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Happy Labor Day, guys & dolls! We hope you’re taking the day off to relax with family, enjoy the summer sunshine, and maybe cook up something yummy on the grill!

We’re tuning in halfway through our “end of summer” break to announce the WINNERS from the “Know Your McG” contest!! There were supposed to be 3 winners… but since there was a 4 way tie for 3rd place, we decided to honor all of those with 87%, and give away SIX portrait sessions!

The First Place winner is… Julie Price, with 93%!! You get a full regular portrait session, and an 11×14 print!

In second Place is… Adria Bowman, with 90%!! You get a full regular portrait session!

And finally, all tied for Third Place with 87%…. Leslie Martin, Lauren Weatherly, Jacob Kragle, and Kendall LaRochelle! Each of you gets a free mini session, with 20 images!

There were another 9 people in the lower 80% range, which I thought was super impressive… I wish we could give everyone sessions, but Mack gave me the “are you crazy” eyebrow and reminded me that free sessions don’t buy groceries, soooo.;)

Each of you SIX winners, email me at chelsea@mcgowanimages.com to claim your prize, and we’ll get a weekday September portrait session on the calendar!


Curious to the REAL answers of the Know Your McG quiz?

Don’t worry, I’ve got the truth below:

1) McGowan Images (back when it was just Chelsea) photographed two weddings in 2008… so that’s the first year!

2) We’ve professionally photographed 148 weddings.

3) Our first destination wedding was New Hampshire, in the fall of 2009!

4) McGowan Images has never photographed in Jamaica… but we HAVE shot weddings in Aruba, Hawaii, Canada, and more!:)

5) The old McG studio was in Arlington… we’re currently operating entirely out of our home office in Morgan Mill, and doing lots of phone/Skype meetings with out of town brides!

6) We use Canon cameras!

7) Jeremy & Christy’s 2009 Morning After session was featured in Rock & Roll Bride… a BRITISH wedding blog… making that our first international feature!

8) Chelsea’s favorite movie is “High Fidelity”… but kudos to all of you for recognizing her obsession with The Little Mermaid as well.:)

9) Chelsea was born & spent a good chunk of her childhood in California before moving to Texas.

10) Before becoming a full time photographer, Chelsea was a newspaper reporter.

11) Chelsea’s “Love Letter” is R. Read that story here.

12) Chelsea has legitimately not washed a single dish in 7 years. Mack is awesome (and Chelsea is stubborn.)

13) Chelsea’s favorite animal is an elephant! She can spend HOURS at the zoo watching them, and has dozens of really awesome elephant figurines gifted from clients/friends over the years!

14) Chelsea is insanely afraid of crickets. She doesn’t want to talk about it.

15) Ariel is Chelsea’s favorite princess. DUH.

16) Chelsea is 28… but usually has to ask Mack, because she forgets.

17) Mack’s real first name is Erik. He started going by “Mack” as a nickname in college, and it stuck.

18) Mack is rightfully famous for his amazing pasta dishes, his fantastic Mac & cheese, and his mind-blowingly wonderful whiskey cider. He can make pumpkin pie too, but it’s nothin’ to write home about.;)

19) Mack’s favorite holiday is Independence Day. Blowing stuff up FOR THE WIN.

20) Mack became a full-time McGowan Images employee in December of 2010.

21) Mack has been a waiter, worked at a fast food chicken place, worked at a glass factory, a Wal Mart employee, a radio station manager, a youth minister, a grease monkey at an oil change place, a bassist in a regionally touring band, the CFO of a marketing firm, tossed bags at a feed store, been the graphic design director for an equine marketing company…. But he has NOT ever been an auto body technician.:)

22) Mack owns a 1972 GTO Judge. It’s gorgeous.

23) Mack started college as a music major, on an impressive scholarship for his beautiful voice. He graduated as a communications major, and now uses precisely zero of what he went to college to learn.

24) Mack and Chelsea were married on April 19, 2008.

25) Dorothy is 4 years old, and Jack is 11.

26) The McG family has three dogs… Gertie, a 4 year old Havanese with brain damage who runs into stuff Mulligan, a 7 year old pit/lab cross who weighs 120 pounds but thinks she’s a lap dog, and would love to sleep on the couch 22 hours a day. Agamemnon, a 9 year old border collie whom Jack named after the Greek king of “Troy” fame. No, Jack has not seen that movie, are you crazy? We read a lot. Aggie is strictly an outside dog. We all sneeze if we get in 100 yards of a cat.

27) Jack has had a lot of Halloween costumes, but to this point, has never dressed up as Jack Skellington… note “to this point”.

