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Yours in photos, memories and perfect light,
Posted in 2012, Baby, Businesses You Should Know About, Engagement, Events, Family, Food Photography, Her Side Project, Kids, Maternity, Personal, Professional, Vacation, Wedding, tagged Austin, babies, Baby, cards, couples, engaged, engagement, event, Facebook, Family, Her Side Project, holiday, kids, lifestyle, maternity, memories, photos, Portrait, Texas on December 12, 2012 | Leave a Comment »
Posted in 2011, Baby, Businesses You Should Know About, Clientele, Documented Events, Editing Soundtrack, Engagement, Family, Her Side Project, Katie Was Here, Kids, Music, Personal, Really Random, Scenery, Senior, Vacation, tagged 1940's, 2011, 2012, Austin, Austin City Limits 2011, Bridal Shower, child photography, Colorado, engagement photography, Family Photography, food photography, Gerber Baby, Halloween, Her Side Project, Hill Country, Look Back, New Orleans, newborn photography, Pennybacker Bridge, Photography, portraits, senior photography, The Broadmoor, TX, Wedding, Year in Review on January 3, 2012 | 5 Comments »
Oh 2011, what a whirlwind. Life is good, I couldn’t be happier.
This year I made new friendships and strengthened old, traveled extensively for work, stood by my best friend as she got married, moved out of the Treehouse and into the new condo (name TBD), helped a friend propose to his now-fiancée (who just so happens to be one of my very favorite people in the world!), felt overwhelmed with gratitude that a very special person came into my life and… last but definitely not least, photographed some of my most amazing clients to date. As always, a million times thank you from Her Side Project.
Here are the highlights:
1940s inspired photo shoot.
Snowy day in our beloved Treehouse.
My best friend got engaged!
Fun trip with friends & family to NOLA.
Break from the city with a trip to the Hill Country.
Befriended the neighborhood goat, Nik.
Photographed Slave to Fashion’s lovely family!
Miss Kayla basks in the sunlight.
Co-hosted a bridal shower for my sweet Christine.
Met a real-life Gerber Baby.
Couture & Country engagement photo shoot with one of the best couples I know, Ashley & Jack.
P made ordinary days, fun.
Chris & Amanda got engaged! I helped execute Chris’ mission: surprise proposal.
Adventures in the kitchen: Brinner.
Something new. Very new.
Childhood friend, Sam, got engaged!
Halloween-inspired child photo shoot.
The Domestic Darlin’, y’all.
Incredible getaway trip to The Broadmoor in Colorado with friends and family.
Iconic Pennybacker Bridge photo shoot.
My lovely little cousin, Madison, senior portraits after graduating from high school.
Hello 2012. Here’s to the beautiful New Year.
Posted in Clientele, Documented Events, Editing Soundtrack, Engagement, Her Side Project, Katie Was Here, Music, Personal, Secret Proposal, Wedding, tagged Becker Vineyards, Headlong, proposal, secret proposal, She Said Yes, The Frames, wine on November 2, 2011 | Leave a Comment »
Every time I hear Headlong by Glen Hansard, I immediately think of my favorite photo shoot: The Proposal.
I heard this song for the first time last Fall. I listened just before driving down to Becker Vineyards on that beautiful November morning. I played it on repeat in my headphones as I edited picture after picture and carefully composed Nick & Amy’s blog post. For whatever reason, this song served as the soundtrack to one of the most wonderful stories I’ve had the privilege of sharing through photographs. I’ll always love the song, and the memories that go along with it.
When she stepped out of the car on the day of the photo shoot I was immediately taken back to the 9th grade. Madame Dutarte’s French class. Note passing. Test taking. Talking when we weren’t supposed to be. Making plans for the upcoming school dance.
Only now, my friend Samantha is not 14, inviting me over to her house to watch One Tree Hill or to take a trip to Amy’s Ice Cream on Saturday. She’s 25, grown, and engaged.
I was so honored to take Sam & Adan’s engagement photos in the heart of the city where we grew up: Austin, Texas. It was great to catch up with an old friend, meet the love of her life (he’s awesome) and capture their relationship during one of the most exciting times of their lives: the year leading up to their joyous wedding.
