Aledo Family Photographer »

I’ll tell you what friends. If you were to close your eyes and try to dream about me having one of my best 1/2 years ever, you’d probably be pretty accurately envisioning what January-June 2018 has looked like for me, for reals.

I’ll give you some real life examples:

  • I opened my dream studio in January and I’m still like “Wha-wha-whaaaaaat? This place is mine!?” It’s strange and amazing. I’ve gotten to really explore and embrace my style as a lifestyle studio photographer AND if you follow me on Insta, you’ve probably seen that I’ve also fully embraced being a plant hoarder. I’m pretty much going for the world record for having the most plants in a photography studio. Go ahead, try to beat me. Or, just bring me another plant and wish me good luck.
  • We’re building a total dream house. And again I’m like “Whose life is this, really??” It’s not done yet but we are seeing it take shape and it is an incredible feeling.
  • I was completely shocked to learn I was Fort Worth Magazine’s Editors’ Pick for Best Photographer this year. Me. Little old silly me. Little old self-taught, started as a hobby (oh my gosh I used to take SUCH EMBARRASSINGLY BAD PHOTOS), never-dreamed-I’d-actually-be-here me. It’s surreal. Whose life is this, really??
  • I went to my first ever photographer’s conference, called The Family Narrative. It was challenging, eye opening, mind altering and a little uncomfortable. Actually very uncomfortable but in a good way because it did exactly what I needed it to do – it allowed me to see lots of areas for improvement, it kicked me out of my comfort zone, way the heck out of my shell, out of a bit of a rut, and sent me home inspired and confident and ready to prove to myself that I could keep pushing myself to greater places.

And that’s just January-June so far. But it’s enough for you to understand why I have this to say: I am so thankful. I am thankful beyond words. For my family, for my friends, for my faith, for my amazing clients – those key things in my life that have all gotten me right here. I’m savoring this time and getting the absolute most of it because we all know life is up and down and can change tomorrow. But even if it does change tomorrow, I will always be thankful for this amazing time in my life. And for all of you!

Anyhow friends –  if I haven’t said thank you to YOU, then thank you. Thank you for being interested, thank you for pushing me, thank you for loving me, thank you for believing in me, thank you for spreading the word that I’m here and I have my camera and I want to take pictures of your family and your friends and your friends’ friends! Speaking of my friends – I am so thankful for these. I know, I know….it’s not even fair how photogenic they are, but they’re just as wonderful in person as they are in photos so you can’t really hate them for it. You can’t hate them period, because they’re just too good.

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Dallas Fort Worth Lifestyle Documentary Photographer

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Fort Worth Documentary Photographer

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Dallas Fort Worth Lifestyle Photographer

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I’m surprised at how awfully bad I am at keeping up with blog posts. Not for lack of things to posts…but for the exact opposite reason: I have too much to post and therefore, I just don’t. It’s a mixture of procrastination+being overwhelmed to the nth degree and I’m a total boss at it.

But, eventually I realize people might actually want to see more than just a few sneak peek pics on Facebook and Instagram so off to blog land I go. And here I am. Hi!

This was a sweet session. Just a mom who was watching her 4 month old baby get bigger by the day and decided she couldn’t let more time slip by before she captured the sweetness of their family at home. And that’s what I love to document the most so there’s lots of swoon-worthy images in here. I sized down the gallery for this blog post to just show my favorites (and there’s still so many!). Enjoy. And I promise I’ll try to post again before the summertime is here. 🙂

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Dallas Lifestyle Documentary Photographer

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When I arrived at this session, I knew it was going to be incredible. The parents were relaxed, the baby was content, and there was a bare-bellied toddler bouncing around in the backyard. I secretly hoped that mom would leave him just as he was – that cute little tummy showing and diaper sticking out the top of his cozy little sweatpants. Also, mom and I were twinning in our ripped up jeans and olive sleeveless shirt. It was like everything was in sync and I knew the session would play out beautifully.

