J Allison Andrews Photography is C a n d i d F u n, An authentic & fresh approach to portraiture, employing natural light & textures,

resulting in beautiful and timeless art

If you’re a high school (female!) senior, what’s more fun than the day you get to get all fixed up and model and laugh and pose for 3 hours and take your senior pictures?  The day that you get to do all this with your VERY BEST FRIEND since kindergarten!  Yes, a senior best friend photo shoot happened, and these were my first seniors for 2017!

When McKenzie’s mom contacted me about doing this, she originally wanted to schedule the session for mid to late summer.  I advised that maybe we wait until the end of September hoping that we might see a little bit cooler days.  Unfortunately, that did not happen.  It was a record 100 degrees for mid-Sept., but we did have sunny skies and a beautiful sunset.  And the most beautiful girls with the prettiest smiles and biggest personalities.

McKenzie (left) and Taya (right) did everything I asked.  I even found a field full of these beautiful – but spikey – purple thistles and they trampled through them for the most amazing shots at the end of the night. I should also mention that they were full of bumble bees, too.  But hey, it’s like I tell my own girls – “Like beauty – getting a good shot – is sometimes pain.”

taya michele

Caddo Mills High School | Caddo Mills, Texas
college plans:
undecided
major:  undecided

In 15 years I will: have a college degree, a stable job, a child and my own house with my family.

mckenzie leigh

Crandall High School | Crandall, Texas
plans to attend Letourneau University (playing softball!)

major:  Elementary Education, minor in Kinesiology

In 15 years I will: hopefully be teaching little children in an elementary school and be a coach.

(McKenzie) most influential person in my life:  My mom.  She’s my best friend and the person I can tell everything to.
(Taya) most influential person in my life:  My mom.  She’s always there for me and knows exactly what to say when I’m upset.

(Taya) I’m happiest when: I’m with my family and boyfriend.

(McKenzie) I’m happiest when: I’m with my family.  They make me smile!

(Taya) best childhood/high school memory:  traveling with all the girls in my family to New York on July 4th weekend.

(McKenzie) people would be surprised to know that: my nickname is Ethel.  It is not a family name. My aunt made it up when I was a toddler.  People think it’s my real name.

(Taya) Dream vacation:  The Bahamas or Hawaii
(McKenzie) Dream vacation:  Going to Australia, sitting on the beach and getting tan

(McKenzie) favorite meal: grilled cheese sandwich with sweet potato fries.
(Taya) favorite meal: Chick-Fil-A

(Taya) my best talent: playing volleyball

(McKenzie) Most prized possession: My necklace I got for my 17th birthday.
(Taya) Most prized possession: My senior ring and letter jacket.

(Taya) people would be surprised to know that: I was diagnosed with scoliosis the summer before my 7th grade year, and I wore a brace for almost two years.

(McKenzie) best childhood/high school memory:  going to Disneyworld for the first time on my 6th birthday and getting to eat breakfast with Cinderella (my favorite Disney princess).

(McKenzie) my best talent: baking!

 

All the best, McKenzie and Taya!

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  • Sandy Wells - I’ve watched these two grow from little darling girls to the beautiful young ladies they are.  A beautiful job capturing their spirits!  I have to go back through and try to see clearly through a grandmother’s tears!  Ethel’s NannyReplyCancel

No children were harmed in the making of this photo shoot.

But one of them came a little close.

My goals for the night were to test the lighting with my “clients” and figure out where exactly I wanted to conduct my mini sessions in the next few weeks and then to celebrate my husband’s 42nd birthday – all in the Bishop Arts District.  The Bishop Arts District is in Oakcliff, an old area of Dallas that has been revitalized with the coolest shops and hippest restaurants.  It is charming and trendy yet still maintains that sense of old Dallas – not stuffy or pretentious.  The streets are lined with trees and lights adorn some of the buildings….lots of orange brick, colored doors and painted murals.  It just feels so alive.

