• 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!

  • where oh where is my second wind?

    Now its 4:40 AM and my brain has left the building 😉

    Here’s a sneak peek of a cute e-session I had with one of Mike’s ex-students and our young life girls!  I was so excited that Fricke (aka Kristina (just realized I don’t even know how to spell your name girl!) thought of me for her engagement pictures.  This was my first time meeting John and I was pretty impressed 😉  They really just go together so well and are obviously very much in love.  We had a blast just walking around, chit chatting and snapping a million photos.  This session got me my lifetime membership to the over-shooters of America club.  Seriously, this was such a daunting task … choosing which pictures to post and how to narrow it down.  I think I was just so relaxed I forgot all about the time and lost count of how many 8GB cards I blew through.  

    I loved that they brought several changes of clothes and each outfit really reflected something unique and meaningful for them as a couple.  I am nostalgic to the core, so of course I was in LOVE with these ideas.  John, it was so nice meeting you and Fricke, it was so great to catch up.  Thank you both for allowing me to capture such a meaningful times in both your lives!  I pray that the Lord blesses both of you immensely through each other in Him.

    ** I may wake up tomorrow and realize that nothing I wrote made any sense.  Please bare with me!

    Here are some favorites!

    They wore matching shirts from Mexico, which is where they both have a heart for the people, the culture, and missions … and hope to live someday!

    Next they sported some sweet affliction t-shirts.  At first, Fricke started telling me what UFC was and I had to remind her that my 2 year old daughter hasn’t missed a single pay per view fight night since birth (and even before that if you count the womb!)  FYI: this is not by “my” choice … she has a daddy that’s into Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.

    Wow … I didn’t realize I posted so many.  See I told you it was tough to narrow down!  Now, I am off to bed at 5AM to catch a few hours before its time for me to head to an ordering session and spend the day packing for our trip!

    Sharon: These are fabulous! I love the locations! The last one is my fave although they are all terrific. Great job! (Nov 29, 2008 at 23:53 pm)
    Kara May: Oh these are fantastic Crystal!! Love that colorful wall they are jumping in front of. Great locations and beautiful couple! (Nov 28, 2008 at 15:52 pm)
    MD: These are great. Can't believe Fricke is getting married! (Nov 26, 2008 at 08:44 am)
  • round 2.

    Yes, folks, it is 2:30 AM.  I am working as hard as possible to get everyone’s pictures edited and ordered before I leave for El Paso tomorrow.  What a crazy time of year, but even though  I have had many sleepless nights, I wouldn’t trade this for anything.  I truly am so blessed and I LOVE my job.  If you are nervous about the time crunch, please no worries.  Everyone will have the opportunity to order pictures before Christmas.  I am behind on blogging but I will eventually get everyone up here.  I figure you’d rather see ALL your pictures vs. just a few here on the blog anyway.  Thanks again for your patience!  

    You may recognize this cute family from a few posts ago.  No, you aren’t mistaken … I have had the privilege to photograph them twice in the last few months!  I have had the toughest time narrowing this session down, but here are a few quick favorites.  I could say a million wonderful things about this family and how all three of their kiddos are complete rock stars … really, so polite and kind hearted … but, my brain is barely working!  So, just know how awesome you are!  

    Erin Carlyle: You captured some GREAT moments! LOVE THESE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (Nov 27, 2008 at 22:42 pm)
    MD: These are some good family pics. That's the second best-looking family I know. . . (Nov 26, 2008 at 08:43 am)
  • swanky shack.

    You are going to love this!  I had the pleasure of doing a product shoot for an up and coming business called the Swanky Shack.  This mother and daughter duo gutted an airstream trailer and created a traveling boutique filled with trendy clothes, funky jewelry, home decor and more!  I know what you’re thinking … “Why didn’t I think of that” “How COOL is that?!”  Well, here is a sneak peek of all their fun product line  and the dynamic duo themselves … Julie and Penny.

     This little pig was way too cute to get lost in the collage, so I blew him up BIG.


    Keep your eyes and ears posted for more from these two!  I will post a link featuring their website once it is up and running.  If you can’t wait, you can head to Canton on 1st Monday (its a Texas thing!) to get in line for your tour inside the trailer and be the first to buy some fun goodies for yourself and as gifts for the holidays!  I already have my eye on a T-shirt that reads … “The bigger the hair the closer to God”!  How fun is that?

