• Throwback Friday: Aubrey’s session in Dallas | Booker T Washington HS of the Visual and Performing Arts

    As you probably could have guessed from the way I talked about my first session with Aubrey, I was counting down the days until her senior year when I would have the opportunity to photograph her again. When the time finally arrived and we began planning her session, Aubrey let me know that she really wanted to capture her love of the city, particularly Dallas, where she spent four years at a prestigious high school for gifted visual and performing arts students.

    I love collaborating with other creative people, especially when they are like Aubrey and her Mom, who totally trusted me to explore and try something new for their session. This was my first “rooftop” session, and it was just magical. I love a brand new location. It forces me to see and create for the first time and to dig within for inspiration. Once I’ve shot somewhere, it’s really a challenge for me to “unsee” what I’ve previously created. Since my goal is always to capture the unique personality of each teenager I photograph, however, the ability to see things in a new way is essential. I’m thankful for sessions like Aubrey’s that help me get back into the swing of mixing things up!

    These rooftop images make me so happy because I can recall the feeling I had that night—pure joy! And since our last session, I could tell that something had changed and matured inside Aubrey, too. The uncertainty was gone, replaced by a humble assuredness. Aubrey has absolutely no idea just how beautiful she is, and honestly, as gorgeous as she is on the outside, her beauty really radiates from within. During her senior session, I was no longer trying to coerce an unsure 16-year-old to be seen. Instead, I was capturing a beautiful, confident young woman just before she took flight on her next adventure. She had stars in her eyes and was laser-focused on her dream of attending another prestigious dance conservatory in another big city, this time as a college student! She inspired me, and so did her mom. I remember thinking, “I want be as supportive of my own daughters’ dreams as Tiffany is…even if those dreams lead them thousands of miles away from me.” It’s a gut-wrenching thought to be so far away from your baby, but I so admire Tiffany’s willingness to let her daughter fly.

    I don’t know what it is exactly about Aubrey—maybe it’s her comfort in front of the camera, or just her openness to exploration—but “firsts” always seem to happen with her. Not only did she help me create that iconic rooftop city image, which I’ve since reimagined for other seniors equally in love with the Dallas skyline, but hers was the first “upside down” image I created, too. Her Mom actually ordered this one on canvas, which I absolutely adore!

    I have SO loved following along on Aubrey’s college journey. I think she would agree with me when I say that not everything about that journey has gone as planned, but that every step has grown her and lead her to the certainty of where she stands today. After going to dinner with a current senior I adore, and talking about pursuing dreams so that you never have regrets or those “What if?” wonders, I called Aubrey and asked if she would be open to sharing her story with you all. She has such an important message to share, and very soon, she’ll be doing just that right here on the blog, in her own words. I couldn’t be more honored to share it with you, and I know it will resonate with my class of 2016 seniors and senior Mommas alike!

    Tiffany and Aubrey, I am forever grateful for the opportunity to play a small part capturing your journey. I think the world of both of you—big love to you always.

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    Tiffany Chick: It was hard to read through all my tears!! Thank you Crystal. You've been there to capture several of Aubrey's most defining moments in her life. Aubrey looks up to you so much- as a business owner, a mother, and as a friend. We love you! (Apr 29, 2016 at 12:09 pm)
  • Styled Shoot: Prom 2016 Dress, Hair, and Makeup Inspiration!

    Is it just me, or is prom taking place earlier and earlier these days? For some reason I always think of prom as happening in May, but my Argyle High School seniors quickly reminded me otherwise…they have prom coming up this weekend!

    On that note, I’m thrilled to debut every last detail from my prom 2016 styled shoot! The purpose of this photoshoot at Arlington Hall was to show off an avante garde yet completely achievable look that I could imagine my seniors sporting. To accomplish this, my sweet friend Hannah of The Cake By Hannah paired a pink tulle skirt from HiddenRoom boutique on Etsy with a striped Top Shop crop top from Nordstrom. The result? A fun, chic alternative to the traditional prom dress!

