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About a year and half ago I heard about LuLaRoe.  People kept talking about these amazingly soft leggings that felt like you were wearing nothing and I was a bit curious.  When my good friend, Alice, invited me to go along to a consultant’s house I jumped at the chance to see what all of the fuss was about.   We arrived and the first thing Alice noticed was a sign in her house with the names of their family and sure enough, she and her husband are Melinda and Paul.  I should have known then that our friendship was meant to be.

It was about 6 months later when I went back after that first visit and I never looked back.  I have gotten to know her amazing family and friends.  They have helped us in so many ways and I am forever thankful.  Melinda is one of the kindest and most giving person I have ever met.  Her husband, Paul, is in his residency for Orthopedic Surgery and is so supportive of her and a pretty awesome LuLaBro.  He even helped us out tremendously when my daughter fractured her pinky.  They go way beyond what anyone would expect and do with a smile.  They have 4 kids to keep them busy and constantly on the go.

I am so glad that I was able to photograph their family in their Americana LuLaRoe even though it was cut short due to a huge sand storm.  I had a great time with all of them and look forward to more fun times.

Ezra was not happy about not getting to wear his Micky Mouse clothes so while Paul tried to calm him I got to shoot Melinda and the girls.  The original location I was hoping for didn’t work out and we went to the Replica which is always beautiful and full of great secrets for photos.

We brought the boys into the photo and Ezra wasn’t feeling it.

Time for Dad to join the family.

We let the kids run around while I got some photos of Paul and Melinda.

“When I’m in your arms I am home.”

Need to work on their dance moves.

It was time to bring the kids back in at a new spot.  I love this corner with the beat up bench and amazing light.

It looks like running around was just what he needed.

I mentioned before that Paul supports Melinda’s business 100% but he isn’t alone.  Paul’s mom, Karen, comes to stay and help out when needed.  She is a special and very patient lady and I was thrilled to find out that she would be a part of the session.

The many faces of Ezra…

I noticed that the storm was getting close so I took the kids aside one at a time to get some individual images before running out of time.  My favorite images of all 4 kids are on located on my page.

He is always up to something and only wanted a funny photo.

The epitome of an older sister.

This little one is full of personality.

So many faces.

I wanted couple more of Paul and Melinda (I am horrible at stopping) and took full advantage of their cooperation.

 The winds arrived and we were done.

Thank you so much for allowing me into your family as a friend and to take you on a quick photo journey (I wish the beautiful weather had lasted longer).  You are truly a very special person and your family is awesome.  I am loving that I get to watch your littles grow and change for a little longer.

The Love of a Family

is Life’s Greatest Blessing.

I met Theresa when she was the speaker for the medical portion of a spouse orientation at Fort Bliss.  She was pretty amazing and so well spoken.  I learned that our husbands worked together and, to me, that was just an added bonus to this amazingly sweet person.  I knew that meant that I would get to see her again.  Sadly, I would get to see her again because it was time for her husband to move on and that meant losing her as well.

We discussed photography and she mentioned family photos but we didn’t delve too much into that particular hope.  What I didn’t know during this conversation was that she was thinking about retiring from the Army.  Did I mention that she was a LTC?  Oops.  I was under the impression that I would still get to see her every month

The time for her retirement was close and she contacted me wanting to do a family session with their uniforms on.  It was the last time she would be wearing it and wanted to get a few last moments frozen in time.  I suggested we do some in uniform and some in civilian clothes.  She went for it and we scheduled it for the day before her retirement ceremony.  So bittersweet.

As soon as we arrived at the Replica I knew that this was going to be fun…seriously.  It didn’t take me long to figure out that the boys (all ages) didn’t want to be there so I had to move fast and think about ways to keep the boys entertained and cooperative.  Not always easy but definitely fun for me.  I’ll let you decide as to whether or not I was successful.

I started at The Fort Bliss Replica and needed to get them comfy with me and the camera.

I could tell the little ones needed a break so I sent them off to find bunnies (they are all over this place) while I took some photos of the lovebirds.  I failed to mention that they have been apart for 5 months.

“You put your arms around me and I’m home.”

I noticed the boys had stopped running around so I went to them to get some shots.  My favorite individual images are located here and here.

They look like they’re up to something.

He didn’t like the grass tickling his feet and his big brother was egging him on.

