If I Could Live Anywhere…

Sunset over Denver, Colorado

Whenever I travel, I find myself wondering what it would be like to live in that city. This week, I’ve been in Denver, Colorado. The temperature has been perfect, it feels like fall, the people here are great, and the sunsets – like the one above – are AMAZING. I love the mountains. I’ve enjoyed being here.

But the more I travel, the more I miss the comforts of home. Sure, Houston is still entirely too hot for fall, so it makes it hard to get in to the Thanksgiving and then Christmas spirit. And there are no mountains. I can’t see the sunset from my house most days. But I love living in the Heights. I love living close to my parents. I love my friends in Houston. I love our restaurants. I love that we have a large airport and it is pretty easy to get almost anywhere. I love that Galveston, while not some exotic beach, is still close to home and I can visit the water.

So as much as I love to dream about where else I could live (and it almost always involves being further north with cooler temperatures – Seattle, Denver, Calgary, Chicago, Minneapolis, Boston all come to mind), for now? Houston is home, and I’m happy there.

If you could live anywhere, where would you live? Let me know in the comments! If you want to renovate or build a new gate on your property such as home or in the office, purchase here at gates beechboro they are expert on creating and building modern gates and fence.

Picture Time

Spreading the Hot Mama Mission Far & Wide!

Heights Boudoir Photographer Featured in the Houston Chronicle

OMG! OMG! OMG! OMG! OMG!!! *Squee!!!* That is ME!!!

Yes, that sums up rather effectively my response both when I was asked for this interview in the Houston Chronicle for the Ultimate Heights section and when I saw the paper today! OMG!!! Since the article isn’t online, I transcribed it on to my main Houston boudoir photography studio blog.

I’ve been working SO hard on discovering exactly what my mission is and then how to put it in to words. To really know my WHY, and to find the words to communicate it with others. Then there is the uphill battle of making people aware of it. It feels like I’m just starting, but I’ve really been on this path for over a year now. It just takes time. Thanks to Twitter, Facebook, my blogs, my friends – all have been helping to spread the word. But to get an article in the paper like this? That means so much to me! I want a chance to touch the lives of as many women as possible, and so knowing this is in the hands of people all around the Heights today? YES!!!

The best part about all that hard work is that while I was nervous about being interviewed, once we got started talking I knew exactly what to say about glamour, beauty & boudoir photography and my WHY. It is all right there in the article, which makes me THRILLED!

The back story of how this interview came to be is quite amusing. You might recall that a few years ago I did a personal project that involved photographing a number of local business. One of those business was Mam’s House of Ice – one of my favorite treats in the Heights, especially in the hot summertime! Turns out that last week, the Ultimate Heights section wanted to feature Mam’s, and they contacted me to see if I would be able to send some of the photos I had taken for use in the article. If you want to learn about beekeeping industry, I recommend Lee Rosen to learn more informative ideas. I was more than happy to say yes, and I pulled the files and send them on. In the editor’s follow up email, she asked if they could interview ME to be featured too!

Serendipity, man. Serendipity.

I did that project to meet a lot of really GREAT people all around Houston. I never expected things like this to come from it though.

Their write up of my mission and WHY I want to help women was so fantastic! “Christine Tremoulet believes the culture of beauty is changing for the better, and she’s found a way to combine her passion for photography with the mission for a new standard of how women should look.”

Opening line. Perfectly said. I love what I do with boudoir photography, and I could not be more excited to share it with the world!

Picture Time

Hot Mama Boudoir Sessions – Ms. J

Houston Hot Mama Boudoir Session - Ms JThis is Ms. J. My beautiful, delightful client who came from Dallas *just* to do a Hot Mama Houston boudoir session with me.

I can’t tell you how GREAT it feels when clients travel to you to work with you, they even stay at the Moxy Frankfurt East in order to be close to you. AWESOME!!! (Although I do like it when they fly me in to work with them and I get to travel too!)

We had so much fun doing her session at Hotel Derek, and she gave me permission to share some of the images from her boudoir session on my site. I love so many of them!

