Houston Arbor Day 2009

February 25, 2009

I’m really excited about a recent partnership between Plum Tree Studios and Trees For Houston. At the end of last year I got to thinking about making a greater effort to work and live green and I came up with the idea to donate trees for every couple that books their wedding photography with me for 2009 and beyond.

I was looking for something that could have a local impact, and Trees For Houston has been phenomenal at giving me an opportunity to bring this project to fruition. I’m so happy that we can work together to make our city greener as well as commemorate such a special event with an honorary tree planting.

In late January I attended an Arbor Day tree planting in west Houston and below are my favorite shots from that day. It was a chilly and overcast morning, but so many people were out in force with smiles on their faces and planting trees. There must have been hundreds of trees planted that day in just this one spot of town! It was a great experience and I look forward to more opportunities like this.

ad Houston Arbor Day 2009

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Wondering what to get your sweetheart for Valentine’s Day? That’s easy: give the gift of photos.

Flowers wilt, candy gets eaten, but photos will last forever. Give your girl a feel-great gift with a portrait session to celebrate her beauty. Or book as session for the two of you! It’s a fun activity that will leave you with wonderful memories and a record of this spacial time in your life.

Plum Tree is celebrating Valentine’s Day with Half Off All portrait sessions booked in the month of February! So if you are getting engaged, take advantage and book your engagement portraits for 50% off. Of if you just want to give the gift of photos to yourself, your sweetheart, or any loved one, use one of the other two coupons below. Session must be purchased during the month of February, but can take place any time through 2009.

Wishing you a love-filled Valentine’s Day!

Engagement+Half+Off+02.28.09 Valentines Day Gift Ideas

Half+Love+Portrait+2.28.09 Valentines Day Gift Ideas

Love+You+Portrait+Special+02.28.09 Valentines Day Gift Ideas

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Wedding Wire has completed the first annual Bride’s Choice Awards and Plum Tree Studios has been selected amongst 100,000-plus vendors as a top pick for wedding photography in 2009!

The award is given based on responses from actual brides who were surveyed about Plum Tree’s photography services with criteria regarding service, responsiveness, professionalism, value of cost and flexibility. I am so incredibly honored and thankful for your positive feedback!

I can’t find the words for the blessing it is to do what I do. Being a wedding photographer is one of the absolute best jobs in the world and I am delighted to receive such an amazing award! Thank you so very much for making it possible!

BCA logo Plum Tree Studios Wins The 2009 Brides Choice Award!

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Life Lessons

February 9, 2009

For all the times I’ve heard that life is short, I never felt the truth of those words as I did today. Today I almost lost my brother. Today I learned to value life more than ever.

Instead of writing a woeful recounting of what brings me to my revelations, I just want to write down what I’m thankful for. I want to mark these words so that I never again forget. I want to say my thanks to God for teaching me this lesson without taking anyone away from me, and then thank Him again even for the bitterness that makes the sweet things taste that much sweeter, teaching us with every taste. I want to pray that we can all learn to value life, it’s brevity, and it’s fragility. Today I am thankful.

I want to always be thankful.

I want be close to my brother the way we’ve always been, but for the little while of late that we’ve let time and distance wear on that closeness. No ambition in the world, no project, no passions, nothing is more important that those you love. So I want to write this here today to remind me to keep them close. Let this be my reminder.

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Name the place. I’ll be there. I’m 100% fluent in Spanish, which is very convenient for south of the border weddings. And I know just enough French to get us out of a scrape. Obviously, I speak English…so that covers two whole continents and part of Europe. You up for it?

Seriously. Plum Tree Studios is setting its sights on Destination Wedding Photography, and I couldn’t be more stoked! Photography is inherently a movable business and with my knack for finding the best local cuisine and shopping, well I can double up as a pretty darn-good tourist guide! It just couldn’t come more naturally.

I’m so stoked, in fact, that I will travel (with an assistant) to photograph your wedding for FREE (including a sweet little package of goodies) – as long as you cover travel expenses for the day before and day of the wedding. So, if you are having a wedding somewhere other than Houston, Texas and you need a photographer, and you like what you see – give me a buzz. I’ll be running this offer for all of 2009.

Visit my website www.plumtreestudios.com to learn more about me and see more of my work. You can also contact me through there. Looking forward to it!

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A Little Thursday Fun

January 30, 2009

I just got the coolest little video from a friend. It’s T-Mobile’s latest campaign: Life is for Sharing.

I say: “hear, hear!” I just love to see how all the unsuspecting people react, first with a little befuddlement and then jumping right into the fun. Just as life should be!

A very clever advertisement for the widgets that make our magnificent lives instantly shareable. Enjoy the T-Mobile dance!

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I’m very excited to announce the launch of my new site! www.plumtreestudios.com

I’m so happy to have it live and (mostly) off my very busy plate so that I can get back to what I love doing most: photography. I say mostly because I still have lots of photos to upload to the galleries — it’s tougher than it sounds! Putting things together for a site, though lots of fun, is hard work. It is however, a great creative exercise. So that’s how I’ve come away with the idea for January’s contest: A FREE Senior Portrait Session.

So here’s to graduating and looking forward to fresh beginnings! If you are interested in entering (or nominating someone you know), please email me the following:
  • A photo of yourself (or your senior) with a little background info
  • Age – if under 18, please provide proof of parent’s permission
  • Info on any talents, interests, projects, or achievement that set you apart
The winner will receive the following – A $250 value:
  • 1 hour on location portrait session
  • A CD of all high res images with a print release
  • Online gallery to share photos with loved ones
  • Slideshow of select images set to music
  • A $50 print credit for professional prints
Last day to send your email is 1/31/09. Blog comments get you brownie points!