    I had a blast getting the chance to work with LMP senior Maddy again. This girl completely ROCKED our out-of-the-box prom look, and is an absolute doll. (And I don’t just mean that she literally looked like a collector’s Barbie doll in this outfit, although that’s completely true too.) As always, collaborating with The Styling Stewardess was such a pleasure. The hair and makeup that Kaleigh and Magan styled was pure perfection…current and on trend, but still completely wearable.

    Maddy’s sunkissed makeup is reminiscent of Gigi Hadid’s signature look with the addition of a just-dark-enough smokey eye, and that braid deserves all the heart-eye emojis and then some. It’s such a unique spin on an updo!

    I hope this post has inspired your search for the perfect prom dress + hair and makeup look! For more fashion-spiration related to prom, be sure to stop by this post from the LMP archives. And Argyle seniors, you better believe I’ll be stalking your Instagram feed on Saturday night…and hopefully I’ll also be seeing lots of you in person! (No, I’m not going to prom, but I AM taking pictures at Denton Country Club for some of my favorite seniors. So if you happen to see me, you better come say hi and give me a hug!) I can’t wait to see you all decked out in your formal wear!

  • Behind the Scenes of LMP’s Sorority Shoot with The Impeccable Pig!

    I am SO thrilled today to share a behind-the-scenes look at my recent sorority-themed photoshoot with The Impeccable Pig! Between the models I worked with (all three senior 2016 clients!), my incredible glam squad (Magan with The Styling Stewardess knocked hair and makeup out of the park, and Hannah of The Cake by Hannah sourced each and every adorable outfit), and the fabulous spring looks provided by The Impeccable Pig boutique, I truly could not have had a better experience at this styled shoot!

    The purpose of our shoot? To produce fabulous images highlighting my brand new line of Recruitment Information Packets—which are now available for purchase!—and to provide outfit inspiration for all of my senior girls who will soon be going through the sorority recruitment process. If you haven’t heard about our packets, here’s a quick overview of what each set includes:

    • mailing + address labels
    • custom (blank) letterhead
    • folded note card
    • personalized sticker
    • example résumé
    • example cover letter
    • detailed printing + assembly instructions
    • custom color theme

    If you’re looking for more helpful tips about all things sorority, be sure to join my Sorority Scoop group—I send out weekly love letters that are 100% focused on helping you survive and thrive during sorority recruitment! Recent topics have included a list of 5 super helpful resources, the types of photos I recommend including in your packet, and templates to help you draft a perfect cover letter + resume. Be sure to stop by the rest of the posts in my Rush 101 blog series, too!

    While taking these fun styled shots truly made me giddy, what filled me up the most were the open and transparent conversations about friendships and assumptions we so often make about each other as females. Y’all—the wisdom these three kind and gorgeous girls shared gave me so much hope. I have big love and tons of admiration for these girls, and I can’t wait to see where the future will take them!

  • 3 Photographs to Include in Your Sorority Packet

    Ladies, I’ve got news for you that might come as somewhat of a surprise.

    While rush week (and the first semester of your Freshman year in COLLEGE) is still far away, now is the time to begin compiling a Recruitment Information Packet that sororities won’t be able to resist. Yep, I know it’s February. Yep, I know that many of you still haven’t taken your senior portraits yet. Yep, I know that you probably won’t start mailing your packets until April or May. But, from my experience of creating custom packets for last year’s graduating class, I ALSO know that it takes a ton of time to get organized and pull everything together…without wanting to pull your hair out.

    With that being said, let’s review a few of the basics of getting ahead of the game for sorority recruitment!

    Did you know that each packet you send as a Potential New Member should be comprised of the following *essentials?

    • Large envelopes

    • Postage

    • Label stickers

    • 2 résumés

    • 2 copies of your high school transcript

    • 2 copies of your ACT and/or SAT scores

    • Cover letter

    • Three pictures

    • Letter of recommendation

    *Be sure to check each sorority’s website and your Panhellenic website for specific requirements! Some schools will accept digital versions of the aforementioned items, so do your research in advance and you might be able to save on postage fees.

