Photographer: Events, Weddings, Portraits – Austin, Texas

Archive for December, 2010

South Congress Engagement Photography

Through a promotion that Austin Americana ran a few months back on Localiter, I had the privilege of meeting Angelica and Cesar, a cute couple with a great story and a lot of affection for one another. They met while she visited Chile (he is from Chile, she from Texas) and fell in love. Now they both live in Austin and love the South Congress area (SoCo, as it is lovingly referred to by locals).

To them, SoCo represents all that is weird and fun about Austin and it’s a place where they’ve had some special dates together. And what else could a person want? There are resale shops, famous hotels (Hotel San Jose), festivals/First Thursday, pizza (Home Slice), Ice Cream (Amy’s), and so much more. So naturally the couple decided that South Congress should be where they get photographed for their engagement session.

We all met up on a cool, windy December afternoon and strolled down South Congress after meeting up at Guero’s Taco Bar, probably one of the most well known attractions in SoCo. Angelica and Cesar had a few things/spots in mind that they wanted to capture in their engagement photo session. These included Amy’s Ice Cream, Home Slice, The Virgin Mural, and some shots of them crossing the street. I think we were able to capture some great stuff. You be the judge…

Sharing an Ice Cream Cone on S.Congress

Happy Holidays And Happy New Year!

December 2010 has been the busiest holiday season for photography that I can remember. We’ve been photographing weddings as usual; but we’ve also mixed in some engagement sessions, individual and corporate photo sessions, 2 days of portrait and photojournalism at the Armadillo Christmas Bazaar and a family photo session. Needless to say, it’s been difficult to balance family and holiday activities with the needs of everyone in Austin who needs to be photographed. But I think we can safely say that December has turned out to be a success, with lots of happy clients and lots of photo opportunities for me and the talented photographers that I have been given the pleasure to work with here in Austin, Texas.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank all the wonderful clients that I’ve had the honor to work for in 2010. Thanks for believing in Austin Americana Photography and for having faith in the work we do as photographers. We will be back in action for 2011, hopefully capturing more amazing and wonderful moments for our wedding, portraiture and other clients. Thanks for allowing us to do what we love: photograph you!

Austin Americana Photography humbly offers our best wishes for your holiday season and toasts you in the upcoming new year! May yours be happy and prosperous!

Austin Americana's Photo Booth at the Armadillo 2010

Martin Working

Happy Holidays, From Our Home To Yours!

Some holiday photos from Christmas 2010 at our home here in Austin. My son got a new puppy!

Happy Holidays and may your new year be a prosperous one!

My Son's New Puppy! We're calling him Samson...

My son likes to decorate himself more than the tree...

Roman's Tie T-shirt

He loves Thomas the Tank Engine!

Final Armadillo Christmas Bazaar Snapshots! (I promise)

These are the final Armadillo photos that we’ll post for the year 2010. These beautiful images were captured by my good friend Jason Wang. Enjoy!

More Armadillo Christmas Photos

Here are some more snapshots from the Armadillo Christmas Bazaar, which is going on until December 24th at Palmer Event Center. Some photos are from the photo booth that we hosted on Dec 17th/18th and some are of vendors/work offered at the event. There were some really amazing artists, writers and musicians at the event, and hopefully we were able to capture some of that Armadillo magic!

You can also view more people photos from our photo booth here:

Austin French Legation Photos

In the past few weeks Austin Americana Photography has photographed many events. Recently I was given the opportunity to photograph some new friends at a location that has some personal significance to me: Austin’s French Legation. The French Legation is significant in many ways; in 1839 France recognized The Republic of Texas as an independent nation and entered into an alliance treaty with the new republic. France soon sent a special envoy to Austin, Texas – Jean Pierre Isador Alphonse Dubois de Saligny with the special title of chargé d’affaires. He wasted no time contracting the building of the French Legation to Texas, which still stands in the hills just above downtown, east of IH-35.

The French Legation is also significant to me because my family assembled there years ago for a special family photo, which was a special occasion for me because not only was my entire family included in the photo (including myself), but I was also the photographer. Using a tripod and a timer switch, I was able to pose my own family on the steps overlooking the carriage house and open area at the French Legation. It’s one of my favorite family photos, even until this day.

