Feeling on top of the world

It's been a little while since I've posted on my blog, but I have been a bit busier than normal.  With summer now here, it has been an adjustment in our home for me trying to entertain two children that are both very active and playful =) However, I have some amazing news to share with everyone -- Creative Live just came out with a new initiative, in which they interview their students, highlight their accomplishments, and discuss how these students have been positively impacted. I have had a few interviews with their staff members, after which time they put together this super touching video and article that I am really proud about.  I was fortunate enough to be their Grand Prize winner in a competition last Fall, and I have been steadily growing my business since that time.  I am so honored and humbled to have had this experience, and to know that my voice was heard and broadcast far and wide is beyond exciting.  I have had such an outpouring of love and support that it's unreal.  I would love for you to read more about my mission, and the interview I gave here at Creative Live

Having children is not always easy, but it is always an adventure. They have taught me so much about life and why every moment is special. Right now, my oldest just woke from his nap and is cuddling against me while I finish typing this up-- and the only thing I can think about is how he won't be this little or sweet forever (well, I really DO hope he is always this sweet!)

I love these moments and wouldn't trade them for anything.

Nothing beats the feeling of Art

Your family as Art for your home.

There are very few things as satisfying as creating beautiful pictures for families here in the Austin Texas area.  However, growing up in the digital age has all but ruined a lot us and the appreciation for a finely printed photograph, so most of the time, our beautiful families end up on a silver disc, stuck in a drawer somewhere instead of displayed proudly on our walls.   I, however, am here to remedy that -- it's why I do what I do.

You may have seen this gorgeous family on my Facebook Page, or through my portfolio images.  They have trusted me over the last few years to capture the memories that are practically impossible to capture on their own (let's face it, besides a cell phone selfie, when was the last time you actually took a picture of *yourself*?)  When they told me they wanted an updated family picture, I was more than happy to take them to this gorgeous Fall location in Round Rock, where we caught some great images of this sweet family of four.  You can catch them all in the link to my video below. But I digress-- My whole purpose in posting this is to show how this.....

Can turn into this....

 Beautiful 30x40 canvas and mini 8x10 canvases - custom designed for their home interior. This ain't yo momma's 11x14!

Beautiful 30x40 canvas and mini 8x10 canvases - custom designed for their home interior. This ain't yo momma's 11x14!

As you can see, this large Wall Canvas is going to make QUITE an impact in their family home.  Who wouldn't be instantly happy when that's the first thing you see when you get home every day? =)

What have you printed lately?

Ultimate Studio Makeover - Grand Prize Winner!!

Hello to anyone reading this! This is going to be long, but I truly hope you take the time to read it if you clicked on this post to begin with.  Part of this is a re-post from my original Facebook message, but there was so much I wanted to say that I didn't in my original posting.  I felt a huge pressure to express my gratitude immediately, but I didn't have the time to process what I really wanted to say. 

So, the most amazing thing just happened to me!! You won't even believe it, because I sure didn't. I was chosen out of hundreds of other very deserving and passionate people to be the recipient of an amazing prize that will help my studio grow in unimaginable ways. 
I am humbled, and so elated... 
I am overwhelmed with emotion, yet calm in the knowledge that I CAN do this... 
I am confident in my abilities, and just so thankful for this opportunity.
I look forward to being able to serve others and give without limitations. I have been working towards that day, and now that day will be here so much sooner! Thank you to everyone who has supported me and will support me in the coming months as I reach for the stars. Building dreams is a process, and I look forward to sharing my journey with you!

Thank you to CreativeLive and the wonderful people that had to do the crazy job of deciding who will win. This is not a gift to be taken lightly, and I promise I will not disappoint.
And a most sincere thank you to Julia at Jewel Images for sharing her passion and life with everyone. You have inspired me since the first moment I tuned into Creative Live. You will never know how you've changed my life-- even more so now. You are such an open book, and so very easy to relate to, and you have already pushed me beyond innumerable boundaries.

I would be remiss if I didn't also thank the sponsors of this give away that have given so generously-- seriously, how amazing are these companies?? 
White House Custom Color will be giving a lab credit of $1500 for me to use for studio products so I can create some amazing work to showcase to my clients.
Julia at Jewel Images, and Time Exposure are gifting me an amazing opportunity to mentor under Julia for a day so I can learn from one of the best in the industry!! 
Additionally, Time Exposure will be giving me a lease for an entire year of their amazing software called Proselect Pro which will help me showcase my client's galleries beautifully and intuitively. This is also important as a time management tool, because we ALL need more time.  Speaking of time, I can't imagine how much time I am going to save thanks to the fact that Julia will also be giving me access to her studio-in-a-box collection which includes templates, informational resources for me to be able to use to better serve my clients, and guides that I can use to help me streamline my workflow and efficiency.
Asuka Book is the maker of some of the beautiful Albums that Julia offers, and they have agreed to not only give $600 credit to their lab, but an additional $400 cash to use towards the studio!  I have always wanted to have and hold one of their beautiful albums, and this is going to be one of the first things I order!
Studio Cloud is a studio management software company that has donated a six month lease of their software, and $500 cash for use towards my business!  I have dabbled with the free version in the past, and I can't wait to make use of it's full functionality thanks to their generous donation.
The two things I have truly struggled with since deciding to start my journey are mastering social media, and my personal brand.  If I told you to think of a well known soft drink, or athletic shoe company, and I gave you one word or idea as a hint of who I wanted you to think of, you would likely be able to know exactly who I was talking about with no additional information.  That means that company has a successful brand.  I will be transforming my site and highlighting my purpose gradually over the next several weeks, until I can be confident in how I appear when dealing with the digital world. A solid brand would be nothing if I didn't have the capability of sharing it with everyone, and to this end, I really thank Sarah Daily Media and Jane Johnson Brand Styling & Design for donating their services to this amazing package.  Last but not least, CreativeLive ((My favorite website and learning resource EVER)) has kindly decided to gift Julia's classes in their ENTIRETY for me to learn and grow.  How amazing is that??

