austin lifestyle photographer

Newborn Registries: Give or Get the Gift of Newborn Photography

AUSTIN AND CENTRAL TEXAS LIFESTYLE NEWBORN PHOTOGRAPHER MONICA BROWN

There are two reasons I don’t get hired for newborn sessions. One is that I don’t do posed photography. I’m always happy to make photographer suggestions if this is a thing you’re looking for, but the truth is it’s not my art and I don’t feel inspired to create posed photos. The second reason is because I’m expensive. And yes, I understand it feels this way (maybe a conversation for another day? because nobody wants those details in this post).

So because I can’t really do anything or don’t want to do anything about reason number one, my solution to reason number two is registries for your newborn photo session.

So what does it look like to do a registry with me? Baisically we’re going to start like any other session. I’m going to send you the questionnaire and welcome guide and you’re going to make sure what I do is what you are looking for. Once you’ve decided that my style is what you want, we’ll find you a date on the calendar according to your due date and I’ll create your registry based on the things you expressed interest in as part of the questionnaire. You’ll have a unique web link with a place for friends and family to contribute to your session and any products you’d like to have gifted. Before you know it, your session is completely taken care of (or if there is a remaining balance, you’ll just take care of it on session day). It’s the simplest thing and such an amazing gift (especially for these second and on babies when you alread have all the other things).

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A GIFT FROM ME FOR CREATING YOUR REGISTRY

The first 5 expecting mommas to sign up for a registry will receive a 5x5 Print Pack (24 prints) as a gift from me. These are perfect for casually displaying around your home (or gifting to grandmas and aunts and things) and are printed on 110 lb recycled matte paper with a 0.2" white border.

More Than Just Joyful Moments

Grief and heartache are beautiful in their own way. They come with emotions so overwhelming that shape us in ways we never expected; ways only grief and heartache can. Without love these things don’t exist. It’s part of our story and for each struggle we survive, we rise stronger and more beautiful than the person we were before.

The story of Amos is a roller coaster of heartache and uncertainty. I’m not a religious girl, but it’s one of God’s will and this sweet unborn baby never having to live outside of the womb in pain or struggle. But they knew him, they felt him, and they loved/love him and even though he’ll only be with them for just a short while longer, his story will stay with them always.

My friends, this is why I make photographs. It’s how we love and rise that makes our stories so beautiful. I’m giving you permission to document more than just joyful moments because those moments are really a very small part of what makes us who we are.

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The Weaver Family

So it’s that time of year where we spend a little time looking back and being thankful for what this year has done for us and start looking forward in anticipation of what this next year will bring. My word for 2018 (instead of a new years resolution) was Rise. I wanted it to be a constant reminder for me to take each tough situation and make the best of it; to come out of it a better person than I went in. Now that we’re approaching the end of the year I think my biggest “tough situation” was just honing in on who I really am as a photographer and letting go of the parts of photography that I’m not and just owning it.

It’s been an interesting lesson and one that had me really thinking about whether or not photographing people is really the right thing for me. If you look back through my year in photographs you can actually see that struggle happening photographically. But I do want to photograph people. I just want to do it with my vision, which is the whole point of art, right?

This means I’ve lost some clients in 2018. That’s okay. I still love those awesome families and am grateful for every second I got to spend photographing them. It also means I’ve started working with some amazing new families that share my vision for their session.

The Weavers are one of those amazing new to me families.

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Focus on What Matters: Featuring The McKenzie Family

Austin and Central Texas Lifestyle Family Photographer

The McKenzie Family was the first family who was totally on board with using the online styling tool provided with their session and their session just so happens to be one of my favorite sessions of the year.

So why do I offer this service if my focus in a session is not clothing and what people look like, but rather what it feels like? There’s a couple reasons actually.

  1. You feel good when you know you look good which translates into confidence in your photos or whatever it is you’re doing in life right then.

  2. Clothing can sometimes be distracting and take away from a moment or feeling in an image. What I mean is you might have this beautiful moment, but little Johnny is wearing a neon shirt and when you look at the photo you see the neon shirt before you see the moment.

