Mireille|Seven Lakes High School|Senior Portraits

 Meet Mireille, Seven Lakes High School Class of 2017 — Soccer Player Extraordinaire and a girl  with a heart of gold and a penchant for Converse All Stars.

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Mireille’s style is natural and casual, so her entire session focused on a loose laid-back look — and of course her athleticism.

She plays for her school as well as  a competitive league team, so she spends most weekends on the road for tournaments.

A lot of things will change for her after graduation, but this athlete is not through with her game. She’s already signed on to play for University of Louisiana in Lafayette where she will attend classes in the fall.

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MY UNUSUAL TALENT: I can juggle a ball on my head.

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Known in the school halls for wearing her Converse All Stars nearly every day, and she’s got quite a collection of the funky retro-hi-top sneakers.  She brought several pairs with her to her session, and we had a great time working them into nearly every portrait setting — at least for one frame.

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Mireille’s also very involved in the school’s PALS program where she and her colleagues serve as mentors for younger students, helping them thrive in their studies but more importantly in a social setting.  You can bet she’s made a big difference for the kids she’s worked with. 2017-01-12_0006

I LOVED working with you, Mireille!  You are a quiet and gentle soul with a fierce spirit. Let no one extinguish your fire.

Senior Portraits for Jonathan – Katy Houston Photographer

Jonathan was my very last senior from the class of 2016, and I absolutely loved everything about his session.

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He’s already up and left town for Texas A&M, and I’m getting reports that he is absolutely in his element  training as a Freshman with the Corps of Cadets.  It’s hard work, military style, but he’s been preparing for this type of activity for a long long time. He is one young man who will do just fine  wherever he goes.  College life can be difficult, but Jonathan is an overcomer. He’s beaten obstacles that no one would want to face, and he’s come through like a champ.

The way Jonathan came to my studio is a fun  backstory.  I first met him back in 2013 when he was just a sophomore in high school. The all around fantastic athlete had been seriously injured playing football and had  to leave the sport behind. Still, he was able to return to baseball after extensive rehabilitation treatment with Memorial Hermann Ironman Sports Institute.  His story  was worth retelling for other athletes who needed to be aware of concussion issuesand  who also needed to know that treatment and hope are available.  He was featured in an article published in VYPE Magazine.

I went to meet him at Cinco Ranch High School to photograph him for the headline banner.  The night we shot, I got to meet him, his parents, and his  adorable little sister. We all  had a great time visiting that evening on the baseball field and somehow I knew I would see them all again.

Here’s the article!

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Time passed and sure enough, we reconnected.

Senior portraits? You bet!   I’m your photographer!   Let’s DO THIS!

Jonathan is one of those guys who can truly be called an All American.  He’s an honor student with a great penchant for leadership.

The diving mask and flippers?   Oh, yeah… those are not just for decoration. He knows how to use ‘em, and he will very likely one day save lives as a Navy Seal.

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Although his earlier injuries kept him off the football field throughout his high school career, there was no keeping away from baseball.

He was also active in the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, and  One of his prized  possessions is a custom baseball bat, hand-crafted by one of his friends and mentors.

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He has dreamed since he was a little boy about becoming an astronaut  … and he probably will.

But for now, he’s going to buckle down and study — and do all the other things that Aggie Corps members do.

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Best of luck to you, Jonathan.  Enjoy your time at college and get ready to make your mark on this universe. You’ve definitely  got “The Right Stuff.”

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It hurts my feelings just a little bit to say it, but I will. — Just for you.

“Gig ‘Em.”

Senior Year Marks a Milestone for Parents Too – Katy Houston Photographer

The senior year in high school can be a super emotional time, and I don’t mean just for the students.

In my own experience, as a mom of five sons, I came to think of the senior year sort of like pregnancy. It lasts about nine months, and by the time it is over, you’ll do whatever you need to do in order to get the kid out.    I played  tug of war between the joys of seeing my children spread their  wings oh so ready to stand on their own and become an adult, and the fear of wondering if they would be safe from one day to the next.  I worried about each one of them walking out the door  to places where we can’t monitor whether or not they and their buddies come home at a decent hour. To this day, I still LOVE watching them  take on new responsibilities and excel in ways I could never imagine.   I  still crumble inside when they face struggles that I cannot and should not even try to fix.  I cry a little when I realize that my days of drying tears,mending scraped knees, and keeping a well-stocked pantry and fridge are becoming distant memories.

What many of us moms tend to forget is that the graduate is not the only one facing a new stage of life.