    Heather: I really love the vibe and the funky country feel. Most of my family lives out in Bridgeport and Chico Tx and they will LOVE this stuff. Please keep me updated when the website takes off and I'm telling my family! :-) (Feb 13, 2009 at 12:16 pm)
    Stephanie P: Wow! Beautiful color. Perfect clarity and sharpness. Well done! And what a fun idea. Love it! (Nov 27, 2008 at 13:12 pm)
    peggy gagliardi: Hi Julie...I believe I spoke to you on my way out of Dillard's this past Sunday I am interested in a pair of pants like the ones you were wearing that you made.....How much are they ?......I would need size extra large.....THANK YOU......Peg (Nov 25, 2008 at 02:04 am)
    Allison: OMG that is sooooo cool!!!! I want that green sweater!!!! (Nov 18, 2008 at 21:13 pm)
    W DeLano: Oh my gosh- I need to visit Texas! How cute is this store- what a clever idea. These ladies must be fun. The pictures look great Crystal- so vibrant! Great job. (Nov 17, 2008 at 10:52 am)
    Karen: crystal - i LOVE these images!! so fun and colorful! you need to tell those ladies to head down to houston! ;) (Nov 16, 2008 at 21:57 pm)
    Julie: What a cool idea! And great photos showcasing it... (Nov 16, 2008 at 09:34 am)
    Julie: Awesome job!! Your pictures and color look great. Looks like you had a great time... (Nov 15, 2008 at 16:01 pm)
    carole marie: These are fabulous, Crystal! So much vibrant color - great job! (Nov 15, 2008 at 15:56 pm)
    rachel l.: seriously. the most rockin' thing ever. love it! great job! (Nov 15, 2008 at 11:50 am)
    lauri stumph: Great shots and that is the coolest thing!! (Nov 15, 2008 at 11:11 am)
    Lorena: These are fantastic! Love the colors. Great job! (Nov 15, 2008 at 10:16 am)
    bev robison: Great job, Crystal! These are so colorful and fun! You rocked it! Your whole blog looks awesome, really. I am impressed! (Nov 15, 2008 at 05:55 am)
    kelli: how cool! you did a great job capturing their products too! (Nov 15, 2008 at 03:46 am)
    Jess: Are you kidding me this is the coolest thing ever. (Nov 15, 2008 at 00:29 am)
    Eliza: That is wayyyyy cool! I love their idea! And, dang, your images are gorgeous!!! Girl, you are soooo good!!!! (Nov 14, 2008 at 23:35 pm)
    Adrienne: That is just the coolest thing. (Nov 14, 2008 at 22:18 pm)
    Erin Carlyle: Ahhhhh! I LOVE this idea...I LOVE the pictures! You did a great job my friend! They must be very proud of these!!! I'm about to send this to all of my friends as we are BIG Canton shoppers!!!!! (Nov 14, 2008 at 21:59 pm)
    Kara May: Love these Crystal!! The colors are so fun and your images a great. I want to shop there! So cool!! (Nov 14, 2008 at 20:02 pm)
    Charlene: Great job on the shoot! And wow, what an awesome idea!! (Nov 14, 2008 at 19:02 pm)
    Dana Scherer: Wow! That's AMAZING!!! Everything is so fun and vibrant, including the photos. Will they be a traveling boutique? (Nov 14, 2008 at 18:58 pm)
  • Faciane Family part 2.

    I somehow convinced this GORGEOUS family to come and hang out with me again so I could hang out and photograph them again because they are so fun get more variety for them to choose between at our ordering session!

    I loved our second mini session. It was a gorgeous day and they were all so relaxed and easy going.  I got to be more creative with the family shots and I had a great time.  I have so enjoyed getting to know you all and I look forward to seeing you again very soon.  I hope you enjoy your second sneak peek.

    These sisters are just stunning.  I love how unique and equally gorgeous they are! You may recognize Kristen as one of the cute cheerleaders I photographed a while back.  She really is so natural at posing.  This time she had a broken thumb and had to hide her big ‘ol cast (seriously her whole lower arm) She did such a great job!!

    I love the interactions between them.  You can really tell they love each other by how playful they are!  Every time I made them think I put my camera down, I’d get a fun capture like the one below.  Courtney seemed to really keep the mood light which I loved.

    At our last shoot Courtney pretended like she wasn’t really into the whole picture taking thing, but this time she really just lit up in front of the camera and I was so happy to get her natural smile.  Isn’t she so cute?!

    Thanks again for letting me steal you away for more pictures.  I hope you love them!!

    Loree: What a beautiful family. I hope I look that good when my girls are older, such natural beauty. (Nov 18, 2008 at 12:10 pm)
    Wendie: What a great looking family! I love sister shots :0) You did a great job posing them in the family shots- totally non traditional. That is something I need to work on myself... I especially love the color ones with the bare feet. (Nov 17, 2008 at 10:57 am)
    rachel l.: wow, what a good looking family! i love the location. the dad must be so proud to be surrounded by 3 gorgeous, smokin' women! (Nov 17, 2008 at 09:07 am)
    kimbrali: wow. LOVE the sisters against the red. this is such a beautiful family. mom looks like shes the big sis. ugh. i hate moms that are in shape like that. seriously. it totally ruins my personal out of shape excuse of "ive given birth to 2 children!" (Nov 16, 2008 at 23:14 pm)
    Lauren: I LOVE feet pics - soooooo cute!!!! Greta job as always! (Nov 14, 2008 at 22:07 pm)
  • the list.

