Senior Portraits – There’s Still Time, But Not Much – Katy West Houston Photographer

Alright Seniors, Spring Break is nearly upon us, which means only one thing.  You WILL be walking across the stage  and heading out into LIFE in a very very short time.

There’s lots going on, and it’s easy to let the details slip, so if you still haven’t scheduled your senior portraits — we’ve got your back — but you need to call us RIGHT AWAY for the greatest senior portrait experience in the Katy, Cy-Fair, Sugar Land, West Houston area.


The only concern is that we limit the number of seniors we take, and once our schedule is full, that’s it . . . we’re full.  That’s because we are a small boutique studio, and we take the time to personally consult with you about what YOU want from your portraits before you even come through the door.

We’ll talk about your wardrobe and  the way you want to be portrayed now and remembered for years and years to come.

We’ll determine the best type of locations for your session. … Our full service studio with ever-changing setups is always available — or we can travel with you to your favorite park, school yard, your family ranch, or even a destination city anywhere in the WORLD!

We’ll bring in a fabulous hair and makeup artist just for your session.

And we  will guide you through your entire ordering process which can be overwhelming if you’re left on your own.

We even  custom-design your graduation announcements so that they are unlike anyone else’s.   These are always so fresh and fun, reflecting your own personality,  that your  friends and relatives will feel like you are sending THEM a gift in the mail!


So, WHAT are you waiting for?

Call today and reserve the date and time that works best for you.   If you’re QUICK, you might even snag one of the few remaining spring break openings.

 The studio number is 281.773.7465.  If we are busy  and don’t answer the phone, LEAVE A MESSAGE.  We WILL call you back.


Celebrating Tina – Houston Women’s Photographer

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again.  EVERY woman should make sure that she exists in pictures.

This is how Tina celebrated her 40th birthday, and we had such a great time hanging out in my studio with  makeup artist,  Rachael Elise Walker of Elise Artistry  as we took Tina from the before to the boardroom to the boudoir.


I first met Tina a year and a half or two years ago, and we have continued to run into each other occasionally because … well, Houston is just a big little town.


Tina is absolutely one of the sweetest people EVER… She’s got a heart of gold, and spends her days helping people solve their problems.  By the time she turned 40, it was time to do something for HER, and I’m so glad she did.

We started her out with some business casual outfits and transitioned to a gorgeous teal cocktail dress.


But of everything we did, my favorite was when she slipped into something more  evening-oriented.  And she ROCKED it!

Absolutely ROCKED!

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She also brought in a very sentimental dress,

the one she was wearing the night that she and her husband got engaged .

How could we NOT include it in our session? 2015-02-17_0001

And toward the end of the evening,

her husband met her here for a few more pictures and a little dancing before heading out on a special date night together.

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Soooooo much fun!  This is one of my favorite sessions ever to date.  They  just keep getting better and better!  I LOVE LOVE LOVE helping women create a legacy of themselves at their very best.

Yes … you SHOULD!

Senior Portraits for Emma – Cy Fair High School – Katy Houston Photographer

This is Emma Lee …. She’s a senior at Cy Fair High School, Class of 2015, and she is savoring every minute of her senior year. Is she not DA BOMB?


I first met this beauty  about two or three years ago  when her mom and I were in the same Sunday School class at church.   You can imagine my excitement when she called to set up her portrait session.  I knew that this girl would positively glow in front of the lens — and she did!  Yeah… we had her stop smiling for a few serious images, but that was a challenge.  She just loves to smile – and she does it so well.


 Get a load of that awesome Cy-Fair Brigade smile.  When this girl takes the field, who needs floodlights?

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Emma loves to dance. That is just who she is.



We had so much fun working together.  I love her bubbly carefree spirit … and one of my favorite memories of our session was the night she came to pick up her order.  She had just been to Florida to participate in the halftime show for the Citrus Bowl where she was on the VERY FRONT ROW of about a bazillion dancers selected from all over the country.   We watched a video of the performance, but I couldn’t keep my eyes on the little screen because Miss Emma performed the entire routine LIVE — right there in front of us.

 Oh my stars, how I love her spirit!

2015-02-05_0001Congratulations on your senior year, Emma.  Continue to enjoy every single minute as you move on into this big bright world.  Just keep on shining!

My Life 2015 January Recap – Photo A Day

This post has nothing to do with my business.  It’s just  My Life 2015.

