Photography by April Pizana bio picture
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    *What a year 2014 was! Amazing opportunities and shoots and revisits with some of my favorite families too. I survived Christmas Card season even with lots of unexpected this and that thrown in :) More of that soonish.

    *Senior sessions planned for Jan-Feb 2015 but March is open. It's not to early to get in touch if I'm any part of your class of 2015 plan :)

And the Universe will Open Doors…


The perfect quote to kick off senior-fever 2015.

It seems that the floodgates open as soon as the last present is open in December.

So let’s begin with Class of 2015 senior, Colby Garcia of Cypress Woods High School.

Only a perfect afternoon with 78 degree weather (in January),

light traffic on the way to downtown Houston,

and for the photographer– a very sweet and handsome young fella to take pics of.

The perfect formula for the first senior of the year.


Talk about a team player.

Even with traveling to different locations- he just rolled with it.

Colorful cubes, a sound garden, downtown traffic and taxis…

I just loved how the contemporary feel of it all seemed to compliment Colby.

(Just love that name)

Smooth, handsome, debonair.



Colby really reminded me of another era

with stylish Clark Gable/Cary Grant good looks and hair to match.

I call that “movie star” hair.

Or maybe it was his manners that WOW’d me.

I can’t remember the last time a young man

said “yes mam” to me!

What a tribute to his parents and the good upbringing he’s had.



Speaking of upbringing…

I often ask parents/seniors to wear/bring items that represent what

their “thing” was at the time.

Colby’s “thing” is his Faith.


Colby’s mom mentioned how much his mission work has touched his life.

How wonderful to be so young and be in touch with

God and the spiritual fulfillment of bringing hope through prayer to others.

This just brings so much hope to ME as a parent and how children

can not only get through the challenging times they face but

come out shining.

Surely the universe will open many doors for this gent.



Another source of great pride for the Garcia family

is Colby’s choice of colleges, Baylor!

Next Fall, Baylor can expect to graced

with a fine young man to increase their enrollment by one.


 Onward downtown..traffic isn’t alway easy downtown, parking even worse– let’s be honest

parking is a NIGHTMARE downtown.

But nothing got in the way of my wonderful afternoon with

Colby and his mom Hannah.

I mentioned how I actually began to feel like we were friends on vacation seeing the sites.

Just love when it all comes together that way.


Also love showcasing handsome Colby in a metropolitan, classy environment.

He was a total PRO- even with so much pedestrian traffic around.



EVERY SINGLE young man should have a photo like this.

A photo of themselves to look back at and past down to their posterity

of what they looked like when they set off on their journey.

 An iconic time of life really.

This is that picture.



 And as it is my special tradition…a photo with mom.

All the projects, first days of school, lunches, field trips,

meetings, boo-boo kissing, lifting up, and the infinite other trivial things

moms do to help get you on ready for your journey.

A kiss and undying forever adoration is enough to call it even:)

Good luck and many blessings on this big adventure of life Colby

and I wish you many doors open along your way!



Well if this is how 2015 is going to be

I better make sure to dig my heels in.

The first week of the year went from uneventful to shock all in one text.

Yesterday afternoon i received a text from a friend

passing the word that our beloved school receptionist Mrs. Sassos

would be leaving us.

like in 24 hours.

It’s no wonder with a  person like the one you are about

to learn much about — that the word spread so did the our sad pitiful little faces.

(First I need to pout and be a little selfish but then I’ll wow you with my

resilience and do a 180 before this post concludes.)

It’s been 5 years that I’ve known Mrs. Sassos.

I remember the first day of school like it was yesterday.

I walked in…first time kindergarten mom…

new supplies, new clothes, cute little man trekking in front.

 we walked him to his class….yadda yadda yadda…big sappy hugs…

Day 2 came and i thought ok let’s do this again.

Surely it’s normal to walk these itty bitty babies to their class the first week right?!

uh no. ha yeah.

and who should be so kind as to deliver this news?

Mrs. Sassos herself.

As I turned all shades of red and turned around to exit all while

asking WHO exactly did this prim and proper lady

(dressed so  lovely but nevertheless)

and why is she keeping me from my son?!