    Since we’ve already covered everything from crafting perfect cover letters to developing a stand-out résumés as part of our Rush 101 series, today I want to focus on the three photographs most sororities will ask you to include in your information packet. As a photographer, naturally this is the part of recruitment I get most excited about! Let’s break down the three image types sorority houses frequently request:

    1. The Headshot: A close-up image that keeps the focus on your beautiful, smiling face! I recommend going with a natural hair and makeup look for your headshots, but if a red lip feels most like you, then go for it!

    2. The Three-Quarter Shot: An image that’s slightly zoomed out, and focused primarily on your upper body and gorgeous face. Put a hand on your hip, toss your hair over your shoulder, and show off your favorite top!

    3. The Full Body Shot: A completely zoomed out image that gives you the chance to show off your personal style in an environment that feels comfortable for you! While I love snapping portraits of seniors in their prom dresses or letter jackets, these probably aren’t the best options for your sorority packet. It’s an excellent idea, however, to pose for this type of shot in an outfit that’s similar in style (although not identical) to what you might wear during recruitment week. This will make it easy for members of each sorority to immediately identify you and strike up a conversation!

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    It’s so important to remember this, ladies: the purpose of including images with your packet is NOT for sororities to judge you. These images are meant to help members recognize you and recall the information included in your packet – all the things you love, the groups you’ve been involved with, the volunteer work you’ve done, and those hard-earned (incredible) grades you’re going to end senior year with!

    If you’re planning to go through rush and your senior session with LMP hasn’t happened yet, be sure to let me know on the day of your session that you’ll be in need of shots for your info packet. We’ll work together to make sure you’ve got the best, most personality-filled headshot, three-quarter shot, and full body shot out there!

    For those of you looking for recruitment help that’s a bit more hands-on, keep in mind that I will be offering custom recruitment information packets this spring! These couture packets will include beautifully-designed templates for your cover letter and résumé, address stickers, information labels, folded thank you cards, and more. I will be opening my (virtual) doors for orders in just a few short weeks, so if you would like to receive more information about the free OR custom recruitment resources I’m offering, click the link below to join my Sorority Scoop group and ensure that each update lands in your inbox!

    With love,

    Crystal

    JOIN SORORITY SCOOP

  • Throwback Thursday: Kelsey’s Session at White Rock Lake | Argyle High School

    Kelsey’s session was my first time to go to this gorgeous location near White Rock Lake as a photographer. I had previously visited the spot for a rare interaction that took place on the other side of the lens—family portraits taken by the talented Feather and Twine photography! If you didn’t happen to see these images, I’d love for you to take a peek. They were taken a year ago this month, and I adore them even more now!

    Anyway, when I met with Kelsey and her mom, Renee, before our session, I knew this was the perfect location for her shoot, and the “Fairy Tale Tree” did not disappoint! I absolutely loved our time together—Kelsey’s session felt more like a few hours spent with a family member or a close friend. Perhaps that’s because my family has a connection to Kelsey’s through Young Life…and because my husband actually used to babysit Kelsey when he was in high school and a Young Life member himself! For some reason, remembering this always makes me laugh. I mean, you gotta really trust a teenage boy to leave him alone with your baby! That being said, Mike is seriously the best “girl dad” I know, and obviously being good with little girls was in the cards all along. Lucky me!

    Kelsey is now starting her second semester as a freshman at TCU. Just typing that brings back some memories for sure. I’m not sure how it’s even possible “little Crystal the college freshman” was that many years ago. Often times, my clients feel more like friends to me, and it makes me sad that I can’t seem to come up with good excuses to keep up with so many of the amazing people I’ve been blessed to work with! So Renee and Kelsey, next time the two of you are bouncing around the area, can we just go grab a coffee (or chai) and catch up? I would love nothing more!

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    I can’t wait to see what the future holds for you, beautiful Kelsey. Thank you for trusting me to be a small part of your story.

