• Hi! Welcome to ELLENZILLA photography, and thanks for stopping by! My blog is a little bit business, and a little bit personal. My goal is to share with you the girl behind the lens, and give a better insight to my personal photography style.

    I live in Houston, TX, though originally haled from Barnet, England. I love documenting anything I find beautiful in life. I'm obsessed with traveling and capturing my experiences, but capturing fleeting moments of happiness and love from others and sharing these memories with them is a gift I truly love to give. I specialize in portraiture and event photography, but I'm interested in all sorts of things, so please contact me for any reason! I'd love to know more about you, so be sure to say hi! I always love a new friend.

to my favorite dad


note: by far my favorite photo of my dad that i have taken. 

this father’s day i thought i would take a moment out of my busy editing schedule to write about my dad. yep, just a not-so-little blog to talk about the wonderful man that he is and what it is about him that i love and cherish so much. and it might surprise you to know that it isn’t just an obligatory love that a child holds for their father. he’s actually much more than that (say whaaaaat!). i think even if he weren’t my dad, i’d actually like to be friends with him. kinda cool, right? i wish i had this idea in time for mother’s day, because she is equally as awesome as my dad. so i guess my mom will have to wait until next year. so mom, if you’re reading this (which i imagine you are because i’ll be sending you the link… ;)) try to act surprised, okay? mostly because you love your daughter. and it will be a grand post, i promise you that.
my dad.. where to begin! well, i suppose it makes the most sense to just start at the beginning.
sometime in the early 80s, my dad made a trip to england with some friends, where my mom asked him to dance. they fell in love, and a few years later, they moved to back to england from scotland, which is where i kindly graced them with my presence. 😉 and due to my dad’s job – we moved a lot before settling in america. between england and houston – i have lived in exciting places like saudi arabia and south africa. and my parents definitely took full advantage of their time in both places. i feel like these moves have definitely had some influence on the person i am today, and i have my father to thank for them due to his job, and my mother’s willingness to go. but regardless of what unique experiences this was for all of us, my dad always had our well being at heart. once we moved to houston, my dad would still continue to move out of state for on-location jobs, but he wanted us to have a stable home life, so we would stay home with mom while he would go off to work for months at a time. now that i am older i am just in awe of this sacrifice he made for us. to put us and our over all well being before his own needs of having his family nearby is such an incredibly selfless thing to do. i admire the strength that he has to be able to do such a hard thing, and i equally admire my mom for being the support to all of us during his times away. i’m grateful to both my parents for their sacrifices for us, and can’t imagine how hard it must have been for both of them. had we continued to move with him, i wouldn’t have some of the long standing friendships that i have today, and who knows how the continuous moves would have affected the person i was to become. i am who i am because of my collective past, and i would be foolish to think my dad hasn’t influenced the person i am now.
the words i use to describe my dad say a lot about who he is, but just not enough. you know how it is, words simply can’t do justice to really describe a loved one fully. my dad is so much more than any amount of the very best adjectives could ever say. despite this well known fact, i will try anyway. because i’m stubborn:

a fishermen, a gardener, a man of the lord, a charity helper, a marathoner, a hiker, a nature lover, bird watcher, cook, handyman, music lover, smart, knowledgeable, well traveled, funny, adventurous, supportive, loving, kind, encouraging, strong, generous, hard working, sentimental are just a few of the words that describe my dad and are all the things a great dad should be. and more, of course! but i’ll spare you from spending too much time on that. onto the specifics..

something i’ve always admired about my dad is that he is stuffed full of wisdom. i’m always amazed at the things i learn from him. sometimes i really do think he knows everything. and trust me, it makes arguing with him quite a task 🙂  the fact that my dad is still one of my most favorite people on this planet, despite showing me up with his knowledge time and time again, says a lot about how great he is. because as you may know, i am not a fan of being wrong. my dad is cool, calm and collected (unless someone is testing his patience, and how dare they) and at the same time – silly and light-hearted.  one of his favorite things to poke fun at is my “giant nose” (better watch it, dad, i got it from you after all :)) all the while always being more than happy to offer advice, and being there whenever i need it. behind my dad’s stoic demeanor, my dad is a lover of music at heart and passed this on to all of us kids. he has introduced me to so much great music throughout my childhood, one of my favorites being roy orbison. did you know that my dad even has that cool style like ole’ mr. roy orbison. i already know that you’ve noticed pompadours poppin’ up left and right lately, but my dad has been rocking that as long as i can remember. another thing that makes my dad the coolest is that he has the best green thumb of anyone i know. in fact, i’m a little jealous. i have yet to notice that this trait was passed on to me. but need proof of the level of awesomeness that is his green thumb? well, for starters he happens to have a grapevine running along the back fence. yeah, no big whoop, just your average grapevine. you know, with actual grapes on it. he also has a tangerine tree, a lime tree, and a fig tree just to name a few more of his green babies. i’m telling ya, he’s secretly deep down a landscaper.  want to know more? who am i kidding, of course you do! well, he even has some ridiculously tasty recipes. two of my personal favorites of his are his smoked salmon, and his fudge. mmmmm, that fudge is what dreams are made of. and just so you guys know, he is responsible for my love for camping, my love for nature, and for my thirst for knowledge in politics. so if you hate my political-ness, i’d take it up with him. but those are all things i am happy to say i got from my dad. some other things not so much like my aforementioned mountain of a sweet tooth. if sweets weren’t so delicious, i may hold a grudge against my dad for that one, and since he makes the best fudge in the history of mankind… i guess i’ll let it slide.

