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Waiting for McKinley – The Story of a Family’s History

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I always suggest to my clients that they include something personal in their sessions to make their photos special and unique. People always come up with some pretty fun things to include but Cherish and Nathan really took this concept to the next level with their session!

When Cherish told me she wanted to do the session at her family’s ranch in Dripping Springs I knew it was going to be beautiful but I didn’t know just quite how special it was going to be. Cherish’s great-grandparents bought the land back in the 30’s and both her parents and grandparents still live on the land in separate houses a short drive from each other. When I arrived Cherish told me there were 2 places she wanted to do the photos and that her dad would be chauffeuring us.

While driving from her parents house to her grandparents house ( Yes, I even got to meet Grandma!) she mentioned that we would also be passing a “funky old truck” that was under a tree if I wanted to do some shots with it. I said yes because for those that don’t know, I have a giant soft spot for old pick up trucks, but I fell in love with it when I saw it! Not only was it the perfect little spot for photos but this truck has history. It was purchased new by Cherish’s grandfather in 1960 and it was her father’s first vehicle when he was 16 and started driving  in 1973. After just a few shots Cherish saw how excited I was and said “You like our funky old truck don’t you?” I said “I love it!!” I definitely could have easily stayed and done the whole session right there, but I’m glad we moved on because it only got better…


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Our next stop was Mount Grainor which provided us with the most breathtaking view of the Hill Country. It is one of the highest points in the area and Cherish’s father was telling me because of that it was a pretty major hub for Native Americans to send smoke signals from, once upon a time. And I can definitely see why; did I mention how breathtaking the view was? You could see far and wide!






Our next stop was going to be a little more risky. Right down the street from the ranch is the spot where Cherish’s Grandfather went to school but the building is no longer standing, only the steps remain. However across the street there is an adorable old house that was built around the same time and Cherish wanted photos with it. She told me though that the house was on private property and we would have to jump a small fence to get there. Now, normally I try not to go places I’m not supposed to for session but if the client is the one suggesting it knowing that we could get caught… I’M IN!  So that’s exactly what we did, we jumped the fence and set up…






Unfortunately these were the only shots I got before an elderly woman drove up and started yelling at us that this was private property. And not just any private property, HER private property! Now those who know me well know that normally when presented with a situation like that I would apologize but then try to sweet talk my way into staying so that I could get my shots, but not this time. This lady seemed pretty mad. (In fact, Ma’am if you happen to see this we are very sorry for any trouble we may have caused, we did not mean any harm.) So we politely apologized and followed her instructions to leave however as soon as she was out of ear shot Cherish started to sing “We got in troouuuble!” I think part of her was hoping we would get yelled at! I suggested we do some shots from the other side of the fence but Cherish suggested we first take some shots in a near by patch of flowers…





They even included a dress that Cherish wore as a baby…


We ended the session back over at the old house but this time, we stayed on our side of the fence…








I had so much fun with Cherish and Nathan and I loved hearing about all of the history and personal connections Cherish and her family have with this land. While Dripping Springs is my home town, and I actually graduated with Cherish’s brother, I am a first generation Texan and there is so much about the history of my town that I don’t know. Hearing about it from a family who was there for it was fantastic! I am so touch by the deep roots her family has and I was honored to be able to capture the celebration of a new life surrounded by so much history. I found it to be such a beautifully poetic portrait session of the old welcoming the new. McKinley will be entering into one of the warmest, loving, and most welcoming families I know and I can’t wait to meet her!







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