Member, Professional Photographers of America

general information

A Letter to All the Beautiful Mothers

I absolutely LOVE photographing people!  I love watching the way they interact with one another.  I love watching them be genuine with one another.  I love it when I can SEE how they FEEL about one another!  However, there is one thing that I do not like and that is when I hear beautiful mothers talking about how they don't like certain parts of their bodies.  You are BEAUTIFUL!

Women, sometimes men, but mainly women, put so much time and effort into planning their photo session.  They have to go shopping for the perfect outfits, bribing kiddos to cooperate (and husbands too), making sure everyone stays in a great mood, choosing a location that fits with what you have in mind for your wall art, etc.  I notice, believe me...I NOTICE.  I love that you put so much time and effort into your session before it even began!  I want nothing more than you to absolutely LOVE and CHERISH your photographs because they will last a lifetime and the generations to come will LOVE and CHERISH them as well.  

Photography is the memory of our lives.
— unknown

But...

...so many BEAUTIFUL mothers ask me to...

  • "Can you make me look skinnier?"
  • "Please hide me somewhere behind my kids."
  • "I just want photographs of my kids.  I need to lose 10 pounds before I am in them."
  • "Can I see what the photo looks like on your camera?  I hate the way I look."
  • "Photoshop me as much as possible!"

...the list goes on and on.  And it makes me sad.  This makes me sad because you can't even recognize your own beauty.  I'm not talking about being the perfect size, with perfect makeup and hair, and gorgeous clothing.  I'm talking about YOU!  I'm talking about the way you LOVE your family.  I'm talking about the way your family LOVES you.  The way your family looks at you is breathtaking!  

Life is not perfect.  It isn't meant to be.  Life is messy, yet beautiful.  Life is meant to be enjoyed.  Life is meant to be lived in moments.  Moments are meant to be photographed and documented.  

I can promise you this, I was THAT mom.  I have TONS of photographs of my kids, but where am I in these photographs??  I was hiding.  Every single time the camera came out, I ran.  I needed to lose weight.  My hair wasn't fixed.  My outfit wasn't picture worthy.  But my kids...they were adorable!  And all I think when I look at those photographs is how I miss holding them in my arms, getting slobbery kisses, giggling with them as we played, and snuggling.  I can never get that time back.  I hold onto these memories, but at some point they will be lost in my mind.  Lost for no one else to SEE.  My own kids won't even SEE us interacting with one another. 

But I'm certain that IF I did allow myself to be photographed with my children, they wouldn't look at them and laugh at my hair or outfit.  I'd like to think they would cherish those photographs because they are documenting a moment in time between us...our beautiful family.

So to all the BEAUTIFUL mothers out there...BE PHOTOGRAPHED!!  As difficult as it may be, do it for your children and your grandchildren.  You won't be sorry...I promise.  

I stepped out of my comfort zone and was photographed.  I'm not as thin as I used to be.  My hair was not perfect.  But our foreign exchange student said it best..."I will never forget that family picture."  I am glad I am in this photograph...for my memories and the memories of my family.

I stepped out of my comfort zone and was photographed.  I'm not as thin as I used to be.  My hair was not perfect.  But our foreign exchange student said it best..."I will never forget that family picture."  I am glad I am in this photograph...for my memories and the memories of my family.

Just A Few of My Favorite Locations

I think every photographer has their favorite locations - where they know the lighting, know the location, and secret nooks.  I know I certainly do!  

I get asked quite often where my favorite locations are, which prompted me to put together an Exclusive Client Access Area on my website.  This area has all of my favorite locations, as well as a style guide, wall art inspiration, product care, and frequently asked questions.  You might be asking yourself how you can take a look at that page on my website...and the answer is...after securing your session by paying the required 50% deposit, you will be given a password which will grant you access to this exclusive area.  

I primarily work in two counties in Texas - Limestone and McLennan.  I have several favorite locations in both of these counties, but I am going to share my absolute most favorite location in each of these counties with you now.  

Hands down, my favorite location in Limestone County is a piece of property my husband's family owns near Personville and Donie.  There is a covered bridge, a tin barn, a tire swing, and a cabin.  In the spring, the bluebonnets grow so beautifully and are basically undisturbed.  The covered bridge is perfect for both family and individual photographs.  The tire swing is a "must-do" at this location!  It is perfect for getting people of all ages to smile with a genuine smile.  The porch of the cabin is a favorite among clients because it gives the photographs a feeling of "home."  Since this is private family property, I am the only photographer that has access to this location.

limestone_county_bluebonnet_smith_family_photography
ranch_photograph_smith_family_photography
cabin_porch_smith_family_photography
covered_bridge_smith_family_photography

My second favorite location is in McLennan County and is located just outside of Crawford, Texas.  This location is called Tonkawa Falls.  Just as the name implies, there is a waterfall which makes a beautiful backdrop for photographs!  There are plenty of other scenic backdrops as well, such as cliffs, a stone stairwell, a dock type structure, a grove of trees, and a stone wall with a building.  

tonkawa_falls_smith_family_photography
fishing_smith_family_photography
crawford_bridals_smith_family_photography

I am always on the lookout for other locations.  Do you know of some that you'd like to share?  

 

A Glance at the Past and a Glimpse to the Future

I'm not sure how else to put it.  2015 was AMAZE-ING for Smith Family Photography and I hope it was for you as well!  We made some goals at the beginning of last year and I am excited to report that we have surpassed those goals!  We have you to thank.  Without you that would not have been possible.  We seriously have the best clients EVER! 

We ended 2015 with a few contests.  We had our 2nd Annual Christmas Tree Contest.  Several trees were submitted, but only one could win.  The winning tree was sent to us by Crystal Frank of Fairfield, Texas!

christmas_tree_contest

We ended the year with our first ever Year In Review Contest.  We submitted one photograph from every paid session to an album and asked our followers to vote for their favorite.  There were 63 entries, but only one could win.  It was a close contest with winners changing daily.  However, at the end of the contest, Myranda McIntosh from Rosebud, Texas was the winner with 175 votes!

year_in_review_2015_contest_cake_smash_one_year_old_birthday_photography_session_marlin_texas

As 2016 begins, we set more goals to continue to provide quality products and service to our clients.  We are currently in the process of gathering studio samples of prints, canvas gallery wraps, metallic prints and cards.  We want you to see and feel the products that we offer in the online gallery.  Another goal that we have is to continue to offer customized collages for our clients. 

Last year a client suggested that we offer collages.  It was an awesome suggestion!  Ever since we began offering collages, they have been a HUGE hit!  Most clients purchase at least one of the collages included within their gallery.  Others choose to order a customized collage.  Collages are a great way to display several photographs in one print.  These were extremely popular during the holiday season for gifts for family members. 

Family Photography Session Collage

Family Photography Session Collage

Here are just a few of the exciting happenings for 2016:

  • We will continue to photograph parties at My Little Play Place in Waco, Texas.  Last October there was a Halloween party.  December was a Christmas party.  The party for January is in the planning stages currently, but last I heard it was going to be a Frozen theme!  I know there will also be a party planned for Fairies and Superheroes!
  • A new "Grow With Me" Package will be introduced.  Details will be coming next week!
  • We will have a week dedicated to high school seniors in the spring!
  • Limited Edition Sessions for the spring...details will be coming in the next month or so.
  • Our very first STYLED shoot will take place this summer!  This one has me SO excited!  The perfect model has already been chosen!  EEK!!!

In short...THANK YOU!  None of this would be possible without each and every one of you.  Stay tuned for exciting happenings!  Happy New Year!!

happy_new_year_2016