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I’m not one for resolutions. Not because I don’t believe in them. Well okay, I don’t believe in them. I prefer to call them projects. Or goals. This is because I seem to do better at tackling projects. And projects typically have deadlines. So I guess it’s just a little self-trickery because I’m the type of cat that is results driven. Bare with me.

Anywho, one of my goals for this year is the same as for 2008 – except I’ve resolved decided to kick it up a notch. Said goal is to be more giving and so, to that end, I am awarding one lucky couple with a completely FREE wedding booking in 2009.

I have to say that it wasn’t easy to pick the winners. I had several heart-felt and well written emails from folks who entered December’s contest. The entry requirements weren’t very difficult – just an email with info about their situation and a wedding taking place anywhere within 50 miles of downtown Houston. So when I say “lucky winner” I’m not talking about the great honor of having me as a photographer. I’m talking about using a sorting hat – yeah, like in Harry Potter, but not a dirty-tattered, talking one. Couldn’t find one of those.

So the lucky winners are…..drum roll please…….Crystal Ramirez & Richard Garivey!

I look forward to working with you both! Calendar is marked for August 1, 2009!

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I love mail. It’s like getting an unexpected present. And I’m a sucker for presents. ;)
This is one of the many reasons that I love Christmas so much — for all the cards I get. But now that we’ve made a big push to go green I don’t get mail all that much. Before, I could count on the bills being in the box for sure. But now, it’s just a few local ads for the most part.

One of my very best friends from childhood lives in Chile. I remember regularly getting letters encased in hand-made envelopes. The best ones were made of cool magazine ads. My friend and I would pick out pages from old magazines and make our own envelopes, matching the paper colors to our finds. It was cool to see the different styles of images accompanied by articles written in a foreign language. Writing a letter was an art form in itself and getting a letter was a treat that would make my entire day. I remember getting home from a long day at school and rushing to the post box to check for the occasional surprise.

With email so readily available, it’s easy to make this form of communication more prevalent than sending post. Now, don’t get me wrong. I love computers and technology. In fact, I’ve said countless times that I can’t live without some sort of gadget strapped to my side. But I sure do miss the days of pretty letters in the post box!

I don’t think I’ll ever get over my fetish of pens and pretty papers, custom stationery, and envelope seals. I have more journals, cards, pens, stickers, and papers than I will ever need, but you won’t find me passing any up if I see something at the store! That’s how special this stuff is to me.

So I love getting letters. And among my favorite are the thank you notes. I got this one from Candice, a recent bride. Stuck in between the pages of coupons from Papa John’s Pizza was this little jewel!
Thank+You+Note Candice & Adam   Wedding Photography

Candice and Adam got married in Cyperss, Texas at the Northwest Forest Conference Center. Their ceremony was at dusk, which made for amazing lighting. Below are a few of my favorite shots from the wedding day.

C%26A+Wedding+1 Candice & Adam   Wedding Photography

C%26A+Wedding+2 Candice & Adam   Wedding Photography
C%26A+Wedding+3 Candice & Adam   Wedding Photography
C%26A+Wedding+4 Candice & Adam   Wedding Photography
C%26A+Wedding+5 Candice & Adam   Wedding Photography

C%26A+Wedding+6 Candice & Adam   Wedding Photography
C%26A+Wedding+7 Candice & Adam   Wedding Photography
C%26A+Wedding+8 Candice & Adam   Wedding Photography
C%26A+Wedding+9 Candice & Adam   Wedding Photography
Thank you Candice and Adam for selecting Plum Tree Studios for your wedding photography! I loved working with you and wish you all the best!
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For me, life always comes back to paying it forward. I’ve blogged about this before. Earlier this year I ran my first marathon and donated to cancer research. Very often I have some kind of contest to give back to my supporters and spread a little love. There are always ways to make a difference and we each have the power to do this every day.

So, I was thinking about what type of contest I wanted to have this month. It’s been a tough decision because I really wanted to focus on something that made an BIG impact in someone’s life. Especially with all of the doom and gloom that permeates our news of late. I know there a lot of people suffering through a financial crisis that is unlike anything they’ve faced before. But surely, there is hope in the horizon for all of us because if there is one thing I’ve learned in my couple-plus decades here on earth is that there’s a positive outcome to be found in just about everything.

After scratching my head continuously these past two weeks, here’s what I’ve come up with:

I want to donate a wedding photography booking to one couple in need in 2009. “In need” means that they would not be able to afford me otherwise and that they’re not just looking to save some bucks for that well-coveted beef upgrade. Sure, saving money is great, but this is meant to go to someone who’s current options probably include buying disposable cameras for the guests or having Great Aunt Sue take the photos. No offense Aunt Sue, but you’d have more fun enjoying the wedding day anyway.

With that said, here are the contest rules:

  1. To enter, send me an email with your story (the why’s are important) and the date, time, and location of the wedding.
  2. Location must be within 30 miles of the downtown Houston area. Obviously, if you can afford a fancy venue you don’t need to be entering this contest.
  3. The wedding must be taking place in 2009.
  4. You can request this for yourself or for someone that you know, as long as either one of you qualifies for the “in need” part.
  5. Last day to send your emails is December 31, 2008 at 11:59 pm.
The chosen couple will receive a fully complimentary wedding photography package (a $1500 value) which includes the following:
  • Up to 6 hours of wedding day coverage
  • An on-line photo gallery to share with family & friends
  • An on-line slide show set to music (also compatible with Facebook)
  • A $150 print credit for any size prints (excluding canvas)
  • A DVD of all retouched, high res images with a print release
Here’s to hoping for a BIG impact! Best wishes and blessings for you all! – Patricia
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