Music Monday: Hikes at Barracuda in Austin, TX

This photo essay is dedicated to the Hikes community. The fam that shows up early to shows, embraces one another, and displays kindness to strangers. Who spend their money on tickets, CDs, and merch. Who watch the live streams when they can't make it. Everyone who has made me feel safe to happy mosh, crowd surf, and hold on tight to my loved ones. 

Portrait Session: PitchATX

Without further ado, meet Talan—founder of PitchAtX, a company that partners with individuals who struggle with making speeches to help them from "presentation ask to mic drop." Presentations are pretty unavoidable in the real world, so I think it's bomb that Talan uses her eight years of speech competing experience (she's nationally ranked, woo woo!) and a Master's in political communication to help others become better communicators. 

Warren's One-derful First Birthday Party

At the end of June, I flew to Los Angeles to celebrate my nephew Warren's first official trip around the sun! If there's one thing I've learned I really enjoy to do as an aunt, it's taking portraits of my sister with the loves of her life. Last summer, I documented her first few days with Warren, and it seems crazy that lil alien I met last July is the same little boy who just learned how to walk. I envision that Warren will always know me as his tía who loves to take pictures and will know the second I walk through the door that it's photoshoot time. 

A Weekend in Denver, Colorado

I booked another flight to Denver in less than a week after I arrived home from visiting in April—so I guess you could say the city left a good impression on me. I visited Denver in June to see my best friend, Devon, yet again and to see our all-time favorite band First Aid Kit perform at the Red Rocks Amphitheater.

Couple Session: Ale and Hector

Ale and Hector met in Austin, so it made sense to commemorate their love with a little bit of the Austin skyline. We shot at one of my personal favorite spots in the city, the Central Austin Public Library, and we had a blast. Special shoutout to these two because they also hopped into bushes at my request to get some of these shots. 

Cheers to Three Years of BossBabesATX

Three years ago this week, I watched someone I really admire take the world by storm on top of a picnic table in a backyard in East Austin. (Yes Jane, I'm talkin' about you.) Me and a couple hundred other creative women in Austin witnessed firsthand the launch of BossBabesATX, a non-profit that amplifies and connects women and nonbinary creatives, entrepreneurs and organizers.

All sappiness aside–in honor of the organization's three year anniversary, I'm sharing my favorite pics from the #BBATX archive. 

5 Things I Learned at Ladies Music Club's First Panel

Our panel featured Maressa Munoz of Ameritax Austin (my accountant!); Nathalie Phan, founder of On Vinyl Media; and Lauren Trahan, founder of Paper Moon Entertainment. We also had amazing vendors—Silk Club, The Audacity, and Women of Venus. If you wanted to attend but missed it, here's my five biggest takeaways from the panel. (Full disclosure: I didn't take notes since I was moderating, so these were the ideas that were ingrained in my brain!)

UT Austin Senior Session: Alexandria Sanchez

Last week I had the honor to photograph my first senior from my hometown, McAllen, Texas. It’s funny, the session actually epitomized what a small world we live in. When Alexandria Sanchez arrived for her session, she immediately looked familiar. She told me she went to the other high school in my hometown and we quickly realized we had a ton of mutual friends. (She’s also a real life fan of my boyfriend’s former band Boys Club.) 

UT Austin Senior Session: Cara Schwartzkopf

Grad Szn seems to be in full swing at UT Austin. I recently had the pleasure of taking senior photos for Cara Schwartzkopf, an advertising student at the university. I was stoked to work with Cara, who’s one of my first clients to find me through a Facebook ad (those things really work, woo!) and therefore booked me specifically because she liked what she saw online. 

Portait Session: Jen Pavich

Last week I had the pleasure of working with Jen Pavich, a life coach based in Austin who works with women to help them figure out the bullshit holding them back and create a plan to overcome it. She came to me with the need to update her branding with new portraits and we had so much fun capturing her personality. 

UT Austin Senior Session: Jett Anderson

Jett is graduating from UT Austin this year with a degree in electrical engineering—and he already has a job lined up for next fall! So I had the privilege to take photos at—and step foot inside for the first time—the new engineering building on campus. Jett is also #swole, so we obviously had to take some photos outside Gregory Gymnasium (even though we both know he lived at the Rec Center). I'm so proud to call Jett my friend and even more proud to have taken his senior photos—Hook 'Em! 

Couple Session: Amanda and Connor

In March, I took a quick break from SXSW to escape off to Brushy Creek with my pals Amanda and Connor. They are the final couple who received a free hour-long session in honor of Valentine’s Day—and we did their session just in time for their one year anniversary (which happens to be TODAY!) 

Photo Recap: SXSW 2018

This year marked my seventh SXSW—which makes me feel awfully old, despite being just 23. I still remember my first time at the festival. I was 16, I traveled from the Rio Grande Valley with my older brother to Austin for the first time to see the Strokes play at Auditorium Shores. I can visualize perfectly the first time we rounded the corner on I-35, passing the Holly St exit, and catching my first view of the Austin skyline. The weather was idyllic and I got to see my favorite band of all time for free. It's no wonder I moved to Austin just three years later. 

Couple Session: Kayla and Connor

It's both exciting and incredibly nerve-wracking to try something new, right? Those were pretty much the emotions pulsing through me after I advertised on Instagram that I would be doing couple session for free in February. To be honest: I did it to get some more experience working with couples before I started charging money. I knew once I did a session, I would create photos I loved and have the confidence to jump head-first into engagement sessions in no time.