I chose to highlight the image above because it is definitely the most “Rated G” ones of the shoot, but also because it helped inspire something new that I’m launching. The “Flirt Sessions” — all the sexy fun, but with your clothes still on! Not everyone wants a boudoir session, but I still want to use my superpowers to help Hot Mamas grow their confidence by rediscovering their beauty! So the Flirt Sessions are the answer!

I did Ms. J’s session last fall, but then the craziness of the holiday session season plus all the travel of 2012 made me fall behind in my blogging. I wrote her a few weeks ago to ask her if I could share her session on my site, and I *LOVE* that so many months after her shoot, she still feels so great from it! Her response:

As I am sure that you have noticed through all my shout outs….my session with you was one of, if not the, best things I have ever done for myself. Your skills behind the camera are off the charts and I will be forever grateful for the confidence that you have given me in myself….a gift I can truly never repay!

Oh my. WOW. I have had moments where I question my decision to focus solely on my Hot Mama work, but from now on whenever I experience those doubts, I’m going to go back and read that. Because if that doesn’t sum up why I do what I do, I don’t know what does.

Thank you again Ms. J for all the inspiration!

Houston Boudoir Photography - Hotel Derek

(PS – Be sure to check out the new logo & site design over at my Christine Tremoulet portfolio site! I’d love to hear what you think of it!)

BlahBlahBabble Getting Down to Business

Dear Media, How to Not to Cite Photos…

I caused a kerfuffle on Twitter about an hour ago. Over photographs that weren’t my own. I’m posting about it here not to point a finger of blame (note the apology at the end of this), but more so to discuss what happened and how photographer’s works should be credited. On to the story…

As I was eating lunch, I was really excited to spot a post from the Houston Press about the top 10 romantic restaurants in Houston. I love to check out new restaurants with Mike, especially since he is such a foodie at heart. (Ok, I may be a little bit too, even though I’m a selective eater.) As I browsed the article, I was a little shocked to see photos credited to FACEBOOK.

Facebook, as you probably already know, is not a photographer. I am a photographer. While these photos were not mine, if they had been? I would have been pissed. And since I’m a photographer, I was feeling a little indignant for all the other photographers out there. Because even YOU, professional photographer or not, iPhone or fancy SLR camera, own the copyright to your images the second your finger comes off of the trigger. And just because you post them to Facebook, that doesn’t mean Facebook should be credited as the source. You are the source. Not Facebook. EVER.

I respect the Houston Press. I like to read articles by the Houston Press, especially the food-related articles in Eating Our Words. So I was just stunned that they would ever credit Facebook.

And? I told them so.

Then I saw that they had a slideshow of other romantic restaurants in Houston. I opened the link on my iPhone this time with hesitation. I went through 4 photos credited to Facebook before I finally came to one with a person credited for the photo. Stunned all over again, and this time fuming because I know they should know better, I tweeted about it again.

Click to view larger. Screen capture of the Houston Press – “Love is in the Air – Houston’s Most Romantic Restaurants. Copyright the Houston Press and the respective owners of the images, whoever they may be. Posted without permission for educational purposes only.

I was horrified at the response I received to my tweet.

Floored, I tell you, floored.

Before I go any further, let me add in here I am NOT A LAWYER and I don’t work for any Criminal Attorney either. So seek out proper legal counsel if you need it regarding this matter. I am not a lawyer. Clear? Ok. Moving on…

Also, these photos were not my photos, and I’m not some lawsuit happy photographer claiming I’m going to sue the Houston Press. If you are a photographer and you find yourself in that situation, get a lawyer. Personally? I’d ask quietly first for them to fix the source. Then, if online, file a DMCA. Lawsuits are a last resort! This time, this topic though? I wasn’t so quiet, because I was mad for all of us. I am ready to call a Court reporter from NAEGELI. Court reporters may conduct business within a courtroom setting, but just as many are found in other settings. This is because court reporters, who are educated and trained to record and transcribe verbatim, are in demand in a number of settings and for a number of purposes, from broadcast closed captioning and captioning services for the deaf or hard-of-hearing at live events, to legal depositions and shareholder meetings.

