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The “F” Family ~ a Holiday Couture Session {Dallas Fort Worth Family and Child Photographer

Another gorgeous family that’s been with me a while – the “F” family!  This little boy has been plastered all over my web site and blog since he was a baby – and you can see why.  I’ve enjoyed photographing his adorable little sister’s first year as well.

Some faves from our Holiday Couture session on a recent beautiful fall day.  So thankful for the color this year!

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The “B” Family ~ a Holiday Couture Session {Dallas Fort Worth Family Photographer}

This is my 4th Holiday Couture session with this gorgeous family and  I love how much joy these two boys bring to every shoot.  Aimee also made the gorgeous (and ever so appropriate) “joy” sign and silly props shown at the end and it was fun to incorporate them.  Thank you, “B” family, for allowing me to continue documenting your precious family.  I’m blessed to know you and call you friends!

Some faves:

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Sometimes I’m a Wannabe Interior Designer {decorating a Fort Worth condo}

I absolutely love interior design/decorating.  I would never claim to be a professional or even remotely comparable but it is something I’ve been told I’d be really good at and it brings me happiness.   It started very early in life – age seven I believe.  My mom always kept a stack of home décor magazines and I would sit for hours soaking in every page and daydreaming of the house I would some day have.  And then I would start rearranging my bedroom which led to rearranging the living room.  Mom would come home from work periodically to find my new interpretation of the living room – something I appreciate as she didn’t have to let me release my frequent need to create a new space.  I’m sure she got tired of wondering what surprise I’d created that day or wonder when my odd (and not particularly age-appropriate) hobby would end and I’d move on to other creative outlets.  But let’s be honest, there are worse things a kid could be doing while home alone after school.  So, for that, I thank you Mom!  And I’m pretty sure your impeccable style also has a lot to do with my love and knack for creating a beautiful home.
I’ve had several friends or social media acquaintances request photos of my own humble abode – just based on snippets they’ve seen on Instagram or Facebook – and I do intend to finally photograph and blog it.  But first, I’d like to showcase a personal project my sweet boyfriend let me take on.  He was moving from a very traditional, old home and downsizing quite a bit to a more modern three-story condo with a gorgeous rooftop view of the city.  After selling most of his more traditional furniture, we set out to find pieces that would be more appropriate in his new setting.  He did keep a few traditional and antique pieces and my challenge was to mix those pieces with newer, more modern ones, to create an eclectic look that was “more him,” in his words.
I was like a kid in a candy store as I researched, shopped and dragged him to stores at every free moment he had.  Knowing that Jason has many interests including reading, writing and music, my goal was to make it a beautiful space that reflected all of those things.
Although we’re still looking for a few art pieces, below is the result of his home makeover. This post doesn’t include his guest room/bath on the first floor but the remainder of the condo on floors two and three.  I can’t wait to blog my own home so you can see the difference (his more modern abode versus my very old and vintage-inspired décor) but still see a few of my style trademarks sprinkled throughout both.  I’ve indicated below where you can find some of the larger pieces and, aside from adorning the walls a bit more, the final project will be to get the rooftop terrace in order.  Enjoy!

Where to buy:

The living room and dining room:

I took covers off old classic books (you can get them on the cheap at Half Price Books) and wrapped in twine for an artful display and homage to one of his passions.

Coffee table/trunk and custom gray velvet tufted sofa from Restoration Hardware

Citron tweed chair, black leather chair and multi-colored modern rug (in dining area) from Crate and Barrel

White bookcases, bar stools and dining table/chairs from West Elm

Oversized leaning mirror (on stair landing), mirror above buffet from Ballard Designs

 

Office/bar area:

Jason had a pile of playbills that I thought would make a great wall gallery.  I found frames at www.playbillstore.com

Bar cart and floor lamp from Ballard Designs

 

Master bedroom/bathroom:

His own bed/bedside tables and dresser from before

Gray secretary desk, distressed leather chair and brown leather chaise (in reading nook) from Restoration Hardware

Bedding and white marble-top shelf with drawers (in bath) from Pottery Barn

Bedside table lamps from Pottery Barn and floor lamp (near distressed leather chair) from Ballard Designs

 

All window treatments by Trinity Uptown Custom Window Coverings – www.blindsfortworth.com

Most of the artwork is by local artists including Yours Truly.:)

 

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November 4, 2013 - 8:54 pm

Jimmie Snider - Heather, I think you missed your calling by not being a full time interior designer. That would have been a natural for you, as you have proven in decorating Jason’s home. You are a great photographer also…I’ll just say you are one mutli- talented pretty young lady! Great talent.

We look forward to seeing you and Jason soon. Love to both.

