August 28, 2012

The K Family {Austin Family Photographer}

I have known this family since their little guy was just 6 weeks old, and it has been so fun watching these boys grow up.  Little J is the same age as my son, Miles, and I just can't believe they are so grown up already. 

This family won the "Cutest Family Contest" I ran back in January.  We had a wonderful evening session, and I love the colors their mama chose for them to wear.  Here is a sneak peek into our session.

Below is a funny little outtake moment from our session.  Picture on the left: he's thinking, "You want me to do what - photographer lady?!" Top right: "Oh, man... I just need a minute."  Bottom right: the very next image out of my camera.  :)  I love working with kiddos... never a dull moment, and so many cute moments!
To their mama: Congrats on winning "The Cutest Family" contest!  I'm so glad I was able to capture so many sweet smiles of your boys for you to enjoy.  It was great working with the four of you again! 

August 25, 2012

Newborn Before & After {Austin Baby Photographer}

I am sitting here editing portraits with my sweet baby sleeping on my lap.  Perfection.  (Even at 6am on a Saturday morning.)

I wanted to take a minute and show you a before and after.  I adore newborn sessions.  There is such a sense of love, excitement, and the unknown when working with newborns.  I mean, here you have this less than two week old member of a family, but already they are the most loved little being in the world.  It is amazing.  And I am so happy I get to capture those sweet (and very short-lived) moments of tiny-ness that newborns have.  Best part about photography is freezing those moments in time.  Babies change in a matter of days... but you'll always have your portraits to look back on.  Love, love, love.

I know that newborn photography (or any professional photography for that matter) is an investment.  I didn't make that investment when my first child was born.  And I try not to have regrets, but I do regret that.  I just thought we couldn't afford it.  I never asked photographers about payment plans, and I never saved up for it.  I could have done each of those things.  However, I know it was all part of God's plan, as that is one of the major things that started Miles of Smiles Photography.  (See how we started here.)  And for that, I'm forever grateful.  (I just wish I had more sweet images of little Miles when he was tiny!) 

I did make the investment when my second was born.  Let me just tell you - I have never thought twice about the investment, and now that my babies are getting so big, it is one of the best investments I have personally made.  And now that I have professional cameras and lenses, and I'm a photographer, it's safe to say I have gotten a "few" images of my baby girl since she was born.  :)  Every day, I walk past the images displayed throughout my home, and my heart feels a little flutter.  That is worth every penny. 

Here is one example of why to invest in a professional newborn session.  This is just one example of a before and after image.  Newborns have a lot of unique colorations when they are this tiny.  Some parts (feet, hands, etc.) are sort of magenta, sometimes skin tones are a bit orange, skin can be flaky, etc.  So there is a lot of editing required.  Photographers pour hours into detailed editing and making sure to give you little masterpieces in each image they display, but oh how fun it is to create these images for families to enjoy!  How sweet is Miss Lucy?  Love her!

Click here for the rest of her session and family. 

Looking forward to several newborn sessions coming up this fall!  I swear... it is the "year of the girls," because almost all of my clients are having baby girls. 

August 24, 2012

School Portraits for the CDC {Austin Children Photographer}

I had such a great time doing pictures of the 250 children at the Child Development Center this fall! 

Want to get your holiday shopping done early?  This is perfect timing to use these sweet images of your little ones for holiday cards and for gift prints for grandparents, aunts, uncles, and loved ones.  

