Sara Liz Photography: Blog en-us (C) Sara Liz Photography (Sara Liz Photography) Mon, 16 Mar 2020 06:54:00 GMT Mon, 16 Mar 2020 06:54:00 GMT Sara Liz Photography: Blog 120 80 Ten Tips for a Successful Photo Shoot with Little Ones  

  1.  Pick the right photographer – this should be someone who regularly shoots kids and won’t be frustrated if they don’t behave like the ideal models. A good family photographer will have lots of tricks up their sleeve to get the best shot of your child.
  2. Think about location – this is not only important when picking out clothing (make sure it makes sense with your background) but also make sure it’s going to be safe for your child. If they are young they may need open spaces to run wild or if they are not walking yet will there be a safe spot to set them down for a few shots? DSC_0552.jpg
  3. Be realistic in how long you need – you may need a fast and fierce session because 20-30 minutes is all your kids (and husband) can handle, or if your child is shy and slow to warm you may choose a longer session to allow them to take their time, get comfortable, and take breaks when needed.
  4. Come prepared – it’s a good idea to have an “Emergency Kit” for photo session mishaps. A few good things to include; baby wipes, Kleenex, a comb or brush, a drink (water because it’s clear), a snack or treat (make sure it is not messy – no chocolate) and bug spray for summer sessions. It’s also not a bad idea to wait and put your child’s “picture” shirt on them until you get to the location. Most importantly make sure your child is rested and fed before the session, even if this means changing up their schedule a little. Unless of course you want to guarantee at least one good meltdown picture.


  1. Think about props – you don’t have to have them, but if you do make sure they will make sense with you location and feel of your shoot. You may want to bring your child’s favorite toy if it helps them feel comfortable; just make sure you are ok with it being in the pictures.


  1. Communicate with your photographer – is there anything you could share about your child that your photographer needs to know? Any special needs? Any specific shots you do/don’t want? What are your priority shots (family, individual, siblings)?
  2. Be prepared to step in – even if you are planning a child only session it’s a good idea to dress in something you are ok being photographed in. Sometimes kids are more willing to be photographed if mom will be in a few shots with them. These may or may not end up being images you purchase but wouldn’t it suck to pass on a sweet picture of you and your baby because you’re wearing yoga pants?
  3. Be prepared to walk away – on the other hand, sometimes kids participate better if mom and dad take a few steps back and let the photographer do their thing. This goes back to picking the right photographer, trust them with your child. It doesn’t make you a bad parent if your kids follow direction better when coming from someone else. This is the very reason I hire others to take pictures of my kids!


  1. Think about your clothing choices – not just how they look, but are they going to function for a shoot with young kids. Can you sit/stand/play in what you’re wearing? Also consider your child’s clothing. Will they be comfortable or ticked off because they hate this shirt? Will they be too hot or cold? Uncomfortable kids make for poor models. Also a note on girls in dresses-if underwear tends to show when they sit put on some cute bloomers, too many great images have been ruined by princess panties!
  2. Relax – you can do all this and it may still not go perfectly.  You already know that is what happens when doing anything with little kids. Remember worst case scenario you will at least have some accurate images of life with young ones…we call this “lifestyle photography”.


(Sara Liz Photography) Mon, 07 Sep 2015 01:18:16 GMT
Bluebonnets Spring time in Texas is the best (minus the wildly unpredictable weather)! And by far the best thing about the season is the bluebonnets. Who hasn't sat in a field of blue at some point and taken the traditional "bluebonnet picture"? I am so glad that professional bluebonnet pictures have become so popular the last few years because I get to hang out in fields of flowers and take in the dreamy Texas springtime sunsets. 

These sessions are always some of my favorites. Best time to be a Texan!!!

(Sara Liz Photography) Tue, 19 May 2015 21:27:26 GMT
Emma - Senior Session Some how I got way behind (I blame the bluebonnets) and never posted Emma's session! This is ridiculous because I totally LOVED how her session turned out! 

It was chilly and the area we shot in was incredibly crowded at the time but you would never know it by the way Emma pulled this one off. Not only is be stunning but she photographs like a pro. 




(Sara Liz Photography) Fri, 08 May 2015 00:56:24 GMT
Allie- Senior Session I am so excited to start offering more senior sessions! Allie is one of my gorgeous 2016 models and I could not have picked a better girl, not to mention that we shot her session on probably the last nice day we've had in about two and a half weeks!

I am starting to book Class of 2016 Senior Sessions now, and these will book up through the summer and fall so don't wait to get on the calendar!!


(Sara Liz Photography) Tue, 10 Mar 2015 20:12:54 GMT
Rylie - Senior Session I'm a little in love with Rylie's senior session from a few weeks ago. Beautiful girl, great location and perfect golden hour sunset...what's not to love? I've been lucky enough to know Rylie and her family since she was 10 years old. I've watched her grow from a sweet little girl who would come over to our house to walk our dog for us into an amazing young women with an exciting future ahead of her. Congrats Rylie, we are all so excited to see what you do next! 


(Sara Liz Photography) Sat, 21 Feb 2015 20:54:21 GMT
Ashley and David - Engagements I promised myself I wouldn't get so far behind on blogging this year that I could never catch up (I'm lookin at you 2014) and so far I am not off to a stellar start. So in hopes of saving this ship before it goes down any further I bring you Ashley and David's engagement session!!!

