Seniors, We’re Ba-aaAACK!

Seniors, We’re Ba-aaAACK!

It’s time to shake the dust off my blogging fingers and let the high school class of 2020 know that SPCcreative is back up and running and ready to create the perfect senior portraits for you.

The past two years have been hard for us here at SPCcreative. It was two years ago just last week that Hurricane Harvey ate our home and our studio, trying his hardest to knock us to the ground. The road back has not been a fun or easy one, but finally we are in a very good place and feel blessed beyond measure, but that’s a whole ‘nother blog post.

Over these two years, I pulled back drastically from my business to take care of our rebuilding efforts and to do my best to stay calm and focused. During that time period I did not actively market our services, and only took on a few select clients one at a time. As much as I love working with seniors, it was my choice that I only photographed SIX of them over those two years. Yep, just six. But that was good. Each session brought us new challenges that made me wonder if I should be shooting at all. Some days I could barely even find my camera. Still in spite of our need to wing it, every single one of these kids absolutely ROCKED their sessions. Check ’em out!

You’ve got to hand it to them, the kids who came to us for portraits in 2018 and 2019 were great sports. We improvised like never before, providing hair and makeup in among hanging painters drop cloths while balancing ourselves on paint buckets and hopping over stacks of flooring material.

Oh … and it was all dusty. SO.VERY. DUSTY.

We blocked up windows with black plastic and moved backdrops and lights into whatever room could offer us just a little space. We adjusted our outdoor angles to cleverly hide the contractor’s porta potty.

We laughed.

What other choice did we have?

Thankfully most of the outdoor sets in our Studio backlot survived being submerged. We tossed a few things, hosed the mud off the rest, added fresh paint here and there, and brought in a few new fun props to pull off some fun fresh concepts. Oh, and the piano! What a find! How many studios do YOU know with their very own outdoor piano?

Class of 2020 — Here’s Lookin’ at You.

This year’s gonna be so bright you’ll def need shades.

We’re currently booking senior portrait experiences for the class of 2020. With only a couple of openings left in October and November, it’s already time to plan ahead into spring break. The best dates are filling fast.

Let’s mix your look and personality with our expertise. Together we’ll create the senior portraits you’ve dreamed of. Call the studio today at 281.773.7465. Let’s start planning your portraits now.

My Life 2015 – Looking Back at February

My Life 2015 – Looking Back at February

 

 

 

Wow February went by fast, didn’t it?  My attempts at a daily non-portrait type of photo a day have not been perfect, but I”m hanging in here.  If I miss a day or two, it’s really not a big deal.  We aren’t doing this to prove anything to anyone but instead it’s a way to keep shooting things that are out of my normal realm.  And the important thing is to pick up and continue and to have fun with it.

February 1,2015

So the month kicked off — (get it?  football joke … bwahaha) with Super bowl XLIX  and TV Time — football — commercials — avocados — red wine
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February 2, 2015

Groundhog Day… Puxatawny Phil saw his shadow today…

But my favorite boyfriend brought me these pink beauties.

” … If Winter comes, can spring be far behind?” – Percy Bysshe Shelley

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February 3, 2015

Fred Helps

 When I come “home” from work, the commute is a an exhilarating 16 steps from the up to the down.  My only traffic jam consists of a rescue pointer mix or a geriatric Aussie on steps 4 and 5 from the bottom. Once I weave past that obstacle, this is what greets me in the kitchen when I arrive.    Fred has an innate tablet aptitude, and he just wants to help.

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February 5, 2015

Light Check

Just a motley collection of selfies.  I have a goofy little habit of taking selfies as I set up lights in the studio.  Sometimes I even save them, but I don’t really have anything to do with them – so I gathered up a few in one place for grins. (One day I’ll get the guts to pull the really super bad scary ones – everyone will love that! )

I have had super-short hair most of my adult life, but last summer I discovered a salon that specializes in curly hair.  We are taking the anathema of my youth to new lengths – and embracing it.  Although this collection is in no particular order, I think I will continue this little game and document our progress – as long as it lasts.

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February 6, 2015

The new office manager, Fred the Cat  is  in charge of catnaps and distractions.  I REALLY do love my commute.

