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: Bookend Those Bridesmaids

Oct 6, 2017 / Shooting, Weekend Snapshot

Weekend Snapshot: 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.

We can’t help but love the photos of the bridesmaids. Pretty ladies, pretty dresses, and pretty flowers  - it’s the perfect trifecta for great photos. But getting great, natural-looking poses from them requires a little extra consideration from you. Here’s today’s tip for getting perfect bridesmaid shots:

Bookend those bridesmaids!

When lining up people for group photos, try to put the two tallest people at each end. This will anchor the photo and help it look more balanced and symmetrical. We like to see the maid and matron of honor flanking the bride - that’s one on each side. Before taking the first photo, we spend a moment with each person in the group, showing everyone how to hold their bouquets, ensuring visual unity and symmetry. It seems silly, but you’d be surprised how often a clenched fist around one’s flowers can ruin the line of an otherwise perfect shot.

Line 'Em Up and Create Something Beautiful,

Luke & Cat

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Our Biggest Editing Secret

and Our Offer to Edit Your Photos for Free!

Oct 3, 2017 / Shooting

Has this ever happened to you?

You finish a session, say ‘goodbye’ to your clients, and immediately download your cards. Anxiously, you toggle from one shot to the next, looking for a perfect “Sneak Peek” to post on social media.  Aaah….found one! You apply action after action in Photoshop, trying to quickly achieve a perfect look for your Instagram feed.  But frustration and doubt creep in – you can’t seem to get the look you want to achieve.

We won’t lie. It happened to us. Heck, sometimes, it can still happen!

For years, we tried countless Photoshop actions and Lightroom presets; we even attempted making our versions of both! Finally, we found an editing system that we love—it only requires a few clicks and it yields picture-perfect results time after time.  Take a look…we can go from Before to After in just 15 seconds!

It’s as simple as applying the preset, and adjusting the white balance and exposure. Just a few seconds of editing yields results we will be happy with for a lifetime. And, there’s no need to keep RAW files and re-edit them in a couple of years if we change our editing style.

We’d been using the Fuji 400H preset from Mastin Labs.  We didn’t think it could any better – until it did.  We are now using the newly released Fuji 400H Pushed preset from Mastin. (Full disclosure: We love Mastin Labs so much, we’d tell you about their presets for free. But, Mastin Labs is so cool, they pay us a few bucks every time you purchase this product.)

If you’re not already in love with Mastin Labs, you should get yourself over there right away and check out the amazing set of film emulation presets they’ve created. Fuji 400H is our go-to option for almost everything that we shoot. We also use the Kodak series for receptions and the Ilford pack for a classic black and white moment.

Curious to see what your image would look like edited with a Mastin preset? Our love for Mastin Labs knows no bound, which is why we’re giving away free editing to the first twenty photographers who reach out. Just email your RAW file, and we’ll edit it and send it back!

Note: since we have thousands of photographers on our mailing list, we really do have to cap the offer after the first twenty replies. But, email us anyway - we’d be happy to share some more of our own Before and After examples privately, or answer any questions you may have.  And we have a question for you: What other editing struggles do you encounter? If we have answers, we’d be happy to share them.

Hungry for more of our secret editing sauce? How about a live editing demonstration? Stay tuned….we’ll be announcing the date for a demo soon.  And just like our beloved Fuji 400H Pushed, we promise that our demo will be short, sweet and packed with tips you can use instantly.  

Lightroom Tips & Consistent Images,

Luke & Cat 

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The Best Times for Makin' Whoopee and Takin' Photos

Jul 15, 2015 / Shooting

We talk a lot about cattle around here, but that’s Texas for you.  Our cattle are Brahman cows – soft grey coat, droopy ears, and that funny hump on their back, the breed was developed here in the United States from Indian cattle. They’re tropical cows at heart, making them extremely popular in many countries.  In fact, this year, our ranch has already sold cattle to Central America, South America, Australia, Asia and Africa where they will thrive in the warm, steamy climates of these parts of the world.

But when it comes to romance with the Brahmans, it’s less warm and steamy and more cold and clinical.  You see, everything about raising prized Brahman cows has to be timed. The little baby calves aren’t ready to survive even a Texan winter, so their mating season is carefully controlled by cattle ranchers. Baby Brahman calves are born, ideally, right at the beginning of spring, giving them the warm months of summer and fall to grow and become a bit hardier. Left to their own devices, cows and bulls, being cows and bulls, wouldn’t listen to the ranchers who know these things.  So, it’s up to us ranchers to take the proverbial bulls by the horns and help them time the mating process.  It may not be romantic, but it sets up both the cattle and the ranchers for the best possible outcomes. 

With wedding photography, timing matters too.  Some couples might feel that a carefully scheduled timeline removes the possibility of authentic romance and spontaneity from their wedding day, therefore, resisting the most essential tool that we photographers rely upon.  To that we reply…

“Even spontaneity has its time and its place.”
Arthur F. Burns

As you know, our style hinges on golden hour photos, warm and dripping in natural light. We can’t move the sun, and we can’t change the sky, but we can manage the timing.  For successful photos, we need to reserve that hour early on - before the pastor, the caterer, and the wedding party have made their schedules and demands. And for that to happen, we need to work with couples who are willing to make photography a scheduling priority.

While the bride’s in charge of a lot, it’s important to remember that she’s doing this once, and we’re doing it all the time. Like good ranchers, we insist on playing a hand in the timing of events—it’s not worth betting the farm that the cattle (or in our case, the couple we photograph) will instinctively know when they need to do what they need to do for optimal results.


The Takeaways: 

  1. Establish and Insist Upon Trust:   Repeat after us: they’re doing this once (hopefully) and you do it dozens of times per year. You’re the expert on wedding timelines — you know what works, and you’ve seen couples make the same mistakes again and again.  Work with couples who are willing to learn from the pros and appreciate your advice. Be clear from the first inquiry that partnering with a couple on the timeline is an essential part of your service.  To emphasize this point, when we’re meeting with a new couple, we include a suggested wedding day timeline, based on their specific wedding day sunset time.  This customized touch not only shows that we’re paying close attention to the couple, it also shows that we know what we’re doing!

  2. Saddle Up and Come Prepared:  Couples will be more willing to trust and hand over the reins if they can see what you mean. For us, it’s the Bride Guide — a 72-page booklet that shows potential clients that we’ve done the work, and literally written the book, on how this is done. Our guide sets a tone, answers questions and explains our approach, making the timeline conversation much easier when it does come up.

  3. Communicate the Cost:  Help couples understand that they won’t get their wedding day back.  Full documentation by an experienced, responsible, skilled professional is the only way to ensure priceless images that will be cherished for generations. Sure, you could ask your Uncle Bob to snap some pictures, but will he be able to guarantee quality shots of those most important firsts?

  4. Practice Practical Romance:  Tell your clients what your shot list includes (it’s what we do) or insist that your clients create one (give them an outline to make it easier).  Request a full list of vendors and communicate with the pros to be sure everyone is on the same page.  By making every effort to control the timeline, you’ll set yourself - and your couple - up for success.  And that sounds pretty romantic to us!

Looking Out For Our Clients & Communicating Along The Way,

Luke & Cat

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