The Tax Titan: Interviewing Deborah Gregory

I shoot a wide array of people as a headshot photographer in Dallas, Texas. Everyone from doctors to dog walkers have walked through the doors of my Deep Ellum studio. It’s always fun to shoot different executives or business professionals in Dallas and learn about what they do, but it’s extra special when those people have a passion for what they do. That’s exactly why I was so drawn to the top tax attorney in Dallas, Deborah Gregory of the Gregory Law Group. She’s smart, sassy, sexy, and has more inside knowledge of how the IRS works than anyone I’ve ever met. I sat down with Deborah to learn more about her and the law group.

Before she opened the Gregory Law Group, Deborah worked as a Senior Attorney for the IRS’ Office of Chief Counsel for over 12 years.  Her experience as an IRS Senior Attorney gave her unique institutional knowledge of the IRS and she’s used her knowledge in helping her clients. Her biggest joy, besides her husband and beautiful children, is helping people get out of their financial situations and attain freedom.

Deborah’s the managing member of Gregory Law Group.  She personally meets with every client that comes in for their free consultation and crafts a specific resolution for each case.  Her background as a former IRS Attorney coupled with her tax law experience makes her uniquely qualified to help you resolve IRS problems. (Cue Destiny Child’s “Independent Women.”)

When Deborah’s not acting like Superwoman at her Plano law group, she’s relaxing with her husband and two boys. She’s also got a flair for fashion, so you might catch her at Neiman Marcus.

What I loved most about Deborah was I could relate to her passion. While shooting corporate headshots in Dallas and commercial photography in Dallas isn’t as life changing as solving someone’s IRS issues and debt, we both connected on helping others. It’s refreshing to find a dedicated attorney who’s more concerned about their client than the bottom line.

A Sassy Shoot with Steve Kemble!

A Sassy Shoot with Steve Kemble

As a headshot photographer in Dallas, I get a wide array of clients. Everyone from Real Housewives to commercial shoots to recent law graduates have come by for executive portraits and large scale headshot sessions just this year. So when I got a call from my dear friend Steve Kemble to photograph him for his new Dallas headshots and promotional materials for his new PR headshots, I jumped at the opportunity. This week, I had a very sassy shoot with Steve Kemble!

Steve’s known as “America’s Sassiest Lifestyle Guru” and, in my personal opinion, is the busiest man in Dallas. Steve’s been the magic behind countless corporate events, weddings and other sassy ventures for more than two decades, throwing parties for everyone from President Obama to the Dallas Cowboys. The event industry’s king of self-promotion, known as “America’s Sassiest Lifestyle Guru,” is the industry’s most visible, vocal and unique personality!

Steve has been dishing out fashion disses at celebrities for more than five years as a Top Cop for US Weekly Magazine’s Fashion Police, on the red carpet at the Golden Globe Awards, American Music Awards and Independent Spirit Awards. His “Dose of Sass” segment can be heard daily on CBS radio, and he has gone toe-to-toe with some of TV’s other big personalities from Melissa Rivers to Donny Deutsch.

Our recent headshot session in Dallas was fantastic! Steve has one of the most vibrant personalities I’ve ever encountered. He’s extremely approachable and very down to Earth, despite his larger than life delivery. We had so much fun! He’s open to the creative process and understands the cardinal rule in headshots: if it feels uncomfortable, it will probably photograph beautifully!

Brandi Redmond: Bravo’s Rising Star

In honor of Monday being Real Housewives of Dallas night on Bravo and Memorial Day, I thought it would be appropriate to post about my recent studio session with Bravo’s fastest rising star, Brandi Redmond. She’s also a patriotic woman, having opened up on the show about her veteran brother Michael’s struggle with PTSD on RHOD. This week, I sit discuss my recent Dallas headshot photography session with Brandi Redmond: Bravo’s Rising Star!

My experience with Brandi was better and more down to Earth than I had anticipated. She’s probably one of the sweetest women I’ve ever met! Brandi, her mother Jana Nace, and her two gorgeous daughters Brooklyn and Brinkley all stopped by the studio and it was exactly like the show – Brandi is 100% authentic. What I wasn’t expecting was how in awe of her I would be! First of all, I’ve been a Dallas headshot photographer for over 15 years – I thought I would be much more composed myself. Second, anyone that knows me knows I’m a Bravoholic and absolutely obsessed with the housewives, so to have this opportunity with Brandi was surreal! Despite the scenes on the show and the reputation she’s been given, Brandi’s extremely composed. She handles herself with tact and poise, even with two adorable children under 7 years old!

