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Monthly Archives: January 2014

Austin Photography Workshop | Risky Business

Photo by Caroline

This past week we had the pleasure to host a wedding photography workshop at our house in Austin, TX. We teamed up an amazing photography duo, Adam & Sarah from InTandem Photography. We had a talented group of photographers join us on a journey to bring their businesses to the next level! We are so honored that everyone trusted us to guide them in the right direction and we can not wait to see where the go next!

Big thanks to Ashley & Elijah for giving up their entire day to model for this workshop! You are truly Rock Stars!  Your energy and spirit was more than we could have hoped for, and this would not have been possible without you! Major thank you to the incredibly talented Emily, who is the beauty and brains behind Lucy Sky Rocket Hair Salon & Makeup Studio. She is sooooooooooo good at what she does it is kind of ridiculous. Check her out on Facebook as well.


Here are a few of our favorites images from the workshop, but make sure to check out Adam & Sarah’s images and see some of the behind the scene photos on the Risky Business blog, and take a moment to read a few of  the attendee’s experiences. :)

Photo by Caroline

Photo by Ben

Photo by Ben

Photo by Caroline

Photo by Ben

Photo by Caroline

Photo by Ben

Photo by Ben

Photo by Caroline

photo by Caroline

Photo by Caroline

Photo by Caroline

Austin Engagement | Aubrey + Jesse

Aubrey and Jesse really wanted the city to serve as a backdrop for their engagement pictures so of course we kept to the downtown area to get some of those great iconic Austin skylines.  As the wind whipped the last leaves from the trees for the year, we poked around Town Lake and took advantage of one of those final golden, amplified, autumn sunsets.  For the evening, as luck would have it, The Long Center was decorated for the holiday season, providing a real treat and a unique take on an often used location for portrait photography.

butler park engagement photos

Photo by Eric

creative austin portraits

Photo by Eric

fall austin engagement photography

Photo by Eric

park engagement session

Photo by Eric

auditorium shores engagement photos

Photo by Eric

colorful couple's photos

Photo by Eric

town lake engagement photos

Photo by Eric

long center engagement photography

Photo by Eric

Kenya

Processed with VSCOcam with c1 presetI think you learn a lot about a country when you go through the process of trying to get in to the country. We took a shuttle ride to the border of Kenya from Arusha and planned on having a separate Kenyan driver take us straight to Lake Naivasha, in hopes of avoiding even having to drive through Nairobi. The experience of crossing the border is chaotic with no signs and simple hopes that you are going the right direction and not wandering down a sketchy path in to a dangerous shanty town. All while many Masai women and regular men yell “jambo! jambo! you buy!”. With no form to fill out until you arrive at the desk you meet interesting travelers along the way, relating only to the fact that you are both crazy and willing to experience the hassle all to see a land like you will see no where else.

2.5 hours until we reached our first destination, after a stop at the chicken inn of course, we arrived at a lodge where we would be picking up our keys to the lake house we would be staying at for 2 nights. We called this lodge initially hoping to stay there but at $175 per person, we weren’t quite looking to splurge that much. The British woman over the phone gave us the option of renting her home just 12km from the lodge. Site unseen we headed down the 12km of bumpy road that would inevitably take us an hour. Luckily the house was beautiful, spacious, and even came with its’ own bow and arrow room. Another local Kenyan/American artist had just moved in as well and we finished our first night in Kenya playing cards and getting an insite into the world of a white Kenyan. The next day we had no intentions of leaving the house and decided to lounge the day away listening to the iris birds and hippos, neither make comforting noises however. We drank vodka and various fruit juices and played a ridiculously long game of spades. When we ran out of something the guard would get on his motorcycle and pick us up whatever we needed. When the sun started to set we tried to spot hippos from the nearby dock and Tara managed to pick up a goose. It’s the little things. At 5am we woke up to the hippos grazing off of grass in the backyard.

On the way to Nairobi we stopped by hell’s gate, a park where you can bike around the non-dangerous safari animals. While they are still too afraid of humans to get near  you, there is something intimidatingly awesome about being so close to herds of giraffes and zebras without the comfort of a vehicle. After a long bike downhill on crummy bikes we made our way to the scenic gorge, where unfortunately 7 lives were taken just last year from a flash flood. The “emergency exits” consisted of ropes hanging from trees dangling in to the gorge. It felt like a long sunburned day but knowing that the Hilton Nairobi pool was waiting for us was satisfying. The closest to a triathlon as we will ever get.

