Bradshaw Massie Engagement | Houston Photographer

Check out this awesome couple - Lindsey and Stew. Lots more to say and photos coming on my recent shoots - Just wanted to get some out there for you all to see! :) 

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Pocahontas Lindsey - Stew with the jokes :)

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So-Yeon and Carl's Engagement | Galveston Photographer

My two month back to back photography sprint started with So-Yeon and Carl's engagement shoot. This couple had me enjoying every moment I had with them as we moved around the windy and crisp morning air in Galveston. They were such naturals with each other and so relaxed with me. Congratulations Carl and So-Yeon! I can't wait to photograph your amazing Wedding Day.

I also want to give a special thanks to Carl Williams (Little Carl? :), Sean Martin, and Chez McGavock for telling these guys about me! On a lasting note, I am going through a new website revamp with cool new features so if you are looking to book, my old website can be found at schedulingmaigen.com. Stay tuned!

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Making Some Changes

It's been a bit since I've posted in here but wanted to let you all know that I am revamping my current website on maigensawyer.com so right now, it's empty! If you are looking for my calendar, head on over to schedulingmaigen.com

Be sure to check my Facebook for updates as wel!

Parker Professional Headshots | Houston Photographer

This beautiful woman is cleaning up her professional online world with a few quick shots we took early one morning. Lindsay is the Executive Assistant to the Regional President at BP here in Houston. Connect with her, and me!

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Koh Tao, Thailand

Koh Tao is one of the last places I went, and my favorite. Head over to Pleasant Cynicism to keep up with write-ups about the places I visited and photographed. Trey does a much better job explaining what to do, how to get around, and what to eat. We met quite a few people here, and not pictured is Perry, from San Francisco who will be featured in a vid I'm putting together of my travels through Southeast Asia.

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A fun group of Swedish guys pulled out the guitar and showed us a few native songs. Mattis, Hannah, Robin, and Don will be featured in the vid I am working on. Great to meet you guys!

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 I got way too excited to meet a really cool couple from Scotland, Nicola and Gary. They're debuting in my vid also. They told me of popular areas for weddings in Scotland. It would be heaven if I could photograph a wedding in Scotland!

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I met this awesome chick named Claire, also from San Francisco like Perry. She is a performer with a hula hoop and I was mesmerized. As you can guess, she made the vid too. I'm going to learn how to do this and also play with fire. I'm really not kidding.

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Koh Samui and Angthong Marine Park, Thailand

I really wanted interaction with a baby elephant and a monkey. If I could own a baby elephant that never grew up, a monkey, and a baby polar bear, I'd feel wholesome. I just have to go to Alaska for the baby polar bear. That's next I hope. Koh Samui is one of many islands in Southern Thailand, that I'd have known nothing about if it weren't for the Travel Blogging Trey conversing and researching it's whereabouts. Have a look at his blog if you're looking to learn how to travel efficiently through Southeast Asia, or Europe > http://pleasantcynicism.com/blog/ We left Koh Samui one day to travel to a handful of tinier islands, the area known as Angthong Marine Park. Angthong was one of my favorite places in southern Thailand. We hiked up the side of the island to a viewpoint high above, my favorite spot. You'll find it in the mix of these photos - Enjoy the pics! Wedding season is coming up soon and I just can't wait.

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I may never eat this meal again, but at times, I did enjoy it. Pad Thai, a "usual" over there.

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I could barely stomach taking photos of these creatures on a stick.

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This photo is compliments of Trey, Travel Blogger at http://pleasantcynicism.com/blog/ -

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My First Fashion Photoshoot

Well I recently had the opportunity to step into a different type of photography. Not my typical outdoorsy, candid, life as you are kind of thing. This was a high end photo shoot for a rather incredible designer rug company located in the Galleria of Houston. Madison Lily. I was so impressed with the true designer nature of the owner, and will be writing much more about these guys in the coming few days. Stay tuned :) 

A 15-Minute Lifetime

I walked into a man’s office in 2009 and it changed my life. Not in one of those philosophical, far out ways, no. I mean the nuts and bolts of life; this man showed me reality.

