Katie & Thomas's Austin, TX Engagement Session at Mckinney Falls and East Austin Succulents

As you probably know, blogging has been slow lately BUT this is the first of a few blog posts in the next week or so! And I am SO excited to share this one!! One of my favorite engagement sessions to date!! Katie & Thomas are so fun and sweet. These Austin Aggies are getting married at Broken Arrow Ranch this November, and I can't wait to be back at this gorgeous venue!

For this session, we went to East Austin Succulents and then to on of my favorite spots in Austin : Mckinney Falls State Park!! Katie had the perfect dresses for both spots, and their portraits turned out so gorgeous!! I am pumped to shoot their wedding this fall!

A Texas At-Home Engagement Session Featured on the Overwhelmed Bride

I have been holding on to these images for WAY too long, but I am so excited to finally share Liz and Cooper's session with you all! Check out their feature on The Overwhelmed Bride! And read their sweet sweet engagement story below!

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"Cooper kicked off the month of "engagement confusion" by throwing me multiple curve balls. Several times I was convinced we were getting engaged and he fooled me. One week before Thanksgiving Cooper asked me to reserve the following Tuesday for a nice dinner together. He told me to dress up so he could take me out for a nice meal. Of course, when Cooper picked me up I was prepared for a nice evening out, only to be met by the surprise of a bicycle ride across town, through Texas A&M's campus to Chipotle. Let's just say I was a little less than thrilled after a week of build up and excitement. After a couple of minutes of me trying to alter Cooper's bike riding plans, I finally gave in and hopped on a bike. We started to ride through Texas A&M's campus, where Cooper proceeded to stop at every. single. stop. Each time it was a different excuse: "I have low tires," "my seat is loose," and the list goes on... After multiple stops at different buildings and several bicycle "fix it" stations, he stopped at the final place: The Century Tree! I rode behind Cooper on my bicycle, where Cooper proceeded to tell me with a huge smile on his face, "you thought I was going to propose here didn't you?!"At this point I was so confused, and I said "no?!" We proceeded to go under the tree a second time and head to Chipotle. But this time I hear the bike's breaks screech, and Cooper fall off of his bike. It was so elaborate, I thought it was a joke. I told Cooper to get up so we could keep going. When he didn't get up, I got nervous and jumped off of my bike to go check on him. Just as I was bending down to talk to him, the lights in the tree came on and Cooper was on one knee. He sweetly asked me to marry him, and I said yes. Following the proposal Cooper had a home cooked meal waiting for us on the stairs of the Academic building. We ate, laughed, and dreamed of the days to come. Then he threw one last special surprise my way... my very best friends planned us a surprise engagement party at my home in College Station. We arrived home to find many of our dear friends, and all of our families waiting to celebrate with us. I could not have asked for a more perfect evening with my favorite person who I can't wait to spend forever with."

Photography: Shelby Tsika Photography | Venue: Studio 12 | Styling: Shelby Tsika Photography | Mugs: Target | Linens: World Market | Tableware: World Market | Submitted via: Matchology

The Greatest Matcha of All Time

It's no secret I love matcha. I've been getting matcha lattes since before they were cool. Way back in the day before I cut sugar, I used to get "green tea" (matcha) frappuchinos from Starbucks and they were the bomb. Now, I prefer my matcha hot and with cinnamon! The only place I get it cold is at True Food Kitchen... Their Matcha Horchata is heaven... ANYWAY - I have been attempting to make the perfect cup at home for a while now - and I finally did it!! And now I am sharing it with you! I have linked everything I use in the ingredients list. Enjoy!

Ingredients

1.5-2 cups Almond Milk (frothed with this milk frother)

3 TBSP Coconut Butter

1 tsp cerimonial grade Matcha Powder

2 TBSP Honey

1 tsp cinnamon

Top with a pinch of vanilla bean powder and cinnamon

First, I heat up the milk and coconut butter in a saucepan. I like to get it really hot, but not quite boiling! While that's happening, I put my honey, cinnamon, matcha and about a teaspoon of the warm almond  milk in my mug. I mix that all together well in the bottom of my mug with a fork!! (Those matcha whisks are too expensive and this works juuuuust fine for me!) 

Next, I pour my milk + coconut butter into a glass measuring bowl and froth it! Then I pour the frothed milk into my mug and froth that together to make sure the matcha is all mixed! 

I use a stick frother from world market, but I have linked one above from amazon!

I hope you enjoy!! 

