Baby Gowns for Sleeping Angels – Katy Houston Photographer

When a baby  dies and doesn’t get to come home from the hospital with its family, dreams are dashed and hearts shatter.

Those families need an extra helping of love and care to help them heal, and it’s always an honor to be a part of their story.

Most of my friends and many of my clients know that I spend a good deal of time volunteering for Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep as an Area Coordinator.  We provide heirloom quality baby portraits for the families who must face the loss of their little ones before or at birth.  Beautiful timeless black and white images of these angel babies.

 That’s what we do — and we do it at no charge. We do it because we care and we do it because we CAN.

I feel SUPER blessed to have found an outlet for my skills and talents that just might help someone’s broken heart begin to heal.

Well, there’s another group in town that also helps bereaved families who have lost an infant at any stage of gestation or early life.  Volunteers with Baby Gowns for Eternity take wedding dresses, formal gowns, and other special occasion dresses, deconstruct them, and lovingly create beautiful tiny gowns and embellished pocket wraps. They simply want every  little angel-baby to  be wrapped in love and dignity for their burial.

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Very recently Houston’s ABC Channel 13  news team filmed a story about the Baby Gown group, and it just aired this week. Click here to watch the video and learn more about  them.

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I was there that day too, and these are some of the wonderful volunteers that I got to meet.

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There’s a volunteer position with Baby Gowns for anyone who wants to help. These are the organization’s two youngest volunteers.  They are very very good at removing buttons and ripping seams.
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 If you know someone with a willing heart and time to spare, both Baby Gowns for Eternity and Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep are actively seeking volunteers for a number of roles.

 Come join us. It’s GOOD for your heart.

 

 

 

Boots, Buckles & Bolos Gala for HNWCC- Houston Event Photographer

I’m so proud of the people I worship with.  They saw a dire need in the area surrounding our church building a few years ago after a local  social services organization closed its doors, so they stepped in and started helping out as they could, eventually creating an amazing locally-driven non-profit resource.  The Houston Northwest Community Center is only about  five years old and is probably best known for its neighborhood food pantry, but it also hosts GED and English as a Second Language classes for neighbors in the area.   In the summer, HNWCC provides day camp activities for children and now  it’s starting up an after school reading and learning program for middle schoolers.

It takes more than good will and good hearts to keep an organization like this running, and just this past weekend, HNWCC hosted its third annual Boots, Buckles & Bolos Fundraising Gala.

What a lovely evening.  I got to hang out with some great friends and make even more new friends over good food, fun and games, and of course a competitive live and silent auction — all to raise money for the programs at the center.

While HNWCC is  heavily based on and around the campus of Bear Creek United Methodist Church, it  is not strictly a church-ministry.  It’s a community organization dependent upon widespread  support from , health and civic organizations, other churches,  scout troops, etc.  And they would be THRILLED  for you to become involved as well. To learn more about HNWCC and how you can help, just visit their website by clicking  anywhere on this  page where it says HNWCC!

Here are a few photographs from the  gala evening. To see more, CLICK HERE

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This is the gala committee and these are also some of the HNWCC's hardest working year-round volunteers

This is the gala committee and these are also some of the HNWCC’s hardest working year-round volunteers

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Looks like fun, doesn’t it?  Learn more about how YOU can get involved by visiting HNWCC.org or just come on out to Bear Creek UMC any Sunday morning to get acquainted with these smiling faces in person!

Check out the rest of the photos from the Gala HERE – and order your favorites to help provide support for the wonderful programs of HNWCC

Taylor High School Fashion Extravaganza – Katy Houston Photographer

What a night of fashion fun and entertainment!

Last night I covered the Be Dazzled Fashion Extravaganza at Taylor High School, where the Bold and the Beautiful Mustangs Strutted their Style.

This Eighth Annual Fashion Extravaganza  is one of several fund raisers benefiting Project Grad.  Check out our evening here, and then pop on over to the Fashion Extravaganza page on  SPCcreative.com  to check out all the pictures of the evening and select your favorites.

