• 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.

    Client Love Blog Post 1 Client Love Blog Post 2 Client Love Blog Post 4Client Love Blog Post 3

    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

  • LMP Love Dare: Four Fun Holiday Activities to Tackle This Winter Break

    Remember when life was a little—scratch that, A LOT—less hectic than senior year is probably turning out to be? Your six-foot-something guy was just a toddler in striped pajamas, running circles around the Christmas tree because he was so fascinated by the twinkling lights and presents. And then there was your daughter: four years old, dressed in her Sunday best (with a humongous hair bow to match, of course), and prepared to tell the mall Santa all about the Barbie she couldn’t live without. The Christmas season filled them with a wonder that was contagious. All the seasonal to-do lists were forgotten for a few moments while the two of you played, laughed, and snuggled. Time seemed to stand still. Where did those days go?

    Okay, let’s take a moment to regroup and put the Kleenex boxes away. When you’re ready, read on for some good news!

    You still have time to make incredible holiday memories together, starting right now! Yes, he’s a senior. Yes, she’s going off to college soon. Yes, it’s been at least 48 hours since you’ve seen them emerge from the world of Instagram. Yes, you still have (very) last-minute Christmas shopping to do. But the whole memory-making thing isn’t as much about having time as making time. So, beginning now, take a bright red sharpie in hand and block off a few days this winter break for the two of you to make some new Christmas memories. Here are a few ideas to get those creative juices flowing!

    1. C’mon, We’re Going for a Sleigh Ride. Snuggle up (hey, Christmas miracles are possible!) with your son or daughter under cozy, warm blankets and enjoy the sights and sounds of Christmas from the comfort of a horse-drawn carriage ride through Highland Park, via Three Jays Carriages. Click here for booking details.
    2. Be a “Cool” Mom. Want them to see how “cool” you really are? Take your senior skating on the beautifully decorated ice of the Galleria mall Absolutely guaranteed for a few laughs!
    3. See the REAL Santa. 99% of moms agree that the Northpark Mall Santa is the REAL Santa. Bribe your senior into going to the mall with you using words like “Starbucks” and “latte,” then sneak in one last photo-op with the jolly old man in the red velvet suit. Matching outfits optional! While you’re there, why not check out the amazing train display?
    4. Bake it ‘Til You Make it. For a more low-key type of magical moment with your teen, pull out your favorite Christmas cookie recipe and let the baking begin! Once those totally non-caloric babies have come out of the oven (ahem…that would be Christmas miracle number two), put them on a holiday platter and pile on the couch with the whole family for a holiday-themed movie night.

    Precious Mom, I really do believe it’s possible for time to stand still for you and your Christmas angel (AKA your son or daughter) one more time this winter break. So no matter which activity you choose, say this with me: I believe!

    Happy memory-making, Mommas!

  • Savvy Senior: Last-Minute Gifts for Everyone on Your Christmas List

    Mid-terms? Check. Sleeping in? Double check. The joy and ecstasy of Winter Break? A big fat triple check written in glitter pen with a cup of hot chocolate on the side for celebratory purposes.

    School’s almost out, Elf is on replay (“The best way to spread Christmas cheer is singing loud for all to hear!”), and Christmas Day is just over a week away! Which is GREAT, if you’ve finished all of your shopping. But if you haven’t? I don’t want to stress you out, but…that calls for the hashtag #panicmode.

    At this point in the season, there’s no way around it: the mall is going to be absolutely nuts. Which means it’s extra important to go shopping with a game plan in the form of Love, Me Photography’s Last-Minute Gifting Guide. Read on for a few suggestions—we’ve got something for everyone on your Christmas list! Keep in mind that if the gift you’re eyeing  is only available online, you may have to pay for rush shipping at this point…or wrap a printed photo of the item and include a note that says, “Santa was delayed, here’s what’s on the way.” Aside from those minor details, all that’s left to do is bundle up, hit the road, and shop like crazy!

    FOR MOM

    Candles. They just make “scents.”  Coming in a variety of sizes and seasonal fragrances, Bath & Body candles will keep Mom in the warm glow of Christmas long after December 25!

    FOR DAD

    Rock the Socks. Complement dad’s kicks with a set of argyle socks. Scientifically proven to close more business deals (and add a serious dash of fashion to his otherwise neutral wardrobe). Prices start at $7.99 a pair! Click here for details.

    FOR YOUR BROTHER AND/OR BOYFRIEND

    Ladies, two words: Custom Converse. Starting at $75, they’re a little pricey…but think of all the year-round Christmas cheer they’ll bring! (Mainly to you, because he’s going to LOVE YOU for this.) Click here to start designing! A less expensive option? A night at the movies. Enhance the presentation by making up a gift basket that includes a movie theater gift card and his favorite snacks and candies.

    FOR YOUR GIRLFRIEND

    Guys, earn boyfriend points supreme by setting up a treasure hunt! Leave a series of clues and/or mini gifts (a coffee mug, nail polish) at nearby locations, ending with a favorite DVD. Hello, movie night! Other options: a gift card for a manicure/pedicure from a local spa, or a set of products from The Dry Bar.

    FOR YOUR SISTER AND/OR BEST FRIEND

    For a sister who’s 10 or younger, consider a special trip to the American Girl store at the Galleria Mall. She’ll remember it forever!

    Your older sister and/or best friend will appreciate a gift card to her favorite store—if it’s Starbucks, “wrap” the card by sticking it inside a coffee mug. I’m a fan of the cute + funny hand-lettered options created by Ashley Brooke Designs.