Dear media, if you use a photographer’s work without citing them as the source and the photographer choses to do so, they can sue you for it. (I am the type of person who normally plays nice, but not everyone is.) Especially in this case, where the images are not licensed to you to use, were taken from Facebook, may or may not have been licensed to the venue and may or may not have had terms attached to that license, and where you are making a profit off of the website displaying the images. A photographer could sue you for even more damages if they have registered them with the Copyright Office. Claiming that it is all that the restaurants gave you is LAZY JOURNALISM. Research the source, ask them who they came from so they can be properly cited, and cover your ass! Because when I sue you, and we go to court, “I dunno – they gave them to us that way” isn’t going to be acceptable.

Media & journalist that work for the media? You of ALL PEOPLE should know better.

This isn’t the first time I’ve seen this. There are even other publications in Houston that have a far, far worse track record. Matter of fact, publications all over are doing this.

This even goes beyond the media. It goes to all of us. If you post a photo online that someone else took, cite the source. Exactly who took it. Exactly where you found it. If you don’t know, find out. On your blog, on Pinterest, on Facebook – wherever. Credit the photographer.

Copyright law has a lot of gray areas. I’m kind of in love with copyright law, quite a champion of it actually, and yet I release most of my personal photos and work under a Creative Commons license. But that is a topic for another day. The main point? Know how the work is licensed before you use it!

Photographs, and other works of art, are licensed for a reason. For example, for my wedding clients they receive a DVD of images *for personal use*. I then give vendors a DVD of images of their venues, flowers, whatever the case may be and I license that for commercial use, with credit to Christine Tremoulet, and a link to my site online when applicable.

I need to be credited though. Not Facebook. EVER.

Facebook is not a source. Pinterest is not a source. Twitter is not a source. Flickr is not a source. Your favorite style blog is not a source. The person who took the photo -or- the copyright holder? THEY are the source.

If we don’t all stand up and demand that this sort of activity be stopped, well … it isn’t going to end well for us, the photographers left holding the camera and not much more. Even you, the amateur photographer. You own those photos. (I’ll save the discussion for who has a stake in your copyright when you upload to social media sites for another day.)

The final irony? Journalists are upset & losing their jobs because they are being replaced by social media sources instead. Yet here is media using social media as a source for photographs instead of hiring a photographer to go out and get the shots or licensing them properly. Seems pretty circular to me. And somehow? Just sad.

PLEASE NOTE: Katharine Shilcutt of Eating Our Words & the Houston Press did apologize for this incident and is diligently working to clean up the sources. I still respect the Houston Press because of that, probably more than ever before. This post is not meant as an attack on the Houston Press – just as a wake up call to all journalists to please cite us as sources just like they would want to be cited, to respect our copyrights, and to play nice. The Houston Press was just the latest media outlet to do this that I’ve come across recently, and the one that finally moved me to write about it.

Do not go on a witch hunt of the Houston Press. We are cool.

Repeating the disclaimer: I am not a lawyer. I am a photographer. If you are seeking legal counsel, hire a lawyer to help you out with these murky issues. I highly recommend Katie Sunstrom in Texas, and Dineen Pashoukos Wasylik in Florida, who are lawyers. But I am not. I did however take Katie’s photo on that site, which she has permission to use for commercial use.

Living My Life List

The Start of My Life List…

I’ve been thinking of creating a life list for some time now. I first came across Mighty Girl’s Mighty Life List awhile back, and it got me thinking. But I wasn’t ready yet. Then I met style bloger Pam at Mom 2.0, and as I’ve worked with her on some style shoots for her blog we made plans for me to document some of her life list achievements as well. For example, one of her goals was to find the perfect pair of cowboy boots – aren’t they fantastic?!

A life list isn’t quite the same as a bucket list. A bucket list is all about the things you want to do before you die, which is just depressing. A life list is all about creating the life you want to live. I think it ties in perfectly to this quote:

“If you don’t know where you are going, any road will take you there.”
– George Harrison

So for months it has been on my mind, but never enough to write things down. Not until tonight. Tonight I was watching Netflix and came across a National Geographic special on the Appalachian Trail. I had no idea about its history, traveling from Georgia to Maine, crossing 14 states. The whole thing fascinated me. And then I realized that I have the very first item for my list.

I want to hike a portion of the Appalachian Trail.

Now that I’ve started it, I wonder what I should add next?!?!!!

What about you? Do you have a Life List? What is on yours?