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