San Antonio Lifestyle Portrait Photographer | Anna Angenend: Blog https://www.annaangenend.com/blog en-us Anna Angenend Photography (San Antonio Lifestyle Portrait Photographer | Anna Angenend) Sat, 27 Mar 2021 21:08:00 GMT Sat, 27 Mar 2021 21:08:00 GMT The Photographers Kids | Tips For Getting Your Family Ready For Photos https://www.annaangenend.com/blog/2021/3/getting-your-family-ready-for-photos Are there stereotypes about photographers kids?

I feel like mine are constantly in photo, but rarely family photos and never the "normal" photos like first day of school, or kinder graduation...maybe that's because we homeschool.  Whatever the case, getting kids out the door for ANYTHING is like a friggin circus, that takes time and practice! Getting kids out the door perfectly pressed and happy to take photos....not always a fun time. 

Here are five super simple things I do when I want to set my kids up for success for whatever photo session I have dreamed up for them.

p.s. this quick session was meant to be bluebonnet photos, which I had already taken a month earlier this time in 2020, but when we got to my favorite wildflower spot, it was practically naked. 😭 That darn Texas snow storm!

We snapped a few quick shots anyway, with some flowers I had brought with us. I'm sure we will return back soon for another session, my kids will be thrilled wont they. 😂

 

 

 

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FIVE SIMPLE THINGS TO HELP YOUR KIDS HAVE A GREAT PHOTO SHOOT

 

  • Get yourself ready way ahead of time: 

Now you are ready and able to help get the rest of the family out the door, and you can sip your coffee and take your time getting ready without feeling rushed. In an ideal world, anyway! If you have messy babies or toddlers, maybe wait until the last minute to change clothes, but otherwise... BE READY. 

  • Lay out outfits for kids the day before

This way you can see how everything looks together and make sure you have it all covered down to the socks and earrings. Also, if your kids are picky like mine, they want to have a say in what they wear, so showing them ahead of time what I have planned (or letting them help plan it) means less struggle and protest when it's time to get dressed. I don't dress my 2 y.o. until we are actually about to start taking photos. Kids can find a billion ways to mess up an outfit in a car. 

  • Feed the lil' monsters

Joking, but also so serious. Hunger meltdowns are the fastest way to make a photoshoot stressful. Feed yourself , and get the family some snacks!

If you can pop a nap in with that snack, you're totally golden.  

  • What to bring with you

Wipes for snotty noses, mouths with snacks on them, or spills on outfits. Water and snacks....it's just always safest to have these things with you, let's be honest. A "surprise" for after the photos, like a cookie! Possibly one of your kids favorite toys. I like to capture this part of their different stages during childhood, and they are typically  happier when they have their comfort item with them. 

  • Include them in the planning

Let them know that this session will be a fun family outing, they are going to meet someone new, or see an old friend...depending on your photographer. Talk about where you're going to go, and what will be expected of them. They can even practice making faces in the mirror, or think of a  fun pose they want to try. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Want to book a family session in the San Antonio area? Let's chat!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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(San Antonio Lifestyle Portrait Photographer | Anna Angenend) antonio bluebonnets education family golden hacks help hints hour kids life minis mom parenthood parenting photo photographer photography photos san spring sunset texas tips toddlers https://www.annaangenend.com/blog/2021/3/getting-your-family-ready-for-photos Sat, 27 Mar 2021 21:05:48 GMT
Meagan + Harold | Romantic Photo Session | Botanical Gardens https://www.annaangenend.com/blog/2021/3/couplesphotosession couples posing san antonio texas

couples photos san antonio texas photographer Fresh Spring blossoms at the San Antonio Botanical Gardens, and young love.  What could be sweeter?

Harold said "I wasn’t sure what to wear, so I went for a suit".

Guys, ALWAYS go for the suit. You cannot fail. I love the formality and class both of their looks brought to their session. Honestly, I cannot recall the last time I had a session with someone wearing a suit! Megans gorgeous makeup look was done by the very talented Cynthia Barber makeup artist in San Antonio, TX. I highly recommend her talents to anyone who wants to get glammed before their photo session. 

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I am convinced that absolutely everyone thinks they don't photograph well, or feels uncomfortable in front of the camera. Even this gorgeous couple was worried they would be awkward. The most consistent thing I hear leading up to a photo session is "we're awkward! We don't get photos taken often".  Believe me, I absolutely understand how you feel. I too, have had many uncomfortable  "deer in headlights" moments in front of a camera, and was left feeling like I could barely recognize myself in the photos.  It has become one of my top priorities to make your session breeze by quickly and to make it where you're having so much fun, your forget that you are even having your photos taken! Truly, your photo session with me will feel like a fun family outing or a date night activity, AND you get a lasting keepsake from it. 

It's so rewarding to hear "wow, that was so easy!" at the end of all my sessions. 

The thing is, YOU are not supposed to know what to do, so you don't have to even think about it! I will give you fun prompts and things to do during your session, that will lead to fun and genuine moments like those ones I captured here. I promise you, your next photo session can be fun and painless, give me a chance to show you! 

Just come ready to have fun. 

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Secondly, after the fun of your session, and all the planning leading up to it, I know how hard it is to wait to see the results. Which is why I prioritize getting your images to you as quickly as possible. I always request that you give me 5-7 business days, but rarely do I need that much time. Most of my clients will have their full gallery within 24-48 hours.  san antonio texas couples photography san antonio texas couples photography san antonio engagement photographer san antonio engagment and elopement photographer satx candid emotional romantic photographer san antonio engagement photographer san antonio texas engagement photographer san antonio texas engagement photographer couples portrait in san antonio texas romantic couples photography in san antonio texas couples engagement san antonio texas san antonio texas photographer family lifestyle candid portraits couples photography satx couples portraits photographer satx photography satx photography family couples lifestyle candid natural light photographer satx photographer couples session Thank you so much for spending your afternoon with me Megan & Harold. I hope you treasure these photos for the rest of your lives, and one day your great grandkids will look at these and think "dang, I had some cute as heck great grandparents!" haha I Look forward to capturing more special moments in your lives. 

 

If you are interested in booking a session with me (YAY!) please contact me here:

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(San Antonio Lifestyle Portrait Photographer | Anna Angenend) antonio best candid canon couples cute elopment engagements family ideas lifestyle lightroom natural photographer photography portraits poses posing romantic san satx session sunset texas https://www.annaangenend.com/blog/2021/3/couplesphotosession Tue, 23 Mar 2021 17:56:07 GMT
Bluebonnets Are In Session | San Antonio, TX Bluebonnet Photos https://www.annaangenend.com/blog/2021/3/bluebonnets-are-in-session-san-antonio-tx-bluebonnet-photos Every Spring, the spotting of the first bluebonnet is a momentous occasion.

 

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This Spring in Texas, it's really hard to believe it's March again, first off because we just had a a huge snow that has left every living thing in our grounds brown or bare. It's hard to envision  bluebonnets springing from the dirt right now. Do bluebonnets come after the snow? I guess we will wait and see. 

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This March also feels signifiant for another reason. We are creeping up on the one year anniversary of the first shutdown we had in San Antonio, Tx. It's hard to fathom that we have all been living during a pandemic for a year now, and simultaneously it's had to remember life before it changes so drastically. I fell one thousands times more the adult then I was in March of 2020, is it just me?

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Over the course of this year, I went through the process fo first cancelling all my sessions, then trying a few front porch session when they began trending. It was tricky at first, and still can be with little kids...but I've also learned that I can do session while keeping my distance. I've greatly improved at giving you prompts for posing and fixing little details versus me hopping into your personal bubble and fixing your hairs or necklace for you.

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So yes, Virginia, you really CAN do a photo session staying 6ft a part. What a weird fact I never imagined I'd need to know prior to 2020. 

I have not spotted the first sign of bluebonnets yet. I promise I will let you know when I do. If you send me your email address, I will happily keep you on my list of updates. You can also always follow me on my Facebook or Instagram for updates. 

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Wether the bluebonnets come or not, I am really looking forward to some Spring and wildflower mini sessions. Some people take this event and make it an annual family photo updates, a just for fun session, an Easter session, or fit it to whatever else occasion is coming up for you this Spring, Spring can feel like a rainbow after a storm and man has this year been a storm...one storm after another in fact. 

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Some of my favorite locations for Spring mini sessions are:

San Antonio Botanical Gardens- So much variety, ranging from ponds to fields of wildflowers, lush greenery, succulent gardens and waterfalls. 

Guadalupe State Park - Splash in the river and feel the kiss of Spring sun on your cheeks in the gorgeous hillside location

A random field near you - wildflowers can pop up in the most unexpected places, and I've come to find a few favorite haunts that I check out every year. 

You home - many of you loved the front porch sessions from last year, and I think it's an idea worthy of repeating or even making a tradition! Show how you have or haven't changed during this momentous year. Let me join you as your plan your garden, or go for a walk outside. These little at home sessions are cozy and intimate. More of a documentary portraiture style and they are precious photos to hold on to exactly what these days are like for you at this point in time. 

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The best dates are:

I have a variety of dates open for March-early May. The timeline is a little different for the bluebonnets and wildflowers this year, so I am flexible while we wait for them to appear. 

Worthy of noting: best times of day are early morning between 8:00-9:00, or evenings around 5-7:00. 

Most of my available session dates are for a Friday evening, Saturday morning or afternoon, or Sunday evening. 

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The details are:

My mini session details can always be viewed here. I can provide more details in an email or free phone consultation to you. This session can really be tailored to whatever your dream for. a photo session have been lately, at an affordable and flexible rate. This is by far my most popular option. But as a bonus, I will be including 10 digital images in the price, and any additional digital images from your session can be purchased for $10 ea. 

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I am always excited to hear your ideas, and bring your vision to life. I am so ready to dive into Spring of 2021 and create the much needed happy magic that we all need in our lives. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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(San Antonio Lifestyle Portrait Photographer | Anna Angenend) antonio bluebonnets candid family golden headshots hour kids lifestyle light mini natural nature photo photographer photography photos portrait portraits san san antonio session sessions spring sunset texas wildflowers https://www.annaangenend.com/blog/2021/3/bluebonnets-are-in-session-san-antonio-tx-bluebonnet-photos Mon, 01 Mar 2021 13:04:51 GMT
Sly Family | Autumn 2020 https://www.annaangenend.com/blog/2020/12/sly-family-autumn-2020

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(San Antonio Lifestyle Portrait Photographer | Anna Angenend) antonio autumn fall family golden hour kids light natural outdoor outdoors parenting san seniors sunset texas https://www.annaangenend.com/blog/2020/12/sly-family-autumn-2020 Wed, 23 Dec 2020 02:20:16 GMT
Holiday Mini Session Highlights https://www.annaangenend.com/blog/2020/12/holiday-mini-session-highlights vintage christmas photos ice skates

Thank you so much to those of you who came out to my 2020 holiday mini sessions. Truly, you cannot imagine how much it means to me. I have taken time off after having my second child, and it felt so special to come back for my first holiday season in this way. You supporting my business literally puts food on our table, and gifts under the tree for my kiddos, especially in times as hard as this year has been, so thank you! 

