Sara Stanley Photography: Blog https://sarastanleyphotos.com/blog en-us (C) Sara Stanley Photography (Sara Stanley Photography) Mon, 20 Jul 2020 16:25:00 GMT Mon, 20 Jul 2020 16:25:00 GMT SSP Christmas Card Options https://sarastanleyphotos.com/blog/2019/11/ssp-christmas-card-options 2019 Christmas Cards

These cards are color, both front and back. 

Card base is $1.60 and this comes with a white envelope. 

You may add your return address on the envelope for $0.35/card

You may also opt for a gold lined envelope for $0.10/card

If you would like to just put ONE photo on the back, you may change that about the design, otherwise, they are as shown below. If you'd like to purchase holiday cards, please email Kelly at sarastanleyphotos@gmail.com with the following information: Card selection, wording you'd like on the card, # of cards. 

 

Merry Christmas!

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(Sara Stanley Photography) https://sarastanleyphotos.com/blog/2019/11/ssp-christmas-card-options Sat, 16 Nov 2019 13:10:05 GMT
Mommy + Me | Getting Ready at your Fingertips! https://sarastanleyphotos.com/blog/2019/4/mommy-me-getting-ready-at-your-fingertips How are we already halfway through April?! It feels like we just put away Christmas decor, and now it's Easter and we're making our plans for Mother's Day weekend. Seriously, where does time go?! We just wrapped up Bluebonnets and Easter, and now we are prepping for Mother's Day minis - some of our most requested and our favorite sessions of the year. It's the sweet spot of Houston weather, spring blooms, and celebrations to host these gorgeous photo shoots. If you want to sign up for a session, grab yours here: https://sarastanleyphotos.bigcartel.com/product/ssp-mommy-me-sessions-2019

 

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We know at this point, you've probably started looking online at some of your go-to shops for some outfit options for your session. I've been doing the same - my family is having a family session done for my mom's 60th birthday, and everyone is asking me what to wear! For the sake of not resorting to the all white and denim clad family of the early 2000s (no shame, we've all been there), I am going to share with you some of the things I've been sending to the girls in my family for inspiration - and most of it is from Amazon! Not much is better than that! Everything in blue below is a direct link -----

 

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Top of the list: Chiffon Maxi Skirt in million different solid colors. Price tops out at $40, and it's actually a really nice quality skirt! I've known lots of girls who have used these as bridesmaid "dresses" with pretty neutral or floral tops, and they come highly recommended by photographers all over. It doesn't come with 2-Day Prime shipping, but it's worth paying for the shipping since it's such a steal! If you prefer a floral, these skirts here got the Amazon's Choice designation and are Prime!

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Amazon is also KILLING IT in the women's dress game! They've got plenty with Prime shipping in all shapes, sizes, patterns, and materials to meet whatever it is you are looking for. All of these have lots of 4+ star reviews, and we've seen several clients wearing them recently. Even better, they are all under $40! This longer straight body dress comes in so many fun patterns with a very flattering 3/4 sleeve and v-neck that is just the right depth. This floral high-low dress comes in several beautiful floral patterns, and the flutter sleeve is the perfect Springy touch! If you want something a little more basic, this off the shoulder knit maxi comes in 5 gorgeous colors, and I just might buy this one for myself! I am a lover of all things stripes and solid, so this solid v-neck maxi t-shirt dress would be the winner for me! 

 

As if Amazon wasn't already enough, two places we LOVE are having huge sales right now: Carly Jean Los Angeles (fair warning, you'll be hooked!) and LOFT (running 40% off!). Full disclosure, I just ordered 2 things from CJLA and 2 things from LOFT while putting together this blog...oops! No guilt here - none of this breaks the bank, and all of it would make for beautiful photos you'll treasure forever! 

 

Happy shopping!! 

 

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(Sara Stanley Photography) https://sarastanleyphotos.com/blog/2019/4/mommy-me-getting-ready-at-your-fingertips Tue, 16 Apr 2019 16:39:06 GMT
Successful Planning Part 1: Cake Smash Session https://sarastanleyphotos.com/blog/2019/2/successful-planning-part-1-cake-smash-session Happy New Year, SSP Family!

It's mid-February...can we still say that? Either way, we mean it! We hope your 2019 is off to a great start. Our January was surprisingly busy with shoots, planning time, and dreaming for 2019. February has been a little slower, so we are back on the blogging and social media train! We've spent some time looking at the data for last year, and:

A: we are SO GRATEFUL for all of you who have used us to photograph your families. SSP has grown so much, and we are over the moon that we are able to serve your needs time after time. And...

B: we realized we get a lot of the same questions about preparing for the same types of sessions, so we are creating a blog series we're calling "Successful Planning" where we give our seasoned advice on the best prep tips we have for each of these sessions in hopes you have the most successful session possible. 

Without further ado, we bring you Successful Planning Part 1: Cake Smash!

It seems simple, really. A cake smash - there's a cake, the birthday boy or girl, and they smash it! We capture cute pictures, there's usually some leftover cake, and everyone goes home happy. Simplicity takes a lot of sharp turns toward tedious when you factor in everything that's going on in the one-year-old world: teething, trying new foods, allergies, learning to feed themselves, their love/hate relationship with changing clothes, stranger danger, texture preferences, and glimpses of that toddler attitude. We do have some studio tricks up our sleeves to deal with the birthday blues and get the best cake smash photos, but we also have some tips and tricks for you at home to prep you and your birthday baby:

1. Schedule the session at least 2-3 weeks before the birthday party to ensure you'll have photos at the party should you want them. This is also a great dry-run for seeing how they react to their cake and everyone cheering them on as they eat. 

2. Try some cake/frosting at home at least once before coming to the session. This is SO IMPORTANT! If something like frosting/cake/sugar is a brand new food for them, the likelihood of getting a good reaction is slim. This will allow them to feel the texture and taste the sweetness and decide what they think about it. This will either make them comfortable with the cake at the cake smash or give you time to come up with a potential alternative (alternative ideas listed below!)

3. Take note of your baby's eating preferences. Do they like feeding themselves? Are they a clean or messy eater? Do they eat quickly or slowly? Are they a picky eater? Is there a food they cannot resist eating (goldfish, puffs, yogurt drops)? We can easily modify the cake smash portion to accommodate their comfort level and make sure they enjoy it. (Photographers trick: a lot of our cakes are stuffed with goldfish or puffs on the backside to get their hands in their cake)

4. If you are doing a basic birthday or family birthday session where you bring the decor, set it up once at home and make sure you like the look. Take a picture, too! That will help us help you set it up. Additionally, if you order decor online or buy pre-packaged decor from Party City or Hobby Lobby, open it up and assemble it all at home before you come. If you have not done that before, it is a lot more time consuming than you'd think! 

5. Try on their outfits! Most of our clients get outfits from Amazon and Etsy which we all know can be hit or miss in the sizing department. Additionally, if you plan to have them wear a particular outfit the day of their party, we don't recommend wearing that for the cake portion. Most frosting coloring stains, and we'd hate for you to have to order another in a time crunch!

6. Come prepared to get messy! There's a reason bakers wear aprons: we will all be going home covered in frosting! If you are doing family photos as a part of your session, bring a shirt or change of clothes you don't mid getting frosting on. I have seen on more than one occasion a very sad momma who got colored frosting on a nice top because a cake covered baby needed a hug. We do provide wipes and trash bags to clean up the baby at the end, and we clean the floors.

7. Bring the song/video/person that makes your baby laugh and feel comfortable the most! We are always prepared with a rendition of Baby Shark and Wheels on the Bus, but you know how to bring out the best smiles and laughs from your baby. I always joke that we all get a workout during a cake smash session, and most of that comes from acting like a circus clown behind the camera!

8. Alternative options to a cake smash: donuts, yogurt, whipped cream, fruit, pancakes, spaghetti, cookies, or an activity like painting or playing with balls/cars/blocks. 

Most importantly, we want to make sure you are getting the best possible photos from your portrait session. We LOVE these sessions, and we want everyone to be set up for success! And cake. We love cake :) 

With all this talk of cake...

