California

Currie-Erven Family Session | Venice, CA by Shana Berenzweig

I’m finally getting around to blogging this family session from late last summer with one of my oldest and dearest friends (we go all the waaay back to early elementary school). We had planned to walk over to the historic Venice Canals, making a stop at one of my favorite spots, a huge, living succulent wall. As light-lover, I’d hoped for at least a little sun to work with that morning. Instead, the good ol’ marine layer rolled in and we had to make it work since this was our only chance to shoot together while I was out there. Of course, we still created some beautiful images together and some of my very favorite of the year. Here are just a few of my session faves, starting with a few random ones I took before we left the house.


Interested in your own family session in Austin or some place else? I’m available locally now and I’ll be traveling out west in August, message me and let’s make it happen!


Neary Family Windmill Session | Palm Springs, CA by Shana Berenzweig

Man, oh man, I really dropped the ball (again) on this whole blogging thing. Geez. I’ve got some drafts in the works and I’m gonna try my bestest (again) to do better. Starting with this dreamy session.

Back in February, I attended the Photo Native photography conference in Palm Springs and took part in a mentored shoot-out. A shoot-out is great opportunity for a small group of photographers to meet and learn from a mentor, as well as each other. This session was led by the phenomenal Jayme Ford of The Paper Deer Photography in a windmill farm in a canyon wash with the lovely Neary Family.

This was my first time doing a shoot-out and wasn’t really sure what to expect while trying to shoot with 13 other photographers. Honestly? It was weird for me, especially as an introvert in these kinda situations. You want to get your shots, but also be respectful of your fellow ‘togs trying to get theirs. And even though we started off in small groups taking turns, things (inevitably?) morphed into a free-for-all — everyone jockeying for position, calling out direction, and all the while still try to learn a few things. Check out these behind the scenes shots to get a little taste of the action.

As this wasn’t a normal session, I wasn’t quite able to capture everything I would’ve during a regular client session (like more close-ups, pics of dad and little brother, and some individual portraits, for example), but other than that, I’m pretty in love with these images. These are just a few of my favorites as I edited a ton of photos and probably could go back and edit even more.

As I’d hoped, I learned a lot of during this workshop, including some unexpected lessons. I won’t bore y’all with all that stuff, but there was one thing I thought worthwhile sharing and applies to both clients and fellow photog’s —how to handle Mother Nature and her fickleness with weather.

The sunny Palm Springs of many an Instagram influencer’s feed was nowhere in sight as shoot time approached. Instead, rain clouds loomed in the distance and I thought for sure it was gonna pour (we did get some spinkles and it would start to rain even heavier later that night and proceed to dump historic levels the next day, but that’s a story for another day).

As a lover of light, sun flares, and rim light, I was pretty bummed by this less than ideal weather. But I should’ve listened to my own advice that I give to clients about the weather.

Sometimes that less than ideal weather turns into a moody and dreamy landscape that you could never ever plan for in a million years. It was a good reminder to be patient and expect the unexpected.


Interested in your own dreamy family session? Message me and let’s make it happen!


Big thanks to these fine folks.

Workshop: Photo Native

Mentor: Jayme Ford | The Paper Deer Photography

Models: The Neary Family

Dress: Reclamation Design Company

Location: Palm Springs, CA


A Texan measures distance in hours, not miles. by Shana Berenzweig

In late June, Frankie and I packed up the car and headed west on our third annual roadtrip to LA to visit family and friends.  Each time, I've made the 2-day trek solo, which seems to confuse some people.  Despite what they think, there are lots of great reasons to travel/roadtrip solo.  And as a single lady, sometimes you can't wait around for the right time and travel-partner-in-crime. 

The road calls and you must answer. 

West Texas | July 2017

West Texas | July 2017

Growing up in Texas, the youngest in a veteran roadtripping family, I have a fondness for the bittersweet nature of the long drive.  It takes Texans a while to get anywhere around the state, which is why we tend to measure distance by hours, not miles.  Many curse the trek across the miles and miles of Texas roads.

But I love the drive.

The solitude.

White Sands National Monument, NM | June 2017

White Sands National Monument, NM | June 2017

The stillness of dawn.

The way the land slowly flattens out from the hill country outside Austin to the wide open spaces of west Texas.

The picnics at rest stops.

The little roadside attractions.

White Sands National Monument, NM | June 2017

White Sands National Monument, NM | June 2017

The way Frankie curls up next to me.

The lull and sway of the road.

The genius, beauty, and simplicity of cruise control.

The knowing glances and synchronized back-stretching from other road-weary travelers at rest stops.

The mundane stretches of nothingness.

West Texas | July 2017

West Texas | July 2017

The freedom to stop whenever and wherever I want and as many times as my heart (or bladder) desires.

The simple, yet healing powers of having the windows down and the music up.

The giddiness when you cross another state line.

The relief when you get to your destination.

Las Cruces, NM | June 2017

Las Cruces, NM | June 2017

The good fortune of making it without getting a ticket.

The gratitude of my privilege to travel and explore.

The inevitable daydreaming of living on the road.

The comfort of returning home.

The sense of accomplishment in doing it all by myself.

The highs and the lows. 

I love it all.

These are just a few of my faves from the journey to LA and camping in the Sierras.  Hope to have more images posted soon. (But let's be real, it'll probably be a while.)

XO

 
First Lake, John Muir Wilderness, CA | July 2016

First Lake, John Muir Wilderness, CA | July 2016

White Sands National Monument, NM | June 2017

White Sands National Monument, NM | June 2017

Leo Carrillo State Park, Malibu, CA | June 2017

Leo Carrillo State Park, Malibu, CA | June 2017

Sequoia National Park, CA | July 2017

Sequoia National Park, CA | July 2017

Tonto National Forest, AZ | July 2017

Tonto National Forest, AZ | July 2017

Inyo National Forest, CA | July 2017

Inyo National Forest, CA | July 2017

White Sands National Monument, NM | June 2017

White Sands National Monument, NM | June 2017

Sequoia National Park, CA | July 2017

Sequoia National Park, CA | July 2017

Big Pine, CA | July 2017

Big Pine, CA | July 2017

Big Pine, CA | July 2017

Big Pine, CA | July 2017

John Muir Wilderness, CA | July 2017

John Muir Wilderness, CA | July 2017

Sequoia National Forest, CA | July 2017

Sequoia National Forest, CA | July 2017

Sequoia National Park, CA | July 2017

Sequoia National Park, CA | July 2017

John Muir Wilderness, CA | July 2017

John Muir Wilderness, CA | July 2017

White Sands National Monument, NM | June 2017

White Sands National Monument, NM | June 2017