After graduating college in May 2008, I sat around on my computer looking across all the “find a job fast” websites. While I didn’t find a job fast, what I did find was a company advertising themselves as a movers and shakers group within the sports entertainment industry. I was still living in Abilene after graduating, and this potential opportunity had me excited to become an adult. I made the trek into Arlington, Texas, about 2.5 hours away and when I walked into this building, located across the street from the Rangers Ballpark, I felt good.  As I neared the door to this company however, it began to look more like a popular bar scene, people revolving in and out. There was a kind receptionist directing traffic with many people looking as lost as I was, dressed in business suits, briefcases in hand. The waiting area was full of interviewees and while my gut knew something was wrong, I stood to the side, waiting my turn. When it came, I stepped into an office that looked as if it hadn’t been in habitation for long. I sat down and answered my interviewer’s questions politely. Then I walked away. On my drive home, I couldn’t help but think something was awry. It didn’t stop me from hoping for a second interview though and moments later they called asking me back the following week. Looking out on that moment, I realize now that what I did in those next 24 hours was pivotal in shaping my current approach to life. I went home and got on the computer, fired up Google and typed in, “Bullet Media”. I dug 5 pages in and found the affirmation I was looking for. The company was a scam, giving interviewees the impression that they’d be doing inside sales for the professional teams in the area, the Mavericks, Rangers, and so on. In reality, it was door-to-door selling, with a quota that if not met, resulted in no pay. This was my introduction into the real world that things are not what they may seem. I learned two important things that day though – Research matters and trust your instincts. It’s amazing how much you’re told this and how quickly you can find yourself losing the inner instinct battle to your own conflicting justifications. After that day, I grew a little bitter, feeling foolish, and let it manifest my growing disposition with the natural good in people, until a fifteen minute conversation turned into a crash course.

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Some time later, I found another company in the same area that was actually credible and went to work for them for about three months. As with anything in life, people know people and before I knew it, I was driving down to Houston for yet another interview, in hopes to find something I was passionate to work at every day. This man walked in with a generous smile that really commanded the room. He looked in my eyes and talked to me with a knowing voice. The combination made me believe that he knew something about me that even I didn’t know. I trusted my instincts, and weeks later, I had a cubicle in his office and I went to work. Little did I know that the 15-minute interaction I had with him would change my whole life, cubicle aside. Most of my readers may not know that I am not close to my own father. I don’t even have his last name and it’s actually better that way. This man, the one who changed it all for me, has been more to me in 4 years than I could ever have seen coming. He showed me that all those bumps, rough edges, and road blocks aren’t going anywhere and it was how I handled myself, through and through that makes this life a playground or a quicksand pit. He encouraged the growth of my own personal photography business as I worked for him at his own company. He sat me down in front of financial advisors, so many business owners, managers, marketers, and most applicable to me today, the world of the international. I learned ethics, how to manage morale in the corrupt, respect to myself and others, what it is to appreciate the everyday and how to do it all with a smile on your face. This part, he has demonstrated so incredibly well. He has supported me unconditionally, at my best and my worst. This man’s name is Larry. In the past 3.5 years, he has answered and proven a lifetime of questions. His better half, Jodie, just by being herself, has shown me how to live your life the way you want it, and no other way. Amazing breeds itself.

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Before I went to work for Larry, I had been on an airplane maybe 3 times. Today, I am on the other side of the world, and the moment I told Larry I was leaving, he reached out to his like-minded network of colleagues in Asia, namely Okamoto Yukinori a business owner in Tokyo, Japan and Sunny Phang, a business owner in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. I met Yuki in Japan late after my flight landed for some sushi and to snap a few great photos of a nearby temple. Yuki came far out of his way to accommodate me for a few hours and I couldn’t be more thankful. Then, as I landed in Kuala Lumpur, Sunny welcomed us with open arms, lunch, and a tour of his business. These three men met through an organization that is full of more great people, Dscoop. It is an organization of business owners and their companies who operate a like model of print machinery, the HP Indigo Digital Press.  It's nice to know that there are people, with feelings and hearts inside these companies.

I have since moved on to work with a Search Engine Optimization company, to learn and interact with more incredible people, Radyar and Dadbeh, Jessica, Ross, and Alex. But I couldn't be more appreciative of Sunny and Yuki's kind efforts to make me feel closer to home, and a bit more familiar and I can't wait to see you both again! I also couldn’t be more thankful to this man, Larry, for helping me find my way in the unknown, hours away from family and considerably pessimistic at times. I have grown a tremendous amount with you in my life. I can't express how relieved I am to believe in a happy life, the way you and Jodie have shown it can be done.

Tokyo with Yuki

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Kuala Lumpur with Sunny

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Eating in Penang, Malaysia

Penang is where it happened. I had hit a wall and couldn't manage to eat anymore noodles, fried rice, and creatures. Once I grew hungry, I started to hawk-eye the streets for the brightest signs meant to target one audience, me, the fatty fried American. In the past week, I have eaten more french fries than I might have eaten all last year. So much in fact, that I've eaten my way back through them to willingly try more Asian food. However, I'm sticking to the basics. So, if you're crazy about Asian food, you should check out pleasantcynicism.com - Trey tries it all, and he loves it. He'll tell you the best hawker stands, restorans, and more in the places he's gone. I'll tell you that french fries are a great Plan B.
 

