Photography by April Pizana bio picture
  • Latest & Greatest

    If you've noticed my site has been a little slow this past year, pat yourself on the back for being a good observer!

    In the past year, I have photo'd 2 books:

    Junk Gypsy book that made the NY Times Best Seller List..shameless brag)

    and a cookbook with Carolyn Westbrook (her 5th book) which will be out this Fall but is available for pre-order on Amazon.

    a product line with the great folks at Marcus Luttrell's Team Never Quit ,

    and even had photos featured in some of my fav mags like Country Living and on and on

    And I STILL made time for family & senior sessions that i didn't get a chance to blog about ..booooo. Who has time to sit at the computer!

    Oh yeah and then there's my home gig...spending time and traveling with my boys (the 12 year old one and the husband one). Had a blast in Vegas 2x in the last 6 months!

    I've begun taking on regular sessions now so email me at 97,112,114,105,108,112,105,122,97,110,97,64,103,109,97,105,108,46,99,111,109moc.liamg@anaziplirpa if you're in need of beautiful photos and a day of memory making this Fall after I return from Italy! Ciao Bella!

whatever satisfies the soul is truth – walt whitman.

simple and spot-on.

in a world where following is life,

where the minutia of our lives are “liked” by our friends, by strangers…

in that world, world it is not easy to become.

and by ‘become’ i mean to evolve to who you are meant to

organically be.

so why the deep ponderings?

this is what i love about summer.

i was never much of a summer person till i had a kid.

now it is such  welcome relief.

life slows down.

no homework & activities and obligations.

amazing trips to Europe….

a time when you can dream freely, sleep till noon, &

eat popcorn for lunch, & wear your pj’s 2 days in a row (don’t judge-teehee).

Also a time to have fun with my passion and my job.

case in point…i’ve wanted to photo a stunning girl

at this location for gosh 6 years i think.

utterly satisfying with beautiful landscape to soak up

and also bc of this truly free spirit in front of me.

i got a little creative in my editing this time.

the vibe just called for it.

i could photo her and celebrate.

her talent is limitless.

i learned this when she was in the 4th grade

when i photo’d her twice  here and here.

9 years old and she showed

me what it is to be born with the special gift

of connecting with the camera in a super unique way.

i just can’t explain. how do you explain magic?

it’s no wonder she was recently crowned Miss Kemah Teen.

back to walt.

i feel like this quote applies to how i feel about photography.

i am incredibly lucky to photo someone who just “gets me” and what I’m after in a shot.

we don’t even have conversations about this.

she just KNOWS.

this is satisfaction.

this is truth.

love that we can get creative and do something with a

dead branch as opposed to a perfect bunch of flowers.

it’s just so much more interesting to me. edgy. different. yes.

change of scenery.

still rocking it.

and those painted jeans.

how about those jeans!?


what a fun girl!

not going to lie.

she was stopping traffic and breaking’ some necks.

shining brighter than the sun.

add some jeans and it’s vintage guess.

and the best cheerleading mom ever.

nothing is out of the question.

24/7 support and solid foundation.

as if beauty & brains & talent aren’t enough…

then there’s the heart.

Bryn’s recently begun a very special charity raising money

to benefit children in need of cleft pallate surgery.

i’m completely thrilled to photo a little sneak peek.

you should DEFINITELY check it out!

keep smiling and satisfying your own truth Bryn!

Wishing you the absolute best at WHATEVER you want to do, sweet girl!

itty bitty toes.

don’t you just want to nibble them a little?

oh my goodness.

just a little fun day at the park with this cutie pie from my

recent 260 saturday mini for ages 1-5.

why 260 you ask?

b/c that’s how many saturdays you get before they enter the world

of kindergarten and life takes off.

in the mean time, it’s the perfect moment to pause

and appreciate their sweetness.

with giggles and sparkly eyes

somewhere between toddlerhood and kidhood.

goofy jokes

discovering independence

and loving life

ok so discovering all kinds of feelings 🙂

and monkeying around

when character begins to shine thru….

and big brother approves

bare feet in the sand and smiles.

these are the simple days.

the easy days.

cherish them always <3






“Whomever receives one such child in my name receives me” Mathew 18:5

I feel like this verse should printed on the header of every adoption paper ever made.