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Although I am always happy to give some gentle direction, I felt like I barely had to speak at all. These two were just as natural as can be with their babies and it was a treat to just watch them be themselves while I clicked away!

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You know what I get sucked in to?

The Target dollar spot area. You know the one. Sometimes the vortex sucks me in immediately, other times I’m walking by pretty resolute in my mission to avoid it and then IS THAT A WATERMELON PENCIL POUCH? THAT’S ADORABLE! Do we need it? Who cares!? It has a smiley face on it! It’s a smiling watermelon and it has shiny parts! 15 minutes later, I’m still in that dang dollar spot (that we all know isn’t just $1 items) and I’ve got $40 worth of junk in my cart.

The struggle.

Something else I get sucked in to? Vacation photos. I could spend all day looking at people’s vacation photos. Not all the pose-y, perfect moment type ones, but the REAL ones. The ones that make you feel like you were there. The ones that tell the real story. Documentary style. I heart them. If they were in the dollar spot, I’d totally put them all in my cart.

We just got back from vacation and ohhhh…..let me tell you. I think I left part of my heart in Palm Springs. We started out there, then ventured on to Disneyland and Los Angeles.

This was our first time going to Palm Springs and silly old me planned the trip there during the hottest time of the year. I was nervous. After last year’s summer vacation in Florida with the most disgusting hot/humid heat everrrrrr, I did not want to have another vacation that I would simply remember as HOT/STINKY/SWEATY/HOTHOTHOTHOTHOT. But I was pleasantly surprised and I can now attest that it’s true what “they say” – dry heat really IS different. It was – are you ready for this? 120 degrees when we got to Palm Springs. And I freakin’ loved it.

Let’s get right into the deets.

First, the house.

Let me pause and just say : PLEASE FOR THE LOVE OF ARCHITECTURE CAN FORT WORTH GET SOME MORE HOUSES LIKE THIS??? Like, a lot more? This place is Mid-Century Modern heaven. I’m telling you. It’s unreal, all the house eye-candy everywhere you look. We loved our house that we rented via VRBO.com.

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Don’t believe me that it’s MCM heaven? Jump on VRBO.com and just go look for yourself. Go ahead and just pack a bag because you’ll probably be on a plane like, tomorrow.

It was easy to make ourselves right at home. And my dear friend Emily flew in from San Francisco to spend some time with us so there were six of us. I love vacationing with friends. And this was definitely my favorite vacation with Hattie so far. Three year olds are my JAM. She is all about hamming it up for whoever happens to be near.

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I really wanted to just pick up this whole house and plop it down on some land here in Texas. And if I could have fit that big piece of blue art in my bag, it may have made its way home with me. 😉

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Fort Worth Documentary Lifestyle Photographer

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Fort Worth Modern Art Photographer

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As much as we loved hanging out at the house, I had a little short roadtrip planned. TRIVIA TIME! If you can name the 80’s movie these dinosaurs (below) were in, then you might have also had a brother that was obsessed with Pee Wee Herman’s Big Adventure.

Oodang. I just gave it away.

Yes. These are the dinosaurs PeeWee and Simone visited! I was a little bit geeking out over being here. And I totally bought a large Marge postcard and mailed it to my brother. 😉

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Time changes are a beast. Hattie Bug was up at 5 a.m.-ish every day. And what did she want to do? Swim. Swim immediately. And my hubby being the sweet, better-morning-person-than-me kind of guy that he is, would take her quietly outside and let her have the pool all to herself. She hated it so much. 😉

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And then the rest of the world would wake up.  Fort Worth Lifestyle Photographer (11)PINIMAGE

Yes I threw pineapples in the pool because I thought it would look cool. It doesn’t have to make sense.

