Chad Brackeen Photography: Blog en-us (C) Chad Brackeen Photography (Chad Brackeen Photography) Sun, 08 Nov 2020 15:07:00 GMT Sun, 08 Nov 2020 15:07:00 GMT Chad Brackeen Photography: Blog 90 120 Kennedy2021 Kennedy's senior portraits were a perfect mix of location, wardrobe, makeup, energy, and attitude. Kennedy and Nikki, you were such a joy to work with. This team crushed it, and we were overwhelmed choosing our favorites to share. Kennedy chose the Fort Worth Botanical Gardens for our session; that, despite being early to the fall color party, it was still a beautiful location. Today's teens are more comfortable and more versatile in front of a camera, and Kennedy was a perfect example. Enjoy some of my favorites.

On the way from Point A-B, this tree brushed my arm as we passed, and I immediately recalled a fragment of a photo I had probably seen somewhere. I asked Kennedy to find her way into the bush and then part the leaves peering out looking to escape. We made several great frames, but this is the image I envisioned. As a photographer, I felt like something magical had happened, and I'll never forget it. Thanks Kennedy for trusting my crazy ideas, and Nikki for snagging our behind-the-scenes! I love this one. 

Have a great year Kennedy! Many blessings before you say farewell to your senior year.

]]> (Chad Brackeen Photography) Family Portraits Senior Sun, 08 Nov 2020 15:06:59 GMT
Peterson For anyone that knows the Peterson family, know what an incredible difficult and rollercoaster journey they are on. Yet, when you meet them, you can't help but see the joy, peace, and love they exuded in all circumstances. Many are praying continually for this family, and it is obvious the words of Romans 15:13 dug in with them long ago -- "May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit." Celebrate them today for the inspiration they have shown you as you continue to lift them up. 

At the end of our session, 3 out of 4, were still in a playful mood, so I made them endure a quick photo booth. It was awkward; it was fun; I stole some great last expressions from my hungry clients. And if they ever need mug shot photos, I'll just photoshop on a ruler. ;)

But, this selfie shot is my most prized. Brandon is a longtime collector of autographs and celebrity sightings, and his list is very impressive! Many of his encounters are accompanied by a selfie reminiscent of the one below. However, this one is for me. Brandon and the Peterson crew are my heroes, and I feel so fortunate to have heroes that are accompanied by their sweet friendship. This photo is my celebrity selfie.  

]]> (Chad Brackeen Photography) Family Location Portraits Fri, 09 Oct 2020 15:22:20 GMT
Jaden 2020  

What can I say, Jaden, but that you rocked out your senior session. Your style and smile are both contagious. Nothing makes my job more enjoyable than a client with great ideas, well put together, and arriving ready to work. I hope you’re as proud as I am of the portraits we made together.

I know your summer is filled with hard work, but I hope you still take a few moments to enjoy the beginning of a new season in life. Congratulations again; I wish you all the best and many blessings.


]]> (Chad Brackeen Photography) location portrait Senior Sun, 12 Jul 2020 19:09:41 GMT
Reagan 2020 We're all looking for silver linings these days. Reagan now finds hers anticipating more college softball. One of the first publicized casualties I remember of our nation’s shutdown was the interrupted dreams of practically every dedicated athlete, young and old, following the immediate cancellation of every athletic organization. My heart instantly went out to our high school and college seniors, many at the pinnacle of their sports careers, who were so abruptly pulled from their passion and teams and tossed into a world of isolation. 

Thankfully, the NCAA promptly responded and issued and extra year of eligibility to every student-athlete whose seasons were interrupted by the pandemic. That is why 2020 will not be final season of college softball for Reagan – now a graduate of UTA. This year, Reagan celebrates her college graduation and the opportunity to be OSU’s 2021 Cowgirl catcher as a graduate student!

We are all excited for you.  I wish you much joy and many blessings as you commemorate your undergrad achievement and navigate this new opportunity!


]]> (Chad Brackeen Photography) Location Portraits Senior Sun, 07 Jun 2020 18:20:07 GMT
Austin 2020 Austin is walking the stage at Globe Life Park as I write this -- a celebration he didn't know he was going to get to participate in a month ago. No, no...he wasn't stressing that last passing grade. MISD found a safe and fun solution to this year's graduation ceremony, and it's one that makes the church stage I walked 20-years ago seem quite plain. But, seniors 2020 definitely deserve something special after all the hard knocks the last 3 months! Congrats Austin. I hope they light the fireworks for you, and God bless your bright future! For sure, you will be telling your grandkids about 2020.

