Emily & Kenton's Boho Home Session

Eeeek! I was thrilled when Emily asked me to photograph a home session for her and her husband, Kenton! These two cuties are moving pretty soon and wanted to document their first home together, and it is something special! This is not a styled shoot, just purely how cute their home actually is. I know, I know. I want Em to come decorate my house too!!! I am particularly smitten with their kitchen details. Check 'em out!

Kaitlyn | High School Senior

Sharing a special senior session with you all this morning! Cody's little sister, Kaitlyn, is graduating this June from El Campo High school, and I can't tell you how exciting it was to be able to take her senior photos! My own brother is graduating this year as well, and Cody and I are both just a little in shock at the fact that our siblings are old enough to graduate!! I guess this means we are officially old?! 

Kaitlyn, you are so beautiful and I am so excited to see all that you do at A&M! God has big plans for you!!

Kristen & Darrell's Houston, Texas Engagement Session

This engagement session... so FUN!!! I love exploring different areas of Herrmann Park in Houston, and it was just the perfect backdrop for these two. Their love is real and so evident in the way they treat each other! They are fun and silly... and Darrell is clearly excited for Kristen to have his last name!! (Scroll down to see!) Kristen and Darrell, you two were a blast to photograph, and I can't wait for your wedding this fall!! 

New Service | Brand Subscriptions

I have been keeping a secret... But I finally get to share it with you all today!!

I am seriously thrilled to announce that we are now offering BRAND SUBSCRIPTIONS to our wonderful brands we work with!! 

What does this mean?

Well, just like a subscription box, you will choose a plan that works best for you and pay monthly! You ship your products to me at the beginning of every month and get back beautifully styled images every time!! Updated monthly content? Yes please!!

But What are the plans like? 

We have plenty of options for you!! 

3 products per month

3 month subscription - 135 per month 

6 month subscription - 121 per month  (save 10%) 

12 month subscription - 108 per month (save 20%) 

5 products per month

3 month subscription - 225 per month 

6 month subscription - 202 per month  (save 10%) 

12 month subscription - 180 per month (save 20%) 

Unlimited Products per month

3 month subscription - 450 per month 

6 month subscription - 405 per month (save 10%) 

12 month subscription - 360 per month (save 20%)

But what does the monthly fee include?

They include all of your digital images, a personalized online gallery, printing and digital rights, shoot customization, all styling materials, loose ingredients & props. With the exception of any materials that I cannot easily find at the store! If there are any special items you would like included in the photos, those must be shipped with your monthly package! 

Alright, sold. Where do I sign up?

Right here, friend. We can't wait to work with you!! Better get on it, though, because we can only take a limited amount of brands each month!!

Not quite sold... Tell me more about the process!

Once you pick your plan, we will send you a contract that covers the length of your plan. One contract. Automated monthly payments online. Easy peasy. Once you are all booked, I will send a questionnaire outlining your goals and visions to better serve you and your brand! Once we have a goal, you get to ship me your first box of goodies! The box must contain the products for ONE month, a shot list/any special instructions, and any special ingredients/items you may want me to style with that I cannot easily purchase at a grocery store. Once I receive your package, you will receive your images within 1 week! 

We are so excited about this new offering!! Our brands have been asking, so we are delivering!! 

If you have any questions or would like to inquire about a brand subscription, please email shelby@shelbytsikaphotography.com with 'brand subscription' in the subject line!

She Plus Him Bartending | Colorful Cocktails

I seriously love what I do. My only job this day was to photograph the cutest cocktails for the sweetest souls. Taylor and Logan (The She and Him of She + Him Bartending) are the best and serious magicians when it comes to mixing up the most delicious and beautiful cocktails!! These two have big hearts for the Lord and have a passion that is so evident and it shines through their personalities and business! They run their little Austin-based business out of New York City while Taylor pursues acting! Can you say #girlboss?! 

If you are a bride, hire them NOW to make your cocktail hour one in a million times more special and unique!

http://www.sheplushim.com

Kyla & Caleb's Broken Arrow Ranch Wedding

What an incredibly beautiful and joyful day I am sharing on the blog this afternoon! Reliving this day brings my heart so much joy! Kyla & Caleb's winter wedding at Broken Arrow Ranch was so sweet in every way. It was centered in God's love, and there just aren't a lot of  people with more joy and gratefulness than Kyla and Caleb! 

