Seniors, We’re Ba-aaAACK!

Seniors, We’re Ba-aaAACK!

It’s time to shake the dust off my blogging fingers and let the high school class of 2020 know that SPCcreative is back up and running and ready to create the perfect senior portraits for you.

The past two years have been hard for us here at SPCcreative. It was two years ago just last week that Hurricane Harvey ate our home and our studio, trying his hardest to knock us to the ground. The road back has not been a fun or easy one, but finally we are in a very good place and feel blessed beyond measure, but that’s a whole ‘nother blog post.

Over these two years, I pulled back drastically from my business to take care of our rebuilding efforts and to do my best to stay calm and focused. During that time period I did not actively market our services, and only took on a few select clients one at a time. As much as I love working with seniors, it was my choice that I only photographed SIX of them over those two years. Yep, just six. But that was good. Each session brought us new challenges that made me wonder if I should be shooting at all. Some days I could barely even find my camera. Still in spite of our need to wing it, every single one of these kids absolutely ROCKED their sessions. Check ’em out!

You’ve got to hand it to them, the kids who came to us for portraits in 2018 and 2019 were great sports. We improvised like never before, providing hair and makeup in among hanging painters drop cloths while balancing ourselves on paint buckets and hopping over stacks of flooring material.

Oh … and it was all dusty. SO.VERY. DUSTY.

We blocked up windows with black plastic and moved backdrops and lights into whatever room could offer us just a little space. We adjusted our outdoor angles to cleverly hide the contractor’s porta potty.

We laughed.

What other choice did we have?

Thankfully most of the outdoor sets in our Studio backlot survived being submerged. We tossed a few things, hosed the mud off the rest, added fresh paint here and there, and brought in a few new fun props to pull off some fun fresh concepts. Oh, and the piano! What a find! How many studios do YOU know with their very own outdoor piano?

Class of 2020 — Here’s Lookin’ at You.

This year’s gonna be so bright you’ll def need shades.

We’re currently booking senior portrait experiences for the class of 2020. With only a couple of openings left in October and November, it’s already time to plan ahead into spring break. The best dates are filling fast.

Let’s mix your look and personality with our expertise. Together we’ll create the senior portraits you’ve dreamed of. Call the studio today at 281.773.7465. Let’s start planning your portraits now.

Not Your Mama’s Christmas Cards – Katy Houston Photographer

Not Your Mama’s Christmas Cards – Katy Houston Photographer

 I simply MUST share my favorite new Christmas Tradition with you.  If you do something twice during the holidays and you enjoy it, it becomes a tradition, right?

THIS is how the Wallace Family  of Katy, Texas rolls!

Seriously, they’ve got to be the FUNNEST Christmas Family in Texas.

You see, It all started when Mom, Jenny,  called in 2017 looking for a fun and unique family Christmas card. They had a general concept in mind, but needed a pro to help them pull it off. Oh my goodness!  It was exactly the project that had been bubbling in my own brain for quite a while, and suddenly these people just called me to create it! How does that even happen? Did I ever tell you how much I LOVE my job?

As we began planning for our session, I reached out to one of my photography instructors and friends, Dan McLanahan. Dan is very well-known in professional circles  for his amazing skills and talents, but my brain at this time was  all-consumed  by the reknown “Friday Night Food Fight” composite that he had created a year before.   Click on this link to check it out!    Dan gave me some pointers to help make our session go smoothly, and he also offered a gentle but extremely helpful critique during the post-production stages of  Christmas Kitchen Chaos 2017.

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The magic of a project like this comes in compiling  several photographs until one composite image is complete. I don’t know what part of this scenario I enjoyed the most.

It could have been Scott’s flaming skillet. (Yes we used real fire).

Or Jenny’s flying flour  which looked so realistic because the sons hid behind the island throwing flour and mashed potato flakes into the air until we captured our perfect messy cloud.

Maybe it was Braden’s athletic skills catching a football mid-air with his LEFT hand so that we could still see his face –HOW MANY TIMES?

 Josh’s feigned  boredom with the whole scenario absolutely cracked me up because it couldn’t have been further from reality. In fact, he offered keen thoughts, insight, and even served as a voice-activated lightstand  throughout the session both last year and this year.