So basically using the online styling tool allows us the confidence to focus on what matters in a lifestyle photo session, the moments, and obvioulsy adds that extra touch of beauty in an image. While moments are my primary focus, I’m always thinking about the aesthetic of your images as well and my goal is to take your moments and enhance them the best way I know how. The easiest way to do this is with beautiful light, camera ready clothing, and super gentle posing that allows for your moments to happen naturally.

Any my goodness did it come naturally to this sweet family. I feel so much each time I see the McKenzie Family’s photos. I can’t wait to see them again this Spring for their in home session to celebrate their sweet girl’s first birthday.

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A Photographer's Photographer: Featuring the Scott Family

Austin and Central Texas Lifestyle Family Photographer

I’m going to let out a little secret about me. I want you to hire me because you love what I do and it makes you feel something. If you literally just need one photo for your Christmas card, I want you to hire someone else. There, I said it.

I realize that might sound crazy, especially to my husband who wants me to accept every potential client because he thinks in terms of money and because I could just shoot one or two quick family images and not put as much effort into each session, but I’m not that way. I never have been. Money is not my motivator (much to Tyler’s dismay).

My ideal family is one who’s main focus in a session is to capture something real. Something that makes them feel and fall in love with their imperfect, but amazing and beautiful life together. A family that knows that these small moments are actually really big ones and that when they look back on them 10 years from now, every emotion will come flooding back and they’ll remember that time of life that seemed so hard as something of pure beauty and so worth the struggle.

Do you know that feeling I’m talking about? It reminds me of my first couple years of marriage. There was absolutely nothing glamorous about it, but looking back now the simplicity of that time is something I will always treasure.

I’m going to get a little passionate for a minute.

I think a lot of photographers/creatives feel in this same sort of way. I think that’s what makes us artists. It’s not that we just have a nice camera and decent enough eye for composition and decide we could make a few bucks. I mean, maybe a lot of us start off there, but some of us get to the point where we want this thing we’re doing for a living to feed our own soul instead of kill it and we really, really want the people we work with to feel just as deeply about what we make for them. We want our work in the hands of someone who will feel with their whole heart each time they see the love they have for each other captured in an image taken by us. That’s what I want for my work and those are the families I want to work with.

So yes I’ve put a price tag on my work, but part of the point of that price tag is to weed through the families who don’t want what I want from a session. The point of that price tag is to find my families; the ones who truly value the unique story of their own lives.

I think this is how I became a photographer’s photographer.

Now in the spirit of community of competition I present you with the beautiful Scott Family Photos. Michaela is also a photographer in the Southwest Austin area (Michaela Scott Photography). Her family is beautiful and so full of love for each other and I consider myself extremely lucky and honored to have had the opportunity to photograph them. The funny thing is Michaela just wanted one photo, but not for her Christmas card. Our session was worth it to her, if she got just one photo of her family that accurately depicted the love she and her family feel for each other. Good news though, this is only a slice of what she got. Both of our hearts are full.

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The Bazan Family: Austin Texas Lifestyle Family Photographer

A Central Texas Emotive Lifestyle Photo Session

The Bazan Family could have booked a session with anyone to document how they looked at this very time in their lives. There are countless photographers in the Austin area that could have done that for them and probably they would even do it for less money. The thing is the Bazan Family wasn’t interested in documenting how they look right now. The had something else entirely in mind.

The Bazan Family booked a session because they wanted to document the love and commitment their family had for one another with photographs.

These people are my people.

Not that traditional portraits don’t have their place because they do, but it’s not what I do. My single hope is that when my clients look at their photos years from now, they know that they were loved. I want them to feel how beautiful all the small moments were with just a single image. If they have half the response I did while editing these photos, I’ve done my job. This is the standard I have set for myself. This is why I’m picky about the kinds of sessions I’ll do.

These moments and being able to photography them and share what I do with others is a huge part of what fills me up.

