Executive Branding Portraits | Katy West Houston Photographer

This was one of my favorite sessions in a while, and we are just now getting it up onto the blog. Congratulations to Robin who just recently started a new position with an executive concierge-healthcare organization.

Robin is one of those people who lights up a room the minute she walks in. Everyone wants to be her friend, and I’ve never met anyone more poised, polished, friendly, and KIND!

She wanted a portfolio of images that showed her powerful presence while still allowing her friendliness and penchant for fun to shine through.

I believe we nailed it!

Branding Photography– A Wellness Coach for People and Pets | Katy Houston Photographer

Branding Photography– A Wellness Coach for People and Pets | Katy Houston Photographer

It’s February! How are your New Years Resolutions going?

Have you ever thought it might be great to work with a wellness coach if only you wouldn’t have to give up wine and chocolate?

No more excuses! I’ve found your person in Blair Johnson of Blair Johnson Wellness. Added bonus: She won’t just help you get healthier, she’ll do wonders with your pets’ health too.

Her approach involves a healthy balance incorporating the things that add joy to your life — wine — chocolate — yoga — pets — laughter — friends.

Blair specializes in preventive and remedial healthcare for pets and their peoples, and I know for a fact that she has a great rapport with the four legged variety. Let her into YOUR life, and she will quickly become your dog’s second best friend too. My Lucy adores her — as do my cats!

Who do you know that can actually get a high five from a cat? Blair can! Our Fred and Pearlie Girl think that she is absolutely the Cat’s MEOW!

Need a speaker for an organization? I’ve heard Blair make presentations to several different groups since I have known her, and she is fabulously entertaining and extremely informative. Whether your group is interested in physical health, emotional wellness, or caring for pets, she’ll have your organization captivated. Here’s a link to her site for more information!

Fabulously Fit|Katy Houston Photographer

Fabulously Fit|Katy Houston Photographer

When you’re toned and fit, you not only feel better, you LOOK fabulous! Read on for the celebration of someone amazing.

Hair and Makeup by Cintya Velderrain

This woman is some sort of superhero if you ask me. Tamara’s all about clean healthy living while enjoying life to its fullest. She’s also intent on striving for fitness while accepting her body as it is. When we started planning her fitness portrait session, this mom of seven — yes SEVEN children made it clear that she wanted to look great but that she didn’t want extra retouching or shaping. She wanted to capture her image as it is!

That is so refreshing to me. I love seeing women who are comfortable in their own skin. That said, we agreed to keep it real. Still … just WOW!

“The reason I started improving my fitmess and health is that I felt God had something important for me to do and I needed to be stronger physically, mentally, and emotionally in order to be able to do it,” says Tamara.

“In the past, getting into shape meant hating my body and beating it into submission with hard exercise and depriving myself of foods I enjoyed eating. This time it meant loving my body the way it was and encouraging it to move in way that felt good and feeding it food that gave it good energy,” she added.

“This is why I didn’t want my photos to be ‘touched up.’ My body has always given me its best no matter how well or poorly I cared for it and I think that’s what true beauty is. I want people to see that cellulite and stretch marks and wrinkles and spider veins are part of a whole body that has shown me unconditional love and helped me do incredible things that are truly beautiful. That’s what my work is. Showing people how to love themselves and give back the very best to their bodies so they can do all they feel called to do.”

Tamara’s fitness routine is never the same two days in a row. She enjoys weights and yoga, but also picked up ice skating for her 46th birthday. Many Saturdays you can find her leading a hiking group as they explore a State park or wildlife preserve together.

She knows a wealth of information about healing with essential oils and natural methods, and has a great following at Tamara’s Essential Wellness For Life.

Check out her page at the link above.

Not only has Tamara has spent years studying the intricacies of using the oils along with other pure and natural methods of healing and prevention, but she can also hook you up with all the wonderful Do-Terra products. She will work with you to make sure you know how to best use them too.

As we enter a new year and a new decade, we’re all looking at ways to become healthier, stronger, and happier. I am so happy to know and work with Tamara both as a portraiture client AND as a wellness consultant for me and my family. She is a true inspiration.

If you are into fitness, I’d love to celebrate and preserve the beauty of your strength and your body with you. Call the studio today at 281.773.7465, and let’s create a portraiture plan designed just for you.

The Craziest Card of the Season and How We Pulled it Off – Katy Houston Photographer

The Craziest Card of the Season and How We Pulled it Off – Katy Houston Photographer

When it comes to holidays, they say that if you do something twice it becomes a tradition. Well, this is the third year running that we have created a fun story-telling Christmas card for the Wallace Family and these cards have been ANYTHING but traditional. This year we staged an all out down and dirty food fight. Festivus to the Extreme!

Festivus to the Extreme

Back in 2017 we created a kitchen disaster complete with fire, footballs, and flying flour and then 2018 brought the living room legacy of the falling Christmas tree, broken and falling ornaments, and a live electrical shock.

For a look back at the first two years of our project, just click on this link.

