Photography by April Pizana bio picture
  • Latest & Greatest

    So far 2015 has been pretty durn fabulous in the world of photography...

    Got not 1 but 2 -- YES TWO --- international music stars' airstreams to share but not till the summer. boooooo! More to come when they air on Junk Gypsies new season on GAC/HGTV.

    Senior Fever starts earlier and earlier every year I swear! It's all about the boys of 2015 this time! Although there will be some pretty in pink too.

    I'll be shooting till the end of May and then Im off to adventure land with my favorite boy and favorite man.

    I've been able to squeeze shoot in here and there so hit me up and I'll see what i can do :)

THE FIRE WE NEED

Just call me APRIL PIZANA – YOUNG GENTLEMEN SENIOR PHOTOGRAPHER EXTRAORDINARE?

I’ll take it!

So here’s the thing.

 God puts people and circumstances in all every thing we do.

Be it work or play,  pay attention you will see his hands in your life.

I just don’t believe in coincidences.

 I’ve had so many senior boys come my way this season.

Strikes me front and center every time i go to meet a

handsome young fella and his doting mom right behind.

It’s not a coincidence that every single young man demonstrates a quality

I would love to see in my own son.

Every time I have the pleasure of photographing a young man endeavoring on

his journey to higher education, I’m always struck with

the ‘fire’ they must have to make that cross over happen.

Today’s session kept very true to that.

For today’s consideration,

I give you Class of 2015 Senior

Hunter Weldon.

Serious and focused, this is a force to be reckoned with.

I don’t know much about Hunter but I can tell that he is a driven young man.

One who knows where he wants to go and what he wants to do.

Don’t let his quiet demeanor fool you.

This is a young man who has that fire.

I admire anyone with a head for business.

Being a polar opposite of this type of brain- I’ve always admired those

who are logical, mathematical, and focused.

But man can not live on bread and water alone…

seafood and pizza are good too or so we discussed.

video games and GREEN BAY PACKERS bring a smile to  this handsome young dude.

how much do you have to love your mother to do senior photos?

Hunter is such a team player!

I know boys aren’t always keen on the idea but making that sacrifice

is not only such  gift for mom but also a gift to your future.

2 yackety yack mamas talking about this and that

while rolling his cuffs up, wardrobe changes, do this do that, and all in public….

what a guy!

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I know this is going to shock you — truly —

HUNTER does not love modeling.

True story.

You’d never be able to tell that here.

Looks laid back and natural as any Ralph Lauren model.

Not really  football fan myself but i sure do love when someone is passionate

about their team! GO GREEN BAY!

If you’ve got a car and your a senior — yay for yoU! please take at least one picture with it!

if you have a black mustang —  HOOORAYYYY for you and You MUST take photos with it!

Trust me on this — one day you will sorely miss that car.

Especially guys. You will never get over that first car.

A true Texas boy lovin the Aggies – his soon to be college of choice.

And of course…

what has become an April Pizana Photography tradition over the past couple years…..

The “senior mom” photo.

Because gosh by the time you get to senior year…i can only imagine how much you’ve

endured with school, projects, homework, grades, friends, heck senior year alone!

But you’ve made it and you are appreciated!

And I sure do admire a son who is so sweet to do senior photos for his mom….

something to treasure for a lifetime.

Good luck on a super bright future Hunter!

Although I know smooth sailing is nice,

finding that STORM, WHIRLWIND, AND EARTHQUAKE will make it all worthwhile.

JUST ANOTHER FAMILY

Time may have passed but my memory of this chilly day with “just another family”

in Louisiana will stay with me a long time.

I’m taking you all the way back to last February when I was fortunate enough to photograph

the beautiful and very talented Jessica Robertson at her home in

West Monroe for an article in Where Women Create.

You might just recognize Jessica, the wife of Jep Robertson, as seen on fabulous Duck Dynasty of A&E.

Some all around good folks I had the pleasure of meeting in 2013.

Had to wait till the issue came out (which was last Fall) and then Christmas sessions hit followed by the holidays…

But here I am and here’s the story.