    Thank you ALL so much for your patience during this crazy time.  I know I haven’t been posting as much but its for good reason!  I am working tirelessly to get all these proofs ordered so you can see ALL your images. Here’s the list for what’s up this week.

    Faciane Family Part 2

    Swanky Shack

    Shabay Family 

    Fricke & John

    Fellers Family

    Chloe & Kourtney

    Skye WS (can’t wait to share from the WS I went to last weekend!)

    And because all posts are WAY too boring without a picture, here’s a peek from my time at the WS this past weekend.  I learned a valuable lesson … (NEVER attend a WS during this time of year!  Oh, and I learned lots of other fun stuff too 🙂 )

    paige: This sweet girl was at the earlier Austin Workshop as well. She was great to work with. Love your work! (Dec 17, 2008 at 23:57 pm)
    MD: This is an incredible picture. I would pay money for this. (Nov 15, 2008 at 12:26 pm)
  • 2 part | e-session

    I just love these two.  They have been dating for a long time and are so fun and comfortable with each other, I love it!  When Jen said she wanted me to take their engagements I was so excited.  I really wanted to show off their personalities.  As you can see, Matt is hilarious and even after 5 years, Jen still just giggles at him non stop.  (and she’s not the only one.  I had a few bust out laughing moments where I literally couldn’t keep my camera up near my face) Jen and Matt are getting married in December, so I photographed them back in August for the first time.  August and Texas are two words that should NOT go together.  It was blazing hot, and we all pretty much knew right away a re-shoot was necessary.  But, we played anyway, and since the pressure was off, we tried all sorts of fun things.

    I must mention that the locations are all meaningful to Jen and Matt.  I really wanted to shoot at familiar places to tell a story (my favorite thing to do). So, our first location is Keller High School where they first started dating back in the day! They both were stud basketball players, but I wasn’t creative enough to not make that super cheesy 🙂  Here are my favs from Keller.

    Matt longboards, so I had to incorporate that somehow.

    Jen and Matt “playing” house.  lol.

    Soooo … fast forward to a few weeks ago.  Our second location was in Denton, which is where they both graduated from UNT (and STILL liked each other … a LOT).

    I love love what they wore.  They are both always so stylish and make sure you check out the shoes.  They are both shoe fanatics … especially Matt.

    Ok, now I HAVE to share these.  During the shoot Matt got POOPED on!!!!  lol.  Seriously, I was cracking up.  It happened at one of my favorite spots so I’m not telling where because I can’t give it up for a little bird poop.  Good thing it happened at the end of our shoot. Sorry Coker, but man it was funny.  Enjoy.

    Love you guys!  Can’t wait to see you commit your lives to one another and I’m so excited I get to be there 🙂

  • not engaged.

    Nope.  They are married … and have been for two years.  Its uncommon for couples to get photos taken after getting married, but I think it is SO important (and not just because I am a photographer).  I think most people have all these pictures of their engagement, then the wedding and then they wait until they have a baby before getting pictures again.  For most people there are at least a few years in between that go undocumented “together”.  And those are some fun years!  I wish Mike and I had done this too (I’m already working him for our 5 year anniversary next year 🙂 ) Let’s face it, there is usually one person in the marriage that enjoys snapping pics while on vacation, etc.  Sometimes, its the girl and sometimes its the guy, but whomever it is, they are usually absent in all the photos (or you try to take those awkward someone in the photo takes the picture by holding the camera at arms length where your faces are all smooched together and you have at least eight chins between the two of you)  Mostly, you just end up with lots and lots of “scenery” type snapshots or pics with your significant other strategically placed in the lower right hand corner (you are obeying the rule of thirds!) looking less than pleased because they are sick of being in pictures by themselves in front of mountains, sunsets, and statues.  

    So, follow Callie and Matt’s lead, give me a call 🙂 and go get some pictures taken with each other, not of each other.  If you are reluctant, give Matt a call, and I’m sure he’ll tell you it was painless and actually kind of fun (and I’m sure it scored him some HUGE brownie points with the wife!)

    Speaking of Callie and Matt, can I just say …  I LOVE LOVE LOVE you guys!  Seriously, this was a favorite session and I loved photographing them as a couple.  I will admit I was a little nervous, not knowing if the whole googley eyed, we are in love thing would still be there …  I mean, it has been TWO whole years!  Seriously though, I was unsure because I remembered how I was when Mike and I got engagement photos (me always cracking up at his not so funny jokes, sorry honey) and I think we would need a little more direction now.  But, it was so relaxed and fun and they were complete naturals. I felt like I was just following along on a date night. And, it is so obvious they are very much still in love.  

