Grad sessions can be creative, fun, and formal all at the same time! When I shot Ashley’s grad photos at The University of Texas at Austin, I knew there would be a ton of great locations or backdrops to make good photos but how to use those spaces creatively was up to me.
I always recommend my grad clients to bring their regalia and 1 to 2 outfits to get them in different looks. Ashley decided on her cap and gown with one nice dress. So outfits are part of the creative part of the shoot. Lighting is the second way you can make the photo shoot more creative and as you can see in these 6 photos I used lighting pretty differently giving each image a different feel. I used both ambient and studio lighting.
Posing your client in fun and creative poses can make for fun photos. I sometimes ask my clients to spin or jump creating movement a sense of movement in your shots. You can also tilt your camera in odd positions for cool perspectives. What creates the most fun photo for a client is when you allow them to be themselves. Most people have their own silly way of being unique and when you can capture that you’ll have great pics. FORMAL
Grad photos can be a little serious too. These are big milestones for many people and sometimes these moments call for formal portraits. In grad photos that means full regalia or formal outfit. In these photos we shot formal pictures in both outfits.
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While at The University of Texas at Austin I shot the sport of Volleyball for the first time. I really didn’t know what to expect, where I was allowed to stand, or what to shoot exactly.
I had photographed collegiate basketball, track, soccer and baseball. Volleyball was going to a new challenge but I was up for it. Around this time I was shooting with a Canon 5D, 70-200mm 2.8 lens, 50mm lens, and 20-35mm 3.5 lens. I did my best with what I had and I took it as a learning experience. I don’t think the college newspaper or yearbook ever sent me out to another volleyball game after this but that’s okay, I learned.
The game was enjoyable because; One, it was UT athletics and two the crowd of fired up students as amazingly supportive. This shot is one of my best from this first time experience.
In 2010 I had the opportunity to photograph Neil Young for a publication known as The Horn’s, He called me up around 5pm and asked if I was free to shoot something. I said, “Yeah sure, what is it?” Neil Young, he is playing at the performing center at The University of Texas at Austin.
This was one of my first major photography jobs while living in Austin, Texas. Their were restrictions that I was not prepared for but I toggled on my knowledge of my gear and did my best. The stage was way further from where I was allowed to rome and shoot from.
After leaving performing center, I mentally kicked myself. Why? I didn’t take photos of concert goers, excited fans, and the staff at the center.
The lady in the photo below traveled 13-hours to see Neil Young perform, those are the kind of things that make a story pop. I hope next time I am sent on a assignment I will remember to shoot the whole story. For now this is what I could produce from this event.
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This photoshoot took place at the Long Center for Performing Arts in Austin, Texas back in March of 2010. We met through a mutual friend, Laura Caldron, who was also a photography enthusiast and classmate at The University of Texas at Austin.
Tawny and I met before the shoot on campus to plan the shoot outfit. I found out that her and dresses didn’t really mix much, she told me she was all about metal band t-shirts and jeans, which is totally badass because of her relationship to a certain metal guitarist but I challenged her to step out of her comfort zone and see if she can wear a spring style dress.
Although in 2010 I was an okay photographer but I was still learning. I made the mistake to setup the photo shoot 3pm. I remember dealing with a hot ass sun and sketchy cloud coverage and my strobes were no help because of how windy it was. I had to think on my feet and so I decided to go to the next resource, my handy dandy reflector disk. The good thing was I had my best friend Israel assisting me that day and his personality really helped us get this shoot of the ground after our setbacks.
Tawny was a lot of fun to work with. She was very talkative and actually knew how to pose. I might look for my RAW files from this shoot to take another look at them in a editing software. Special thanks to Tawny Hammett, Israel Cavazos, and Laura Caldron for making this happen.
If you are interested in taking portraits in Austin, Texas please fill out the form below.
Traditionally my photography leans toward portraiture and photographing people. I’ve noticed that the majority of photographers start off their photography careers photographing nature and I don’t blame them because photographing people is very intimidating, especially as a beginner.
There was a time when I would photograph butterflies on my college campus in between classes but that was as far as my nature photography would go when I was first starting my photography career.
I find it kind of hard to photograph nature and I have learned it’s because I don’t have any patience and because nature doesn’t respond to you. Recently I have had a want to shoot more nature but I just don’t feel like I have the time to do so. Hopefully that can change soon. In the mean time here are some of older “nature” photography I captured when I was living in Austin, Texas attending the University of Texas at Austin.
