Photography by April Pizana bio picture
  • Latest & Greatest

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

    Fun times with the amazing Junk Gypsy Co. shooting airstreams belonging to Miranda Lambert and Billy Joe Armstrong (Green Day) both which aired on Junk Gypsies new season on GAC.

    Senior Fever ROCKED! The boys of 2015 took over and already have a class of 2016 done and delivered!

    I'll be taking time off to adventure land with my favorite boy and hubby for the summer.

    Holiday session info will go out late summer.

    Have some fabulous fun till i see you again!


so i kinda consider myself a well rounded junkin’ aficionado.

i mean i’ve photo’d  the best in the biz for almost 5 years now…

flea markets, booths, antique stores,  trash by the curb,  you name it.

surely that gives me SOME street cred! right?!

i’ve seen the good, the fabulous, and the amazing.

Or so I thought.

As it turns out my education is far from complete which actually makes me happy.

so many more roads untraveled (pun intended).

Just another reason to love what i do.

Cosmic Cowboys and Honky Tonk Angels….I give you

I give you


 with a name like that….you know you’re in for a good story.

It’s the whole package.

Silver bullet, Americana stars and stripes, touches of texas,

 rockstars, COSMIC cowboy music, oh and of course the whole camping thing ha!

All steered by the OH SO fine, bright turquoise vintage chevy.

The chevy alone is enough for most to drool.

But latched onto to this uber cool airstream?

A marriage made in heaven Austin.

literally and ideally.

these are the cool kids.

Meet Todd & Sarah.

Artistic visionaries with a retro corner office on all things cool and amazing.

I’ve admired Todd’s neon art for several years.

So of course getting a call was pretty fun & amazing.

Weird how the universe works isn’t it?

i had JUST visited the infamous Austin Post Card

outside their shop  a month or so before that that email.

True story — visiting his shop was on my bucket list for gosh at least 3 years maybe?

THRILLED to meet the minds behind the magic is an understatement.

Chances are you’ve seen Todd’s RIDICULOUSLY AMAZING

skill of balancing art, light all with a retro spin

 if you’ve been to Austin, watched Jimmy Kimmel in Austin,

Macy’s series on American Icons, and my favorite junkers Junk Gypsies on GAC,

or even here on my own itty bitty site for covering  Sadie Robertson’s Sweet 16 for Junk Gypsy and Duck Dynasty.



back to the story at hand….

Hanging with the cool kids most def had an effect on a simple girl from the suburbs.

Let me paint the picture…

So I’m driving through the hills of Austin

— had no idea Austin had that many hills–

breathtaking views really.

Driving up a mountain, down a valley, through the smooth windy roads lined with cactus,

mesquite trees, wildflowers, wild deer, the occasional motorcycle or vintage car, the good stuff.

Texas version of the Hollywood hills.

It’s no wonder an airstream is a good idea in the gorgeous hill county of Texas.

Meeting Todd, Sarah, & the cutest little blue-eyed mop top

Jack instantly felt like i’ve known them for years.

Seriously good folks.

The are the whole enchilada burrito…

{like what i did there}


Bringing inspiring artifacts like tambourines, crystals, artsy pillows, suede, cool books,

stars & stripes…. together the best of the past with subtle designer touches

gave it a feel like it had always been this way.

I know i shouldn’t be surprised.

I mean we’re talking about weekend antique warriors/world famous sign maker

i was really taken in by it all.

like the best of the best of an era was  put together in one place.

a music hall of fame all in a comfy traveling home.

Even more perfect was the description that Sarah sent me.


Not all vintage Airstreams in Austin Texas have been converted into food trucks. This one has been lovingly restored and decorated by husband and wife team Todd Sanders and Sarah Thompson. It’s been revived back to its original purpose of camping in style and comfort.

Originally found on Craigslist and brought up to mechanical working order in Spicewood, Texas, this beauty started its journey to rock and roll hillbilly traveling machine less than a year ago. Inspired by folk-rock-country pioneer Gram Parsons and his band, the “Flying Burrito” is now a weekend retreat for Sarah, Todd, their son Jack and dog Hank Jr Jr Jr (aka Hank Williams the 4th)  

Todd started the work by re-gluing and staining the original wood panels and replacing broken fixtures and latches where needed and finished with the orange glow of a neon California poppy. As artist and owner of Roadhouse Relics, a company built on the love of vintage style neon and all things Americana, there had to be neon somehow incorporated into the weekend home on wheels. Instead of traditional exposed neon, the glass was tucked behind the metal flower artwork to keep it safe in the small space of its new home.

