Tuesday, August 30, 2011

How dry is it? So dry that... {New Braunfels photographer}

New Braunfels, Austin, San Antonio photography... so dry that trash, in the middle of an intersection at the top of a hill, is still there more than a year later. I've teased and joked about blogging about this piece of trash and I finally decided to just do it. It fascinates me. This, ladies and gentlemen, is a plastic lid to a reusable tub that appeared near the intersection of Loop 337 and Landa sometime around April, 2010 -- maybe sooner. That's just the point in time that I said, "Hey, there's a piece of trash in the middle of the road that's been there a while," although my powers of observation are lacking so it very well may have been there before.

I've taken note of this lost and lonely lid through two summers of swim team and an entire year of Girl Scouts-- it's on the way to the pool and the Girl Scout house so I've passed it multiple times per day for many many months -- going on years. The sad thing about this piece of trash (other than the fact that it ended up in the middle of the road as opposed to a recycling bin where it belongs) is that it would take just a little rain to wash it down from the top of the hill where it sits, into a drainage culvert and off to sea. No such rain has come in the 18 + months it's sat there. By now, it's nearly ground down to a thin layer of dust -- broken down by heat and traffic. I imagine it would crumble to the touch if I were to try to pick it up. It's entirely too dangerous to attempt to cross the busy street to get it myself, though.

It wouldn't take much rain to wash it away at this point. Just a little stream of water. Is that really too much to ask? By the looks of my lawn and the dead and dying trees that surround our community. I guess so.

Lisa On Location Photography

Monday, August 29, 2011

Registration for Lisa on Location's fall Photography class is open

It's back! I've had questions all summer about when I'll be offering another Intro to Digital Photography course so I'm excited that registration is finally open. This is the third year I've offered the course and it's back better than ever. Teaching this class was one of the best decisions I've made since starting Lisa on Location. I've met so many great people and I've learned more than I ever thought I would.

This year they're offering online registration for the course. So it's as simple as sitting at your computer and clicking a few links. To get to the registration page click here. Click on Hobbies and Recreation then find the course. They have both of them listed together so be sure to specify whether you want the first session or the second session. The first session runs on Mondays from Sept 12 until Oct 10 from 6:30 until 7:30 and the second session, which is just a repeat of the first session for those that find Thursday more convenient, starts Oct 20 and goes until November 17 from 6:30 until 7:30.

If you have any problems with online registration, Carmen is still taking registrations over the phone. Just give her a call at 830.643.5729.

I can't wait to see what this year holds for us!
Lisa On Location Photography

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Glamour with Sheri Ashley {New Braunfels photographer}

Sheri Ashley's a student studying fashion in San Antonio and an aspiring part-time model. She'd participated in a few photo sessions here and there, but wanted more professional-grade images to add to her portfolio. Scheduling was tight, but we met in San Antonio, at the Arneson River Theatre on the River Walk for a shoot just before sunset. Needless to say, I wanted to do a good job for her. Whenever I go out alone on photo shoots, I'm keenly aware that I'm not Lisa. She's the Certified Professional Photographer, after all!

San Antonio River Walk glamour photography, New Braunfels photographer

Sheri Ashley was a lot of fun to work with. She took direction well and brought a great attitude. Her hair was long and dramatic, but what really stood out for me was her eyes. She has striking hazel eyes, with sharply defined areas of brown and green. We worked our way down the length of the River Walk, stopping whenever we found a setting that looked interesting. We wanted to cross the river to take some shots at San Antonio's famous Marriage Island, but the tall buildings all around plunged that part of the River Walk into deep shadow. Instead of wasting valuable time setting up off-camera lighting, we instead chased the sun up to street level where we shot some more.

San Antonio River Walk glamour photography, New Braunfels photographer

Being interested in the fashion scene, Sheri Ashley is someone who's attracted to striking visuals. She changes the color of her hair regularly, and I suspected that the strange, ethereal look of false-color infrared photography would catch her attention. I was right. The otherworldly images I showed her on my camera's LCD screen left her speechless. Normally, I tend toward subtlety when I process infrared images, but in this case I went in the opposite direction. I wanted the focus of the image below to center on her striking blue hair, and added a texture overlay to enhance the overall painterly, artistic effect. I'm not usually so "in your face" with infrared, but in this case, the flamboyant approach is growing on me.

San Antonio River Walk infrared glamour photography, New Braunfels photographer

Lisa On Location Photography

Sunday, August 21, 2011

The Little Mermaid Returns -- complete with evening wear and jewels {New Braunfels photographer}

New Braunfels, San Antonio, Austin and Corpus Christi glamour and fashion photographerI like to multi-task as much as possible. I utilize my cordless phone and often take complete advantage of listening to my friends spill their secrets on the phone while tackling a load of laundry. I use the time waiting for my daughter at piano to catch up on e-mails on my iPhone or read a book for my book club. I rarely sit still for very long, preferring to fill my time doing at least one or two activities simultaneously. Case in point, a lovely afternoon at the beach with my family could be coupled with a spontaneous portfolio shoot for a budding model and new friend in Corpus Christi.

