The weather for a Houston engagement and wedding photographer has not been popular with me as of late. Rain. Shine. Drizzle. Humid. Cool. Sunny. Rain. This is why I have to give a major high five to Kelly and Mark. We set a date and we stuck with it. We didn’t know what we would be dealing with, and we had all of thee above! These two were all smiles and just happy to be together.
Kaci and I met at a bridal show when she was searching for a Houston engagement photographer to capture the true spirit of herself and Adam. She gave me a perfect idea of who they were as a couple, and when she informed me that they’d chosen me to be the one, I was beside myself with excitement. They’ve chosen the details of their wedding carefully and I can’t wait to share them with you all. He’s an avid duck hunter; she’s the perfect combination of chic and pure country.
Together with their love of Jesus, football, Texas and whiskey, they’re sure to have much to talk about for the next 60 years.
Being a photographer has it’s perks. Being an east Texas engagement photographer with couples who like road trips is one of them! I love when my couples want to travel outside of the city to take their engagement pictures. Jennifer and Charles met in their sorority/fraternity in college at SFA in Nacogdoches, so this is where we chose the setting
Can we all agree that the weather lately has been awful?? We followed the forecast all week and decided to take our chances and well, it paid off! We got some gorgeous pictures.
I first heard of Balushka Paper Floral Artistry when I walked into BHLDN, a wedding line by Anthropologie. They were so intricate and elegant. It wasn’t until I invested in my own paper flowers that I met the tiny, blonde Ukrainian, Khrystyna, that is the mastermind behind all of said flowers. Down to earth, responsive, talented and accountable-this has been my experience with her. I built a custom moss backdrop for my own purposes and knew I wanted these paper flowers to be the star of the show. I inquired, looked online, did my research- a normal custom when making a large investment (most of the time!) Khrystyna was able to work with my timeline, my budget and my needs.
The purpose of this blog feature is to let you all know that these flowers are out there. They are eye-catching, GORGEOUS, preservable, and can be used for SO many purposes. Whether you’re a bride looking for a backdrop, table centerpieces, bouquets, hairpieces and jewelry or a new mother-to-be wanting something different for your new baby’s room, there’s a market for you all in these pieces.
I’ve written a Q&A below to help you understand the uses, as well as educate you on the value and even inspire you to think outside the box when it comes to your wedding day or other such interest. I’ve also included some pictures of Balushka headquarters where all the magic happens, and to give you an idea of just how much she and her amazing team are capable of!
I hope you enjoy.
Q:What advice would you give to a bride who wants paper flowers at her wedding?
A: “Hire Balushka!” (she laughs playfully). “Choose elegant and timeless. Check the weather and consider keeping one or some of the flowers for yourself as a memory.”
Q: How long do the flowers last, and what can people do with the flowers after the wedding?
A: “I still have my first paper flower from 4 years ago. It’s survived numerous installations, so I can guarantee 4 years at this point (laughs again). You can display them in your home as an art piece, mount them in shadow boxes or on canvas or as a headboard piece in your bedroom. Nursery’s are also very popular to use as heirloom pieces.”
Q: The flower backdrops are the most common of your designs, but what else can brides incorporate your flowers into for their wedding?
A: “Cakes, centerpieces, monogrammed shadow boxes, hair pieces, jewelry, corsages and bouquets.”
Q: Do you take custom orders? How many color variations do you have?
A: “I have 52 colors. Ivory and white are the basics and then there are colors, patterns, names, monograms and the flower style.”
Q: What projects are you most proud of in the last year?
A: “Ah…I was very proud of the installation I did on Fifth Avenue in New York City for Lord & Taylor windows. My mother came in from Ukraine and she was actually impressed-probably the first time I saw my Mom impressed by me. This is how we are in Ukraine-not excited easily-so it was really a great compliment to se her being really excited! I’m proud about every project I make. It’s always different and memorable. This year I get to design and decorate a store in the World Trade Center in NYC. It’s fun! But really, I’m proud of the tiniest of my projects, even to sell a corsage. I’m also really excited about my new partnership with Bering’s. It partly inspired me with my home decor line.”
Q: The flowers are incredibly detailed. Do you do this all yourself or do you have an entourage?