Helpful information for parents: 
  • Outdoor pictures will be done on Sept. 11, 12, and 13 from 10am-12 noon.  The CDC determines which children go when, so stay tuned for details coming from the CDC.
  • Ordering deadline is October 24th.  This ensures no shipping fee, and that your portraits are ready by mid-November.  You may place orders after that time, but there is a $7 shipping fee (per order) from our lab, and I cannot guarantee such quick turnaround due to my packed calendar of family and child portrait sessions this fall.  
  • The CDC will inform you when the online viewing galleries are ready. Online viewing albums are organized alphabetically by last name.
  • Please be sure you are viewing online gallery with a computer screen (not an iPhone, iPad, etc.), as you may be unable to login from other devices.  If you're viewing from a computer and having any issues, it is most likely due to Internet connection and/or speed.  It is best to view from a computer at a location with high-speed Internet.  If you're still having issues, please contact me at 
  • These will be professional portraits and any purchased images will be fully edited.  Individual portraits are priced differently than group portraits were due to the volume and very detailed editing that goes into processing each final image of the 250 children.
  • The order form and web page with viewing galleries on it will include a lot of helpful details for you.  Order form is online.  Please read it carefully and refer back to it during the ordering process.
  • There will be an a la carte menu (where you can put together your own collection) as well as some package options for you to choose from.    
    • Packages are set and may not be substituted in any way.  (I will be processing over 1,000 images of these sweet kiddos and working with over 100 families in my busiest time of year.  So staying streamlined is the key.)  However, you may add to a package by using the a la carte menu if you need extra prints for loved ones or prints for additional frames in your home.
What to Wear?
  • We will be doing portraits outdoors and using nature as our backdrop.  If the weather does not allow us to be outdoors, we will use a backdrop with brown tones (so avoid dressing your child in brown). 
  • Parents: Morning of - please be sure to wipe your child's face (nose, eyes, mouth) very well.  And then repeat.  :)  
  • If you use these images on holiday cards, choose something that will go along with that. 
  • Visit the "FAQs" page of my web site for more "What to Wear" info.  
 If you are interested in larger wall portraits, 2013 8x10 calendars, or a 10x10 collage, please contact me for details.  These make great gifts for grandparents, frames in your home, etc. - and the calendars look great on your fridge or hanging near your desk in the office.

Calendar Options:
Calendars are 8x10 in size.  Please be sure to specify which images you would like to go in the calendar, as well as the text. 

Option 1: Single Image - Yellow
Option 2: Two Vertical Images - Pink
Option 3: Two Vertical Images - Blue

Sample of a 10x10 collage: (2 vertical images, 2 horizontal images)

    August 23, 2012

    Wildflower Perfection {Austin Children's Photographer}

    To say that everything about this session was perfect would be an understatement.  From the sweet clients to their beautiful dresses to the weather - to the beautiful wildflowers... it was perfect. 

    I met these two little beauties at the 2011 Fourth of July parade in my neighborhood.  I did free photos for families there and enjoyed the adorable (!!) outfits that these two were wearing.  I mean seriously... does it get any cuter than little blue and white outfits and red cowboy boots... x 2?  (Just you wait... it does!) 

    And then in December of 2011, I enjoyed photographing S's 5th birthday party.  Talk about fun... Snip Its did hair and makeup (and lots of glitter) for the kids there, there were dress up clothes galore, and then a red carpet moment to finish it all off.  Amazing!  Click here for that blog post and images. 

    Their mama definitely knows how to dress her beautiful girls.  I had so much fun doing a wildflower mini-session with S & S, and it is one of my favorite sessions to date because of the colors, the sweet story of sisterhood the images tell, and the perfect way these beauties were dressed.  It went so well with the colors of the wildflowers.  (In case you're curious, these dresses are by Matilda Jane.) 

    Enjoy the sweetness.  I can't wait to see the amazing multi-opening boutique frame her mother purchased with these beautiful prints in it.  What a statement that will make in their beautiful home, and what sweet memories these images will bring back every time they walk past it.  Children grow up so quickly, but portraits are forever, and I feel so blessed to get to create special things and custom artwork like this for my clients. 

    To their mama: Thanks so much for being such a wonderful client.  I love working with you and your family, and look forward to our next session.  Your girls are such little beauties - inside and out.

    August 17, 2012

    A Little Miles of Smiles Photography Love from the M Family... {Austin Family Photographer}

    Can I just tell you how incredibly lucky I feel to get to do what I do with photography?  The whole reason I started this business almost two years ago was to have more time with my children, to exercise my creativity through the images I create, and to get to work with wonderful people.  Running a business is a lot of work, but the rewards are. just. incredible. 

    Yesterday was one of those days where everything just clicked.  I enjoyed so many sweet cuddles with my kids, I fit in an amazing workout (my muscles are feeling that one today!), I was checking things off of my work to-do-list, processing client orders, and just movin' and groovin' in my home office.  And then, right before going to bed, I got this email from one of my amazing clients.  It literally brought tears of joy to my eyes because it reconfirmed exactly why I do what I do.  I want to create an experience for my clients... one where they are involved and informed from start to finish.  One where they feel well taken care of from the very first contact they have with me over the phone.  One where they want to come back again.  The M family session goes down in the books as one of my favorites.  Here is what they had to say...

    "I had heard about Miles of Smiles photography through my neighborhood newsletter.  I had been wanting to get a private photographer for pictures of my baby girl turning 1 and a few family photos.  