Keely's Texas A&M Senior Session

Well, It's about that time for Aggie finals, and I know you seniors are pretty excited this is your last round!! I can't believe another school year is coming to a close. It is SO crazy. I have loved each of my spring 2018 seniors so much!!  

Miss Keely booked her senior photos with me a long time ago, and when it was finally time for her session, I felt like I already knew her! She has the sweetest heart for kids and is going to be a school teacher! She is as gorgeous on the outside as she is on the inside, and I just love her red hair!!! Campus was blooming like crazy, and it's just beautiful. Congrats, Keely, and all of my other Aggie Grads out there!! 

Emily & Kenton's Boho Home Session

Eeeek! I was thrilled when Emily asked me to photograph a home session for her and her husband, Kenton! These two cuties are moving pretty soon and wanted to document their first home together, and it is something special! This is not a styled shoot, just purely how cute their home actually is. I know, I know. I want Em to come decorate my house too!!! I am particularly smitten with their kitchen details. Check 'em out!

Kaitlyn | High School Senior

Sharing a special senior session with you all this morning! Cody's little sister, Kaitlyn, is graduating this June from El Campo High school, and I can't tell you how exciting it was to be able to take her senior photos! My own brother is graduating this year as well, and Cody and I are both just a little in shock at the fact that our siblings are old enough to graduate!! I guess this means we are officially old?! 

Kaitlyn, you are so beautiful and I am so excited to see all that you do at A&M! God has big plans for you!!

Kristen & Darrell's Houston, Texas Engagement Session

This engagement session... so FUN!!! I love exploring different areas of Herrmann Park in Houston, and it was just the perfect backdrop for these two. Their love is real and so evident in the way they treat each other! They are fun and silly... and Darrell is clearly excited for Kristen to have his last name!! (Scroll down to see!) Kristen and Darrell, you two were a blast to photograph, and I can't wait for your wedding this fall!! 

New Service | Brand Subscriptions

I have been keeping a secret... But I finally get to share it with you all today!!

I am seriously thrilled to announce that we are now offering BRAND SUBSCRIPTIONS to our wonderful brands we work with!! 

What does this mean?

Well, just like a subscription box, you will choose a plan that works best for you and pay monthly! You ship your products to me at the beginning of every month and get back beautifully styled images every time!! Updated monthly content? Yes please!!

But What are the plans like? 

We have plenty of options for you!! 

3 products per month

3 month subscription - 135 per month 

6 month subscription - 121 per month  (save 10%) 

12 month subscription - 108 per month (save 20%) 

5 products per month

3 month subscription - 225 per month 

6 month subscription - 202 per month  (save 10%) 

12 month subscription - 180 per month (save 20%) 

Unlimited Products per month

3 month subscription - 450 per month 

6 month subscription - 405 per month (save 10%) 

12 month subscription - 360 per month (save 20%)

But what does the monthly fee include?

They include all of your digital images, a personalized online gallery, printing and digital rights, shoot customization, all styling materials, loose ingredients & props. With the exception of any materials that I cannot easily find at the store! If there are any special items you would like included in the photos, those must be shipped with your monthly package! 

Alright, sold. Where do I sign up?

Right here, friend. We can't wait to work with you!! Better get on it, though, because we can only take a limited amount of brands each month!!

Not quite sold... Tell me more about the process!

Once you pick your plan, we will send you a contract that covers the length of your plan. One contract. Automated monthly payments online. Easy peasy. Once you are all booked, I will send a questionnaire outlining your goals and visions to better serve you and your brand! Once we have a goal, you get to ship me your first box of goodies! The box must contain the products for ONE month, a shot list/any special instructions, and any special ingredients/items you may want me to style with that I cannot easily purchase at a grocery store. Once I receive your package, you will receive your images within 1 week! 

We are so excited about this new offering!! Our brands have been asking, so we are delivering!! 

If you have any questions or would like to inquire about a brand subscription, please email shelby@shelbytsikaphotography.com with 'brand subscription' in the subject line!

She Plus Him Bartending | Colorful Cocktails

I seriously love what I do. My only job this day was to photograph the cutest cocktails for the sweetest souls. Taylor and Logan (The She and Him of She + Him Bartending) are the best and serious magicians when it comes to mixing up the most delicious and beautiful cocktails!! These two have big hearts for the Lord and have a passion that is so evident and it shines through their personalities and business! They run their little Austin-based business out of New York City while Taylor pursues acting! Can you say #girlboss?! 

