• just because.

    Meet NaNa and Grandpa … my grandparents!  It was so special to me to get the opportunity to photograph them just before the holidays and even more special to finally open these up after the new year and edit them.  Several times today I laughed out loud or teared up a little.  These are the sessions that truly fill me me up and make me proud to do what I do.  

    There was no specific reason behind our little shoot.  No milestone anniversary or picture needed for the newspaper … it was well, just because!  hence the title.  I think everyone deserves a “just because” session. It’s like saying my life and my relationships with those around me are important enough to be documented just because …  I love it.  I think its empowering and freeing and the images show.  

    I just love my grandparents so much!  My NaNa is the hippest great-grandmother around and Grandpa Fred is one of those guys that’s just easy to be around (well, easy to everyone except my Nana, lol).  The whole session, he was being his normal self, acting like a goofball and cracking joke after joke.  I loved every minute of it.  I know my NaNa was a nervous wreck that he was going to look like a fool and more importantly, make her look like a fool 🙂  but I think they turned out wonderful.  Grandpa, all your craziness finally paid off I think 😉  I guess he is good for something NaNa!  He made you laugh and your smiles are so genuine and beautiful!  I guess we’ll have to keep him around after all.

    and my favorite!

    well, i dont know, maybe this next one is my favorite!

    And of course, I just had to get a few of my beautiful NaNa by herself.  Don’t you think she is just gorgeous? 

    I love you both so much.  Thank you for loving me like you do and for being so proud of me all the time.  Even when I don’t deserve it.  Hope you enjoy your pictures.  XOXOXO.

    Eliza Boquin: I LOVED these when I first saw them. So beautiful. What a treasure for you and your family to have these! (Jan 26, 2009 at 13:40 pm)
    Jamie Kutter: I'm so jealous of these pictures...I wish I could get some like this of mine! I know they will treasure these, but I think you will even more! (Jan 21, 2009 at 19:39 pm)
    Erin Carlyle: Crystal, I love how you captured their relationship. What beautiful pictures!!! (Jan 17, 2009 at 07:45 am)
    Jeana Bird: I love these images, I love how you captured their relationship. My fave is number 4, but they are all so beautiful! (Jan 12, 2009 at 18:46 pm)
    Carole Marie: I love these! They are so fresh and fun, what cool grandparents you have :) (Jan 09, 2009 at 13:20 pm)
    Kara May: Oh Crystal! Your grandparents are so hip and fun! They are going to TREASURE these! Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful!! (Jan 09, 2009 at 07:29 am)
  • Books, Books, and more Books

    Can I tell you how much I love this couple?  I love Coker and Jen so much.  They are two of the coolest people on earth and anyone who crosses their path is blessed.  Well, Matt and Jennifer just got married this past December.  I was honored to do a guest book for their wedding which included all their session photos.  They make it so easy because they are beautiful people to start with, so putting the book together for two of my closest friends was a delight!  This book was signed by everyone who attended in red sharpies because the wedding colors were black and red, so I made all the pages either black and white or left their pictures where they were wearing black with red accents (thank you Jen) in color.  So stylish!  It turned out to be such a special book.

    Here are a few other pages of a session album I did.  John and Kristina’s pictures were so fun and colorful.  I loved adding all different colors to these pages.  The pictures are so vibrant-a combination of great clothes, backgrounds, and some sweet editing (props to Crystal for her mad skills)!

    Ok, now for my labor of love.  I love when I get my hands on other people’s photos and get the opportunity to tell their stories.  This next one is not a sweet engagement or love album; it is a courageous, manly, and sometimes bloody storybook.  It’s one man’s journey in South Africa on a hunting trip.  Yeah, you heard it right.  Lions, tigers, and Gemboks, oh my!

    Shawna, one of my great friends that I have been teaching with for 10 years, asked me to create a book for her husband, Perry, as a Christmas gift.  I jumped all over it because it sounded like so much fun.  She gave me two albums worth of pictures and let me know which ones she for sure wanted in the book.  Then I got to play, which is my favorite part!  It made me want to go to that part of the world because it is just beautiful.  The breathtaking views and the amount of animals I’ve NEVER even heard of caught my eye.  I found myself digressing from creating a spread and researching animals and that part of the world.  Some day I hope to sit on the beaches of Port Elizabeth and venture to Addo Elephant National Park.  Perry had no idea his wonderful wife was doing this for him.  We had to be pretty sneaky to not get found out.

