Photographer: Events, Weddings, Portraits – Austin, Texas

Archive for August, 2010

$99 Engagement Or Bridal Session Ends Tomorrow!

Just wanted to officially share about being featured on Localiter.com! Check it out: http://www.localiter.com/

Only $99 bucks for engagement/bridal session! It’s such a great deal that I can only afford to offer for a limited time.

This is an amazing deal that you won’t likely see again soon, so take advantage of it if you need engagement/bridal photos. I’m also being flexible with what “kind” of photos you may purchase. So if you want head shots or a family portrait or baby pics we’ll do that too for the same price. Deals on until Sunday and we only need one more person for it to go through…

Engagement Session "Star Kiss" - Austin, Texas

Bridal Photo Snapped at Villa Antonia, near Austin

Engagement Photo Session at Texas Capitol

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Our 3 Kittens (Friday Fun Fotos)

Fun Friday Fotos. Our gang of kitties…

Apollo, Orion & Samantha Napping

The 3 Amigos (or stooges, depending on the day)

Samantha Loves Attention


Old Photo Editing – Restoration Magic!

Editing old photos is not something I usually do, but it presents some challenges, which I’m always down for. Recently I completed an old photo restoration for my wife’s family. I included the before and after photos in my blog below, with pretty stunning results.

Photo After Editing

Photo Before Editing

Essentially, I scanned the image digitally from an original circa-1920s print, edited it in Adobe Lightroom and then re-saved it. I’ll let you be the judge. I’m pretty happy with the results.

Developing an eye for how to edit photos properly definitely takes some practice and it’s something that I’m evolving at. But I have to give some credit to the Lightroom Software. Without modern software technology these changes were not even possible 5-10 years ago.

Here are the steps I used to edit the image into a better photo:

First, I straightened and cropped the image. In the before image the print wasn’t completely straight and the edges were tattered.

Then, I changed the color of the image. I don’t know what the original print looked like, but I’m pretty sure it wasn’t washed out and light brown initially like you see in the before photo. Over time, old prints have a nasty habit of changing colors because of chemical changes on the paper or ink. To solve the problem I converted the original to black and white.

Now for the image detail; I used the sharpening tool in Lightroom to get rid of some of the haze and blur in the image. I also tweaked the contrast/black in the image to give definition to parts of the image that needed it. I also toned down the brightness of the image to give more definition to the shirt collar area – which originally was “blown out.”

Last, the white specs and stains on the image had to go. So I used the Lightroom removal tool to get rid of any unwanted, unnatural looking spots. If you look at the original photo in the bottom left/right corners you’ll see what I mean.

I didn’t want to over edit the image so I stopped there. I think the changes were pretty reasonable and simple. And as a result we were able to print a nice copy of the new image to replace the old one.

Gotta love it…


The French Legation

One of the fun things about being a wedding photographer is getting to experience different venues where weddings occur. The average person probably only attends a few weddings in one year. However, A wedding photographer has the opportunity to visit dozens of different churches and reception venues each year.  Although I haven’t yet photographed every venue in the Austin area, I’ve been to quite a few. Each week in my blog I try to talk about a new location where I’ve photographed.

It’s fun for me to recount my experience, my likes and dislikes about each place. But it’s also fun to share what I’ve seen with anyone reading my blog, especially engaged couples who may benefit from the information.

In my mind there are lots of places in Central Texas that are unknown to many people and that there’s something magical or amazing about and I’m just dying to share about each of these little gems. One place in particular, which not only is a beautiful venue but also has historical significance to Austin is the French Legation.

French Legation

On ce upon a time the little settlement of Austin (which at the time was called Waterloo) was a part of a changing political landscape. During the 1800s, Austin was more a part of Mexico or a territory unto itself more than being part of the United States. At the time, Texas had a strong relationship with France, which decided that a French representative should be stationed here in Texas to represent the interests of France. Sometime around the year 1840, France dispatched Alphonse Dubois de Saligny to Austin to act in France’s stead. At the same time he began constructing several wooden structures on the premises, which still stand today.

In 1940 the property became a museum operated by the Daughter’s of The Republic of Texas and was opened to the public. The French Legation estateis located just east of IH-35 on 8th Street in Austin, Texas.  It can accommodate small wedding parties and groups for receptions or other events.  The French Legation is known for it’s white, wooden buildings that sit atop a green, tree covered hill which overlooks downtown. It’s a quiet, majestic place located near Austin’s downtown scene.

French Legation Austin, Texas

It’s also a great place for family photographs and bridal sessions.

Sources: http://www.frenchlegationmuseum.org/

More info: (512) 472-8180

French Legation Carriage House

French Legation Hours Of Operation

French Legation Estate


Finding A Wedding Dress In Central Texas

If you are newly engaged and you’ve already secured a location for your wedding, then your next step will probably be gown hunting. You may have been dreaming of an elaborate, fairy tale wedding since you were a girl or you may be looking for something a little less formal; Either way, before you begin there are a few questions you’ll want to ask yourself:

1. What kind of bridal gown do I want?

2. How much do I want to spend?

3. What is my body style?

Wedding Dress Waiting To Be Worn

First, let’s address our self-imposed questions. Do you want a formal gown or just an elegant, informal dress? How you answer will likely determine how and where you shop. These days you have endless options for where you buy clothing and there are advantages and drawbacks to where you shop. If you shop online you may have a wider variety of dress/gown options; however, one major disadvantage of shopping online will be determining whether you and your dress/gown are a good fit.