Legacy High School Mansfield Senior
Legacy High School Mansfield Senior Legacy High School Mansfield Senior Legacy High School Mansfield Senior
Legacy High School Mansfield Senior

Legacy High School Mansfield Senior Legacy High School Mansfield Senior
Legacy High School Mansfield Senior
Legacy High School Mansfield Senior

Even our friendly photo session visitor, wonky donkey, bids you all the best! :))

]]> (Chad Brackeen Photography) Location Portraits Senior Tue, 02 Jun 2020 15:59:53 GMT
Maggie Senior 20 Seniors always view this time of year as a turning point in their lives, but I can only imagine that THIS year will redefine life for all of us. In probably the last feat of normal for both Maggie (Sr. '20) and me, we were able to complete her senior portraits just before the Texas lockdown. As a future SMU art student, we were both excited to access the Meadows Art Museum for part of her portrait session. Here are some of her favorites:

May God bless you Maggie, through this challenging, yet exciting, time in your life.

]]> (Chad Brackeen Photography) Location Portraits Senior Fri, 17 Apr 2020 21:00:41 GMT
Yeager Family Eventually your children stop changing so fast that family pictures take at least a few years before appearing out-of-date. Sooner or later though, all photos seem to morph from the "what is" into the time capsule of the "what was".  I know with my 4 young children, 6 months is about all the longevity our portraits have before nostalgia creeps its way in. The Yeager's, however, just got a fresh reboot. While the oldest was back home from LCU, we updated family portraits in and around Burleson. 


]]> (Chad Brackeen Photography) Family Location Portraits Mon, 11 Nov 2019 21:02:32 GMT
Holland Senior 2019 Meet Holland, 2019 Mansfield senior. She was as charming as she is stunning in front of my camera. You may not know that some of her hidden talents include holding a pose in slimy frigid water, mastering posing charades from 50 feet away, and crafting a perfect “messy bun” in complete darkness. Thank you for trusting me to capture your personality and help celebrate your senior year in pictures. Look out LCU for this amazing nursing student next spring!


]]> (Chad Brackeen Photography) location portraits senior Sun, 14 Apr 2019 00:37:08 GMT
Madilyn Senior 2019 When you're approached by a high school senior that says, "I know it's November, but I want senior portraits in the water...", you'd better step up that game. If she's on board; you know I'm on board! I love senior passion and portraits. Thank you Texas for making this tradition such a celebration and rite of passage. 

One thing never changes, seniors love the tracks. I'll save you of all of the poetic analogies about possibilities, leaving, rebellion, power -- but I get it!  (Please do as we did though and pick a very little traveled track with good visibility, and be safe.)

Madilyn's about ready to roll down the tracks to Texas A&M. They will be so blessed to have her. 

Thank you M for trusting me to tackle one of your senior bucket list items. I can only imaging how crazy your other ambitions may be. Enjoy these sweet sweet next few months; you'll never again have any like them!


If you want to see the full reel. 

]]> (Chad Brackeen Photography) Location Portraits Senior Mon, 19 Nov 2018 21:04:19 GMT
Number 5 Alive I couldn't help it with this title. I talked the kids into watching Short Circuit a few months ago and they loved it. Now it's stuck in my brain for another 20 years. What was I going to do...oh yeah, Introducing!...last but not least, Baaaabyyyy - K! Precious number 5.

I anticipate that she will never be at a loss for someone to play with, stick up for her, guide her, or teach her how to wrestle.

And just think, here she was just a few short weeks ago awaiting her introduction into the world.

And I quote, "I'm definitely definitely done"...just making sure that gets on the record. ;)

]]> (Chad Brackeen Photography) maternity newborn Thu, 26 Apr 2018 20:58:16 GMT
Its Fall in Texas Again Fall is always the best time for family portraits, and making them for long lost friends is even sweeter. This family recently moved back to Texas, and boy I’ll tell ya, we’re lucky to have them. Joy, kindness, and encouragement leak from these people in such an impressionable way that you can’t help but take notice and try your best to reciprocate. Meet the Cabreros. Keller Town Center provided a great backdrop for us, as it can be difficult in the midst of the big city to find nice trees in the fall. If only the northeast could ship a few more reds, oranges, and yellows our way, we’d be much appreciative. 

It is always fun to watch your clients grow in photograph. Here they were 2 children ago in still one of my favorite photographs. 

Welcome back guys. Make deep roots, and stick around.  


]]> (Chad Brackeen Photography) family location portraits Wed, 29 Nov 2017 22:11:57 GMT
Mikaela Senior 2018! Mikaela was awesome for her senior portrait session. Look out TWU, here comes a talented and beautiful freshman next year! We decided a day and night city-life fashion session would be a great theme for her portraits. The downtown Fort Worth delivered great locations for us to work with.  We sort of barged our way into a private residential tower for a quick pose at the elevator. A smile can get you a long way with the gatekeeper sometimes. I really love this edgy shot, maybe because we had to bend the rules a little to get it.  Ok, we did make this image in the studio before heading to downtown; but, did I mention that she's also a great softball player?  Um, yes, it was 7 stories down on the other side of that fence, but who has time to think about that when you're "bringin' it" for the camera! If you haven't pick up on this yet, I really love working after dark. Sundance Square provided us our scene, and with the onlookers that enjoyed our progress, I guess we may have made our own (scene). 

