Shanna Leigh Images » Blog

The first time I photographed this family a year ago was one of the most refreshing family sessions I have ever photographed! In our email exchanges before our first session Stephanie let me know that it was okay if every photo wasn’t of him looking right at the camera cheesing, and that in fact she was okay if I photographed his tears, too. She just really wanted to document him just being him at this stage of his life. I was reading that and in my head I was thinking “yes! she gets it!” Her sweet Billy is a few months younger than my son and let me tell you that we have exactly three family photos that have been taken since we had kids. Only one of them actually has him looking at the camera at the same time as us. The first time we tried to have family photos taken, I was so overwhelmed by the whole thing, and my son was just not really having it at all. I got so wrapped up in wanting that pinterest perfect family photo that I couldn’t even let myself enjoy it. I was just so sure that we weren’t going to have a single “good” photo and that the whole thing would have been for nothing. When I got the photos back, it turns on we did have one “perfect” photo. But the photos that absolutely melted my heart weren’t anything like the one with all three of us cheesing into the camera. It was the “in between” photos. The moments that were captured of his sweet scrunched up nose when he was upset, and the moments captured of me soothing my sweet first born when he was upset and frustrated with having to cheese for the camera when he really wanted to be let down so he could play. When Stephanie contacted me for photos again this year I was so excited because I knew that meant I would have another chance to just truly document their family. Sweet Billy is three now and is going to be a big brother soon! His love that he has for his baby sister already is seriously adorable and his three year old imagination had us laughing for half of the session. We let him take the lead and he took us hunting for sticks, deer, bears, and even baby rhinos. The moment I’ll never forget was when he found a random bush growing that had a reddish color and his eyes got really big and he looked at us and exclaimed “Look at this branch! We’re in a color forrest!” Cutest moment, ever.

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This sweet boy turned two this week! It really does seem like it was just last month that his mommy and I were both pregnant together, due just days apart from each other. It was so sweet to get to see just how silly his personality is at this age. Once he got warmed up to my camera, everything was a game to him and he sure thought it was funny! From picking his daddy’s nose, to spotting airplanes in the sky, once he let his guard down he was straight up in silly mode the littlest thing would make his whole little face light up and he would give us the best belly laughs!
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I’ve been looking forward to this session since August and sure enough once the date finally got here, it looked like absolute doom and gloom outside. That was not at all what we envisioned when we planned for the perfect fall engagement season with yummy golden light and blue skies so we pushed it back. Then the new day came, and we had 30mph winds…NOPE! Well, the third time we scheduled it was definitely the charm. The light was absolutely gorgeous, the leaves were all perfectly in the middle of changing colors, the sky was clear, and Nikki and Marc absolutely nailed it with their outfits! I also got to see a picture of Nikki’s wedding dress and it is to die for and seriously perfect for her Aristide Event Center wedding!  I gasped when I saw it! Nikki and Marc, I hope you love these as much as I do. I had so much fun with y’all and I’ll now be impatiently counting down the days until your wedding next fall so that I can see the look on Marc’s face when he sees his bride in that dress:-)

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When Jennifer told me she was looking at portraits of the Adams Family for inspiration for her shoot I was so excited! When when she showed up with this gorgeous chair and that KILLER Monique Lhuillier dress, I nearly died! Jennifer is a good friend of mine. The kind of friend who has probably never seen me wear makeup in real life and probably wouldn’t care if I showed up to her house not wearing proper pants. She’s so naturally gorgeous every day, but when I got out of my car that day and saw her in that dress with her makeup fully done by our ridiculously talented friend, Amy, my jaw DROPPED! And then seeing David in his tuxedo shirt and vest, and the kids all dressed up, it was seriously the best thing ever. I love this family!
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Accessories: Bitz N Pieces
Chair Rental: J. Crawford Agency
Dress: Monique Lhuillier

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I’ve gotten to photograph my sweet friends on the same weekend morning every year for the past three years now to celebrate their daughter’s birthday. Sweet Lyra is THREE now and oh so fun! She knows she’s going to be a big sister soon, but she also thinks maybe there’s a sister growing in her belly, too. If that’s not the cutest thing you’ve heard in a long time, then I don’t know what is! Bob Jones Nature Center in Southlake has become one of my absolute favorite places to shoot this time of year. It’s gorgeous in the evenings, but nothing beats the light it gets in the mornings. It’s something out of a story book, for sure!

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