AND  DON’T  FORGET TO TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THE FASHION EXTRAVAGANZA SENIOR PORTRAIT SPECIAL.

CALL before the end of January to set up your Senior Portraits, and receive a $50 credit toward your final order.  We can shoot later, after it warms up a bit if you like, we just need to know you’re  going to need a spot on the calendar.

We started our evening with a delightful selection of formal and prom wear.

 Elegance is always fashionable, but it’s much more fun to throw in a little mischief and shenanigans.  These kids were not at a loss for  some silliness and snickers.

 Most run of the mill style shows might follow their formal wear with a casual or cruisewear segment, but not in Katy-Gosh-Dern-Houston-Texas.

Nothing but Rodeo Wear will do.  And FINE Rodeo Wear at that!

Texas National Outfitters   provided most of the clothes in this segment.   Is it okay to call boots cute?  Theirs are the BOMB!  I’ll have to go try me on a pair or two very very soon!

A gal can’t have too many boots …. can she?

In all reality, Texas has two seasons —  Not Football Season and Football Season.

Since each of these kids are about to graduate from high school, they’re eagerly looking forward to the excitement of GAME DAY on their respective new campuses.

Again, don’t miss out on our Fashion Extravaganza Senior Portrait Special — It won’t happen again  and the calendar days are FLYING BY!

Here’s another link to check out and order all the pictures from the Extravaganza.  Enjoy!

A Quinceneara Cutie — Houston Katy Photographer

A Quinceneara Cutie — Houston Katy Photographer

As a Native Texan, I have heard all my life about Quinceaneras, but I’ve never had an opportunity to be involved in one — until recently.

For the uninitiated and the gueros like myself, a Quinceanera is an extremely special 15th birthday party for a young Latina.  Celebrations vary, but they typically include a Celebration Mass at church followed by a public presentation and a great big party.

One thing I learned is that Quinceanera portraits are just about as “TOP SECRET” as bridal portraits.   They may not be revealed until after the big day when our young woman is presented in her gorgeous dress. and the official formal portrait is unveiled.   I thought that would be a problem because Mabel is one muchacha bonita!  I could hardly wait to share her portraits. . . .

But alas — I am so behind in my blogging that it wasn’t an issue at all.

So here she is.  And all I can say is  ISN’T SHE LOVELY?     QUE BONITO!

Bonito?  Bonita?  DANG, I wish I had learned Spanish!  Muy LINDO,

Miss Mabel, you are a beautiful and extremely sweet young lady — in ANY language.  I wish you the best.  The world is YOURS!

PRSA Excalibur Awards 2013 Houston Event Photographer

PRSA Excalibur Awards 2013 Houston Event Photographer

In a world not so long ago and not far away at all, this photographer lived a somewhat different life from the one she lives today.  Rather than telling stories in pictures, I  was a storyteller for several medical and nonprofit organizations.  The world of public relations was a wonderful ride for a while until my geeky love for color and images sent me spinning off into another  professional direction.  Still, I love love love catching up with old friends every year at the Public Relations Society of America Houston  Excalibur Awards Gala.

I’ve been photographing the Excalibur Awards  every year except one since 2008, and this year, co-chairs, Meredith Phillips and Jessica Manning, put together a team that absolutely outdid themselves.    To see more images and details of the evening, head on over to the event gallery on my  web site. 

 

 

Oh, those PR folks!  They’ve gotta keep us on our toes. As happens often in Houston, the evening started with a lively happy hour and silent auction benefiting the Public Relations Foundation of Houston, but a few special guests from the Texas Renaissance Festival  provided an added twist of magic.

More images here!  These are the people who make things happen in Houston.

And after dinner, some of Houston’s finest storytellers received the recognition of their respected colleagues.

Among them this year:

 Jim “Mattress Mack” McIngvale, Gallery Furniture — Communicator of the Year.

Ben Wheatley, ABC, APR — Legacy Award

and

Debra Ward Buks, APR, Ward Creative Communications and Eni Petroleum — Grand Excalibur Award.

For additional images and more award winners, just click here. 