I hoped to make you feel pampered,  fill your day with some Christmas magic and create special memories. I hope I did just that! I know that the day felt magical for me. 

I believe in creating an entire experience, so that your time spend with me is fun and relaxing, in addition to also creating images that you will love and treasure for the rest of your life. I aimed to set the mood with Christmas candles, holiday classic tunes, and a bag of cookies for each of you. Did you feel the magic when you walked in?

I also had so much fun working with Peyton from Wild Revival Co. She is the designer who found this venue, and styled everything! She is so kind, and so creative. She made planning the day out a breeze, and she exceeded my expectations! I cannot wait to have her style more of my sessions, and I highly recommend partnering with this local, small business. 

Last but not least, it warmed my heart to stage these sessions in the historic kendalia dance halle. I got to meet Frank, who restored this dance halle with his own hands. The original halle was built in 1903, and has a beautiful history you can read about here. Because of the pandemic, their doors have been closed all year, so it truly was an honor to rent the venue for this event. 

Without any further mush, here are a few highlights from my holiday sessions! I hope to see you all again next year.

Happy holidays! 

 

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Until we meet again, stay warm and healthy.

Wishing you and yours the happiest season. 

 

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(San Antonio Lifestyle Portrait Photographer | Anna Angenend) antonio cards christmas country dance family halle hill historic holiday mini photo photography san session sessions texas vintage https://www.annaangenend.com/blog/2020/12/holiday-mini-session-highlights Mon, 14 Dec 2020 14:04:04 GMT
Branding Session | The Fashion Lotus https://www.annaangenend.com/blog/2020/11/branding-session-the-fashion-lotus branding photography in san antonio texas

This week I had the honor of working with a San Antonio icon. I mean, when you have your own mural in the city....is that not icon status or what?

No one is more deserving, she's talented, kind, hardworking, and stating the obvious here, but GORGEOUS.  I personally love that she promotes sustainable  fashion I have learned so much from her and been so inspired by her tips. Even these cute pants she's wearing, she scored from shopping at Goodwill S.A. online!

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The desired mood for this setting called for wandering around downtown, and going with the flow...even doing outfit changes in alleyways, which Jeanelly rocked! 😂

I absolutely love the flow of session when there is so much opportunity around for me to get creative with! Isn't the result beautiful?

For a branding sessions like this, I feel that every setting or outfit is allowed to have it own moment and mood, and I always edit as such. 

My goal is to create TONS of high quality, eye catching, content that can be used over and over again on multiple platforms for many months!

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Planning any session, but especially a branding session begins on Pinterest with lot's of back and forth notes, so we can set a clear vision and our desired goals and outcomes from the session. I'm thankful Jeanelly trusted my location suggestions, and rolled with the flow as we walked around the riverwalk area in San Antonio. 

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While I'm shooting, I am always mindful of my client and helping them be as comfortable as possible in front of the camera.

Jeanelly, however,  has lots of experiences of her own when it comes to rocking the shot. 

 I mean, who knew you could werk a bridge like this?

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Model credit: Jeanelly | The Fashion Lotus

Thanks for reading!

Are you interested in a session with me? Let's chat! Click below to shoot me an e-mail. Can't wait! 

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(San Antonio Lifestyle Portrait Photographer | Anna Angenend) antonio best branding downtown fashion influencers modeling photographers photography portrait riverwalk S.A. san satx session texas https://www.annaangenend.com/blog/2020/11/branding-session-the-fashion-lotus Fri, 20 Nov 2020 04:59:02 GMT
Holiday Mini Session Reveal | A Christmas Dance Halle Dream https://www.annaangenend.com/blog/2020/11/holiday-mini-session-reveal

And in 2020 I think we could all agree that this holiday season is desperately calling out for an extra heaping of magic. 

So starting back in July, I set out to plan a safe, festive, magical holiday mini session for you all...with plenty of extra magic.

I am so excited and proud to present to you:

 A Christmas Dance Halle Dream. 

You and yours are invited for a getaway in the hill country, come curl up in front of the tree and enjoy a cookie while I capture your merry and bright moments for your holiday cards.
 

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Some of Wild Revival Co.'s work, featured on their website. Oh, so dreamy...right? You can see why I fell in love! I'd like to thank Peyton at Wild Revival Co. for helping me bring this vision to life, and being the absolute best to work with! I cannot recommend her highly enough. I found her because of her dream worthy styling that had filled my newsfeed, and I knew I just HAD to have her style my favorites session of all year, CHRISTMAS sessions! But getting to know her has been an absolute  treat, she has been so amazing in juggling all the concerns of Covid-19, and has been so flexible and patient. Thank you, Peyton!
 

In an age where there is "nothing new under the sun" or it seems that it's "all been done before" I believe that we are creating something totally unique and one of a kind, we couldn't even find it on Pinterest...I don't think that's ever happened to me before, but it's basically #photographergoals 

Imagine this, a Texan dance hall almost as old as two-stepping itself, a place that has stood since the 1903, and been the gathering place of many a family looking to dance their cares away, nestled in a field amongst the hill country. Due to covid, it's doors have sat closed for months, but on Saturday, December 5th we will be chasing all it's lonely blues away and decking the halls with a live tree and some vintage charm. 

 The details: 

Each session will be a full 15 minutes, and includes 10 retouched digital images with a print release. You will receive your images within 5 days of your session, in plenty of time to order your holiday cards. This is the only holiday sessions I will be offering this year, and there are four spots remaining! You can message me here, to reserve your spot before they're gone. 

Event price: $225

Kendalia Halle

1135 FM 3351 Kendalia, TX 78207

Styled by interior designer: Wild Revival Co

Photography by yours truly.

The FAQ:
 

What to wear: Show up in your most formal gown, your Texas best or coordinated pajamas! 

The key is to coordinate with your family to set the mood. 

I saved lots of tips and inspiration for you on my Pinterest board here.

Safety: The dance hall has been closed this year, and will be cleaned prior to the sessions. 

I will be cleaning in between each session, and only one family at a time is allowed in the hall. Please arrive a couple of minutes before your session time so that you can enjoy the full 15 minute of your spot. I will text or call you when it is your turn to come into the venue so that we only have one family at a time. I will be wearing a mask during your session. 

CancellationsIf anything comes up prior to your session that inhibits you from coming, or if you are not feeling well, please notify me as soon as possible so I can fill your space. There is a $50 non refundable retainer, but the rest will be refunded. A $150 retainer is due to reserve your spot, and the remainder is due on Friday, December 4th. 

 

 


 

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(San Antonio Lifestyle Portrait Photographer | Anna Angenend) antonio cards christmas co country dance family halle hill holiday kendalia mini photographer portraits revival san session sessions texas wild https://www.annaangenend.com/blog/2020/11/holiday-mini-session-reveal Thu, 29 Oct 2020 19:57:48 GMT
An Air Force Send Off | San Antonio, Texas | Family Portrait Session https://www.annaangenend.com/blog/2020/10/an-air-force-send-off-san-antonio-texas-family-portrait-session Seven.

I've counted seven sessions together with this sweet family.

Birthday sessions, pumpkin patch minis, family photos around the Christmas tree, and photo sessions that were just for fun.

There is s special attachment that grows when you get to watch kids and families grow from your lens. You get used to their go-to silly faces, the things they like to try and the things that don't work for them on camera. You look forward to the next milestone, and the one after that, that you will get to capture. That coupled with growing a friendship over the years, has made this session, our "goodbye" session, extra emotional. 

But aside from my big feelings, there are two other reasons I wanted to share some tidbit of this session with you.

 

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Reason one, although I have specific type of sessions  detailed here on my website, I want to encourage you to reach out to me whatever your dreams for a session are! if you don't see something there that fits, that doesn't mean we shouldn't chat and see if we're a good fit for each other. This session is probably the perfect example, because it was literally planned over a few quick text, and us finding a 20 minute window where are schedules could align last minute, meeting at a little library that I had never seen before, in the middle of the afternoon, and making it WORK!

This might not be the IDEAL set up, but when needs must...I am confident I can pull it off. 😉

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Secondly, I want to address the common fear that 15 or 20 minute session wont be enough time. Varying on what your desires for your session are, sometimes 15 minutes can do the job! This session for example, is a celebratory snapshot of the "family" retiring form the air force, and looking all adorable in their outfits together. Considering that we were standing outside of the library in the mid-day sun, and we were hiding out form the playground around the corner, staying in one place and capturing these images only took 20 minutes. 

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(San Antonio Lifestyle Portrait Photographer | Anna Angenend) air antonio family force kids light military mini natural photography photos portrait san satx session sessions texas https://www.annaangenend.com/blog/2020/10/an-air-force-send-off-san-antonio-texas-family-portrait-session Thu, 29 Oct 2020 04:05:22 GMT
Kendalls Session at the Wonder Chamber, San Antonio Texas. https://www.annaangenend.com/blog/2020/10/kendalls-session-at-the-wonder-chamber-san-antonio-texas Middle school can be rough for anyone, even at the best of times, and I cannot imagine going through it during a pandemic! 

Kendalls mom is so proud of the way Kendall has handled all the challenges while staying positive, and she wanted to do something special for her. I am so lucky that she found me and called about doing a fun session for her! Spoiler alert, we had a BLAST.

Immediately I thought of the Wonder Chamber, as a perfect setting for this special session.  The Wonder Chamber is a super cool pop up museum in San Antonio, Texas. It has ten rooms with all different themes, all intended for taking cool photos! A photographers dream and pretty cool for hip kids too. 😂

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Are you interested in a session with me? Your consultation is always free, so let's just chat! Contact me here

 

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(San Antonio Lifestyle Portrait Photographer | Anna Angenend) antonio art chamber family modeling museum photo photography pop portrait pre-teen san session teen texas up wonder https://www.annaangenend.com/blog/2020/10/kendalls-session-at-the-wonder-chamber-san-antonio-texas Sat, 03 Oct 2020 17:38:54 GMT
Welcome Lillian- Newborn Session at Home https://www.annaangenend.com/blog/2020/9/welcome-lillian--newborn-session-at-home

Every time I leave a session, it's my new favorite.

So, take this with a grain of salt, but Lillian's newborn session is my new favorite. 

It's true that you get pretty sappy once you become a mother. What can I say? When I look at this precious little one, and think about how briefly my two were such tiny babies, and then I start to imagine all the wonderful adventures she will have, just like I have been blessed to have with my daughter, it melts me!

It's an incredible  honor to be trusted for this incredibly  special session, and I always hope that a newborn session is the first of many photo shoots that we will have together.

I look forward to capturing all her big milestones  in life. 

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"Sweet 16" - Victoriano's Session at The Pearl Brewery | San Antonio, Texas https://www.annaangenend.com/blog/2020/8/-sweet-16---victorianos-session-at-the-pearl-brewery-san-antonio-texas young man in black and white

 

"Traditionally in our culture we have Quinceañeras for girls and don't really celebrate young adulthood transitions for males. As a first generation Mexican-American. I try to keep parts of our culture within our celebrations but also deconstruct and reclaim it in our own ways. For this reason, he is wearing a mix of our traditional dress attire in a more modern presentation." -Sandy O.