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February 7, 2015

Pancakes!

Saturday mornings meant one thing in our home when I was growing up.  Pancakes!  As I got older and started spending Friday nights with friends, I was always disappointed to find that my price for a night of fun and giggles away from home usually meant cold cereal.  I just couldn’t believe that other families didn’t eat pancakes on Saturdays like we did.  What were they thinking?

Pancakes on Saturday continued as long as I can remember, except on weekends that we made WAFFLES!  Oh My!  When I was in high school, my dad got in on the act too.  He experimented with a wide array of different batter recipes and home made sourdough too.  Lots of variety, but always loads of melty butter and dripping with syrup.   To this day when I smell fresh cut grass (another Saturday tradition) it automatically triggers the thoughts of maple syrup … and bacon too.

I tried to carry the tradition forward while raising  my own kiddos.  Some weeks were more successful than others – and then my husband was diagnosed with celiac disease.  No more pancakes for us. – UNTIL a sweet neighbor gifted us with a box of King Arthur Flour Company’s Gluten-free Pancake mix and a bottle of Vermont maple syrup.  And it was GOOD!

The griddle lives again, and Saturday mornings are special once more.

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February 9, 2015

Stylus – oh the drama

When the stylus disappears, stress increases by the minute.  Found this afternoon – on the floor – under a shoe.  I think Fred the Cat may have been involved.

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February 13, 2015

Happy Valentines Day – One Day Early

Way back on our fifth anniversary, I gave Mike a box full of funny little gifts signifying our love.   Among the items, a handful of glass hearts with instructions to  carry one in his pocket as a reminder that my heart was always with him.

I didn’t just give him ONE heart.  I gave him a bag full because I didn’t want him to worry if something happened and he lost it.  I wanted him to know that we had plenty of love to spare.

Guess what … he has carried the same glass heart in his pocket every single day and never lost it.

He dropped it once, and there’s a chip in it now, but I think that gives it character.

We will celebrate our 18th anniversary in two weeks!  A heart of glass is more durable than you think it is.

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February 14, 2015

Do you dare surprise someone on their  99th birthday?

If it’s MY Mawmaw, you sure do.  Is she not amazing?

She didn’t want to have a party this year because she’s saving that for the big 100, but fortunately for us her birthday fell on a Saturday.  That made it fairly easy for nearly all of her grandchildren to gather for lunch in her hometown.  My son stood in for my brother who lives more than 700 miles away.

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February 16, 2015

Editing Photos

Fred has discovered the magic  cursor.

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February 19, 2015

Lenten Photo Challenge – Preparation

I’m going to take a stab at the Lenten Photo Challenge with devotional thoughts again this year.  Two years ago I did a pretty good job.  Last year, not so much.    Here’s to 2015…

The wooden spoons and chopsticks in my kitchen take quite a bit of abuse.  I use and misuse them all the time. They have a role in nearly everything I prepare in our little kitchen – and I’m a pretty good cook, if I do say so myself.

Nothing beats the feel of wooden spoons against a pan or in a mixing bowl, but I am not careful with them. They stir our oatmeal and then rest too close to the burner, getting scorched. They reach vitamin tablets that bounce under the stove.  I throw them into the dishwasher where they withstand heat and harsh detergent ….

 Even though I have a canister filled with wooden utensils, there are a few that I always reach for first.  These are the ones I have had the longest, too.  They just seem to be the most seem to fit my hand and work the most efficiently.  These are the ones that are worn to a rich patina,  their grain is tighter and water doesn’t damage them nearly as easily as it does the newer ones.  One of them even got caught in a blender blade once, but over time the chipped end has worn to a new funky smoothness, and it’s still a favorite.

Eventually they ALL become dry, and pale, and rough and just plain tired, so when I can, I place them all together  into a pan and season them with mineral oil.  Just rub it in real well and let’em soak overnight.    After a little time of rejuvenation and polishing with a soft cloth, they’re ready to go back into the canister by my stove where they will continue to serve well.

Sometimes after a good oiling it’s hard to distinguish the old ones from the new.