Next, include your estimated gown cost in your wedding budget. If you are patient, flexible and shop around there are great deals to be found. I recently heard a bride tell of finding a $900 designer dress on clearance for $75. Was the dress her first choice? …probably not, but in all likelihood she was open-minded, tried on the dress because it was beautiful (or heavily discounted) and perhaps she liked the way it looked on her – which is of the utmost importance.

Finally, know your body type and aim for a dress that will accentuate your shape and style. I’ll leave this topic to the fashion experts. Here’s a great article that briefly touches on body types and dresses styles that match by the knowledgeable folks at I-do.com – Australia.

Wedding Dress Illuminated By Natural Sunlight

If you live in a medium-sized or large city you’ll have more options. I encourage my clients to shop locally, but don’t settle for less. The media blitz of negative news about the economy has everyone scared to leave home in fear that they’ll lose their job or spend money that they should be saving. But that doesn’t mean you have to settle for a dress you don’t like. Be sure to check out all your bridal boutique options. Consignment stores are very popular amongst brides who want to save these days and although consignment is often a euphemism for “used”, consignment stores typically have a high standard for the merchandise the peddle.

List of Online Bridal Stores:

Romantic Gowns, House of Brides, Wedding Dress Online, Isabella’s, Bargain Wedding Gowns, the list goes on and on…

List of Brick and Mortar Bridal Stores:

David’s Bridal, Alfred Angelo, Nordstrom, Georgio’s Bridal, Priscilla of Boston, Bridal Mart (North Carolina Only), and others…

Local Bridal Designers (Central Texas):

Unbridaled, Adelle’s Bridal Boutique, Balina Bridal, Serendipity Bridal, Alexia Gavela Bridal, Melange Bridal LLC, Belle Saison Bridal, Coutures by Laura,  Designer Exchange, more…

Unbridaled unbridaled.com – (512) 444-2743

Adelle’s Bridal Boutique adellesbridalandquinceanera.com

Balina Bridal http://www.balina.com – (512) 719-5900

Serendipity Bridal http://www.serendipitybridal.com

Alexia Gavela Bridal agbride.com – (512) 419-7818

Melange Bridal LLC http://www.melangebridal.com – (512) 345-8780

Belle Saison Bridal bellesaisonbridal.com – (512) 452-1199

Some minor details to remember:

-Not all dresses are sized the same; some vendors like David’s Bridal use European style of sizing, which varies from what you might find elsewhere. In all likelihood, your dress will be a size or two larger than you expect because of size discrepancies amongst designers.

Black & White Wedding Dress W/ Long Train

-You can engineer a dress using an online dress creator here: Wedding Dress Creator

-The Knot has a Wedding Dress Cost Calculator based on inputs such as dress style, price range, designer and more.

Bride Showing Off Dress At The Driskill Hotel

Bride Poses Between Barn Doors In Country Setting


Why Dressing Professionally Matters For Wedding Photographers

Today I was a patron at one of my favorite local restaurants here in beautiful Austin, Texas. As soon as I walked in I was greeted with the warmest of greetings, from the hostess, the busser and my server. Now, it might be because the restaurant is full of friendly attentive workers or because everyone’s having a wonderful Thursday afternoon – or it might just be because I’m dressed very nicely (slacks, button-down shirt, tie, etc.) and they think I’m a good tipper. I like to assume the latter.

The point is that people notice the way that you dress, whether it is acknowledged or not. As a wedding photojournalist I take my job very seriously, and I want people to know this, so I dress appropriately when I photograph weddings or other events.

Martin Photographing A Wedding At Chapel Dulcinea

I recently met with a bride and her maid-of-honor who pointedly asked me how I dress at weddings. They both agreed that it was important how the photographer dressed at the wedding because they had bad experiences in the past with a photographer who presented themselves in attire that was disheveled, unprofessional and distracting. I promised them that I always dress professionally for my events.

As a wedding photojournalist it’s important that you become the “fly on the wall” so to speak, which helps you capture all those candid, unrehearsed shots of wedding participants doing what they do in order to tell the wedding story through photography. I find that dressing well helps me to blend into the wedding and be the invisible photographer when wearing jeans and sneakers might stick out like a sore thumb. Dressing professionally lets people know you take your job as a photographer seriously and in my experience inspires confidence in what you do.

Martin Shooting A Wedding At Casa Blanca

Martin Whitton is a professional wedding photojournalist who lives and works in Austin, Texas. Email: austinamericana@gmail.com


How To Pin A Corsage, Tie A Tie & Fold A Handkerchief!

How Do I Pin A Corsage?…Fold A Handkerchief?…Tie A Tie?

Below are some great links on how to do stuff you may not think of until wedding day. This might seem pretty simple at first, but when you are feeling a little stressed and emotional on wedding day having this information either committed to memory or printed on a piece of paper will seem like a wise thing. The other wedding participants will be thankful and you’ll look like an experienced pro!

Wedding Tux With Tie & Boutonniere

How to pin a corsage or boutonniere

How to fold a handkerchief..

How to tie a tie…(with diagrams)

I must give credit where credit is due: Thank you ehow.com for the great wedding information!