Photography by April Pizana bio picture
  • Latest & Greatest

    * Summer brings my most published works yet! Check out the current Where Women Cook featuring Korie Robertson of Duck Dynasty, Junk Gypsy, Yonder Way Farm, and Richele Ramsey -- al features i'm so proud of!

    *Finishing up some early summer shoots to post and hopefully website will be getting an overdue update in the next few months while I take time off to travel and love on my familia.

    *Also out in July is Where Women Create Business featuring more JUNK GYPSY! Get your Junk fix and learn how these girls got their start!

As American As Apple Pie & The Robertsons

 

 

684A1060

So now would be a good time to tell the story

of how the shoot of Korie Robertson done at her stunning home

for Where Women Cook came about.

The story began last Fall when I was approached by Where Women

asking for suggestions/ideas for shoots I’d like to

photo. Features that would go well with the magazine.

I thought of women who inspired me.

Women who are living the dream.

Chaotic dreams at times but THEIR DREAMS nonetheless.

Women making it happen and leading us by example.

Women guiding everyday folks like me and you with

their grace, class, and charm– southern charm in this case.

My list included Korie Robertson, my friends – the babes at Junk Gypsy, and farmer chick Lynsey at Yonder Way Farm.

Being the wanna-be foodie/gourmet/chef I originally proposed myself on that list.

But given all the dates, planning, traveling, shooting, editing, sending, corresponding…

well it just wasn’t possible.

But was I disappointed?

NOT.ONE.BACON.BIT.

Slowly and surely the task of coordinating this dream list came together.

And before I knew it…I was on a plane to Monroe, LA.

for An Adventure in Duckland.

Flash forward 5 months and  40 or so pages of photo spreads shot in one issue…

dreams printed on lovely hi quality, low-luster paper

found on the bookshelves nationwide at stores like of Barnes & Noble, Costco,

Walmart, Target, and some grocery stores.

APRIL-PIZANA-PHOTOGRAPHY-KORIE-ROBERTS-00

And it’s not hard to see why with this lady on the cover.

Korie Robertson.

I first met Korie last year at a little shin dig I was invited to shoot for

the super talented Junk Gypsy & Co.

for a fabulous Redneck Red Carpet event better known as

Sadie’s Sweet 16.

As much as I loved and i do mean LOVED being at the event-

I was so thrilled to be able to spend some one on one time

with Korie and her beautiful family at home.

At home with ribs, potato salad, homemade apple pie and homemade ice cream at that!

Pulling off a shoot with a summer feel in literally

16 degree FROZEN roads and super dreary grey skies

was a challenge in itself  -

not to mention they’re kind of a big deal.

Oh and i had a severe back injury that I won’t even get into

but somehow by the grace of God -

I survived.

One of the main reasons I survived was this stunning woman right here above.

The Robertsons are the picture of southern grace and hospitality.

I can tell you first hand that this is legit.

Not a guided script. Not a reality show.

Just your everyday, down home, super rockstar family.

First we worked on a “cover shot” which I was very happy to get

done while we still had some light to work with.

My favorite was the photo above but the photo below was the one chosen for the cover.

Couldn’t really go wrong either way with Korie’s all-American good looks.

APRIL-PIZANA-PHOTOGRAPHY-KORIE-ROBERTS-022a

APRIL-PIZANA-PHOTOGRAPHY-KORIE-ROBERTS-001

The apple pie wasn’t the only sugar in the kitchen.

Girly girl Bella who made her debut as the up and coming culinary queen of the family.

And don’t you know Mama Kay is proud!

APRIL-PIZANA-PHOTOGRAPHY-KORIE-ROBERTS-002
APRIL-PIZANA-PHOTOGRAPHY-KORIE-ROBERTS-003

Korie and Bella had  a couple of pies ready for the great dinner after our shoot

but they actually did make this apple pie from scratch

right before my eyes – beginning with the crust.

