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.
You may have heard that we’ve got a new Grand Dane. That’s right, our kiddos made us proud grand-pup-parents again with this handsome guy, and we couldn’t be happier.
They brought him over for dinner last week so we had to dash up to the studio for a few quick baby portraits. He is a Great Dane, so we know he won’t stay this small for long. Get a load of those PAWS!
We don’t play in the studio often together when the kids come over, but decided this would be a great occasion for our daughter in love to step into the gorgeous lilac dress that we recently added to our studio collection. Isn’t she a dream?
Laughter and puppy breath. Sooooo sweet! We had a wonderful time playing together and it is going to be so much fun watching this pup grow up. His name is Dos, and he’s the second official mascot of Grateful Dane Distilling Co. right here in Houston, Texas.
The next time you are enjoying a cold locally craft distilled beverage and wonder if there really is a Dane behind the label, now you know!
The original Grateful Dane, Jaeger, will never be replaced. He left a pretty big pawprint on our hearts to fill, but I believe Dos has begun filling that space quite nicely.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
So the month kicked off — (get it? football joke … bwahaha) with Super bowl XLIX and TV Time — football — commercials — avocados — red wine
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
February 3, 2015
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.
February 5, 2015
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.
February 6, 2015
The new office manager, Fred the Cat is in charge of catnaps and distractions. I REALLY do love my commute.
February 7, 2015
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.
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.
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.
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.
February 16, 2015
Fred has discovered the magic cursor.
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
February 22, 2015
– and it’s Fred on the Red … Carpet that is!
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
February 26 –
Spent some time this weekend photographing people photographing people. Lots of great food and fun.
February 27, 2015
Day two of the barbeque cookoff. NRG stadium, looking back across the bridge at the end of the evening
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.
So there you have it … a picture a day for MOST days in February. Happy March everyone!
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!
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.