What Life Does to You and What You Choose To Do

I almost wrote this blog post in my branding blog.  In fact, I still might, because it's something that happens to EVERY entrepreneur at some point.  

You're swimming along, excited about how things are moving.  You feel like you've found your place, and you like the vision you see of the future.  And then... Life runs over you.

For me, (this time, anyway) it was my husband's recent illness.  He landed in the hospital, and my world flipped upside down.  He's doing better now, but now it's the end of the summer with my world full of travel and getting ready for our new year of homeschooling. (More about this later, but we're joining an AMAZING co-op called Classical Conversations this year, and I am so stinking excited!) 

But this spring/summer, just when I was gaining my momentum with The Roaring Brand, I fell down.  I felt like all the balloons I had up in the air popped with a super dramatic, slow-leak EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEeeeeeeeeee sound.  I had to learn to be vulnerable.  I had to ask for help.  I had to say, "no" to things I would normally say, "yes" to without a thought.  I had to let things drop down to spots on my priority list that I wasn't really okay with.  I had to fail a little bit. 

I failed a little bit in the last few months.

Here's the thing about that, too: like so many of us, I have a tendency to trap myself in my failures, perceived or real.  I stop and say to myself, "I'm seeing a pattern here, Katie," and it freezes me.  I find myself petrified to move forward, because everything behind me was hard, and maybe it didn't work! What makes me think it will work next time? Now here I am... frozen again! 

Well, not really, or I wouldn't be here.  But it's a process.  And I'm giving myself grace when I would usually berate myself for imperfection. 

Because guess what? No one else is berating me.  My clients have been understanding.  My friends have come to my aid, even when it wouldn't have occurred to me to ask.  I've cried at their generosity.  I've cried at my failure.  And now I'm moving forward.

There's a song that has sort of become my anthem this summer, and I want to share it.  Because like I said, we ALL find ourselves in this spot sometimes.  Sometimes it just takes a lyric, a word of encouragement, a meme even! to pull us out of whatever dark pit we've fallen into.  So I hope this will encourage you, too. 

"It's Not Over Yet"
For King and Country

They are inside your head
You got a voice that says
You won't get past this one
You won't win your freedom

It's like a constant war
And you want to settle that score
But you're bruised and beaten
And you feel defeated

This goes out to the heaviest heart

Oh, to everyone who's hit their limit
It's not over yet
It's not over yet
And even when you think you're finished
It's not over yet
It's not over yet
Keep on fighting
Out of the dark
Into the light
It's not over
Hope is rising
Never give in
Never give up
It's not over

Yea-et-et, whoa
Yea-et-et, whoa

Oh, game set match
It's time to put it in your past, oh
Feel the winter leavin'
It's redemption season
Long live the young at heart (Here we are)
Cheers to a brand new start (Here we are)
We're revived and breathing
To live a life of freedom

Oh, to everyone who's hit their limit
It's not over yet
It's not over yet
And even when you think you're finished
It's not over yet
It's not over yet
Keep on fighting
Out of the dark
Into the light
It's not over
Hope is rising
Never give in
Never give up
It's not over

And to leave you with some intense cuteness... the first image of my gorgeous little niece ever to grace my blog, I think.  I adore this face so very much!

What's your failure story?  Share with me! Encourage others to un-freeze in the face of failure! 

Posted on August 7, 2016 .

The start of the rest of my life...

I've spent a lot of time lately in serious self reflection.  That happens sometimes when so many things change at once. 

See, in the past year...
- I've moved from a place I loved so very much (Denver) to a hot, humid place I had to learn to love (Houston)
- I've come to a crossroads in my business where I needed to rebuild... or make a change. Or both!
- I've gained a new, completely unexpected job- homeschooling mommy! 
- I've realized I needed to make a huge change.  I needed to simplify.  I needed to boil it all down to my purpose and the essence of my passion and only allow in the things that spoke to that. 

And that essence? That purpose?  I don't think it will be a surprise at all.


And here's how this applies to this blog. 

See, I've never really enjoyed blogging my photography work.  That particular art is for the women in the images, not really for the world to see.  I enjoy telling their stories, but it feels rather forced most of the time. I realize that, as a photographer, I *have* to show at least *some* of my work.  Otherwise no one could trust me to hire me! So my website will certainly still be available, and you can use the link above to find my work.  But I don't necessarily think I have to spill it all.

But what I DO want to talk about is my life.  I want to talk about homeschooling, because it's the most important thing I'm doing to empower the most important little girl in my life to grow into an empowered woman. 

I want to talk about fashion and art and the things that make ME feel empowered. 

I want to share my poetry and my photo shoots of my daughter. 

I want to talk about my new venture- The Roaring Brand.  But I built a new blog to be able to do that. :) You won't see a lot of that here. 

So I've made a change in this blog.  I've gone through and removed all of the old posts that didn't speak to those things I want to talk about.  (I may have missed some... I'm sure you can imagine how much I cannot imagine going through each individual post! So forgive me if you find some old business something left over.) And from here on out, this one is alllll about me, my life, and the things I want to talk about without worry of whether or not they fit into my business blog.  Because although my business IS me and is a huge part of me and my purpose... there are a whole lot of details to this great big life I've been blessed to live!

And I hope you'll follow along and share a little of your life with me, too! 

Posted on April 2, 2016 .

February Stitch Fix Fun! - Houston Stitch Fix Fashion

It's a new month, and amidst all the craziness of e-workbook writing and business-building (See: my last blog post, especially if you're a creative businesswoman!) I *almost* forgot to post my February Fix! And I shouldn't, because I'll just go ahead and tell you now... it's fabulous!

(If you aren't sure what I'm talking about here with this Stitch Fix thing, check out THIS POST.  LOTS of info!  And if you're interested in my take on how to have a great experience with Stitch Fix, THIS POST is the place for you!)

And now on to the awesomeness that is my February Fix, once again from the delightful Kelly! 

You may notice the pics are a little different this time.  It was such a gorgeous day, I decided to mix things up a little bit and take the photos outside... Literally RIGHT outside my front door.  These are actually steps away from where I usually take my photos. 

In the process, I managed to scare the bejeezus out of my USPS delivery guy when he walked up to my open front door that I was just about to walk through in my next outfit.  He called, "Hello??" right as I practically walked right into him, fluffing my hair.  (He was probably already on edge, having noticed the camera pointed at him sitting on the tripod.) 
So, if my next Fix ends up late, we'll all know it's my fault. 

And next time, I think I'll reconsider the great outdoors.  Or at least the front walkway, which does not lend itself to a steady tripod/ in-focus pictures!

But, anyway! Back to this awesome Fix!

First up...

Rebekah Stretch Crepe Blazer
Just Black Madelyn Released Hem Skinny Jean
31 Bits Mediterranean Beaded Necklace

So yes, that's a lot.  Kelly basically sent me an entire adorable outfit. :) 

We'll start with the Kenzie blazer.

When I saw this blazer was coming (I always peek.  How does one not peek?), I was skeptical.  I have a LOT of blazers, because, well, I really like them! I like to use them as a light jacket or throw them over a t-shirt to dress things up a bit.  So once this one came, and I felt the material (it's nice and light, but it feels really nice and is lined in adorable polka dots.) and put it on me (does it not look tailored just for me? Perfect length- even in the arms!) I knew it was staying. I'm really into this cranberry at the moment, too, and I love how perfectly it matches these Cynthia Rowley loafers that are basically the most comfortable shoes in the entire universe.

And then the necklace! I'm not entirely sold on the necklace, but I am definitely sold on the company! 31 Bits is a company started by a group of women who had a heart for the women of Uganda.  One of them had brought back some jewelry made of recycled materials by one of the women there, and they launched a plan to create a company that could supply jobs to women in poverty there.  So that's what they do- these women use 100% recycled materials to create the gorgeous beads on these necklaces.  I absolutely ADORE that the necklace I'm holding was hand-made by another woman who is getting a well-deserved chance, not just with a job, but with health and education by 31 Bits! 
So you better believe I'm going to be buying more of their gorgeous pieces in the future!
You can learn more about them (and buy their necklaces for yourself!) on their website- HERE.