Many blessings are to come for this fantastic girl. 

]]> (Chad Brackeen Photography) location portraits senior Tue, 07 Nov 2017 22:25:49 GMT
Jake! Mansfield Frontier Senior 2017 Jake - Senior 2017!

For all of you that already know this guy, I don’t have to tell you how cool he is! And, boy did we have a fun senior portrait session. He brought along many of his favorite things - his Camaro, his dog, his family, and his tinkering lab.

Frontier, take note. The boys aren’t crazy about the purple! So, please excuse the Photoshop magic. 

And here's Byson trying to steal the show. Good dog!

In case you didn't know, Jake can build practically anything with his bare hands (you know like a solar super car), and he can put my own soldering skills to shame. That's probably why I truly enjoyed making this environmental portrait for Jake in his element. If there is a way to fit a workstation into his dorm room, Jake will certainly find it.

Congratulations Jake. Cherish this time cuz it only comes around once!

]]> (Chad Brackeen Photography) High School Senior Location Portraits Fri, 28 Apr 2017 18:08:31 GMT
A Must Read Adoption Story Words can’t express the joy we share for this family of nine being ‘officially’ made one today!

Put down the paper, the slew of fake news, tv drama, stream of social feeds, and go read any one of the posts at Deep Rolling Right Field. Their story is real, beautifully written, and such a wonderful demonstration of God being the glue that holds all things together when life seems impossible. You will laugh, you will cry, you will be inspired, you will be blessed.

(A bookmark of our family portrait session celebrating their unity can be found here).

]]> (Chad Brackeen Photography) Family Location Portraits Fri, 13 Jan 2017 17:22:42 GMT
An Aerospace Engineer and a Plane I’m excited to share with you all a commercial assignment I photographed for Harding Academy Memphis last week. The creative director called and asked if I could craft a handful of portraits of a very special alumna who was recently hired by Lockheed Martin after completing her degree in Aerospace Engineering and Mechanics for a new alumni profile marketing piece Harding was putting together. Unfortunately there was something something something about top secret, and we wouldn’t be able to shoot an F-35 or even a lobby at LM.  That’s when our subject chimed in with the fact that two Lockheed products sat nicely outside of the Frontier of Flight Museum at Love Field, specifically an F-16B "Fighting Falcon" and T-33A "Shooting Star". Harding was right, she is a bright girl! The CD pulled some strings, I put on the Texas charm, and we were granted some gracious access at the museum. I sure wish my boys were old enough to tag along. A recreational visit is now on our to-do list!

Part of the creative direction included avoiding the look of 'girl at a museum' with our images. Inside, that was not as easy a task, as they really pack a lot of exhibits in there. So we started outside where we were dodging some light sprinkles that could have made a nice pyrotechnics show of my strobe light. Our model, or should I say engineer, made fantastic work of my loose direction. On second thought, I think the initial title was appropriate; we had to work on "engineering" up our images – hence the addition of our tablet prop. Noticing she didn't have any pockets, I silently slid my old civil engineering pocket protector back into the bag. I couldn’t be happier with our results, which were only achievable through the teamwork of the CD, the model, and the location. 

]]> (Chad Brackeen Photography) Commerical Location Photography Portraits Thu, 01 Sep 2016 19:21:23 GMT
Rogers Engagement at Fort Worth Botanical Gardens Meet Wesley and Valerie - engaged 2016!  Wesley, sentimental of this location for his final Eagle Scout project, chose the beautiful Fort Worth Botanical Gardens for their engagement portraits. I’m not sure he could have picked any better place to compliment his lovely fiancé Valerie. And thank you, God, for a few August clouds and a little reprieve from the prior 100 degree days. You guys were troopers and apparently sweat much less than I did on our session. They both must have had the “I Will Do Anything for Love” chorus on repeat in the back of their heads as they never gave me anything but smiles, laughs, and fun. As a side note, this chorus fades a little when the little kids arrive, at least as far as summer family photo session are concerned anyway. ;)

Photographer: "Ok, let's move on...Hey, were did Val go?"

Wesley: "Um, I think she went over there to catch a butterfly."

Photographer: "Well then you should definitely go over there in case she get's one!"

'Click, Click, click click click, Man I hope I get these!'

Let's just say, I could make an entire post on the butterfly series. It was simply an awesome experience to photograph.

I wish you many blessings on the start of your new life together forever.

]]> (Chad Brackeen Photography) Engagement Location Photography Portraits Tue, 30 Aug 2016 02:53:13 GMT
The Late Great Baby J in the Newborn Studio Today Getting ready to grow up in a house full of girls, the birth of Baby Boy J may be the only time he is accused of being late – 9 days late in fact. That extra time in God’s oven sure helped make him a lovely newborn model here in the Burleson photo studio.

Baby J is going to have to work hard on his mean face and muscles to get ready to defend these two blond bomb-shell sisters of his.


Do you remember these two girls from the archives?

