May 30, 2012

Wildflower Weekend Mini-Sessions = HUGE Savings!

Let me start out by saying - I love bluebonnet photos.  I really do.  And I drooled over the beautiful bluebonnet shots the photogs I follow got this season.  (I was sad to miss bluebonnet minis, but I was busy having a little wildflower of my own, new baby Avah.)  But I also feel like everyone and their dog (me included - see bottom of this post) has bluebonnet photos.  And I think that the wildflowers out right now are even more beautiful than the bluebonnets because of all the greens, yellows, reds, and oranges! 

And who knows when we'll ever have another spring this rainy to provide all of these amazing colors.  Something tells me it could be awhile. 

This morning I went for a run with my kiddos in the double stroller, and we were pretty much in a field (on a path) in the middle of thick wildflowers admiring their beauty.  And then I realized, "Why not have a Wildflower Weekend of mini-sessions?!"

SO... here is the deal.  Spots are limited. A deal like this won't come again for a long time.  So jump on it and get amazing and colorful portraits of your sweet family and/or children for those walls!

Perfect for families, couples, maternity, etc!  Price includes up to 6 people. 

Option 1: $200    15 minute mini-session.  3 digital high resolution images. (See extra credit below.)
(Tip: Unless you qualify yourself as a do-it-yourselfer, choose option 2.  You'll be very glad you did.)

Option 2: $275 (A $340 value!)  15 minute mini-session.  3 digital high resolution images.  (See extra credit below.)  PLUS the following prints: One 5x7, one 8x10 AND one 10x10 collage (see below for samples).

WHEN: Saturday, June 2nd   15 minute time slots between 8am-9:30am and 7pm-8pm
              -or- Sunday, June 3rd  15 minute time slots between 8am-9am
WHERE: South Austin (Near Mopac and Slaughter Ln.)
WHY: Great deal, we love our family and kiddos, and who knows when these colors will be back!

Extra Credit: If you get a friend to book a session (has to be a new client), you get 2 FREE digital images added to your package!  (A $200 value!)  Friend has to "Like" us on Facebook, book a session, and mention your name on his/her paperwork.  And wallah!  You get 2 free digital files.  Sweet!  

10x10 collages

 And just to show my first point of this blog post, here ya go.  :)

May 28, 2012

Mama Mondays: Babies Grow So Quickly... {Miss A's First Two Weeks}

If there is one thing I have learned from being a mom, it is that babies do not stay babies for long.  Before you know it, the baby that was just having a kickboxing party in your belly at 2am is walking out the door wearing his backpack and headed to preschool.  The newborn that you kissed and said, "I love you" to is now giving you bear hugs and saying in a sweet but silly voice as you exit the room at bed time, "I love you too, Mommy."

This is one of the reasons that I absolutely love being a photographer.  Not only do I know how important (not to mention fun!) it is to document those things in my own children's lives... but I also get to help other mamas like me do the same.  Professional portraits last a lifetime, and I just love being behind the camera lens to capture life's little moments that we don't want to forget.

Here is a little glimpse of Miss A's life from 0-2 weeks.  My camera has been very busy around here.  (Click to enlarge.)

May 24, 2012

New Product: 16x20 Collages

I am excited to announce a new product!  These 16x20 collages are perfect for maternity shoots, a child's birthday session, a newborn session, and/or family session.  They are even great for Seniors! 

Here are just two samples.  Please visit our Packages & Products page for pricing info.

Austin Senior Photographer {Elegant Emily}

Oh to be young, blonde, and have these beautiful blue eyes!  Emily was so sweet to work with, and she was an incredible Senior Rep(resentative) for my "Seniors by Sarah Jordan" program.  (I will be looking to fill a few more Senior Rep spots this fall, so if you have anyone that might make a great rep, have them contact me.)

We had a lot of fun during the shoot, and got so many different looks for her to enjoy.  There were also many laughs (you wouldn't believe what a photographer can balance and hold in order to block the sun and get a stunning shot!) and Emily totally rocked "the fierce" look as we called it.  Enjoy a tiny peek into our session!

To Emily: Thanks for being such an incredible Senior Rep!  And for all the laughs during the session.  Wishing you loads of success in your future!