    I am SO glad that I chose Sarah!  She was very professional through the whole process.  She was always very quick returning emails with questions that I had.  She gave me detailed information on what to expect from the shoot and kept me in on the process from beginning to end.  

    I am very pleased with how the pictures turned out and she did an exceptional job at capturing the best moments.  Looking at the pictures you'd never know that my little one was getting tired and cranky during the cake smash.  Sarah was very patient with our daughter and never gave up to get the perfect shot.  

    I also purchased a frame from her (the multi-image boutique frame) which I received yesterday... I am in love!!!  Great quality frame and worth every penny!  My prints have been ordered and I can't wait to get them in the frame and up on the wall.  I WILL  be ordering more frames in the future and using Sarah again for our next shoot!  Thank you Sarah!!!  I truly consider her one of the best!

    Thanks again :)
    C, N, and O

    August 10, 2012

    Jonah Turns 1! {Austin Children Photographer}

    I had such a great time doing Jonah's newborn portraits last year.  (Click here for all that cuteness...)  I cannot believe he's already one!  We had such a fun session, and ended it with an all out cake smash.  He was so cute as he started digging into his cake.  He kept looking at his mom and dad with this look on his face like, "Are you guys sure I can do this?!"

    And now they will have a large wall print of this looking back at them to remember all the cuteness!  

    Sweet Maternity {Austin Maternity Photographer}

    I love maternity sessions.  I love everything they symbolize... The beauty of a baby bump, the miracle that a growing life is inside a woman's body, and the love the parents already feel for the baby even before it is born.

    This maternity session was no different.  Beautiful mama-to-be, her loving husband, a sweet baby bump and lots of laughs during our session.  K is a nurse practitioner at the OBGYN offices I have my portraits hanging (in the exam rooms), so it was fun hearing some of the comments she's gotten from her patients there about the sweet images on the walls.  (And how they make waiting in the exam rooms a little more fun!)

    It is a good thing we did this session when we did... as Baby E was born the very next day!  So glad that they will have beautiful maternity portraits to look back on as they cuddle their baby boy.  Congratulations, C Family!

    I am loving the golden light from the setting sun!  This is why they call it "The Golden Hour!"

    August 07, 2012

    Tip of the Month: Just Shoot It! {Austin Family Photographer}

    Who doesn't want to take better pictures of their kids?  True... many times it seems when something photo-worthy is happening, our camera is in the farthest room in the house.  Or maybe we never hop in the pictures with our kids because our hair is never done.  (I'm guilty!)  But the truth is, in the digital age we are in right now, we have the ability to shoot, shoot, and shoot some more without having to process every image we take.  My kids have taught me so much about life and love, but they have taught me so much about photography too!

    Every month in my email Newsletter, I will be including a tip on taking better pictures of your kids.  This has been a popular theme, and I think it will be fun sharing some things like this.  If you are not currently  on my monthly Newsletter list and would like to be, shoot me an email and I'll be sure to add you.  (Newsletter fans are the first to know about mini-session specials, big deals, and more.)  

    Tip #1 is simple.  Just shoot it!  And then shoot some more. 
    Taking good images is like most other things in life... the more you practice - the better you get.  You wouldn't expect to pick up a basketball and immediately be able to score 30 points a game.  Same goes for your camera.  Hours of practice will equal huge improvements over time.

    First of all, dust off that camera manual and commit to spending just one hour with it.  Yes, that little booklet that came along with your camera.  Trust me... that one hour can teach you so many little things and tricks that your camera is equipped to do.  Whether you have a point and shoot camera or a DSLR... Those things can equal huge improvements in your images.  It will be an hour well spent.  Promise.  

    Secondly, just shoot it!  Get out there and start shooting images with your camera.  Here is a neat checklist of images to capture of your kids to get you started.  Happy photographing!  (And mamas: Do me a favor and hop in on some of these shots... you'll be glad you did!)

    Stay tuned to my September newsletter for Tip #2.

    Click on the image to enlarge.

    3rd Birthday Cake Smash! {Austin Children Photographer}

    I have so enjoyed the cake smash sessions I've done lately!  May seemed to be "maternity month," June was "newborn month," and July seemed to be "cake smash month!"  Ah... I love my job.  Never a dull moment. 