This week I had the pleasure of being able to photograph a family at the French Legation. They selected the location from my “Recommended Austin Locations” list that I share with clients and they loved the place. It has great views of the city, plenty of greenery (and in this case, colorful fall/winter leaves too), as well as the historic houses which have been standing for 100+ years.

The staff at the Legation, Franke and Sarah, were super friendly and helpful. They are always eager to share information, discuss history with you and give tours and the designated hours of operation. I highly recommend stopping by for a tour of the French Legation. You can also become a “Friend of the French Legation”. Austin French Legation Website:

Photos From Armadillo Christmas Bazaar

Thanks again to everyone who visited Austin Americana’s Photo Booth at the Armadillo Christmas Bazaar on Friday and Saturday. Jason, Ali and I enjoyed interacting with so many fun and entertaining people. As promised we’ll be posting all of our photo booth snapshots at . Don’t forget to go by and see over 150 amazing and one-of-a-kind artist/vendors at the Armadillo Christmas Bazaar which continues until December 24th, from 11am-11pm

We hope to be a part of all the fun next year at the Armadillo as well! See you then! Many more photos to come so check back…

Family Holiday Photos

This past weekend my wife and I asked our friend Jason to come over to our home and photograph us for a quick family holiday portrait. Jason is a good sport and a great photographer and he packed up his gear and hit the road. He brought along photo umbrellas, lights and everything needed to set up a portable studio in our home. We felt like celebrities being photographed! You know what I mean…

I think like many photographers, for me it feels odd to actually be photographed. Photographers enjoy the control that being behind the lens gives them; but when the camera is aimed at them, there’s a sense of role reversal that sets in that just makes you feel like you’ve stepped into another universe. Some people are natural performers and some people are natural observers. I consider myself an observer – this I know for sure. I like to think that it is an asset that is accessible while shooting.

Our Family Portrait, courtesy of JWang Photography

Now, that being said, we had a great time during our photo session with Jason. Our family home (where the photo shoot took place) is relatively small. We have 3 juvenile cats, my son (Roman), my wife, my wife’s grandmother and me – all under one roof. Things can easily get chaotic around the house, and they frequently do.

We decided we wanted to capture a few different things: the family sitting on the couch together, our son opening a gift-wrapped present, my son with his abuela and some spontaneous interactions with our son (if possible). The first part of the session was relatively quiet. Our son sat with my wife and me on the couch as Jason snapped photos from his camera on a tripod and lights flashed on either side of us. But soon enough, our Roman became tired of photos and wanted to run around the living room and play. The turning point for Roman was when Jason came over to the couch to perform a quick light reading with his light meter, which looks like a cross between a smart phone and a remote control, two of Roman’s favorite things. He let Roman touch the light meter and he quickly figured out there was a connection between the flashes and the meter. At that point he followed Jason around trying to find the light meter, which was funny and we all had a good laugh.

One of my favorite photos actually happened when Roman wanted to get on the floor and play. As we sat on the couch, I picked him up and he stood on my legs laughing hysterically as my wife and I beamed up at him. It was a classic moment, which seemed symbolic for our relationship where my wife and I created him and how we make him the center of our lives. Sniff…

I snapped some photos of Jason taking our photographs in our living room

Later, with some coaxing and after giving Roman some toys to play with we were able to continue the photo session. One other funny occurrence was that two of our cats kept walking into and out of the photo frame as the session was ongoing. They were very calm about it and one of our cats, Samantha, seemed to want to participate. At one point she actually sat next to me on the couch and stared wide-eyed at the camera. Ultimately, Jason was able to capture all the great shots that we had hoped he would and now we can move onto making Christmas cards for all the family with our signature family portrait. Thanks Jason!

Jason will also be photographing people with me at the Armadillo Christmas Bazaar this year (on Dec 17th/18th) from 6-10 pm at Palmer Event Center here in Austin. Feel free to swing by and get a free photo session during this time or chat with Jason about photography! You can view more of his work here:

What we look like in 1975 (ok, it's a Lightroom Filter) 🙂

Another LR Filter: "Holga B&W" - I like it!

