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Category Archives: photography

Laura Bacigalupo | Fort Worth Artist + Abstract Painter

I did a podcast today and one of the questions was something about what I want (other than coffee 😉 .) I want to help people live in connection to their deepest knowing…their highest wisdom…their truth. Stepping into our most authentic self encourages others. I know how it feels to live in a place of disconnect…how much energy the facades require. I know how it feels to exist in numbness.

And, I know how it feels to live authentically – how it feels to wake bright-eyed with enthusiasm about what the day holds, how it feels to use my unique talents to serve others.

When someone who’s walking this path calls me to take their photographs, I’m always so thrilled.

I photographed this talented painter, Laura Bacigalupo at her beautiful (swoon) studio space in the Riverside Arts District of Fort Worth. I felt vulnerable and fascinated watching her work. I watched as she painted white over parts she didn’t like, as she moved the canvas from the floor to the easel back to the floor, shaking and dripping and drinking my favorite beloved Topo Chico. (PSA: don’t drink >5 Topo Chicos in a single day #addict).

When I got home, I felt so inspired to paint. I paint a little. Occasionally, I write some words over the watercolors and leave it on an altar. Mostly, I crumple up what I paint and throw it in the recycling bin.

After this shoot, however, I knew exactly what I wanted to paint: my teacher training manual cover.

One of the things that was important to Lauren Wessinger and me was to make our yoga teacher training manual “a work of art.” The same week I photographed Laura, our manual went to print. When I saw the cover of our training manual, I just didn’t like it. It didn’t invite me to open it. I actually felt sick to my stomach when it caught my eye from the dining room table. So, I sat down and began painting a cover that felt inviting and aligned with our vision. I don’t know if I would’ve done that if the timing of the shoot and the training hadn’t been in such close succession. Had I not seen Laura paint white over layers she didn’t like, I might not have given myself permission to begin again. We influence each other – even when we don’t realize. My life canvas in its many layers and textures continues to evolve. I’m loving this iteration.

I can’t wait to see what she creates for my dining room. I know it’ll be amazing. To see more of her work and for info about commissions, contact her here:

https://www.instagram.com/laurabacigalupoart/ or laurabacigalupoart@gmail.com .

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a film journey through Joe T. Garcia’s | DFW film photographer

For every single celebration, my family meets at Joe T. Garcia’s, the famous restaurant on the northside of Fort Worth. I’m a plant lady, so I have always loved their vibe. Stepping into the gardens here is like stepping into another world. Every quarter or so, I have the pleasure of taking photos for their social media and web branding, and it’s always a joy. The rich history of the restaurant and its lush gardens beg for the classic tones of Kodak Portra (along with a few Ilford 3200 black and whites). Thank you to Richard Photo Lab for the beautiful, timely processing.
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this is what democracy looks like | women’s march on Washington

I went to Washington D.C. I had no idea what to expect. I arrived on the day of the inauguration. I’d never seen so much red, white, and blue. People so proud of the President. Proud to be “deplorable.” And standing in the street, so many others: angry. I receive comments from time to time from people who say, “Amber, how can you practice so much meditation and yoga and still be so angry?”

To which I say: How can you *not* be?

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Anger is part of the stream of emotion. My meditation practice has taught me to *be* with all of it. My anger has morphed to compassion, mostly.

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I feel deeply in the marrow of my bones that women from all economic demographics should have access to screenings for cervical and breast cancer, that a quality free public education is important, that abortion should be an option, that Muslims – and all immigrants – are welcome in this country, that my wife deserves all of the rights that a husband would have, that clean water is important, that science is real.

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I have struggled to understand: how can you *not* believe in these fundamental rights for all beings?

And, I have realized that perhaps you feel just as righteously right in your beliefs as I do in mine: you’re as proud to be “deplorable” as I am to be “nasty.”

I think I’m starting to understand: you fear big government and/or high taxes and believe a businessman can turn our country around; you lost jobs to globalization or technology or both, and you’re angry because the American Dream you were promised has changed; you fear Islamic extremists and people who enter our country illegally; you are God fearing and do not believe babies should be aborted; somehow (though I still don’t quite understand how) you don’t believe in climate change; you can’t fathom why your health insurance premiums are so high and why you should subsidize healthcare for everyone else especially those who do not care for themselves; you served in the military where you were taught to serve and protect using semi-automatic weapons, and now the thought of some politician taking your right to arms away terrifies you; you believe marriage is between a man and a woman; you fear people who defy binary gender norms in bathrooms.

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Please write to me if I’m speaking out of turn. I can almost empathize, I think. I think I know how you feel.

And, while I can understand, I don’t agree.

I know, I know…you want us to give Trump a chance.

I’ll speak for a couple million people who marched on Saturday: we can’t. We can’t be quiet when equality and human rights are at stake. And, what we’d really like is for you to understand why your insistence that we stop talking about politics is part of the problem.

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Because, if you can afford to look the other way, your privilege is showing. And it’s hard for us to see our own privilege. (At least, I know it is for me.) When you choose to say nothing in the face of injustice, you feed it and condone it…you normalize hatred and inequality. And, it’s not normal. It’s not ok. So maybe instead of covering our ears and closing our eyes and defriending, unfollowing, and creating walls, we can build bridges with our dialogue.