The Flying Burrito’s couch needed new foam & to be recovered, all new curtains and new bedding. With Gram’s Nudie (Cohen) suits as inspiration, Sarah sewed the curtains and pillows adding rhinestones and embroidered flowers. Over the top in an understated way was the intention. Gold fringe and crystal edging were chosen in slightly muted shades to ensure a glamorous edge without the glare. Decanters made into vases and wild horse additions are meant to reference Grams time with Keith Richards and Mick Jagger. Joshua tree images remind of us the time Gram spent there with Keith, Anita and friends in the late 1960s. Beautiful black and white photographs of their trip together that were the true inspiration for the airstream. Ethereal sun kissed people relaxed and happy in cool crisp California desert air. Like its bohemian artist inspiration, the Airstream hosts a tarnished champagne bucket sitting at the ready for spontaneous celebrations at any time in its journey. Bed pillows sewn from worn denim with patches evoke a feeling of camp. Of sleeping in the woods under the stars. A drum serves dual purpose as toy for their son and as a mock coffee table to hold books to entertain the family. No TV or electronics allowed in the Flying Burrito. Tambourines found at the city flea market were wired together as a chandelier. The influence of music completely fills the Airstream with warmth and love.

There isn’t an ineffective use of space in the camper and Todd and Sarah tried to keep as much of the original look and layout as it was designed. Although one of the overhead compartment doors was missing they cut a matching sized board and recovered them both in faux suede so they’d match.  The same suede was used to make a dust ruffle for the bed hiding the pull out drawers full of all the tools, toys and games needed for their next road trip. The back window curtain shade was designed by Sarah to be reminiscent of an old bus scroll with its stop destinations on a black background. Instead of cities Sarah chose some of the most important musical venues where she’s gone to hear music. Her appreciation and love of music was what originally lured her away from her family in Canada to Austin and arguably lead her on her path to find her soul mate in Todd. The venues she chose for the curtain start include the Blacksheep Inn from Sarah’s native Canada to Jovita’s Cantina where Todd & Sarah had their first date.

So if you ever see the Flying Burrito crawling along a dirt road in Texas you can be pretty sure there will be music playing and crystals clinking along with the beat.

beauty + talent

you’d never know this girl was not Texas born and raised.

Im sure my eyes popped out a little when she said she was Canadian!

Definitely Texas’s gain…sorry Canadians you can’t have her back.

every little detail thought of. Orange poppies like the kind seen in Nudie suits worn by

Gram Parsons and so many other legends like Hank Williams,  Keith Richards, and even Ronald Reagan.

SUCH FUN details from a time gone by.

we had to stop and take a couple quick snaps of this super cool and cute family.

I can easily picture this Flying Burrito trio having fun winding through Texas towns and making great memories.

And this guy. so full  of personality and blue eyes. watch out girls.

This is why these 2 make a great team.

Todd doing his handy magic on replacing old wood and other technical duties

while Sarah brings the pretties, making curtains, pillows, and a trail of just enough bedazzles

to spiffy up the joint.

This is a 1969 Airstream and Sarah mentioned it was the last year that they had wood interiors.

Love learning about this.

Fringe…i mean we’re talking about paying homage to the 70s and cosmic cowboys folks!

Fringe is a NECESSITY!

Keeping with as many of the original features as possible gives this

airstream the feeling you’ve been transported to another time.

A bad-ass time before i-this and i-thats.

Absolutely necessary for rock and roll and the soul.

behind door number 1 in case you were wondering.

touches of hand-made Nudie whimsy in these pillows to make the ride all the more fun.

doesn’t this light fixture just make your heart smile?

2-tiered tambourines with crystals. a love so right.