    I can’t help but think of Aslan in The Chronicles of Narnia.  What a courageous and powerful animal the lion is!  “Courage, courage, dear heart.” -Aslan

    Shawna gave this to me at the last minute.  It’s South African money-Rand.  I scanned it and it turned out to be a pretty cool spread in this 12×12 album.

    Thank you, Shawna, for letting me be a part of your memorable Christmas morning.  I love your family so much!

    Meredith Hopkins: I love your pictures! You are very talented! I'm Christine's friend and have known her for about 16 years. I'm very thankful for the pictures you have taken of Lisa's family and am so glad you are getting them published and getting the recognition you deserve! I am looking forward to you taking picts of my family....of course I have to ask my husband. LOL The last time we have had our family picts taken was when when my youngest daughter was 4 months old.....she is now 10....I know, crazy, huh? I have seen what you can do and really am excited to see how you can capture us! Keep up what you are doing. God really has blessed you with a talent! (Jan 30, 2009 at 13:59 pm)
    Paul: I loved your blog and am proud of you for the hard work and dedication I know you put in every book to make it special. (Jan 08, 2009 at 18:05 pm)
  • fun family | DFW Family Photographer

    I love this family and I LOVED this session.  Even though it was a little mini session it was so much fun and just so easy.  They did exactly what every family should do … just be you.  Rashid was completely cracking me up.  Its no wonder Luca just giggles and giggles and is so full of expression.  I’m not really sure how he pulled off looking great in these pictures because you should have seen the noises and faces he was making!  Rashid, seriously, you are the perfect example of what happens when dads are relaxed and just interact with their family.  You’ve heard the saying “When Momma aint happy aint nobody happy” but with family sessions, its more like “If Dad is a stick in the mud, you images will stink!”  just kidding. sort of.  Hopefully that didn’t offend anyone 🙂

    Anyway, I truly felt like I was just tagging along on a little family outing.  It was greatness and the images show.  They are my favorite … soulful, playful and natural!  Their love for each other is truly apparent and it makes my heart jump up and down for so many reasons.   If Mary looks familiar to you its because she is Rachel’s twin sister.  Don’t you just want to hang out with them?  Here are a ridiculous number of favorites.  I am sorry.  I have a problem i think.

    While editing these I thought, ” I really really hope Mary likes the way she looks in these” simply because I remember what its like when your baby is about this age and how us Momma’s can be self-conscious about extra baby weight that no one sees but us, etc. AND, when you get photos taken and you have a baby, often you are so worried about the little one you forget about yourself.  I know from experience.  Part of the reason this mattered to me was because I just LOVE the way she glows in these images.  really.  Mary, you look more beautiful than I have ever seen you! no lie.  you are glowing and happy and just full of life.  i love the extra big smiles, the real ones we often hide when the camera comes out.  BUT, when you are surrounded by this much love, there is no hiding those crazy big ol smiles.  see what i mean?  im just glad i caught them!

    Um … Luca might grow up thinking his parents are a bit crazy  um happy?  BUT he will never doubt that they don’t love and adore every little thing about him.  Case in point.  

    But how could you not?  Isn’t he the cutest thing ever!

    I had to post this next one.  Isn’t this the funniest face?  He does this and breaths in and out through his nose really fast.  so hilarious!

    Love you guys!

    Denise Jones: These are awesome! The closeup of Luca just melted my heart. He is adorable. (Jan 10, 2009 at 12:18 pm)
    Rachel: The husband and son are certainly so cute/handsome, but that mom is one hot mother! lol (Jan 08, 2009 at 19:40 pm)
    JoAnn: The picture of this little one up close is so precious. He is a doll. This must be Rachael's sister, they look just alike. The family is beautiful. (Jan 08, 2009 at 17:12 pm)
  • happy new year & my crazy daughter.