You guys are near to our hearts, and we can’t wait to help photograph your growing moments in this family. Many blessings Baby-J, and be nice to mama.

If you have time to enjoy more pictures from our newborn session, hit up the video below. And as always, thanks for pinning your favorites.


]]> (Chad Brackeen Photography) Baby Family Newborn Portraits Studio Sun, 25 Jan 2015 20:16:01 GMT
CBP Studio Celebrates a Burleson Baby Girl this Christmas One healthy baby girl trumped every other present under the tree for one Burleson family.

This newborn session was a joy to photograph and a great reminder of life’s true gifts. We made quick work of her session to accommodate all of the holiday activities. I'm sad to say, however, I missed the opportunity to photograph her in the pink fireplace stocking she came wrapped in from Santa. Mom already stole that thunder when she came home from the hospital just 5 days ago in it. ;)


Many blessing to you all, and thank you for letting me care for your precious daughter. Hold onto this one; she's a keeper. 

If you’re interested in a peek into the CBP Studio, hit this quick video for a 20-second behind the scenes of our newborn session. 

Chad Brackeen Photography Studio Behind the Scenes into a Newborn Session

Royalty Free Music by

]]> (Chad Brackeen Photography) Baby Newborn Portraits Studio Sun, 04 Jan 2015 14:23:01 GMT
Love at White Rock Lake | Engagement Portraits from Burleson Texas What is not to love about making engagement portraits for two people that love each other, display genuine emotion, are adventurous, and come prepared with amazing ideas for their session? Such was the case with Jordan and Curly. Thank you for trusting me as the photographer to turn your visions into a reality for celebrating your engagement.

Engagement Portraits at the Lake

Engagement Portraits at the Lake


Jordan had hopes of a casual lake session matching the theme of her wedding plans. Unfortunately, we are fresh out of lakes in Burleson. That's ok. With the client's time constraints from their weekend trip to Dallas, I knew we needed a location that was closer for them anyway. Dallas White Rock Lake provided exactly what we needed - water, access, and variety.

Engagement Portraits at Dallas White Rock Lake Engagement Portraits at Dallas White Rock Lake Engagement Portraits at Dallas White Rock Lake

I put lots of thought in finding the perfect location for each of my clients. And it's nice sometimes to stray from the go-tos just as we did for Jordan and Curly's session. Come to think of it, it's always my adventurous engagement sessions that pull me off the beaten path, much like when I shot the Dallas skyline for another client.

I have way too many great pictures from the props and ideas my clients came prepared with to show you all of them, but I have to share this carry-me-away balloon idea Jordan was prepared for. Fun, adventurous, creative, what's not to love with this couple?

Engagement Portraits with Balloons

Engagement Couple with Balloons

Regretfully, since I don't typically take on wedding work, engagement sessions are a bit of a rare occurrence for me. These sessions are typically gobbled up by wedding photographers. Is there as much motivation for a wedding photographer to create an extravagant engagement session for a client who has already booked them for their wedding? I dunno. But I can tell you, I simply love creating memories for people in love and enjoy working hard to find the best way to celebrate and showcase their engagement for their friends and family.

]]> (Chad Brackeen Photography) Engagement Location Portraits Fri, 17 Oct 2014 02:02:38 GMT
Sisters Sisters | Children Photography in Burleson I was in the middle of writing a generic blog post about testing new locations in Burleson, having to make quick use of my time before the sun got unbearably HOT (It's August y'all), and wondering how to incorporate this all into a witty blog post...all the while my wife keeps singing  "Sister, Sister" in my ear. (I'm not sure she knew any more words than those to whatever this song was, but she knew those...)

So, to YouTube we went...

Let's just say, I am now educated on The Haynes Sisters.

Here we go, adapted of course to the life and times of a two and four year-old.

Sisters, sisters 
There were never such devoted sisters, 
Never had to have a babysitter, no sir, 
I'm there to keep my eye on her. 

Caring, sharing 
Every little thing that we are wearing 

When it was time to get our photos done,
We wore our dresses, and we had fun!

All kinds of weather, we stick together 
The same in the rain and sweltering sun 
Two different faces, but in tight places 
We think and we act as one. 

Those who've seen us 
Know that not a thing could come between us 
Many toys have tried to split us up, but nothing can. 

Lord help the missy, who comes between me and my sissy, 
And lord help anything, that comes between me and my fam.

]]> (Chad Brackeen Photography) Children Family Location Photography Portraits Tue, 19 Aug 2014 17:37:02 GMT
Cherishing that First Year with Toddler Portraits  

Burleson Family Portraits - Kiss Smash Face PhotoKiss Smash

One-year portraits for returning clients are the best. It always amazes me to see a baby that I knew turn into a boy! The face is always the same, which just baffles me in and of itself, but now there’s a personality to complement what was once just a gas induced smile.  Burleson Family Portraits - Toddler 01 PhotoToddler and family portraits near Fort Worth in Grapevine, TX.

