Photo Safari in Shiner, TX | McGowan Images Blog


Photo Safari in Shiner, TX

As you saw on the blog Monday, we spent part of last week in Shiner, TX for Angela & Garrett’s engagement session. This amazing couple was generous enough to invite us to stay in the family home for the night, so we could spend time with our kids and explore the cool little town they love so much. While we were shooting the engagement session, our kids got to pick green beans, tomatoes and peppers in the garden, and gather eggs from the chicken coops. Such a treat!

Whenever we travel, we love to make time for a photo safari. It’s a creative stretch for Mack and I, and teaches our children to see the way light and shadows move and interact with one another. It’s one of my greatest joys in life to hear Jack holler from the backseat, “Oh, that’d make a beautiful picture!” And you better believe we pull RIGHT over when that happens. 🙂

Those of you who follow me (Chelsea) on Instagram would have seen some glimpses of the incredible light and scenery we had during the engagement session… here are a few of our favorite non-people pictures of that evening!

This next picture is a pretty big deal for me… We’ve had our landscape art photography end up on client’s walls before. Particularly from our trip to Hawaii last summer! But when that client asked me if they could purchase some of our work, I was honestly just so flabbergasted that they would want it that I sent over a couple digital files and called it a day.

When I posted the following image of the storm system moving through Shiner last Tuesday evening, a fellow photographer immediately said she wanted to buy it from me. The next day, I sold my first non-people art piece… a 20×20 canvas of the following image. I’m super proud, and can’t wait to sign it and give it to Lisa. 🙂

On Wednesday, we got up early and after a fantastic breakfast homemade by our amazing hosts, we loaded up the car for a little sight-seeing before the long drive home! Our first stop was Saints Cyril & Methodius Catholic Church. Since we’ll be shooting a wedding in this gorgeous house of worship this December, we thought it’d be cool to stop in and check it out. It’s an absolutely jaw-droppingly beautiful church. Dottie thought it was a castle, and kept asking where the princesses were!

Downtown Shiner has so many cool spots for photography. I seriously could have shot in this little city for a week and never gotten bored.

We spent part of our morning at the Spoetzl Brewery, where the magic of Shiner beer is made. It was like the promised land for Mack. 🙂 The tour was SUPER informative and fun for our kids, and hey… free beer samples. That’s a good reason to drink in the morning, right? 😉

So, I mentioned on my personal Facebook page that during this trip to the brewery, Mack and I had about the coolest faux-celebrity moment ever. We struck up a conversation with some strangers from Florida while waiting for the tour to start, and mentioned that we were in town for a photo shoot. The girl said, “Oh my gosh, are you the McGowans? I KNOW YOU! I follow your work and saw on Facebook that you would be here!”

You could have knocked me over with a feather.  It made us feel like absolute rock stars… and also made me wish I’d worn makeup, but whatever.

Here’s a picture of our new Florida friends pretending to get their party on during the tasting! 🙂 Thanks for making our day, guys!

Ooooh, one more story.

This sweet lady was very complimentary of Jack’s green mohawk, and asked Mack what he thought her grandkids would think if she showed up to see them with green hair herself. Mack said he thought they’d love it! We thought that was the end of the discussion, but about a half hour later as we were leaving the brewery, the lady grabbed Mack and said, “Young man, if your offer was sincere, I think I’d like green hair.”

Mack was SO THRILLED. We brought her out to our car, dug out Jack’s punk spray, and gave this precious Grandma a new ‘do! I wish I knew how her grandkids reacted when she arrived. I’m looking forward to hearing from her. 🙂

Our last stop before we headed out of town was this seemingly-abandoned building, with a sign out from that said “Shiner Woodworks”. We actually saw this on our way into town, but didn’t stop because of our schedule. After Angela and her family assured us that no one would shoot us for stopping to check it out, we made sure we drove by again!

Man, I love a good photo safari. If it wasn’t too boring for our dear blogstalkers, we’ll do a few more of these this summer to chronicle our other adventures!

  1. Amber B. says:

    Wow what a fun idea for the family!! I just love this post and yes I saw some of the Instagram pics and couldn’t wait to see these! So awesome about the celebrity moment!! Y’all are celebrities in my mind! Great job and I’d love to see more of these 😉 Jack love the green Mohawk dude!!

  2. megB says:

    This whole post just makes me happy, happy, HAPPY! See you tonight 🙂

  3. Emma says:

    Great photos and great stories!

  4. KSeller says:

    Pretty! Might have to purchase some artwork as well one of these days 🙂

  5. Mike says:

    This is way cool! And you are SO celebrities. None of this “faux” business. 😉 Way to go for your first official landscape sale! *high five*

  6. Nadia says:

    I’m always jealous of your kiddos. They always look like they are having so muh fun and they get to hang out with you two while going on fun adventures?? Super lucky kids…

  7. Sarah says:

    Awesome pics! I LOVE the one of the barn! Definitely gonna have to check out the brewery next time I’m down there…ahem, Angela.

  8. Kevin says:

    I want to go to the shiner brewery and spray my hair green. Love the safari!

  9. Liesa says:

    Boring? No way! I love all of this photo safari business. 🙂 Beautiful work! I also adore the pictures of Jack and the sweet Lady and Dorothy alongside. Too fun! PS now I wanna go to Shiner!

  10. Angela says:

    Yay! So proud of my little town, and so happy you enjoyed it! Love all the pics!

  11. Abby says:

    Never boring 🙂 And I told you that you guys were celebs!! That church is gorgeous and that “Shiner Woodworks” building is super cool! Your job is the awesomest!!

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