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The Myers Family: Buda Family Photography

Monica Brown - Central Texas Lifestyle Family Photographer

I love a good ole Lifestyle Family session that actually takes place on the family’s property. It just adds that extra touch of personalization that makes their photos even more uniquely them and my storytelling photographer heart leaves the session so very happy. This was one of those family photo sessions. The trees were absolutely perfect and the light was everything I could ever ask for. We had to dodge a cow pattie or two, but I’m totally cool with worse if it means this is the result. And of course that’s all just bonus to working with one of the sweetest families in all of Buda, Texas. Secretly I’ve been wanting to photography their two beautiful and kind girls for years.

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I love working with families in the Buda/Austin/Central Texas area that are looking for something a little different from the typical “say cheese” photos. If you’d love to hear more about what I do or if you’re ready to book a session, please contact me. I can’t wait to hear from you.

Buda Texas Newborn Session: Welcome Baby Hannah

Buda Texas Lifestyle Newborn Photo Session by Monica Brown

Lifestyle Newborn sessions have my heart. There is just something about a new life that makes you forget all the ugly things swirling around and allows you to just focus on this one beautiful and hopeful life. These sessions are full of love and awe and I consider it an honor to be present for these moments in my clients’ lives.

Welcome Sweet Hannah. She’s perfect in every way and the perfect addition to this little family. Big sister is big sistering like this was the moment she was born for and big brother is working on being okay with losing that youngest child status.

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Professional Wardrobe Styling For Your Photo Session

Monica Brown | Austin, Central Texas Family Lifestyle Photographer

Probably 9 out of 10 clients completely freak out when it comes to trying to coordinate session day clothes for the entire family.  It's literally the most time consuming part of booking and preparing for a session for so many.  If the idea freaks you out, it's totally normal.  I completely get it and obviously you're not alone.

But guess what!!!!!! I've got your back momma.  

Professional styling for the whole family from the comfort of your couch (complete with kids screaming in the background) is now included with your lifestyle session fee.  

I want to make this as stress free as possible.  I want you to show up to your session feeling confident and ready to just be with your family.  I want the experience to be enjoyable and not feel like work.  

I need to show you how easy this is.  You answer a few simple questions about who you're dressing, what your vibe is, and voila, you're presented with clothing options perfect for your lifestyle family photo session and you simply pick the ones that fit your style and budget.  You can view your outfits together and then once all is said and done, you can email your selections to yourself so you can purchase later.

The image below is looking at your outfits together post making some selections.

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The video to the right is all of your selections conveniently located in your inbox.  Do you have to buy these exact clothes?  No, you don't.  Likely the men in your life have something similar in their closets that they can use or maybe you found basically the exact same shirt somewhere else for a better price.  Work with those scenarios if you can or if you find it easier to just purchase the suggested items, go for it.  

Planning for your session shouldn't be a chore and who really has extra time to plan things like outfits out?  It's just not necessary to hit up every store and blindly try to coordinate some things and hope it works out and I'm not going to make you do it that way.  

Does the idea of a photo session sound a bit more appealing now?  

I still have some Fall sessions left and obviously you'll look like a million bucks.

{Almost} Wordless Wednesday | Monica Brown Lifestyle Photographer

Monica Brown | Buda Texas Lifestyle Photographer

We'll let the pictures speak for themselves, but let me just say Wednesday is rough so far.  I should have known immediately that day 3 of school was going to be a hard start because the reminders to eat breakfast were aplenty.  Day three came with tears at drop off and my sweet girl saying she just wanted to be where I was today.  Break my heart.  You better believe I wanted to say okay and take her back home.  Enough of all that.  Check out these photos I've posted to Instagram over the last week.

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Lifestyle Family Photo Session: The Zeiglers

Monica Brown | Central Texas Lifestyle Family Photographer

Sometimes the best part of my job is just getting out there and meeting some of the awesome people who live near me.  This is the most rewarding part about the work I've done with our local neighborhood magazine, Neighbors of West Buda.  The September issue showed up in my mailbox last week and I'm just can't not share this Family Lifestyle Session with the Zeiglers with you.  

My one word to describe this family is AWESOME.  Also if you love a good romantic suspense novel, Amey (mom of this family) wrote one worth reading called Baker's Dozen, which can be found on My Amazon Favorites page.  I've personally read it and can definitely recommend it to you.  Click the button below to buy it.

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