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More food... Lots and lots of food.

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And beer to wash down the creatures with.

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We stayed at this Guesthouse. The rooms were amazingly cold and very dark, a cave to sleep in after being in the hot streets all day.

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Part of the nice staff here. Very sweet people.
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Met this guy, Nicholas, from Australia. Nicholas is riding his bike through a maze of countries even up into Europe and perhaps over to the States. When asked how long he was traveling for, he casually said, "I've been on the road for almost 3 months and I'll be going for 3 years." No big deal. My 3 week trip probably looked like a weekend to him.  Oh well. Trey said that would happen. Most people I'd meet would be traveling for much longer than I. Maybe we'll see Nicholas back on my blog once he goes through the big American park. A few necessities for the road (place of origin, a lacey token, gas tank, and koozie): Also, another friend we met who is not pictured is Rico. He lived in the States for quite some time and is also out connecting the world's dots. 

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Temple after temple that looks something like above, and many homes that look something like below.

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Webranx | Internet Marketing Strategies

As most of my viewers know, I operate my photography business in tandem with another trade of mine, Graphic/Web Design and Multimedia Marketing. Almost two months ago, I moved to a Search Engine Optimization company down here in Houston and just love these guys! Meet my team below and check us out on webranx.com - In short, we get people found on Google and in long, we do some crazy amazing web projects with all kinds of technologies. Also, I recently took on my first fashion photoshoot for a client of ours and will be posting photos from the 10 hour escapade soon enough, along with details about that awesome client. The only person not pictured here is me, the Director of Interactive Design, because I was behind the camera, and not in front of it :) We have a great time with our clients.

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Aggie | Graphic Designer

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Alex | Director of Marketing > 

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Ben | Chief Financial Officer

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Dadbeh | Chief Operating Officer

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Jamie | Chief Marketing Officer

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Jessica | Director of Client Services

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Monica | Copywriter

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Radyar | Chief Strategy Officer

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Ross | Lead Graphic Designer

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Gandolfo + Hale Engagement | Houston Photographer

I am quite the fan of these two. Jen and Marc are a beautiful pair with awesome personalities . I have the honor of photographing their wedding in April and am definitely looking forward to the hilarious and fun time that day will be. Congratulations on your engagement guys!

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2013 Wedding Day Special

Hello and welcome to my updated blog! I am currently updating my website, my blog that you see here, and a couple of side ventures related to my photography trade. I will be adding pages on better practices for all things wedding and photoshoots, tips, DIY ideas for wedding decor, among many other things. This year has been a busy one with destination weddings in Mexico, and a 17 day tour of Europe to 7 countries. To boot, my boyfriend has opened his own Travel Blog where he writes about the best and most efficient ways to travel beyond the States. If you're looking to have a destination wedding, have a look at his site. I've photographed many awesome events and great memories with amazing families from all over.

About Those Side Ventures:
1. I'm working to create an online storefront to allow my clients the convenience to purchase all things wedding such as invitations, programs, etc, baby shower invitations, and holiday cards. The designs will all be custom made by myself because as many of you know, I am a Graphics/Web Designer by trade. Stay tuned.

2. BobbyPinup - I am currently building out a blogsite dedicated to the use of bobbypins in hairstyles. This DIY blogsite is very useful for bride and bridesmaid hairstyles, as well as every day use. I will use my cinema and photography to orchestrate beautiful tutorials for you to view. You can sign up for my weekly ePinup over at bobbypinup.com - It may be a while before you get the first ePinup, but I am definitely working to get this up and running!

Most importantly, I have a Wedding Special for 2013. In a couple more weeks. 

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Martin Wedding | Abilene, Texas Photographer

The Martin's were a simple pleasure to photograph. They were just so natural, easy-going even, and their effortless love for each other made it easy to find those awesome candid shots I like to take. Laura, sweet and calm, and Jonathan, with his gentle nature and caring ways made for an awesome day of celebrating their future. Their reception was filled with great friends and family and there are so many pictures I still need to post! This West Texas Wedding definitely reminded me to appreciate the small things in life and that there is no stronger thing in this life than the bond with your loved ones. Congratulations you two. It was an honor to be there for your day.

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Amsterdam, Netherlands | Last Stop in Europe

I feel like I'd be doing you an injustice if I don't tell you something first and foremost about Amsterdam. They have French Fries stands everywhere. I'm not talking about the wimpy little packs you get from McDonalds. I'm talking about a huge paper cone filled with big, crunchy french fries and too many sauces to remember. Yeah, you just walk right up, order your size (I needed both hands... well one had a couple french fries in it) and then they fill up a side of your cone with whatever concoction of sauce you prefer, barbeque and mayonaise (Gross! I went with ketchup). They even give you the tiniest little fork utensil to be able to reach the ones way down in the bottom of the cone, or the ones covered in sauce.