As I told Sam when I delivered the photos, this shoot is special to me, because when you look at the pictures, you can immediately see how much they love each other. If I had to describe the tone of this session in one word, the word would be sweet. They are so, so sweet.
Congratulations Sam & Adan. Enjoy wedding planning and the many years to come as you spend your lives together. À tout à l’heure!
Posted in Bride, Current Work, Documented Events, Engagement, Katie Was Here, Personal, Secret Proposal, tagged Bride, Dallas, engagement, Husband, Meyerson Symphony, proposal, Rosewood Mansion, Texas, Wife on July 13, 2011 | 5 Comments »
I attended the wedding as my friend Vickie’s guest, but other than her I didn’t know a soul in the room. I sat across from a nice couple at the reception. I didn’t know them, they didn’t know me, but we talked anyway. I admired their friendship and relationship. They seemed like such a perfect fit.
Who could’ve guessed we were destined to be great friends? Countless game nights, miles and miles spent traveling on I-35, I-30, I-20, I-75 to Fort Worth, Denton, Dallas, Austin and the in-between (and four memory-filled years later) here we are. Close friends. They are people who make me happy when I’m around them. People who make me feel like the best person I can be. Amanda and Chris are the kind of people who offer the best advice and those I can always trust.
So, you can imagine when Chris asked me if I would help him propose to Amanda on July 2nd, I was beyond ecstatic. I couldn’t wait to be part of such an exciting event and honored he wanted me to be there.
The week leading up to July 2nd was a bit of a blur. Busy at work, my days were filled taking care of responsibilities in anticipation of being out of town. However, my week was also spent lying. Amanda and I communicate via email or text message daily, so keeping Saturday’s activities a secret from her was particularly challenging. Chris’s plan was to send Amanda on a scavenger hunt around Dallas before proposing, but we needed a starting point.
Using my visit as an excuse, I was responsible for getting her to commit to a brunch date and show up on time. For what was supposedly a casual outing with a friend, sticking to a strict schedule was definitely not going to be easy. Ladies – how many of you would probably show up to brunch with a close girlfriend with your hair in a ponytail and wearing old yoga pants? I’m going to guess many of you. So, as a woman who would want to look her best when proposed to, I lied to Amanda and asked her to pose for my photography portfolio to ensure she did her hair, makeup and wore a cute outfit. After a lot of convincing (and more lying), she agreed.
I arrived in Dallas and we went straight to brunch. Prepared for the “photo shoot,” Amanda looked great. She looked so great I almost thought she knew what was going on. Chris followed us, calling the restaurant and met the manager outside to pay for our meal in advance. I had the envelope containing the first clue in my camera bag, and the first chance I got I smuggled it into the back kitchen to give to our waiter.
I approached him and said, “My friend is getting proposed to today and this envelope is the first step of the process. Can you please give it to her by 12:25pm?” He happily agreed and I returned to the table, trying my hardest to have a normal conversation, enjoy my food and not be a clock watcher. Soon enough, 12:25 came around and the envelope was presented to Amanda. I couldn’t help it, I turned bright red and looked down at the table. Sort of in a confused state of shock, Amanda demanded, “Katie Shagman! What do you know?” It only took a few minutes for her to realize what this was all about and we both started crying a little bit. I’ll never forget that moment.
We read the first clue which directed us to a nail salon for complimentary manicures and pedicures, courtesy of Chris (thanks again!) It was wonderful, but took forever, so we were unable to hit the next few spots in the scavenger hunt. We went straight to the Meyerson Symphony Center in the Downtown Dallas Arts District where Chris met us and guided Amanda to a private theater. There, Ryan (Chris and Amanda’s good friend) played acoustic guitar as Chris sang Amanda a song. Up until this point I had no clue Chris could sing so well! Immediately following the song, he got down on one knee and proposed.
She said yes.
Chris gave Amanda an incredible engagement ring. It’s a band with diamonds all the way around, called an eternity band, and is so perfect for her. Although Chris had the Meyerson reserved for the proposal, there was a time limit and we had to leave pretty promptly. We left as a group and retreated to the Rosewood Mansion for celebratory drinks and amazing appetizers.
