I moved to Houston in the 1980s from Kankakee, Illinois, a city about 60 miles south of Chicago. Kankakee has actual Frank Lloyd Wright houses, built in his early Prairie School Architecture style. For as long as I can remember, I’ve loved that type of architecture. That era, and the Bungalow style houses that followed, have always been my ideal vision of a home. I forgot how much of an influence on my tastes Chicago-area architecture is until I went back to visit on a trip with Mike last December for the first time as an adult. I’m so amazed by it.
My logo font is actually a font based on Frank Lloyd Wright’s handwriting.
So when I moved to Houston, I was always drawn to the Heights area. Much of that part of Houston was built in the same time period. Houses have porches. It just feels like a neighborhood to me. I’ve always wanted to live there. I’ve always been drawn to it. It is one of my favorite parts of the city.
I’ve talked before about the story behind the studio space – I first saw the building in December of 2007 as we were going to Lights in the Heights, an annual holiday event. The moment I saw it, I thought “That would be a cool place to have a studio someday.” (I might have even said it out loud to Mike & Jason.) In April 2008, my friend Mitch called me to find out if I was still looking to lease a space in the Heights. I wasn’t – I was planning to move into the Caroline Collective. But something told me to ask him for more details. And as soon as he started talking, I knew he was talking about “my” building. I moved in to the back two rooms in June 2008. It was simply meant to be.
I originally thought I would use one of the rooms for bridal and other portrait sessions – and then I did my first boudoir session. I knew right then that it was the perfect space for boudoir shoots. We have a dressing room area, a bathroom connected to it, and two rooms with amazing, amazing light for sessions. It really is the perfect space, and I’ve photographed close to 20 boudoir clients there since the first one.
This is the “upstairs” room – one of my shooting spaces. The pink couch is fabulous for photo sessions!
In December 2008, Lisa, the building’s owner and the owner of Clover Design, came to me and said that she was looking at taking in another tenant. Considering how I was taking over the space with boudoir sessions, I immediately offered to take over renting the whole space. With the prime real estate on Studewood, it was all just too good to pass up. I’m slowly learning about all of the things that the Heights business community has to offer, and I’m so happy to be a part of it!
January and February were a whirlwind of decorating, adding furniture to the front areas as Lisa moved most of her furniture out, and getting everything set up. We had our Grand Taking Over the Building Opening in March and so many fabulous people came out to see us! It was wonderful! Now we’re mostly settled in – there are still a few plans in the works for things to come – and I couldn’t be more thrilled with how it has all worked out. From a dream to a reality, in a year. It still catches me by surprise some days.
The sign over the door still says Clover, because in the end I wanted to change all of our branding & marketing materials to reflect the studio space a bit more. Tie it all together. That is why this blog underwent a change, with a new header courtesy of Sadie Olive. I found Sara on Twitter, and as I looked through her store and her design work, I realized what a perfect match it was for my space. I asked her to work with the influence of the neutral tweed fabric on the couches, the burlap fabric on the tables, the glass jars of shells, and my love of antiques. The tagline on the postcard is something that Elaine came up with at a wedding last fall; a guest commented after Sarah & Jason’s send off on how much fun we were to have as the wedding photographers, and she said, “Yeah, we’re a little bit unexpected!” I stopped what I was doing and wrote it down!
Now that the blog matches the studio, the new sign can be made and hung outside the studio – the finial official touch for phase One to the space!
Phase Two for the studio space is to bring in a flat screen TV and offer preview parties for our clients there – 2-3 weeks after their wedding or other event, we’ll host a wine & cheese type of viewing party for our couples and 20 or so friends & family – our treat! We’ll share our favorite images from the wedding day in a slideshow, and at the same time launch the gallery online of all of the images. I’m so excited about these! I can’t wait to start doing them. How awesome would it be to share your photos in person with your family & friends just weeks after your wedding?
The space is also available for rent for bridal showers, bachelorette parties (lingerie party + boudoir session later as a gift!), and it is even available for other photographers to use for their own photo sessions. I’m also open to the “roommate” idea if the right person comes along and is looking for a space – I think it is the perfect location for a wedding planner or another photographer. If you would like more details on any of these things, please contact me!
I love and adore our studio space – and we hope you will too! I can’t wait to see you there – come by if you’re in the area for your own tour! I’ll be hosting the Fast Track Photographer Workshop with Dane Sanders at the studio in May – if you’re out of town, it is the perfect excuse to make a trip to Houston!
1024 Studewood, Houston, Texas – in the Heights!