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Baby {Sabrina} | Katy, TX Lifestyle Photographer

I just realized, even though I'd announced it on my facebook page, that I had failed to announce it here on my blog! Our second sweet daughter, Sabrina, made her entrance this past Good Friday - the most special Easter blessing we could've asked for! When she was 2 weeks old, she made her modeling debut in Emma Stasko's newborn class at Skye Hardwick's Sweetlight Collective Workshop in Round Top, TX - it was a very special experience to get to be a part of! She's one month old now, and I got some decent sleep last night, so I was finally feeling up to pulling my camera out for a few snaps of my own. Older sister is finally adjusting to sharing mommy, though she has loved her little sister with every fiber of being from the moment she first met her! Today though, she didn't want to come to close to her for any sweet photos, because the other day daddy said that Sabrina smelled like cheese (yes, reflux is an issue with this one...lol), and so of course, that's all Olivia wants to fixate on at the moment...ah, siblings!

We stay in the bedroom all together most of the morning. We watch a lot of TV these days, but such is this season of life. I store up my energy all morning so that I feel good enough to take Olive outside to play with all her neighborhood friends in the afternoons! We've been so blessed to have so many wonderful friends supplying dinner over the past month - I'd truly be lost without all the prayers and help! Thank you so much to everyone who has helped out thus far.

The days truly are so, so, SO long, but the months (and years) so short! I can't believe she's already ONE month old...

Summertime {Sweetness} | Katy, TX Lifestyle Family Photographer

It's summer! And with summer comes everything beautiful in this world - bright, warm sunshine, popsicles, pools, ice cream, bubbles, butterflies, zoo days, splashpads, to name a few. We've been lucky enough to not have any 90 degree days just yet, but that doesn't mean it's not plenty hot and humid outside. Although often sweltering, especially in Houston, there is something magical about summer in Texas. The best memories I have in life are all from various summers spent in Texas. The people, the places, the music, the warmth - every year it all comes flooding back when those high heat days come. I love every second of it. Some people can't stand to be outside in it, but I live for it.

I recently joined a new group full of inspiration for capturing the every day moments in life. With the steaminess we experienced playing outside the other afternoon, I pulled out the kiddie pool and all of our other fun summer toys. After watching Olive play for a bit and having some of the neighborhood kids join in our fun, I was inspired to go grab my camera to capture these very simple yet special moments.

I will admit, I don't always love fully-editing family pictures. I don't know why, but when I'm doing it just for myself, sometimes it can feel tedious. But in looking at these...they were just so beautiful to me, the way she just played paying no attention to anything else around her, just exploring. I enjoyed editing them, and it really served as a reminder to not let my own family's memories get lost along the way; it's worth it, all the effort, to create this art. I truly hope she'll look back on these one day and cherish them.

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Cheers to a wonderful summer ahead! I hope you're all out there having fun with your babies. I leave you now with these bonus images (taken weeks ago but, as I said earlier, having edited two sessions back to back, I was in an editing rut when it came to my own little one) :

Katy, TX Lifestyle Family Photographer | {Spring Struggles}

WOAH! Long time, no see, everyone. The holiday season wound up being far busier than I had ever imagined for us! It seemed, between visiting relatives and weekends in a row of friends visiting us, things didn't start dying down until the end of January! And when they did, my SI Joints decided to flair up with problems again...needless to say, I've been resting quite a bit since then. As hard as it is, I'm still banned from running, but at least I'm improving by the week! Slow progress, but progress nonetheless. I had planned on offering up some easter mini sessions, but I'm still trying to decide if I'm up to the task physically. Currently I'm just taking things day by day! So we'll have to wait and see wink emoticon

I've been itching to get back to photography and after an incredibly stressful week last week with the little one, I decided what better time to pick up my camera again. It was truly one of those weeks where I especially needed to remind myself why (and just how much) I really do love my sweet little nugget, and so I was inspired to bring my camera outside with us during our daily afternoon outdoor play time - and I'm SO glad I did. I ended up snapping some precious pictures of Olive engaged in many of her favorite activities, from hugging and chasing the neighbor's dogs around, to playing with some of the older girls from our cul de sac. I hope you all enjoy them!

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Katy, TX Lifestyle Family Photographer | {New Beginnings}

In case you haven't noticed by now, the name of my business has changed! This change means a lot to me, and it's been weighing on my heavily ever since the month after I had already initially set everything up back in May. I was feeling displeased with a lot of things - my logo, my watermark,  my entire business name, the fact I was a .net address - seriously, everything. And then the PERFECT name came to me. And so many .com addresses were available for it. But I didn't think I would be able to change everything. I mean, I had already set it all up and invested time and energy into getting my name known among friends and family. But over the months, I continued to feel hesitant over posting my business out there for others to see. I was worried about developing myself too greatly when this desire to change it all was weighing on me so heavily. After thinking long and hard about everything, I decided to go through with the change.