    Cake smashes are fun for so many reasons... they are messy, out of the ordinary, and they celebrate such an important milestone in your child's life.  (Best part: You don't have to clean up any of the mess!)  First birthday cake smashes are the most common, but they are certainly not limited to one-year olds!  Here is one of my favorite little guys enjoying his cake smash.  He talked about it all week before our session and couldn't wait to dig in (literally!) to that cake.  Enjoy the sweetness...

    Here is an example of an 11x14 or 16x20 collage that I offer as part of my professional print options for clients.   (Colors and text are fully customizable.)   

    Check out my gallery for some other sweet images.

    (Collage print for clients is not watermarked as the one above is.)

    August 06, 2012

    4 Months of Love {Austin Baby Photographer}

    Words cannot even express how much I adore this baby girl, her cute little chunks, and those sparkling blue eyes.  Isn't she lovely?!

    August 02, 2012

    The W Family {Austin Newborn Photographer}

    To say I enjoyed every minute of this session would be an understatement.  I was able to do this couple's anniversary portraits in early 2011, and then their maternity session in May (click here).  We wanted to get some "after" shots to go along with a few of the maternity shots we captured, so they scheduled a mini-session to get that done.

    For true newborn photography, mini-sessions (30-minutes) are not a possibility, because in order to get those "sleepy baby shots," it is best to have a session done by the time baby is 2 weeks old.  And a true newborn session takes anywhere from 1.5-3 hours due to baby's schedule, need to feed, and the time it takes to get baby to sleep during poses.  By 2 weeks of age, the baby starts waking up a bit more compared to the 5-10 day olds who sleep a lot.

    But - if you have a new baby and didn't get your session done in that 5-14 day old timeframe, you can absolutely still get wonderful images of your new addition while they are still tiny!

    Here is an example of a baby that was 5 weeks old.  She was pretty alert, but I love the fact that her eyes are open and she's interacting a lot with her parents in these images.  What a little beauty!  If you can believe it, this was a 30-minute mini-session!  I had things lined up and ready, and we got priceless memories captured on camera for her mom and dad to enjoy always.

    Sneak peek into our session...

    Shots like the one below are totally "ah hah" moments for me in this business.  I adore them because they show the true tiny-ness of a newborn, and we all know that doesn't last long!  Our photographer got one of me and my sweet baby girl this spring, and I will always cherish it.

    And this is what the sweet baby's mama sent to me after the session.

    "Oh my! Sarah you are absolutely AMAZING! Our morning had been totally crazy before we arrived, but you made sure that our shoot was calm and FUN.

    Plus, I was SUPER impressed with the variety of shots you accomplished in such a short time, and that my less than cooperative little one didn't phase you a bit.

    Thank you SO much for capturing these precious family moments for us- I can't wait to display more of your beautiful work in our home.
    Again, thank you thank you THANK YOU!"


    August 01, 2012

    Head Shots... 18 Years Later

    This hard working professional emailed me and said she was looking for a few head shot images.  She had been working in Austin for over 18 years and had never gotten a head shot taken.  I told her I knew just the person to end that 18 year streak!  :)

    It is so good for everyone (no matter what their profession) to have at least one good head shot in their file to use with their online profiles (Facebook, Linkedin, etc.), their professional things, or just to have in case. Need a head shot?  Contact us for details.  They are quick and easy.  Promise!

    The W Family {Austin Family Photographer}

    One of my favorite things about being a photographer is having the pleasure of watching families grow.  Watching a couple become first-time parents.  Watching their first baby become a big brother or big sister.  The love that grows in those situations is like no other. 

    Being a mom of an almost 3-year old an infant, I know very well the anticipation of meeting your new baby, how you feel immediate and unwavering love toward that baby the moment it is laid in your arms, and how much joy little ones bring to your days.  I also know how much looking back on images of your tiny baby means, and how it continues to melt your heart years after their birth. 

    I remember meeting Amy a few years ago and shortly after having lunch with her.  We were both new moms, both working full time at the university, and both starting our own businesses.  As we spoke, it was clear that our vision was the same... we were pursuing something we knew in our hearts was what we were meant to do - to have more time with our children in the future and run our own businesses.  It has been amazing watching her grow her business (Wolfgang Career Coaching) and most recently, watching her grow her beautiful family.  And it is neat to look back on that day we had lunch and know that we are both now living out that vision. 

    I loved our session, and the sweet images we captured for their little family to cherish forever.  This, my friends, is why I do what I do.  To get portraits like these up on people's walls, and to get to have more time with my own little munchkins in the process.  So grateful...