However, the story I LOVE to tell about this shoot is about the family dog, Brinkley. This dog is so well-trained that  he absolutely refused to steal the lasagna off the counter. In order to make that scenario happen, we had to send dad to another part of the house while Jenny and the sons coerced and tempted him.

This was my first ever attempt at a relatively complex composite image, and it was so much fun.  The Christmas card recipients started asking what this year’s card would look like, and the Wallaces quickly realized that they couldn’t ever go back to a traditional smiling family portrait card.

When they called me this year, we sat down together and brainstormed until we came up with a new concept.

Deck the Halls  — Wallace Style

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The family has actually experienced a couple of real-life falling Christmas tree incidents, so they knew that their friends and relatives would understand the significance.

Everyone maintained their  basic persona from 2017.  Jenny’s tripping over her own enthusiasm, and so surprised that she’s practically juggling the ornaments as they smash to the floor. Josh is once again absorbed in his  technology and light untangling mess. Braden’s adding Santa to the top of the tree — Elf Style. And of course we’ve got Scott, once again about to burn down the house with his Griswold-inspired electrical connection.

We even included last year’s card on the television screen at the back of the room.

Best memory from this year’s photography session?  The pure thrill on the guys’ faces when they got to actually throw glass ornaments up into the air, allowing them to smash on the ground. Josh said it was the one thing that you’re always told not to do.

“Don’t drop the ornaments, don’t let them break, be careful with them. Don’t make a mess.” 

But on this one day we shattered ornaments on the floor and made a royal mess.

Merry Christmas from SPCcreative Photography via The Wallace Family.

I will let one little secret out of the bag.

We’ve already started planning for 2019.

What will it be?  I’ll never tell.

 

The Amazing Energy Wizard – Katy Houston Branding Photographer

Keveney Evanne is one of those people who just draws you in with a feeling of calm confidence all  wrapped up with a big,  bold,  energetic twist.

 And after spending some time with her, I left feeling refreshed and confident.  Now, if THAT wasn’t backwards!  After all, as a photographer I consider a large part of my job to be putting my client at ease and making HER feel comfortable enough to bare her soul for my lens.  In this case, it’s almost as if the energy was reversed.

That really comes as no surprise, though, because Keveney IS The Energy Wizard. and I was delighted to work with her as she re-branded her personal coaching business, Keveneyevanne.com.

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 Now, I’ll be the first to admit that  in talking with her to plan her photography session, I was a little bit — okay,  a good bit —  out of my element.  After all, I’m just a small town gal  from Midland-Gosh-Dern-Texas who never was even  exposed to concepts like chakras, auric cleansing, or universal law.   The theories always intrigued me but I truly knew nothing of them.

Please don’t laugh, but  my first though was, “How do we illustrate Keveney’s work without  falling into Harry Potter meets Fairy Godmother?”

Ha! It wasn’t hard at all.

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Keveney’s brand is solid and grounded because she works with high-level professionals who don’t mess around. Still, she is serenely uplifting. She uses a palette of deep rich plum and violet along with natural elements, calmexpressions peppered with joyful invitation.

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She helps people like lawyers, engineers, doctors, professional coaches — and even their pets– break free from the the illusions of what society says their life should be. Together they align their goals and actions with  their intuition,  otherwise known as their “gut.”

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Keveney  describes herself as a free spirit who had achieved a wildly successful life  with a thriving legal career, beautiful home, loving husband, two great dogs, and more. Still she  became disenchanted, so she started to wander.

She didn’t just  aimlessly amble around until she found something palatable. She set aside her  legal practice and took on adventures  that could conceivably become another “Eat, Pray, Love” genre novel.    She practiced yoga in Costa Rica. She cooked alongside  award-winning Native American chefs and built a sweat lodge with shamans in New Mexico.   She studied with a world renowned animal communicator at a horse rescue in the Texas Panhandle.  She learned about ancient healing and energetic technologies… And she played on the beaches of California.

Now settled back in Houston, she puts all that she has learned together to help others move past their history to a different and fulfilling mindset.

I loved working with her — and have learned so much just by hanging out with her for a while. It will be fun to watch her prosper along with her clients.

Visit her new website to learn more.