Not only does it stir the soul but it hones in on what humans are called to do:

be the face of unconditional love.

have the heart of Jesus.

This story begins with a family of 4.

The perfect family in every way.

Active, lovely, sweet, charming, and most of all kind.

I should know…i’ve gotten to see them every few years….

here and here for example.

when you go through life and you’ve worked hard together.

made plans together.

build your dreams together.

when your cup is filled and runs over with a daughter and son.

a handsome, curious, and playful son (who by the way looks like a young brad pitt to me)

beautiful, smart daughter who is confident and observant.

so fun to see how these 2 have evolved over the years.

truly the epitome of being blessed.

even with their cup filled, this family has found room for another to love.

a darling, sweet, and utterly adorable little guy “Jo-Jo”…

(his face is blurred bc they are in the midst of fostering sweet baby boy.)

but he is scrumptious i can say.

although i positioned everyone where i wanted them for logistical & aesthetic purposes,

the looks of love are solely theirs.

this is something i can’t stage or photoshop.

to teach your children unconditional love…

what on earth could be bigger than that?

especially in times like these with so much that is wrong in the world.

what you’re doing is so big. so courageous.

not only in the act of teaching your children what unconditional love looks like

but also in giving hope to a tiny person who would have none otherwise.

I’m wishing & praying for the best for your family

Clint & Amy!

when you think about it…

it’s really one of the most important things there are– this thing called ‘bravery’.

i put it up there with hope, faith, and love.

really, how can you attain any of those if you aren’t brave?

you must be WILLING to be BRAVE to hope for good.

BRAVE  to sustain Faith and turn away from doubt.

and boy do you have to be BRAVE to set out on

the journey of love – be it loving your passion, a person, whatever……

yeah so i’m a philosopher now.


but it’s that time of year.

when seniors are preparing to take flight.

and we’re all so hopeful for the future and hopefully taking it all in.

i took a few minutes to take in the “before I die” wall while i waited for my shoot.

the myriad of colorful chalks, different fonts, and messages of anonymous hope…

what can i say?

hope inspires me.

it takes courage to hope for something better. something amazing.

that and “eat tacos without being judged” is fantastic.

loved this b/c it set the tone for my shoot with one great girl.

meet Meghan Anderson.

remember this name.

obviously, the girl is easy on the eyes and then some

but to hear her sing!

goodness gracious.

check her site out, videos on youtube, music on iTunes…

this is a brave girl.

brave not only to get up in front of a crowd and sing

(which she does at many venues around houston including

the Houston Rodeo this month)

but also because she dares to dream.

and DREAM big she does.

back to our shoot.

such a fun time coming up with different looks…we did it all.

i even made up the names of the looks:





poetica/girl next door

fun college girl

and finally

the grad.

yes i am a philosopher AND i have a very big imagination.

you get the whole package basically.


hard to believe this is a senior girl.

DREAMY then there’s the eclectic/boho look which

she rocked in her super cute shoes.
and then there’s THIS.

so just a week or so before our shoot was set to begin,

Meghan’s mom asked me if we could photo Meghan at a piano

b/c of her love for music.

so i find a cool little place to do a couple shots

and what do i hear behind me? someone playing the piano.

the owners were only too kind to let her sit for a few pics.

how this happened, boggles my mind.

i did not dare to even dream we’d find a random piano for our shoot.

but there it was.

next up

american glam girl.

somewhere between marilyn and the the uso

was our next look.

i’ve struggled with trying to decide what looks better….

b&w or color. she is so photogenic.

 i called this poetic/girl  next door.

effortless for this natural girl.

a focusing glitch…but i loveeeeeee it.

profound b/c of the blur.

it all goes by in just a blur doesn’t it?

this cuteness.

not only a girl who’s got the best smile since Julia Roberts

but humble and the polar opposite of pretentious too.

all american college girl.

you’re gonna make it after all (in my fav mary tyler moore voice)

and last but not least…

“the grad”

i have BIG hopes for you Meghan!

