Having moved Time and Place Photography from our nation’s capital, it almost feels like kismet that my first session in Texas would take place not only in the capital city, but at the Texas State Capitol building.
With business ramping up before I had the chance to buy a car, I had to bike to the center of downtown Austin on the morning of my shoot with Komal and her family. Approaching the capitol from the north, I was taken aback. My plan had been to shoot the family’s portrait in the main walkway leading to the entrance, but I found myself distracted by the tree-lined paths, the deep, rust-colored façade, and the unexpected scale of the building itself. To call the Texas State Capitol Building a smaller version of the U.S. Capitol is both unimaginative and incorrect.
Fortunately, there was no shortage of opportunities to explore. Komal, her husband Vinesh, mother, and two children came prepared with outfit changes, and our session was the family’s third visit to the Capitol that week alone. I was in the driver’s seat, but I had a car full of knowledgeable navigators.
In the end, I got my shot in front of the Capitol, but, as with all my shoots, the most beautiful moments were the unexpected – Komal’s two children embracing on a secluded bench, and the family prepping for their next shot in front of a historic tree.
My favorite? This gem of the family finding something new and surprising in a place they already knew so well, forgetting for just a moment that I was there.
I understood how they felt. As I continue to settle and build my business in Austin, the Capitol feels familiar, reminding me of my own Capitol back home, but new, thrilling me by the possibilities of what’s ahead.