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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We (Almost) Lost Our Own Wedding Photos

Our Favorite Online Proofing System

Nov 21, 2017 / Business

The other day, a post from 2011 showed up as my Facebook “On This Day” memory:



It’s been six years, but it seems like forever ago that we had four floor-to-ceiling cabinets full of discs with our clients’ images on them.  Here we are in 2017 with four different computers instead. And guess what -- not a single one of them even has a disc drive! Those discs of 2011 are on the same path as my Garth Brooks and Trisha Yearwood cassettes: dust-collecting relics.

When we got married in 2009, own digital files were delivered via disc along with our printed wedding album. Five years later, when we were redesigning our website, I pulled out our disc of images to look for a photo for our “About Us” page. This is when the unthinkable happened…the disc had an error. We had heard of disc failure, but it happened to us, with our precious wedding day images! Fortunately, we had a physical album and Luke had a backup on his computer. 

But what if the same thing happened to our clients? What if they weren’t financially able to order all of the prints they wanted at the time of their wedding? What if they needed to replace their images after a tragedy like a fire or a flood? What if our software was obsolete by the time they wanted more prints? What if we ran out of space to store all of these discs? (We live in a circa 1900 farmhouse) that we love for its Craftsman-style details but loathe for its lack of storage – how long could we devote an entire bedroom to disc storage?)



We started searching for an online gallery that would eliminate these worries. I don’t know how many we tried, but I know that I can’t count them on one hand. The absolute best we found is Pixieset. There are dozens of reasons we consider this to be the most convenient and reliable online gallery, (and we’ll detail them in future posts), but our absolute favorite feature is how it beautifully showcases our images. For example, once we settle on a cover image, we can set it as a default without ever having to set it again. Pixieset even resizes images to fit on a variety of platforms including mobile devices and social media. This means, our clients can easily share our images with built-in quality control.

Other features we love (and we’ll talk about in detail soon) include the ability to have:

  • a customized URL (example gallery.yourphotobusinessname. com)
  • a customized online store
  • customized image download sizes (requiring PINs)
  • customized default settings for image categories, price lists, cover images, and more
  • specific images set as 'private'
  • clients place their orders directly via the online gallery

 

 







Best of all, Pixieset will store all of the images and the albums you upload as long as you are a paying subscriber. Or, if you prefer, you can set your own expiration date (in which case, the images can still remain ‘hidden’, but safe on the Amazon-hosted cloud.)

If you are still using discs or USBs and are looking for an online proofing and file delivery system that is at once sleek and sophisticated, yet super easy-to-use, take a look at our favorite, Pixieset

Landlines and Cassettes
(technology changes fast)

Luke & Cat

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Weekend Snapshot

The Hands Have It

Nov 17, 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:

Weekend Snapshot #1 Bookend Those Bridesmaids
Weekend Snapshot #2 At The Reception
Weekend Snapshot #3 Best of Both Worlds
Weekend Snapshot #4 A Classic Toast
Weekend Snapshot #5 Our Favorite Ring Shot Backdrop
Weekend Snapshot #6 Genuine Smiles

The Hands Have It

Look away from the cake...we know it’s hard! Today’s Weekend Snapshot is about where to focus instead to get the best cake-cutting photos for your wedding clients.

During the cake cutting, one of the photos we make sure to take features the bride and grooms’ hands as the focal point. If you frame the image where you can also see the cake, you get a gorgeous horizontal image that has a great chance of being featured in the cake baker’s marketing. Vendors are always looking for professional-quality photos of their products ‘in action’ on the wedding day!



Love & Cake
(two essential elements for a perfect wedding reception),

Luke & Cat

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Life & Craft Workshop Day 2 Recap

Photography & Business

Nov 15, 2017 / Life & Craft Workshop

We started out our first full day of the workshop with a drive through the ranch and we were so thrilled to pull up and introduce them to our brand new workshop space, The Lodge.

Originally used as the Girl Scouts Lodge in the tiny town of Newgulf, Texas, Cat's parents purchased and moved it onto the ranch many years ago. We are so thankful to have it as a space that we can use for a 'new version' of it's original purpose: learning and community.





First up was the individual headshots of all of the attendees, but afterwards, we all settled in with coffee in our cups and minds primed and ready for learning. 

Luke and I spent the morning talking about all things shooting, from the gear we use (and the gear we don't) to exactly how we shoot and expose. We then got to wow the attendees (I saw lots of shocked faces) when we told them we don't use any off-camera flash. We showed them many of our "looks like OCF" images and exactly how we're able to produce those well-lit reception images that fit right in with our natural light images.



After a wonderful home-cooked lunch by our 'Chef de Cuisine' (Luke's mom!) we got back to work - this time teaching about building a brand, the differences between a brand and branding, communicating with clients, and publication. 

We finished up with one of my favorite parts of the workshop - websites, blogging, and social media. We went page by page through our website and explained the buyer behavior that led us to design and present our portfolio and pricing on our website as we do.







As golden hour approached, we headed out to our favorite picture spot (gorgeous sun and mossy trees!) for a real engagement session. While today's shoot focuses on shooting details like you would a normal wedding, yesterday's engagement session really focused on how we interact with our couples to create an experience they won't soon forget (and one that leaves them bragging about us to all of their friends!) during their photos. 



After the shoot, we came back to The Lodge for dinner while Luke showed off his culling, editing, and workflow tips and tricks that allow him to edit a wedding in 2 hours flat.



On the agenda today is lots of pricing talk, a lesson in styling by Wendy from Birds of a Feather Events, and finally, our wedding editorial. 

If you'd like more information about our next workshop (scheduled for April 9-11, 2018 and just announced) visit this link. Read the day 1 recap here!



Learning & Community,

Luke & Cat

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