Ali & Gabriel | Engagement | Austin, TX


When Ali told me she thought that ALL big life accomplishments should be celebrated with a photo session—not just the ones related to getting married—she was SO RIGHT. She was asking because she landed her dream job and was hoping to incorporate a few photos at her new workplace to celebrate. “SURE!” I said (my engagement sessions are unlimited time, and I love spending time with my couples learning about what they care about) “What’s your dream job?” That’s when Ali hesitated. She seemed to feel like she had to explain herself for getting excited. “well, there’s this grocery store…”

I instantly knew what she was talking about. For those of you not fortunate enough to experience it’s magic, the best grocery store on the planet (sorry Trader Joe’s) is Texas’ local chain, H-E-B. Why is it so amazing? It’s like they’re reading your mind—they have everything you could possibly want, and they do all of it at a high level for a low price. Marinated meat you can throw right on the grill for the best meal of your life? Check. Perfectly ripe produce no matter the season? Check. HOMEMADE TORTILLAS? You have to try these to believe them! I recommend the Mitad Y Mitad corn and flour ones toasted lightly in your oven.

I fell in love with H-E-B 11 years ago when I was shooting a wedding in Lubbock, TX (a town tragically not known for it’s culinary scene) and I wandered into the local H-E-B for some snacks and discovered, not only everything I was looking for and then some, but that they were making FRESH SUSHI right there in the middle of cow country. AND IT WAS GOOD.

Ali works in H-E-B’s research office in San Antonio, and when we photographed her session she had just recently been hired. She picked one of the prettiest H-E-B locations in Austin, which also has the designation of being one of the only LEED certified grocery stores in the country. We checked with the manager to make sure we could shoot inside (he was more than happy) and then had a blast in our favorite sections—tortillas, flowers, and of course, wine.

After our mini celebratory employment session in H-E-B, Ali’s fiancee, Gabriel, and their two pups joined us for an adventure around Austin. We photographed them at Austin’s Famous Hope Gallery Graffiti Park (which is currently relocating and planning to reopen this summer, read all about that HERE) Near some famous street art, at Torchy’s Tacos (another worthy local chain that has now expanded as far North as Denver, CO), and at a favorite bar and outdoor concert venue of the couple’s The Little Darlin’.