Tuesday, December 27, 2011

New year, new floors {New Braunfels Photography}

I sit here typing with puke brown paint on my fingers. It has a tint of green to it mimicking the color of snot-puke brown to be more specific. It's not a color I would have chosen to paint the walls of my room, but then again, I'm not a 13-year-old girl with a fascination for zombies. I have just finished painting over the "banana pudding yellow" walls that I remember so lovingly painting just 8 short years ago for my then 5-year-old daughter who loved fairies and kittens.

Wow, those 8 years have flown by. I'm beginning to realize what my parents were talking about when they said "time flies." As a kid I would hear that and think "what are you crazy? Time drags like a snail with a hernia." And I guess it did for me as a child. Just like my own children think the time between one Christmas and the next is a painful lifetime that takes forever. A lifetime in which all the toys they failed to get this year will suddenly cease to exist between one December and the next.

This year's Christmas was a whirlwind of chaos as usual. But throw into that the ordeal of getting new floors throughout the house and it spells one mega-holiday nightmare. At first we were told the floors would be in on the 10th and installed within two days of that. We decided to hold off until after then to decorate -- who wants to put up a tree only to have to take it down for a few days then put it back up again.

But shortly before the 10th we were told our floor was on backorder until the 20th. So we decided to decorate, but in modest amounts. We didn't get out the big bouncing Christmas Tigger who says "The wonderful thing about Christmas is, well, Christmas" among other things. And the hamster than sings "Ice Ice Baby" had to stay packed, as did the dancing chicken with a Santa hat. It was a subdued holiday for us. Christmas eve was spent pulling up carpet and getting splintered hands from the horrid boarded nails around the edge. Who's bright idea was it to use nails pointing up to keep carpet in place?

The floors were delivered at 8 a.m. the morning after Christmas along with a nasty headache and stomach ache from the overindulgence of mashed potatoes, giblet gravy, pumpkin pie and chocolate peanut butter cups. They sit now waiting for their installation as I hurriedly paint while there's no carpet or flooring down.

As I throw out the old carpet I can't help but remember all the fun we had on it. All the impromptu tickle sessions. Cuddling up on it with sleeping bags and blankets to watch movies in the dark. I remember how pretty it was when it was new and shiny. Before all the years of spilled juice, potty training accidents, sudden vomiting spells, and that little mishap with The Boy and the acrylic paints. It's okay to let go of the old sometimes. Carpets aren't made to last forever. I'm excited about our new floors. And I'll tolerate my daughter's new puke-brown walls. But I'm keeping a small patch of banana-pudding yellow. And I'll look on it lovingly when she's playing her music too loud or slamming the door to her room of the puke-brown walls. And I'll remember the girl who loved fairies and kittens and ponder how fast time flies.
Lisa On Location Photography

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Lessons from the School of Hard Knocks for Brides {New Braunfels Wedding Photography}

Exceptional, stylish wedding photography for San Antonio, Austin, San Marcos and New Braunfels by Lisa On Location photographyHindsight is 20/20, they say. Regret is a huge burden for a lot of people. Regret is painful and it's so sad when that regret can hurt something as important as your wedding memories. In the past few years I've gotten to know a lot of brides and I've heard plenty of horror stories about wedding photography. I've gotten several heartbreaking calls from tearful brides who got their wedding photos back from a mediocre photographer and were horrified that they were awful. "Can you fix them in Photoshop for me?" they'll ask. I was heartbroken by the call I got a few months ago from the bride who didn't get a single image of her and her new husband alone on their wedding day. Just the two of them. She wanted to schedule a post-wedding session with me but ended up deciding not to spend the money -- she still had to pay off the wedding photographer who didn't do his job.

I've perused the wedding forums and seen the sob stories from brides who were so disappointed that they allowed a family friend to photograph their wedding for free to save them the money of hiring a professional. Here's a sample post: "After waiting almost a month, I finally got to view my pics. I was so sad that they did not come out as nice as I'd hoped. I can't complain as they were done by my brother-in-law's friend and it was his first wedding and he didn't charge us anything but now I wish we had said thanks but no thanks. This will definitely be my advice to future brides - as much as you like the photography of a friend or relative, if they've never done a wedding, don't use them. Get a pro! Wish someone had warned me." --disappointed bride on The Knot forum.

Exceptional, stylish wedding photography for San Antonio, Austin, San Marcos and New Braunfels by Lisa On Location photography
Then there are those who try to save money by hiring a semi-pro or budget wedding photographer: "So I finally saw our wedding photos but I'm not going to share them because they suck. We went with the photographer who did my son's T-ball photos because his prices were the lowest. Big mistake." --disappointed bride on the Wedding Wire forum.

Exceptional, stylish wedding photography for San Antonio, Austin, San Marcos and New Braunfels by Lisa On Location photographyA few months ago I marveled at the amazing decor of a wedding at one of my favorite venues. While talking to the venue manager I learned that the wedding was being photographed by a family friend who just got a really nice camera and wants to photograph it as a gift for them. The family had spent at least a hundred thousand dollars on the most amazing decor I've ever seen at a wedding yet they were trusting the photography to a young photo hobbiest with "a really nice camera." Some of life's lessons are really expensive and painful.