And next up... THOSE JEANS! 
I mean, HOW did I get a pair of jeans, sent to me by someone else, that fit me SO WELL?! I'm in love with those things, weird hem and all! They're technically ankle jeans (I'm a SHORT girl, y'all), and they're made to have the option of rolling the hem.  I just don't often do that, and the length is pretty much perfect, anyway!
Seriously.  I still can't believe I love them!

Alice Blue Catall Cold Shoulder Blouse

So, there's a very good chance that I look like a pirate in this blouse.

I'm aware... I even kind of (accidentally) styled it that way. And it's a little shorter than I prefer, too, so... sorry, world.  I'm wearing leggings as pants. #sorrynotsorry

But whatever.  I'm embracing my inner pirate and keeping it! The lace is gorgeous, and the material is light and flowy and lovely. And black.  My power color. And I'm really liking this cold shoulder trend, too.  

I might just... work on the styling a bit. 

Daniel Rainn Poppins Crochet Trim Blouse

I was definitely skeptical about this shirt. Even moreso than the blazer! For one thing, I recognized the name.  Daniel Rainn blouses are often some of the pricier tops Stitch Fix carries, and I wasn't sure it was going to be worth it.  And then I figured out I could unbutton it all.the.way. This is a game changer! Not only is it cute by itself, I can use it as a light layer! SCORE for the girl who is clinging to her layered style after moving from the mountain breezes of Denver to the HEAT of Houston! The shoulder details are pretty super-cute, too! 
But, yes... it was a pricier piece, especially for a simple polkadot blouse.  I'm not sure the adorable details would have been enough for me to keep it if I weren't keeping everything and thus getting my 25% discount. (I just LOVE a good discount! Don't you?) 

Oh, and those are my new jeans in the first pic, too. Still loving them! 

And that's it! My February Fix! No question this time- I happily kept it ALL! And now I'm just waiting on pins and needles for my March Fix! 

(PS- If I've convinced you to try out Stitch Fix for yourself... I would loooove it if you would use my referral link! I'll get a little credit as a thank you from Stitch Fix for referring you, and you'll have your very own Fix on the way! Be sure to come back for pirate styling tips! ;) 

Posted on February 12, 2016 .

It's time to build! (And here's what's in store!)

I've been a little radio-silent about work here since moving to Houston.  I took some time off before my daughter started Kindergarten, and then once she started Kindergarten... we started home schooling! 

So that was an unexpected addition to my usual juggling!  In fact, it was this addition that sparked the realization that I needed to simplify.  I've always put being a mom first and still been able to superwoman my way through up until now.  But THIS.  My daughter's education, all in my hands! THIS is huge! I can't scale that back or drag it around with me.  But I also can't stop.  I have a passion, and it would also be a disservice to my daughter to show her that it's okay to give that up.

So I dug deep.  WHAT do I love to do the most? HOW can I build a business that speaks to my true passion? WHAT is my real passion? What's at the base of everything I do?


And here's what I came up with:
Empowering Women 

That shouldn't be a surprise to anyone.  It certainly wasn't to me.  But I let go of a lot and decided it was past time to fully create my business around that passion.  I want to continue building my photography that already spoke to empowering women (I just have to restart it, because, well, relocation.)  And I want to build a business that truly empowers other creative businesswomen to build businesses they can LOVE and believe in as much as I believe in The Roaring Artist. 

I've offered design and branding for years now, so this isn't really something that's new to me.  But what I've found along the way is that I could create a million beautiful logos and marketing pieces, but if they're not built for a solid brand, then it won't matter!  There will be excitement driving things forward for a while, but that quickly falls flat.  Because outside of the aesthetics, nothing changes!  And businesses are definitely not a case of 'if you build it, they will come.' THEY will not! They won't even see you!

I'm not hanging up my design hat completely, but the focus is changing from design to branding consultation.  I'll be working on a blog that speaks to branding for creative businesswomen and opening up consultation packages, along with WHAT YOU SEE ABOVE!  An interactive guidebook for a branding course for creative businesswomen!  It's still in production, but it's already turning into a product that I am so, SO proud of!  I can't WAIT to get this in the hands of other creative businesswomen! And so to help me with that...

Enter to WIN an advanced copy of
The Roaring Brand below!

And STAY TUNED! There's SO much more to come!!

Posted on February 4, 2016 .

How to get the most out of your Stitch Fix experience - Stitch Fix Tips and Tricks

You know how everyone has that one friend whose every, "I don't know" is followed closely by a frantic search through her purse for her Google machine (aka iPhone) while everyone else moves on with conversation?  The one who goes silent in the group text, because she's scouring Yelp for the very best restaurant idea for your next get-together?  The one who tries a new mascara and the next week can tell you the life story of the brand's graphic designer's cousin who, as it turns out, is famous in Norway? 
The researcher.

I'm the researcher. 

So when I decided to try out Stitch Fix (if you're not sure what I'm talking about... check out this post!), I found myself with a multitude of questions. Like... Who are the stylists? Can I become friends with them? How much do they get paid? How much time do they put into each Fix? How do these Fixes work, anyway? Where do they get the clothes? How can I get the most out of this cool new thing?

The answers, as it happens are as follows:
- (Mostly) women in one of about 15 regions of the country who were hired by Stitch Fix, because they're good at fashion.  That's all I've got here. 
- No. That would apparently be creepy. 
- $15/hour.
- Roughly 15 minutes (or 4 Fixes per hour)
- Hypothetically the system helps the stylist out by eliminating clothes that are unavailable in the correct size, colors and items the customer has specifically asked NOT to get, etc.  Then the stylist goes in and chooses which items to send.  The order is sent to the warehouse, where it's packed and sent straight to your door with the help of the USPS. 
- Stitch Fix has a few brands of their own, and they also have styles from other brands you can find in stores like Nordstrom.  Most of these are either styles or colors that are just for Stitch Fix, but sometimes you can luck up on a Stitch Fix piece elsewhere. (They do price matching if you find it for a lower price)  
- By... actually, let's talk about that. 

-- How to get the most out of your Stitch Fix experience --

First a disclaimer: I have no insider knowledge of Stitch Fix.  I'm simply a researcher-type who likes to obsessively wring all the knowledge there is to know out of every experience.  But I HAVE had a very good experience with Stitch Fix, and I know from my Facebook groups that this isn't always the case.  So I'm going to drop a little knowledge on you that I've picked up along the way and hope it helps you have a good/better experience, too!

There are basically 4 places you can communicate with SF/your stylist: Your Style Profile, note to stylist, Pinterest board, and check-out feedback. We'll look at each of those individually.

First up: Style Profile

This is the very first thing you fill out.  Here you let Stitch Fix know what sizes you need, styles/materials/colors you love/hate, and how you like your clothing to fit.  Basically, this is all your basic info.  If everything works well, the system should eliminate all of the choices that aren't available in your size, are made of fabric you list as a no-no, etc, based on this info. 
TIP #1: Give this some attention each Fix!  Don't just fill it out once and then never come back to it.  I almost always find a thing or two I want to change.  It only takes a quick once-over before each Fix to make sure there's nothing you want to change. 
TIP #2: Make sure your Pinterest board is actually linked here! (We'll get into that more later)
TIP #3: Be super thoughtful on your final thoughts! The Stitch Fix blog suggests putting things like your specific body shape, celebrities whose style you admire, and favorite styles and stores.  Here's an example of mine:

 Next up: Note to Stylist

When you log into your Stitch Fix account, a box will pop up, asking you to leave a note to your stylist.  You'll do this for every Fix, and hypothetically, it will be the first thing your stylist sees before she starts styling each specific Fix.  Here area some things you can mention there (in 498 characters or less!): 
- Specific pieces or styles you've seen and would like to try (Your Pinterest board is also important for that.)
- Occasions or trips coming up that you need special styles for
- Pieces or styles- wardrobe staples- you're missing in your wardrobe and REALLY want. (A good example is the Pixley cardigan I asked for one month... and LOVE!)
- If you want to keep your stylist, you can mention that here. 

