Hi there! We're Luke and Cat, and we're so happy you're here. We hope you'll stay a while! We’re a husband and wife wedding photographer team based in Houston, Texas. Ranchers-turned-photographers, our world looks like this: a Craftsman-style farmhouse; our newborn, Knox, in our arms; coffee in the kitchen; Edison lights on the back porch; and a pair of English bulldogs at the foot of our bed. Read more...
 
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Weekend Snapshot

Genuine Smiles

Nov 10, 2017 / Weekend Snapshot

ABOUT THE WEEKEND SNAPSHOT SERIES: It’s our weekend ritual. Every Friday before shooting a wedding, we spend a few hours feasting on inspiration: glossy magazine spreads, favorite Instagram feeds, wedding site editorials, ads for luxury brands, Sprinkles’ cupcake window displays…. It ensures we arrive at every wedding fueled by fresh ideas. Now, we’re bringing a delicious bite of inspiration to you. Start your wedding weekend with a Luke & Cat Weekend Snapshot. The icing on the cake? The hands-on, how-to advice that accompanies each photo. Sweet.

View others in this series:

Nothing stands out (in a bad way) like an otherwise beautiful photo with an awkward, forced smile. Wondering what we say to get such genuine laughs out of our bridesmaids? We’re not all-star comedians, but we do have a favorite trick to get a genuine smile - and it works every time.

3...2...1… “Show us your best ‘I just won Miss America faces!’” It’s silly, sure, but in the age of selfies, most folks can put on a happy face at a moment’s notice. We’re all a bit nervous when being professionally photographed, so don’t be afraid to laugh along with the bridesmaids to help put them at ease. These photos are great from both posed, head-on angles, and the more candid side shots.



Laughter & Charming Bridesmaids,

Luke & Cat

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WEDDING DAY TIMELINE TIGHTROPE

Five Ways to Keep Your Balance

Nov 7, 2017 / Business

As a wedding photographer, you might like believing that certain things are beyond your control.  Sure, you can meticulously charge every back-up battery and lay out your wedding outfit the night before.

But, what happens when you enter the groomsmen’s suite, with just minutes to capture the shots you need, and all nine of the groomsmen have not yet pinned on their boutonnieres? Forget the shot of the groom tugging on his collar, looking coyly nervous—you’re the one who’s nervous now, because you have just fallen off the timeline tightrope.

But, hey—there’s nothing you can do….

Or is there?

In many ways, a wedding can feel like a circus where you are walking the tightrope watching everyone below and trying to stay on course. Here are a few of our tried and true timeline tips for not falling into the pit of the time suck.

As our business coach, Davina Fear, once told us, “Everything you like in your business you created; everything you hate in your business you created.”  In other words, you have more power than you think when it comes to controlling the wedding day timeline. 

Just by changing the way we communicate timeline expectations with our couples, we created a new paradigm where we now walk a tightrope better than Phillipe Petit.  (And if you don’t know who he is, add this nail-biting documentary to your Netflix queue à tout de suite.)



The Takeaways:

1. Pick Up the Peanut Shells: Consistently, when we arrived to shoot ‘getting ready’ areas, we found a mess of clutter that needed to be picked up before taking photos. We found that by adding one sentence (Please tidy up the ‘getting ready room’ before we arrive.), we no longer had to worry about this snag.

2. Banish Search Party Bingo: We used to spend the first 30 minutes hunting down the bride’s shoes, jewelry, bouquet and wedding rings. Now that we list them on the timeline, those items are ready and waiting when we arrive to shoot. It’s a mutually beneficial suggestion that keeps us and rest of the wedding party from becoming a search party.

3. Step (and Suit) Right Up: Trust us, there is no fast way for one person to pin on nine boutonnieres. So now, we specify in our timeline that they should be pinned by the time we arrive.

4. Know When to End the Show: In our early days, we were always staying past our contracted time for last minute ‘must-have’ photos. Our timeline now clearly states that if it’s an event the couple wants photograph (cake-cutting, special dance, etc.) it must be completed before our coverage ends. Likewise, if the couple wants exit photos, we specify that guests need to line up fifteen minutes before the coverage end time.

5. Be a Skilled Juggler: Even with all the planning that goes into preparing for the big day, there is no way to foresee every surprise. View the wedding day timeline as a rough outline of the day and add in some wiggle room and safety net, if possible. Finally, be prepared to juggle things around and renegotiate your balance in real time.



Step right up, Ladies & Gentlemen! If you would like to download our sample timelines, you can do so for FREE at this link.  We like to think of it as a 1-page survival guide. Plus our clients appreciate it just as much as we do; they are happy to do things that will lead to the best pictures of their special day.

Clown control & Lion Taming
(skills that come in handy when managing a wedding timeline),

Luke & Cat

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Love & Coffee #3

A LIST OF THIS WEEK’S ‘LOVES’ MADE OVER MONDAY MORNING COFFEE

Nov 6, 2017 / Our Life

ABOUT THIS SERIES: Besides being the signature to Luke’s email, this blog series features the things we’re loving as we start each Monday morning with gratitude and coffee!

View previous editions here:
Love & Coffee #1
Love & Coffee #2

Here’s what we’re discussing over our morning coffee on this week!

  • Steaks, steaks, and more steaks! We have spent almost every day for the past week thawing, cooking, and photographing some of the best beef in the world! Triangle B Ranch commissioned Luke to come to their ranch in Oklahoma last summer to build their image gallery for advertising, but they also needed photos of their actual beef products! So last week, they sent us over 75 pounds of beef to photograph! Wagyu beef is some of the finest beef around. Lets just say, we've been eating steaks that are worth several hundred dollars every day for a week - all while standing around our kitchen in tee shirts. Fine dining, indeed!


  • Workshop mode! Our first Life & Craft Workshop (the workshop we host for photographers) in over a year starts exactly one week from today! We're hosting this one in a brand new 'venue' - a house on the ranch. We've been going over daily working and prepping. Tomorrow, we're headed into Houston to finalize a few rentals we need for the Farewell Fiesta. That may need to include margarita sampling!
  • Time Changes Are Worse When you Have Children. I used to love "fall back" because that meant we got an extra hour of sleep. But little Knox, who is already a great sleeper and sleeps from 7:30 pm to 7:30 am, awoke at his normal time on Sunday morning... except that that was 6:30 with the new time! He's back to normal though already. Thank goodness!
  • Speaking of Knox, he's rolling over like crazy now. Yay (and whoa) for mobility! He's 4.5 months old now, and we're excited to start feeding him his first 'solids' next week! Any tips for us? Leave it in the comments. We're nervous!
  • This is Us brought us to tears again. Maybe it's just us, but the past couple of episodes just hadn't seemed as wow-worthy as Season 1. This past week though, that all changed. Who is your favorite character? Ours is Randall.

Have a great week!

Love & Coffee,
(Join Us In Praying That Buttered Pecan Creamer Is Not Seasonal!)

Luke & Cat

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