Top 5 Fun Family Places in The Woodlands

Top 5 Fun Family Places in The Woodlands

          The Woodlands, Texas is not only a beautiful place to live, but it is full of fun opportunities for you and your family! If you are anything like me, you know that being in a house with your kids all day is an absolute battle. Whether it’s constant yelling, fighting, or being bombarded with questions, it’s never fun to have young kiddos without any kind of entertainment. My Pops calls my two kids “little tornados,” and I know exactly why. Having kids in the house all day leaves my house looking like a hot mess! Since I live in Willis, it is so worth it for me to put the kids in the car and find other means of entertainment OUTSIDE of my home. The Woodlands is always my go-to! If you are needing some ideas of family friendly places to go, here are my top 5 places in The Woodlands, Texas:

  1. Main Event – If you are looking for a place to go that will have your kiddos giggling with excitement for hours, it’s Main Event. Located right off of I-45, this entertainment center has it all – bowling, arcade games, laser tag, and even a bar for the adults! My kids love the endless activities, and I love to sit back with an adult beverage (or two) and watch them play! www.mainevent.com
  2. Rob Fleming Aquatic Center – The weather is warming up a bit, which means that it’s time to bust out the bathing suits! The Rob Fleming Aquatic Center is equipped with super fun water slides, a lazy river, and a splash pad. It’s the perfect place for kids to play and adults to relax in the beautiful Texas weather!https://www.thewoodlandstownship-tx.gov/Facilities/Facility/Details/13
  3. 7 Acre Wood – If you and your family love the outdoors, this is the perfect place for you! 7 Acre Wood is a gorgeous location surrounded by beautiful wildlife and filled with tons of fun activities! It has a petting zoo, mini golf, a western play town, a rope slide, and a huge sand pit. This is such a cool way for your kids to have hands-on interactions with nature! http://www.7acrewood.org
  4. The Woodlands Children’s Museum – If you want to give your kiddos a fun, hands-on learning experience, then you have to take them to this children’s museum! Experts say that children learn their best through play, which is what this family fun place is all about. You can simply take your little ones to the museum for a day of fun, or you can enroll them in different workshops that they offer. They have many different classes including robotics, art, science, and dance. One of my favorite workshops that they offer is Ocean Commotion, where your child will explore the ocean layers through science and art. They even get to create a coral reef masterpiece! http://woodlandschildrensmuseum.org
  5. George Mitchell Nature Preserve – One of the simplest and most breathtaking spots in The Woodlands is this nature preserve filled with many hiking and biking trails. The Woodlands is known for its beauty, so you definitely want to immerse yourself in the countless trees and gorgeous wildlife.https://www.thewoodlandstx.com/parks/george-mitchell-nature-preserve.php

Hope that for anyone newcomers coming to the area or anyone with kids that are getting out of that newborn stage and moving into a more active child, that these recommendations helped you! <3

Beautiful Wardrobe to Compliment Any Conroe Photography Session | Women’s Options

Beautiful Wardrobe to Compliment Any Conroe Photography Session

This post is long overdue.  If you know me, you know that I love fashion- I always have.  Like, a slight obsession with clothes is a complete understatement.  So when I get to put together two of my most favorite things (photography AND clothes) I am one happy person.  Being a full service photography studio, I WANT to be able to help style your wardrobe for your session. And offering wardrobe that I know photographs well, saves you money on clothing you may only purchase to wear one time, I think it’s a win/win for everyone involved.

All of my pieces are hand picked by me, with my style in mind.  With a classic and bohemian twist, I want to sleep in every piece I own.  Many of the clothing that you see pictured is from stores like Free People, Altar’d State, ASOS, and many more.  But if I’m being completely honest, most of it came to my all time favorite place- Free People.

If you want to book a session with me, I would love that so much.  Be sure to get in touch here.  And if you would like to come by for a wardrobe consultation (if you’re already booked with me), let’s get that scheduled right away.

And I know that my style may not be exactly what you have in mind for your pictures, so I am always willing and able to help you pick clothes right from your closet or help you search online for those perfect pieces.  Clothing is so important for your family pictures, and I want to be there for you every step of the way.  I know how overwhelming taking pictures can be, so let me be there for you! <3

See my current options below, and much love to all of you!

