San Antonio Area Family Photography |Austin Child-Baby Photographer » Beth Davis-Pratt of Elizabeth Nelligan Photography is a San Antonio area photographer specializing in family, child, and baby photography with an emphasis on capturing fleeting moments to treasure forever. Based in Seguin, Texas and serving New Braunfels, Canyon Lake, San Antonio, Cibolo and surrounding areas.

Today, I want to share a bit of my heart and history with you – the reason I love being a family and newborn photographer. And why my heart soars even higher when I am invited to photograph families formed by adoption.

 

My Journey to Family and Photography

It is amazing to me that my husband and I will celebrate our 15th wedding anniversary this year – 15 years we’ve been riding this roller coaster called life together!  Nearly 15 years ago, just as many young married couples do, we dreamed of having a family someday. I loved following along with my friends who were getting married and starting their families, dreaming of growing ours.  It didn’t happen easily for us. But you know what?  I wouldn’t change it for the world. Our two miracles through open adoption are what make us the family we are and me the mommy I am – and honestly the photographer that I am.

I have always been intrigued by photography and loved to take pictures but it was always a hobby – I never dreamed it would become my career. I would take my own snapshots of our travels, friends, and families.  I would also look at professional photographer’s websites and dream of the time when I would have my own family and could finally put family pictures up on our walls.  But, infertility and adoption are bumpy roller coasters.  Those of you who have been there know what I mean.  I threw myself into my career as a child advocate/policy attorney in DC. I quite literally had my dream job working for the organization that had inspired me to walk this path all the way back in high school, but still something – someone – was missing.  My children.

Nearly 5 and ½ years ago, we finally got the call we had waited years for, our son had been born and needed us in San Antonio right away!.  I’ll never forget the first time I laid eyes on him, the first time I held him, fed him.  We have pictures from his first days with us that I absolutely treasure but I wish there had been someone there to capture those precious memories for us so we could all be in the frame together. We were so thankful that we got to visit with his birth family.  I treasure those pictures most of all but there aren’t any with all of us. My husband or I was always behind the camera when everyone was together.

When we returned to Virginia, I started looking for a family photographer and planning for our first professional family session. I had heard about this organization that worked with volunteer photographers to discount sessions for new adoptive families but those sessions couldn’t happen until after the adoption was finalized. So we waited (sort of patiently). When my son was 10 months old we had our first family session. My heart fills with joy when I think about how I felt when I finally had canvases of our own little family on our wall.

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Fast forward almost 2 years and I was home with my son and learning everything about my camera to capture his baby and toddlerhood while waiting for our 2nd baby. I loved being behind the camera and started to think maybe – just maybe – capturing these precious memories for other families was what I was being called to do. We welcomed my daughter later that year.  I was a little better this time at capturing her tiny babyhood but again missed out on professional photos of her first days and with her birth family here in Texas.  We have do have images that I treasure of course, but now that I’ve seen what’s possible, I wish I could go back and give the gift of images that truly told their stories of their first days to my own children. This time I knew we had to wait for finalization to contact the volunteer photographer again so I focused on capturing as much as I could of our everyday moments with my own lens and occasionally handed the camera off so I could be in the frame. When finalization rolled around, I discovered the organization we had gone through no longer existed. But I did find another wonderful organization – Red Thread Sessions.

When I researched Red Thread Sessions, thinking also as a potential professional photographer now, I looked at their requirements for becoming a volunteer. One required that you were a professional, fully licensed/registered photographer for at least 2 years. I wanted to be able to give back as soon as possible! So, even though we had in our minds that we would be moving to Texas in a year or two, I knew I wanted to start my business as soon as I could. I was feeling the call to be able to give back to other families who had struggled and this was one way I could do it. So, knowing I would have to start the business over again, we took the leap of faith and I started what would become Elizabeth Nelligan Photography.

Family is so important – no matter how it comes together.  This is what is at the core of my business – a desire to capture moments and memories for families – ALL families whether through birth, marriage or adoption – whether you struggled or not.  Every family – your family – has an important story to tell and share with future generations.   Whether you hang up canvases of the family like we did or have a special album made that you and your children can cuddle up with and look back at how much fun you had just loving each other at your session, my aim is for you and your children to feel that sense of FAMILY when you look at your images.

