THIS . . . THIS is the face of The Class of 2016.
This is S’vani, a Senior at Langham Creek High School in the Cy-Fair ISD.
HAIR AND MAKEUP IN STUDIO by Cintya Velderrain
I loved working with her because she is always smiling. Seriously. ALWAYS smiling. She smiles so much that we had to WORK HARD to capture a few serious images of her.
We liked the smiling photographs best through because they are so … HER.
If the rest of her classmates are anything like S’vani, their school must run a close second to Disney as the Happiest Place on Earth!
What is it that makes her smile?
For one thing, her participation and leadership in Color Guard runs through her very core. For those of you who are uninitiated, the Langham Creek Color Guard is absolutely legendary and has been for years.
You know what else is cool? S’vani’s MOTHER, Rachel, performed with the very same group when she was in high school.
They were great then too! Just ask her.
Maybe flag, rifle, and marching skills are hereditary. Just sayin’
Oh, and did you see that big red NHS on the sleeve of her letter jacket above? Being a part of the National Honor Society can only mean that S’vani is also ONE SMART COOKIE! NHS gathers the students with the highest grades and helps prepare them to be successful leaders as they provide much-needed services to people and other organizations within their community.
After graduation, S’vani plans become a psychologist, and she will study at Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska where she has already been accepted.
As for her fashion-style, S’vani says she likes to mostly be comfortable, but she LOVES to dress up for special occasions — and sometimes just because.
In her down time, when she has any, she may be found enjoying bubble tea and all things associated with Asian culture along with her closest friends.
What nobody knows about her, though, is that she loves video games and she’s pretty darn good at League of Legends, Pokemon, Team Fortress 2, Assassin’s Creed, and Border Bands 2.
I thoroughly enjoyed working with you, S’vani. Your future is bright because you SHINE! Enjoy your senior year and always follow your heart.
It started out as a simple thought. Bruce and Linda had not had a portrait taken together in a long long time.
Chances are pretty good that most people who don’t have small kids at home, and many who do, haven’t taken the time to be photographed together either.
They were getting ready to celebrate their 45th anniversary, so Linda called to schedule a portrait session for the two of them. The longer we talked we realized that a basic portrait just wouldn’t do. We absolutely needed to capture the very essence of this relationship, and in doing so we needed to create a true heirloom legacy — something to one day be passed along to their grandchildren and to remind them of the joy and the active life and the romantic feelings that these two have for each other.
If you knew this couple, one thing you would know for sure is that they are every bit as much in love today as they were 45 years ago. They’ve traveled quite a ways together down this road called life, and they still have a long long way to go. We decided to spend the better part of a day together so that we could document a relatively normal day in their life — from breakfast time to a dinner date with some fun stuff thrown into the middle of it all.
Our schedule was a little bit whack-a-d0odle and out of order, but we were aiming for the essence of a day. We came pretty close!
To keep things real, westarted out at breakfast time. Toast and eggs. T-shirts, newspaper, and coffee. It feels like home! That’s for sure.
The garden needed a little weeding and trim work, so after breakfast we headed out to the back yard for a little work session.
And then we all came in to exercise.
… Ahhhhh! So that’s how Linda keeps her girlish figure and how Bruce keeps up with her day in and day out. Did I mention how much I love love love their energy?
Most days find Bruce and Linda very-well connected to their tablets and computers where they check up on their grandchildren, their own parents and siblings, and of course their friends.
Have you heard the old adage about the couple that hunts together? That’ okay. Neither have I. In fact, aside from my own grandparents, I can’t even think of any other couples I know that both people enjoy a frosty trip out to the lease, but every year they hunt together . . . deer, quail, elk . . . whatever else it is that people hunt.
Sooooooo — just for fun we decided to create a Texas Hunting Season parody version of the famous American Gothic painting by Grant Wood. The house next door to them had a peaked gable that worked nicely for the background.
We laughed and laughed.
Fortunately none of the neighbors came out to find out why we were standing in the middle of the cul-de-sac with camoflauge, hunters’ orange safety gear, a deer rifle, and antlers, but if they had we would have made up a crazy lie.
I don’t believe that we could have gotten a more accurate facial expression than Linda’s stern look if we had brought in a professional acting coach. PRICELESS! It was so very hard to keep a straight face.
On another note . . . did you know that Bruce is actually ONE SUPER COOL GRAMPA? Well, he IS! His granddaughter is learning how to drive, and when he takes her out to practice, he lets her drive his “baby,” this classic Porsche convertible. Granddaughter wasn’t with us when we were shooting, but we still made sure to save time for a drive to the park. THIS, my friends, is one sweet ride!
It was a beautiful day to put the top down and enjoy the breezes, and also to take a walk through the park.
As a highlight to our very active day, we brought my makeup artist, Cintya Velderrain right to Linda’s own boudoir for a special hair and makeup session so that she could be her loveliest in time for their at-home date night.
For date night, Bruce and Linda prepared a delicate chicken piccatta with broccoli and artisan bread. Of course they washed it down with some red wine.