 

 

Congratulations to each and every Excalibur Award winner.  Well done and happily ever after … until it’s time to start over and do it again.

Glamour Splash 2013 — It’s Hot and it’s COOL! Katy West Houston Senior Photography

I don’t know where the year has gone, but it is  time for Glamour Splash 2013 — and I’m so excited I can hardly stand it.    We’re celebrating all the soon-to-be High School Seniors, and doing something VERY special for our community.

Picture this!

YOU… a formal dress.. in the water — YES — IN THE WATER at your gorgeous BEST —  for one of the most exciting portraits you’ve ever seen…

AND — all proceeds go to Cinco Charities to help build and operate the Ballard House, a temporary overnight housing facility for families that travel to the Katy/West Houston area for medical care.

 Ready to take the plunge?  Reserve your session HERE! and then keep reading for more details.

Glamour Splash started last year,  benefited a local food bank, and it was FABULOUS… but, between you and me, our timing was a little bit off.  We waited too late into the summer, and quite a few of our potential participants were already out of town, so this year we’re not even waiting for the last day of school.  In the Katy schools, students get to exempt a number of their final exams based upon what grade they are in, their attendance, and academic performance — so we’re celebrating their achievements and playing HOLLYWOOD while their younger siblings are sitting  in finals.

na na na na boo boo!

 Glamour splash is open to any girl who has shot her senior portraits with our studio, regardless of the year, as well as to anyone in the class of 2014 or 2015.

The sessions will last 20 minutes each, and you can use your own formal dress or choose from one of ours.

To register, go to http://SPCcreative.bookmonline.com .  A minimum donation of  $20.00 will reserve your session, and you’ll get a free Facebook/social media profile picture.  Additional options are available to increase your contribution to Cinco Charities — and they come with extra goodies.  After the session prints and electronic files will be available online — still benefiting Cinco Charities.

Session reservations are non-refundable, but every single penny goes to this great cause. 

We highly recommend that you bring your own dress for the session because that will make your session totally personal, but we also understand if you don’t want to take the risk of putting your pretties into a chlorinated swimming pool.  We have a few dresses in the studio that you can choose from — or you can wear your own bandeau-style swim top or tube top, and we’ll use fabric drapes to create your special images.

We are also accepting dress donations for future Glamour Splash events!

Should you use your own dress, please bear in mind that you are doing so at your own risk.  Most synthetic fibers are perfectly safe in the water as are quite a few natural fibers, but I am NOT Heloise and I will not make any promises. —  What I WILL promise is that you’ll get a ROCKIN photo session.  We’ll have fun, and you’ll have the coolest summer photos around.

 You know you want it!

And to add a little more of your personality to some of your images, you’re encouraged to bring  your own hair decorations and anything that will float — EXCEPT GLITTER.  We don’t need glitter in our filter.  Flowers and petals would be lovely though.   If you have other cool ideas we’re ready to hear them!

 

 

Oh … and the ooky part:  All participants who are under the age of 18 will be required to bring a release form signed by their parent or guardian.     You’ll receive the release after registering, and it simply covers the legal mumbo jumbo  allowing us to photograph you and put the images into the glamour splash website for preview and order.  The release also talks about how we can’t be responsible for your dress or your safety… even though we trust that you’ve got good sense, and we are very safety-conscious over here.     Oh… and since your images WILL be gorgeous, we have to cover the fact that they will probably be blogged about right here!  It also releases Cinco Charities from any liability…

No release?  No shoot for you.  So sorry but it’s super important.  After all… we’re all in this to do GOOD things.

SO — click here to reserve your spot or to volunteer.

 Volunteer?  Did you say volunteer?

YEP!  We have a few spots for gals looking to add a few hours to their community service log or to just gain some behind the scenes experience at a fashion photo shoot.  You’ll be serving as a hostess, helping other girls get ready for their session or acting as a photographer’s assistant, helping adjust dresses and fabrics, moving and holding lights and shade cloths.  Call the studio at 281.773.7465 during business hours if you’d like to help out.

 Ready to take the plunge?  Reserve your session HERE!

 

 

 

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