This new name means a lot to me. Being an English major and teacher, I've always loved the symbolism behind olive branches and the imagery they invoke for me. Plus, it's bonus that my daughter's nickname is also Olive. But even greater than this is the bible passage regarding how "your children will be like olive branches" around your table. There's much olive branch/tree/plant symbolism throughout the bible actually. Wishing to largely photograph children and families, this Psalm spoke to me in particular, for children are a blessing, a beautiful and flourishing extension of their parents; with everyone gathered around the table, what should be a place of nourishment and bonding, such a beautiful picture of love is painted to me. It's a beautiful thing, and I adore that this new name actually holds real meaning to me. I feel confident with it, confident with my new logo, the fact I have a .COM domain, and in my whole aesthetic that it this name has inspired. I hope you all enjoy it as well. Welcome to the brand new Olive Branch Photography!

What better way to kick off my re-launch than with pictures of Olive! As promised, I did manage to take some pictures of my daughter's birthday party. Now, this party was also basically a joint Oktoberfest party - I have ALWAYS wanted to throw a party like this to kick off fall and we figured since it would mostly be adults at this party anyway, this would be one of our last chances to host something like this before Olivia gets older. Thus, we dubbed it Olitoberfest, and if I do say so myself, it was a very fun party! I really enjoyed decorating for it, however (and I feel like I'm always saying this in every post I write), I did manage to get sick the whole weekend and week before the party! It was truly miserable. I had so much to do during the week that I hadn't planned, as I'd planned to do it over the weekend, but due to illness, everything got pushed back. Therefore, I was so incredibly busy the night-before and day-of, cooking and pulling together the last few details, that I committed a grave sin among photographers...I forgot to charge my camera battery. Yeah. It happened. In the sickly haze, hustling and bustling, hosting duties, etc. I failed to charge my camera battery. Therefore, I did not get anywhere near the amount go pictures I meant to. I also did not get any pictures myself of my daughter eating her first piece of cake, which I'm honestly kind of really upset about. But such is life. At least I was fully present in the moment, and luckily I am a visually-oriented person, therefore the memory is largely etched into my brain. I definitely wish I had some pictures, though...But since I don't, here are the ones I do have. I hope you enjoy.

The birthday girl in her sweet dress. My sweet angel. I also made a ball pit in the pack and play for the other young ones who were coming, and many of them enjoyed it!

These are from the morning after, leisurely enjoying the cool weather outside!

                                         This is her whiney face!

                                         This is her whiney face!

I made most things for the party myself (including the main dishes, beer bread, and truffles). Some of it, like the wreath and OMR letters, I made back in July (and thank God I did, since I got sick before the party)! I love crafting, and I love that I finally have reasons to try new things (for instance, I've always wanted to SOMETHING with preserved moss)! We had pumpkins available to both carve and paint, as well as apple-bobbing. Our was full of so many special friends and family - what houses are meant for! It was amazing to see everyone to have our usually empty house overflowing with love and laughter! In the end I was utterly exhausted, but it was so fun throwing this party and I look forward to all the future ones.

Tomorrow I'll finally get a new session on the blog! A sweet family I photographed this past Monday. I'm eager to post it!

Katy, TX Lifestyle Family Photographer | {Olive Turns One}

My sweet, sweet (and did I mention sweet?) daughter turned one year old today. I cannot begin to tell you how crazy that is for me. Simultaneously, I feel like she's been with me for a lifetime, yet also that she was just born yesterday. It's amazing how much babies change in the first few years...I can't believe on this same day, just one year ago, she was doing nothing but eating and sleeping, and I was getting zero sleep, a tired zombie. Now she's almost walking, talking, playing, laughing, giving me kisses, wanting me to read to her, eating real food, and - best of all - sleeping 11-12 hours a night (AND goes to bed without any fights)! Seriously, she's the best.

Everywhere we go, she always makes at least 3 new friends with her smiling, waving, and laughing at any and everyone; the first thing all strangers tell me is what a sweetheart she is, and then how she's the happiest baby they've ever seen. She teaches me everyday to become more extroverted, as I learn the intricacies of all the small talk I am now forced into thanks to her! 

However, the best thing to happen recently is learning to "give mama a kiss," which means when I ask for it, she will come over and gently put her hands on my head and lean her mouth to my cheek. It's the most precious thing in the world! Truly makes me wish these moments will never end. At our baby class on Tuesday, she was playing with a younger baby who fell over backwards. Olive got an upset look on her face, started squealing and making other upset noises, so concerned. I sat the girl back up and she leaned forward to crawl into her mom's lap, and Olive leaned forward like she does to me, and kissed the girl on her back! How she picked up these social cues I will never know, but it had all the mom's watching completely giddy over how cute that was! I can only hope such sweetness and good nature continue on through toddlerhood! I love my precious girl, and am so looking forward to seeing what the next year has in store!

And of course, who would I be if I didn't start this special day off with a mini session at home? Thus, the 1 year pictures: