Member, Professional Photographers of America

Limited Edition Sessions

Texas Bluebonnets!

It’s not only the state flower, but also a kind of floral trademark almost as well known to outsiders as cowboy boots and the Stetson hat. The bluebonnet is to Texas what the shamrock is to Ireland, the cherry blossom to Japan, the lily to France, the rose to England and the tulip to Holland.
— Jack Maguire

Every spring many central Texas roadways and pastures are covered in beautiful blue wildflowers, the Texas bluebonnets.  Many people LOVE to have their kiddos photographs taken sitting among these gorgeous blooms and for that very reason I offer Limited Edition Bluebonnet Sessions.  These sessions are limited to four per year and can be taken at any time during the bluebonnet season.  You might be asking yourself, "Why would someone pay for a bluebonnet session when they can just take their own pictures of their kids?"  While that is true, some people want to invest in professional wall art of their little ones enjoying Texas bluebonnets.

Sneak Peeks of our four Limited Bluebonnet Sessions in 2018.

Sneak Peeks of our four Limited Bluebonnet Sessions in 2018.

If you're interested in booking one of our four Limited Edition Bluebonnet Sessions for next year, consider signing up for our weekly emails so you'll be notified when booking begins.  

Even if you prefer to take your own bluebonnet photos of your little ones, please use caution when doing so.  You can read more about this on our blog article that was recently published in the Groesbeck Chamber of Commerce quarterly magazine or you can find it on our blog

Bluebonnet time is when the sky falls onto Texas.
— A. L. Walker

Bluebonnets! A Texas Tradition.

I moved to Texas in the summer of 2007 so I experienced bluebonnets for the first time in the spring of 2008.  I was amazed at how beautiful all the highways became as purple flowers bloomed and lined the highways for all to enjoy.  Surprisingly, this was the first year that I offered Bluebonnet Limited Edition Sessions.  I just assumed that people just took these photos very quickly on their cell phones and moved on down the road, but I quickly realized that this was not the case.  So many people want professional photographs of their loved ones in the bluebonnets!  They want WALL ART of their loved ones in the bluebonnets!  

After three years of clients asking me if I offered Bluebonnet Sessions and me telling them that I did not, I finally decided to give it a try and I must say, I was impressed.  I only offered four sessions and they filled up quickly!  I'm in love with each of the sessions and I'm going to give you some tips to taking your own bluebonnet photos that you can use now while we still have some as their season is coming to an end.  

Tip Number One.  Photograph in the early morning or late evening hours.  I know these hours aren't ideal, but once you experience the light at these times of the day you will never go back to noon bluebonnet photos.  I've had a number of clients that are amazed at the difference this makes!  This portrait of the Loewen Family was taken around 9:00 am on a Monday morning.  Dad JUST got off work and their baby normally naps around this time, but they are very happy they adjusted their schedule for one day to make this happen.

Loewen Family at the abundant bluebonnet field at Spring Valley Elementary in Hewitt, Texas.

Loewen Family at the abundant bluebonnet field at Spring Valley Elementary in Hewitt, Texas.

Tip Number Two.  Take your bluebonnet photographs when they first bloom before they get trampled down.  I prefer to take them at my husband's family ranch in Limestone County for a few reasons - the patch is on private property so I'm the only photographer that uses this area for photographs and it's safe.  It's away from roads so little ones are not going to run around accidentally run into traffic.  I encourage kiddos to have fun at their sessions and this is the perfect place because there is an abundance of area to run around and enjoy themselves to let loose some energy between poses.  This portrait was the first bluebonnet session of the season.  Notice how full and tall the flowers are!  It makes a difference, trust me.

Johnson Family at a fresh bluebonnet patch on private property in Limestone County.

Johnson Family at a fresh bluebonnet patch on private property in Limestone County.

Tip Number Three.  Always bring a blanket or stool to sit on.  Some people do not like to sit in the flowers.  It can be overwhelming when they are almost as tall as you when you're sitting down and they are completely surrounding you.  I always bring several different things to sit on - a blanket, a metal bucket, and a wooden crate.  Sometimes I also bring a red wagon.  Baby Caleb loved the red wagon!

Baby Caleb enjoying a wagon ride in the bluebonnets.

Baby Caleb enjoying a wagon ride in the bluebonnets.

Tip Number Four.  Get on their level.  Often times people stand above the person/people being photographed and just snap a quick photo.  That works for a quick snapshot, but if you're wanting something a little more posed try bending down and getting on their level.  During sessions I squat, kneel, even lay on the ground to get different angles.  For a group portrait such as this one of the Schmedthorst Family, I wanted all of them looking directly at me so I could see their faces.  This meant I had to sit down and get on their level.  Since mom was in the middle, I needed to be level with her.  

Schmedthorst Family in a patch of bluebonnets at eye level.

Schmedthorst Family in a patch of bluebonnets at eye level.

Tip Number Five.  HAVE FUN!!  AND STAY SAFE!!  Before sitting little ones down, do a quick check for ants, snakes, and other creatures.  You can't see them all, but you can check the immediate area you are going to use.  I've learned this lesson the hard way...and continue to learn this lesson the hard way (I'm pretty stubborn apparently).  I always check for my clients, but obviously never check where I'm standing or sitting.  More than a few times I have stood in a fire ant pile to get that "perfect" shot.  One time, I even SAT in a fire ant pile!  So be mindful when entering a patch of bluebonnets and remember that insects and creatures call that patch home.  

Due to the great success and demand of this year's Bluebonnet Limited Edition Sessions, we will offer them again next spring.  Mark your calendars because we will begin booking them in February of 2018.  The best way to be notified of special sessions is by subscribing to our newsletter.  You'll receive our monthly e-newsletter, blog articles, special deals, and be notified of bookings before I post them on my page.  If you'd like to subscribe, just fill out this quick form.

Unicorns!

"Unicorns aren't real, but we wish they were."  

Everyone knows that a unicorn is a mythical horse that's white with a fancy horn, but to some adorable girls a unicorn is so much more!  To them a unicorn is an enchanted, beautiful, peaceful creature that brings out the imagination within them.  This was evident by the smiles on their faces and the sparkle in their eyes.  The Unicorn Limited Edition Sessions were a huge hit with all five girls!

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I have to admit, the idea of unicorns is fascinating for many with vivid imaginations.  This prompted me to do a little research about these mythical creatures were refer to as "unicorns" and I was came up with five facts about them.

1.  The legend of the unicorn is REALLY old!  

2.  Unicorn horns were believed to have medicinal properties that were VERY potent!

3.  The unicorn is the national animal of Scotland!

4.  Unicorn horns were actually narwhal teeth!

5.  Some claim unicorns are REAL!  A deer with one horn was spotted in a wildlife park in Tuscany.

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I've had many people ask me if the horse we used was real.  YES!  We used a real horse!  His name is Moonshine and he resides in Limestone County.  During the entire session with the girls, there were three adult handlers nearby to assist as needed.  The girls were never left unattended on or near the horse for safety concerns.  The horse was haltered and held onto, as well as someone with their hand on the girl.  

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Growing up my stepdad introduced me to a song about unicorns that I fell in love with!  It's called "The Unicorn Song" by the Irish Rovers.  It is a song about how unicorns were real, but were left off Noah's Ark because they ran out of time.

If you are interested in a Unicorn Limited Edition Session in the future, let us know and we will gladly put you on the list to notify when we begin booking for next year's session in August.  

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Limited Edition Session Annual Schedule

I've been receiving many inquiries about when I'm going to start booking fall sessions and my response has been, "I'm not sure, I'm barely surviving summer with my kids' activities!"  As I sat here and looked at my calendar, I realized that summer is just about over and I need to get this fall booking thing figured out asap!  So I decided to put together a calendar of each limited edition session that I could use for this fall, as well as in the future. 

I will begin scheduling each of the sessions 90 days prior to the each session and each type of limited edition session will only have FOUR available sessions.  If you see a type of session that is a great interest to you, I highly suggest that you book as soon as possible to ensure you get one of the four available sessions.  When booking begins, I will make the announcement on our Facebook page. 

