Lowthorp {family}

Happy Armed Forces Day!! This day is very dear to me as I have a good handful of close friends and family currently serving and plenty who have served in the past.  I thought this might be the perfect day for this post.  Meet the Lowthorp family!! They were adorable, playful and up for an adventure.  I met them through church when I donated a portrait session for a Women's conference and it was gifted to Pam, an Officer's Wife.  We tried to get a session on the calendar multiple times, but between weather, vacations and life, they kept getting postponed, but I believe it for all worked out for the best.  When we were able to get a date on the calendar, it was just weeks away from when her son, Ty, was leaving for the Navy.  

I asked Pam to share a little about their journey: "I was gifted this session from the Celebration Church Radiant Conference last year & so thankful for Christina’s gracious gift! I LOVE having our family photos taken and try to squeeze it in, at least every couple of years.  She took us to a great little “hidden” entrance on Lake Georgetown  for our session. It was quite the adventure! I love this location not only because of the beautiful scenery but because all the memories when we brought the kids to the lake to fish and swim. This was our “last” childhood family photo before Ty, our first born, would leave home and join the U.S. Navy. He graduated High School in 2017 and when we asked him why the military, he said "he just felt like that’s what he was supposed to do."  We always pray for our kids to have God driven direction, so I really couldn’t argue with his answer! I did ask him if maybe he misheard, because ministry and military almost sound the same.  Haha! He left for bootcamp about 3 weeks after this session, he graduated in January and is now on the USS Essex.  He will leave on his first deployment this summer. I asked for a variety of poses as a family and siblings but one of my favorites, is the one of us praying. Our faith and trust in God has always been the foundation for our family. Prayer for our boy &  our family during this transition has been essential to this Momma's sanity! The peace God has covered my heart with, is unexplainable! I will miss him, a lot. I get frustrated when I can’t make all the plans, in my timing, but my peace is always in place.  He was home for Easter, for the first time since November. We had him for five, family and friend packed days. I cried a very loud, ugly cry when he boarded his flight, but through the tears, and loud sobbing, my peace remains. I fully trust God to take care of him, no matter where this adventure takes him. Still praying for God driven direction!  Christina, thank you for capturing the love we hold for each other. We will treasure these more than you will ever know! So thankful God brought you all the way to Texas!!!"

It was an absolute pleasure capturing these memories for this family.  I wish I could do it for so many other families I know and love that have family members in the military, but they are too far away.  Military family are near and dear to my heart.  The sacrifice they all endure, I wish I could do more.  If you know a military family in need of portraits, I would love to be apart of their story.  

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Kayla & Tina {mentor session}

Happy Monday All!! Today I have for sure had a case of the Mondays, how do I wipe that fresh? With a blog post dedicated to my darling little cousin, Kayla! 

Relocating to Texas was an adventure in itself, finding out my family would be following me one by one was the adventure of a lifetime.  Growing up, all my family lived within 20 mins of each other, as life happened, some moved far and some a closer drive, but far enough to make Sunday dinners together quickly lower in headcount.  We always said one day we were all going to live on a compound, never miss a birthday and Sunday dinners would soon become a reality again.  While we are still waiting for a few other family members to get here, the bulk of us are all in Texas... truly a God thing!! 

One of my favorite things about my family being so close again is getting to spend time with my sweet sweet cousin Nekayla.  I never really got to be apart of her life when she was little because she lived states away.  Now, a teenager, I get to spend so much time with her and I am beyond blessed that she actually wants to spend time with me.  When she moved here, she expressed interest in photography and asked me to mentor her.  I was so excited to spend time and share such a special connection with her.  

A few weeks ago she had her first assignment, posing. It was perfect timing with Texas Bluebonnets in bloom.  We went out and I put her I front of the camera first, then gave her the camera with full authority.  She did amazing!! She was getting creative, tried new things, failed at some ideas, but all the while, we laughed both learned a little something and made some great memories. 

Kayla darling, I love you! And I am so proud to be apart of your life and watch you blossom from a teenager to a young women!! Plus.. You are so beautiful and ALWAYS win best smile!! 

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Cason & Kelsey {1yr Anniversary}

I was blessed to meet Kelsey through a small group at church.  Do you know any of those types of people that always smile and have that amazing laugh with natural beauty; throw in kindness, caring and absolutely adorable... that's Kelsey.  We got to know each other over the course of a 3 month study in the book of Acts, this is where I heard her husbands story for the first time; the story where he was diagnosed with Cancer 1 month before their wedding.  