Life does that to us as humans too.  We go about our business, doing whatever needs to be done. We spend our time and energy doing things that are not always in line with our priorities.  We don’t take good care of ourselves, and we get tired, cynical, distracted, and depressed.  But there are always a few people who seem to be in the midst of every activity, every service project.  They’re the first ones to offer encouragement.  They’re the ones organizing coat and sleeping-bag drives for the poor and meal schedules for families in crisis.  They always seem to have a smile on their face, time to listen, and a warm hug to share. Sometimes they even get stuck in the blender blades of crisis themselves, and they crack a little – but they bounce back faster than others.

And we as believers gather together, the seasoned leaders and disciples, the raw eager learners, the givers, the needy,  the creative thinkers, and the organizers who bring us back onto topic… and we mingle and work together, soaking up the healing oil of hope, the balm of mercy.  And we serve  together again. Each time we are a little more scarred, a little more worn down, but also a little more trusting, a little more resilient.

I want to be like the most used and worn out spoon in the kitchen.

This is Lent, y’all.  Let’s soak up the Peace that passes all understanding so that we can do everything that we are called to do.

“ For by grace you have been saved through faith; and NOT OF YOURSELVES, it is the gift o God; not as a result of works, THAT NO ONE SHOULD BOAST. For we are His workmanship, CREATED in Chris tJesus FOR GOOD WORKS, which God prepared eforehand, that we should walk in them.”  Ephesians 2:8-10

 

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February 22, 2015

Oscar Night

– and it’s Fred on the Red … Carpet that is!

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February 23, 2015

Lenten Photo Challenge – Water

It’s mentioned more than 700 times in the Bible and it is so important to everything in history

From the days of creation to Noah’s flood to Moses’ baby basket and the parting of the Red Sea . . . through the waters of baptism to the water that Jesus turned into wine.

Cities have been founded on it.  Wars fought over it

Water … it’s  a blessing, and it’s generally abundant.  It refreshes. It makes things grow, and it  washes away the dirt.

Parts of our country are in severe drought stages. Not just one year or two with low rainfall … SEVERE!   Lakes sit stagnant and nearly empty.  Farmers have shut down operations.  Once verdant hillsides have turned brown and crispy, but when just a little bit of rain falls in those areas, the tender grass greens up quickly, wildflowers bloom, and people who are not aware of the overall situation forget that water is in short supply.  They turn back to their  wasteful ways. … and eventually the taps  WILL run dry.

Is your soul in drought?

The Living Water that our savior offers is different from the water that comes from a well or the garden hose. Take a tiny sip.  Drink up.  Jump in!  Splash around and get yourself soaked – right down to the skin.  . . .  Because  THIS water will never run out.  THIS!  This is the good stuff!

“ … but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him shall never thirst; but the water that I will give him will become in him a well of water springing up to eternal life.”  — John 4:14

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February 26 –

Spent some time this weekend photographing people photographing people.  Lots of great food and fun.

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February 27, 2015

Day two of the barbeque cookoff.  NRG stadium, looking back across the bridge at the end of the evening

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February 28

Cowboy Mardi Gras

Wrapping up the barbeque cookoff with  the amazing Dim Fiefelmann Cookers . What an amazing group of people.  They made me feel like a true part of their family.

I’ve lived in Houston for about 16 years, and have thoroughly enjoyed Rodeo Season, but this was my first experience with the cookoff.  I promise y’all, there isn’t anything else like this . . . anywhere.

1/5 second at f 2.8  while zooming. Shot with rear curtain flash, a technique that needs a little more practice.

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So there you have it … a picture a day for MOST days in February.  Happy March everyone!

Angel Gowns for Angel Babies Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep

Last week I met up with a lady  in the parking lot of a bank.  She opened the trunk of her SUV to reveal baskets of beautiful tiny silk and satin treasures — baby outfits.  Whoah, they were GORGEOUS , with lace and pearls, and elaborate embellishments, even tiny bow-ties . . . and the BONNETS!  Oh Swoon!