It was a blast working with this couple, they were so much fun and great sports about everything I tried. Not to mention that we got to shoot in downtown Fort Worth which is one of my favorite spots! Congrats you two and best wishes on your wedding and life together!!!


(Sara Liz Photography) Sat, 21 Feb 2015 01:08:27 GMT
Jacklyn and Jason - maternity session What a perfect start to the new year! Beautiful soon-to-be mom and dad, PERFECT winter sunlight, lots of laughs, and an adorable baby bump. Thanks Jacklyn and Jason for an awesome session. I love photographing kids but every now and then it' s nice to work with adults! 

(Sara Liz Photography) Sun, 18 Jan 2015 19:54:49 GMT
Union Gospel Mission This year I started volunteering with Union Gospel Mission in Fort Worth taking family portraits for some of the residents living at the shelter. It's a bit of a passion project for me. Before I took on photography full time I was a social worker. I worked for several years with homeless families in the Dallas area. It's a cause I care deeply for and a group of people I've learned an incredible amount from. So needless to say when Union Gospel approached me a few months ago about shooting some marketing materials for them I was beyond excited.

My instructions where pretty simple, just shots of the residents as they were. Nothing stylized, nothing too sappy or cheesy. Just real, honest shots of their clients being themselves. Whew, I didn't tell them this at the time but I am not a commercial photographer so that's all I know how to do anyway. The hope was that the message would come through without a whole bunch of theatrics. 

And I think it did. At least for me it did. What I noticed most as I worked on these images was that they were no different than the images from any of my other sessions.  No different from my own families pictures. That's because parenting looks the same regardless of where you call home. A mother looks at her newborn with the same expression no matter what her bank account looks like, and if you tell siblings to hug it will turn into a headlock at some point no matter where they sleep at night. Families look like families because they are all coming from the same place, wanting the same thing for their kids and sharing some of the same struggles. This is not to say that raising children in a shelter is the same as doing it in the privacy of your own home - it's not. But it all comes from the same place and when you tell a family to give each other a big group hug they all squish the same. 

I am grateful for this project for selfish reasons. I got to meet some amazing people. We talked about parenting, make- up tips, cameras and grad school. I got to tell some really bad jokes and got a few pity smiles. I also got an always needed reminder that circumstances do not make people. That if one or two aspects of my own story were slightly different I may have found myself in the same situation. 

So many of the people I shot over this project mentioned how thankful they were to Union Gospel Mission. How it had been a lifesaver and how they were getting support there to get back on their feet. If you aren't familiar with them check them out. There are so many ways to help, I for one can't wait to get back there is 2015! 

(Sara Liz Photography) Tue, 16 Dec 2014 03:34:35 GMT
Morrison Family Session I am trying to finally get caught up on blogging sessions from the last few weeks, so be prepared!

First up - this sweet foursome. I had a blast shooting them, we laughed, joked and received many misdirected disapproving looks by the parks gardeners (long story but we were totally innocent I swear!). 


(Sara Liz Photography) Thu, 12 Jun 2014 20:03:03 GMT
Hunt Family Session Let me just say I love all my clients. But this one right here...well, we have a special connection.

We go back, way back. Like before she was born way back. In fact if you want to get technical I knew her before her parents, not that I'm bragging or anything Ellen and Doug (but kinda I am). You see before this whole photography thing I was a social worker with an adoption agency and I worked with women who were planning adoption for their babies. This sweet girl's birth mother was a client of mine. And while I will not share all the details of her story because it belongs to Vivien and her parents. I can tell you without a doubt that she was loved beyond words way before she came to be in this world and that the family she has now is the result of her birth mother's selflessness, determination, and a good dose of fate.

And speaking of fate, it just so happens that this family lives quite close to me. I would occasionally run into them at Target, the doctor's office and other random places. Over time I got to know mom on a personal level and even joined a mommy and me group that she was in. We've become friends and both Vivien and my son will be starting school together next year. Which means that I get to watch her grow up for the next 12 years! 

Of course I don't want to forget about her two brothers as well. Just as cute, just as fun. Just as loved.


We had a blast at our whirlwind session yelling "poop", "fart" and discussing disgusting bodily functions in general. The joys of boys!

What a fun and loving group these three are. Good job mom and dad, you must be doing something right.

(Sara Liz Photography) Thu, 12 Jun 2014 01:42:17 GMT
A Texas Tradition Bluebonnets in the spring, its a Texas thing. Even if you aren't from here one spring in Texas and you'll get it. Lovely fields of blue, perfect sunsets, beautiful weather. It's enough to make you forget about the scorching hot summer that is always just around the corner. Add a few adorable kids and their parents and you have a recipe for photo magic...
















(Sara Liz Photography) Thu, 08 May 2014 14:48:55 GMT
Family Portraits - Union Gospel Mission I am blessed that I have never been homeless. I am also blessed that I got to spend the last few years (before I quit to make this and the mom thing my full time gig) working with the homeless population. Specifically homeless families. And the thing I learned above all else is that these families are just families - like mine, and probably yours. Do they have unique challenges because of their housing status? Of course! In addition to that do they face the same challenges, the same highs and lows, and want the same things for their families as everyone else? Yep.

