February

The Gathering

The sounds of Bulldog paws dragging across the hardwood floor combined with the morning light cascading through the blinds in our bedroom served as our daily alarm clock. I slipped out from under the covers to start my morning routine while Cat remained and slumbered a minute more. In between cups of coffee, I noticed I had a missed call and text from Cat's grandmother, Nana. She was letting me know there was a big cow working today and wanted to invite Cat and I to attend.  
 
I ran down the hallway to spur up Cat and hope she joined my excitement and wanted to go. Opening her eyes for the second or third time that morning, she said "Sure, when are they leaving?" "Right now!" I said "The horses are loaded and the trucks are ready. They are about to pull out of Nana's driveway!"  
 
We both jumped into action, swapping flannel pants for jeans, grabbing our coats and a camera, and out the door we went not sure of what adventure the day held.  
 
The pictures that follow will be included as part of a collection of our personal work - images of our life and the journeys that laid the foundation for who we are today. No amount of planning could have helped us get ready for this cow working, yet something remarkable happens when we step in to the natural world: our critical eye softens. Gone are the stresses over the details of a wedding day or the perfect portrait. Instead, lumpy clouds, tall tales, and precious time together gain the spotlight.  
 
We allow our personal work to polish our craft.  


































































- EQUIPMENT USED FOR THIS WEDDING: - 
Canon 5D Mark III / Canon 70-200 mm 2.8 L 
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If you like these photos from the ranch, you might also enjoy these film pictures from around the ranch at springtime, or this post documenting our trip to the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo!
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When Luther Vandross "Here and Now" comes on the iTunes in front of someone, we are like, "Who downloaded this?" But it was Cat, in college. Guilty.
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February

Houston Ranch Wedding :: Lindsey and Alex

There's something really special about a wedding that is held at someone's home. This couple chose to have their wedding celebration at the grooms' family estate, a ranch located just outside of Houston. On a crisp fall day, Lindsey and Alex said their vows under the shade of giant Pecan trees as the moss gently blew in the Texas breeze.














































































- EQUIPMENT USED FOR THIS WEDDING: - 
Canon 5D Mark III / Canon 50 mm 1.2 / Canon 85 mm 1.2 
Canon 100 mm 2.8 Macro / Canon Speedlight 580EXII 
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If you like Lindsey and Alex's backyard ranch wedding, you might also enjoy Milly and Stephen's Ranch Wedding as seen on The Knot or Tabitha and Trey's Hill Country Ranch Wedding
 
Are you an engaged couple who values hard work and tough love and the tenderness of a true connection? If so, you're just the type of people that Luke and Cat love to work with. They will photograph your love story with timeless, crafted images that show the authenticity of the life you share. Visit Luke and Cat's website.
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We shoot only with Canon equipment and Nikon's scare us!
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January

Katie and Josh

Katie and Josh came out to the ranch on on a sun-drenched evening this fall for their engagement shoot. From the very first time that these two sat on our couch and visited with us about their wedding day, we knew they were a very special couple. Just look how they light up around each other. Congratulations, you two! 
 
xo 
Cat






















- EQUIPMENT USED FOR THIS SHOOT: - 
Canon 5D Mark III / Canon 50 mm 1.2 / Canon 85 mm 1.2 
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If you like Katie and Josh's ranch engagement session, you might also enjoy Audrey and Philip's fall engagement session on film, or Kristen and Landon's sun-filled ranch engagement shoot.
Are you an engaged couple who values hard work and tough love and the tenderness of a true connection? If so, you're just the type of people that Luke and Cat love to work with. They will photograph your love story with timeless, crafted images that show the authenticity of the life you share. Visit Luke and Cat's website.
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We wholeheartedly believe Gangnam Style is the new Wobble.
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January

What We Learned From A 66 Year Old Photo

The year was 1948. Cat's grandmother, Sammie, was eighteen at the time and a student in business school. She rented a room from a wealthy socialite couple in Houston. The couple loved going to the "the-ate-uh" in the evening; Sammie babysat their children in exchange for her room and board. She still remembers the address: 2208 Dorrington Drive, right behind the Shamrock Hotel. 
 
Gene was a student at Texas A&M, planning to join the Navy in just a few months. But first, he and his buddy, William, who dabbled in photography, would drive to Houston to call on Sammie. Gene and Sammie had been courting for a while; they'd be married with in the year. As the two shared a moment of intimate connection, William took the snapshot that has become one of our family's most cherished photos. 


Sixty-six years later, we sat in Mawmaw's living room asking her to tell us more about that moment in the hammock with Paw. "What were you two doin'?" we asked, eyes twinkling. Mawmaw replied: "We didn't have any money, so all we could afford to do was look at each other." Mawmaw has taught us so many things over the years. But while speaking those words, she probably didn't realize that she was also teaching one of the keys to successful photography: 
 
WANT TO CAPTURE A FEELING OF INTIMACY AND CONNECTION IN YOUR PHOTOS?
 
Ask your subjects to get close, real close. We tell our clients: "Get cross-eyed close!" with faces and hips nearly touching. They don't need to gaze into each other's eyes. In fact, it's better if they look into each other's lips. Look at Mawmaw and Paw; they're modeling the technique perfectly.  
 
Although the photo above wasn't staged, and although William wasn't giving his subjects direction, he did the one thing that matters most - he stayed present and he caught the interaction, that shared moment of intimacy between two people in love.
Whether it's a successful marriage (Mawmaw and Paw shared 65 years together) or a successful photography business, getting close is the first step. So, we invite you to come closer... cross-eyed close. We've created a brand new newsletter for photographers, Life & Craft: Creating a Business and Photos Authentic To You


If you follow along with our newsletter, we'll share more teaching stories like this one. We'll tell you about the techniques, tools, tricks, and tips we use when we're behind our cameras and behind our desks.  
 
THE TAKEAWAYS: 
To capture a sense of intimacy and connection with your subjects:
 
1. Ask your subjects to get close, real close. We tell our clients: "Get cross-eyed close!" 
2. Keep the couple's faces and hips close to each other.  
3. They don't need to gaze into each other's eyes. In fact, it's better if they look into each other's lips. 
4. Stay present for that authentic "stolen" moment when they have an authentic interaction based on their close proximity.  
5. Print that shot so that 66 years from now their grandkids will ask them questions about their favorite romantic snapshot of "Mawmaw and Paw". 
 
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Are you a photographer looking to enhance your craft, infuse more authenticity into your work, and create an exceptional tangible experience for your clients? If so, join Luke and Cat in their new educational adventures for 2015, including the free e-newsletter for photographers, Life & Craft. Also keep an eye out for the exciting workshop experience they are planning to unveil in late 2015. Join their mailing list to stay up to date and receive free educational resources, or inquire for one on one coaching opportunities!
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We're Aggies! Both of us graduated from Texas A&M.
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