While I had played around with some composite work before, I knew that I needed to step up my game so our first year I turned to my friend and photography instructor Dan McClanahan for pointers. I had participated in Dan’s Hawaiian Photography Retreat and Workshop that summer and was blown away by his skills and talent, including his now famous work Friday Night Food Fight. You may see a few similarities here, and I will admit that his piece provided a good bit of inspiration for us this year. Anyway, Dan most graciously provided critiques and tips to help us out.

This year when the Wallaces requested a food fight, I was excited but also concerned about doing anything that would copy Dan’s image too closely and I was hesitant to even ask him for help this time. SO first so we set up some ground rules of our own No copying of his poses or pranks. This meant no spaghetti on the chandelier, and especially no skewered chicken or the ultimate pie pan landing like a hat. In the end I did send him our image and he still helped me improve it a bit. This is one thing I absolutely love about having talented friends and mentors in this industry, people who share knowledge and help each other expand skills.

The first image we created was a very formal beautifully set table which would become the front cover of our card. I’m sure recipients who now look forward to receiving this family’s card every year were confused. Brinkley, the dog seated at the table was the only thing even remotely unusual at first glance. — Oh — and the artwork on the wall — and maybe the mischevious grins on every face. They had to actually OPEN the card to reveal the big surprise.

This project is actually a composite of several images with each person being photographed separately to capture the best action from everyone. We shot in the very brave clients’ own dining room so that we could incorporate their own light fixture and furniture. Our first task was to block out the back window with a painters drop cloth so that we could replace it with a solid wall that would include our two earlier projects.

Once we had that formal image down we messed up the table and the fun began. We knew we were on a roll when we nailed our very first shot, Brinkley catching his favorite treat, a marshmallow, midair. Then we began dripping food onto dress clothes one person at a time, careful to make sure the cranberry sauce didn’t look too much like a gunshot wound. Somewhere along the line the carving knife ended up in the ice tea pitcher so we left it there as we photographed each family member individually.

SAFETY NOTICE: The wood floors became SUPER slippery , so when Braden tipped his chair back, we had older brother, Joshua, securing the feet to keep it from slipping out from under him. A word of warning — repeated for anyone who wants to try this at home — the wood floor became VERY slippery with spilled gravy, potatoes, and jello.

No humans or dogs, however, were injured in the making of this image.

After cleanup in the house, behind-the scenes-magic began. First I created clipping masks of each person and then dropped them all into a shot of the table.

This created a flat cartoonish looking image that became our starting point. I could tell right away that Brinkley didn’t have enough personal space in his original position, so we flipped him around and moved him to the other side of the table. We also needed a little more food in the air so I purchased a bag of frozen veggies, sprinkled them onto a foam board in an arching shape where I photographed them in my studio.

Next it was time to add the artwork to the walls, re-construct the actual floor and baseboards without the sideboard buffets, and to burn in some shadows for depth. Voila!

In the true spirit of Christmas, the Wallace family says it’s always better to give than to receive. And they were still laughing and smiling as we finished and cleaned up. Yes — Dad DID get to smack his youngest son with a cherry pie. Oh MY!

We are already working up plans for 2020 and I can hardly wait. In the meantime, HAPPY HOLIDAYS!

I would LOVE to tell YOUR family story in a fun and unique way too.
If you would like a personalized story-telling family portrait or Christmas card of your own, reach out to me at SPCcreative.com now. These things take time to dream up and create. Let’s start now.

In the meantime, May your Days be Messy and Bright.

A Simply Glamorous Bride|Katy Houston Portrait Photographer

Makeup: Brandi Alea/Hollywood Hippie

Hair: Tisha Zuercher

Flowers: Kim Boyd-DeBerry/ Boyds Blossoms

One of the hardest things about creating bridal portraits is waiting until AFTER the wedding to share the images, but now that Leah and Ben are an officially married couple, here she is!

Traditional beauty with an artsy Boho vibe capturing moods of awe, wonder, and a little bit of fantasy. That’s what Leah wanted in her bridal portraits, and we were more than happy to deliver from Dutch Master dark styling with rich colors, intense light and deep shadows to a flying Disney-esque princess.

Leah’s bouquet, an abundance of delphinium, dianthus, eucalyptus, and sweeping greens designed by Kim Boyd-DeBerry of Boyd’s Blossoms in Baytown lit up the room almost as much as our bride did. Soooooo! Gorgeous!

Leah brought her own hairdresser and makeup artist to our portrait session so that they could all get a trial run together. Tisha Zuercher of TMZ styled those fantasy locks, and I was beyond excited when I learned that Brandi Alea, owner and founder of Hollywood Hippie Cosmetics would be in charge of her makeup. I’ve known Brandi and worked with her in studio countless times before, so it I knew from the beginning that Leah’s look would be in the best of hands.

In addition to gorgeous traditional images, I wanted to create a fantasy portrait for Leah, something like a real live Disney princess on her magical day. This was all in fun, but I love the way she seems to glide through the clouds.

The day we held our portrait session was a warm muggy Houston-style early fall afternoon so we chose to do most of our work inside the studio with the air conditioner cranked. We did, however, wrap things up outdoors to add a little landscape and warm fall colors to our collection.

Best wishes to Leah and Ben. May you both be blessed and joyful together for years to come.

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.

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