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 is our Craftsman-style farmhouse, coffee in the kitchen, Edison lights on the back porch, and a pair of English bulldogs who are the stars in our sky. Read more...
 
Go

Viewing Category : Our Life | View all recent posts

3 Times The Person Who Is Always Right Was Terribly Wrong

Jun 29, 2015 / Our Life

It’s an ongoing joke around our family that I always think I am right. And gosh darnit, if it wasn’t for everyone having Wikipedia available at their fingertips anytime they want nowadays, most of my ‘always right’ moments wouldn’t be subjected to any fact checking, and then any slip ups would go undetected.



But sometimes, it’s nice to be wrong – especially about little stuff when it turns out good. Here are 3 things I would have missed out on if I hadn’t been wrong.

  1. Modern Family


    About a year ago, Luke was flipping through the channels and stopped at Modern Family. “You know, we should watch this. I’ve heard it is hilarious,” he encouraged. Without missing a beat, I confidently replied, “Oh, I don’t like that show.”

    Luckily, I agreed to sit through an episode, and since that very important 30 minute time period of my life — I’ve been completely hooked.

    Its an unlikely love affair for me, as I haven’t really loved a sitcom since Seinfeld bit the dust. But something about this crew of misfits just makes me love them. By the way, Phil really needs to fix that step. 




  2. Sushi


    Three years ago we were shooting a wedding and after the couples portraits, we hurriedly rushed in to get ready for their grand entrance to the reception. We had a couple of minutes before they made their way in, and we were starving. The hand passed appetizers were some funny looking round discs of rice. 

    But hunger won out, and I grabbed one. And the rest, as they say, is history.

    The first time we actually went to a sushi restaurant, the menu intimidated me. “We just want a sampler with one bite of several rolls, can we just get that?” When our server answered no, I suggested to Luke (mayyyybe in hissy fit form) that we just leave. Later, our rolls arrived and the waiter, aware it was our first time, starts kindly explaining what is in front of us. “This roll is the shaggy dog, over here is the spicy tuna. On this side of the plate is pickled ginger, and over on the other side, here is the…” I quickly interjected, trying to prove how smart I was: “Oh, I know what that green stuff is. That’s guacamole.” Any sushi eaters know how incredibly mouth-on-fire wrong I was! 

  3. Sweetened Condensed Milk


    As a southerner who owns about 5 Paula Deen cookbooks, this is just embarrassing! I avoided recipes on purpose because I assumed this ingredient was disgusting. Canned milk? No.

    Now that I know the error of my ways thanks to a husband who knows good food, just thinking about it makes me want to go make something. Like my all time favorite banana pudding. Or the strawberry cream shortcake that we had last Sunday for our post-church meal.

    Is there anything that isn’t enriched by this heavenly drizzle? Sweetened condensed milk is to desserts what ranch dressing is to vegetables. Amen.

Licking the spoon and continuing to be wrong sometimes,

Cat

3 Comments
View Comments
Sharing is the Best!
We love your comments! We thoroughly enjoy reading what people have to say. So join our community and chime in by adding your comment below.

There's a Fine Line Between B.S. and Great Fertilizer

Jun 3, 2015 / Our Life, For Photographers

"One of the healthiest ways to gamble is with a spade and a package of garden seeds."
— Dan Bennett

We know a thing or two about gambling with gardens. For us, one of the biggest perks of working for ourselves is working at home. Our home is a hundred-year-old Craftsman Bungalow, and we live for making every inch exactly how we want it.  Since we spend a considerable amount of time on our porch, what we really wanted was a privacy fence - but not just any privacy fence would do. We envisioned a fence right out of an English garden - latticework covered in beautiful, hardy roses. But when you build a lattice fence and plant rose bushes, you don’t get roses overnight. What you get is an empty fence and a lot of doubting friends and relatives…





We fielded a lot of questions and raised eyebrows in the early days of our garden. All that bare lattice didn’t exactly match the aesthetic we’re known for, and keeping the fence covered up wasn’t an option - how would the roses have grown? It wasn’t pretty in the beginning, but we stuck with our long-term vision and we employed certain techniques to ensure that we would beat the gardening odds.  Thanks to the breed of roses we selected and Luke’s obsessive fertilizing, those roses grew fast. Just three years later, they’re full and pretty, eliciting ooh’s and aah’s from all who visit.  Now, people only see the results.  They don’t think back to those early times we spent tilling soil, pulling weeds, watering bushes, weathering storms, and spreading fertilizer with our own hands with nary a bloom in sight. 



Anyone who has passed elementary school science class gets the metaphor here: plant a seed, care for it, be patient, watch it grow. But to boost your business to the next level, it takes some next-level gardening skills, including: research, patience, and perseverance. 