Free Session at The Armadillo Christmas Bazaar!

Did you know that there’s a home town Christmas Bazaar located in Central Austin that features live music, local artwork, a post office, book signings, a kids day, a free photo booth and more? It’s called the Armadillo Christmas Bazaar and it will be at Palmer Event Center off of Barton Springs Road here in Austin from December 15-24th! In it’s 35th year, the event is more amazing than ever and Austin Americana Photography is proud to be a part of the fun this year as the featured portrait photographer (free photo session) on December 17th/18th! Come by and see us and see what the Armadillo has to offer you!

Texas Designer Boots

Visit the Armadillo Christmas Bazaar Official Website for more information:


Wednesday, December 15, 2010
Sahara Smith – 12:00 to 2:30PM
Cienfuegos – 3:30 to 6:00PM
Jimmy LaFave – 8:00 to 11:00PM
Thursday, December 16, 2010
Uncle Lucius – 12:00 to 2:30PM
Kalu James – 3:30 to 6:00PM
The Gourds – 8:00 to 11:00PM
Friday, December 17, 2010
The Marshall Ford Swing Band – 12:00 to 2:30PM
Hank & Shaidri Alrich with Doug Harman – 3:30 to 6:00PM
Cody Canada – 8:00 to 11:00PM
Saturday, December 18, 2010
Terri Hendrix – 12:00 to 2:30PM
Eliza Gilkyson – 3:30 to 6:00PM
Ian McLagan and the Bump Band – 8:00 to 11:00PM
Sunday, December 19, 2010
Ray Wylie Hubbard – 12:00 to 2:30PM
The Derailers – 3:30 to 6:00PM
The Band of Heathens – 8:00 to 11:00PM
Monday, December 20, 2010
Biscuit Brothers – 12:00 to 2:30PM
Mary Hattersley’s Blazing Bows – 2:30 to 3:00PM
Sara Hickman’s Family Time Rocks – 3:30 to 6:00PM
The Eggmen – 8:00 to 11:00PM
Tuesday, December 21, 2010
Patricia Vonne – 12:00 to 2:30PM
Suzanna Choffel – 3:30 to 6:00PM
Marcia Ball & Ruthie Foster – 8:00 to 11:00PM
Wednesday, December 22, 2010
Deadman – 12:00 to 2:30PM
Albert & Gage – 3:30 to 6:00PM
Asleep At the Wheel Quartet – 8:00 to 11:00PM
Thursday, December 23, 2010
Hot Club of Cowtown – 12:00 to 2:30PM
The Trishas – 3:30 to 6:00PM
Carolyn Wonderland & Shelley King – 8:00 to 11:00PM
Friday, December 24, 2010
Warren Hood – 12:00 to 2:30PM
Slim Richey – 3:30 to 6:00PM
Texana Dames – 8:00 to 11:00PM

map to Palmer Events Center & more info at

Santa Brings Christmas to Camp Mabry

Last Sunday I was given the opportunity to be the Santa photographer  at my wife’s holiday party at Camp Mabry here in Austin. I didn’t know what to expect, since it’s usually brides and couples that I photograph, but I must say that I was pleasantly surprised by the enjoyment I got from listening to children sit on Santa’s lap and tell him what they wanted for Christmas. I think what was most entertaining for me was that most of the kids didn’t ask for what I expected; they seemed to want mostly electronics, and expensive ones at that.  I guess I was just a little shocked to hear kids under 10 years old asking for computers and video games. At any rate, it was a great time and I enjoyed myself. Happy Holidays!

Christmas Tree Ornament

Santa's Youngest Fans!

Delicious Desserts

The Chow Line

The Line To Speak With Santa

Santa Clause Awaits His Anxious Subjects

Santa Can Be Scary Sometimes...

