Antonio & Michelle: Lone Oak Barn Wedding

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No pressure for this wedding, the groom Antonio is also a photographer and he is up for anything. The bride, Michelle, is the little sister of one of our running friends. The expectations are always high of course, but I would be lying if I wasn’t a bit nervous heading into this fall Saturday. Thankfully we had the team from Life Styled Events to keep the day running smooth.

The ceremony at St. Elizabeth of Hungary started the day off with a dual language service. Beautiful stained glass adorned the chapel with vignettes of the other area Catholic Churches, a nice inclusive touch. From the church it was off to one of favorite venues, Lone Oak Barn in Round Rock, where the party really got started.

A few of the brushstrokes from the reception that stood out to me: A fun photobooth, a dad’s toast that veered into Cajun, the groom and his mother dance that left my eyes a little watery, and a couple madly in love. Of course the cowbell to ring for a kiss was the evening’s favorite game to play anytime Antonio and Michelle were more than 5 feet away from each other.

Congratulations to Antonio & Michelle!
–JB

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Haide & Manny: Round Rock Wedding

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Excited to finally be sharing Haide & Manny’s wedding with y’all. We have followed this couple around 2 countries (part 1 | part 2 | part 3) now taking their photos and we couldn’t be more excited for the future that they will be sharing. The ceremony was at St. Williams Catholic Church in Round Rock followed by the reception at Pfluger Hall in you guessed it, Pflugerville, my town! The reception had a couple of firsts for me that I thought were interesting.

The first first was getting to listen to Haide sing with the Mariachi band during cocktail hour, the girl can belt it! The second first was a game that I don’t know of but consited of the bridal party trying to tackle the bride and groom off the chairs they were standing on while Manny held onto the veil. It was exciting to watch though and then the groomsmen almost threw Manny into the ceiling. Not a first, but it was also a treat to see all the kids running around having fun with the light toys and blinking sunglasses. Reminded me of going to weddings as a kid in Seguin when the best thing to do was slide across the corn-mealed dance floor like a slip and slide.

So congrats to Haide & Manny, glad we could be there along the way in your life’s journey. Excited to see where the road takes you!
–JB

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Lauren & Shawn: Pflugerville Plantation House Wedding

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This family and fun filled Plantation House wedding was photographed by one of our Senior Photographer’s, Kaush Biyani. Here are his words in describing the evening:

Lauren and Shawn are such a sweet couple! They got married on a very cold day in Austin, but their love and their family’s warmth shined through the sleet and chill. The couple has battled distance, adversity, health issues, but have stuck by each other. It was an honor and pleasure to photograph their wedding and document their everlasting love!

Lauren, thanks for being a trooper and braving the cold for those amazing outdoor photos! Big shout out to Joanna at the Plantation House for not only a gorgeous venue but great planning skills too! Oh! And the cakes were AMAZING too!”

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Ashley T: Pflugerville Senior Portraits

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One of the joys of being a photographer in Pflugerville is seeing friends referring friends and then trying to top each other with their portrait sessions. Ashley is a referral and she has helped me out on shoots over the last year so it was a joy to photograph her Senior Portraits because she knew exactly what was coming. This fun filled shoot started with lollipops and ended with the stench of pumpkins behind the Methodist church but we will get to that.

We started at the coolest toy shop in Pflugerville, Toy Time, to get a few with the ring flash and her batman shirt. We bought a mask there so Ashley could be the batgirl of her dreams. We also might have rode a toddlers racy car but I am neither confirming nor denying that. From Toy Time we headed over to a field of round bales to get Ashley in the hay and the iconic Pflugerville water tower in the background. A new spot for me to shoot and a new angle on the water tower. Ashley had her cowgirl dud’s on, wearing boots, cutoff jeans and a big belt buckle plus those cool shades.

The middle portion of our session had us in one of my favorite Pflugerville photo spots, the waterfall on Gilleland Creek. Played around with shutter speed and a gridded flash to keep Ashley still but the water moving while still showing off some rare fall foliage. Ashley got soaked, I got soaked and the camera got wetter than I hoped, but the photographs turned out and that’s what matters. Our last stop is another place that I have driven past hundreds of times thinking that it would make a good photo spot and sure enough the old cotton gin near the Methodist church on Pecan was a great backdrop to Ashley’s smirk. The only issue we had was the rotting pumpkins from the halloween sale fermenting in the field next to us. Not pleasant.

And thus we have our tour of Pflugerville senior portrait session. It’s a fun feeling cruising Pflugerville making cool portraits. Already scouted some new spots so be sure to book your session soon and tell a friend!

