May 29, 2011

Cool Clouds

I have always had a fascination with clouds.  Especially cool formations right before a storm and as I'm in an airplane flying above them.

I took this about a month ago when a big storm was coming through.  Too bad it didn't even rain where we lived.  :)

The B Family {Austin Family Photographer}

What a lovely morning in one of my favorite Austin neighborhoods!  When Eric and I were first married, we lived in our fourplex in this neighborhood and used to enjoy looooong walks all through the area.  Little did we know, we used to walk right by this family's house!

This family was just cute all around, from the littlest member, "Mr. O" - to their adorable two year old "Miss S" - to the family dog, Charlie.  Here are a few photos from our session.  More over at the "Miles of Smiles Photography by Sarah" facebook page. 

Community Changes Lives

Every month, I write an article for approximately 30-60 community newsletters for Austin, San Antonio, Houston, and Dallas areas.  Usually the topic is on health and fitness, but the article I wrote for June newsletters was about ways to plug into your community.  Here it is.

(For previous health and fitness articles, visit my blog at and look for "Articles by Sarah" under "Categories" on the right.)  

Community Changes Lives
by Sarah S. Jordan, MS

In late April, I was fortunate enough to be a small part of an incredible event in my neighborhood called “BBQ4JD.”  (Click here.)  The theme on the back of the event t-shirts read “Community Changes Lives,” and I don’t think any other words could have summed it up better than those three words did. 

What I witnessed was a large community coming together to support a child and family with love, donations, many hugs, and ongoing prayers.  I could not believe how many people, children, volunteers, and businesses came out to contribute their time, energy, and love to the event.  It definitely showed the true colors and generosity of this neighborhood and the wonderful people that live here. 

I have lived in this neighborhood for almost two years, and have to say that I feel very fortunate to be part of such a great community.  Through family time at the pool on weekends, attending business networking meetings, offering free women and stroller fitness classes, attending holiday events, and volunteering at a few things, great connections have been made and a large community feels much smaller to me. 

This got me thinking… what are some ways that we can all get more plugged into our neighborhoods?

Here are some great ways to do just that.

Volunteer.  Neighborhoods / communities put on so many great events throughout the year, and there are always volunteer opportunities and ways to get more involved. 

Donate.  If you own a business or have a product that could be helpful to an event or silent auction, donate your time and/or an auction item.  As they say, you have to give in order to receive, and there is so much to be gained in the spirit of giving to others.  I cannot tell you how many incredible people I have been fortunate enough to meet through the giving of my time and services. 

Read the community newsletter each month.  A great deal of time and energy is spent in creating those newsletters, and they are a great way to stay updated on what is happening around you and to connect with the members, events, and local businesses in your community.

See if your neighborhood does email announcements, and if they do, sign up for them.  They are really helpful, keep you connected to events coming up, and they usually never overfill your inbox.  If you live in Circle C, visit to sign up.

Get moving together.  Start a running or walking group.  Plan a fun run/walk for parents and their children in your area to promote being active. 

Find people with similar interests and join or form a group, whether that is a book club, moms group, or business-networking group.  So much is gained from partnerships and networking.

Welcome newcomers.  Within a day or two of moving in, one of my neighbors had already showered us with free ice cream coupons to his shop.  And other neighbors had already given us their cell phone numbers in case we needed anything.  A little bit goes a long ways in making people feel welcome. 

Plan a potluck for your neighbors on your street once a year.  Food + Families =  Fun!

If you're out running or walking, be sure to smile and maybe even wave at other people you pass.  It sure makes the world seem more friendly when people do this.  I suppose you can take the girl out of the Midwest, but you can't take the Midwest out of the girl...

What ever you find to work for you and your family in getting involved, may you find immeasurable enjoyment from your efforts.       

May 26, 2011

Mr. O Turns Two {Austin Children's Photographer}

When I first met O's mama in a fitness class I taught weekly at Pure Austin downtown, I think I knew we would be friends.  And when she quietly came up to me before class one day and told me she was pregnant, I was so excited for her! 

Pretty soon, she and I both had pretty round bellies and then we both had baby boys! 

Mr. O is so darn cute.  I'm not sure what is cuter... his big blue eyes, beautiful blonde curls, or the stylish way his mama dresses him.  It was so fun doing their photo shoot in a  place where they (and Miles and I) spend so much time exercising and adoring our beautiful city! 

Here are more shots from our day.  Many more over at the "Miles of Smiles Photography by Sarah" facebook page.

May 20, 2011

Having one of those days...

I am having one of those days where I am almost overflowing with giddiness and gratitude for the creativity that God has given my brain.  And for the opportunity to be on this journey of photography and to get to experience all of the joy that comes along with it. 

SO much more to talk about from the sweet session we had this morning, but here is a sneak peek.  More coming soon.  And lots of sneak peeks over at the "Miles of Smiles Photography by Sarah" facebook page!

May 18, 2011

The C Family {Austin Family Photographer}

What a beautiful Friday afternoon in one of the most beautiful spots in Austin!  The C family was so much fun to work with.  Big brother was so helpful in getting his little brother to sit and look at the camera, and it was just a super fun shoot! 