    SESSION DETAILS:
    Location: White Rock Lake, Dallas
    Hair and Makeup: Jordan Bawcom, The Styling Stewardess

  • CLIENT LOVE: Kate’s session in Decatur and Argyle High School

    Say hello to beautiful Kate!

    I met with Kate and her family prior to our session to iron out the details of her shoot, and right off the bat I just loved how laid back and close they seemed. As her dad headed off to work, leaving us girls to wrap up all the detail talk, I asked him if there was anything important for me to capture from his perspective. I knew right away that his love for his baby girl was so rich and deep that I could take a picture of her earlobe and he’d be thrilled. However, he did share that softball had been a huge part of their lives.

    Kate plays on the Varsity team but had mentioned that she didn’t really want to incorporate that aspect of her high school career into her senior pictures. I get this a lot—and I totally understand. Although I played basketball in high school and currently coach my daughter’s team, the idea of sporting my three-sizes-too-big uniform with my scrawny arms and legs poking out would not have been my idea of a glamorous senior portrait session back in the day. (Oh, how I covet those scrawny arms and legs now!) That being said, after her dad left for work, I put the bug in Kate’s ear that we could (and totally should!) incorporate softball via a separate mini session. Something in me just thought those images would be meaningful to her parents—especially her dad—many years after Kate’s softball days are over.

    I frequently talk about my love for connecting with teenagers, but here’s another fun fact for you: I also deeply desire to connect with their parents. I really resonated with Kate’s mom and dad, Jana and Klip. Long after their daughter leaves for college, these images of Kate and her dad on her high school’s home field will carry so much weight in her parents’ hearts…all the time they spent together every weekend, the parties or vacations that were sacrificed in order to attend this practice or that game, the incredible wins and the hard losses. Kate and the friends she’s grown up with are beautiful young women now, but her parents still remember the skinned knees, the missing teeth phase, and the life lessons learned on a dirt field with a bat or a ball in hand. I get it, and I’m so thankful I got the chance to capture it!

    As you’re about to see, the result of both sessions was pure perfection! From a photographer’s standpoint, the first session was filled with beautiful images of a beautiful girl. The lighting was pretty, and the clothing choices were perfect—I’m particularly fond of the shots of Kate wearing a white dress and boots on my favorite tree-lined road. Her all-American beauty and sweet personality were the perfect match for our Decatur, Texas location! From a mom’s perspective, however, I have to say that without the softball pictures, something special would have been missing from Kate’s story. In conclusion? I have no choice but to get SUPER cheesy here and label the overall result of both sessions as nothing short of a (you guessed it) home run. 🙂

    And just for the record, Jana, you inspire me as a mom! Thank you for reminding me that it’s worth it to raise your hand to volunteer, to coach, to join PTA, or to plug in wherever I can as a parent in order to give of myself and share my gifts. For now, I’ll let the amazing Janas of the world run the PTA, and I’ll stick to teaching little girls how to dribble a basketball!

    Kate's Session Share 1 Kate's Session Share 2 Kate's Session Share 3 Kate's Session Share 4 Kate's Session Share 5 Kate's Session Share 6 Kate's Session Share 7Thank you, Klip, Jana, and Kate for choosing me to document such an important time in all of your lives!

    SESSION DETAILS:
    High School: Argyle
    Location: Decatur, Texas
    Makeup+Hair: Riley with Grand Slam Glam

  • A Valentine’s Day Love Note

    Happy (almost) Valentine’s Day to you and everyone you’re gifting with a box of chocolate this weekend!

    This month is a particular favorite of mine because, well…look at the name of my business. We’re all about love, emotion, and “feeling the feels” at Love, Me Photography. And by the way, the comma in “Love, Me” is no accident, friends. It’s intentionally placed, and meant to signify the ending of a letter.

    Why?

    Because I want you to know how deeply personal this business is for me. I am constantly aware of the fact that I’m not just taking a few photos of your kiddo—I’m capturing your son, and your daughter, at the most uniquely in-between stage of life. A moment when he’s getting ready to make the biggest leap he’s made to date; when she’s preparing to say “goodbye” to the way life has always been, and “hello” to a brand new set of experiences. And with everything in me, I want to capture this season in the most authentic way that I can.

