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!

sometimes you have to wonder.

are we all just a bunch of random molecules floating around just bumping into one another?

or maybe, we are we put in the right place at the right time?

whichever you believe

one thing is for sure.

if we keep our eyes open long enough to the sky

we can appreciate the beauty of it all.

take my day in college station for example.

I was finishing up a shoot when I stumbled across

a moving vision of pride.

it was nor left or right.

neither red or blue.

just a moment to love what’s free in all her glory.

a texas version of the raising of the flag at iwa jima you might say.

maybe it was the bluebonnets in the air.

maybe it was the cadet uniforms.

maybe it was the sunset.

but I was caught in an unexpected awe.

The Texas A&M Corps of Cadets founded 1876.

an organization of serving and honoring

and a group of fine young men.

to think this moment exists every single day somewhere in the heart of texas.

breathtaking love of country in a day of exhausting politics,

it’s simply the love of country and the blessings therein to appreciate

the beauty in the freedom to do so.


please contact for usage or prints of images

sometimes I think spring may just become my favorite time of the year.

that is until I see Christmas lights and nutcrackers.

but it’s definitely a markedly wonderful time of year

new buds, wildflowers, and even the wildly windy days that test my patience some times.

a time for moving on, moving up, and new beginnings.

weddings and graduations…reaping the awards for the end of journeys and celebrating new adventures.

time has once again slipped right passed me.

4 years to be exact.

hard to believe I photo’d this handsome fella 4 years ago for his senior pics.

I love that his sweet, smart-cookie mom called me for a shoot to mark the occasion– college graduation.

so why not mark the occasion?

Texas A&M. an absolutely beautiful campus. Even the wind couldn’t break my mood.

college energy and love all in one shot.

definitely a GQ moment


these 2 making it happen. rock s0lid foundation and amazing parents.

and while we were at it, might as well mark the occasion of this young man growing up coming into his own too.

good looks and a supreme guy.

how could I pass up the opportunity to snap a shot of this cutie pie. so full of personality.

back to the star of the show

young love in bloom

def a moment to mark the occasion. im no expert but could this is the look of no more college tuition!?

cheers all around

a family tradition of love and success. what could be better?

what an accomplishment.

in a world where anything anything is possible, good, bad or indifferent…

you made it Hunter! it’s amazing to see how you’ve grown and budded in the spring of life.

I know your parents are so proud and I love that they marked such a momentous occasion in your life.

Wishing you the best in your endeavors and for all your hard work to pay off.

not an actual bridge in this post.
more of a bridge of the theoretical type.
one that starts at birth and ends with 12th grade…
theoretically ends in 12th grade.
what could be more symbolic though than a bridge
at graduation?

my good friend phyllis asked me about senior pictures when Claire was probably still in middle school.

How could anyone say no to this beauty? I dont know how but the years passed and so fast. so here we are and it was everything i thought it would be. so pretty and so dreamy.

and dreamy doesn’t just happen. it takes work. it takes love. much like being a much work. so much love.


but the payoff is big.
the payoff is everything.

with stars in her eyes 

this was a fantastic idea….Phyllis brought a dress worn not only by her but also by her mother. 3 generations in this chick get up! the rinestones were divine.

so chic! i can hear madonna saying …
strike a pose theres nothing to it V O G U E…
i picked this outfit up at antique’s week and it just had that extra fun touch.
claire can pretty much wear anything. and boy did she wear it!

worked out amazingly for a mother daughter coordinated look.

the best of mothers are a lot like a bridge.
a bridge that helps someone get through the stormy waters of life as paul simon once said. Is there any love more truer than that?
As a tradition, I often include a pic of mom in senior session.
bc of all the strong sacrifice, unwavering faith, lifting you through the good & bad times, boundless strength…
a mother is like a bridge at times.

this beautiful boy with one blue eye.

you made it claire!

you are here now in this moment.

you’ve made it over the bridge to the next chapter!

the world is yours and every dream you have is possible.

