I simply MUST share my favorite new Christmas Tradition with you. If you do something twice during the holidays and you enjoy it, it becomes a tradition, right?
THIS is how the Wallace Family of Katy, Texas rolls!
Seriously, they’ve got to be the FUNNEST Christmas Family in Texas.
You see, It all started when Mom, Jenny, called in 2017 looking for a fun and unique family Christmas card. They had a general concept in mind, but needed a pro to help them pull it off. Oh my goodness! It was exactly the project that had been bubbling in my own brain for quite a while, and suddenly these people just called me to create it! How does that even happen? Did I ever tell you how much I LOVE my job?
As we began planning for our session, I reached out to one of my photography instructors and friends, Dan McLanahan. Dan is very well-known in professional circles for his amazing skills and talents, but my brain at this time was all-consumed by the reknown “Friday Night Food Fight” composite that he had created a year before. Click on this link to check it out! Dan gave me some pointers to help make our session go smoothly, and he also offered a gentle but extremely helpful critique during the post-production stages of Christmas Kitchen Chaos 2017.
The magic of a project like this comes in compiling several photographs until one composite image is complete. I don’t know what part of this scenario I enjoyed the most.
It could have been Scott’s flaming skillet. (Yes we used real fire).
Or Jenny’s flying flour which looked so realistic because the sons hid behind the island throwing flour and mashed potato flakes into the air until we captured our perfect messy cloud.
Maybe it was Braden’s athletic skills catching a football mid-air with his LEFT hand so that we could still see his face –HOW MANY TIMES?
Josh’s feigned boredom with the whole scenario absolutely cracked me up because it couldn’t have been further from reality. In fact, he offered keen thoughts, insight, and even served as a voice-activated lightstand throughout the session both last year and this year.
However, the story I LOVE to tell about this shoot is about the family dog, Brinkley. This dog is so well-trained that he absolutely refused to steal the lasagna off the counter. In order to make that scenario happen, we had to send dad to another part of the house while Jenny and the sons coerced and tempted him.
This was my first ever attempt at a relatively complex composite image, and it was so much fun. The Christmas card recipients started asking what this year’s card would look like, and the Wallaces quickly realized that they couldn’t ever go back to a traditional smiling family portrait card.
When they called me this year, we sat down together and brainstormed until we came up with a new concept.
Deck the Halls — Wallace Style
The family has actually experienced a couple of real-life falling Christmas tree incidents, so they knew that their friends and relatives would understand the significance.
Everyone maintained their basic persona from 2017. Jenny’s tripping over her own enthusiasm, and so surprised that she’s practically juggling the ornaments as they smash to the floor. Josh is once again absorbed in his technology and light untangling mess. Braden’s adding Santa to the top of the tree — Elf Style. And of course we’ve got Scott, once again about to burn down the house with his Griswold-inspired electrical connection.
We even included last year’s card on the television screen at the back of the room.
Best memory from this year’s photography session? The pure thrill on the guys’ faces when they got to actually throw glass ornaments up into the air, allowing them to smash on the ground. Josh said it was the one thing that you’re always told not to do.
“Don’t drop the ornaments, don’t let them break, be careful with them. Don’t make a mess.”
But on this one day we shattered ornaments on the floor and made a royal mess.
Merry Christmas from SPCcreative Photography via The Wallace Family.
I will let one little secret out of the bag.
We’ve already started planning for 2019.
What will it be? I’ll never tell.
THIS post is about my copper-head soul sister, Jessica, and her Total Woman Portrait session.
Hair and makeup: Brandie Seifert – Hollywood Hippie Cosmetics, LLC
There’s a special sisterhood that we redheaded women share. It can’t be described, but if you are one of us, you know it well. You might catch a glimpse of it in our eyes as we give each other a silent high-five at the grocery store. We connect because we understand. We know sunburns, and freckles, unruly curls. People always ask us if our hair color is natural. Our perfume of choice is SPF 30-plus. If two of us are in a room at the same time someone will inevitably ask if we are related. In a sense, we are because we truly know how hard it is to be so blinkin’ awesome. I LOVE my redheaded sistah’s and when I’m fortunate enough to have one walk through my doors, good stuff is bound to happen.
Just a phone-pic selfie: Here we are hanging out on my front porch with my highly prized Redhead Barbie! — She looks just like us, doesn’t she?
Because women are so fascinating and multi-dimensional, I developed these Total Woman sessions to capture many different facets of an individual. We are more than just a pretty face. We are powerful. We are fun. We are joyful. We are intelligent. We are mysterious. We are strong. We are sexy. We are compassionate. And through it all, we are BEAUTIFUL — but sometimes we forget that part. Total Woman sessions bring a woman from the BOARDROOM to the BOUDOIR and capture that special beauty forever. These sessions are good for a woman’s soul. The images we create also warm the hearts of our husbands and children, whether they are still young or have already grown up.