28) Dorothy will respond to about anything we call her, but no one has ever called her “DD”. Most of you guessed that she had never been called “DiggeryDoof”, but I’m here to tell you, that’s a daily one.

29) Mack and Chelsea are dying to do their 10 year wedding anniversary in Greece.

30) We live in Morgan Mill, TX, in a 113ish year old farm house that’s way too small for all four of us, and we love it.

Thank you all so much for taking time out of your lives last week to participate in our silly little quiz, and help us celebrate this new website. It’s been a long time since January 2011 when we launched the last one, and we’re really liking this new “face” of McG on the interwebs. We’re taking one more week off from regular blogging, but when we come back, we’ll start having pretty stuff to share more regularly. Get excited for a gorgeous fall season!:)

  • Julie - Pretty sure that I wouldn’t have scored well enough to get one of those lovely sessions, but I think you guys are worth the money. Can’t wait to see you guys in October!!!!!

Notice anything different?

Of course you do.:)

We launched the new McG website!

This will be a gallery site & blog all in one. We wanted to make sure the blog remained the place to go to see all our latest work & goings on, but also that our new readers & potential new clients could easily see what we have to offer. Mack has worked long & hard on this design for us, and we’re so proud of how it looks now!

Click around! The galleries, the “about us”… it’s all new.:)

That said, the launch of this new blogsite also launches something else for us… something unprecedented. I, Chelsea, the blog-addicted schedule master, am taking a blog break.

Don’t worry, I won’t be gone long. Just two weeks. But we need some time to work all the kinks out of the new website, to start work on the Girls on Film branding revamp, and to get used to having both McG littles in school for the first time!

I’ve pre-scheduled a new post to go up every Tuesday on the Girls on Film blog as normal, and next Monday I’ll have a new post here to announce the winner of the new contest (keep reading, there’s a contest!;)), but for the most part, I’m going to do my best to take the hours I normally spend on blogging and put them toward catching up on other parts of life I’ve slacked on this summer.

Please poke around the new site, let us know what you think! If you click on a button that appears broken, LET US KNOW. While Mack is a super talented designer, it’s been a long time since he did this for a living, so we can use all the extra sets of eyeballs you’ve got to spare.

What’s that you said about a contest??

Oh yeah, the contest!

To celebrate the new website, back to school, just general happiness, we decided to have a contest! Below you’ll find a multiple choice quiz. It’s 30 questions, and some are trickier than others. The three participants with the highest score will be awarded a FREE McG portrait session in the month of September! We’ve never given away three portrait sessions in one contest before, and maybe I’m a little crazy for doing it now, but hey… we don’t have a wedding in September, so it seems like the perfect time to get some new faces up in our business.;)

Maybe one of those three lucky winners will be YOU! (if the quiz doesn’t show up embedded in this page, refresh your browser and it should be there!)



Fill it out! Facebook it! Share the new site with your friends! The contest will run from today, Aug. 25th, ’til midnight on Saturday, Aug. 30th.

We’re looking forward to an amazing fall wedding season, and booking even more fabulous couples for our 2015 calendar.

Thank you ALL for continuing to make it possible to live our dream!

  • Bethe @ Texas Lovely - LOVE the new site! And I was pretty confident going into that quiz, but some of it was HARD. *fingers crossed* Love you guys!

  • The Nan - Love the new look!! The quiz is hard! And I have been there from the beginning!

  • ambo - I LOVE the new site. Some of those had to be trick questions….I’ve been around since the beginning!

  • Victoria - OMG. That quiz made me feel AWFUL. I thought I was a prime time stalker! I better STEP UP my CREEPIN. LOVE the new site, so much easier to navigate with everything on one page! SO FUN.


  • Heidibeth - Wow that was bad! I thought I knew more for sure! We need more lunch dates….I need to know more about the McG’s!
    I know I got the first 2 and last one right! Haha! Can’t wait to read the real answers!

  • Chelsea - Love the new site! It’s fantastic and very stylish!

When it was raining in San Angelo last Saturday morning, Cie started to hyperventilate. The cloudy skies and cooler temperatures were welcome, of course, but rain? That would put a SERIOUS kink in their outdoor wedding plans.

Luckily, when everyone told this bride & groom that the rain showers were just getting out of the way early so the nighttime would be gorgeous, they were RIGHT. It wasn’t NEAR as hot as anticipated, and light cloud cover diffused the August sunlight into a golden glow. Christoval Winery was decked out in it’s best French Countryside decor, and start to finish, the whole day proceeded as “best case scenario”.

I love that Chris & Cie kept finding new ways to surprise each other all day long. From Chris’s beloved dog unexpectedly leading the bride down the aisle, to Cie’s brother flown in from two thousand miles away without the bride’s knowledge… they were truly spending the entire day looking for ways to make sure they gave each other the “Best Day Ever.” I’m going to go out on a limb and say they succeeded.:)

Enjoy our favorite images of the day!


