My mother is a super cool lady for many reasons, but a few of the many reasons I admire her is that she has always been a dedicated mother to three children while also being a very hard worker in her chosen field, as well as something of a pioneer for women in law back in the 1970’s. She was one of only 15 women to graduate in her Mizzou law school class of 150 students (Class of 1977), and she was the first female sole practitioner in Jefferson County, Missouri when she started her law practice. She’s always supported me in everything I do, so when she recently began a redesign of her law practice website, I was happy to have the chance to support her in return. She is using a handful of my fine art photography in the banner of her website (mostly from the Shaw Nature Reserve images that I took), and I also had the opportunity to do a portrait of her on the steps of a beautiful St. Louis courthouse. So here is the image she chose for her website. What a classy, beautiful mother I have- plus if you can’t tell from the picture, she’s a killer lawyer. I’d hire her. :)
Last Sunday I did an engagement session with couple Melanie and Karlos in charming, historic St. Charles. They brought their adorable (and amazingly sweet and cooperative!) son Mason along, and we included him in some of the pictures. I was feeling a little bit blah about the weather earlier in the day, but it cleared up and turned into a beautiful afternoon. I had a fantastic time exploring Main Street with them, finding really cool spots, and enjoying both the fall foliage and the newly hung Christmas decorations. We also walked down by the train tracks and old train depot (Mason loves trains!), and then found the coolest spot along the Mississippi with dried, cracked mud along the riverbed. I had a lot of fun with my gorgeous models AND the beautiful light and awesome locations, so I just didn’t want the session to end! I can’t wait to photograph their wedding in March. :) We got so many fantastic images on Sunday- here are just a few of my favorites!
I am getting super attached to the Ellis family… I just love watching little ones getting bigger and see how much they are growing up. I love playing that special role- documenting those super important stages in the life of a family. It’s a big part of what makes my work meaningful to me… I think I love the people as much as I love the art of photography! Back in August I photographed 8 month pregnant Karrie Ellis and 2-year-old Duncan as a surprise for Daddy. Two months ago, I had the honor of photographing baby Dane when he was just 7 days old- his first photo shoot! On Saturday, I finally had the chance to get the whole Ellis family together for some family portraits! We went to Faust Park in Chesterfield, and I joked with them that I found the only tree in the greater St. Louis area that is still FULL of bright yellow leaves, just for their photo session! (I kid, St. Charles has some beautiful leaves left too, I found out today!). Dane had gotten so big since the last time I saw him! And even though little Duncan hadn’t grown much physically, he seemed to have grown in maturity (or maybe just warmed up to me a bit after the first two photo sessions), because he talked to me and sat nicely and even smiled and laughed for the pictures! At the end I got to just photograph Karrie and husband/dad Dave together without the kiddos, and we got some beautiful pictures of two parents who are clearly still in love. It was a fun session, and I look forward to many more sessions with the Ellis family in the future!
Last week I was presented with an adorable little group of models: Sienna (8 months), Samantha (22 months), and Ryan (3 years). Three children ages 3 and under… I was prepared for anything! As is totally normal with kids of such a young age, each child had some moments of great cooperation and positively super cute preciousness, and each child also had some moments of not being so into getting their picture taken. We pretty much pulled out every trick in the book at one moment or another (I almost titled this blog post “Tricks for Toddlers”): favorite toy, new toy, cell phone, shiny things, singing songs, reading a book, going outside for a bit (we would have tried bubbles, but alas, had no bubble wand to go with our liquid!). The biggest challenge was definitely getting that all-important picture of the three kids together, and the perfect trick was pulling out a lot of shiny, glittery Christmas ornaments for them to play with. Moms Jackie & Jessica were both great help with child wrangling and game playing; we got some fantastic pictures and had some fun along the way! I also want to thank them for their generous canned food donation to my Food for Photos holiday promotion! Here are just a few favorites from our session. Enjoy!
