Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Anna Banana

This past weekend was devoted to all things Anna Banana. Sweet Anna that I have previously blogged about is just 31 days away from marrying the love of her life, Andrew. I. CANNOT. WAIT. If their engagement session was any indication, their wedding is going to blow my creative mind. So excited and so honored to be their photographer!

On Saturday, I was delighted to have the opportunity to attend one of the most touching, encouraging, tender bridal showers I have ever been to. One thing is for certain, Anna is loved. Deeply. The women there laughed, cried, prayed and just showered her with advice, love, support and happiness for this amazing woman about to embark on life's sweetest journey. I can't say that I expected to be inspired and uplifted. But I was. The wisdom that was shared was a good lesson for me in my own marriage and I walked away thinking, "Wow. I am so blessed to know her." It was a beautiful day for a beautiful girl. The theme was big hats, which although challenging from a light standpoint, was AWESOME. Love, love, love ladies in big hats. Classic and cute. Here is Miss Anna Banana with her sister and closest friends. Don't they look AMAZING?!

And here is just a funky shot of the floral arrangements that had this swirly, sparkly, nifty firework looking thing going on. LOVE!

Now onto the really cool part. Ok, so I'm biased. Anna had the neatest idea! She printed out photos from our engagement session and put magnets on the back. She had them hung on a little clothes line above the cake and punch, so everyone could enjoy seeing her and Andrew together while they mingled. The best part was that everyone got to pick a photo off of the clothes line at the end of the shower to keep! Every person got to go home with a little piece of Anna & Andrew AND a little piece of me! I felt so special, and I have to admit, I was touched to see my work in print. It always feels extra special to see the end result of all that work and enjoy the smiles and coos of ladies with big hats as they delight in them. I think I might try to encourage future clients to do similar and get the photos printed for them on card stock with my contact information on the back. What a great way to market!!

And finally...what you've all been waiting for...the bachelorette party. Too bad, so sad...this is all you get to see!

The rest...well...that's in the vault. ;)

Monday, June 21, 2010

KatyFest 2010


KATYFEST 2010 commences NOW!

It's go time. 9 whole uninterrupted days of focused Katy time. I have decided to reward myself with a focused "vacation" of sorts, where I have committed a whole work week and then some to nothing but photography. With my daughter off to be spoiled rotten by her grandparents all week and my hubby at work, the house is quiet and ALL MINE. My task list is about a million miles long, with unfinished projects, client sessions, marketing strategies and random dreams all sitting right in front of me with my full attention for the first time in...oh wait...never. I am so excited about what I will be able to accomplish this week and even more excited to share the fruits of my labor with you.

Today, Monday, Day 1 of KatyFest begins with this blog post and then diving into edits from my weekend events. As the week progresses, I hope to possibly launch a new website (or at least have the creation process well underway), will have sorted through my archives for potential hopefuls for stock photography, will have finally tackled my softbox and figured out what in the world it does and how to use it...and the list goes on and on. KatyFest will finish up with a drive up to DC to attend the Showit Freedom Tour 2010 ( So excited to see new friends, meet some brilliant photographers and be inspired!

Just as a quick start to all things KATY! I must show you my most recent, beloved creation. My shootsac by Jessica Claire (, with a little Katy added for good measure. LOVE IT!

And for those of you who would like to see what will be my world for the duration of KatyFest 2010, here is my little home "bat cave" of creativity. (Minus me...who might still be in pajamas...with no makeup...and it's glorious.)

Monday, June 14, 2010

A Tiny Compassion

In one of my efforts to be Mom Extraordinaire, several weeks back I ordered Emily some larvae for a Butterfly Kit she received for Christmas. Yes, Christmas as in 6 months ago…Hey, what can I say? I’m a bit behind schedule in claiming my title as Best Mom Ever. Ah well. Continuing on…this kit came with some larvae in a little cup filled with apparently tasty food to help them grow and flourish. Several days into their vacation at Casa de Los Blevins, they hung themselves up on the top of the cup and entered the chrysalis phase.

Fast forward a few more days until this past Saturday. On a random cursory cleaning of Emily’s room, I happened to peak into the cup and to my delight and absolute horror, there were butterflies in there! (Mom Extraordinaire dropped the ball again! The butterflies weren’t supposed to hatch for a few more days after they had been safely transferred to their butterfly net resort home. Strike two. Ah well.) As Emily and I ran around like crazy nuts trying to find the net and transfer the cup and its contents accordingly, I thought to myself, “Wow. God is amazing. Here I am with my daughter, and we are watching butterflies emerge from tiny cocoons. Real time. Cool.”