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Congratulations Brandon, Class of 2018 – Katy Houston Senior Photographer

Congratulations Brandon, Class of 2018 – Katy Houston Senior Photographer

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This is Brandon. He’s graduating  in just a few short weeks from Kempner High School, and I’m so glad that we were able to photograph this handsome young man.

Planning his senior portrait session presented quite a challenge. He was scheduled to come in last fall, but because of Hurricane Harvey, our entire studio, both  inside and out was a shambles. He and his mom graciously and patiently  offered to wait while we mucked out and rebuilt our flooded home and studio, and we felt certain that we’d be ready to roll before Spring Break.  Then spring rolled around, and because contractors and supplies have been in such short supply, we were nowhere near ready.

BUT — I had committed to photograph Brandon and by-golly, we were going to make that happen.  I took it as added incentive to start whipping my studio backlot into shape. By the time his newly scheduled appointment rolled around, we had about half of our sets refurbished. Our landscaping was still a  big mess for the most part.

YET — with creative camera angles and a lot of hard work, there is always a way.

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It took a little extra maneuvering, but I”ll bet you would never guess that if Brandon (or the camera) moved just a few inches to the right or left, his portraits by the tree (below) would have included a…

wait for it…  wait for it…

A bright blue PORTA-POTTY!

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My absolute FAVORITE images, though, were the ones we created to highlight his weight lifting. I managed to rig up a makeshift studio in an empty room, and I’m so glad we did.

THESE simply couldn’t have come out any better.

I love working with dramatic lighting patterns!

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  Summer’s on its way in, so I hope Brandon gets a chance to relax at the beach with his family and friends before heading off to college

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I also LOVE the fact that we managed to catch a sweet “mom-kiss”   before everything wrapped up.

Brandon just might miss his mother and her home-cooking when he heads off to UT San Antonio in the fall — and I KNOW that she will miss him.  This fun image should make the road home seem just a little bit shorter.

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Inner Superheroes Revealed Part II

Did you catch my last post about the Inner Superheroes Revealed project?  If not, Click HERE  to read it.

 

I am not by any  means finished with the project.  I will  continue drawing out the fire of bold and powerful women in Houston and across the country.  Do you think may be you should participate?  YES you should.  You and your besties absolutely should, and there are several ways we can make that happen.  Just call the studio and let’s do it.

 

But first, check out these fabulous women of Superheroes Revealed Part II. They are all gorgeously powerful and very exciting.

 

We’ll start with Nicky.  Her fearless bravado prevailed long before I ever met her. The first thing I ever heard about this wild Canadian woman was that she was going to walk on the wings of an airplane WHILE IT WAS IN THE AIR.

Sure enough, she did it. She loved it. She wants to do it again. I wouldn’t be surprised if we didn’t see her start taking on stunt rolls for movies.  C’mon somebody, write a movie script that calls for a gorgeous blonde to be climbing around on the wings of a plane in flight. We’ve got your gal.

We  HAD to play with an aviation theme which quickly morphed into  a stormy weather related series.

“There was a storm in her eyes, rocky seas from a hundred stormy  nights…”Atticus

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Next came Carole.  She is known for  keeping a room full of young ninja wannabees under control and focused.  She owns Fort Bend Tae Kwon Do.

You don’t want to mess with this gal — EVER — but you can send your kids to her so that nobody will mess with them either.

Giving kids the tools to become empowered.

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Whether it’s with her creative personality or with actual electricity, Miriam, owner of Southern Voltage Electric Service  will electrify you. She’ll also make sure your house doesn’t burn down for the lack of good wiring.

I stopped waiting for the light at the end of the tunnel and lit that b!7ch myself. 

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And Bobbe, beautiful Bobbe.  As moms of boys more than a decade ago, we shared many afternoons centered around laser tag and nerf guns and carpools.  Those boys are now amazing grown men.  And Bobbe  hasn’t slowed down, nor does she plan to.

Look for me in the wirlwind of the storm.  – Marcus Garvey

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How about gathering up four or five of your powerful women friends to unleash and reveal their super powers with SPCcreative Photography?

Contact me at the studio for details and to set up a celebration of power.

Inner Superheroes Revealed – Houston Katy Photographer

My latest project came out of a lousy Post- Hurricane Harvey Funk several several months after the main event.

No real back story here.

