Not many brides have braved the quarter-mile walk from the parking lot to the grotto of the Hamilton Pool Reserve. I would also guess that there are probably not many photographers who have dared to make the hike with as much gear as I did… and without a paying client.
But, this trip was so worth it.
My primary goal was to secure some images worthy of competition. My secondary goals included testing out my new Indra 500, scouting out a new location and getting some images worthy to display on my online portfolio. I’m pretty sure I met all my goals.
On November 18, I convinced four college students to play dress up and humor me for the day [on their day OFF!]. I promised them breakfast, lunch, some high resolution images and a lot of adventure. All they had to do was wake up very early, dress themselves in a pre-determined role and be pretty/handsome for the duration.
It wasn’t all fun and games for me. I had a lot of hard work to do. I spent a few weeks planning out locations and wardrobe, hacking a designer gown, making sure my “bride” and “engaged girl” had diamond rings to wear, and making sure we had permission to shoot at the Hamilton Pool. On the day of the shoot, I lugged at least 50 pounds of photography equipment to the location. I mentioned the quarter-mile walk… Did I mention it’s a pretty rugged walk…and it was wet… and all uphill on the way out? It was still worth it.
Hamilton Pool Styled Session
Karley, my “bride,” was first up. I’m not sure how much Karley paid for her senior prom dress, but this is the third time I know of that she’s worn it. That’s more miles that one usually gets out of a prom dress. It’s worked out well for me anyhow. She’s used it in two shoots for me. Look how beautiful it is on her! I’m pretty sure I’ll cry on the day that Karley is an actual bride.
Kelsey and Keith were my “engaged couple.”
Not only are Kelsey and Keith this good at acting… they’ve actually been dating for a while. That’s why they are such a cute couple!! Maybe one day, they’ll be taking engagement photos for real for real.
And, this is my daughter, Kyanna. This is the designer gown that we hacked—Sue Bryce style. This dress is nothing more than a $20 corset and a wide piece of elastic with about $40 worth of tulle. The best part is that the skirt portion can be paired with any bralette or corset. Kyanna absolutely rocked this fake designer dress!
All four of my models were super troopers. While the weather wasn’t a bust, it wasn’t super compliant. It was on the verge of raining all day and relatively cool. All of the girls are pretty cold-natured and more-or-less froze. Try as we did, we could not come up with a second location to shoot in and ended up calling it a day after lunch. But, THEY ALL AGREED to try this again with me early next year!! 🙂
NOTE: While we did not need a special permit to shoot at the Hamilton Pool Reserve, we did call ahead of time and secure permission for the shoot from Michael Brewster, Park Supervisor of Travis County. Fees to enter the park are $15 per carload. You may check daily park access by calling 512-264-2470. The park may close due to rain. As this is a public park, you have to be respectful of the other guests in the park. You cannot block any walkways or paths to shoot. You have to stay on the marked trails and follow ALL park rules. You have to carry anything out that you brought in. I would not advise trying to shoot here during peak season. Please call before planning a shoot to ensure the rules have not been changed.
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I am San Antonio’s most unique wedding photographer. I specialize in a 10-day image delivery, same-day prints, same-day slideshows, Italian handcrafted wedding albums and I have a mobile meeting space.
I am a full-time, internationally-awarded and WPPI-C certified professional wedding and senior photographer based in South Texas near San Antonio. I offer a premier and personal service coupled with an unforgettable photography experience. I cater to clients who appreciate quality photography and help them to create family heirlooms that will last for generations.
I started Ata-Girl Photography Co., LLC in 2010. I firmly believe that the unique set of circumstances I have faced in life has prepared me to take a personal and genuine interest in my photography clients. I enjoy documenting the important milestones and captivating moments in people’s lives. I love being a part of people’s journey and consider myself privileged to document their legacies.
When I’m not photographing a wedding, family or high school senior, I love to spend my spare time hiking, camping, cycling, reading, listening to Elvis and Prince. The most important things in life are for me to see my two daughters happy and to create a family history my grandparents and grandson would be proud of!
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