Jennifer is a bridal consultant as well and our meeting was perfectly suited for a nice little networking get together. And while we're at it, let's just don some evening wear and roll around in the surf!

Jennifer was a great sport and went along with all my crazy ideas. Sand in the hair -- no problem, salt water spray on the eyelashes -- anything for the art. We had a great time on Corpus Christi Beach while the kids made a sandcastle just a few yards away.

I had a vision of a mermaid, without actually messing with a mermaid tail. I wanted the illusion of a mermaid instead and I hope I got that across in the image I'm sharing today.

I've always loved the trash the dress on the beach sessions, as those of you who've ready my blog before can attest. And my kids love the excuse for a beach day as well. I hope Jennifer was able to get all the sand out of her jewels. I'm still shaking it out of the camera bag.

Lisa On Location Photography

Friday, August 19, 2011

What can you do with 250 Canon cameras? {New Braunfels photography}

I don't pretend that the following is profound or life-altering in any way. But it is a heck of a lot of fun, and a good way to start your weekend off right. This Japanese pop band apparently wanted to make the video for their song "Bright Siren" stand out from the crowd, but all they had was a warehouse and 250 computer-controlled Canon 60D cameras with shoe-mount strobes. I mean, really, what could they possibly do with that?

Here's a nifty making of video that shows some of the work that went into that crazy video. Fun Canon stuff like this almost makes me feel sorry for Nikon shooters. Almost. ;-)

Lisa On Location Photography

Monday, August 15, 2011

And so it goes... Saying goodbye to the early years {New Braunfels photography}

New Braunfels children and family photographerA week from today my family will reach a major milestone. I've waited patiently for this day for years. Some days I cursed that it was so far in the future. Others I wept at the realization that it was so close. And now it stares me in the face like a time-bomb, ticking these last few minutes away before my boy -- my youngest and last child -- starts kindergarten.

I will no longer have a youngun at home with me. Spending day after day reading stories, watching Max & Ruby, trying to make it through each day with my sanity intact. My boy -- or as I like to refer to him, "The Boy," is a handful. He's what some of you may call Karma rolled into a cute little bundle. Until his arrival, I was the mom of two little girls. And while, at the time, I thought they were a handful, I can honestly say now that I was delusional. I had it made. They played Barbies, they played dress up, they sang songs with sweet lyrics and put on glorious puppet shows. They decorated cookies with icing, they brushed the kitty cats gently, they colored relatively inside the lines all through their early pre-school years.

Then we were blessed with our boy -- The Boy. Since then life has never been the same. And while my girls grew and went off to school, I still had my boy to keep me young. True, it wasn't the same preschool that I had with the girls. Instead of Barbie, the boy prefers to play with ants -- inside my living room. He never had a taste for decorating cookies and much preferred mixing cough syrup (with the easily removed childproof cap) and sandbox sand into his Fisher Price Sizzling Sounds kitchen set. It never worked quite right after that and sizzled at random times during the day and night until its batteries mercifully died 3 years later. He makes up his own lyrics to songs and they often involve bodily functions and rude noises.

The Boy entertains me daily with his musings on life like "I only like girls in the afternoon" and "it's fun to make shapes with my pee." And yes, urinating outside is the most fun thing a kid can do, or so he tells me. The Boy is an expert magician and often dons "invisible clothes" that allow him to run around fully clothed yet naked. When our doors get squeaky, he oils them with Elmer's glue. Instead of gently brushing the kitty cats he prefers to use my makeup on them and forget about coloring in the lines, he makes his own lines -- on the walls, on the floors, in the dirt and on his own body. He holds a grudge against me for not naming him "Superkid" when he was born and he says he wants to be a Mad Scientist when he grows up. Second choice is Evil Genius. But he's got a heart of gold and adopts all sorts of unfortunate souls as pets. There's "Signal" the pet tumbleweed we picked up in Arizona. And "Rolly" the roll of toilet paper he found under the seat in the minivan. He promises to love and care for it forever.

My days are never boring with The Boy as my constant companion. I will miss our spontaneous cuddle times in the middle of the day, when the big sisters are at school and it's just me and him. Our library story times and stopping for a cupcake that I sometimes let him eat BEFORE lunch. I'll miss going to the park and swinging and swinging and swinging some more. Our Sonic happy hour treats with cherry slushies and stopping to look at the puppies in the pet store.