If you are a bride, hire them NOW to make your cocktail hour one in a million times more special and unique!

http://www.sheplushim.com

Kyla & Caleb's Broken Arrow Ranch Wedding

What an incredibly beautiful and joyful day I am sharing on the blog this afternoon! Reliving this day brings my heart so much joy! Kyla & Caleb's winter wedding at Broken Arrow Ranch was so sweet in every way. It was centered in God's love, and there just aren't a lot of  people with more joy and gratefulness than Kyla and Caleb! 

This day was planned with love and intention and there were so many tiny touches that made this day special. One of my favorite's was Caleb's letters to kyla that he wrote throughout their engagement that he gave her on their wedding day! 

One of Kyla's childhood friends and bridesmaid is a June bride of mine, and it was so neat to be able to snap a photo with the both of them!! 

From their color scheme, florals, decor and venue... You can hardly get prettier! I am so thankful to have been a part in this wedding day. I cried so many happy tears with this family throughout it!!

Amazing vendors tagged below : 

Florals : Adrienne Adamson Designes 

Venue : Broken Arrow Ranch

HMU : Naturally Flawless

Tux : The Black Tux

Wedding Dress : VIP Bridal - Bryan TX

Bridal Shoes : Alex Marie

Second Shooter : Meredith Rainey

 

The Importance of an Engagement Session | Free guide For Brides & Photogs

Today I have a 100% FREE guide for all of you brides & wedding photogs out there! I say both, because this guide goes over all things Engagement Session! They are so important and vital to a brides wedding photography experience AND so important for photographers to implement them into their collections! Check it out below!! 


Get your free guide on engagement sessions!

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Yauatcha | Upscale Chinese dining in Houston, complete with a Michelin Star

Houston peeps, if you haven't been to Yauatcha yet.. GO! The desserts, the dim sum, the cocktails...  It is so incredibly delicious! The Venison Puffs are my absolute favorite thing. 

This London based Michelin Star awarded restaurant has two locations in the US. Houston and Hawaii! To say we are lucky to have them here is an understatement :) I had a blast creating these gorgeous images for their brand. Enjoy!

Healthy Ice Cream Shakes | Banana Nut & Chocolate Chip

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Okay, get your blenders ready and toss out your ice cream, because these delicious treats take their place perfectly! As an ice cream fanatic, I am aware this is a big claim. I myself make one of these close to once a day, and I never buy ice cream anymore! I absolutely cannot wait for you to try these healthy shakes out. Enjoy!

 


Banana Nut Shake

Ingredients:

2 Frozen Bananas

About 1/2- 1 cup of Unsweetened Almond Milk (Add in a little at a time to blender)

2 TBSP Honey

1 TSP Cinnamon

1/4 Cup of Walnuts

Directions:

Blend together until smooth! I like to freeze my bananas overnight in a tupperware container :) This is a super important step, and adds the creamy texture to the shake!! 

 


Chocolate Chip Shake

Ingredients:

2 Frozen Bananas

About 1/2- 1 cup of Unsweetened Almond Milk (Add in a little at a time to blender)

2 TBSP Honey

1 TBSP unsweetened Cacao Powder (Sometimes I do 2 if I'm feeling a darker chocolate-y taste!)

2 TBSP Cacao nibs (what I use) or chocolate chips if you prefer!

Directions:

Blend together until smooth! I like to freeze my bananas overnight in a tupperware container :) This is a super important step, and adds the creamy texture to the shake!! 

Summer & Hughesy's Blue Ridge Parkway Engagement Session

I am thrilled to share this sweet couple with you guys today! It is close too my heart in so many ways! I am from Western North Carolina, so to be shooting in Asheville was a DREAM come true. Most of you may not know this, but my dad played college golf, played professionally AND coached college golf back in the day. Brian (Hughesy to me and my dad) was on his team. I have known him since I was teeny tiny, and grew up around Hughesy and the whole golf team! He and my dad have stayed close friends ever since. Now he is marrying the most beautiful and sweet girl EVER! Summer is an answered prayer and the perfect match for Hughesy, and photographing this special time in their lives is such an honor! I absolutely cannot wait for their May wedding at the Twickenham House in North Carolina!!