While I didn’t document the majority of the day (I was too busy living in the moment), we did steal away at the end for a couple pictures of the newly engaged couple.
My favorite part about this entire process is that through all the lying, scheming and galavanting around town, Amanda really had no idea she was about to be proposed to. Chris and I really pulled it off!
Chris & Amanda: I couldn’t be happier for the two of you. You’re wonderful people as individuals and you’re even better together. I’m so excited for your wedding next summer and look forward to making many more wonderful memories.
I must say, the following post is HOT. In two ways. Allow me to explain.
Not only is this couple extremely good-looking, we took their engagement pictures when it was 103 degrees outside. Do you have any idea how unbearable, uncomfortable and insane that kind of heat is to be in for two hours? Let’s just say I’m still a bit delirious from heat stroke as I type this post. We almost didn’t make it out alive, y’all.
Oh but this couple, two of my very favorite friends/people in Fort Worth, they fooled the camera. They look incredible: cool, calm and collected and not the slightest bit uncomfortable. I’d like to give a special shout out to the A/C in Jack’s truck, a small towel on hand for touchups, and the shade found on the streets of Fort Worth for making this photo shoot possible (and a success). I’d also like to thank Ashley and Jack for being so cooperative, obliging and excited at all times.
Ashley: What can I say about one of the nicest, most fun friends I’ve had the privilege to know? I’ll start with the basics: loyal friend, dangerously incredible dancer, Mexican food lover, lifesaver (both in terms of friendship and career – she’s a nurse), sweet & southern, beautiful and fun to be around. I met Ashley through my roommate in Fort Worth (Brooke) in 2008. We quickly became fast friends when Ashley was one of the first befriend me when I was new to their social circle. She went to see SATC in the theaters with me, even though she’d already seen it the very same week. She was a familiar, friendly face during my first TCU fraternity party experience. She was always ready and willing to hang out, even if it was just to sit by the pool and talk. I always looked forward to spending time with this wonderful girl when I lived in Fort Worth, and I still look forward to seeing her when I make it back up to the DFW area from time-to-time.
Jack: He and Ashley make the perfect pair. Jack is tall, I mean – really tall (6’5”), also a lifesaver (nurse – yep, you guessed it, they met at work!). He’s also funny, a good conversationalist and a country boy with city swagger (Jack, you know it’s true). When Ashley introduced me to Jack, I could tell he really liked her and I always noticed how well he treated her. I remember the beginning when he’d pick her up for first dates and watched their relationship progress as they became more serious and hardly left each other’s side. As my good friend became close to this awesome man, I couldn’t be happier for the two of them.
After getting engaged this year, Ashley told me she wanted to hire me for engagement photos. So, the first chance I got, I drove to Fort Worth and spent the evening with them all over the city (everywhere from TCU, the Stockyards, downtown and a country field!) They came prepared with several outfits for each setting and also brought a special guest for a few photos: Chester (their adorable dog).
Ashley and Jack are preparing for a beautiful destination wedding this February in the Carribean. With a little luck (and a whole lot of planning), I hope to attend! I’m excited to see what the future holds.
We may have trampled a few flowerbeds, almost run out of gas en route to the country field and cursed the Texas heat, but it was all worth it. I think these photos capture the essence of Ashley and Jack as individuals and a couple. Ash & Jack: I hope you look back on these pictures for years to come and remember exactly how you felt in these moments.
Posted in Bride, Current Events, Documented Events, Engagement, Family, Food Photography, Katie Was Here, Music, Personal, Wedding, tagged Austin, Best Friend, Bridal Shower, Bride, Bridesmaids, Celebration, Live Music Capital of the World, Texas, TX on June 3, 2011 | 6 Comments »
She may live in Cincinnati, but Christine’s roots are in Austin, Texas. It was only fitting that our fair city and hometown serve as the inspiration for our best friend’s bridal shower.
After months of planning and plotting, the big night finally arrived. From classic Texas decor to Austin inspired cookies (guitars, stars and bats anyone?) our theme was complete. Here are a few scenes from the celebration!