Burleson Family Portraits - Toddler 01 PhotoToddler and family portraits near Fort Worth in Grapevine, TX.

Burleson Family Portraits - Toddler 01 PhotoToddler and family portraits near Fort Worth in Grapevine, TX.


Burleson Family Portraits - Toddler 01 PhotoToddler and family portraits near Fort Worth in Grapevine, TX. Responding, laughing and crying at real things, turning pages in a book, eating food that doesn’t look like gruel, and do we have to mention those tentative first few steps? These are all milestones that should be cherished.  If you are fortunate enough save some moments on camera or video, what a great legacy they will be for you and them. 

Burleson Family Portraits - Toddler 01 PhotoToddler and family portraits near Fort Worth in Grapevine, TX.

Burleson Family Portraits - Toddler 01 PhotoToddler and family portraits near Fort Worth in Grapevine, TX.
As a parent of two boys, this to me is the time when the connection to our children flourishes. It’s when we can interact, help them grow into their self, make them laugh, fix their hurts, teach them to drive a peg with that tiny hammer thing...
Burleson Family Portraits - Toddler 01 PhotoToddler and family portraits near Fort Worth in Grapevine, TX.

Burleson Family Portraits - Toddler 01 PhotoToddler and family portraits near Fort Worth in Grapevine, TX. Back to this amazing, unchanging face from birth, take a second look at these newborn images and tell me that he doesn’t look the same. :)

]]> (Chad Brackeen Photography) Children Family Location Portraits Thu, 17 Jul 2014 20:41:18 GMT
Summertime Family Photo Adventures Around Fort Worth Summertime usually means that the kids are home and life is full of activities to keep them engaged. Why not bring along a photographer  and let them explore a new space with room to roam as one of these summer adventures? You'll be rewarded with fun family photographs to celebrate the summer. We recently ventured out of Burleson to meet up with a few past clients in Grapevine where we had a fun old-town and garden session before the summer heat set in.

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We made time to enjoy the goldfish, flowers, a hike in the woods with our wagon, a green spot to park our train, and each other. I wish we'd have had even more time to enjoy the summer craft fair or some ice cream on the square with my clients, but I had another date on the mound as starting pitcher for the Washington Nationals, a tee ball team not to be reckoned with, and they had a plane to catch. All that aside, smiles abounded, and some cuteness that is ever maturing was preserved for mom and dad. 

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Do you want some ideas for your summer family photo adventure with CBP? Reach out with the links above. And as always, happy pinning!

]]> (Chad Brackeen Photography) Children Family Location Portraits Sun, 06 Jul 2014 20:56:34 GMT
Burleson Newborn Portraits of a Colorful Spring Baby Hope
This little sweetheart may have been her mommy & daddy's FOURTH little angel, but she definitely brought with her her share of firsts.

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She is the first one with dark hair (like daddy's).

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She is the first springtime baby (so naturally a picture outside was in order).

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She is the first one and only her.
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Mom's signature move - the BIG bow. This bow will show up in at least one picture in each photo shoot until she's one or the dog eats it...whichever comes first.
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As a newborn photographer, it's ideal to photograph a new baby before they are 10 days old. Of course it can be done at any time, but to get those great, relaxed poses, we need a VERY sleepy baby. And most babies are happy to oblige us for about 10 days. That is why I was very happy that this little lady didn't come early. (We were out of town until a few days before her due date, and she just waited for us...) The shoot would not have gone as smoothly if you had come a few weeks early and we missed our golden opportunity. Uncle Chad thanks you.

Daddy's cowboy hat has made an appearance in all 4 newborn sons and daughters pictures...but each one with a unique look.
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I always take time in my newborn shoots to capture their hands, feet, eyes, ears, hair, etc. In the blink of an eye, those tiny parts will be hard to remember...but now they are saved forever. They grow up too fast.  

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]]> (Chad Brackeen Photography) Baby Newborn Portraits Studio Sun, 25 May 2014 03:46:09 GMT
Cutest New Midlothian Baby Comes to Burleson for Pictures Spoiler alert! This little lady just happens to be the first grandGIRL on both sides of her family. Like I said, spoiler alert. Her grandmothers were already breaking out the family heirlooms at just 11-days for her newborn pictures: Yay Yay's little chair and her great grandmother Tootsie's hat box and pearls!

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Enjoy the slide show below, or continue on for some of our favorite portraits.

Burleson Newborn Portrait Chad Brackeen photographs a families first newborn baby in his new portrait studio in Burleson

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Baby A arrived just in time for one mom to celebrate her first Mother's Day! And boy does she already have her daddy wrapped around her little finger too. So much so that she didn't mind peeing through Daddy's shirt one, no two, wait...three times! Whose idea was it to start photographing naked babies anyway? Oh wait, that was me. Oh come on, those little roles and fuzz and cheeks are adorable and need to be remembered before they are all grown out of. And I think I can quote daddy when I say it was all totally worth it!