TIP #1: Be friendly!  Remember your stylist is a real person who is going to read this. :)
TIP #2: Don't wait to update your note.  Even if it's going to be a month or two before your next Fix, go ahead and do it as soon as you've sent back your latest Fix.  It will still be fresh on your mind, and I've seen quite a few ladies on the Facebook group forget to do their note at all! (You can go back and change it, right up until your Fix goes into your stylist's cue.) 
TIP #3:  Your stylist does not have actual access to the styles she picks.  Stylists work from home via their computers, and they don't actually see and hold all of the clothes.  They also don't have access to fabric makeup.  So don't waste your characters on that. ;) 

Here's an example of my December note (because I didn't save January's... oops!)

Next up: Your Pinterest Board

I think this is key.  And it makes sense when you think about it. 
Remember how I told you that stylists do 4 Fixes per hour? (That means they've got about 15 minutes for yours.)
And you know how people are, in general, highly visual?  (Especially people who might love fashion enough to be a stylist.)
I've heard from other people things like, "If I wanted to put that much work into this, I would just go shop for myself!" And I can see both sides of that.  I just know that in building my Pinterest board and giving it attention each month, I've honed my style and found ideas I didn't consider before.  That really has transferred beyond my Stitch Fix experience!  
I have 2 Pinterest boards relating to Stitch Fix- my Stitch Fix Inspiration board and my Stitch Fix Reviews board where I pin the photos I blog here. I link that Review board in my style profile note. (Okay, I actually have 3- I have an overflow board, too, since I'm a Pin hoarder and needed somewhere to put the pins I remove from my inspiration board to keep it nice and manageable, so I didn't have to completely erase them!) 

TIP #1: Only post a photo if you want it in your Fix.  This means the whole look.  For example, don't post it just because you like the shirt and write 'I hate the pants' in the caption.  There's a very good chance your stylist will be perusing your board and think, "Oh wow! We  have some pants just like those!" and grab them for you. DO caption your photos.  Just understand your stylist has a limited amount of time, and what she's really looking at is the photos. 
TIP #2: Consider whether or not you want to post specific Stitch Fix pieces.  I say 'consider' because if you value the surprise element, you might not want to.  If you will get upset if you don't get those exact pieces every time, you definitely might not want to.  Don't set yourself up to dislike this service! 
TIP #3: Give your Pinterest board attention for each Fix! Erase pieces you received or purchased for yourself or things you don't really want anymore.

And the (almost) last thing: Your Check-out Feedback

When you go to check out, Stitch Fix will give you a chance to rate each piece on their style, size, etc. There is also a place to leave a short note on each piece.  
TIP #1:  Again... don't be mean! Even if you hated it, remember there's a real person on the other side getting this information! I think it's easy to forget that when you're on the computer.
TIP #2:  Even though you're being not-mean, don't lie! And be specific!
TIP #3:  Don't skip the note!  That's where you can tell them why you didn't keep an item... or why you did! Be as specific with this info as you can. Stitch Fix suggests using 'If' statements.  A good example is the Adrianna Papell dress I received in my January Fix. "If this dress had been plain red or pink, I definitely would have kept it! But I wasn't crazy about the floral pattern." 

Aaaand Some Bonus Tips

BONUS TIP #1:   Challenge yourself to try on and style everything and take pictures! What? The photographer is telling you to take pictures? ;) Seriously, though, giving each piece consideration and spending time styling them has been the MOST fun I've had from this experience! I really have found some styles I wouldn't have even thought of trying!

BONUS TIP #2: Stitch Fix does size exchanges IF your size is in stock.  But you're committing to purchasing any piece you size exchange.  I've taken advantage of this, and I think it's awesome. :) 

BONUS TIP #3: If you get a stylist you love, you can keep her! (Sometimes that takes a few Fixes.) Either mention her in your note to stylist or email Stitch Fix to get her added to your account information.  Keep in mind that if she's out on vacation or leaves the company when your Fix comes up for styling, Stitch Fix will set you up with a substitute for that Fix. 

BONUS TIP #4: Have an issue? Talk to Stitch Fix customer service! You can email them directly at hello@stitchfix.com.  Sometimes it takes a few days, but don't freak out! They won't make you pay for everything while you're waiting for the answer to your questions, and they're actually SUPER nice.  

And there you have it! I KNOW you're excited to try this out now if you haven't, and I would LOVE it if you would use my referral link when you do! (It doesn't cost any extra, but I get a little gift certificate from Stitch Fix for referring you.) And then, let me know how it goes for you! I can't WAIT to see what you get!!

Posted on January 17, 2016 .

A New Year, A New Stitch Fix - January 2016 Stitch Fix Box

It's Stitch Fix tiiiiiiiime!!

This month, my usual stylist was on vacation, so I had a stand-in stylist, 
I asked for something fun for my birthday month and opened it up to jewelry and bags.  Usually I have in my style profile that I don't want either of those... but, hey- birthday Fix! And I do think Kelly listened to what I asked for! This Fix wasn't quite my top... in fact, I think it's a 1/5 this time.  But frankly, I still enjoyed trying on these pieces! There wasn't a single piece I was disgusted by.  I'm just at the point where I'm only keeping things I LOVE, and these fell just a smidge short of that.  But anyway! Enough chat! I'll show you!

Pixley Margo Embellished Shoulder Blouse

I asked for some glitter... here it is!! And it's actually kind of cute! If you've read a few of these things, you know how I feel about tab sleeve blouses, and look at those cute tabs! 
BUT. Maybe... just maybe... I have enough?
I'm still not sure that's possible.  But when I put this on, I just wasn't wowed. I think maybe I didn't love how the shoulders laid due to the metallic threading? 
I don't know.  To tell you the truth, I can't 100% figure out why I don't love this top.  It did go well with my cute gold belt.

Market & Spruce Brentwood Jersey Stripe Tiered Top

I think this is the winner.  I mean, it LOOKS like me, but I realized I actually don't have anything like it in my wardrobe! YAY!! I really loved the handkerchief hem.  And this.shirt.is.so.SOFT! Okay, that might be what sold me. 
I did love how it looks with the cute persimmon cords my husband got me from Anthro for Christmas, too.  That also helped. 

Gilli Anastasia Swing Skirt 

Kelly suggested I try the Market & Spruce tiered top with the skirt, and it did look pretty cute! Actually, the skirt was cute.  I would have kept it if I thought I would wear it.  I have a TON of skirts in my wardrobe, and although I love them, they probably constitute the lowest percentage of my actual wear.  So if I'm inviting a new one in, it needs to be one I KNOW I'll wear.  I just wasn't feeling that way about this one.  I thought about keeping it anyway... I mean, it's cute! But I thought about using the money for something else I would actually want to wear, and I would just rather do that. 

Adrianna Papell Phiona Dress & Nakamol Palmetto Fringe Beaded Collar Necklace

This dress was cute and flattering and HAS POCKETS!  And frankly, if it were plain red or something like that, it would have been a no-brainer! I just couldn't make myself love the pattern! I mean, I like moody florals... but this just didn't strike me quite right. 
I think it's because all I could think was that if I had more conservative southern weddings to go to, this would be a great addition to my closet. 
But I don't... so I won't. 
Also the necklace.  I actually LOVELOVELOVE the necklace! Kelly suggested I try it with this dress, and it actually looks awesome!  But I could make it.
I KNOW!! I need to buy stuff, anyway, because WILL I make it? 
Well, actually, that's usually a good argument.  Both because I usually say it and never do it and because I don't ever copy designs.  But I just couldn't talk myself into buying this one.  I might go buy myself a 31Bits necklace for my birthday, because I can't replicate those, and I LOVE them! 