We love you, Christine! You’re the best friend a girl could ask for!
Special thanks to my sister, Laura, for stepping behind the camera to grab a few shots from the party. Without her, I might not be in any!
Posted in Bride, Clientele, Current Work, Engagement, Personal, tagged Austin, Bride, Buckeyes, Cincinnati, Downtown, engagement, Frost Bank, groom, Longhorns, marriage, Ohio, Photography, Red Heels, Texas on February 24, 2011 | 7 Comments »
And I’m her maid of honor! I am so thrilled to announce that one of my favorite people in the world, Christine, is engaged to the most perfect guy for her: Ryan.
After meeting in Cincinnati, OH, while attending Xavier’s PsyD program (yep, they’re gonna be doctors!), a girl from Austin, Texas and a boy from Eaton, Ohio became fast friends. After a year of study groups, attending social gatherings and working together in the student health center, they became nearly inseparable. There was something about the way Christine spoke about Ryan that made me a little suspicious of their “platonic relationship.” I detected greater feelings that she was not letting on. I remember accusing her of liking him, but she’d laugh it off and tell me I was funny (notice she never denied it). I’ll never forget the day she called me to confess her romantic interest. I had just arrived at my storage facility in Austin after making the long drive with the movers from Fort Worth. I remember Christine sharing details of their first date, and telling me how she really, really liked him. That it was different with him (in a good way), and that the transition from friendship to relationship was so easy it was hardly noticeable. All I could think was “I told you so.”
There’s something y’all should know about the significance of this engagement. I know most young girls grow up dreaming of their wedding and future husband, but this has been a main topic of conversation between C & I for many, MANY years. Through thick and thin we’ve been there for each other during exciting life milestones, sad breakups, going to different universities, etc, and while we currently live thousands of miles a part, we remain extremely close. Because of Christine I got to use a trampoline in her backyard growing up even when my parents wouldn’t buy me one. Because of Christine, I got to get my hair and makeup done at a salon in middle school for her 13th birthday party. Because of Christine, I have a first-hand understanding of what real friendship means. I couldn’t be luckier. These reasons and more are what make this engagement so special to me.
One night last Fall, shortly after Ryan popped the question, Christine and I were on one of our famous marathon phone conversations when she brought up wanting to take engagement pictures. “I’m kind of nervous! What are we going to look like? Is it going to be awkward to pose?”
I took the opportunity to reassure her. “Look,” I said, “this isn’t about making you and Ryan look really good (although that won’t be hard). This is about capturing you and Ryan as you are now, today: freshly engaged and eagerly anticipating starting the rest of your lives together.”
“Oh,” she said quietly. “I like that.”
So, as promised, I did just that: captured Christine & Ryan, just as they are today: wonderful people who are very much in love. The pops of color (including Christine’s red hot heels) and new cowboy boots for both of them truly make the pictures. Well that and their ear-to-ear grins, despite the freezing cold temperature!
Keep your fingers crossed we’re able to make the second part of the shoot happen: Cincinnati style – before the wedding this December. It’ll take some coordination and penny-pinching, but I’m determined to make it happen for my best friend.
Posted in Bride, Clientele, Colleagues, Current Work, Documented Events, Engagement, Her Side Project, Secret Proposal, tagged Becker Vineyards, Bride, engagement, Fredericksburg TX, Photography, proposal on December 22, 2010 | 10 Comments »
I am pleased to present to you the story of Nick and Amy. There is only one place for me to start, and that’s at the very beginning.
I met Nick, my officemate, a year ago when I returned to our Austin location. He works in a different department than me, but we see each other occasionally in the hallway. I couldn’t hide my surprise one morning in October when he approached me about a “non work related” question. He explained he was planning to propose to his long-time girlfriend, Amy, on November 20th in Fredericksburg, Texas. He described his planning process from the past six months: picking the perfect venue (Becker Vineyards), preparing the menu for a picnic under a big oak tree on the property and collecting photographs to create a scrapbook of their entire relationship. The best part of the book? The very last page featured a photo of Amy’s best friends, taken at the vineyard, holding a sign that said “Say Yes!”