Lots of inspirational touches that only the best Gram Parsons fans would spy

including the Joshua Tree in the background…Sarah tells me that this is where Gram hung out with

his friend Keith Richards.

this is why you have to check your glow-screen at the door.

if you didn’t — you’d miss out on getting an education on the good stuff that inspired

so many in such a good way.

and all served up on a drum platter.

More original rescued details…just enough of retro hardware to transport

you back to the past. The neon, orange poppy sign for a funky touch.

good, solid rock n roll memorabilia to daydream about.

And of course a “Flying Burrito” cover because

how’s an airstream named “The Fly Burrito” gonna survive without that!?

More fun touches with a  license plate vase

little vignette with more nostalgia.

so comfy and cozy.

treasures hunted, found, and sewed by Sarah

Gilley’s!? are you kidding me!? LOVE me some Gilley’s SISSY!

oh man wait till you see the follow up blog post….honky tonk women…you have no idea.

Gram Parson lyrics. LOVE IT!

This little ham….Hank the 4th i think? so sweet

Well that brings us to the end of our retro-cosmic-americana-cowboy-legenday-joshua tree lovin-poppy glowin- tour.

I hope you’ve enjoyed it as much as i have!

Oh what  you say? you want more!?

Sarah’s got you covered (see how great she is).

A whole BONUS camper to photo and share!

Honky Tonk ladies and gents- i give you the LORETTA TRAILER!

but you’ll have to wait till next time.

I don’t want to be responsible for damage or fainting.

just too much for one post.

Todd & Sarah, thank you soooo much for being such gracious hosts. I had so much fun with you and

i now consider myself a cosmic, honky tonk girl thanks to your mini-museum/homage to GP and my

retro loving’ art soul thanks you for getting to photo such eye candy!


God Bless America


busy making dreams come true.

i’ll be back with our trip to DC soon.

God Bless America.


be a good one…


Today is a very special person’s birthday!

There are people you cross paths with that just stand out sometimes.

And what better day than a birthday to pay tribute to a wonderful girl?

Meet my friend Erin Carlyle.

I met Erin few years back when our son’s were in the same class.

It didn’t take long to see us big-camera-totin-mamas had a couple

things in common.

But that wasn’t it.

There’s lots of  big-camera-totin-mamas at school

and I still may not know their names or have had even a convo.

No it was more than a love for photography that sprouted this friendship.

Erin stuck out bc she is  such a sweet, positive, and personable person.

As if that isn’t wonderful in itself,

I was thrilled when she signed up for my xmas mini last year — oops — year before that! yikes!

Anyway, she has a BEAUTIFUL family and I can’t believe I didn’t get a chance to share before this.

As a photographer, who’s going to blog about you?

At least in the 2nd/3rd person right?

Today is the perfect day to share wight he world what a gem you are Erin!

Not only easy on the eyes…this clan is super duper

awesome just to hang out with. It’s no wonder she’s so popular!

a SUPER wife and mother!

Erin and her husband Jeff have quickly become part of our little

“Hamilton family”. Both volunteering many many hours and making our school that much better.

We are blessed!

Erin’s super pretty daughter Callie

And this boy!  Jackson–as equally handsome as he is sweet.

and a character!

such a gorgeous couple!

Erin’s not just  a “good mom”.

She’s a ROCKSTAR mom. Always in tune, always involved.

Even with the busy schedule she keeps at her studio….Erin is amazing with her kids.

Her two handsome guys

They are soooo cute together!

So yes everything she does, she does it very well.

Immensely talented and handles it all with grace.

Thanks for being such a friend Erin!

I hope you have a wonderful birthday and know how awesome i think you are!

Now aren’t you glad I shared this shoot? They are too cute not to!

You can see Erin’s immense talent by visiting her at




/ˈwəndər/ noun: a feeling of surprise mingled with admiration,

caused by something beautiful, unexpected, or inexplicable.

one of my favorite words.

I must use/think of this word at least once a day.

“the wonder of it all” I say.

yes I’m secretly a life lovinn’,  hippy girl.

for this family i think it is PEFECT and i’ll show you why.

First, a little background…

See i know what i’m talking about b/c

i’ve been following Reece around since he was in the 1st grade with my son Maceo.