–JB

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Helina: Pflugerville Senior Portraits

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Helina and I have been working on the theme and concept for the creative half of her senior portraits since we photographed her older sister’s senior portraits. With Helina’s love of all things Italian and my love of vintage fashion we decided on theme that can best be described as Audrey Hepburn as shot for Vogue Italia. Our locale is the fabulous Taylor Mansion in Taylor, Texas a place with it’s own history and stories to tell. We loved using their Victorian-styled drawing room downstairs and the intricate stained glass hallway upstairs. We Highly Recommend the staff and venue for portrait sessions and weddings, just has a vibe about it.

For the second half of our shoot we explored downtown Taylor with its different era buildings and background playing host to our photographic whims. Helina’s blue outfit contrasted amazingly with the red door we found in one alley. An abandoned loading dock with green hues paired well with our letter jacket pose and the Pflugerville HS blue. This was our first time in downtown Taylor and we are definitely heading back, we saw some great urban textures that would look super for other portraits including a green wall with frosted glass that intrigues me.

Thanks to Ashley for helping us out on this shoot and a big thanks to Helina for collaborating on such an amazing Senior Session. Make sure and give her lots of love in the comments!
–JB

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Precision Tune Pflugerville: Commercial

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We love being the go to photographers in our mid sized community of Pflugerville, just outside of Austin, Texas. We have developed good business relationships with other small businesses in Pflugerville through our hard working Chamber of Commerce. One of those contacts is Jason from Precision Tune Auto Care. A hardworking standup community guy and a great place to take your vehicle for repair, we have been doing so for the last 4 years. It is really a pleasure to turn our cameras and lights on regular guys working hard everyday, especially those not used to the spotlight. Jason’s staff at Precision Tune gave us full reign over shooting and lighting and we did our best to make sure they looked like the super mechanic’s that they are. We were inspired in our group shot to go after a Pawn Stars look and pay homage to an inspiring photographer of mine, Joey L.

For those interested in lighting and such, the team shot above was four lights working against an underexposed sky. A big octabox was the key light boomed above my head. A hard light to the right was illuminating the company logo. A bare speedlight was behind the group to provide edge, and a yellow gelled speedlight was in the office to lighten it up as well. We processed in LR4 with lots of clarity. Clarity is great for tough guys, not so much for babies or brides. No bride wants to look like Clint Eastwood on her big day.

These photographs are a good sample of how we can provide a good image library for your small business. Contact us so that we can help you look your best.

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Palladino Sisters: Senior Portraits

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Not often we photograph a Sister Session and a Senior Session at the same time but Kate and Christa are both graduating this year, Kate from Pflugerville HS (but going to A&M) and Christa from the University of Texas (hook’em!). We bounced around Old Settlers park and discovered a new to me barn with farm implements and a supercool old Chevrolet farm truck. After we used all the daylight we could at Old Settlers we headed into downtown Round Rock where we used some rustic background and broke out our ringflash for the first time in a while. We really had a great time together and their Mom basically had to pull us away from shooting all into the night.

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We explored a lot of natural light + reflector settings, which if you follow this blog, we don’t do too much of, but it was the best light available in a few of the places we were so we went with it. With numerous outfit changes we explored a range of facial emotions as well, and really tried to fit the light to the emotion at hand. Really a fun shoot where everything lined up well. I look forward to going through the 400+ photos we took to pick out the super elite because I think there maybe a couple of portfolio winners in the bunch.

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Which ones are yalls favorite?
–JB

Andrew & Cathie: Engagements on Film

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A little backstory to start off this post. My wife’s father was a huge camera junkie, some of the cameras he owned were in indeed on the large side (polaroid land and a Speed Graphic) but most of them are of the 35mm variety. The photos in this post are taken with a Pentax K1000 and a 28mm f2.8 lens. This is an old school, all manual camera that is tough as nails in a I-don’t-even-need-a-battery-to-work-I-just-get-the-job-done kind of way. Which explains why Glenn owned it, because he was that kind of guy too. The back body literally has his name on the camera etched with a penknife. I hope that I get to channel a small bit of his sensibilities into each photograph.

I have just recently had it serviced and deemed ready to photograph with again. So we are starting to use them for small portions of portrait and engagement sessions for a different look and feel. I love slowing down with film, pausing, thinking, and contemplating the next shot. On this roll of film I only glanced at the non-existent review screen 3 times! I really like the lack of auto-focus and freeing my mind from the limitations of auto-focus points.

Let’s move on and talk about this super awesome couple for a minute shall we? You, our faithful blog readers, have already seen them rock some Mad Men style in their first appearance. This session was to finish up our engagement photography needs with a casual and somewhat vintage look. The old-school-ness of Andrew and Cathie were another reason that I wanted to debut the film files with them. The final images fit their sensibilities of tradition and style.

