Celebrate Success|Katy Houston Branding Photographer

This last week proved a huge milestone for Laura Frnka Davis, APR and we are beyond delighted to celebrate with her. This month she celebrates one whirlwind crazy busy and successful year for her new public relations agency, LFD Communications. As part of her celebration Laura came to SPCcreative for a curated portfolio of studio portraits to use in promoting herself and her business. Special thanks to Cintya Velderrain for Hair and Makeup!

It was just a year ago that life kicked Laura in the teeth. She lost a job where she had worked diligently for nearly ten years. The loss came as a shock and sent her reeling — but not for long.

This powerhouse of a woman didn’t sit around feeling sorry for herself — not for a minute. She picked up the phone, started calling colleagues she had worked with in the Public Relations profession, and began making connections. Within a year she not only founded LFD Communications, she has achieved a phenomenal success rate for her clients by developing extensive communications plans, booking television, radio, and online appearances, and placing written articles in The Houston Chronicle, Houston Business Journal, and trade publications.

LFD Communications offers communication strategies, writing and editing services, digital marketing, media relations coaching, and social media for nonprofit organizations as well as corporations.

If your organization has a story to tell and wants results, give Laura a call. She can help.

Oh yeah, I nearly forgot to mention … she’s an avid supporter of her Alma Mater, Texas A&M.

Portraits for the Pastor | Katy Houston Photographer

I’ve always believed that God sends us exactly what we need, precisely when we need it, in His absolute perfect timing. The man you are about to meet, Pastor Leo Tyler, is a prime example of this. He came to lead our church at just the right time a little over two years ago.

I was honored to create a series of portraits for for him so that our church could put his face on social media and printed materials as we share our many growing ministries.

A little over two years ago our congregation at Bear Creek United Methodist Church seemed adrift. Oh, we had a firm anchor in Christ and wonderful people who wanted to to do great things but we simply couldn’t seem to catch the wind in our sails. From my pew, it sadly looked as if we had become another of the dying churches across America. To be honest, we were a lot of gray haired white folks with very little to offer the younger generations or the diverse neighborhood that had developed around our building.

Thankfully Leo came in equipped to change all that. He has a God-given gift of relating to people on an individual level, finding their skill sets, and putting them to work — together — for good. His enthusiasm and joy for Jesus are downright contagious.

In the two short years since Leo took the helm of our ship, we’ve done things quite a bit differently than in the past — and the change has been dynamic!

Whatever you do, do it as for The LORD.

We have grown in numbers and in spirit. Our youth and children’s programs are flourishing, and we have become a very well-respected resource for our members and for the community. We’re even in the process of becoming a flagship community health center, educating and equipping the our neighbors to make better nutrition, lifestyle, and medical choices. As our community learns how much we care about them, they are learning to trust us as their spiritual family too.

I love what I see happening in our little church these days and would love to invite YOU, dear reader, to be our guest. Whatever worship style speaks to your heart, we have one for you. Traditional worship starts at 9:00 a.m., and our contemporary bi-lingual service begins at 11:15.

Just come. You’ll find Jesus through the joy, acceptance, friendly people, and sincere prayers. Maybe you’ll even find a new church home of your own.

You’ll also find Pastor Leo.

And I know what he will say.

He would LOVE to be YOUR pastor too.

Bear Creek United Methodist Church is located at 16000 Rippling Water, just off HWY 6 near Keith Harrow in Katy, Texas.

Check out our website for more information.

Not Your Mama’s Christmas Cards – Katy Houston Photographer

Not Your Mama’s Christmas Cards – Katy Houston Photographer

 I simply MUST share my favorite new Christmas Tradition with you.  If you do something twice during the holidays and you enjoy it, it becomes a tradition, right?

THIS is how the Wallace Family  of Katy, Texas rolls!

Seriously, they’ve got to be the FUNNEST Christmas Family in Texas.