And that's it! THANK YOU, Kelly, if you read this! I think you really did a great job, and your note was so sweet! This is totally a 'it's me and not you' month. 

And those happen sometimes.  But Stitch Fix is still just plain awesome. :) And if you read my reviews and decide to try it yourself (DO IT! DO IT!), please please pretty please use my referral link by clicking on one of the photos above! It doesn't cost you any extra, but Stitch Fix gives me a nice little credit for inviting you. :) And if you're still wondering what in the world this is... check out my first Stitch Fix post where I went into minute detail like I love to do!

And whereas usually I would be saying "I'll see you next month!"... I actually have a lot of new stuff coming with The Roaring Artist.  It's 2016, and it's time to get this Houston party started! So I'll see you back here SOON! And I CAN'T WAIT!!

Posted on January 7, 2016 .

Stitch Fix Fun! December Stitch Fix

Another month, another awesome Stitch Fix box!

And this month, I actually remembered to save my note to Sonjya (my awesome stylist!)  She IS an awesome stylist, because, as you'll see, even though not everything in this Fix is a keeper this time, she definitely reads my notes!  She also checks my Pinterest boards.  
I've been thinking about writing a blog post about how to get the most out of your Stitch Fix experience, but in the meantime, there's two tips: Concise notes and a carefully-selected Pinterest board!

If you're wondering what in the world I'm talking about here, definitely check out some of my previous Stitch Fix posts! The very first one- which you can find HERE- goes into detail about the whole Stitch Fix thing. 

But back to December!

Actually, let's just jump in! I can't wait to show you what I got!

Papermoon Lawton Mesh Neckline Blouse

I actually REALLY like this blouse.  I like the colors and it's another of the tab-sleeve style I can't seem to get enough of!  The problem?  In her note, Sonjya said she grabbed a petite, since it usually runs long.  I see where she's coming from- I'm 5'0" on a good day, and Sonjya has that information- but I actually rarely wear petite clothing.  So even though this blouse fits me, and I like it, I'm just not crazy about the length in the front.  I know I wouldn't wear it.  So back it goes! 

Mavi Delery Crew Neck Blouse & BC Footwear Union Contrast Material Booties

Okay, first the blouse.  
I loved the idea of this blouse- I even pinned it!  It's a t-shirt style blouse made of a dressier fabric! It's a great concept! But on, I found myself a little bored.  I think I forgot that crewneck simply isn't my favorite on me, too.  
So a great pick... just not my favorite ON me. 
So back it goes!

And the BOOTIES!
Have I mentioned that I love shoes? Like, REALLY love shoes.  A LOT.  And, as you see in the note, this is exactly what I asked for!  And I love them!
They're comfy and will be totally wearable!  I love the extra zippers on both sides- such a fun detail! They're two-toned, as well.  The back is a darker black, whereas the top and sides kind of show grey in the sunlight.  Perfect. <3
Obviously, I'm keeping them!

Brixon Ivy Jarred Lace Detail Cap-Sleeve Blouse

This blouse... it's just so pretty! I absolutely love it on me! And the lace isn't so sweet that I won't wear it. (When you're short and high-pitched, you get a little sensitive about wearing babydoll clothing... which this is NOT.) 
I think I can sum this up by saying it might be my favorite blouse I've received so far! Might be... because I've received some pretty awesome tops!
But this one is definitely a keeper!

Everly Andra Dress

Ahhhhhh I can't decide about this dress! It's SO different than anything else I own! I liked the idea of it.  It has kind of a 90's vibe with the spaghetti straps and flowy hemline that I can definitely get on board with.  And it pairs perfectly with my BC Footwear heels (AKA my favorite shoes as of last month's Fix)
But give it to me straight... should I keep it or leave it for the Cher Horowitzes of the world?

And that's it for December! It's another awesome Fix, this time with some misses, but seriously- Sonjya rocks my socks! 

So what do you think? Want to try this for yourself? If I've managed to persuade you with my powers of enabling, pretty please use my referral link! It won't cost you any extra, but Stitch Fix does leave me a little gift certificate when someone uses it! (And then you get your own link to enable your own friends! Hahaha!)

Until next time! :)

Posted on December 2, 2015 .

Stitch Fix Fun! November Stitch Fix

It's STITCH FIX TIME again! My husband has started calling it StitchFix Christmas, and that's not far from the truth.  When I happen to notice (read: obsessively track via my phone and know right away) that box has been delivered, I'm like a kid rushing to the tree on Christmas morning.  The past couple of months, there have been some real surprises, too!  I do my best to figure out what's coming every month based on the titles in my invoice, but there just aren't always pictures available.  This is cool, because it probably means it's not a widely distributed item. 
Or at least this is what I tell myself when I'm impatiently waiting like... well, like a kid waiting for Christmas to come. Hahaha! 

If you've got this far and have no idea what in the world I'm talking about, check THIS POST.  I went into the minute detail only an wordy, over-explainer such as myself is capable of. ;) 

But back to November! Because I really like this box!

Why do these leaves keep showing up on that table, you ask?  Because every now and then I hop into a project, thinking it will take about an hour, and it turns out it takes more like 50.  So I'm getting all the mileage out of those leaves I can! ;) Plus, it's all nice and autumny, don't you think?

Why do these leaves keep showing up on that table, you ask?  Because every now and then I hop into a project, thinking it will take about an hour, and it turns out it takes more like 50.  So I'm getting all the mileage out of those leaves I can! ;) Plus, it's all nice and autumny, don't you think?

Once again, my stylist, Sonjya, hit it out of the park! This month, I asked for one (kind of boring) item in particular and then said (since that was boring) that she should surprise me.  And she did!  I haven't decided how I feel about everything yet- There are a couple of fit issues and such- but we'll get to that! In fact, let's do that now! 

What's that? SHOES? Why, yes! 

What's that? SHOES? Why, yes! 

Ezra Cuballa Embroidery Knit Top

This is adorable, right? The textures and patterns are to die for! And look how well it goes with those weird wedge moccasins I love so much!
That said, I'm not entirely certain it's ME.  I can't put my finger on it, and trust me, I've been trying since I first saw it! It might be one of those blouses that hangs around for a couple of weeks while I decide if I'll actually be wearing it or selling it to someone on the awesome Stitch Fix group on Facebook where it's probably totally someone's unicorn.  Because it's really that cute! (And soft, too!)

41Hawthorn Zardi Chain Detail Blouse

I WANT to absolutely LOVE this one.  It's this gorgeous burgandy silky fabric that sort of shimmers just enough to look lovely with a touch of maroon in the shimmer. 
But alas, the fit is not great on me.  There's quite a bit of gaping in the top around the arms.  I can't figure out if this is a product of the pretty wrapped double-chain that constitutes the straps and wraps through the neckline or if it's just too big.  I sent a close-up to Stitch Fix customer service to see what they thought.  If there's a smaller size available, I'll probably try it, because, like I said, I love everything about it but the fit!

Pixley Martina Slub Knit Open Cardigan

If you know me and/or have talked to me at length about Stitch Fix (which, if you know me in person, there's a good chance you have) then you're probably wondering... why did she send that? It's just a boring black cardigan. 
Simple reason: I asked her to! 
I often wear layers when it's not quite weather-appropriate (I'm a pale, pale lady, y'all)  So I've been in search of the perfect black, thin, open-front cardigan to replace my pitiful, holey, black workhorse cardigan for quite some time.  When I ran across this one, I just KNEW it was THE cardigan I was looking for.  
And oh my, how it IS! Soft and flowy and the perfect thickness with POCKETS! (Ever heard someone wax poetic about a cardigan?) 
So I threw it on with the cute Gilly skirt I got in my very first fix and put the old workhorse out to pasture. (Trust me, it's happy now...) 