 

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I love that Victoriano and his family honor their heritage in this way, and are making it a point to celebrate this young man turning 16. It was an honor to do this session for him.

Happy 16th, Victoriano!

 

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Want a session like this? I would love to chat with you!

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(San Antonio Lifestyle Portrait Photographer | Anna Angenend) 16 age brewery coming family first generation kids man mexican-american of pearl photographer photography portraits san antonio sweet texas young https://www.annaangenend.com/blog/2020/8/-sweet-16---victorianos-session-at-the-pearl-brewery-san-antonio-texas Wed, 12 Aug 2020 18:53:48 GMT
One Year Birthday Session https://www.annaangenend.com/blog/2020/8/one-year-birthday-session Six years ago, I was at the park with a new friend I had met in the new city I was living in, San Antonio. We had met at a mommy and me gymnastics class. It was the perfect fall day to be at the playground, and our two little girls were enjoying the breeze while we pushed them in the swings.  My friend told me a story of a women she observed at the grocery store, doing her weekly shopping with her four children in tow. One in the cart, one on her hips, two tagging along. "I want that one day" my friend said to me. 

There is a lot of things that happened  between then and now, countless playdates, pregnancy announcements, moves, births, celebrations, milestones, many photo shoots. But I will skip ahead to yesterday, when I was in her living room taking her fourth child one year photos and thinking of how quickly the past five years has flown by, and what a beautiful family she has grown in that time. What an honor it has been to be her friend, and to photograph so many of her exciting milestones along the way. Lua, you are a blessed little girl to be in this family. I hope for many more photo shoots together, celebrating happy occasions and big milestones. 

 

Siblings make the sweetest little photos shoot crashers. 

Are you interested in a session like this? I would love to chat with you!

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(San Antonio Lifestyle Portrait Photographer | Anna Angenend) birthday candid family in home kids lifestyle motherhood natural light one year photos parenthood photograph photographer photography portraits san antonio texas https://www.annaangenend.com/blog/2020/8/one-year-birthday-session Fri, 07 Aug 2020 16:55:44 GMT
Why Are People Still Hiring Photographers | Maternity Session In San Antonio, Texas https://www.annaangenend.com/blog/2020/8/why-are-people-still-hiring-photographers-maternity-session-in-san-antonio-texas

Why is anyone still paying for professional photography these days?

Let's be honest for a minute, you have probably asked yourself this questions recently, haven't you?

(Or, maybe your spouse has asked you this questions when you were planning your annual family portraits.)

Quite frankly, I have asked myself this question too. I have been doing photography  for 12 years now. Twelve years ago... not everyone had a great camera on hand at any given moment. Cell phone cameras are continually improving, and they're already pretty great. I would know, I use mine multiple times a day to photograph my kids. Then there is the fact that anyone can easily access  the same editing software and apps that I use for my images, so it might beg  the questions, am I being put out of a job? In short, my answer is: NO.

I am not worried about it in the least, and here's why:

Yes, cell phones can take really good pictures of your kids day in and day out, in fact, I teach moms how to take great photos of their kids in Facebook group

 (*and my new course come soon. !)

But the value of photography goes so far beyond a good photo. What is photography truly about? It's about moments and memories. It's about having someone who you are comfortable with, creating a time capsule of your life. Preserving all the little details that you are so certain you will remember in 5, 10, 20, years, but they slip from our memories so quickly until we have a photograph to bring it back like that moment was just yesterday. 

It's about capturing your little ones pudgy hand clasping your blouse, squishing your face. It's about the way your kids look at you with adoring eyes, the way your husband smiles while watching you play with your children.

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The way you relax into your husbands arms, he pulls you in a little tighter and you smile. It's about being in that moment, and trusting someone else to preserve your most precious emotions and memories in beautiful  images. 

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It's about having photos of our loved ones who have passed on already, but we can stare at their smile in their photos, sit with our children and tell them all about the amazing person they were. 

It's about having images that tell your love story, the story of your family, the story of the best days of your lives. 

I spend time visiting with all my clients prior to your session, so that I can get to know you and your story well,  and do my best telling it. For a change, you can put down the camera momma, and be in the moment. Leave it to me to capture all your favorite parts of life. 

motherhood photography in san antonio texas motherhood moments san antonio photography san antonio family portraits san antonio family photography lifestyle natural light photographer  I take pride in helping my clients feel relaxed and natural while I am in your home, or on location with your family, so that you are comfortable to be yourself in front of the lens.  During over more than a decade of working with people, I have learned how to help you feel at ease during your session, and how to encourage precious moments to occur naturally, and how to expertly capture it.

Does your cell phone do that?

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If your interested in planning a session like this one, I would love to get to know you! Hit the button to begin chatting. 

 

 

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(San Antonio Lifestyle Portrait Photographer | Anna Angenend) candid family headshots intimate kids lessons lifestyle maternity natural light photographer near me photography photos pregnancy san antonio texas tips https://www.annaangenend.com/blog/2020/8/why-are-people-still-hiring-photographers-maternity-session-in-san-antonio-texas Wed, 05 Aug 2020 19:00:02 GMT
What I Learned From Taking My Own Headshots - A Photographers Perspective https://www.annaangenend.com/blog/2020/7/what-i-learned-from-taking-my-own-headshots---a-photographers-perspective Ten years of guiding people through their session in front of my camera has taught me a lot about posing, but not quite as much as 20 minutes in front of my own camera did. I swear I forgot how to human when I was in the "hot seat".

Here is the progression of faces in the first few minutes:

  1. Realized my lighting was NOT slimming my face, changed my lighting

  2. Forgot how to human, lip is trying to makes its escape off my face

  3. Trying to make "normal" faces, looking like a half smoldering half "I'mma kick your butt" face

  4. Landed on something I like, even though I as looking at a stain on the carpet, just slightly off camera

Edited version:

 

I want to be very candid with you. I'm going to show you the good, the bad, and the beautiful.

Because every person at every shoot ever, has probably had more images that they hate than ones that they love.

Most photos we see are carefully selected and then edited, so in the spirit of honesty, I wanted to share some images SOOC (straight of out camera) vs. edited.

Btw, makeup really helps a lot. My favorite way to bring out my eyes in a shoot is FAKE. LASHES. They will make such a difference in your photos.

Now, reality check! Before getting to that pose up there that I like, came this awkward glory below:

 

This. THIS is why photographers may not want to show you the back of the camera. Heck, even during my own shoot I was hesitant to see the back of the camera, because I didn't want to see a photo of myself that I hated, and then be obsessing over a double chin, or squinty eye during the rest of my session.

Above is a shot my hubby snapped of me. I feel like this "what I really look like". But below are some images I snapped once he left the room, and I felt more comfortable hamming it up for the camera. You will see the difference. You guys, thank goodness there isn't video footage of me fake laughing, leaning into the camera, tossing my hair around, etc. I'm sure I looked ridiculous, but I landed on some photos that I feel look like me at my best.

My point being, don't be afraid to really go for it at your session. Those will be the best shots. You think those instagram models are nailing it on the first shot? Here is secret: hell no they ain't! They are patting the side of their hair, looking strangely slightly off camera, and "candidly laughing" for several attempts before nailing a photo that they love.

Fake nose crinkle, and fake laugh. Also, fake lashes.

Is it still me? Yes, but its' me striving to create a flattering/approachable looking. Me if someone just happened to snap me in the middle of a cute giggle. 

Even these "natural" looking shots that I love, actually felt super uncomfortable when shooting. I was sitting on the edge of my seat, angling my chin out, turning my shoulder slightly to the side, sucking in and laughing, or throwing out my best big smile.

This photo is totally random because my daughter decided to crash my shoot, but I'm putting it in here because...how adorable is she?! Answer: the most adorable!

The shot I love, vs the awkward one that came a split second before it:

Can you handle the cringe?

So, all awkwardness considered, here is a roundup of my top ten tips to help you pose for your own headshots. 

POSING TIPS:

  1.  It's hella awkward

- for everyone, so don't be shy! Get in there, and have fun.

      2. It takes practice

- you won't nail it the first time. That's okay! Keep shooting until it get's better.

     3. Sit on the edge

Scoot to the tips of your chair or bench, turn slightly to the side, you don't want to have your shoulders squared to the camera completely. If I am facing the camera straight on, I'm typically leaning with my hand sin my lap, or running my fingers through my hair. Not flat staring straight into the camera like a deer in the headlights. 

     4.When you're uncomfortable, it probably looks good.

-Again: sitting, leaning, sucking in,  pouty lips and all that... it may be a little uncomfortable to hold that pose, but it might end up being the one that's your favorite. 

     5. You will have to loosen up -release your inner supermodel!

-Don't be afraid to play with different faces, or poses, or even throw out a giant fake laugh. Your photographer will love that you're changing it up, and you will land on an expression that you adore. Feel free to strike a pose. Do what you need to do, crank up a great playlists, or involve a glass of bubbly in your session.

     6. You're going to look silly, and that's good

-for myself, and for my clients, I've seen that the best moments happen in a split second in between silly or awkward moments. Go through some poses that don't work, to find the ones you love.

     7. You don't want to see the back of the camera

-Seeing yourself caught in an "awkward" moment can be a major hit to your confidence. Keep striking poses, and trust that your photographer will deliver the best images to you, ones that you will feel great about

      8. Know when to reset

Feeling stiff, and taking images you don't love? Time to reset. Stand up. Shake it out. Take some deep breaths. Close your eyes, breathe deep. exhale, open your eyes, look into the camera, and snap. 

     9. Play with your hair or pockets

- hands can make or break your shoot! It's so hard to know what to do with them! Here is my advice, put them to work. Play with your jewelry, run your finger through your hair, rest a hand on your neck, or hook your thumbs in your pockets. This give you something  to do and adds a candid playful feel to your photos. 

   10. Gather Inspiration

Before you start, look on Pinterest  or social media to gather ideas of poses you like and practice different  looks in the mirror if necessary!

 

 

One second (captured above) me looking human, a half a second later, me malfunctioning in front of the camera.

Duck lips live on! 

 

 

Did you enjoy this? You might also  like : tips for photographing kids

I own a photography business based in San Antonio, TX and I specialize  in story telling sessions for families and teaching moms how to photograph their kids! Want to connect? Contact me here.  

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(San Antonio Lifestyle Portrait Photographer | Anna Angenend) headshots how lessons light my own photography photos take taking tips to your https://www.annaangenend.com/blog/2020/7/what-i-learned-from-taking-my-own-headshots---a-photographers-perspective Fri, 31 Jul 2020 03:09:07 GMT
How to Have a Successful Photo Session with Kids https://www.annaangenend.com/blog/2020/7/how-to-have-a-successful-photo-session-with-kids

Ensuring a smooth and happy session with your kids, can start a while before your session. 

When planning a shoot, I  encourage the parents to talk to their kids about picture day. The parents can have fun with their kids, practicing making happy and goofy faces, or have the kids practice making up poses. Anything to help the child get excited about pictures, as opposed to being nervous or not knowing what to expect.