Digital Single Lens Reflex (DSLR) cameras have exploded in popularity in the past few years. For about $600-$1,000 anyone can own a camera that takes decent photos. My photography class with the New Braunfels ISD community education is always full each session and sometimes has a waiting list -- full of people who got these cool toys but don't know how to use them. This Christmas, thousands of people will get one under the tree and be hooked on photography. Unfortunately, many of them will hang out a shingle -- or set up a website -- and start charging (or not charging in a lot of cases) to take photos. All kinds of photos -- families, seniors, children, engagements, and weddings. Half an hour and all images on disc for only $50! Wow! What a bargain!

Exceptional, stylish wedding photography for San Antonio, Austin, San Marcos and New Braunfels by Lisa On Location photography
The truth is, it's not really such a bargain, especially for the brides who hire them. If you're not happy with your family photos, you can always try again. Get the kids dressed up again, find another photographer and try again. But if you're not happy with your wedding photographs, there are no do-overs.

Real professional photographers are kind of expensive (although pay does not always indicate quality as I've seen plenty of photographers who charge more than others without the skill to back it up). Real professional photographers have to be pricier because they've invested a lot in their craft. A lot for education, a lot for equipment, insurance and many years of scraping by to practice and perfect their art.

Exceptional, stylish wedding photography for San Antonio, Austin, San Marcos and New Braunfels by Lisa On Location photography
Before hiring a photographer for your wedding, look at their past wedding work. Meet with them. Look through their albums and even talk to other brides who've worked with them in the past if possible. Hiring a professional wedding photographer is one of the best investments you can make for your wedding. The food will get eaten. The decorations will be thrown away, and the flowers will die. But you'll have your photos for the rest of your life as a reminder of all the joy and beauty of your day.

Exceptional, stylish wedding photography for San Antonio, Austin, San Marcos and New Braunfels by Lisa On Location photography
And if you're one of the unlucky brides who could have written this blog yourself, call me. Because I know there's no recreating that day, but we can pull that dress our of storage and grab your new husband for a little photo fun that will fill that album!

Lisa On Location Photography

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

And on the 13th day of Christmas, Lisa gets to breathe.

Wow, what a whirlwind! I sat down to take a look at my blog and was shocked to see that it's been 12 days since I last blogged. Bad Lisa! This first half of the month has really flown by. For the past few weeks my to-do list has been multiple pages and I've been forced to prioritize based on who will or who will not chunk mudpies at my house if I'm a little bit late on their project. But I'm happy to say that I made my deadlines, most of the time and that my to-do list is finally back down to one page with just a few projects on it. And no mudpies yet! Yeah!

I have just a few short days of uninterrupted work time left. This Friday marks the end of school for the year and then I'll have a house full of darlings for two weeks. Tis the season to bicker and squabble and tattle to mom that "he's kicking me" and "I was here first" and "she took my seat." Tis the season for speed-dial calls to Santa and "you get that candy cane out of your mouth young man until you eat your peas!"

But I'll be ready for them. I've got my workflow down to a science and the midnight hour is my friend -- that's when I whip those editing jobs out the fastest. I can take the next two weeks, whatever the youngins throw at me. There are still a few sessions on the calendar for the year and one final New Year's Eve wedding. But there's also time to sit down and breathe every now and then. I've got cookies to bake and presents to wrap as well. And those bonbons aren't going to eat themselves!

Here's to peaceful holiday family time. Here's to National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation and It's a Wonderful Life. Here's to sugary cookies and Reese's peanut butter trees (because they're so much yummier than the regular kind). Here's to wassail in the crock pot and holiday wreaths made out of paper plates and macaroni. Here's to secret santa gifts and potluck dinners. Here's to green bean casserole and silly Christmas songs about hippopatamuses. Enjoy your season! And take a few minutes to breathe every now and then. Merry Christmas!
Lisa On Location Photography

Thursday, December 1, 2011

I'm on it! Rain or Shine Location Photography

I had the honor of photographing one of my favorite teachers the other day. She's one of the sweetest ladies I know and I really wanted to make this a great session for her. So when I woke up that morning of our 7:45 a.m. session to the sound of rain, my heart sank. I love the rain. I love the rain at 7:45 a.m. on a Saturday morning when all I have to do is lay in bed in listen to it. I do not, however, love the rain so much on the morning of a session with one of my favorite people.

I packed up my camera bag and headed out to the Faust Street bridge and found her and her family huddled under an umbrella and ready to get started. She was great about the rain. She loves the rain. And by a wonderful coincidence, her umbrella coordinated perfectly with their outfits. So we got started. We headed under the bridge, I set up some lighting and we managed to get some nice images without getting wet. We could have stopped there. But when I casually asked her if she minded too terribly getting wet on the bridge, and she enthusiastically said yes, I was set. I slapped on my nifty plastic shoot sleeve to protect my gear and we headed up top.