    Wow …  here’s to a fantastic year.  I can’t lie.  The holidays are a huge blur to me. Rachel and I could have never anticipated the year we had and we are so grateful!  Thank you to all our wonderful clients of 2008.  It truly was a pleasure capturing your memories 🙂

    Somewhere in the mix of shooting and editing and ordering sessions and designing cards and books and and and …  i turned 27 and Mia Grace turned two … oh and of course the most important reason for the season … celebrating the birth of our Lord … and ringing in the New Year, Rachel and I did take a few days off to be with family and friends and get rejuvenated to start big in 2009.  There are SO many new and exciting things happening over here at Love, Me, so stay tuned to awesome new products and other fun happenings that we have to keep quiet about for now.

    Because a blog is boring without photos here are a few (read: sorry there are so many!) pictures of Mia Grace. Her hip hop dance party (imagine 10 kids 5 and under in my tiny living room) was a success I’d say despite her getting super sick!  I had to take pictures of her in her special birthday outfit.  Enjoy her craziness.

     

    And, here are few collages I made.  I still can’t believe my baby is TWO! I’m still deciding which to print huge for her wall.  I printed the circle collage on 12×12 for gifts for the grandparents and little 5x5s as her “thank you” for coming to her birthday.  I do love that it shows all the sides of her crazy personality!

    Hot Designers: CourtneyCourtney: […] of you may remember my crazy daughter post HERE and her super cute birthday outfit!  I know you remember, because many of you asked me where you […] (Feb 25, 2015 at 17:09 pm)
    She Turned 3 | DFW Child Photographer: […] If you want to see last year’s version,  you can see the little monkey when she turned TWO HERE! Both sessions are all over her new “big girl” room full of bright crazy colors that […] (Feb 25, 2015 at 16:26 pm)
    She turned 3 | dfw child photographer » Love, Me Blog: [...] If you want to see last year’s version,  you can see the little monkey when she turned TWO HERE! Both sessions are all over her new “big girl” room full of bright crazy colors that [...] (Mar 13, 2010 at 13:42 pm)
    Love, Me Blog » CourtneyCourtney [Hot Designers]: [...] of you may remember my crazy daughter post HERE and her super cute birthday outfit!  I know you remember, because many of you asked me where you [...] (Feb 06, 2009 at 12:08 pm)
    Aunt Loree: Ok, where is my Thank you card. You are so creative. love you (Jan 23, 2009 at 01:00 am)
    Marla: Oh my gosh, seriously, could she be any cuter!?!?! L~O~V~E the circle collage! (Jan 16, 2009 at 19:43 pm)
    courtneycourtney: Happy Birthday Mia Grace! I'm so happy this dress is a part of this big day! Love what you do with colors! (Jan 05, 2009 at 23:05 pm)
    christie: I love them all, she is adorable :) (Jan 04, 2009 at 00:24 am)
  • i love my dad.

    OK, I realize the blog neglect has been terrible.  It’s hard to believe people actually read this stuff, so I am sorry to those who have been anxiously waiting to see if I am still in business 🙂 In fact, I have so many fun sessions to show you and now that I am through the holiday madness, I might actually have some down time to show it all to you.  

    I truly loved this session.  The uniqueness of capturing just one relationship other than through a couples session is something that I just love!  Too often we take pictures of the whole family together, or all the siblings and we forget about a parents individual and unique connection to each child, or in this case the special bond between a father and his daughter.  I know about this connection because I have been blessed with such an incredible dad.  Those who know me well know what I think of my dad and just how important he is to me.  I used to get teased in middle school because apparently I bragged about my dad a little too much.  Oh, well!  They didn’t tease when the boys thought I was hot stuff because I was the only girl that could throw a perfect spiral OR when I taught half of my friends how to ride their own bike because I learned early.  And, to this day I am proud to say I have NEVER been thrown into a pool (yup, my daddy taught me how to inflict major pain on any boy stronger than me) and well … My dad can still beat your dad up 😉  I hope that one day Mia Grace comes home from school upset because her friends teased her about how cool she thinks her dad IS.  

    Anyway, Paul is a great friend and he has such a special relationship with his daughter Sydney.  I was more than honored when he asked me to capture it.  I have a feeling Sydney will write some amazing things about her dad when she is my age and can look back and realize all the “talks” lectures her dad gives her actually served a wonderful purpose.  (hang in there Syd, I promise 😉 )  I could go on and on about these two forever. So, here are my favs from their little mini session.