Bonus picture (because I found it hilarious): I know that moms all love pictures of kids smiling, and so do I. But sometimes my favorite pictures are not the smiling ones- they are the ones that have a silly face, a pouty face, or in this case- the ones that make me laugh!!! When I was first going through all the images from this session, the picture below made me laugh out loud for several minutes. Something about the toddler (obviously too young to read), looking so distraught and heartbroken while holding the cell phone, as if she’d just gotten a text with the worst news in the world. (In reality, the little song she was listening to just ended.) Hope you get a kick out of this too… I have posted this picture to my facebook photography page for a fun game of “You come up with the caption!” To participate visit:
Michael Black should probably get a model son/awesome brother/great dad award for organizing a family portrait session for not only his own family, but also the families of his two brothers, all as a big Christmas surprise for their mom! (So if you know the family, shhhhh! It’s a SURPRISE so don’t tell her!) The group total was 14 people! He even had a great location in mind when he contacted me- the Sandy Creek red covered bridge in Goldman, MO. We had a little bad luck with the weather, since it was probably the chilliest day we’d had in about two weeks, but everyone was a trooper in the cold, even little Katlynn, the youngest of the group, who I saw shivering a little bit but never complained! And the cloud cover meant nice, soft light everywhere, so we got lots of great shots. For the big group and brothers’ families, everyone wanted the awesome bridge in the background, and then I got to spend a little extra time with Michael’s family in the beautiful field nearby (yes, my love affair with prairie grasses continues!). Enjoy this little sneak peek… I think Grandma is going to be very happy this Christmas!!!
Last weekend I got to photograph the family of an old friend of mine from high school, Tim Seidenstricker (and Tim, by old, I mean we go back many years, not that you or I are old, OBVIOUSLY! ;). While I had seen snapshots of his family on facebook (for instance, the super cute pic of his son Nathan, who he entered in my Cutest Kid Photo Contest awhile back), this was the first time I got to meet 4-year-old Nathan and Tim’s gorgeous wife, Rachel, in person. We drove around Forest Park looking for pretty light and cool settings and found some really nice spots and a few fantastic trees with awesome fall colors! It was so great hanging out with Tim again, and I was very happy to see how blessed his life has been by his beautiful family! Here are a few of my favorites!
One of my favorite moments of the shoot was when Tim looked at his son and asked him who his best pal was, and Nathan answered, “You!” and gave his dad a kiss on the cheek. Then Tim said to me, “He’s mine too.” So sweet! :)
So you’ve been thinking about getting some family photos done, some pictures of the kiddos (they are growing so fast!), or your high school senior’s pictures, or maybe doing a couple’s portrait session to document your love…or maybe you just want some great pictures of Fido! Well, now is the perfect time to book your session AND give back to those in need during this holiday season! Here’s the deal:
Anyone who brings in a donation of 10 cans of food for their portrait session between November 14- December 15 will receive a 20% rebate from their regular session fee ($30!) and their first 5x7 free.* And THERE’S MORE… for each ADDITIONAL can of food (or other non-perishable food item), you will receive a $2 print credit, up to 40 cans or $80!
Call or email today to book your session!
Or visit my website to check my available days (click on “Availability”). www.julianoackphotography.com
*Offer cannot be combined with any other promotional deal or coupon. Note that groups of more than 10 pay a small additional fee to the regular session cost but will still receive a discount. Call for details!
There is something really super fun about being introduced to a brand new location for a photo shoot, so I was stoked when couple Khrista & Jeremy asked me to do their engagement pictures at a beautiful farm (owned by some friends of theirs) in St. Genevieve. It was a gorgeous location with lots of awesome options, and Khrista & Jeremy were game for anything, including walking across a creek on a narrow rock path (Khrista did it in heels!), laying in big piles of leaves, and traipsing through a livestock enclosure to feed some donkeys by hand. This is an adorable, fun-loving couple who were great to work with (shout out to Angie, the bridesmaid who let us use their property and helped me get them laughing!). I can’t wait to photograph their wedding next June! Here are a few favorites- enjoy!
Last Thursday I photographed the Portell family, of Desoto, who purchased their family portrait session and a 16x20 wall portrait at a recent charity auction (thanks guys for going out to support a good cause!). We had a fantastic shoot with really amazing fall leaves at the old grounds of the Ursuline abbey and preschool in Crystal City. It was great fun working with daughters Allison (11), Emma (8), and Abby (7), who were gorgeous and giggly and all old enough to follow directions (parents of toddlers… it does get easier!!!), and we also took some time for a few beautiful pictures of mom and dad. We got tons of great images and I can’t wait for the family to see the rest of them. Here are a few favorites!