The Housewives franchise is not Brandi’s first time in the spotlight. Brandi is a former All-Star, Pro-Bowl and five-time Dallas Cowboys Cheerleader. Brandi’s also extremely involved in the Dallas charity community, heavily involved in Folds of Honor benefitting the families of our lost soldiers – a cause near and dear to her heart.

For more on my recent headshot Dallas session with Brandi, check out my Facebook and Instagram. To get your own summer headshots in Dallas, give me a call or submit an inquiry online today.

Pretty Professional: An Interview with Nance Cole

Pretty Professional: An Interview with Nance Cole

 

As a headshot photographer in Dallas, I meet a lot of different people. Whether I’m shooting business headshots or acting headshots, it’s never a dull moment. So when I had the chance to meet Nance Cole, the Practice Coordinator of Plastic Surgery of Texas, I became instantly obsessed. This business owner has made a profession of being beautiful and making sure others look their best. I sat down with Nance to hear about how she got into the plastic surgery world.

Nance got into the industry purely by chance. Her original plan was to become a model – she started with Kim Dawson in Dallas, then jumped to Wilhelmina Models in New York City. While modeling, she listened to the advice of her mother and got her esthetician license so she could take care of her own skin. Soon after, Nance started her own cosmetics line, Beauty Mark by Nance. As the industry and scope of cosmetic procedures changed, Nance adapted and earned her laser license.

After 30 years in the industry, things are going pretty smoothly for Nance. She and her husband Dr. Ben Tittle own and operate Plastic Surgery of Texas, Highland Dermatology and Dr. Tittle is the medical director of Grand Spa in Dallas. You could call these two the royal couple of youth in Dallas! When I shot their corporate headshots, I was shocked to see how beautiful Nance was, but also how business savvy she is. She has an eye for the aesthetic and a marketing mind.

Nance runs a tight ship at Plastic Surgery of Texas and Highland Dermatology. She handles the marketing and sales for all of Plastic Surgery of Texas’ offices and Medical Spas along with overseeing the development of their expanding locations. Give them a call or request a consultation online today.Check out some of Nance and Dr. Tittle’s shots on my Facebook and Instagram pages and make sure to book your session soon!

Check out some of Nance and Dr. Tittle’s shots on my Facebook and Instagram pages and make sure to book your session soon!

4 Lessons from a Commercial Photography Shoot

 

 

 

I pay my bills as a Dallas headshot photographer, but when opportunities come up I take them. Recently, one of those opportunities presented itself – I had the chance to shoot a new creative campaign for a very successful dentist in Dallas. My past experiences in commercial shoots have been interesting to say the least, but this one went off without a hitch. This week, I’m sharing my recipe for success with you: 4 lessons from a commercial photography shoot.

  1. Pre-game with the creative team
    I cannot stress this enough. When I’m doing business headshots, it’s pretty simple. But this time, I was taking photographs for a full-scale campaign to be featured in print and on the web. The creative director, copywriter, and client service rep sat down with me and laid out the goals and expectations. We had a clearly-defined goal in mind.
  2. Solve your client’s problem
    Very rarely are people taking photos “just because.” There’s a problem or issue in mind. Clearly define your client’s problem or issue and create a solution. In this case, it was to differentiate them from the other dental practices in the area. So we decided to take exaggerated lifestyle shots.
  3. Find the perfect talent
    A photographer in Dallas has a great pool of talent. There are major modeling agencies like Kim Dawson, Campbell or Paige Parkes with loads of different looks at your disposal. If your client (like most) tries to set a low budget, there are other agencies out here with models just starting to build their portfolios and need sample shots. Explore your resources, you’ll be glad you did.
  4. Speed of service is everything
    Your client probably wanted these photos yesterday. Start. Retouching. Now. I couldn’t get the photos on my computer fast enough.

Hopefully, you’ll be able to follow these four simple tips on your next commercial shoot, on either the client or creative side. For your next headshot session or commercial photo shoot, contact me or give me a call today.