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When doing newborn shoots, it's important to prioritize your shot list. You never know when the little one will be D-O-N-E, and when that happens, it would behoove you to listen. So we work fast, safe, and start with most important shots. To me the must haves are the family shots, a good angle of our baby's face, and any essential props from mom. After this is when Pinterest can cause us problems...too many other great ideas to choose from! When our baby says it's over, we listen. Luckily, this lady let us have all of our fun and then some.

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Thank you baby A for helping me break in the new Burleson studio! And thank you readers for pinning any of your favorite images. BTW, If you missed our mom’s maternity portraits you can see them here. Cheers.

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]]> (Chad Brackeen Photography) Baby Newborn Portraits Studio Sun, 11 May 2014 06:37:27 GMT
Maternity Portraits with Style in Burleson I tell you there is something in the water near Burleson. If you’re trying to get pregnant, you’ve come to the right place. Enjoy another reel from a recent maternity session with a beautiful family that I have had the opportunity to photograph again as they grow.

Burleson Maternity PortraitsThis was such a fun fashion maternity session on location and in the studio in Burleson

I’m not a mom, um ok that probably went without saying, but it seems to me pregnancy is a great time show off a little fashion flair and to be proud of your new figure. I mean you have to buy new clothes anyway, why not make them a little more stylish or colorful than normal. You only have to hit a 9 month fashion curve, pun intended. I love this clean white shot, it reminds me so much of the magazine look I was aiming for. Did you catch that little belly vogue in the video clip above; I’ll have to remember to work that in next time…cracks me up every time I watch it.

Fashion Maternity Portrait

Maternity Silhouette

Maternity Portrait Prop

Maternity Portrait Fashion 2

With an army of faith and grace in this family, this was such a great idea to celebrate the next middle name. Is it just me or does anyone else see a ‘love’ in their future? Just keep drinking that south Fort Worth water.

Family Maternity Portrait Family Maternity Portrait 2

Maternity Portrait Couple

P.S. Anyone want to help me with my Pinterest debut? You can tag with the icon if you hover over the images. Thanks!

]]> (Chad Brackeen Photography) Baby Children Family Maternity Newborn Portraits Studio Thu, 10 Apr 2014 18:39:10 GMT
A Legacy of Maternity Portraits
Armstrong MaternityMaternity portraits are an invaluable legacy for your children.

Baby A's first pictures came before she ever met this world. When she was growing in your womb, she listened to your heartbeat all day long. Your walk lulled her to sleep. She already loved you so much. And you her.

Maternity portraits are just one of the things you did in preparation for her arrival - so she could see you when you two were one. She will want to have these one day.

I've never seen any pictures of my mom pregnant with me. I would like to have one.

Many do not realize but maternity portraits are foremost a legacy to your child. Once that precious baby arrives there are no re-dos. Everyone says you look beautiful when you are pregnant, and it's true, even on the days when you don't feel it. Take this moment captive, and one day show it to him or her. 


]]> (Chad Brackeen Photography) Baby Location Maternity Portraits Studio Sun, 16 Mar 2014 12:59:49 GMT
Photographing Children and the Elusive Smile I always love a good challenge. My most common portrait client challenge is, "my child never smiles for the camera." Game on! Just do me a favor, I add, and see picture day as your one free pass to "spare the rod" and not aspire to rear royal-class citizens. Let them play, laugh, and be themselves, and I'll do my best to preserve those little gifts of genuine expression from your children...or stubborn spouse. I've actually found the later to be more of a challenge...present company excluded.

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When I heard mention that this photo session was some little one's first, and that he, up to this point, had a smile elusive to the camera, I gave it my all starting with an engaging location. I had a few trains, tractors, and trucks up my sleeve, and I can't think of many things better for a little boy.

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Second, I usually aim for a tight family shot to start the session. Keep 'em in the herd where there's comfort ­­­-- that's my thought anyway. I even started using a tripod with much success when necessary. This third hand frees me up for more interaction and the occasional deployment of bells, whistles, and bargain bin dog toys.

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It doesn't take kids long to warm up to the process. This is when we can really start to play and talk as I make simple requests of them all the while carrying on in ways that may have embarrassed my adult self from the engineering world. I thank my own children for helping me hone this skill.

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I can tell you what doesn't work -- ask a kid to smile. Have you seen these smiles? Hilarious...but awful.

In the end patience, genuine interaction, and only a slight bit of trickery would be needed to prevail.  

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Meet Texas A&M graduating classes of 2031, 2029, and 2034!