This is exactly why I was so excited to partner with Union Gospel Mission of Tarrant County to shoot some family portraits for some of their residents. Now of course a nice family picture is not going to fix their challenges right now, but luckily all of these beautiful families also have the services at Union Gospel Mission on their side. So why a family portrait, isn't it trivial in light of all their other needs? Sure, maybe it is. But the thing is that regardless of where you are living, as a parent you are watching your kids grow up and they won't stop just because you may not be right where you want to be. And you don't want to forget it - any moment of their growing up. For a lot of us we can document that through pictures (professional or otherwise). We create a record of who our kids and our family is at any given point in time. But what if you couldn't, if that was a resource you just didn't have?  Some of these families shared with me that this was the first time they had ever had a family picture taken. Some shared that they had lost many of the pictures they had once had in the process of losing their housing. For these reasons I am so thankful that I got to work with them and hopefully give them something they can take with them on the next part of their journey!

Each family received professional prints of their images as well one framed 5x7. Special thanks to my generous mother and sisters-in-law for providing new frames for all the families!


(Sara Liz Photography) Thu, 17 Apr 2014 23:11:17 GMT
Preparing For Your Photo Shoot Series - Makeup  

If you know me (or have had a photo session with me) you know I am no makeup guru and therefore highly unqualified to write about photo makeup. Lucky for me I have a dear friend who just happens to be a makeup guru! We recently teamed up for a Facebook contest in which the winner received a photo session with professional makeup application. Let me tell you, as I was editing these images from that session I could  tell a difference! I had to do a lot less work, which is awesome in my book. And which means my subject looked awesome in real life!

Again if you know me (or have had a photo session with me) you know that I by no means think that you should have to undergo a total makeover prior to your photo shoot. I love capturing images of who people are, what their relationships are, and reflecting a little about their personality. That's what I love about this post by Amanda at Mandy Marie Makeup, her tips aren't about creating a certain look (the Glamour Shots era is over, thank you) instead it's simply about knowing what will help you look like the best version of you, and what will work well with the camera.

Please enjoy this guest post by Mandy Marie makeup and check out her Facebook page at 


Everyone wants to look fabulous in photos, but looking fab in photos requires different techniques than your everyday look.  First, always start with a good primer. Primer blurs imperfections that the camera lens magnifies.  Second, everyone needs a foundation. The last thing you want is to look washed out. Even if you normally wear a tinted moisturizer now is the time for more coverage. When choosing a foundation pick one without SPF, SPF reacts poorly with the flash and causes the appearance of an uneven complexion. To avoid reverse raccoon eyes mix under-eye concealed with a bit of foundation before applying. This helps prevent skin-brightening concealed from popping out and looking too white when a flash hits.
Now that the face is primed and flawless, dust a sheer matte bronzer around the perimeter to flatteringly shape your face and take the focus off your forehead. When choosing makeup for your photos keep in mind that matte finishes recede and shimmery finishes pop, meaning that your bronzer should be matte and your highlighter on your cheekbones and eyebrow bone should shimmer.  Don’t forget your neck. If you stop your foundation/bronzer at your jaw line your face/neck color difference could be noticeable in photos (even if the contrast isn't noticeable in your mirror). The flash picks up things that are not noticeable to the eye.
Eyeliner is a must in photos and if you really want your eyes to pop, false eyelashes are the way to go. Ardell lashes are the most natural and easy to apply. Reinforce your brows. Brows bring out your bone structure in photos, so subtly sketch them in with a bit of pencil or brow powder. Don’t have a pencil or brow powder? A matte eye shadow works great. Mink from MAC is a personal favorite.
If you have major T-zone shine and regular powder doesn't cut it, try a blotting powder like MAC blot powder -this stuff is your new best friend! Brighten your blush. Don't be scared to go a bit brighter, peach is almost always a safe bet for warm skin tones and hot pink for cool skin tones.  Cream or gel blush like Tarte work great under powder blush for all day wear and long photo shoots. Just be sure to blend around the edges, and choose blush that has gleam but not noticeable sparkles. 
Most of all remember to relax and have fun. No one wants to look stiff and unnatural in photos; your smile is the best makeup trick around!
Go to products for photos:
MAC blot powder
Primer- Revlon photo ready, Elf, Smashbox photo ready
Tarte gel blush
Ardell Lashes
MAC eye shadow (Mink)
HD Powder- Make Up Forever/ Elf
HD Foundation- Make Up Forever/ Revlon Photo ready foundation 
(Sara Liz Photography) Tue, 08 Apr 2014 02:00:29 GMT
Preparing For Your Shoot Series - What To Wear So I get asked this question ALL the time by clients and there is one rule - whatever you want. Helpful, huh? What I mean is the very most important thing when choosing an outfit to be photographed in is to pick something that feels like you. You need to be comfortable and confident in your clothes or else it really will show in your images. Stay true to your own style and then you can implement some of these other tips that will help you look more pulled together and translate well in pictures. 