I tell friends I'm popping the cork on a bottle of sparkling wine after dropping him off next Monday. I tell them I'm planning a massage and hiring a housekeeper. I'm stocking up on bons bons and catching up on my stories, I say. And yes, I will enjoy having a quiet house to myself for the first time in, like ever. But I'll also be the first one in line at pick-up that day. I'll be waiting for The Boy with a cherry slushie in hand, as we head off to the park to swing and swing and swing some more.

Lisa On Location Photography

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

The Vineyards {San Antonio Wedding Photographer}

Looking for the most romantic wedding venue on the edge of the Texas Hill Country? Look no further than The Vineyards. Located in Garden Ridge between New Braunfels and San Antonio, the Vineyards is a reservations-only restaurant that offers one of the most intimately romantic settings for weddings anywhere in the state.

With plantings of both Champanel and Lenoir grapes, the grounds surrounding the restaurant are awash in green. Every fall they harvest the plump, ripe fruit and offer grape stomp events. And yes, they bottle their own limited run vintages as well, available for purchase. Wine and grapes are the predominant theme here, as you would expect. The bridal readying area is the upstairs dining room, which is open and spacious with plenty of room for the bridal party to spread out. The groomsmen are really in luck, though, because their prep area is downstairs, in the wine cellar dining room. The walls filled to the ceiling with just about every vintage you could want, which makes for great ambiance and even better photos!

It's darn-near impossible not to have a beautiful wedding at the Vineyards. Grape arbors lead to the covered pavilion which hosts the ceremony and--in the event of rainy weather--the reception after a bit of set-up. For fair weather, there's a broad grassy lawn with sprawling oak trees to offer shade. The grounds take on a magical air at night as thousands of tiny lights illuminate the arbors and pavilion. "Magical" and "fairy-tale" are words that often get overused, but I can't think of a better description, can you? They also offer a distinctive marriage proposal package that puts the prospective bride and groom together at a secluded table tucked away amidst the vines for a candle lit dinner. And for those already married looking to celebrate a milestone anniversary or similar celebration, the Vineyards offers a comparable "Romance Package" as well.

Possibly the best thing about holding a wedding at the Vineyards is that the fabulous Lindsey Clark will serve as your own personal wedding coordinator. She and the Vineyards are a package deal, and she knows what she's doing when it comes to ensuring your special event goes off without a hitch. Since the Vineyards is also a restaurant in addition to one of San Antonio's most popular wedding venues, Lindsey can book the catering on-site, as well as limo service, the DJ and floral design. You can't beat that for one-stop shopping! And as for the Vineyards itself, what other venue lets you experience it first-hand with fine dining for lunch or dinner?

Give Lindsey a call and lock in your dream wedding today, or, if you just want to get a feel for one of the most romantic wedding venues between Austin and San Antonio, make dinner reservations tonight. Either way, make sure you tell them Lisa On Location sent you!

Lisa On Location Photography

Monday, August 8, 2011

A True Love Story {New Braunfels maternity photography}

San Antonio maternity photographer, New Braunfels pregnancy photography, Austin maternity photographyI wanted to share with you a story of one of my favorite clients. Nella first called me more than two years ago when she got engaged. We met and did our fist session in San Marcos -- if you're a long time reader, you'll remember the blog I wrote about losing my diffuser in the river. It seems like ages ago. Nella was that session. I photographed her and Daniel's wedding last May (as well as their engagements) and she has since called me again and again for several portrait sessions. She loves photography, her new husband is a camera buff as well. So it's always fun to work with her and create different and unusual images that she'll cherish. The most recent session, however was my favorite. Nella is pregnant and due in just a few weeks. She's glowing and happy and I was thrilled to photograph her beautiful belly with her husband.

San Antonio maternity photographer, New Braunfels pregnancy photography, Austin maternity photographyWe met early in the morning in an ecclectic neighborhood near her home. I was in heaven with the antique store windows, the retro tattoo parlor, a strange and fascinating art tower and a cool and comfy sofa on the sidewalk in front of an abandoned building. The scene was better than any manicured park in my opinion for photos and, because it was early on a Sunday morning we had the place to ourselves.

Nella's an easy subject. She's comfortable in front of the camera, we know each others style and it's so easy and fun to spend time with her and Daniel. I can't wait to meet this new little one. She's a lucky little girl to have a mom like Nella.

San Antonio maternity photographer, New Braunfels pregnancy photography, Austin maternity photography
Lisa On Location Photography

Friday, August 5, 2011

They searched for what?! {New Braunfels Photography}

I don't know if I've ever mentioned a little friend of mine named "Statcounter." If you have a blog or a website you may be familiar with this little gem of a service. With Statcounter, I can monitor who (by their IP address) comes to my site and to my blog and where they came from. I don't see names of clients, but I can see trends in surfing and get an idea of what it is people are looking for when they find me. It's a big help to me and I love to go there every day to see who's searching for me and what they see. I celebrated when my Statcounter told me I'd hit a million page views a few months ago. Wow.