<shuddering & praying you forgot about that till now Mrs. Sassos>

it’s pretty funny now.

So after the initial shock of cutting the cord and all I came to realize

it really was gonna be ok and how wonderful of her to put up with

a newbie like me.


of course everything turned out more than fine.

maceo’s kindergarten teacher Mrs. Sullivan  (above)-

who ended up being such a sweet chick i decided should be good friends.

I digress.

Five years later and she’s leaving us.

As I came to later understand, she was just doing her job.

 As it turns out she didn’t “just” do her job though.

Yes she was timely, and organized, and

greeted everyone with a smile. Yes  more or less

that is her job.

But as it turns out — it’s been so much more.

She’s been the keeper of “the gate” and thus the protector of our children.

Our first line of defense.

A job she thankfully takes very seriously.

As tough as a veteran cop guarding a vault of precious stones and untold riches.

You can rest assure no one will be getting past the door after you

drop you priceless possessions off at school under Mrs. Sassos’ watch.

She’s always treated each child with care but also with a  kind of sophisticated respect

you don’t alway get to see in grown up-kid interactions.

She is serious in getting her job done but she’s never been too busy to ask how you are,

how that big project you mentioned last month is going, or

how your family is doing. Somehow she always says just the right thing.

Even with requests coming at her like bullets,

phones ringing off the hook sometimes with not-so-pleasant

people on the other end, she handles each like a pro and keeps it moving without skipping a beat.

Truly the queen of multitasking!

If you’ve faced a time of crisis, Mrs. Sassos was a rockstar…

getting what needs to be done, being discreet about it, and

all without judgement or conjecture.

To be a volunteer at our school is to know appreciation.

Mrs. Sassos never neglects to genuinely thank each and every volunteer

EVERY time EVERY visit without fail.

Not because she has to but because it is her standard of care.

I have personally witnessed or experienced all of this and much more.

It’s no wonder why there were so many words of thanks

spread across her desk and office in less than 24 hours notice.

Classic Mrs. Sassos and why most of us may be frowning a little starting tomorrow

or next time we pay a visit to the office.

We’ve been spoiled by this lady not only in her

professionalism but in her outstanding care.

Even greeting wise guys with a smile;)

It’s no wonder why these cute little sweeties with

their serious faces were lining up to say goodbye.

Ok i’ve sulked enough  (thanks for indulging me that).

My goodness ya’ll it’s not like she’s leaving for a bad reason!

geeze ….




Onto the *HAPPY* ENDING of this story.

I was thrilled *thrilled * thrilled to learn that

Mrs. Sassos is retiring in order to

 travel to the Middle East with her husband for his work!

So excited and happy for them both!

<throws confetti in the air and jumps up for joy!!>

caught a hand wave as someone was passing by

 I instantly began daydreaming of all the amazing adventures she’ll soon have

and may or may not have drove over the speed limit to

my local B&N for a sketchbook/journal and

my favorite watercolor pencils and journaling pens.

I’d like to think of her sitting in a foreign cafe

with all kinds of delectable coffees and treats around…

doodling or journaling about her wild experiences

riding camels and magic carpets or whatever they do over there LOL!

I’ve heard the shopping is amazing!

Later this journal to be put in a safety deposit box for her grandchildren to inherit of course…:)

I literally had 10 minutes (including to dry) to start a page just

to say goodbye and express my affection.

but as a i mentioned in the writing….prob best to do it fast as

is with a band aid to avoid prolonging the unavoidable.

So that was it….I left seeing this precious lady hugging more

kindergartners, parents, and staff…the perfect ending memory of Mrs. Sassos at school.

I feel SOOOO blessed to have had the time and opportunity to go up to the school today and say goodbye,

snapping a couple pics for the rest of her fan club.

Also, blessed to have photo’d her family last year (minus dad b/c he was

yep — traveling!) I never got around to posting this last year but what

 beautiful girls!

It’s no wonder she’s proud!

Mrs. Sassos,


for the extra effort you put into all you did for our school, our children, and

 even the parents like me.