During your consultation, I'd like to discuss what your child's current favorites are. What music they may like to dance to, a song they know well, a character  the like or even a hobby they enjoy. This is helpful if we choose to play music during their session, or so I have something they're familiar with to discuss with them, and hopefully help them feel even more comfortable  with me.

If you or your children are nervous about being in font of the camera, or feel like you have to pose or act a certain way, it is best to plan an activity you will enjoy and have that be the focus of your session, that way I capture all the precious moments that happen organically! Maybe the plan will be to go on a nature hike, a treasure hunt, or play a game of spy!

Or, if we're doing a shoot in the woods or at a park, parents might want to let the kids help pack a snack for their adventure.In my case, I would tell my two year old daughter that we're going to see how many puppy dogs we can spot and she wouldn't be able to get to the car fast enough.

As a lifestyle photographer, I want to capture the natural family interactions and candid moments. Having fun activities planned with the child for that day, can help create much more relaxed and intimate photos.  I also love it when the child participates in planning their own outfit. It can be fun (and shocking) to see what they pick out. Their choice outfit may only be used as backup or extra clothing, but it is great to let the child wear something that they feel like a rockstar in. Even if only for a few pictures.  Imagine how much fun they will have reflecting on their choices 5-10 years down the road! 

When you arrive at your session, first I'll spend time meeting your whole family, and let the kids ask me questions if they have any. I often like to hang back, and capture them exploring their new environment! Some of the best photos come from them being curious about their surroundings, as opposed to me encouraging  them tp pose a certain way. It is also so beneficial for the to be familiar and comfortable with their surroundings, and with me of course. 

I have also found it helpful many time to bring along the child's favorite toy, or I may bring a colorful noise maker to help catch their attention if needed during your session. 

I enjoy bringing parent- approved treats or surprises to your session so that I have a little gift for your kids at the end of our time together. I'll discuss with you during your consultation whether or not that's okay with you. 

*Note to parents: 

It is ok to hang back while the photographer works with your child.  In fact, sometimes  your kiddos will feel a bit more comfortable without mommy & daddy telling them how to sit or how to smile. This can depend on the child's age, some little ones may not want to leave mommy's arms during the whole session, and that's ok too.

 

 

I hope you enjoyed this post. If you're an aspiring photographer in the San Antonio area & want more tips like this, you could join me on a shoot. Contact me for inquiries & details.


 

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(San Antonio Lifestyle Portrait Photographer | Anna Angenend) antonio candid kids lessons lifestyle photographer photography san tips tutorials tx https://www.annaangenend.com/blog/2020/7/how-to-have-a-successful-photo-session-with-kids Sun, 26 Jul 2020 16:04:25 GMT
Beach or Bust https://www.annaangenend.com/blog/2020/7/beach-or-bust sunrise beach photos in corpus christi

dramatic family portraits on the beach

Ah, can you taste it? The warm salty wind in your face. The sun beaming down on your shoulders. All of nature is refreshing and soothing to me, but the beach is a special kind of therapy for the soul. I typically don't love the heat of the Summer, but I do look forward to the Summer time for the sake of a few days at the beach. This year was extra special, as it was my youngest first visit to the beach. Experiencing these happy first together are some of the best moments of parenthood, and there are a lot of good ones! 

The first day we woke up at the beach, the kids couldn't wait to get down to the water. I intended on taking them for a quick stroll while we waited for breakfast, but when we were out in our pajamas at about 8:30, I noticed how few people were on the beach and how cloudy it was...which of course makes for a gorgeous dramatic sky in the photos! I also wanted to capture the FIRST moment Jaxon stuck his feet in the sand, and experienced the waves. So we rushed back to our room, they got dressed as quickly as I could motivate them too, and we ran back down to the beach with my camera. I'm glad I seized the moment even if it did hurt my legs a bit, haha I will treasure these photos for the rest of my life. 

family portraits on the beach

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  • These were shot with:
  •  Canon 5D Mark IV
  • 35mm lens
  • Edited in light room with a sprinkle of photoshop to remove people, buildings or umbrellas in the background.

I'm building a course for those of you who have asked about photography and editing. I'm wondering which part you are most curious about? Let me know in the comments what questions you have, and drop me your e-mail if you want to stay updated on when the course will be out!

You may even be selected to trial it for free. 

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San Antonio | TX | Portrait | Candid | Lifestyle | Family | Photographer | Photography | Beach Photos | Corpus Christi | Port Aransas 

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(San Antonio Lifestyle Portrait Photographer | Anna Angenend) Aransas beach christi corpus family island kids padre photography photos port portraits sunrise https://www.annaangenend.com/blog/2020/7/beach-or-bust Sat, 25 Jul 2020 18:36:48 GMT
Birthday Photo Shoot | San Antonio TX Photography https://www.annaangenend.com/blog/2020/7/birthday-photo-shoot-san-antonio-tx-photography Our neighbor Brookelyn, just had a birthday. I am not sure what the current belief on whether Summer birthdays are the BEST or the WORST is, but I definitely  know it's not ideal to have a birthday during a socially distanced pandemic Summer! 

She made the best of it, and I had a fun walking over to her house one morning to do a front yard birthday session. 

I remember the ages 9-11 being my favorite childhood years. I'm sure what those ages mean now has changed, but for me at that time I was lucky to still be pretty carefree, but also feel grown up and responsible. It's a good balance. Those were simpler times, my ninth birthday was me and a handful of friend splaying tug-o-war and water balloons in my backyard, working up a sweat and getting injuries on the trampoline. My mom bakes a sheet cakes, slapped a tub of icing on it with some sprinkles and it was perfect-Pinterest guilt free! Ah, the glory days!

What was your favorite birthday party? I'd love to hear about it!

As always, if you're interested in a session like this or have an idea you would like to discuss with me, please send me a message here, e-mail me at: annaangenendphoto@gmail.com or call me at 210-716-7763. 

Have a good one, folks! 

 

 

 

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(San Antonio Lifestyle Portrait Photographer | Anna Angenend) antonio birthday family kids photo photographer photography portraits san session texas https://www.annaangenend.com/blog/2020/7/birthday-photo-shoot-san-antonio-tx-photography Wed, 22 Jul 2020 20:54:03 GMT
Headshots In San Antonio https://www.annaangenend.com/blog/2020/7/headshots-in-san-antonio-fun You may have noticed you don't often see headshots on my website while I have done them for time to time in the past, it's not my bread and butter! 

Mostly because, well, I thought they were boring. 

Run of the mill, glorified  mug shots (more or less).  Yes, I'll still admit that the standard a headshots can be a smidgen dull, but lately I've surprised myself with how much I love doing headshots. Granted, headshots with spice, personality! Headshots that feel almost like a branding session. Headshots that make you look and feel like YOUR(best)SELF.

It's no secret that just about everyone feels uncomfortable in front of the camera. I love that I can coach my clients through their session, from how to prepare, what to wear, and finally, how to pose! I enjoy the challenge  of helping you feel at ease in front of the lens, so you truly feel like yourself  in your photos. This is also why it's so important  for us to visit over the phone prior to your session, so we can make sure that we are the best fit for each other. 

Most of all, I LOVE hearing your stores and being a small part of it. I have been so inspired by the personal growth, new challenges, and amazing achievements I have heard about through getting to know you during your headshots session. I am so honored  that I can be a tiny part of helping you succeed. 

If you have to know more about a headshots session with me, drop me a note here! 

 

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(San Antonio Lifestyle Portrait Photographer | Anna Angenend) headshots portrait photography professional headshots san Antonio texas https://www.annaangenend.com/blog/2020/7/headshots-in-san-antonio-fun Mon, 13 Jul 2020 16:36:08 GMT
Back To School Mini - At Home! https://www.annaangenend.com/blog/2020/7/back-to-school-mini---at-home

Hello, all!

Times are crazy right now, really crazy. 

We are each doing the best we can to try and plan for an unknown and seemingly impossible challenge of back to school. 

I'd like to offer some normalcy, fun and cuteness, which is the back to school sessions we all know and love.

This year will be a little different though, like everything else in 2020. This year, I will come to you!

Although "distanced" sessions do have their challenges, especially with  younger kids. I've figured out it is possible and even tested it out on my own kiddos for this example session. 

Instead of arranging kiddos or details myself, I will ask you the parent to fix little things so that I can maintain my distance, coach, cheer, and snap photos from six feet away. I will be wearing a mask as well. 

Now that we have those little details out of the way,  I'd like to answer some FAQ:

What should my kids wear?

 As you can see here, in the spirit of covid-19 and distance learning, my daughter wore a shower cap and robe as a joke. You can be silly and reflect what an unusual year this has been, or take this opportunity  to wear the cute first day of school outfit or uniform you would typically  wear!

What date and time?

 I will be offering these come-to-you mini sessions from August-September. I have weekday and weekend times available  currently. Please make a note of where you would like this session to take place, and what time of day there is some shade in that area. For younger children, it's important to note what time of day will work around their sleep or snack schedule. This will ensure the smoothest session possible. 

What will be written on the chalkboard?

You can handwrite something on the board yourself, or have me edit up to two sayings into the photos.

How long will it take to receive my digital images?

You are guaranteed  to receive a link to your digital images 7-10 days after your session. 

How can I purchase any additional images?

This mini session comes with 3 digital images and a print release. I will edit any additional images that turn out great, and add them to our gallery to preview. If you would like to purchase any of the additional images in your gallery,  they are $10 each. You can give me the image numbers, I will send you an invoice and then make those photos available to download and delete the rest. 

How do I book my mini?

Send me a message here. Ask me any questions you have and send me your preferred date and time. Half of your session fee ($50)  is required to reserve your date. 

 

Contact me here to BOOK NOW

San Antonio | TX | Photography | Back to school mini sessions

Anna Angenend: annaangenendphoto@gmail.com | www.annaangenend.com | 210-716-7763

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(San Antonio Lifestyle Portrait Photographer | Anna Angenend) back to school back to school mini session kids mini sessions photography san antonio texas https://www.annaangenend.com/blog/2020/7/back-to-school-mini---at-home Thu, 09 Jul 2020 17:51:51 GMT
I'm jumping in. https://www.annaangenend.com/blog/2015/10/im-jumping-in My bare feet were barely griping the slippery rail of the ship.  I looked down at the dark, choppy, waters far below. I knew I had to jump. I didn't know the why, but there was no other way. 

Do you ever lucid dream? I was not controlling this dream, but I was very conscious of my thoughts. I knew I  had to jump, and I was surprised that I had no fear. Somewhere in my mind, I knew it would all be ok. 

I looked back once more at the people behind me. Their eyes were wide with fear, and their expressions made it clear they did not have much hope for my survival. They could not help me, jumping was my only choice. The anticipation of something is what I fear the most.  I did not want to wait anymore, so I slipped off the rail and went tumbling down. The impact from slamming into the cold water forced my eyes shut, and I began to sink.  Suddenly, I was  near the bottom of the oceanIt was peaceful way below the surface of the storm above. I opened my eyes. There were four wooden pillars to my left, and I caught a glimpse of a mermaid tale, disappearing between two pillars and into the dark, murky, waters. 