you know how you hear about parents who aren’t supportive of their child’s artistic endeavors? my dad was never that guy. he’s always supported all of my interests from the beginning. from gymnastics, to horse riding, to video production, to graphic design, to finally photography. he has had my back every step of the way, and has always made me feel like he is PROUD of the work that i do. that is a bigger gift than any material item anyone could ever give me. to know your parents are proud is just the greatest feeling in the world and i am eternally grateful for that. so dad, on that note. thank you. thank you for giving me the world and loving me no matter how many times i didn’t deserve it. you are my hero, my rock, my mentor, and my dad. you mean the world to me and i love you more than this blog could ever begin to say.  i hope you have the happiest father’s day a dad could have because you deserve it.

happy father’s day to the world’s greatest dad.

love, your favorite child (just admit it already! okay fine, i’m kidding), ellen

come on guys, did you really think this post would consist of only ONE photo? i mean, it IS amazing and could stand proudly on it’s own (just like muh dad!), but here are some more of my dad at his most favorite place – maine! where he is right now enjoying life without his darling of a daughter!

Val - This was just so incredibly sweet and heartfelt. I had to fight back a tear (or two). I know this will be a gift your dad will treasure for life. Great job!

gluten free chocolate chip cookies

so my latest adventure with life has been my toes dipping into the world of gluten free. if you read about it, you will be surprised about how many problems it can cause some people. i feel like it will be worth testing the waters to see if i don’t feel better. i haven’t gone ‘all the way’ yet (which, i should add, is pointless. until you completely cut it out of your diet, you won’t see results), but introducing some things into my diet, and slowing building up my pantry (it’s an expensive transition, yanno). early this week i decided to make my very first batch of gluten-free chocolate chip cookies. you know, i wanted to prove to myself i could make some and they still be just as delicious as gluten-y filled ones. i think i can go without my beloved gluten if i can have chocolate chip cookies in my life on a regular basis. which brings me to admit that i have the most enormous sweet tooth. i bet it could give the person with it in the guinnes book of world records a run for their money. but that’s neither here nor there..

i took the recipe from gluten free on a shoestring, and it did not disappoint! in fact, the batch of 2 dozen cookies did not survive two days. sadly, even with only two of us. i know what you’re thinking… we’re disgusting. but damn are these cookies good.

some quality time with my nifty fifty

wow, guys… memory lane recently decided to pay me a visit and i sure wasn’t mad about it. 
my 50mm was the first lens i got separate from my original kit lens, and it officially changed the way i saw things. watch out ya’ll, things are getting deep over here. through my fifty, i fell in love with bokeh, and the dreamy quality it brings to photographs. oh man, talk about a dreamboat. it’s such a wonderful lens for such a great price. i always recommend this lens to beginners because the quality is AMAZEBALLS (thanks guilana), yet you don’t have to go pawn a bunch of your things to afford it. since getting this bad boy, i’ve upgraded my artillery to some pretty impressive ‘arms of destruction’ – as i like to call them, but my nifty fifty will always have a special place in my heart. i mean, look at how gorgeous it makes my pictures. it’s been collecting dust in my bag for awhile, so i decided to bust it out and do a mini ruby shoot – and stalk my slightly overgrown yard (don’t judge me). 
before i leave you with some of my photo-babies, it would be rude of me not to mention how adorable my dog is. how can something be so cute almost all the time? 

before i forget… happy memorial day my lovelies! hope you had a fantastic weekend like mine! 🙂

yours truly, 
          ellen (and ruby too) xx