La Villa Vista Wedding

Most people in Austin know that there’s a great restaurant bar on Lake Travis in Austin called The Oasis. The Oasis is known for its fantastic sunset views overlooking lake Travis from a perched cliff in the rolling hills of the Texas hill country. But many people may not know that just down the street, there’s a beautiful wedding venue called La Villa Vista which shares some of those fantastic lake views with The Oasis.

La Villa Vista is one of the best kept secrets on Lake Travis. It’s been around for 20+ years and is run by a quiet family who enjoy sharing their home with others, especially for weddings and special events. It has been billed as “The Italian Riviera on Lake Travis” and visiting the venue is like taking a trip out of Texas. La Villa Vista Resort boasts not only fantastic sunset views, but also a negative edge pool, waterfalls and “a bit of old-world European charm – a place to romance or just relax.” – La Villa Vista Website

La Villa Vista Sunset View

It features multi-story convenience in an intimate setting, including areas for ceremony, reception and individual rooms for guests. In addition, La Villa Vista offers many options, including staff assistance with bar tending and more.

I was given the pleasure of photographing Tanya and Tom’s intimate wedding ceremony and reception at La Villa Vista in November and really enjoyed being a part of the event. The bride and groom planned a simple, yet elegant wedding with close family and friends that ultimately was a great success. The couple omitted some traditional wedding events to put a more modern spin on their big day; however, they still managed to surprise everyone at the end of the wedding by blowing bubbles with some of the younger guests and finishing with a spontaneous and private last dance (of the night), which brought a few tears of happiness to guests.

I wish Tanya and Tom the best in their new life together!

Bride Preparing for Ceremony at La Villa Vista

Choosing a Church for Your Wedding

I recently received an email from a newly engaged friend and bride-to-be who asked if I could provide some advice for finding a church in Central Texas to host her wedding. While I’m not the expert on finding a church, I’ve been a part of dozens of weddings and events in and around Austin, so I thought I’d give her question some thought.

Essentially, there are two primary questions that you’ll need to find the answers to before moving on to the next step: planning. Assuming you’ve already chosen a particular church because of its significance, location or beauty, here’s what you should be asking your church representatives…

As it turns out, each church is different in how they deal with weddings and events. And there are a number of things to consider about a church prior to booking your wedding there. The first thing you should ask is if the church is available for the day that you are planning your wedding. This seems like the obvious thing to ask, and it is; and if inquiring about availability is the first thing that you ask you might save yourself some frustration and headache. After all, there’s no need to start making decoration plans and attending church-specific relationship classes if your day cannot be booked.

Assuming your day is available and the church is not somewhere you regularly attend, then the second question to ask is whether there are special requirements for non-members of the church to marry at the church you’ve chosen. Obviously different faiths have different requirements and restrictions on who can marry in their place of worship and how ceremonies can be conducted and by whom. Some churches are strict and some are not so just ask and you will know.

Here are some other considerations and questions that you’ll want to find answers to, based on you and your fiancé’s preferences, wedding size, etc.:

–         Is there a rental fee/cost associated with using the church you have chosen?

–         Will the church facilities accommodate a ceremony and reception? If so, for how many attendees?

–         Does the church require that you use their Officiant/priest/minister, or can you use an outside Officiant?

–         Do you need insurance for your event?

–         Do you need a written contract to use the church?

–         Does the church allow/limit decoration?

–         Is there a time limit for how long you are allowed to use the church? If so, is there an event following your ceremony/reception?

–         Do your wedding participants (bridesmaids/groomsmen) fulfill church-related obligations?

Helpful Hints: In many cases churches have a designated wedding coordinator who helps in planning and organizing weddings. The coordinator can be very helpful in providing you information about what the church needs and what is expected of you. Many times the coordinator is also on hand the day of your ceremony to help make sure things go as planned. Don’t be afraid to ask your coordinator for advice or help when it is needed. They’ve probably witnessed lots of weddings in the same venue and know what you need.

Bride & Groom Exchanging Nuptials

Central Christian Church - Austin, TX







Happy Photos at Lady Bird Lake

Another happy, beautiful couples photo session on Lady Bird Lake in Austin,Texas…

Hide & Seek at Lady Bird Lake

Couples Portrait Session at Lady Bird Lake