 

 

 

The Woodlands and Conroe Photographer | 5 Tips for Photographing with your Phone

The Woodlands and Conroe Photographer | 5 Tips for Photographing with your Phone

As a mom of two and The Woodlands and Conroe Photographer, I am constantly on the go. Whether it’s taking my kids to school, fixing a boo boo, or just simply doing something fun, I am always busy and rarely have time to get myself (and my kids) completely together. And let’s face it – so many wonderful memories are made that I never want to forget. I want to document and cherish it all. Unfortunately, with a busy lifestyle, I don’t always have my camera on me. That’s why I decided that my phone will have to be a substitute every now and then. And lucky for me, I have learned a few handy tricks on making photos on your phone look good enough to frame! Here are my top 5 tips for photographing with your phone:

 

  1. Photography is basically the study of light, so photography is less about the camera and more about manipulating light in your favor. To practice first, put your subject in front of a window and move around your subject to see what lighting looks best. The more you work with the light, the better you will get! You will be surprised at how much light can affect your pictures.
  2. Don’t expect young children to smile and look at the camera. They just do not operate this way. There are two ways around this. First, try “bribing” them. Some people call it bribing, I call it positive reinforcement. Offering them a piece of candy or a small toy can do wonders. If that doesn’t work, lower your expectations. Kids will be kids, so sometimes you just have to work around it. Try to go for the candid look, and capture a few moments of them playing or laughing.
  3. Take the flash off of your camera and try using natural light. Sometimes the flash can create shadows that can warp the photo. I always find myself about to take an adorable photo, and then the flash comes on and it looks completely different. Using natural light makes your images appear softer and more beautiful.
  4. Try taking your subject off center and playing around with the composition of your photographs. Don’t be afraid to move around and have fun with it. Use worms eye view or birds eye view to make your pictures more interesting!
  5. Download a good (but easy) editing software like VSCO to develop a sort of “style” to your pictures. Everyone’s eye is drawn to a specific type of photography, and these apps will help you explore what you like best.

The Woodlands and Conroe Photographer

Using your phone to photograph sweet memories of you and your loved ones can be just what you are looking for. Have fun with it!!  And if you want to book a session for me to document your life for an evening, be sure to get in touch here! <3  I would be honored to be your The Woodlands and Conroe Photographer!!

North Houston Family Photographer | What I Wear While Capturing Baby and Family Sessions

North Houston Family Photographer | What I Wear While Capturing Baby and Family Sessions

As a Conroe family and baby photographer, I am constantly on the move. I travel to many different places, and often have to stay active during sessions in order to make candid photography possible. My goal is to get those perfect photos of my clients in the moment. Capturing pure joy, such as kids playing in a field, or a baby laughing one of those adorable belly laughs. In order to make this happen, I have to constantly twist, turn, and move my body. A wardrobe is definitely something that you have to plan ahead of time in order to be an on-the-move photographer.

Comfort is King

Comfort is a must for me. It’s hard to catch the perfect photos when I’m wearing something that is uncomfortable. I want to be able to move around freely, but look cute at the same time. My favorite brand is Lulu Lemon. Their clothing is functional as well as comfy. They have clothing that is not only meant for being active, but it promotes healthy living and mindfulness. Not to mention, it’s super cute!  Jeans are also a classic favorite of mine. They allow me to be casual, but I can also dress them up if I need to.
I always try to remember that wardrobes represent my brand. First impressions set the tone of a session, so I always keep in mind that what I wear represents how I want to be seen. Because my photography brand represents candid, fun, and relaxed, I always try to portray this into how I look. I also want to be relatable to my clients. If they dress casually, I want to match that so they don’t feel out of place.
Often, my wardrobe tends to change from time to time. It’s okay to have flexibly in terms of what you wear! For example, my wardrobe for family sessions are much different than my wardrobe for weddings. If I am attending a wedding as a photographer, I am going to dress more professionally. A good rule of thumb is to dress comfortable, professional, and relatable!
All in all, I love picking out the perfect outfit for a session! Being a North Houston Family Photographer is truly a blessing, and I love getting to work with such amazing clients!

