New Years' Resolution: Write More Blogs! Ft: Lizzie

Hello, Internet World!

Yes, I'm still around! Today was the first day I have glanced at this page in ages and I am absolutely taken aback and humbled at the amount of subscribers to this little barebones blog. Because of this discovery I decided to write up a quick blog to thank you all -- it gives me loads of little warm fuzzies. I want to repay the fuzzies with a super duper exclusive offer: a free 20 minute profile pic session! Two available, will choose at random with raffle in a week (1/11). Email me at with proof that you subscribe and follow me on Instagram. 

It's a new year and I've decided to officially devote more time to photography and absolutely everything related. Because of this I've come to this conclusion:

A lil' BTS for ya

A lil' BTS for ya

A lil more BTS for ya

A lil more BTS for ya


2017 WILL be fantastic.

Why? Because I won't allow it to be anything but. This year is going to be filled with exciting new projects, working with fabulous creatives and of course continued work with clients, new and old. This leaves more time for me to write little blogs here and there:

So what do you want to see?

I already have some great ideas, but I would love to hear from you. Feel free to message me on Instagram (@dat_alyssa - yes, I'm aware it's a silly name!), email me ( or comment here.

Looking forward to hearing from you!

Onwards to our second order of business: Lizzie

Lizzie is a gorgeous and talented model slash fashion blogger. This lovely gal met up with me in studio a few days ago and while we only shot for about 30-45 minutes,  so many fantastic photos were captured. While chatting we discovered that we hail from the same high school -- oh how the internet world can be small! So happy to see talented folks coming out of my alma mater. 

Even in such a short time, here's one of the worst(best?) First World Photographer Problems: too many good images to choose from.

Here's just a taste:


If you'd like to work with Lizzie please message her on Instagram @lizziebross

Project Coffee Shop: let's be casual


Doing a portrait session at a coffee house is not an original idea. In fact, it's pretty uncreative.

But why is that a problem? I like coffee shops. I like how comfortable they are. I like how it's neutral territory; it's where people work, where people study, where people meet and catch up, where first dates are had. It's awesomely casual and pretty darn comfortable for everyone. 

Just because it's been done before doesn't mean that you can't do it in your style and produce awesome photos. I'll go as far as to say this controversial statement: there's nothing wrong with copying someone's idea. In fact, one of the best ways to set up a shoot is to find inspiration through photographers that you admire and put your own spin on their ideas. 

Another thing I love about this photo shoot with Dakota is that it literally took 30 minutes. Seriously. Look how many fabulous photos were created in such a short time! ***Not every shoot has to last hours*** Don't let anyone fool you by saying that you need hours to shoot. You don't*.

*Unless you have a ton of costume changes and as long as the photographer knows what they're doing.

That's why I recommend mini sessions for those clients looking for new head shots, social media photos and whatever else; they're cheap and quick and stress free.

If you'd like to work with or hire Dakota (still can't get over that hair or those freckles!) please message her through Facebook @

Thoughts on Posing

Everybody loves Hat Girl!

I bet if you didn't know Victoria, you'd see these photos and that figure she was an experienced model. On the contrary, friend! This was the first time she had ever been in front of the camera!

"Hat Girl" as dubbed by many Facebook users

"Hat Girl" as dubbed by many Facebook users

Photographing professional models is a blast, but one of the favorite parts of my job is taking someone who has never done photos before and working with them to create the illusion of experience. The key to this is to have my subject be comfortable and act natural. Easier said than done, right?

Now don't be confused,  It's completely normal to be nervous and uncomfortable when starting your photo shoot. Besides professionals nearly every single person that steps in front of my camera is a nervous wreck, but when looking through my portfolio you would hardly think so.

It's my job as your photographer to make you feel comfortable and to help you pose naturally.

The first step to this is to warm up my client and make sure that they know that this shoot is supposed to be fun. The photo session should never be just a job or something to quickly get over with; jokes should be made and laughs should be had! It astounds me that some professional photographers are so cold and stiff, as if they're just doing a job and their client should treat it as a chore as well.

When looking at the end result you can really tell if someone felt uncomfortable. This is why it's important that your photographer is friendly and approachable.

One of the questions I get asked a lot by photographers is how I pose my subjects...

and unfortunately there's no easy way to answer this. Most people would say that the most important thing you can do is practice, practice, practice, and while I agree that practice is important, in my opinion there are other more important ways to improve and learn, and here are a few ways how:

1. Shadow another photographer

If there is a particular local photographer that you admire, I would suggest contacting them and either offering to assist or ask to shadow one of their shoots. When I mentor, I highly suggest that those who are concerned with posing shadow a shoot. There is no better way to learn than being in the field with another photographer. This is the absolute best way to learn. The information you will learn while seeing how another photographer handles their subject is absolutely invaluable. I do suggest following multiple photographers many times, because you'll be surprised at the little tidbits that you pick up here and there. If you're lucky you might be able to pick up a paid assistant gig!

2. Youtube

While nothing compares to observing someone in person, there are so many resources on YouTube that can help you improve your posing skills. There are videos after videos of tutorials and recorded workshops that can really lend some important knowledge. For Example, the "Hat Girl" pose was done with THIS video in mind. Side note: If you weren't already aware, Sure Bryce is the queen of posing, look her up! Also check out websites like CreateLive and Fstoppers, they're always coming out with new content and tutorials to help photographers of every experience level.

3. Photo References

When I first started focusing on portraiture, I remember being completely at a loss on how to pose my subjects. Not only that, what poses would I put them in? I found that referencing photo sites was a fantastic way to learn learn all different sorts of poses, because let's face it; hand-on-hip-and-smile gets boring after a while. Websites like 500px, Pinterest, and even many Instagram pages (make portrait magazine is a great one) are a great way to gather photos as reference.

During your shoot you can make your references available on your phone and you can either show your subject the photo, make them imitate you doing the pose, or you can direct them into it... "put you hand here, look over there" In fact, THIS is a Pinterest board I made after my first or second shoot that I have referenced many times when I'm blanking on a pose.

I'm no posing guru, even now I'm constantly learning new strategies and striving to fill those "uh, I don't know what to do" moments with new, fun poses. But, when I was first learning I combined these strategies with practice, practice, practice and gradually became a little bit better every time.

Happy shooting!


This shoot was done in November 2015, since then Victoria had modeled many times and has shot with many talented photographers. If you'd like to see more of Victoria, you can follow her on Instagram @_vphi and you may message her there if you are interested in hiring or shooting her.

Evan at The Belmont

The moment I set eyes on The Belmont I knew I had to shoot there. It is a gorgeous boutique hotel that is a renovated Motor Hotel from the 1940s. So, when Evan approached me proposing a 1940s/50s styled shoot I knew it was time to sneak around the hotel and take some photos.

Evan has a fantastically unique look and is talented model studying acting at TCU. If you'd like to work with or hire Evan you can contact him through his Facebook:

Tell him I sent you!

Emili {Soto} Shoot

One of the pleasures of being a photographer is collaborating with other creatives, and it's pretty darn rare when you find a model that has such vision. Emili and I discussed our love of the portrait/editorial photographer Emily Soto ( - check out her work, she's fantastic!) and decided to do a Soto-Styled shoot. Ms. Soto has an ethereal, magical quality in all of her photographs that both Emili and I adore, and I wanted to combine her ideas/vision with my style. After Emili made her crown (she's so artistic, I envy it!) we headed to the wild Oak Cliff Nature Preserve to shoot...



If you'd like to work with Emili -