May 23, 2012

3 of My Passions: Family, Fitness, & Photography

(This post was written in 2012.)

Three big passions in life for me are family, fitness, and photography.  It has always been my dream to weave the three of those things together into my job one day.  Sometimes I have to pinch myself, because after many years of working very hard toward that goal, and different paths God has led me down, I really feel like I am starting to live that dream.  And I am so grateful. 

Let's start at the beginning...

I adore my family.  Growing up, I was raised in a loving home where my parents really taught my brothers and I the value of hard work, loving Jesus, and loving each other.  I hope that I am half the parent that they were to me.  And now as an adult, I am so fortunate to be married to the love of my life, and we have two "little loves of my life" running around.  (Well, one is running, and one is just working on neck control as a tiny infant.) 

I have been active for as long as I can remember.  I grew up on a little farm in the Midwest with two older brothers, no fences (except for the animals), and lots of room to run.  I raised pigs, sheep, horses, cats, dogs, and lots of other animals.  And I even ran my own rabbit business... raising and selling bunnies to kids (as pets... not as dinner) in my tiny little corner of the Midwest.  So I guess my entrepreneurial spirit started at a very young age!

My brothers and I were always moving.  Even in the snow!  And we always had some kind of sport going on.  I had to be fit - just to try and keep up with them!  I played and excelled in 4 sports in high school, and sports were pretty much my life back then.  When I got to college, I started teaching fitness classes and personal training (way back in the late 90s!) and got nationally certified through the American Council on Exercise (ACE) in both areas.  I have been doing both ever since.  

I did a graduate assistantship at the University of Kentucky, and started the group fitness program there.  Then I moved to Austin and the University of Texas to coordinate the Fitness/Wellness Program at the Division of Recreational Sports.  I enjoyed coordinating that program (one of the largest fitness programs in the country) from 2004-2011 and then realized I needed to find something that allowed me more time with my son, Miles (and now my baby girl, Avah).

Out of my love for fitness, I started a little business named "Live Fit Austin."  I did limited personal training sessions, and then started leading some women's outdoor fitness classes.  Out of my need to incorporate my son into workouts in order to make them happen (mamas - you feelin' me?!), and my enjoyment of meeting other moms, I started WalkFit classes in my neighborhood in South Austin.  It's a super fun way for women (and babes in strollers!) to get out of the house, show our babies that moving is marvelous, and just enjoy time together with other moms while getting a great workout.  (Babies are not required... but they are certainly welcome.)  I also taught at Lifetime Fitness.

Because my photography business and my kiddos have kept me so busy since 2012 (which I'm so excited about!), I am not currently leading any of these but I hope to get back to teaching at Lifetime Fitness in the near future.

After a lot of hard work and long (long!) hours educating myself and becoming "Jack of all trades" in building my business, Miles of Smiles Photography was born... Inspired by tiny little Miles, a deep desire for a more balanced work/life situation, and a lifetime of loving photography and having a creative brain for it.

Flashback to little farm-girl-Sarah... I used to take portraits of my animals, landscapes, etc. and enter them into the county fair every year.  And I was always the "girl with the camera."  (Some people carry a wallet... I usually carried a camera!  Too bad cameras weren't so compact back in those days!)

Photography has always been a constant in my life.  And now, more than ever - I love the way that photography allows me to exercise my creativity.  To have an idea or thought and put it in motion during a photo shoot - and then give my clients sweet portraits and fine art products capturing those special moments... That is my "it" moment.  Miles of Smiles Photography was officially "born" in October 2010, and I feel so blessed to get to do this for a living, and now as my main job in addition to being a mom.  I cannot wait to see where God leads it from here.

And something tells me that little Miles (click here) might just grow up with a camera in his hand, too!  Makes my heart so happy to watch him do his "photo shoots."

So jump on the family-fitness-photography train.  It's going to be a fun ride!

May 21, 2012

Austin Senior Photographer {Awesome Abi}

If I were ever to be young again, I swear - I would want this gal's energy and charisma.  Abi is awesome... to put it plainly, and she was one heck of a Senior Rep(resentative) for my new "Seniors by Sarah Jordan" program!  She has a great head on her shoulders, loves Jesus, teaches Zumba (and packs her classes like you wouldn't believe), and has such a great zest for life.