Bruce is a fantastic chef, and he makes a mean chocolate martini too, but that’s a story for another time.
Dinner and dancing — Forty-five years of marriage — and the romance between these two is still palpable. There’s something very very special about the way the look into each others eyes.
We took all these beautiful images and a few more and bound them together into a lovely album to showcase their unique relationship and the love that has carried them through the years.
Happy anniversary Bruce and Linda! You are a most special couple. I absolutely love you to pieces!
These ladies make people look fantastic — hands down — every single day. But not long ago I got to be the one who captured their personalities and made THEM look fabulous too. Turnabout’s fair play, and it’s FUN!
Confession time! I’ve never been one of those women who gets a regular manicure or pedicure.
I used to make an effort to get my annual spring pedicure every three or four years, and I might have sprung for a luscious bottle of lacquer at the grocery store if I thought I needed a treat, but it might have been a month or more before I ever opened it up and slapped it onto my nails. Yep — that’s just how it shook out.
Perhaps I never joined the ranks of manicure mavens because I never had any daughters to share the bonding experience with. Maybe it’s because I figured my relentless gardening habits would wreck a new paintjob before the first day was out. Mostly though, I never took especially good care of my nails and feet because I didn’t have a place where I felt like the staff cared if I was there or ever came back again.
After all, our city has a nail salon, a donut shop, and a dry-cleaners on every corner.
That’s how it used to be until I discovered Sweet Three Nail Lounge here in Katy. Owner, Kristina Luong has built a lovely little welcoming retreat. She and her staff take the time to get to know their clients, and they don’t cut corners on products or cleanliness either. No WAY NO HOW!
Sweet Three is a place where you are just as likely to find yourself sitting next to a Houston Power Broker and talking business as you will be to find yourself seated between teenage sisters and engaging in a lively discussion ranging from rescue dogs to glow-in-the dark polish to tales about the escapades of learning to drive. You are as likely to seal a contract in the pedicure chair as you are to meet a new friend who thinks just like you do.
Instead of meeting for lunch or coffee, Sweet Three has become the place for networking meetings and business collaborations.
Don’t think that Sweet Three is just a ladies hangout either. If a man is man-enough for a pedi, he will soon become a devotee of this place too.
That’s right! I’ve never been a mani-pedi sort of gal, but now I never leave the lounge without making my next appointment. I love this place and you will too.
So, as Kristina says, come have a glass of wine and get your nails done. Tell them that Shelly the photographer sent you — and that you want that glass of wine
— as long as you are old enough to legally partake. Insert smiley emoticon here!
I don’t know where to begin when I talk about Chloe. Maybe this is one of those times where a picture really is worth a thousand words.
For a little background, I’ve known Chloe’s family for quite some time, and was honored beyond belief when I got to accompany them to the airport with my camera several years ago to pick up her dad after he finished his final overseas military deployment. Those old images still bring tears to my eyes when I go back through them!
And then a year ago, I got to create Chloe’s sister’s senior portraits.
So, you probably can imagine how much I was looking forward to this photoshoot.
Chloe’s a natural beauty in that fresh-scrubbed girl next door sort of style, so even when she arrived bare-faced after school, she looked gorgeous.
Then, but after a little time in the chair here at the studio with hair and makeup artist, Cintya, she absolutely GLOWED!
We built a lovely portrait album from her session, and Chloe chose some scriptures that are special to her for several of the pages.
Won’t she have fun looking at these and sharing them with her children and her nieces and nephews one day?
Oh, the leaf-drop! We threw leaves in the air over and over again until we could get a frame where the leaves were in the air but not blocking her face, and her eyes were open.
Of course it took us even longer because we were both laughing so hard!
In addition to being a very bright student, Chloe also runs cross country.
Chloe is a young woman who sees God’s love everywhere she looks — and she reflects that love and joy back to others thousand-fold. She’s spent her summer serving as a youth-group intern for her church, working with kids here in town and on mission trips.
Before long she will be on her way to East Texas Baptist University in Marshall where she will continue to grow in grace as she continues her education.
Here’s another in our series of whatever happened to the blog posts for the class of 2015.
We still haven’t answered the mystery, but at least it’s giving me an opportunity to revisit some of my favorite senior portraits from the past year.
This is Will.
I had a great time photographing Will over a period of time. He came into the studio several times. First, to help me with an advertising project, but then later for both studio and separate location sessions. He also returned for a quick multi-generational shoot with his dad and grandfather. How cool is THAT?
Get a load of this Letter Jacket! I don’t believe there’s anything Will doesn’t do well. Football, Baseball, NHS … It took a lot of talent and hard work combined to earn a jacket like this.
For now, he’s cramming in as many good home-cooked meals and fun activities with his friends before he hits the road to Waco in a matter of weeks.
That’s right — Will is now a Baylor Bear.
Think he’ll miss the City of Katy at all?
I commend this entire family for carving some time out of their schedule to stop by so that I could create a few multi-generational images of Will with his dad and grandfather. What a treasure these will be in the years to come.