It wasn't so bad. Yes, our hair was flat by the end and everyone had squishy socks, but we had a good time and got some original images for their Christmas cards that nobody else will have. I don't want to shoot in the rain every day. But living in Texas, I don't have to worry about that. I can be thankful for whatever rain we get. And keep shooting.

Lisa On Location Photography

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

And That's How The Boy Floated Away {New Braunfels Family Portraits}

Unique, clever and creative Christmas card and family portraits for San Antonio, Austin and San Marcos by Lisa On Location photography of New BraunfelsEvery year I vow to take on the traditional Christmas Card Photo early. I intend to have them ready to go by early November and send them out by Thanksgiving. It's with that thought in mind that I hit the park with my family in the middle of the heat of August when nobody else wanted a photo session and I had plenty of space on my calendar for our session. The grass was dead. It was 100 degrees. The kids were cranky. Jayme was cranky. Mommy was cranky. You don't see the photo that resulted from that session and you never will. It looked like crap.

So we waited a couple of months to retake it. The wedding season hit us and loaded me down with long days and a full calendar. Then the Christmas card season started and any available time was filled with other families and their Christmas cards. But a last minute cancellation the day before Thanksgiving worked in my favor. I grabbed the family (who was in a relatively good mood what with not having school and all), grabbed a dozen balloons-- not an easy task at all in HEB the day before Thanksgiving -- and we hit the park for the Blaschke Family Christmas Photo Session -- take 2.

Jayme thinks I should guard my secrets and how I did it like a magician guards their tricks, but I'm okay with sharing. Here's my secret. The Boy's not really being carried away with balloons. Shhh. Don't tell anyone. He's sitting on a ladder. Shh, don't tell Jayme I told you. The only magic used here was Photoshop CS5 -- and my mad skills. Some of my younger fans were a little concerned that I would let The Boy float away like that and asked me "what would have happened if he got too high and you couldn't reach his leg." I wanted to answer, "we had a slingshot and some pebbles. We could get him down." But, alas, fearing a visit from child protective services, I revealed my secret to them, just like I'm revealing it to you now. Fear not for The Boy. He is safely at home and at this very moment tormenting his sister with a giant novelty candy cane.

I'm already formulating our family photo for next year. But rest assured no animals will be harmed in the making of our cards!

Lisa On Location Photography

Friday, November 18, 2011

If The Boot Fits.....{Austin Commercial Photography}

Texas Boot Company, Bastrop and Austin commercial photography by Lisa On Location of New BraunfelsI got a call a couple of weeks ago from the University of Texas at San Antonio, who heard about me via Texas State University -- who I've worked with in the past. The first thing I heard from her was "I've got a job for you, but it's not a wedding." That's okay, I'm skilled at all sorts of photography, I began to tell her. She said she needed photography for an annual report they were putting together and they'd like me to travel to Bastrop to photograph the Texas Boot Company -- a store celebrating its first year in business this week. So my assignment -- if I chose to accept it -- was to photograph a boot store in the town in which I was raised.

I was happy to make the road trip and spend some time in a nifty boot store then have lunch with my mommy. What a fun morning! I met with Marc, the owner of the Texas Boot Company, who set about giving me a tour of the industrial space that was formerly known as Greosenbeck Furniture -- the place I got my dining room table.

Within minutes I found the Aggie boots I'd been searching for a couple of years. I found some super-cool hippie chick boots that seemed to have my name written all over them. I got out my iPhone and started making my Christmas wish list. And I'm not a "boot person." But yowsers! This store could make me one real fast!

Texas Boot Company, Bastrop and Austin commercial photography by Lisa On Location of New Braunfels
Marc showed me boots that were designed in their store to match a wagon that held a display. He showed me a special room they made for fun events like concerts and lunches and benefits. He showed me a dress worn by Sandra Bullock and boots from the Civil War that a customer gave them for display on a miniature cotton bale. He showed me the head of an elk that someone gave them; a bejeweled set of spurs; the $500 boots made of elephant hide; the boots made of shark skin that if you scratch it and sniff it, you can actually smell the shark; and the stuffed bobcat-- the only thing in the store that's not for sale.

Texas Boot Company, Bastrop and Austin commercial photography by Lisa On Location of New Braunfels
Marc and his staff were friendly and offered me booze at 9 a.m.! Many a shoppers came in and partook of their offer of Shiner and Lone Star as they shopped for boots and western wear on a weekday morning in the heart of Texas. So thanks for showing me around, Marc! I took notes. Here's to hoping I see those hippie chick boots under my tree on Christmas morning!

