Sibling Portrait Session {Children Photographer, Austin, TX and Santa Fe, NM}

On a recent family portrait session in Santa Fe I photographed Leah and her two very special daughters, Anna and Greta. It was a gorgeous fall afternoon; a perfect day to spend photographing two giggly sisters and their mom. I had photographed Anna and Greta twice before and I was really looking forward to spending the time with them. I have enjoyed watching them grow (through my viewfinder) into two little ladies with two absolutely distinct personalities. Artfully capturing these sisters as they interact brings me joy–and definitely gives me a case of the giggles. Anna and Greta's connection reminds me of the close bond between my sister and I. (Except for yesterday when she lovingly told me she was going to "mute me" while we were having a video conference call if I didn't stop talking). Having the ability to capture these images for not only mom and dad, but also for the children to enjoy as they grow into adulthood really makes me feel good about what I do as a professional photographer. Photographing Anna and Greta always involves playing. When I arrived to their home Anna was boinging away on her pogo stick and Greta tried to be shy for about a minute and a half before booting a soccer ball across the yard. Even Jack, their sweet dog has been warming up to me. After spending some time at their home both outdoors and also indoors, we headed to an area I had spotted on my ride to their house; a space nearby where the trees just oozed with fall color and the afternoon light was exquisite. I love the warm feeling of the late afternoon light and the way the girls seemed to fit perfectly into the scene with their contrasting purple dresses. I could spend days photographing Anna and Greta. I am incredibly thankful to be invited me back to their home again and again.




Norah Levine is an Austin based children portrait photographer and pet photographer. She photographs in homes and on location. She also travels to Santa Fe, New Mexico frequently for sessions. Please view her website for more details

A sisterly bond: children portraits by Norah Levine

There is something tremendously endearing for me about photographing two sisters together. I just love it. I have photographed these two girls together for two years and enjoy every minute of my sessions with them. They remind me of my sister and I many years ago–especially the freckles; my sister is speckled with them. I love the special bond these two share– the giggles exchanged; the silliness and play between them. The connection of sisterhood is like no other and I value the chance to capture this loving bond in my photography. These two are unique in character like you can't imagine but certainly shine together brightly. I hope that many years from now they look at these photographs and reminisce about their childhood together and perhaps giggle a bit over a glass of wine.

Norah Levine is an Austin children portrait photographer and pet photographer. She photographs in homes and on location. She also travels to Santa Fe, New Mexico frequently for sessions. Please view her website for more details

Petcasso fundraiser art revealed

Last evening the Animal Trustees of Austin held their 5th annual Petcasso fundraiser here in Austin and it was a huge success! Last week I shared a small portion of the art I created for this project and I promised to reveal the entire piece. I'm excited to say that my painting/photograph raised $2400 during the live auction for the Animal Trustees of Austin! There were some amazing paintings included in the auction that also raised significant funding for the organization.

The final piece is titled, "Sisters" inspired by two loving chihuahua sisters named Kiki and Coco.

I'd love to share a little bit about the process with you.

When I was asked to participate in this project I was really excited (and as I mentioned earlier, very nervous) to have the opportunity to work closely with an animal welfare project here in Austin. These two sweet dogs were in foster care, awaiting a permanent home when I photographed them.

My idea was to photograph the dogs and create a mixed media piece of art. I photographed the dogs against a green background so I would be able to delete the background in Photoshop and create an entirely white background ready for paint. I could have photographed them on white, but due to timing and space issues this was the best solution. The dogs were nervous and quivery (as are most chihuahuas!) during the beginning of the portrait session. They weren't incredibly interested in treats and I think they just needed time to get used to me and my camera. The more calm I became the more relaxed they got. They eventually sat down for a couple of seconds back to back. I loved the shaped that their bodies made when they joined together and I had a pretty good idea that this was going to be the image for my painting.

After photographing these two tiny ladies I worked on the computer editing the image from the background. I then had to recreate hair in Photoshop because it is not easy to include the thin hairs when you're deleting a background from a photograph. It was important to me to have these details included despite the tedious process of drawing hair for a few hours! I then had the photograph printed as an 18" x 36" canvas wrap. In the end, the structure resembled a painting because the canvas was wrapped around wooden supports and the photograph is actually printed on canvas.

When I received the canvas with the photograph printed on it I started painting with acrylic paint. I love color and wanted to use warm colors that blended toward the center where the dogs' bodies joined. I used brushes as well as palette knives to add the color. After I created a base painting it was time to get the artistic influence of the chihuahuas. I met them at the Animal Trustees of Austin and they helped add some of their chihuahua "flair" with their tiny paws. It was at that time that a video of our production was created and Kiki and Coco became superstars.

After the sisters artistic touch was added I finalized the painting and passed it on to the organization for the big event.

This was absolutely a delightful project and in addition to being able to help an amazing organization I am now inspired to explore this style for more painting and photography combinations. I'm happy to say that Kiki and Coco now have a permanent, loving home and so does their portrait.