]]> (Chad Brackeen Photography) Children Family Location Portraits Wed, 05 Mar 2014 13:38:47 GMT
Family Portraits Down by the River  

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As a father of two young preschool boys, and already feeling short on time, I can’t begin to image how parents of active middle and high school girls have the time to breathe or sleep. In fact, I had been approached by this family a few times prior to the summer for a family session, but with all of their efforts serving and teaching at church, going on missions, raising money for benevolence opportunities and missions like Arms of Hope, encouraging their young soccer and theater stars, and going to as many FC Dallas games as possible, it was understandably difficult for them to carve out time for a portrait session. Or, maybe just the thought of having to find matching clothes for everyone was too stressful.Family Portrait in River-06 Photo

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But, knowing what a priority it is to have family photos (and judging by a few profile pictures on Facebook, it had been A. WHILE.), they jumped at the opportunity to purchase a CBP voucher to support our church's mission trip to Chile earlier this summer. Everyone wins! I know I did - they were a joy to photograph. And now those new profile pictures are on their way.Family Portrait in River-09 Photo Family Portrait in River-08 Photo

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And their timing couldn’t have been better with the plethora of milestones for them this year: like starting junior high, starting high school, and dad hitting a major birthday (21, I think it was). These are those busy times that I hear just fly by; I’m so glad that we were able to preserve at least a few brief seconds for them through portraits.Family Portrait in River-10 Photo

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And to those of you who think photo shoots are a drag, it's time to find a new photographer. At CBP, we know how to have fun!


]]> (Chad Brackeen Photography) Family Location Portraits Teens Thu, 12 Sep 2013 21:43:50 GMT
Baby A in the Studio Ready for Snaps Without further ado, Baby –A (for Awesome) has arrived at the studio with his party hats on ready to be photographed. Do newborns really have a little angle and a little devil on their shoulders? If you have one of your own, you already know the resounding answer to that question. But the good will prevail, the bad will be forgotten, and what you have left is pure joy – a blessing from above.

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First Words, “Turn me up in the headphones”, I can’t hear my white noise. I like to rock it out to sounds of the ocean, and then mix it up with a little rhythmic beat of the heart. And every once-in-a-while I like to spice it up with a little punk band called Whomb when I need a break from my Jonny Cash.

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My mommy loves me (remember all of her hard maternity work?),

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And my daddy loves me,

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And they know I’m super cute,

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‘till they see my first diaper.

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Then they can’t decide who will change me,

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Looks like its daddy,

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Ah, and now back to being cute.

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]]> (Chad Brackeen Photography) Baby Family Newborn Portraits Studio Thu, 20 Jun 2013 20:28:57 GMT
Warm Smiles and Cold Purple Feet Rubbernecker, a new definition: A location photographer behind the wheel anxiously searching for a prime new scene around every turn of the road. I suffer from this syndrome always, and this anticipation is mostly to blame whenever Jennifer asks, “did you even hear what I just said…?” anytime we ride in the car together. Needless to say my honey-do list is probably incomplete, but I usually have a mental library of locations just waiting for the right client to suit.

The stars recently aligned when this beautiful family contacted me looking for a nice outdoorsy location to show off both their fun and elegant personalities.

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And fun we had…all of these beautiful smiles came so naturally for this crew as they laughed at my poor whit and silly teasing.

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Somewhere in the middle of it all, I thought I was on an engagement shoot for a minute when the affection just started flowing out of mom and dad.

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At the end of the session, bless these four troopers for being willing to pull of their shoes and tread barefoot through frigid early-springtime waters. I’m sure a return visit today would be most refreshing, but not so much last March…

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I wish we could have spent a little more time in the water, but with purple feet and so many beautiful images already in the camera from the morning, we called it a day.

]]> (Chad Brackeen Photography) Children Family Location Portraits Teens Thu, 13 Jun 2013 03:18:45 GMT
Love to Photograph Seniors I absolutely love photographing young adults, like a soon to be liberated high school graduate. This time is sooo pivotal in their transformation into adulthood - if they only knew, right? Not to mention, it's probably the last time their life will be celebrated with professional portraits until that white dress and tuxedo.  So much happens for most of us between these two stages of life, and these senior portraits help complete ones before and after story. Ironically, most seniors see these images as their 'after', but we all know they are just stepping off to who they will become. Meet Christina, one such beautiful young adult.

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It was so much fun to coax Christina's personality out as I helped her warm up to that camera aimed at her. My goal as always, make everyone feel confident in themselves, create a good time at a relevant location, treat everyone like the supermodel they are, and craft engaging portraits showcasing their genuine smiles and expressions. Christina excelled at the task at hand, just as I would expect any other senior class president to do.

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Christina, I can already tell you have solid roots, a maturity that will help you tackle the challenges ahead, and a smile that puts people at ease. Be proud of your achievement, and be blessed in your journey ahead.

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]]> (Chad Brackeen Photography) Location Location Lighting Portraits Senior Teens Tue, 14 May 2013 03:42:53 GMT
Hands Down the Easiest Baby I Have Ever Photographed - 'Wink' This was the easiest baby that I ever photographed - kicking yes, but no screaming, and he didn't even have an explosion during our session at the Frisco Heritage Museum. Ok, I guess maternity portraits are really about mom, and he's still in the womb, but still - awesome baby. I know, I met the parents.

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Mom did a great job of prepping for her vision of a fashon inspired maternity session with a vintage flair - you guys look amazing together. And check out the little Sperry shoes. I'm am now in the know on that too...

