McGowan Images Blog » :: Wedding and Lifestyle Photography for Amazing Couples in Dallas/Fort Worth and Around the World

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!

  • August 21, 2014 - 12:46 pm

    Erica - These are absolutely breathtaking!!

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!


  • August 19, 2014 - 6:31 am

    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!:)

  • August 18, 2014 - 12:22 pm

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

  • August 18, 2014 - 4:54 pm

    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.

  • August 21, 2014 - 6:45 am

    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!!

We said that 2014 was going to be different.

We agreed to scale back our weddings just a bit, as an experiment. We wanted to see how our family dynamic worked on 20 weddings instead of 30 (we got 24, so it’s close.;)).

We looked forward to a bit of a summer break, to a real Christmas break like we’ve never had before.

And then… well, I remembered how awkward I am during rest.

I’m one of those people who HAS to be going all the time. I never really learned how to sit still and soak up the downtime. I get nervous, and feel like somehow I SHOULD be working. I guess I’ve never figured out how to get comfortable at rest.

After tomorrow’s wedding, we’re not shooting another one ’til October 4th. There are a few sessions here & there, but no mini session marathons, no events, nothing longer than an hour or two. The month of September is about re-centering, reviving our spirits before the fall season and the last weddings of 2014.

I am going to need you, sweetheart. I know I’m going to stress out, and feel like we SHOULD be working, or get nervous about money. I’m going to need you to remind me that *I* need this. I need you to hold me down and force me onto the couch (without the laptop). I need you to remind me how wonderful it is to lay in the hammock. I need you to hand me and Dorothy our coloring books and instruct us to not come out ’til we’ve completed masterpieces.

Because you are SO much better at this than I am. You’re so good at giving your spirit what it needs, and you’re good at recognizing when mine needs it, too. This next month, I’m going to need to learn from you… the sacred art of being comfortable at rest.

Thank you, in advance, for helping me.


I think Will takes the cake as the biggest newborn I’ve ever photographed. He tipped the scale at 9.5 pounds, but it’s 9.5 pounds of pure cuddly gorgeousness. He’s just the SWEETEST baby, and we had such a great time visiting with Liz & Hunter while their newborn son made his modeling debut.;)

Check out a few of my faves!


SUCH a pretty family!

McG Blogstalkers, I hope y’all are ok with newborns.;)In 2012 I shot 5 of these sessions… 3 last year… and this year I’ve already photographed three, and have three more on the calendar for the next couple of months. Then, another huge baby boom in January. Basically, this seems like it might be more of a regular thing around here, and I am 100% cool with that.:)

  • August 14, 2014 - 1:09 pm

    megB - And this is why they pay you the big bucks :)

  • August 15, 2014 - 1:57 pm

    ann - What a handsome boy. Oh my. Beautiful family, indeed.

  • August 15, 2014 - 8:57 pm

    Monica - So basically, what you’re saying is we are seeing the results of the IceApocalypse of 2013?