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We were lucky enough just to be able to get to Jep & Jessica’s home considering

the icy situation that was brewing since  landing in Louisiana.

Just the day before – everything was  fine–  had a FANTASTIC time shooting

Korie Robertson for Where Women Cook.

 Come hell or high ice…I was determined to make it happen.

2 steps in The Robertsons’ cozy and love-filled home and the cold was no more.

First, I’ll give you a little tour.

Jessica’s kitchen…this AMAZING island made from doors!

Like an arrow straight threw to my junkin’ lovin heart!

It’s no wonder she’s a fan of Junky Gypsy.

Gotta love the hunters touches with the reindeer and Miss Kay’s Cookbooks in dead center.

They were so sweet to put on a spread for us (more on that in a few).

Not surprisingly — family games, books, art…for Jep & Jessica’s 4 super adorable kiddos.

I was surprised to see the many music instruments.

As if they aren’t talented enough on the show— add music to that list!

Very sweet photos and messages of love like any  family.

Speaking of music…anyone who still has vinyl on the shelf

next to a record player is just good people to me.

Add some Jesus standing by and a saint and this girl is happy happy happy.!

Now onto the reason I was there…

Not only is Jessica a wonderful wife, mother, and reality TV star,

but she also has a profound talent for sewing.

And I do mean talent.

Ask anyone who’s ever even tried to make a quilt and they will tell you – it is NOT easy.

Here’s what I love…

Jessica had her sewing machine on the family dining table, quilts laid out to share,

piles of fabric scraps for potential projects, and a sweet little sewing box.

She even had the same scissors that I have in my craft room at home…. like “just another family”.

Like just another mom, Jessica has made countless projects for family members,

church friends, etc… She proudly showed some of her creations.

I adored the selection of the mixed patterns she used.

Every quilt I saw was sewn in such a pretty perfect way.

She definitely just has a “hand” for sewing as I like to say.

And why shouldn’t she?

With quilts that her Grandma made- it’s easy to see this is a rich family tradition

taken to heart.

Speaking of the heart…

Meet the Jep Robertson super adorable clan.

Such sweeeeeeeties!  I felt like i was just over a friend’s house for a visit instead of

shooting a celebrity for a national magazine!

Both Jep and Jessica wer so gracious.

And for Pete’s sake…look at all of these quilts!! These were just a FEW of the quilts

Jessica has made.

And if this looks familiar…you might have seen some of this shoot in US WEEKLY’s

special edition on the Robertsons last summmer

which I was completely THRILLED to be a part of!

cozy hand-made quilts throughout the house.

Her talents do not stop at quilts….check out this dreamy baptismal gown she made that

several of the Robertson children have worn. What a treasure!

Beauty, southern hospitality, and sewing!

That’s a great package right there.

Seriously…the girl could not take a bad picture.

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So after a fun afternoon visit with my new crafty, antique lovin, friend (ha in my mind at least)

I was treated to a DIVINE stew made by Jep himself.

Um it was FABULOUS and thankfully so on that chilly day.

AND he even made BACON CRUSTED CORNBREAD?!

Who does that?!

Mrs. Kay’s son — that’s who!

Although he did share that Phil is a wonderful cook as well.

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All that you see on TV is real folks.

These people really are “just another family”.

They are REAL. They are wonderful people.

No different than you and I.

Ok so they’re celebrities so they’re a little different.

But they are doing their thing and what they’ve brought to a very messed up

time in history – well i find it remarkable.

To put yourself out there.

To share what you’re doing with the world…

and do all of this while staying TRUE to who you are?

Amazing and I’m grateful.

As you can tell, I’m a fan and I hope you are too.

 

LIVE A GREAT STORY (FREDERICKSBURG EDITION)

And now a stark contrast to the “weirdness” we loved of Austin

Fredericksburg.

Fredericksburg with its rich German history and

 love affair  with the land, peaches, & wine.

The winding roads and gorgeous hills on the drive there

are enough in itself to make you wonder why you don’t live there.

Now add to that a bit of nostalgia and you’ll

 understand why this trip was special to us.

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In 2002, I was on Spring Break while still teaching.

The last vacation we’d have before we began our family.

