Posted on January 28, 2019
Posted on January 18, 2019
I met Reese (Reese’s Pieces) when I started working for the company I work for now. She is part of the college team division of the company, while I’m in operations. Both of our areas shared our Austin campus location. I was immediately drawn to her because we share similar interests and we make each other laugh. Over the past year and a half, we have developed a pretty fun friendship, and I think the world of her. She just got engaged on NYE and has started the fun process of planning her wedding! Super excited for her and her future husband. Below are some headshots from our session. She totally needs to model as a side gig, she’s fierce y’all!
I’m almost done editing photos from Tagger’s 4th birthday party last week! Look for those on the blog next week. Have a wonderful weekend!
Posted on January 11, 2019
I was asked to photograph a couple of coworkers as they needed updated headshots. Here is a sneak peek of Reese’s session. I will update next week with the full session and a get to know Reese post! 🙂
Have a great weekend, everyone! Luis and I are traveling to Abilene to hang out with family and celebrate Tagger turning 4! I’ll be sure to take photos to share!
Posted on January 10, 2019
It’s fitting that I post these photos this week, as students are going back to school from their Christmas break! When I discovered I forgot to edit and post True’s graduation photos, I promised myself I would have them ready before her spring break! haha.
Watching True and her little brother Tagger grow up has been fun. I’ll admit, a lot of times its been through social media and text messaging. Being about 3..5-4 hours from home, you miss things. However, every time I get to the see them and my other family, I try to soak it in as much as I can and be thankful for the time together.
True has always been a fun child to be around. She’s smart, inquisitive, independent, loveable, funny and the list continues. She loves astronomy and ballet. Loves Hatchimals and carries a notebook and pen around with her so she is always ready to take notes. She brings joy and laughter to everyone she meets and she’s only 6 years old.
I was able to take off the day to watch her graduate Kindergarten. She goes to a small elementary school out in the Big Country. Abilene, TX area for those not familiar with Texas. One of my favorite things that the elementary school did was bring together the graduating Kindergarten students and the graduating High School students together for a photo opportunity and to give a visual to the Kindergarten students of what their future is. I shed quite a few tears while taking photos of the group and I’d be lying if I denied tearing up right now.
True won the Superintendent Award from her teacher. It’s an award given to one student from each class that shows leadership, excellence in academics and being a helpful student to the teacher. She also won several other awards. SO many to name, so here is a photo of some of us holding all of her awards that she won.
She makes her family proud! My hope for True is that she continues to push herself both academically and personally. She loves to learn and I hope that never changes. I can’t wait to watch her grow up and see where her interests take her. True is relentless and will push herself to achieve her goals. Below are all the photos from her Kindergarten graduation. Congratulations, True!
Check back tomorrow for a sneak peek of a portrait session with one of my coworkes!
Posted on January 4, 2019
Well, she graduated 8 months ago, I just never got around to edit the photos. I know, photographer of the year. Please.hire.me. hahaha. Anyways, here is a sneak peek from True’s graduation ceremony. I’ll have a full post with all the pictures next week! I hope everyone enjoys their first weekend of 2019!
Posted on December 31, 2018
So it’s been a year… it feels like 2018 lasted 5 years. I’m ready for it to go. 2018 wasn’t 100% terrible, but it wasn’t that awesome either. From company layoffs to illness to missing key family moments, I would rate this year about a 3.5 out of 10. I’m ready for a fresh start and ready to start the new year on a positive note!
This past year, I’ve neglected to put time and effort into seeing my family. Luis and I have both been so bogged down with work, that we’ve missed birthdays, vacations, holiday functions and just visiting and spending time with our family. That is something I’m not proud of. I love both of our families. I love our friends as well. We have built a pretty awesome home away from home family here in the Austin area, and even those were sacrificed. I feel pretty upset that I let what was going on around us get the best of me and not focus on what matters the most to me, friends and family.
As we close 2018 and head into 2019, below are some things I’m looking forward to.
I hope everyone has a wonderful NYE and would love to hear some of your 2018 highlights moving into 2019. We did have some fun in 2018, below is a photo from our trip to Jamaica. Ya man!
See you in 2019!
Posted on March 14, 2018
I met Eric years ago when he became my coworker at Texas Tech. We bonded and instantly became good friends. We’ve had a lot of laughs and fights through the years, but I consider him the big brother I never had…. or wanted. HA. When I got engaged to my husband, Luis, we both hoped Eric would be open to officiating our wedding. He said of course with one condition, in return I would photograph his wedding. I really didn’t think I would have to reciprocate until the day after he met Adriana.