    Matt called me up and scheduled a session with me as a surprise for Callie (insert awwww, how sweet here).  Callie had apparently hinted by showing him my website more than I’m sure he cared to see.  I think its such sweet and thoughtful gift and one I hope they will cherish for many years to come.  

    Anyway, here are a few of my favorites.  Enjoy!

    I’m so glad we decided to go to a new location and keep shooting until the sun went down (literally).  I got to play with my new lens and dof (depth of field) and I love the results.  

    Isn’t this kiss so cute 🙂

    Eliza Boquin: Wow, Crystal! These are so good. I have some friends who have asked me to do their engagement pictures & you have TOTALLY inspired me. Awesome! (Nov 12, 2008 at 11:15 am)
    Carole Marie: Wow, these are amazing!! (Nov 07, 2008 at 01:15 am)
    Callie: We have been anxiously waiting... and LOVE them! Can't wait to see the rest :) (Nov 06, 2008 at 17:26 pm)
    Erin Carlyle: Crystal ~ Your work is AMAZING...your coloring is beautiful! Can't wait to meet you this weekend! (Nov 06, 2008 at 16:38 pm)
  • my heart and soul.

    When I am this completely overwhelmed  busy, I really need good food for my soul to keep me going.  For me, that is taking pictures of my baby girl … spur of the moment, let’s throw on an outfit and go somewhere fresh and fun.  This is what happens …


    Just follow the progression.  She’s turing two in December … need I say more??


    MD: love the top one. Probably one of my favorites of MGD. (Nov 15, 2008 at 12:28 pm)
    Aunt Loree: What a doll, she is getting to be such a big girl. Love you guys. (Nov 02, 2008 at 01:12 am)
    Jamie Kutter: Precious! my baby girl is still my favorite subject too! can't wait to see you this weekend. (Nov 01, 2008 at 16:03 pm)
    Crystal: close. she said "no way". she got this whole arms in the air, big sigh, eyes closed thing from mogley on the jungle book. hilarious. (Nov 01, 2008 at 10:19 am)
    Aunt Sheri: With the arms crossed I'm thinking that you tried to take that sucker away and she said "mine!" She's too cute in those big girl jeans. As usual, LOVE the pics! (Oct 31, 2008 at 19:54 pm)
  • Ties that Bind | DFW Family Photographer

    I love this family! If you want to be around laid back, fun, genuine, and just plain ‘ol good hearted folks, you’ve got to spend an afternoon, or even just 10 minutes with the Shabays.  They are the kind of family that makes you feel welcome instantly and you leave wondering if you are in fact a distant relative or something.  In fact, I WILL be a distant relative of the Shabay family in the not so distant future (sort of 🙂 )  My cousin (and best friend) is marrying their nephew/cousin (hi Matt and Kels!) lol.  Is that related? Maybe it would be fist cousin twice removed in-law or something.  (totally kidding)  Those that know me, know what I am a BIG dork when it comes to family relations.  Don’t ask me why, it just fascinates me!  In fact, there will be no “official” relation, but I like the idea of being related to you Paul, so we are officially first cousin once removed in laws.  I like it.

    Anyway, before I lose you (oops) here are my favorites from their session.  P.D. and Sandra have the most beautiful backyard, so that is what we decided to use as our backdrop.  They spend lots and lots of time here all together, so its just fitting.

    Here is my favorite from the day!  Can’t you tell how close they are!  I love this … sometimes I dont see these deep connections with siblings let alone cousins.  I  really desire for Mia Grace to have cousins to grow up with like I did.  Seeing this photo makes me really wish I had one just like it of the fab five (you know who you are!)  They will really cherish this when they are older.

    And, here it is in BW.  Couldn’t decide.

    Paul and Sydney
    The proud grandparents!
    A moment away from the kids (Wendy can I please be like you when I grow up 🙂 ) Isn’t she just gorgeous?! And she is just as beautiful on the inside (no lie!)The whole gang (supporting their team of course!) 
    I didn’t catch exactly who these hats belong too … but they are special nonetheless. I thought this one called for a vintage touch.Thanks again for allowing me to photograph you family!  It truly was an honor.


    I hope you enjoy your sneak peek!

    Adrienne Lisenby: Hi Crystal, I think these are my favorite pictures of your ever. I LOVE the first one in color because you can see the catch lights and brightness in their eyes. Beautiful!! (Nov 01, 2008 at 22:06 pm)
    Jamie Kutter: Gorgeous session Crystal! Your clarity is awesome (and screaming...Canon!) I love it! (Nov 01, 2008 at 16:02 pm)