This year I am trying to get back into the groove that really lit my fire for photography and also brought me countless friends from around the world.    I was using a Canon Rebel …. D-300 if I remember correctly, shooting mostly in automatic mode or one of the program modes  . . . and having the time of my life.

I started a little gallery on my page called Shelly’s Photo Blog 2007      and joined a Daily Photographs community on Smugmug. That community opened the door to so many opportunities to learn and grow, it gave me inspiration and encouragement, and it gave me a chance to inspire and encourage others too.  I truly  can’t begin to think of where I would be without the experiences and friends that photography h as brought me.

Then there was Shelly’s Photo Blog 2008   and another —   Shelly’s Photo Blog 2009-2010

The galleries ended about the same place where I started this blog…  and over time, I quit posting every day but eventually Shelly’s Sporadic Dailies developed and dwindled – but I’m using it again.

I missed the creativity as well as the mild panic of not having a picture for today.  So in 2015 I started this back up again and for now I’m using that same gallery.  I’m participating on the premise that these pictures should not have much if anything to do with my business photos, but that they are just to help me keep my creative juices flowing and also to help document My Life 2015.  I haven’t hit every single day, but I don’t care.  This is for fun…

Here’s a recap of January 2015!

 Well . . . wecan back up to Christmas Day.  Happy Mom — My kids are here for Christmas Dinner.


January 1, 2015 Happy New Year from the Studio Backlot. We love our new t-shirts from our son’s business venture. Watch for wonderful things from Grateful Dane Distillery in the coming year.


January 2, 2015 – Backwards Hangers —

That thing where you turn all your hangers backwards at new years and by the end of the year anything you haven’t worn is still backwards — OUT it goes. I really think I wear all my clothes though. We shall see.


January 3, 2015

Today started out cold and gray — and I was a little bit sad (in that Mom sort of way) because my son left to drive across the state on icy roads to go back to school.  Then, I got out my Rainy Pot.  It was a Christmas gift from my California Kids.  This thing is pure magic!  You put water in the cloud, and it rains on the plant that you grow in the pot.  I don’t have any potting soil or anything to plant right now, but couldn’t wait any longer to make a practice rain storm.  This thing is PURE MAGIC.  As soon as the rain started falling, my heart was happy and I smiled. Then I looked out the window and the sun was shining.  How very cool is THAT?


January 4, 2015 – The New Phone Books Are Here

Just another sign of the nerd (or jerk, if you’re a Steve Martin fan) that I am. I really got excited this morning when our church passed out a new pictorial directory. We have a lovely church family, and I know some people pretty well, but then there are others that I see week after week, but still haven’t really connected with, and can;t even remember their names.
That makes me sad. I need an extra visual clue to help me remember names and faces, so this is like a goldmine to my heart. Oh my goodness, the kids in here have already grown so much since the photos were created.

Time flies, but this little book is a tangible portrait of my church family — or about 30 % of them.
That’s right. I told you I was a nerd. I analyzed the book today. We have about 625 households, but only 193 photographs in the book. For somebody who disdains math, the numbers fascinate me. I don’t know what to do with those numbers. I don’t know what they mean. I think it means that the missing faces are the ones I need to reach out to in earnest. I think it means that some of the missing faces may not feel like they completely belong. I think the missing faces are the ones that should REALLY be in the book because I want to know them too.

Now, I wish we could throw all the addresses into a big mapping system and find out who our closest neighbors are. If I did it, it would be an old fashioned wall map with pins and tags. That’s not nerdy. That’s cool! Okay — maybe it’s nerdy but nerds rock. I want to find ways to connect better with the people who are in this book and with those who missed the photo opportunity in 2015.

THANK YOU to Chris and Pam for all your hard work putting this little treasure together for us.


January 5, 2015 – Dog O Clock Thirty

A little wine, a little good music — waiting for time to say “It’s soup yet”. AND a Very Good Dog. What more could we wish for?


January 6, 3015 – Epiphany

Westward Leading Still Proceeding,
Guide us to the Perfect Light.


January 7 – Old Flute

RE: The sports announcer who got press this week for bullying the marching band at the Rose Bowl:  Some people never grow up.


This is my old concert flute.  Poor thing doesn’t make a sound anymore because the pads are all old and leaky, but she was a beauty in her  day.  She’s  still a treasure that I take out of the case on occasion.  I can still pretty-well finger our Fight Song as well as a couple of the other arrangements and marches that we memorized – back between 1975 and 1978.

