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 Lifestyle Newborn Photography | Mims Family

The Woodlands Lifestyle Newborn Photography | Mims Family

Can you say adorable?! The Mims family is seriously one of the sweetest and most beautiful families ever! Living near The Woodlands, lifestyle newborn photography has always been a passion of mine. There is something so beautiful about capturing those first little moments that a newborn experiences. This sweet family recently had a little one, and I am so blessed to be able to document such a wonderful time in their lives.  You could easily say that I was so happy to be doing The Woodlands Lifestyle Newborn Photography for them.
The Mims have been using me as their photographer since they had their second baby, JP. Their family has grown a lot since then, as they have added two more sweet girls in the mix. This family of six has become such close friends of mine. They are so incredibly encouraging and supportive of me and my business. I am truly blessed to have them in my life, and know that God has placed them here for a reason.
For this shoot, we decided on an at-home session. Because I want my clients to feel relaxed and comfortable, at-home sessions are always an easy way to accomplish exactly that. The Mims have a beautiful house filled with love and laughter. Their oldest daughter was just precious, and sweet as can be. JP, their son, loved to be in front of the lens. He was the cutest little smile! The two little girls were just adorable in every sense of the word. The littlest and newest addition was loved on by her whole family, swarmed by cuddles and kisses. I loved seeing her sister give her sweet kisses on the cheek. There’s nothing sweeter than baby sibling love!
The lighting in the house was a little dark that day due to the rain, but since their home has large windows, it allowed a good amount of light to shine through. All in all, we captured some amazing memories for this sweet family. I had a wonderful time with the Mims’, and look forward to seeing them again soon. I am so happy for their growing family.
For more information on how to book a The Woodlands Lifestyle Newborn Photography session with me, be sure to contact me here!  I would be honored to hear from you.

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?

The Woodlands Natural Light Photography The Woodlands Natural Light Photography The Woodlands Natural Light Photography

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

Photographer in Downtown Conroe | Conroe Coffee is My Jam

Photographer in Downtown Conroe | Conroe Coffee is My Jam

More often than not, things come up, and I need somewhere to go. Whether it be a place to hang with my friends or a business meeting, I always find a good solution to be Conroe Coffee. This cute little coffee shop is the perfect atmosphere for just about anything. Not to mention, they have amazing food and beverages that are certain to complete your day.  So being a photographer in downtown Conroe, I never can resist stopping by to say hello!
Conroe Coffee is located right off of North Main Street in Conroe. It is a great business, filled with friendly staff. I love being able to walk into an establishment and feel welcomed right away. The folks at Conroe Coffee are super smiley and easy to talk to. When you first walk in, it looks small, but seems to get bigger as you walk through. There is art covering the walls, and more art surrounding the counter and tables. It’s got a bohemian, eclectic vibe that will ensure that you and your company have plenty of conversation topics. I seriously love the atmosphere!
The best part of Conroe Coffee is their menu. They have mouth watering pastries, kolaches, sandwiches, and quite the coffee menu. One of their most popular drinks is the Nutella latte, and let me tell you, it is amazing! When I have a business meeting with Organic Blogging, clients for my photography, Conroe Coffee is always my go to. This local shop has delicious food, delicious coffee, and an even better atmosphere. They also own Poppy’s in Willis, and it is as equally as good!
If you live in the Conroe or The Woodlands area and need a place to meet up with friends or colleagues, Conroe Coffee is the place for you. You will have beautiful surroundings and amazing people around you. You will also be supporting a local business, which has endless benefits for the city of Conroe. If you are interested in learning more about Conroe Coffee, click here! https://www.facebook.com/ConroeCoffee

Andrea Surak Conroe Newborn Photography Style

Andrea Surak Conroe Newborn Photography Style

Being a newborn photographer in The Woodlands area, I have invested a lot of time in creating a unique, versatile, and comfortable environment for my clients. Baby photography has become a huge passion of mine. Let’s face it, is there anything cuter than a sweet sleepy newborn?! If you have ever wondered what it’s like to book a newborn session with Andrea Surak Photography, here is what you can expect during your experience:
1. Neutral Colors – I tend to use neutral colors throughout the session. This ensures that the images never seem dated. It keeps them displayable year round. So if you ever feel the urge to send your friends and family a cute photo of your little one, you do not have to worry about it looking too wintery, summery, etc.
2. Free Posed – When it comes to newborn sessions, one of my main priorities is that your little one is comfortable. I do not try to bend the baby into positions that they don’t typically bend in. My philosophy is to let your little one tell his/her story and capture their personalities (because believe it or not, they have one even that young/little).
3. Simple – Newborns are precious as can be, and in my opinion, the session should be all about them! I try not to use too many props or background images. These can take away from all of those adorable features that a newborn has. I try to focus on your little one’s precious sleeping face, their cute little toes, and all of the other things we love about babies!
4. Accessories – One think that I’m a sucker for are bonnets and tiebacks (headbands)! There is nothing sweeter than seeing a precious little one with a cute flower headband. Plus, this helps distinguish the gender of your little one, if that is something you are interested in!
5. Natural & Organic – I love the look of natural and organic props in a newborn session, such as fresh flowers and greenery. Plus, it is cost effective and safe for your little one to be surrounded with! I usually find these beautiful, natural props outside of my house. 
6. Stress and Care Free – I have to admit, I am always looking for simple and easy ways to do things. My best environment is one that is free of stress. I want my clients’ experience to be enjoyable rather than stressful. I found it best to let toddlers and babies control the session. If they cry, no worries! I have two kids of my own, and totally understand. I will only attempt certain poses a couple of times, otherwise, we move on. Easy newborn photography is my priority, so no need to worry if your little one is not “cooperating” the way you hoped.
7. Parent and Sibling Shots – I love being able to capture the sweet moments of loved ones snuggling up to the new baby in the family. I always encourage those natural emotions that occur spur of the moment. They turn out so beautifully! There is nothing better than capturing real smiles and real laughter. I use the same approach as my family sessions. What can I say? I just love candid newborn photography!

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!