Working For Yourself: The New Year.

I’m not sure if you’re aware, but we’re already 1/12 through 2014. It’s almost the end of January and that brings me to an introspective post.

We’re 1/12 through the year, and how are your goals?

I didn’t really publicize what I wanted to do this year. Business-wise, I know I still have a lot of growing to do, and now that the busy season is winding down I’m focusing on making things better for my clients. I’ve sent out feedback forms to past clients, I’m going to update my album line, I’m writing a packet to help clients with their photography needs, and in general I’m trying to make the Elissa R Photography experience a gentle, pleasant one (even more so than now) — something that is calming amidst the sea of wedding-crazy. I’ll reveal those items when they’re ready.

But on a personal front, I’ve been meaning to do more with my day-to-day life. Although I haven’t been posting any Working For Yourself posts in a while, I’m always writing them in my head. It’s very easy for your day-to-day schedule to collapse on itself. The last time we visited this topic, I wrote about how I wished I was… more prolific. It’s so hard to find a good work/life balance and I’m continuously struggling with that. There is always something that needs finishing — and I’ve turned into kind of a workaholic.

At least I can cross off “get out and shoot more personal stuff” off that personal to-do list. A group of photographer friends and I have started a collective of personal work showcased on a weekly blog. We all met a few years ago and have created businesses in all corners of the Northern Hemisphere — Alaska to Texas, California to New York, and even a photographer in Scotland. We call it Western Light and you can follow us on Facebook here and our blog here.

austin

It’s pretty amazing, to see how my ordinary life in Austin looks so extraordinary when elevated with these other ladies’ works. I’m very proud to have met these wonderful, smart women and to show some of my photos (banal as some of my shots may be) alongside theirs. Best yet, it helps me to get out of the house for more than just “errands.” Love of photography is what brought me to this profession in the first place — and it’s nice to revisit that feeling of shooting for leisure, to experiment when there’s nothing riding on the outcome except your own personal exhilaration or disappointment, and to just shoot random things for the hell of it.

I’m still working on the rest of my personal goals, bit by bit. More yoga! More face time with friends (and not the Apple Facetime, but real face-to-face interaction, preferably with cupcakes)! More dates with Walt and less time on the internet! I’m hoping that I can chip away at this and by the end of 2014 we can call this a successful year, in both business and personal relationships.

Annie & Philipp | Vegan Wedding at Mercury Hall

Mercury Hall wedding photos // Elissa R Photography

It’s always a pleasure when a friend asks me to photograph her wedding. Annie and I, along with past clients Leah and Jenn, were in the same WWII studies course at UT together — our “Normandy connection,” I call it. We took all the same classes, wrote papers for the same professors, and at the end of the semester we all went to Europe together to see famous WWII landmarks in France, Great Britain, and Germany. Annie loved the German culture so much that she went back, became a teacher there, and even fell in love while there. So this wonderful wedding, which took place at Mercury Hall, was a mix of languages and cultures and love and Christmas trees — Annie’s American family and Philipp’s German one.

Philipp is a vegan and Annie is a vegetarian, so the wedding was catered to be mostly vegan (but with macaroni and cheese!) by Whole Foods, and the wide assortment of cakes, cookies, and pies were a combination of Capital City Bakery’s vegan delights and Annie’s homemade baking. It was a crisp winter’s night a few days after Christmas so Annie wore a bridal jacket made by The Bridal Tapestry. The wedding was full of DIY handiwork, a breakdancing groom, and love. Here are some of my favorite photos from Annie and Philipp’s wedding.

