San Antonio Engagement Photographer – Downtown River Walk

When suggesting the San Antonio River Walk as an engagement photography location, I am often met with a hesitant response.  The image most people visualize is the crowded narrow walkway in the heart of the tourist attraction.  I typically have to paint the picture of a much more laid back and intimate location away from the crowds.  Just outside the main River Walk area is a more picturesque and quaint trail, that offers an intimate atmosphere.

Rebecca and Cody were up for the adventure, and trusted we would get some great photos for their engagement session.  I always get excited when a local couple experiences new locations and sites they have not encountered before.  The diversity and architecture of downtown allows for a wide range of backdrops, which Rebecca and Cody loved.

The lights of the Drury Inn along the San Antonio River Walk.

The Red Tunnel that connects the River Walk proper with the San Antonio River.

The Red Tunnel that connects the River Walk proper with the San Antonio River.

The Red Tunnel that connects the River Walk proper with the San Antonio River.

The waterfall along the San Antonio River Walk by Houston Street.

One of the alcoves for a high-rise building along the San Antonio River Walk.

One of the alcoves for a high-rise building along the San Antonio River Walk.

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Magnolia Market – Waco, TX

It is great to see the revitalization of the Waco downtown area.  There has been much conversation over this topic over the years and now we are seeing the transition play out.  The investment along the Brazos river, moving the Zoo to the Cameron Park area, and the addition of McLane Stadium by Baylor have all been pivotal in breathing life into the city.  The latest addition to the downtown Waco economy comes on the heels of the hit TV show Fixer Upper.

Chip and Joanna Gaines have taken the old grain mill in downtown Waco, and renovated it into a home decor market.  Magnolia Market has become a destination for many who enjoy the TV show and want to see first hand the type of renovation work featured on the program.  The grain mill and adjoining “silos” have sat vacant for as long as many can remember.  The project made perfect sense.  The Gaines had quickly outgrown their Bosque Blvd store, and this was just the type of project they are know for; renovating the oldest ugliest property into something fantastic.

Even the cold February weather will not deter the show’s faithful viewers from visiting the market.  Waiting as long as 15-20 minutes to get inside the market, the line continued to grow as I observed from under the awning of the silos (they made for a pleasant wind break for the cold norther wind).  Complete with a play area for the kids and food truck court for those hungry it is a well thought out attraction that is worth a visit.

Just down the street from Magnolia is The Findery, another well done home decor store housed within the renovated Percy Medicine building.  Complete with original paint, the charm and atmosphere of downtown has been beautifully preserved, while providing a unique shopping experience.  It warms my heart to see the life that has been brought into the downtown Waco area.

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A photo looking toward the River down Webster Ave at the back of the Percy medicine building where the Findery is located.  The “Silos” of Magnolia can bee seen in the distance on the left side of the street.

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The ever growing line of customers waiting to get into Magnolia.  The popularity is so great they have to regulate the number of customers allowed in.

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The grain silos adjacent to the market.

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Pano shot of the silos with the kid’s play area in the foreground.

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Detail image of equipment around the silos.

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Detail image of equipment around the silos.

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Detail image of equipment around the silos.

Laura and Corey are Married – A Downtown Dallas Wedding

I don’t often get calls to shoot weddings so far from home.  The majority of weddings I cover are around San Antonio where I live.  I also often cover weddings in the Corpus Christi area as well as the Waco area.  Laura and Corey’s wedding would take me to Dallas, and travel is part of the fun of doing wedding photography.

What they had planned was a fun evening of family, friends, entertainment, and a wedding ceremony to tie it all together.  With the downtown Dallas skyline in the background, their wedding venue, Lofty Spaces, provided a great location for everyone to have a wonderful time.  Add some lively entertainment in the form of dueling pianos and you have a recipe for a fun night.

Ah yes, the Kilts!  A fun little addition by the groom just to keep things fun and unique.  There was no specific reason for the kilts except to ensure that this would be a wedding with its own flair and style.  The groomsmen loved them, and they provided a great talking point for the entire event.  Congrats Laura and Corey!! It was a pleasure to capture your day.

