Birth Story: The Ryan Family

Birth Story: The Ryan Family

Every time I get to capture a birth of a child it becomes one of the best days of my life. There is nothing better that I do and I genuinely love being the person to help parents remember one of the craziest, and best, days of their lives.

This birth story was even more special because it was for two of my best friends, Kenzi & Tim. I was so honored to capture this day for them and am so happy with how the images turned out. This could be my favorite session to date!

Congrats to these two on their first bundle of joy! I am so happy for the Ryan family and can't wait to watch their family grow!

Pure Barre Promotional Films

Pure Barre Promotional Films

Image Property of Pure Barre

Image Property of Pure Barre

There's no secret I love Pure Barre. I found Pure Barre Thanksgiving of 2014 thanks to my cousin in Kentucky who dragged me and Patrick to our first class. Ever since that day I've fallen more in love with the technique, workouts, and family.

Recently I was asked to do a promotional film for the studios in North Texas that I work for. I am so excited and grateful for this opportunity and am so happy with how they turned out! There's a quick, thirty second commercial and a longer, more detailed version of our Pure Barre studios.

Cottonwood Road Photography

Cottonwood Road Photography

If you live in the area grab your workout clothes and come join us at the barre!

Cottonwood Road Photography

Cottonwood Road Photography

Finding Balance

Finding Balance

2017 is going to  be the year of balance for me. For so long I've been searching for balance but I've never truly found it. Truth is, I haven't been really searching for anything that has to do with balance. I've been chasing my tail in circles, taking on more than I can handle, and calling that the search for balance.

Maybe it's a coming of age thing- this balance. Or maybe it's a goal everyone always talks about having but they're not really searching hard enough to find.

Recently I have realized how important finding balance is. How important it is for me, my marriage, and my life. For my family, my friends, and everyone who is important in my life.

The problem with my searches for balance beforehand was that I was never willing to slow down. I wanted to keep pushing myself to this level of rock bottom- still taking on more than I could handle, getting five hours of sleep a night and never actually take a step back to find the balance I've been searching so long to find.

So, I'm giving it another try.

I have realized in the past month how important it is for me to stop. Stop overloading my platter, stop running around from one thing to another- then back to the other, and stop stressing myself out with too much of everything.

So, I am stepping back. I am going to put myself, my husband and marriage, and my family at the front of everything and start removing items in my life that are causing me to be this crazy wild, always on the go person.

This could possibly be the hardest thing I'll ever do, y'all. Because I love being crazy busy. I love being constantly on the move and I thrive on the stress of having deadlines. But, it's gotten out of hand.

I've realized lately that I haven't been the person to my husband that he needs because I've been selfish in wanting my own things instead of things for us. I've waken up at 4:30 some mornings and spent the whole day running around, then coming home and working and not taken the time to truly spend quality time with him that our marriage needs. Especially during this time of the year when he's home and available to spend it with me.

We've worked so hard to reach our goal of playing in the NFL and now I'm working too hard and not being able to enjoy this amazing opportunity, and all of the opportunities that come with it because I'm focusing on outer things that aren't as important as my husband and marriage.

I can see my mom smiling. Mostly because she knows she's right. There ya go, mom. You were right.

As for Bourbon Oak Tree I will still be creating films and doing photography for my clients!

I will not be on social media as much, though, as that is where I'm choosing to step back from in search of balance. I will start using my personal platform (@c_brandie) for all of my photography- personal, lifestyle, wedding, film, etc. So, go give your girl a follow on that Instagram platform.

A few more things I'm going to start doing to find balance are:

  • Getting, and perfecting, a morning schedule. Giving myself time to reflect and plan for the day/week ahead.
  • Taking time to Pat and I
  • Disconnecting while we're together- no phones, no laptop, ultimately, no working!
  • Planning social media and blog posts. This will help me stay on top of things while also not having to stress about them.
  • Being consistent with my workouts and taking care of my health
  • R E L A X I N G and making a constant effort to- even if it's just half an hour before I go to bed

Have you found balance? If so, how did you achieve it?