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(Sara Stanley Photography) basic birthday cake deluxe family first houston photographer portraits Sara smash Stanley studio https://sarastanleyphotos.com/blog/2019/2/successful-planning-part-1-cake-smash-session Wed, 13 Feb 2019 12:25:00 GMT
Bumpin' | Choosing Your Maternity Session with SSP https://sarastanleyphotos.com/blog/2018/10/bumpin-choosing-your-maternity-session-with-ssp Sara and I spent a lot of time together in the first half of 2018 - she was teaching me about SSP, coaching me through using my camera well, and bringing me along to as many shoots as possible. I got the pleasure of watching Sara in action in every possible setting, and her passion and enthusiasm for what SSP does sucked me right in. I realized I was ready to let go of the security of my old job and trade it in for the excitement and variety of being a photographer with SSP if it meant that I would fall in love with my work the way Sara has. On a regular basis, Sara and I had lots of long chats that often circled back to her intense affection for two types of shoots in particular: newborn and maternity. She loves every bit of every shoot, but those two in particular she jokingly said she’d fight me for…at least I hope it was a joke…

 

Maternity sessions, as my mom tells me, are a “new” thing. When I travelled to Mississippi recently to shoot my cousin’s maternity session, my aunts and Mamaw confirmed the notion that “back in the day” there wasn’t a draw to capture your pregnancy quite like there is today. As we sat and looked through the gorgeous photos of my gorgeous cousin (side note: it’s almost inhuman how incredible she looked at 36 weeks pregnant), the combination of the emotion, the intimacy, and the sheer beauty of her being an expectant momma left us all speechless until my aunt remarked that she wished she had that for herself. That got me thinking about why maternity photography has become so popular in recent years. 

 

The more I do these maternity sessions, the more I see that this isn’t just a Pinterest inspired trend, but rather an expression of love for your child and pride in what a mother’s body does during pregnancy. The more I do these, the more I hear from these expectant mommas that they want to treasure these fleeting moments as much as possible. The more I do these, the more I realize why Sara loves these sessions so intently. There is something to special and honoring about being invited into someone’s most intimate moments and being trusted to capture it in a way that makes them feel and look beautiful. Often, our mommas share stories about babies they’ve lost, babies they longed for, and babies that came when they weren’t expecting them. When they share those stories, we come to treasure these moments even more knowing that they are sharing more than a story with us. This is why Sara wants to fight me for these sessions. 

Even with the growing trend toward maternity sessions, not every expectant momma opts to do one. We hear many of the same reasons - either it’s just not something she’s comfortable doing or she didn’t know about all we had to offer for a maternity session. While we wish we could convince every momma that your beauty in this time is worth capturing no matter what, we can at least walk you through every option SSP has so you can decide if something we offer will help you make that decision. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Fine Art Maternity Session

This session for momma only is a really creative and unique way to capture your pregnancy using all the amenities found in-studio. Sara puts a lot of creative energy into planning and shooting the fine art sessions. Through the privacy of the studio and experience of Sara, these sessions open up opportunities to be more intimate and personal, and they are tailored to your specific desires for capturing your pregnancy in a way that reflects who you are. We have several options for unique poses, prop and fabric incorporation, and backgrounds that set the right mood for the feeling you want to capture. 

 

Studio Maternity Session


A studio maternity session is a great option for couples who want to have
the session in a climate controlled setting (my summer/fall due date mommas, can I get an amen?!). Our studio has a variety of backgrounds, all with a similar light and airy feel. This session can be momma only or can include the whole family if you have older children. Since we keep all of our stunning maternity dresses in the studio, you can select a few options from our collection to wear. Our workflow within each studio session ensures that each pose is flattering and the dresses are fluffed and trains are laid out to perfection. 

 

 

Outdoor Maternity Session

An outdoor maternity session is a great option for a large family or couple. Of course it can be momma only, and we always aim to find the right combo of sun and shade to to be the most flattering. The outdoor sessions tend to be more casual and candid, and we have a lot of fun getting creative with what is available on site for various poses. We can bring one or two of our maternity gowns, but we are limited on which can be worn outdoors. This option for a maternity session has the most opportunity for incorporating props, large families, PETS(!!), and getting a wide variety of scenery. I personally love when clients ask if it’s ok to bring the dogs to these sessions - YES, ALWAYS YES! 

 

You can also look through the gallery of all maternity gowns we have at this link: https://sarastanleyphotos.com/p943456482

Whether you’re expecting your first child or you are a seasoned pregnancy veteran, capturing this special time in your life is so dear to the heart of SSP. One day, you’ll get to sit down with your children and show them these photos, and they’ll what we’ve all said from the beginning, “Mommy, you look beautiful”. 

 

- Emma

 

 

 

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(Sara Stanley Photography) bump bump session family fine art fine art maternity houston Houston bump session houston newborn photographer maternity Maternity session outdoor outdoor bump photographer photography print Sara Stanley texas newborn photographer https://sarastanleyphotos.com/blog/2018/10/bumpin-choosing-your-maternity-session-with-ssp Wed, 03 Oct 2018 13:13:55 GMT
We Shoot It, You Build It! DIY Engineered Print Frame https://sarastanleyphotos.com/blog/2018/9/we-shoot-it-you-build-it-diy-engineered-print-frame By show of hands, how many times have we seen something on Pinterest, attempted to emulate it, and wound up with a product that was nothing like what you saw? They've even coined a phrase for this specific phenomenon - the "Pinterest Fail". This happens to me every Christmas season when I see something that I absolutely must do like bake the perfect Christmas wreath cake or attempt hand felted tree ornaments. There's just something about trying to make cute things as Christmas gifts (and waiting until December to do them) that almost guarantees it won't work out the way you planned. Yet, every year, we have the bright idea to do homemade gifts. 

I'm normally a very crafty person and can whip up many a Pinterest-looking thing out of my craft box (sidebar, my craft box is now a craft armoire, and almost every weekend my husband asks me what can be thrown away...NOTHING EVER...not even the dried up paint pens!). There have even been multiple occasions where my Pinterest adventures have involved my husband's, my dad's, and my father-in-law's tools, handiness, and woodshed resources to achieve the most "Pinterest Perfect" product. Sometimes we're successful, like our really cool floating shelves that sit below our tv on an awkward sized wall. Sometimes, we fail so hard we trash the thing and start over, like our queen-sized headboard that turned out to be more like a king-sized headboard that we completely forgot about using stainable wood glue on. The big yellow blobs oozing out are such a homey, rustic touch. 

In my many years of Pinterest attempts, I've found that the key to success with anything you're after is a well-laid out plan. Whether it's a furniture piece, baked goods, or a crocheted diaper cover, the difference maker between "Pinterest Fail" and "Pinterest Perfect" is a plan that reads like a recipe. If you're following someone else's plan, it needs to clearly lay out your ingredients/materials (bonus points if they tell you where to find them, too!), give a basic timeline, then dive into the details of how to get from A to Z. It's also SUPER important that you read the plan all the way through. Sometimes, you get surprised with "refrigerate overnight" or "cure for 24 hours" when you didn't read the plan to the end and thought you were about to cart this baked good off to a friend's house! 

With our undeniable love for Pinterest, we are always happy when a client comes to us with an idea they found on Pinterest. We're also even happier when we have to room to put our own spin on and personal touches on the outcome. Recently, one of our darling clients was looking for a way to capture her son around his 5th birthday in a way that would show his personality well without being too trendy. She scoured Pinterest until she found this awesome idea: black and white photos of her son on a plain background with some of his favorite toys and prized possessions to be printed as engineered prints and framed as decor on his walls. YES! We were SO on board for this! 

We got the shoot set up, got the birthday boy and his items in studio to be shot, and started chatting about getting these photos up the walls the way she saw in the Pinterest post. Two major things we learned in that moment of planning how to finish what we started: engineered prints are massive size (20"x30") prints of photos you get at Costco or Kinko's, and purchasing frames that large is either impossible or crazy pricey. Enter my love for the DIY and the ladies behind Shanty-2-Chic. Do you know about Shanty-2-Chic? Prepare to fall in love...

Meet the missing piece to our puzzle, Shanty-2-Chic's detailed DIY plans for making your own engineered print size frames: https://www.shanty-2-chic.com/2016/05/diy-engineer-print-frame.html 

These plans are detailed with your list of materials, your basic timeline, your step-by-step instructions, AND pictures! It's the perfect plan to get a giant framed picture up on your wall. Estimated materials cost is less than $20 and the 20x30 engineered print is $10 at Costco. If you want to add in the cost of the photo session, you're looking at coming in right around $200, which is still less than it costs just to frame something at Hobby Lobby! This Pinterest inspired option really is the way to go! Best part about this Pinterest project is that you can start and finish it in one weekend - and I only say weekend because you'll want to let the stain dry overnight so it's not sticky or stinky. 