Yes, I bawled like a baby when I said goodbye today

and that’s okay.

As I always say, tears are a testament to how much a person has impacted your life

and how much you love them.

You’ve helped me on so many occasions and saved me from disaster on a few too.

I can’t believe how many sweet memories I have in the small amounts

of time we’ve visited here and there through the years.

I know many others who would say the same.

Thank you for putting up with all the craziness of

elementary school life, with parents who are overly-connected,

and even the parents who are not connected enough.

Thank you for your encouragement and words of wisdom– truly they help me so often.

“DON’T THINK ABOUT IT- JUST DO IT” being my most favorite.

I remember exactly where you were standing when you said this- just running into me in the hall by the cafeteria

and i mentioned how overwhelmed I was with Maceo’s birthday.

I’ve repeated those words many times over since and

I can’t tell you how much they’ve helped

this frazzled mom.

You blessed us all with such polish and dedication for our school that I can’t

imagine how anyone will ever be able to fill those stylish shoes.

It’s no wonder you are so very loved and appreciated!

No goodbyes– BON VOYAGE my friend!

Just like a Gypsy


 Now that the dust has settled and everyone’s had a chance to

kick some mud from their boots after the Fall Show at Texas Antiques Week (post coming soon)

it’s time to revisit some highlights!

Starting with the


Just as in the past 3 years

no visit would be complete without a Junk Gypsy recap.

Wow have things changed since that 1st meeting in 2011 when i shot the

most junk-tricked tent at Zapp Hall.

Glitter & grit going strong but this time it has spread globally.

That’s right.

What all you smart junkers knew all along came to fruition

for the rest of the world via a collaboration with a cute, little company you might

have heard of


Just like a gypsy with dirt under their nails, big Texas hair, boots, and paintbrushes

the girls have made it to the top.

If someone told me I’d be shooting an event that

included Pottery Barn, GAC, and Junk Gypsy

TEN no — FIVE years ago…I would’ve told you to the

paint fumes went to your head.

But just like a gypsy who never stops living life to the fullest



Speaking of stars….I got a little carried away with this baby.
Can you blame me?

What a statement piece!


So there it is.

In the flesh or rather in the 100% organic cotton and perfect pillows.

A merge of Junk Gypsy’s wondrous design goodness coupled with Pottery Barn’s super-amazing quality and vision.

Being that I have a son – i don’t own this collection but Pottery Barn is ALL my

son has ever known (going to have to blog about his new room soon!).

IF i did have a daughter let say ages ZERO-college you can bet i’d own every piece;)

I could hear baby angels singing when I saw how it all came together.

Chubby Cherubs laughing and dancing and singing. True story HALLELUJAH!

For people like myself (and believe me there are many)

bringing nostalgia and vintage-inspired artifacts and design together

is a dream come true.

A voice come to life for the adventurers, dreamers, and vintage loving spirits.

Beautiful linens tagged with words to live by….

“Follow your heart” indeed

more of the star!

Plushy fun pillows that could MAKE any girl’s bed or living room pretty much.

Even the lighting was awe inspiring. Golden and shining and begging for glitter to sparkle in.

A touch of glitter on some votives to sparkle things up…touches of junk gypsy in every detail.

Reppin’ GAC with these fun fun caricature bottles to make us smile.


Look at these beautiful, incredible spirits shining in their moment.

Let’s just reflect on this moment real quick.

Imagine you have visions of junk, i mean good junk but long forgotten artifacts

living in attics and garages (maybe some even in broken down shacks).

Imagine that you take this “junk” and you add such beauty to it with paint, nails, glitter, and love

and bring it back to life.

Now imagine that an world renowned International brand like Pottery Barn

takes notice and wants to work with your vision.

You can’t help but stop and pay homage to how amazing that is.

AND if you can do that my friend…you get the whole Junk Gypsy thing and you are forever blessed.

A gypsy blessing:)

Glitte and Grit BABY!

Just before things got started I got this snap.

Found the flag poetic and symbolic of these girls and their American made dreams!

Once the Amie & Jolie arrived it was alllll fun ahead no stops!