41Hawthorn Ackley Houndstooth Print Blouse & BC Footwear Hidden Cut-Out Heels

Well, they WERE hidden cut-outs.  But, as you can see, I found them. 

Well, they WERE hidden cut-outs.  But, as you can see, I found them. 

Let's start with the blouse.  I've had this one pinned on my Pinterest Board for some time now.  Why? Because frankly, I can't get enough of these tab-sleeved blouses! It's a style I discovered through Stitch Fix, actually- if you look back, I know you're going to see a pattern... cream + black tab-sleeved blouse.  And guess what? I wear them ALL! I am going to see if I can size down in this blouse, but I'll be keeping it, regardless. And wearing it. A LOT. :) 
I'm really loving it with my 41Hawthorn Masie Faux Leather Panel Pencil Skirt from my October Fix!

And now... these SHOES! That's right... SHOES! I'm honestly so excited, I just... SHOES!
Because not only are they shoes (which I happen to have quite an affinity for and which, up until now, Stitch Fix hasn't been offering), they are beautiful RED shoes that are going to be wonderful for winter in Houston!  
And I put these babies on my feet, floated out to my husband and said, "It's like...walking...on a beautiful...red cloud" 
I imagine I sounded just that dreamily amazed, anyway. ;) 
Trust me, I've slid a heel or two on my feet in my life, and these are absolutely some of the most comfortable ones EVER to grace my tootsies! 
I thought about sleeping in them last night after wearing them around the house but decided that falls just a bit over my carefully-maintained 'crazy' line. 

And that's it! Another Stitch Fix Christmas beautifully over until next month... when it's time for my Christmas Stitch Fix! (or two?) 
And in the meantime, go set up one for yourself, too! And click here, so you can use my referral link!  It doesn't cost you anything extra, but if you order a Fix, I'll get a little something as a thank you from Stitch Fix for referring you... and then you get your own link to refer your friends! It's a pretty awesome marketing strategy, I have to say!
And when you do, let me know! I can't WAIT to see what you get!!! :)


Posted on November 5, 2015 .

Stitch Fix Fun! - October Stitch Fix Review

So here's the thing: I LOVE Stitch Fix! For a boho-vintage-loving girl, I'm finding a ton of pieces that are a lot of fun and great quality!  Up until this point, I have confidently been adding pieces that I'm LOVING to wear! 
And then there was this month.  Is it a 5/5 like last month? Or should I just pass on all of it? I.DON'T.KNOW! After doing the photoshoot for my review, I have a good idea, though.  What do YOU think?

First off, if you have absolutely no idea what I'm talking about (Stitch Fix? What's that?!) check out last month's blog post! It was my first Stitch Fix blog post, and I went into detail.  But to make a long story short, it's a box subscription that sends you 5 pieces.  If you love them all, you can keep them all with a 25% discount, and if you hate them, you can send them back! (Or you can keep anything you DID love!)  Last month, I kept it all! The month before that, I kept 3 pieces.  So I've felt pretty good about my Fixes so far.

This month, I started off a little confused.  See, every month, along with your 5 pieces, your stylist sends you a little message.  Up until this month, my stylist has been Sonjya, but this month I got a note saying that Jennifer was my stylist, because Shannon was on vacation. ?? 
I have no idea what that's about.  I adore Sonjya, so I do plan to make sure that was a typo.  But in the meantime, I think Jennifer did a good job! She chose pieces that made it obvious to me that she had spent some time with my Pinterest Board, which I love! (I mean, I spend a long time on that thing!) 

And here's what she picked!

Pixley Bixby Bird Print Tab Sleeve Blouse

I wanted this shirt from the first time I saw it.  In fact, I pinned it twice! In the Stitch Fix Facebook groups, they refer to this sort of thing as their 'unicorn'... well, this shirt was my unicorn! 
And then I got it!  I was SO excited to see it pop up on my shipment list!  But once I got my hands on it, I was disappointed.  The material is kind of terrible.  It feels a little bit like thin parachute material.  But it's still just SO cute!  So I'm keeping it, anyway.  It turns out I'm not terribly textile sensitive. ;) 

41Hawthorn Rosa Tab Sleeve V-Neck Blouse in Olive

So this blouse... I can't decide! When my husband first saw it, he wrinkled his nose.  Then I put it on, and he said, "Okay, actually that looks really good on you." And I think it does... but it's SO olive!  Olive is huge this fall, and I'm enjoying incorporating pops of it. (Ha! Who else thinks olive is a 'pop' of color?) like how I styled the great leather detail skirt later on.  But a totally olive blouse is another thing.  I've been going back and forth on this since I saw it, and I'm STILL not sure if I'm going to keep this blouse or sell it to someone who does olive a little better than I do! 

Mystree Marnee Open Cardigan

When I first saw this cardigan, I knew I was going to love it, and I just KNEW I wouldn't keep it.  Like my husband said, it's essentially the fraternal twin of the 14 other sweater cardigans I own, all in a range from grey to black.  But then I saw the mix of patterns and it's just so ME! So I'm keeping it.  But I'm getting rid of about 4 sweaters in its place.  I mean, realistically, I live in Texas.  This will be exactly the weight I need for most of winter, but I don't need a thousand of them! 
But I do need this one.  It even has pockets! 

41Hawthorn Masha Blazer

I looooove blazers! I wear them often when there's a chill in the air.  They're so great to throw over a tank or short-sleeve shirt and dress up an outfit! (You know I'm not a jeans and t-shirt girl)
But you know what I did't actually own? A navy blazer.  Well, now I do! And it's super nice, too! I ADORE the big, shiny, gold buttons and the red piping on the inside! (That you can't actually see...) 
Stitch Fix is doing good things for the 'navy' section of my wardrobe. 

41Hawthorn Masie faux Leather Panel Pencil Skirt

This is another piece that I saw listed and was pretty sure I wouldn't keep.  I already have a black pencil skirt, and I wear it a lot.  Then I put it on and realized this is totally the upgraded version!  I have a feeling I'll wear it almost as much! 
It's more high-waisted on me than I think it's actually made to be (super short girl here), which I like.  I probably will get it hemmed a bit, though.  But anything that calls out to me to style it with a vintage riding hat HAS to be a good wardrobe addition. ;) 

So there you have it! My October Fix! I'm already looking forward to November's Fix!  I think I might be hosting an Unboxing Party with other Houston area Stitch Fix Fiends (I totally just made that up! Ha!) and I KNOW that's going to be fun!  

And if you're interested in doing it, too, I would love it if you click on one of the photos or links!  It takes you to Stitch Fix using my referral code, and when you get your first Fix, I'll get a $25 credit.  You don't pay any extra- it's just a little something special Stitch Fix likes to do... and then you'll get your own referral code to share with friends! And if you do it, let me know!! I can't wait to chat fashion with you!

(PS- If you decide to do it, go register for the giveaway from one of my favorite Stitch Fix bloggers! www.crazytogether.com/october-stitch-fix-28-review-giveaway-linkup )


Posted on October 3, 2015 .

Stitch Fix Fun! - September Stitch Fix Review

In late July of this year, I found myself with a fashion crisis.  Houston summers are HOT!  It never got hot in Denver the past 3 years! Okay, yes, it did.  I just chose to pretend those times didn't happen there, and the weather was perfect for my entire wardrobe of fun layers and scarves and boots all the time. ;) Honestly, I'm not sure what I wore during the summer there...or when I was visiting Florida! But my wardrobe reflected NO need for hot-weather clothes, and I definitely had a need!  So my husband suggested I choose a box service and see how I liked it.  I had my reservations- I'm a girl who enjoys vintage and unusual.  I kind of march to the beat of my own fashion drum, and I really enjoy putting things together and seeing what I can get away with!  But I wasn't sure how to make the transfer to cute summer clothes.  I knew I had a few friends who had tried Stitch Fix, so I signed up!