This method of printing and framing photos is so easy and cost-effective, it's a great way to DIY some of your holiday decor as well - those cute PDFs you pay $5 to download from artists on Etsy can also be printed oversized as engineered prints and framed in this same manner. There's really no reason not to try this! Find a fun picture or artist print you'd love blow up to a 20" x 30" and head to the hardware store for materials. If you do it, send us a pic!

- Emma
 

 

 

 

 

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(Sara Stanley Photography) digital photography fail family family session houston milestone photography pinterest print prints sara stanley sitter session https://sarastanleyphotos.com/blog/2018/9/we-shoot-it-you-build-it-diy-engineered-print-frame Wed, 19 Sep 2018 04:23:58 GMT
The Land of Enchantment... or rather The Land of Green Chile! https://sarastanleyphotos.com/blog/2018/9/green-chile-palooza Well, it is wordy Wednesday, or something funny like that, that Emma came up with! Ha. Well anyway, speaking of Emma, she has asked me to write this week’s blog. I think I am up to the task, but y'all can be the judge. 

 

So, for a completely non-photography related topic, today we will discuss one of the other loves of my life, Green Chile. Don’t worry, Jesus, my hubby, my bebe on the way, Disney, cooking and of obviously photography are still right up there at the top. BUT, since it was just August, the month of the most magical roasted chile smells, we shall talk New Mexican - and, just in case you forgot, that is the neighboring state to the left of us here in the big T… and no, a passport nor pesos are required to visit, just an empty stomach. 

 

New Mexico, “The Land of Enchantment” - yes, folks, that is my home states’ motto, and one can only conclude they must simply be talking about the food… for I am afraid there is little enchanting about the rest. 

 

So, New Mexican cuisine is most commonly famous for its green chile. Did you know there is a whole article written out there to inform you on the best route to take state-wide to find the “Best Green Chile Cheeseburgers”? 

 

Green chile isn't just for enchiladas, it is for EVERYTHING. Do you remember the line in Forest Gump where Bubba is talking about his shrimping venture? Well Bubba says this:

“Anyway, like I was sayin', shrimp is the fruit of the sea. You can barbecue it, boil it, broil it, bake it, saute it. There's uh, shrimp-kabobs, shrimp creole, shrimp gumbo. Pan fried, deep fried, stir-fried. There's pineapple shrimp, lemon shrimp, coconut shrimp, pepper shrimp, shrimp soup, shrimp stew, shrimp salad, shrimp and potatoes, shrimp burger, shrimp sandwich. That- that's about it.” 

 

Sara says this:

Green chile is the food of the southwest. It tops everything… burgers, sandwiches, crackers and cheese. It adds delight to cream dips, cheese dips, salsa, and hot sauce. It goes into enchiladas, salads, stews, and soups. You can stuff it, fry it, casserole it. You can wrap in bacon,  can add it to your bacon and eggs in the morning. I make my Thanksgiving dressing with green chile, my cranberry sauce with green chile, and chile relleno casserole as a side on Thanskgiving.

Green. Chile. Is. Life. 

What the heck is it though? Is it umm like a bell pepper, or like ummmmm on of those Jal-A-Penos (Jowl-a-pee-knows)? 

No, sort of, not really, but maybe. 

Green Chile is grown all over New Mexico, but most likely here in Texas, you have heard of Hatch Green Chile, which comes from a town in Southern New Mexico, called…Hatch. Each August, HEB/Central Market and several other places and restaurants feature this delectable pepper. At HEB and Central market you may have even gotten the sweet waft of roasting chile as they fire it up in one of the special roasters. 

Green chile has a skin like a bell pepper, and can pack the heat like a jalapeño, although usually you are given a choice when purchasing if you want mild or hot green chile. Mild is good for the Texans - you need to work your way up to hot… (we already sweat enough in Houston as is). It has a distinct and earthy flavor - I even like to throw some on the grill, char and peel off the skin and then just eat like that, with a sprinkle of salt…. so I guess you can even eat green chile plain. 

 

You can really only get fresh green chile here in Texas during the early to mid part of August. Each year, I myself, head to HEB, talk to my fav produce man and get between 25-50lbs to take home and freeze. Then, I don't have to concern myself with whether or not I will have enough for all the stated things above that I like to eat on a fairly regular basis. HOWEVER, do not fret, I have learned the HEB (at least the one in Sugar Land) carries frozen Bueno chopped green chile (but only in the hot - so beware) just in case you are in a pinch. Or, I suppose, you could always buy it canned, but, let’s be honest, it sucks. Costco does also carry some 505 brand in a jar, which is better than the canned, but still far in-superior to the frozen or fresh. 

 

Mmmm, I might add, at this moment, 9:23PM on a Tuesday evening, my stomach is now officially growling and my mouth salivating from all this green chile talk.

What should I do about that? I do have some Green Chile Pasole that I made last week in my fridge that I could eat, or instead, maybe I will just share with you some of my favorite green chile recipes and photos.

When you go to the store and buy fresh roasted chiles, they come (if you are a normal person, not buying 10000000 lbs) in a little container. When you eat them, now or later, you will need to removed the charred skin. Unless you are eating a green chile freshly chopped (which is also delicious, like a jalapeño or bell pepper), you will want to roast it or have it roasted and then remove the skin... 

 

 

From here you can do many of the items mentioned... although topping a cheeseburger is amongst my favorite! 

If they are hot chiles, you will, like when chopping a jalapeño, make sure to remove the seeds and WASH your hands well afterwards (avoiding touching your face and eyes, ouch!)

When storing them in the freezer you can do it a couple of ways - I like to do a combination. I will lay 5-10 chiles flat in a quart-sized bag, and then freeze them flat, so they are easy to break off later, a few at a time (we shall not waste green chile). I also like to puree some in my blender and freeze in 1-2 cup amounts, also flat in a quart bag, for things like green chile, soups, dips etc. Finally, I also like to roughly chop some chile, also storing in 1-2 cup amounts, for things where I like the chile to be more pronounced... pasole, enchiladas etc. With all of it, I freeze flat and it should last at least a year in the freezer. Once unfrozen, do not re-freeze. 

 

Recently some of my dearest friends came over, and I taught them how to make Green Chile Pasole and Red Chile (another day, folks) Carne Adovada. 

In New Mexico, we often get asked the question, "Red or Green?" And my response, like many amazing people I know is this, "Christmas" because some of my favorite things in this world, combine the use of both, red AND green chile! Here is a photo of the green chile pasole next to some red chile I made the next day...

 

Well that is it for now, you are saying "phew, that WAS wordy for a Wednesday," but I had to share about one of my most favorite things so you would try it for yourself! 

Love y'all! 

Sara

-------- Here is a recipe for Green Chile Pasole, a delicious soup with pork, green chile, and hominy, NOM -------------

BUT, I have to say, I have always made this to taste, so if you have questions, let me know, hahahhahhah

 

Green Chile Stew or Pasole - My Dad's Way! 

This is great for a stew, and also over sopas, cheese fries, yum! 

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 pack Pack of Bacon
  • 1 Lb of ground pork
  • 2/3 lbs of pork of your choice (chops, tenderloin etc.) cubed (you do this part at home)
  • 1 Yellow Onion, chopped
  • 5-6 cloves of garlic chopped
  • 1/4 c Flour
  • 3 Cups of Green Chile (maybe 4)
  • 32-48 oz oz of low sodium Chicken Broth 
  • 1 cap full of kitchen bouquet 
  • 1 large can of yellow hominy (optional) 
  • Cumin 
  • Oregano 
  • Dried basil 
  • Salt and pepper 

How to Make:

  • Chop up the bacon into small chunks and cook up in a heavy bottom large stock pot. Scoop out and set aside, leaving grease in pan. 
  • Also, in another pan, cook up the ground pork, scoop out, and get rid of grease. 
  • Chop garlic add to bacon grease along with onion. Take your chunks of pork and cook them with the bacon grease and garlic and onion. Just searing them. 
  • Push over to the side, and add about 1/4 c of flour to the grease and whisk it up. 
  • Add ground pork, the bacon and pour in 32 oz of broth. You will want to cover by 1-2 inches over meats. 
  • Season with 1TB of each - Cumin, Oregano and basil and 1 cap full of kitchen bouquet.
  • Simmer about half hour
  • Add 3-4 cups of green chile. If using hot, use half hot half mild, or if you like it spicy 3/4 hot. 
  • Simmer again for another half hour. 