Austin has beautiful sceneries in every corner so a lot of my “nature” photography was done when I would need to walk / commute somewhere. The majority was also taken on the UT campus because it’s such a beautiful mix of landscape, nature and architecture.
Hopefully I will be sharing more of my nature photography after this post. I feel excited to go out there and shoot, hopefully I find the patience and make the time. Thanks for reading!
Last week Sara and I got the opportunity to spend thanksgiving week in Dallas, Texas cat/dog sitting for a friend. Naturally as a photographer, I had to document the trip, so I took my Nikon D600 with a 50mm lens and theses are my favorite shots that I captured.
Photo Credit: Sara Yanez, Imanol Miranda, Ben Briones
During my spring break I took a trip to Austin with Sara and my sister Erica to visit our beloved sister Veronica, who is attending the University of Texas at Austin. Before going on this trip I told myself I wasn’t going to work or that I would only work one hour a week. Well that didn’t really last. I have a very awesome client in Austin who I messaged to see if she would be willing to take some maternity photos. Well She agreed and these are the beautiful photos we took of her and baby Banda.
We asked her to meet me at the Long Center Performing Arts Center because it has a beautiful view of the city and the surrounding area is beautiful. My client wore a cute baby blue lace dress for her photo shoot, which was perfect for the occasion and location. These are some of my favorite shots we were able to produce. Enjoy!
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Years ago when I was attending the The University of Texas at Austin I conducted a had a photoshoot on top of Mount Bonnell for my client and she turned the camera on me and took these fun portraits.
I would always wear that leather hat that I bought at the City Wide Garage Sale hosted inside the Palmer Event Convention Center and those old roper boots with holes that I have had for years. You would never see me leave home without my Canon 5D (original).
Austin was good to me during my college years and I do miss it sometimes but right now I am building my brand in the Rio Grande Valley, Edinburg to be exact. Maybe one day once I am established here I will franchise in Austin but for now I travel up only when hired or to visit my friends.
If you are looking to get some photos done in Austin, Texas please feel free to contact me. We travel up at no cost. Click on the links below to see some of my work done in Austin.
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Dallas has been the most difficult but cutest model I have ever worked with. She just didn’t care for photos. On the other hand; Ms. Jennifer was as Grace-full as she’s named. She flashed her beautiful smile in all her pictures while holding her furry love. Trust me…these photos may look gracious and dandy but that little fur-ball was really hyperactive but Jennifer tamed her well enough to capture some great shots.
I have photographed subjects with their dogs before but never with a cat. There’s always a first for everything right? Jennifer is from San Antonio, Texas and is a respiratory therapist. She and I became aquatinted via Instagram. One day we talked photography and she mentioned she wanted a photo shoot with her cat Dallas. If y0u know me. I am always down for an adventure. So we planned it and this is the result of that conversation.
This photo shoot made me want a cat even more. I have been eyeing Chartreux for a very long time now. Very happy to have met Dallas and Ms. Jennifer Grace. Enjoy these beautiful shots of a cat-lover.
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There are a handful of times that I get to travel out of town to document a special event. I got to photograph this intimate wedding at Port Arthur, Texas and it’s really thanks to my friend Rocio Granados. It as definitely a work trip for the books.
The drive to Beaumont, Texas was brutal but worth it. I drove for 6 hours and 31 minutes or 430.3 miles to shoot an intimate wedding with over 70 guest, where I only knew one. When I finally arrived, I actually stood outside of my host’s house front door for 30 minutes before they let me in. It was around 3:45am when I finally laid my head to rest and hug a stuffed unicorn to sleep. The next morning I woke up to a little girl staring at me asking her mom why I was on her bed. It was like a scene out of a movie. Regardless of the 4 hours that I slept I was ready for a new work experience, so I got out of bed and got ready.
The clients were friends of Rocio, who at the time was working for my studio, so she was the main point of communication for the newlyweds. I know I was going to be a stranger at this event but honestly I truly felt welcomed by the couple and their guest Rocio took the time to introduce me to everyone. I documented the usual we see at weddings; the ring exchange, the kiss, the bouquet toss, the cake cutting and then the games… Yes, games. Games like musical chairs accompanied by “el pollito” for who loss. That evening I found out I was pretty good a musical chairs because they made me participate and I ended up wining. Yet, I still had to do “el pollito” dance as you will see in the last photo.
Photo Credit: Rocio Granado, Ben Briones
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