Probably the hardest element in preparing for a photo shoot is picking clothing, even more so if you are planning outfits for an entire family. The key here is coordinating vs. matching. Matchy- Match outfits (everyone is white shirts and jeans or all black) is outdated and it will cause your images to look that way too. It also doesn't allow you to express any personality which is not what you want. The key to coordinating outfits is to pick one or two colors that look good together and then choose a complimentary color as an accent. Your accent color is typically brighter and adds a fun pop to your outfits. Don't be afraid to add patterns and textures in your outfits as well. Just make sure you don't overwhelm. It's a good idea to use pattern on one person if you choose to incorporate it and if you are still a little unsure use it on a child. They can get away with a little bit more as far as "craziness" in their clothing. Textures, either through layering clothing or accessories also make an image more interesting and adds depth. Think tights under dresses, layered sweaters or cardigans, a scarf, chunky necklace, ect. Accessories are also a great place to incorporate that accent color as they are less overwhelming. 

Another thing to consider are jeans. We all love them and feel comfortable in them and hey they go with everything! But they can be a photo no-no if you are not careful. It's always nice to break up a sea of denim in pictures with a skirt, dress, or other colored pant. This keeps you from going back to that outdated everyone matches look, and again adds more interest to the image. If you are going to have multiple people in jeans, wear different washes and fits. If wearing skirts or dresses keep in mind your hem length. You want to be able to sit and stand in it and not regret it in 10 years. This is probably not your best bet as far as showing your wild side. Save that for accessories or prints. Also be mindful of logos, generally they are not a good idea in pictures. Once you have your picture taken in that logo you are married to it. Plus it can be distracting in the image. Have fun with kid's outfits. As I mentioned before this is usually a "safe" place to go a little crazy. I love kids in fun hats or rainboots for example. They can get away with it and it shows off their personality. 

And a few final tips - make sure you (and children) are comfortable. If you can't move, you are seriously limited as far as posing and an uncomfortable kid is an unhappy kid. I am sure I don't need to tell you what an unhappy kid leads to! The last little tip I will leave you with is location. Consider your location when choosing your outfits. Does it work, does it make sense and will it be interesting? If you are being photographed in a park in the spring avoid green. You will blend in. I am currently in the process of finding outfits for my boys' bluebonnet pictures. I am avoiding blue, or at least bluebonnet blue. Navy and teal and other variations are ok but blue on blue is a lot of blue plus it adds no visual interest to the scene. If you are using props consider this as well. Putting a baby all in red in a red wagon isn't going to look great, neither is sitting on a pink chair in an orange dress. 

If you are unsure how something is going to look ask! And remember that pictures are an investment so not only do you want to look nice but most importantly you want to look like you! 

Here are a few examples of what I am talking about and why it works...


The main color pallet here is black and grey, which is more neutral and traditional but the accent color of hot pink makes it really pop and more playful. Notice how the girls are wearing the pink and parents are more neutral. This is exactly what I am talking about when I say that kids are a "safe" place to incorporate riskier elements. These girls totally pull it off! There is texture in the older daughter's shirt and in the layering of the son's sweater. They avoided the denim trap by putting the girls in tights and colored pants. They don't match the background but they look natural in it (like this is something you might actually wear to a park in the fall). 

Here is another example. The main color here is blue which is a little less traditional but still neutral enough that they won't regret it later and mom added a fun accent color in the orange of her scarf (which also adds texture to her outfit so bonus points!). They have a good variety of blues (teal, navy, royal) and patterns -stripes in dad's shirt and plaid in the little brother's. The fact that they are both blue tones keeps the two patterns from competing. All three guys have different wash jeans and mom breaks it up with her teal pants. Again they look natural and comfortable in what they have on.



Ok, last one. The color pallet here is mostly grey and denim with a pop of red. The kids have on the brighter red and they add texture and pattern in the plaid shirt and material of the girl's dress. Even though mom and the boy both have jeans they are totally different colors and the girl's dress adds variety. They coordinate great with the background (which can be trickier in an urban setting), while they are wearing some of the same tones as the wall and brick behind them they don't blend into it thanks to the red and plaid. 


Hopefully that helps, like I said picking clothing for pictures can be stressful! Stay tuned for more in this "Preparing For Your Shoot" series, including a guest post from my makeup artist friend over at Mandy Marie Makeup with tips for photo ready makeup!






(Sara Liz Photography) Tue, 25 Mar 2014 21:03:50 GMT
Adoption Placements I have recently started offering a new session type - adoption placements. You may already know (or have had no idea) but adoption is a cause close to my heart. Back in my past life as a social worker I worked with birth parents at an adoption agency. It was my tremendous honor to help these young women (and sometimes men) to create an adoption plan for their children. If your unfamiliar with the world of domestic adoptions, birth parents typically get to choose the adoptive parents for their child. Sometimes they meet and have contact before the baby is born and sometimes this contact continues in some form after the child goes home with the adoptive family.

The actual day that the baby goes home with the adoptive family is called "placement". Sometimes this happens at a hospital or another location. The agency that I worked for (and who facilitated the sessions featured) often holds placements in a special room in their building. This is typically a time for birth and adoptive families to get together, visit, and express their love and gratitude for each other. At the end the adoptive family leaves with the baby and the birth family says their goodbyes. I know what your thinking - intense, and your right. It is.

Placements are one of the most wonderful, sad, joyous, heart-wrenching, faith-restoring, things you can witness. It is literally the birth of a family. It is also a bittersweet goodbye and the completion of an astoundingly selfless act. To witness one is to witness love at its finest.