Serve in a bowl with tortillas for dipping. You can top with sour cream, cheese, onions, radishes and cilantro. Or if you haven't added the hominy, serve over fried potatoes... or if you are like me, next to some red chile! 

 

Bonus! 

 

Green Chile Sauce

This is sauce for enchiladas or burritos or anything delicious that should be smothered in green chile sauce. NOM!

Ingredients: 

 

  • Bacon Grease - Lard - Oil 
  • 1-3 Cups of Green chile 
  • 1/2 to 1 C of Flour 
  • 1 Onion 
  • 5-6 Cloves of Garlic (you know by now, how much I LAHV the garlic) 
  • 32 oz of chicken broth

 

How to Make:

You will make a roux…

Take 1/2 cup of bacon grease with a few table spoons of oil and heat in pan. Heat it up, and add your garlic and onion (finely chopped) and sauté until beginning to brown. 

Turn heat down to low. 

Add 1/2 cup of flour to mixture and using a whisk stir in. It should be thick but not super clumpy. You want to make a paste, letting the flour brown for about 1 minute while stirring. 

Now, add your broth, one cup at a time, whisking to incorporate. Add about half of the broth, and you will want it to be the consistency of a good gravy. You may not add the whole 32 oz, you may, depending on how thick your flour mix was. 

Now add your green chile. If it is HOT I would only add 1-1.5 cups, if mild, 2 cups. let that cook for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. 

Add salt to taste, you can add more green chile if you want more. 

At this time, sprinkle some oregano, pepper, and cumin in for taste. 

**Everything is to taste

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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(Sara Stanley Photography) https://sarastanleyphotos.com/blog/2018/9/green-chile-palooza Wed, 12 Sep 2018 04:16:47 GMT
Post-Worthy | Editing Your iPhone Photos https://sarastanleyphotos.com/blog/2018/9/post-worthy-editing-your-iphone-photos Happy Wednesday, SSP family! 

We’re back this week from a wonderfully relaxing long weekend with our families. Sara’s family gathered to celebrate baby Katherine coming in October, and my family gathered to celebrate my cousin’s baby coming in just a few short weeks! 

At the baby shower this weekend, I brought my big camera and took the “nice pictures” while many of the guests there made the exact comments I usually hear -  they struggle to take decent pictures on their phones, let alone attempting to use a real camera, so they’re really glad I’m there to the pictures so they don’t have to. I hear this a lot from our clients and from people who see us out with our cameras - taking decent pictures on their phones is just not their forte. Usually, when I hear that, I think to myself, “but it’s SO easy! Especially with the built in editing tools!” When I do actually voice that out loud, the response is often the same: “built in editing tools?”. YES! 

You can use your phone to take great pictures, even if your phone is stuck in the dark ages like mine! My phone doesn’t do portrait mode…GASP! Not only have Facebook and Instragram now incorporated photo editing tools beyond just adding a filter, but your phone has always had built in editing tools. If you didn’t know they were there, they are easy to miss, but knowing they are there is only step one. 

Step 1select your photo
Let’s try this together: dig through your camera roll and find a picture you would like to post or print, and we’ll walk through the editing steps. Today, I’m picking a picture of my mom and one of her best friends with the birthday present my mom gave her. It was shot indoors with very warm overhead lighting, so there are unflattering shadows on their faces. It’s also a little off center (pretty sure I was holding a dog and a can of La Croix while shooting this. It’s safe to say I’m almost always holding a dog and a can of bubbly water). There are also lots of bright colors and and a brightly lit chandelier behind them. For my personal preference, I want to correct the shadows on their faces, bring them to the center of the photo, and try to better blend the bright colors in the image with the tone of the photo.  Step 2The Magic Wand

 

Step 1: Find your photo

Do you have your photo ready? Great! Look in the upper right hand corner. Do you see the word ‘Edit’? Click that!

Step 2: The Magic Wand

You should see lots of options surrounding your picture. What looks like a magic wand in the top right is exactly that! If you touch that, it will retouch your photo in what your phone assumes is the best edits. Go ahead and try it! See if you like it. It does not crop or straighten your picture, but it will adjust light, color temperature, and overall brightness. If you don’t like it (in my case, it made my picture even brighter and very golden…not what I want), just touch the magic wand again to return it to the original. 

 

Step 3Cropping Step 3: Crop your picture

Next to the word ‘Cancel’, you should see a square with some arrows. This section contains all your cropping, straightening, and flipping options. Go ahead and click it! When you do, it will automatically suggest a angle to straighten it to. You can keep it, manually straighten it yourself by using one finger to rotate that dial on the bottom, or you can hit ‘reset’ to go to the original picture. For my picture, I want to manually straighten it and crop it so the subjects are in the center of my picture. You can also change the dimensions of the picture by using the selection on the bottom right (grey and white squares and rectangles) or flip the image around 90 degrees at a time by using the using the square with one arrow above it at the bottom left. Your phone saves each step as you go, so wait to hit “Done” until you are completely finished!

 

Step 4: Color Temperature Step 4Color Temperature

Next to the cropping setting, you should see 3 grey-scaled circles overlapping. If you touch that button, you’ll see a variety of options for adjusting the temperature of your picture. These look like filters, but they are not. They can warm up or cool down your picture, add contrast, or change it to a black and white photo. Click through these and see if you like any of the temperature changes. Your phone will have functioned as a camera in auto when it took the picture, meaning it will have done its best to match the lighting that was naturally occurring in that moment. When we encounter harsh or unflattering lighting, that’s when to look through these options to see if the change in temperature helps. For my photo, the temperature is fine, and I am going to leave it on original. 

 

Step 5Lighting and Contrast
Step 5: Light and Contrast

Next to the color temperature tab is a tab that looks like a dial or timer. Selecting this one takes you to three option categories: Light, Color, and B&W (black and white). Let’s start with light. 

 

  • Light: for my personal taste, I’m going to stick with adjustments through the Exposure, Highlights, and Shadows tabs. The names of each tab are pretty self-explanatory, so play around with them and see what adjustments you like best. The first thing I’m going to do is increase my exposure until I am happy with the overall luminance of the image. I didn’t have to increase mine much - just .3 overall. Adjusting the highlights helps (literally) highlight details that may have gotten washed out by the light. For this photo, I’m not going
    to adjust my highlights, but I did play with the highlights to make sure I didn’t want ti adjust. Onto Shadows, I am going to
    increase the dial to decrease the shadows. Again, for this picture, it only needs a minor shadow adjustment, just under .3 for my taste. 
    This helps eliminate some of the harsh shadows cast over their faces by standing directly under overhead lighting. 

  • Color: Under the color tab, there are several options to play with. If you want to create a darker and moodier style of photo, you can increase/decrease the saturation (depends on your desired end result) and increase the contrast. For this photo, I’m not going to do that because I want it to look bright and cheery. 

 

  • B&W: Again, play around with these! You can add the appearance of film grain and increase the contrast with black and white to see which you like the most. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Step 6: DONE!  Done!

Clicking done automatically saves your changes and takes you back to the photo in your photos app. You will always have the option to revert your photo back to the original or cancel and discard changes as you go. 

 

I’m happy with my end result! It’s brighter, the shadows are lifted off their faces, and the colors are better blended. Most importantly, I’m happy enough with this to post it knowing my subjects will appreciate the adjustments I made. It takes some practice and patience to get this photo editing system down, but I hope this encourages you to be more confident that when you take pictures, you can take pictures that you can change, adjust, and fix to your liking! 

 

Happy editing, mommas! 