It won’t be easy, I know. So much of what’s beautiful in my life today is the result of hard work, pain and suffering. This personal history as well as our nation’s history gives me hope. We are a resilient people. And progress is a slow march.

One of the most beautiful things I’ve ever witnessed was these women who formed a barricade around the women who were protesting abortion. Their voices were heard. Peacefully. Nonviolently. I hope I can hold this image in my heart for the next four years and eternally.

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One of my dear friend’s mantra this year is: the whole world is my church. May we cease to dress fear and hatred up in religous clothing. May we remember that we belong to each other.
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To purchase one of these images, click here. 25% of proceeds benefit a local refugee who was in a car accident and is trying to feed her children.

amarillo adventure

This family. They really love each other. It was so obvious to me in the way they treated each other. I hope that love shines through in these images.

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Pantsuit Nation

I am as excited as I was, when I was 7 and my father pulled me out of school to see Ann Richards be inaugurated as governor. Pantsuit Nation has taken over Facebook in the last few days. Often, people add me to groups without my permission, and I feel angry. I don’t know who added me to Pantsuit Nation, but to whoever did add me: thank you. From the bottom of my heart. I’ve been on Facebook hiatus because of the vitriol. However, reading the pantsuit nation stories have helped me to see that I am not alone. And in Texas it can feel as if I am. These women today – they were so excited to wear their pantsuits. For some who are lawyers and consultants, these suits are part of their daily attire. Others made last minute pant suit purchases at local thrift stores. Some of us knew each other. Fort Worth is so big and small. And, the ones who hadn’t met are now connected. The excitement hung in the air like the low laying clouds. I will always remember this day.

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See the rest of the #pantsuitnation photos from across the USA and beyond here: https://dennykwan.smugmug.com/PantsuitNation

 

ben | Trinity Valley School Fort Worth Senior Class of 2017

I just love his sly side smile. Like a J. Crew model, he knows how to turn on the charm. And though he didn’t want to do the cliche senior photos with props, he’s quite the golfer. And ambitious – applying to 5 universities. Majoring in Business, he’s got a good head on his shoulders. The rain postponed our shoot, and clouds loomed for this session, too, but he and his sweet mom were troopers, traipsing through the Colonial golf course and over to West 7th and downtown. When I do senior portraits, I love to mix natural light with strobes – youthful innocence with promising adulthood, natural environments with cityscapes. And I love it when a client gives me full reign to do what I do best. That feeling when someone loves your art as you love creating it – it’s why I continue to pursue this path. I’m going to create art no matter what – it’s who I am. But, to share it, as vulnerable as it feels, is why I know I’m here: to give away the gifts I’ve been given.

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he’s her lobster | fort worth wedding photography

I asked these two what there expectations were for their wedding photography, and they said, “Our engagement pictures speak for themselves.” Working with these two from start to finish was smooth and easy. These two have serious chemistry. And, wow on the night before at their rehearsal dinner at Joe T. Garcia’s, it was clear how much their friends love and adore them. Cheers to a lifetime of happiness, Julia & Tim.

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Remember that Friends reference: “He’s her lobster.” Well, Tim is Julia’s lobster.
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University Christian Church is serious about the sanctity of marriage. Many thanks to my team up in the balcony who were second and third shooting.
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Love all the house party girls and the cutest wedding party you ever did see.
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I always like to carve out a few minutes between the wedding and the reception for the couple. How grounding before you party with hundreds of your closest friends!
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Big thanks to Jennifer Elmore for these detail shots while I was with the bride and groom.

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Y’all, the matron of honor and the groom both sang! So heartwarming.
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The bride and groom are longtime friends and fans of the cover band, Poo Live Crew. And they brought the party!
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I had a few friends at the wedding, so we took a selfie. I have as much fun as the guests…

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wedding venue : University Christian Church

reception : Ridglea Country Club

florist : Mike Harrison  |  Party Designs & Productions

cake : Wonderful Cakes by Jose Munoz

band : Poo Live Crew

hair : Molly at Goldwaves

makeup : Courtney Moore

love matters | fort worth family session at Shady Oaks Country Club

last week I woke to the news of the Orlando  shooting – as we all did. and I felt out of sorts and shaken – as we all did. I wanted to cancel this shoot to hide under the blankets of my bed and cry – as many of my sensitive friends said they also did. I’m for showing up for commitments, and I’m for canceling to care for yourself. but, something inside me knew that, in this instance, to cancel was to let fear win. and so I put on my Sunday’s best and drove to the country club where I gave this guy a bottle at brunch. cnn played above my head – the violence at once so near and far. and afterward we went out in the grass where he felt, for perhaps the first time, the unbridled delight of fresh grass between his hands and feet. and for 20 minutes, as I zoomed in on his eyes and eyelashes, hair and hands, all was right in the world again.

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finally, he’s yours…forever | a fort worth adoption finalization

I’ve learned much about the adoption process as I’ve photographed this family over the past 6 months. And, I’d not attended an adoption finalization ceremony. It was short and oh so sweet. Finally, according to the courts, he’s forever their son. And people came from near and far to celebrate the moment. Oh my goodness, you could feel the love!

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