I'll let you guys know how this goes!




Western Adventure: Favorite Moments

Western Adventure: Favorite Moments

Our two and a half week long road trip in January was definitely one for the books. We saw so many things and had so many great experiences that we both will be forever grateful for. I want to keep a conscious effort to keep my business and personal lives separate while integrating just enough of my personal life here so you can get to know me better and see some of my work outside of "work".

Once we got back home to Texas my mom sat me and Pat down at dinner and asked us what our one favorite moment from the trip was. Honestly, she knew this wasn't a fair question, but it stopped me in my tracks. It's unfair to pick one favorite moment, because it changes every day, so today I'm going to share my top 10 moments with you today.

I'm sharing five here, and five on Embracing Messiness!

  1. The fox that welcomed us into Teton National Park the first day we got to Wyoming. Although it did give me a ton of false hope to see a lot more animals.
  2. Snowmobiling through Yellowstone National Park. You can read more about that here!
  3. Patrick teaching me how to ski. His patience and the way he would talk me through the runs was so awesome. I'm definitely no professional but I can get down the mountain now! :) 
  4. Being able to see Horseshoe Bend in person, and the realization of how awesomely created this country, and world, is. Standing at Horseshoe Bend, Bryce Canyon and Zion National Park gave me a greater appreciation for how small we are, and how much greatness we're surrounded by.
  5. Capturing videos of some of our favorite places with Bob. I am currently in producing a film from all of our travels and cannot wait to share that with you all!

If you're interested in reading more about our trip you will soon be able to read all of the blog posts from our adventure, and see a handful more images over on my personal, lifestyle blog, Embracing Messiness. Currently Embracing Messiness is under construction. I am working to bring you a more exciting, adventure-filled lifestyle blog and will be finished as soon as possible!

All pictures are property of Bourbon Oak Tree Photography & Films. These images may not be used without permission. For usage contact Brandie at bourbonoaktree(at)

Happily Home

After being in Chicago for a few weeks, and then on the road for a few we are finally, happily home. I'd be lying if I didn't say I didn't have the itch to travel again, but we are so happy to get back into the routine of things and spend some down time together at home with our family and friends.

I'm working on a blow where I'll share a few of my favorite pictures and places with you from our trip. If you follow along on @c_brandie's Instagram you've probably seen a few of these, but I promise there are a ton more coming soon!

Pat and I had the time of our lives and are so grateful for our winter wonderland adventure and down time spent together!

You can read more in-depth posts about our journey over at EMBRACING MESSINESS! Over there I'll be sharing where we went, stayed, ate, what we did and would do again!

I'm so excited to share all of our precious memories with you!




After an incredibly long five months apart, and time spent bouncing around between Dallas and Chicago, Patrick and I are setting off on an adventure to start off 2017!

We will be leaving Chicago this week and are heading out West to Wyoming, Utah, Arizona, and New Mexico before heading back home to Texas!

During this time I am unplugging from my work emails, keeping up with the website, and Instagram.

 If you want to follow our journey you can visit either of our Instagram's @c_brandie & @PatScales48! Pat spoiled me with a drone for Christmas and I am so excited to use it to help document our adventure!

We are so grateful to live a life where we can escape and get away for a while just to spend time with one another; and are thankful for each and every one of you.



Photos courtesy of Cottonwood Road Photography

Welcome, 2017

Welcome, 2017


HAPPY NEW YEAR, friends! I hope you are as excited for 2017 as I am! I am so grateful for a fresh start and a new year full of hope, goals, and dreams.

