The Big Taste 2015

If you follow me on Instagram or Facebook you may have seen a few posts about the award I designed for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Houston for their annual Big Taste of Houston. It was a true collaboration between myself, my awesome mom sculptor Bridgette Mongeon and Joe from Carvewright. Through a FaceTime conversation with Bridgette and the wonderful folks at Big Brothers Big Sisters of Houston I came up with the below sketched design and then later did a very rough mockup in Illustrator.

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From there Bridgette did her digital sculpting magic in ZBrush and created a 3D model of the award and Joe worked his craft and did some amazing things with his Carvewright and woodworking skills (you can see his whole process here, it’s pretty awesome). And well, then there was an award.

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The three of us with the award at the event.

Big Taste 2015

The Big Taste was this past Sunday and it was fantastic. I’ve coordinated and worked large events like this and I know how much time, energy, endless work, blood, sweat, tears, etc. goes into an event and the folks at Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Houston did a stellar job.

More than anything I was reminded why I love this city, there is SO much talent and love and pride in this city that it’s overwhelming sometimes. The beginning of the event overlapped with the Rocket’s game and folks were glued to the nearest TV during the final minutes of the game. A guy from Dallas won the Audi that was raffled off, and everyone was a little upset about it. And the food, oh the food. There are some seriously talented chefs in this city.

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BigTaste15-08 Killen’s Barbecue presented a short rib [insert other fancy things I can’t remember] with a bleu cheese dumpling (see below). It was excellent. I could have eaten those pickled onions all by themselves. The basil lemon cheesecake from Red Dessert Dive in the Heights might just be my new favorite dessert of choice (and this is coming from a person who doesn’t really love sweets).

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The winners of every award, Dish Society.

Equally as amazing is the organization the whole event benefited, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Houston. As a parent I couldn’t be more thankful for the friends and family who pour into my daughter’s life. The Bigs in this program are pouring into the lives of children who start out as complete strangers. I really believe that is the epitome of love, giving selflessly to a stranger. As the President of Big Brothers Big Sisters Houston Pierce Bush said at the event, “I dream of a day where there is no need for this organization.” Until that day, Big Brothers Big Sisters will continue to do what they do, with the help of others in the community both as Bigs and as generous donors to the cause.

If you’d like to donate to Big Brothers Big Sisters Houston visit www.bbbstx.org and click the Houston button. For a list of all the Big Taste 2015 participants check out The Big Taste.

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The Day B.B. King Came to My House for Dinner

In second grade I sold enough World’s Finest chocolate bars and chocolate covered almonds to reach the top tier prize group, the one where you get your pick of a shiny new bike, remote control airplane, or my prize of choice, a tape/record player. I distinctly remember this conversation with my teacher:

“Christina, do you want the record player or the CD player”?

“A CD player? I don’t know what that is.” I responded.

“It’s the disc things Mr. Muller plays in music class.”

“I don’t have those, I have records.”

It was roughly 1992-ish. We had records. Lots of records. Vinyl is what I first heard music on, and I still believe music sounds best on vinyl. Memories of my early childhood are filled with my parents playing classic rock, Christmas albums, and a few Disney albums. It’s on vinyl that I first heard blues, specifically B.B. King.

It’s strange to me that in the same week that great man passed, my husband bought me a record player for my 30th birthday, and I got to share the glory of my vinyl collection with my own daughter (she’s thrilled with it by the way). During my birthday dinner, my dad quietly mentioned, “Did you hear B.B. King is in hospice?” “Yeah, I did, it’s really sad.”

To anyone else, that was a transfer of pop culture news, but to our family, it was something different.

On Thursday B.B. King died, and it got me thinking about the day B.B. King came to dinner at my house. I was little, younger than second grade, but old enough to understand that it was a really big deal and that it was a memory I should really hold on to.