I have done several of these sessions now, and as you can imagine they are intensely personal and private. I want to thank the two families who allowed me to share some of their images here. I also want to note that while one of the birth mothers involved in these placements opted not to have her image shared, (a decision I totally understand and respect) she was there and participated fully in the placement of her twin boys with their new parents. Even though she is not shown here we did get some wonderful images of her with the babies and the adoptive family that I hope will be a gift to them all in the future. Both of the birth mothers in these placements are incredibly strong and selfless women. Although I know on many levels these images may be bittersweet for them I hope they are proud of the decision they have made and the families they have helped to build. 


Birth mother and birth grandmother visiting with baby before going to meet the adoptive parents, these are a few of their last moments alone.

First glimpses of their children...

Saying hello...


so very loved...


new families...

For more information on Adoption Placement Sessions please go to 

(Sara Liz Photography) Tue, 04 Mar 2014 22:53:41 GMT
Lifestyle Newborn Session - Griffin I spent last Saturday afternoon hanging out with this sweet family as they were settling in with their newest member. I guess he was excited to have his picture taken because he pretty much did not sleep the entire 3 hour session, despite both his mom and I using all our best tricks. Luckily he is adorable awake or asleep! I don't usually do a lot of black and white, but I think it lends itself well to the documentary look of a lifestyle session, plus its always fun to do something different. 


(Sara Liz Photography) Thu, 06 Feb 2014 02:44:52 GMT
My philosophy on photographing kids

Photographing kids can be stressful. But it's nothing like being the mom of said kids being photographed. I get it, I've been there. You work to coordinate outfits, keep everyone clean, make sure your son's crazy cowlick is gelled into place, convince your husband that he will one day be glad you made him do this, try to make yourself look presentable, all while someone has a meltdown that their sweater is itchy and someone else spills jelly on their pants. You beg and plead and reason and bribe each individual participant to please just smile and be good. Sometimes they listen and it goes smoothly and your hard work is rewarded and then other times it all falls apart. That's when you need a good photographer. Not just someone who knows how to work a camera but someone who knows what it's like to be the mom on the other side watching her dream of one (just one!) nice family portrait going up in flames.

Let me say that I am that photographer, because I've been that mom and it has everything to do with my philosophy when it comes to photographing families and kids.

When my boys were almost 2 and about 6 months we scheduled a photo session with a local photographer (who shall remain nameless) for our annual Christmas card pics. I liked her work, saw that she had done lots of sessions with kids and figured we were good. We got dressed, made sure everyone was fed, happy, clean and drove across town for a quick half hour session. It was all good and all going according to plan until my 2 year old turned on me about 3 seconds into it. He simply decided that he didn't want his picture taken and was going to do everything within his power to make sure that we got no usable shots. Two year olds have a lot of power. He cried, screamed, refused to look where we wanted, tried to run away and generally brought to life my worst case scenario as far as how the whole session might go down. We bribed, begged, threatened, and finally out of desperation gave him his pacifier (yes he was probably too old to have one but I also had a 6 month old and I was TIRED) in an attempt to calm him down. Mistake - once he had it there was no getting it back and it wasn't exactly the look I was hoping for.

I was frustrated, overwhelmed, and disappointed. I needed our photographer to HELP ME! To step in and take control, give us a break, or an idea of what to do or at least a feeling of support, some mention that this was surely not the worst photo session she had ever had. She did no such thing. She seemed annoyed and in a hurry. She made me feel self conscience and hyper aware of the short time we had to make this work, which it was not. I felt that we were wasting her time (the time that we had paid for). I kept apologizing and left feeling like a crappy mom. Needless to say the pictures were not great and we never used her again.

Since I've been doing this professionally, let me tell you I've realized that my son's behavior was not so unusual and that while our session may have had the same results even if our photographer had tried to help, it would have made  huge difference in my feelings about the experience. Kids sometimes freak out in photo sessions. It can be a lot of pressure for a little guy. Sometimes they don't freak out they just act like kids instead. They don't always want to look or stand where you want them to. They don't always listen, and as a parent this can send you into panic mode. I've been lucky enough to stumble upon a few tricks that can sometimes make this better, and I figure that that is part of my job. That you don't hire me to stand there and wait for you to get it all together. Sometimes it means taking a break, putting the camera away and letting a child have a moment. Sometimes it means playing with a child or coming up with a pose or shot that they will feel comfortable in. Sometimes it's making a joke or just letting you know that this is not the worst I've seen and it bears no reflection on your parenting. I can not promise you that I can turn around a sinking ship of a session but I can promise you that I will try. I will use every trick in my bag. I will let your kid act like a kid and I won't judge you when they do. And if it still all falls apart then we will try again later.

At the end of the day it's just a photo session, and some of my favorite images of all time have been from "bad" sessions when kids had their own agendas. There is something just beautiful about a child just being themselves and isn't that what your trying to remember anyway, who they are at this moment in time? And besides I am a total sucker for a pouty lip! 


(Sara Liz Photography) Wed, 15 Jan 2014 22:56:31 GMT
2013 Thank you to all my clients this year. It is an honor to be invited into your lives and your families, and to be asked to help capture such important memories. Best wishes in 2014!

(Sara Liz Photography) Mon, 30 Dec 2013 20:46:44 GMT
Finishing up Well the last of my print orders have been mailed, editing on all my sessions for the last 6 weeks is done, galleries are up, orders are placed and disks have been sent out. Now it's time to sit back and wait for this baby!