I slowly started to rise back to the top of the ocean. It did not take as long as I thought it would before my face breached the surface and I drew in a deep breath. The sun was breaking through the clouds, and it's warm rays greeted me as I began to float on top of the now calm waters. I was fine.

Rarely do I have such vivid dreams. This one is as clear as a memory. It feels as though it was sent to me as a message, or a reminder. Recently, I have begun some new projects. I am taking my business in a new direction and working towards a life dream I have had for a long time. It is time consuming, and challenging. It means staying up till 4 a.m. working, even though I have already done so for the past week. My body has a strange way of dealing with excitement and anticipation. I am always nauseas and shaky when something big is happening in my life. All of these recent changes do feel a bit like diving into murky, violent, waters.  I may go under, but I will rise up and it will be ok. 

These days may be challenging, but they are a gift. Highly caffeinated coffee lost it's affect on me long ago, but the thrill of building a dream energizes me everyday.

Your future is in no ones hands but your own. What motivates you to get up everyday, and make your future a better one? 

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(San Antonio Lifestyle Portrait Photographer | Anna Angenend) https://www.annaangenend.com/blog/2015/10/im-jumping-in Wed, 14 Oct 2015 07:30:34 GMT
Puppet Booth Makeover https://www.annaangenend.com/blog/2015/10/puppet-booth-makeover  

I know what you're thinking, why mess with an already adorable puppet theatre, like this one from Melissa and Doug? Don't worry, I haven't gone Pinterest insane! This theater was handed down to Mia from her sweet cousins. It was obvious when I received it, that it had logged a lot of playtime hours! Originally, I was planning on painting over some marker stains and washing the curtains, but then this happened, and I absolutely adore it.  

 

What you will need:

I started with this theater. 

  • Chalk paint - let's pretty much assume this is all I am painting with, from here on out. It's so amazing! 
  • Wax creme - don't skip this! It will condition, seal, and protect your paint. You can purchase glossy, matte, or darkening wax. 
  • Chalkboard paint
  • Photos or other decorations, to personalize with. You could add some fun lettering, or stencils designs! 
  • Fabric for curtains and side panels
  • Mod Podge - I used matte

Tools:

  • Screwdriver for assembly
  • paint brush
  • wax brush
  • sewing machine, because I don't recommend trying to hand sew these curtains! 

 

 

 

I had so much fun picking out paint colors and fabric, as well as taking these "head shots" of Mia for this DIY. She really hams it up for the camera! If she ever get's any siblings, does this mean I'll have to build them their own puppet booth?! ;)

I used two coats of chalk paint, which each took about 30 minutes to dry. Then I sealed it with a cream, matte wax. It dries quickly, and looks beautiful! The wax makes it easy to wipe clean with a damp cloth. A huge bonus when you have a toddler! 

For the chalkboard part, I also used two coats of paint. In between coats, I let it dry for an hour, and I let the second coat dry all day. DId you know that your chalkboard paint needs to be "seasoned"? I didn't until recently, and it makes all the difference! After it's seasoned, the chalk will go on better, and wipe off easier. To season your chalkboard, let the paint dry completely, then smear chalk over the entire surface. Let it sit for a minute before wiping off the chalk.  Now your chalkboard is ready to use! 

 

To add the images, I smothered the back side in some good old Elmer's glue, and pasted them on the particle board. After the glue dried completely, I used a paint brush with very fine bristles to add a top coat of Mod Podge. It will look milky when you first paint it on, but it will dry completely clear and help protect the images for years to come. I think I love Mod Podge almost as much as chalk paint. It's what crafting dreams are made of! 

 

Lastly comes the sewing (did I just hear some screaming?!).  Never fear, if I can do this…you absolutely can! This is not a lie, I literally google searched: "how to sew" when I began this project.  Ha! I had to look up videos on how to thread my bobbin. Yikes! It's been awhile since my old Singer came out,  but I persevered and the curtains and side panels are almost decent! I know they're perfect for my three year old daughter anyway, who has already begun making lasting memories with her new favorite toy. That's what matter most…and it was totally worth the effort! 

 

The possibilities with this are endless. I'm still contemplating some gold lettering at the top, and possibly wiring it for some flashing bulbs around the edges. Too much? Hmm…I'll update you if I make any adjustments. 

 

Questions, comments? Want to show off your latest D.I.Y?! I'd love to see it! Share your thoughts in the comments below. 

Bye now!

        

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(San Antonio Lifestyle Portrait Photographer | Anna Angenend) https://www.annaangenend.com/blog/2015/10/puppet-booth-makeover Fri, 09 Oct 2015 03:06:57 GMT
Coffe Table Makeover https://www.annaangenend.com/blog/2015/10/coffe-table-makeover-my-1st-legit-d-i-y Furniture with a story is the best, isn't it? This table has been around for a while, but you would never know it. After it's close brush with death (a trip to the dumpster) and then years of hiding under shoes in the back of my closet, it really hasn't had a chance to shine. Awww, poor table! The good news is, the hiding days are over now. I dragged it out of retirement and spruced it up! Today, it is one of my favorite and most functional pieces of furniture!

I'll be honest, this was not a "quick" fixer upper DIY.  I could sing chalk paints praises all day long, which is what I painted the body of the table with. Wood stain, one the other hand, is what I consider the "toddler" of paints. Ornery!  I do LOVE the results though! It simply requires some extra patience and loving. Aka, lot's of drying time, a good place to dry, and the right brushes. 

 

You will need:

  • Measuring tape - I am being caption obvious here, but you will have to take measurements before heading out and cutting wood for your new table top!
  • Hammer - a heavy duty one, nailing that thick oak down was a workout!
  • Ultra fine sandpaper - I recommend safety glasses, and mask too when using sand paper. Safety first!
  • Chalk Paint -I LOVE this one!
  • Wax - to condition, seal and protect your chalk paint.
  • Woodstain - I used Black Cherry, ooh la la!
  • Sealant- to seal, protect, and finish off the stain. 
  • Nails
  • Oak wood panels - or whichever wood you prefer! I liked this one because it was so pretty and smooth. 

Recommended Brushes:

  • Slanted staining brush
  • Wax brush
  • Fine paint brush

(both of these can be washed with warm, soapy, water after using chalk paint or wax)

  • Paint thinner - to clean your brush after staining. 

Optional: New knobs for drawers

 

First things first: Plan out your project.  Where will you display it, how will you use it, what type of wood and paint will work best to first your needs?! Secondly, measure your table, then load up and head to Home Depot (will Home Depot and Hobby Lobby just get married, already?!).

 Once you're there, pick out your new table top! I purchased the cheapest oak I could find, because a) It was pretty smooth and b) I am not rich. You guys aren't going to believe this, but I have never purchased wood before. Thankfully, the guys at Home Depot offer excellent customer service, so I handed over my choice wood and some measurements then ran off to shop nails, stains, and brushes! Bonus cupid tip: Take your single friend with you, and leaver her to talk it up with the bearded, buff, wood cutting, dude. You're welcome, single ladies! 

 

I know this Varathane stain talks a good game with its "achieve color in one coat" and all, but to get a nice, even, coat, I layered it on four times. Each coat dried for about 24 hours.  I let the final coat dry for a couple of days before I added the sealant, and then I let that sealant dry for several more days before assembling the table. Also, if you don't have quality brushed already, invest in them! As long as you wash and dry it properly, it will last a long time and they really do make a difference. 

 

Ok you guys….I have been dying to tell you this. Chalk paint (not to be confused with chalkboard paint), is AMAZING!! It requires no priming other than cleaning off the surface you are going to paint. I'd like to refer to it as "the butter of paints". It goes on so smooth, and just melts into the wood. I used the art deco brand, but Annie Sloan is a great brand as well. The chalk pain dries incredibly fast, and there are almost no fume. I painted this right inside my dining room! All it took was two coats, which both dried within 30 minutes. Once the paint dried, I applied a matte wax, to protect and seal the paint. Again, invest in the right brushed. I purchased a wax brush at Home Depot, and it worked beautifully. There is gloss, matte, and darkening wax. The darkening wax will change the hue of your paint so make sure and do a test spot before you paint the whole thing!

 

Last of all, the most fun part! Picking out new knobs at Hobby Lobby. The only thing hard about this, was narrowing down all the wonderful options.

You can use a wood putty to hide the tops of the nails on the table, but I love this rustic, exposed nail, look! 

Table make over total: $85

It sounds like a lot, but this is coming from someone who had to buy all the brushes, nails, stain, and knobs. If you already have those items, the paint does not cost much at all and the wood was about $38.

I learned a lot, and did a lot of youtube searches during this project. If you have any questions before starting your make-over, please leave it in the comments and I'll get back to you!  Show me your projects in the comments too! 

 

 

 

 

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(San Antonio Lifestyle Portrait Photographer | Anna Angenend) https://www.annaangenend.com/blog/2015/10/coffe-table-makeover-my-1st-legit-d-i-y Fri, 09 Oct 2015 02:01:13 GMT
Best Apple Cider Ever https://www.annaangenend.com/blog/2015/9/best-apple-cider-ever It's Fall, 

ya'll!

I am here to get your season off to a great start by sharing my favorite Autumn recipe with you. It really is the best ever, that's a fact that I just made up…but once you try it, I think you will agree. 

Added bonus, it will make your home smell better than any candle ever will. 

 
It is super simple to throw together. I recommended letting it steep for while, but I have also thrown it together as friends are walking in the door, and served it up ten minutes later. It's still delicious! 
 
Add your spices to your pot:
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. nutmeg
  • pinch of cloves (too much cloves or allspice will make it bitter)
  • pinch of allspice
  • 2 tbs. sugar  The sugar optional, sometimes the apple juice is sweet enough! Taste as you go, and make it to your preference. 
 
Add juice:
  • 5 cups apple juice
  • 2 cups of orange juice
 
Turn to medium heat and whisk. The cinnamon won't blend in until the cider is warm, it's stubborn like that! 
 
Let it come to a boil, then lower heat and let simmer for 20+ minutes. 
 
Drop in a handful of cranberries and sliced oranges for some extra "ooh la la".
 
Share with your friends, or hog to yourself. I don't judge. 
 
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(San Antonio Lifestyle Portrait Photographer | Anna Angenend) https://www.annaangenend.com/blog/2015/9/best-apple-cider-ever Wed, 23 Sep 2015 22:08:34 GMT
The Cure For Mommy Blues https://www.annaangenend.com/blog/2015/8/the-cure-for-mommy-blues I found the cure for the mommy blues.

Despite the fact that I get to see my daughter everyday, there is often a moment where I look over at her, and realize she looks twice as tall and so much wiser than she was yesterday. Instead of running to the attic and crying over boxes of baby clothes, like I used to do, I’ve started a new tradition. I I grab my camera and set out to make a time photo time capsule.