Athletic?  I was a scrawny kid, but still lost a pound a day sweating during summer band.

Competitive?  You Betcha.  Losing was not an option.

Teamwork?  You try to keep a straight line and diagonals with 199 other people of varying shapes and sizes while spinning a design on a 100 yard canvas.

Even though I only had very average musical skills, I gained sooooo much from my years in band – and years later as a Band Mom.

Many of my band friends and directors are still friends to this day.  They are incredibly intelligent, well-educated, witty, down-to-earth, successful, and in my mind they are all VERY COOL.     And you can’t take that away from us.

#Band – it’s a GOOD THING .


January 8, 2015

Homemade Veggie Soup — Yummmmm… Just pure good stuff.


January 10 – Broken China

Did you ever wonder what would happen if you dropped a $1.99 soup/cereal bowl from Target on top of a stack of Lenox Oxford China  in the kitchen sink?

Wonder no more.

This is what happens.

And… it’s okay.

We don’t entertain often, so I wanted to keep things casual , and that usually means paper plates.  But then on Friday my friend Dottie talked me into getting out my china.   After all —  I have it and it doesn’t do anyone any good locked away in the hutch.   If I’m not going to use it, I should get rid of it…. Right?

So… I pulled out the good china with a discontinued pattern that I love so much.  Then, I mixed it with cheap colorful soup bowls from Target, iced-tea glasses from Ikea, and a mish-mash of wine glasses that have survived 14 years of annual Bunco nights. Wide-Mouth Mason Jars held the silverware, and we seated half our group at a borrowed plastic table.

We had one loss during the dishwashing game, but it’s still only STUFF.  It gave me JOY to treat our guests like the special friends that they have become.

Besides —  there’s this company here in town that makes LOVELY jewelry out of broken china.  My favorite boyfriend designed a necklace and earrings for me last year.  Now maybe I’ll get a bracelet to match.

 Insert smiley emoticon here.


January 11, 2015

My Heroes Have Always Been Packers 

#Myfavoriteboyfriend grew up in Lubbock,  the heart of the Llano Estacado…  so he was a bit out of place as a young  Green Bay Packers fan in the land of Blue. But he never wavered.

 See, an All American running back at Texas Tech University  by the name of Donny Anderson caught 8-year-old  MikeChetty’s attention and then went on to play for the Packers just two years before they beat the Dallas Cowboys in a legendary sub-freezing -temperature playoff game that became known as the Ice Bowl.

Not long afterwards, another Packer superstar, Jerry Kramer, penned a book called “Instant Replay.”  It was basically his memoirs of the 1967 season under Vince Lombardi.  Mike devoured the book and gave it credit for helping shape his own character.

And he has been a Packer Fan in Cowboy Country all his life.

 Less than a half hour before kickoff this morning, when the Packers and Cowboys would again square off in a playoff game at Lambeau Field,  we decided that we needed to create a Packers Fan profileicture for his facebook page so we did.

There was a little bit of sweating going on this afternoon at our house, but  no explanation is necessary.

He’s Happy. I’m Happy.  THIS is the Good Stuff.

He’s happy.  I’m happy.



January 12, 2015

Do you have room in your heart and home for a new furry buddy?

I spent the better part of this afternoon photographing close to 30 cats that live right here in Katy and all need good homes.   My veterinarian and his staff at Green Trails Animal Hospital are fostering so many sweet young cats that they are on absolute overload.

Each of these sweeties has already been spayed or neutered.  They’re all micro-chipped and they’re in great health.

This is the second time I’ve photographed the homeless felines at the clinic, and several of the ones from my August Session  are still waiting for a furr-ever home.  I’ll be posting more on my blog and facebook page in the next few days, but in the meantime if you need a sweet kitten or cat to keep you company, I know where to look.

And here is a link to all the new sweeties that are currently available.

Call the good folks at Green Trails Animal Hospital.  19825 Greenwind Chase Drive, Houston, TX 77094  Phone 281.492.6100.


January 13, 2015

The Last Christmas Candy

One last piece of Christmas candy remains in the shiny green  box that’s sat on my desk since mid December.

Mint Chocolate!

I’ve savored the aroma of these little delicacies almost as much as I’ve enjoyed letting them melt in my mouth chased by a nice strong cup of Louisiana coffee.  Tomorrow’s treat will taste bittersweet.


January 14, 2015 –Wedding Album—YAY!