    Last but not least, photos are ALWAYS a great gift idea! I’m a senior portrait photographer, so naturally I’m a little biased. But truly…photos are the only gifts that really and truly will last forever. If you purchased digital prints from your senior session, use them to create something fun via a service like Artifact Uprising. 

    Happy shopping!

    LMP Love Dare: Four Fun Holiday Activities to Tackle This Winter Break: […] 48 hours since you’ve seen them emerge from the world of Instagram. Yes, you still have (very) last-minute Christmas shopping to do. But the whole memory-making thing isn’t as much about having time as making time. So, […] (Dec 21, 2015 at 16:24 pm)
  • Savvy Senior: Ask Santa for These College Necessities

    Okay, so you’re way past the age of creating a wish list, postmarking it to the North Pole, and sprinting to the cookie plate on Christmas morning to see if Santa prefers chocolate chip or peanut butter…or both. That being said, assuming you’ve been good this year—and I know all of my clients have—you’ll probably still get a present or two. If mom’s been sniffing around for gift ideas (because hey, we’re not mind readers), consider dropping hints about a few of these soon-to-be college necessities. Or just text her a direct link to purchase. Somehow, I think she’ll get the idea.

    1. Laptop—There’s no better time than Christmas to put in a request for this spendy yet completely essential item. Hint: The Mom and Dad duo formerly known as “Santa” will probably be more likely to okay this request if you offer to chip in some of your own hard-earned cash, too. If you already have a laptop, deck it out with a sturdy new case. Speck makes brightly-colored cases for a variety of computer styles. Voila! The perfect stocking stuffer.
    2. Dorm Bedding—A bedspread, two pairs of sheets (that extra set comes in handy on laundry day!), a blanket for the foot of the bed, and throw pillows are worthy contenders for inclusion on your wish list. I love the eclectic looks styled by Anthropologie, and Target offers a great line of duvets for the dorm room as well. Practical alert: Even if you’re not wishing for it now, I PROMISE you’ll be wishing for a foam mattress topper later. Because nothing robs a girl (or guy) of beauty sleep faster than a circa 1970-something box spring. Click here to browse a few options.
    3. Desk Chair—While most college dorms come pre-furnished with a standard bed frame and desk, they say (okay, I say) that “the cuter the work zone, the more likely you are to get good grades.” Add a dose of personality to your study space by bringing your own desk chair. Pottery Barn Teen has TONS of great options to choose from.
    4. Fitness Membership—In all likelihood, your college campus will have a great gym that’s open to students. However, in some cases, you may have to pay for that on-campus membership. Ask mom and dad to front the cost so that you have a place to burn off some stress during finals week. Not feeling the weight lifting thing? Scout out another type of studio that’s located close by—think Pilates, yoga, barre, ballet, or hip hop—and add a six-month trial to your wish list.

     

  • What to Wear for a Winter Photoshoot

    Did you catch LMP’s recent blog interview with Grand Slam Glam’s Jordan Bawcom? If so, then you’re in the know about all things beauty-related for your fall or winter portrait session: makeup shades you should be sporting as temperatures continue to drop, the secret to keeping “hat head” at bay, and the best products to keep your skin looking fresh, clean, and moisturized all winter long!

    Now, let’s talk about winter wearables – cozy coats, adorable scarves, and knit beanies just begging to be worn during your upcoming senior portrait session! In case you’re still on the hunt for a photo-ready look or three, I’ve put together a few no-fail combinations that I’d love to see on camera. Put your own spin on the looks showcased on these inspiration boards, or pull together something completely different. I can’t wait to see your personal style shine through during our winter shoot!

    LOOK ONE: WINTER WHITES

    Pair shades of ivory and crème with a bold red lip, and what do you get? A completely classic look in every possible way – no snow required (although it would definitely make a stunning backdrop)!

    LOOK TWO: PATTERN PLAY

    Tartan, herringbone, stripes, and plaid – all are equally chic and completely winter appropriate. Should you choose to incorporate one of the aforementioned designs into an ensemble, however, I do recommend limiting the pattern to just one piece (like a scarf or a hat). With too many elements in the mix, your portraits will start to trend toward the busy side. Keep the focus on you rather than your wardrobe by playing with patterns in small doses!

    LOOK THREE: BERRY BEAUTIFUL

    A raspberry knit scarf, a pair of blackberry-tinted tights – these are the wardrobe pieces that gorgeous winter portraits are made of! Rich jewel tones and bold shades of berry are the perfect way to brighten up a barren winter landscape. Bonus: You can make as many outfit combinations as you want within this color family! Each shade complements the others beautifully, meaning you can layer (and layer) to your heart’s content.

    And there you have it! Three looks to inspire your senior portrait wardrobe selection. I can’t wait to see the looks you rock during our shoot!

    Your turn to do the talking! Tell me: What’s your go-to winter wardrobe staple?

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

    It’s Thursday, so you know what that means – it’s time for another throwback session! Dan was a class of 2014 graduate from Grapevine Faith Christian School, and he was so easy to photograph! Super personable, easy-going, and fun to be around. Guys aren’t usually over-the-top excited about having their pictures taken, but Dan didn’t seem to mind the experience too much.

    His personality made the shoot a breeze, and I genuinely loved getting to spend time with him and his mom, Lynn. Plus, let’s just state the obvious – he’s so cute! (I can say that because I’m a mom and 15 years older, right?)

    Dan‘s session is proof, guys – senior portraits are actually not a form of torture. They are, however, a wonderful chance for you to step into the spotlight, celebrate all the accomplishments you worked so hard for, and spend a little quality time with mom.

    Need more convincing? Here’s four reasons why quality senior portraits are a MUST for guys. I can’t wait to see you rock your session!

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