I had so much fun doing her senior portraits in downtown Austin and capturing her personality on camera.  I love all of the colorful backgrounds we were able to find!  And I have to say - I felt "hip" for just a second, because she had never been to this beautiful and trendy part of downtown Austin. 

To Abi ~ I had a blast working with you.  You are a shining star, and I wish you all the very best!

May 10, 2012

Mama-To-Be Vanja {Austin Maternity Photographer}

I had such a fun afternoon with Miss Vanja doing her maternity portraits!  It was my first session back after 5 weeks of maternity leave, and I was happy to (officially) be behind the camera lens again. 
(My camera has been quite busy the last 5 weeks with baby girl's arrival!)

May must be "maternity month," as I have three maternity sessions this month!  I love it... baby bumps and babies everywhere.  I had never met Vanja before, but by the time she left, I felt like I had known her for awhile.  Much longer than just an hour!  :)

She is a tennis star and loves the Longhorns, so of course we had to incorporate some "Longhorn love" and burnt orange into this shoot.  I love the way they turned out! 

May 07, 2012

Mama-to-Be Sam {Austin Maternity Photographer}

Maternity sessions are quickly becoming one of my all time favorites to do these days.

Perhaps because I just went through pregnancy myself... Perhaps because the idea of a perfectly forming little life inside of a beautiful woman inspires me... Perhaps because I know the immense blessing that children are.  It is such a crazy, fun, emotional, empowering, exhausting phase of life all wrapped up into 9 months, and I love when people want to capture that on camera to look back on when their babies arrive... and when their babies go to Kindergarten... and graduate from college. 

I love them.  And this maternity session definitely ranks up there with my all time favorite shoots.  We did it all... studio shots, silhouettes, and my favorite... wildflowers!  Enjoy a sneak peek of this beautiful mama-to-be (for the 3rd time!).  She is a beauty, and no doubt her baby girl will be too.  

Mama Mondays: A Little Photographer in the Making!

There are so many things about being a mom to my "littles" that brings me unexplainable joy. 

And one of them is when Miles picks up his toy camera, and very seriously / down to business starts taking pictures of things with it. 

Today, we headed to the peacock park, and the first thing he did was tromp all around the park taking pictures of the colorful dudes.  It was priceless.  I wish you could have heard him...  It went a little something like this.  "Peacock!  MOM - a peacock!!  HIIIIIII Mr. Peacock!  Hold still - I have to take a picture of you.  Cheeeeeeeese!"  Something like that.  My heart is officially melted.

Happy Monday, ya'll!  Anyone have any child/camera stories?  I'd love if you commented on my Facebook page in the post with this blog link. 

Sizing up his client before the photo session...
 Checking his lighting and settings...
 Following Mr. Peacock... photo-journalistic style.  :)

Getting his macro shot of the colorful tail... 
 Powering down after the session...

May 02, 2012

Before & Afters... DIY Project: Fabulous Frame

I know it's a little strange to say "I had time to do some DIY projects the first few weeks after my baby was born."  But... I had time to do some DIY projects the first few weeks after my baby was born!  :)  Click here for a few other projects I have done recently. 

Thanks to my mom, that is.  She was here helping out for a month, which came in very handy!

I love my subdivision's once a year community garage sale.  There were hundreds of sales, and my mini-van and I hit the roads at 8am to scope them out.  Oh ya... and Miss Avah came with me.  4 weeks of age is a good time to start teaching your child the value of garage sale prices, right?

As I was about to head home, I saw this frame at a sale and had to pull over.  The guy had several frames similar to this, and some even much larger than this one (mine is big... 20x24).  I asked him what he used them for.  (They had corkboard and then fabric stretched over them... the PERFECT bulletin board for an office!)  He said he used to run a furniture business, and he had these professionally done so that they could use them for their design process.  Score!!

I knew in my mind that this golden hue would very quickly be replaced with my favorite turquoise color... "Peacock Feather."  It was only a matter of time... and now it is hanging next to my computer in my office - in all of its glory.  (It's covered in "to do lists" by now, but it is still glorious!)