Kyla | Broken Arrow Ranch Bridals

I am over the moon excited to share this sweet girl's bridal portraits tonight! Kyla and Caleb's wedding day was amazing, and I cannot wait to share that as well. For Kyla's bridals, we went to her beautiful venue, Broken Arrow Ranch! Also, how much do you guys La LA LOVE her bouquet by Adrienne Adamson?! She's a rockstar with florals!!  We had a bit of a windy day, but we made it work in her favor! MY favorite moment was when it hit Kyla's mom that her little girl was a BRIDE! Cue the tears!! These special moments are why I do this. Eeeeek Enjoy!

Jessica | Old Town Spring Bridals at Hochzeit Hall

Sharing a few of my favorites today from Jessica's classic, Old Town Spring bridal session! I just love everything about her look!!! Her and Jason's New Years eve wedding was a blast, and I am just so thrilled it is over so I can finally share this beautiful session with you all!

Year in Review & My Word of the Year | 2018

2017 has been so incredibly crazy and wonderful, mixed in with a few hard things! But aren't they all?! ;) Last year, I did a "word of the year" blog post and wanted to continue following that tradition for 2018! Last year's word was 'gratitude', and looking back, I feel like I did a pretty good job of remembering that word and the action of it in most circumstances. Here we are, the last day of 2017, and I am so grateful. I am grateful to God for the means to have been able to give to some incredible charities, including : Imani Collective, Naomi's Village, Samaritan's Purse, The Birthday Party Project and more!!

With the growth my business has had in the last year, it has allowed me to do what I love full time, day in and day out! And I honestly can't even type sentences like that without crying HA! I am just so thankful to be able to do what I love and to do it serving Jesus and others along the way! My heart is FULL!!! 

On the personal side of it all, there have been some crazy things!!! My grandfather's heart attack, my grandmother's stroke, heart attack, lymphoma and now seizures and brain surgery to top the year off! Christmas was spent in a hospital, but we surrounded her with her family and so much love and gratitude that she has made it through it ALL! (Talk about a warrior, guys.) Seeing my mom go through all of this with HER mom has been so hard. But it has also shown me that incredibly strong, beautiful, resilient, fighter women run in my family (On BOTH sides!) I am so blessed with the mom I have and by all the women in my family.

This year, the love of my life did his first internship with Stennis Space Center in Mississippi, and LOVED IT! He's headed back again this summer and honestly, I am such a proud girlfriend. I will always say that one of my favorite things about Cody and I Is that we are complete opposites in our passions, but pursue them hard and to the fullest alongside each other. I just love him :)

I did a styled shoot, I served a bazillion awesome clients, I traveled out of the country, I made new friends, I quit school, I went FULL TIME (still unreal THANK YOU), anxiety symptoms came back and kicked those in the butt again, I hosted my first workshop, cooked a lot of food, shot a LOT of food.. and probably a million more important things.

But my favorite thing has been that I have been able to witness God's wonderful, all consuming GRACE in it all. When I am weak, sinful and down. His Grace is there. It covers me. 

So. That is why........ BA DA DA DAAAAAAAAAA! My word of the year is:

GRACE

Jesus, help me to be more like you in 2018. Help me to give grace and love to others more freely!! 

I love because you do! 

 

Cheers to 2018, everyone! May it be filled with hope, love, heath, happiness and GRACE!

XO

Behind the Scenes | 2017

Wooooo! I feel like this is the start of the best/most embarrassing blog post of the year... Oh well! I hope you enjoy seeing me behind the scenes this year. Prepare for all the awkward faces, me standing on my tip toes, running from fire and... well, more weird faces ;) Thank you to all my moms, second shooters and I phone photogs who snapped these gems!! Hereeeee we go...

Lauren | Texas A&M Senior

So incredibly excited to share this senior session on the blog today! Lauren is graduating this month with a degree in architecture from Texas A&M! Not only is she the most sweet, big-hearted and thoughtful girl I know, but she is also one of my best friends :) 

We wanted some fall vibes mixed with some images on campus, and I think we nailed it with our locations! 

As always, Leanna of Naturally Flawless does an incredible job on HMU!

Celeste + Daniel | Downtown Waco Engagement Session

This is a sweet one, you guys!

Celeste and Daniel are the most thoughtful couple. The 9th of every month is their special day - it’s the day he asked her to be his girlfriend, wife, and the day they will marry! Oh, and did I mention that Daniel gives her a sunflower (Celeste's happy flower) on the 9th of every month?! I mean, come on. Celeste & Daniel, Your love for Jesus and each other is so incredibly evident in the way you two interact! So honored to be your wedding photographer and I can't wait for your June wedding!!