The Woodlands Natural Light Candid Family Photography | The Cox Family

The Woodlands Natural Light Candid Family Photography

Ashley Cox is a good friend of my mom and step dad’s. She’s a nurse and such a good, devoted mama. I admire her ability to nurture others throughout each and every day. It takes a very special person to have those jobs! She is also a fellow cross fitter at a different gym than mine. We have a lot in common, and I love being able to chat with her during sessions. This sweet mama has been using me since her daughter, Kayleigh, was just one year old! The first time I worked with the Cox family was when Kayleigh celebrated her birthday in my studio at the salon. We did a cake smash, which she totally loved! She was my first ever client in that studio, and I am so glad that she has been there since the beginning. This little one seems to love me so much. After every session, she asks me to stay and play. It is hard to resist such a sweet little face!

The Cox’s Family Portrait Session

Working with the Cox family is always a treasure, as I love them so! For this session, I took them to my favorite spot. I work in The Woodlands as a natural light candid family photographer, and have always been blessed with gorgeous locations to take my clients. I am so excited that I have found a lovely little location in Willis, Texas. It’s so simple, which allows me to really focus on the family, while adding small details that compliment the folks that I’m working with.
Ashley, her husband Brandon, and their two kiddos were precious! I always want my clients to feel comfy, so I encourage them to play around and have fun. Kayleigh is now a big sister with a younger brother named Nolan. These two are precious as can be. Kayleigh had a blast with me, as always. Nolan was super cute, calm, and smiley! Ashley and Brandon played with their little ones, and I loved to see them laughing and smiling so much. There’s nothing sweeter than a family like this one! The Cox family has a special place in my heart, and I am looking forward to working with them again in the future!
Capturing this The Woodlands Natural Light Candid Family Photography for the Cox family was such an honor. Aren’t they adorable?!

Candid Photography | What a Photography Session is like with Me!

What is a Photography Session Like with Andrea Surak Photography?

Hello all! I hope everyone is having a wonderful 2018 so far. Hiring a photographer can be a difficult process. Many questions arise such as, “Will my photographer’s vision match my own? Will me and my family feel comfortable? What happens if my kids are acting like wild monkeys?” – along with many many more! I understand that these questions pop up, so I am here to help. Here’s what you can expect when booking a session with Andrea Surak Photography:

Newborn Photography Sessions

Newborn sessions can be some of the most unpredictable sessions because these little ones can be, well, unpredictable! Creating a safe environment is my top priority. We all know how fragile newborns can be, so I have invested a lot in the most safe, sanitary, and comfortable props for your little ones to rest on. My second priority is that the sessions are stress free. I want you and your precious baby to feel content, cozy, and comfy at all costs. Yes, there may be crying, accidents, and spit up, but that is all expected. I have two children of my own, so I completely understand the struggle. We will get the perfect photos of your little one regardless of any worries you may have, even if that means we have to go to a more lifestyle environment with you and your sweet and perfect family.  I also love to integrate my passion for candid photography into all of my sessions, including your sweet baby’s first photoshoot.

Family Photography Sessions

When it comes to family sessions, I try to create a laid-back atmosphere. Yes, your kiddos will act wild and crazy, but this is the time to let them! Let them play around and have fun. After all, our goal is to get their pretty little smiles, and what better way to do that than letting them play? If your kiddo (or kiddos) are very shy in front of the camera, it’s okay to let them bring something along with them to the session that they love. Moral of the story: don’t stress. Relax, have fun, and it will be an amazing experience for all of us!

Candid Photography

Taking candid photos was where it all began for me. My photography passion started after taking candid photos of my son. I fell in love with the photos that caught him in the moment. It was like I could take a moment where he was having so much fun, and turn it into something that I could hold and cherish forever. My passion for this raw and realistic photography has grown into my photography business as well. I live for those moments of capturing kids laughing those cute belly laughs. Those moments of two people looking at each other with love in their eyes. Moments of a new mother holding her new baby. I want to make your greatest memories something that you will be able to cherish for a lifetime.
Hopefully I have answered some of the questions that have been stirring around in your head. Have more questions? Interested in booking a session? I would love to chat with you! Please click here to contact me!

