Monday, May 20, 2013

In August 2002, 6 weeks before my wedding, I found myself searching for a new wedding photographer.

Two weeks before that, my Maid of Honor and I sat in our original wedding photographer, Mr. Wu's,  home-studio, viewing my bridal portrait proofs. At the time, I had no formal training in photography, but I KNEW something didn't look right with these portraits. I tried to explain to him that the images didn't quite capture 'me'. And while a couple shots were halfway decent, most of the angles were unflattering.

Then, with a heavy foreign accent, he said what NO Bride should ever hear.

'Ah Christina. you want. look good. for your wedding. You. no. eat. more. hamburgers.' -Mr. Wu

My husband, then fiancé, and I paid for most of our wedding ourselves. We took out a small loan to cover last minute expenses. At the point of 6 weeks until our big day, all but $700 of those funds had been spent. Yet, there we were, photographer-less, with not nearly enough funds to hire even the cheapest student-photographer.

So, we did what anyone in our shoes would do. We asked a creative friend with a good (film) camera to photograph our wedding. He basically charged us cost (film/developing).

He did a good job, especially considering he had never shot a wedding before. We are VERY thankful that he and his wife, also one of my bff's, were there for us in a pinch.

However, I will ALWAYS wonder, 'What if?'  What if we had made different choices early on.
The catering at our wedding was SUPER yummy....$2500; consumed in a little over an hour.
The decorations, live topiaries that lined the aisle, were BEAUTIFUL....$500; shriveled and died within a month.
The reception hall and church were perfect...$2500 (thankfully my uncle paid half of the reception hall, but still); wouldn't change this even if we could go back.

So, the moral of the story. DONT SETTLE! Our original wedding photographer was pretty inexpensive, as compared. We settled for him, because we tried to save money. At the time, I didn't realize the importance of good, artistic, professional, wedding photography. Maybe if we had chosen a cheaper caterer we could have afforded a more 'professional' photographer from the beginning. Maybe if  we hadn't spent so much money on decor we could have afforded an experienced back up wedding photographer when the first one didn't work out...then maybe my sweet friends could have sat back and truly enjoyed our wedding instead of running around trying to get all the important wedding shots.

Four months after our wedding, I began formally studying photography at University of Houston-Clear Lake, in Texas. I felt an artistic eye and experience as a writer/editor for a small network of magazines created my ability to tell a story through photographs.

I felt NO Bride should have to go through what I went through. So, I apprenticed with one of the BEST wedding photographers in Houston/Galveston, and opened my own home-studio in late 2003.

In an attempt to cheer me up shortly after firing that potty-mouth'd wedding photographer, my sister gave me the Chick-fil-a cow pictured here. I've kept it all these years, as a reminder of how it all began. Although his words were crushing to this blushing bride, I'm thankful for Mr.Wu. If it wasn't for him and his choppy accent attitude, I may never have become a photographer.

Thursday, September 2, 2010


Please excuse the mess.......this blog is under construction.

Friday, July 31, 2009


If you're wondering where I have been, I can explain in a few words....

I'm a volunteer photographer for this organization.

I've dedicated most of my photography time to them in the past few months.

I feel it is what God has called me to do for now.

He gave me the 'gifts' and the 'eye', it's the least I can do to pay him back.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Honoring Life

In honor of the life and with respect for the struggles that my friends, The Wims, faced over the past few years, I thought this would be an important enough announcement to post here:

I am offering FREE Family Portrait Sessions to individuals diagnosed with, or who are Survivors of, Cancer. The session includes one photo shoot either on location, in their home or in my home studio. The family will also receive a custom package of their favorite prints.

At this time, I'm only able to provide these services to families in the Huntsville, AL area and LIMITEDLY to the Houston, TX area, but in time I hope to be able to expand my availability. For more information, please email me at

Friday, January 9, 2009

What's most important to you?

In these tough economic times, I have to ask the question, "What's most important to you?"

The obvious answer from many would be friends and family.

Others may add in comfort, sucess, overall happiness.

For me, it's all those things, plus.

Plus memories. The memories of special moments with the people I love. Memories of my kids as tiny babies. Memories of my sisters and parents. Memories of going out with my wild and carefree. I cling to all of those memories. They make my dark days bright and my times of loneliness thick with love.

If I were to make a list in order of importance it may look something like this:

What's most important to me...

glorifying God





overall happiness

comfort for my family/friends

sucess for those around me

bridging the gap between experiences and memories for others

my computer/camera/cell phone

Ok, I'm not materialsitic, the last items on my list are there because they make my list come full circle. I use my computer/camera/cell phone on a daily basis to achieve all the things on my list that are most important to me.

So, what or who do you use to make your list come full circle?

Monday, January 5, 2009

your life experiences...ME...your memories

I've been a photographer for as long as I can remember. I did my first photoshoot behind the camera when I was about 10 years old. I did the hair and makeup on the model, my aunt Gloria. My weapon of choice, a Polaroid camera.
I even wrote the caption "Just another pretty face in the crowd," on the white space below the image.
I'd post the picture, but I think I'd be disowned by my aunt, since she, at the time, sported a poofy boofy 80's hairdo and her eyelids were adorned with electric blue eyeshadow. Her attire consisted of a white tie-front large collared shirt, blue capris and Keds with bobby socks. Not bad for 1986!!!
These days, my vision is broader, my camera a bit newer, and I only have to wait a fraction of a second to see my artwork as opposed to the 8-10 minutes it took to 'Shake it like a Polaroid pic-cha' (sorry, couldn't help myself).
My motives, however, are much the same. I always liked to be right there between it all. You know, in the "happening zone". Where it's at. I love being smack dab in between the life experiences of others and their memories.
Gloria may not remember that day if she were randomly asked about it. She may not remember the capri pants or glittery eyeshadow. She may not remember me asking her to lift her chin and "smile really pretty". But I'm almost positive if I showed her that will all come back to her...right down to the smell of the Rave hairspray and "Oh Mickey Your So Fine, your so fine you blow my mind, HEY MICKEY" blasting in the background.
That is why I do what I do.
What is your "Rave hairspray" and "corny background music"?
What life experience do you want to last a lifetime on print (or these days, in pixels)?
Call me and I'll be there, to help preserve the memory.