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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Life & Craft Workshop Day 1 Recap

The Ranch Social

Nov 14, 2017 / Life & Craft Workshop

Last night was the first night of our Life and Craft Workshop, and since we hadn't hosted a workshop in over a year, we had plenty of time to design and create and entirely new welcome experience for our attendees!

In years past, our workshop has always kicked off with a gorgeous welcome dinner. We pull out all the stops, work with some of Houston's absolute finest creatives and chefs, and create over the top fancy dinners that are served alfresco under the twinkle of bistro lights in our yard. The fancy table gives our attendees beautiful things to photograph right out of the gate, but sometimes, it felt like the welcome dinner was a hectic start for our attendees (arriving and immediately starting to shoot and then, sitting down for a multi course meal at the fanciest table most of us have ever sat at) instead of the more relaxed 'hanging out and getting to know each other' vibe we wanted to create.



While these dinners have been a huge hit and certainly a major wow factor to start off the workshop, we decided to retire the fancy welcome dinners and create a completely new workshop welcome experience! Anyone can have a fancy dinner and set a beautiful table, but since we live on a ranch, we knew we could create something special that no other workshop could offer them! 

So our new welcome experience, The Life & Craft Ranch Social was born! Yesterday evening, we picked up our attendees at the headquarters hotel and took the 15 minute drive to the ranch. Once we arrived, we loaded onto the back of a trailer, grabbed an ice cold Shiner Bock out of the cooler, and went for a golden hour tour of the cattle ranch that we live on. Since our family's favorite thing to do is ride around the ranch in the evenings, we loved showing the attendees a little glimpse of what life is like for us most days. 



There were lots of cows, cows and calves, and cows soon to have calves to see. We proudly showed off some of the giant live oak trees that pepper the landscape of our little corner of the Texas Gulf Coast. Since we take all of our engagement and bridal portraits on the ranch, too, we got to point out a few of our favorite picture taking spots. 

We finished up with a special date with a dapper gentlemen, Mr. V8 274/7, who's name is George. He is the friendliest Brahman bull ever, and he loved getting pet and loved on by the attendees. Eventually, George laid down for his favorite activity, belly rubs and posing for photos. 



Championship barbecue cookers S&P Barbecue brought their food truck and served us all some of (Cat's favorite!) the best Texas barbecue around. Ribs that fell off the bone and juicy beef brisket - all sliced fresh to order.

If Day 1 was any indicator of what's to expect for the next couple of days, I know this workshop is going to be something very special.



Stay tuned for the next recap where we will get to unveil our brand new workshop space!

We just announced our next workshop dates - April 9 - 11, 2018. If you'd like more info on our workshops or would like to reserve your seat, visit our website

Learning & Communication,

Luke & Cat

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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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