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My Week in Paris ~ a love letter of sorts…

“If you are lucky enough to have lived in Paris as a young man, then wherever you go for the rest of your life it stays with you, for Paris is a moveable feast.”

-Ernest Hemingway

“Let’s go to Paris,” she said.  My mother, who’d never traveled to Europe before decided somewhere during what I’ve dubbed “my worst year ever” that Paris seemed like a good idea.  And although I couldn’t see it then, Audrey Hepburn (and my mother) couldn’t be mistaken.  So we started making plans.  I suppose it really didn’t hit me until we got to the airport that this was really happening.  And I’m so thankful it did.  One thing Mom also said before the travel agent was even contacted (that really resonated with me throughout our trip) was that she may not have tomorrow and so, by golly, we were going.  How could I argue with that? And honestly, after unexpectedly losing her sister – my beloved Aunt Karen – in January, I couldn’t have agreed more. There are no guarantees of our time left on earth.  And creating memories with our loved ones, exploring the beauty of this world, is something I want to spend more time doing.

Upon arrival, we were immediately taken aback by the beautiful blooms.  Paris in Spring is simply stunning.  Our driver was quick to tell us that the beautiful canopy of purple blooms lining the street where our hotel was had just happened a few days before our arrival.  Already a good sign.  We had some rain and winter-like temps throughout our week, but nothing could take away the magic and allure of the City of Light for us.

People keep asking me what my favorite part of the city was and I just can’t seem to narrow it down to one thing.

So here is my simple love letter to Paris—

I loved waking up every day with an adventure ahead of us.  New places to discover, people to meet, food to eat and culture to learn.

I love that your coffee just tastes better.  And I miss your Cafe Cremes dearly.

I love that love was everywhere – whether it was the American girl chatting up her new Parisian boyfriend next to us in the cafe or the young woman crossing the street and as my eyes followed her, she leaped into the arms of a man and flung her legs around him as though it had been forever since they’d seen each other.  I just smiled because it was so cliche and so perfect.

I loved visiting Shakespeare and Company, your famous bookstore once occupied by American ex-pat artists and writers Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ezra Pound and Man Ray to name a few.  I loved daydreaming of you in the 1920′s in all your extravagance and glory and now have a fascination for The Lost Generation and their time with you.

I love your simple grilled ham and brie open-faced sandwiches.  I’ve never been much of a ham fan.  But they were divine.

I loved standing in your cathedrals and chapels so beautiful, my breath was literally taken away.

I loved ducking into one of your vintage boutiques and finding the ultimate souvenir – a beautiful camel trench coat by Parisian designer Lolita Lempicka – in perfect condition.  Thanks for spotting it, mom!

I loved walking through your historic Marais area and daydreaming what it would be like to live there as an artist.  To think, dream, write, photograph. To soak in your art galleries, fashion houses and cafes.

I loved sitting in the basement of your Musee de l’Orangerie and taking in Monet’s Water Lilies  from all sides.  Awe-inspiring.

I loved watching your Eiffel Tower glitter against the night sky while having an amazing meal with one of my favorite people.

I loved standing at the top of both your Eiffel Tower and Arc de Triomphe – despite being winded or chilled to the bone.  When you’re “on top of the world”, somehow those are just insignificant.

I loved visiting your famous Laduree not once, but three times.  I could really use a raspberry macaroon right now. I’m sure mom could too.

I love your rain-soaked streets…reflecting your many lights…illuminating your many charms.

I love looking forward to my return because in the words of Hemingway, it does stay with you. It has stayed with me. And we will meet again…

Au Revoir, Paris.  xoxo.

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And now for the Instagram photos…

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June 6, 2013 - 12:05 pm

Lynn Dunavin - WOW! Just remember – a direct flight every single day but in the meantime, I can look at your beautiful blog and “always have Paris”!

June 6, 2013 - 8:06 pm

Becky - Simply amazing photos Heather. You and your Beautiful mom will always have Paris.

Happy Mother’s Day {Dallas Child Photographer}

“All that I am, or hope to be, I owe to my angel mother.”

Abraham Lincoln

In honor of Mother’s Day, I wanted to showcase a few of my favorite mother/child images from the past year.  Capturing the tender moments between families, often the unplanned/un-posed moments, is one of my very favorite parts of my job.  Happy Mother’s Day to my beautiful clients! And to my own mother, Lynn, thank YOU for everything.  I am truly blessed to have you as an example of how I hope to be for my own kids some day.

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Here is a photo of my mother and I last summer – taken by my talented friend, Beth Morgan of B. Mo Foto:

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Sarah is 7! {Dallas Child Photographer}

I have a really big, beautiful family where reunions easily rival a small town’s population.  As one of 44 grandchildren, I have a lot of first cousins. Unfortunately, most of them live in Amarillo so it’s not often I get to see them or watch their children grow up.  Facebook at least provides a tiny glimpse into their worlds.  When my cousin Tandy and I finally planned her daughter’s portrait session around a time she’d be in Dallas, I was beyond excited.  We’ve been talking about it for several years and to finally see it come to fruition warms my heart.  Her gorgeous 7-year-old daughter, Sarah, was adopted as a newborn and I’ve loved watching Tandy and her husband, Danny, give this girl an amazing life filled with love, guidance and – oh yah -  her own place in our big, beautiful family.

To be honest, I was given the heads up that Sarah does not like to have her portrait taken.  Oh how I love it when a parent tells me this.  I just take that as a little challenge and can’t wait to see their faces when the final images are presented.  It is then that I’m able to appreciate this gift even more.  I adore children and to be able to connect with them through my photography is a blessing.  Sarah and I made it a collaboration and in doing so, she simply captured my heart.  Tandy and Danny, I hope these favorites from our afternoon do her sweet soul justice.  It was truly an honor and I hope we can do it again!  May you continue to grow in God’s love and be the amazing parents she was so blessed to find.  You inspire me.

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I’ve had this dress for a while and was itching to use it.  Sarah was a little hesitant to see my “vision” at first but I think she rocked it.  I kind of wish it fit me…

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I brought this little flower wreath for her hair just in case.  I know they are super popular right now but I couldn’t resist.  And I’m glad she indulged me.  Tandy is a big Mumford & Sons fan (as am I) and this line from their song “After the Storm” kept playing in my head when looking at these images so I had to do something with it.

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May 2, 2013 - 10:45 pm

Tandy Mack - Heather……God blessed us with Sarah. I am forever grateful that you captured my baby’s heart and soul. You are so talented. I love you sweet cousin.

May 2, 2013 - 11:49 pm

Heather Dunavin - Thank you sweet Tandy! Truly an honor. Love ya, cuz!

Sydney ~ Class of 2013 {Dallas Senior Photographer}

What a joy to wrap up 2013 seniors with this beauty!  Congrats on all you’ve achieved sweet Sydney, and wishing you all the best as you embark on this next chapter of your life.  It was a pleasure to work with you and also your sister two years ago.   Where does the time go?  So thankful for my loyal clients!

Special thanks to Sabrina Hull for her amazing makeup artistry.  She nailed it.

A few of my faves:

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