Oh – I got a GoPro for my birthday which was right before our trip! I hadn’t even taken it out of the box until we got to PS. I pretty much didn’t have a clue what I was doing with it while on vacation but I’ve watched some tutorials and I’m learning now! And practicing. But here was one of my first, super amateur GoPro shots I got while just floating around with H in the pool:

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And one of her squirting her daddy with a water gun. 🙂

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And now for a proud moment tinged with bittersweetness. This guy is entering his senior year. SENIOR. Mind you, he was just 5 years old yesterday. The cutest, littlest, most mischievous little 5 year old you’d ever meet. Whatever, time. You’re not my friend. But I’m dealing with it..and although I wish I could bottle my babies up forever, it’s exciting to see who they’re becoming. I’m proud of this guy. And – isn’t he just the most handsome!?

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If you’re thinking of going to Palm Springs now, here are some recs:

  • Def rent a house via VRBO.com. Splurge a little bit. You’ll feel a little bit Hollywood and there’s nothing wrong with that.
  • Reservoir for tacos/drinks and ice cream right next door at the Ice Cream Shoppe when you’re ready to get out for a low-key, relaxing evening.
  • Just get out and explore a bit. The architecture, the  mountains, the palm trees – all make for one of the most dreamy vibes of any town I’ve been to.
  • Go see the Cabazon Dinosaurs if you have littles! It’s a very short trip and a fun little change of scenery.
  • There is SO much more to this town than I’ve even shown/listed here. I’m already scheming to get back there soon. 😉
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We stayed 4 nights in Palm Springs, and then drove to Anaheim and spent Wednesday at Disneyland. The big kids opted for California Adventure while we took the littlest to Magic Kingdom. She had a blast. I didn’t want to carry a crazy heavy backpack so I unloaded some stuff and only took my camera in with the fisheye lens on it. I’m super happy with that decision! It’s always fun to capture Disneyland with the fun/cartoonish effect of the fisheye.

 

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The last two full days of vacation we went to Los Angeles – knowing Andrew and Alyssa really wanted to check out LA/Santa Mon/Beverly Hills. I kept it kinda secret but I knew I just HAD to get them in front of this wall again. I took these pictures of Hattie two years ago. She was 18 months old then and she and I tagged along on a business trip of Andy’s. Look at my baby y’all. She was a baby!!

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It’s a little different now (or maybe they already painted it solid pink again since we left) but for the month of June it was rainbow striped. I loved it. All that color!

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Did you love that picture of Hattie hugging someone she had just met 10 seconds before that photo was snapped? We make friends everywhere. 🙂

 

Well there ya go! My crew on vacation of summer 2017. And as Hattie likes to say (thanks to Moana): NEXT STOP, MAUI!!! (If only she knew that’s actually our next big trip coming up!)

XOXO-

Jo

 

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Do you want to know something crazy?

I did this shoot a little over 8 months ago. That’s not the crazy part.

It’s one of my favorite shoots, ever. A mom and her boys at home on an ordinary day, doing ordinary things. As I was looking at photos I just took of these two boys a few days ago, it occurred to me that although I did post sneak peeks, I never actually blogged this session. That’s still not the crazy part.

I started thinking about how it’s always hard to find time to blog these sessions because 1) there’s always SOOOO many photos and it’s nearly impossible to narrow them down for a blog post, but also 2) because I’m just flat out busy.

So I started wondering exactly HOW busy. And here’s the crazy part: I looked…and since sending this gallery out just over 8 months ago, I have sent out another 151 galleries.

One hundred and fifty one.

dot.

dot.

dot.

I needed a minute to process that. I still don’t know how to. I knew I’d been a busy little bee but sheesh…I really had no idea HOW busy. Lawd. I don’t even know how that’s possible.

Anyhow – there’s a little crazy fact about this little crazy photographer for you to file away in your brain.

But enough about that! Let’s look at some photos of this gorgeous mommy and her boys.

When I arrived, he was finishing up his homework, but we had other plans. Cookie plans. Everyone likes cookie plans.

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After a little one on one time with big brother, it was time to get little brother up from his nap.

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After a few really good snuggles, these boys were alllll about playing.

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