1 afternoon and i’m sold that you are the next big thing.

your sweetness, your humor, your talent…all going to take you far!

wishing you the very best on your journey!


once up on a time there was a


muchy muchness

girl named Addie.

doesn’t that just sound like a perfect fairy tale?

it does and it is and she is.

months ago, Addie’s mom, Melanie Luttrell and i talked

about birthdays and my obsession love  for birthdays after a shoot we did.

i showed her a photo

of a darling daddy/daughter tea party from way back when…

i maybe begged suggested a mad hatter tea party

all shades of dreaminess went off in our heads!

months later she made it happen and

i couldn’t have asked for a more magical day to be part of.

our shoot landed on addie’s actual birthday AND her actual birthday party!

you know that is really hard to make happen…

so the set up…

a miss mash of

some of my own vintage fair coupled with some of melanie’s

abundant array of vintage goodies,

 coupled with about 12 dozen flowers she picked up  for our shoot/party all

made for a perfect muchy muchness mad hatter tea party.

melanie and i are kindred spirits….

our visions just came together in such a whimsical way….

on my end for the shoot and on her end for the party planning.

we really didn’t have a lot of convo’s about this and yet

it all meshed together seamlessly!

we speak the same vintage language you could say.

ever in need of an instant table? turn a big basket upside down!

i mean sure – i had to empty the 148 toys inside but totally worth it.

took this just a tad early b/c we added more and more stuff.

but i was in a mad rush to make sure i got SOMETHING

before Miss Addie’s tea party guests arrived.

such a darling set up!

I love that we did this on their front porch.

it was raining off and on so it made sense to move it but i also just think it made

for a sweet memory.

and then there was this.

Marcus Luttrell – American hereo bad ass–

playing the role of the Mad Hatter.

does it get any better?

i was thrilled that he agreed to play dress up with us

but then he went and exceeded all my expectations.

It was a real treat for Addie to see her daddy dressed up and play tea party with her.

can i get an amen for the tough daddys out there who are willing to

put on a hat with pink ribbon and 2 ties to play tea party with their little girls?



this right here was my dream come true.

i so wanted for addie to have adorable moments frozen in time forever

of just how deep her daddy’s love runs for her.

and though i know there’s probably like 88k of these already…these dress up

ones will be among the ones that she will not be able to contain her smile looking at.

and the cutest sweetest family guests…

onto the party!

the tea cups, and candelabras, roses, candy, breakables…

hard to believe this was a party for a 4 year old.

and yet not 1 petal ruffled, not one glass shattered…such good boys and girls.

while all the details were magical and fantastical,

the real magic was in the love that addie’s mommy, family, and friends all

put together for her special day.

petit fores, sherbert punch, cupcakes, mini sandwiches, candy, and more delectables.

even addie’s super adorable cousin loved it.

how could anyone not?

beauty runs deep in this family!

of course there was time for a wardrobe change b/c every princesses/hostess needs

wardrobe changes to wow her guests!

one of her favorite people in her little sweet world making her smile <3

piñata time with brave uncle morgan.

addie’s current fav mood…painting!

and why not when you’re a sweet, dear girl loving life?

the painted fingers are almost too much to handle.

and then time for happy birthday and of course

melanie had the perfect candle!

exactly what i wished for.

here’s what i find endearingly lovable about this party.

*most of the details put together where from stuff around the house (both mine and melanie’s)

*entertainment provided by dad

*a couple of simple yet fun activities to entertain the littles

* a smattering of various bakery goods  instead of a big fancy cake

*oodles of balloons (b/c it’s not a party if there’s not balloons)

*12 dozen (at least) of roses so a girl knows she’s a princess

*a party at home with the family and small group of friends

and best of all, done with mommy’s love.

just adore this day and these memories for you sweet addie and

i wish you a lifetime of special, muchy muchness birthdays!