Adriana and Eric met at the Whitehorse Saloon located here in Austin. Eric was getting into two-stepping and swing dancing, and they both happened to be there that night. He came in all excited and jazzed at work the next morning and told me about this beautiful blonde girl he met. The way he described her and the big smile on his face, I knew I would be photographing them on their wedding day. When I met Adri for the first time, she just melted my heart. Not only is she stunning, but her smile and sweet personality make you naturally gravitate towards her wanting to become her best friend. Eric and Adriana together are quite the real deal. They light up any room they walk into, and they are REALLY good at dancing. They are a perfect fit.
When it came time for Eric to ask Adriana to marry him, he was so excited. I honestly think he would have proposed to her the night he met her at The Whitehorse if he could have. He spent months planning the proposal. He researched and asked for advice for the perfect ring for Adriana. He found it bought it and then waited until they went on vacation to Peru. He proposed to her at Machu Pichu. What a gorgeous backdrop to one of the most important questions of a girls life?! I wasn’t sure if Eric remembers our agreement but they came back from Peru, and Eric asked about photographing their wedding. I was super stoked!
The wedding took place in Driftwood, TX at The Wildflower Barn. Adriana and her amazingly talented friends spent so much time creating every little detail of her wedding. Y’all! Adriana made their wedding cake AND cupcakes for all the guests! She loves to bake, and she’s really good at it! School teacher by day, a master baker by night! Both Eric and Adriana were calm the entire day. That is when you know it’s the real deal. Cool as a cucumber and laughing the whole time. Eric’s bandmate, Chris played as the wedding party entered the ceremony and Adri’s best friend Bonnie was the officiant.
Wedding cupcakes and cake made by the bride!
Bonnie ROCKED the ceremony! She spoke of her friendship with Adriana and meeting Eric for the first time. Everyone knew they were destined to become husband and wife. The wedding ceremony was so sweet and personal. I shed a few tears as I was trying to frantically take as many photos as I could. After the I Do’s, guests were treated to country dancing lessons! Perfect activity celebrating a couple that met at a dancehall. Eric and Adri scored major points with me by having a taco bar catered by Maudies. Literally my favorite taco place in Austin! Eric and Adri were surrounded by their friends and family the entire night. You could just feel the love in the air that everyone had for these two. They are the kindest souls.
The Newlyweds. <3
Eric and Adri, thank you so much for letting me capture your wedding day. I love you two so much, and I’m so glad we get to walk through our lives as good friends. Cheers to a happy and fun marriage! #EricHartsAdri.
Posted on March 12, 2018
Luis and I got married on May 28, 2016, instead of going on a honeymoon immediately after, we decided to wait a couple of months, regroup, sleep and then go on an adventure. Luis and I decided on Spain. We agreed that I would concentrate on getting our wedding together and that Luis would plan our honeymoon. When it comes to transportation and logistics, Luis is so much better at that stuff. I’m better at DIY, decorating, creating and operations.
Luis planned an awesome honeymoon. We had to get passports, as my name had changed and we were told to go to the UT at their International Office to obtain our passports. Y’all… we received our passports in 10 days! So for anyone looking to renew or obtain a passport, go to UT International Office. Before we left, Luis printed all sorts of information. Each of us had a fold full of itineraries, bus/train tickets, museum, food TOUR, soccer tickets… EVERYTHING.
We left Austin about 6 pm and flew straight to London, which was perfect because it was night time for us and I slept most of the flight. We then flew from London to Barcelona. Instead of staying at hotels, we decided we really wanted to live like Spaniards, so we booked Airbnb’s so we could meet locals… well except for one place (that will come later). Reality quickly hit that we were no longer in the US when we got to our first Airbnb in Barcelona and had to go to the 9th floor, without an elevator. We then discovered that there wasn’t any air conditioning AND the toilet was located outside of the apartment in this modern outhouse structure. We found out later this building was built in the 1700s… of course, there wasn’t air conditioning or an elevator! The coolest thing about the apartment was that you could lean outside the bedroom window and y could see the Barcelona Cathedral.
Water fountain at the Cathedral de Barcelona
On our first day, we spent the afternoon at the Barcelona Cathedral and went to the Mercado Boqueria. There were tonnnnnns of different foods. We walked around Barcelona and tried to get acquainted with the time change. The next morning we got up early and had tickets to go to La Sagrada Familia, the worlds largest unfinished Roman Catholic church. The construction of this church started in 1882, and it is still not complete. If you took Spanish in middle or high school, chances are you saw a photo of this church. It was very moving to be here. We chose the tower tour option where we could tour one of the bell towers. We took an elevator up and then we walked the stairs down. These hallways/stairs were tiny but so cool. The stained glass in the church was so gorgeous, and we went at the right time because as we were finishing our tour, the sunlight was bursting through the windows and lit up the church in all these pretty rainbow colors. We did a little more exploring before jet lag set in, and we took a nap… well I ended up taking almost a 4-hour nap. I was SO tired.