    And what’s more?

    I want everything I do to feel like a love letter written just to you. There’s not another human being on the planet like your son or daughter. Sure, other guys play soccer. Yes, other girls have blonde hair. But nobody’s face lights up like his after scoring a goal. No one else can rock a messy top knot like she can. Similarly, while your son may share the same session location as another senior guy, or your daughter might insist on incorporating a prop inspired by Pinterest, their images will never look the same as anybody else’s. That’s because I’m going after what’s real, and true, and “uniquely you” about your senior.

    I hope you can tell how passionate I am about this whole “senior photography” thing. What’s more, I hope you can tell that creating genuine connections is what makes my heart beat a little bit faster. My goal is not to deliver one or two frame-worthy shots after your senior’s portrait session is over and done with. I’m much more interested in getting to know the two of you, and becoming a source of encouragement for you, and providing you with as many helpful resources as I have to give, and—last but most definitely not least—putting together a collection of beautifully-captured moments you’ll treasure forever.

    And speaking of encouragement, can I just take a moment to tell you what a wonderful job you’re doing? Truly! I know things can feel overwhelming this time of year, with all the to-dos and huge life decisions you’re helping your child make. It can be stressful punching numbers and looking at the cost of college these days, and even a little sad when you begin to envision how empty your kiddo’s room will feel at this time next year. Sweet Momma, I want you to realize something—if you’re feeling all of these things, that’s a sure sign you’ve done (and are doing) an incredible job raising up this child of yours. And this, my friend, is not the end—it is truly the beginning of a new and equally important journey in both of your lives.

    I invite you to envision the future phone calls and coffee dates that will feel like time spent with a best friend that you deeply admire—a grown-up version of the tiny, helpless human being you once held in your arms. Sure, this particular season might be ending soon, but I promise…a new one is on the horizon, and I cannot wait for you to experience what it will feel like when your child tells their peers, “My mother is like my best friend!”

    Love,

    Me

    (That’s Crystal, for the record!)

    PS: Download this cute + free Valentine’s card, print off a copy or three, and spread the feel-good stuff to everyone you love. Consider this my way of giving you a huge (virtual) hug this Valentine’s Day! After all, I’m a Texan. It’’s just what we do.

    Download Here!

     

  • Throwback Thursday: Aubrey’s Sweet 16 Session in Deep Ellum

    Aubrey! There’s so much to say about this ray of sunshine! This was the session that started it all, and I honestly can’t believe I’ve never blogged about it. I’m sure you’ve seen this gorgeous face plastered all over my website and Instagram, because let’s face it—you can’t help but be mesmerized by those eyes. So drumroll, please…it’s finally time to share Aubrey’s “Sweet 16” photo session!

    I actually met Aubrey when she was thirteen because her sister married my cousin (and yes, connections like this are totally where the “small world” cliché comes from). Even then, I remember thinking how much I would love to photograph her, so when I heard that all she asked for as a sixteenth birthday present was a photo session with me, I was beyond excited! Aubrey spent her high school years living in an apartment in Dallas in order to attend a prestigious fine arts school and pursue her dream of becoming a professional dancer. Because of this, she didn’t really need a car for her birthday, and I’m SO thankful our session got to be her gift instead!

    Even though it might be difficult to physically see a difference in your child between the ages of 16 and 18, I’m telling you that, maturity-wise, something major happens in those last few years of high school. Photographing a 16-year-old—even one who is completely gorgeous and dances on stage in front of hundreds of people—requires a little bit of extra time spent “drawing out” personality, and at the time of our first session Aubrey was no exception. She was a little shy and unsure, and I absolutely LOVED pulling her out of her shell throughout the session. Once she felt comfortable, so much of the session was just magical and quickly became one of my all-time favorites. When I’m asked to select a few images that really represent my work and style, I’m still drawn to shots from this unforgettable session!