You see, It all started when Mom, Jenny,  called in 2017 looking for a fun and unique family Christmas card. They had a general concept in mind, but needed a pro to help them pull it off. Oh my goodness!  It was exactly the project that had been bubbling in my own brain for quite a while, and suddenly these people just called me to create it! How does that even happen? Did I ever tell you how much I LOVE my job?

As we began planning for our session, I reached out to one of my photography instructors and friends, Dan McLanahan. Dan is very well-known in professional circles  for his amazing skills and talents, but my brain at this time was  all-consumed  by the reknown “Friday Night Food Fight” composite that he had created a year before.   Click on this link to check it out!    Dan gave me some pointers to help make our session go smoothly, and he also offered a gentle but extremely helpful critique during the post-production stages of  Christmas Kitchen Chaos 2017.

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The magic of a project like this comes in compiling  several photographs until one composite image is complete. I don’t know what part of this scenario I enjoyed the most.

It could have been Scott’s flaming skillet. (Yes we used real fire).

Or Jenny’s flying flour  which looked so realistic because the sons hid behind the island throwing flour and mashed potato flakes into the air until we captured our perfect messy cloud.

Maybe it was Braden’s athletic skills catching a football mid-air with his LEFT hand so that we could still see his face –HOW MANY TIMES?

 Josh’s feigned  boredom with the whole scenario absolutely cracked me up because it couldn’t have been further from reality. In fact, he offered keen thoughts, insight, and even served as a voice-activated lightstand  throughout the session both last year and this year.

However, the story I LOVE to tell about this shoot is about the family dog, Brinkley. This dog is so well-trained that  he absolutely refused to steal the lasagna off the counter. In order to make that scenario happen, we had to send dad to another part of the house while Jenny and the sons coerced and tempted him.

This was my first ever attempt at a relatively complex composite image, and it was so much fun.  The Christmas card recipients started asking what this year’s card would look like, and the Wallaces quickly realized that they couldn’t ever go back to a traditional smiling family portrait card.

When they called me this year, we sat down together and brainstormed until we came up with a new concept.

Deck the Halls  — Wallace Style

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The family has actually experienced a couple of real-life falling Christmas tree incidents, so they knew that their friends and relatives would understand the significance.

Everyone maintained their  basic persona from 2017.  Jenny’s tripping over her own enthusiasm, and so surprised that she’s practically juggling the ornaments as they smash to the floor. Josh is once again absorbed in his  technology and light untangling mess. Braden’s adding Santa to the top of the tree — Elf Style. And of course we’ve got Scott, once again about to burn down the house with his Griswold-inspired electrical connection.

We even included last year’s card on the television screen at the back of the room.

Best memory from this year’s photography session?  The pure thrill on the guys’ faces when they got to actually throw glass ornaments up into the air, allowing them to smash on the ground. Josh said it was the one thing that you’re always told not to do.

“Don’t drop the ornaments, don’t let them break, be careful with them. Don’t make a mess.” 

But on this one day we shattered ornaments on the floor and made a royal mess.

Merry Christmas from SPCcreative Photography via The Wallace Family.

I will let one little secret out of the bag.

We’ve already started planning for 2019.

What will it be?  I’ll never tell.

 

The Amazing Energy Wizard – Katy Houston Branding Photographer

Keveney Evanne is one of those people who just draws you in with a feeling of calm confidence all  wrapped up with a big,  bold,  energetic twist.

 And after spending some time with her, I left feeling refreshed and confident.  Now, if THAT wasn’t backwards!  After all, as a photographer I consider a large part of my job to be putting my client at ease and making HER feel comfortable enough to bare her soul for my lens.  In this case, it’s almost as if the energy was reversed.

That really comes as no surprise, though, because Keveney IS The Energy Wizard. and I was delighted to work with her as she re-branded her personal coaching business, Keveneyevanne.com.

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 Now, I’ll be the first to admit that  in talking with her to plan her photography session, I was a little bit — okay,  a good bit —  out of my element.  After all, I’m just a small town gal  from Midland-Gosh-Dern-Texas who never was even  exposed to concepts like chakras, auric cleansing, or universal law.   The theories always intrigued me but I truly knew nothing of them.