My mom is a sculptor, and a darn good one at that, over the years she turned a hobby into a career. It was early on in her career, right near that “oh wow” point, that point where anyone who’s ever followed a dream understands. It’s when suddenly you receive a spark of success that is completely unexpected but so desired and you stand back and look at what you’ve done and you think, “hey, maybe I really am an artist” or a musician, or a fire fighter, or a chef or whatever it is that dream leads you to be. During that time, she was allowed the chance to meet the blues legend and do a portrait bust of him. She actually wrote about it all recently here on her blog. Reading her blog and thinking about that time, and watching a few friends recently running after their dreams and maybe even turning 30 all got me really thinking about a lot of things.

I remember walking to our front yard and picking flowers, not roses or daisies, but more along the lines of dandelions and those little purple flowers that pop up with clover in the south. “Mom, these are for B.B. King.” Oh the heart of a child. I picked weeds for B.B. King. But he was a man with a kind heart and while I can’t remember specifics, I do recall that he did not reject my flowers, but he gave me a tiny lapel pin with a blue guitar on it (which I later learned was Lucille), and his name in a big bold font.

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But B.B. King isn’t just a legend, and it isn’t just that he ate dinner at my house, at the table I still eat dinner at when I take my daughter to ‘Gamma’s’ house. He did something for my family when he agreed to let my mom sculpt him. He gave her that “oh wow” moment, he gave a young artist that spark of early success that sends you propelling forward. He believed in my mom and her talents. And what that did was allow her to continue to follow her dream. Which taught a very young girl that following dreams was completely appropriate and encouraged, even if it’s crazy or harder or silly or whatever nay-sayers tend to call dreams. Watching my mom pursue and push and run after her dreams showed me that I could do that too.

She writes in her blog post about B.B. King, “Reminiscing on paying my dues, I realize that the most important belief in myself had to come from me. Counting others to believe in oneself is senseless. You are the most important thing to you.”

And while she totally taught me to believe in myself, to count on myself, to be self sufficient, that I can do all things I put my mind to, I have always known that she believes in me and because of that I have never had to believe in myself alone.

It wasn’t always easy, there were times where there wasn’t work, and we struggled, but to see where she is now makes me know the hard part is worth it, the work is worth it, the time and energy and blood sweat and tears is worth it, because sometimes, B.B. King comes to dinner at your house.

Thank you B.B. King for giving that to our family. Your memory will live in our hearts and our ears, every time I play that vinyl record.

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I’ve Been Writing In My Head

Throughout the day I write blog posts in my head. It’s weird. I think of great topics, and things to say and antidotes and puns, all while changing a diaper or vacuuming or washing that one dish for the 100th time.

When I sit down to actually write, that blinky line cursor thing mocks me. It laughs at me with every. steady. blink. “Remember when you could remember things? Remember when you wrote interesting blog posts? Remember when you knew what was going on in the world and had somewhat of an opinion?” That’s what it says to me.

Seriously. I have a friend who lives in Baltimore and her Facebook status was something along the lines of, “Can’t go to do [insert important thing she had to do] the freeways are closed down because of rioters.” And I was all, “Rioters? What the heck is going on?” Then I saw that Baltimore was trending, which immediately told me that I was not.

And while, all that is happening in Baltimore and Nepal and the baby princess and all of that is big news, the biggest news to me is that I woke up early, before Issa, and put my hair up and got dressed and threw on a little mascara and when I went in her room to get her she gasped and said, “mommy you look soooo beeeeauuutiful”. And right now, in this stage in my life, that’s all that really matters. For me, that’s better than any headline.

All this to say, I hope to write more personal posts here again. But if you don’t see anything from me, know it’s because I’m living life and fully enjoying the little moments with the people who hold my heart.

Posted in Life

Senior Photos, A Cheerleader, Spring, TX

Savannah is gorgeous. Period. So, shooting her session was so easy. We got to a point though, where we were in a field and she was in her cheerleader uniform and I just kinda said, “umm do what a cheerleader does”. A rare occurrence, I wasn’t sure how to direct her, and at that moment I realized Savannah is our very first cheerleader we’ve ever shot. Which is odd, because we’ve shot swimmers, athletes, artists, dancers, theater kids, figure skaters, skateboarders, and all different kinds of seniors. So thanks Savannah for being our first cheerleader, and thanks for being gorgeous. Here are our favorites from her session.