    Aubrey has since graduated from high school, but before she did, I had the honor of photographing her a second time for her senior portraits. I can’t wait to share those images, too, but I just knew I had to share these first! Stay tuned!

    Aubrey - Sweet 16 1 Aubrey - Sweet 16 2 Aubrey - Sweet 16 3 Aubrey - Sweet 16 4 Aubrey - Sweet 16 5

    Session Details:
    Location: Dallas, TX Deep Ellum

    Throwback Friday: Aubrey’s session in Dallas | Booker T Washington High School of the Visual and Performing Arts: […] you probably could have guessed from the way I talked about my first session with Aubrey, I was counting down the days until her senior year when I would have the opportunity to photograph […] (Apr 29, 2016 at 11:51 am)
  • CLIENT LOVE: Madeline’s Session in Decatur | Grapevine Faith Christian School

    After my session with Madeline, I went straight to Instagram to post a few thoughts. That post went like this:

    “I have so much to share about my time with Madeline…about how she was like a breath of fresh air, how I can guarantee she has an insincerity meter that is laser sharp, how because of this, she made me work for every joy-filled smile. And by work, I simply mean, she unknowingly forced me to truly make a connection—to see her for who she truly is, before she just gave me what is sacred, which I believe is an honest expression of how we’re feeling. I’m drawn to people like this, like Madeline, because I often hide in the shallow, too afraid to go after the depth I crave, because—you know—it requires just as much vulnerability to really ‘see’ someone as they require to be seen.”

    Can you tell that our session had a huge impact on me? I truly treasured working with Madeline and her mom, Jerri. First, because of all of the real-ness and raw-ness mentioned above. Second—because hey, it’s okay to be a LITTLE shallow sometimes—her clothes were so awesome. She hired an incredible stylist to assist in putting together looks for the shoot, and it really paid off. If this is something you’ve been considering for your own senior portrait session, I would highly recommend it! Third, Madeline’s hair is just gorgeous. I’ve really never seen hair so beautiful—it truly looks like a mane, and Brittney with The Styling Stewardess did an amazing job on her hair + makeup.

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    Thank you, Jerri and Madeline, for choosing me to capture such an important time in both of your lives. I cannot wait to see what your future looks like, Madeline…your mom told me TCU is lucky enough to have you. Great choice!

    Session Details:
    Location: Decatur, TX
    Hair and Makeup – Brittney with The Styling Stewardess

  • Throwback Thursday: Conor’s Senior Portrait Session in Grapevine

    I mean, look at handsome Conor. Who wouldn’t be thrilled to get the opportunity to photograph this kid? Aside from those good looks, what struck me about Conor is that he sincerely exuded integrity and lots of heart in the few short hours I spent with him. Initially Conor seemed a little shy or reserved, but I knew at some point I really wanted to get some great smiles out of him.


    At the end of our session, once he had a soccer ball in his hands, I recognized his true passion and those fantastic smiles naturally followed. Conor is now playing soccer in Colorado, and I LOVE keeping up with him through his Mom, Michelle, on Facebook. He seems to be handling the whole college thing really well…I wouldn’t expect anything less!

    Remember that integrity I mentioned before? I had the opportunity to witness it again later in Conor’s senior year, when I photographed Grapevine Faith’s prom. I took a group “senior guy” picture, and to be honest, several of the guys were spending a lot more time cutting up than they were listening to my instructions (imagine that, right?). As Monica and I struggled with the task of wrangling 40 or so boys on prom night, Conor spoke up alongside several other soccer players and helped us regain control of the group. While I can’t remember exactly what he said, the respect he inspired in the group was clear. I was impressed by the courage he demonstrated in speaking up and the strong leadership qualities he demonstrated.

    Way to go, Michelle—you raised this guy right! Your son is sure to succeed no matter where life takes him, and I’m so thankful that I had the chance to capture just one special milestone in his life!

    Faith Christian School Class of 2014
    Shoot Location: Grapevine, Texas