We decided to stay a few days in Fredericksburg

in a quaint 150 year old cabin transplanted to there from Kentucky.

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13 years later we opened that door once again.

A lot of things have changed.

Different sofa, decorations, tv…

some new decor

A couple things have stayed the same…  copper sink and step-down galley kitchen I loved

and where we enjoyed some terrific coffee with a hint of cinnamon.

same bathroom with a dresser sink i loved.

oh then there’s this.

A whole new person to love it all with!

That and a darling puppy.

Being the sentimental boy he is — he loved coming to Baron’s Creekside as much as i did.

Lots of Big changes. Last time we were  here – there was only 1 cabin.

Now there are 8 cabins! Talk about a shock!

Same perfect creek for a boy to skip rocks

a long winding creek and pond with ducks. very sweet

i don’t remember seeing this funny tree!

Meet Daniel, the owner who took over the property in 2006.

He’s from Switzerland and has an awesome story.

He was awesome enough to let us bring our very well-behaved puppy!

So after we got settled we went onto the Pioneer Museum on Main Street.

Got to see some cool living history in motion.

I’m happy to say that all of the guides were very friendly and knowledgable.

A couple of characters who you can swear stepped straight out of

the old west. Fun talking about John Wayne movies with him!

Cookie even made us some fresh biscuits!

They were FABULOUS!

They also served “cowboy coffee”.

Onto iron works at the blacksmith

even a performance! Sweet cowboys invited maceo to play. he did really well!

Onto the school house where we learned some common German phrases.

Legit cowboy.

surely there’s a cub scout belt loop for this!?

Very good experience for all of us.
So after some more hiking at the cabin and another nap…we went out to dinner.

We chose Otto’s as we were looking for German food.

THANKFULLY I was REDEEMED!

After that fiasco in Austin, I was a little pessimistic about trying a new place.

But ohhhh was i glad I did

b/c Otto’s was AHHHMAZING!

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These dudes know exactly what they’re doing.

Meet Chef Adam Yoho- or as my husband would call– the KING OF ALL STEAK COOKERY!

Pretty neat they’re doing it all right in front of you in the dining area.

Being the foodie family we are– of course i had to snap a couple pics.

To begin we had a Otto’s Salad

greens, pickled red onion, roasted beet, honey doe feta, candied pecans, caraway vinaigrette.

Flavors complimented each other perfectly.

We all cleaned our plates!

Not kidding when i say this was the BEST margarita I can remember having.

I NEVER have more than 1 margarita but i had 2 this evening.

For my main course I had the German version of pizza — flammkuchen —

flatbread with crème fraiche, cambozola, gruyère, caramelized onions, bacon.

Uber delish!

Maceo – the adventurous world traveler – had the

Wurst Platte

house-made sausage, served with kartoffelnsalat, sauerkraut, senfgurken, mustard.

It was also very good.

We always share our dishes to try new things:)

And for the steak – you’ll have to use your imagination.

Hubby dug into it pretty quick and then it wasn’t so pretty.

Strube Ribeye — wagyu ribeye, confit potato, roasted vegetables.

But you must know– it was the absolute BEST STEAK of our LIVES!

And we’ve had steak in some snazzy places.

It was perfection. Like you want to cry perfection!

Serious. Ok no crying but we raved and raved for sure.

For dessert we had creme brûlée and cheese cake.

We were stuffed and so cheesecake went home with us but

we had no choice but to have the creme brûlée there b/c of the caramelization and all.

So good!

So Chef Adam- thank you so much for giving us a perfectly delicious and memorable

dinner in Fredericksburg.

He was sweet enough to even come over to our table.

Good people that one!

So after a quick trip to local Walmart  for a couple essentials like popcorn,

and where I may or may not have bumped

the cart into a couple of things b/c of that wonderful 2nd margarita,

we landed back at our cozy cabin.

Even though i wasn’t thrilled about the early Spring Break and colder weather–

the cozy fire made it worth it.

We all agreed this was one of the highlights of our trip…

a million stars in the sky

fire, game, dessert, popcorn,

sweet puppy, and 2 parents thrilled to be with their boy.