Kyle Roark | Linda McAllister Talent

 

This week, I got the chance to catch up with my long-time friend and actor, Kyle Roark. I had no idea how busy 2016 has already been for the represented film actor and fitness guru! Before I tell you what’s been on Kyle’s radar recently, here’s a bit of background on the “Renegades” star.

 
Kyle started acting as a child. The way he describes it, he had an “ongoing identity crisis since elementary school.” Roark says he became interested in acting “through the ability to be many people at once through different characters. I didn’t have to pick just one.” He formally started auditioning at 11 years old and has been consistently working ever since. Now, I have to give credit where credit is due – Kyle’s done something I advise almost every actor that stops by the studio: he has consciously taken roles to build his acting reel. He describes it like this: “I just keep saying ‘yes’ to jobs I know will look good on my reel. I think about the role and the depth of the character or the differences across the reel. I want to show my range.”

 
Recently, Kyle’s been filming the online series, “Renegades.” The series follows Beckett and Alfonso – friends to the bitter end, or until it’s no longer profitable – as they track down thieves and outlaws for the bounties on their heads.  Think “Lethal Weapon” meets “Road to El Dorado” meets “22 Jump Street.” Check out the first few episodes, available now!

 
He’s been formally trained in film over the past four years and is currently represented by Linda McAllister Talent. For any inquiries, please check out Linda McAllister Talent online or take a peak at Kyle’s acting reel.

 
Along with honing his acting craft, Kyle’s also worked on his physical fitness training career. While bartending, Kyle realized that environment became toxic for him. In an effort to find an entertaining occupation that helped others, he found himself “mindset coaching” clients – working on their physical and mental well-being. After starting his training journey, he formed Division Fitness. The business continues to grow, contact Kyle directly to schedule an appointment or set up a consultation.

 
For any acting headshots or executive portraits of your own, check out my Model and Headshot galleries or book your session today!

4 Epic Photoshop Fails

 

 

 

I’m the first to admit that I love retouching. It’s one of the biggest services I feature to my clients and it’s something that can really enhance a photo. I think everyone should look their best, and if that means removing an awkward line or hiding a funny pose, I’m all for that. However, when retouchers and editors cross the line and make their subject appear almost unrecognizable, there’s a problem. I see it more often than I’d like, and in the past I’ve had a heavy hand with the Photoshop tools myself. So this week, I wanted to take a look at 4 epic Photoshop fails as a guide of what to avoid.

 

Bethenney Frankel’s PETA Fail

4 epic photoshop failsImage via Us Weekly

The queen bee of New York housewives, Bethenney Frankel, did a PETA shoot a few years ago and the retouchers ripped her to shreds. They ironed her face, removed every line on her back and side, removed the lower part of her breast, and smoothed her leg out. It’s almost a different person in the side-by-side!

 

 

 

Lindsay Lohan’s Booty Blowout

4 epic photoshop failsImage via Instagram

Lindsay has a few photoshop fails, but this one is the most blatant. Just take a peak at Ms. Lohan’s rear end in relation to the wall. Need I say more?

 

 

 

 

 

Jeb Bush’s Magic Hand

4 epic photoshop failsImage via Entertainment Weekly

During the former Republican nominee’s failed presidential campaign last year, Jeb Bush released a few promotional shots where one of his hands appears to have changed ethnicities mysteriously. Either Jeb’s staff had a bone to pick or he tried appealing to a different voter group!

 

 

The Kardashian’s Flawless Fail

4 epic photoshop failsImage via Sears

Okay, so I usually love everything these girls do… But this time it was too much. The Kardashian sisters released a promotional campaign for their Sears lingerie line, and the photos were perfect. Too perfect. Their faces look like porcelain! Take a lesson from Kim, Kourtney, and Khloe – sometimes, your imperfections are the very things that give you character.

 

 

 

 

Take a lesson from these celebs – sometimes, less is more.

All eyes on Cynthia Bailey Eyewear

all eyes on cynthia bailey eyewear

Anyone who knows me is well aware I’m obsessed with reality television – especially The Real Housewives. It’s not the most intellectual or deep programming, but it helps me tune out and relax. Nothing too heavy, just fun and games – and drama I can watch from the comfort of my own couch without participating in. So when I had the opportunity to shoot THE Cynthia Bailey and her new eyewear collection, I nearly had a fan freak out!