APRIL-PIZANA-PHOTOGRAPHY-KORIE-ROBERTS-009

APRIL-PIZANA-PHOTOGRAPHY-KORIE-ROBERTS-010a

APRIL-PIZANA-PHOTOGRAPHY-KORIE-ROBERTS-010

APRIL-PIZANA-PHOTOGRAPHY-KORIE-ROBERTS-011

APRIL-PIZANA-PHOTOGRAPHY-KORIE-ROBERTS-004

passing the time with giggles and chit chat

APRIL-PIZANA-PHOTOGRAPHY-KORIE-ROBERTS-007
APRIL-PIZANA-PHOTOGRAPHY-KORIE-ROBERTS-008
the kind of afternoons doing something as simple as making the family dinner may seem like a chore to some

but just one look on Korie’s face and you can tell it’s much more than that.

It’s about spending times with your babies while you still can and making those memories.

APRIL-PIZANA-PHOTOGRAPHY-KORIE-ROBERTS-005

APRIL-PIZANA-PHOTOGRAPHY-KORIE-ROBERTS-013

What a cutie pie! literally!

APRIL-PIZANA-PHOTOGRAPHY-KORIE-ROBERTS-014

APRIL-PIZANA-PHOTOGRAPHY-KORIE-ROBERTS-023a

And there you have it!

As American as Apple Pie.

APRIL-PIZANA-PHOTOGRAPHY-KORIE-ROBERTS-012

Now the hard part- waiting till after dinner!

APRIL-PIZANA-PHOTOGRAPHY-KORIE-ROBERTS-15

Willie and the Robertson kiddos came home from their days at school and work to a FEAST!

(minus one darling missing daughter Rebecca who was out of town)

APRIL-PIZANA-PHOTOGRAPHY-KORIE-ROBERTS-015b

All the scrumptious goodies prepared by 4 generations of fine and fabulous southern women -

(left to right) Sadie, Korie’s super sweet grandmother Betty Jo, Korie’s mom Chrys, Korie, & Bella.

APRIL-PIZANA-PHOTOGRAPHY-KORIE-ROBERTS-016a

The spread!

APRIL-PIZANA-PHOTOGRAPHY-KORIE-ROBERTS-016b

APRIL-PIZANA-PHOTOGRAPHY-KORIE-ROBERTS-017

APRIL-PIZANA-PHOTOGRAPHY-KORIE-ROBERTS-018

Can’t have a southern family map without something smoked and grilled!

APRIL-PIZANA-PHOTOGRAPHY-KORIE-ROBERTS-019

 Every time I peel an egg I think of Korie’s mom and Grandmom Chrys and Betty Jo.

We had a very informative convo on the best way the peel boiled eggs!

My eggs have never been the same and I love that memory.

APRIL-PIZANA-PHOTOGRAPHY-KORIE-ROBERTS-020a
Hard to believe this was in FEBRUARY!

Super deelish

APRIL-PIZANA-PHOTOGRAPHY-KORIE-ROBERTS-020

And the best part of any dinner.

Not the delectable bites.

Not the pretty dishes and flowers.

Just this.

A family together in the warmth of heart and hearth.

APRIL-PIZANA-PHOTOGRAPHY-KORIE-ROBERTS-021

 

APRIL-PIZANA-PHOTOGRAPHY-KORIE-ROBERTS-023

That and ice cream.

Because you can’t have pie without ice cream.

HOMEMADE ice cream….bonus points!

APRIL-PIZANA-PHOTOGRAPHY-KORIE-ROBERTS-022

APRIL-PIZANA-PHOTOGRAPHY-KORIE-ROBERTS-028

The beautiful dining room and settings.

APRIL-PIZANA-PHOTOGRAPHY-KORIE-ROBERTS-029
APRIL-PIZANA-PHOTOGRAPHY-KORIE-ROBERTS-030
APRIL-PIZANA-PHOTOGRAPHY-KORIE-ROBERTS-027

APRIL-PIZANA-PHOTOGRAPHY-KORIE-ROBERTS-024

EASILY my favorite photo of the day.

This was not planned, scripted, or even requested.