Jessica is one amazing woman. She’s a cross-fit trainer. She’s a wife and the mother of five fantastic sons. That’s just one more reason to adore her. Red Heads who can raise five sons could rule the world if we wanted to.
It was beyond fun working with her to create these heirloom images.
Can you imagine her sharing these with her grandchildren in the year 2046? Won’t they love this? What a TREASURE!
What would you give to have lovely photographs of your mother at the age that you are now?
And … as we often do after these sessions, we met up at the park with the loves of her life, her husband and boys —
because — well because we just HAD TO create a portrait of the family on the same day we put together Jessica’s heirloom collection!
We only had about 10 minutes before the skies opened up and rain started pouring, but that was enough.
These images have been translated to a canvas collection for their beautiful home.
These kids will grow up, but this precious moment in their lives has been frozen in time and they will cherish it — because they will always be able to see it.
The senior year in high school can be a super emotional time, and I don’t mean just for the students.
In my own experience, as a mom of five sons, I came to think of the senior year sort of like pregnancy. It lasts about nine months, and by the time it is over, you’ll do whatever you need to do in order to get the kid out. I played tug of war between the joys of seeing my children spread their wings oh so ready to stand on their own and become an adult, and the fear of wondering if they would be safe from one day to the next. I worried about each one of them walking out the door to places where we can’t monitor whether or not they and their buddies come home at a decent hour. To this day, I still LOVE watching them take on new responsibilities and excel in ways I could never imagine. I still crumble inside when they face struggles that I cannot and should not even try to fix. I cry a little when I realize that my days of drying tears,mending scraped knees, and keeping a well-stocked pantry and fridge are becoming distant memories.
What many of us moms tend to forget is that the graduate is not the only one facing a new stage of life.
Senior year is a time when the entire family dynamics are about to change in a big way. Parents get to embark on a new journey too. Yes, the adjustment can be very very tough, but for the most part after transition (another pregnancy analogy) it is very very sweet.
Not too long ago I got together with this family to create the first portraits they had made since their son was quite young. He will graduate this June and within just a few short weeks will leave for army boot camp. When he returns, he will be a different human being. That’s what service does for us.
I’m so glad we did this project.
Life for mom and dad will definitely change. Their son will come into his own in a great way. And Mom and Dad are going to be fine. They’ll be just fine.
Here’s something a little different for my blog. I don’t photograph many kids. Mostly I concentrate on teens and adults, and I nearly always leave the whole chase-a-toddler-through-the-park scenario to my colleagues who are more well suited for those antics. But once the kids are school-aged, I have a hard time resisting them. Especially when they’re as fun to hang out with as the kids in the N Family.
I don’t know how I got so luck y to have Little Miss L and her mom knock on my door selling Girl Scout Cookies a couple of years ago. I’m a sucker for Caramel Delights and Peanut Butter Sandwiches. They had the goods. We stood on the porch talking for a LONG time and became friends immediately.
You might recognize some of these faces — or at least one because she has popped in and out of previous sessions with older siblings like she did HERE and HERE
These kids have amazing parents who are committed to capturing great images of them individually on their birthdays and around their half birthdays too. They come from a very large family, so it’s nice to focus attention on just two or three kids at one time. AND — I’m the lucky duck that gets to create those photographs for them. We print all the best images, mount them, and deliver them in a custom keepsake image box.
Are these guys not adorable — running through the tall grass together — in slow motion . . .
You never know who’s going to show up during N Family shoots. It’s Big Brother C and Bubba Kitty!
PHOTOBOMB! YEAH! Our session took place on a steamy morning, so ending the session by cooling off in the pool was a great idea! At least, that’s what L thought.
It started out as a simple thought. Bruce and Linda had not had a portrait taken together in a long long time.
Chances are pretty good that most people who don’t have small kids at home, and many who do, haven’t taken the time to be photographed together either.
They were getting ready to celebrate their 45th anniversary, so Linda called to schedule a portrait session for the two of them. The longer we talked we realized that a basic portrait just wouldn’t do. We absolutely needed to capture the very essence of this relationship, and in doing so we needed to create a true heirloom legacy — something to one day be passed along to their grandchildren and to remind them of the joy and the active life and the romantic feelings that these two have for each other.