But back to my clients.  My kids – minus one.  My oldest daughter takes a theater class on Wednesday evenings so she wasn’t able to join us for the mock photo session.  “Lucky me!” she said as I dropped her off and got ready to drive to the other side of DFW with the rest of the kids in tow + Dottie, our 11 month old Sheepadoodle.   Unlike the vibrant and enthusiastic feel of the neighborhood, my three are quite the contrary.  They aren’t really too pumped about helping me out…and mainly I’m talking about my Camille.  Really, it just takes one to set the mood for the rest of the bunch. Isn’t that right, Moms?

GOOD-NESS! If looks could kill, I would not have made it home.

We continued shooting.  And we did get some cute shots.  I think I bribed Camille here with a replacement Apple Bloom (My Little Pony) since Dottie chewed off the other one’s leg.

All was going pretty well until raindrops came out of nowhere – out of this bright, sunny sky.  If you look closely in the picture above, you can see them.  Soon, it was raining pretty hard so we took cover across the street at Tillman’s Roadhouse.  (If you ever get the chance, eat here!  The ambience and menu are both unique and delicious.)

ba_collage4

We ended on a happy note…playing in puddles and leaving soon to go meet Daddy and big sister at Gloria’s for a birthday celebration.

My plan was to also take a few pictures of my oldest, but it was getting too dark and I was exhausted.  Because of course, the work for this started early in the day.

Like giving the dog a bath.

Yes, just the dog.

I wanted to show off more spots, but the rain put a damper on that.  For my clients who have mini sessions scheduled here, I think you are going to love the colors and textures.  There are cute little alley ways and other areas off the beaten path, too, that caught my eye as we were leaving that I think will be great spots.  Hopefully these few pics give you some idea of what the area looks like of where we’ll be shooting.

And regarding clothing…always the important question!  I think shades of blue would work well here.  It would contrast well with the orange brick and with all the trees and greenery.  I would probably avoid oranges or reds because you don’t want to blend in too much with the buildings/surroundings.

And, of course, if you have a dog bring him/her!  I love including the family dog in your session.  There are several restaurants with patios that allow dogs if you plan to go out to eat afterward.  Why wouldn’t you?  Everyone deserves a good meal after 25 minutes of hard labor.

So my overall review is that The Bishop Arts District is a great place to shoot, even with clients who can be a tad stubborn. 🙂

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I can’t believe it’s almost fall already.  Summer was wonderful.  It’s hard to see it end and even hard to get back on a regular schedule.  But I think we have done it full force.  We survived the first week of school and this school year looks promising!

I am excited to be offering 3 different locations this year for fall photo mini sessions – Christmas Tree Farm, the Bishop Arts District in Dallas and also Klyde Warren Park.

All sessions include my time + talent and 10 hi-res digital images that will be delivered via Dropbox (a file sharing site).

Christmas Tree Farm:  I am purchasing trees from a local tree farm that I will set up here at my home in Forney.  My goal is to make it feel very woodsy, organic and earthy…maybe some wooden stumps for seating.  Minimal props, although I do have access to an old sleigh for clients who would like a prop.  Or feel free to bring a prop of your own.  And always, my goal is to have pretty light behind you.

fallminis2016_treefarm

Bishop Arts District:  I have not shot here before, but it’s very trendy and unique.  Old brick buildings, pretty sidewalks, lots of color and neat textures.  It’s trendy and unique.  Follow me on Instagram and FB for examples, soon to come.

fallminis2016_bishoparts

Klyde Warren Park: As long as it’s not the weekend, I love shooting here!  I love the mix of urban + green.  All the buildings in the background + the light is so pretty in the evenings.  It’s such a playful and fun place to shoot.  The kids love it and the parents always love the shots we get.  And if you’re a really fun mom, you’ll let them play in the water. 😉  (It makes the best pics!)

fallminis2016_klydewarren

Let’s book soon!  Email me if you have any questions: jallisonandrews@gmail.com.