 

 

Like most moms do, I always snap some photos when my daughter is headed out in a new outfit or when she is drawing a masterpiece...on the walls. Still, I haven't captured many of my favorite moments that may fade to blurry memories too soon. I always think I’ll remember which stuffed animal was her favorite for the first 8 months, or what her reaction was like the first time we put a bunch of glowsticks in the bathtub, but sadly, it’s hard to hold on to all those happy memories forever. I blame mom brain! Thankfully, photographs can last long enough for her to share those memories with her grandchildren one day.

 

Mornings are hardMornings are hard

 

 

The time capsule project is as much for her as it is me. We will soon move out of her childhood home, and toys that were once her favorites will be passed along. There are certain triggers, like smells, colors, places that bring back a rush of memories. I like to think that photographs can trigger some of those priceless memories, and help fill the gaps where our minds have failed us. The point of creating a photo time capsule is to freeze a day in time that captures all those little things, and then make an album filled with memory “triggers”.

The challenge: 12 hours. Capture everything.

Morning Cuddles with Daddy


Before you start shooting, take a moment to think about all the little things that you want the remember which make this season of life so special. Their silly hair in the morning, a song that always puts a smile on their face, their crazy eating habits, or a stuffed animal they never travel far without.

 

One of the things to love about toddlerhood, is that it’s easier to be a “fly on the wall” when photographing them.  I don’t think it will be so easy for me to capture these genuine emotions and candid moments once she is more aware of the camera, and decides to strike a pose. The trick though, is to be very fast. Some of the most breathtaking moments only last for a brief second. My camera is never out of my reach all day when I am shooting a “time capsule”.

 

 

Given that the time to snap one of those candid moments is so brief, my camera has to be set ahead of time. Here are my “go to” settings. My 50mm lens is my all time favorite for in home lifestyle sessions. The only time I may mix it up is with my 85mm for some details shots, or something fun and funky like a fisheye lens. Anytime I photograph a bouncy little kid, I start with shutter speed of 1/250 or faster. My favorite place to stay for my aperture is between f/2.8 and f/4.0. I will be mostly shooting with natural light, and occasionally rely on my 580 EXII speedlight to light the way. Since none of these shots will be staged, it means working on the fly with whatever light is there. I start out by opening all the curtains and blinds so most of the rooms in my house will have decent lighting and be ready to go. In fear of grainy images, I prefer to keep my ISO below 1200 when possible. However, I am not afraid to embrace the dark if it fits the mood. After all, this shoot isn’t about getting the perfect exposure, but capturing life exactly “as is”.

 

 

 

 

 

What is it about tiny little toes? Even though I am admittedly terrified of all adult feet, I can’t get enough of those baby toes.

Bonus points, add a handwritten note for your child in the photo album. Stash it away to reminisce together in  just a few short years. Oh boy, where are my tissues...

 
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(San Antonio Lifestyle Portrait Photographer | Anna Angenend) https://www.annaangenend.com/blog/2015/8/the-cure-for-mommy-blues Wed, 19 Aug 2015 13:18:44 GMT
Consider Yourself Warned - A Parenting Tale https://www.annaangenend.com/blog/2015/7/consider-yourself-warned---a-parenting-tale
"Potheads" 4.jpg

 

Despite grandma, mom, best friends, stacks of baby books and endless parenting blogs to help you prepare for parenthood, there will still be infinite surprises when you become a parent. There were a lot of emotions and challenges that caught me off guard. It is still shocking to me that nobody warned me about how hard and painful breastfeeding can be, or that the feeling around my c-section scar would never return. Consider this your warning on a few of the issues parenting books are sure to leave out.

 

Dr. MiaLOGO.jpg

 

1. The Plush Animals Epidemic

Soon after becoming a parent, you will realize that you are the reluctant owner of 50+ plush animals, none of which you purchased.  Our collection began when the grandparents unknowingly started a battle of who could buy the biggest, fluffiest, and cutest stuffed friend. The rest of the animals just showed up one day because word traveled that I was having the plush party of the year at my house. Every time I try to sneak an arm full of them off to Goodwill, my daughter comes rushing over to tell me their names, their family’s names, and their entire medical history. Back they go stuffed into drawers, cabinets, baskets, and under the bed with all the others!

 

Busy Season.jpg

 

2. Repeat, Repeat, Repeat, Repeat

Whether out of necessity or due to forgetfulness, you will find yourself repeating everything you say so many times that the words begin to lose their meaning, and their urgency. I mean,  is it really necessary to put clothes on before we leave the house today?  Can we get away with not leaving the house at all today?

 

No silent nights 069.jpg

 

3. Parenting Comes With A Soundtrack

It is the non-stop sounds of babies crying, toddlers asking to be picked up, toys dumping out of baskets, heads thunking against a wall, toys singing the alphabet on a loop, or even your spouse singing Barney in the shower.  The only sound that is surprising to a parent, is the sound of silence.

 

"Peace & Quite" 2.jpg

 

4. Daydreaming Is Crucial To Your Sanity

I’ve had to ask myself recently, is it crazier to go a full day without a single coherent  conversation, or to carry out said conversation in my head? For the sake of my sanity, I’ve decided on the latter. I’ve also spent copious amounts of time daydreaming of grabbing my best girlfriends( if they’re still my friends even though I haven't texted them back in months.), hop on a plane (one with alcohol of course), and jet off to Hawaii for a long weekend. I am a firm believer that finding a way to work in some vacation  leads to being a better mommy.  Let go of the guilt! It is possible (and quite common) to be madly and unconditionally in love with your child, but frequently daydream of being in a less noisy place, with at least one other somewhat rational, over 18, human being.    

 

"Mia get's dressed" 3.jpg

5. You’re Going to Need a Lot of Bras

By the time you have at least one toddler running around your house, you will have a drawer stuffed with bras ranging from sizes A-F; a different cup size for every phase of motherhood. I was a little excited about moving up a cup size when my boobs swelled up during pregnancy. After they almost exploded with milk, they were chewed on, dried out and shriveled up from breastfeeding. Then they turned into miniature trampolines for my toddler. Now I am just excited about any bra that can pull my boobs up from my belly button to their rightful place, which is, ideally, above the rib cage (in case you, too, forgot where pre-pregnancy boobs belong).

 

One Trip or Die.jpg


6. Online Shopping Is Your New Best Friend

The days of casually perusing the sale racks while sipping on a hot latte are behind you. If you’re lucky enough to get everyone buckled up and driven to the store, you will be in a race against time to check the necessary items off  your list before the snack cups run dry and the post nap-time happiness expires. Spending money while on the couch, after the kids have gone to bed, has never looked better.

7. Lose Friends, Gain Acquaintances

You may hear crickets on the other end of the line if you call up your single friends to tell them about what a triumphant day in potty training you had. Luckily for us socially deprived, and half- crazed mothers, just about any parent at the grocery store, or on the swing next to you at the park, would love to cheer you on and exchange potty training tips. It is not uncommon for moms to bond with a complete stranger over the simple fact that you are standing next to each other, and both have children.

 

 

 

8. Get Comfortable With Room Temperature Coffee

Coffee is practically sponsored by parenthood. Even if you weren’t a fan of the bitter liquid before, soon after your rambunctious children come into the world, you will start to constantly crave the bittersweet, laced with caffeine, liquid life. Except yours won’t be warm, because if you can get around to brewing it in the first place, by the time you get around to drinking it, there will be tiny icebergs forming.   

 


 

9. Karma Has Never Worked Faster

I quickly learned to repress the judgmental thoughts that might arise when witnessing a child having a full-blown meltdown in the store. I can promise you, no sooner than you think the words “my child will never do that,” your child will exhibit that exact behavior on an even more extreme level. Yes, all children will slap their siblings at least once. It won’t be long before you observe a meltdown at the store and  find yourself thinking, “I’ve been there,” and wishing you could go over and give that mom a big hug to let her know she’s going to be just fine.  

 

 

 

10. Nothing Is As Black And White As I Once Thought It To Be

I once had my mind made up that any time a child hits (not in self defense), they should be scolded and/or disciplined... But nothing is that simple in parenthood. What if  your child slaps you on the back, then immediately their eyes light up and they run off to fetch their “Dr. Kit” while yelling, “I am sorry mommy, so sorry! My Dr. Kit make you all better!”. Situations like this, and many other parenting conundrums, are sure to leave you questioning everything you have ever read in the parenting books.

 

 
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(San Antonio Lifestyle Portrait Photographer | Anna Angenend) https://www.annaangenend.com/blog/2015/7/consider-yourself-warned---a-parenting-tale Tue, 28 Jul 2015 06:17:40 GMT
Sweet Potato & Carrot Hashbrowns https://www.annaangenend.com/blog/2015/7/sweet-potato-carrot-hashbrowns

Ingredients list:

(makes about a dozen hash browns)

  • Two sweet potatoes-peeled & grated
  • Two carrots-grated
  • 3 egg whites
  • 1/4 cup parmesan cheese
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1/4 season salt
  • 1tbs coconut oil (for cooking)

Tools needed:

  • Grater
  • Colander
  • Medium mixing bowl
  • Large skillet or griddle

 

Prep time:                 Cook time:

15 minutes                     10 minutes per patty

 

 

Instructions:

Grate the potatoes and carrots into a colander. Squeeze the juice from the carrots and potatoes. The more juice you squeeze out, the crispier your patties will be! Use your muscles. :)

Stir the egg whites, cheese, onions and seasoning together. Mix in the carrots and sweet potatoes. 

Preheat your griddle on medium heat and melt the coconut oil. Scoop small spoons of the mix and mash into thin patties. This part is  important, I had a couple of patties that we're too thick and the potatoes didn't cook all the way. 

​Cook for 4-5 minutes on each side of the patty, or until desired brownness and crispiness is reached!

*Honestly, I am sure you can mix whatever seasonings you desire into this recipe.  Omit onions, add parsley, bake in the oven (although the bake time would be much longer-about 25 minutes), whatever you want to do! I would just focus on squeezing as much juice as you can out of the ​potatoes, having enough egg to hold it together and keeping the patties thin.  

Whatever you do, I hope you enjoy them! The day I made these, we had them with eggs for breakfast and again as an appetizer for dinner that night. I think they would make a great potato nest for an egg, a hashbrown sandwich, or dipped in your favorite sauce. Yum, so many delicious choices!

 

 

ENJOY!

 

 

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(San Antonio Lifestyle Portrait Photographer | Anna Angenend) https://www.annaangenend.com/blog/2015/7/sweet-potato-carrot-hashbrowns Wed, 15 Jul 2015 04:42:54 GMT
Interview with Marie Claire, Greece. https://www.annaangenend.com/blog/2015/4/interview-with-marie-claire-greece

MC: "How did the concept of shooting life with Mia occur?"

AA: "It all began when kids went back to school last August. My friends were emotional about sending their kids off. As a stay at home mom of a toddler, I wanted to show how I felt about school starting up.  I had a lot of fun shooting the photo and my friends enjoyed it, so I shot another one. The rest is history. Being around a two year old 24/7 is an endless amount of inspiration for a new photo. If I couldn’t laugh at some of the ridiculous situations I’ve been put in. I might just go a little crazy."

 

 

 

MC: "Which is the funniest of the moments you share?"