Texas Boot Company, Bastrop and Austin commercial photography by Lisa On Location of New Braunfels
Texas Boot Company, Bastrop and Austin commercial photography by Lisa On Location of New Braunfels

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Adrienne and Marcus {San Antonio Wedding Photographer}

San Antonio wedding photography at Randolph Air Force Base by Lisa On Location wedding photographer of New Braunfels
Last week I shared with you my unexpected adventure, how I was called away from shooting a wedding reception and sent scurrying by Lisa to photograph a surprise marriage proposal in Gruene. I've heard wonderful feedback about the "Gruene suprise," but I have to tell you about the other half of the story--the wedding I was assisting Lisa on at the time. Adrienne and Marcus were a wonderful couple getting married in one of the chapels on Randolph Air Force Base, and one of the happiest couples I've ever met. They were simply overjoyed to be getting married. Neither Lisa nor I had ever shot a wedding at Randolph before, and didn't know what to expect (we'd attended their fantastic air shows in the past, but that's hardly the same thing, right?). We needn't have worried. Other than checking in with the guard posts at the entrance, the wedding was just like any other, although the number of criss-crossing roads and traffic circles makes it incredibly easy to get disoriented and lost if you're not careful!

San Antonio wedding photography at Randolph Air Force Base by Lisa On Location wedding photographer of New Braunfels

Remember how I said they were incredibly happy? Take a look at the photo above. Tell me Marcus isn't on top of the world. Just try. That is one joyful man! And if you think he looks like he's about to burst out singing, you wouldn't be far off base. The man has a fantastic voice: He serenaded Adrienne as she came down the aisle during the ceremony, then picked up the mic during the reception to sing a fantastic song during the single greatest father-daughter dance I've ever witnessed.

San Antonio wedding photography at Randolph Air Force Base by Lisa On Location wedding photographer of New Braunfels

San Antonio wedding photography at Randolph Air Force Base by Lisa On Location wedding photographer of New Braunfels

There were too many highlights of the day to list them all, but anyone who has followed this blog knows that I am very partial to infrared wedding photography. Black and white infrared wedding photography always gives dramatic, high-contrast images (if you know what you're doing). More challenging is false-color infrared wedding photography, because infrared isn't a "color" that we can see naturally. When it works, though, it's lovely and ethereal--just like our happy newlyweds. I'd like to say my images transported Adrienne and Marcus to an otherworldly realm of marital bliss, but I can't. Those two were well on their way without me!

San Antonio wedding photography at Randolph Air Force Base by Lisa On Location wedding photographer of New Braunfels

Lisa On Location Photography

Friday, November 11, 2011

Why I Never Pray at Weddings {New Braunfels Wedding Photography}

Wedding at Boulder Springs by Lisa On Location photography of New BraunfelsI'm a praying girl, I'll admit it. I believe we make our own situations and God helps those who help themselves so I don't pray for everything under the sun. But I pray for my ability to handle everything under the sun that's thrown my way. I say my God-blesses and my thank-yous with The Boy every night: "Thank you God for not making me a zombie baby," "Thank you God for not letting vampires come into our house unless they're invited," "Thank you God for not letting Polka Dots the beagle eat my hamster that time he tried to bite through the cage." You get the idea.

But one time I never pray, is when the minister or priest at a wedding tells us to. When he or she says "let us pray" and all heads go down, my camera goes up.

I was shooting a wedding a few weeks ago that I wasn't hired to shoot by the bride or groom, but by the venue. It was spectacularly decorated so they wanted some nice images for their own gallery and an album to show their potential clients. I was happy to help them out and photographed the wedding as a spectator, staying out of the way of their hired photographer.

But I wanted to share the above image and tell you why I was able to capture this moment. I caught it because when the minister said "let us pray" and all heads went down (including the head of their hired photographer, who was a very nice lady and an excellent photographer as well) the groom gently kissed the shoulder of the bride, and she smiled. It was the most tender moment of that day, in my opinion. A moment that was totally private between the groom and bride. All eyes were closed in prayer so everyone missed it. Except for me.

I do pray for the couples who marry in front of me. I pray their lives together are long and happy. I pray they bring beautiful, loving children into the world (if they want children). I pray they are able to argue with respect for each other and still put their marriage before their differences. I pray they remember the happiness of their wedding day and that their love for each grows with each passing year. But I don't do it when I'm told to. I never have been one for following orders.

Lisa On Location Photography

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

A Gruene surprise {New Braunfels wedding photographer}

One thing about working with Lisa is that I never know what exciting adventure lies just around the corner. Take this weekend for instance. We're at a wedding on Randolph Air Force Base (Lisa will blog about that directly) where I'm assisting her as a second shooter, as usual. In the middle of the reception, Lisa gets a message on her iPhone from someone wanting to hire her for a job. Curious, she steps out to return the call. When she returns to the reception a few minutes later, she tells me "Pack your gear--you're going to Gruene!"

Surprise wedding proposal in Gruene, Texas, photographed by Lisa On Location photography of New Braunfels

It was important that I get to Gruene ASAP--Scott, a student at Texas A&M, had bought a ring and was at that moment driving in from College Station to spring a surprise proposal on his girlfriend, Tracy. They'd had their first date at Gruene Hall back in May, where they'd seen Gary P. Nunn perform (do they have great taste in music, or what?). Scott was going to propose to Tracy in front of Gruene Hall, and wanted us there to photograph it. I'm telling you, folks, the man is a born romantic. And he's got a great sense of theatrical timing, as well!