This day was planned with love and intention and there were so many tiny touches that made this day special. One of my favorite's was Caleb's letters to kyla that he wrote throughout their engagement that he gave her on their wedding day! 

One of Kyla's childhood friends and bridesmaid is a June bride of mine, and it was so neat to be able to snap a photo with the both of them!! 

From their color scheme, florals, decor and venue... You can hardly get prettier! I am so thankful to have been a part in this wedding day. I cried so many happy tears with this family throughout it!!

Amazing vendors tagged below : 

Florals : Adrienne Adamson Designes 

Venue : Broken Arrow Ranch

HMU : Naturally Flawless

Tux : The Black Tux

Wedding Dress : VIP Bridal - Bryan TX

Bridal Shoes : Alex Marie

Second Shooter : Meredith Rainey

 

The Importance of an Engagement Session | Free guide For Brides & Photogs

Today I have a 100% FREE guide for all of you brides & wedding photogs out there! I say both, because this guide goes over all things Engagement Session! They are so important and vital to a brides wedding photography experience AND so important for photographers to implement them into their collections! Check it out below!! 


Get your free guide on engagement sessions!

Honey_Almond_Baked_Brie_0360.jpg

ShelbyTsikaPhotography-107.jpg
ShelbyTsikaPhotography-36.jpg
ShelbyTsikaPhotography-35.jpg
ShelbyTsikaPhotography-54.jpg
ShelbyTsikaPhotography-27.jpg

Yauatcha | Upscale Chinese dining in Houston, complete with a Michelin Star

Houston peeps, if you haven't been to Yauatcha yet.. GO! The desserts, the dim sum, the cocktails...  It is so incredibly delicious! The Venison Puffs are my absolute favorite thing. 

This London based Michelin Star awarded restaurant has two locations in the US. Houston and Hawaii! To say we are lucky to have them here is an understatement :) I had a blast creating these gorgeous images for their brand. Enjoy!

Healthy Ice Cream Shakes | Banana Nut & Chocolate Chip

Healthy_Ice_Cream_Shakes_0105.jpg

Okay, get your blenders ready and toss out your ice cream, because these delicious treats take their place perfectly! As an ice cream fanatic, I am aware this is a big claim. I myself make one of these close to once a day, and I never buy ice cream anymore! I absolutely cannot wait for you to try these healthy shakes out. Enjoy!

 


Banana Nut Shake

Ingredients:

2 Frozen Bananas

About 1/2- 1 cup of Unsweetened Almond Milk (Add in a little at a time to blender)

2 TBSP Honey

1 TSP Cinnamon

1/4 Cup of Walnuts

Directions:

Blend together until smooth! I like to freeze my bananas overnight in a tupperware container :) This is a super important step, and adds the creamy texture to the shake!! 

 


Chocolate Chip Shake

Ingredients:

2 Frozen Bananas

About 1/2- 1 cup of Unsweetened Almond Milk (Add in a little at a time to blender)

2 TBSP Honey

1 TBSP unsweetened Cacao Powder (Sometimes I do 2 if I'm feeling a darker chocolate-y taste!)

2 TBSP Cacao nibs (what I use) or chocolate chips if you prefer!

Directions:

Blend together until smooth! I like to freeze my bananas overnight in a tupperware container :) This is a super important step, and adds the creamy texture to the shake!! 

Summer & Hughesy's Blue Ridge Parkway Engagement Session

I am thrilled to share this sweet couple with you guys today! It is close too my heart in so many ways! I am from Western North Carolina, so to be shooting in Asheville was a DREAM come true. Most of you may not know this, but my dad played college golf, played professionally AND coached college golf back in the day. Brian (Hughesy to me and my dad) was on his team. I have known him since I was teeny tiny, and grew up around Hughesy and the whole golf team! He and my dad have stayed close friends ever since. Now he is marrying the most beautiful and sweet girl EVER! Summer is an answered prayer and the perfect match for Hughesy, and photographing this special time in their lives is such an honor! I absolutely cannot wait for their May wedding at the Twickenham House in North Carolina!!