We photographed these in the old Wells Branch homestead at Katherine Fleischer park futhering the old world vibe. I love that these guys are stable and grounded with their feelings for each other. They just are as one as most are as two. Very much on the same wavelength with each other. Any serious photographs of the two of them together is a mere fraction of a second surrounded by minutes of laughter.

We will continue to utilize the look and feel of the 70’s era Pentax. For now I am really digging on the look that the Kodak Portra 160 is providing. Think it might be right for part of your engagement session? Let us know!
–JB
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Andrew + Cathie: Engaged {Mad Men Style}

A little Mad Men style from our engagement session yesterday. Andrew and Cathie were in that group who when asked if they wanted traditional or creative, they looked at each other, grinned and said “Creative!”. I have been wanting to do a Mad Men style shoot since I got hooked on the show a few years back, and we finally found willing participants! They came to the set at PBK Stem & Stein with lots of clothes options, props and accessories and we also had a stylist on set looking coordinating outfits and looks. All that was left for me to do was light the sets and get the emotions right, no small feat, but hey what else was I to do. I would also share my sketches of the shots that I wanted, but I don’t want to lose my artist card, ha!

The toughest part is getting the tight lighting and ambient of the show to balance in a live, moving peices photoshoot. I think we got pretty close. We mainly used an 86 inch parabolic umbrella to set our base exposure. Then had a speedlight in a 25 degree grid for the faces, and we sometimes used a 24×36 softbox for edges and highlights.

So let’s tell our own little visual narrative: A couple is meeting illicitly, a little flirting, and then their escape through the paparazzi down the stair way.

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And yes, real bourbon was harmed in the making of these photographs.

–JB

PBK Stem & Stein: {Bridal Style}

We put together a bridal style shoot this week to show off the new Pflugerville destination venue PBK Stem & Stein. Great use of a super cool building in downtown P-ville with a history that dates back to a Prohibition-era Speakeasy. Super cool upstairs bar, nice little nooks and crannies to explore and the best patio in town. Our style team showed their pro chops by getting this up and running in a heartbeat, just like a real wedding!

Flowers: Flower Child Design
Venue: PBK Stem & Stein
Models: Jenny Lynn Larsen & Nicole Bowler
Hair/MUA: Crystal Glass Makeup
Breakfast Tacos: Me!
Masks: Jennifer Davis with Pilgrimage Design
Bridal Gowns: SOMETHING BORROWED BRIDAL LENDING

Joe Thorne: IronMan

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Today we are featuring a trio of photographs that star Joe Thorne, a soon to be pro card triathlete. We are working with Joe to create a portfolio of images for his website and this post looks at his bike work. We will be scheduling some pool (yes, underwater) time soon, and then maybe a few on the run as well to get a full complement of bold images for him to use to attract sponsors. If you are a sponsor reading this, please sponsor Joe! And if you are an athlete or sports minded company, let us know how we can improve your portfolio of photography.

2012 Senior Portrait Favorites

Haydn and the Austin Skyline

Average. You won’t find any average photos here at AzulOx Photography. Our motto for 2012, go BIG or go home. Our custom senior portrait sessions are getting more and more epic everyday. From Aztec Warrior Princess to Rat Pack Crooner we are showcasing your personalities and talents in a way no other studio can. Yes there is still time to book, photograph and receive your prints for the end of the 2012 school year. But you need to contact us as soon as possible we have very few sessions left.

Take a look at the amazing imagery you will only find at AzulOx Photography. Notice anything different? I thought so. You noticed there are not any “sitting on the train tracks looking dreamy” images because really, who plays with trains? Take one more look at the photographs, now contact us with your ideas.

Bryttne and the Windmill

Cameron Crooning

Rachel & Gus

Wendy, the Azteca Princess

Aubry in the Middle

Heather the Heartbreaker

Kevin & Victoria – Preview

Tori with a laugh

The joy of wedding photography is seeing the love and emotion of two people becoming one. Families join together, hugs and kisses get shared around the room, hand shakes and back pats with the occasional “Attaboy!” thrown in. The only thing left for me is to keep the camera to my eye and click away. Victoria and Kevin had a tough road to get together, and though the journey was trying at times, the jubilation of the destination was apparent all day.

Chelsea – Trash the Dress Session – McMurtrie Farms, Pflugerville

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If you have followed my blog in the past year or so, you know that I love our local Pflugerville wedding venue McMurtrie Farms. Great facility that is continually getting better. The owner, Chelsea, had mentioned to me that she wanted to be a part of a shoot sometime and that “oh, yeah, I can fit in my wedding dress better than I did 10 years ago should we use that?”

