of frostbite any day.

 

We sledded (is that a word? Sounds funny!), snow tubed and skiied, and drank copious amounts of $5 hot chocolate (ouch!). ¬†The kids also mysteriously found eating snow to be “delicious.”

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I¬†was the only one in my wolf pack that had experience skiing from high school and college and I discovered it’s like riding a bike- you just don’t forget how to do it. I told Jesse to say the word and I would move to a mountain somewhere. The kiddos took a one day lesson and in their heads they became like the great Olympian Picabo Street (can we pontificate on just how awesome that name is for a second? Hello awesome parents for picking that name!).

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On our way back to reality, we stopped at Red Rock Amphitheater. It is now officially on my bucket list to see a live show there.

I didn’t even have a bucket list until I saw this place.

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I keep TJ’s hair long because in the Houston humidity, it has body and he gets these adorable little curliques behind his ears. In the dry air of Colorado, it was just straight and he looked like Friar Tuck.

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What’s this you say? Could it possibly be my Jude posing for a photo? I must be dreaming.

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TJ has a new habit of pursing his lips and blowing spit every time the camera comes out.

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Here’s the hubs busted taking a selfie… HA!

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All in all- a GREAT trip and I hope we can go back every year!

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My little man is 18 months now! We had a little family reunion out in the Texas hill country and he was having so much fun playing in the river I decided to grab my camera and take his 18 month photos there. The hubs always loves when I wade out into water with my very expensive (but not waterproof) camera, but hey- its fully insured :-).

I absolutely adore this private river location and if you are interested in family photos there… have camera, will travel! I’m always looking for an excuse to get out into the hill country!

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