 

- Emma

 

 

 

 

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(Sara Stanley Photography) https://sarastanleyphotos.com/blog/2018/9/post-worthy-editing-your-iphone-photos Wed, 05 Sep 2018 20:45:26 GMT
Capturing the Milestones | A Sitter Session or a Portrait Session https://sarastanleyphotos.com/blog/2018/8/capturing-the-milestones-a-sitter-session-or-a-portrait-session     We’re big fans of Ferris Bueller at our house - it’s got your funny moments, your serious moments, and it’s the only reason why we know the words to the Wayne Newton version of Danke Schoen. What is likely the most famous quote to come from that movie happens when Ferris is preparing to head out on his big day off, and he says directly to the audience: 

 

“Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.”

 

    That movie came out 32 years ago, and that quote is still printed all over t-shirts, mugs, stickers, and inspirational instagram posts. I would even bet there are many people who love that quote that don’t even know where it came from. Nevertheless, it’s a silly movie that makes a good point - life does move fast. How often do you have those “oh that was a year ago…oh my gosh that was like 5 years ago!!” realizations? Sometimes ‘fast’ feels like an understatement…

    While we don’t posses the ability to stop time, we do posses the ability to slow it down - well, kind of. In the first year of your child’s life, you will probably take 50 million pictures (exact estimate from expert statisticians). This is why we love milestone sessions and why we’ve created several different options for capturing your child’s first year of life. In between the newborn session and the first birthday session, we have a sitter session. Sitter sessions are often my favorite sessions because it’s such a simple session that produces such beautiful images. 

    A sitter session is typically done between 6 and 9 months when your child is sitting up and interactive, but not quite mobile yet. These sessions focus on just the baby with minimal additional props and a very simple, natural setting. It’s fun to bring along a favorite blanky or stuffed toy, and we’ve built in time for one outfit change. At only 20 minutes, it’s a quick session, but it captures such great images of your sweet child’s personality at play. The final product is about 10 hand-edited images that you can print, post, put into an album, and, most importantly, gift to the grandparents! 

    This phase of your child’s life is also the perfect time for a family session. In fact, we often get asked if mom and dad and brother and sister can jump in on the sitter session - of course! It’s a family portrait session! This is such a fun age to capture in any capacity, but it’s especially fun when you know that they love to laugh at Daddy, kiss on Mommy, or play with big brother or sister. The family sessions are a little longer to accommodate more poses and settings, but they are still very natural and candid. Just like the sitter session, there can be an outfit change, a sentimental prop, and we’ll even capture a few of just mom and dad!

    The purpose of both of these sessions is to capture the personality of your family, and ultimately, slow down time. When you hang these photos in your home, we want you to look at them every time and go back to that moment where your baby was still your baby. Life does move fast, but with these milestone sessions, you don’t have to miss a thing. 

    

- Emma

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(Sara Stanley Photography) baby girl family family session houston houston newborn photographer milestone photography Sara Stanley sitter session texas newborn photographer https://sarastanleyphotos.com/blog/2018/8/capturing-the-milestones-a-sitter-session-or-a-portrait-session Wed, 22 Aug 2018 11:30:00 GMT
Fall Family Outfit Guide 2018 https://sarastanleyphotos.com/blog/2018/8/fall-family-outfit-guide-2018 Fall Family Portrait Outfit Guide

 

Happy Wednesday, SSP Family! 


We’re deep in the throws of booking and planning fall family shoots, and I just had one of those moments of panic where you realize September is only NINE DAYS AWAY! Sheesh. It feels like we just wrapped up bluebonnet sessions and now here we are trying to figure out how to add more time with Santa…

Nevertheless, it’s time to start preparing for fall (or as Texans call it, “football season” - what is this fall you speak of?!). Our favorite retailers have released their fall lines, and Hobby Lobby is already decked out for Christmas. It feels so wrong to walk through Hobby Lobby packing my cart with cute pumpkins and Christmas wreath making supplies when it’s still literally 100 degrees outside. As fall decor enthusiasts, we embrace the irony, wipe our sweat, and keep on perusing the ornaments! 

The emails are beginning to trickle in asking the same question - what do we wear for our fall family photos? Rather than responding to each individually, we’ve compiled our recommendations for fall family coordinating outfit choices onto a Pinterest board to help guide you and hopefully put your worries at ease! We also feel very honored *and a little nervous* that you trust us in helping you make these decisions (side note: once upon a time, my very favorite outfit in the whole wide world was a Lion King leotard with neon spandex shorts and some red cowboy boots. I would have happily worn that for family portraits. We’ve come a long way here, people. My mom is so proud). We’ll continue to add pins as we get inspired, and you’re always welcome to send pins our way if you find something that inspires you! 

 

 

Without further ado, here is our recommended fall outfit round-up! Clicking that sentence will take you to a Pinterest board we’ve created to help guide your shopping and searching for the right color coordination for your family. With Labor Day quickly approaching (again, where the heck did August go!?), there are lots of sales coming up! Old Navy and Gap tend to run really good sales and will have options for every member of the family that coordinate. 

 

Other helpful tips:

For most of the locations we shoot at, family photos will be shot both sitting and standing. Make sure your jeans are stretchy enough to sit or side squat (dad, too!) and your skirt will cooperate as you move. 

Beyond that, make sure that your outfit choice is both comfortable and something you feel confident in. Feeling good about what you are wearing makes a big difference in how you carry yourself throughout the shoot. SSP likes the more relaxed and natural poses, and feeling good helps convey that in the photos!

Have everyone try their outfits on a week in advance!! It’s really tempting to buy up the cute fall clothes during the Back to School and Labor Day sales, but kids grow like weeds! If your session later in October or November, your kids might outgrow their outfits. Likewise, if you bought them a size too big hoping they’ll grow into it, sometimes they don’t! Trying them on a week ahead of time ensures that you aren’t scrambling the day of to find new outfits. 

Bring backups! Whether it’s spit up, coffee, snacks, or mud, having a back up top for everyone is key! Fall shoots are packed in tight, and it’s harder to reschedule if someone has a wardrobe malfunction. Come prepared to re-robe if a wardrobe malfunction occurs!

Practice with your kids ahead of time! If doing a photo session like this is a first for your kids or if they tend to resist posing and cheesing for the camera, practice! Get your phone or camera out, practice smiling, practice sitting with good posture, practice cheek kisses, etc. Practice may not make perfect, but it certainly helps the session be a success!

Lastly, plan something fun to do after your session! Everyone will look amazing - don’t waste it! Go out to eat somewhere special or go on a fun family outing. You’ve already gotten everyone up, dressed, and out the door, so you might as well!

-- Emma

 

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(Sara Stanley Photography) https://sarastanleyphotos.com/blog/2018/8/fall-family-outfit-guide-2018 Tue, 21 Aug 2018 18:24:51 GMT
From Facebook Wall to Gallery Wall | Ordering Printed Images https://sarastanleyphotos.com/blog/2018/8/test  

    In the age of digital photography and social media, Facebook has become for us what old shoeboxes were to our parents growing up - a place to store the photos that we want to keep, but don’t know what to do with. Even as a photographer, I am personally very guilty of this! I have so many beautiful photos buried in the archives of social media, yet the walls of my home are disappointingly blank. Not too long ago, we were feeling very convicted of this at my house, and we got on Amazon and ordered 22 picture frames. Two days later, they arrived, and now they sit and await the day they will be filled with 22 pictures from the years gone by. We’ve challenged ourselves to have this done by the end of this month, so let's see what we can do in the next two weeks! It’s hard it is to narrow down everything we’ve done, everywhere we’ve been, and everything we’ve captured into 22 frames. I already want to order another 100 more (my sweet husband reminded me that I cannot order more frames until I’ve filled the first 22)!

 

    At SSP, we really believe that the work we do leaves a lasting impression. I think about all the photos all over my grandparents home from 60 years of marriage, kids, and grandkids, and how every picture tells a story. With every picture, someone also has a story to tell - who made that dress, how many grandkids wore those same boots, how that was the ONLY picture the baby smiled for…these stories are so precious in the home where the photos are hung. They are there to remind us of the moments that, although we may never have them again, we can see them anytime we want. This is why we really believe in what we do.

 

    We want to make sure every session we shoot produces images that you want to print and hang in your home, but we also want to make sure you actually print and hang them in your home. This is why many of the larger sessions come with print credits - because we mean it! We want your home to become the home whose walls tell the story of your people through time. We also want to ensure that your prints and other photo products are the highest quality available. Whether you prefer prints to be framed, wrapped canvas, books, or other unique products, we can help you select the right images from your session to bring home with you. 