This was real life.

I didn’t mean to intrude on such a private moment but Willie’s prayer was

heartfelt and it was impossible not to get caught up in the moment.

APRIL-PIZANA-PHOTOGRAPHY-KORIE-ROBERTS-025
APRIL-PIZANA-PHOTOGRAPHY-KORIE-ROBERTS-026

APRIL-PIZANA-PHOTOGRAPHY-KORIE-ROBERTS-031

Timed perfectly in sync with the sun setting on The Robertson’s scenic and peaceful farm retreat,

dinner came to an end.

Willie & Korie took a moment to enjoy a glass of their

very own wine from their orchard.

Caption this:

APRIL-PIZANA-PHOTOGRAPHY-KORIE-ROBERTS-032

Life is GOOD.

 And why not!?

They’ve earned it a 110% with all that they’ve contributed to the world.

I know I consider the whole family and Duck Dynasty show as a blessing.

Seriously.

Just being able to turn on the TV and not having to worry

about the topic, the people, the language…..and watch TV as a family

(and without it being Sponge Bob for the love of God).

That’s a huge gift that I appreciate it every time.

Very sad state of the times but it’s a reality.

So they deserve every single blessing.

Why you ask?

1. They work so hard for it. Every single person

– kids, parents, grandparents, cousins, aunts, uncles, EVERYONE.

They are always so hospitable and gracious

(not all celebrities are created equal as you may know).

They sacrifice so much of their private lives and they do it with a glad heart.

2. What you see is what you get.

Both in private and public

settings they are exactly what you see on TV

- I get asked this all the time.

No airs, no attitudes, no arrogances.

They are your favorite uncle, your next door neighbor,

you football buddies, your cousins from down south.

And both of these truths make them

as American as apple pie.

The world needs more apple pie.

Thank you so very much for your kindness in allowing me in your home

and lives Willie & Korie.

I’ll be telling my grandkids about this many years from now.

APRIL-PIZANA-PHOTOGRAPHY-KORIE-ROBERTS-038

 

 

once upon a time in mexico

684A3211

Been a busy summer with baby shoots, magazine publications and

best of all our super amazing adventure way south of the border in the Yucatan!

Um took an amount of pictures i’m not comfortable admitting but I’ve

narrowed the editing down to just under 500!  goodness pico de gallo gracious!

I’ll be posting those and Korie Robertson’s feature very soon!

Hope you’re having fun!

xoxox

684A1853

684A3833
684A3773

684A3010

684A4098
684A2190

684A3070

 

 

Eat * JUNK * love

The discovery of a new dish is more precious

to human beings than the discovery of a new star.

- Brillat-Savarin

Just seemed appropriate to use an Italian quote

considering the subject.

Thinking someone needs to do a *JUNK* food COOKBOOK in the near future!

ahem ahem….

My oh my. What a fun and memorable day.

Back in January on a blustery, beautiful, sunshiney morning

I drove out to see Jolie’s super fabulous, new home on the range.

I’ve taken you along so many journeys with these girls…

showcasing their ridiculous talent for creating

magic from rust and transforming dust into glitter.

But this time is different.

A very personal exploration of what makes the the Gypsies tick….

Home & Heart tick tock tick tock.

What a perfect fit for an article with Where Women Cook.

Perfectly coinciding with 3 other shots I photo’d including

Korie Robertson’s (Duck Dynasty) feature blog coming soon

Lynsey Atkinson‘s  feature  (Yonder Way Farm)

and friend and supermom/wife Richele Ramsey

for the Summer 2014 issue.

684A1060

684A1072

So you think you know Junk Gypsy!?

Hold that thought my fine friends.

I know you’ve loved all the fringe and the glitter, the

sparkly goodness that makes you return year after year to Antiques week

and dream of it every night until you return….

Yes all that was good.

Heck it’s the stuff that  

J. R. R. Tolkien was writing about

when he wrote “those who wander are not lost…”

oops sorry did a little wandering there myself.

Anyhoo,  there’s more. MUCH more.