Kyla | Broken Arrow Ranch Bridals

I am over the moon excited to share this sweet girl's bridal portraits tonight! Kyla and Caleb's wedding day was amazing, and I cannot wait to share that as well. For Kyla's bridals, we went to her beautiful venue, Broken Arrow Ranch! Also, how much do you guys La LA LOVE her bouquet by Adrienne Adamson?! She's a rockstar with florals!!  We had a bit of a windy day, but we made it work in her favor! MY favorite moment was when it hit Kyla's mom that her little girl was a BRIDE! Cue the tears!! These special moments are why I do this. Eeeeek Enjoy!

Jessica | Old Town Spring Bridals at Hochzeit Hall

Sharing a few of my favorites today from Jessica's classic, Old Town Spring bridal session! I just love everything about her look!!! Her and Jason's New Years eve wedding was a blast, and I am just so thrilled it is over so I can finally share this beautiful session with you all!

Year in Review & My Word of the Year | 2018

2017 has been so incredibly crazy and wonderful, mixed in with a few hard things! But aren't they all?! ;) Last year, I did a "word of the year" blog post and wanted to continue following that tradition for 2018! Last year's word was 'gratitude', and looking back, I feel like I did a pretty good job of remembering that word and the action of it in most circumstances. Here we are, the last day of 2017, and I am so grateful. I am grateful to God for the means to have been able to give to some incredible charities, including : Imani Collective, Naomi's Village, Samaritan's Purse, The Birthday Party Project and more!!

With the growth my business has had in the last year, it has allowed me to do what I love full time, day in and day out! And I honestly can't even type sentences like that without crying HA! I am just so thankful to be able to do what I love and to do it serving Jesus and others along the way! My heart is FULL!!! 

On the personal side of it all, there have been some crazy things!!! My grandfather's heart attack, my grandmother's stroke, heart attack, lymphoma and now seizures and brain surgery to top the year off! Christmas was spent in a hospital, but we surrounded her with her family and so much love and gratitude that she has made it through it ALL! (Talk about a warrior, guys.) Seeing my mom go through all of this with HER mom has been so hard. But it has also shown me that incredibly strong, beautiful, resilient, fighter women run in my family (On BOTH sides!) I am so blessed with the mom I have and by all the women in my family.

This year, the love of my life did his first internship with Stennis Space Center in Mississippi, and LOVED IT! He's headed back again this summer and honestly, I am such a proud girlfriend. I will always say that one of my favorite things about Cody and I Is that we are complete opposites in our passions, but pursue them hard and to the fullest alongside each other. I just love him :)

I did a styled shoot, I served a bazillion awesome clients, I traveled out of the country, I made new friends, I quit school, I went FULL TIME (still unreal THANK YOU), anxiety symptoms came back and kicked those in the butt again, I hosted my first workshop, cooked a lot of food, shot a LOT of food.. and probably a million more important things.

But my favorite thing has been that I have been able to witness God's wonderful, all consuming GRACE in it all. When I am weak, sinful and down. His Grace is there. It covers me. 

So. That is why........ BA DA DA DAAAAAAAAAA! My word of the year is:

GRACE

Jesus, help me to be more like you in 2018. Help me to give grace and love to others more freely!! 

I love because you do! 

 

Cheers to 2018, everyone! May it be filled with hope, love, heath, happiness and GRACE!

XO

Behind the Scenes | 2017

Wooooo! I feel like this is the start of the best/most embarrassing blog post of the year... Oh well! I hope you enjoy seeing me behind the scenes this year. Prepare for all the awkward faces, me standing on my tip toes, running from fire and... well, more weird faces ;) Thank you to all my moms, second shooters and I phone photogs who snapped these gems!! Hereeeee we go...

Lauren | Texas A&M Senior

So incredibly excited to share this senior session on the blog today! Lauren is graduating this month with a degree in architecture from Texas A&M! Not only is she the most sweet, big-hearted and thoughtful girl I know, but she is also one of my best friends :) 

We wanted some fall vibes mixed with some images on campus, and I think we nailed it with our locations! 

