Mini Maternity Photography Sessions in The Woodlands

Mini Maternity Photography Sessions in The Woodlands

Anyone who has kids can attest to the fact that it goes by incredibly fast. “Babies don’t keep” isn’t just a poem written by a mom that nobody can relate to. In the beginning you’re knee deep in diapers and spit up and laundry and the days may drag, but before long they’re flying by so fast it’s literally painful to think of how quickly the day will come when you’re no longer the center of their universe.

I think every parent can relate to that bittersweet feeling. The pride of your little ones growing and learning and changing, mixed with the grief of them venturing out, being more independent, and leaning on you less and less. I know I have those feelings with my own children, and I cherish every memory made with them.

I’m so happy to now offer mini maternity and child milestone sessions at my home on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 11 am. These can be shot indoors in my home studio, or outdoors in my tree-filled backyard or creek.

The details:

  • Cost: $300 +tax
  • 20-30 minutes
  • 10 edited digitals
  • Access to studio wardrobe
  • Simple studio props are also available
  • For Maternity
  • For child milestone sessions

Milestone sessions for children can include 3 months, 6 months, or 1 year old portraits of your child. I love documenting these times for moms and their babies. It really is a season of life that can be so trying and challenging and exhausting, but in the end it’s so incredibly rewarding. Hug your babies, rock them, and document these times before they’re gone. It’s true when they say this time is fleeting, and as a wise mama once said- babies don’t keep.

To book your mini maternity or your child’s next milestone, be sure to get in touch today! <3

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Senior Photography in The Woodlands and Conroe | Hali

Senior Photography in The Woodlands and Conroe | Hali

Moments in my life seem to make sense when I am looking back.  I think that they all kind of fit together like a puzzle and they happen for the very reasons they are intended.  When shooting senior sessions, my goal is to grab who this person is that is standing in front of my camera.  Doing Senior Photography in The Woodlands and Conroe, it gives me a little bit of the “heritage” of my people.  I feel as though each piece of a human, each person they know, and each moment defines us in some way.  So when Hali asked me to do her senior portraits, I was over the moon excited.  Partly because I know Hali personally.  She’s a dear friend of mine, so much so, I feel like my daughter loves her more than me, and we see each other on the regular over at CrossFit Willis.

About Hali’s High School Senior Photography Session

We took to one of my favorite (and also a client favorite) spots here in North Conroe- right off of I-45 and FM 1097.  This little spot is nestled right next to Bed, Bath and Biscuit on private property.  It has an array of tree tunnels, a beautiful fallen pecan tree, bamboo trees, wide open fields, and even a small stream in the back.  Basically, a photographer’s dream come true spot! 😉  We then took some shots over at CrossFit Willis, to showcase what a huge part of her life they (we) are!  Those were so unique and awesome and I loved shooting there.  Our last spot included some images at the lake on Lake Conroe in Montgomery.  It was freezing, but in true Hali form- she was a trooper and we got some amazing shots from it.  All of the dresses that you see pictured in these portraits are from my studio wardrobe that is open for any and all of my clients to use.  Her beautiful makeup was done by Christina over at Mirror Mirror Beauty Studio!  Her floral crown was done by A Different Bloom over in Montgomery Tx off of HWY 105!

Hali’s spirit and personality, coupled with a side of being a monster (the best kind of monster) in the gym just shows how truly loyal, dedicated and motivated she truly is.  If you know Hali, you know how supportive and encouraging she is, and honestly, I have never heard a single person speak a negative word about her (unless it’s me and she beats me in a workout. :P)  Just kidding, but really, it was an honor to do these for her and her equally amazing family!  I love you all <3

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And if you are a senior and need pictures, be sure to get in touch! <3

The Woodlands Family Photographer | My Top 5 Favorite Places to Visit in the US

The Woodlands Family Photographer | My Top 5 Favorite Places to Visit in the US

Summer is quickly arriving, which means that the kiddos are going to be out of school! If your family is like mine, summer is our traveling season, and there are so many opportunities for fun an adventure! I have been fortunate to take my family to many different places and capture those memories as a The Woodlands Family Photographer. I thought I’d share some of my favorites with you all!

My Top 5 Favorite Places to Visit in the US

1.Sewanee, TN – Sewanee is a must if you have never been! Home to the University of the South, this quirky, yet peaceful town sits on top of a mountain, and has breath-taking beauty everywhere. Not to mention, there is so much to do! The abundant wildlife makes for a great place to hike. My family and I have been to several trails that end at the base of a waterfall. We have also found a few lakes and ponds that are perfect for kayaking and swimming.
2. Austin, TX – Austin is filled with many family oriented activities that would suit any family’s interests. Whether you enjoy the outdoors or indoors, there is so much to do! Zilker Park is a favorite of mine. You can go there to enjoy swimming in the river, playground equipment, live music, and great food. Austin is also home to many museums and entertainment centers that are fun to take the family!
3. Waynesville, NC – I am a sucker for beauty, and the mountains here leave me in awe every time! I love to let my kids play outside in the gorgeous mountain tops. There are several hiking trails and festivals that we always have a ton of fun at!
4. Madison, WI – Madison is such a sight to see! People often compare it to Austin due to its abundance of activities and quirky vibe. They have so many family oriented events going on throughout the year, and most of them are free or inexpensive. I love to take my kids to the Children’s Museum there, which is filled with tons of activities that revolve around nature and wildlife. The Overture Center for the Arts also has many fun events going on that are perfect for the kiddos!
5. Corpus Christi, TX – The beach is something that never gets old to me, so Corpus is the perfect place to take my kiddos. We enjoy the beaches that are quiet, yet beautiful. There is nothing better than relaxing in the sand next to beautiful waters! Also, the Texas State Aquarium in Corpus is one of the best aquariums I have ever been to!