     

    The “uncomfortable” closeness paid off I think. (I need a longer lens 🙂 )

    There’s no denying how Sydney views her dad with this picture.

    Sorry for all the sun flare, but I just love it.  This next one is my favorite by a mile!  I think mainly because Sydney looks 13 here (not 17!)

    And, of course I had to snap a few of sweet Sydney by herself. She is seriously so photogenic.  Every single picture I take of her, she just rocks it.  It’s just wrong how tall and beautiful you are, Syndey!  I can’t believe it.

    and lastly, something very different from my normal stuff. I love shooting sessions with good friends bc I can always experiment in the end.

     

    Love you guys!  Hope you enjoy your peek.

    kimbrali: love love love that bw of her on her dads back! what a special relationship you were able to photograph. i think more people should do this!!! awesome images! (Dec 31, 2008 at 01:55 am)
    MD: These are great pics of Paul and Syd. Especially the last one. That's really good. (Dec 27, 2008 at 22:28 pm)
    Erin Carlyle: Crystal, these are AMAZING! (Dec 22, 2008 at 19:32 pm)
  • giving is awesome.

    OK, first of all, I take no credit for coming up with this amazing idea. Rachel and I have tossed around ideas about how to use Love, Me as a vessel to give of ourselves and help those in need, and while we have some kickin’ ideas, there was no way to pull them off this year (but seriously stay tuned as we try to pull them off next year 🙂 ).  And then, the uber talented and witty Kristen Kalp at Essential Imagery announced this a few days ago on her blog and challenged other photographers to help give back as well. If you all know me, you know I am always up for a big challenge!  Thanks Kristen for your inspiration AND allowing me to blatantly plagiarize [with permission of course 🙂 ].      

    You know someone. You know someone who’s experienced a tragedy, is struggling to stay afloat, is raising kids while holding down more than one job, or is volunteering selflessly despite extenuating personal circumstances. You know someone who gives and gives of themselves selflessly despite what may appear to be a hopeless situation, never asking for one thing in return.  That person or family that challenges you to love better, serve better, and just BE better.  

    The truth is – custom photography is a luxury, not a necessity.  I know that.  But, another truth is that second to our relationship with the Lord, I would argue that our relationships with those around us are the most important, especially during trying times. Of course, this is why I am so passionate about what I do.  Capturing those memories forever is something that is invaluable to me.  Because I am blessed beyond words to have the gift to do what I do, we want to give that heroic person/family in your life a chance to receive the gift of custom photography. You know someone who can’t afford custom photography, but who would cherish it this holiday season. You know someone who sincerely deserves a year-long reminder of their family’s strength, love, support, and spirit!

    You know someone. I guarantee it.

    We want to know who they are, and we want to give them the chance to experience complimentary custom photography – $2500 worth, to be exact.  

    We are going to give away a $1000 photography gift that includes a complimentary photography session, slideshow DVD to watch over and over, Session Album with ALL images in 5×7, and a $350 print credit to be used for prints for Grandma, wall portraits , or a storyboard!  It’s in your power to give someone the gift of their life as artwork this holiday season.  Oh, and the best part?  The person that nominates the winner will receive a $250 print credit!

    The rules: 

    *You cannot nominate yourself, and the person you nominate must sincerely be incapable of purchasing custom photography services. (Being unable to make mortgage payments on a two-million-dollar-vacation-home in Paris does not qualify as sincere financial need.)

    *The person you nominate needs to live in North Texas (DFW Metroplex).

    *Please e-mail us the full story :  crystal@lovemephotography.com  
    (make sure to include a contact email for the nominee)

    The winner will be announced on Christmas Eve … so get nominating!  Open your heart to someone this holiday season – and thanks for giving us the opportunity to open ours! 

    Wonder & Blessings.

    Crystal and Rachel

     

    And finally, in case you know of someone outside of North Texas who is deserving, here are some other photographers you can contact who are giving BIG this holiday season! Be sure to check details as pricing and gifts may vary. Also, you can check out the new website (above) dedicated to this giving explosion!       