That afternoon we had tickets to go to a soccer match, which happened to be Luis’ favorite team: Barcelona. Luis loves soccer, and he got me interested as well. We were so happy that they were playing at home while we were there. It was so surreal. First off, you can smoke in the stadium. People were smoking everywhere. Also, when you bought your drinks at the concession stand, the cashiers kept the lids on the bottles because people would throw them on the field. Also, you can bring your own snacks into the stadium… America needs to wise up on this. During halftime, everyone was chowing down on their bocadillos (sandwiches). Barca won the match, 5-0. Luis was like a kid in a candy store at the stadium. The next day we explored more of the city, as it was our last day in Barcelona. We spent time at Barceloneta, the beach that everyone hangs out at. I didn’t bring my camera to a lot of places in Barcelona because of the crime rate. I didn’t want my bag, wallet, passport, or camera stolen, so I left most of those things at the Airbnb while we explored.
Sun glowing through the stained glass at La Sagrada Familia
Our next destination was Bilbao, where we spent a day there. We had tickets to go to the Guggenheim Museum. We were supposed to stay at an Airbnb, but it fell through, and we were able to get a hotel right by. I was actually kind of excited about this. I was having a rough time, and I enjoyed one night in a hotel bed…. with air conditioning. We happened to be visiting during their Semana Grande de Bilbao where they have a huge festival with music, art, theater, fireworks. We found this out while we were in the hotel and saw/heard the fireworks from our hotel window. Luis also had the best pizza of his life in Bilbao, called Coppola Bilbao. I remember they had this focaccia type bread that I ate 10 pieces of. Bilbao was a beautiful city.
The next morning we took a bus from Bilbao to San Sebastian. The bus ride was one of the highlights of my trip. We got to see the Spanish countryside, and it was a very windy road. Luis didn’t like it and was on the verge of car sickness the entire time. Part of the road reminded me of my time in California because you had the mountains on one side and the beach on the other. I seriously contemplated asking Luis if we wanted to sell all of our belongings and move to one of these tiny towns in Spain. San Sebastian was probably my favorite place in Spain. We were three blocks from the Bay of Biscay/Beach of La Concha. We took a ferry to Santa Clara Island. The water and air were so refreshing and crisp. We spent some time at the beach and in the water. The sand was really smooth as well. It was spectacular. We were only in San Sebastian for a night, and we took a train the next morning to Madrid.
In Madrid, we did A LOT of exploring. It was also Luis’ birthday, and we had his birthday dinner at Restaurante Botin, the oldest restaurant in the world. What a cool way to celebrate a birthday? We also did a food tour of Madrid where we got to try Jamon Iberico. It’s ham where the pigs only eat acorns. It tastes so buttery, and it is costly. My absolute favorite thing about Spain was going to Chocolateria San Gines for churros. Like, my life. Our Airbnb was 4 blocks from this place. I visited every day, most days twice a day. Typically, the churros are for breakfast for Spaniards, but in America, they are more of a dessert. They.are.life. The chocolate was so smooth, and the churros were crunchy and not heavy. I may have shed a tear or two after leaving on our last day in Madrid.
During our stay in Madrid, we took a day trip to Segovia. We walked through the town, and I absolutely loved the scenery. Segovia is well known for Alcazar de Segovia, or the Segovia Castle. It was built in the 1100’s… that’s right, ELEVEN hundred. It also inspired Cinderella’s Castle. I really enjoyed exploring this castle. We also spent some time looking at the Segovia Aqueduct, which was built during the second half of the 1st century. Luis and I said over and over while visiting historical places in Spain that it’s insane to think about these buildings being built centuries ago and we are used to American history only starting in 1776. We definitely took a step back and appreciated all the architecture and historical places we got to see in Spain.
Alcazar de Segovia
On one of our last days in Madrid, we went to watch Real Madrid play at Santiago Bernabeu stadium. I love Real Madrid (#halamadrid), my favorite soccer player is Sergio Ramos. Real won the match and so we were happy both of our teams won when we watched them in person. Funny story, the lady behind us smoked at least a pack and a half of cigarettes during the game. We found that super funny because the game was pretty stressful.