Without further ado, here is our Limited Edition Schedule!

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Each of the Limited Edition Sessions will include the same thing as a regular session, however they will also receive an Exclusive Gallery Stand OR an Exclusive Standout Print.  These items are not offered with regular sessions.  Limited Edition Fall Sessions will also receive a 20% discount on all cards. 

Smith Family Photography is now officially booking the following sessions: 

  • August - Breastfeeding Limited Edition Sessions
  • August - Enchanted Unicorns Limited Edition Sessions
  • October - Pumpkin Patch Limited Edition Sessions
  • October - Halloween Limited Edition Sessions
  • November - Fall Limited Edition Sessions

Keep in mind that there are ONLY FOUR Limited Edition Sessions per theme!  If you are interested in booking any of the available sessions that are currently open for booking, please contact us via email at ajsmithfamilyphotography@gmail.com, by phone at 254-275-8238, or by FB message through our Facbook page. 

A Day in the Life of Huckleberry Finn

On a fine Saturday evening, around seven o'clock, I spent time with a super adorable eight year old named "Huckleberry Finn."  We call him "Huck" for short.  He was wearing a pair of denim overalls that were rolled up to prevent them from getting wet while he was fishing. 

When I first encountered Huck, he was sitting on the ledge of the river fishing with his cane pole.  He was patiently waiting for a monster of a fish to take the bait so he could have a tasty dinner.

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The young Huck sat there fishing very patiently for what seemed like hours!  As the sun continued to set in the distant sky, Huck decided he needed to find a place to sleep for the night so he packed up his pole and bait bucket.

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Huck looked all around, but he could not find anywhere that was suitable for sleeping.  He was running out of daylight so in a last ditch effort, he hopped aboard his small boat and sailed down the river looking for the perfect place to pitch his tent for the night.

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Just as the sun was setting and the fireflies were making their appearance for the night, Huck spotted the PERFECT place to sleep for the night! 

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And there you have it...  A Day In the Life of Huckleberry Finn!

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Limited Edition Session Make-Over!

We are always looking for professional products that our clients will adore!  We recently found two products that we just fell in love with - Gallery Stands and Standout Prints.  These products are truly unique and so we decided to make them exclusive to our Limited Edition Sessions as an added bonus.

Limited Edition Sessions will now have the same session fee as our regular sessions, however they will have a theme, such as a Fourth of July theme, Holiday theme, etc.  Sessions will also be extremely limited with only six sessions available per theme, per year.  What sets these sessions apart from regular sessions is the theme obviously, but the two exclusive products that you will be able to choose from will be offered as a complimentary gift.  You will be able to choose a Gallery Stand or a Standout Print as a complimentary gift.  These are ONLY available to clients that book a Limited Edition Session.

So... What is a Gallery Stand?  What is a Standout Print? 

A Gallery Stand is a 5x7 print that is printed on professional grade pearl photographic paper, laminated for protection and mounted on a wood base with an easel.  They can be hung on the wall or displayed on your desk, shelf, or tabletop. 

Gallery Stand

Gallery Stand

A Standout Print is a print that is mounted on a lightweight foam, which gives it a sleek and contemporary look. 

Standout Print

Standout Print

Our next Limited Edition Sessions are this coming Friday and Saturday, June 24th and June 25th.  They have a Fourth of July theme and will include a firework stand, as well as flags.  We have decided to offer our most popular themed sessions as Limited Edition Sessions with the following schedule:

  • April - Cap and Gown AND Bluebonnet Sessions
  • June - Fairies and Princesses AND Fourth of July Sessions
  • July - Huck Finn AND Cowboys/Cowgirls Sessions
  • August - Unicorn Sessions AND Breastfeeding Sessions
  • October - Halloween Sessions
  • November - Fall/Holiday Sessions
Fourth of July Sessions will be held in Groesbeck on June 24th and 25th.

Fourth of July Sessions will be held in Groesbeck on June 24th and 25th.

If you're interested in either of these products, they are not available for purchase.  They are only available as a complimentary gift with each Limited Edition Session.  We are looking forward to our new and improved Limited Edition Sessions!