Aren’t Cie’s reception shoes just the COOLEST? Seriously. Might be my favorite wedding shoes of the year. So different & awesome.


I don’t think ANY of us could keep the tears from falling when Cie’s dad came to fetch her for the walk down the aisle. Such an amazing reaction!


Gretchen. Cutest Flower Girl EVER.


Mr. & Mrs. Russell!


Normally, we’re pretty hardcore about giving our couples 5-10 minutes after the ceremony to just love on each other and soak in the moment. But Cie didn’t know yet that her brother, who wasn’t expected to be able to attend, had flown in just a few hours before from Washington State. When they saw each other for the first time in years, it was heart-breakingly wonderful.


Such a great looking wedding party!


Although thick clouds brought twilight on us much earlier than anticipated, we still had plenty of time to roam around the vineyard during cocktail hour and capture some gorgeous portraits of the new husband & wife.



Congratulations, Chris & Cie! We loved getting to spend this beautiful day with you, and we are so glad it turned out to be everything you dreamed it would. Enjoy that beach honeymoon… you deserve the rest!

  • Erica - These are absolutely breathtaking!!

  • Victoria - Don’t mind me, i’m just blubbering over these amazing images. Her dads reaction is TOP NOTCH. I was losing control of holding my tears in and then I saw the photo of the bride with her brother. BEAUTIFUL. She is absolutely gourgeous!! Love these images!!! I felt like i was there crashing the wedding!


  • Cie Russell - Chelsea and Mack,

    Life has finally slowed down and I can finally comment on these amazing photos. No worries though they have been shown off to all those who will look. I am in love with them all and could not have imagined them being any more amazing. There are no words or amounts of thank you that could ever begin to express how much I appreciate these memories you have captured and how you captured the exact feel of my wedding. Perfection isn’t near the best word to describe these beautiful pieces of work but that is the best I could think of. Thank you both so much!!! We just absolutely love you guys!!

Last weekend, I got to spend a little time with Amber just a couple of days before she became a Mommy. She got her hair & makeup done and got to feel beautiful as one of my “Girls on Film” for a couple hours, and then headed home to finish up baby prep. Because just two days after her maternity session, baby Graeme was born!

We caught back up with new parents Amber & Jacob when Graeme was just four days old to capture some newborn portraits of the little guy. He wasn’t very pleased with the whole process, but luckily, his parents are laid-back goofy types and had all sorts of ideas to incorporate his grumpiness into the portraits!:)If you haven’t seen our “Baby Squid Attack” image on Facebook, you’ve definitely got to go check that out!!

Enjoy a few faves from both of these celebrations… Congratulations to the Kragle family!


  • Amber-Lin - SO.GOOD!!!! Love love love them!!!! Thanks for capturing our grumpy face little guy. The last is my favorite!

Our last summer wedding was an absolutely GORGEOUS one! We celebrated with Chris & Cie and their families at the Christoval Winery just outside of San Angelo, and enjoyed a blessedly temperate day considering what we’d been preparing for! The entire day was full of smiles and happy tears, and around every turn, someone had gone out of their way to surprise the bride & groom with something wonderful. It’s no wonder their family and friends love them so much, though… they’re SUCH sweethearts!

The new Mr. & Mrs. Russell are on their way to St. Lucia for a sure-to-be-glorious honeymoon break, but I know they’re dying to see these photos just as much as we’re dying to show them off. So let’s get down to business, shall we?


Happy First Married Monday, you two! Have an awesome week, and get excited to see more pretties on THURSDAY!:)

  • megB - LOVE this venue. Stunning pics, especially post-ceremony! Can’t wait to see more!

  • Allison - Breathtaking as always!! You always manage to capture what it FEELS like to be there not just cheesy everyone stand and look pretty photos.

  • Cie Russell - Chelsea and Mack!!!

    I have been DYING to see these!!! Having a blast on the island but the internet is slow!!! I think they do it on purpose so people won’t work, but I am glad I was able to finally load some of them and take a look. They are exquisite!!!! Amazing, and everything I had hoped and wanted in my wedding photography!! Thank You so much to the both of you for being so freaking awesome and for making these memories ones I will never forget. Headed out to zip line through the jungle!!! Love you both!!

  • Victoria Russell Tatum - OOOOOOOhhhhhh my gosh!!!!! these pictures are absolutely gorgeous!!!! I cried just looking at them, I really am a big cry baby haha. I loved Chelsea she was such a doll and her husband and assistant were so sweet!!! These pictures are amazing!!!