Butterfly Sparks Designs


lots of ladies surrounding this man...

Michael and I have a routine...
I call him immediately after a session because, well, I like him :)  And he is always really interested in how everything went.  [Babe-if you're not, you are a great faker! Thanks.]
We have a little routine..."[j] I'm done!" "[m] How are your pictures?"
At this point, there are a million different ways I answer.  This time though, it was...
"[j] I have no idea, but we could totally hang out with this family!"

I am a big fan of the Reyes'!

I think we actually have a lot in common including having
3 babies who are close in age. 
And aren't theirs just beauties??!!

I fell in love instantly and adored watching them be 'girls'.

And this is one daddy who's got it handled!  You should have seen this [very manly] dad fix a headband or two... :)

We've lived in LJ for about 6 months now--I love that photography is allowing me to meet such amazing people here.  Thanks Lester and Ashley...so much fun!!  [y'all want to hang out? ;) ]

Let's do this y'all...jen


It's that time of year...

Narrowing down what I’m thankful for and listing it off isn’t possible.  Just isn’t.  This year has been absolutely unbelievable in its’ challenges, its’ gifts, and in the overwhelming support through each circumstance!
So...it may take another year, but I am just going to have to tell you about the many pieces to this thankfulness puzzle, one at a time!
One of the greatest things about this new career is that I am able to do it wherever we go.  I am thankful that photography “travels” right along with my family.  A week or two back, we spent 6 days in Yoakum and I was able to photograph so many of our friends.  The best part was that we met in the same pasture that Me Ra drove through last year to announce the SOAR! scholarship. [by the way, SOAR! applications are being accepted starting TODAY!!!]  Believe that I thought of that every time I looked through the lens to that golden grass. Speaking of that grass, it belongs to my in-laws and I’m thankful for their support...for their willingness to give whatever they have if it helps our family.
Now meet a few other families from that great, little town.

a little camera-shy cutie...

but she was just waiting for the right time...

To the Wagners, the Jacobs, the Svecs, and the Byrnes, thank you so much for letting me spend some time with your families!!
To all of you, have an amazing Thanksgiving holiday.  I pray you rest well!
Let’s do this, y’all...


a southern little, fairytale...

Once upon a time, there was a long, tall Texan.

Who loved a pretty, little, lady Texan.

So they called some family,

called some friends,

said I do,

and rode off into the sunset.

SPECIAL PRICING--it's not too late!

Lots of boys, one pretty Mama!

See this beautiful couple?

They're our next door neighbors and our good friends!
And they are responsible for these two handsome boys...
Which is great because my son happens to think
these boys hung the moon.  
Between our houses, there are bikes, rocks, trains, trucks, and some serious play happening.
We love every minute of it.

I really wanted to try to capture the personality
of this gorgeous family...
the hunting, fishing, camping boys
balanced by the sweet, gentleness of their beautiful mama

but sometimes you just need to let boys be boys...

I love this family. 
And loved spending this evening with them.
I should go knock on their door and tell them :)

golden sun, sweet babies, a mama's idea = great Christmas cards!

I love everything about the beach. I love that, as you stand at the edge of the water, you simultaneously feel so small but so free.  In fact, freedom starts happening the moment you arrive. You become unencumbered. You lose your shoes, your agenda, your rush.
Although they couldn't pronounce it, there was no doubt these two were feeling unencumbered
on this particular trip to the shore...

And I was so excited to witness their freedom from this side of the camera!
Their beautiful mama had a vision for her Christmas cards this year...so fun creating them with this sweet family.

 I can't decide if my favorite moments were watching this sweet girl dance alone...

or with her baby brother...

Such a beautiful evening and the perfect start to the holiday season!

Here's to feeling unencumbered...

Let's do this y'all, 


do you hear birds?

I hear birds now.

I have always appreciated birds. They're stunning, gorgeous, and the beauty of flying gets me when I stop to think about it.

But I have never "heard" them.  I don't pay THAT much attention.  Until now.

There's this sound that has stayed with me from that moment I heard it...nestled behind a small patch of brush, the dark, early morning surrounded 9 others and myself. I was soaking in such a foreign, pure, silent, stillness [compared to the bustle that accompanies my 3 children] in that early hour, and then a quick warning whisper, "here they come," floated through the air. Another flash of pure silence and then this, "whoosh." [I simply cannot write the sound accurately].  It was a swift, confident, powerful sound.  Beautiful.  And it haunts me a little.

There was so much depth to this unique shoot.  First, I had never been hunting. Until I got some help, I didn't even know what to wear.  ;)

Second, these hunters took some extra steps just to be there.

And quite frankly, they have to take extra steps to do a lot of things.  I watched all weekend, admiring their casual, "let's make this thing work" attitude and mentally began checking things about which I wouldn't complain anymore.
An old friend of mine asked me to document this hunt that he's hosted for about 10 years. He defines determination and has made the hard choice to enjoy life in some unexpected, difficult circumstances.  I don't know which was harder...initially making that choice, or re-choosing it every single day.  I have an idea though...

I was honored to be there and share a little bit more of his story in the video [the video was done for the SOAR! blog...the opening is about an assignment of ours which had nothing to do with this hunt].

About that bird sound haunting me...That swift, confident "whoosh" was heard when everything else was still.  When I was in tune, focused, and listening in an unfamiliar environment.  How often do I let life's noise [my issues] drown out the simple, but powerful moments...moments that remind us to be still.  To listen. How often do I get distracted doing the same things over again, things that don't challenge me? How present am I, how focused am I when I am with other people? Am I tuned in to problems or solutions? Do I enjoy life in the unexpected? I know it was just a sound.  But for me, that sound, this hunt, those hunters, are such symbols for the way to really LIVE life.  I didn't before, but you can bet that I now pay attention to birds.



Love is in the air...

I have had the pleasure of working with some great couples lately--Meet our new friends Robin and Mike! Michael and I spent the day in Gruene a few weeks ago and had so much fun taking pictures of these smiles!  We had SO much fun!

And that's a wrap!  Thank y'all for such a great day--looking forward to the wedding!!