Next morning we were up early to Enchanted Rock.

Another trip down memory lane.

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This was 2002– note the 1 megabyte Sony Mavica that took FLOPPY DISKS

hanging around hubby’s neck!

Hey – we were very hip at the time– cutting edge technology in 2002.

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I later realized that Maceo was standing in  almost the exact spot I took the photo

of Hector in 2002 (look at the tree on the right of Hector’s right side)

AND it was 13 to the DAY!

What are the odds of that?

I didn’t look at the pics till we came back so it was completely coincidental.

Weird!

Someone was too cold to climb so I stayed behind with that little SOMEONE.

She was very mad.

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But it was fine…I climbed it before in 2002.

Plus, I loved that my guys could have a special moment together.

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Like this.

AND I got to have a special moment like THIS!

See those 2 tiny specks at the top of Enchanted Rock?

That is Hector and Maceo!

SO awesome to get a photo like this.

Maceo was to the moon about it!

I didn’t get to photo all i wanted to boooooo!!!!

In fact one of the best parts of Fredericksburg is Main Street.

SO SOO SOOO many amazing shops. notice i said SHOPS.

not stores — SHOPS. Very mom and pop.

I only had time to go to a couple shops and i chose wisely.

Der Kuchen Laden

or as i know it– every-cooks-dream.

Hubby was very sweet and told me to take my time

even though we were really on our way out of town.

Picked up a couple of cute things including an amazing brass pepper mill from Greece.

SO impressed with this store.

Think Williams-Sonoma/Sur La Table and then even better!

The prices were very reasonable as well- which i found surprising considering

it’s in a small town.

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So after all that crazy climbing, we were pretty hungry.

Maceo gladly reminded us that his favorite BBQ spot

Salt Lick in Driftwood, TX

was on the way back home (or at least just a little bit out of the way).

But hey – it’s spring break and adventures  we must take home!

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tried sneaking this little girl in in her carrier but she wouldn’t pipe down.

thankfully our food came soon after so she didn’t have to wait long in the car for us.

that and it was nice and chilly out still.

VERY happy carnivore.

So that was it.

We packed as much adventure as we could into 3 days

revisiting old memories and making a lot of new ones too.

I’d say that’s living a great story!

LIVE A GREAT STORY (Austin)

Live a great story…at least for a day.

Spring Break 2015 came much earlier than any year before.

And on a year that was colder than most, I was relieved I didn’t plan much outdoors.

One thing I try to do every year, is travel Texas.

Get to know towns and landmarks with some good grub along the way.

Ok who cares about the landmarks.

We’re foodies.

My son — obsessed with “Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern”.

Hubby — “Man vs. Food”

and b/c i love to cook – traveling is essential for inspiration.

Pretty lucky that my hubby doesn’t care where we go and

Maceo always up for any adventure.

So my job is usually pretty easy.

We decided on Austin & Fredericksburg.

Two days in two towns with completely different energies.

Austin first.

Even though we’ve been to Austin

we wanted to see a different side…the “KEEP AUSTIN WEIRD” side.

That and the food. I mean DA FOOD!

One of the first things i noticed was a sign that read,

LIVE A GREAT STORY“.

What stellar advice.

I saw this sticker/sign several random times.

Maceo and I decided we loved it and would make this the theme of our trip.

Unfortunately, every time we saw it, we were in traffic and my camera wasn’t handy.

But you get the idea.

 First stop on the foodie express

GORDOUGH’S PUBLIC HOUSE

on S. Lamar.

Basic principle here.

Everything they make is on a doughnut.

That’s right…

Tacos, chili, chicken, desserts, you name it.

ON A DOUGHNUT!

Hard concept to accept but you can see lots of the menu

from patrons on yelp.

Started with a frito pie “Ode to the trailer” as an appetizer.

Good stuff.

Please try not to lick your screen as I can not be responsible for possible electricution.

HA!  The names alone on the menu are good entertainment.

For me and Mace- “The Mother Plucker”.

Fried chicken on with maple-butter on a doughnut.

As if that’s not enough…

Jr. Foodie wanted bacon on top.