If you knew this couple, one thing you would know for sure is that they are every bit as much in love today as they were 45 years ago. They’ve traveled quite a ways together down this road called life, and they still have a long long way to go. We decided to spend the better part of a day together so that we could document a relatively normal day in their life — from breakfast time to a dinner date with some fun stuff thrown into the middle of it all.
Our schedule was a little bit whack-a-d0odle and out of order, but we were aiming for the essence of a day. We came pretty close!
To keep things real, westarted out at breakfast time. Toast and eggs. T-shirts, newspaper, and coffee. It feels like home! That’s for sure.
The garden needed a little weeding and trim work, so after breakfast we headed out to the back yard for a little work session.
And then we all came in to exercise.
… Ahhhhh! So that’s how Linda keeps her girlish figure and how Bruce keeps up with her day in and day out. Did I mention how much I love love love their energy?
Most days find Bruce and Linda very-well connected to their tablets and computers where they check up on their grandchildren, their own parents and siblings, and of course their friends.
Have you heard the old adage about the couple that hunts together? That’ okay. Neither have I. In fact, aside from my own grandparents, I can’t even think of any other couples I know that both people enjoy a frosty trip out to the lease, but every year they hunt together . . . deer, quail, elk . . . whatever else it is that people hunt.
Sooooooo — just for fun we decided to create a Texas Hunting Season parody version of the famous American Gothic painting by Grant Wood. The house next door to them had a peaked gable that worked nicely for the background.
We laughed and laughed.
Fortunately none of the neighbors came out to find out why we were standing in the middle of the cul-de-sac with camoflauge, hunters’ orange safety gear, a deer rifle, and antlers, but if they had we would have made up a crazy lie.
I don’t believe that we could have gotten a more accurate facial expression than Linda’s stern look if we had brought in a professional acting coach. PRICELESS! It was so very hard to keep a straight face.
On another note . . . did you know that Bruce is actually ONE SUPER COOL GRAMPA? Well, he IS! His granddaughter is learning how to drive, and when he takes her out to practice, he lets her drive his “baby,” this classic Porsche convertible. Granddaughter wasn’t with us when we were shooting, but we still made sure to save time for a drive to the park. THIS, my friends, is one sweet ride!
It was a beautiful day to put the top down and enjoy the breezes, and also to take a walk through the park.
As a highlight to our very active day, we brought my makeup artist, Cintya Velderrain right to Linda’s own boudoir for a special hair and makeup session so that she could be her loveliest in time for their at-home date night.
For date night, Bruce and Linda prepared a delicate chicken piccatta with broccoli and artisan bread. Of course they washed it down with some red wine.
Bruce is a fantastic chef, and he makes a mean chocolate martini too, but that’s a story for another time.
Dinner and dancing — Forty-five years of marriage — and the romance between these two is still palpable. There’s something very very special about the way the look into each others eyes.
We took all these beautiful images and a few more and bound them together into a lovely album to showcase their unique relationship and the love that has carried them through the years.
Happy anniversary Bruce and Linda! You are a most special couple. I absolutely love you to pieces!
This family! Oh my — THIS family is one of my favorite that I ever have photographed!
What do you do when you have two swoon-worthy college and high school aged sons and it’s been a while since you’ve had family portraits made?
YOU DO IT!
You get a date on the calendar and you make it happen. NO EXCUSES!
It’s no small feat when school and work activities and travel are chaotic. It takes an extra level of commitment to clear the schedule and get everyone into the room in good clothes all at one time, but it is Sooooooooooo worth it.
Kudos to the K family! They DID IT!
Setting up family portraits with older boys takes a special skill because showing a strong and fun relationship in an age-appropriate way can be tricky. What works for toddlers or ten-year-olds tends to fall apart and smell sorta cheesy once the kids are taller than their mother — and I LOVE that challenge.
We were facing some weather challenges and we couldn’t let that stop us either. So, rather than dodge thunderstorms, floods, and mosquitoes, we got a little bit creative and shot in the atrium of Mr. K’s office building. It turned out to be absolutely perfect — and we had air conditioning! That’s such a nice thing to have in this part of the world and it was a HUGE bonus for us!
These boys are handsome. They’re cool. They get along beautifully, and they like to be a little bit silly and goofy too.
Thank goodness! Laugher can carry a family a long long way.
THAT is what I wanted to show.
In a very short time, these boys will both be out of the house and living on their own, but the K family will always have some great artwork on their walls capturing these fleeting and very special days.
I’m so proud of them for making the effort to spend an evening in front a camera, and I am delighted that they spent that evening in front of MY camera because we had one heckuva good time together!
Does your family need portraits one last time before the kids scatter into their own grown up lives? Call me today. Let’s make it happen!