AA: "I couldn't pick just one! I love getting to be silly with her all the time. Since her birth, I've realized that every parents get's to experience two childhoods. Their own & then their child's. I think the second one is even more magical than the first. It is wonderful to watch her, taking in the world for the first time & now that she can have conversations to me, I am fascinated by her thoughts & opinions on what she sees. Sometimes I'll initially feel a little uncomfortable being over the over the sop silly with her, but when I do, her laugh is so rewarding I just can't stop. She'll laugh uncontrollably If we pretend to be puppy dogs together.  She is fascinated by the sky and loves to go on moon hunts in the evening. One night recently when I was rushing to get her to bed, when she decided she wanted to go out not the porch to tell the moon goodnight. She then proceeded to blow kisses to every star she could see. It took a solid five minutes, but I'll never forget how sweet she was wishing all the stars a goodnight. I'm constantly reminding myself to slow down and experience the world from her point of view, and to be a little bit silly together every day"

 

MC: "And the hardest ones?"

AA: "When I am shooting the photos, Mia is more interested in the photography aspect of it. She wants to adjust my camera settings or try to take a photo herself. I shoot the images with my camera on a tripod and I photograph her & myself separately. So when I am off across the room posing for  photos, and she is about to knock down my camera, it get's a little scary!  She also as her own and very strong options about what she wants to be doing in the images. Since I usually have a vision for the image based off of a recent scenario, it can be hard to have her in the right positions and making the appropriate expression for the photo."

 

MC:"You had your daughter so young that you are practically growing up together. Would you advise her to have children as young?"

AA:"The maturity level of a twenty-one year old can vary greatly, depending on the person. Maybe I was born with an old soul, or maybe it's because of my upbringing, but I never felt unprepared for parenthood because of my age. If Mia chooses to have children one day, I want her to understand the importance of being in a loving and supporting relationship before starting a family. I'll also encourage her to pursue her other dreams, whatever they may be, before starting a family. Ultimately, when you become a mother, your children are your number one priority. That sometimes requires a lot of self-sacrifice. Continuing your education, and pursuing your dream job is very important, but If you have to juggle school, work and running a household/raising children, something will inevitably fall through the cracks, most likely your sanity."

"I think that having a season in life for taking risks and having the opportunity to live on your own is an important step into adulthood.  Being a good mother is a demanding, albeit  fulfilling, job. In this season of my life, nothing is more important to me than giving Mia the best childhood I can. I know I am very fortunate to be able and do what I love while raising Mia, but my photography always comes second to my family's needs. Whatever age Mia is when she chooses to start a family, my hope for her is that she will have fulfilled her other dreams and found the right person to be by her side, allowing her to enjoy all the wonderful moments of motherhood."

 

 

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(San Antonio Lifestyle Portrait Photographer | Anna Angenend) https://www.annaangenend.com/blog/2015/4/interview-with-marie-claire-greece Wed, 08 Apr 2015 15:19:27 GMT
3 Simple Tricks For Better Bluebonnet Photos. https://www.annaangenend.com/blog/2015/3/3-simple-tricks-for-better-bluebonnet-photos The bluebonnets are in full bloom and every ( true) Texan is headed out with their gang to get the annual, obligatory, bluebonnet photo. TEXAS! YEEHAW.

Here are some quick tips for better photos, whether you're shooting them on your phone or with a pro. 

1. Safety first

  • Find a safe location

 You can ask your friends or local photographers for recommendations. Also, check out Texas Highways for the best wildflower locations! (http://www.texashighways.com)

  • Texas, Spring & tall grass= Snakes! Oh my. 

Hopefully there won't actually be snakes where you shoot, but be mindful of that possibility and keep an eye out.

2. The sun will make or break your photos

For best results, shoot in early morning or dusk to avoid harsh sunlight, which will cause squinty eyes or overexposed backgrounds. To make a dramatic difference in the quality of your photos, sit your subject with their back to the sun, and use a reflector like this one ( http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1016048-REG/raya_cr_51_42_5_in_1_collapsible_reflector_disc.html  )to add a warm glow, and put a little sparkle in their eyes! 

3.Bring a simple prop

Avoid awkward "squatting over the flowers" poses with a simple prop. 

Your model may not be too excited about sitting on wet ground, or get poked by sticks and rocks.  You can easily pick up a small crate like this (http://shop.hobbylobby.com/products/wood-box-crate-set-with-antique-brass-handles-550244/) to pose them on. It looks cute and doesn't block or squash nearly as many flowers as a blanket might.

HAVE FUN!

Anna Angenend Photography ©Anna Angenend Photography ©

 

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(San Antonio Lifestyle Portrait Photographer | Anna Angenend) https://www.annaangenend.com/blog/2015/3/3-simple-tricks-for-better-bluebonnet-photos Sun, 29 Mar 2015 17:44:30 GMT
4 Simple Ways to Separate Work Life From Family Life. https://www.annaangenend.com/blog/2015/3/4-simple-steps-to-separate-work-life-from-family-life

 

I've tried the "Here is a stack of puzzles, now mommy is going to catch up on all her e-mails!" trick so many times. It has worked… once…for five minutes. Ok, it doesn't work! My daughter can sense when she doesn't have mommy's undivided attention, and she'll immediately start pleading with me to "come play" or " go hide and seek"! I've come up with a few solutions to that dilemma. Here is how I am attempting to peacefully balance my work and family life, which is all happening constantly under the same little roof. 

 

1. Set designated work times.

Mine are as follows:

Early morning: I am not a morning person, but If I can commit to waking up at least one hour before my daughter, I can usually respond to all the important e-mails that came in overnight, get a start on the projects that need to be completed that day, and make a solid to-do list for the day.  

Nap time: I usually get an hour and a half to myself during nap time. If this time isn't spent chugging a cup of semi-warm coffee, eating a meal made for adults, or taking a nap myself, it's amazing the amount of work I can get done in that time! I usually take care of phone calls during this hour and check back on my e-mails. However, if that work can wait, I've found that the napping hour is most productive when dedicated to the non-career oriented work that needs to be done, such as paying bills, arguing with AT&T, forgetting to schedule dentist appointments, etc. 

Bedtime: Basically, once the little one is out, my workday is on! The key to not staying up all night is planning ahead, having a clear goal of deadlines and dividing up the "must do" work into a realistic amount  for one evening. Of course, there needs to be an allotted time for Netflix binging before bed, too. 

It's definitely not always possible to finish all my work in these allotted times. When that's the case, I'll set aside things I can get done when my husband is at home, or hire a sitter for a couple of hours while I play catch up. I should also mention how I excited I am about San Antonio's new Utopia Play Cafe. They have an awesome play area for kids (with competent people to watch your child), and a comfy cafe adjoined to the play area where parents can chill or work. I wish every city had these! 

 

 

2. Put down the electronics, and walk away slowly!

After that early morning hour I had all to myself, if I don't detach myself from my mobile device, all hope of separating work from family time is lost. I have literally turned off said device and put it in a drawer to keep from checking back on those e-mails, text, Facebook notifications, etc. (I may need to look into social media rehab). I usually put my computer to sleep, T.V. off, whatever! Total electronics blackout. I like to challenge myself everyday and see if I can make the blackout last until nap time. I rarely do, as I will take my phone on our play dates, or call my husband, but work is off limits!  Once my little one wakes up, we have our own morning routine. 

 

 

 

3. Post-it's, lists, and voice messages galore!

 

Ultimately, my goal in doing all of this is to be as present mentally as I am physically when spending time with my family. However, I have a ridiculously difficult time calming down my crazy brain, which is constantly reminding me what else I "should be doing."Cue post-it notes. (Triumphant music playing in background!) Sometimes I swear I can feel a mental weight being lifted when I jot my thoughts down on paper.

If I have an idea for a session or a new blog post but don't have the time to write it down, I leave a voice message on my phone to play back later. It took me a painfully long time to learn that I need to write things down, and stop thinking, "I'll remember that later."  There is no telling how many genius ideas I've wasted. ;) So, please, learn from my mistakes! 

 

4. Organize & Inspire Yourself

Believe it or not, this is not a foolproof plan! My biggest dilemma is that once I get to the end of a long day, I sit down to plan a session or finish an interview and I am totally wiped! Inspiration? Zilch.  Humor and personality? Gone; nada!  I usually have my notes and voice messages from my prior spunky self to refer to, but setting up a comfortable work station also helps a lot. For me, "comfortable" equals absolute cleanliness and organization. I'm a nut like that, hopefully you're normal and just need a comfy chair. 

Creative juice is always good. Mine usually comes in the form of wine or bold roast coffee.

A good playlist is an absolute must in my book, and Spotify has some pretty helpful ones. Something titled "deep focus" or "study time" usually does the trick.

Sometimes, I just need to press my reset button and take a long shower or meditate before I start my work night. Find what works for you! 

 

 

 

That's my two cent's! I hope you enjoyed it.

(p.s. I am finishing up this post at 1:00 a.m. What did I tell you? ha! )

I'm trying to get better at this all the time, so I'd love to hear about your tried and true methods for balancing work from home/ quality family time. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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(San Antonio Lifestyle Portrait Photographer | Anna Angenend) https://www.annaangenend.com/blog/2015/3/4-simple-steps-to-separate-work-life-from-family-life Thu, 12 Mar 2015 06:04:42 GMT
Valentine's Interview with BUNTE.de Magazine https://www.annaangenend.com/blog/2015/2/valentines-interview-with-bunte-de-magazine ©Anna Angenend Photography©Anna Angenend Photography

 

BUNTE.de: "Have you and Ryan planned anything for Valentine’s Day?"

Angenend:

"We don't put a lot of emphasis on Valentine's Day. Ryan does an amazing job expressing his love every day. I make an effort to do the same for him. We especially don't like battling the crowds on V-day! This year, I am excited to make brunch for the whole family, then decorate some cookies with Mia. I'm sure Ryan & I will share bottle of wine after Mia's bedtime, which is fun on any night of the year."

BUNTE.de: "How has life changed since Mia has been born?"

Angenend:

"Everything has changed! I left my 9-5 job to stay home and Ryan started working even more hours than he already was.  I've developed a sweeter, stronger relationship with my parents & Ryan's parents now that there is a grandchild in the picture. They are wonderful to Mia! I've lost friends from my single days, and gained friends who are parents. Ryan and I don't always get all the one on one time we would like, but I love all the moments we share with Mia." 

BUNTE.de: "Do you and Ryan have any arrangements like a weekly kid-free date night?"

Angenend:

"Ryan is out of town for work the majority of the time.  When Ryan took this job, we promised each other that if the travel and  the long hours put too much of a strain on our relationship, then the job wasn't worth it. His schedule has certainly presented it's challenges, but it's made us stronger and brought us closer too. They say distance makes the heart grow fonder, and I can agree with that.  We have a date night during the week that he is home & we do a lot of family outings with Mia during the day. When he's gone, it's all about good communication. We regularly check in with each other to make sure the separation or the work load isn't too much. If one of us isn't happy or if we're stressed out constantly, we'll make changes."

BUNTE.de: "Do you have any other secrets for a romantic marriage?"