Senior year  is  a time when the entire family dynamics are about to change in a big way. Parents get to  embark on a new journey too.  Yes, the adjustment can be very very tough, but for the most part after transition (another pregnancy analogy) it is very very sweet.

Not too long ago I got together with this family to create the first portraits they had made since their son was quite young. He will graduate this June and within just a few short weeks will leave for army boot camp.  When he returns, he will be a different human being. That’s what service does for us.

 I’m so glad we did this project.

Life for mom and dad will definitely change.  Their son will come into his own in a great way.  And Mom and Dad are going to be fine.  They’ll be just fine.

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Mother Daughter Portraits Last a Lifetime-Katy Houston Photographer

Hair and Makeup by Rachael Elise Walker — Elise Artistry

Some people are simply so  full of life and adventure that you never know what’s going to happen when they get creative, but you know that it’s going to be fun.  Originally we had planned to only photograph Mary, the mom in this series. BUT — as we worked through our consultation, we realized that we would all be missing out if we didn’t bring her daughter into the session as well — and I am so glad we did.

This is something I believe EVERY mother and daughter should do tpgether. Not only did they get to spend an afternoon laughing and playing “dress-up”  together, they both looked AMAZING when they left the studio for dinner..

I secretly wished I could have tagged along just to watch people’s reaction as they walked by.  Stay with me, and you’ll see why!

AND _ to top it off, they’ll have fabulous heirloom images of each other to treasure for ever.

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 R is a gorgeous young teen.  She is sweet, quiet and soft-spoken … UNTIL she unleashes her inner goth. It may seem like an oxymoron, but  when she turns on her dark side,  THAT is  when she really lights up.

We started out our session with a nice casual feel,  and with the help of  our in-studio makeup artist and stylist, Rachael Walker, we  worked our way up from there.

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Mary took a more formal route . . .

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Isn’t she lovely?

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But she was a great sport about letting R play out her inner rock goddess complete with blue hair extensions and super-dramatic makeup.

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Because  Mike Chetty  and I raised five sons, we have a collection of old band instruments in our closets.

Most are in better shape than this old French Horn that had been previously destined to the trash heap, but  I love how well it played into our theme.   We didn’t  have to worry about damaging it, and I am super glad it found its way into my prop closet!

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This was by FAR one of my favorite sessions in a long time.  I can’t wait to do another concept escalation based on creativity and dreams.  There’s one in the planning stages now, and I would  love to create one for YOU as well.

Portraits for Nicholas – Katy Houston Photographer

 This is another of my lost blog post series.  It’s a redux of a post that I feel certain I created and shared earlier this year but which disappeared into thin air.

This session actually took place back in February on a very cold and rainy day, and Nicholas was a GREAT SPORT about his outdoor session.

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 I love photographing guys who are just a little bit quiet and shy.

It’s fun to see how they relax once they realize that I won’t make them do anything cheesy for the camera, once they realize that they won’t have to smile  like the Cheshire Cat until their jaws hurt.

 Nicholas is one of those guys


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It was his 17th birthday when we met for our session at his family home.  Nicholas is quite an accomplished horseman, so we spent most of our time in and around the barn.

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And this is Smokey.   There’s not much in this world that can compare to the velvety smooth nose of a horse.  SWOON!

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Senior Portraits for Nicole – Katy Houston Photographer

 

 Okay y’all, stranger things may have happened, but I believe I might be losing my  mind.  At least I’m a little bit sick to my stomach.

When I sat down to write my latest blog post, I realized that my site was missing a ton of senior portrait posts for the class of 2015.  I blogged and posted these during the school year before graduation.  I KNOW I did … but they are missing without a trace!  Gorgeous kids.  Fun anecdotes from our sessions.  Gone.  All Gone.  Cyber-Gremlins, I”m sure.    I don’t have an answer, but I have some calls in to some folks who know what to do in a situation like this.

I DO KNOW PEOPLE!!!  We will figure this out.

In the meantime,   I’ll be keeping a very close eye on my security as I bust out a few of the images from my favorite sessions of the year for a blog marathon which will probably last several weeks.    Today we’re starting with Nicole!

 Beautiful Nicole, a dancer, a Cinco Star, and a 2015 graduate of Cinco Ranch High School.

Hair and Makeup by Cintya Velderrain at SPCcreative Photography Studio 

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Oh, we had fun together.  I was so glad I got to know her.

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She’s smart too.  She’ll be studying this fall at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh.

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Oh, Nicole.  You were a joy to work with.  I have to be sappy now.  As you go forward into life, I hope you dance.

UGH!  Did I really just say that?

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 Thank you Nicole!  Have a great year at college!

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