All smiles after sabotaging his brother’s photos.  Gotta love brothers!

Theresa and Cory went to change into their uniforms so I had some one on one time with the boys.  They completely switched on me and I just went with it.  Austin was smiling and hamming it up and Alex decided that I had taken enough photos and was upset that his electronics were not nearby.

He was done and wanted nothing to do with any of us but especially my camera.

I love these images.

We had some trouble walking over to Noel Field with the boys.  The dry desert has caused the fire ants to spread and we had to walk around them on the way to the field.  We made it across but Austin may have gotten a bite when he stopped to look at the ants and didn’t want to step on the grass once on the field.  There was a lot going on and I was looking in every direction for photos.

What  beautiful family.

I have another great one on my FB page.

Compromise

The boys were done!  We set them loose on the field so we could get a few images of the two of them together.  Make sure you check out the one on my page.

There was an extra in this image…There was a lot of noise next to us…

He wanted one like hers.

He remembered that he didn’t want to walk on the grass.

I’m honored that I was asked to take these photos for you.  You are a great couple who embody what it means to be a military family.  You have raised two amazing boys and I don’t know how you did it as a dual military family.  Amazing!!  I hope this next chapter is more than you ever hoped it could be.  You will be missed by many but we all have wonderful memories.  You are both true patriots.

“PATRIOTISM…

Is not short, frenzied burst of emotion,

but the tranquil and steady

dedication of a lifetime.”

~Adlai Stevenson~

Last minute sessions always work out beautifully.  Michelle’s husband was about to deploy and she wanted to try and get some family photos done.  We planned it and had it done in under a week.  That’s how we roll in the military.  Need it, plan it, do it in a matter of days.

Michelle is a beautiful lady who is always smiling and making others laugh.  Well, she makes me laugh.  She “warned” me that Allan had a lot of energy and it would be interesting.   He has his mother’s smile and personality.  I loved it.  Grace fits her name perfectly.  She is a smart and funny girl who loves to mother her brother.  I loved watching the dynamic between the two of them.   Dad made sure that everyone was listening and following my direction.  He kept us moving so we wouldn’t run out of light.

I loved every second of our time during this session and hope you are able to see who they are individually and as a family in the images.

We started early so had to find some shade on Noel Field since the sun stays high so much longer.  Luckily, there were plenty of areas to get some shots while we waited.

This little guy had me laughing.

In the blink of an eye…

Click to see a different version on FB.

Time to get some shots of just the kids.

Click for my favorite Allan image.

The sun was finally in the perfect spot for images on the field.

I could tell that it was time to give the kids a break so I sent them off to play while I focused on mom and dad.  I posted my favorite one on Facebook.

“You are my today and all of my tomorrows.”

~ Leo Christopher~

I looked over and found this and knew it was about time to bring them back in with us.Love the looks.

I had them run back over to us and this happened…

To have that energy again.

The black and white version is on Facebook.

This one was taken by Allan.

The only serious shot taken of him and I do love it.  Those eyes!

Michelle, I’m so glad we were able to make this session work.  You kids are amazing and I had so much fun watching them interact.  You are a wonderful lady and mom.  I hope the next several months go quickly.  You got this!

“Together is my favorite place to be.”

How often do we look and see what or who is around us?  I mean really look.  Apparently, I don’t as often as I thought I did because I somehow missed this beautiful girl who lives a block away.  I met Carla a while back and had no idea that she had a high school senior.  So, when she asked me about photographing her daughter who liked the senior photos I took of her friend, Rachel (I have photographed 2 girls named Rachel so I played it off), I said of course.

Anna only had one request…She wanted a photo under the A that is on the Franklin Mountains and can be seen from Noel Field by our homes.  We were able to get a few locations in and one was a last minute add.  I’m lucky to have great clients who roll with me.

I’m also lucky because I had a huge computer scare while transferring images for back up and I thought I had lost everything.  I didn’t touch my computer until my husband returned from a trip to help me.  It was all there but I lost a week of editing during the process.  Again, AMAZING clients.

I truly love photographing seniors and this girl was amazing.  I hope it was worth the wait!