Easy to see why with those bright, happy eyes and GORGEOUS grin!



sorry got carried away going down memory lane…ha! it’s what i do.

it’s kinda impossible not to get pulled in with that smile.

 it’s not  hard to see why the word “wonder” came to mind when i sat down to write

today’s post.

You don’t have to look very hard

to see it’s right there for the world to love– plain as day–

 the ‘wonder’ in  Reece’s eyes… the ability to see  joy of every moment.

so onto baby sister Hannah’s first tea party!

so sweet

just precious as can be

so these kids definitely inherited the ‘wonder’ gene.

you can see it in baby girl’s eyes too.

 mr. handsome.

he wanted to pose himself and I’m glad i went with it.

i’d say he did really well!

mama’s heart right there in one frame.

a SUPER big brother!


and of course we had to make time for a family pic.

How cute are these people?

Way before our session

Karly warned advised me that Miss Hannah was not a photo enthusiast.

C’mon! who could say that about this sweet thing?


ok maaaaaybe i could see a little, itty bitty, assertiveness there….just  a tiny bit.


done and done.

but really who’s going to say no to this?

you’re done for Scott. just accept it.

there’s that “wonder” again


uh oh.

okaaaayyyyy i can see just a little of what her mommy was talking about.


and then there’s this.

so proud of this boy.

This conqueror of all quests.

He always amazes me with his marathons, extra curricular activities like baseball, scouts…..

Truly a model example of what a scout should be:

good attitude, leadership, courage, tenacity.

What could be more perfect than getting an “Americana” photo of him?

and of course gotta pay props to his mama.

He sure does love her.


thanks for being so awesome Scott, Karly, Reece, & Hannah!

If i could just see the world through your eyes every day

life would be that much more amazing!

how much do i love you?


How much do i love you?

a question as good as one that deserves a story just as special.

Especially after the hellluva morning me and Mr. Zach’s mom had….

It all began with what was supposed to be a very routine and fun shoot.

super adorable baby, super sweet school mom i know, big kids still in school so plenty

of time to play, FINALLY no rain, balloons, cake, props, baby clothes…

we were set.

or so i thought.

first we reconsidered the whole trespassing thing —

hey you come to april pizana photography- I’m going to give you an adventure.

grass was just too tall and I’m not into the whole snake and spider thing soooooo

off to a nice little back up spot  nearby.


baby sleeping, still no rain, all balloons accounted for…

or not.

forgot to mention SWARMS and i do mean SWARMS of mosquitos.

listen, i’m from Texas Y’ALL! and i know the whole mosquito thing.

it’s awful. it’s torture. it’s one of the reasons i don’t shoot in the summer (seriously).

i get it.

But this year b/c of all the rain, it was like scary SCARY.

like apocalypse scary.

just walking maybe 1/4 mile when i turned

to hear the alarm in Angie’s voice trailing behind me and saying,

“uhhhh i need that bug spray NOW.”


i told you apocalypse.

Thankfully i had my spray with me so we went into mom-combat-mode.

problem mostly solved after maybe 3 layers of spray.

so walking a couple more feet and what happens?

balloons detach from the pincher and fly up!

not the first time this has happened to me

or the poor mom holding on to them.

and the reason why i rarely do balloons.

so here i am out of my comfort zone…summer shoot, stifling heat,

apocalyptic mosquitos, and now run away balloons.

we trekked on.

that’s when stopped and looked at Angie and said–


 we’re not walking away without those balloons.

don’t you know i found me a TALL and i do mean TALL stick..

b   o   o   m  !

AND this is when our luck turned around.



onward with the moms-who-can’t-be-stopped!

and this sweet little face.

Just a little year ago we met “mr heavenly”.


and here he is again…heavenly as ever.

the baby human is an amazing specimen. Just a little over 365 days ago he was laying

swaddled up and not even able to support his neck…

now after many bottles, diaper changes, and tons of love from his sweet mama and family—

he’s standing on the little suitcase he laid on.



and loving swing time




and walking


“look what i can do mama!”


ready to climb


and being yummier than ever

and smiling:)


you’d be smiling too if you were eating a chocolate cake in your diaper!

and having your way at it

this is how you eat cake folks.



he was good and happy till we told him how many calories it had.


No sky is to high for a mama’s love.

You are LOVED!