    Matt Nicolosi, of Texas
    Kaycee Dean, of Oklahoma
    The Selanders, of Iowa/Nebraska
    Alice Park Photography, of Georgia
    Charlene Chavez, of California
    Kimbrali Boyd, of Louisiana
    Rachel Logan, of Texas
    Surprise Photography, of New York
    Lauri Stumph, of Minnesota
    Laura Green, of Iowa
    Kimberly Ann Photography, of Wisconsin
    Photo Art by Suzi, of Michigan
    Krista Muskovin, of Michigan
    Kelly Holder, of Kansas
    Tiffany G, of Las Vegas
    Bamboo Photography, of Pennsylvania
    Mollie Kendall, of Texas
    Marlo Yoshimoto, of California
    Brandi DeLisi, of Tennessee
    HRG Photo, of Washington
    Dini Groner, of New York
    April Todd, of South Carolina
    Steven Parker, of New York
    Christine DeSavino, of New Jersey
    Sarah Pettinger, of Missouri
    Veronica Reeve, of Utah
    Adrienne Griffin, of Nevada
    Barbie Schwartz, of Tennessee
    Dawn of DLM Photography, of Texas
    Tiffany Hix, of Idaho
    Adorations Photography, of Texas
    Alicia Caine, of Montana
    Rebekah Pope, of Tennessee
    Lisa Nelson, of North Dakota
    Crystal DelaHoz, of Texas
    Joell Parkos, of Minnesota
    Lyndsey Lewis, of Colorado
    Jenny Gironda, of Maine
    Jennifer Mullinax, of Kansas
    Photography by Angelique, of Missouri
    Charmi Pena, of New Jersey
    Tami Henry, of South Carolina
    Kim Mattina, of Arizona
    Christy Stickley, of Colorado
    Carie Frabotta, of Arizona
    Butch Bernstein, of Maryland
    Wendhy Jeffers, of Nevada
    Kristen Kalp, of Pennsylvania

    International:

    Jenna Faye, of Ontario, Canada
    Peachyc Photography, of Manila
    Josee Caza, of Toronto, Canada
    Bev Robison, of Poland

    giving IS awesome.: […] may remember this POST before Christmas.  Well, I got so busy during the holidays and we took some much need time off and […] (Feb 25, 2015 at 17:09 pm)
  • Client Love: Chas |DFW Senior Photographer

    Have I mentioned how much I love photographing seniors?!  I really do.  I hear lots of photographers talk about how senior guys are tough to photograph, but man, I must just get lucky with really great guys because every senior guy session has been awesome for me!  It really gives me an opportunity to be creative with angles, etc. and explore new things in camera because I am not as concerned with all the girlie stuff.  (does this angle look flattering, will this pose make her lose 10 pounds 🙂 )  In all seriousness, I love love senior girls too, but there is something about a guys session for me that is so unique and refreshing.  

    So, you can see why I was excited to hear a familiar voice on the other end of the phone wanting to book her son’s senior pics.  I worked for Kim briefly before Mia Grace was born.  Actually before I was even pregnant.  It’s amazing how times flys!  I loved working for Kim, but working as a teller, well … that’s another story 🙂 Let’s just say its a good thing I found something I was much more suited for!! Moving on.

    Chas is a senior this year at L.D. Bell (Mike’s alma mater) and I had such a great time at our session.  He is so easy to talk to and was up for anything I asked.  He even drove his awesome truck down this rocky gravel in between some railroad tracks which now that I’m typing that  I am sure is not completely legal. We shot for a solid two hours until there was no more light left.  Anyway, I truly love the results.  I had such a difficult time narrowing it down and even choosing to show in BW or Color.  Nearly all the images look great in both which is rare.  Anyway, this post is such a great ending to the 2008 year for me because these are somewhat unique from me.  I am so thankful to my clients who all challenge me to capture something fresh with each shoot.  Thanks, Chas, for a great great shoot and for telling your mom you thought I was pretty cool! lol.  So glad to know I am not too old just yet to still relate to a teenager … whew! 🙂

    Here are the favs.

    Indecisive again.  BW or Color?

    Thanks again Kim for thinking of me for Chas’ senior pics.  It truly was a favorite session!  Hope you guys love your sneak peek.

