{ ayla + porter + stratton }

Lots and lots of fun candid shots from the Arboretum session! Watching these 3 grow up in front of my camera has been a real treat, and I always look forward to our time together because it is never boring! I can always expect healthy doses of goofiness, boldness, and genuine sibling affection. As they get older, it’s so fun to see their personalities begin to shape them into the people they are destined to become. They are big dreamers, brave explorers, spirited dancers; they are finding their place in this world and it’s an honor to capture these moments of shifting and changing as they grow into three unique and charming little souls!  All guided by their parents who know when to hold them close and when to let them fly. It should be noted that the photographer *sometimes* wishes there was less flying off of high and/or jagged objects, but I finally realized after all these years they’re helping me mellow out… 😉 I am learning valuable life lessons, see?! Hope you enjoy this peek into our morning together!

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{ charlotte + caroline }

We really lucked out on Saturday with the weather! It threatened to rain all morning, but by some miracle we escaped the storm clouds! It’s always such a pleasure to photograph this sweet family, although now that little Caroline is ready (nearly!) to start walking, I think future photo shoots may have me chasing after her to get my shot! She’s a girl on the move, that’s for sure:)The last time I photographed Caroline was at her baptism, and I can’t believe how much she’s grown in such a short time. She’s already celebrated her first birthday, while big sister Charlotte is coming up on her 4th birthday in October. My, how time flies! I hope you enjoy this sneak peek!

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{ berlin family }

I can’t think of a better way to start my Easter weekend than with this very special photoshoot featuring a fluffy white bunny! These guys were a joy to work with, as always. You will not find a family with bigger hearts and kinder spirits, they are truly wonderful folks. Only they could make photographing 8 kids + a bunny not only easy, but FUN to boot! Leading by example are Gail and Ron who must be so incredibly proud of this beautiful family they’ve created together! 3 kids and their spouses along with 8 darling grandkids who get cuter by the minute – Easter blessings abound! I hope these sweet photos bring a smile to your face – they sure made my weekend brighter!

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Jessica Therivel - My favorite family ever! Great job Clare, I will have to get my family in front of your camera if we make it back to Dallas :-)

{ 2015 top shots }

Another year has come and gone, with highs and lows and everything in between. My 10 year career in the home building business ended and I began a new one in the healthcare field, working for a family-owned and operated company that builds memory care communities all over the country for those living with Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia. Quite a change of pace, but a welcome one. I didn’t realize just how tired and burnt out I was until I had some time to decompress between jobs, and now I feel like I’m exactly where I need to be for the first time in a long time.

As I looked back through all the photos I’ve taken since last January, it was tough to narrow the selection down to a manageable number! It’s like trying to pick your favorite child, if you had, like, 41,625 kids… but I hope you enjoy this slideshow of some of my favorite photos from 2015! This is a mix of personal and professional shots, but they all make me smile! From my niece’s 1st birthday, to my new job at Autumn Leaves Memory Care, photographing Bo Jackson (Bo Knows Clare), Melvin Gordon, former Texas Rangers players, lots of 77 Prints shoots, a few evening strolls along White Rock Lake, two of my favorite bands, Dawes (yes, that is Dickey Betts’ son, Duane Betts) and Blitzen Trapper, plus a few random shots here and there.

Thank you from the bottom of my heart for another fantastic year behind the camera! It is an absolute pleasure to see so many familiar faces again this year, along with some new friends! Hope to see you all again in the Spring!

{ elliott james }

I read somewhere recently that having a child is like having a part of your heart living outside of your body. It was the first time I’ve ever heard it described in a way that resonated with me. And while I will never fully comprehend the depth of love one can have for a child until I have one of my own, I’ve learned a lot by watching my friends and family members enter into parenthood. The highs and lows, the joys and sorrows, the sunny days and the cloudy ones, life and sadly, death. It’s a privilege to be there for all those moments, even when there’s nothing you can do except say “that’s wonderful” or “I’m so sorry”.

When Leah and Eric spilled the beans many months ago that they were expecting, I knew they would be fantastic parents. I just didn’t realize at the time that they would have to jump into that role of parenthood and all it entails long before Elliott even made his grand entrance. If I remember correctly, it was right around Leah’s birthday that they received the news that this tiny little bean growing in her tummy had something called Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome. I am not a doctor so don’t quote me on this, but from everything I’ve learned since his diagnosis, it essentially means that several structures on the left side of his heart formed incorrectly. Not only that, but he would have to endure several surgeries in his very early life and eventually, a heart transplant.  I cannot begin to imagine the tidal wave of emotions they experienced upon hearing this diagnosis, hard enough for a parent to hear, but before you even meet your little one face to face? Before he even gets a chance to be a normal newborn baby? Just unthinkable. And yet, Leah and Eric got to work researching and learning everything they could to figure out how to give Elliott the best chance at a long and healthy life. I don’t mean to say there probably weren’t many tears and sleepless nights, but to those of us watching on as they embarked on this life-changing journey, they handled themselves with a very distinct calm and grace well beyond their years. I don’t know that I could have done it, but they did, and do, continue to handle the daily hurdles in a way that is truly humbling.

On August 13th at 11:50pm, Elliott decided it was time to get right out into this great big world and make his presence known! Leah and Eric didn’t get to leave the hospital with their bundle of joy like most parents do a few days after delivery, but Elliott was in the very capable hands of the wonderful staff at Medical City in Dallas for his first few weeks and in late September, he finally came home! I’ve been lucky enough to get a few good long snuggles in with this sweet guy over the past few weeks, but I was so thrilled to be able to FINALLY take his “official” photos this past weekend. I wanted desperately to sneak into the hospital and get photos right after he was born and again after his first surgery, but alas, he wasn’t ready for his close up just yet:)

I had to adjust my normal routine for photographing a baby, but Elliott was a very agreeable model, all things considered! While I knew we’d get lots of cute chubby-cheeked baby shots, what I really wanted to capture was the deep and abiding love his Mom and Dad have for him. I hope you can see just how smitten they are with this special part of their hearts living outside their bodies. I only wish I could also show you in photos how very much he is loved by his extended family – grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, friends, church, and beyond. Elliott has a long road ahead of him, but I look forward to photographing his many many milestones to come! He’s a tough guy for only being a few months old. Welcome to the world, Elliott! We all love you to the moon and back!

Cindy - Fabulous !!!