macardimages: Blog en-us (C) macardimages (macardimages) Fri, 24 Oct 2014 14:43:00 GMT Fri, 24 Oct 2014 14:43:00 GMT macardimages: Blog 97 120 rockin' truck I have a friend I did a Triathlon with.  she is stunning and has an equally gorgeous family.  they asked me to do their family shots and after a few ideas we opted to start at their home and move from there to an oak tree in her neighborhood that she loves. then we thought we'd try a dilapidated barn we would have to break into (eek!).  keep in mind we are in Texas ;)   

we managed to get some good shots at the home.

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but my friend is a creative, fun type and I did not think these pictures would be reflective of them, so we got ready to go to the barn.  as I am walking through the garage I spot an 1970 fully restored Chevy pick-up truck.  I couldn't believe it.  it was perfect.  my friend tells me about the truck, it has a story.  her dad owned it when she was a kid and then his best friend restored it when he passed.  now it's being enjoyed by a whole different generation.  we dropped the barn idea and decided to move the truck by the tree and this was the result.

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amazing what some flexibility and a good attitude can do.  the family was a treat and at the end we got the edgy, artistic and timeless pictures we were after. 

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(macardimages) Bee Cave Lakeway family portraits headshot lake travis library lake travis photography photoshoot Thu, 23 Oct 2014 19:02:26 GMT
brotherly love at an unusual time sometimes I get new photography clients from referrals.  sometimes I get them from an internet search.

but sometimes I offer my work to help a school or charity and auction a photoshoot free of charge.  

I can imagine that for the family putting a bid is a bit like gambling.  they may not have heard of me and have no idea whether or not they will have the winning bid.  In this case, I was definitely the winner.  I got to photograph this adorable couple and their two boys.  

This time I had two firsts, parents willing to make their kids late to school in the name of photography (yay!) and the location.  The location was suggested by the mom, and was perfect.  We are in Texas, so even in September it is still warm but the canopy of trees and early morning hour worked for us so well that no one withered :)  They are such a busy family that this was the only time they could get their pictures done and the boys were only marginally late to school... shh

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These boy were the sweetest.  Holding hands as they made their way through the location.  You could tell they have a very special bond and kept looking out for each other.  The only challenge was to photograph them individually!

They played and explored and reminded me of my girls :)

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Behind me, the parents just glowed in their statuesque gorgeousness. 

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you thought I was kidding, right? nope. both tall. both gorgeous.

all in all, I think the photo shoot was beautiful, touching, and the fact that it raised money for a good cause was icing on the cake!

I hope they feel like their gamble paid off :)

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(macardimages) Wed, 24 Sep 2014 14:19:21 GMT
glowing from the inside we used to homeschool.  last year we made the decision to give me a break and the kids an experience in public school when we moved to a highly appraised school district.  i still miss homeshooling and I've no doubt that we will do it again but for now I kiss up to the teachers, get involved in the school, and focus on my photography.  the result? they've had great teachers, I've met lots of new people and I'm loving taking better pictures!

this was my daughter's first teacher ever.  

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gorgeous right?! but that's not all, she was so good with the kids and won them over completely.  those kids loved her and my daughter was no exception.  i was so happy to do their family portraits to thank her for her time and patience and we scheduled to start the shoot at the local library. i love tying in the location with the client, making it personal and the library seemed appropriate.  


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did I mention her kids are adorable too? 

after some great shots inside we moved on to the outside and melted in the Texas heat.  kidding, they glowed, I melted.

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we had some fun with the architecture and then moved to a second location.  a historical cluster of cabins that were built by the first settlers in the Bee Cave area.  this was the clients suggestion and a first for me!  

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it was a great location and the kids loved exploring and talking about how people used to live.  i learned a few things during this photoshoot.

make it personal.

​make the location relevant.

when at all possible, gift a photoshoot to people that touch your life in some way.

(macardimages) Bee Cave Lakeway family portraits headshot lake travis library lake travis photography photoshoot teacher gift thank you gift for teacher Tue, 16 Sep 2014 14:06:11 GMT
bluebonnet pictures... like a pro! My hope is that this tutorial leaves you more confident and knowledgeable that you can take beautiful pictures of your children in the Texas bluebonnets without a professional.  I have been taking pictures of my own kids for years in the patches and have a learned a lot... and probably made all the mistakes possible!  Having said that, these are the lessons that I think matter most and will make a true impact in the end results:

scout your area.

As soon as you start to see the blooms on the side of the read in Texas you know it's time!  Wait a week or two more and no longer, but keep an eye out for a patch that is convenient to your family. You don't want to spend too much time traveling and risk getting stuck in traffic and/or having grumpy kids.  This year we found some less than half a mile from our house! Can't beat that!  Keep your travel time to less than 1/2 an hour and you're golden. 