If you watch Real Housewives of Atlanta, anything on Bravo TV, or follow social media, you’ve heard of Cynthia’s eyewear collection and the “‘mercial.” (Side note: can anyone confirm who came up with the word “’mercial?”) But you may not have seen the actual glasses – they’re stunning. Her styles are fun, fresh and youthful – just like Cynthia.

Cynthia’s eyewear collection combines a modern, sleek sophisticated vibe. She’s taken many frames and lenses that blend a New York fashion scene with the cool, calm feel of Atlanta. It’s a perfect representation of her own personality. My personal favorite is the “Noelle Black” frame with the lightly purple-tinted lenses. Stay tuned for more frames as they become available.

If you’re addicted to Bravo like I am, be sure to watch #ShadySunday – the first episode of the Real Housewives of Atlanta Reunion airs tonight!

The Man Behind the Manor

 

This week, I had the pleasure of shooting one of my closest friends, Kurt Haymond. He stopped by the studio for his new PR shots to promote his amazing new store, The Urban Manor, located in Snider Plaza. I couldn’t resist the opportunity to speak with one of Dallas’ most interesting men about his incredible career in fashion, interior design, and visual merchandising.

Kurt leaped into the fashion and interior furnishings world early on in his life. He says he “accidentally got into the jewelry world at 20,” starting his own business and learning the ins and outs of the industry. He soon after found himself working at Calvin Klein as his first experience in luxury retail. He says he gained an extensive knowledge in window designs and merchandising. By chance, he started designing the windows and he fell in love with the creative process.

In 2000, he began working as the lead visual merchandiser of Tootsie’s. He worked with the company for 11 years, with his last project opening the Houston flagship store. During that time, he was written up twice as being one of the leading window merchandisers in the game. He worked on-and-off for Tootsies and Gregory’s, creating beautiful displays across the country.

In 2009, Kurt left his visual merchandising position at Gregory’s and came back to Dallas dressing a handful of private clients. Before long, he couldn’t escape his need to return to the retail world and opened Assembly, a high-end clothing store, in Dallas’ West Village luxury retail center.

Last year, Kurt followed his heart back to interiors and opened The Urban Manor with his daughter Ariel. They found the perfect space at Snider Plaza, where he and Ariel opened shop and have made their dream a reality. Not only do they feature some of the most extraordinary pieces in Dallas, they’ve expanded and opened a floral shop. Their florals are magnificent and they have some of the most beautiful arrangements in Dallas. They’ve recently added custom invitations with Terry Cummings as their new “king of invitations, stationery and weddings.” Kurt says Terry “ignites that creative spark” in himself and Ariel.

They’ve been featured in D Magazine, Park Cities People, and the Examiner. It seems like every where you go (or any link you click), The Urban Manor appears.

They’re looking to expand even further, opening a digital storefront that features the same array of inventory. Stay tuned for more from Kurt and The Urban Manor!

Pretty Professional: Interviewing Kim Dawson’s David Miller

pretty professional interviewing kim dawson's david miller

It’s no secret that executive portraits and commercial photography are my “bread and butter,” but I’ve done a lot of different work. Before I found my way into working with business professionals, I was very active in the fashion industry and shot more model comp cards than I can remember. So this week, it was refreshing to go back to my roots and work with one of Dallas’ fastest rising stars in the fashion modeling world, David Miller.

David found his way into modeling under unexpected circumstances. While he was a student at Texas Christian University, his tuition climbed 8% each year and he found himself looking for different ways to pay for his education. One of his friends had recently signed with the Kim Dawson Agency and suggested David do the same. He spent three months trimming down to fit sample sizes and soon after signed with Kim Dawson.

After graduating from TCU and finding a job as a financial advisor, he found himself modeling more and more. David says, “You know, I realized that finance will always be there, but modeling is a lot of fun. It’s become a passion. I never thought it would become a full time career but it’s turned out to be an amazing experience. I wake up excited to work! Every single day is a grand adventure and I just feel so lucky. I truly love what I do.”

At 26 years old, David’s poised to succeed creatively and professionally – he finds himself getting more involved in all aspects of the industry. He’s even begun branching out creatively, producing the October 2015 issue of FD Luxe magazine.

For more on David, check out his Instagram account or get in touch with his representation at Kim Dawson.