As always, Leanna of Naturally Flawless does an incredible job on HMU!

Celeste + Daniel | Downtown Waco Engagement Session

This is a sweet one, you guys!

Celeste and Daniel are the most thoughtful couple. The 9th of every month is their special day - it’s the day he asked her to be his girlfriend, wife, and the day they will marry! Oh, and did I mention that Daniel gives her a sunflower (Celeste's happy flower) on the 9th of every month?! I mean, come on. Celeste & Daniel, Your love for Jesus and each other is so incredibly evident in the way you two interact! So honored to be your wedding photographer and I can't wait for your June wedding!!

Kyla + Caleb | Lick Creek Park Engagement

It's time to share another sweet STP couple this week!! This fall engagement has me just gushing over these two and their love! Also, can we talk about the golden grass Texas has every fall? We may not have trees changing colors, but ahhh this couple + this grass + golden hour = Gorgeousness!! I also recently did Kyla's bridal session and I am just so excited to share those after their wedding in January. She is the most beautiful bride!

Kyla and Caleb, you guys are the sweetest, and your love for each other is so evident in these images!! You both have the most joyful smiles! I cannot WAIT for your wedding day!!

Brandi + Jerry | A Rockport Engagement

Sharing these two cuties and their Rockport, Texas Engagement Session on the blog today!! Brandi & Jerry are the sweetest, most laid back couple I know. 10 Minutes before our session was supposed to start, Brandi calls me and says they locked their car keys in the house and her jeans are ripped! The ripped jeans alone would usually send any bride through the roof!! She handled it like a champ and they made it and we had a blast!! Despite Harvey's horrible damage to this little town, there is still beauty there! And boy, did we find it! There are so many fall vibes and beautiful colors and greenery throughout the shoot. 

Brandi and Jerry, I am so thankful for you guys and I can't wait for your wedding in 2018!

 

cheers to 2 years!

I think Cody will be proud of me for getting the numbers on this one (he's the math guy)

2 years, 39 graduating seniors, 18 Weddings, 1 cookbook (and counting), 1 Workshop Launch1 card corruption (that was recovered!!), lot's of late nights, tired eyes, sore feet... but a total of 97 sessions/life events (whether food/bloggers/families etc.) AND 300+ (hard to estimate an exact # on this one) beautiful people that have been a key part in theses sessions/life events that I have personally gotten to capture and illustrate memories for and call the greatest clients in the entire universe....

HO-LY COW!!!!

I'm a little speechless.

I'm not a numbers girl and I am not the best estimator. So truly... I don't know if these numbers are on the small side or not.. I just know that 300+ people have trusted me in the last 2 years to take care of their memories, doing what I so passionately love and believe that I was designed to do! 

Thank you

From the bottom of my heart, thank you to every single senior who finds my experience different and exciting.. and for every mom & dad who lets their daughter go with me for their senior photos. I LOVE this time in your child's life, and I can't wait to see how they change the world!

Thank you to my sweet couple's who find and trust me with one of the greatest life events that could ever occur.. Committing to each other and God and entering into the covenant of marriage! Thank you to their parents/grandparents/aunts/uncles who have helped or fully financially supported their decision to have me be apart of their Big Day.

Thank you to every blogger, restaurant, skincare line and small business that has trusted me with the face of their brands. I cannot tell you how honored it is to work with other creative minds in creating a vision tailored to you!

Thank you my families - I only take about 1 or 2 on per year... but most of you, I know personally and you have been clients since I was 17 and this business had not even officially began. To you, I am so grateful!

I know that with all of these "Thank You's" and terrible grammatically incorrect run-on sentences... it is beginning to sound like I have won an award of some kind... With clients like mine, it feels like I have. I have a few more personal thanks to give out, so bear with me!

Thank you to every Instagram/Facebook follower, like-er, comment-er... Your engagement and interest in me and my work is so valuable to me!

To my mentors and teachers from the very beginning: Molly Kresta, Jon Eilts, Hannah Browning, Lauren Carnes. Thank you for being so encouraging and freely pouring so much knowledge into me from the beginning stages of my hobby to where I am now in my business. I wouldn't be where I am without you!