If you didn’t notice, most of these places on my list include places where family live. This is because: a) I love my family and I love to spend time with them, but b) we are ballin’ on a budget, so this helps with some of those travel expenses.We try to get to the beach at least once a year for the kids, and we do love the mountains too. Hikes, and such are all free, and the kids love it!

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As a The Woodlands Family Photographer I am so blessed to be able to document not only sweet families, but my own family’s adventures!

Conroe and The Woodlands Senior Photographer | Kennedy

Conroe and The Woodlands Senior Photographer

“As you start your journey, the first thing you should do is throw away that store-bought map and begin to draw your own.” -Michael Dell

Meet Kennedy, a sweet girl who will be graduating high school in just a couple of months! Kennedy was so fun to work with. She was quirky, loved Jesus, and not afraid to be herself – my kind of girl! I had a lot in common with her, which made the session so much fun! Not a minute went by where we did not have a blast together!

I took Kennedy to one of my favorite locations in Willis. It’s a fielded area, with the most beautiful trees and flowers! Kennedy was a natural in front of the camera, and looked stunning in literally every photo. She wanted to switch up the wardrobe to add a bit of variety to her session. I loved her choices in clothing. I offered her a few of the outfits that are part of my collection, and she looked stunning in them, of course. Her natural beauty lit up the sky. I love her smile. Such a beautiful girl!

Graduation is such an important milestone in one’s life, and I am so proud of Kennedy for what she has already accomplished. It is a big deal to be at the end of grade school, starting a new journey that will guide the rest of your life. Kennedy is a bright girl, who I know will make a difference. She has so much going for her! Congratulations on your graduation, Kennedy! You have so many adventures ahead of you!

Graduation sessions are so precious to me, and although I do not do a ton of them, they are quickly becoming one of my favorite types of sessions! If you or a family member is graduating, and you want to document such a special time in life, please reach out! I’d love to hear from you.

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The Woodlands Summer Photography Special

The Woodlands Summer Photography Special

Hello friends! When photography was introduced to me, I would’ve never imagined being where I am now. This job of mine has provided me with many blessings, but the biggest one of all has to be the amazing clients I have the pleasure of working with.  I have met some incredible folks, many of which have become dear friends of mine.

I am truly thankful to each and every one of my clients that trusted me to document some of the most special milestones in their lives. I am honored! Not to mention, Andrea Surak Photography has been in business for almost 8 years now, which is definitely something to celebrate! It has been some of the best years of my life! So THANK YOU to all of you for your endless support!!  Which brings me to what this post is about: The Woodlands Summer Photography Special (and surrounding areas)!!!!!!!!

With that being said, I think it’s important to give back, and I couldn’t think of a better way to do it than to extend my thank you and offer a Summer Special coming up for 2018! Get a FREE (3) 16×20 canvas gallery with the booking of any type of full session this summer. This offer is good from May 1, 2018 – August 31st 2018. Canvases are a favorite of mine because of their timeless nature. They are simple enough to pair with any décor you may have. They are also durable, which is great if you have kiddos running around! Displaying family photos is a great way to reminisce with your family and friends. It makes your kids feel important and loved. It also helps achieve that warm and cozy feel to a home!

Thanks again to all of you for your love and support. I am stoked to be offering this Summer Special, and look forward to the many clients I will be working with! If you are in need of booking a session, please reach out! I’d love to hear from you!

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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!!

The Woodlands Natural Light Photography | 5 Reasons Why I Love Photography (And Why You Should Too)

The Woodlands Natural Light Photography | 5 Reasons Why I Love Photography (And Why You Should Too)

If you know me, then you know that I started out my The Woodlands Natural Light Photography career “accidentally.” It all began when I was taking photos of my son, and I was in love with documenting his precious little life. I became more interested in capturing the sweet moments that I never wanted to forget, so my husband got me a nicer camera.
Eventually, I found myself never wanting to put down the lens. I knew that I not only wanted to document moments in my life, but I wanted to do the same for others. My passion took control, and now, my career revolves around it. And you know what? It’s amazing! I am so blessed to be able to do what I love, and to also spread joy to families all around The Woodlands and Conroe area. Here are the top 5 reasons that I love photography:
  1. Documentation – I love documenting the now. Candid photography allows me to capture those in-between moments that are so fleeting. Those natural smiles and laughs, the way a man looks into the eyes of the woman he loves, and the way a tiny baby sleeps soundly. These are all examples of moments that we tend to love and cherish about the important people in our lives.
  2. Decor – Who doesn’t love a decorated home adorned with happiness, laughter, and love? There is no better way to decorate a home than to adorn the walls and surfaces with captured memories. I decorate my home with images that some of my favorite photographers have taken of me and my family. It always brings a smile to my face, as well as the faces of the people that come to visit!
  3. Time – Seeing fleeting memories of my children takes me back in time. I can literally relive moments that happened, and so can you! My goal is to document REAL life. Not a fake representation of your life. I love when my clients relax and let loose. It makes for such beautiful photos!
  4. The One Time Everyone Looks Put Together – Personally, life with two kids is wild, crazy, and unpredictable. I am lucky, I am able to make it out of the house without a gummy stuck to my jeans or a kid with both shoes on, lol! Let’s face it, if I can get the one shot that makes me feel like my very out of control life is somewhat not out of control, it’s a good session. I love being able to get that picture perfect moment for my amazing clients!
  5. Science – Photography is basically the study of light, and a way of manipulating it to make it work in your favor. It is so fun to be able to capture beautiful sun rays shining down on a sweet family. Color is also fun to manipulate, as it can change so much about a photo. I totally enjoy working with light, and seeing the power of what it can do. Who doesn’t love science?

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Interested in booking a session?  Contact me here! <3

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!