Vegan wedding shoes // Elissa R Photography Lacy wedding jacket // Elissa R Photography Mercury Hall outdoor pictures // Elissa R Photography Mercury Hall first look // Elissa R Photography First look weddings // Elissa R Photography Groom reaction when first seeing bride // Elissa R Photography Mercury Hall wedding pictures // Elissa R Photography Austin wedding photographer // Elissa R Photography Austin wedding photographer Cat hair pin on bride // Elissa R PhotographyDIY wedding florals // Elissa R PhotographyGerman American wedding Austin // Elissa R PhotographyIndoor ceremony Mercury Hall // Elissa R PhotographyAustin indoor wedding venue // Elissa R PhotographyMercury Hall sunset pictures // Elissa R Photography Vegan wedding in Texas // Elissa R Photography Capitol City Bakery Austin vegan wedding cake // Elissa R Photography Capital City Bakery Austin wedding treats // Elissa R Photography Handmade cake topper with rings // Elissa R Photography International wedding Austin TX // Elissa R Photography Laughing bride and groom // Elissa R Photography Mercury Hall wedding photos // Elissa R Photography Champagne toast Austin wedding // Elissa R Photography Sparkler candle in wedding cake // Elissa R Photography First dance Mercury Hall // Elissa R Photography Father daughter dance by Austin wedding photographer // Elissa R Photography Mother son dance at Mercury Hall by Austin wedding photographer // Elissa R Photography German American wedding in Texas // Elissa R Photography Mercury Hall reception photos // Elissa R Photography Mercury Hall reception photos // Elissa R Photography Mercury Hall reception photos // Elissa R Photography Exiting the wedding with sparklers - Mercury Hall Austin

Austin Wedding Photography | Best of 2013

Here is part 2 of my favorite photos from 2013 weddings! From Maggie and Daniel’s wonderful wedding I photographed within the first week of 2013, to Kara and Michael’s wedding that didn’t end until after the clock struck midnight to welcome in 2014, I had a wonderful time shooting every single one of these weddings. I hope you enjoy this (not-so-short) wrap-up!

(Note: two of these images were taken while I was second shooting for other photographers and are marked as such. Here is a link to Mercedes Morgan; link to Kristi Wright)

Austin brunch wedding photos // Elissa R Photography Huntsville State Park wedding // Elissa R PhotographyEmotional hug on wedding day // Elissa R PhotographyBackyard wedding Texas // Elissa R Photography Puerto Vallarta beach wedding // Elissa R Photography Christian Orthodox wedding service // Elissa R Photography German American wedding in Texas // Elissa R Photography Houston wedding photographer // Elissa R Photography Father daughter dance emotional // Elissa R Photography Awesome ring shot // Elissa R Photography Woodlands Resort and Conference Center wedding // Elissa R Photography Offbeat Texas backyard wedding // Elissa R Photography Horseshoe Bay wedding photos // Elissa R PhotographyAmazing groom first look reaction // Elissa R Photography English American wedding in Texas // Elissa R Photography Beautiful church wedding photo // Elissa R Photography Mercury Hall wedding portraits // Elissa R Photography Chapel Dulcinea wedding Round Rock wedding // Elissa R Photography Cool bride rides in a limo to wedding // Elissa R Photography Cat photobomb wedding photo // Elissa R Photography Happy recessional photos Mercury Hall wedding // Elissa R Photography Puerto Vallarta wedding pictures // Elissa R Photography Beautiful bride getting dressed photo // Elissa R Photography Palm Door wedding first dance // Elissa R Photography Bride crying during wedding toasts // Elissa R Photography Downtown Austin wedding // Elissa R Photography Inn Above Onion Creek wedding picture // Elissa R Photography Mother son dance at Mercury Hall // Elissa R Photography allan house wedding Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center wedding // Elissa R Photography Artistic Austin wedding photos // Elissa R Photography Quail Point Lodge wedding // Elissa R Photography Japanese Jewish wedding Austin // Elissa R Photography Memory Lane Events wedding Chapel Dulcinea elopement photos // Elissa R Photography Austin wedding photographer // Elissa R Photography Barefoot couple in Zilker Park // Elissa R Photography Austin Wildflower Center wedding // Elissa R Photography Mercury Hall reception photos // Elissa R Photography allan house wedding dance