The next chapter of my life is going to be hectic-- I can already tell. It will be uncomfortable, because growth always is.  But sometimes when you feel you just can't stretch any more, and you just can't reach any further... you surpass anything you dreamed of.

Speaking of dreams... I had a dream the night before I submitted my video. I had been trying to work on it and put it together, and the perfectionist in my struggled so hard to get my message out.  I went to sleep, and in my dreams I was declared the first runner up for the prize.  I woke up and I knew that if I never submitted an entry, I could never BE a runner up. 
Life is like that. You can never fail if you never try, but you can never succeed either. I want to be purposeful... and to live an intentional life. I can't do much, just sitting behind a computer wishing that things were different for me or for anyone else. 

There is one last anecdote I would like to share with you before I call it a night.  In high school, I was voted "Most Likely to Take Over the World".  As funny as I found it at the time, it also stuck with me, in the back of my mind. I had never really considered how I could touch the world, let alone take it over.   Finding another purpose in life has been a scary thing to process... admitting it out loud for thousands of people was terrifying. It's a bit like ripping a band-aid off -- the "pain" is intense! But, I know that I am ready to take one step at a time towards my goal, and gladly welcome the help that has already been so willingly offered.

I plan to keep a journal of my ongoing challenges, struggles, and accomplishments. And even if nobody else will read it, I will have something I can be proud of and remember fondly as I struggle to make my dreams a reality.  Thank you for taking the time to read this.

Something splendid this way comes!!!

The beginning of November.  Pumpkin Spice is in full swing, the leaves that will actually change color are finally doing so here in Austin, and all this rain is starting to make me think of two things... the first, that I must miss the West Coast since this rain is making me nostalgic... and two... the "most wonderful time of the year" is almost here!

Realizing that Halloween is over, Thanksiving is looming, and Christmas is not far behind, I realized that we are all quickly running out of time for the most coveted of items -- the Holiday Family Photo!!  But with what little time we have left (and with sunset a whole entire HOUR EARLIER thanks to Daylight Savings), how can I make an option that families can tap into  that won't be dependent on the weather, or traffic being good enough for us to meet at a location with enough time before the sun is gone.  "What can I do between now and then that is completely off the wall, and out there, that families could enjoy doing... that won't involve dancing around in the rain after dark?"

Hoho, have I got a surprise for you.  SO! Coming soon. ONE DAY of sessions. At my home. You & your family, goofing around in your pajamas or tacky sweaters, loving on each other and creating great pictures for your family (and for the single most AMAZING Holiday card you have ever sent!).  And the best parts? No insects, no sweating (well, I guess this actually depends on your personal body temperature, but we have air conditioning!!), mood music, and a very short and sweet time slot.  You will also have your Christmas cards lovingly designed by yours truly, and I will deliver them to you (and have your address imprinted on the back) to help you beat the holiday rush.

So, sound interesting? Are you intrigued? Ready for some goofy fun?  I will be announcing details shortly, but in the mean time, can I give you a hint about the theme and set up???  And don't hate on my mad Photoshop skills! ;)
 

Beautiful Fall Session Outdoors

I had the pleasure of spending time with this lovely family a few weeks ago. You wouldn't believe the evening. My littlest friend wasn't too sure about me taking her picture, but she eventually came around and we enjoyed watching her play with her big sister =) 
We were taking a break to play on the swings and as we were getting ready to pick up the pace again, you will never believe it -- I sprained my ankle!! Talk about embarassing!  We continued to photograph the session, albeit at a lot slower pace, and we came out with some beautiful silhouette photos that I can't wait to share with you.  If you want to see them, please watch through to the end of this little video I put together!  Please enjoy it!

I always love spending time with this family. The girls are so fun,and it is amazing to see how much they have changed since I first met them over a year ago at our first family session!

I can't wait to show you the beautiful product they ordered for their home! <3

~Twyla

Photo Albums - Beautiful custom created products for your family

Nothing makes me more proud than seeing my images printed and cherished. I love having the opportunity to provide my clients with finished items that they can be proud to display and keep for years to come. This is my baseline album, and although pictures cannot do it justice, I hope this video shows what a great product this is.

A summer session at home

This summer, I was lucky enough to spend almost 2 full months back in Canada, where I was born and raised. While there, I spent a lot of time catching up with dear friends, and captured these memories for my best friend growing up.  We thought it would be fun to showcase some of the area on their property since they haven't taken any pictures there since moving in.  They have a beautiful view of Mt Baker (which I will be sure to capture the next time I visit) as well as a chicken coop, an old barn, copious amounts of trees, a green house, and trees trees TREES! 

I made this short video compilation of their images-- I hope you can enjoy it as well =)  Please click to view the video.

 

Wall Art Wednesdays - Living Area

One thing I often think about when going through my client galleries is how beautiful portraits will be when displayed prominently on the walls of their homes.  Admit it -- your kids are absolutely the CUTEST ever, right? Who wouldn't be proud to show off with a custom art piece, rated to last centuries with proper care? Deciding which images from your session are best displayed as large prints or canvases can be hard, but I will gladly discuss different options with you and help you to make a choice based on many factors -- including decor and feel for the setting you wish to display the image in.

Did you know I not only offer these fine prints on museum quality papers, but that you can also discuss commissioning a one of a kind, hand painted portrait?  As always, contact me for details!

Living Area