A: “I construct every flower myself, but I do have two wonderful assistants who I am very proud of. They help me with cutting, shipping and preparation. They help expedite my time per flower, as I make each one.”
Q: Tell us ow long it takes to make one flower?
A: “Depends on size. On average, 2-3 hours. Some small ones can be maybe 15 minutes but I had one flower that took 7 hours.”
Q: For everyone who lives outside Houston, do you ship?
A: “Most of my business is shipping. I ship all over the US and internationally. We use a lot of packaging materials an durable boxes, so the packaging is an art itself!”
Q: What other types of events and projects do you get involved in?
A: “Corporate events, birthdays, anniversaries, baby showers, commercial windows, you name it! (she adjusts her trendy fox tail scarf and pulls her feet up onto the chair) I have a catalog available for ordering. It’s only by invite so if someone is interested, they can email “email@example.com””
Q: What is the average investment that a bride spends on your artistry?
A: “$1700 is the average for rentals. That’s what a backdrop rental would run. If you wanted a floral arch, it would be somewhere around $850. For those looking to keep their art after the event, you could expect to invest around $2500. The jewelry and accent pieces are on a smaller scale, somewhere between $35-150.”
Q: You’re from Ukraine. What’s your favorite thing about home?
A: “The people. We say what we think and everything is very real. It’s what I admire about my country and the people. Friends get together with wine and play each others therapists. (she looks down and toys with her fingers) I miss the great food. When I close my eyes and think about home, I think about the street I lived on, it was in the center of the city. The trees are very big and old. The street itself is handmade like cobblestone. There’s no parking and it’s filled with beautiful cafes.”
Q: Your work is everywhere! How do you stay level, relaxed and keep up with everyone so well?
A: “I think hard work keeps me grounded. I’ve been working since I was 5. I’m able to keep up because if I don’t, everything piles up. If I don’t pick up or respond to clients immediately, I never will. I answer my own phone and treat everyone the same. I watched my Mom run her business and she took great care with her customers-so I learned this with her. I appreciate every day I wake up healthy. I won’t be able to curl and make flowers forever, it’s very hard on your body. I think a lot of people who don’t do labor intensive work don’t understand why we charge what we do. This is why I don’t care for when people ask for a discount.”
Q: Do you have a dream project?
A: “YES! “(she breaks into a huge smile and her eyes go wide). ” I want to decorate the Eiffel Tower from the outside. I want to light it up with flowers. It would be just for one night, not a permanent installation. No occasion at all, just a random day, people walking along and them 8pm comes and we light it up! Everyone there gets free champagne(If you didn’t know, she loves champagne.)
Q: What do you do for fun?
A: “I give a lot of myself to my business so it’s rare to have time to myself. When I do, I like to go to Galveston for long walks with my beautiful man. That’s my escape. I like to go to La Tapatia for margaritas with friends, that place holds good memories. Also my best friends baby, I just love her. Babies and flowers make me happy.”
If you would like to contact Balushka Paper Floral Artistry, you can email her at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit her website at http://balushka.myshopify.com or her etsy store at https://www.etsy.com/shop/balushka
Some of the best things about brand new babies is getting to cuddle them, swaddle them and soothe them. They’re so tiny. Avery decided to crash the due date a month early, so Mommy and Daddy were really surprised! This sweet baby girl did so amazingly well, mostly only giving a small sigh or ‘I’m put out’ squeak every once in a while. Looking at her all curled up on the changing bed, I was just in awe of how small she was. She could still literally fit into a belly!
Here are a few of the newborn pictures we captured during our session, and I hope they put a smile on your face as they have on mine.
The three of us met in Galveston, Tx for their engagement session. The week had played games on us. Rain. Shine. Rain. Shine. Clouds. Rain. So that we didn’t chance any bad weather, we headed to the coast, where there’s tons of scenery to boot. John Michael is still finishing college in Oklahoma City, but had a window of time to take pictures with his love. Megan and I planned, and decided that mimosas should definitely be on the menu for the day. This is the aftermath of that windy overcast day. Megan is one of my favorites…she’s putting a LOT of time into planning this wedding, and John Michael doesn’t fall short. He was a proper gentleman, made good conversation, and I can see why Megan loves him!