November 4, 2013 - 9:20 pm

Heather Dunavin - Jimmie- that means so much to me! Thank you! So appreciate you taking time to read and comment. Looking forward to visiting you guys again soon!! Xoxo!!

November 4, 2013 - 9:53 pm

Katy Fields - Heather, what you have done with the place looks amazing! Especially since I saw what it looked like before! So beautiful!:)

November 4, 2013 - 10:07 pm

Kami - I agree, while you are a fabulous photog – you are equally fabulous at designing. WOW! Is all I can say. It’s lovely!

November 5, 2013 - 10:38 am

Heather Dunavin - Thanks so much Katy and Kami!!! Xo!

My Unforgettable African Adventure – a Mana Pools, Zimbabwe safari

A few weeks have passed since my return from the Mana Pools National Park in Zimbabwe, Africa, and I’ve had a little time to really digest the experience, edit photos and try to do my adventure justice through words and imagery here.

Truth be told, an African safari was never on my bucket list.  Sure, I’d always thought it would be an amazing experience but I had other dreams and destinations to tackle.  Africa seemed so far out of reach.  And then I was blessed with an opportunity I couldn’t pass up—one that I’m forever grateful for.

Our seven days in the “bush” was simply magical.  This was no cushy sit-in-the-Land rover and peer through binoculars safari.  We were literally tracking animals in the wild with our legendary guide, Stretch, twice a day for seven days. What we encountered was heart-stopping, exhilarating and once-in-a-lifetime.  We were face to face with (and charged by at times) elephants and a lioness guarding her cub.  We stood feet from a pack of lions, wild dogs, water buffalo, hippos, kudu, hyenas, elan, impala, baboons, zebras, crocodiles, warthogs and more.

I saw some of the most beautiful birds and sunsets I’ve ever seen. I saw the Southern Cross (not visible here in the Northern Hemisphere) and stars so vivid, you could reach out and grab them. I sat in the Zambezi River viewing Zambia’s majestic mountains just across it.  I listened to elephants, hippos and hyenas stirring outside my tent at night.  I watched a baby elephant nurse and in the same moment, two female elephants interlock their trunks in a display of affection that brought tears to my eyes.  Did you know that when elephants haven’t seen each other in a while, they will do this to show they missed each other?  Amazing.

I truly miss the African light painting the land in gorgeous warm tones.  I miss tea time under a tree, enjoying a snack and a rest before more exploration.  I miss our guide—our illustrious, fearless and funny guide, Stretch. His stories and laugh will stay with you.  I miss the anticipation of what we might see and the excitement when we did see it.  I miss random animals visiting our camp at any given time. You just never know what will happen on a safari!

One of the many blessings from my trip was one I didn’t foresee.  We walked a lot – up to five miles each trek through the bush every day.  I know that isn’t a lot to some, but for me it was quite an accomplishment.  I haven’t been very active in the last few years due to a bad back and to be able to walk and get much needed exercise without hurting, really empowered and encouraged me.  I love how God is truly everywhere and in ways you don’t expect.  We just have to be mindful of it.

This year has been quite the opposite of my previous one – full of new friends and travel adventures, and more importantly the person that made this trip possible for me.  Thank you, Jason, for bringing so much joy and adventure into my life!

And now for some favorites from Zimbabwe.  A piece of my heart was left there for sure.

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My favorite shot from this trip – she was guarding her cub and not too happy about our intrusion.

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A typical evening drive – loved our group!  (And that’s a statue of Ganesh on our Land Rover.  Two of our new friends on the safari currently live in India and brought him for good luck while the Ganesh Chaturthi Festival was currently going on back home for them.)

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Cindy had these lovely scarves made for all of us with “Let’s Get Serious – Mana 2013″ embroidered on them.  “Let’s Get Serious” is one of Stretch’s famous lines.

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Tracking animals with one of our guides – on the right, a hyena.

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With Jason and Dan – thanks, Dan, for bringing us along on this great adventure!

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Stretch watching for animals while Ganesh watches over him

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Love this group shot all wearing our new scarves!  Thanks again, Cindy, for coordinating this unforgettable trip!

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And some fun shots from my Instagram:

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Never leave your flipflops outside your tent at night – they make for a good hyena snack.

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October 15, 2013 - 2:41 pm

Angie - Beautiful images Heather and I am SO happy that you are SO happy!!!

October 15, 2013 - 8:13 pm

Heather Dunavin - Thank you so much Angie!!

January 16, 2014 - 2:48 pm

Tiffany - Just looking back through some pics, you should definitely sell some of these from your safari!

January 21, 2014 - 1:56 pm

Heather Dunavin - thank you Tiffany! I’ve thought about it!!