When we moved to the New Braunfels area last April, I did what I knew I would have to, start all over. I am so thankful that I did and that it has allowed me to capture memories for other families that I wish I had been able to for my own children. Abrazo Adoption Associates, the agency that placed both our children with us and brought us together with their birth families has a very close knit community here in San Antonio and across the United States, so when a new Abrazo family asked me to take their pictures with their son’s birth family my heart soared. I have now worked with three families for adoption sessions with birth family and my heart swells every time. I love to create these images for the families and most importantly for these sweet babies who will have these photographs of their families coming together out of love for them. I’m honestly tearing up just writing that.  It is such an honor to witness this love and these connections that happen on behalf of these amazing children.  I truly love what I do.

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So now I have come what almost seems like full circle. Just this past weekend, I was officially approved and became a Red Thread Sessions Photographer!  I cannot wait to serve the broader adoption community in this way while I continue to serve all my families!

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  • Prggy - Wonderful sharing of your story!! Congratulations on Red Thread!!!!ReplyCancel

San Antonio newborn photographer | Texas adoption photographer | Austin newborn photographer | New Braunfels newborn photographerAs a San Antonio newborn photographer, this session was one of my absolute favorites!  This sweet baby girl and her family have a special connection to mine – we were all brought together by adoption.  The agency we used to grow our family also placed this sweet girl with her forever family.  I was so delighted when her mama contacted me for not one but TWO sessions and asked that both include her first family.  This could not make my adoptive mama heart happier!  I just love capturing the blessings and JOY of open adoption.  This sweet girl was doted on by her mama and first mama throughout this newborn session and I just loved seeing open adoption in action.  I headed to their hotel for this session – huge thanks to the management there for allowing us to use the conference room to get the best light!

Later that afternoon, we headed out for a big extended family session with her adoptive parents, birth parents and birth brother.  I can’t wait to share that session with you!  But first here is beautiful Dani Joy’s newborn session.

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Seriously how precious is she?!  And you know what some of my favorite images are beyond these sweet posed ones? These two I snapped when her grandparents came to say good-bye.  There is so much love in open adoption!

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Want to see what I look like behind the scenes?  Miss Dani Joy’s mama shared this one she snapped of me at her session.

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Looking for your own Austin or San Antonio newborn photographer?  I travel throughout both metro areas or you are welcome to come to my home studio.  Either way, I would love to work with you.  Contact me and let’s get started planning the perfect newborn session just for you and your special little one!

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  • Cyrissa Carlson - oh my goodness…. these are gorgeous… BUT my faves are the ones with grandpa! GAH!!! #allthefeelsReplyCancel

  • Valisa - Oh my goodness! What a sweet event to be a part of!ReplyCancel

Sister and brother walking in sunset field | Austin San Antonio New Braunfels Family PhotographerModel Call!

Do you love to spend time together as a family?  Would you love to capture these fleeting moments when your children are so little and changing all the time?  Want to capture your family’s love for each other so that you can treasure these memories always?   I am looking for a family in the Austin or San Antonio area that would like to document family memories with the gorgeous Texas scenery and sunset behind them. My family has recently relocated to the area and I would like to update my portfolio to reflect our beautiful new surroundings!

I am looking for a family with 1-3 kids. If you are chosen for the model call session you and your family will sign a model release and experience a personalized, custom photography session one hour before sunset. Date, time and location will be determined by me, but we will still customize the session to fit your family’s style. In order to be considered please use the contact form below to send me over a quick message with a brief description of your family and why you would like to be considered.

The family that is selected will have the opportunity for a complimentary 1 hour family session with 5 hand edited digital images (with the opportunity to purchase additional images and beautiful heirloom products). I will select between 1-3 model families depending on availability at the required times. Everyone who qualifies will also receive a special offer for a fall session later this year.

