Jessica & Ezra | Pflugerville Engagement Session

Pflugerville engagement photographer // Elissa R Photography

So, four years ago (give or take a few weeks) I married into an awesome family. Next June, Jessica is going to marry into it as well! This is Ezra (Walt’s cousin) and his sweet fiancée Jessica. They’ve known each other for forever and were high school sweethearts. Ezra proposed in a copy of Spindle’s End, which does not surprise me since his parents are both teachers. This is the first time I’ve ever heard of a book used as a proposal, and it makes me so happy. A few of my favorites from our session together…

Snuggly couple under a tree // Elissa R PhotographyEngagement session portraits in Pflugerville // Elissa R Photography Austin wedding photographer // Elissa R Photographyblack-and-white engagement session pictures // Elissa R Photography Wide artistic engagement shot // Elissa R PhotographyBooks included in an engagement session // Elissa R Photography Ezra proposed with a book - interesting ways to propose // Elissa R Photography

I’m so excited to see them get married next June!

Brynn & Bryan | Austin Wedding at Palm Door

Austin wedding photography // Elissa R Photography

Dear friends: This is Brynn and Bryan. I feel strangely compelled to tell you a million bits about this wedding. Like the fact that Brynn steamed her dress all night in the hotel shower and it was still damp that morning, so she and her bridesmaids had to blow-dry it before Brynn could put it on. Like Brynn made her own cape necklace and her mother hand-beaded every glittering jewel on her headband. Like how Bryan was smiling the entire day. Like how guests were trying out how to pour wine in their mouths with the interesting wine jug and there were a ton of remarks about how they were glad it wasn’t red wine. Like the amazing food served by Pink Avocado and the interesting French wedding pastries, the croquembouche. Like how we worried it would rain and it held off for the entire night, and then the sky opened up and rained so hard that ACL Sunday was canceled.

It was seriously an amazing time. This is just a taste of the awesomeness that transpired that humid October night…

bride getting ready // Elissa R Photography artistic wedding photography // Elissa R Photography friends dressing the bride // // Elissa R Photography Limo ride to the church // Elissa R Photography Sweet moment before wedding ceremony // // Elissa R Photography Bride enters Central Christian Church in Austin // Elissa R Photography Groom's reaction as he sees his bride walk down the aisle // Elissa R Photography Wedding ceremony at Central Christian Church Funny moment during wedding ceremony // Elissa R Photography Wedding kiss // Elissa R Photography Classic ring shots // Elissa R PhotographyGorgeous bridal shot // Elissa R Photography Just married couple in limo // Elissa R Photography Bride reapplies lipstick in limo // Elissa R Photography KA Events Centerpieces // Elissa R PhotographyPalm Door wedding setup // Elissa R Photography Pink Avocado catering Austin TX // Elissa R Photography Pink Avocado is delicious // Elissa R Photography Vows wedding dress - Boston // Elissa R PhotographyBrenizer method pano in downtown Austin // Elissa R Photography Beautiful wedding couple photo // Elissa R Photography Downtown Austin blue wall // Elissa R PhotographyDowntown Austin wedding portraits // Elissa R Photography First wedding dance at Palm Door // Elissa R Photography First dance kiss at Palm Door // Elissa R Photography Father daughter dance // Elissa R Photography Mother son dance // Elissa R Photography Step-parents dance // Elissa R Photography Poor Cava // Elissa R Photography Reception at Palm Door // Elissa R PhotographyFun wedding reception photos // Elissa R PhotographyArtistic wedding photos // Elissa R Photography Hilarious wedding reception photos // Elissa R Photography Poor cava at wedding reception // Elissa R Photography Dancing at Palm Door wedding reception // Elissa R Photography Awesome people dancing at a wedding reception // Elissa R Photography Palm Door event space // Elissa R Photography ATX DJ rocking a wedding reception // Elissa R Photography Newlyweds snuggle on dance floor // Elissa R Photography

More credits: Central Christian Church & Palm Door; Pink Avocado catering; ATX DJ; La Patisserie by Luxe SweetsRhea McCarter for makeup; Big as Texas Limos; K&A Artistic Events for florals

Thinking Like a Client | 4th Year Anniversary (Personal)

Every year, for our anniversary, I’ve made it my personal mission to make sure that Walt and I get professional photos taken of ourselves. Our first anniversary, we couldn’t afford a photographer, so I took a few with a tripod and a remote. (They weren’t that great.) Year two, we hired Nessa K (our wedding photographer) and it was an amazing experience. Year three, we hired Brittany Esther who flew in from Canada, and that was also wonderful. Walt does not like having his photo taken, but because I insist on it, and because I don’t ask for anything else — no jewelry, no baubles, no fancy dinners, no cards — he obliges. This year, I thought we’d do something a little different; give him a little reprieve. I thought it would be fun to have just my photo taken and given to him as a gift. He would reap all the rewards of the photos without having to sit through them!

And so the idea of my boudoir session was born. I’d always wanted to have a boudoir session done; the seed has been growing ever since I discovered that women hired boudoir photographers for pre-wedding sessions to gift to their spouses after their big day. The idea had been brewing for a long time, and only until this year did all the pieces come together:

  1. I signed up for a one-day “workshop” in New York, sort of spontaneously, for September (our anniversary is in October)
  2. One of my friends had an apartment in SoHo that would be the perfect spot for a session
  3. I know a lot of NY/NJ photographers and was able to hire one that I trusted to see me declothed

While having professional photos of our relationship is a good enough reason to have an anniversary session every year, I also like to do this because I hunt for a new photographer every time. There is so much talent in this world — heck, even in this city — that I want us to be photographed by as many of them as possible. I have a wish list the length of my arm! And because I haven’t been shot by them before, it’s always a learning experience to talk to them as a client would, to actually shop like a client would, and to experience being on the other side of a lens like a client would.

That is why I do it: for photos, and also to remember what it feels like to be the client. The jitteriness! The anticipation! Picking out the outfit, choosing the right lip color. Perusing pin boards for hair inspiration. The build-up! Making a connection with the photographer; how does she make me feel more comfortable? It’s a big learning experience.

As a photographer, it is easy to forget that potential clients have such a huge variety to choose from. So here’s what I learned as I prepared for, and then received photos from, my boudoir session…

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