You see, roses aren’t easy.  They have a reputation for being difficult to care for — Amazon.com has an entire category of books devoted to rose gardening.  There’s also a book category called Small Business and Entrepreneurship. The business you want doesn’t grow like a weed, sprouting up overnight and growing out of control, despite adverse conditions. Like a rose bush, it must  be carefully tended and expertly pruned.  You have to create the right conditions and  train it to stay on the fence you grew it for, consistently feeding it with quality fertilizer.  Yes, this requires perseverance and patience, but it’s worth the work (and the wait!) when it pays off with exactly the life you planned.



 

The Takeaways:

 

  •  Pick the Right Plants: When we set out to plant our rose-covered fence, not just any hardware store rosebush would do.  After a lot of research, we ordered Katrina Roses, the only breed of rose that survived Hurricane Katrina. The Katrina Roses didn’t bring us instant gratification, but they weather storms like those other roses won’t. As a business owner, you too must have a hardy constitution.  Plan, research and prepare.  Some days will feel like a Category Five storm.  But storms pass, and if the foundation of your business is strong, like the Katrina Rose, you too will survive and eventually thrive.

  • Don’t Overwater Your Roses: It’s tempting to hover until you get results. If you’re not careful, you’ll find yourself staring out the window, waiting for buds to bloom or clients to land on your doorstep. Plant the seeds, be patient, and direct your attention to another part of your business! Don’t over-focus on the results that may not be showing right away when you could be engaging your business elsewhere.  While we waited for our rose bushes to bloom, we built a deck, installed Edison lights, and worked on other landscaping.  Eventually, it all came together.  

    Likewise, in the early days of our business, when we weren’t shooting clients or editing, we were doing other things to help the business landscape—taking classes, going to conferences, working with mentors, networking, creating business systems.  Sometimes it turned out to be plain ol’ manure, but sometimes, it was the super strength fertilizer we’d been looking for!

  • Blooms are Temporary: Just because your rosebush (or business) isn’t delivering the prettiest results doesn’t mean you get to take a day off from it. Keep steady with your care, pull weeds before they get too big, and work the hardest when you see the least results. Underneath that pretty flower (or flourishing photography business) is a huge, steady root structure that doesn’t get the credit it deserves.  Flowers wilt quickly, but a good rootstock will live for decades to come.

  • Miracle-Gro is a Myth:  It isn’t a miracle—it’s a manmade chemical synthetic product.  You can opt to super-size your business for practically supernatural results (using tools like the paid SEO we talked about recently, TV/radio commercials or purchased lists), but, too much “Miracle-Gro” can be toxic to plants, animals, and businesses too.  Instead of looking for a quick fix, focus on strong, steady, long-term natural growth.  There’s a reason why gardeners call organic compost Black Gold.

Are looking for a safe, natural, healthy way to organically boost your photography business?  We can help.  We’ll teach you how to you improve your business structure and enhance your technique.  The result?  A business and life that bloom.

3 Comments
View Comments
Sharing is the Best!
We love your comments! We thoroughly enjoy reading what people have to say. So join our community and chime in by adding your comment below.

What Once Was

May 28, 2015 / Our Life

Just a few days ago, our family (all 7 of us) loaded up on the Kawasaki Mule to drive through the ranch and survey the damage from the storms. Most of the roads had water over them, and more than a few times we all thought we were stuck in the mud. While on the drive, we spotted one of the casualties - our Cypress tree had fallen victim to the previous night's lightning show. Majestic and beautiful - in a ranch that spans thousands of acres, it had always stood out in a sea of Live Oaks and Pecans as the only of its kind. 

Several years ago we took some bridal portraits and it was in the background. And now, it's gone.



Friends, the weather here in Texas has been rough this spring. We've had more rainy days than sunny days, spent our mornings clearing downed tree limbs from the yard instead of drinking coffee, and frequently questioned our decision to save a little money and skimp on the four-wheel-drive when we bought our SUV. 

As it relates to our business, our engagement sessions are all shot outdoors on our beautiful Texas ranch. If Mister Golden Sun is our lighting guy, think of Mother Nature as the one in charge of our set dressing. And Mother Nature has been going a little avant garde for our tastes! We've spent a lot of time rescheduling this spring - so much so that not one single shoot has actually happened on the scheduled day we chose.

I saw a graphic floating around on Facebook saying that it's been raining in Texas every since Blue Bell stopped producing ice cream - coincidence? 

Looking At The Forecast & Craving Sunshine,

Luke & Cat

2 Comments
View Comments
Sharing is the Best!
We love your comments! We thoroughly enjoy reading what people have to say. So join our community and chime in by adding your comment below.
Prev Page2 of 41Next Page