So glad I got a chance to get a shot of the Pottery Barn team Amie & Jolie

have been working with.

Jolie tells me there are so many gracious souls that have worked hard to bring it all together.

They rank pretty high on my list of good people for making this all a reality!

Lots of friends along the way to say hug and pose with!

Junk Gypsy extraordinaires Amy “Archie” and her beaux Brian.


Sweet friends you might recognize from the GAC episode

this summer— Jason & Lynsey Kramer of Yonder Way Farm and half of their sweet chicks

Texas boys and their boots!

Hard to believe these kids walk around being this cute all the time!

Thankfully the sun began to set on this hot and humid Texas night

and Amie & Jolie got to visit with some of their good friends from

their days on the fields or as I know  them as,


Every single one of these dudes were so kind and just all around awesome.

Forgive me for not getting everyone’s name

but the infamous Joe Pete is the guy on the right,

standing next to Mark Dooley (one of my favorite places – Excess Field),

Amie and Jolie of course

gentleman 2nd from the left is Hector the Collector who’s

booth you should never ever miss if you get the chance.

I only wish I would’ve gotten Michael and Cheryl Lehane  of Zapp Hall

(aka heaven on earth) in this pic!

Cute cowboys standing around catching up on important current events

JUNK GYPSY multi-media!

This is Lone Survivor Marcus Luttrell’s service dog.

Jolie & Amie were honored that they were there to support Junk Gypsy’s Launch!

Daddy gypsy Phillip having some fantastic Goode Co BBQ.

Menu was filled with some fine Texas culinary cuisine including

brisket, ribs, sausage, coleslaw, potato salad, beans, ceviche, jalepeno bread…

Cute Texas girls kicking their boots up under the big Texas sky!

The band Mike & the Moonpies rocked our socks off.

Check out their tour schedule and go to one of their concerts if you get a chance.


This from a  girl who has loved Dwight Yoakem and George Strait since

I was old enough to boot scoot- actually younger.

These two bravely kicked things off.



The ladies that make things happen…

Tracey, Jolie, Amy, Amie, & Ashlyn

Fun all the way from Louisiana with Hannah Hughes and Kaylee Patrick of Hannah & Kaylee.

Whole lot of soul in this frame—- Kylee Marie Scott photographer extraordinaire,

 Madam Farmer Lynsey Kramer of Yonder Way Farm,

and Pie Queen Tara Royer of Royer’s Pie Haven.

Last but not least— this girlfriend.

Yes Jolie and Amie’s good friend Miranda Lambert and her fine singing self was there

and she looked AHHHHMAZING!

Perfect ending to a perfectly dreamy night under the stars.

Good things there are pics so i can convince myself that all really happened!




Every year I ask myself—“how the heck did i get that done?”

Having a child born during antiques week is not easy but somehow

i make it happen!

This year was Retro-Video games….Pacman, Galaga, Tetris, Mario!

This is a kid who appreciates the finer things in life I tell ya!

He makes his dad and I proud!

Here’s a couple pictures but you can view the slideshow to see the rest.






Pulled this all together the day before

but you’d never know it by his smile!


waka waka waka waka waka waka




Just in time for the beginning of a brand spankin’ new school year

and for a slight dip in the humidity (and enough for Houstonians to call Fall)

a session with a beautiful, fresh-faced senior.

Meet St. John’s senior Libby!

Lots of rain may have offset our schedule  a bit but in the end we got it  done

and we let nothing dim the light or magic of senior spirit in the air.

Speaking of bright lights….

Libby has a ultraviolet bright future as she prepares

to head to Harvard next year.

Second senior in a year that I’ve photo’d off to Harvard!

 I can’t imagine how proud her parents must be!

Very well spoken, athletic, intelligent, and still a pretty girl from

Texas with boots.





The colors in this dress were so spirited and I thought it went with

Libby’s personality perfectly.


Gotta love a girl who can laugh at herself and get goofy!



Harvard, UT, UH, U of whatever….

I know her folks must be pretty darn proud of this super sweet young lady.

Good luck on your journey Libby!