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  • Courtnay Davila - My husband Michael and I were married a year and a half ago and have three children. Our daughter Ronnie, is 18. Although she was born to her biological mother, I am the one she calls mom. I love helping to shape her into a young woman and being the mom she never had. Our son Koen is 5, and my husband treats him as if he were his natural born son, and Koen adores him. Lastly, together we have a soon to be 8 month old daughter named Karlie. We chose the name Karlie because it was a combination of our other two children’s names and she represents the blending of our two families.Together, we have the family we always hoped for, and we are beyond grateful for second chances in life and love. We have not yet had a professional photographer take our photo, and we are long overdue. It would be a special opportunity for us to be selected so that we could capture some of the earliest memories of our lives together. Thank you for your consideration.ReplyCancel

    • elizabethannephotog@gmail.com - Thank you for responding, Courtnay! I will be in touch with you this weekend!ReplyCancel

  • Naomi Wentworth - I would love to capture some sweet memories w our littles!ReplyCancel

    • elizabethannephotog@gmail.com - Hi Naomi! I’d love to learn more about your family! I’d be happy to consider your family if you could fill out the application above to tell me a little more about your littles 🙂ReplyCancel

What an incredible session I had this past week!  As a new San Antonio and Austin family photographer, I was so incredibly lucky to have my dear friends join me for a family session. This family is so special to me and I’m so glad to have relocated to this area with them nearby. The mama of this beautiful family and I came together as we both grew our families through the miracle of open adoption through the same agency. Over the last couple of years, we have grown quite close and I count her as one of my dearest friends. She has a heart of pure gold and her love for her family shines through in every image we were able to capture. We were both so excited for this session and it was just so much fun. The whole family’s love for each other was palpable. J and E were just the perfect little subjects and really let their own personalities shine through.  Aren’t they just adorable?!  The pure joy and love in these images is a testament to the wonderful family Scott and Merae have created together. The gorgeous sunset at the end of our session was the perfect ending to our time together.

Thank you P family for allowing me the honor to capture this precious time in your beautiful family’s story!

 

I had so many favorites from this session – so many beautiful moments and memories captured!  I just couldn’t narrow down any further, so here are several of my and the family’s favorites!

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Austin Family Photographer | San Marcos Family Photography | San Antonio Family Photographer | New Braunfels Family Photography | Seguin Family Photographer | Austin Lifestyle Family Photographer | San Antonio Lifestyle Photography
Austin Family Photographer | San Marcos Family Photography | San Antonio Family Photographer | New Braunfels Family Photography | Seguin Family Photographer | Austin Lifestyle Family Photographer | San Antonio Lifestyle Photography
Austin Family Photographer | San Marcos Family Photography | San Antonio Family Photographer | New Braunfels Family Photography | Seguin Family Photographer | Austin Lifestyle Family Photographer | San Antonio Lifestyle Photography
Austin Family Photographer | San Marcos Family Photography | San Antonio Family Photographer | New Braunfels Family Photography | Seguin Family Photographer | Austin Lifestyle Family Photographer | San Antonio Lifestyle Photography
Austin Family Photographer | San Marcos Family Photography | San Antonio Family Photographer | New Braunfels Family Photography | Seguin Family Photographer | Austin Lifestyle Family Photographer | San Antonio Lifestyle Photography
Austin Family Photographer | San Marcos Family Photography | San Antonio Family Photographer | New Braunfels Family Photography | Seguin Family Photographer | Austin Lifestyle Family Photographer | San Antonio Lifestyle Photography

Need a San Antonio or Austin family photographer?  I would love to talk with you and learn more about your family and how I can help you preserve your own precious family memories!  Just send me a quick note here and I will be in touch right away.

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As a newly relocated San Antonio family photographer, I am so glad I was able to photograph this wonderful family before our whirlwind move to the San Antonio area.  The R family was so fun to work with and so natural in front of the camera despite never having had a custom photography session before.  The bond big brother and little sister share was just so sweet.  I was thrilled to capture their special bond!  In every family session, I always make sure to take at least one or two shots of just Mom and Dad.  As is often the case, Mom and Dad here told me that they hadn’t been photographed alone together since their wedding more than 20 years ago!  Most of all, I loved creating images and artwork that is full of the family’s obvious love for each other.  Thank you, R family, for allowing me the honor of capturing and preserving this special time in their life.

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After every session, I work with my clients to create art work for their walls so that they can enjoy their memories everyday.

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Are you looking for a San Antonio family photographer?  Would you like to have artwork like this to hang on your own walls?  Send me a note and let’s start planning a session to capture and preserve your own memories.

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