Houston Indoor Lifestyle Family Photography | The Anderson Family

Houston Indoor Lifestyle Family Photography | The Anderson Family

Words cannot describe what this family means to me. They are long term friends of mine, and I am so unbelievably blessed to have them in my life. John’s wife passed away in June 2015, and she was a very well-known and very talented newborn photographer. Jamie was such a close friend to me, and such an inspiration. Being a Houston indoor lifestyle family photography artist has been heavily influenced by sweet Jamie. I wouldn’t be where I am today without her influence and guidance.

Welcoming Natalie into the Fold

John has recently found the next love of his life and I could not be any happier for this wonderful man. This session was his new and amazing wife’s bridal shoot, along with their “engagement” pictures. I couldn’t help but to be in awe of this gorgeous and talented woman, Natalie. Not just because she is breath-takingly beautiful, but because the aura she gives off is so sweet and kind natured. I’m seriously ecstatic for John and this new chapter in his life.

A Stunning Family

John and Natalie’s session was joined by their precious children. Aubree, the youngest, was full of energy and such a personality! This little one was so silly and had a lot of fun throughout the session. One thing that I loved about this session was the amazing decorations throughout the home. Natalie has the BEST taste in home décor and works at Ethan Allen in The Woodlands (18390 Interstate 45S, The Woodlands, Tx).
Their home was a dream come true, and made it such a beautiful place to have a session! Natalie and John have such a great connection, and you can see their loving chemistry in nearly every photo. I adored the images we captured of them sitting in side-by-side smiling and laughing at one another. It was also so fun to see the kids playing and giggling with each other!
This sweet family has been through some tough times, but I am so thrilled to see that they have found their happiness. I know Jamie is so happy to see that such a wonderful woman, such as Natalie, has entered their lives. Congratulations to John and Natalie! If you are interested in booking a session with a Houston Indoor Lifestyle Family Photographer, please email me, or simply click here!
This family is so incredibly near and dear to my heart. Capturing their Houston Indoor Lifestyle Family Photography was such an honor!

Stress Free Conroe Family Session with Older Children | The DeGeorgio Family

Stress Free Conroe Family Session with Older Children | The DeGeorgio Family

Stress Free Conroe Family Session with Older Children | The DeGeorgio Family

Meet the DeGeorgio family, some of the most fun and caring folks that I have ever met! Adina, a sweet mom of two, won athlete of the month over at the gym I attend and I was honored to be their Conroe family photographer that evening!  This family is part of my fit fam over at CrossFit Willis, and I love being able to capture sweet moments for these people who are so dear to me. It’s families like these that remind me how blessed I am to provide stress free Conroe family sessions with older children.

The DeGeorgio’s

Adina and her husband are seriously some of the most fun parents I have ever met! They have two teenage daughters, and I just loved the chemistry between the four of them. It is obvious that they are very close, and are always laughing and playing jokes on each other! We all know that teenagers can sometimes drift away from their parents, but the DeGeorgio’s have really stuck together as a team through thick and thin. I love that about them!

Their Outdoor Session

We chose to do a candid session in a beautiful field right off of FM 1097 in Willis (just about a short 15 minute drive from The Woodlands, and about 40 minutes from North Houston). The scenery was absolutely gorgeous, especially trees in the background. They curved inwards, which made for the perfect natural frame around the family. Not to mention, there were dandelions, and there is nothing more fun than making wishes and blowing on them in the wind!
I always try to create a stress-free environment for my clients. In order to do this, I encourage them to be themselves, have fun, and play as much as possible. After all, this is the best way to get those natural smiles. The DeGeorgio’s had no problem being themselves, and had a blast throughout the session, especially Dad! He is hilarious, and constantly making his girls laugh. I loved the images I was able to get of them in the moment laughing at each other, and at the gym, he has everyone in stitches, too.  What great memories they will be able to cherish forever!
This is such an amazing family! I love capturing Stress Free Conroe Family Session with Older Children. Especially when they’re as hilarious as these four!

Clothing Store Recommendations for The Woodlands Family and Newborn Photography

Clothing Store Recommendations for The Woodlands Family and Newborn Photography

When it comes to preparing for a session with your photographer, wardrobe is such a huge component, as it can totally affect the outcome of your photos. Are you stuck on what you and your family should wear for your newborn or family session?