(c) (512)618-0727 Sorry about the blurry picture taken from a moving car- but I wanted you to see that this was no field of bluebonnets but a decent patch with parking close by, so that was good enough for me, therefore...

don't under estimate the size and location.

I used to see small patches and think they were not worthy but I have since learned!  A 10' X 5' patch can be enough!  Get up close and be aware of your background to avoid distractions like street lights, cars, etc.  Also, even if the location is in a busy-ish street (keep away from highways!), remember that no one will know that in the end!  I had a spot I thought we'd try in front of our church and when we got there, there was an accident!  Needless to say, we went on with our shoot and avoided that direction.

here's the accident (c) (512)618-0727

and here's the distractions I cropped out

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see my car?

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be prepared.

I like to let the kids know where we are going and what to expect, so that they are a little more relaxed.  A couple of things to note about bluebonnets... they attract A LOT of bees and probably other critters.  My girls were great about this but my son was all freaked out about getting stung.  I had to bribe him, tell him how the field of flowers was like an all-you-can-eat buffet for bees, and give him something else to focus on, which brings me to my next tip...

bring props.

I know this may sound cheesy, but it stages the picture and gives kids something else to divert their attention to. I always bring a trunk full of props- just in case!  This time I took an antique chair (not used), a blanket, and a book.  Turns out we used the book and the blanket but the chair just did not work.  You never know until you try it, so take things and have fun!  Other things I've used to get kids to focus on something other than the camera... balloons, bubble machine, sketch pad and crayons, a beach ball (when not windy!).

get down low.

This is a general rule for children anyway, get down to their eye level... but even more relevant when taking pictures of them surrounded by the gorgeous texture and color of bluebonnets.  When you get down low, it gives the impression of being unintentional and inconspicuous, much more less staged.

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see? it works! Don't you love her cheeky expression?!


Remember that this is not really fun for them and it may set the stage for photo shoots to come so relax, enjoy your children, and remember that it is about the memories and capturing this specific stage in their lives, even in the midst of a tantrum!  

take a lot of pictures. a lot.

(c) (512)618-0727 (c) (512)618-0727 You never know which one will be the shot or which angle/ lighting will work best so keep clicking and make them recount funny memories!  Don't be intimidated and do something different this year... get those pictures and make them look like a pro took them! 

Happy clicking!


(macardimages) bluebonnets children family kids lakeway outdoor photography portraits texas Sun, 06 Apr 2014 03:18:26 GMT
and caption! I love photographing sporting events.  They are outdoors (therefore great lighting opportunities), people are mostly happy to be there,  but primarily I love them for the excitement/ nervousness/ and emotions visible on everyone's faces.  Emotions are raw and subjects not aware of the camera or care how they may look.  Those are the best pictures. 


Transition preparations as people still rub the crust out of their eyes and wait for the morning coffee to kick in; Old competitors seeing each other for the first time since the last race, secretly eyeing the other's bike and physical condition; Team mates helping each other prepare for the start and banishing the butterflies by telling stories and experiences. All the while this glorious light trickles in, making it's way though the bikes, people, and bouncing off wet suits.  

The golden hour.  Ahhh.  Everything is in real color, no distortions or shadows.  Then there's the lake... it glimmers like a thousand diamonds completely undisturbed but by the breeze.  That is, until the rainbow of swim caps start making their ripples.  It's exciting; beautiful; and silently I cheer for everyone as I click away on my Nikon.

Recently I had the amazing opportunity of photographing two major triathlons here in New Mexico. The City of Lakes and Cochiti Lake, both wonderfully organized events by companies that dedicate many weekends of their time for the love of the sport.  I admire everyone there.  Competitors train and prepare for months in advance and their families that support them in their endeavor.  However, what I have been the closest to has been the inside; the race directors, promoters, and chip timers.  They work their ass off for weeks (pardon the french but there is no other way to describe it) in advance to make everything coordinate.  

Permits, registrations, sponsors, packet pickups, equipment, hotel rooms, dinner, and breakfast for the volunteers and/or staff, and so many other things I can't even imagine.  Their life of luxury is defined by sleeping in trailers close to their equipment, or sleeping 2 hours because they set up transition til 2:30am.  I have been in awe of their efforts for the love of the sport and spirit of competition.  Angie Kandalft from Chasing 3, Andie Talmadge from Fit Fundamentals, and Antonia DeHorney from Dash, you guys make all this magic happen.  Thanks for bringing me into your world and letting me capture it.

On a lighter note this is my most favorite recent picture. Please help me caption it!

I will be doing mini sessions in August and am offering a free one with 20 digital images to the best caption for the picture above!  Post in comments below.  Be creative, witty, but above all be nice!


(macardimages) albuquerque photography chasing 3 dash family photography fit fundamentals macari images mini session new mexico sports photography triathlon Fri, 02 Aug 2013 02:15:05 GMT