How about adding COOKING and LOVE to that Junking you crave?

Done.

All in Jolie’s kitchen.

See this junk “thing” isn’t just for some show.

a business venture.

a hobby.

This is a way of life for

Jolie

T. Smitty

Amie

Mama Gypsy Janie

Papa Gypsy Phillip

and kids Indie & Cash Baker.

Bringing your work home isn’t such  bad thing when you’re a gyspy.

The colors. The contrast. The lights. The Americana. The vintage goodies.

The perfect balance.

Yes JG made these. Mason Jar lights. WOW!

Pantry doors made by Jolie’s husband himself-

a man after her heart with these sliding barn doors!

Now onto the *EAT*

For your viewing pleasure (please don’t lick your screen).

The girls made Fried Green Tomatillo Pizza with Goat cheese.

You can’t even imagine or fantasize how good this tastes.

Gorgeous Amie frying some homemade Tomatillos.

Not only is she a hot mama but she can COOK fellas!

Yes Fried Green Tomatillos.

When you’re in Texas do like a Tex-Mexan.

Junk Gypsy is all about family and team work.

Even in the kitchen

Jolie tossing dough for the pizza crust.

Who looks that good tossing dough?

Girl’s got skills.

you can look this good making pizza too

Y’ALL!

Want this buckle? It’s yours at gypsyville.com

Even their ingredients are artistic.

I asked you not to lick your screen.

Junk gypsy hankerchiefs and napkin holder rings featuring all time hall of famers like Waylon.

Serious perks to shooting amazing dishes is getting to try them.

And let me tell you–

IT WAS FREAKIN amazing!

Like Oh my God Amazing.

Don’t forget mama!

Janie has raised these girls right.

Entrepreneurs, artists, cooks, movie stars and

just all around down to earth good peeps.

Now onto Gypsy Dad’s famous biscuits!

i can bring home the bacon…fry it up in a pan

because anything you make in frying pan is going to be delish!

something i just loved about this shoot was they actually MADE

the food while I shot. Kinda cool to see their epicurean swagger.

Next on the menu was a southern inspired Strawberry Shortcake!

I’m thrilled to say that I tried making a batch of these myself at home

and they were perfection.

You can get a taste to see for yourself at gypsyville.com too!

Fits so nicely with “bless your heart pot holders!

Home made whip cream.

Yep.

Strawberry Shortcake Gypsy Style!

For for the photo overload. I just wanted you to really get a TASTE of this amazing treat!

Well folks that concludes our little tour of  “At home with the Gypsies”.

Special thanks to Junk Gypsy for a day of the finest

epicurean yumminess and  southern hospitality!

and for inspiring so many.

Happy Junkin’ Y’all!

‘Merica baby

This is how Round Top does the 4th.

(watch the slideshow and turn up your sound for the full effect)

norman rockwell meets mayberry with a side of steel magnolias

all in a little town known for junkin!

Alright so the fact that i made the parade, got home, uploaded,

edited, and posted is a feat of mercy me itself.

No time to blog.

Just want to say I love America.

This is how you do ‘Merica right.

Small towns are not dead.

Take a trip and see how your patriotic heart awakens.

Round Top, Texas.

These are my people.

I’ve adopted you and there’s nothing you can do about it.

Everything I love red white and blue to the moon and back!

‘Merica Baby!

xoxox










….so God made a farmer

 

YES God made a farmer.

And his name is Jason.

And God made a farmer’s wife.

Her name is Lynsey.

Together they are providing much more than food for the masses.

Harvesting seeds of love, devotion, friendship, family,

and even more love has really made an impact on the people’s lives around them.

It is those seeds and so many more qualities that I just don’t have words to lend justice to

that which inspired me to nominate Yonder Way Farm as a

feature for Where Women Cook last Fall.

Planning, emails, calls, texts later and a dream has come into fruition.

Nine months later here we are.

684A1060

I first “met” Lynsey through my work and travel in Round Top, Texas.