Here are 4 ideas on great places that will provide the perfect wardrobe you are looking for!

1. My client wardrobe – I have invested in a wardrobe for my clients to use, if needed or wanted! This wardrobe is free for all clients to use. It includes tops, bottoms, and mostly maxi dresses that compliment any body type.  I have sizes for women that range from 2-12 and if you are interested in wearing pieces from my wardrobe, be sure to contact me if you want to schedule a wardrobe consult.
2. Free People – Free People has a vintage, classic look that tends to flatter nearly all body types. They can be a bit on the pricy side, but sometimes have great sales online and in stores. If you like floral, lace, and flowy clothing, this is the store for you.  You can visit this store locally, in The Woodlands Mall (located at 1201 Lake Woodlands Dr, The Woodlands, Tx 77380) right off the freeway, or visit their website to view their beautiful, high end pieces! <3
3. ASOS – This clothing brand was originally meant to portray clothing that was “as seen on screen,” or styles that were worn for celebrities. ASOS offers the most recent styles, geared for adults in their 20’s. Shop here if you want the current trends to be portrayed in your sessions.  This website is online and I believe based out of the UK.  You can visit their website here.  And be sure to always check their sale items.  Beautiful pieces for affordable prices!!
4. Old Navy (for kids) – Old Navy is a well known store that offers affordable clothing that is not only adorable, but comfortable for your kiddos. Their goal is to appeal to it’s customers with fun, fashion, and value.  They have a store located in The Woodlands in the Portofino Center (19075 Interstate 45 S, Shenandoah, Tx 77385) and one in Conroe at the Conroe Marketplace (2908 I45 N, Conroe, Tx 77303).  You can also shop styles conveniently online!
5. Gap (for kids) – Gap is similar to Old Navy, but slightly more pricey. There’s more bang for your buck, though, because the clothes will last longer than most. They are known to have classic styles that tend to stick around for several generations, as well as trendy options that go with the current times.  Gap Kids is located at the Premium Outlets in Cypress (29300 Hempstead Rd, Cypress, Tx 77433) if you need to get something quick, but their online selection is so convenient and a wealth of really amazing styles.
  The Woodlands Family and Newborn Photography
If you have any questions about my client wardrobe, or any other recommendations you may need on selecting the perfect outfits for you and your family, feel free to reach out here!

The Woodlands Stress Free Newborn Photography | Stevie

The Woodlands Stress Free Newborn Photography | Stevie

The Woodlands Stress Free Newborn Photography | Stevie

Ah, this amazing mama is so dear to me! Alyx is one of my good friends, and I had the sweet sweet pleasure of having her new little one in my studio! This precious baby was so stinkin’ cute, and I am so glad I was able to spend some quality time her.

Her Snuggly Studio Session

My studio is conveniently located right off I-45 N and FM 830, just a short 15 minute drive from The Woodlands. I love having a studio, especially for newborn sessions. It really makes for a stress-free environment for the little ones. There is nothing better than having a cozy little newborn sleeping soundly in the studio. A photographer’s dream!  This baby girl, Stevie, was so cuddly and calm, and slumbered away on the comfy blankets and pillows we surrounded her with.
Alyx and I decided on a simple session that showed off  Stevie’s beautiful features. We mostly did simple, natural poses that allowed for Stevie to stay comfortable the whole time. I just loved how she stretched her little arms half-way up. It’s safe to say that she is one of the cutest little sleepers, ever!

A Natural Beauty

We used flowers and other florals by Tamara Wylie Designs, and wow, does she do an amazing job! I am always impressed by her simple, yet elegant designs. Big sister and momma also joined in on Stevie’s session, and it was so sweet to see the three of them altogether. What a precious family!
One of the many blessings of being a photographer is working with beautiful families like this one. I am forever thankful for all of my amazing clients for putting their trust in me time and time again. I hope 2018 brings all of you many blessings! If you are looking for a stress-free convenient photographer, please feel free to email me, or simply click here!
Capturing The Woodlands Stress Free Newborn Photography allows, not only, for a wonderful experience for mama, but for a gorgeous and natural collection!