Please don’t laugh, but  my first though was, “How do we illustrate Keveney’s work without  falling into Harry Potter meets Fairy Godmother?”

Ha! It wasn’t hard at all.

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Keveney’s brand is solid and grounded because she works with high-level professionals who don’t mess around. Still, she is serenely uplifting. She uses a palette of deep rich plum and violet along with natural elements, calmexpressions peppered with joyful invitation.

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She helps people like lawyers, engineers, doctors, professional coaches — and even their pets– break free from the the illusions of what society says their life should be. Together they align their goals and actions with  their intuition,  otherwise known as their “gut.”

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Keveney  describes herself as a free spirit who had achieved a wildly successful life  with a thriving legal career, beautiful home, loving husband, two great dogs, and more. Still she  became disenchanted, so she started to wander.

She didn’t just  aimlessly amble around until she found something palatable. She set aside her  legal practice and took on adventures  that could conceivably become another “Eat, Pray, Love” genre novel.    She practiced yoga in Costa Rica. She cooked alongside  award-winning Native American chefs and built a sweat lodge with shamans in New Mexico.   She studied with a world renowned animal communicator at a horse rescue in the Texas Panhandle.  She learned about ancient healing and energetic technologies… And she played on the beaches of California.

Now settled back in Houston, she puts all that she has learned together to help others move past their history to a different and fulfilling mindset.

I loved working with her — and have learned so much just by hanging out with her for a while. It will be fun to watch her prosper along with her clients.

Visit her new website to learn more.

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Personal Branding for a Spectacular Stylist|Katy Houston Photographer

Personal Branding for a Spectacular Stylist|Katy Houston Photographer

Professional Networking — THIS is What it’s All About

Here’s what I remember from the first time I ever met Jennifer Boisvert.    I had just started dipping my toes into whole concept of  business networking activities.  For the uninitiated, there’s a whole subculture of networking in the small business community and it is amazing. Events are usually centered around a meal or a happy hour where  groups of people  from different professions gather to  share information about themselves and their businesses.  Occasionally someone closes a sale with a new contact, but more often than not it’s the ongoing cultivation of relationships and connections that keep us coming back.  These ever evolving relationships open doors and opportunities, but for an introvert like me, getting to that point is more than just a little bit out of our comfortable box.

Seriously, I think this was the first networking meeting of any sort that I EVER attended. Women Helping Women 2 Network was a brand new fledgling group at the time.  I didn’t know a soul in the room. I didn’t know what to expect, but I had made up my mind to put myself out there with a goal of meeting just two or three people by the end of the luncheon.

 Baby steps, right?  What I really wanted was to quietly escape from the room, run for the safety of my car, and not have to worry about remembering names of people I had just met, presenting a memorable 30 second commercial, or (flash back to junior high) FIT IN.

But there was no escaping. I had already committed to stay.

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 And through the door flies this charismatic, ebullient red-headed tornado in the most perfect emerald green a-line dress I had ever seen. Her personality  filled the room and busted out the windows, raining down on everyone present like super-powered glitter.  I was in total awe. We started talking, and within minutes I felt comfortable in a room full of strangers — as if I could possibly actually make it through the meeting and even enjoy it.

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Fast forward  about two  and a half years.

That fiery tornado of a woman chose MY studio for her personal branding portrait session.  When she arrived  along with  Andrea, her childhood friend who was visiting from Canada, we carried in loads and loads and LOADS  of clothes.

GLORIOUS clothes.

I wouldn’t have expected less. After all, Jennifer is a fabulous stylist and image consultant and also a managing partner with J. Hilburn, a luxury line of custom mens’ clothing. She has also been named one of the best Personal Stylists & Shoppers by CBS Houston.

We can all use a helping hand with our personal image, so  CLICK HERE to learn more and start spiffing up YOUR image with Jennifer’s help.