No poor me because my house and studio backlot are all in a shambles  or because  my studio is basically shut down due to the eminent domain of our salvaged personal property.

No bashing of  our mortgage company for their horrendous red-tape  policies and very-poorly run insurance claims department — Not even though I’d like to.

Nope. None of that.

Anyway, I  could feel my inner bad @$$ boiling to the surface.  Okay, she exploded through a series of raging phone calls and near meltdowns.  She wasn’t pretty, and in fact it was making me physically ill to hold her in so I decided to redeem her. Release her. Let her fly.

With the help of my Favorite Boyfriend,  the one that I married 21 years ago, I set up a simple gray paper backdrop in a front room of our empty downstairs. Then we dug out  lights from the studio-turned-storage room and dragged them downstairs only to remember that we had NO ELECTRICAL OUTLETS below four feet.  RATS!

 “NEVER FEAR — EXTENSION CORD MAN IS HERE!”   shouted  FBF as he strung a heavy-duty cord and power strip over the stair rail and through our entry hall.

My Hero!

~SWOON~

Then, nothing happened. Nothing at all until a few days later.  That’s when I dressed in black, applied my Jet-Set-Red-Bad-Girl-Lipstick and a vampy eye then recruited FBF to help direct my poses and click the shutter.

 

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When I shared these pictures on  facebook and instagram, the response was amazing!

Maybe other women would like to capture their own super power in portraits too! SO… I put out a call  to a few  special friends.

First to respond, Michi!   YOW, she showed up with a black latex catsuit, killer boots, and accessories.  With her wicked-bad makeup skills she actually painted the black mask on her own face.

Of course we  couldn’t possibly resist adding my black cat, Pearl to the mix.  She TOTALLY ROCKED it!  Don’t you agree?

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Those who play with cats must expect to get scratched — Don Quixote

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Next up, the beautiful mother-daughter duo of Maria and Maddie Grace came in.

Oh how I love these two.

All I had to say was black clothes, red lipstick, BRING IT! and they were at my doorstep.

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 Maria has transformed her life from ashes to beauty. — Well, actually she’s been beautiful all along, but this woman has definitely walked through fire in the last few years.

She makes broken look beautiful and strong look  invincible.

She walked with the universe on her shoulders and made it look like a pair of wings.

       – A. Dancu

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Maddie Grace is the quiet one, the gentle one.  She mysteriously appears, and when she does — things happen.

Never assume that loud is strong and quiet is weak. 

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She has the mindset of a queen and the heart of a warrior.

She is everything all at once and too much for anyone who doesn’t deserve her.

She is you. 

             –R.H. Sin

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STAY TOONED for some more amazing and gorgeous  Inner Superheroes Revealed in our next blog post.

Same Bat Time.  Same Bat Channel.

Meanwhile —

Would you  and your friends like to  reveal YOUR inner SUPERHEROS?  It’s fun and it’s empow-HER-ing. 

I’m loving this project and hope that you are too. Let’s name your superpower and showcase it for the world to see! Contact me today.

Personal Branding for a Spectacular Stylist|Katy Houston Photographer

Personal Branding for a Spectacular Stylist|Katy Houston Photographer

Professional Networking — THIS is What it’s All About

Here’s what I remember from the first time I ever met Jennifer Boisvert.    I had just started dipping my toes into whole concept of  business networking activities.  For the uninitiated, there’s a whole subculture of networking in the small business community and it is amazing. Events are usually centered around a meal or a happy hour where  groups of people  from different professions gather to  share information about themselves and their businesses.  Occasionally someone closes a sale with a new contact, but more often than not it’s the ongoing cultivation of relationships and connections that keep us coming back.  These ever evolving relationships open doors and opportunities, but for an introvert like me, getting to that point is more than just a little bit out of our comfortable box.

Seriously, I think this was the first networking meeting of any sort that I EVER attended. Women Helping Women 2 Network was a brand new fledgling group at the time.  I didn’t know a soul in the room. I didn’t know what to expect, but I had made up my mind to put myself out there with a goal of meeting just two or three people by the end of the luncheon.

 Baby steps, right?  What I really wanted was to quietly escape from the room, run for the safety of my car, and not have to worry about remembering names of people I had just met, presenting a memorable 30 second commercial, or (flash back to junior high) FIT IN.