Before you drive in to the parking lot of the Nairobi Hilton there is a guard checking for car bombs and when you walk in you go through a metal detector. It is nice to feel safe with these precautions but it’s hard not to imagine what took place for them to get to this point. The next day would be Tara & Kevin’s final day in Africa. On our way to the convention center we were nearly accosted by 6-7 men in front of the market. It was very normal to experience people trying to sell you things or to “befriend” you only to have them sell you on something later but 1 came, then another, and another and despite in being only 10am, we felt nervous and crossed the street in hopes of avoiding a potentially dangerous situation. We survived and got a view of the city with a mini guide explaining what some of the buildings were. We had a local Kenyan meal of stews, fish, ugali, and fried plantains. When Kevin left we made 1 last attempt at the Masai market across the street in hopes of getting the last little bit of souvenirs for friends. We went there with little money, no phones, & little concern. We negotiated prices and walked away with trinkets of earrings and in Tara’s case a 2 foot giraffe we named Alfred. The ending of a trip is always a little heartbreaking for, especially with friends, but it leaves me more inspired to understand and see the other side of everyone’s story.

~Caroline

 

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Tanzanian Safari

cheetah chasing a wildebeastOhhh Tanzania… It was so close to being an ordeal to get there but well worth the hassle. FYI – African airlines require you to have the credit card you purchased your ticket with to get on the plane. Rules definitely vary from airport to airport since we were allowed to bring certain liquids on the plane and you were, supposed, to have a copy of your proof of flight before even entering the airport. Luckily, I was oddly prepared for this, for myself, but I guess they just let Ben slide! We landed in Moshi watching, what I believe, was Mount Meru (the first photo below) appear through the clouds from the plane as we landed. Kilimanjaro was so large it was predominantly covered by clouds. We took the hour long cab into Arusha, the land of safari companies.

Excited about our recent arrival in Tanzania, Tara & I were eager to walk around the town to get a lay of the land and hopefully seek out a company to fulfill our future safari needs. We ended up going out a little too close to sunset time and ultimately found ourselves walking around town with a local tout/fly catcher and a local chatty pothead in search of a Tanzanian restaurant to seek refuge from the scary, drugged out, crime-riden, streets of Arusha. After calming down and losing my paranoia we were able to enjoy our first local Tanzanian meal without utensils. Grilled chicken and lamb (I believe) with collard greens and ugali, a bland version of a potato/starch. We took our 3000 shilling ($1.75) cab ride home back to the not-so-comfortable Spices & Herbs hostel. A hostel where if you haven’t been woken up by the heat or the mosquito buzzing around inside your mosquito net, you wake up to the call to prayer at 5:00am sharp, every morning. At first the call to prayer seems exotic and almost enchanting in a way to a foreigner that lives in a mostly Christian culture, where call to prayers are illegal, but after day 3 I would find it… lets just say, less enchanting. While the accommodations were lacking the people sharing our neighboring rooms were not. We met a UT & Harvard anthropology grad (of many years) that was working for Cambridge university in the UK studying a local tribe over the last 20 years and effects that tourism and the advancing society has had on them. Tara met an interesting Tanzanian girl that is now living in Germany but once used to live in North Korea! I am still fascinated by the North Korean culture… I digress…

Lets get to the most exciting part of our entire trip. THE SAFARI. We set our sites starting at the Ngorongoro crater, considered one of the seven natural wonders of Africa. The crater is beautiful and full of amazing wildlife but the Masai people that have inhabited the area for generations are slowly being driven out. Unlike Rwanda, Tanzania has many tribes, over 120 different ones to be exact! We spent a day cruising around Ngorongoro, we were able to see many animals and some that are rare like the black rhino. We stayed at the rhino lodge where lions are known to show up and wreak havoc, that night outside our patio we saw two water buffalo fighting. The following 2 days and nights were spent roaming the bumpy and fly filled roads of the Serengeti. We saw more wild animals than I can remember and sites that felt like we were in a Discovery channel documentary. It is sad to imagine that when we possibly have kids our age, that they will not be able to see the amazing things that we saw on this trip. We stayed in glamping style tents for two nights, after dinner we could shine the flash light all around us to see 5-6-7 hyenna eyes all surrounding us. In the middle of the night we could hear the hyennas howling every few hours. It is difficult to describe the… epicness… of what we experienced while being out in the wild in this manner which is why photos will have to do. Next up, Kenya!

These photos were taken with our 5dIII, 40d infrared converted camera, or our iphone :).