This place was awesome. The first thing my boyfriend, Trey, said to me when we got there was to watch out for the bikers, that they rule the road. Check out his travel blog over at pleasantcynicism.com. He talks about many of the places I have photographd here. Soon, and very importantly, he'll discuss the extracurricular activity laws as they are soon changing and as they apply to the foreign traveler. Anyway, had he not said that, I surely would have been on the news in Amsterdam as the injured idiot American pummeled by the rubber of angry bikers.

Trey - Pleasant Cynicism Travel Blog began to point out all the instances of the American flag worn as apparel over in Europe, so I took an interest in these pants and was greeted by this guy, rather happy to see us and be on camera in his own true American Apparel.

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A fellow graphic designer, Tim Boelaars, who belongs to the same design platform I recently came onboard with, Dribbble, was kind enough to meet up and chat about the foreign city I was in, home to him. We exchanged a bit about design and then he pointed me in a new direction of the city. It is a point of interest for me now to meet designers and photographers from just about anywhere I go, whether nationally or internationally. Twitter was my way of interaction to chat about the city of Berlin with another designer, who lived there, and even another in Marseille, France.  Check Tim's work out.

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Early morning photo as I headed to the train station en route to the airport for home.

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Crotwell + Lukin Engagement | Houston Photographer

Meet Christine and Greg. There was no way to have a bad time with these guys! This attractive couple was so fun to work with, even in light of the rain and stormy weather that day. I will be photographing their wedding the first part of next year and just can't wait! Christine is so on top of things, and I'm more than happy to be able to photograph them! Congratulations you two.

 

Tarr + Delach Engagement | Houston Photographer

Oh, Derek and Amber....So fun! I met Amber in a city basketball league here in Houston a year or more ago. She is a former Texas Tech ballplayer of which I have much respect. They were such a fun couple to be around, with someone always saying something that you couldn't help but laugh at. They were so relaxed and natural with each other that it made it easy for me to feel relaxed and comfortable. I really enjoyed this shoot and will be editing many more over the weekend so check back! I have a lot of cool things going up soon :) Such a good looking couple!

My Design Side

Some time ago, I designed a Dr. Seuss Baby Shower Invitation for my best friend. As search engines would have it, my design has made it out to Google and I have been getting a few inquiries from other soon to be mom's about printing the design for them. As most of you know, I am a graphic/web designer by trade and I run my photography business around that. While this won't always be the case, it is right now and I love it all. Lately, I've been learning yet another new software and interface to be able to automate parts of the design process. In the two screenshots below, I am creating each letter of the alphabet to look like grass (thanks to this awesome tutorial from PSDTuts+). Once the full alphabet has been created, I'll be able to automate the process (for example) of putting each person's name from a list in this grass design type. Technical and nerdy, you bet! But.. I think it'll be really cool for customers who want to put the individual names of people they are inviting to their shower or event directly on their invitations and it'll save me from having to do each and every name/invitation by hand. What do you think?

Berlin, Germany | Europe

Clearly, from my photos I can tell that Berlin was my favorite place. My grandmother, originally from Manheim, told me wonderful things about this country so I might have had a preconceived notion, but it was all she said it would be. I noticed graffitti everywhere, and loved the East Side Gallery. We stayed in this hostel, the Circus, which was my favorite of the entire trip. It was so ecclectic and artsy. I thoroughly enjoed it and I enjoyed something else too, a lot, too much. Currywurst. You'll find a photograph of it, ketchup all over the place, french fries (my weakness) and plenty of curry sprinkled over bratwurst. At first, I didn't know what to make of it and after about the 5th meal, I started craving it every few hours. Fatty, I know. I don't care. It's that good.

The Holocaust Memorial... was chilling and moving. It was hard to move on after we came up on this. I just wanted to stay there and give more than a momen't silence.

Biertgartens are considerably interesting to me. I could only imagine having been there with a huge group of friends. At a later date, I'll be directing you all to write ups about many of these things in more detail but for now, my captions will have to work :)

All I wanted to do was get on a bike, and once we did, we drove all the way out to this forest, right to the center and I pulled 3 leaves from a tree. One for mom, grandma, and me. I'm going to have them framed or something.

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Niamh Smith 23 Days Old | Houston Photographer

Meet Baby Smith. Her parents run a CrossFit Box here in Houston > Cannon CrossFit, and she's already fitting the mold. Strong and beautiful, Niamh is just a gorgeous little girl. Here are a few sneaks until I can get some more up :) Enjoy.