In the mean time here are a few images from the last several sessions, I am planning to return after the new year and am already thinking about ideas for some fun mini sessions in the spring! Hope to see you all then!






















(Sara Liz Photography) Thu, 10 Oct 2013 15:39:11 GMT
Playing Catch Up I've been blessed to be incredibly busy with sessions lately, which is great since I am trying to fit in everyone I can before we have baby boy #3 in a few weeks. It's also been a bit challenging because I am trying to fit in everyone I can before we have baby boy #3 in a few weeks! I am planning to finish strong (or by God just finish) with 11 sessions in the next two weeks. I mean at least it hasn't been hot here or anything :).

But in all seriousness, I can't complain. It's amazing that I get to call this my "job". My clients are awesome and I am having a blast meeting new people, hearing their stories and helping to create some lifelong memories for them. And while I wish I had the time to write more about each of these recent sessions in depth and the awesome people pictured. I still have unedited sessions on my computer... so here is my sorry attempt to catch up at blogging and some favorite images from recent sessions.















(Sara Liz Photography) Fri, 20 Sep 2013 01:23:41 GMT
Cox - Family Session Weather and outdoor photography can be the best of friends or mortal enemies just depending on the day. I had this photo shoot scheduled several weeks out and as luck would have it the morning of was the only morning in weeks and weeks that it rained. Thankfully Heidi and Danny are about the coolest, most laid back, people that exists. Oh and they have an awesome backyard with lots of land for our photo shoot.





Even after I arrived amongst the drizzle they were ready to go and "just see what we can get". No pressure, love it! And despite the 100% humidity and 90 degree temperatures they still came out looking beautiful (I on the other hand was a sweaty, pregnant, muddy mess, but that is why I am on this side on the camera!).  




It seems that their positivity has rubbed off on their sweet 2 year old, Ella, as well. She was just as happy-go-lucky as mom and dad and didn't mind working it for the camera. What a natural!



Thank you Heidi, Danny and Ella for making a nasty morning into a fun session!


(Sara Liz Photography) Wed, 21 Aug 2013 19:56:22 GMT
RJ - newborn shoot They don't get much sweeter than a 5 day old baby boy. Needless to say this little guy was pretty stinkin precious!



I was pretty pumped when his mom asked me to do a newborn shoot with him, after all I shot his parent's wedding (my first) a little over a year ago. The wedding was a beautiful blending of their two families, and what better way to celebrate that new family than with a new baby to go with it!




I love how the more staged poses came out but what I really enjoyed shooting were these more candid ones of him and his 3 (count 'em...3) big sisters. They are obviously totally in love with their new brother. Plus when he is torturing them in a few years, as only a little brother can do, his mom will need proof of these sweet moments.





Congratulations Kim and Russ - your boy is a keeper!! 

(Sara Liz Photography) Sun, 28 Jul 2013 17:47:22 GMT
Gus and Ruby Sometimes I get really lucky with the families I shot. Gus and Ruby are a perfect example of this. I've known their mom for several years now and in fact she is a close friend of mine. But I am not just saying this because I know she'll be reading it - her kids are some of the sweetest, best behaved, most cooperative I've encountered. Really I don't know how she does it (and trust me I've asked) but somehow she has managed to have these amazing kids. Baby Ruby is so sweet that she literally would NOT STOP SMILING the entire session. In fact I am not convinced she even knows how to make any other expressions. And Gus is such a doll. I have a sweet spot for little boys (since I have a few of my own) and Gus is no exception. So sweet, funny, and what a personality.


I will continue to try and get their mom to give me all her secrets and when I do I'll be sure to share them. Unless of course I decide just to keep them to myself so everyone will think that I am the perfect mom.



(Sara Liz Photography) Mon, 01 Jul 2013 01:33:47 GMT
Granny I love doing pictures of children and their families, but it's also really nice to get to do something different from time to time. This is why I was really excited when I was asked to do a portrait session with a client (Lisa), her mom, adult siblings and her grandmother. Apparently Granny does not get to visit much and Lisa had the awesome idea to use her recent visit as an excuse to capture some nice family portraits with her.





I like to try and capture emotion and relationships when I shoot and this sweet family made that easy. it was obvious that they adore each other and that Granny was the center of all that love. I am so glad that they asked me to be a part of this reunion and that I had the honor of capturing it for them. Not to mention that Granny follows directions so much better than a toddler :)


(Sara Liz Photography) Wed, 26 Jun 2013 00:22:41 GMT
One I've spent a lot of time with one year olds lately. Which if you weren't aware is a pretty fun group of people to hang with. Life is pretty good when your one - you don't pay taxes but your mobile. Plus they usually let you try cake for the first time!


I was totally excited that this little guy's parents asked me to come photograph his birthday party. I've done pictures with Elijah a few times now and he is always a star. In fact I have a hard time getting him to look anywhere but at the camera. He may have a future in modeling - just saying. The party was adorable (underwater theme, complete with swimming) and Elijah seemed to enjoy his cake and all the attention. I guess you just get used to it when your so darn sweet!