But there was no escaping. I had already committed to stay.

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 And through the door flies this charismatic, ebullient red-headed tornado in the most perfect emerald green a-line dress I had ever seen. Her personality  filled the room and busted out the windows, raining down on everyone present like super-powered glitter.  I was in total awe. We started talking, and within minutes I felt comfortable in a room full of strangers — as if I could possibly actually make it through the meeting and even enjoy it.

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Fast forward  about two  and a half years.

That fiery tornado of a woman chose MY studio for her personal branding portrait session.  When she arrived  along with  Andrea, her childhood friend who was visiting from Canada, we carried in loads and loads and LOADS  of clothes.

GLORIOUS clothes.

I wouldn’t have expected less. After all, Jennifer is a fabulous stylist and image consultant and also a managing partner with J. Hilburn, a luxury line of custom mens’ clothing. She has also been named one of the best Personal Stylists & Shoppers by CBS Houston.

We can all use a helping hand with our personal image, so  CLICK HERE to learn more and start spiffing up YOUR image with Jennifer’s help.

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An amazing anchor to many of our branding portrait sessions is Brandie Seifert, founder of Hollywood Hippie Cosmetics.  The talented and oh-so-adorable Brandie always provides just  je ne sais quois with her professional makeup application and hair styling in-studio. She makes everyone look great, and our time with Jennifer was one of the most fun EVER!

Another special  friend and colleague, Suzanne Joffrion with esbe Designs met with Jennifer before our session to provide the gorgeous jewelry assortment you’ll see in these photographs.

And to think — I would not know any of  these women if I had not become involved in the professional networking activities that are available in my community, specifically Women Helping Women 2 Network.

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We wanted to capture Jennifer’s fun and outgoing spirit along with  her elite professional brand, so we worked together as a team to create images using different outfits, poses, and expressions. Our consistent lighting style brought a cohesiveness to the overall portfolio, tying everything together beautifully.

One important part of the J. Hilburn brand incorporates the blue measuring tape, a critical tool in perfecting  the custom wardrobe orders  for her male clients, so we made a point to include that tape in several poses throughout our session.

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2017-06-29_0010 2017-06-29_0005 2017-06-29_0004 2017-06-29_0003Jennifer’s style is certainly varied — but always polished and sharp.   LOVED this funky graphic tee paired with a traditional blue blazer and shorts almost as much as that gorgeous plum colored dress.  Who would have thought to put something together like that? Jennifer did.  That’s who.

Related Links:

Jennifer Boisvert Personal Shop and Style

Jennifer Boisvert J Hilburn Luxury Collection for Men

Brandie Seifert, HMUA Hollywood Hippie Cosmetics

Suzanne Joffrion Jewelry by Esbe Designs

Women Helping Women 2 Network

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Senior Portraits for Demi|Katy, Sugar Land, Houston Photographer

 

 

No doubt about it, Demi has quite a presence in front of the camera.  Is she not a gorgeous STUNNER?!

Well, look out world because here she comes. 2017-05-24_0004

Demi and her classmates from Foster High School will cross the stage to receive their diplomas this Saturday in what is sure to be a celebration-filled evening.

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I loved working with her, and had to laugh when we were designing her graduation announcement.  Let me tell you, this young woman knows exactly what she wants and how to get it.

As  most of you know, my graduation announcements are totally customized for each student. We  choose colors, overall feel, fonts, images… EVERYTHING to reflect the student’s personal style. No cookie-cutter announcements over here!

Most of the time I get it right – straight out of the chute with maybe a minor tweak.  Not this time!  Well, the black background could stay… and the wording  was good…  and the image selections had already been decided. BUT,  I totally missed the boat on everything else.  That COULD have gone very wrong, but not with Demi. She sent back her change requests, right down to the exact type style that she wanted.

Really?  Nobody’s ever done that before!  BUT — we do offer a custom product, and that’s what we  provide — satisfaction guaranteed.

We made the changes she asked for — type-style, adding glitter to the school color gold, changing the overall layout exactly as she specified, and then everything just  fell into place. She loved the end result.

That’s what I like.  Someone who knows what  she wants and isn’t afraid to ask for it.