 

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What a happy day Lexi, her mom and I had for her senior picture experience.  It was a gorgeous, sunny day and somewhat of a reunion for us.  Well, I had not met Lexi before but I felt like I already knew her a little.  Two years ago I photographed her sweet, shy sister Erin who was headed off to Texas A&M and I enjoyed getting to know her and her mom so much…and I loved listening to her mom’s South African accent.  At the time they told me about how Lexi was much different than Erin so “just wait” for her senior pictures.  Well, they were right.  Lexi is much different than her older sister.  Just as sweet, but sassier and definitely the extrovert of the two.   

Lexi is so full of spunk and life.  Confident, but humble…sassy, but polite…sweet, but strong.  I loved getting to know her so much.  Lexi was willing to do anything…see creek pics below!  🙂  I couldn’t quite convince her to be a Texas Aggie, but I know that she’ll get enough Aggie brainwashing experiences (if she hasn’t already!) with weekend road trips to see Erin in College Station.  Lexi, I hope that your college days in Norman are truly unforgettable and that you are the mover and the shaker that I envision you to be.  Boomer! 🙂

lexi megan

Plano West Senior High | Plano, Texas
plans to attend University of Oklahoma

major:  Special Education

in 15 years I will: be a mommy and a teacher. I’ll also be 33, but let’s not discuss that.

dream vacation: Greece, Israel and Italy and the top three places I’ve always wanted to go, but my heart belongs to Disney World. 

favorite meal: my mom’s artichoke pasta

People would be surprised to know that I: have an irregular fear of feet, bunnies and squirrels. Also I was training to be a professional ballet dancer until I was 16!

My most prized possession: My rings. One has the Star of David on it to remind me of my faith and the other is two hearts that make an infinity sign. I wear it to remind me that there’s infinite love in the world and I’m lucky enough to be constantly surrounded by it. 

my best talent: making everything about me and falling over things (I fell in the creek during our session at least 10 times) 

most influential person in my life: My mom because she taught me how to be the type of person I am and because she believes in me and my dreams in a way that no one else does. Also the inventor of ice cream. That person deserves an award. 

I’m happiest when: I’m napping or with my best friend (hi Ryan!)

best childhood/high school memory:  Winning Sweetheart in my youth group. In every boy chapter there is one elected girl who gets to spend the year with them. She’s basically treated like a princess and the day I won was easily the best day of my life. 

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I feel like I say this a lot, but I am more and more impressed with the discipline and maturity of the seniors with whom I encounter every year.  Cole was no different.  But just as disciplined and mature as he was, he was equally as funny and cute and such a cut-up for us.  Really, such a breath of fresh air.  He had his mom and I literally dying laughing so many times with his stories and funny facial expressions.  Oh, and he has the best accent…he sounds so much like Harry Connick, Jr.!

Cole is really big into working out and being disciplined about getting his body right.  I admire that so much, because it’s definitely something that I need to work on more.  It’s so important to him that he plans to study Kinesiology at LSU.  It’s obvious that he’s already very serious about it.  I believe that whatever career path he chooses, he will do big things.  Thank you Cole – and family – for choosing me as your photographer.  I loved our shoot! 

Enjoy some of my faves.

cole jacob

Forney High School | Forney, Texas
plans to attend Louisiana State University

major:  Kinesiology

most influential person in my life:  My parents.  All of my accomplishments stem from the discipline and responsibility they have instilled in me. I am all that I am because of them, and I am forever grateful.

In 15 years I will: have a 2000 lb Power Lifting total. 😉

I’m happiest when: I’m lifting and when I’m drumming.

best childhood/high school memory:  Performing in the DCI World Championships, Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis, IN.

people would be surprised to know that: I have a Black Belt in Taekwondo.

Dream vacation:  Venice Beach, California; time at the beach and four days to work out at the Mighty Iron Addicts Gym, Super Training Gym, and Gold’s Gym.

favorite meal: fajitas and sweet potatoes.

my best talent: lifting and drumming.

Most prized possession: The experience of a Drum Corps Tour, the summer of my junior year.

 

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