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Another McG alumni couple expecting a Spring 2015 baby!! So exciting… I can’t wait to snuggle all these new nuggets in a few months. Baby Hank will make his debut in March, and Lauren & Trenton are so ready to meet him already. This little boy is coming into a life full of love & adventure, I can tell you that!

Oppressive clouds & surrounding rain made me worried this session wouldn’t happen on schedule, but everything was dry & safe in downtown Fort Worth, so we met up for a little bit last week to capture a few maternity portraits. Enjoy a couple favorites!


Lauren, you are GLOWING. Pregnancy suits you, dear. Can’t wait to snuggle your little man in just a couple months! Enjoy your last Christmas as a family of two!:)

  • Lauren - Oh yay! Thank you so much! I can’t wait to see the rest!!!! :)

Devon is a RIOT. She’s hilarious, has killer style, and is crazy talented… she’s one of my favorite senior photographers in our entire area of the country. She also happened to be friends with Mack when they were in high school. So, lots of connections there.:)We were so excited to finally get to meet her husband and adorable daughter after all these years, when we met up for the family’s Christmas pictures in downtown Fort Worth last week!

Here are just a couple favorites of the awesome-sauce Jones family:


Jenzen is completely gorgeous. Like, I hope her daddy is polishing his shotgun already, gorgeous.


We love you guys! Let’s hang out again soon, this time, without a camera in Justin’s face. He’ll like us more that way, I promise!;)

  • Devon J. - OHEMGEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! So, so SO in LOVE with these!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I seriously couldn’t love them more. Thank you so much.

  • Blair Ramon - What a beautiful family session! <3 Devon you look extra Fabulous! <3

  • Megan Stephenson - I love this family A LOT!! Great pictures!!!

  • janette stingl - gorgeous work

I love this session a lot. Like, a LOT A LOT. Almost an absurd amount.

It’s not because Alison & Sergej are so awesome… although they are. They are some of the most genuine, unaffected, open & honest people we’ve ever met, and hanging out with them was a breath of fresh air in our busy season.

It’s not because baby Nikolai is so gorgeous… although he is. Oh man, he’s positively scrumptious. Mack kept having to remind me, “Chelsea, we can’t take the baby home.”

It’s not because we got to Chicago… although that was fabulous. We were so honored when Alison & Sergej trusted our early work enough to bring us to their city in 2010 for their wedding. To be called back four years later to meet their son, and photograph family portraits at the same address where they said their marriage vows? That was phenomenal.

Nope, above all those things, I love this session because it’s REAL. It’s un-fussy. It’s at home, “this is life”, comfortable. It’s going to matter to this family in 50 years, in 100 years. Mack and I walked away from this session knowing that we’d just created a time capsule for the Henning family… a relic of what their lives were like in their first married home, with their first baby, right before his first Christmas. This was an honor & a privilege, and we’re so so proud of the images.

Enough emotional talking… just look at it, and you’ll see what I mean:


This spot is pretty much exactly where Alison & Sergej said “I Do” in August 2010… I couldn’t resist heading up to the roof again, even if it was a little blustery!


We didn’t have to bust out acrobatics or crazy noises to make Nikolai grin like this. He’s genuinely the happiest baby we’ve EVER photographed. Just FULL of joy all day long… no doubt his parents are doing something right.:)


These next few images tug on my heartstrings something fierce. I wish I had thought to have portraits like this taken when I was nursing my babies. Such an incredibly intimate moment. I’m so grateful Alison approved these images for the blog… it’s such a beautiful connection!


Want a quintessentially “Chicago” photo without braving the crowds at The Bean?? Just take your photographers with you to the top of Sears tower! If someday Nikolai tells his therapist about a fear of heights, we’ll know where it all started.;)


You guys… thank you! We have so enjoyed every second we’ve gotten to spend with y’all, then & now. We hope it won’t be the last time we get to explore your super-cool city and hang out with your super-fun selves.:)Merry first Christmas, Nikolai!

  • Alison - WOAH! Wow. wooooow. I have so many favorites! Thank you Chelsea & Mack! Thank you. Remember when we were stepping out onto the Sears Tower ledge and I said, “This was a stupid idea.” and you replied, “Might I remind you, it was your idea!” Well – I think it was all a great idea all over again. :) I’m SO glad you guys were willing to fly across the country to capture our little family so perfectly. You’re right – we will cherish these snapshots in time forever. Thank you!

If you’re friends with me (Chelsea) or Mack on Facebook, you will have seen lots of mention of the current home renovation we’re undergoing. I promise, when it’s done (somewhere in the wonderful, sweet, quite nebulous future), we’ll be sharing some fun “Before & After” photos of all the work we’re doing. But admittedly, right now, it’s hard to see past the hardcore bummer of not being able to decorate our home for Christmas. It’s no secret that we go HARD for holidays, and we’ve always done big Christmas. So this year, we’re getting it in other ways, trying to pump our lives full of that spirit of cheer even if we can’t have a living room tree.

So you can bet that when Katie said she wanted to fully embrace the Christmas season in her engagement session with James, I JUMPED for joy and started planning all sorts of seasonal wonderfulness. This session is so perfectly THEM, and made our hearts so happy to photograph. I’m in love with every single frame, and if their reactions to the sneak peeks are any indication, Katie & James will love them just as much.:)

Check out some of our favorites from this snuggly-wonderful Christmas engagement session!