We safely transferred two remaining cocoons and one butterfly to the net, but just couldn’t get this one butterfly to budge from the cup! He kept climbing to the top, teetering on the edge, and then turning back around and speedily climbing back down as deep as he could. Frustrated, I finally picked up the cup to look inside to see what in the world was keeping him and what I found stopped my heart.

Unbeknownst to Emily and me, a third butterfly had hatched in the cup, but had been buried with food and was dangerously trapped in silk, his poor wings collapsed. He had all but blended in with his surroundings and most certainly would have been inadvertently thrown away. But here was the other butterfly that wouldn’t leave the cup, down in the bottom standing over him. As I watched breathlessly, he started to move his legs all over his hurt friend, pulling silk away from him and working hard to dig him out. I felt like I could hear his tiny voice saying, “There is one more here! Help me! Save him! Come on, friend! We are leaving the cup! You can do it!” I was awestruck and utterly speechless, but thankfully had enough insight to call Emily over to marvel together at this tiny compassion.

I could draw all kinds of metaphors to comment on some deeper life lessons as they relate to trials and tribulations, friendships, adversity and triumph…but I won’t. I’ll just say this: If God so loved the world that He gave a tiny insect, whose life on this planet will not exceed more than even a few short weeks, a heart of compassion and a spirit of courage, how much more must He love you, His child?

Thursday, June 10, 2010

The Dance

Meet Anna and Andrew. While attending high school together, even though the stunningly beautiful Anna sported a giant crush on Andrew, the sparks just didn’t fly. Fast forward to college, where they once again ended up on the same campus and wouldn’t you know, sparks didn’t just fly…they cosmically exploded in one of those divine moments where the timing of two hearts are just right and they suddenly come into perfect sync with each other.

I am blessed to have the opportunity to share in Anna and Andrew’s upcoming July 31st wedding, which is sure to be the celebration of the century as two people, wholly and unabashedly devoted to each other, finally come together in an everlasting union that has been a long time coming!

This is the stuff fairy tales are made of.

I had the great pleasure of planning some time to shoot Anna and Andrew together at the nearby Oak Grove Park. They had already had engagement shots done off at college, but we planned a special day anyways. Not only to give them some fresh new looks, but to more importantly give us an opportunity to spend some time together and get to know each other before the “big day.” As an aside, whenever this opportunity is presented to you as a photographer, TAKE IT. There is nothing more helpful than time when trying to find the best way to help someone warm up to the camera to produce captivating images that truly highlight their personality and emotions. To say this time with Anna and Andrew ended up being a total luxury to me doesn’t quite adequately describe it.

These two love birds are just mad about each other. Absolutely 100% head over heels twitterpated. And they don’t care who knows it! They were willing to be creative, try different ideas and poses, different spots that we trekked through the park wilderness to explore (constant tick checks, ah!!), but most importantly, there was not one ounce of hesitation in showing me how much they loved each other. Their chemistry is palpable, out of this world, if not to say utterly overwhelming. I found myself entirely speechless, barely giving any direction as they just enjoyed being near each other. So sweet, so simple, so real. At one point, as I was excitedly oohing and ahhing over the playbacks in the camera, Andrew said “You are having way too much fun here! Is it really that hard sometimes?” To which I answered a resounding “YES.”

Our greatest challenge as a photographer is what I think of as the dance. You casually tip toe around each other, eyeing cautiously, unsure, trying to find the rhythm (Where do I put my hands?! Sorry…I couldn’t resist. Focus Katy.). It’s all about trust. Getting to the point where a client trusts you enough to take a breath and really, truly smile in that way they do every other day when no one is looking can be challenging! Downright impossible it seems at times. But that’s our job. To get the pictures that reflect exactly who your client is and what they are feeling. To tell the world how beautiful and crazy unique they are. To share their sense of humor, their pensive thoughtfulness, their heart and lifeblood. Anna and Andrew made this so simple. They met me halfway by just being themselves. And their pictures show it. Sure, I managed the exposure and the composition and did the edits, but they truly made these pictures powerful. By just being Anna and Andrew who love each other and are getting married and can’t wait to start the rest of their forever together!

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