My first thought... Wow, that's a lot of polkadots!

My first thought... Wow, that's a lot of polkadots!

If you're not familiar with Stitch Fix, here's how it works:
1. You sign up and complete a style profile, telling Stitch Fix your sizes and shape, budget, and general likes and dislikes.  You can also send a little message to your stylist telling them what your current needs are- for example, for my August fix, I told my stylist I needed summer clothes.  For this Fix, I told my stylist I needed to figure out how to transfer into Fall fashion (my favorite!) living in a warm-weather state. 
2. You create a Pinterest board just for your stylist to use to get a good, quick grasp of your style and what you like.  You can also pin particular Stitch Fix pieces you see that others got in their Fixes.  You can see mine HERE
3. Your stylist picks out 5 pieces she thinks you'll love and they show up on your doorstep wrapped up with a nice little note.
4.  You try on all of your new clothes (some of which you KNOW you wouldn't have picked out yourself!) and hopefully you're pleasantly surprised. (Sometimes this takes a while) 
5.  You return what you don't want in the prepaid envelope they send you.  Or you keep it all! If you keep all 5 pieces, you'll receive a 25% discount on everything! But either way, during your check out, you leave specific feedback about what you liked and what you didn't. 
6.  You join all the Stitch Fix groups and Outfit of the Day spin-off groups on Facebook and start your obsession with all things Stitch Fix! (You can also buy, sell, and trade Stitch Fix pieces there!) 

Basically, it's a ton of fun! 

If you would like to see a review of my very first Fix in August, head on over to my Pinterest Board! You'll find all the great pieces I received there! That particular Fix was a 3/5.  (Not bad for a 1st Fix! Sometimes it takes a couple Fixes or stylist changes to get your style and fit down.  The more info you give them, the better! And I lucked up on my stylist, Sonjya, who totally pulls from my Pinterest board every month! LOVE SONJYA!) 

And now let's talk about THIS month.  Because THIS month, I'm keeping it ALL! 

Well, sort of.  I'll get to that. ;) 

So here's what I got this month:

41Hawthorn Sugar Dot Print Dress

I LOVE THIS DRESS! When I first saw it, I wasn't sure.  It seemed a little sweet for my taste.  But then I put it on, and it fit me perfectly.
And then I realized it's almost the exact same dress I pinned on my Pinterest board. Ha! 
So I styled it based on that pin, and here we have it- Katie in a polkadot dress. ;) I really think this thing will be awesomely versatile for dressing up or down and mixing with other black and white patterns!

Pixley Ivy Petal Print Blouse

This is another blouse I pinned, and it's FUN!  A little bit big, (I did contact Stitch Fix about getting a size down if it's available) but I'm keeping it. I LOVE it with this skirt and the cute hat my mother-in-law sent me last month! When it gets cooler, though... because it's darn hot for a hat right now! You'll notice the fit is similar to the Ellie Elephant Blouse I got in my August Fix that has quickly become a favorite! 

Margerie Stripe & Dot Open Cardigan

Look at this! It's a COLOR! A lovely navy that looks even brighter when the light hits it. 
I do primarily wear black and grey, but every now and then, I like to throw in some navy.  I do love me some navy eyeshadow, after all! (You're probably thinking... wait... didn't I just see some color up above? I would be shocked if you're shocked by red, though. I've decided it doesn't count.) 
At first glance, I almost thought this cardigan would be too casual.  I'm really not a jeans and t-shirts kind of girl.  But I've decided the print will be fun to play with.  And I wish the computer had feel-o-vision- it's SO soft.  And it fits so well! 

41Hawthorn Gideon Polka Dot Sweater & Rune Glynn Faux Leather Detail Moto Leggings

Let's talk about the sweater first.  Because how cute is it that it's reversible?! It's nice and light weight, too, or else no way would I keep it.  I know myself, and if I didn't wear thick sweaters when the temperatures dipped below 0 in Denver, I won't be wearing them in the winter here in Houston! It's SUPER soft, too! Basically, it's very me, and I very much love it. :) 

The tights are also very me.  But they're SO me that if you removed the cute details (which I very much love), they would be exactly like the 14 other pairs of lovely black tights I own. And when you can hardly see the details... I mean, can you even in the picture at all? A little bit on my leg where it makes me look like Catwoman, maybe.  See, now I'm talking myself into them.  But no. I'm keeping them, because I get them for free keeping all 5 pieces with my 25% discount, but I'll probably sell them to someone in the Stitch Fix Buy/Trade/Sell group who is in need of some rocking leggings. 
And I'll go buy something else in black & grey. ;) 

And that's it! Wasn't that fun? Now you should go do it, too! (I'm really good at this enabling stuff). 
In the interest of full disclosure, if you DO click on one of those Stitch Fix links and it takes you to a page that ends with my referral number, it's a referral link.  If you sign up, I'll get a $25 credit toward a future Fix.  It won't cost you any extra- just a little something Stitch Fix likes to do to thank its customers for grassroots advertising.  And then you'll get your very own referral link to send all your friends!
So go get started! I'll be waiting to help you pick out a hat to go with. ;) 

Posted on September 11, 2015 .

Welcome, beautiful baby girl! -- Rebecca Joy is here, and she's wonderful!

I shoot babies for exactly one reason: my sister has them. :) And on February 23, she had the most adorable baby girl who I fell in love with the moment I saw her! Is she not precious?! There's just something special about being an aunt.  I didn't know what it was going to be like the first time when my nephew, Eli (now 3 1/2) was born.  But as soon as I saw that little guy, I knew I was going to be one of his biggest fans.  It's such a special love, and you just KNOW you're going to like that kid.  And you know what?  I do.  He's my favorite little boy in all the world!  Well, as soon as I met Rebecca, I felt that all over again. I can't wait to get to know her as she gets older and see her interact with her brother and with my daughter.  It's a special bond between cousins, too, and I've felt so blessed to watch Ana Gray and Eli grow so close, even though they've lived 2 thousand miles apart their whole lives. 
So welcome to the family, Rebecca Joy! You've got a whole lot of love surrounding you!

Posted on March 29, 2015 .

Denver Photo Betties - Head Shot Shoot Out

A couple weeks ago, some of the Denver Photo Betties got together in front of the clock tower downtown for a Head Shot Shoot Out.  SO MUCH FUN!  It's always amazing to me that no matter how our numbers grow (352 members right now!) it's always SUCH a good time with the most amazing and talented ladies! Colorado, you have no idea how lucky you are to have so much talent!

So here are a few of my favorites!

And a few of my favorites of ME! 

I know, that crazy dress, right?  It's a vintage 70's piece of amazingsauce that I found at a thrift shop for about $10 with the tags still attached.  So if you're wondering if you can pull off a photo shoot with me AND an awesome wardrobe for said shoot, well, YES. ;)

But we're lucky it was an overcast day, because this is what happened on the way there when the sun came out:

Sparkles are my favorite!

Sparkles are my favorite!

And guess what? We're doing it again today! This time it's an awesome little black dress with a high-low tulle overlay (that I got at TJMaxx for $4, because I had to fix the zipper... see what I'm doing here?) paired with my knee-high combat boots.  I.cannot.WAIT!  And I can't wait to see what everyone else comes up with! It's always a fun time with the Denver Photo Betties!!

Posted on July 16, 2014 .