Surprise wedding proposal in Gruene, Texas, photographed by Lisa On Location photography of New Braunfels

Tracy, for her part, was stunned and taken completely by surprise when Scott got down on one knee and proposed. To her credit, she didn't hesitate an instant before answering with an enthusiastic "Yes!" They're a beautiful couple, obviously in love. I wish them all the best, and am happy they invited me to be part of this special moment in their lives!

Surprise wedding proposal in Gruene, Texas, photographed by Lisa On Location photography of New Braunfels

Lisa On Location Photography

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

I'm a Big Girl and I Can Cry if I Want To {New Braunfels Wedding Photography}

New Braunfels wedding photography by Lisa On LocationI never cry at weddings. Ha! I used to be able to say that. I used to be able to say that I stay totally unbiased and on the job and professional that I keep those tears in check and push on through. But last Saturday when the father of the bride walked into that choir room at the First Protestant Church in New Braunfels and choked back tears as he took that first look at his daughter in her gown, well let's just say some of us with and without a camera in our hands were bawling like babies.

I pulled it together though. The mother of the bride asked me "Lisa, were you crying too?" "No," I replied, "I think a gnat flew in my eye. Yes, that's it. There was a bug. There are bugs all over the room."

New Braunfels wedding photography by Lisa On Location
The water works kept coming though. The bridesmaids made their way down the aisle with tears flowing and scrunched up noses. Tissues were being pulled from everywhere. The sounds of sniffling filled the air as the bride made her way down the aisle on her daddy's arm. "Gosh darn it," I thought. "I said I wasn't going to do this again."

New Braunfels wedding photography by Lisa On Location
But I proudly made it through the wedding with my mascara intact! It was a beautiful ceremony and the bride was so sweet and good-natured. There was a boo-boo with the bridal bouquet and she thought she wouldn't have one for her walk down the aisle. She was perfectly calm about it and her mom and bridesmaids pulled one together without a hitch. Her real bridal bouquet did show up in time for the event, however. Her garter was missing as well but a friend made a speedy trip to the store to pick up a replacement. It was all good and okay with this easy going lady. She's a winner and the groom is so lucky to have found her. And I was lucky to a be a part of this beautiful wedding. Thanks so much for having me! And I promise, no more tears from me! At least not until next time!

Friday, October 28, 2011

A Real Life Love Story {Bastrop Wedding Photography}

Austin and Bastrop wedding photography by Lisa On Location of New BraunfelsOne of my favorite things about weddings is getting to know the happy couple in a way nobody else does. I see them unbiased through the lens. I can read their emotions, their facial expressions and I become aware of their little quirks.

I spend a lot of time with them before the wedding through their engagement session and then the bride with her bridal session and then the pre-wedding consultation. On the day of the wedding I probably spend more time with them than any other single person. I'm there by their side right after they exchange vows and come back down the aisle. They turn to me when they don't know what to do or where to go because they didn't get that far in the rehearsal.

Austin and Bastrop wedding photography by Lisa On Location of New Braunfels
Because of this close association I have with the couple, I learn a little about their history -- first dates, how he proposed, honeymoon plans. And in some cases I learn about past tragedies in their lives. The last wedding I shot was a bittersweet celebration for Chelsea, the bride. Looking at her you'd never guess she was a widow on her second marriage. She's so young and beautiful. But she was married at a young age and tragically lost her first husband after only a year and a half of marriage. I'm sure it was devastating for her. I'm sure she thought she'd never love again. But love found her indeed when Stephen walked into her life.

Austin and Bastrop wedding photography by Lisa On Location of New Braunfels
Chelsea and Stephen are a real life love story. A story of lost love and the continuation of life. They paid tribute to her first husband with a display and a glass of his favorite drink poured just for him. And Chelsea said she could feel him there with her celebrating right along with her. He wanted her to be happy, she said. And she is happy. Congratulations Stephen and Chelsea!

Lisa On Location Photography

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Marie and Juan {San Antonio wedding photographer}

I've shot many, many weddings in my time. That kind of comes as part of the package of being married to Lisa--working as her second shooter at weddings, capturing the groomsmen getting ready as well as subtle, fleeting moments has become my forte. But it's a rare event when I get to step up as the main photographer for a wedding. I've been very fortunate that when I do, I have fantastic couples like Marie and Juan to shoot!

Marie and Juan were quite possibly the happiest couple I've ever seen getting married. They didn't let any of the little stresses of the wedding day get to them--they were simply overjoyed to be in the presence of each other! They'd known each other for 7 years, and I could see that comfortable familiarity in their relationship as they joked and played around with each other non-stop.

The ceremony and reception was held at one of our favorite wedding venues in the San Antonio area, The Vineyards at Garden Ridge. The weather was perfect, the flowers decorating the pavilion gorgeous and the mariachi band lifted the festivities up to a whole other level.