Jeff & Cheri (&Rocky sometimes) – Engagement Photos – Walnut Creek Park, Texas

Jeff, Cheri and I have met on the running trails of Texas, usually with them running really long distances, and me taking lots and lots of photographs. We got together recently for some engagement photos that show off one of their favorite spots to run, Walnut Creek Park, with their dog – Rocky.

This crazy couple is also throwing a trail marathon event on the day before their wedding. You can check out “Race to the Altar” for more info.

We will be covering their wedding and trail marathon in March, can’t wait to post some of those photos too!

Rocky, really wanting to go running and not so much taking pictures

Jeff & Cheri, happily in love on a cool winters eve

Cheri's Calves after running 5 marathon plus distances in 5 weeks

Jeff and Cheri, on the trails in Walnut Creek Park

Creative Folk – A Ramble deleted

Ivy K on the rusty bridge

I started to write a long and rambling post about the details of meeting a cool new person and the ramifications of such.

Instead of slogging through that read I will leave the photographers that read this blog with a simple message and a few photographs.

The message: Get out from behind the desk, meet new people, especially those with crazy ideas, and take pictures. Good things will happen.

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Looking forward to making quirky images with Ivy. This week’s creative person met and photographed.

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Pflugerville Pfamily Expo – October 2010


A gorgeous sunrise kicked off Saturday morning’s Pflugerville Pfamily Expo. This event bring in families from the Pflugerville area for a chance to meet with local businesses. The event had helicopters come in from various organizations, choir performaces, tae kwon do exhibtions, pet adoption and an appearance by a local SWAT unit. Everything an 8 year old loves!

I setup my booth a little early and then ran around taking a few snaps of everyone else setting up.

Very Cool Booth Setup

Layout for the Tables in our Tent

The AzulOx Photography booth was conveniently placed closely to Chelsea from McMurtrie Farms and by Lee Ann from Lee Ann’s Cakes. We had a little wedding vendor triangle going on. I am still a little nervous before events like this, so it was good to have some seasoned pro’s next to me. Our table featured some big prints that are normally displayed at Flower Child Design, and we sprinkled in some new products from MpixPro such as a Leather Assembled album of Senior Portraits, lots of metallic prints, and new business cards featuring brand new imagery.

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We had a lot of fun bringing out the prop hats, scarves and boas with a small softbox to make an impromptu photo booth! The kids had a blast getting their Captain Jack Sparrow on in the silly pirate hat. Some adults were a little hesitant at first, but most got into the groove once they saw how much fun the kids were having.

Strama for Pirate Captain

Chelsea says Arggggh!

Thanks to all the families who came out to visit with us, we are looking forward to working with you very soon.

All of the Pirate Hat photos are located in my gallery here.

A Mighty Wind

Bridal Outtakes

Today we are going to talk about overcoming the best prepared plans going out the window.

I schedule a bridal session with Kylie for this past Saturday at a location in Pflugervile at a local park featuring a Green Red Barn, a nice little gazebo, and a Century Old House. I had gone there twice for scouting purposes, planned where I would want to place her and which lenses to use and where. Even wrote them down to carry with me so that I could let emotion and creativity take over once the shoot started and still get the framework of images I wanted.

Texas Weather had other plans.

On the Thursday before the Saturday session, weather.com was predicting rain. Uh-oh, start looking for back up sites. On Friday, it looked like Saturday would be nice and clear. Saturday came, and the rain I had hoped wouldn’t show didn’t, but in it’s place came a mighty wind. If you have lived in Central, we get these blue northerners coming through pretty briskly, and then a coastal south wind returns the favor. At least the skies were cool.
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The winds were in the 15-20 mph range with some serious gusts coming through from time to time. Sandbags weren’t going to hold a 2 foot square softbox. Luckily for me, my second shooter for the wedding came out to help and meet the bride. Thanks Kaush and Chris!

So what to do? your favorite spots are invalid with the wind blowing.

First thing we did was keep the bride in the car while Kaush and I scouted for both look and wind shields.

The house from the top picture was something I wanted to incorporate into the pictures, so we found a corner where the wind was minimized to get the sitting down shots from the prepared list. This bought us time in hopes that the afternoon wind would wind down. (see what I did there)

The second location of the big red barn we had to move to the side to keep the wind in the right side of Kylie’s face.

The best thing was the crazy sky that added a touch of the dramatic to the photos, and with the wind speed they were moving fast enough to give us “multiple backgrounds”
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The key to making this a successful shoot in spite of the howling breeze, was having a vision of the images you want from the get go. Wind can be blocked by buildings, light stands can be held by assistants, advance scouting will key you in to alternate shots. Shooting on-location portraits is always going to be a chancy game, so do your best to come with an ability to roll with the punches and make the images you want to make.

Pictures are made with cameras or crayolas, and our craniums.