Caite + 1 - North Florida (and Denver) Maternity Portraits

Caite has been one of my favorite models for a long time now, and it has always been an adventure!  First there were her senior portraits (where we had a blast trespassing), her bridal portraits (where we literally chased the light for half an hour before, well, trespassing again), even her engagement portraits (where it rained, and the swarms of mosquitoes like I have never seen made us lunch.) And then there were these two amazing portrait sessions where we explored the artistic residence of a nudest collage artist in Philadelphia and where we drove around our hometown finding a way to make the smalltown South look high fashion. (Hint: It involves a fake bird on the head.) )

Basically, we go 'way back'-   at least since she was 'Little Caite' and I was 'Big Katie' before she grew to almost a foot taller than me- and she's really as much family as friend.

And now, 'Little Caite' has a little one of her own! Baby Harper Grey made her appearance on April 2, and let me tell you- she is GORGEOUS just like her mommy!  I can't wait to meet her on my next trip to Florida! But while I was still in town, Caite and I were able to do a maternity session.  And of course it was an adventure!  We started with a wardrobe and flower hunt (Do you have a shoot coming up? I'll do that for you, too!) And in the end, it was one of my favorite maternity sessions EVER full of floral crowns (I'm getting good at this!) and swamps and gorgeous blooming trees and one seriously amazing mommy-to-be! 


Posted on April 8, 2014 .


That's right, ladies and gentleman! I love Small Business Saturday SOOOO much that I'm having a celebration of my own!

And I don't just like it because I AM a small business.  When you support small business, you can truly feel good that you're directly supporting the dreams and livelihood of someone who works hard to bring something special to the world.  And on Saturday, I'll be out and about doing just that, as well.  

So since I won't exactly be sitting around checking my email all day Saturday, I'm giving you all a little extension on Small Business Saturday.  Starting NOW (Actually, starting late last night... if you follow me on Facebook, you get the first updates!) and going all the way until December 1, you can enjoy special offers from ALL THREE branches of The Roaring Artist!  

Happy Small Business Saturday!!!


Posted on November 28, 2013 .

Going Back To Your Passion - Denver Boudoir, Maternity, Empower Her Portraits

The title kind of says it all.

When it comes up in conversation, I generally tell people what I do like this: "I'm an artist.  I do photography, logo design and such for other artists, and I also have a line of mixed media art."

That's a lot to take in, so most people narrow in on the thing that they already know how to respond to.

"Oh! I have a good-friend/second-cousin/step-brother who is a photographer! What kind of photography do you do?"

Lately I've been saying, "I've been making a change to JUST shooting women"

They say, "But why would you limit yourself to just women?"

Usually I just smile and reply, "I decided to just specialize in what I'm the best at."

But that's the over-simplified version of why I'm specializing in JUST shooting women, and since this is my (often abandoned) blog, I think this is a good place to delve into this subject a little more.  I'm specializing in shooting women because I have a true passion for it, because I want to be able to market JUST for it, and because, yeah- it's what I'm best at. 

I have a passion for this.

I go into detail a little more on my own story on my website under Empower Her portraits, but to sum it up- a photo shoot helped me find myself again after becoming a mother (because Alix Passage is a genius).  That's why I've started my Empower Her portrait program- because I KNOW how important this could be for others women, too. 

I've shot women who have been through divorce and disease, women who want to find themselves again after becoming a mother, and women who just plain understand how important it is to capture yourself at all points in your life, because life is fleeting.  Your grandchildren will treasure these pictures more than you know! In fact, one of my repeat clients brought an album of pictures to her shoot of her beloved grandmother that captured the beauty queen her grandmother was in her younger years.  She loved being able to imagine her grandmother that way, and wanted to give that same experience to her grandchildren. 

As moms and just as women, we often hide from the camera while spending hours in front of the mirror focusing on every wrinkle and extra pound.  But after a photo shoot, there are these pictures.  And just as my photo shoot with Alix keeps reappearing as my Facebook pic after almost 2 years, those pictures will be there to remind you that you're beautiful and brave and simply amazing. 


I want to market for this.

It's hard to market when you do a little of everything.  And since I'm a busy person (I don't just mean I have a lot on my schedule- I mean I'm constantly DOING something.) I'm never going to be able to narrow down to just one art to do.  So being able to at least narrow in on what I love in the category that is my greatest passion- photography- is a real help in that aspect.  Instead of being a photographer who does a little of everything, I'm a photographer who does ONE thing and does it well.  And so that thing that is SO special and important to me- shooting women- is at the forefront of my business. 

That's not very interesting, I know.  Who cares about my marketing.  But it's obviously important for building a thriving business, so it certainly factors in!


This is what I'm BEST at.

I can take a decent picture of just about anything.  Many photographers can.  But photography is a BIG field.  We might all use cameras, but that's where the similarities end.  And even within portraiture, a newborn shoot is different than a senior portrait shoot is different than a boudoir shoot is different than an engagement shoot.  

Well, I'm best at shooting women.  Maybe it's because I'm sensitive to my own flaws and I AM a woman.  Maybe it's because I'm a pretty upbeat person- I tend to see the beauty in others and not the flaws.  Maybe it's just a special God-given gift.  Maybe it's a mix of all of these things.  But whatever it is, it's my best talent.  And loving it as much as I do, (and pretty much being an artist down to my core) I've been able to develop my own style within this niche that is what really sets me apart from other photographers.  

So there you have it, ladies and gentlemen

From here on out, I shoot women.  And if you're a woman interested in a BoudoirMaternity, or Empower Her session or if you're interested in purchasing a gift certificate for a friend or loved one who totally deserves a photo shoot just for her, contact me! I can't wait to meet you! 

Posted on November 26, 2013 .

Introducing the Denver Photo Betties

When I moved to Denver from Philadelphia, I realized pretty quickly what I was missing the most.  My friends!  My best friends, who just happened to all be photographers like myself.  I had made some amazing artist friends and mommy friends and just, well, friend friends here in Denver, but I missed the camaraderie and support I had in a group of female photographers back in Philadelphia called the Photo Betties, started by two lovely photo ladies who became good friends, Jenna Walcott and Heather DiPiazza.

(And in fact, I haven't lost touch with or replaced any of my irreplaceable Philly friends. Actually, Jenna and I have recently embarked on an adventure of our own involving my design work and her awesomeness.  There is food.  There are gorgeous pictures.  Look forward to when I can unveil that one!)  

So I decided I was just going to have to start a group here.  Surely somewhere in the area there were other female photographers who would be interested in finding friendship and support, starting a community.  I posed the question on a local photographer group on Facebook... and wow!  Was I right!  The response was huge!  Our first meeting was planned, and we were off to a great start!

Our first meeting!

Our first meeting!

We decided to name ourselves the Denver Photo Betties.  Our hope is that in time, we can have a network of female photographers between here and Philadelphia and, hey, maybe across the country!  

For the time being, though, we're doing our own thing.  In just a few months time, I've already met some amazing friends (and become closer to others) - absolutely awesome ladies who are helping me build this group!  We're already 122 members strong in our Facebook group which has become a wonderful resource for asking questions and sharing in a positive, encouraging environment.  And in the months to come, we're planning monthly Snappy Snappy Hours, workshops, shoot outs, parties, a new website, and more! 


July Snappy Hour

July Snappy Hour

I'm SO thankful for the Denver Photo Betties already- for the support, the encouragement, the help building a vision that I couldn't even imagine could have grown so quickly! 

So if you're a female photographer in the Denver area, come on in!  Whether it's portraiture or art, full-time or part-time, we welcome you to join us! Contact me at katie@theroaringartist.com or find us on Facebook and request to join. (If I can't see your profile or if it's not quickly evident you're a photographer, expect a little note from me.  Not a big deal- just let me know you are one!)

Betties at the August Shoot Out

Betties at the August Shoot Out

My next blog post will be my own images from the August Shoot Out- SO much fun!