Amy’s birthday was the week of Thanksgiving, so this special trip to the heart of Texas wine country was disguised as her birthday celebration (with the scrapbook as her surprise present). Little did Amy know, the trip was to be so much more than that.
As if this story didn’t already have my attention, Nick hit me with the following:
“I’m not sure if you do this kind of photography but would you be interested in secretly taking pictures of the proposal from afar?”
I almost fainted from excitement. Would I? I can’t think of anything else I’d rather do! Completely blown away and honored that Nick would include me in this major life milestone, we began plotting the day.
Considering that it might seem strange for me to be by myself, taking pictures of Nick and Amy/weirding them out, I commissioned my friend Anne to go with me. Anne would be my “model” for our pseudo photo shoot at the vineyard. That way, I could pretend to take pictures of Anne, while really focusing beyond her on the happy couple.
Here’s how we mapped out the day:
In addition to all of these steps, I was also responsible for calling Nick’s best friend, Sam, to let him know when he and a group of their closest friends should arrive to celebrate after the proposal. Amy thought the trip was just going to be with Nick, so she was sure to be very surprised!
November 20th arrived and Anne and I roadtripped to Fredericksburg. We approached beautiful Becker Vineyards and the weather was just perfect.
It wasn’t very long before the VIP arrived too. In that moment, I morphed into a member of the paparazzi.
For the next several minutes, we waited. When I grew tired of taking the same photo over and over, we grabbed some great ones of my wonderful assistant, Anne.
But although it felt like we had ample time to waste, it quickly evaporated as the gift appeared and it was business time.
The shutter rapidly clicked as I took frame after frame after frame. All of a sudden, thanks to my zoom lens, I could see the ring box in Nick’s left hand. The book was coming to an end, and the big moment was about to happen. Before I knew it, he was on one knee, Amy had her face in her hands and I was crying. That’s right – tears were streaming down my face while simultaneously taking pictures. That was a unique experience I won’t forget anytime soon.
Immediately after proposing, Nick pointed me out in the distance. Amy couldn’t believe the photographer she had been commenting about during the picnic (“Who is that? That model is pretty. I wonder what they’re taking pictures for?”) was actually there for her and had documented the entire thing. Suddenly, a group of their closest friends ran up to the picnic, completely surprising Amy.
Shortly after, Nick waved me over. I threw on my sunglasses and joined the celebration for some up close shots. From there, we launched into a full blown engagement photo shoot session (and did some group pictures too!)
As we walked around the grounds taking photos, word spread around the vineyard that these two had just gotten engaged. Many people clapped and cheered as we passed by, and when a small band was playing on the porch, everyone looked on as Nick and Amy took a few moments to dance.
After awhile, we settled in the grass under the big oak tree and enjoyed a glass of wine. Amy called her mom, Nick called his dad and everyone relished in the excitement of the day. By this time, I felt as though I was part of their group, good friends with everyone. It doesn’t get much more welcoming than that.
It was the perfect ending to the most perfect day. Nick and Amy: congratulations and thank you again for inviting me to be part of your engagement. I wish you both the very best!
Sorry for the blogging hiatus, lovely readers, but I’ve been on… wait for it… vacation. Shocking, I know. A recap about those glorious four days coming soon.
But first – here is a post dedicated to Catherine and her incredible fiancé, Jake.
Catherine was one of my first photo shoot subjects. Both Political Science majors, we bonded over lectures and an internship we shared at a fundraising firm one summer. I have so many good memories with this girl — trips to Thundercloud, volunteering at rallies and fundraisers and of course – the shoot for her senior portraits one warm spring afternoon on campus.
On April 2nd at 9:32PM I received the following text message:
“I’m engaged! You must take our engagement photos!”
She didn’t have to ask me twice.
As soon as I met Jake I liked him immediately. He is the nicest guy, constantly smiling, considerate and a true gentleman. The way he looks at Catherine breaks my heart – in a good way – because I know she’s found someone who cherishes her and treats her the way she deserves to be treated. Catherine – I am so happy for y’all.
Highlights from this photo shoot:
I can’t wait for Catherine and Jake’s wedding next February. It is sure to be a joyous and fun affair!