~Caroline

tanzaniamount meru at sunsetnasai warriormasai warrior boyswarthog in ngorongoro cratergazelafrica in infraredblack rhino sprayinginfrared elephantbaby elephanttanzania-safari-photos (41 of 49)tanzania-safari-photos (48 of 49)pink flamingo in serengetimonkeys playing in treehippo yawning in serengetitanzania-safari-photos (39 of 49)tanzania-safari-photos (38 of 49)tanzania-safari-photos (30 of 49)tanzania-safari-photos (12 of 49)serengeti sunrise silhouettetanzania-safari-photos (33 of 49)leopard lounging in treetanzania-safari-photos (32 of 49)wildebeest running in serengetitanzania-safari-photos (23 of 49)tanzania-safari-photos (31 of 49)the great migrationinfrared giraffetanzania-safari-photos (19 of 49)tanzania-safari-photos (18 of 49)giraffes with long necksjackletanzania-safari-photos (11 of 49)lions sleeping in ngorongoro craterlion in a treeProcessed with VSCOcam with c1 presetcuddling lionslions sleeping in serengetitanzania-safari-photos (8 of 49)zabra buttssmiling hyenna

 

Kigali, Rwanda

kigali rwanda bus transportationWe started our east African adventure in Kigali, Rwanda- but lets start with how we ended up here in the first place… One night hanging out with our friends over (sour) beers, Tara & Kevin they informed us that they would embarking on a month long adventure in east Africa, under the influence of alcohol we decided to partake! There were times that I wondered what we were getting ourselves into but knowing how well-traveled the two are and the prospect of seeing lions in the wild, we could not pass the opportunity up. Since we had prior work obligations we were unable to meet up with them until mid-way through their trip but based on the fact that they wandered into Congo on their gorilla trekking trip, maybe that was a good thing! ;) We met up with them on new years eve in Kigali at the Hotel Des Mille Collines, the hotel famous for the movie ‘Hotel Rwanda’. A perfect way to bring in the new year, with jet lag, crummy champagne, and in T & K’s case, travel illness. We managed to make it until midnight and Ben & I were up by 6am the next morning, in time to bring in our local Austin new year; a time I can say we have never been awake on new years day. We spent the first day of 2014 laying in bed and watching other countries bring in their new years and drinking drinks appropriate to those countries.

Rwanda is surprisingly different from the other 2 countries we visited on our trip. Since the 1994 genocide they have become a very progressive and very clean country that is working very hard to become united and move forward from their past. We visited the 2 main memorial sites of the genocide, two churches where 10,000 people were killed, each. A ‘tourist attraction’  that leaves you with no words but only filled with sadness and hopes for a less devastating future for all of mankind. Both memorial sites, Nyamata and Murambi were left virtually untouched, covered in the clothing of the deceased and skulls and bones were pilled in corners. The guides would tell us the stories of how and where people’s lives were taken as if they had told it a million times before.

To perk the day up a bit we went to a manual bowling site with our driver, Fiarce, he had never played before so it was fun to teach him how to play. Side note, going bowling where people are putting the pins together down the lane by hand is one of the coolest things I’ve seen! Albeit slower, the food in Rwanda is similar to other east African food we had, grilled meats, fried potatoes, soups, and amazing grilled fish. As mentioned before, Kigali is a larger city where I felt relatively safe during the day time. People walk everywhere and when it’s too far to walk it is easy to find a motor taxi for 500 franc ($.75). “Mille Collines” translates to a thousand hills where you can see houses upon houses and many people walking their bikes up said hills! Despite being close to the equator the temperatures are fairly mild and the morning always brings in a heavy fog clouding the city for most of the day. When the rains come, they come hard and since the area is conditioned for beautiful weather, it’s easy to be stuck indoors during their brief and heavy rain showers. All in all there is not that much to do in Kigali itself but it is known for their night life, which we were too jet-lagged to experience. I am happy that we were able to experience a country that defied some of the stereotypes that I expected from Africa. The other countries did live up the stereotypes however….

Below you can see some of our favorite photos of the locals, views of the city, as well as a photo of Nyamata memorial site – some photos with our iphone, mostly with our dslr. I figured one memorial photo was enough since the 2nd memorial site contained bodies of over 45,000 people and it was emotionally draining enough to live through it once.

Murakoze! (Thank you in Kinyarwanda)

~Caroline
rwandan locals by treelocal rwandan girl cutting potatorwanda-travel-photos (4 of 15)rwandan people having fun at workchicken and rabbit on the streets of rwandafinding a motortaxi in Kigalinyamata memorial siterwanda-travel-photos (9 of 15)rwanda-travel-photos (10 of 15)rwanda-travel-photos (11 of 15)rwanda-travel-photos (12 of 15)local kids in rwandabowling in rwandahotel mille collines

 

Laguna Beach, CA Engagement | Jenna + Chris

Our relationship with Jenna & Chris moved quickly but sometimes when you know, you just know. We initially met them in Puerto Rico at Mel & Dave’s rehearsal diner, they booked by that Sunday, & we met up with them in California for their engagement session just one month later. It is an understatement to say that they are extremely photogenic together and in combination with the amazing light Laguna Beach has to offer it was an ideal situation for us. Ben & Eric are no doubt going to have so much to work with on their wedding day next September.

Photo by Ben

Photo by Caroline

Photo by Ben

Photo by Caroline

Photo by Caroline

Photo by Caroline

Photo by Caroline

Photo by Ben

Photo by Caroline

Photo by Ben

Photo by Ben

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