Getting a little creative with the selfies at the August Shoot Out

Getting a little creative with the selfies at the August Shoot Out

Savannah, Haley, and Myself at August Snappy Hour... because there's always that one crazy friend and then the crazy friend who turns it into a gif.  (Haley) 

Savannah, Haley, and Myself at August Snappy Hour... because there's always that one crazy friend and then the crazy friend who turns it into a gif.  (Haley) 

Love you girls!!  Can't wait to see what's next!!

Posted on September 22, 2013 .

Jewelry Shoot Fun With Danielle - Denver Area On-Location Photography

When I put out some feelers for models in the Denver area, I had no idea what I would find.  But OMG, there are some gorgeous ladies and awesome models here!! I'm not even kidding.  And two of those ladies were sweet enough to hang out with me for some fun shoots in MY OWN JEWELRY! 

I really don't get tired of saying that.  Not even a little bit. :) 

The first shoot I did was with the fascinating Danielle.  Danielle is from Aurora, and she spends a lot of time there every year.  But she actually lives in Hawaii.  I lovelovelove Hawaii, so I admit I'm kinda jealous. (Only kinda, because I haven't been here in Denver long enough to need a vacation yet. Ha!)  As soon as we started shooting, even the light test shots where she was just standing there waiting, I thought to myself, Danielle is going to ROCK this shoot!  I was NOT wrong. I love my jewelry on Danielle, and I love this shoot!


See? SEE? Awesome!!! That last one is probably my favorite.

You can visit my Etsy shop to own any of the pieces you see and also see a few other awesome pics of Danielle.  (You can buy the other things in the shop, too.) ;)

And Danielle, thank you so much for coming to hang out with me! It was SO nice to meet you, and I hope you like these shots even a quarter as much as I do!  Have a great time while you're here, and happy travels back to wonderful Hawaii!


Posted on August 3, 2012 .

Earrings! - Denver Area Jewelry Design

Something brand new is about to hit my Etsy shop this morning!


I'm particularly excited about this, because I designed my jewelry to be statement pieces that you can put on all by themselves and feel put together and fun, even if you're just wearing a t-shirt and jeans.  Sometimes a pair of funky earrings is all you need to finish an outfit! 

So see what you think! And then head over to my Etsy store and visit them along with my other statement pieces. ;)

Posted on August 1, 2012 .

And Then We Climbed Highest Hill - Denver Child Portrait Photography

Ana Gray really did not want to have her picture taken when the day we set off to climb 'Highest Hill'.  

('Highest Hill,' being the tall hill in Central Park near our home.)

Ana Gray: "Mommy, you're taking your camera with us?"

Me: "Yes, baby.  I want to get some pretty pictures of you."

Ana Gray: *rolls eyes*

(What is she 12? Where do they LEARN these things?!) 

And so we set out, camera and all.  First I saved the landscaping of the neighbors across the street from DestructoBaby.  Then I saved the DestructoBaby from narrowly being hit in the head with my camera lens.  Then we made it to Highest Hill and began to climb. 

She might not have been happy to have had her picture taken, but she definitely can't avoid being adorable and gorgeous and packed with personality. 

So I'll take that nonsmile, Ana Gray.  It's all part of the whole that is my baby girl.  And one day when you're big, you'll look back at these pictures, and you WILL smile. :)


And our ONE SMILE I managed to catch!


Exhausted and sweaty, but I love this zany girl!


So not the smiliest ever, but we had fun, anyway. Many more photo shoots to come, so hopefully at some point she'll decide she likes the camera... maybe...

Okay, in my dreams, right?

But probably these traits that make life interesting now will be the things that make her an awesome young woman one day, right?  I mean, if she won't let anyone photograph her, I definitely don't have to worry about her showing up in Playboy one day.  See? One less thing on the list of a bazillion that this mommy has to worry about. :) 

I'm kidding, but there is a lesson I learned here.  Maybe you guys got it, too?  Photograph them in all moods, because you know they aren't happy ALL the time.  And they sure don't stay little for very long!



P.S. - Don't forget to check out my last post! I'm excited about it! (Hint hint... In case you were thinking about booking a photoshoot with me, working with me for branding design, or buying a piece of jewelry from my Etsy shop, it has to do with a 'Nice To Meet You' Deal!!)

Posted on July 26, 2012 .

A 'Hi Denver!' Introduction and a 'Nice To Meet You' Deal!

Since I just got here (okay, I've been here a month, but it's been a CRAZY month!) I thought it was time I introduced myself!  I made up a handy dandy flyer to introduce you to my business, and you can find out a lot about me in the 'About The Roaring Artist' section, too.  But here are 11 random facts you won't find there, so we'll be besties. ;)

11 Random Facts About Katie

  • When I was little, I wanted to be an archaeologist... or a geologist... or a lawyer.  I'm still a little obessed with rocks.  But not the law.  One of my favorite things here so far? The gorgeous granite!
  • I wasn't born with a camera in my hand like a lot of photographers.  In fact, it wasn't until I was about 21 that I got my first digital camera of my very own.  The next Christmas my in-laws bought me my first DSLR for Christmas, and the rest is history. When I find what (or whom) I click with, I KNOW. (Keep that in mind since we're besties now ;)
  • I don't sleep much
  • I have an aversion to mayo.  Like, it skeeves me out just writing the word. I might erase it.  No, then you won't know what I'm talking about.  Just... ICK.   
  • I'm a pescatarian.  That means that I can't quit fish.
  • I played violin for about 10 years growing up.  Then I went to college and quit.  Sometimes I open the violin case, the smell of rosen wafts out, and I get so nostalgic.  But to put this in perspective, my husband has never even heard me play violin. 
  • Speaking of that husband, he's a fellow in the ICU at Children's Hospital.  His name is Chris, and he's kind of a mix of Dougie Houser, House, JD from Scrubs, and Mozart.  (He also composes in his spare time and when the inspiration hits him.)  He keeps me laughing, inspires me with how passionate and hard-working he is, and does a lot of Katie encouragement.  I'm insanely proud to be his wife. 
  • I like a lot of food, so I have trouble picking just one to be my favorite.  But I keep coming back to goat cheese...
  • I'm a Capriquarius.  If that sounds crazy to you, well, it does to me, too.  But if the shoe fits...
  • I always get asked where my daugher's name- Ana Gray- came from.  Actually? Chris and I made it up.  We just liked the way it sounds. :)  
  • I'm either an INFP or an ENFP.  There's about a 1% margin on the 'I' side.  That's because I like people a lot, but when I was in kindergarten, I liked rocks better.  Sometimes, I just want to sit by myself with a good book. 

And now for that nice little flyer about what I do as The Roaring Artist.  Be sure to read between the lines.  There's a whole lot of passion there!


And about that 'Nice To Meet You' Deal... 

I really, really, really am excited to be here and get started!  So as an incintive to you to give me a chance to show you all those gorgeous things I'm excited to share with you through my photography, graphic design, or jewelry, if you book or buy by September 1, 2012, I'm offering an upgrade!  

- Photography Session Clients will enjoy an upgrade on the size of their included mounted art print.  8x10 becomes 11x14, 11x14 becomes 16x20.  Or for Senior Portrait clients, that's an extra 16 wallets to share with your friends! 

- Graphic Design Clients get an extra design service- a custom color theme or custom pattern for use on websites and marketing materials. 

- And with any purchase from my Etsy Store, enter the code HiThereDenver at checkout to get 10% of your purchase!

If you're in the Denver area, contact me on how you can avoid shipping costs with local delivery.  

P.S.- You don't have to be from Denver to get those Graphic Design or Etsy Store discounts! I'm excited to get to know you- whether you're here in Denver or a new friend from around the world!  So be sure to leave me a comment- What was your favorite thing about a big move you made?  


Posted on July 25, 2012 .