They were really good sports about taking photos, agreeing with every silly thing I had them do and coming up with a few creative poses of their own. They readily agreed to let me shoot some infrared wedding photography with them, although they didn't understand what it was at first. Once I showed them the elegant infrared bridal portraits I was getting, like the image above, and the luminous, otherworldly scenes I was capturing, below, they quickly became fans. The Vineyards is just about as perfect a wedding venue to shoot infrared as there can be, with all their lush grapevines and arbors turning a beautiful snow white in the camera.

Congratulations, Marie and Juan! I hope your lives together are every bit as happy as your wedding day! Thank you for letting me be a part of it!

Lisa On Location Photography

Friday, October 21, 2011

October is Wedding Season in Texas {San Antonio wedding photographer}

San Antonio River Walk wedding photography by Lisa On LocationMost of the world considers June the wedding month. Most of the world does not live in Texas. Two of the things I know about Texas without a doubt are 1) that Texas is damn hot in June, and 2) brides know that Texas is damn hot in June. As a result, June is not the "wedding month" in our beautiful state. October, however, is the perfect month. With temperatures in the 80s during the day and in the 60s in the evenings, it's no wonder more weddings take place in October than in any other month.

My own schedule has been full of weddings lately. My October Saturdays were booked up months ago and I've already started getting calls for booking October 2012.

One of those recent weddings took place at La Villita on the Riverwalk and it was a perfect day. We had a few rain showers to cool it off and keep the bride on her toes. But I couldn't have asked for a more perfect wedding day for this beautiful couple. The atmosphere was euphoric with a festival taking place in the square with dancing, live music, and funnel cakes! The couple took a river taxi to the hotel where their reception took place and waved and kissed for the crowds of spectators along the Riverwalk.

San Antonio River Walk wedding photography by Lisa On Location
Tomorrow's wedding is in laid back Rockne in a country church. It's shaping up to be just as beautiful in a totally different way. I get to wear my boots to this one! I can't wait to share some images from that one!

San Antonio River Walk wedding photography by Lisa On Location

Lisa On Location Photography

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

The Serengeti Resort {New Braunfels wedding photographer}

When people think "Texas" pretty much the first things that come to mind are cowboys, horses and a rugged, Old West style. Ranching is a huge part of our history here in the Lone Star State, but we've come a very long way from the epic trail drives of yesteryear. There are more species of exotic wildlife on Texas game ranches than almost anywhere else in the world, and these days someone driving through the Hill Country is just as likely to catch a glimpse of African antelope as they are white tailed deer. The Serengeti Resort in tiny Bergheim, just 30 miles west of New Braunfels on Highway 46, incorporates exotic animals into the wedding experience, taking things to a whole new level.

The Serengeti Resort has a wide range of animals from around the world, including giraffes, zebras, black buck antelope and scimitar antelope, just to name a few. Oh, and a dromedary camel named Clyde. Can't forget Clyde--he'd never forgive me! The resort hosts vacationers for week-long retreats or weekend getaways, with a nice selection of tents, bungalows and other accommodations. But weddings are where the Geti really shines. In addition to the Zafara Lodge with its impressive trophy room and cush guest rooms, there's the adjacent Jubulani Lodge with spacious areas for the brides and bridesmaids to get ready. Right outside is a picturesque swimming pool. Nestled between the two lodges is an outdoor flagstone courtyard shaded by stately live oaks during the day. At night, strings of lights in the branches light up to enhance the starry night. Torches and calls from the exotic animals all around complete the scene, transporting this little piece of Texas to the wilds of Africa.

The Zafara Lodge at the Serengeti Resort. Photo by Lisa On Location destination wedding photography in New Braunfels, San Antonio and Austin

The thatched-roof pavillion, just a short walk away, boasts 3,000 feet of dance floor and dining area for receptions or the actual wedding ceremony if weather threatens. There's a built-in bar as well as a large stage for live music, plus impressive lighting fixtures and sound system. All in all, the Geti can accommodate weddings of up to 300 guests, but they're flexible enough to host more intimate gatherings as well. One very nice option the manager, Josh, explained to me is that for weddings the resort can be booked for 24 hours, which means the bride and groom get to sleep in the next day and not worry about anything other than enjoying themselves.

Now, I know "unique" is a word that overused way too much these days, but it really does apply to Serengeti Resort weddings. Where else are you going to find a Texas wedding venue that comes complete with lemurs? That's what I thought. If you're looking for a Texas Hill Country wedding that will leave your guests talking for a long time to come, you'll be hard-pressed to top the Geti. And if you need help with organizing and all the details, Brandi is available to help coordinate your wedding on-site. Pretty convenient. So if you're looking to combine your nuptials with an African safari, Texas style, give Josh, Brandi or even Clyde a call at (830) 816-3600, or drop them a line. Heck, if you're feeling ambitious, you can even "Like" them on Facebook. Whatever you do, make sure you get in touch with Lisa On Location first, because photographing a safari wedding with exotic animals? Lisa is all over that!