We left Madrid and took a train to Sevilla. Sevilla is a gorgeous city. It is super chill, clean and really laid back. We walked around the Metropol Parasol. It’s this massive structure that is completely made out of wood. It is inspired by the Cathedral de Seville. The next morning we woke up super early and traveled to Granada to spend the day touring Alhambra and the city of Granada. Alhambra was constructed in 889 AD, then renovated by the mid 13th century. The gorgeous grounds were mesmerizing, and I got a little distracted by the cats that were roaming around! We were on a guided tour, and it was fascinating hearing about the history of Granada and the churches that used to be mosques. The trip took most of the day, but that night after we got back, we went to a flamenco show. I LOVED the flamenco show, the dancing, snapping, stomping, everything about it! It was such a cool experience.
The next morning was spent walking around Seville and exploring. I had the best gelato for breakfast.. yup breakfast. DID.NOT.CARE. Haha. It came on a waffle so totally makes sense. We toured the Cathedral de Seville and saw the tomb of Christopher Columbus. Regardless of your stance on Christopher Columbus and his “founding of America,” I found it extremely intriguing and I got a little emotional while there. I’m a West Texas kid from a no-name town, never in a million years did I ever think I would ever be in Spain seeing the tomb that contains the remains of a person that had a significant impact on the country I live in. It was a really cool experience I’ll never forget. Also, the sangria we had in Seville was my favorite, I haven’t had anything come close since Spain. I crave it often.
That afternoon we took a train to Valencia, as it was our last stop before we traveled back to Barcelona to come back to Texas. When Luis originally started researching Spain, he came across an event called La Tomatina. It takes place the last Wednesday in August in this tiny town outside of Valencia called Bunol. It is the world’s largest tomato fight. We had to get to the buses at 6 am, and people were already partying and having a good time. The buses drove us from Valencia to Bunol. We got there around 730-8ish, and they had trash cans full of Sangria. Madness before it even began. There were 20,000 people attending this festival. You walked down into this tiny downtown area, and people lined the streets.
Then the madness started. Garbage trucks came down the street and threw thousands of pounds of tomatoes for people to throw at each other. It was the most chaotic thing I’ve ever done in my life. I had tomato juice in every nook and cranny of my body. This lasted for about an hour. Again, I’ve never experienced anything so chaotic in my life. There were nearby houses where you paid them a couple of euros, and they took their water hose and washed as much of the tomato gunk out as they could. My clothes were ruined, I couldn’t stand the smell of tomatoes for months. I have serious PTSD thinking about that experience. Luis wants to go back and do it again. I have zero interest, I would have loved to be on the rooftop taking photos. Maybe I’ll become cool enough to be a travel photographer.
After we survived and took hour-long showers to get the tomato seeds out of our hair, Luis made a reservation at a local eatery that specialized in paella. Man, it was delicious! The rice was so crispy, and the flavor was perfect. We ordered the chicken and rabbit paella. So good! What I loved about most of our time in Spain is that we walked almost everywhere. We didn’t spend a lot of time in taxi’s or cars.
The next morning we had breakfast at this cute little pastry shop, I wish I could remember the name, they had the best croissants. I had the Nutella croissant. It was so good I ordered another one. It was so buttery and flaky. Their orange juice was killer! They also had coffee that Luis said was really good. After breakfast, we headed to the City of Arts and Sciences Museum. We didn’t have a lot of time to explore because we needed to catch our train back to Barcelona. I wish we had more time here as well. Our last stop was at the city center, and we ate lunch at this little bistro across the plaza from Cathedral de Valencia. After lunch, we made our way to the train station and headed to Barcelona.
Valencia City Centre
We got to Barcelona late that night and basically slept for a couple of hours and then we had to head to the airport to catch our flight to London. We then flew London to Austin and arrived back to Texas around 6 pm. What was the first thing that we did? We ate tacos. I missed Mexican food so much! Our trip to Spain was everything. We have so many memories and stories for the rest of our lives. I hope you enjoyed reading about our honeymoon and enjoy the photos below!
Posted on February 20, 2018
Posted on February 13, 2018
I took these photos almost a year and a half ago, but I never shared them with the world. I loved our trip to Spain. I had a hard time adjusting at times, but overall the experience changed my life. I will get into details later, however, let me just say Luis rocked it when it came to planning our honeymoon. Without his planning and research, we would have not been able to see as much of Spain as we did! I can’t wait to go back one day.
For now, enjoy a couple of photos. A full post coming soon!
Taken at Al Alhambra in Granada
Taken at Ciudad de las Artes y Ciencias in Valencia.