In January of 2016, Cason was diagnosed with "Chronic Myeloid Leukemia", a blood and bone marrow cancer, their wedding was February 2016.  A little background of his diagnosis: The average person has 6-10,000 white blood cells, Cason had over 552,000.  This was causing a lack of oxygen and put him at extreme risks of having a serious blood clot.  He was immediately hospitalized and they started treatment.  If they went anywhere he had to wear masks and gloves for a while because his immune system got so weak and he even lost about 50 pounds before their wedding.  Of course, during all of this, Kelsey never left his side and slept on the hospital couch.  Today, since his diagnosis is chronic, he still has to take a chemo pill every day, but he has come so far and is in the second phase of remission!!! This means, he still has some cancer in his bone marrow, but it is decreasing.  Even with cancer still remaining, he is healthier than ever because of the way they dove into wellness and natural living. 

Kelsey wanted to surprise Cason with a {not so} Mini Session since the last time they took pictures at their wedding, he did not look like himself.  This would be a way to celebrate how far they had come together.  I had met Cason once before but it was in a crowd of people, so I couldn't say much besides, this is Kelsey's husband, but after our session together I can tell you he is patient, kind, funny, supportive, loving and best of all photogenic... y'all this is HUGE for a man to be photogenic haha!! Not only did he do everything I instructed, but he even posed the two of them and asked "how was that", "was that the money shot".. absolutely adorable! One of "Cason's Shots" is down below.   

Being able to step into their world and watch the love they share for each other not only made my job an easy one, but it re-affirmed why I love what I do.  That I get to capture that emotion in an image, to keep it bottled up forever.  

Cason & Kelsey {and Millie}, I absolutely LOVED being apart of this celebration with you both!! Looking forward to future sessions together!!

Madison Shrull {spring in texas}

Madison is the sister of some dear friends of mine, who I secretly Insta stalk because she is so adorable.  All her pictures exudes confidence, personality and the most fun loving spirit of anyone I've seen.   She has been doing some pretty amazing things with YWAM in the Philippines and came to Texas for a little visit this summer.  The moment I saw her Instagram post stating that she was coming I asked if we could do a photo shoot while she was here, for no good reason than to get to work with her!! 

Since there was no real purpose behind this shoot but for some girl time and fun shots, I let Maddy draft it up, where she wanted it, what the theme was and what to wear.  She had messaged me some pictures prior with tall grass, wild flowers and books! So cute!! Well.. the thing with Texas is that we might have all these amazing open fields, but a lot of them are private property and the tall grass gets trimmed often, so finding a place in such short notice was a challenge.  We had decided to go to a local park instead with great scenery and of course a river flowing through it! As I was leaving work to head to that location, my eyes stumbled upon a lush green grass field with yellow daisies popping up throughout the field.  IN MY OWN BACK YARD! Something I passed by every day!! I immediately called them to meet me where I was.  Thankfully my dad was able to come meet us to do a "snake check"... yes this is also a new thing in TX I have to try and pre-arrange for the safety of us all! And luckily I always keep my boots in the back of my car, so we were good to go! And believe it or not... 2 days after the shoot.. I watched them till the land during my lunch! We got there just in time!

Maddy... you were a BREEZE to work with! You make my job look easy! I absolutely adored our time together and the beauty we were able to make together!! Let's make this a tradition?! 

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We also got to take a few fun ones of Madison and her sister in law, my dear friend, Shelby, who of course she looked so cute herself, I just had to throw her into the mix!!  I love it when Sister in laws are not only friends but best friends!! I have also been blessed to call my own sister in law one of my best friends!! Such a blessing!! 

Emily {sr. portraits}

Emily and her family are dear friends of mine, we only met when the whole CA to TX move happened a few years ago, but it seems like its been years already.  They made the move from Colorado, co-workers of mine are great friends them and decided to make the move as well.  You might have seen Emily's face on my site before, she is apart of the Georgetown High School Georgettes that I had the privilege to photograph this last football season.

Sr. Portraits are some of my favorite sessions.  Is it just me or does no one else feel like they looked like girls these days when they were Seniors lol.  Emily was not one to disappoint either, it really just makes my job so easy!  We were lucky enough to even get some Texas Bluebonnets shots, last year they were far and few between.  Since they are wild flowers its hard to find one of a kind spots and take pictures being that most of the full, gorgeous hills are off Hwy 35.  Not the most convenient, but that also doesn't limit me!  Thankfully we were able to find a beautiful patch in a safe location.  Emily is a beautiful dancer, so of course we had to capture her in her element, but man did it make me feel like I need to get back in the gym... I miss my flexibility.  Once a cheerleader, always a cheerleader! {lol} All in all.. Texas is a forever backdrop, but man does my subject captivate you. 

Congratulations on your upcoming Graduation Emily and thank you for letting me capture you in your true form!!