A few of my overall resolutions for 2017 are:

  • Workout 4 times a week— try new workouts!
  • Eat healthy & cook more. If you have any recipes you love please share them with me!
  • Read & Write more
  • Love intentionally
  • Bible Study before bed each night
  • Make a strict budget monthly and stick with it!
  • Forget the past and focus on the future and all of it’s good

A few of my business goals for the year are:

  • Share more about myself and what I'm up to throughout the blogs
  • Focus more on lifestyle sessions. I have fallen so in love with capturing birth stories and family sessions and want to do more this year
  • Concentrate more of my time on lifestyle films
  • I want to get back to doing more nature photography and photography that makes my soul happy. I have been guilty for taking the jobs just for business versus finding jobs that will light my heart on fire.
  • More styled shoots and getting to know small business owners in Dallas & Chicago. I love, love, love working with small business owners and bringing styled shoots to life, so I want to do more and work with more people this year!
  • Be consistent with Social Media!

I hope your New Year is filled with love, good health, happiness that makes your feet dance, and success in all of your dreams.

Lifestyle Session- The Boone Family

Capturing families has quickly become one of my favorite things- especially when I get to do them throughout the years. Last year we surprised the Boone parents with pictures of their kids for Christmas and they were absolutely in love with them, so we decided to do them again this year.

I've grown up with Lyndsie & David throughout the past, almost, ten years and am so thankful they chose me to capture this sweet time with them. If you remember, they welcomed Ty into the world earlier this year! It was so cool to see how big he had gotten and to watch the whole Boone family grow throughout the years.

Boone Family.jpeg

With it being the middle of winter up in Chicago we had to shoot during the day so it'd be warm enough for this kids which made for a really warm tone! I love this family and am so grateful to have them as part of our family!

Fresh 48- Baby Thorndike

Fresh 48- Baby Thorndike

I am so excited to help announce baby Thorndike's arrival! This sweet boy arrived the afternoon of Monday, December 5 and has stolen so many hearts already! He is so active, handsome and sweet. I am so grateful to have captured him and can't wait to capture him again soon!

Stay tuned to see more of this sweet family soon!

Wedding Film: The Forbuses

Eeeeek! I am so excited to release this wedding film! Brooke & Chris got married at The Milestone Mansion in Denton, Texas on September 18. Their country chic, simplistic wedding with the most amazing details was beautiful and so much fun to capture.

Brooke & Chris have such a special love. One of the main reasons I love capturing weddings in film is because I'm able to put emotions into a capsule and send it off to the couple to rewatch over and over. The way Brooke and Chris look into each other's eyes continuously puts a smile on my face and butterflies in my belly.

I know these two will have such a wonderful life full of happiness and success and I cannot wait to see where their journey takes them!


Venue: The Milestone in Aubrey, Texas

Lifestyle Session- The Novellas

Oh my whole heart. This family will forever have a special place in my heart. I love the Novellas so much and love love love capturing their sweet, sassy little girls and family!

I did baby B's birth story last October and swear I love that little girl so much! I have been able to watch B become a big sister and their family grow since and am so excited whenever I get to see them!

I cherish these family sessions so much and love capturing such special moments between mamas and dads!

Lifestyle Session- Porter Family

Lifestyle Session- Porter Family

Family sessions have become some of my favorite. I love watching families interact with each other and being able to see them grow throughout the years.

This year I was lucky enough to add a few more families into my sessions and I was so excited when the Porters asked me to capture them for their Christmas pictures. This family is so adorable and I'm so lucky to not only have spent this time capturing them but also call Rene my friend.

Lifestyle Session- The Millers

Lifestyle Session- The Millers

The Millers are one of my favorite families to capture. I have been capturing them since Renee was pregnant with K, so being able to capture their family grow in front of me has been so much fun.

Lifesyle Session: Middleton Babe Announcement!

Lifesyle Session: Middleton Babe Announcement!

I was so excited when I found out that Krystal was expecting her third child and I knew we had to do some fun fall family pictures to announce it! After two girls the Middletons are expecting their first boy and I promise you, Jason could not be more excited!

We had so much fun with the girls throughout this shoot, and I know they're going to be the best big sisters ever.

Exploring the City: Chicago

Exploring the City: Chicago

This fall I will be traveling to a bunch of different cities so I thought it'd be fun to start a blog series of my favorite things I did along, with shots I took while I was there!