It’s their third anniversary and the wedding album is finally a reality!

At the very top of my “To Do” list, there’s been one single task that I have carried forward for nearly three years.  It’s even had a star beside it, that’s my personal shorthand for PRIORITY – Do this ASAP.  Still, it has  taken me nearly three years to design a wedding album for my son and daughter-in-love.

When Ian and Lisa got married, three years ago today we had my friend and fellow photographer,  Alison Carlino photograph the wedding.  We made special  professional trade arrangements for her to provide the images on a disc, and then the plan was that I would handle the design and production of the album and prints.  We made a few prints and a canvas, but that blasted album hung over my head every day.

I just couldn’t get it done.   I feel embarrassed that it has taken me so very long to actually get this album designed and produced.  I have designed and delivered a huge number of albums to my clients over the past three years  but . . .

The  shoemaker’s children go barefoot. Faucets in the plumber’s house leak.  And the photographer’s family patiently waits for their album.  They wait and they wait and they wait.

FINALLY  I took a deep breath and dived in. The book was delivered just the other day.

So THIS, my friends, is one reason that I discourage people from trying to simply order  their images as electronic files.  If I have the tools, skills, and album company connection to get this job done and it still took me three years to complete the task, it is a nearly certain bet that without investing in a professional, the electronic images will sit unprinted and unseen – perhaps forever.

But – we got ‘er done…. THAT is the Good Stuff!

Happy Anniversary, Lisa and Ian.  Your album  — your tangible memory of January 14, 2012 is finally a reality.


January 15, 2015 – Monkey Houseshoes

The sun DID come otu this afternoon, but it’s still COLD . Not cold by Philadelphia or Chicago standards, but to thin-blooded Houstonians, it is still COLD.

That, my friends, is why monkey house-shoes and leopard pj’s co-exist peacefully in this city.


January 16, 2015

Moody Blues on Vinyl Black — Friday Night at Home!


January 17, 2015

Can you say SUCKER?  – Story to be continued here tomorrow.


January 18, 2015

Remember Yesterday’s photo? 

Here’s the rest of the story.  We’d like to introduce you to the Green Bay Packers’ newest fan.  He’s a 5 month old blue eyed bundle of LOVE .

I photographed a group of adoptable cats last week, and this guy stayed on my mind all week.  We picked him up yesterday and he says it was the best day of his life — and then, TODAY HAPPENED! Even Better!

Green Trails Animal Clinic here in Katy has a great selection of little sports fans waiting for couches and televisions of their own.  Please help spread the word.

We’re currently  narrowing down name choices and will keep you posted.

Yep… I’m a SUCKER … but so is my favorite boyfriend.


January 19, 2015

Shorts in January. 

That’s one reason I love living in Houston.

It wasn’t pretty — glaring white legs and paint-stained ensemble,  but this is how I cleaned the pool,  went to the hardware store, and started painting some new backgrounds for the studio.


January 21, 2015

He makes cornbread for ME!  The best gluten-free and actually yummy cornbread EVAH!  That’s just one reason why he’s my favorite boyfriend


January 22, 2015

Rain – Just a dark cold rainy day.


January 23, 2015

We’re currently engaged in a rousing and  competitive round of Kitten on the Keys – This could get interesting.  Must Win – Must Win – Must Win


January 25, 2015


After a week of contemplation, we announce the Royal Coronation of Crown Prince Friedrich Leopold Von Katzenburg.

In his first official address to the public he is quoted as saying, “You can just call me Fred.”

Fred, it is.


January 25

Potato Sprout

Hey, I have an idea. Let’s grow potatoes in the pantry and pretend that we are post apocalyptic farmers!


January 30, 2015  – Fred had a rough day

Fred had a rough day.   I thought he had a concussion after he collided HARD with my boot running through the house.  Seriously, y’all.  I heard it CLUNK, and then his pupils were completely different sized.  He ended up in kitty ER where he stayed all day for observation and treatment.  Then he got better. An ER trip always ends in a mildshake run…. Right?


January 31, 2015

First Camellia of the season. 

This is the only white stuff you’re likely to see in Houston in January.  Condolences to our friends in colder climates.


There you have it …. my January — but not the business side of me.  You can always follow these posts daily on the Sporadic Dailies page of Smugmug   but I hope I’ll have a collection to re-post at the end of every month this year.  Subscribe to my blog — up in the upper right hand corner of this page, and you won’t miss any of these posts as they come up.

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