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Angel Gowns by Diane donated a supply of handmade gowns to photographers who volunteer with Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep. From left: Emily Crump, Affiliated Photographer; Renae Carr, Area Coordinator; Pamela Schwarz, Community Volunteer; Pamela Contreras, Area Coordinator; and Shelly Chetty, Area Coordinator

I hope and pray that nobody reading this post EVER becomes the recipient of one of these gowns, because they were sewn for babies who don’t get to go home with their families and grow up.  But if you should ever go through an infant loss,  and see one of these gowns or use the services of a Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep photographer, please know that your baby will be wrapped in LOVE!

You see, these aren’t just beautiful baby dresses. They have been lovingly crafted from wedding dresses by a newly-formed group of volunteers in the Katy area, Angel Gowns by Diane .   Their concept is to use memento from a happy and joyful day to help ease the sting of sadness and grief when a baby dies.  This specific supply of gowns in preemie to newborn sizes is going to the local professional photographers who serve with Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep, a worldwide nonprofit organization that provides bereavement photography at no charge to families The Angel Gowns group also contributes their gowns directly to hospitals in the area.

Want to get involved?  Want to help?

First — NILMDTS is in DESPERATE need of more qualified professional photographers, both in the Houston area and throughout the United States.  In Houston we ask our photographers to be on call and  available to go  to the Texas Medical Center just one day a month, and to help with suburban cases near their homes or studios on an as-needed basis. If you know a photographer or if you are one, I  (or one of the other two local NILMDTS Area Coordinators) will help get you through the application process.  You will receive training, and one of us will actually accompany you on your first shoot  and walk you through the process so that it’s not as intimidating  the next time around.

It’s just SO STINKIN’ SAD when a hospital calls us, and we do not have a photographer available to create beautiful images for the grieving family. There are SO MANY TALENTED photographers in this city, and I believe that just about anyone who wants to can find a way to schedule one non-appointment day a month to  be available provide this gift of healing.  Please check out the NILMDTS Web Site to learn more about our organization.

If you’re not  a photographer,

you CAN still talk to photographers you know and encourage them to get involved.

Also, I know that NILMDTS operates on a shoestring.  Tax Deductible financial contributions will help keep the organization’s website and resources up to date and to provide training and support for volunteers.  

And if you’d like to  to get involved with Angel Gowns by Diane.  They need

  • wedding dress donations
  • people to dismantle the dresses, cut patterns and/or sew the gowns
  • people to help coordinate with area NICU’s and with NILMDTS.
  • People to pick up and deliver donated dresses

Just check out their facebook page (I understand that a full website is in the works) for more details.

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Flash Turns Day into Night for a Volunteer Squash – Something Different for Backyard Photography

Every once in a blue moon I allow myself a little time to just play.

It’s fun.

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.

SO………

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.

 

Isn’t She Lovely! – Katy Houston Women’s Glamour Photographer

This is something relatively new to my studio…

 I have found an amazing makeup artist, Rachael Elise Walker of Elise  Artistry.  She is absolutely DA BOMB!  I don’t care if we’re working with our high school seniors or with women who have attained a certain um…. er… level of wisdom and maturity.  She can make a lady shine… and simply adjust the lights and capture her magic.

So…  I tell all my girlfriends that they should take the time to have portraits created NOW while they are in their (insert decade here)  and not wait until they are the age their mothers currently are.  Hey what the heck!  If they are fortunate enough to still have their mothers around, I think they should bring their mothers in for a very special  session together …. but …. I digress.

Here’s what Rachael did for my friend and neighbor, Linda.

 

If you are already a client of mine, chances are that you’ve met Linda.  She lives at my address but one street over.  For some reason an uncanny number of overexhuberant GPS systems tell people to turn before my block and… there they are… at Linda’s door.  If you haven’t met her that way, you still might recognize  her from a session I did with her and her sisters nearly a year ago when she was celebrating a particularly important milestone birthday.

https://spccreative.net/2012/08/sisters-and-forever-friends/

My goal is to show a woman at her very best.  Nothing crazy or pretentious — unless she wants to be crazy and pretentious — then all bets are off.    But, Linda’s got it going on… don’tcha think?   AND she’s not afraid to let it shine.

How about you?  Are you up for a little bit of studio magic to create a special heirloom treasure for your family?  You’ll love it, and so will  the people who love you the most …. and they are plenty.

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