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Gardens at Old Town Helotes Wedding

Helotes is an area where I find myself photographing weddings more frequently than any other.  I can’t explain why that is the case, but I am certainly not complaining.  Helotes sits on the edge of the Hill Country, like a doorway to the rolling hills and beautiful countryside that draws so many.  It is a small quaint town, that offers small boutique shops, and acts as a getaway for those looking for an escape from the big city.

This makes it a perfect location for wedding venues and inns.  Most of them are nestled in the woods and hillsides around the area, and they all have their own unique appeal.  Gardens at Old Town Helotes hosted my most recent wedding to photograph. Situated near downtown Helotes, the venue is tucked away behind beautiful tress and foliage making it a gorgeous location.  The intimate nature of the venue was perfect for Samantha and Buddy, and served as a perfect backdrop for their wedding ceremony.

Samantha and Buddy chose to keep the ceremony simple, yet beautifully elegant.  The personal vows they wrote one another kept the ceremony touching and heartfelt.  Having the opportunity to photograph the two of them, and capture their wedding day was a pleasure.  Congrats to the two of them and I wish them many happy years ahead.

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Jessica and Jonathon’s Wedding Reception at El Tropicano Hotel

The last wedding I blogged was at St Pius Catholic Church in Corps Christi. Coincidentally Jessica and Jonathon’s wedding was at St Pius X Catholic Church in San Antonio.

Jessica and Jonathon’s day started off in downtown at the El Tropicano Hotel along the Riverwalk with the entire wedding party.  When I first met with Jessica and discussed the logistics for the day it was clear that my assistant and I would be aboard the party bus.  The entire wedding party was riding the bus to the church, then back to downtown for photos, then back to the hotel.  It is far easier to be a part of the group, than to chase them around in a separate car.  Plus it took pressure off me so I could concentrate on my job.

St Pius X was gorgeous and the ceremony was beautiful. We took care of the routine formals after the ceremony then it was back to the bus for a photo excursion in downtown San Antonio.  Even with a large wedding party everything went smoothly.  The laid back attitude made for a fun shoot and entertaining time on the bus.  Back at El Tropicano it was time to party.  Complete with a classic Oldsmobile convertible for the exit, the reception was fun and exciting.  This was a group that knew how to party and had a great time doing it.

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San Antonio Wedding Photography with Ashley and AJ at Hotel Valencia

I had the privilege of photographing the gorgeous wedding of Ashley and AJ at Hotel Valencia in San Antonio.  The hotel is a downtown icon in San Antonio, and while I have done photography work there before, this would be the first wedding at Hotel Valencia.  I would have to categorize the Hotel as a photographer’s playground.  The building is amazing with great architecture, art, and decor.  One quickly slips into creativity overload at the number of photographic possibilities, making it impossible to run out of fantastic locations.

I love to shoot weddings and this was a fun wedding to be a part of.  Ashley and AJ are a gorgeous couple and their attitude was as much fun and exciting as I imagined it would be.  As the day transformed from the seriousness of a lifelong commitment to an energetic party their joy and happiness shown through at all times.  This was a memorable day and having the opportunity to capture the memories for them was indeed an amazing experience.

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San Antonio Portrait Session with Dave

Dave, a local attorney and friend came to me asking about portraits for an update to his website and profile pages.  In “keeping it real” we decided to use the Bexar County Courthouse as the backdrop for the photo session.  Plus I am thrilled anytime I get to shoot in downtown San Antonio. We went for a number of different looks throughout the shoot and overall we were both really excited with the results.

In typical fashion I used a couple of speedlights to add a little drama and dimension to the scene.  Since the speedlights are small, quick, and easy to setup, they are great for location photo sessions.  The drawback is they lack the high power light output of larger strobes but since we were not shooting under midday sun I had plenty of power to get the lighting and look we were going for.

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