Lisa On Location Photography

Saturday, October 8, 2011

It's cheesy, it's fun, it's silly, It's New Braunfels Pin-up Photography

Lisa On Location provides fun and flirty pin-up style photography for New Braunfels, San Antonio, Austin and San MarcosI was raised in a small town, I live in a small town, I am morally opposed to toll roads and paying for parking. Therefore, when we take a trip into a city as a family, I tend to hand the keys over to Jayme to take the wheel. I find my side seat driving skills are so much better than his and he really needs me there in the passenger seat to tell him when he's tailgating, or speeding, or needs to be in another lane. So for me to take a trip into Houston, by myself with nobody to hand the wheel over to, there must be a good reason.

I found one the other day when I made the trip for two days of training. First the Sandy Puc Pin-Up-Alooza seminar and then on to Scott Kelby's Light it, Shoot it, Retouch it seminar. Sandy had a special guest for this pin-up seminar in Mike Long. Mike is an amazing pin-up photographer who commands national attention for his work. I soaked in everything he had to say, then went on to see Scott Kelby and take that knowledge even further. Scott Kelby is the foremost expert on Photoshop. Adobe asks this man to test drive their software when they decide it's time for an upgrade. He's written the bible on Photoshop and is an amazing teacher as well. It was a very productive trip. And totally worth sitting in rush Lisa On Location provides fun and flirty pin-up style photography for New Braunfels, San Antonio, Austin and San Marcoshour traffic for hours (where I always managed to get in the wrong lane). I'm as good at picking traffic lanes as I am at picking grocery store check out lines.

Armed with my new found skills I bribed a couple of my friends to step in front of the camera and get cheesy. We had a great time playing with all the retro props I found at the thrift store and getting silly. I've shared a couple with you here today. I'm super excited about offering pin-up photography to my clients starting immediately.

The best thing about this kind of photography is that it's pure and innocent and fun. It's fun for women it's fun for men.

Call me if you're ready to see yourself as a pin-up!

Lisa On Location Photography

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Birthdays and numbers... They're all the same {New Braunfels photographer}

New Braunfels, Austin, San Marcos, San Antonio event and reunion photographerToday I'm turning 40. Last week it bothered me a lot more than it does now. I was nervous about hitting another decade with a bigger number. I am no longer 30-something, which could always be rounded down to 30 which was just a step away from 29, which is 20-something (barely over a teenager). But now it's a bigger stretch. I'm more likely to be lumped together with the 49 year-olds and rounded up to 50 which is just a short step away from 60 and then 70 and being considered "elderly." Right? That's a stupid word anyway! It sounds so feeble and frail. And who decides when one is no longer middle aged and becomes "elderly" anyway.

The group of women I met earlier this week -- who changed my mind about dreading my 40th birthday -- are not in any way "elderly." Yet they are all 73 years old and quite possibly some of the most fun and engaging women I've met in a long time. This group consists of 8 ladies of the class of 1956 from Big Spring High School in the town of Big Spring. They come together once a year every year for an adventure and bonding. Some years it's a cruise. Sometimes a road trip, this year they came together in the community of Gruene to shop, sip wine on the balcony over the river, and take one outrageous photograph together for the first and maybe only time.

They joke about having to get it done before one of them dies. But there's no danger of that any time soon. These women are healthy, active, vibrant and sassy. I sat down for lunch with them at the Gristmill before the photograph and got to know some of their stories. They live all over the state now in cities like Lubbock, Fort Worth, Austin, San Antonio. Some of them fly to get together, others drive, others take the train. They exchanged stories about their children, weddings in their family, speeding tickets, television programs, politics (they don't all agree but the respect they showed for each other could teach the politicians a few things). When one of the ladies told a story of a surgery she had recently the table grew quiet with concern as she assured them it was okay now and that she hadn't told them about it because she didn't want to concern them. The love between them was clear in those moments of silence.

They shared stories of silly college days, although all went away to different schools all over the state they had plenty of visits to each other. They talked with giddy excitement about the photograph they'd take and what they'd be wearing -- crazy colors, stripes, checks, big hats. One of the ladies jokingly suggested they just go naked (one lady volunteered to strip down right then and there) and asked if I'd ever seen that. When I told them about the session I shot last year (click here to read my blog about that one) in which another beautiful lady turned 50 and posed with all her best friends in the buff. They scoffed "pish! 50!" they said. "That's young!"

I confessed that I myself was turning 40 in just a few days and they shared a look between them. No doubt the same look I share with my fellow middle agers when a youngster amongst us mentions her own aging body at the age of 27 or bemoans turning 30 as if it were a death sentence. "It gets better from here on out," the ladies told me over Caesar salad and iced tea at lunch. They should know. I hope I'm as active and fun when I'm their age. I hope I can strip down naked and dance with a glass of champagne when I'm 50. I hope I can continue to grow and learn every day about love, photography, family, life. And thank God with every breath that I'm here.
Lisa On Location Photography

Saturday, October 1, 2011

And They're Off {New Braunfels Christmas Portraits}

Last week I officially kicked off the Christmas family portrait season with style by photographing my friend Angie and her gorgeous family at the Faust Street bridge. Angie's a runner and a personal trainer and this bridge is one of her favorite early morning running sites.