I hope you always treasure the love and guidance you’ve been blessed with.

over the years, through the infinite power of facebook, i’ve seen these “50’s day” posts from friends & acquaintances. I had no idea what it was all about…just thought the kids looked super cute.

little did i know the nostalgic magic that awaited!

i grew up in the 80s listening to my parents’ music…watching movies like stand by me, la bamba, the outsiders, and grease. so i get a little nostalgic for those simpler, sweet times when girls twirling in poodle skirts & boys sporting leather jackets and going to the drive in or diner was everything! i love that these kids get even a taste of that and they were such great sports!

so in the 8th grade, there’s a local group that offers cotillion classes. cotillion’s one of those antique words you dont hear too often anymore. and if you’ve known me for more than 5 min, you know how i feel about all things vintage <3. we signed up at the end of 6th grade– yes you read right and boy was that a great decision!

i’ll save you a google search, cotillion is a social club where teenagers learn etiquette in everything from table to oline manners (new age cotillion yes). Once a month they get dressed up in cocktail dresses & suits and learn different types of dancing. it is ADORABLE! S O A D O R A B L E!

to show off their skills, they have a few gala’s during the year. this is where the 50’s theme comes in and it is no short of fabulous. the kids get dressed to the 9 and the venue (a country club in this case) is decked out something out of an epic movie set.

pays to be the first boy to show up!
and so the picture taking began.
before they go to the ball, one of the moms — who just happens to be a FANTASTIC photographer who loves her kiddos to pieces and has done this once before AND someone i happily refer business to– invited everyone to a local vintage gas station/museum to take pictures. she graciously shares the photos with all the parents! and um she did all this in like a couple hours turn around time too. if you were lucky enough to be in this year’s group, you it is the amazing Erin Carlyle photographing the group– and i know you must feel like you won the lottery– i know i do! and it’s really a great idea to have 1 photographer, instead of frustrating both kids and parents with taking a million photos. i stayed in the background taking in the whole process. i’m so grateful my friend Erin is such a class act and didnt mind me standing behind her.
ahhhh the poodle skirts!
the boys with the rolled up jeans and white socks!
at times i looked up and swore i was in another era
someone may see this and say, “too bad you got those shadows”. but for me it’s the shadows that make the photo bc it’s the doting, parents there so excited to see their kiddos.
here’s erin giving instructions. you can only imagine what a task it is to wrangle in this many excited kids and get them situated. not to mention the stark sun burning their irises.
truly they were angels!
erin incorporated a parent to help instruct and brought a handy horn along
and all of this with an audience on the side of highway. what a treat to pass by and see for onlookers.
love seeing them check each other out
what a cute group!
da boys
like a box of pastel crayons

within less than an hour erin carlisle took countless group shots AND an individual shot of each kid. a master at work!
and still took a second to laugh with the kids
after all the big group photos, the parents had a chance to break up into small groups and take pics. i started with the tough guys
or as i affectionately called them the greasers (since they had to read the outsiders last year). total studs

then there was the soc’s (again with my outsiders reference– i know im corny).
they are so cute!

of course i made time for my cutie-pie. almost 5’10 and size 11.5 shoe but he’s still my baby and my heart

bc these golden years are just flying by….i swear we were just in kindergarten doing the 50s day dance for the 50th day of school celebration. thank you to claire who obliged me for a photo for memory lane sake <3 (little time and ultra bright sun = shut eyes)

so freakin adorable
parents weren’t allowed to take pictures or really be there for the most part.
but how could i resist now sharing a few details? it was mesmerizing!
i should also add, the cotillion group does a lot of paying it forward with a local boys & girls group. that is truly the cherry on top!

maceo danced all night with new and old friends.
he came home walking on air!
very special thanks to Erin Carlyle for
all the FANTASTIC group photos and also to the parents who chaperoned the event.
This is not possible without everyone making it happen and being on their best behavior!
It was a golden oldie kind of night and memories that our kids will never forget!

what spectacular night listening

to testimonies of survival, hope, and overcoming

by guests with stars in stripes in their eyes.

marcus luttrell, taya kyle, david groggins,

chad flemming, and houston’s own, “mattress mac” all stood on stage

emptying their hearts and souls in what i can only describe as an

up close and personal, veteran’s un-plugged session at jones hall.

a little something for everyone…surviving the battlefield of war,

surviving the battlefield of life, surviving oneself.

I could find something in each

of their stories to apply to my own life and

fuel provoking thoughts to take home and chew on.

laughter, smiles, maybe a few tears, and being able to hear a pin drop

from the audience…

 no special sound effects, no lazer-light show,

no fireworks,

no politics, no agendas.

just their stories.

just their big, powerful, inspiring stories.

go see for yourself and leave with new life things to contemplate.

you’ve got 2 shots left in birmingham, al and in denver, co.

mary sarah singing “how great are thou” and sending chills through the crowd