Although she is technically in Fayetville, YWF is part of the growing landscape

of people loving  junk and homemade pie eatin’ community.

A welcome piece of all that those like myself are craving

in a world of too much traffic, too many phones, too much bad news,  too much of muchy muchness.

Maybe it’s the fact that these kind and sweet folks have a story that is few and far between.

A story that lives in many of our hearts…wishing for better todays for our children.

For each other. For the world.

One of blood, sweat, and tears,  BIG DREAMS

– and most importantly — one of love for God and all that is good.

Here’s a good description taken straight from YWF’s website:

Yonder Way Farm’s story began in 2006 when,

in search of a simpler life more connected to nature and our food,

we packed up our family and moved to the country. 

As we began our journey, we sensed the Lord giving us a

passion for farming the way He designed. 

By being good stewards of the land and raising animals

free of confinement in a natural environment,

our goal is to re-establish the almost-lost art of grass farming.

 Easy to see why I was so drawn to their story

and why it needed to be shared with the you and the world.

684A1085

The shoot was done back in January right after the New Year.

What a perfect time to shoot something that gives you hope in humanity.

Gosh what a perfectly beautiful wonderful day.

It was a cold morning and I specifically remember walking into

the Kramers’ home which had such a cozy warmth to their amazing house–

the kind of warmth that reminded me of growing up in the Heights

where wooden floors creak when you walk and you can just “feel”

the walls whispering the rich history held within.

A home with character and charm for days.

Now add to that the 4 most BEAUTIFUL little faces and souls you can dream up

and a super welcoming Mama & Papa – oh and the smell of bacon. REAL bacon.

Not the kind pumped with God knows what…I’ll never forget that aroma.

Think somewhere between Little House on the Prairie & Little Women

(2 of my favorites) with a Norman Rockwell kind of utopian dreaminess.

 

684A4539

So many cool vintage finds.

Lynsey really has a knack for these things.

I hope you’ll indulge me on the submission of duplicate photos–

b&w and color.

I just loved something about both and couldn’t choose sometimes.

Farmer Jason who I adore when he calls me “gal”.

I mean who says GAL anymore?! Love that!

Truly such a good guy.

Busy being a farmer but always time for a gentle squeeze from the littlest.

If you aren’t following the Kramer’s on Instagram– you really need to take a

step back and reevaluate things….So much inspiration and eye candy!

Look for Lynsey @ fivechicksandafarmer and Jason @yonderwayfarmer on IG.

I promise you won’t regret it.

DREAM KITCHEN

As if a house smelling practically like Thanksgiving Morning

and super fly vintage stuff to make you feel all warm cozy like mac n cheese isn’t enough…

Look at this face.

LOOK AT THESE FACES.

no. I need you stop what you’re doing and LOOK at this.

THIS my friends is what is inherently right with the world.

Girls looking at their mama with love, trust, happiness, contentment.

Im not going to lie. This was partially planned.

I wanted to get shots that really displayed what I had come to know about

this family. That family and love and a nurturing home was just as vital as air.

So yes I positioned everyone for the shot and asked them to listen to

their mama so i could see their faces.

But those looks are alllll theirs.

Those are their real souls shining through.

I remember a big lump in my throat and saying,

“Oh my Lynsey, the way Exie Jo is looking at you….”

As someone who loves cooking, family, kitchens, and mothers,

it was a special moment for me.

You can literally see the admiration beaming from every darling girl.

That my friends makes my LIFE.

684A4677

684A4683

So grateful for this.

Such a shame this isn’t on a billboard for milk.

Who knew a farmer’s wife could be such a hottie?!

Told her she should have her own cooking show.

This is not set up for a show.

This is every day life. Real life.

This is a farming family where everyone helps out.

Just another natural ingredient in this adorable family.

I hope you’ll forgive my oodles and oodles of photos on this post.

But who could  blame me with such wonderful life to share?

God bless the farmers and their families.

Look for Lynsey’s story in the current issue (Summer 2014)

of Where Women Cook.

 

 

 

 

C O N T A C T