Kid’s getting raised right.

I should be given some kind of respect for taking the time to photograph

the deliciousness.

Ut was VERY VERY good.

Split a side of corn. carb love for sure.

This was hubby’s – The Nacho Libre.

No time for a proper pic b/c he was hungry.

He said it was awesome.

Maceo in love. He finished the ENTIRE thing.

I had half (thank God b/c dinner didn’t go so well…more on that)

Great experience.

Food was good.

Restaurant clean.

Service great.

We took a dessert to go b/c we were in carb comas and that worked out just

perfectly for 10 pm.

Next….a nap of course.

Onto some site seeing.

This is the Hope Outdoor Gallery.

Serioulsy folks.

You must go.

You must take your kids. take your friends. take your neighbors. take a field trip.

Just so good.

3 stories of chaotic bliss artistically displayed for your critiquing pleasure.

Layers and layers of humanity one color at a time.

I mean they should charge a fee.

I could barely breathe taking it all in meanwhile be utterly jealous that

we don’t have this in Houston.

Maceo was just as mesmerized as i was.

paint paint paint everywhere

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Artist in action

being the cool ass mom I am

I brought along some markers

( i mean he’s only 10 so spray paint wouldn’t be very responsible).

He was ecstatic!

Of course police-man daddy had a nice convo about

graffiti only being a good thing if you have permission:)

cool people watching

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art in action.

you gotta admit. that takes some guts.

And then there’s there climbing.

As if crazy nonsense art was not enough…there was climbing involved!

If you know a 10 year old boy- you know climbing is where it’s at.

the foodstuffs  and brain food of artists

that and visitors at the food trucks nearby.

Politically correct messages

Politically incorrect messages

funky messages

nonsensical messages

inspiring messages

dumb messages

whimsical messages

don’t like what you see?

keep looking.

something will blow you away.

and if you’re STILL not happy

bring your own paint and make a story.

Live a great story.

Even hubby was inspired.

that’s his little contribution on the left. so sweet!

and more from Maceo…he could’ve stayed all night.

Next we made a mad dash to The Oasis on Lake Travis.

We were in a super hurry b/c my itinerary did not account for a super cloudy day

hence a very limited sunset.

We made it literally the last minute before the sun set.

An incredible view that makes you feel you’re on vacation in a foreign country.

BUT that’s about it.

Sorry but you won’t see any “foodie” pics from me here.

Service, food, margaritas, everything, SUCKVILLE.

I don’t usually do this but it was bad. it was really really bad.

I read a few Yelp reviews and thought…well, how could it be THAT bad?

The view sold me so I i said what the heck.

UGH! lost all kinds of respect from the family on this one.

Food took over an hour and was like it was microwaved.

I hate to complain this much but I’m telling you it was that bad.

The manager said he was sorry and that was it.

What a waste.

Thankfully, we had dessert and leftovers from lunch in the fridge at our hotel so we were fine.

But what a big disappointment.

The grounds are lush and beautiful at the Oasis but that’s just not enough

if you’re there for dinner!

Ok new day with a fresh attitude.

Onto the Austin Postcard at Roadhouse Relics.

Totally worth a stop.

Plan your stop with breakfast in mind.

Next door you’ll find the cutest little bakery with yummy goodies

and a chic farm feel at La Patisserie .

Got some macaroons for a mid-day dessert.

Now lunch.

We weren’t doing much site seeing this day b/c we were on our way to Fredericksburg.

Mama’s got an itinerary and we stay on the itinerary! or at least we try.

Went to the original Torchy’s Tacos (Maceo’s request) on South 1st St.

That was a good decision. A very good decision.

Food was even better than the awesome tacos we usually get at our local Torchy’s

in Cypress.

First street soooooo awesome!

How can eating at a food truck be better than a fancy restaurant on a lake?

crazy concept but true.

We got there about 11:30 and line was formed soon after.

Food was quick, hot, delish.

Mace had a frozen hot chocolate and i had a sip.

CRAZY GOOD!

Especially good for the ride to Fredericksburg which is where we

headed next for living our great story.

C O N T A C T