    Looking back the thousands of photos we have of our lives, it reminds me just how blessed we are to live in the age of digital photography. Even though most of our photos will remain in the depths of social media until Kingdom come, we at least have pictures of EVERYTHING. I’m currently sitting at my computer trying to cut about 40 photos down to 22 - choosing photos to print was difficult to narrow down, not difficult to come by. I’m so grateful for that! I’m also really grateful that SSP works with an incredible printer that will overnight photos right to your door :) 

 

- Emma

 

 

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(Sara Stanley Photography) digital photography family houston houston newborn photographer photography print prints Sara Stanley texas newborn photographer https://sarastanleyphotos.com/blog/2018/8/test Wed, 15 Aug 2018 11:30:00 GMT
Friday Introductions | Welcome, Emma! SSP's New Associate Photographer https://sarastanleyphotos.com/blog/2018/8/friday-introductions-welcome-emma-ssps-new-associate-photographer Y’all, this has been a HUGE year for SSP. Each year, I think to myself, what’s next, how will SSP grow this year? 

 

    Back in January, I began to dream of an even bigger future for SSP - a future that included not only a growing business, but a growing team. With lots of prayer, insight from others who have paved the way, and the reconnection to the perfect person, SSP was on its way to adding another member to the team. I couldn’t be more thrilled with who God put in our path. Many of you have met her, or have at least have seen her face. I’d love to formally introduce you to Emma Knowles, here is her story…

 

Howdy! My name is Emma, and, no, I’m not named after Rachel’s baby from Friends. I’m a lover of people, coffee, my family, and great photos. After receiving my degree in Recreation from Texas A&M in 2013 (I am about making life FUN, y’all!), I came back to Houston to marry my college sweetheart and started my teaching career. Every summer and Christmas break off, we would load up and travel to different parts of the country with friends, family, our dogs, and my trusty Nikon DSLR. Our pictures of our life together are some of our dearest treasures.

 

Over time, being “the girl with the camera” morphed into a more serious thing. Our friends and family would ask me to bring my camera and capture faces and places that meant a lot to them, and it meant a lot to me that they trusted me with those precious moments. Not only did I love the process of capturing these photos, seeing the way they treasure these images made my heart swell more than anything I’d done for work before. Through their encouragement, I decided to pursue photography at the next level. I upgraded my equipment, started taking a few classes, and that’s when I reached out to Sara to pick her brain about the business side of photography…and here we are today! I’ll fill in the dot dot dot below. 

 

As an extrovert through and through, my energy comes from being around people - so far, that’s my favorite part of this work! It is also tough for this extrovert heart to sit down and write this all down when I’d so much rather be sitting with you at a coffee shop or out on a shoot talking. In fact, I think the first time Sara and I reconnected earlier this year, we planned on meeting for an hour, and it turned into somewhere closer to a 3-hour chat. Story of my life! Speaking of, I will do my best to keep the story of my life pretty quick - I am a 3-hour chatter, after all!

 

Personal Life: My husband, Logan, and I live on the west side of Houston with our two fur-babies, Bronco and Laney. Logan is an environmental scientist (which involves really cool things like being a certified endangered species toad handler for the state of Texas), and he’s currently half-way done with his master’s degree in water resource management. We met our sophomore year at Texas A&M, bonded over the fact that he had never seen an episode of The Office and I basically live my life in terms of The Office quotes. We’ve been inseparable since the day we met! I also have the best family     in the entire world - we’re all 100% extroverts, so no conversation ever gets finished and nothing really ever gets done, but we have a great time doing it!

    

Past Life: My husband and I are both born and raised in Houston. Our parents live about 2 miles from each other in the homes we both grew up in, but we never met prior to college. After graduating from Texas A&M, I began teaching high school Psychology and coaching high school swim team in Spring Branch. In my time off between semesters, all I wanted to do was travel with my camera. My camera hasn’t made it over international waters yet, but that’s next on the bucket list! 

 

Present Life: With my husband being in grad school in College Station while still working full-time in Houston and me working as a teacher and a coach, we realized something major needed to change about our schedules. We prayed and thought long and hard about our options and came to the conclusion that my schedule was going to have to be the one to give (didn’t have to say that twice!). We also knew this meant that God was going to have to provide in a major way. Looking at all the possible options available to us, I kept feeling very drawn toward starting my own photography business. Knowing what a huge and risky undertaking this would be, I started be reaching out to a few photographer friends who all had the same suggestion: don’t quit your day job. I had plenty of time to work on my skills and build a business before I would need to quit my day job, so I continued moving forward. 

 

 

 

Sara was my next person to contact. Sara and I had met and worked together very briefly right as I was graduating college and she was headed to seminary, so it had been a while since we had last talked. I was pleasantly surprised when she graciously responded to my message with an invitation to come to her studio to meet in person. When we met, she talked to me about how she had been praying through hiring a photographer to help grow her business as her business had become bigger than she could manage alone. We went through my portfolio, we made a plan to help me grow my skills, and I started shadowing her. With every single step we took forward in this process, God made it abundantly clear that he was answering my prayer for a major career and schedule change and Sara’s prayer for growing her team right before our eyes. 

 

It’s been an incredible process so far of watching God provide, growing my skills, learning how to be new at something again, and making some major life changes. I’m forever indebted to Sara for being an incredible teacher and my family and friends for being so supportive through this whole process. With every passing day, the joy from this work reminds me that I’m right where I’m supposed to be. I can’t wait to meet all of you, and if you’d rather have a 3-hour chat, just call! 

 

    - Emma

 

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(Sara Stanley Photography) https://sarastanleyphotos.com/blog/2018/8/friday-introductions-welcome-emma-ssps-new-associate-photographer Fri, 10 Aug 2018 16:25:41 GMT
Meet our new INTERN https://sarastanleyphotos.com/blog/2018/5/meet-our-new-intern Hello everyone!

Meet our new summer intern, Madison Van Antwerp. She is going to be helping around the studio and managing all of the social media sites for Sara Stanley Photography this summer. Madison is a Junior at the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor studying public relations and marketing. This aspiring journalist is 20 years old and loves to write, be outside, and make others laugh. 

Madison was born in Tulsa, Oklahoma and lives in Cypress with her little sister Ashley and parents when not at school in Belton, Tx. Madison was one of Sara Stanley's students at Grace Presbyterian Church and had her senior photos taken by Sara in 2016. 

Summer camp has been a huge part of her life for the past 12 years. Each summer she has been in Livingston, Tx at Camp Cho-Yeh teaching kids about the love of God. Camp has allowed Madison to serve others by showing them the love of Christ and helping kids reach new heights by trying new things. 

Be sure to say hello if you see her in the studio, and be ready to click "like" for any SSP post you see on Facebook and Instagram. 

Be sure to follow us @sarastanleyphotography 

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(Sara Stanley Photography) facebook instagram photography https://sarastanleyphotos.com/blog/2018/5/meet-our-new-intern Wed, 23 May 2018 20:52:05 GMT
The Difference Between a Lifestyle and Studio Session - Sara Stanley Photography https://sarastanleyphotos.com/blog/2018/2/the-difference-between-a-lifestyle-and-studio-session---sara-stanley-photography Hi friends, 

There are many questions that I get asked over and over again - and to better answer those questions I am going to start weekly videos and blogs to help the SSP family (new and old members) get the answers. 

On tap this week, session styles...

THE QUESTION:  What is the difference between an in-home Lifestyle Session and a Full Studio Session? 

The SIMPLE Answer: Posing

For the Lifestyle Session, SSP takes a very photojournalistic approach (that can be as structured or candid as you like). Meaning, we are going to focus on you as a family in a more natural environment, your home. Photos will take place in the BEST LIT part of your house (more on this in a moment)... which might mean the master bedroom, the nursery, the living room, or even a guest room or den. The majority of the session will focus on you as a FAMILY - this may even include your first baby, the doggie or cat. Don't fret, we will get photos of your new baby alone, and photos with siblings, and parents together and individual as well. 

THE BIGGEST DIFFERENCE in these images is that I won't have a studio of stuff at my side. I will bring my camera, myself, a few wraps, and headbands/hats with me and that is pretty much it! Sometimes I will bring one prop, like a bowl or basket, for a simple prop shot, but beyond that we will focus on taking your newest little one's photos in the crib, maybe on a cute chair or poof, on the master bed, etc.; just them in their home environment. 