Grrrrr… girlfriend, you’s a hottie.


Hot cocoa, gingerbread cookies, and classic records make for a perfect holiday picnic!


Sundance Square at Christmas is a special kind of magical!


You. GUYS. So much wonderful. What a great way to kick off 2015’s excitement! Pensacola will be here before you know it, and we’re so jazzed to get to go on your wedding adventure with you!

  • Katie - Chelsea and Mack, I am speechless and in tears! These pictures are better than I could’ve dreamed! Thank you for capturing our love for each other with your amazing talent! I loved every minute of the experience! And whoa…I really am a hottie!!!!

  • Lauren - Gah! So much pretty!! I have the warm Christmas fuzzies! These pictures are just so perfect! Chelsea & Mack, y’all do such an awesome job showcasing life’s special moments. It is such a treat to see your work on the blog everyday.

  • Emily Davis - To my lovely friend Katie – what glorious pictures of you both! Kudos to all involved and I am so happy for you!

  • Robin - Absolutely wonderful, gorgeous! You captured the true “glow” of Katie’s and James’ happiness! Chelsea and Mack – you create such incredible images. I’ve been smiling all morning!

  • Aaron - McG being McG, sharing their amazing gift, (insert British accent) well done mates! Katie, you are stunning! You two look and are absolutely perfect together. (P.S. Love the dress and boots!)

  • James - Thank you for these gifts. Each picture a present – captures our joy in the moment, and is wrapped with your talent, imagination, and humor. I look so forward to opening them all. Corny metaphors aside… Thanks.

These behind the scenes posts are always interesting to build. I’m reminded of places we’ve been, fun people we’ve photographed, crazy situations we’ve gotten ourselves into. But this one was particularly interesting to put together because of the physical changes we’ve undergone in the last 6 months. Since July 5th, I’ve lost over 20 pounds, and Mack has lost that much and built up some KILLER muscle. (Seriously, have you seen the guy? WHOA.) We basically just decided we weren’t satisfied with the way we looked, and decided to put some effort into being the best versions of ourselves. Neither of us has reached our goals yet, but we’re in the best shape of our adult lives, and excited for the further changes we’ll see in 2015.

It was all I could do not to photoshop off some of those pounds in the Behind the Scenes images from the summer… but I didn’t. I like seeing where we’ve come from, because that makes where we ARE even more rewarding.

Some might say that kicking off a blog post with a picture like this is inappropriate, but hey… as long as I’m the one posting these blogs, I’ll do it how I want to. And I like Mack’s Grand Exit light testing photos the BEST.:)


I try to demonstrate sexy poses, and often fail. Thank goodness my clients bring more sass than I do.:)


We’ve photographed some seriously gorgeous places this year… Devil’s Waterhole is one of our favorites, and we never get tired of exploring new places along the Texas Coast!


I photograph the newborn sessions, but I absolutely cherish Mack’s help with them. He’s a pretty talented baby-whisperer, but he’d never admit it!


Yep, it’s official. Mack is going to be reeeeeal annoyed at the amount of photos in this post that feature his butt.


We can’t do a Behind The Scenes post without featuring a few of the “Friends of McG” that helped us this year! I was SO grateful I had my sister’s assistance for this Girls on Film session I photographed in Malibu this summer. Speaking of… when do I get to shoot on this beach again????


We miss our Kayla-Monster. Best Assistant EVER.


MegB. Providing hair, makeup, styling, and pruning assistance to McG since 2010.;)


The following photo was when I finally started to notice my weight loss in Mack’s wedding day images. Thank GOODNESS. It can be exhausting to work out and eat right if you don’t see results!


Your eyes are not deceiving you. That’s definitely Mack hanging off the side of a cliff, balancing super-precariously, to get the angle he wanted for this overhead shot during Carley & Kurt’s B&G Session at Turner Falls. I nearly had a fear-stroke.


Why do we post Behind the Scenes images? Well, because it’s fun. Because we want to show that FUN is what we’re aiming for with the McG experience. Not only do we want to give each of our clients images that they’ll love for a lifetime, but we want to make sure they walk away from the shoot thinking, “Holy cow, that was a blast. Let’s do another one.” And so far, well, we have a pretty good track record.;)

  • Kylie Taylor - I love everything about this blog post!! Seriously, you guys are the most fun and easy people to work with. You guys are just like “okay I want you like this and Ty you look this way and Kylie you close your eyes..” And Bam, magic happens! I know y’all bust your butts getting the perfect shot and it’s I can’t thank you enough for all the pretty you make happen!! You guys rock!

  • M-Dawg - The sad-face one is my fave. Well, that, and all of Mack’s ass, of course. ;) You two are amazing!!! xoxo

  • Marlene Abbott - I’d love to know what you’ve been doing to lose the weight because you look AMAZING! You look so happy and so comfortable in your skin. I’m extremely uncomfortable in my skin and I just don’t know where to start/what to do to get myself feeling better. I know you’re a busy woman, but could you maybe send me a quick email of what you have been doing?

    You rock these blogs, Chelsea and Mack! Love love LOVE it all!