I will admit that I had to swallow my pride a little bit, but it wasn’t too difficult at all because she was so very specific about how she wanted her announcement to appear.

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After Graduation, Demi will attend Prairie View A&M where she plans to continue her studies and enter the field of nursing.

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Congratulations on your graduation, Demi! Have a great time celebrating and reach for the stars. You’re already on target to achieve so very much.

 

Senior Portraits for Valen – Bellaire High School – Katy Houston Photographer

Gamer, Guitar Player, Future Veterinarian.

This is Valen.

He’s a laid-back, casual easygoing sort of a guy who’s just about ready to walk the stage and collect his diploma from Bellaire High School.

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I loved his easygoing attitude about our portrait session together.  With an  air of relaxed confidence, he was super personable and seemed very comfortable in his own skin, up for anything.

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In his spare time,  he enjoys listening to music  and  playing video games, but as a member of the Guitar Honors Orchestra at  his school, Valen is quite a talented musician in his own right.

Guitar Honors Orchestra!  I didn’t even know such an ensemble existed.  How cool is that?

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And on the weekends, he volunteers at Gulf Coast Veterinary Specialists.

That place is super special to me and my family because they played a huge role in saving the life of our  Grand Dane a few years back.  Grand Dane… That’s what we call our  Grand-dog who happens to be a Great Dane.

 Through this work, Valen has become very comfortable working with all sorts of animals.  This internship is setting a great road for him. After graduation he plans to study biomedical engineering as an undergrad, and then turn toward something in the veterinary field, possibly even specializing in exotic animals.

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I was so glad that he brought his scrubs and his pup, Kaley, along to his session.

She is one of the cutest dogs I’ve seen in a long time and it’s obvious that she adores him.

Looks like the feeling is mutual too.

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Congratulations, Valen on your graduation as a part of the outstanding Class of 2017.  We’ll be watching for big things in the years to come.

Headshots & More for a Maven of Teas & Spices – Katy Houston Photographer

WORD-NERD ALERT!

This girl learned something new the other day, so I’m going to share it with you.

Did you know that the art of reading tea leaves is called TASSEOGRAPHY?  I didn’t, but it completely makes sense.  After all,  Tasse  means “cup” in German, French, and probably about a bazillion other languages, and of course -graphy is the Greek word for writing.

So… I looked into my own cup after working with LaShan, and there it was, just as plain as day.  The tea leaves said, “You will soon hear a whole lot more about this beautiful lady who is in your studio.”

Oh my goodness, what a time we had.  The tea was fresh pressed; the laughter, heart-felt; and the spirit, sincere.

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LaShan is the proprietress of  a culinary treasure-trove called Three Lumps of Sugar.   She mixes and markets fresh blends of loose-leaf tea, spices, and artisan sugars and salts for  creative cooks and bartenders.

You can – and SHOULD –  learn more about her business HERE

To kick things off, she needed a new headshot and  we leveraged her  session to the next level. While staying true to her personality and style, we created a lovely variety of story-telling images that she can use in her social media, website, marketing materials and more.  And we had a great time doing it.  2017-03-30_0003

2017-03-30_0002Here’s what LaShan had to say  —

“We’ve  all heard the expression, “A picture is worth a thousand words”.   As an entrepreneur, building a brand is crucial.  Customers respond not only to your products, but also to you as the business owner.  The business really is an extension of you and your imaging conveys a lot.   

I was so pleased to work with Shelly.  She managed to capture the true essence of who I am and what my company means to me.  Both my company and I are fun, playful, and creative.  I think my pictures say exactly that without any words at all.  At Three Lumps of Sugar we create and sell teas, spices, and artisan sugars and salts for bartending.  Our images need to appeal to those who would  purchase our products. 

I arrived for the day and had a consultation with the makeup artist and looked at possible backdrops.  We even gave consideration to clothing choices.  Shelly took the time and effort to try new things and incorporated my suggestions.  I am not a makeup kinda girl, so I was unsure about the makeup.  But, when I came to see the proofs – WOW!!!  There were so many that I loved and it was hard to narrow it down to just 1 or 2, so I picked 5!! “

 

Thank you, LaShan, for trusting me with your image and for the very kind words.  I can’t wait to sample the whole line of your yummy concoctions very soon.

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