It's also got possibly the only patch of live grass in the entire city on a little slope next to the bridge. I spent a little time taking off my shoes and letting my toes feel the cool moist greenery. My own lawn is pretty sparse and dead and all my usual photo spots are lacking in the lush green stuff for the past few months with our lack of decent rain. So we all laid back and daydreamed for a few minutes before putting our shoes back on and hitting the pavement.

But to make matters even that much better, what do I find in an abandoned parking lot nearby, but a super cool grocery cart! There's so much fun to be had with a grocery cart and, thankfully, Angie and the family were all for it.

Angie was smart to get her Christmas card photos done early. The month of October is almost totally booked and November is filling fast. I'm so fortunate to have so many great families trusting me with these special photos.

Lisa On Location Photography

Thursday, September 29, 2011

I totally love my job! {New Braunfels photographer}

New Braunfels, Austin and San Antonio fashion and glamour photographerI've had a few stinker jobs in my past. I won't start with the summer my dad put me to work weeding his garden for 50 cents an hour because he thought I spent too much time in front of the television and needed a lesson about life. I won't get into the McDonald's job where I suffered from a severe lack of training that caused me to serve raw fries at the drive-through and discover what happens to dehydrated pickles when you leave them in the deep fryer all evening.

There was the busboy (or would it be busgirl?) job at a Chinese food restaurant where I was routinely chastised for eating the broken fortune cookies the owners saved for bad tippers. There was the grocery store bagger job that I always ended up working the late shift on. Ever wonder who cleans up the bathrooms in the early morning hours of an all night grocery store -- that was me. Not a pretty job in a college town trust me.

New Braunfels, Austin and San Antonio fashion and glamour photographerI've had my share of bad bosses and nasty coworkers. But all of the turmoil and all the bad jobs I've had have molded my experiences and led me to this moment in time where I can sit back, take stock of what I do on a daily basis and announce to the world that I absolutely, positively, without a shadow of a doubt, LOVE my job. It was totally worth it to clean up barf in a Scaggs Alpha Beta bathroom stall at 1 a.m. on a Saturday morning at the age of 19 so that I could sit here and tell you that I've had the good the bad and the ugly when it comes to employment and I would not trade anything for what I have now.

I made this realization on Monday morning. A bright crisp morning of about 65 degrees as I rode in the back of an all terrain vehicle through the depths of the Canyon Lake Gorge on a private tour with a beautiful professional model fresh from a stint in New York, a fabulous clothing designer, and our own personal guide and getting paid to be there. That's the moment that it all hit me that I was doing exactly what I want to be doing. I was directing a fashion shoot in a beautiful location with a beautiful model and a talented clothing designer and getting some really great results.

New Braunfels, Austin and San Antonio fashion and glamour photographerLooking back on the past few years, I've had lots of fabulous assignments. There was the gorgeous bride on the beach in Grand Cayman -- followed by the most amazing day spent on a private little piece of paradise. I also loved the all day boudoir sessions that had me hamming it up with some of the most beautiful ladies I've ever met. The birth sessions where I made witness to the dawning of a new life -- a brand new baby taking his very first breath. I've shot hundreds of families in locations all over the state and had access to some of the most beautiful countryside. I never knew our own state was so absolutely breathtaking until I started getting down and discovering these locations.

Every seminar that I attend is a blast it's hard to believe that I'm actually learning something while hobnobbing with some of the greatest photographers in the world.

When I finished the Canyon Lake gorge session we headed back to my home studio -- which is really just my living room right now until we finish that gosh darn garage studio project we started a year ago -- where we spent the morning photographing all the new designs for Naps and Nites Studios.New Braunfels, Austin and San Antonio fashion and glamour photographerIt was great to be able to use my studio skills as well as my natural light skills on one assignment and before you knew it, the morning was over. Time flies when you're having fun and that's really the only drawback I've found with my life as a photographer. My days are flying by faster than I ever knew they would. Gone are the days of sitting behind a desk watching the hands of the clock as they sloooooowly ticked their way to 5 p.m. Gone are the days of Sunday evening blahs when I realize that Monday morning is almost here. Heck, when every Monday morning is like the last one I had, I'll take 5 every week, thank you very much.

I can't wait to see what tomorrow brings. I have a pin-up seminar in Houston next week (can't wait to start offering pin-up photography), I'm turning 40 on the 6th (ouch, but I really don't mind it so much), I have an amazing River Walk wedding coming up, a super cool costume ball that I've been invited to, a trip to New Orleans in January and a trash the dress session that is so outrageous that I can't say a word about it here. Just wait until you see it! And so many family sessions, seniors, newborns, weddings, that I can't count them. But every single one of them is so rewarding in their own way. I can't wait to see what 40 brings me!

Lisa On Location Photography