Another sweet baby I've been lucky enough to photograph a few times now is Ms. Bryn. She's always great and her mom always comes prepared with tons of handmade and precious props for us to use. Bryn was a blast and I must say quite the well behaved lady, even when eating her cake she preferred it with a spoon. Thank goodness her mom had one on hand, and pink too to match her outfit! Like I said always prepared.





My most recent one year session was with a newbie, Clara Kate. Gorgeous...and tough. She had no issues crawling all over the rocks, gravel, grass, and whatever else was in her way. She was not however a big fan of the cake. Despite a minor cake meltdown she still gave us some beautiful smiles. Now if only I had her aversion to cake....





(Sara Liz Photography) Wed, 19 Jun 2013 00:35:22 GMT
Connor I'm a little partial to this session (since the kid is my own) but I love the way my son's 3 year old photo shoot turned out. For one thing he's not crying, for another he is not fighting with his brother, and lastly because this is my Connor - troublemaker, charmer, mischievous, doll face love of my life.  






(Sara Liz Photography) Tue, 28 May 2013 03:16:45 GMT
Caden I got to hang out with Caden and his momma a few weeks ago. Caden recently hit a major milestone in any young man's life - he turned the big 0-5. In case ya'll didn't know that is a BIG deal! And what better way to commemorate the occasion than a photo session. I have done photos with Caden and his big brother before but this was his first time going solo, and what a star! We had a great time discussing future plans (kindergarten), rehashing old times (his 5th birthday party), and telling jokes (I'll spare you those but rest assured they were awesome and hilarious). All and all we had a good time and only incurred 1 injury (thorn in the finger - him not me), ah the things we do in the name of art!  






(Sara Liz Photography) Tue, 28 May 2013 02:51:43 GMT
First Family Photos- Crystal and Z.Z. Some families come together at birth. Some families through other circumstances find each other later in life. Either way, it's always an honor to be asked to be the first one to officially document a new family with their first family photos. It's my goal to try an capture who a family is, what their personalities are, and who they become when they're together. These two ladies made that easy.



Crystal and I started planning this session months ago, but we had to put it on hold for a while...we were waiting for Z.Z. Crystal was in the process of adopting Z.Z. when we started and as adoption often goes, the process took longer than Crystal had hoped. Z.Z. finally came home 3 weeks ago, and just by witnessing the amount of love between this mother and daughter I would venture to say that it was worth the wait.






Congratulations to both Crystal and Z.Z. on their adoption and yay for families whenever and however they are made!

(Sara Liz Photography) Wed, 08 May 2013 00:23:18 GMT
Toddlers Much like parenting them, no one ever said photographing toddlers was easy. In a lot of ways they are the most difficult group of people to take pictures of, but in a lot of ways they are my favorite.



Just like in everything else they do, they bring a unique set of challenges to the table. They can be stubborn, uncooperative, shy, uninterested, lose focus quickly, or just generally do not want their picture taken. They don't care that mom is paying for this, they don't care that all mom wants is one - just one good picture with them looking at the camera! They will take your bribe, eat it, and continue on their not gonna cooperate way. Sometimes they hide behind mom, or just cry for the entire session. I've had a lot of toddler sessions that went just like this. I've paid good money for other photographers to take pictures of my toddlers that went just like this. It's frustrating, but it's ok.








The thing I love about photographing toddlers is that you get exactly who they are. Their is nothing fake or posed in a toddler session. They haven't yet mastered the art of the dreaded "cheese" smile. They don't care to impress you, and so you end up taking pictures (the good, the bad, and the ugly) of their true selves. And this, my friends, is exactly what you want in a successful portrait session. Yes, they will make you work as a photographer, they will make you get creative, and sometimes you only come away with a few good shots. But when you get those good shots - man are they worth it.







I know a lot of parents (and I have been one myself a some points) that have said it's not worth doing a portrait session with a toddler. They won't cooperate, they won't sit still, it will be a waste of money. Some of that may be true but it won't be a waste of money. A good photographer will work with your child and not get frustrated. And as long as you keep in mind that what you get will be who your child was at that age, on that day, at that moment (because Lord knows that with a toddler it will change moment to moment) there is a good chance that you'll come away glad you did it. And just keep in mind you have lots of years ahead for those lovely, cooperative, posed sessions.




(Sara Liz Photography) Wed, 01 May 2013 23:03:24 GMT
Anna Talk about a dream shoot. Beautiful and cooperative subject, perfect spring evening, and awesome just before sunset light in a great location. What more could I ask for?


Anna is ten years old and a ballerina (note the dance costume). Oh, and her mom is a genius. She has figured out the closest thing to stopping time while her little girl keeps growing up. Every year Anna's mom has a photo session done of her daughter. I love this and not just as a photographer but as a mom. We can't freeze time and keep our little ones little but at least we can freeze a moment with them and have it to look back on forever.






As I mentioned Anna is ten. Because of her pictures her mom will always be able to remember exactly who her daughter was at ten. After diapers, bottles, first days of school, and learning to ride a bike but before makeup, boys, college applications and prom. Just ten - with freckles, a shy smile, and her ballet slippers. And because her mom has been a genius for awhile she has nice, professional pictures  from every year of her daughter's life. So when ten feels too old, she can look back at nine and next year she will have eleven and will see how far she's come from ten. And when eighteen rolls around and Anna is moving out her mom will have her whole childhood in pictures so she can remember every year and how unique and wonderful it was.