Little brother just turned two on Saturday... Happy Birthday!  I cannot believe my own little man will be turning two in just three months. 

Follow us on Facebook and see more shots over at the "Miles of Smiles Photography by Sarah" facebook page.  Enjoy!

Miles of Smiles Photography World

There are so many fun things happening around the Miles of Smiles Photography world!  Things are busy, busy, busy, and I could not be any more grateful to my amazing clients than I am right now.  I feel so blessed to get to love what I do and to be able to share it with others.  And their support and feedback is so amazing and truly drives me. 

Last week, my blogging work was all "girl," (click here) and since then I have worked with two families that each had two boys! 

Saturday morning, I enjoyed doing a shoot for the P family at a beautiful home right on the shores of Lake Austin.  Here are a few shots to enjoy.  More over at the "Miles of Smiles Photography by Sarah" facebook page!

May 11, 2011

Baby G = Gorgeous {Austin Newborn Photographer}

I cannot even tell you how much I enjoyed Baby G's photo shoot last month.  She was the perfect baby... sleepy, and not objecting to the hats and tutus that I brought along.

She is such a perfect reminder of how perfect God's plan is.

Get ready for some absolute sweetness.  I think these pictures gave me a little bit of "baby fever."

More pics over at "Miles of Smiles Photography by Sarah" facebook page.  

May 10, 2011

How to Get the Shot...

I love this shot that I got of Miles a few weeks ago, because it is "so him." 

He LOVES dirt, and he loves saying "I'm a dirty dog!" when he's dirty.  So every time I see this photo in the frame on my stairway, I just smile.  (And of course he says, "I'm a dirty dog!") 

My sweet friend, Jessica, who helped me do photos at the event we were at, just happened to snap a photo of me taking the picture.  I thought it was interesting, because it really shows what Miles' dad, mom, and papa were trying to do to get him to look and smile, as well as what a little editing can do to enhance a shot. 

May 09, 2011

Mother's Day Surprise! Part I...

I cannot tell you how excited I have been to post these!  But I couldn't do it immediately, or it would ruin the Mother's Day surprise that these little gals and their daddy gave their (very) hard workin' mama!

I wish that I could have been a fly on the wall in their house when she opened her photo presents on Mother's Day! 

Mother's Day Surprise... Part II

Here is part II of the twin's Mother's Day surprise.  Are these gorgeous little girls or what?

Believe it or not, but with much practice and daddy's hands, we got six feet to stay still for this shot! :)

Mother's Day Surprise... Part III

Part III of the Mama's Day surprise!  This daddy sure does love his ladies...

May 08, 2011

Mother's Day

I hope that all of you hard workin' mamas out there had an incredible day today!  You certainly deserve it.

There was a moment today when I was holding my son close and looking at him - just amazed that two years ago, I only knew "of" him... I didn't know him.  (It was hard not to know "of" him because of all of the kicks and punches he was throwing in my belly!)

And tears of joy come to my eyes when I think about the incredible amount of laughter and love that little Miles has added to our lives.  And all of the countless ways that he has - and continues to inspire me. 

I am so very lucky to be this little guy's mama.

May 06, 2011

Camera Critters

People often ask me how I get children to smile.  They swear up and down that they try and try to get good pics at home... but their kids don't smile for them like they do when I come around to photograph a session.  But that is why you hire a photographer, right?  The work is done for you, and if you're like me - you like to get in the frame once in awhile to get great photos of you with your child(ren)... instead of always being behind the camera.

Here are a few of my "secrets."
1) I am new to them.  Trust me... I don't get my own (very active almost 2-year old) to sit still and smile all that often myself.  But when new people are around, he is more likely to hold a pose just long enough for his mama to click her shutter button and get a great shot.

2) I have a "Camera Critter" on my lens that looks like a very popular red character on TV.  I cannot tell you HOW great this is... not only do the kids recognize him, but they LOOK at him while I photograph them.  It's funny... in every shoot with children, I get several shots of the kid(s) pointing at the camera, because I always ask them, "Where is Elmo?" and they laugh and point and say "THERE HE IS!"  Too cute.  I love my job...

  3) My last secret is that I have a tiny sweet candy treat in my camera bag that I reward the children with (pending their parents' approval, of course) for smiles. (And I usually sing some funny songs, dance some funny dances, etc.  Smiles are worth the work!)

BBQ4JD Event Pics {Austin Event Photographer}

I loved every minute of being at and photographing the BBQ4JD event last Friday, April 29th.  And I got to spend an hour and a half with BEVO himself... he is so cool! 

I have to say... the slogan on the back of the event t-shirts could not have said it any better... COMMUNITY CHANGES LIVES.  I am so blessed to be part of such an amazing community that comes together to support each other.  The Hartmans are incredible, and this event was a great tribute to them and to JD, and to how much people are supporting and praying for them.

A special thanks to my sweet assistant, Jessica, for helping to take great photos of the event!