This past Monday I was in Chicago with one of my close friends, Kimberly.  We spent our day together exploring and catching up!

We took an architectural tour of the city by boat and it was so, so cool! You go along the river and the tour guide explains the buildings throughout the city- what their purpose is, the design of them, and a back story of the architect! It was a really unique experience and something I'd recommend to anyone visiting Chicago! We took a tour our tour on Wendella Boats.

Kimberly  rocking her Clothed in Strength tank!

Kimberly  rocking her Clothed in Strength tank!

After we finished the tour we grabbed coffee and snacks from Peet's Coffee & Tea and walked around the city before grabbing popcorn at Garrett's! If you are in Chicago you NEED to make sure you stop in at Garrett's. Their popcorn is so delicious and they have a crazy combination that will rock your socks.

This trip was really quick and flew by, but I'm hoping to have more content and fun things to share with you in future posts! I'll be back in Chicago the first week of October and can't wait to explore it more. Do you have any places in Chicago you'd recommend? Share your favorites with me!

Fall Family Portraits

Fall Family Portraits

I cannot believe it is almost fall! As much as I love summer, I am always ready for fall. I love the crisp mornings, the changing leaves (even though we don't see that much here in Dallas), and the fall drinks- yes, I'm a pumpkin spice latte girl!

This fall I am doing fall lifestyle mini sessions at a discounted price for only a few days. This is the perfect opportunity for you to get some family pictures, and portraits, for the upcoming holiday season! 

I will be doing 45 minute sessions with up to 25 high resolution images, and the print release for the images for $125.

I will be hosting sessions on the evening of October 7, the morning of October 8th and all day on December 10th! Please contact me as soon as possible at to schedule your family session today!

Below are a few of my favorite pictures from my sessions last season!

The Last of Summer

The Last of Summer

I cannot believe another summer has come and gone! Today me and one of my best friends are venturing out on our last summer trip- a girls' road trip to my hometown of Period Key, Florida to see Miranda Lambert.

I was here earlier in the summer on my own trip, visiting family and friends and spending time with myself and focusing on my future, goals and dreams and I a cannot wait to get back. There's something about being in this place that makes me feel so invigorated and whole.

I cannot wait to share all of our pictures with you from our trip, but to hold you over I'll share a few from my solo vacation!


This hermit crab was too stinking cute to not capture.

Although it was my first solo trip I had a lot of fun adventuring by myself; I think it helped that I started at a place that was home to me.

Have you ever taken a trip by yourself? If so, where?

Short Film: Taylor & Maggie, Engaged

Recently my I visited Louisville, Kentucky to capture my cousin's engagement!

Her fiancé had told me a few weeks prior that he was planning on popping the question and having a small get together with their friends and closest family members afterwards and I immediately knew I wanted to be there to capture it.

The night could not have gone any better and I am so excited for these two and their future.

Taylor and Maggie- I love you both so much!



I have nothing but amazing things to say about New Braunfels based Grey to Blue Photography. I may be biased because she's my best friend, but she is truly the best.

Mikenzie recently hosted an amazing workshop in Buda, Texas at the Garden Grove Event Venue. After the workshop was done she spent an hour with me doing some new headshot for my new site! So, every picture you see of me throughout the site is from her! (whoop, whoop- thanks, Kenz!)

I loved them all, but here are a few more of my favorites!


I really wanted this website to reflect my personality, and Kenzi did such an amazing job capturing that- I am forever grateful for her!

Lifestyle Session: Baby Gourley

Lifestyle Session: Baby Gourley

A few weeks ago I traveled up to Chicago to spend a few days with some of my amazing friends who had just welcomed their baby boy into this world.

I wanted to not only visit my sweet friends and see their baby boy, but I wanted to help out around the house, let them get some sleep, and also capture some moments I know they'll cherish for a lifetime.

Ty is the perfect little babe and I had so much fun snuggling with him on the couch, watching his mom and dad love on him, and of course, capturing his cute self for his family to cherish forever!