This is confusing sometimes because there are lots of amazing photographers (maybe you've even used one in the past) who have come to your home and brought a whole set-up - and guess what, I used to do that too! BUT since I got my new, beautiful studio, I keep the two types of sessions separate. 


STUDIO SESSIONS are where you get the squishy and naked poses, usually on a fabric backdrop, as well as different props... little beds, cradles, wreathes, unique boxes etc. I do not do any studio posing during lifestyle sessions. Now this is not to say I won't bring a wrap, which I do, and wrap them all snugly for you to cradle and hold or so we can set them somewhere cute, but they are just TWO different types of posing. 

*Below you will get to see a sampling from each type of session. 

LIGHT - Lighting is SO VERY IMPORTANT when considering whether or not to have a session in your home. NATURAL, not overhead, but lots of beautiful window light, is what makes those gorgeous lifestyle session images you see and love the most. I have worked with both situations and natural light is such a huge bonus and overhead lights really do not give off the right feel to the session - which is why I try to use them as rarely as possible. So, if your home faces the wrong direction, or is like my first home, a dark den, I suggest coming into the studio regardless. 

BUT WHAT IF I REALLY WANT THAT LIFESTYLE FEEL???? ... but have terrible in-home light? Well I have a couch, bed, crib and more in the studio to create that lifestyle feel IN studio (and LOTS of natural light and big windows). 

But what if I really, REALLY like the squishy, naked studio photos, but want photos in my nursery...with my doggie... at our home?

Well then I have the perfect combo session, The Sweet and Simple + Lifestyle Mini - you get a newborn mini and lifestyle mini. During the STUDIO portion - JUST THE BABY will be photographed, in the cute squishy poses we all adore, and then at home we will focus on the family/siblings/doggies etc.! The best of both worlds!

We have lots of different options here at SSP and we want you to have exactly the perfect kind of session for your growing family! Let us know if you have questions or want to book one of these awesome newborn collections. 

Collection information can be found HERE AND HERE

 

Joyfully, 
Sara

 

LIFESTYLE SAMPLE

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

STUDIO EXAMPLE:

 


 

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(Sara Stanley Photography) https://sarastanleyphotos.com/blog/2018/2/the-difference-between-a-lifestyle-and-studio-session---sara-stanley-photography Tue, 27 Feb 2018 05:09:56 GMT
Sara Stanley Photography is GROWING! https://sarastanleyphotos.com/blog/2018/2/sara-stanley-photography-is-growing

Hello SSP Family!

The last few years have been a whirlwind. SSP has been beyond blessed to get to photograph countless families, tiny babies, special milestones and more. This last year was undoubtably the most crazy, hard, joyful, blessed year. Sitting on my couch the Saturday of Harvey, I said to my husband that SSP was at a crossroads; we have grown so much in the past few years that I felt like something was about to happen. I did not know the path God would take us on through the fall, but what I do know is that it brought many new blessings and ideas...

SSP got a brand new, bigger and more amazing studio. We hired Kelly to do all our back office interactions (and my gracious I could NOT live without her) and now no-one is getting left behind. It cultivated and grew even more my relationships with my SSP family - the grace y'all gave during that insanity only further proved that I was meant for this amazing purpose. And finally, it gave me a view of a long future for SSP. The storm may have blown my branches, but only left SSP conditioned to weather whatever would come in the future. 

So what does all this mean? Well it means exciting news for SSP. Over the last several months I have been wrestling and making joyful discoveries about the world of possibilities for SSP. I love the family that is Sara Stanley Photography - and nothing brings me more joy than getting to be part of your lives.

With that being said, SSP has been so richly blessed by returning  AND new clients that I think it is time that we add a couple more members to the SSP Team. Kelly and I have been working hard to make sure everyone’s needs are met WHILE taking on more clients and I am blessed to say we are very close to our max. 

I am SO excited to share with you that in the coming months SSP is going to be bringing on an Associate Photographer and some SSP interns. This growth is amazing and is only going to make the SSP experience even better. I know you probably are already have a million questions (me too, ha) and over the next few months it is my goal to have you walk right alongside me in this process. I am just so grateful to each of you for allowing SSP to capture your most precious memories and nothing is more important to me than you feeling known, seen, loved and captured. 

If you have questions, let us know! We love you guys!

Sara

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(Sara Stanley Photography) https://sarastanleyphotos.com/blog/2018/2/sara-stanley-photography-is-growing Tue, 20 Feb 2018 03:43:03 GMT
HEY JULIETTE | HOUSTON NEWBORN PHOTOGRAPHY https://sarastanleyphotos.com/blog/2016/6/hey-juliette-houston-newborn-photography My oh my, Juliette Rose is just as cute as they come. We had a blast shooting pics of her in all of the different colors her mama picked out. And how fun are these summertime headbands she is wearing? One of my favorites is the picture of Juliette Rose with her big brother! 

If you are interested in booking a session with Sara Stanley Photography for 2016, now is the time to book even if you are just newly expecting. My newborn sessions start at $325 and include a minimum of 20 photos. Please email me today at sarastanleyphotos@gmail.com while session dates are still available. 

And please be sure to check out my website sarastanleyphotos.com for more information on sessions and packages, and follow me on Facebook at Facebook.com/sarastanleyphotos.

 

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(Sara Stanley Photography) baby girl houston newborn photographer newborn session sara stanley photography texas newborn photographer https://sarastanleyphotos.com/blog/2016/6/hey-juliette-houston-newborn-photography Fri, 24 Jun 2016 02:40:17 GMT
BABY BOY WESLEY | HOUSTON NEWBORN PHOTOGRAPHY https://sarastanleyphotos.com/blog/2016/6/baby-boy-wesley-houston-newborn-photography I'm so excited to share these pictures of a baby BOY newborn session! Just look at that full head of hair on baby Wesley, it's unbelievable! And that nightcap is cuteness overload! This family was so fun to work with and we got some great shots of Wesley with his momma, daddy, and big brother Wyatt. Check out the photos below of this fantastic newborn session. Thank you Martin family for letting me capture these sweet sweet moments!

If you are interested in booking a session with Sara Stanley Photography for 2016, now is the time to book even if you are just newly expecting. My newborn sessions start at $325 and include a minimum of 20 photos. Please email me today at sarastanleyphotos@gmail.com while session dates are still available. 

And please be sure to check out my website sarastanleyphotos.com for more information on sessions and packages, and follow me on Facebook at Facebook.com/sarastanleyphotos.

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(Sara Stanley Photography) Sara Stanley photography baby boy baby boy newborn session houston newborn photographer newborn session texas texas newborn photographer https://sarastanleyphotos.com/blog/2016/6/baby-boy-wesley-houston-newborn-photography Sat, 04 Jun 2016 17:42:49 GMT
PRETTY IN PINK | SWEET ELLIE | HOUSTON NEWBORN PHOTOGRAPHY https://sarastanleyphotos.com/blog/2016/6/pretty-in-pink-sweet-ellie-houston-newborn-photography Okay, I cannot get over how cute sweet Ellie is. She was one of the easiest babies to take pictures of... and did I mention that she smiles?? The first part of the session was all about Ellie, and later on her adorable big brother Chet came. You can see just by looking at these pictures that he LOVES his little sister. He was so gentle with her, and loved giving her kisses. The last part of the session was the whole family and the pictures that follow are some of my faves. 

 

Not only did I get to capture Ellie's momma before she was born for a maternity shoot, I also get to take pictures of her at her 6 month milestone and first birthday (with the option of a cake smash)! This specific package is called "The First Year" and for $650 you get all of the sessions above! I love getting to experience such important moments with my families. These are photos that will be cherished forever. If you are interested in booking a session with Sara Stanley Photography for 2016, now is the time to book even if you are just newly expecting. My newborn sessions start at $325 and include a minimum of 20 photos. Please email me today at sarastanleyphotos@gmail.com while session dates are still available. 

 

And please be sure to check out my website sarastanleyphotos.com for more information on sessions and packages, and follow me on Facebook at Facebook.com/sarastanleyphotos.

I love getting to experience such important moments with my families. These are photos that will be cherished forever. If you are interested in booking a session with Sara Stanley Photography for 2016, now is the time to book even if you are just newly expecting. My newborn sessions start at $325 and include a minimum of 20 photos. Please email me today at sarastanleyphotos@gmail.com while session dates are still available. 