This is where flexibility played a huge role in our adventure.  I was told to pick a place that I felt would work best.  I had seen her amazing outfits and knew I wanted a desert background.  I took off with Carla and Anna, taking them to my favorite location at Heinrich Park.  As I parked and we unloaded I remembered a good friend of mine posting a video of her dog running through the desert near her house.  I asked them to wait while I called her to find out exactly where that was located.  I had the information I needed and, luckily, they were up for the new location which was only about 5 minutes away.  We parked at my friend’s house and walked over the berm and right into the perfect spot.  Anna rocked it!

A little unsure at first.

It didn’t last long.

Believe it or not, there are several options when photographing in the desert.  There were so many spots to take advantage of out there.  Yes, there is green to be found.

Her mom was making her laugh.  Love it!

The tree attacked.

She recovered nicely.

I saw a huge tumble weed and mentioned it to Carla.  She started laughing and told me an Anna story I have to share.  Soon after arriving in El Paso they came across some tumbleweed (I can’t remember if it was in motion or not but that’s not important to the story).  Carla pointed it out and told her that it was tumbleweed to which Anna replied, “Tumbleweed is real?!”  So, natuarally, I had to get some shots of her with it.

Gorgeous!

Just a few more shots before heading on to our next location.  My favorite from this group can be found here.

As always, I had packed up my gear and we were headed to my car when I noticed the wall with amazing light.  We stopped for a few shots and it was my first share on my Facebook page.

That smile is amazing.

So many amazing images to share.

In all honesty we had no plan in place so when we got back to my car I gave her a couple of options for our next stop and she chose Downtown El Paso and it did not disappoint.  Did I mention how much I love the springtime for photo sessions?  I never feel rushed because we have plenty of light for hours on end in the evening.

Seriously, she is…there are no words.

All of these were in one general area.  It was time to head towards San Jacinto Plaza with a stop at her favorite place.

The rest of the images in this section were all from the plaza area.  Such a beautiful site for sitting back and relaxing while people watching or for taking photos of a beautiful girl.

Both versions are worthy of being shared here.

I was able to get some shots before we were asked to get out of the ditch.  She wanted to know why we were in there and I told her that it’s where the prettiest flowers were located.  She said that most were just weeds and she cuts them down at home.  I showed her an image on my camera and she smiled and agreed that they look pretty.

Peek A Boo

The pretty weeds with the purple blooms.

We picked up with the other outfits a few days later in between wind storms.  It actually started the day we were shooting but not until later so it all worked out and The Replica on Fort Bliss and Noel Field were the perfect backdrops.  This group of images are a complete surprise for her mom because she was unable to come with us.  I hope she likes what we did.

I want to share them ALL.

 Beautiful.

The Replica has so many possibilities when it comes to photos and I only tapped into a little bit of it with Anna.  I love this location and her outfit was perfect.  I have two images from this location that I shared on my page.  1st image and 2nd image.

Amazing from any angle.

We started walking and saw a couple of baby bunnies eating near where I was going to take her so we adjusted.  You can see them at the end of the wooden deck where she is sitting.  They live under the deck so they would hop back underneath and come right back out when we would move.

You would never guess that right before the session the heel of her shoe broke and she had to do a balancing act.  Effortless.

I wanted to get a shot of her class ring but with her in the shot as well.  She always knew exactly what I was saying and asking of her.

As we were walking, I never have an idea of what I’m going to do, I saw this pop of color and knew it would be perfect.  I should probably explain myself.  I will look at outfits and go with a location but until I can’t plan ahead because it never works for me.  I shoot what I feel and when it’s a photo session I base it off of how my “model (s)’ feel.  You can’t force it because it will show.  Luckily, we had to force nothing on either day.

She was a safe distance from the cacti.

Two different looks in the same spot.

We headed to Noel Field (across the street) for the field shots with the “A”.  Sadly, there was still too much sun so we just had fun until the sun hid behind the mountain.  Another one of my favorite images on Facebook.

The winds were picking up but we weren’t giving up on the “A”.

This is when the sun went behind the mountain.

Carla, thank you so much for allowing me to be a small part of Anna’s memories here at Fort Bliss.  I had a wonderful time with you and her as we wandered around El Paso and Fort Bliss looking for the perfect spot to accentuate her natural beauty.  She is such a special soul and will go on to bigger and better things.  Best of luck to you, Anna, as you begin a new chapter in your life book.

“and this is the part

where you find out

who you are”