Angenend:

"I am no expert as I am 23 years old & just shy of my 4th year of marriage. I do know that a successful marriage is forever a work in progress.  We've found our rhythm and continue to improve it all the time. For example, he makes an awesome omelet, but that's the extent of his cooking abilities. Luckily, I love cooking & then he volunteers to wash the dishes. 

Marriage doesn't always feel like a fairytale, but if we hit a rough patch I like to read some of the cards he's given me in the past or think about the hundreds of things he's done that I adore. I can never stay upset for very long.

It's all the little things that keep us falling in love every day. I love it when he get's up with Mia so I can sleep a little longer, brings me coffee in bed, or offers a back rub. He tells me I am beautiful every day, even on my worst of days. It means so much to me every time I hear it & even when I don't believe it.  I think that having things to do together on a regular basis is important. Anything from watching a show together to sharing a hobby or kicking each other's butt's in a card game.

We're very straightforward with each other about what we want or need & we're not afraid to have an argument. We've always been able to talk through our disagreements & be better for it afterwards."

 BUNTE.de: "Where did the idea come from/what made you start taking pictures like that?"

Angenend: 

"I took the first photo, "back to school" as a joke about my real feelings on school starting up last August. I had a lot of fun shooting the photo, and my friends really enjoyed it when I shared it on social media.  I had plenty of other ideas to portray the chaos of "Mom Life", so I decided to make it a series. At first, there honestly wasn't a lot of though put in to it, just something fun for my daughter and I to enjoy together. I somewhat regret not coming up with a more creative title for the series."
 

BUNTE.de: "I've learned that you got pregnant very young. How did you cope with that situation then?"

Angenend: 

"It was a bit of a surprise when I found out I was pregnant, but my husband & I had both hoped to have children eventually. We both worked hard during those 9 months to get to to where we wanted to be before her birth. For us, that meant moving into a two bedroom apartment, and my husband (Ryan) getting  a job that ensured I could stay home and take care of our daughter. Although we've had our challenges to get here, I am grateful for them because I appreciate the life we have now so much more".
 

BUNTE.de: "Did you take pictures from other families in those situations too, or have people approached you and asked you to do so?"

Angenend:

 
"I have not yet been approached to shoot a "mom life" style photos for my clients, but I would love to if it was requested. I shoot a lot of lifestyle family session, and there is usually at least one photo of a crying baby or toddler in the clients gallery. When I plan a shoot for my clients, I always incorporate thing that will portray what their life was like at that time. Sometimes I photograph them doing one of their favorite family activities or hobbies, the kids favorite toys,  etc. I think I am doing the same thing with my daughter in Mom Life, since I am capturing some of her phases and our adventures. I have chosen to do it in a more humorous way though". 
 

BUNTE.de: "Have Moms approached you to let you know that they can identify themselves with the situations shown on the pictures?"

Angenend:

"Yes, though not each scenario may be very specific to another mom, it at least reminds them of a very familiar situation they have been in. I constantly hear stories from my friends that they think would be a great mom life photos, there are so many good ones! I've been amazed that this series had been published in so many countries. It  goes to show that regardless of culture or parenting styles, when you have a little one come in to your life, we're all getting into the same sticky situations. It's comforting to me, because I think it's a good reminder that we're all probably more alike than we admit too". 
 
See the interview at BUNTE.de here:
http://www.bunte.de/panorama/baby-glueck-danke-mama-116048.html
 
 
©Anna Angenend Photography©Anna Angenend Photography
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(San Antonio Lifestyle Portrait Photographer | Anna Angenend) https://www.annaangenend.com/blog/2015/2/valentines-interview-with-bunte-de-magazine Sat, 14 Feb 2015 16:08:48 GMT
Tips for Photographing Toddlers, part 1. https://www.annaangenend.com/blog/2015/2/tips-for-photographing-toddlers  

Having a successful shoot with a child can start a while before session day. When planning a shoot , I  encourage the parents to talk to their kids about picture day. The parents can have fun with their kids, practicing making happy and goofy faces, or have the kids practice making up poses. Anything to help the child get excited about pictures, as opposed to being nervous or not knowing what to expect. 

If a child (or adult!) is particularly nervous about being in front of the camera, you can keep the focus of the day on something other than photos. You could plan a family picnic, or nature walk. For example,  If we're doing a shoot in the woods or at a park, parents might want to let the kids help pack a snack for their adventure. If the shoot is in an urban area, you could plan an "i-spy" game. In my case, I would tell my two year old daughter that we're going to see how many puppy dogs we can spot and she wouldn't be able to get to the car fast enough. As a lifestyle photographer, I want to capture the natural family interactions and candid moments. Having fun activities planned with the child for that day, can help create much more relaxed and intimate photos.  I also love it when the child participates in planning their own outfit. It can be fun (and shocking) to see what they pick out. Their choice outfit may only be used as backup or extra clothing, but its great to let the child wear something that they feel like a rockstar in. Even if only for a few pictures.  Imagine how much funthey will have reflecting on their choices 5-10 years down the road! 

Once the client arrives at the shoot, I want to spend some time getting to know the child and letting them warm up to me before I start shooting. This may not always be a good thing, but I rarely pay attention to the time when I am working with kids. I don't want them or the parents to feel rushed or stressed. It will show in the photos.  I want them to feel comfortable with me & their surroundings before I start getting them into poses, or sticking a camera in their face. 

Note to parents! It is ok to hang back while the photographer works with your child! In fact, sometimes the child (and photographer) will feel a bit more comfortable without mommy & daddy telling them how to sit or how to smile. This can depend on the child's age, some little ones may not want to leave mommy's arms during the whole session, and that's ok too.

 

I am attempting to streamline this post, as I could go on forever! Here is a short list of a some tried & true tips for working with young children:

 

  • Add a colorful scrunchie to your lens to grab attention: 

https://www.pinterest.com/pin/456411743459625882/

  • Have a music playlist ready to go

 Most kids love listening & dancing to music. I try to have a playlist ready ahead of time,  made specifically for that family.  It works well to play it on a bluetooth speaker during the session. The right music can go a long way in helping someone feel comfortable enough to have some fun in front of the camera. 

  • Have noise makers on hand

For babies especially, having a bell, clapper, maracas, etc. can help to grab their attention. Usually, I accidentally leave those items at home and resort to jumping around, singing, yelling or making animal noises. That seems to be pretty effective as well. 

  • Have a parent approved gift ready

When I am working with kids, I am hoping to start a relationship with a life-long client, or at least until high school graduation! I want them to leave the shoot feeling excited & happy and talking about how much fun they had with me. A good way to leave a lasting impression is to send them home with a little gift.  A new book,  some stickers, or if mommy & daddy say it's ok (I always ask during the consultation) some cookies.  Bonus tip, kids also love to look at their pictures on the back of the camera. They get excited about seeing themselves, so all the more reason to get the photos edited and back to the client as quickly as possible…while they're still pumped up about the session.  That subject deserves a whole other post. 

  • Know your client

 

​During the consultation with the parents, I'll ask the them what the child is currently in to.  All children like different music, most likely have favorite superheroes or princesses, a favorite animal, and have at least one favorite movie they watch 5 times a week. That information can be very helpful when relating to the child during a shoot. If you can start talking about their favorite characters, they're going to be interested in what you have to say, and you will be able to hold their attention longer. Another example: Lately, I've noticed the teachers in my daughters classes constantly referencing Elsa or Anna from Frozen. It is completely lost on her, because she couldn't care less about them! However, if you mention Dave or Gru from Despicable Me…you have her full attention.  

 

 

 

I like encourage parents to bring their child's favorite toy to the shoot. Or sometimes,  the child will choose to bring it on their own. If possible, try to pick a "photogenic" toy.  It may be less than perfect, but I think it's a great way to document one of the child favorite things from that age. For example, I wish I had more photographs with this absurd, brightly colored, hamburger bag I used to LOVE and play with every day when I was about four years old. 

 

I love doing whimsical shoots. It's so much fun to create an environment where a child can let their imagination run wild, while I shoot away and capture some of that magic. 

I don't have any tips related to this photo, I just absolutely love it and wanted to include it. Oh, but notice how they both have hands full of "photogenic" objects. It's the only thing that was keeping them from hopping up and waddling off!

 

I hope you enjoyed this post. If you're an aspiring photographer in the Houston or San Antonio area & want more tips like this, you could join me on a shoot. Contact me for inquiries & details. 

I'd love to hear from you! What are your tried and true methods for working with little ones? 

What do you want to see in my next blog post?

 

 

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(San Antonio Lifestyle Portrait Photographer | Anna Angenend) https://www.annaangenend.com/blog/2015/2/tips-for-photographing-toddlers Thu, 05 Feb 2015 05:32:18 GMT
Mom Life Behind the Scenes https://www.annaangenend.com/blog/2015/1/mom-life-behind-the-scenes Hello, there!

Welcome to my first official Mom Life blog post. I can't make any promises on how frequent my post will be, (I'll try to keep it at once a week), but I can promise you that there will be awesome photography tips from setting your camera to posing your models & even how to find the best photographer to fit your needs.  I'd also like to share with you all some of what I have learned form having the Mom Life series go viral. 

To be honest, I am pretty sure I'll sneak some parenting post in here. I love being a mom & I love all thing related to crafts, healthy eating, home decorating, ORGANIZING (yay!) & inexpensive, child friendly, activities. I know, I am not super original being a stay at home mom, photographer, blogger & aspiring cook, but I am in love with this life. Don't knock it till you try it! 

 

First off, I'm going to ease in with some "basic" camera settings. Here is that rundown of my camera settings for one of my "Mom Life" photos. 

I’m going to try to keep it short and to the point. Please feel free to ask questions or add input in the comments. 

ISO-100 because I prefer a low ISO number (whenever possible) to cut down on noise. I especially wanted to cut back on ambient light for this photo. The overhead light was causing a glare on the back of the stove, making it difficult to see the steam. 

Shutter speed 1/250 -The fastest I can shoot with a flash, but still fast enough to freeze toddler motions.

Aperture 4.5- deep enough depth of field for all the props to be in focus, and ensure a sharp focus on my daughter and I. I usually set a large stuffed animal where I will be sitting, then set my focus on the stuffed animal before I pose. 

I ended up merging 6 shots for this photo. I photographed the teapot using ambient light, so the red glow of the hot coils would show. The flash washed it out. The flash did work great to bring out detail in the egg white, spilled milk, and steam which were all shot individually. Then I photographed myself, and lastly my daughter with everything else out of harms way. 

The question I have been asked most about this series is how to get a toddler to “pose”. I’ve used the fact that Mia is in a copycat stage to my advantage. Two days before I shot “Peace & Quiet”, I made up a game with Mia where we would smash are faces up against the window & make silly faces at each other. Once she started copying me, I set up my tripod & captured it.

 

 

Thanks for stopping by, hope to see you again soon! 

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(San Antonio Lifestyle Portrait Photographer | Anna Angenend) https://www.annaangenend.com/blog/2015/1/mom-life-behind-the-scenes Thu, 29 Jan 2015 04:14:51 GMT