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
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.
Every once in a blue moon I allow myself a little time to just play.
I don’t do it often, but I should.
Every time I do, I learn something new or at least put into practice something that I already know but need to play with so that it comes more naturally. Occasionally I think it’s just so cool that want to share it.
In honor of the first day of summer, I’d like to introduce you to a cheery little friend of mine.
This volunteer is a squash plant named Shipley.
How did he get a name like Shipley?
Easy, I was looking for”S” names (since he was a squash) and there it was. Shipley … from the Sheep Meadow. That was the best fit I could find for a volunteer that got his start in the compost pile.
Compost . . . Sheep manure… In the long run, it’s all the same S_ _ _ _ STUFF! Count the blanks. STUFF
Shipley doesn’t live in the compost pile anymore. He must’ve been no more than a sprout when he hitched a ride with Arvin the Avocado earlier in the spring. They room together in a big pot on the patio where Arvin is growing tall and straight while Shipley just drinks up Arvin’s water while he wanders around dropping blossoms on the ground.
Anyway, the play portion of my day involved making daytime look like night. Can you believe it? If you want me to, I’ll teach you how to do it too.
It was hotter ‘n blazes and full sun out when I shot these images , so I didn’t last too long — besides I had other work to do. I’ve toyed with the idea of adding some how-to lessons to my blog, and this might be a good place to start. If there are a few people who would like a step by step tutorial on how to do this, I want to hear it. ASK and you SHALL RECEIVE in a future blog post.
Let me hear from you.
Stephanie needed a headshot for her company newsletter and to update her Linked-In page, so here she is. Dang-it she is beautiful!
All I can say about this little spitfire, is that kindergarten teachers in about the year 2018 had best look out! Georgianna is HERE and she will make her presence known.
I believe Georgie is the tiniest healthy baby that I have ever photographed. She was already 6-weeks old before she could come see me, and even then she only weighed about 6 1/2 pounds. Oh my goodness she’s just a tiny pixie of a thing.
Don’t let those sweet sleepy images fool you. We had to work hard for those because she’s got a mind of her own and a strong spirit. I think she’s definitely inherited some of the spirit that comes with her mama’s reddish hair. Yep, it’s true what they say about us redheads! We WILL get our way — so you might as well just give in now.
She’s got her daddy wrapped around her little finger — as she should.
If you think Georgie looks like a little angel, you are right. She definitely inherited THAT trait from her mama, Tambra. I first met Tambra last fall through a program that teaches English as a Second Language. She gives tirelessly of herself, coordinating and managing a group of volunteer teachers while warmly welcoming and comforting political refugees who arrive in Houston frightened, exhausted, and with very few, if any English language skills. She is INCREDIBLY humble about her work, but I’ve seen firsthand the blessing she is to countless souls. Yeah… she probably has wings hidden underneath her blouse. . . and I wouldn’t be surprised to see little Miss Georgie pick up her loving caring heart.
Sleep tight and keep on growing just like a weed, Little Miss Georgie. You’ve got some great times ahead!
There’s this gorgeous young woman who officially joined our family nearly a year and a half ago — and there’s also this amazingly scrumptious dress that’s been hanging in our front hall closet ever since the day she and my first son returned from their honeymoon.
I’ve been waiting and waiting for her to get back into the dress and go play with me and my camera. The old adage about the shoemakers children having no shoes definitely carries over to photographers as well. Our own kids are the last ones to get booked on our portrait schedules. It finally fell together not too long ago when we had a trip planned with just a little extra time to kill.
Lisa earned her degree in nutrition from The University of Houston, and she is very good at creating oh-s0-yummy and still super-healthy goodies in her own little kitchen. That’s why Sweetpea’s Bakery provided a perfect first stop for us. Unfortunately, there was no cupcake sampling for us that day because the shop was going out of business. Everything was still adorably decorated, though, and we had private access. Definitely a lucky coup for us.
It’s great to have inside connections, and I’m thrilled that we got to shoot here before this place went away. BUT… an Italian Cream Cupcake sure would have tasted good about now. RATZ!
Oh how I love working in back alleys…. small towns, urban centers, doesn’t matter… give me some good grunge, and maybe a little street art… HEAVEN!
Moving garbage cans out of the way gets a little bit nasty, but I know to carry wipes and hand sanitizer.
Probably the highlight of our session for me was spending a little time at “The Station.”
We drove over to an old empty Mobile Filling Station that my grandfather owned and operated until the mid 1970’s when he retired. It wasn’t just an ordinary filling station either. This station had a bar that served up ice cold longneck bottles of beer, and for the kids, every flavor of sodie pop you can name… and ice cream sandwiches. Mmmmmm!
I think that about a half dozen local retirees used to practically rotate shifts, sitting on the bar stools, drinking and smoking at the station. I never knew their names, but can still see their faces in my mind’s eye. A liquor store was attached, but with a separate entrance on one side of the building. On the other side, a corrugated tin drive- in awning, or car-shade as we called it, allowed people to sit in the shade in their cars, drinking cokes or beer and eating snacks as long as they pleased. When the customers wanted to place an order or were done and ready to leave they could honk the horn and Pawpaw or one of his employees would come out side, take orders, and deliver treats on a window-mount tray.
I ran around this building with my brothers and cousins, barefooted and out of control for years…
My my how times have changed. The gas pumps are gone. I do NOT get out of the car without shoes at a filling station or anywhere!
The doors are locked, but the station building still stands, just a little more worn from the years that have passed.
I am so glad that I got to share this little bit of family history with our newest family member.