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A Newborn and Family Session, Spring, TX

I love this family. My daughter tells me at least once a day about their oldest, George and how he’s her best friend. Makes me melt every time. They brought the sweetest most lovely little lady into the world and I was absolutely honored to capture her newness in these images. Here’s some favorites from their session.

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And this happens on most newborn sessions, either to mom or dad or me. It’s part of the deal. Thanks for being a trooper Lauren.

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Posted in DP&D Photography Sessions, Families & Kids, Photography Tagged , , , |

First Communion Portraits, Tomball TX

I met Bianca and her mom through another really great client. They joined us for our snowy holiday mini sessions back in December. Mini sessions are short, its the main reason I don’t love doing them, so I didn’t get to really get to know Bianca and her mom. But, when they told me they’d like me to shoot her first communion portraits I was thrilled that I’d have a chance to spend more time with them and to capture this beautiful young lady.

I knew in my head I wanted an old timey, white, country church. I did a lot of research and found this beauty a short 20 minutes from our house. It might be one of my new favorite locations (I’m pretty sure I need to shoot a bridal portrait there next).

It was sprinkling at my house when I left to go to the location Friday morning, but God must have heard my pleas for a lull in the rain because by the time I got to the location it had let up. Things were drenched but we working with it, tucking towels here and there and tip-toeing through the soaked ground. Bianca is a beautiful girl and I’m loving her photos. They’re all her and I’m so thrilled her and her mom let me capture this special time in her life, and her faith.

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Spring 2015 Photo Session Clothing Guide

It’s that time of year again folks! Time for another clothing guide. As we’ve said in previous guides, Pantone (the czar of color) puts out a list of the top colors for each season. The color palette this year is looking pretty snazzy and is definitely different from the spring colors of previous years. It’s actually sounding quite edible with color names like tangerine, custard, strawberry ice, toasted almond and marsala. Or maybe it’s just because I’m writing this right before lunch time. Either way, here’s the colors and a little inspiration with clothing from Gap. If you’re needing a little further guidance check out 7 Tips on What to Wear for Holiday Photos, while we wrote it with our holiday sessions in mind, the advice can apply to any kind of photo shoot.

Spring Photo Session Clothing Guide from Diliberto Photo and Design

Want to read more about Pantone’s Fashion Color Report for Spring 2015, click here.

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Hello 2015, Welcome

It’s 2015! How did that happen?! I am so excited for the new year. It always tends to spring up on me after the hustle and bustle of Christmas and our busy season of family photo sessions and holiday cards. I’m thrilled that we’re already booking into May, in fact May sessions are almost completely booked. Which brings me to my next announcement, we are currently booking family, senior, engagement and baby/kid sessions for Spring 2105.

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January is typically my month of rest and regrouping (though we do have a few head shots, family sessions, and engagement sessions booked this month). Its time to think about what’s coming for the next year, ideas for mini sessions and the like. It feels like the world is at my fingertips. It’s an exciting time, full of planing and brainstorming. This year, I want to hear from you…what do you want to see from us? More info on the blog? More mini sessions? What can we do to improve? So if you don’t mind, leave a comment below or on our Facebook page and let me know. :)

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Thank You for A Wonderful Year of Photography

Spring Texas Photographer

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A Family Photo Session on A Christmas Tree Farm, Spring, TX

One of my photographer bucket list items has always been to shoot at a Christmas Tree Farm. When Erika contacted me and said that is exactly what they wanted to do I was elated. We went to Old Time Christmas Tree Farm, where they’ve gotten their tree in the past. It’s a beautiful place not far from my home. I was amazed at how much farm was there, I had no idea it was that large. The Christmas trees go on forever.

We went on a weekday so other than one or two other families we had the place pretty much all to ourselves. Erika and her family are beautiful so my job was simple, just capture their natural beauty. Her daughter was the easiest baby I’ve ever photographed and their dog was a champ. Here are my favorite images.

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