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Mom did her research and called right at the ideal time. Mommies-to-be, it's 7ish months - you want to be showing but not groaning! And remember, sometimes those newborns are ready before 9 months. That was the mistake we almost made with our first. Yup, we have some day-before maternity portraits in our album...almost missed it.

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Can I just say, it's a pleasure to see a man being sweet on his wife. This couple already has the love it takes to endure those sleepless nights to come.

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As a side note, every time I photograph at the FHM, it's all I can do not to throw in the towel early and just go get some Babe's Chicken. If that's your location of choice, be warned. But that's the sacrifice we have to make in Frisco to find a single building older than 2001 to set a vintage mood. McKinney, you've got a good think going over there.


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This session is one of the great reasons why I really like being a well-rounded portrait photographer, pun intended.

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Post to be continued in early June...I can't wait to see this newborn's little face.

]]> (Chad Brackeen Photography) Baby Frisco Frisco Heritage Museum Location Maternity Newborn Nighttime Portraits Vintage Sat, 13 Apr 2013 14:23:44 GMT
Shooting the Dallas Skyline and The Importance of Location Scouting Dallas Skyline Engagement 10 Photo

So the call comes in, "We just moved here, are in love with the Dallas skyline, and want to decorate our new home with custom skyline portrait art. Can you make that happen for us?" "Of course...and let's do it at nighttime!” was my answer. All the while running through my head was, 'yea, this is going to be awesome, uh...oh crap, I don't know anyone with a rooftop terrace in Deep Ellum'. Let me just say, all of my problem solving training as an engineer paid off for this session.

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At the suggestion of my client via Google, Trammel Crow Park looked like it was going to be a great location. But you know me, I like back-up plans, and isn't that one of the reasons you hire a professional photographer anyway? More research turned up four other locations with different Dallas views and lots of little disclaimers like, "dude, I wouldn't go there after dark and definitely not with thousands in camera gear". Great, now I'm going to get shot and apparently robbed.

So the new plan: go to Sketchyville first, in the daylight, and finish at TCP just before the setting sun. But just to be safe, I should probably swing by each location just to be sure I didn't need to hire that big dude at the gym to tag along toting a led pipe. 

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Well at the end of my scouting trip, I concluded that with some street smarts, we might survive the ghetto, and that it was going to take a 4-wheel drive truck to get us to that park. Like yeah, someone removed the bridge to get us over the leeve. But with some boldness which I had already tested, we could take the construction road to the disassembled park for our great view. Everyone on board? Great, let's do this!

Trammell Crow Park Photo

On the day of the shoot, we all arrived at location 1, thankfully without making eye contact with any riffraff. Work fast, work fast; use that hard light to your advantage. Alright, we've got it, let's go to the car.

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Oh wait, check out that awesome rustic tin wall. Two second guys, that's all I need, and just ignore that pit-bull junkyard dog telling us he's going to eat our arms for supper.


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Now safe and sound at the park with the sun finally looking gorgeous, we get approached by someone. It's a foreman in a hardhat informing us, "you guys can do what you want, but we're locking the gate in about 3 minutes for the night, and you need to decide if you want to hang here until morning." Dang! I already knew there was no way I was going to park anywhere within 5 miles of this location and still have 4 wheels when I returned to my car. So in a last effort, we took to Plan C - race across town to the location that might accompany a visit from the highway patrol. They really don't like for you to park and set-up camp on IH-30 with studio flashes. What is it with this day and my affinity for people with guns?

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We missed most of the sunset en route, but thankfully, we arrived right at the best time to supplement sunset with extra lights to make magic in the dark - our ultimate plan for the session.

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At the end of the day, it is a true pleasure to work with clients with a clear vision of the portrait art they want, and the cooperation and trust in me to turn that vision into a treasure. You guys are awesome; it's definitely a night I'll remember.


]]> (Chad Brackeen Photography) Couple Dallas Engagement Lifestyle Nighttime Portraits River Skyline Texas Thu, 04 Apr 2013 13:11:22 GMT
Welcome to the Blog of Chad Brackeen Photography Starting a blog...what? Am I a little behind the times? As a parent of 2 awesome boys...


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...I think I will forever now find myself behind the times in some manner of speaking at least in their eyes. But, after 3 years of improving my photography craft on subjects ranging from newborns to corporate headshots, I feel like I am just beginning to develop a style and vision with my portraits.

This blog will be an attempt to tell the amazing stories that my clients offer, share my favorite images, provide a few pointers for those of you with a similar passion to celebrate and preserve life in beautiful portraits, and document my growth as a professional photographer, husband, and father.

Please enjoy, ask questions, share, or participate in the dialog, and let's see what new ideas we can create together. Be Blessed, Chad

]]> (Chad Brackeen Photography) Chad Brackeen Family Frisco TX Personal Photography Portraits Tue, 02 Apr 2013 21:16:23 GMT