    Aunt Sheri: The pic of Chas in the window is awewome. I know you don't tell of your hiding places for these great pictures, that one is a gem! I wish I had a photographer like you when Jake and Kels graduated. Oh well, you get Cade 2016!!! (Dec 07, 2008 at 16:00 pm)
  • last family for 2008 | dfw family photographer

    Meet the Staleys.  Once again, I get the cutest families to photograph!  I was so excited when this family piled out of the car because they were dressed SO perfect for pictures.  When I say to coordinate colors, but not be matchy matchy, this is exactly what I’m talking about!  The textures of layered clothing and fun colors photograph so well don’t you think?  Renee, I know this was all you … way to go girl 🙂  It also seriously helps that they are a beautiful family! I also owe a shout out to my friend Lindsey (from back in the day.  Go NHS) for the referral … Drake and Maron are her cute niece and nephew (lucky girl 😉 )  

    The Staley Clan was my very last family session for 2008!  (I’m shooting some more sessions in December, but you may not see those until after the holiday)  What a way to end an incredible year!  I just loved this family and took WAY too many pictures as usual.  Everything was just too perfect to not snap away.  So, here are a few favorites from their session.  Thank you guys for your patience during this insanely busy time!  Hope you enjoy.

    Maron is so so adorable.  She was striking a pose for me here 🙂  And look at little Drake.  He looks like a little man to me!

    Outfit #2 (for the whole family) … equally as PERFECT!  

    And this last one of sweet Maron, I just ADORE.  I could not choose between BW or Color, so I’ll just show you both.  Isn’t she just gorgeous … Her hair, those BIG blue eyes, and her little heart shaped lips.  What a doll!

    Thank you Staley Family!

    MD: these are good pics of her. (Dec 09, 2008 at 18:35 pm)
    lindsey: hey crystal, good job! 'striking a pose' - she does love doing that! :) colors are great in all of these. like the wheel one!! Good job! Cant wait to see more. (Dec 08, 2008 at 10:05 am)
  • Fellers | DFW Family Photographer

    Oh, how I LOVE big families!  It is such a challenge to shoot families in general, but BIG families are in a league of their own.  Especially if any member is under 5 🙂  I had the best time with this family.  Talk about well behaved, great kids!  Right when I pulled up, Cole, the oldest volunteered to haul my huge church pew bench to the barn for me (without being asked!)  Then, as I’m getting my gear all together and doing some lighting shots, I look up and ALL four saints kids, including little Jena, are sitting perfectly on the bench just looking up at me!  Holy, I just died and left Texas?!!  They really were so pleasant and wonderful the whole time.  Just so you don’t think my job is a complete whiz, I did have to fight those conditioned cheese faces quite a bit 🙂 (as MUCH as I have tried to never teach my daughter the meaning of that word, somehow she has learned it!!!)  Here are some favorites!  Loved meeting you guys.

    Here’s that first shot I mentioned.

    Luckily my mom had this wonderful bench (thanks Grandma Betty!) that I knew would be perfect for a large family.

     

    Its absolutely AMAZING, the expressions you can get from boys when you ask about girls 🙂  LOVE it! Cole smiled and said, “no comment”, Mason immediately traded his best “cheese” face for a mischievous grin, and just LOOK at little 5 year old Grant’s face.  My next frames included him looking to the ground and shrinking his neck as far down as possible.  It reminded me so much of my little brother at this age.  I realized I had just turned into one of those annoying woman who used to embarrass him all.the.time.  And, Dustin was painfully shy! Sorry, Grant. 

    And, this … my favorite!  It’s images like these we should have blown up HUGE on our walls.  Look at Jena’s face.  Oh, so classic, and I bet, so her!

    Thank you Fellers family!  What a pleasure it was to meet you and photograph your cute family.

  • out of office.

    I know its a little late, but in case you tried to contact me over the holiday, I have been out of town visiting family.  I will be back to work on Monday (tomorrow!) and will return all phone calls and emails then.  Thanks for your patience and I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving!  If you are waiting on your ordering session, I will be contacting this week to schedule.  All ordering will be completed by December 10th to ensure Christmas delivery.  If you wish to purchase additional prints for gifts, etc. from your session, please contact us ASAP so we can get it to you in time!