 

Be sure to check out my website sarastanleyphotos.com for more information on sessions and packages, and follow me on Facebook at Sara Stanley Photography.

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(Sara Stanley Photography) Ellie Ellie Sage Sara Stanley baby baby girl family girl houston sibling https://sarastanleyphotos.com/blog/2016/6/pretty-in-pink-sweet-ellie-houston-newborn-photography Fri, 03 Jun 2016 04:32:16 GMT
NEW BABY GIRL {AOIFE} | HOUSTON NEWBORN PHOTOGRAPHY https://sarastanleyphotos.com/blog/2016/5/new-baby-girl-aoifa-houston-newborn-photography 5.31.2016

What a joy it was to shoot baby Aoife and her precious family. For those of you who don't know, Aoife is an Irish name pronounced (EE-fa), as I learned this week. Just look at that cute little face on my latest little newborn in my studio. She is so gorgeous and was such an easy baby for our session. Thank you for the wonderful session McMeekin family! 

If you are interested in booking a session with Sara Stanley Photography for 2016, now is the time to book even if you are just newly expecting. My newborn sessions start at $325 and include a minimum of 20 photos. Please email me today at sarastanleyphotos@gmail.com while session dates are still available. 

Be sure to check out my website sarastanleyphotos.com for more information on sessions and packages, and follow me on Facebook at Sara Stanley Photography.

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(Sara Stanley Photography) Aiofe Sara Stanley baby baby girl family girl houston newborn photography https://sarastanleyphotos.com/blog/2016/5/new-baby-girl-aoifa-houston-newborn-photography Wed, 01 Jun 2016 02:04:05 GMT
Brook Brezina | Senior Photos | 2016 https://sarastanleyphotos.com/blog/2016/1/brook-brezina-senior-photos-2016 When I first moved to Houston (to be a Youth Pastor at Grace Presbyterian Church) I met the sweetest bunch of 6th grade girls. Since that day oh so long ago, I have watched these girls transform into such awesome, caring, loving young women. It is now their senior year and before long they will each be heading off to college (tear, sniff, more tears). SO this week I had the absolute privilege of photographing one of those young ladies, Brooke. She has also agreed to be one of Sara Stanley Photography's Senior Reps - YAY! I couldn't be more proud of who she is, where her future is headed and how God is going to use her in the next stage of her life! 

Ladies and Gentlemen, Brooke Brezina!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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(Sara Stanley Photography) https://sarastanleyphotos.com/blog/2016/1/brook-brezina-senior-photos-2016 Sat, 16 Jan 2016 23:15:59 GMT
The McSpadden Family & Ministry | Newborn Lifestyle | Houston, Texas https://sarastanleyphotos.com/blog/2016/1/the-mcspadden-family-ministry-newborn-lifestyle-houston-texas Everyday, seriously every single day, I become more and more grateful for the job that I get to do. I never, ever in a million years would have thought that this is where I would be. I did youth ministry for what seemed like forever - ok just like 8 or 9 years - and for the longest time I just knew I was going to work in church ministry or something close to it. Shoot (no pun intended) I even went to The Bible Seminary and earned an M.Div..

For all this I too am truly grateful... 

Last spring however, I kept asking God, "What is my next adventure?" And He BOLDY kept me walking through and opening this photography door. Now, I have had guilt over this whole becoming a tog thing, because I have spent so much time and effort (and money - not even my own) pursing what I thought was a life of church/program ministry, and now, to be doing mostly photography, just seems kind of surreal. 

But.. and it is a BIG BUT... hehe. I sure do make myself laugh. (I am really lame folks, really lame). 

But I think ministry can be part of what I do each time I meet a family, hold a baby, pinch the cheeks of a toddler, and visit the hospital to photograph children in the NICU. 

When I spend time with my Sara Stanley Photography families, and I mean spend time with them (newborn shoots have lasted as long as 6 hours before) I get to know them. I meet them in this personal, intimate space, of new and existing life... and it is absolutely glorious. We talk about hopes, and dreams, and life before babies. We talk about Jesus and love, and everything in between. It is simply precious, and I am SO grateful for it. Yes, sometimes there is lots of poo, crying and tears but then there is also taking breaks, cuddling on the couch with a sweet sibling to watch Frozen while mama feeds. 

Ministry is spending life with people. It is. It doesn't always have to be about the program of excellence or sitting in a pew on Sunday - it can be just this, loving people, getting to know them, and sharing life together. That is what Jesus did. 

Anyway, I ramble - but my point is and I got to thinking about all of as I uploaded these photos of sweet 4 pound Sarah and her wonderful family. I got to spend four-ish hours in the McSpadden home last Friday and it was perfect. We chatted, I got to know them, and them me and we shared life together for a little while. I want to be in their lives, not just because they call me to photograph their family, but because they are awesome and I got to not just photograph them, but GET TO KNOW THEM. 

I don't know what your job is, but mine is amazing. 

Thank you families for allowing me to be part of your life! 

Without any further rambling - here are a few of my faves from our session! 

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(Sara Stanley Photography) https://sarastanleyphotos.com/blog/2016/1/the-mcspadden-family-ministry-newborn-lifestyle-houston-texas Fri, 15 Jan 2016 05:25:27 GMT
Barton Bump! https://sarastanleyphotos.com/blog/2015/4/barton-bump Awwwwwww it is baby boy season! I had the opportunity to photograph the Barton's baby bump... we missed the rain and got some great shots of the Houston skyline! Such a lovely couple and I can't wait to meet baby Charles! 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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(Sara Stanley Photography) https://sarastanleyphotos.com/blog/2015/4/barton-bump Mon, 20 Apr 2015 03:39:14 GMT
It's all about that baby, bout that baby, bout that baby - and the bump! https://sarastanleyphotos.com/blog/2015/3/its-all-about-that-baby-bout-that-baby-bout-that-baby---and-the-bump My goodness the last month has been wonderful! I have been given the absolute privilege to capture some of the most precious moments yet in my photography career. About 8 weeks ago I set out to start a new adventure, Newborn Photography - and my oh my let me tell you it HAS been a crazy and amazing ride! 

I have gotten to snuggle the most adorbs new babies, I have been allowed to share in the special new time that happens when you bring your first child home, I have been peed on - hehe, I have sweated it out like a prize fighter (as babies like it warm in their house), I've learned the art of the "shhhhhhshhhhhshhhhhh" and been to Hobby Lobby for new props and cute fabrics about 20 times! 

Even though I have learned a lot, I know there is still much to learn. But for now what I know is this...I AM GRATEFUL.  Grateful to have the hours it takes to capture the perfect moments, grateful for the graciousness and patience of new parents, and grateful for the opportunity to capture a memory for this most priceless time in a child's life. 

Here is a snapshot of the last month! Enjoy! 

Baby Kaleigh Grace is almost here!

Oh my goodness, TWINS!

 

This precious family! Melt oh melt your heart - 10 Days Old! The only PRINCESS yet - and she is already a model! Baby Duke - My first NB Shoot!

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(Sara Stanley Photography) https://sarastanleyphotos.com/blog/2015/3/its-all-about-that-baby-bout-that-baby-bout-that-baby---and-the-bump Fri, 27 Mar 2015 05:31:00 GMT
Recent Family Favorites! https://sarastanleyphotos.com/blog/2014/12/recent-family-favorites Sweet Maroon with the Owens Family! Russo Fam and their backyard shoot! Rex...What a little ham! The B Ranch Fam! Such beautiful lighting! The B Ranch Fam! Such beautiful lighting! The B Ranch Fam! Such beautiful lighting! The Twins at MDUMC Bird Sanctuary!

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(Sara Stanley Photography) https://sarastanleyphotos.com/blog/2014/12/recent-family-favorites Fri, 05 Dec 2014 03:59:29 GMT
Fall Family Time https://sarastanleyphotos.com/blog/2014/10/fall-family-time That's right, it is that time - fall! Which means photos, photos, photos! Below is a bit from my latest shoot... so cute. I love the blue!

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(Sara Stanley Photography) https://sarastanleyphotos.com/blog/2014/10/fall-family-time Tue, 21 Oct 2014 14:04:31 GMT