But Statcounter does more than provide me with valuable information to use in marketing, it provides me with a few belly laughs to see the kind of things people search for on Google only to come across my site in the process.

Today I'll share a view with you. Today in Bristol, PA, someone searched for "anniversary gifts for photographers" and found the blog Jayme wrote about his new anniversary gift from me. Someone in New Zealand searched for "boringest countries to visit" and came across my blog about my daughter and her complaints of the boringest summer ever. Someone in Seattle searched for "seniors who fall down" and got one of my senior portrait blogs -- go figure. Now why would they want to find photos of seniors falling down, that's just cruel! Another surfer in Bumpass, VA, Googled "best rooms for an eleven year old gurl" (misspelling left in there on purpose) and found my blog about cleaning my daughter's room. Someone in Toms River, NJ, searched for "falling down in wedding gown" and found one of my trash the dress blogs.

This is fun, someone in Canada searched for "working with aliens inside area 51" and found my Roswell vacation blog. That's just cool. Someone in Cleveland searched for "Lisa Butz history for plenty of fish" and found one of my vacation blogs. I don't even want to speculate on that one.

An Australian bloke Googled "she was probed by aliens" and once again found my Roswell blog. A Portland, OR, surfer looked for "be willing to get dirty" and of course found one of my trash the dress blogs. And finally someone from Florida Googled "how to say not my problem in Jamaican."

The problem with my Statcounter is that it only goes back 500 hits for me and I've enjoyed watching the Google searches for at least 3 years. There are times I try to speculate what they could possibly be thinking and whether my site helped them find what they were really looking for.

If you happen along this blog because you searched for any of the above phrases and feel insulted that I shared it with the world, I do apologize. But keep those searches coming!

Lisa On Location Photography

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Infrared bridal shoot with Alicia {New Braunfels Wedding Photographer}

I've inflicted quite a few infrared photos on you good readers over the past several months. While landscapes and glamour shoots are fun, I have to admit that the real reason I pestered Lisa for a converted infrared camera was for bridal and wedding photography. I finally, finally, finally got the opportunity I'd been waiting for last week on a bridal shoot with the lovely Alicia. Boy, oh, boy, the results didn't disappoint!

New Braunfels infrared wedding photography serving San Antonio, Austin and the surrounding region

I was first introduced to infrared photography through the amazing work of Master Photographer Patrick Rice, who wrote the book on infrared wedding photography--literally! I've got his book on my nightstand at home. The above false-color, high-key infrared bridal portrait may be one of the single best portraits I've ever taken. The more traditional false-color infrared bridal portrait below, with classic white foliage and vivid blue water, shows how dramatic infrared wedding photography can be when used in a suitable setting, such as the amazing Japanese Tea Garden in San Antonio.

New Braunfels infrared wedding photography serving San Antonio, Austin and the surrounding region

The Japanese Tea Garden is an extrememly popular site for wedding and quinceañera photographers, so much so that on weekends it borders on a rugby scrum. Fortunately, Alicia and I avoided the crushing crowds by going mid-week (there was only one other photographer there!) and practically had the whole place to ourselves. Infrared is extremely flattering to brides, as imperfections and skin blemishes fade to transparent in infrared light. Skin takes on a luminous quality, and when paired with glowing white foliage, gives a fairy tale-like quality to portraits. Infrared bridal photography also makes striking, dramatic black-and-white images, such as the one below.

New Braunfels infrared wedding photography serving San Antonio, Austin and the surrounding region

Needless to say, Lisa on Location is now one of the few photographers in Central Texas area offering infrared bridal and wedding photography in addition to our traditional wedding photojournalism. What's great is that there are so many wonderful locations in Austin, San Antonio, New Braunfels and San Marcos that lend themselves to infrared bridals--just turn me loose with a bride on the River Walk, Laguna Gloria, the McNay, San Antonio Botanical Garden or Zilker Botanical Gardens... I'm getting giddy just thinking about it!

New Braunfels infrared wedding photography serving San Antonio, Austin and the surrounding region

Just for good measure, the above is a traditional, visible-light image of Alicia for comparison. She still looks amazing, doesn't she? Different, but amazing. The great thing about our infrared offerings is that it's not an either-or choice. Lisa On Location still offers traditional bridal and wedding photography of exceptional beauty--just think of infrared as a little bit of value-added "kick." Planning a wedding? Give us a call. We're waiting to hear from you!

Lisa On Location Photography