See what I mean- genius. Now if someone could still try and figure out that whole stop time thing...

(Sara Liz Photography) Mon, 15 Apr 2013 01:13:38 GMT
Adoption Minis A few weeks ago I did a group of mini sessions dedicated to families affected by adoption. I am a big supporter of adoption, in fact I spent several years working for a local adoption agency. It was hands down the hardest/ most rewarding job I could ask for. As a caseworker for birth parents, it was my privilege to witness the ultimate act of selflessness on a regular basis. I am also proud to say that I got to be an part of some incredible and loving families being built. Amazing parents who would not have the chance to be amazing parents if it was not for adoption.

Because adoption will always have a place in my heart I always offer a discount to adoptive families, however I wanted to do some sessions focusing on these incredible families and the people who work so tirelessly to make their adoption stories possible (did I mention that this is a HARD job).

As luck and Texas weather would have it, the weekend we scheduled our sessions for was the coldest/rainiest in weeks and while we did have to reschedule a few sessions (look for those soon) most of the shoots went off great and I am thrilled with what we got.

Just a few (very few) of my favorites...



























(Sara Liz Photography) Mon, 01 Apr 2013 23:48:19 GMT
Mommy and Me Minis  



I am so excited to announce Mommy and Me Mini Sessions in May (say that 5 times fast). I love this idea for a few reasons. First of all as a mom myself I know I would much rather be behind the camera than in front. I mean my kids are so much cuter than I am and it seems like when I do find myself the subject of pictures it always comes in the most inopportune times. Like after giving birth, Christmas morning, or after staying up all night putting the finishing touches on a Spiderman birthday party that some how ended in tears for both the birthday boy and myself. Lovley memories. But this is what my children will have to look back on if I don't make an effort to get in photos more often. I think a lot of moms feel this way. There is always a reason to critize our pictures, too fat, bad hair, weird expression, too many wrinkles. However, 20 years from now we will likley only be fatter, weirder, have less hair and more wrinkles. The time is now, plus our kids won't look at these pictures and think all of those things. They will look at them and remember the moms who played with them, took care of them, and loved them.

Which brings me to the Mommy and Me Minis. Sessions will take place May 4th and 11th at River Legacy Park in Arlington. The focus will be getting sweet, genuine pictures of you and your child. Pictures that reflect your relationship and personalties. Schedule a session for yourself, or better yet request one for Mother's Day!

I was lucky enough to have my friend and her adorable daughter do a sample session for me. Here is a little of what to expect.








(Sara Liz Photography) Fri, 22 Mar 2013 16:06:49 GMT
Returning babies I love photographing returning families of all kinds, it so fun to see them change and grow. However, returning babies are by far the best. Babies change so so much in that first year of life that even waiting 3 months between sessions can feel like your working with an entirely different person.

I was lucky enough last week to have two such returning babies back to back. Besides the fact that they are both adorable kids, with great parents and amazing easy-going personalities, they are also both in that golden 6-9 month range which makes them THE BEST for taking pictures!

Here's hoping for may happy returns from these two!








(Sara Liz Photography) Fri, 22 Mar 2013 16:02:44 GMT
Liam - Newborn Session Sweet baby Liam. His mom is a close friend of mine who happens to make beautiful babies and Liam is no exception. Huge? Yes. Weighing in at almost 10 pounds when he was born, Liam has all the fat rolls that I love in a baby! And what a sweetheart! Once we got him fed and settled down he was a dream. Slept like a rock while we shot and gossiped away. Not to mention that he only pooped once while we were taking his photos and that was on mom! The joys of motherhood...



(Sara Liz Photography) Fri, 22 Mar 2013 15:52:56 GMT
Smash Cake Session - Chloe Last weekend I got to do my first "smash cake" session, which was a total blast. If you have never sat and watched as a newly 1 year old baby destroys a birthday cake bare-handed then my friend, I am afraid you may have never lived. That may be overselling it a tad, but it is a chance to watch pure joy in action no doubt. Cake, hands, no rules, and people cheering you on as you encounter your first sugar high. I don't know about you but that says birthday to me!

To make matters sweeter (get it...very lame pun) this little cake enthusiast is my neice! Happy birthday sweet girl. Maybe we could make this a yearly tradition, that is if we could talk your mom into letting you eat cake naked in front yard more than once...







(Sara Liz Photography) Tue, 26 Feb 2013 18:23:24 GMT
All you need is love... In honor of Valentine's Day, a few of my favorite "love" pictures from the last year...



(Sara Liz Photography) Thu, 14 Feb 2013 00:36:40 GMT
Valentine's Shoot I recently did a session for a sweet friend of mine and her adorable baby girl. As a gift for her husband she wanted some "Valentine" themed pictures to give him on Valentine's Day. The day we shot these was cold, gray and windy. Sweet baby Bryn was a trooper to say the least. Despite the weather, wandering into a killer sticker patch, and losing one of our props we still managed to come out with some pretty stinkin cute shots.








In fact the shots are so cute that my boys became obsessed with them, to the point that they thought it would be a good idea to re-create them. Shirtless and all. They had way too much fun with these and in the meantime have provided me with ample blackmail material for their teenage years.

(Sara Liz Photography) Tue, 05 Feb 2013 03:26:41 GMT