To the one that told me I "would never make it" in College Station and that "there are a thousand you's"... As much as this stung, I am so grateful that, somehow, I did not listen!

To the people who thought I was weird for carrying around a camera at High School Football games, taking pictures of my friends, taking it "too seriously" and acting like a pro when I really wasn't... acting turned into my reality. Thank you for being a great motivation in my life and business.

To my family and friend's and friends that are family. You have given constant support, love, advice and hugs. Specifically, my parents. Mom, for your creative advice and overwhelming excitement about everything that I do. Dad, for your money real-talk and business advice and, like mom, overwhelming excitement about everything that I do... And to my baby sister & brother - You guys are the greatest and I love you with all my heart! Thank you for ALSO always giving overwhelming excitement about everything that I do. (I really have the best family) I pray you always follow your dreams! To my Mom, Dad, siblings, Grandparents, Aunts, Uncles and cousins - You are amazing and wonderful and I will never once take for granted your support of my entrepreneurial endeavors!

Lauren, my best friend/honorary business advisor and photographer - you have seen the in's and out's of me going from part time to full time. You are always there for me, you put up with messiness when I rearrange everything in our living room for my food shoots- You're one of my biggest cheerleaders and I am so grateful I went against my decision to live alone, and tried out the whole random roommate thing over a year ago! You have become like a sister to me! 

And Cody, you are everything to me! You are the sweetest, most caring, loving, supporting man I could ever ask for. You give comfort when I feel like a failure, but never let me wallow in that feeling. You give me honest talks about business decisions and help me work through every trial I face. You tell me I'm cool and you give me amazing love and forgiveness. Thank you for striving always to love me like Jesus! Fun fact (that you know, but my readers do not): You literally saved the day at our VERY FIRST wedding and I will have everyone that reads this know... If it wasn't for you, that couple would not have seen their sparkler exit. (I have no excuse. It was my first sparkler exit and my images were out of focus somehow. I have since strived to become an expert at this LOL!)

Lastly, and most importantly, thank you, Jesus for giving me all of the above. This gift, and a thousand more things that you do for me daily is just mind-blowingly, earth-shatteringly incredible. I am so grateful and undeserving of your Love and Grace. I promise to strive to serve You through this gift you have given me as long as You let me!

So, here's to the start of our 3rd year. I can't believe that it can get better than this, but I am so excited for it! 

 

In celebration of our 2nd year in business coming to an end, we are giving away 1 seat to the Sips&Tips Workshop in December over on INSTAGRAM! 

Banff 2017

This blog post is a couple of days late, but oh. my. gosh. I am SO SO SO excited to share these images with you and tell you all about what we did! Lauren and I wanted to go on a long-weekend, last minute girl's trip & Banff was the PERFECT place. I will be going back here many many times in my life because it is the most beautiful place I ave ever seen. You win the mountain contest, Canadian Rockies, you win.

Our first night, we did the Banff Gondola ride and had dinner at the top - It was the most insane view ever, and the restaurant was like a glass box in the sky! The food was different but good. Before dinner, we walked through the forest on this bridge/lookout at the top... I felt like I was in a winter wonderland.

Next, we did a Lake Louise day (equally as winter-wonderland-y) where we walked around the lake and ate inside the Fairmont Lake Louise hotel  - It was so incredibly gorgeous. We ate at Poppy and the food was amazing! You HAVE to get their donuts if you go. They are seriously life-changing. We also went on a spontaneous horseback ride around the lake - It was a 2 hour ride and was gorgeous, but so cold!

On our last day, we had a lazy morning and walked around the tiny town of Banff. This day was significantly warmer (Like high 40's hahaha), and we got a little taste of fall!  We then made it to Afternoon Tea at the Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel. This is a MUST do. It was so so cute, and the view is like a painting. I liked this building more than the Lake Louise Fairmont because of its old age and history, but the views at both are a must-see! After tea, we walked around the town more and just steps away from the downtown area is the Bow River. Which was so gorgeous! Everything was so yellow and colorful!

This was the trip of a lifetime and beautiful in every single way - I can't WAIT to go back!