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An amazing anchor to many of our branding portrait sessions is Brandie Seifert, founder of Hollywood Hippie Cosmetics.  The talented and oh-so-adorable Brandie always provides just  je ne sais quois with her professional makeup application and hair styling in-studio. She makes everyone look great, and our time with Jennifer was one of the most fun EVER!

Another special  friend and colleague, Suzanne Joffrion with esbe Designs met with Jennifer before our session to provide the gorgeous jewelry assortment you’ll see in these photographs.

And to think — I would not know any of  these women if I had not become involved in the professional networking activities that are available in my community, specifically Women Helping Women 2 Network.

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We wanted to capture Jennifer’s fun and outgoing spirit along with  her elite professional brand, so we worked together as a team to create images using different outfits, poses, and expressions. Our consistent lighting style brought a cohesiveness to the overall portfolio, tying everything together beautifully.

One important part of the J. Hilburn brand incorporates the blue measuring tape, a critical tool in perfecting  the custom wardrobe orders  for her male clients, so we made a point to include that tape in several poses throughout our session.

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2017-06-29_0010 2017-06-29_0005 2017-06-29_0004 2017-06-29_0003Jennifer’s style is certainly varied — but always polished and sharp.   LOVED this funky graphic tee paired with a traditional blue blazer and shorts almost as much as that gorgeous plum colored dress.  Who would have thought to put something together like that? Jennifer did.  That’s who.

Related Links:

Jennifer Boisvert Personal Shop and Style

Jennifer Boisvert J Hilburn Luxury Collection for Men

Brandie Seifert, HMUA Hollywood Hippie Cosmetics

Suzanne Joffrion Jewelry by Esbe Designs

Women Helping Women 2 Network

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Headshots & More for a Maven of Teas & Spices – Katy Houston Photographer

WORD-NERD ALERT!

This girl learned something new the other day, so I’m going to share it with you.

Did you know that the art of reading tea leaves is called TASSEOGRAPHY?  I didn’t, but it completely makes sense.  After all,  Tasse  means “cup” in German, French, and probably about a bazillion other languages, and of course -graphy is the Greek word for writing.

So… I looked into my own cup after working with LaShan, and there it was, just as plain as day.  The tea leaves said, “You will soon hear a whole lot more about this beautiful lady who is in your studio.”

Oh my goodness, what a time we had.  The tea was fresh pressed; the laughter, heart-felt; and the spirit, sincere.

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LaShan is the proprietress of  a culinary treasure-trove called Three Lumps of Sugar.   She mixes and markets fresh blends of loose-leaf tea, spices, and artisan sugars and salts for  creative cooks and bartenders.

You can – and SHOULD –  learn more about her business HERE

To kick things off, she needed a new headshot and  we leveraged her  session to the next level. While staying true to her personality and style, we created a lovely variety of story-telling images that she can use in her social media, website, marketing materials and more.  And we had a great time doing it.  2017-03-30_0003

2017-03-30_0002Here’s what LaShan had to say  —

“We’ve  all heard the expression, “A picture is worth a thousand words”.   As an entrepreneur, building a brand is crucial.  Customers respond not only to your products, but also to you as the business owner.  The business really is an extension of you and your imaging conveys a lot.   

I was so pleased to work with Shelly.  She managed to capture the true essence of who I am and what my company means to me.  Both my company and I are fun, playful, and creative.  I think my pictures say exactly that without any words at all.  At Three Lumps of Sugar we create and sell teas, spices, and artisan sugars and salts for bartending.  Our images need to appeal to those who would  purchase our products. 

I arrived for the day and had a consultation with the makeup artist and looked at possible backdrops.  We even gave consideration to clothing choices.  Shelly took the time and effort to try new things and incorporated my suggestions.  I am not a makeup kinda girl, so I was unsure about the makeup.  But, when I came to see the proofs – WOW!!!  There were so many that I loved and it was hard to narrow it down to just 1 or 2, so I picked 5!! “

 

Thank you, LaShan, for trusting me with your image and for the very kind words.  I can’t wait to sample the whole line of your yummy concoctions very soon.

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